Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray all confirmed for Australian Open

first_imgLATEST STORIES Williams returned from giving birth to her first child to reach the 2018 Wimbledon and US Open finals, but suffered upset losses in both to leave her stuck on 23 major wins.Australian Open organisers said she was among the entries for the opening Grand Slam of the year as she attempts to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHer appearance will mark her first major since her controversial rant at an umpire during the US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka, which overshadowed the Japanese star’s biggest ever win.In the aftermath, Roger Federer said Williams “went too far”. “Serena Williams, currently ranked 16, will make her highly anticipated return to Melbourne for the first time since winning in 2017 when eight-weeks pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia,” said tournament organiser Craig Tiley.The evergreen Federer will be back to defend his title, along with long-time adversary Novak Djokovic. Caroline Wozniacki defends the women’s crown.Organisers said the world’s top 102 women and top 101 men have all confirmed they will be playing.The only top-100 absentee from the women’s draw is 74th-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Polandwho recently announced her retirement. “It’s always special to see our defending champions — Caroline had her first Grand Slam win here last year so will be keen to start 2019 on a high,” said Tiley. ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “And of course Roger Federer has special memories of Melbourne, having won here six times, something only Novak (Djokovic) and Roy Emerson have done in the past.“I’ve been in touch with Rafa and he’s back to full fitness after cutting his season short after Paris and can’t wait to arrive in Australia,” he added.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award FILE – Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Anastasija Sevastova, of Latvia, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Serena Williams will make her return to the Australian Open for the first time since winning in 2017 when eight-weeks pregnant, it was confirmed Wednesday, with virtually all the world’s top 100 players due at Melbourne Park.That includes injury-prone Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments Deontay Wilder hoping for a rematch with Tyson Fury ‘ASAP’ MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folklast_img read more

Should President have met GECOM?

first_imgDear Editor,On your news item on the President meeting GECOM (GT Aug 9), it is noted that GECOM is an independent agency that is not subjected to the dictates of Government (and by extension the official Opposition) although four of its seven members are appointed by the Government (President) and three by the Opposition. Not surprisingly, a lot of eyebrows were raised when the President invited GECOM members and the body’s CEO for a consultation (meeting) in his office. This is highly unusual. It may be the first such meet by GECOM in the country’s history. Many, particularly lawyers and academics, felt it was inappropriate for the Executive to meet with GECOM. Even ordinary business people and ordinary folks I spoke with felt it is not the President’s responsibility to meet with GECOM.The Executive meeting with GECOM was seen as “intimidating the body” towards election objectives especially when the body has begun preparations for elections. But the President explained that his meeting was simply to assure GECOM that the Government is willing to provide the necessary resources for the preparation of elections that are due as a result of the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion against his Administration. The President assured that his Government would not hinder the work of the Elections Commission, and he also stated he would respect decisions of the body. The President also called on all Guyanese to respect the independence of GECOM and its decisions. One Commissioner is reported to have described the meeting as a waste of time. The public is divided on the meeting on party loyalty with some supporting the President meeting GECOM and the others opposed to the meeting. GECOM must never be seen to be compromised.The President and his coalition Government partners say they want House-to-House Registration in preparation of a new voters’ list, but he said he would accept the decision of GECOM (really the new Chairwoman Ret’d Justice Claudette Singh) on the issue.However, there is one problem on the President’s position on a date for election. The President has insisted that he would not call (announce a date for) elections unless GECOM tells him it is ready for elections. And GECOM insists that a date is the prerogative of the President. GECOM does not have a constitutional date to set a date for elections. Even lawyers for GECOM and the Attorney General are in agreement that GECOM cannot fix a date for elections. The procedure is the President fixes a date in accordance with the laws laid down in the Constitution. Whatever date the President proposes, GECOM would respond and inform the Chief Executive if it can pull off credible elections by that date. In 2001, GECOM informed the President that elections were not possible on a proposed date and it was adjusted upon agreement by all parties.GECOM usually needs three months to prepare for an election. The Constitution also caters for three months as indicated in the Article relating to the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion. Thus, GECOM must be in perennial preparation for elections just in case a Government loses a No-Confidence Motion. In fact, every country with a parliamentary system is always prepared for elections with a month’s notice. The body may need less time to update the voters’ list that was used last November for local elections.GECOM’s hands are tied on House-to-House Registration until the court rules on August 14. GECOM meets on August 15 to review the court’s ruling. GECOM is likely to accept the ruling. Justice Claudette would not want to defy the court’s or the CCJ’s ruling using September 18 as a deadline for elections even though it is impractical.The court does not have too much wiggle room on the issue of registration and an election date. The law does not cater for House-to-House Registration in light of the No-Confidence Motion in which elections are constitutionally due by September 18 as interpreted by our country’s highest court, the CCJ. That ruling supersedes all other decisions made by Gecom or lower courts or the Government. The CCJ’s ruling is the final law that cannot be reversed or defied in a democracy.Will the High Court (Justice Roxane George) thread into the request of the Opposition on powers of the Executive to resign, dissolve the assembly, and fix a date for elections? The court is an independent branch of the Government and can’t thread into the powers of the presidency. The court can only interpret the law as indeed the CCJ did. The court is likely to repeat the judgment of the CCJ for the Executive to follow the Constitution which states the Government resigns and serve in a caretaker role as is the norm in any country where a Government lost a No-Confidence Motion.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Marquette cruises to win

first_imgFreshman Lazar Hayward scored a career-high 18 points to lead No. 16 Marquette to an 80-67 victory over visiting Villanova on Monday night. Hayward, who entered the game averaging six points per game, had 13 in the first half before fouling out late in the second. Dominic James added 18 points and Wesley Matthews had 16 points for the Golden Eagles (22-7, 9-5 Big East), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Marquette made all 16 of its free throws in the final 5:58 of the game. Matthews was 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Scottie Reynolds scored 25 points for Villanova (18-9, 6-7), which lost its second straight game. Curtis Sumpter added 14 points. The Wildcats’ last four losses have come against Top 25 teams. No. 15 Butler 68, at Wis.-Green Bay 58: A.J. Graves scored 20 points and Brandon Crone had 17 to help Butler beat Wisconsin-Green Bay. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Mike Nardi made two free throws to cut Marquette’s lead to 70-64 with 2:24 remaining, but Villanova scored just three points, all on free throws, the rest of the way. At No. 6 Kansas 71, Kansas St. 62: Freshman reserve Sherron Collins scored 20 points and led a key second-half run, and Kansas beat Kansas St. to extend its winning streak in Manhattan to 24 games. Mario Chalmers added 17 points, Darrell Arthur had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Brandon Rush finished with 11 points for Kansas (24-4, 11-2 Big 12), which has never lost in Bramlage Coliseum since it opened for the 1988-89 season. The Jayhawks’ last loss in Manhattan was a 58-57 defeat on Jan. 29, 1983, in Ahearn Fieldhouse. No. 10 Pittsburgh 71, at Seton Hall 68: Levance Fields scored seven of his 15 points in the final 2 minutes to help short-handed Pittsburgh hold off Seton Hall. Levon Kendall had 14 points and eight rebounds and Sam Young added 11 points for the Panthers (24-4, 11-2 Big East), who were without injured enter Aaron Gray. last_img read more

Ole not fearing for his job as Mourinho returns to Utd

first_imgSolskjaer’s men, who sit 10th in the table, then travel to neighbours Manchester City on Saturday.Mourinho, sacked by United last December, replaced Mauricio Pochettino in one of three managerial changes in the Premier League over the past two weeks, but Solskjaer does not believe he is close to meeting that same fate.“I’m not going to tell anyone how to run their football clubs, but I think everyone knows continuity is one of the keys of success,” said Solskjaer.“Some clubs have more patience than others, some clubs don’t have that time and continuity.“For me, with Man United, we have a plan in place and hopefully we can get the results to speed it up. Sometimes it doesn’t go at the speed you want to, but it’s still going in the right direction.“But results, that’s key for us. We’ve got a great chance now, the next few days to turn people’s perceptions.”Just four wins their 14 league games this season has left Solskjaer frustrated, but he insists the mood inside the club is still more positive than when he succeeded Mourinho last season.“This group is a different mentality. Results will change moods, but the mood behind the scenes is positive,” added Solskjaer.“The league table never lies. It’s tight, so we need to put a run together and deserve to move up the table.“I believe in these players and that we can win any game on any given day. For me, when we get players back, when we’ve got the full squad fit, I’m sure we can challenge and move up the table.“It’s two points up to Tottenham, fifth. We ended up sixth last season, we want to improve on that.”Paul Pogba, who repeatedly clashed with Mourinho during their time together at Old Trafford, will not be fit to exact some revenge on the Portuguese with Solskjaer revealing the French midfielder is still some way off a return from a long-term ankle injury.Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic are doubts, leaving Solskjaer’s options in midfield limited.However, Solskjaer insisted he will still drop those he believes and under-performing and that some are playing for their long-term futures at the club.“Players are never undroppable,” said the former United striker.“I’ve been part of a squad where you’re never guaranteed a place in the team and that’s where we’re going to get to.”0Shares0000(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Under pressure: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a crucial week as Manchester United face Tottenham and Manchester City © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 4 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he has the backing of Manchester United fans ahead of a huge week for the Norwegian if he is to maintain the faith of his superiors at the club.United welcome former manager Jose Mourinho back to Old Trafford on Wednesday with the Portuguese having taken Tottenham above the Red Devils in the Premier League table during his first week in charge of Spurs.last_img read more

U.S. coach swaps ‘keepers for semi

first_imgRyan shrugged off any criticism. “That’s not important to me at all,” he said. “From Day 1 I’ve just tried to make decisions that will help us win the next game.” Unbeaten in 51 straight games, the No. 1-ranked United States is seeking its third World Cup title, but Brazil figures to be its toughest test. A victory today (5 a.m. PDT, ESPN2) puts the U.S. squad into Sunday’s final against defending champion Germany in Shanghai. Solo, 25, has been excellent defending crosses and high balls, but Ryan wants Scurry for her scrambling. From news services Greg Ryan will be seen as a savvy strategist if it works. If it fails, he’ll be blamed for benching goalkeeper Hope Solo, who hasn’t yielded a goal in almost 300 minutes in the Women’s World Cup, and switching 24 hours before the match to veteran Briana Scurry for today’s semifinal against Brazil in Hangzhou, China. The U.S. coach surprised almost everyone on Wednesday, going with the 36-year-old Scurry because her quick reflexes could frustrate the tricky, fast-paced Brazilians led by strikers Marta and Cristiane. “The way the Brazilians play in terms of creating off the dribble in the penalty box and making a goalkeeper make reaction-type saves, I think Bri is the best goalkeeper in the world in those situations,” Ryan said. The move split opinions. Scurry is a longtime star. Her decisive penalty-kick save against China in the 1999 final in the Rose Bowl captivated the nation. But this switch could be disruptive to a young, close-knit group. The game is expected to be tight, although the United States has lost only once to Brazil in 22 games. Ryan broke the news to Solo on Tuesday, but she sensed what was coming. “The moment I got tapped on the shoulder saying I need to meet with you, I had a pit in my stomach and I knew what it was,” said Solo, who’s given up only two goals in four games. Germany advances Defending champion Germany broke a shutout record in defeating Norway, 3-0, in a semifinal match at Tianjin, China, and claimed a spot in the final. An own goal by Norway’s Trine Ronning just before halftime sent Germany on its way, and it dominated the second half, with goals by Kerstin Stegemann and Martina Mueller. Germany has gone 529 minutes without conceding a World Cup goal, dating to the 2003 tournament. That broke China’s record, which was 442 minutes in the 1999 and 2003 events. Manchester United upset Manchester United was eliminated from the English League Cup by lower-league Coventry. Man United, which lost at Old Trafford for the first time this season, wasn’t playing its top team, but still had six international players in its lineup. Michael Mifsud scored two goals to lead Coventry.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Six 49ers to watch vs. Bucs with six games to go

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceTAMPA — They lead the league in yards per game. They’re amassed 500 yards in four of their past six games. And yet, they stink with a 3-7 record.The Tampa Bay Buccaneers still could torch the 49ers (2-8) just as other offensive juggernauts have done.Remember in Week 3 when the Kansas City Chiefs scored touchdowns on their first five possessions in a 38-27 win over the visiting 49ers? Or last month’s 22-0 lead the …last_img

New tech, trends, collaborations at Fak’ugesi

first_imgThe Fak’ugesi Conference was one several events during the 10-day Fak’ugesi: African Digital Innovation Festival. Discussions at the conference included the experiences of and challenges in the augmented- and virtual reality industries.Fak’ugesi holds its first animation hackathon, called the ani-marathon, on 11 and 12 September 2017. Participants are animation school students and people working in the industry. The final product is showcased on 16 September 2017 at the festival’s Bloc Party. (Image: Faku’gesi, Facebook)Melissa JavanThe Origins Centre Museum was now a space where technology could be explored, participants at the Fak’ugesi Conference heard, held on Thursday, 14 September 2017. Virtual reality goggles would be available at the centre.The announcement was made shortly after the panel discussion “Future Media: Addressing changes and development of virtual reality industries in South Africa”.It was the first conference held at the annual Fak’ugesi: African Digital Innovation Festival, which took place in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, from 6-16 September. “Fak’ugesi” comes from the isiZulu term meaning “add power” or “put on the electricity”.The event brought technology and innovation to people in a fun, accessible and playful way. There were also workshops, laboratories, exhibitions, hack-a-thons, music, films, artists and games.“Some incredible highlights at this year’s festival will include the Fak’ugesi Conference, the hugely popular Making Weekend, as well as our annual Market Hack event at the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein,” said Tegan Bristow, 2017 Fak’ugesi festival director, before the event.“We’re also thrilled to announce an exciting new curatorial partnership titled Fak’ugesi Beats, a beats, music and technology focus curated by Weheartbeat, who will go on to lead the festival finale Fak’ugesi Beats Bloc Party as part of their larger programme.”The bloc party was on 16 September.Participants tweeted about the festival:#Beetlebot workshop #Fakugesi and @UNHABITAT #BlockbyBlock Come see the free digital exhibition & experience incredible digital innovation! pic.twitter.com/tePWewqiH5— Fak’ugesi Festival (@fakugesi) September 10, 2017Talking collaborations in film, music and design @fakugesi Conference 2017. Live stream now: https://t.co/sHDqpXwdEO pic.twitter.com/JqnV4t55vI— Connect ZA (@Connect_ZA) September 14, 2017#Fakugesibeats lab with @weheartbeat has begun! We are very excited about this collaboration. WeheartBeat x Fak’ugesi Bloc Party 16 Sep 2017 pic.twitter.com/6haQS5RPIM— Fak’ugesi Festival (@fakugesi) September 10, 2017We are back on, it’s Monday at #Fakugesi Kicking off with a 28hour Ani-marathon. The final results to be seen at @weheartbeat Bloc Party! pic.twitter.com/RKso3gX3Ii— Fak’ugesi Festival (@fakugesi) September 11, 2017The Origins CentreThe Origins Centre Museum at the University of Witwatersrand explores and celebrates the history of modern humankind. You can also do DNA ancestry testing at the centre.The virtual reality goggles now available were created by Alt Reality. There will be a virtual reality tour for visitors on 25 September, which will explore various ancestors. The technology makes use of smartphones.The conferenceSpeakers at the conference included artist William Kentridge. He is best known for his animated drawings and is one of South Africa’s most well-established fine artists.During the discussion “Future Media: Addressing changes and development of VR industries in South Africa”, panelists spoke about their experience in animation- and related industries, as well as the challenges they faced.One of those was the high cost of hardware, especially since it changed every several months. Another challenge was that distribution of technologies such as virtual reality was not happening at scale.Rick Treweek of animation company Alt Reality had advice about changing technologies. “[If you have to create something for a client] bank on the concept.“Hardware changes fast. So don’t just develop games for Nokia, but rather games for phones.”Panelist James Gaydon of Don Doo Studios, which specialises in virtual reality, augmented reality and animation, said his company focused on providing training resources for mining companies.For example, said Gaydon, it had created a 3D virtual reality training system for Anglo American that showed what tools should be used underground.“With this model, we took the employees out of dangerous spaces – they didn’t have to go underground to do the training. It makes the training less stressful, because they are not in a dangerous space,” said Gaydon.“Virtual reality is an incredible technology.”Most of the panelists agreed that they foresaw corporates using more of augmented reality versus virtual reality – augmented reality is used with Pokemon Go and virtual reality is used with the film Avatar.You can use augmented reality with a smartphone and you will still see your surroundings, but with virtual reality when you put on the goggles, you are placed within a virtual world – cut off from reality.Other topics discussed at the conference included “Sonic visions: Understanding new collaborations in film, design and music” and “Culture and innovation, a Pan-African Conversion”.Source: Fak’ugesiWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Understanding Keyframe Interpolation in Adobe After Effects

first_imgIntroducing InterpolationWhen you apply keyframes to a layer, After Effects will interpolate the values between them. For this particular animation, I’m using two simple position keyframes to launch my rocket. The keyframes are moving the rocket through space over a period of time. I can precisely control how the rocket moves through space and time by changing the interpolation methods.After Effects uses the Bezier interpolation method, allowing you to control keyframes with bezier handles. I can switch the interpolation method via the Keyframe Interpolation dialogue box, which gives you options for both spatial and temporal interpolation settings. While this might seem a little technically intimidating at first glance, it’s actually quite simple once you understand the lingo. Essentially, these methods specify how After Effects applies bezier handles to keyframes. Let’s have a closer look.Spatial InterpolationSpatial interpolation, as the name implies, refers to space. You can view and manipulate spatial keyframes in the composition panel. If I move the end keyframe in the composition panel, the keyframes don’t move on the timeline panel. This is because the rocket is still traveling over the same period of time, just a different distance. To compensate, it will either travel faster or slower, depending on which direction I drag the keyframe. You can see the change in speed reflected in the speed dots on the motion path. Each dot represents a frame, with more dots signaling a slower speed.Temporal InterpolationOnce again, as the name implies, temporal interpolation refers to time. When you move keyframes left and right on the timeline, you’re moving them in time. For example, if I move the final keyframe in my rocket animation, the keyframes in the composition panel won’t move. There will, however, be a change in the speed dots between the keyframes. As I move the end keyframe closer to the beginning, my speed dots will become few and far between. This is because the rocket is traveling the same distance over a shorter period of time. Therefore, it must move at a much faster rate. The speed dots will reflect this. Now, let’s tweak the animation.Refining the AnimationCurve the Flight PathWhile I have my keyframes in place, the animation looks about as real as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in The Scorpion King. To lend the rocket launch more realism, I need to adjust the interpolation.First, I’ll add a quick curve to the flight path of the rocket, making it turn slightly to the left after it launches. To do this, I’ll grab the Pen tool (G) and place an additional keyframe to the motion path, roughly where I want the turn to begin. After the new keyframe is in place, I’ll select the final keyframe and move it to the left. You’ll notice right away that the motion path is not as smooth as we want it to be. I can fix this with the bezier handles. To straighten out the rocket’s flight path, I’ll use the bezier handles of the last two keyframes.Once I have the keyframes in place and the motion path tuned in, I still have a few problems. First, the rocket is not facing forward. I can quickly remedy this by grabbing the layer and selecting Layer > Transform > Auto-Orient > Orient Along Path. This will actually face the rocket to the left, so I’ll have to rotate by 90 degrees to properly face the rocket forward. My second problem has to do with the speed. It’s still a very unnatural movement, so now I’ll focus on adjusting my keyframes temporally.Ramp Up the SpeedWith my motion path set, I now need to adjust the speed of the rocket to give it a more organic launch. As with most rockets, I want it to slowly ramp up in speed during takeoff. I can fine tune the speed with the Graph Editor. To open this display, I’ll simply press the Graph Editor button in the timeline panel. This interface will show me speed and value changes over time. To make sure I’m viewing the speed settings, I’ll press the Choose Graph Type button and select Edit Speed Graph.Once in the Graph Editor, I will select the position property of my rocket layer to bring up my keyframes in the display. To properly change the launch speed, I need to change the middle keyframe to Rove Across Time. This means it will not lock to a specific time but, rather, adjust based on the timing of the first and last keyframes. To make the keyframe rove, I’ll right-click it in the comp panel and select Rove Across Time. I’ll need to readjust my motion path, and then I’m ready to change the speed.To slowly ramp up the speed of my rocket, I’ll move the keyframes and bezier handles in the Graph Editor until I get a movement I like. For this particular animation, I want the first keyframe to be set to zero pixels/second. Then I’ll grab the bezier handle and drag it as far right as possible. This will slowly ramp up the speed to the next keyframe. Voilà! My rocket now has a smooth takeoff.Looking for more After Effects tutorials? We’ve got you covered.5 Ways To Create A Background in After EffectsVideo Tutorial: How to Stitch 360 Footage in After EffectsVideo Tutorial: How to Loop an Animation in Adobe After EffectsAnimate A ‘Top 10 Countdown’ Screen With After EffectsAnimate Clean Commercial Graphics in Adobe After Effects Keyframe interpolation can improve the realism of your animations and save your workflow some time. Find out how in this video tutorial.Understanding keyframe interpolation in Adobe After Effects will help bring your motion graphics to the next level. Not only will it give your animations more realism, it will also significantly speed up your workflow. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to use keyframe interpolation to give a simple animation more natural movement. In particular, I’m going to give a rocket graphic a more realistic takeoff. In the process, you’ll learn about the importance of spatial and temporal interpolation, and the difference between the two.Let’s get started.last_img read more

Stragglers

first_imgFlightless birdP Ashok Gajapati Raju64, Minister for Civil AviationDuring NDA-I (1998-2004), civil aviation was a clear focus area. It laid down clear policies favouring the entry of private airlines and private players in airport building. The UPA government kept up the policy momentum to fuel a boom in domestic air,Flightless birdP Ashok Gajapati Raju64, Minister for Civil AviationDuring NDA-I (1998-2004), civil aviation was a clear focus area. It laid down clear policies favouring the entry of private airlines and private players in airport building. The UPA government kept up the policy momentum to fuel a boom in domestic air travel. Under NDA-II, civil aviation seems to have gone into retreat, with the civil aviation ministry appearing rudderless under Raju. The opportunities are huge. India’s civil aviation market is one of the fastest growing in the world: it grew by 28 per cent last year. A 70 per cent drop in aviation fuel prices saw even Air India post a small profit this year. But the state-owned airline continues to yield market share to more nimble rivals such as IndiGo. The continued neglect of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation is also cause for concern. by Sandeep Unnithan Also read:#TwoYearsofModi: Prime Minister’s governance record scuffed but intact #TwoYearsofModi: Meet the Panchratna #TwoYearsofModi: The good guys #TwoYearsofModi: The so-so performers  Anant Geete. Photo: Yasbant NegiLacking industryAnant Geete64, Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises of IndiaWhat could have been a transformational ministry for the Modi government has been relegated to the back-burner. There was an expectation that efforts would be made either to exit loss-making public sector enterprises or a credible strategy would be put in place to turn them around. However, in a meeting with journalists in January, Geete admitted that of the 32 PSUs under his ministry, 12 were running losses, and attempts to give heavy industries the much-needed push have been lackadaisical at best. Maharatna Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited alone accounts for 85 per cent of total turnover and 55 per cent of total manpower of all PSEs under the ministry, which has been running into losses. One of the goals stated by the ministry are to make PSEs self-reliant and profit-making. Clearly, Geete is far away from that stated goal.by Shweta Punj with Kiran TareadvertisementRadha Mohan SinghCome a cropperRadha Mohan Singh66, Minister for AgricultureBeing India’s agriculture minister through two consecutive drought years can’t be easy. Singh is also under pressure from the PMO to project an even more ‘farmer-friendly’ face than the UPA. After the spectacular failure of the Soil Health Card Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Singh is placing his bets on the Fasal Bima Yojana, which he says will be a game-changer for farm economics and politics.by Piyush BabeleBandaru Dattatreya. Photo: Yasbant NegiLabouring onBandaru Dattatreya69, Minister for Labour and EmploymentThe inability of the government to push through labour reforms is hanging like an albatross around its neck. The government was left red-faced when it was forced to roll back the Budget proposal to tax EPF withdrawals. The ministry has also been working on consolidating India’s archaic labour laws, all 44 of them, into four codes: wage, industrial relations, social security and safety and working conditions. Consultations on two codes, wage and industrial relations, are over and they are now with the law ministry. Meanwhile, states have gone ahead and taken the lead in pushing through reforms which form the core of ease of doing business. States such as Rajasthan allows companies employing up to 300 staffers to lay off workers without taking government approval. On the jobs data put out by the labour bureau, the ministry is working on expanding the scope of labour-intensive sectors from the current eight. The new methodology is likely to be out by July this year.by Shweta PunjJP Nadda. Photo: Yasbant NegiHealthy regardJP Nadda55, Minister for HealthFar too little funds and far too many unfinished plans left a long to-do list: 17 new AIIMS and 20 cancer institutes, nationwide insurance schemes, new technology for hospitals or National Health Assurance Mission. Instead of the grand plans, the minister focused on the incremental, the familiar and the modest. Meanwhile, pharma firms hiked the cost of essential medicines, a series of scams exposed the corruption in medical education, medical entrance exams came under a cloud, and tainted doctors made a backdoor comeback to the Medical Council of India. All this raised questions on the seriousness of the Modi government’s promises on health. But cool, quiet and unflappable Mr Nadda-dubbed “master strategist” by his peers-busy with assembly elections in Kerala, just carried on.by Damayanti Datta Chaudhary Birender SinghVillage voiceChaudhary Birender Singh70, Minister for Rural DevelopmentInducted into the Narendra Modi cabinet after the November 2014 assembly polls, Birender Singh, the BJP’s seniormost Jat leader in Haryana, has taken flak for the NDA government’s about-turns on the Land Acquisition Bill and NREGA after Modi had declared it a “failed” scheme. Singh claims that even though the UPA started them, “it is the NDA that is making these schemes operational and transparent.”by Piyush BabeleadvertisementUnMSMErisedKalraj Mishra74, Minister for MSMEKalraj Mishra is an old and experienced BJP hand, but none of the big-ticket MSME initiatives, which featured prominently in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election speeches of 2014, have got off the ground. The exit policy promised for sick MSME units, for example, has not seen the light of day. Nor has the MSME Bank. Nor even the plan to revive ailing units in the sector. On the plus side, Mishra may be credited with simplifying the MSME registration process, now reportedly done within five minutes, and the turnaround of brand Khadi.by Santosh Kumar Sadanand GowdaCourting disasterSadanand Gowda63, Minister for Law and JusticeJust as he was transferred from the railways to the law and justice ministry in November 2014, a now legendary battle started brewing between the judiciary and the government over who would appoint the judges in the higher judiciary. A hundred jurists locked horns for months in 2015 before a five-judge bench-to debate what was constitutional, and what political, and where the lines blurred. With the judiciary rejecting the 99th constitutional amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), the government faced a resounding defeat. The shock of it eclipsed law minister Gowda’s first year. His biggest contribution has been to focus on the National Litigation Policy, to reduce government litigation by taking appropriate steps at the pre-litigation stage. by Damayanti DattaMahesh Sharma. Photo: Vikram SharmaCulture heavyMahesh Sharma56, MoS (independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and Civil AviationAs culture and tourism minister, Sharma tells India Today, his biggest achievements are e-visas for tourists and e-ticketing facilities in ASI monuments. The minister has been more in the news for his “threat to impose Indian values and cleanse cultural institutions”. In his words, he has been able to “cleanse” several institutes by “offering [a] facelift in activities, ambience and presentability”. But his critics will point out that the “facelift” is primarily about appointing as heads of institutes individuals happy to toe the party’s ideological line. Two very significant steps taken by the culture and tourism ministry are to digitise and conserve historical documents and to manage a databank of artists and artisans.As MoS for Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma will take heart from the Rs 6 crore operating profit Air India has finally made after a decade. by Kaushik DekaSarbananda Sonowal. Photo: Yasbant NegiPoor sportSarbananda Sonowal53, Minister for Sports and Youth AffairsHis ministry has a programme to support athletes with Olympic prospects, which, thanks to bureaucratic myopia, doesn’t work. For instance, badminton player Parupalli Kashyap, who had been nursing an injury, was sent an air ticket by the ministry to play in the South Asian Games in Assam in February when Kashyap wanted to rest and recover for the Olympics. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive to me is simple: sports and sportspersons must be kept away from any hurdle, including politics,” he says, by way of explanation. by Kaushik Dekaadvertisementlast_img read more

Klopp: Van Dijk may be fit to face Chelsea

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he may use Virgil van Dijk against Chelsea, even if the defender has to play in pain.Van Dijk, 27, missed his team’s cup defeat to Chelsea due to a rib injury and is in doubt for the blockbuster Premier League clash between the sides on Saturday.Klopp is yet to decide if the Netherlands international will feature, as Liverpool head to Stamford Bridge looking to maintain their perfect start to the league season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But the German seemed somewhat upbeat about Van Dijk’s chances of playing.”I will decide if he plays. If the player goes out and says, ‘No chance’, then I cannot decide, but in all other situations I will decide,” Klopp said.”Virgil will try everything to be ready and I know how this sounds but as long as you are not seriously injured, like something broken or ruptured or a proper strain, then the boys play constantly with pain.”And if you have no pain before the game then you will have it after the first challenge. That is how football is.”It is important how you deal with the pain and how strong is the pain, but if he is able to deal with it then he can play.”Liverpool are two points clear atop the table ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge, but will come in knowing that Maurizio Sarri’s side got the better of them earlier in the week. And, while Klopp is wary of Eden Hazard ahead of Saturday’s clash at Stamford Bridge, the German said it was too tough to man-mark the 27-year-old attacker.”When Dortmund played Real Madrid [in the 2013 Champions League semi-final] I played Mario Gotze against Xabi Alonso but no, I will not man-mark Hazard, because he is much more flexible,” he said of taking special precautions against the Belgian star.”He is all over the park. With Xabi Alonso it was clear where he was playing. That is a big difference.”I have the biggest respect for this player. I love it, what a player, but it is not to defend alone.”Yes it is difficult, but we have to do all the things around it: close spaces, make passes more difficult.”  Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more