Ghuggi supports Khaira

first_imgPunjabi cine actor and former convener of the AAP’s State unit Gurpreet Singh Waraich Ghuggi on Wednesday came out in support of AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, urging party workers to back him and attend his convention at Bathinda on Wednesday.Mr. Ghuggi pledged his support to Mr. Khaira in a video message to the AAP volunteers, also urging them to do likewise. “I fought a long battle for Punjab but it could not succeed because the intentions of the people along with whom I was fighting, were not clean. I feel sorry that whenever anybody raises his voice in the AAP in Punjab’s interest, it is suppressed. You can find such instances in the party’s recent history,” he said. Taking a dig at the party central leadership, Mr. Ghuggi said now the party does not like Mr. Khaira who always raised his voice in the State’s interest.last_img read more

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MS Dhoni looks to finish off in style, break the English voodoo

first_img“Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd! India lift the World Cup after 28 years!” exclaimed Ravi Shastri on commentary as MS Dhoni led India to a win in the final of the 2011 World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai with a humongous six off Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Kulasekara.Eight years later, roles have changed. Dhoni is no longer the captain of the team. Shastri is now the head coach of the squad led by Virat Kohli. And more importantly, Dhoni himself doesn’t enjoy the role of the finisher as much as he did in his prime. Failures have come thick and fast in the last two seasons and even Dhoni hasn’t escaped the public scrutiny.In fact, Dhoni had a horrid time the last time he played for India in England. In the three-match ODI series played last year, Dhoni was completely out of form and lacked that finesse and tenacity which one associates with the wicketkeeper-batsman. His strike rate was so slow that he was even booed at Lord’s when India were chasing 323. Dhoni managed to score only 79 runs from 125 balls in two innings against England and was heavily criticised by the pundits as well.Dhoni might be ranked as one of India’s most successful captains, but after the England tour, questions were raised on his approach to batting with some even suggesting that he was detrimental to the team’s hopes at the upcoming World Cup.However, like many great cricketers, the 37-year-old didn’t answer the critics with his words but instead gave fitting replies with the bat, scoring runs in bulk thereafter. He has been in exceptional form this year: in nine ODIs, he has scored 327 runs, hitting four half-centuries, three of them in a row during the tour of Australia.advertisementHe continued his form in the recently concluded IPL as well and scored 416 runs in 5 matches he played for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Additionally, his average of 83.20 ended up as the season’s best.Knowing Dhoni, fans can be rest assured that he would be roaring to make amends to his record in England and score big for India when they take the field in the World Cup beginning May 30.In the three World Cups Dhoni has played so far, he has scored 507 runs in 17 innings at an average of 42.25, his best being that of famous 91 not out which came against Sri Lanka in the final of the 2011 edition at the Wankhede.As India will aim to clinch their third World Cup trophy, it becomes all the more important that Dhoni continues his form, not just in batting but in terms of his tactical brilliance and extra-ordinary wicket-keeping skills.As the Indian middle-order is relatively inexperienced, Dhoni’s experience to pace the inning and score big towards the death will be like gold to Team India in the prestigious quadrennial event. In wicket-keeping, Dhoni’s lightning quick stumpings and catches would be crucial for Team India when they take on the opposition teams on high-scoring England pitches.However, there is still a question mark over where he will bat. The number four role seems a possibility, although there is plenty of competition for that role. India have tried out a lot of players, and with the inclusions of Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar and K.L. Rahul in the World Cup squad, they are no closer to arriving at a conclusion and it would only be in England when the fans will get to know where Dhoni will bat.Dhoni’s importance in the Indian cricket set-up has been time and again highlighted by many, including the likes of current skipper Virat Kohli, who thinks that no one has contributed more to Indian cricket than Dhoni. Besides all these qualities, Dhoni brings to the side the much-needed calmness which becomes of utmost importance in a cliffhanger of humdinger in the World Cup. If Dhoni can continue to remain as consistent as he has been for Team India and CSK over the last decade, then the Men in Blue would sail smoothly to victory and give a fitting farewell to Dhoni who, in all likelihood, will be playing his last World Cup.However, it will be fascinating to watch how the drama unfolds in England and if Dhoni can inspire India to their third World Cup title and finish it on a high.last_img read more

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At-Risk Youth Get Second Chance

first_imgStory Highlights Forty-four youngsters who have been in conflict with the law have been given a second chance to turn their life around and make a positive contribution to society. Following assessment, the participants, who were referred by the DCS, received psychosocial services, vocational skills training in areas such as auto mechanics and general construction, remedial education, counselling and consistent monitoring and follow-up by CSJP case management officers. At a ceremony held at the Ministry of National Security’s Oxford Road offices on Monday (March 19) to celebrate the success of the beneficiaries, Portfolio State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., commended the CSJP III and its partners for the transformative work. Forty-four youngsters who have been in conflict with the law have been given a second chance to turn their life around and make a positive contribution to society.Over the past two years, the youngsters have been engaged in a reintegration programme being undertaken by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III in partnership with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).Following assessment, the participants, who were referred by the DCS, received psychosocial services, vocational skills training in areas such as auto mechanics and general construction, remedial education, counselling and consistent monitoring and follow-up by CSJP case management officers.Ten additional persons are currently engaged in the programme.At a ceremony held at the Ministry of National Security’s Oxford Road offices on Monday (March 19) to celebrate the success of the beneficiaries, Portfolio State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., commended the CSJP III and its partners for the transformative work.“This is an opportunity for us to say to Jamaica, to those who are most vulnerable and at-risk, that those that some label as not deserving can become the best among us. They can become the next generation of champions to move our country forward,” he noted.He expressed the hope that the publicity around the programme will inspire confidence in those struggling to maintain a positive path in society.“To achieve greatness [in the country]…, we have to treat with crime and violence. We have to create an environment where people feel confident, where people can trust again, where people believe in themselves, in the process and in the system,” Senator Charles Jr. argued.He pointed out that the Ministry is working to ensure that rehabilitation and redemption are not just theoretical, but that efforts produce positive and tangible results “to show to our country that we are making a sustainable and real difference”.Senator Charles Jr. hailed the beneficiaries, who have worked to transform their attitudes and circumstances, and urged them to be ambassadors for the Ministry and the CSJP in their communities.“We expect you to walk and to talk and to conduct yourself in such a way that others looking on know that you have benefited from the CSJP programme and know that they too can change,” he added.The young people involved in the reintegration initiative also benefited from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Internship Programme, aimed at improving the employability and social skills of participants as well as the relationship between young men and the security forces.They are part of a wider pool of 2,319 youth from across 50 volatile communities across eight parishes, who have benefited from the case management services under CSJP III since January 2016.CSJP case managers and other service providers have reported significant improvement in the participants’ general outlook on life, productivity, sense of purpose and their problem-solving skills.The CSJP is funded by the Government of Jamaica; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Britain’s Department for International Development; and Global Affairs Canada formerly Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) of Canada.last_img read more

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British PM issues backstop ultimatum to EU over Brexit

first_imgLondon: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued an ultimatum to the European Union over what he has branded an “anti-democratic” Irish border backstop, which must be scrapped to negotiate a new deal before the October 31 Brexit deadline. In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday night, Johnson reiterated his “highest priority” was to achieve an agreement to avert a chaotic no-deal exit from the 28-nation economic bloc, but not with any kind of backstop designed to avert a post-Brexit hard border between EU member-country Ireland and British region Northern Ireland. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The changes we seek relate primarily to the backstop. The problems with the backstop run much deeper than the simple political reality that it has three times been rejected by the House of Commons,” writes the prime minister in his letter. “The truth is that it is simply unviable it is anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK as a state,” he notes. Johnson, who has been a vehement critic of the clause in the withdrawal agreement negotiated by his predecessor Theresa May, told Tusk that it locked the UK, potentially indefinitely, into an international treaty which will bind Britain into a customs union. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”It is inconsistent with the UK’s desired final destination for a sustainable long-term relationship with the EU. When the UK leaves the EU and after any transition period, we will leave the single market and the customs union,” Johnson said. By requiring continued membership of the customs union and applying many single market rules in Northern Ireland, it presents the whole of the UK with the choice of remaining in a customs union and aligned with those rules, or of seeing Northern Ireland gradually detached from the UK economy across a very broad ranges of areas. Both of those outcomes are unacceptable to the British government, stresses Johnson’s four-page letter. The communication was sent soon after another conversation between the British Prime Minister and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar. The Indian-origin Irish Taoiseach, as the Prime Minsiter is referred to in Ireland, has been categorical in his stance in favour of a backstop to ensure the island of Ireland can function under the terms of the Belfast Agreement dating back to the 1990s when the ‘Troubles’ in the disputed region culminated in a shaky peace process. “The Taoiseach reiterated the EU27 position that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened, and emphasised the importance of the legally operable guarantee to ensure no hard border and continued free trade on the island of Ireland,” Downing Street said in reference to the telephone conversation between the two leaders on Monday evening. “The Prime Minister [Johnson] made clear that the Common Travel Area, which long predates the UK and Ireland joining the EU, would not be affected by the ending of freedom of movement after Brexit,” it said. Johnson has called for “flexible and creative solutions” and “alternative arrangements” based on technology to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and wants the backstop to be replaced with a commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the Brexit transition period currently the end of 2020 under Theresa May’s deal. The EU, which did not immediately react to Johnson’s letter, has been firm in its position that the withdrawal agreement struck with his predecessor was not up for reopening and that any negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU must be based on the premise of the legally binding text of that pact. That text includes the controversial backstop, which had ultimately cost May her job as Prime Minister after facing a bruising three-time defeat in the UK Parliament. This week, Johnson is on a Brexit blitz as he is set to travel to Germany on Wednesday for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and then to Paris on Thursday for discussions with President Emmanuel Macron the two heavyweight politicians of the EU. Meanwhile, the UK Opposition Labour Party is demanding that the government publish all documents related to the real impact of a no-deal Brexit, following stark warnings of medicine and food shortages in a leaked report over the weekend. While the Johnson-led government has termed the warnings outdated as it has sped up its preparations for a no-deal exit from the EU by October 31, the Opposition has been demanding a recall of Parliament from its ongoing summer recess to address the Brexit issue.last_img read more

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