Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet for the Wimbledon title after the old guard held off the new in the semifinals Friday at the All England Club.Federer, chasing his record eighth Wimbledon championship, swept past Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his 25th Grand Slam final.Federer, who owns 17 Slam titles, is back in a major final for the first time since winning Wimbledon in 2012.The top-seeded Djokovic ran off six of the final seven points in the tiebreaker to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) to advance to his third Wimbledon final in four years.It’s also Djokovic’s 14th Grand Slam final and 10th in his last 13 majors.
Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Coach fighting leukemia puts Sevilla back on track in Spain Brooklyn Nets’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24), Caris LeVert (22) and D’Angelo Russell (1) react to a dunk by Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons (25) during the second half in Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, April 18, 2019, in New York. The 76ers won 131-115. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — Joel Embiid took off his warmup gear and changed into street clothes, his left knee feeling too sore to play.Even with the All-Star center sitting down, the Philadelphia 76ers were flying high in Game 3.ADVERTISEMENT Energized by a lively Brooklyn crowd seeing playoff basketball for the first time since 2015 and perhaps by the absence of Embiid, who averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in the first two games, the Nets started well but then stalled. They went about 4 1/2 minutes without a basket and Philadelphia took advantage to lead 32-24 after one.“When, arguably, their best player sits out, you have to take advantage of that and we just couldn’t perform on it,” Nets center Jarrett Allen said.The lead quickly went into double digits in the second before LeVert got going. He scored six straight points and had Brooklyn’s first 14 of the period to tie it at 38. The 76ers regained control and opened an 11-point lead with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining before halftime, but LeVert had another burst to cut Philadelphia’s lead to 65-59 at the break. He finished with 19 points in the period.Redick hit a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around Harris’ three-point play, pushing it to 81-67, and another 3 by Redick had the Sixers leading 97-81 with 1:16 left in the third. But a four-point play by Spencer Dinwiddie highlighted Brooklyn’s run of nine straight points to end the period and trim it to 97-90.The Nets cut it to six in the fourth on Russell’s 3-pointer, but the 76ers soon pulled away again.It was another poor defensive effort by the Nets, who allowed just 102 points in Game 1 but an average of 138 in the last two games.“We didn’t do a good enough job of getting stops,” guard Joe Harris said. “You can’t have three guys go for 30 and expect to win games.”Jimmy Butler scored 16 points for the 76ers and backup big man Boban Marjanovic finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.TIP-INS76ers: Simmons was 5 for 5 on free throws when the Nets fouled him intentionally with 3:38 remaining. He missed both, but hit two on the next possession and finished 9 for 11. … Monroe didn’t even make his Sixers debut until April 6. Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid LATEST STORIES MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Harris had his playoff highs in both points and rebounds, and was 6 for 6 from 3-point range. Redick was 5 of 9 behind the arc and finished with 26 points.“Listen, I think their big players came to play,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Ben had a great game, I thought JJ was great, Tobias also hit some big 3s.”Embiid warmed up before the game but the 76ers announced shortly before the start that the All-Star center wouldn’t be available because of a sore left knee. Greg Monroe started in his place and had nine points and 13 rebounds.“Just came in, obviously with Joel down that’s a big scoring loss that we had there,” Harris said. “So just had to be aggressive from the start.”D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert each scored 26 points for the Nets, who host Game 4 on Saturday afternoon. They have dropped the last two games after surprising the No. 3 seed in the opener in Philadelphia.ADVERTISEMENT Ben Simmons scored a career playoff-high 31 points, Tobias Harris added 29 points and 16 rebounds and the 76ers shook off the absence of their leading scorer to beat the Brooklyn Nets 131-115 on Thursday night for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.The 76ers relied on Simmons slashing to the basket, and Harris and JJ Redick shooting from the perimeter.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, logistics“We have the pieces to get games, to complete games and I think everybody in the organization knows that,” Simmons said.Simmons was 11 for 13 from the field, repeatedly getting to the rim even with the Nets sagging well off him in hopes he would shoot a jumper. He added nine assists and eventually quieted a crowd that loudly booed him every time he touched the ball early. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess 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 Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Nets: Brooklyn was 8 for 39 (20.5 from 3-point range. Joe Harris, who led the league in 3-pointer percentage, missed all four of his attempts. … LeVert’s 19 points were the most he scored in any quarter of his career. … The Nets had won their last three Game 3s.UP NEXTGame 4 is Saturday in Brooklyn.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments
Mumbai, Jan 5 (PTI) Release of “Mukkabaaz” will be the end of an arduous journey for lead actor Vineet Kumar Singh, who also debuts as a feature film writer with the sports romance.Having written the script with a desire to play the lead, the 36-year-old struggled to find a director for the project for three years, overcame injuries while getting in shape to perform the demanding role of a boxer and even battled financial crunch.”All those I approached liked the story but I was told to play some other role or associate myself as a writer with this film. But I did not want this to happen. I approached around 25 producers and none of them were keen to do this film with me. I was like maybe in six months or a year I will find someone but that did not happen,” he told PTI in an interview.Vineet, who has acted in films like “Gangs of Wasseypur”, “Bombay Talkies”, wrote “Mukkabaaz” with his sister and a friend.The “Ugly” actor thought Anurag Kashyap — the director and co-producer of “Mukkabaaz” — will not buy into his dream project. A meeting to take the “Black Friday” directors “feedback” on the script ended with more than advice.Vineet said he was hesitant to approach the director who had already cast him in three of his films.”After he read the script, he called me up and that phone call is the most important call of my life. He told me I will direct it and you will play the lead.”advertisementVineet said Kashyap wanted him to look like a real boxer and determined to give his best, he packed his bags and went to Patalia to train with real boxers.”As a boxer, I had to be physically fit. I was training for stamina and physical strength. Before meeting Anurag sir, I did train in boxing in Mumbai for a brief period. I realised that it was not proper boxing but MMA. I discussed this with Anurag sir and he spoke to (star boxer) Vijender Singh, who later spoke to a coach in Patalia.”With an aim to understand the inner life of a boxer, Vineet started the training. His only condition was to be treated like a real boxer.”In the film, I have fought in different styles. I was playing with international players like Neeraj Goyal, Deepak Tanwar and Sandeep Yadav.”There were lot of injuries that Vineet faced due to his extensive training but overcame them.”I did not have a house to stay. I was running out of money and had no work. If I quit this, then I had to be a doctor. I felt if I give up, then the problem is with me. I did not give up.”Vineet says the sports romance was shot like a real fight.”Action meant you will fight and keep fighting. It was more like real fight. Nothing was planned in advance.”Vineet, a national level basketball player, says he chose boxing because he wanted the focus to be on him in the film.”Being a basketball player, I could have easily written a story around it but it would have had 12 actors, as the sport requires that many people. So out of selfish reasons, I chose a film on boxing so that I get the chance to show my skills.””Mukkabaaz”, also staring Zoya Hussain, is slated to release on January 12. PTI KKP JUR NRB BK
NEW YORK — The New York Yankees are thinking about not making a $6 million payment to Alex Rodriguez if he hits six home runs and ties Willie Mays at 660 for fourth place on the career list.Rodriguez signed a $275 million, 10-year contract with the team in December 2007 and a separate marketing agreement that called for $6 million payments for up to five milestone accomplishments designated by the Yankees.Each payment is due within 15 days of designation and is in exchange for rights such as using Rodriguez’s name and image in selling licensed goods.At the time of the marketing agreement, those accomplishments were contemplated to be tying the home run totals of Mays, Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds, (762), and breaking Bonds’ major league record.Rodriguez returns to the team next month after a season-long drug suspension and has three seasons and $61 million in guaranteed money remaining in his contract.New York’s thought process on the $6 million payment, first reported by the Daily News, was described to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized.The Yankees are thinking of letting any accomplishment pass without declaring it a milestone.A failure to declare a milestone and make a payment likely would trigger a grievance on Rodriguez’s behalf by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Barring a settlement, the case would be heard by an arbitrator.Rodriguez’s spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, declined comment.A-Rod met last week with Rob Manfred, who headed the investigation of the Biogenesis of the America clinic that led to the player’s suspension for violation of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.“Occasionally when players have an issue, they have asked me for advice, come to see me, wanted to talk to me about something,” Manfred said. “I don’t put a particular significance on this meeting. It was one of those things. A player wanted to come in. We had a brief meeting.”Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, turns 40 in July, and the Yankees have said they plan to shift him from third base to designated hitter.(RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Yankees right-hander Chase Whitley will have Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and miss the rest of the season.The team made the announcement May 18 during an off-day.The 25-year-old Whitley left his start May 14 against Tampa Bay in the second inning because of pain in his elbow.Whitley will have the surgery in New York. He was 1-2 with a 4.19 ERA in four starts this season.Injured Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova kept up their comebacks.Tanaka, who hasn’t pitched since April 23 because of right wrist tendinitis and a right forearm strain, threw 29 pitches Monday in a bullpen session at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Manager Joe Girardi said that a minor league rehab game May 21 was an option.Nova is expected back next month from Tommy John surgery in April 2014. The righty threw 42 pitches over three innings against Philadelphia minor leaguers.TweetPinShare0 Shares
They might be the fiercest rivals on the pitch but the Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid mangers agrees on one point — usage of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in football.Both Diego Simeone and Julen Lopetegui expressed the fact that VAR affects a lot and helps the referee’s and it should be used more often in football.Atletico’s Simeone gave the example of Cristiano Ronaldo’s red card and said that things could have been different if VAR was in play.Shortly before the half-an-hour mark on Wednesday in Juventus’ game versus Valencia, Ronaldo was shown his first red card in 154 Champions League matches for a pat on Jeison Murillo’s head as the defender squatted on the ground following a collision with Ronaldo.”It did not seem like he (Ronaldo) had done anything at all and he ended up being sent off,” Simeone said at a press conference on the eve of the Los Rojiblancos La Liga clash against Getafe.Commenting on the Video Assistant Referee technology used in the La Liga but not in the UEFA Champions League, Simeone added “now with the evolution of the VAR, and in light of the way they refereed Ronaldo the other day, there is a need to pay close attention to all (the details).””The referees have the possibility of having this help (using VAR) nowadays and it is clear that (VAR) affects a lot what happens on the field,” Simeone said.Real Madrid manager Lopetegui on the other hand, stressed that using VAR will ultimately enable fewer mistakes in football.advertisementRegarding the recent controversy over the Ronaldo red card, Lopetegui said he did not see the action in which the Portuguese superstar was sent off.”I did not see the play very well because I could not watch the match, but everyone told me it was not (worth) an expulsion. Errors sometimes occur and the VAR obviously always helps to have fewer mistakes,” Lopetegui said in a press conference.”In the VAR (room) they see the images with much more tranquility through a video, which makes it easier not to make mistakes,” he added.
NSW Touch Football wishes to advise that due to excessive rainfall and tidal rises, the 2015 Junior State Cup has been abandoned. This was not a lightly taken decision as it is always our intent to deliver quality events for our participants, families and spectators. As of 6.00am Sunday morning, there are insufficient fields available to safely complete the event in any entirety deserving of this competition. New South Wales Touch Association General Manager, Dean Russell said : “Our sincere apologies to all of the participants, we have tried in our best endeavour to complete the 2015 NSW Junior State Cup however with five days of consistent rain the water no longer has any area to escape to. We thank all parents, coaches, managers, affiliate coordinators, referees and all participants for their patience over the first two days and reiterate that this decision was not taken lightly. Please travel safely home.”Related LinksNSW Junior State Cup
10 Best Whiskies for Irish Coffee Basketball court inside to test the new LeBrons? Yes, sir.While we do much of our shopping online, a new wave of brick-and-mortar revival stemming from an architectural revamp of traditional shop spaces is pushing us back on the streets and back to physical stores.Sportswear giant Nike has opened two architecturally advanced stores within the past three months, Nike Soho in November and Nike Miami in January, which act as a destination retail experience as opposed to a lazy store.Both Nike shops house an actual Nike+ Basketball Trial Zone (283-square-feet of pure court, plus an adjustable hoop) for consumers to test the latest products. Yep, no more verifying the feel of a shoe by looking at it in a changing room mirror. While Miami includes a Trial Zone for testing Nike’s running products, which includes a virtual reality screen and real-time feedback via an in-house expert. Oh, and also a testing field for soccer to demo new cleats and get one-on-one guidance from a certified product wiz.Nike Miami houses these shopping amenities within two stories of multi-sport product lines and play areas. The entire space is more than 31,000 square feet, sits on one of Miami Beach’s most popular shopping districts (1035 Lincoln Road), and tailors its aesthetic to the city it serves. Think bright, vibrant, and naturally lit, matching the colorful city of Miami, with exterior concrete and terrazzo panels that reference South American and South Floridian architecture. The south and west divisions of the building are wrapped in a concrete brise-soleil, cast with waffle iron and Nike Windrunner patterns— nodding to the classic Nike footwear and apparel with the same prints. This intricate casting filters light to the interior of the store while casting shade on the exterior… which is years beyond other physical shops we’ve been to within the past year.Adding to its Miami infusion is an art instillation on the first floor, done by the city’s own Jessy Nite. Her site-specific, interactive works are notorious for infusing conceptual art into public places. At Nike Miami, the use of angled tiles coated in dichroic film to reflect natural remain consistent with Nite’s signature use of color, custom typography, and a playful but deeply rooted narrative.The architecture of Nike Miami also does something completely new: it prompts shoppers to sit and talk with one another. An area made of industrial concrete steps called The Stands was made to act as a space where consumers can discuss latest product drops. Nike Miami will receive some of the most limited of Nike’s offerings, including the new HyperAdapt 1.0, available only by appointment.Yes, this is what shopping should look like: a museum-meets-playground that gets us excited to leave the house and forget about Amazon altogether.HyperAdapt 1.0 available by appointment only at Nike MiamiPhotos courtesy Nike Editors’ Recommendations The Best Valet Trays for Keeping Your Stuff Together 7 Best Travel Coffee Mugs for Morning Joe To Go Take a Peek at Wimbledon Winner Novak Djokovic’s Swanky Miami Retreat NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski on Crashing, Winning, and Creating a Legacy
HILTON MIAMI DOWNTOWN HOSTS 25th ANNUAL INN KEY AWARDS — AND COMES HOME WITH A FEW TROPHIES OF ITS OWN MIAMI (May 15, 2019) – On May 3, 2019, Hilton Miami Downtown had the privilege of hosting the 25thannual GMBHA Inn Key Awards Luncheon – and had the even greater privilege of seeing its own employee, Michael Foster, take home the Lodging Employee of the Year (over 200 rooms) award. Additionally, Hilton Miami Downtown was honored with the Diversity in the Workplace for Hotels (over 200 rooms) award. For the past 25 years, the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA) has celebrated Miami-area hotels’ hourly employees at the Inn Key Awards Luncheon, with over 880 guests in attendance and more than 70 hotels represented. During the event, the GMBHA honors over 400 nominees in 21 categories ranging from Bellmen to Engineering Personnel, as well as two Lodging Employees of the Year. “The 25th Annual Inn Key Awards Luncheon was an incredible tribute to Miami’s hardworking hotel employees, and we were honored to hold the event at Hilton Miami Downtown,” said Hilton Miami Downtown’s General Manager Sirle Martorell. “Winning two Inn Key Awards this year was the icing on the cake. Conrad Hilton set out to ‘fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality’ and 100 years later, we are fully committed to an inclusive workforce that represents many different cultures, backgrounds and viewpoints. Additionally, Michael’s recognition as Lodging Employee of the Year is very much well-deserved for all his hard work and we couldn’t be more proud of him.” A huge asset to the Hilton Miami Downtown team, Michael Foster brings almost four decades of experience to his role as Purchasing Supervisor. Regardless of constant changes and diverse projects, he has always proven to meet deadlines efficiently and is always willing to share his expertise with his co-workers. With his positive attitude and attention to detail, Michael always strives to make his job more effective and everyone around him more productive. The Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association is a membership organization comprised of hoteliers and allied members across Miami-Dade County. The association’s goal is to promote the interest of its members through advocacy, education and partnerships and advance Miami-Dade County as the visitor’s destination of choice. About Hilton Miami Downtown Located at 1601 Biscayne Boulevard, Hilton Miami Downtown can be found in the heart of the Performing Arts District – home to the city’s best dining, shopping, attractions and events. Just five miles from Miami International Airport, three miles from South Beach, and two miles from Port of Miami, the hotel conveniently places both business and leisure visitors in the center of it all. Surrounded by panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and the city skyline, guests of the newly-renovated Hilton Downtown Miami will enjoy a world-class experience in stylish and contemporary surroundings – from its 527 guestrooms and suites, to its restaurant, lounge, rooftop pool deck, inviting lobby, conference and event space, and fitness amenities.
London: A six-year-old Sikh girl has been banned from bringing the kirpan to her primary school in the UK after an outcry from other students’ parents who refused to bring their children to the school over safety concerns, according to a media report. The girl brought the kirpan, worn by Sikhs as a mark of their faith, to the Redscope Primary School in Rotherham earlier this month, the Telegraph reported Wednesday. One parent complained: “I’m sorry but, religion or not, a child’s health and safety comes first.” Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ Another said: “Most girls are not allowed to wear make-up in school, never mind carry a weapon.” In the letter sent to parents Paula Dobbin, the headteacher of the school, explained the kirpan is a “religious ornament” worn by Sikhs. She said: “The item is not sharp, and is often worn in schools by children of the Sikh faith nationwide.” “However, having spoken to the parents of the child concerned, they have agreed that the child will no longer wear this item in school. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China “The family are new to school and want to be part of the Redscope family. They are keen their daughter is able to make friends and be part out of our school community,” she said. “Concerns about this issue caused a number of you to delay bringing your children into school. I reassure you there is no reason for you not to bring your children to school,” she added. However some comments made by parents about the incident are now being probed by the police as potential hate crimes, the report added. An investigation is being carried out. A spokeswoman for the South Yorkshire Police said: “Police are aware that a religious kirpan was brought into the school by a six-year-old pupil.” “Local neighbourhood officers continue to work closely with the school, providing advice and reassurance and talking to parents.” “There are no wider safeguarding concerns and no crime has been reported. A number of comments on social media have been reported to us as race-related hate crime, following this situation.” “South Yorkshire Police would like to remind the public that hate crime of any kind is not tolerated. “An investigation into the comments is underway.” Kirpans are one of five articles of faith, known as ‘the five K’s’, that Sikhs are commanded to wear at all times to demonstrate their religious faith. The Department for Education does not have a central guidelines on school uniforms and religious items. It is down to individual headteachers to set their school’s policy. The row comes as the British Government this week announced that an amendment to the ‘Offensive Weapons Bill’ has received the royal assent. This means that Sikhs will be allowed to carry kirpans and use them during religious and cultural functions. The All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs had campaign for kirpans to remain exempt as weapons when the new Bill becomes ratified. In the UK under the Criminal Justice Act 1989, people are allowed to carry blades for religious reasons, the report added.
YAMMOUNE, Lebanon – In the fields of this quiet village surrounded by mountains, men and women work clearing dirt and dry leaves from around cannabis plants, a major source of livelihoods in this impoverished corner of Lebanon,The fertile Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon has long been notorious as one of the world’s major narcotics-growing regions, producing some of the finest quality cannabis, mostly processed into hashish. Today, the country is the third biggest producer in the world after Morocco and Afghanistan, according to the U.N.But the valley’s residents have rarely felt the benefits. Now they are hoping their work will soon become legal after decades of crackdowns and raids.This week, a draft bill was introduced in parliament that would allow cultivation and use of cannabis for medical purposes.The idea has fueled dreams of Lebanon raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and exports, a desperately needed source of income for a country weighed down by low growth, high unemployment and one of the heaviest debt burdens in the world.The legal industry will also create jobs and bring order in the Bekaa, a region notorious for lawlessness, proponents say.“I want to find a solution for what’s going on,” said legislator Antoine Habchi, who sent the bill to parliament. The aim is to “allow farmers to live with dignity.”Habchi, who hails from cannabis-growing part of the Bekaa region, said the bill would bring economic returns and would include provisions to prevent and treat addiction.Under the bill, cultivation would be tightly controlled. Private pharmaceutical companies would provide seeds and seedlings to farmers and during harvest plants would be counted to make sure nothing had been diverted. The size of fields would be regulated.It will likely take months for the bill to go through discussions before it can come to a vote. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri last week informed U.S. ambassador Elizabeth Richard that the legislature was working on the draft bill. In the past, the United States has provided aid for counter-narcotics efforts in Lebanon, trying to stem the trade.The move is not without controversy.The northern parts of the Bekaa Valley where cannabis is widely grown is under the influence of the militant group Hezbollah, which opposes the use and production of all types of drugs. The group and its allies dominate parliament; it has not said whether it would try to stop the bill.The United States has repeatedly accused Hezbollah of drug trafficking, charges that the group strongly denies.Legalization seems to have gained traction in Lebanon after global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. included it among its suggestions in a government-commissioned study on ways to boost Lebanon’s economy.Still, economists are split on the benefits.Louis Hobeika, an economist at Lebanon’s Notre-Dame University, warned that cannabis profits won’t go to state coffers or citizens but will be devoured by the widespread corruption among the ruling elite.“This is a move that aims to finance the political mafia in Lebanon,” he said.Habchi disagrees, saying farmers and workers would finally have their rights in the trade. Traditionally, drug dealers benefit most, imposing a purchase price on farmers then selling the product for high higher prices.The Bekaa became notorious for the drug trade during the 1975-1990 civil war, producing some $500 million a year in opium and cannabis. After the war, authorities launched crackdowns on the fields and encouraged alternative crops like potatoes, tomatoes and apples.Cannabis planting bloomed once more after Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011 and Lebanese authorities shifted attention to other security concerns.Driving through villages in the Baalbek and Hermel regions in eastern Lebanon, cannabis can be seen planted on the side of roads and in gardens. At some cases, security force’s checkpoints are only a few hundred meters (yards) away. There are more than 40,000 arrest warrants against locals in the Bekaa Valley, many drug-related.Most often, authorities prefer to turn a blind eye.Well armed residents are ready to fend off any force trying to destroy their fields. When security forces move in to destroy fields with bulldozers and trucks, they can come under barrages of automatic weapons fire or even rocket-propelled grenades.On Monday, troops surrounded a compound in the village of Hamoudiyeh run by a notorious drug dealer, Ali Zeyd Ismail, who had dozens of warrants against him. An hours-long battle left eight people dead, including Ismail, who was known as Lebanon’s Escobar after the late top Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar.Hashish is also smuggled out of the country. Hardly a week passes without authorities saying that they busted drugs at the airport or seaports.Legalization could turn that into a legal export market. Several countries in Europe and South America, as well as Australia and Canada allow imports of medical cannabis. Canada and the Netherlands dominate exports. Several U.S. states allow medical or recreational cannabis, but importing is illegal.In the Bekaa, farmers welcome legalization, saying it would bring badly needed jobs.“Let them deal with it the way they deal with tobacco,” said Mayez Shreif, referring to a state-run company that monopolizes tobacco purchases from farmers. He spoke one morning this week as he ate fruit and drank coffee in a garden near cannabis fields.The 65-year-old Shreif has worked for decades at cannabis plantations in Yammoune. The area’s dry weather, its elevation above sea level and its local springs come together to make some of the finest product in the world.Residents have tried planting apples, tomatoes and potatoes, but most often lost money, he said. Growing potatoes costs 15 times as much as cannabis and earns far less. With cannabis, the farmer just puts seeds and water and it grows, he said.In Yammoune, a Syrian who has worked for seven years in cannabis fields said his Lebanese boss pays him $500 a month, seven times the average salary in Syria. He asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals from authorities.“Hashish keeps me employed for much of the year,” he said.
Rabat – Daily British newspaper the Telegraph has ranked the Grand Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech among the world’s most beautiful mosques.The Grand Hassan II Mosque, named after the late King of Morocco Hassan II, is ranked seventh out of twenty-five mosques seen by the British newspaper as the world’s most beautiful.“The Grande Mosquee Hassan II proudly supports the world’s tallest minaret, at 210 metres,” said the newspaper in its description of the mosque. “The World’s third largest mosque, it is the only such building in Morocco that non-Muslims can enter. It stands proud on the seafront in Casablanca, and the seabed is visible through the glass floor in the hall,” the Telegraph added.The Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech landed in the 25th spot. The mosque, which stands near the Djemaa El-Fna Square in the center of the Red City, is one of the “most intricate and impressively decorated minarets in Sunni Islam,” according to the British newspaper.Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran is ranked 1st as the most beautiful mosque in the world. Built in the early 17th century under the reign of Shah Abbas I, the mosque does not have a courtyard or minaret. It was initially intended for the exclusive use of the Shah’s entourage and his spouses.It is followed closely by Nassir al Molk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, Aya Sofya, Turkey, Blue Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Ibn Tulun Mosque, Egypt, Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and Al Haram Mosque in Saudi Arabia.Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the second holiest site in Islam in Medina, Saudi Arabia rounded up the top ten.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission
“You are here today because you recognize climate change as an opportunity as well as a threat,” Mr. Ban told the large gathering at UN Headquarters in New York which brought together 450 participants, who together control $10-15 trillion in investment capital. “You understand that the shift to a low-carbon economy opens new revenue streams and creates new markets.”He urged the investors to lead efforts to finance the technological innovation necessary for a shift to a green economy.“The carbon market makes good business sense – it has doubled in size to $60 billion in the past year alone – and it makes good moral sense,” the Secretary-General, who has made climate change one of his top priorities since taking office last January, said at a dinner held last night.The Investor Summit on Climate Risk, which was organized by the UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the UN Foundation (UN Foundation) and Ceres, a network of investors and public interest groups that promotes green issues, aimed to provide a high-level forum for investment leaders to discuss the scale and urgency of climate change risks.Attendees included leading institutional investors, financial services firms and United States state treasurers.Alex Sink, the Chief Financial Officer of Florida, told reporters that his state is “at risk from climate change,” but voiced his determination to tackle the issue.“There is a financial imperative and it grew out of an environmental concern,” he noted.The Treasurer of California underscored the strong links between environmental sustainability and profitability.“We have to be clean, green and sustainable,” Bill Lockyer said at the same press briefing.Yesterday, a three-day General Assembly event on climate change wrapped up with the body’s President Srgjan Kerim emphasizing the importance of global partnerships and the need to define a clear global strategy to stemming the impacts of global warming. 14 February 2008Transitioning to a low-carbon economy will not only help to combat climate change, but also promises to bring huge returns for investors, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told global business leaders.
TORONTO — Federal, provincial and territorial trade ministers said Tuesday discussions to create a new internal trade deal are about halfway finished and there is a “historic” amount of agreement between them.[np_storybar title=”Western premiers call for creation of Canada Free Trade zone, complete overhaul of internal trade” link=”http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/western-premiers-call-for-creation-of-canada-free-trade-zone-complete-overhaul-of-internal-trade”%5DCanada’s western premiers have sent a joint letter to their provincial counterparts calling for them to help create a domestic free trade zone by knocking down internal trade barriers estimated to cost the country $50-billion a year.Read on [/np_storybar]The ministers met in Toronto to talk about renewing the 20-year-old Agreement on Internal Trade.Industry Minister James Moore says it’s “completely backwards” to have less economic freedom within Canada than the country has agreed to with the rest of the world.He says there is agreement among the ministers to make sure Canada is as open interprovincially as it is to Europe and the United States on trade, labour mobility and the movement of goods and services.Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid says they are well on their way to reaching an agreement by March and the ministers will meet at least once more before that.Duguid says the ministers also heard today from members of the business community, who said there are myriad regulations across the provinces that get in the way of commerce.Renewed push for Canadian free-trade zone to be revealed by Ottawa, provinces on TuesdayU.S. investors are key to Canada’s economic developmentThe Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses wants a comprehensive, national trade agreement to eliminate what it calls “artificial barriers” that prevent the movement of goods, services and labour within Canada.It wants changes so when a product or service complies with rules in one province, it will be acceptable to all provinces, and an assumption that cross-border trade between provinces is permitted unless stated otherwise.The CFIB also wants to see a faster and more direct approach to solving disputes about interprovincial trade.
Fillo argued for a sentence of six and a half years, saying the most aggravating factor is that Donlevy was in a position of trust.“What you did to me changed me,” one of the women said directly to Donlevy as she read her victim impact statement, describing a continued fear of intimacy, even with her husband.Another woman told court she was so terrified of seeing Donlevy in public that she stopped going for runs. Ten years later, she said she finally has her life back.“The only reason I was assaulted is because I was in the presence of a coward,” she said.One woman commended all of the victims who came forward. Some of the women apologized for not disclosing their assaults when they happened, saying they were scared and confused. Many said they found the strength to report after learning Donlevy had been charged with other assaults.He was first charged in 2016 after two women reported he had touched them inappropriately in 2013 and 2016, during separate massage appointments at his home business, MD Muscle Therapy. The women came forward after reading online posts about similar allegations against him.Several allegations were made to police after the charges were announced, and Donlevy was charged with 10 more counts of sexual assault. He was also charged with an additional two counts of sexual assault unrelated to his massage therapy work, and received a three-year sentence on one of those charges. He is appealing the conviction.The Crown asked that Donlevy serve the proposed prison sentence consecutive to his current sentence, and that he be placed on the national sex offender registry for life. She then detailed the assaults.Donlevy’s offencesIn 2009, Donlevy, a student, agreed to provide a free massage treatment to a friend of his family who was suffering from scoliosis. She said Donlevy forcefully inserted his fingers inside her. After she slapped him, he said to her, “I thought you were into this,” and begged her not to call police. The woman told her mother, who advised her to stay quiet because of the family friendship.Also in 2009, Donlevy repeatedly grabbed another woman’s breasts and vagina during a massage, court heard. When she told him to stop, he accused her of being a “bitch” and sensitive.In 2016, he gave another woman with scoliosis what he described as a “pelvic exam” that involved rubbing her vagina. He told her to loosen up because she was “too tense” for what he wanted to do, court heard. He then grabbed her breasts and laughed. Court heard he later asked the woman to promote his business and to be his “personal project,” saying he wouldn’t charge her for the appointments. She did not respond.Donlevy told a woman with a sore back that she needed to take off her pants during a session in 2016 in order for him to treat the issue. He said it was because of the way certain muscles were connected, and tried massaging the woman’s inner thighs. When she pushed her legs together, he tried to open them, court heard. Donlevy also groped her breasts, which he said were getting in the way.He met another victim at a First Aid course in 2009 and offered her a free massage because he was a student. He penetrated her with his fingers, apologized, then continued to make sexual comments, court heard. Donlevy later messaged the woman, asking her to meet at his firehall for a massage.At the time, Donlevy was transitioning into massage therapy from his job as a firefighter. Fillo said he was a “robust individual” compared to his victims — a former body builder and member of the armed forces.A woman with a severe shoulder injury went to see him in 2015 and 2016 after he described himself as the most effective massage therapist in Saskatoon. She said he squeezed her breasts until they hurt and pushed her underwear aside so he could touch her vagina.Donlevy’s assaults have also stigmatized male therapists, hurting their livelihood, the reputation of the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS), of which Donlevy belonged, and the profession as a whole, MTAS executive director Lori Green said in court.Defence lawyer Alan McIntyre asked to make his sentencing argument at a later date in order to call Donlevy’s psychologist to testify about a letter with some contested aspects.The hearing has been adjourned until Nov. 25.Related Warning: Graphic contentMost of the six women Mark McMahon Donlevy sexually assaulted had debilitating injuries and were enticed by the free massage services offered by a man they believed specialized in alleviating pain.The former registered massage therapist preyed on women who were in vulnerable positions — women who were partially dressed, lying on a massage table in his home clinic, Crown prosecutor Sheryl Fillo said during her sentencing submissions in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday.Donlevy, 50, pleaded guilty in July to sexually assaulting three women in 2009, one woman in 2015 and two more in 2016, all during massage therapy sessions. The Crown agreed to stay six other sexual assault charges upon the conclusion of sentencing. Matt Olson / Saskatoon StarPhoenix / Saskatoon Mark Donlevy enters Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Sept. 7, 2018 Sentencing day arrives for former massage therapist Mark Donlevy on sexual assault charges Mark Donlevy pleads guilty to sexually assaulting six female massage clients Complete coverage: Mark Donlevy
In this Saturday, July 1, 2017, photo, a customer looks at various types of imported cheese sold at a department store in Tokyo. Japan’s foreign minister is preparing to head to Brussels to seek a breakthrough in talks on a free trade agreement with the European Union. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said over the weekend that he was hopeful the two sides would resolve remaining differences, mainly over trade in cheese and autos, before Friday’s summit of the Group of 20 industrial nations. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) by Raf Casert, The Associated Press Posted Jul 5, 2017 7:11 am MDT Last Updated Jul 5, 2017 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email EU, Japan have ‘agreement in principle’ on free trade deal BRUSSELS – The European Union and Japan have agreed “in principle” on a free trade deal that will affect an overwhelming majority of commerce between the two economic giants and will be officially endorsed at a summit of their leaders Thursday.EU Council President Donald Tusk and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Thursday and will be able to shake hands on the landmark deal, which took four years of negotiations.EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a Tweet that “We’ve reached political agreement” and “now recommend to leaders to confirm this” at their short summit.The timing of the announcement is important, coming just before a summit of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to express his discontent with free trade and his desire to renegotiate some deals.Both the EU and Japan have stressed that their pact is intended as a rejection of the kind of protectionism Trump advocates.For Abe, it shows Japan remains an important partner in global trade, especially after Trump pulled the plug on a trade deal with Pacific nations. For the EU, it shows that it remains a champion of free trade even if free trade negotiations with the United States are in a rut.A senior EU official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity ahead of Thursday’s summit, said that the deal with the Japanese “means we have agreed on almost everything of importance to either side.”Now, legal scrubbing and translations are expected to take several months before the agreement can be formally completed and put to approval to national authorities in the EU and Japan.The 28-nation EU exports some 86 billion euros in goods and services to Japan every year yet still faces high tariffs and other obstacles in reaching the lucrative market.A deal would require tweaks to Japan’s protections for its dairy farmers, whose home market is protected by tariffs of up to 40 per cent on processed cheese, wine, pasta and chocolate.The EU official said that the EU food agriculture sector was expected to be “the big winner” out of the negotiations.Japan is specifically looking for removing import tariffs on cars and car parts.
The UN mission in the country said that the attacks killed more than 40 people, mainly civilians and including five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many others were injured, including the Kandahar Governor and the visiting UAE Ambassador.“Indiscriminate attacks against civilians, including diplomatic envoys, are violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and cannot be justified,” said Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, in a statement issued overnight, in which the United Nations extended its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured while expressing its solidarity with the people and Governments of Afghanistan and of the UAE.According to a press release issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), as many as 13 civilians were killed in an explosion at the residence of the Kandahar Provincial Governor while he was hosting a dinner event for visiting diplomats and dignitaries. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.UNAMA also said that a Taliban suicide attacker detonated his vest outside the Parliamentary Administration Compound in the Daruluman area of Kabul. Shortly afterwards, the Taliban detonated a vehicle packed with explosives on the main road near the compound, impacting a civilian bus, parliamentary staff, bystanders, security guards and those responding to the first attack.The attacks in the capital killed at least 35 people and injured more than 50. While authorities confirmed two National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials were killed and four injured, preliminary information indicates the majority of the casualties were civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that they were targeting the NDS. The Taliban also acknowledged that they had deliberately timed the second blast to take place as first responders attended to persons caught in the initial explosion.“Such unprincipled, unlawful and deplorable attacks cause immense human suffering and make the peace that Afghans need and deserve even more difficult to achieve,” said Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Those responsible for these attacks must be held accountable,” said Ms. Kardel, who is also acting head of UNAMA.
Senior Peter Kobelt serves the ball during a match against Texas A&M Feb. 9 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 4-3.Credit: Alice Bacani / BuckeyeTV news directorNot even a pair of top 20 programs could solve the riddle that is the Ohio State men’s tennis program when it plays at home.The No. 5 Buckeyes (9-0) dispatched No. 17 Kentucky 4-0 Friday and No. 8 Texas A&M 4-3 Sunday at the Varsity Indoor Tennis Center over the weekend, making it 181 consecutive home victories for OSU. Coach Ty Tucker said his team could have been a bit overrated entering the season, but after the two wins, they could have proved they belong among the nation’s best.A big crowd was on hand Sunday as the Aggies came to town. OSU dropped the first doubles match of the day as redshirt-sophomore Chris Diaz and redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach fell 6-1 to Aggie juniors Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo. OSU redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan and freshman Herkko Pollanen defeated sophomores Harrison Adams and Shane Visant 6-3 to even things up, but senior Peter Kobelt and redshirt-junior Kevin Metka lost in a tiebreak 6-5 (7-5) to the Aggie duo of senior Junior Ore and junior Jackson Withrow.It was the first time OSU had dropped the doubles point all season, but the Buckeyes fought through the adversity in singles play. Needing to win four matches, Kobelt, Metka, Callahan and Steinbach each took the first set of their matches to spark the Buckeyes’ rally.Kobelt got the Buckeyes on the board first with a 6-4, 6-3 upset over Adams. Metka kept things rolling with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Withrow.The Aggies then took two straight matches of their own next as Vinsant beat Pollanen 6-2, 6-4 and Efferding downed Diaz 6-1, 6-5 (8-6).Steinbach won 6-5 (13-11), 6-4 after firing a big serve to force an error from Ore. They quickly shook hands and ran to court six where Callahan was serving for match point against freshman Max Lunkin. After a rally, Callahan smashed an overhead and threw his hands up in celebration as he realized Lunkin’s return was sailing out of play and he clinched the match with a 6-5 (7-3), 6-3 win.“When you play powerhouses, you have to come to the table,” Tucker said. “It’s frightening out there when you have one chance to hold serve and you’re (team’s) down 3-2, but Steinbach and Callahan did.”The team stormed onto the court and joined in a big congratulatory hug after their biggest victory of the season.“It feels amazing, beating a team like this,” Steinbach said after the win. “We didn’t want to be the guys to end the (winning) streak. It’s a great feeling and we’ve all worked hard for this.”A crowd of more than 100 was on hand to see the Buckeyes take on the Wildcats in the first real test of the season.In doubles, Diaz and Steinbach dropped their set to Kentucky freshman Nils Ellefsen and senior Ryuji Hirooka, 6-4. Callahan and Pollanen evened things up, though, defeating senior Alejandro Gomez and sophomore Beck Pennington 6-5 (7-5).The doubles point came down to Kobelt and Metka against senior Tom Jomby and sophomore Kevin Lai. With the Wildcats playing for set point, Kobelt calmly stepped up and fired two huge serves to turn the tables. With the Buckeyes now playing for set point, Kobelt’s massive forehand return caused an error by the Wildcats, giving OSU the doubles point, 6-5 (8-6).“That’s what you play for. When you get up to the line, there’s no point in being nervous,” Kobelt said. “I just wanted to play my best at the biggest moment. That’s what a senior is supposed to do.”The team began to relax from there and singles play went much smoother as OSU won the first set on five of six courts. Steinbach was the first off winning 6-1, 6-2 against Lai. Metka finished right after winning his match 6-1, 6-3.It was Kobelt, again, sealing it for the Buckeyes downing Jomby 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. He won the match with an ace right down the middle that Jomby didn’t even attempt chasing after.The Buckeyes are next scheduled to play in the National Indoors Team Tournament in Houston Friday.
“I think my research will show there are a number of added toxicants that need to be measured, but it’s important to emphasise that this work has not yet been completed – and we still need to carry out a lot of analysis before we can be completely sure of the implications.”PHE said it was aware that Stec had carried out “some soil research” and that it would “take the results into consideration” after the research had been published. It added that it had commissioned “independent air quality monitoring around the Grenfell Tower site that has shown the risk to people’s physical health from air pollution and chemical hazards to be consistently low”.It also said that contaminants could have come from elsewhere, such as past use of coal fires, and may not necessarily link to the Grenfell blaze.Grenfell coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox has called for survivors and firefighters to have long term health screening. 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. Grenfell survivors and people living nearby must be screened for long-term health implications after “huge concentrations” of cancer forming toxins were found in dust and soil nearby.Professor Anna Stec, who has been carrying out a range of tests from burned debris that fell from the tower, found high levels of potential carcinogens and hydrogen cyanide in the surrounding area.Prof Stec, who was an expert witness at the inquiry into the deaths of 72 people, has been briefing Public Health England (PHE), the Department of Health, the police and Kensington and Chelsea council urging them to test survivors, rescue workers and nearby residents, the Guardian reported. These include taking blood and saliva samples.Health chiefs are understood to be waiting until her full results are to be published next year. PHE themselves have been monitoring air quality near to the tower.Prof Stec, an expert in fire chemistry and toxicology at the University of Central Lancashire who has taken samples from up to a mile away, told the Guardian: “As a result of this work, I already have datasets that indicate a number of toxins that have not yet been measured by PHE, who have already looked into air quality.