The wall-to-wall coverage by the mainstream media of the exploits of Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the Virginia couple who crashed Pres. Barack Obama’s first state dinner at which he hosted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, may have sucked out all the oxygen, but the handful of Indian Americans lucky enough to bag invites to Washington’s hottest party this holiday season are still basking in its afterglow. White House state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Mrs Gursharan Kaur, Nov. 24,2009. White House PhotoLeading up to the dinner, political blogs buzzed with blow-by-blow accounts of what Politics Daily dubbed “the most sought-after invitation in Washington.” Politico, the touchstone for political junkies, commented: “If you thought landing a seat at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner or the Gridiron Club Dinner was tough, try getting the nod for the upcoming White House state dinner. It’s one of D.C.’s most coveted invites, and the guest list is expected to number about 400. Rest assured that politicos have been jockeying for a spot….” Vinod K Shah, president of AAPI: “I had written an elaborate letter to Obama about healthcare reforms and personally handed it to him when I was invited to meet him at an earlier occasion.”In a reflection of just how far off the mark the mainstream media’s reporting of the event was, the invitation arrived innocuously enough – unsought and unannounced – in the mail in the form of a card embossed with the White House seal at the homes or offices of nearly 100 Indian American guests. Some, such as Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), received their pleasant surprise almost a month prior to the event. Others got theirs in the mail just four days before the banquet.Recalls Desai: “It was a nice surprise to receive the invite since we were not expecting it. It was also a great honor for our organization that the White House had acknowledged us and allowed us to bring the issues of taxi drivers to the highest state. Our own community recognizes business leaders, but not grassroots organizations, so this was a beautiful thing.” Annetta Seecharran, of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), with filmmaker Steven Spielberg: “I did think aboutpolicy issues and immigration reform before attending in case Igot to talk to Obama or someone important from his administration.”The hoopla over the Salahis and the preening coverage of the ostensibly rich and glamorous by not just the mainstream, but also the Indian print and broadcast media, glossed over what was perhaps the most notable aspect of the guest list – the surprisingly large number of Indian community activist invitees, in a nod, no doubt, to Obama’s own activist background in Chicago. Narender Reddy with the Pres. George W Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gursharan Kaur at the 2005 state dinner.Says Annetta Seecharran, of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), which mobilizes South Asian youth: “Social organizations are imperative to underscore the inclusive nature of the White House and the desire to completely reflect all of society. Obama is walking the talk.”Vinod K Shah, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), believes he came to the White House’s attention from his earlier communications with the administration on healthcare reforms: “I had written an elaborate letter to Obama about healthcare reforms and personally handed it to him when I was invited to meet him at an earlier occasion. Plus, I have been in Washington D.C. for 42 years so I have relationships with the Indian embassy.”Hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, seen here with New York Congressman Gary Ackerman, was enamored by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Indian inspired costume and banglesAfter recovering from the disbelief and excitement over being invited, many of them began focusing on their role as guests – what to wear and who to bring. There was the deliberation over the protocol: should one greet Prime Minister Singh and his wife with a Namaste or a handshake? Should one bring a bottle of wine or gift to the party? The questions were especially vexing for some of the community activist guests, who had never attended such a high profile event before.First-time invitees, like See-charran, say they were flummoxed by the invitation, which simply provided the time and venue of the event, but no additional details. Was it just a party or was she expected to also pitch her company? “I did think about policy issues and immigration reform before attending in case I got to talk to Obama or someone important from his administration,” says Seecharran. Deepa Iyer, of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and her father with Vice President Joe Biden.Some guests, such as Deepa Iyer, executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a civil and political rights organization advocating on behalf of South Asian Americans, had attended previous White House events, including the Diwali ceremony in October. She says, “I have engaged with the White House on healthcare, immigration and other issues that have been weighing in the South Asian community decisions. But this invitation was a welcome surprise as it was a fun event. It shows us that the Obama administration has a good understanding of the community and wants to engage with well rounded people who can connect on issues beyond business and entertainment.”Most invitees were accompanied by their spouses, since they were given the option to bring a guest. Some, like Iyer, took a parent or friend, in Iyer’s case, her father. Urvashi Vaid, a gay and lesbian activist, was accompanied by her long time partner, the comedian Kate Clinton.The guests had to confirm their attendance by calling back a number provided on the invitation card, which directed them to leave their name, accompanying guest’s name and social security numbers on an automated voice message system. “I didn’t have any more information like what time to show up or how early for the dinner. There was no person in the White House I could ask to clear my doubts. But a few days prior they put a phone recording on what time to come in and what gate to come to,” says Seecharran. Bhairavi Desai, of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “I went to Jackson Heights in Queens and had the outfit tailored to my size.”The guests had to arrange their own logistics. Most out-of-town invitees drove or flew down to Washington, D.C., and stayed at hotels. For this “black-tie” event the sari was the outfit of choice for Indian women. Many female invitees said that a sari was elegant, conservative and appropriate for the occasion; besides where else would they get the high profile opportunity to wear their best outfit? Some like Desai wore a churidar, “I went to Jackson Heights in Queens and had the outfit tailored to my size.”Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chats with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama prior to the state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and his wife, Mrs Gursharan Kaur, Nov. 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)Once the guests arrived at the South East gate of the White House, they had to wait in long lines, made bearable by the chance to share the company of celebrities, such as Steven Spielberg and Jhumpa Lahiri, who all had to endure the same wait. After their identifications were verified, they were made to pass through metal detectors. Staffers then hustled the guests into the White House, where they checked in their coats and were announced into the media room individually with their guest to a bevy of flashbulbs. They then moved to the East Room for a cocktail reception where they mingled with other guests.A waiter prepares to serve beverages in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)Next, they were ushered into the Blue Room, which, most agreed, was the evening’s highlight, where they were greeted in a receiving line by Pres. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Prime Minister Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur. The standard greeting from Obama to guests was: “Welcome to the White House. I hope you enjoy yourself. Thank you for the workyou do.” Most invitees, especially first-time visitors, said that they were too tongue-tied to respond with anything other than platitudes. But some managed to get in a political clap on the back or a dig. Progressive magazine reported that Vaid urged Obama to get tougher on the right wing. Iyer told the Obamas of her work to empower South Asians around the country on immigration and civil rights and thanked him for the invitation. Vishakha Desai, president of Asia Society, took the opportunity to invite the Obamas to Asia Society. “I’m sure they will follow-up,” she says. Maneesha Kelkar, director of Manavi, a domestic violence center for South Asians, says she thanked Obama for recognizing community activists, to which Obama responded, “You know I was an organizer too.”Seecharran was enamored by her encounter with First Lady Michelle Obama: “I was completely blown away. She was stunning and statuesque. She didn’t just possess physical beauty but had incredible warmth. She shook both my hands and said, ‘I’m so looking forward to getting to know you and your work.’ I thought I was going to pass out. I didn’t know I was so important.”Seecharran shared a table with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, but made a concerted effort to avoid policy talk, even though she had prepped herself: “I got a vibe that this was a party and a time to celebrate Indian accomplishments in the U.S.”The celebration reached a crescendo with Jennifer Hudson’s powerful vocals and a dance performance by the Bay Area Bhangra Empire, during which, several guests reported seeing even Prime Minister Singh tapping his feet. President Barack Obama meets with Indian American guests in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)Hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, a powerful Hillary Clinton booster, who had a dust up with the Obama campaign during the presidential election, attended the dinner as a guest of New York Congressman Gary Ackerman. Chatwal, who was also a guest at the 2000 Clinton state dinner for former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, says he was impressed at the Obama team’s effort to Indianize the event, includinga substantial vegetarian selection as well as bhangra performances and music by A.R. Rahman. He was equally enamored by Michelle Obama’s Indian-inspired gown (designed by Indian American fashion designer Naeem Khan) and “choodis” (bangles). Adds AAPI’s Shah: “It was a very unusual event. You felt good about yourself, India and Indo-U.S. relationships. I saw the warmth and mutual respect between the president and prime minister. People were made to feel comfortable so it gave the feeling not of being at a high profile event, but of being at a small get together of like minded people.”For some invitees the setup and ambience in the South Lawn was reminiscent of another time they had walked along the marble-tiled East Wing to greet a U.S. President and Indian Prime Minister. Asia Society’s Desai is among the few Indian American guests invited to all three state dinners – by Pres. Bill Clinton, Pres. George W. Bush and Pres. Obama – for Indian prime ministers during this decade. This time she dressed in a Banarasi brocade sari, which turned out to match Michelle Obama’s outfit. Desai reflected on the differences between the coveted dinners in terms of invitees, décor and food: “Everything was beautifully organized in Obama’s state banquet. There were touches of novel Indians and Indian Americans and this was reflected in the unusual invite extended to young community players. The entire décor and food was meticulous and appropriate. The Obama dinner expanded the notion of what it means to be American by including Indian Americans.” President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India walk down the Cross Hall as the official State Arrival ceremony begins in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)The Clinton dinner in 2000 for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, she says, was about numbers – a record 700 guests, the largest ever for a White House state dinner. The dinner had an exceptionally large Indian presence, prompting Clinton to chortle in his toast to Prime Minister Vajpayee: “There are more than one million Indians here in America now. And I think more than half of them are here tonight. And I might say, Prime Minister, the other half are disappointed that they’re not here.” But even so, according to Desai, the food and décor at the occasion was not as memorable. Bush’s dinner was relatively small, with fewer than 130 guests, comprising principally of major Republican fundraisers and political heavyweights.So what’s Desai’s secret to being invited thrice? “It’s not about the individual,” she says. “It’s about the institution. Asia Society has developed strong relationships with leaders in India as well as Democrats and Republican leaders in the U.S.”Narender Reddy, president of a real estate company and a pioneer fundraiser for the Republican Party in Georgia, was among those invited to Pres. Bush’s dinner. He didn’t attend Obama’s event, but pointed out several differences in the recent state dinners: “Pres. Clinton’s State dinner for Prime Minister Vajpayee was attended by more than 700 people and was held in a tent on the White House grounds, just like the recent dinner hosted by President Obama, which was attended by about 340 people. Whereas Pres. Bush’s state dinner was hosted in the East Room in a very formal setting with only about 135 invitees, including the president and the prime minister’s delegations. Even the entertainment, a jazz band from New Orleans, was held in a huge room adjacent to East Room. Since there were fewer invitees, as an invitee, I felt like I am special and belong to an exclusive club. I also had the opportunity to mingle with other dignitaries more closely.”The intimate ambience allowed Reddy to meet and chat with Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He recalls: “Rice was very nice to chat with. She enquired about my children and what their plans are for a career. Since I had met the president on several occasions in the past, I had a face recognition bond with Pres. Bush who introduced me, as ‘my friend Narender from Georgia’ to Prime Minister Singh. First Lady Michelle Obama wore an Indian inspired gown designed by Indian American Naeem Khan at the state dinner.Prime Minister Singh was very formal, but cordial. I thanked him for implementing the economic reforms in India. I spoke to him for a long time about the problem of excess fluoride in the drinking water of my native place Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh and urged him to help. He was gracious enough to say that he would do something to help the people of Nalgonda. He asked me how long I’ve been living in America and when I replied that I’ve been here for the past 24 years, he appreciated that I was still think about helping my native place.”Such face recognition or verbal exchanges were out of the question for the large crowd of invitees at Obama’s dinner. Most guests had little opportunity other than to exchange pleasantries with Pres. Obama or Prime Minister Singh. However, NYTWA’s Desai recalls being prompted by an attorney friend of Obama’s to approach the president, saying he was open to such talk. So Desai with her guest trotted up to Pres. Obama during dinner to invite him to a taxi tour of New York City, “We were the only non White House people to walk up to Obama.” Obama responded that he would take up their offer once he was out of office, as the secret service would not permit such a visit while he was president. “It was amazing,” says Desai. “Obama was friendly, as was everyone else. It seemed like the more power an official had, the more approachable they were.”As the high profile controversy surrounding the Virginia party crashers exposed, the dinner was not without its glitches. A common complaint was the long wait, as much as an hour for some guests, in the cold and rain outside the South East gate that many guests, including a smattering of who’s-who of American society, had to endure. Some excited attendees saw a silver lining in that too, noting that the egalitarian process was a valuable humbling experience for great writers, directors and congressmen, as well as their opportunity to hobnob with them.Another frequent complaint, one that likely contributed to the gate crashing incident, was just how disengaged the Office of Social Secretary and the Office of Public Engagement seemed from the most important social event of the new administration. The guests said the invitation process permitted them no human contact, even to seek information or clarification; indeed most didn’t even knew who or which office was responsible for organizing the White House event. By contrast, Reddy recalls receiving a call from the Bush White House several weeks ahead of the dinner, asking him to keep himself available for the state dinner, for which the invitation was being sent in the mail. Indian dancers perform at the State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and his wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, Nov. 24, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) There was also confusion and bitterness over the ceremonial reception held in the morning of the state banquet. Several of the dinner guests had been invited to the arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Singh and his wife Kaur at the White House. Because of bad weather, however, the event was moved indoors from the South Lawn to the East Room, severely limiting capacity. Several invitees, including some who had flown in from places as distant as Chicago or California, were not informed of the last minute switch and were turned away at the White House gates. Guests, such as Seecharran, who was returning for the evening dinner, took it in stride, but many others, who weren’t guests at the banquet, were disgruntled and disappointed.Then, of course, there were the notorious Salahis, who crashed the event. How did the invitees feel about the gate crashers? Says Seecharran, “I did notice Michaele Salahi. I didn’t know who she was then, but it was difficult to miss a tall, blonde and loud woman in a red ghaghra showing her belly.”Warts and all, for the Indian American invitees, the state dinner was a memorable event – an”experience to never forget,” in the word’s of SAALT’s Iyer – distinctive especially for the recognition of so many second generation community activists. Says Manavi’s Kelkar: “I felt really honored since this was such an enormous mark of recognition on a national level for Manavi since only 4-5 non-profits were invited. Since our jobs are not like corporate jobs where we have paid vacations and bonuses, and we deal with such sad and lonely cases stories daily, this helps mobilize and encourage us.”(Additional reporting contributed by Achal Mehra) 60 Years of State Dinners for Indian LeadersOctober 1949Harry S. TrumanThe state dinner for India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was held at Blair House, the government guest house across the street from the White House, which was undergoing repairs. Prime Minister Nehru and daughter Indira Gandhi with the Kennedys in 1963 December 1956Dwight D. EisenhowerPres. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie hosted Prime Minister Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi to a small private family lunch.November 1961John F. KennedyThe small, black-tie event by Pres. Kennedy for Prime Minister Nehru was limited to just 14 guests.June 1963John F. KennedyPres. Kennedy’s lavish state dinner for Indian President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan featured a live orchestra performance for the first time at the White House. March 1966Lyndon B. JohnsonPres. Johnson hosted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the first of three state dinners of her tenure.November 1971Richard NixonPres. Nixon hosted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and 100 guests.July 1982Ronald ReaganPres. Reagan hosted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for her third White House dinner.June 1985Ronald ReaganPres. Reagan toasted Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded his mother, at an elaborate White House event. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Ambassador to the United States and Nehru’s sister, Vijaya Pandit, and Pres. Harry S. Truman, right, wave from an automobile as they leave National Airport in Washington on Oct. 11, 1949. September 2000Bill ClintonPres. Clinton’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee featured 700 guests, the largest state dinner in White House history.July 2005George W. BushPres. Bush’s state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was a decidedly smaller event with 128 guests.November 2009Barack ObamaPres. Obama’s official dinner for Prime Minister Singh hosted 336 guests. Related Items
Floyd Mayweather outclassed mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor in their crossover bout on Saturday to secure a final victory in an illustrious career that ended with an unmatched 50-0 record.The 10th round technical knockout not only enabled Mayweather depart boxing on a winning note but allowed the American to pull clear of heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 mark for most wins.The 40-year-old was lured out of a near two-year retirement for the fight and a shot at the record with what could amount to a $200 million payday .If early estimations are anything to go by, Money earned at least Rs 37.7 lakh ($59,000) per second during his record-breaking bout with the Irishman. Mayweather had a guaranteed purse of around Rs. 640 crore ($100 million). On top of that, he will earn money from foreign sales, merchendise sales as well as pay-per-view receipts.50 – 0- Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) August 27, 2017But Mayweather was adamant that no amount of money would tempt him back into the ring once more.”Rocky Marciano is a legend and I look forward to going into the Hall of Fame one day,” Mayweather said in a post-fight interview. “This was my last fight tonight. For sure.”I didn’t have to come back.”We do foolish things sometimes but I am not a dam fool. If I see an opportunity to make $300 million in 36 minutes why not. I had to do.”But this is the last one, you have my word on it.”Reuters PhotoThe victory over McGregor was the culmination of a 21-year journey that took Mayweather from the grit and grime of Grand Rapids, Michigan to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, and from childhood poverty to a billionaire lifestyle.advertisementIf the pay-per-view projections are accurate and Saturday’s fight becomes the most lucrative of all time, Mayweather will pocket $200 million to put him among the world’s highest paid athletes like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.”I come from poverty, I come from the inner city,” explained Mayweather. “Now when I get with my billionaire buddies, I don’t get with them and say ‘I am happy to hang in your house’ or ‘I’m happy to ride in your jet’.”I say ‘teach me how you did it so I can have the same thing’.”Now the student is ready to become the teacher with Mayweather saying the next chapter of his life will be as a trainer, like the father who taught him.Along with his real estate investments and Las Vegas gentlemen’s clubs, he will spend time focusing on his boxing business and uncovering the next Floyd Mayweather to groom for super stardom.”I just want to help young fighters,” he added. “My dad is a trainer he taught me the sport. Everything he taught me from day one is still with me.”Trainers help make fighters better and teach fighters about becoming a superstar, not just in the ring but outside.”Hopefully I can find the next Floyd Mayweather.” Historic! #MayweatherMcGregor pic.twitter.com/D3lsvmh6Yt- UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) August 27, 2017History has been made. 50-0! #MayweatherMcGregor pic.twitter.com/mBKtbeNxHt- MayweatherPromotions (@MayweatherPromo) August 27, 2017(With inputs from Reuters)
New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) The Indian Olympic Association today rejected the government’s proposal to relax Asian Games selection norms for some specific sports, saying the Sports Ministry’s concerns have already been addressed while picking the contingent earlier this month. The development comes after the ministry, on July 18, had urged the IOA to relax selection norms in specific cases concerning athletes or sports who/which could not qualify due to lack of exposure or non-participation in ranking events but have a strong chance of either winning a medal or finishing in top four. But the IOA stuck to its earlier criteria of picking athletes — top six in individual events and top eight in team sports — after a meeting of its Core Committee and Legal Committee. “In the letter dated 18.07.2018, the Ministry has asked IOA to find out if any of the athletes or team who could not qualify among top 6 in individual athlete and top 8 in the team to examine whether they can come in top 4 in the Asian Games,” IOA president Narinder Batra said in a letter written to the Sports Secretary in response to the earlier missive of the ministry. “The Core Committee and legal committee of the IOA met today and after detailed discussions and having done complete exercise and those who met the criteria of top 6 and top 8 were accordingly considered and their names have already been forwarded,” Batra added. A top official of the IOA said that it has discussed the ministry’s proposal in detail before deciding not to accept it as all suggestions of the ministry are already covered in the existing criteria.advertisement “We have looked into the ministry’s proposal whether there can be athletes or teams who otherwise could not be selected on the basis of IOA’s criteria but have a chance to finish in top four. We have looked into all the sports and we felt that out criteria have covered all the sports,” the top official told PTI. “Moreover, our criteria of top 6 in individual events and top 8 for team events are more lenient than the top four as suggested by the ministry and there is no need to change these. So, we decided not to consider the proposal of the ministry.” It is learnt that 541 athletes have been named on the basis of the IOA’s criteria, which is 17 more than 524 announced earlier this month. The most notable inclusion is the 24-member bridge team (15 men and nine women) while sports climbing, which was not included in the initial 524, will have three members in the Indian contingent. In the initial list, there were 22 from Pencak Silat, but IOA later dropped 20 from the team, alleging fake credentials. That left only two athletes (all women), but the IOA today added one member — a male athlete — in the Pencak Silat team. The IOA is expected to submit the list of the contingent (both athletes and officials) in a day or two after finalising the number of officials. It is learnt that the IOA is likely to recommend more than 200 officials, including the NOC officials like the chef-de-mission and his four deputies and other support staff. The IOA may also recommend some extra officials to be sent on the cost of the federations. Earlier, the sports ministry had urged the IOA to relax selection norms in specific cases “in the larger interest of sports and sportspersons” after concerns were raised by various athletes and teams that have missed the cut. The ministry said the Olympic body, in consultation with particular federations, may reassess the earlier decision on sending entries if those ineligible disciplines have performed consistently well for six months but could not make it due to lack of exposure and at the same time have a strong chance of finishing in the top four. “This Ministry has framed those guidelines for sending entries of athletes/teams for participation in multidisciplinary events like the Asian Games (on March 10, 2015). However, of late, there has been concerns raised from various quarters … that many deserving sportspersons/teams are not able to participate due to their inability to meet the above guidelines because of various reasons, inter-alia, due to less exposure in tournaments, restrictive spread, etc,” the Ministry had said in the letter. “Accordingly, a view has emerged in this Ministry that specific relaxation of the norms prescribed may be considered by this Ministry purely on merits to allow sending of entries of teams/athletes for such sports disciplines which are otherwise not eligible for participation in the Asian Games, 2018, to be held in Indonesia in the larger interest of sports and sportspersons,” it had added.advertisement Official sources in the ministry had said that the proposal was made as the government wanted performing athletes to take part in the Asian Games with an eye on maximising the medal tally at the quadrennial event. “But the judgement is left to the IOA and the NSFs,” government sources have said. PTI PDS AHAH
Hopes are pinned on a born-again West Indies to relive their glory days but skipper Jason Holder says the upcoming World Cup is “a case of creating our own legacy”.Windies have a proud history at the World Cup, winning the first two editions of the tournament and making the final of the third. After struggling for nearly two decades, a few stunning wins against England recently lifted their spirits.”Not personally,” Holder told the ICC when asked if he feels pressurised to re-establish their dominance, adding, “It’s just a case of us creating our own legacy.”We obviously know our history what the past players have done. We will take it stage by stage, step by step, not get too far ahead of ourselves.”The presence of big players such as Andre Russell and Chris Gayle have helped, acknowledged the 27-year-old skipper.”Guys like Andre Russell make it easy for me, they tend to give a lot of support. I can’t thank them enough for the support they have given me, I know they continue to rally behind me.”It’s important for us to continue to build as a group. It’s a relatively young side and we have got one or two experienced heads in the cam it’s a good mix.”He has rated hosts England as the favourites in the showpiece. “England are the number one side in the world for good reason, you now they are playing some very good cricket, lot of hype around them, they have obviously got the home advantage.advertisement”I guess got to give them respect being the number side in the world … All teams are practically equally matched, they are well-balanced sides, sides that can defeat anyone on any particular day.”We have just got to take it game by game, give everyone the respect they deserve and we will have to execute our plans,” Holder said.”It’s a dream,” opener Evin Lewis was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council’s website when asked about the prospect of West Indies lifting the title.”Everyone will be glad to be playing in the World Cup. When we won the T20 World Cup in 2016, it was a great feeling, just looking forward to the fifty-over World Cup this year. Hopefully, we can get over the line.”All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, whose heroics won West Indies the World T20 title in 2016, echoed those sentiments.”Being here with the team, preparing for the World Cup means a lot to me,” he said.”As I always say, putting on the West Indies shirt is always a great feeling and a privilege to do it on the world stage, with the ten best teams fighting it out for the trophy, is something special.Also Read | ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Jason Roy hopeful of England posting a 500-run totalAlso Watch:
MLS Beckham partner ‘fears’ Miami stadium deal won’t get done Seth Vertelney Last updated 1 year ago 06:34 11/29/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images MLS The project’s lead negotiator has expressed pessimism despite his group making a major breakthrough earlier in the year David Beckham’s business partner Tim Leiweke says he fears that a stadium deal in Miami won’t get done. Beckham is part of an ownership group looking to secure a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami, a goal that has thus far proven elusive. All the latest football odds Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player MLS commissioner Don Garber has insisted that Beckham’s group must have a viable stadium plan in place before the league awards Miami an expansion franchise. Beckham appeared to make a breakthrough in June, winning a court battle to purchase the land for a 25,000-sea stadium, with Miami-Dade County sanctioning a $9 million deal.However, speaking to the Toronto Sun, Leiweke, who has been serving as the Beckham group’s chief negotiator, expressed his concerns about a deal that is still not over the finish line. “I hope it gets done, but it’s not done,” Leiweke said. “I have my fears as to whether it’s going to get done, because things like this drag on this long that’s always tough on a process. But for David I hope he lands somewhere.”Leiweke joined Beckham’s investment group in 2015, one year after the former LA Galaxy star announced he was taking up a $25 million option to buy an expansion team, which was included in his original MLS contact. “It would be unfortunate for the league to not honor the job he [Beckham] did and the decision he made,” Leiweke added. “His best work would still be ahead of us if we could figure out a way to get him involved with a franchise.“But our company has a lot of different projects. I haven’t spent a lot of time on Miami lately so I’m not sure if that gets done. I hope it does for David’s sake.”The current stadium site is the Beckham group’s fourth attempt at securing a venue for the potential team, after failing to seal a deal at three previous locations.
Geraint Thomas has admitted the yellow jersey is in his grasp after a thrilling final stage in the Pyrenees – and insisted that if he wins his first Tour de France it will have been done the right way. Geraint Thomas climbs final mountain and closes on Tour de France glory Support The Guardian Share on Facebook … 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. Reuse this content Since you’re here… Team Ineos Share on LinkedIn Topics Tour de France 2018 Share on Messenger Saturday’s time trial route is just 31km. Share on Twitter When asked what he would say to a cynical public who had been fooled by dopers and cyclists using TUEs to gain an advantage too many times in the sport’s past, the Welshman promised he could be trusted. “I do it the right way and the team does it the right way,” he said. “We train super hard. There is nothing I can do to prove it but it will stand the test of time.”Thomas, who extended his lead over the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin by 2min 5sec by finishing second behind Primoz Roglic in the 200.5km stage from Lourdes to Laruns, said the biggest factor in his success had been the strength of Team Sky’s squad.“The team here is phenomenally strong,” he said. “We have myself, Froomey, Egan Bernal – the brightest talent in a long time – and Luke Rowe, who is super strong in the classics. It is not just having good legs but good heads. There is nothing more to say. I work super hard and I’ve had some bad luck but it’s nice to know that the work is paying off.”Thomas also said he was is now confident of doing well in Saturday’s 31km time trial after what he called “ticking off a big day”.“Obviously it comes down to the time trial but I can take confidence from how I am riding,” he said. “Being two minutes ahead is certainly better than being two minutes behind. It should be enough but we will see.” news Share on Pinterest Tour de France Cycling Share via Email Geraint Thomas Share on WhatsApp Read more However Thomas admitted he was tired after such a draining stage. “It’s good to get through that day,” he added. “We knew we could come under a lot of pressure but the boys were really good. I was able to respond to the attacks and the descent was fast. I never thought I was going to get dropped but it was hard for sure. I had to make Dumoulin do everything. It’s the first time I have seen him get a bit tired.”• This article was amended on 28 July 2018 because an earlier version misspelled Egan Bernal as Egan Barnel.
EVANSTON, IL – SEPTEMBER 29: A general view of Ryan Field as the Northwestern Wildcats take on the Indiana Hoosiers on September 29, 2012 in Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern defeated Indiana 44-29. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)The Big Ten announced earlier today some scheduling news for the 2019 college football season.Ohio State and Northwestern are set to meet in a Big Ten Championship Game rematch on Friday, Oct. 18 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.The Big Ten has had a couple of Friday night games over the last two years and it seems like the conference is going to continue to have them.Northwestern’s head coach, Pat Fitzgerald, doesn’t like it.“This one was out of our control,” Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday. “Didn’t get a vote on this. I understand why we’re doing this, but it does not make me happy. I still fundamentally believe that Fridays are for high school football.”People in Ohio aren’t too happy, either.One of the most-prominent figures in the Ohio high school football world has called out the Big Ten for having a big Friday night game.Sorry to hear this. Please leave Friday nights to HS Football. Ohio State’s 2019 Game at Northwestern to Be Played on Friday Night, Per Report | Eleven Warriors https://t.co/1tsn0C8fYC— Jerry Snodgrass (@Jerry_Snodgrass) December 18, 2018As long as the TV money is there, though, the Friday night games are probably going to continue to happen.
APTN National NewsIt was a time of celebration in Toronto last night as the Aboriginal business community came together from across the country to honour two trail blazers.The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business inducted two business men into the Canadian Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.APTN National News reporter Donna Smith was there.
Rabat – Dislog, the Moroccan logistics specialist, has signed three distribution contracts worth MAD 200 million with Beiersdorf, Coty and Berkshire Hathaway.The Moroccan logistics firm, Dislog, has won three contracts with an estimated value of MAD 200 million (USD 20 million) in additional turnover. The first contract gives Dislog exclusive rights to distribute the Duracell battery brand, owned by the American conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, across the Moroccan territory.According to the French-language news source, Telquel, the second contract binds Dislog with the New York based beauty products manufacturer, Coty. The Moroccan firm will distribute the two brands of the conglomerate, Wella and Koleston. Beiersdorf, a German manufacturer of personal-care products and pressure-sensitive adhesives signed the third contract with Dislog. Under this contract, the Moroccan distributer will have the rights to distribute personal-care products of brands such as Nivea, Hansaplast and Labello.Mehdi Bouamrani, Dislog’s Chief Executive Officer stated in a communiqué released December 2:“We are honored by the trust of our new partners. These partnerships will enable Dislog Group to develop an additional turnover of 150 to 200 million dirhams and create more than 30 jobs of sellers, developers, merchandizers and logisticians. “The group is present in Morocco through its two affiliates, Dislog Distribution and Logistics and Comunivers. Between these two affiliates, the group has a massive distribution network of 80,000 retailers, 800 wholesalers, not to mention 25,000 square meters of storage capacity in Morocco and elsewhere.
Rabat – Al Hoceima’s Court of Appeal sentenced on Sept. 12 Hamid El Mehdaoui, the director of news site Badil, to one year in prison.In a hearing that lasted over four hours, El Mehdaoui was prosecuted for “inciting citizens to break the law” and “participation in the organization of a prohibited demonstration,” while the other charges against him were dropped.Initially, the Al Hoceima court had sentenced El Mehdaoui to three months of prison and a fine of MAD 20,000, after a 15-hour trial on July 25. On July 20, the day of a banned mass march in Al Hoceima calling for the release of detained Rif activists, police arrested the journalist and Badil editor-in-chief for “inciting for participation in a banned protest” and “breaking the law through speeches and shouting in public places.”The night before his arrest, El Mehdaoui appeared in a video talking to a group of people in Al Hoceima and criticizing the government for arresting and prosecuting activists from Hirak protest movement in the Rif region.In the statement announcing El Mehdaoui’s arrest, the city’s public prosecutor said that the journalist’s speech was “incompatible with journalism as a profession dealing with collecting information and facts or investigating them in a professional way in order to write or make media material,” according to the definition of journalism in Moroccan press code.The journalist is known for his videos shared on social media, in which he criticizes the government.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $2.51 billion.The Philadelphia-based company said it had net income of 55 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for pretax expenses, were 64 cents per share.The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 62 cents per share.The cable provider posted revenue of $27.85 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $25.74 billion.Comcast shares have increased roughly 3 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 5 per cent. The stock has decreased 18 per cent in the last 12 months._____This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CMCSA at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CMCSAThe Associated Press
A group that advises activist shareholders hopes a new report will do for Indigenous issues what has already been done for environmental causes — put them on the boardroom table.“The purpose is to start to delve into the issue of the business role in reconciliation and where investors fit in that,” said Delaney Greig, author of the report for SHARE Canada.SHARE is a non-profit research agency that advises institutional investors on the social responsibility performance of potential investments. It serves 30 such Canadian investors with more than $14 billion in assets under management, including churches, universities and foundations.Information on environmental performance is becoming routine disclosure for more businesses all the time, said Greig. She looked into how many companies take the same approach to reporting on Aboriginal issues such as leadership, employment, contracting, training, rights and community investment.The answer is, not many.“Most of the rating agencies and data sources investors can get don’t even include indicators on Indigenous issues,” said Greig.She sent out questionnaires to 173 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in eight different sectors. She found that while many companies tout upbeat stories — whether it be a successful Indigenous employee or a smooth-running partnership with an Aboriginal community — few report those interactions with anything like the rigour ethical investors need.The most common form of reporting was highlighting a company’s investment in an Aboriginal community, but even then less than one-third of companies systematically made such statements.Spending money in those communities can be problematic without more context, the report says.“Although these contributions and initiatives can be beneficial, they are often short-term, ad hoc and self-interested.”About one-fifth of companies had systematic means of reporting on Aboriginal employment or contracting with Aboriginal businesses.Five per cent reported on Indigenous presence in senior or management roles. Out of all companies surveyed, only one financial company, one energy company and three mining companies committed to Aboriginal communities’ right to free, prior and informed consent to new projects.Greig acknowledged corporate reporting on Aboriginal issues doesn’t create the same liability issues as environmental reports do.“There are a number of risks, from legal to operational delays. But at the same time, it’s not just the risks but the opportunities that building stronger relationships and having reliable partners (can create).”She also acknowledged that some of the issues her report discusses, such as consent, are still open questions in the Canadian legal system.The Supreme Court has repeatedly grappled with issues of consultation and consent. Recent examples came Wednesday with high court decisions on an Inuit challenge of seismic testing off Baffin Island and changes to a pipeline opposed by the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation in southwestern Ontario.Greig noted that the 2015 report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded business has a role to play.“Industry and business play an extremely significant role in how the economic, social, and cultural aspects of reconciliation are addressed, including the extent to which opportunities and benefits are truly shared with Indigenous peoples,” the report said.Greig said she hopes her findings will be the first step toward creating a transparent, measurable benchmark to assess a company’s treatment of Indigenous people.“Inevitably, we’ll get there. But it’s a rocky road.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960
He was arrested over the alleged misuse of Government vehicles when he was a Minister. (Colombo Gazette) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa was further remanded till February 7 after he was produced in court today.Weerawansa was arrested recently by the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID).
DENVER — Colorado took the unusual step of inviting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to downgrade the air quality rating of the state’s biggest population centre, and not everyone thinks that was a good idea.The EPA will hold a Friday hearing on whether to lower the ozone status of Denver and eight other northern Colorado counties from “moderate” to “serious.” That would force the state to work harder to reduce harmful pollution but also bring tougher and costly regulations for businesses.The agency acted after Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said in March that Colorado would no longer ask for an exemption from EPA standards by claiming some of the pollution was drifting into the state from elsewhere.It’s time to stop “sugar-coating” Colorado’s air problems, he said last month. “Moving to ‘serious’ status finally helps us stop sweeping our air quality crisis under the rug and gives us additional tools to move urgently to make our air cleaner,” he said.But business groups say the state’s own data shows Colorado would meet EPA standards if not for pollution from other states and even other continents. Lowering the air rating would hurt the economy by increasing the cost of doing business, they say.“We’re talking about tens of millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs,” said Paul Seby, an attorney representing Defend Colorado, which advocates for business and industry on state and federal regulation.Denver and the northern Colorado urban corridor have struggled to meet EPA ozone standards for 15 years. Ground-level ozone can aggravate asthma and contribute to early deaths from respiratory disease. It’s the main component of smog, and it’s created from pollution emitted by vehicles, industries, solvents and other sources.Clean-air advocates welcomed Polis’ decision to pull the state’s request for an exemption.“It’s a big deal,” said Christine Berg, Colorado field consultant for Moms Clean Air Force. “We know ozone pollution is particularly harmful for children.”But Seby said Polis’ decision was based on politics, not facts.Polis’ predecessor, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper — who ended his presidential bid last month and is now running for the U.S. Senate — had asked for the exemption based on data showing that pollution elsewhere and forest fire smoke from other states had pushed Colorado over the limit, Seby said.“Gov. Polis came into office and the exact opposite came about,” Seby said. “The data didn’t change, the science didn’t change — except for the politics.”Seby said hundreds of businesses and institutions could be affected if Colorado’s air rating is downgraded: oil and gas drilling, refineries, large breweries, print shops, wastewater treatment plants and hospitals.Anna Unruh, an air quality consultant for Trinity Consultants, which helps businesses get environmental permits and comply with regulations, agreed that a lower rating would complicate life for businesses and industry.Getting permits could take longer, she said. Expansion projects that might not have needed permits before would be required to get them now. More businesses would have to devote employee time to monitoring and reporting on their pollution.“Permitting definitely will get more difficult,” she said.In addition to Denver, counties affected by the change are Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld.___Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP.Dan Elliott, The Associated Press
Struggling wireless company Mobilicity gets court-approved creditor protection by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 30, 2013 7:15 pm MDT Small wireless carrier Mobilicity says it has been granted creditor protection by the courts while awaiting a ruling from Industry Canada on an unspecified transaction.Mobilicity, which has been looking for a buyer, said Monday that creditor protection gives it the necessary time and financing to complete the transaction now before the federal body for review and approval.The Toronto company, which launched in 2010, provided no details about the transaction, but said it was in the best interests of its stakeholders.Meanwhile, it says it will be business as usual for the company’s 250,000 cellphone customers.“There are no changes to Mobilicity’s network and Mobilicity continues to honour prepayment plans for its customers,” the company said in a statement.“Phone service continues to work as it always has and Mobilicity’s dealer network is open for business.”One of Canada’s major carriers, Telus (TSX:T), tried to buy Mobilicity for $380 million last spring. However, the transaction was rejected by Industry Canada because the small company’s licence for spectrum — radio waves needed to operate cellphones — doesn’t expire until next year.It was also rumoured that U.S. giant Verizon was taking a look at Mobilicity and another of Canada’s small telecoms, Wind Mobile, but Verizon said later said it was taking a pass on the Canadian wireless market.The majority owner of Wind Mobile, Dutch-headquartered VimpelCom, has said it wants to sell its 65 per cent stake in the company, which has more than 600,000 wireless customers.Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose says he assumes Telus is trying to buy Mobilicity again and the question is whether it will be allowed to do so when Mobilicity’s spectrum licence expires in February.“Given the government’s commitment to four wireless carriers in every market despite limited bidding interest for the 700 MHz auction in January, we assume that the government does not want to allow an incumbent to buy Mobilicity,” Ghose said in a research note.He noted that Mobilicity isn’t on the initial bidders list for the auction next January and there aren’t any foreign bidders either.“We wonder why the government would want to regulate wireless when many areas of the economy seem less competitive, including broadband. According to the CRTC’s own studies, wireless prices are not particularly high in Canada relative to other countries.”A total of 15 Canadian participants — including Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell (TSX:BCE) and Telus — put down a refundable, five per cent deposit for the Jan. 14 auction, according to the recently released list by Industry Canada. Together those three companies dominate the Canadian markets with combined 25 million customersRegional players included Quebecor’s Videotron (TSX:QBR.B) in Quebec, MTS Inc. (TSX:MBT) in Manitoba, Saskatchewan Telecommunications and Bragg Communications, which operates EastLink in Atlantic Canada.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Get ready for bacon like you’ve never eaten, drunk or worn it before.Bacon milkshakes. Chocolate-covered bacon shaped like roses. Bacon-flavoured toothpaste, dental floss and lip balm. Bacon bourbon, margaritas, beer and vodka. Bacon ice cream sundaes. A BLT sandwich with a full pound of bacon.They’re all on the menu this week as one Atlantic City casino stretches the bounds of good taste and cardiovascular health with Bacon Week. The festival at the Tropicana Casino and Resort gives new meaning to the term “pigging out.”The idea of a bacon festival is not as far-fetched as it might sound. Americans eat about 1.5 billion pounds of bacon a year, according to the National Pork Board. And the website bacontoday.com counted nearly 30 bacon festivals around the country from late April through December 2013, many of whose tickets sold out in minutes.“Bacon is like heaven,” said Nadina Fornia, of Egg Harbor Township. “If you’re going to die, die with bacon on your lips and a BLT in each hand.”She was drawn to the casino Monday by the promise of bacon in far-out forms, including milkshakes and beer (not in the same glass, thankfully.) She also heard about the bacon-infused vodka.“That is my quest today,” she said.Fornia tried a bacon bloody Mary mixed with a smoky bacon beer. Despite the overwhelming salty taste and the small strip of bacon floating in the glass, it tasted mostly like sharp tomato juice, she said.Nearby were chocolate covered pretzels with crumbled bacon bits; chocolate-drizzled potato chips with bacon, two kinds of pasta dishes with bacon, bacon cupcakes, and bacon wrapped around a fake green stem to form roses, which were then dipped in chocolate.“The first taste is chocolatey, then it’s all bacon,” said Melissa Ehrke, of Egg Harbor Township. “I was a little surprised I liked it, ’cause I was afraid to try it. It’s that whole sweet and salty thing.”While bacon-flavoured grooming items are sold at festivals around the nation, they were encountering some skepticism at the Tropicana this week.“There are people that are just crazy for bacon,” said Denise McGrath, of Neptune City. “But bacon toothpaste or floss? I’m not that crazy.”James Sanders, of New York City, was in heaven trying as many free samples of bacon-flavoured items as he could get his hands on.“I love me some bacon!” he exclaimed between bites of … something. “I don’t even know what this is, but it’s got bacon in it. And it’s good!”Sanders said eating bacon is a multilayered experience.“You keep chewing it and chewing it, and the flavour comes out the more you chew on it,” he said. “And then you get to the fat and that floods into your mouth. I just love it.”Carrie Jorgenson and her husband, Mike, were downing the bacon bloody Mary beer concoctions, while channeling celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.“I love pork. All things pork,” she said. “That’s what Emeril used to say, that pork fat rules, and it does.”___Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC At NJ casino’s Bacon Week, you can eat it, drink it – and even brush your teeth with it by Wayne Parry, The Associated Press Posted Feb 11, 2014 8:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email James Sanders, of New York, eats a variety of bacon sandwich during the Bacon Week festival Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at the Tropicana Casino and resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The casino’s Bacon Week festival includes unusual offerings like bacon milk shakes, bacon cupcakes, bacon bloody Marys, beer, vodka and bourbon, and even bacon-flavored toothpaste, dental floss and lip balm. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Don’t expect the province to cut business taxes here following Donald Trump’s election.Premier Rachel Notley believes Alberta’s business tax system is just fine the way it is, even if President-Elect Donald Trump decides to cut taxes south of the border.“Even with our carbon levy fully implemented — which of course it hasn’t even been implemented yet — but even when it is, in Alberta we enjoy a $7-billion a year tax advantage over the next lowest tax province in the country. So, we retain our competitive advantage,” she said.Notley says Canada’s health care system is also attractive to business owners as costs for medical insurance are much lower here than in America. Rachel Notley – June 9 2016, Calgary (Lucas Meyer, 660 NEWS) by Mike Tarasko Posted Nov 15, 2016 7:12 am MDT Trump presidency won’t inspire cuts to Alberta business taxes: Notley
Ms. Cox was killed this past Thursday in an attack in her district of northern England after meeting with constituents, a few days ahead of a referendum on whether the United Kingdom (UK) should stay or leave the European Union. A Member of Parliament since 2015, she had worked in New York between 2007 and 2008 as head of Oxfam’s international humanitarian campaigns. Mr. Eliasson recounted that last night, he talked to Joanne Nichols, one of Ms. Cox’s long-time friends and colleagues from Oxfam, having served together in London and Brussels. “Joanne told me about Jo’s generosity and warmth. She said her smile melted everybody. Her sense of humour broke ice and transformed tense situations into real conversations, a real skill. Her humanity and respect for all human beings, and their dignity and equal value permeated and informed everything she did,” Mr. Eliasson said. “In this moment of grief, anger and frustration for many of us, let us ask ourselves what we can do to best honour Jo Cox and her life,” he added. The Deputy Secretary-General called for standing behind the values and principles that Ms. Cox lived for, which he said are “remarkably close” to the UN Charter. “Let us be energized by Jo’s courage and Jo’s commitment for a common humanity. Let us take actions in her spirit. And let us mobilize all good forces around the convictions we know Jo embraced,” he stressed. Participants at today’s ceremony included Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the UN, who read a statement from US President Barack Obama. Other tribute events are taking place today around the world. Hundreds of people gathered at a ceremony this morning in a courtyard at the New York headquarters of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in front of 42 white roses to mark the birthday of Ms. Cox. “That we all gather here today at the UN is a tribute to Jo, and is a sign of how profoundly she touched our hearts,” said Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. “But also of how strongly her death has reminded us of standing up for values and principles that unite us – not divide us – in today’s deeply troubled world,” he added. Noting that the world was “shocked and saddened when Jo was taken away from us under the most brutal circumstances a few days ago,” Mr. Eliasson said thoughts and prayers are now with Ms. Cox’s husband, Brendan, and her two young children. “‘There is more that unites us than divides us.’ These words from Jo are now spread around the world. So are Brendan’s words, saying: ‘Hate does not have a creed, race or religion – it is poisonous,’” the Deputy Secretary-General said. UNIFEED-UNTV screen capture of Jo Cox
When Captain Eric Lubbock was shot down over Belgium in 1917 his grief stricken mother Lady Avebury commissioned a touching memorial in the shape of his plane to stand forever in the graveyard of her family estate.But it has taken a decades long fight to restore the memorial to its rightful place after corporate vandalism led to it being broken up and lost.At one stage the Avebury family were even forced to spend £8,000 buying it back from the stonemason’s yard where it had eventually ended up.Now the memorial to Captain Lubbock – who before his death had been awarded the Military Cross for “conspicuous gallantry and skill” – has been granted listed status to ensure its protection for future generations.It is one of 14 war memorials dedicated to British airmen from the First and Second World Wars being listed by Historic England on Wednesday to mark the centenary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.They also include a memorial to Britain’s most decorated airman, who shot down 57 enemy aircraft, and the first British pilot to shoot down a German Zeppelin airship. 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. Cpt. Lubbock, who had been awarded the Military Cross before his death, was shot down over Belgium in 1917 His mother Alice commissioned his memorial to be erected in the family burial ground on the Avebury estate at High Elms, Bromley, where it stood near the graves of his brother and brother-in-law, also lost in the Great War..During the 1930s the family was forced to sell the estate, which became the responsibility of Kent County Council, later transferring to Bromley Council.In 1981 the Avebury family graveyard was broken up, several gravestones destroyed, and the rest moved into the grounds of the nearby St Giles’ Church.It was at this point that the Lubbock memorial went missing, apparently carted off by somebody with access to the graveyard who thought they could sell such an unusual stone figure for cash.The memorial was only re-discovered by pure chance, when a member of the Avebury family spotting it adorning the entrance of a stone mason’s yard near Hungerford, Wiltshire, several years later.Lyulph Lubbock, 5th Baron of Avebury, said: “They were just passing and saw it advertising the stonemason’s services at the entrance to the yard. The mason wouldn’t say how he got hold of it and refused to give it back. In the end my father had to buy it back at auction for £8,000.” The memorial was placed in the grounds of the Avebury’s family’s walled kitchen garden, now part of Bromley Council’s visitor centre at High Elms Country Park, where it was reconsecrated in 2010. Cpt. Lubbock, who flew with the Royal flying Corps, the predecessor of the RAF, was shot down in his Sopwith Camel bi-plane over Belgium on 11 March 1917. Captain Lubbock was awarded the Military Cross after shooting down a German Albatross plane on 25 October 1915.Also being newly listed is the McCudden War Memorial in Chatham, dedicated to the four McCudden brothers – Royal Flying Corps pilots William, James and John and Royal Air Force test flight engineer Maurice.James McCudden shot down 57 enemy aircraft and became the most decorated British pilot of the First World War, with medals for bravery including the Victoria Cross – one of 11 awarded to the Royal Flying Corps – Distinguished Flying Order and the French Croix de Guerre.He died of his injuries on 9 July 1918, aged 23, when his aircraft developed an engine fault on the way to France and crashed.Baron Avebury said: “It’s terribly important we list these memorials to stop what happened to my great uncle Eric’s happening again. We need to protect our link to the past and remember the stories that go with these memorials.”Michael Ellis, minister for heritage, added: “From the pioneering pilots of the First World War, to the heroism of the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force has a proud and distinguished wartime history. The plaque at High Elms Country Park in Kent, honouring Cpt. Lubbock’s sacrificeCredit:Chris Redgrave/Historic England Archive “As we mark its centenary, it is right that we remember the stories of the brave pilots and staff who served in defence of Britain. These listings commemorate this legacy and preserve these historic memorials for future generations.”
A good binge-watching session typically involves a comfy couch, some snacks, and a TV show that offers hours of thrilling episodes. Today, most people are binge-watching their favorite TV shows on streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which give them convenient access to many series without an expensive cable bill.A recent Geek.com survey revealed interesting binge-watching preferences across the U.S., and Game of Thrones, which returns to HBO for its final season on April 14, was the most-binged show in many states and the most favorite series to binge-watch nationwide.In a state-by-state breakdown, respondents said they binge-watched many TV shows, including Game of Thrones, Ozark, and The Office. Game of Thrones, a fantasy series about power hungry kingdoms, was the top-binged TV show in eight states, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. Most respondents across the U.S. also binge-watched TV shows that focused on crime and comedy, with NCIS, Ozark, and The Office taking the top spots many states, including Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.Choosing the best show to binge-watch can be tough, especially when there are so many options on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services. However, some TV shows have gained more viewers over the past 18 months, due to their intense plots and upcoming finales.Respondents said Game of Thrones was the top show they’ve binge-watched over the past year and a half, with Season 7 wrapping up in August 2017 and Season 8 set to begin on April 14. The Office, which earned second place on the list, concluded in 2013, however, respondents still enjoy this hilarious series six years later. Ozark was No. 3 on the list, while Grey’s Anatomy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Shameless also earned top spots for best shows to binge-watch.Genre also matters for binge-watching marathons: Almost half of respondents across the U.S. (44.9 percent) preferred to watch comedy TV shows, while only 11.3 percent of respondents said they loved horror TV shows. Even though respondents in most states chose comedy as their favorite binge-watching genre, Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Utah respondents said they liked drama TV shows the best.More to Explore:The Best Video Streaming Services for 2019 (via PCMag.com) The Best Media Streaming Devices for 2019 (via PCMag.com)The Best Streaming Media Device: Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This WeekWhat to Stream on Amazon Prime This Weekend Stay on target