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Locals joining militancy in Kashmir highest since 2010; Ghazwat-ul-Hind gaining ground

first_imgBy Sumir Kaul Srinagar, Aug 26 (PTI) Dangerous trends have started surfacing on the militancy front in Jammu and Kashmir with nearly 130 youths joining various terror outfits this year, the highest since 2010, and a majority of them affiliating themselves with groups ideologically aligned with the Al-Qaeda, officials said here.According to data compiled till July 31, around 131 youths have joined various terror outfits with South Kashmir’s Shopian district contributing the maximum of 35 so far. The number of local recruits last year was 126.The officials say that many youngsters are joining the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group which claims support of Al-Qaeda and is headed by Zaqir Rashid Bhat alias Zaqir Musa, who hails from a village in the Tral area of Pulwama district. The acceptance of this group is steadily increasing as Musa emerged as the only militant who ended the 27-year-old show of separatists leaders from Hurriyat Conference and threatened them of beheading if they termed Kashmir as a political issue. Musa’s slogan of “Shariyat ya Shahadat” (Enforcing Islamic law or death) has replaced many age-old pro-Pakistan slogans, feel the officials who have been monitoring the security situation in the Kashmir Valley.The 24-year-old engineering college drop-out has been able to capture the imagination of youths, especially after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen poster boy Burhan Wani, who was killed in 2016.He was good at studies as well as sports and had represented the state in inter-state carom championship, recalls a senior police official, adding this is one of the reasons that he has started emerging as a hero to many youths in the Valley.advertisementBelieved to have been influenced by Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemini-American preacher killed by allied forces attack in Afghanistan in September 2011, Musa has been mainly focussing on recruitment for his outfit and brainwashing the youths to pick up arms. Awlaki too was considered the brain behind recruitment for Al-Qaeda. His motivational skills left terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba also in a fix when he was able to draw Abu Dujana into his group, the officials said. Abu Dujana was killed killed. Though the Jammu and Kashmir Police has time and again termed Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind as a non-starter in the valley, the growing popularity and graffiti of his name and slogans have taken maximum spaces of towns and villages.ISJK, an affiliate of the banned ISIS, was also a source of attraction for youths but after the killing of its chief Dawood Sofi, the group does not find many takers.The officials of security agencies said the highly-volatile South Kashmir comprising Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Awantipora districts continued to contribute more youths to the militant groups and together these five districts have contributed over 100 youthts to various terror groups operating in the Kashmir Valley.This year’s figures were the highest since 2010, according to a recent data presented in the state assembly and Parliament.There has been a steady rise in the number of youths taking up arms in the valley since 2014 onwards as compared to the period from 2010 to 2013 when the figure stood at 54, 23, 21 and 6 respectively. In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the highest mark of 88 in 2016, the data showed. PTI SKL SMNlast_img read more

a month agoWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: We’re looking for some kind of style

first_imgWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: We’re looking for some kind of styleby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores admits their performance was not good enough in their 2-0 defeat at Wolves.Matt Doherty’s opener was added to by Daryl Janmaat’s own goal after the break, which saw Wolves pick up three points and rise up the table. The Hornets head coach said: “We knew today would be a different match [to the defeat at Manchester City] and it would be tough. It’s not enough, it’s clear the performance should be better.“Now we are looking for some kind of style, some way we’re going to play, but at the moment we’re not playing in that way. We concede very easy goals and these destroy all the plans. We are playing [catch-up] behind the score so it’s difficult for the players right now.”Asked what it would take to turn the corner, Sanchez Flores responded: “Winning. We need to win. We need to train hard, we need to improve, we’re stronger on the training ground every single day but in the matches we still have problems, we have insecurities, we have situations we can’t solve, easy mistakes giving opportunities to the opponent.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Nevada judge shields Wynn documents in Massachusetts probe

first_imgLAS VEGAS — A Nevada judge says documents about allegations of sexual misconduct against former casino mogul Steve Wynn will stay secret, at least temporarily, despite Massachusetts Gaming Commission efforts to make them public.Commission lawyers, its investigations chief and an attorney for Wynn’s former company Wynn Resorts didn’t immediately say Friday in Las Vegas whether the ruling will stall a decision about the suitability of the company to run a $2 billion casino and hotel near Boston.Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez extended a temporary ban on releasing documents that Wynn’s lawyers say are a confidential.The Massachusetts commission obtained the documents in a probe of how the company handled reports that Wynn engaged in sexual misconduct with female employees.Wynn denies wrongdoing. He sued in November to keep the documents secret.Ken Ritter, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Shell Canada president optimistic about LNG Canada FID

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. — The president of Shell Canada said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Shell and its partners in LNG Canada will make a positive Final Investment Decision later this year.According to Natural Gas World, Shell Canada president Michael Crothers made the statement at the ARC Energy Investment Forum ‘Playing to Win’ in Calgary on May 9th. Speaking to executives and investors in the oil and gas industry, Crothers pointed out that there has been an unexpected increase in global demand for LNG in the past year. He said the 30 percent increase in demand has largely come from China, and also spoke about the impact higher demand would have on the development of new LNG projects.“We’re quite bullish about that, and we think that this site for LNG Canada is the best site on the west coast,” said Corthers. “We’ve got fantastic transit times – eight days to get to Tokyo Bay – and we have a fantastic resource base in our Groundbirch asset in the Montney, which is getting more and more stranded with the collapse in gas prices at AECO and the steady erosion of markets for our gas in the US.”Crothers added that projects like LNG Canada are the only way to get Canadian gas to offshore markets, where there are “fantastic opportunities” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing the use of coal with natural gas. Story courtesy Natural Gas World: https://www.naturalgasworld.com/shell-cda-head-bullish-on-lng-canada-project-61089last_img read more

Underside of terror

first_imgThe world was taken by surprise when an utterly defenceless and unsuspecting lot of people gathered to offer prayers at New Zealand’s Christchurch mosques and were gunned down simply for the names they bore. The immediate reason for this terror attack is the gun laws that make it easy for civilians to possess firearms. This grave public concern seems to have been addressed rather promptly with the Prime Minister’s announcement to alter gun laws in the country and that there isn’t a better time to do it than now – remarkably a very distinct stand to take compared to the world’s bulldozing superpower, the USA. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern advocated a wider public health approach that seeks to reduce deaths from gun violence; instead of focusing on the unrealistic change in human behavior of possible murders, she assertively talks about creating an environment where people are less likely to fall victim to gun violence. Without the rhetorics of labeling perpetrators of gun violence as good or bad or unwell, she acknowledged the seriousness of the hazard of civilians possessing weapons and that it is an inherently dangerous thing and that guns must be made much harder to get. As much as the menace of gun violence keeps the discussions going, the underlying but still much too obvious matter of white supremacy is brought to highlight by none other than Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern herself. The popular rant of ‘terrorism does not have a religion’ was empty noise until now. Ms. Ardern’s compassion and leadership have directed attentions to the underside of terrorism: just intense intolerance for the ‘other’, without any labels of religion or ethnicity. Her empathy and solidarity with the targeted community have a set a formidable example of good leadership on the global platform. Her sensitivity to the bereaved and firmness against the perpetrator of the attacks who deserves no sympathy or attention, is for world leaders to appreciate and emulate.last_img read more

Police take Rohit Shekhars wife into custody for probe

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi Police Crime Branch on Sunday continued their questioning with Rohit Shekhar’s wife and other people in the case of ND Tiwari’s son Rohit Shekhar murder.Sources said that the crime branch team’s were scanning the call details records of several persons in the case. Apart from family members, many known persons are also on the radar of city police. The investigating agency is probing the case from all angles. Name of few persons also cropped up during questioning which is being probed. Crime Branch officials questioned Shekhar’s wife Apoorva for over eight hours, sources said. She was questioned about her entry in their Defence colony residence, her schedule –what she did during the day and why she did not find it odd when Shekhar was sleeping throughout the day, they said. Shekhar’s brother Siddharth and househelps –Martha and Golu –were also questioned since they, too, were present at his residence at the time of his death, the sources said. Delhi Police on Thursday lodged a case of murder in connection with the death of ND Tiwari’s son Rohit Shekhar. The investigating agency said that the autopsy report pointed to unnatural death caused by smothering. According to police, the case was transferred to the crime branch for further investigation. They are questioning Rohit’s family members, including his mother Ujjwala and his uncle’s son. The investigating agency will also question Rohit’s wife in the case. “We are probing whether the pillow was used for smothering when he might be sleeping,” said sources. with Agencies inputslast_img read more

During Slow Offseasons The Brewers Keep Finding Deals

The Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of an ice-cold hot-stove season last winter to become the rare team to win in the offseason and in the regular season. By agreeing Wednesday night with free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal on a one-year, $18.25 million deal, the Brewers again took advantage of an opportunity to find tremendous value. As most teams zig in another slow offseason, the Brewers, again, zag.While Grandal didn’t have a great postseason with the Dodgers last fall, he was one of the best players available on the free-agent market. According to the Baseball Prospectus version of wins above replacement, which includes a catcher’s pitch-framing ability, Grandal was the 14th most valuable position player in baseball last season (5.0 WAR) and the eighth most valuable player per plate appearance (5.8 WAR per 600 plate appearances) among qualified hitters.That was not a fluke.In terms of total value, Grandal was the No. 1 position player by WAR per plate appearance in 2016 (8.7 WAR per 600 plate appearances), and he ranked seventh in 2017. Over the past four seasons, he was worth 21.2 total WAR. That’s star-level production. He turned 30 in November, so he’s not ancient in baseball terms. But despite all this going for him, Grandal settled for a one-year deal.The switch-hitter offers rare power and patience at the catcher position. Over the past four seasons, his walk rate of 12.8 percent ranks 19th among all MLB batters. His .453 slugging mark ranks third among all qualified catchers, and his 116 weighted runs created plus, a measure of offensive ability that adjusts for park and run-scoring environments,1100 is league average. trails only Gary Sanchez and Buster Posey.Not only is Grandal’s offense rare at his position, but his ability to frame pitches — to get more borderline pitches called favorably — gives him tremendous value at the plate and behind it.Grandal led all catchers in framing runs last season (15.7 runs saved above average). He ranked fourth in 2017 and second in 2016. Even as catchers as a group have improved their ability to receive or frame pitches, raising the floor of the skill, Grandal has maintained his edge. By runs saved, framing is more valuable than blocking balls in the dirt, an area in which Grandal is not as adept.Consider the following visual evidence of Grandal’s magic behind the plate last season. As a Clayton Kershaw slider darted slightly outside the strike zone, Grandal’s glove moved it back to within the confines of the zone. A pitch that should have been called a ball then appeared to be a strike.Grandal managed to softly absorb this high-and-away Kershaw fastball and make it appear to finish as a strike. It’s a subtle but valuable skill.Grandal was attached to a qualifying offer, meaning that the team signing him would have to surrender draft-pick compensation. As a revenue-sharing recipient, the Brewers will surrender their third-highest pick in the draft. The qualifying offer slightly diminished Grandal’s value, but qualifying offers are far from the only — and far from the greatest — issue conspiring against free agents. Even after last winter’s lack of free-agent activity, Grandal likely expected that he would be able to do much better than the deal he got. He not only turned down the Los Angeles Dodgers’ qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, but he also reportedly rejected a four-year, $60 million offer from the New York Mets.Instead, Grandal becomes the latest free agent to receive far fewer dollars and years than he had initially sought.The average salary in baseball declined last year for just the fourth time in the past 50 years and the first time since 2004, according to the Associated Press.Through Wednesday, the 73rd day of this offseason, 10.2 percent of available free agents2Our pool of available free agents includes any player with major league experience who was granted free agency or released in October and November of each season. That excludes players signed internationally or those waived by a club before the season ended or later in the offseason. had signed for a total of $856.2 million, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of data from The Baseball Cube. While that’s an improvement over the same point of last offseason, when only 6.5 percent of free agents had signed for $550.5 million, the total dollars spent to date are still down from 2016-17 ($1.017 billion through Day 73), 2015-16 ($1.697 billion), 2014-15 ($1.308 billion) and 2013-14 ($1.452 billion).And the share of free agents signed is trending above the past two offseasons, but it’s still trailing the previous three: As the free agency landscape changes, some teams seem to be looking for openings to give them an edge. Grandal has been the Brewers’ only guaranteed free-agent signing so far,3They have also reportedly agreed to a split deal with pitcher Jake Petricka, meaning that the contract would depend on whether he makes the big-league club. but it’s a significant addition in their quest to repeat as National League Central champs.Sara Ziegler contributed research. read more

Salah sets target of League and European Cup double

first_imgLiverpool forward Mohamed Salah believes they have the quality to win both the Premier League and Champions League this season.Klopp’s men stuttered last season on the League front in their run to the final of the competition in the previous campaign, thereby settling for a fourth spot in the English top flight.However, Salah is confident about Liverpool’s ability to handle both European and domestic commitments over the next few months.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“Last season we knocked out Manchester City, then Roma, who had just beaten Barca in the quarter-finals. Each time, they were incredible games,” he told France Football ahead of his side’s Group C opener against Paris Saint-Germain.“We played against teams challenging for the title, and we still managed to reach the final, so of course we can do it again. I’m sure of it. We can even win both, the Champions League and the Premier League. I don’t want us to put pressure on ourselves, but yes, everything is possible.“It’s a good draw with some good teams. PSG have some very good individuals and a great team. I’m looking forward to playing them. I’m looking forward to a very enjoyable and intense encounter.”last_img read more

Cuadrado announces successful surgery

first_imgThe Juventus Colombian forward has confirmed his knee surgery has gone as planned and is now recovering to return to football soonJuventus Colombian attacker Juan Cuadrado has come out from knee surgery with success.The South American announced on Instagram he was happy after his surgery.“Thank God the surgery went well now I will work for making a good recovery and come back stronger,” Cuadrado wrote on Instagram as quoted by Calcio Mercato.Romelu Lukaku, Inter MilanLukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“I am convinced that if we love God all things go well.”““Today, the player was subjected to arthroscopic treatment of the left knee for the lesion of the external meniscus and the cartilage fracture, a perfectly successful operation, and today Juan Cuadrado has undergone arthroscopic treatment on his left knee – a lesion of the external meniscus and the cartilaginous fracture reported in the trauma suffered during the Champions League match played in Bern,” said the club’s press department.“The intervention, carried out in Barcelona by Dr. Cugat, assisted by Juventus health officer Dr. Claudio Rigo, is perfectly successful.”last_img read more

Lands Act Passed By US Senate

first_imgThe bill is the largest conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land across the country. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, led the Senate’s approval of S.47, her Natural Resources Management Act. The Senate passed the legislation on Tuesday on a final vote of 92 to 8, and it will now head to the House of Representatives. The bill also includes legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) that would allow Alaska Native veterans or their family to select 160-acre allotments from the federal government.center_img The bill includes a number of provisions specifically impacting Alaska. Sen. Murkowski:“This bill provides routing flexibility for our proposed natural gas pipeline. It creates new economic opportunities for communities like Kake and Utqiaġvik.” Sen. Sullivan: “For decades, a special group of Alaska veterans have suffered an injustice due to their service during the Vietnam War. My colleagues and I today took a significant step toward righting this wrong and ensuring Alaska Native vets have an opportunity to finally receive the land allotment they’ve previously been denied.”last_img read more