Four policemen were killed and four service rifles were snatched on Tuesday when a group of militants attacked a security picket in south Kashmir’s Shopian.“Militants in the afternoon fired upon the guard post deployed at Shopian’s Zainapora,” said a Srinagar-based police spokesman. “The militants fired indiscriminately as they approached the post. Three policemen manning the picket died on the spot and the fourth injured policeman died later in a hospital.”The Zainapora area houses a ‘minority’ colony and is guarded round the clock.Breaks lullThe shooting at the picket is the first major attack in the past more than one month and breaks a lull that had been created by the security forces’ ongoing offensive against militant outfits in south Kashmir. The stepped up operations in November, which left 37 militants dead, had deterred attacks on the security forces.Authorities identified the deceased policemen as Abdul Majeed Ganaie, Mehraj-ud-din Dar, Anees Ahmad Mir and Hameed-ul-lah Ganaie, all locals.In a statement issued in Srinagar to local news agencies, the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.“I strongly condemn the attack on the police post in Shopian and condole the deaths of police personnel in the line of duty,” said National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah. “I pray for their souls.”Condemning the attack, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said, “It bears repetition, violence achieves nothing but destruction. I express my solidarity with the families of jawans. I am relieved that no harm was caused to any civilians in the minority pocket they guarded.”
The spectacular performance of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar was a result of not just the “Modi wave” but also of a new post-Mandal era of politics in the State, Janata Dal(U) State president Bashistha Narayan Singh says. Mr. Singh, who has participated in electoral politics in the State since the anti-Emergency movement, had been a Minister in the Lalu Prasad Cabinet between 1990 and 1994 before he resigned and joined the Samata Party. RJD’s downfall“These polls have heralded the end of the Mandal era in the State’s politics, with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) drawing a blank and the NDA doing so well,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu. “Social phenomenon and events change with time and people’s demands also change, and people look ahead to what is better for them. Before 2005, Lalu Yadav [RJD chief Lalu Prasad] had made a strong coalition of intermediate castes, consolidated them and created an aspiration for power among these communities. Then after around 2005, they tried to accommodate Mahadalits and communities such as the Pasi community. The surprising thing is that from 2005 to 2019, they still believed that they could get to power just on the basis of caste arithmetic. They took Upendra Kushwaha (Rashtriya Lok Samata Party), Mukesh Sahani, aka “Son of Mallah”, and Jitan Ram Manjhi [Hindustani Awam Morcha] for this reason,” he added. He said that despite the fact that caste was still a “hard reality” of electoral politics in the State, governance and factors that transcended caste, such as the support of women the NDA got in these polls, were important factors. “The first variable was the reservation in government jobs and panchayats for women. Women started to feel they had a stake in public life, and the system that has delivered to them should be continued. Bihar, through seven phases, saw high polling among women — Purnea, Katihar, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Banka, Madhepura and Supaul, in fact, saw women having an upper hand in voting. The support base of women helped us transcend caste arithmetic,” Mr. Singh said.Prohibition impact“Prohibition, despite people’s reservation about it, helped women greatly. Bihar has seen a 50% drop in cases of domestic violence, according to reporting at police stations. The third factor was the 360-degree improvement in roads and electricity supply. In 2015 itself, [Bihar Chief Minister] Nitish Kumar had said if we don’t improve electricity supply, we won’t get voted back,” he said. RJD’s ‘miscalculation’The symptoms of this break in OBC consolidation came up in 2010, according to him, when Mr. Kumar won his second term. “And in 2015, when our vote joined an organised vote of Laluji, the RJD got 80 seats and that party tried to project that those 80 seats were all due to its own support base consolidating and that it could defeat anybody. They undermined our contribution to winning those 80 seats, and it boomeranged on them.” The 2019 Lok Sabha election , therefore, had definitely rung the curtain down on the Mandal era of a consolidated OBC vote bank, he added.
Terming the axing of trees in Aarey Colony as “shameful and disgusting”, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday tweeted that the Mumbai Metro 3 officials should be posted in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to destroy terror camps rather than trees. In a series of tweets, he also said that several environmentalists and even local Shiv Sena members tried to stop the tree felling. The Yuva Sena chief went on to say that with the increased police presence and deforestation, Mumbai Metro 3 is destroying everything that India had said at the United Nations (UN). He said Shiv Sena leaders Sheetal Mhatre, Shubha Raul and MLA Sunil Prabhu have been standing up in support of the citizens. “Wonder why Mumbai Metro is treating Mumbaikars like criminals and not listening to their sensible demand of sustainable development,” Mr. Thackeray said. The Central government ministry of climate change doesn’t need to exist or speak about plastic pollution, when Mumbai Metro 3 is senselessly destroying Aarey, Mumbai’s green lung, he added. “This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it,” the 29-year-old leader, who is contesting the Assembly election from Worli constituency in Mumbai, said. “The vigour with which the Mumbai Metro 3 is slyly and swiftly cutting down an ecosystem in Aarey is shameful and disgusting. How about posting these officials in POK giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees,” Mr. Thackeray tweeted. “A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, Mumbai Metro 3 had to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air, is hacking a forest with a leopard, rusty spotted cat and more,” he said in another tweet. The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) started cutting trees from Friday evening to make way for its car shed, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and activists challenging the decision to allow felling of trees in the prime green lung of the city.
Rain has kept Iowa and Nebraska farmers out of corn and soybean fields in the past few weeks significantly delaying the harvest.The U.S. Department of Agriculture says just 32 percent of the Iowa soybean crop has been harvested, the lowest percentage harvested by this date since 1985 and only 13 percent of the corn crop for grain is finished, the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009.In Nebraska corn is 17 percent finished behind 32 percent last year and the 39 percent average.Just a third of the Nebraska soybean crop has been harvested, well behind 59 percent last year at this time and the five-year average of 67 percent.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Blind: Painful watching Chelsea eclipsing Man Utdby Freddie Taylor3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAjax veteran Daley Blind admits it’s been painful to see Chelsea doing better than Manchester United.United sit 14th in the English top flight – just two points above the relegation zone – following Sunday’s draw with arch-rivals Liverpool.And Blind says it has been difficult to watch the plight of his former side this season.”Of course I’m not happy to see Man Utd and how they’re performing at the moment,” the 29-year-old told a press conference on Tuesday. “I’m still a fan of United and it’s not nice to see.”Regarding Chelsea, they are doing well, they have a good philosophy under a manager who wants to play out from the back. They play different attacking football with a lot of youngsters and that’s nice to see. “From that perspective, it’s good. But if you’re talking about United then I’m not happy about that, of course.”
Wazzu HuskiesWashington State capped off a bounce-back season with a 20-14 win over Miami in the Sun Bowl on Saturday. Apparently, however, the win wasn’t enough to earn respect from the local media. This morning’s El Paso Times headline about the game featured a colossal error: it referred to Wazzu as the “Huskies” instead of the Cougars.Take a step forward if you can report the correct team names in your local bowl. Not so fast @elpasotimes #gocougs pic.twitter.com/YLZ6LalYZM— Jeff (@saomonella) December 27, 2015Of course, the Huskies are Washington, Wazzu’s top rival. So not only did Washington win the Apple Cup over the Cougars by 35 points, they stole a newspaper headline from them.Ouch.[ CougCenter.com ]
INNISFAIL, Alta. – A central Alberta zoo is facing two charges under the province’s Wildlife Act after a bear was taken through a drive-thru for ice cream.A video, posted on social media in January by Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, showed a one-year-old captive Kodiak bear named Berkley leaning out a truck’s window and being hand-fed ice cream by the owner of the local Dairy Queen.Officials with the province investigated the video and the terms of the zoo’s permit.“Under the terms and conditions of the zoo’s permit, the charges are directly related to the alleged failure of the park to notify the provincial government prior to the bear leaving the zoo,” said a statement from Fish and Wildlife.One count is related to the bear being taken through the drive-thru for ice cream, while the other stems from the bear leaving the facility on other occasions in 2017.The charges were laid against Discovery Wildlife Park and its owners, Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland, under Section 12(3) of the Wildlife Act, which states a person must not contravene the terms or conditions of a licence or permit.Bos said they made a mistake.“What we got charged for under the act was that we failed to notify them that we were going to do those things,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “We were busy, we made a mistake and we didn’t email them and tell them.“I’m glad that they followed through with it because it shows how strictly regulated the zoo industry is in the province.”Bos said they plan to plead guilty on May 28 when they are to appear in provincial court in Red Deer, Alta.The zoo’s permit, which is regulated by Alberta Environment and Parks, has been revised to impose new conditions.They include requiring the zoo to provide more details when asking to transport a controlled animal or wildlife and to keep those animals in a cage, crate or kennel when in a vehicle.It also says the zoo cannot put any animals on display outside the facility without prior permission from the province nor can it allow any member of the public to have physical contact with animals such as monkeys, cougars, wolves or bears.— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton. Follow @cderworiz on Twitter
PARIS — France is deploying thousands of police to try to contain nationwide protests and road blockades by drivers angry over rising fuel taxes and Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.Tensions have been mounting around the grassroots movement that drew more than a quarter million people a week ago to protests across France, from Provence to Normandy and in between.A new wave of protests is planned Saturday, including beneath the Eiffel Tower. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called for calm and promised tough police measures against unruly crowds.Paris alone is deploying some 3,000 security forces, notably around tourist-frequented areas like the Champs-Elysees, after an unauthorized attempt last week to march on the presidential palace.Two people have been killed and hundreds injured in the week of protests, which are posing a big challenge to Macron.Authorities are struggling because the movement has no clear leader and has attracted a motley group of people with broadly varying demands. The protesters call themselves the “yellow jackets” for the neon security vests that drivers are required to keep in their vehicles.A man caused a dramatic standoff with police Friday when he donned a neon vest and brandished an apparent grenade at a supermarket in the western city of Angers. He was later arrested.Most of the protesters’ anger is focused at Macron, a pro-business centrist accused of indifference to the struggles of ordinary people.Macron has defended the fuel taxes as necessary to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels, but promised to lay out new plans Tuesday to make the “energy transition” easier.The Associated Press
OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) rushes into the endzone for a touchdown during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Rutgers on Oct. 1. The Buckeyes won 58-0. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorIf there’s one word to define an Urban Meyer offense, it’s speed. Since being hired at Ohio State in 2012, the Buckeye offense under Meyer has finished the season twice ranked in the top 10. However, through many different players, Meyer has been attempting to reincarnate one of his greatest weapons from his time at the University of Florida.Former Florida Gator and NFL wide receiver Percy Harvin won two national championships for Meyer, alongside Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, and was the No. 1 playmaker for Meyer for the better part of two seasons.From Dontre Wilson in 2013, Jalin Marshall in 2014 and Braxton Miller in 2015, Meyer might have finally found his next Percy Harvin in junior H-back Curtis Samuel.And frankly, Samuel might be better. Meyer said on Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference that he believes Samuel should be in the Heisman Trophy discussion with his performance through the first four games.“I think it’s a little harder for those positions to get it, in H-back,” Meyer said. “But he’s certainly having that kind of year that he should be in the conversation.”The last time Meyer had two players in the Heisman race was with Tebow and Harvin in 2008. In Harvin’s 2007 sophomore campaign, he exploded for 764 yards and six touchdowns rushing, and 858 yards and four touchdowns receiving. The next season, before he declared early for the NFL, Harvin finished with 1,304 total yards and 17 touchdowns.While Samuel has eight games left in the regular season to rack up those numbers, he’s already on pace to surpass Harvin’s junior-year stats.Samuel has 673 total yards and five touchdowns through four games this season, compared to Harvin’s 461 total yards and five touchdowns through his first four games in 2008. To be fair, Samuel has had 18 more touches than Harvin did at this point, but the two are nearly identical in average yards per touch.Harvin was all over the field for Meyer back at Florida, much like Samuel. But unlike Harvin, and Buckeyes in the past Meyer tried to put into the role, Samuel has shown the ability to run between the tackles. Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett is fairly similar to Tebow in his ability to takeover a game almost at will. Albeit in different styles, Tebow went to Harvin often, just like Barrett’s trust in Samuel.Meyer has always put trust into his quarterbacks and his playmakers, but what makes Samuel even more impressive when comparing him to Harvin is that OSU has a legitimate 1,000-yard running back in redshirt freshman Mike Weber.After the first game against Bowling Green, Weber and Samuel combined for 220 yards rushing, prompting Weber to equate the backfield duo to Lendale White and Reggie Bush, who accounted for an asstounding 3,042 rushing in 2005.At the time, it sounded ridiculous, but could it really happen? Could Weber and Samuel somehow be this good, and could Samuel be in the Heisman Trophy race?Statistically speaking, yes, both of those could happen. However, Harvin, Bush and White all performed at high levels for more than one season. For now, Samuel still has to live up to the expectations of following Braxton Miller and every other player to be named Meyer’s No. 1 playmaker.“I feel like both at receiver and at running back (I’m best utilized),” Samuel said. “I can be at running back and go against a linebacker, which is a mismatch, or I can go to receiver and be against a corner or safety, which I feel is still a mismatch.”
Former Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Cambiasso reckons that Sergio Ramos and Antonio Conte will get on along with each other well due to their winning personalitiesCurrent Real manager Julen Lopetegui’s future is now in serious doubt after a humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico.Speculation has only grown over the past 24 hours that Conte is set to replace Lopetegui in the dugout this week.But Ramos refused to even consider Conte after Real’s latest defeat.“You have to gain respect, not impose it”, said the Spaniard.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…But Cambiasso, who made 65 appearances for Real across a two-year spell, doubts there will be any problems between Ramos and Conte at the Santiago Bernabeu.“I think the best players want to have the best managers,” Cambiasso told Sky Italia.“Ramos will have fun with Conte because the only thing that you want after taking five goals from Barcelona is a winner on the bench and both Conte and Ramos are winners.”Real confirmed today that Lopetegui remained in charge for the first-team training session this morning.Cambiasso also played for Inter Milan over the course of his playing career, where he won the Serie A five times and a Champions League crown across a decade-long spell.