first_imgPanaji, Dec 7 (PTI) Dempo FC today pulled out from the I-League for the upcoming season in protest against AIFFs proposed roadmap to restructure domestic football, dealing another body blow to the sport in India. Earlier, Salgaocar FC and Sporting Dempo FC pulled out from the league. All the three Goan club owners – Shivanand Salgaocar, Shrinivas Dempo and Peter Vaz, had taken a united stand on 23rd June, 2016 to oppose the restructuring that makes Indian Super League(ISL) a top-tier league and relegates I-League to the second division or League One as it will be called. With the deadline for submiting the participation agreement ending today, Dempo wrote to the AIFF that they too have pulled out from the I-League. The five-time champions, Dempos pull-out leaves the AIFF with a major headache as the I-League now has only seven clubs – East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, DSK Shivajians, Mumbai FC, Shillong Lajong and Aizawl FC, who were reinstated after being relegated last season. PTI MCS AH AHlast_img read more

first_imgWomen’s Tennis Association Chief Executive Steve Simon has defended the wildcard entry awarded to former world number one Maria Sharapova for the Stuttgart Open following her 15-month doping ban.While some say the five-times grand slam champion, initially banned for two years after testing positive for Meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, has done her time some fellow players are angry the red carpet is being rolled out.Sharapova will play Italian Roberta Vinci in the Round of 32 of the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday and Simon believes the ban was more extensive than previous offenders.”You have to look at how other leagues and tours have handled players who have come back,” Simon told BBC Sport. “They come right back to the team and start playing.”She is starting at ground zero. It is going to affect her seedings in big tournaments so she’s still going to pay a penalty for a while.”If you think about it from other leagues, most of them (bans) are half of a season or a full season. She’s had a year and a half.”Former world number one Kim Clijsters also supported the decision to let Sharapova compete in the tournaments.”I was disappointed and surprised when the news came out but, having been on both sides of the spectrum as a tournament director and as a player, I don’t think she needs to be punished more,” Clijsters said.ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

first_imgEngland are close to finalising their squad for the 50-overs World Cup in May with a decision over all-rounder Jofra Archer set to be the “final piece of the jigsaw”, coach Trevor Bayliss has said.Barbados-born Archer, who shone for Sussex last season and in Australia’s Big Bash Twenty20 competition for Hobart Hurricanes, will be eligible for national selection next month under new England and Wales Cricket Board residency rules.The 23-year-old can add a new dimension to the England lineup with his ability to bowl in excess of 90 miles per hour and his lower-order power-hitting skills.”We’ve pretty much had the same 15, 16 or 17 players over the last three or four years,” Bayliss told Sky Sports.”We could probably name a 15, there’s a Jofra Archer decision to be made at a later date. I think it’s getting down to that being the final piece of the jigsaw.”Also Read | Peter Handscomb wants to don gloves in ODIs, ready to work on fitnessAlso Read | Chris Gayle is special and a hero to young players, says Darren Bravolast_img read more

first_imgBCCI acting President CK Khanna and COA member Diana Edulji on Thursday lauded India’s performance in the World Cup following the team’s heartbreaking loss against New Zealand in the semifinals.India, who had topped the league stage, did not play their potential in the knock-out game to lose by 18 runs.”The team played well. It was just unfortunate that the game went into the second day. Three early wickets put the team on the backfoot completely. Then it was a great recovery from Jadeja and Dhoni. It was a case of so close but yet so far. Hats off to Jadeja and Dhoni for the way they played,” Edulji told PTI.Chasing a modest target of 240, the Indian top order suffered a stunning batting collapse to leave the team reeling at 24 for four. Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni’s (50) seventh-wicket partnership put India back in the game but the latter’s run-out tilted the match in New Zealand’s favour.India’s loss also fuelled speculation over Dhoni’s retirement but Edulji said the the World Cup winning captain showed in the tournament that he still has a lot of cricket left in him.”I completely appreciate the way he played in the whole tournament. That (retirement) is his personal decision. Only he can take that decision and it is his body which has to answer him. I still feel that he has a lot of cricket left in him. The youngsters in the team still need his mentorship, ” Edulji, herself a former India captain, added.advertisementKhanna too applauded the efforts of the Indian team.”It was a tough game and I think our boys played their hearts out. No one wants to lose a game. Each player tried really hard but it was just not our day,” Khanna said.”India played brilliant cricket in league phase. I am sure our team will work hard and come up with more success in future. Congratulations to New Zealand team. I wish them all the best,” he said.Also Read | Sachin Tendulkar on MS Dhoni retirement speculation: It’s his personal decision, he should be given that spaceAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma must be feeling terrible, says Sachin TendulkarAlso See:last_img read more

first_imgMinister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has given the Government’s commitment to continue to work towards ensuring that more local companies can gain access to overseas markets. He made the comment during a tour of Rainforest Seafoods’ new state-of-the-art facilities on Friday (January 25) on Slipe Pen Road in Kingston, where he lauded the company’s efforts towards gaining access to markets in the European Union (EU) and other parts of the world. He said the Government fully supports these endeavours. “The challenge now is for us to really believe in ourselves to empower and invest in our workforce, continually improve our export performance in an increasingly competitive international environment, and to demonstrate…excellence,” he stated. The Minister commended Rainforest on opening the 30,000 square foot processing plant, which he said is a major step forward for the company and Jamaica. “The opening of this facility means the creation of at least 100 new jobs. This investment will anchor the company in Jamaica for the foreseeable future, thereby contributing to the further creation of employment and export opportunities,” Mr. Hylton said. “I want to say thank you to the Rainforest team for your continuous faith in Jamaica, for sustaining your investment and presence here throughout the years, and for putting your hearts and your money into this project,” Mr. Hylton stated. Chief Executive Officer of Rainforest Seafoods, Brian Jardim, said he was “very excited” about the prospects of the new processing plant.  “It has been our labour of love for almost three years and what you see today is the very early stages of our production,” Mr. Jardim said. Rainforest Seafoods is the Caribbean’s largest supplier of premium quality fish and seafood. From its two large distribution centres strategically located in Kingston and Montego Bay, the company supplies domestic and Caribbean markets. It distributes over 400 types of fish and assorted shellfish sourced from recognised suppliers around the world in both fresh and frozen forms. Currently, the business sells frozen and raw products to nine islands across the Caribbean. A total of $1billion has been invested in the Slipe Pen Road facility.last_img read more

first_img What a blessing it is for us to celebrate and commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we acknowledge that He is the reason for the season. Story Highlights Take a walk with me down memory lane, as we revisit the old time Jamaican Christmas. Children are happy, laughing and playing, families coming together, the barrels cleared, carols playing, traditional spirited sorrel and fruitcake being made. What a blessing it is for us to celebrate and commemorate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we acknowledge that He is the reason for the season.Take a walk with me down memory lane, as we revisit the old time Jamaican Christmas.Children are happy, laughing and playing, families coming together, the barrels cleared, carols playing, traditional spirited sorrel and fruitcake being made.Rice and gungo peas being cooked, the aromatic smell of every kind of meat is on the table for the Christmas feast.No one is left out. Sounds of merriment can be heard in every rural community and every urban place, grand market, Junkanoo and Christmas Service.Nowhere in this narrative, is there any room for violence, our children are safe, returning residents have no fear, no guns are about, peace and love, joy and kindness abound.This is the true, authentic Jamaican Christmas we can enjoy once more, where everyone is looking out for each other, spreading good vibes and good cheer.I am certain that in many parts of Jamaica the nostalgic Christmas scene I described is unfolding, but sadly, in other areas, people are being impacted by violence.There are elderly people in need of our kindness, homeless people in need of food; children in need of something to put a smile on their faces.I invite you to remember the poor, the sick, the disabled, the forgotten and marginalized this season, let them benefit from our charity.We know that each year we are faced with challenges, butJamaicans are hardworking and resilient, no matter what the challenges are, we will overcome.– Despite hardships, we will persevere;– Despite disappointments, we press on and;– Despite challenges, we will rise.It is within our power to make small yet meaningful impacts on the lives of everyone we encounter.It is within our capacity to build peaceful communities and to ensure that this season and always, every Jamaican feels safe, loved and valued.Let us demonstrate the true meaning of our Jamaican spirit, giving with love, being good neighbours, and good countrymen and women.As I wish all Jamaicans the joy the season brings, I acknowledge the members of the security forces and the essential services. You all work tirelessly to serve and protect and look after the needs of our people and you do so selflessly, every day, even on Christmas day. We recognize your sacrifice and we are truly grateful.As we celebrate this Christmas season I leave you with Luke 2:14, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.On behalf of Juliet and the boys and the entire Government; I wish you peace, love and prosperity.Merry Christmas Jamaica.last_img read more

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia will eliminate the province’s seven English language school boards and remove principals and vice-principals from the teachers union as part of sweeping changes to the education system, the government announced Wednesday.Education Minister Zach Churchill said the Liberal government’s decision to adopt all 22 recommendations included in a report by consultant Avis Glaze will change the education system “for the better” and improve student success.The initial phase will see the province move on 11 recommendations, including the elimination of the elected boards.“Dr. Glaze has challenged us to take a hard look … and move forward in a way that is challenging and that is disruptive to the status quo,” said Churchill.He said the regional school boards will be replaced by a single appointed provincial advisory council, while the Acadian school board would remain intact, as recommended.Churchill said the details on dissolving the boards are still a work in progress and would have to wait until changes to the Education Act are tabled in the legislature.He said the intent is to have the new advisory council in place in time for the next school year in September. Churchill said there would be no layoff notices issued to central board staff, while cuts to the administrative structure of school boards would eventually occur through attrition.He said the change is needed to mend what’s become a fractured administrative system.“It has not allowed us to respond or adapt as quickly as we need to, to the changing and developing needs of our kids. By unifying that system operationally, I think that will give us a better opportunity to do that.”In a report released Tuesday, Glaze said Nova Scotia’s education system is not working as it should because of a “lack of clarity and coherence” and its administration should be aligned into a single model.Hank Middleton, president of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, said while the boards realize change is needed, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the elected bodies.Middleton said the government is moving the province from “educational democracy to educational bureaucracy.”“This is a major change with long-term implications and no guarantee of saving any funding or giving people more voice,” he said. “It drives me crazy that in the province of Joseph Howe and responsible government we’re eliminating elected school boards.”However, Glaze’s report argues that the high number of acclaimed candidates and relatively low voter turnout make it difficult to argue school boards are “high-functioning models of local democracy.”Glaze said results from the October 2016 school board elections showed 63 per cent of candidates were acclaimed.“It would certainly be challenging to paint that as a portrait of a vibrant democracy in action,” she wrote.In recommendations that were dismissed by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, Glaze also called for a provincial college of educators aimed at giving teachers more professional standing and improving public confidence in the education system.She also said principals and vice-principals should be moved into a new professional association to eliminate the “conflict of interest” that exists with both management and employees being in the same union.Churchill said the government has the authority to make that change.“But I don’t want that to be interpreted to mean that we are not going to be working with them (the union) through the transition,” said Churchill.The minister said the government would likely make up any “shortfall” in union dues so as not to put it at a financial disadvantage.Union president Liette Doucet called the government’s offer of transitional help “insulting” and said the union will consider what options are available to fight the proposed change.“The union will not sell its members — we are not going to take a bribe from this government,” Doucet said.last_img read more

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she wants the National Energy Board to act quickly to remove roadblocks on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project placed by the City of Burnaby, B.C.The city hasn’t issued necessary permits to allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) to expand its pipeline from the Edmonton area to a tank farm and port in Burnaby.Trans Mountain wants the board to clear the work to begin on the project and Notley agrees.She says Burnaby is “overreaching extensively” and should not be allowed to hold up projects that are of national significance.Notley says the project has already been approved by both the federal and B.C. governments and she intends to continue making her arguments when she travels to British Columbia later this month.She also welcomes word that the Saskatchewan government says it has applied for intervener status in NEB hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline project.last_img read more

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungarian rescuers say that preparations to raise a sunken tour boat out of the Danube River are mostly finished and the lifting of the wreckage is “not far” from happening.Rescue spokesman Nandor Jasenszky said Monday that wire straps to raise the Hableany (Mermaid) have been put in place by divers, with other arrangements still pending.Nineteen South Koreans and a Hungarian crewman are confirmed dead and eight people are still missing after a May 29 collision with a river cruise ship.Seven people were rescued after the nighttime crash at Budapest’s Margit Bridge.Police also said they would again inspect the Viking Sigyn, the cruise ship involved in the collision, which sailed on shortly after the crash but was back in Hungary, docked Monday at the town of Visegrad.The Associated Press read more

Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala has decided to resign from his Parliament post.Sumathipala made the announcement at a media briefing in Colombo today. The United National Party had then demanded that Sumathipala resign from his post as Deputy Speaker. (Colombo Gazette) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party member is was among 16 SLFP members who left the Government and sat with the opposition.Sumathipala had also voted in support of a no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which was eventually defeated in Parliament. read more

The Los Angeles Kings were the top team in the NHL this season, according to the most predictive team statistic hockey’s analytics movement has to offer. Now they’re down two games to none against the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs, and in real danger of being eliminated in the first round. How rare is it to see a “fancystats” darling like the Kings fail this early in the chase for the Stanley Cup?First, a bit of background is in order. One of the major breakthroughs in hockey analytics came within the last five years, when analysts realized that instead of relying on conventional indicators like winning percentage or even goal differential, a team’s future performance could be more effectively predicted by its rate of puck-possession. One proxy measurement for this comes under the silly-sounding name “Fenwick close,” which measures the percentage of all even-strength shots taken by a team in its games, after adjusting for score effects. (Overall Fenwick looks at a team’s shots directed at the goal — including missed shots but excluding blocked shots — expressed as a percentage of the total shots in the game.)Since Fenwick became widely available in the 2007-08 season, the close measure has had an impressive résumé in the NHL postseason. From 2008 to 2010, two of the league’s top regular-season Fenwick close teams have won the Stanley Cup (Detroit in 2008 and Chicago in 2010) and a third came within a game of winning the trophy (Detroit in 2009). The track record for Fenwick close leaders after that is more spotty, with zero league finals berths among them, but those teams still advanced to the conference finals twice in three seasons. So in recent years, it’s pretty unheard of for a team like the Kings — this season’s Fenwick close No. 1 — to fall in the first round.But that’s only a six-season sample. What about similar teams before that? Unfortunately, we don’t have the data to compute Fenwick prior to 2007-08, but we can estimate it for older teams using regression analysis. As I and others have shown before with historical plus/minus in the NBA and historical QBR for NFL quarterbacks, if you want to estimate a newer metric for years before it was tracked, you have to find statistics that were tracked at the time and are correlated with the advanced metric in question (assuming the data meets the requirements for regression).After performing such an analysis on hockey stats website BehindTheNet’s Fenwick close sample from the 2007-08 through 2012-13 seasons, I found three conventional metrics that together explain roughly 88 percent of the variance in team Fenwick close:Shots-per-game differential: This one’s pretty obvious: Fenwick is, at its most basic level, a measure of how much a team outshoots opponents.Point percentage: This variable works as a proxy for score effects, which cause a team in the lead to go into a defensive shell, artificially suppressing its shot differential.Power-play goals-per-game differential: This factor essentially measures whether teams are getting more power plays than their opponents, in addition to the quality of a team’s power-play unit — both of which will affect SPG differential without affecting Fenwick.*(* Note: I didn’t use actual PP goals allowed when calculating the differential — the model works best when it uses the team’s real number of PP goals scored on the offensive side, but on the defensive side multiplies the league’s average PP percentage by the number of PP chances allowed by the team per game.)Here’s a plot of our estimated Fenwick close versus actual Fenwick close for the years in which Fenwick was recorded (the NHL average is always exactly 50 percent):As you can see, the results of the model track very closely with reality. That means the model can also give us a “most likely” Fenwick close for teams in seasons before BehindTheNet’s data was available (going back to 1987-88, which is as far back as NHL.com lists shots per game by team). We can also compute the probability that any given team would have been the NHL’s Fenwick close leader if the statistic had been kept during the season in question.Here’s a table summarizing the yearly league leader in Fenwick close each season going back to 1987-88, along with that team’s number of playoff wins. For years before 2007-08, I list the three teams most likely to have led the league in Fenwick close, as well as the probabilities that each in fact did. For pre-2008 seasons, the playoff win totals are weighted by the likelihood that a team was the NHL’s actual leader in Fenwick close.If the Kings do fall to the Sharks after only picking up a win or two, it would be a historically low performance for a Fenwick close leader. In just seven postseasons was it likely that the league’s Fenwick close leader won fewer than four playoff games, which would be indicative of a first-round series loss. And only one playoff year (1993) saw the weighted mean of likely Fenwick close leaders drop below 2.4 playoff wins. (If we assume the Kings and Sharks are evenly matched and the home team has the NHL’s standard 55 percent home-ice advantage in each remaining game, Los Angeles should only expect to win 1.8 games over the rest of the series.)Meanwhile, the median and mean number of playoff wins for Fenwick close leaders going back to 1988 is eight, enough to win a couple series.While leading the league in Fenwick close isn’t necessarily a guaranteed path to the Cup, Fenwick close leaders usually go relatively deep into the NHL playoffs. The Kings are hoping to keep that trend alive, but the odds are pointing to LA becoming one of the most disappointing advanced-stats favorites in a long time. read more

first_imgTHE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION has today voted in the subject of Dáil reform, making a number of recommendations including an enhancement of the Ceann Comhairle’s role, reform of committee membership and powers and a change to the whip system.Over the two days, members of the convention heard presentations from academics and specialists on the role and functions of Dáil Éireann and the challenges facing modern parliaments in Ireland and in other countries. Members include both politicians and members of the public.A panel discussion with former Taoiseach John Bruton and former Minister Noel Dempsey among others was held and today members were presented with a number of options:Reference to the Office of the Ceann Comhairle should be enhanced to give it more statusProvision for a secret ballot to elect the Ceann Comhairle be inserted into the ConstitutionInclude reference to Committees in the ConstitutionAmend Article 17.2 of the Constitution (relating to prior government approval for expenditure proposals)They also asked to vote on a number of changes to standing orders and parliamentary practices.Members voted in favour of all proposed changes. 88 per cent of members were in favour of a secret ballot to elect the Ceann Comhairle. A whopping 99 per cent of them voted to recommend that the Dáil Reform Committee should bring forward proposals for genuine reform, reflecting the convention discussion.Interestingly, 63 per cent said ‘family-friendly’ hours should be introduced for TDs.These were the results of votes on changes to committees:Click here for larger versionOn the issue of the whip system, 84 per cent said there should be more ‘free votes’ on Dáil and committee business and 68 per cent voted in favour of creating a procedure to allow TDs to make recommendations that involve a charge to the public purse.Chairman of the Convention Tom Arnold said “How Dáil Éireann does its business goes to the very heart of our democracy and throughout the weekend it was apparent that Convention members felt very strongly about the issue of Dáil Reform.”It is an exceptionally complex issue and members of the Convention heard a number of presentations from experts as well as drawing from the experience of former and presently sitting parliamentarians.“Proposed reforms were discussed and debated in the context of the affect they would have, if they could in fact end up weaken or strengthen government and the democratic process,” he added.Read: Middle East and African politicians to learn from Constitutional Convention>Read: Blasphemy offence should be replaced in the Constitution, says Convention>last_img read more

first_imgStay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Robin Hood is one of the worst movies I’ve watched this year. Before you go digging, most of the worst are things I didn’t end up having to review (did you know they remade Puppet Master? It was awful!) and it’s easily the stupidest by a country mile. But, in a dilemma that comes up more and more lately, it’s SO bad and SO stupid that I can’t honestly say I didn’t have a blast watching it. It absolutely sucks — it’s a hilariously incompetent, wrongheaded film on almost every level save that Otto Bathurst (late of Peaky Blinders) can apparently direct the heck out of an action sequence even if you don’t necessarily comprehend who’s supposed to be fighting who.We all kind of saw this coming, I realize: Nobody cared the last time they did Robin Hood as a feature and that was Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott reuniting to get sort-of back to Gladiator territory, they definitely weren’t going to care about a slightly overbudget BBC special ostensibly featuring Taron Edgerton fitting in one more action-guy part before that Elton John movie. But I don’t think anyone was sincerely expecting something that would end up so memorably botched — the kind of bad movie people end up talking about for years after, that fails because someone thought they had a big idea that nobody told them was a terrible idea until it was too late.The big idea in question: What if the legend of Robin Hood — already one of the most commonly-applied allegories for clashes of class and economic inequality — was even more head-slappingly obvious about it? Kicked-up for a Millennial audience not only with sexy young stars, strategically-diverse casting and a mandate to rework the characters and setting to be more like a 21st Century superhero story than most 21st Century superhero stories are already like Robin Hood stories in the first place; but also with familiar plot elements, characters and themes re-framed with specific blunt-force impossible-to-miss metaphorical reference to present-day political figures, social controversies, scandals, conspiracy theories, newsworthy events, etc.Remember the scene in Time Bandits where they meet John Cleese as the “real” Robin Hood and he’s talking about “redistributing wealth” like a modern-day Marixst/Socialist/whatever-you-like? It’s meant to be funny (and it is!) because that obviously only vaguely aligns with the “rob-from-the-rich” Robin Hood ethos and even if allowing for historical allegory that level of direct anachronism sounds absurd on its face. This Robin Hood didn’t get that message, though, and thus features Edgerton’s Robin of Locksley rallying his Merry Men with the same literal language (“It’s time we redistributed some wealth!”) in a scene clearly meant to be taken as serious and thoughtful.More absurd still, the movie seems to have no idea how stupid this all looks and sounds; going whole-hog on present-day classism allegory so unapologetically it feels like the first piece a preteen creative writing student comes up with after learning that “using famous stories as metaphors for modern issues” was a thing you were allowed to do. You can almost feel the tragically unselfconscious joy surging through the filmmakers as they land on each new reference point: “Robin Hood like Robin… HOODIE??” The proto-“Merry Men” managing to look like a medieval Antifa facing down royal guard wielding inexplicable wrought-iron SWAT Team riot shields, Nottingham miners looking like impoverished Virginia coal miners, bows and crossbows being wielded, edited and goosed-up with sound effects to come off more like machine guns, etc.The unquestioned centerpiece of this glorious idiocy: an extended Crusades sequence shot, edited, scored and even color-graded with unmistakable echoes of our universal film, TV and video-game visual-coding for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars – featuring infantry-squads of archers conducting modern-style house-to-house urban warfare sweeps with longbows and arrows cocked and ready instead of rifles, then scattering amid a crossbow attack edited and foley’d to look and sound exactly like a machine-gun turret siege ending in “missile strike” aka catapult bombardment and a postscript with Things To Say about Abu Ghraib and Blackwater. You will not see a stretch of film concurrently more technically-sound yet astonishingly idiotic in theaters this year – I’m impressed that they pulled it off and I’m in AWE that nobody stopped them. To be clear: apart from the miscasting, cheesy dialogue and Ben Mendelsohn auditioning to be the new “Jeremy Irons wants too much money” guy – there’s nothing that says blatant metaphor is innately bad. But Robin Hood has no coherent sense of allegorical narrative holding its references together.Instead, it’s a ridiculous hodgepodge of blunt symbolism where one piece doesn’t connect to another in any meaningful way, the mixed metaphors clashing so badly it feels like unintentional parody: Going strictly in terms of allegorical reference point, the new Robin Hood legend (which we’re told upfront we ought to decouple from any specific time or historic reference point) is the story of how Robin of Locksley invents Antifa by organizing West Virginia coal miners against a conspiracy by The IRS and The World Bank because he’s angry that his house was foreclosed on after being drafted to fight in The Iraq War. Yes, I did say drafted – they don’t even bother to keep their “modern allegories” to actual modernity and just randomly throw some Vietnam in there too because it moves the plot along.And in case you thought Hollywood executives had stopped telling filmmakers to turn everything into Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, well… skip beyond the spoiler warning if you don’t want to know for sure, but:BEGIN SPOILERSThe big new angle here is that nobody knows Robin of Locksley is “The Hood” so does the Bruce Wayne “I’m a dumb rich guy” thing to “gather intel” because instead of “taxes because monarchy” now there’s a conspiracy storyline where The Sherriff of Nottingham is gouging the people so he and an evil Cardinal can secretly bankroll the Arab side in The Crusades to make the war run longer so the British Crown will falter and The Catholic Church can take over England. Because they thought Robin was dead for a while, Maid Marian is dating Will Scarlet who’s a rising-star pragmatic centrist politician who thinks he can “reason with” the evil rich guys instead of doing Hood stuff but during the big final battle against The Sherriff he figures out Marian is still into Robin because radicals are sexier and he accidentally gets burned up by a molotov cocktail on half his face (no, really) and this makes him turn evil so in the end he becomes the new Sherriff of Nottingham who’s going to hunt down Robin Hood for taking his girl. I didn’t make a word of that up.END SPOILERSSo, yes, Robin Hood sucks. But it certainly sucks with conviction; and I can sort of respect it for that even while acknowledging that it fails on every conceivable level including being bad enough to “so bad it’s good” (the PG-13 might be hurting there: Nothing this stupid should be so free of pointless blood-geysers or gratuitously-bared breasts.) I can’t say I wasn’t laughing the whole time, but I also know that I wasn’t supposed to be.last_img read more

first_imgFirefighters knocked out a fire in the attic of a home in the Fern Prairie area north of Camas early Tuesday, March 27.Crews responded to a potential structure fire at 3802 N.E. Matney Road at 2:50 a.m.East County Fire & Rescue firefighters arrived 11 minutes later and found a home with smoke coming from the exterior attic vents, said Chief Scott Koehler.A man and woman were home at the time and woke up to smell of the fire. There was no smoke outside of the attic at the time, so smoke detectors didn’t go off.“They were lucky that they smelled the fire before it breached the ceiling,” Koehler said.Firefighters found smoldering material in the attic over two bedrooms. It appeared a pipe from a metal wood stove failed in the attic and had been burning a rafter for some time, Koehler said.“Over a long period of time, this wood rafter has been basically turned into carbon,” he said. “For whatever reason, last night was the night” the rafter caught fire.A total of 26 firefighters from East County Fire & Rescue and the Camas and Vancouver fire departments responded.They pulled the ceiling down in the two bedrooms to knock out the fire.“It’s just gut-busting hard work tearing down sheet rock,” Koehler said. “The insulation was falling down like snow.”The home had minimal structure damage but significant interior damage due to firefighting efforts.The home could have sustained significant structural damage if the residents didn’t report the fire as quickly as they did, Koehler said.The home is owned by Brian and Genevieve Schmidt, according to county property records.A Clark County Fire Marshal is investigating.There were no injuries reported.last_img read more

first_imgUsing a CPM of $1, the study estimated that 42 percent of publishers are missing $50,000 in annual ad revenue; 33 percent are missing up to $250,000 in ad revenue; and 25 percent are missing more than $250,000 in annual ad revenue from off-site content. Attributor Corp. suggests publishers can start seeing some of that revenue by leveraging open syndication through direct relationships with ad networks (Attributor is working with publishers and ad networks to quantify the Web audience and come up with ways publishers can get a cut of the revenue from viral syndication.)Rise of ‘Link Journalism’Meanwhile, publishers are starting to grow more comfortable with the idea of their original content sitting on someone else’s site-even the New York Times plans to launch an alternative home page featuring links to its competitors. Publish2 is an online network for journalists that makes linking and news aggregation easier. The site soft launched this summer (founder Scott Karp is credited with coining the term “link journalism”). Michelle Leder is author of the site Footnoted.org, which focuses on items that companies bury in their routine SEC filings, and an early member of Publish2. “In my sidebar I link to stories that I think will be of interest to my readers, who tend to be hedge fund/money managers, given the specific nature of my content,” she says. “Unlike a lot of other blogs, I do new reporting based on stuff in the filings, so I don’t spent a lot of time commenting on stories in the WSJ, Times, etc. The Publish2 widget gives me an opportunity to easily link to these stories.” A more extensive look at Publish2 will appear in FOLIO:’s December issue. A new study of more than 100 publishers in categories ranging from entertainment to technology found that original content from those publishers on other sites had an audience 1.5 times larger than the original destination site viewership.Web content monitoring and programming platform Attributor Corp. tracked RSS feeds across 30 billion Web pages during September 2008. The study found that automotive and travel categories have the most significant viewers on other sites (five to seven times high than publisher destination sites.Multiples for audience beyond the destination site include:Auto: nearly 7xTravel: more than 5xMovie reviews: nearly 5xEntertainment: nearly 4xSports, Technology: more than 2xAdvice, Environment, Health: nearly 2xPolitics: nearly 1.5x last_img read more

first_imgClimber Lonnie Dupre has returned to Talkeetna after becoming the first soloist to ever summit Denali in the month of January.Download AudioLonnie Dupre’s historic climb began on December 18th, and he summited Denali on January 11th just after 2:00 pm. This was Dupre’s fourth attempt at the unprecedented feat of being the first person to climb the mountain solo in January. Veteran climber Willi Prittie says January is a tough month for climbing in Alaska, when the longest periods of daylight stretch just past six hours.(Photo credit: John Walter Whittier)“You’ve got to be really on top of your self-care, your logistical stuff, and take advantage of every little bit of daylight that you have, and it isn’t any too much in something like January,” Prittie said.Like most climbs on North America’s tallest peak, the weather factored into Lonnie Dupre’s expedition. He says one big difference between this year and his prior attempts was the amount of snow.“The hardest thing, hands down, on this trip for me was the deep snow,” Dupre said. “We had very deep snow right out of base camp and all the way up to the top of the mountain, almost. And dragging a, in the begging, a 194 pound sled through that deep snow–it doesn’t slide. It just plows.”Dupre was helped through the snow by his homemade skis, which are eight feet long and four inches wide. He says the snow was due to warm weather and low-pressure in the Alaska Range. Lonnie Dupre says that warmth can actually be a problem.“I would much, much, much prefer thirty-or-forty-below zero day in and day out, because you’re drier, you can operate better, and usually when it’s that cold you don’t have the winds with that,” Dupre said.One time that the winds did play a major role in the climb was when Lonnie Dupre was between 10,000 and 11,000 feet of elevation. He says the wind picked up and started blowing lots of snow. He stashed much of his gear and went ahead to establish his camp. Then the weather really moved in and caught Dupre with meager supplies.Lonnie building his snow shelter at 14.2K with Denali’s summit ridge in the background. Photo courtesy of Lonnie Dupre.“Just a day and a half’s worth of food and twenty-two ounces of fuel, which is about three days worth of fuel,” he said. “I had to stretch the food and the fuel for five and a half days, so I was a scrawny, cranky, kind of scared individual.”Lonnie Dupre says he was scared because he knew there was no way for help to arrive if conditions didn’t improve. He says one or two more days might have seen him succumb to lack of food or warmth. Eventually, Mother Nature relented, and Dupre was on his way again.As he reached the higher section of Denali, Lonnie Dupre says the forecast called for a window of two days with weather good enough to perhaps try to reach the summit. In the dark hours of the morning on January 11th, he made his run. Right around 2:00 p.m., Dupre saw what he had spent four years trying to reach, the official marker for the highest point in North America.“I saw that, and I just broke down a little bit, because it’s been four years of hard work,” Dupre said. “And I spent ten minutes, no longer, on the top. I gave a good look around, twice. Then, I started high-tailing out of there.”The wind was picking up yet again, but Lonnie Dupre was able to get back to his camp and his gear before it got too rough. Then, it was a race against weather moving in from the south. Dupre made it to base camp at 7,200 feet on Jan. 14, but high winds prevented his pick-up by airplane. The next day, though, Talkeetna Air Taxi pilot Paul Roderick says the weather, which was not forecast to be favorable, opened up.“I thought we might have a little window to work with…but not this good,” Roderick said. “It was actually generally improving. It was still windy, but actually [at base camp] it was calm and twenty degrees. It was just perfect conditions. It couldn’t have been better.”Lonnie Dupre, after cold, snow, storms, and wind, had achieved his goal and returned safely to the lowlands. He was greeted by sponsors, friends, and members of Talkeetna’s climbing community.With a successful trip behind him, Lonnie Dupre says he will likely come back to Talkeetna, but probably for slightly less strenuous activities than climbing to the top of the continent by himself during the coldest, darkest period of the year. For now, he’s just happy to be back.last_img read more

first_imgFile photoIndia’s coast guard announced Sunday it had seized 1.5 tonnes of heroin worth almost $550 million from a merchant ship in what maritime authorities are calling their largest-ever drug bust.The ship was intercepted Saturday off the western state of Gujarat, the coast guard said in a statement.“This is the largest single haul of narcotics seized till date,” it said, adding the drugs were worth an estimated $545 million.An undisclosed number of suspects were detained for questioning by coast guard officials, police and intelligence agencies.Anyone caught smuggling or possessing narcotics is remanded in custody without bail under Indian law.Last year police in the western state of Maharashtra seized 18.5 tonnes of ephedrine, a precursor used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, worth $311 million.In 2013 police in the holiday resort state of Goa arrested a 45-year-old Briton in possession of more than four kilograms of amphetamines worth $330,000.Heroin seizures in India have increased in recent years, figures from the Narcotics Control Bureau show.Heroin, largely from Afghanistan and smuggled through neighbouring Pakistan, makes its way into India through the disputed northern state of Kashmir and coastal border areas in the west.last_img read more

first_imgMembers of the Kurdish Internal Security Police Force of Asayish keep watch during a security alert after clashes with regime forces in Qamishli, northeastern Syria, on 8 September. Photo: AFPSyria’s last major rebel bastion Idlib was Saturday targeted by the “most violent” Russian air strikes in a month, a monitor said, after the failure of a three-way summit on the Syrian conflict.The renewed strikes came a day after the leaders of rebel backer Turkey and regime allies Russia and Iran failed at the summit in Tehran to agree on how to stave off a threatened offensive on the north-western province of Idlib.Aid organisations have warned that any military campaign to retake the region of nearly three million people on the Turkish border could spark one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Syria’s seven-year war.On Saturday, dozens of Russian air raids hit southern and south-eastern areas of Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.At least nine civilians including two children were killed in the strikes and as dozens of barrel bombs were dropped by regime aircraft, the Britain-based monitor said.An AFP correspondent in the southern village of Al-Muntar saw huge clouds of grey smoke billow up above olive trees after a barrel bombing.Civilians fleeWomen and children ran terrified across nearby fields, one woman appearing to clutch a baby in a blanket. An elderly man sat out of breath, barefoot and dazed in the red earth, his walking cane by his side.An underground hospital located in the province’s Hass area was hit by an air strike, damaging the building and equipment, an AFP correspondent said.“We’ve had non-stop air raids since the morning,” said Abu Hussein, originally a resident of Hama province to the south before he found refuge near the Idlib village of Al-Abdine.“Barrel bombs dropped by helicopters crashed close to us,” he told AFP.The raids prompted hundreds of families to take to the roads, as dozens of cars and trucks tried to ferry civilians away from the bombardment.Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said the raids targeted jihadist and rebel positions, some of which were empty and others in use.It was the heaviest bombardment since 10 August, when at least 53 civilians were killed in Idlib and the neighbouring province of Aleppo, he said.Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance led by Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate, as well as rival rebels.The United Nations has warned that any offensive could force up to 800,000 people to flee their homes and urged key powerbrokers to avoid a “bloodbath”.On Friday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly disagreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a press conference in the Iranian capital.Erdogan called for a “truce”, while Russia’s president said Damascus “has a right and must eventually take under control all of its national territory”.Iranian president Hassan Rouhani warned against a “scorched earth” policy, but said “fighting terrorism in Idlib is unavoidable”.Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime has upped its rhetoric on retaking control of Idlib and surrounding areas over the past month.The threat comes after it recaptured areas around the capital Damascus and in southern Syria earlier this year, through a combination of deadly bombardment and surrender deals.Regime, Kurds clashIdlib’s provincial health chief Munzer al-Khalil warned Saturday that a large-scale military operation could result in “the most catastrophic crisis in our war”.Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov, for his part, said Moscow had “irrefutable information” that Syrian rebels were planning a “provocation” in Idlib province to justify Western intervention.More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria’s civil war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.Elsewhere on Saturday, clashes between Kurdish forces and regime fighters in the divided northeastern city of Qamishli killed 20 combatants, including 13 regime personnel, the Observatory said, updating an earlier toll.Kurdish forces control most of Qamishli, but the regime and allied militiamen hold part of the city and its airport.The Observatory said shooting broke out when Kurdish security forces at a checkpoint demanded that regime fighters step out of their patrol vehicle but they refused.The Kurdish forces said they had retaliated to regime fire.With US-led support, Syria’s Kurds played a key role in the war against the Islamic State group, during which they seized large swathes of northern and northeastern Syria.The Damascus regime has vowed to reintegrate the Kurdish-held areas, by force if necessary. In late July, it opened talks with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.last_img read more