Suicides wipe the shine off Surat’s diamond trade

first_imgAfter polishing diamonds destined for luxury stores from New York to Hong Kong for nearly 10 hours in a cramped workshop in western India, Vikram Raujibhai went home, waited for his family to leave, and locked the front door.Raujibhai doused himself in kerosene and lit a match.His family returned to find the 29-year-old’s charred body, his case the latest in a series among workers with low wages and poor work conditions in India’s booming diamond industry, as uncovered by a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation.Investigations spread over a year in Gujarat found a pattern of suicides — many shrouded in silence — in the industry that cuts and polishes 90 per cent of gems sold globally, with many workers paid per stone.A few workers in the industry earn fixed wages — some even up to ₹1,00,000 or more a month – but over 80 per cent of the total workforce earn a piece rate of ₹1 to ₹25 for each stone they polish and have no social benefits.Interviews with diamond unit owners, brokers, labour groups, families and the police revealed nine suicides since last November in the city of Surat, a hub for the trade, and the Saurashtra region where the workers are from.But experts said this was likely to be just the tip of the iceberg in India, where industry figures show diamond exports surged 70 per cent in the past decade, with no mandatory certification to ensure diamond processing is labour abuse free.Families are reluctant to blame the diamond business, which employs over 1.5 million men — mainly from drought-prone parts of Saurashtra for fear of losing work, with few other options.Raujibhai’s mother Wasanben is still coming to terms with the death of her son, the sole breadwinner after her husband, also a diamond polisher, died a decade ago of a heart attack.“Vikram started polishing diamonds when he was 16. He had been struggling to get more work,” Wasanben said as she pulled open the curtains of the room where her son died in January.Sitting outside the soot-layered room in a slum in Bhavnagar town in Saurashtra, Wasanben said her son was worried about mounting expenses and being unable to find love and marry.“He earned ₹6,000 a month, but we were a family of seven and the money was never enough,” she said.“I assured him things will be fine and we were managing to eat. That day he waited for us to leave for a wedding (to kill himself).”Suicide filesThe skills of polishers, after generations in the industry, and low labour costs ensure major mining firms from De Beers — the world’s largest diamond producer by value — to Russia’s Alrosa get raw diamonds processed in India.When asked about worker suicides, De Beers — of the Anglo American Plc Group — the world’s second biggest mining company Rio Tinto, and Russia’s Alrosa said they had not encountered any cases in firms to which they sell rough diamonds.Government officials said workers were paid well and the industry is “positive”, setting up schools, hospitals and giving jobs to relatives of workers who died or committed suicide.But campaigners said while most big firms have air-conditioned workshops and fixed wages, many smaller outfits have no toilets or ventilation and workers live, eat and sleep in the workshops in slave-like conditions.Rough diamonds imported to India must be certified ‘conflict-free’ by the Kimberley Process scheme to ensure they have not been used to fund civil wars and are free of human rights abuse, not so called “blood diamonds”. KP members account for about 99.8 per cent of global production of rough diamonds.But certification of cut and polished diamonds given by the global non-profit Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is optional.Only about 90 firms from about 15,000 big and small diamond companies in Gujarat are certified RJC members. About 30 are authorised buyers of rough diamonds from De Beers that binds them to follow a set of labour rules.But no one is pushing companies for certification of processed diamonds.The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council — set up by the Union government to boost the country’s exports of gems — said it was up to unit owners to seek certification.Gujarat labour officials said they had no role to play except ensuring the country’s labour laws were enforced.But campaigners are concerned about the welfare of workers paid by stone and with no social benefits, who often take on debt to feed and educate their families.“The business has grown, there is better technology … but only about 25 per cent of workers earn enough to sustain themselves,” said Gautam Kanani, commerce professor at Surat’s J.D. Gabani Commerce College who studied the industry in 2007.For some diamond workers the consequences can be fatal.Stories of suicides gleaned from police files show a pattern — a seemingly untroubled worker suddenly killing himself.The highest number of more than 5,000 suicides reported in Surat city since 2010 were in areas where diamond workers live, police data the Surat police shared with the Thomson Reuters Foundation shows.In Surat, the Thomson Reuters Foundation analysed the suicides of 23 men between January and April and found six cases of diamond workers who had hanged themselves or drank poison. It found three similar cases in the Saurashtra region.Police investigationsPolice officer Ashish Dodiya this year investigated the suicides of two diamond workers in their early twenties who drank poison.Bharatbhai Jatharbhai Bhammar (22) moved to Surat three years ago and lived in the workshop where he polished diamonds. He was at work when he drank poison in April this year.“His job was to give the final polish to the diamond. He worked 10 hours every day like we all do,” said his cousin, Lakshmanbhai Khodubhai Bhammar, who also polishes gems in Surat.“I got a call from his workshop that day. He asked me to save him when I was rushing him to the hospital.”The other suicide victim, Rajeshbhai Makwana, had been polishing diamonds in Surat for six years and made about ₹13,000 a month. He ended his life after an argument with his wife in February this year.“He had no problems,” Makwana’s brother Santosh told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Dodiya dismissed a link between the deaths and work in the cases he investigated.“They didn’t die because of the diamond business. There are more cases of diamond worker suicides because of their high numbers in this area,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.“No diamond worker will die of starvation. They are paid on time, every month.”Other police officers stationed in the area where diamond workers live in Surat did see a link between the suicide cases they investigated and diamond work.“(The workers) take loans and are never able to repay them. We get such cases (suicides) when the (global) demand for diamonds drops and employers do not pay them,” said Rameshbhai Gulabrao, who investigated two worker suicides this year.Some workers said they go without wages for at least two months every year when business is slow and they have to borrow money to make ends meet.In one case, a few kilometres from Bhammar’s home in a crammed settlement in Surat, Miteshbhai Hiteshbhai Kansara (22), hanged himself in March this year from a kitchen fan in the one-room flat he shared with his parents and younger brother.“He worked with big diamonds and earned a fixed monthly salary of around ₹10,000. This is good money in Surat,” said Kansara’s younger brother Vatsal.“He was good at studies. He studied up to 12th grade and was planning to go to college. He didn’t want to polish diamonds.”’Slavery and suppression’Ramesh Ziliriya, who set up a diamond labour association in Rajkot in 2013 to protect workers rights, said while debt bondage and child labour may be a thing of the past in the diamond industry, “slavery and suppression continues”.“Workers do not protest their low wages as they fear losing their jobs,” the former gem polisher said.The Ratna Kalakar Vikas Sangh — a welfare body of diamond workers in Surat — recorded nearly 2,000 labour disputes between 2016 and 2017, mainly involving workers being laid off.Two years ago, the group tried investigating the suicide of a worker who jumped from the fifth floor of a diamond workshop.But his family didn’t complain and the probe was abandoned, said Jaisukhbhai Nanjibhai Gajera, who heads the welfare body.He said the precarious nature of the industry can be difficult for workers, with diamonds competing in the luxury goods market with designer bags, cars and cruises, and any drop in demand having a knock-on effect on workers’ wages.About a decade ago, economist Indira Hirway found 50 suicides of diamond workers in Surat during the 2008 global recession as workshops shut down and workers were laid off.Labour unions said up to 300 workers killed themselves then and the suicides continue today, but families are reluctant to link the deaths to their relatives’ working lives.They said most suicides were linked to unpaid loans and low wages which stopped workers feeding or educating their families.“Diamond workers don’t complain as they get these jobs often from someone within the family or the community. Most of them are school dropouts,” said Indira Hirway, who led a UNDP study on the 2008 recession’s impact on diamond workers.“That is the way globalisation is working in India where traders and exporters make huge money, but people at the bottom get low wages and are exploited badly,” said Hirway, director at Centre for Development Alternatives in Ahmedabad.Daily wagesAt the Sri Diamond Worker Union in Surat, Mukeshbhai Waljibhai Kanjaria sifts through the letters he has written to state authorities about the problems diamond workers face.“Earlier, a worker would polish 50 diamonds for, say, eight rupees a piece,” said Kanjaria, the union president. “Now there are machines and he can polish 500 diamonds in one day, but his earnings have remained the same.”Kanjaria said workers lack social benefits that other factory workers get, like pensions and subsidised medical care.But labour officials in Gujarat said diamond industry workers earn more than the minimum wage of 8,300 rupees a month.“They are not interested in social security as it involves paperwork and both workers and their employers are in most cases illiterate,” said Ashish Gandhi, assistant labour commissioner.“Whenever there is fluctuation (in demand) and downsizing, they face problems, but (their welfare) depends on the philosophy of the employer.”Some workers do break away from polishing to start their own businesses, but few manage to advance up the ladder, with many adding to mounting debt by going to local money lenders.Bharatbhai Rathod worked as a diamond polisher in Bhavnagar for almost 15 years before deciding to start his own unit.His business was short-lived.“He drank the pesticide we use in the farmland one day,” said Shobhaben, Rathod’s wife, who works at a cotton farm in Damrala village in Bhavnagar, about 500 km from Surat.“We didn’t know of anything that was bothering him – he didn’t say anything. We found later he had taken a loan for raw material (rough diamonds) and was being threatened,” Shobhaben said, smarting tears as she plucked cotton.Red herringOn a sweltering afternoon in Surat, scores of men sat on the footpath of a bustling street, cradling on their laps blue trays spattered with diamonds like grains of sand that they picked and checked through tiny magnifying glasses.Mahidharpura is Surat’s gem trading hub, where businessmen sell rough diamonds bought from mining companies in Africa, Israel and Belgium to owners of the factories where they are cut and polished before being sold on to jewellery manufacturers.Diamonds processed in Surat are sold to jewellery makers in a bazaar, but nearly 90 percent are couriered to one of the world’s largest diamond bourses in Mumbai, and then exported.Behind the seemingly transparent trade in diamonds are layers of complex transactions that mean workers are often clueless about the real worth and destination of diamonds.Ashish Dansangh Bawalwa, 35, had been polishing diamonds for 12 years when he noticed a currency symbol on the little paper pouch containing the diamonds he was polishing.“It was a dollar sign. That day I realised we were being paid in rupees to polish diamonds sold in dollars,” said Bawalwa, who left Surat as he was unable to sustain his family.“It is as if the companies are getting these diamonds cut and polished for free,” said Bawalwa, who is taking up odd jobs to repay the loans he took in Surat amounting to 150,000 rupees.Dinesh Navadia of the Gems and Jewellery Export Council said most firms took care of the education of their employees’ children and offered subsidised medical care.Asked about the spate of worker suicides, he acknowledged there was a problem, linking it to poor productivity cutting wages and workers struggling in an expensive city like Surat.“But diamond companies give jobs to wives of workers or their children (after their death),” he said. “This is a positive industry.”Jean-Marc Lieberherr, head of the Belgium-based Diamond Producers Association which aims to encourage best practice in the industry, said major mining companies were making a real effort to ensure workers were not exploited.But he said it was an uphill task to directly monitor the thousands of workers across Gujarat with many workshops in remote, isolated areas.A De Beers spokesman said the company had a comprehensive worker protection plan that its clients and their contractors must comply with, and stopped trading with those who breached its labour standards.Similarly, Rio Tinto – the founding member of RJC – has standards for best practices in business that include labour safety norms, while Alrosa has alliance guidelines to protect labour rights for companies who buy raw diamonds from them, their respective spokesmen said.Canada-based mining company Lucara is RJC certified and sells rough diamonds through tenders and performs checks on all its clients, a spokesman said.Jewellery manufacturing major Chow Tai Fook — that most Indian diamond polishing units supply diamonds to — said it buys gems only from those companies that comply with norms set by De Beers and the RJC.But labour groups said steps have not been taken to protect workers from the highs and lows of the diamond trade and the business has remained unorganised, casting a long shadow on their lives and the future of diamond polishing in India.Most workers the Thomson Reuters Foundation met, even the handful on fixed wages, were determined that their children would not join the diamond industry.After her son killed himself, Wasanben decided none of her three other sons would ever polish diamonds.“There is no growth in diamonds. A man will never be able to do anything in life,” she said.last_img read more

Soumyadeep keeps table tennis medal hopes alive

first_imgSoumyadeep Roy quelled some stiff challenge before overcoming Singapore’s Xiaoli Cai 4-1 to storm into the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games’ table tennis men’s singles competition here today. The Bengal paddler started on a positive note in the quarterfinal and clinched the first set 11-7, but Cai clawed his way back into the match by winning the second set 11-5.However, Roy did not lose his heart and bagged the next three sets 12-10, 11-5, 13-11 in the best-of-seven contest and secured the final-four berth.In the semifinal, Roy will take on world number 17, Gao Ning, who beat another Indian A Amalraj 4-1 in other match.Amalraj proved no match to Gao, who is considered to be the best Singapore paddler, and except in the second set he could not build up much resistance.After losing the first set 1-11, he bagged the second 11-4, but went down 5-11, 5-11, 7-11 in the next three sets to crash out of the competition.Meanwhile, India’s experienced women pair of Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das came out with some determined performance to overcome Australian duo of M Miao and J F Lay 3-2 and entered the doubles semifinal.But it was curtains for another Indian pair — Kumaresan Shamini and Madhurika Patkar, who lost 1-3 to T Feng and Y Wang of Singapore.In men’s doubles, Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal and former national champion Subhajit Saha also got the ticket to last-four stage after beating Nigeria’s Aruna Akinade and A seun 3-1.advertisementAnother Indian pair of Amalraj and Roy, however, could not cross the quarterfinal hurdle and went down 0-3 to Singaporean duo of Gao and Zi Yang at the Yamuna Sports Complex.India’s challenge in women’s singles and mixed doubles categories have already ended.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

England’s youth is a strength at Euro, says Daniel Sturridge

first_imgEngland’s lack of international experience can work in their favour, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge said as their Euro 2016 opener against Russia looms. Roy Hodgson’s starting line-up for Saturday’s match in Marseille is likely to include the likes of Tottenham Hotspur trio Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, none of whom have played at a senior tournament.Other squad members such as Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne, Everton’s John Stones and Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand only have a smattering of caps and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford made his debut against Australia only last month.Sturridge, who has earned only 18 caps since his international start in 2011, is relatively senior at 26 in a squad that is the youngest in the tournament.Only four players are aged over 30 and eight have played fewer than 10 internationals.But that should hold no fears as England try to win the competition for the first time, Sturridge said.”I don’t see why we can’t be successful because we’re young, I don’t think age has anything to do with it, it’s how we play as a team,” Sturridge said after a training session at England’s base in Chantilly on Tuesday.”It’s a young squad, and that’s a strength it’s not a weakness. We know that there’s going to be a lot of eyes on us because we’re England. I don’t feel there is any pressure on us. I feel like we will enjoy the occasion.”If you go back to Manchester United, the Liverpool sides and all other clubs around the world who have had young squads and young players, they had a gelling period and became successful.”advertisementAfter another injury-plagued season Sturridge is vying with the likes of Kane and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy for a starting spot.England’s only injury worry for the clash with Russia is Ryan Bertrand who could not train with the squad on Tuesday.last_img read more

Rookie Shardul Thakur desperate to prove his mettle against Virat Kohli

first_imgRookie Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur, the lone new face for the West Indies Test tour, on Thursday said he wants to test himself by bowling to Test skipper Virat Kohli at the nets. (Kohli and I have always been aggressive: Rahane)Thakur, who earned the selectors’ nod on the back of a terrific Ranji Trophy performance (41 wickets in the 2015-16 season), said bowling to a batsman of Kohli’s calibre will help him identify his weaknesses. (Test vice-captaincy will bring the best out of me: Rahane)”Bowling to good batsmen in the nets is always an advantage as it shows you where you stand, what you need to work on and how you can improve. So, I am looking forward to bowling to Virat Kohli in the nets and test myself,” the pacer was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.NERVOUS THAKUR READY FOR WI TESTSThe 24-year-old, who reached the National Cricket Academy on Wednesday for the preparatory camp prior to the Caribbean tour, admitted he was nervous but also insisted that such situations bring out the best in him.”There is always a bit of nervousness when you are new to the setup. I was nervous before landing here, but once I talked to the guys, I settled down. When we fly to St. Kitts, I might be a bit nervous but at the same time, it gets the best out of me,” he said. (Also Read: With Kumble, Indian cricket’s golden generation back at the helm)”It feels great. I was really excited to come here and give my best. On the first day, we did a few fitness tests and I am happy I did well,” he added.advertisementHailing new head coach Anil Kumble, who assumed charge on the first day of the camp, the promising seamer said he is looking forward to learning a lot from the former leg-spin great.”I must say he created an impact right in his first interaction itself. I am keen to work with him and learn a lot of things. He is a legend. He has loads of experience and it is going to be very useful to the team and me. I am looking forward to spending time with him on this tour,” he said.last_img read more

A 48-megapixel budget smartphone with Snapdragon 675 is coming: It’s not Redmi Note 7 Pro

first_imgChinese smartphone manufacturers started on a high note last year by bringing several new technologies and concepts to the market. Vivo grabbed the most attention with its Apex concept, which later conceptualized into the Nex. The in-display fingerprint sensor was also generalized. Huawei and Xiaomi popularized the slider display technology. Meizu unveiled a seamless smartphone yesterday with all the latest wireless technologies incorporated. A 48-megapixel camera is now also a feature that’s made common for a budget smartphone. Xiaomi introduced it with the Redmi Note 7 and Meizu will follow up with its next product.While the rest of the world is still catching up with the Meizu Zero concept smartphone, the company is readying a new budget handset that will intensify the competition in the sub-Rs 15,000 segment. The device is speculated to be called the Meizu M9 Note and could be sold at an extremely low price of $147 (approximately Rs 10,000). As the name suggests, the device is expected to take it up against Redmi’s Note series of smartphones.However, it won’t be just another run-of-the-mill product. The M9 Note will feature a 48-megapixel camera for the rear. This will make the M9 Note join the Redmi Note 7 as one of the few phones in the world to sport a 48-megapixel camera.Like the Redmi Note 7, the M9 Note is rumoured to rely on the same Samsung GM1 sensor that Xiaomi is using for the Redmi Note 7. The camera will have a big ½-inch sensor and will rely on Pixel Binning technology to gather more light. It is said that the camera will shoot images in 12-megapixel mode by default utilizing the Pixel Binning technology. Users will need to manually switch to the 48-megapixel mode for clicking higher-resolution pictures from the camera.advertisementHowever, the M9 Note could have another deadly trick up its sleeves. Meizu is reportedly using Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 675 chipset for the device. This Snapdragon 675 uses extremely powerful Cortex-A76-based custom Kryo cores for enhanced performance. Compared to the Snapdragon 670, it gains massively in terms of raw performance. The chip also supports triple camera setup – that indicates another possibility of the device sporting a triple camera setup.At the moment, the Meizu M9 Note isn’t official. However, if the rumours are anything to go by, the M9 Note will end up as a very powerful smartphone. If Meizu manages to keep the price under Rs 15,000, then the M9 Note will give a tough competition to the Redmi Note 7.ALSO READ | Meizu unveils flagship 16th, M6T and C9 smartphones in IndiaALSO READ | Meizu Zero is the world’s first holeless smartphone ALSO READ | Meizu 16th Quick Review: An Android flagship that puts style upfrontlast_img read more

Did Oklahoma State Steal Michigan’s Recruiting Pitch?

first_imgOklahoma State busted out some pretty nice recruiting graphics this week, which several OSU commits — Shamond Greenwood and Tylan Wallace — posted on their twitter timelines as shown below.https://twitter.com/Lc_Greenwood/status/773277042057949185#GoPokes ??? pic.twitter.com/vvyXikdiTG— SUPERMAN (@OfficialTylan2) September 6, 2016I raved about the detail in the designs all the way down to personalized nameplates on the desk with the “CEO” title, which is a unique touch. But the overall graphic appears to be some version of what Michigan used in previous recruiting graphics, and several people on twitter were quick to point it out. Among those to chime in was Michigan’s Director of Football Creative Aaron Bills who posted the original edit of Eddie McBroom, who signed with the Wolverines as part of the 2016 recruiting class (obviously suggesting that it was used sometime before national signing day earlier in February): pic.twitter.com/Ahcn56UOio— Aaron Bills (@AaronBDesigns) September 7, 2016Here’s the side-by-side comparison of the eerily similar graphics:screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-7-28-02-pmThere are unique touches to both graphics, obviously, but it is pretty similar to what Michigan used in a previous graphic without dispute. And Michigan fans were all up in Wallace’s mentions about it, too:lol chill chill they send them too me I post them ???? not that serious— SUPERMAN (@OfficialTylan2) September 7, 2016My only thought is that Harbaugh basically tried to take full credit for the creation and idea of satellite camp, of which Mike Gundy pioneered before it became the hip thing to do. So maybe this is Gundy’s way of stealing back some of that thunder.¯\_(ツ)_/¯If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

USA fans should embrace World Cup ‘NIT’

first_imgUnited States No ticket to Russia? USMNT fans should embrace World Cup ‘NIT’ next summer Thomas Floyd @thomasfloyd10 Last updated 1 year ago 08:55 12/1/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(11) Weston McKennie USMNT Octavio Passos United States World Cup Friendlies Opinion U.S. Soccer is considering hosting a tournament for teams that missed out on Russia 2018, and American supporters should welcome the opportunity “Shock” settled in swiftly. For fans of the U.S. national team, the October loss to Trinidad & Tobago left them processing the realization that their country won’t be represented at the World Cup for the first time since 1986.There will be no moment of transcendence for the sport stateside. No stage for Christian Pulisic to shine on. No watch parties from coast to coast, binding diehard and casual fans alike.Then “denial” surfaced in corners of the fan base, with Panama’s ghost goal — used to top Costa Rica and leapfrog the U.S. — generating frivolous notions of an appeal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But before long it was time for “anger” to take center stage. From coach Bruce Arena and federation president Sunil Gulati to stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, few associated with the Americans’ World Cup failure have escaped the ordeal with their reputations unscathed.That brings us to “bargaining” — in this case, the idea is that the U.S. could host its own tournament next summer featuring high-profile teams that missed out on the World Cup. Goal reported last month that U.S. Soccer, Soccer United Marketing and Fox were discussing such an event after powerhouses like Italy, the Netherlands and Chile also failed to qualify for Russia 2018.Now this stage of grief is typically seen as a desperate attempt to escape one’s sorrow — and there are plenty of skeptics who interpret the proposal as just that. Yet they shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a World Cup “NIT.”Yes, some have gleaned a misguided message from the idea. (“We don’t need your dumb tournament — we’ll start our own!”) But the U.S. and Co. aren’t going to be naive about this: They know missing out on Russia was a devastating shortcoming. They also know their event would be a blip on the soccer radar next summer.USMNT PortugalWhat would the critics have these teams do instead, anyway? Go to their room and think about what they’ve done? Every one of these countries is engaging in significant soul searching. Staying home instead of playing matches won’t accelerate the process, while serving as the opposition for World Cup-bound teams’ tune-up friendlies would be underwhelming in its own right.If the U.S. program is serious about rebuilding for the 2022 World Cup, then it should embrace a chance to give the likes of Matt Miazga, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams minutes against quality opponents in a semi-competitive environment.It’s worth noting that the U.S. won’t play another truly meaningful game until the 2019 Gold Cup. The CONCACAF League of Nations, meanwhile, will limit opportunities to play friendlies against teams outside the region. (The jury is out on how seriously teams will take that competition, which kicks off next fall.)Although the World Cup is an irreplaceable opportunity for exposure among fans and media, still playing games next summer would, ever so slightly, soften that blow. Any supporter would naturally prefer to watch their players in the World Cup from afar than see them in a consolation tournament up close. But having matches on home soil would be a nice bonus — for the fans, and for U.S. Soccer’s coffers.Just imagine a packed summer of soccer, with the NIT-style tournament serving as an early June appetizer before the main event. Where’s the harm in that?With Friday’s World Cup draw poking at the wounds of that fateful night in Couva, U.S. fans may find themselves reliving the stages of grief. While it may not feel like it now, “acceptance” is on the horizon — and a World Cup NIT can be a healthy part of the journey.last_img read more

Thierry Henry favourite to take over as Aston Villa manager

first_imgHenry was strongly linked with Villa in July, when Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, the club’s majority owners, took control of the club. Sawiris and Edens ended up giving their backing to Bruce but a dismal run, during which Villa won one of 10 games, led to the 57-year-old being sacked on Wednesday.Christian Purslow, Villa’s chief executive, has been overseeing the process of finding a successor and it is understood a shortlist of five names was compiled, including Rui Faria, José Mourinho’s former assistant, and Dean Smith, the Brentford manager.Sawiris and Edens, who are hugely ambitious, want a high-profile appointment to rejuvenate the club, who are 15th in the Championship, and Henry ticks that box.As things stand, the only possible barrier to Henry taking over is a late move for Rodgers, who has a proven track record in the Premier League, which is where Villa’s owners want to be, and favours the sort of expansive and free-flowing football that would go down well with supporters. There are doubts, however, as to whether Rodgers would be prepared to leave Celtic mid-season and if the Scottish champions would entertain any approach for him in the first place. news Thierry Henry Topics Aston Villa target high-profile appointment after sacking Steve Bruce Thierry Henry has been identified as the favoured candidate to take over as Aston Villa manager and could be appointed within the next 72 hours, depending on whether the Championship club decide to inquire about the availability of Brendan Rodgers. It also looks increasingly likely that John Terry will return to the club on the coaching staff after the former England captain announced his retirement as a player on Sunday night.Although Villa insist that nothing has been agreed with Henry, the 41-year-old is the clear frontrunner to replace Steve Bruce after holding positive talks with the board. Within the club there is a growing expectation that the Frenchman, who is working as Roberto Martínez’s assistant with the Belgium national team, will be the new manager. John Terry Aston Villa Reuse this content Share on Twitter Steve Brucecenter_img Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp There is a desire among the Villa board to see Terry return – so much so that his appointment on the coaching staff is not viewed as being directly linked with a particular manager – and that is partly because of his knowledge of the squad, having played alongside many of them last season. Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Read more Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share via Emaillast_img read more

16 days agoBrahim Díaz told by Real Madrid to find loan club

first_imgBrahim Díaz told by Real Madrid to find loan clubby Carlos Volcano16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrahim Díaz has been told by Real Madrid he must leave on-loan in January.The young midfielder is rated highly by coach Zinedine Zidane, but has been told there is no place for him in Real’s immediate plans.Brahim is yet to get on the pitch this season and he’s been told to find himself a loan club to step up his development.Both in January when he arrived from Manchester City and over the summer, Brahim refused to leave on-loan.But management are pushing him to change his mind leading up to the winter market. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Du café noir contre le diabète

first_imgDu café noir contre le diabèteFrance – Le café noir pris lors du plus gros repas de la journée réduirait de 34% le risque de diabète de type 2, d’après une étude franco-brésilienne publiée dans l’American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.Les chercheurs ont suivi pendant 11 ans 69.532 Françaises âgées de 41 à 72 ans au début de l’étude et qui ne souffraient alors pas de diabète. A la fin de l’enquête, 1.415 d’entre elles en avaient développé un.Durant cette période, les scientifiques ont cherché à connaître les effets du café, du thé et de la chicorée sur le diabète de type 2. Il s’est avéré que les femmes consommant un peu plus d’une tasse de café par jour soit environ 125 ml, durant le repas du midi (en moyenne le plus important de la journée), avaient 34% de risque en moins de souffrir de diabète de type 2 que le reste de la cohorte. Les chercheurs ont également constaté que les femmes qui buvaient au minimum trois tasses de café par jour avaient 23% de risques en moins de déclencher un diabète.Cet effet protecteur a également été constaté lorsqu’il s’agissait de café décaféiné et de café sucré. Cependant, le café soluble et le café au lait n’étaient pas dotés de ces propriétés. Le thé et la chicorée n’avaient quant à eux aucune action sur le diabète.D’après les chercheurs, ces effets ne viendraient pas de la caféine mais plutôt de l’acide chlorogénique contenu dans les grains de café. Cette substance diminuerait la charge glycémique du repas pris juste avant. La lignane, une substance antioxydante, pourrait également être en cause puisque les antioxydants auraient une action antidiabétique. Une simple tasse de café prise après le repas pourrait donc être un moyen simple et agréable d’enrayer l’épidémie de diabète qui touche aujourd’hui 3 millions de personnes en France.Le 11 avril 2010 à 17:23 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Eusebio on Torino and Monchis transfer dealings

first_imgEusebio Di Francesco has reiterated his faith in the transfer dealings of sporting director Ramon Monchi.Ahead of the club’s game with Torino, Eusebio went on to give an insight into the fitness of his players for the game.“Both Dzeko and Schick are in excellent condition,” the Coach said at a Press conference via Football Italia.“I’ll make a decision tomorrow, keeping Edin’s recovery in mind. I’m happy to have two important options in front of me, especially Patrik’s recent growth.“Who will recover in time for tomorrow? Manolas almost certainly because he’s trained with us for the last three days, so if he doesn’t have any problems [before Saturday] then he’ll be available.“Florenzi isn’t at his best because of a bad cold, so I have to evaluate whether to call him up or not.Chris Smalling open to a permanent AS Roma deal Andrew Smyth – September 6, 2019 Chris Smalling can “definitely see a longer-term future” for himself at AS Roma should things work out on his loan spell from Manchester United.“Karsdorp will play for his place with Santon [at right-back], then there are Mirante, Perotti, De Rossi and Juan Jesus who aren’t available.“Pastore? He’s acquiring good physical condition. Now he must find consistency in what he does, but Zaniolo will start as our No 10.“I can say we’ve improved our last three games, but we’ve often come back from bad runs and we hope we don’t have to again.“Tomorrow we have the obligation and need to win, and we’ll show intent right away because against certain teams with certain mechanisms, everything becomes more difficult.“I have faith in Monchi, who is looking for opportunities [to bring in players]. I told him that if we have to do something for the sake of it, it’s better to do nothing at all.“If there’s an opportunity to improve our squad, then yes, otherwise we’ll stay as we are. Belotti? I won’t talk about players who don’t belong here.”last_img read more

GAO Challenges Ahead for Army Modernization

first_img ADC AUTHOR The Army is still on track to boost readiness by 2022, but there are still challenges related to modernization, according to a new Government Accountability Office report, Army Technology reported.The Feb. 6 report was a progress update on 44 recommendations GAO has made since 2016.“While the Army continues to make progress, it faces challenges in staffing its evolving force structure, repairing and modernizing its equipment, and training its forces for potential large-scale conflicts,” the study said.Among the outstanding challenges cited in the report are “missed recruiting targets” and “applying leading practices for technology development.”last_img

Wednesdays Rare Super Blue Blood Moon How To See It And What

first_imgGeert Vanden Wijngaert/APEarth’s shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during another total lunar eclipse — this one in Brussels in 2015.Set your alarm clock – early Wednesday morning, there’s a lunar event that hasn’t been seen since 1866.And it’ll be at least partially visible in all 50 U.S. states – though the views will get better and better the farther west you live.Let’s break this down. This event – called a super blue blood moon – is actually three fairly common lunar happenings all happening at the same time.And scientists say that information gathered during the event could help them figure out where to land a rover on the moon.What is a super blue blood moon?The moon is full, and it’s the second full moon of the calendar month, which has been termed a blue moon. The moon is on a 28-day cycle so that only happens once in a while – or, as you might say, once in a blue moon.Next, the moon is known as a supermoon because it’s especially close to the Earth, making it appear larger and brighter than usual. The moon doesn’t orbit Earth in a perfect circle – it’s an ellipse, which means there are times during the orbit that it is thousands of miles closer to Earth than others. Brian Day of NASA’s Ames Research Center tells NPR that during these times, the moon can “appear 17 percent larger than it does at its furthest point in its orbit.”Most interesting to scientists, however, is that this is all coinciding with a total lunar eclipse. That’s why this is also called a blood moon, Day says: “As the moon makes this close, full moon approach to the Earth, it’s going to pass through the Earth’s shadow and the Earth’s shadow is going to cause the moon to appear a deep red color.”“You’ve got this wonderful combination,” Day says. “It’s just loading up the plate with all the wonderful things the moon can show us.”What’s the best way to see it?Everyone in the U.S. will be able to see at least some portion of the eclipse, with the best views in Western states.On the East Coast, the eclipse will begin at 5:51 a.m. local time, but the moon will set before the end of the eclipse’s totality. “The darker part of Earth’s shadow will begin to blanket part of the Moon with a reddish tint at 6:48 a.m. EST, but the Moon will set less than a half-hour later,” NASA says. For East Coasters, the best bet for good viewing will be at about 6:45 a.m. ET.It’ll be easier to see in the Central time zone because the moon will be higher in the sky when the eclipse begins. The red shadow will be observable by 6:15 a.m. ET. In Mountain time, the peak will be at around 6:30.NASAGlobal map showing areas of the world that will experience (weather permitting) the Jan. 31, 2018, “super blue blood moon.” The eclipse will be visible before sunrise on Jan. 31 for those in North America, Alaska and Hawaii. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the “super blue blood moon” can be seen during moonrise the evening of the 31st.And lucky viewers in California and western Canada will see “the total eclipse phase from start to finish,” NASA says. “At 4:51 a.m., totality will begin, with best viewing between about 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. local time. The totality phase ends about 6:05 a.m.”If you have a telescope, Day recommends bringing it out and checking out the moon’s surface under the lunar eclipse’s “red filter” and the supermoon’s extra-close, extra-bright conditions.What can scientists learn during the event?NASA scientists say the way the moon’s surface responds during the eclipse can provide insights about where to land a rover for a future mission.The clues will be in the surface temperature changes during the event. As Day explains, the moon has a dramatic temperature range – from more than 200 degrees Farenheit to more than 200 degrees below zero – but it changes very gradually because a lunar day is almost 28 Earth days long.“But when you have a total eclipse, you get that sudden darkening of the surface, you go from having the sun directly overhead the surface of the moon to suddenly being dark. And so you get a real sudden temperature change,” Day says. “That’s interesting to us. Because different types of materials on the moon will heat up and cool down differently.”For example, solid rock would change temperature slower than dust or soil. NASA planetary scientist Rick Elphic says that could have big implications for where to land a future mission.“If you want to land someplace, you want to be sure you land someplace that is safe and relatively rock-free, but you also want to land someplace that you know your foot pads are not going to sink in to 18 inches or 2 feet or something like that and give you a bad day,” Elphic says.NASA’s Ames Research Center is working on plans to send a rover to one of the moon’s poles – previous missions have targeted areas near the equator.The poles are thought to have major deposits of water ice, and a mission could map out this potential resource, which could be crucial should humans return to the moon.Scientists often have a couple of opportunities annually to take these measurements during total lunar eclipses.If you aren’t able to see the super blue blood moon in person, you can watch it at NASA.gov/live or follow at @NASAMoon.Enjoy the view!Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Grace Oglesby Named ACC Swimmer of the Week

first_imgOglesby swept the butterfly events at the IU Invitational, earning a pair of NCAA A cuts with lifetime bests in both the 100 and 200 fly. She won the 100 fly in a time of 50.75, which is the third-fastest time in the nation so far this season.  Print Friendly Version In the 200 fly, Oglesby won by over three seconds and eclipsed her own personal best time by a half-second. She is one of just three swimmers in the nation who have secured an NCAA A cut in the event and currently holds the No. 2 time with a 1:52.64. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Following a career weekend at the IU Invitational, University of Louisville junior Grace Oglesby has been selected as the ACC Swimmer of the Week, which was announced Monday by the Atlantic Coast Conference office. Oglesby also swam the 200 IM, placing fourth with an NCAA B cut time of 1:57.32. In total, she scored 90 individual points to help the No. 8 Cardinals to a second place finish at the IU Invitational.center_img The Goshen, Ky. native was also instrumental in the Cardinals’ 200 and 400 medley relays. She posted the top butterfly splits in the entire field with a 23.01 in the 200 medley and 51.27 in the 400 medley relay. Louisville’s 200 medley relay finished third with a 1:36.31, while the 400 medley relay took first by nearly a full second in a time of 3:30.55. Both relays earned NCAA automatic qualifying times. This marks the first ACC weekly honor of Oglesby’s career and the fourth straight week a Louisville swimmer or diver has been selected for the award. Story Linkslast_img read more

Wrong career no kids are womens top regrets

first_imgFrom choosing a wrong career path to not having children are some of the major regrets in life for a woman, according to a recent survey.Experts who carried out the detailed study, conducted by Diet Coke, also found that a large percentage of the surveyed women lament a failure to lose weight as a major regret in their lives. Opting for a career path that turned out to be the wrong one was a common gripe as was not travelling the world before starting out in the world of work, reports femalefirst.co.uk. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Diet Coke commissioned the report to coincide with the launch of its new “Regret Nothing” campaign and it shows that while six out of ten women would happily “do things differently” if they had their time again, three out of four women believe their regrets have been character-building. “The research findings suggest women are harbouring their regrets and not living life in the present. Through our new campaign, we want to inspire women to act on their impulses to create positive experiences, adventures and opportunities for success,” said a spokesperson of the brand. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixResearchers, who carried out the study among 1,000 women between the ages of 25 to 39, found that family matters cause a significant amount of regret when looked back upon.One in five of those who took part in the survey said it played on their mind that they “could have been a better daughter”, while more than one in ten said they felt they could have put more effort into being “a better mother”.More than one in ten women said they wished they had children, while around seven per cent said they felt they had children “too early”.  Others expressed sadness they were unable to afford their “dream wedding.” *Not trying hard enough at school *Not losing weight on a diet *Choosing the wrong career path *Not getting on the property ladder *Spending a night with someone I shouldn’t *Not being spontaneous enough *Not being a good enough friend *Not being a better daughter *Not being impulsive enough about travelling before starting a family *Not having children *Not being a better mum *Texting someone I shouldn’t after a night out *Not having my dream wedding *Having an affair*Getting married/ settling down *Focussing too much on my careerlast_img read more

Ivory Coast local polls boycotted by opposition

first_img Top Stories (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top holiday drink recipes Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix “If you don’t participate in democratic life and political life, what will happen to you? It’s a major risk,” Depagne said.Across the country, the race featured contests between Ouattara’s RDR and the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast, headed by former President Henri Konan Bedie and the most important partner in Ouattara’s governing coalition. Bedie backed Ouattara in the November 2010 runoff against Gbagbo, helping put him in power.A dispute between lawmakers from the two parties was officially blamed for Ouattara’s decision to dissolve his cabinet last November.But even with their candidates pitted against each other in local races, the two parties were likely to continue cooperating regardless of the results, said Samir Gadio, emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank.“They understand that they need each other to continue to rule the country and that a breakup of the coalition would basically mean that they would eventually.be in a precarious situation,” Gadio said. “There is no political party in Ivory Coast that can win elections on its own.”Nearly 700 candidates are listed for municipal seats, and an additional 84 are running for regional seats. Municipal elections were last held in 2001, while regional elections were last held in 2002. Results were expected to begin coming in Monday. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The country’s U.N. peacekeeping mission said its forces would assist Ivorian security forces in keeping order Sunday.Albert Koenders, special representative of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said on Friday that the campaign period had been marred by “some regrettable incidents, including unacceptable intimidation in certain constituencies.”A spokesman for Ouattara’s Rally of the Republicans political party also warned earlier in the week of a “rise in tension,” but voters in the commercial capital of Abidjan said this weekend that the campaign had been conducted peacefully.Turnout appeared to be low on Sunday. In a section of Abidjan’s Yopougon district, a bastion of Gbagbo support, workers at one polling station said they had processed only 10 voters more than two hours after doors opened.Oumar Kone, a 30-year-old voter, said the boycott and general anxiety about the elections may have affected turnout.“This is an important election for the youth, but some people are keeping in their mind visions from 2010,” he said. “Also, the Gbagbo supporters do not have candidates representing them, so they have no reason to come out and vote.” Sponsored Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) – Ivory Coast residents voted Sunday for local officials in the first government organized polls since deadly postelection violence killed thousands two years ago.Sunday’s polls, however, were boycotted by the opposition party of former President Laurent Gbagbo, highlighting the slow progress of reconciliation in this West African country.Five months of violence erupted after Gbagbo refused to leave office despite having lost the November 2010 runoff vote to current President Alassane Ouattara. The United Nations estimates that more than 3,000 people were killed. Comments   Share   President Ouattara voted with his wife at a school in Abidjan’s Cocody district just before noon. He told reporters he expected the turnout to increase throughout the day.“The local elections are an opportunity to assess and to reassess the will of the people, and to implement the policies and projects that are wanted by the people at the local level,” he said.Ouattara’s government failed to convince Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front political party to take part in the vote earlier this year. Gbagbo’s party, the FPI, demanded reforms to the electoral commission and amnesty for crimes committed during the postelection conflict, something the government has ruled out. The party had also boycotted U.N.-organized legislative elections in 2011, and accused Ouattara’s government of failing to foster reconciliation.The government has been criticized by rights groups for only charging Gbagbo supporters in connection with the 2010-11 conflict, as well as subjecting Gbagbo supporters to torture and other forms of maltreatment as part of its response to a wave of attacks on security installations by gunmen last year.But Gbagbo’s party has also lacked a coherent strategy for reasserting itself following the 2010-11 conflict, said Rinaldo Depagne, senior West Africa researcher for the International Crisis Group. Without officials in parliament and in local offices, it will be difficult for the party to take part in national debates, he said.last_img read more