Many people with profound hearing loss have been helped by devices called cochlear implants, but their hearing is still far from normal. They often have trouble distinguishing different musical pitches, for example, or hearing a conversation in a noisy room. Now, researchers have found a clever way of using cochlear implants to deliver new genes into the ear—a therapy that, in guinea pigs, dramatically improves hearing.The most common cause of deafness is loss of the tiny hair cells within the cochlea, a hollow, spiral structure in the inner ear that translates sounds into nerve impulses. Hearing aids that merely amplify sounds don’t help people who have lost these hair cells. So since the 1970s, more than 320,000 children and adults around the world who are deaf or severely hard of hearing have received cochlear implants. Instead of relying on hair cells, the device converts sounds into electrical impulses, then uses electrodes to relay these signals to the auditory nerve leading to the brain. But because the auditory nerve lies buried within tissue, the implants don’t work as well as they could if the electrodes were closer to the nerve.Some researchers have spurred new neurons to grow inside the cochlea using a protein called a growth factor. They have pumped the growth factor into the inner ear, or used a virus to deliver a gene that codes for it into cells. But pumped-in growth factor doesn’t work for long unless it is replenished. And viral gene therapy doesn’t always put the gene in the right cells and carries risks, such as a reaction from the immune system to the virus.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Graduate student Jeremy Pinyon and colleagues in the laboratory of neuroscientist Gary Housley at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, tested a different kind of gene therapy on guinea pigs made deaf with a drug that kills cochlear hair cells. The researchers created loops of DNA encoding a gene for a growth factor called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). While inserting a cochlear implant into the animals, the team injected the cochlea with a solution of BDNF DNA, then used electrical pulses from the device to create pores in the cells lining the cochlea and coax the DNA to enter the cells. The loops also included a gene for green fluorescent protein so that the scientists could see if the inserted DNA was taken up by the cells and translated into protein.In the next few days, the cells began pumping out BDNF, which, in turn, spurred the growth of long, spiky neurons toward the electrodes. Two weeks after the treatment, the researchers tested how sensitive the animals’ brains were to sounds of various frequencies. The results were closer to those for normal animals and much better than those seen in animals that had only a cochlear implant.“We’ve closed the neural gap,” Housley says. Although it’s hard to precisely measure sound perception in guinea pigs, if applied in humans, “we’re hoping that tonal colors and richness will be improved,” says Housley, whose team’s report appears today in Science Translational Medicine.One caveat is that the improved hearing didn’t last long—the cells stopped producing BDNF after about 6 weeks and the new nerves began to die. The DNA loops will have to be modified to work longer in cells, Housley says. Another potential problem is that it’s not known how long the cells that received the DNA last before they die and their BDNF-making ability is lost. Housley thinks these issues can be addressed, however, and he hopes to start a small clinical trial to test the procedure in people within 2 years.”The idea [of using BDNF] has been around. But this is the first study to put this idea together with cochlear implants,” says neuroscientist Jeffrey Holt of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The technique is “ingenious,” says hearing researcher Yehoash Raphael of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, whose group has used a virus to insert the gene for BNDF into cochlear cells. Housley hopes other implanted devices could also deliver gene therapy, such as small electrical devices sometimes inserted into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease to relieve their symptoms.
So, another world record, 82.92.And again the Russian fans rocked back and forth, this time chanting Zagitova’s name.“Well done to her,” Medvedeva said. “She did everything she could.”Not exactly, Zagitova said.“A few imperfections,” she explained.Oh really?“I’m happy I was able to cope with my nerves and skate well, set a world record,” she added, “but I’ve still got something to work towards and I can’t afford to relax.”Medvedeva had set the previous record for a short program in the team event last week, when her team won silver. Zagitova handled the free skate.Russia had never won Olympic gold for women until Adelina Sotnikova took home the medal in Sochi. The nation could have two straight after the free skate.Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman, second and third respectively at last year’s worlds, had varying success. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting In this combination of photos, Russian athletes Alina Zagitova, left, and Evgenia Medvedeva react as their scores are posted following their performance in the women’s short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. They will compete for the gold in the free skate Friday, Feb. 23. (AP Photos/Bernat Armangue)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Friends, rivals, and soon, medalists.The only question is: Which Russian teen figure skating star will end the nation’s gold medal drought?ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH UAAP volleyball: Ateneo still on a roll, survives Adamson in 5 sets Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Medvedeva had not lost a competition in two years until she was beaten by Zagitova at the European Championships in Moscow. That set the stage for a showdown with a glaring spotlight — as the Russian fans are hoping for a high-profile success at this Olympics where the nation is officially banned because of a doping scandal.The youngsters responded with world records. Yet neither thought they had done their best.“I’m satisfied with my performance today. It was not my best, but it was OK,” said Medvedeva, who held the record for a few minutes with a score of 81.61. “All the battle is still ahead.”A group of Russian fans swayed together in the stands and chanted her name when that number was posted.Three skaters later came her training comrade, who put down a more difficult program, including a triple lutz-triple loop combination that outdid Medvedeva’s flip-toe loop combo.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. AFP official booed out of forum Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Russian envoy invites PH firms to explore for oil, gas in Russia PLAY LIST 02:03Russian envoy invites PH firms to explore for oil, gas in Russia01:37Russian envoy: Putin accepts Duterte’s invitation to visit PH03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Alina Zagitova or Evgenia Medvedeva will almost certainly take gold in one of the Winter Games marquee events after they went 1-2 in the women’s short program Wednesday with the highest scores ever. The 15-year-old Zagitova and the 18-year-old Medvedva train with the same coach, hang out together and set world records just minutes apart.With a dominating lead over the field, their friendly competition is the main drama left when the women compete in the free skate Friday. With all of Russia waiting for the first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics, you’d think their relationship could become frayed, but only on the ice.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We can talk about anything to each other,” the 18-year-old Medvedeva said, “and when we take the ice it’s sport and we must fight. Every competition I feel like (is) a little war.”Added Zagitova, 15: “We are friends first and rivals second, because you have to have competitiveness in sport.” Osmond, in her best performance of the season, nailed everything with speed and precision to wind up third with 78.87 points. Daleman looked confused and made a gesture with her hands as if to say “What happened?” after going down on the second half of a combination jump. She was seventh Wednesday.“I left nothing out on the table and I’m really glad I could do that,” said Osmond, the 2017 world silver medalist.Italy’s Carolina Kostner, the bronze medalist at Sochi and, at 31 the veteran in this field, struggled and wound up just ahead of Daleman.It was not a strong showing for the Americans, each of whom had a major mistake.Nine days after becoming the first U.S. woman and third overall to land a triple axel in the Olympics, Mirai Nagasu came down on two feet on the jump, then fell to the ice. While the rest of her program was clean, Nagasu’s chances for an individual medal to go with her team bronze were damaged. Nagasu, 24 and the fourth-place finisher at the Vancouver Games, earned 66.93 points, a season’s best, but was ninth.“Sometimes it isn’t the right day, and today was one of those days,” Nagasu said. “This isn’t a sport where mistakes are forgiven. You only get one shot.”U.S. champion Bradie Tennell went first among the 30 skaters, hardly an advantageous position. She led for 2 hours, 40 minutes until the upper echelon began skating and Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto passed Tennell. A fall on the back end of a combination jump — Tennell had been virtually perfect with her jumps in her breakthrough season — was costly.“It was definitely unexpected. I don’t remember the last time I made a mistake in my short program, especially on the jumps,” Tennell said. “But things happen. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. You just have to get up a keep going. I’m definitely a fighter. I do not give up.”Tennell ended up 11th, one spot behind Karen Chen, the 2017 American champ. Chen put a hand down on her triple lutz and couldn’t finish a combination jump.“I’ve been nailing that every day in practice and I expected myself to, and to not be able to do that was a huge disappointment,” she said. “For sure, I was a little flustered after that. But I sold my program the best I could, got the most points I could and I’m proud of that.” Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises The United States’ worst top placement in a women’s Olympic event since the games resumed in 1948 after World War II is sixth. Getting that high will be a huge challenge. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES View comments
A fighting unbeaten 75 from Ravichandran Ashwin and fiesty resistance from wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha enabled India to fish out of troubled waters ending at 234 for five at stumps on the first day of the third cricket Test.Courtesy, an unbroken 108-run sixth wicket stand between Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha (46 batting) grinded it out to steady the innings and batted out the entire final session after being precariously placed 126 for five.Early on, opener Rahul’s crisp 50 off 65 balls came after the visitors lost Shikhar Dhawan and captain Virat Kohli cheaply.The West Indies, with their morale boosted after securing a dramatic draw in second Test, bowled with purpose to put the opposition under pressure. Debutan pacer Alzarri Joseph was impressive and took the prized wicket of Kohli.Post-tea, Ashwin and Saha looked to get things going again and build a partnership that could dig India out of a huge hole. And while they succeeded in doing so, there were quite a few hiccups along the way.In the 55th over, three overs after play resumed, Jason Holder (0-27) swung a delivery in sharply and Saha shouldered arms, only for the ball to hit the flap of his pad. Umpire Nigel Llong deemed it not out, with the batsman on 1 at that time.In the very next over, on 26, Ashwin was almost caught at forward short leg, the ball just dropping short, with Roston Chase (2-38) the unlucky bowler. Chances kept coming for the West Indies, and the biggest miss was in the 63rd over, when Ashwin was caught at point off Shannon Gabriel (1-68), but got a reprieve as the bowler had stepped on the side-crease and it was deemed a no ball. He was on 35 then.India’s 150—mark came up in the 65th over, but the scoring rate was down to a trickle. The two batsmen didn’t mind that and continued to grind out their innings, with the 50-partnership coming off 155 balls.Saha got away twice thereafter, first a run-out chance in the 79th over when he was halfway down the pitch but the fielder couldn’t get a direct throw in. Then, in the 82nd over as the new ball was taken, Joseph (2-38) induced an edge only for the ball to die down inches away from keeper Shane Dowrich.Ashwin then celebrated his seventh Test half-century off 157 balls, and the 200-mark came up in the 84th over.The duo struck some exquisite boundaries towards the end of the day’s play providing a late flourish to the total, and added 104 runs without the loss of a wicket in the final session, which otherwise could have looked embarrassing for the visitors. PTI CN BS KHS KHS 08101059Earlier, after lunch, Rohit Sharma (9) and Ajinkya Rahane (35) came out to resume their partnership, and were looking to launch a fight back. Rohit lasted only 12 balls after the break though, edging Joseph behind on a delivery that swung away just a touch from the off—stump.The immediate breakthrough put the West Indies in complete command of proceedings as Ashwin came out to bat.Saha and Ashwin took their time thereafter, and didn’t look in any hurry whatsoever to score runs.This approach allowed the hosts to work on their plans and execute them without hassle. And the bowlers built up constant pressure and didn’t allow any easy runs to come by.The 100—mark came up for India in the 33rd over, but the first hour after lunch yielded only 35 runs. Over the course of the second hour’s play, the scoring rate almost ground to a halt as only another 18 runs were added.And that too with the additional loss of a wicket as Chase bowled Rahane in the 50th over, the batsman completely misjudging the flight. He had added 39 runs with Ashwin for the 5th wicket, with the runs trickling in at just 1.65 per over.In the morning, West Indies won the toss and elected to field given the lively pitch here. They made two changes, bringing in Leon Johnson for dropped opener Rajendra Chandrika and then opting for 19-year-old pacer Joseph in place of leg spinner Devendra Bishoo.India made three changes from the Jamaica Test, bringing in Rohit, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Cheteshwar Pujara, Amit Mishra and Umesh Yadav, respectively.Gabriel and Joseph then started proceedings with the new ball against Dhawan (1) and Rahul. Gabriel started off with couple loose deliveries that allowed Rahul to get going easily, and was in complete contrast to what was to come later on. Soon enough, the two worked up their pace and their plans bore fruit.They used the short ball to good effect, particularly Gabriel as he squeezed Dhawan for room down the leg side. The left—handed opener looked to pull one in the third over, and edged to the keeper Shane Dowrich.Surprisingly then, skipper Kohli (3) came out to bat and was tested immediately with a mix of short and moving deliveries. It was a bold move, but it didn’t work as Kohli edged a rising delivery from the young Joseph to first slip where Darren Bravo completed a regulation catch.India were in all sorts of trouble then, but Rahul added 58 runs for the third wicket with Rahane who came in at No 4.The Karnataka opener continued his good run of form, and scored a chanceless first Test half-century. He was comfortable against the short ball attack from Gabriel—Joseph and then negotiated Miguel Cummins (0-36) and Holder easily as well.He helped bring up the 50-mark for India in the 13th over, and his 50-partnership with Rahane came off 68 balls.Thereafter, he reached his fifty off 64 deliveries, as Chase came on to bowl.But off the very next ball, in the 20th over, fell to the West Indies’ trap, as he hit straight to Kraigg Brathwaite (0-20) at short fine leg.Rahane had looked uncomfortable against Holder again, but tightened up his game to survive until lunch. Rohit had come out to bat thereafter, and faced a couple testing overs from Gabriel. But he too survived the little phase before the break, even as the visitors were struggling at 87/3. SHARE cricket COMMENT Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL August 10, 2016 COMMENTS
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Roger Federer of Switzerland wipes his face during the semifinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (Alexandra Wey/Keystone via AP)SYDNEY — Roger Federer has pulled out of the inaugural ATP Cup.Organizers wrote on Twitter that Federer withdrew “due to family reasons and therefore Switzerland has been withdrawn as a country that qualified at the first entry deadline.”ADVERTISEMENT The ATP Cup will open the 2020 season in Australia from Jan. 3-12, with two four-team groups in each of Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. The Swiss were drawn into a group with Belgium, Britain and one other nation.Eight teams from the six-day group stage advance to the knockout rounds in Sydney.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceThe ATP Cup joins a crowded 2020 season. It includes two other team events — the Davis Cup and Laver Cup, which the 38-year-old Federer part-owns — and the Tokyo Olympics. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:54Palace: Up to MTRCB, DFA chief to pull out ‘Abominable’ from cinemas00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Someone from the Philippines could win a $208 million jackpot this week! View comments MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? PH judoka Kiyomi Watanabe nears Olympic berth Rice industry paralysis What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay?
HOUSTON (AP) — The Golden State Warriors, so used to making things look easy, overcame one of their toughest tests to return to the NBA Finals.They climbed out of huge holes in the last two games of the Western Conference finals to beat Houston, but may have to play in the first half the way they have after halftime if they hope to knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and repeat as champions.“They played a great series, they made us work for everything … I’m just proud of the way we battled,” Klay Thompson said. “We’ve been through a lot with this team, and believe it or not, it’s not all success with the Warriors.”“We’ve got our bumps throughout the season,” he continued. “But to get to this point again, we earned it.”Without Andre Iguodala again, the Warriors shook off another terrible first half in Game 7 on Monday night to rally for a 101-92 victory that made them the fifth team in NBA history to advance to the finals in four straight seasons.Golden State trailed by 11 at halftime after being behind at the break by 10 points in Game 6, becoming the first team to win multiple elimination games in the same series when trailing by double digits after two quarters.Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, celebrates after they defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Coach Steve Kerr lamented that Golden State’s first half on Monday night was “one of the most bizarre first halves” his team has played since he’s been with the Warriors and joked that he thought of resigning at halftime before getting serious.“Our talent took over,” Kerr said. “It’s as simple as that. We’ve got three of the best shot-makers in the league … we stayed with it.”The trio — Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — combined to score 47 points in the second half to pull away from a Rockets team that missed 27 straight 3-pointers from the second quarter to the halfway mark of the fourth quarter.“I think it was just a level of experience and maturity from our group that helped us get to the finish line,” Curry said.The Warriors outlasted the Rockets despite missing Iguodala for the last four games with a bone bruise on his left leg. It’s unclear if the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will return for Game 1 on Thursday, but if he does it will give Golden State a boost in trying to slow down James.While Golden State certainly isn’t happy the way it started the last two games, its ability to turn things around in the second half gives the Warriors confidence heading into the next challenge. The Warriors outscored Houston 122-63 in the second half of the final two games.Houston gave them a much bigger test than the Warriors have had in quite some time and this series was their first with three losses since the Cavaliers won the 2016 finals 4-3.The Golden State Warriors pose with their trophy after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)“Just keeping our composure was big for us the entire series,” Curry said. “Whether we figured it out, win or lose, we showed a lot of fight, a lot of grit and resiliency to stay positive as we went through the series no matter what the situation was.”Thompson was clear that the mistakes he made before halftime on Monday night won’t happen again. After scoring 35 points in Game 6, he collected three fouls in less than four minutes to force him to sit out most of the first quarter.“I cannot do that next series, and that’s a big no-no,” he said. “Learned my lesson. Those guys are great at drawing fouls but I’ve got to be smarter than that. That really hurt. I hated not being out there when I was supposed to.”Curry, before he could look forward to the finals, he took some time to reflect on what it took to get past the Rockets and appreciate the accomplishment of having another shot at the title.“This was a part of our story that we hadn’t been through before,” he said. “Our backs against the wall, not having home-court advantage, needing to win two games to keep ourselves alive. This is a true testament to how hard it is to get to the finals, how hard it is to have a chance to play for a championship.”—By KRISTIE RIEKEN , AP Sports WriterGolden State Warriors forward Draymond Green celebrate with teammates after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant holds the trophy as he and teammate Draymond Green, right, celebrate with teammates after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant celebrates with teammates as they receive their trophy after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrates with teammates as they receive their trophy after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) pumps his fists as Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) walks to the bench late in the second half of Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, passes the ball as Houston Rockets guard James Harden defends during the second half of Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with teammate Draymond Green (23) during the second half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)TweetPinShare0 Shares
HOUSTON (AP) — Stephen Strasburg paraded the MVP trophy for delirious fans packed behind the dugout. Max Scherzer tearfully hugged his teammates. Gerardo Parra did the Baby Shark chop, Sean Doolittle flapped snow angels next to the mound.Almost out of contention in May, champs in October.Howie Kendrick, Anthony Rendon and the Washington Nationals completed their amazing comeback journey — fittingly with one last late rally on the road.In Game 7 of the World Series, no less.Kendrick and Rendon homered in the seventh inning as the Nationals overcame a two-run deficit, rocking the Houston Astros 6-2 Wednesday night to win the first title in franchise history.Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon and Adam Eaton celebrate in the locker room after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)With all eyes on Scherzer and his remarkable recovery after a painkilling injection, these Nationals truly embraced their shot in the only Series when the road team won every game.Even more against the odds: Juan Soto and Washington came from behind to win five elimination games this postseason, an unprecedented feat.“What a story,” said Ryan Zimmerman, the only player who’s been a part of every Nationals team.“The way this game went is the way our whole season went.”Strasburg, new lefty Patrick Corbin and the Nats brought the first World Series championship to the nation’s capital since ol’ Walter Johnson delivered the crown for the Senators in 1924.This franchise started out as the Montreal Expos in 1969 when the major leagues expanded beyond the border, putting a team with tricolor caps at jaunty Jarry Park. They moved to D.C. in 2005, ending Washington’s three-decade-plus wait for big league baseball after the Senators skipped town to become the Texas Rangers.But the incredible path these wild-card Nationals with the curly W logo took, well, no one could have imagined.The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Because in one topsy-turvy week, they put aside the pain of past playoff failures and upended heavily favored Houston. Quite an ending to a season that began back in February with the Nationals and Astros working out side-by-side at the spring training complex they share in Florida.“Resilient, relentless bunch of guys,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They fought all year long.”Having lost star slugger Bryce Harper in free agency and beset by bullpen woes, Washington plummeted to 19-31 in late May. It got so bad there was talk the Nationals might fire Martinez and trade away Scherzer.Instead, they stuck with the mantra that sprung up on T-shirts — Stay In The Fight.“That was our motto,” Scherzer said.And months later they finished it, indeed.Shut out on one hit by Zack Greinke going into the seventh, they still found a way to win.“Guess what? We stayed in the fight. We won the fight!” Martinez shouted during the trophy celebration on the field.Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)“We were down and out. We were 19-31. We didn’t quit then, we weren’t going to quit now,” he said.Strasburg earned the World Series MVP award with a pair of wins, including Game 6.“It’s almost like we’ve done it so many times that we have to get punched in the face to kind of wake up,” he said.As pitcher Aníbal Sánchez told Scherzer while hugging him in the middle of the diamond: “We won one. We finally won one.”For the 43,326 revved-up fans at Minute Maid Park, it was a combination of shock and disappointment. So close to seeing José Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer and their Astros add to the title they won in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium two years ago, they watched this chance suddenly vanish.“I’ve got a group of heartbroken men in there that did everything they could to try to bring a World Series championship to this city. And we fell one win shy,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said.“Let’s be honest, there’s 28 other teams that would love to have our misery today,” he said. “And I just told our team, it’s hard to put into words and remember all the good that happened because right now we feel as bad as you can possibly feel,” he added.President Donald Trump, greeted with chants of “Lock him up!” when he attended Game 5 in Washington, tweeted his congratulations to the Nationals from the White House.The Washington Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)“Game 7 was amazing!” Trump tweeted.Washington kept pulling away after taking the lead, with the sensational Soto hitting an RBI single in the eighth and Adam Eaton adding a two-run single in the ninth off rookie José Urquidy.Acquired from Arizona at the July trade deadline, Greinke was in complete control until Rendon — a Houston prep and college star — hit a solo homer with one out in the seventh that trimmed it to 2-1.“Just gave us a little bit of hope,” Nationals leadoff man Trea Turner said.When Soto followed with a one-out walk, Hinch decided to make a move. He’d had ace starter Gerrit Cole warming up earlier, but left him in the bullpen.“I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead,” Hinch said. “He was going to close the game in the ninth.”Instead, Hinch signaled for reliable reliever Will Harris.Washington Nationals’ Howie Kendrick hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Kendrick connected on the second pitch, slicing a drive that hit the screen attached to the right field foul pole for a 3-2 lead. Just like that, everything had changed for the team in orange that led the majors with 107 regular-season wins, and the ballpark fell silent.For Kendrick, another timely blow. At 36, playing on the oldest team in the majors, he was the NL Championship Series MVP against St. Louis after hitting the winning grand slam in the 10th inning of the deciding Game 5 in the Division Series at Dodger Stadium.Then again, this was nothing new for the Nationals.Washington rallied in the eighth to beat Milwaukee in the wild-card game and took the last two to beat Los Angeles in the NLDS, setting up a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS.“This is now the most 2019 Nats thing to ever happen,” Doolittle said. “Another elimination game, another come-from-behind win.”Far away, a sizable crowd poured into Nationals Park for a watch party. That was the stadium where Houston hammered the Nats for three games last weekend in taking a 3-2 edge, but their luck changed in Texas.They won the last two against a team that posted the best home record in the majors (60-21) over the last two decades. Houston earned home-field advantage throughout the postseason, but it didn’t help in the end as the Astros went a stunning 0-4 in their own ballpark during the Series.Washington Nationals’ Howie Kendrick hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Martinez said Soto, who turned 21 last week, celebrated with his first beer. Meanwhile, the skipper, who had a heart procedure six weeks ago and can’t resume his six-cups-a-day coffee habit, headed back to the clubhouse for a special treat.“I am,” he said, “going to smoke a cigar.”With Greinke and Scherzer grunting on every pitch, Game 7 started as a classic duel.Yuli Gurriel put the Astros ahead with a home run in the second and Carlos Correa added an RBI single off Scherzer that made it 2-0 in the fifth.Scherzer was done after the fifth. Only a few days earlier, the three-time Cy Young Award winner had been unable to lift his right arm due to nerve irritation near his neck.Corbin, the $140 million starter, threw three scoreless innings in relief.Daniel Hudson, released by the Angels in March, closed for the Nationals, who made Houston pay for stranding so many runners all game. Hudson struck out Michael Brantley for the last out, then threw his glove to start the celebration.Washington Nationals’ Anthony Rendon hits a home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Astros breezed to the AL West title, edged Tampa Bay in a five-game ALDS and topped the Yankees in the ALCS. They had a front-office fiasco in October, which led to the firing of an executive for a boorish rant at female reporters during a clubhouse celebration.“Yeah, the ultimate goal is to win the World Series, and we fell short to a great team. You can’t hang your head low about that,” Springer said. “You move on and start getting ready for spring training.”GOING WILDThe Nationals became the first wild-card team to win the Series since Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in 2014. The last six champs have clinched on the road.UP NEXTThe Astros and Nationals open exhibition play with a World Series rematch on Feb. 22 at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. They met in their Grapefruit League opener this year and Scherzer gave up a home run to the first batter of the game.—Fans cheer as Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke leaves the game during the seventh inning of Game 7 of the baseball World Series against the Washington Nationals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)By BEN WALKER AP Baseball WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
A preliminary investigation has found that two offenders at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility had an altercation on Feb. 22 that resulted in one of them being hospitalized. The injured man reported his injuries to correctional staff at about 10 a.m. on Feb. 22. He told staff the injuries happened during an accidental fall while he was alone in his cell in a living unit. He received medical attention from the onsite medical team and at hospital. He returned to the facility later that day. On Feb. 23, new symptoms were reported, and he was taken to hospital and later admitted. He stayed in hospital for five days. On Feb. 27, new information pointed to the injuries happening during an assault in the cell. Correctional Services staff began a preliminary investigation, and the incident was reported to Halifax Regional Police on Feb. 28. The injured man is serving a custodial sentence and is also on remand. This information is being released under the Justice Department’s policy to inform the public of major incidents involving persons in custody. The policy can be found at gov.ns.ca/just/updates.asp .
HUMBOLDT, Sask. — Nathan Oystrick has stepped down as head coach and general manager of the Humboldt Broncos.The 36-year-old Regina native was hired in July, three months after 16 members of the junior hockey team were killed in a bus crash.In a tweet, Oystrick said “Despite the extreme stress and constant pressure of working with the organization, I gave them everything I possibly could and am proud of their performance, and mine, this season.”Oystrick said another statement would follow.More to come.The Canadian Press
STOMP Out Bullying is thrilled to announce its newest Global Ambassadors, Alyssa Miller and Jameel McClain.Both Alyssa and Jameel are determined to shed light on the important subject of Bullying and Cyberbullying and those affected by it.“We are delighted that both Alyssa and Jameel are lending their names to this very important issue,” commented Ross Ellis founder and Chief Executive Officer of STOMP Out Bullying. “As role models, their voices can make such a difference.”While bullying may seem like “a rite of passage” among adolescents, many parents and kids don’t take it seriously until someone they know is directly affected by bullying or tragically, commits suicide.Here are the real facts:· 1 out of 4 kids is bullied· Depending upon their ages up to 43% of young people say they have been the victim of digital aggression· 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school· Child and teen Bullying and Cyberbullying are at an all-time high· Some kids are so tormented that suicide has become an alternative for them· Bullies are more likely to skip school, drop out of school, smoke, drink alcohol, get into fights and be arrested at some point in their life. 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24.· As many as 8% of students may stay home from school because they’re afraid of their bullies and/or they just can’t take the pain anymore.Alyssa Miller is a fashion and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and California native who has always been passionate about bullying prevention.“Growing up in a big family made me realize the importance of always looking out for those you love,” she says. “While I’ve always been protective of my brothers and sisters, I recognize the importance of ensuring that every child is treated with the same respect they deserve.” In teaming up with STOMP Out Bullying and supporting their efforts, Alyssa hopes to empower those victimized while helping to prevent future cases of bullying.Jameel McClain, #53 Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion XLVI is a native of North Philly and has participated in a variety of philanthropic events and bullying prevention is something he feels strongly about.He says, “When people say things that hurt, that takes a piece of you. You have to be strong because when these people see you sweat or they see it’s getting to you, that’s when they try to take advantage of you. We define our own destiny. We have to teach kids not to let circumstances dictate who they are.”Alyssa and Jameel are the newest Global Ambassadors for STOMP Out Bullying. For the full list click here.
Over 200 grams of cocaine was seized from the suspects. (Colombo Gazette) Eight Nigerians and two Sri Lankans were arrested at different locations with cocaine, the police said.The police narcotics bureau conducted a raid in the Mount Lavinia, Ragama and Battaramulla areas and arrested the foreigners and two locals.
A statement issued by his spokesman said Mr. Annan was concerned by yesterday’s suicide bomb attack on a bus in the city of Hadera in northern Israel, in which three Israelis died, as well as earlier killings of a Palestinian leader and five boys in Gaza. Mr. Annan reiterated his condemnation of indiscriminate attacks on civilians and extra-judicial killings, which he said made progress towards a ceasefire more difficult to achieve. “The Secretary-General once again urges all parties to make every effort to stop the escalating violence,” the spokesman said. “The growing loss of life on both sides highlights the urgency of the ongoing efforts to secure a durable ceasefire and to start a meaningful dialogue aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.”
Ohio State freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) dribbles the ball down the court during the first half of the game against Cleveland State on Nov. 23. Ohio State won 89-62. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorAfter suffering its first loss of the season to Syracuse on Wednesday, No. 16 Ohio State comes back home to open conference play against Minnesota.The Golden Gophers share the same record as the Buckeyes through seven games, winning six times, with their only loss also coming in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in a 68-56 defeat against Boston College.Projected StartersNo. 16 Ohio State (6-1)G — C.J. Jackson — Senior, 13.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.7 apgF — Andre Wesson — Junior, 7.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 apgF — Kaleb Wesson — Sophomore, 14.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.0 apgG — Keyshawn Woods — Redshirt senior, 8.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.1 apgF — Kyle Young — Sophomore, 7.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.7 apgMinnesotaG — Amir Coffey — Junior, 13.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.9 apgG — Gabe Kalscheur — Freshman, 13.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.4 apgG — Dupree McBrayer — Senior, 9.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Jordan Murphy — Senior, 15.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 3.4 apgF — Daniel Oturu — Freshman, 8.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.4 apgThe Buckeyes will play their first game without freshman guard Luther Muhammad in the lineup. He dislocated his shoulder against the Orange and is out indefinitely.In his place, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods and freshman guard Duane Washington will be getting added minutes in his place.“Starting is really overrated in my book,” Holtmann said. “You’re looking for who can play starter minutes, and both Keyshawn and Duane at times have done that this year, so I would expect that both of those guys will be guys that we’ll consider putting in the lineup.”Minnesota ranks No. 51 in the NCAA, according to advanced statistics website KenPom.com, good for No. 12 of 14 teams in the Big Ten.Senior forward Jordan Murphy leads the Golden Gophers with 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game, shooting 53.1 percent from the field.Holtmann called Murphy a candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year, but sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson complimented Murphy’s ability to be a leader for the team.“They’re gonna bring energy, they play with a lot of energy,” Wesson said. “They got guys who are willing to crash the boards, and they got a good leader in Jordan Murphy so I feel like it’s going to be a real tough game.”The Golden Gophers hold an advantage against the Buckeyes in size: Minnesota averages six rebounds per game more than opponents this season, and 2.9 more than Ohio State has through seven games.“This is one of the longest teams we’ll play, 6-8 point guard, length on the interior across the board, really at every position,” Holtmann said. “That’s a battle we’re gonna lose most times if you just square us up length, but Minnesota definitely has that.”This is the second straight year Ohio State, and the rest of the Big Ten, will play in-conference games starting in December instead of after the new calendar year.For Washington, he didn’t even know in-conference play was already only days away.“Honestly I didn’t really, I didn’t think Big Ten play was gonna be the eighth game that we played, didn’t see that looking at it, it just kind of snuck up on me a little bit,” Washington said. “I feel that we’re in a good spot, we’re really together, but yeah, everybody telling me that Big Ten play is a different animal, you know I’m really excited for it,Ohio State takes on Minnesota at home at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Japanese Man Happily ‘Married’ to 16-Year-Old Hologram SingerRonnie James Dio is the New Hatsune Miku Stay on target If you’ve ever dreamed about having your own personal holographic assistant, perhaps those days aren’t too far off. Enter Gatebox, a holographic home robot much like Siri or Alexa, except a whole lot cuter.The device, seen here with pre-installed character Azuma Kikari, can be used to automate things like your lights at home and other processes as well as act as a miniature companion in your home. The home robot is seen acting as both and fulfilling several functions in the touching video advertisement, where a lonely salaryman texts and receives texts from the robot during the day, interacts with her as if she were his wife, and enjoys her company. It’s sweet, and it definitely makes me interested.The device is slated to run you about $2,725, or 321,840 yen, and you can actually pick it up right now as a pre-order, but despite the fact that this is a real product and will likely actually release, there’s not that much information floating around on the internet about it other than it will utilize warmth, moisture, and light sensors to accomplish the many goals it sets out to complete for you.For you to get the text messages as seen in the promotional video, you’ll also need to sign up for the Gatebox iOS or Android app so your virtual idol can send you messages throughout the day. It looks like you’ll even be able to tell your character when you’re coming home so it can have the house ready for you, and if that’s not charming, then I don’t know what is.The pre-installed character Azuma Hikari is her own person too, and even has dreams of her own, and unfortunately Japanese looks to be the only official supported language right now. Hopefully there will be an English option that ends up coming in the next few months, but for now, we can drool over the video and how absolutely, ridiculously cute it is.
Jesse Lingard recently insisted the English did not give much thought to which side of the draw they would prefer down the road of their World Cup journey.Argentina and Portugal have already been eliminated in the first knockout round, which means the superstars Messi and Ronaldo will no longer be around.England, however, will be facing Colombia in their last-16 game on Tuesday. If they were to win, they would have to play against either Sweden or Switzerland.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“For us, it is game by game, and see where it takes us,” Lingard said, according to TalkSport.“We have to concentrate one game at a time. We are going to have to play the big teams sooner or later, and if you want to be the best team in the world, you have got to beat the big teams.”“We are not really fussed what side (of the draw) we got chosen on,” Lingard added.
Condé Nast’s new e-commerce platform Style.com is to launch an employee engagement programme for its 85 employees.The programme will give staff access to employee benefits and discount schemes via a benefits hub.The platform, provided by Reward Gateway, will also enable employees to access recognition tools and internal communications using a single sign-on to existing systems.The new engagement hub and programme, which will be introduced this month, aims to help the organisation attract talent, supporting the business’ growth strategy.Prenisha Harry, head of HR at Style.com, said: “Being able to attract the very best employees, and retain those that are already on board, is integral to Style.com’s success, especially in an industry as competitive as e-commerce.“We recognised this early on, and are working to offer our staff that something special in the form of our employee engagement platform. We’re very excited about launching it to our 85 employees in April.”
Tags Six of these for free? Yes, please. Forto Time to “spring forward” this weekend: On Saturday night, March 9, you’ll set your clocks ahead one hour, meaning you’ll lose an hour of sleep.To help you cope, Forto is offering a free six-pack of coffee shots! That’s after applying promo code DAYLIGHT at checkout, though that link should automatically plunk it in there for you. Regular price: $11.95. Update: It appears the freebie supply has run out.See it at FortoAs you might expect, this is a limited-time, one-per-customer, while-supplies-last kind of thing. Just choose any Forto six-pack, add it to your cart and check out. Even shipping is free!Forto offers cold-brew coffee shots with either 100mg or 200mg of caffeine. They’re available in a variety of awesome-sounding flavors: Peppermint Mocha, Pumpkin Spice Latte and so on. (Pure Black is an option as well, purists.) You can also get a sample pack.I can’t imagine these will last long, but I hope you’ll be able to snag one!Read more: The best coffee makers for 2019 Now playing: Watch this: 22 1:31 Ninja’s coffee maker brews well in many ways The Cheapskate Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Comments CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Share your voice Internet
Warangal: Notwithstanding the plantation of crores of saplings every year under Haritha Haram, there is very little progress the administration can claim credit, Warangal Urban District Collector Prashanth Jeevan Patil said. “In fact, the authorities are in a piquant situation unable to show even a single avenue or a block plantation that has full of trees,” he said, speaking at an awareness programme here on Tuesday. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us Even though the administration has implemented Haritha Haram programme at full throttle in last few years, the desired results are a far cry, he said. “Although there was little achievement to showcase, travesty is such that we have received several national and state level awards for carrying Haritha Haram programme,” Patil said. It is high time that the people’s representatives played a proactive role in making the plantation drive a huge success, he said. Despite the presence of village-level committees for Haritha Haram, lack of monitoring led to the failure of plantation drive, the Collector said. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us As per the new norms laid in the Panchayat Raj legislation, Sarpanches and Panchayat Secretaries will have to take the responsibility of protecting saplings to the extent of 85 per cent, he said. He directed the officials to take up at least 4 kilometre avenue plantation in each gram panchayat. A gram panchayat can appoint five NREGS workers as watchers to protect the saplings, he said. The NREGS workers will be paid Rs 5,275 a month. Advertise With Us The gram panchayats and watchers who ensures 80 per cent survival rate will be provided with incentives, he added. The Collector said that best three gram panchayats in each mandal would get an incentive of Rs 5 lakh. It may be mentioned here that there are seven mandals in the Urban district. Five watchers, five field assistants, one APO, one EC and five technical assistants from each mandal who perform well for the survival of saplings would get Rs 10,000 incentive, the Collector said. Special officers, MPDOs, nodal and other officials would get certificate of appreciation, he said. Husnabad MLA V Sathish Kumar said that it is high time that the people focussed on greenery so that to keep the environment safe. Zilla Parishad chairperson M Sudheer Kumar spoke about the ill-effects of the deforestation. Chief Conservator of Forests M J Akbar said that a WhatsApp group with officials and people’s representatives would be created to spread latest techniques to e adopted in the plantation drive. Horticulture Officer Srinivas Rao said that Srigandham plants would provide additional income to farmers. He said that the government was providing saplings free of cost to farmers. Sarpanches, ZPTCs, MPPs, MPTCs, Panchayat Secretaries, Haritha Haram Nodal Officers and Mandal Special Officers were among others present.
Colombo : Discriminatory and violent rhetoric, particularly by the majority community, frequently goes unpunished in Sri Lanka, a top UN official has said as he expressed concern over the growing hate speech incidents in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people. UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly Clement Nyaletsossi Voule urged the political leadership not to dismiss people’s desire for freedom, the rule of law or undermine democracy. Also Read – UK, EU Brexit teams to meet twice-weekly in September Advertise With Us Voule said while the country’s Constitution protects the rights to both freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, however, the application of a number of laws jeopardised those rights, including sections of the penal code, the ICCPR Act as well as the Prevention of Terrorism Act. “It has been brought to my attention that these laws are frequently being applied in a discriminatory manner against those people organising around specific issues such as disappearances, land rights, livelihood and access to resources, and development projects,” Voule said. Also Read – Climate change: Australia downgrades outlook for Great Barrier Reef to ‘very poor’ Advertise With Us The official told reporters here on Friday that the Vagrants Ordinance, in particular, was being used to target LGBTI community. He expressed concern over the growing incidents of hate speech since the Easter Sunday bombings that killed 258 people and injured hundreds others. “While legislation is in place to combat hate speech, …. the legislation is not applied with an even hand. Advertise With Us Discriminatory and violent rhetoric, particularly by members of the majority community frequently goes unpunished,” Voule said. He said the social media was accessed to fan the flames of hatred and spread misinformation. The elections due later this year may hinder the progress made on establishing the rule of law, Voule said. “This is a serious threat to the existence of a respectful and peaceful dialogue among sectors of society, an essential element for any representative democracy,” Voule said. Sri Lanka’s next presidential election must be held before December 8 while elections for the 9 provincial councils have also fallen due. Nine suicide bombers attacked three churches and as many luxury hotels on April 21 in one of Sri Lanka’s worst terror attacks. The ISIS terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed the local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the bombings. In the wake of the bombings, majority Sinhala community mobs attacked Muslim-owned properties in towns north of the capital killing one Muslim man and leaving hundreds of homes, shops and mosques vandalised. The Muslim ministers quit their posts after two Muslim provincial governors resigned Monday after thousands of people, including majority Buddhist community monks, launched a protest in the pilgrim city of Kandy, demanding their sacking for allegedly supporting Islamist extremists responsible for the Easter suicide bombings. Muslims account for 10 per cent of the population and are the second-largest minority after Hindus. Around seven per cent of Sri Lankans are Christians.
Khaleda Zia. File PhotoThe jail authorities have received two production warrants in two cases filed against Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.Contacted, Inspector General (Prisons) Syed Iftekhar Uddin confirmed UNB about the production warrants.Read more: Khaleda shown arrested in Comilla arson caseOn Thursday, Khaleda, a 73-year-old former prime minister, was taken to the abandoned central jail at Nazimuddin Road after the special court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.Five others accused in the case, including her son and BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman, were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each.Read more: Khaleda’s stay in jail likely to be prolongedOn 3 July 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna police station accusing Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, and four others for misappropriating over Tk 21.0 million (2.10 crore) that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.Begum Zia’s legal team expressed its intention to appeal against the verdict, and secure bail for their client. But as of Monday, they were yet to receive the certified copy of the verdict that the judge himself revealed runs to 632 pages.The latest development with regard to the issuance of the production warrants may further frustrate their efforts.