Russia signals rainbow flags tolerated at World Cup

first_imgJordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH A signpost directing people to the entrance of the World Cup Final Draw is placed on the Red Square, with the St. Basil cathedral in the background, in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. The Final Draw for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia will take place on December 1 in the concert hall of the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)MOSCOW — Spectators will be allowed to fly rainbow flags at the World Cup, Russia’s top anti-discrimination official for soccer indicated on Thursday.Alexei Smertin, the Russian Football Union official and a World Cup ambassador, said spectators won’t be affected by a Russian law prohibiting “propaganda” of homosexuality to minors.ADVERTISEMENT Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains strong. Russia passed a federal law banning so-called propaganda of homosexuality to minors in 2013, which has been widely criticized for banning gay pride events or discussions of gay rights in public spaces where children might possibly be present.Ahead of Russia hosting the Winter Olympics in 2014, President Vladimir Putin said gay people would be welcome in Sochi but must “leave the children in peace.”In the first major court battle for gay activists who have contested the law, the European Court of Human Rights in June found in favor of three Russian gay activists who claimed the law violated the rights to freedom of expression and prohibition of discrimination. The plaintiffs had been repeatedly rejected in attempts to get official permission to host gay rights protests and other events.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Cavs’ Shumpert to have arthroscopic surgery on left knee center_img Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Malditas save PH from shutout “There will definitely be no ban on wearing rainbow symbols in Russia. It’s clear you can come here and not be fined for expressing feelings,” Smertin said at a news conference in Moscow to discuss race and discrimination issues in football.The former Russia and Chelsea midfielder added it’s unlikely gay fans could fall foul of Russian law, saying, “The law is about propaganda to minors … I can’t imagine that anyone is going to go into a school and speak.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingHis remarks were welcomed by the FARE network, which advises FIFA on discrimination issues.“He’s giving some reassurances and I think in the end that’s all that people want,” FARE executive director Piara Powar told The Associated Press. “People want to know that they can come here safely, that they will be protected, that they are wanted.” Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

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Formula One in talks over second China GP, road race on cards,Formula One in talks over second China GP, road race on cards

first_imgFormula One April 16, 2019 sport Formula One’s landmark 1,000th race took place in Shanghai on Sunday, underlining China’s growing role as the sport’s US-based owner looks to Asia. × SHARE COMMENT Formula One is in talks with six local governments in China this week about holding a second grand prix in the country, a senior F1 official told AFP, with a Beijing road race said to have been floated. A second grand prix — most likely on the streets — would complement the existing one on the $450 million Shanghai International Circuit. No country currently has two Formula One races, although F1 officials are negotiating for a second grand prix in the United States.Formula One’s landmark 1,000th race took place in Shanghai on Sunday, underlining China’s growing role as the sport’s US-based owner looks to Asia.Read More: The cost of success: Big three F1 giants are also biggest spenders A source with knowledge of the matter told AFP that a race on the streets of the Chinese capital Beijing has been raised as one idea. Sean Bratches, Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations, did not confirm or deny the road-race plan for Beijing when approached by AFP.“In terms of interest, we would be highly interested in a street race,” he said.“It would be a nice juxtaposition to the purpose-built, extraordinary facility that we have here,” Bratches told AFP in Shanghai.“Our intent is to bring our show to the people.” Bratches said Formula One chiefs will this week embark on a visit to six potential host cities in China.“There’s meetings set up in each with government officials to talk about identifying a second city to host a grand prix,” Bratches said.“We think there’s an opportunity to grow from that perspective.” ‘Elevate the brand’ Liberty Media, which took over Formula One in early 2017 in a multibillion-dollar deal, is wants to have more street races, believing that is the best way to attract new fans. Next year, the bustling Vietnamese capital Hanoi will host an F1 road race, while on Saturday crowds watched China’s Zhou Guanyu drive a Formula One car in central Shanghai.“If you want to elevate the brand to the casual fan and the non-fan to move them up the ladder to become avids, you’re going to need to… demonstrate and show to them what this sport is about,” Bratches said. The shift to China, the world’s most populous country and home to a growing number of motorsport fans, has angered some traditionalists. There was talk of moving the milestone 1,000th race to Silverstone, in England, the unofficial home of Formula One and which staged the first race back in 1950. But staging it in Shanghai was apt, said Bratches, who says it will not be long until there is a Chinese driver and team in the sport.“It did not take us long to land on Shanghai (for the 1,000th race),” he said.“We have no regrets about it and we’d make the same decision (again).” SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Champions League: Average Lionel Messi is still fantastic: Spurs coach Pochettino

first_imgLionel Messi scores on Argentina return Lionel Messi’s late penalty helps Argentina hold Uruguay 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino lauded Lionel Messi’s consistent brilliance after the Argentine dealt a huge blow to Spurs’ Champions League hopes with a double in Barcelona’s 4-2 win at Wembley on Wednesday. Messi also hit the woodwork twice in a virtuoso display as Barca bounced back from a three-game winless run in La Liga to move alongside Inter Milan at the top of Group B with maximum points from two games.Related News La Liga weekly round-up: 16 years for Lionel Messi; David Villa to retire Harry Kane scored a goal for Tottenham on Wednesday Spurs, by contrast, have lost both of their opening two fixtures and have a mountain to climb to reach the last 16. “He’s a fantastic player. The most important [thing] is Messi shows in every game why he is Messi,” said Pochettino. “His average performance is this type of game. He’s always above everything.” Spurs battled back bravely in the second-half with goals from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela twice reducing Barcelona’s lead to a solitary goal. Pochettino But Pochettino lamented Philippe Coutinho’s second-minute opener when Spurs captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was caught out of position on his first appearance after a five-week injury layoff. “When you start 0-1 down from the changing room that is difficult for the players,” added Pochettino. “The players understand this type of game when you play at this level, it is so difficult to come back. The most important [thing] is the character we showed.” Coutinho described playing alongside Messi as an honour as Barca again came away from Wembley with happy memories having won the European Cup twice at the home of English football in 1992 and 2011. “Everything Messi does on the field is unpredictable,” said the Brazilian. “To play with him is an honour. He’s always doing something new.” Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoeverlast_img read more

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Tata Hexa vs Toyota Innova Crysta

first_imgTata Motors have finally launched the all new Hexa SUV in India. With its introductory price of Rs 11.99 lakh (ex showroom, New Delhi), it seems that Tata Motors have got an edge over its rivals, Mahindra XUV500 and Toyota Innova Crysta. While we have already compared the new Hexa with the XUV500 , this time we compare it with the segment leader, Toyota Innova Crysta. Let’s see how the new car fares against the ‘King of SUVs’.ALSO READ: Tata Hexa launched in India at Rs 11.99 lakhALSO READ: Toyota Innova Crysta launched in Mumbai; prices start at Rs 13.84 lakhPrice: Model     Variant      Price (ex showroom, New Delhi) Tata Hexa     XE 4×2 MT         Rs 11.99 lakh  XM 4×2 MT         Rs 13.85 lakh  XMA 4×2 AT         Rs 15.05 lakh  XT 4×2 MT         Rs 16.20 lakh  XTA 4×2 AT         Rs 17.40 lakh  XT 4×4 MT         Rs 17.49 lakh    Toyota Innova Crysta    2.4 G MT Rs 13.95 lakh  2.4 GX MT Rs 14.84 lakh  2.4 VX MT    Rs 17.68 lakh  2.4 ZX MT    Rs 19.63 lakh  2.7 GX MT     Rs 13.72 lakh  2.7 GX AT     Rs 14.83 lakh  2.7 VX MT     Rs 16.56 lakh  2.7 ZX AT    Rs 19.62 lakh  2.8 GX AT     Rs 16.14 lakh  2.8 ZX AT     Rs 20.93 lakhDesign:Hexa: The Hexa utilizes the new age design philosophy at Tata Motors. This means that it comes with the new IMPACT design philosophy which has been endowed onto the Tiago as well. The designers have tried to infuse a lot of muscle into the Aria. The front end looks sporty thanks to the new headlamps, chrome embellishments and the clamp on bonnet. In profile the 19in wheels add to the rough and tough look. Adding to it are the plastic claddings. At the back too new wraparound tail lamps infuse a certain character to the new Hexa.advertisementTata Hexa interior. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: Tata Hexa vs Mahindra XUV500Innova Crysta: First and foremost the Innova sports a completely new design which makes this people mover look very aggressive and masculine. Up front there is a lot of chrome on the grille and to spice up things, the Innova now gets automatic projector headlamps. The large front bumper also gets a housing for the fog lamp and turn indicator.Toyota Innova Crysta interior. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Engine:      Tata Hexa     Toyota Innova Crysta Displacement     2.2 litre    2.4 litre/ 2.8-litre Max. power     148 bhp@4000 rpm    148 bhp@3400 rpm/ 172 bhp@3400 rpm Max. torque     320 Nm    343 Nm/ 360 Nm Transmission     5-speed MT/ 6-speed AT    5-speed MT/ 6-speed AT Mileage     18.00 Kmpl    15.10 Kmpl/ 14.29 Kmpl Fuel Tank     60- litres    55-litresFeatures:Hexa: The Hexa also comes with a fantastic 10 speaker audio system which offer mind boggling sound quality. The Hexa is also truly feature-rich. Be it six airbags, AWD tech or mood lighting and cruise control, the Hexa has it all. It will also be available with six or seven-seater options. Needless to say, space is the least of the worries of a Hexa passenger.Tata Hexa. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)ALSO READ: Toyota sets the bar high with Innova CrystaInnova Crysta: The driver-friendly instrument panel features a 3D design combination meter with 4.2″ TFT Multi Information Display which allows the driver to access a multitude of information related to vehicle, in-car entertainment, navigation & warnings. The display is positioned optimally allowing the driver to easily access monitor vehicle information while driving.Toyota Innova Crysta. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Dimensions:      Tata Hexa     Toyota Innova Crysta Wheelbase      2850mm     2750 mm Length     4788mm    4735 mm Width     1903mm    1830 mm Height     1791mm    1795 mm Ground Clearance     200mm    167 mmColors:The all new Tata Hexa is available in five color options- Arizone Blue, Platinum Silver, Pearl White, Tungsten Silver and Sky Grey.ALSO READ:Tata Hexa First Drive ReviewThe Toyota Innova Crysta comes in 6 different color option- Garnet Red, Avant Grande Bronze, Super White, Silver, Grey and White Pearl Crystal Shine.last_img read more

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World champion speed skater Elise Christie reveals fight against depression

first_imgShare on Twitter Elise Christie has spoken of a two-year battle with mental health and her joy of coming off antidepressants. The 28-year-old Scottish speed skater is a three‑time world champion but endured high‑profile short track failures at the 2018 Winter Olympics.Christie broke up with her boyfriend, the Hungarian skater Shaolin Sandor Liu, in the wake of her Olympic disappointments and, in a candid Instagram post, revealed the depth of her struggles. Share on Pinterest Health Reuse this content Since you’re here… Share on Messenger Support The Guardian Topics Paralympics GB stunned after Yokohama hotels demand payment for accessibility Mental health Share on LinkedIn Read more Share via Email Share on WhatsApp In the wake of the Sochi Games, Christie was subjected to death threats and abuse online, but said on Thursday: “So this post might come as a surprise to many, but as a huge supporter in raising awareness of mental health, especially in sport and supporting the forward movement of being able to talk more openly, there’s something I feel that’s important to share.“During the time I was on medication for two years I felt I couldn’t openly speak about it, I suffered for two years with depression and anxiety, it prevented me being myself and unfortunately I ended up on antidepressants.“I’m now really proud to say that I’ve officially managed to get myself off antidepressants and become more myself again!” news Christie, who is targeting medals at the 2022 Winter Games, said she was enjoying being free of depression and thanked those who stood by her. “It’s been amazing to feel happiness and sadness again, to not feel nothing … there’s a huge list of people I owe thanks to, especially during my toughest hours when I hid away from the world and locked everyone out … so many people that loved me and were there through it all!” she said.“So a massive thank you to everyone that stood by me, and to those that didn’t you now don’t deserve me at my best! Let’s beat depression together.” … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Winter Olympics Share on Facebooklast_img read more

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10 months agoBarcelona offer Denis Suarez to Arsenal

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Barcelona offer Denis Suarez to Arsenalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona have offered Denis Suarez to Arsenal.The Independent says representatives of the Barcelona man have offered him to top Premier League clubs in a reduced £14m deal.Suarez has privately been told he is surplus to requirements by Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and he is free to leave the club in search of regular first-team football.With London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham also retaining an interest in the midfielder, a previous loan spell could give Arsenal the edge.The 24-year-old playmaker worked with Arsenal boss Unai Emery while on a season-long at Sevilla so the Gunners manager already has a working relationship with the player. last_img read more

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Mexicobased religious groups leader charged with sex crimes

first_imgLos Angeles: The leader of La Luz Del Mundo, an international religious organization based in Mexico, has been arrested in California on charges of human trafficking, child rape and other felonies, authorities said Tuesday. Naason Joaquin Garcia, who heads the organization that claims one million followers worldwide, and three co-defendants allegedly committed 26 felonies in southern California between 2015 and 2018. Garcia and his co-defendants, all of them women affiliated with La Luz Del Mundo (The Light of the World), are accused of coercing minor girls into performing sexual acts by telling them that if they went against the wishes of “the Apostle,” as Garcia was called, they would be going against God. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests'”Crimes like those alleged in this complaint have no place in our society. Period,” California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “We must not turn a blind eye to sexual violence and trafficking in our state.” According to the 19-page charge sheet, the minors, who were members of the church that was founded in 1926, were encouraged to perform “flirty” dances for Garcia while scantily clothed, to touch each other sexually and were sexually assaulted by the guru. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaGarcia also allegedly boasted about “a king having mistresses and stated that an apostle of god can never be judged for his actions.” The complaint states that Garcia, who is being held on 25 million bail, and one of his co-defendants, Alondra Ocampo, also raped a minor between October 1, 2017 and February 8, 2018 in the Los Angeles area. The other two defendants in the case were identified as Azalea Rangel Melendez and Susana Medina Oaxaca. Ocampo and Oaxaca have been arrested while an arrest warrant has been issued for Melendez. Becerra said authorities launched an investigation in 2018 thanks to information submitted to the California Department of Justice through the clergy abuse online complaint form.last_img read more

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Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata 2 pedestrians killed

first_imgKolkata: Two Bangladeshi citizens were killed and another injured in a bizarre late- Friday-night road accident in south Kolkata when a Jaguar travelling at high speed hit a Mercedes sedan which was flung on a Kolkata Police traffic post killing the victims who had taken shelter under it from rain. The traffic post was uprooted from its concrete base due to the ferocity of the impact. The dead identified as Kazi Mohammad Mainul Alam (36) and Farhana Islam Tania (28) were standing under the shed of the traffic post along with another Bangladeshi who is reported to have escaped with injuries in the impact. The accident took place around 1:50 am, only a few metres from the Shakespeare Sarani police station. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “Hearing the impact, cops came running out and took the injured to the hospital, where the two were declared dead,” said a police officer, who refused to be identified. An official of Bangladesh deputy high commission in Kolkata said that Kazi Mohammad, a resident of Jhinaidaha in Bangladesh was in Kolkata for eye treatment and Farhana Islam Tania used to work for Citibank. “We have not been able to speak to the third person, who, we gather, was released after treatment,” said the Bangladeshi official. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Policemen say they have identified the owner of the Jaguar bearing registration number – WB20AU9797. “The vehicle belonged to a biryani outlet on Park Street. We have identified the owner. The culprit would be arrested shortly,” said an officer. The Jaguar was speeding at over 100 km per hour at the time of the accident. The absconding driver has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and rash driving along with some sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. According to the police, the occupants of the Mercedes were also injured but were released after initial treatment. Police officers did not reveal their identity. The bodies of the two victims who had come to Kolkata about two weeks ago are likely to be handed over on Saturday evening. “The bodies are at the morgue of the SSKM Hospital,” the Bangladeshi official said. Only on August 15 night, the son of Bharatiya Janata Party MP Roopa Ganguly was arrested for rash driving when his car hit a wall in Golf Garden area of south Kolkata. However, none was injured in that accident. Vehicles, speeding especially at night, are a headache for the city administration. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been personally monitoring a road safety programme over the past two years.(With inputs from Hindustan Times)last_img read more

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Trinamool Mahila Congress kicks off dharna against BJPs demand

first_imgKolkata: Chandrima Bhattacharya, president of Trinamool Mahila Congress, said on Friday that by raising the demand to declare all the booths in the state as ‘super sensitive’, BJP has actually insulted the people of Bengal, particularly the womenfolk.She was addressing a gathering assembled at the dharna organised by the women’s wing of the party on Rani Rashmoni Avenue on Friday. She said BJP has been insulting Bengal on one pretext or the other. “A caretaker government is being run in Delhi. The Law minister who had raised the demand to declare all the booths in Bengal as super sensitive, does not know the implication of the demand,” Bhattacharya said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”There are 77,000 odd booths in Bengal and 50% of the voters are women. Then are we to believe that the women were engaged in fighting as well? It is an insult to the women in Bengal,” she added. She said BJP is circulating lies on social media to create confusion among the people. “Their leaders seldom speak the truth and they think that by creating confusion they can reap some benefit,” she said. Meanwhile, Shashi Panja, minister of state for Women and Child Welfare and Social Development, said over the past few years in Bengal election is being observed as a festival. “It is a festival of democracy. Before 2011 when there was Left Front rule, people could not cast their votes. But now the situation has changed and the voters come out and stand in long queues to exercise their rights. This is being reflected in the heavy turnout of voters,” said Panja. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaShe alleged that BJP was trying to “create unnecessary tension to scare the people,” adding: “In areas where there is no tension, BJP is circulating fake news to show that the law and order in a particular area has collapsed. BJP is trying to reap benefit by creating confusion among the people.” Panja said BJP has destroyed the sanctity of the institutions in the country set up by the Indian Constitution. “For 42 seats in Lok Sabha, there will be a seven phase election in Bengal. People will have to stand in queues braving the heat in April- May. The people have understood BJP’s gameplan and this will be reflected in the ballot,” she said.last_img read more

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A look at some of the recommendations in Albertas financial report

CALGARY — A panel looking into Alberta’s finances says the province has been overspending for years and needs to make changes. Here are some of 26 recommendations its report makes:— Use alternative medical service delivery, including private clinics, for day procedures and other medical services that don’t have to be done in hospitals.— Limit the high cost of doctor services by having physicians move to alternative payment plans, renegotiate its agreement with the Alberta Medical Association and also consider legislation.— Revise school funding. Specifically decrease the amount that goes to administration and governance.— Lift the current freeze on post-secondary tuition. Have institutions rely less on government grants and more on tuition and alternative revenue sources.— Create legislation that sets salary levels for all public-sector workers and applies to all negotiations and arbitrations. It would form the basis for back-to-work legislation.— Adopt a fiscal rule that limits annual increases in total program spending to the projected increase in total household incomes.— Balance the budget by 2022-23 and introduce a legislated plan to eliminate the net debt by 2043-44.— Establish a fixed budget date.The Canadian Press read more

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UN human rights chief deplores continuing civil society crackdown in Azerbaijan

“Despite my repeated calls to the highest State authorities, including the President himself, undue pressure, harassment and intimidation against journalists, human rights defenders and activists by State authorities continue to be reported in Azerbaijan,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. “I call for the immediate release of all those who have been deprived of their liberty simply for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association or peaceful assembly as well as for defending the rights of others,” he said. According to reports, Ms. Ismayilova’s prosecution may have been connected to her work as an internationally recognized investigative journalist reporting on human rights violations and corruption in Azerbaijan.On 1 September, she was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison on charges of embezzlement, tax evasion, illegal entrepreneurship and abuse of office.Ms. Ismayilova’s trial gave her inadequate time for consultation with her lawyers, with limited public access to hearings, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR). Motions filed by her defence were often rejected. It allegedly failed to meet international fair trial standards.“Ms. Ismayilova’s sentencing is just the latest example of the crackdown on independent voices in the country. Azerbaijani authorities have already jailed a number of other journalists, human rights defenders and activists, including Leyla and Arif Yunus, Intigam Aliyev, Anar Mammadli and Rasul Jafarov, on different questionable charges,” said the High Commissioner. He also noted that his office continues to receive troubling reports of the deteriorating health of several of those imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression, and called on the Azerbaijani authorities to release them on humanitarian grounds. read more

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Ohio State mens volleyball takes 2 in first home matches of the

Junior middle blocker Dustan Neary (18) prepares to spike the ball during a match against Lees-McRae Jan. 17 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorA return to the Eastern time zone was all the Ohio State men’s volleyball team needed to get its first two wins of the season.After dropping three matches last weekend in Hawaii as part of the Outrigger Hotels Volleyball Invitational, the No. 15 Buckeyes (2-3, 0-0) returned home to sweep Lees-McRae and George Mason on back-to-back nights at St. John Arena.In Saturday’s match against the Patriots, the Buckeyes took the three games by a combined 11 points (25-23, 25-22, 25-19) behind a match-high 16 kills from redshirt-junior opposite Andrew Lutz.After the three losses to start the season, the team had been working on certain things all week leading up to its first home weekend of the season.“I think being in Hawaii really exposed what we needed to work on, and in practice the whole week we just worked on those things, and during the game this weekend it definitely showed,” junior middle blocker Dustan Neary said.Friday against Lees-McCrae, OSU was in control from the outset and dominated, winning the three games by scores of 25-12, 25-12 and 25-14. Lutz led the way against the Bobcats, tallying 11 kills.The Buckeyes held Lees-McCrae to a -.133 hitting percentage.OSU has some new faces this season, two of them being redshirt-freshman middle blocker Driss Guessous and Neary, who transferred from Moorpark Community College this year. Neary said getting a chance to play the first home matches of his OSU career was special.“You work really hard in practice to be able to play during the games, and to have that experience on your own court was really cool,” Neary said.Friday, Guessous totaled five kills and five blocks.Guessous said it is “awesome” to be considered a substantial player in the game, and he hopes to be a part of future victories this season.Neary contributed three kills and three blocks Friday night and chipped in eight kills Saturday, which helped the Buckeyes get their second win of the season.“It is cool to know the rest of your team trusts you enough,” Neary said.Up next, OSU is scheduled to travel to Quincy, Ill., to take on the Quincy Hawks (2-1, 0-0) Friday. The match is set to begin at 8 p.m. read more

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Why Cant The Rockets Be The Warriors

We’ve seen all this before. And it was not so long ago.On Tuesday night, with his Houston Rockets up 2 against the streaking Portland Trail Blazers, a little more than three minutes on the clock, James Harden made a three. A few possessions later, he made another. The Rockets won 115-111 to go to 57-14 on the season, best in the NBA and four games up on the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. On both shots, Harden took what would have been called hero ball shots in another context. No other Rocket touched the ball; everyone in the arena knew what Harden would do, and how. Harden has made these shots his signature and his team’s by finding success where others have found only stacks of Rudy Gay box scores. And while the league has come to view the shot as not just unguardable but reliable, it has at times waffled on whether Harden’s team can be trusted. Funny, given the recent history of ascendant teams led by star guards with an unguardable shot.Just a few seasons ago, a team was led by two star guards who hadn’t found much success in the postseason thanks to a history of injuries and bad fortune. It featured a young big man who anchored the defense and epitomized a key facet of modern offenses. It boasted a sixth man who would have been a featured starter on practically any other team, a roster loaded down with dead-eye marksmen and a fleet of versatile wings who could switch assignments and not fall down. This team won the NBA title.(Key: Steph, Klay, Draymond, Andre, just about everyone else, and the top-ranked 2014-15 defense.)The 2014-15 Golden State Warriors were an unexpected development. The team had won 51 games the previous season under then-coach Mark Jackson, and the roster was largely unchanged coming into that season. Once the season began, however, it was clear that something was very different. Golden State won 21 of its first 23 games and finished the season with 67 wins, ranked first in defensive rating and, importantly, second in offensive rating, up from 12th the season before. Yet a broad set of NBA observers doubted that a team playing the way the Warriors did could win a title, even after they’d already won it.This season, the Rockets ran out to a 25-4 record before losing seven of nine games. In each of the losses, they were missing Harden, Chris Paul or Clint Capela. Since then, Houston has lost just three times in 33 games. FiveThirtyEight’s projections expect the Rockets to win 67 games total, up from their tally of 55 last season. They have the top-rated offense not just this season, but for as long as Basketball-Reference.com has been keeping track. They sneak into the top 10 on defense this season as well, an improvement on 18th the previous season. They’re flat good. But you know that by now. What’s important here is that when a team is this good, regardless of what its doubters say, the question isn’t whether it has arrived but whether it will win the title or merely its conference.There are a few ways to slice this. Since 1983-84, this year’s Houston team ties for 20th among all teams in net rating (the difference between points scored and points allowed per 100 possessions) through 71 games. That’s a bigger deal than it may seem, for a few reasons. First, the teams ahead of this season’s Rockets are immensely accomplished. They include four Michael Jordan teams, three Tim Duncan teams, two Laker teams — one Shaq and Kobe, another Magic and Kareem — one Kevin Garnett Celtics team and, of course, the past three versions of the Golden State Warriors. In general, teams at Houston’s level at least win the conference. The teams that didn’t make the finals tended to have extenuating circumstances. The 2012-13 Thunder, for instance, were the top seed in the West but lost Russell Westbrook in the first round and fell to Memphis in the second. The 2011-12 Chicago Bulls lost reigning MVP Derrick Rose in the first game of the first round. And the 2015-16 Spurs faced an exceptionally high level of competition, losing in the second round to a Thunder team that went up 3-1 on the Warriors.1These rankings tend to be sticky. Meaning that the list after 25 games looks a lot like the list after 45 games, which looks a lot like the list after 65 games. Teams shift around a few places, but they do not tend to bomb in or out of the rarified neighborhood. We know that the early season is predictive in sports because players tend to be healthy and rested, but it’s also good to remember that teams playing at an all-time level are seldom flukes.Net rating isn’t the only factor in which Houston is dominating, and as Benjamin Morris wrote for FiveThirtyEight a few seasons back, margin of victory is actually far less predictive in the playoffs than it is in the regular season. In fact, it’s Houston’s wins that make it a playoff force. In the postseason, the difference between two teams’ win totals is much more predictive than margin of victory. If the Rockets finish with 67 wins and the Warriors finish with their projected 61, Morris’s data from his 2016 article suggests that given home court advantage, Houston would win a series 70 percent of the time — even if the two teams were dead-even on margin of victory.The Rockets may not be quite as good as the Warriors were in that first season or as Golden State was in the 73-win 2015-16 campaign. But, then, neither are this year’s Warriors. The team’s injury troubles and continuing sloppiness have turned it into a merely dominant team, not an all-time one. Even if we grant the Warriors a few extra victories because their injury problems have been worse than Houston’s, it would make a prospective series between the two a coin flip, not heavily slanted toward Golden State.And like the Warriors, the Rockets aren’t simply unguardable as a team: They have a player who has mastered an unguardable manner of playing. Harden doesn’t have the same switchblade release as Curry — he can’t dart around a ball screen and have a shot in the air before his man can turn his head. What Harden can do is get just about any switch he wants, thanks to the level at which he and Paul are running the pick and roll, and then, in isolation, he can walk into his now-trademark step-back threes.The pull-up three is increasingly a staple of modern offenses, as defenses have adjusted to the off-ball maneuvering that good offenses use to free up shooters. Harden leads the league in pull-up threes per game, taking 8.0 and making 39.0 percent of them. Paul is third on the list, taking 5.2 per game and making 38.5 percent of them.2The Blazers’ Damian Lillard sits between the two at 5.4 pull-up threes per game. As a team, the Rockets are taking 16.5 pull-up threes per game and making 35.9 percent. The next-closest team, the Los Angeles Clippers, takes 10.0 per game. Even if its primary pick-and-roll engine sputters, Houston has an entire extra, independent dimension to carry its offense through dry spells, like Curry’s pull-ups or like Kevin Durant’s mastery of contested shots in last summer’s finals.Nothing the Rockets could do this season would make them meaningful favorites to most NBA fans against a healthy Warriors team in the playoffs. Nothing the Warriors could do would do that, either. That’s probably correct: There are many things most projection systems, like FiveThirtyEight’s CARM-Elo, can’t spot, such as player injury, which undermine the edge Houston holds by the numbers. Golden State is a dominant champion with what is now a considerable track record of excellence. It’s tough to be favored heavily against that. But there is also now sufficient evidence to declare that Houston is squarely in Golden State’s weight class, just as there was for Golden State when it arrived on the scene.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (March 22, 2018, 5:15 p.m.): A previous version of this article mistakenly said that James Harden played in Houston’s Jan. 4 loss to Golden State. He was out with a strained hamstring. read more

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Ohio State baseball needs mindset to win in UCF Tournament

Then-sophomore pitcher John Kuchno (45) throws the ball during a game against Northwestern May 6, 2012, at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 4-1.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorEven though Columbus is currently experiencing some of its warmest temperatures this winter, the Ohio State baseball team isn’t quite tepid enough.A week after splitting a four-game tournament slate in Florida, OSU (2-2, 0-0) looks to bounce back as it returns to the Sunshine State this weekend for its second tournament in as many weeks.The Buckeyes are set to be a part of the UCF Tournament in Orlando, playing host Central Florida Friday, The Citadel Saturday and Oklahoma Sunday.Redshirt-junior pitcher and first baseman Josh Dezse said it is important OSU has a productive week of practice and rolls into this weekend with a mindset to win.“They are going to be three great teams. These are teams we can’t take lightly. Any games we can’t take lightly if we want those 40 wins to get into the national tournament at the end of the year,” Dezse said. “We’re going to go down, we’re going to play Buckeye baseball like we know how to play, and hopefully the outcome is in our favor.”Even though Central Florida has a reputation for a being a strong ball club — one that has made it to the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years — junior outfielder Pat Porter said OSU should be in the thick of it Friday.“It should be a good game. I hear they have some pretty good guys and they’re a pretty solid team,” Porter said. “I think we’re a really solid team too though and we can definitely hang with them.”Senior pitcher Greg Greve and junior pitcher Ryan Riga look to set the tone for the Buckeyes in Orlando as the top two starting pitchers in OSU’s rotation.Riga, who led the Buckeyes to a 1-0 win over Auburn Feb. 15 with six shutout innings was named Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.“Riga was just on point against Auburn. We couldn’t ask him to throw a better game than that. It was very impressive,” Dezse said.Junior pitcher and closer Trace Dempsey said the Buckeyes have to work on slowing down the game and other fundamentals this week in practice.“We got exposed in a couple areas of the game. It showed there is always stuff to improve on,” Dempsey said. “We’re going to work on that this week here at practice, get a good week of practice in and head down to Orlando.”Scoring no runs in the first or second innings of their first four games, the Buckeyes are aiming to get baserunners on early in Orlando, Porter said.“We talked about how important each pitch of the game is and how important getting the first batter on base is,” Porter said.Dempsey added that even if the Buckeyes do get behind early, they have the ability to compete in any situation.“We can play from behind and we can come out hot early — we can play all facets of the game,” Dempsey said.After missing all of last season with a stress reaction in his back, Dezse said he was relieved to get a hit in the Buckeyes’ first game of the season against Connecticut last weekend.“It was really nice because I know I was stressing just a little bit. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the field and getting that (hit) out of the way really loosened me up,” Dezse said.With the first weekend behind them and the season underway, all that matters for OSU moving forward is getting victories, Dezse said.“Obviously, we started out hot with two wins and we played OK, but then OK wasn’t to our expectation,” Dezse said. “We expected to play a little bit better than that. What we take away is we have some things to work on.”First pitch between OSU and Central Florida is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday. read more

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Tusk tells EU You cannot betray the 6 million people who signed

first_img Wednesday 27 Mar 2019, 9:53 AM Mar 27th 2019, 9:53 AM https://jrnl.ie/4562871 Appeal to EP: You should be open to a long extension, if the UK wishes to rethink its strategy. 6 million people signed the petition, 1 million marched. They may not feel sufficiently represented by UK Parliament but they must feel represented by you. Because they are Europeans.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 27, 2019 By Sean Murray 37,228 Views Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT Donald Tusk has told the European Parliament that its members “should be open if the UK wishes to rethink its British strategy”.Addressing parliamentarians in Strasbourg, Tusk said the possibility remains that the UK could seek a long extension to its Brexit process.“It would of course mean the UK’s participation in the European Parliament elections,” he said.At last week’s European summit, EU leaders agreed to delay the day of Britain’s departure from the bloc by three weeks until 12 April, while Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to ratify a withdrawal treaty.But many on the continent – most vocally France’s President Emmanuel Macron – oppose a longer extension, concerned it would disrupt the European Parliament elections that start on 23 May. Share1034 Tweet Email2 Source: Donald Tusk/Twitter 111 Comments Tusk tells EU: ‘You cannot betray the 6 million people who signed the petition to revoke Article 50’ Tusk said today that the European Parliament must stand with pro-European Brits if the UK seeks an Article 50 extension. They may feel they are not sufficiently represented by the UK parliament. But they must feel they are represented by you in this chamber because they are Europeans. His comments come with the House of Commons today set to debate and hold a series of indicative votes on Brexit that could point the way towards the next steps the UK will take in the coming weeks.MPs will have the chance to vote on various options such as revoking Article 50 and cancelling Brexit, holding another referendum, a deal including a customs union and single market membership or leaving the European Union without a deal.Even if MPs decide a majority course of action today, it won’t be legally binding and could be ignored by the government.With reporting from AFP, Órla Ryan You cannot betray the 6 million people who signed the petition to revoke Article 50, the 1 million who marched for a people’s vote or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the European Union. Short URL If Britain is still an EU member on that date, it would have to take part in the vote, and wrangling over Brexit would continue to disrupt the European political agenda for months or years to come.On Saturday, an estimated 1 million people marched through London calling for a people’s vote on Brexit. Similarly, a petition calling for Article 50 to be reversed is nearing 6 million signatures.“Then there were voices saying it would be inconvenient or harmful to some of you [if UK takes part in European elections]. Let me be clear – such thinking is unacceptable,” Tusk said.last_img read more

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WWE RAW Ratings Viewers down April 22 Big drop in ratings during

first_img WWE Confirms The Shield And Ronda Rousey At Super Show-Down John Oliver Takes On The WWE Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp John Oliver Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud Jamal Khashoggi Was Vince McMahon Reluctant To Let AJ Styles Join WWE? Wrestleview Live #65: Reviewing and discussing WWE Clash of Champions from Charlotte WWE Still Moving Forward With Crown Jewel Event In Saudi Arabia The RAW Ratings are in for April 22, 2019.This week’s edition from Des Moines, Iowa, drew an average of 2.374 million viewers on Monday night according to a report by Showbuzzdaily.com.This is down from last week’s show that averaged 2.67 million viewers.WWE came in at No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 for the night on cable, which is where they placed last week in the 18-49 demographics.The first hour drew the strongest audience (2.680 million viewers).Hourly Breakdowns and Demographics for WWE RAWHour 1: 2.680 (down from 2.760 million viewers last week)Hour 2: 2.296 (down from 2.690 million viewers last week)Hour 3: 2.146 (down from 2.546 million viewers last week)This week’s RAW, headlined by AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin, averaged a 0.81 rating among adults 18-49. This is down from last week’s 0.91 rating.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipJohn Oliver Takes On The WWEVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:34/Current Time 0:02Loaded: 100.00%0:02Remaining Time -0:32 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 Now Playing Up Next Mike Tedesco RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Pinterest Videos Articles WWE Clash of Champions Results – 9/15/19 (Rollins vs. Strowman, Kingston vs. Orton) Google+ Twitter Facebook Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Video: Watch the live WWE Clash of Champions Kickoff Show from Charlotte tonightlast_img read more

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Ancelotti More Cholismo Less Sarriball

first_imgCarlo Ancelotti hinted his side are gradually dropping Maurizio Sarri’s approach in favour of Atletico Madrid’s style of play.Sarri’s approach has come under scrutiny at Chelsea, with rumours of a sack circulating following a poor run of results.However, Ancelotti who has won the Champions League thrice hinted his tactics is different from that of his predecessor.“I am less rigid now on a tactical level than I was when I started out,” Ancelotti confessed to Il Napolista and cited on Football Italia.“I remain committed to the principles of organisation, movement off the ball, a high tempo and aggressive defence, but have become more elastic in terms of applying these principles.“I do think possession is important to control a game, but it has to lead to something. Just look at how the role of the goalkeeper has changed.“The statistics say now that the players with the most touches are centre-backs and goalkeepers. That’s not right, in my book. Keeping possession that deep is naturally easier, but it isn’t very effective.“Do you know how many times a team scores a goal after more than 20 passes? In a year, it might happen twice. You tend to score goals after five or six passes. I think the only time we did it was with Simone Verdi against Torino.“If there’s the possibility of playing out from the back, that’s good, but if you risk getting stuck back there, it’s better not to bother.”carlo ancelotti, napoliAncelotti is fuming at the state of Napoli’s changing rooms George Patchias – September 12, 2019 Carlo Ancelotti is fuming about the clubs failure to complete renovations at the clubs home stadium including the changing rooms.Most managers complain about a…Ancelotti: Selfishness on the pitch is the one thing that drives me crazy https://t.co/FL9fjU6kw4 pic.twitter.com/MPkC1XeOFZ— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) February 23, 2019Does that mean Ancelotti wants to mould Napoli in the form of Atletico Madrid?“I think at the end of the day quality does pay off, but the quality must be supported by many other values that are just as important, such as determination, grit and in certain circumstances hunger, the taking on of responsibility.“It’s what in Naples you call ‘cazzimma’. I’d like to see that kind of Napoli. If you ask me: ‘Do you prefer to have a team with character or one that plays good football?’ My response is, I prefer a team that plays good football. If you have a team that plays well and has character, then that’s even better.“I believe a Coach has to seek quality football, then character and a winning mentality grow with time. Sometimes you get players who are a little fragile in terms of character, but if you give them a very clear idea of what they have to do on the pitch with organisation, then they start to get more confident.“If you send a nervous player out there with few tactical indications, he’s not going to perform.”last_img read more

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State Treasurer Announces Latest Release Of Unclaimed Property Listings

first_imgBOSTON, MA — Massachusetts State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg recently announced the latest grouping of names that have been added to the state’s list of unclaimed property owners.Over 45,000 new properties worth millions of dollars are owed to individuals and businesses throughout the commonwealth.“We currently hold over $3.4 billion in unclaimed property at treasury, and it could be yours,” said Goldberg. “One in 10 Massachusetts residents are owed money. Call our office today to begin the claims process.”Unclaimed property includes forgotten savings and checking accounts, un-cashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, dividends, and the contents of unattended safe deposit boxes. Most accounts are considered abandoned and are turned over to the state after three years of inactivity. Last year, treasury processed over 123,000 claims and returned over $125 million in property to its rightful owners.This newly released list includes only individuals and businesses with unclaimed property over $100. Goldberg urged all citizens to check the comprehensive list for all amounts at https://findmassmoney.com or call the live call center at 888-344-MASS (6277).The treasury releases an updated list of unclaimed property assets every six months as the new accounts are turned over to the commonwealth. There is no time limit for a person to claim this property and, in many cases, claimants will receive interest.(NOTE: The above press release is from the State Treasurer’s Office.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedState Treasurer Announces Latest Release Of Unclaimed Property ListingsIn “Government”State Treasurer Announces 54,000 NEW Unclaimed Property Listings In MassachusettsIn “Government”State Treasurer Announces 46,000 New Unclaimed Property ListingsIn “Government”last_img read more

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Fords Robutt is a sweaty robot butt for testing vehicle seats

first_img Ford Enlarge ImageI was going to put a pun here, butt then I thought better of it. Ford It’s no robotic Richard Simmons, but Ford’s latest robot is all about shakin’ its mechanical booty — for science.Ford this week unveiled the Robutt, which is a name I couldn’t have made up if I tried. It’s basically a fake derrière that’s meant to simulate a person who’s hopping into a car after some exercise. The point of the Robutt is to ensure the automaker’s seats can handle a buttload of abuse. Here’s how it works. The Robutt is basically a soft pad attached to one of Ford’s Kuka robots. Roughly half a gallon of water stands in for human sweat, and the Robutt “sits, bounces and twists” some 7,500 times. It’s meant to emulate 10 years’ worth of seat abuse in just three days. Ford also noted that it shaped the Robutt’s tuchus to resemble that of “a large man.”Sadly, while this is the one robot people would love to see at CES, it’s not there. It’s not even in the US — Ford Europe is responsible for the Robutt, and it’ll be used to test seats for Ford vehicles being sold in Europe, so you can bet your butt that a little bit of sweat won’t stank up your Euro-spec Fiesta permanently. News • 2019 Ford Ranger recalled for improperly assembled seatbelts 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Review • 2019 Ford Ranger review: A midsize truck champ 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Share your voice Auto Tech Car Culturecenter_img More about 2019 Ford Ranger Preview • 2019 Ford Ranger: Bad mudder trucker 1 More From Roadshow Tags Comment Fordlast_img read more

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Islamic State group rigs currency rates in Mosul to prop up finances

first_imgIslamic State group militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul are manipulating the exchange rate between US dollars and Iraqi dinars to squeeze money out of local people as coalition bombers attack the group’s finances.The US-led coalition has said that in addition to attacking Islamic State group’s fighters and leaders it will go after financial infrastructure too.Air strikes have reduced Islamic State group’s ability to extract, refine and transport oil, a major source of revenue that is already suffering from the fall in world prices. Since October the coalition says it has destroyed at least 10 “cash collection points” estimated to contain hundreds of millions of dollars.US military officials say reports of Islamic State group cutting fighters’ wages by up to half are proof that the coalition is putting pressure on the group.Average pay has been cut from $400 to $200 a month. While wages for foreign fighters, which were between $600 to $800, have also been cut, it is not clear by how much, said US Army Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the international coalition.Yet the militants, who have near total control of the local economy, appear to have adapted to these setbacks in Mosul by introducing a new revenue stream.The group earns dollars by selling basic commodities produced in factories under its control to local distributors, but pays monthly salaries in dinars to thousands of fighters and public employees, currency traders in Mosul told Reuters.It earns profits of up to 20 percent under preferential currency rates it imposed last month that strengthen the dollar when exchanged for smaller denominations of dinars, they said.”Daesh sells (the products) to traders in dollars, but it pays salaries in small denominations of dinars,” said an exchange bureau employee in Mosul, using an Arabic acronym to refer to Islamic State group.At the official rate set by the Iraqi government, $100 is currently valued at around 1,18,000 dinars.In Mosul, the same amount costs 1,27,500 dinars when purchased with 25,000-dinar notes, the largest bill in circulation, according to the owner of a currency exchange bureau. The rate rise to 1,55,000 dinars when purchased with 250-dinar notes – the smallest bill available. Islamic State group prefers the larger bills as they are easier to transport.’NOBODY WOULD RISK IT’Three other currency traders confirmed those details. They all spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity for fear of being punished by Islamic State group. Security restrictions in areas the group controls prevented Reuters from independently verifying their accounts.It was not possible to determine how much money Islamic State group is making by controlling the currency market. It was also unclear if these practises extended beyond Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State group’s control, to other territories in Iraq and Syria.Parallel trading at more competitive rates is very limited, traders said, because Islamic State group has threatened to confiscate the money of anyone who breaks the rules. If it happens, it is in complete secrecy.”Nobody would risk it,” one of the traders told Reuters.Islamic State group, which is frozen out of traditional financial institutions by international sanctions, operates a cash economy and controls most means of production, including factories producing cement, flour and textiles.US officials have described it as the world’s wealthiest terrorist group. The group looted nearly half a billion dollars from banks in areas it seized in 2014, and besides smuggling oil has derived millions of dollars from taxes and ransoms.In January, the coalition said air strikes against Islamic State group’s oil facilities had cut the group’s oil revenues by about 30 percent since October, when US defence officials estimate the group was earning about $47 million per month.Iraqi authorities want to retake Mosul this year from Islamic State group, which poses the largest threat to the country’s security since the US-led invasion in 2003. That is also part of the US strategy for defeating the group.Warren said air strikes against Islamic State group’s financial infrastructure were “body blows like a shot to the gut”.”(It) may not knock you out today but over time begins to weaken your knees and cause you to not be able to function the way you’d like to,” he told reporters last week.Eyewitnesses said the latest target was the central bank building in Mosul, destroyed in an air strike this month.A photo published by Amaq, a news agency that supports Islamic State group, showed the collapsed building surrounded by other destroyed structures; no obvious sign remained of its former role in regulating Iraq’s financial system.last_img read more

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