US welcomes conditional truce in Syrias Idlib region

first_imgSydney: The United States Sunday welcomed a ceasefire in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region after months of deadly government bombardments but insisted attacks against civilians must stop. Air strikes on Idlib province halted on Friday after the Syrian regime agreed to a truce on the condition that rebel backer Turkey implements a buffer zone in the area. Most of the region and parts of Hama, Aleppo, and Latakia — which currently hosts some three million people — are controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe area is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive under a September Turkish-Russian deal, but it has come under increasing fire by Damascus and its backer Moscow since the end of April. The government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has accused Turkey of dragging its feet in implementing the deal, which provided for a buffer zone of up to 20 kilometres (12 miles) between the two sides, free of heavy and medium-sized weaponry. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsWashington welcomed the conditional ceasefire, but “attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure must stop”, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “The United States believes there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and only a political solution can ensure a stable and secure future for all Syrians,” she said. The US also reiterated its support for a United Nations-led peace effort, with Ortagus calling it “the only viable path to a political solution”. Since late April, 790 civilians have been killed in regime and Russian attacks, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor says. Fighting over the same period has claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 combatants, including 900 regime loyalists, according to the monitor. More than 400,000 people have been displaced and dozens of hospitals and schools damaged since April, according to the UN. The Syrian conflict has killed more than 370,000 people and driven millions from their homes since it started with the brutal repression of anti-government protests in 2011.last_img read more

Feds earmark cash to protect children from online sexual exploitation

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberal government has announced millions of dollars in new money for a national centre that works to protect children from online sexual exploitation.The Canadian Centre for Child Protection will receive $4.1 million over five years, and $857,000 a year ongoing.The centre, a registered charity, says victims of childhood sexual abuse often suffer great distress over the fact video or pictures of the crimes are circulating in cyberspace — adding to the pain they already experience.The new funding will allow the protection centre to develop and maintaining Arachnid, an automated crawler that detects online child sexual abuse images and videos, and can help ensure prompt removal.It will also help the centre identify victims and improving support for survivors, as well as continue operation of, a national tip-line for reporting online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.The centre will also receive $93,600 to establish a survivors’ network, allowing victims to connect and to create support resources.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Shot teacher not entitled to more compensation under govt rules ombudsman

first_imgREGINA – A teacher who was shot in the face at a school in La Loche in 2016 says she’s disappointed the Saskatchewan ombudsman has determined she can’t be compensated for pain and suffering under government rules.Charlene Klyne, a substitute teacher, lost all vision in her left eye and can only see dark shadows in her right eye. She has numerous pellets lodged in different spots from her jaw to her chest that can’t be removed by surgery.Last year, she complained that workers’ compensation payments weren’t enough to cover her bills.The provincial government asked ombudsman Mary McFadyen to review the case and she said Wednesday that Klyne has received all the support provided by government programs and workers’ compensation.“Through no fault of her own, Ms. Klyne was badly injured at work in a horrific event. We looked at the government agencies within our jurisdiction and found they provided her the supports that were within their authority to provide,” McFadyen said in a release Wednesday.“Those benefits did not include compensation for pain and suffering.”Klyne, who hasn’t been able to work since the shooting, said she’s disappointed with the ombudsman’s review. She said the province hasn’t upheld its commitment to take care of the victims of the deadly school shooting.“It is part of the government, and they are sweeping everything under the carpet — like I’ve said since this happened,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “They just want us to go away and ignore the whole situation.”A gunman opened fire at the La Loche high school in January 2016, killing a teacher and teacher’s aide, and wounding seven others. He also killed two brothers at a nearby home.Following the shooting, the provincial government had committed to supporting the victims and the community.“The offer to help was so pronounced,” said Buckley Belanger, an NDP MLA for Athabasca, which includes La Loche. “Fast forward two and a half years later and it is so discouraging to see what limited support they are affording a lot of the shooting victims.“While this one is specific to Ms. Klyne, I’ve talked to a lot of the victims and a lot of them are very frustrated and angry and very disappointed.”Belanger said the ombudsman had to work within a set of parameters, but the Saskatchewan government should have updated its legislation to address some of the concerns that came out of the shooting.“You would think after a horrific event like a school shooting that the government would respond accordingly,” he said. “They never did.”The province said in a statement that the ombudsman’s review showed Klyne received “all the entitled services and benefits under the Victims of Crime Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act.”The government said they have increased addiction services, student counsellors and victim services to follow through on its commitment to help the community.Klyne said she expected more from the government as a victim, but added that she’s not finished fighting.“I’m working on getting a lawyer, getting more papers together that the lawyer requested and going from there,” she said.In the meantime, Klyne’s son has set up a GoFundMe campaign to try to get some help for his mom.last_img read more

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

first_imgVANCOUVER – A legal advocacy organization on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is circulating flyers with pictures of two police officers and asking if anyone has been harassed by them.Lawyer Anna Cooper says the Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated that shows them seizing marijuana from a booth run by a program that offers the drug as an alternative to opioid users in the neighbourhood, one of the poorest in Canada.“We started to see a lot of stories online and hear a lot of stories directly about how those particular officers had a long history of being extremely abusive toward individuals living, surviving and working in that community,” Cooper said.Tom Stamatakis, president of the Vancouver Police Union, condemned the poster campaign as “adversarial and confrontational.”“Unfortunately, the actions by Pivot only succeed in inflaming a difficult situation, particularly by recklessly identifying the officers and providing an incomplete narrative about the incident,” he said in a statement. “While our officers are public figures who understand their actions come under public scrutiny, this sort of identification potentially has broad consequences, both for the officers and their families.”Pivot Legal Society and the Overdose Prevention Society set up a table Tuesday distributing the flyers, asking anyone with allegations to come forward. Cooper said using a photo was the only way community members would know which officers were in question. The officers are not named on the flyers.“We had dozens of people tell us they had negative experiences with the officers,” she said.The range of allegations that are being made is broad, ranging from rude or threatening behaviour to “roughing people up,” she said.Cooper said the complaints will likely be brought to the chief of police and the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner. None of the allegations have been tested in a complaint review process.She said she didn’t want to release details of the allegations until they are formalized as a complaint next week.“Even if all they were doing was treating people in extremely hostile, condescending, rude and disrespectful ways, that should not be acceptable to the Vancouver Police Department, not only because they should expect more from their officers but because that’s bad policing,” she said.“They need to be working with this community around community safety. These activities undermine that relationship and any possibility of working together.”The Vancouver Police Department declined an interview request Thursday.Police spokesman Sgt. Jason Robillard told a news conference Wednesday that the department was aware of the posters but he didn’t know if any official complaints had been filed.“We are a public office so you can take our picture, you can post it,” he said.He said anyone with complaints against an officer can file them with the police complaints commissioner.In a statement, police said the seizure of marijuana from the booth in the Downtown Eastside has been mischaracterized as a “raid.” Although the vendor told them the products were medicinal, police allege they were marked for sale and packaged in a manner consistent with trafficking, which is an illegal activity not allowed at the market.Police said they allowed the vendor to leave with a warning, but they were forced to act the next day despite a hostile crowd when they found the same products on display.Stamatakis of the police union said Pivot should take up any issues it has with the chief of police, not individual officers.“If the officers didn’t do their jobs, as directed, they would not only be criticized but could also be accused of neglecting their duties and face disciplinary consequences,” he added.Ronnie Grigg, general manager of the Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society, said the seizure of cannabis products from the booth galvanized the gathering of complaints against the two officers.“I think the flash point and sort of the tipping point for us is the confiscation of some cannabis products that we use for a program, and I’ll say a very successful program, that provides alternatives for people with opioid addictions,” he said.Grigg said he has witness the officers interact with vulnerable people who were unthreatening, including allegedly “aggressive arrests” and confiscating sleeping bags from people.last_img read more

Stars Attend Event For Education Through MusicLos Angeles

first_imgOn December 6, Education Through Music-Los Angeles honored Paramount Pictures’ President of Worldwide Music & Publishing, Randy Spendlove, and Music Teacher (Los Angeles Unified School District) Asuncion Ojeda at the Skirball Cultural Center.ETM-LA 2015 Shining Star Honoree, Randy Spendlove, and Grammy nominee, Common, pose with ETM-LA studentsEach year, the Shining Stars are awarded to individuals whose contributions through music have changed lives. “Through music, our honorees inspire our youth to achieve their highest potential,” says ETM-LA Executive Director, Victoria Lanier.The evening, hosted by Will and Grace star Eric McCormack included performances by Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik, En Vogue, Michelle Branch, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Randy Spendlove’s “Jam Band” which included Jimmie Wood and Joe Kramer, and Composers John Debney and Brian Tyler. Common, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Paramount Pictures’ Selma, was on hand to present Spendlove’s Shining Star Award. He discussed how important music education was for him, and praised Spendlove for his dedication to the cause.Common was also honored that night as more than 50 students from Education Through Music-LA Partner Schools performed the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning song “Glory” from Selma. “It was such an honor to have the children perform ‘Glory,’ along with Bob Marley’s ‘One Love,’” said Common, who gave them a standing ovation.During his speech, Spendlove gave personal anecdotes about his musical education experience: “Teachers would let me take instruments home on the weekends, and my theater teacher would give me keys to the school to practice on the weekends. When I reconnected with these teachers years later, they didn’t remember this, because teachers inspire and just want students to get the most out of their music education.”Veteran music teacher Asuncion Ojeda also gave a speech about how rewarding it is for her to watch her students grow through music.ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier gave an inspiring speech stating that last year’s ETM-LA serviced over 7,000 students in Los Angeles. Proceeds from the event will benefit ETM-LA’s programs serving over 10,000 children this year, including LA Unified School District’s Normandie Elementary, where Honoree Asuncion Ojeda currently teaches only a handful of the approximate 900 students due to the lack of resources. “We want to ensure that every child at Normandie Elementary receives an equitable music education as part of the core curriculum,” says Lanier. ETM-LA believes every child deserves a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.Others in attendance included Jeff Beal, Christophe Beck, Jim Dooley, Tim Davies, Rob Duncan, Ludwig Goransson, Joe Kraemer, Christopher Lennertz, Bear McCreary, Stephan Moccio, Blake Neely, Rob Simonsen, Dan Romer, Rudy Sarzo, and Austin Wintory. The event chairs were Lola Debney and Alecia Spendlove.Honorary chairs included music education champions and celebrities such as Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, Common, Imagine Dragons, Kate Flannery, John Debney, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Michael Giacchino, Rickey Minor, and Common. Major event sponsors: Booker & Sarita White, BTW Productions, CW3PR, The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Hans Zimmer & Steven Kofsky, Lola & John Debney, Paramount Pictures and Sonic Fuel Studios. Tribute Video Sponsorship: CW3PR.Education Through Music-LA is an independent 501c3 non-profit with the mission to provide music in disadvantaged schools to enhance students’ academic achievement and creative and overall development. ETM-LA partners with inner-city schools to provide yearlong music instruction and is based on the ETM model (New York, 1991). Find out more here.last_img read more

Working with Colliva was great learning Farhan

first_imgMumbai: Actor-singer-songwriter Farhan Akhtar who has released his first solo music album titled “Echoes”, produced by Grammy Award-winning Italian producer Tommaso Colliva, says such collaborations are fruitful for creativity. Sharing his experience of working with an international producer who has worked with British band Muse and Mary Chain among others, Farhan told IANS: “Working with Tommaso was really amazing because his approach was quite different. He wanted to know the story behind each song, and what was my frame of mind when I was writing them. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “The atmosphere was so conducive that as a singer-songwriter I felt really excited to work on it. He wanted to do the production and sound following those written words. It really added value to the album. It was a great learning experience.” Asked if he would like to use the experience to contribute to the independent music scenario in India, where Bollywood music mostly overshadows it, Farhan said: “We are doing a lot of stuff through our movies. If you look at the recent example of ‘Gully Boy’, we have encouraged musicians from the underground scene. We often collaborate with independent musicians. I would love to support and encourage young talent, but look, this is not my full-time job.” Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna “As a creative individual, I want to write more songs, tell more stories and perform with the hope that more people will feel inspired and come out with their creative ideas. I am always open to collaboration and think that’s also a way of supporting other artistes,” said Farhan, son of poet and screenplay writer Javed Akhtar. Farhan took around three years to write the 13 songs of the album “Echoes”, which was released on Friday. He went to Milan for recording of the tracks. Three songs; “Pain or pleasure”, “Why couldn’t it be me” and “Rareview mirror”, from the album were released online earlier. Sharing the core thought behind the album, the “Rock On!!” actor said: “I believe who we are today is the result of our experience in life so far. The emotional journey that we have gone through in life, in love, how we felt lost in love and then desolate.” “The reason why I am calling the album ‘Echoes’ is that somewhere all the emotional experiences are echoing in our mind even though we are not holding on to our past and moving on. This is really an emotional album.” The song titled “Why couldn’t it be me” was the result of the horrifying terrorist attack at the military school in Peshawar in 2014. On the story behind “Pain or pleasure”, Farhan said: “That song came from a personal space. At times in a relationship, feeling love for someone can get toxic. At times we really try to hang on to something that is really not there and you realise that healthy thing is to move on. “But then with the insane highs and terrible lows of a relationship, one has gone through, you want them all. There come the pain and pleasure of it.” Farhan will be seen opposite Priyanka Chopra Jonas in “The Sky Is Pink”, which will release in October.last_img read more

Instagram Model Emrata Enjoys Cozy Stay in Marrakech with Husband

Rabat – American model, actress, and Instagram sensation “Emrata,” known for her flirtatious photos on Instagram has joined the list of international stars who found themselves mesmerized with Marrakech and other parts of Morocco.Newlywed, the 27-year-old and her actor husband Sebastian Bear-McClard spent a cozy vacation in Marrakech. Bear-McClard is known for his role in the 2017 movie “Good Time.”Emily Ratajkowski, the Instagrammer’s real name, shared photos of herself enjoying the view from her hotel room, posing in Marrakech streets, showing photos of a carpet shop, and the hotel hallway adorned with colorful, Moroccan-style furniture, leaving many of her 20.7 million followers taken by the beauty of the red city. Ratajkowski is not the first celebrity to enjoy and share her stay in Morocco on social, and, most certainly, she will not be the last.Pop superstar Madonna also went into raptures over her memorable 60th birthday party in August in Marrakech. The singer, calling herself “BerberQueen” as she donned the Moroccan Amazigh (Berber) look, shared several photos and videos of her time in the city on her Instagram.Read Also: Halle Berry, Keanu Reeves Enjoy Shooting Movie in Morocco’s EssaouiraIn October, American actress Halle Berry and Canadian actor Keanu Reeves shot the American thriller John Wick 3 in Essaouira. There, the two actors were charmed by Morocco’s “Atlantic Blue Pearl” port city and shared a string of photos showing the blue beauty of Essaouira.In recent months, American television host Ryan Seacrest and his girlfriend model Shayna Taylor enjoyed their trip to Morocco’s Sahara Desert dunes, and the mother of  football star Cristiano Ronaldo, Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, raved about Moroccan couscous during her mini-vacation in Marrakech. read more

South Sudan UN supports projects to boost peoples livelihood in volatile state

17 February 2012The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is supporting a series of short- and long-term projects to help the people of South Sudan’s state of Jonglei, where ethnic rivalries often result in bloody conflict, to feed themselves and build reliable sources of livelihood, the agency said today. Working with local communities, FAO is supporting the distribution of livestock vaccines, fishing gear, vegetable seeds and tools to boost development in the world’s newest nation, which attained independence from Sudan in July last year after decades of fighting for self-determination.FAO aims to deliver as much assistance as possible in the next two to three months before the onset of the rainy season when unpaved roads in much of the under-developed country become impassable. Future initiatives will also focus on rainwater harvesting and other measures to strengthen long-term resilience, the agency said in a press release.In Jonglei and throughout South Sudan, poor harvests, increased demand, rapidly rising food prices, conflict, and displacements have been blamed for the prevailing food shortages.Cereal production from the latest harvest is about 19 per cent below the preceding cropping season, and 25 per cent lower than average over the past five years. The cereal deficit for 2012 is estimated at more than 470,000 tons – almost half of the country’s total consumption requirements for the year.FAO will provide vaccines and antibiotics to prevent the spread of animal diseases and to treat up to 100,000 livestock over the course of about one month.“These people are pastoralists, or herders,” said Nimaya Mogga, a livestock officer with FAO. “These cattle are their livelihood. Without them, they have nothing. During lean periods, they’re sold or exchanged for food. The sale of one cow alone can buy a family three months worth of grain,” he said.Many of those fleeing from the recent inter-ethnic conflict took refuge in the town of Boma where staples like sorghum and maize are now in short supply.“River Chelimon is about two hours walk away from Boma,” said Michael Oyat, FAO’s Deputy Emergency Coordinator for South Sudan. “It is believed [that] the displaced people could access it to fish. They’re hampered only by the lack of fishing gear.”FAO is providing 20,000 pieces of fishing gear to residents of Boma and two other towns affected by the outbreak of conflict in Pibor and Likuangole in December. FAO is also assisting local communities to plant vegetable gardens along river banks.At the request of the Government, FAO is also preparing a cash-for-work programme through which families will earn money to buy food locally while helping to rehabilitate rural infrastructure. read more

WatchCorus Entertainment posts net profit higher revenues in its second quarter

TORONTO — Corus Entertainment Inc. said Thursday it had an $86.8-million net loss in its second quarter, mostly because of a writedown of the value of some of its assets and because it didn’t see an expected improvement in advertiser confidence.The company — which has one of Canada’s largest collections of specialty television channels and radio stations — said that it won’t meet one of the targets provided to investors in November, when it expected advertising demand would improve.Corus said it was hit during the December-February quarter with “further economic headwinds” that affected advertising market confidence. It listed a number of factors including a weaker Canadian dollar since Jan. 1, continued low oil prices and the closure of large retail stores such as Target Canada, which announced in January it would close all its stores.“In summary, the company does not expect to achieve the low end of the segment profit guidance for the fiscal year (ending Aug. 31); however, free cash flow guidance remains unchanged,” Corus said in its report to shareholders.The Toronto-based company said its overall revenue during the quarter ended Feb. 28 was about the same as a year ago, with a decline in its radio segment offsetting an improvement at its television segment.Total revenue was $191.48 million, compared with $191.41 million a year before. Television revenue was $155.2 million, up from $152.1 million, while radio revenue dropped to $36.3 million from $39.3 million.The second-quarter loss amounted to $1.01 per share and compared with a profit of seven cents per share or $6.1 million in the second quarter of 2014.Much of the loss was due to a total of $130-million in writedowns of the value of goodwill — an asset related to past acqusitions — and its radio licences.“For the second quarter, certain radio clusters had actual results and revised cash flow projections tha fell short of previous estimates, which indicated that iterim broadcast licence and goodwill impairment testing was required in the radio segment,” the company said in a report to shareholders.“As a result of these tests, the company recorded broadcast licence impairment charges of $23 million and a goodwill impairment charge of $107 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.”Excluding the writedowns, restructuring costs and an investment gain, Corus had $28.5 million of adjusted net income, or 33 cents per share, up slightly from $26.8 million or 32 cents per share in the second quarter of the 2014 financial year.The Canadian Press read more

Kosovo UN refugee agency helping Ashkali families return to their homes

Some Ashkali had left when other Kosovars, whose homes were destroyed during the 1999 conflict, occupied their houses, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said. European Union funding has supported the rebuilding of those destroyed houses, and the Ashkali residents of Vushtrii have expressed their willingness to come back.Vushtrii municipal authorities and the local population have also supported the return of the Ashkali families, which was planned over the last year after the Vushtrii Municipal Assembly adopted a motion supporting their return.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is assisting the return of these families to Kosovo, UNMIK said, adding that the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes was “an important step in leaving behind the legacy of war and conflict.” read more

Body Found in East Carbon

The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a body was found in East Carbon on Wednesday evening.According to East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard, the body was found in a pond near the ash piles at the Columbia turnoff and identified as 54-year-old Mark Martinez, a long-time resident of East Carbon.Leonard explained that Martinez was reported as missing to authorities this week and friends and family stated that he had not been seen for three to four weeks. Ultimately, a friend began searching for Martinez on Wednesday, visiting places he had been known to frequent.The friend found Martinez’ body, facedown, in a pond near the ash piles around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and immediately contacted East Carbon Police. The police department responded with assistance from Wellington City Police, the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, the East Carbon Fire Department and a representative from the medical examiner’s office.According to Leonard, Martinez’ body had appeared to have been in the pond for the majority of the time he had been missing. However, there is no suspicion of foul play at this time. Leonard explained that there was nothing suspicious about the scene or the area.The East Carbon Police Department is still actively investigating the scene and will continue to do so throughout Thursday. Leonard explained that an exact cause of death will not be released until the formal report is completed by the medical examiner. read more

Research Ethics Office to host information session

Brock University’s Research Ethics Office will aim to address the many questions faculty, students and staff may have about the research ethics process during an information session held next week.The question-and-answer event will tackle topics such as conducting research on the internet, using someone else’s data for a purpose that was not identified in the original research protocol or consent processes, whether CORE training is needed for students before beginning their research, what TCPS2 is and why certain research cannot be done without abiding by it.Faculty, students and staff are invited to bring queries, comments and discussion points about the research ethics process to the session Thursday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to noon in Cairns 207. The event is an opportunity to engage with fellow researchers and Research Ethics Office staff, and learn about new and upcoming guidelines and initiatives.Please RSVP at or ext. 3035. read more

Mens basketball Darius Bazley decommits from Ohio State

A day following redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson signing with an agent and redshirt junior guard Kam Williams deciding to test the NBA draft, Ohio State men’s basketball’s No. 1 2018 recruit, four-star small forward Darius Bazley, decommitted from the Buckeyes and reopened his recruitment Wednesday.He said in a statement on Twitter that OSU is still one of the schools he is considering.Bazley, a 6-foot-7 forward from Cincinnati, had been committed to OSU since August 2016 as one of three members of the 2018 class. Bazley is rated as the No. 1 player in Ohio, No. 15 at his position nationally and No. 53 overall by 247Sports.Four-star shooting guard Dane Goodwin from Upper Arlington, Ohio, and three-star forward Justin Ahrens from Versailles, Ohio, are the remaining commits for OSU in the class of 2018. read more

Adrian Beltre Is Hall Of Fame Worthy

A long drive, deep over the outfield wall … without a boost from performance-enhancing drugs.It’s an old-time ideal that Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers has played out over and over again. Earlier this week, he smashed two home runs, closing in on a relatively exclusive honor: membership in the 400 home run club. (Beltre needs one more dinger to become a card-carrying member.)In our view, and according to advanced stats, Beltre should be a Hall of Famer someday. But we worry that he won’t be because his conventional stats lack that Cooperstown shine.Why do we think Beltre should be enshrined alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Bill Mazeroski (more on him in a minute)? Beltre is a rarity — a player who excels at both offense and defense. And in both cases, that excellence is best illustrated using sabermetric measurements.1His offensive bona fides are also clear from such traditional statistics as home runs, of course. Among third basemen, Beltre, with his nearly 400 long balls, ranks fifth all-time; three of the four ahead of him are either already in Cooperstown or are locks to make it someday (Chipper Jones).For instance, in terms of per-plate appearance rates, Beltre ranks in the 80th percentile of his peers2Qualified hitters (according to Fangraphs’ leaderboard) who played between 1998 and 2015. in isolated power, the 70th percentile in contact rate, the 50th percentile in speed and the 82nd percentile as an overall hitter. (His only real offensive weakness is a 27th-percentile walk rate.) And those are just the rate statistics; Beltre’s durability has also seen him notch the second-most at-bats of any active player and the 53rd-most of any player ever.That longevity is a big reason why Beltre ranks ninth all-time in offensive wins above replacement (oWAR) among third basemen. Only one non-Hall of Famer, the easily forgettable Toby Harrah, ranks higher, and Beltre should pass him (plus Home Run Baker) this season, assuming that Beltre’s 2015 oWAR resembles his yearly output over the past five seasons. In fact, based on projections from Baseball Prospectus, there’s a good chance that the only players ahead of Beltre in oWAR by the end of his career will be offensive juggernauts Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones, Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt.And defensively, Beltre’s advanced numbers are among the best ever. Per defensive WAR (dWAR) and defensive runs saved above average (DRAA),3Defense is harder to measure than offense, and traditional measurements have a way of propping up horrible defenders (see Jeter, Derek). But advanced statistics such as dWAR and DRAA (which is based on video-tracking data for recent seasons and estimated “zone ratings” for years before that) seem to capture defensive skill well. All modern players in the top 10 for DRAA have won at least one Gold Glove, and all but two have won at least four. Beltre is the second-best defensive third baseman in baseball history. Only Brooks Robinson, whom Reds manager Sparky Anderson had nightmares about after Robinson’s unforgettable defensive performance in the 1970 World Series, ranks better. According to dWAR, only 19 other players (across all positions) in baseball history were more valuable defensively than Beltre has been.The defender most like Beltre at this point is Mazeroski, who made it to the Hall almost entirely on his defense. Beltre, by contrast, combines Mazeroski-like defense with vastly superior offensive stats and greater durability.Yet, we worry about Beltre’s fate because his traditional measurements lag behind his advanced ones. The case against Beltre starts by saying that his nearly 400 home runs may be somewhat devalued by the steroid era — more than half of the club’s 51 members hit the majority of their home runs in the 1990s or 2000s — even if Beltre has never been implicated for steroid use. And Beltre’s other impressive credentials (four Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and four All-Star Game nods) are good, but not great. Eric Chavez, for example, will only see Cooperstown as a visitor, but he won six Gold Gloves at third base. In addition, Beltre is unlikely to hit above .290 for his career or win a most valuable player award, and he has never won a World Series (only playing in a single Fall Classic).Simply put, Beltre’s conventional résumé falls short of Cooperstown’s traditional benchmarks. While there is no generally accepted baseball equivalent of’s Hall of Fame probability metric, Bill James developed a few good ways to gauge a player’s traditional statistical portfolio: the Hall of Fame Standards and Monitor tests, as well as the Black Ink and Gray Ink tests. Together, those metrics measure how well a player met certain (admittedly arbitrary) benchmarks that, historically speaking, are strongly correlated with Hall of Fame induction.In the “Ink” tests — which measure how often a player led the league and finished among the top 10 in important statistical categories — Beltre sits well behind the typical Hall member. He does fare somewhat better in the other, benchmark-based calculations (though he still ranks below average in both the Standards and Monitor tests), and at just 36 years old, Beltre still has time to add to his totals. But overall, he may not even have a coin flip’s chance at the Hall of Fame, according to traditional gauges. A logistic regression between the James metrics and Hall of Fame enshrinement for the eligible players on’s leaderboards4With additional variables for a player’s era and whether a player was publicly linked to steroids. would assign Beltre a mere 18 percent chance of induction if he retired today.But our hope is that Hall of Fame voters are slowly moving past the older considerations. If they look instead at Beltre’s advanced numbers, they’ll see a Hall of Fame worthy outlier. Look at the Jaffe WAR Score system, or JAWS.5For those curious, the eponym behind the number is Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe. Built on the foundation of WAR, JAWS attempts to strike a balance between players who compiled value over a long period of time (think Paul Molitor, whose JAWS was 57.5) and those who burned brightly for a shorter span of seasons (think Jackie Robinson, whose JAWS was 56.8). And the difference between Beltre’s actual JAWS and what we’d predict from his conventional credentials6As measured by a regression using the James metrics. is stark.Beltre is one of only 10 non-Hall of Famers7Among either eligible players who were not elected or those ineligible for induction. in major league history to produce a JAWS rating above that of the average Hall of Famer, despite a predicted JAWS below the average Hall of Famer.8Predicted JAWS is designed so that its average equals the average JAWS.How can there be such a big difference? It’s partly because predicted JAWS doesn’t take into account defense (because it’s using conventional stats) and actual JAWS does. As we noted previously, defense is very hard to measure in a conventional sense. That’s especially the case at third base, where people can’t even agree on the best skill set for the position. It used to be impossible to say what exactly a player’s defensive range was, for instance. That’s why James’s metrics don’t make much of an attempt at incorporating defense, with the exception of taking into account a player’s position and where it sits on the defensive spectrum.But now we can understand how valuable Beltre is defensively. And we know that his mixture of offensive and defensive production for a third baseman is very rare.The question left is whether Hall of Fame voters will see things that way, conventions be damned. read more

Players at UKs first vegan cricket club ditch sandwiches to be more inclusive

A cricket club has become the first in the UK to go vegan after Muslim and Hindu players were excluded from tea between innings.Players at the Earley Cricket Club in Reading, Berks, are now served a menu featuring vegan-friendly Moroccan tagine, curries and rice, lasagne and garlic bread and spaghetti bolognese.The committee voted in favour of replacing the traditional platter of sandwiches and cake following a campaign by chairman and opening batsman Gary Shacklady.The 33 year old, a primary school teacher who set up the club 12 years ago and is vegan himself, felt that the club’s meat-based catering meant Muslim and Hindu players were being excluded from joining in fully with club life.He said: “We had one member who was very against it.”He felt that it was quite exclusive and against people’s right to meat.” Viral Kohli reportedly became a vegan recentlyCredit:Ryan Pierse/Getty Four of his teammates have been inspired to switch to plant based diets entirely as a result of the move.They join a handful of the world’s best players in making the switch, including India captain Virat Kohli and Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle.Mr Shacklady added: “The teas have been well received as our players understand and support the reasoning behind the decision. 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. “It also means we can produce a far larger quantity of food for a lower cost. When other teams come to us, they pile their plates high. And when they eat the food, nobody complains.”Although you usually get one middle-aged white man who is horrified. It’s fine, he doesn’t have to eat it. But the point is that everyone can.”The club play in Division 2 and Division 3 of the Berkshire Cricket League. Viral Kohli reportedly became a vegan recently They are now is even trialling new vegan cricket balls in a bid to go completely animal-free, with a view to using balls made from synthetic leather instead.A Vegan Society spokesman said: “Offering plant-based food as default is inclusive, cheap and convenient, as well as contributing to a healthier society and more sustainable food choices that don’t harm others.”We hope other clubs and organisations will follow Earley Cricket Club’s decision to switch to an all-vegan menu for everyone’s benefit.” read more

TT Granny was suffocated …churchyard death for killer

(Trinidad Express) Grandmother Haniffa Bedassie operated a mini mart in her Chaguanas community for over two decades without ever being robbed, until yesterday.The criminal took not only her valuables, but her life.Killed: Haniffa BedassieShe died in the apartment adjoining her shop. Bedassie, 54, is believed to have suffocated on a piece of clothing stuffed into her mouth by the thief to silence her. The thief was shot in the compound of a nearby church by patrolling police officers. He died at hospital.Relatives of Bedassie said that they knew the thief because he grew up in the community and his mother ran a sewing business on the same compound.Bedassie, 54, a mother of two, and grandmother of two, was attacked midmorning in her minimart.She ran to the back where her apartment is located where she was cornered by the thief.He tied her hands and feet on the floor of her apartment and muzzled her with a piece of clothing.“This was the first time that she got robbed here. I found it strange that someone who had been renting there would come back and rob her. It is really unfortunate that he killed her”, said her relative, Deena-lee Siew.“The neighbours were not seeing her and they went to look for her. They were banging down the door.But the bandit was still there. When the people left he ran out through the back. Her son came and found her and started to bawl. The pastor of the church right next door stopped the police and told them that a man with a back pack was running down the road. The police shot him. They shot him in the church compound, the Redemption Worship Centre”, said Siew.The  thief is yet to be identified, police said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related‘She didn’t deserve this’ – relatives of murdered T&T-based Guyanese pastorOctober 15, 2018In “Crime”73-year-old T&T grandmother ‘played dead’ to save her life in brutal bandit attackApril 4, 2016In “Crime”T&T couple shot dead in bedJanuary 18, 2017In “Crime” read more

Fortescues iron ore development continues apace

first_imgFortescue Metals Group continued its successful and meteoric progress (IM,  April 2008) in May. The first ore on ship (FOOS) was achieved as scheduled on May 15, marking a significant milestone for the project and importantly signalled the commencement of cash flow.There were no lost time injuries reported during May. Overall project completion was assessed at 96.7%. The focus going forward is to reach project completion as described within the bond indenture which is described as the achievement of 2 Mt of product mined and shipped within a consecutive four week period. Given the current schedule the company is working toward, it is expected that project completion will be achieved within two months of FOOS. The Forecast Final Cost (FFC) has been assessed at A$2.825 billion which is an increase of $16.7 million from the previous FFC.The port works were assessed as 99.4% complete as at end May. FOOS was achieved with the loading of the 170,000 t cape size ship destined for Baosteel in China. On May 9 there was a panamax ship of 70,000 t loaded but this was part of the wet commissioning process as the port’s out loading circuit of product reclaimer and ship loader were load commissioned for the first time. The work focus now is on ensuring that the ramp up to full operational capacity is achieved in a timely fashion.The rail program was assessed as 96% completed as at end May. During May there were approximately 50 train journeys between the mine site with the 100th journey achieved on June 21. A key focus going forward is to complete the ‘super lift’ of the track ballast which is the process of laying an additional 150 mm of ballast to further base the rail line. This is scheduled to be completed by end July and will then allow for the train speeds and the wagon carry weights to be increased to rated capacity. Another key focus is the completion of the signals and communications systems. Currently the rail program is operating on a manual signals system which is less than optimal. Once the automated system is in place, scheduled for end August, the overall program will achieve full efficiency.Mine construction was assessed at 92% as at end May. The focus of work during the month was 1) wet commissioning of the Ore Processing Facility (OPF), 2) completion of back filling the three product vaults and 3) completion of the automated train loader.During May approximately 500,000 t of product was processed thought the OPF as ramp up commences. The first load of OPF product hit the stockpile floor in May as prior to this date product was being supplied by mobile plant that will continue to supplement overall tonnage through the commissioning process. The focus going forward will be to complete the desand plant which accounts for approximately 7% of the overall value of works for the mine site. The use of the desand plant is to wash out the sections of the rocket fines material that is screened into ultra fines and that houses an excess of alumina. Currently the mine plan is not producing any high alumina rocket material and accordingly the plant is not required until later in 2008.last_img read more

The 5 at 5 Thursday

first_imgEVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.1. #TRANSPORT: An agreement has been reached between Bus Éireann management and workers’ unions at the Labour Relations Commission, bringing an end to a long-running dispute about proposed changes to pay and terms of employment and averting further strike action.2. #INTERNET: The High Court has ordered websites, including YouTube, Facebook and Google, to permanently remove a video clip falsely accusing an Irish student of evading a taxi fare. The judge conceded, however, that he was unsure if this could be achieved.3. #RUSTY WATER: Local politicians in Donegal have asked the government to step in and fix the pipes around Lifford as residents continue to endure days without clean drinking water. See the colour of the rusty water flowing from the taps here.4. #GARDAÍ: Commissioner Martin Callinan has said he has “no axe to grind” with the person or persons who made anonymous allegations about the writing off of penalty points.5. #BYE BYE: At 38 years old and after a prolific career, David Beckham has called it a day. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder turned down an offer of a one-year extension on his contract, choosing to retire from playing at the highest level. Read his thoughts on fulfilling his dreams over on read more

The Evening Fix now with added double rainbow in Dublin

first_img(Video: MichaelBubleTV/YouTube) THINGS WE SHARED(Photo via Imgur)This dog managed to fit an entire burger into his mouth and is pretty damn happy about it. Here’s 10 more individuals having the absolute time of their lives.They will stop everything to take a nap, they act badly in public, and they can’t seem to get their food into their mouths – here’s 26 reasons why kids are basically just tiny drunk adults.Michael Bublé, singing with an acapella group on the platform at a New York City subway station. You’re either going to love this or hate this: US athlete Travis Mahoney jumps the final hurdle during the men’s 3,000 metre steeplechase at a competition in Iowa today (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.THINGS WE LEARNED#OPINION POLL: A new opinion poll has found that less than one third of people believe the government should cut public sector pay, while the majority want the government to try to renegotiate the failed Croke Park pay agreement. The Red C poll for tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post also found that support for Labour has fallen by 2 points to 11 per cent while Fine Gael has remained steady at 28 per cent.#ARD FHEIS: The Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis has passed three motions affirming the party’s position as anti-abortion, RTE News reports, including one which opposes legislation which may widen the grounds for abortion. Party leader Micheál Martin is due to give his keynote speech at the conference this evening, which we’ll be liveblogging here on from 8.30pm.#MISSING MONEY 2: A second sum of money being held as evidence has gone missing at the Dublin Garda station where €9,000 was stolen last month. A Garda spokesperson said a criminal and disciplinary investigation is underway.#CREDIT UNION: The number of people looking for loans from credit unions has dropped for the second year in a row, despite a total of €1.1 billion worth of loans handed out to members over the past 12 months.#AT LAST: It’s taken two months but Italy’s new prime minister finally unveiled a new government today, breaking the stalemate which had led to fears about Italy’s ability to get out of recession. The government is a grand coalition between the two main parties from the left and the right.#SECURITY BREACH: Up to 50 million people may have been affected by a security breach at deals website in which hackers gained unauthorised access to names, email addresses, and passwords of users.THINGS WE LOVEDDOUBLE RAINBOW! Thanks to reader James Doyle for sending in this photo taken in Sallynoggin in Dublin earlier today. Got a good pic you’d like to share? Send it our way: Would you be able to buy all the food you need with just €1.20 a day? A BBC reporter took up the challenge and quickly found that that it was possible – but tough.Dating 100 people in 100 days:  greatest idea ever or a nightmare of awkwardness? One women has written for the Guardian about her decision to throw herself into the dating world after her 20-year marriage broke up – and how she kept track of all the them.last_img read more

510 WWE Results Lexington Kentucky Cena vs Rusev

first_img John Cena Twitter Pinterest Two more WWE Superstars reportedly scheduled to appear at RAW Reunion show WhatsApp Nikki Bella Opens Up About Life After John Cena Split Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Google+ WWE Superstar John Cena announced as part of cast for Suicide Squad Sequel Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Nikki Bella ‘Total Bellas’ Season 4 Will Not Feature John Cenacenter_img 5/10 WWE Results: Lexington, Kentucky1. Neville def. King Barrett2. Damien Sandow def. Heath Slater3. WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella def. Naomi4. Fandango def. Adam Rose5. Dean Ambrose def. Luke Harper6. Erick Rowan def. Bo Dallas7. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day def. The Ascension, The Prime-Time Players & Cesaro and Tyson Kidd8. WWE United States Champion John Cena def. RusevSource: Prowrestling.netRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipNikki Bella Opens Up About Life After John Cena SplitVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:43/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 50.79%0:04Remaining Time -0:39 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Is John Cena Surprised To Hear Nikki Bella Is Dating Again? Nikki Bella Fires Back At Ronda Rousey Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Nikki Bella: John Cena’s Sex Scene In ‘Trainwreck’ Turned Her Off Facebook Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next WWE stars join “Brawlhalla” as Epic Crossovers in SummerSlam game event last_img read more