I take responsibility for Rio boxing campaign: Coach Sandhu

first_imgBy Poonam Mehra New Delhi, Aug 27 (PTI) He is ready to take “moral responsibility” for Indias medal-less boxing campaign in Rio Olympics but national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu says the four-year-long administrative logjam cannot escape blame for all that has gone wrong with the once flourishing sport. “I am personally hurt and I take moral responsibility for this. But I feel my boys performance was satisfactory under the current circumstances and with the kind of tough draws they ended up getting. As for other things, I knew what was going on in the last four years but I continued thinking that things would improve,” a disheartened Sandhu told PTI in an interview. Boxing became an Olympic medal hope for India ever since Vijender Singhs historic bronze in the Beijing 2008 edition. M C Mary Kom added another bronze to the kitty in 2012 when women boxers made their debut in London edition. In Rio, at least one medal was expected from the three who made the cut. The expectation was despite the fact that boxing had hit a downward spiral following the termination of the national federation in 2012 for manipulation in elections. “The luck factor was totally zero this time for us. All my boys lost to eventual medallists. I am not trying to save anybody here but we have to be realistic. The draws were very tough,” Sandhu said. The draws were indeed hard on the Indians. Shiva Thapa (56kg) lost to eventual gold-medallist Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba in the opening round, while Manoj Kumar (64kg) also went down to gold-winner Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in his ore-quarterfinal bout. Vikas Krishan (75kg), on the other hand, was defeated by eventual silver-medallist Bektemir Melikuziev in the quarterfinal. Sandhu appealed to the officials to wake up to the damage that has been done to the sport in four years of complete mess in administration. “It is my humble request, let us understand what is happening to our boxers, let us understand their suffering. We need to forget our egos. The first step towards making things right is to have an effective national federation because without a federation, we are orphans,” he was blunt in his observation. “Nothing can be built without a solid foundation, a smooth-functioning federation is a foundation for any sport. I repeat that without a federation, India will not have a voice in the international arena, no technical representation and that hurts our progress,” he added. (MORE) PTI PM KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

U’khand govt to protect interest of entrepreneurs in rafting industry: CM

first_imgDehradun, Jun 23 (PTI) As tour operators of Uttarakhand struggle to come to terms with a recent court order banning water sports in the state, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat today assured them of protecting their interests, even as all district magistrates were asked to implement the ban in their areas.”All aspects of the high court order regarding the ban on adventure tourism activities are being studied. The next step will be taken after that. The interests of entrepreneurs associated with the trade will be protected,” he said in a statement here. Rawat also directed the tourism secretary to look into all legal options available in the case and take appropriate action.He said effective steps were being taken by the state government to promote adventure tourism, “which is crucial to tourism in Uttarakhand”.Keeping in view the interests of the people involved in the trade, the chief minister said Uttarakhand Rafting, Kayaking Manual has been framed, adding that manuals for paragliding and other adventure tourism activities would be prepared soon.He said a comprehensive policy would be prepared to further promote the industry so that it strengthened the  economy of the state.Meanwhile, Tourism Secretary Dilip Jawalkar today wrote to all district magistrates, asking them to strictly implement the high court order in their respective areas.  The Uttarakhand High Court, had on June 18, put a ban on white water river rafting, other water sports and paragliding across the state till a transparent policy was framed by the state government on adventure sports, giving the latter two weeks’ time for the purpose. advertisementDevendra Rawat, former president of Rafting Association of Uttarakhand, said the ban would affect 40,000 people associated with the trade.A total of 281 companies are associated with the rafting trade, which together own 600 rafts and transact business worth over Rs 20 crore every season. The season lasts nine months from October to June, he said.   With the ban coming at the peak of the season, there will be heavy losses, he said. Vaibhav Kala, director, Aquaterra Adventures said  majority of outfits cannot be penalised for the errors of a few.    “Rafting is currently being regulated under a Rafting Act passed by the Uttarakhand government. There is a technical and regulatory committee that grants permits and proper rafting rules are framed to ensure compliance,” he said.  “Regulation, of course, has been a challenge, but that needs to be checked stringently by the authorities concerned. Majority of outfits cannot be penalised for the errors of a few,” Kala said, adding that “rhetorical judgements” like this would harm the country’s travel industry. Kala said the state needs to weed out outfits that do not meet the global benchmark.          “We will lose many bookings in the last week. The industry losses for a week should be around Rs 4-5 crore,” he said.PTI ALM      SRY SRYlast_img read more

a month agoLeicester defender Evans: Newcastle will be tough

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Leicester defender Evans: Newcastle will be toughby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City defender Jonny Evans expects a tough “challenge” against Newcastle United.Evans believes Newcastle will adopt the same gameplan that earned the Magpies victory last time out for their upcoming fixture. He said: “Our experience of Newcastle last year was that they sat in and defended deep, and we found it difficult to break them down.“That was a challenge that when the manager came to the club, he wanted to help us in that aspect – of setting our team up and being able to work teams that are going to sit in against us, which is becoming quite a common theme.Newcastle did that very well against us last year, so I think they’ll come with the same game plan.” last_img read more

EPA security chief Superfund head leave amid ethics probes

first_imgWASHINGTON – The two top officials in charge of security and toxic-waste cleanups at the Environmental Protection Agency have abruptly left their jobs, days after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers that his subordinates were to blame for alleged ethical lapses that have prompted more than a dozen federal investigations of the agency.In statements Tuesday, Pruitt praised the two men — security chief Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta and Albert Kelly, a former Oklahoma banker who ran the EPA’s Superfund program — and gave no reason for their unexpected departures.Perrotta is due to appear Wednesday for a transcribed interview by staffers of the House Oversight Committee, one of the congressional bodies and federal agencies that are probing reported excessive spending by Pruitt and other issues at the agency. Committee aides said Perrotta’s resignation was not expected to derail his appearance.EPA spokespeople Jahan Wilcox said the two men’s departures were unrelated to the ongoing federal investigations, and said the agency was fully co-operating with the congressional probe, led by House Oversight Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican.Pruitt’s spending on security, and some of the security contracts with Perrotta, are among the topics of the federal probes involving the EPA under Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general. Pruitt, an ardent advocate of minimizing regulation who moves in conservative political circles, evangelical Christian ones, and business groups, has survived the kind of scandals that have brought down several other Cabinet appointees of President Donald Trump.On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that a Pruitt trip to Morocco last December was partly arranged by a longtime friend and lobbyist, Richard Smotkin, who last month received a $40,000-a-month contract with the Moroccan government to promote its cultural and economic interests. The trip, which has drawn scrutiny from federal watchdogs, cost more than $100,000, more than twice the amount previously estimated, the Post said.At House hearings last week, Pruitt weathered six hours of scathing questions, criticism, and a couple calls from congressional Democrat to resign over the steady flow of news reports and announcements of new investigations involving alleged ethical lapses at his agency. They include spending on Pruitt’s behalf for round-the-clock security guards, first-class plane tickets, and a $43,000 soundproof telephone booth.Pruitt repeatedly deflected blame last week, describing subordinates as going too far in carrying out their duties, in excesses that occurred without his knowledge.In the case of the $43,000 booth, for example, Pruitt acknowledged to lawmakers he had asked for a private and secure phone line when he arrived at the agency, but said staffers took it upon themselves to spend tens of thousands of dollars in providing it. It was security officials, not Pruitt, who decided he should fly first-class, he said.Pruitt pledged last week to take care of the problems. “Ultimately, as the administrator of the EPA, the responsibility of identifying and making necessary changes rests with me and no one else,” Pruitt told lawmakers then.Notably, most Republican lawmakers at the hearings declined to join the Democratic dog-pile on Pruitt.It was unclear Tuesday whether lawmakers from Pruitt’s majority party would take the internal shake-up as a needed and promised house-cleaning by Pruitt or indication of even greater trouble at the agency.“I don’t know how to take this, yet,” Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, one of the few Republican lawmakers last week to fault Pruitt on expenditures such as taking bodyguards with him to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl, said in a statement by email. “I’m waiting on more details …to shed more light on what, if anything, to make of it.”Pruitt said in his statements that Perrotta was retiring after a 23-year government career that included time in the Secret Service and under previous EPA administrators. He praised Perrotta for hard work and dedication.Pruitt thanked Kelly for what he said was his “tremendous impact” in Kelly’s year overseeing the nation’s Superfund program, charged with handling the cleanup of toxic waste sites.Pruitt hired Kelly, an Oklahoma banker, at the EPA after federal banking regulators banned the man from banking for life. Regulators have not publicly specified the actions that led to the banking ban. . Days ago, Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., pressed Pruitt for more details about why exactly Kelly had been sanctioned by regulators.“I think Mr. Kelly, if he’s willing to share that with you, he should do that,” Pruitt said Thursday.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, believing Kelly “violated a law or regulation,” a year ago fined him $125,000. The undisclosed incident involved a loan by SpiritBank — which Kelly’s family has owned for generations — allegedly made without FDIC approval.Democrats in Congress also are asking for federal investigations of Kelly’s reported loans to Pruitt himself while the two were still in Oklahoma. Kelly is not among the EPA officials whom the House Oversight Committee members had summoned for questioning.Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat who has been one of those pushing for more federal probes into newspaper reports of ethical problems under Pruitt, said in a statement Tuesday that “Pruitt should be the next to go.”“Albert Kelly was never qualified to run Superfund, his banking ban was a huge red flag, and his resignation is a positive development,” Beyer said.Separately, three House Democrats raised new allegations Tuesday that staffers working on Pruitt’s behalf in early 2017 looked into the possibility of opening an EPA office in Tulsa, a city of 400,0000 and Pruitt’s home.They provided no supporting documentation. Neither EPA spokesmen nor any of the people supposed to have knowledge of the alleged request could be reached for comment at the close of the business day, when the Democrats’ letter with the allegations was released. Pruitt has drawn criticism for frequent trips home to Tulsa at taxpayer expense.last_img read more

WorkSafeBC report cites safety failures in derailment that killed 3 workers

first_imgDecaying railroad ties and the failure of a safety mechanism to prevent a train derailment are cited in a report by British Columbia’s workers’ safety agency as factors in a crash that killed three people and injured two others.The accident in April 2017 happened on the now-abandoned Western Forest Products rail line at Woss, a community of about 200 residents on Vancouver Island. The railway, known as the Englewood Railway at the time, was the last operating lumber railway in North America.The WorkSafeBC report says 12 rail cars loaded with logs were being moved when 11 of them suddenly began to roll freely with the force of gravity.The failure of a so-called “derail” device to stop the runaway cars caused them to crash into five members of a work crew who were either on a rail backhoe or in a “speeder” vehicle, a self-propelled rail car used to transport workers and equipment from location to location along the line.When the vehicle was hit from behind, the speeder operator instinctively hit the brakes, the report says.“The loaded cars, speeder, tool car and rail backhoe all continued down the track out of control, gaining speed. Continued attempts by the speeder operator to brake had no effect.”When the cars and equipment left the tracks, logs loaded in the cars rolled onto the speeder and backhoe, killing three men and seriously injuring two others. The names of those involved in the crash were redacted from the report.The report says the safety device that was intended to derail free-rolling cars was affixed on decaying ties and when the runaway cars passed by, the “derail” device was easily dislodged.“Besides the deficiencies related to the ties, WorkSafeBC investigators also found that an insufficient number of spikes were used to fasten the failed derail to the ties,” the report says.The rail traffic controller broadcast repeated warnings to anyone who might be on the same track but there was no response from anyone, it says.Western Forest Products Inc., which was not available for comment, was cited with one violation of the Workers Compensation Act for the failure to ensure the health and safety of its workers.B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena, who represents the residents of Woss in her North Island riding, said the accident has been devastating for the community.“It’s made a major change to the whole of the North Island because Western has obviously stopped using the train since the accident and transferred to roads, so everybody’s had their lives changed, but particularly the three families. It’s just been devastating.”The Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Technical Safety BC was also investigating the accident.last_img read more

Elon Musk asks judge to toss divers lawsuit in Thai dustup

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Elon Musk is asking a California judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against him by a British diver who accused the tech entrepreneur of falsely calling him a pedophile.Wednesday’s court filing argues that “the public knew from the outset that Musk’s insults were not intended to be statements of fact.”Musk called diver Vernon Unsworth a “pedo” in a tweet to his 22.5 million followers after Unsworth criticized Musk in a CNN interview in July about efforts to rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand.Musk and engineers from his rocket company, SpaceX, built a small submarine and shipped it to Thailand to help with the rescue. The device wasn’t used and in the interview, Unsworth called it a “PR stunt.”Amanda Lee Myers, The Associated Presslast_img read more

All necessary security measures will be in place for voters poll personnel

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission said on Monday that there will be deployment of armed forces at all the booths and adequate security measures would be taken for the voters and voting personnel in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ariz Aftab said on Monday that they are concerned over the security issues of polling personnel. In some places, the polling personnel have threatened to boycott the polls if adequate security measures are not taken. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaMeanwhile, the office of the District Election Officer in North Kolkata launched the e-portal Pollstar, where the voters and voting personnel would be given information related to the poll procedure. Voters will be trained through 7 modules which have been uploaded in the portal. It may be mentioned here that a number of polling personnel in North Bengal have recently written to the CEO, seeking immediate deployment of Central Forces in all the polling stations. They have also threatened to pull out from their election duties, unless adequate forces are deployed to man all the polling stations of these districts. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayWhile answering the questions of media, Aftab said armed police personnel from both the Centre and the state police force will be deployed at the polling stations. Senior officials of the CEO’s office assured all the election employees that all preemptive measures would be taken to conduct free and fair elections. Sources in the CEO’s office said that the commission is thinking of deploying 35 to 45 companies of Central Force in the state. At present, 36 companies of Central Forces are available for the polls in the two districts of Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. Around 10 companies of Central Forces would be brought to Jharkhand. Meanwhile, the state government has released 29 companies of Central Forces which were deployed in Jangalmahal. Out of the 29 companies, 11 will be deployed in Alipurduar and 18 in Cooch Behar, sources in the CEO’s office said. 9,000 state armed police personnel will be deployed in the 3,844 polling booths, of which 2,010 are in Cooch Behar and 1,834 in Alipurduar. The decision about force deployment was finalised following a meeting between CEO Ariz Aftab and ADG (law and order) Siddh Nath Gupta recently.last_img read more

Ohio State womens lacrosse heads to Rutgers after first loss since February

OSU senior attacker Cian Dabrowski (14) fires a shot in a game against Penn State on April 9. OSU won, 16-13. Credit: Courtesy of OSUA short memory often one of the keys to any successful athlete. The No. 9 Ohio state women’s lacrosse team will have to put that skill to the test as it regroups from a blowout loss and travels to Rutgers for a Thursday evening matchup.The first setback OSU (11-2, 2-1) faced in 55 days was a 15-5 loss at No. 1 Maryland last weekend which ended its nine-game winning streak. If they’re able to bounce back with a win over Rutgers (3-11, 0-3), the Buckeyes would end being no worse than the No. 2 seed in the 2016 Big Ten tournament. Rutgers is coming off a 20-9 loss to Northwestern. The Buckeyes are 3-1 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, as they beat Rutgers 17-7 in the 2015 Big Ten tournament quarterfinals, as well as twice in conference play.A closer look at OSUOSU has decorated players all over the field that play a huge role in the team’s success.Sophomore attacker Molly Wood ranks 13th in the country with 4.7 draws per game and is on track to set an OSU single-season record. Wood is also second on the team with 30 goals, and is one of only two Buckeyes to score a goal in every game this season.Senior attackers Cian Dabrowski and Rainey Hodgson rank in the top five in the Big Ten in almost every offensive category. Dabrowski leads OSU and ranks second in the Big Ten with three goals per game and leads with 4.1 points per match. Hodgson ranks second in the Big Ten with 3.8 points per game and is first with 1.9 assists per contest.Defensively, senior goalkeeper Katie Frederick is 11-2 as a first-year starter. Frederick is third in the conference with 6.46 saves per game.As a team, OSU ranks second in the Big Ten in shot percentage and goals against, and sits third for goals, assists, draw controls and saves.Game time against the Scarlet Knights is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday in Piscataway, New Jersey.Up nextThe Buckeyes are set to return home and get back on the field quickly when they welcome No. 6 Notre Dame to Ohio Stadium at 3 p.m. on Saturday. read more

Delph says long days are not a problem for the England

first_imgFabian Delph recently claimed that the lack of darkness where the English international team are staying is not a problem to anyone despite such rumours already being spread.The Three Lions squad is based on the Gulf of Finland in a rather small and quiet town, 30 miles away from St Petersburg.The Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph claimed he himself doesn’t have any problems with the long days – the sun sets around midnight and rises back up at 3.30 AM where the team has been situated.“We’re sleeping fine, we’ve got a great team here,” Delph said, according to BT Sport.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“We’ve got our own mattresses and our own pillows. We got used to them at St George’s Park. It’s a home from home.”“When we arrived in the hotel there were a lot of homely things. We brought home comforts – pictures of our families, I had my Yorkshire Tea bags. It’s just like being in Yorkshire, really!”“The curtains are not bad, we’re not getting much light in my bedroom,” Delph went on to add.last_img read more

Carrick has praised Jose Mourinhos youth policy

first_imgMichael Carrick has praised Jose Mourinho attitude of sticking to Manchester United’s long-standing tradition of bringing through young players.United are well known for giving young players a chance to showcase their talents with the famous ‘Class of 92’ and the ‘Busby Babes’ experiencing great success.However, Mourinho’s adaptation to the ‘United way’, in regard to youth, has surprised many – with Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay becoming regular fixtures during his tenure.“He does get the history,” said Carrick according to Sky Sports, now part of the first-team coaching staff since retiring as a player.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“For the manager to put him [Rashford] in and play him… and Scott [McTominay] last year… and give them games, big games as well.“The manager has to take a lot of credit for that. That’s the constant challenge though, isn’t it? That’s what everyone wants to see, that next one.“They say it’s getting harder. But that’s a challenge for us as a club and for English football – you might not get tens and twenties, you might get five or six players – but it’s got to keep happening.”last_img read more