Simple steps for getting noticed at work

first_imgTo get ahead in the workplace, there are various things you must do to set yourself apart from the pack. It’s no longer enough to simply settle for the status quo. Now we must step outside what’s comfortable and push ourselves to the limit in order to get noticed. Here are three easy tricks for standing out in your office, and in life.Establish rapportWe’ve said before that being friends with others at work is not required. But, a smart employee who strives to stand out makes a positive impression with everyone around them. You don’t have to be the jokester or the loudest one at work but building a strong reputation by putting yourself out there is essential. Positive rapport with colleagues, your superior, business contacts, and potential clients can be a real game changer. If others are competing with you for a prospect’s business, you can be sure that if you’ve established yourself with those whose business you seek, you have a definite leg over others in the industry.Be proactiveIt’s fine to wait for instruction and perform your tasks completely and accurately. But, it’s an entirely different thing to take initiative. The first step in this process is to be innovative and to use your own skillset for coming up with new and creativity ideas to advance the business. Present your plans to your manager and demonstrate to them that you are forward thinking. Whether they decide to pursue your ideas is up to them, but by simply presenting them without being asked, you are certainly standing out.Remain loyalIt’s natural for there to be turnover and sometimes drama in the workplace. You’ll be hard pressed to find any office that’s perfect and without its share of sporadic conflict. The key to keeping yourself noticed is to never give in to the pressure to take part in office troubles. Sure, you may have the urge to gossip alongside everyone else, but instead of standing out as a result of getting busted for blabbing, get noticed by remaining loyal to your colleagues, your boss, and the company. 55SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: Detailslast_img read more

More steroid use suspensions expected following Braun

first_imgYour comments are welcome. Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter us at our mobile app at ALEX RODRIGUEZ (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK (AP)—Ryan Braun stood on a spring training field and proclaimed he was innocent of using banned testosterone.“I would bet my life,” he said back then, “that this substance never entered my body at any point.”Seventeen months later, he accepted a 65-game suspension from baseball and admitted, “I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”The 2011 National League MVP was suspended without pay for the rest of the season and the postseason Monday, the start of sanctions involving players reportedly tied to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.Attention quickly turned to who’s next? Will Alex Rodriguez or any of the other players tied in media reports to the Biogenesis of America clinic get disciplined and, if so, when?“I’m pretty sure Braunie won’t be the last,” Detroit All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter said. “It’s going to be for the next 100 years, somebody’s going to try to beat the system, and as long as they keep catching guys, the system works.”Braun, a five-time All-Star, accepted a penalty 15 games longer than the one he avoided last year when an arbitrator overturned his positive test for elevated testosterone because the urine sample had been improperly handled.RYAN BRAUN (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) More than a dozen players were targeted by MLB following a report by Miami New Times in January revealing relationships between Biogenesis and major leaguers. When Yahoo Sports reported in February that Braun’s name was listed in Biogenesis’ record, Braun said his lawyer had retained clinic owner Anthony Bosch as a consultant. Braun issued a statement that said “I have nothing to hide.”MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced Braun’s penalty, citing the outfielder for unspecified “violations” of both baseball’s drug program and labor contract. Braun’s ban will cost him about $3 million of his $8.5 million salary. With the Brewers in last place in the NL Central, they aren’t likely to have any playoff games for him to miss.“I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed,” Braun said. “I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”Under the agreement reached by MLB and the players’ association the specifics of Braun’s admission were not made public.A person familiar with the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized, said 50 games of the penalty were connected to Biogenesis. The additional 15 games stemmed from Braun’s actions during the grievance that overturned his positive test from October 2011. The suspension will count as a first violation of the drug program, the person said.“I’m shocked, but people make mistakes every day,” Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said. “He’ll serve his time but, hopefully, he’ll be able to continue his career.”Union head Michael Weiner said last week that arbitration hearings for players contesting suspensions likely would not start until September, which would delay any penalty until next season. But he also indicated the union would urge players to make a deal and get a suspension over with if there was strong evidence of guilt.“I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step,” Weiner said in a statement. “It vindicates the rights of all players under the joint drug program. It is good for the game that Ryan will return soon to continue his great work both on and off the field.”Braun’s acceptance of the suspension marks a 180-degree turnaround from his defiant spring training news conference in Phoenix last year, after his 50-game ban was overturned.“We won,” he said then, “because the truth is on my side. The truth is always relevant, and at the end of the day, the truth prevailed.”The 29-year-old Braun was hitting .298 with nine homers and 38 RBIs this year, slowed by a thumb injury that limited him to one game between June 9 and Friday. He was at Miller Park before Monday’s game against San Diego and addressed the Brewers, then left without speaking to reporters.“He apologized,” pitcher John Axford said. “Whatever else was said beyond that, I don’t think we need to carry outside of the clubhouse.”Braun met with MLB investigators in late June. Baseball’s probe was boosted when Bosch, who ran Biogenesis, agreed last month to cooperate with the sport’s investigators.The suspension is the latest in a string of high-profile drug cases across sports. Cyclist Lance Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, ended years of denials in January, admitting he doped to win. Positive tests were disclosed this month involving sprinters Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.By serving the entire penalty this year, Braun gains a slight monetary advantage. His salary increases to $10 million next year, when a 65-game suspension would cost him about $500,000 more.“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president for economics and league affairs, said in a statement. “We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field.”Negotiations over penalties for other players haven’t begun, according to a second person familiar with the probe, also speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.Rodriguez acknowledged using PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03, but has denied taking them since.A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez has been sidelined all season following January hip surgery and was hoping to be activated this week. A quadriceps injury developed while he played at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and caused him to remain on the disabled list. He is not expected at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., until Wednesday.Braun became the latest star tripped up by baseball’s drug rules.The sport was criticized for allowing bulked-up sluggers to set power records in the 1990s and only started testing in 2003. Since then, testing and penalties have become more stringent and last year San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games, just weeks after he was voted MVP of the All-Star game.Four All-Stars this year have been linked in media reports to Biogenesis: Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera, Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon and Detroit shortstop Jhonny ­Peralta.“I guess it is what it is,” Cruz said of Braun’s suspension. “I don’t have any comment.”Other players tied to Biogenesis in media reports include Melky Cabrera, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Seattle catcher Jesus Montero.“It’s frustrating to know that there are people who have played on performance-enhancing substances against us,” Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson said. “Whether it was this year, last year, couple years ago—even the guys who got caught, it’s not like they got tested the day that they started doing it, so I feel like this is the first domino to fall.”last_img read more


first_imgTRAINER QUOTES -30- MARK CASSE, CONQUEST TWO STEP, WINNER: “They set it up nice for him. I was smiling pretty big down the backside (at the fractions) watching those three go at it. I thought he was a big price based on his last effort, but I understand everybody likes to see two in a row. I kind of like it myself. When they run a big race, you want to see them come back and do it again.”Next race? “I don’t know. We’ll enjoy this one today and hopefully try to win another one.” JOCKEY QUOTES JEFF BONDE, DISTINCTIV PASSION, FOURTH: “One hole, no good.” NOTES: The winning owners are Ernie Semersky and Dory Newel of Highland Park, Illinois, who race as Conquest Stables LLC. JOE TALAMO, CONQUEST TWO STEP, WINNER: “He had a perfect trip. I was very happy to see three horses in a speed duel. I just stayed outside and he wasn’t even getting any dirt in his face. What a race he ran. We were high on his last race, when he ran second to Shared Belief (in the Grade I Malibu) and I know a lot of people thought it was a fluke but he really ran that same race again today.“It feels good to get my third win today. It’s not the first time I’ve started a meet slow; I was zero for eighty one time at this meet. It’s just a part of the game. You have to keep your head up and keep working hard. It’s not what you’re doing when you win, it’s what you do when you’re losing. You have to stay focused and keep a good mind-set.”MIKE SMITH, DISTINCTIV PASSION, FOURTH: “I didn’t have a lot of options and I didn’t get a breather, not one. His last race (Grade III Midnight Lute Dec. 27) when I was on the outside, I was able to let Heir of Storm challenge me on the inside; I just sat out there. Today, I was down on the rail and they were on top of me the whole way. Other than that, he ran a good race today.”last_img read more

Weird Science Tolerated by Science Reporters

first_imgWhat are the boundaries between science and pseudoscience?  Before answering, look at some of the stories that made headlines on science news sites recently.Legendary science:  Siberia plans to study the Yeti, reported PhysOrg.  Yeti has nothing to do with extra-terrestrial intelligence; it’s the popular name of a legendary abominable snowman locals report having seen living in the Himalayas, like Bigfoot in North America.  “Officials in a Siberian region have announced plans to open a scientific institute for researchers to study yetis, despite opposition from academics,” the article said.    A local university hurried to distance itself from this project.  But is the absence of solid evidence grounds for branding something as pseudoscience?  After all, cosmologists look for dark matter, dark energy, cosmic strings, inflation, and other unobservable entities.  Biologists search for missing links.  Throughout the history of science, credible researchers have sought evidence for unobservable things in the name of science, SETI being a notable example.Martian invasion: seriously entertained the notion that life on Earth began at Mars.  “New Tool May Reveal Your Alien Ancestry,” announced Mike Wall; “It’s possible that the family tree of all life on Earth has its roots on Mars – and a new device could put that theory to the test in a few years, researchers say.”  David L. Chandler also wrote up the story on PhysOrg.    The test would involve digging in Martian soil, separating out possible organisms, and sequencing any DNA or RNA found.  An instrument being developed at MIT and Harvard is being given the name SETG: Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes.  “It’s a long shot,” one of the designers said.  A positive detection would not necessarily mean life originated on Mars; “we could have originated on Mars” is one option; “Or if it started here, it could have been transferred to Mars.” interviewed Chris Carr [MIT], one of the inventors, who emphasized the looking before the understanding.  When, though, does this become a science project?  How does SETG differ from the YETI institute?Intelligently designed Everglades:  Thousands of mounds in the Everglades offer high ground for rich collections of plants, birds and wildlife.  Where did they come from?  A new theory suggests that some of them are unnatural; “Heaps of trash left behind by prehistoric humans might have given rise to many of the tree islands found in the Florida Everglades,” claimed Live Science.    “This goes to show that human disturbance in the environment doesn’t always have a negative consequence,” a proponent of the theory from McGill University said.  “Hundreds to thousands of years ago, some of the things humans did actually created valuable ecosystems.”  It’s not clear if Gail Chmura was suggesting modern landfills can be beneficial, but one thing is clear: to test her hypothesis, she had to use intelligent design techniques – i.e., to determine if humans left their trash in these heaps on purpose.  How the unobserved tribes lived in the swamps before the middens piled up was not explained.They came from space:  Panspermia and six other theories about the origin of life were posted by Charles Q. Choi on Live Science.  The seven notions – Miller spark discharge, clay, deep-sea vents, cold fusion, RNA world, metabolism first, and panspermia are all controversial and mutually contradictory.    Does having multiple controversial, contradictory theories improve the odds that at least one will turn out to be scientific?  Unless and until one of them succeeds, are any of them scientific?  Even if one wins a consensus, will it have any necessary connection with the real world, or will it remain a hypothesis forever, since no one can go back in time to test it?Futurist paleoanthropology:  Some day the successors of humans may find bones of us and wonder what they were.  That’s a speculation posted on PhysOrg in the name of science.  This thought experiment, like a Russian doll, embeds deeper puzzles: “Further research would show Homo sapiens walked upright, lived in communities and buried their dead,” the article said; “But this future intelligent organism might be faced with an old puzzle–determining where Homo sapiens came from.”    What this implies is that scientists today do not know where Homo sapiens came from.  Bernard Wood “argued it’s not so easy to determine whether relatively new fossil finds are early members of the human evolutionary family or prehistoric apes.”  In the article, Wood shared a number of worries about understanding human history.    Wood’s paper was described as a thought experiment – a term some in science consider an oxymoron.  Does getting funding from the National Science Foundation confer scientific legitimacy on puzzles embedded in a thought experiment?  How much time do paleoanthropologists get to figure things out and still be considered scientists?In the matrix:  Mike Treder titled an eye-catching article on the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies website, “We’re all alone and no one knows why.”  He invoked the Fermi Paradox (if aliens exist, they should have found us by now) and the Copernican Principle (we are nothing special) to sort out the pros and cons of three propositions: (1) We are the first beings capable of expanding into the cosmos, (2) Others have migrated but have made themselves undetectable, or (3) Others have hit roadblocks either by destroying themselves or hitting an impassible radius.  He considered the first proposition absurd based on evolution and the Copernican principle.  The third option he considered more plausible than the second.    After considering objections, he concluded that aliens just can’t get out very far.  He wanted to avoid any conception that we are somehow special, if not unique.  “All in all, it seems clear to me – irrefutably logical – that some sort of cosmic roadblock, as yet unidentified, must exist,” he ended.  “Either that or we are in a simulation.”  Since none of his speculations are testable, but rely on assumption-driven deductions, do his ideas belong in science, pseudoscience, philosophy, or some other category?All the above weird and speculative claims were tolerated and even promoted by leading science reporting websites.  Creationists and advocates of intelligent design, though, are routinely excluded from offering their research, evidence and insights within academia and the media.  Why is that?  Is it because their ideas are more weird than the above?  After all, Dykstra’s Law quips that everyone is someone else’s weirdo.  Is science a matter of sociology, then – being in the right peer group?  On what basis do the science news media exclude intelligent design ideas while promoting all the above without with nary a peep of criticism?    For decades now, philosophers of science have pointed out that there is no set of necessary and sufficient conditions for calling a theory scientific; there is no one set scientific method, and there is no means of validating science from within.  There is no agreement on scientific explanation, scientific evidence, scientific verification, or scientific objectivity; and the sociological influences on science cannot be ignored.  Within this messy situation, one would hope that observation plays a leading role, along with honesty, fairness, and logical consistency.Just as an accountant can count but not account for counting, a scientist can do science but not scientifically test science.  Science can’t even account for the validity of our sensations relating to the external world.  Some evolutionary epistemologists have tried to argue that our survival required evolution to give us reliable sensation of the external world, but that is not necessarily so, even assuming evolution: all natural selection would do is ensure reproduction.  Besides, the argument is circular, assuming evolution to base a conclusion on evolution.  One cannot escape philosophy – and ultimately, theology, which validates philosophy (philosophy cannot account for the laws of logic it employs).    The only starting point that is logically consistent is faith in a personal righteous God who made the world and has granted to humans the ability to perceive the creation using the somewhat trustworthy, if not infallible, sense equipment he provided.  This accounts for intelligence, the laws of logic, values of honesty and integrity, and the correspondence theory of truth (that our senses provide access to a real world).  Any other starting point is hopelessly muddled in self-contradiction, trying to account for these requirements without sufficient causation or validation.    Everybody has faith in something.  A scientist may as well have faith in a world view that works: “in the beginning was the Word… all things were made by Him” (John 1:1-3).  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Solomon said; it’s only the beginning.  You can’t even start being wise without it.  As evidence we offer some of the bullet points above.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Simmons, Embiid dominate in 76ers’ win over Hawks

first_imgThe Sixers were fired up coming off wins on the road at Dallas and Houston and hit their first six 3s of the game. They led 25-8 and had everything going right in their first win at home this season.In coach Brett Brown’s five seasons, the Sixers had not been at .500 since they were 5-5 on Nov. 15, 2013. They started that season 3-0 and lost the opener — and many more after that — in each successive season.Dennis Schroder scored 25 points and Taurean Prince had 17 for the woeful Hawks.“We’ve got to find a way to eliminate the slow start,” coach Mike Budenholzer said.TIP-INSHawks: G Malcolm Delaney left with a sprained right ankle. He scored eight points. … The Hawks opened the fourth 0 for 11 with four turnovers.76ers: Dario Saric was in the starting lineup for the third straight game and JJ Redick started after he missed the last two games with tightness in his back. … The Sixers had 12 assists on 14 baskets in the first quarter.OKAFOR OUTJahlil Okafor, the No. 3 pick of the 2015 draft, wants out after the Sixers declined to pick up his fourth-year contract option for next season. Buried on the bench, Okafor said he didn’t want the Sixers to pick up his option and is ready for a fresh start. His request to team president Bryan Colangelo that the Sixers buy out the final year of the contract was declined.“I’m just in a position to where, how can I get on the court,” he said. “That’s not happening here and I want to play. Bryan knows that, I’ve talked with him about it. And now it’s tough because my option didn’t get picked up. Teams are not really looking to give up anything when somebody can walk out the door at the end of the season.” And the exclamation point, a thunderous slam in the final minute that had fans standing and chanting “Trust the Process!”Simmons had 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, and Embiid had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to their third straight win, 119-109 over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Yeah, I’ve gotta dunk more,” Simmons said. “I don’t know. I just get out there and I’m like, uhh, these guys are pretty big. Once I start dunking it …”His thought trailed off but the Hawks — and the rest of the NBA — got the message. Simmons is the real deal. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heat top Bulls to end 3-game slide Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has lived up to his top billing in his rookie year. Simmons has scored in double figures in every game and flirted with his second triple-double.Simmons keeps saying he can play better — but the 21-year-old Australian has already joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history with 100 points, 50 rebounds and 40 assists in his first six games.Just how much more is he capable of the rest of the way?“There’s a lot more. Way more,” he said. “I think in a few years, it’s going to be fun.”Robert Covington scored 22 points to help the Sixers (4-4) reach .500 for the first time in four years. The Sixers’ rebuild more commonly known as “The Process,” isn’t a success yet. But it’s November and they don’t have a losing record.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Okafor was selected by former team president Sam Hinkie as a sort of insurance policy in case Embiid could never recover from injuries that cost him the first two seasons of his career. With Embiid sidelined, Okafor led the Sixers in scoring as a rookie with 17.5 points. But injuries limited to him to 50 games last year and he was dropped from the rotation this season. Okafor is healthy and has played just one game this season.The 21-year-old Okafor, out of Duke, is frustrated but said he will remain professional about the situation.“This is my life. This is my career. I’m not getting the opportunity here, which is fine,” he said. “The team looks great. I’m not a part of that. I want the team to do great things, but at the same time, I want to play.”Okafor would have been owed $6.3 million in 2018-19. Okafor has avoided trouble since his rookie season was marred by a series of incidents that included a two-game suspension for his role in a Boston street fight.Okafor hoped a contract buyout would let him latch on with a team and play this season.“Bryan didn’t think that would be a good idea because he said he’d be giving me away to a team for free,” he said. “But that’s pretty much where we stand right now.”Brown said Okafor wasn’t in the rotation for defensive reasons and out of deference to veteran backup Amir Johnson. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillioncenter_img QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ Read Next Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons (25) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins defends. APPHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid was bleeped on TV when Ben Simmons slapped him on the chest during another victorious postgame interview.The highlights reel was hard to watch, anyway, for Atlanta: Simmons switched from his left to right hand mid-air to score a bucket. Simmons let the ball roll high of his right fingertips for another uncontested score.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 View commentslast_img read more

Who will star in Dhyan Chand biopic; Shah Rukh Khan or Ranbir Kapoor?

first_imgAt a time when Bollywood is smitten by sportsmen spirit and their lives, news of new film being made on hockey legend Dhyan Chand are surfacing. Be it Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or the latest on the block Mary Kom, filmmakers are in awe of sports personalities.According to latest reports the film will be helmed by Ila Bedi Dutta, who penned Agneepath, and will be produced by Pooja Shetty.A leading publication reports that Shah Rukh Khan had been approached for this role, but the filmmakers haven’t heard from him for a while now. And now, they are keen on getting Ranbir Kapoor on the block for the main lead role.  Earlier, Ila Bedi was quoted as saying, “I met Shah Rukh to discuss the project. To us, he is the perfect choice for Dhyan Chand. Though we haven’t heard from him yet, we expect him to sign the dotted line.”Also, Abhishek Bachchan, SRK’s co-star in their next film Happy New Year, feels that Shah Rukh can do justice to the role.At Pro Kabaddi League, Abhishek Bachchan, who owns Jaipur Pink Panthers, said, “A sportsman whose life will be fantastic on screen is Major Dhyan Chand. It will be an unbelievable story. These are the stories that need to be told. I told Shah Rukh Khan (during the shoot of Happy New Year) to make a film on it and play the protagonist, because he looks a lot like him. If you see his photo, you ust need to change Shah Rukh’s hair a bit. Shah Rukh was a hockey player. I think he will be fantastic.” Well… lets see, who confirms the news first. But the question is, whom do you want to see as Dhayan Chand on the big screen?advertisementlast_img read more

Afghan cricketer Rashid Khan, IAF skydivers lauded by PM

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Afghan bowler Rashid Khan and air force skydivers who performed yoga mid-air, today came in for praise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Bowler Rashid Khan performed exceedingly well in the IPL earlier this year,” he said, recalling Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghanis words on Twitter that the people of Afghanistan were extremely proud of their hero Rashid. No, we are not giving him to anyone, Modi quoted Ghani as saying in the latest edition of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address. Referring to Afghanistan’s first international test with India in Bengaluru, he said he will cherish it for a “special reason”. Modi said the Indian team did something “that is exemplary for the whole world.” The Indian team, while receiving the trophy, warmly invited the Afghan team which had played its first international match to together pose for photographs, he recalled. “This incident exemplifies the very spirit of sportsmanship. Sports is an excellent route to unite society and to showcase the talents and skills of our youth. I sincerely hope, that in future too, we will play with each other with the best sportsman spirit and shine together,” he said. The prime minister also mentioned the various programmes held the world over to mark the 4th International Day of Yoga. Referring to the events, Modi praised air force personnel who “astounded everyone by performing yogasans in mid-sky, some 15,ooo feet above the earth”. “Spectacular was the fact that they achieved this feat not inside an airplane but while floating mid-air,” Modi said. PTI NAB SCSCadvertisementlast_img read more

Vine: Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash Dropped A Sick No-Look Assist Against OU

first_imgOklahoma State's mascot looks into the camera.OKLAHOMA CITY – MARCH 13: The Oklahoma State Cowboys mascot during the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship Semifinals at the Ford Center March 13, 2009 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)The basketball version of the Bedlam rivalry is taking place tonight in Stillwater, and No. 24 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are involved in a tight contest midway through the second half. Both teams need a victory not only for bragging rights but to keep on track for an NCAA berth. It’s been a quiet night so far for Oklahoma State’s star forward Le’Bryan Nash, but the 6-foot-7 senior does have one major highlight. It came early in the second half, in the form of a gorgeous no-look pass to teammate Michael Cobbins for a dunk.Flashy and effective. This is an entertaining game right now between two bitter rivals.[ H/T: @pistolsguy ]last_img read more

Britain boots 23 Russian diplomats over spy poisoning

first_imgLONDON – Relations between Britain and Russia plunged Wednesday to a chilly level not seen since the Cold War as Prime Minister Theresa May expelled 23 diplomats, severed high-level contacts and vowed both open and covert action against Kremlin meddling after the poisoning of a former spy.Russia said it would respond soon to what it called Britain’s “crude” and “hostile” actions.While May pledged to disrupt Russian espionage and “hostile state activity,” she gave few details about how hard Britain would hit Russian politicians and oligarchs where it really hurts — in their wallets.“Expelling diplomats is a kind of a standard response,” said Natasha Kuhrt, a Russia expert at King’s College London. “I’m not sure it’s going to make Moscow stand up and think.”May told the House of Commons that 23 Russians diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers have a week to leave Britain.“This will be the single biggest expulsion for over 30 years,” May said, adding that it would “fundamentally degrade Russian intelligence capability in the U.K. for years to come.”May spoke after Moscow ignored a midnight deadline to explain how the nerve agent Novichok, developed by the Soviet Union, was used against Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian agent convicted of spying for Britain, and his daughter Yulia. They remain in critical condition in a hospital in Salisbury, southwestern England, after being found unconscious March 4.May said “there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter.”She announced a range of economic and diplomatic measures, including the suspension of high-level contacts with Russia. An invitation for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit Britain has been cancelled, and British ministers and royals won’t attend the soccer World Cup in Russia this summer.May also said Britain would clamp down on murky Russian money and strengthen its powers to impose sanctions on abusers of human rights, though she gave few details.“We will freeze Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of U.K. nationals or residents,” May said, promising to use all legal powers against criminals and corrupt elites, and to “increase checks on private flights, customs and freight.”“There is no place for these people — or their money — in our country,” she said.May said some of the measures “cannot be shared publicly for reasons of national security.”The Russian Embassy in London said the expulsion of diplomats was “totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted.” Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko called Britain’s actions were “a provocation.”Russia did not immediately announce retaliatory measures, but its Foreign Ministry said “our response will not be long in coming.”It said Britain’s “hostile measures” were “an unprecedentedly crude provocation.”Britain called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York at which U.K. and Russian diplomats traded accusations, with Britain blaming the Russian state for the attack and Russia vehemently denying responsibility.Some Russia experts said the measures announced by May were unlikely to make Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government change its behaviour. She didn’t expel Russia’s ambassador or announce sanctions against any individuals or companies.Critics of the British government have long claimed that the U.K. is reluctant to act against Russia because London’s property market and financial sector are magnets for billions in Russian money.“There does not seem to be any real appetite so far to investigate the ill-gotten gains of the Russian elite that have been laundered through London,” said John Lough, an associate fellow in the Eurasia program at the Chatham House think-tank. “It is not clear to me that London’s response will hit the Kremlin where it hurts.”Moscow has denied responsibility for Skripal’s poisoning. It refused to comply with Britain’s demand for an explanation, saying the U.K. must first provide samples of the poison collected by investigators.Some in Russia have suggested that the nerve agent could have come from another former Soviet country.Lawmaker Vladimir Gutenev, a member of Russia’s state commission for chemical disarmament, said Russia had scrapped its stockpile of Novichok.“It is hard to say what may be happening in neighbouring countries,” he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.Britain is seeking support from allies in the European Union and NATO in response to the use of an illegal chemical weapon on British soil. May’s office said President Donald Trump told the prime minister the U.S. was “with the U.K. all the way.”But Britain faces an uphill battle in rallying international backing for any new measures against Moscow.European Council President Donald Tusk said he would put the attack on the agenda at an EU summit meeting next week.The U.N. Security Council — of which Russia is a veto-wielding member — was due to meet later Wednesday at Britain’s request to discuss the investigation.At U.N. headquarters, deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was not in a position to attribute responsibility for the attack, but “he strongly condemns the use of any nerve agent or chemical weapons and hopes that the incident will be thoroughly investigated.”NATO promised to help investigate what it called “the first offensive use of a nerve agent” in Europe or North America since the military alliance was founded in 1949.But it’s unclear what, if anything, NATO can do to put more pressure on Russia. Relations between the old Cold War foes are already poor and short of military action the alliance has little leverage.May said Russia’s use of a chemical weapon was “an affront to the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. And it is an affront to the rules-based system on which we and our international partners depend.”“We will work with our allies and partners to confront such actions wherever they threaten our security, at home and abroad,” she said.___Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov and Jim Heintz in Moscow, Lorne Cook and Raf Casert in Brussels, and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations, contributed to this report.last_img read more

Near Irish border the Brexit drama is followed with alarm

first_imgDUNDALK, Ireland — Families and business owners near the Irish border that separates the United Kingdom from the rest of the EU are watching in apprehension as political chaos in London threatens to torpedo a Brexit deal that aims to avoid a return of customs checks and possible sectarian violence to the region.The border between Britain’s Northern Ireland the European Union’s Republic of Ireland is currently unpoliced and invisible thanks to an EU rule that allows people and goods to travel freely. The main difficulty in the Brexit talks has been how to not disturb that liberty, which has helped to ensure peace since 1998.The big fear in this region is that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan, which aims to safeguard an open border, will fall apart and Britain will leave the EU with no deal on future relations. Overnight, that could bring back customs checks and police watch-points.“I’d be horrified, absolutely horrified if there was some sort of border,” said Jim Deary, who lives in the town of Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland and, at the age of 95, can recall in detail the violence that plagued the region.Just across the invisible border, which is now physically represented by nothing more than a placid river, the sentiment is much the same.“If this falls, Britain is facing, and Northern Ireland is facing, absolute chaos,” says Conor Patterson, the CEO of an agency that promotes economic growth in Northern Irish border regions of Newry and Mourne. “This is not a theoretical risk, these are real risks.”In Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant communities remain divided decades after 30 years of conflict claimed around 3,700 lives. The peace agreement signed in 1998 provides people with the freedom to identify as Irish or British, or both. Having a border could rekindle identity politics and, potentially, violence.May’s deal involves a common customs arrangement for the U.K. and the EU, eliminating the need for border checks, with some provisions that are specific to Northern Ireland. Pro-Brexiteers say that would leave the U.K. too close to the EU, taking its rules for years, and some are trying to get rid of May — as well as her deal, which is due to be voted on in Parliament.Economically, this region has a lot to lose from a return of tariffs and customs checks.In the days of hard borders, trade between the north and south was a fraction of what it is today. It took truck drivers hours to get cleared and across the other side.On average, commercial vehicles cross the border 13,000 times each day. Some go back and forth several times in a single day. So do ships carrying goods to and from the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland. An estimated 30,000 people cross the border every day.The dividing line stretches for 500 kilometres (312 miles) and is dotted with over 250 official road crossings, more than on Europe’s entire eastern flank.For entrepreneurs who founded and grew their businesses here, taking advantage of the highway connecting Dublin to Belfast, the return of border checks is unthinkable.Paddy Hughes has a company selling horse supplements and his factory is smack on the border, on the north side. If you walk out left from his gate you’re on the south side.He has already felt an impact from Brexit, with sales down 35 per cent as buyers in the U.K., where the pound has fallen sharply since the 2016 Brexit vote, worry about the future.“People are unsure how to spend their money, whether to spend their money, where their next money is coming from, how much their money is going to be worth, how much things are going to cost in the future, whether they will have a job,” he says.Some vestiges of the old borders are visible outside Newry, where weeds grow tall around an abandoned customs clearance post where goods used to be checked. Graffiti now covers the metal gates of the inspection booths.Looking back into the past, Deary recalls when as a child he would go swimming at a spot across the border and had to face border guards.“It was difficult. Cars were searched and you were asked for identity,” he says. “Since the borders (are open) it is terrific.”Renata Brito, The Associated Presslast_img read more