Japan, India Plan Free Trade Agreement

first_imgJapan and India plan to sign a free trade pact that will scrap tariffs on 94 percent of traded goods over the next decade.The agreement will be signed in October during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan.Japan’s exports to India — principally vehicles and electronics — totaled $7.8 billion in 2009. Its imports from India totaled $4.7 billion.  Related Itemslast_img

Normal life along NH 37 linking Imphal hit after lockdown

first_imgNormal life along the 222 km-long NH 37 linking Imphal to the rest of the country and the Jiribam district bordering Assam was severely affected on Saturday as a result of a 24-hour lockdown called by the women vendors of the Jiri market from Friday midnight. Jamini Leima, a leader of the Jiri Market Chaokhat Lup, said that it was in protest against extortion of illegal tax by tribal militants at Nungba in the Tamenglong district.On September 26, the women vendors who sell vegetables and other consumer items at the Jiri market staged a sit-in. The activists regretted that the government had turned a blind eye and the militants continued the extortion.An activist said, “Some women bring vegetables from Imphal for sale at the Jiri market. However, under the nose of the authority, some tribals who identify themselves as cadre of an outfit demand illegal taxes ranging from ₹300 to ₹1000, depending on the quantum of the items. Jamini said, “A woman bringing vegetables worth ₹300 has to pay illegal tax of ₹500. If the vendors refuse to pay or delay handing over the money, the baskets are disgorged from the buses. The militants, however, do not demand any tax from the tribal women vendors travelling in the same bus bound for the Jiribam market”.Since the state government and Tamenglong district administration have failed to take any action against the extortionists, the women vendors had called the lockdown. The angry vendors threatened to carry on various forms of agitations if the government still refuses to check this blatant extortion.A woman vendor said, “In sharp contrast, people in and around Imphal are extending all sorts of assistance to the tribal women vendors of Senapati district to sell vegetables and other edible items at various places in Imphal from this year. They were not allowed to enter Nagaland to sell their vegetables from 2015 as they had objected to the Nagaland government plan to construct a road encroaching Manipur’s land”.Policed said that security measures during the 24-hour lockdown were tightened to maintain law and order.last_img read more

Ayodhya verdict | L.K. Advani gave meaning to the Ayodhya issue, says Uddhav Thackeray

first_imgKeeping the door open for talks with the BJP, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said he would soon meet BJP veteran L.K. Advani to congratulate him on the Ayodhya verdict. Mr. Thackeray said, “Advani saheb, who gave meaning to this subject after he took out his Rath Yatra, would be happy about today’s verdict. I would be meeting him in a couple of days.” He also revealed his plan to visit Ayodhya later this month after going to the Shivneri fort. “On November 24 last year, I had gone to Ayodhya with Shiv Sainiks. I had taken mud from Shivneri, and within 12 months, we have had this verdict. Within two to three days, I will return to Shivneri to pay my respects, and it is my wish that on November 24, I would return to Ayodhya,” he said.Mr. Thackeray said the Shiv Sena had demanded a special Act to build a Ram temple because there seemed no end to the dispute; but there was no need for it with Saturday’s verdict. The Shiv Sena chief has been raking up the issue of the Ram temple at rallies for the Assembly election, even attracting the criticism of Mr. Modi, who called him a “loud mouth” in a veiled attack at a meeting in Nashik. Political analysts have said that by referring to his relationship with Mr. Advani and disclosing his plan to visit Ayodhya, Mr. Thackeray is leaving the door open for talks with the BJP in Maharashtra.last_img read more

Suns use big 3rd quarter to beat Knicks for 3rd in a row

first_imgIs Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mudiay came in averaging 18.5 points in his last eight games and was just about there by halftime, with 18 points. Knox had 13 and the Knicks were ahead 66-59.Things changed quickly in the third quarter, when the Suns went 16 of 22 from the field — with one of the misses being a halfcourt heave as the buzzer sounded.The game was tied at 79 after Mudiay’s layup but Warren nailed a long 3-pointer to ignite a 21-4 finish to the period. Warren had another 3 later in the run, and Crawford hit a couple of jumpers and had four assists, including an alley-oop pass to Richaun Holmes.“The water was coming through the dam through so many holes,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “We didn’t show a lot of toughness during that run.”With their 100-83 lead, the Suns kept up the pressure early in the fourth and quickly put the game out of reach.TIP-INSSuns: Josh Jackson scored 14 points and Holmes had 13. … Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers were not with the team after their acquisition from Washington became official earlier Monday. The Wizards agreed to send them to Phoenix on Saturday for Trevor Ariza.Knicks: Veteran guard Courtney Lee started for Hardaway in just his seventh game of the season. Lee was out when the season began because of a neck injury. … The Knicks played without rookies Allonzo Trier (strained left hamstring) and Mitchell Robinson (sprained left ankle). Trier’s absence prevented him from facing Ayton, his former Arizona teammate.JAMAL’S BALLAyton said the Suns gave the game ball to the 38-year-old Crawford, whose previous best was 12 assists. Crawford is far better known as a scorer and volume shooter. But he noted he was a point guard in high school, college and the early part of his NBA career before he became a three-time winner of the Sixth Man Award. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker (1) drives past New York Knicks’ Noah Vonleh during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK — A 4-24 record didn’t discourage the Phoenix Suns, so a seven-point halftime deficit certainly wouldn’t.The young Suns wiped away the second one, and insist they’ll keep chipping away at the first.ADVERTISEMENT Paul George, Russell Westbrook lead Thunder past Bulls “Whatever it was, it was a completely different team in the second half,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said. “We saw two different teams, understanding that if we rebound the ball we’re going to win the game.”Booker just returned Saturday from a six-game absence with a left hamstring strain and scored 28 points against Minnesota. He was even better with a game under his belt, hurting the Knicks not only with his perimeter shooting but also by going 14 of 15 at the free throw line and grabbing seven rebounds.Emmanuel Mudiay had 32 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who lost for the seventh time in eight games. Rookie forward Kevin Knox scored 17.“We were up in the first half and at halftime I think we got a little relaxed and thought the game was over and they were going to roll over for us,” said Knox, who had just four points in the second half. “But, that’s not what happened.”New York played without leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. because of a sore right heel.ADVERTISEMENT “We’re building,” guard Devin Booker said. “We’re getting better every game.”Booker tied his season high with 38 points, T.J. Warren scored 17 of his 26 during Phoenix’s 41-point third quarter and the Suns beat the New York Knicks 128-110 on Monday night for their third straight victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefPhoenix outscored New York 41-17 in the third and went on to win three consecutive games for the first time since March 2-5, 2017. The Suns won only four times in their first 28 games, but are 3 for 3 since.Deandre Ayton finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns in an impressive start to a five-game road trip, their longest of the season. Jamal Crawford had a career-high 14 assists as last-place Phoenix improved to 2-13 away from home, toughening up in the second half after giving up 12 offensive rebounds in the first. Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ “I think especially for me, I’m known as such a scorer, and I can score — like, I really can score — but sometimes the defense thinks that, too, and they fall asleep and I see guys,” Crawford said.UP NEXTSuns: Visit Boston on Wednesday.Knicks: Visit Philadelphia on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

NBTC: NU Bullpups destroy another foe, this time by 64 points

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Bullpups have been the most dominant team by far in the tournament after winning their first two games with an average margin of 77 points.They opened their NBTC title defense with a 90-point thrashing of Isabela Colleges-Cauayan on Tuesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsREAD: NU kicks off NBTC title defense with 90-point rout“We took a break for a while right after the UAAP but we’re just playing really well for the pas two games,” said NU coach Goldwin Monteverde, who steered NU to the UAAP juniors just last month, in Filipino. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Allianz-OCR stakes SEA Games pool berths Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Top Flight Hoops-Vancouver also booked a spot in the last 8 after it knocked off NBTC Cebu champion Southwestern University, 83-81.Jerric Palma came off the bench and led all scorers with 22 points while Kit Miramor scored 19 points for Vancouver.center_img Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other LATEST STORIES Nazareth School of National University rolled to another romp this time, ripping Calayan Educational Foundation-Lucena to shreds, 120-56, in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Google Philippines names new country director Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Terrence Fortea continued to have the hot hand as he finished with 28 points on seven 3-pointers to lead NU’s torrid shooting.The Bullpups, who shot 58 percent from the field and scored 28 transition points, advanced to the Fantastic 8 against Letran.Fortea also had three rebounds and four assists while Gerry Abadiano added 15 points and four assists for NU.Meanwhile, La Salle Green Hills-Mandaluyong handily beat Camp David-New Zealand, 102-80.RC Calimag shone with 21 points while Inand Fornilos posted a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Greenies, who return to the Round of 8 for the third year in a row.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

BCCI will meet to decide interim chief: IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla

first_imgWith Jagmohan Dalmiya’s death leaving a vacuum at the top in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said on Monday that the board will appoint an interim president if its constitution permits.”Nobody can match Jagmohan Dalmiya’s talent as well as stature. The void will be tough to fill. The BCCI will hold a meeting to see what can be done. We will have to see if somebody can be elected as the new interim president,” Shukla said in a statement on Monday.In photos: Jagmohan Dalmiya – Astute, combative cricket administrator “If the BCCI constitution permits, then there is scope for having an interim president,” he added.Shukla also credited Dalmiya with improving the BCCI’s financial stature, adding that the country’s cricket fraternity will find it difficult to recover from the loss.Also read: Condolences pour in for Jagmohan Dalmiya on Twitter “I know him for the last 25 years. He has helped everytime right from 1984 when the board had very little money. His vision, the way he worked helped Indian cricket scale new heights,” Shukla said.The BCCI also announced that Dalmiya’s eyes will be donated as per the the 75-year-old’s wishes.”As per the wishes of Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, who left for heavenly abode on 20th of September 2015, his eyes have been donated to Vanmukta Eye Bank, a part of Susrut Eye Foundation and Research Centre, Kolkata,” the board said in a statement.last_img read more

FIFA Corruption Bribe Scandal Grows

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares ZURICH  — Amid a deepening corruption crisis within soccer’s governing body, FIFA defended its second-in-command on June 2 by distancing him from claims he helped authorize $10 million in bribes for World Cup bidding votes.FIFA said the three payments totaling $10 million mentioned in a U.S. Federal indictment, which are at the heart of a Department of Justice probe, were approved in 2007 by Julio Grondona, the former Chairman of the finance committee who died last year.The FIFA statement follows a New York Times report that American law enforcement officials believe Secretary General Jerome Valcke transferred the money in 2008 to accounts controlled by Jack Warner, the former CONCACAF president and FIFA Vice President who faces corruption charges in the U.S. The report cited unidentified law enforcement officials.American investigators say Warner’s long-time FIFA colleague, Chuck Blazer, believed the money was paid as bribes in exchange for their votes to give the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.The World Cup bidding angle is a direct route into FIFA for the Department of Justice, which laid out a racketeering case mostly involving marketing rights for tournaments in North and South America over two decades.That led to seven officials being arrested last week — including two FIFA vice presidents, one newly elected FIFA executive committee member and a FIFA staffer.They were among 14 people named in a racketeering indictment accusing soccer officials of accepting more than $150 million in bribes. Four more people, including Blazer and two of Warner’s sons, had their guilty pleas unsealed.The South African allegation threatens to tarnish a 2010 World Cup which FIFA President Sepp Blatter has claimed as a defining achievement of his 17-year reign.FIFA described the payment on June 2 as part of the South African government’s “project to support the African diaspora in Caribbean countries as part of the World Cup legacy.”FIFA said neither Valcke “nor any other member of FIFA’s senior management were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation” of the project.It said the payments were authorized by Grondona “in accordance with the organization regulations of FIFA.”Grondona served as a member of FIFA’s executive committee for 26 years. The Argentine was the senior FIFA Vice President — No. 2 to Blatter at the boardroom table — when he died last year at the age of 82.The 79-year-old Blatter, who won re-election May 29 for a fifth term despite the scandal, denied being the unidentified high-ranking official named in the indictment as having “caused” the payment.“Definitely that is not me,” Blatter said May 30 at a news conference.Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has denied his government paid bribes to secure the World Cup. Danny Jordaan, the bid chief for the 2010 tournament, told a South African newspaper that the money was sent to Warner’s regional confederation to help with soccer development in the Caribbean.FIFA announced that Valcke had canceled his planned trip to attend the opening of the Women’s World Cup in Canada on June 7 “due to the current situation.”The fallout continued this week for the South American regional body, known as CONMEBOL, and the North American region, known as CONCACAF.The scandal threatens the marquee Centennial Copa America tournament, due to be played in the United States next June. The indictment detailed a $110 million bribe scheme for the event and named officials from three marketing firms which own the broadcasting rights.Nicolas Leoz, an 86-year-old former CONMEBOL President and long-time FIFA executive committee member, was ordered under house arrest in Paraguay. The Foreign Ministry confirmed a request from the United States Embassy for Leoz’s arrest and to seek his extradition.The seven men detained in Zurich are fighting extradition.last_img read more

Mets Beat Phillies Bad, 11-1

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — The New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-1 April 19 as Neil Walker hit two of the Mets‘ six home runs, Logan Verrett tossed six scoreless innings in the victory.Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson also went deep to lead the Mets to their third straight win.Verrett (1-0) allowed six hits, striking out four in his second start in place of Jacob deGrom.Coming off a dazzling, three-hitter in which he struck out 16 Padres, Vince Velasquez (2-1) got roughed up by the Mets. He allowed five runs — two earned — and five hits in 4 1-3 innings.Velasquez quickly ran into trouble as his scoreless innings streak was snapped at 15. David Wright lined a double with one out in the first and Conforto followed with a drive into the seats in right field on an 0-2 pitch.A fielding error by first baseman Ryan Howard on Verrett’s grounder to shortstop to start the third proved costly for Velasquez. Two outs later, Conforto singled and Cespedes hit an 0-2 pitch out to left-center field for his fourth homer and a 5-0 lead.Walker had a solo shot off Brett Oberholtzer in the sixth. Duda and Walker hit consecutive homers off the lefty in the seventh. Walker already has tied a career high with three homers off left-handers.Granderson homered off James Russell in the eighth, driving a ball off the new scoreboard in right field just a few feet away from bouncing off his picture.The Mets have 17 homers in their last five games, all on the road.(ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Ferrari’s Leclerc and Vettel 1-2 in 1st Bahrain GP Practice

first_imgSAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel posted the best times in the first practice at Formula One’s Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday.Leclerc finished the stint about 0.3 seconds clear of four-time F1 champion Vettel on the desert circuit.Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco waits in the pit during the first free practice at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, March 29, 2019. The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)Leclerc, who is in his first season with Ferrari, placed nearly one second ahead of Valtteri Bottas. The Mercedes driver was third, followed by teammate Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was fifth, followed by teammate Pierre Gasly.Bottas won the season-opening Australian GP ahead of Hamilton two weeks ago.Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany smiles in the pit during the first free practice at the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, March 29, 2019. The Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)Afternoon track temperatures were well over 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) and not reflective of Sunday’s race, which starts at 6 p.m. local time in cooler conditions. Therefore, drivers did not push their cars to avoid damage from overheating.Friday’s second practice starts at 6 p.m. and mirrors race conditions.By: Jerome Pugmire, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro launch in Feb: Sony 48MP camera, possible price, everything else we know about it

first_imgXiaomi India will launch the Redmi Note 7 in India soon, possibly in a few weeks from now. The company launched the Note 7 in China in January for starting price of 999 Yuan (Rs 10,500 approx). In India too the Redmi Note 7 price is expected to be priced around Rs 10,000 or Rs 2,000 higher than that. But there is another phone that is coming soon from Xiaomi and the phone is called the Redmi Note 7 Pro. This was announced by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun at the launch of the Redmi Note 7. He had said in January that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be coming in February.Xiaomi is yet to reveal the launch date of the Redmi Note 7 Pro, but considering the rumours flooding the internet it won’t be wrong to say that the Redmi phone is coming soon, possibly this February. As far as the design is concerned the Pro version is said to be similar to the Redmi Note 7. This means that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will come with gradient finish on the back panel. The Note 7 Pro is also expected to be available in funky colours like — red, blue, black, pink and others — and there will be a waterdrop notch on the screen. The rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be an enhanced version of the Redmi Note 7 in almost all aspects.Let’s take a quick look at everything we know about the Redmi Note 7 Pro so far.– As for the looks and display the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be similar to the Redmi Note 7. The Pro version is said to come with gradient finish and glass back like the Note 7. The smartphone is also rumoured to come with waterdrop notch which means the phone will have a bigger screen-to-body ratio and offer better viewing experience. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is rumoured to sport the same display as the Redmi Note 7. This means that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will come with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ LTPS display with screen resolution of 1080×2340 pixels and aspect ratio of 19.5:9.advertisement– The major upgrade will be the hardware. The Redmi Note 7 is powered by Snapdragon 660 AIE chipset. Notably, Snapdragon 660 itself is a great chipset but Xiaomi has better plans for the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be powered by Snapdragon Snapdragon 675 and not Snapdragon 710 as some other rumours suggest.– The Redmi Note 7 comes in three variants. The base model of the Note 7 comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage, the second variant packs 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage and lastly, the top-end model comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. For the Redmi Note 7 Pro camera Xiaomi is taking a step ahead. Rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will come packed with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. We believe this could one model, there could be other variants too.–The Redmi Note 7 Pro will also come with upgraded cameras when compared to the Redmi Note 7. The Note 7 comes with dual camera system on the back and single camera on the front which sits on the tiny waterdrop notch. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is also said to come with 48MP camera but that is said to use Sony IMX 586 sensor. This suggests that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be able to capture better pictures with good details and great colours. The Redmi Note 7 will also be capable of capturing good quality pictures but the Sony sensor captures better quality pictures than the Samsung sensor. The Redmi Note 7 comes with a 48MP main rear camera paired with Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 sensor.– The secondary back camera and front shooter are said to be the same as the Redmi Note 7. The secondary camera of the Redmi Note 7 includes a 5MP sensor for capturing depth/portrait pictures. On the front, the Redmi Note 7 includes a 13-megapixel camera and include features like AI face unlock, AI smart beauty, AI single shot blur, and others.– Now the price. Rumours suggest that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be priced between CNY 1,399 – 1,499, which translates to Rs 14,600 – 15,700. Xiaomi is yet to reveal the launch timeline of the Redmi Note 7 Pro, but considering almost all Note devices come to India we expect the Redmi Note 7 Pro to come to India soon. Meanwhile, the company has officially announced that the global launch of Redmi Note 7 is expected to happen soon. In India the Redmi Note 7 launch may take some time but we believe it should happen in the second week of February but not on February 12 as rumoured.advertisementALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi CEO reveals Snapdragon 855 powered Redmi phone is coming this yearALSO READ | Rumours suggest Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 India is on Feb 12, but they are just rumoursALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro to come with 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, February launch expectedlast_img read more

In the Houston Rockets, the NBA finally has a team for the Warriors to fear

first_imgWhen Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016, many NBA fans resigned themselves to a new basketball reality for the foreseeable future: every season would end with the inevitable and anticlimactic Warriors v whatever-Eastern-team-LeBron-is-on Finals. That was the new and future NBA. The Warriors, then LeBron, then everyone else a very distant third.Enter the Houston Rockets. With Wednesday night’s 110-99 road win over Milwaukee, Houston have now won 17 games in a row and sit a full game ahead of the Warriors in the West with just 16 regular season games to play. There’s a real chance the Western Conference Finals will go through Houston and some have begun to wonder if the NBA Finals may do too. “I expect to beat them,” Rockets center Clint Capela said back in December of the Warriors, a quote that raised a lot of eyebrows and a few chuckles. But Capela has every reason to be confident. The offseason additions of Chris Paul, Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker have turned Houston’s defense from a weakness to a strength – with Capela on the back end serving as rim protector with 1.78 blocks per game, sixth-best in the NBA. And while Capela’s quote no longer elicits laughter, the story is the same for the defense played by Rockets star James Harden. Once laissez-faire, his defensive play is now can be graded as, well … fair. A recent deep-dive into defensive analytics by ESPN graded Harden as an above-average defender at his position this season. You can argue that if you’d like with the eye test, but the volume of video clips of Harden getting blown like his controller is disconnected has waned a bit on social media in 2018. Take that for data. Harden’s crossover floors opponent before three-pointer in stunning NBA play Share on LinkedIn But it’s Harden’s offense that has elevated him to the top of the MVP race this season. Paul’s ability to make plays and find the open shooter has made Harden even more dangerous and he’s letting the ball fly with confidence. Harden ranks first in the league in scoring, second in field goal attempts and first in three-point attempts with a career-high 10.5 per game. Harden isn’t the only Rockets player firing from long range, however. Houston have taken Golden State’s embrace of the three and literally expanded it to the farthest reaches of the court. The Rockets average an eye-popping 42.4 three-point attempts per game, nearly 13 more per game than the Warriors and seven more per game than the next closest team, the Brooklyn Nets. More than half of the field goals the Rockets take are from three, making them the sole member of that exclusive club. Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Topics Such reliance on the three ball presents more opportunities to score points, but also significant risk. If the Rockets go cold in a match-up with the Warriors, they could be dispatched with relative ease. In fact, if they go cold in a match-up with anyone, that could be their fate. But the quantity of quality long range shooters the Rockets have – Harden, Paul, Tucker, Mbah a Moute, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Gerald Green and Eric Gordon all shoot 35% or above from three – makes it unlikely everyone will start missing at once. The Rockets shooting threes has both more reward and less risk than any other team. That, and their improved defense, is a terrifying reality to any team they face, including Golden State. Asked after Wednesday night’s win if the Rockets are now the NBA’s team to beat, Harden succinctly responded: “Nah.” He then added: “I feel like we’re just out there swaggin’ and hoopin’. We’re not worried about wins and losses right now. We’re worried about playing the right way on both ends of the floor and that’s going to carry over into the postseason. More times than not, 90% of the time, if you play the right way on both ends of the floor great things will happen. The result? Get wins.”That “swaggin’ and hoopin’” approach could even give the Rockets an extra edge in a potential playoff match-up with Golden State. The Warriors have the pressure of being the NBA’s team to beat and anything short of a championship every season from now through the early 2020s will be considered a colossal failure – and Golden State has seemed weighed down by that reality at times this season. Steve Kerr said his team was “mentally fried” heading into last month’s All-Star break. Meanwhile the Rockets are playing with the lightness of a team with zero expectations, creating a real chance to win the franchise’s first title since Michael Jordan was an newly-retired baseball player. No one is planning parade celebration routes in Houston quite yet. The prevailing sentiment throughout the league is still that the Warriors will simply “turn it on” in the postseason (bookies still have Golden State as heavy favorites to win the title this year with Houston and then Cleveland well behind). Let us not forget that even a mentally tired Warriors team is still just a game back of a team on a 17-game tear. But all that aside, we don’t know with complete certainty anymore that the Warriors will win the NBA Finals this year. Or even make it to the final round. The inevitability and anticlimax is gone. The conference playoffs matter again. That’s something all NBA fans can celebrate. Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Houston Rockets NBA US sportscenter_img Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets)OH MY GOODNESS. 👀#BEARDING pic.twitter.com/wNVNCNFUPoMarch 1, 2018 Read more Basketball Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share via Email Golden State Warriors Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content Share on Messenger featureslast_img read more

Make the Schadenfreud-ometer rattle as much as you like: World Cup Fiver

first_imgTHE SOUND OF INEVITABILITYWhile everyone else in England was getting very excited watching Germany lose to Sweden on Saturday night, The Fiver was busy resisting the urge to shout “ACHTUNG! FOR YOU, JÉRÔME, ZE ETHICS WORLD CUP IS OVER!” at the television. We’ll leave that kind of coarse jingoism to $exually Repressed Morris Dancing Fiver, who really should have known better than to tempt fate by riffing on Germany’s misery. Let’s face it, it was never going to last. Make the Schadenfreud-ometer™ rattle as much as you like, but we’ve all seen this play before. Spoiler alert: it ends with John Stones, England’s Golden Boot-in-waiting, scuffing a sad penalty straight at Manuel Neuer and sending Germany into the semi-finals at the expense of Gareth Southgate’s darts whizzes.Poor Morris Dancing Fiver, who was just about to compose a biting tweet to Angela Merkel when Toni Kroos stepped up to take that free-kick. Oh, that free-kick. The Fiver hasn’t seen such calmness under pressure since it was confronted by a blank page five minutes before deadline and responded by mailing out an old edition from 2002! We’re pretty sure nobody noticed. Quality control isn’t what it used to be. Anyway you probably stopped reading after the first paragraph. Blah blah blah, never write off the Germans. Blah blah blah, 22 men or fewer chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans always win. Blah. Guardian sport (@guardian_sport)’That team stinks’ – @bglendenning joins @MaxRushden and co to talk about #Fra’s poor showing, #Arg’s great escape, #Nga’s narrow defeat and so much more on #WorldCup Football Daily. Listen here – https://t.co/3BGDqqgzyU pic.twitter.com/zLcjCLNtb6June 27, 2018 SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism [the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – Fiver Ed] is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us. In return we can hopefully arm you with the kind of knowledge that makes you sound slightly less uninformed during those hot reactive gegenpress chats you so enjoy. And if you think what we do is enjoyable [again, etc and so on – Fiver Ed], please help us keep coming back here to give you more of the same.FIVEЯ LETTERS“With Portugal coach Fernando Santos saying ‘It got a bit weird’ in reference to VAR (yesterday’s FiveЯ), it dawned on me: does Weird Uncle Fiver have a penchant for Russia at this time of year? Perhaps he has VIP passes to the Ethics World Cup and is running these VAR shenanigans?” – Dale Cose.“Tony Crawford’s Scotland illustration (yesterday’s FiveЯ letters) gave Arran and Kintyre an eye-watering new look. I’m guessing Frank McAvennie?” – Will Laidlaw.“Wow! The first goalless draw of this World Cup. And who’d have guessed that dear old FiveЯ would correctly guess it? Oh what the World Cup can do!” – Frank Chibundu Agu [Nigeria-Argentina too – Fiver Ed].Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our letter o’the day and, with it, a copy of World Cup Nuggets by Richard Foster is … Tony Crawford, even if it’s a day late.BITS AND BOBSDiego Maradona will be fit and healthy to flick some birds at France fans after being checked by a doctor after Argentina’s late win over Nigeria. “I want to tell everyone that I am fine,” he cheered.Meanwhile, Lionel Messi says God masterminded the 2-1 win over Nigeria, something which came as news to both Jorge Sampaoli and Javier Mascherano, who assumed they had been managing the side. “I knew that God was with us and would not leave us out [of the competition],” reckoned Messi. World Cup Fiver Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Pinterest Twitter Football Marcos bleedin’ Rojo! Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images Pinterest No more years of hurt? Paul MacInnes on the resurgence of Three Lions.Kieran Pender reports on the flamin’ tepid exit of those Socceroos.A look at the oddest tie-breaking rules in World Cup history.VAR: the verdict so far.Quiz! Quiz! Quiz! Test your knowledge of World Cup stadiums.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!COISTY! Reuse this content Share via Email Marco Tardelli and Italy, stinking out their group in 1982, but still on their way to glory. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Imagescenter_img Facebook Share on Facebook Iceland joined Nigeria in being knocked out, but their prime minister is still feeling upbeat. “It’s been extremely inspiring for all of us in Iceland to see how their belief in the team and its possible success, despite the odds, has carried them this far,” thunderclapped Katrin Jakobsdottir.After Denmark’s 0-0 draw with France meant Harry Kane was unable to chalk up another Christian Eriksen goal as one of his own, the England striker has told Gareth Southgate he wants to start against Belgium to continue his pursuit of the Golden Boot. “As a manager you have to think of the whole squad and then your second thought is for individuals,” parped Southgate.England fans could expose a loophole in Russian security service’s visa system by travelling to the World Cup without a ticket. Or at least they could before this story.And non-World Cup dept: Manchester United hope the revolving door they’ve installed in their Do One departure gate will send Marouane Fellaini straight back to them before his contract expires. Happy Wednesday, United fans!STILL WANT MORE?Marina Hyde on England.Jonathan Wilson on Germany.Who are the worst-performing teams to get out of their World Cup groups? The Knowledge has the answer. Share on LinkedIn features Topics Twitter Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Facebook Of course, the holders still have a job on their hands despite that last-gasp win. Group E remains very much alive, with Germany meeting South Korea and Sweden playing Mexico on Wednesday. The Fiver’s far too thick to work out all the permutations, but it knows that all four teams can still progress. Even Mexico, the team of the tournament so far, will be in danger of going out if they lose to Sweden and even South Korea, who have lost their first two games, could go through if they beat Germany. The tension is bound to be high, just as it will be when Group F draws to a close. Switzerland will hope to guarantee their place in the round of 16 by beating Costa Rica, who are already out, and a win for Vladimir Petkovic’s side would mean only one of Brazil and Serbia going through. By now smarter readers will have spotted that there’s a chance of Brazil and Germany being knocked out of the first round on the same day, making England’s path to glory even more inevitable. That seems unlikely, though. In fact the only way to salvage the situation now is for Branislav Ivanovic to spend 90 minutes booting Neymar into the air in the comedy style when Brazil play Serbia. That isn’t too much to ask for, is it?LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Jacob Steinberg at 3pm BST for hot MBM coverage of South Korea 0-2 Germany and Barry Glendenning for Mexico 2-1 Sweden, before Paul Doyle is in the seat for Serbia 1-2 Brazil at 7pm and Rob Smyth takes you through Costa Rica 0-1 Switzerland.QUOTE OF THE DAY“I’ve bunkered up with some Mexican grub, and it’s the last time I’ll eat it if Mexico knock Sweden out” – 148-cap former Sweden international Anders “Taco” Svensson, the country’s foremost Mexican food ambassador, reveals he could soon be searching for a new nickname.RECOMMENDED LISTENINGHere’s the latest World Cup Football Daily podcast, with Max Rushden and co, and you can find it in this general area every matchday evening. Jogi Löw out to prove himself by tackling Germany’s structural flaw Read morelast_img read more

PHOTOS: Mrs. Holness Pays Mother’s Day visit to Victoria Jubilee Hospital

first_imgWife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, cradles newborn Samir McLarty, during a Mother’s Day visit to the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston on May 12. Wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness (2nd left), presents a gift basket to Shanika Gordon (right), the first mother to give birth at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston on Mother’s Day (May 12). Looking on are Chairman, Fontana Limited, Kevin O’Brien Chang (left); and Matron Elise Blackwood. Mrs. Holness visited the hospital today, where she interacted with the mothers and their babies, and presented gift baskets with essential items such as diapers and baby wipes.last_img

Alec Baldwin to feature in next Comedy Central Roast

first_imgLos Angeles: Comedy Central has announced that actor Alec Baldwin will be the next celebrity to get the roast treatment. The Baldwin roast will be recorded in New York this summer and air on a date to be announced, according to Comedy Central. “Getting roasted will be the greatest honour of my lifetime besides being a father, a husband, hosting SNL seventeen times, receiving Golden Globes, Emmys, and working with Martin Scorsese,” Baldwin said in a statement. The 61-year-old actor joins Bruce Willis, Rob Lowe, Justin Bieber, James Franco, Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump, among others, who had also received the Comedy Central roast treatment. The Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin will be executive produced by Joel Gallen from Tenth Planet Productions.last_img read more

A soldier first transgender veteran of Afghanistan war fights for identity

first_imgAt 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds, the soldier was “petit gars” — little boy — to 41 male Canadian Forces comrades. To their Afghan army allies, the armed woman in full combat gear was an object of unwanted flirtation.Looking back, Cpl. Vincent Lamarre now realizes his Canadian comrades were closer to the truth of what he felt he was at the time, and has since become — a man.And he’s amused by how amorously he was regarded by the Afghan National Army.“They were very surprised to see a woman do a man’s job,” Lamarre explains in an interview. “I found it funny at the beginning, but sometimes I had to make them understand I am not an object.”Lamarre was a woman when he was deployed to southern Afghanistan’s blood-soaked Panjwaii region in 2010. Every other day, he drove a truck supplying gasoline, ammunition and food down a hazardous highway, through enemy terrain.Toiling within the heart of the Taliban insurgency offered Lamarre a brief respite from the emotional war that had been raging inside him since he was three years old. Here, he needed only one label: soldier.Six years later, Lamarre is nearing the end of another long, hard road: he’s changed his gender to become a man in uniform. He is prevailing with the full support of an institution that’s also grappling to accommodate transgender military personnel.The Forces have been waiting for what happened Thursday when the Senate passed Bill C-16, which makes it a crime to discriminate on the grounds of gender identity and expression. Now, military policy planners hope to update their own transgender policy for commanders and rank-and-file personnel to ensure that soldiers such as Lamarre are more readily absorbed into their ranks.“We went from Forces that weren’t tolerant at all about things like ‘other-than-heterosexual’ to a Forces that is tolerant,” said Lt.-Col. Pierre Sasseville, a 32-year veteran who is the director of the human rights and diversity branch.“If you don’t accept it, the message is clear: get out of the Forces, or we’re going to make sure that you’re going to get out.”Lamarre, 31, was raised in St. Jean, Que., near Montreal, with an older brother and sister. His father died when he was two. A year later, when his older brother was getting circumcised, he asked his mother when he would get a penis, so he could do the same thing one day.As a teen, he would refer to himself using the masculine French pronoun and people would always correct his grammar. Back then, his mom would ask him about transitioning, and is answer was always a “big no.”When he announced his decision a decade later, she was not surprised.In 2008, Lamarre joined the Canadian Forces because he wanted to make a bigger contribution to his country. In addition to his time Afghanistan, he’s served in the Far North and took part in recent military efforts to beat back floodwaters in Quebec.Coming home from Afghanistan was hard. He was engulfed by post-deployment stress on top of the ongoing gender struggle.Life was good, on the surface. He found his first girlfriend, a woman he thought was the love of his life. He played on the men’s hockey team as a woman. But he had the nagging feeling something was wrong.The turning point came on a holiday to Cayo Coco, Cuba. He went scuba diving, and dove deep into the clear Caribbean waters. But no air reached his lungs.A huge wave engulfed him as he crashed upwards, gasping. “I was so afraid to die that I realized after I came back to the beach that I want to live my life and feel good. So I have to do something right now.”Back in Valcartier in early 2015, Lamarre began researching a change of gender on the Internet. He also found a Quebec City support group and went to a meeting.The gathering that night marked the first time he was called by his newly chosen first name: Vincent.He went home, and waited up into the early morning hours for his girlfriend to come home at the end of her work shift.“I tell her I want to transition, I am not feeling good, I am depressed,” he recalled. “She reacted aggressively, and now she is my ex-girlfriend because of that.”And so began the process. Psychological therapy. Then, on to hormones and a mastectomy, including follow-up surgery earlier this month.He told his family, he told his military commander. That too, was a process, but it went well.He used his sister as a bridge to his mother. She told him not to worry, and of course his mom accepted his decision. His brother wanted him to be the “godmother” to his first child. They worked out the details, and Lamarre’s spiritual stewardship was put in place.He got some good advice from his old master corporal from Afghanistan. When he told his commanding officer, he was pleasantly surprised: Vincent wasn’t his first transgender soldier.Sasseville said no one knows for sure how many transgender personnel are in the Forces, but an estimate of 200 would not be far off.Moving forward, the Forces policy will balance two competing interests: educating the troops while ensuring cohesion in the ranks.“Not all of the soldiers we enrol have PhDs and have seen the world,” said Sasseville. “So when we talk about cohesion, let’s talk about educating our soldiers, reassuring them there’s nothing wrong there … life goes on.”For Lamarre, that means more plastic surgery. He expects it will take years, not months, to fully recover. He’s also found a new girlfriend, who accepts him for who he is. And he’s planning on a long career in the military.When he looks back on Afghanistan, he realizes how he always had the power to seize control of his life.“I would have liked to go back there because of the change we were bringing,” he says.“But it’s out of my hands.”last_img read more

PM has no plans to strip Macdonalds name from federal buildings sites

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government has no plans to delete the name of Sir John A. Macdonald — Canada’s first prime minister — from anything under federal responsibility.Trudeau made the comment today outside of Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence, following a cabinet shuffle.Ottawa has faced increased pressure from Indigenous advocates to confront the way historical figures are celebrated after an Ontario teachers’ union passed a motion last week calling for the removal of Macdonald’s name from elementary schools in the province.Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde commended the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario for its motion, but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she thought it missed the mark.In June, Trudeau decided to remove the name of Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation, from the Ottawa building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office.Trudeau made the announcement after Bellegarde and Indigenous MPs called for the change because Langevin was an architect of the residential school system.The teacher’s motion urged that Macdonald’s name be dropped from schools because of what it called Macdonald’s role as the “architect of genocide against Indigenous Peoples.”last_img read more

Federal NDP want voters to hear theyre In it for You on

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal New Democrats have settled on “In it for You” as their slogan for the upcoming federal election campaign.They’re launching it today with a new advertisement featuring leader Jagmeet Singh saying he’s different from the other leaders, not because he’s the first visible-minority leading a major party, but because he doesn’t work for “the wealthy and the well-connected.”Instead, he says, he and the NDP believe “that government should work for all of us.”The New Democrats’ slogan has some of the same direct appeal to voters’ own interests as the Conservatives’ “It’s Time for You to Get Ahead.”The Liberals have announced that their slogan is “Choose Forward.”The federal election is set for Oct. 21, though the campaign hasn’t officially begun yet.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ban aid workers expulsion from Sudan impeding peacekeeping relief efforts

21 April 2009The expulsion of humanitarian and human rights agencies from Sudan following the issuance of an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president for war crimes is thwarting the United Nations’ efforts in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid, Secretary-General Ban K-moon said. Mr. Ban characterized the Government’s decision to eject 16 humanitarian and human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), following the indictment on 4 March of President Omar Al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC), as an “extremely negative” development.“While joint United Nations-Government of the Sudan efforts can address some of the most critical gaps in aid delivery in the coming weeks, the cumulative effects over time of the removal of such a large amount of humanitarian capacity puts well over 1 million people at life-threatening risk,” he wrote in his latest report to the Security Council on the deployment of the hybrid UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in the war-torn Darfur region.The start of the rainy season next month could exacerbate the already dire situation, he added.The Secretary-General called on authorities to urgently “re-establish an atmosphere of trust and mutual confidence with the humanitarian community,” stressing the importance of cooperation to fill the most immediate gaps.The impact of the expulsions on the work of the UN-AU mission, known as UNAMID, cannot be underestimated, he said. “A significant disruption in the provision of humanitarian assistance will almost certainly lead to a serious heightening of tensions among internally displaced persons [IDPs], particularly in the larger camps for the displaced.”As a result, the risk of violence could rise, complicating UNAMID’s ability to carry out its protection mandate, Mr. Ban underlined.He also voiced concern over continued insecurity – including clashes between Government forces and armed groups, the recurrence of tribal fighting and the build-up of troops along the Chad-Sudan border – which has impeded the mission’s ability to visit locations to assess the impact of bombardments on civilians.The Secretary-General wrote that the security of UN and associated personnel is also a critical issue, with vehicle hijackings and compound invasions growing increasingly deliberate in nature.“The latest security developments highlight, once again, the fundamental challenges that UNAMID continues to face while operating in an environment where the parties show no intent to give up the use of force, and further underscore the urgent need for a comprehensive settlement to the Darfur crisis,” he said.An estimated 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.In spite of the challenges UNAMID faces, Mr. Ban said that the mission has “been able to make a difference on the ground.”But the report called on Member States to provide critical equipment, especially military helicopters, to increase UNAMID’s mobility and operational impact. read more

Maintain momentum towards nuclear disarmament Ban tells Security Council

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to make the most of its historic meeting today on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and find ways to build on growing international momentum towards the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.For the first time, the Council held a summit-level meeting on non-proliferation and disarmament – chaired today by United States President Barack Obama – and Mr. Ban told the 15-member body that it can help offer “a fresh start toward a new future.”In a resolution adopted unanimously at the outset of the meeting, the Council called on all States that are not parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to accede to it as non-nuclear-weapon States so as to achieve its universality at the earliest. The text also called on all States to refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby bringing it into force as soon as possible.Stressing that “nuclear disarmament is the only sane path to a safer world,” Mr. Ban said that “nothing would work better in eliminating the risk of use than eliminating the weapons themselves.”In his address yesterday to the opening of the annual General Debate at the General Assembly, he called on Member States to “let us make this the year we agreed to banish the bomb.”Today he praised the examples of Russia and the United States, which earlier this year committed themselves to cutting their arsenals of strategic warheads.“I urge the Security Council to make the most of this moment. This should not be a one-time event. We must sustain the momentum.”Last year Mr. Ban unveiled a five-point nuclear disarmament plan that included a stronger role for the Security Council in non-proliferation matters.Today the Secretary-General called for new ways to boost the transparency of the weapons programmes of those countries that are recognized as having nuclear weapons. He also urged greater use of the UN’s disarmament machinery, including existing negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty, and for more resources to be given to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).The Secretary-General added that he would spare no effort to promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and achieve success for the sake of global peace and security, in a statement issued following the summit, in which he welcomed the resolution adopted today.IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told delegates of the current fragility and many shortcomings of the global non-proliferation regime and of the need to strengthen and empower the Agency if it is to play a role in nuclear disarmament.“Our verification mandate is centred on nuclear material. If the Agency is to be expected to pursue possible weaponization activities, it must be empowered with the corresponding legal authority,” he said.He also highlighted the links between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, calling on nuclear-weapon States to demonstrate their irreversible commitment to achieving a world free from nuclear weapons.“I am gratified to see nuclear disarmament back at the top of the international agenda, as well as recognition of the intrinsic link between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” he said.Coinciding with the Council’s meeting is a two-day conference that began at UN Headquarters today to try to promote the CTBT and its entry into force. The treaty has been signed by 181 countries and ratified by 150. However, it needs to be ratified by nine others – China, Egypt, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States – before it can enter into force. 24 September 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to make the most of its historic meeting today on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and find ways to build on growing international momentum towards the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. read more