Schoolteacher arrested for molesting six-year-old

first_imgA six-year-old student was allegedly molested by a teacher at a government-aided girls’ school in south Kolkata. The incident led to a major protest by parents of students outside the school on Tuesday. The protesters threw stones at the police team which reached the spot for investigation, forcing the police to resort to baton charge to disperse them. The accused teacher was arrested and four persons were taken into custody for throwing stones at the police. The school authorities could not be reached for comments.Two separate casesJoint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Headquarters) Supratim Sarkar said two separate cases were lodged regarding the alleged molestation and assault on police. “We have lodged a case against the accused teacher under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” he said.A brawl broke out in front of the school between the police and the guardians when the latter tried to break open the school gate. Both sides allegedly traded blows and a section of the protesters tried to pull off the helmets of the police personnel who retaliated with baton charge. Several guardians and police personnel were injured in the clash. “Eight police personnel, including two officers incharge, were injured,” said Mr. Sarkar. He denied allegations that there was not adequate deployment of women police personnel to deal with the situation.A section of guardians eventually broke open the main gate of the school and ransacked several rooms inside the premises. They also allegedly heckled other teachers when they tried to leave the premises. The situation was such that some of the teachers had to be taken out of the area in police vehicles.West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson said that the commission will monitor the probe and seek the CCTV footages of the school from the police if required.last_img read more

Sardar Singh dropped; Rupinder Pal Singh, Birendra Lakra return for HWL Final

first_imgVeteran mid-fielder Sardar Singh was today dropped from India’s 18-member squad for next month’s Hockey World League Final, while the fit-again Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra made comebacks for the season-ending tournament to be held in Bhubaneswar.The biggest omission from the squad was this year’s Khel Ratna Award winner Sardar, who was part of the team that won the Asia Cup last month in Dhaka.The exclusion might just mark the end of the former skipper’s illustrious career.In the Asia Cup, Sardar shunned his playmaker role in the midfield for young skipper Manpreet Singh and played as the ‘free defender’.But the ouster from the HWL Final might mean that Sardar doesn’t quite fit into the scheme of things of new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne, who took the reins of the team before the Asia Cup following Roelant Oltmans’s ouster.Rupinder and Lakra’s return will be big boost to the India’s fragile backline.Rupinder will return to the team after a five month lay- off due to a hamstring injury while Lakra has been in and out of the side after missing the Rio Olympics due to a knee injury.While Rupinder last played for India in the Europe tour before the HWL Semi-Final, Lakra was part of last year’s Asian Champions Trophy and December’s four-nation Australia tour squad before being kept out to regain full fitness.Hockey India selectors have retained Manpreet Singh as the captain of the 18-member squad, while naming Chinglensana Singh as his deputy.advertisementWith PR Sreejesh yet to regain match fitness, the Indian goalpost will be defended by custodians Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera.The midfield will see SK Uthappa, Kothajit Singh and Sumit join Manpreet and Chinglensana.Junior World Cup stars Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Dipsan Tirkey, who have had promising outings in Europe and Asia Cup too, find themselves in the squad for the season finale.BREAKING: The 18-member squad for the Odisha Mens Hockey World League Final, Bhubaneswar 2017, December 1 to 10 has been declared. Tweet your thoughts!Read: #IndiaKaGame Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 17, 2017In one of the best comeback stories of the year, Odisha- lad Amit Rohidas, who had a fantastic outing in 2017 Hockey India League, made his return to the team.The team boasts of a strong forwardline in experienced SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, who had a promising Asia Cup, Lalit Upadhyay and 22-year-old Mandeep Singh, who also returned after being rested from the Asia Cup.India are grouped with Australia, England and Germany in Pool B and will begin their campaign on the opening day against defending champions Australia.India coach Sjoerd Marijne was happy with the balance of the team.”I think this is a great mix and would especially like to see how the youngsters soak up the pressure of playing against higher ranked teams in the world. We will have to play every match like it is the final and will have absolutely no room to make errors if we want to see ourselves on the podium,” Marijne said.The coach was particularly delighted to see the return of some senior players, who according to him, will add value to the team.”It is good to have Rupinder, who brings great experience, as well as Birendra back in the team. Both are 100 per cent fit and eager to wear the India colours again,” stated the 43-year-old Marijne.”Amit was called-in as a replacement for Kothajit who had a hamstring injury just before we left for the Asia Cup. He flew in directly from Australia where he had played the Australian Hockey League for India ‘A’ team and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” stated the Dutchman.Rupinder’s return will add sheen to India’s already potent drag-flick division, which also has the likes of Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Amit and Dipsan Tirkey.”We have five players in defence who can drag and have been putting in extra hours for penalty corner training which is great for the team,” Marijne said.Squad: Goalkeepers: Akash Anil Chikte, Suraj KarkeraDefenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra LakraMidfielders: Manpreet Singh (Capt), Chinglensana Singh (Vice-Capt), SK Uthappa, Sumit, Kothajit SinghForwards: SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Gurjant Singh.last_img read more

Sessegnon dreams of Premier League

first_imgTransfers Tottenham target Sessegnon dreaming of Premier League Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 20:42 2/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Ryan Sessegnon Fulham 2017 Getty Images Transfers Fulham Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur Championship Premier League Manchester United Real Madrid v Barcelona Real Madrid Primera División Crystal Palace v Manchester United Crystal Palace The Cottagers left-back wants to make the jump to the top-flight, having been linked with the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and even Real Madrid In-demand teenager Ryan Sessegnon is dreaming of the Premier League, with Fulham battling to finish in the Championship’s play-off places.Sessegnon, considered one of the hottest properties in English football, has hit 13 league goals this season for Fulham, who sit fifth in the table.The 17-year-old has been linked with Real Madrid, as well as Premier League giants including Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United, with many comparing the versatile left-sided player to Gareth Bale. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Indeed, Goal understands that Fulham rejected a £25 million bid from Spurs for Sessegnon last year, prior to Sessegnon signing a new deal at Craven Cottage.And the youngster, who followed in the footsteps of Spurs duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli in claiming the Young Player of the Year prize at the London Football Awards, is focusing on helping Fulham get to the top flight as speculation over his future continues to mount.”It’s a great feeling for me, to win two awards is a brilliant achievement, but credit to the team,” Sessegnon told Perform at the London Football Awards. “The way the team plays is good and is helping me to become a better player.”I think for any young player playing outside the Premier League, the dream is to be in the Premier League. So I think winning this award makes me want to keep improving as a player.”If you look at those two young English players [Kane and Alli], they’ve done it at a young age and they’re doing it currently in the Premier League.”I’m no different to any other player, I just want to play at the highest possible level.”Congratulations for these deserved awards, @RyanSessegnon . There will be more if you keep working hard. A proud moment for the @FulhamFC academy. #LFA18 — Slavisa Jokanovic (@Jokanovic) March 1, 2018 Bale made his name at Spurs before earning a move to Real Madrid, with Sessegnon accepting it is an honour to be likened to the Wales star.”I think ever since he was at Tottenham as a young left-back, I’ve watched him for many years,” Sessegnon added. “People compare me to him and it’s great to be compared to someone like him. I’m happy to be myself and keep pushing forward.”Right now I wouldn’t say I have a favourite position, I like to play anywhere on the pitch. But I’m enjoying my role at left wing at the moment.”The London Football Awards Manager of the Year! — Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) March 2, 2018 Former Fulham boss Roy Hodgson won the Manager of the Year prize, having led Crystal Palace out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, and the 70-year-old feels Sessegnon has what it takes to make it at the top level.”He’s got enormous potential, he’s playing at a club that is very close to my heart,” said Hodgson. “A very, very great club and a club which has a great possibility this year of getting back into the Premier League, where they were when I was managing them and where I’d like to see them again.”Players like Ryan Sessegnon are going to help the manager [Slavisa Jokanovic], who has done an excellent job. They’re going to help him and the club, I hope, to achieve that goal.”It was very good to see him receive the award. I was impressed with the way he spoke, with the maturity he has shown and the humility with which he spoke.”It’s important he continues to play well between now and the end of the season because, like ourselves, everything will be decided in the next couple of months and we are playing for big stakes.”last_img read more

Courtois: Hazard has taken his game to a new level

first_imgWorld Cup Courtois: Hazard has taken his game to a new level ahead of World Cup Goal 23:27 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Eden Hazard Belgium Getty World Cup Eden Hazard Belgium v Panama Panama Belgium The Chelsea and Belgium goalkeeper believes his club and international team-mate is playing at his highest level ever ahead of the World Cup Thibaut Courtois is of the belief that Chelsea and Belgium team-mate Eden Hazard is training and playing at his best level ahead of the World Cup.Hazard, who suffered through a disappointing campaign with Chelsea in the Premier League, is one of the key men for a Belgium side that is considered by many as one of the favorites in Russia. The 27-year-old was a slight injury worry, having limped out of 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica after suffering a kick on the leg, but Belgium have calmed fears of him missing out and Courtois expects him to be key to their performance.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “It’s not only Eden at his best, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him train and play this amazingly,” Courtois told reporters. “He’s reached another level of his game and I hope he can show that.”But we also need Romelu [Lukaku] to score goals, I need to play well, we kneed [Kevin De Bruyne] at the level he’s at at City.”We need our best players at their best and everyone is training well at this moment.”Despite a lacklustre showing in league play for Chelsea, Antonio Conte’s side closed the club season with a win over Manchester United in the FA Cup final, and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez thinks the trophy to close the year was just the boost his star winger needed heading into Russia. “I think Eden ended the season with winning a trophy, with his performances in the final and semi, have prepared him well for the World Cup,” the former Swansea boss said. “He’s in good form, looks fresh and ready. The players we have around help him too. In the last two friendlies, he’s looked very sharp.”Following their clash with Panama, Belgium face Tunisia and England in World Cup Group G.last_img read more

Report: Brazil 2 Mexico 0

first_imgBrazil 2 Mexico 0: Neymar and Firmino book Selecao’s quarter-final spot Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 23:55 7/2/18 Neymar - cropped Getty Images Brazil were far from their fluid best against Mexico, but Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino booked them a spot in the last eight. Neymar’s strike and a late second from Roberto Firmino saw a strangely low-key Brazil edge past Mexico 2-0 to book a spot in the World Cup quarter-finals.Tite’s men are yet to hit full stride at Russia 2018, and on this evidence they still have more to come, but Neymar’s 51st-minute goal and Firmino’s tap-in after coming off the bench meant the tournament favourites progressed with relative comfort in the end, and avoided the early exit that has already befallen the likes of Spain, Germany and Argentina.Mexico were the dominant force in the opening 20 minutes in Samara, but they were unable to make their superiority count and eventually allowed their muted opponents to scrap their way into the game. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar After Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa had been called into action to deny Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho, Neymar finally made the breakthrough at the back post – netting his second goal of the tournament shortly after half-time, when Willian’s scuffed cross found its way through to him.The margin became more comfortable with two minutes left when Firmino – just on as a replacement for Coutinho – added the finishing touch after Neymar had led a counter-attack. The only blemish for the five-time champions was the second-half booking for Casemiro, which rules him out of the quarter-final clash against either Belgium or Japan.Mexico, meanwhile, will look back fondly on their opening 1-0 win over Germany, but are now left to rue a seventh consecutive exit at the last-16 stage.#BRA get the job done!Second-half goals from @neymarjr and Roberto Firmino mean that @CBF_Futebol are through to the quarter-finals! #BRAMEX— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 2, 2018In a lively start, both sides exchanged chances inside the opening five minutes. Hirving Lozano’s half-volley was well blocked by Miranda, while at the other end, Ochoa was equal to Neymar’s powerful drive from just outside the penalty area.Lozano was to prove a constant menace down Mexico’s right, with only a Filipe Luis block preventing him from providing the final flourish to a flowing counter-attack.Neymar cut an isolated figure during Brazil’s disjointed start, but he exploded into life after 25 minutes, racing past Edson Alvarez in the area and forcing Ochoa into a smart save with his left hand.Buoyed by that sorely-needed injection of dynamism, Tite’s men then carved out two quick-fire chances. First, Jesus scuffed his close-range volley wide, and then Coutinho flashed an effort well over from 20 yards out.Jesus went close again in the 33rd minute, finding space in a crowded area and drilling in a left-footed strike that Ochoa palmed away.Brazil picked up where they had left off after the restart, Coutinho testing Ochoa with a fierce drive after cutting in from the left.And their positive approach was rewarded in the 51st minute as Neymar and Willian combined to devastating effect.6 – Neymar has scored six goals from 38 shots in World Cup tournaments – it took Lionel Messi 67 shots and Cristiano Ronaldo 74 shots to reach this goal tally at the World Cup. Icon. #BRA #MEX #BRAMEX #WorldCup— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 2, 2018Neymar’s back-heel on the edge of the area teed up the Chelsea man for a burst into the box and his scuffed cross was slid into an empty net by the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who had ghosted in unmarked at the back post.Paulinho should have doubled that advantage in the 59th minute, but Ochoa was once again equal to his whipped strike from 12 yards, while the over-worked goalkeeper also tipped over Willian’s powerful effort four minutes later. Substitute Miguel Layun was fortunate to escape punishment when he appeared to stand on Neymar’s leg 20 minutes from time as the two clashed on the touchline, although the Brazil man’s histrionics did not help his cause in convincing referee Gianluca Rocchi to brandish a card.As Mexico threw bodies forward in search of a late leveller, Brazil took full advantage of the gaps in their backline to score a second with two minutes remaining. Neymar powered through and his low effort was diverted by Ochoa’s foot into the path of Firmino, who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net.After their slow start it was ultimately no more than the Selecao deserved, as their bid for a sixth world title marches on. Key Opta stats:- Brazil have won eight of their nine World Cup matches against CONCACAF nations (drawing one), conceding in just one of those matches (5-2 vs Costa Rica in 2002).- Since the introduction of the Round of 16 in 1986, Mexico have been eliminated at this stage of the World Cup seven times – more than twice as many as any other nation.- Brazil have reached at least the quarter-final stages of the World Cup in each of the last seven editions of the competition.- They have now scored more World Cup goals than any other side in the history of the competition (228, two more than Germany).- Brazil are unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions, conceding just three goals in that run (W11 D4).- Roberto Firmino scored just two minutes and four seconds after coming on as a substitute for Brazil, the second fastest of any subtitute so far at the 2018 World Cup after Artem Dzyuba (Russia against Saudi Arabia).- Neymar scored his sixth World Cup goal with his 38th shot. It took Cristiano Ronaldo 74 shots and Lionel Messi 67 to reach six goals in the competition.- Neymar has been involved in 20 goals in his last 19 games in all competitions for Brazil, scoring 11 and assisting nine.- Neymar has been fouled 23 times at the 2018 World Cup, more than any other player.- Firmino scored his seventh goal for Brazil – on each occasion it has been their final goal of the game.- Neymar has had the most shots (23), shots on target (12) and created the most chances (16) of any player so far in the 2018 World Cup. read morelast_img read more

Niche Carriers Offer Better Rewards but with Higher Risks

first_imgImage Courtesy: Port of RotterdamNiche carriers have both outperformed and vastly underperformed the top 16 carriers, with a high degree of volatility in schedule reliability, according to SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.“If on-time performance is a priority, niche carriers offer better rewards, but with higher risks.”The top 16 carriers have both a lower degree of volatility than the niche carriers, and are grouped much closer together. This consistency in the top 16 carriers can, to a large degree, be explained by their high level of interconnectedness, through alliances, VSAs, and slot charters.The niche carriers, however, are a completely different story. SeaIntel said that they in general have greater schedule reliability volatility, and “we can see the trend go upward as we move down the rankings, meaning that the smaller niche carrier are more volatile.”The Transatlantic Westbound trade lane is a perfect example of this. The niche carriers may offer better reliability on the higher end of the spectrum, but then there is the risk of choosing the wrong niche carrier and ending up facing consistent delays. ICL has consistently scored better in on-time performance than the top 16 carriers, with an average reliability of 95.5% from the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2017. ARRC, on the other hand, has recorded an average schedule reliability of 78.1 percentage points below ICL in this period.“This volatility makes choosing a niche carrier over a top 16 carrier potentially risky. There is the obvious reward of getting higher on-time performance if the right niche carrier is chosen, but there is also the obvious pitfall of extremely poor schedule reliability if the wrong niche carrier is chosen,” Alan Murphy, SeaIntel CEO, said.last_img read more

TMC will sweep Assembly polls with over 250 seats

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday dared the BJP to hold polls using ballot paper instead of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and reiterated that Trinamool Congress will win more than 250 seats in Bengal in the 2021 Assembly polls.”We have seen that wherever there has been voting in ballot, BJP has ended up on the losing side (jekhane jekhane ballot e vote hoyeche BJP vokatta hoyeche). But in places where voting has been conducted in EVMs, BJP has managed to win,” Banerjee said, addressing the Martyr’s Day rally at Esplanade. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHis statement assumes significance in the wake of the results of elections in Karnataka and Rajasthan. In the Karnataka Lok Sabha polls, BJP had won 26 out of 28 seats. But in the municipal polls, when elections were held in ballot, the saffron party had lost. The results have been similar in Rajasthan as well. Banerjee asserted that Trinamool will sweep the Assembly elections in 2021 with more than 250 seats and Mamata Banerjee will assume the Chief Minister’s chair for the third time with a clear mandate. “The people of Bengal will prove that there is no alternative to Mamata Banerjee,” he added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayHe cautioned the saffron party that their divisive politics to create disturbance in the state will yield no fruit. “Your politics is based upon creating rift among people in the name of religion, but our politics is to provide food and clothing to every single person in the state,” he said. Meanwhile, senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari appealed to the party workers to launch movement against BJP which is oblivious of the culture and tradition of Bengal. “The BJP is in the dark about the culture of Bengal and are bent upon portraying its rich cultural heritage in poor light. It is evident from their act of vandalism of the bust of social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. So, we have to unite to thwart such acts and for democracy our call will be to press for ballots and shun EVMs,” he said. Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim also came down heavily upon the BJP, holding them responsible for pushing the country towards financial trouble. “The Centre has surrendered to foreign power and the Prime Minister’s call of Acche Din is a far cry from the truth,” he asserted. Trinamool state president Subrata Bakshi reminded the party workers of the significance of Martyrs’ Day. In 1993, 13 workers were killed when Mamata Banerjee, then Youth Congress president, had launched a march to the secretariat, with demand of ‘No Card No Vote.’ “We were able to set precedence through our movement in 1993 and we are hopeful that our demand of ballot in voting and shunning of EVMs will also prove successful,” he maintained.last_img read more

1023 special fasttrack courts to come up

first_imgNew Delhi: The Union government has proposed to set up a total of 1,023 special fast-track courts for expeditious trial of over 1.66 lakh pending cases of crime against women and children across the country.Each of these special courts is expected to dispose of at least 165 such cases per year, said a proposal by the Department of Justice under Union Law Ministry. A total of 1,023 FTSCs will be set up, out of which 389 courts, as per a Supreme Court direction, will exclusively handle cases registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, it said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe remaining 634 FTSCs will deal with either rape cases or both rape and POCSO Act cases depending upon the pendency and requirement. “Each FTSC is expected to dispose of 41-42 cases each quarter and at least 165 cases in a year,” the proposal added. According to the Department’s proposal note, a total of 1,66,882 cases of rape and those under POCSO Act are pending trial in various courts across the country. There are 389 districts in the country where the number of pending cases under the POCSO Act exceeds 100. Therefore, as per the apex court directives, each of such districts will have one exclusive POCSO court, which will try no other cases, the note said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe process of setting up of these FTSCs is likely to begin on October 2; the Law Ministry had earlier said. The Department of Justice had proposed to set up 1,023 fast-track courts at a total budget of Rs 767.25 crore. The Central support of Rs 474 crore for one year will be funded from the Nirbhaya Fund.The Centre created the fund in 2013 after December 16, 2012, gang-rape and murder of a student in Delhi. It was created to support the initiatives of governments and NGOs working towards the safety of women. In a letter to the Cabinet Secretariat on August 8, the Department of Justice had said after the recommendation of the expenditure finance committee on July 11 and approval of the law minister; the proposal has been forwarded to the Finance Minister for approval. Simultaneously, other connected actions are being taken as setting up of FTSCs is planned to start from October 2 2019,” the Department wrote.last_img read more

Exclusive TeamUSA Winter Olympians Talk Charity

first_imgWith the 2014 Winter Olympics kicking off in Sochi, Russia on February 6, is proud to bring you this special feature showcasing some of the Team USA athletes taking part and their favorite charities.Amy Purdy Snowboarding / ParalympianCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCAmy Purdy – Snowboarding / ParalympianI have worked with many [charities] including Challenged Athletes Foundation, National Meningitis Association and I have a non-profit organization that I started myself called Adaptive Action Sports! I volunteer a lot of time for the organization helping others with disabilities learn and progress at snowboarding. The organization gets youth, young adults and wounded vets all with permanent physical disabilities into action sports. My boyfriend of 10 years – Daniel – and I are the founders and Daniel is the Executive Director. AAS is my passion our motto is “Live Beyond Limits”. The organization helped to get snowboarding into the Paralympic Games!Charlie White and Meryl Davis Figure Skating / Ice DanceCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCCharlie White & Meryl Davis – Nominated to teamFigure Skating / Ice DanceGiving back to the community is very important to us. We are part of a program called Classroom Champions. It’s a program that gets Olympians involved in high-need classrooms around the country. We send inspirational and educational videos to our designated classrooms once/month and interact with the students to hear how they’re progressing. We so love being involved with this program as education is one of our greatest passions.Chas Guldemond Snowboarding / SlopestyleCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCChas Guldemond – Nominated to team, Snowboarding / SlopestyleMy wife – Drea – and I try to help with anything animal related. Our two dogs are our children so we do our best to help the animals. We tend to save dogs that get out of their yards a lot too. Also High Fives Foundation that helps injured athletes.Devin Logan Freeskiing – Halfpipe/SlopestyleCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCDevin Logan – Nominated to team, Freeskiing – Halfpipe/SlopestyleI support POW (Protect Our Winters) to help educate the younger generation about global warming and how it effects winter sports!Emily Cook Freestyle Skiing – AerialsCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCEmily Cook – Freestyle Skiing – AerialsI am involved with Right To Play and The National Ability Center, on the board of the Speedy Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding mental illness, preventing suicide and fighting stigma through education, research and advocacy.Gracie Gold Ladies’ Figure SkatingCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCGracie Gold – Ladies’ Figure SkatingMost of my volunteering has been involved with skating. I have participated in numerous shows benefiting organizations, such as the American Cancer Society; individuals in need; schools and clubs. I try to give back to the sport of figure skating by volunteering for activities with home clubs and at skating competitions/events. I am currently a member of US Figure Skating’s D.R.E.A.M. Team, developed to promote and support skating.Hannah Kearney Freestyle Skiing – MogulsCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCHannah Kearney – Freestyle Skiing – MogulsI helped start the Gold Medal Fund at my hometown’s public library. The fund buys books that encourage kids, especially girls to be confident, involved and active.Hannah Teter Snowboarding – HalfpipeCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCHannah Teter – Nominated to team, Snowboarding – HalfpipeI have had my charity Hannah’s Gold running for 7 years, providing clean water to a village of 70,000 in Kirindon Kenya. Find out more at also have the newest venture, Sweet Cheeks Panties, for sale now all over the USA, thanks to our collaboration with Burton Snowboards. More than 40% of the profit generated goes to Children International.Jeremy Abbott – Men’s Figure SkatingCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCJeremy Abbott – Nominated to team, Men’s Figure SkatingI am involved with World Aids Day Detroit. I do a lot of skating shows for various charities; one is Figure Skating in Harlem, and I started a fund that helps young boys in competitive figure skating to help their families with the cost and hopefully motivate them to continue in the sport.Kelly Clark – Snowboarding / HalfpipeCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCKelly Clark – Nominated to team, Snowboarding / HalfpipeI am the Founding Director of the Kelly Clark Foundation. We aim to help youth be successful through snowboarding. We have given out nearly 50k in the last 3 years to youth across America. We fund high-level athlete’s tuition to mountain schools and partnering with other snow related non-profits getting at risk youth out on snow.Rico Roman – Sled Hockey / ParalympianCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCRico Roman – Sled Hockey / ParalympianI’m really involved with in San Antonio, which helps introduce and supports wounded warriors to participate in a wide variety of sports to complement their rehabilitation after severe injuries. I also travel around to various sled hockey clinics to help teach the future of USA sled hockey what it takes to make it to the international level. I also am the Captain and Coach the local all veteran Sled Hockey team the San Antonio Rampage sponsored by Operation Comfort.I also mentor and meet new and recently wounded service members that are sent to the military Hospital in San Antonio. I obviously try to recruit the big, strong, and mean ones to try out sled hockey. We have a close knit group of wounded service members in San Antonio that try to give back and help be an example for the newly injured soldiers returning from war.Steven Holcomb – BobsledCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCSteven Holcomb – BobsledI support Right To Play. I was fortunate to grow up in the right place at the right time, and it has led to my success. Right to Play helps children who are not in the right place or right time for anything. I feel like I can help change that. In addition, I support the Wounded Warrior Project.Steve Langton – BobsledCredit/Copyright: NBC Olympics / USOCSteve Langton – Nominated to team, BobsledGiving back is so important to me and is something I would like to be involved in more often. At my suggestion, the USBSF (US Bobsled & Skeleton Foundation) partnered with Autism Speaks a few years ago, and since then, each season, one of our sleds is wrapped with their logo. My cousin, Joey is 23 and autistic. Having spent my entire life spending time with my cousin, I have quite a bit of experience with the spectrum disorder. I was away so often in 2007 and could not spend as much time with Joey as I did prior that I thought aligning my NGB (National Governing Body) with Autism Speaks was a way to show my love and invoke awareness, even though I was not physically around.You can find a full rundown of schedules, athlete videos, Olympic protocols and more at or can watch the first competitions of the Games on NBC starting February 6th – even though the opening ceremonies are February 7th – and run through February 23rd. The Paralympics are two weeks later in Sochi March 7-16.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,729.40, up 107.93 points)Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Down 19 cents, or 3.31 per cent, to $5.55 on 12.2 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up 12 cents, or 3.00 per cent, to $4.12 on 11.8 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Up 32 cents, or 1.35 per cent, to $24.09 on 5.3 million shares.Crescent Point Energy (TSX:CPG). Oil and gas. Down 20 cents, or 1.93 per cent, to $10.18 on 5.1 million shares. Its CEO says he will increase efforts to address concerns after shareholders rejected a dissident slate of four directors, but defeated a motion supporting the company’s approach to executive compensation. The company’s annual general meeting in Calgary was closed to the media, but loud applause echoed down the hall as the director voting results were announced.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Up three cents, or 0.23 per cent, to $13.02 on 4.4 million shares.Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH). Oil and gas. Up 11 cents, or 7.05 per cent, to $1.67 on 4.4 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L). Grocer. Up 12 cents, or 0.19 per cent, to $64.77 on 388,949 shares. The company’s subsidiary No Frills says a new clothing line celebrating savvy discount shoppers will launch its online store on Monday. The four-decade old chain says the Hauler brand is born from customers’ loyalty to their local No Frills shops and excitement around previous No-Frills branded swag.last_img read more

With Trump the Idea of Palestinian State Vanishes Israeli Minister

Rabat – For Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, the idea of a Palestinian state vanished when Donald Trump was elected U.S. President last Tuesday.According to Aljazeera, the Israeli politician, heads right-wing religious party Israeli Home, called upon Israelis to abandon any idea of allowing Palestinians to have their own state.He explained that this would be possible now that Trump won the election in the United States, “This is the position of the President Elect … the era of a Palestinian state is over.” Bennett is not the only voice calling for the disregard of the right of Palestinians to establish an independent state. Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Justice Minister and member of the same Orthodox Jewish party, has also called on Trump to overlook  previous US policies and move Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The minister is hopeful that Trump will follow through on his promises.Relocation of the Israeli capital to Jerusalem is supported by another Israeli cabinet member, Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.This relocation would effectively cancel the possibility of a Palestinian state since the Palestinians’ desired location for a state capital is Eastern Jerusalem.  This would not be possible if Israel take ownership of the entire city.Israel’s opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, who cheered for Trump’s victory at the polls, addressed him saying:“I am confident in the security and economic alliance between the US and Israel.  As our strongest ally, we will be strengthened under your presidency.”Israel’s Prime Minister, in his turn, described Donald Trump as “Israel’s true friend.”Edited by Constance Guindon read more

Magna pays Frank Stronach 473million in 2012

AURORA, Ont. — Auto parts company Magna International Inc. paid founder Frank Stronach a total compensation package worth nearly $47.3-million in 2012, up from nearly $41-million in 2011.[np_storybar title=”Where’s the public outrage over sky-high CEO pay?” link=””%5D The annual sticker shock of CEO pay may be wearing off. As Canadian companies head into proxy season, so far there seems to be less public outrage over executive compensation. Could it be that a decade of frantic governance reforms has curbed, even slowed, the pace of executive pay increases? Is the public so inured to these stratospheric salaries and bonuses, they’re no longer a lightning rod for protest? Continue reading. [/np_storybar]Stronach, who resigned from the Magna board last year, was paid $44.3-million in a cash profit sharing bonus, a $2.3-million consulting fee, $107,000 for company vehicles and $609,000 for personal use of corporate aircraft, according to regulatory documents filed ahead of the company’s annual meeting.That compared with a $68,000 in salary, a $38.1-million cash profit sharing bonus, a $2.3-million consulting fee, $101,000 for company vehicles and $414,000 in personal use of corporate aircraft in 2011.In 2010, Stronach gave up control of the company and became a consultant with Magna.As part of the deal, he earns a percentage of the company’s profits.The payments are being gradually phased out and will be eliminated at the end of 2014.Meanwhile, the documents show that Magna chief executive Donald Walker earned a total of $16.9-million, up from $15-million.In 2012, Walker earned a salary of $325,000, $5.4-million in share-based awards, $2.7-million in option-based awards, an $8-million cash bonus plus $376,000 in other compensation.That compared with a salary of $310,500, $3.5-million in share-based awards, $3.9-million in option-based awards, a $6.9-million cash bonus plus $383,000 in other compensation.Magna is one of the world’s largest auto parts suppliers with more than 300 factories and 88 product development, engineering and sales centres around the world.The Canadian Press read more

Government records drop in foreign debt

However, the outstanding total debt reached an all time high of Rs 3272 billion in June 2014 under the previous government and the lowest recorded was Rs 70 billion in 1986 under the then government of President J.R. Jayewardena. According to statistic available at the General Treasury the annual debt servicing during the 2015 is estimated to be Rs 1,265 billion. The Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake said that most of the foreign debt obtained by the previous government was at commercial interest rate up to 8 percent.The Minister said that the new government has retired some of these debts which were obtained at higher interest rate and obtained new debt under the lower rate of interest. As a result the government’s debt servicing interest rate to GDP ratio has come down to 3.5 percent from the earlier rate of 5 percent. As envisaged in the budget -2015 the approved amount of commercial loans to be taken in this year is Rs 195 billion of which the government has so far obtained 43 billion rupees which is only a 22 percent. But, according to the General Treasury, the total outstanding government debt increased by 8.8 percent to Rs. 7,390 billion by end of 2014 from Rs. 6,793 billion in 2013. Meanwhile the minister said that the government revenue in the first six month of the year has gone up by 18 percent to Rs 703 billion when compared with the corresponding period in 2014. The revenue reported in the first six months of 2014 was Rs 596 billion. The increase in the government revenue and the curtailing of extravagance expenditures of the previous government with efficient financial management by the new government led to managing the public debt efficiently under the new government.The Finance Ministry said that even the Standard and Poor’s rating has confirmed Sri Lanka’s ‘B+’ rating with a stable outlook expressing the hope that Sri Lanka’s foreign reserve will grow and the external debt will fall in the next three years as the risks associated with the external settings are mitigated by growing foreign reserve. As at present country’s international reserve remain at US $ 7.5 billion. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka’s foreign debt under the new government has decreased while maintaining the foreign reserve at US $ 7.5 billion, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.The Finance Ministry said that Sri Lanka has borrowed only 43 billion rupees in the first half of this year as external debt. The Minister of Finance attributed this lower amount recorded to the efficient manner in which the reforms introduced by the new government to the public administration and the financial management. read more

UN officials congratulate Pope Francis on assuming leadership of Catholic Church

“I look forward to continuing cooperation between the United Nations and the Holy See, under the wise leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued immediately after the announcement was made at the Vatican.“We share many common goals – from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger – all core elements of sustainable development,” he added. “We also share the conviction that we can only resolve the interconnected challenges of today’s world through dialogue. I am certain that His Holiness will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in the promotion of inter-faith dialogue which is at the heart of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative.”Mr. Al-Nasser, the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, which aims to improve understanding and cooperation between cultures and religions, said he looks forward to future cooperation in promoting the vision of inter-religious dialogue, the principles of peace, tolerance and co-existence, which constitute the core of the mission of the Alliance.“Through mutual cooperation between the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the Vatican, they can both advance the cause of peace and build bridges of understanding and dialogue instead of divisiveness and hatred,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.The 76-year-old new Pope hails from Argentina. The High Representative noted that his selection is “a reflection of the strength of Latin America, a region with a rich heritage and a well-recognized legacy around the globe.” read more

UK could hand back millions from Harrods big spender to Azerbaijan

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The £15 million Knightsbridge home of Zamira HajiyevaCredit:Paul Grover for The Telegraph The £15 million Knightsbridge home of Zamira Hajiyeva Mr Justice Supperstone has ordered that she must comply with the UWO order and explain how she acquired her wealth. Her lawyers, who issued a statement insisting the order did not imply any wrongdoing on behalf of their client, are arguing that she is the wife of a legitimate businessman.Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Mr Toon said if the agency won their case the would used the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to apply to the courts to seize a number of her properties.Asked who would then have a right to claim that wealth, he said: “Ultimately, that becomes a political and international issue.“So, in the first instance the value of those assets would come into the UK Government, and then there is a direct engagement between the originating country of the money and the UK about the extent of repatriation.”Mr Hajiyev had worked for Azerbaijan’s state-owned bank and so that country’s government would be able to claim a right to clawing bakc any funds fraudulently used by Mrs Hajiyeva that they believe were obtained by her husband from their bank.Mr Toon added that other eight people currently being pursued by the agency under the  Unexplained Wealth Order powers came from Africa, South Asia, states with in the former Soviet Union and Russia. Her husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, the former chairman of the the International Bank of Azerbaijan, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 2016 for defrauding the bank out of £2.2 billion.The National Crime Agency claims Mrs Hajiyeva had used funds raised fraudulently to fund property purchases in the UK. Britain may hand back millions of pounds seized from the Harrods ‘big spender’ to Azerbaijan, the National Crime Agency chief has said.Donald Toon, the agency’s director of economic crime, has revealed that if the High Court rules Zamira Hajiyeva had used fraudulent funds any property and money seized from her would be returned to her native country.He outlined how the High Court battle surrounding the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) would see any confiscated cash become a “political and international issue”.Mrs Hajiyeva, 55, was named yesterday as being at the centre of a McMafia style financial investigation amid allegations that she used her husband’s stolen money to fund a lavish lifestyle.The Azerbaijan national has lived in Knightsbridge for more than a decade during which time she has spent more than £16 million in the Harrods department store. Her five-bedroom house is worth £15 million and she also bought the Mill Ride golf and country club in Ascot for £10.5 million. read more

LETTER GRANGER – Rewrites Grading System

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAgainst public outcry: President says 14% VAT on private education remainsMarch 2, 2017In “Business”Keeping VAT on education: O’Toole, others blasts Govt’s ‘unilateral’ decisionApril 15, 2017In “Business”Letter: Guyana will be further impoverishedApril 10, 2017In “Letters” I am flabbergasted that  the President  give himself and the government a Grade A and at the same time his Minister of Finance, defends the taxing on Education as something good.   This demonstrates the incoherent strategies employed by this government.   The failed socialist policies are once again coming to the forefront.  I am now suspicious that the objective and intent of this Government is to fail? and as a result see mass migration for which they would benefit at the polls.Many ordinary citizens choose to send their children to private schools due to many reasons instead of the Public Schools.   This should be beneficial to the Government, as they save our tax payers money to put back in the public education system.  Simple equation, teachers still have to be hired whether public or private, children still have to get an education, why then tax the private system?   The money the government saves on not having to expand the current buildings or pay measly wages to public teachers, should allow them to put it back in to the economy.   Simply nonsense by the President and his Finance Minister.President Granger basically is setting the stage for his campaign 2020 or before message.  Sorry, Citizens we had to clean up the PPP mess therefore the economy had to collapse.   One just had to examine the numbers pre-1992 when the PNC was voted out compared to the numbers at 2015 when the PPP was voted out and would realize the madness at this statement by the President. It signals the President is out of touch with the perils that the citizenry is confronted with during the past 18 months. The diameter of issues ranging from high crime rates to extremely high taxes.The economy was booming prior to 2015, jobs were there, money was in circulation, our exchange rate was stable, the tax system was netting enough to keep the economy flowing, transformative projects were put in place, then what the heck is the President talking about? Any common person can tell you that their lives are much harder now than it was prior to May 2015.The question for each of us?  If the PPP had left such a mess, and it will take five years to clean up, then as you clean up, much more money should be in circulation in the economy.  This is not so Mr. President, your economic policies have a stamp of failure written all over it.   We need to get on with the business of managing our nation.    Ask your Finance Minister to give you measurable indicators before you make statements that your Government should get a Grade A, for incompetence maybe.The foreign currency earners are taking a beating from this government as they are starved of support , just have a quick look at Sugar production which is at an all-time low, Capital Flight on the rise with Exchange Rates regulations- a proven failed policy, Exchange Rates on the Rise, and sliding sporadically, declining GDP after decades of solid growth are just some of the indicators.  Citizens complaining of the new 200+ Taxes on their livelihood, housing market collapse, forestry sector sharp decline,  discretionary dollars much less for each family, VAT on Water and Electricity. In arriving at a Grade A , I would like to see your score sheet. Mr. President, ‘ c’mon man.’Peter R. Ramsaroop read more

Fiveday week water and everything else happening in Leinster House today

first_imgEverything else that’s happening in the Committees Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’’s Politics page?Explainer: How does a Bill become a law? WHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…One thing we’ll be keeping an eye onIt’s a five-day week for Senators – making a change from some of the five day weekends they’ve had recently – as the upper house gets through several pieces of legislation the government hopes to have passed by Christmas.Everything else that’s happening in the DáilBut while Senators will be in Leinster House for the whole week, TDs will only be sitting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as it stands.Everything that’s happening in the SeanadSenators begin their day with the usual Order of Business where everything and anything discussed from 2pm. The first bill before the house this week is the Local Government Bill, which overhauls local government by reducing the number of councillors and abolishing town councils ahead of next year’s local elections. Discussion on second stage begins at 3pm.At 7pm, senators will discuss the second stage of the Pyrite Resolution Bill 2013 which will provide for remedial works on affected homes in the New Year.Then at 8.30pm we have the report stage of the Water Services Bill, which transfers powers for water provision in the State from local authorities to the new agency Irish Water.At 10.30pm, it’s Matters on the Adjournment before the Seanad itself adjournscenter_img No committees today but they will be sitting tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday.Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House todayDáil ÉireannSeanad ÉireannCommittee Room 1Committee Room 2Committee Room 3Committee Room 4To access streams on iOS, click herelast_img read more

Theresa May is heading north for a Scottish independence showdown with Nicola

first_imgTheresa May is heading north for a Scottish independence showdown with Nicola Sturgeon It comes as the British PM prepares to rigger Article 50. By AFP 11,923 Views Image: Jamie Simpson/Herald and Times Mar 27th 2017, 12:09 PM Monday 27 Mar 2017, 12:09 PM Share48 Tweet Email1 center_img Image: Jamie Simpson/Herald and Times 76 Comments BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Theresa May travels to Scotland today to try to avert its independence bid while also fighting a political crisis in Northern Ireland in the frantic final days before she launches Brexit.With Britain still reeling from a terror attack at the gates of parliament, May is preparing to embark on a journey out of the European Union this week that will change Britain and the EU forever.Ahead of her talks with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, May said she wanted “a more united nation” and would fight for the interests of all parts of Britain once exit negotiations with Brussels begin.But Sturgeon wants Scotland to remain in the European single market when the rest of Britain leaves and the Edinburgh parliament is expected to back her call for a new independence referendum with a vote on Tuesday.May will send a letter to EU President Donald Tusk with Britain’s formal departure notification on Wednesday, opening up a two-year negotiating window before Britain actually leaves the bloc in 2019.The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the letter would run to eight pages and British media said it would be handed over in person by Britain’s EU envoy Tim Barrow.May will also on Wednesday address British MPs on Brexit, nine months after the country voted by 52% in favour of leaving the EU, the first country to do so.The EU is expected to provide an initial response by Friday and an EU summit on April 29 will come up with a more detailed strategy but the talks themselves are not expected to start until May at the earliest.‘We want a deal’ The prospect of those negotiations breaking down and the UK leaving with no deal in place is a growing concern for UK business leaders and among pro-EU politicians on both sides of the Channel.The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier last week warned that no deal could create queues at the port of Dover, disrupt air traffic in and out of Britain and even see the transport of nuclear material suspended.“We want a deal,” Barnier told reporters, after May said that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.Barnier also said Britain must “settle the accounts” after EU officials said Britain faced an exit bill of around €60 billion– likely to be a major bone of contention in the negotiations. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Pro-EU protesters at Westminster on Saturday. Source: DPA/PA Images/PA ImagesThe launch of Brexit, which has raised wider questions about European integration, will come just days after EU leaders celebrated the 60th anniversary of the bloc’s founding treaty in Rome with a declaration in favour a “multi-speed Europe”.Tens of thousands of pro-EU demonstrators took to the streets of London and other European cities on Saturday but for many Britons the country’s departure cannot come soon enough.‘Out of control’ BrexiteersThe run-up to the historic moment has been particularly frenzied for May, who had to be rushed out of the British parliament last Wednesday after an attacker went on a rampage outside the gates.Briton Khalid Masood, 52, ran over and killed three pedestrians before stabbing a police officer to death and then himself being shot dead just inside the gates of the symbol of Britain’s democracy.Scotland and Northern Ireland are providing two further headaches for Conservative leader May.In Northern Ireland, an 11th-hour solution is being sought to the political deadlock in Belfast following the collapse in January of the province’s power-sharing executive.Northern Ireland voted for the UK to stay in the European Union and the border is a major concern for negotiators. March for Europe rally against Brexit in Parliament Square, London Source: Matt Crossick/PA ImagesScotland also voted overwhelmingly for Britain to stay in the EU.As well as exposing deep rifts between different parts of the country, the Brexit vote showed up the divide between the haves and the have-nots of globalisation and the raw wounds from the global financial crisis and years of austerity.It also highlighted turmoil in the Conservative Party — which is now divided between a hardcore of “Brexiteers” and more moderate MPs who have said they want smoother conditions for the departure.Some Conservative MPs were quoted by The Times newspaper today saying they could vote against the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, which enshrines Britain’s EU membership, “if negotiations are going badly and Brexiteers are out of control”.© – AFP 2017Read: Juncker calls Brexit ‘a tragedy’ as he says UK’s final bill will be around €58 billion >Read: Theresa May will trigger Article 50 next Wednesday > Short URLlast_img read more

Weather Eye Days get shorter but its still glorious summer

first_imgI noticed Tuesday evening that the sun is still setting to the northwest, but it also is setting quite a bit earlier than it was. I get used to the longer hours of daylight, and then it seems to catch up with me all of a sudden. I know, I hate to mention it, but the longer daylight hours of summer are waning. The good side is that it is still mid-summer!Our forecast remains the same: basically dry through the end of the month, with seasonal temperatures at or times a little below. Perhaps August will bring some hot 90-degree days that will linger in our minds when the chilly wet weather rolls around.Wednesday was clear and sunny all day, with highs getting back up there in the mid-80s with light breezes. East of the mountains, it was generally in the 90s, and even around Puget Sound it was 80 degrees. Summer in all its glory!Looking at our July weather records through Wednesday, it appears we will end up with a drier-than-average month. Only 0.24 of an inch is recorded in the rain bucket this month. The average mean temperature is only slightly above average and will most likely end up fairly close to average.Viewing the sunsets, you may see hazy or colorful displays as smoke particles from Asia drift overhead. They are from fires burning across Siberia. We will be on the receiving end of the smoke particles the rest of the summer, causing hazy skies at times but also some pretty sunsets.Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at read more