US deportations targeting more people with no crime records

first_imgPeople arrested by deportation officers increasingly have no criminal backgrounds, according to figures released Friday, reflecting the Trump administration’s commitment to cast a wider net.US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said 65 percent of arrests from October to December were criminals, compared to 82 percent during the final full three months of the Obama administration. Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img

Cess poorly utilised for welfare schemes in Odisha: CAG report

first_imgThe Comptroller and Auditor General of India has detected poor utilisation of cess collected for the welfare of construction workers in Odisha.The State finances audit report of CAG tabled in the State Assembly on Thursday says the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996, and the BOCW (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, were enacted to improve the working conditions of workers and to provide financial aid to them.The laws were aimed at augmenting resources for workers through levy and collection of cess on the cost of construction.Though the collection of labour cess increased by ₹71.23 crore from ₹168.90 crore in 2013-14 to ₹240.13 crore in 2017-18, the percentage of utilisation of fund ranged from 1.33 in 2013-14 to 27.77 in 2017-18. “Due to poor utilisation of the funds, the objective of collection of labour cess was not being achieved,” the CAG report points out.Similarly, the CAG has also picked holes in the State’s potato mission. In order to make the State self-sufficient in potatoes by the year 2017-18, the government had launched State Potato Mission during 2015-16 for its production, storage and distribution in the State.It was implemented to provide incentive to the farmers for undertaking large scale cultivation of potatoes in cluster, give incentive for production of seed potatoes in the farmer’s field and to provide support for setting up of adequate number of cold storages in the State.The CAG, however, said the percentage of utilisation of funds against budget provision ranged from zero to 4.33 during 2016-17 and 2017-18.‘Targets not met’ “Against target of establishing 55 cold storages, the department could establish only 23 resulting in a shortfall of 58.18% during the last three years. Due to inadequate utilisation of funds and non-achievement of physical target set under the State Potato Mission, the intended benefits could not be achieved,” the apex audit agency says.last_img read more

Wright delivers as Phoenix clips TNT

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Interestingly, Phoenix head coach Louie Alas revealed Wright’s clutch triple and Kramer’s go-ahead bucket were off a similar play.“Originally, it’s the same play as the previous play where Matt made the three points,” said Alas, whose squad overcame a double-digit lead in the second half. “But I told Matt that they will stay home on you so you have to read the defense they’re going to give you. It was a pick-and-pop and Wright made the good play.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It was his decision. He was the first option but I told Matt look for Doug if he gets doubled because Doug is going to be open.”The sharpshooting Fil-Canadian, who is celebrating his 26th birthday, finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three steals as the Fuel Masters notched their fourth win in eight outings to tie the KaTropa in fifth place. Kramer wound up with eight points and seven rebounds. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next Anthony Semerad led TNT in scoring with 12 points while Roger Pogoy had 10.It was bad offensive night for both teams, who shot only 37% from the field.The KaTropa suffered a double whammy after losing forward Troy Rosario early in the fourth quarter after a bad fall.Rosario had to be stretchered off and was taken to the Makati Medical Center for treatment.Phoenix point guard LA Revilla also hurt himself in the first quarter after injuring his right hand. He did not return. As deadline nears, can Cavaliers find deal to make a difference?center_img View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 AFP official booed out of forum Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LATEST STORIES PBA IMAGESMatthew Wright made big plays down the stretch to lift Phoenix over TNT, 74-72, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.Wright hit the game-tying 3-pointer, 72-all, with 44.1 seconds left before setting up Doug Kramer for the game-winning basket with 3.0 ticks remaining.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more

A thinktank brings Anna the eyeballs

first_img“Never start a press conference at 7:30 PM. That’s when TV news channels run sports shows. They will not cut out of cricket to show your press conference. Avoid live briefings at 2:30 PM, that’s when Hindi news channels run Saas-Bahu shows, which get very good ratings. Channels will not break out of their Saas-Bahu shows.” These are amongst the gems of insider information that Team Anna has relied on to outsmart and outmanoeuvre the government’s much-vaunted media managers.In an era when TV channels are forever ‘Breaking News’, Team Anna has shown great mastery in using the TV camera to communicate its message and keep the heat on the government. Compared with a government that takes several hours, some times days, to communicate its stance, Team Anna has been able to ensure that it sets the news agenda, forcing a desperate government to play catch up.Team Anna formulated its media strategy using the help of some former TV journalists. The likes of Manish Sisodia, who worked with Zee News as a producer, and Shazia Ilmi, who was one of the lead anchors at Star News for several years, help Team Anna get an insider’s perspective on how TV channels run and how to stay on top of the news cycle.Here are some of Team Anna’s Dos and Don’ts when it comes to the media. “Never kick off a major protest on a Sunday or a holiday, that’s when TV channels have a lot of pre-recorded shows and space for live news is limited. Plus, all the big anchors and editors take the day off. Stories get played up more when the top editors are present in the news room.” Sample another, “Unlike the government, do not make the mistake of neglecting Hindi channels and regional media, since most of the audiences are actually watching news in vernacular languages and not in English.”advertisementIn just the same way as editors conduct a news meeting every morning, key members of Team Anna too hold their own media strategy meeting. In this meeting, different ideas are discussed. The team then comes up with catchy headlines, like “Joke Pal not Lok Pal”, headlines that these professionals from their past experience know the media is likely to lap up.Talking points are circulated to members who will be appearing on TV debates or giving print interviews. The instruction is clear, don’t get bogged down by the noise of a TV discussion and regardless of what the anchor asks or the other panellists allege, ensure that what you say does not stray from the key issue of Jan Lokpal and corruption.The strategists also realise the importance of keeping the message fresh to ensure that ‘Breaking News’ is supplied at regular intervals. Letters to the Prime Minister or Sonia Gandhi, or photo opportunities like Anna sitting at Rajghat on Independence Day are part of this strategy. Team Anna has realised the importance of symbolism, which is how Anna’s image in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi became the defining image this Independence Day, instead of the Prime Minister speaking at Red Fort.Not just is the importance of communicating the right message understood, attempts are also made to ensure that there are no deviations from the central message. When Anna Hazare spoke out in favour of Narendra Modi, the media strategists quickly understood that this comment could end up alienating apolitical supporters and fuel allegations that Anna was the BJP’s B-Team. Very quickly, it was clarified that Anna only praised Modi’s development work and did not condone state-sponsored riots. When allegations were levelled that the RSS was sponsoring Anna’s campaign, attempts were made to rope in faces from the Muslim community to give the movement an inclusive feel.Team Anna has even engaged an external media tracking agency that pores over every line of news carried in newspapers and TV channels. If the team feels the media is drifting from their message, meetings are immediately convened and course correction strategies chalked out.Attempts to leverage the media are not restricted to TV and print, social media too is given a major thrust, which is what explains the large turn-out of youngsters at places like India Gate and Azad Maidan. A dedicated team of volunteers constantly updates India Against Corruption, Facebook pages and Twitter handles, which is how the youth know where to assemble and when. Communication is localised down to every city so that the campaign is not restricted only to Delhi and Mumbai.Compare Team Anna’s cutting edge media strategy with that of the UPA government. For 72 hours after Baba Ramdev was unceremoniously evicted from Ramlila Maidan in the middle of the night, the government made no effort to explain to a horrified nation, what prompted the police’s mid-night crackdown. Even in the case of the PM’s faux pas on Bangladesh in the Editor’s roundtable, it took the PMO more than 30 hours to remove the offending remarks from the PMO website. In the intervening period, serious damage had been done to the government’s image and media consumers had formed their own opinion on the government’s actions.advertisementIn the United States, successive Presidents since John F. Kennedy have turned media management into a fine art. An entire industry of spin doctors thrives and is growing with every passing year. Barack Obama’s successful presidential run in 2008 is often credited to deft handling of mass media and the ability to communicate a message of hope, which resonated with users across all media platforms – TV, print, radio and online.Rattled by a series of PR disasters, the government has now formulated a Group of Ministers on the media, whose job is to communicate the government’s viewpoint to the people in real time. But in comparison with Anna’s message which seems earnest, the government’s spokespersons often come across as being condescending, confrontational and arrogant.At every stage, Anna has shown that he is three steps ahead of the government. When it became clear that the government would arrest Anna Hazare on Tuesday morning, Team Anna recorded a message for the people of India. Government sources dismissed this tactic as being inspired by slain terrorist Osama bin Laden, but the video message helped Anna generate sympathy even amongst fence sitters who did not support his campaign before this. The recording also had a graphic plate with the names of people who would lead the movement in Anna’s absence – a key mass communication strategy to ensure that people know whose voice to listen to.In an era when 24-hour TV is a reality that cannot be wished away, Team Anna has shown how even with limited resources, mass media can be channelised to amplify the  message. The government, despite the innumerable resources at its command, still comes across as confused and chooses to blame the media for creating the Anna phenomenon. A classic case of confusing the message with the messenger. No wonder Anna is winning and the government is bound in shackles.last_img read more

Can India break the jinx against Sri Lanka?

first_imgIt’s been 23 years since India won a Test series in Sri Lanka. India, being one of the dominant forces in Test cricket, have somehow managed to flounder against Sri Lanka.Except veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh and leader of Indian pace attack Ishant Sharma, none of the men in the current Indian squad have played in Sri Lanka before. The young Indian team are set to face an uphill task and a worrying fact is that they have played just one away Test series this year.After a horrendous series in Australia in which they were thrashed 2-0, India’s ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement, handling over the responsibility to Virat Kohli.Now, India have slipped to fifth in the Test rankings and are below Pakistan. It will be an important Test series for team India as they would not like to slip down the ladder.Virat Kohli, in his first full-fledged assignment as captain of the Indian Test team, would look to improve team India’s record in the island nation.Lets look back at India’s record in Sri Lanka from 2001 to 20102001: Sri Lanka won the series 2-1Sourav Ganguly lead Indian team arrived in Sri Lanka. The first Test was played at Galle where India were bundled out for 187 runs in the first innings and 180 runs in the second innings. Fernando and Muttiah Muralitharan rattled the Indian batting line up by taking five for in each innings.India tasted victory in the second Test at Kandy, thanks to Venkatesh Prasad who scalped 7 wickets to make the Lankan batting line up surrender against India. Not long after the Sri Lankans let Indians celebrate their victory at Kandi, they bounced back in the third Test at Colombo.advertisementSri Lanka posted a mammoth score of 610 runs with four of their countrymen scoring big centuries, India once again had no clue to Sri Lanka’s bowling and were all out for 234 runs in the first innings and 299 runs the in second innings, Sri Lanka won by an innings and 77 runs and scalped the series 2-1. Also read: India vs Sri Lanka: Key battles to watch out for 2008: Mendis magicAnil Kumble was handled over the responsibility of leading India. Mystery bowler Ajantha Mendis made his debut. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first and posted a massive first innings score of 600 runs with Malinda Warnapura, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera scoring centuries. India were all out for 223 runs in the first innings and were bundled out for 138 runs in the second innings with Muttiah Muralitharan scalping 11 wickets handing the hosts a formidable innings and 239 run victory.India won the second Test at Galle, India’s Virender Sehwag scored a double century to give the host nation a taste of their own medicine. Sehwag thrashed the Sri Lanka’s spin duo Muralitharan and Mendis all over the park. If it was Sehwag with the bat, then it was Harbhajan Singh with the ball, the off-spinner scalped 10 wickets to bundle out Sri Lanka for 136 runs in the second innings.The third Test at Colombo was another Sri Lankan show. The match witnessed a stellar performance from Kumar Sangakkara who scored 144 runs and won it for Sri Lanka, while Mendis who made his Test debut in the series against India won the man of the series for his 26 wickets in the series.2010: India drew the series 1-1MS Dhoni took charge and led the Indian team to Sri Lanka. The first Test was played at Galle. It was once again Sangakkara’s show where he scored a handsome century which helped Sri Lanka to score 520 runs in the first innings, India in reply scored 276 runs in the first innings and 338 runs in the second innings.Eventually, Muralitharan went on to scalp his record breaking 800th Test wicket when he dismissed Pragyan Ojha. Sri Lanka won the match by 10 wickets. The Indian team played their next match at Colombo where Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 642 on the board with Sangakkara and Jayawardene having a 192-run stand. In reply, India’s master batsman Sachin Tendulkar scored his fifth double century helping India to post 707 runs. A debut century from Suresh Raina and a half-century from Dhoni helped India stretch the lead. The series ended in a draw.India played their third match at Colombo. Sri Lanka posted 425 runs in the first innings. In reply India scored 436 runs, once again it was Virender Sehwag in the first innings who scored a century and it was Laxman’s century in the second innings which helped India to beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets.advertisementOn a positive note, with India’s new Test captain Virat Kohli at the helm, it is an exciting challenge to start together as a new unit. The series will be a perfect opportunity for Kohli to execute his plans and end the 23-year-old jinx.last_img read more

‘Barcelona Has Given Me Everything’: Lionel Messi Says He Doesn’t Want to Leave

first_imgBuenos Aires: Lionel Messi has conceded that he is less likely to finish his career in Argentina, describing Barcelona as a city that has given him “everything”.Messi has long expressed a desire to play for Rosario-based Newell’s Old Boys, where he played at youth level before moving to Catalonia with his family at age 13, reports Xinhua news agency. “I always say that I don’t want to leave here, I have no thoughts of moving,” the 32-year-old said in an interview with Argentina’s TyC Sports.”I have the dream of being able to play for Newell’s in Argentina, but I don’t know if it’s really going to happen because I have a family that is ahead of my desire.”It’s a dream I’ve had since I was little, but I have a family, I have three children, I live in a place that has given me everything and where I am calm and can give my children a spectacular future.”We think much more about that than my desire of playing football in Argentina. I will try to convince the family, because today we have to convince the children too.”Messi described Argentine football fans as even more passionate than those in Spain and labelled the rivalry in derbies such as Boca Juniors-River Plate as “madness”. 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. barcelonala ligalionel messimessi First Published: October 28, 2019, 4:14 PM ISTlast_img read more

Maria Sharapova remains in Russia’s Olympic plans despite doping ban

first_imgRussia says Maria Sharapova is still in its plans for the Rio Olympic tennis tournament in August despite her provisional suspension for failing a drug test.Sharapova has been suspended since last month, when she admitted she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open.WADA estimated that more than 120 athletes have tested positive for the heart disease drug. Sharapova said that she had been taking Meldonium due to medical reasons for the last 10 years and was not aware of the ruling that banned it in 2016.Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev said in a statement, “We really hope that Sharapova will still be allowed to take part in the Olympic Games.”No date has been set for her hearing with the International Tennis Federation.Sharapova took silver at the 2012 Olympics in London, as she lost the gold-medal match to Serena Williams. She is currently ranked No. 9 in the world.last_img read more

Giannis voted best international in NBA

first_imgNot only is Giannis Antetokounmpo the best international in the NBA according to the annual survey conducted among NBA General Managers, but he was also voted as the second most versatile player in the league!These are some seriously stunning results, also considering what kind of players did Giannis left below him in both categories.Established stars like Dirk Nowitzki or Pau Gasol are just third and fifth in the voting regarding the best international player while the “Greek Freak” has managed to even surpass Marc Gasol. Who is the best international player in the NBA?1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee – 27.6%2. Marc Gasol, Memphis – 24.1%3. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas – 22.4%4. Kristaps Porzingis, New York – 12.1%5. Pau Gasol, San Antonio – 6.9%Also receiving votes: Rudy Gobert, Utah; Andrew Wiggins, MinnesotaLast year: Marc Gasol – 62.1%When it comes to which player carries the heaviest amounts of versatility in his game, Giannis Antetokounmpo was voted above 2015 NBA Champion Draymond Green and 2014 Finals MVP Kwahi Leonard.Who is the most versatile player in the NBA?1. LeBron James, Cleveland – 75.0%2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee – 10.0%3. Draymond Green, Golden State – 8.3%Also receiving votes: Kevin Durant, Golden State; Kawhi Leonard, San AntonioLast year: N/ASource: EurohoopsTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Twitter poll instead of coin toss in cricket: ICC announces Test reforms on April 1

first_imgInternational Cricket Council (ICC) started their Monday morning by posting a prolific number of tweets announcing the changes they are planning to bring in longest-format cricket during the World Test Championship to make it more distinctive and appealing to the younger generation.Some of the changes they planned to bring in Test cricket for the World Test Championship, which is scheduled to commence in the month of July this year, from traditional Test cricket are:Numbers and Instagram handle on jerseysICC tweeted to bring numbers and Instagram handles to the jerseys of the players to make it more appealing to the younger generation.Using their official Twitter handle, ICC tweeted: “As part of our efforts to make the game more appealing to younger generations, the ICC will be applying both numbers and Instagram handles to kits from the beginning of the World Test Championship.”As part of our efforts to make the game more appealing to younger generations, the ICC will be applying both numbers and Instagram handles to kits from the beginning of the World Test Championship. pic.twitter.com/XnvantQfc9ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019Twitter polls rather than traditional coin tossNow the fans will decide who will come to bat first and who will have to go for bowling by participating in a Twitter poll. Many players did ask to bring technology into play after Mankad incident to check for No-balls but ICC took it a bit serious and replaced traditional coin toss with social media polling.advertisement”In further changes ahead of the World Test Championship, the tradition of the coin toss will be replaced by a @Twitter poll, allowing fans at home to decide who bats and bowls!,” ICC tweeted.Option to wear shorts to beat the heatTest Players will now also get an option to wear shorts so that heat does not take a toll on the players and sway their performance.ICC tweeted: “Should the temperature reach 35degC, the ICC’s updated playing conditions will allow all Test players the option to wear shorts.”Other decisions to transmute the Test Cricket and bring fans even closer to the sport, ICC announced that they will give broadcasters an option to position commentators on the field of play behind the slips cordon and will also permit the fielding team to complete a ‘Double Wicket Play’ by running out the other batsman after taking a catch.All these tweets were tweeted with a ‘CricketNotAsYouKnowIt’ hashtag on the picture.It’s the April fool day, so, there is a colossal chance that ICC is celebrating the day in a very peculiar way but it is yet to be confirmed by the global governing body of cricket whether it is just a prank or not.Two minor changes will be made to cricket terminology with no balls and dot balls to henceforth be known as ‘Faults’ and ‘Aces’. pic.twitter.com/3gFdhO4c59ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019Runs scored in the evening session of day/night Tests will count double, creating a new and exciting strategic element ???2?? pic.twitter.com/Hqzzwe8sbYICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019And finally, should teams be level on the World Test Championship table, the first tie-breaking criteria will be ‘Away Runs.’So which of these initiatives are you most looking forward to? ??#CricketNotAsYouKnowIt pic.twitter.com/HHxUvxdv7kICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019Also Read | Virat Kohli proud as India win ICC Test championship mace for 3rd successive yearAlso Read | Got to admire how MS Dhoni takes the game deep and gets the job done: Ben StokesAlso See:last_img read more

Champions League: Still work to do, says Tottenham’s Pochettino despite Dortmund win

first_imgTottenham Hotspur still have work to do to reach the next round of the Champions League despite a convincing 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in their last-16 first leg on Wednesday, said coach Mauricio Pochettino.Tottenham stunned the Germans with a goal two minutes after halftime from Korean forward Son Heung-min and struck twice late in the game through Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen, who was deployed in an unusual left wing back role, and substitute Fernando Llorente.”It is a massive, massive performance and effort from my players,” Pochettino told reporters.”My players are heroes. They deserve a lot of praise because their effort this season is amazing.”It is only the first half of the tie — 3-0 is a very good result, but we must go to Dortmund with the idea of winning. It is a very good result but there is a lot of work to do.”The second leg is in Germany on March 5.How Spurs came back strong after a weak first halfTottenham were on the backfoot in the first half against the Bundesliga leaders, who had conceded only two goals in the entire group stage and had the better scoring chances.The Argentine coach said he had to talk to his players at halftime to discuss ways of slowing their opponents down, with Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho wreaking havoc down the wing.”I would not say the team were nervous but the second half was much better. At halftime we showed them a few situations that could have been different,” Pochettino said.advertisement”We tried to help the team make the right decisions and perform in the best way. You need some luck, too. For me it is only the first leg, the first half but it is a very good result.”The result equalled Dortmund’s heaviest away defeat in the Champions League.The Germans also suffered a morale-sapping 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim last week in the Bundesliga after leading 3-0 and were also eliminated from the German Cup by Werder Bremen on penalties.”We played well in the first half, had a couple of chances, We defended really well and played well going forward,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said.”In the start of the second half we gave it away. It was a gift. After that we tried to play a bit too hastily and it was very, very difficult for us. After the second goal it was harder to hold on to the ball and create chances.”For Favre and his players it is now back to the drawing board.”There are periods of a season when things aren’t top, top, top. It is what it is. We need to analyse and work hard to avoid and correct these errors.”Also Read | Manchester United face UEFA punishment after fans throw bottle at PSG star Angel Di MariaAlso Read | Roma’s teenage match-winner Nicolo Zaniolo told to stay groundedAlso See:last_img read more

2,700 teaching and non-teaching staff of DU colleges may not get salaries

first_imgOver 2,700 teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 Delhi University colleges may not get salaries from this month if the AAP government continues to withhold release of funds over non-formation of governing bodies.These 12 colleges, fully funded by the Delhi government, are facing a severe financial crunch and finding it difficult to pay salaries and develop infrastructure.The issue of formation of governing bodies has resulted in an impasse between Delhi University and the city government, with both accusing each other of delaying the process.A Delhi government official said, “There is no delay from our side. As soon as we get response on the clarification we sought from colleges, we will proceed.” Anurag Mishra, a professor at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, said, “The salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff have been delayed. We have exhausted funds.””This year, due to the EWS category being introduced, there will be an increase in the intake of students but there is no money for infrastructure development. Classrooms and labs have been built to accommodate a particular number of students. But if the college wants to expand the existing infrastructure, they do not have the funds,” he added.Acharya Narendra Dev CollegeAccording to an official from Acharya Narendra Dev College, who requested anonymity, “The college has been forced to divert funds from college society fund to salary account. This can only go on for a month or so. The college has not even released the arrears of seventh pay commission to our teachers. The college principal has sent two letters to the Delhi government urging it to release funds but to no avail.”advertisementHe said the college is staring at a chaotic situation from next month when they will have no money to pay the salaries of teachers and the new academic session will be commencing.Aryabhatta College Manoj Sinha, the principal of Aryabhatta College and secretary of a principals’ association of the university, said the colleges were suffering due to the impasse.”The stopping of grants by any agency — Delhi government or UGC — is detrimental to the overall health of an institution. This is not an acceptable form of tussle between two powerful bodies…”According to a university official, if a college is fully funded by an institution, it means that its gets 95 to 97 per cent of the funds from it and two to three per cent from student fees. Colleges get Rs 35 to 50 crore in funding depending on the size and staff strength of the college and Rs 2 crore to Rs 4 crore from student fees annually.Every college is paying Rs two to four crore monthly to its teaching and non-teaching staff so if there is fund crunch, they can only pay a month’s salary from the student fees.If the college does not get a major chunk of funds, it does not have anything to fall upon. The colleges usually start off by cutting off various allowances, then activities and then delaying salaries in the event of a fund crunch.Aditi MahavidyalayaAn official from Aditi Mahavidyalaya said, “From the last two months, we have been paying the salaries of teachers from the student fund but this is a temporary solution. We do not have money left to pay the salary of teachers from next month. The college wrote two letters to the Higher Education Department of the Delhi government in April and May but there has been no response.”Sources claimed that there is a similar situation in Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College where teachers might not get the salary of June.READ:rajresults.nic.in to release RBSE 10th Result 2019 tomorrow, 11 lakh students waiting for the resultBhagini Nivedita CollegeThe administration of Bhagini Nivedita College has released salaries but medical reimbursement has not been issued for May. Similarly, the authorities at Keshav Mahavidyalaya have disbursed salaries but medical reimbursement has not been given.There were speculations that the Delhi government wants to bring these 12 colleges of Delhi University under Ambedkar University, which is run by it.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written a letter on April 16 to the Secretary, Higher Education stating that no funds should be given to 28 colleges (fully or partially funded by them) till they form their governing bodies.Following Sisodia’s letter to the Delhi University vice-chancellor on April 23, the university wrote to the Directorate of Higher Education asking it to finalise the names to be nominated for the governing bodies of the colleges.Responding to the letter, Sisodia said the university should have sent at least 400 names to the panel, instead of just 188.advertisementHe also asked whether the names were cleared by the varsity’s executive council and advised that the term of the existing governing bodies be extended.On Thursday, a DU official said that the Delhi government has to first short-list the names and send them back to the varsity which will then be vetted by the university’s EC.The 12 colleges fully-funded by the Delhi government are Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Science, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Raj Guru College , Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Bhagini Nivedita College, Keshav Maha Vidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Mahirishi Balmiki College of Education and Bhaskara Charya College of Applied Science.Sixteen colleges, that are partially-funded by the Delhi government, are Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru College, Laxmi Bai College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Maiteryi College, SPM College for Women, Satyawati College, Vivekanand College, Rajdhani College , Kamla Nehru College, Gargi College, Swami Shardhanand College, Kalindi College, Bharti College, Sri Aurbindo College and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.READ: Afternoon naps can boost happiness and IQ of kids: Studylast_img read more

Aprilia Teases a 217-Horsepower Superbike Dubbed the RSV4 1100

first_imgGood gravy, the horsepower wars we’ve seen take root in the automotive world have spread to the motorcycle realm. Not only have motorcycles become lighter, more agile, and generally easier to blitz around a racetrack, but they’ve been infused with the sort of weapons-grade ballistics we’ve been seeing in things with two more wheels. Case in point: Aprilia’s nuclear, 217-horsepower RSV4 1100 superbike.FactoryLet’s talk about that engine. The RSV4 1100 is powered by a 1,100cc V-4 engine. Capable of revving to a spine-tingling 13,200 rpm redline, the RSV4 was built around the principle of designing and engineering “to be the absolute best and fastest uncompromising superbike, the one that comes the closest to Aprilia racing bikes in terms of performance and effectiveness.” From the brand’s statement ahead of the motorcycle’s debut at EICMA 2018, it sure as hell seems like Aprilia has pulled it off.Though no performance metrics have been released, from all the new parts and modifications Aprilia has done to the RSV4 1100’s engine —  including street-legal Akrapovic exhaust, greater flow oil pump, optimized intake valve timing, longer fifth and sixth gears, new electronic gasoline injection system, a Magnetti Marelli ECU, and the RSV4 1100’s 90 lb-ft of torque — this superbike is sure to cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand straight up even when just cresting your leg over its perfectly shaped haunches. The 200-Horsepower Vanquish Vanqraft VQ16 Is a Boat-Sized Jet Ski The Maserati Quattroporte: Luxury You Can Sort of Almost Imagine Affording 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now Editors’ Recommendations center_img What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types FactoryAs far as handling goes, the RSV4 1100’s frame remains unchanged. Aprilia states that because of the original’s torsional rigidity, nothing of the forged and molded aluminum had to be modified for the 1,100cc engine’s additional horsepower and torque. That said, the suspension and weight distribution for the RSV4 1100 have been altered to provide increased performance and improved handling. Furthermore, to help stop the motorcycle hellion from V-Max, Aprilia gave the RSV4 1100 new Brembo units with cooling aero ducts to help decrease braking temperatures under track and track-like situations.Now, you’re probably wondering how much this MotoGP-ready motorcycle is going to cost you — and so are we. Aprilia hasn’t released pricing on the RSV4 1100 just yet, but we’re not holding our breath for something reasonable. This is one of the most powerful motorcycles ever built. A machine built around a singular purpose. Money was no object. And if you want such a machine, you’re going to have the same sort of mindset. At least that’s what we think. Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 Scout Lineup Pays Homage to Its 100-Year Legacy last_img read more

The eagle has landed

first_imgThe saffron eagle has spread its wings over the country, for yet another time. Barring Punjab and a few southern states, its hegemony over the land of Hindus is almost complete. Even West Bengal, traditionally known for religious tolerance, is gradually yielding to its power. Equally complete is the process of disunion of religious groups, of voters getting partitioned into isolated compartments on the basis of faith. Secularism, which was once the pride of our country and a cornerstone of our Constitution, seems to be rapidly running out of fashion. Also Read – Drivers of the economyThis is a relatively recent phenomenon though. Of course, Hindu fundamentalism as a political ideology is at least as old as the nation and probably existed even before the nation was born. Its influence on people, however, was always within bounds. In post-independence India, the dominant political force was the Indian National Congress, which essentially trod a middle path, albeit with a tilt towards the left, absorbing within itself diverse ideas and views. Indeed, the Indian National Congress was more of a platform than a political party. It accommodated the ethos of a plural, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious society that was India. Also Read – The water pictureChallenges did come from extremist groups but in each case, either the challenger was vanquished or for survival, it had to moderate its extremist position. Hindu fundamentalist parties like Ram Rajya Parishad, Hindu Mahasabha or Jan Sangh do not exist anymore. All India Schedule Caste Federation is extinct. DMK or Akali Dal have left their secessionist stance and moved towards a middle path. In the same vein, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party or Janata Dal, who had once united the lower castes and Muslims against upper caste Hindus, have, over the course of time, drifted to accommodate the mainstream. Even BJP, after coming to power in their first phase through the politics of Babri Masjid demolition, was not particularly keen on keeping its religious promises. There are good reasons why Indian political parties had to choose a moderate as opposed to an extreme posture. The main reason is, of course, the multidimensionality of Indian society. In Indian society, there are at least four important cleavages: religion is one cleavage, language is another, a third divider is caste and class is a possible fourth. These cleavages have made India a plural society. Again, because of this plurality, there is no singular concept of majority among the Indian electorate. In terms of religion, Hindus are the majority; in terms of class, the poor outnumber the rich. But Hindus are not a homogeneous lot. There are upper castes and lower castes. The split between them is rather sharp. If a party tries to mobilise political support on the platform of Hinduism, a rival party can cause a rift in this platform by mobilising people along caste lines. Similarly, if a party tries to gather forces by uniting the have-nots, chances are high that some other party can dilute the results of its endeavour by organising a political platform on the basis of a common language attracting people of different classes. As a result of this multi-dimensional aspect of majority, a party, in order to survive intense political competition, has to create a sufficiently wide umbrella under which people of different identities can take shelter. In other words, plurality of the Indian society has negated extremist platforms and compelled political organisations to choose a moderate middle path. Here is the puzzle. How, in the plural Indian society, can the agenda of Hinduism cut across all other dimensions, attributes and platforms and emerge as the single dominant identity? To make Hinduism emerge as the dominant identity it was necessary to contain the challengers. First, the Hindu platform had to be sufficiently broadened to accommodate SCs, STs and OBCs along with upper caste Hindus. In addition, one had to ensure that lower castes had no incentive to leave the platform. The second requirement was fulfilled by what happened in the past. In the past, lower castes had organised themselves under banners of different political parties to extract substantial benefits from the government and to do so, it was necessary for them to isolate themselves from the broader Hindu agenda. But, gradually, it was realised that no more benefits are to be obtained. So, it is no longer detrimental to the interest of the lower castes to come out of their narrow caste identity and join the general platform of Hinduism. That a narrow caste identity does not cut much ice any longer is clear from the debacle of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh in the recent polls. Moreover, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself comes from a Modh-Ganchi-Teli (Oil Presser) community, which has been recognised as an OBC by the Government of India, and President Ram Nath Kovind is a Dalit, lower castes have strong reasons to identify themselves with the variety of Hinduism that BJP is currently offering. Apart from caste, a challenge could have come from the platform of language. The Hindu identity has associated with it a distinct north Indian culture where the dominant language is Hindi. Clearly, this is still unacceptable in southern states but has been conceded in the west. Even eastern states, including Bengal, are slowly giving in. This gives the Hindu-Hindi platform enough support to pursue its agenda. Finally, the question of class. BJP has been universally described as a ‘rightwing Hindu nationalist’ party. Therefore, whatever be the claims of the last Modi government about its services to the poor, the heart of the Hindu rule lays primarily with big capital. This was amply clear from the euphoria observed in the stock market following the exit poll results. Indian National Congress, on the contrary, is evidently pro-poor, at least in a relative sense. But the announcements of future welfare measures by Rahul Gandhi, including that of his massive income transfer scheme NYAY, did not find many takers simply because they sounded incredible. Indeed, if INC had concentrated more on the economic aspects of the recent Modi rule instead of wasting time on the so-called Rafale scam, its performance in the polls would have improved. In short, the Hindu rule in India is firmly in place. It might bring prosperity and stability to the country in the short run, but in the long run, it provides reasons to worry. Several studies, including those conducted by the Institute of Economics and Peace, show that in the present day world, a large majority of within-state conflicts has religious roots. Religious fundamentalism provokes counter religious fundamentalism and the inevitable result is unending violence leading to economic instability and misery. (The author is Professor, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata)last_img read more

Stolen teacup poodle Mickey prompts search by Vancouver police BC SPCA

first_imgVANCOUVER – A search is underway in Vancouver for a tiny, teacup poodle snatched from the British Columbia SPCA shelter earlier this week.Mickey weighs just over one kilogram and was being cared for at the society’s kennel while recovering from giardia, a contagious intestinal infection.SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk says the fluffy brown dog, along with five other teacup poodles, had been surrendered about two weeks ago by the owner after a complaint about their care.Chortyk says Mickey was stolen when someone used bolt cutters to break through the outer gate of the shelter after it closed Tuesday and then cut through the kennel door to grab the dog.There’s concern that Mickey may not be getting adequate care for his condition and Chortyk says if anyone has seen the poodle or knows anything about the theft, they should contact the society or Vancouver police.Adoptions had already been arranged for all the poodles and Chortyk says Mickey’s new owner was scheduled to pick him up on Wednesday.last_img read more

Alberta strikes working group to make recommendations to ban conversion therapy

first_imgEDMONTON — The Alberta government has created a working group to determine the most effective way to ban conversion therapy.Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says the practice is both damaging and hateful and she looks forward to acting on the group’s recommendations.The committee, to be co-chaired by NDP Edmonton legislature member Nicole Goehring, will meet with stakeholders over the next five months, then draft recommendations.Goehring has already been working on a private member’s bill to outlaw conversion therapy, which has been previously banned in Manitoba and Ontario.Conversion therapy refers to any treatment, counselling or behaviour modification to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.The working group is to include representatives from the health and legal professions, faith leaders and the LGBTQ community.Goehring says the recommendations need to be a broad-based effort.“I’ve heard from Albertans and community leaders that any ban on conversion therapy must be community-driven and can’t let anyone fall through the cracks,” said Goehring in a statement Friday.Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan accused the NDP of playing politics with the issue and said the government should ban the practice immediately.“Alberta’s youth cannot wait another five months for an NDP committee to reach the conclusion that is obvious to most people in this province. What further input is needed to convince this government?” said Khan in a statement.“The NDP are willing to delay any meaningful decision in a desperate attempt to turn this into an election issue. This could put vulnerable children at risk.”Voters will go to the polls this spring in a general election, which by law can be called any time now but must be over by the end of May.Goehring had been expected to bring forward her private member’s bill this past fall, possibly with the support of the government, but that never materialized.United Conservative Opposition Leader Jason Kenney said at the time he couldn’t comment on legislation he hasn’t seen, but said he would keep an open mind on whether to support such a bill.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Khloe Kardashian Helps Launch Live Chin Up Campaign

first_imgEarlier this month, Allergan plc, a leading global pharmaceutical company, kicked off their Live Chin Up campaign at an exclusive event at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building in New York City, hosted by television personality and New York Times best-selling author Khloe Kardashian.The Live Chin Up campaign is designed to help encourage people to not let the things that bother them get in their way.At the event, Kardashian moderated a distinguished panel of experts which included a dermatologist who discussed submental fullness and treatment options, including KYBELLA (deoxycholic acid) injection 10mg/mL. Additionally, a patient joined the panel to discuss her experience living with submental fullness.“We are very pleased that Khloé was able to serve as the host of our event and discuss how she lives chin up,” said Philippe Schaison, EVP and President Allergan Medical. “As someone who lives life in the public eye, Khloé embodies what it means to live chin up by refusing to let negativity stand in her way. We feel she is the perfect person to kick off this inspiring campaign.”Anyone interested in learning more about this campaign or how they can live chin up can visit www.livechinup.com.last_img read more

Diaspora Remittances Hit $7.4 Billion in Morocco in 2018

Rabat – The 2019 Migration and Remittances report from the World Bank has expressed positive expectations on the inflow of remittances from the Moroccan diaspora.In 2018, according to the report, Morocco received $7.4 billion from its diaspora, equal to 6.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The report found that remittance inflows to North Africa and the Middle East overall experienced ”rapid growth” in 2018. Egypt ranked highest in remittances, having receiving $28.9 billion from its expatriates, followed by Morocco, Lebanon with $7.2 billion, and Jordan with $4.4 billion. Tunisia and Algeria received only $2 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.Read Also: Moroccan Diaspora’s Remittances Reach MAD 60.2 Billion in 2017Throughout the year, the Moroccan diaspora sends or brings home remittances which help the country’s economy.The North African country receives thousands of returning expatriates for holidays throughout the year.In 2018, 1,741,212 passengers, 464,977 vehicles, and 4,390 buses transited the Tangier Med port during the Marhaba 2018 operation that annually facilitates the summer influx of Moroccans living abroad (MREs).In addition to Tangier Med Port, thousands of MREs also choose to fly home for holidays.In January, Reuters said that remittances from the Moroccan diaspora dropped 1.7%.The World Bank report also evaluated the cost of sending money between countries within the Middle East and North Africa, emphasizing that “sending money” within the regions “is less expensive than sending money from outside.”The report found, however, that the fourth highest “cost corridor” in the region was to send money from Israel to Morocco. read more

Closing Bell TSX closes higher as hopes for Chinese stimulus compete with

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed modestly higher Wednesday amid optimism about the Chinese economy and cautious hopes about the pace of negotiations aimed at heading off a serious U.S. fiscal crisis.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,157.29 +20.11 0.17%S&P 500 — 1,409.28 +2.23 0.16%Dow — 13,034.49 +82.71 0.64%Nasdaq — 2,973.70 -22.99 -0.77%The S&P/TSX composite index was 20.11 points higher to 12,157.29 as the market also found support from major acquisition activity in the real estate sector and significant cost-cutting moves from Canadian Pacific Railway.The TSX Venture Exchange was down 8.32 points to 1,184.54.The Canadian dollar rose 0.16 of a cent to 100.84 cents US.Traders also looked to possible progress on a deal to avert the so-called U.S. “fiscal cliff” of automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the start of the new year. Without a deal, the U.S. could well fall back into recession and push much of the world down with it.“That’s what markets are focused on, will the U.S. careen off the fiscal cliff or not?” said John Stephenson, portfolio manager at First Asset Funds Inc. He observed that the laser-like focus on the fiscal issue has resulted in markets, “whether they be oil markets, gas markets, bond markets, equity markets, moving together instead of moving by their fundamentals.”“(The cliff) is the main story right now and everything else is secondary.”New York markets were mainly higher after Bloomberg reported that some 40 Republicans have signed a letter calling for exploration of “all options” on taxes and entitlement programs, a signal that some rank-and-file members could be ready to bargain.House Republicans have so far proposed a 10-year, US$2.2-trillion blueprint that calls for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits.But the White House has dismissed the GOP plan since it fails to raise the top two tax brackets for upper-income earners — a core promise of President Barack Obama’s election campaign and a central demand in the current talks.The Dow Jones industrials ran ahead 82.71 points to 13,034.49, the Nasdaq declined 22.99 points to 2,973.7, paced by a 6.4% drop in Apple Inc. shares, while the S&P 500 index was up 2.23 points to 1,409.28.Markets had started the session off on a positive note on hopes that China’s new leadership will back new measures to stimulate the world’s second-biggest economy.The catalyst to the optimism had been a Chinese government pledge to maintain policies intended to strengthen the economy and an expression of willingness to “fine tune” them and make them more effective.There were also reports that the government lifted investment limits for insurance companies and that the new Chinese leadership will remain focused on urbanization, which could ramp up infrastructure spending.China has been a major prop for a global economy still trying to recover from the financial collapse and subsequent recessions of 2008. Signs of stimulus are welcome because the Chinese government had to take steps to weaken the economy over the last couple of years to deal with higher than acceptable inflation.A group led by KingSett Capital is proposing a $4.4-billion takeover of Primaris Retail Real Estate Investment Trust, one of Canada’s largest shopping mall operators.At the same time, industry leader RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has conditionally agreed to buy five regional malls and three other shopping centres currently owned by Primaris. RioCan values that part of the Primaris portfolio at $1.1-billion. Primaris units surged 14.58% to $26.40 while RioCan units rose 34 cents to $27.30.Canadian Pacific Railway plans to bring down operating costs by cutting about a quarter of its workforce, or 4,500 employees, by 2016. The cuts are part of a plan to increase annual revenue growth between four and seven% from 2012 levels as well as reduce its full-year operating ratio, a closely watched measure of how much revenue is required to run the business, to the mid-60s range by 2016. CP shares ran ahead $3.82 or 4.11% to $96.82.Commodity prices were mixed and the mining sector led advancers, up 1.79% as March copper edged up three cents at US$3.66 a pound on the Chinese reports. The country is the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, viewed as an economic bellwether because it is used in so many industries. Teck Resources gained 95 cents to $34.20 while First Quantum Minerals climbed 47 cents to $20.85.The energy sector gained 0.67% with the January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 62 cents to US$87.88 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources was ahead 35 cents to $27.7.The gold sector was the leading decliner, down 2.74% while February gold fell $2 to US$1,693.80 an ounce. Iamgold dropped 78 cents to $10.66 and Goldcorp Inc. was off $1.24 to $36.61.Traders also took in some weak jobs data. Payroll firm ADP reported that the private sector created 118,000 jobs during November. The U.S. government releases its non-farm payrolls report for November on Friday and economists expect the economy created only about 95,000 jobs. But they agree that job creation was impacted by Superstorm Sandy.Other data showed increasing expansion in the U.S. service sector.The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 54.7 from 54.2 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. A measure of employment fell sharply but still showed companies added workers last month.In other corporate news, resource giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold says it is buying oil companies Plains Exploration & Production and McMoRan Exploration for about US$9-billion. The additions of the oil and gas drillers are expected to create a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to mines in Indonesia and Africa. Freeport shares tumbled 16% to US$32.16 in New York.Here’s the news investors were watching today:EXCLUSIVE: CP Rail’s Harrison details new plan to cut nearly quarter of workforce‘We can solve this in a week’: Obama sees fiscal cliff deal imminent if RepublicansKingSett group seeks to buy Primaris for $4.4-billionFreeport to buy Plains, McMoRan Exploration for US$9-billionCitigroup to slash 4% of its workforce, 11,000 jobs worldwideON DECK THURSDAYECONOMIC NEWSEuropean Central Bank and Bank of England make interest rate decisions CANADA8:30 a.m.Building permits (Oct): Economists expect 2.3% rise 10 a.m.Ivey Purchasing managers’ index (Nov): Economists expect a reading of 58.2, flat with last month 10:30 a.m.Bank of Canada financial system review UNITED STATES7:30 a.m.Challenger Layoff report (Nov) 8:30 a.m.Weekly jobless claims: Economists expect 380,000 new claims, down from last week 12 p.m.Flow of Funds (Q3) CORPORATE NEWSCANADACIBC Q4 earnings: Analysts expect $1.98 a share TD Bank Q4 earnings: Analysts expect $1.81 National Bank Q4 earnings: Analysts expect $1.92 Dollarama Q3 earnings: Analysts expect 69¢ Lululemon Q3 earnings: Analysts expect 37¢ Transcontinental Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 63¢ Harry Winston Q3 earnings: Analysts expect 15¢ UNITED STATESH&R Block Q2 earnings: Analysts expect a loss of 40¢ read more

World Cup Crib Notes Day 19

Last week, we told you the U.S. had a 1.2 percent chance of winning the World Cup. The odds of that dream have dropped by half since then, without the U.S. playing a match: Underdogs like the U.S. have come oh so close before without winning a match in the knockout stage.Argentina vs. Switzerland, 12 p.m. EDTU.S. vs. Belgium, 4 p.m. EDTIn briefSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.In depthHeading into Tuesday, the last day of the Round of 16, six group leaders have played six group runners-up in the knockout stage. Nearly every match has been close-fought and competitive. Brazil and Costa Rica needed penalty kicks to advance. Germany went to added extra time. The Dutch needed to come from behind in the final minutes. And France was locked in a scoreless battle until the final 20 minutes.Yet in every case, the group leaders won.That’s bad news for the U.S. and Switzerland, the two remaining group runners-up, for two reasons: First, if they do manage to upset Belgium and Argentina, respectively, difficult opponents await. In their half of the draw is the Netherlands, sixth in the world in ESPN’s Soccer Power Index ratings. If they somehow reach the final, one of the world’s top five teams awaits.The second reason is that by winning, all the soccer powers have demonstrated they’re even better than previously thought, making it even less likely that a solid but not elite team such as the U.S. could upset them.Add to that a tweak to our model late last week, to account for the advantage favorites have in added extra time and penalty kicks, and the U.S. team’s chances of winning the Cup have dropped to 0.6 percent, from 1.2 percent after last week’s match against Germany. Switzerland’s chances have dropped to 0.7 percent from 0.9 percent after its previous match.Winning the Cup was always a long shot for these two teams, though. Reaching the quarters would be a good result for either one. And the U.S. has the better chance. It gets Belgium, the second weakest of the eight group winners, in the late match Tuesday. The U.S. has a 41 percent chance of winning. That’s nearly double Switzerland’s 23 percent chance of upsetting Lionel Messi and Argentina.Drawing Belgium in the Round of 16 was the U.S.’s reward for making it out of one of the toughest groups. Belgium advanced to the World Cup out of one of the weakest European qualifying groups, then won the weakest World Cup group. It remains a formidable opponent and is better than the U.S., with high-priced talent on its roster, much of it familiar to English Premier League fans. But Belgium is a tier or three beneath tournament favorite Brazil. After nearly beating Portugal and nearly equalizing late against Germany, the U.S. shouldn’t fear another European opponent.Switzerland, meanwhile, will attempt to earn what would be only Europe’s third win in 10 tries against South American opponents at this World Cup. The Swiss have one of the two wins so far, over Ecuador. (The Netherlands has the other, over Chile.) Ecuador is a far cry from Argentina, though. Messi has scored on four of his seven shots on target, all with his left foot. Switzerland might need Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored a hat trick against Honduras, to live up to his stretch of a nickname, “Alpine Messi,” to have a chance.YesterdayTwo Union of European Football Associations powers stamped tickets to the quarterfinals Monday thanks to substitutes. France beat Nigeria behind the influence of Antoine Griezmann, whereas it took an André Schürrle goal to finally open the scoring in Germany’s lively 2-1 extra-time win against Algeria.Olivier Giroud started at forward for France, but the French game really started when Griezmann replaced him in the 63rd minute. Giroud had 14 attacking-third touches and didn’t create a chance during a lackluster 62 minutes, but Griezmann provided the necessary spark. He had 12 attacking-third touches in 28 minutes, including a great scoring chance with a 1-2 ball to Karim Benzema in the 70th minute. In total, the French created six chances in the first 62 minutes and five over the final 28, converting two for goals.Griezmann was the difference, though he did not officially figure in either goal. His best “shot” was an 84th-minute close-range strike that required a reaction save from Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. Enyeama left the tournament with a competition-best 21 saves over Nigeria’s four matches. Although it wasn’t a shot, Griezmann’s near-post run in the first minute of stoppage time produced a goal officially credited as a Joseph Yobo own goal.The Germans, meanwhile, did not lack for attacking possession throughout Monday’s match, posting a 246-90 advantage on touches in the attacking third. In the first 90 minutes, Germany completed almost four times as many passes into the attacking third as the Algerians (125-32), but it couldn’t convert a massive advantage in chances created (18-5) into a regulation winner.Two minutes into extra time, Schürrle put the Germans ahead. He actually hit the ball on his near-post run (as opposed to Griezmann), and Schürrle was credited for the goal. But the result was the same in both cases.Mesut Özil scored later in the extra time, and that proved to be the eventual game-winner, though Algeria scored before the final whistle. Abdelmoumene Djabou’s left-footed finish was the latest goal in World Cup history, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Germans from facing France on July 4. — John Parolin, senior stats analyst, ESPNOff the pitchArgentina and Switzerland cooperate in a number of ways — investment protection, aviation, legal protection  — but perhaps the most important aspect of their relationship is trade. According to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, Swiss exports to Argentina have increased significantly in recent years, from $187 million in 2005 to $1.06 billion in 2012, which is most likely because of an increase in bilateral trade agreements. A majority of those exports were health-related products and chemicals, at 62 percent. Watches made up 7 percent of the exports, chocolate comprised .22 percent, and milk and cheese was just .05 percent. Trade in the opposite direction has increased over time as well, but not to the same degree. Argentine exports to Switzerland totaled $121 million in 2005 and $627 million in 2012. Gold dominated at 79 percent, followed by wine, trucks/vans and bovine meat.  — Hayley MunguiaFurther readingLionel Messi Is ImpossibleHas the U.S. Men’s National Team Plateaued?Stoppage Time Is Often Home-Cooked, Especially in the MLSThe Rise of the Red Devils read more

The Milwaukee Bucks Mediocre Record Is Hiding A Dangerous Team

MILWAUKEE — The NBA’s elite teams almost always have a singular, defining trait.Golden State gives opposing teams headaches due to its ridiculous outside shooting. Cleveland’s players, as LeBron James and Kyrie Irving illustrated during the Finals, can get almost any shot they want in one-on-one matchups. The San Antonio Spurs, the gold standard for team play and consistency, have long drawn praise for their lack of egos.Then there are the 18-16 Milwaukee Bucks, who, bizarre as it sounds, are quietly building a case for inclusion onto that short list of the league’s best teams.As of Thursday, Milwaukee was just two games ahead of the ninth-place Washington Wizards and far from a lock to reach the playoffs. But for most of the season the Bucks have ranked among the league’s top-10 teams in both offensive and defensive efficiency, generally a loose prerequisite for a team to be a title contender. (Sixteen of the past 20 NBA champions, including each of the past six, finished in the top-10 in both categories. By contrast, no team with that profile has missed the playoffs since the 1974-75 season, when three teams did it in an 18-team league, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.)Unlike with the Warriors, Cavs or Spurs, the average fan might struggle to identify a particular trait about the Bucks, aside from their star player having a name that’s challenging to pronounce.But spend a little time watching the Bucks and it becomes clear that Milwaukee’s defining characteristic is its weirdness. Its roster full of interchangeable, Stretch Armstrong-types goes outside the bounds of the NBA’s traditional parameters of play at both ends.Still, Milwaukee is far from the first team to lean on its length and athleticism. “Positionless basketball” has been in vogue for a while now.In recent years, the Big Three in Miami was unusually aggressive with how it tasked Chris Bosh with defending pick-and-rolls. The Brooklyn Nets turned their 2013-14 season around (and did so under current Bucks coach Jason Kidd) after injuries forced them to downsize to a quicker small-ball lineup that could switch assignments and jump passing lanes. And of course the Warriors can make life miserable for opposing offenses and impossible for opposing defenses with their range and versatility, particularly when they opt to use their Megadeath Lineup, with Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.No one is going to mistake these Bucks with the Warriors any time soon, or with the Cavs or Spurs, for that matter. But the Bucks’ combination of uncommon youth, length and style of play makes Milwaukee uniquely equipped to deal with teams that throw more traditionally constituted opponents into disarray. In other words, teams like Golden State.The formula starts with the Bucks’ unusual youth and length at multiple positions. In Giannis Antetokounmpo (22 years old), Jabari Parker (21), Tony Snell (25) and John Henson (26), Milwaukee trots out four starters who are all 26 or under, and boast at least a 6-11 wingspan, making them one of the youngest1The Bucks are the NBA’s sixth-youngest team when you weight players’ age by minutes played, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. and longest teams in the NBA. The Bucks use their length and athleticism to play a more aggressive, switch-heavy brand of defense than most teams.They often gamble by overloading one side of the floor and using two players to blitz a pick-and-roll ball-handler, trusting that they’ll have enough back-end quickness to snap back into position before opposing players can capitalize by finding the open man for a clean look. (Milwaukee also sends aggressive help when teams dump the ball onto the block, explaining why the Bucks own the stingiest post-up defense in basketball, according to Synergy Sports.)So many interchangeable defensive parts moving, switching and rotating in harmony has a suffocating effect on an offense. Milwaukee’s defense has forced opposing offenses to throw more passes than all but eight teams this season after leading the league in the stat the past two years, according to an analysis run by SportVU, and has pressed opposing clubs into the last four seconds of the shot clock — where offensive efficiency plummets due to rushed shots — more often than any other defense this season, per Synergy.“Against them, you have to go in understanding that it may take several extra passes or multiple paint touches” in order to find a good shot, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan said ahead of a recent game against Milwaukee. “What appears to be an open shot often turns out to be a contested shot.”The stat sheet seems to agree with Donovan. While the Bucks give up the fourth-most 3-point attempts per game — generally a bad sign for a defense — Milwaukee also contests 87 percent of opponents’ threes, the highest percentage in the league. As a result, it holds foes to 34.6 percent from 3-point range, tied for the NBA’s fourth-lowest mark. In other words, lots of attempts are not quite as open as they seem.“Shooting is obviously huge,” said Henson, the Bucks’ best defensive big man. “But probably the best things to counter the shooting in today’s game are interchangeability and length. And we’ve taken the idea of building around length to another level.”That’s a key trait in the NBA today. The commitment to flustering ball-handlers and ability to close out shooters help neutralize the floor spacing that teams like the Cavs and Warriors usually take advantage of.While the Bucks have targeted length as a market inefficiency, that length comes at a cost.For one, the Bucks’ lengthy, versatile athletes aren’t as gifted from long range. Last season, Milwaukee attempted the fewest threes in the league and made just 34.5 percent of them, below league average. (This is a big reason the Warriors are so special: They combine many of the same elements that make the Bucks unique with all that outside shooting.)But this season the offense has increased its number of 3-point attempts per game by a whopping 53.5 percent while also increasing its conversion rate, led in part by Parker, who’s hit 39 percent of his triples while taking more than six times as many threes per game as last season.“[Coach Kidd] told me [two years ago] that I was too reliant on my jumper and challenged me to work on my inside game first, then take what the defense was giving me on the outside,” Parker said in an interview, explaining that he and Antetokounmpo were essentially banned from taking threes when Kidd first got the job. But Parker said they’ve since been given the green light to fire away. (That inside-out mindset is an interesting one, given that Kidd himself developed into a much better shooter as his own career progressed.)In any case, Parker and the Bucks are still working through a handful of issues. The former Duke star has improved as a defender, but still gets beaten off the dribble far too frequently on the wing, leaving the team vulnerable at the rim at times. And despite the club’s ability to get out to shooters quickly, it’s not ideal that the Bucks surrender the highest number of corner threes in the league, since those shots are among the most valuable in basketball.And even after Antetokounmpo’s heroic last-second shot to beat the Knicks on Wednesday, Milwaukee’s stats in crunchtime (when the score is within 5 points in the last five minutes or overtime) are among the worst in the NBA.But things are beginning to come together. The awkward fit with scoring big Greg Monroe has been alleviated with a move to the bench, where his limited rim protection isn’t as much of a liability. After struggling to score last season, Milwaukee has found success in having Antetokounmpo bring the ball up the floor himself after grabbing a board instead of having to look for a teammate. (The Bucks rank fifth in fastbreak points, despite ranking 20th in possessions per game; impressive given that the four teams ahead of them in transition scoring — Golden State, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and Houston — rank among the top-10 in pace.)And the club could even get injured swingman Khris Middleton back toward the end of the season; potentially a big lift for the Bucks, given that he was arguably their best player at times the past few seasons.The teamwide developments, though, have been mere icing on the cake, as no one in the organization saw Antetokounmpo producing a season anywhere near this impactful so soon.His defense, particularly as an occasional rim protector, has been a revelation. Antetokounmpo, despite being a wing player, is near the top of the defensive leaderboards among players who defend at least four close-range shots per game, according to SportVU. But understandably, his offense draws the lion’s share of the attention, both because of his unconventional point-guard play and the gaudy numbers he’s posted.He currently owns career-high marks in total-shooting, rebounding, assist, block and steal percentage — and a career-low turnover percentage — all while handling the ball more and using a much greater share of Milwaukee’s possessions in his fourth season.Even with his rapid ascension in mind, it might still seem wild to consider Milwaukee among the NBA’s best. But give it time. If the young Bucks continue on their current trajectory, and their gambles on length and versatility continue paying off, the thought may not seem so far-fetched this time next year.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more