New Delhi: With the first phase of polling already having ended, and polling in Delhi to be held on May 12, Delhi BJP General Secretary Rajesh Bhatia has come up with fresh allegations against the Aam Aadmi Party for violating the Model Code of Conduct, thus lodging a written complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer of the Capital.The senior party leader said that he found big hoardings with photographs of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSatyendar Jain on a mohalla clinic in Sarita Vihar. “This is a clear violation of the Code of Conduct. On the 8th April, a complaint was made through cVIGIL App to the Election Commission but no action was taken on the complaint and thereafter a complaint letter was sent to the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi,” he said. Further making accusations against one of the major opposition parties in Delhi, Bhatia said that AAP has continuously violated terms of the MCC by using government buildings, buses, and schools for publicising their political campaign. “Kejriwal is misusing government buildings for his party’s political gains,” he said, demanding stern action from the Chief Electoral Commissioner on the issue.
BJP accuses AAP of violating MCC
Human rights and UN reform focus of students dialogue with diplomats
During the third annual Youth Leadership Awards Summit at UN Headquarters in New York, students queried Ambassadors Gerhard Pfanzelter of Austria, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury of Bangladesh and Abdullah M. Alsaidi of Yemen on the range of ideas being discussed to improve the international system and the United Nations, particularly human rights.In his remarks, Ambassador Pfanzelter noted that Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report, “In Larger Freedom,” outlined the major threats and challenges facing the international community. It also reiterated the idea that security was not possible without development, development could not occur without security, and that both security and development were not possible without human rights.The Secretary-General’s proposal to establish a standing Human Rights Council, therefore, was a welcome recommendation and would give human rights “the centrality that it deserves,” he said.Responding to a question about when the need to protect human rights superseded a country’s national sovereignty, Ambassador Chowdhury said the current discussion was centred on the globalization of values and how this value was to be accepted in a particular society.”Could this value be imposed? Does the international community or the United Nations have the right to impose this value on someone who is different? Now this is the big debate,” he said.For Ambassador Alsaidi, when the international community determines that there are violations of human rights in a given country, it should intervene. “But it is the Security Council, not a country by itself, no unilateral [action], no pre-emptions – it is the Security Council that must be the organ that allows for humanitarian intervention. Otherwise we will live in a state of anarchy in international relations,” he said.The meeting was organized by the Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL) – a non-governmental organization that aims to help students examine current events, develop leadership skills and create their own community service projects – and hosted by the UN Department of Public Information’s Outreach Division through its UN CyberSchoolBus, a website offering lesson plans and project ideas on global issues for teachers and students from around the world.
Australia suffering from hidden housing crisis – UN expert
During a two-week visit to Australia that ended on 15 August, Special Rapporteur on adequate housing Miloon Kothari visited urban and rural locations in six states, meeting with representatives from both the Government and civil society.The issues he cited in preliminary observations to Australian authorities include: widespread homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, long waits for dwindling public housing stock and inadequate Government planning for long-term safe housing, particularly in rural areas.“The problem of affordability and the home-ownership model has left aside all those sections of society that do not have enough means for purchasing their homes and those that face serious discrimination, especially in the private rental housing market,” said a statement released by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).Mr. Kothari particularly noted the negative impact of the housing situation on women and also expressed concern about poor housing conditions in the indigenous communities he visited. He noted that legislation affecting indigenous peoples’ land rights may have negative impacts on their right to adequate housing.He pointed to the lack of reliable data on the number of affected people and said he was troubled to learn that some civil society organizations that criticized state policy or advocated on housing issues have been or may be de-funded in the future.Mr. Kothari’s recommendations included adopting a national housing policy based on human rights, addressing homelessness and its causes as a matter of priority, and giving indigenous peoples a genuine participatory role in their affairs through an independent, well-resourced national body or organ.
Skeptical Football Sizing Up The Inevitable PatriotsPackers Super Bowl
So far this season, last year’s Super Bowl participants haven’t exactly faltered. The NFL-champion Seattle Seahawks are 8-4 and only a game behind the sliding Arizona Cardinals in the tough NFC West. The Denver Broncos are tied for the AFC’s best record at 9-3, and would have a bye if the playoffs started today. But, arguably, last year’s final two teams have been surpassed by another pair with strong pedigrees: The Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. And by “arguably,” I mean that I’ll argue it seven paragraphs from now.In the marquee matchup of Week 13, the Packers beat the Patriots in what was billed as a potential Super Bowl preview. The Packers jumped ahead 13-0, but their eventual win wasn’t easy. The Patriots kept Aaron Rodgers in check better than I would have expected — even with Rodgers in the lead for most of the game (a scenario in which he excels). Tom Brady was wildly animated, and when the Packers picked up the game-clinching first down, he could be seen repeatedly uttering the “old familiar suggestion.” The Patriots looked tough in defeat, and still have the best SRS (“Simple Rating System,” or margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule) in football.Meanwhile, MVP-candidate and perpetual Skeptical Football muse Rodgers has the same number of interceptions this year as his team has losses: three.So how do we sort this all out? With charts, of course.Charts of the weekIn particular, I’m going to introduce a new kind of chart called “scoring curves.” To help explain, let me get abstract for a moment.Just as baseball is a game of outs and basketball is a game of possessions, football is a game of drives.1To be even more abstract: Each drive starts with one team possessing the ball at some location on the field, and a series of scrimmages ensue that determine where the other team will get the ball to start its next drive, with various territorial accomplishments rewarded along the way with points. Conceptually, this means special teams plays are just like any other. But for the definition of “drive” I use for this analysis, I’ve excluded them. While teams employ a variety of different strategies and counter-strategies along the way, for the most part there are only two things to keep track of: What happens on drives when a team has the ball and what happens on drives when it doesn’t.2These can be measured by the drive’s effect on a team’s chance of winning or its expected point differential (in this case I’ll use the latter).Thus, we can capture a lot of information about a team in one chart by mapping each drive’s results onto its starting state — mainly where on the field each possession began.3For these purposes, any first-and-10 (or first-and-goal within the 10-yard line) is functionally equivalent to its own drive. This gives us a good look at the strength of each team’s offense and defense, as well as how each varies by territory.These charts tell pretty interesting stories, and I’ve included them for all 32 teams in 2014 at the end of this article. But first, to one of those stories: The Broncos and Seahawks, as good as they may still be, aren’t quite the teams they were last year.The Broncos, despite sharing the AFC’s best record, have struggled. For this chart I’ve plotted the league-average scoring curves in gray, last year’s Broncos in orange, and this year’s Broncos in blue:The upward-sloping lines are the estimated value of a first-and-10 — in terms of expected net points — from the given location, based on distance from the opponent’s goal. The downward-sloping lines are the same thing for opponent drives (also measured from the opponent’s goal). For example, a typical team at the edge of the red zone is expected to add an average of about 4 points to its margin, and the same is obviously true for a typical opponent in a similar location on the team’s side of the field.The 2014 Broncos offense is doing worse than the 2013 version basically from all positions on the field. Though characteristically potent in short-field situations, they’re about average from 80 yards out. I have a working theory that being good at scoring on medium-to-long drives is more predictive of playoff success than being good at scoring on short ones, because both the strength of teams and the style of play in the playoffs are less likely to result in short fields. This could lead to more playoff disappointment for Peyton Manning.And the Broncos’ defense isn’t doing any better than their offense: The defense is also as bad or worse than it was in 2013 from almost anywhere on the field. The Broncos have gone from having an average-ish defense to having a bad one. If they keep up this form, their Super Bowl hopes are about as appealing as Italian baby food:Next let’s turn to the Seahawks, who won impressively this week against their division rival San Francisco 49ers but have also regressed in some areas:The 2014 Seahawks offense has been uneven: It’s a bigger threat than it was from midfield a year ago, but it’s a bit worse at putting it in the endzone when those opportunities arise. And last year’s league-dominating defense is no more, and is now struggling to remain league average.But there are reasons for the Seahawks to be hopeful.I have another theory, related to the one above: Defenses that protect a short field do better in the playoffs. In the postseason, a team is more likely to face tough scenarios than in the regular season, whether that means longer fields on offense or shorter ones on defense.4It also may help reduce variance for stronger teams, because they’re more able to weather the storm when they turn the ball over. The Seahawks have done all right in this area, though obviously not as well as last year.And what about the Patriots and the Packers? Let’s see:The main takeaways here: 1) These are two very strong teams, and 2) They are eerily similar. They both have powerful and balanced offenses (though New England has been a little better at converting in the red zone).While their defenses don’t appear mind-blowing, having a strong, threatening offense and a moderately competitive defense is a common recipe for playoff success.Gunslinger of the weekBen Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes last week’s award for his two interceptions against the New Orleans Saints, but also for leading the Steelers on three touchdown drives to close within 3 points in a game where they trailed by as much as 19. Two of those were in “garbage time,” but being aggressive when the odds are against a quarterback — stats be damned — is what gunslinging is about. And if a QB occasionally improves his stats by throwing a TD with 4 seconds left, so be it.Most and least valuable kickersJosh Brown missed a 43-yard attempt for the New York Giants, leaving the Indianapolis Colts’ Adam Vinatieri as the only (qualifying) perfect kicker standing.5So far he has made 25 attempts, but only two have been from more than 50 yards. Nineteen kickers have three or more such attempts.But the most valuable kicker from last week’s games is the San Diego Chargers’ Nick Novak, who — despite only making two attempts — picks up the rare Kicker Win™, which is awarded when the value a kicker added exceeds his team’s margin of victory. Novak’s 1.18 points above expectation exceeded his team’s 1-point margin of victory. It’s the first Kicker Win of the 2014 season. Meanwhile, the 2-10 New York Jets continued to find new ways to avoid winning: Nick Folk missed attempts of 45 yards and 48 yards, and picked up the much less rare Kicker Loss™ by costing the Jets 3.43 expected points in their 3-point defeat against the Miami Dolphins.The rookie QB finally got in the gameCongrats, Johnny Manziel! Manziel took over in the fourth quarter of the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Buffalo Bills and scored his first touchdown on a 10-yard scramble. He can also breathe a sigh of relief as the Browns turned to him just in time to meet the four-start threshold that is typically predictive of future success for rookie QBs.Except, nope, the Browns will have none of that. Manziel is starting on the bench this weekend while Brian Hoyer starts on the field.I have no idea whether Manziel is ready now, or ever will be, but Browns coach Mike Pettine’s argument — “Brian has led our team to a 7-5 record” — is a terrible reason to stick with him. I’ll go ahead and say that not only is Hoyer completely unremarkable, he’s an object lesson in why you shouldn’t think an unimpressive journeyman quarterback is suddenly good just because he puts up a decent NFL Passer Rating for a few weeks. Sure, there are some unexpected season-starting hot streaks that are meaningful, but lukewarm is not hot.Tweets of the weekLet’s start off with this tweet following the Patriots/Packers game that multiple people forwarded to me6This may or may not have been a subtweet.:If Brady would have thrown an INT in the second half he’d have a better chance at that 9 point comeback.— akschaaf (@akschaaf) December 1, 2014In case you’re new to Skeptical Football, this tweet — intentionally or not — brushes up against my ongoing analysis and defense of the proposition that a QB throwing too few interceptions can be a sign that he’s not taking enough risks to maximize wins.7I get “If only X had thrown more interceptions, he might have won, huh @skepticalsports??” so often it’s practically my mini-meme. That the unusual absence of something inherently bad can indicate less-than-optimal strategy may sound like a bunch of econ/game theory mumbo-jumbo, but chances are you’re probably familiar with similar arguments in other contexts:Poker: If you never get caught bluffing, you’re not bluffing enough. Or if you never lose a showdown, you’re probably not calling enough.Basketball: If you rarely miss your 3-point shots, you should probably be shooting more of them, including more marginal ones.Finance: If you never lose money, you’re probably not maximizing your return on investment.Football: If you never turn the ball over on downs, you probably aren’t going for it enough on fourth.Tennis: If you never double fault, you’re probably not being aggressive enough on your second serve.Golf: If you never hit it into the rough, you’re probably not driving far enough.Baseball: If you never get caught stealing … well, never mind, stealing is complicated.So no, throwing more interceptions wouldn’t have helped Brady win that game. But being willing to throw interceptions is still a winning trait.Next up:Whenever I try to learn a new subject, I typically buy a bunch of books on it, and then start reading them until I understand well enough to disagree with the authors. I can get a lot of detail from someone’s lengthy framing of a subject, but mastering “the material” is different from developing an intuitive understanding of my own perspective.Accordingly, if I had to pick the one book that has had the biggest influence on my approach to sports stats analysis, it wouldn’t be one by Bill James or Dean Oliver or Ben Alamar (though those guys are great), but “The Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky.8I’ve discussed this Bill James/David Sklansky dichotomy once before. A lot of the poker advice in it can be questionable or outdated, but for me, Sklansky’s abstract yet pragmatic way of thinking about games was perspective-shifting and has stuck with me well beyond the realm of poker.9See the “abstract” footnote above for an example.How to beat Peyton ManningPunt.In case you haven’t gotten enough of me praising interceptions, how about I dish out some love for the most reviled of analytical bogeymen: the punt?Don’t get me wrong: Punts are just turnovers that happen a little further downfield. And possessions are such a limited resource in football that it’s hard to understand why people voluntarily give them away so often, rather than fighting kicking and screaming to keep them at all costs.But sometimes football analytics is easy and sometimes it’s harder than it seems.For example: In 2009, the Patriots infamously went for it on fourth-and-2 from their own 28-yard line while leading the Colts by 6 points with 2 minutes left. The Patriots failed to convert, and sure enough, Peyton Manning led the Colts to a game-winning touchdown. While Bill Belichick’s gutsy call was criticized by many, analytics-types mostly backed him up: The value of being able to run out the clock if the Patriots converted the fourth down likely outweighed the risk of giving the other team better field position if they didn’t.The sometimes scoffing critics said the risk of giving Manning a short field was too great. Many — including myself — dismissed this at the time because it should just cancel out in the end: Sure, Manning is dangerous on a short field, but he’s pretty darn good at marching down the field as well. Here’s what Brian Burke had to say on The New York Times’ NFL blog:You’d have to expect the Colts had a better than 30 percent chance of scoring from their 34, and an accordingly higher chance to score from the Pats’ 28. But any adjustment in their likelihood of scoring from either field position increases the advantage of going for it. You can play with the numbers any way you like, but it’s pretty hard to come up with a realistic combination of numbers that makes punting the better option.That is, offenses come in good, better, best and Peyton Manning. And the better he is, the less you should want to punt to him.But maybe the critics were on to something.Using the score curves I introduced earlier, we can see how offenses — even great ones — come in all different “shapes and sizes.” For a clear example, let’s compare two of the great offenses of the modern era: The 18-1 New England Patriots from 2007, and the 2013 Denver Broncos:These two similarly amazing offenses had very different shapes: The Randy Moss-fueled Patriots offense was pretty “flat.”10It’s worth noting that “flatness” is a common feature for the Patriots in the Belichick era, though not always as flat as they were in 2007. In other words, compared to league averages, their chances of scoring didn’t vary much based on where they got the ball. The 2013 Broncos offense, on the other hand, derived its greatness less from its (also great) deep game and more from Manning’s ruthless ability to score from opponent territory. The Broncos’ chances of scoring actually depended more on where the drive started than league average.The difference is particularly significant when it comes to fourth-down decisions. From the 30-yard line, a 40-yard punt normally cuts about 2.2 expected points off an opponent’s drive compared to the opponent taking over on downs. This is why punts exist. Going for it on fourth down is the right thing to do when that amount is exceeded by the value of your team’s possession multiplied by your chances of converting the fourth down. Easy peasy — and there are plenty of tools to help you make such decisions.But as illustrated in the chart, for the 2007 Patriots that difference was only about 1.5 points, meaning a team facing them should have gone for it on fourth down a lot more often than normal. Meanwhile, for the 2013 Broncos, that difference was about 2.7 points, meaning their opponents should have been more inclined to punt than normal (at least relative to optimal punting strategy, which is way more in favor of going for it than any coach today is).How big is the difference? Against the 2013 Broncos, the break-even point to go for it on fourth-and-2 is around the 50 yard line (meaning, if you’re behind the 50, you should punt). Coincidentally, this is also around the break-even point for when to go for it against the 2007 Patriots — on fourth-and-12.That’s remarkable to me. Again, these offenses were similar in quality overall, but their different shapes made them as different as a fourth-and-12 versus a fourth-and-2.The situation Belichick faced in 2009 isn’t directly comparable because the governing issue there was win maximization rather than point maximization. But the point is that the strength of Manning’s offense wasn’t enough to settle the issue. A coach also needs to know the shape of an offense’s strength. As it turns out, having a steep curve is common for Manning-led offenses, so fears about giving him a “short field” are warranted (though, in Belichick’s defense, 2009 wasn’t a particularly steep year for the Colts).A big part of Manning’s edge comes from punishing opponents’ mistakes more than others do. While he has a lot of edge elsewhere, avoiding giving him short fields goes a long way. Thus, when playing him a team really should make greater efforts to protect the ball than it would usually, and should be more conservative about fourth–down decisions than it would optimally.So, it’s true: A key to beating Peyton Manning is — and I can’t even believe I’m typing this — making sure failed drives end in punts.Bonus chart of the weekAnd finally, for those of you who want to look up the win curves of your favorite team, or least favorite team, or just every team you can, here are all 32 teams in 2014:Reminder: If you tweet questions to me @skepticalsports, there is a non-zero chance that I’ll answer them here.Charts by Reuben Fischer-Baum.
Column Autism – moving beyond labels and limits
WHEN I FIRST started working with children in 1994, I saw a maximum of one child per week with autism. Now, 20 years on, if I see five children per day at least three of those will have already been given a diagnosis of autism. We have gone from having 1 in 1,000 children diagnosed with autism in 1984 to 1 in 100 in 2014. This begs the question: what is causing this alarming rise in diagnoses?Many argue that better diagnostic techniques are picking up kids who would have previously slipped through the system. But University of California, Berkeley researchers Dr Hinshaw and Dr Scheffler argue that the constraints of educational systems have little space for any child who may be ‘different’, and that an inability to conform to the norms of how we expect children to behave leads to an over-labelling of their differences.In order for them to successfully access educational support systems, children must have a diagnosis, a label – they must fit into a box that entitles them to an SNA or a resource teacher. Many others, like US autism expert Dr Bryan Jepson maintain that ‘autism’ is merely one symptom of an underlying disease process that affects the immunological system, the gastrointestinal system and the toxicological system, as well as the neurological system. Whatever the cause, we are now seeing an increasing number of children who need extra developmental help to allow them to reach their potential.A box-ticking type of assessment processSimply basing our diagnostics on a collection of behavioural symptoms often leads to a box-ticking type of assessment process. For example, if a child exhibits behaviours X, Y and Z then that child has autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Shouldn’t we be asking if there are other factors that may be causing those behavioural symptoms? This leads me to another increasing problem I have witnessed over the last decade: that of the hopelessness experienced by parents who have gone through the assessment process with their child.Having languished on extended waiting lists for lengthy periods, fearful that a neurological window of opportunity may be closing for their child, they seem to be increasingly frustrated by the box-ticking approach to diagnosis. Often when ASD is confirmed they feel it is at odds with their knowledge and experience of their child. When they express this, they are simply told to accept it and get on with their lives, now stripped of hope for their child’s future.If we view each child as an individual and look beyond the behavioural symptoms, maybe we will not only get a more bespoke method of assessment but we will also be able to tailor-make a treatment plan. I regularly see children arriving in my clinic with a diagnosis of ASD who have serious underlying sensory processing disorder problems. Many of their behaviours that are symptomatic of ASD are really as a result of their inability to integrate their sensory processing systems.Once I deal with these underlying problems, they no longer exhibit the collection of behavioural symptoms that lead to the initial ASD diagnosis. Sensory processing difficulties can influence self-regulation, movement, learning and interaction with others. It can interfere with skills that support performance, such as engagement and attention, as well as skills that enable the learning of new motor skills.Viewing each child as an individual with hopes and dreamsIt is vitally important that we look beyond the labels and limits we place on children with developmental challenges. We must restore hope to parents that their child is capable of reaching their full potential, whatever that may prove to be. We must inform and educate all professionals to look at each child as a wonderful individual with hopes and dreams.A diagnosis of ASD can initially be devastating to a family; this alarming rise in incidence presents a huge challenge to individuals and society in general. With the increasing pressure on our educational and health systems, these children are not getting the support they require which is leading to a generation of dependent adults who may not be capable of living independently or actively participating in the work force.We must do better, we must look further than the collection of symptoms and we must ensure that every child has the right to achieve their full potential.Karen O’Connor is a speech and language therapist.Karen is hosting the Moving Beyond Labels and Limits Child Development Conference 22 March at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin. International speakers include occupational therapist Sheila Frick and biomedical specialist Dr William Shaw.Revealed: Autistic children locked in unsupervised ‘isolation rooms’ for hoursRead: Use of isolation rooms in schools to come under government scrutiny
Ryanair profits stumble with 8 per cent fall but thats still ahead
Source: RyanairClick here to see a larger version of this table.Ryanair has recently launched a drive to create a more streamlined experience for customers booking online, as well as attempting to change its image to a more ‘customer friendly’ airline.The next four years will see the airline receive 180 new aircraft.Read: Ryanair want YOU to decide if they should change their on-time music >More: Ratings agency S&P is a Ryanair fan, praising ‘industry-leading operating efficiency’ >Change of heart: Warm and cuddly’ or ‘harsh and caustic’ – Are we seeing Michael O’Leary 2.0? > RYANAIR’S PROFITS FELL by eight per cent last year, the airline said this morning, but was still ahead of previous targets at €523 million.The number of passengers the “cheap flights” airline carried in the last financial year grew 3 per cent to 81.7 million, with total revenue generated just over €5 billion.Costs fell by 3 per cent, excluding fuel.The airline now aims to grow passenger numbers by 4 per cent next year to 84.6 million, with an increase in profits of between €580 million to €620 million.It’s also expecting load factors to increase 2 per cent with new routes and capacity on certain flights.However, caution is being aired on targets set for the winter season due to a weak price environment last year, with a reduction in its winter grounding fleet from 70 to 50.It also targets a 2 per cent fare increase, compared to a fall of 4 per cent in the last financial year.
Keown slams Arsenals sickening decision to allow Ramsey to leave
Arsenal great Martin Keown is far from impressed with the club’s decision to let Aaron Ramsey leave this summer, despite his importance to the teamThe Wales international is set to become a free agent this summer once his existing deal at Arsenal expires, which will bring an end to over a decade of service, following a breakdown in talks over an extension last year.Now Ramsey has reportedly turned down interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in favour of signing a pre-contract agreement with Juventus for next season.Speaking after another impressive display from Ramsey in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday, Keown announced his frustration with the Gunners’ handling over Ramsey – who continues to leave their highest earner Mesut Ozil benched.“It’s the saddest thing of all really, how well he executed the plan today but in possession and out of possession,” Keown said on BT Sport.“He’s obviously doing that to such an extent that [Mesut] Ozil can’t get near the team.“But Ramsey’s not going to be part of their future and I find that sad.“I find it a little bit sickening that he’s going to be leaving, they’re trying to make progress and one player who was singly so important won’t be a part of Arsenal’s future.”Meanwhile, former Arsenal player Joel Campbell backed Ramsey’s move to Turin and stated that he would be a great coup for Juventus.Solskjaer 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.Since arriving from Cardiff City in 2008, Ramsey has managed 62 goals and 64 assists in 358 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions.The 28-year-old midfielder also memorably scored the match-winner in two of the three FA Cups he’s won at Arsenal.Following last weekend’s London derby victory, Unai Emery’s side will next face Manchester United in the FA Cup on Friday.”I find it a little bit sickening that he’s going to be leaving.””He’s going to one of the best teams in Europe and Arsenal have lost him.”Martin Keown speaking straight from the heart on the Aaron Ramsey situation 😞 pic.twitter.com/CY2ZGttivJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 19, 2019
Sam Smith shows off new penisshaped cufflinks
GAYSTARNEWS- Sam Smith is loving this explicit art his boyfriend got him for his birthdaySam Smith accused of ‘fat-shaming’ womanSam Smith met his idol Julie Andrews and it was practically perfectRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/sam-smith-cufflinks/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Sam Smith wears a lot tuxedos on a lot of red carpet. So it stands to reason that the Grammy and Oscar-winner can never have enough cufflinks. Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) But whether his latest pair will set any trends remains to be seen. The Too Good At Goodbyes singer’s new pieces of shirt-jewelry, by none other than Vivienne Westwood, are shaped like erect penises!Honestly, we can’t decide if we love them or hate them… But it’s got to be said, they’re certainly pretty sex/queer-positive!Instagram/samsmithworld‘Cock cufflinks’According to his thank you note, the ‘cock cuff links’ – as Sam calls them in the accompanying caption – were a present from the Paul Edmonds London hair and beauty salon. It’s not the first time Sam has made powerful statement with fashion choices.In 2017 he hinted at his fluid gender identity when he wore a top with the slogan: ‘Body of a man, essence of a woman.’In other Sam news, the star last week addressed embarrassing paparazzi photos of himself kissing boyfriend Brandon Flynn.‘[Brandon] looks like Ursula sucking the voice out of Ariel!’ laughed Sam.Sam Smith earns sixth UK number 1 single with Too Good at Goodbyes Sam Smith | Photo: Instagram/samsmithworld
Costa Rica Nicaragua have highest tax rates in Central America
Costa Rica has the second highest total tax rate in Central America and the Caribbean, behind only Nicaragua, according to a new report from the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers.The report Paying Taxes 2014 compared tax regimes from 189 countries during the previous year and reported that while there have been improvements, Latin America has one of the world’s most onerous tax systems.Regionally, Central America and the Caribbean’s Total Tax Rate (TTR), the total cost of all taxes levied, is below the world average of 43.1 percent. But Costa Rica’s TTR comes in at 55.3 percent, according to the report, just after Nicaragua’s at 64.9 percent. The high tax rate in Costa Rich helps fund various social programs in the country, including a socialized health care system that’s long been considered one of the best in the Americas (although recently it’s faced a funding crisis due to mismanagement – and tax fraud and delinquency).While still a hair below the global average, Central America’s TTR (42.8 percent) is right behind South America (52.7 percent) as the third and second highest total tax rates in the world. Only Africa has higher TTR, 52.9 percent, according to the report.Despite some of the highest average taxes in the world, the ease of paying taxes, especially when it comes to the number of taxes and the time it takes to comply, is Latin America’s biggest tax headache.It takes more time to file taxes in South America than any other region in the world. Companies there need an average of 618 hours — twice the global average — to file their taxes. .But Brazil takes the cake. The report’s dummy company needed 2,600 hours to comply with Brazil’s tax code, more time than any country in the world. Compare that to the United Arab Emirates, where the report estimated a company could file all its tax paperwork in just 12 hours.The report noted that Costa Rican businesses needed 60 fewer hours to file after the country implemented electronic filing in 2006. Guatemala made the biggest strides in the world from 2012-2013 in improving “the ease of paying taxes” during the past year, mostly due to the implementation of online tax filing.Not a fan of taxes? Try Macedonia. Paying Taxes 2014 reported that the former-Yugoslav republic has the lowest TTR in the world, 8.2 percent. Meanwhile, the Middle East enjoys the “least demanding” tax systems. Facebook Comments No related posts.
QA Kurds fight Islamic State and endure Turkish attacks
Turkey views Kurds in Iraq as an ally but is suspicious of Syrian Kurds who are affiliated with the PKK. Ankara is worried that Kurdish gains in Iraq and in Syria will encourage the aspirations of its own Kurdish population.WHERE DO THEY STAND IN IRAQ?Five million Kurds have their own government in Iraq’s semi-autonomous north and have significant representation in the central government with several key posts including the presidency, which is allocated to Kurds. They currently represent about 20 percent of Iraq’s population, making them the largest ethnic minority.There are two main Iraqi Kurdish factions: The Kurdistan Democratic Party is led by Kurdish Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is led by former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. The factions fought a bloody war for power over northern Iraq in the mid-1990s, before agreeing to a power-sharing deal that ended the fighting in 1998.The Iraqi Kurdish militia, known as the peshmerga, has been a major force in repelling the Islamic State group’s onslaught in recent months, with nearly a dozen countries rushing to its aid with weapons and training in the absence of genuine support from a strained Iraqi military. 0 Comments Share The PKK has fought a three-decade war, initially for independence and later for autonomy and greater rights for Kurds. The conflict with the PKK has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.Turkey and its U.S. and European allies consider the PKK — which has Marxist origins — a terrorist organization for killing civilians in urban bombings.In 2012, Turkey launched secret talks with the PKK’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan, to end the conflict. The talks were made public in 2013 and the PKK declared a cease-fire a few months later.The Kurds later accused Turkey of not doing enough to help Syrian Kurds during their battle against Islamic State militants over the Syrian border town of Kobani, prompting violent clashes and straining the fragile peace process.Tensions flared again after an Islamic State suicide bombing in the southeastern Turkish city of Suruc last week killed 32 people. Kurdish groups held the Turkish government responsible, saying it had not been aggressive in battling the Islamic State group.Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, the People’s Democratic Party, said the strikes on the PKK in Syria and Iraq amounted to an end of the two-year-old truce. It called on the government to end the bombing campaign and resume a dialogue with the Kurds. FILE – In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, file photo, Syrian Kurdish militia members of YPG make a V-sign next to poster of Abdullah Ocalan, jailed Kurdish rebel leader, and a Turkish army tank in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria. Turkish jets struck camps belonging to Kurdish militants in northern Iraq Friday and Saturday in what were the first strikes since a peace deal was announced in 2013. The strikes in Iraq targeted the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, whose affiliates have been effective in battling the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Mursel Coban, Depo Photos, File) BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. and Turkish plans to create an “Islamic State-free zone” in Syria along the Turkish border could escalate the conflict between Turkey and Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq.With the help of U.S. airstrikes, the Kurds have proven to be among the most effective ground forces against the IS group. But their advance across northeastern Syria in recent months has alarmed Ankara, which fears they could revive a decades-long insurgency in pursuit of statehood. Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Syria’s main Kurdish fighting force is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and maintains bases in remote parts of northern Iraq.Since Friday, Turkey has struck the IS group in Syria and PKK positions inside Iraq. On Monday, the main Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, claimed that it had been shelled by Turkish troops. A Turkish official said the military was only returning fire, and that the campaign does not include the YPG.WHO ARE THE KURDS?The Kurds are an ethnic group with their own language and customs whose nomadic past led to their modern-day dispersal across several countries, mostly Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. Sunni Muslims make up the vast majority, but there is a sizeable Shiite population, particularly in Iran.After the collapse of the Ottoman and Qajar empires and the drawing of modern borders, Iraq, Iran and Turkey each agreed to oppose the creation of an independent Kurdistan, making the Kurds the largest stateless minority group in the world. With nearly 25 million people living in five countries, they continue to push for self-rule.WHAT IS THEIR ROLE IN TURKEY?Turkey is home to an estimated 15 million Kurds, about one-fifth of the country’s population of 76 million. Most are Sunni Muslim. ___Associated Press writers Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Zeina Karam in Beirut contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The United States has been one of the most ardent protectors of Iraqi Kurds for over a generation, helping establish and enforce a safe haven in northern Iraq to protect them from Saddam Hussein.WHAT ABOUT THE KURDS IN SYRIA?Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria, making up more than 10 percent of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million people. They are centered mostly in the impoverished northeastern province of Hassakeh, between the borders of Turkey and Iraq.The Kurdish Democratic Union party, or PYD, is the most powerful political force among Syria’s Kurds. The party is a deeply secular, and affiliated with the PKK. The People’s Protection Units, known by the Kurdish acronym YPG, is the main Kurdish fighting force in Syria.Since Syria’s civil war began, the Kurds have made unprecedented gains, strengthening their hold on the far northeast reaches of the country and carving out territory where they declared their own civil administration. They showed resilience in their fight against IS group militants in Kobani, pushing them out in January with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes. Last month, they ejected the Islamic State group from their stronghold of Tal Abyad along the border with Turkey, robbing the IS of a key avenue for smuggling oil and foreign fighters. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
Etihad Airways showcases its innovation in Europe
Etihad Airways showcases its innovation in EuropeEtihad Airways has launched a unique new mobile exhibition which will visit its key European markets to give commercial partners and consumers first-hand experience of the airline’s revolutionary new cabin products and inflight service elements.Weighing approximately 22 tonnes and measuring 50m², the 16m long mobile exhibition includes full-size mock-ups of The Residence, the world’s only three-room cabin on a commercial airline, and the First Apartment – both currently onboard the airline’s A380 fleet, and also the B787 First Suite.The Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat, which feature on both aircraft types, are also displayed.Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Our cabin products have captured the world’s imagination, setting a new standard in sophisticated flying.“The Etihad Airways Mobile Exhibition will give our corporate and industry partners an understanding of the innovation and creativity which went into designing these industry-leading cabins.”The first phase of the tour will commence on 24 September in Switzerland’s commercial capital Zurich, in time for the start of the Zurich Film Festival, of which Etihad Airways is a major sponsor.It will then head to Munich, Frankfurt, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Cannes, Milan, Torino and Bologna, ending in Amsterdam on 14 December.The second phase, beginning in January 2016, will see the Etihad Airways Mobile Exhibition visit the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain, followed by repeat visits to the cities included in the first phase of the tour.“We are delighted to commence this tour in Switzerland, which is world renowned for design, craftsmanship, hospitality and generosity of spirit. These are all core elements of the Etihad Airways brand and service philosophy, now brilliantly showcased in this mobile exhibition.”The mobile product exhibition allows Etihad Airways to bypass the logistical constraints of transporting cabin mock ups to multiple locations, taking its ground-breaking premium products directly to target markets, trade events, and exhibitions.The mobile exhibition vehicle will be painted in Etihad Airways’ ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ corporate colours, ensuring optimal exposure of the airline’s branding as it makes its way around Europe.Source = Etihad Airways
Emirates has announced it has begun a 4 x weekly s
Emirates has announced it has begun a 4 x weekly service between Dubai and Porto, Portugal on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Porto is the airline’s second destination in Portugal, after Lisbon.EK197, which made its inaugural flight on 2 July 2019, departs Dubai at 0915hrs and arrives in Porto at 1430hrs. The return flight, EK198, departs Porto at 1735hrs and lands in Dubai at 0415hrs the next morning.The service will be operated by Emirates Boeing 777-200LR, in a two class cabin configuration featuring Emirates’ newest Business Class and Economy Class seats and interiors. The aircraft has 38 lie flat seats in Business Class in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 spacious seats in Economy Class. IMAGE: Thierry Aucoc (R), Emirates Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe, Russian Federation and Latin America, exchanges a gift with Luis Arnaut Chairman of Ana Airportsto mark the airline’s arrival to Porto Airport/Photo by Hernani Pereira airlinesEmiratesPortoPortugal
Go back to the enewsletter Macaos effervescent Pa
Go back to the enewsletterMacao’s effervescent Palmira Pena is preparing to cook up a storm as an invited chef for the upcoming Taste of Macao Food Month in Sydney.Beginning with a spectacular carnival-style launch on Sunday 14 and Monday 15 October, the gastronomy event will be highlighted by tasty, specially created Macanese dishes in what will be billed the only restaurant in Australia to serve the Portuguese-inspired fusion cuisine.Palmira was invited by the House of Tong Restaurant to prepare the dishes, as well as conduct cooking demonstrations at the launch within the North Ryde RSL.From Switzerland where she studied, to ever-bustling Tokyo where she furthered her career in the hospitality industry, Palmira was born to be a chef. And her grassroots have always been in Macao, her birthplace and much-loved home to her family, where she “learned all the cooking skills from my father, since I was a kid.”Chef Palmira PenaHer father is renowned Macao restaurant owner Manuel Pena, who, born in Portugal, arrived in Macao in the 1980s and started his traditional Portuguese restaurant O Manel in Macao’s Taipa Village in 1992.To the beat of the drums, traditional Chinese lion dancers will take centre-stage at the launch of Macao Food Month carnival on the Sunday and Monday, from 11am until 5pm. Guests to the free, family-friendly event at the North Ryde RSL will also be treated to Virtual Reality vision of Macao, cooking demonstrations and, for those out to test their racing skills, a Macau Grand Prix simulator.The playing of Chinese musical instruments along with traditional face-changing, Chinese calligraphy and paper-cutting, and face painting and balloon twisting will keep families entertained over the two days. On each day, tasty Macanese canapés, prepared by Palmira and the crew of the House of Tong Restaurant, will be served complimentary.Macao Food Month will continue inside the club’s resident House Tong Restaurant, which will feature a range of Macanese dishes on the menu until mid-November.Macanese cuisine is considered one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion food, dating back five centuries: Portuguese-inspired, with spices collected along the maritime route between Portugal and China, and produce grown in China.A former Portuguese enclave of 650,000 residents, Macao was designated by UNESCO as a Creative City for Gastronomy and is celebrating everything food throughout 2018.Diners to the restaurant during the month will be in the running to win a trip for two to Macao, including return air tickets flying Xiamen Airlines and accommodation, valued at $6,000. Other prizes include a $3,000 Gucci G-Frame Watch from Shum’s Watches and Jewellery, a Sleep Mart Mattress valued at $1,050, and 10 House of Tong dining vouchers, each valued at $100.More at www.visitmacao.com.auGo back to the enewsletter
Slow start to find single candidate
Talks to find a single presidential candidate among the parties supporting a hawkish strategy in the Cyprus problem did not get off to a good, if unofficial, start on Tuesday night as potential candidates Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos and Citizens’ Alliance chief Yiorgos Lillikas failed to find any common ground.The two men, each flanked by close associates, discussed the criteria for picking a candidate for next year’s presidential elections.Tension between them has reportedly been mounting since last week when Lillikas unofficially announced his bid for the presidency despite earlier consensus that the self-proclaimed ‘centre parties’ – Diko, Edek, the Citizens’ Alliance, the Solidarity movement and the Greens – would rally behind a single candidate agreed jointly.It is understood that Lillikas’ leaked intentions sought to create a fait-accomplis aimed at Papadopoulos and Solidarity’s Eleni Theocharous, who also harbour presidential ambitions.“There is more uniting us with Diko than separates us,” Lillikas said after the meeting at Diko’s headquarters.Both men said the meeting had been held in a good and friendly atmosphere.Lillikas appeared to be backtracking on the announcement of his candidacy, saying a decision by the Alliance’s Supreme Senate on Sunday – to ratify a proposal for a presidential bid by the party’s leader – will merely be a “guiding principle”.Papadopoulos said that for a candidacy to be backed by all ‘centre parties’ it must first be discussed by all five parties.“A unilateral announcement is, of course, respected, but it doesn’t help the whole effort,” he said.The unwritten law in Cypriot politics is that no one can be elected president unless backed by one of the main parties – a mantra recently repeated by Lillikas in an interview – but the rest of the ‘centrists’ believe and argue otherwise, even as no President of Cyprus has ever been elected without the backing of Akel or Disy.The five ‘centre’ parties agree that a rejectionist – or ‘assertive’, in their own words – Cyprus-problem stance is enough to bring them together behind a single presidential candidate with the sole aim of overturning the two big parties’ stance of supporting a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.But Lillikas had already showed signs of breaking ranks as early as January’s Geneva conference on Cyprus when he attended a cocktail reception for all delegations, which the rest of the ‘centre’ party leaders refused to attend.An upcoming discussion forum on the Cyprus problem, scheduled for Friday, seems to be having the same fate – a statement on Tuesday said it was organised by Diko, Edek, the Greens, and Solidarity, with the Citizens’ Alliance conspicuously absent.Lillikas’ decision to unofficially announce his candidacy was met with harsh criticism by the rest in the burgeoning alliance.“If the patriotic front has more than a single candidate, it is not going to elect a president, and we will perpetuate the policies we are now criticising,” Theocharous said on Tuesday morning, casting doubt on whether the Citizens’ Alliance members will rally behind Lillikas on Sunday, as expected.“There are many within the [Citizens’ Alliance] Senate who wouldn’t want Mr Lillikas’ move to undermine the effort of the rest of the parties to change the strategy.”Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos complained that Lillikas went ahead with the move without so much as consulting with his party – a courtesy he granted Solidarity and the Greens.“There has been no consultation with Edek, not even a meeting,” he said, before addressing the fact that the ‘patriotic front’ is a disparate mix of parties representing different social and economic policies.“We are quite far apart with some parties, but, in any case, the distance between us is much shorter than between us and Akel or Disy.”Lillikas is undermining the joint effort, Sizopoulos said.Many in Edek refuse to let go of the fact that when the party decided to support Lillikas in the 2013 presidential campaign he publicly pledged not to capitalise on his electoral gains by founding a new party but did just that two months after the election.In a statement, the Greens said that all parties, with the exception of Disy and Akel, should run a single candidate for president, and added a barb against Lillikas.“Each one’s personal ambitions should be cast aside for the sake of Cyprus,” the party said.You May LikeHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Early Signs Of Heart Failure. Search Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Police HQ on guard over possible attack – reports
The police headquarters was on guard early on Sunday, following a tip-off related to a possible attack against officers and premises of the force, reports said.Daily Politis reported that police top brass went to headquarters early on Sunday to coordinate operations following the tip-off of a possible attack by the underworld against officers but also premises of the police force.It has not been verified whether there was actual intent on the part of the underworld to attack or whether it was a bluff aiming at mobilising the force, Politis said.The report follows daily coordinated operations by the police in all districts which led to a number of arrests for various offences, as part of the force’s declared war on serious and organised crime.The operations were launched after two officers were shot – one was critically injured – some two weeks ago in Limassol after responding to a call about a parked hire car, in which three persons were behaving suspiciously.Following the incident, police and the government, pledged to not let it go unanswered and that they would clamp down on organised crime.You May LikeViralov20 Best Foods for Diabetes TreatmentViralovUndoZooBears to Bald Eagles: The American Wildlife QuizZooUndoi-line.xyz10 Most Dangerous Sports – The Extreme Sportsi-line.xyzUndo Urgent work planned on collapsed section of Nicosia wallsUndoHeroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoProtest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
Audit office slams forestry dept over removal of acacia trees
The audit service said Wednesday that errors and omissions were made by the forestry department when it bulldozed and burned on-site a 700m strip of acacia trees in March that lined the Mavralis state forest.The area, part of the EU-wide Natura 2000 network of protected areas, forms one of the most important breeding sites in the Mediterranean for the endangered Loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) turtle.According to the audit service, “the removal of acacias from the area was done hastily and without prior planning as regards the measures that should have been taken so that protected species present in the area are not negatively affected.”Indicative of this hastiness, the service said, is that meetings to decide on the measures for the protection of the particularly sensitive area were held after the removal of the acacias.“As it transpired,” the audit service added, “there was no established procedure or work programme regarding the uprooting and burning of the acacias.”Further, the audit service said, there was no prior deliberation and understanding between the forestry department and other relevant departments, particularly the department of fisheries which is responsible for the protection of the endangered sea turtle species that spawn in the area.It added that “the period during which the acacia trees were uprooted and burnt was not the most appropriate, as it was done just one and half months prior to the spawning period which did not provide enough time for adequate restoration work in the area.“In light of the above, we have highlighted the need for action to be taken as soon as possible for the removal of mining residues [which are also in the area] which are potentially hazardous for public health.” The audit service stressed that this must be done in a way that does not endanger sea turtles.The service estimated that the placement of an adequate screen for the protection of sea turtles from human activity and lighting sources will cost €5,000.On Wednesday the forestry department repeated the defence it made in March that the acacia trees has been bulldozed and burned correctly.Forestry department chief Charalambos Alexandrou told the Cyprus Mail that the audit service’s report in fact justifies the actions of his department, as “it stressed that mining residues have to be removed in a way that won’t affect the sea turtles – well that’s what we were working towards when we removed the acacia trees and placed an opaque fence two days later.”Though acacia trees are considered a foreign invasive species, which was also pointed out by the forestry department, the specific strip of trees had served as a protective barrier for baby sea turtles, as the trees blocked light sources emanating from the adjacent road and nearby buildings.Lighting near the shore can cause hatchlings to become disoriented and wander inland rather than heading for the sea. If they go in the wrong direction, they risk dehydration and predation.“We all agree that the acacia trees had to go, but we all agree that it protected the turtles from light – so I removed the acacia trees and substituted their protective function with a fence, so why the cannibalism towards the forestry department by the public and parliamentary parties?” Alexandrou asked.“They say we acted hastily and without prior planning – we had ten meetings and a concrete action plan!” he said.The news in March caused outrage and concern over the effects on the turtle population. The Green Party said there was “reasonable suspicion that this brutal ‘cleansing’ of the vegetation on a beach with nesting turtles was designed is to meet the requirements of major interests relating to a tourism project”.Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis, who also stood behind the move, said that he would resign if any sort of development takes place on a turtle beach in Chrysochou Bay.You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityMake earthquake insurance a family priorityCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Three arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
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They also helped Congress leader Sunil Dutt when he fell on bad times. 38/40 Bethany Mota and Derek Hough: It was Lucy and Ricky in the kitchen with a salsa, my Dad did some things with my younger brother and me, the other from St Louis County—were seriously injured Lawrence Bryant—St Louis American/Reuters 1 of 23 Advertisement McCulloch has said that those decisions were made in an attempt to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into an unfolding case that became a flashpoint for a national debate over police behavior and race relations The lawsuit suggests that Grand Juror Doe disagreed with the manner in which evidence was presented to the panel and likely the decision not to charge Wilson with a crime It argues that because of the unique nature of the case as well as McCulloch’s pledge to provide the public with a full accounting of the court’s proceedings the standard of secrecy is outweighed by the plaintiff’s right to free speech "The rules of secrecy must yield because this is a highly unusual circumstance” said Tony Rothert the legal director of the ACLU of Missouri “The First Amendment prevents the state from imposing a lifetime gag order in cases where the prosecuting attorney has purported to be transparent" Impartial legal experts say that McCulloch’s choices in how to present the case were lawful But nobody including McCulloch disputes the process was unusual In normal cases a grand-jury hearing can be a formality that features few witnesses often none presented by the defense An old saw holds that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich In contrast the 12 members of the Ferguson panel (nine white three black) were asked to sift through mountains of evidence to determine whether the accused was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt In effect the prosecuting attorney treated the grand jury in many ways as if it were a trial jurybut without the same openness and with an indefinite ban on discussing the experience As a result the plaintiff alleges the members of the panel should be permitted to share their opinions about the case which might “contribute to the current public dialogue concerning race relations” The suit states: In Plaintiffs view the current information available about the grand jurors views is not entirely accurateespecially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges Moreover the public characterization of the grand jurors view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with Plaintiffs own Plaintiff also wishes to express opinions about: whether the release of records has truly provided transparency; Plaintiffs impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases with the insinuation that Brown not Wilson was the wrongdoer; and questions about whether the grand jury was clearly counseled on the law Edward Magee a spokesman for McCulloch said the prosecuting attorney had no comment because he had not yet been served with the lawsuit Read the entire lawsuit here Write to Alex Altman at alex_altman@timemagazinecomCorrection appended May 27 Rick Santorum was closing out his speech to the GOPs governing class at a posh desert resort near Phoenix His time to address the Republican National Committee coming to a close he took a moment to remind the partys elders of their history "We stick with tradition" the former Senator from Pennsylvania said in early May With restless party chairmen and activists shifting in their seats the failed 2012 candidate made a not-so-subtle pitch for the Santorum for President 2016 Edition which started on Wednesday with a rally in Cabot Pa "Since primaries and caucuses went into effect every Republican nominee has met one of three tests" Santorum said in Arizona "One they were Vice President Two they were the son of a former President And three they came in second place the last time and ran again and won" If history were predictive of how Republicans pick their nominee then 2016s nomination should be Santorums for the taking He came in second to Romney in 2012 and in his telling won as many nominating contests as Reagan did during his 1976 bid (In truth Reagan won 11 primaries in 23 states whereas Santorum won a combined 11 contests in states that held primaries and caucuses) Politics Newsletter Sign up to receive the day’s top political stories View Sample Sign Up Now But history alone is not going to overcome Santorums significant obstacles as he seeks the White House for a second time With a penchant for incendiary language a stronger crop of likely competitors an expected nine-figure deficit against his rivals for the nod few of his competitors now count him in the top tier of candidates and there are serious questions about him even making the cut for the first debate on Aug 6 “I know what its like to be an underdog" Santorum said in Pennsylvanias Butler County on Wednesday beginning an uphill climb for the nomination "Four years ago well no one gave us much of a chance But we won 11 states We got 4 million votes And its not just because I stood for something Its because I stood for someone: the American worker" But this time Santorum faces a tougher field of competitors Fresh-faced newcomers such as Sen Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky have the GOP optimistic it can appeal beyond its shrinking footprint Conservative rock stars such as Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker and Sen Ted Cruz of Texas can electrify crowds Former Arkansas Gov Mike Huckabee can tap into his past as a Baptist pastor and whip the Christian conservative base of the party into a frenzy And former Florida Gov Jeb Bush has the pedigree and roster of campaign donors that might overshadow missing other traits voters say they are seeking Santorum out of office since early 2007 after losing reelection by 18 percentage points can do none of those He is 57a decade older than some of his rivals and roughly in the middle of the pack when it comes to birthdays He fails to energize conservative audiences with speeches that are closer to college lectures than political rallying cries He speaks about his faith in deeply personal ways but cannot match Huckabee in the pulpit And Santorum is an admittedly terrible fundraiser often turning off would-be donors with his contrarian style “The last race we changed the debate” Santorum told his kick-off rally “This race with your help and Gods grace we can change this nation Join us" His crowds so far this year have been thin But Santorum is used to that He toiled in relative obscurity in 2011 visiting all 99 Iowa counties in the passenger seat of an activists pickup He staged a surprise win in the leadoff caucuses but had insufficient infrastructure to capitalize on Iowa’s enthusiasm Instead he turned to often divisive and cantankerous rhetoric For instance Santorum could seldom open his mouth with unleashing an invective about others and cast himself as a victim He called Romney "the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama" He said John F Kennedys 1960 speech in which the future president said "the separation of church and state is absolute" made the Pennsylvania Senator "want to throw up" Santorum promised that as President he would talk about "the dangers of contraception in this country the whole sexual libertine idea" Earlier this year Santorum told NBC News that his 2012 campaign was defined by "dumb things" he said and "crazy stuff that doesnt have anything to do with anything" He acknowledges things went off the rails the further into the nominating process he hobbled even as his campaign was running out of cash and the White House nod grew increasingly impossible to snag Even so Santorum crowed to a tea party crowd in South Carolina earlier this year: "I was the last person standing" He earned 234 pledged delegates to the partys nominating convention in Tampa Romney had amassed more than 1400 Even so Santorum tells voters and reporters his political endurance qualifies him to become the nominee this time He insists he is battle-tested under pressure unlike his rivals “As youve seen Commander in Chief is not an entry-level position and the White House is the last place for on-the-job training” Santorum said Wednesday Santorum has his history right Mitt Romney was rewarded the nomination in 2012 after failing to win it in 2008 John McCains 2000 failed run was rewarded with the nomination in 2008 Bob Dole won the nomination in 1992 after an unsuccessful turn as the GOPs 1976 Vice Presidential nominee George HW Bush was the nominee in 1988 after losing to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 primaries and then serving eight years as his Vice President Reagan himself won the 1980 nomination after failing to win the nod in 1976 Richard Nixon won the White House in 1968; he served eight years as Dwight D Eisenhowers Vice President before losing the Presidency as the GOP nominee in 1960 Only four times in the last 60 years has the Republican electorate nominated a Presidential neophyteand the most recent examples are suspect at best George W Bush the son of a President won the White House in 2000 as a first-time national candidate Gerald Ford rose to the Presidency after Nixons resignation and lost the White House in 1976 to Democrat Jimmy Carter as a first-time coast-to-coast candidate Barry Goldwater came up short as the GOP nominee in 1964 and Eisenhower won the 1952 nomination and Presidency as a first-time political candidate But those figuresnew and veteranran sophisticated campaigns and had not alienated great swaths of the GOP Santorum’s situation looks different with several of his former top advisers having defected for other campaigns: 2012 campaign manager Mike Biundo is a Paul senior adviser Spokespeople Hogan Gidley and Alice Stewart have signed with Huckabee Even Santorums erstwhile driver from 2012 Chuck Laudner has abandoned himfor Donald Trump Correction: The original version of this story misstated the date of the first Republican presidential debate It is Aug 6 See the 2016 Candidates’ Campaign Launches Sen Ted Cruz kicked off his campaign for 2016 Republican presidential nomination at Liberty University in Lynchburg Va on March 23 Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images Kentucky Sen Rand Paul launched his bid for the Republican nomination at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville on April 7 Supporters held signs with the slogan "Defeat the Washington Machine / Unleash the American Dream" Amy Harris—Corbis Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced her campaign in a YouTube video posted April 12 that has been seen nearly 45 million times One boy featured in the video boasted about playing a fish in a school play Hillary For America Florida Sen Marco Rubio announced his campaign for the Republican nomination during a rally at the Freedom Tower in Miami on April 13 He took a drink of water during the speech a callback to his State of the Union response in 2013 Wilfredo Lee—AP Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders announced his bid for the Democratic nomination across the street from the US Capitol on April 30 2015 The backdrop was unusual since most candidates rail against Washington Jonathan Ernst—Reuters Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced his bid for the Republican nomination at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts May 4 2015 in Detroit Michigan The launch featured a gospel choir covering Eminem’s "Lose Yourself" Bill Pugliano—Getty Images Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina announced her campaign for the Republican nomination in a conference call on May 4 then went on "Good Morning America" to talk to George Stephanopoulos Lou Rocco—Getty Images Former Arkansas Gov Mike Huckabee announced his campaign at a community college in his hometown of Hope Ark, ” he said.6bn debt.
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N.meixler@time. which is meant to serve as a love letter to her legions of devoted followers. The new researched shows that between 2004 and 2016, but he has said he did not remember any encounters.More from weekliesMUNICH, “What I did was to call all my colleagues who we discovered had indigenes there and alerted them that I am sending you your own people who have ran away from you, "Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is responsible for us living in a united India today.