IPL-10’s first hat-trick man Samuel Badree was not celebrating for his exceptional feat as he was disappointed at his side Royal Challengers Bangalore’s defeat against Mumbai Indians here today. (Stats: Samuel Badree 12th bowler to take Indian Premier League hat-trick)”Yeah, of course. It is a special day. It was a Good Friday. It was a Good Friday for me. Unfortunately, it was not a Good Friday for the team. I just think we did not have enough runs on board,” Badree told reporters at the post-match press conference. (Samuel Badree takes first hat-trick of IPL 2017 as RCB take charge vs Mumbai Indians)”It is a nice feeling to get a hat-trick. To get three wickets in the Powerplay — normally teams chasing lose games but unfortunately it did not go our way tonight. Tremendous feeling to get a hat-trick but it could have been so much better if we had won,” said the leg-spinner who took the wickets of Parthiv Patel, Mitchell McClenaghan and Rohit Sharma in three successive deliveries in the third over of Mumbai’s run chase. (Kieron Pollard’s 70 trumps Samuel Badree’s hat-trick as Mumbai defeat Bangalore)Despite Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli laying a good foundation, RCB did not get enough runs on the board to give a fight to Mumbai Indians, who rode to victory on the back of batting exploits of Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya. (Also Read: Virat Kohli hammers 27th fifty on return, becomes leading run-scorer in IPL history)”We had a good foundation, Chris at the beginning and Virat after that. But I just think we did not score enough runs. Credit needs to be given to Pollard and Krunal the way they batted with maturity,” said Badree. (Kieron Pollard happy to deliver in situation when champions are made)advertisementOn Pollard, Badree said, “Yeah, he got some balls in the arc and backed his strengths, which is down the ground. He batted with maturity. He showed a lot of guts and character and credit needs to be given to Krunal as well,” he added.Asked what went wrong with RCB’s batting, Badree said the team was a bit under par with the bat as 160 to 170-odd runs would have been a better score on a pitch which was slow.”It was the pitch, I think it was a bit slow. At the end of the day 142 was not special. I think we needed excess of 160. We looked at 160-170 at one stage, but did not capitalise on the start we got. All in all, we were a bit under-par with the bat,” said the West Indian.Asked about Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma’s weakness against leg-spin, Badree said, “I don’t think we had any specific strategy against Rohit Sharma per se, it was about the conditions.”He also said it was a tough decision to leave Shane Watson out and getting himself in because the management could have taken the decision keeping in mind drier conditions where spinners could be effective than the seamers.
Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis feared he might miss the ICC Champions Trophy after picking up an injury while playing for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the 27-year-old admitted on Sunday.Stoinis injured his shoulder while diving during a fielding drill in a May 5 tie against Royal Challengers Bangalore and immediately returned to Australia for further assessment.”Definitely,” he told www.cricket.co.au when asked if he thought he’d be forced to miss the tournament.”Initially they said it would be 4-6 weeks in a sling, but then that changed when I got home and it calmed down a little bit. It’s been good since then,” revealed the middle-order batsman who was part of Australia’s bitterly fought India tour before the IPL.Australia begin their Champions Trophy campaign against New Zealand on June 2.”With an injury, the first thing (you think about) is what you’re going to miss out on,” Stoinis continued.”So I tried to forget about that stuff as soon as I could because then you could go into a bit of a spiral, which is not a good place to be.”It’s all on track. I’ve been working pretty closely with the physios and everyone seems to be happy with how it’s going,” he added.It remains to be seen whether Stoinis is drafted in the first XI or not but if his unavailability would have meant one option less for Steve Smith and co.Stoinis produced one of Australia’s greatest ODI innings earlier this year when he bludgeoned a remarkable 146 not out against New Zealand at Eden Park, having been elevated into the squad when both skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner missed the series.advertisement”It’s such a good team and there’s probably only a few guaranteed spots in there so everything’s up for grabs,” he said.Besides Smith and David Warner, ODI performers like Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head, Stoinis could be battling fellow all-rounder Moises Henriques and batting powerhouse Chris Lynn for a spot in Australia’s top six.Stoinis said he would want to make a mark in the practice games.”We’ve got a couple of practice games … you’ve just got to take your opportunity and hopefully I get one. “You don’t get many opportunities in the Australian cricket team … so it was good to take that (chance) early on and hopefully that stands me in good stead for the competition,” he said.
Manchester United’s Juan Mata prefers to play as an attacking midfielder but the Spaniard has praised his team mates for helping him to flourish on the right wing, the 29-year-old said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with rivals Liverpool.In more than 150 appearances for United, Mata has been deployed either as an attacking midfielder or on the right wing, with all seven of his league appearances this season being made in wide areas.Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan has thrived in the central role during this campaign, scoring once and providing five assists in seven league games, but Mata is relishing his role out wide as it gives him freedom to cut inside and create chances.”Let’s say offensive midfielder,” Mata told United’s website when asked about his preferred role. (www.manutd.com) “But, obviously, I am playing more now on the right wing, when I try to come inside and create space for my team mates.”It’s this kind of freedom that allows me to be in touch with the ball, that’s where I feel comfortable,” said Mata.”I consider myself as this kind of attacking midfielder, trying to find the gaps between the opposition midfielders and defenders and produce what the team needs between the lines,” he added.Mata, who scored a memorable brace at Anfield in 2015, also said that netting a goal was far more rewarding than providing an assist.”The most important and the better feeling in football, for me, is scoring a goal,” Mata added.”Obviously, when you’ve made a great assist…is a great feeling, but obviously the best feeling is to score yourself.”advertisementUnited, who are second in the league after winning six of their opening seven fixtures, drew both games against Liverpool last season.
Source: AGONAsport.com (Facebook – Instagram)TweetPinShare0 Shares Konstantinos Filippidis secured his place in the Men’s Pole Vault Final with a jump of 5.70 meters. The Greek athlete seemed very confident in the qualifying round as he finished second in place.Konstantinos Filippidis will compete in Monday’s Final for the Men’s Pole Vault Event. FIlippidis finished 2nd overall in qualifying with a jump of 5.70 meters. He completed all his jumps on his first attempt (5.30, 5.45, 5.70) and cleared 5.60 meters on his second attempt. No athlete was forced to jump 5.75 meters, which would lead to automatic qualification, since the competition was cleared to the final 12 players before that point.The final is scheduled for Monday at 7:35 PM. Filippidis will be a contender for a medal in the event after today’s confident showing. He is due for a big jump and if it comes on Monday he will finish in the top 3.
Barcelona will miss the services of Luis Suarez for two weeks as the striker undergoes stem cell treatment on his right knee, the La Liga champions announced on Monday.Suarez has been in pain for some time and was not included in Barcelona’s squad for their Champions League trip to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.Suarez now joins a list of Barcelona stars who are out injured. Sergi Roberto is also on the sidelines for three weeks with a hamstring injury he sustained in their 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.Rafinha Alcantara is ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury to his left knee, which also he sustained in the match against Atletico.Brazilian midfielder Arthur was also omitted from the squad with a thigh strain but Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho return after injury.After a subdued start to the season, Suarez had picked up and had hit the top form, scoring nine goals in the 12 matches he has played so far.Barcelona have been troubled by injuries to their stars this season. Even Lionel Messi had fractured his right forearm in an earlier match against Sevilla but has now fully recovered and is back to the field doing what he does best.After the weekend of La Liga, Sevilla are on top of the table with 26 points from 13 games while Barcelona are just a point behind on the second place.Atletico Madrid, Alaves and Espanyol occupy the third, fourth and fifth place, respectively. Real Madrid are sixth in the table with just 20 points from 13 matches.advertisement(With Reuters inputs)Also watch –
Touch Football continues to make an impact in Western Australia but the road remains long and bumpy.Touch Football Western Australia (TFWA) have sent two teams to this week’s X-Blades National Youth League Championships (NYC) in Port Macquarie to give their top younger players an opportunity to compete against the best in Australia.Although results haven’t gone the way they would have liked, TFWA sports program co-ordinator and NYC tour manager Karon Boston said it was about the experience.“It is extremely important, if we don’t get the players to tour and the coaches to tour they don’t see what the next step is,” Boston said.“All the players and coaches enjoy being able to challenge themselves and take on the best of the best; it is extremely important for our development.”Boston said the sport was coming along in the western state.“It’s starting to take off in leap and bounds because we have got quite a few schools now that are starting to ask for those new clinics,” she said.“We also have a new program in Western Australia called the Western Tigers AusSquad Academy, which is for our elite players. “We have selected 40 players from our junior state championships and they get together once a month for some intensive training sessions.”Boston said TFWA have the players at their disposal but don’t have the same number for coaches.“There are some difficulties there because coaching is a volunteer position.“You have to get people to have time off work and commit to four or five months worth of training sessions and then take some time off to come over here, it is always difficult. “But we are working on it, we have some fairly new coaches on board this year and it is starting to pick up.”There are 24 Touch Football affiliates in Western Australia.TFWA have also had players represent Australia such as Shelley Matcham, Angela Doyle and Stuart Brierty.Brierty will play for his adopted state NSW in the 2012 State of Origin Series (SOO) that will be played tomorrow and Saturday.For more information on the NYC, SOO series and Touch Football in Western Australia, check out these websites:NYC – www.nyc.mytouchfooty.comSOO – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Western Australia – www.touchwest.com Touch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auOr FOLLOW us on Twitter or LIKE us on our Facebook page. Related LinksTouch Football WA
zoom At the Offshore WIND Installation & Maintenance conference on Wednesday, Peter Robert, Business Development Manager at Damen Shipyards Group, whetted the appetite of the delegates for more information about a new offshore wind vessel able to provide in field accommodation and work space for engineers working on all phases of a wind farm project.More details of the vessel, designed with amidships accommodation, heave compensated gangway and a crane, will be known at the vessel project launching which is planned for the EWEA OFFSHORE 2013 event being held in Frankfurt in November.Until then our readers will just have to wait.OW Staff, October 18, 2013; Image: Navingo
A coalition of organizations, including GLAAD and Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), today launch a new PSA and social media campaign starring Alan Cumming to raise awareness about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) blood donor deferral policy for men who have sex with men.Video: Celibacy ChallengeCreated by Saatchi & Saatchi NY and Bullitt, #CelibacyChallenge urges the FDA to implement a blood donation system that screens all donors based on risk for HIV transmission, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.“Stereotypes have no place in saving lives,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “The FDA’s proposed change still means that countless gay and bisexual men will be turned away from blood banks simply because of who they are. GLAAD is proud to stand alongside GMHC and Saatchi & Saatchi NY to shed light on this important issue.”To call attention to the FDA’s blood donor deferral policy, GLAAD and GMHC’s campaign illustrates how unrealistic it is to ask someone to remain celibate for a year in order to donate blood by offering “approved alternatives” to sex. Participants are asked to share the humorous video through social media using the hashtag #CelibacyChallenge and to sign a petition calling on the FDA to modify their policy. More info about the donor issue and pro bono campaign can be found on www.CelibacyChallenge.com.“Since the early days of the epidemic, GMHC has witnessed first-hand how fear, stigma, and discrimination have fueled the spread of HIV,” said Kelsey Louie, GMHC’s CEO. “The FDA’s ‘revised’ policy continues to fan the flames of the outdated stereotype that HIV is only a ‘gay disease.’ GMHC would like to thank Saatchi & Saatchi NY and GLAAD for joining and supporting the broad coalition of agencies that have been fighting to change U.S. blood donation policy for decades.”Saatchi & Saatchi NY partnered on this pro bono project with Bullitt and the campaign’s centerpiece film was shot by Bullitt filmmaker Academy Award-winning director Ari Sandel. In 2007, Sandel won an Oscar for his short film, “West Bank Story.” Most recently, Sandel directed the highly anticipated film The Duff for CBS films, being released this Friday, February 20.“Creating work that creates positive cultural change is something we’re very passionate about,” said Jay Benjamin, Saatchi & Saatchi New York chief creative officer. “We believe at Saatchi that nothing is impossible, and that certainly holds true about lifting an outdated 30-year-old ban.”Todd Makurath, co-founder and CEO of Bullitt, added: “All of us at Bullitt believe very strongly in this cause, and we’re thrilled to be teaming up with these organizations and contributing Bullitt’s talent for storytelling to make a difference with this issue.”
APTN National NewsThe Royal couple made their last stop on their tour of Canada at the First Nations University of Canada in Saskatchewan.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf was there for the visit and has this report.
NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has reached a deal to dissolve amid a legal battle with New York’s attorney general.Attorney General Barbara Underwood and the foundation filed a joint stipulation with the court Tuesday laying out a process for shutting down the charity and distributing its remaining assets to other non-profit groups.New York filed a lawsuit last spring accusing the foundation of operating like an extension of Trump’s businesses and political campaign. That suit will continue.Lawyers for the foundation say any infractions were minor. They say they have been trying to shut down the foundation voluntarily for months.A judge must still sign off on the agreement.Underwood is a Democrat and is seeking millions of dollars in penalties. She wants Trump and his eldest children barred from running other charities.
Escalating conflict between Government forces (FARDC) and a rebel group militia known as the National Congress in Defense of the People (CNDP) has uprooted an estimated 250,000 people since late August, mainly in North Kivu province, which borders Rwanda and Uganda. Other armed groups, including the Mayi Mayi, have also been involved in deadly clashes, some of which have been along ethnic lines. “The situation in the Congo highlights the dilemma, and limits, of peacekeepers caught in ongoing conflict,” Alan Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, wrote in an Op-Ed in The Washington Times. The UN mission in the DRC, known by its French acronym MONUC, is the Organization’s largest, with 17,000 personnel. “However, compared to the enormity of the tasks it is assigned and the vast expanse of the DRC – roughly the size of the United States east of the Mississippi and virtually without infrastructure – this number is actually rather small,” Mr. Le Roy said. For example, in Kosovo, NATO deployed 40,000 highly-trained and well-equipped troops to an area 200 times smaller than the DRC, he added. “Civilians have suffered from intense and often chaotic fighting, driven from their homes, caught in the crossfire and subjected to direct attacks and reprisals by armed groups and undisciplined elements of the national army,” the official said. Over 90 per cent of the UN mission”s troops are deployed in the DRC’s eastern provinces, and 10,000 blue helmets are trying to protect the 10 million-strong population, at a ratio of one peacekeeper for every 1,000 civilians. “MONUC forces cannot serve as a substitute for the Congolese army to fight a war or impose peace,” Mr. Le Roy wrote, adding that UN peacekeepers are “not an expeditionary or counterinsurgency force.” But in the face of such challenges, he said that the Organization’s troops “continue to do their utmost, protecting thousands of civilians every day.” The Under-Secretary-General underscored that the fighting will only end when a political settlement supported by all States in the region has been reached. “With so much at stake, the international community simply cannot afford to let the Congo slide into the abyss,” he wrote. “The time to act is, and indeed must be, now.” The UN envoy tasked with helping to resolve the conflict that has engulfed the east of the DRC is scheduled to launch a dialogue tomorrow in Nairobi between the DRC’s Government and the CNDP. The talks will be facilitated by Olusegun Obasanjo, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Great Lakes Region and former Nigerian president, and Benjamin Mkapa, representing the African Union (AU) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR), who is also the former president of Tanzania. The agreement to launch the discussion comes after the their recent talks with regional heads of State, the Congolese Government, the CNDP and other armed groups in which they appealed for dialogue and respect for the ceasefire to allow for humanitarian assistance. 7 December 2008With a “humanitarian tragedy” unfolding in the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), it is imperative that action be taken immediately to protect the population and bring an end to the fighting, the top United Nations peacekeeping official said today.
With Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon headed to Russia and Ukraine as part of his diplomatic efforts to de-escalate current tensions, the Security Council heard senior United Nations officials in New York urge adherence to fundamental principles of the UN Charter, including respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensuring respect for the human rights of all.“It is in the spirit of the UN Charter that [the Secretary-General] now embarks on his mission to Moscow and Kiev,” said Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, who, alongside UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, briefed the Council on the latest events in the crisis-torn region. Mr. Ban’s first stop will be the Russian capital, where he will meet on Thursday with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior officials, according to the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.On Friday, the UN chief will travel to Kiev, where he will hold talks with Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and other officials. While in the Ukrainian capital, he will also meet with members of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission and representatives of civil society.Mr. Eliasson said that since his own mission to Ukraine at the beginning of the month, “the crisis has continued to deepen [and] tensions in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine continue to rise…we are now faced with risks of a dangerous further escalation that could have ramifications for international peace and security and have serious significance for this Council and for the United Nations.”Laying out a succinct timeline of the “fast-moving and serious” events, he told the Council: Crimean authorities had announced that close to 97 per cent of those who voted in Sunday’s referendum did so in favour of secession from Ukraine; subsequently, Crimea declared its independence, which in turn was recognized by Russia; Monday the European Union and the United States moved to apply targeted sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials.Further: President Putin has signed a treaty to make Crimea part of the Russian Federation; the Government in Kiev meanwhile has committed to never accept Crimea’s independence or annexation, stating that Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine; and yesterday, Ukraine’s Prime Minister expressed concern that the conflict in the Crimean peninsula is ‘shifting from a political to a military stage.’ “This followed reports that a Ukrainian officer was killed in front of a Ukrainian military base on the outskirts of Simferopol,” Mr. Eliasson continued, noting that after this incident, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister planned to travel to Crimea today. In turn, the Crimean leadership has allegedly stated that Ukraine’s officials would be turned back. “This underscores the dire need for the immediate opening of direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev.”He said that reports are emerging today that two Ukrainian naval bases in Crimea have been taken over by pro-Russian forces or unidentified groups. While initial reports suggest that the seizures of bases have so far occurred without bloodshed, such developments obviously carry grave risks. “The Secretary-General has constantly underlined the importance of avoiding further provocative actions and of refraining from incitement,” said Mr. Eliasson. “These latest events have heightened tensions and added new layers of complexity to an already precarious situation.’ Mr. Eliasson noted that in a wider perspective, all should recall that Russia and Ukraine remain neighbours, with close, often complex, historic, cultural, economic and political ties. “It is our view that it is in the interest of all of us that these two nations have positive ties, with each other and with the broader region. But the first step in that direction has to be based on immediate de-escalation and restraint in the present crisis.” Echoing some of the Secretary-General’s key recent messages, Mr. Eliasson said: “It is clear that we are at a crossroads. If positions continue to harden and rhetoric continues to sharpen, there is great risk of a dangerous downward spiral. …The focus must be to engage in direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev aimed at agreeing on specific measures that will pave the way towards a diplomatic solution.”“I only wish to add that our primary diplomatic tool is constructive dialogue on the basis of the chapter in the Charter on pacific settlement of disputes,” said the UN Deputy chief, adding that the Organization will continue to play its role of promoting dialogue for a peaceful and joint resolution of this crisis, “which now has become more serious than ever.”Months of political unrest in Ukraine led to the removal by Parliament of President Viktor Yanukovych in February, followed by increased tensions in the country’s autonomous region of Crimea, where additional Russian military were recently deployed and a secession referendum was held on Sunday. Throughout the crisis, the Secretary-General and senior UN officials have consistently called for a solution that is guided by the principles of the UN Charter and that respects Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
HSV Handball found a solution after German champion sacked Per Carlen. Until end of the season, team will lead old coach- current President, Martin Schwalb. Schwalb won Championship title last season, when he decided to try with Management activities. He will lead HSV in last 19 games of the season, ready to fight for the titles in EHF Champions League and DHB Cup. BerlinFuchseFuchse BerlinhandballHSV HamburgMartin Schwalb ← Previous Story Come to Medjugorje 2012 – BEYOND HANDBALL Next Story → Barna Putics stays in VfL Gummersbach until 2014
← Previous Story Topic of the Week: SEHA as a future of “South Stream”? Next Story → Marcus Cleverley moves to Lugi Lund DenmarkEHFeuropean championship For the upcoming European Championship 2014 in Denmark, 27,000 tickets were put for presale, and already 23,000 tickets are gone. The organizer informs that all the category A and VIP tickets have been sold, and there are only 4,000 category B tickets left. The Danish have once again shown huge passion for handball, and even without knowing the opponent, they are willing to buy tickets and support the boys against whoever is drawn against them.The European Championship in Denmark will take place between 12th and 26th January 2014.
“Nobody employed by Irish Water has received a bonus. There is a pay freeze in Bord Gáis until 2016.”Rabbitte said that Bord Gáis managements and unions had agreed a deal that abolished increments, cut allowances and reduced pay by €34 million over four years.The deal also introduced a performance-related pay system.Rabbitte said that the pay of top staff in companies such as Bord Gais was the remit of ministers, paying particular tribute to the management of Bord Gáis.“Responsibility for the pay system for a commercial state company’s employees is a matter for the board and CEO of that company. In the case of BGE, the board and management have done a particularly good job in overhauling the old pay system and installing a progressive performance related system.”Read: ‘The bonus culture is back’: Taoiseach faces more questions over Irish Water bonuses THE MINISTER FOR Communications has hit back at suggestions there is a “bonus culture” at semi-state bodies.The charge was made yesterday by Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin, who said Enda Kenny was telling the Dáil that the ‘bonus culture was alive and well in Irish Water’.However in a statement today, Pat Rabbitte fired back, particularly in the case of Irish Water.There is no ‘bonus culture’ in Bord Gáis Éireann nor will there be in Irish Water.
THIS WEEK SAW the Garda Representative Association call for a dramatic expansion of the number of Armed Support Units throughout the country. Gardaí on the ground are becoming increasingly concerned about the growth of violent gun crime in the Republic. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), ‘Weapons and Explosives’ offences rose by more than 10% in Ireland in just one year between 2017 and 2018 – to a total of 2,248 incidents. While there are major problems with the recording of our crime statistics, it is evident that we have a gun-murder rate six times worse than Britain. The statisticsSerious crime has been systematically under-reported in the Republic over the last decade. The CSO recorded a total of 77 homicides in Ireland for 2018 but worryingly it also said that the quality of the statistics given to them by the Department of Justice ‘do not meet the standard required of official statistics published by the CSO’. The CSO says that the number of homicides reported between 2003 and 2016 was underestimated by approximately 18% meaning that some 234 deaths were not recorded during that period.Despite these omissions, we can still see some startling trends in murder in Ireland. In the 10 years between 2005 and 2015, 201 Irish citizens were killed by firearms. During the same 10-year period, in Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) a total of 454 citizens were killed by a firearm. When you factor in that we have a population of 4.6 million people, while the population of Britain is 65 million, it is apparent that our gun-murder rate is six times greater than theirs. Indeed when you look at gun-murder rates across the EU Ireland has one of the highest rates out of all 27 member states. May 2nd 2019, 7:00 AM 20,215 Views Short URL Thursday 2 May 2019, 7:00 AM We have a major problem with gun violence on this island.Recent high-profile shootingsThis problem has been dramatically demonstrated in two high profile shooting incidents on this island in the last number of weeks. On 18 April, journalist Lyra Mc Kee was shot dead in Derry by a member of a dissident republican group styling itself the ‘IRA’ or ‘New IRA’. The perpetrator fired a 9mm automatic handgun, at point blank on rapid fire – at PSNI personnel. Lyra was tragically struck in the head and killed in this reckless act.Exactly one week later, on 25 April, in Drogheda, a gunman fired a 9mm automatic handgun – also at point blank and rapid fire – at an innocent workman and passers-by in the Hardmans Gardens estate. The modus operandi of both shootings was identical. In both cases, handguns similar to Glock Automatic Pistols, which are readily available to both dissident paramilitaries and organised crime gangs, were discharged in a rapid-fire frenzy with the intention to kill and without regard for the safety of ordinary members of the public. In the case of the Drogheda shooting, as is clearly visible from the video of the incident, the shooter narrowly misses a child walking past the house in question.Calls for back-upIt is within this context that the Garda Representative Association (GRA) has been calling for an increase in the number of Armed Support Units (ASUs) throughout the country. Their call also comes in the midst of a spate of high profile ATM thefts involving gangs both north and south of the border. These ATM thefts have become international news and bring the state of law and order on the whole island into international disrepute. Members of An Garda Síochána also believe that one of the gangs involved in the ATM thefts were also involved in the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donoghue in January 2016. That murder was also with a firearm. The GRA has asked for 24-hour ASU back-up for each of the 31 Garda Divisions. This highlights that at present ASUs are only dedicated on a regional basis in the six nationwide regions and the Dublin Metropolitan Region. Sources within the gardaí state that in some regions, the ASU is expected to cover areas that extend for hundreds of kilometres from Malin Head in Donegal to urban centres such as Sligo town. In other Garda Regions, there is no 24/7 cover by ASU due to rostering issues and personnel shortages. As a consequence, most policemen and women, responding to armed incidents involving firearms, are ordinary rank and file gardaí. They are unarmed and untrained in firearms and the tactical responses required in such situations. As a back-up, in many cases, local detective units, armed with handguns are expected to deal with organised crime gang members armed with high calibre automatic rifles and machine pistols. This is an unacceptable situation for gardaí, as well as for ordinary members of the public.Decades behind other forcesCompounding these issues of training and equipment are serious shortfalls in the fleet available to An Garda Síochána with most Garda Divisions experiencing chronic shortages in transport.In addition, most gardaí here lack the basic in-car and handheld IT equipment that are standard issue in other European Union police forces. Most readers will be familiar with TV staples such as Motorway Cops or Traffic Cop, where British police are routinely equipped with IT equipment that allows them to determine, at the side of the road, the complete history of a vehicle and its occupants, including criminal record and outstanding warrants for arrest. An Garda Síochána have no such infrastructure and are required to do 21st-century policing with wooden truncheons and often with their own mobile phones.It was with such a lack of proper IT back-up (including warnings on the potential danger from firearms) that Garda Tony Golden was murdered by a gunman while responding to a routine domestic violence incident in 2015. All of the Garda Representative organisations, the GRA and AGSI, as well as recent Garda Commissioners, have stated repeatedly that An Garda Siochána is ‘decades’ behind other police forces in terms of numbers, equipment, training and resources. In 2016, Garda Commissioner Noreen O’Sullivan admitted on the record that our police force was ’20 years’ behind in IT and other key skill sets. This week, members of the GRA used unprecedented language to describe the Minister for Justice as ‘negligent’ with regard to proper policing supports in Ireland. Other words, such as ‘despicable’ were used by front line gardaí to describe plans by newly appointed Commissioner Drew Harris to cut Garda recruitment – at a time of increasing gang violence and paramilitary activity on the island.‘Mind-boggling’ was also a term used by delegates to describe the mismatch between the reality of a chronic, crisis point, lack of resources on the ground – and grandiose claims by the Minister and senior civil servants that the gardaí enjoy ‘unprecedented’ support.I do not believe that Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan is ‘negligent’ about gun crime in Ireland but I do believe that he and his cabinet have become complacent about crime and security on the island. A perfect stormNow in the context of Brexit, we are facing a perfect storm in relation to the ramping up of paramilitary and terrorist activity on the island along with the continued proliferation of the violence and activities associated with drug gangs. Many organised crime gangs are getting ‘Brexit Ready’ with ATM thefts and the extension of their lucrative drug trade into regional hubs – such as Drogheda and other urban centres nationwide. Collaboration between such gangs and paramilitaries is well established, particularly as it applies to the supply of firearms into this jurisdiction. In this manner, and in many others, including extortion, drug dealing and racketeering in illegal fuel and cigarettes – the shootings in Drogheda and Derry are connected. The inter-connectedness between so-called ‘organised crime gangs’ and terrorists on this island are not to be underestimated. Their activities will expand rapidly with the advent of Brexit – hard border or otherwise. Through their complacency, our government has sleepwalked into a situation where we have one of the worst rates of homicide by firearm in Western Europe. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice can begin to address this by investing in our hollowed out police service and in our Defence Forces, which is also in crisis. This is surely the most important way in which we can get Brexit-ready – it is literally a matter of life or death. Dr Tom Clonan is a security analyst and former captain in the Irish Defence Forces. 39 Comments Tom Clonan Share17 Tweet Email3 https://jrnl.ie/4615315 Tom Clonan: Compared with other EU countries, Ireland has a high rate of gun violence – so why is our government so complacent? Gardai responding to armed incidents are usually unarmed and untrained in firearms. By Tom Clonan Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Smoke from a 20,000 acre wildfire looms over Ski Hill Road south of Soldotna. (Photo by Shaylon Cochran/KDLL)Now in its third day, the wildfire burning on the Kenai Peninsula has consumed 20,000 acres.Download AudioBy Wednesday afternoon, more than 200 firefighters had been sent in to control the blaze. Even though the size of the fire is now more than 30 square miles, it’s still contained within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and so very little property was being threatened.Crews are using water almost exclusively to fight the fire. Doug Newbould is the Fire Management Officer on the Refuge. He says water is preferred over chemical retardants.“Fish especially, those are the aquatic resources we’re trying to protect by not using retardant, however, we also understand and are fully supportive of the policy and the and the practices of protecting communities. If you have to use retardant, if that’s the best tool at your disposal or even a last resort sometimes, then yeah, use retardant.”Newbould says the Refuge signed off on very limited use of retardant Tuesday, just enough to keep the fire from damaging the historic Nurses Cabin.Extremely dry weather, high winds and low humidity proved the perfect mix for creating such a big wildfire. And Newbould says that if life and property aren’t threatened, a fire in the Refuge can have some positive benefits. But it really depends on the cause. He says they’re not sure yet exactly what started this fire, but it was likely man-made.“Fire is an ecosystem process. And when it’s natural, we like to support it and use it where we can to accomplish resource objectives, but our only objectives on this fire are protecting communities and keeping the fire within the Refuge boundaries.”The state division of Forestry says that recent efforts to clear beetle-kill spruce from the Refuge have removed fuel that could have made the fire spread farther and faster. Forestry spokesperson Andy Alexandrou says it’s not time to relax yet, though. Crews worked early Wednesday morning to keep the fire from jumping Funny River Road.“We’re trying to keep that road open. We do suggest that you use extra caution as you’re driving around in that area between miles 5 and 8 (of Funny River Road). There is a fair amount of equipment there, people walking and working, staging for apparatus, so use a little extra caution as you pass through there.”He says the incident management teams that arrived Wednesday morning will be completely set up and able to get more information out Thursday.As the fire continues to burn, air quality is becoming a big concern. The Department of Environmental Conservation still has an air quality advisory in effect. The strong northerly winds that had been sending the smoke to the southern peninsula have calmed down, and now most of that smoke has settled between Sterling and Kenai, forcing Central Peninsula Hospital to stop surgical operations Wednesday afternoon, as a precaution to make sure air handlers were working properly.As the fire speads, questions about possible evacuations from Funny River to Kasilof abound, and at Tuesday night’s Borough Assembly meeting, Borough Emergency Management Director Scott Walden explained how those decisions are made.“In a situation such as this, Department of Natural Resources, (Division of) Forestry would be the ones to order an evacuation, if necessary.Our job would be to develop plans to put in place with Forestry and the State Troopers,” Walden said.The Borough has a hotline set up to field evacuation questions and other general questions about the fire. That number is 714-2495.
Airport workers prepare the body of a New Zealand mosque attack victim to be handed over to relatives at Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport in Dhaka on 26 March 2019. Photo: AFPThe bodies of two Bangladeshis killed in the Christchurch mosques shooting earlier this month have been returned home to their grieving families, relatives said late Tuesday.The bodies of Zakaria Bhuiyan, a welder, and Omar Faruk, a builder, arrived at Dhaka airport on a Singapore Airlines flight from New Zealand.Bhuiyan and Faruk were praying at the Al Noor Mosque when an Australian white supremacist opened fire on worshippers, killing 43.Another seven were murdered at a separate mosque when the shooter turned his weapon on Muslims there, in the worst violence of its kind ever seen in New Zealand.Five Bangladeshis were killed in the massacre and many others were injured.The grieving relatives, who came from outside the capital to receive the bodies, rented mortuary vans to take the bodies home.Bhuiyan’s uncle Qari Ullah said the family would arrange funeral prayers for his nephew at his village in central Narsingdi district.”His family is quite poor. He died when they were only starting to dream of financial solvency. Only Allah knows what will happen now,” Ullah told AFP in tears.Faruk’s body was also taken by his relatives to his home in Narayanganj district where he will be laid to rest.An AFP photographer at the scene saw the relatives tearfully receiving the coffins from the airline and leaving for their homes.The body of Mozammel Haque, another Bangladeshi killed in the heinous attack, is expected to arrive in Bangladesh on Wednesday, a Bangladeshi official told reporters.
“All of us at Nerdist and Geek & Sundry are so thankful to you for being a part of this amazing community,” the Alpha team said in the subscriber notice. “We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve GIFed. And we’ve cherished the friendships we’ve made.”News of the service’s closure was first reported by TechCrunch. The move comes after AT&T’s Otter Media earlier this year shut down Machinima, a forerunner in the fandom space, although some of Machinima’s titles have been resurrected at Rooster Teeth (also part of Otter).Shows on Alpha include “Because Science” hosted by Nerdist’s Kyle Hill, Dungeons & Dragons gameplay series “Critical Role,” tabletop games series “How to Play” and “Game the Game” with Geek & Sundry’s Becca Scott, “Talkin’ Toons” with voice actor Rob Paulson, role-playing adventure series “We’re Alive: Frontier,” “Alpha Book Club,” fandom-history show “Lore Masters,” talk show “Fangirling,” “Nerdist News: WTFriday,” “Ask Your Black Geek Friend” and comedy-shorts series “Nerdist Presents.”The service also experimented with interactive features including chat and polling, as well as live programming including “Orbital Redux,” a sci-fi series starring Yuri Lowenthal performed and streamed live last fall. Other scripted series have included Ashley Clements’ “Sona” eight-part space drama.The company had not disclosed how many subscribers Alpha had signed up. Legendary claimed that since Alpha’s launch, users have cumulatively watched over 640 million minutes of content; that averages out to around 400,000 hours per month.Legendary said that if Alpha members have remaining months on an annual-subscription plan after March 31, 2019, it will refund any prepaid amounts on a prorated basis. Streaming service Alpha is shutting down, a little over two years after Legendary Digital Networks launched the subscription bundle aimed at sci-fi, gaming and fantasy fans that featured original programming from the company’s Nerdist and Geek & Sundry teams.In a message to subscribers Friday, Legendary said Alpha will be shuttered effective March 31, 2019, and that it discontinued new signups on March 1. Launched in November 2016, Alpha was priced at $4.99 per month or $49.99 annually.With the shutdown, Legendary said the library of Alpha content will be available on Amazon-owned Twitch “effective immediately.” Some shows are already streaming on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch channel, and Legendary said episodes that have been live-streamed will remain available on-demand to subscribers. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15