first_imgThe Congress has said that people, issued notices to appear for verification of their documents on flimsy grounds, are “coerced to move at very short notice”, lest their names are struck off the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is being updated in Assam. A delegation led by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Ripun Bora on Friday met State Coordinator for NRC Prateek Hajela and submitted a memorandum for checking “harassment of people in the name of verification of documents” for preparation of the Supreme Court-monitored NRC. Also Read  “It appears that the State Coordinator for NRC is acting under the direct instruction of the ruling State government, which has its own agenda,” Mr. Bora said, demanding an end to the practice of calling people to verification centres at very short notice. The nine-point memorandum submitted by the Congress includes the appointment of sensitised personnel at the verification centres to help poor and illiterate people who have no clue about the NRC updating process. May 31 deadline Registrar General of India, Sailesh said the second and final draft of NRC will be published by May 31. He made this assurance to delegations of All Assam Students’ Union and All Assam Minority Students’ Union that met him on Thursday. The first draft, recognising 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants for inclusion of names in the updated NRC of 1951, was published at the stroke of midnight on December 31. The updating exercise is according the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985 that wants the State to be rid of illegal migrants who entered Assam after March 24, 1971. The verification process for the 1.39 crore applicants left out of the first draft began in January. This phase has been tricky because of the verification of citizenship documents of 29 lakh married women, mostly migrant Muslims, that began on April 2. The process has been running simultaneously with the verification of 48 lakh cases of mismatches in family tree that began on February 17. The mismatch, officials said, is because of faulty or presumably forged legacy data provided by applicants. The lowdown on Assam’s NRC drive Assam citizenship: SC refuses to extend May 31 deadline for updating NRC  The Congress claimed the citizens, primarily in remote rural areas low on literacy, were being subjected to harassment and that the entire exercise is executed in haste. ”There seems to be a never-ending issuance of notices and circulars to various districts for citizens to appear in remote corners of the State for verification of their documents,” the memorandum signed by Mr. Bora said. ”The system put in place by the State Coordinator of NRC is fundamentally flawed and if this mode of functioning is allowed to continue, it will snowball into a major humanitarian crisis and the people will be forced to take to the streets,” it said. The Congress also referred to complaints about incompetence of officials at the verification centres in processing the documents, besides shortage of people for doing the job without any glitch. Also Readlast_img read more

first_imgAgat (US): Long after clergy sex abuse erupted into scandal in the United States, it remained a secret on the American island of Guam, spanning generations and reaching to the very top of the Catholic hierarchy. For decades, abusers held the power in a culture of impunity led by an archbishop who was among those accused. Anthony Sablan Apuron was convicted in a secret Vatican trial and suspended in 2016, after which restrictions he supported on the reporting of abuse were eased. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMore than 220 former altar boys, students and Boy Scouts are now suing the U.S. territory’s Catholic archdiocese over sexual assaults by 35 clergy, teachers and scoutmasters, hoping to finally see justice. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, estimating at least 45 million in liabilities, and survivors have until Aug. 15 to file for a financial settlement. Thousands of pages of court documents reviewed by The Associated Press, along with extensive interviews, tell a story of systemic abuse going back to the 1950s and of repeated collusion by predator priests. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSeven men have publicly accused Apuron of sexual assaults they endured as children, including his own nephew. The archbishop, now 73, denies the allegations, but in April the Vatican revealed that Pope Francis had upheld the findings of a secret church trial that he was guilty of sex crimes against children. “He believed he was untouchable, more powerful than the governor,” said Water Denton, a former U.S. Army sergeant who alleges he was raped by Apuron 40 years ago as an altar boy. “But it was me against him, and I had nothing to lose.” Though Apuron has been removed from public ministry and effectively exiled from Guam, he remains a bishop and receives a monthly USD 1,500 stipend from the church. The Guam archdiocese said it did not know where Apuron is, and his lawyer declined repeated requests for comment. The AP found he recently registered to vote in New Jersey, but residents at the address he listed said he doesn’t live there and they don’t know him. To this day, no member of the Catholic clergy on Guam has ever been prosecuted for a sex crime, including Apuron. Secret church files that could have helped provide evidence for prosecutions are alleged to have been burned. And unlike dozens of archdioceses on the U.S. mainland, Guam has yet to issue a list of priests whom the church deems credibly accused of sexual assault. Despite church law that requires bishops and archbishops to maintain records on sex abuse allegations, the new archbishop, Michael Jude Byrnes, said his predecessor left him nothing. He couldn’t explain why, but said he had heard rumors of “a big bonfire” outside the chancery before Apuron left. “It’s horrific,” Byrnes said. “The sins of the fathers are left to the children. … It’s important for the Church of Guam to confront, in a good way, the evil that we found, and to acknowledge it, and to own it.” Catholicism is deeply engrained in the culture of Guam’s indigenous people, known as Chamorros. Four out of five Guamanians are Catholic. Many streets on this former Spanish colony of 165,000 are named for bishops and priests including some now accused of sexual abuse. Brothers Tomas and Ramon De Plata have filed suit alleging abuse by more than one priest. In March 1964, the brothers say, Apuron then a seminarian in his late teens was at a sleepover in the rectory. Around midnight, Ramon says, he walked into the priest’s bedroom looking for the bathroom and saw Apuron and another priest engaged in sex acts with a boy from his school. Ramon says the future archbishop got up from the bed and placed a hand on his shoulder. “He was calling me to join them,” recounted Ramon De Plata, now 65 and retired from the U.S. Army. “I said, ‘Don’t touch me!'” Denton says he dreamed as a 13-year-old altar boy of becoming a priest, just like Father Tony. So he felt privileged when in the spring of 1977, Father Tony invited him to spend the night before Sunday mass in the squat concrete block rectory. He says he woke up face down on bed, his legs spread, and the priest on top of him. “I yelled, I screamed, and I begged Father Tony, ‘Please stop! Please stop!'” Denton, now 55, recounted.last_img read more

Same song, different verse.The San Antonio Spurs — after defeating the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night — are one win away from a title. The score wasn’t close, 107-86 — the second game in a row that San Antonio dismantled Miami. But in Game 3, it was the Spurs’ offense overwhelming the Heat’s defense with a cascading set of inside-outside and side-to-side actions. In Game 4, the Spurs’ offense continued to perform at a high level, but it also tightened the screws defensively.The Heat scored at a rate of 99.1 points per 100 possessions in Game 4, more than 13 points lower than Miami’s playoff average. The Spurs controlled the middle of the floor, a factor that manifested in several ways.According to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking Box Score, San Antonio had an enormous rebounding advantage, not just in actual rebounds — 44 to 27 — but also in rebound chances (defined as any time a player is within 3.5 feetof a rebound), 68 to 46. The Spurs were consistently the aggressor around the basket.That aggressiveness also showed in Game 4’s shot-contesting stats. The Heat were 15 of 34 (44 percent) on shots in the paint. Coming into the game, the Heat had made 64 percent of their shots in the paint, by far the best mark of any team in the playoffs. The Heat — athletic and loaded with finishers — can score in the paint even when a defender is there to challenge a shot. But the Spurs have gotten more aggressive, and it is bothering the Heat in traffic.Miami’s Shooting WoesSan Antonio contested a slightly lower percentage of Miami’s shots in Game 4, but the Spurs were extremely effective, especially around the basket. The Heat couldn’t get shots to fall.The Heat have turned the ball over on 18.7 percent of their possessions in the finals, well above the 15.8 percent they had averaged in the regular season. Many of the steals the Spurs are generating have come close to the basket, stripping the ball from a shooter as he heads for the rim. On San Antonio, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have been particularly active in this regard, combining for 15 steals and seven blocks in the finals so far.The Spurs have strung together two of the best performances of the playoffs — one offensive and one defensive. It will take massive changes from Miami to push this series toward a competitive finish. read more

1Mike Trout28.61Mike Trout37.9 PLAYERWAR 5Alex Rodriguez22.95Ken Griffey Jr.30.1 5Al Kaline8.95Al Kaline15.4 3Ty Cobb9.53Ty Cobb15.7 2Ty Cobb46.7 As a result — and in concert with MLB labor mechanisms that force young stars to either play for peanuts through their arbitration years or lock themselves into long, below-market extensions (as Trout did in 2014, re-signing with the Angels through 2020) — Trout has produced a ton of surplus value for the Angels, relative to what he’s been paid. According to FanGraphs.com, Trout’s production would have been worth about $357 million on the open market since his MLB debut, a span over which he was paid only about $24 million.That’s why speculation that the Yankees are loading up for a Trout trade breaks down upon examination. At a glance, why not ship Trout away from a rebuilding team where his WAR is being wasted (aside, of course, from Angels fans who like to watch him play) to a huge market that has the prospects for a blockbuster deal? The answer: It would take a monster package of young talent to justify trading away a player who so outperforms his contract and probably will continue to do so for the next several years.If we apply Tom Tango’s simple WAR projection system with an average future value of $8.6 million per win,3Starting with a rough cost-estimate of $8 million per WAR next season, with 5 percent annual growth until 2020. the final four seasons of Trout’s contract figure to see him generate 32.5 WAR, for a market value of $282 million,4Including the yearly minimum salary of about $500,000. and be paid $122 million. So it probably won’t be until Trout’s next contract that the cost-benefit tradeoff of having him around begins to make a trade realistic for either the Angels or the team they’re negotiating with.At that point, the math gets a little silly. Even in the first year of his next deal, Trout’s WAR projects to be worth so much on the open market (roughly $75 million) that he’d need a truly paradigm-shifting contract — one that would basically double the highest annual salary of anybody in the game right now — to not be underpaid. With superstar free-agent deals, the question often isn’t whether they’ll be paid more than they’re worth, but by how much. Trout, however, is so good that it might be hard for him to earn fair market value even in his big post-prime payday.For now, that means Trout is probably stuck carrying the Angels. In the past, that would have also meant his chances of contending for the MVP were slim, despite his incredible individual numbers. But perhaps Trout’s win Thursday also signals a change in the way voting will be conducted going forward. The MVP electorate has been skewing more progressive for a while, in terms of its willingness to use sabermetric tools, and there’s nothing more open-minded than giving the MVP to the leader of a 74-88 team.But maybe it was also about Trout’s own particular greatness. No player has ever been so good at such a young age; it was likely that future generations would have looked at his repeated MVP snubs and wondered what the hell the voters were thinking to deny him the AL’s top individual award, over and over. WAR Through Age 22WAR Through Age 23 4Bryce Harper8.94Ken Griffey Jr.15.5 1Mike Trout48.5 3Ted Williams23.63Ted Williams34.2 a 3Mickey Mantle40.9 4Alex Rodriguez38.0 4Mel Ott23.54Mel Ott31.4 WAR Through Age 24 2Ty Cobb25.52Ty Cobb36.0 a PLAYERWAR 5Ken Griffey Jr.37.0 WAR Through Age 20WAR Through Age 21 2Mel Ott11.42Mel Ott17.9 Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is widely acknowledged to be the best player in baseball and has been for quite some time. But for all his gifts, awards recognition has been hard for Trout to come by. Although Trout has led the American League in wins above replacement (WAR) for each of the past five seasons,1Ever since he first became a full-time player in 2012. he had only won MVP honors once going into Thursday night’s award announcement — and victory there was far from assured.Unlike in the past, though, when Trout’s horrid teammates were held against him in favor of some lesser player on a winning team, the voters broke with tradition and went for the player with stellar individual numbers. In winning the MVP, Trout became just the sixth player from a losing team to take home the hardware. It was a victory for the new ways of player evaluation and a more modern take on what the “valuable” part of MVP really means.But even if Trout hadn’t won the award, he could have taken the same solace he could last year: MVP or not, but he’s still tracking to be the G.O.A.T.Through every single age in which he played a full season,2Not including his age-19 season in 2011, when he logged only 40 games after a July call-up. Trout has been the all-time career leader in Baseball-Reference.com’s WAR for position players. It was true through age 20, age 21, age 22, age 23 and — after posting 10.6 WAR in 2016, a performance that basically matched his previous single-season peak — age 24. No player has ever started his career on this kind of tear — not Ruth, not Cobb, not Mantle, nobody. Mike Trout is (still!) the G.O.A.T. at any age Most career WAR through each age since 1901, among position players.Source: Baseball-Reference.com 1Mike Trout11.41Mike Trout20.7 read more

WESTERN CONFERENCE1. Los Angeles LakersThe defending world champions added Ron Artest into the starting lineup, and center Andrew Bynum will return soon from an Achilles injury. But the Lakers have been sluggish closing out the season, and Kobe Bryant has been banged up for most of the season. With many potentially dangerous roadblocks, it will be tough for Los Angeles to reach the NBA Finals for the third straight year. They still have the best chance to do so.2. Dallas MavericksDallas was one of the best teams in the NBA after acquiring guard Caron Butler and center Brendan Haywood from Washington. Even though the Mavs have Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki as the cornerstones of their team, they ended up with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, a team nobody wants to play in the playoffs. If they get out of the first round, Dallas has a shot at the NBA Finals.3. Phoenix SunsThis Phoenix team is very different from the one from five years ago, but it is still all about the high-tempo offense of Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, a superstar duo. But their flash has not yielded great playoff success, as the Suns have given up the most points of any playoff team. If Nash and Stoudemire stay hot, the Suns can make a lot of noise in the later rounds out West.4. Denver NuggetsCarmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups remain one of the best duos out West, and Denver’s forwards are excellent rebounders. But they have struggled as coach George Karl has undergone treatment for throat cancer, and the Nuggets’ road record is one of the worst among playoff teams. With Karl most likely out for the first round, Denver will need to dig deep against Utah. If they do, they can get a rematch with the Lakers.5. Utah JazzA team stacked with big men, the sky is the limit for the Jazz. With the leadership and playmaking abilities of point guard Deron Williams, the Jazz have big men and 3-point shooters. What they lack is a pure shooter who can hit the mid-range jump shot on a regular basis when Williams gets in trouble and cannot dish it off to one of his big men.6. Portland Trail BlazersA young team on the rise, the Blazers have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this experience. Unfortunately, they will be without All-star and leader Brandon Roy in the first series due to a torn meniscus in his right knee that needs surgery. An injury plagued season, first losing Greg Oden and now Roy, they hope to upset the Phoenix Suns in the first round.7. San Antonio SpursExperience, experience, experience. That’s what the Spurs have, but maybe too much experience. With the great Tim Duncan, age might hinder the Spurs’ run if he cannot carry the team on his back like he did in his wonder years. This is where they hope superstar sixth man Manu Ginobili can keep up his hot streak and lead the team to another title. With the off-season acquisition of Richard Jefferson and the solid point guard play of Tony Parker, the Spurs are still a team to reckon with in the playoffs.8. Oklahoma City ThunderThough it’s the Thunder’s first playoff appearance since moving to OKC, scoring champion Kevin Durant hopes to not make it a short tenure. Even though they are young and hungry, they lack size and 3-point shooters. To top it off, they are matched up with last year’s NBA Champion Lakers in the first round. But gaining experience and seeing how far they can make it will only better the young squad for future seasons to come.-Tim Bielik and Michael WillisEASTERN CONFERENCE1. Cleveland CavaliersLeBron James. Enough said. Aside from showcasing arguably the best player in the league, the Cavs are second in 3-point percentage and third in overall field goal percentage, making them one of the most potent offenses in all of basketball. While there don’t seem to be many soft spots in Cleveland’s game, center Shaquille O’Neal has not seen action since suffering a thumb injury in late February, which could cause a weakened post presence. Finishing four games better than the defending champion Lakers, it is hard to not have Cleveland as a favorite to win the east if not the whole thing.2. Orlando Magic The Magic have one of the best big men in the game in Dwight Howard, who proved to be too much for anyone else in the east to handle last postseason, including Cleveland, and could provide Orlando with a slight edge in the east once again. Orlando has been inconsistent at times this season. Both Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis have struggled at points, which could spell disaster in crunch time. If Carter and Lewis can find their shooter’s touch and Howard maintains his dominating presence in the post, the Magic could give the Cavs a run for their money come conference finals time.3. Atlanta HawksIn his first year in Atlanta, sharp shooter Jamal Crawford has been a huge boost off the bench for the Hawks, providing what could be just the spark they need to get over the hump in the east. Mustering just one playoff series victory in the last 10 years, the Hawks lack the postseason experience that the other top tier teams will benefit from. Atlanta has come a long way in the last 3 years, but they will have to come much further, much quicker if they want to get past Orlando and Cleveland.4. Boston CelticsThe nod for most experienced team in the east would have to go to the Celtics whose starting five that won the NBA title in ’08 remains intact. Boston struggled down the stretch, posting a 3-7 record over their last ten games, and age remains a factor with the ‘Big 3′ all approaching their mid 30’s. The Celtics shined in ’08 but, despite the starting line-up remaining the same, their lack of youth is a big challenge in challenging for the Eastern Conference title. 5. Miami HeatOn a hot streak, winning 12 of its last 13 games, and guard Dwayne Wade has the ability to take over a game. Not much talent behind Wade, especially in the front court. Miami was 0-3 against Boston in the regular season. Although the Heat has the best chance at an upset in the East going against the aging Celtics, Miami’s weak front court will not be able to handle Boston’s big men. 6. Milwaukee BucksMidseason acquisition John Salmons has averaged 19.9 points per game since joining the Bucks, and point guard Brandon Jennings is a contender for Rookie of the Year. Milwaukee lost its best player, forward Andrew Bogut, to injury near the end of the season. Can others step up?With Bogut, the Bucks could have made a deep run in the playoffs. Without him, they will be lucky to win two games against Atlanta. 7. Charlotte BobcatsBobcats are very good defensively, allowing the fewest points in the NBA at 93.8 per game. Guard Stephen Jackson can score from anywhere. Charlotte has also scored the fewest points of any team at 95.3 per game. The Bobcats have no answer for Orlando’s Dwight Howard in the post, especially if Tyson Chandler’s recent injuries linger. Charlotte’s defense will keep them in games, but the team lacks the inside presence to win more than a few games against the Magic. 8. Chicago BullsDerrick Rose is an explosive point guard and averaged 17 points and 9.3 assists against Cleveland this season. The Bulls allowed more points than they scored this season. They simply don’t have the talent to give the Cavs much of a problem. Although the Bulls split the season series against Cleveland, the most recent victory came with LeBron James on the sideline. James will not be resting during the playoffs. -Travis Kozek and Matt Skrajner read more

first_imgThe Consulate General of Canada is urging travellers to use the official website to register for an electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), after reports of ‘scam’ websites charging up to $122 for the application.Starting March 15, 2016, Australian citizens visiting Canada require an electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before flying to Canada, with the simple online application process costing just $7 CAD.The initiative, introduced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, requires Australian travellers, who do not require a visa to enter Canada, to apply online at canada.ca/eTA, providing basic personal information similar to what is currently collected when they arrive in Canada.The simple application process, live since August 2015, is convenient and paperless, with most eTAs approved within minutes. In addition, the new eTA system means travellers to Canada can expect a faster service upon arrival at the border.The eTA is electronically linked to the traveller’s passport and is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.Last minute applications can be made on any device with an internet connection, including mobile phones. Most applicants can expect an email response within minutes of applying.The eTA, designed to protect the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, costs just $7 Canadian per individual and will be valid for up to five years from the date of issue. More info hereSource = Destination Canadalast_img read more

first_img Categories: Lucido News,News State Rep. Peter Lucido of Shelby Township today introduced legislation to speed up the implementation of consistent income tax relief for Michigan families.Lucido’s bill deals with the homestead property tax credit. The new legislation would annually increase the maximum credit allowable by the rate of inflation starting with the 2019 tax year.Current law calls for the credit cap to increase to $1,500 in the 2018 tax year and remain there until increasing by the inflation rate starting in the 2021 tax year.“My proposal would begin providing the inflation-related tax relief two years earlier than now planned,” said Lucido, who is a member of the House Tax Policy Committee. “There’s no reason to wait. Michigan families deserve tax relief, and this is just one of the ways I’m working to bring it to them.”Lucido also has introduced legislation to provide an income tax credit to offset fees families pay for students to participate in sports, band or other extracurricular programs in schools. The Michigan House already has approved a Lucido bill to protect taxpayers from unwarranted personal liability lawsuits in property tax cases.###Rep. Lucido’s legislation is House Bill 4883. 16Aug Rep. Lucido continues fight to provide income tax relief for Michigan familieslast_img read more

first_imgNo appointment is necessary to attend office hours. Anyone unable to attend who would like to voice a question or concern to Rep. Hughes may contact her office at (877) 633-0331 or HollyHughes@house.mi.gov. Friday, April 68 to 9 a.m. at the Ravenna Round Table, 12396 Stafford St. in Ravenna. 20Mar Rep. Hughes invites residents to her upcoming office hours Categories: Hughes News State Rep. Holly Hughes announced her upcoming office hours for March and April.“It is important for me to meet with residents on a regular basis to hear the questions and concerns they have regarding state government,” Hughes said. “I encourage everyone to join me for office hours.”Rep. Hughes will be available at the following times and locations:Thursday, March 2910:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Holton Township Hall, 6511 E. Holton Whitehall Road in Holton; and2 to 3 p.m. at Roosevelt Park City Hall, 900 Oak Ridge Road in Roosevelt Park.last_img read more

first_imgHungarian transmission company Antenna Hungária has named András Piller as its new CEO.Piller has worked at various broadcasters and TV operators, including RTL Klub, T-Kábel and Fibernet. He was most recently CEO of Latvian operator Baltcom.Piller replaces Yves Coulomb who was acting CEO. Coulomb will remain as chief financial officer and will serve as a board member.last_img

first_imgNetflix has rolled out a “fully localised” version of its service in Romania.The new version of the service includes a localised Romanian user interface, with Romanian subtitles and dubbing covering thousands of hours of TV shows and films, including Netflix original programming“We are delighted to offer a more local Netflix experience in Romanian where members can enjoy a variety of TV shows and movies – everything from globally popular Netflix original series to anime, kids content to stand-up comedies,” said Netflix chief communications officer, Jonathan Friedland.“Romania knows great entertainment and now it’s even easier to watch the world’s favourite shows on Netflix anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected device and at the same time as the rest of the world.”Netflix launched localised versions of its service in Poland and Turkey last September. Speaking on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in January, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the rollouts would be part of a “steady process” that should help Netflix establish a substantial presence in more localised markets in the long-term.Netflix rolled out in Romania in January 2016 after the subscription video-on-demand giant went global by launching in 130 new countries.last_img read more