India Today @ the Olympics: Welcome to London, but keep your wallets handy!

first_imgHaving heard horror stories about the preparedness of the Heathrow airport to handle huge passenger traffic, I moved towards the immigration officer with trepidation.No doubt, the lady officer behind the immigration counter was curt and wanted to clear me quickly, but she had to fully satisfy herself that the finger-print matching was done properly. These days, with the clock ticking away fast for the opening ceremony on July 27, nothing can be left to chance if you are entering London.Past immigration, getting the media accreditation card was also not a problem at all. It really came as a surprise how all this was happening so smoothly as athletes had complained they had to face long waits.But the bigger surprise was how the transportation by tube, or the Heathrow Express, into Paddington in central London was even more efficient. The fear of getting lost by official cabs was not there and in less than half an hour, five Indian mediapersons were in central London. The surprise did not end there as shared cabs were there for onward travel from central London to Stratford, where the Olympic Park is situated.Cabbies the world over like to talk. Mike, as the 64-year-old wanted to be called, was no different. Once he got talking, it was hard to stop him.He spoke of everything — recession, high prices of tickets for the London Olympics, how Stratford was a dirty area and now had been transformed.But his anger was aimed towards the London organisers (LOCOG) as he felt the tickets were overpriced. “It’s just too much paying 150 pounds per ticket for athletics and I have been told I will be allowed inside the arena for just three hours. Imagine, I spend 1,000 pounds for the family and it seems like a waste,” Mike thundered.advertisementThe mood all over London, where the pound sterling is such a strong currency, is similar. The commoner does feel tickets have been overpriced and of the million tickets up for sale, many have disappeared!That’s a story very similar to our own Commonwealth Games, where the organising committee first printed lesser number of tickets, which resulted in empty stands.Our cabbie Mike then went on to thank us for bringing sunny weather to London. After heavy showers for weeks, bright sunshine saw Londoners strip their woolens and dress lightly. He was again cautious when he said, “Don’t be fooled, one can never say when it will again start raining.”Finally, when I reached Stratford, the virtual Olympic hub in east London, I got a glimpse of the Olympic Stadium. Security was tight and like the Delhi cops, they were shooing us away from vantage points, minus the abuses.Stratford in itself is a sleepy suburb. A new shopping complex and plenty of commercial malls have come up in a big way, but the crowds aren’t huge really. Locals who live closer to the Olympic venues aren’t the ones who will be filling in the arenas as tickets are priced high and had to be booked in advance.Inside the high security Olympic Stadium complex, which also houses the international broadcast centre and the main press centre, the final coat of paint is being applied. There is a busy look and security is very tight. From wallets to cell phones, cameras and even wrist watches, everything is put through the scanner.Yes, the security personnel are courteous, but they do look worried as the crowds have started trooping in. Food outlets are getting ready and junk food stalls are bound to do good business.However, the worrying factor is a high price one has to pay for communication. Unlike New Delhi’s Commonwealth Games, where the data cards were free, here there’s a 180 pound sterling charge, which comes to almost Rs 16,000 for the entire fortnight.If you want to extend your stay for the Paralympics, it costs a bigger bomb. Welcome to London!last_img read more

Florida second T20I’s delayed start had BCCI consent, ICC to discuss fiasco

first_imgThe decision to delay the start of the India-West Indies second T20 international in Florida last Sunday had the blessings of the BCCI. Broadcasters Star Sports unable to beam live pictures of the match on time due to technical issues which forced the delayed start have received bad press after the delay cost India an opportunity to square the series. (Rain denies India victory in Florida as West Indies clinch series 1-0 ) But with Star Sports being BCCI’s long term partners, there hasn’t been any action or fact finding. Star Sports paid the BCCI 34.4 crores to broadcast the two matches in Florida. BCCI officials refused to comment despite multiple attempts. An ICC spokesman did confirm the decision to delay the match start by 40 minutes was arrived at by the match officials after consulting both competing members.”Taking into account the strategic considerations behind the staging of the two international matches in Florida, the match officials, on the request of the two competing members, agreed to tweak the playing hours to allow the host broadcaster to overcome the technical difficulties,” ICC clarified. The two games were essentially BCCI’s home games being played at an off shore venue. The games also served an opportunity to the West Indies cricket board (WICB) to compensate the BCCI for some of its losses arising out of West Indian players pull out from the India tour of 2014. In such circumstances the call to delay start had to come from the BCCI. (MS Dhoni wants more T20s in United States )advertisementBCCI’s commercial considerations could be understood in a heavily competitive market space, the incident robbed thousands of on ground cricket fans, exposed to international cricket in a new market, an opportunity to see a result despite coming in to watch the games at steep prices. Meanwhile, sources in the ICC have confirmed that the Florida fiasco will be discussed at its match officials annual workshop next month. A rain delay of merely 20 minutes was enough to make the ground conditions unfit to play with India stranded two overs into their chase of a modest T20 target of 144 and robbing MS Dhoni a chance of squaring the series. At least five overs are needed to be bowled in the second innings to constitute a match under Duckworth-Lewis playing rules.Dhoni disagreed with his West Indian counterpart Carlos Brathwaite who deemed a number of areas on the outfield unfit for play. The match officials led by ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle were also not convinced with the state of the outfield following the rains and decided to call off the match. Florida’s Lauderhill was hosting the two games between the two T20 heavyweights as part of an effort to develop a new market for the game. But the venues’ inadequate drainage facilities and equipment to deal with the rains are also set to be part of the discussions at ICC’s workshop.last_img read more

MS Dhoni doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone, says Shane Warne

first_imgHis finishing skills called into question by critics, Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday received firm backing from spin legend Shane Warne, who feels that former India captain doesn’t need to “prove anything to anyone”.Removed from captaincy before the start of the 10th edition of the ongoing Indian Premier League, Dhoni so far has had a quiet tournament for Rising Pune Supergiant by his standards, scoring only 61 runs in five games. (Dhoni answers critics with stunning glovework, monstrous six)Warne today took to twitter to back Dhoni, who has been a phenomenal limited-overs cricketer.”@msdhoni does not have to prove anything to anyone, he’s class & a wonderful player in all formats. MS is also a great captain & inspires!,” Warne wrote on his twitter page..@msdhoni does not have to prove anything to anyone, he’s class & a wonderful player in all formats. MS is also a great captain & inspires !- Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) April 18, 2017Dhoni’s strike-rate in the 10th IPL has been a dismal 87.14 with an average of shade over 15. He has managed to hit only two sixes in five games. (Dhoni has amazing hands, Stokes warns batsmen)While he is still the undisputed No.1 keeper-batsman in the limited-overs format but inconsistent form over the past year has led to the debate if he is still a potent match-winner.last_img read more

India vs Australia: India to take a call on Prithvi Shaw before 2nd Test in Perth

first_imgIndia suffered a major injury blow ahead of the first Test after opener Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the series opener due to an ankle injury.But the team management will take call on the teenager’s return to the side after they reach Perth for the second Test which will take place between December 14-18.Shaw had to be carried off the field on Day 3 of India’s warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI last week. The Mumbai batsman was taken to the hospital where it was revealed that he had a lateral ligament injury on his left ankle.”It was heartbreaking to see him go down. But the good thing is he’s recovering quickly. He’s already started walking. Hopefully if we can get him to run a bit by the weekend, that’s really good signs.”With youth on his side there might just be a case where he might recover quicker. We’ll make a call as and when we get closer to Perth,” India head coach Ravi Shastri told SEN.Shaw was all set to be included in the playing XI for the first match starting December 6 but now Murali Vijay and KL Rahul will have to open the innings in the teenager’s absence.India on Wednesday, announced their final XII for the first Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval.Rohit Sharma found his way back into the side after an excellent season in limited-overs cricket this year while seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was left out as India went with three genuine pacers in Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.advertisementIndia will have just one genuine spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin while Hanuma Vihari might feature as the part-time spinner in the Test.Ahead of the first Test, former India pacer Zaheer Khan had backed Umesh Yadav in place of Ishant Sharma for the first Test but captain Kohli decided to go with the experience of Ishant in Australian conditions.In terms of the batting department, it looked more or less sorted with the only change of plan that the Indian management had had to make was triggered by Shaw’s untimely injury in the warm-up match.It will be interesting to see if Rohit will be in the playing XI and if he does make it, will he open alongside Murali Vijay or KL Rahul or he will bat at No.6 with Vihari being sacrificed.Adelaide is expected to be a green pitch that might suit the bowlers of both India and Australia. The Adelaide curator said ahead of the match that he has decided to leave the green top of the pitch that he particularly created to facilities day and night Test.India’s final XII for first Test vs Australia: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.Also Read | Prithvi Shaw ruled out of 1st Test against Australia due to ankle injuryAlso Read | A bit of banter not harmful but we won’t cross the line: Virat KohliAlso Read | India are smelling blood, we will show them great respect: Justin LangerAlso Read | Australia drop Mitchell Marsh for Adelaide Test vs India, Marcus Harris to debutlast_img read more

Justin Gatlin denies taking PEDs and plans legal action against newspaper

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share on Messenger news When Usain Bolt lost his final race: ‘It felt like we’d all done something wrong’ Justin Gatlin Share via Email Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Gatlin said in a statement on Tuesday: “I am not using and have not used PEDs. I was shocked and surprised to learn that my coach would have anything to do with even the appearance of these current accusations. I fired him as soon as I found out about this.”The American also warned that he was consulting his lawyers about suing for defamation. “All legal options are on the table as I will not allow others to lie about me like this,” he added. “I have no further comments as it is now a legal matter. They will next hear from my lawyer.”When undercover reporters visited Gatlin’s Florida training camp they claimed Mitchell and Wagner offered to supply and administer testosterone and human growth hormone in exchange for £250,000. The two were also secretly recorded claiming the use of banned drugs was still widespread in athletics.However, the Guardian has contacted a number of people in US track and field, including those who were in the room with the Telegraph, who insist that Mitchell made it clear none of his athletes used performance-enhancing drugs.Wagner has insisted the story is “deeply flawed” because it is based on false comments he made up to impress people he thought were in the film business. “It was just big talk – I did not actually source or supply the substances the reporters asked for but stupidly claimed I could,” the US-based Austrian told the Press Association.“I apologise to Mr Gatlin for saying completely false things about him and I apologise to other completely innocent athletes also wrongly implicated by my words.” Justin Gatlin has denied he is using banned drugs and plans to take legal action against a newspaper that claimed he was embroiled in a doping scandal.The 35-year-old American, who won the 100m world title in London last summer, spoke out after his coach, Dennis Mitchell, and an athletics agent, Robert Wagner, offered to supply performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) for a fake actor in an undercover operation conducted by the Daily Telegraph. Mitchell and Wagner have denied wrongdoing but a “shocked” Gatlin has already sacked his coach in order to protect his reputation. Read more Gatlin, who has twice served doping bans, won 100m gold at the world championships in London last summer, beating Usain Bolt into third place. The American’s long-term agent Renaldo Nehemiah said Wagner had worked for Gatlin on no more than two or three occasions and the sprinter was not present when banned substances were discussed with either the agent or coach. Speaking to the Guardian, Nehemiah said: “This is both bizarre and ridiculous. It is a desperate attempt to further hurt Justin.”The United States Anti-Doping Agency and the Athletics Integrity Unit, the new body set up by athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF, to oversee all anti-doping matters in the sport, are investigating the allegations. Usada said in a statement: “Importantly, individuals are innocent unless and until the established process determines otherwise. It’s only fair to let due process occur before jumping to any conclusions.”The former British sprinter Darren Campbell has also said Gatlin must be afforded due process but reiterated his support for life bans.Campbell said: “We have to be careful at the moment because no one has been proven innocent or guilty of anything here. But any of these situations involving doping are why people call for zero tolerance, otherwise we just keep going round in circles.“I have always wanted life bans but I also understand that people deserve second chances,” he added. “Every case needs to be judged on its merits because not everything deserves a life ban.” US sports Athletics Share on WhatsApp Read more Topicslast_img read more

Emiliano Sala: season’s saddest saga shines light on game’s dark places

first_imgBut then questions of belonging and ownership have become a genuine issue in the last few weeks. Nantes are currently progressing their formal request to Fifa for full payment of Sala’s transfer fee. They maintain, understandably, he was a Cardiff player when he died.Sala was born in Santa Fe, Lionel Messi’s home state. He became a professional footballer at Bordeaux. He became a player of substance at Nantes. He became Cardiff’s record signing in January. And now he has become this. Free on board. Free at origin. In death Sala has become a shipping dispute.To look into this is to be machine-gunned with toxic details. Here’s another one. Cardiff’s lawyers call their files on the wrangle with Nantes “The Onion”. It’s a gallows-humour joke. There is so much information here, so many interested parties, so many layers. Plus of course the more you peel it, the more it stinks. Zoom in a little and the Sala affair is a story of wrong turns, bad calls, bad luck. But it also spreads itself wider, digging a finger into so many corners of this darkly baroque industry: from a wild-west transfer system, to the shark-pool of interests and middlemen, to the basic commodification of the human product. Twitter Read more The best response would have been for the clubs to get together and talk, split the costs a little, look after the family Facebook Willie McKay is not an agent, so why was he working on Emiliano Sala deal? Neil Warnock Emiliano Sala flourished at Nantes, attracting Cardiff’s interest as they sought a forward to help them avoid relegation. Photograph: Stéphane Mahé/Reuters Share on Messenger Cardiff City Facebook We are all in this to some degree. From the money-lust culture of the English Premier League to the startling way the story itself was covered at the time in rolling news media, as though this search for a body was just another development in a breaking transfer story, another detail of the club medical, a dramatic change of heart from the in-demand Ligue 1 forward.Blame has hovered like a mist without ever quite touching anyone. Nobody did this exactly. Nobody is responsible. But there are shades of grey, odd practices, sharp edges. At times football looks like something bound in mud and fog, a place where things get lost, where it is just accepted that if the world goes wrong, it was, in some off-hand manner, never meant to go right.Later in the day Warnock will speak well about Sala’s absence, but not until he has also described a season that pivoted around his brutal and untimely death as “the best I’ve ever had in management”.Warnock has seemed genuinely moved through all this, has handled his public duties with tact. But in the post-relegation debrief Sala’s death is couched in the same terms you might use to describe an untimely injury to a key squad member.“We have missed a striker. Someone asked me about Emiliano … we spent two months trying to get a player,” Warnock shrugs. “I wish we would have had Emiliano with us. I think he’d have scored 10 goals, you saw the chances we had out there today.” Share on Twitter Bankruptcy in 2015 disqualified him from registering as an agent, and the Football Association seems to have decided McKay was acting for Nantes and is not in its jurisdiction. McKay says he was helping his son Mark “get to the top”. Why get registered, he has asked, when his son is? The McKays stand to make £1.5m from Nantes over the deal.It is McKay’s email to Sala, released to L’Équipe in an attempt to exonerate himself, that should perhaps be preserved as a historic document, a snapshot of an industry. It is unintentionally chilling. McKay keeps on telling Sala the truth.“Emiliano, My name is Willie McKay …. We are not interested in looking after your personal interests.” A good time, you’d think, to stop reading. McKay tells Sala that agents such as himself “only care about money” and encourages the player to cut his current agent Meïssa N’Diaye out of any deal, while dangling a £1m payment to Sala’s mother under his nose.He admits to misleading the media about transfer interest from West Ham and Everton. In a horrible little touch he seems obsessed with planes generally: “We take our plane get clubs in it … they will fly you over in their jet … Cardiff can have a jet for you tonight or tomorrow.” Share on Pinterest Topics Share on Facebook The live TV crew on the touchline chatter around their lighted table, willing some urgency into the day. In front of a vaguely curious pre-match crowd Martin Keown rasps his lines about doing well to survive this long and just lacking a bit in front of goal, speaking as ever with the lapel-grabbing urgency of a morally compromised chief inspector giving his maverick DI one last chance or he’s off the force.This, the broadcasters have agreed, is the story of Cardiff’s season: resilience in the face of likely relegation; and admiration for the way under Neil Warnock they have managed to “take it this far”.Except, of course, this isn’t quite right. No one wants to talk about it. But the biggest story in Cardiff, and indeed the single most startling event of the season in English football, is something so tangled and strange it is still hard to look it square in the eye.The desecration of Emiliano Sala by English football has continued in the last weeks. It is now nearly four months since Sala was killed in a plane crash south of Jersey. He was flying to Cardiff on a single-engine Piper Malibu hired by the intermediary Willie McKay and his son, Mark, to take up a move to the Premier League he had initially resisted.It is a death that continues to burn with its own dark light. At the end of April Sala’s father, Horacio, died of heart problems aged 58. Friends say he never recovered from the shock.Things keep unravelling. How far can we get with this? A few days before the Palace game pictures had appeared on UK social media of Sala’s corpse. The suggestion is thieves had broken into the morgue where his body was being kept.By the time the Palace game comes around the Cardiff fans’ shrine to Sala has been cleared away, the flowers and flags removed from the statue of Fred Keenor. No one seems to know why. It was a touching thing, created by and for the same fans who have reacted with grace and warmth. Read more Share via Email Read more Facebook center_img Share on WhatsApp Emiliano Sala: police investigate reports of online pictures of footballer’s body Emiliano Sala Pinterest Cardiff to tell Fifa that Emiliano Sala’s transfer from Nantes was invalid European club football Pinterest Pinterest Nantes Share on LinkedIn features Reuse this content More detail on the Sala case has emerged in the last few weeks. A preliminary Air Accidents Investigation Branch report has been published, to be followed by a longer one, perhaps as late as next year. Its chief effect is to bring into focus the terror of those final moments.“Anyway guys, I’m up in this plane that feels like it’s falling to pieces, and I’m going to Cardiff,” Sala told a group of friends on WhatsApp as he took his seat. The sun had set in Nantes at 5.50pm. Sala went through security 40 minutes later and took his seat with the pilot David Ibbotson. They took off as scheduled at 7.15, Ibbotson navigating via an app on his tablet. The Piper Malibu cruised at 6,000ft. Thirteen miles south of Guernsey Ibbotson descended to just over 5,000, telling air traffic controllers “just avoided a patch there”. The journey was run under visual flight rules: or in other words keep your eyes open and don’t fly through clouds.The last radio contact came at 8.12pm. And three minutes later the flight became a nightmare. The Malibu dropped from 3,900ft to 1,600ft in 20 seconds while veering wildly to the right. It climbed rapidly again. Then: blackout.The remains of the plane were found two weeks later below this last recorded location. It had been torn about by the plunge straight down. Most of the wings and the tail were gone. Sala died from head and chest injuries. The AAIB report says his corpse was “held in place by the wreckage”. To this day Ibbotson’s body is still out there. Full fathom five he lies. Vale, Mr Ibbotson and rest in peace.Back on land the news of Sala’s disappearance seemed to have reached Cardiff straight away. The club had a player liaison officer waiting at the airport. The plane didn’t arrive. Warnock was notified. He called McKay.Here’s a good question: why was McKay involved in this at all? Not that it should be a surprise. At least five intermediaries are due a cut from this deal. And McKay is in his own way a frontiersman, present at the first rush of money into the Premier League in the early 1990s. The game has a sleepy opening. Cardiff start on the attack. A few minutes in Víctor Camarasa pulls up injured and is applauded warmly as he limps off. Camarasa, on loan from Real Betis, has been a fine player for Cardiff. This could be the last they see of him.Aron Gunnarsson is also playing his last game after eight years at the club, already engaged to join Heimir Hallgrímsson’s Al-Arabi in Qatar. Cardiff have been a vigorous, jerry-built Premier League team. These players have been operating at the edge of their capacities.Midway through the first half the home crowd rouses itself to boo their former loanee Wilfried Zaha as he snipes inside and shoots wide. Two minutes later Zaha responds by scoring the goal that might just send them down, jinking left, then right, before shooting low into the corner.Cardiff equalise shortly after, but Palace’s front four look irresistible. With 40 minutes gone Michy Batshuayi finds the space to spank a shot into the top corner. The goal seems to draw a shared sigh around the stands as Cardiff’s supporters head for the aisles at half-time. Twitter Twitter With an hour to go before kick-off on a lovely soft spring day, the Cardiff City Stadium is still a low-fi kind of place. Cardiff need to win their final home game against Crystal Palace to have any hope of extending their stay in the world’s richest league beyond a single, spirited season. But there is, if anything, an absence of tension in the air.The Cardiff fans stroll in familial groups around the concrete walkways of this handsome, out-of-town retail park of a stadium. From the stands the pitch is half in sunshine, shadowed now and then by fluffy coastal clouds. Willie McKay’s leaked email to L’Equipe revealed much about the way his industry works. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA McKay’s method, self-described here, is pretty clear: identify a form player and acquire permission to hawk them around until he gets a bite; all the while putting rumours about to make that more likely, then trying to cut the players’ actual agent out of the picture.The worst thing about this is that it is possibly half-true. This is how McKay makes his business work. Premier League clubs at a certain level really are that understocked with specialist knowledge. And yet there are holes in what McKay did here. At the very least the plane is on the McKays. They hired and paid for it. There is still a note of uncertainty around its real ownership, but it was well-serviced. The licensing status of the plane to carry commercial flights – with all its added regulations – has been questioned. What is certain is that Ibbotson was a stand-in for a regular pilot, Dave Henderson. It has been suggested Ibbotson was colour-blind, and thus not qualified to fly at night, although this is also unconfirmed. One thing is certain. Flying wasn’t Ibbotson’s main job. The man flying Sala to Cardiff was also a gas engineer.What next then? Cardiff received the first formal demand for Sala’s transfer fee on 6 February, the same day Sala’s body was identified by Dorset police. Cardiff are stalling on paying, asking questions to do with the flight, to do with third-party ownership. It seems strange. Presumably some legal advice has told them this is a possible escape route from liability. But why turn this into a saga?The best response to all this would have been for the clubs to simply get together and talk, split the costs a little, look after the family, staunch the bleeding. It is Vincent Tan who will now drive how it plays out in practice. And Cardiff’s owner is the hardest of hard-nosed operators. Sala has been buried. His inquest will return at some stage later this year. But some part of him is still out there, suspended between two places.Back at the Cardiff City Stadium Warnock spends large parts of the second half angrily bearding the fourth official, Graham Scott. Scott shrugs and looks nonplussed each time Warnock comes marching over in his blue padded tracksuit, the neighbour from hell with another gripe about tennis balls over the fence.Andros Townsend scores Palace’s third, after a powerful right-angled dribble from halfway. “City till I die,” the Cardiff fans sing in response. Several rounds of “One Neil Warnock” follow as the game winds down. It is a nice moment, possibly even Warnock’s own farewell. Again no one really knows for sure. The final whistle brings a warm round of shared applause, and an ambling lap of the pitch from the Cardiff squad. Relegation is not a surprise but it still hurts.Outside the walkways are empty two hours after the final whistle, with the feeling of a stadium already turning toward its summer hibernation. Something has changed though. The Fred Keenor statue has an addition. Someone has left a small damp bunch of flowers on its highest ledge. Gone, but remembered by the right people: Sala’s story is one that has, you feel, still got plenty of distance left to run.• This article was amended on 17 May 2019. An earlier version incorrectly described the crashed plane as a “Piper Alpha”. It was a Piper Malibu. Neil Warnock with his Cardiff players after relegation is confirmed, a jerry-built top-flight team playing at the edge of their capacities. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Imageslast_img read more

Ontario truck driver charged in Quebec in connection with fatal hit and

first_imgMONTREAL – A truck driver from Brampton, Ont., is facing four charges related to a fatal hit and run south of Montreal last August.Harmandeep Singh, 23, was charged Thursday with hit and run after causing the death of one person, two of hit and run after causing bodily harm to two people, and one of hit and run involving a fourth person.Quebec provincial police arrested Singh at Montreal’s Trudeau airport when he returned from India on Wednesday.He will have a bail hearing Friday.A 21-year-old Mexican national vacationing in Quebec was killed in the collision on eastbound Highway 30 in Brossard on Aug. 3.A tractor-trailer struck the vehicle at about 1 a.m., causing it to hit a lamppost, before it drove away. The victim was a passenger in the back seat.The suspect’s vehicle was found a day later in the Montreal borough of Lachine and a warrant was issued shortly after.Police spokeswoman Joyce Kemp said Singh was aware he would be arrested upon landing in Montreal.“There had been contact between the police officers and the suspect before he returned to Canada,” Kemp said.last_img read more

Judge faces legal quandary in sex assault case after complainant doesnt show

first_imgA sexual assault complainant who testified against her alleged attacker — but then simply refused to finish cross-examination — has presented a rare quandary for the justice system.The matter in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court underscores the tenuous balance between the right to cross-examine a witness — a cornerstone of the adversarial court process — with the importance of minimizing the potentially traumatic impact the legal system can have on alleged victims.At issue is a he-said, she-said case: A 19-year-old woman said she had been sexually assaulted by a Newfoundland man, but he said the incident never happened. Court documents did not indicate when the alleged assault took place.“The complainant says that the alleged incident which underpins the charge occurred,” Justice George L. Murphy of Corner Brook said in a decision this month. “The position of the accused is that it did not.”On the second day of the trial last February, it became evident the case would not be completed in the two days allotted and additional time would be needed.The woman became upset and asked if she could drop the charges, saying she didn’t want to ruin any more of her life.“I can’t move on with my life,” she told the court. “I can’t go back to school until I get this over with.”She added: “I just wanna go home. I don’t wanna come back here.”The woman was testifying by closed-circuit television and could have had a support person but declined.The judge scheduled the trial to continue in late March, but the complainant did not appear in court.When the trial resumed, Crown lawyer Brenda Duffy indicated that the complainant “doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. She doesn’t have anything left.”The judge asked whether the Crown would use a court order to force the woman to attend the trial, but Duffy said the Crown “does not intend to add to that emotional upset by having her arrested and brought in under force.”“It would be an extremely rash or violent thing to have happen to her if she was brought in under arrest,” she said.Signalling just how unusual the situation was for the court, it appears there were few comparable legal precedents to draw upon in deciding what to do next.Murphy said he was “somewhat surprised” that neither counsel for the Crown or defence was able to point to any case that had previously dealt with a Crown witness under cross-examination who failed to show up for trial continuation.“I would think that such a scenario would have been previously encountered,” he said, noting that in other cases the Crown either sought a warrant compelling the witness to appear or opted not to proceed any further with prosecution.Defence lawyer Robby Ash argued for a judicial stay of proceedings or the exclusion of the complainant’s evidence.However, Crown lawyers argued some cross-examination had already occurred, and suggested instead affording the complainant’s evidence less weight or admitting the evidence from the preliminary inquiry.They also said the woman was having significant emotional difficulty in testifying about a traumatic event — the alleged sexual assault.“The Crown argued that therefore there is a very good explanation for why the complainant did not appear for continued cross-examination,” Murphy said in his decision.“While there is no doubt that I am able to conclude that the complainant became emotionally upset during cross-examination, I believe it would be an error for me at this juncture to reach any conclusion as to the reason for her becoming emotionally upset,” he said.He said it would be inappropriate for a trial judge to draw conclusions as to the reason the complainant became emotional.“To do so requires me to accept she was sexually assaulted by the accused in a case where the position of the accused is that the incident which is alleged to have constituted the assault did not occur,” the judge said.Murphy chose to exclude the evidence given by the complainant during the trial, saying the woman’s failure to complete a cross-examination would violate the accused’s right to a fair trial.“The importance of cross-examination in a case such as this where it is essentially one person’s word against another person’s word, with one person saying an incident occurred and the other saying it did not, cannot be overstated,” the judge said. “It is critical to the defence.”Murphy acknowledged that eliminating the woman’s testimony “might from a practical perspective mean the end of the prosecution of the accused.”The man is expected to appear in court again on June 22 when the Crown will seek admission of the complainant’s preliminary inquiry evidence.last_img read more

Applications of cannabis retail licences in Ontario now being accepted

first_imgTORONTO — Applications were being accepted Monday from those looking to enter a lottery for the first 25 cannabis retail licences in Ontario, with the government defending the strict limits it had placed on the number of brick-and-mortar stores that will open this spring.Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said the cap on the number of stores will be lifted after what he called serious cannabis supply issues are addressed by the federal government.“We know that putting out 25 stores, which is the amount of cannabis that we can guarantee receiving, is the right way to go,” he said. “This is only temporary. Once the federal government can guarantee a better supply then we know we’ll begin to issue more licences as we go along.”Recreational cannabis can currently only be purchased legally in Ontario through a government-run website. The Progressive Conservative government has said the first private stores will open April 1 and had initially said it would not put a cap on the number of outlets.Fedeli said the province’s move to limit the first phase of outlets to 25 was the only fair way forward for business owners investing capital in shops.  The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which will regulate the province’s retail cannabis outlets, is taking applications until noon Wednesday.There is a $75 fee to submit an expression of interest and those selected through the lottery will have five business days to turn in their application along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit.Those receiving licences will be picked randomly on Friday, with the results expected to be announced publicly within 24 hours. The licences are being divided regionally, with five going to the east of the province, seven in the west, two in the north, six in the Greater Toronto Area and five in Toronto itself.The AGCO has said it can levy thousands in fines if applicants who get retail licences do not open their stores on time. Failing to sell pot by April 30, for example, would result in a $25,000 fine.One consumer advocacy group criticized the government for its plan to start with just 25 stores.“The supply issues are real. That is something that consumers are dealing with, the industry is dealing with. … that doesn’t justify a lottery system and it doesn’t justify capping retailers at all,” said David Clement, manager of North American affairs for the Consumer Choice Center.Clement said he will be watching the results of the lottery closely and was doubtful that all of the companies drawn will be able to meet the quick ramp-up requirements to open their stores by April 1.“They are faced with heavy fines if they aren’t able to open on time,” he said. “There are some heavy limits and stress testing they are required to meet. Our concerns with some of those criteria is that the province doesn’t treat other businesses that way.”Others, however, supported the government’s approach.Omar Yar Khan, a vice president at strategy firm Hill+Knowlton who advises cannabis sector clients, said the lottery system was the right way to bring in retail outlets.“What they’re trying to do is avoid a situation like we’ve seen in Alberta and some other provinces where people put a lot of money down, they hired staff, they open up a store and then they’re not able to provide any product,” he said. “They incur a lot of those start up costs and have to layoff staff. I think a cautious approach is the right approach.”Khan, who worked on the previous Liberal government’s cannabis legalization task force, said while he favours a uncapped market, the lottery system is a good way to ensure fairness given the current supply issues.“Every indication that I have seen is that it will actually be very random,” he said. “One of the things any government will want to avoid is any perception of favouritism.”Khan added that he doesn’t expect applicants who aren’t serious about setting up a shop by April 1 to apply given the potential financial consequences.“I suspect that the financial penalties being where they are set is a sufficient deterrent to prevent any applicants who may not be ready to roll very quickly,” he said. “If you’re a mom-and-pop shop trying to play Lotto 6/49 with the system here, the amount of money you stand to lose if you’re not actually able to deliver is quite a significant deterrent.”Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

The Latest Governor proposes 2 extra weeks of paid leave

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Latest on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget announcement (all times local):1:40 p.m.California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed expanding paid family leave from six to eight weeks per person.Newsom said Tuesday he’ll include the expansion as part of this week’s state budget proposal. He declined to say how much the expansion would cost but says the money will come from reserves in the existing fund that covers paid leave.The Democratic governor eventually wants to expand paid leave to three months per person. That means a new child could get up to six months of time with a parent.The expansion to eight weeks would take effect July 1, 2020.It is part of a “parents’ agenda” Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, are pursuing.__NoonCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to end the sales tax on tampons and diapers and use revenue from legal marijuana sales toward enhancing child care programs.Those items are part of a “parents’ agenda” Newsom will announce Tuesday to preview the revised state budget he’ll present Thursday.Cutting the diaper and tampon tax would eliminate about $55 million in revenue from the budget. California has tried to cut the taxes on tampons and diapers before, but the efforts were vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown.Newsom wants to spend $130 million to boost child care programs, with about $80 million coming from marijuana taxes. He also wants to give families with children under age 6 a $1,000 tax credit.Newsom and lawmakers must agree on a state budget proposal by June 30.The Associated Press read more

Customs seize cigarettes

Customs officers have seized over 325,000 cigarettes imported into Sri Lanka illegally, the customs department said.The cigarettes were seized after three containers shipped to the country was checked at the Orugodawatte container yard. Officials said that the containers were declared as having tiles but when it was checked the officers had found cigarettes hidden inside.The cigarettes are worth Rs. 9.5 million. Investigations are underway. (Colombo Gazette)

US decision to deny funds could cost thousands of lives UN population

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today voiced regret that the United States administration has decided to withhold $34 million appropriated by Congress for the agency, warning that lives will be lost as a result.UNFPA called the US administration’s reason for continuing to withhold funding for a third straight year – that the agency supports coerced abortions in China – “baseless.” The US State Department conducted an assessment which found no evidence to back the allegations, and instead reported that the Fund had registered its strong opposition to coercive practices. That team recommended that funds allocated by Congress be released to UNFPA.Three other independent teams, from the UN, the British Parliament and a multi-faith panel of religious leaders, reached the same conclusion, UNFPA said.The US is the only country to withhold funding to UNFPA for non-budgetary reasons, and the impact will be felt, according to agency chief Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, who said the denied contribution “could have saved thousands of lives.”UNFPA estimates that Washington’s $34 million could have helped prevent as many as 2 million unwanted pregnancies and nearly 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths and over 77,000 infant and child deaths. The funds could also have been used to scale up promising maternal health and HIV-prevention efforts.”Historically, the United States has been a world leader in promoting reproductive health and family planning and we hope it will take up that role again,” Ms. Obaid said. “Promoting global health and alleviating poverty are urgent tasks that require strong partnerships and international cooperation.”UNFPA works in nearly 140 countries to increase access to reproductive health services, including family planning, to promote safe motherhood, and to prevent unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. read more

OECD trims forecasts for Canada predicts rate hikes starting May 2015

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email OTTAWA – The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has trimmed its forecast for the Canadian economy and is predicting the Bank of Canada will start raising its key interest rate in late May.In its latest outlook Tuesday, the OECD predicted the Canadian economy will grow by 2.4 per cent this year, 2.6 per cent in 2015, and 2.4 per cent in 2016, largely driven by export demand from the U.S. economy.The estimate was down compared from the group’s May forecast that predicted the Canadian economy would grow by 2.5 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent in 2015.“Exports will be supported by stronger foreign-market growth and recent currency depreciation,” said the report.“Business investment should strengthen with improved demand, to boost capacity and cost competitiveness.”The OECD said the forecast was based on the Bank of Canada starting to raise its key interest rate in late May next year and steadily after that.The report noted that inflation, a key driver of interest rates, has returned to the two per cent target range used by the Bank of Canada due in part to the weaker loonie.“Given the uncertainty surrounding the amount of economic slack, the Bank of Canada should maintain its current policy stance for the time being,” the report said.“But it will have to start to withdraw stimulus as remaining slack is progressively taken up.”This isn’t the first prediction by the OECD about rate hikes in Canada.In its economic outlook last year, the organization forecast that the Bank of Canada would start raising interest rates in the fourth quarter of 2014 with the rate steadily rising to 2.25 per cent by the end of 2015.The central bank has maintained its key interest rate a one per cent for more than four years.In its October monetary policy report, the Bank of Canada predicted economic growth will average about 2.5 per cent next year before gradually slowing to around two per cent by the end of 2016.The central bank also noted that it expects the Canadian economy will gradually return to its full production capacity in the second half of 2016 and core inflation to remain around two per cent over its projection horizon.Overall, the OECD report said the global economy continues to run in “low gear” well below the pace set before the financial crisis.The Paris-based group also noted that the main upside risk to its forecast for the Canadian economy is that U.S. investment growth rebounds more than expected, while a domestic housing market correction is the main downside risk.“Lower growth in China could also weaken oil and other commodity prices and hence the terms of trade,” the report said. OECD trims forecasts for Canada, predicts rate hikes starting May 2015 by The Canadian Press Posted Nov 25, 2014 5:38 am MDT read more

British killer whale trainer is missing in Tenerife as family say disappearance

“We’re doing everything we can including trying to see if there’s CCTV that could help and speaking to taxi drivers.”We’ve spent the morning in the police station.”Her friends thought something was amiss on Friday and went to the police station but were told that they should come back the following day if she didn’t turn up at work as scheduled to officially report her as missing.”That was what they did when she didn’t show for work on the Saturday. She wasn’t due in to work on the Friday.”He added: “Amy wasn’t a big drinker. She had to be in good shape for her work so like her colleagues who work with animals, she just didn’t do the party lifestyle.”We’ve ruled out the idea she might have come out the pub the worse for wear and fallen somewhere on her way home because that was just not Amy.”She was with a female friend as far as we understand but we haven’t been able to speak to her yet. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A British killer whale trainer is missing in Tenerife as her family expressed fears her disappearance is out of characterAmy Louise Gerard, 28, was last seen outside an Irish bar in Puerto de la Cruz in the north of the island, with friends and family flying out from the UK today to help with the search.University-educated Ms Gerard, from Grimsby, describes herself on social media as a killer whale trainer at Tenerife marine theme park Loro Parque, which is home to orca whale Morgan.She lives in Puerto de la Cruz and studied animal behaviour science at the University of Lincoln, has also worked as a marine mammal trainer at a zoo in France.She was last seen outside Molly Malone in Puerto de la Cruz just after midnight on Thursday.Her mother Julie and her sister Chloe, both from Grimsby, have flown out to Tenerife along with Chloe’s fiance Mike Dolan, 35.Mr Dolan said: “We are extremely concerned as this is totally out of character for Amy.”Because it is so out of character we flew out to Tenerife as soon as we could to speak to the police and friends. Amy Louise Gerard with her husband, Ryan Docherty Amy Louise Gerard with her husband, Ryan DochertyCredit:SOCIAL MEDIA Ryan Docherty, who she is still understood to be married to, is thought to be back in the UK. He has also shared appeals for information on Amy online.She is around 5ft 8ins tall, with curly blonde hair and blue eyes. A Spanish missing persons’ association has also appealed for information about her whereabouts, while Tenerife’s national police is leading the search.A spokesman for Tenerife’s National Police said: “An investigation is open and we are searching for her but I am not not in a position to specify what work is being done.”She was officially reported as missing by a friend yesterday morning/on Saturday morning.”The information we have is that she was last seen just before 1am on Friday in Puerto de la Cruz.” “The barman at the pub she was last seen in said she left just before 1am on Thursday but we’re still trying to piece together the events of that night. “We would urge anyone who has seen Amy or has any information on what happened that night or where she might be to contact police.”Amy has been using her maiden surname name Gerard in recent months – the one featuring on the missing posters in English and Spanish – rather than her married name. read more

Alleged shooter arrested for America Street money changers murder

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMain suspect arrested for money changer’s murderJune 8, 2018In “Crime”4 in custody for money changer’s murder, 2 of whom robbed him beforeFebruary 6, 2018In “Crime”Another suspect charged with America Street money changer’s murderMay 10, 2018In “Court” On the heels of a third person being arraigned for the murder of America Street money changer; Shawn Nurse, the alleged shooter was on Thursday arrested by Police, moments after being released from the Camp Street Prison.Murdered money changer, Shawn NurseThe suspect was reportedly incarcerated for the past three weeks on a wounding charge. However, after being re-appreheneded, he is being questioned regarding Nurse’s murder.According to a Police source, detectives received information from eyewitnesses who identified the suspect as the shooter.It was previously reported that Nurse, of Lot 33 Shopping Plaza, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, was sitting in a chair at the corner of Avenue of the Republic and America Street on February 4, 2018, when he was approached by a man armed with a handgun.The man demanded that the money changer hand over a bag containing an undisclosed sum of local and foreign currencies.However, when the businessman refused, the bandit became angered and shot Nurse once to his head resulting in him dying immediately.The Police retrieved a spent 9mm shell at the scene, and questioned several persons, who gave a description of the shooter.At the time of the shooting incident, the suspect was reportedly clad in a red hoodie and a pair of brown trousers.On May 10, Kacey Heliger, of Lot 42 Shell Road, Kitty, was charged with the murder of the money- changer.Two other men, Kerwin DaSantos and George Hope, both 22 years old, have also been charged with his murder. read more

Poll Should Ireland accept a postbailout credit line just in case

first_imgYesNoVote Poll Results: Yes (561) No (1928) GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE said to be wary of accepting an emergency line of credit from the troika after Ireland’s bailout exit, to be used in the event that the economy fails to recover.The Sunday Independent reports that Minister for Finance Michael Noonan sees the conditions attached to using such a credit line as unacceptable.These could include external supervision of government policy, further privatisation of state assets, and even a revision of Ireland’s corporation tax rate.However, in an interview with Die Welt, a top IMF advisor said that Ireland needs the option of accessing additional funds in case of an emergency.So we’re asking: Should Ireland accept a post-bailout credit line, just in case?last_img read more