Polo Ball Makers of Deulpur

first_imgRanjit Mal takes pride in calling himself the last man on earth who can shape polo balls from a bamboo strip. Over the past four decades, his skillful hands have shaped several thousand polo balls that have been struck by long-handled mallets on polo grounds across the globe.The sixty-year-old hails from the non-descript village of Deulpur in the Howrah district of West Bengal, 25 kilometers from the state capital of Kolkata. The village surrounded with lush greenery and ponds was once the hub of bamboo polo ball manufacturing, exporting to the United Kingdom, United States and other countries. But fiber-glass polo balls, commonly known as Argentinean balls, have dealt a deadly blow to the bamboo polo ball industry.Mal, who fiddles around at his tinned-roof spartan home in the village, recollects that he barely had time to grab food during the heydays of the business. “I used to work for several hours at a stretch. The work load made it difficult to take a break as the orders were huge, forcing the laborers to run against time to meet the deadlines,” he says, taking a trip down memory lane.The septuagenarian, who still makes balls for a local trader, says that the process of ball making has remained unchanged since its inception over a century ago: “It has historically been a labor-intensive industry and the entire work is done manually.”The village was particularly well suited for the polo balls because of the availability of bamboo roots. Mal says: “The massive, solid bamboo rhizome, which is the underground part of the stem, are from tropical bamboo species such as Guadua. The giant bamboo rhizomes are dug as they are all interconnected. The rhizomes are then soaked in a pond for 18-20 days. The balls carved out of these jads (roots) must be exactly three-and-a-half inches in diameter and weigh 0.15 kg or else they are rejected. The balls are done after a double coat of white Asian wall paint.”He laments that days are not far off when bamboo ball making will find a place in the folklore and pages of history. This cradle of wooden polo balls has virtually nobody left to take its rich legacy forward.Subhas Chandra Baug, who has switched from manufacturing polo balls to mallets, claims his great grandfather, Bipin Bihari Baug had started the business in 1860 in the village. “Though my grandfather was not much educated, he had a friend who spoke smattering English. It helped him to forge good relations with the sahibs (Englishmen) who used to play polo.  He smelled an opportunity and advised my great grandfather to make wooden balls, which would be in demand as the game grows. My grandfather was reluctant, but acquiesced,” he says, recalling anecdotes shared with him by his father.The risk eventually paid off when two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and Joe Sherer, established the Calcutta Polo Club in 1862. The demand of the polo balls grew manifold.The polo clubs depended on Deulpur for their balls needs. The business got a major boost with the formation of the Indian Polo Association in 1892. The country boasted of 100 clubs by 1900. Bamboo balls were supplied by Deulpur craftsmen across the country.Baug says that the trade remained largely restricted to India until 1945 when his father and uncle stepped into the business and established Baug Brothers: “During the days of my great grandfather, the export was done indirectly through a woman named Eromm. She ran a company by her name and purchased balls from Deulpur and exported them to European countries. My father and uncle realized a huge potential in the business and decided to export directly. Moreover, Eromm sold her company and left India in 1947.”Subsequently, Baug Brothers was set up by his father Satish Chandra Baug and his uncle Jugal Kishore Baug in 1950: “They took the correct decision and became a major exporter of wooden balls within a few years as the balls were preferred, because they produced a whistling sound due to friction with the air that helped the player to hear the ball coming and thus avoid getting hit by it.”Among several clients of Baug Brothers, J. Salter and Sons of the United Kingdom was the biggest importer of balls from the village, ordering more than 100,000 of the 250,000 balls exported annually.J. Salter and Sons, established by James Oliver Salter, an Englishman in 1884, imported bamboo balls from India and Pakistan and gave finishing touches in Aldershot, adding the Salter brand name. The company is now owned by Sean Arnold Sporting Antiques, but has stopped importing wooden balls.The business brought huge profits and Deulpur boasted four major manufacturers and exporters of polo balls, including Baug Brothers, Kolley Das, Baug Company and Hazra & Sons.  More than 100 families were directly and indirectly involved in the business.“During the 1970s and 1980s, the balls had huge demand in the United States, England, Australia, Nigeria and even in the Indian states of Jaipur, Manipur and Calcutta (now Kolkata) where the game was mostly played,” says Baug.In 1990 fiber-glass polo balls from Argentina were introduced into the market. Though the Argentinian balls are far more expensive than wooden ones, they are preferred because of their uniform weight and they last much longer, virtually decimating the wood ball industry.All the four major Deulpur players have stopped manufacturing wooden polo balls and the laborers have switched to other professions. The tin shades that once housed factories have been replaced by residential buildings.The annual polo ball production, which once stood at 250,000 balls, has dwindled to just 2,000 balls. Mal is the sole laborer still engaged in its manufacture: “I supply balls to Subhas, which he sells to polo clubs for practice sessions, as the ball is no more used in any tournaments. I earn a paltry Rs 3,000 a month and had quit the work, but for my old age and lack of opportunities.”Subhas says, that he had sent his last consignment of around 7,000 balls to UK in 1993.  Since then there have been no orders. He has also changed the name of the company to SC Baug & Sons and deals in manufacturing and selling mallets: “I have started dealing in mallets and have set-up a factory in my home. I want to remain connected with the sport in whichever way I can, because it is an emotional bond that was forged by my forefathers.”He adds with a sense of pride that polo has brought him in close contact with major industrialists, such as Naveen Jindal and Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, who was a reputed horse rider and polo player.Rabindranath Baug, whose grandfather launched Baug Company in 1884 after being inspired by the success of Bipin Bihari Baug, says that fiber-glass balls have devoured their business. “Each wooden balls costs between Rs 80-100,  compared to its fiber counterpart that is available for around Rs 350-400. Yet people prefer to buy the Argentina balls because of longevity. Normally, around 2,000 bamboo balls are required for a tournament as the wood cracks after being hit hard regularly. They have to be discarded at regular intervals. The fiber-glass balls don’t come with such disadvantage and 500 balls are enough for the tournament.”Samir Suhag, the captain of the Indian Polo team and an Arjuna awardee, is sympathetic to the fate of bamboo balls, but also points to their weaknesses: “The game has become quite fast and fiber balls have succeeded only because of their longer life. The players have moved away from bamboo balls because the industry has failed to make perfect and long lasting balls and keep tab with the changing times. Still, I am ready to offer my best for their revival and want to see the bamboo balls used across the globe.”As the dusk covers the sky, the narrow pathways of Deulpur are teeming with freewheeling children, who will grow up perhaps unaware of the special place their village once had in the history of polo. Related Itemslast_img read more

‘Battery bomb’ injures two girls near Meerut

first_imgWhat seemed like a Diwali gift turned out to be a battery bomb in a village in Meerut, injuring two girls with 50% burns, according to police.The incident happened on Thursday evening in Pilona village of Phalwada police station when Nidhi (13 ) and Radhika (11) daughters of Mehakar Singh, who works in a bat manufacturing company in Meerut, found a gift pack in front of their house. “According to the girls, they took it inside but when they opened it, there was a blast. The girls got burn injuries and the plaster of the room was damaged,” said Avinash Pandey, SP (Rural), Meerut.The incident was not reported until almost 24 hours since the locals thought it was a cracker-related incident. It was only after the condition of the girls deteriorated that the family reported the matter to the police. “The girls were being treated by a quack in Bijnor. We took them to CHS, Mawana where they are out of danger,” said Mr. Pandey. The police presence, local sources said, led to rumours. The girls said the gift pack was more than a kilogram in weight. Mr. Pandey said a forensic team was pressed into investigation and it found two mobile batteries, a copper wire, and there was a smell of kerosene. The materials have been sent to the forensic lab for further investigation. “Preliminary investigation revealed that it was the job of a local miscreant. The role of the mother is suspicious in the case,” said Mr. Pandey.last_img read more

Australian tennis star Tomic says he has no love for the game

first_imgLATEST STORIES “Don’t come,” Tomic said late Sunday. “Just watch on TV, you don’t have to pay anything.”Tomic, who was slugged with a US$15,000 fine after he claimed he was “bored” during his lacklustre first round defeat at Wimbledon last month, said he oscillates between full commitment and apathy on court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Throughout my career I’ve given 100 percent. I’ve given also 30 percent. But if you balance it out, I think all my career’s been around 50 percent,” Tomic, who has slid down the rankings to 73 from a career-high 17, said in the interview.“I haven’t really tried, and (still) achieved all this. So it’s just amazing what I’ve done.” Australia’s Bernard Tomic. AFP FILE PHOTOAustralian star Bernard Tomic admits he is playing tennis just for the money and says he has no love for a game that has earned him millions.In a frank Australian television interview, the 24-year-old told his fans to stay at home rather than paying to watch him play if they were opposed to his polarising on-court antics.ADVERTISEMENT GALLERY: ‘Greek Freak Invades Manila’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet “I didn’t come from a rich family. We had no money.“And now living in all these lavish houses and property around the world, it’s my choice. It’s something that I’ve worked for.”Tomic was axed by his racquet sponsor just hours after his Wimbledon fine, deeming his behavior unacceptable.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plantcenter_img FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ MOST READ Asked to provide advice to aspiring tennis players he was blunt.“Don’t play tennis. Do something you love and enjoy, because it’s a grind, and it’s a tough, tough, tough life. My position, I’m trapped. I have to do it,” he said.“Tennis chose me. It’s something I never fell in love with. You know, I like it.”Tomic also stood by his inflammatory comments after being controversially eliminated at Wimbledon by German Mischa Zverev.“I don’t regret what I said. That’s why I said it — to piss a few people off,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View comments El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congresslast_img read more

Beckham honoured with UEFA award

first_imgFormer England captain David Beckham has been chosen as the winner of the UEFA President’s Award for 2018.The 43-year-old has been recognised for his contribution to football and his “tireless humanitarian efforts”. He will receive the trophy in Monaco later in the year.”The President’s Award recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “I have chosen David Beckham as the recipient of this year’s award because he has been a global ambassador for football, promoting the game and all its values in every corner of the planet.”His tireless humanitarian efforts, which have helped the lives of many children around the world, should also be celebrated. Beckham is a true football icon of his generation.”Beckham described it as an “honour” to receive the prize, which was given to former Roma captain Francesco Totti in 2017.”During my career I always gave 100 per cent and tried to uphold the values of teamwork and fair play and I am proud to join the illustrious list of players who have previously won this award,” said the Manchester United great.OFFICIAL: David Beckham will receive the 2018 UEFA President’s Award “A global ambassador for football whose humanitarian efforts helped children around the world” More   https://t.co/HMMMntbNm3 pic.twitter.com/C0TuVMZdmO — UEFA (@UEFA) August 21, 2018 “Many of the unforgettable moments I had on the pitch came in the Champions League, such as that magic night in Barcelona in 1999 when we beat Bayern Munich in such dramatic fashion.Beckham won six Premier League titles and the famous treble of 1998-99 during a glittering United career, before winning further league honours with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain and two MLS Cups with LA Galaxy.He played at three World Cups and two European Championships for England, winning 115 caps, a total bettered only by Wayne Rooney and Peter Shilton.Off the pitch, he has worked with charity UNICEF to help disadvantaged children across the world.”My career in football allowed me to actively participate in helping to improve the lives of numerous children across the globe in cooperation with UNICEF and it gives me great pleasure that I am able to give something back to society,” he said.”When people believe in you, you believe in yourself. By giving children, especially girls, the support they need, my 7 Fund is helping them realise their potential.”Other past winners of the award include Bobby Robson, Paolo Maldini, Alfredo Di Stefano, Eusebio and Johan Cruyff. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Virat Kohli- modern-day Tendulkar of ODIs, Steve Smith- new-age Bradman of Tests

first_imgWhen Virat Kohli scores a hundred in one-day cricket, fans and cricket pundits from across the world start comparing him with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar because of his record-breaking run in the 50-ver format.With 32 hundreds in just 202 ODIs, Kohli is only behind Tendulkar in the list of most hundreds in one-dayers. The Master Blaster leads the list with 49 tons in 463 matches. Crossing Tendulkar’s record looks like a realistic possibility for the Indian cricket captain in the years to come.Kohli is by far the best batsman in the sub-continent across all formats. In another part of the world, there is another master batsman at work. Some even consider him as the best batsman right now in the longest and toughest format of the game. The name is ofcourse Steven Smith.Just like Kohli is nearing Tendulkar’s record for most ODI hundreds, Smith is closing in on perhaps the greatest batsman of all time – Sir Donald Bradman.Smith recently became the first Australian skipper since 1993 to score a double hundred in the Ashes series as his career-best 239 in the third Test against England at Perth helped his team reclaim the urn by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber.As a result of his second Test double hundred, Smith consolidated his stay atop the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings as he inched closer to Bradman’s highest-ever rankings points.Highest Test Batting Rating ever:961 Don Bradman945 Len Hutton945 STEVE SMITH942 Jack Hobbs942 Ricky Ponting#Ashes- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 19, 2017The 28-year-old’s second Test double ton has taken his tally to 945 rating points, helping him share the second spot in the all-time list, along with England legend Len Hutton.advertisementRankings first developed in the late 1980s. This means no active player has ever had a higher Test ranking than Smith. Says something about his complete dominance of the format. https://t.co/yzJUUOwxdx- Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) December 19, 2017Smith is now within 16 points of Bradman’s tally of 961 points, and has had a minimum of 918 points over the past 12 months, which is 25 more than what second-placed Kohli (893) has as of now.Smith earned seven points after his performance at the WACA to overtake Peter May, Ricky Ponting and Jack Hobbs.Captaincy seems to have brought out the best in Kohli and Smith both, more so for the Aussie who currently has a batting average of 62.32 which is second only to Bradman in terms of batsmen with at least 20 Test innings.Overall, Smith has led his team in 29 Tests and scored 3256 runs at an average of 74.00 with 14 hundreds, two double centuries and 10 fifties. In comparison, Kohli has led India in 32 Tests amassing 3170 runs at 67.44 with 13 hundreds, six double tons and five fifties.In terms of highest rating points in ODIs, Viv Richards holds the record with 935 points followed by Zaheer Abbas (931) and Greg Chappell (921). Kohli and Tendulkar are at 14th and 15th with 889 and 887 points respectively.For those asking…..Highest ODI Batting Rating ever:935 Viv Richards931 Zaheer Abbas921 Greg Chappell919 David Gower918 Dean Jones- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 19, 2017Kohli and Tendulkar are at 14th and 15th place with 889 and 887 points respectively https://t.co/EOPca9N2CD- Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 19, 2017Smith has now been at the top of the batting rankings for 114 Test matches, which is the fifth-most in a list led by Gary Sobers (189 Tests) and with Viv Richards (179), Brian Lara (140) and Tendulkar (139) the only ones ahead of him in this list.By the time the fourth Test of the series starts on Boxing Day, Smith would have been the number one for two years.last_img read more

Both Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya for World Cup? Sunil Gavaskar has this to say

first_img Rasesh Mandani MumbaiFebruary 7, 2019UPDATED: February 7, 2019 21:28 IST Vijay Shankar has been making handy contributions with the bat in India’s ongoing tour of New Zealand (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSunil Gavaskar has said Vijay Shankar still has a chance to make the World Cup squadGavaskar said the Tamil Nadu all-rounder reads the game situation wellVijay Shankar has been consistent in the ongoing limited-overs series vs New ZealandNearly a year after almost losing India the final of the Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh, the scars have faded away for Vijay Shankar. He had struggled with the bat in a tense chase before Dinesh Karthik’s blitzkrieg sealed a last-ball victory.Vijay Shankar is yet to come up with an international innings to overshadow his last over struggle against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final but his 18-ball 27 in the Wellington T20I showed he was batting with confidence again. Vijay benefitted with an India comeback thanks to Hardik Pandya’s suspension but now stands with an outside chance to book the last available ticket to England for the World Cup.India legend Sunil Gavaskar advocates the need to have an additional seaming all-rounder for English conditions and believes Shankar has a chance of making the cut.”Vijay Shankar has a chance for the World Cup. You need an extra seamer in England. He is a good all round fielder too. He showed in the ODI (5th ODI in Wellington) where he got the team out of trouble with the bat. He read the game situation well with his experience of having led in domestic cricket. You build hopes on a player who reads match situations well. He should also be under consideration,” he told India Today.But Vijay Shankar still needs to do some work as a bowler. He bowls a few yards slower than Hardik Pandya and doesn’t have the sharp bouncer to boot. By the evidence of Shankar’s short international stint, his bowling hasn’t inspired confidence of India captains he has played under yet. He didn’t come close to completing his 10-over quota in any of the odis he played under Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and didn’t get to bowl in the T20 against New Zealand.advertisementWATCH: Hitman @ImRo45’s guest appearance on Chahal TVWhy does Rohit want to give @yuzi_chahal a batting promotion? – by @RajalAroraFind out here https://t.co/3T5E4KDGEx pic.twitter.com/iI9IZmkoV1BCCI (@BCCI) February 3, 2019But Gavaskar wants Shankar to be given a long rope before the selectors sit in judgment. “I think he should be playing all the three T20 games. Give him games after games and you would know if he has what it takes. Because if there is a situation that even after the five odis vs Australia, we don’t find a fourth fast bowler we can rely on, than we should be open to having Hardik Pandya as the fourth seamer in the squad and Vijay Shankar as an additional option,” he said.While Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuveneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are certainties for the World Cup squad, the likes of Mohammed Khalil, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj remain in contention for the reserve fast bowlers berth.Also Read | Virat Kohli can bat at No.4 depending on conditions in England: Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | You are my batting inspiration, Smriti Mandhana jokes with Yuzvendra ChahalAlso Read | Sunil Gavaskar on Rishabh Pant’s failure in Wellington: Anybody can fail in one matchAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Sunil GavaskarFollow Hardik PandyaFollow Vijay ShankarFollow 2019 Cricket World CupFollow India national cricket team Both Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya for World Cup? Sunil Gavaskar has this to sayVijay Shankar flew out to Australia as the replacement for Hardik Pandya, who had been suspended over his Koffee with Karan remarks. A few weeks later, Vijay has the chance to book a World Cup berth as India’s back-up seam-bowling all-rounder.advertisementlast_img read more

Akon Wants To Light Africa

first_imgAkon, in partnership with Give1Project and ADS Global Corporation SA, has initiated the “Akon Lighting Africa Project” which aims to bring electricity to one million households in Africa by the end of 2014.The lack of electricity is currently a major problem in Africa. A significant number of households in rural areas and even urban cities do not have access to electricity. This is a real obstacle to Africa’s Sustainable Development.In that perspective and within the framework of a Public-Private partnership, an alliance was signed between the private entities: Akon Corp, SOLEKTRA International – BYD Solar, Azuri Technologies UK, NARI (Member of China Grid Group), CJI, the Non-Governmental Organization Give1Project and the governments of different African nations to support the initiative.The project will consist of the installation of solar equipment in households and promote their energy sufficiency that also will allow millions of children to have access to electricity and improve their education through extended study hours. In that regard, the American superstar is touring nine African countries (Senegal, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and the Ivory Coast) in nine days to meet with leaders about the project.Find out more here.last_img read more

Drug overdoses continue to ravage Alberta First Nation

first_imgTamara PimentelAPTN NewsLori Eagle Plume visits the Blood Tribe Department of Health regularly for her suboxone treatment after kicking her addiction four years ago.Her motivation? The thought of losing her children to the foster care system.“Them almost getting taken away from me, it was hard knowing that – either you get help today or if you don’t, we’re going to go take your kids,” she said.“I thought about my kids and I was like, No. OK, I’m going to get help, I’ll do it for them.”Eagle Plume got help in time, but Dr. Esther Tailfeathers says parents losing their kids because of drug use is an all too common story in the community south of Calgary.“There’s not a huge safety net for them. We’re so busy concentrating on saving the lives of people who are addicted that we’re not watching the fallout around them and the youth are absorbing a lot of the grief,” Tailfeathers said.“We’re seeing more youth becoming addicted. We had a 13-year-old that overdosed in front of our tribal office a week ago.”In November, the Blood Tribe was hit with 57 overdoses and four deaths. The worst month this year.“It feels like we’re living in the city with the sirens,” said Eagle Plume.“We never used to be like that. When you hear the sirens, you just know what it is.”Tailfeathers says the community has taken major steps to save people from overdoses. Emergency Health Services has increased its number of ambulances and team members and added more offices to the Blood Tribe Police Service.But while some lives are being saved, Tailfeathers said families have lost their housing to addictions, children are becoming homeless, they’re hungry because they aren’t getting the nutrition they need and many are not attending school.And, Tailfeathers said, 39 per cent of babies from the Blood Tribe are born into neonatal abstinence.“Usually those babies are not released to the mother, they’re released to either to a family member who becomes a temporary guardian or they’re released into the foster care system. That’s one part of our populations that we haven’t been paying attention to and we really do need to be concerned,” she said.Overdoses have impacted the economy of the Blood Tribe, as well.“It would be so nice if we could be spending all that money that we’re spending on saving lives, if we could spend that on the other end and make this a really nice place to be and actually dealing with the trauma issues that we need to deal with, but we’re not getting there,” Tailfeathers said.As Eagle Plume makes another visit to the department of health, she encouraged others struggling with addictions to seek help.“Coming off drugs was one of the best things because I got my family back. I got my home. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” she said.tpimentel@aptnnews.ca@tamara_APTNlast_img read more

Environment Canada reinstates smoky skies bulletin in Northeast BC

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A special air quality statement that was issued by Environment Canada because of a large amount of smoke in the air remains in effect for all of Northeast B.C. today.According to Environment Canada satellite photos, the smoke appears to be coming from wildfires burning in the Central Interior and the Stikine Region, and does not appear to be coming from local wildfires.People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects. Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.last_img read more

Security Council holds another meeting on crisis in Georgia

The meeting took place after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement last night calling for an immediate end to the violence, voicing fears that the conflict was spreading beyond the South Ossetia region and the humanitarian toll was rising and urging all sides to seek a peaceful resolution.B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed Council members on the latest developments inside South Ossetia, where the fighting first erupted on Thursday night, and in other parts of Georgia.Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet then briefed the 15-member panel on the situation inside Abkhazia, a region in the northwest where the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) monitors a separate 1994 ceasefire accord.Mr. Pascoe noted that the UN had no first-hand information from South Ossetia and relied largely on media reports, mainly Russian, as most Georgian news websites appeared to be blocked.He said there were conflicting media reports about whether Georgian forces were regrouping or withdrawing from South Ossetia, as well as reports that Russian forces were moving towards the city of Gori.Quoting figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Pascoe said that at least 2,000 ethnic Georgians have fled South Ossetia and arrived in collective centres near the national capital, Tbilisi, and Gori, while others are staying with relatives.The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is expected to rise to as many as 20,000, according to UNHCR, while about 5,000 South Ossetians have already fled to the neighbouring North Ossetia-Alania region of Russia.Mr. Pascoe said UNOMIG also confirmed that Russian aircraft have today bombed Georgian military and strategic targets outside South Ossetia.Mr. Mulet told the Council “the situation in Abkhazia remains extremely concerning, with a military build-up continuing on the Abkhaz side of the zone of conflict, as well as bombings of [the] Upper Kodori Valley,” including Georgian villages there.Abkhaz forces have moved troops and heavy weapons into the zone of conflict over the past two days, he said, adding that UNOMIG has confirmed that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force did not attempt to stop such deployment.UNOMIG has withdrawn its 15 observers from the Upper Kodori Valley after Abkhaz de facto authorities informed the mission that their safety could no longer be guaranteed. An increase in bombings has also meant the mission has had to scale down its operations and is now conducting only essential patrols.Mr. Mulet said UNOMIG has reported the ongoing build-up of both Abkhaz and Russian forces in an around the zone of conflict, but it has not observed major movements of troops or weapons on the Georgian side.Georgian Ambassador Irakli Alasania told the Council that all Georgian troops had withdrawn today from the conflict zone in South Ossetia and a humanitarian corridor had been established for civilians. But he said the country’s forces continued to be bombed and prevented from a full-scale withdrawal.Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Mr. Pascoe’s briefing showed that the UN Secretariat and its leadership could not be objective on this crisis, which he said was the direct result of Georgian aggression against South Ossetia. He said Russia had acted appropriately to defend civilians and its peacekeepers.The Council met twice on Friday to discuss the conflict and heard a closed-door briefing yesterday from Mr. Mulet on the situation. 10 August 2008The Security Council met today for the fourth time in less than three days to discuss the crisis engulfing Georgia, where large numbers of casualties have been reported as a result of fierce fighting between Georgian and Russian forces and thousands of civilians have been displaced from their homes. read more

UN News Daily Guide Mandela Peace Summit Global Goals Youth and Yemen

Here’s what you need to know for Monday 24 September (please note all timings are based on the New York time zone, Eastern Daylight Time, or EDT):Uniting for peaceSetting the tone a day before the General Debate starts at the General Assembly, the  Nelson Mandela Peace Summit will be held on Monday at 9:30 am, marking the centenary of the birth of South Africa’s first democratically-elected President and global civil rights icon. Member States are expected to adopt a historic Political Declaration declaring 2019-2028 the “Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace,” and calling on all world leaders to “redouble efforts to pursue international peace and security, development and human rights”. >> Follow the event via livestream or via Twitter with #Mandela100.Advancing the SDGsFor those interested in sustainable development, there’s a lot going on today, starting with a high-level meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda at 3pm, bringing together some of the UN’s highest officials, including Secretary-General António Guterres and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Heads of State and Government, and private sector leaders.In parallel, the annual UN Global Compact Leaders Summit returns, focusing once again on  strengthening the public-private dialogue to achieve the 2030 Agenda. With an impressive list of speakers, the event begins at 9 am and can be livestreamed here.All week long, keep an eye on the SDG Media Zone — an ongoing series of live interviews, panel discussions and other digital content — which, starting today, will showcase some of the initiatives that the global community is working on to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You can watch, like, share and follow the buzz using #SDGLive.Finally, with 1.8 billion children and adolescents in the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has made it a priority for the UN System to reset its focus on youth. On Monday, at 12 pm, he will officially launch the UN’s “Youth Strategy”, to empower youth across the world. Watch live here and follow the conversation with #Youth2030.  Focus on humanitarian issuesThe day will also offer a number of humanitarian-related events including a high-level meeting on the Humanitarian Response in Yemen, at 1:15 pm, with UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock. As the country is now in its fourth year of intensified conflict, with unprecedented levels of humanitarian need, the world must not look away. You can watch it live here. Another event, happening at the same time but available to view later, will focus specifically on Protecting the health and rights of women and girls in Yemen and South Sudan.Finally, a high-level side event on the possibility of establishing a Global Compact on Refugees will start at 10 am.Go further…The above is only a curated selection of high profile events. For a comprehensive list of everything you can watch online, this calendar should provide the answers.And if you feel a bit lost and haven’t quite caught up with everything that has been going on ahead of the 73rd General Assembly so far, here are a few ways of catching up fast:WATCH the Secretary-General’s 30-minute Facebook Live interview on SundayREAD our interview with the new President of the General Assembly as she explains her “dare to deliver” visionLEARN 6 things you might not know about this year’s UN General Assembly read more

Hexagon buys mining fatigue monitoring major Guardvant

first_imgHexagon AB, a global leader in digital solutions, today announced the acquisition of Guardvant, a recognised leader in operator safety solutions for the mining industry. Guardvant’s flagship solution, OpGuard, is used to detect and respond to driver fatigue and distraction – the most common underlying cause of accidents.To further mitigate operator-related accident risks, Guardvant’s fatigue monitoring capabilities are complemented by collision avoidance and proximity detection solutions, which provide drivers with 360-degree situational awareness. The combination of safety-enhancing technologies keeps drivers safe, equipment protected, and productivity rising.“The benefits of Guardvant’s safety-enhancing solutions are applicable to any industrial worksite, as well as improving transportation safety in industries such as trucking & hauling and aviation. Its market expansion plans are now supported both by new product additions and the ability to leverage Hexagon’s wider market footprint.”“Guardvant’s highly dedicated and experienced team is a natural fit for Hexagon. We share the vision that driver-assisted solutions are an integral part of safe, efficient, productive operations – whether in mining, construction, agriculture or any industry facing the inherent challenges and risks of operating fleets,” said Ola Rollen, Hexagon’s President and CEO. “Our combined expertise will enable us to better meet the increasing demand for ‘zero harm’ safety goals while providing a natural bridge to fully autonomous systems. This is key as more and more of our customers express interest in moving beyond automation into the world of autonomous technologies – a trend we are uniquely positioned to embrace.”Headquartered in Tucson, AZ, USA, Guardvant will operate within Hexagon’s Mining division. The acquisition will be consolidated as of today and has no significant impact on Hexagon’s earnings.last_img read more

11 free childhood activities that were better than any modern toy

first_imgAS KIDS WE coveted expensive flashy toys we saw advertised between our favourite cartoons.But it was true, that we always end up playing with the packaging. Shiny toys came and went, but the true joys of childhood didn’t cost a thing.Here are 11 of our entries into the alternative toy hall of fame.1. The cardboard box Source: The Big Play BoxA cardboard box is not just a cardboard box. It’s everything. A car, a four-bedroom house or a spaceship, basically, there are no limitations. The humble box is a triumph of cardboard engineering.2. The jarNothing matches the terror when it escapes while you open the jar for a look in at the bee you’ve just caught. It will seek revenge, you’re sure of it, lying awake at night.One of the most painful things in life was the wait for the jam jar to be empty so mam or dad would punch holes in it, leaving you free to hunt humanly. Source: Spiritswander3. The ropeTo make a tree swing, all it took was a bit of rope, which could be found anywhere in fairness. If you were exceptionally lucky, you’d have a spare tyre lying around as well. Then things got really interesting. Source: Bug-EThe ultimate coolness came from doubling up.4. The fortA fort can be made out of so many things. Blankets, chairs, crates, umbrellas, boxes. There is little point to actually having a fort once it’s done, but the process of making it is the best thing ever. Source: Ben Husmann5. The floorThe premise is simple, the floor is lava, make your escape. Also a great one for reasoning why you can’t get out of bed as an adult.6. The Fairy Liquid bottleWe’ve all seen the ads. The wait for your parents to finish their Fairy liquid bottle was just too much for any child to bear. It was almost as bad as the jam jar fiasco.But think of all the things you can make out of it in the end. Unfortunately the bottles have changed now and frankly are just a barrier to our creativity. Source: Ivillage Source: Steven Powell7. AirYou may not be able to actually cook anything, but the joy of taking an order from your parents in the living room and ‘rustling it up’ in the kitchen. If you were particularly badass you’d have a hand written menu. Source: Shutterstock8. The hoseIt’s a water-slide, a weapon, a paddling pool in one. Basically any excuse to get really soaking was one we would enthusiastically take. You’re a fireman, you’re a gardener, you’ve basically got the power. Source: ceonyc9. A stickA stick is perhaps the most understated of childhood toys. Much like the cardboard box, the stick can be whatever you want it to be. A sword, a tool to navigate through harsh foliage, or simply a thingy to hit things with. We’d like to see Fisher Price TRY to make something as multifunctional. The stick is the child’s Swiss Army Knife. Source: Shutterstock10. PegsPegs were the Lego and Knex for kids who didn’t have Lego or Knex. There was little that couldn’t be made with a sturdy set of pegs. The risk that your mam would find you playing with them and give out to you was just an added thrill. Source: Shutterstock11. YourselfAh, yard games. Hopscotch, clapping games, red rover. When all you have is yourself and your friends to keep yourselves amused, fun finds a way.Here’s our 11 reasons why they were the best fun you ever had.The 13 greatest childhood victories you ever experienced>6 of the best things about your childhood Sunday dinner>last_img read more

TD We didnt demonise those who had points cancelled by naming them

first_imghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRGDmAzrBjQYouTube: Hugh O’ConnellINDEPENDENT TD JOAN Collins has insisted that she and her left-wing colleague Clare Daly did not demonise high-profile individuals by naming them in the Dáil as having had penalty points cancelled.She was speaking at a press conference this week where she and colleagues Daly, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, and Mick Wallace outlined their concerns about the recent investigations into the allegations of inappropriate cancellation of penalty points by gardaí.Last December, Daly and Collins named a judge who was alleged to have had points on their licence terminated while Collins went further a week later naming an Irish sports star and a prominent journalist as having had points cancelled.By law, TDs are entitled to make a potentially defamatory statement in either house of the Oireachtas under the defence of absolute privilege. Collins claimed at the time the cancellation of points was part of a “systemic abuse of the system and malpractice”.However, two recently published investigations into the matter found no evidence of widespread malpractice in the use of discretion to terminate fixed charge notices but the independent TDs disputed the findings and the content of the report this week.Collins said she did not regret naming the high-profile individuals in the Dáil last December saying that there were “questions to be asked” at the time.Read: ‘Dysfunctional and flawed’: TDs slam penalty points investigationWatch: Mick Wallace says he was the victim of an unlawful arrestMore: Ming points controversy ‘damages reputation of independents’ – Joan Collinslast_img read more

Turkey is at a crossroads as millions turn out at referendum vote

first_img Short URL If passed, the new presidential system would dispense with the office of the prime minister and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the presidency, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers. Turkey is at a crossroads as millions turn out at referendum vote – but what is actually happening? Over 55.3 million Turks are able to vote in the referendum on sweeping changes to the president’s role. TURKEY HAS STARTED voting in a referendum on expanding the powers of the head of state under President Tayyip Erdogan that will determine its future political destiny but whose outcome remains in doubt after a bitterly-contested campaign.Over 55.3 million Turks are able to vote in the referendum on sweeping changes to the president’s role which, if agreed, would grant Erdogan more power than any leader of Turkey since its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his successor Ismet Inonu.Polling stations opened in Diyarbakir and other cities of eastern Turkey at 4am GMT, an AFP correspondent said, with voting in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities getting underway an hour later.Opinion polls, always treated with caution in Turkey, predicted wildly divergent scenarios with analysts saying the outcome remains too close to call despite the clear advantage in resources and airtime enjoyed by the ‘Yes’ campaign.As the rival sides held rallies up until the last hour of legal campaigning Saturday to sway undecided voters, Erdogan confidently predicted that the ‘Yes’ camp had victory in the bag.But he urged people not to succumb to “lethargy” in voting, saying “the stronger result the better”.“A ‘Yes’ that emerges from the ballot box with the highest margin will be a lesson to the West,” he said in the Istanbul district of Sariyer, the last of a stamina-busting sequence of rallies.‘Turning Point’ Image: Emrah Gurel Image: Emrah Gurel Share Tweet Email1 https://jrnl.ie/3342968 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 28 Comments Sunday 16 Apr 2017, 9:15 AM Apr 16th 2017, 9:15 AM By AFP The system would come into force after November 2019 elections. Erdogan, who became president in 2014 after serving as premier from 2003, could then seek two more five-year mandates.But it could also have even wider implications for the key NATO member, which for the last half century has set its sights on joining the European Union.Erdogan has warned Brussels that in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote he would sign any bill agreed by parliament to reinstate capital punishment, a move that would automatically end its EU bid. A voter casts a ballot inside a polling station in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey. Source: EMRE TAZEGUL/PAWestern reactions to the referendum outcome will be crucial, after Erdogan accused Turkey’s allies of failing to show sufficient solidarity in the wake of the 15 July failed coup.“The referendum will mark another turning point, or rather crossroads in Turkey’s political history,” wrote Hurriyet Daily News chief editor Murat Yetkin.Sinan Ekim and Kemal Kirisci of the Brookings Institution think-tank said in a report the changes if agreed “would set in motion the most drastic shake-up of the country’s politics and system of governance in its 94-year-long history”.The opposition has cried foul that the referendum has been conducted on unfair terms, with ‘Yes’ posters ubiquitous on the streets and opposition voices squeezed from the media.The poll is also taking place under a state of emergency that has seen 47,000 arrested in an unprecedented crackdown after the botched putsch.Supporters see the new system as an essential modernisation step for Turkey but opponents fear it risks granting Erdogan authoritarian powers.The standard-bearer of the ‘No’ camp, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, warned at his final rally that Turkey was deciding if “we want to continue with the democratic parliamentary system or one-man rule”.He described the new system as “a bus with no brakes and whose destination is unknown”.Key factors influencing the result will include whether the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can perform the delicate balancing act of bringing both nationalists and conservative Kurds behind the new system. Turkish police officers stand guard outside a polling station in Ankara. Source: Burhan Ozbilici/APAfter a slew of attacks over the last year blamed on Kurdish militants and jihadists, security is set to be a major issue on polling day.Authorities in Istanbul on Friday detained five people suspected of planning an attack on polling day, following the arrest of 19 alleged Islamist extremists in the Aegean city of Izmir earlier in the week.The Dogan news agency said a total of 49 IS suspects had been detained in Istanbul alone over the last week.More than 33,500 police officers will be on duty in Istanbul alone on referendum day, according to Turkish media.© – AFP, 2017Read: Poll: Are you going to a religious service today? >Read: Fine Gael back on top as latest opinion poll shows seven point surge > 13,716 Views last_img read more

Eyes of the media focus on Melbourne

first_imgWhen the Tsipras government announced a referendum would be taking place, the Australian media’s attention turned to the nation’s largest Greek community: Melbourne.To help offer insight and commentary in support of their homeland, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) stepped up to the plate as an accurate source of news and research into the crisis.Webcasting the referendum live from the Greek Centre of Contemporary Culture in Lonsdale Street, more than 60 people braved the cold at 6.00 am, joined by ABC News and other news agencies, who crossed live from the centre, interviewing many of those present.Director of the centre Jorge Menidis told Neos Kosmos the event was a success. “People came down, we had some coffees and sandwiches going and there was a fair bit of media.”In the lead-up to Sunday’s referendum, the centre again played a central role as a platform for the Greek Australian community, featuring on the ABC, The Today Show, BBC and Sky News.“We were trying to ensure that we were getting the right message across, because my primary concern was the fact that a lot of what was being said was sound bites that weren’t necessarily accurate,” Mr Menidis explained. “What we found early on was that the mainstream media were largely looking for what they considered stereotypical images that pushed a particular agenda. So we became very active to try to make sure that we tried to push some of the facts.”The director further disclosed to Neos Kosmos that GCM president Bill Papastergiadis was on a number of occasions requested by one network to make certain statements about the Greek situation which were not factual, and with which the president refused to comply. “They were telling him we only want you to go out and say this. They were saying that people were flooding out of Greece and he goes ‘well, I’m not going to say that. They’re your words, not my words’. We came across that a fair bit, especially from the tabloid type press who wanted us to push a particular line,” he said. “I think it’s incumbent on us to be available to speak but also to be prepared to speak, and to that extent I think we’ve fulfilled that role.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Rooney says Pochettino should join United

first_imgAccording to the Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, the team should do everything in its power to hire Mauricio Pochettino.Mauricio Pochettino is the number one option for many to get the Manchester United manager job.For the Red Devils’ legend Wayne Rooney, the team should do everything it can to secure his services.“First of all you have to give Ole an opportunity and that’s a discussion that has to take place with the Glazers,” Rooney was quoted by ESPN.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“But if I had the opportunity to appoint someone, I’d go all out for Pochettino.”“I think Manchester United – certainly over the last 20, 30 years, since Alex Ferguson – have based themselves on youth players, young players, bringing players through,” he added.“I think [Pochettino] gets the best out of his players whether they are younger or older.“You see some of the young players he has brought through at Tottenham, at Southampton that have gone on to play for the national team, so I think he ticks every box in terms of his quality as a coach, but also his willingness to give youth a chance,” he explained.last_img read more

Tax practitioners told to update knowledge professional skills

first_imgTirupati: Tax practice today needs much more specialisation within legal province and the tax practice demands adequate knowledge of accountancy, economics besides fair knowledge of various laws including commercial laws, personal laws and laws related to properties,’ said Acting Chief Justice of AP High Court C Praveen Kumar here on Saturday. He said the tax practitioners should strive to constantly update their knowledge and professional skills to keep abreast of the latest laws to extend a better service. Also Read – Women docs appointed in key posts in Tirupati Advertise With Us Justice Praveen Kumar was the chief guest at the two-day National Tax Conference (NTC) which began here on Saturday and said that taxation is not a new concept but was found that the kings in the olden days implemented it for revenue while Koutilya’s Artha Sastra has a chapter on Taxation and Moghal kings also followed it and collected various taxes for improving revenue. He said taxation is though the right of the government it should be in accordance with principles of justice and fair play. Also Read – Event management students of SPMVV exhibit talent Advertise With Us In this connection he said that economy, finance and revenue are complimentary to each other and should go hand in hand for the development of the country. Dr Ashok Saraf, national president of All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP), said that the NTC is packed with lot of learning to enrich the practitioners with the knowledge in topics covering recent development in Direct and Indirect tax laws for discussion in the conference. Advertise With Us The historical monuments will make learning a pleasure and the NTC will enable good networking and create long-term intangible assets of fond memories, he observed. He said the theme of the conference is `Knowledge is divine – Learning to Live’ cover most of topics relating to GST Act and problems faced by the stakeholders and the practitioners.last_img

Priyanka to soon visit flood affected regions in UP

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will soon take a tour of the flood-hit regions of Uttar Pradesh in the coming days, party sources said on Wednesday. A senior Congress source privy to the development told IANS that “as Priyanka Gandhi has been meeting party workers at the residence of Rahul Gandhi, many activists have asked her to tour the flood-hit regions of the state.” Also Read – Ratul Puri’s ED custody extended by 4 more days Advertise With Us “So in the coming days, Priyanka Gandhi is likely to visit the flood-hit areas of the state like Basti, parts of Gorakhpur and other districts,” he said. He, however, refused to share the date by when she would kick-off her tour to the flood affected areas. Several districts of Uttar Pradesh bordering Nepal and Bihar usually face the fury of floods during the monsoon season. Also Read – Inter-departmental coordination can help win fight against malnutrition: UP CM Yogi Adityanath Advertise With Us Priyanka Gandhi is also set to begin a schedule of meeting party workers twice a week after August 9 to strengthen the party organisation in the state. The party source said that during her meeting with the party workers from Uttar Pradesh, the Congress leader, who is also the in-charge for 41 parliamentary constituencies in eastern Uttar Pradesh, will be seeking feedbacks about the shortcomings in the party. Advertise With Us “She is taking feedback about the strong candidates to lead the party in the districts and at the block levels,” he said. The Congress has dissolved all the party district committees in Uttar Pradesh and has formed a three-member disciplinary panel to go into gross violations of party discipline and anti-party activities during the recent Lok Sabha elections. The Congress has been out of power in the state since 1989. “She (Priyanka Gandhi) is directly taking the names for leading the party in the respective districts from the party workers,” the source said. He also said the recent visit of the Congress General Secretary to meet the victims of caste violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district has also brought provoked demands in the state for leading the party more energetically. “She has re-energised the morale of the party workers, who were feeling low after the Lok Sabha election rout,” he added.last_img read more