Diana Containerships Disposes of Panamax Oldie

first_imgzoom Athens-based containership owner Diana Containerships has reached an agreement to sell one of its Panamax vessels for a price of USD 6.15 million.Under the Memorandum of Agreement, the company’s 2002-built vessel Doukato would be sold to an unaffiliated third party.The company informed that the 3,739 TEU ship is scheduled to join its new owner by June 16, 2017.Featuring 51,059 dwt, Doukato was constructed by South Korea’s shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries.From mid-February 2017, the vessel was chartered to Singapore-based VASI Shipping. The charter deal was for a period of two months, ending on April 17, 2017.Upon completion of the transaction, Diana Containerships’ fleet will consist of 11 container vessels, including 6 Post-Panamax and 5 Panamax ships.last_img read more

Pressure on China as it defends blocking Azhar terror listing

first_imgWashington: China on Thursday defended its fourth “technical hold” on the designation of Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying the move would give it time for a “thorough and in-depth assessment” of the case and help the parties concerned to engage in more talks to find a “lasting solution” acceptable to all. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayThe Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. Just before the deadline ended, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal seeking “more time to examine” it. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. Asked why China once again resorted to blocking the move, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing here that Beijing’s decision is in line with the rules of the committee. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty”Only a solution that is acceptable to all sides could fundamentally provide a chance for a lasting solution to the issue. China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue,” he said. The Security Council 1267 Committee has clear standards on the procedures of designating terrorist organisations and individuals, Lu said. “China conducts a thorough and in-depth assessment of these applications and we still need more time, so that is why we put forward the technical hold,” he said. India Wednesday expressed disappointment soon after China put a technical hold on designating Azhar. The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that leaders of terror groups involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice. Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time a move to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, responsible UNSC members warned they “may be forced to pursue other actions” at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy. The senior diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity to give a sense of the frustration of the other members of the Security Council after China on Wednesday put a technical hold on the proposal.last_img read more

Navy Chief holds talks with chief of US naval ops

first_imgNew Delhi: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Monday held extensive talks with Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Michael Richardson on ways to further deepen cooperation between navies of the two countries.Admiral Richardson is on a three-day visit to India which began on Sunday. “Major issues discussed included operations and exercises, training interactions, information exchange, capacity building and capability enhancement,” the Indian Navy said. It said Admiral Richardson’s visit is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and the US and also to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. The US naval official also interacted with Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa among others.last_img read more

Golf Needs Tiger Woods To Save A Sport That

Watched golf this weekend—no this was not a masochistic endeavor. It was sort of a one-man straw poll on the sport that once rose like a supernova that is now descending like a fallen star.What is watching golf like without Tiger Woods?It’s like having sweet tea without the sugar; like watching Training Day without Denzel; like a Beyonce video that’s too dark to see.Empty.It does not matter the event or the depth of the field. If Tiger Woods is not playing, the panache is absent.It once was considered an overstatement to say that golf lived and died with Tiger Woods. Not anymore. Golf is dying—professionally and recreationally—as Woods makes his descent.Watching Woods play badly is more interesting than seeing world No. 1 Rory McIlroy shoot 62.Who would have thought that a Black man would dominate the sport so significantly that at one point people wondered if it was good for the game that he won so much? Here’s the thing: Everyone won when Woods was at his apex.TV ratings were sky high. Prize money exponentially increased to induce Woods to play and because sponsors were at a premium, knowing Woods was going to fill the course with patrons in record numbers and generate unprecedented TV ratings. Many who never considered the game recreationally began playing, especially in the Black community.Woods made a lot of people a lot of money as a Black man reigning over a traditionally white sport, and doing it with flair.You had to watch. And you began to think you should at least try to play. Even if you weren’t very good—which describes everybody in the beginning.But the worst case scenario happened to the game: Tiger Woods is not playing as he tries to locate a game that has been missing for some time now. His absence and the decline of golf viewership run parallel. It is not a coincidence.Phil Mickelson’s a great American player who does not have the zest of Tiger. McIlroy is as interesting as Irish coffee. A host of young, talented players have no drawing power to the casual, would-be viewer.Television ratings have dipped to levels of the absurd without Woods. The final round of the 2014 Masters lured only 7.8 percent of television viewers. That weekend produced the unique major championship’s smallest TV audience since 1993.Sunday when Tiger does not probably could have been tallied by head count by Neilson.Unless Woods’ game has deteriorated to the point where he wouldn’t want to embarrass himself, he will tee it up next month in Augusta at the Masters. Watch the ratings skyrocket, whether he plays well or not.If, by some amazing reversal, Wood is in contention on Sunday, golf executives around the country would be kissing his spikes. He moves the interest meter like no one in sports has since Michael Jordan.Outside the PGA Tour, golf is losing, too. TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, the world’s biggest maker of golf clubs and clothes, had sales plummet 28 percent last year, its parent company Adidas said to The Washington Post.More stats: Sports & Fitness Industry Association data show those who said they played golf at least once last year has fallen to one of its lowest point in years. Young people—that coveted 18-to-30 demographic—playing golf has fallen an incredible 35 percent over the last decade.And more stats: More golf courses closed than opened in 2013 for the eighth straight year, according to the National Golf Foundation. And the number of course closures has sped up, averaging 137 closings every year since 2011, data from golf-industry researcher Pellucid show—right around the time Woods began to fall apart.“There’s nobody out there who’s going to save us,” Pellucid’s president Jim Koppenhaver said at a Professional Golfers Association of America gathering in January. “We have to save ourselves.”Tiger Woods gave golf a great gift. An identity. A reason to watch. Inspiration to play. All that’s fading now, and the numbers say the descent is in full throttle. As he works to get back to form, the game continues to diminish in stature and interest. Now, you can bet all those who were rooting against Woods are now praying for him to save the sport. read more

Ohio State womens basketball throttles Illinois behind historic offensive performance

OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston sets the offense during a game against Illinois on Feb. 21 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 117-74. Credit: Brooke Profitt | Lantern photographerAs time ticked down at the Schottenstein Center in the final home game of the Ohio State women’s basketball team’s regular season against Illinois, the question was not which team would score more points. It was whether OSU’s starting backcourt of Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston could outscore the Fighting Illini on their own.On a warm Sunday afternoon in Columbus, No. 5 OSU (23-4, 15-1) ran past Illinois (9-18, 2-14) with an outstanding offensive showing, 117-74. The Buckeyes powered past the Illini behind an impressive offensive performance from the senior guard Alston, who scored 39 points, just three points shy of the single-game record at OSU. Meanwhile, the sophomore Mitchell had an extremely efficient day, putting in 35 points on 11-of-14 shooting, including eight 3-pointers.Combined, the duo matched the point total of the entire Illinois team, with 74. “We played with great pace, we shared the ball (and) we shot it well. We were extremely efficient,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said. “There’s not much more I could ask for in terms of how our offense went today.”The Buckeyes are now on a season-high 11-game win streak and still hold sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.  Before their final game at the Schott began, Alston, along with fellow senior Cait Craft and redshirt junior Kalpana Beach, were recognized for their contributions to the program over the course of their careers.The emotional pregame turned into a high-powered first-quarter offense for the Buckeyes. The Fighting Illini held their own through the first five minutes, but quickly fell behind by double digits when the Scarlet and Gray turned to their full-court press defense. The Buckeyes finished the first quarter with 37 points, 16 of which were dropped in by the nation’s fifth-leading scorer, Mitchell.OSU followed up its first quarter outburst with another offensively charged 10 minutes. An array of Buckeyes contributed to the second-quarter barrage.By the half, the lead had bloomed to 27 points as the Buckeyes owned a 67-40 advantage heading into the locker room. It marked the highest-scoring first half of the season for the Buckeyes. The Scarlet and Gray’s big lead was due in part to impressive team 3-point shooting effort, as they connected on 11 of their 18 attempts. At the midway point, Mitchell had 25 points for the Buckeyes on a nearly perfect 8-of-9 shooting. Alston added 19 points of her own.Although the Buckeyes maintained control for the vast majority of the game, Craft said she is still focused on what the team can improve on heading toward the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.“I feel that offense is something our team has, even when we’re not hitting shots, we find other ways to score,” Craft said, “Defensively is where we really need to work.”OSU showed no signs of rust coming off the break as it continued to add onto its already-impressive lead. No single player took control in the third period, but just about everyone who checked in meshed with the others and helped create scoring opportunities. At the conclusion of the third period, the Buckeyes were in control by 44 points. In the closing quarter, the Buckeyes held their own, maintaining their massive lead and spreading out playing time. The three players recognized before the game subbed out just before the end of the final quarter and were given a big round of applause by the home crowd. “I think we were really dialed in,” Alston said. “I feel like that’s how the game should be. When you make it fun and everyone is scoring it becomes contagious.”The Buckeyes are set to get back in action Wednesday on the road against Minnesota (18-9, 10-6). Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. read more

Ranieri warning for Liverpool

first_imgLiverpool must be cautious against a Roma side that are capable of defeating the likes of Barcelona in the Champions League, warns Claudio RanieriJurgen Klopp’s side will be hosting the Giallorossi at Anfield for the first leg of their semi-final clash in the Champions League with both clubs aiming for a place in the final of the competition at Kiev against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.Liverpool impressed many pundits with their convincing 5-1 aggregate win over Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the competition, while Roma left the football world stunned with their shocking comeback win against Barcelona secured them their first semi-final appearance in the Champions League since the 1983/84 season.Ranieri, who is renown for guiding Leicester City to a shock Premier League title victory in 2016, told Gazzetta dello Sport that he believes that Roma will prove themselves to be a difficult challenge for Liverpool.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“As a manager I never think I can face defeat before I play. [Eusebio] Di Francesco [the current Roma manager] will study Liverpool.” said Ranieri, according to The Sport Review.“They are not beaten yet, the Roma side that we admired against Barcelona can make it.“The Reds are spectacular but away from home they aren’t always solid.”last_img read more

Alves reacts to losing Messi assist record

first_imgDani Alves is not happy about no longer being the player who provided Lionel Messi with the most assists in La LigaThe Brazilian’s record tally of 26 assists for the Barcelona star was overtaken by Luis Suarez in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Valencia.After Ezequiel Garay had put Valencia in the lead, Suarez traded passes with Messi before the Argentine then scored a 32-minute equaliser for Barcelona from 20 yards.Until then, nobody had provided Messi with more goals at Barcelona than Alves.Reacting to the news on Twitter, Alves seemed to take it in good humour by saying: “Nooooooo!!!” and including two tears of joy emojis.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Alves ended an eight-year spell with Barcelona in 2016 to sign for Juventus and now plays his club football at Paris Saint-Germain.Nooooooo!!! 😂 😂 https://t.co/qLt9JMlTp3— Daniel Alves (@DaniAlvesD2) October 9, 2018last_img read more

Robertson praises David Bates ahead of debut

first_imgScotland’s Andrew Robertson has heaped praises on David Bates ahead of his international debut with the team.The Hamburg defender is set to win his first cap in the heart of the Scotland defence, thanks to a large number of withdrawals from the team.Robertson has been impressed by the former Rangers Football Club defender, saying:“You don’t quite know how it will go on your debut but I think David can stand up and be counted,” he said according to Dail Mail.“He’s been really good in training. I remember watching him at Rangers and he’s come on a lot since he made the move to Hamburg.”“It’s up to the manager if he starts or not but, if he does, the more experienced lads will help him out and be positive.”Scotland’s Robertson hopes for a positive result against Belgium Manuel R. Medina – September 7, 2019 Scotland was defeated at home 2-1 by Russia in yesterday’s 2020 European Championship qualifiers, and the team is almost out of the race for a spot at the Euros.“Yes, it will be an inexperienced 11 due to circumstances, but I have confidence in the lads.”“Callum Paterson’s been doing well in the Premier League with Cardiff City and Ryan Fraser has the most assists in that league (with Bournemouth). The Celtic boys are all coming into international duty on a high.”“It can be hard to bring your own individual form from a club into a new team at international level but that’s what we’re aiming to do. Hopefull,y we can get the right result.”Meanwhile, Robertson admits the withdrawals have impacted Scotland’s preparation for UEFA Nations League games against Albania and Israel.“Of course it’s been a bit disruptive but we always plan with different team set-ups, and people are 100 per cent concentrated on what they are doing. These things happen and people will need to step up.”“We have to think that people will react well in adversity. I’m sure that will happen in Albania.”last_img read more

Red Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The American Red Cross is conducting the following upcoming blood drives in Wilmington:Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 1pm-7pm: Wilmington Friendship (Masonic) Lodge (32 Church Street)Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10am-3pm: Wilmington Congregational Church (220 Middlesex Avenue)Sunday, November 4, 2018, 10am-3pm: St. Thomas/Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall (126 Middlesex Avenue)Interested donors can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to book an appointment, but walk-ins ARE welcome.Here are some important facts about blood and the blood donation process, from the Red Cross’s website:Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year.Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure that it is safe for the donor to give blood.The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 minutes.First time donor?  Haven’t given blood in awhile?  Read this checklist so you know what to expect.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRed Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In WilmingtonIn “Community”Red Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In WilmingtonIn “Community”Red Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In WilmingtonIn “Community”last_img read more

PHOTOS Wilmingtons Boy Scout Troop 136 Holds Car Wash Fundraiser For McLaren Family

first_imgLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Boy Scouts Troop 136 To Hold Car Wash On September 8 To Benefit McLaren Family Following TragedyIn “Community”Cub Scout Pack 136 Announce Pumpkin Sale, Haunted Trail Walk & Haunted House FundraisersIn “Community”Wilmington Boy Scouts To Hold Car Wash On May 19In “Community” WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington’s Boy Scout Troop 136 held a Car Wash fundraiser on Saturday, September at the Friendship Lodge.All proceeds benefited the McLaren family of Wilmington. On July 30, Tom McLaren was injured in a motorcycle accident on his way to work on Route 128. He remains hospitalized with serious injuries. Tom’s family includes his wife Wanda, and his two children, Leila and David. David is a member of Troop 136.For those who were out of town and unable to attend, a GoFundMe was set up by friends of the family at http://www.gofundme.com/support-for-the-mclaren-family. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and will go directly to the family for living and medical expenses.Below are photos of the event, from Dick Searfoss, posted on the Friendship Lodge’s website:last_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Jared Marquard Named To Deans List At Coastal Carolina University

first_imgCONWAY, SC — More than 2,000 Coastal Carolina University students were named to the Dean’s List for the Spring 2019 semester. That’s nearly 20 percent of the student body with a grade point average between 3.5-3.99 for the spring semester.Jared W. Marquard, a Recreation and Sport Management major from Wilmington, made the cut.About Coastal Carolina UniversityCoastal Carolina University is a dynamic, public comprehensive liberal arts institution located in Conway, just minutes from the resort area of Myrtle Beach, S.C.Coastal Carolina University offers baccalaureate degrees in 73 major fields of study. Among CCU’s 25 graduate-level programs are 21 master’s degrees, two educational specialist degrees, and the doctorates in education and marine science: coastal and marine systems science. The most popular undergraduate majors are marine science, management, exercise and sport science, communication and psychology. CCU boasts a growing array of internship, research and international opportunities for students, as well as numerous online programs through Coastal Online.More than 10,600 students from across the country and around the world interact with a world-class faculty, and enjoy a nationally competitive NCAA I athletic program, an inspiring cultural calendar, and a tradition of community interaction that is fueled by more than 160 student clubs and organizations.Coastal Carolina University was founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College and became an independent state university in 1993.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Coastal Carolina University.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Patrick Dunfey Named To Dean’s List At Coastal Carolina UniversityIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Scott Falzano Named To Dean’s List At Coastal Carolina UniversityIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: WIlmington’s Dylan Masiello Wins Student Involvement Award At Coastal Carolina UniversityIn “Education”last_img read more

John Boyega teases his most shocking Star Wars set moment

first_img Share your voice Star Wars returns Star Wars Episode 9: Release date, cast, director and theories Mark Hamill just tweeted the best Star Wars Episode IX trailer tease Tags 77 Photos Star Wars TV and Movies 0 Boyega isn’t the only Star Wars cast member willing to tantalize fans with his secret knowledge. Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver told Deadline he was privy to a key clue to the trilogy’s ultimate path. “With Star Wars, I had one piece of information of where it was all going, and that’s where it has been in my head for a long time, and things were building towards that,” he said.Boyega and Driver are keeping the details classified, but it gives fans a fantastic opportunity to speculate about what it all means. You can check out our roundup of Episode 9 rumors right here. Post a comment Boyega posted a close-up look at his hands, which appear to be covered in dirt with a drop of blood oozing out of his left thumb. “The whole team pushed themselves today to achieve something visually crazy,” he says.So what could cause dirty hands and a cut? It could be an epic battle scene of some sort, or some other tense, action-packed moment.   2019 movies to geek out over The final chapter in the latest Star Wars trilogy is cloaked in mystery. We know we’ll be catching up with Rey, BB-8, Finn and Poe, but filming is still underway and the Dec. 20 release date for the J.J. Abrams-directed film is far off. John Boyega, who plays Resistance fighter Finn, knows fans are desperate for information. He delivered an epic teaser to Instagram on Tuesday, writing, “I’ve had many moments of shock on set but not like today and I can’t wait until you know why.”last_img read more

Mutiny in House of Saud King Salman clipping wings of Crown Prince

first_img CIA Concludes Saudi Prince Personally Ordered Jamal Khashoggis Death IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:00/1:31Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:31?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Missing journalist Jamal KhashoggiANIRecently US senators accused the kingdom of a series of misdeeds, adding that the Crown Prince has gone “full gangster.”  The US lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats — also slammed the kingdom for the way it handled the civil war in Yemen as well as the series of alleged human rights abuses.”He is reckless, he’s ruthless, he has a penchant for escalation, for taking high risks, confrontational in his foreign policy approach and I think increasingly willing to test the limits of what he can get away with the United States,” Senator Marco Rubio said. Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman said that the Israelis have the right to own their land.ReutersIf reports doing the rounds are true there is a widening rift between Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his father, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The enfant terrible of the Al Saud dynasty has had a rather unchecked run so far as ‘King in everything but name’. However, the 33-year-old’s stranglehold on Saudi Arabia is on the wane, multiple reports have said.Prince Mohammad invited worldwide condemnation and infamy after the brutal killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey last year. His role in spearheading the bitter and destructive war on Yemen was also widely criticised. Of late, the Saudi King was also disturbed about the draining of investment from Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the Khashoggi murder. Salman revokes crown prince’s key powersThe Guardian newspaper reported on Monday that King Salman has stripped the crown prince of some crucial powers. The ageing and ailing king made the move after the crown prince stretched his powers as the deputy king thin when his father was on an official visit to Egypt last month, the paper reported. It is extremely rare for a crown prince to use his temporary powers as the deputy king during the monarch’s absence, but MBS moved swiftly to announce key appointments when the king was travelling. He promoted his sister as the kingdom’s envoy to Washington and appointed his brother in the defence ministry. Sources told the British newspaper that both the appointments were done without the king’s approval. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman attends a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony in Putrajaya, Malaysia February 27, 2017. [Representational Image]Reuters fileThe King’s Egypt visit was marred by lurking fears of a possible coup against the ageing monarch. The fears were so palpable that the King removed his security detail midway through the foreign jaunt and brought in a 30-member team of handpicked loyalists from Riyadh.To make matters worse, the all powerful crown prince did not turn up at the airport to welcome back the King. This is an age old custom, the flouting of which sends out signals of grave crisis within the royal household. The crown prince’s absence at the airport was followed by his no-show at key meetings subsequently. The most glaring act of defiance was his absence at a key cabinet meeting presided over by the King. The crown prince was then summoned again for another cabinet meeting in which the king apparently detailed changes in the power structure. However, Prince Mohammad skipped this meeting too, Saudi sources told the paper. The report also lays down instances wherein the crown prince’s absence attracted attention. He did not turn up when important foreign dignitaries from Russia, India, China and Lebanon visited Riyadh. Middle East observers have also pointed out that the crown prince has not made any formal appearance in a fortnight. However, it remains a fact that MBS has remained unseen for longer. Around May last year, the prince’s continued absence at public events had given rise to wild rumours about his death or serious injury. The whole saga started with the shooting down of a drone in Riyadh on April 21 last year, which was interpreted as a coup attempt aimed at the crown prince. When MBS didn’t make any public appearance for weeks on end after this, Iranian media kick-started the death rumours. He is reckless, he’s ruthless, he has a penchant for escalation, for taking high risks, confrontational in his foreign policy approach and I think increasingly willing to test the limits of what he can get away with the United States Close MBS gone ‘full gangster'”At least two bullets have hit bin Salman in April 21 clashes in Riyadh and it is even possible that he is dead,” wrote Iran’s Kayhan newspaper. ‘There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the absence of nearly 30 days of Muhammad bin Sulman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is due to an incident which is being hidden from the public,’ it claimed. Something that added fuel to the death rumours was the fact that the crown prince gave a miss to important diplomatic events like the high profile visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.last_img read more

Leave supporters cheer out out out

first_imgThe pound dropped below the crucial $1.40 mark amid fears that the UK would vote to leave the European Union. Sterling fell as much as 10% early on Friday, and is on track for its worst one-day fall in history. Trading was at $1.3262, down nearly 9%, as of 5.27am BST.The pound, which had earlier hit a 2016 high as polls suggested the Remain camp would come through in the referendum, fell to lows not seen since 1981. Just before 5am BST, as various agencies began calling the referendum in favour of Leave, the pound slipped further to trade at 1.3322. Stock futures on the FTSE 100, which had ended the previous session up 1.23% were predicted to be down 8% as the vote swung Friday.Its extraordinary, said John Wraith, Head of UK Rates Strategy, UBS Investment Bank, Reuters reported. Shock probably isnt too strong a word. People will come in this morning earlier than usual, so its a skeleton staff right now. But shock was the first reaction. Now its all hands on deck trying to deal with the volatility, he said.Early Friday, the BBC, and other agencies, forecast that the UK had decided to leave the EU based on the analysis of pending undeclared counts.Markets are very nervy at the moment, Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital in London, told Reuters. Its definitely tin hats time. If Leave wins there will be carnage for cable, he said, referring to the sterling/dollar exchange rate.Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was trading down 6.73% while Hong Kongs Hang Seng was down 4.7% and the Shanghai Composite was down over 1%.Ahead of the EU referendum results, the pound was trading higher at $1.50, amid expectations that the Remain campaign would win. However, after votes in Sunderland and Newcastle swayed towards the Leave campaign, the sterling declined to $1.43. It further fell to $1.41 at about 2am.The pound then dropped below 1.35, a 31-year low, Bloomberg reported. A few traders said that they had not witnessed such dramatic moves since the financial crisis of 2008.Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, a UK-based foreign exchange company said, These moves are concerning and bring back pretty painful memories of 2008.The pound didnt have this bad a day [against the dollar] in the global financial crisis and the moves by the bookies to price Leave as the favourite is killing the pound. News from Wales is the most concerning at the moment alongside the London turnout dynamics.Analysts have warned that the drop was amplified by low trading volumes. Jeremy Stretch from CIBC said, Volumes are very low and markets are relatively illiquid. Traders are very jittery, its not just in sterling.last_img read more

What did Sushma Swaraj and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani discuss about cricketer

first_imgREUTERS/Darren OrnitzFormer Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away at the age of 67 after suffering a cardiac arrest on Tuesday night. During her tenure as a minister, she was very much active on social media and was always offering help. But, she shares an interesting connection with Afghanistani spinner Rashid Khan. During the 2018 season of IPL, Sunrisers Hyderabad faced the Kolkata Knight Riders in a much-awaited clash at the Eden Gardens in the second qualifier of the tournament. The match had a nail-biting finish and Rashid Khan delivered a stand-out performance. The 20-year-old cricketer scored 34 runs off 10 balls and also finished with impressive figures of three wickets for just 19 runs in his quota of four overs.The Afghan all-rounder became the biggest topic of discussion on Twitter that day and there were demands for him to be given Indian citizenship. Then foreign minister Sushma Swaraj took to twitter and made a witty comment.  Rashid Khan.IANS”I have seen all the tweets. Citizenship matters are dealt with by Ministry of Home affairs,” her tweet read.In response to that Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani stated that they were not going to let Rashid go and also appreciated India for giving the Afghani players a platform to perform and prove themselves.”Afghans take absolute pride in our hero, Rashid Khan. I am also thankful to our Indian friends for giving our players a platform to show their skills. Rashid reminds us what’s best about Afghanistan. He remains an asset to the cricketing world. No we are not giving him away,” his tweet read.This was not the first time that Swaraj spoke about Afghanistan’s success in international cricket. Earlier in an interview with the PTI, she praised their efforts.”The fact that Afghanistan attained the status of a Test-playing cricket nation is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people of Afghanistan to not let the forces of death and destruction prevail,” she told PTI.last_img read more

80 gold bars seized at Dhaka airport

first_imgGold bars recovered from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Thursday. Photo: Customs houseCustoms officials recovered 80 gold bars weighing 9.28-kg from a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport early Thursday.A team of customs officials raided the flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, BG-087, after it had landed at the airport from Kualalampur around 4:30 am, said customs inspector Ataul Islam.The team, led by deputy commissioner (customs) Fahmida Mehzabin found the gold bars worth Tk 46.80 million wrapped in black scotch tape under a seat, he added.No one was arrested in this connection, reports UNB.last_img read more

Hillary says Comey letter Russian hackers cost her US presidency

first_imgHillary ClintonHillary Clinton said on Tuesday she was on the path to victory in the 2016 presidential election until late interference by Russian hackers and FBI Director James Comey scared off some potential supporters.In her most extensive public comments on the 8 November election, Clinton told a New York conference she was derailed by Comey’s 28 October letter informing Congress the Federal Bureau of Investigation had reopened a probe of her use of a private email server and by the WikiLeaks release of campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, allegedly stolen by Russian hackers.“If the election had been on 27 October, I would be your president,” she told a women’s conference moderated by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.“It wasn’t a perfect campaign, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Comey’s letter and Russian WikiLeaks,” the Democrat said of the loss to Republican Donald Trump. “The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days.”Clinton, who said she is going through the “painful process” of writing a book dealing in part with the election, also said misogyny played a role in her defeat. Becoming the first woman US president would have been “a really big deal,” she said.Clinton took personal responsibility for the campaign’s mistakes, but did not question her strategy or her staff. “I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had,” Clinton said.She said she had no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to influence the election for Trump, and bluntly criticised the new US president for some of his foreign policy views and for tweeting too much.“I’m back to being an activist citizen – and part of the resistance,” she said.Clinton said broader negotiations involving China and other countries in the region were critical for convincing North Korea to rein in its nuclear programme. She questioned Trump’s recent suggestion he would be willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.“You should not offer that in the absence of a broader strategic framework to try to get China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, to put the kind of pressure on the regime that will finally bring them to the negotiating table,” Clinton said.She also said she supported the recent missile strikes ordered by Trump in Syria but was unsure if they would make a difference. “There is a lot that we don’t really yet fully know about what was part of that strike,” she said.last_img read more

India Pakistan schools close as smog envelopes

first_imgIndian activists wear facemasks to protect them from pollution during a mask distribution drive at the roadside in New Delhi on Thursday. AFPSchools closed across large swathes of north India on Thursday as a hazardous fog of toxic pollution cloaked the region for a third day, with growing calls for urgent government action to tackle what doctors are calling a public health emergency.Punjab’s government said it was closing all 25,000 schools in the state for the rest of the week due to the acrid air blanketing north India and parts of neighbouring Pakistan.The decision came a day after Delhi authorities ordered all 6,000 schools in the capital to shut until Sunday.Low winds and the annual post-harvest burning of crop stubble in Punjab and neighbouring areas have caused the levels of dangerous pollutants in the air to spike to many times the levels considered safe.Air quality typically worsens before the onset of winter as cooler air traps pollutants near the ground and prevents them from dispersing into the atmosphere, a phenomenon known as inversion.Figures on the US embassy website showed levels of PM2.5 — the smallest particulates that cause most damage to health — spiked at over 1,000 on Wednesday afternoon in Delhi, though by Thursday they had fallen to 590.The World Health Organization’s guidelines say 25 is the maximum level of PM2.5 anyone can safely be exposed to over a 24-hour period.Doctors say the microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the lungs, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.”Delhi once again has become a veritable gas chamber with denizens finding it difficult to breathe,” The Times of India said Thursday, joining growing calls for government action to curb the chronic pollution, which the Indian Medical Association this week termed a public health emergency.”Air pollution during winter months has become a catastrophe for large parts of north India,” the country’s most read English-language newspaper said in an editorial blaming “political apathy”.”It’s high time the question is asked: why can’t authorities enjoying jurisdiction over the national capital of an aspiring great power… come up with concrete measures to tackle the world’s worst air pollution.”As pressure mounted on the government, authorities in Delhi ordered a ban on all construction work and barred lorries from entering the city.Around 50,000 mostly diesel-fuelled lorries pass through India’s capital every night and they are a major contributor to the pollution plaguing the city.- Struggling to respond -It is the second year running that Delhi — now the world’s most polluted capital with air quality worse than Beijing — has faced such high levels of PM2.5.Media reports said the thick smog had also led to a series of road accidents in north India.Eight students were killed late Wednesday when a truck ploughed into them as they waited for a bus on a roadside in Punjab.Since 2014, when WHO figures showed the extent of the crisis, authorities in Delhi have closed power plants temporarily and experimented with taking some cars off the road.But the temporary measures have had little effect.Under pressure to respond, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sought to blame stubble burning by farmers in neighbouring states.”We we will continue facing this every year until the neighbouring state governments resolve the issue of crop burning,” he told reporters in Delhi.The practice of burning crop stubble remains commonplace in north India despite an official ban.Kejriwal said his government would decide in the next day or two whether to reintroduce restrictions on driving cars in the city.last_img read more