Spectator charged with assaulting WWE star Bret Hart

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Madsen had a previous run-in with a fighter in Lincoln.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FILE – In this March 28, 2010, file photo, Bret “Hit Man” Hart celebrates his victory over Mr. McMahon at WrestleMania XXVI in Glendale, Ariz. Hart was tackled by a spectator Saturday, April 6, 2019, while he was giving a speech during the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at Barclays Center. The attacker was promptly subdued by several people, including other wrestlers, who came to Hart’s defense. Hart is okay. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)NEW YORK — Authorities say a spectator faces assault and trespassing charges after tackling wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart while he was giving a speech during the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Brooklyn.Bail was set at $1,500 for Zachary Madsen of Lincoln, Nebraska at a hearing on Sunday night. The judge also issued orders of protection barring Madsen from approaching Hart, who wasn’t hurt, and a security worker.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Other wrestlers helped subdue the attacker. Hart resumed his speech.Prosecutors said in court that Madsen told police that he “felt like it was right moment” to go after the wrestling legend.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsHis lawyer said Madsen is “agreeable and cooperative” and has no criminal convictions.WWE described Madsen as “an over-exuberant fan.” Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PBA D-League: Valencia City-San Sebastian blasts Wangs View comments MOST READ Duterte wants probe of SEA Games messlast_img read more

Say it through a love story: Anurag Kashyap on Mukkabaaz

first_imgBy BedikaNew Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) Anurag Kashyap, the man behind gritty dramas exploring the dark worlds of criminals and gangsters, says he has learnt that the way to an Indian cine goers heart is through a love story.But in true Kashyap style, his first love story, the upcoming “Mukkabaaz”, blurs cinematic genres with a romance that unfolds in a society dominated by caste, politics and religion.”I have learnt that in India whatever you have to say, say it through a love story. This is what people understand. This is my first full love story,” Kashyap told PTI in an interview.The film, starring Vineet Kumar Singh and Zoya Hussain, has been receiving praise even before its release later this month.In the drama set in Bareilly, Vineet plays a Kshatriya wrestler who falls in love with a deaf-mute Brahmin woman. This angers her uncle (Jimmy Sheirgill) who uses his position as the head of the state boxing federation to sabotage his career.Kashyap, who described “Mukkabaaz” as his first “prem pradhan” film, has used the sports drama to dwell on the power dynamics in Uttar Pradesh.Discussing the widely held perception that he is at his best when dealing with sociopolitical issues and that his films reflect simmering anger, the director said cinema allows him the space to react to things that bother him.”What people call my anger is my reaction. Luckily, I have the medium to react through cinema. People want to react but they cant. This is why they connect with my films. It connects on a larger scale,” he said.advertisementThe director of films such as “Dev D”, “Gangs of Wasseypur” and “Ugly”, quipped that the films he made as a cinema lover could only be understood by cinephiles.Coming from Uttar Pradesh, Kashyap said he understands the milieu, its societal nuances and how caste casts a large shadow on day-to-day life.”It is deeply ingrained in us. It will not go. In UP, they ask your name to know your caste and the next question is what is your gotra?” he said.The protagonists in his latest film are on similar levels on the caste ladder but the differences persist.”In Haryana, marrying in the same gotra is reason enough for honour-killing. The upper-caste versus lower-caste issue is different with the whole dynamic of the oppressor and the oppressed. Here, the friction is between two similar castes.”The director believes these differences have to do with the human nature of seeking comfort in familiarity and resistance to change.According to Kashyap, caste operates in the same way as religion.”It has to do with the sense of security. This is why we create ghettos. The Indians who live abroad, they have created a little India, Pakistanis a little Pakistan, Chinese a Chinatown. When you feel threatened, you seek familiarity and bundle up.”This is what religion does, it gives a sense of security. It is difficult for a man to stand up and say perhaps I did not have it in me to succeed. It is easier to say that it was Gods wish and we are caught in this loop.”Kashyaps “Mukkabaaz” is going to be different from the regular sports film.Referring to the trend of sports films, particularly biopics, he said it was impossible today to make a biopic without nationalism.”If this is not selling nationalism then what is it? These things bother me. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma got married in Italy, so a leader stands up and says it is unpatriotic,” he said.”Then there are those who flaunt their nationalism as a badge. They have done nothing in their life and just want to stay in the news,” Kashyap added.The movie, also starring Ravi Kishan, is set to release on January 12. PTI BK RDS MINlast_img read more

Gurugram: Gulf war victim healed by Indian doctors

first_imgTwenty-four-year-old Mazen Moqbel Dhaiban lost his lower leg limb to a landmine, while hanging out with his friends in one of the conflict torn cities in Yemen.He is one of the 45 young and old Yemeni civilians who have been air-flown by the UAE government to Gurugram’s College Park Healthcare to be fitted with artificial limbs and rehabilitated.The war in Yemen, between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement, has killed more than 8,600 and injured 49,000 people since 2015. Around 1,700 civilians fighting the rebels have been flown from UAE since then.Those like Dhaiban have found peace in India. Receiving treatment for around 15 days now, the young fighter says, “I come to the hospital every day at 11 am and do a couple of exercises. I lost my limb five months ago, but the new one is flexible and doctors say I will be able to walk properly in a few months.”Dhaiban misses playing football, his favourite sport, but for someone who has seen more than enough trauma in his life, he stays positive. “My friends in Yemen who got a plastic leg have started playing again. My condition is many times better than that. I will be back on the field in no time,” he says with a smile.”The UAE government’s decision to transfer to India for treatment Yemeni citizens injured in the ongoing assault on the country by armed militias is a reflection of the trust we have in India’s medical infrastructure. It also speaks of the close bilateral relations between the two countries,” says Ahmed Al Banna, UAE ambassador to India.advertisement”The UAE has already spent more than $2.35 billion (Rs 15,170 crore) in humanitarian and development aid for Yemen in the past two years alone. We are very pleased with the standards of medical treatment provided to our Yemeni brothers and sisters in Indian hospitals,” Banna added.Tarun Kumar Kulshreshtha, chief prosthetist and orthotist at College Park Healthcare says the results are making patients and him happy.”They are bonding with Indian patients as well, despite the language barrier. Our prosthetic limbs are manufactured in Germany and cost around Rs 3 lakh. We have customised them a bit. For instance, in the Middle East and here, we cannot enter places of worship with shoes on. So we have added an additional layer to avoid wear and tear when used without shoes,” he said.Helmi Abd Ali Beshr took a bullet in his spine and had to amputate both legs. He suffered from paralysis and was on wheelchair. After months of treatment, he is about to leave walking.When asked if they want to return to Yemen, they smiled and said, “We are ready to give up every part of the body to fight terror. We dream of a peaceful Yemen.”last_img read more

Girona-Barcelona La Liga clash should be held in Spain: FIFA

first_imgZurich, Oct 26 (IANS) The FIFA Council on Friday sided with the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) and the Spanish football Federation (RFEF) to decide that the upcoming La Liga clash pitting Girona against Barcelona should be played in Spain, not in the United States, which goes against an agreement made between La Liga and a US sponsor.La Liga, Barcelona and Girona on September 11 asked the RFEF for authorization to play the Matchday 21 clash in Miami, as part of a 15-year accord the La Liga reached with Relevant – a sports and media marketing company based in the US. However, the request was opposed by the AFE and rejected by the RFEF, reports Efe.FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the FIFA council – on the request of RFEF and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) – addressed and reached a clear ruling on the conflict between RFEF-AFE and La Liga, Barcelona and Girona during FIFA’s meeting held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.”The FIFA Council has discussed the matter and we maintain that official matches from national leagues must be played in that country,” Infantino said at a press conference following the meeting.According to FIFA’s statutes, the sport’s international governing body has the power to make a final decision on whether to authorize a match.La Liga president Javier Tebas on Thursday said that the issue ought to be settled in court.”The Spanish Super Cup was played in Tangier (Morocco), in spite of being played with Sevilla’s opposition, (so) how could such a match not be played (in Miami), especially if both participant teams want the game to be played?” Tebas added.–IANSgau/bgadvertisementlast_img read more

Ian Hutchinson: ‘I want to race the TT until there is no more magic’

first_img“I don’t love it because it could kill you,” Ian Hutchinson says as he tries to explain why, exactly a year since it left him unable to walk for 11 months, he is racing again this week in the TT on the Isle of Man. The Tourist Trophy, or the TT, as the world’s most dangerous road racing series is known, has marked Hutchinson. You can see it in his limp as he uses a stick to help him reach a seat where he can address the TT’s enduring appeal and perennial threat.Hutchinson is third on the list of all-time winners with 16 victories. He pauses when reminded that Guy Martin, a former TT rider, said: “I love it because it can kill you.” Hutchinson suffered another horrible crash in last year’s TT Senior race, breaking his leg badly on Snaefell Mountain. It was the same leg that was almost amputated in 2010, shortly after Hutchinson clinched a record five wins in TT week.The 38-year-old Yorkshireman looks at his damaged leg. “I’ve had seven operations since this crash, 37 operations altogether. The leg is not the prettiest, that’s for sure. But I don’t want to die at the TT. When you are at one with it, racing at incredible speed, it’s a magical feeling. I want to race the TT until there’s no more magic.” Twitter Since you’re here… features Twitter Share via Email Support The Guardian Hutchinson’s arch-rival is Michael Dunlop, who is nine years younger and also on 16 victories. Dunlop and Hutchinson do not like each other and clashed angrily at the TT in 2016.Yet road racing is so close-knit it is understandable when Hutchinson stresses how Dunlop’s uncle, Joey, the greatest TT rider with 26 wins, first showed him the thrill of racing. “I went to the TT in 1997 when I was 17,” Hutchinson recalls. “I didn’t know anything about racing but I remember lying under a motorhome in the pouring rain. Joey Dunlop came through Quarry Bends at high speed in the sheeting rain and I thought: ‘What on earth is that? Wow. That is crazy.’”Joey Dunlop died on his bike in 2000 and eight years later his brother, Robert, Michael’s father, also lost his life while racing. Two days later Michael Dunlop won the very race his dad had been practising for in the North West 200. “I was there,” Hutchinson says, “and it was incredible. It’s a racer’s mindset. Nothing stops you because you’re made that way. What good would it have done him sitting on the sofa at home and not racing? It wouldn’t bring his dad back. He did the best thing and won the race.”Death is never far from the TT – 256 racers have perished on the island, with the latest fatality occurring a few days ago. Dan Kneen, Dunlop’s team-mate, died during Wednesday evening’s practice. Another rider, Steve Mercer, remains in a critical condition. Two days earlier, Richard Quayle drove me around the course in a high-performance car. Known as “Milky” because of his childhood resemblance to the Milky Bar Kid, Quayle is one of three islanders to have won at the TT. But the course almost killed him in 2003 when he hit a wall at 160mph and spiralled across the road. Quayle was unbelievably lucky. He punctured a lung and a kidney, broke his left shoulder and all the ribs on that side of his body and lost his spleen. Fifteen years later he bubbles with enthusiasm. Motorcycling Superbike rider Dan Kneen dies in crash at Isle of Man TT Did he forgive Dunlop? “Yeah, well, I had to. It took a few years, but you mature and mellow out of racing. You’re not competitive anymore so you think better.“Robert was still a very good rider the day he died. But he had struggled with injury a long time. He was headstrong, like Michael, but he’d lost use of his left hand so he had to modify his bike – like Hutchy has done. That’s why I worry it will end in tears with Hutchy. But these men are born racers. I just stumbled into it and the first time I raced I said: ‘Oh my God. You know the nicest girlfriend you’ve ever had? This is better.’”What does McCallen think of Martin’s quote about death framing his love of racing? “I would never want to die on my bike. You see John McGuinness [second on the all-time list with 23 wins] before a TT and he hugs his wife. They have a kiss and a few tears and off they go. It’s like they’re expecting the worst. I didn’t do that. I’d just say: ‘See you in an hour.’”McCallen makes TT racing sound routine. But for Davison, who has photographed the race for decades, there is still awe. “You get this incredible buzz as you stick your head through a hole in the hedge and watch them fly past. Christ only knows what it’s like for them. There’s no way we could know. What in God’s name is it like?”Hutchinson knows and while there were demons he had to conquer when making his comeback last month at the North West 200 he seems to have banished fears of crashing and dying. “I only fear not being successful,” he says. “It’s a shame in any sport when the man who was winning can’t do it anymore. It ruins everything. I suppose you’ve got to accept it but I’m not sure I can.”Milky Quayle also wrestles with ambivalence and uncertainty. He remains in thrall to the TT but he is terrified that his 14-year-old son, Illiam, is following his path. Quayle had been hoping his boy would stick to the track but Illiam is captivated by the road and the TT.“It scares me,” Quayle says. “I promised my wife I’d stop racing as soon as we had kids. When I had that terrible smash which finished me in 2003 she was pregnant with Illiam. Now he wants to be a road-racer and what can I say? How can I stop him? I don’t think I could bear to watch.”Hutchinson, however, might find solace one day as a spectator on the island. “I will definitely come back to watch the TT when racing is finally over,” he says. “While I don’t want it to end, I’m looking forward to being able to get drunk at night and then, the next day, sit on a bank and watch a race without panicking. I can look at all those crazy bastards flying past on their bikes and say: ‘Wow. Did you see that?’” It’s an exhilarating privilege when, after Quayle checks I’m “OK with speed”, he drives me around the course, making me gulp just a little when we zoom over the mountain at a heart-racing lick. But there is gravity as he shows me places where riders have died. “A good friend of mine, a Japanese rider, Yoshinari Matsushita, died here [in 2013],” Quayle says he slows at Ballacrye. “I call it Ballascary.”We zip past Quarry Bends and whoosh along Sulby Straight as Quayle makes me feel a smidgen of “that warp factor on your bike”. Up in the mountains Quayle points out the exact spot where Hutchinson crashed last year.“Just before it happened,” Hutchinson told me, “I thought, ‘This is perfect as I’m faster over the mountain.’ The next minute I’m sliding up the road. Another bike was coming and when you’ve been ridden over before you don’t want to be hit again. I needed to get out of the way but my leg was facing the wrong direction and it felt like my arm was broken. It took a bit of doing but I managed to shuffle off the road. The next bike came through within seconds.“My femur was half the length it was meant to be and my foot was twisted around the wrong way. I woke up in hospital. My girlfriend and dad stood there and I said: ‘Have they restarted the race?’ I had this crazy thought it had been red-flagged and if the bike wasn’t too bad I could restart. But I could see my leg was snapped in half so I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t even on drugs then.”His surgeon had to break and lengthen his tibia, the one bone in his leg unaffected by the crash, to compensate for the middle of Hutchinson’s left ankle having been removed completely. As he has only recently started walking again with a stick, Hutchinson sighs.“People say I should pack in now because I’ll end up losing my leg or I’m pushing my luck and the worst could happen. But I didn’t need to break my leg again to know how dangerous bike racing is. As riders we see some horrific things and if that doesn’t stop you then this crash won’t end it.”Phillip McCallen, who raced in the TT from 1989 to 1999, shares seventh spot on the all-time list with 11 victories. The amiable McCallen also remembers his record for the most wins in a week, four in 1996, until Hutchinson broke it 14 years later. Stephen Davison, the photographer who knows the riders so well and who joined me at the North West 200 and the TT, says: “Phillip was a brilliant rider and he’s a very nice man – but he was the craziest bastard of them all. Fans of a certain vintage remember Phillip as the man with the mad eyes. He was demonic. He raced on the edge but got away with it.“Phillip had a crash where he could have been paralysed so he was smart enough to get out. But the TT grips many people and they can’t escape.”McCallen was a team-mate of his idol, Joey Dunlop. He also carried Dunlop’s coffin at his funeral and was hurt terribly on his bike. “I was in a coma three times,” McCallen says cheerfully. “One time the doctor said: ‘We thought we’d lost you, fellow.’ I had a very bad smash at The Nook, in the TT, and I’ve got a couple of fractured skulls and I had my back broken twice as well as my shoulder, pelvis and legs. We call that normal. If you crash on a bike and you can walk, well, that’s good.”He is more serious when considering Hutchinson’s ordeal. “There will be people closer to Hutchy than me saying he should think carefully about racing. We’re friends but I’m not his best friend so he doesn’t need me telling him. I understand because I was also a racer. He’s in a horrible position but I was luckier. I wasn’t going to race on until I died. I’m a better engineer than a rider so I changed my life.”McCallen is now a successful motorbike dealer in Lisburn but he has been tormented. In 1992, at the Ulster Grand Prix, he was accused wrongly by Robert Dunlop of causing Steve Johnson’s death. The case went to court and McCallen was in trouble until a doctor supplied amateur video footage of the race. McCallen was exonerated totally. Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The Observer Isle of Man TT Topics Reuse this content Facebook Pinterest Read more “There’s nothing like the TT,” Quayle exclaims, suggesting that the racing is better than sex because “the orgasmic feeling lasts the whole 37.7‑mile course. At the start you open the throttle and fly down Bray Hill. In 10 seconds you’re gone from zero to 170 mph. You’ve got 24 litres of fuel between your balls and your bike’s a beast. But as the tyres warm and you find your rhythm, you’re going 200mph on the super-duper fastest sections. The bike gets lighter as the fuel empties and, elbows and toes in, head tucked, you’re flying.“We know the dangers but, in a sanitised world, there is freedom in the TT. Of course we appreciate how vulnerable riders are on a course that can be bumpy and a real bastard, but the TT is a thing of beauty.”Quayle now coaches new riders at the TT. He spends weeks, months and even years helping them understand a course that climbs from sea-level to 1,300 feet, hurtling through built-up towns and country roads and up into Snaefell Mountain, testing its contestants with 227 bends and variable weather conditions. He shows me how the strobing effect of dappled sunlight steaming through the overhanging trees makes the TT’s roads so stunning yet deadly. Superbikes Read more Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Michael Dunlop: ‘Once you’re on a bike you’ve got freedom’ Riders in action in the Southern 100 road races 2017, Isle of Man. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo Share on Twitter Ian Hutchinson in qualifying at last month’s North West 200 Motorbike Race. Photograph: Graham Service/Action Plus via Getty Images Share on WhatsApp Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Facebook Motor sportlast_img read more

Lampard: Conte fantastic but Chelsea may need change

first_imgAntonio Conte Lampard hails ‘fantastic’ Conte but admits change may be needed at Chelsea Goal 01:14 5/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Antonio Conte Chelsea Getty Images Antonio Conte Chelsea Chelsea v Manchester United Manchester United FA Cup The former Blues midfielder has no doubt of the Italian’s quality but says the mood of the club has become too negative Frank Lampard still regards Antonio Conte as a “fantastic manager” but admits Chelsea may well need a change in coach to fix the mentality surrounding the team.Conte’s first year saw him restore Chelsea to glory, winning the Premier League title after a 10th place finish the year before.However, the Italian’s second season was a struggle, as the team suffered through a dip in form that saw them crash out of the Champions League and fall in the table. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now A late charge for a Champions League spot ultimately fell short, leaving the FA Cup final against Manchester United the Blues only chance at silverware this season.And though Lampard, who spent 13 seasons with Chelsea, has no doubts about the job Conte has done for the club, he knows it may be time for the relationship to come to an end as the mood surrounding the club has turned negative.”I think Conte is a fantastic manager,” Lampard told Goal during the BBC Media Day. “He’s been brilliant for Chelsea.“This year has been seen as disappointing, but what he did last year was an absolutely incredible achievement. So, that discussion is going to happen this summer.“What we need next year for Chelsea is positivity. Looking forward and excitement for what the future holds. This year’s been too negative.“If either one wants out of that love affair, then that’s going to be a parting of ways.”Regardless of Conte’s eventual fate, which the manager believes has not yet been decided, Chelsea do have a chance to redeem their season slightly if they can defeat rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Sunday.Lampard sees a great deal of similarities between the two sides, in their impressive collection of stars as well as their recent dips in form.”It’s a tough game,” Lampard said. “I think it’s a hard one to call.“I think it’s two teams that have not been at their best in recent weeks in terms of performance. But two teams that have big players that can win games.“So I expect it to be a tight final and I’m hopeful Chelsea win, with my Chelsea hat on.”last_img read more

Virat Kohli’s 2018: 2735 international runs, 11 hundreds and 4 overseas Test wins

first_imgVirat Kohli’s 2018: 2735 international runs, 11 hundreds and 4 overseas Test winsIndia captain Virat Kohli once again enjoyed a sterling year in international cricket and ended 2018 as the number-one ranked batsman in Tests and one-day internationals.advertisement Rohan Sen New DelhiDecember 31, 2018UPDATED: December 31, 2018 13:29 IST Virat Kohli dominated international cricket with bat and as captain in 2018 (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSVirat Kohli scored 2735 runs across all formats in 2018 with 11 hundredsKohli became the first Indian captain to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy in AustraliaThis year the Indian captain also broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the fastest to 10000 ODI runsIt comes as no surprise to anyone now that Virat Kohli once again dominated a year in international cricket as a batsman, but it was his record as captain in Test cricket which improved a lot this year thanks to the Indian team’s wins away from home.Kohli ended the year as the number-one ranked batsman in Tests and one-day internationals for the second-time running but more importantly, it was his team which consolidated its position at the top of the team rankings in Test cricket, which would have been more satisfying for the captain.Kohli scored 2735 runs across all formats in the year with 11 hundreds but he also became the first Asian captain to register Test wins in Australia, England and South Africa in the same calendar year.The Boxing Day Test win at the MCG gave Virat Kohli his 11th away Test win as captain in just 24 Tests and he went equal with Ganguly on the record, who had achieved 11 away Test wins in 28 Tests as captain.Kohli had said that this year would be an extremely important one for Team India given the Tests away from home. While India put up some good performances (especially Kohli and the pacers), they failed to win series in South Africa and England.However, in Australia, Kohli’s India came out all guns blazing to at least get them into a position from where they cannot lose the series now.A YEAR OF DOMINATION IN TEST CRICKETOn top of that, Kohli became the first Indian captain to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Australia. India had defeated Australia 2-1 in the four-Test series during their tour of India in 2016/17.advertisementKohli has over the years grown in stature and is rated among the best athletes in the world in terms of his work ethics, fitness and heroics on the field — all-in-all, he has become a complete package. He has been India’s poster boy ever since the retirement of the great Sachin Tendulkar in November 2013. Virat Kohli scored a brilliant 123 in the Perth Test but it went in vain as India lost the match (AP Photo)In just his third year as captain, Kohli has set the benchmark for his teammates to follow by leading from the front. Though it’s tough to maintain the intensity but the Indian skipper has proved that it’s not impossible.With 1322 runs in 13 Tests at an average of over 55, Kohli sits head and shoulders above the rest as the highest run-scorer this year in the format. The five hundreds that he scored is also the most by any batsman in 2018. Last year he was fourth on the list behind Steve Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara and Dean Elgar.But the Delhi dasher really came into his own in what can be termed as a breakthrough year for Kohli, the batsman, in Test cricket as he scored runs in places like Australia, South Africa and England.England was in fact the only country which he hadn’t conquered after a torrid tour in 2014. But Kohli made sure to put the ghosts of his past behind him to amass 593 runs in five Tests at 59.30 with two hundreds to his name.Even the critics who questioned Kohli once, stood up and applauded as he let his bat do all the talking and made sure everybody got the message. The tour of England put the full-stop on the debate on who is the best batsman in the world in the modern era. Virat Kohli scored a magnificent hundred in Trent Bridge to lead India to victory (Reuters Photo)His 25th hundred during the Perth Test was not only one of the best he has ever scored but also saw him become the second fastest batsmen to reach the milestone in 127 innings, just behind the great Don Bradman, who took a mere 68 innings to score 25 Test hundreds.It was Kohli’s seventh Test hundred vs Australia while his 6th Down Under. In Oceania, Kohli has now scored 7 hundreds while this was his 14th ton as captain in away Tests. This was also Kohli’s 18th Test century as the captain of the team.With his sixth Test century in Australia, Kohli also equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most Test centuries by an Indian Down Under.Earlier on the tour at Adelaide Oval, Kohli became the fastest to score 1000 Test runs for India in Australia. He beat Don Bradman to the milestone by reaching the figure in nine Test matches while Don Bradman had reached the four-figure mark in his 10th Test at home.advertisementOn the way to this milestone, Kohli also became the only Indian skipper to score 2000 Test runs in away matches. He is also the first Indian captain to score 2000 Test runs both in India and overseas.Kohli also has the second-best Test average among batsmen who have scored at least 500 Test runs in January 1, 2017.FASTEST TO 10,000 ODI RUNSBut not just in whites, Kohli also dominated the run charts in ODIs, scoring 1202 runs in 14 ODIs at a staggering average of over 133 and once again he scored the most number of centuries with 6. The next best on the list is his teammate and vice-captain Rohit Sharma with 1030 runs in 19 matches with five centuries.During the recent ODI series at home against the West Indies, became only the fourth batsman to score 10,000 ODI runs for India and in the process, he also broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the fastest to reach the milestone. Virat Kohli became the fifth Indian batsman and 13th ever to reach 10000 ODI runs (AP Photo)Kohli joined Tendulkar (18426), Sourav Ganguly (11221) and Rahul Dravid (10768) to reach the elite club. MS Dhoni has also scored over 10000 ODI runs (10123) but only 9949 of those have been scored for India. The other 174 runs came for Asia XI.Overall, Kohli became the fifth Indian batsman and 13th ever to reach 10000 ODI runs. While Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there, Kohli got to the landmark in a mere 205 innings.Ganguly needed 263 innings to reach 10000 ODI runs while South African great Jacques Kallis brought up his 10000th run in his 272nd innings. MS Dhoni is next on the list, having got to the landmark in his 273rd innings.Kohli also scored more than 1000 runs in a calender for the sixth time in his career in 2018 after 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.Kohli is second only to Tendulkar in the list of most century-scorers in one-day internationals and it is widely believed he will one day leave the Master Blaster behind.WHAT NEXT?The first and foremost agenda on his list would be to win the fourth and final Test against Australia in Sydney. If he manages to do that then he will become the first Indian captain to win a Test series Down Under.Another Test win would also see him equal MS Dhoni as the most successful Indian captain in the format. Kohli currently has 26 Test wins in just 45 matches while Dhoni had 27 in 60 Tests.India will then play a series of three ODIs against the Aussies which will be followed by a five-match ODI contest against New Zealand from January 23, before the T20I series against the Blackcaps – on February 6, 8 and 10.But the biggest assignment for captain Kohli will be the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England where he will look to become the third Indian skipper to win the 50-over mega-event after Kapil Dev (1983) and MS Dhoni (2011).A Test series win in Australia and a World Cup triumph after eight years would really cement Kohli’s legacy as one of the greatest captains India has ever had.advertisementAlso Read | The Pant and Paine show at MCG: When light-hearted banter turned offensiveAlso Read | Watch: Virat Kohli shakes a leg to celebrate Boxing Day Test win with Bharat ArmyAlso Read | Kohli reveals why he did not enforce follow-on: Wanted to give our bowlers enough restAlso Read | Watch: Virat Kohli leads Team India’s victory lap as MCG cheers historic triumphFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Virat KohliFollow Virat Kohli yearenderFollow India vs AustraliaFollow Indian cricket captainlast_img read more

Royal Boskalis and KOTUG Merge Harbour Towage Operations

first_imgzoom Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. and KOTUG International B.V. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to merge their European harbour towage operations. The companies will establish a 50/50 joint venture for this purpose, combining the European harbour towage activities of SMIT, a Boskalis subsidiary, with the European harbour towage activities of KOTUG. This merger is the concluding step in Boskalis’ strategy aimed at establishing regional partnerships for its harbour towage activities, as was previously done through Smit Lamnalco, Keppel SMIT and most recently SAAM SMIT.The scope of the joint venture will encompass the harbour towage operations of SMIT in the Netherlands and Belgium and the harbour towage operations of KOTUG in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.The joint venture will serve 11 ports in 4 countries with a fleet of more than 60 tugboats. The total combined revenue is estimated at approximately EUR 150 million (USD 186.3m).Boskalis expects to free up nearly EUR 100 million (USD 124.2m) in cash from the proposed transaction, primarily due to the refinancing of the activities. The MoU will be implemented subject to customary conditions, such as due diligence and regulatory approval in the countries to which the joint venture pertains, and in consultation with the works councils.last_img read more

UAE likely to be 1st Middle East country to launch RuPay Card

first_imgDubai: The UAE will be the first Middle East country to launch the RuPay Card during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Gulf nation on Friday, according to a media report. The RuPay card is a first-of-its-kind Indian domestic Debit and Credit Card payment network, with acceptance at ATMs, POS devices and e-commerce websites. It was launched in 2012. “A Memorandum of Understanding to establish a technology interface between the payment platforms in India and UAE, would be exchanged between the National Payments Corporation of India and UAE’s Mercury Payments Services,” Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”This will enable the RuPay card to be used at point-of-sale terminals across the UAE,” he said. “The UAE is the largest and most vibrant business hub in the region. It hosts the largest Indian community, receives the largest number of Indian tourists and has the largest trade with India. By becoming the first country in the region to introduce the RuPay card, we expect that each of these elements of tourism, trade and the Indian diaspora will benefit,” Suri said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIndia has already launched the RuPay card in Singapore and Bhutan. Prime Minister Modi’s third official visit to the UAE on August 23-24 is another important milestone in the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, the Indian envoy said. During the visit, Modi will receive the ‘Order of Zayed’, the highest civil decoration of the country for “giving a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries.” Modi would also meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest. The India-UAE bilateral trade touched almost $60 billion last year with a fairly balanced profile of about $30 billion of exports and $30 billion of imports, the envoy said.last_img read more

Choosing right artwork for home

first_imgWhen you start your life in a new home or change the settings of rooms, the most striking feature that stands out is the artwork. However, it is the most difficult task as the chosen artwork would define personality of the home owner and show character of the space. Every nook and corner of the house requires different type of artwork and one must use the advice of experts to make sure that the placement is always right. For the Kitchen When it comes to enhancing the decor of house, Kitchen becomes one of the neglected places in most of the households around the globe. However, experts feel that generally known as the ‘heart of the home’, kitchen should have apt artwork to make it more appealing. You won’t notice but a lot of time the guests even check this area of your house and a badly done space leaves a negative impression. Counter tops or spaces above cabinets are the perfect places to experiment with the masterpiece(s). Experts advise that choosing smaller pieces should complement the limited space in kitchen area. It would be best if you use some funny or social prints, which can bring a smile in your face in mornings. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainFor the Bedroom A retreat after a hard day’s work, the artwork in bedrooms should reflect relaxation part. Walls directly above the bed and opposite to bed are the best places to use artworks. In this room one should go for bigger pieces and those should be hanged at eye level. Abstract pieces that are in soothing colors or tones are the best bet. Other option can be photographs by famous photographers or landscapes paintings. For the Living Room Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe most intimidating room is the living room and it should be given due importance. Most of the guests are welcomed in this room and spend maximum time here, therefore, the pressure to make this room look perfect is comparatively higher. Right artwork can provoke conversation and set the feel or vibe of the space. Large-scale piece or a gallery wall is the good choice. For the Bathroom Bathroom being the least used or displayed area of the house, tends to be lowest on the list when it comes to makeover. Though experts feel that there is a need to display artworks here also and it should go with the mood of bathroom. One can go for fun and bright pieces, or serene or calming pieces. The artworks here will look good in pairs and one can set them as stacked or side by side. Flipped art pieces can also be used and these can be placed over the toilet seat, bathtub or over the towel hooks. (Inputs by Bhawana Bhatnagar, Interior stylist and Founder Casa Exotique)last_img read more

Safety company building catches fire in Pouce Coupe

first_imgPOUCE COUPE, B.C. – An early morning fire has destroyed a safety company on 50th street in Pouce Coupe.The fire broke out early Wednesday morning and destroyed Action Safety on 50th street. The road was closed while fire crews worked the fire, but it is now open to single lane traffic.Expect delays while you travel through the community.  The Pouce Coupe Elementary School is open.  The Pouce Coupe Fire Department is asking students to stay away from fire crews and equipment. A photo of the fire shared on Facebook The building has been destroyed and fire crews remain on scene. If you have any photos or video to share of the fire, email news@moosefm.caFire once the fire is out, crews will investigate the cause.OPEN – #BCHwy2 is open to single lane alternating traffic at 50th st in #PouceCoupe. Next update 8:30 AM. #DawsonCreekInfo here: https://t.co/HCWYpn0brO— DriveBC NE (@DriveBC_NE) June 5, 2019A photo of the fire in Pouce Coupe thanks to Laura HamannA photo of the fire in Pouce Coupe thanks to Laura Hamannlast_img read more

New chief of UN agency for urban settlements to focus on sustainable

“With over half of humanity now living in cities, we must prioritize both urban poverty reduction and environmental sustainability – especially as there are now almost 1 billion slum dwellers,” said Joan Clos of Spain.Mr. Clos was elected yesterday by the General Assembly as Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) for a four-year term starting on 18 October, at the level of Under-Secretary-General.“I am a long-time believer in sustainable cities that practise participatory urban governance and which provide shelter and basic services for all,” said Mr. Clos, who served as mayor of Barcelona from 1997 until 2006. More recently, he was Spain’s minister for industry, tourism and trade and then its ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan.“Through collaboration and partnership with governments, local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and all Habitat Agenda partners, our urban areas can be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable,” he added.On hearing the news of his election, Mr. Clos, 61, said he was deeply committed to his new task and aimed to build on the achievements of his predecessor. “I look forward to making my modest contribution to the future of cities,” he said.Mr. Clos succeeds Anna Tibaijuka, who has headed UN-HABITAT since it was formed in 2001 to replace the UN Centre for Human Settlements. The agency has the goal of providing adequate shelter for all by encouraging the development of better housing in cities and towns. 26 August 2010The new chief of the United Nations agency tasked with promoting sustainable cities and towns has stressed the need for governments, civil society and the private sector to all work more closely together to improve the world’s urban areas. read more

UN agency and partners aid Thai refugee camp after deadly fire

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident and doing what we can to provide instant relief,” said the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand, Mireille Girard. “Our teams are returning to the camp this morning with plastic sheets, blankets, bed mats and other items to provide temporary emergency shelter before their homes can be rebuilt,” she said in a news release issued on Saturday.Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that broke out on Friday, spreading to two sectors of the Ban Mae Surin camp. Initial reports suggest it was sparked by a cooking accident. At least four people are seriously injured. The International Committee of the Red Cross has offered help for the wounded, many of whom have been taken to local hospitals. Approximately 2,300 refugees have lost their homes and possessions in the incident, according to UNHCR. The camp’s clinic and food distribution centre were also razed in the fire. According to the latest UN information, the Border Consortium consisting of 10 non-governmental organizations from eight countries is making arrangements for food to be provided.Relief efforts are being coordinated by the Thai Government and provincial and camp authorities, who administer the camp. The camp site, 90 kilometres from Mae Hong Son town, is home to about 3,500 refugees who fled the ethnic conflict in neighbouring Myanmar. read more

Brock Media Clips for Thursday Sept 7

Here’s a look at some of the media attention Brock University received recently.Girls and power in the age of Trump: American broadcaster WNYC included research by Brock’s Shauna Pomerantz in its series on modern-day activism. That also led to Pomerantz being featured in Fortune magazine with a quote of the day saying: “Don’t we want to encourage girls? Aboslutely. But they have to be armed with the realities of our culture.”Sarah Argue of Rock of Arts: Brock alumna Sarah Argue was featured by Ottawa Community News. After graduating from Brock’s Dramatic Arts program, Argue launched her own travelling puppet show, Rock of Arts.Spirits awaken at indigenous celebration: The St. Catharines Standard wrote a story about the late Suzanne Rochon-Burnett, an honorary doctorate recipient at Brock University whose art is being displayed in an exhibition at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Rochon-Burnett’s passion for indigenous art is living on through the work of her daughter, Michele-Elise Burnett.Did we miss something? If you know of an appearance or story about a Brock faculty member, student, athlete or alumni, please drop us a line with a link to the story at universitycom@brocku.ca read more

Thad Matta to Jake Lorbach Dont be another Mark Titus

Junior forward Jake Lorbach (34) takes a shot during a game against Bryant Dec. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 86-48. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWhen Ohio State junior forward Jake Lorbach made the men’s basketball team as a walk-on before last season, coach Thad Matta had only one thing to say to him.“He (told me), ‘I don’t want another Mark Titus. So just try not to do that.’ But sometimes you can’t help yourself,” Lorbach said Friday.Titus, a former OSU walk-on who graduated in 2010, gained stardom in his Buckeye career after starting a blog known as Club Trillion. He has since written a book called “Don’t Put Me In, Coach,” chronicling his time as OSU’s goofball whose goal was to play in as many games as possible without recording any statistical significance.Matta’s lighter side is mentioned throughout Titus’ book, but the former player’s antics — making faces behind his head coach after the team won the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, for example — led some to believe his popularity got on the coach’s nerves. Lorbach hasn’t taken the goofing around to Titus’ level quite yet, but did photobomb LeBron James during a sideline interview when the football team was taking on Wisconsin Sept. 28.Matta denied having told Lorbach to avoid following in the footsteps of Titus, though.“I don’t think I told him that,” Matta said with a laugh Friday. “I love Mark, still do … (but) Jake’s done a tremendous job for us.”Lorbach made a splash Wednesday when he entered OSU’s 86-48 victory against Bryant and scored six points, the first two on a breakaway dunk where he barely jumped high enough to put the ball over the rim.“When I was sitting on the bench for the majority of the game, my knees were feeling kind of tired from that week of practice and so I think once I got the ball on the breakaway, it was just like a lot of adrenaline and then me thinking about my knees and whether or not I was going to get high enough,” Lorbach said. “It was a split second, so fortunately I was able to get up high enough and put it down and that’s all that matters.”The Schottenstein Center crowd — and his teammates on the bench — erupted every time Lorbach got the ball and scored against the Bulldogs, but if he had missed the dunk attempt, they might not have been so nice.“I’m pretty sure the crowd would have reacted a lot differently,” Lorbach said with a smile.“We might have laughed a little bit but told him to get it the next time,” junior guard Shannon Scott said Friday, speculating on the team’s reaction if Lorbach’s try had been unsuccessful.Lorbach, who played volleyball in addition to basketball at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, said his performance against Bryant has been recognized on campus and social media as well.“(I’ve) definitely gotten a lot more (Twitter) followers after that debut. People have come up to me a lot and said good job,” Lorbach said. “It’s cool getting the attention, it’s a lot different. Usually, I just walk through the shadows and now I’m kind of out there and people know who I am.”Having only played 10 minutes the past two seasons combined, the majority of Lorbach’s time is spent on the practice court getting the scholarship players ready for their next opponent. His hard work on his own game, though, doesn’t go unnoticed by his coach.“He does everything we need him to do,” Matta said. “For Jake, wanting to be a part of this basketball team and knowing that his role was never going to be significant by any stretch for the team, but we’re going to require him to be a great teammate and have a great attitude every single day and he’s definitely exceeding our expectations when it comes to that. For (the other players), basically the work he’s putting in, he’s here every second that they’re here and not getting to do the majority of the things they are, so when something happens, I think they’re excited for him.”Not getting the playing time others do is something that comes with being a walk-on, and even if he does not get a chance to play Saturday when the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on North Dakota State at 8:15 p.m., Lorbach said he is just happy to get any opportunity after all his hard work.“It definitely feels like it’s paying off finally,” Lorbach said. “I come to practice every day and do what I can to help the team and then finally, I was able to go out there and showcase what I’m able to do.” read more

Retired dentist who tried to murder wife after falling victim to fraud

first_imgHe made a terrible error in how he sought to deal with his problemsMichael Garvey, defending He stopped after she pleaded for her life, reminding him about their children and grandchildren.At Leicester Crown Court, Shipp admitted attempting to murder his wife at their former home in Lutterworth, as well as stealing £17,686, two rings and the bracelet, which he pawned for £3,000.  But in extraordinary scenes, he was spared jail and handed a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, after she indicated that she still loved him and did not want him to go to prison.Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said the “highly unusual case” called for a “merciful and compassionate” sentence due to the view of the victim.The court heard the Shipps married in 1985 after meeting five years earlier. Their relationship was described by the judge as “loving and happy… for many years” before Shipp, who used to run a successful dental practice in Poole, Dorset, became the victim of fraud. Mrs Shipp, who suffered no physical injuries although was said to be deeply shocked, accompanied her husband to a GP after the incident and he was treated for depression and received counselling, the court heard.He later told police about the overseas investment scam and openly admitted to trying to kill his wife. She is now living separately from him in a housing association property.Michael Garvey, defending, said: “It’s a sad case and until then he had led an entirely blameless life. With the benefit of clarity and hindsight he’s able to say how much he regrets what he did.”He’s been extremely foolish in his financial dealings and made a terrible error in how he sought to deal with his problems and it’s inflicted a burden on his wife which she shouldn’t have had to put up with.”Mrs Shipp accompanied her husband to and from the court, but when asked if she forgave him, she replied: “I’m not sure, I’ll have to think about that.”Speaking at her home after the case, she added: “We’re both adults and we want to leave what happened in the past. We remain good friends and are still in contact.” Neighbours described the couple as “lovely”. Shipp was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and attend a 20-day rehabilitation programme. A retired dentist who tried to strangle his wife with a tie after he was conned out of £200,000 has been spared jail after she begged the judge not to send him to prison. Christopher Shipp, 63, invested his entire pension savings into an overseas investment scam, expecting a £500,000 pay out.But when he got nothing back, he raided more than £17,000 from his wife Shirlianne’s bank account and stole jewellery from her including a £15,000 bracelet.It was when the 73-year-old confronted him about the missing money on March 10 last year that he tried to kill her, confessing that he was planning on committing suicide straight after. Christopher Shipp leaving Leicester Crown Court Christopher Shipp leaving Leicester Crown CourtCredit:Leicester Mercury / SWNS.com When his wife confronted him about the missing money, he strangled her from behind and said: “It’s the only way, I’ll be with you in half an hour, I’ve got the tablets downstairs.”The court heard that he thought killing his wife would “spare her the anguish” over his own suicide and the scam coming to light.Philip Gibbs, prosecuting, said: “She tried to plead with him about their children and grandchildren and he relented and let her go.”He then lay on the bed staring into space. She could see he was in a desperate state.”The victim is in court and she’s told officers she doesn’t want him to go to prison because he wasn’t himself at the time. She believes he didn’t want to harm her but he thought he was acting in their best interests. They continue to be friends and he remains in her life.” She [his wife] believes he didn’t want to harm her but he thought he was acting in their best interestsPhilip Gibbs, prosecuting 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.last_img read more

Homeland Security detains two UK residents over pair of silly tweets

first_imgIn a scene that could be from a 2012 sequel to Airplane, overzealous Homeland Security agents recently flexed their muscles on a UK couple who were heading to Los Angeles for a little good-natured fun and partying.It all began when @LeighBryan tweeted that he was about to “go and destroy America.” Agents then began poring over his previous Twitter postings and discovered another, which they apparently took to be a revelation that Bryan and his partner planned to exhume the body of Marilyn Monroe. Yes, really. In fact, agents went so far as to search the couple’s luggage for shovels upon detaining them at LAX.After being questioned for several hours at the airport, the two were whisked away in a van carrying illegal immigrants and reportedly locked up in separate cells. Instead of enjoying the sites, they got to spend some quality time with drug dealers — not exactly the way you want folks to remember their vacation to the US, especially when this type of thing could have been easily avoided.Apart from being able to do background checks on Bryan and his friend Emily Bunting, a quick trip to Urban Dictionary would have verified Bryan’s contention that “destroy” was slang for party hard. That’s certainly not a crime in America — just ask Andrew WK. The digging up Marilyn Monroe bit? A reference to Family Guy.Also chuckleworthy: in their report, Agents referred to what Bryan did as “posting to his Tweeter account.” Ah, the long arm of the law. Clearly so in touch with today’s technologies.Let’s hope the authorities get all this stuff figured out before they go ahead and flip the switch on that new social media monitoring tool the FBI wants. A couple of feature requests from us in the peanut gallery: integrated regional slang definition lookups and popular culture reference engine.via The Sunlast_img read more

Church of Greece scrambling to avoid bankruptcy

first_imgThe Church of Greece is struggling financially as revenues dry up and taxes keep rising, with emblematic monasteries such as those of Petraki and Penteli in the capital putting a freeze on payments in order to make ends meet.Churches and monasteries across the country are already facing problems paying salaries, seeking to settle their bills and property taxes in instalments and selling off real estate to raise the cash to cover operating costs. The result is that their social programs are now at risk, such as soup kitchens for the poor, something that is expected to set off a domino effect of social implications, as the church is one of the driving forces in the effort to help the worst affected by the economic crisis in Greece.As the church scrambles to raise funds, the state keeps raising obstacles to investments, while a solution has yet to be found as regards its prime real estate assets. A total of 123 church properties in Athens, Vouliagmeni, Piraeus and Thessaloniki have been sold to the state but not paid for, while the church can no longer make use of them.The Church of Greece has two main sources of income – real estate and National Bank of Greece shares – and both are drying up: rents are declining and buyers are increasingly hard to come by, while NBG shares were at €0.23 at the time of going to print.Speaking to Kathimerini, the general director of the Central Ecclesiastical Financial Service (EKYO), Father Salonon Antonios, explained that the church participated in NBG’s share capital increases in 1996 and in 2005 doubling its stakes’ value. To participate in the process, the church was granted a loan of €27 million from Hellenic Postbank and used another amount equal to that from its savings.However, says Antonios, “the church does not gamble”, suggesting that the shares should have been better managed and sold at peak price. This didn’t happen and then the crisis hit the church as it did the country, with NBG stopping dividend payments in 2008 and the price of shares plummeting to levels at which they are not worth selling.At the same time, the slump in the real estate market caused another major source of revenue to dry up for the church, which has 19,000 hectares of arable land, 700 plots of land, 400 office spaces and 260 residences in its portfolio. Rents have dropped at rates of between 30 and 70 per cent depending on location since 2008, many properties are untenanted and utilising them is a headache because of the cost of maintenance – for which there is no cash.“The church’s revenues have declined by about 75 per cent today compared with 2008. Then, the annual budget was around €23 million and today it is around €6 million,” stresses Antonios.“Meanwhile, EKYO is responsible for funding to all metropolitan churches, most of which run programs to help the poor and the homeless, showing that these program will be at risk unless solutions are found.”EKYO has called on the state to take action to attract investors and to solve a number of problems that are preventing it from utilising properties. Every metropolitan church, monastery and even parish church has assets that they themselves manage and each of these entities pays property and income tax – in contrast to popular belief. Petraki Monastery, struggling with salary payments, recently applied to enter a scheme that allows indebted taxpayers to pay their contributions in 100 instalments. As further evidence to dispel the myth of the church’s enormous wealth, according to sources, Petraki Monastery’s real estate assets are limited to one building near Evangelismos Hospital in Kolonaki and another on Koumoundourou Square, both in central Athens though widely disparate in terms of property values. Penteli Monastery is not faring much better, as it recently sold its single real estate asset in order to meet operating costs. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Sensual fresco of Zeus and Leda discovered in ancient Pompeii bedroom

first_imgArchaeologists have found a fresco depicting Jupiter in the form of a swan and Leda, the legendary Spartan queen being impregnated by the god; a fairly common decoration theme in Pompeii and Herculaneum, another city destroyed in A.D. 79 by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius AP reports.What is different about this fresco is Leda’s gaze, according to Pompeii archaeological park director Massimo Osanna.“Leda watches the spectator with a sensuality that’s absolutely pronounced,” Osanna told Italian news agency ANSA explaining that the fresco was painted to make it appear Leda was looking at whoever saw the fresco upon entering the bedroom.“It is inspired by the Greek myth of love, with an explicit sensuality in a bedroom where, obviously beside sleep, there could be other activities”.In Greek mythology tradition Leda was said to have borne children fathered by the god Zeus, (or Jupiter), and by a mortal king of Sparta; she was the mother of Helen of Troy and the twins Castor and Pollux.An archeologist cleans up the fresco ”Leda e il cigno” (Leda and the swan) discovered last Friday in the Regio V archeological area in Pompeii, near Naples, Italy, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. The fresco depicts a story and art subject of Greek mythology, with Queen of Sparta Leda being impregnated by Zeus – Jupiter in Roman mythology – in the form of a swan. Photo: ANSA/APCesare AbbateThe vivid fresco in which Leda also covers the bird with her cloak was discovered Friday during ongoing work to consolidate the ancient city’s structures at the park which is part of the Italian Culture Ministry.The bedroom is located near a corridor by the entrance of an upscale domus (home) which based on Osanna’s estimation belonged to a rich merchant who wanted to give the impression he was culturally advanced by incorporating myth-inspired frescoes.“It appears the artist was inspired by a 4th century B.C. sculpture by Timotheos,” he said.“Because of safety concerns, unexcavated parts of the domus will probably remain that way. Archaeologists are considering removing both frescos found in the home to a place where they can be protected and shown to the public.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more