In the era of big-bang reforms and privatisation, a section of Indian bureaucracy continues to exist quietly, without making any valuable contribution to the country or its economy.Directorates, inspectorates, controllers, research stations and several other government entities, which are relics of the British and licence-permit Raj, are still in operation despite having outlived their utility. Mail Today, in the first part of its investigation series, blows the lid off these government offices feeding on the tax-payers’ money.A survey of central government ministries dealing with sectors such as agriculture, health, environment, water resources, commerce and food supplies shows that tax payers’ money continues to be spent on government offices which have no meaningful role to play anymore. Such offices are in addition to the public sector units which have become useless, as exposed by Mail Today recently.Of no consequenceThe list of redundant offices includes directorates for various crops and commodities (sugar, cotton, jute, cement, rice, tobacco, oilseeds, pulses, vanaspati etc.), National Test House, National Oilseeds and Vegetable Oils Development Board, Indian Plywood Industry Research and Training Institute, National Institute of Water Sports and Hindustan Vegetable Oil Corporation, among others.The NTH laboratory in Ghaziabad.Most of these offices handle minor regulatory roles or are just standard setting bodies or testing centres – functions which are already being carried out by fullfledged regulatory authorities. Some others produce training manuals, conduct training programmes or simply generate inconsequential reports. Most of these offices, however, occupy prime real estate and have hundreds of employees on their rolls. “Such bodies have no business to exist after they have outlived their role, purpose and utility. In the past, many committees of the government have made clear recommendations on what needs to be done with such organisations,” said former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian.advertisement’Rehabilitate staff’Some former officers are of the opinion that the cases of such offices should be taken up one by one. Former power secretary EAS Sarma said: “The fate of each institution should be decided by examining if it has become dysfunctional because it is no longer needed or because there are vested interests against its functioning.”The existence of such offices, however, is frustrating for other departments which are short of staff and loaded with pending work. “They have frozen appointments in central government offices at a time when many departments are facing a short-age of staff. Why can’t useless organisations be wound up and the staff used elsewhere,” said a senior government official.The irrelevance of some of these offices can be gauged from the fact that almost all their functions have been moved to new departments. For instance, the directorate of vanaspati, vegetable oils and fats – a wing of the department of food and public distribution – continues to exist despite all its regulatory functions being taken care of by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, set up in 2006.National Test House (NTH), set up a century ago in Kolkata as a wing of the Indian Railways for testing of products manufactured locally, is involved in functions similar to those of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). In 2002, the government decided to bring NTH under BIS, but nothing has been done till now. NTH has regional labs in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Ghaziabad, Guwahati and Jaipur. Its Ghaziabad complex is spread over 19 acres.The expenditure reforms commission had recommended in 2000 that seven crop directorates (rice, wheat, millet, sugarcane, cotton, jute and tobacco) be wound up because all they were doing was forwarding reports from states producing these commodities to the crop division in the agriculture ministry. It suggested that two other directorates – oilseeds and pulses – be merged with the agriculture ministry. The commission also saw no justification for the existence of National Oilseeds and Vegetable Oils Development Board and National Coconut Development Board. But all these boards and directorates are still functional in 2012.The Directorate of Cotton Development in Mumbai.Click here to EnlargeThe directorate of tobacco keeps promoting the industry, unmindful of the existence of a separate tobacco board to do so. The significance of government machinery to promote tobacco may also be questioned as another wing of the government, the health ministry, spends crores of rupees on the anti-tobacco campaign.The National Sugar Institute, which was set up as Imperial Institute of Sugar Technology in 1936 in Kanpur, lingers on despite sugar technology development being the mandate of at least half-a-dozen research institutes in the country. Another remnant of the ‘control and command’ economy is the development council for sugar industry.advertisement”The only option is to take a knife and start exorcising,” said Subramanian. There are many new areas where employees can be redeployed as there is shortage of staff there, he added. Sarma, though, felt if the institutions are no longer needed, the government should explore ways to rehabilitate the personnel by trying to look at the vacancies in other organisations. Otherwise, the only option is to offer voluntary retirement, he added.The ministry of water resources has multiple agencies doing peripheral work. The central soil and materials research station in the Capital is basically a soil testing outfit and is being run despite at least six other institutes handling different aspects of soil health in the country. There is no rationale behind running a water quality assessment authority when the subject is being looked into by separate pollution and groundwater boards at central and state levels. Another outfit of the ministry – national water development agency – too has a nebulous profile.”Some directorates and research stations surely need to be shut down, along with state farm corporations. If they have to do what the private sector is doing, why do we need them?” asked agriculture policy expert Devinder Sharma.
SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS August 17, 2017 Ramandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam struck twice to guide the Indian men’s hockey team to a sensational 4 –3 win over Austria in their final encounter of the Europe Tour here.Double goals from Ramandeep (25th minute, 32nd) and Chinglensana (37th, 60th) helped India end the tour with three wins and two loses.For Austria, Oliver Binder (14th), Michael Korper (53rd) and Patrick Schmidt (55th) sounded the board.After two successive wins against World No. 4 Netherlands, India made a steady start against Austria. While they kept most of the ball possession, penetrating into the striking circle was hard to come by. In fact, it was Austria who took an early lead through Oliver Binder’s goal in the 14th minute to end the first quarter 1–0.India, however, made amends in the second quarter when they won a penalty corner (PC) in the 25th minute. A clever variation saw comeback-man Amit Rohidas pass the ball to Ramandeep Singh who deflected the ball into the circle to equalise the scores.The 10-minute halftime break saw India comeback into the game as a stronger team with better attack. They made better circle penetrations and a brilliant breakthrough came in when Ramandeep scored a rollicking field goal in the 32nd minute.It was a reverse hit from the top of circle which flew past the Austrian goalkeeper to give India a 2–1 lead. India found another chance to score when Mandeep Singh helped win a PC through a stick check. But the opportunity went amiss with the ball hitting the cross bar.However, another opportunity created by Mandeep was successfully converted by Vice Captain Chinglensana in the 37th minute through a superb variation by drag-flicker Varun Kumar.Going into the final 15 minutes, India had a comfortable 3–1 lead. But a determined Austria put one past the India goalkeeper when they won a PC and Michael Korper converted it successfully in the 53rd minute to set up a close finish.Though India had won a PC only minutes before, thanks to forward Gurjant Singh, injector Manpreet Singh sent the ball slightly wide.With a little over eight minutes left, forward Lalit Upadhyay found a great opportunity to score but his strike was brilliantly saved by the Austrian goalkeeper.Austria then pushed India on the back foot when they scored in the 55th minute via Patrick Schmidt to equalise 3–3.It was a tense final few minutes with India pushing hard for a goal. With just 10 seconds left for the final hooter, Chinglensana scored a sensational goal when Ramandeep made a brilliant circle penetration to find Gurjant Singh. A cross hit by Gurjant saw Chinglensana deflect the ball into the goal and seal the match with winning points.India will return from the Europe Tour tomorrow. COMMENT SHARE Published on
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has moved the honourable Supreme Court, seeking funds to host the final two Test matches of the series against England.BCCI councilor Kapil Sibbal moved the apex court today seeking a grant of Rs 1.33 crore for the upcoming Test matches in Mumbai (December 8-12) and Chennai (December 16-20).Supreme Court has asked Justice RM Lodha committee to respond and will have a hearing today at 3 PM.India currently lead the five-match series 2-0 after draw in Rajkot and victories in Visakhapatnam and Mohali.The Supreme Court adjourned the December 6 hearing regarding the Lodha panel recommendations and BCCI’s reluctance to accept all recommendations till December 9 as Justice TS Thakur was unwell today and could not take up any case.The Lodha Committee was appointed after the ‘conflict of interest’ issue sparked a controversy in Indian cricket.The Lodha Committee, in its first status report submitted to the apex court on September 28, had asked for the removal of the present set of BCCI of office-bearers, to be replaced by a group of independent administrators. In its third status report submitted on November 14, the committee altered the demand a bit, asking for the disqualification of office-bearers of the BCCI and all state associations, who become ineligible as per the apex court’s July 18 order, and the appointment of former Union home secretary GK Pillai as “observer”.On October 21, the top court passed an interim order asking the BCCI to “cease and desist” from disbursing funds to state associations until the association gave a written resolution that it would adopt all the recommendations approved by the court.advertisementThe court also asked BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to meet the Lodha committee within two weeks from the date of that order and submit an”affidavit of compliance”, elaborating on the recommendations already implemented by the BCCI and what it had done to persuade the state associations to adopt the remaining recommendations. (10 times Supreme Court showed BCCI who is boss)On October 1, the board had accepted many of the “significant recommendations” of the Lodha committee. However, it excluded the important ones which have been bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.The cricket board has consistently argued that they have implemented many of the Lodha panel’s recommendations but their members have problems in implementing only some of them.
Will they or won’t they? There was a lot of conjecture about whether Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma will get married, but the couple put an end to the suspense on Monday night, by sharing pictures of their wedding along with a promise “to be bound in love forever”.Soon, photos of the various ceremonies – haldi, mehendi, engagement – as well as the wedding went viral. Now, pictures of Virat and Anushka’s post-wedding party have surfaced on the internet and the new bride is seen sporting the traditional ‘chooda’. Virat and Anushka decided to keep their big day a private affair and flew off to Italy to keep their wedding away from the prying eyes of the media. It was a close-knit affair at a picturesque property in Tuscany called Borgo Finocchieto with only select friends and family in attendance.However, in contrast to their hush-hush wedding, their reception will be grand. Virat and Anushka will host a reception in Delhi on December 21 for their family. After this, another lavish reception will be held in Mumbai on December 26, which will be attended by the biggest names from the world of Cricket and Bollywood.ALSO SEE | FULL COVERAGE: Virushka WeddingWATCH | Virat-Anushka wedding: Engagement, haldi and garland-exchange visuals
PITTSBURGH — Brandon Crawford figured the San Francisco Giants needed one run, maybe two, the way ace Madison Bumgarner was dealing.A grand slam provided all that and more, silencing a revved-up crowd and propelling San Francisco into the meat of the playoffs. Streaking in May and slumping in September, the Giants are back to their old resilient selves in October.Hey, it’s what they do this time of year.Crawford’s slam off Edinson Volquez in the fourth inning led the Giants to an 8-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild-card game Oct. 1, sending San Francisco on to Washington for the best-of-five Division Series starting Friday.“We thrive in these situations,” Crawford said. “I don’t know what it is. We just keep fighting no matter what the circumstance.”The Giants won their eighth consecutive postseason game and seventh straight with their season on the line, a streak that dates back to their run to a World Series title in 2012.While much work remains before they can start thinking about the franchise’s eighth championship, there was certainly a familiar feeling at PNC Park as San Francisco dismantled the Pirates.“We’ve been through it before, a lot of this team has,” Brandon Belt said. “We used that experience tonight. We know when we get in these situations we’re going to have a good ballclub.”Particularly when Bumgarner is on the mound. He tossed a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts, needing 109 pitches to put a quick end to Pittsburgh’s second straight playoff appearance.Mixing his fastball with a slider and curve the Pirates rarely touched, Bumgarner was in complete control and looked very much like the ace who won 18 games during San Francisco’s bumpy regular season.“If you don’t want to pitch in these games, you probably need to find something else to do,” he said.No chance of that for Bumgarner or the rest of a roster that flourishes once the calendar flips past September. Crawford’s grand slam was the first in postseason history by a shortstop — and he wasn’t aiming for the fences.With the bases loaded in the fourth and nobody out in a scoreless game, Crawford turned on Volquez’s hanging breaking ball and sent it to right. Pittsburgh’s Travis Snider waited to play it off the wall. He never got the chance, instead slumping his shoulders as the ball landed a couple of rows deep to give the Giants a 4-0 lead that felt considerably larger.“I was in shock a little bit,” Crawford said.So were the Pirates, who never recovered. One night after Kansas City edged Oakland in a thrilling start to baseball’s postseason, this one was over by the middle innings.Overpowering one of the NL’s best lineups, Bumgarner walked one and threw 79 strikes in his latest stellar October performance. The big left-hander, who allowed only four singles, has thrown 15 scoreless innings in two World Series starts.“We got outplayed tonight,” Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker said. “Bumgarner went out there, he did what he wanted to do. He put up the strike zone and he made it tough on us.”Belt drove in three runs as the Giants padded the lead late. By then the black-clad crowd that began the night in a frenzy was watching in dismayed silence.“We’ve been there before,” Belt said. “It’s a lot of fun when you’re on the road. … You know you’re doing something good when the crowd goes silent.”Volquez was trying to cap his comeback season by sending Pittsburgh to the NLDS for the second straight year, but he couldn’t match Bumgarner.The right-hander cruised until the fourth, when a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with none out. He’d retired Crawford 19 of the 22 times he’d faced him during his career.It’s the 24th that he’ll remember. “I tried to bounce it down, back foot, and the ball just kept going,” Volquez said. “Bad spot.”That was more than enough for Bumgarner. Pittsburgh, fourth in the majors in extra-base hits this season, rarely hit the ball hard.Bumgarner was helped by his defense, too. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval — all 245 pounds of him — flipped over the railing in front of the Pittsburgh dugout to track down a foul popup off the bat of Russell Martin.Sandoval landed on his feet, a perfect symbol of San Francisco’s seemingly endless resiliency when October rolls around.Back in the playoffs after winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012, the Giants are looking to continue their every-other-year success.Pittsburgh, on the other hand, was unable to duplicate last year’s victory over Cincinnati in the wild-card game that followed a 21-year playoff drought. Playing before raucous crowds at PNC Park, the Pirates pushed St. Louis to a decisive Game 5 before losing their NLDS.This year, Pittsburgh went 17-9 in September while taking the Cardinals to the final day of the season in an attempt to win the NL Central.There will be no extended playoff stay this time after Crawford’s grand slam, the fourth in Giants postseason history.Shortstop had been the only position — including pitcher — without a slam in postseason play. “That’s crazy,” Crawford said. “With all the great shortstops that have played before, that’s pretty special. I’m happy to be able to do it.”(WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) Parvinder Chaudhary, an 18-year-old athlete who represented India at international level, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at the capital’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, prompting the Sports Authority of India to order a “departmental inquiry”. Chaudhary was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his hostel room at the athletics academy of JLN stadium. “We have ordered a departmental inquiry as the incident happened in our premises. The inquiry will be headed by Secretary SAI Swarn Singh Chabra and it should be completed within a week,” SAI Director General Neelam Kapur told PTI. Hailing from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, the athlete was brain dead by the time he was rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital, and could not be revived. Apparently, he took the extreme step after an argument with his father over monetary issues, the top SAI official said. His fellow trainees and staff at the stadium were shocked as the athlete showed no signs of depression while training through the day. Kapur said, “Preliminary it seems a family matter related to monetary issues. What we came to know is that the boy had an argument with his father in the morning on phone after which his sister came to meet him in evening. He took the step in front of his sister after threatening her. She came out screaming and our staff immediately went there and brought him down.” Parvinder, who was residing in room No.69 of JLN Stadium hostel since November 2016 and was training for 100 and 200 metre races, came back to his room at 5.30 in the evening and committed suicide half an hour later.advertisement “It is a very sad and tragic incident. We are extending all possible help to the family and have arranged for the transportation of his body to Aligarh. “Our officers will also accompany his body to ensure smooth conduct of his last rites.” Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who is in Rajasthan, has been informed and he has expressed his grief on the incident. In 2017, he was selected for the Asian Youth Championship in Bangkok and won gold medal in relay. He also participated at the World Youth Championship last July. “He was alive when he was taken to Safdarjung but was brain dead and doctors couldn’t revive him. After initial treatment, he was taken to hospital half an hour later. He was in emergency,” another SAI official said. He added, “His room mate and all the trainees and staff at JLN stadium were completely surprised by his act as the entire day he trained and showed no signs of depression. “Nobody knows the reason why he took such a step. All top SAI officials are in Safdarjung just to ensure the postmortem is done at the earliest and body is handed over to his family at the earliest. It is now a police case and they will investigate into it.” PTI SSC AH
Share on Pinterest Talking Horses: punters could be left paying price for terrible precedent Hide Read more news Grand National 2019 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Topics “I thought he was running well at Cheltenham, Rachael was really happy with him and then he made a desperate mistake about five out and that just took him out of the race completely. His third in the Bobbyjo before that was a great run, we were delighted. He’s in great form.”De Bromhead added: “I’m pretty sure Rachael is going to ride; we just haven’t finalised plans.” Speaking for the owners, Gigginstown Stud, Eddie O’Leary said: “The ride on Valseur Lido is Rachael’s if she wants it.”Blackmore had a first tilt at the National last year, on Alpha Des Obeaux, who was tracking the leaders when he fell at the Chair. Valseur Lido was eventually well held in eighth place under Keith Donoghue but he had been a close fourth at the home turn and his stamina may last longer this time, as he has dropped down the weights by 12lb and will appreciate the better ground. The betting market, however, appears to view him as a back-number and he is on offer at 100-1.A variety of different coloured caps will once more be needed to distinguish between the Gigginstown-owned runners, as there are likely to be seven in Saturday’s National. O’Leary said Davy Russell will be on Tiger Roll, maintaining last year’s winning combination. Jack Kennedy is to be offered his pick of the remaining five, Monbeg Notorious, Dounikos, A Toi Phil, General Principle and Blow By Blow. Thank you for your feedback. Share on Messenger Show Since you’re here… Grand National Was this helpful? Gordon Elliott, who trains six of Gigginstown’s seven, has a total of 12 horses in the top 40 of the Grand National weights. He has said that Mala Beach needs the ground to be softer than the current “good to soft, good in places” but he may get his wish, as there is rain forecast for Aintree this week. The record for most National runners from a single stable is 10, set by Elliott’s mentor, Martin Pipe, in 2001.Those taken out of the race on Monday included Ms Parfois, who is reported to be lame. Yala Enki was perhaps the most surprising withdrawal. The absence of Daklondike will be a relief to officials, in light of his bad behaviour at the start of last month’s Eider Chase, when he refused to race. There was some official confusion as to the elimination order of horses at the bottom of the weights but it has now been announced that Captain Redbeard is assured of a place in the National line-up, as he is 40th in the list.Bless The Wings had been 40th in the list published earlier on Monday but he now needs one of those above him to be withdrawn in order to get into the race. Joe Farrell, last year’s Scottish National winner, needs two to come out. The hopes of their connections were dented when Warrior’s Tale and Valtor were confirmed as intended runners, following signs that they might run in the Topham on Friday instead. Aintree Rachael Blackmore is expected to be aboard Valseur Lido in Saturday’s Grand National, making two female jockeys now set to take part in the famous Aintree marathon. Blackmore, who is currently second in the race to be champion jockey in Ireland, will join Lizzie Kelly in the race, Kelly having already been booked to partner Tea For Two. No woman rider has won the National, though Katie Walsh rode the third-placed Seabass in 2012.Valseur Lido is the last remaining National entrant for Henry de Bromhead, for whom Blackmore rides as first jockey, following the withdrawal on Monday of Sub Lieutenant. De Bromhead confirmed Valseur Lido as an intended runner and said: “His form’s a little bit in and out but probably one of his best runs in the last 12 months was in the National last year, so we’re hoping the fences will bring the best out in him. Lingfield 2.00 Swiss Pride 2.30 Birkenhead 3.00 Creek Harbour 3.30 Moongazer 4.00 Field Gun 4.30 Singing The Blues 5.00 Raashdy (nb) Musselburgh 2.15 Alminoor 2.45 Fillydelphia 3.15 Merhoob 3.45 Love Dreams 4.15 Maulesden May 4.45 Silver Dust 5.15 Astraea Wolverhampton 5.25 Ursus Belle 6.00 Krystallite 6.30 Star Ascending (nap) 7.00 Blood Eagle 7.30 Queen’s Soldier 8.00 Arlecchino’s Leap Horse racing … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. 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zoom Asle Solheim (to the left) and Anders Straumsheim representing the interim management in NorYards ASBergen Group ASA has signed an agreement with Calexco S.a.r.l. regarding sale of the remaining 30 % shares in NorYards AS for a price of USD 4 million. The completion of the transaction is expected to take place by end of August 2014 and marks the group’s exit from shipbuilding business.The sale of the minority ownership in NorYards AS (former Bergen Group’s Shipbuilding Division) will generate an accounting loss to be incorporated in the Bergen Group’s figures for Q2 2014. CEO Asle Solheim in Bergen Group said:“Bergen Group has in recent quarters implemented several measures to reduce its involvement in shipbuilding. Now we choose to sell the remaining shares in NorYards AS earlier than originally planned. In addition, this week we will finalise the delivery of the advanced offshore vessel “North Sea Atlantic” which is the very last newbuilding project under direction of Bergen Group. Thus, we now can concentrate completely and fully on the group’s future growth areas within offshore and maritime related service activities.” CEO Johannes D. Neteland in NorYards AS noted: “We now have an international owner dedicated to further develop NorYards position in the international market for construction of advanced offshore vessels and specialised vessels”.NorYards AS signed in April 2014 their first newbuilding contract, valued more than NOK 650 million. The contract was awarded from NFDS 2 Offshore AS for outfitting and commissioning of a new and modern anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTS).The project will be carried out at NorYards Fosen, generating outfitting activity at the yard from Q3 this year until delivery in Q2 2015.Press Release, August 19, 2014
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservatives have announced that the provincial party’s next leader will be decided at a convention in late October.Leadership committee co-chairs Tara Erskine and Chris d’Entremont unveiled details about the race at the party’s annual general meeting in Halifax on Sunday.They said each of the province’s 51 constituencies will count for 100 points, to be allocated based on the proportion of votes each candidate receives from party members in that area.The votes will be tallied at the PC Party’s convention in Halifax over Oct. 26 and 27, and the candidate who wins the majority of the 5,100 points available will become the next leader of Nova Scotia’s Tories.D’Entremont, who is also the MLA for Argyle-Barrington, said the system, which was modeled after the federal Tory leadership vote in 2017, creates an “equality of ridings” that is meant to give candidates an incentive to build support for the party in every part of Nova Scotia.“Ultimately, we’re going to want to go out in those constituencies and build them. I mean, we need to have members across this province in order to make all of this work,” he told reporters.Erskine said members can mail in ballots that rank the candidates in order of preference, or they can vote with multiple ballots at the convention, which she hopes will lead to an air of excitement as the final results are tallied.Members must register with the party by Sept. 11 to vote in the leadership race, and individual residents of Nova Scotia can make campaign contributions up to a maximum of $5,000.Five candidates are vying for the top spot in Nova Scotia’s PC Party. Erskine said it’s the widest field the party has seen, and he was pleased to note that two of the contenders are women.“I think it’s a really exciting time for the party, a time of renewal,” she told reporters. “It’s a great sign to see so many great, quality candidates stepping forward, and there may even be more to come.”Former provincial Tory leader Jamie Baillie had announced plans last fall to step down after serving as Tory leader since 2010, but he resigned suddenly last month after a party investigation determined he had acted inappropriately and breached the legislature’s policy on workplace harassment.Three members of the PC caucus in Nova Scotia’s legislature have entered the contest, including veterans Tim Houston and John Lohr, and rookie MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin.Smith-McCrossin had been the first woman to ever run for the party’s top job, and she was joined Thursday by Julie Chaisson, executive director of the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.Cape Breton Mayor Cecil Clarke, a former Tory cabinet minister under premiers Hamm and Rodney MacDonald, has also thrown his hat in the ring.The four candidates who were on hand after Sunday’s announcement said they had no qualms with the party’s rules, and expressed excitement that the race was officially getting underway.
UN, World Bank officials alarmed by ‘deconstruction’ of Palestinian economy Voicing grave concern over the escalating conflict in the Middle East, two senior United Nations and World Bank officials in the region today called for the protection of civilians on both sides and urged Israel to lift the closure of the Palestinian territory, which they said had endangered the people’s livelihoods and engendered a sense of hopelessness and desperation. “We are very disturbed by the life-threatening conditions under which the Palestinian civilian population is currently living, as well as the continuous deconstruction of the Palestinian economy over the past 18 months,” said Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and Nigel Roberts, the World Bank’s Director for the West Bank and Gaza, in a joint statement issued in Jerusalem. “The damage to livelihoods, infrastructure and organizational capacity runs counter to any serious pursuit of peace and security.”The two officials pointed out that half of all people in the West Bank and Gaza were surviving on less than $2 per day, and stressed that the most important cause of economic decline was the policy of closure. “The Government of Israel is urged to lift the closure as soon as possible,” the statement said, noting that it should be done within the context of the recent Security Council resolution 1402. “We urge the Government of Israel to ensure that full respect is given to humanitarian principles, and that relief workers, who are risking their lives to assist the injured, the sick and the needy, are given unimpeded freedom of mobility,” the statement added, calling on the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) to halt the destruction of water pumps, electricity generators and sub-stations, roads, schools, hospitals and businesses.”The situation will be even more severe, if the actions we are witnessing in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya and Nablus are sustained, or if closure is tightened further,” the statement said, adding that if this occurred it would trigger “a steep slide into more widespread poverty and hopelessness.”The officials stressed that the Palestinian Authority had been providing basic, essential services under very adverse conditions for a year and a half, and warned that if it were de-legitimized the donor community would lose its main channel of assistance to the area’s people. “This would carry enormous costs – in Palestinian suffering and in the further contraction of any hopes for peace and security,” they said.Outlining priority areas, the statement stressed the urgent need to protect civilians on both sides, to guarantee full mobility for relief workers, and to end to the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure. At the same time, donors were called on to fund humanitarian agencies working to alleviate conditions in the region and to provide the Palestinian Authority with budgetary support.
Taking its name from a phrase in the UN Charter, the report, “In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all,” marks the culmination of a process Mr. Annan has initiated to realign the world body in this milestone year so that it can better respond to today’s pressing challenges.If acted on, the proposals – ranging from a nine-member increase in the Security Council’s membership to the establishment of a new Human Rights Council – would mark the most dramatic change in the UN’s functioning ever achieved at once.The report argues that this seismic shift is warranted by the interrelated imperatives at stake. “[W]e will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights,” Mr. Annan warns. “We can and must act together.”The report’s first main section, “Freedom from want,” deals with the deadly toll of poverty, which currently plagues more than a billion people in a world beset by growing inequality. “A single bite from a malaria-bearing mosquito is enough to end a child’s life for want of a bed net or $1 treatment,” the Secretary-General points out. He adds that while this sad reality has long been viewed as an inescapable aspect of the human condition, that view is now “intellectually and morally indefensible.”In order to achieve the far-reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of anti-poverty targets agreed to by world leaders at a 2000 UN summit – he proposes that all developed States allocate 0.7 per cent of their gross national income to official development assistance by no later than 2015, with significant increases by 2006.Calling climate change “one of the greatest environmental and developmental challenges of the twenty-first century,” Mr. Annan notes that the Kyoto Protocol, a pact that contains binding targets for the emissions that cause climate change, only extends until 2012. He calls for developing a more inclusive framework beyond that date with broader participation by all major emitters and both developed and developing countries.In the second main section, “Freedom from fear,” the Secretary-General endorses a report he commissioned by a high-level panel on threats, challenges and change. “I fully embrace the broad vision that the report articulates and its case for a more comprehensive concept of collective security: one that tackles new threats and old and that addresses the security concerns of all States.”Specifically, he backs the panel’s definition of terrorism – an issue so divisive agreement on it has long eluded the international community – stating unequivocally that “any action constitutes terrorism if it is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”This proposal has “clear moral force,” he says, urging world leaders to back it and conclude a comprehensive terrorism treaty during the next General Assembly session.The report’s other security proposals include a call for a fissile material cut-off treaty aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation, and the creation of a UN Peacebuilding Council to help countries emerging from conflict. The report’s third main section, “Freedom to live in dignity,” deals with human rights and democracy. The Secretary-General recommends replacing the current Commission on Human Rights with a standing Human Rights Council whose members are elected directly by the General Assembly and who “undertake to abide by the highest human rights standards.”He also calls for the creation of a democracy fund to help countries in need and pledges to galvanize UN efforts in this field. The last main section deals with strengthening the UN and sets out measures to improve its workings, including reforming the Security Council. Here again, Mr. Annan backs the high-level panel, which outlined two possible models for increasing the Council’s membership to make it more representative and inclusive. Model A provides for six new permanent seats, with no veto, and three new two-year term, non-permanent seats, divided among the major regional areas. Model B provides for no new permanent seats but creates a new category of eight four-year, renewable-term seats and one new two-year, non-permanent (and non-renewable) seat, divided among the major regional areas.Although Security Council reform has been discussed at the UN for decades, the issue is so complex and politically sensitive that agreement has been impossible. Seeking to break the deadlock, Mr. Annan urges realistic action. “It would be preferable for Member States to take this vital decision by consensus,” he says, “but if they are unable to reach consensus this must not become an excuse for postponing action.”The report also contains a number of proposals for improving the UN Secretariat. “Today’s United Nations staff must be: (a) aligned with the new substantive challenges of the twenty-first century; (b) empowered to manage complex global operations; and (c) held accountable,” the Secretary-General declares.In order to foster progress on this front, Mr. Annan requests that the General Assembly give him the authority and resources to offer a one-time buyout for UN personnel “so as to refresh and realign the staff to meet current needs.”Urging countries to act on the deal offered in the report, he says it is both necessary and achievable. “What I have called for here is possible,” he says. “From pragmatic beginnings could emerge a visionary change of direction in our world.”
201730–6–1.70 Before Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa became a household name in last season’s national title game, the Georgia Bulldogs had a 13-0 lead and were 30 minutes away from the program’s first championship in nearly 40 years. To start the second half, Nick Saban plugged in the freshman quarterback from Hawaii, and Tagovailoa rallied the Crimson Tide to an overtime victory, adding to the team’s already overflowing trophy case.Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs retreated with their tails tucked between their legs.This weekend’s SEC title game, then, represents the rematch. And once again, Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide stand in Georgia’s way.It’s ridiculous to think there’s a blueprint for beating Alabama when they’ve looked so dominant, outscoring opponents 588 to 165 this season. But there are a few areas where Georgia may have an advantage.Of course, Georgia doesn’t want to get baited into a shootout with arguably the nation’s best offense. Of course, limiting possessions and muddying up the game are a more optimal approach. Of course, Tagovailoa should be kept off the field as much as possible.All of this starts with running the ball. 201528–5–1.39 Perhaps the most underappreciated storyline in the SEC can be found in Athens. Running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb were selected in the first two rounds of this year’s NFL draft, and Georgia’s run game improved.This season, the two-headed monster of Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift has run buckshot through the SEC. Each will likely eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. Largely behind the two, the Bulldogs have over their last four games rushed for 1,345 yards, more than nine teams have accumulated all season. Georgia has the conference’s top rushing attack, gashing opposing defenses for 259.8 yards per contest on 6.3 yards per attempt, and leads the conference in total rushes of 10-plus yards (102) and 20-plus yards (35).Now, it seems silly to nitpick an Alabama defense that has allowed only six rushing touchdowns all season and ranks in the top 15 in both rushing yards allowed per contest (114.0) and rushing yards allowed per carry (3.3) … but we’re going to do it anyway. If Alabama’s ultra-young defense has had difficulty with anything, it’s mitigating explosive plays. Over 12 games this season, the Crimson Tide has allowed 13 carries of 20-plus yards, tied with five teams for 35th-fewest in the nation. On top of that, the Tide defense has also allowed 38 carries of 10 or more yards. Both numbers are the most Alabama has allowed through 12 games since 2011: 2017127.22 Source: Espn Stats & Information Group SeasonNat’l RankRush EPA/Game Season10+ yards gained20+ yards gainedYDS. After 1st Contact/Rush Alabama is vulnerable on the groundBig runs given up by the Crimson Tide defense and yards given up after first contact on a running plays each year (through 12 games) since 2011 201330–5–1.64 201633–6–1.36 201121–5–1.39 Yards after contact data is unavailable before 2011.Source: Espn Stats & Information Group Georgia’s expected points added per game on running plays during seasons under Kirby Smart 2018107.85 201433–7–2.13 Number of Opponent Rushing Plays with … 201223–6–1.47 201838–13–2.46 2016681.91 Opponents are running through Alabama tacklers like never before, too. This season, the Tide has allowed 2.46 yards after contact per carry, which is the worst performance for Alabama through the first 12 games of a season since 2011, the earliest year for which data is available. Of note: Only Memphis has gained more yards after first contact this year than Georgia.Of course, Tagovailoa is the closest thing to a cheat code in college football this season and could render these potential advantages for Georgia moot. The sophomore has racked up more passing touchdowns in the first half of games (27) than all but 21 schools1Excluding Alabama. have scored over the entire season. But this is an elite Georgia defense that could be Tagovailoa’s biggest test this season.The ultimate irony would be if a quarterback change by Smart decided the outcome of Saturday’s game. Jake Fromm has capably commanded the Georgia offense this season and has been sensational since his tepid showing during the team’s lone loss, which came against LSU. But Justin Fields, one of the most sought-after recruits from the 2018 class, has an uncanny athleticism that adds another potential threat to an already devastating offense. At receiver — again, the irony — Riley Ridley (brother of former Alabama star Calvin Ridley, who scored a touchdown in last season’s title game) has elevated his game this season. Fromm and Fields will look to Ridley, the team leader in receiving touchdowns, to take the top off the Alabama defense.If the game comes down to the wire, Georgia should be the more confident team. Long the Achilles’ heel of Saban-led teams, special teams could be what holds Alabama back. Kicker Joseph Bulovas has missed four of 16 field-goal attempts and has botched five extra points. And while the Crimson Tide ranks in the top two in offensive and defensive efficiency, it ranks a dismal 87th in special teams efficiency. “It’s not really acceptable,” Saban said earlier this month.Conversely, Rodrigo Blankenship, the bespectacled Georgia sensation, has been among college football’s most accurate kickers, nailing 19 of his 22 attempts and all 58 of his extra points. Georgia’s special teams rank far better than Alabama’s, landing at No. 38 in efficiency.It speaks to the sheer dominance of Alabama that Las Vegas sportsbooks installed the Crimson Tide as double-digit favorites against Georgia. But this is a dangerous underdog with all the trappings of a dominant squad. Some metrics consider the Bulldogs among the two best teams nationally. They won’t be short on motivation, if nothing else, as they seek to avenge last season’s loss when the lights were brightest.Check out our latest college football predictions.
More evidence now suggests that we’re right around the corner from the release of Android 4.3, with a refresh to the Nexus 7 as the flagship device for this version.Google likes to have a shiny new piece of hardware to go with their version updates. Last year Google used the competitively prices Nexus 7 to simultaneously place focus on the 7-inch tablet market and to act as the standard bearer for the next version of Android. With all of the rumors surrounding a new Nexus 7 combined with the leaked Android 4.3 ROMs, it seemed likely that Google would use the much needed hardware refresh to introduce the next version of Android. With the suspected hardware bump in this new 7-inch tablet, one of the big questions was whether or not Google was going to be able to keep costs down. It looks like we have the answer to that question with a new leak that surfaced today.Android Centralhttp://www.androidcentral.com/nexus-7-sequel-pricing-leaks-16gb-229-32gb-269?utm_source=ac&utm_medium=twitter is currently reporting that the “Nexus 2” is the name being used by retailers to describe the next 7-inch tablet from Google, with a 16GB model starting at $229. Remember that there’s never been a Nexus 2, when Samsung decided that the follow up to the Nexus One would be the Nexus S so as not to be seen as a follow up to the HTC made handset. There’s a $269 model as well, for users who need 32GB of internal storage for their tablets, but outside of that there’s not a ton of information. The tablets are described as being Quad Core, which falls in line with the rumors that this next tablet would be running Qualcomm Snapdragon hardware under the hood.At the current pace of these leaks, it seems likely that this Nexus 2 will be available any day now. Given what we’ve seen regarding the features being made available in Android 4.3, it’s hard to tell if Google will go all out and have a large press event for the release or not. Many expected this announcement to happen at Google IO this year, but Google took that opportunity to instead announce the Google Play edition hardware.
Maia Dunphy: ‘I’d feel my IBS coming on like a spasm and I’d have to go home’ We need to get people talking about IBS and remove the stigma, writes Maia Dunphy. 3,052 Views Sunday 30 Apr 2017, 7:30 PM Share Tweet Email17 Writer and broadcaster Maia Dunphy http://jrnl.ie/3359413 By Maia Dunphy IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME is a digestive disorder affecting between 15-20% of the Irish population. That equates to approximately 700,000 people that are struggling every day to manage the unpleasant and bothersome symptoms of this chronic digestive condition.IBS symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea and can mean sufferers have to dash to the loo without warning. All this can take its toll on sufferers, often resulting in sufferers missing work, school or college.When I was 16, I went to the doctor with crippling stomach pains. It was when I was trying to be healthy and stupidly living on apples and raisins and all the things that now I couldn’t touch with a barge pole.The doctor said: “When we rule out other conditions, what we deem you to have is IBS.” I went, “Fine how can I cure it?” And she said: “You don’t, you learn to live with it.”Learning my triggersSince then it’s mainly been about learning my triggers, which tends to be fruit and vegetables. When I see a raw food diet I curl up into a ball and cry. I can eat everything else. In fact when I live on less healthy food I tend to be better, whereas raw onions in a salad are like garlic to a vampire for me.The issues for me were bloating and really bad, crippling stomach pains. You really would need an hour to lie down in a darkened room and you feel it coming on like a spasm in your stomach.I can’t really drink wine. If I’m at home I can have the odd glass with food, but if I was to go out for dinner with friends and have a glass on an empty stomach, it would be crippling. I’d feel it coming on like a spasm, and the pain would be so bad I’d have to go home and curl up in bed.The part stress playsIBS can be really debilitating and just grim, and I did worry about getting pregnant as the symptoms can get much worse or disappear. Luckily for me it disappeared while I was pregnant. In the last year I’ve had three or four really bad episodes of chronic pain but now I’m taking Alflorex which really helps.As I am living in London with my husband Johnny, our 20-month-old son Tom and stepson Michael, I spend a lot of time flying back to Dublin for work on freelance projects.Life can definitely be stressful, and my doctor told me she’s never met anyone with IBS who isn’t stressed. Professor Fergus Shanahan in Cork said to me: “If you have IBS, it is causing you massive anxiety” and they are not sure what comes first. But there is no denying my default setting wouldn’t be calm. When it flared up again last year, I had been stressed.IBS is often dismissed. My doctor took it seriously but people don’t often know how serious it can be if you have it severely. We need to talk about it more. People need to be aware. There are wide range of symptoms and each person diagnosed with IBS will experience the disease differently.Compared to the women that I have spoken with in my video, my symptoms are mild, but I still know the misery of living with the uncertainty, bloating and stomach pain associated with this condition.We need to get people talking about IBS and remove the stigma and perceived embarrassment. People shouldn’t be suffering in silence or too embarrassed to talk about it to a pharmacist, GP or gastroenterologist because they have heard it all before.Maia Dunphy is a writer and broadcaster. She set up the instantly successful site “The M Word” – a hub for women who happen to be mums. She is currently working on a book with Gill & McMillan. Adi Roche: ‘I’m asking world leaders to help removing and storing Chernobyl’s radioactive material’>Drugs: ‘How is arresting someone for something that they are addicted to helping?’> Apr 30th 2017, 7:30 PM 60 Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Stay on target 50 Attorneys General Launch Bipartisan Probe Into GoogleYouTube Fined $170M For Alleged Child Privacy Law Violation It was 50 years ago today last Friday/this Thursday that the Beatles released their eighth studio album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” in the UK and US, respectively.And while fans will travel far and wide to visit London’s Abbey Road Studio—where John, Paul, George, and Ringo transformed into the fictional Edwardian military band—Google Earth has a simpler solution.“Today on Google Earth’s storytelling platform, Voyager, we’re celebrating not only this beloved, influential album but the whole of the Fab Four’s monumental contributions to rock ‘n’ roll,” content strategist Jill Emeny wrote in a blog post.The global Voyager tour highlights significant moments and places in the group’s career, from Liverpool’s Cavern Club to Central Park’s Strawberry Fields memorial.Liverpool’s famed Cavern Club (via Google Maps)Grab a scotch and coke, a pair of round glasses, and your favorite Beatles record, then sit back and relax on a trip around the world. See the sights at the real Penny Lane, enter the Hamburg club where the band performed almost nonstop for 48 nights, and stop by the Ed Sullivan Theater where The Beatles made their first live TV appearance in America (current home to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert).On the West Coast you’ll see two-time Beatles venue the Hollywood Bowl concert hall, before heading to the Maharishi’s ashram in India, credited for the group’s spiritual awakening (as witnessed in’ “Within You, Without You”).The excursion continues at Abbey Road Studios and the Hilton Amsterdam hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their “Bed-In for Peace,” before ending with New York City’s tribute to the late, great Lennon.Forty minutes of pure joy, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” features classics like “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “A Day in the Life,” and, of course, the title track.A recently reissued “super deluxe” edition (produced by Giles Martin, son of “fifth Beatle” Sir George Martin) celebrates the 50th anniversary with dozens of outtakes and alternate song versions, a making-of documentary, and 114-page full-color book, among other goodies.
Ryan Giggs is convinced that Real Madrid is the right club for his national team start player, Gareth Bale, and he advised him to stay in Spain despite his situation hasn’t been easy.The Wales star has struggled to gain his regular spot in the starting eleven under Zinedine Zidane and he has been expected to change clubs sooner or later but his national team’s coach believes that it wouldn’t be the right choice.The former Manchester United player spoke about Bale’s situation as he said, according to Sky Sports:“Yes. I went to see him against PSG [in the Champions League last-16].”“When you go there the aura around the club, there are only a handful of clubs who have got that.”Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“So, of course, you want to stay there. He’s won three Champions League titles, the proof is in that.”“When you are at clubs like that you are always going to win things.”“I learned a lot when I was (United) manager for the four games and about how lonely it was.”“When you shut the door of your office and everyone else has gone home, you’re on your own.”
Espanyol Coach Rubi has vowed ‘to defend’ their La Liga position after rising to second in the standings.The Catalan side are behind fellow city rivals Barcelona in the standings after nine La Liga fixtures.Espanyol climbed to the second spot after Sunday’s victory at Huesca.“In the dressing room there will be no euphoria,” Rubi told Football Espana reporters after the game.Europa League draw groups G and H George Patchias – August 30, 2019 Europa League groups G and H are a who is who of previous winners.UEFA.com confirmed that Europa League group G consists of, Porto, Young…“There will only be more hard work to come and not to let up in our performances, because our feet will still be on the ground.“We have seen what it takes to win games in this division and I want our fans to be very happy with the position we are in at this stage.“Now we will defend it, that must be our mentality despite knowing that things will be difficult.“Was returning to Huesca? Of course, there is a little emotion but you must remain professional, and I am very happy with the treatment I have received at this beautiful stadium.”
It’s no secret that newsstand sales are, at best, a marginal revenue source for the vast majority of magazine publishers. Titles that offer per-issue subscription discounts of less than 50 percent off the cover price saw, on average, newsstand declines of between 3 and 5 percent over the two-year period. Titles offering subscription discounts of 50 to 70 percent, however, experienced declines around 11 percent. Titles taking the aggressive stance of offering subscription discounts greater than 70 percent saw newsstand sales slip over 16 percent, on average. In an effort to measure the correlation between newsstand declines and subscription discounts—or, more realistically, the degree to which such discounts are eating into newsstand sales—MagNet examined cover prices, subscription prices, and sales trends for 70 of the top 100 selling regular frequency magazines over a two-year period ending December, 2015. SIPs were not considered. Not surprisingly, the study found a direct correlation between deep subscription discounts and lagging newsstand sales, as the less money consumers will save with a subscription, the more apt they are to purchase a frequency title one issue at a time. What is surprising, perhaps, is the extent to which this idea has manifested itself in the marketplace. MagNet’s own conclusion is kinder to retail. Most monthly titles analyzed sit squarely in that 50-to-70 percent range; MagNet reports that the average subscription discount was 63 percent off, compared to just 27 percent off for quarterly titles. Accordingly, newsstand sales of those monthly titles dropped 15.2 percent over the two-year period ending December, 2015, while sales of quarterly titles fell 3.4 percent. None of this likely comes as a surprise to publishers, many of whose print editions are driven primarily by advertising as opposed to single-copy or subscription sales. It raises questions, however, about what a magazine offering subscription rates for 70, 80, or even 90 percent off the cover price is still doing on the newsstand to begin with. Those looking to maintain high ratebases by aggressively discounting subscription rates, however, may want to reconsider that strategy, according to a new study from MagNet. “We ask publishers to take a step back and reconsider their aggressive ratebases, their deeply discounted subscription offerings, and to again refocus on the newsstand, which we believe is, or could again be, their most profitable circulation revenue source,” reads the study.
Students of Tairunnessa Memorial Medical College block Dhaka- Mymensingh highway on Saturday. Photo: UNBStudents of Tairunnessa Memorial Medical College blocked Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Gazipur on Saturday morning protesting at the death of a physician in a road crash on Thursday, reports UNB.Salehuddin Ahmed, assistant superintendent of Gazipur district Traffic police, said that doctor Shammir Shakir Prokash was killed after being hit by a BRTC bus in KuniaTargach area on Thursday evening.The students of the medical college put up barricade in front of the college around 9:00am to meet their three-point demand including punishment of the driver, halting vehicular movement on the highway.Following the assurance of police, they withdrew their blockade around 10:15am.
Share Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty ImagesPolice and military personnel use umbrellas to cover a stretcher as it is carried to a helicopter from an ambulance at a military airport in Chiang Rai, Thailand, on Monday, as rescue operations continue for those still trapped inside the cave in Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park in the Mae Sai district.Emergency crews in Thailand have reportedly brought another member of a soccer team to safety, weeks after 12 boys and their coach were trapped in a flooded cave network. The Associated Press reports an ambulance was seen leaving the area on Monday.The apparent rescue comes one day after the first four members of the team were saved, in a complicated and hours-long process that includes the use of multiple divers and a system of air tanks stashed along the escape route.The boys, ranging in age from 11-16, have been trapped in the cave system since June 23, after heavy rains flooded the network. Authorities say they want to get them out now, with the threat of more rain looming.“All conditions are still as good as they were yesterday,” Chiang Rai acting Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said, as relayed by the AP. “The boys’ strength, the plan — today we are ready like before. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain.”A deluge could overwhelm efforts to lower water levels in the caves – more than 32 million gallons of water were pumped out after the boys were found last Monday.Giving an update on the four boys who were pulled from the cave on Sunday, Narongsak said, “This morning they said they were hungry and wanted to eat khao pad grapao” — a popular Thai rice dish of meat stir-fried with basil and chili peppers.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.