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CWG in trouble as England rethinks participation

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first_imgCommonwealth Games plunged into deep trouble today after England admitted their participation is “on a knife-edge” while Scotland athletes delayed their departure to Delhi and Wales set a deadline of Wednesday evening for the organisers to certify all venues and Games Village are safe.A footbridge collapsed near the main venue of the Games yesterday, which injured more than a dozen people, and the desperate state of the Athletes’ Village — described by Commonwealth officials of some countries as “unfit for human habitation” — has cast major doubts over foreign athletes turning up in India.Should the Commonwealth Games be called off? To vote from your mobile, SMS for Yes or for No to 52424.And now the collapse of a small portion of a false ceiling at the weightlifting arena added to the gloom surrounding the event.Commonwealth Games England chairman Sir Andrew Foster admitted that they will have to make a quick decision — within 24 to 48 hours — on whether to take part in the Games.”I think the next 24 to 48 hours is the critical time which will tell us whether the Village — which is where the main problem is now — has got enough accommodation for everybody to come into it. I think we’re at an absolutely vital time (regarding) whether the major teams go,” Foster told BBC Breakfast.”Our staff have been round all 17 sports venues and they are in good order, so the key remaining feature which there’s a problem with is the village. The other problems have been resolved. It’s a situation that hangs on a knife-edge. It is not certain and we will not be sending our team unless we are confident,” he said.advertisementFoster, however, was still hopeful that the Indian government and the organising committee would be able to save the Games even though at this late hour.”The village still has a lot of remedial work needing to be done. But it is the case in India, when building projects are coming to a conclusion, that that is a typical way that things happen and that is quite a big cultural difference.’The safety of the athletes has to be our primary concern. But equally, we cannot just respond to that alone, we have to evaluate the whole thing together and that is what we are doing.’Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh said that the first party of 41 athletes and staff in boxing, rugby sevens and wrestling will now not be travelling tomorrow as planned.”By delaying the arrival of our athletes by a few days, we hope to give the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee the necessary time to address the concerns that have been raised by both the Commonwealth Games Federation and the countries which arrived early,” Cavanagh said.”We have discussed this with the sports involved and are in agreement that this is the best course of action under the circumstances. Whilst this is an untimely alteration to their plans, it will ultimately cause less disruption to their final training and preparation than if they were to arrive in the Games Village which is not yet fit for purpose and fully functional.”Scotland is hugely committed to the Commonwealth Games. Our team on the ground will continue to monitor the situation, however we will not compromise on areas of athlete health, safety and security. We need urgent action from the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Delhi Organising Committee to address these crucial issues,” he said.Wales are also considering their options after giving the Games organising committee a deadline of Wednesday evening to confirm if all venues and the Village are fit for purpose.A Team Wales statement read, “The health and safety of our team has always been our top priority – which is why we’ve been so desperate to resolve the issues in the Games Village.With yesterday’s news of the bridge collapse and now the roof of the weightlifting venue, we have to take a step back and examine how safe it is to bring athletes into this environment.”We have given the Organising Committee a deadline of this evening to confirm if all venues and the Games Village are fit for purpose. On the basis of that announcement, we will be contacting athletes via our team managers and advise them of the latest position and will issue a further update.”Interestingly, despite the scathing criticism from the CGF chief, the Organising Committee said that the matter was not something for which it should be ashamed of.advertisement”It (cleanliness of Games Village) is not such a big issue which we should be ashamed of. This will not affect the Games. For us and for you it is clean. But they (the foreign countries) have a different standard of cleanliness.”It is a matter of difference in perception,” Secretary General of the OC, Lalit Bhanot had said.The build-up to the Games, starting on October 3, have been marred by a series of controversies, including corruption allegations against the organisers, threats of terror attack and dengue fever.The opposition, BJP, meanwhile, asked Prime Minster Manmohan Singh to take a “personal interest” in hosting the Commonwealth Games as the OC , Central and Delhi governments had adopted a “casual and careless approach”.”The Group of Ministers (GOM on CWG), the Government of India and the Delhi government cannot escape from their failures and accountability. The Prime Minister should himself step-in and assure the nation that everything will be done timely and every care will be taken,” senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said.The Congress said all lacunae will be plugged and that the country will hold a successful Games.”We are deeply concerned. If there is culpability and allegations, it will be looked into. But now, we have to show to the world that India can hold a successful Commonwealth Games. All lacunae will be plugged,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.last_img read more

‘Sports should play its part in cementing ties between nations instead of breaking them’

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first_imgBack to Basics”After offering various new bases like side-tables, showcases and car dashboards, people have finally realised that Lord Ganesh looks best on his mouse next to Goddess Lakshmi.” -RAJNEESH BATRA, Delhi Blasting Myths With pseudo-secularists inflicting more damage on Hinduism than the Mughals and the British, probably the best,Back to Basics”After offering various new bases like side-tables, showcases and car dashboards, people have finally realised that Lord Ganesh looks best on his mouse next to Goddess Lakshmi.” -RAJNEESH BATRA, Delhi Blasting MythsWith pseudo-secularists inflicting more damage on Hinduism than the Mughals and the British, probably the best thing that could happen to modern India is a revival of Hinduism (“The Changing Mood”, November 4). It has to be nurtured carefully and the best people for the job are the young. After all, they are the ones who brought about the Diwali change. Let us hope it is a harbinger of greater and better things. -RANBIR MAHAPATRA, CuttackThe new way of celebrating Diwali is welcome. In fact, the buzzword of togetherness cannot be stressed enough. It should percolate to all the sections of society and replace hatred with love, peace, prosperity and happiness to all. -A. JACOB SAHAYAM, on e-mailShooting from the LipPravinbhai Togadia’s remarks may have been in bad taste but hasn’t the overreaction of the Congress loyalists to his utterances against Sonia Gandhi only confirmed the belief that puppies are the most faithful creatures (“Fountain of Hate”, November 4)? -DR VINOY KUMAR SINHA, RanchiIs it only the congress and other Opposition leaders who have the right to use vituperative remarks against the Sangh Parivar – Rajiv Gandhi called them “Indian dogs”, Madhavrao Scindia branded the BJP babus as “traitors” and Sonia Gandhi called A.B. Vajpayee a “gaddar”? Why were the critics quiet when a foreign author maligned former prime minister Indira Gandhi, leaving it to Maneka Gandhi to clear the debris? -M.S. KILPADY, Mumbai Voice FailWhy is the media making a mountain out of a molehill (“Deep Throat and Other Stories”, November 4)? The prime minister is as susceptible as the rest of us to viral fever and cold – after all, these are attacks which the SPG commandos are unequipped to combat. -MADHU AGRAWAL, on e-mailWhile it is true that one of the factors in bringing the BJP to power was A.B. Vajpayee’s oratorial skills, let us leave his throat alone. Our prime minister is human too. -SANDHYA JOSHI, on e-mailSage AdviceThe kind of rhetoric indulged in by Narendra Modi would have had few takers among Hindus only a few years ago (“In Top Gear”, November 4). But Modi-and others of his ilk-have correctly deduced that 50 years of abuse by Nehruvian secularists and communists have made Hindus resentful. Plagued by a dangerous persecution complex, they are no longer prepared to be lectured to. -V. GANESH, ThiruvananthapuramSpirited PlaySports should play its part in cementing ties between nations instead of breaking them (“Blackballed”, November 4). The cricket boards of Australia, England and Holland should ensure that the game’s spirit scores over politics. Citing security as a concern is inexcusable- how the three teams from the subcontinent played in a packed Colombo stadium in the 1997 World Cup when Australia and West Indies refused for the same reason is now legendary. -ABHINAV ANAND, VaranasiIt Adds Upadvertisement”Instead of helping children succumb to silly dreams, they should be made aware of the need and worth – or lack of it – of coveted things in life.” -ARVIND DAVE, on e-mail Coalition governments formed with some clever arithmetic may rule but they fail to govern (“Holding for Now”, November 4). Now with even the Uttar Pradesh Government in turmoil, it is not difficult to see why the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not optimistic about a coalition government being formed through backdoor deliberations in the state. -WING COMMANDER (RETD) K.K. CHAUDHRY, Delhi BJP MLA and minister in the Uttar Pradesh Government Ameeta Singh was incorrectly referred to as Ameeta Modi in the story on the Mayawati Government. The error is regretted. -EditorArm’s ReachWith North Korea dropping a bombshell by admitting its nuclear weapons programme to Uncle Sam, the chinks in the armour of the recently bolstered US-Pakistan relations are beginning to show (“Unholy Nexus”, November 4). North Korea has set a bad precedent of impudently violating the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it signed with the US. It will not be pessimistic to believe that cash-strapped but technologically advanced nations will now rubbish away non-proliferation accords and indulge in clandestine barter deals with economically powerful nations that want to acquire nuclear know-how. -NALINI VIJAYARAGHAVAN, ThiruvananthapuramRates and RantsThe need of the hour is a drastic slash in the high interest rates, which is affecting the manufacturing sector (“Burden of Plenty”, November 4). The recent slashing of bank rate and CRR by 0.25 per cent by RBI is only a drop in the ocean. Bold steps are required and the interest rate should be immediately cut by at least another 2 per cent to save our economy. -S.N. VARADARAJAN, Coimbatore Faux PowerAll international sports competitions, including athletics, are really a test of a player’s physical fitness, endurance, agility and training (“Behind the Vial”, October 28). Why have those disciplines at all when certain drugs enhance performance? -T.S. CHAWLA, Mohali It is true that success has many fathers but failure has none. Sunita Rani will face humiliation and disgrace for the rest of her life but not one question is directed at the officials who are busy celebrating India’s success at Busan.-SUBHENDRA K. BEHERA, NasikFor Fear or FavourOne fails to understand how even the UN can remain unmoved by the plight of the Iraqis (“Readying for War”, October 28). If no nation dares to speak up for the dignity and human rights being denied to the Iraqis, the day is not far when some other nation may have to bear the brunt of America’s dictatorial attitude. Pastor Niemoeller warned rightly: “First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew, then they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist, then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” -VIVEK KHANNA, ChandigarhRock, Stock and GravelWho are the experts who conclude that NASA’s digital image of the Palk Strait shows that Adam’s Bridge is 1.75 million years old (“Ram’s Bridge to Eternity”, October 28)? The curves are easily explained by anti-clockwise Coriolus forces that erode the coasts of Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar to deposit silt on Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts and the western Indian coast from Kerala to Gujarat to deposit it on the Arabian and African coasts.-DR A.J. GEORGE KODUMUTTI NADAR, SalemWays to MeansThe government must realise that contract jobs are the order of the day (“Where Have All the Jobs Gone?”, October 28). They encourage efficiency, leaving red tape to rest. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged and business studies taught in secondary schools so that not everyone runs after jobs but some even create them. Only then a ground would be created for generation of employment opportunities. -APARAJITA DASGUPTA, KolkataadvertisementTech Tonic People love to experiment but not necessarily for physical intimacy. -DR NILIMA D. DHARKER, MumbaiSMS is not a gadget to deal with mid-life crisis, only a cheap mode of instant communication. -SHEHLA RAZA HASAN, KolkataGrain of TruthYour story accuses Star News of misrepresentation of facts about starvation deaths in Orissa (“Starved of Veracity”, November 4). Since we were the first channel to report on the alleged starvation deaths of two children in Kuladera village, there was no question of ignoring the denials the children’s parents made on other channels. The parents, however, told me that they were threatened and pressurised by some local leaders and officials into saying their children died due to snakebite, not hunger. Your story also says Mongulu Juango, who we reported was driven out of his village Kuladera, lives in Sumatha. A BPL card was issued to him in Kuladera, where he has a house. While editorially you may have differences with our reporting, the “facts” in this case are clear. -SAMPAD MAHAPATRA, NDTV, BhubaneswarThe article mentions me by name and shows me in poor light as a small-town, part-time journalist who, like many others in Rayagada and Koraput districts, does “sensational stories” on starvation only to serve his own petty interests. I do not need a certificate from your reporter or the state government or any other agency about my commitment to truthful journalistic inquiry. -RANJAN KUMAR RATH, RayagadaSpecial Correspondent Ruben Banerjee replies: INDIA TODAY has a video CD in which Mongulu Juango recounts how he was taken in a jeep from Sumatha to Kuladera for Mahapatra’s filming. In another CD, other bereaved tribals talk of enticements offered for attributing deaths to starvation. As for Juango’s home, we have correctly contradicted the Star News report. Juango lives in Sumatha where he has a house and land, of which we have documentary proof. He also draws rice on his relief card (GRY No. 204059) from Sumatha. Kuladera is the home of his wife. Besides, the local anganwadi worker has recorded that Juango’s son died at Sumatha on August 10 this year. As for Rath’s protests, the National Human Rights Commission has unequivocally debunked his reports on starvation deaths.advertisementlast_img read more

Magic rally in fourth quarter to beat Rockets

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first_imgIs Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Harden scored 38 points to push his run of 30-point games to 16, but at a high price. Harden was just 1 for 17 on 3-point attempts. He did get fouled three times shooting from beyond the arc and was 9 for 9 from the free throw line on those occasions (15 of 16 overall), but it was never enough to give the Rockets a comfortable advantage.“I thought we did well against him, except for the fouls,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said. “It’s not easy to guard him without fouling and yet it’s necessary, but he also was 11 for 32, 1 for 17 and we didn’t make a lot of mistakes, except that.” Houston led much of the game and was up 105-98 when Harden made a pair of free throws with 4:34 left.From there, however, he was 1 for 5 from the field, including three misses on step-back 3-pointers. His teammates were 0 for 3 during that span, giving him no help when the game was being decided.“The problem is you can’t rely on (Harden) to be super human every night,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We have to have some contribution from other guys. I thought they came in with a lack of focus on the defensive end and it carried over on the offensive end. We didn’t play well.”Harden agreed with his coach.“We scored enough points to win,” Harden said. “We didn’t have our focus defensively, like we have the last few weeks. We gave them 70 points or something in the second half (actually, 64). You give a team like this some confidence and open shots and they made them. It’s pretty simple.”ADVERTISEMENT Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray lead Nuggets past Trail Blazers MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening The Magic outscored Harden and Houston 14-4 in the final four minutes of the game to win their second straight game.“That was exhausting,” said Fournier, who spent most of the game chasing Harden around pick-and-rolls. “The guy is terrific. I thought overall, we did a pretty good job, but the guy still had 38.”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 stars LATEST STORIES 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 Krausscenter_img Austin Rivers scored 25 points and Clint Capela 17 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which lost for only the fourth time in its last 17 games.Terrence Ross had 17 points for Orlando, including six straight in the late-game run when the Magic put away Houston.With Harden on the bench for a brief rest, the Rockets used a 10-2 run to start the fourth period and grab a 98-88 lead, but the Magic passed them when Ross followed a three-point play with a 3-pointer to make it 106-105 with 3:11 left.Fournier and D.J. Augustin followed with back-to-back 3-pointers and Vucevic hit a short jump hook that finished the run that sealed the game.TIP-INSRockets: Brandon Knight (knee) and Nene (rested because of back-to-back) joined Chris Paul (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (knee) on Houston’s injured list. … Houston is averaging nearly 10 points more in its last 16 games than it did in its first 16 games. (116.2 vs. 106.6) . … Harden had his string of five or more 3-pointers in a game end at 12.Magic: Rookie C Mo Bamba missed his third straight game with a foot injury. … Orlando is 10-8 in back-to-back situations, but only 3-7 in the second game.UP NEXT:Rockets: Houston heads home to play Memphis in the second game of a back-to-back.Magic: Travel to Detroit Wednesday to play the Pistons. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Houston Rockets’ James Harden, left, and Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier (10) go after the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic threw about everything they had at Houston’s James Harden and the strategy worked. Barely.Orlando rallied in the fourth quarter to squeeze out a 116-109 win over Houston on Sunday behind 22 points apiece from Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, and 17 points from Evan Fournier.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more