Alderson Says Mets Spending

first_imgNEW YORK — Making his first public appearance since collapsing during a news conference two months ago and later announcing he was undergoing cancer treatment, New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson looked fit and healthy.Alderson attended the Jan. 7 Hall of Fame news conference featuring former New York star Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr., who were elected to Cooperstown a day earlier.“I feel good, and things are improving,” he said. “It’s nice to be back to a routine and working toward the 2016 season, as it would be for anybody.”The 68-year-old collapsed at Citi Field on Nov. 4 while speaking with reporters following the announcement of a new contract for manager Terry Collins. The NL champions said Dec. 4 he had undergone surgery for a treatable cancer and was starting chemotherapy.“I’ve been working 100 percent since really just after the winter meetings,” Alderson said. “I just couldn’t travel to Nashville that particular Sunday and Monday. Otherwise I would have been there. But since that time I’ve been in the office and fully participating.”Alderson replaced Omar Minaya following the 2010 season. After four losing seasons under Alderson, the Mets returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and made their first World Series appearance since 2000, losing to Kansas City in five games.Since the World Series, the Mets have watched outfield star Yoenis Cespedes and second baseman Daniel Murphy leave as free agents. They signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and outfielder Alejandro De Aza, acquired second baseman Neil Walker in a trade and re-signed pitcher Bartolo Colon.“The idea that we’re not investing in the team I think is really misplaced and sort of tied up in the populism involving Cespedes,” Alderson said.According to Alderson, the Mets payroll this year could be $35 million higher than it was in 2014. Major League Baseball’s final figures had the Mets at $93 million in 2014 and nearly $110 million last season.“We know that Cespedes was instrumental to us getting to the postseason. We know Daniel Murphy was instrumental in us getting to the World Series,” Alderson said. “But I think along the way we learned a few things about ourselves and about the team, and I think the way we’ve approached the offseason puts some of those lessons into play. It’s not as if we’re not looking to improve the team, and, if possible, in significant ways. But it has to make some sense in terms of how these pieces all fit.”New York has shied away from pricey free agents. But at the trade deadline, the Mets acquired Cespedes, who had 17 homers and 44 RBIs in 57 games. He turned 30 is October and is thought to be seeking a contract of at least five years.“If we had the right fit, if we had the right healthy player in the right position, it might be a very different story for us,” Alderson said. “So this isn’t about inching up on team improvement. This is about trying to be, one, thoughtful about it, but also realistic.”(RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

India a formidable opposition in tough conditions. Australia beware in Perth!

first_imgThe new cricket stadium in Perth is all set to host its first Test match with India and Australia resuming their rivalry after a short three-day gap.All the talk leading up to the Test match has been about the pitch in Perth and how much pace will it have for the fast bowlers to exploit.Will it be as quick and bouncy as the one at the iconic WACA stadium? Nobody knows.Australia however, are pretty excited at what they have seen with cricket experts even going on to claim that it will favour the home side more than the visitors.If that is the case, then we might get to see both teams opting for four fast bowlers in their final XI.Australia are trailing 1-0 in the four-match series after a 31-run defeat in Adelaide and will be looking to bounce back and come hard at India in the second match.The record in Perth also favours the home side with Australia having won three of the four Tests they have played against India at the WACA. It was their fortress until they lost against Anil Kumble’s Indian team in 2008.But a closer look at India’s record in the recent past on extreme pitches overseas, tells a different story altogether.Australia must be careful and not get too carried away with fast pitch in Perth and with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in their lineup as India have managed to pull off some amazing wins on tough wickets.advertisementIndia vs England, Lord’s Test (2014)The series between England and India ended 4-1 in favour of the hosts but the one win that India managed on the tour, gave us an early indication of what they are capable of when the going gets really tough.There was so much grass on the Lord’s pitch on Day 1 of the 2nd Test that the wicket became hard to distinguish from the outfield. But India, even after batting first, managed to pull off one of the greatest wins overseas.Ajinkya Rahane’s hundred in the first innings against the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Ben Stokes, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (6/82 in first innings) and Ishant Sharma’s (7/74) record haul saw India stun England by 95 runs. Ishant Sharma produced career-best figures 7 for 74 at Lord’s, the best by an Indian fast bowler in England (Reuters Photo)India vs South Africa, Johannesburg Test (2018)Four years later India managed another outstanding win but this time against the Proteas in a low-scoring thriller in Johannesburg.The batsmen from both sides found it really hard to score runs on a crumbling pitch which offered uneven bounce for the pacers. Both teams went in with four fast bowlers with no spinners in the XI.Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara managed half-centuries each in the first innings but India still conceded a first innings lead of 7 runs despite Jasprit Bumrah’s 5-wicket haul.In the second innings it was once again Kohli who stood out with the bat along with Rahane, and the tail-enders, as India set South Africa a target of 241 runs.Then came a stunning performance from Mohammed Shami, who grabbed 5 for 28 in 12.3 overs to swing the match in India’s favour with the hosts getting bowled out for 177. Shami got great support from Bumrah (2/57), Ishant Sharma (2/31) and Bhuvneshwar (1/39). Mohammed Shami grabbed 5 for 28 in 12.3 overs to swing the match in India’s favour in Johannesburg (BCCI Photo)India vs England, Nottingham Test (2018)Once again the Indian fast bowlers helped the team bounce back in the series with Bumrah and Pandya at the forefront along with captain Kohli.India managed over 300 runs in both innings thanks to Kohli’s 97 and 103 but it was Pandya’s performance in the first innings which stole the show as he grabbed 5 wickets for 28 runs in just 6 overs to stun England, who got bowled out for 161.With a lead of 168 runs, Kohli scored a patient hundred and with Pandya’s run-a-ball 52, helped India set England a mammoth target of 521 runs.Bumrah then ripped apart the English batting lineup with 5 wickets while Ishant, Ashwin, Shami and Pandya were among the wickets as India bowled the hosts out for 317 to win the match by 203 runs. Jasprit Bumrah ripped apart the English batting lineup with 5 wickets in the final innings of the Southampton Test (Reuters Photo)Kohli’s team now is riding high on confidence after the Adelaide Test win, the first time they managed to go 1-0 up in a Test series down under. India have also come to Australia with arguably its best-ever fast bowling attack in Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar.advertisementThey have managed to knock over the inexperienced Aussie batsmen once and don’t be surprised if they do it again in Perth, this time on a different venue.Also Read | Virat Kohli gives away easy singles to batsmen like all modern captains: Ian ChappellAlso Read | India vs Australia: What awaits India in Perth after highs of AdelaideAlso Read | Virat Kohli sets sights on series triumph after historic Adelaide victoryAlso Read | Langer calls for patience and partnerships from Australia batsmen ahead of Perth Testlast_img read more

Mitchell Starc files lawsuit over injury payout for IPL contract

first_imgAustralia left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc has sought legal remedy to get 1.53 million USD from his insurer over an injury payout for his IPL contract after he failed to turn out for his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders in a single game last year.According to a report in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, Starc, who didn’t figure in any game for KKR last year after getting injured in the Test series against South Africa, has filed a lawsuit in the Victorian County Court last week against the insurers of his lucrative IPL deal.Starc was one of the most sought-after Australian players at the 2018 IPL auction when KKR snapped him up for USD 1.8 million, a price tag which was bettered only by hard-hitting Chris Lynn, who went for USD 1.86 million.But Starc didn’t feature in the world’s richest T20 tournament last year after suffering a calf injury in the Test series against South Africa, which was marred by the infamous ball-tampering incident involving Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.The report further stated that Starc took out a policy that would pay him USD 1.53 million benefit if he missed the IPL season because of injury.Starc, who is represented by Mills Oakley lawyers, has sued a syndicate of Lloyd’s of London, the long-running insurance market where coverage can be bought for unique circumstances that traditional insurers don’t offer.According to court documents assessed by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, Starc paid a premium of USD 97,920 to be covered between February 27 and March 31 in 2018.advertisementBut on March 10, Starc claimed he started feeling pain in his right calf while bowling during the second Test in Port Elizabeth.The bowler further claimed that the injury was a result of bowling on uneven footmarks on a worn pitch.Also Read | Don’t think I will be ready for any stage of India tour, says Mitchell StarcAlso Read | Injured Mitchell Starc out as Australia name squad for ODI series vs Indialast_img read more

Frontline Drops Options for Four More Trafigura Tankers

first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: PxHere John Fredriksen’s shipping company Frontline has decided not to buy four more tankers from the subsidiary of Singaporean commodity trader Trafigura.In August 2019, Frontline reached an agreement with Trafigura Maritime Logistics to acquire ten of its Suezmax tankers, with two separate options to acquire additional units.The initial option, that expired on September 12, was extended to September 18, however, Frontline elected not to exercise this option and as a result the second option for another Suezmax duo has been terminated.“We added significant scale through our acquisition of 10 Suezmax tankers from Trafigura, and we are satisfied with our exposure to this asset class,” Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, said.“We are pleased to see that the tanker market is tightening and earnings increasing in all our segments. Our market view remains positive and supports further fleet growth, but our main focus will be on VLCCs, where we will seek to add exposure.”last_img read more

Provincial Government Offices Delay Opening

first_imgProvincial government offices in Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, Hants, Kings, Annapolis, and Digby counties will delay opening until noon, today, Feb. 3, due to a winter storm. Offices in Lunenburg, Shelburne, Queens, Yarmouth, Guysborough, Halifax County and Halifax Metro will delay opening until 10 a.m. Provincial government offices in Cape Breton will remain open. -30-last_img

Pikangikum First Nation to be connected to Ontario power grid by next

first_imgThe federal government announced up to $60 million in funding Thursday to connect a remote northwestern Ontario First Nation to the province’s power grid.Pikangikum First Nation, a community near the Ontario-Manitoba border, currently relies on diesel generators for electricity.The reserve of some 2,300 people about 500 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont., has had to grapple with several recent suicides as well as issues with substandard housing. Parts of the community have also been under a boil-water advisory for more than a decade.Pikangikum has a stake in Wataynikaneyap Power, a licenced transmission company owned by 22 First Nation communities who partnered with utility company Fortis with the goal of connecting 17 of its signatories to the provincial grid.On Thursday, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, said the government will provide up to $60.2 million in funding for Wataynikaneyap Power to build a 117-kilometre power line from Red Lake, Ont., to Pikangikum.“This is the beginning of a vision for the region,” Bennett said in Thunder Bay, Ont. “Opening the door for better housing and future economic development will change the quality of life for the Pikangikum First Nation and bring hope to their community.”Pikangikum’s chief welcomed Bennett’s announcement, saying the community looked forward to a constant source of power that would allow local services to operate normally.“We look forward to a safer and healthier future with power for heat and light on a consistent basis,” Chief Dean Owen said in a statement. “Pikangikum can now move forward with infrastructure, economic development and community growth.”Construction on the power line and other infrastructure is to begin in the fall, and is expected to wrap up within a year.The Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a group of 49 First Nations including Pikangikum, said being connected to the power grid will be healthier and cheaper for the community than relying on generators.“This is a significant step to help Pikangikum advance their community plan for growth and development,” Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said in a statement.NAN also called for additional investment from the federal government on housing, fire prevention, and clean drinking water in its communities.last_img read more

Damage to Rogers Centre roof causes rare postponement at domed stadium

first_imgTORONTO – Toronto Blue Jays executive Andrew Miller was standing with some colleagues by the Rogers Centre infield Monday morning when he heard a series of unexpected bangs.Several pieces of ice fell on the domed stadium from the nearby CN Tower, with one chunk creating a hole the size of a workdesk in the roof on the east side of the building.“It’s hard to describe, it was really loud,” Miller said. “It sounded like fireworks or some sort of explosion going off.”The evening game between the Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals was postponed about 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch at 7:07 p.m. ET. The teams will play a double-header Tuesday.Miller, who was at field level to inspect damage from a weekend ice storm that hammered the southern Ontario region, said he was startled by a series of “different, loud collisions.”“We saw it happen, it was pretty frightening at the time,” said Miller, the team’s executive vice-president of business operations. “We knew that (if) there was a game going on at the time, it would have been a risk to players and the fans.”A hole was still visible in the roof on Monday afternoon. Work crews eventually repaired the tear although tarps and buckets remained on the turf in right field, along the left-field line and the edge of the infield to catch drips.“If you come to a dome and get banged, something ain’t right,” said Royals manager Ned Yost.Miller said pieces of ice crashed to the turf in right field along with some insulation from the roof.“From talking to people who have been here a long time — since the building opened in 1989 — no one had ever seen anything like this,” he said. “It was something we took very seriously right away.”Team officials consulted with engineering staff, CN Tower representatives and the Toronto Police before making the decision to reschedule the game.If the double-header against the Royals is played, the second game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, which is set to begin at 3:07 p.m. ET. Toronto was coming off back-to-back postponements in Cleveland over the weekend due to rain.Even though Monday’s game was rescheduled, the Blue Jays are calling it a cancellation as they’ll lose a home gate.Fans with tickets to Tuesday’s game will be able to attend both games of the double-header, the team said. Tickets from Monday’s game can also be exchanged for one of nine future games (including entry on Tuesday).It was the first time a game has been postponed at Rogers Centre since a Jays-Royals contest on April 12, 2001. That game was called off after two panels collided while the retractable roof was in motion.The Blue Jays, who completed a US$10-million, two-year mechanical upgrade of the roof before last season, are looking at replacing the roof cover.The stadium’s artificial turf surface, one of two such fields in the majors, does not have drainage.Falling ice also made for a scary arrival for the Royals, who flew in from Kansas City late Sunday.While the team was en route to its Toronto hotel, a flying chunk of ice broke the windshield of a team bus, showering the driver in glass. Reliever Blaine Boyer grabbed the wheel and helped bring the bus to a stop.The weather also caused problems at the nearby Air Canada Centre. A leak on the court caused a slight delay at the start of Saturday’s NBA playoff game between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.On Monday evening, water leaked into the seating area shortly before an NHL playoff game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. That game started on time.On Tuesday, Blue Jays starter Jaime Garcia was set to start Game 1 and fellow left-hander J.A. Happ was tabbed for the nightcap. The Royals will counter with southpaws Eric Skoglund and Danny Duffy.Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will get the start for Toronto on Wednesday.___Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. With files from The Associated Press.last_img read more

Major Rona shareholder confirms support for Lowes hostile takeover bid

TORONTO — Invesco Canada, one of the largest shareholders of Rona Inc., confirmed on Wednesday that it’s backing a $1.76-billion bid by U.S.-based Lowe’s for Canada’s largest home-improvement retailer.Invesco has a 12% stake in Quebec-based Rona and said it’s disappointed with how the company’s management team has run the company.Rona has refused Lowe’s unsolicited takeover of $14.50 per share, saying it’s not the interest of its shareholders. The deal would have given Lowe’s a much bigger foothold in Canada.The Quebec government is also opposed to the bid by Lowe’s, which is expected to keep up the pressure to buy Rona despite having its offer rejected.[np-related]Pension fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec increased its stake in Rona to 14.2% on Wednesday, hours after Lowe’s unsolicited offer was rejected.The Caisse, whose mission is also to contribute to Quebec’s economic development, said its actions on Rona will take into consideration its shareholders, and the economic benefits of Rona’s head office in the province. The pension fund manager adds it will also respect the role of independent entrepreneurs acting as franchisees under the Rona banner.Lowe’s says institutional fund managers controlling about 15% of Rona’s stock have expressed support for the acquisition.RBC Capital Markets analyst Irene Nattel said the potential acquisition is “highly politicized” with the Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand saying the transaction is not in the interests of either Quebec or Canada.The minister also suggested a coalition of investors come together to defend Rona.“This development, which politicizes what is in effect a potential business transaction between two private companies, is only compounded by the fact that Quebec is widely expected to call Sept. 4 elections today,” Nattel said in a research note, shortly before the writ was dropped for the provincial vote.Nattel has a target share price of $13, up from $12 previously, but said the stock is likely to remain volatile in the coming weeks.Although Rona’s management appears to be poised to deliver modest earnings growth in 2012, with five consecutive years of earnings declines to 2011, a slowing Canadian housing market and outlook for sluggish consumer spending, there could be some shareholder support for the transaction at an appropriate price, Nattel said.But she recommends staying on the sidelines as the “various parties entrench their positions over the coming weeks.” read more

Financial market highlights on Tuesday SPTSX 1520237 up 7368

Highlights at the close Tuesday at world financial market trading.Stocks:S&P/TSX Composite Index — 15,202.37, up 73.68 pointsDow — 21,613.43, up 100.26 pointsS&P 500– 2,477.13, up 7.22 points (record high)Nasdaq — 6,412.17, up 1.36 points (record high)Currencies:Cdn — 79.96 cents US, up 0.04 of a centPound — C$1.6319, up 0.16 of a centEuro — C$1.4592, up 0.27 of a centEuro — US$1.1667, up 0.26 of a centOil futures:US$47.89, up $1.55(September contract)Gold futures:US$1,252.10 per oz., down $2.20(August contract)Canadian Fine Silver Handy and Harman:$21.481 per oz., down 2.6 cents$690.61 per kg., down 84 cents read more

GP stalked patient after accessing her medical records to get phone number

A GP was accused of stalking a patient after accessing her medical records so he could obtain her mobile phone number, a medical tribunal heard.Dr Chika Mbah, 37, allegedly sent a stream of WhatsApp messages asking the woman out for a date and turned up once outside her home after signing her off work for work-related stress.The woman repeatedly declined his invitation but father-of-two Mbah, who called himself ‘Dr Sandy’, kept calling her and left messages saying: “How are you stranger? – don’t you remember, it’s me, Dr Sandy?,’ the tribunal heard.The patient, who was not named and known as Patient A, was grieving at the time Mbah contacted her following the death of her grandparent. She was said to be so uncomfortable as a result of his advances that she refused to attend his surgery for an urgent check up over a stomach problem.Mbah was suspended from medical practice for three months after he was found guilty of misconduct when he admitted pursuing an improper relationship with the patient. But he denied allegations of illicitly accessing her medical records and the panel found no evidence of “any predatory behaviour”.In a statement read out at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, the woman said: “During many messages, he asked me out for a drink which I did not go to and I received the odd phone call for a chat. “He messaged me saying he was local and asked if he could pop by and see me.”He contacted me through WhatsApp and that’s when I went outside at my mothers house and he told me about this wife and his kids. He told me not to tell anyone about his messages because he might lose his job.”I went in there vulnerable and upset, and he took my number from the system and contacted me. I am not the one who is in the wrong here.”The woman initially did not report the doctor but after confiding in her friend, she filed a complaint to the General Medical Council.In a statement Mbah said: “I recall she attended the consultation requesting she be signed off as sick, as she was suffering from work related stress. I also understood that she was recently bereaved, having lost a grandparent.”I recall we had a discussion about being friends and I informed her that I could not be her doctor and her friend. But it ended with an agreement that we would stay in touch.”I do recall that at the end of the consultation, Patient A provided me with her mobile telephone number, which she read out. “I cannot recall how it came to be that Patient A provided me with her number, or the conversation that led to it, however I recall writing her number down on a piece of paper.”Panel chairman Alice Moller said the likelihood of Mbah again placing patients at unwarranted risk of harm was “very low” and that his behaviour was “unlikely” to be repeated. “When I rang up and asked for a emergency doctors appointment, they said it would be with Dr Sandy, I felt very uncomfortable so I declined the appointment even though I was in severe stomach pain due to my recent diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.”On this particular day I requested a doctor’s appointment, I felt I should of been checked over but there was nobody else so I had to leave it.”The incidents occurred in July 2015 whilst Mbah who qualified as GP the previous year was working as a locum GP in the Lister House Surgery in Hatfield. The woman told the hearing: “There was nothing wrong with the first appointment but a couple of days after the first appointment he messaged me.”It was just a normal chit chat just asking normal questions like ‘how are you’ and ‘what are you doing today’. It was nothing sexual or misleading. I received the odd phone call from him, this was only two or three times.”Most of the contact was over WhatsApp messages, he was checking how I was. Then the odd time it would be ‘do you want to go for a drink?’.”When he came to my mothers house I said I did not want to see him again and got out of the car. But a couple of weeks later I got a message saying “hello stranger”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Armenia faces shortage of women due to sexselective abortions

first_imgBut when my second daughter was born, my mother-in-law told me that there must be no more girls, that I must finally bear my husband a son.The majority-Christian Caucasus country of some three million has the third highest rate of abortions of female foetuses in the world, a figure that rose sharply after the breakup of the Soviet Union.“We will face a shortage of women”The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has reported that there were 114 boys born to 100 girls in 2012. The natural norm would be 102-106 male births to 100 female ones.Sex-discriminatory abortions become more prevalent with second and subsequent children, and account for around 1,400 unborn girls each year.“In 10 to 20 years, we will face a shortage of women and — combined with a dramatic decline in fertility rates — that will lead to a serious demographic crisis,” warned Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA Armenia’s assistant representative.By 2060, some 100,000 potential mothers will not have been born in Armenia. We will become a society of single men.Armenia trails only China, which ended its one-child limit a year ago, and its Caucasus neighbour, majority-Muslim Azerbaijan, where 53% of newborn children were boys in the first quarter of 2016, according to official figures.Some analysts have linked the shared trend for sex-selective abortions in Armenia and Azerbaijan to their violent territorial dispute since 1994 over the Nagorny Karabakh region, suggesting it has promoted a sense of insecurity and a desire for male defenders.The UNFPA attributed Armenia’s sex-discriminatory abortions to “patriarchal structures” and a trend for smaller families, as well as easy access to prenatal scans and abortions.‘More backstreet abortions’ Abortion is still the primary means of family planning in Armenia, as it was in the Soviet era, and it is available free of charge on the state health service.In mid-2016, the Armenian parliament adopted legislation aimed at reversing the female foeticide trend.The new measures include doctors compulsorily questioning women on their motives for wanting an abortion and refusing those driven by gender selection.The legislation also bars terminations after 12 weeks unless there is a risk to a woman’s health, she was raped or is a single mother.But Armenian women’s rights groups have denounced the new legal measures, saying they will not work in a patriarchal society and will only lead to more illegal and unsafe abortions, endangering women’s health.“If we forbid abortions, there will be more backstreet abortions and higher female mortality rates,” Anush Poghosyan of the Yerevan-based Women’s Resource Centre told AFP.We have to address the problem’s origin — that is patriarchal mentality and widespread poverty — and not its consequence. 46 Comments 14,785 Views By AFP If women and men were given equal opportunities, if a woman could be as successful as a man, as influential and as financially independent, no parent would distinguish between having a son or a daughter.The UNFPA’s Hayrapetyan said that recent media discussion of the problem has encouraged debate about the reasons behind cultural norms.“The paradox in Armenian society is that many people may not want having a daughter before she is born, but once she is here, a daughter is just as loved and cherished as a son,” he said.- © AFP, 2016Read: Armenia remembers its genocide, but struggles to keep up with the Kardashians> Armenia ‘faces shortage of women’ due to sex-selective abortions The tradition is for families to prefer sons in the country. Jan 14th 2017, 7:25 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share Tweet Email ANI KIRAKOSYAN SAYS she is afraid of getting pregnant because if the ultrasound shows the foetus is a girl she will have to consider having an abortion.In ex-Soviet Armenia — where families traditionally prefer sons — women are often pressured to have sex-selective abortions to get rid of girl babies.“Relatives were consoling me when I gave birth to my first daughter,” said Kirakosyan, a 27-year-old resident of the Armenian capital, Yerevan. Saturday 14 Jan 2017, 7:25 AM Image: Shutterstock/Romaset Image: Shutterstock/Romaset Short URLlast_img read more

An Unconventional Film Set Shapes Guests Latest Mascots

first_imgBut it’s not like the actors don’t have much to work with. These descriptions are incredibly detailed, and each scene is sketched out. There’s just no dialogue. Before filming begins, Guest also sits down with each of the actors and talks over the characters. The hope is that the actors will have embodied the character before they get in front of the camera.“It’s quite unnerving, and it’s really a lot of fun,” said Mike Hitchcock, who plays Langston Aubrey in Mascots, and who has worked on a number of other Guest films. “The best part about it is, since there is no rehearsing, you have absolutely no idea what the other person is going to say. And sometimes it goes the way you think it will and other times it’s just completely off the wall. And you have to react to that. “A lot of the fun of these movies is in the details, along with the research he puts into the subcultures he’s attempting to represent. In terms of Mascots, Guest did his research, studying for six months before writing anything down. He even brought on a Mascot Consultant to make sure even the extras were behaving appropriately.Mikey Navarro, who is a mascot for the big-time teams such as the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors, also shaped the mascot program at the University of Oregon. He said that Guest’s portrayals of his world were authentic, and Guest wanted to ensure that it stayed that way, hence being hired.Fred Willard as Greg Gammons, Jr.“When you see someone in a suit, just standing there, they’re not acting; they are just standing there. I always tell people, you are just a person inside the suit until you get into the character you are portraying,” he said, adding that the focus is on body language, attitude, and movements to get a distinct personality across to fans.“He created characters, personalities, and routines –professional mascots do these on their own, and he has created dozens of original, believable and amazing acts.”He did this with the help of a team of costume designers. Each mascot was made with the input of the actors and with comedic moments in mind. For example, a particularly bulky mascot was created with the idea that it would have to get into a tiny car. It was an interactive process that costume designer Christine Wada says made for a more challenging but interesting set. She said that while everybody ended up inspiring each other–since everybody was working as a group–it meant that there were no rules.Chris O’Dowd as Tommy ‘Zook’ Zucarello“A period movie, for instance, is a lot easier because it has boundaries, it has limitations,” she said. “Something modern without a script doesn’t really have boundaries. Without a script or a period, there’s an enormous range to cover.”It makes sense that Guests’ films would have a nontraditional working environment since that’s what many of his mockumentaries are about. The people portrayed are mostly normal people, sometimes with odd jobs or strange hobbies. Spinal Tap was about as unconventional as the characters got. In Waiting for Guffman, a humble community theater troupe in a small town goes out of control. In For Your Consideration, actors become corrupted by Hollywood and greed. The improvisation that holds the film together only emphasizes the more realistic nature of the characters.It helps that many of these actors are also super funny. Guest works with the same actors often because they understand the workflow and can work under the director’s style. In return, the actors keep coming back because the films are fun to work on, the humor is unique, and the workflow actually, well, works.“I think these movies are loved by a lot of people and his way of working is the secret sauce behind it,” Posey said. “There are so many different kinds of humor–there’s wit, and then spontaneity and you can be off-­the­cuff. You prepare and then that goes out the window, and you play with your fellow actor and you just–see what comes out.”Mascots is now streaming on Netflix. The Christopher Guest mockumentary has become a genre of its own. Since This is Spinal Tap in 1984, Guest has spearheaded a number of faux, realistic films that take on specific human subcultures. Often using the same cast, which includes Jane Lynch, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, and others, Guest has captured some of the weirdest eccentricities of culture.He’s tackled metal heads, dog show competitors, and Oscar contenders. Nearly ten years after his last effort, For Your Consideration, Guest has returned with Mascots, a mockumentary that takes a look at the misunderstood world of team mascots. In this film, a group of furry professionals compete to win the Golden Fluffy, the most prestigious award through the World Mascot Association.While it’s been years since his last movie, Guest put in the effort like he was never out of practice. The people who worked with him on Mascots spoke highly of the director as they watched and collaborated in his unique style of filmmaking.For one, there are no scripts. The movies are held together by improvisation. The rest of it is set with an outline and some details.“It’s about 30 or so solid pages of an outline, which the actors get, plus character description, which is probably another eight pages–about a third of the length of a normal screenplay,” said Karen Murphy, a producer who has worked with Guest since Spinal Tap. “It’s more what people will say rather than how they say it.”last_img read more

Is this happening in the US? Unbelievable!

first_imgQUESTION OF THE DAYThe issue of national and social origin should not feature in any country in the world as a stigma in the US national and social origin is becoming an issue to the surprise of human rights defenders. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women call concur that discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political and other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status should be abolished once and for all by all civilised societies.The fact that such discrimination is raising its ugly head in the US media should alert the US leaders that standards are dropping in the US. A society cannot claim to be a pace setter in human rights by entertaining discrimination among its leadership. Just imagine what it would have meant to call on all those people of European origin to leave South Africa. Clearly anyone who utters such a statement would have been accused of habouring ultra-nationalists tendencies. Such tendencies are what gave rise to world wars and not peace among men and women.last_img read more

Fabian Ruiz Napoli lacked the finishing touches

first_imgSpanish Midfielder Fabian Ruiz felt Napoli were not clinical enough in their 0-0 with Red Star Belgrade.The Spaniard made his competitive debut for his new club in their Champions League opener at the Marakana.“We knew it was a very difficult game, but we gave it our all and dominated possession with several great chances, but were a little unlucky in front of goal,” he told Sky Sports Italia.“I think the team is growing, we are gelling, and it’s only by working that we can find that synchronicity.”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.Napoli will welcome group leaders Liverpool who beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in their next encounter in Italy.The last time both sides met in a pre-season friendly Liverpool pummelled Napoli 5-0.“Liverpool have started strong, and they reached the Champions League Final last season, but we believe that we can go through and we’ll have an important push from our fans at the Stadio San Paolo in the next game.”last_img read more

Brother of missing Carnival Victory crew member speaks out

first_img(WSVN) – The brother of a missing Carnival Cruise Line crew member is speaking out following his disappearance.Crew member and father of three Gaffar Satwilkar fell overboard from the Carnival Victory in the waters of Cuba, Thursday.The ship was heading back to port in Fort Lauderdale on the last leg of a four-day cruise at the time.The missing man’s brother, Mohammed Satwilkar, said he is desperate for answers.“We all are waiting for him,” said Mohammed. “We want him to come back as soon as possible.”A U.S. Coast Guard cutter and aircraft have all been searching for the missing man, but there have been no signs of him so far.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Meghan Markle in hot water with the Palace again over this Shocking

first_imgMeghan MarkleGetty ImagesMeghan Markle needs to find a new approach while dealing with the Royal Palace. The Duchess of Sussex needs to stop antagonizing the Royal staff as well as other members of the Royal Family. Alienating Royal supporters might be far from what she wants but the way she is going about it might need some fine tuning.Meghan Markle could become a “potentially divisive” figure within the Royal Family because of her ambition and outspokenness, historian Anna Whitelock claimed. Meghan Markle has made it clear that she does not intend to live in the shadows but rather carve her own path as a Royal. And her outspokenness and ambition has rubbed quite a few people the wrong way. Meghan needs to learn the ways of diplomacy, if she wants to achieve what she wants. She needs allies and supporters.Speaking to Yahoo’s The Royal Box, Ms. Whitelock said: “This is the sense that Meghan is this American outsider, a commoner, a mature woman of status, of ambition and, of course, who’s articulate and has views.”  Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesThe Duchess of Sussex has not done herself any favours by shirking tradition and keeping the press in the dark during her pregnancy. These are factors that could make Meghan’s life as a Royal difficult. But not everyone is convinced that Meghan is a divisive force. Andrew Morton, a biographer to Princess Diana, however, dismissed Ms. Whitelock’s claim as he insisted the Duchess of Sussex has been subjected to the “same narrative” her late mother-in-law had to face when she married Prince Charles.Mr. Morton pointed out Meghan had “reached over the UK media” and had allegedly enlisted the help of friends to put her case to the public without interference from Buckingham Palace. He said: “They’ve all been silent because that’s the traditional way but it’s the American friends, this cohort of George Clooney, Serena Williams and Oprah who have been outspoken.”We have to say, involving outside friends to be a cabal of sorts in support of herself, may not be the best move for Meghan at this juncture. You can check out the video here:last_img read more

Novak Djokovic is a Krishnabhakt Wimbledon champion has RasLeela painting at his

first_imgDjokovic recently won his fifth Wimbledon title.WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic recently became the Wimbledon champion for the 5th time. Many people think the Serbian will overtake both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for most Grand Slam titles in history. He already has 16 Grand Slam titles but is not willing to ease up. In his quest to get better, the world no. 1 has taken measures which have brought him closer to certain Indian ideas.One of the things Djoker has introduced in his lifestyle is meditation along with Yoga. This is interesting as the Serbian was once quite volatile on court and used to vent his frustration in a very visible manner. With the help of Yoga and meditation, the tennis superstar has been able to make himself more calm and emotionally balanced.Along with this, the Serb has also adopted a vegan diet to make himself fitter. This followed his discovery of gluten-intolerance in himself. A healthy diet has also been one of the factors contributing to his success, as per his own admission. In the background of this picture, you can see the Krishna Ras-Leela paintingTwitterBut all of Novak’s Indian fans would be delighted by a picture that the 32-year old posted on Twitter of his home. In this picture, the Djoker can be seen playing with his young son. But it is something in the background that caught the attention of his Indian supporters.On the wall behind the Wimbledon champion is a large painting of Sree Krishna during the Ras-Leela. This photograph is not a new one and was tweeted by the Serbian on August 26, 2018. But for some reason, it is only now that some very astute observers in India noticed this beautiful work of art that the champion player has placed in his house.It is not clear how and when Djokovic came in possession of this painting. It may be a gift or something he got during his visit to India in the past. One thing is certain, his followers and fans in India would increase after this photograph becomes more well-known.last_img read more

Indias Uttar Pradesh bans beacon lights on VIP cars

first_imgA day after the central cabinet put an end to use of red beacon lights in all vehicles, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in a midnight missive ordered the same, with immediate effect across Uttar Pradesh.In a communique issued by the chief minister’s office, it was informed that use of blue and red beacon lights by ministers and officials was being ended from Friday.Army vehicles, ambulances, fire brigades and police vehicles will exempt from this decision, officials said.A decision was also taken by Adityanath to curtail the security cover of politicians and others.Adityanath also thanked prime minister Narendra Modi for this decision and said it would go a long way in ending VIP culture in the country and bring relief to the people.Soon after the cabinet decision on Wednesday, cabinet ministers Siddharthanath Singh and Rita Bahuguna Joshi had removed their beacons from official vehicles.last_img read more

17 yrs after 911 Workers still search for remains

first_imgIn this file photo taken on 11 September, 2001, a man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York. Photo: AFPSeventeen years later, more than 1,100 victims of the hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Centre have yet to be identified.But in a New York lab, a team is still avidly working to identify the remains, with technological progress on its side. Day in, day out, they repeat the same protocol dozens of times.At first, they examine a bone fragment found in the wreckage of the Twin Towers. It has yet to be matched to DNA.Cut and ground to a fine dust, the remains are then mixed with two chemical products that can expose and then extract DNA. But success is not guaranteed.”The bone is the hardest biological material to work with,” said Mark Desire, assistant director of forensic biology at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York.”And, on top of that, when they’re exposed to things that were present at Ground Zero, fire, mold, bacteria, sunlight, jet fuel, diesel fuel, all these destroy DNA. So you could physically have a sample with very very small amounts of DNA there.”The 22,000 pieces of human remains found at the site since the attacks have all been tested — some 10 or 15 times already.So far, only 1,642 of the 2,753 people who died in the attacks in New York have been formally identified. The 1,111 others have yet to yield identifiable information.Several years have sometimes passed without the lab adding a name. But no one is giving up.”These are all the same protocol that we had in 2001, but we were able to improve the process for each of the steps, out of necessity,” Desire said.He refused to confirm the program’s budget, but it is the best equipped and advanced lab in North America.- Emotion -In July, almost a year after the last identification, the lab added another name to the list — Scott Michael Johnson, a 26-year-old financial analyst who had been working on the 89th floor of the South Tower.”I felt really good about it,” said Veronica Cano, one of the team’s criminalists.”We are trained to not be affected, but we do get affected by it because it’s something that affects everyone in some way. But I try to be professional and try to bring closure to the families.”The lab only dedicates part of its work to 9/11 identification and handles other deaths and disappearances.The team’s work takes place in separate offices located about 1.3 miles (two kilometers) from what was once known as Ground Zero.Families of victims sometimes stop by the lab.”It’s hard not to be emotional because of the hugs and the thank yous,” said Cano.”It’s very rewarding for me that I’m doing something for someone.”The role of relatives is critical in technical terms because only comparison of the DNA of the remains with a sample provided by the families can allow identification.The forensic examiner’s office holds about 17,000 samples, but none for about 100 victims, which makes it a vain effort to pursue identification for those remains.A very precise procedure allows relatives to decide if and how they will be informed of the identification of the loved one they lost.”When you’re notified, it brings you back to that day, the horrific way that they died,” said Mary Fetchet, who lost her 24-year-old son Brad when the towers that once dotted New York’s skyline came crashing down.”But it also gives you some solace that you’re able to give your loved one a proper burial.”Fetchet co-founded Voices of September 11th, a group that helps address the long-term needs of those impacted by 9/11 and other tragedies.In Manhattan, Desire is the only original member of the forensic team still working on the project.”This has defined my career,” he said, a twinkle in his eye as he speaks of new technologies he’s impatient to use to test the remains.”We’re very close with the families and that’s uncommon for forensic scientists. We’re all trained to be impartial, to be unbiased, to not get emotional. But the World Trade Center is different.”In 2001, the head of the forensic office, Charles Hirsch, understood that time would be an ally in the effort to identify the remains, and he ordered that all the remains be conserved.Teams from all over the world — from Argentina to South Africa — now come to New York to learn from the team.When meeting with families of the victims, Desire said the team talks “about the future, what we’re working on right now that helps making more identifications.”Those who today serve as experts in his lab “were probably in elementary or grade school at the time” of the attacks, Desire said with a smile.”But they see how important it is.”last_img read more

Its time for people in privileged nations to help LGBTI people in

first_imgBut LGBTQI activists are campaigning for change and having impact. There has been some recent, uneven victories in the region for the rights of trans people, marriage equality and same sex partnership rights.‘I am delighted and proud that Suki has chosen to work alongside GiveOut to grow LGBTQI philanthropy in the UK and support queer activism in Asia,’ said GiveOut’s founder and chair Elliot Vaughn.‘Suki is setting a wonderful example for the private sector, particularly other LGBTQI executives, and I hope others will follow his lead.’GiveOut will consult with LGBTQI people in Asia to steer the fund and where it can make the greatest difference.To give to the The Suki Sandhu LGBTQI Asia Fund, visit Enter your donation detailsand a message to indicate your donation is to support the fund, e.g. ‘Asia Fund’.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Suki Sandhu. | Photo: Supplied GAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…center_img The Suki Sandhu LGBTQI Asia Fund will give small grants to activists to improve the lives of LGBTQI people.Advocacy organization, GiveOut will manage the fund which is sponsored by Audeliss & INvolve Founder and CEO, Suki Sandhu. Together they hope to give out a minimum of £25,000 annually (US$33,000).‘Philanthropy has always been important to me. Whether we like it or not, in the UK we have been afforded a certain level of privilege, and we have a responsibility to give something back,’ Sandhu said.Setting up the fund resonated with Sandhu personally because he grew up a gay, Asian man.‘As a gay, Asian man who has grown up in the UK I realise that, despite the challenges I have faced, I have been incredibly lucky,’ he said.‘There are many LGBT+ people across Asia being deprived of their freedom and facing terrible persecution simply for being themselves. This is not acceptable, and we all have a duty to try and make a difference.’Sandhu said he wanted business leaders to influence the world beyond the workplace. He wants them to support the ‘global struggles for LGBTIQI rights’.Criminalization, death penalty and abuseAcross Asia, LGBTQI people are facing human rights abuses from discrimination to horrific violence. Several countries criminalize same sex relations. In some, they may be punishable by death. ‘I stopped being gay’: how one man saved himself from Indonesia’s homophobiaMalaysia has started blocking access to HIV and LGBTI websitesChechnya one year on – what’s happening there now?Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  : To help LGBTI people in Asia, a group in London has set up fundraising efforts to try and make a difference.last_img read more