Foreign Wave in Indian Start-ups

first_imgThe thriving start-up sector in India is increasingly getting an international touch, look and feel. Last month, Twitter co-founder BizStone invested in a New Delhi based healthcare start-up Visit, which connects patients and doctors through an artificial intelligence powered chatbot.Read it at DNA Related Itemslast_img

Private Equity Firms Looking Hard at India?

first_imgIn March, when the international private equity firm Warburg Pincus sold a $560 million stake in Bharti Tele-Ventures, India’s largest publicly traded mobile telephony company, it created a sensation both in that country and among private-equity investors around the world. The transaction, on the Bombay Stock Exchange, was the largest block trade ever on the Indian market. It was also consummated in a breathtaking 28 minutes, prompting stock market observers in India to remark on the unexpected depth and maturity of their equity markets. Private equity investors marveled at the profitability of the investment – in a market that was in its infancy barely a decade ago. Money from U.S. private equity investors was going to Asia back then, but it was to destinations such as Indonesia and Thailand. India did not figure in most investors’ definitions of “Asia” – or at least not in any major way. The March transaction was the largest of a series of retrenchments, over several months, that saw Warburg reduce its 18.5% stake in Bharti to about 6 percent.Warburg, which invested nearly $300 million in Bharti between 1999 and 2001, walked away with a profit of $800 million from selling two-thirds of its holdings. At Bharti’s current share prices, Warburg’s remaining 6 percent stake in the company is worth some $700 million, or more than twice what it originally invested. Bharti, which trails privately held Reliance Infocomm, had a sallow $100 million market capitalization when Warburg entered the scene. It now has a market capitalization of $15 billion. In 1999, Bharti had 104,000 subscribers. It now has 14 million.So is the Bharti deal the tip of the iceberg or, alas, the entire iceberg? Two Warburg veterans at the center of the firm’s activities in India from its inception in 1994 are emphatic that the Indian story is no one-deal wonder.India has done well by Warburg, generating returns in “the mid-30s over 10 years,” the firm’s co-president, Charles R. Kaye, said. In turn, the firm has favored India. Warburg is the largest private equity investor in India by far, having ploughed $811 million into the country as of mid-2005. This amount is more than twice the $362 million Warburg has invested in China, according to data provided by the National Venture Capital Association in Arlington, Va.Bears and BullsWarburg’s vote of confidence in India is not universally shared. Globetrotting financial commentator Jim Rogers has written off the country as a haven for slow-moving bureaucrats who are insensitive to the needs of business. He has predicted a gloomy future for India not only as an economy but also as a country – predicting its breakup into smaller nation states, torn apart by ethnic and religious strife.But Rogers drove through India and sought out its most difficult political and economic terrain. Warburg has an office there. Rogers was dejected by the country’s decaying roads and bridges. Warburg investors see investment opportunity in them. Rogers hated the rickety telephone landlines he encountered in India. Warburg investors, like millions of Indians who are simply bypassing the landlines and migrating to mobile telephony, fell in love with Bharti. The Indian government reluctantly embarked upon political and economic reforms in 1991, after years of stifling government control of business and profligate spending on propping up failing state-run enterprises brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. The reforms have continued unimpeded through four different coalition administrations with seemingly disparate economic ideologies, according to Dalip Pathak, the managing director at Warburg who spearheads the firm’s strategy in India.“There may be debate about the pace of reform, but not about its direction. Indian businessmen today very rarely point to government as an obstacle,” Pathak says. As for that vaunted Indian bureaucracy, he mentions that Warburg repatriated its profits in 48 hours. It’s easy to take money out of India, perhaps even easier than bringing it in, he jests.What has Warburg discovered in India during the last decade? Pathak lists the developments that are exciting investors like him: Foreign institutional investment has boomed (more than $12 billion in 2003-04) as curbs on foreign investment in Indian industries have been relaxed; there is a virtually open skies approach to investment from the United States; and gross domestic product has grown at rates between 6.5 percent and 8 percent in recent years. The volatility of the Indian rupee has been curbed and inflation has declined. “There are smart people running that economy,” Pathak says.Declining inflation has meant lower interest rates, and in turn has goosed the equity markets. Since October 2004, the Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index, or Sensex, of 30 blue chip stocks has added 2,500 points, to cross 8,000. “We made a big bet on interest rates coming down, and it was the right bet to make,” Pathak says. He even compares India favorably with parts of Europe in one surprising aspect: “Labor issues are far more difficult in France than in India,” he says.High ConfidenceOne of the biggest changes Pathak says he has noticed has nothing to do with numbers. “There has been a complete change in the confidence level of people in India,” he says. The “tipping point” here was the contribution of Indian information technology companies to averting a worldwide Y2K meltdown. Suddenly, India’s small IT companies went global, and the government – long accustomed to regulating big industry but unfamiliar with IT – had nothing to do with it. Now “most people believe they will not let government get in their way,” Pathak says, “and that’s why we keep putting money there.”There’s a swagger in the step of India’s business, and the country’s government is showing signs it has caught the contagion, Kaye says. According to a 2003 Goldman Sachs report, “India’s economy could be larger than all but the U.S. and China in 30 years.” It’s a prediction that doesn’t appear far-fetched to Kaye and Pathak.As Warburg’s substantial divestment from Bharti shows, however, the investment firm has not lost its head over India. “Bharti has reached the scale and quality level that ensures it will have a long and bright future,” Kaye says. But that very milestone means it is “less appropriate from a risk-reward perspective.” That’s investor-speak for “there’s not enough upside left” in the company.Warburg’s other notable holdings in India include Rediff Communication, the country’s largest consumer web portal; Gujarat Ambuja Cement; Sintex Industries, an industrial plastic-goods manufacturer with a 60 percent share of the market for water-storage tanks; Kotak Mahindra, a financial services conglomerate; Nicholas Piramal India, a major pharmaceutical company, and WNS Global Services, a business process outsourcing company.As the list shows, Warburg’s bets in India are hardly reckless. The firm generally sticks to the tried, true, big and stock-market listed. That is rarely a winning strategy for a private equity investor in the United States, but can be in India, where the pent-up demands of a billion people leave plenty of room to grow for even the largest conglomerates. So in India, the investment firm is not spending much time seeking out early-stage companies or funky technology. In fact a couple of its forays into tech were jettisoned. They involved minor investments, under $2 million each, Pathak says.“Larger companies are less risky; listed companies are less risky,” he says, citing the transparency afforded by India’s capital markets. One other reason to pick big over small, in Pathak’s view: Bigger Indian companies are increasingly seeking capital and acquisitions abroad, and if they play foul with Warburg, “they know they will never get investment abroad.”But success has brought competition. Several significant names in the U.S. private equity world are now operating in India, among them Intel Capital, Oak Hill Capital Management, the Carlyle Group, Citigroup Venture Capital International, General Atlantic Partners, CSFB Private Equity, and the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS. Most of them have invested only in the double digits so far – Citigroup has invested as little as $23 million. But “we need to keep on our toes,” Pathak says. Warburg is now looking to participate in India’s raging real estate market, he adds. “Last year we were not.”“Being smart and having a lot of money is not a differentiator anymore,” Kaye says. So Warburg is working assiduously to become a recognizable brand in India.Reprinted from Knowledge@Wharton (http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu) (c) 2005 Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.Special to Little India.   Related Itemslast_img read more

U.S. Imposes Anti-Dumping Duty on Indian, Chinese Steel Flanges

first_imgAfter the United States found in its preliminary investigation that India and China provided subsidies to exporters, the Trump administration decided to slap an anti-dumping duty on the stainless steel flanges imported from the two countries, PTI reported.The department of commerce found that exporters from China and India have, respectively, sold stainless steel flanges in the United States at 257.11 per cent and 18.10 to 145.25 per cent less than fair value, according to an official statement released on March 21.The commerce department then directed the U.S Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of the stainless steel flanges from China and India, based on these preliminary rates. Imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India were valued at an estimated $16.3 million and $32.1 million, respectively in 2016.This decision comes close on the heels of the anti-dumping duty put on finer denier polyester staple fiber from the very same countries in January. The department of commerce was reported to have found that exporters from China and India received subsidies of 41.73 to 47.55 per cent and 9.50 to 25.28 per cent, respectively.The investigation by the department was prompted by a petition by the Coalition of American Flange Producers, which included Core Pipe Products Inc. (Carol Stream, IL) and Maass Flange Corporation (Houston). “The United States will not sit back and watch as our domestic businesses are destroyed by unfair foreign government subsidies and dumping,” U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.“This administration is taking fair and transparent action on behalf of American industry to defend businesses and workers while we continue reviewing the facts related to this decision,” he said.Since last January, the commerce department has initiated 102 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, which is a 96 per cent increase from Jan. 20, 2016 through March 20, 2017, the statement said.The commerce department will announce final determination in these investigations in June.The U.S. anti-dumping law provides the country’s businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism for relief from the harmful effects of unfair pricing of imports. Commerce currently maintains 428 anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade, the statement said. Related ItemscommodityExportUnited Stateslast_img read more

PGIMER doctors strike work to protest NMC Bill

first_imgRoutine medical services were suspended at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, on Saturday, following a strike called by resident doctors against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.The PGIMER in a statement said all the routine services, including OPDs and elective procedures, will remain suspended till further notice in view of the indefinite strike call given by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD).Emergency and ICU services, however, continued to work as the ARD decided not to compromise on emergency care.‘Draconian Bill’ARD president Uttam Kumar said resident doctors have decided to join the nationwide protest against the NMC legislation, which he said was a “draconian Bill”.“The non-essential services in our institute [PGIMER] have been suspended indefinitely, without compromising on emergency and ICU care,” he said.Escalation warning“Until our concerns are addressed appropriately, our strike will continue indefinitely. We will not hesitate to escalate by shutting down even our emergency and ICU services if expedited measures are not taken,” said Dr. Kumar.PGIMER authorities have informed patients that all routine services, including OPDs and elective procedures, would remain suspended till further notice.Doctors have been protesting against some of the provisions of the NMC Bill which was passed by the Rajya Sabha earlier this week. The Lok Sabha had cleared the proposed law on July 29. The NMC will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).The protesting doctors have raised concerns regarding the role of community health providers (CHP) vis-a-vis a trained doctors and the NEXT (National Exit Examination). The Bill empowers the Centre to override the decisions and recommendations of the National Medical Commission and autonomous boards.The protesters also pointed out that the Bill would decrease the representation of elected members from 75% (as was in Medical Council of India) to 20% in NMC.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

A harvest of crushed hopes: Why number of hysterectomies are high in Maharashtra’s Beed district

first_imgAt 34, Sangeeta Kale from Maharashtra’s Beed district is a mother of two college-going sons, aged 19 and 17. Married off to a sugar-cane cutter at the age of 13 even before she had hit puberty, Kale had little inkling of the hard life ahead. Kale, who had her first child when she was just 16, worked through her pregnancy with husband Sadashiv in the fields of western Maharashtra, sometimes spending up to 16 hours cutting and loading the cane crop into trucks during the harvesting months — October to March. Her life remained the same after her first and second deliveries and subsequent years.However, she found the routine backbreaking work daunting on days her menstrual cycle set in, as the fields had no toilets. She couldn’t take leave for fear of being heavily penalised. Finally, fed up with these troubles and other recurrent gynaecological issues ranging from white discharge to pain, Kale underwent hysterectomy — uterus-removal surgery — last July.Just like Kale, many women, some of whom are just in their 20s, in Beed have undergone this life-altering procedure, which is otherwise prescribed only for a handful of medical conditions and often performed as a last resort.What is even more shocking is that Kale was the seventh woman in her extended family, living in Beed’s Umrad Jahagir village, to have undergone the operation. “Frustrated with period pain, white discharges and foul smell, when I approached a doctor, I was told my uterus was damaged and hysterectomy was the way out,” says Kale.The drought-stricken Beed district in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region came under the scanner this May after reports came to light about the unusually high rate of hysterectomies among its women, especially among those who migrate to neighbouring districts to work as sugar-cane cutters.State figures say that in three years (2016-2019), as many as 4,605 women have had their uterus removed in Maharashtra. Civil rights organisations allege that the hysterectomy rate in Beed is 14 times more than that for the State or the country. In Umrad Jahagir village where the Kales reside, the number of ‘womb-less women’ now stands at 50.Pushed into debtSitting on the floor of her tin-roofed shanty, Kale, slightly under five-feet tall, points towards her back and knees. “The uterus-removal surgery has no doubt relieved me from the menstrual cramps and vaginal discharge, but it has brought along back and joint pain. On many days, the pain is unbearable. It’s like I have aged at a greater speed,” she says.“The doctor assured me that removing the uterus was the best option. Though I was taking medication, my infections were recurring. I had already undergone a sterilisation surgery, so there was anyway no scope of having more children. Hysterectomy seemed like the right thing to do. But later, the after-effects started,” rues Kale, who missed out on the last sugar-cane cutting season as she was bedridden for three months after the procedure. Her decision to undergo the procedure has brought not just health issues but severe economic distress to the already impoverished household.Her husband holds her responsible for the debt of ₹2 lakh that has piled on them. At first, he blamed her one-off leaves from work. Then, he pointed fingers at her for the ₹30,000 that they had to borrow for the hysterectomy. The taunts have gotten worse since they missed out on the last season of sugar-cane cutting.  Ashok Anand, head of gynaecology at the state-run J.J. Hospital in Mumbai, is amused at the reasons cited. “Neither a bulky cervix nor persistent demands by a patient warrant a hysterectomy. Her symptoms were more likely due to cervicitis, which could be treated through conservative medication,” says Anand.Since news on the hysterectomies in Beed came to light, questions have been raised on the possible role of the medical fraternity in making women undergo the procedure. State data showed that 99 private hospitals in Beed district have carried out 4,605 hysterectomies since April 2016. Eleven of these hospitals have carried out more than 100 hysterectomies in the three-year period.‘Gross exploitation’The top five in the list are: Pratibha Nursing Home (277); Tidke Hospital (196); Shree Bhagwan Hospital (193); Gholve Hospital (186); and Veer Hospital (179). In comparison, 2,000-odd hysterectomies have been performed in the public sector in the same period in Beed. “Instead of getting rational treatment in public health-care facilities, the women are pushed towards irrational treatments in the private sector,” says Abhay Shukla, national co-convenor of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan. “It’s nothing but gross exploitation of vulnerabilities of women and a failure of the state,” he says. Activists also rue that the official count could be under-reported as the state banks on these same hospitals to furnish the figures.Local doctors, however, feel the criticism is uncalled for and insist that for most of the women who underwent the surgery, their health warranted it. Gynaecologist Madhav Sanap, who has run the Shree Bhagwan Hospital since 1998, is prompt to assert that there may be doctors who conduct unindicated procedures, but he is not one of them. “Of the 193 surgeries that I have carried out, only four were of women under 35. I can provide history for each and every case,” he says, while arguing that the hype around hysterectomies in Beed requires an in-depth analysis. “It will prove that the district has rates comparable to other parts of the State,” he says.Poor hygieneSanjay Veer, a gynaecologist and owner of Veer Hospital, says no one goes under the knife unless there is real suffering. “These women live in conditions of extremely poor hygiene. They don’t have access to toilets. They can’t afford sanitary pads. Open defecation is rampant in their villages as near the sugar-cane farms where they work,” he says.“The core issues are poverty, illiteracy, lack of sanitation and access to water. Doctors are being made scapegoats in this issue, which is largely a socio-economic one and requires a larger solution,” he adds.The National Family Health Survey data show that the rate of hysterectomies in Maharashtra is 2.6%, while the national average is 3.2%. But when it comes to Beed, a 2018 survey of 200 women by Maharashtra State Commission for Women revealed the extent of the problem as around 36% were found to have had undergone hysterectomies.According to Beed’s civil surgeon Ashok Thorat, there is an absence of enough data to carry out comparisons with other districts in Maharashtra. “Our primary investigations have shown that the prevalence of hysterectomies is 17 per 1,000 women in Beed. In some parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and other States, the prevalence is about 50 to 60 per 1,000 women,” says Thorat, adding that a detailed survey is under way to get to the root cause.In fact, a circular dated April 16, has made it compulsory for private gynaecologists in Beed to seek permission from a civil surgeon for every hysterectomy procedure barring emergency procedures, which have to be reported within a span of 24 hours. The circular warns doctors against portraying all kinds of tumours, growths and swelling on uterus as cancers.“The number of hysterectomies has gone down by 50% since we implemented the SOP [Standard Operating Procedure],” Beed’s collector Astik Kumar Pandey tells The Hindu. “Right now, all the hospitals are under our scanner. All hysterectomies in the past, especially of women who are under 35, are being scrutinised,” he says.Activists say that the menace of unwarranted hysterectomies affects not just sugar-cane cutters but women in general. “Early marriages and child birth, fear of cancer and the loss of wages during menstruation have all culminated in the high rate of hysterectomies. The government has no clue about the ground reality as it has never maintained any data,” says health activist Abhijit More who terms Beed’s situation as a blatant violation of rights of women living in the district, who are uneducated and therefore ill-equipped to make the right health choices. Six out of the seven women from the extended Kale family in Umrad have undergone hysterectomies. | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury Kale relied on the testimonies of her four sisters-in-law and two of their mothers-in law, who had all been through the procedure, when she got admitted to the Veer Hospital located on the Beed-Jalna road for the surgery. “None of us has ever been to school. But the doctor is educated. His word was assuring for us,” she says.Kale’s sister-in-law Vaishali, 33, was also advised a hysterectomy when she sought medical help after grappling with vaginal discharge and recurrent infections for years. “I was told my uterus was damaged and getting it removed was best. I had two sons, so we thought the most important job of the womb was done,” says Vaishali.Scores of women in Beed offer a similar narrative. Shockingly, most don’t have medical reports or any papers to show the history of their treatment.Their individual stories all follow a pattern. Women would commonly consult their doctors for health issues lasting up to a year, but then complain of recurrent infections. Sooner or later, hysterectomy would be recommended to them as a permanent solution.However, they were never told how the surgery could lead to hormonal imbalance, calcium deficiency and constant body ache, among other things.In Beed, open defecation remains a ground reality. Many households do have built toilet blocks built under the government’s Swachh Bharat scheme but their members still defecate in the open due to lack of water. For the women in the district, it is a vicious cycle as they have no sanitary facilities either at their workplace or at their homes. And the nature of work in a sugar-cane field has only worsened their situation.An estimated 5-6 lakh people, including pregnant and lactating women, migrate from Beed to other parts of Maharashtra, and border areas of Karnataka, to work as sugar-cane cutters. Hailing from a region that is perennially under a spell of drought and not having many avenues of employment, Beed residents continue to live in abject poverty and have to rely on sugar-cane cutting to make a living. Traditionally, a couple is hired by a mukadam (contractor) as a single ‘unit’, known as ek koyta (one sickle). The contractor pays them uchal (a lump sum) in advance, ranging from ₹80,000 to ₹1.2 lakh, for a period of four to six months. The pairs migrate after Deepavali every year.While a typical workday starts at around 6 a.m. for the couple, the woman gets up earlier, at 4 a.m., and cooks food for the entire family before she sets out. Children are left behind in temporary shanties near the sugar-cane farms as their parents toil under the sun.Two-and-a-half tonnes a dayLaxmi Chauhan, 44, from Beed’s Vanjarwadi village and her husband Nanabhau, 45, have been migrating for sugar-cane cutting for the past 25 years. “We manage to cut about two-and-a-half tonnes of sugar-cane in a day. A tonne of sugar-cane earns us anywhere between ₹350 to ₹400 depending on the seasonal rate,” says Nanabhau, a father of two sons, both in their twenties.Soon after the birth of their children, Chauhan began experiencing pain in the abdomen, which resulted in her frequent absences from work and low productivity. “Working during the menstrual cycle was anyway difficult,” says Chauhan, adding that she had to make multiple strikes with the sickle to cut a single cane, a process which made her feel further weak and unwell. It also meant lower earnings for the couple.“We earned less than the uchal and had to repay the remaining amount to the mukadam. Also, when one failed to report to work, the mukadam demanded a fine of ₹500, which had to be paid in cash and was distributed among other workers who took the extra workload,” says Chauhan.Troubled by her own dwindling productivity and the couple’s mounting debt, Chauhan finally decided to see a doctor at the Veer Hospital in 2014. Following a sonography, she was told that her uterus had got swollen and this could lead to cancer. Within the next few days, the couple hurriedly collected ₹25,000 and Chauhan got her uterus removed, as advised by the doctor. She was hospitalised for seven days.“Since then, my body has begun swelling and I am in pain every day. But I feel better than before,” she says. Weight gain, which Chauhan has experienced, is another inevitable side effect of hysterectomy. When asked if the uterus removal was at the suggestion of a mukadam, the couple deny it. “We trusted the doctor’s word,” says Nanabhau, adding that they had sought help with the intention of getting medical treatment and not surgery. “When the doctor told us about the risk of cancer, we did not want to take any chances,” he says.Coaxed by contractors?Following reports on the high number of hysterectomies performed in Beed, the Maharashtra administration launched an investigation on June 18. Among the many aspects that the authorities are probing, one is whether the mukadams push women to undergo the procedure to ensure better returns. “There could be a nexus between profit-driven doctors and the mukadams. This definitely needs to be investigated, among other things,” says Neelam Gorhe, who is heading the seven-member investigation committee that will submit its report to the Chief Minister and Health Minister this month.A mukadam is a well-connected villager who reaches out to prospective labourers from the nearby areas. With frequent droughts and failing crops, many couples prefer to migrate for income generation, even if they have acres of farmland back home.“The poverty is so ingrained that the advance taken by couples is exhausted very quickly. When they fail to cut sugar-cane worth the advance paid to them, we are left with no choice but to pursue them to return the remaining money,” says Bappa Kotwade, 42, a mukadam from Beed’s Irla Dubba village. Having been a mukadam for the past 15 years, he supplies up to 200 koyatas (couples) to sugar-cane factories every season.While some labourers are gadiwale (couples with a pair of bullocks and a rented cart), some work as toliwale (groups that transport harvested sugar cane in trucks or tractors).“Some men are alcoholics and recovering money from them becomes a task. Some couples disappear midway. There are some who never pay back. We have to be taskmasters to deal with this,” says Kotwade, adding that they forge long-standing relationships with the labourers and keep paying them small amounts for food and health expenses to ensure that they come back every season.But it is not always hunky-dory for the labourers, some of whom have been beaten up and even illegally detained in factories when they failed to cough up the money. “There have been murders too,” says Kotwade, citing a story of a mukadam who had a scuffle with a labourer while demanding the money. “The labourer died due to serious injuries and the mukadam landed in jail.”Kotwade, however, rubbishes the allegation that mukadams suggest hysterectomies to women. “It is a vicious cycle of hard manual labour, grinding poverty and bad living conditions. Uterus or no uterus, they have to work to earn. Why should we tell them anything?” he says, adding that women have been undergoing hysterectomies for years in Beed.Let down by doctors?A muddy pathway through a farm in Vanjarwadi leads to the house of Sarika Chandrasen Kurlekar, a frail 32-year-old. In the village, where 56 women have undergone uterus removal procedures, Kurlekar is the youngest to have been operated. She has never migrated for cane cutting but, like all other women, had been complaining of continuous white discharge that caused fatigue. Her medical record from Matoshri Hospital cites “bulky cervix and persistent demand by patient” as the reason for the hysterectomy.last_img read more

Ex-IPS officer seeks protection after Bihar MLA goes missing

first_imgFormer IPS officer from Bihar Amitabh Kumar Das on Wednesday sought police protection citing threat to his life from missing Independent MLA Anant Singh. The Mokama Legislator has been absconding since August 16 when an AK-47 rifle, 26 cartridges and two bombs were recovered from his ancestral home in Ladma village, Patna district.“In March 2009, I had given confidential information regarding possession of AK-56, AK-47 and other sophisticated weapons stacked at Anant Singh’s ancestral home. Now after 10 years, with the recovery of AK-47 from his home, my information has been found correct. I have received information that a conspiracy is being hatched for my murder and he [the MLA] has given supari [contract] for this… So, I should be immediately provided two cops from BMP-1 [Bihar Military Police] for my protection,” Mr. Das wrote in a letter to Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey.Premature retirementA 1994-batch IPS officer of Bihar cadre, Mr. Das was given premature retirement in August 2018. A native of Darbhanga district, Mr. Das is no stranger to controversy. He had accused a few State BJP leaders, including a Union Minister, of having close connections with Ranvir Sena, an upper caste private militia, said to be responsible for several massacres of Dalits in the State.Mr. Das had also revealed the names of prominent musclemen-turned-contractors and their areas of operation in the Railways. In 2018, he was promoted as IG after the intervention of the Central Administrative Tribunal.On March 5, 2009, he had written a letter to Bihar’s Chief Election Commissioner Sudhir Kumar Rakesh about illegal weapons stacked at the MLA’s ancestral home. Mr. Singh was then a JD(U) Legislator.Mr. Singh has been booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms and Explosive Acts. His residence in Patna was raided on Saturday but he was missing.Sources said the MLA said he is likely to “surrender on Thursday or Friday”.last_img read more

Missing viewpoints in Kashmir newspapers

first_imgEditorials are vanishing from dozens of Kashmir dailies, an indication of the pulls and pressures the media face after the Centre’s decision to revoke Jammu & Kashmir’s special status on August 5.Prominent dailies such as Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Observer resumed publications from August 17, after an unusual six-day holiday on the occasion of Id, but without the editorials.Though Greater Kashmir resumed editorial space on Wednesday, dailies such as the Kashmir Age are still skipping editorial pieces.“Absence of communication lines and the staff’s difficulty to move around is making it difficult to come up with the content on a daily basis,” a GK staffer told The Hindu.In all dailies, there is an absence of any opinions or editorials on the Centre’s latest decision to suspend Article 370. Many smaller dailies have stopped writing editorials, and instead publish syndicated columns. However, there are a few newspapers such as the Rising Kashmir and the Brighter Kashmir, which have not ceased writing the editorials. “It is like walking the razor’s edge to balance your editorial position. Many newspapers have decided not to publish editorials fearing the axe will fall on them in case of any imbalance. We have decided not to express our opinion,” said Farooq Wani, the editor of Brighter Kashmir.last_img read more

Mob attacks policemen in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district

first_imgA video in which a group of villagers are seen thrashing some policemen in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar went viral on social media on Sunday. The villagers turned violent after the bodies of two local youths who were missing for the last two days, were found in a rivulet outside the village.In the video a policeman, blood oozing from his nose, is seen trying to pacify the villagers beating him with long bamboo sticks. Later, the villagers chased away the policemen.The incident took place at Madhuban Desi village on Friday. Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said the policemen were attacked when they went to take possession of the bodies. The police fired in the air to disperse the mob. However, three policemen were injured in the incident and taken to the primary health centre for treatment. Additional police force was sent to control the situation, Mr. Kumar added.The villagers alleged that the two youths were beaten to death and their bodies dumped near the rivulet by someone, but the policemen said prima facie it was a case of drowning.“The cause of death is yet to be ascertained”, the SSP told journalists in Muzaffarpur.last_img read more

Gujarat HC rejects farmers’ petitions challenging land acquisition for bullet train

first_imgIn a set back to farmers in Gujarat, the High Court has rejected their petitions challenging the land acquisition process for the ambitious Ahmedabad Mumbai bullet train project on grounds of “inadequate” compensation.In their petitions, farmers had challenged the Gujarat government’s notification for the acquisition of their land, contending that the State had no power to acquire land for a multi-State project like that of the bullet train.‘Higher compensation’The High Court, however, has said the aggrieved farmers can approach the government to seek higher compensation for their lands.The Bench upheld the validity of the Land Acquisition Act, amended by the Gujarat government in 2016 and subsequently approved by the President.The High Court Bench of Justice Anant Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav declined to entertain the petitions challenging the land acquisition for Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, a 508 km-long project being undertaken by National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited.The Division Bench verdict now clears a major hurdle in the way of the ambitious project that is being implemented with funding from Japan.Upholding the validity of the Gujarat amendment in 2016 to the Centre’s land acquisition law, the Division Bench noted that though the project is a multi-State, the Centre had approved executive powers to Gujarat to acquire land for it.Retrospective effectThe court has observed that the President has given assent to this delegation of power, with retrospective effect, to Gujarat, hence it enjoys legal validity for undertaking the land acquisition process.The court, however, noted that initially the State had no power, but after the President’s assent, this was authorised.The court was also of the opinion that the provision of not conducting social impact assessment under the amended Act does not fall into the category of “excessive delegation”, as contended by the agitating farmers in their petitions.The court justified the State’s move to skip mandatory provisions of conducting Social Impact Assessment (SIA).The court said that the SIA process carried out under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) guidelines was appropriate and satisfactory.More than 5,000 of the total 6,900 farmers affected by the project had registered objections to the land acquisition process initiated by the State authorities.Challenging verdictAccording to sources, farmers are likely to approach the apex court challenging the Gujarat HC’s verdict.In 2018, five farmers from Surat district moved the court against Gujarat’s land acquisition notification. In their petitions, they claimed that the Centre has the power to issue the notification, and the State government does not have the power to acquire land, for the multi-State railway project.Though these five petitioners withdrew their petition, more than 100 farmers from the south and central districts of Gujarat moved the High Court, challenging the amendments made by Gujarat in the Central land acquisition law.Nearly a 1,000 farmers, while the hearing was ongoing, had filed a one-page affidavit registering their objection on the land acquisition process and demanded the nature of compensation should be aligned with the Centre’s land acquisition law, which incorporates socio-economic impact of the project on the people affected by it.Current valueThe farmers also insisted that compensation should be based on the current market value of the land.The Railways, however, claimed that the State government has power to acquire land, as the President’s assent had already delegated these powers to it.The bullet train corridor will have 12 stations across its 508-km stretch between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.last_img read more

Tamang on hunger strike

first_imgOver the past 72 hours, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang has been on hunger strike demanding 20% bonus for the tea garden workers of the Darjeeling hills. Since the start of the festive season, politics in the Darjeeling hills has been centred around bonus for the tea garden workers who earn ₹176 a day. On October 4, several trade unions working with tea workers organised a 12-hour strike after the talks between tea garden workers and the managements failed.The demands of about 50,000 workers working in 87 tea gardens in the hills were taken up by Mr. Tamang, who on October 6 sat on an indefinite hunger strike in their support. “His health has deteriorated, but he remains firm on the demand that the workers have a right to 20% bonus,” Anit Thapa, chairperson of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and a close aide of Mr. Tamang, told The Hindu.Both Mr. Tamang and Mr. Thapa are close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The GJM faction led by these two leaders contested the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls with the support of the Trinamool Congress.On whether the State government is helping in the cause of Mr. Tamang, Mr. Thapa said, “The government is cooperating. But the decision on the bonus has to be taken at a tripartite meeting.” Meeting on Oct. 11 He added that the meeting scheduled on October 17 will be advanced. By the evening, it was announced that the meeting will be held on October 11.Saman Pathak, leader of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions, the labour arm of the CPI(M), said the demand of tea garden workers of Darjeeling hills is justified. “We support the issue on which Mr Tamang is on hunger strike. But it is a political decision of the GJM leader to sit on a hunger strike. He did not consult any trade unions fighting for the rights of tea workers on this issue,” Mr. Pathak said. Mr. Tamang’s decision to sit on an indefinite strike is also seen as an attempt to revive his support base in the hills, particularly after the people in the region voted overwhelmingly for the BJP candidate, who is a supporter of the other GJM faction led by Bimal Gurung.Meanwhile, the issue has taken a political turn with Darjeeling MP Raju Bista issuing a press release earlier this week targeting the TMC government and Mr. Tamang. The State government could easily include tea gardens under the Minimum Wages Act, but they have not done so, Mr. Bista said. He added that he has raised the issue in Parliament because he “believes they have been deprived and they deserve better working conditions, wages and living standards”.last_img read more

AVC: Thailand escapes China in thrilling five-set

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Japan, Kazakhstan take wins in AVC classification Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension View comments Jin Ye had 19 points to lead China.center_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding The Thais are now at 2-0 while the Chinese at 0-2.Skipper Pleumjit Thinkaow had the fitting final hit to finish off China as her squad takes an early head start for a top four rank come the quarterfinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHattaya Bamrungsuk had 19 points to lead Thailand but had plenty of help as Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Chatchu-on Moksri had 18 points apiece.Thinkaow produced 12 points to aid her team’s efforts with Wilavan Apinyapong adding 10. BIÑAN, Laguna—Thailand staked its undefeated record and broke through China in five grueling sets, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 23-25, 15-12, in the classification stage of the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship Sunday at Alonte Sports Arena.ADVERTISEMENT K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Nextlast_img read more

Azarenka withdraws from US Open amid child custody dispute

first_imgLATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games “I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s U.S. Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” Azarenka said in a statement.In last week’s post, Azarenka wrote that she separated from Leo’s father shortly after Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“As we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the U.S. Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California,” Azarenka wrote, “which I’m not willing to do.”Azarenka has not played since Wimbledon, and the former No. 1 player is now ranked 204th. She was the runner-up in New York in 2012 and 2013, losing in the final each year to Serena Williams. Those were also the years that Azarenka won her two Grand Slam singles titles in Australia. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short programcenter_img FILE – In this Sept. 3, 2015, file photo, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Yanina Wickmayer, of Belgium, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka says her participation in the U.S. Open is in doubt because she might not be able to bring her baby son with her to New York as a result of her separation from the child’s father. Azarenka says via a posting on Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, that she is “faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)NEW YORK — Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the U.S. Open on Monday because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father.The 28-year-old star from Belarus gave birth to her first child in December and she returned to the tour in June. She detailed the dispute with the boy’s father in a long Twitter post last week, saying she might not be able to bring her son with her to New York.ADVERTISEMENT Williams, who is pregnant with her first child, also will not play in this year’s U.S. Open. On the men’s side, three top-10 players have withdrawn with season-ending injuries: defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Rugby World Cup winner reveals heart surgery after tick bite MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

SEA Games: Comedy own goal dampens Malaysia’s golden day

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC It proved the game’s only goal and brought a tame end to another wildly successful day for Malaysia, who reached a record 140 gold medals to finish top of the table for the first time since 2001.Haziq was the fall guy but the Thais were well worth their 1-0 half-time lead after Chenrop Samphaodi had curled a shot wide and Suriya Singhui saw a strong header saved by the goalkeeper.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMalaysia’s goalkeeper Muhammad Haziq bin Nadzli reacts after losing to Thailand during their men’s football final match of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at Shah Alam Stadium, outside Kuala Lumpur on August 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANAThailand also had an early penalty shout turned down and just prior to the own goal, Phicha Au-Tra narrowly failed to connect with a cross which trickled across the face.After the break, Worachit Kanitsribumphen was twice denied by last-ditch defending from the Malaysians, while Sasalak saw a menacing shot go wide. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malaysia were restricted to the odd attempt from distance before Danial Amier fizzed one over on 69 minutes and Syazwan Andik went close with a curling shot 12 minutes from time.The men’s football final was the last act of a bumper penultimate day, with 60 gold medals up for grabs and Malaysia taking 29 of them to reach an unbeatable 140 for the tournament.Malaysia have amassed more than one-third of the 404 gold medals at the mini-Olympics, smashing their previous record of 111 and sealing top spot for the first time in 16 years.Thailand trailed on 69 golds and Vietnam had 58, meaning the second and third-placed teams totaled less than Malaysia between them.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES MOST READcenter_img SEA Games: PH squash team settles for another silver LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments Thailand’s football team players celebrate after defeating Malaysia during their men’s football final match of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at Shah Alam Stadium, outside Kuala Lumpur on August 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANAMalaysian goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli scored a horrendous own goal to hand Thailand a 1-0 win in the Southeast Asian Games football final on Tuesday, puncturing the hosts’ celebrations as they finished top of the medals table.In a moment that will haunt Haziq, the 19-year-old punched a corner into his own net on 39 minutes, silencing 80,000 fans at the cavernous Shah Alam Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

Nara upsets 2004 champion Kuznetsova at US Open

first_imgSEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ ‘Not a god’: Federer tops cramping Youzhny in 5 sets at Open Svetlana Kuznetsova, of Russia, returns a shot from Marketa Vondrousova, of Czech Republic, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — Past U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset in the second round by 116th-ranked Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.This was Nara’s first victory in nine career matches against opponents ranked in the top 10. It also allowed her to get to the third round at the U.S. Open for the first time since 2013, equaling her best showing at any Grand Slam tournament.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses The No. 8-seeded Kuznetsova’s exit Thursday night means five of the top eight women in the field are already gone before the third round. She joins No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 6 Angelique Kerber and No. 7 Johanna Konta. Kerber was the defending champion.Kuznetsova won the title at Flushing Meadows in 2004 and was the runner-up in 2007. She also was the French Open champion in 2009. The Russian came to New York this year as one of eight women with a chance to move up to No. 1 in the WTA rankings after the tournament.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View commentslast_img read more

NU rides MVP tandem of Nabor-Santiago en route to perfect run

first_imgMOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nabor wound up with the Finals MVP award on the exact same night that Santiago was officially named conference MVP. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img READ: Jaja Santiago fittingly named PVL MVPThe 18-year-old Nabor was at her best in the grandest stage as she and Santiago led NU to a finals sweep of Far Eastern University in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNabor had 46 excellent sets in Game 1 on Wednesday before putting up 45 on Saturday while Santiago unleashed 55 points in the finals duel.READ: Lady Bulldogs sweep way to PVL Collegiate crown Jaja Santiago was the unstoppable force while Jasmine Nabor kept National University’s engine running like a well-oiled machine.Nabor, the placid playmaker, set the table for Santiago and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs’ power hitters like Aiko Urdas and Risa Sato, who more often than not finished off her well-placed sets in emphatic fashion.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Alejandro frustrated with NU’s lack of effort against UE Read Next View comments BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentlast_img read more

Pat Riley’s 50th anniversary in the NBA has arrived

first_imgThe anniversary isn’t an enormous deal to Riley: He doesn’t consider this his 50th anniversary season, since he wasn’t in the league for a couple of those years. He’ll celebrate on Saturday, albeit for a different reason — his son is getting married, a happy coincidence in dates.“I’m tremendously proud of being able to hang in, because this is what I wanted to do, hang in under all circumstances,” Riley said. “I went from a player to a head coach and once I became a head coach that changed the direction of my life and my thinking forever. I became a different person than I was. Becoming a head coach pushed me through the door of ultimate, incredible responsibility.”Riley doesn’t remember much about his first game: He had 10 points in San Diego’s 99-98 loss to the St. Louis Hawks. But the rough moments from the early years remain etched in his mind, like when Rockets coach Jack McMahon told him he was the worst dribbler he’d ever seen, how his first two seasons were dogged by injuries, and how he wondered if his career was done when Portland cut him in 1970.Fate intervened at that moment. Riley and his wife Chris were walking out of the arena into the rain — “walking through the parking lot to nowhere,” Riley said — on the night he got cut, when former Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn just happened to be nearby and offered a word of encouragement. A couple days later, Riley was with the Lakers. He suspects Hearn had just a little something to do with that.“If not for Chick Hearn, I don’t know what would have happened,” Riley said.ADVERTISEMENT A half-century later, he’s still in the game.Riley’s NBA debut was exactly 50 years ago Saturday — Oct. 14, 1967, the start of a Hall of Fame career that saw him go from player to broadcaster, broadcaster to coach, coach to executive. The Miami Heat president has stockpiled nine championship rings, became a best-selling author and motivational speaker, transformed the fashion sense of NBA coaches and left an indelible mark on franchises in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAnd he’s not done.“He’s still going,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, Riley’s former assistant who replaced him as head coach nearly a decade ago. “I think that is the ultimate sign of true greatness, his sustainability and ability to constantly adapt and stay ahead of the curve. He’s always three, four, five steps ahead of the competition. His thought process is always ahead of the norm.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments Turner’s 3-run homer in 9th gives Dodgers 4-1 win over Cubs Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  FILE – In this April 19, 2017, file photo, Miami Heat NBA basketball team president Pat Riley talks to the media during a season ending press conference in Miami. Riley’s NBA debut was exactly 50 years ago Saturday _ Oct. 14, 1967, the start of a Hall of Fame career that saw him go from player to broadcaster, broadcaster to coach, coach to executive. The Miami Heat president has stockpiled nine championship rings, became a best-selling author and motivational speaker, transformed the fashion sense of NBA coaches and left an indelible mark on franchises in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. And he’s not done. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald via AP, File)MIAMI — Pat Riley often was forced to wonder if his time in the NBA was over. Like when he got pulled out of a drill in his first training camp with San Diego and was told he had to get better. Or when Portland cut the newly married Riley a week after his father died. Or when he realized that his playing days were finished.The fears were always unfounded.ADVERTISEMENT Here’s what did happen: Winning championships and being part of a 33-game winning streak with the Lakers as a player, winning four more titles with the Lakers as a coach, going to the Knicks, famously resigning by fax to take over in Miami, winning another championship as a coach there in 2006 and two more as president in 2012 and 2013, and generally being considered one of the best coaches ever to grace a sideline.Those are just the highlights.“Pat puts more attention on details than anyone I’ve ever been around,” said Los Angeles Lakers President Magic Johnson, who played for Riley during the “Showtime” Lakers’ era in the 1980s. “He’s the best motivator there is. So many of the things he said to us back then, we didn’t realize how right he was until years later. But you know what? He was always right.”At 72, Riley is no figurehead in Miami. He still can relate to players.“He understands the meaning of evolution,” Heat forward Udonis Haslem said. “Not only as a coach, but as a businessman and as a leader. He understands the evolution of this game. Part of being a good leader is kind of knowing when to step back, and he knew when it was time to let Spo become the coach that he is today.”He is, perhaps, as relevant as ever. Riley doesn’t speak publicly anywhere near as often now as in past years, almost preferring to stay out of the spotlight. He wants others in the organization — CEO Nick Arison, general manager Andy Elisburg, assistant GM Adam Simon, among others — to feel like they have big voices now as well.That’s why this week, with the Heat finishing their preseason, Riley could be away with family for his son’s wedding. There was a time when he wouldn’t have missed basketball for anything. He even turned down an invite for a 40th anniversary celebration of Rupp’s Runts — the Kentucky team that would lose to Texas Western in the 1966 NCAA title game — because he couldn’t bring himself to missing a Heat practice.He regrets that decision now, and is finally at a place where he can strike a balance between family, friends and work.After 50 years, he figured it out.“Life, right now, is really good,” Riley said. “And if I were to leave tomorrow, there’s not going to be a blip on the radar screen here. None. That’s what I’m most proud of.” BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

LeBron’s status for opener vs. Celtics still unclear

first_imgCleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James answers questions during the NBA basketball team media day, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Independence, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Following Cleveland’s final practice before a season opener against Boston with playoff-level hype, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue still wasn’t sure if LeBron James was playing Tuesday.J.R. Smith knows.ADVERTISEMENT “Oh, he’s gonna go,” Smith said of his celebrated teammate. “He’s gonna go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s gotta do, he’s gonna play.”While Smith may be giving James the green light, Lue and other team officials remained unsure of James’ status for the game against the Celtics and former Cavs guard Kyrie Irving, whose ballyhooed return to Cleveland is expected to be part homecoming, part hate-fest.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJames didn’t speak to reporters following Monday’s practice, but the three-time champion was in a playful mood while engaging in a competitive outside shooting contest with teammates Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Jeff Green.James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle suffered in practice on Sept. 27. He played in only one of Cleveland’s five exhibition games, and his absence has kept a starting lineup that now includes Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose from getting much floor time together. Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The Cavaliers have struggled mightily when James has been out of the lineup, losing 11 straight regular-season games and going 4-23 without him since 2014.With a revamped roster and more offensive options than ever, Lue believes the Cavs are more equipped to compete when James is on the bench.“We’ll be a lot better off,” he said. “I think we got a lot of different pieces. We’re deeper. A lot of versatile players. A lot of different lineups we can play. So, it will be different but I think we have a better chance.”Irving spent six seasons with Cleveland but left on shaky terms.His demand to be traded this summer rankled some Cavaliers fans, and he created a larger divide last week when he described Boston as a “real, live sports city.”That didn’t sit well with many Cleveland residents, and he’s certain to get an earful Tuesday night.The Cavaliers plan to honor Irving, who made the biggest shot in franchise history, with a video tribute at some point during the game. Irving’s 3-pointer in the waning moments of Game 7 in 2016 lifted Cleveland to the city’s first championship since 1964.Lue wasn’t sure what else Irving should expect from the fired-up, sellout crowd.“We’ve got the best fans in the world and they’re going to do whatever they see best,” he said. “Whatever decision they make, that’s the right one. Because they’ve been behind us for three straight years, since I’ve been here, they’ve always made the right decisions. So whatever they decide to do, I embrace whatever they do.” View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight The 32-year-old James hasn’t missed an opener in his previous 14 seasons, and it would be hard to imagine sitting this one out given the attention with Irving coming back following this summer’s blockbuster trade between the teams — and the All-Star guard’s recent swipe at Cleveland.Just so he’s protected, Lue has made a contingency lineup in case James doesn’t play. Smith will take his spot in the Cavs’ “B” lineup.Lue has said for days that he doesn’t know for sure if James will be ready.“You know I never hide stuff from you guys,” Lue said when pressed about his superstar’s availability. “I really don’t know, I mean, just depends on how he feels after today. … I’m preparing that he is (playing).”Smith, who is beginning his third full season with Cleveland, knows it will take a lot more than a sore ankle to keep James off the floor.“Just because he loves the game,” he said. “We were talking about it, he’s never missed, since he was 8 years old and he started playing, he’s never missed a first game. I’m preparing for him to play.”ADVERTISEMENT Gins can’t relax–Cone LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients last_img read more