Billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s ArcelorMittal will on Wednesday challenge in court the legitimacy of a bid for Essar Steel India Ltd. by a group led by Russia’s VTB Capital, intensifying the battle for the biggest industry asset yet to be sold under a new bankruptcy law.Read it at Bloomberg Related Items
Read Next LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Scoring has always been last for me,” James said. “I’ve never looked at myself as a scorer. But to know the history of the game and seeing the guys that put up triple-doubles on a regular (basis) from Jason Kidd to Magic Johnson to Oscar Robertson to Russell Westbrook, you can throw my name in there as well.”His 11th assist on Tuesday came late in the game and gave him 8,000 in his career. He’s the first player in NBA history with 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“With the long list of so many great players that have come through this league, in the history of this league, for me to be the only (person) in a category, I think it’s pretty cool,” James said. “It’s pretty cool.”James also became the first frontcourt player and the 11th overall in league history to reach 8,000 assists. Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, right, grabs a rebound ahead of Brooklyn Nets’ DeMarre Carroll, left, as Larry Nance Jr. watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 129-123. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND — LeBron James had quite a February, and continues a one-of-a-kind career.He finished the month averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career after having 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists on Tuesday night in the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-123 win over the Nets. James has 12 triple-double this season and 67 in his career.ADVERTISEMENT Father Prime: Wade clutch as Heat nip 76ers Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa AFP official booed out of forum “Against an elite team like that, your margin of error is so small — and one mistake could cost you the game,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s frustrating because we couldn’t find a way to stop them. This was a tough one.”TIP-INSCavaliers: F Jeff Green (sore lower back) missed his first game of the season. He played in the first 59 games, all off the bench. Green is averaging 10.6 points. … Lakers G Isaiah Thomas said the Cavs were in “panic mode” when they traded him before the deadline. Asked for a reaction, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue joked “I’m panicking now.”Nets: LeVert (right knee) and Hollis-Jefferson (right groin) saw action for the second straight game after returning from injuries. . Broooklyn began a five-game, 10-day road trip that ends on March 8 in Charlotte.UP NEXTNets: Visit Sacramento on ThursdayCavaliers: Host Philadelphia on Thursday. Rodney Hood’s three-point play with 40 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a 123-121 lead. James and George Hill hit two free throws each in the final 16 seconds to seal the win.Jarrett Allen’s two free throws gave Brooklyn a 119-117 lead with 1:18 to play. Jordan Clarkson’s 3-pointer put Cleveland ahead, but Allen Crabbe’s runner in the lane put the Nets up 121-120.Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline, hit a jumper from the wing and made the foul shot that gave Cleveland a two-point lead.“The play kind of broke down,” Hood said. “He (Jarrett Allen) cut me off. I stepped back. It’s a shot I work on all the time.”Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who scored 14 points, wasn’t surprised about James’ performance.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus “He’s a superstar player and is super aggressive, and he just took over,” he said. “It came down to a lot of tough shots being made, and LeBron getting them.”The win could also help Cleveland position in the NBA draft. The Cavaliers own Brooklyn’s No. 1 pick, acquired in a trade with Boston. The Nets have the seventh-worst record in the league, but have lost nine of 10.Hill, also acquired at the trade deadline, scored a season-high 26 points and Cleveland placed six in double figures.Russell led Brooklyn with 25 points. Caris LeVert scored 18 while DeMarre Carroll had 16. Brooklyn broke an eight-game losing streak Monday by beating Chicago.LEBRON VS. THE NCAAJames took a strong stance on the NCAA in light of the FBI’s investigation into recruiting in college basketball.“The NCAA is corrupt, we know that,” he said. “Sorry, it’s going to make headlines, but it’s corrupt.”James was drafted by the Cavaliers out of high school in 2003. He laughed when asked about some of the offers he received in recruiting, but didn’t give details.“Listen, man. I can’t even talk about that,” he said. “Me and my mom was poor, I’ll tell you that, and they expected me to step foot on a college campus and not to go to the NBA? We weren’t going to be poor for long, I’ll tell you that.”James would like to see the NBA expand the G-League into a farm system, an idea he wants to discuss with commissioner Adam Silver.CLOSE, BUT…The game was tight throughout with nine ties and 25 lead changes. View comments
Success of Indian athletes has been remarkableWorld champion wrestler Sushil Kumar entered the Indira Gandhi Stadium to the sort of deafening applause India reserves usually only for Sachin Tendulkar. When Saina Nehwal smashed her way out of a match point, the celebrations at Siri Fort Complex and in millions of homes across India was no less than when India beat Australia in the nerve wracking, nail biting Test match in Mohali.A young mother came up to Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee vicechairman Randhir Singh, requesting for her son to be introduced to Abhinav Bindra. She wanted to click a picture of her son with Bindra, so that he would have Bindra’s picture above his bed and would inspire him to emulate the heroics of the Olympic gold medallist. I cite these instances for all those who argue that the CWG were a colossal waste.Never before in India have so many people followed the fortunes of sports stars outside cricket so closely. While the Games are unlikely to transform India into a sporting power overnight, they are very likely to herald a new beginning. The ball that began to roll when Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore shot his way to a silver at the 2004 Olympics will now gather even greater momentum.Because inspired by the heroics of Bindra, Sushil, Vijender and other CWG stars, dozens of young boys and girls are expected to take to sports like never before. Haryana is a shining example of the magic that can unfold when youthful energy finds a platform and patronage. Inspired by Vijender, Akhil Kumar and Sushil and actively backed by the state government, hundreds of young kids are taking to taking to wrestling and boxing.advertisementThat athletes from Haryana won a whopping 15 gold and that the state would have stood fifth at the Games had it contested as a country is an example of what Indian youngsters can do when opportunity marries hard work.While some might find the ways of Haryana chief minister Bhoopinder Singh Hooda to be rustic, the fact remains that his patronage has transformed the lives of sportspersons in the state. He has given others the confidence that if they bring sporting glory they too can be assured of a good government job and enough money to sustain themselves and their families.In the 2006 Melbourne Games, Haryana athletes won one gold, three silver and one bronze. In four years, athletes have managed to win 15 of India’s 38 gold medals. This is no less than a minor miracle. His cahoots might break CWG protocol by getting medallists to come and touch his feet after winning bouts, international delegates might be appalled by the sycophancy, foreign athletes might snigger but India owes a big thank you to Hooda and his government for producing champions.Each champion will inspire a hundred dreams to take wing. While sports may not be a priority for Mayawati’s government in Uttar Pradesh, Karunanidhi’s government in Tamil Nadu, or for Yeddurappa’s bumbling government in Karnataka, but what is to stop some of the country’s more effective administrators like Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar, Ashok Gehlot or Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan to give sports the same impetus and push as Hooda.Just imagine the collective energies that would get unleashed if chief ministers got competitive about whose state wins more medals in international sporting events. India’s tally could double from 38 in time for Glasgow 2014. This is not an idle dream but one that India can achieve. Will this ever happen in our country? I’m afraid the chances are bleak.If these games are being considered a success it is because of the stellar performances of our athletes. Every Indian had to bow his head in shame as story after story broke of gross mismanagement and unimaginable plunder before the Games. From the Prime Minister downwards, they are all to be held accountable for having allowed the mess to perpetuate.What was the PM doing when Suresh Kalmadi and company dragged their feet, intentionally allowed the delays and then tried to push all expenses through at the last minute. They obviously knew that the government had no option but to clear the spending because the Games were nearing. Ex-CAG chief VK Shunglu has been appointed by the Prime Minister with the carte blanche to investigate all CWG-related fraud, but it will serve no good if the committee only looks for easy scapegoats.The noose is tightening around Kalmadi and Bhanot. But they are not the only ones, responsible for having defrauded India. The rot runs deep. Even people close to the PM are culpable. Kalmadi and chief minister Sheila Dixit have been given a cold shoulder by both the PM and Sonia, who did not invite them for the athletes’ felicitation functions. But a mere cold shoulder is not enough. The villains need to be punished and sent to jail.advertisement
Mumbai, Sep 20 (PTI) Actress Sonakshi Sinha says she is keen to do a biopic on Olympic winner wrestler Sakshi Malik.”If anyone would offer me the biopic on Sakshi Malik I would love to do it. She (Sakshi) also said I am a strong girl. She has also given her nod for me to do the biopic,” Sonakshi today said.The actress was speaking at the celebration of “Like A Girl” campaign of Whisper, a feminine care brand. Also present at the event was Sakshi.”We need more attention on other sports. Earlier only cricket was given importance but today Kabaddi, Badminton, Wrestling are also getting attention.”All sports needs to be given equal platform just like cricket. We have a long way to go. Sakshis win at the Olympics is giving push to the sport (wrestling),” Sonakshi said. PTI KKP NRB PSH PSH
AC Milan and Italy great Paolo Maldini made an inauspicious start to his professional tennis career when he and doubles partner Stefano Landonio were beaten 6-1 6-1 at the Aspria Tennis Cup on Tuesday.The 49-year-old and his coach Landonio, 46, received a wildcard for the second tier Challenger Tour event but were thrashed by Poland’s Tomasz Bednarek and Dutchman David Pel in their first round match on the Milan clay.Maldini, widely considered one of the best left backs of all time, played more than 700 matches for AC Milan, winning seven Italian league titles and five European Cups before retiring in 2009. He won 126 caps for Italy.
Mark Wood says England have worked out a plan to tackle the challenge posed by Indian wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav.Ahead of the series-decider third ODI at Headingley on Tuesday, the pacer said England would work on denying Kuldeep early success if his side are to win the third and series deciding ODI here tomorrow.Yadav has been the main tormentor of England as he has grabbed nine wickets in the two matches so far. He took 6/25 in India’s eight-wicket win in the first match while he got 3/68 in the second ODI which his side lost by 86 runs.”It’s definitely a plus point for our players to bat well against him (Kuldeep; in the second match). I know he still took wickets but we managed to get some runs against him and put him under a little bit of pressure,” Woods said at the pre-match press conference.India vs England 3rd ODI: Middle-order woes remain as India look for series win”I think the main thing is he keeps getting wickets in his first over. So I think that’s the key going into this game. If he gets a wicket in early overs his confidence is up. So if we can try to nullify that wicket-taking option that he’s got straight away, then hopefully we can shift the momentum against him to us, he said.Wood said England will be considering the series finale against India tomorrow as a must-win game akin to a World Cup semi-final or final to adapt to pressure situations accordingly.advertisement”Momentum is the right word. There was disappointment after the first game. We knew what we needed to address to get the second game right. It was a big performance in that game, a great win. Eoin Morgan keeps the side pretty even making sure highs are not too high or lows too low. We knew we needed to get better. It was not doom and gloom. We just knew what we needed to get better, he said.Virat Kohli needs to work out the MS Dhoni conundrum”I think for Test match side of things, it is great to get certain people out or get runs against them but it is more of impact for World Cup. If we can use this game as a semi-final, or a final, a must-win with the pressure on we can learn what we are doing wrong if we dont win or what we are doing right if we do win. Over the past year we have dealt with these situations well and hopefully we can carry on that trend tomorrow, he added.Even so, Wood highlighted that the opposition are still of world class quality and they dont want to get carried away thinking too much about replicating a knock out contest. He said that England are not playing to prove a point.”It doesn’t feel like a do-or-die game. I mean we’re trying to treat it like that but it just feels like another game. It’s a big game against a very good team and we want to try and impress. I wouldn’t say it’s much different, it’s the same stuff.”It is two very good sides, so when one is on top they are really on top. We have a few batsmen down the order who can score quickly. David Willey came in the other day when it was a little bit sticky and he managed to really press on. So I think big games call for big players. I definitely know Virat Kohli will be right up for it and he’s the biggest of all. So if they’re right up for it, we’ve got to make sure we are at the same intensity and level that they are, Woods said.Bangar defends Dhoni, hints at Bhuvneshwar’s return for 3rd ODI vs EnglandAfter winning in London, England really have one bother wherein Ben Stokes has looked woefully out of touch. But Woods said that it was just a matter of time when the all-rounder would show his class yet again.”It’s a chance for him to prove how good he is again and he doesn’t need to. Everyone knows how good a player he is but obviously coming back from a bit of time out, he’s probably desperate to do well and be that match-winner again.”Obviously India are a quality team so maybe they’ll have a game like we’ll have a game plan to certain batters, they’ll have a game plan for him (Stokes) and it might just take him a little bit of time to work out certain situations that try to stay away from his strengths. But I mean he’s got good game management on field I think.”advertisement(With PTI inputs)
Touch Victoria have officially become a branch of Touch Football Australia under TFA’s Unitary Model, voting to have their state association dissolved at a Special General Meeting on Saturday 22nd July.Over 12 months after the historical meeting when the new constitution of Touch Football Australia was adopted, Touch Victoria joins TouchWest, Touch SA and more recently NT Touch in the unitary model’s next phase of implementation. The Special General Meeting unanimously decided to dissolve the state association. Under the new model all VTA Management Committee positions became redundant.Touch Victoria Executive Officer, Miles Davine wishes to express his thanks and appreciation to those current and past members of the committee.At the conclusion of the meeting it was declared that Matthew Gilbertson (Chair), Peter Shefford, Michael Lovett, Craig Coleman, Simon Stuart and Hamish McLean would sit as the Executive Council for Victoria representing the Victorian Affiliates of TFA.
Nova Scotia continues to experience H1N1 activity across the province. Since the beginning of the 2009-10 influenza season, which runs from September 2009 to September 2010, the province has had: 720 lab-confirmed H1N1 cases 205 hospitalizations for H1N1 four H1N1-related deaths For the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, there were 28 new hospitalizations of people with lab-confirmed H1N1. “I cannot stress enough the seriousness of H1N1, and the need to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer. “Everyone is at some risk of getting H1N1, and we are seeing otherwise healthy people come down with severe and debilitating illness. But it can be prevented safely and easily by getting immunized.” Other highlights include: The province publishes a report on respiratory illnesses, including H1N1, every Wednesday. It can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/h1n1/flu-activity.asp . Dr. Ken Buchholz, senior physician advisor for the Department of Health, says many district health authorities have closed or are about to close their flu assessment centres because of the declining number of people seeking care for flu symptoms. “While we are seeing a decrease in flu activity, which is reflected in the number of people going to emergency rooms and flu assessment centres with flu-like symptoms, we continue to see people who are severely ill, and who need to be hospitalized and even ventilated due to complications from the flu,” said Dr. Buchholz. Districts will continue to closely monitor visits to emergency rooms for flu symptoms, and re-open centres if they are needed. Healthlink 811, Nova Scotia’s 24-hour telecare service continues to experience a high volume of calls, with more than 9,500 calls for the week of Nov. 15-21. The website, www.nshealthlink811.ca ,had more than 1,778 visits. The percentage of emergency room visits with influenza-like illness has decreased to 15 per cent from 24 per cent, from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14. The percentage of patients with influenza-like illness has decreased to four per cent from 11 per cent, as reported by physicians around the province.
Kalyani (West Bengal): Srinagar-based I-League club Real Kashmir FC may hold its pre-season training at either Jamshedpur or Mumbai in the wake of tense situation in the state, said the team’s co-owner and chairman Sandeep Chattoo. Despite tensed situation back home after the Centre scrapped Article 370, which gives special status to the state, Real Kashmir FC kept their date with the Durand Cup and began the season with a 1-0 win over I-League champions Chennai City FC here on Wednesday. “We will love to go back to Srinagar. But if for any unfortunate reasons, we don’t go back then we have options. We can take the team anywhere and do the pre-season,” Chattoo said here. “We will just wait till the Durand Cup is over. By that time we will decide whether it will be feasible for us to go back and do the pre-season there before the I-League.”
GAO, Mali – Canadian military helicopters will arrive in Mali next month to replace counterparts from Germany and Belgium who have been providing medical evacuations and other assistance to the UN operation there. Here is a breakdown of the 175 missions that the Germans and Belgians have conducted since March 2017:16 were emergency medical flights that evacuated 43 injured peacekeepers.134 were to transport supplies or equipment.21 were to transport reconnaissance teams.4 were to transport explosive ordinance teams.
TORONTO — The number of homes sold in Toronto and the surrounding area fell in 2018, along with the number of new listings hitting the market, as homebuyers and sellers grappled with a new reality of higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 77,426 residential transactions recorded through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system last year, down 16.1 per cent from 92,263 sales in 2017.The board says the total number of new listings was also lower, pulling back 12.7 per cent to 155,823 in 2018.Meanwhile, the average selling price for all property types in the Greater Toronto Area fell by 4.3 per cent to $787,300.TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, says the number of sales in December fell 22.5 per cent to 3,781, down from 4,876 in the same month a year earlier.The average sale price in December rose slightly by 2.1 per cent to $750,180 from $734,847 when compared to December 2017.The Canadian Press
New Delhi: Political leaders welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to appoint a panel headed by retired apex court judge F M I Kalifulla to explore the possibility of an amicable settlement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. BSP leader Mayawati called the move “appreciable”. “Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order to constitute in-camera mediation (in Faizabad) in order to resolve the Ayodhya matter seems an honest effort. Hon’ble Court looking for ‘a possibility of healing relationships’ is an appreciable move. BSP welcomes it,” she said on Twitter. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! In an apparent reference to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said he should act in an “unbiased” manner. “It would have been better had the Supreme Court appointed a neutral person. One of the members of the panel had threatened Muslims that India would become Syria and I hope that he keeps those thoughts out of his mind while being on the mediation panel. We welcome the decision,” he told reporters. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said the previous mediation efforts had failed to yield results but this time, the Supreme Court is monitoring it and all the parties who have gone to the court are in agreement with the decision and it is to be seen what will be the result. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed The Supreme Court Friday gave the panel eight weeks to complete its proceedings. The other members of the panel will be spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and added that they can co-opt more members if needed. Ravishankar said the Supreme Court’s decision is in the best interest of the country. “This move towards mediation by the Hon Supreme Court is in the best interest of the country and all parties concerned. We should not leave any stone unturned in resolving this burning issue amicably. We should keep our egos and differences aside and come together with a spirit of honouring & accommodating the sentiments of the communities concerned. Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society – we must all move together towards these goals,” he tweeted.
Rabat – A 17th century masterpiece, by Italian painter, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Le Guerchin (1591-1666), has been recovered by the judicial police of Hay El Hassini. The painting was stolen in 2014 from a church in northern Italy (Modena), according to MAP.After being checked by the carabinieri of the unit specializing in the protection of Italian cultural heritage, the painting was verified as “The Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist and Gregory the Thaumaturge,” painted by Le Guerchin in 1639, according to the prosecutor’s office. The 2.93 m by 1.84 m sized painting was stolen in August 2014 from the church of Saint Vincent of Modena. The masterpiece is estimated by experts to be valued somewhere between five and six million euros.“In the evening of Tuesday, the Moroccan authorities communicated, via Interpol, that during a survey of three of their compatriots, a large canvas that could correspond to a theft that occurred in Italy was found,” said the prosecutor in a statement.Three people were arrested on February 15 in possession of the work, suspected of being linked to a criminal gang specializing in antiquities trafficking, according to a statement from the Directorate General of National Security (DGSN), dated of February 17.The culprits were trying to sell the painting for 940,000 euros to a rich Moroccan entrepreneur in Casablanca, who, having recognized the value of the work, contacted the authorities. The Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini said in a press release relayed by EFE the Spanish international news agency, on February 17, that “the Italian and Moroccan governments are working closely to ensure that this masterpiece goes back to Italy as quickly as possible and is returned to its community.”Investigations and research into databases for artworks declared stolen or mislaid by Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization), have confirmed the existence of a flight notice issued by the Italian security authorities concerning an historic painting meeting the same artistic dimensions and criteria, the DGSN said in a statement.According to the same source, as soon as Moroccan authorities confirmed the painting was indeed Guerchin’s, they contacted the Rome office of the International Police Organization. “The initial results of the investigation revealed, preliminarily, that this is indeed the historical painting that the Italian authorities had reported as stolen,” said the DGSN in a communiqué. The same source revealed that an inquiry has been opened with the Court of Appeal of Casablanca.
The drive, organized by the Iraqi Education Ministry and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with support from the European Commission, aims to reach all Iraqi primary schools, bringing basic learning tools to millions of children aged 6 to 11. “Iraq’s parents and teachers have shown unshaken determination to educate their children through years of deprivation, but the current terrible insecurity is testing many to the limit,” UNICEF Representative for Iraq Roger Wright said, calling on the international community to provide more support to protect the war-torn country’s education system during the current emergency. “Iraq’s education system needs a great deal more investment and attention to survive this time of crisis.” The system is now dangerously vulnerable, with many schools not operating normally. Violence is compounding the corrosive effects of years of under-investment throughout the 1990s, depleting teaching staff and eroding school infrastructure. The current insecurity is making the choice for families to send their children to school a life-threatening one in some areas. Over 800,000 children may now be out of school according to a recent estimate by Save the Children UK, up from 600,000 in 2004. These children are likely to miss out on their right to education altogether unless they receive urgent support and protection. Mr. Wright acknowledged the great commitment by the Government to prioritize education even under the most difficult circumstances. In the last two years alone more than 159 damaged school buildings and 800 school water and sanitation facilities have been restored, 30,000 teachers retrained and basic school materials delivered directly to Iraq’s children with the support of UNICEF and partners including the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Commission. “Schools are a symbol of hope to Iraq’s families,” Mr. Wright said. “We must do everything in our power to keep Iraq’s classroom doors open, welcoming and safe for children.” Materials will be distributed both centrally from Baghdad and directly to local governorates, reaching even the most remote schools. Supplies will arrive in classrooms in advance of the second half of the school year. 15 February 2007Millions of school bags, books, pencils and other essential learning materials are now being delivered to Iraq’s primary schoolchildren thanks to a United Nations-backed national school supply drive.
30 May 2008The health of African women is lagging behind the rest of the world, and leaders should move the issue to the top of their agenda, according to the head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), goal number five – preventing women’s deaths during pregnancy and childbirth – is generating the least resources and lagging the furthest behind. And African women are paying the price,” UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said today.Ms. Obaid was speaking today at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), a joint process between Japan and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).She called on all leaders “to make the health of women a political and development priority.”In a related development at the summit, Japan announced a doubling of development assistance for Africa over the next five years.“In the future, Africa will become a powerful engine driving the growth of the world,” Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda said at the opening of the conference.Mr. Fukuda pledged that Japan would offer up to $4 billion of loans to assist African countries boost infrastructure and agriculture, and he also announced the creation of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Facility for African Investment, which would extend $2.5 billion in financial support.“The theme of the Conference very much captures the impressive achievements of many African countries,” said UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis. “In terms of overall economic progress, average annual economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa has been above five per cent since 2004, reaching 6 per cent in 2007 – one percentage point higher than the world average.”Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro stated that “with a concerted drive by African governments and their development partners, we can accomplish these goals for a better world.”TICAD IV priorities include boosting economic growth, ensuring human security, ensuring achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), consolidation of peace and democratization and climate change.Japan will feed the results of the summit into the G-8 meeting of leading industrialized nations, which will be held in Tokyo in July and chaired by Mr. Fukuda.
31 May 2010Describing tobacco as “ugly and deadly,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged women around the world to refrain from the substance even as they were increasingly targeted by advertisers who used gimmicks to associate smoking with beauty and gender liberation. “Tobacco is not stylish or empowering,” the Secretary-General stressed in his message to mark World No Tobacco Day, whose focus this year is tobacco and gender in a bid to discourage the trend in which more young women are being lured to start smoking. According to a recent study by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), the number of girls and boys who smoked was about equal in half in the 151 countries where the survey was carried out. More girls used tobacco than boys in some of the countries, including Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria and Uruguay, the agency said. Although fewer than one in 10 women smoke, that still adds up to 200 million women around the world, according to WHO, which also reports that more than 1.5 million women die of smoking-related causes across the world every year. That toll could rise to 2.5 million women by 2030, the Secretary-General warned. “Governments everywhere must take action to protect women from tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as stipulated in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,” Mr. Ban said. Under the convention, governments are also obligated to protect women from second-hand tobacco smoke, which is responsible for the deaths of 600,000 people each year, nearly two-thirds of them women. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO, said in her message that women were a major target for the tobacco industry in its effort to recruit new users to replace those who quit or died prematurely from tobacco-related diseases. “By enforcing the WHO Framework Convention, governments can reduce the toll of fatal and crippling heart attacks, strokes, cancers and respiratory diseases that have become increasingly prevalent among women,” said Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative. Tobacco use is one of the main causes of preventable death. Overall, the habit kills more than five million people every year, according to WHO. The international launch of World No Tobacco Day 2010 took place today in Tokyo.
The popular narrative for the NBA Finals that just concluded is pretty straightforward: The San Antonio Spurs “play basketball the way it’s supposed to be played,” and they beat the star-studded Miami Heat in what Zach Lowe called “the triumph of the NBA’s beautiful game.” The Spurs’ offense whipped the ball around, and Miami couldn’t handle such a multifaceted attack. The Heat, on the other hand, were forced to rely on what is increasingly becoming their Big One. LeBron James was epic throughout the playoffs and had an MVP-quality performance in the finals, but the top-heavy Heat collapsed under their own weight.A variety of statistics back up this description of the difference between the two teams, if not the normative judgment. For example, the Spurs had nine different players take four or more field goal attempts per game throughout the playoffs, compared to just six for Miami. More advanced statistics show something similar.One stat we can use to see how much offensive responsibilities are being spread around is “usage rate,” which estimates the percentage of a team’s possessions that were “used” by a particular player. Possessions are “used” by making field goal attempts, getting fouled or turning the ball over. Players such as James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony typically “use” a lot of possessions because they handle the ball a lot, take a lot of shots and play a lot of minutes. And because there are only so many possessions to go around, one player’s high usage rate means fewer scoring opportunities for his teammates. Teams like the Spurs, however, spread the ball around more, and more players get significant minutes, so they have a more flat distribution of possessions used.Here’s a look at how top-heavy NBA teams were in 2014, with the Spurs and Heat singled out:The x-axis on this graph is a player’s rank in a team’s usage rate, and the y-axis is the difference between the number of possessions that player used per game and the number used by the player with the highest rate. The lower the line, the more evenly a team distributes its chances across its players.Depending on how deep down the roster you look, the Heat are between the second- and fourth-most top-heavy team, while the Spurs are one of the most balanced. So that backs up the narrative.On the other hand, spreading the ball around isn’t easy, and it’s not the normal path to victory in the NBA. The most top-heavy team (and the top line on the chart) is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had the second-best record in basketball and did better against this Spurs team than Miami did. The most evenly distributed team overall was the Brooklyn Nets, who did make the playoffs but lost in five games to the Heat.The Spurs won a lot more than we would expect for a team as balanced as they are. The 15 teams with the largest gaps between their top player and their eighth player (by possessions used per game) won 57.5 percent of their games, while the 15 with the smallest gaps won 42.5 percent (the Spurs were second-lowest).Of course, not all sharing is created equal: Sometimes a team has a more equitable distribution of possessions because it has a lot of talent and it needs to incorporate it all. Sometimes it does it because it has very little talent and doesn’t have anyone it can consistently rely on. Likewise, being top-heavy can be a result of having an overly ambitious shooter on a team, or it can just be that a team has a great player doing his job.
In one of the most popular professional sports league in the United States, there’s a lot at stake when a win means a trip to the Super Bowl. Arguably, though, this NFL Championship Sunday is putting a little bit more on the line than just a spot in the biggest annual sports spectacle in the world. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and the Harbaugh brothers will all be playing this weekend for a chance to hoist the coveted Lombardi trophy. With all of those big names involved, it’s inevitable that either history will be made, legacies will be solidified, or reputations will again be up for debate for at least another year. Last weekend Brady passed his boyhood idol and NFL legend Joe Montana on the list for most all-time playoff wins with 17. But while playoff wins are quite a resume builder for most, with Brady’s first ballot Hall of Fame induction already locked up, it’s more likely that the Montana record that Brady really wants to associate himself with is four Super Bowl wins. With a victory against the Ravens in Foxborough on Sunday, Brady will have a chance to match Montana’s mark and solidify his place in the argument of the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Not to mention, a win would extend his and Bill Belichick’s record of most Super Bowl appearances as a quarterback-head coach duo. On the other side of the field in Foxborough, Ray Lewis will be doing everything in his power to stop Brady from accomplishing that goal. With a win on Sunday, Lewis will give himself the chance to win a second Super Bowl and finish his historic career on top. Though Lewis is already considered the best leader and linebacker in the history of the league by most, a second ring to go along with his 13 pro-bowl selections would leave no doubt. Covering Lewis’ back on the offensive side of the ball in this game will be Flacco. If Flacco can help lead Lewis and company to New Orleans on Feb. 3, he can finally justify his self-proclamation as an “elite” quarterback. With a subpar performance and third AFC championship game loss in five years, though, Flacco will be eating his words, as well as those of the many NFL fans who think he is overrated and cocky. While the AFC side of championship weekend features two living legends, the story on the NFC side is about legacy building. Ryan of the Falcons silenced critics last weekend with a clutch drive in the waning moments of the game, allowing his kicker to ground the Seahawks with a game-winning field goal as time expired. However, with a loss at home to San Francisco in the NFC championship game Sunday, that landmark victory for Ryan, as well as his hopes to build his legacy as an “elite” quarterback, might very well become a distant memory. Not only would a loss drop his career playoff record to a disappointing 1-4, but it would give Kaepernick twice as many crucial playoff wins as Ryan in less than half the tries. On that same note, with two playoff wins in nine career NFL starts, regular or postseason, and a Super Bowl appearance, a win in Atlanta would get Kaepernick off to a groundbreaking start to his career. He’d also be well on his way to building a legacy for himself as one of the premier running quarterbacks of all time. On top of all the personal glory that has the potential to be achieved with any of the four possible Super Bowl matchups, perhaps the most intriguing part of NFL Championship Sunday is that it holds the power to yield an historic “Harbaugh Bowl.” The drama involved with a John Harbaugh-led Ravens team squaring off against a Jim Harbaugh-led 49ers team would be unequalled. Everybody loves a big brother – little brother rivalry, but one that makes NFL history and results in bragging rights in the form of a Lombardi Trophy, now that is glorious.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a speed bagCredit:USA Today Sports Floyd Mayweather has warned Conor McGregor his confidence will count for little once they are in the ring together.The American’s 49-fight unbeaten record is on the line against mixed martial arts star McGregor, who will make his boxing debut at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 26.Irishman McGregor has claimed he will win inside four rounds despite never having previously boxed as a professional or amateur.The pair have traded insults during the promotional tour ahead of the bout but Mayweather appears ready for the talking to stop and the fighting to start. He said: “This isn’t just a fight. This is an event. We both owe the fans and everyone tuning in a lot of excitement. That’s what we’re there to give them.”When it’s all said and done it comes down to the two competitors. My dad can give me a brilliant game plan but he can’t get in there and fight for me. Same for Conor and his team.”It doesn’t matter who the crowd’s rooting for, it’s two men in there.”On paper we know he’s taller and has a long reach. He has youth on his side. People say that he has power on his side.”I know that ring IQ and experience are in my favour. I have the fight knowledge on my side. We both have advantages.” Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits a heavy bag during a media workoutCredit: USA Today Sports But Mayweather is aware the duo will be expected to put on an entertaining show given the global attention the bout has garnered. “I’ve been here before and I know what it takes,” the 40-year-old said at a media workout at Mayweather Boxing Club.”My opponent is always confident, but it’s different being in there with Floyd Mayweather. They realise that this is real.”But for me, it’s just another day. That’s the mentality that has allowed me to stay undefeated.”Conor feels it’s not going to go past four rounds and I don’t think it’s going the distance. We’re both confident in our skills and we’ll see who gets it done.”Given McGregor’s non-existent boxing experience and Mayweather’s reputation as one of the finest fighters in history, many observers are predicting a mis-match. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.