a month agoTottenham legend Ardiles insists title push remains on

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham legend Ardiles insists title push remains onby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham legend Ossie Ardiles insists a title push remains on.Tottenham are third in the Premier League table after five matches, just two points behind Manchester City but seven adrift of leaders Liverpool.”[It’s been] very positive. I believe that there are two teams to beat – Liverpool and Manchester City – but I think we are one of the teams that can beat them and we are going to try and fight with them all the way,” Ardiles told Sky Sports.”We have a very, very strong squad. That showed last season and in the Champions League as well. “We do have a very strong squad but we have to be a little bit better and I hope we will do it this year.” last_img read more

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3 hours agoGenk striker Samatta: Facing Liverpool a dream come true

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Genk striker Samatta: Facing Liverpool a dream come trueby Paul Vegas3 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveRacingGenk striker Mbwana Ally Samatta admits facing Liverpool was a “dream come true”.Liverpool were comfortable 4-1 winners for Wednesday night’s Champions League encounter.And Tanzania international Samatta said: “As a child I was not a fan of Liverpool, but of the arch rival: Manchester United. “I’m not going to say that I get goose bumps, but it’s so special. “A game like this and to be allowed to play is like a dream, the dream of every boy watching football on television.” last_img read more

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Matthew McConaugheys Charity Event Gets Even Bigger

first_imgSome of the best charities will reap the benefits from one major event in Austin, Texas on April 11 and 12 thanks to Texas Head Football Coach Mack Brown, recording artist Jack Ingram and actor Matthew McConaughey. The trio is hosting a fundraising event called Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M) with the commitment of Austin businessman and philanthropist Milton Verret.By joining together, MJ&M and Mr. Verret will maximize their impact on programs for underserved youth nationwide. The proceeds from this unprecedented two-day event will benefit several charities: the Rise School of Austin, the JK Livin Foundation, Heart Gift, Cure Duchenne and Grounded in Music.MJ&M is destined to become well-known thanks to the far-reaching efforts of Sally and Mack Brown, Amy and Jack Ingram, as well as Camila and Matthew McConaughey. MJ&M is generating a lot of excitement with two days of celebrity golf, a Neiman Marcus fashion show and two nights of live music. To purchase concert tickets, please visit www.ACL-Live.com.Through the involvement of well-known celebrities and electrifying events, MJ&M is able to give back to the children who need it the most in a really big way with a focus on education, health & fitness, and arts & culture.The association of MJ&M with Mr. Verret only makes sense since they each share the mission of making a major impact on children’s lives.“It’s an honor for me to join such a great trio of fellow Texans as they join forces to improve the lives of underserved children,” Verret stated shortly after joining the MJ&M Founding Steering Committee. As a member of the Founding Steering Committee, Mr. Verret joins an elite group of MJ&M donors making a major financial commitment to what will become an annual event.Mr. Verret’s past philanthropic efforts have already left their mark on the city of Austin. His purchase of giant guitar sculptures during a Gibson Foundation auction helped raise half a million dollars for Austin charities. Mr. Verret then donated the guitars to the city, and they are now on public display at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Anyone arriving in Austin can now see it is truly the Live Music Capital of the World!Mr. Verret’s underwriting, organizing and producing of Cow Parade Austin in 2011 helped raise $1.5 million through its auction to benefit the SuperHero Kids Fund of the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center of Dell Children’s Medical Center. Additionally, Mr. Verret’s involvement as Production Sponsor for the Dell Children’s Hospital Gala this year doubled its fundraising from last year to nearly $1.3 million.Other efforts by Mr. Verret include donations to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Austin Children’s Shelter, the Boy Scouts of America, the Central Texas Girl Scouts, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Austin Film Society.Together, the Browns, Ingrams, McConaugheys and Milton Verret are a great group of humanitarians who will make sure the children of this community receive well-deserved attention.To learn more about Mack, Jack & McConaughey, go to www.mackjackmcconaughey.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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The Scouts And Stats Agree Kris Bryant Is Going To Be Dope

Jay Bruce1.1.84914.3 B. J. Upton3.0.78013.8 David Wright2.0.83549.7 Jurickson Profar1.7.678-0.1 Miguel Cabrera2.0.76259.4 Even the messiah can strike out three times on his first day in the majors. Last Friday, Kris Bryant, the Cubs’ anointed savior, was called up from the minors after weeks of debate about whether he should’ve just started the season in the majors. There is an aura of myth to Bryant’s arrival, as though the stars have aligned to offer the Cubs a chance to fulfill a prophecy. Yet Bryant is still an untested prospect, and, as Cubs fans know too well, even the best prospects can fail to live up to expectations.But Bryant really is special — he’s the rare prospect that has both scouts and stats in complete agreement. Because of the unique intersection of scouting know-how and minor league data, Bryant is likely to match the hype.Let’s start with the stats. In this case, all we have to go by are projection systems, which take the minor league data of previous prospects and compare it with their MLB results to predict what up-and-coming players will accomplish. That’s no easy task — the minor league data is sparse, and performance is confounded by the effects of the league and the age differences between players.In Bryant’s case, however, the projections are so high that there is little room for doubt. No matter whether you look at FanGraphs’ Steamer (.260/.333/.498) or Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA (.265/.356/.525), all the algorithms are in agreement in their preseason projections: Bryant is going to be a fantastic hitter.1This kind of agreement among separate systems often means greater certainty in the resulting prediction. ESPN’s Dan Szymborski, who runs another algorithm called ZiPS, tweeted that Bryant’s is the best prediction he’s ever given to a prospect.There’s no mystery as to how Bryant arrived at these projections — the guy hit between 60 percent and 120 percent better than average while in the minors, depending on the level. Still, Bryant’s projection is so extreme that at one point, the developers who run the projection systems became worried. In a mid-winter Twitter consultation, baseball projection system developers compared Bryant’s projections to make sure that they weren’t out of line. There was consensus: All of their independently developed algorithms were giving Bryant one of the top hitting lines in the majors.Even so, not all prospects hit as well as their projections say they should. The computers, operating solely on minor league performance, can fail to notice fatal flaws in a hitter’s swing, flaws that can be exploited ruthlessly at the major league level. That’s partly why projection systems aren’t as good as scouts at predicting how prospects will perform in the major leagues. So, despite their depiction in “Moneyball,” scouts are an integral part of evaluating baseball players, and that goes double for prospects.Scouts look at the shape of a hitter’s swing, if he can generate power, and how easily he adapts to a pitcher’s shifting tactics. Bryant’s ludicrous numbers in the minors were no guarantee that the scouts would love the tools he used to achieve those numbers.The scouts are every bit as high on Bryant as the projections. He was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball for 2015 by venerable scouting organization Baseball America. FanGraphs also put him at No. 1, Baseball Prospectus put him at No. 5, and a host of others ranked him similarly. All publications praised his rare, top-notch, seemingly effortless power. As with the projection systems, a consensus quickly developed, and that consensus proclaimed Bryant the best prospect in baseball.The highest-rated prospects of the past 25 years have tended to become great major leaguers — on average. Yet there are some notable busts, players who the scouts thought were destined for greatness but who ended up falling short. Orioles outfielder Delmon Young, for example, consistently rated among the best prospects in baseball four years in a row, only to turn in a disappointing, journeyman career. Projection systems aren’t immune to mistakes, either. Once upon a time, Eduardo Nunez was PECOTA’s favorite, but he’s since become better-known for hitting a preponderance of popups. There’s no foolproof way to tell how a player will develop or respond to the challenges of the major leagues.Independently, then, each source has its share of errors. Often, the scouts will disagree with the predictions, or vice versa. Scouts might see future potential that never manifests in the majors. Or PECOTA will fail to consider a player’s unfixable weakness against major league competition.But Bryant has the approval of both stats and scouts, which is why he’s so special. Using data on historical prospect rankings2Which are generously provided by Chris St. John. and PECOTA projections going back to 2004, I looked for players who received comparable acclaim from both PECOTA and the scouts. Here is a complete list of the players in my data set who received a consensus prospect ranking better than fifth and a PECOTA-projected OPS greater than the projected league average. Kris Bryant1.7.881— Jose Reyes2.0.72336.2 The names on this list combine for three MVP awards, 34 All-Star appearances and 273.2 wins above replacement3Baseball-Reference.com version. (a statistic that measures the overall value of a player, combining his hitting, baserunning and defense). Bryant’s predicted OPS, relative to the league average, is higher than the comparable projections for all the players on the list before they entered the league.Several of the above players are potential Hall of Famers (Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Joe Mauer), while others have been merely very good (Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce). Notably, there’s not a true bust among them. Melvin Upton (formerly B. J.) isn’t a good hitter anymore, but he was excellent for the first six years of his career (just less than the seven years for which the Cubs will control Bryant).A few of these players (such as Profar and Wieters) have fallen victim to injuries. This is the kind of problem that can end the career of any young player, no matter how bright his future might be. But Bryant has yet to suffer any serious injuries, whether in the minors or in college before that.4Whereas both Profar and Wieters lost time in the minors due to injury. To the extent that players can be injury prone, Bryant has so far shown no such inclination.Bryant has won the acclaim of both the projections and the scouts. Rarely are the two in such resounding agreement. He is likely to be great, and while it may be too soon to be planning a parade, it’s not too early to begin envisioning a long period of Cubs offensive dominance led by Kris Bryant. PLAYERAVERAGE PROSPECT RANKPROJECTED OPSCAREER WAR Matt Wieters1.1.94113.6 Joe Mauer2.2.82346.3 Evan Longoria2.6.79940.0 read more

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Gary Neville attacks Manchester United flop Fred

first_imgManchester United legend Gary Neville, didn’t hesitate to lash out against Brazilian midfielder Fred for not living up to his price tag expectations.The first season at Manchester United for Brazilian midfielder Fred has been below average, something that club legend Gary Neville has specifically pointed out this Wednesday and has stirred a bit of controversy in England.The Red Devils paid Shakhtar Donetsk a total of £50m for the player last summer with the idea that he would be essential to the club’s resurgence this season, but the reality that has struck all Mancunian fans in the face is very different to what was promised at first.Gary Neville has taken it upon himself to become the voice of all those unhappy supporters, who don’t understand why the club spent so much money on a player who isn’t top quality and has clearly become one of the biggest waste of money for the club in recent years.Many are quick to point at Jose Mourinho himself, but the relationship between the manager and vice-chairman Ed Woodward is what pushed the club to rush this transfer after the top options were rejected by the board.Jose Mourinho didn’t really have much choice on the matter, he brought the player that the club wanted to buy because they didn’t fancy spending more money than that.Neville Vs SounessNeville showing his ass here. Disappointing. pic.twitter.com/ENB7L78sgv— THE NORTH REMEMBERS. (@MidKnightGaz) November 12, 2018During The Gary Neville Podcast this week on Sky Sports, the former Manchester United player expressed his uncertainty against the Brazilian and complained about the elevated price-tag that was practically wasted during the summer because Fred hasn’t really played that much.“Fred at £50m, he started the first game of the season and he looked bright, he looked tidy – but does he look like what you would expect for £50m?” Said Neville on the podcast.“Does he change a game? Does it look like he’s going to defend your goal? Does it look like he’s going to connect back-to-front? At this moment in time, no.”“He is still developing. He’s still getting used to Manchester United and he’s coming into a very difficult position in the sense that the club aren’t the most stable at this moment in time in terms of their performance levels and the scrutiny that’s been on the club in the past three or four months.”harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“So, I wouldn’t put it all onto Fred but you have to ask the question, where was he [on Sunday] in that central midfield?”He’s not been impressed #mufc https://t.co/qPzMfLt0Fc— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) November 14, 2018But this problem goes a lot further than the low level of performance that the player has been showing during training sessions, this has a lot more to do with the actual owners of the club who care very little about the club’s well-being as long as it keeps generating revenue.As of right now and according to Forbes, Manchester United sits pretty as the football club with the highest revenue in the world with £581 million worth of total revenue.The Glazer family won’t change the narrative or their transfer policy as long as the checks keep on coming.This will result in many more flop transfers like Fred, because the board feels like they don’t really need to spend crazy amounts of cash in order to perform relatively well on all the competitions they play.This is increasingly frustrating for people like Gary Neville, a club legend who saw the Red Devils transform into one of the most successful clubs in football history under Sir Alex Ferguson, and are currently losing their prestige because of the terrible business they make by signing players like Fred.’Does he look like what you would expect for £60 million?’: Gary Neville claims Manchester United midfielder Fred is not living up to his price tag pic.twitter.com/Sau1H7TG1Q— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) November 14, 2018What do you think is the best solution for Manchester United’s poor transfer policy? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

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The Secret to Digital Growth Investing in Content

first_imgWhile we’re definitely in the “aggregation” or “curation” age, many online startups are investing in staff and resources for creating original content (which is more than can be said for many of their peers coming from traditional media). Blodget acknowledges the knocks against HuffPo’s content (paying a few big name writers while plucking content from low-or-unpaid bloggers and generating SEO-bait) but he also says that with HuffPo expected to grow another $20 million to $50 million in revenue that it “will likely hire a lot more New York Times staffers to go with the ones it has already got. In other words, HuffPo will keep getting better.” Blodget doesn’t reveal what he’s paying to generate content, but says “We didn’t make that profit because we’re a sweatshop, by the way.” He claims a 25-person newsroom, (which is larger than many magazines which are generating far more than $4 million and splitting four or five people—if they’re lucky—across print AND digital). He writes,“Our newsroom salaries for full-time employees, for example (which include bonuses and benefits) are now higher than at many companies in the traditional news industry. Because the digital news business is quite different from the traditional news business, we often promote from within, and we’ve had the huge pleasure of watching folks who joined us as interns grow up to take leadership positions. True, we can’t yet toss around the $300,000-$500,000 a year per brand-name columnist that Huffington Post and Daily Beast are now reportedly tossing around. But, in future years, if we keep doing what we think we can do, we should be able to pay our top people a lot more than we do today.”But what’s the cost of growing and getting better? According to Google Analytics, Business Insider has seen a steady rise in traffic, generating nearly 8 million uniques in February (comScore has it at 3.5 million—Blodget says he will address the discrepancy). Meanwhile, financial blogger Felix Salmon estimates that expenses have been growing at the same rate as Business Insider’s audience (spending between 23 cents and 36 cents per unique visitor), and points out that Business Insider has moved away from producing premium content for Wall Street “elites,” after realizing that there’s “no money in micro-publishing.”Many traditional publishers—overleveraged and struggling to meet covenants or lose it all—can’t invest in content (or real lead gen or real marketing services, etc.) But for the rest—many of which are seeing improvements in print and boasting solid margins even through the worst of the downturn, and who HAVE proven there is money in micro-publishing—continuing to operate on a shoestring across all media (even as they consider a metered model) will leave them wondering why business is going to a digital startup. At FOLIO:, we’re used to having to cajole publishers to share metrics to back up the case they’re making for their own success.  Kudos then to Henry Blodget (pictured right), CEO of financial news and analysis site Business Insider, who shared the type of proprietary financials that keep most PR heads up at night in a blog about the viability of “digital news” as a business. (The admissions come on the heels of Huffington Post’s $315 million sale—or as one talkbacker to Blodget’s post wrote, “The headline on this post should be: Dear AOL, For your consideration, we’re an excellent Web property too!”) The stats: Business Insider generated $4.8 million in revenue in 2010 (up from $39,495 a couple years ago), mostly from advertising. The company was profitable in 2010 (making $2,127), but Blodget warns it will dip back into the red over the next few quarters, due to aggressive investment, spurred in part by New York State’s capital tax. “Making $2,127 feels about 2,127 times as good as losing money,” he writes. The Costs Of Making Online Content a Real Businesslast_img read more

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Mothers Day Special Richa Chadha Pankaj Shweta Tripathi share the most valuable

first_imgRicha Chadha, Pankaj Tripathi, Shweta TripathiPR HandoutMother’s Day is around the corner, it will be celebrated in India on Sunday (May 12). Many people pour their heart out showcasing the love for their mother. Bollywood celebrities are no exception. Here are a few who spoke and they shared their thoughts for their mothers and the most valuable lesson they have learnt from them.Richa Chadha Richa ChadhaPR HandoutMy mother taught me the importance of being truthful and kind. She’s got amazing resilience and an undying faith in providence, she’s so optimistic. She’s also the most well-read person I know. I guess I have taken a little bit of everything from her.Ali Fazal Ali FazalPR HandoutI learnt how to budget within our means. She taught me to survive in a world with and in a world without. I’ve never known a person like my mother. Resilient and headstrong to a point where she live out a lifetime for love and honour and pride than kneel before the turbulence of time. She’s given me everything Ii have today. And all mine is hers now.Shweta Tripathi Shweta TripathiPR HandoutMy interest in design started because of my mother. In music, dance, and everything creative. She taught me to see the world in a different light. I was always encouraged to do and follow what makes me happy as long as I was learning and growing. She retired as a teacher and post retirement, she has started learning how to paint. And everytime she sends me her new painting, I feel so happy.Pankaj Tripathi Pankaj TripathiPR HandoutOne thing that i have learnt from mother that helped me to shape up my personality is there is no option to truthfulness, honesty and hard work. Secondly she taught me to not leave a single grain of food in your plate, do not waste food eat completely whatever is served to you. Even at this stage of my life i am still following her lessons and will keep doing so. I only believe in sincerity, honesty and hard work. The reason for not leaving single grain on plate was we are family of farmers. We know the hard work and efforts it goes to grow a single rice grain and bringing the same grain from field to home. We know the importance and value of food grain being a farmer. This is one of the reasons she taught us the value of food and not wasting it.Sumeet Vyas Sumeet VyasPR HandoutThat no matter how grave the problem is, after a good meal, I can resolve it.last_img read more

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BNP nominates GM Siraj for Bogura6 bypolls

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir hands over party letter to GM Siraj nominating him as a candidate for Bogura-6 by-polls. Photo: UNBBNP has finally kept trust in its former MP GM Siraj by allocating the party election symbol ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ for him to contest the by-election to Bogura-6 parliamentary seat, reports UNB.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday handed over a party letter to GM Siraj at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office nominating him as the candidate of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’ for the by polls. Siraj, also BNP’s Bogura district unit convener, got the party’s letter just a day before the schedule for the distribution of symbols by the returning officer. On 30 April, the parliamentary seat was declared vacant as Fakhrul did not to take oath of office though he was elected MP from the constituency in the 30-December polls.The by-polls to the Bogura-6 constituency will be held on 24 June, according to a schedule announced by the election commission on 8 May.As per the by-polls schedule, the deadline for the submission of nomination paper is 23 May, while the date for scrutinising nomination paper is 27 May and the last date for the withdrawal of candidature is 3 June.The eight-hour balloting period will begin at 9:00am instead of 8:00am in the by-election while Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used in all the polling stations of the constituency.last_img read more

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From shy student to IS polemicist

first_imgAs a shy, studious teenager in Alabama, Hoda Muthana rarely made waves. After her abrupt transformation into a fiery supporter of Islamic State extremists, she is under the scanner of the top levels of the US government.The 24-year-old, who has since been married to three different jihadist men and has a toddler son, says she regrets her turn to radicalism and wants to return home — but President Donald Trump has personally intervened to block her.Growing up in Hoover, Alabama, a prosperous suburb of Birmingham with a sizable Muslim community, Muthana was raised by strict Yemeni immigrant parents who forbade her from owning a smartphone — ubiquitous among US teenagers — until she finished high school.The phone opened her world. Muthana says she was pulled in by messages of the Islamic State group which brainwashed her into flying furtively in 2014 to the militants’ self-styled caliphate, which then reigned over vast stretches of Syria and Iraq and had drawn in hundreds of Westerners, mostly Europeans of immigrant upbringing.Once she arrived, social media gave the Alabama girl a global audience among jihadists. In one tweet, she appeared to torch her US passport. In another, she called Americans “cowards” for not coming in greater numbers to the caliphate’s de facto capital of Raqa, Syria where she lived among Australians.In a message preserved by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, Muthana hailed the deadly 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French newspaper that satirized the Prophet Mohammed, writing “Hats off to the mujs in Paris” and urging similar attacks.Detained by US-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria as the Islamic State’s territory dwindles to its last sliver, Muthana said she no longer believes in the extremist ideology.”It’s not Islamic at all. Anyone that says so, I will fight against it,” she told ABC News, speaking in a soft, flat voice and sporting a blue veil.”I’m just a normal human being who has been manipulated once and hopefully never again,” she said.New world on smartphoneJordan LaPorta, who attended Hoover High School with Muthana from 2009 to 2013, said he saw her nearly every day as they took advanced classes together.”We were courteous, and she was a nice, quiet young woman,” he told AFP.”No one, myself included, had any idea that this radicalism was festering when the original story broke in 2015. People far closer to her than I were stunned by the news,” he said.LaPorta, now a student at the University of Alabama Law School, said that Muthana later threatened him for comments he made after her turn to radicalism, by tagging him on Instagram, calling him a “nerd” and saying he “deserved a neck” — a threat he reported to the FBI.Muthana’s father gave her a smartphone when she graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.She “really found a place of belonging on her phone, online,” said Hassan Shibly, a lawyer for the family.Islamic State recruiters “preyed upon her” and “gave her so much attention and played with her mind and they cut her off from her friends, from her family, from her community, from her mosque,” Shibly said.Father feels AmericanIn a highly unusual move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Muthana is not a US citizen, even though she traveled to Syria on a US passport.”This is a woman who inflicted enormous risk on American soldiers, on American citizens. She is a terrorist. She’s not coming back,” Pompeo told the Fox Business Network on Thursday.The US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868 after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, grants citizenship to everyone born in the country — with the exception of children of diplomats, as they are not under the jurisdiction of the United States.Muthana’s father, Ahmed Ali, served at the Yemeni mission at the United Nations. He filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to affirm his daughter’s citizenship, saying he had left his diplomatic post several months before her birth.In a 2015 interview with BuzzFeed News when his daughter’s case came to light, he voiced sorrow.”America is my country now,” he said. “My kids’ country. And if for me as an American citizen, if asked to me to defend this country, I will defend it.”LaPorta, her classmate, said that Hoover residents in a private Facebook group overwhelmingly said they did not want her back. He said she should return but face charges.”As for me, I do have some degree of sympathy. Young people make mistakes, and she has a young child not implicated in any of this due to any fault of his own,” he said.”But fleeing the country to join a terrorist organization is not an act of mere youthful indiscretion. Actions have consequences.”last_img read more

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The 10 Events You Need To Know To Understand The AlmostFiring Of

first_imgJ. Scott Applewhite/APRobert Mueller is sworn in on Capitol Hill, prior to testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in 2013.President Trump’s reported order last summer to fire Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is all about obstruction of justice — whether it happened, and whether it could be proven.Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller in June, as The New York Times reported on Thursday. McGahn refused, and threatened to quit. Trump backed off.Speaking to reporters Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump dismissed the report. “Fake news. Fake news,” the president said in brief remarks as he entered the conference hall. “Typical New York Times. Fake stories.”And prior to leaving for Davos, the president had told reporters he was willing to talk to Mueller’s investigators under oath. Trump said he was “looking forward to it.” At the time, the president also said “There’s been no collusion whatsoever. There’s no obstruction whatsoever.”Still, due to the events of the past year, “it now appears likely that Mueller will conclude that Trump obstructed justice,” wrote former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti on Friday. Here’s the chain of events that led to now:1. Mike Flynn liesFormer national security adviser Michael Flynn is at the center of the Russia imbroglio.In January 2017, Flynn separately tells soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence and FBI investigators about conversations he had with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak earlier in the presidential transition, saying that the conversations were not related to U.S. sanctions on Russia.Pence goes on TV and repeats those claims, but the FBI, which was monitoring the Russian ambassador’s communications, knew they weren’t true. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with Mueller’s investigators.2. Sally Yates sounds the alarmOn Jan. 26, then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates meets with White House counsel McGahn to warn him the Justice Department had evidence, via the FBI surveillance, that what Pence was saying publicly was inaccurate.She adds that because Russian diplomatic and intelligence officials also knew about the content of the conversations — and probably had their own proof of them — Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail.“To state the obvious, you don’t want your national security adviser compromised by the Russians,” she later told Congress.Four days later, and after a second meeting between McGahn and Yates, Trump fires Yates. The reason given by the White House was her decision to instruct Justice Department attorneys not to defend his immigration restrictions. But subsequent events raise the question about whether Yates’ dismissal also was connected to the unwelcome visit she paid on McGahn.Either way, McGahn told Trump that Flynn had probably provided an inaccurate portrayal of events to FBI investigators, according to Trump lawyer John Dowd.3. Comey says Trump asks for loyalty, Trump fires FlynnOn Jan. 27, President Trump arranges a dinner with then-FBI Director James Comey, where, according to Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the president says: “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.”Comey said he felt like the dinner was an effort on the part of the president to have him ask for his job and “create some sort of patronage relationship.”Trump has denied askinf Comey for a loyalty pledge.Meanwhile, the spin cycle continues to churn about Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak, accounts of which were leaked to the Washington Post. About two weeks later, on Feb. 13, Trump fires Flynn.4. Trump wonders aloud about leniencyThe very next day, according to Comey, he visited the Oval Office for a meeting with Trump and advisers. Afterward, the president clears the room of everyone except him and the FBI director.“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,” Comey says Trump said.Comey says he would not agree to let it go.I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017Trump has continually denied that he ever asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn.5. Trump pressures Sessions to “safeguard” himSusan Walsh/APAttorney General Jeff Sessions waits to make a statement at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Washington in March 2017, days after recusing himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.In March 2017, Comey worked for Jeff Sessions, the attorney general and the head of the Justice Department.But public pressure was building for Sessions, who worked much of 2016 as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, to recuse himself from the Justice Department investigation into whether the Trump campaign was connected in some way to Russia’s attack on the presidential election.Behind the scenes, President Trump gave “firm orders” to White House counsel McGahn to lobby Sessions not to recuse himself, because the president expected his top law enforcement official to “safeguard” him, according to The New York Times.Meanwhile, Sessions was exploring ways to try to dirty up Comey in the press. He instructed aides to ask compatriots if they had anything that would make the FBI director look bad; Sessions reportedly wanted one negative story per day. The Justice Department denies that.Trump’s efforts, at least, didn’t work, and Sessions indeed recused himself on March 2, handing over the reins of the Russia investigation to his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. Trump, furious, upbraided the attorney general — but does not accept his resignation when offered.5. Trump asks spy bosses to get the feds off the caseAbout three weeks later, in mid-March, Trump has a private meeting with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.Trump asks Coats to intervene with Comey to get the FBI to “back off its focus” on Flynn in regards to the Russia investigation, according to The Washington Post.Around the same time, Trump calls Coats as well as National Security Agency head Adm. Mike Rogers to see if either would put out a statement publicly denying that there is evidence of any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. Neither will comply.The spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, however, released a statement in response to The Post‘s reporting, saying Coats “never felt pressured by the president.”And Rogers told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June of last year that in his three years as director of the NSA, “to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.”6. Comey is fired, after much deliberationOn May 9, Trump fires Comey, saying in an interview two days later that the FBI director was a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”Trump also mentions the FBI’s Russia investigation, which Comey was leading — “this Russia thing,” as Trump calls it.A “meandering” letter was drafted at the time by the president and a top aide explaining the firing, according to the The New York Times, but was never sent.It’s unclear what the letter said, but the White House counsel McGahn successfully blocked Trump from sending it, giving an indication that it may have included “problematic” details about Trump’s motivations for the firing.7. Rosenstein appoints Mueller as special counselAfter a public firestorm over the Comey firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller to handle the Justice Department’s Russia investigation as a special counsel on May 17.Mueller, a registered Republican, led the FBI for twelve years prior to his appointment, from 2001 to 2013.“The fact that some are playing politics does not mean that he’ll cease being law enforcement,” said former Attorney General John Ashcroft, at the time Mueller was appointed. “Frankly, the barking dogs or the clamor of politics won’t affect what he does.”8. Trump orders Mueller firedMary Altaffer/APDon McGahn leaves the Four Seasons hotel in New York, in June 2016. McGahn reportedly threatened to quit his job as White House council last summer, when president Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller.In mid-June, news was beginning to swirl for the first time that Mueller was looking at the president for obstruction of justice.This is significant: a person can commit obstruction without there having been an underlying crime to conceal. So even if, as Trump maintains, he and his aides did nothing wrong and did not conspire with the Russians who attacked the election, they still could be in trouble over the actions that culminated in Comey’s dismissal.So Trump tried again to remove the top leader of the Russia investigation — this time, Mueller. He lists three different reasons, and orders McGahn, the White House counsel, to fire Mueller. McGahn however, disagreed with the president’s case and threatened to quit if Trump went through with it.The president backed off the request, and this week, he called the reporting about the incident “fake news.” At the time, however, Newsmax chief executive and Trump confidant Christopher Ruddy told PBS on June 12 that he thought Trump was “considering perhaps terminating” Mueller.9. Trump Jr. statement about June 2016 Trump Tower meetingMueller’s investigators could be looking into more potential obstruction beyond the president’s desire to be rid of Comey and Mueller.For example, On July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump dictates a statement about his son’s now-famous Trump Tower meeting. In this version, the meeting was not about the 2016 campaign. But it has become clear in the time since that Donald Trump Jr. took the meeting under the impression it would lead to compromising materials about Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.10. White House goes on the defensiveIn the months since Mueller’s almost-firing, the Trump White House has taken a noticeably different tone about the Russia investigation.While Republican allies have continued to work to undermine its credibility, the White House itself also touted how cooperative it is being.“The cooperation and transparency are unprecedented,” attorneys for the president wrote, in releasing a list of information they’ve turned over.Trump said on Wednesday that “there’s no obstruction whatsoever,” and that allegations that are being misinterpreted as obstruction was just him defending himself.As Mueller looks over this timeline of events, however, attorneys say it may not matter how many reams of documents the White House provides happily or whether or not Mueller was actually fired.“Attempted obstruction is obstruction,” constitutional lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe told Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, “even when the perpetrator backs down after failing to get his consigliere to do the deed for him.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

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Conquering the phase

first_imgThe winner of the prestigious TERI under Project Search Phase V award were announced on 28 April where Chiranjiv Bharati School, Sushant Lok bagged first prize for best performing school in various activities throughout  the year 2013-14 transition campaign – Inspire.Anushyas Kumar was selected as the fifth Tetrapak Ambassador and Ananyaq Veearun as STEP member. There are about 200 schools across the country who are part of this project. The first award was given by Jaideep Gokhale, communication director, Tetra Pak, South Asia Markets and the management award was given by Praveen, Environment Manager, Tetrapak, South Asia Markets.School Management was also awarded the Search Pillar Award for its continuous support towards working for the environment cause and sensitizing the community about the same.last_img read more

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Thailand Cultural Music Festival readies to rock Pattaya

first_imgTAT’s press conference to announce the launch of Thailand Cultural Music FestivalThailand Cultural Music Festival readies to rock PattayaThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising the Thailand Cultural Music Festival from 25 to 26 May, 2018, at Bali Hai Bay in Pattaya targeting international travellers as TAT continues to expand its ‘Open to the New Shades’ offering through a diverse event calendar.Mrs. Sujitra Jongchansitto, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, said “The Thailand Cultural Music Festival is positioned as another component of the ‘Open to the New Shades’ campaign that utilises music as the medium. It helps build awareness and promote tourism through Thailand’s dynamic music industry that really is growing into one of the country’s greatest assets.“Events like this help build brand recognition for Thailand as a tourist destination as it is also one of Asia’s best musical and cultural event destinations.”The Thailand Cultural Music Festival’s line up include local folk music performances, contemporary musical acts and a live stage with music by popular bands and singers, with action taking place across four stages over two days.Artists headlining the main stage include: Rasamee Isan Soul, an Isan group blending local music with jazz, rock, and soul; Paradise Bangkok International Band, a hybridised roots band that mixes traditional Thai melodies with blues and folk rock; Mocca Garden, a modern Reggae-ska band with pop, funk, rock and Thai country musical influences; Thai rappers, UrboyTJ and Dayfrom mega-group Thaitanium, and legendary Thai jazz maestros Infinity.The Thailand Cultural Music Festival endeavours to promote travel to Chon Buri and neighbouring provinces while promoting Thai local experiences that could later be developed on a regional, national or international level.There will also be folk music performances on the three smaller stages showcasing up-and-coming local bands and singers.Thai gastronomy will be on display at a food fair featuring culinary delights from each of Thailand’s four main regions.Other activities include booths for face painting and tattoo stickers.Participants are invited to ‘Snap and Share’ 3D images of Thailand’s attractions from the TAT’s extensive gallery of photographs, or post on other social media platforms using the #thailandculturalmusicfestival or #amazingthailand for a chance to receive a colourful raincoat.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

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Committee approves Rep Reilly bill to end mandate on education plan

first_img Categories: News,Reilly News 19Oct Committee approves Rep. Reilly bill to end mandate on education plan The House Education Reform Committee today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. John Reilly to prevent homeschool and non-public school students who participate in courses at public school districts from being required to submit Educational Development Plans (EDPs).EDPs are academic and career plans mandated by the Michigan Department of Education, requiring students as young as 12 years old submit long-term career plans to their school districts. Allowing homeschool and non-public school students to make use of public school programs creates mutually beneficial relationships between these families and their schools. Requiring students to complete EDPs can erode that trust.Reilly testified in support of House Bill 4805 on Sept. 28, alongside both public school employees and homeschool activists, for a broad coalition of support for shared-time students.“I’m pleased, on behalf of thousands of Michigan families who homeschool their children, that the committee agreed this regulation was a bureaucratic overreach,” said Reilly, a member of the Education Reform Committee. “The EDP requirement would have been damaging to public school programs, in addition to the educational development of these students.”Oxford Virtual Academy administrators Janet Schell and Lisa Sullivan also spoke in support of Reilly’s bill on Sept. 28, with Sullivan stating “the Department of Education has not shared a satisfactory reason for these requirements.”Reilly emphasized plans are not beneficial for many Michigan students.“My concern is that mandating EDPs from students who are only using public schools to supplement their education simply discourages them from doing so,” said Reilly, of Oakland Township. “Whenever given the chance, we should stand for educational freedom and choice. This legislation is a step in the right direction.”HB 4805 advances to the full House membership for its consideration.#####last_img read more

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COLUMN Government transparency must be a priority

first_img Last November, the people of Bay and Midland counties put their trust in me to represent their interests in Lansing as their new state representative. I respect that, and I want everyone to be able to hold me accountable.That’s why the first piece of legislation I introduced after taking office last month focuses on increasing government transparency.Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature from sunshine laws. Because of this exemption, Michigan ranks dead last in at least one study on government transparency and ethics. It’s no wonder many residents don’t have faith in their state government.We must do better.The solution I’m sponsoring will strengthen our system of government as a whole by requiring all elected state officials to become more transparent and accountable to the people. The plan, which was developed in a bipartisan manner, will subject the Legislature to a new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) and the governor and lieutenant governor to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).Under current law, people can request access to most public records from local governments, school districts and state departments through FOIA. It only makes sense for state officials to play by the same rules. We’re all here to serve the public, and the public has the right to monitor what we’re doing and keep an eye on the way their hard-earned tax dollars are spent.Just like some documents containing sensitive personal information are exempt from disclosure by local governments under the current FOIA law, the new LORA will exempt some records, including letters to and from people in the district. This way, people can still contact my office for help regarding personal problems without having to worry about their private information being made public.A similar plan received unanimous, bipartisan support when it passed the House last year.Unfortunately, the package died before reaching the governor’s desk. Reintroducing the plan early this session illustrates our commitment to making government more transparent and this will be a top priority of mine until this legislation is signed into law.Approving these much-needed reforms will bring more transparency to everything we do at the Capitol and go a long way toward restoring the public’s confidence in their state government.I respect the people’s right to know, and I’m committed to serving with openness and honesty. These reforms will give people throughout Michigan the transparency they deserve.### 08Feb COLUMN: Government transparency must be a priority Categories: Annette Glenn Newslast_img read more

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The HbbTV Association and the French HD Forum will

first_imgThe HbbTV Association and the French HD Forum will run a symposium for the HbbTV community in Paris next week. The event, HbbTV in Action, will feature experts from across the world discussing the latest HbbTV accomplishments on a broad range of topics, according to the group.The symposium will take place at the Espace Landowski, in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris from October 8-9. Panel sessions will include a hybrid TV countries review and sessions on smart TVs, opoerator boxes, the HbbTV roadmap, HbbTV in the pay TV world and ways of increasing consumer awareness.“HbbTV has grown from a European initiative to a worldwide standard. We are pleased with the quality and calibre of the organizations coming from all over Europe as well as from Africa and Australia. It is a reflection of the growing international momentum and interest in HbbTV,” said Klaus Illgner, HbbTV chairman, and Regis Saint Girons, president of the French HD Forum.“One of the key objectives of the HbbTV Association is to bring the latest in hybrid TV services to broadcasters and operators across the world. This is an exciting opportunity for those following and deploying HbbTV to learn more about HbbTV services, case studies and our technology roadmap.”last_img read more

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Extra time is taken by these nurses to ensure tha

first_img“Extra time is taken by these nurses to ensure that all patients have as much information and education as possible on their condition and the treatments available.“Bridgeen, Alison and Caroline have a very special relationship not only with patients but also with the patients’ families.“The Renal Unit Home Therapies Team really deserve to win this award and we would encourage everyone to go to the website and vote for them.”Dr Bob Brown, Executive Director of Nursing at the Western Trust added: “Well done to the Alison, Caroline and Bridgeen on being shortlisted in this year’s RCNi Awards and I wish them good luck at the final in July.“As a team they go beyond the call of duty for their patients and their families and this is very apparent having been shortlisted in the ‘Patients Choice’ category.”Derry Renal Unit Home Therapies Team shortlisted in RCNi Nurse Awards was last modified: April 25th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: THE Western Trust Renal Unit Home Therapies Team at Altnagelvin Hospital have been successfully selected as finalists in the RCNi Nurse Awards. The team (pictured above), who are the only entrants from the North of Ireland, have been shortlisted for the Patients’ Choice Award. This is a category where the entrants are nominated by patients and the winner is decided by public vote.Voting is now open to the public and will run until Friday 8 June 2018. To vote, visit www.rcni.com/nurse-awards and go to the ‘Patients’ Choice voting’.  The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony being held in London on Wednesday 4 July 2018. On behalf of the Renal Unit Home Therapies Team, Alison Cairns, Home Therapies Nurse said:“We are totally delighted that we have impacted on a patient’s journey to the extent that they feel we were worthy of this nomination. Caroline, Bridgeen and I are truly humbled.”Joe McMonagle and his wife Carmel nominated the three nurses for their dedication and commitment to patient welfare and involvement.They said: “All three nurses have shown a passion to involve patients at the very start of their journey through kidney failure. ShareTweet AlisonALTNAGELVIN HOSPITALBridgeenCarolineDerry Renal Unit Home Therapies Team shortlisted in RCNi Nurse AwardsJoe McMonaglelast_img read more

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