YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?Pick against our pros all season long and win!***SANTA CLARA — Matt Breida, who leads the NFL in rushing yards and yards per carry, sounded a cautious Friday note when asked about his chances of recovering from a right-knee injury in time to face the Los Angeles Chargers.“It’s going to be a game-time decision. I have to feel comfortable,” the 49ers running back said in advance of Sunday’s game. “I’m not at 100 percent right now.”Breida said he wants to play but …
“I know our players who kneeled for the anthem, and these are smart young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone,” Ross said. “They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community, including working with law enforcement to bring people together. We all can benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other.” Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Baltimore Ravens players kneel down during the playing of the US national anthem before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. (Photo by MATT DUNHAM / AP)The owners of the Baltimore Ravens, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and other teams on Sunday joined a chorus of NFL executives criticizing President Donald Trump’s suggestion that they fire players who kneel for the national anthem.The statements, including those from Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, contrasted a morning tweet from Trump and further escalated the political drama of the league’s game day, which was expected to be one of the most-watched for non-sporting reasons in years.ADVERTISEMENT Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Bisciotti said he “100 percent” supports his players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem. At least seven of them did, joined by more than a dozen Jacksonville Jaguars, before the teams played at Wembley Stadium in London.Other players linked arms – and Jaguars owner Shad Khan joined them, standing between tight end Marcedes Lewis and linebacker Telvin Smith. He called it a privilege to do so.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutKraft, who has been a strong backer of the president, expressed “deep disappointment” with Trump and said politicians could learn much from the unifying spirit of a competitive, team-oriented enterprise like football.“Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful,” Kraft said in a statement. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired’,” he said to loud applause.Again in a Sunday morning tweet, Trump urged his supporters to take action: “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin followed up Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” defending Trump, saying the NFL has many rules governing what players can and cannot do.“I think what the president is saying is that the owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem,” Mnuchin said. “They can do free speech on their own time.”Trump’s remarks provoked team owners and the NFL to stridently defend the sport and its players. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has taken heat for Kaepernick’s struggle to find a team, quickly condemned Trump’s comments.“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month,” Goodell said. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”At least seven team owners donated $1 million each to Trump’s inaugural committee. But Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos , Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank , New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, Tennessee Titans’ controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk and San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York were among the league power brokers who issued condemning statements through their clubs.“The callous and offensive comments made by the president are contradictory to what this great country stands for,” York said. “Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world.”Added Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy: “We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”This weekend’s games were sure to bring more protests, with Tampa Bay receiver Desean Jackson promising to make “a statement.” View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Wozniacki beats Pavlyuchenkova to retain Pan Pacific title Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam wrote that they didn’t want to let “misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify,” and Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told CBS his team wouldn’t be on the field when the anthem plays before the Steelers game in Chicago.He doesn’t want his players to be divided between those who kneel and those who stand, he said.“We’re not going to be divided by anything said by anyone,” Tomlin said. “We’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling movement last year when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, refusing to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest the treatment of black people by police. Kaepernick became a free agent and has not been signed by a new team for this season.Without identifying Kaepernick, Trump aimed a Friday talk at a Huntsville, Alabama, rally at those players who have knelt for the anthem.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netShortly after Letran’s season ended, coach Jeff Napa quickly shifted his focus on the Knights’ future where he sees a different story unfolding.“Next year is a different story. There’s really competition with the talent we have, so there’s no assurance on who will make the lineup next year,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Napa set modest goals to start the season and knew Letran could go as far as the Final Four.He said adversities and at the start of the season also added weight on the Knights’ shoulders.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We knew from the start where we could go. We just had to deal with a lot of issues early in the season, telenovelas which happened and that’s what made us suffer and complicated our situation,” he said.“But we’re not looking at it as an excuse and we think of it as a rallying point for us to solidify our bond and got us to where we’re at. It just so happened that our season ended here.” Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Stags’ Calisaan has come a long way since his motorcycle accident last year CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Despite all they had to deal with, the Knights showed some fight and finished the eliminations at 9-9, tied for fourth as they survived two do-or-die games.Letran nearly made it three knockout games in a row, but San Sebastian, which drew a career performance from Michael Calisaan, was just too much down the stretch.“It’s hard to win if we have 15 missed free throws,” said Napa, who cited the Knights’ horrible shooting from the free throw line, going 18-of-33, after a 74-69 loss to the Stags on Tuesday.“We also had crucial stops that we didn’t execute. We made runs, but when we changed players, it changed the complexion of the game. There were unnecessary things that happened that gave our opponents the momentum.”Napa, though, isn’t blaming anybody for the Knights’ early exit as he looks ahead to the next season where he feels his team can contend for a title.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES “One thing’s for sure, my target next year is to become a champion. That’s my mindset,” he boldly declared. “My mindset right now is to go to the Final Four, but next year, our mindset is to become number one.” Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11’Not just basketball’: Circumcisions, pageants at Philippine courts02:11NCAA Season 93 Preview: Letran Knights01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
Heat team members will gain exclusive access into the Power’s inner sanctum, with an exclusive once in a lifetime opportunity as part of the TFSA High Performance program – the Heat Elite.Players will be treated as if it’s their first day of pre-season at the Club, with Touch Football South Australia’s State Operations Manager, Tim Wyld, saying that the players are looking forward to the experience. “We’re just trying to offer something different to our players as part of their High Performance program, to give them an understanding of what it’s like to be in an elite training environment. I’m really pleased that the Power has come to the party and given them the full exclusive session that they would do for their players, so they are not really changing too much of it,” Wyld said. “They’re basically getting treated as if it is the first day of an AFL pre-season, so they are going to report to the headquarters and get tested. Everything they’ll do is tested and comparisons made to where they need to be, so for them to have access to that is a huge advantage we think.”Players will report to training and undergo a hydration test before heading to the Club’s lecture room for a welcome and introduction conducted by PAFC fitness coaches. Players will then receive the results of their hydration tests and tips in maintaining appropriate levels of hydration.From there it’s out on to the oval for a yo-yo test (physical fitness) before an AFL pre-season conditioning session, complete with GPS player tracking and results data analysis.This will then be followed by recovery involving ice baths and stretching, utilising the latest trends in sports science. Finally players will assemble in the clubs lecture theatre for a de-brief and question and answer session.This is the second week in a row that the Heat Elite have had the opportunity to learn from leaders of other sports, following a session with Australian Beach Volleyball coach, Mick Nelson, last weekend. The players had the opportunity to hear about preparation, team dynamics and delivering in big games from Nelson, with Wyld saying that the players received great benefit from hearing him speak. “He basically made some comparisons to our sport and his, being an Olympic Beach Volleyball coach, saying that the Australians on an international stage are a small competitor and there is obviously Brazil and the USA which are the two dominant bodies. He talked about what they can do, and what we can do as a small state to gain a competitive advantage over some of the more dominant rivals that we have, what we can do differently to those that gives us a chance. We might not be able to beat them, but it gives us a chance and an opportunity to compete with them, so that was really good.”“They sat down after and did some goal setting and working out what their competitive advantage was based on the feedback and insights that he provided so that was really good, and I guess that we’re expecting similar sort of motivation to stem from this weekend,” Wyld said. Stay tuned to the Touch Football South Australia website, to hear how the Heat players fare on their day as ‘Power players’ – www.touchsa.com.au
Arsenal boss Emery: We’re yet to find a playing identityby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery admits they’re yet to find a playing identity.The Gunners head to St Mary’s on Sunday to face Southampton for the first match of four in the space of 10 days.”I think it’s a very big match like every match in the Premier League,” Emery said. “Southampton have some very good players and a new coach who has good experience and good performances in Germany.”On Sunday I think they are going to push against us a lot. We need to prepare very well for the match with a very big personality because we want to be consistent.”Every challenge is to continue doing that and Sunday is a big challenge and a big match, and also we are looking forward to continuing our improvement and good moment knowing that it’s difficult. “Every match gives us a struggle in terms of work and continuing in our way. Against Southampton on Sunday, it’s about preparing for a different match. We need to create a stronger identity and our personality is getting better in each game. We are playing games our way.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
OTTAWA – The Liberal government has done its part with measures to bolster diversity on corporate boards at publicly traded companies, and now is the time for business leaders to pick up the torch, says Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains.“This is really a call to action for corporate Canada to step up,” Bains said in an interview Tuesday after the government’s changes to the Canadian Business Corporations Act received royal assent from Governor General Julie Payette.That means publicly traded companies are now required, among other things, to disclose the number of women and others from equity-seeking groups, such as visible minorities, on their boards and in senior management.They will also now have to share their policies on diversity — or explain themselves to their shareholders.The act affects nearly 270,000 companies, but Tuesday’s amendments would only affect those that also issue shares and report to a securities commission, including about 600 companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The Conservatives, who began consultations on the possibility of bringing in such legislation when they were in power, supported it.Bains said he wants Canada to lead the world on the issue.“We want Canada to be that jurisdiction globally for governance, for board diversity, that go-to place, where Canada plays a leadership role in not only talking a big game on diversity, but actually promoting in the most senior levels in corporate Canada,” he said.Now that it is the law of the land, Bains said the Liberals will be turning to the corporate world to encourage them to carry through — and to convince them that having more diversity at the top of a company can also translate into a healthier bottom line.There is still a long way to go, he added.“I’ve been in too many boardrooms where I’m the only minority. I’ve been in too many boardrooms where it’s all men, and that has to change.”Bains said the Liberals will be stepping up efforts to raise awareness of the changes — and to change stubborn minds.“I was asked recently if there is a strong enough pipeline of people of diverse backgrounds, particularly women, to sit in board positions,” he said. “And I was very clear about what I felt about that comment, because I felt that the talent is there.“The excuses of talent no longer apply. We have the people with the right set of experiences, people that can make a meaningful contribution, people that can play a leadership role. We have to change the culture and make sure they are provided and afforded the opportunity to do so.”— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter
OTTAWA – Canada’s pace of economic growth slowed in the first quarter to its lowest rate in nearly two years, but the weaker-than-expected data did little to tamp down economists’ predictions of an interest rate hike later this year.Statistics Canada said Thursday the economy grew at an annualized pace of 1.3 per cent for the first three months of the year, slower than the annual pace of 1.7 per cent in the final three months of 2017. Economists had expected growth to come in at an annualized rate of 1.8 per cent for the first quarter of 2018, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The slow start to the year was largely attributed to a pull back in the real estate market amid new mortgage stress test rules and a cooling housing market. The 1.9 per cent drop in housing investment was the largest decline since the first quarter of 2009.However, economists pointed to the strong growth in March to end the quarter and suggested the report did little to change expectations for an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada as early as July.“While the headline quarterly GDP result was a bit disappointing, even to those of us who were on the low side of consensus, the recent robust monthly readings and the strength in business investment provide a nice counterweight,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter wrote in a report.“The main point is that growth for the full year still looks on track to come in around two per cent, which is very much in line with what the Bank of Canada has been expecting.”Porter noted that the economy posted growth of 0.3 per cent in March, the final month of the quarter, helped by the mining and oil and gas sector and gains in both wholesale and retail trade.“The sturdy March result provides a nice hand-off for Q2,” he said.The growth rate of 1.3 per cent for the first quarter matched the Bank of Canada’s forecast in its April monetary policy report.The central bank elected to keep its key interest rate on hold Wednesday, but raised expectations that rate hikes are coming when it dropped a reference to remaining “cautious.”Economists interpreted the change as a signal that the next rate increase would be sooner rather than later.Their rate-hike expectations largely remained in tact even as Thursday’s report showed the rate of growth for real gross domestic product in the first quarter was the slowest since the economy contracted in the second quarter of 2016.Growth in that quarter was affected by forest fires that destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alta., and forced the shutdown of several oilsands operations in the region.The most recent GDP report showed household spending increased 0.3 per cent, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2015, while household spending on services increased 0.5 per cent and spending on goods was unchanged.Growth in export volumes slowed to 0.4 per cent compared with one per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gains were mainly contributed by crude oil and bitumen and the export of services. Imports rose 1.2 per cent in the quarter.Business investment in machinery and equipment rose 4.2 per cent, while intellectual property products rose 3.3 per cent.Beneath the weaker-than-expected first-quarter growth figures, the report included “some relatively encouraging details,” said TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto.“Business investment continued to climb, partially offsetting the more modest pace of consumer spending. Income gains also remained solid,” DePratto wrote in a report.“Plus, March’s solid monthly performance indicates that momentum continued to build through the quarter, setting the Canadian economy up for an acceleration in output in Q2.”DePratto said the Canadian economy “clearly still has some gas left in the tank” and that he expected conditions will stay supportive of a Bank of Canada hike at its next meeting.Looking back at 2017, Statistics Canada revised its real GDP numbers upward for the second and third quarters.For the second quarter of 2017, the estimate for the annualized growth rate was increased to 4.6 per cent compared with a March estimate of 4.4 per cent, while the estimate for the third quarter was increased to 1.7 per cent from 1.5 per cent.
The much-publicised sexual harassment allegation by a sacked employee of the Supreme Court against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and the charge made by the young lawyer on affidavit that ‘fixers’ in league with disgruntled and dismissed SC employees had ‘ganged together to frame the CJI and defame him,’ have shaken the Hornet’s nest. It seems, ruthless enemies within the country, with their demoniacal designs, are all out to atrophy the forward-thinking Supreme Court when the country is elated with several of its recent judgements. ‘No CJI had the courage to take the action against certain elements. This has been happening in the past as well. CJI Gogoi wanted to clean the system. When someone tries to correct wrongs, he is killed or maligned,’ observed Justice Arun Mishra, who was heading the three-member bench that took suo moto cognisance of the ‘matter of great public importance touching upon the independence of judiciary.’ Also Read – A special kind of bondWhile the in-house committee of three judges, including two female judges, would look into the allegation against the CJI, the issue that takes prominence is bench-fixing with the help of SC registry. Assisted by CBI, IB and Delhi Police, former SC Judge, Justice AK Patnaik, would go into the roots of this matter. Although such things have been in the air, it was Justice Kurian Joseph who, after retirement, said that he felt the then CJI Justice Deepak Mishra was remote-controlled. Now, Justice Arun Mishra said, ‘The way this institution is being treated for the last three-four years, this institution is going to die. There is a systematic attack, systematic game to malign this great institution,’ while at the same time warned, ‘rich and powerful people thought they could bludgeon and blackmail the court into submission, but little did they know that they were playing with fire.’ And to begin with, the SC sought a report from its registry on how the DND flyway matter, which involves hundreds of crores of rupees, gets listed for hearing contrary to the court’s order. Also Read – Insider threat managementAs such, every institution in the country has been captured by the political establishment. Already, bureaucracy has been subdued; more so in the present regime; rules and procedures are dictated by the political executive. For the lack of organic relationship with the bureaucrats, many IAS officers in the PMO have even sought a shift out, if Modi is re-elected. In demonetisation, etc., RBI was bulldozed into submission, against all the norms. Suppressing the real fraud, CAG trivialises the Rafale matter. Even the EC has no courage to pull up the BJP leadership for violations; minor actions taken only after the reprimand of the SC reminding them of their powers. Poor CBI, IT, ED, CVC, etc., have been acting only in compliance with the whims and fancies of those in power. Media is also made to dance to their tune. Having already sabotaged all the important institutions, it seems, the sight of these powerful people is now set on the Supreme Court, whose reformatory approach is not palatable to them. In the presence of PM Modi, Justice Thakur had burst into tears on a public platform while pleading for support of the government to reform the laggard judicial process. Justice KM Joseph had to face the ire of the government with their hurdles for his elevation to the SC for having quashed the President’s rule in Uttarakhand to uphold Constitution. The country is aware that Justice Khehar had favoured Modi in the Birla-Sahara diary matter, apparently as a quid pro quo in lieu of his own elevation as CJI in spite of the allegation of corruption as revealed in the suicide note of Kalikho Pul, the former CM of Arunachal Pradesh. An upright judge Loya had to pay with his life for his strict legal approach in the Sohrabuddin case that involves Amit Shah, and with remote control in the SC, an enquiry into his death was thwarted and the issue was buried. It is in this context that four senior judges of the SC, including Justice Gogoi, had voiced their concern in public about Justice Deepak Mishra, CJI, usurping all the powers in deciding benches, when bench-fixing has become a norm. Since the time of his elevation as CJI, Justice Rajan Gogoi has set upon the task of making course corrections. The judgements in the recent past themselves speak about their openness. In an extraordinary kind of mea culpa, the SC reversed its verdict on six death row prisoners, not only freeing them but ordering compensation and pulling up the Maharashtra police. It was the crime of rape and murder of a woman and her teen-aged daughter. In yet another judgment, they stayed an SC order to evict more than a million forest-dwelling people. Such pro-activity cannot be digested by those in power, especially when several politically sensitive issues are pending in the SC. Already, to the detriment of BJP, Ram Mandir issue has been quietened. Raking up Rafale matter is worrisome. Also, the chances of over-ruling the earlier order of the SC in 1998, giving immunity to MPs and MLAs from criminal and civil proceedings for their actions while discharging their legislative duties, including for taking bribes to vote in Parliament or an Assembly, are giving sleepless nights to all those who indulge in horse-trading of legislators. The ruling party is more worried for other reasons too. As the election process is on, the writing on the wall is getting strikingly clear. Promises and illusions are no longer mesmerising people. The surgical strike has not cut any ice with them. The pain of demonetisation and loss of businesses and jobs are not forgotten. The patience of farmers and unemployed has been tested enough. The economy is in debt-trap but whitewashed with fudged figures. The environment has been ignored. Thus, people have begun thinking. There is no Modi-wave. Instead, South is anti-Modi. Political arithmetic is also not so favourable in the Hindi belt, including UP, and Bengal, and other states. Under these circumstances, they are not able to swallow the fact that SC reprimands the EC for not exercising their powers. Further, the recent verdict in the case of Bilkis Bano tarnishes the image of Modi since it was he who shielded all those who mattered from communal outfits in the post-Godhra pogrom of 2002. Bilkis Bano was gang-raped in broad daylight by a baying communal mob. She was also the witness to 14 of her family members being killed; heads of children being smashed on the ground. Yet, police, under Modi and Shah, found no evidence to charge anyone. On the order of the SC in 2003, it was the CBI that arrested the accused. It was only after the SC’s directions this March that the police officials, including an IPS officer, found guilty by Bombay High Court for destroying evidence, were punished. Now, to the discomfiture of Modi and BJP, SC ordered that the Gujarat government pay her compensation of Rs 50 lakhs, and give her a job and a house to live in. The country has been witnessing the way bigots of BJP are being protected with their remote control mechanisms. In the Malegaon case of 2008, even the Mumbai-based special public prosecutor Rohini Salian had publicly claimed in 2015 that the NIA in Delhi was leaning hard on her to go easy on the accused in the case. Like how the ‘fixers’ issue has been taken up by the SC, this shocking matter, too, demands judicial intervention. What is strikingly noticeable is that after the change of government at the Centre in 2014, practically all accused began to be set free in cases wherein Muslims were the victims, and the persons charged had affiliation with the RSS and kindred outfits – be it the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Mecca Masjid, or Samjhauta Express incident. In the Samjhauta Express blast case of 2007, recently, Nabakumar Sarkar, a radical Hindutva monk, and others were acquitted. In spite of the fact that it was his 2010’s confession – which he later retracted – that had led the investigators to a whole network of people who were alleged to have been involved with other high-profile cases in which the victims were all Muslims, the court simply pronounced that NIA could not produce evidence to connect the accused. It also appears to be a case of remote control, unless the higher courts decide otherwise. With the present trend in the SC, BJP camp appears to be apprehensive that their dubious methods might not work any longer. The nomination of Pragya Thakur, a prime accused in Malegaon terror case, to contest elections only proves how desperate they are to promote their Hindutva agenda to cover up all their failures. In addition to splashing money, it is a gift of the gab of these yogis, sanyasis, and sannyasins, and the aura of their ochre robes that are being tapped. Such people can even ‘curse’ someone to death, like what Pragya claims! Unfortunately, as against the provisions of only representative democracy in the Constitution, India has been reduced to a ‘choiceless electoral party democracy’, with a deadly cocktail of caste, religion, liquor, and money trying to influence the elections. A virtuous common man who lacks monetary resources cannot even dream of contesting elections. People are anguished; feel that there is no redemption. Yet, the wise among them think that an independent Supreme Court is the only resort to put things in order and to bring back the glory of all other institutions. Since ruthless people are on the job to atrophy the apex court, the country has to stand united in its support, to maintain its independence; to bring about a change. Otherwise, the loss is of the people; of the country. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar is a retired IPS officer and a former member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)
VIENNA- Libya hopes to restore full oil output “in 10 days”, its oil minister said Tuesday, after unrest led to the country’s production being slashed.“In 10 days if everything goes right, hopefully we’ll go back to 1.5” million barrels per day, Abdelbari al-Arusi told reporters gathered for OPEC’s oil output meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.“Things change… that (is) why I said hopefully, I’m not sure because things are not in my hands,” he added when asked if he was being overly optimistic. Previously, Arusi wrongly predicted a rapid return to full production. Libya’s output has plunged to about 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) amid deadly fighting between radical Islamist fighters and the army that erupted earlier this year.Arusi added that the lost production had cost the north African nation “around $9.0 billion” in lost revenues.He said that fellow OPEC members who have been pumping additional oil to compensate for Libya’s loss should make way for a return of full output.“Somebody took our share in the market and we should go back,” Arusi said, noting that he was in agreement with Libya’s OPEC peers that the cartel should maintain its production ceiling at 30 million bpd when it meets Wednesday.