Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew In a lengthy statement released through Theia sports, Blatche said that he was looking forward to rejoining Gilas Pilipinas after his three-game suspension even declining offers from China teams to put his full focus on the national team.“I didn’t sign in China this season despite several offers because I wanted to be fully available for Gilas and not have to deal with my Chinese team deciding when I could leave to join Gilas practice!” said the former NBA player. “I’ve kept myself in shape and game ready for the December 3 game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBut under new head coach Yeng Guiao, Blatche wasn’t called up to the national team pool for the fifth window with the seasoned mentor opting to use Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger as naturalized players.Blatched decried the “very unprofessional” way by which Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas supposedly handled the situation, saying he only found out that he wasn’t included in the roster through news reports. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk The Filipinos are set to face the visiting Kazakhstan on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena before battling Iran on Monday.Blatche, though, kept his doors open and said that he is ready to return to national duty any time the team needs him to.“I love the PHILIPPINES and especially Filipino basketball fans and am proud to have a Philippine passport and I will always be available should my adopted country need me in any capacity.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold00:50Trending Articles05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Extreme weather ‘major’ issue for Tokyo 2020 Olympics Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom “No one from the SBP actually communicated with me or my international agents before the news was released. I think it was a very unprofessional way to handle someone like me who has so much invested in the Gilas program,” he said.Blatche, who was granted Filipino citizenship in 2014, said he was “very hurt” but how he was “careless discarded” by SBP.He even went on to say that he is starting to wonder whether the “loyalty and passion to win” that he has shown as a full-fledged Filipino is being “reciprocated,” believing that he’s been a factor in getting Gilas Pilipinas to a position to advance to the World Cup.“I wish I was there to make sure we win. I’d like to think that I was instrumental along with Coach Chot and my teammates in bringing the team to where it is now and I am invested in my adopted country winning and getting to the World Cup.Guiao earlier said that he is experimenting his Gilas Pilipinas rosters without Blatche, wanting to preserve the chemistry the team has built since against for the 2018 Asian Games where he first took over as coach to replace long-Chot Reyes.ADVERTISEMENT Naturalized center Andray Blatche expressed his disappointment over his non-inclusion in the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the upcoming window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.ADVERTISEMENT
Be it Sanath Jayasuriya or Saeed Anwar on the rampage — Be it Sanath Jayasuriya or Saeed Anwar on the rampage — bring in Anil Kumble would always be the answer. Or even when Brian Lara or Nasser Hussain would get on top of the bowlers — the man from Garden City was both Azharuddin and Gangulys Go To Man. Only time will tell how good a coach Kumble will prove to be but one thing is for sure – the approach will be meticulous. He will be methodical with his planning, the homework will be in place. There will not be any half-measures nor will any stone be kept unturned in the preparation phase. The execution will depend on the new bunch under the stewardship of Kohli. Men like Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin are expected to gel well with Kumble, whose achievements as an international player cannot be questioned. The one-year tenure will start with the four-Test series against the West Indies and its no secret that the World T20 champions are not exactly a great team in the five-day format. The West Indies tour will be followed by a long home series, which certainly is an advantage for any coach to get into the groove. One shall get ready for an eventful one year in Indian cricket. PTI KHS AH AH
KL Rahul received praise from umpire Ian Gould for his honesty and prompt reaction after he attempted to take a catch in Ravindra Jadeja’s over early on Day 3 of the fourth Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Saturday. With an overnight score of 24/0, Australia came out to bat and Marcus Harris took on the attack immediately.In the fifth over of the day, Kohli brought Jadeja into the attack and Harris tried to have a go at him in the first delivery itself. He mistimed the shot and the ball went towards mid-on.Rahul made a full-stretched dive trying to take a catch but after collecting the ball, immediately signalled in negative towards the umpire Gould. The ball had not carried towards him and he fell just short of the catch despite a brilliant effort.Here’s how it happened -R Jadeja to Harris, Chance! Falls just short and Rahul signals immediately that the ball has bounced in front of him! A really good effort that, but it just did not carry. Loops this one outside off, Harris comes down the track and looks to loft it over mid on but can only lift it as far as to the right of mid on. Rahul moves to his right, dives to take this one but just can’t reach the ball. Stands up and immediately says that it had gone to ground. Harris survives a scare.As soon as Rahul signalled to the umpire, the over was good to continue without any confusion and the Karnataka opener received a pat on his head from teammate Jasprit Bumrah.A good effort from Rahul and he immediately says it bounced. Great stuff. Umpire Gould a big fan of it #CloseMatters#AUSvIND | @GilletteAU pic.twitter.com/7nA0H5Lsc7cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 4, 2019Umpire Gould also immediately gave a thumbs up to Rahul and after the end of the over, he called out to Rahul to praise again. Through the stump mic, Gould could be heard saying, “Hey Rahul, great job mate. Good on you.”
Chelsea boss Sarri on Brighton win: We could’ve played betterby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri felt they weren’t at their best for victory at Brighton.Eden Hazard set up Pedro’s opener and then scored the second in a deserved victory at Brighton, which ended in a closer game than it looked like it would for much of the afternoon after Solly March pulled a goal back.”We could have won better because we played very well for 60 minutes,” said Sarri.”We conceded a goal in a moment in which we were in full control of the match. My mind was clear in that moment that we had to suffer in the last five minutes with long balls into our box. We are not a physical team.”With the substitutions I tried to have more physical impact in the last five minutes, but it was clear it was really very difficult in the last five minutes. But we could have won better.”Sarri added: “When we have the feeling of being in full control of the match, we are dangerous to ourselves. We know that we suddenly lowered the level of application and attention.”Their goal was the first situation in our box for 30 minutes. We were a bit unlucky, but the feeling when we have confidence and are sure we are in control of the match, is that we are dangerous to ourselves.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
EDMONTON – Alberta has been hit with another credit downgrade one day after it confirmed it remains on track for a $10.3-billion budget deficit this year.The credit rating agency DBRS say it has downgraded Alberta’s long-term debt rating to AA from AA (high) and has adjusted or maintained other ratings indicators on a negative trend.The agency said the downgrade reflects the high operating deficits and Alberta’s rapidly accumulating debt, which is pegged to surpass $42 billion by the spring.It’s one of a number of credit downgrades or warnings that have resulted from the province’s fiscal direction under Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP since 2015.Although the economy has been hammered by low oil prices, Notley’s government says it makes sense in the short term to take on debt to catch up on long-delayed infrastructure projects.Finance Minister Joe Ceci, responding to the downgrade, says Alberta still has the strongest debt-to-GDP ratio among provinces and the province’s credit rating remains among the highest in Canada.“The fiscal update released yesterday shows that Alberta’s economy is growing faster than forecast, the deficit is coming down, and significant cost savings are being realized,” Ceci said in a statement.“The government will continue to take a steady and responsible approach that avoids extreme and risky cuts that would hurt families, cost jobs and damage our recovery.”
One step forward, two steps back. That seems to be the story of reforms in India’s forest sector. The forest departments (FDs), like irrigation and revenue departments, were originally created to serve the interests of colonial power. After Independence, the designers of a democratic India overlooked the crying need to redefine the goals and restructure the governance of this sector. States simply cut-pasted the Indian Forest Act (IFA) into state acts. Thus re-sanctified, the FDs have successfully resisted or co-opted all subsequent attempts at reform. Also Read – A special kind of bond Continued control and exclusion The Chipko Andolan in the 1970s demanded rights for people over their forests, including timber. Instead, they got a green-felling ban in the name of environmental conservation. The National Forest Policy, 1988 (NFP88) demanded people’s participation, a demand echoed by donors in the ’90s. After initially resisting the idea, FDs co-opted it into joint forest management (JFM), wherein they tightly control the extent, location, form, and ambit of so-called decentralised decision-making. When the green felling bans drastically reduced revenues from forestry, the FDs attracted international donors in the name of biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. Also Read – Insider threat managementWhen the World Bank gave up on forest sector lending, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was inveigled into almost single-handedly sustaining India’s forest sector. More recently, India’s forests have been peddled as potential sinks for carbon, so as to attract REDD+ funds. REDD+ turned out to be a mirage, but the Rs 60,000-crore Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds have become the new gravy train. Foresters themselves sit in CAMPA committees that disburse funds to themselves. Just as foresters run the Forest Survey of India that monitors India’s forests. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 is perhaps the biggest threat to the FDs. Not just because it sought to free cultivators from the harassment they faced as ‘encroachers’ because of the mislabelling of their land as forests. Not just because it sought to free the 4,000-odd ‘forest villages’ from the yoke of the FDs, but primarily because it introduced Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights that would give forest-dwellers the right to manage their forests autonomously. So FRA has been resisted tooth and nail. Retired forest officers’ associations have filed writ petitions challenging its constitutionality. Serving foresters have, by and large, obstructed the granting of forest rights, especially CFR claims, and continued to promote (non-statutory) JFM as an alternative to CFRs. Going backwards As if this was not enough, the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 attempts to reverse key elements of NFP88 by promoting production forestry at the cost of local livelihoods, and ignoring the FRA. And the latest draft amendment to the Indian Forest Act is an attempt to translate this (non-approved) NFP2018 into law! The blatant disregard for due process is only matched by the shocking attempts in this amendment to undermine the FRA, to increase the power and immunity of officials, and to arrogate control to the Centre. I would not be surprised if eventually, we end up with ‘National Forests’ controlled by a National Forest Service. Rationale for reform What is wrong with such an idea? Aren’t forests a national treasure, to be managed for national and global public goods like biodiversity, watershed protection, and carbon? Such thinking misses the fundamental social-ecology of South Asia’s forests — a landscape historically populated by a variety of Adivasi and non-Adivasi communities, with complex dependence on the forested and non-forested landscape. Thus, local livelihood needs have to be the first goal of forestry, as important as regional and global benefits. And these needs cannot be met by a bureaucracy, just as agricultural livelihoods cannot be organised by agriculture department officers, and industries cannot be run by bureaucrats. Worse, giving forest officers police powers in a landscape populated by marginalised and illiterate communities that continue to be forest-dependent, allows for serious abuse of these powers. Of course, local forest-dependence is uneven and changing, possibly declining. But that brings us to the core rationale for reform: democratic governance requires recognition of the fundamental right of forest-dwelling or forest-fringe communities to govern their immediate environment, just as city-dwellers (ought to) have substantial control over theirs. This does not mean that regional or national interests are to be ignored in decision-making about forests. But that does not justify making foresters into managers, policemen, regulators, funders and policy-makers rolled into one. Reform is therefore needed at multiple levels: a change in goals of forest management, a corresponding change in how forests are categorised, a devolution of day-to-day management to forest-dwellers, separation of monitoring and managing from funding and policymaking, and introducing much greater transparency and accountability in all of this. Cure worse than the problem The proposed Amendment to the IFA, unfortunately, reveals that the mindset of policymakers regarding India’s forest sector has not changed. The IFA created two main legal categories of forests — Reserved Forest (RF) and Protected Forest (PF) — and empowered the FDs to manage and protect them. Manage for what? Implicitly, for meeting colonial (later national) needs of production. Single goal, two levels of protection, single manager-cum-protector. The third category — Village Forest — was never seriously activated. The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 added another goal — conservation — and created additional categories — national parks (NP) and wildlife sanctuaries (WLS). The manager/protector remained the same. But if production is no longer the primary goal, and if local livelihood needs have ‘first charge’ (at least outside NPs), and if forest-dwellers are rights-holders, then what sense do the old categories and roles make? What is the role of RFs and PFs in the new (post-1988) dispensation? What role does the FD have in the post-FRA dispensation? All reasonable estimates of the potential CFR area (area used by local communities) suggest that PFs and most RFs should simply be replaced by CFR Forests, which should be recognised as the main legal forest category. If any RF outside of NPs and WLSs remains unclaimed as CFR, it could be re-designated as a ‘Conservation Forest’. Correspondingly, the CFR Gram Sabhas should be recognised as the main manager/custodian for the CFR Forests by the forest law, and an agency (possibly hived off from the current FDs) created for providing technical and protection support to them. Even in NPs and WLSs, communities can have the first charge on tourism benefits and can become co-managers, with technical and protection support from a Wildlife Service. The task of regulating CFR Gram Sabhas is also important — not all of them may be oriented towards sustainable use or equitable management. But given the FDs’ conflictual history with local communities, a different regulatory structure with adequate transparency, accountability, and voice for local communities will have to be created. And funding decisions such as the deployment of CAMPA funds must be made by independent bodies, not by the forester managers. The Joint Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs constituted in 2010 to examine the implementation of the FRA was also asked to define a new role for the Forest Department post-FRA. After months of intense discussions among members, which included senior foresters, the Joint Committee articulated a new vision on the lines above. The waning of interest in environmental issues in the government at that time led to the shelving of these ideas. It is high time we resurrected them and developed a new vision for the forest sector, rather than rushing backwards with a ‘more-of-the-same’ IFA amendment. (The author is Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at the Centre for Environment & Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Bangkok: Thailand’s newly-crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn was carried by soldiers on a gilded palanquin through the streets of Bangkok Sunday, in front of crowds who craned to witness the historic event. The king, Rama X of the Chakri dynasty, wore a bejewelled robe and broad-brimmed hat with a feather on the second of three days of pageantry and royal splendour. The 7-kilometre procession brings the public into close proximity with the 66-year-old monarch for the first time, two years after he ascended the throne in an increasingly assertive reign. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportIt started around 5pm (1000 GMT) at the grand palace in Bangkok’s old quarter as trumpets blared, soldiers shouted commands and cannons fired a 21-gun salute. Thais wearing yellow shirts — the royal colour — and carrying hats and umbrellas to protect against temperatures reaching 36 degrees Celsius filled the streets outside with many clutching portraits of Vajiralongkorn and shouting “Long live the King!” “It may be my first and last chance to see this,” 57-year-old street Nattriya Siripattana said ahead of the first ceremony of its kind in 69 years. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe three-day coronation, which started Saturday, is the first since Vajiralongkorn’s adored and revered father was crowned in 1950. The highlight of Saturday’s sombre ceremonies was the King’s anointment with holy water, before he placed the 7.3 kilogram (16 lbs) golden tiered crown on his head. Early Sunday, the king bestowed royal titles on family members who crawled to his throne in a striking show of deference to the monarch, who was joined by his new Queen Suthida. The queen, 40, was deputy commander of the king’s royal guard before her marriage to Vajiralongkorn, which was announced days before the coronation. During the procession, she marched in red and black uniform next to the palanquin. Thailand’s monarchy is swaddled in ritual, protocol and hierarchy all orbiting around the king, who is viewed as a demigod. During the hours-long procession Thais will have the opportunity to “pay homage” to the king who will also stop at several major temples to pray before large gilded Buddha images. On the ground authorities sprayed mists of water over the crowds whose numbers were bolstered by droves of “Jit Arsa” — or “Spirit Volunteers” — intended to project a show of devotion and fealty to the monarchy. But soaring temperatures threatened to thin out the numbers. Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne in 2016 after the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej. The elaborate coronation ceremonies have been broadcast on live television and include a network of the powerful and influential in Thailand. Junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in a 2014 coup, took part in many of the key rituals, including the procession. The king and queen stayed the previous night in the royal residence, where a Siamese cat and a white rooster were placed on a pillow as part of housewarming rituals intended to bring good tidings. One of the family members to receive royal titles was 14-year-old Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, who knelt and prostrated in front of his father as he was anointed with water.The teenager is the king’s son from his third marriage. He has six other children, including four sons from two previous wives. Criticism or in-depth discussion of the royal family in Thailand is guarded by harsh lese-majeste rules that carry up to 15 years in prison. All media must self-censor and the country’s lively social media platforms have been subdued. But the dazzling display of the primacy of the monarchy in Thai life belies a simmering political crisis held over from elections in March. The junta that seized power in 2014 and has vowed to defend the monarchy is aiming to return to power through the ballot box. Its proxy party has claimed the popular vote. But a coalition of anti-military parties says it has shored up a majority in the lower house. Full results are not expected until May 9, a delay that has frustrated many Thais. “When the event (coronation) is finished we will have to focus on politics,” said Titipol Phakdeewanich, a lecturer at Ubon Ratchathani University.Since ascending the throne the king has taken several assertive moves, including bringing the assets of the Crown Property Bureau under his direct control.Though the royal family is nominally above politics, the king issued an election-eve message calling on Thais to vote for “good people” against those who create “chaos”. And in February, he scuttled the prime ministerial bid of his older sister Princess Ubolratana with an anti-junta party.
Jamaica: Explosive opener Chris Gayle has been named vice-captain of the West Indies team for the World Cup, beginning May 30 in the UK. Gayle, who is set to retire from ODIs after his fifth World Cup appearance, is in top form going into the tournament, having scored close to 500 runs in the IPL. He was also in devastating form in the home series against England, hitting two hundreds and as many half-centuries in the five-match series. “It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special,” Gayle said after being named Jason Holder’s deputy on Monday. Gayle is a former West Indies captain who last led the regional side in June 2010. “As a senior player, it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies,” said the 39-year-old, who has amassed 10151 runs in 289 ODIs at 38.16.
Louisville showed its depth and Michigan did not show its youth, and those two elements carried the No. 1-seeded Cardinals and fourth-seeded Wolverines to Monday night’s NCAA Tournament championship game Monday night in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome.With reserve Luke Hancock providing 20 points off the bench, Louisville pulled out a 72-68 victory over surprising Wichita State to move the Cardinals to the last night of the season for the first time since 1978. Michigan, meanwhile, edged Syracuse 61-56 in a grind-it-out-game.Neither win was easy.It took three-pointers by little-used Tim Henderson, playing for injured Kevin Ware, to give Louisville some life when the Cards trailed by 12 in the second half. The Shockers looked to be headed for another upset. But Henderson’s shots charged Louisville and Hancock–and some tough defense–helped turn around the game.The Cardinals outscored 37-21 in last 6:43 in an inspiring rally.“I just kept telling the team, ‘This is a dogfight. . . And you’ve got to win the fight.”“We just played super hard,” Cardinals guard Russ Smith, who led the Cardinals with 21 points despite a slow start. “Nobody wanted to go home.”It did not look good for a long time Wichita State was better and more confident.Louisville was struggling so badly that Ware actually got out of his seat at one point, hobbling over on his broken leg to the Louisville huddle.“He just wanted to tell us that we needed to pick it up,” Siva said. “We know how much it would mean for him to be out there. He just tried to give us whatever we needed, the extra motivation, the extra boost to get over the hump. That’s what he did.”Michigan, meanwhile, handled the vaunted Syracuse defense better than anyone has in the tournament, despite player of the year Trey Burke scoring just seven points on 1-for-9 shooting.“We know Trey is our leader, and sometimes he’s not going to have a game like he’s had all season,” said Tim Hardaway Jr., who led Michigan with 13 points. “That’s when our team stepped up.”Trailing 58-56, the Orange had a chance to force overtime. But Brandon Triche was called for a foul when Jordan Morgan stepped in to take the charge with 19.2 seconds left.“Jordan is our best charge-taker,” Beilein said. “He stood in there and took a good one.”Michigan held on from there, as Syracuse, down by three, curiously did not attempt a trey in the last 12 seconds, instead going for missed layup. The Wolverines secured the rebound, a last-second dunk and the win.“We’ve been a team all year,” said coach John Beilein, whose Wolverines were playing in the Final Four for the first time since 1993, when the Fab Five lost for the second straight time in the national title game. “It was great.”
OSU senior forward Taylor Kuehl (6) takes a shot on goal during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 at the OSU Ice Rink. OSU lost, 5-3. Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s hockey team snapped a losing streak, but couldn’t find a win during its weekend series against the University of North Dakota.On Saturday, UND (6-7-2, 4-6-2) claimed a 4-3 win over the Buckeyes (7-7-1, 5-6-1-1).The Buckeyes outshot and outscored UND in the first two periods of play. Then, in the third period UND claimed the game by scoring three straight goals before OSU came within one with seconds to play.In the first period, senior forward Kayla Sullivan scored a goal at 6:18 to put OSU in the lead, 1-0. UND later tied the game at 1-1 after a goal before the end of the period.The Buckeyes took the lead back in the second period when senior forward Taylor Kuehl scored off a power play. The tally was Kuehl’s fourth goal in the last three games.UND started the third period down 2-1. They quickly responded with a goal from junior forward Shannon Kaiser, who scored her first goal of the season. Kaiser’s goal beat Buckeye redshirt-junior goalie Stacy Danczak to tie the game at two.Less than a minute later UND scored to put it up 3-2. The team extended its lead to 4-2 later in the period.The Buckeyes weren’t giving up though. With less than two minutes remaining OSU pulled Danczak for an extra attacker. With a six-on-five advantage, the Buckeyes scored.Senior defenseman Kari Schmitt scored with only 10 seconds remaining in the period. Without enough time for the Buckeyes to take the game, they fell short.OSU outshot UND, 27-21 and Danczak racked up a total of 17 saves.In the Friday evening game, OSU scored a goal with two seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game and send it into overtime.The Buckeyes went on to win a three round shootout, 1-0.Sophomore forward Claudia Kelpler kept the Buckeyes in the game when she scored the goal to bring the game back to even. Already having scored earlier in the period, this goal was Kepler’s second of the game and fifth of the season.UND took the first and second periods of the game. They scored one goal in each period to take a 2-0 lead over the Buckeyes.However, OSU was able to rally late in the third period to put it back in the game.The Buckeyes outshot UND 26-18.OSU is set to head back on the road once again for a matchup against Robert Morris. The game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. in Pittsburgh, Pa.