The All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO) on Monday wrote a two-page letter to Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar demanding a high-level inquiry into the attack on an assistant professor of Mahatma Gandhi Central University of Bihar and “forged” documents submitted by the university’s vice-chancellor.“On behalf of AIFUCTO we express our concern over the brutal attack on the assistant professor of the Mahatma Gandhi Central University at Motihari, Sanjay Kumar, and also over corruption and tyranny of the Vice-Chancellor Prof [Dr.] Arvind Agrawal who has been made V-C on the basis of false and fabricated statements and testimonials in his application for the post,” said AIFUCTO letter, a copy of which is with The Hindu. ‘False information’In the letter undersigned by AIFUCTO general secretary, Prof. Arun Kumar, and president, Prof. Kesab Bhattacharya, the organisation has alleged that the V-C , Arvind Agrawal, has furnished “false information that he has been awarded PhD from Heidelberg University, Germany, in 1989, whereas he has been awarded the degree by the University of Rajasthan under the supervision of Professor N.K. Sanghi in 1992”. “Such a corrupt V-C… can only spread corruption,” said the letter.A large section of the university teachers have been protesting against the “fascists and dictatorial attitude” of the V-C since May 29. On August 17, Prof. Kumar, who had also been protesting against Prof. Agrawal, was dragged out of his third-floor flat by a mob and beaten up for making a comment on social media on the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The attackers allegedly also tried to set Prof. Kumar on fire after pouring petrol on him. “The attackers were, in fact, goons sent by the V-C to teach us all protesting teachers a lesson… The social media post was just an excuse for the attack,” said Mritunjay Kumar Yadavendu, a colleague of Prof. Kumar.Prof. shifted to AIIMSThe injured professor was first admitted to Patna Medical College and Hospital but later on Monday he was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi as he complained of some eyesight problem.The police said two persons have been arrested for the attack so far. Earlier, Prof. Kumar had lodged a case against 12 persons for attacking him at the town police station in Motihari in East Champaran district. “Ever since we have exposed his misdeeds in running the affairs of the university and set-off our protest on May 29, the V-C has turned hostile and is looking for an opportunity to target us and the attack on our colleague Sanjay Kumar was the fallout of his reaction,” charged another Assistant Professor, Sashikant Ray. “We request you to take these issues on serious note at your end and set-up a high-level enquiry against the V-C and during the enquiry he should be kept under suspension,” requested the AIFUCTO letter.State BJP leader and Tourism Minister Pramod Kumar alleged that Professor Kumar was a part of the “divisive forces” as his comment on Vajpayee on social media was not acceptable. The Opposition party leaders and students’ organisations have extended their support to Professor Kumar, while demanding removal of the Vice-Chancellor.
Human brains are nearly three times larger than those of chimpanzees, but we’ve got nothing on our closest cousins in the testicle department. Whereas human testes top out at about 50 grams, chimpanzees’ routinely reach weights of 150 to 170 grams. Scientists think the difference has to do with each species’ mating habits. Among primates in which females tend to have one mate at a time, like humans and gorillas, testicles are generally smaller. Larger testes—along with more tissue designed for holding semen—are found in species in which females have sex with several males during a fertility cycle, like chimpanzees and rhesus macaques. New research suggests that the forces governing the difference lie in each species’ transcriptome, or the set of RNA molecules that translates genetic codes into actual physical traits. In more polygamous species, the transcriptome directs testicles to continue developing for longer after birth, researchers report this month in a study on the preprint server bioRxiv. In humans, testicle development starts later and ends earlier, leaving men about as well endowed as an adolescent chimpanzee. But hope is not lost, puny humans! Our primate ancestors appear to have switched between mating types—and, therefore, testicle size—at least six times before we came along, suggesting that testicle tissue may respond to evolutionary pressure more rapidly than other body parts do.
As many as 31,000 employees of the merged entity Air India (AI) have come together to demand an immediate meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi over the payment of their salaries and the airline’s turnaround plans.At least 10 associations and unions of the beleaguered carrier have individually written to the minister seeking an appointment in this regard and threatened to strike work across the country if issues concerning salaries and the airline’s turnaround plan are not addressed.Employees claimed that they have not been paid salaries for May and not been given their performance-linked incentives, which constitutes more than 60 per cent of their salaries, since March.Read how Air India accumulated its debt Vayalar Ravi said that 1,600 AI pilots drew a combined salary of about Rs 800 crore in a year and another Rs 800 crore was given out as the combined salary of the 28,000-odd other employees of the airline.The ailing airline has asked for another tranche of Rs 2,000 crore as equity in the next financial year to repay its massive debt. Its current long-term debt for aircraft acquisition is Rs 22,500 crore and its working capital loan is around Rs 17,000 crore.The government has till now injected Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 800 crore in two tranches in 2009-10, raising the national carrier’s equity base to Rs 2,145 crore. However, the Centre is unlikely to make further equity infusion as the airline management has been at loss to explain its position on the turnaround plan for 2010-14 that envisages revenue enhancement and expenditure reduction in phases.Blog: The Maharaja’s Advocate The airline has largely failed to initiate the turnaround plan that was initiated in August and called for a cut in costs by Rs 1,500 crore and increasing revenues by Rs 1,200 crore by the end of 2012.AI, which made losses of Rs 7,200 in 2009-10, Rs 5,548 crore in 2008-09 and Rs 2,226.16 crore in 2007-08, anticipates major losses in 2010-11.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.advertisement
Narendra ModiPower, politics, style – the ‘Nehru jacket’ has signified all this and more in the world of diplomacy for more than half a century. The fitted coat that was synonymous with India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru created waves since its widespread popularity in the 1960s, and what was once considered a must-have for Congress loyalists has now frankly got a BJP tadka with PM Narendra Modi’s personal rendition to the design.It seemed to have taken a full-circle when Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott gifted PM Narendra Modi with a ‘Nehru jacket’ recently, the blueprint to Modi’s signature look that features a similar mandarin collar, snug fit and long row of buttons. In fact, BJP politicians have now adopted it as a uniform of sorts, with leaders insisting on sporting their loyalty and dapper tastes in the sleeveless cover, though it’s hardly a surprise that it has now been christened as the ‘Modi jacket’. What’s more, when Power Minister Piyush Goyal saw BJP spokesperson Anil Bulani without his ‘Modi jacket’ he quickly pointed out that it was time he got into the habit of wearing them for official events.Interestingly, this is not the first time that the ‘Nehru jacket’ has been the hottest trend du jour – the desi design gained momentum after Nehru was featured in Vogue magazine in 1964, and soon the ‘Mod’ generation and Swinging Sixties of London were lapping up the style like there’s no tomorrow.The simple and formal jacket that was worn by the Kashmiri pandit with a churidar and rose-bud for finishing touches, became the ‘in thing’ during the 60s’ in the West with vivid psychedelic prints running alongside basic ones. Leading the pack were British rock bands like The Beatles and the Monkees, while in American singers like Frank Sinatra sported it and Sammy Davis Jr. claimed to own 200 of them in his closet!advertisementIt’s evident that it’s not just rockstars and fashion icons that set fads for the world to follow. Every so often, red hot trends take a fashionable leaf from politics and set the ball rolling in a new direction with lan. We take a look at the evolution of this spiffy style.
Doha: India’s Asian Games gold medallist duo of shot putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and 1500m runner Jinson Johnson crashed out of the World Athletics Championships after failing to qualify for the finals of their respective events. The 24-year-old Toor produced a season’s best effort of 20.43m to finish eighth in the Group B qualification round and 18th overall out of 34 competitors while Jinson ran a below par 3 minutes 39.86 seconds to end 10th in his first round heats on Thursday. He finished 34th overall out of 43 runners. Toor was the first to take the field but with eight shot putters from Group A having already touched the automatic final round qualifying mark of 20.90m, it was a difficult task for Toor to make the cut. The Punjab athlete has a personal best of 20.75m, which is also a national record, He opened with a 20.43m, bettering his earlier season’s best of 20.36m but fouled his next attempt. Pressure mounted on him as three competitors from Group B touched the automatic qualifying mark in their first attempt while another shot putter did the same in the second round.That meant Toor had to touch 20.90m and rewrite his own national record in his third and final attempt if he has to qualify for the finals. But he could only come up with a 19.55m effort to crash out of the championships.Those who touched 20.90m or at least 12 best performers were to make it to the final and eventually 12 shot putters from Group A and Group B combined were able to cross the automatic qualifying mark for the finals.Reigning world champion and 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist Tomas Walsh of New Zealand led the finalists with a throw of 21.92m.Toor had won a gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta with his national record setting effort of 20.75m. He also won a gold at the Asian Championships at the same venue in April with a throw of 20.22m.There was more disappointment in store for India as the 28-year-old Jinson, who broke his own national record just last month with a time of 3:35.24, failed to preserve enough energy for the home stretch. He was overtaken by one competitor after another as he finished more than four seconds outside his best timing. He was among the leading five till the final bell but lost steam towards the end. The top six from each of the three heats and the next six fastest advanced to the semifinals. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. 1500m2019 IAAF World Championshipsiaaf world championshipsJinson Johnson First Published: October 4, 2019, 10:51 AM IST
Manchester City will seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League if they avoid defeat at Lyon on Tuesday, while a victory would secure top spot in Group F with one game to spare.Pep Guardiola, however, has been warned of the quality of the French side already, having seen his team suffer a shock 2-1 reverse to OL at the Etihad Stadium on the opening night of the competition.Since then, Lyon have struggled to maintain that form, fighting back from 2-0 down to tie with Shakhtar Donetsk but wastefully throwing away four points as they twice conceded last-minute equalisers against Hoffenheim. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! If they are to upset City again, such errors cannot be made. Game Lyon vs Manchester City Date Tuesday, November 27 Time 8pm GMT / 3pm ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be streamed live online via B/R Live or Univision Deportes En Vivo. US TV channel Online stream N/A B/R Live / Univision Deportes En Vivo In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BT Sport 2 and it can be streamed live online using the BT Sport app. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 2 BT Sport app Squads & Team News Position Lyon squad Goalkeepers Lopes, Gorgelin Defenders Rafael, Denayer, Marcelo, Morel, Marcal, Mendy Midfielders Terrier, Aouar, Diop, N’Dombole, Tousart Forwards Traore, Depay, Fekir, Cornet, Dembele Nabil Fekir went off citing adductor problems at the weekend, but the France international playmaker is set to start this match .Right-back Leo Dubois and long-term absentee Amine Gouiri continue to miss out.Lyon starting XI: Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal; Rafael, Ndombele, Fekir, Aouar, Mendy; Depay, Cornet Position Man City squad Goalkeepers Ederson, Grimshaw, Muric Defenders Walker, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Otamendi Midfielders Sterling, Delph, Sane, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Foden, Diaz Forwards Aguero Manchester City’s headline absentee continues to be Kevin De Bruyne, while they are also without Ilkay Gundogan at the heart of their midfield.Gabriel Jesus has not travelled with the squad due to a minor concern, while ex-Monaco pair Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy are not available to face familiar foes.Claudio Bravo is also sidelined.While Phil Foden was tipped to start the match, he begins on the bench, with Riyad Mahrez handed a place in the XI. Man City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, D.Silva, Mahrez; Aguero, Sterling, SaneBetting & Match Odds Lyon are priced at 13/2 to repeat their Etihad Stadium heroics and pick up the win at bet365 . Manchester City are favourites, available at 2/5, while the draw is 9/2.Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview For all the Manchester City have achieved in the Premier League over the last year, winning the title by a record margin in the 2017-18 season with an unprecedented number of points, Pep Guardiola knows that the yardstick he will be judged against lies in Europe.City have spent lavishly with the aim of winning the Champions League title and the Catalan knows that if he fails to secure it, his reign at the Etihad Stadium will be judged a flop.“For the people who don’t love us too much, who use money as an argument, then we have failed if we don’t win the Champions League,” he said. “For the other people, especially our fans, the people who say: ‘OK, we enjoy watching our games, we are happy with what the guys are doing,’ I am pretty sure they don’t have regrets about what these guys are doing for the last 12, 14, 15 months every three days.”While City are undefeated domestically this season, they have slipped previously against Lyon, and Guardiola has acknowledged the quality of the opponents they will face on Tuesday in the Rhone Valley.“They were better than us,” he said thinking back to the 2-1 loss in September. “If you make one or two mistakes you can be out. This competition is so dangerous. We have not qualified and in this competition, it’s not done until it’s done.“The first thing is to qualify and then to finish first in the group and we travel here to do that. You lose the first game at home and the group stage becomes so tough. We did our job winning the next three.” Lyon’s season, meanwhile, has been marred by inconsistency, which has seen them struggle to second in Ligue 1 and throw away countless opportunities in what has developed into an incredibly open group.“City are better than us, but we’ve already shown we can post them problems,” head coach Bruno Genesio said . “We need to be at 120% all over the field and be efficient. We have to believe and play to our strengths. “If my team is focused like in the first match, with the support of the fans we can do it again, but City are one of the best teams in Europe and favourites to win the final.”If the good Lyon show up, as they did in their previous encounter, they are capable of troubling their guests, but there is no room for error as they seek the win that would secure their spot in the knockout phase.
India football has been dealing with the uncertainty related to the merger of I-League and the IMG-Reliance backed Indian Super League since over a year now.A merger that was supposed to happen before the beginning of the current season was postponed because AIFF could not work out the logistics and lay out a plan in consensus with all their stakeholders.Along with the difficulty in planning out the roadmap for Indian football, the momentousness of the FIFA U-17 World Cup being hosted in India for the first time and the work that comes with it, took the centre stage in the year.AIFF, however, assured that the merger will happen soon and a deal was struck with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in order to seek more time to work out on the matter.In the latest developments of the issue, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore confirmed in the Rajya Sabha that a merger is on the cards.The issue came up in Rajya Sabha when a Bengal based MP, Ritabrata Banerjee, questioned the government if the two leagues would be merged next year.”AIFF along with all its stakeholders has planned to restructure the club football model in India wherein there would be one unified league at the top followed by lower division leagues namely, League 1 and League 2 in line with global best practices,” Rathore informed.He further added that AIFF is seeking help from FIFA and AFC in order to implement the plan soon.”AIFF has taken the help of FIFA and AFC for smooth implementation of the aforesaid plan,” Rathore added.advertisementHowever, there is no confirmation as yet if the relegation-promotion factor has been put in the plan — something that has been a point of bother for most of the clubs.Social media has constantly been abuzz with debates over which out of ISL and I-League is better for the development of football. While the purists believe that I-League clubs have far more connect with the fans and it celebrates the true passion of football, others are of opinion that ISL has brought back interest in the game for the Indian public and with money and glamour flowing, it is on the line of where the modern game is headed to.With the onset of the current season, ISL has been accused of being drab and not delivering the quality of football that it promises. I-League, on the other hand, has managed to maintain their passion and quality despite losing almost all the top players of the country to the ISL.Also, I-League matches are being played and telecast in the time bracket of afternoon so as to facilitate the prime time slot of the ISL, something that has bugged the I-League supporters.With constant debates and disagreements over the two leagues and with the division of fans and passion among the two, it is only for the better of Indian football if the next season brings with itself one unified top league.
The Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) is likely to release the admit card today for Group D candidates who will be appearing for the exam on November 2, 2018.The candidates can check their admit card on the official websites, www.rrbcdg.gov.in and www.indianrailways.gov.in Carry the following documents on the exam dayIt is mandatory for candidates to carry their RRB Group D admit card on the exam day. Candidates should also carry a valid identity proof and passport size photo. How to download the admit card?Visit the official websitesOn the homepage, click on the ‘Recruitment’ TabYou will see various state websites of RRB on the new webpageClick on the state from where you are appearing for the examClick on the link which says ‘Admit Card’Enter the required details and click on LoginCheck the admit card and download the sameNote: The exams for filling up the posts began from September 17, 2018. The admit card will be released only for those candidates who applied properly for the exam.Read: RRB Group D Exam 2018: Dates, centers and shift details for exam starting from October 29 released, check details hereWhat to prepare in the Computer-Based Test?If the candidates are getting confused as to what to prepare for Group D Exam 2018, then they must note the following topics:1: MathematicsNumber system, BODMAS, Decimals, Fractions, LCM, HCF, Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Mensuration, Time and Work; Time and Distance, Simple and Compound Interest, Profit and Loss, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry, Elementary Statistics, Square root, Age Calculations, Calendar & Clock, Pipes & Cistern etc.advertisement2: General Intelligence and reasoningAnalogies, Alphabetical and Number Series, Coding and Decoding, Mathematical operations, Relationships, Syllogism, Jumbling, Venn Diagram, Data Interpretation and Sufficiency, Conclusions and Decision making, Similarities and Differences, Analytical Reasoning, Classification, Directions, Statement Arguments and Assumptions etc.3: General ScienceThe syllabus under General Science will cover Physics, Chemistry and Life Sciences of Class 10 level.4: General AwarenessCurrent Affairs in Science & Technology, Sports, Culture, Personalities, Economics, Politics and any other subjects of importance.How to get selected in the Physical Efficiency Test?After clearing the Computer-Based Test for Group D Exam 2018, candidates will have to qualify for Physical Efficiency Test (PET).For male candidatesCandidates who will be selected in CBT will be eligible for PET. To qualify in this test, he should be able to lift and carry 35 kg of weight for a distance of 100 metres in 2 minutes in one chance without putting the weight down.He should also be able to run for a distance of 1000 metres in 4 minutes and 15 seconds in one chance.For female candidatesShe should be able to lift and carry 20 kg of weight for a distance of 100 metres in 2 minutes in one chance without putting the weight down.In order to get qualified in PET, she should also be able to run for a distance of 1000 metres in 5 minutes and 40 seconds in one chance.RRB Group C ALP/ Technician Result According to the other reports, RRB will announce Group C ALP, Technician Exam Result before Diwali this year.Read: RRB Group D Exam 2018: All you need to know
NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners takes the field before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated West Virginia 59-31. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Oklahoma is nine days away from opening up its 2018 football season. The Sooners host FAU in Week 1.When the two teams take the field that day, the turf at Owen Field will have a different look to it. Oklahoma is rolling out a new field design.The update was unveiled today. Most notable are the changes at midfield and in the end zones.Overall, nothing too crazy, but it looks a little sharper in our opinion.Owen Field will sport a new look this season. New streamlined logo at midfield, new wordmarks in the endzones, and new number font for the yardlines. pic.twitter.com/Hz4EPiKtnV— Sooner Tracker (@SoonerTracker) August 23, 2018The Sooners have been playing home games at Owen Field (otherwise known as Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium) since 1923. The stadium attendance record was set in last year’s win over TCU.Oklahoma will play rival Oklahoma State at home this season, as well as two big non-conference opponents, Florida Atlantic and UCLA.The FAU and UCLA games will be the first two of the regular season. Overall, four of OU’s first five games are at home.Oklahoma and FAU will kick off at noon ET on Sept. 1. FOX will broadcast the game.
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: Mascot Lil Red of the Nebraska Cornhuskers walks on the sidelines during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes on November 24, 2006 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska won 37-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)Nebraska football is no stranger to selling out football games.The Huskers have a regular season streak dating back to 1962, even through some lean years recently.Now, for the second straight season, the spring game has sold out too.Last year’s game presented the first opportunity to see Scott Frost’s Nebraska team in action. 86,818 fans packed Memorial Stadium for the event.Things didn’t sell at quite the same pace, but the Huskers have now sold out the event for a second straight year. It is made more impressive by the fact that the tickets are priced at $10 for most seats, while many other programs give away spring tickets for free.This afternoon, Nebraska football announced that the April 13 game has sold out as well.From the Omaha World-Herald:The game will be Scott Frost’s second spring game at Nebraska. Last season, NU set a school attendance record with 86,818 fans. The game sold out quicker in 2018, as it was Frost’s debut. This year, tickets went on sale to season ticket holders on Tuesday, with the general public being able to purchase them Wednesday. Roughly 80,000 tickets were distributed in the first 48 hours.Frost’s first team finished the year just 4-8, but the team improved a ton throughout the season, and won four of its last six games, and was very competitive in losses to Ohio State and Iowa.With quarterback Adrian Martinez entering his sophomore year, the hype has not dissipated much.[Omaha World-Herald]
Next Chinki Sinha New DelhiJuly 26, 2019UPDATED: July 26, 2019 10:35 IST A portrait of Dutee Chand. (Photograph by Bandeep Singh/India Today) The photo of the doll with rainbow-colored braids she posted with the medal on social media, saying no matter how much they pulled her down, she would come back stronger, was symbolic. On July 10, she clocked 11.32 seconds and won the gold at the World University Games in Naples, becoming in the process only the second Indian sprinter to win a gold at an international event (after Hima Das, who finished on top in 400m at the 2018 World Junior Athletics Championships).In May, she had declared she was in a same-sex relationship with a woman from her village. They shunned her. Her mother, sister and the village people. It was unnatural, they said. But India’s fastest woman, Dutee Chand, has put it all behind her. She knows from experience that rejection can play havoc with performance. And she also knows from experience that she must fight back. Her coming out was hailed as a watershed moment in the history of Indian sports, where she is now the first openly “gay” athlete.Soon after she declared her relationship, the dailies reported on May 26 from another part of her home state Odisha that a 19-year-old woman had been tied to a tree and beaten by villagers for being in a lesbian relationship. The Asian Games medallist said she had been in a relationship with a girl who she calls “saathi” since 2017.After her mother and sister turned against her, Chand has held steadfast to her statement–nobody can live without love. There is a little laugh at the other end of the line when we talk. The 23-year-old is currently training in Hyderabad for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October.advertisement”But my life has never been without issues,” she says.As she trains for the upcoming World Championship (she will have to shave off 0.06 seconds from the 11:32 seconds she did at the Universiade to qualify), Chand is trying to keep everything else at bay. Once it affected her. That was 2014, when they called her a “boy” after a “gender test” and banned her citing her high testosterone levels. At just 5′ 6″, Chand was, competitors and coaches said, suspiciously fast. They told the federation her physique seemed masculine.It was because of a clinical condition called ‘hyperandrogenism’ and she appealed the verdict at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). That one victory, in what was a landmark case, set a precedent. She is today an advocate of the athletes’ rights over their bodies pitched in a battle against patriarchy in the domain of sports.And again it’s happening. South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya is facing the same ordeal after the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for Sport in Lausanne dismissed her appeal. International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) rules require that female athletes with higher testosterone levels regulate their condition by taking suppressive treatment or medication if they wish to compete as females in 400m, 800m and 1500m.”This is wrong of the IAAF, and whatever reasons they give for their rules, it is still wrong. I fought my case and I won, but now Semenya and some others are again battling for their rights,” Chand has said in support of the sprinter who has been in a gender row since 2009.Chand was dropped unceremoniously from the 2014 Commonwealth Games squad for failing a hyperandrogenism test. She had no clue what it meant then, but she challenged it and eventually won the case after the athletics body found “insufficient evidence”.The IAAF says women’s sport is a “protected class” and placing conditions is necessary in order “to ensure fair and meaningful competition.”Back then in 2015, Chand had shut up critics with her electric performances to qualify for the Rio Olympics. It is a long battle, she says.In a brown waist coat and pants, she looks happy in her photos from Rome this July. She is like any other girl – taking selfies, posing and smiling with a dash of lipstick.Once, she thought that just being able to hold down a job, and survive on her own added up to a good life. Growing up in a household with seven children in Gopalpur in Odisha was tough. Her father was a weaver and money was hard to find. With less than Rs 100 per day, her father found it difficult to feed the family. Her elder sister Saraswati was a runner too and got a job with the police. She was the one who encouraged Dutee to run, who bought her her first pair of sneakers. But Dutee’s sprint would take her elsewhere. At 10, she was accepted into a state-sponsored program where boarding and lodging and food were covered. That was in 2006.advertisementIn 2008, she started winning medals at junior national-level meets.To be a runner meant getting a job. Until she started breaking records, she says. In 2016, she got a job as a manager in the state-run Odisha Mining Corporation. And now, she will return to her native state to train fellow at the ‘Dutee Chand Athletic Track’, named after her at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in Bhubaneswar.”We have many sprinters in Odisha. We need a training academy for them,” she says.Chand studied at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, a deemed university in Bhubaneswar.She has come a long way from being a girl who ran barefoot along the banks of the river. She has built a house for her parents, and now plans on making one for herself.She has been unapologetic about everything. At one point, she owned 15 cars. “I love cars,” she says. And then sold them all off. She bought a blue BMW last year and also owns a Ford EcoSport.”Right now, I want to build a house for myself and then buy more cars,” Chand says.And again, there is that laugh on the end of the line. “I want to live freely,” she says.Chand is girl, uninterrupted.READ | The battle to save the Great Indian Bustard | India Today InsightALSO READ | They hail you or they hate you, it’s all equally illusory: Boris Johnson | India Today InsightALSO WATCH | From Jajpur to Jakarta. Here’s Dutee Chand’s inspiring rags to riches storyGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansal Tags :Follow Dutee Chand Girl, uninterrupted | India Today InsightDutee Chand comes out in support of South African Olympic champion Caster Semenya and says freedom to run is important.advertisement
It has been said that March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb,” but the truth is that its transition from frozen to fair rarely follows a straight line. In fact, its weather patterns tend to be quite rollercoaster-like. Take for instance, the weather in the Northeast of late: a few springlike days were just followed by a late season blizzard and there have even been a few instances where temperatures have gone from wintery to warm (or vice versa) and back again over the course of just a few hours.Needless to say, these erratic swings make it hard to know how to dress appropriately on many a March morning. If you don a heavy parka in the a.m. will you be sweating in it or needlessly lugging it around by lunchtime? Conversely, you may find yourself shivering in the light jacket you chose to wear to work by the time closing time rolls around.This is exactly why puffer and other winterlike vests are often perfect outerwear options this time of year. Stylish and sleeveless, they offer plenty of warmth – but not too much of it. Many are also lightweight and easily packable should you need to shed them temporarily during a spell of sunshine.Here are 15 of my favorite outerwear vest options currently available in a variety of prices from low to luxurious. And since spring literally is around the corner, a few are already majorly discounted, which makes them even a wiser (ahem) in-VEST-ment.HIGH ALPINE VEST BY AZTECH MOUNTAIN $486.50QUILTED VEST BY BILLY REID $129.50B-3 SHEARLING VEST BY COCKPIT USA $700STACK DOWN VEST BY DESCENDANT OF THIEVES $198FEATHERWEIGHT QUILTED VEST BY EXLEY $275WESTERN VEST IN FADED NAVY/KHAKI BY FAHERTY $198BISE VEST IN NAVY/MANUKA BY FINISTERRE $99.98ROGUE VEST IN MILITARY BY IRON AND RESIN $64.98CHRISTOPHER DOWN VEST BY NORTH SAILS $150PRECISION INSULATOR VEST BY OBERMEYER $109MEN’S LEATHER VEST BY SCHOTT NYC $700NYLON ULTRA LIGHT DOWN-FILLED SILVERADO VEST WITH HOOD BY SCHOTT NYC $145BIG BEND DOWN VEST IN GHURKA/NAVY CANTEEN STRIPE BY STAG X FAHERTY $100ULTRA LIGHT DOWN VEST BY UNIQLO $39.90DEBAR WOOL VEST IN TAN/BROWN BY UNITED BY BLUE $99.98 Editors’ Recommendations The Best Men’s Heritage Outdoor Apparel for Cool Weather Why Your Desk Chair Matters and the 9 Best Ones to Boost Your Productivity 11 Best Gins for a Refreshing Gin and Tonic The Best Men’s Quilted Jackets Stitched for Every Occasion All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked
Brad Wall, who has served as premier of Saskatchewan for nearly a decade, has announced his retirement from politics. The leader of the province’s right-leaning Saskatchewan Party, Wall was notable for standing up for conservatism and sometimes clashing with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government as a result.Here’s a look at some notable moments of Wall’s decade-long career as premier:Criticizing Federal Carbon TaxWall has been one of the loudest critics of the federal directive for all provinces to institute either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. Trudeau made the announcement in October 2016 while provincial environment ministers were in a climate change meeting, and Wall wasn’t happy about it.“This meeting is not worth the CO2 emissions it took for environment ministers to get there. The level of disrespect shown by the prime minister and his government today is stunning,” Wall said at the time.Wall said the tax would “kneecap” the struggling Canadian economy, and argued the focus should be on technological solutions for emissions like carbon capture and storage.He has since said he is willing to take the federal government to court over the issue.—Standing Against PotashCorp SaleWhen a foreign company tried to purchase Saskatchewan’s PotashCorp in 2010, Wall was vehemently opposed.He called for the Conservative federal government, led by Stephen Harper, to “stand up for Canada and defend Canada’s national strategic interests” by keeping Australian-based BHP Billiton from taking over the company.He pushed his case in a stirring speech at a Regina Chamber of Commerce luncheon in October 2010.“We say yes to the national interests of our country. We say yes to fulfilling the potential of our province and our nation. We say yes to controlling the resource and our future. We say yes to Canada’s century,” Wall implored. “That big hope and grand vision requires, on this occasion, a modicum of courage and one little word — no.”The deal was averted in the end, a move the Conference Board of Canada said saved the province from $2 billion in lost revenue over a decade.—Calling to Halt 25,000 Syrian RefugeesWall made waves by asking Trudeau to reconsider his plan to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees, citing security as a main concern.His comments came in November 2015, on the heels of a series of terrorist attacks that took place during a single day in Paris.Wall said the large number of refugee claims to be fast-tracked by the end of the year could undermine refugee screening.“Surely we do not want to be date-driven or numbers-driven in an endeavour that may affect the safety of our citizens and the security of our country,” said Wall.—A Stalwart Supporter of PipelinesThere was at least one thing about U.S. President Donald Trump that Wall could be pleased about: his support for pipelines.President Barack Obama rejected the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilsands bitumen from Alberta to Texas. Trump overturned the decision, granting approval to the pipeline.Wall said the decision was a win for both countries and said it will bring over 2,000 jobs to Saskatchewan.Wall passionately defended pipelines as the safest way to transport oil throughout his time as premier.—“Disbelief” Over Khadr SettlementWall was one of many to chime in with disapproval over the Trudeau government’s reported $10.5-million settlement with former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr.“For Omar Khadr, there ought never be an offer to ‘settle’,” Wall said in a Facebook post.“Some things are worth the legal fight.”Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was 15-years-old when he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He spent 10 years in Guantanamo Bay after allegedly killing an American special forces soldier during a fierce firefight at a compound in Afghanistan in July 2002.—
Peter Andre is calling on his fans to get creative, have fun and sign up as one of ’Pete’s Champions’ to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s Peter Andre Fund to beat cancer sooner.Peter Andre Encourages Fans To Raise Money For Pete’s ChampionsThe Peter Andre Fund launched after the Andre family lost Peter’s brother, Andrew, to kidney cancer in late 2012. Peter was flooded with offers of support from loyal fans and wanted to inspire them to raise funds for Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’ which takes information about cancer out to people in their own communities.Pete’s Champions Can Raise Money However They LikePete’s Champions is an initiative that encourages Peter’s fans and supporters to raise money in a variety of ways and share their fundraising activities with Peter and other Champions through social media.Peter Andre Hosts A Bake Sale For Pete’s ChampionsLaunched last year, #PetesChampions saw an army of supporters come together to fundraise and raise awareness of the importance of spotting cancer early. Money-can’t-buy giftsinspired hundreds of people to dance, don fancy-dress, host bake sales and Kung Fu kick their way to raising a whopping £100,000. This year, Peter is asking his fans to help him beat that amount by encouraging their colleagues, friends and family to be imaginative, get involved and raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK’s lifesaving work.Champions can do anything from sponsored runs to jumble sales, or give up something they love for a week. Gifts rewarded to Champions are: • Platinum Champion, over £5,000 raised – a private meet and greet with Peter, signed piece of merchandise, thank you video message from Peter, letter and Foundation wristband• Gold Champion, over £2,000 raised – a group meet and greet with Peter, signed piece of merchandise, thank you video message from Peter, letter and Foundation wristband• Silver Champion, over £500 raised – receives a thank you video message from Peter, signed piece of merchandise, letter and Foundation wristband• Bronze Champion, over £100 raised – receives a letter from Peter and one of his Foundation wristbandsPeter said: “Last year my wonderful Champions raised a phenomenal amount. This year we want to smash that total and I want to see how creative people can be in their fundraising. We’ve seen people dance, do three legged races, run marathons, bake cakes – you can do anything! All the money raised will help Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’ continue the amazing work they do, bringing information to people in their own communities that will educate them and help them spot cancer early.”On board Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cancer Awareness Roadshow’, members of the public can speak to Cancer Research UK’s trained cancer awareness nurses about prevention, screening and how to spot cancer early. Visitors will also be provided with information about health services in their local area and how to reduce their risk of the disease.Early diagnosis of cancer saves lives, so if people spot cancer early, before it’s had time to spread or grow too big, it’s nearly always easier to treat successfully. The nurses on board will encourage people to get checked by their doctor if they’re worried about any changes to their body, with the message ‘know your body, know what’s right for you’.For more information, or to sign up to become a Champion, please visit: peterandre.com/petes-champions. The deadline for fundraising is March 16th 2015.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Two companies are proposing a $1.6 billion pipeline to move North Dakota crude oil, though the route has not been disclosed.The proposed pipeline would be the biggest such project in the state since the Dakota Access pipeline that sparked violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in 2016 and 2017.Houston-based Phillips 66 and Casper, Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline announced the joint venture called Liberty Pipeline on Monday. It’s designed to move 350,000 barrels of oil daily from western North Dakota’s oil patch to Cushing, Oklahoma.The route of the pipeline has not been disclosed publicly or to North Dakota regulators. The companies say in a statement the project “will utilize existing pipeline and utility corridors and advanced construction techniques to limit environmental and community impact.”James MacPherson, The Associated Press
22 February 2011From a distance, the vehicle seemed like a white speck on the horizon, bouncing along – at great speed – the rough, unfinished roads of South Sudan, still about a half-hour south of the compound belonging to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), in the capital, Juba. And that happiness stems from a combination of a love for the work itself and a strong sense of helping those worse off.“Every mine that comes out of the ground, that’s perhaps someone’s life saved. That’s something real, that’s something tangible, that’s something exciting and challenging to do with your life,” Mr. Fantham said. “There are a whole lot of people worse off than I am – how can I complain when we look at the abject poverty here in Sudan, let alone Africa and the rest of the world?” At the time of Mr Fantham’s accident, in April 2009, much clearance work had been completed. However, it is estimated that landmines and UXO still contaminate thousands of kilometres of roads and millions of square metres of land, making vast areas of Sudan impassable, preventing aid distribution, agriculture and the resettlement of homeless refugees.On the day of the accident, Mr Fantham, a quality assurance officer for the UN Mine Action Office, was part of a team overseeing mine-clearance efforts for local sub-offices. A mine-clearance team from an international contractor had completed its sweep of a 1.1-kilometre stretch of the busy road from Juba to Nimule, on the Ugandan border, clearing mines and UXO from a strip of land that measured 13 metres to either side of the centre of the road.Once Mr. Fantham had verified that the boundaries of the cleared area were clearly marked, it would be added to information management maps, and road construction crews would be able to operate their equipment on the road-side and perform needed repairs to the road itself. Mr. Fantham called colleagues at the UN Mine Action Office, part of UNMAS, located in the UNMIS compound in Juba, and calmly relayed a few key points of information.First, there had been an accident at the mine-clearance site about 65 kilometres south of Juba. Second, he was in a vehicle that would need to be waved past the security gates at the compound without interference or delay. And lastly, Mr. Fantham said the Bangladeshi military hospital supporting UNMIS, and also located in the compound, needed to know that a landmine accident involving a traumatic amputation of the lower leg was on its way in.Despite the end of Sudan’s civil war in 2005 and ensuing reconciliation efforts, it is still among the most heavily mined nations on Earth, with landmines and other unexploded ordinance (UXO) left behind after decades of conflict posing a tremendous threat to the safety of the Sudanese people.With an annual budget of $70 million and the second largest mine action programme in the world, the UN Mine Action Office co-ordinates and oversees all mine action activities in Sudan. Between 2002 and September 2010, it managed the clearance of more than 27,000 mines and 890,000 UXO, opening 43,000 kilometres of roads and releasing 64 million square metres of land. Accompanied by his assistant, a Sudanese national, and a member of a mine-clearance team belonging to a non-governmental organization, Mr. Fantham was walking through bush beside the road when he stepped on a mine that had been missed during previous clearance.He heard a loud bang and then found himself sitting on the ground, his right foot gone and what remained of his ankle hanging by a scrap of flesh.Looking back, Mr. Fantham recalls the injury bleeding surprisingly little and not being particularly painful at the time – he bound his ankle and thigh with shirts and had his companions rush him on the high-speed trip to Juba. An hour later, they pulled up to the UNMIS hospital doors. The next thing the New Zealander remembers is waking up hours later, the ruin of his leg now a clean stump ending at mid-shin.All things considered, Mr. Fantham, a 23-year veteran of the New Zealand Army, considers himself lucky. Because he had been able to obtain expert medical attention at the hospital operated by peacekeepers from UNMIS’ Bangladeshi contingent, the injury was not life-threatening – unlike the situation for most Sudanese nationals in rural areas, where hospital care is almost unheard of. Had Mr. Fantham been alone in the bush, his story would have ended very differently.Within two weeks of the accident, he returned to his family’s home in Brisbane, Australia, for a five-month recovery – after which, fitted with a shiny new prosthetic leg, he returned to his job in Sudan. “Never hesitated for one second – I said that to myself the next day in hospital in Nairobi, that I wanted to return to Sudan; the office said they wanted me back and once my wife and family got over the initial shock, they knew I was focused on getting a new leg and getting back,” Mr. Fantham said. “The hardest thing was being patient enough and letting the leg heal – once I got the second prosthetic on at five months I knew I was away!”Mr. Fantham acknowledges that some would express surprise that he would return to the job that cost him his foot and lower leg, especially those closest to him.“Typically, my wife’s reaction was along the lines if ‘Go on then, go back and blow your otherleg off! Crazy bas***d!’ and said with a smile on her face,” Mr. Fantham said. “But it was my motivation every day: ‘When can I go back to work? When can I go back to work?’”He readily admits though that his family’s support is crucial to the work he does. After leaving the New Zealand armed forces, Mr. Fantham spent six years working for a Swiss de-mining non-governmental organization, before joining the UN Mine Action Office in Sudan in mid-2007.“She, my children and friends don’t, or can’t, understand what we do here in Sudan,” Mr. Fantham said. “They just know I love what I do, support me in that regard and are happy that I am happy.” From a distance, the vehicle seemed like a white speck on the horizon, bouncing along – at great speed – the rough, unfinished roads of South Sudan, still about a half-hour south of the compound belonging to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), in the capital, Juba.When it hit bumps in the rough road, the 4WD bounced into the air a little, prompting groans of pain from the big man stretched out across the back seats.That man, Stephen Fantham, had good reason to be groaning – the UN de-miner had just had his right foot and ankle blown off by a land-mine.Less than an hour before, while going about his work for the Sudan office of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) – the UN operation spearheading the response to the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war – those limbs had been destroyed by an anti-personnel landmine, missed by a mine-clearance team. But despite the shock of what had just happened, Mr. Fanthan’s focus was firmly set on dealing with the life-and-death situation he now found himself in.While trying hard to keep his right leg elevated in the back of the vehicle, he checked his cell-phone again and was delighted to see that he finally had a connectivity signal – as sometimes happens due to atmospheric conditions in the area, neither the satellite phone nor the dedicated radio in the car had a signal, preventing calls being made from them.
The canal network in Colombo is to be used for passenger transport, the Government announced today.The 43km long Colombo canal network is maintained by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. The Government said that cabinet also approved the introduction of commercial activities such as floating markets along the canals. (Colombo Gazette) Accordingly, a proposal made by the Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka to implement a project for the introduction of a transportation scheme using canals, and water based recreational activities using boats was approved by the cabinet. Cabinet has been told that utilising the canal network for transportation of passengers and goods after several years would result in minimising traffic congestion in the city and promoting the tourism industry.
Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday that next month’s Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid, Spain, would take place amid far greater recognition of the importance of this issue compared to the first such Assembly in 1982. Mr. Desai said that he also expected a greater focus during the Assembly on the problems of the developing countries. In contrast to the developed world, where adjustments in the economy, health care, housing and social relations to demographic changes took place over the last 100 years, the developing world will have to learn to cope with the same transformations in just the next 25 years with far less resources.The Assembly’s outcome would look at the problems not in isolation, but as part of an effort to build a “society for all ages,” he stressed, adding that during preparatory negotiations, a lot of attention had been paid to issues of older persons and development, health and well-being in old age, among other things. The crosscutting issues of human rights, gender and poverty also have played a role.While there was 80 per cent agreement on the outcome text, which was still being negotiated, Mr. Desai said the remaining 20 per cent concerned some issues of financing and funding, as well as health care for older persons and human rights.Joining Mr. Desai at the briefing was Ambassador Milos Alcalay of Venezuela, who pointed out that ageing was also part of the development agenda for which the just concluded International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, had been the starting point.Speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Ambassador Alcalay said that the problem for developing countries was that increasing longevity meant that people lived longer in poverty, a situation that had not previously existed. The Group of 77 was very optimistic, he said, that solutions could be found during the remaining negotiations, even if they had to continue during the Assembly, which will take place from 8 to 12 April.
CHARLESTON, Ill. — John Konchar had 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and Purdue Fort Wayne tied a program record with 21 3-pointers in a 104-60 victory over Eastern Illinois on Wednesday night.It matched the 21 3s made against Olivet on Jan. 9, 2017, but Wednesday’s performance was the best against a Division I opponent, passing the 20 against Oral Roberts on Dec. 31, 2016.Jarred Godfrey also scored 16 points for Purdue Fort Wayne (5-4). Matt Holba made a team-high five 3-pointers and Godfrey, Marcus DeBerry, Kason Harrell, Dee Montgomery and Matt Weir each hit three from distance. Nine of the 11 Mastodon players attempted a 3-pointer as the team shot 57 per cent from long range.A 16-2 run turned a 26-25 Mastodon deficit into a 13-point advantage and they put the game away with 12 3-pointers in the second half.Rade Kukobat scored 12 points for Eastern Illinois (3-4), and Ben Harvey added 11.The Associated Press
Two crowd funding pages to help the two families with their costs have raised more than £40,000 in less than 24 hours. The close friends attended the concert together Eilidh’s father, Roddy, rushed to Manchester to search for their daughter after the attack. Her mother was already in the city after travelling with the girls from Barra.They have now released a statement confirming the heartbreaking news.They said: “Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh.”Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.”As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time.”Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, said it was heartbreaking news and her thoughts were with Eilidh’s family. “She was doing well in competitions, she certainly had it. She was coming on fantastically, I was so proud of her.“She was popular, she was a fantastic girl, the girl was brilliant. I am just gutted, it is just terrible. It is a big, big loss. It has shattered my life. Everybody on the island knows the family, a beautiful family.” A “vivacious” teenager from the picturesque Scottish island of Barra has been confirmed dead by her parents.Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was killed in the blast at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday evening, which she attended with her close friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, who was located in hospital nearly 20 hours after the incident.Ms MacIntyre’s parents have said in a statement that their daughter is in a critical condition.They said: “Our daughter Laura is a funny and witty young girl who excels at everything she does.”Laura and her friend Eilidh were so looking forward to the concert, but the night has now ended in a tragedy where Eilidh has now lost her life and Laura is in a critical condition. Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, who visited members of both families on the island, said it was a “time of terrible anguish”.He added: “Spending time with the relatives of both girls was a reminder of the human cost of acts of terror. Such acts leave families broken, lives scarred and innocence destroyed, my thoughts and prayers are with the families at this traumatic time.”The local priest, Fr John Paul MacKinnon, said a dark cloud had descended over an island of “close bonds and deep faith”, adding: “The ripples of pain spreading out from the terrible events in Manchester on Monday night are amplified here in such a small community.” Friends of the schoolgirl paid tribute on social media. One tweeted, “Rest easy my angel you were one of a kind,” and added that she had “never felt so disgusted by this cruel world”.Donald Patrick Nicholson, 76, Eilidh’s piping teacher, said her untimely death had “shattered” his life.He told The Daily Telegraph: “She was a brilliant wee piper. She played with the school and I taught her myself. She started at a young age and she took to it brilliantly. Angus MacNeil, the Western Isles SNP candidate and a friend of both families, said the small Hebridean island, with a population of just over 1,000, was “heartbroken beyond belief”.”We were numb before and we are even number now,” he added. “It is just hard to take in.”It’s very difficult to process and to understand and to find reasoning for it. If people here don’t have children the age of Laura and Eilidh they’ll certainly know their families.“They are feeling the pain of the families. This does seem a very different place to the world of international terrorism on the news.”He revealed that Laura was sedated and had undergone a number of successful procedures in hospital and was responding well. But he added that she had “some horrible injuries” and would be in hospital for some time This is heartbreaking news. My thoughts are with Eilidh’s mum and dad, and all of her family and friends. https://t.co/NiS2KALrGL— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 25, 2017 Eilidh’s mother Marion was due to meet the girls outside the arena. She mounted a frantic search of hotels and hospitals and was asked by police for detailed descriptions of the girls’ clothing in a bid to help locate them.As her husband, and Laura’s parents, Michael and Margaret, arranged to fly to Manchester, islanders in the close-knit community feared the worst. The girls come from a largely Gaelic-speaking community where serious crime is virtually unknown and were at the concert as a special treat for Eilidh’s birthday. A relative said it was also a reward for their efforts at the island’s 170-pupil community school. “Our hearts and minds have been with Eilidh’s family since we heard their news.”We want to thank everyone for their support including the emergency services for all that they have done and continue to do.”We know Laura is in the best possible place and receiving the best care she can.”Laura is strong-willed and a fighter, and while she continues this battle we ask that all media respect our privacy at this extremely difficult time”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.