SOCHI, Russia — Dustin Brown banged in a go-ahead goal late in the first period and the United States went on to dominate the Czech Republic 5-2 on Feb. 19, earning a spot in the Olympic hockey semifinals for the second straight time.On Feb. 21, the U.S. will play Canada — a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game — for a shot to become an Olympic champion. The Canadians held off Latvia 2-1, and they beat the Americans in overtime four years ago.“It’s a great opportunity,” American forward Max Pacioretty said. “They’re obviously the favorite coming into the tournament, and we’ve opened up a lot of eyes with our play, but we have more in the tank to give and to show. “We keep getting better every game and hopefully we’ll keep getting better after this one.”James van Riemsdyk gave the Americans a lead 1:39 into the game.They lost it a few minutes later when one of their defenseman, Ryan McDonagh, tried to clear the puck away from the front of the crease and it went off the left skate of Ryan Suter and got past Jonathan Quick.The Czechs were not as successful scoring on their own against Quick, who started ahead of 2010 silver-medal winning goaltender Ryan Miller and had 21 saves.Ales Hemsky was credited with a goal that two Americans touched after he did. Hemsky legitimately scored his second one, skating to the slot and snapping off a wrist shot that got past Quick’s blocker with 7 minutes left in the game.Brown put the U.S. up 2-1 at the 14:38 mark of the first, and David Backes made it 3-1 with 1.8 seconds in the period.Zach Parise piled on, pushing the Americans’ lead to 4-1 midway through the second period to chase goalie Ondrej Pavelec after he made just eight saves. He was replaced by Alexander Salak.The Americans shaped their roster with players who skate fast, hit hard, share the puck and score.“It starts off the ice,” Pacioretty said. “Everyone on this team realizes you have to play for the team and check your ego at the door. All of us are the top players on our team back home and you come here and you’re asked to play different roles.“You see everyone in the room, willing to go to the dirty areas, block shots, make hits. It’s nice to see when you see a guy like Patty Kane backchecking as hard as he can across the ice. It kind of puts things in perspective.”The U.S. has been tested only once in a 3-2, eight-round shootout against the host Russians in the preliminary round. The Americans have crushed the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia by a combined score of 17-4.While the Czechs had to play for a second straight day because they had to beat Slovakia in the qualification round just to reach the quarterfinals, the rested Americans were ready to roll after having two days off.The U.S. seemed to take advantage of having fresh legs, beating the Czech Republic to loose pucks all night long. “They had more energy,” Pavelec said. “It’s not an excuse, it’s just the way it is.”(Larry Lage, AP Hockey Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Pinterest Twitter Sean Ingle Read more On 1 June last year, while racing at Market Rasen, Cobden fell off Mick Thonic and broke his neck. It was a severe break and, if it had occurred a few millimetres to either side, he could have been paralysed. “That’s right,” he says with a relieved smile on a grey day at Newbury racetrack. “It was a bit worrying because, as one consultant said, ‘You might not be able to ever ride again.’ It was a proper fracture straight through my C2 vertebra after I got unseated at the last and whiplashed off the ground. It was a tingle to start with but when your adrenaline calms down, everything starts to go rigid. It was a lot more serious than I thought.”Did he suffer terrible pain? “Not at all,” Cobden says breezily. “The more falls you have, the more you cope with pain. When I was 16 it hurt every time I hit the deck. Pain’s all in the mind. Now I just try to brush it off, and get on with it.”Cobden sounds like a typical jockey – brushing off a broken neck as if it is comparable to a pesky cold. Yet how long did he endure the bleak prognosis that he might never ride again? “A week, maybe. It worried me a little but I was fairly positive. I was more interested in getting out of hospital. And I was very fortunate to be all right. I had four months out and it wasn’t that bad. I had a great summer and I didn’t really follow the racing. It was the best way to deal with it. If I thought about falling off, I wouldn’t be in the right job.”Cheltenham is more dangerous than most tracks and at last year’s Festival seven horses died. “There are more runners and it’s very competitive,” Cobden concedes. “You go very fast and that’s why there are more fallers. Last year didn’t look good to the public. But jockeys get upset when there are fatalities. We don’t treat them like machines. We love them and they’re really well looked after.“It’s obviously terrible to lose a horse you’re racing. It’s happened to me once – three years ago at Cheltenham. It was on the day I won the Greatwood Hurdle on Old Guard. Looking back, I was clueless. I didn’t know what was going on. I thought I did, but I was hanging on for dear life. Pointed it in the right direction, followed everyone else and won. Two races later, in the last of the day, the conditional jockeys’ race, my horse broke its leg galloping. It was horrible. But the vets are very quick and dealt with it brilliantly.”Cobden brightens again when we turn to Clan Des Obeaux and the Gold Cup. “He’s a very good horse and we know each other well. I’m hoping there won’t be any dramas and he will come back safe and sound.”Does he believe Clan Des Obeuax, who is favoured by some to beat Presenting Percy, can win? “Yeah. I’ve got a massive chance. I wouldn’t get off my horse to ride any other at the moment. I quite like Native River [who won the race last year]. He’s a little under par this year but, if the ground goes soft, he’s also got a massive chance.I don’t sit at home and think I’m going to win the Gold Cup. It might be different the night before – but I haven’t got flustered over it so far, even if it’s the best race of the year. The National can throw up an odd winner that wouldn’t even get to the start of the Gold Cup. This one counts most.”Cobden and Clan Des Obeaux won the King George on Boxing Day in imperious style. “He was so dominant,” Cobden says. “He travelled well, jumped beautifully, and that was the best race I’ve won in a scorching gallop. But Cheltenham is massively different. You get downhill and uphill fences, you’re always on the turn. You need a real champion to win round there.” Pat Kelly, quiet man of horse racing, could make big noise in Gold Cup Since you’re here… Cheltenham Festival 2019 interviews Thrills of Cheltenham Festival week can’t mask racing’s uncertain future Topics Share on WhatsApp Attention this week will focus on the racing and, after having “my first winner at the Festival last year on Kilbricken Storm, who was a 33-1 outsider [in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle]”, Cobden is optimistic about his other rides. “Give Me A Copper in the Ultima Handicap [on Tuesday] has a massive chance and Topofthegame also has a huge chance in the RSA [Alliance Chase on Wednesday]. He’s a very big, raw horse but he’s getting straightforward to race. It’s a hard race to win but I like his chances. I’ve also got Quel Destin in [Friday’s] Triumph Hurdle. He’s a very hardy little horse – that could win.”Cobden is also fortunate that, despite being taller than most jockeys, warnings he would grow too much have not materialised. “I wanted to be a jockey when I was 12 and got into pony racing. People told me my feet were too big and I’d grow too much. ‘Don’t get your hopes up, boy’, and all that. Thankfully I didn’t get too big. I’m 5ft 10in now and they say you stop growing at 20. Hopefully they’re right.“I’m not very disciplined when it comes to diet. Last night I had a roast dinner and I had a fry-up this morning. But over the last two weeks I’ve had 50 rides. I also walk around the track every day and take the dogs out when I get back. As long as I do that I can have nice food sometimes.”While Cobden’s ultimate ambition is to become champion jockey, he is close to fulfilling his immediate target of riding 100 winners this season. “I broke my neck after 30 days and missed four months so it looked unrealistic. But I’m up to  winners so it’s looking pretty good.”Cobden grins when asked about the prospect of winning a few more this week, including the Gold Cup. “That would be a fairytale, wouldn’t it? I’ll definitely feel very lucky if it happens.”• Harry Cobden is fourth in the Stobart Jump Jockeys’ Championship. Go to greatbritishracing.com Harry Cobden and Clan Des Obeaux (right) clear the last to win the Betfair Denman Steeple Chase from Terrefort and Nico de Boinville at Ascot last month. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Horse racing Facebook Read more Harry Cobden is lucky. At the age of 20 he will ride Clan Des Obeaux, the joint-second favourite, in his first Gold Cup on Friday. He will also enter the Cheltenham Festival as the 10-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls’s stable jockey in one of the most coveted positions in racing. Clan Des Obeaux is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and Cobden tells some amusing stories about hanging out with Fergie even though, as he cheerfully admits, he knows nothing about football. Just days before the biggest week of his life, Cobden also knows he is far luckier for a different reason. Share on Pinterest A serial champion owns a share in the horse, too. “He’s a lovely man,” Cobden says. “I’ve met him three or four times. He’s inspirational and the sort of person you could listen to all day. I went to Old Trafford because of him last month.”Is Cobden a Manchester United fan? “No. I’m not a big football fan. I know nothing about football but it was a great experience as it was the first game I’ve ever been to. It was Man U v PSG and we went to Sir Alex’s box afterwards and chatted about the football. I didn’t really understand it. He said things which totally went over my head. I still loved listening to him and the PSG supporters were crazy. It was pretty fantastic.”Cobden does not think much about football as his work for Nicholls is so demanding. The Ditcheat trainer’s yard is in fine form and Cobden has some excellent horses this week. Yet ever since the brilliant Ruby Walsh relinquished his position to concentrate on racing in Ireland, other jockeys have struggled as Nicholls’s retained jockey. Even more than the good fortune in riding for Nicholls, there is sustained expectation. “Obviously there’s pressure riding for Paul and you have to perform,” Cobden agrees. “But as long as I’ve done the best I can, I’m happy.”Does he think about getting fired? “You never know what’s round the corner and no one’s ever got a safe job. It could happen one day, couldn’t it? It will happen one day. But hopefully not in the near future. We all look back to Ruby. He’s different class and an inspiration to me growing up. He won all the big races and he’s amazing.”Twiston-Davies is also an excellent jockey but the pressure wore him down. “He did the right thing for him and I get on very well with Sam. We’ve always been good friends, and if he’s ridden a horse I’m riding, or vice versa, we help each other. He still rides a few for Paul.”It must be more complicated riding alongside Bryony Frost, another gifted young jockey, at Nicholls’s yard? “As in?” Cobden asks, looking briefly defensive.The pair used to be a couple and Frost has received far more attention than Cobden – even though he is Nicholls’s retained jockey. “Yeah, I was seeing her a bit. She’s great for racing, because she’s always passionate, isn’t she? The cameras like it, the press like it. There were certain things in the paper but the press likes to make a story out of it. I still get on really well with Bryony. We’re going up to Kelso together tomorrow. To make Ditcheat the best team, everyone’s got to get on.” Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook Cheltenham Festival Reuse this content
Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac says he remains confident a deal can be done to sign Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.The 23-year-old has long been associated with a move to the Bavarian giants from the Premier League champions, with Bayern looking to replace legendary widemen Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben who both left the club at the end of last season after long spells filled with trophies.Kovac has described Sane as Bayern’s ‘dream player’, while club icon Lotthar Matthaus says he could be the new face of the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Kovac issued an update on their hunt for the player on Sunday and said the whole club was focused on getting a deal over the line.“Our club management is very committed behind it and I’m very confident,” the 47-year-old coach told ZDF in Germany. “I assume that we can get it.“Leroy is a great footballer who has proved that in England and with the national team.”The proposed move is one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the summer, and at one point seemed to be totally dead.Bayern president Uli Hoeness described City’s valuation of the player as “insane” in June, but Kovac’s words on Sunday indicate the hierarchy is still working to find a fee that works for both parties.City boss Pep Guardiola has been unequivocal that he wants the Germany international to remain at the Etihad Stadium, next year and in the future.Sane contributed 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League last term as the club swept to their second straight title. However, he seemed to fall out of favour at the end of the season, missing out on some big games in the run-in.Despite that, Guardiola said he wanted to retain a winger that fits his system and offers ‘special qualities’, but that if the player wanted to leave he couldn’t stand in his way.City have offered Sane a contract extension, but he has not signed it yet.His current boss said he would be ‘sad’ if the player left after the speedster starred in a pre-season victory over Kitchee on July 24.
Mumbai: As many as 75 flights have been cancelled at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday following the closure on the main runway after a SpiceJet plane skidded and overshot two days ago, an official said. The Mumbai airport operator has obtained NOTAM (notice to airmen) till midnight for the main runway, where Air India engineers and technicians are working to remove the Boeing 737-800 aircraft that skidded on Monday night. The NOTAM is given to pilots and includes information on potential hazards on a flight route. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! “A total of 75 flights have been cancelled till late this evening. While 40 arrivals have been cancelled by various operators, 35 flights that depart from here are also not being operated due to partial operations,” the official said. “Besides cancellations, the operations are going on smoothly.” The operations from the secondary runway are being carried out since Monday night, the official said, adding that the aircraft recovery would take some more time. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed The main runway of the Mumbai airport is likely to remain closed for flight operations till Thursday. Heavy rains in the city had disrupted operations at the airport Tuesday. The airport has obtained NOTAM for the main runway, which was ending on Wednesday noon, for another 12 hours from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the official added. A team of engineers and technicians from Air India has started work to remove the stuck SpiceJet plane with the disabled aircraft recovery kit (DARK). The kit, used to remove stuck aircraft, is only available with the national carrier. “A 150-metre long ramp is being prepared to push the aircraft out of the grassy area,” an official of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the airport operator, had said. The Mumbai airport has two runways and the second one can handle only up to 35 aircraft movements per hour, while the main runway can handle 48 plane movements during the same period, according to MIAL. The airport is the second busiest in the country, handling around 1,000 arrivals and departures per day. Monday’s incident occurred a day after another SpiceJet aircraft veered off the runway at the Surat airport due to heavy rainfall.
Shanghai: Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer risked angering Manchester United fans on Wednesday, saying it was only a “loud minority” who have turned against Paul Pogba. The French midfielder has made clear his determination to leave the Premier League giants, with Real Madrid and his former club Juventus both said to be interested. But Solskjaer has made clear that he wants to keep the World Cup winner, as he attempts to steer the Old Trafford club back into the Champions League. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe 26-year-old Pogba’s publicly stated wish to leave and his tepid displays at the end of last season have infuriated many United supporters. At United’s final game last term, a 2-0 defeat to already relegated Cardiff City at home, a section of fans barracked Pogba. Asked if he expected even more of a backlash against the Frenchman when the season begins, Solskjaer said: “I think our fans know what Paul has given the club and can give us.” The Norwegian, who will need a fast start to convince doubters he’s the right man for one of the biggest jobs in football, said: “Of course there are some loud and small minority (against Pogba), but Paul has been absolutely top in the group. “Me and the players will testify to that — that he’s never ever been a problem and we are just grateful that he performs as well as he does,” said the manager, speaking on the eve of a friendly against Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterSolskjaer meanwhile urged patience and denied that he was frustrated by the club’s failure to sign more players this summer. United have bought winger Daniel James and full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But they are yet to seal a deal for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire and Solskjaer is also reportedly eyeing Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes. “I am very happy with the two mentioned (James and Wan-Bissaka), we have got to be patient,” said the 46-year-old former United predator. “It’s a long haul and very important we get the right ones (players) in, we can’t just jump on a different path when you hit a hurdle.”
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s justice minister is expressing concern over a Parole Board of Canada decision to release a notorious convicted killer and sexual predator back to the United States.Mark Furey says he will write a letter to his federal counterpart, David Lametti, about the release of William Shrubsall, who was declared a dangerous offender in 2001 following violent sexual assaults against women in Halifax.The chief Crown attorney for Halifax, Paul Carver, has questioned the logic of the parole board’s decision, while a former lead police investigator in the case, Tom Martin, called it “borderline negligence.”The minister says Shrubsall’s crimes were horrendous and he knows from his past experience as an RCMP officer that “victims are retraumatized by these very circumstances.”The 47-year-old Shrubsall was returned this week to authorities in Upstate New York, where he will serve a sentence for sexual abuse, but could be eligible for parole in two years and four months for that offence.Furey says although he’s routinely written to federal cabinet ministers on behalf of the province before, it’s the first time he’s written about a parole board decision.The Canadian Press
Gary Geresi, President of the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (UCP of NYC), announced today that UCP of NYC will celebrate its 70th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, March 9th at the New York Hilton.“This is an opportunity to celebrate our unique and outstanding 70 year history of ground breaking services and pioneering advocacy with our families, friends and our staff, as well as renew plans for how we will meet the challenges of the next generation,” said Edward R. Matthews, CEO of UCP of NYC.The UCP of NYC 70th Anniversary Gala will be co-hosted by Tamsen Fadal, eight-time Emmy winning Anchor of PIX 11 News & best-selling author, and Mike Woods, Meteorologist, Fox 5’s Good Day New York. Susan Lucci, Emmy Award-winning actress and New York Times best-selling author, will make a special appearance at the gala.Tamsen Fadal, Mike Woods and Susan Lucci are all longtime supporters of UCP of NYC’s major events that help fundraise for important UCP of NYC programs and services, including Women Who Care Awards Luncheon and the Santa Project Party that benefits the Children’s Programs.Susan Lucci has been a dedicated supporter of UCP of NYC since 2006 when she was honored with the UCP of NYC Women Who Care Award. For the past three years, Lucci has hosted the Women Who Care Awards Luncheon benefiting UCP of NYC. She is also a three time celebrity presenter at Women Who Care, and has narrated a PSA for the agency about the importance to women with disabilities to getting breast cancer screenings.“UCP of NYC is extremely grateful for Tamsen, Mike, and Susan’s long term ongoing support and concern for our organization. They truly exemplify the generosity of spirit of New Yorkers” says Edward R. Matthews, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.“I am delighted to co-host the UCP of NYC 70th Anniversary Gala with Mike Woods,” says Tamsen Fadal. “UCP of NYC reaches thousands of families and individuals with disabilities throughout New York City. I am continually impressed by UCP’s role as the agent of change in lives of thousands of New Yorkers living with disabilities.”“I am thrilled to co-host the UCP of NYC 70th Anniversary gala with its longtime supporter Tamsen Fadal,” says Mike Woods. I am a big supporter of UCP of NYC and their vital ongoing work to provide programs and services for children, families, and adults living with a variety of challenges.”“I am very touched by United Cerebral Palsy of New York City’s impact as a lifeline for thousands of children, families, and adults with disabilities,” says Susan Lucci. “I am particularly impressed by the comprehensive nature of their ongoing programs and services which encompass so many different aspects of health, education, living, assisted technology, and the arts.”Find out more here.
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement In addition to this recent accolade, Valerie Creighton was featured as one of the 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. That same year, she was also awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit for her lifelong service to her home province. In 2017, she was recognized with the Honorary Maverick Award by the Female Eye Film Festival.About the Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit cmf-fmc.ca. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Toronto, June 4, 2018 – Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund (CMF), has been inducted into Playback’s 2018 Canadian Film and TV Hall of Fame in the Industry Builder Category. The Playback feature includes industry leaders who have left their mark on Canadian film and television in the creative, talent, and other categories. United in their ambition, talent and determination, the industry leaders inducted into Playback’s Hall of Fame have shaped Canadian film and television into its current form.“Delivering change is never easy, but I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished at the Canada Media Fund on gender balance and the initiative with our partners to establish the Indigenous Screen Office, as well as our ongoing support for exceptional Canadian television and digital content in an ever-changing media landscape,” said Valerie Creighton. “I would like to thank Playback Magazine for their recognition. I am truly touched by this induction into Playback’s Hall of Fame.”“None of what we’ve accomplished at the Canada Media Fund could have happened without the invaluable guidance of the Board of Directors, the extraordinary support of my team, as well as the trust and advice of the industry, and our public and private funders,” she added. Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter
13 January 2012Supermodel and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen has visited Kenya to experience firsthand the reality of energy poverty and to see how lives are being transformed in the East African country by making sustainable energy accessible to those not connected to the national grid. “Energy affects everything,” the Brazilian fashion icon and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environment Programmes (UNEP) said yesterday at a news conference in the capital, Nairobi, where the agency is based. “Children can study at night when they have access to electricity. If we can bring electricity to everyone, we can help people to survive,” she said.“It’s unjust if people do not have access to electricity. Energy for all is achievable. Just two per cent of global investment is needed,” she added, speaking a week before the global launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.She visited Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum, to see biogas centres where human waste is used to produce power and Kisumu in the west, where she took part in collecting firewood and learned about fuel-efficient stoves. She also travelled to the Mount Kenya region in central Kenya, where a micro hydro-electric power station is supplying electricity to over 2,000 households.One in five people on the Planet do not have access to electricity. In Sub-Saharan Africa some 70 per cent of the population have no electricity, while in Kenya only 18 per cent of households have power.Many families across the world still depend on firewood for cooking, which produces toxic smoke that harms the health of women and children.“We don’t hear about this and yet the solutions are so simple,” said Ms. Bündchen, who has recently been named the ‘world’s greenest celebrity.’UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, called for a change of thinking on energy. “In Africa two thirds of the population still do not have access to energy. There are solutions at the local and community levels. I have a dream that with photovoltaic energy we can build grids up from the bottom and that one day we will see rural areas generating electricity and selling energy to the cities,” he said.Kenya is increasingly developing its geothermal, wind, solar and hydro power resources at the local level.UNEP is working to realize and to accelerate the use of renewable energy within the overall theme of a Green Economy, with a special emphasis on Africa, and Kenya in particular.The new UN office complex in Nairobi, which Ms. Bündchen visited and which houses UNEP and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), has 6,000 square metres of solar panels and generates as much electricity as its 1,200 occupants consume.
The main suspect linked to the “Aava group” has been arrested along with five others, the Police said.Incidents of sword attacks by members of the had been reported in the North recently, including attacks targeting the Police.
According to Free Media Movement (FMM), on December 13th a group of United National Party (UNP) supporters gathered outside the Lake House after the Supreme Court’s decision on the dissolution of Parliament. The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, has expressed concern over the disruptive incident taken place at the Lake House.PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali has condemned this incident and termed it an attack on media organizations. PPF also called on the authorities to immediately investigate the matter. After the verdict of October 26, the tense situation regarding the democracy and media freedom has been ended in the country. (Colombo Gazette)
Calling today’s move a major development in Myanmar’s national reconciliation process, a UN spokesman said that Mr. Annan “warmly welcomes the restoration of freedom of movement” for Ms. Suu Kyi, the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD).Ms. Suu Kyi’s release comes shortly after the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Razali Ismail, concluded his seventh mission to Myanmar on 26 April and “provides fresh momentum to the 19-month-old confidence building and national reconciliation process between the Government and NLD,” the UN statement said.”The Secretary-General extends his best wishes to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who will resume her normal political activities as the leader of a lawful party,” the statement added. “He remains ready to assist in the efforts of the Government and the NLD to find ways to push ahead the process of national reconciliation and democratization, acceptable to all parties in Myanmar.”Meanwhile, Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Paulo Pinheiro, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation in Myanmar, issued a joint statement commending the Government for taking “this important step towards advancing the political dialogue and the process of national reconciliation.”The two officials said they sincerely hoped that Ms. Suu Kyi would be able to resume fully her normal activities as a leader of a legal political party and that her release would be followed by the discharge of all other political prisoners in Myanmar.They also paid tribute to the “outstanding efforts” of the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy that have contributed to the progress of confidence-building talks.”The release of Aung San Suu Kyi attests that principled engagement with the Government of Myanmar has been effective in supporting the best interests of the Myanmar people and the promotion and protection of their human rights,” the statement said. “Both the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur are ready to discuss with the Government of Myanmar possible cooperation endeavours that would enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Myanmar.”
Named in a Council announcement was Charles Ble Goude, described as the leader of the Young Patriots, who publicly advocated violence against UN installations and personnel and against foreigners.The sanctions against Mr. Goude were also justified by his “direction of and participation in acts of violence by street militias, including beatings, rapes and extrajudicial killings; intimidation of the United Nations, the International Working Group (IWG), the political opposition and independent press; sabotage of international radio stations; obstacle to the action of the IWG, the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the French Forces and to the peace process as defined by resolution 1633 (2005).”That resolution established the ministerial-level International Working Group and the Mediation Group, both co-chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Pierre Schori, in implementing the road map to peace and unity. It supported several peacemaking decisions on the situation by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and demanded an end to all incitement to hatred and violence in the country’s communications media.A second Ivorian, Eugène Ngoran Kouadio, though not named as a Young Patriot, was accused of the same activities.The third person put under sanctions was Martin Kouakou, the Corporal Commandant of the Forces Nouvelles, Korhogo Sector, which had fought the Government in the two-year civil war and now controls the northern half of the country. “Forces under his command engaged in recruitment of child soldiers, abductions, imposition of forced labour, sexual abuse of women, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings, contrary to human rights conventions and to international humanitarian law; obstacle to the action of the IWG, UNOCI, French Forces and to the peace process” as defined by the same resolution, the Council said.Meanwhile, Mr. Schori said that on Friday in Yamoussoukro, the country’s political capital, the first meeting of representatives of the UN, donor countries and the Government would discuss the country’s road map. Mr. Schori held talks with President Laurent Gbagbo, and after the meeting told reporters that they had addressed options for ending the crisis, learning lessons from it and permitting UN system representatives to be secure and to benefit from a spirit of cooperation.“We are here at the invitation of the Government, therefore one must be protected also. In the same way, on our side, we must provide assistance in many fields,” Mr. Schori said. On his way back to Côte d’Ivoire, after briefing the Security Council in New York on 27 January, Mr. Schori said he had paid a visit to the new President of the continent-wide African Union, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, to discuss the crisis. He also looked in on those of his UN colleagues who had been evacuated to Banjul, Gambia, during the “Young Patriot” attacks on UN offices in Côte d’Ivoire.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the first local election in Indonesia’s Aceh province since last year’s peace deal was signed between separatists and the Government, as he called on all sides to abide by the poll results and build on the agreement that ended almost 30 years of conflict.“The Secretary-General is encouraged by the orderly conduct of the 11 December 2006 local elections in Indonesia’s Aceh province… [he] calls on all parties to respect the results of these elections in order to help consolidate the peace process, which aims to build a secure and prosperous Aceh within a united and democratic Indonesia,” his spokesman said in New York.Indonesia’s Government and the separatist Free Aceh Movement signed a preliminary peace agreement in July 2005, followed a month later by a Memorandum of Understanding, which covers a wide array of issues ranging from the governing of the province and security arrangements to human rights issues.
IMF chief Lagarde named key witness in investigation of payoff to French business tycoon AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Jamey Keaten, The Associated Press Posted May 24, 2013 3:55 pm MDT PARIS – After two days of intense questioning from French magistrates, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said Friday a court named her as a key witness in an investigation into a controversial payoff to an outspoken businessman that was arranged while she was France’s finance minister — stopping short of charging her outright.Lagarde, seemingly relieved and insisting it’s time to return to work, said the Paris court handed her the status of “assisting witness” in its probe of her role in a 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a flamboyant tycoon, Bernard Tapie. Under French law, that status means she still could be later charged in the case, but can have legal representation and access to court files as the probe continues — a process that could take months or even years.The case centres on the payment made to Tapie, a well-connected magnate, in a private arbitration process to settle a dispute with state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over the botched sale of Adidas in the 1990s. The deal is seen by many in France as an example of the cozy relationship between big money and power in France.Investigators opened an inquiry in 2011 into possible charges of “complicity to embezzlement of public funds” and “complicity to forgery.” The probe may not result in a trial. If it does, and if Lagarde were to be charged and then convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison, according to prosecutors.Tanned, relaxed and seemingly unfazed, Lagarde said in a brief statement to reporters outside the court that the questioning had allowed her to “demonstrate that I have always acted in the best public interest and in accordance with the law … Now, it’s time for me to go back to work in Washington, and I will of course be briefing my board.”Still, Friday’s decision by the special court for government ministers prolongs the legal question-mark over her head.At the very least, the closed-door hearings took Lagarde away from her international duties. So far, the Washington-based IMF has stuck by her. She has earned praise for her negotiating skills as its managing director during Europe’s debt crisis, and is seen as a trailblazer for female leaders.After the ruling, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement: “The Executive Board has been briefed on this matter several times and on each occasion expressed confidence in the Managing Director’s ability to effectively carry out her duties. The Board will be briefed again in the coming days.”Lagarde lawyer Yves Repiquet said “assisting witness” was “the best possible status she could get” because under French law, she could not be considered as a simple witness. Being an assisted witness affords her access to the legal files in the case, and allows her right to have a lawyer — attributes not afforded a simple witness under the law, he said.“My reaction is one of satisfaction, because — as I have always said — Madame Lagarde has two weapons: the truth, and her conscience,” he told The Associated Press by phone, acknowledging that the 24 hours at the court over two days was long. “It took a while, if only to transcribe, re-read, and validate her answers.”“Her legal fate is not definitively decided, but still … it’s not finished, but it’s not going to hover over her,” Repiquet said. “We can very much have peace of mind.”When the payment was made, Tapie was close to then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was then Lagarde’s boss. Critics say the deal was too generous to Tapie at the expense of the French state, and that the case shouldn’t have gone to a private arbitration authority because it involved a state-owned bank.Lagarde and the IMF were aware of the probe when she took over as managing director of the fund from Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2011. In March, French investigators searched Lagarde’s Paris home. Her lawyer said at the time that she welcomed the search as a step toward proving her innocence.The case could also tarnish France’s image: Strauss-Kahn is also French. He resigned after a New York hotel maid accused him of trying to rape her.___Angela Charlton and Bastien Inzaurralde in Paris, and Marjorie Olster in Washington contributed to this report.
FiveThirtyEight Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed As the MLB trade deadline rapidly approaches, the New York Mets surprised fans and analysts alike with the acquisition of Marcus Stroman. Aside from this questionable move, there hasn’t been much buying and selling across teams. The Hot Takedown crew breaks down why this might be, what trades we still expect to see before the deadline and what effect this could have on the rest of the season.Journalist Lyndsey D’Arcangelo, whose work can be seen on The Athletic, joins the show to discuss the state of the WNBA as we head into the second half. D’Arcangelo helps make sense of the increased parity in the league and takes stock of the players having breakout seasons and the teams vying for the title.Our Rabbit Hole looks at those who occasionally lose their cool.What we’re looking at this week:Our thoughts on which teams should be buying and selling this MLB trade deadline.Our MLB model heading into the home stretch of the season.Lyndsey D’Arcangelo’s midseason breakdown of the WNBA for The Athletic.In light of Trevor Bauer’s heave, a list of similar outbursts.
“There will be instances where younger veterans are not as able bodied as older veterans, however regardless of participant’s age we will work with the associations on any concerns they may have and do what we can, given the nature of the event, to accommodate these.”The Telegraph disclosed on Monday how a breakdown of the 8,531 people who were allowed to march past the Cenotaph found that nearly a fifth – 1,488 – were handed to “non ex-service groups”.These included 48 people from Transport for London – which runs buses and trains on the capital’s network – 18 from the Blue Cross animal welfare charity and 10 from the Equity actors’ union. A spokesman for the Legion said that the columns at the back of the march “remain on Horse Guards Parade longer where they have access to refreshments, toilet facilities and covered seating. We have ample stock of wheelchairs and blankets available for use if required.“This year march-past participants started arriving on site at 9.00 and the latest arrivals were with us by 10.30. Accrediting 8,500 people does take some time however we aim to make the process as efficient as possible.”Asked why younger people were allowed to march ahead of the Korean veterans, she added: “The associations themselves decide who will attend the march-past and therefore the age of the participants. In a letter to Terry Whittles, the chairman of the British Legion, Mr Painter, a trustee of the British Korean War Veterans Association (BKWVA), said: “You will note from the many, many emails and correspondence between your events team, my colleagues and me of the problems in us attending this year’s parade.“Putting to one side the difference of who could attend, I find it difficult to contain my anger at the shabby, of- hand treatment meted out to us on the actual parade. “Think what image this portrayed to our guest the Korean Air Attaché who paraded with us. “Despite my many calls and emails explaining the veterans were aged [from] 82 [to] 89 and suffering with age-related medical problems it was vital we be placed in column A in order to not prolong their real discomfort.”“However, to my utter dismay we were placed almost at the rear of the whole parade in column F and not marching till 12.45 (check the BBC broadcast) after attending at 9am at Horse Guards Parade as requested.“I explained and requested many times to your events team that due to our rapidly diminishing numbers and problems this could well be our last parade.“Therefore was it so unreasonable for an early allotted parade order to be taken into consideration? The Queen lays a wreath at the Cenotaph on SundayCredit: Sang Tan/ Sang Tan 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. Beterans who fought in the Korean War were forced to wait for hours at the back of the march past the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday on “what could be their last parade”.The group of ex-soldiers, who are now in their eighties, have formally complained to Royal British Legion, which organises the annual commemoration in Whitehall about their “shabby” treatment.Grant Shapps, a Conservative MP and former minister, said the treatment of the veterans was “upsetting” and called for a review ahead of next year’s march-past. Veterans lay wreaths to mark Armistice day by the cenotaph in Croydon, LondonCredit:Charlotte Ball/Charlotte Ball A soldier looks out over poppy wreaths laid at the Cenotaph memorial during the annual Remembrance Sunday Service in Whitehall, central LondonCredit: Dominic Lipinski/ Dominic Lipinski “Given that many members of the BKWVA are poppy day collectors and that our colleague Korean Veteran Bill Speakman VC is reputed to have been responsible for £1 million in donations, this simple correspondence cannot begin to convey our anger at this treatment, which with a little organisation and consideration could easily have been avoided.”Mr Shapps, who is Mr Painter’s MP, told The Telegraph: “Properly commemorating those brave individuals who have served this country is a matter of pride and respect.“It is therefore upsetting to hear that a constituent of mine was amongst other Korean war veterans placed at the back of the queue whilst younger and fitter non-service personnel were apparently given priority.“I am calling on the organisers of this most important national annual commemoration to think again for next year about how they can better honour those who have put their own lives on the line for this country.” A spokesman for the Legion defended its organisation of the march, saying “we have ample stock of wheelchairs and blankets available for use if required” for veterans who had to wait in line.The news comes after it emerged that representatives from the actors’ union, animal charities and travellers’ society were given places in this year’s the march past the Cenotaph while family members of servicemen had to watch.Roy Painter, who was signalman in the war between 1952 and 1953, said the group had to march behind far younger and fitter people. He was able to survive on the march with the help of a flask of Jack Daniels.
At a time when the NHS is being told to make the most of its resources, this is a shocking wastehealth groups’ letter In a letter to The Sunday Times, they said: “Because of bed shortages, staff including surgeons are now sometimes left kicking their heels, waiting for beds to become available so they can operate.”Too often managers, nurses and doctors waste time trying to find somewhere to look after patients.”At a time when the NHS is being told to make the most of its resources, this is a shocking waste.”Bed occupancy should not exceed 85 per cent for safety reasons but overnight inpatient beds were “routinely” 89 per cent occupied, they said.”This is partly because there is not enough social care capacity to look after our frail older patients in the community, so increasingly they cannot be discharged from hospital,” they added.Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted performance in elements of the NHS was “completely unacceptable”.His comments came after figures emerged showing that the number of A&E patients seen within the target of four hours fell to a record low of 86 per cent in December. Surgeons are being left “kicking their heels” because of delays to operations caused by a shortage of beds, two health groups have warned.The “shocking waste” of highly-skilled surgeons’ time is partly caused by a lack of social care to look after elderly patients in the community, they said.Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, blamed cuts aimed at driving productivity for causing greater inefficiency in some areas. The number of operations cancelled by the NHS in England also hit a 15-year high last year.A total of 82,730 planned operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons, a third higher than in 2010. 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.
THE CEO OF Mozilla, which runs not-for-profit internet browser Firefox, has said that his company and Google are ‘frenemies’.Gary Kovacs confirmed that a major part of Mozilla’s revenue comes from a deal with Google, whose browser is Chrome. Google pays to have ‘Google search’ the default search engine in the Firefox search bar. Kovacs wouldn’t specify how much the deal was worth but didn’t protest when the figure of $300m a year was put to him at the Dublin Web Summit yesterday.He said that every time Google achieves a financial transaction through a referral from Firefox, Mozilla gets a commission. Google, however, along with Internet Explorer, are the major rival to Firefox in the browser business. Kovacs conceded:We are in a frenemy situation with Google.He denied that it was dangerous to rely on an economic model where their rival was supplying much of their income.“It would be dangerous if there wasn’t a value in what we are doing,” he said.The Mozilla Manifesto declares that it aims to promote “openness, innovation and opportunity” to make the internet a community project working for the public good.Kovacs said that the organisation was now investing in new projects that reflect people’s use of the internet moving from desktop devices to mobile. “The web is under threat,” he says as certain companies begin to lock down the operating systems (OS) people use on their phones.We are being asked where we want to live our online lives.Mozilla is launching its own OS, first in South America and some Eastern European countries, with a view to keeping the web “unlocked” on mobile phones. It will be launched first in Brazil in the first half of next year but won’t be in Western Europe for some time. Mozilla is also partnering with some hardware companies and says that their aim is to continue to promote a “pure HTML environment so anyone can participate”.HTML, said Kovacs, is the open-source “language of the web” and he feels that Mozilla’s push for HTML5 compliance has forced the hand of their competitors. He also said he didn’t believe that either Chrome or Firefox was “winning” the competition in browser choice but that they were neck-and-neck.“Chrome doesn’t have to lose for us to win, as long as we retain share enough of the market to continue to have influence,” he said.Kovacs also revealed that Mozilla will build a social brower – “we see integration with what we call the social API” – and claimed they will be “leading the way with another big company”, launching in beta form in the next two days.Read more news from the 2012 Dublin Web Summit here>
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT increased by 2.7% during the first quarter of 2014, new data from the Central Statistics Office show.Overall GDP for the quarter stood at €44.85 billion.Gross National Product (GNP), which measures the output of the domestic economy, also grew by half a per cent to €38 billion.Net exports, which performed poorly in the last set of quarterly figures, made a positive contribution of €541 million in volume terms. When compared with the same period last year, net exports grew by €1.2 billion.2013 revisionThe new figures take account for the first time of the impact on the economy of illegal activity such as drug dealing and prostitution, as well as spending on research and development.The CSO also revised its assessment of how the economy did last year, pencilling in a 0.2% expansion instead of the 0.3% contraction that had originally been booked.The inclusion of R&D spend, and to a lesser extent illegal activities, seems to have been a major contributory factor towards the reversal of the final figures for 2013.R&D spend came in at 4.1% of the revised GDP total of €174.8 billion, or €7.16 billion. The total for illegal activity was 0.72%, or €1.25 billion.No breakdown of the value of illegal activity to the economy in Q1 2014 was provided, although it is thought to be running at around the same level as last year. A final figure for this year will be made available in full year figures released in 2015.Big gains were made in the building and construction sectors, which grew by 2.8% in the first quarter.Spending by the Irish consumer continues lag behind the rest of the economy. It declined by 0.1% in the quarter, with growth of 0.2% when compared to the same period in 2013.This will come as a surprise to some analysts who had been predicting a pickup in consumer spending, driven mainly by car purchases.Updated 12.18Read: The exchequer tax take is €500 million ahead of target>Read: Drugs and prostitution will be used to measure Ireland’s GDP>