The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday took the custody of five accused arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with the escape of Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mohammed Naveed Jhatt from the SMHS hospital, an official spokesman said here. The NIA spokesman said the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate here granted a two-day transit remand of the five accused who had been nabbed by the police on February 8, two days after the escape of 22-year-old Jhatt alias Abu Hanzalla from the busy hospital in the city. The five accused — Shakeel Ahmed Bhat, Tika Khan, Syed Tajamul Islam, Mohammed Shafi Wani and Jan Mohammed Ganai — were arrested by the police for allegedly conspiring in the escape of Jhatt. All the five accused are residents of Pulwama. The NIA re-registered the case pertaining to the escape from custody of Jhatt from the SMHS hospital where he was brought in for treatment on February 6. The accused will be produced before the NIA special court at Jammu tomorrow for seeking police custody, the spokesman said. The designated court for the NIA is in Jammu, the winter capital of the state. Two policemen — head constable Mushtaq Ahmed and constable Babar Ahmed — of the Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed by Jhatt and his accomplice on the fateful day. Bhat is believed to be one of the masterminds of the escape of Jhatt and his motorcycle had been used in the escape of the terrorist, police said. Khan, a resident of Pulwama, is alleged to have provided his car for further transportation of Jhatt out of the city, police said. Jhatt is at present believed to be in the Pulwama area of South Kashmir, they said. Shafi, who is from Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar city, had posed as a patient to provide cover for the terrorists escape. Jhatt had managed to escape on February 6 after at least two other militants attacked the police escort team at the SMHS Hospital here, killing two cops.
Aficionados of Marathi cinema and fans of iconic Marathi litterateur P.L. Deshpande — affectionately known as ‘Pu La’ — have news to cheer about as the city-based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired rare footage from a ‘lost’ Marathi film classic of the 1940s which starred Deshpande.The film, Vande Mataram (1948) directed by Ram Gabale, is a much sought-after memorabilia item high on the lists of Marathi film collectors and devotees of Pu La’s work.It marked the first time that the multi-faceted Deshpande, who starred alongside his wife Sunita, played the lead role following minor appearances in earlier films, Kuber (1947) and Bhagyaresha (1948).“The 35-minute footage that we have received has rekindled hopes that the complete film may yet be discovered. The footage, in form of a VHS tape, was given to us by Dinesh Thakur (Sunita Deshpande’s nephew) and film historian Satish Jakatdar along with U-matic tapes which contain previously unseen footage of Pu La playing the harmonium,” said Prakash Magdum, Director, NFAI.He informed that while the sound quality was all right, there was dire need to enhance the picture quality of the footage.Vande Mataram, made immediately after Independence but set during the freedom struggle, was a heady confluence of the most formidable talents to grace Marathi cinema during its heyday in the late 1940s. The film, shot in Kolhapur, was written by yet another legendary Marathi literary figure, the famed poet-writer Gajanan Digambar Madgulkar who also provided the lyrics, while the music was composed by renowned singer Sudhir Phadke.It was edited by Raja Thakur (who later became a director in his own right), helmed by the talented Mr. Gabale, a Prabhat Studios regular, and was produced by the maverick P.R. Bhide.The film, with its memorable music and songs, focuses on the patriotism of ordinary folks and is laced with gentle humour.“VandeMataram is indeed remarkable for the dazzling array of talent associated with it as Madgulkar, Pu La and Phadke constituted the veritable trinity of Marathi cinema during its golden age in the late 1940s and 50s. Its ‘lost film’ status has lent it a certain aura. The film was very dear to its composer, Sudhir Phadke, who had in fact visited Mr. Thakur’s residence in Mumbai following Pu La’s death in 2000 to search if the latter had preserved it in his collection,” said Mr. Magdum, speaking to The Hindu.He said that the footage featured a couple of songs and has Pu La singing a powada (ballad).“In particular, one song from this film, Ved Mantrahun Vandya, became a huge hit and endures in its popularity even till this day,” said Mr. Magdum.He further said that the acquisition was doubly delightful as by a happy coincidence this year happens to be the birth centenary of P.L. Deshpande, G.D. Madgulkar and Sudhir Phadke. Incidentally 2018 was the birth centenary of the film’s producer, P.R. Bhide.“Bhide was an interesting character who dabbled in a number of things including the cinema. Besides Vande Mataram, the other notable film he produced was Lalat (1947) where his auteurist tendencies were in full display in his highly innovative experiment of using 16 mm film to record sound instead of film,” Mr. Magdum said, remarking that Bhide later exited cinema to become a spiritual godman, establishing the Manashakti Center in Lonavla and assuming the name of ‘Swami Vijnananand’.Of the other memorabilia acquired by the NFAI, one of the two hour-long U-matic cassettes showcase the considerable Harmonium skills of the versatile Mr. Deshpande and were recorded sometime in Mumbai in the 1980s.The other cassette has his inimitable recitation of some of his beloved characters from his literary ouvre.In December 2015, the NFAI had received another rare ‘Pu La’ memorabilia in the form of Deshpande’s original handwritten script of the enduring 1953 Marathi classic Gulacha Ganpati which was later digitized by them.
ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 17: Fans of the Michigan Wolverines react to a 14-3 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 17, 2007 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)It may be June, but Ohio State and Michigan are in mid-season form in the trash talk department. Saturday night, Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith, taking exception to what appears to be a recruiting pamphlet produced by Michigan, blasted the Wolverines on Twitter. Smith, who is clearly ticked off that Michigan is is promoting its assistant coach Jedd Fisch as a better alternative for recruits to develop under, fired back, boasting about Ohio State’s three victories in a row over the Wolverines.Smith also predicted a fourth straight victory and posted a photo of all of the rings he’s won in his coaching years. It’s strong.U mad bro?? #LevelsToThis #IfTheyAintHatingYouAintPoppin pic.twitter.com/QhnJceNL4W— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 7, 2015@CoachZachSmith that’s all they got?!— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) June 7, 2015Check my Resume… And if it’s confusing… Check my live resume next November. It will be the same resume as the last 3 Novembers.— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 7, 2015Back to my regularly scheduled Saturday… #ThisAintWhatYouWant #Zone6 pic.twitter.com/6bxT0IoN3E— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 7, 2015Jim Harbaugh and his staff certainly aren’t bowing down to Ohio State. But the Wolverines may want to win a few games before they start comparing anything between the two schools.
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to direct the Uttar Pradesh government to file a report regarding the status of 20 cases registered against the Unnao rape survivor and her family members. A bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and B R Gavai said that they don’t want to widen the scope and interfere in other cases lodged against them in the state. The apex court was told by an advocate appearing in the case that proceedings in the four cases, which were transferred to Delhi, are going on in a day-to-day basis before a special court here. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The bench said it would hear the Unnao case again on August 19. The apex court had transferred four criminal cases from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi — the 2017 rape case; a fake matter under the Arms Act against the father of the rape survivor; his death in police custody, and the gang rape of the woman — and directed to hold trial on a daily basis completing it within 45-days. The daily trial of the case is ongoing in the court of District Judge Dharmesh Sharma at the Tis Hazari district court here. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The woman, allegedly raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer. Two of her aunts died in the accident. Along with charges of rape, the district court has also framed Sengar and others for allegedly framing the survivor’s father in an Arms Act case, assaulting him and murdering him in judicial custody. The rape survivor is being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences after the top court’s order to airlift her to Delhi for better medical care. The court had also shifted Mahesh Singh, uncle of the rape survivor to the Tihar jail in Delhi from a jail in Uttar Pradesh to ensure his safety. Singh has been convicted in a 19-year-old case and sentenced to 10-year jail term on a case filed by Sengar’s brother, Atul Singh. Sengar, a four-time legislator who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, is the main accused in the rape case and is lodged in jail since April, 2018.
Last night, the multi-Grammy Award winning music icon Dionne Warwick returned to the Royal Albert Hall once again in support of The Hunger Project.Warwick led a stunning All Star Cast, including Sir Cliff Richard OBE, Alexandra Burke, Boy George, Caro Emerald, Tony Hadley, Joe McElderry, Katie Melua, Mica Paris, Rumer and The London Community Gospel Choir.The evening was the culmination of events designed to raise awareness for World Hunger Day, and supported the international aid work of The Hunger Project.Last night also saw Dionne lead the first ever public performance of “One World, One Song” as a duet with Joe McElderry. The song was written to celebrate our ability to end world hunger sustainably and permanently.To learn more about how you can get involved, visit The Hunger Project websites in the US and UK. In the UK, you can donate now by texting LOVE28 £3 £5 or £10 to 70070.Copyright ©2012Look to the Stars
While OPEC’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be open to higher production, Iran has been hesitant because of its trouble to increase output and tensions with the U.S. President Donald Trump has been calling publicly for the cartel to help lower prices.The production limits by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia since 2016 have helped increase oil prices, with the benchmark U.S. crude contract hitting its highest level in more than three years in May. Some analysts note that while Trump has blamed OPEC, his policies have also helped increase the cost of oil by, for example, limiting exports from Iran.Some analysts believe that Saudi Arabia needs a Brent price closer to $90 a barrel to cover its domestic spending but is feeling pressure from the United States to head off rising prices by boosting output. Russia may be happy to pump more oil and settle for prices in the $60s, according to Tamar Essner, chief energy analyst for Nasdaq.There are other considerations than dollars and rubles. How that translates into effective production increases is uncertain, as some OPEC countries cannot easily ramp up production. Iran, for example, has been hit by U.S. sanctions that hinder its energy exports. Venezuela’s production has dropped amid domestic political instability.The price of oil jumped after the announcement, with the international benchmark, Brent, gaining $1.61 to $74.66 a barrel.Al-Mazrouei noted that the decision “is challenging for those countries that are struggling with keeping their level of production.” However, he indicated that some countries could pick up production if others lag.“We will deal with it collectively,” he said.Friday’s decision means OPEC will observe the production level it agreed on in late 2016, when it cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day. In practice, its combined output was even less due to production problems. That has since then helped push up the price of oil by almost 50 percent.Non-OPEC countries like Russia had agreed in 2016 to participate in OPEC’s effort to raise prices, cutting 600,000 barrels a day of their own production. They will discuss with OPEC on Saturday on whether to increase their own production. Daniel Yergin, the vice chairman of research firm IHS Markit and author of several books on the energy industry, says geopolitical factors are a big element in the oil production talks.Yergin said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support the current, tougher U.S. policy toward Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival for influence in the region. So they will want to support Trump’s call for higher production and lower prices. Iran will struggle to increase production, meaning it could lose market share and revenue.By Kiyoko Metzler And Geir MoulsonTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS VIENNA, AUSTRIA – The OPEC oil countries agreed Friday to increase their combined production by almost 1 million barrels a day, though questions remain over some members’ ability to do so amid domestic trouble and sanctions.After a meeting in Vienna, Emirati Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the cartel decided to fully comply with its existing production ceiling.Because the group had been producing below that level, that effectively means an increase in production. The minister said that amounts to “a little bit less than 1 million barrels.”
“We need to do something to get the Minister of Finances’, Bill Morneau’s attention on these steel tariffs because these tariffs are killing us… In the meantime, we need to get this project going to create opportunities for everyone, from the upstream to the downstream, so we can make this project happen from Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and down to Kitimat. A lot of opportunities are at stake here. We ended up getting 1,500 letters personally signed by people in the community. We put them into a Xerox box and I just mailed them to Bill Morneau’s office.”According to Johnston, his group is taking a proactive and positive approach when it comes to educating people on the need for natural resources and is currently working to build a network with communities to further gain support.In helping with educating and gaining support, the group will be presenting Independent Investigative Researcher Vivian Krause in Taylor on June 14.More information can be found on The North Matters’ Facebook page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A grassroots natural resource support group, The North Matters, is currently touring Northeastern B.C.Group Founder, David Johnston, says the group formed a year-and-a-half-ago and aims to work hard to help end the divisiveness that communities are facing over natural resource developments.Johnston says he, along with many supporters, are looking to get Bill Morneau’s, the Minister of Finances’, attention in removing steel tariffs in order to get the LNG project underway as soon as possible. Johnston has sent a petition of letters to the Minister in order to apply pressure to the situation.
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Monday condoled the death of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who passed away at his private residence in Panaji on Sunday evening after a prolonged battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. He was 63. The Cabinet also extended condolences to the former Defence Minister’s family and the people of Goa on behalf of the Central government and the entire nation. It observed a two-minute silence and also approved a day of mourning at the Centre and flying the national flag at half-mast on Monday across the country. Also Read – MP woman hangs herself after killing three children “The Cabinet expresses profound sorrow at the sad demise of Manohar Parrikar. In his passing away, the country has lost a veteran and distinguished leader, affectionately called as the Chief Minister of commoners,” a Cabinet statement said. It observed that Parrikar would be remembered for his simplicity and his abilities as an exceptional administrator. “His contribution to the building of modern Goa and to the modernization of India’s Armed Forces as well as improvement to the lives of ex-servicemen will never be forgotten.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Born on December 13, 1955, at Mapusa, Goa, Parrikar was educated at Loyola School, Margao and later graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai in 1978. Before entering politics, Parrikar had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became a Mukhya Shikshak (Chief Instructor) in the final years of his schooling itself. After graduating from IIT, he resumed RSS work in Mapusa and became a Sanghchalak at the age of 26. As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Goa in 1994. He became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on October 24, 2000 and continued till February 27, 2002. He was re-elected as Chief Minister on June 3, 2002 and served till February 2, 2005. Parrikar became Chief Minister of Goa for the third time on March 9, 2012, and continued till November 8, 2014. On November 9, 2014, he became Union Minister of Defence and continued till March 13, 2017. He was again sworn in as Chief Minister of Goa on March 14, 2017. Parrikar was awarded the ‘Distinguished Alumnus Award’ by IIT Mumbai in 2001, Honorary Doctorate by National Institute of Technology, Goa in 2018 and the Dr. S.P. Mukherjee Award in 2018, among others. He is survived by his two sons.
Most office pools — and a certain billion-dollar bracket contest — insist the NCAA Tournament still has the pleasing, symmetrical, 64-team format: Six rounds, each winnowing the field by half, for a total of 63 games, 63 losers and one winner. Fans, likewise, haven’t gotten over the habit of calling the round of 64, played out over the manic Thursday and Friday of this week, the first round.But the real first round is happening now in Dayton, Ohio, and for the fourth straight year, it really matters. In the so-called play-in games, eight teams will compete on Tuesday and Wednesday for four spots in the round of 64. And two of the winners will have a real chance at a deep tournament run — a better chance than you’d think if you’d glanced at the contenders’ resumes on Selection Sunday. Their first-round — I mean, round-of-64 — opponents could regret having to face them. And you, too, could regret filling out your bracket before the opening-round games are done: North Carolina State and the winner between Iowa and Tennessee could shake up the strong Midwest region.The play-in games aren’t just a gimmick. Like wild-card rounds in the playoffs for the NFL and MLB, they help sort the contenders from the also-rans. Teams that have to play, and win, a contest before facing their next opponent have momentum, an actual phenomenon in college basketball.1As my colleague Benjamin Morris will show in an upcoming article.Most important, play-in games provide vital data about teams’ current strength, which is hard to get from their schedules, littered as they are with non-tournament teams and results from months ago. Winning the play-in game, the most recent and important contest to date against a strong opponent, is a big indicator of a team’s ability today.The baseball playoffs have validated the potency of this combination of momentum and trial by fire. Wild-card teams that have won their first MLB playoff series have won their next series about half the time, despite facing opponents with home-field advantage and, usually, a better record. Winners in the NFL playoff wild-card round, on the other hand, have slightly underperformed expectations, winning three fewer games against rested opponents (out of 124) than would be expected based on their regular-season performance.2This finding is based on NFL playoff data provided by ESPN Stats & Information, combined with Simple Rating System scores from Pro Football Reference, and this formula for converting SRS into win probability (assuming home-field advantage is worth 2.5 points). Why are the NFL playoffs so different from baseball and basketball? Two untested hypotheses: 1) The extra week of rest matters more because the sport is so physically demanding; and 2) SRS understates the gap in quality between bye teams and wild-card winners because many top teams rest starters after clinching byes, artificially deflating their ratings. Also notable: More recently, the NFL playoffs have looked a lot more like MLB’s. Over the last nine postseasons, wild-card winners have won their next game against bye teams 15 times, compared to an expected total of 12 wins.Sorting contenders from also-rans is particularly helpful in college basketball, a sport that’s particularly hard to predict from regular-season results. Each team has played fewer than 10 percent of other Division I teams. Top teams come from more conferences in college basketball than in football, making each team’s average conference game less meaningful as a postseason preview. Many regular-season starting lineups are a mix of new players and players who have never played with them, meaning November results may predict little about March results.From 2001, when the play-in concept was introduced, through 2011, this sorting mechanism didn’t matter much, because the single game decided which team would offer itself up for ritual sacrifice in the next round. In those days, play-in games pitted two would-be No. 16 seeds against each other for a chance at a game against a No. 1 seed. Those games aren’t unwinnable, yet they were never won.Those 10 underdogs did slightly better than expected in the round of 64. Their Simple Rating System3Simple Rating System is, as its name suggests, a basic way of evaluating teams based on their schedule strength and margin of victory. score heading into the tournament, along with the SRS of their top-seeded round-of-64 opponents, suggested they should have lost those games by an average of 29 points. Instead, they lost by an average of 27 points — a layup better per blowout.Since 2011, though, the play-in round has expanded to four games, with four of the teams competing to be seeded from 11th to 14th. These teams have a lot more to play for: They aren’t going to face a top-two seed in their next game, so they have a fighting chance of winning.The NCAA’s move was both innovative and retrospective: The 1983 and 1984 tournaments — with field sizes of 52 and 53 teams, respectively — also had play-in games, then called an opening round. Winners advanced to the first round, which was then also a kind of preliminary round of its own, pitting outsider teams against each other for a chance to play the top 16 teams, which each got two byes.The back-to-the-future tournament restructuring of 2011 immediately paid dividends. Virginia Commonwealth beat the University of Southern California for an 11 seed in the Southwest region, where VCU was a 10-point underdog to Georgetown, according to pre-tournament SRS. Instead, VCU crushed Georgetown by 18 points. And that was no fluke — the Rams then routed third seed Purdue by 18 and went on to the Final Four.VCU’s run is an outlier; you’d want good odds to bet on any play-in winner reaching this year’s Final Four in Arlington, Texas. But it’s also consistent with the historical data. Since 1980,4As far back as our data set goes 61 percent of 109 teams that had to win an opening or first-round game exceeded SRS expectations in their next game, against an opponent with a bye. The data set spans the play-in games of the past 13 tournaments, plus the opening rounds and first rounds in the early 1980s, when more teams got at least one bye. And the average team outperformed its rating relative to its opponent by two points. An extra layup doesn’t matter in a blowout, but it could swing a close 5-12 matchup.The sample size here is too small to be definitive: The standard deviation of teams’ performance relative to expectations is almost 10 points. But other findings corroborate this one. For instance, the analysis so far hasn’t accounted for how play-in teams that won their next game did later on in the tournament. But many went on to make deep tournament runs. VCU was the seventh opening-round winner to get to the Final Four. The 1980 Final Four featured three teams that had to play their way into the main, 32-team bracket. And Jim Valvano’s North Carolina State championship team of 1983 was a No. 6 seed that didn’t get a first-round bye.Seven semifinalist berths is a remarkable yield from this group of teams. Treat the 32 opening-round winners who won their next game as you would any other team in that round of the tournament, and you’d expect seven of them to reach the Final Four. And yet these were no ordinary teams. Each was, after all, flawed — it was in the opening-round game for a reason. None was seeded in the top four in its region.Don’t take this as advice to write in any of this week’s play-in winners for a trip to Arlington. The most important factor in predicting winners will remain teams’ relative strength through the season. But if you’re looking for an edge in a bracket contest, you could do worse than backing a play-in winner. And if you’re a fan of a team slotted to play one, hope your team’s coaching staff has been keeping a close eye on Dayton.CORRECTION (March 19, 11:00 a.m.): An earlier version of this article said four teams would match up in two play-in games. Eight teams will play four play-in games this week in Dayton.
I wrote this week that Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end who came out as gay in February, wasn’t certain to be picked in the NFL draft. Of those players at his position who had been rated as sixth-round picks before the draft — as Sam was — slightly less than 50 percent were chosen by an NFL team.I also wrote that I’d take Sam’s side of the bet given even odds:Personally, however, if the odds are something like 50-50 on Sam being drafted, I think I’d take his side of the bet. Why? A player only needs one team to draft him. A player like Sam who generates polarized opinions might have a better chance of being chosen in a late round by a team like the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks than one who everyone agrees is mediocre.Perhaps this counts as a “correct” (if well-hedged) prediction. But I got one thing pretty wrong. I assumed that Sam would be chosen by a team like the Patriots or the Seahawks or the San Francisco 49ers that play in an urban area especially tolerant toward gay people. But St. Louis was probably the best fit all along.How come? Public acceptance of homosexuality certainly varies from city to city and state to state. If we use support for gay marriage as a rough proxy, for example, I estimate that about 47 percent of voters approve of it in Missouri, as compared with 58 percent in California, 59 percent in Washington state and 66 percent in Massachusetts. (Obviously, the percentages are likely to be higher in cities such as San Francisco and Seattle specifically as opposed to the states as a whole. But that’s probably also true for St. Louis, which is considerably more liberal than the rest of Missouri.)What varies a lot more, however, is appreciation for University of Missouri football. Interest in the Tigers is about 50 times higher in Missouri than in the rest of the country, according to the number of Google searches.In other words, a higher percentage of people in St. Louis and elsewhere in Missouri will know of Sam as a football player and not just as a gay athlete. Here’s hoping that helps him to concentrate on what he does best.