Cheteshwar Pujara’s game has gone to another level: Virat Kohli

first_imgCheteshwar Pujara is one of the best Test batsmen in the side and his hunger and mental strength has helped him evolve massively as a cricketer, India skipper Virat Kohli said.Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132) added 217 runs to guide India to 622-9 declared in the first innings. The visitors then dismissed Sri Lanka for 183 and enforced follow-on after taking a 400-plus run lead.”Pujara and Ajinkya are our two best Test batsmen, especially in the middle order. They’ve been doing so well consistently. Pujara, I would give him more credit because he only plays one format for India. And to be able to have that hunger and passion day in day out, working hard on his game, coming out and having those consistent performances takes a lot of mental strength,” Kohli said.”And he’s a guy with a lot of mental strength. He obviously has the game. He knows how to score runs, which is the most important thing. He has evolved massively as a cricketer since then.”All of us have, but Pujara’s game has gone to another level. If you see last season, continuing now, he’s got about 1500 runs which is outstanding. All credit goes to how hard he works on the game, and how he thinks about his game as well,” he added.The India skipper also heaped praise on Ravindra Jadeja who scored an unbeaten 70 off 85 balls in the first innings and then grabbed five wickets in Sri Lanka’s second innings to help India beat the hosts by an innings and 53 runs.advertisement”Jadeja can give you a very quick 60-70 anywhere at any stage of the game, it can really turn the game. Remember Lord’s, remember Dharamsala against Australia, those are very important innings, the 90 against England in Mohali,” Kohli said.”He has the ability, he believes in it and he has worked extra hard in the last 10-12 months on his batting also. He has bowled so much that the other discipline was left behind, but now he’s catching up in that as well. It’s only going to do good to him.”If he doesn’t bowl well on a particular day, he can score runs. Once he scores runs, then he gets confidence with the ball also. He’s always in the game, his fielding as well.I would say he’s a very valuable cricketer for us,” he added.last_img read more

‘Milan should’ve signed Aubameyang’

first_imgMilan Milan should have signed Aubameyang or Belotti – Costacurta Joe Wright Last updated 2 years ago 02:45 10/26/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) pierre-emerick aubameyang - cropped Bongarts Milan Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Chievo v Milan Borussia Dortmund Torino Serie A The former San Siro favourite believes his old club are paying the price for failing to sign another top-class striker Former San Siro favourite Alessandro Costacurta says AC Milan would be in entirely different shape had they signed either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Andrea Belotti.A run of four games without a win, which included a 3-2 derby defeat to Inter and back-to-back 0-0 draws at San Siro against AEK Athens and Genoa, has piled pressure on head coach Vincenzo Montella.ACM 9/1 to win Europa League Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player There is speculation that unsatisfactory results against Chievo on Wednesday and champions Juventus at the weekend could see Montella sacked, with former boss Carlo Ancelotti among those linked with his role.Milan’s struggles have come despite an expensive overhaul of the playing squad in the transfer window, with more than €190 million reportedly spent thanks to the backing of new Chinese owners.They were linked with Borussia Dortmund’s Aubameyang and Torino star Belotti but neither deal proved possible, and Costacurta feels either striker would have greatly improved Montella’s fortunes.”With someone like Belotti or Aubameyang in attack, we would be talking about a very different Milan,” the 51-year-old, a winner of seven Serie A titles and a five-time European champion, told Sky Sport Italia.”It’s pretty clear they lack a quality centre-forward because they do get crosses in and their strikers make a lot of mistakes in front of goal.”last_img read more

Essential Reading: Bargain Fever

first_img 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States Editors’ Recommendations World’s First Luxury Space Hotel Promises Climbing Wall, Low-Gravity Basketball Courts The Best Vodka Mixers for Stocking Your Home Bar With the holiday shopping season coming up, learning some tips on smart shopping is key. My good friend and fellow writer, Mark Ellwood has his first book coming out called, Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World. This amusing investigation into the world of bargain hunting will make you think twice about ever buying full price again. As Mark told me recently, “Nobody should ever pay full price for anything ever again. The system is designed for you not to pay full price. It’s easy and fun to pay less.” This comes from the man who nearly spit out his drink when I told him I bought an umbrella from Barneys, which I then took to a bar, got wasted and lost.We asked Mark to give us a rundown on tips for dudes to remember when on the hunt for clothes, hotel rooms and those illustrious sports tickets.– Looking for a bargain makes shopping more guy friendly. You get to haggle! It’s not about frou frou, it’s about negotiation. Men love games and shopping is now like a sport. It’s about how much I can get off and how to do it. Take note: It’s not about being a dick head.– Men are good at bargains because of the way they shop. Men buy in bulk. Any time you buy more than one item you should ask for a discount. You don’t say, “Give me one or I’ll walk out.” Instead say, “Hey, I’m buying three of these, can you work with me?” They usually will give you 10% off. It’s exactly how you should shop.– Men shop online much more than women. They see the shirt, they buy it. Shopping online always allows you to get a better price.– Practice ‘Cart Abandonment’. Pick something out, put it in your cart and close the window. This is the worst thing for a retailer. Within 48 hours you will have a reminder that you forgot those items and they will offer a discount to close the sale.– A favorite new app is Poachit.com. It is a tracking device you install like StumbleUpon that lets you know when items go on sale or coupons are available. For instance, I went on Orvis.com and ‘poached’ a Barbour jacket. There are no coupons for the item but Poachit will let me know when the item is found cheaper either at Orvis or on another site.-Another is Shopittome.com. You sign up,  choose what you like in your sizes from your favorite brands and they will email you when that item is up for discount.– On airline tickets: We are used to playing around with airfares when booking travel. Guys enjoy travel. We are used to playing around with airfares. Always use a new browser window when checking flight prices. Cookies and other tracking devices can mean the prices go up once you show more than passing interest in a route. Alternatively, if you’re using Google’s Chrome browser, open an Incognito window.-When booking hotel rooms check for the BAR, Best Available Rate. That is the lowest price a computer allows for that room to be booked for that night. If you know the hotel you want to stay in, call the front desk and as for the BAR. All hotel prices are taken care of by some huge ‘Hal’ like computer that is way smarter than we are….-In electronics stores most gadgets are displayed in a trio. This is called ‘Goldilocks Pricing’. One item will cost $300, the next $400 and the other $500. Always buy the cheapest item as there is usually very little difference in all three, but we always tend to buy the middle one to feel safe. See, you just saved $100.-Sports tickets are getting more and more expensive because of dynamic pricing. Luckily, there is a new site called CrowdSeats.com. It offers tickets 90% off.-The apps in the discount/sales category are not worth toying with. They are surprisingly glitchy. TheFind.com isn’t bad. You scan a bar code and it will check the price online. But what is happening is that retailers are taking the bar codes away.– Here is a trick for outlet shopping: Photograph the label of the shirt you already own and love. Then match it to the ones at the outlet mall. Many times products are made exclusively for outlet sales and will be poorer quality and have a slightly different label. They also don’t want you returning outlet items to regular retailers. The Best Things to Do in Tokyo if You’re Traveling Solo The Best CBD Oil and Skincare Creams for Managing Pain last_img read more

Highlights of the Speech From The Throne First Session of the 59th

first_img NOTE: The speech from the throne is available at the VitalStatistics Office, 1609 Hollis St., Halifax and Access NovaScotia Centres throughout the province, or on the Web atwww.gov.ns.ca/legislature/house_business/throne.html . The following are the highlights from the speech from the throneread today, Sept. 25, 2003, by Lt.-Gov. Myra A. Freeman at theopening of the first session of the 59th General Assembly of NovaScotia: OUR COMMON COMMITMENT Government knows that every member of the legislature shares thecommon commitment to make Nova Scotia an even better place tolive, work, and raise a family. We also know that every member ofthe legislature agrees that we must live within our means, yetfind the means to improve the quality of health care we provideNova Scotians, the quality of education we provide our children,and the level of economic prosperity we all know is within reach. ENSURING OUR PROGRESS The first speech from the throne since government has beenhonoured with its second mandate highlights many of the actionsit will take to ensure Nova Scotia’s economic and socialprogress, including:– a commitment to take the necessary steps and to make thenecessary investments to provide better health care for you andyour family;– a commitment to make the necessary adjustments to ensure yourprovince stays in balance;– a commitment to make our promised investments in better roads,safer bridges, and healthier schools;– a commitment to advance our plans to reduce class sizes, tokick-start a voluntary pre-school program for four-year-olds, andto increase opportunities for young Nova Scotians to go tocommunity college and to find a good job here at home;– a commitment to lower personal income taxes so Nova Scotia’seconomy continues to grow and government has the revenues neededto pay for vital public services over the long term. SUPPORTING BETTER HEALTH CARE Knowing that health care is the number one concern of NovaScotians, government is making adjustments in other spendingareas to provide our hospitals with funding over and above thesignificant increases designated through multi-year funding. Theadditional investments we are making to front-line health carewill enable us to act on our plan to provide you and your familywith better health care. A plan that includes: — new investments in state-of-the-art medical equipment;– training and recruiting more nurses and doctors and vitalhealth-care professionals;– implementing a provincewide stroke strategy;– collecting and broadly sharing information on wait times sodoctors and their patients know where they can get fasterdiagnosis and treatment;– taking additional steps to promote healthy living. PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS The ambitious legislative agenda that government will pursue thisfall and next spring also addresses the following importantissues of concern to Nova Scotians. Specifically, governmentwill:– legislate a 20 per cent reduction in automobile insurancepremiums;– provide Nova Scotians with the ultimate and final say onSunday shopping;– establish a cap on annual property assessment increases;– take the necessary steps to better protect Nova Scotia’spublic health and safety. ADVANCING SOCIAL PROGRESS Government will take the following steps to ensure we advance thesocial progress of Nova Scotians. We will: SUMMARY In the final analysis, government will take the steps it knowsare needed to provide better, faster health care, to improve thequality of our children’s education, to create new jobs, and tosupport a growing economy. -30-center_img introduce legislation to provide greater protection for many of Nova Scotia’s well-meaning, community-based volunteers; take additional steps to support the independence of Nova Scotians with disabilities; eliminate mandatory retirement within the civil service; advance plans to protect more of Nova Scotia’s valuable wilderness areas; develop a new strategy to support Nova Scotia’s smaller communities; seek recommendations to ensure Nova Scotia’s voters’ list is more accurate and complete. SPEECH FROM THE THRONE–Highlights of the Speech From The Throne,First Session of the 59th General Assemblylast_img read more

Local Investments Working for Nova Scotians

first_img Scotian WindFields, Windsor, is offering opportunities through five separate funds at 1-877-798-5085 or see the website, www.scotianwindfields.org. Black Business Investment Fund, Halifax Regional Municipality, www.bbi.ca or call 902-426-6985 Just Us Coffee, Wolfville, www.justuscoffee.com or call 902-542-7474 Dundee Holdings, Dundee, 902-295-3527 Mount Business Investments, Mount Uniacke, 902-493-5489 Port Hood RV Park, Port Hood, 902-564-8821 Port Bistro, Port Williams, 902-542-0106. Nova Scotians invested record amounts in community investment funds last year, fueling growth in rural and urban areas around the province. Economic Development Minister Richard Hurlburt said Nova Scotians invested more than $5.2 million in Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIFs), making the 2006 tax year the best year in the program’s history. “These funds support hard-working Nova Scotians who are developing enterprises at home,” said Mr. Hurlburt. “By investing in these ventures, Nova Scotians are supporting each other and building a foundation for future generations.” Since the government of Nova Scotia introduced CEDIFs in 2000, about 3,000 Nova Scotians have invested more than $20 million. The investments are helping to fund diverse community businesses, ranging from locally owned wind power to fair trade organic coffee co-ops to a funeral home. Nova Scotians who buy shares in the funds qualify for a 30 per cent tax credit and can hold the shares as investments in self-directed RRSPs. Currently 11 funds are offering shares in the province: This is not an exempt offering to the public in Nova Scotia. People interested in purchasing shares of any of these funds must be provided a simplified offering document that has not been objected to by the Nova Scotia Securities Commission. For more information on Community Economic Development Investment Funds operating across Nova Scotia, see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/cedif/.last_img read more

Films like Coolie no 1 in minority now Farhad Samji

first_imgMumbai: Writter Farhad Samji, who is writing the script of “Coolie No 1” remake, says mainstream commercial comedies are in minority today. “Coolie No 1” is an adaptation of the original of the same name, which starred Govinda and Karisma Kapoor in the lead. It was directed by Varun’s father, filmmaker David Dhawan. David is returning to direct the new movie featuring Varun Dhawan. “‘Coolie No 1’ is a fairly easy film with no frills attached. The audiences know it’s a David Dhawan film with his son so they’ll come for the punches, the jokes, the character. We had to work that out. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “It’s a 25-year-old film so I’ve tried to modernise as much as I could. It’s an adaptation with a stellar cast. There are several fresh scenes and it’s really a fun film,” Farhad told PTI. The writer says though there are films like “Badhai Ho” and “Badla” which are doing good business, there are very few out-and-out commercial comedy films being made. “Earlier, these films were in mainstream but now we are in minority. So the audience has the hunger, which is an advantage for us. There are good films now, sure, but the genres are diverse.” Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot Farhad is also attached as a writer for Rohit Shetty’s upcoming “Sooryavanshi”. The action-drama features Akshay Kumar in the title role and the writer says unlike films of the cop universe ‘Singham’ and ‘Simmba’ they didn’t have any reference here. “We had references in ‘Singham’ and ‘Simmba’ of south films but not with this. When you’re writing something completely new, you’ve to keep giving yourselves assurances that everything is on point. There was a lot of revisions to see if we are on the right track. “Once the development happened and actors came in, when we saw the shoot of Akshay, everything fell in place. It’s a cracker of a script which has turned out very well,” he added.last_img read more

Tom Morello To Perform At Food Sovereignty Prize Event

first_imgHunger is not a matter of production, but a matter of justice and democracy. In celebration of those grassroots activists working for a more democratic food system, WhyHunger’s fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize champions the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies and the grassroots groups that defend it!As an alternative to the World Food Prize, the Food Sovereignty Prize honors innovative organizations around the world that are fighting for the right to food for all and dignity for those who put food on our plates. The ceremony will highlight the work of the Korean Women’s Peasant Association, as well as the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka, the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan Region in Honduras and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from the United States.Join WhyHunger in honoring the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize winners at an event co-sponsored by the U.S Food Sovereignty Alliance, the Small Planet Fund, the Lawson Valentine Foundation and other organizations to be held on October 10 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York. This year’s ceremony will be officiated by UN Special Rapporteur to the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, with a special musical performance by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman.Tickets are free and the event is open to the public! Reservations must be made at www.foodsovereigntyprize.org.last_img read more

USA is the leader of world terrorism Iran

first_imgTehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday accused the US of being the real “leader of world terrorism”, hitting back after Washington blacklisted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation. Tehran was quick to retaliate on Monday by declaring US troops “terrorists” following Washington’s move, which was welcomed by Iran’s regional arch-rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia. It was the first time that Washington has branded part of a foreign government a terrorist group, meaning that anyone who deals with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could face prison in the United States. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” an angry Rouhani demanded in a speech broadcast live by state television. Rouhani hailed the Guards for fighting terrorism since their creation in 1979, and accused US forces of having always been involved with terrorist groups or acts of terrorism. “You want to use terrorist groups as tools against the nations of the region… you are the leader of world terrorism. “Who is propagating and encouraging terrorism in today’s world? Who wanted to use ISIS (the Islamic State group) as a tool?” Rouhani asked, saying that the US is “hiding” the leaders of the jihadist organisation. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe Revolutionary Guards are the ideological arm of the country’s military and deeply embedded in Iranian political and economic life. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the Guards on their National Day, saying they were at the “forefront’ of defending the country and its interests, according to his official website. He lashed out at US officials, saying: “Their vice and deceit will return boomerang on them, leading the enemies of the Islamic Republic such as (US President Donald) Trump and those around him at the US ruling apparatus to go down the drain.” To support his accusations, Rouhani cited the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 in July 1988 by missiles fired from the US naval ship the USS Vincennes. “You have done everything imaginable. Which force was it that shot down our civil airliner in the waters of the Persian Gulf?” he said, adding that it was aimed at intimidating Iran. “You wanted to tell the Iranian nation that we do not have any red lines, you wanted to say that we also kill children, you wanted to say that we also kill women,” Rouhani said, concluding that the US was transmitting “a message of terrorism in the whole world.” The US move comes on top of Trump’s decision last year to pull the United States out of an international deal with Iran that was meant to lift crippling economic sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Washington had been encouraged to blacklist the Guards by Trump’s allies Saudi Arabia and Israel, which both cheered the declaration. “The US decision (follows) the kingdom’s repeated demands to the international community to address the issue of Iranian-backed terrorism,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted a foreign ministry source as saying on Tuesday. The source welcomed the US move as a “practical and serious step” in curbing what the kingdom describes as Iranian meddling in the region. The US decision came hours before an Israeli election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a close race for re-election. In a statement, Netanyahu thanked his “dear friend” Trump who he said had responded to a “request of mine”. In a statement carried by the Iranian official news agency IRNA, the Supreme National Security Council declared the United States a “state sponsor of terrorism” and its forces in the region “terror groups”. Quickly adapting to the decision, the semi-official Fars News Agency, close to ultra-conservatives, described the US casualties in the latest suicide bombing on a military convoy in Afghanistan as “terrorists.” In a report on the attack, Fars said Tuesday: “American army terrorists killed in Afghanistan.”last_img read more

Tzipi Livni Cancels Visit to Belgium For Facing Possible Arrest

Casablanca – Former Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, cancelled a flight on Monday 23 to Belgium over threat of arrest upon her arrival as she is named in a lawsuit for committing war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza.Tzipi Livni, the former Foreign Minister and current member of the Zionist Union Party cancelled a flight on January 23 to Belgium as Brussels’s prosecutor’s office said that Livni is at the heart of a complaint to the federal prosecutor, filed in 2010.The prosecutor’s office stated that she could be detained or questioned upon her arrival to “advance the investigation,” and unveiled that an arrest could take place. According to Belgian law, the authorities could arrest Livni on Belgian territory in connection with crimes pertaining to the violation of international law, especially as one of the victims holds Belgian citizenship. Additionally, the former Israeli official no longer has diplomatic immunity.Following the massive military operation against the Palestinians of Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009, known as Cast Lead Operation, a Belgian pro-Palestinian organization filed a lawsuit in regards to war crimes against several Israeli Military officials, including Livni, involved in the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, most of them children. The United Nations fact-finding mission found out that during the massacre, Israel attempted to target the people of Gaza entirely “as a collective punishment.”Livni was supposed to travel to the Belgian capital to take part in a conference about anti-Semitism in Europe. After being asked about the reasons she canceled the trip, Livni told an Israeli radio that she called off the flight for “personal reasons.”Later, the current Israeli Minister’s spokesperson, Emmanuel Nahshon, attacked Belgium for its engagement in what he called “cynical abuse of the Belgian legal system.”Livni was forced to call off another flight to London in 2009 after a British court issued an arrest warrant against her for crimes in the same massacre. read more

Security Council wraps up April with calls for unity and full participation

Wrapping up its work for the month with a session devoted to the role of the United Nations in post-conflict situations, the Security Council heard appeals today from fraternal bodies for a full UN role and an overall vision that looked beyond bringing peace and aid to one that encouraged economic and social development and respect for diversity.The Council President for April, Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser of Mexico, underscored the primary responsibilities of conflict prevention, restoring security conditions, the rule of law, protection of human rights and institution-building.Specific proposals were necessary for the best way in which the UN could work to benefit countries emerging from conflict, Ambassador Zinser, who will be succeeded as president for the month May by Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, told the 15-member body.General Assembly President Jan Kavan, of the Czech Republic, said the UN role in Iraq should not be confined to an advisory one. Citing recent UN experience in Kosovo and Timor-Leste as demonstrating the critical need for a comprehensive strategy in the immediate post-conflict phase, he said it was also clear that a strategy for political and economic reforms should be crafted with an overall vision.Broader responsibilities aimed at promoting democracy should be part of any planning. For all its shortcomings, real or perceived, the UN was still the only forum with the grass-roots experience and personnel to deal with a wide range of the crises inherent in conflict management and post-conflict peace-building, Mr. Kavan declared.More was needed in post-conflict situations than efforts to restore law and order, he stressed. Taking historical background into account was crucial to any successful peace-building efforts. Beyond bringing peace and humanitarian aid into a society emerging from conflict, any external involvement must be conducted in the most respectful manner regarding the specific features and the rich diversity of the society.For his part, the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala, emphasized the complementary nature of both councils, reflecting the two columns on which the UN was built – the maintenance of peace on the one hand, and economic and social development and respect for human rights and humanitarian assistance on the other.The linkage must be continued and strengthened, as it was a truism that without development there would be no peace, and without peace there would be no development.Stressing the need for unity, Mr. Rosenthal said the strengths exhibited by each UN body tended to be transmitted to others, but the same held true regarding weaknesses. For that reason, he trusted that the recent differences in the Security Council over Iraq would be overcome when it next addressed the matter. “Should this not be forthcoming, all our organs, and the United Nations in its entirety, will suffer the consequences,” he declared.In the ensuing discussion, the Council heard from the representatives of all 15 members as well as those from Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Japan and South Africa. read more

Rumer Willis Digitally editing my jaw is a form of bullying

Rumer Willis: Digitally editing my jaw is a form of bullying Rumer Willis says those who feel the need to digitally edit her photos in an effort to improve her looks are participating in a “form of bullying.”The eldest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore posted a photo to her Instagram account on Tuesday that she says was digitally altered to make her jaw look smaller — an assertion the photographers dispute.Willis says she finds it “really offensive for anyone to try and change the way you look so drastically.” She says she loves the way she looks and “won’t support anyone” who would make changes to photos in an effort to make her beautiful.Photos of the actress are featured in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine as part of a spread on celebrity sisters.Photography team Williams and Hirakawa said in a statement that the image was retouched to “resolve some distortion with using a wide angle lens for a group shot, and not to alter or modify anyone’s face.”The photographers said they are “saddened” by Willis’ reaction and never intended to change her appearance. They also note the image was an outtake from the magazine phot shoot and was not published in print or online. FILE – In this June 25, 2015, file photo, Rumer Willis arrives at the LA Premiere of the documentary “Amy” in Los Angeles. Willis posted a photo to her Instagram account on May 3, 2016, that she says was Photoshopped to make her jaw look smaller. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File) by The Associated Press Posted May 4, 2016 11:38 am MDT Last Updated May 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

How To Tell If A March Madness Underdog Is Going To Win

When the NCAA men’s basketball tournament picks up full speed Thursday, many fans will tune in with the hopes of seeing one thing: upsets. Some no doubt will come on last-minute buzzer beaters, but plenty will probably be long-simmering, the kinds of games that you can’t look away from. Those games will be all about tension: The underdog can’t possibly hold on to this lead, can it?We can figure out the answer to that question. Or at least what we should expect to happen when an upset is brewing — specifically, at what point in the game an underdog with a lead is more likely to win than lose.I analyzed play-by-play data from every NCAA tournament since 2004, which is the earliest that second-by-second scoring data is readily available. I considered all games played by teams with different seeds, leaving me with about 700 games to analyze. In the analysis, I estimated the probability that a lower-seeded team (i.e., the better team, according to the selection committee) wins the game, depending on the score and the time remaining.At the opening tipoff, the underdog has a 29 percent chance of winning the game. But if the game is tied or the underdog is ahead with five minutes remaining in the first half, the probability of an upset is higher than 50 percent.1The green line in the first chart does not fully reach 100 percent because games tied at the end of the second half are included in the analysis.It is, of course, not that simple. There’s a big difference between an “underdog” that’s a No. 2 seed and one that’s a No. 16 seed.To better distinguish between these two cases, I split the data based on “big” and “small” upsets. Any game in which there was more than a four-seed difference in the teams’ seedings was considered a potential big upset, and the games in which the difference was four or fewer were counted in the “small upset” category. (A No. 10 seed beating a No. 7 seed is a small upset, a No. 11 seed beating a No. 6 seed is a big one, etc.)2Ideally, I would break up the data more finely by looking at each possible seeding matchup, but with only 700 games and 120 possible matchups to work with, there was not enough data. The graph shows the difference between the average upset, the big upset and the small upset. As you might expect, the big underdogs begin the game with a slightly lower probability of winning (about 20 percent). Also unsurprisingly, a big underdog with the lead does not cross the 50 percent win probability threshold until around halftime.But the results are very different when you look at small upsets. In these matchups, when the underdog has a lead or the game is tied at any point more than five or six minutes into the game, it’s likely that we’re going to see an upset.We all know, however, that all leads are not created equal. Through the rest of the article, I’ll split the data a bit further, based on how big the underdog’s or favorite’s lead is: a three-possession game (a lead of 7 or more points), a two-possession game (a 4-to-6-point lead), or a one-possession game (0-to-3-point lead).The figure above shows the results from this analysis.3The jaggedness in the raw data has been smoothed with cubic regression. When a game is close, within 3 points in either direction (gray), the average favorite is still more likely than not to win. But, assuming the game stayed within 3 points all the way through, the chances of an upset increase throughout the game. By the last few minutes, if the game is within one possession, the average better-seeded team has only a slight advantage in win probability. The probability that an average underdog with a two-possession lead (light green) will win crosses the 50 percent threshold with about five minutes left in the first half. And an underdog who leads by more than 7 points (dark green) perhaps shouldn’t be considered an underdog at all.4Although there are almost zero games in which a team is ahead by seven points in the first minute or two, the cubic regression allows me to estimate these probabilities. There’s more uncertainty about the exact estimates early in the game because there is less data, but this problem disappears just a few minutes into the game. Its odds of completing the upset are more than 50 percent very early in the first half.Things are slightly different in big upset situations; the underdog must wait until the second half for a modest lead (4 to 6 points) to trump the seedings.5The tangling of the curves in the middle graph shouldn’t lead us to believe that a 4-point lead very early in the game is better than a 7-point lead. It is more the result of a very small number of games with huge score differentials early in the game. Those open up the possibility of outliers influencing the shape of the curves on the left side. If, however, you’re watching a game in which a big underdog has a three-possession lead in the first half, keep watching because there’s a good chance that it’ll pull off the upset.In smaller potential upsets, an underdog with at least a 4-point lead (light and dark green) at nearly any point in the game has a better chance of winning than losing. The underdog wins about 40 percent of one-possession games (gray), regardless of the time remaining.So, as you watch games, don’t get too excited about a big underdog with a small lead, at least until the second half. If there is not a big gap in the seedings between the two teams, then the scoreboard, not the seedings, is what matters. And remember, this whole analysis is the aggregation of hundreds of games. Any one particular game can certainly defy the odds. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

Plextor announces M2S 256GB SSD with 480Mbps read speeds

first_imgIf you are in the market for a fast, high capacity SSD, then there’s a short list of companies offering a solution. This week it looks as though Plextor has joined that list.While Plextor has offered SSD products in the past, they haven’t really been performance drives. The latest line of M2S certainly are, though.Three models are being offered:64GB 370/110 Mbps128GB 420/210 Mbps256GB 480/330 MbpsAll drives have a Marvell 88SS9174 controller chip, a 6Gb/s interface, Windows 7 TRIM support, and Plextor’s Instant Restore Technology to ensure performance over a long lifespan. You also get the peace of mind of a 3-year warranty.Unfortunately we won’t know what the pricing will be until March when they are released. Initially the M2S range will be available in Europe only, but we suspect a U.S. launch if these drives turn out to perform well alongside the competition, especially the high-end 256GB model.Read more at the Plextor press releaselast_img read more

Mobile customers left frustrated as Meteor and Eir coverage fails

first_imgMobile customers left frustrated as Meteor and Eir coverage fails Customers in Galway, Offaly and Kildare have reported outages today. THE MOBILE COVERAGE on the Meteor and Eir networks was down for swathes of the country this afternoon.Customers have been raising the matter with Meteor and Eir’s customer service teams, with users from Galway, Offaly, Kildare among those reporting no service.A spokesperson for Eir told TheJournal.ie that an outage affected approximately “30% of its 2G and 3G sites nationwide”.They said that the service interruption began at 2.30pm and that the service was restored by 5pm.“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to customers,” the spokesperson added.Responding to queries on Twitter, Meteor and Eir had said that its tech team was currently looking into the issue, and that it would be resolved as soon as possible. Wednesday 19 Apr 2017, 5:56 PM Source: eirCare/Twitter Apr 19th 2017, 5:56 PM Image: Sasko Lazarov By Sean Murray Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet Image: Sasko Lazarov Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweetcenter_img Meteor was acquired by Eircom in 2005, and is part of the mobile service offered under the umbrella Eir brand.Read: Over 30,000 sign petition to prevent Sisters of Charity becoming owners of maternity hospitalRead: The House of Commons has voted by 522 to 13 to hold a general election on 8 June 26,949 Views Hi there. thanks for getting in touch. We are currently experiencing issues with our mobile network…— eirCare (@eircare) April 19, 2017 33 Comments http://jrnl.ie/3347687 Share Tweet Email1 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

San Diego ComicCon round up from spokesperson David Glanzer

first_img KUSI Newsroom, San Diego Comic-Con round up from spokesperson David Glanzer KUSI Newsroom Posted: July 25, 2017 Categories: Local San Diego News, San Diego Comic-Con 2017 FacebookTwitter San Diego Comic Con is over but some investigations are underway into incidents that occurred at the event. Spokesman David Glanzer addresses the issues and celebrates the successes of Comic-Con 2017, and what is to come in years ahead.  July 25, 2017last_img read more

Pranab Mukherjee to be awarded Bharat Ratna today

first_imgNew Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee, will be honoured with India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday. Mukherjee’s life-long political career spanned about five decades, during which he held various key posts in the Congress as well as in the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. Also Read – Subramanian Swamy cross-examined in National Herald case Advertise With Us The 83-year-old served as India’s 13th President from 2012-2017, but prior to his election to the post, Mukherjee also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012. As Finance Minister, Mukherjee signed the letter appointing Manmohan Singh as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Born on December 11, 1935, in a Bengali family in Mirati, a village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Mukherjee completed his Masters in Political Science and History and LLB degree from University of Calcutta. Also Read – War propaganda delays removal of internet restriction in Jammu and Kashmir Advertise With Us After being selected for India’s highest civilian award, former President, popularly known as ‘Pranab Da’, had expressed his gratitude on being conferred with the Bharat Ratna saying “I’ve received much more from the people and from this country than I have given to it”. “I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of this country…At the same time, with all humility, I accept this honour. I have conveyed my appreciation by talking to the President of the Republic. I also convey my deepest gratitude to the people of this country,” he had told media on January 26. Advertise With Us Political leaders across party lines had also wished Mukherjee when his name was announced for Bharat Ratna in January, this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had congratulated Mukherjee for his decades of service to the country. “Pranab Da is an outstanding statesman of our times. He has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation’s growth trajectory. His wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna,” he had tweeted. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too had congratulated Mukherjee. “Congratulations to Pranab Da on being awarded the Bharat Ratna! The Congress Party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution to public service & nation-building of one of our own, has been recognised & honoured,” he had tweeted. The announcement for Bharat Ratna was made on January 25 in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which also said the award would be given posthumously to social activist Nanaji Deshmukh and noted Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika. The other Presidents, who had been conferred the Bharat Ratna include Dr S Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain and V V Giri.last_img read more

Jwala Gutta Vishnu Vishal Former badminton star fiercely attacks trolls for discussing

first_imgThe photos posted by Vishnu Vishal on his timelineTwitter/Vishnu VishalOf all the former and current badminton players of India, nobody is as outspoken or as forthright as Jwala Gutta. The former India doubles player is never shy of expressing her opinion, be it on matters related to badminton or on things beyond it. She once again chose to voice her blunt opinion on Twitter, but this time, on something that concerns her personally.On June 3, Vishnu Vishal, a Tamil movie actor, posted a couple of photographs of himself and Jwala Gutta which suggested that the two are in a relationship. The actor got divorced from his wife late last year. The fact that he has pinned his photos with Gutta on his Twitter timeline added to the speculation.But as is to be expected on an anarchic platform like social media sites, this led to a lot of commentary about both individuals. Many of the comments targeted the retired badminton player and questioned her personal conduct and past. Since June 3, both persons posted several philosophical comments which seemed like a response to the trolls.Gutta’s responseBut on June 9, the former Commonwealth Games gold medallist decided to take on the critics directly and launched a tirade against them in a series of tweets. “It’s funny, when I say something or have an opinion, almost everyone here goes WHAT HAVE U ACHIEVED. What have u done for the country? And two days back Vishnu Vishal puts a pic with me (and) everyone seems to know everything about me, including my past and what kind of a person I am!” Gutta wrote in her tweet. One of the tweets by Gutta JwalaTwitter/Gutta JwalaShe followed it up with another post which read: “That shows the mentality of our society. They don’t wanna judge you by your work but wanna judge you by the personal life about which they have zero clue. The worst part is women talking shit about another fellow woman. Get well soon guys. You have a long road to healthy mind!”There was one more tweet which contained a poster with these words written on it: “Please go use Google for a better use. Go look for the fact that I have represented India from 1999 to 2017. Go Google some useful stuff which might help you in your lives, instead of searching who I have been with in the past (which was utter bull%*$#). My personal life is of no use to nobody. So instead of judging me and my life for which I have worked really hard (when you guys were in cosy bed or maybe half of you weren’t even born). Go do something useful!!”The last message was also posted on her Instagram page. Interestingly, the two persons – Gutta and Vishal – are yet to confirm their relationship. The latter merely said, in an interview with Times of India, that he has known the Olympian for a long time and shares a mutual liking with her. But he didn’t specify the level of their relationship. He further stated that their professional commitments are also pushing their relationship to the back seat. Let’s see what the future brings for these two.last_img read more

Pope Francis tells bishops that clergy abuse must not be repeated

first_imgRelated posts:Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit Pope Francis meets the Castros after mass on iconic Havana square In Castros’ home region, Pope Francis praises Church ‘sacrifices’ Pope Francis in Cuba: Mass before a packed Revolution Square WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pope Francis plunged into hisfirst U.S. visit with gusto Wednesday, embracing the adulation of jubilant crowds across Washington even as he confronted controversy in remarks at the White House and a meeting of U.S. Catholic bishops.More than 3,000 people filed through security screening for an afternoon Mass on the grounds of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as tens of thousands more filled surrounding blocks. The pope, on the first full day of his five-day trip, had already called for more compassion for immigrants and protection for the environment, thrilling activists who have seen the pontiff as a liberal champion.But he also seemed to declare himself inseparable from a church hierarchy that is much less popular than he is, praising bishops for their handling of the priestly sex abuse scandal.Addressing hundreds of clergymen in Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, the pope told them:“I realize how much the pain of recent years has weighed upon you and I have supported your generous commitment to bring healing to victims – in the knowledge that in healing we too are healed – and to work to ensure that such crimes will never be repeated.”The pope, speaking in the soaring cathedral, also spoke of the devil, “the evil one, [who] roars like a lion, anxious to devour” joy. And he listed the church’s challenges in the future:“The innocent victim of abortion, children who die of hunger or from bombings, immigrants who drown in the search for a better tomorrow, … the victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, the environment devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature.”Pope Francis’ words on the pedophile priest scandal drew some quick reaction.Marci Hamilton, a law professor at the Cardozo School of Law who has represented hundreds of sex abuse victims, said she wished the pope had focused more on the victims, rather than the church.“I think the survivors had hoped for more attention on their suffering,” said Hamilton. “It’s also shocking to hear him praise the bishops in their handling of child sex abuse when there are so many states that cut out the victims from the justice system.”The pope’s words to the bishops came in contrast to the joyous popemobile circuit along some of Washington’s historic avenues just minutes before. He greeted thousands of jubilant well-wishers, kissed babies and children, and blew kisses to the crowd. Pope Francis outside the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States in Washington on Wednesday. Washington Post photo by Marvin JosephA love festPope Francis, clothed in flowing white robes, smiled and waved to delighted bystanders who shouted and waved back as he passed in the bubble-topped vehicle around the landmark Ellipse, south of the White House.Security guards plucked children from the crowd, and the pope kissed and blessed them before passing them back.The circuit along 15th Street, Constitution Avenue and 17th Street in Northwest, and past the Washington Monument, was a love fest, with the pope leaning out the side openings of the popemobile and waving to the cheering bystanders as if to friends.At one point, a security officer picked up a child from the crowd and carried the toddler to the pope. The popemobile stopped, and Francis kissed and caressed the youngster. He did that several more times before his motorcade returned to the White House.The parade took place on a sparkling morning after Pope Francis was hailed by President Barack Obama at the White House for his stance on climate change, to which the pope responded in kind.After the parade, the pope went to pray with several hundred U.S. bishops.The service, or “Midday Prayer,” took place in the soaring cathedral, to music and song.“Brother bishops,” the pope said, speaking in Italian. “As I look out with affection at you, … I would like to embrace all the local churches over which you exercise loving responsibility.”“From your great coastal cities to the plains of the Midwest, from the deep South to the far reaches of the West, wherever your people gather in the Eucharistic assembly, may the pope be not simply a name … but a felt presence, sustaining the fervent plea of the bride: “Come, Lord!”Pope Francis then brought up immigration, a political issue in the United States.“I am well aware of the immense efforts you have made to welcome and integrate those immigrants who continue to look to America, like so many others before them, in the hope of enjoying its blessings of freedom and prosperity,” he said.Earlier, at the White House, Pope Francis spoke to Obama about climate change.“Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution,” the pontiff said at the sun-splashed event on the South Lawn. “Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.“When it comes to the care of our ‘common home,’ we are living at a critical moment of history,” he said. “We still have time to make the changes needed.”Francis’s remarks also focused on the need to provide comfort to those at the margins of society.The event was attended by thousands of dignitaries, among them Vice President Joe Biden; his wife, Jill; Ethel Kennedy; Secretary of State John Kerry; and Washington Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Pope Francis is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and others as he arrives Tuesday afternoon in the United States for the first time. Washington Post photo by Jabin BotsfordA living example of JesusIn his warm welcome to the pope, Obama called the pope a living example of Jesus and a figure of humility and simplicity.“I believe the excitement around your visit, Holy Father, must be attributed not only to your role as pope but to your unique qualities as a person,” the president began, in welcoming the pope, as the pontiff sat beside the lectern on the South Lawn.“In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, in the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of Jesus’s teachings,” Obama said.“You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike to … ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity, because we are all made in the image of God,” he said.The Spanish-speaking Pope Francis addressed the president in accented but clear English, introducing himself to the crowd in his first sentence as “the son of an immigrant” – his family came from Italy to Argentina – and describing the United States as “largely built by such families.”The words are likely to resonate at a time where the political debate in the United States has been marked by a divisive debate over immigration.Francis’s remarks were brief but also welcome to a White House looking to build momentum ahead of a major U.N. summit on climate change in Paris in December.See: 5 things Pope Francis gets totally right about climate changeIn praising the president for his efforts to secure commitments from countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Francis described climate change as an “urgent” problem.Obama returned the compliment to the pope for the pontiff’s work on climate change, one of the most important initiatives for the president during his remaining 15 months in office. “Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet – God’s magnificent gift to us,” Obama said.Obama acknowledged the 15,000 people packing the South Lawn, a rare occurrence. “Our back yard is not typically this crowded,” he said. It was a regal welcome with military bands and sword-wielding Honor Guards in their dress uniforms.Behind them were the dignitaries and then farther back the large crowds lucky to score tickets from the White House.Earlier, the pope plunged into a crowd of Catholic school students, shaking hands and being hugged and kissed before heading to the White House.The pope emerged from the Vatican Nunciature, in Northwest Washington, where he spent the night, shortly before 9 a.m. and made a bee line for the cheering students gathered behind bicycle barriers.He smiled, chatted and shook hands as he worked his way along the line for several minutes and the young people waved yellow and white papal flags, embraced him and took pictures.One man leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead. “Papa!” people yelled. “Papa!After about 10 minutes, the pope departed the White House for the meeting with Obama and thousands of dignitaries. He arrived there at 9:23 a.m.Meanwhile, individuals, groups and families with children bundled against the morning chill had trooped downtown and lined up along security barricades near the pope’s parade route south of the White House.Others began walking or riding in after early morning Masses at churches across the region to mark Francis’s first visit to the United States.When the gates to one secure area around the parade route opened around 5:15 a.m. near Lafayette Park, people ran to get through the area and U.S. Secret Service agents ordered them to slow down.“It was like a Black Friday at a department store,” Christopher Hale, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, said of the rush.Nearby, priests heard the confessions of the faithful, and in northwest Washington, a throng of Catholic school children chanted and waved flags outside the Vatican Nunciature.“We love Francis, yes we do! We love Francis, how ’bout you?” they hollered. After arriving from Cuba, Pope Francis waves as he disembarks his plane at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Tuesday. Washington Post photo by Jabin BotsfordLarge crowds for the Argentina-born Pope FrancisThe pope was scheduled to celebrate a 4:15 p.m. Mass on Wednesday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast Washington to canonize Junípero Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest who founded historic missions in California. Thousands of people were gathering there by early afternoon.On Thursday, Francis will make the first address by a pope to a joint meeting of Congress. Afterward, he is scheduled to appear on the balcony of the West Front of the Capitol to greet a crowd that was expected to swell to about 50,000.Large crowds expected both days, and streets will be thronged and periodically cordoned off across the city as the pope crisscrosses the District.He is scheduled to leave for New York on Thursday, then travel Saturday to Philadelphia in a visit that will end Sunday.The popular 78-year-old Argentina-born pope, who has softened the church’s tone, focused on climate change and the poor, and seized a spot on the global stage, is making his first trip ever to the United States.People of all stripes showed up Wednesday.A large group from the Church of the Sacred Heart, known better as Sagrado Corazon to its majority Latino congregation in Columbia Heights, headed from Mass to the Ellipse.Among the wooden crosses, white balloons and smartphones they carried, a few parishioners held rolled up signs, “working people welcome Pope Francis,” printed by the labor organization AFL-CIO.The political dynamic of the pope’s visit is not lost on this largely immigrant group. They know what they want to hear from Pope Francis.“I hope his words change things,” said Fidel Larios, 47, of Washington. “I hope he speaks sincerely so people will do the right thing.”When he talks about change, Larios said he is referring to the one thing so many in this crowd want: immigration reform. He’s been waiting for it and is tired, he said, of broken promises. Pope Francis waves from his motorcade after disembarking his plane in the United States at Joint Base Andrews , Md. Washington Post photo by Jabin BotsfordNear the Washington Monument, the Kolodzieski family from Apex, N.C., made their own paper papal bishop’s mitres and claimed a spot along Constitution Avenue.“I felt very strongly that I wanted to see him,” said Carol Kolodzieski.“I think it’s something they can carry through their entire lives,” said her husband Scott, referring to their three children seeing the pope in person. As for her New York Yankees shirt, Carol said: “We pray for them all the time too.”For the Silvani family of Potomac, Maryland, chance to see Pope Francis in Washington was a matter of national pride.Their parents are from Argentina and so all eight siblings — five brothers and three sisters – brought their families to the corner of 17th and E streets where they’re looking forward to seeing the first Argentine-born pope.When Francis was elected pope, “we were screaming. It was pure excitement,” said Gabriella Silvani.So when plans for a D.C. visit were announced, the family knew they had to mobilize.At 5 a.m. Wednesday, Gabriela, Matias, Carolina, Sebastian, Lorena, Agustin, Ezequiel and Tomas headed to the Ellipse with their families, many wearing Argentine sky blue and white and some sporting Messi jerseys.Their parents, Carlos and Elizabeth, skipped the parade but they won’t miss the pope. They have tickets to the mass at Catholic University later today.Some in the crowd were opposed to the Francis..Five people wearing “Repent or Perish” T-shirts walked up Constitution Avenue toward the security checkpoint at 14 Street NW. They carried tall black signs with white lettering. One said “The Pope Is the Antichrist,” and that was enough to incite the crowd of about 1,000 waiting for admission to the Ellipse.“Let’s go Francis!” chanted Arlington, Virginia, resident Michael Jackson, and others joined him, breaking out their guitars and singing “Francisco! Francisco!” But the sign bearers had bull horns.“If you see a man in a white robe, it’s all external righteousness,” said one protester with a bull horn. “It’s filthy. The pope is a blasphemous, wicked wretch. He needs to renounce the papacy or burn in fire.”The protesters said they are born-again Christians from a church called All Grace on the Eastern Shore. Jackson, who wore a University of Notre Dame cap and polo shirt, stood directly in front of the bull horn.“How can I learn if you won’t have a conversation with me?” Jackson, 25, asked one of the protesters.“I’m not your answer,” the protester said, before going back to shouting about false idols. “Go ask God.”Washington Post staff writers David Montgomery, Nick Miroff, Fenit Nirappil, Mike DeBonis, Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Steven Mufson contributed to this report.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Taliban suicide bomber gunmen attack Afghan parliament

first_imgAn AP reporter who witnessed part of the assault heard heavy gunfire outside parliament and saw black smoke billowing from the entrance as ambulances raced to the scene. The reporter later heard sporadic shooting from the building where the militants were said to be holed up.Just down the street, hundreds of children were evacuated from a school. Parents could be seen racing toward the building, shouting out the names of their children.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the assault.“Targeting innocent people in the holy month of Ramadan is a clear act of hostility against the religion of Islam,” his office said in a statement, adding that the perpetrators “are criminals who are bound by no creed or religion.”The attack on parliament came hours after the Taliban seized a second district in the northern Kunduz province, which has borne the brunt of their annual warm-weather offensive.Mohammad Yusuf Ayubi, head of the provincial council, said the insurgents attacked the district of Dashti Archi from four sides and took full control of the area early Monday. He said local forces suffered casualties but did not have a precise count.He said around 150,000 residents of the district were trapped by the fighting. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attack began with a car bomb explosion near the entrance to parliament. Gunmen then attempted to storm the compound but were pushed back by security forces and eventually corralled into a nearby building that was under construction.Sediqqi later said all seven attackers were killed by police and that no members of parliament were harmed. “It is over now,” he said.Sediqqi said a woman and a 10-year-old girl were killed. Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ismail Kahousi said 31 civilians were wounded in the parliament attack, including two women and two children.Sidiqa Mubarez, a member of parliament, said the building was rocked by the large explosion and that some people were wounded by flying glass. She said the explosion happened shortly after Masoom Stanekzai had arrived to be confirmed as defense minister, a post that has been vacant for nine months. The vote was delayed by the attack.The Taliban claimed the attack. The militant group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told The Associated Press by telephone that it targeted Stanekzai and the parliament itself. He said the assault showed the “capability of the mujahedeen, who can even attack the parliament in the capital.” Comments   Share   The Taliban confirmed that they had captured the district, as well as ammunition and four tanks, in an emailed statement.The Taliban seized control of the Chardara district in Kunduz on Sunday. In April, the insurgents launched a surprise attack on the provincial capital, also called Kunduz, and nearly captured it before Afghan forces fended them off.Afghan forces have struggled to fight off the Taliban since the U.S. and NATO combat mission officially concluded at the end of last year. More than 2,300 Afghan soldiers, police and pro-government fighters have been killed since the start of the year — more than the total number of U.S. troops killed since the 2001 invasion that ended Taliban rule.The war on the Taliban has also been hampered by months of bickering between President Ashraf Ghani and his election rival turned Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, which has repeatedly delayed the appointment of a defense minister.The parliament’s mandate expired on Monday, with no date yet for new elections. Ghani’s office said in a statement Friday that he would announce a date for new elections within a month and that the assembly could continue meeting until they are held. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban suicide bomber struck the entrance to the Afghan parliament on Monday and gunmen tried to storm the heavily guarded compound, setting off a gunbattle with police that left two people dead as lawmakers were meeting inside to vote on the appointment of a new defense minister.Afghan security forces managed to repel the attack, killing all seven gunmen and ensuring that no members of parliament were harmed. But the audacious assault came as the Taliban captured two districts in as many days in the country’s north, displaying their ability to operate on multiple fronts.last_img read more

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