The Indian Railways is taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign further by developing 200 applications for travelers, stakeholders and employees.From information for tourists to details about construction of infrastructure, the various apps will be catering to different audiences.“People will be informed about the services to be provided by the railways with the help of these apps. This will enforce accountability,” said an official, according to the Times of India.Apps like Rail MADAD and Menu on Rails will be useful for travelers. Rail MADAD aims to help passengers file complaints related to travel and facilities at stations for faster redressal of issues. The app is almost ready and has integrated all passenger grievances and redressal mechanism in railways.The Menu on Rails app will have the IRCTC menu with a price list for food items available at stations and different trains such as mail/express trains or elite Shatabdi/Rajdhani trains.Travelers will also be able to find out about the progress of construction of foot overbridges, installation of escalators at stations, status of construction of underpasses or underbridges, and installation of WiFi service at stations. Earlier, the Indian Railways had partnered with Google to set up WiFi at hundreds of stations in a push towards the government’s Digital India initiative.Apps will also be developed for tourist information and the National Rail Museum.Travelers will also receive information about the status of station redevelopment, catering stalls, their locations, and planning and progress in removal of unmanned level-crossings through the use of these apps.The Indian Railways is also going to launch an app called “IR SUGAM,” which will have information about freight business for customers.The Railways’ revenue for passenger traffic as well as freight movement has increased between April and December 2017 by 5 and 8 per cent year on year, respectively, according to PTI.The department launched three apps in February 2016, including handheld terminals for traveling ticket examiners (TTEs), a paperless unreserved ticketing mobile application, and a facility for e-booking of disposable linen on trains. An app called “UTSONMOBILE” was also launched in South Central Railway for unreserved ticketing.To boost foreign and NRI tourists, the Indian Railways offers confirmed accommodation in upper classes of all trains one year in advance. This is above and beyond the Foreign Tourists Quota (FTQ) of eight berths each in First and Second Class AC coaches, the Hindu reported in July 2017. Related ItemsIndian RailwaysirctcTourism
The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday questioned Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray for close to nine hours in connection with the IL&FS – Kohinoor CTNL case. Mr Thackeray, called for questioning via a formal notice, reached the ED office in Ballard Pier around 11.30 a.m. on Thursday, accompanied by his wife Sharmila, son Amit, daughter Urvashi and daughter-in-law Mitali. He entered the ED office without speaking to the media, while his family members went to the Grant Hotel close to the ED office. Shareholding pattern“Mr. Thackeray was mainly questioned about the shareholding pattern in Kohinoor CTNL as well as some facts that came to light in the questioning of others who have been quizzed over the last few days,” a ED officer said. The ED has since Monday been questioning Unmesh Joshi, son of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi and senior MNS leader Rajan Shirodkar. The trio were partners in a consortium that formed Kohinoor CTNL, to which IL&FS paid close to Rs 860 crore in the form of loans and investments. The officer added that other aspects of the questioning included the trail of money after it was paid to Kohinoor CTNL by IL&FS and the granting of unsecured loans by IL&FS without any collateral despite the company declaring losses. Mr Thackeray left from the ED office at around 8.15 p.m. on Thursday, once again under tight police escort, accompanied by his family members. ED sources said that he has not been called in for questioning on Friday and that it is unlikely that he will need to be questioned again unless some new facts come to light in subsequent investigations.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed with the Uttar Pradesh government’s offer to facilitate the transfer of a woman law student from Shahjahanpur, who had levelled harassment allegations against former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, and her brother to law colleges affiliated to the Bareilly University.Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Bannerjee told a Bench led by Justice R. Banumathi that the siblings would be provided hostel facilities. “Their future is important,” the court said.The Bench requested the Bar Council of India (BCI) to increase the seats in the colleges where the woman and her brother would be shifted for LLM and LLB courses respectively.The top court disposed of the suo motu petition. It said the petition, filed by women lawyers last week, was entertained because the woman was missing at the time. She was subsequently traced to Rajasthan. The apex court had intervened and directed the State police, heading back to Shahjahanpur with her, to bring her to the Supreme Court instead. The Bench of Justices Banumathi and A.S. Bopannathen had an in-camera session with the woman. She conveyed to the judges that she did not want to continue her studies in the college run by Chinmayanand’s ashram at Shahjahanpur. She was allowed last week to stay back in Delhi with her parents for the time being.‘Free to go back’On Wednesday, the court said the woman and her parents were at liberty to go back to Shahjahanpur under Delhi Police escort.The court had on Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to set up an SIT, headed by an IG rank officer, to investigate the charges levelled by the woman, as well as two related FIRs. It said that an Allahabad High Court Bench would monitor the investigation.
Civil society groups and social activists in Manipur have given a call for a mass agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Thursday.Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, convener of Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC), told reporters on Wednesday that six students’ organisations in the State have extended their support to the agitation.People in Manipur have been opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which, they claim, is against the interest of the indigenous people of the region. The repeated assurances given to the people of the Northeast by Central leaders have failed to comfort them. There is also disappointment over the President not yet giving assent to the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018.
Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Dwight Howard (8). APDwight Howard did not have a stellar season with his hometown Atlanta Hawks last year, but still managed to put up respectable averages of 13 points to go along with 12 boards and a block per game.Still, it comes as a surprise for most that the 31-year-old center was shipped off to the Charlotte Hornets this summer, after just one season with the team.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Villanueva starts and ends PBA career with ‘father figure’ Guiao as coach View comments MOST READ LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles03:46Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 201701:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Michael Jordan’s advice to newly-acquired Dwight Howard: ‘Play determined’ ESPN’s Zach Lowe recently bared the possible reason behind Howard’s departure: the big man wasn’t really well liked inside the locker room.During an airing of the Lowe Post podcast featuring fellow NBA journalist Kevin Arnovitz, the pair shared a story of how some of the Hawks players screamed in delight after knowing that the eight-time All-Star was traded.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I don’t know what it is. No one has kind of gotten to the bottom of why. It can’t just be the corny jokes—and my god, does he tell the corniest jokes—but I’ve heard multiple stories of Hawks players learning about the trade and screaming with jubilation into their phones,” Lowe said.Aside from Howard’s personality, one particular quality didn’t help his case with his teammates either. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “You ask why, and one account was that Dwight would give these speeches before the game about how everyone is playing hard, we want unity, we’re going to… and then go out and play like a blah game where he demands post touches and doesn’t rotate as hard as he could,” Lowe explained.“And everyone is like, ‘why are you speaking in the locker room?’ But that’s all anecdotal. It’s just crazy how these stories come out after every stop in his career.”Howard’s fall from grace since leaving the Orlando Magic in 2012 has long been documented, often butting heads with teammates and coaches during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.Howard also struggled with playing time with the Hawks last year, often getting benched in the fourth quarter due to his inability to stretch the floor and shoot free throws at a high rate. Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Arsenal striker scored either side of a Timo Werner goal, before Stindl struck to maintain Germany’s unbeaten run dating back to their 2-0 defeat by France in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.“We conceded the goal from nothing to make it 2-1, but we also showed the morale to come back from behind,” said stand-in Germany captain Sami Khedira.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSecurity was tight in Cologne almost two years to the day since the Paris terror attacks of November 13, 2015, when 130 people were killed and over 400 injured.On that night, three suicide bombers set off devices at the Stade de France during a France v Germany friendly and the shocked visiting players had to spend the night at the stadium during a security crackdown. Germany coach Joachim Loew made six changes from the team which were held to a goalless draw by England at Wembley on Friday, switching from a 4-3-3 line-up to their trusted 4-2-3-1 formation.Paris Saint-Germain second-choice goalkeeper Kevin Trapp replaced Marc-Andre ter Stegen.Emre Can, Niklas Suele, Marvin Plattenhardt, Toni Kroos, who missed the England game with a gastrointestinal infection, and Sami Khedira, who took over the captaincy, also came into the side.French boss Didier Deschamps left star forward Antoine Griezmann on the bench and started with Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial and Lacazette in a 4-3-3 formation.The trio were a constant menace and the French deservedly grabbed the opening goal on 34 minutes after Mbappe and Lacazette had early chances.ADVERTISEMENT QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC A diagonal long pass to Barcelona left-back Lucas Digne was squared to Manchester United’s Martial, who weaved past Suele, drew Trapp and squared to Lacazette who fired home.It stayed 1-0 at the break and Loew reshuffled his defensive options by swapping Mats Hummels for Antonio Ruediger.The burly Chelsea center-back had a golden chance on 52 minutes, but he fired Julian Draxler’s cross wide.The Germans equalized in the 56th minute when Mesut Ozil’s superb final pass released Werner, who slotted his shot past French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.Loew brought on World Cup winner Mario Goetze for the last half an hour—his first international appearance for a year after a metabolic disorder.Kroos clattered the crossbar with a free-kick with 20 minutes left, but France retook the lead almost immediately.The German defense left Mbappe in acres of space and his through ball put Lacazette into the box to again shoot past Trapp with 19 minutes to go.Lacazette made way for Griezmann for the final quarter of an hour as the French national anthem – La Marseillaise – echoed around the Cologne stadium as Stindl came on.But the Germans grabbed a draw right at the death when Ozil’s pass found Goetze, who set up Stindl and the Moenchengladbach forward drilled home the equalizer.Loew said he was pleased with the draws against England and France in Germany’s final internationals of 2017. DeRozan scores 27 as Raptors beat Rockets CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Germany’s striker Lars Stindl (C) celebrates scoring the 2-2 with his team-mates during the international friendly football match Germany against France in Cologne on November 14, 2017. The match ended 2-2. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALLSubstitute Lars Stindl extended world champions Germany’s unbeaten run to 21 matches with a 93rd-minute equalizer in a 2-2 friendly draw against France in Cologne on Tuesday.A first international double by Alexandre Lacazette put France on the verge of a deserved victory in a clash of two of the favorites for next year’s World Cup.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “We played better in the second half after not everything worked so well in the first 45 minutes as we had hoped,” he said.“That can always happen when you are behind at the break, but we had our chances when we put pressure on in the second half.” MOST READ LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:08Smash hit? Tesla suffers broken glass mishap at launch of new truck01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion
Germany’s Angelique Kerber rests on the court after winning a point against Romania’s Simona Halep during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — No shame. It’s the simple summary of Angelique Kerber’s bid for a second Australian Open women’s singles title.Kerber’s competitive qualities almost compensated for that sinking feeling after succumbing 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 to top-seeded Simona Halep in a gripping semifinal struggle.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers The 2016 champion didn’t lose the match — she forced Halep to win it after a gritty comeback so nearly launched the German lefthander into another Saturday night final at Melbourne Park.And this comeback after being down a set and a break wasn’t manufactured against some ranking underling. It was a sustained counter-offensive against the No. 1-player seemingly in total control of the contest.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“My heart was on the court, that’s the most important thing for me,” Kerber said. “Of course, I’m a little bit sad, but I’ll go with a good feeling back home.”Even when Halep served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, Kerber refused to yield and then saved two match points on serve in the 10th game to level the heavy-hitting duel. “Looking back if someone told me I would win so many matches, win a title and get to the semifinals here, I will take all the positive things from the last few weeks and keep looking forward,” she said. “I can play big matches in front of big crowds and my heart is there and I’m enjoying every moment.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding View comments Such was Kerber’s zest to keep the match alive that she eventually saved 13 of 22 break points on serve. She took advantage of every one of her seven breakpoint opportunities, including three in the third set, to maintain the pressure. And she made 16 fewer unforced errors. But the crushing weight of serving second in the tense third set just to stay alive eventually took its toll.While Kerber rued the two squandered match points when serving for the match at 6-5, it seems she’s back on track after the 2017 form slump when she reached only one singles final and slid from No. 1 to a year-end No. 21 ranking.Of those match points, Kerber said: “She played good, I could do nothing. I tried my best in the moment and she won those points.”It was Kerber’s first loss after a string of 14 singles victories in Australia this month — four at the Hopman Cup in Perth, five to sweep to the title at the Sydney International and five in the impressive run to the last four in Melbourne.She was the last major winner still in contention in the women’s draw after she beat Maria Sharapova in the third round.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Hyeon Chung’s profile on rise with Aussie Open breakthrough LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH
Antetokounmpo then asserted himself in the lane, and Philadelphia was hard-pressed to contain the athletic 6-foot-11 forward with All-Star center Joel Embiid sitting out the game for rest.Dario Saric had 19 points to lead the cold-shooting Sixers, who were 2 of 26 from 3-point range a night after going 11 of 29 in a loss at Oklahoma City. Ben Simmons added 16 points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Bucks were 11 for 28 from 3-point territory, getting key long-range buckets off the bench from Tony Snell (11 points), Sterling Brown (10 points) and Dellavedova. His reverse layup with 4:15 left capped a 12-4 run to give Milwaukee a 15-point lead.Dellavedova also had a personal five-point run beginning with a 3 from the corner with 6:51 left and ending with two free throws after getting fouled on the break following a steal. Golovkin and Alvarez to meet in May 5 rematch LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next View comments Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, is tied up by Philadelphia 76ers’ Amir Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 18 rebounds, Matthew Dellavedova scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-85 on Monday night for their fourth straight win since firing coach Jason Kidd.Antetokounmpo picked up his 22nd double-double of the season to lead the Bucks, who tightened up their defense after allowing the Sixers to score 22 of their first 26 points in the paint.ADVERTISEMENT Khris Middleton scored 10 of his 19 points for the Bucks in a first half that ended with Milwaukee leading 55-53.The Bucks have been rolling since assistant Joe Prunty took over as interim coach when Kidd was dismissed last Monday.TIP-INS76ers: Embiid is set to play in back-to-back games for the first time when Philadelphia hosts Miami on Friday before visiting Indiana the next night. The 7-foot center has had an extensive injury history that includes foot and knee surgeries that have limited his ability to play since he was drafted third overall in 2014. Elected a starter for his first All-Star Game, Embiid scored 27 points in 35 minutes during a loss Sunday at Oklahoma City. He is averaging 23.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.Bucks: G Malcolm Brogdon returned to the starting lineup after a two-game absence with right calf soreness. He scored four points in 21 minutes. … G Eric Bledsoe did not return after playing the first three minutes. The Bucks said he was available, but had been dealing with a sore left ankle.UP NEXT76ers: Visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Bucks: At the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “I’m excited to play because it’s almost a year since I last played basketball. I’m the oldest here, so all I want is to help the aspiring PBA candidates like Jeron and share my experiences to them,” he said in Filipino.Salvador was at the Ynares Sports Arena bleachers on Monday as he watched the Thunder beat Gamboa Coffee Mix, 119-105 and stay unbeaten after two outings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe wide-bodied enforcer, though, is willing to play the waiting game as he admits that he’s still far from his desired game shape.“I told them that I’m still not in shape. I’m just thinking here that I’ll try it and I practiced last Friday. I was able to keep in step, but I was out of air. I told coach Eric (Altamirano) to give me 10 days. I’ll be in condition again,” he said. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP LATEST STORIES BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Teng not pleased with Thunder defense despite win View comments Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Salvador also sees this opportunity for him get one last look from PBA teams, two years removed since he last saw action for the now-defunct Barako Bull.“If I perform well here, I may have the chance to be noticed again by the coaches,” he said.But the 6-foot-4 veteran is realistic enough to acknowledge that players like him are already at the twilight of their careers, and all he wants is to share valuable lessons to his teammates who are eyeing to move up to the PBA.“I’m telling them that in the PBA, they’ll be facing bigger and smarter foes, so they have to prepare themselves,” he said.“The reason why they got me in this team is to provide leadership. I’ve been a champion since I was in college, in the PBL to the PBA. I hope I can bring that winning attitude here.”ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games Jondan Salvador. PBA IMAGESIt’s been two years since he last laced up his sneakers, but Jondan Salvador is giving basketball one last shot.The 36-year-old big man is seeking to crack Flying V’s lineup in the ongoing 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup where he is hopeful to impart some wisdom to PBA aspirants, led by Jeron Teng.ADVERTISEMENT
Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Cavs star Kyrie Irving reportedly requests trade Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Gasol, who won NBA titles in 2009 and 2010 with the Los Angeles Lakers, spent seven seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before being traded to the Lakers in 2008. He signed as a free agent with Chicago in 2014 and San Antonio last July.In 64 games for the Spurs last season, Gasol averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 blocked shots as San Antonio went 61-21, the NBA’s second-best record behind eventual playoff champion Golden State.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsGasol has career NBA averages of 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 blocked shots over 1,119 games.By declining his $16.2 million contract option for next season, Gasol allowed the Spurs salary cap room to sign fellow free agents Rudy Gay, Brandon Paul and Joffrey Lauvergne and are in talks to bring back Argentine star reserve guard Manu Ginobili for a 16th season in San Antonio. National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ View comments MOST READ In this May 3, 2017, file photo, San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol (16) dunks the ball in front of Houston Rockets’ Clint Capela, right, during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in San Antonio. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Gasol has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Spurs. The 7-foot Spaniard and the team came to agreement on Friday, July 21, 2017, on a deal that is partially guaranteed for the third season. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)NEW YORK—Spanish 37-year-old free agent center Pau Gasol, a six-time NBA All-Star, has agreed to a three-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs, ESPN reported Friday.The contract, according to unnamed sources in the ESPN website report, will include a partial guarantee in the final season for the Barcelona-born star, who is set to start his 17th NBA campaign later this year.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games
Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Mayweather, McGregor ready to rumble in much-hyped fight Anna Clarice Patrimonio of the Philippines competes against Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the finals of women’s singles event of the 29th Southeast Asian Games lawn tennis competition Saturday at the National Tennis Center in Kuala Lumpur. Kumkhum prevailed, 6-0, 6-1, to pocket the gold medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Clarice Patrimonio had to settle for silver after running into a solid-steel Luksika Khumkhum of Thailand, 6-0, 6-1, Saturday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games tennis women’s singles competition.The rain-marred finals at Jalan Duta Tennis Complex was a lopsided affair as the FIlipina could not find a way to get through the Thai, who once was ranked 85th in the world and has an Asian Games doubles gold under her belt (2014 Incheon).ADVERTISEMENT Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Tennis, thus, failed to win a gold in the competition and will go home with two silvers and two bronzes.The other silver came from Francis Casey Alcantara and Ruben Gonzales in the men’s doubles last Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingKatharina Lehnert and Denise Dy also wound up third place in women’s doubles.Dy and Gonzales settled for bronze in mixed doubles which the country ruled two years ago in Singapore through Dy and Treat Huey. View comments MOST READ
The Lahore High Court adjourned a hearing into the spot-fixing allegations against Pakistani cricketers until September 22 after PCB chairman and the players failed to appear before the court on Tuesday.Pakistan Cricket Board legal advisor, Talib Rizvi said since its chairman Ejaz Butt and the players were in England they couldn’t appear in person and he represented the board.”The deputy attorney-general appeared in court on behalf of the ministry of sports and informed the court that since the cricket board was an independent body the ministry couldn’t interfere directly in its matters,” Rizvi said.The LHC has summoned the PCB chief, players and ministry of sports officials to hear a petition calling for the players alleged to be involved in spot-fixing to face treason charges.PCB chairman and Pakistan cricketers failed to appear before the Lahore High Court.Lawyer Ishtiaq Ahmed filed the petition in the High Court last week to initiate treason proceedings against players who are being investigated for alleged spot fixing on the current tour of England.Since then the International Cricket Council has already suspended the three suspected players — Test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir.Ishtiaq today pressed the court to issue a notice to Ejaz Butt but judge Khawaja Sharif declined pointing out that since the ministry of sports had submitted its arguments he (Ishtiaq) should study it and submit his remarks at the next hearing.Ishtiaq has maintained that he wanted to see the players banned and their assets seized as they had brought a bad name to the country and the image of the sport.advertisement
India’s batting genius Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday achieved another milestone when he equalled Sanath Jayasuriya’s record of being the most capped player in one-day internationals.Sachin TendulkarThe second one-dayer against South Africa at the New Wanderers here, was Tendulkar’s 444th match, the same as Sri Lankan legend Jayasuriya’s.In a career during which he rewrote almost every major batting record, the 37-year-old recently became the first batsman in the history of Test cricket to score 50 centuries in the longest format of the game.He followed his landmark ton in the first Test against South Africa in Centurion with another in the third game in Cape Town to take his tally to 51.Tendulkar also holds records for the most Test appearances (177), and the most Test runs.In one-day internationals, Tendulkar has more than 17,000 runs – over 4,000 more than second-placed Jayasuriya – and has hit 17 more ODI centuries (46) than his nearest rival, Ricky Ponting of Australia.Tendulkar is also the only batsman to score a double hundred in ODIs.- With PTI inputs
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.The high-voltage campaign for 62 Assembly constituencies in Assam going to the polls in the first phase on April 4 ended here today with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing two rallies.The campaign was high pitched on the last day despite a bandh call given by the Paresh Barua-led anti-talk faction of ULFA to protest the Prime Minister’s visit, bad weather in some areas and the World Cup cricket final with candidates making hectic last minute efforts to woo the voters in the constituencies spread over 13 districts.An electorate of 85,09,011, comprising 43,91,895 males and 41,17,116 females will decide the fate of 485 candidates (447 males and 38 female) including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.A triangular contest between the ruling Congress, BJP and AGP is likely in most constituencies which include 15 in the Barak Valley, five in the two hill districts of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills district, eight in Sonitpur and the remaining 34 in Upper Assam districts of Dhemaji, Golaghat, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur and Jorhat.The ruling Congress though burdened with an anti-incumbency factor is expecting to enter the Assembly for the third consecutive term with the Prime Minister, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee among others batting for Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s achievements during the last 10 years.The BJP, in particular, put in an aggressive campaign with almost all senior national leaders including former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari, Leaders of Opposition in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, former party President M Venkaiah Naidu, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda.advertisementThe AGP’s campaign was muted with Party President Chandramohan Patowary and former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta pitching in for candidates in the party strongholds.The BJP brought in the glamour quotient with Bollywood stars Hema Malini and Shatrughan Sinha and television star Smriti Irani campaigning in different constituencies while the Congress had only Raj Babbar to canvass for the party.The issues on which the different parties campaigned were varied with Congress leaders highlighting the development of the state, various schemes introduced during the last 10 years, initiating peace talks with ULFA and utter chaos and economic mismanagement during AGP rule.The BJP and AGP harped mostly on corruption issues, particularly on the multi-crore funds diversion scam in North Cachar Hills, and alleged failure of the Congress to solve the issues of foreigners’ influx, flood, erosion and neglect of the weaker sections, particularly the tea tribe community.The banned ULFA, which has been calling for a boycott of all polls for the last three decades, has not done so this time with a section led by Chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa coming for talks but Paresh Barua anti-talk faction has threatened Congress workers.Political parties, however, did not make insurgency a major issue in the just concluded poll campaigning.Among the prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase are Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi from Titabor, Assembly Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai from Barchalla, Deputy Speaker Pranati Phukan from Naharkatiya, Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi from Margherita, PWD Minister Ajanta Neog from Golaghat, Culture and Sports Minister Bharat Narah from Dhakuakhana, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Nurjamal Sarkar from Bishwanath, Public Health Department Minister Dinesh Prasad Goala from Lakhipur and Handloom and Law Minister Pranab Gogoi from Sibsagar.BJP state unit President Ranjit Dutta from Bihali, former AGP President Brindabon Goswami from Tezpur, controversial sitting independent MLAs and former ULFA militants Jiten Deuri from Bokakhat and Kushal Dowari from Thowra, and ASDC leader Mohit Hojai, currently in jail in connection with NC Hills funds diversion scam, are also in the fray.In the first phase, the electorate will exercise their franchise in 11,264 polling stations. A total of 2,033 booths have been identified as hyper sensitive, 2,985 sensitive and 817 hamlets as vulnerable.Altogether 346 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed for the polls with 65 to 75 per cent of polling stations, including most of the critical ones will be covered by the central paramilitary forces and the rest by police, micro-observers and video-cameras.– With PTI inputs
In the absence of an accredited physiotherapist, India’s archers are feeling the heat in London. They are forced to do stretching and other exercises on the sidewalks outside Lord’s, the competition venue.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has cleared only three physiotherapists for the contingent of 81 athletes. Only the hockey and boxing squads have been given their own physiotherapists besides one for the rest of the players. The archery competition begins on July 27, even before the opening ceremony.The archers, who arrived at the Games Village on Monday, wanted Mittal Champions Trust (MCT) physiotherapist Patrick Kenny to be with the team. Kenny has not got accreditation from the IOA, which has said that Kenny will get daily passes for the Village, but that does not allow him access to the training and competition venues.The six-member archery team, thus, is left with no option but to do their stretching and cooling off on the sidewalks outside Lord’s. Manisha Malhotra, administrator with MCT, who reached London on Saturday, said the athletes supported by them had requested IOA to give Kenny an accreditation.”Almost 10 athletes – archers, wrestlers, shooters – had requested IOA to give him accreditation because he has been working with them. But he has not got any badge and has no access to the venue,” Manisha told Mail Today. “Kenny is working with them on the sidewalks. This is not the way to treat your medal prospects. In any case, what is the point of passes to the Village when he cannot enter the competition venue?”advertisementTwo-time Olympian Dola Banerjee, whose brother Rahul is in the team, said the team needs a physio. “With the sport gaining profile, a physio is required. There are no extra personnel with the archery team. What if there is some problem during the competition?” she told Mail Today.IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that they have tried their best to accommodate all the requests.”We have to follow the international norms. The number of support staff has to be half the number of athletes. There are six archers and we have cleared three coaches and one manager for the team.” There was no physiotherapist cleared for the grapplers as well. The Wrestling Federation of India has now written to IOA that they want Arvinder Pal Singh in London. The badminton team will be taking physio Kiran Challagundla at the federation’s cost.
Almost three years after the self-styled Bhagwan Rajneesh and his free-wheeling followers quit India, the controversies that have haunted them constantly still continue to dog their footsteps, even in the scrubby desert hills of Rajneeshpuram, Oregon.But if Rajneesh’s chief aide, Ma Anand Sheela, 33, is to be believed when she,Almost three years after the self-styled Bhagwan Rajneesh and his free-wheeling followers quit India, the controversies that have haunted them constantly still continue to dog their footsteps, even in the scrubby desert hills of Rajneeshpuram, Oregon.But if Rajneesh’s chief aide, Ma Anand Sheela, 33, is to be believed when she drawls: “We love publicity – good or bad”, the Rajneesh Foundation International (RFI) shouldn’t worry. Right now they are getting all the publicity they could possibly want – most of it bad.The foundation’s propensity for generating negative waves surfaced almost immediately after Rajneesh, his fleet of 27 Rolls Royces and 800 of his saffron-draped acolytes halted their travelling commune in the tiny town of Antelope (population: 100) and virtually took it over. The initial resistance was only token.The small group of around 40 elderly and outraged Antelope citizens had little chance against the tightly-controlled and aggressively acquisitive sanyasins, as they prefer to be called. Using the commune as a base, RFI systematically bought up all the commercial property in Antelope and moved some of the sanyasins into the town – just enough to give them a voting majority.Sheela and Rajneesh entering the immigration office with attorneys: Dogged by controversyTheir strategy was obvious. Come election time in Antelope, last November, and the sanyasins steam-rolled over the local candidates, putting five of their members on the city council while their candidate for mayor, Ma Prem Karuna, was elected virtually unopposed.The events that marked the prelude to the elections clearly showed that the RFI was determined to stay on the top ten news charts. When they arrived at their 64,229-acre “Rancho Rajneesh” outside Antelope in July 1981, they professed to be merely a “friendly farming community”.advertisementBut Sheela’s claim that “we are here to build consciousness and not a city” was rapidly belied. Flamboyantly proclaiming their capitalism with a fleet of Rolls Royces and bumper stickers which said: “Jesus Saves, Moses Invests and Bhagwan Spends”, a head-on collision with the sleepy, conservative Oregon community was but inevitable.Losing Battle: The Antelopians, heavily outnumbered and outgunned, took resort to every possible legal defence to try and stem the saffron tide but it was a losing battle. Prolonged and bitter court battles ended, most of which were won by the sanyasins.Finally a large number of the original residents packed up and left, some, like Viola Wilson, selling their property to the interlopers. Those who remain, intend to keep a safe distance. Says Mona Reynolds, former city recorder for the council: “You have to live here to really understand what we’re faced with.”They flamboyantly proclaimed their capitalism with a fleet of Rolls Royces and bumper stickers which said: “Jesus Saves, Moses Invests, and Bhagwan Spends.”The face of Antelope is now painted in the saffron that is Rajneesh’s hallmark and a cafe called “Zorba The Buddha” dominates the tiny stripof houses. Quips Reynolds: “Everytime you look out of the window yousee red.” But that also signifies the constant state of war that existsbetween the local community and the Godman’s followers.SaysFrancis Dickson: “There is no coexisting with them, no getting along.”Lately, however, the hostility level seems to have dropped a fewnotches. Admits Don Smith, who stood for mayor opposite Karuna: “Theycall us rednecks and naive and maybe there has been somenarrow-mindedness on our part.” The result is that the battle is now confined to the odd skirmishlike the one over the community church which the sanyasins, typically,want to acquire for a meditation centre.But even so, the Antelopiansstill sport constant reminders that the battle is not over in the formof buttons stating: “Keep Oregon Green” and “Better Dead than Red” while signboards defiantly proclaim: “This is Jesus Country.”They have successfully, managed to launder their image as sex-drug cultists. They still have “encounter groups” and as Sheela says in reply to a question: “Sex? Sure, we have lots of it”But there are others who are fairly impressed with the businesslikemanner in which the sanyasins have developed Rajneeshpuram despite acourt battle over its validity. In May 1982. the 800-odd sanyasinsunanimously voted to incorporate about 2,100 acres of the ranch as acity to be called Rajneeshpuram.The move was promptly challenged in the court of appeals by a land-use watchdog group called “1000Friends of Oregon”. Says Attorney Mark Greenfield: “We feel thatRajneeshpuram is not the place to create a new city.”Theirresistance is fuelled by fears that the arid and hilly scrub land wouldnot have enough water to support the city’s projected population of4,000. But the major apprehension is that the RFI is building an urbanempire on their land under an agricultural guise. These fears are notunfounded.advertisementThe Rajneesh Investment Corporation, which handles the RFI’s myriad business dealings, owns all the land that the city standson. If RFI loses the case filed by “1000 Friends of Oregon”, the courtcould declare the city unlawful and dissolve the organisational citystructure which includes a mayor, Swami Krishna Deva, and a citycouncil.The saffron-robed settlers are well aware that their move into Antelope has been a major public relations fiasco. But it was acalculated risk, with ulterior motives. The state of Oregon has specific zoning laws which prohibit agricultural land being used for commercialpurposes.So when the commune was set up on the largelyagricultural “Rancho Rajneesh”, there remained an urgent need to acquire an urban base for the Rajneesh Foundation’s vast business enterprises.”We feel that Rajneeshpuram is not the place to create a new city.”Mark Greenfield, attorney, 1000 Friends of OregonModel City: The pace with which the sanyasins are rapidly developing Rajneeshpuramindicates that they are supremely confident of getting a favourablejudgement. Mayor Deva has presented a comprehensive 20-year plan to theLand Conservation and Development Department (LC&D) which envisions a model self-sufficient community growing in harmony with theenvironment.Whether that will actually materialise remains to be seen but it is impossible to dispute the amazing achievements of the800-odd sanyasins till now. They have turned the over-grazed low-graderanch slopes into a flourishing farm and in the process won over localbusinessmen and county officials. Says Bob Rindy of the LC&D: “It is impressive how quickly and well a group of people can build.”In18 months, the sanyasins have blasted roads out of rock, built a lakeand dam in a desert, planted exotic trees, set up solar greenhouses and a dairy, constructed prefabricated houses and installed communicationsystems and utilities. Says Ma Prem Sunshine, the commune’s spokeswoman: “One must have an intense passion to build a community before one canlive here.”That passion is reflected in the cheerful commitmentthat the work groups display during their 12-hours-a-day seven days aweek labour of love, living in groups in makeshift trailer homes, eating at a common dining hall and doubling up as cooks, constructionengineers or accountants without any hierarchical hassles.”One must have an intense passion to build a community before one can live here.”Ma Prem Sunshine, Spokeswoman for the communePredictably, outsiders and Antelope residents hint darkly at a core group thatorchestrates the activity from the shadows. Sheela, as ranch mother andRFI president is undoubtedly the boss but apart from that the informallaid-back atmosphere makes it difficult to identify any type ofhierarchichal structure. Says Don Smith: “The majority of themyou never get to see unless they are pulled out for a demonstration.”They have also successfully managed to launder their image as sex-drugcultists. They still have “encounter groups” and as Sheela says in reply to a question: “Sex? Sure, we have lots of it,” but adding that thesheer physical involvement in building the ranch leaves little time orenergy for much else.advertisementDrugs are taboo on the ranch and alcohol intake is limited. Up frontthey appear to be a healthy and intelligent lot, a majority of themAmericans and Europeans from obviously affluent backgrounds.Indian Followers: Despite its deep-rooted Indian connection, there are only about 15Indians currently on the ranch. One of them is Divyagandha who arrivedrecently from India to join her American sanyasin husband. She says that the ranch reminds her of Mount Abu and she is perfectly happy with hermundane job in the video library and canteen.”I cannot expressin words what Bhagwan has done for me,” she says simply. Most ofRajneesh’s Indian disciples are still at the Pune ashram which is stillin operation, though the controversies and curiosity value has departedwith the foreigners. Those who can afford to, fly out to Oregon for theyearly Guru Purnima festival celebrated each July at the ranch.But inevitably, Rancho Rajneesh is no different from the Pune ashram as far as local hostility and suspicion is concerned, and it is not justconfined to Antelope. Says Joan Precora, who works at a car rentalagency in Portland: “You don’t wear orange or red in Oregon. Peopleimmediately think you are a Rajneeshite.”Sanyasins awaiting the daily darshan (top), Rajneesh on an afternoon drive and Zorba The Buddha cafe in AntelopeAttorney Mark Faust,host of a popular local TV talk show feels that most Oregonians areconvinced that they are weirdos. “People are frightened by thestrangeness of their religion,” he remarks. The waves have even reachedas far as the US Senate. The Rajneeshpuram newspaper Rajneesh Times recently printed a letter written by US Senator from Oregon, MarkHatfield to Sol West, a California millionaire and a known Republicancontributor.In the letter, Hatfield cites suggestions “about what local jurisdiction can do to slow and stop the financial enterprises of such cults”. Such revelations have only strengthened the Rajneeshees claim that they are being subjected to religious discrimination which they compare to “McCarthyism”.In a recent statement, they claimed that they have been “unjustly and unfairly branded as a dangerous cult by bigoted and fearful politicians in Washington and are now suffering because of it”.Rapid Expansion: Suspicions regarding the group’s activities have focussed on the rapid economic expansion undertaken by them. Having invested $40 million (Rs 40 crore) on the ranch last year, the group is now setting up several business enterprises. Rajneesh Investment Corporation (capital assets valued at $30 million or Rs 30 crore) a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RFI, has recently purchased a hotel, a nightclub and a bakery in Portland.All this has put the RFI under close official scrutiny. Says Ma Prem Isabel: “We are under a big magnifying glass. The INS (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) and the Internal Revenue Service are looking at us with much more care.” Economic expansion is not the only issue worrying Oregonians, but political expansion as well.Many Oregonians are firmly convinced that the group’s intentions are to gradually take over the entire state. Says State Representative Ted Calouri: “There is a lot of concern about their perceived tactics – taking over a city and political system, showing that by spending money one can do what one wants to ….””The commune’s inter-government is creative and well within the law.”Mike Mc Craden, state representative”People are frightened by the strangeness of their religion.”Mark Faust, host of local TV showAnd the Rajneeshees are showing every intention of doing just that. Already they have made political forays outside Antelope and are trying for seats on the council of a city called, ironically enough. Madras. Says Rick Allen, a gas station owner in Madras who does good business with the group: “They are a friendly lot but I cannot understand why they want a seat on the city council.”The Rajneeshees are evidently expanding their political influence with at least one objective in mind – to try and stave off the prospect of Rajneesh being deported from America under immigration rules (see box). Meanwhile, they are rapidly increasing their numbers (Sheela claims they receive between 30 and 50 applications a day).So far, the Rajneeshees have displayed considerable spunk and staying power in fighting the odds against them and there are definite signs that they are now being treated with far more respect and sympathy than when they first arrived. Says State Representative Mike McCraden: “The commune’s inter-government is creative and well within the law. They are exercising their constitutional rights.”And more and more people are coming round to Faust’s view that: “As far as I’m concerned, if they have a city and it’s legal and they practise their religion, so what? That’s America.”IMMIGRATION: STAYING POWERA pro-Rajneesh demonstration in Oregon: show of unityIN addition to the many controversies generated by the Rajneeshees, they are now faced by the threat of deportation that hangs over the raison d’etre of their religion, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.Last fortnight, Owen Panner, a US district judge, dismissed the Acharya’s complaint seeking intervention against the US Government’s efforts to deport him. The judge ruled that court intervention at this stage would be premature as no administrative decision has yet been taken.The fracas dates back to December 11, 1982, when the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) denied two petitions from the Bhagwan’s attorneys, one for a visa in the religious worker category, the other for an adjustment of his visa status from visitor to immigrant. Bhagwan’s attorneys appealed the decisions, claiming that no reasons were given for their denial.The INS, admitting a ‘procedural error’, reopened the cases and allowed the attorneys to file a rebuttal. Fearing, however, that matters might still be taken out of their hands, Bhagwan’s lawyer, Swami Prem Niren, filed an action in the federal district court, claiming that the officials of the INS had acted “illegally and unconstitutionally”. The federal court has still to decide whether it has jurisdiction over a case in which the INS has yet to take a decision. Meanwhile, further action by the INS has been stayed and the deportation halted.Unpopular: The case received wide publicity and has since taken on emotional overtones, especially in Oregon. If public sentiment was the only judge, the silent guru would already have been out of the country. As it is, the INS is walking the tightrope between accusations of according special privileges to Rajneesh, and religious discrimination against him.Says Niren: “We do demand that Bhagwan be given his rights and that decisions be made on whatever criteria the law provides, not based on personal attitudes of the people who make those decisions.”To him, some of the INS explanations make little or no sense. On the one hand, they claim that Bhagwan lied about his health when he obtained a tourist visa for medical treatment in this country in June 1981; on the other, they say he is too ill to work. Again, they say that he does not qualify as a religious leader because of his self-imposed silence – a silence that has now lasted two years.Niren: Spirited defenceConcludes Niren in cautious legalese: “It is true that the system is geared towards traditional and established western religion. If Jesus had come in when he was alive, with his little band of fishermen, he might have had a hard time satisfying the INS requirements.”Can the INS define what behaviour characterises a spiritual leader? It can hardly be denied that Rajneesh has inspired many, however unusual it may be. Mark Faust, believes that “the INS may be influenced a little by public opinion”. But the sanyasins think it is more than that. Sheela, the only official spokeswoman for the Bhagwan, flung accusations at US Senator Mark Hatfield, and other politicians.The Rajneesh Times, Rajneeshpuram’s weekly newspaper, carried a photocopy of a letter written by the senator to a Republican fund-raiser showing concern over Rajneeshee activities. The senator had said that the INS is “pursuing carefully an investigation of irregularities”.Adverse Reaction: Meanwhile Don Smith, a former Antelope resident openly admitted working with the INS and hopes for Bhagwan’s deportation. Local newspapers have carried anonymous letters that urge a write-in campaign for the denial of his visa. The Jewish Federation Council and Board of Rabbis in California have urged the INS to deny a petition of permanent residency status to the leader of a “cult with a history of antisemitism”.As for the INS, its officials are not convinced that Bhagwan came to the US strictly for medical treatment. Sheela retorts: “The man had been told that he had but a few months to live.” Rajneesh’s illnesses are listed as severe allergies, Juvenile diabetes, and an intervertebral disc.Dismissing rumours about his sudden departure from India, she ruled out the INS notion that Bhagwan had intended to emigrate: “He is such a spontaneous person, he could not take such a decision so far ahead of time.” According to her, the only things that convinced him to seek residency were “the tears in my eyes and the love from his disciples”.The INS is, however, sceptical. Their statement provided to the attorneys, says: “In conclusion, it must be determined that at the time the applicant received his visitor’s visa from the American consul, he had the preconceived intent to seek permanent residence upon his arrival in the United States.”The Rajneeshees have not been able to explain why so much money and preparation went into Rancho Rajneesh prior to Rajneesh’s arrival and why some sanyasins had left India before he did.The INS will dwell on this question, but till then, every avenue open to the attorneys is being exploited. In a show of unified strength, Rajneesh organisations worldwide, mobilised their members to demonstrate peacefully against the INS.Mystique: How is the Acharya himself affected by the uncertainty of his future? Says Sheela: “At this point it makes no difference to him at all.” There is no way of penetrating the mystique built around the man but Niren mentioned that in his interview with INS officials, the Bhagwan broke his vow of silence to say that he had no desire to remain here other than to be with the sanyasins who have asked him to stay on.The sanyasins do not, however, see much of their master. Bhagwan lives in a beautifully landscaped house, which has been provided with an indoor swimming pool. His mother, Ma Saraswati Jain, lives nearby. Also in the US for medical treatment, she too has an appeal pending with the INS for permanent residency.According to Sheela, Bhagwan has a leisurely routine, driving, sitting or swimming for a few hours, besides conversing with her for some time. “In these sessions,” she says, “he discusses the problems of meditation and growth of his disciples. He is least interested in business.” Yet he is often present to inaugurate a new road or a power station on the ranch. “He is proud that his disciples are so creative,” says Sheela.Elusive Pressure: The disciples claim to be ever grateful for Bhagwan’s presence among them. The only time they see him, however, is when he drives out each afternoon in one of the 27 Rolls Royces provided by them. They leave their work aside and line up along the dusty roads, a blazing red trail of silent devotees with folded hands and serene faces.The older residents of Antelope and other locals catching an occasional glimpse of him in his fancy cars hope that the eccentric foreigner will soon be gone, along with his sanyasins. Says Don Smith: “I think that once Rajneesh goes, the ranch will deteriorate.”This is wishful thinking indeed. With over $40 million (Rs 40 crore) invested in Rancho Rajneesh, its residents are not going to leave, whatever be the outcome of the immigration case. Ever practical, Ma Prem Sunshine, spokeswoman for the commune, said: “If he left or died, it would not effect whether we live in Oregon or not. It is beautiful, though, for Bhagwan to see people manifesting his vision of life. Jesus was not so lucky.”
Broner, who is determined to wreck what will be Pacquiao’s first fight on US soil since 2016, came in at 146.5 pounds.Pacquiao smiled broadly as he faced off with Broner for the cameras following the weigh-in.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe eight-division world champion later said he wants to prove that he still has the ability to be a force in the welterweight division despite turning 40 last month.“I’m happy to be back here and happy to fight tomorrow night,” Pacquiao said. MOST READ “Forty is just a number, it doesn’t matter that I’m 40 years old — I feel young,” he added. “Tomorrow I have something to prove: that at 40 I can still be at my best … I want to prove that Manny Pacquiao is still there.”Pacquiao (60-4-2, 39 knockouts) last fought in July last year, when he scored his first knockout in six years with a seventh-round stoppage of Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur.Pacquiao, who holds the lesser version of the WBA’s two welterweight belts, is widely believed to be angling for a rematch with retired welterweight king Floyd Mayweather.Mayweather won their money-spinning first bout in 2015 in a contest that failed to live up to its “Fight of the Century” hype.Broner, 29, said Friday he is determined to seize his opportunity.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting 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 LATEST STORIES LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “I feel good. It’s a helluva opportunity,” he said. “After I win tomorrow night I’ll be a legend overnight.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening WATCH: Roger Who? Without ID, Federer can’t get past Australian Open security Manny Pacquiao poses on the scale during a weigh-in Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Adrien Broner in a welterweight championship bout on Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)Filipino star Manny Pacquiao tipped the scales half a pound lighter here Friday for his WBA welterweight title bout against Adrien Broner.A trim-looking Pacquiao, who faces Broner at Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, weighed in at exactly 146 pounds.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View comments
SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte What she is focused on now is winning her first Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2014. To get there, she’ll have to beat 21-year-old Naomi Osaka, the U.S. Open champion who is on a 13-match winning streak in the majors.“To be honest, I’m still not really believing that I’m in the final,” Kvitova said. “It’s kind of weird, to be honest, as well, that I didn’t know even if I was going to play tennis again.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsKvitova was 21 when she made her Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon in 2011 and was a star on the rise, much like Osaka is now.Unlike Osaka, she lost in the first round in her next Grand Slam. There were ups — including a second Wimbledon title — and downs in tennis until that until the horrible ordeal in December 2016 that could have derailed her career, or worse. LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. GALLERY: ONE Hero’s Ascent 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 Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes For a while she was confident being alone, she remembered, until one day she left the locker room at a tennis club in Prague and told her support crew “yeah, it was a good one today that I really felt OK.”Her doctor didn’t tell her at the time of concerns about the scarring on her surgically repaired left hand that could hinder her return to top-level tennis. In retrospect, Kvitova said it’s good she didn’t know.“It wasn’t only physically but mentally was very tough. It took me really a while to believe,” she said. “It was lot of, lot of work … a lot of recovery, treatment. You know, it was — I think that’s kind of the sport life help me a lot with that. I just set up the mind that I really wanted to come back, and I just did everything.”She missed the 2017 Australian Open during three months off the tour. She returned at the French Open and had a second-round exit there and at Wimbledon before a bright spot in her comeback, a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open.But that was the peak for two seasons. She was out in the first round at Melbourne Park last year and at Wimbledon, and third rounds the French and U.S. Opens. Minor setbacks, all things considered.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations “I don’t know. They are not screaming it,” she said, smiling. “Hopefully I can find some of them to be on my side.” “The mental side was there, and I really needed to be strong and not really thinking too negatively about it,” said Kvitova, who is now on an 11-match winning streak. “Yeah, it’s been long journey.”Kvitova and Osaka have never played each other. Osaka has been watching Kvitova for a long time, though.“I’ve watched her play the Wimbledon finals. I know what a great player she is,” Osaka said. “To have the opportunity to play her for the first time in a final of a Grand Slam is something very amazing.”Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father is from Haiti, has been a star in Japan since she beat Serena Williams in the final of the last U.S. Open.And her fan base has grown, as has her physical condition and mental strength.That was crucial when she had to come back from a set and 4-1 down against Hsieh Su-wei in the third round, when she spiked her racket in frustration. Wins over No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova, No. 6 Elina Svitolina and 2016 U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova followed.Now, she’s aiming to be the first woman to win back-to-back majors since Serena Williams in 2015.“It definitely helped knowing that I won the U.S. Open,” she said, “because I knew that I had the ability to win that many matches, play for that long.”Both players are aiming for top-ranking with a win, and both will have plenty of support in Rod Laver Arena. Kvitova will be a sentimental favorite, particularly after her tearful on-court acknowledgment of success in her “second career” after her quarterfinal win over Australia’s Ash Barty.She was asked Friday if she could sense that the crowd knew her story and was behind her. Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic answers questions at a press conference at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. Kvitova will play Japan’s Naomi Osaka in Saturday’s women’s final. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)MELBOURNE, Australia — Petra Kvitova has shed her tears. The tears, for a long time private, were in a very public arena this week.A violent home invasion that caused serious knife wounds to her left hand was a punctuation point in her career, as she sees it. There’s the before — two Wimbledon titles — and her “second career” — which so far is highlighted by her run to Saturday’s Australian Open final.ADVERTISEMENT View comments