Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson But instead of basking in the glory of his eye-popping numbers, Standhardinger zoomed in on his miscues.“Actually today was not a good day. I had three easy lay-ups that I missed so I apologized to my teammates because I messed up their assists. But above everything else, the victory is the most important thing so it worked out,” said Standhardinger, who made up for the absence of World Import Ryan Moss.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBrian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defenseMarcus Elliott added 19 markers, nine assists, and six boards, Lee Ki got 19 points on a 5-of-6 shooting from threes, and Tyler Lamb also had 19 markers, six rebounds, and four dimes in his comeback to his home country of Thailand.After Mono Vampire made a late run and sliced what was once a 19-point lead down to six, 106-100 with 1:08 left, Standhardinger caught a pass from Elliott and drilled a bank shot while falling with 45 seconds remaining to put Hong Kong Eastern up, 108-100. Jason Brickman added 12 markers, 11 assists, and six boards, while Paul Zamar had 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the losing cause.The Scores:HONG KONG EASTERN 112 — Standhardinger 40, Elliott 19, Lamb 19, Lee 19, Lau 12, Xu 3, Chung 0, Ip 0, Tang 0.MONO VAMPIRE 105 — Johnson 31, Chanthachon 15, Sanders 15, Kruatiwa 13, Brickman 12, Zamar 11, Apiromvilaichai 4, Phuangla 4, Ananti 0, Boonyai 0.Quarters: 29-27, 59-49, 84-77, 112-105.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Christian Stanhardinger goes up for a shot during HK Eastern’s game vs Mono Vampire in the ASEAN Basketball League. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOBANGKOK – Christian Standhardinger continued to run roughshod over the competition in the ASEAN Basketball League, this time steering Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club past Mono Vampire, 112-105, at Stadium 29 here.The Fil-German forward unloaded 40 points, seven coming in the last 3:30, on top of 17 rebounds, five steals, and three assists to help preserve his side’s immaculate 3-0 record.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Naito defends belt, unbeaten record vs Silva in ONE: Warriors of the World OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set View comments Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene MOST READ Christian Standhardinger with the dagger! HK Eastern leads Mono Vampire, 108-100. #ABL8 pic.twitter.com/BaNOrQDCQt— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) December 8, 2017While Reginald Johnson tried to keep the Thais in the game, Standhardinger delivered the clutch freebies with 20.4 ticks left to seal the game shut, 110-103.Johnson paced Mono Vampire with 31 points and eight rebounds as it saw its three-game winning streak snapped and fall to a 3-2 slate.ADVERTISEMENT
By City News Service Police searched a four-block perimeter Thursday for a man who fatally stabbed another man during an attempted robbery in Culver City, authorities said. The stabbing occurred at 7:39p.m. Wednesday on Washington Boulevard at Wade Street, Culver City police Lt. Dave Tankenson said. Three men were standing in the area when another man approached them and attempted to rob them, he said, adding that one victim was stabbed in the heart. The assailant fled on foot, he said. It was not clear if anything was taken from the victims. The killing was the second in Culver City in 13 days after the city had gone two years without a homicide. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Also, he said the video leaves out the two cascades that actually are on U.S. territory, the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. “This is not the United States, this is 100 percent Canada, shot from the Canadian side,” Gromosiak said after reviewing the video at the request of The Associated Press. “This is an insult.” Although brief, the appearance of the Horseshoe Falls in a U.S. tourism promotion effort is likely to also vex Canadians, who long have fought to distinguish themselves from their larger neighbor to the south. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Matthew Lee THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – Oh, Canada! The USA is closer than ever. The Bush administration appears to have annexed a major Canadian landmark as part of a slick new campaign to promote U.S. tourism and welcome foreign visitors to America. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.A Disney-produced promotional video released last week by the departments of State and Homeland Security highlights majestic American landscapes, from New England’s colorful fall foliage and the Grand Canyon to the Rocky Mountains and Hawaii’s pounding surf. Backed by a soaring orchestral soundtrack, shots of those attractions are interspersed with the smiling images of people of all creeds and colors. The video, “Welcome: Portraits of America,” is to be played at select airports in the United States – starting at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston – and at U.S. embassies abroad. About four minutes into the seven-minute production, viewers are treated to the impressive sight and sound of water roaring over Niagara Falls before the screen shifts to the Lincoln Memorial. In showing the natural wonder, Disney’s filmmakers, however, chose the Horseshoe Falls, the only one of Niagara’s three waterfalls to lie almost entirely on the Canadian side of the border separating western New York state from southern Ontario province. Making matters worse, a visitor to the U.S. would not even be able to get the same view of the falls in the video because the scene was shot from a vantage point in Canada, according to Paul Gromosiak, a Niagara Falls, N.Y., historian and author.
DETROIT – Customers avoided car showrooms in November, despite lower gas prices and deep discounts, handing domestic and foreign automakers a disappointing month. The Big Three – General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler – reported lower November sales on Thursday, and even Toyota, which had gotten used to double-digit sales growth, only had modest gains. Sales of sport utility vehicles slid again as consumers showed a growing preference for cars and car-based crossover utilities. A new round of discounts from U.S. automakers introduced in mid-November failed to overcome buyers’ worries about high heating costs and other factors. And automakers said they’re still suffering payback from a summer of popular discounts that allowed customers to snatch up vehicles for the employee price. GM’s sales tumbled 11.3 percent last month compared to last November, led by a 16.7 percent decrease in sales of trucks and SUVs. Car sales slid 3 percent. GM’s sales fell 3 percent in the first 11 months of the year. Ford said sales of its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands fell 18 percent. Car sales slid 6 percent despite strong demand for the company’s new Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr sedans and a 46 percent increase in sales of the Ford Freestyle crossover. Sales of Ford trucks and sport utility vehicles slipped 22 percent, led by a 52 percent decline in sales of the newly redesigned Ford Explorer SUV. Ford’s U.S. sales analysis manager, George Pipas, said payback from summer discounts is still having some effect on truck and SUV sales, but a trend toward smaller vehicles also is taking hold. Cars are on pace to outperform sales of trucks and SUVs this year for the first time since 1981, he said. Pipas said high gas prices after the hurricanes this fall accelerated that trend. He predicted SUV sales will stabilize if gas prices remain around $2 a gallon, however. Ballew said GM doesn’t think the drop in Ford Explorer sales indicates a trend that should worry GM. He said customers in the midsize SUV segment tend to be less loyal than those in other segments and they’re choosing between a lot more competitors than when the Explorer was introduced 15 years ago. “It’s just a very tough operating environment for those products,” Ballew said. DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group reported a 7 percent decline, with a 10 percent increase in car sales offset by an 11 percent decrease in truck and SUV sales. Chrysler’s sales were up 6.5 percent for the year. Toyota’s car sales were up 9.3 percent for the month, led by huge increases in sales of its Lexus luxury sedans, but sales of trucks and SUVs were up just 1 percent for an overall sales increase of 5.5 percent. The Japanese automaker’s sales were up 11 percent for the January-November period. Jim Press, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., said sales should pick up through the end of the year as consumer confidence grows stronger. Toyota, the world’s second-largest automaker, also is offering some holiday discounts. Honda’s sales gained 6 percent for the month, led by a 9.5 percent increase in truck and SUV sales as the automaker’s new Ridgeline pickup continued to gain traction. Honda’s sales rose 7 percent for the first 11 months of the year. Nissan Motor Co. took a bigger hit in truck sales, with sales of its Titan pickup down 30 percent. Nissan sales slipped 7.7 percent for the month, but increased 11.4 percent overall for the first 11 months of the year. Hyundai Motor Co. also reported a 22 percent decline in SUV and truck sales, but a 23 percent increase in car sales for a 7.9 percent increase for the month. Hyundai sales rose 9 percent for the year. GM introduced its “Red Tag” discount in mid-November after a 23 percent drop in sales in October, when it ended its summer discounts. Ford matched GM a day later. Chrysler followed with a program that gives customers debit cards for $2,400, two years of free scheduled maintenance and an increased warranty. Pipas said customers responded less enthusiastically to the discounts than automakers expected, but sales will probably pick up in December. The Big Three said Thursday they have no plans to enhance their discounts this month. “My experience says it takes a week for dealers and customers to get the message,” Pipas said. “There is certainly a lag effect when you announce one of these programs.” Sales percentages were adjusted for differences in the number of selling days. There were 25 selling days in November 2005 and 24 in November 2004. GM shares rose 71 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $22.61 on the New York Stock Exchange, largely on the strength of its first-quarter production announcement. Ford shares fell 3 cents to close at $8.10 and DaimlerChrysler AG shares rose 69 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $50.98. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Paul Ballew, General Motors Corp.’s executive director of market and industry analysis, said the world’s largest automaker had its highest monthly sales ever in July, so that was bound to affect the rest of the year. “We just have to find the right balance again between the strength we saw this summer … and now what we’re seeing as a bit of weakness in the industry,” Ballew said. Automakers said the results were a positive sign after sales plummeted in October, however, adding that they’re expecting even stronger sales in December as the industry gets further away from the huge sales surge this summer. In a show of confidence about its new line of SUVs coming this January, GM raised its first-quarter production forecast. GM plans to produce 1.25 million vehicles in North America in the first quarter, up 6 percent from a year ago. Ford Motor Co. was less optimistic, saying it plans to build 850,000 vehicles in North America in the first quarter, down 2.5 percent from a year ago. That’s still a higher output than some analysts had forecast. Ford said it will be increasing car production and lowering its output of trucks and SUVs. Chrysler didn’t reveal its production plans.
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18 August 2009 The government is to take the lead in driving a unified marketing and communication plan to boost local and international enthusiasm ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, says Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) chief executive Themba Maseko. Speaking at the 2010 National Communication Partnership conference in Johannesburg on Monday, Maseko said communication was key to delivering a successful World Cup. The government had set up a number of structures “to enhance our marketing and communication plan and to ensure that the government speaks with one voice,” Maseko said. He said the government had set up an inter-ministerial committee, chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, to coordinate South Africa’s responses to the challenges, including communication challenges, that the country faced in hosting the world’s biggest single-code sporting event Maseko said the provincial governments and host cities would soon finalise their communication plans, to be integrated into a national 2010 marketing and communication plan. Monday’s conference, hosted by GCIS and the International Marketing Council of South Africa, was attended by professional communicators from the public and private sectors. Source: BuaNews / South Africa 2010
Update on Jan. 2, 2011: We’ve corrected the wall stud dimension noted in the caption.Gregory La Vardera, an architect based in Merchantville, New Jersey, has geared his practice – which he operates in tandem with the interior-design practice of his wife, Karen – toward clients who have an interest in modern design or want to elaborate on a historic style. (He is among the contributors to FreeGreen, the architecture firm known for offering downloadable floor plans, some for free, some for a fee.)But he’s also interested in how buildings can be economically built to offer a high degree of energy efficiency, which is why green-building advocates might find his “Letters from Sweden” blog series worth checking out. On Friday, for example, La Vardera focused on wall-construction details (a “baseline” assembly, as he puts it) of a typical factory-built home in Sweden, noting that even though these wall systems in most cases include materials widely available the U.S., they are relatively energy efficient and airtight because Sweden’s stringent energy code includes performance standards that haven’t yet been widely embraced by manufacturers here. Building wall panels just to merely meet code requirements in most parts of the U.S., he adds, can make it hard for manufacturers to compete with the costs of simply doing the work onsite.“With our cheap walls factory building makes little difference,” La Vardera writes. “There is simply not enough value there to save very much. It’s just as profitable to build onsite when your walls are so cheap and simple. The Swedes, however, use the factory to make every house very high in quality, and very energy-efficient. If we ever hope to do the same we will have to turn to a similar factory process.”A market where prefab is successfulThe “Letters from Sweden” series also includes comparative observations on topics such as automated panel building in the U.S. and in Sweden, and, more broadly, why prefab has struggled on this side of the Atlantic but forged on successfully in Sweden, despite its relatively small population, to offer a wide range of design and custom construction options at competitive prices. La Vardera notes that the country’s short building season has been a significant factor in making manufactured housing viable, but also points out that economic issues in the early 1970s, when energy costs increased sharply, created a market for factory building, whose leaders focused intently on introducing efficiencies into their operations.Like most successful manufacturers in a conducive economic environment, Swedish housing manufacturers approach their operations, La Vardera says, so that “every aspect of the design is rationalized into a known quantity of work, material, and ultimately a known price that is both profitable and viable in their market. During the time their industry was reinventing itself, the various products and fittings that go into a house were all revised, improved, and updated to integrate into this industrialized process. Contrast this with our country where almost every home is built as a unique event on each site.”
The Uneven Burden of Energy CostsSolving Energy PovertyLow-Income Housing: Problems and SolutionsResources for Green Affordable HousingAffordable Housing is Leading Green BuildingMy Forays Into Multifamily Affordable HousingA Passivhaus Multifamily in Maine Nears CompletionThe Largest Passivhaus Building in the U.S.Passivhaus Apartment Complex Would be a Giant Incentive and scaleNew construction of affordable housing has also entered an exciting new phase thanks to novel programs, policies and technologies.These days, for-profit as well as non-profit affordable-housing developers produce approximately 90% of new low-income housing projects in the United States, capitalizing on the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Some state-controlled housing finance agencies, which distribute the credits through a point scoring system, are using the competitive nature of the tax credits — just one-quarter to one-third of projects are funded on average — to encourage developers to advance energy efficiency. One way to do this is by giving preference to builders who commit to meeting third-party certified green-building standards. Uptown Lofts, for example, received tax credits from Pennsylvania in part by opting to meet Passive House Institute U.S. energy-efficiency criteria.Other green building certification programs have been appearing in other state plans that allocate the LIHTCs to developers, including LEED for Neighborhood Development, EarthCraft, and Enterprise Green Communities. All emphasize energy efficiency; some also include toxin-free, durable materials and water conservation, or, say, community infrastructure for biking and walking.In Minneapolis, a mixed-income property, The Rose, opened last year designed to be 75% more energy efficient than code requirements and built using Living Building Challenge standards as a guide. And the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s strong incentives for energy efficiency in allocating LIHTCs has resulted in more than 13,500 apartments in Virginia certified under EarthCraft energy standards, where households are welcoming energy savings of $54 per month on average compared with similar homes built without the green standard. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the local housing commission is completing floor-by-floor renovations in the five-story Baker Commons public housing facility with the goal of reducing energy use at least 20%. In Pittsburgh, Uptown Lofts — affordable housing opened in February 2015 by the nonprofit ACTION-Housing Inc. to provide homes for young adults phasing out of foster care and low-income workers — is designed to be capable of generating enough renewable energy to meet or exceed its annual energy demand.Both projects provide healthful living for residents, thanks to good ventilation and stable inside temperatures, while minimizing utility bills.“The improvements have made things better,” says Baker Commons resident Carolyn Miller, a former bookkeeper who now runs a lunch program and food pantry in the building. “The apartment stays warmer due to energy-efficient windows. I have also noticed when the system is running, it isn’t as loud as it used to be.”Improved energy efficiency has long been an option — and a money-saver — for those who can afford the up-front costs. But, the close to 5 million American households that call some form of low-income housing home, usually renters in multifamily buildings, are less likely than others to be able to afford or be empowered to make changes that in the long run would save both energy and money. So, ironically, they often pay the highest energy bills. A 2015 study by the nonprofit partnership Energy Efficiency For All suggests that implementing energy-efficiency programs across a spectrum of affordable housing types could result in cost-effective energy savings of 15% to 30%, which even at the low end would represent large reductions in usage and savings.But who gets the ball rolling? Low-income households can’t afford improvements. Equally important, they are bound to rental agreements and, depending on their building’s metering and heating system, they may not have direct control over energy bills. In addition, the improvements needed to reach cost-effective energy savings vary widely depending on the age and condition of the buildings, so building or retrofitting for energy efficiency involves case-by-case consultation with building energy specialists.Emerging trends in retrofitting existing low-income housing for energy efficiency, novel designs for new low-income energy efficient housing, and innovations in financing, collaboration, and policy are starting to turn that picture around. Getting more people involved is keyHere as well, sharing matters: The vision for West Arbor reaches beyond just being a green building for low-income residents and actively includes the wider community.High-school students are creating videos that serve as manuals for West Arbor residents to learn how to use energy-efficient technologies, such as heating and ventilation, inside their units for maximum comfort and cost savings. Middle-schoolers learn about green design working with an architect on plans for West Arbor’s climate-resilient community center. The activities help youth to understand what sustainability, low income and energy mean.“We really believe, if we are going to make changes locally, we need to do everything we can to get as many stakeholders involved as possible,” Bing says.We may have no choice. Across the board, residential and commercial buildings account for 41 percent of the country’s total energy consumption, and 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are related to the building industry. To avoid dangerous climate change, no building is exempt. RELATED ARTICLES Benefits for retrofitsBuilding owners and residents could save $3.4 billion per year by making energy-efficiency upgrades in existing multifamily housing in the U.S., according to a 2012 study by CNT Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. But while that may make energy upgrades seem like a logical choice, it’s not so simple. As Coreina Chan and Jacob Corvidae of the energy think tank Rocky Mountain Institute put it, improving energy efficiency in low-income housing is “a wicked problem in a complicated field.”Many stakeholders — tenants, landlords, utility companies, creditors, and more — are involved, each with its own set of goals. The scale and size of properties varies greatly as well, so upgrades that make sense in one building may not in another. And when it comes to issues such as regulatory policy and technological choices, “the world is rapidly changing,” says Chan.At the same time, though, that rapid change offers advantages. New business models and strategies for encouraging adoption of energy-efficiency-boosting retrofits are beginning to surface, thanks in part to the work of new forums such as the Network for Energy, Water, and Health in Affordable Buildings.In the forums, parties that otherwise might never talk to each other share information and together shape tangible solutions specific to their local context. Mortgage collectors or lenders, for instance, learn to see the benefits of upgrades by talking directly with building owners. Or utility companies learn to better forecast long-term profits that might accrue by investing in new technologies or switching to different metering systems. Through these conversations, the low-income housing sector becomes less a case of charity and more a viable market with great economic potential.“The forums create fertile ground for stronger, unified answers for the energy and affordable housing problem,” Corvidae says.Besides creative thinking, science and facts also are needed for new approaches to retrofitting for energy efficiency to gain traction. Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, a nonprofit in Lexington, Massachusetts, provides local data that help stakeholders such as building owners, utility companies, and policy-makers to take a long view. Some housing agencies invest in properties for 20-plus years at once, and can thus consider capital improvements with a relatively long payback period.This is what happened in Michigan, where the Ann Arbor Housing Commission has committed to make over 400 units of their affordable multifamily housing, including Baker Commons, more energy efficient. Darren Port, building energy codes manager at NEEP, says clear data is helping convince utility companies to accept long-horizon paybacks as well.“It is in their direct interest to invest in efficiencies,” Port says. “As the demand for power grows they have to generate more, but it is far more expensive to build new stations than to save energy in existing services.” And since multifamily housing units tend to be concentrated, utilities maximize their savings by addressing these before investing in detached, single-family homes. What about costs?But are energy-efficient new buildings more expensive to build, even with tax credits in hand? Not necessarily. Up-front costs decrease when numerous projects commit.“You can never say, a building should only cost this much. It always depends on the location and circumstances,” says Tim McDonald, a licensed architect and associate professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, who has been involved in efforts to expand Passive House standard programming. “But you can speak to scale. Demand drives pricing.”McDonald points to the cost of triple-glazed windows: They used to come from Europe, which made them expensive, but they are now being made in the U.S, which reduces overall building costs. The sharing of ideas and tools among developers all learning about energy-efficient building practices also generates cost efficiency, McDonald says.It’s with this awareness that states such as Pennsylvania have initiated larger concentrations of net-zero capable affordable housing or that California launched an action plan in 2015 requiring that by 2020 all new homes — affordable and otherwise — produce as much energy as they consume.In Ann Arbor, where the housing commission has a waiting list of more than 500, a new affordable housing project is breaking ground this spring in which 20 old single-family detached units will make room for 42 townhouse-style units. West Arbor, as the project is called, will comply with the standards of Enterprise Green Communities as included in Michigan’s LIHTC allocation plan. HUD money is limitedCovering both public and multifamily private housing under several programs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers funds to housing agencies and building owners to update low-income housing. However, the money is limited and follows strict priorities: “A lot of old buildings have environmental health hazards like asbestos, mold, or lead that need to be addressed first,” says Jason Bing of the Ecology Center, a nonprofit organization working with AAHC in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on two new affordable housing projects intended to be model examples of green and healthy residential construction.Orchards at Orenco is a 57-unit affordable housing project in Hillsboro, Oregon. It was named the overall winner of a design competition sponsored by the Passive House Institute U.S.In response, many state governments are creating their own funds to finance affordable housing energy upgrades. After the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California launched a residential energy efficiency retrofit program in 2010, Sacramento’s housing agency received utility financing of over $1 million by committing to complete multifamily building rehabs resulting in reduced energy consumption by 25% to 30%.One-stop non-profit shops such as Elevate Energy also are helping encourage energy efficiency upgrades of existing low-income units by educating owners, utility companies, financial institutions, and potential other investors on non-energy benefits, which are any positive consequences accompanying energy upgrades outside of saving energy.For example, the increased comfort low-income households gain through the retrofits reduces stress and makes them more productive at work. When utility bills are low, residents are more comfortable to buy food. A 2000 Children’s Health Watch study shows that decreasing the burden of energy costs has been shown to have positive effects on young children. Residents are also more likely to stay in their homes instead of looking for cheaper alternatives, which benefits building owners. Stability, in turn, may benefit the local economy — creating a win for everyone.“Reduced energy bills don’t just lift an enormous burden for low-income folks,” says Bing. “A cascade of layered benefits accompany energy efficiency.” Sophia Schweitzer is an environmental and science writer. This post originally appeared at the website Ensia.
Former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi’s claim that Prashant Kishor had met her husband Lalu Prasad as an emissary of Nitish Kumar with the offer of a political realignment drew an angry rebuttal on Saturday from the strategist-turned-politician who challenged the jailed RJD president for a debate, in full media glare, over the episode.Ms. Rabri Devi, who is also the RJD’s national vice-president, stuck to her guns and challenged Mr. Kishor, who now holds the same post in the JD(U), to seek permission from jail authorities in Ranchi and slug it out with her imprisoned husband, who is serving sentences in fodder scam cases.Those convicted or facing charges of abuse of public office and misappropriation of funds are claiming to be the custodians of truth, Mr. Kishor tweeted. In the remaining half of the tweet, he said in Hindi @laluprasadrjd ji may sit with me at a time of his choice. It will be known to all what transpired between us and what offer was made from either side.Mr. Kishor’s outbursts came a day after Ms. Rabri Devi had said here that after having dumped the RJD-Congress combine and returning to the NDA in July 2017, Mr. Kumar had second thoughts and had sent Mr. Kishor five times to the residences allotted to her and, previously, to her younger son Tejashwi Yadav.Ms. Rabri Devi had claimed that Mr. Kishor was sent by Mr. Kumar with the offer that the RJD and the JD(U) merge together and the entity thus formed declare its own Prime Ministerial candidate ahead of the Lok Sabha poll. When asked about Mr. Kishor’s challenge, Ms. Rabri Devi said, “Let him go and have a debate with him (Lalu). Who is stopping him? Let him go, seek necessary permission from the jail authorities and then have his wish fulfilled.” Meanwhile, Tejashwi Yadav questioned the silence of the Chief Minister over the alleged episode. “I do not wish to speak about Prashant Kishor. He was not the active player. Why is Nitish Kumar keeping quiet? If he is sure Lalu ji, my mother and I are not speaking the truth, then he should break his silence. Even the Congress is privy to the proposal mooted by Mr. Kishor,” Mr. Yadav said.
A day after a doping scandal rocked Sri Lankan cricket, the sports ministry on Monday confirmed that the ICC has informed opening batsman Upul Tharanga about flunking a random dope test conducted during the recent World Cup.A sports ministry spokesman said that the ICC has informed Tharanga about the dope flunk and subsequently, minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has set up a three-member panel to inquire into the case.”However, Sri Lanka Cricket, the country’s governing body for the sport, is yet to be informed by the ICC about the dope test,” the spokesman said. The ICC is also yet to make the dope test official.”The minister has appointed secretary Udaya Seneviratne, Dr Geethanjana Mendis and Dr Maiya Gunasekera to investigate into the matter. They will be recording a statement from Tharanga,” Harsha Abeykoon, the sports ministry media spokesman said.Apart from the sports secretary, the other two members are physicians with extensive experience of sports medicine.The 26-year-old Tharanga tested positive for banned substance prednisolone – a drug for asthma, a condition from which he is said to suffer. He became the first Sri Lankan cricketer to have failed a dope test. He is also set to face an ICC inquiry.Tharanga, a left-handed opening batsman, had a good World Cup even scored a century in the semi-final against England, but was not picked for the current tour of England.He has said that a well-known medical practitioner, who had treated Indian stars Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra, prescribed the medicine containing the banned substance to him.advertisementThe blood sample was taken in Colombo during the World Cup. After the news of the dope tests was published in a local daily on Sunday, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga denied knowledge of Tharanga’s failed drug test.”Officially we know nothing about Tharanga’s case. SLC has not received any complaints or reports about the use of the banned substance called prednisolone from any organisation or agency,” he said. ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald also refused to comment on the matter.According to the ICC’s anti-doping code, a player is responsible for any prohibited substance found to be present in his or her test sample.If a player needs to take a drug that is on the World Anti-Doping Authority’s (WADA) banned list in order to treat an illness, he or she is required to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).Under the dope-testing process, if a player’s ‘A’ sample is found to contain a banned substance, he or she will have the option of asking for the ‘B’ sample to be tested as well.If the ‘B’ sample is also found to be positive, the player could face a provisional suspension until the ICC carries out its inquiry. If the ‘B’ sample is negative, the investigation is discontinued.’Team not distracted’Sri Lankan seamer Farveez Maharoof has insisted that the team is not distracted by reports that batsman Upul Tharanga failed a dope test during the World Cup, saying the players have not even discussed the matter.”It has not been a distraction at all. We have not spoken about it. We are here to do a job and we are here to play a good match and to try to do well and not worry about what is going on outside,” Mahroof said in London.- With PTI inputs