Sikkim allows people to forge fraternal ties with trees

first_imgSikkim, one of the cleanest and greenest north-eastern States is keen to not just preserve its forest cover but also forge amity between people and trees.Recently the Government of Sikkim came up with a unique way of preserving trees by encouraging people to forge a relationship of brotherhood or sisterhood with trees through a practice locally known as Mith/Mit or Mitini.A recent notification by the Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim titled Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules 2017 states that the “State government shall allow any person to associate with trees standing on his or her private land or on any public land by entering into a Mith/Mit or Mitini relationship.” ‘Own child’The notification also states that a person can also adopt a tree “as if it was his or her own child in which case the tree shall be called an adopted tree.” A third way to forge a relationship with a tree is by “preserving a tree in remembrance of a departed relative in which case the tree shall be called a smriti tree.”In case an individual wants to forge a relationship with a tree which does not stand on his or her land but another’s, the person concerned shall execute an agreement with the owner and compensate him or her in terms of the market value of the timber or the wood contained in the tree.In the second scenario if the person desires to enter into a relationship with a tree located on public land then permission from the said department or agency needs to be taken. Specific formsFor every clause, the Sikkim Forest Department has issued specific forms which a person will have to fill up and submit to the forest authorities. The notification states that after verification the Assistant Conservator of Forests will register the tree in the name of the person concerned.Thomas Chandy, Principal Secretary and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu that the idea behind the notification came from Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling. He said the notification is in consonance with the age-old tradition of promoting amity between man and nature, particularly trees.“Soon after the notification the State went for panchayat polls. We will take up the issue in a major way at the upcoming Paryavaran Mahotsav organised by the Sikkim government,” Mr. Chandy said.As per the Forest Survey of India, 2015 the forest cover of Sikkim is 47.80 % of the State’s total geographical area. Over the past few years the State government has also started an initiative of identifying heritage trees where 21 trees of 25-ft. girth and above and 32 trees of 20-25 ft. girth have been demarcated as heritage trees. The Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules also prohibit felling or damage to any tree registered as Mith/Mit or Mitini, adopted or smriti and points out that any such violation shall be treated as a forest offence.last_img read more

Supreme Court puts Anurag Thakur in a tricky spot

first_imgThe BCCI president Anurag Thakur finds himself in a spot of bother after Supreme Court’s interim order on Friday, where he has been asked to submit a affidavit on a personal level to clarify if he had asked for ICC’s intervention against the implementation of Lodha reforms.In an exclusive interview to India Today last month, ICC chief executive Dave Richardson had said that Thakur had verbally asked for a letter from the ICC whether implementing one of Lodha recommendations count as government interference in the board. The ICC does not allow any government interference in its board members and Lodha panel had recommended appointment of a nominee in the Apex Council from the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office.However, ICC chairman Shashank Manohar who was previously BCCI president before Thakur declined the request and wanted the board to give the same in writing. (No funds to state associations without compliance, Supreme Court tells BCCI)While reading Lodha panel’s status report in the court on Thursday, Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramanium brought up this point before the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India, TS Thakur. Subramanium also added that BCCI denied the fact that Thakur ever asked for a letter from ICC and instead said that Richardson was ‘confused’.In an affidavit submitted by BCCI in the court on this matter in October, the board said that false allegations are being made and no such request was ever made by Thakur. (Let’s collectively decide whether to stop IPL: Anurag Thakur)advertisement”It appears that an interview was given by Mr. David Richardson the ICC CEO falsely stating that the BCCI President had requested the ICC to issue a letter stating that the intervention by this Hon’ble Court amounted to Governmental interference. It is submitted that no such letter or oral request was ever made to the said gentlemen either by the BCCI President or any office bearer of the BCCI. It is apparent that Mr. Richardson has confused himself in relation to the issue,” the affidavit read.After passing an interim order on Friday, Supreme Court will resume hearing on this matter on Oct 17. (Anurag Thakur ‘the original fixer’, Rajiv Shukla a crook: Lalit Modi)last_img read more

Former England skipper Paul Collingwood retires from professional cricket

first_imgPaul Collingwood will retire from professional cricket at the end of the current season, his County Championship side Durham announced on Thursday.Collingwood, 42, became the first England captain to win a trophy at a global tournament when he guided them to the ICC World T20 in 2010. He was part of three Ashes series wins over Australia before retiring from international cricket in 2011.”I knew this day would eventually come but it hasn’t made it any easier although it’s an emotional decision, I know that the time is right and I’m comfortable knowing that I have given every last ounce of energy to the sport,” Collingwood told the club’s website.After 23 years of incredible service, @Colly622 is retiring CCC (@DurhamCricket) September 13, 2018″I have achieved so much with both Durham and England, far more than I ever imagined and I feel extremely privileged to have had such a long and rewarding career.””I am excited about what the future holds for me and am looking forward to new challenges.”We had a Legend retire from England this week in Alastair Cook & now another in @Colly622 retiring from the game all together,Colly like Cookie just got on with his Job,Fantastic man to have in your side & we should say a huge thank you to what he has done for English CricketMichael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 13, 2018Collingwood scored close to 17,000 runs in first-class cricket since making his debut 22 years ago.advertisementHe made 4,259 runs in 68 tests and will play his final game against Middlesex starting on 24 September.last_img read more

Australia proves too strong in Men’s Opener

first_imgThe Australian Men’s Open team impressed on day one of the 2016 Trans Tasman Series, with a six touchdown win over New Zealand, 13-7. Both teams started strongly, with Scott Buckley and Reihana Soutar-Finch trading touchdowns in the opening exchanges to lock the game up at 1-all early. Rob Nakhla scored soon after for Australia, before Soutar-Finch hit back for his second touchdown of the game.Australia then went to another level, scoring four touchdowns in five minutes, with touchdowns to Buckley, Matt Prowse, Pete Norman and Lachlan Pierce, to take a 6-2 lead New Zealand hit back soon after through Ngarohi Black, and when Soutar-Finch scored his third touchdown of the half the home side were back within two touchdowns. The Australians went to the half-time break with a two touchdown lead, 6-4. Whatever Australian coach Tony Trad said to the team at half-time must have worked, with his side scoring five of the next six touchdowns to stamp their authority on the game. Captain Nick Good scored in the second minute, before Black scored his second of the match in the next set for the Kiwis.  Nakhla had his second not long after, before Daniel Barton, Ben Moylan and Shaun Francis scored to give Australia a handy 11-6 lead. New Zealand’s Connah Pamatatau was next to score, while Jordan Marshall-King replied one minute later to score his first Men’s Open touchdown against New Zealand. Shanan Tomuri put the Kiwis within five touchdowns, before Buckley continued his strong performance, scoring his hat trick with just minutes remaining. Australia proved too strong on day one with a 13-7 win and will be hopeful of a series win tomorrow when they play at 3.30pm (NZST). The victory gave the Australians three wins on day one following the Mixed and Women’s wins earlier in the day.FINAL SCORE: Australia 13 (Buckley 3, Nakhla 2, Prowse, Norman, Pierce, Good, Barton, Moylan, Francis, Marshall-King) defeated New Zealand 7 (Soutar-Finch 3, Black 2, Pamatatau, Tomuri). Related LinksMen’s Match Reportlast_img read more

What soccer team does Barack Obama support?

first_imgBarack Obama’s love of sport was abundantly evident during his tenure as President of the United States.A relatively sprightly 47 years old when he assumed office in 2009, Obama was frequently captured playing basketball at the White House and he hosted various teams at Washington D.C. during his eight years as leader.It’s no secret that the former Illinois senator follows the Chicago Bears in NFL (though he also has a soft spot for the Pittsburgh Steelers) and supports the Chicago White Sox in baseball, but his allegiance when it comes to soccer is somewhat of a mystery. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He is a supporter of the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams, of course, and took breaks from diplomatic business to tune in to a number of their games at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.But club-wise it remains unclear which team he cheers for.Given Obama’s affinity for Chicago-based sporting outfits, it would not be unreasonable to assume that he might support Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire, but there have been no public expressions to confirm the hypothesis.During his campaign for the presidency in 2008, the Daily Telegraph reported that Obama was a fan of West Ham after it emerged that he had attended a Hammers game while on a trip to London in 2003.West Ham even invited him to one of their games following his election, but the story of his support for the club was subsequently dismissed as speculation.Barack Obama football soccerHe is an admirer of Argentina star Lionel Messi and clearly pays attention to the Barcelona star’s exploits, using his World Cup woes with the Albiceleste as an analogy while on a visit to Colombia in 2019.However, that interest doesn’t necessarily translate to support for Barca.As the former head of state for the US, Obama had all sorts of encounters with different football teams and he has had plenty of teams vying for his attention.Gifts such as personalised and signed jerseys have been presented to the 44th President of the United States, while others – like West Ham – have invited him to watch their games.Others have taken to social media in their attempts to lure Obama to their side.In 2017 it emerged that German club Darmstadt 84 were the only European club Obama followed on Twitter, sparking a frenzy of speculation as to why that was the case.Dear @BarackObama, since we are apparently already the only European soccer club you follow on Twitter: See you at our stadium? 😉 #sv98— SV Darmstadt 98 (@sv98) February 15, 2017Darmstadt, who now play in 2. Bundesliga, are not exactly powerhouses of European football, so the fact that USMNT player Terrence Boyd played for them (he has since moved on) was held up as one potential reason.So, Darmstadt, naturally, sent Boyd out to bat for them.”Dear Barack Obama, we’ve heard that we’re the only European soccer club you follow on Twitter. It’s a huge honour for us at Darmstadt 98,” the striker declared in a video shared on Twitter.”Now that you’ve got a little more time for yourself, we’d like to invite you to a Lilien game at the Bollenfalltor. We’ve got a fitting jersey for you as well, so see you at the Bollen!”Unless Obama showed up in south-west Germany in secret, the Terrence Boyd charm offensive doesn’t appear to have worked, unfortunately.So, for now, Obama’s confirmed soccer teams remain the USMNT and USWNT, as well as whatever teams his daughters Malia and Sasha are playing for!last_img read more

Jill Ellis to step down as USWNT head coach

first_imgU.S. women’s national team manager Jill Ellis will step down as head coach following the completion of the team’s World Cup victory tour in October, U.S. Soccer has annnounced.Earlier this month Ellis coached the USWNT to their second straight World Cup title, becoming only the second person to win two World Cups as a manager“The opportunity to coach this team and work with these amazing women has been the honor of a lifetime,” Ellis said in a statement. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “I want to thank and praise them for their commitment and passion to not only win championships but also raise the profile of this sport globally while being an inspiration to those who will follow them.”Ellis took over the program in 2014 and one year later, she led the USWNT to the 2015 World Cup championship in Canada, the team’s first world title since 1999.She will depart after the USWNT won its second straight World Cup this summer in France, defeating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final to clinch the title. With the win in France, Ellis joined Vittorio Pozzo as the only two coaches to win multiple men’s or women’s World Cups, with Pozzo pulling off the feat with Italy in 1934 and 1938.“The U.S. Soccer Federation and the sport in general owes Jill a debt of gratitude,” U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro said. “Jill was always extremely passionate about this team, analytical, tremendously focused and not afraid to make tough decisions while giving her players the freedom to play to their strengths.”She helped raise the bar for women’s soccer in the USA and the world, and given the history of this program, the level of success she achieved is even more remarkable.”USWNT Women's World Cup 2019Ellis leaves with an overall record of 102-7-18 as USWNT manager, having coached the most games of any USWNT head coach in program history.U.S. Soccer said Ellis, 52, will remain for at least the next year in an ambassador role, which will include representing the federation at various events and speaking engagements.Though the World Cup only ended earlier this month, the search for a new manager will have to be a priority with the Olympics set to take place next summer in Tokyo.U.S. Soccer is nearing the hiring of a USWNT general manager, who will oversee the search for a new head coach. The USWNT will kick off their victory tour on Saturday with a game against Ireland at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.last_img read more

300K in damage Calgary men charged after copper wire thefts from oilwell

first_imgPieces of unstripped copper wire and heavy equipment tools, including bolt cutters and power tools, were found in a vehicle.Brian Tanner, who is 43, and Jonathan Paul, who is 38, face various break and enter charges.Tanner is also charged with breach of recognizance and possession of a controlled substance. CALGARY, A.B. – Two Calgary men face multiple charges after thefts of copper wire and tools at several rural oilwell sites.Police say about $300,000 in damage was caused by thieves who cut the wire out of buildings.The Calgary Police Service says it worked with RCMP to track, locate and arrest two suspects.last_img read more

Unveiled a New Design for Moroccos 2018 World Cup Kits

Rabat – The long-awaited official jersey of Morocco’s national team for the 2018 World Cup has finally been unveiled.The first version of the jersey, released on April 27, received heavy criticism from many Moroccans and officials, describing it as lacking originality and in need of further development. President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation Fouzi Lekjaa urged Adidas to redesign the kits.Adidas responded quickly to the Moroccan anger over the kits and decided to make a new design that would appeal to the Moroccan public. Russian footballer Vladimir Granat officially presented the Moroccan national team jersey on Thursday. So far it has received largely negative reviews from online commenters.#VladimirGranat, défenseur de la #Russie porte le nouveau maillot du #Maroc @EnMaroc ?? au #Mondial2018 #Russie2018 #Sport24info??— Sport24Info (@Sport24Info) May 24, 2018 read more

Former Croatian General Ante Gotovina transferred to UN war crimes court

The indictment against him was made public in July 2001 and, after more than four years of evading justice, he was arrested last week in the Canary Islands by the Spanish authorities. Mr. Gotovina is charged with persecutions, murder, plunder of property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, deportation and forced displacement, and other inhumane acts, which took place under his command and control, against the Serb population during and in the aftermath of the August 1995 Croatian military offensive known as Operation Storm. The operation was intended to establish Croatian authority over the Krajina region of Croatia. According to the indictment, another purpose of the operation was the forcible and permanent removal of the Serb population from that region. The indictment alleges that as commander of the Split Military District, Gotovina was the overall operations commander of Operation Storm in the southern portion of the Krajina region. During and after the offensive, Croatian forces attacked and took control of towns, villages and hamlets in the southern portion of the Krajina region and subjected the local Serb population to persecutions while plundering and destroying their property, according to the indictment, which alleges that Mr. Gotovina encouraged others to perpetrate these crimes. The indictment alleges that Croatian forces killed at least 150 Serbs in Krajina while subjecting large numbers of others to inhumane treatment, humiliation and degradation. In addition, it is stated that these forces also plundered and destroyed thousands of Serb-owned dwellings, forcing the Krajina Serbs to flee. The suspect will make his first appearance at the court on Monday. read more

UN food aid agency lauds record 2005 European contributions to fight hunger

With its latest donation of 4 million euros for Pakistan relief efforts, the European Commission (EC) has provided its largest annual contribution – some 214 million euros – since 1992 to saving lives and feeding the hungry through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the agency said today. “2005 has been a year in which the EC’s support to WFP continued to grow and has crystallised into a truly exceptional partnership,” said James Morris, Executive Director of the Rome-based agency. “The EC has always been among WFP’s leading donors. Its support has not only been precious in high profile crises such as the tsunami, Niger or the Pakistan earthquake, but also in forgotten emergencies, like Nepal and the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria,” he added. The EC has been instrumental in helping WFP to alleviate hunger in more than 28 poor countries across the world where hundreds of thousands of people were threatened by starvation during a year of intense man-made and natural catastrophes. The agency said it particularly appreciates EC aid given to Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia Southern Sudan and Eritrea and other crises that do not make everyday headlines. read more

Hundreds more flee fighting in Colombia UN refugee agency reports

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has rushed personnel to the town of Sanchez to help the municipality deal with the crisis, especially in terms of providing protection. Since the start of the year, more than 4,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Nariño. National social services and international organisations are now on the ground as well to supply emergency assistance, UNHCR said in a statement, the latest it has issued in recent weeks over the devastating effect of local communities of more than 40 years of fighting between Government forces, leftist rebels and rightist paramilitaries that has displaced 2 million Colombians. Since last Friday, more than 1,400 people have left their homes in remote, mountainous settlements in northern Nariño to take refuge in the village of Sanchez, UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told a news briefing in Geneva. They say they fled because of air-to-ground fighting between army helicopters and members of an irregular armed group encamped in the mountains. “The situation in Sanchez itself is now getting under control after a very difficult first few days when local authorities struggled to find shelter, food and drinking water for the newcomers,” he said. The vast majority of the displaced – more than 90 per cent – are members of the Afro-Colombian ethnic minority. They come from remote settlements where there is little or no state presence and many of them do not have any identification documents – a situation that could jeopardise their rights to social services they are entitled to as displaced people. As part of its national registration programme, UNHCR is planning to run an emergency documentation campaign in Sanchez next week. The agency has several times in recent weeks voiced alarm for country’s 1 million indigenous people, warning that some communities are threatened with extinction as armed groups encroach upon their land, even torturing and killing their leaders. read more

DA in Vegas Erin Brockovich to face misdemeanour boating under the influence

by The Associated Press Posted Jun 11, 2013 2:41 pm MDT DA in Vegas: Erin Brockovich to face misdemeanour boating under the influence charge in Nevada LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Environmental activist and movie namesake Erin Brockovich will face a misdemeanour charge of operating a boat while intoxicated at Lake Mead, the district attorney in Las Vegas decided Tuesday.Brockovich, 52, has an Oct. 7 court date in Henderson Justice Court stemming from her arrest Friday evening at a marina on the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam, said Tess Driver, an aide to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.A Nevada state game warden reported that Brockovich appeared to argue on the 26-foot Cobra motor boat with her husband, Eric Ellis, and threw a cellphone into the water before having trouble mooring the vessel at the Las Vegas Boat Harbor.The warden said he had to help Brockovich dock the boat, and said two breath tests measured her blood-alcohol level at twice the legal limit of .08 per cent.The criminal complaint refers to Brockovich by her full name, Erin Elizabeth Brockovich-Ellis.She could face six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, up to 96 hours of community service and court-ordered alcohol and drug counselling if she is convicted of driving under the influence as a first offence in Nevada, Driver said.Brockovich, who was freed on $1,000 bail late Friday at the Clark County jail, was driving home Tuesday to Agoura Hills, Calif., said her publicist, David Kass.She didn’t immediately comment about the district attorney’s decision to go forward with charges.In a statement issued Sunday, Brockovich apologized but insisted she hadn’t operated the boat in open waters.“At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk,” Brockovich said. “That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry.”Brockovich’s efforts to sue Pacific Gas & Electric for polluting the water supply of a small Southern California town became the subject of a 2000 movie that earned Julia Roberts an Academy Award for playing Brockovich.Brockovich now heads a consulting firm and was featured in the 2011 documentary “Last Call at the Oasis,” about the planet’s dwindling and increasingly polluted water supply._____Find Ken Ritter on Twitter: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Refugees disappearing from eastern Sudan may be trafficking victims – UN agency

“Over the last two years we have seen people disappearing from the Shagarab camps – some of them kidnapped, and others believed paying to be smuggled elsewhere,” Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said at a briefing in Geneva. “UNHCR calls on all national and international actors to step up efforts to counter criminal groups seeking to exploit refugees and asylum-seekers and to reduce the risks of kidnapping, smuggling and trafficking of people,” she said. Ms. Fleming said that the agency’s Sudan office reported 619 people having left the camps over the past two years, with 551 of them having done so in 2012, in addition to unconfirmed cases. The number of voluntary versus forced departures is difficult to ascertain, however, she warned. In the latest incidents, four refugee women were reportedly kidnapped from the Shagarab camps during the night and early morning of 22 January. Refugees in the camp, which hosts 29,445 people, had also reported the kidnapping of a refugee man the previous week. In anger at these incidents, some refugees attacked members of one of the local tribes who they thought were responsible, and the ensuing violence left several injured among the host population and the refugees. Calm has since been restored. Based on numerous reports and individual interviews, Ms. Fleming said she was able to state that the main actors responsible for smuggling and human trafficking from eastern Sudan into Egypt are local tribesmen in eastern Sudan and in the Sinai, as well as some criminal gangs. She said that UNHCR is working with the Sudanese authorities, the International Organization for Migration and other humanitarian agencies to reduce the risk of abductions and kidnappings in the area. “The Government of Sudan has already deployed additional police and we are supporting the authorities to improve overall security, including with the construction and rehabilitation of police stations, provision of vehicles and communication equipment,” she said. “UNHCR is also assisting the refugees in the Shagarab camps with setting up a community-based policing system to reduce security risks,” she added, reporting that the agency is also providing psycho-social counselling to survivors of trafficking as well as legal aid to those in detention. UNHCR said that tens of thousands of Eritreans have been living as refugees in eastern Sudan for generations, while every month, some 2,000 asylum-seekers reach the Shagarab camps alone. Some come to escape military conscription, while others are motivated by a possibility of a better life elsewhere, according to the agency. read more

UN health chief urges global cooperation to tackle novel coronavirus threat

“The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The novel coronavirus is a threat to the entire world,” said Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to WHO. Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases.Novel coronavirus is a particular strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. “There is very limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact with only a small number of cases reported thus far,” WHO states on its website.In her closing remarks at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva yesterday, Dr. Chan said the new virus is her “greatest concern” right now.“We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat,” she stated. “Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control.“We do not know where the virus hides in nature. We do not know how people are getting infected. Until we answer these question, we are empty-handed when it comes to prevention. These are alarm bells. And we must respond.”According to media reports, out of 44 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus around the world, 23 people have now died – with most infections linked to travel to the Middle East. The virus causes pneumonia and, sometimes, organ failure. Most patients have had other health problems.Dr. Chan stressed the need to bring together the assets of the entire world in order to adequately address this new threat. “We need more information, and we need it quickly, urgently.”She announced that joint WHO missions with Saudi Arabia and Tunisia will take place as soon as possible with the aim of gathering all the facts needed to conduct a proper risk assessment. In addition to novel coronavirus, the World Health Assembly, which met from 20 to 27 May, also discussed a number of public health issues such as blindness, disability, mental health, neglected tropical diseases, the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals and the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children. It adopted a number of resolutions on these issues. read more

Mens Soccer New head coach Brian Maisonneuve hoping to bring program to

Brian Maisonneuve has accomplished a lot in his career, both on the field and from the sideline.As an assistant at Indiana, he helped guide the Hoosiers to the 2012 national title and a runner-up finish in 2017. He also aided the team which captured the 2010 Big Ten regular-season title and the 2013 Big Ten Tournament championship.As a player, Maisonneuve spent nine years in the MLS and six as part of the United States Men’s National Team, appearing in all three of the team’s games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.Now, Maisonneuve has nothing but excitement while he begins to lead a team of his own, taking over as the Ohio State men’s soccer head coach.“When this opened up, to come back to Columbus, to work for this athletic department and to be able to build this program and continue to build the success from coach [John] Bluem — it’s a dream opportunity,” Maisonneuve said.Maisonneuve both played and coached at Indiana, but he is certainly not without ties to Columbus. Maisonneuve was a founding member of the Columbus Crew, playing with the club for nine seasons between 1996 and 2004. Returning to Columbus is something of a homecoming for Maisonneuve. “The city of Columbus has always been really special to my wife and I,” Maisonneuve said. “When we left, I can remember my wife saying, ‘If we ever have the chance to get back to the city of Columbus, let’s do it.’”Maisonneuve is eager, but he said he faces a potential uphill battle in preparing his team ready for season. The new head coach said he’s had little time to even talk to his new team given that it’s finals week, and he won’t be able to work with them or see them on the field until August, due to NCAA practice rules.“A lot of the relationships will be built on the phone and in whatever contact I’m allowed to have with them, but it will be limited,” Maisonneuve said. “It’s not easy because you want to get at it. Any time a new coach takes over they’re ready to go — and believe me I am ready to go. I was just talking to the group, I was ready to get on the field and get training.”Maisonneuve said while he wishes he had more time with his team, he’s confident he’ll have them ready to play come fall, installing new tactics and emphasizing aggressiveness on both sides of the ball.“I want people to say that it’s hard to play against Ohio State, that when we step on the field, we make it very uncomfortable for other teams, both offensively and defensively,” Maisonneuve said. “We’re going to get after teams on both sides of the ball.”Ohio State struggled mightily on the offensive end last season. The Buckeyes were shut out more than twice as often as they scored multiple goals in a game. Maisonneuve said he wants to emphasize offensive possession and versatility to attack a defense in multiple ways.“The key word for me would be effective soccer,” Maisonneuve said. “If we can out-possess teams, we’ll do it. If we’re not possessing on the day and we need to get some wide service in, we’ll do it. If they’re holding a high line and we need to find some space in behind, we’ll do it. Whatever is on, I’d like to say my players tactically will be able to figure it out, so it’ll be tough to stop offensively.Tactics aside, Maisonneuve’s primary emphasis is the long-term success of the program, building on what it was able to achieve under Bluem and taking the next step.“I’m really looking forward to continuing to build on the success that he had here and take this program to new levels,” Maisonneuve said. “I think with the resources here in Columbus with this athletic department, I think the sky’s the limit for this program.” Ohio State head coach Brian Maisonneuve speaks to the media during his introductory press conference on April 26, 2018. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics read more

Everyones Talking About Tiger But Phil Mickelson Is Playing The Best Golf

200752+0.33+0.61+0.50+0.16+1.60 The underlying numbers support Mickelson’s 2018 renaissance. Using the strokes gained statistic — which evaluates every golfer by comparing his performance on each incremental shot in a round to the average — Mickelson is having the best season of his career on record, albeit in the early going. He is averaging +2.33 strokes gained per round, which is higher than his best full-season mark since at least 2004, the first year for which this data is available. 201659-0.15+0.73+0.22+0.57+1.36 201158+0.14+0.90+0.33-0.19+1.18 200859+0.40+0.84+0.36+0.21+1.82 201769-0.06+0.55+0.22+0.34+1.05 201357+0.02+0.49+0.26+0.66+1.44 Average Strokes Gained SeasonMeasured RoundsOff the TeeApproachAround the GreenPuttingTOTAL The entirety of the golf-watching internet has spent a couple of recent Sundays engrossed in a 40-something golfer whose career peaked a decade ago. But while Tiger Woods has consumed all of the oxygen in the room, the game’s other 40-something blast from the past, Phil Mickelson, is quietly playing some of the best golf of his professional career.That Mickelson, at the well-seasoned age of 47, is entirely overlooked thanks to his enigmatic rival is almost too fitting; it’s been happening for two decades.“He’s always one-upped me in my career, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out this week and won,” Mickelson said of Woods earlier this month. “Just to one-up me again.”Lefty stands at No. 18 in the World Golf Rankings, where the average age of the players ahead of him is 30.7. He is No. 3 in the FedExCup standings, where the average age of the players ahead of him is 28. He has logged five top-10 finishes in eight starts this season; only 31-year-old Brian Harman, who has played in 10 events, has more.At the WGC-Mexico Championship in early March, Mickelson beat Justin Thomas — the No. 2 golfer in the world, who is young enough to be Mickelson’s son — in a playoff. It was Mickelson’s 43rd professional win and his first since taking the British Open at Muirfield in 2013.It was also a continuation of peak performance this season from the avid gamesman. Entering this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Mickelson has finished no worse than tied for sixth at four consecutive tournaments. With an average finish of 3.5 over his past four appearances, Mickelson is currently riding the best four-event stretch of his entire career.1Excluding unofficial events, match play and team events. He’s placed in the top 15 in six of the eight tournaments this year, putting his average tournament finish this season on par with the best seasons of his career. 200948+0.31+0.27+0.38-0.15+0.82 200647+0.57+0.98+0.14+0.27+1.96 200550+0.34+0.57+0.36+0.26+1.53 201057+0.19+0.74+0.23-0.15+1.00 What’s gotten into Phil?How Phil Mickelson has fared in terms of strokes gained, 2004 season through March 20, 2018 201450+0.20+0.17+0.27+0.23+0.87 201260-0.10+0.57+0.40+0.56+1.42 201822-0.10+1.14+0.21+1.08+2.33 201555+0.07+0.02+0.23+0.26+0.58 2018 season is ongoing. Total average strokes gained may not add up exactly because of rounding.Source: PGA Tour 200454+0.60+0.60+0.22-0.09+1.32 As many a grandfather has implored over the years, golf is a sport people can play virtually their entire lives. But performance obviously diminishes over time — especially at the highest level the sport has to offer. There’s a senior tour for a reason, after all.So how, then, is Mickelson turning back the clock this season as the old-timer in a sea of youths?“There’s a number of areas in my game that, if I look back 10, 15 years ago, I feel like I’m significantly better,” Mickelson said earlier this month on the Dan Patrick Show. “Certainly, I’ve gotten a ton better at putting.”This is very true. Only Jason Day (1.39) is averaging more strokes gained with the putter than Mickelson (1.08), who leads the tour in the percentage of holes with only one putt (48.8 percent), the average number of putts per round (27), the percentage of holes with a birdie or better (41.3 percent)2On holes in which the player hit the green in regulation. and overall putting average (1.5 putts per hole).While his work off the tee has been nothing special (-0.10 strokes gained), Mickelson has had little difficulty getting his ball in position to attack the flagstick, ranking third in strokes gained on shots approaching the green (1.14).And yet, Mickelson’s odds to win the Masters sit at 20-to-1, below those of Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Jon Rahm, who have combined to produce eight top-10 finishes and two wins this season. Mickelson has nearly matched those marks by himself. Given his record of work and meteoric ascension this season, golf’s most notorious active gambler would perhaps do well to bet on himself.Mickelson has publicly said one of his goals is to qualify for a 12th Ryder Cup and to help the U.S. team win on foreign soil. His recent win gives him a great chance of accomplishing it. Another goal is to eclipse 50 career wins on tour.“I don’t know (when I’ll get to 50),” Mickelson told reporters after his latest win. “Seven more wins and I’ll be there. I don’t have the month or the time, but I will get there.” read more

Revealed The 7 TDs who say they wont pay the property tax

first_imgAT LEAST SEVEN TDs have said they will not pay the local property tax and do not intend complying with the Revenue Commissioners in a move that could potentially put their Dáil seat at risk.In response to queries from this week, most independent TDs and those from the two opposition parties who have opposed and voted against the tax said they would comply with it, many saying it is “the law of the land” but seven told this website they would not.This could potentially put their Dáil seat at risk if they are re-elected at the next general election as not filing a return and paying the tax would mean these TDs would not get a tax clearance certificate which they must produce within nine months of being elected.The seven TDs are: Joan Collins, Joe Higgins, Séamus Healy, Clare Daly, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, John Halligan and Thomas Pringle.Spreadsheet: Which TDs are paying the property tax and which TDs are not >“I certainly won’t be paying it. If I can avoid paying it I will avoid paying it,” Flanagan told this week saying that he was boycotting the tax in “solidarity with those who have to make a choice between putting food on the table or a fire in the fireplace to pay this tax”.Higgins said he was “participating in a mass boycott of the property tax” and added: “The only way the people can force the government back is mass boycott, they [the government] are impervious with their majority in the Dáil so people power is needed.”Higgins: “Just because Revenue is an agent of government, it is not a reason to back off.” The Socialist Party TD said he expected a “substantial boycott” of the campaign while People Before Profit TD Joan Collins said she still hoped the tax could be reversed.She said: “I am going to defy it, not comply and take the penalties and in the meantime the campaign against the tax will be a short window of opportunity to really encourage people to get out on the streets, with a bit of fire in their belly, if they want to try and reverse it.”Waterford TD Halligan said: “I haven’t even got a bloody bill but I am sure I will get it shortly. But when I do I won’t be paying it.”Donegal South West deputy Thomas Pringle admitted that Revenue would find it easy to get the tax from him “as they know where I work” while Healy described the tax as “draconian” and said he would not comply. Daly said she would not filing her return.‘Through gritted teeth’In total 28 TDs said they’d pay the tax, 7 said they would not, two said they did not qualify as they do not own a property and 18 did not respond to queries.A Fianna Fáil spokesperson said that members of the parliamentary party will be expected to pay the tax and obey the law. A Sinn Féin spokesperson said that the property tax law has “been framed in such a way to take personal choice about its payment away from the individual”.Individual TDs in both parties who responded said they would be paying.Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming said: “I am a law abiding citizen and I’ll obey with the law of the land. It’s the law of the land, I mightn’t like but it’s the law of the land.”Some Sinn Féin TDs who boycotted the household charge last year acknowledged that they would now be forced to pay that charge when it is added to their property tax liability. The majority who were contacted did not respond to queries.Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that he was “minded to pay it on the basis that I have no option” while Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said that any public representative who said they would not be paying would be engaging in “bluster”, adding: “They will have to pay at some point.”Sinn Féin says it would repeal the property tax if and when it is in government A number of independent TDs who have spoken out against the tax have said that they will reluctantly comply with Revenue and make their return. Wicklow deputy Stephen Donnelly said he was doing so “through gritted teeth”.Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath said he was going to hold out as long as possible to “make a stand” but acknowledged that he would probably end up paying the tax in the end.Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said that while he had spoken out against the tax he had always said he would pay it: “I am telling them [my constituents] there’s no way out of this, Revenue will get it from you.“Sure even when you’re dead Revenue come after you,” he added.Labour TD Patrick Nulty, who lost the party whip in 2011 after voting against the Budget, said he was not liable as he did own a property as did People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett who confirmed that he did not own a property and was therefore not liable.Spreadsheet: Is your TD paying the property tax?Read: Revenue’s property tax guidance causing ‘widespread confusion’Leo Varadkar: Property tax is easy to pay and hard to evadelast_img read more

Greek Australian dies in tragic car accident

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Just three months ago, Johnny Naxakis lost his mother Dionysia. Struggling to accept a life without her, he would visit her grave at the Werribee Cemetery each day and light a candle for her. But last Saturday would be the last time for the 41-year-old, after he was killed in a tragic car accident on Cemetery Road.Mr Naxakis leaves behind his grieving partner Despina Theodoridis, father Michael, siblings Anthony, Paras and Michael, along with extended family and friends who were left in shock.Well-known and loved within the entertainment industry, he worked as an event manager responsible for some of the biggest musical events within the Greek community. “Everyone adored him,” his loving partner told Neos Kosmos.It has been a particularly tough time for Ms Theodoridis, who a week prior lost her first cousin, who had just recently turned 42. Coincidentally, the accident resulting in the death of her partner of eight years occurred while a memorial service was simultaneously taking place at the Werribee Cemetery for Ms Theodoridis’ cousin.“I’ll always love you to the moon and back,” she said, a quote the couple would often recite to one another. “That’s how much I’m going to miss him. I’m always going to remember him; he’ll always be with me.”The cause of the collision still remains unknown.last_img read more

Prince Charles acknowledges Melbournes large Greek community in meeting with Bill Papastergiadis

first_imgIt was a day to remember for the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne Bill Papastergiadis when he met Prince Charles.The pair came together in London last month at St James’s Palace during a reception for the Prince’s Trust International, established to support vulnerable young people.The event was hosted for Greek students and business people, with a local presence from Mr Papastergiadis who travelled to London from Greece. Mr Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos he had the chance to speak with the royal one-on-one, during which the Prince revealed that he knew Melbourne, and it’s large Greek community, quite well given he had been a student in Geelong.“It was a purely philanthropic meeting and we talked about how we can help Greek youth to find work,” Mr Papastergiadis said.The Prince’s Trust International was established in Greece in 2015, offering programmes to those aged between 18 and 30 who are struggling with the economic crisis, with a five year goal to help 2,200 young people around Greece.“It is, after all, the land of my grandfather,” Prince Charles said of Greece. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more