NYC Mayor Race 2013: Sal Albanese

first_img**We want New York City to be a freelance-friendly city. As the collective voice of our New York City members, Freelancers Union sent questionnaires to the 2013 candidates for city-wide public office to get their take on issues important to freelancers. ****Over the next several weeks, we will be posting the responses from those candidates who got back to us. Check back regularly to hear what the candidates have to say about freelancers. And remember, make sure your voice is heard! Get out and vote in the primary on September 10 and in the general election on November 5. **Sal Albanese is a Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City. To learn more about Sal Albanese, visit his website. His responses are below.I came here as a working-class immigrant when I was eight years old. The services that the city provided helped elevate my family from the working class to the middle class.I’m running for Mayor because I want future generations to have the same opportunities that I had, but I’m worried that our dysfunctional government is letting them slip away.I spent 11 years as a public school, 15 years as a reformer on the City Council, and 15 years in the private sector.That kind of broad-based experience and political independence is exactly what we need to make New York City a better place to do business, get an education, and raise a family.1. In your opinion, what is the role of freelancers in New York City? What value do they bring to the City? Please describe any past experience you may have working on issues of importance to freelancers. 
Freelancing is a driving force in the new New York City economy. From reporters to designers to lawyers, they are providing services and adding value to the lives of our citizens in ways many people have yet to grasp. As our economy evolves, a skyrocketing number of New Yorkers are finding opportunity in the independent sector. In the process, though, they are often denied the basic job benefits and worker protections that traditional employees enjoy.In my fifteen years as a New York City Council member, I worked closely with freelancers, including the Freelancers Union, to expand protections for independent workers. As a candidate, I’ve spent much of my time at events like New York Tech Day, hearing firsthand from independent workers about what they need from the city to put down roots, grow, and thrive in the five boroughs.2. Many freelancers are self-employed and/or entrepreneurs who face a myriad of legal, regulatory and tax issues when starting and operating their business in New York City. How would you expand offerings for independent workers to start, maintain and grow their businesses? 
The single biggest obstacle standing in the way of entrepreneurial growth in New York City is our dysfunctional government. The political class is so indebted to special interests that it can only react to, instead of lay the foundation for, a changing economy. I’m proud to not be accepting contributions from developers and lobbyists so that I can be liberated to make decisions on the merits. To streamline services for tech entrepreneurs, I’ll appoint a new Deputy Mayor for Technology. To cut bureaucratic red tape, I’ll direct my EDC to focus on startups and small businesses, rather than simply wooing major corporations. To remove the obstacles that stand in the way of so many entrepreneurs, I’ll drag city agencies into the 21st century with online licensing and permitting so creative New Yorkers aren’t forced to sit on their hands and wait for approval to start growing their businesses.3. Nearly 1 in 3 workers (or 42million people) work freelance across the U.S., according to a 2006 GAO report. But 2006 was the last time the federal government counted this crucial part of the new workforce. Accurate, comprehensive data is crucial to crafting policies that address the needs of this sector. How important do you feel it is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics revives the survey? What are your thoughts on conducting a comprehensive survey of NYC freelancers to collect demographic data and assess the economic impact of their work? 
With nearly 50 million Americans working as freelancers, it’s absurd that federal, state, and local governments wouldn’t commission regular studies of the independent workforce. Without taking an in-depth, scientific look at freelancers, policymakers are writing legislation with at least one-third of the population automatically left out. As Mayor, I would most certainly support a comprehensive survey of NYC freelancers to ensure that we fully understand their impact and the impact of city policies on their businesses.4. Unlike many other workers, freelancers have episodic income but are not eligible for unemployment benefits. What would you do to assist freelancers during periods of unemployment? What ideas do you have for assisting freelancers in saving for these times? 
I’m a staunch opponent of the slashes to our social safety net that have left millions of Americans, freelancers included, hanging on to their livelihoods by a thread. In addition to strengthening unemployment insurance, we have to get creative. As Mayor, I would work with state legislators and Council members to craft a pre-tax Independent Unemployment Program in which freelancers could invest while employed and use while unemployed to bridge the revenue gap between contracts.While providing stability is key, nothing would go further in meeting that goal than to focus on the fundamentals. That is why, as your next Mayor, I’ll build or preserve 210,000 units of affordable housing, expand the city’s Living Wage law, and fix our schools so that the future freelancers have the skills they need to succeed in our economy’s newest sectors.5. Freelancers are, by nature, entrepreneurs who have built their own communities to support their work and themselves. This is a model more and more New Yorkers are learning from and building more economically sustainable, cooperative, and collaborative institutions. How will you support these new institutions, including cooperatives, social purpose businesses and collaborative consumption organizations? 
Since I launched my campaign for Mayor, I’ve been privileged to visit several coworking spaces and mutual aid groups. From digitalizing more city data for entrepreneurs to access to offering tax incentives and zoning changes to provide room for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in the neighborhoods they call home, I’ll embrace these new economic and social models to foster private sector growth and improve the delivery of government services.**Thanks to Sal Albanese for answering our questions. If you need more info on how or where to vote, check out NYC.gov’s voting resources. Please remember to vote on September 10! **Freelancers Union has endorsed Daniel Squadron for Public Advocate. Come join other Freelancers Union members as we volunteer for his campaign and show our support for a freelancer-friendly candidate! Send your contact information to volunteer@freelancersunion.org for more information.last_img read more

What ACA Means For You

first_img**UPDATE 10/17/13: **We’ve updated this post with some more of your most frequently asked questions about Freelancers Union, FIC, and Freelancers Medical and appended them to our original post about ACA below.The launch of the Affordable Care Act – a.k.a. Obamacare – will have a huge impact on millions of freelancers across the country.We’ve been hearing from you on Twitter about how this will impact the new workforce. Here are some answers to the questions we’ve heard most.(Got more? Leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer.)**What’s happened on October 1? **October 1 marked the launch of the new Health Insurance Marketplaces. These are the places where individuals who aren’t covered by their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare can “shop” for a health insurance plan. These Marketplaces will be run by the state or federal government, depending on your state of residence. Check the healthcare.gov site to find the Marketplace in your state.What if I already have insurance?If you already have insurance, you don’t have to do anything. You can keep what you’ve got. But it’s important to do your research so you know all your options.How much would health insurance cost?It depends on what kind of coverage you want to get, where you live, and your income level. There are four levels of coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Bronze plans are cheapest, and they cover about 60% of your healthcare costs. Platinum plans are most expensive, and they cover about 90% of your costs.The good news is that subsidies and tax credits will be more widely available and are expected to help around 70% of people pay for health insurance. Check out the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s subsidy calculator to get an idea of your eligibility.Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the details:● If you’re under 26, you can be covered by your parents’ insurance plan.● If you’re under 30 and make less than $35,000, you can get cheaper “catastrophic” insurance that covers you in case of a major accident.● If you make 100%-400% of the poverty level ($19,539-$78,120), you will most likely qualify for either full or partial coverage under expanded Medicaid, subsidies, or tax credits. Again, check out the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s subsidy calculator to see how much the government may be able to help you afford health insurance.● If you make above 400% of the poverty level, you will likely be required to pay for health insurance on your own.● If you already qualify for Medicare, your health coverage will not change.How will my subsidies be affected if I have wildly varying income?As Wonkblog explains, if your income changes drastically you’re supposed to go online and report the shift in income. Any subsidies you’re receiving will be adjusted to reflect your new income.If you don’t report the new income, the government will assess the difference when you file taxes the next year and you could have to pay back some of the tax credits you received. Make sure to plan ahead for tax time.I don’t have health insurance. Do I have to buy it?Yep — or pay a fee. The fee goes up every year, from $95 next year to nearly $700 in 2016, according to HealthCare.gov.Do I have to do anything today?No. You have until March 31, 2014 to look at the plans and enroll. After that, however, you’ll be out of luck for getting a plan until the next enrollment period, which starts October 7, 2014.I have insurance through Freelancers Insurance Company. What changes can I expect?We have worked hard to ensure the continuity of care for our members during this tumultuous time of health care reform. Our members will continue to have access to our health plans, which we designed to meet the unique needs of freelancers. We’re proud to say that for the second year in a row, our insurance plans have no rate increase and we are maintaining the same comprehensive benefits.What does health reform mean for freelancers and Freelancers Union?A long time ago, we recognized that freelancers were barred from the same benefits and protections that were a given for traditional workers — and we started building a solution. In 2009, we launched Freelancers Insurance Company to provide health benefits exclusively to the freelance community. FIC will ensure that our members maintain the same comprehensive, quality benefits that they’re used to. The health exchanges offer access to health insurance for more Americans and give freelancers another option.But our approach to healthcare remains the same: geared toward quality and affordability, member-driven, and focused on health plans that consider the needs of our members and the type of care they are looking for. That’s why we started Freelancers Medical. Members told us they wanted access to alternative care services and better integration of mind and body wellness. So we listened and built it together.Is Freelancers Insurance Company on the exchange?We carefully evaluated whether it would be in the best interest of our members if we went on the exchange. Our big consideration was making sure our members had uninterrupted access to their Freelancers Insurance Company health benefits. While plans on the exchanges are open to everyone, our insurance plans are designed for freelancers. Our benefits were created with our members’ input and offer access to alternative care through the Freelancers Medical $0 copay primary care program. If we were on the exchange, we would have had to alter our plans and raise our prices. So, in the end, Freelancers Insurance Company decided to take a wait and see approach and not go on the exchange in 2014.I had heard that Freelancers Union was going to be offering insurance in New Jersey and Oregon too. Can you tell me more about that?Freelancers Union supported the creation of three CO-OPs (Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans) in New Jersey, New York, and Oregon as part of the Affordable Care Act. The CO-OPs are designed to operate on the new health care exchanges and are based on the proven health coverage model Freelancers Union developed in New York for FIC members. The CO-OPs also align with our approach to healthcare: geared toward quality and affordability, member-driven, and focused on tailoring benefits to the needs of its members.While Freelancers Union sponsored and fully supports the mission of the CO-OPs, it does not own or operate them; they are fully independent entities.What is FIC going to offer in the next year?We’ve been insuring freelancers for years and have developed a healthcare model that works for our members. We have great benefits, a large national provider network through BlueCross, and we listen to our members’ feedback. That’s why we started Freelancers Medical, a program that allows members to make primary care office visits for $0 copay and attend free yoga classes and wellness events. For the second year in a row, we also have a zero rate increase on our plans.What is Freelancers Medical?Freelancers Medical is an innovative primary care program that combines traditional and alternative care. Members of the program get a personal health team and have access to $0 copay primary care visits, plus free yoga, meditation, and group acupuncture all under one roof at our downtown Brooklyn freelancer hall at 408 Jay St.I hear you’re opening a new location in lower Manhattan. Tell me more.It’s true! In January 2014, we’re opening a second freelancer hall on Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan, anchored by a freelancer-focused primary care practice. The new space will have all the great health and wellness features as the Brooklyn location and will also be used to host upcoming education and networking events for freelancers.I have a question that isn’t covered here.Ask us in the comments section!last_img read more

Happy Birthday, Freelancers Medical! (A Mini-Contest)

first_imgIt’s Freelancers Medical’s birthday, but we want to give you a gift!A year ago, thousands of New York freelancers came together to build something awesome: Freelancers Medical, a $0 copay primary care program in Brooklyn just for freelancers.If you use Freelancers Medical, we’re so happy you joined us in this adventure! We built this program based on your thoughts and needs, and we hope it’s been a great experience for you.Please take a moment to let us know what you like about Freelancers Medical and you could win a gift basket filled with goodies from local community-minded businesses!Just tweet or write a public Facebook post about your favorite part of Freelancers Medical with the hashtag #FreelancersMedical. Is it the health coaches, classes, free acupuncture, or WiFi access? Tell us by November 30, 2013 at midnight and you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing for the gift basket.We’ve seen the power of what we can create when we work together. If you have any suggestions for new services or classes that Freelancers Medical can offer, we’d love to hear about it. Email them anytime to membership [at] freelancersunion.org.See the official contest rules here.last_img read more

6 Ways Leonardo da Vinci makes us feel good about freelancing

first_imgThough da Vinci specialized in painting, he was also a sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, geologist, cartographer, anatomist, botanist, and writer. So yeah, he liked to keep himself busy. As any freelancer knows, being a jack-of-all-trades is an important part of being your own boss. Being a great graphic designer is great, but learning how to manage your finances, promote your business on social media, network, and manage your personal brand will place you head and shoulders above the rest.In his notebooks, da Vinci had a lot to say about life, and what he’d learned over the course of his own. Interestingly, a lot of them directly relate to the life of a freelancer. Reading them was revitalizing for me so I thought I’d share them with you. Hopefully you take some inspiration from them as well:“If you find from your own experience that something is a fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings.”Are you a freelancer? Right, well…you’ve already taken da Vinci’s advice haven’t you? You’ve decided that the traditional career path didn’t appeal to you. As a result, you’ve chosen a life more conducive to a healthy work/life balance, become the vanguard of the Quiet Revolution, and are now helping determining the shape of the future economy.“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”If you’ve ever worked as a freelancer, you know that there are certain elements to the lifestyle that no 9-5 job could ever provide. Sure, there are a lot of myths, but the reality is that you have the freedom to make your own schedule, work from wherever you want, choose the projects that you spend your time on, and live your life in a way that allows for a greater work/life balance. Once you’ve had these experiences, it’s not going to be easy to go back to a traditional 9-5.“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”Regardless of how or why you began your freelance career, it takes a lot of hard work to keep it going and make it sustainable. Finding your first client, building a network, developing your brand, marketing yourself, and generally establishing your freelance business as a sustainable one can take up to years of dedication. No freelancer in the history of the world has just sit back and had a successful freelance career happen upon them.“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”Maybe you’re a full-time freelancer, maybe you work 9-5 and have a side gig. Either way, you’ve realized what your passion is and made a conscious effort to pursue it in an active way. You know what it’s like to work on something not because it makes you money (though, hopefully it does), but because there’s nothing else you’d rather be doing.“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”As I’ve mentioned earlier, freelancing isn’t always a walk in the park. Unfortunately, if you’ve been freelancing for long enough you’ve experienced everything from dry spells and deadbeat clients to isolation and extended periods of working for “exposure” (AKA nothing). Some of these road bumps can be pretty traumatic, but with patience, they’ll pass. And you’ll be a stronger freelancer for having the courage to endure them.“You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”You’ve taken the initiative to work for yourself. Inherent in your ability to do this in a successful way is a heightened self-awareness. You know what you like and what you’re good at, as well as what you need to work on or what you’d prefer to subcontract to other freelancers. You may not be able to control some of the crazy things that clients may say to you, but you can determine the future of your freelance business.last_img read more

How to make an extra $2000 this year

first_imgWant to give yourself a raise? Or maybe a new career?If you’re an employee, you only have so much control over your salary and responsibilities. In most jobs there’s not a lot of room for you to “try new things” and pursue your passions. Even if you’re full-time freelancing, you may have cornered yourself into one niche that you no longer enjoy.That’s why everyone — full-time employees, part-time waitresses, freelance graphic designers, school teachers — should have a side gig.Side gigs have the power to transform your career and change your life. If you’ve dreamed of being an entrepreneur, it’s the first step to owning your a business. If you’ve dreamed of making a living from art, freelancing is how you build a sustainable path to full-time independence. If you’ve been wanting to change fields, getting just one or two gigs in that field is the way to test out whether or not you even like your dream career — and build a network to find jobs and gigs in that field.In other words, a side gig is not just about making extra money. It’s about building a better life. It’s about breaking out of your current beliefs about what you can and cannot do.But first, start small.Keep your 9-5. Keep the job that pays your rent. But use the 1-2 hours each evening and the 3 hours each weekend day for your side gig.At some point, you’ll want to make the leap to full-time independence. But for now, get used to it. Are you really as good at following your own schedule as you thought? Do you get lonely when you work from home? Do you not actually like to knit hats for your Etsy shop more than one hour a day?Starting small also shortens the time it takes to kick off. In the beginning, you won’t need business cards. Maybe you won’t even need a website. And while I’m a big proponent of business plans, at this point you should be able to fit your plan on a cocktail napkin.Start with one client. (Here are 7 places to find one.) Start with a simple portfolio filled with whatever you have. (Here’s how to build a portfolio if you’ve never had a client before or are changing careers.) Set a reasonable hourly rate. (Here’s how to figure that out.) Go to one free networking event a week. (Key networking tips for freelancers.) Figure out your taxes. (Ultimate freelance tax guide.) Get your feet wet.Let’s say you want to make an extra $2000 this year. So before taxes, that’s about $2900. This means you only have to make $241 a month, about $60 a week.That may feel small to some people, but it’s a great place to start. I’m sure you can come up with one or two ways to make that extra money with the skills you have that you’re currently too busy to use (or too lazy, I’ve been there!). When your goal is low, the pressure is low, the time investment is low, and therefore the incentive to procrastinate is low(er).If you discipline yourself to achieve these goals in the first couple of weeks, you’ll start seeing tiny returns. Then you’ll be hooked and the habit will be much easier to keep.Over time, you’ll notice yourself changing.First, your perception of what “work” means will undergo subtle but important shifts. Time will become your unit of value. You’ll find yourself piecing together different aspects of your time in a way that at first feels chaotic and stressful, but eventually falls into a pattern. You’ll begin to question whether the 8 hours you spend at your 9-5 are an efficient use of your time.You’ll start to feel like your job title is not who you are. When someone asks what you do, you may pause and give a rather longer answer.You’ll learn what it means to do every part of a business from sales to invoicing to marketing. You’ll have huge respect for Sales professionals. You’ll have new role models: that woman in your hometown who balances family life and runs her own candle business, not the CEO of that Fortune 500.What new business will you start?Want more posts like this? Join Freelancers Union and never miss a post.last_img read more

If you’re not using a contract yet, this should convince you

first_imgNeed help dealing with a legal issue? Download the Freelancers Union app to connect with a lawyer committed to helping freelancers and who understand the freelance life.Protect your work: Build a standardized client agreement with our step-by-step freelance contract creator.This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Before I had to focus all my attention on releasing my new book*I wrote an article about getting paid as a freelance professional (See Solving the Payment Problem).One of my main tips was getting your payment terms in writing. Recently, another contracts lawyer (my apologies I couldn’t find the author’s name on the site) recently posted a similar article entitled Why Freelancers Should Bother with a Contract. The article focused on the ways you could be hurt by agreeing to contractual terms you don’t know about because you didn’t use your own contract. I agree with the article and I encourage you to read it (it’s very short).I’d also like to offer my own reasons why every freelance professional should have a contract in place for each of their clients and vendors.Five Ways Contracts Can Improve Your Business1. You want clear payment terms.This one was important enough to get its own article. Unless your business is not designed to make money, or if you enjoy spending a lot of time chasing clients for missed payments, it helps for you and your client to know how much they’re paying, when they need to pay and how they need to pay. Those points all go in the contract.2. You want clear deliverables.A client can order one service and then expect another. They can order one product and then change their mind. You can deliver the agreed upon product and the client could come back with endless requests for modifications, alterations and “one last change”.This pattern of behavior can be reduced with a contract. If your deliverables are in writing, there’s less chance for a dispute when they come back wanting more. You can always give it to them, of course, but with a contract you have the option of getting an additional fee for the additional work.Access our nonpayment resources (including a contract template – it’s free!)Click here3. You don’t want to rely on memories, email chains or texts.Did you know that “contracts” do not have to be in writing to be enforced? It’s true: A “contract” can be created without the formal process of writing and signing something. This is what you don’t want to happen.An informal agreement that comes to be viewed as a “contract” is likely to suffer from a lack of accuracy, subconscious bias and interpretation. A written agreement can remove most, but not all of those problems.4. You want accurate records for your taxes.At least once a year, you have to account for the truckloads of money you made to the IRS and your state taxation authorities. You could rely on Paypal and Fiverr CSV files, invoices and other receipts, but if you have a contract with each client and payment terms in each contract, it might be easier for you to figure out, and explain if need be, where your income came from.5. You want to improve the perception of your business.Certain things make a business appear more professional. Your website, your logo, your address – all of these send a message to your potential clients, vendors and competitors. When you put a contract in place with each client you increase the perception of legitimacy in your enterprise. This is more psychological than legal, but it can save you troubles in the long run.I can feel your cynicism seeping through the internet. You’re right:Contracts take time to draft and negotiate.Contracts are not guarantees that your business deals will go well.I do have a bias towards you getting a contract because I have a business writing contracts.All these things are true, but they don’t reduce the value of having a written agreement in place. Whether you get your contracts from me or someone else, there are plenty of good ways contracts can enhance and protect your business.Have fun.GamalPLEASE NOTE: THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE SPECIFIC CONTRACT ISSUES OR QUESTIONS, DISCUSS THEM WITH YOUR LEGAL ADVISOR OR CONTACT C3 AT gamalhennessy@gmail.com FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.In case you didn’t know, I’m a writer in addition to running C3. My fourth novel, Smoke and Shadow, came out this week. It’s doing pretty well so far but it’s not selling like Harry Potter so I’m going to keep my day job for now…If you want more advice on freelance and small business contracts, sign up for the C3 Newsletter.last_img read more

US Open: Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna advance at Flushing Meadows

first_imgAce Indian players Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna progressed to the next rounds of the ongoing US Open after winning their respective matches on Saturday.Mirza and her Chinese partner Peng Shuai entered the third round of the women’s doubles event after defeating Slovakian pairing of Jana Cepelova and Magdalena Rybarikova 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 in the contest that lasted for more than two hours.The fourth-seeded Indo-China pair will take on Romanian-Spanish combination of Sorana Cirstea and Sara Sorribes Tormo for a place in the quarter-finals.Meanwhile, Bopanna, along with his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski, defeated the pair of British Heather Watson and Finland’s Henri Kontinen 6-4, 4-6, 13-11 in a hard fought match, which lasted for an hour and 17 minutes of the mixed doubles event.The seventh seeds will face American-Spanish combination of Nicholas Monroe and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the second round.Earlier, Leander Paes and Purav Raja sailed into the men’s doubles second round after defeating Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-3.Paes and Raja will face the Russian team of Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev in the next round.last_img read more

Houston open for business: mayor

first_imgBy Seema Hakhu KachruHouston, Sep 4 (PTI) Americas fourth largest city Houston is “open for business”, the citys mayor has said even as some parts of the metropolis remain flooded and the cost of damage caused by the devastating hurricane Harvey could exceed a whopping USD 180 billion.Mayor Sylvester Turner said much of the city was hoping to get back on track after Labour Day. Parts of the city are reeling under floodwaters which contain a toxic brew of chemicals.Turner said he had asked Donald Trump for rapid repair assistance during the US Presidents visit to the city this weekend.”Houstons immediate priorities are housing, housing, housing,” Turner told CBS yesterday.Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, brought 52 inches of rain to some parts of the Houston and resulted in at least 50 deaths. The ferocious storm, which knocked out 30 per cent of US oil refining capacity, has led to price spikes and sporadic gasoline shortages in some parts of the city.Flood models released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency show more than 90,000 residential structures in Harris, Galveston and Fort Bend Counties could have been damaged by flood waters from the storm.Only 15 per cent of Harris Countys 1.5 million properties, which includes Houston, are insured for floods.Despite all that, Turner said much of the city was hoping to get back on track after Labour Day.”Anyone who was planning on a conference or a convention or a sporting event or a concert coming to this city, you can still come. We can do multiple things at the same time,” ,? Turner, a Democrat, said.advertisementThe 1.5-mile evacuation zone around the Arkema facility was lifted today and officials said it was safe for residents to return to their homes.Authorities said they would continue to monitor air quality around the site.Floodwaters have also inundated at least five Superfund toxic waste near Houston and some may have been damaged even though the environmental officials have yet to assess the full extent of what occurred.Turner said Houstons drinking water hadnt been affected by the storm.”We would hope that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be on the ground now to take a look at those Superfund sites, to make sure that contamination is contained and limited,” Turner said.Utility crews went door-to-door yesterday shutting off power and warning those still in some waterlogged homes in western parts of the city that more flooding was possible, not from rain, but from releases of water from overtaxed reservoirs.Thousands of Houston dwellings were under mandatory evacuation orders, though about 300 people were thought to be refusing to leave.According to data compiled by Solera Holdings, up to half a million cars have been damaged in Texas. Even rental vehicles have likely been damaged in Houston, a city where 94 per cent of the population owns a car.People briefly returned yesterday to some homes in the area.In Austin, Governor Greg Abbott seemed to pump the brakes on the rush to rebuild, calling for new development restrictions in order to prevent future flooding disasters.In the past, local plans to limit and control storm runoff have been sidetracked by high costs and opposition from business and development interests in a city without zoning controls.”As we go through the build-out phase, and rebuilding Texas, part of our focus must be on rebuilding in a way that will prevent a disaster like this from happening again,” Abbott told reporters before speaking during Sunday services at the Hyde Park Baptist Church, on the official Day of Prayer he proclaimed last week in Harveys aftermath.As part of his continuing message of collaboration with local officials, Abbott said he has pledged to work to guard against another Harvey-like flood disaster ? which some officials speculate could top USD 200 billion in damage, more than hurricanes Rita and Sandy combined.Meanwhile, repairs continued on the water treatment plant in Beaumont, about 85 miles from Houston, which failed after the swollen Neches River inundated the main intake system and backup pumps halted.More than 1,000 people continued to shelter at the George R Brown Convention Center, down significantly from the 10,000 person peak a week earlier.Another 2,600 remained at NRG Center. Officials said those still there were likely be the hardest to relocate, either because their homes were damaged beyond repair, or because floodwaters still havent subsided. PTI SHK MRJlast_img read more

FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde blames Ousmane Dembele’s inexperience for injury

first_imgBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde believes Ousmane Dembele’s inexperience was partly to blame for the hamstring injury which will keep him out for around four months.The 20-year-old France winger backheeled the ball while running at speed in the 25th minute of Barca’s 2-1 win at Getafe in La Liga on Saturday and immediately pulled up injured.Dembele, who joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for 105 million euros ($125.22 million) in the close season, was diagnosed on Sunday with a hamstring rupture which Barcelona said will sideline him until around Christmas.”What’s clear is that this is a player who has never had a muscular problem, he doesn’t have the experience to recognise the little pains,” Valverde told a news conference on Monday.”A player at that speed that makes this backheel move getting hurt, it’s not normal but it’s one of the possibilities. A veteran player might not have done that.”Dembele is in Finland to have his hamstring operated on and Valverde hopes the youngster can cope with being sidelined.”It’s the hardest thing for a player, he’s injured and can’t help. He has to be very patient, it’s what he has to do,” said the Barcelona coach.”It’s just one more problem he will encounter in his career. You never want it to happen but we’ve all had muscle problems, knee injuries. You have to look at it from a long-term perspective.”League leaders Barca face Eibar on Tuesday at the Camp Nou and Valverde said any one of Gerard Deulofeu, Aleix Vidal, Denis Suarez or Andre Gomes might be chosen to replace Dembele.advertisementWhile the winger’s absence might not be felt for this game, Dembele is also set to miss the rest of Barcelona’s Champions League group fixtures and crucial domestic league clashes with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.last_img read more

Shane Warne accused of hitting a porn star at a London nightclub

first_img“And no, I’m not lying. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you can hit women and get away with it,” tweeted Valerie Fox after an incident that has “traumatised” the porn star.Shane Warne has been accused of hitting a woman at a nightclub — LouLou’s Club — in Mayfair.According to a report in the Mirror, the legendary cricketer was spotted at the club on the night of the incident on Wednesday, however, it is yet not known if the two were spending the evening together.Fox has shared a picture on the social networking site of her black eye.Proud of yourself? Hitting a woman? Vile creature. pic.twitter.com/RRnn3Ycfjp- Valerie Fox (@ValerieFoxxx) 23 September 2017″Absolutely traumatised by tonight’s events, being a victim of assault is horrible and I thank the @metpoliceuk for their help & support,” Fox tweeted.Absolutely traumatised by tonight’s events, being a victim of assault is horrible and I thank the @metpoliceuk for their help & support.- Valerie Fox (@ValerieFoxxx) 23 September 2017And no, I’m not lying. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you can hit women and get away with it. pic.twitter.com/dk7PPhTiCg- Valerie Fox (@ValerieFoxxx) 23 September 2017The 30-year-old porn star has also tweeted her victim incident card issued by the police.Thank you to my lovely followers for all your kind messages and support, means a lot. ?????- Valerie Fox (@ValerieFoxxx) 23 September 2017Warne, who celebrated his 48th birthday earlier this month, is yet to respond to the claims made by Fox.advertisementWarner called time on his international career after picking 1001 wickets. During his heydays, he was controversy’s favourite child but the crowds loved him wherever he went.last_img read more

Paraguay team arrives in Mumbai for FIFA U-17 World Cup

first_imgThe Paraguay team for upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, being hosted by India, arrived here earlier today.According to sources, the team arrived earlier in the day and has checked in at a hotel in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, one of the six venues of the tournament beginning October 6.Paraguay are placed in Group B along with New Zealand, Mali and Turkey.????´ #AlbirrojaSub17 ?? Postales del gran recibimiento en Navi Mumbai! ??????MUNDIAL #India2017????, LLEGAMOS!#VamosParaguay???????? #FIFAU17WC?????? pic.twitter.com/m0q0QKBxpG- Seleccin Paraguaya (@Albirroja) September 29, 2017They will begin their campaign with a game against Mali to be played on October 6 at the DY Patil Stadium in Nerul, Navi Mumbai.Sources also said the England U-17 team trained at the Mumbai Football Arena in suburban Andheri.Apart from Navi Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kochi, Goa and Kolkata will be hosting the World Cup matches.last_img read more

A look into blind sports: visually impaired show stomach for

first_imgfight By Aparajita Upadhyay New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) The whistle blows and two teenage girls, dressed in the white judo uniforms, lunge forward — eager to knock the other out. Eventually, one of them manages to pin down the other. It seems like a standard bout, except that both girls cannot see each other. This is one of many awe-inspiring sights at the recently concluded Usha Sports Championships for the Blind 2018, where over 400 participants, including 99 female from 18 states competed in Kabaddi, Judo and Powerlifting events. Working effortlessly to make these national level championships possible is A David, General Secretary of the Indian Blind Sports Association (IBSA). “I am very happy to see these kids compete with each other, argue with the referee for every point conceded because that shows their burning desire to win. That is encouragement enough for us to set up such events,” David told PTI. This is a landmark year for the Championships as IBSA launched a long-term programme with special thrust on promoting female participation. “The girls came up and asked me why there wasnt a tournament for them. They kept on seeing boys getting the opportunity and they did not get to play. It is the need of the hour to have female participation in sports. Someone has to take the initiative,” he said. “It is the first time we have started female kabaddi and judo thanks to Usha International. We are planning to reach out to the females. In India socially, culturally and religiously there are many barriers, in addition to that the disability is another barrier. “By way of sports if girls and women come out and play, the experience will empower them, they wont stay home after that. Once they are out, that will encourage education, health etc. That is my aim and I know it will work,” David added. India is a sports-loving nation and it is the same for these participants. For some, the pursuit of the games is an important aspect of their lives for others it is a form of entertainment and fun. “I used to play kabbadi before I was blind. I was a district level player. I continued playing afterward. I am also a wrestler and play blind cricket. I love playing,” said 20-year-old Hanumant Kundale, captain of the Maharashtra kabaddi team. “I like playing because when we play we are entertained and since it is a form of exercise we remain fit as well,” said 15-year-old Ananya, who is playing her first Kabaddi tournament. For coach Lahu Chavan, who was a National level player, it is a way to stay in touch with the sports after sustaining a backbone injury. “I feel very good when I teach them, some of them are older than me but they still listen to me. I had to take a break from playing after I injured my backbone. My coach was also blind. He suggested me to try my hand here, I like it coaching here,” Chavan said. Asked about Ankur Dhama, from the IBSA, the first blind Indian athlete to participate at the Paralympics, David says if given proper training and opportunities even visually challenged player can do wonders. “India gets a very less number of quota. You have to be the best of the best only then you get the opportunity. Dhamas story is the encouragement, the crown in our work. There are many more and hopefully, in Tokyo, we will have a female team. “If we are given infrastructural, technical support, training facilities, physios, it will be a great help for these players when they compete internationally,” David said. PTI APA ATadvertisementlast_img read more

ICC Under 19 World Cup final: Pacers will give India the edge, says Prithvi Shaw

first_imgPrithvi Shaw, captain of India Under-19 cricket team, believes the terrific form of his fast bowlers will give the three-time champions an edge when they take on Australia in pursuit of a record fourth ICC World Cup title on Saturday.The Rahul Dravid-coached boys would be aiming to rewrite record books with a fourth title when they square off against an equally formidable Australia in the final.WATCHIndia and Australia are the two most successful teams in the history of the tournament having won the coveted trophy three times each.”Whenever the team’s needed them, they (fast bowlers) have provided the breakthroughs. They’re ready whenever I ask them to bowl. They’ve good intensity as well, their fitness is great as well,” Shaw said on the eve of the big match.”All of them — Kamlesh (Nagarkoti), (Ishan) Porel, (Shivam) Mavi. It helps us all to have a good attitude in the field, we’re all really pumped up when our fast bowlers do well,” he added.Shaw, however, was not bothered by the fact that the Indian batting line-up has not been tested enough, with the openers getting solid starts in all but one of five matches, including two century partnerships.Ahead of the #U19CWC Final, re-live Prithvi Shaw’s 94 against Australia when they faced at Bay Oval in the group stage! Will they be able to stop him this time around? #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/TVkcop3q0W— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) February 2, 2018To add their strength, number three batsman Shubman Gill has been in scintillating form, aggregating 341 runs at an average of 170.50, including one innings as opener.advertisement”I have confidence that even if we get one partnership, we can take charge of the match and take the score to 250-300.”If you look at our match against Australia too, we put up a good total, even though we lost a couple of wickets after an early partnership. The middle order also controlled the innings well,” Shaw said.The Indian skipper, though, was cautious and said Australia have improved considerably since the 100-run defeat his side inflicted on them early in the tournament.The #MenInBlue are rooting for the #BoysInBlue all the way from South Africa #U19CWC pic.twitter.com/31ymNcHjAe— BCCI (@BCCI) February 2, 2018″They (Australia) are a good side, it will be challenging for us even though they have lost against us in the first game. They have got a better side right now. We will stick to our process and will try to execute it on the field,” Shaw said.Touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket, Shaw himself has been in fine form, managing 232 runs in four innings with a best score of 94 against Australia in their tournament opener.”I can’t actually describe myself but I think so far I am really doing good,” Shaw said about his own performance.”If you see the results, the batting and bowling and the intensity on the pitch and the attitude how the boys are behaving, it’s a good sign till now.”Australia captain Jason Sangha, on the other hand, said his team would be looking to seize the initiative against India. Australia would be aiming to add a fourth title to the ones claimed in 1998, 2002 and 2010.Sangha said the 100-run loss to India earlier in the tournament is a thing of the past and the final is an altogether new game.The opening defeat to India, that Pope performance against England, and picking the Afghan spinners – Jason Sangha, Jack Edwards and Lloyd Pope look back at Australia’s #U19CWC campaign so far ahead of the final tomorrow #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/vZy2aX747R— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) February 2, 2018″The 100-run loss does not bother me at all. A grand final is a different contest. It’s a different pitch, different nerves. They’ve played good cricket but if we get a couple of early wickets and put pressure on their players, anything can happen,” he said.Sangha refused to believe that Australia will approach the match as “underdogs”, having lost to India earlier.”We wouldn’t say we are underdogs. We are not the favourites, but at the end of the day we are Australia, we are our own team, India are their own team,” he said.”We are a side that can beat any team if we play well.We’ve grown by leaps and bounds since our first match,” the Australian skipper added.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

HDFC Ergo policy full refund on cancelled event tickets

first_imgMumbai, Feb 26 (PTI) In a first, private sector general insurer HDFC Ergo today launched a policy that ensures complete refund of an event ticket in case of cancellation.”The sum insured for the policy will be the total cost of the ticket booked in one transaction,” the company said in a statement adding the policy covers event tickets.It is an all-risk policy where ticket cancellation by customers, due to any reason, will be covered. The cover indemnifies the event ticketing partners against non-sale of tickets cancelled by customers, the company said in a release.The ticket cancellation insurance policy will be offered for events such as musical concerts, training workshops, sports matches, adventure, etc.”There is no exclusion in the policy and the customers will be refunded the money for pre-booked ticket/s by the event ticketing partner,” said Mukesh Kumar, an executive director at HDFC ERGO General Insurance.Under the policy norms, refund will be initiated if the ticket is cancellation by the customer for any reason including non-allocation of specific seats, and non-sale of cancelled tickets among others.In case, no seat numbers are allotted, like a music concert, all cancelled tickets will be reimbursed, it added. This new policy is applicable if the event is cancelled, abandoned, postponed, rescheduled or relocated by the event organiser. PTI SS BEN BENlast_img read more

Reddy named FMSCI Motors Sports Person of Year

first_imgChennai, Mar 11 (PTI) Hyderabads Anindith Reddy was crowned ?FMSCI National Motor Sports Person of the Year at a glittering function here on Sunday.The 26-year-old, who has been scorching the domestic circuit since his debut in 2014, had a spectacular run last season, scoring a unique double and winning the MRF FF 1600 and the Euro JK 17 titles, in the two National Racing Championships.FIA world motor sport council member Gautam Singhania and FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim presented the coveted award to him in the presence of the countrys foremost racers, rallyists and officials.KD Madan, a former FMSCI president and K1000 champion, was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for his immense contribution to the sport in the country.The countrys outstanding performers during the year were felicitated at the FMSCI Awards Nite including Arjun Maini, Jehan Daruvala, Aditya Patel, Armaan Ebrahim, Gaurav Gill and Abhilash PG.A number of women, who have been doing well at the national level, were also among the awardees, led by Aishwarya PM, Rhyana Bee A, Kalyani V Potekar and Mira Erda.In the two-wheeler categories, Amarnath Menon (racing; Super Sport Indian 300-400cc), Jagan K (racing; Super Sport Indian 165cc); R Nataraj (rally), Sanjay Kumar (rally; super bike), Vinit Sharma (rally; Super Sport 550cc), Jagan K (drag racing; 4-Stroke up to 165cc), Rameez Khan (drag racing; 4-Stroke Above 1051cc), Hemanth Muddappa (drag racing; Stroke Unrestricted), Rugved D Barguje (dirt track; Group A upto 500cc – Open); Harith Noah (SuperCross; Class 1 – SX1 – Gp A Up to 250Cc {2Stroke BS BSadvertisementlast_img read more

IOA slams ministry for raising unnecessary issues on CWG contingent

first_img(Eds: Updating with inputs regarding athletics team) New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra today slammed the Sports Ministry for raising “unnecessary issues” about the family members of Commonwealth Games-bound athletes travelling with them, asking it to apply the same standards of probity for its own bureaucrats. Tension has been simmering between the IOA and the Sports Ministry for some time, especially after the governments ambitious Khelo India School Games held here last month. Batra chose the occasion of the India contingents sending-off ceremony for the Apri 4 to 15 Games in Gold Coast to vent his displeasure. “I dont know why the sports ministry is raising these unnecessary issues. We called these as extra officials but in fact these are not extra officials. These days in every sport you dont need only the coaches but you need managers, doctors, physios and masseurs. They contribute to the good performance of the players,” said Batra at the media conference after the send-off ceremony. The IOA had sent the ministry a list of 222 athletes, 74 support staff and 21 extra officials, who Batra claimed, will accompany the contingent at the expense of their respective National Sports Federations. Besides, the IOA had sent a list of 11 overall contingent staff, including the Chef-de-Mission, three General Managers, two doctors and two physiotherapists. It is learnt that the ministry is willing to clear only one doctor and one physiotherapist out of those recommended by the IOA as overall contingent staff. The ministry is yet to clear the final Indian contingent sent by the IOA and it is expected to take another couple of days.advertisement The bone of contention is the 21 extra officials included in the list sent by the IOA. The Sports Ministry, it is learnt, has decided to put a stop to officials “fun rides” and stick to the rule of keeping the size of officials contingent to one-third of the athletes count, except in special cases. “Moreover, these 21 so called extra officials are not going at the cost of the ministry, they are going at the cost of the federations. So where is the problem. The 74 support staff we recommended are 33 per cent of the number of athletes and these 21 are going at the expense of the federations,” he said. He gave the example of hockey for which six officials — three each for mens and womens teams — will go at Hockey Indias expense. He said the ministry should learn from the L Sarita Devi incident during the 2014 Asian Games where the boxer did not have any manager to fall back on after getting a raw deal in her semifinal loss. Batra said if the ministry was so concerned about the number of officials recommended by the IOA, it should also look into the practice of government officials travelling to CWG, Asian Games and Olympics at taxpayers expense. “Every multi-sporting event, officials from the Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India will go at governments expense. It is taxpayers money and I dont think their presence at these multi-sporting events enhance the performance of the athletes. So, the media should also question this practice,” said the IOA chief who was elected in December last year. Batra acknowledged that though the IOA was the body through which the Indian athletes take part in multi-sport events, the clearance of the government was also needed. “IOA is an autonomous body under the IOC and Indian athletes take part only through the IOA. But at the same time the government will have to clear these athletes to be able to able to take part in these Games,” Batra said. “The national federations are also autonomous bodies and the IOA has no authority to say no to them when they say they want officials to be sent at their cost,” he added. Meanwhile, the list of Indian contingent circulated by the IOA today has some track and field athletes who were not selected by the AFI. The names of Annu Rani (womens javelin), P U Chitra (womens 1500m), Govindan Lakshmanan (mens 5000m and 10000m) and Siddhant Thingalaya (mens 110m hurdles) were there in the list even though they were not in the squad announced by AFI on March 10 after the Federation Cup National Championships (March 5-8). IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta said the list was on the basis of final official intimation from AFI. The deadline for submission of final list was on March 7. The final team was announced by AFI on March 10. Athletes, who were present at the send-off ceremony were mostly from shooting, wrestling, cycling and hockey.advertisement Mens and womens hockey team captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal, star shooters Jitu Rai, Apurvi Chandela, Mehuli Ghosh, cyclist Deborah Herold were among the top stars present on the occasion. The Indian contingent leaves for Australia on Friday. PTI PDS PM ATK ATKlast_img read more

CWG 2018: Extras being sent to Gold Coast along with athletes raise eyebrows

first_imgIn India, before teams depart for any major multi-discipline sporting event, there is a rush to get on board. With less than a fortnight to go for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, team lists are being pruned, anxious wait for the visas continue and many people are being accommodated as “extras”.Let’s start with the men’s and women’s boxing teams. Twelve boxers will be representing the country in Gold Coast, and four officials have been named. What takes the cake is another five “extra officials” have been added and they include two physios, a doctor, a video analyst and a person with no job assigned!IOA sources told Mail Today, “extra officials” would not be put up in the Games Village and expenses for their flights, boarding and lodging will have to be borne by the respective federations. There is also a possibility these “extras” could be using the official accreditation just to get access to venues.In athletics, well-known chief coach Bahadur Singh’s name does no figure in the IOA list. In all, 32 athletes have been cleared and 12 officials named for Gold Coast. The reason for leaving out Bahadur Singh is not clear and he happens to be an important man.In badminton, a needless controversy has erupted as the names of Saina Nehwal’s father and PV Sindhu’s mother have been sent in the list of “extras”. Ten shuttlers will be representing India and three officials have been named.However, five extras have been added, of which two are parents. There is no reason why the government or the IOA should pay for these parents as the two badminton superstars are making good money and have huge commercial endorsements.advertisementIn the past, when Saina Mirza represented India at the Asian Games and the Olympics, her mother Naseema Mirza was named as manager by the All India Tennis Association. It did create a controversy. Union Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State Kiren Rijiju at the send-off ceremony for Indian contingent (IOA Photo)Given the drama over keeping numbers low for the CWG, there was no need to put Saina and Sindhu’s parents names as extra officials. The world over, athletes’ parents and friends have to come as tourists to the city hosting big events and buy tickets. Wrong use of accreditation is not done and the IOA should not encourage it.At a time when an impression is being created that there is a delay in visa issuance by Australia for athletes and coaches, Mail Today has learnt it was because of delays in respective sports federations sending in entries, passport details and proper photographs.In such a scenario, there is suspense over basketball, cycling and few names from track and field.Then again, it’s strange why basketball has named eight officials for two teams. This defies logic and it’s hard to justify so much tax payers’ money being spent.Hockey has 14 officials for two teams and the number seems large.In shooting, where India are expected to do well, no manager or masseur has been named. Jaspal Rana has been named as “extra official” and few can grudge that. There is also no logic in sending two shotgun coaches, Marcello Dradi and Mansher Singh.Table tennis has 10 players and seven officials, which is just not needed. In cycling, technician has been picked as extra officials. It shows how the federation diminishes his role. He should have been picked ahead of an additional coach.Wrestling, too, is going overboard by naming seven officials for 12 wrestlers. Such ratio of athletes to officials can happen only in India and needs to be checked. After all, the CWG is not a fun trip.last_img read more

Ball-tampering scandal: Steve Smith personally says sorry to young kid in Australia

first_imgSteve Smith personally reached out to a young kid to apologise for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket over the last week.Smith gave a tearful apology in a packed press conference at the Sydney airport on Thursday and took full responsibility for the scandal and said he was deeply sorry for the cheating row.When asked in the press conference about what he would say to the young kids, he apologised to them and advised them to think about who they are affecting whenever they have to make a “questionable decision”.Ball Tampering: Umpire Harper had raised concerns over Smith and Warner back in November 2016″I say two things, or three things. Firstly, I’m deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket, I love entertaining young kids, I love kids wanting to play the great game of cricket that I love.Steve Smith cries in public: Devastated for shaming cricket”The two other things are, any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you’re affecting. You’re affecting your parents. To see the way my old man’s been… [breaks down] … and my mum, it hurts. I just want to say I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve brought to Australia and the fans and the public, it’s devastating and I’m truly sorry,” Smith said on Thursday.WATCH STEVE SMITH’S TEARFUL APOLOGYAustralian TV reporter Deborah Knight took to Twitter after Smith’s emotional press conference and shared how her son cried watching his favourite break down like that.advertisement”Just spent 20 minutes consoling my crying 9 year old who is a major Steve Smith fan after he watched the press conference. Encouraging him and all kids to write Steve a letter telling him how much you love and admire him,” Knight wrote on Twitter.Just spent 20 minutes consoling my crying 9 year old who is a major Steve Smith fan after he watched the press conference. Encouraging him and all kids to write Steve a letter telling him how much you love and admire him.deborah knight (@deborah_knight) March 29, 2018Subsequently on Friday afternoon, Knight took to Twitter again to shared that Smith had personally reached out to her son Darcy to “apologise for making him so upset.”She further added that he told Darcy that he was glad for his support.”Surprised and humbled that @stevesmith49 has taken time to contact my son directly to personally apologise for making him so upset. He’s told Darcy that he’s glad he his support,” Knight wrote.Surprised and humbled that @stevesmith49 has taken time to contact my son directly to personally apologise for making him so upset. Hes told Darcy that hes glad he his support.deborah knight (@deborah_knight) March 30, 2018Smith has been handed out a one-year ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal and he will not be considered for captaincy for at least two years.On the other hand, Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the tampering on the field, also apologised to the Australian public in a press conference at the WACA in Perth.David Warner, on the other hand, will speak to the media on Saturday morning and before that, he took to social media to apologise for his actions.In a brief talk with the media after landing at the Sydney airport, Warner said his priority was to get his kids in the bed and “rest up”.last_img read more

Shah Rukh Khan and Dinesh Karthik’s special gesture for special Knight Rider

first_imgKolkata Knight Riders started their 2018 Indian Premier League journey on a winning note as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.Among the thousands present in the stadium, one young fan cheered enthusiastically for every boundary hit by a KKR batsman and every wicket picked by a KKR bowler.Shah Rukh Khan is a regular feature at all of KKR’s matches at home and he cheered on for his boys with daughter Suhana. Every time King Khan appears on the big screen at the ground, there would be loud applause across the stands.SRK was touched with Harshul Goenka’s spirited cheering and he made it a point to visit Harshul, who suffers from cerebral palsy, can be seen at KKR’s home games, flanked by his mother Rajani, cheering for his favourite team. Harshul is a huge fan of SRK and had met with ‘King Khan’ back in 2014. Since then the KKR owner sends tickets for him to Kolkata’s home matches at Eden Gardens.Former KKR and current Delhi Daredevils captain Gautam Gambhir, had earlier posted a photo collage of Harshul.I will miss many parts of @KKRiders may be will get over with time but not the Superfan Harshul Boss Goenka. Lets see if I can convince Boss to convert into being a @DelhiDaredevils fan. While I do that u checkout his collage pic.twitter.com/V2d4HRh0uBGautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) February 19, 2018After the game against RCB on Sunday, Shah Rukh and Karthik spent time with the ‘Boss’.advertisementKarthik also presented Harsul a match award he had got after KKR’s victory over RCB.Karthik had received the award for his decision to hand Nitish Rana the ball, who scalped the big wickets of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli on two consecutive balls. The move halted RCB’s momentum, as they managed only 176 from their 20 overs.Rana later scored 34 runs off 25 balls. His knock was studded with two fours and two sixes. Apart from Rana, Sunil Narine scored a quickfire 50 off 19 deliveries in a scintillating opening innings that saw him become the only batsman in IPL to score two half-centuries in fewer than 20 deliveries. He also picked the important wicket of Brendon McCullum.On Tuesday, KKR will face Chennai Super Kings who will play at their home ground M.A. Chidambaram Stadium after a wait of two years. Dinesh Karthik will also be returning to Chennai and the Chepauk will surely be eager to welcome both teams back, albeit in contrasting fashion.last_img read more

Haryana govt cancels award function for CWG medallists after prize money furore

first_imgChandigarh, Apr 25 (PTI) The Haryana government today cancelled the felicitation function for the states Commonwealth Games medal winners after being threatened with a boycott by top athletes such as wrestler Vinesh Phogat and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra over a proposed cut in prize money. The function was to be held in Panchkula tomorrow but athletes such as Phogat, Chopra and boxer Manoj Kumar had refused to attend it, citing the cut proposed for athletes employed with units like the Railways and Services. While Phogat and Chopra had won gold medals, Manoj claimed a bronze in the Gold Coast event. “We have decided to cancel tomorrows programme. We will be holding a meeting soon wherein we will review the existing policy. Under our sports policy, it is quite clear that we have to give award money to those who have played from the state,” Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij told PTI. “There is no provision in the present policy to give award to those who have represented other bodies like Railways or the Army,” he added. Vij said even the reduced prize money being planned for the likes of Phogat (Railways) and Chopra (Services) is a departure from the past provision of not awarding athletes belonging to other units. “…we gave relaxation in our policy and considered even those players who play for bodies like Railways, lest they feel that they got any less than what their counterparts who represent the state get. “Everyone is aware that Haryana gives highest award money. What we had said is that we will deduct the prize money that they get from their employer, in case of any, from the total reward money,” Vij explained.advertisement Vij said that sportspersons objection to the government plan is not justified. “If we dont go for deduction of this amount, then those who played from Haryana, their reward money will be reduced whereas those who played from other bodies, they will take Rs one crore, lets say from Railways as well as get Rs 1.5 crore from the Haryana government. We will be holding a meeting. We will review the existing policy,” he said. The preparations for organising the mega awards function at Panchkula had almost been completed. As per earlier programme, Governor Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki was to honour the medal winners in the presence of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Sports Minister Anil Vij. Of thee 22 CWG medallists from Haryana, 13 represent organisations such as Indian Railways and Army. The Haryana government was to felicitate all the 22 medal winners. However, controversy broke out after a few of the medal winners threatened boycott if the government didnt withdraw its decision of making the deduction from their prize money. According to Haryana?s sports policy, a CWG gold medallist from the state is to get Rs 1.5 crore, a silver-medallist Rs 75 lakh and a bronze-medallist Rs 50 lakh. PTI SUN PM PM PMlast_img read more