SAN FRANCISCO — It’s unclear what team one of the Giants’ top trade candidates, Will Smith, will be playing for in August, but Smith already knows he’ll be joining a new roster on July 9.The Giants closer was named as San Francisco’s lone representative on the National League All-Star team on Sunday, marking his first career All-Star nod.Smith has started his season with 21 saves in 21 opportunities and is eight saves shy of breaking Rod Beck’s franchise record of 28 consecutive saves to open …
Stating that the Shiv Sena’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was strong as ever, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said that the seat-sharing arrangements for the Assembly elections had already been decided.“We have satisfactorily sorted out the seat-sharing arrangements. The media need not worry about it at this moment. They will come to know at the right time,” he said, adding that all parties in the BJP-Sena ‘Mahayuti’ would be satisfactorily accommodated in the arrangement.Mr. Thackeray further said that the Sena’s demand for the post of the Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha ought not to be misconstrued as ‘disgruntlement’ on its part.“The Sena does not believe in doing anything by sly means…Expressing a wish or demanding something by rights [Deputy Speaker’s post] does not mean that we are upset with the BJP. We have made this alliance [with the BJP] on the principles of Hindutva, not for the sake of merely securing two or four union cabinet berths,” Mr. Thackeray remarked.Rebuking the opposition, the Sena chief drily remarked that he had no wish to participate in “the disappointment of those hoping for a rift” within the ‘Mahayuti’.Quashing suggestions of any disaffection with the BJP, he said, “Now that everything between the two parties is going fine, we will ensure that this alliance remains firm.” Mr. Thackeray emphasized his point by stating that he was satisfied with the Sena being only one berth in the cabinet.Sena MP Arvind Sawant is the lone MP to be given the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise Ministry portfolio.When asked whether he would be touring drought-hit areas in the State, Mr. Thackeray said that the term ‘drought tour’ was a misnomer.“Let us hope that this drought is on its last legs… Our [BJP-Sena] government’s aim has not been to provide empty succor to the afflicted but to ensure that the farmers and locals are well-provided in terms of fodder and food. I think the government has done its best to ameliorate the plight of the drought-afflicted,” he said.Mr. Thackeray announced that he, along with Aditya Thackeray, planned to visit and review the situation in afflicted areas in western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha this Sunday.Earlier in the day, the Sena president received a rousing welcome by local Shiv Sainiks as he landed in Kolhapur.Mr. Thackeray, his wife Rashmi and son, Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray prayed at the Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur with the party’s newly-elected MPs to celebrate the BJP-Sena’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections. 16 of the 18 newly-elected Sena MPs were present on the occasion. Also present was senior BJP leader and State Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil.“It was the late Balasaheb’s [Bal Thackeray] dream that the MP from Kolhapur should be from the Shiv Sena. Today, the people of Kolhapur have helped realize that dream by electing Sena MPs from both the Lok Sabha constituencies in the district and I am grateful to them,” Mr. Thackeray said.
A 10-year-old male elephant is suspected to have died of herpes virus infection in Odisha’s Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP), a leading zoo of the country, early on Sunday.According to the NZP, the pachyderm suddenly became ill on Friday afternoon with symptoms such as reduced appetite, nasal discharge and swollen glands on both sides of its face. Treatment was started immediately by zoo veterinarians based on the advice of the Centre for Wildlife Health at Orissa University of Agriculture Technology and expert veterinarians of Assam. The elephant was rescued from nearby Chandaka Forest in July 2010.“The death is suspected due to herpes virus infection. The cause of death can only be ascertained after post-mortem. After the death of this elephant, Nandankanan is left with six female elephants. The authority is now taking steps to prevent spreading of this virus and to provide advance preventive treatment to remaining vulnerable elephants,” said Jayanta Kumar Das, NZP Deputy Director.“Herpes virus infection is generally observed in the wild. It spreads when elephants come in physical contact with each other. In the past, an elephant had died due to herpes virus attack in the zoo. If infected by the virus, the platelet count of elephants will drop considerably. It will lead to internal bleeding with little outward manifestation. The face and abdomen will start swelling. The animal will lose interest in taking food,” he said.“Once attacked by the virus, the treatment will have little impact. We had been administering the elephant only anti-viral doses after observing the symptoms. It is difficult to detect virus attack beforehand. Only when the elephant reduces food intake, suspicion arises. By that time, the organs of the elephant would have been affected by 70 to 80%,” elaborated Mr. Das.“Now, we are trying to get the blood samples of the rest of the elephants tested. If the platelet count is found to be low, we will immediately start administering anti-viral doses. We are also keeping the other six elephants separately,” he said.
TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion It’s not just the basketball that’s entertaining—what with all the pure athleticism and physical play between two teams—but also the verbal exchanges between head coaches Alex Compton and Chito Victolero.Alaska won Game 4 90-76 to tie the series at 2-2 in a heated game that prompted Compton to call out some of Hotshots for allegedly throwing punches at his players.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief“Jio [Jalalon] punched us, somebody punched Mike in the testicles, somebody punched Chris in the testicles, at what point is that going to be called? I don’t know,” said Compton during his post-game press conference Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Victolero, who accused Compton of calling the referees’ attention after Game 2, hit back saying the Alaska coach doesn’t have the right to make calls during the game. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “Both players are only being physical, there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Victolero. “Still coaches cannot decide on what’s a foul. The referees are doing their jobs so I think they did a good job today. If we keep on complaining against the referees then there won’t be an end to this series.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue MANILA, Philippines—The finals series between Magnolia and Alaska in the PBA Governors’ Cup has officially provided action from all fronts.ADVERTISEMENT “He’s just saying it, he’s not a referee, he’s a coach,” said Victolero in Filipino. “I think it’s beyond our control and the referees will decide what’s a foul, what’s a flagrant foul, and what’s not a flagrant foul.”There was no question that Game 4 was one physical matchup with Magnolia import Romeo Travis needing a couple of stitches near his right eye to close a wound he suffered when he drove to the basket in the third quarter.What made the fourth game of the series truly remarkable was the heated exchanges between Alaska guard Chris Banchero and Magnolia floor general Mark Barroca.The two went at it for much of the second half but it was Barroca who landed the decisive blow when replays showed he hit Banchero in the groin with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter.Victolero said there’s nothing wrong with being physical especially in a championship atmosphere like the one they’re in, but what he can’t accept is the constant complaining on the referees.ADVERTISEMENT Looking to snag best available talent, PBA coaches size up aspirants at Draft Combine SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Sevilla need Man Utd co-operation to get Bailly deal doneby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla need Manchester United’s co-operation to get a deal done for Eric Bailly.Estadio Deportivo says Sevilla coach Pablo Machin is ‘seriously interested’ in bringing the Ivorian back to La Liga.A loan deal until the end of the season may be a possibility as Los Rojiblancos look to bolster their defensive options going into the second half of the season.There are concerns though that Bailly’s wage demands could prove to be a stumbling block with his weekly pay said to be around £75,000.Sevilla would require United to pay some of his salary if a loan move is to materialise. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
WASHINGTON – After weeks of quarrels, qualms and then eleventh-hour horse-trading, Republicans revealed the details of their huge national tax rewrite late Friday — along with announcements of support that all but guarantee approval to give President Donald Trump the Christmas legislative triumph he’s been aching for.The legislation would slash tax rates for big business and lower levies on the richest Americans in a massive $1.5 trillion bill that the GOP plans to muscle through Congress next week before its year-end break. Benefits for most other taxpayers would be smaller.“This is happening. Tax reform under Republican control of Washington is happening,” House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told rank-and-file members in a conference call. “Most critics out there didn’t think it could happen. … And now we’re on the doorstep of something truly historic.”According to the 1,097-page bill released late Friday, today’s 35 per cent rate on corporations would fall to 21 per cent, the crown jewel of the measure for many Republicans. Trump and GOP leaders had set 20 per cent as their goal, but added a point to free money for other tax cuts that won over wavering lawmakers in final talks.The legislation represents the first major legislative achievement for the GOP after nearly a full year in control of Congress and the White House. It’s the widest-ranging reshaping of the tax code in three decades and is expected to add to the nation’s $20 trillion debt. The tax cuts are projected to add $1.46 trillion over a decade.The bill would repeal an important part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or face a penalty — as the GOP looks to unravel a law it failed to repeal and replace this past summer.Only on Friday did Republicans cement the needed support for the overhaul, securing endorsements from wavering senators.Marco Rubio of Florida relented in his high-profile opposition after negotiators expanded the tax credit that parents can claim for their children. He said he would vote for the measure next week.Rubio had been holding out for a bigger child credit for low-income families. After he got it, he tweeted that the change was “a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker.”Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the only Republican to vote against the Senate version earlier this month, made the surprise announcement that he would back the legislation. Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has repeatedly warned that the nation’s growing debt is the most serious threat to national security.“I realize this is a bet on our country’s enterprising spirit, and that is a bet I am willing to make,” Corker said.The White House said Trump “looks forward to fulfilling the promise he made to the American people to give them a tax cut by the end of the year.”The bill embodies a longstanding Republican philosophy that a substantial tax break for businesses will trigger economic growth and job creation for Americans in a trickle-down economy.Skeptical Democrats are likely to oppose the legislation unanimously.“Under this bill, the working class, middle class and upper middle class get skewered while the rich and wealthy corporations make out like bandits,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. “It is just the opposite of what America needs, and Republicans will rue the day they pass this.”The bill would drop today’s 39.6 per cent top rate on individuals to 37 per cent. The standard deduction — used by around two-thirds of households — would be nearly doubled, to $24,000 for married couples.The $1,000-per-child tax deduction would grow to $2,000, with up to $1,400 available in IRS refunds for families who owe little or no taxes. Parents would have to provide children’s Social Security numbers to receive the child tax credit, a measure intended to deny the credit to people who are in the U.S. illegally.Those who itemize would lose some deductions. The deduction that millions use in connection with state and local income, property and sales taxes would be capped at $10,000. That’s especially important to residents of high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California. Deductions for medical expenses that lawmakers once considered eliminating would be retained.The bill would allow homeowners to deduct interest only on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage, down from the current limit of $1 million.People who inherit fortunes would get a big break. The bill would double the exemption, meaning the estate tax would apply only to the portion of an estate over $22 million for married couples.Members of a House-Senate conference committee signed the final version of the legislation Friday, sending it to the two chambers for final passage next week. They have been working to blend the different versions passed by the two houses.Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, including two ailing senators who have missed votes this past week.John McCain of Arizona, who is 81, is at a Washington-area military hospital being treated for the side effects of brain cancer treatment, and 80-year-old Thad Cochran of Mississippi had a non-melanoma lesion removed from his nose earlier this week. GOP leaders are hopeful they will be available next week.
VANCOUVER – Loblaw Companies Ltd. is offering customers a $25 gift card as a goodwill gesture after admitting the company participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement.“This conduct should never have happened,” said Galen G. Weston, CEO, during a conference call with analysts Tuesday.“The gift card is a direct acknowledgment of that to our customers. We hope that they’ll see it as a meaningful amount that demonstrates our commitment to keeping their trust and confidence,” he said in response to how the company arrived at the card’s $25 value.Here’s how to redeem the offer:Customers can visit LoblawCard.ca and enter their email address to be notified once registration opens.The company expects registration to begin on Jan. 8.Full details will follow, but broadly speaking, visitors to the site will have to declare that they are the age of majority or older, said spokesman Kevin Groh, in an email.The age of majority is 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, P.E.I., Quebec and Saskatchewan. It is 19 in B.C., New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and the three territories.They will also have to declare that they bought certain packaged bread products at one of the eligible banner stores in Canada before Mach 1, 2015, he said.Registration closes May 8.The company expects three million to six million people will receive the gift card.Loblaw and George Weston Ltd. revealed Tuesday that they participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement from late 2001 to March 2015, but tipped off Canada’s competition watchdog and will receive immunity in the ensuing investigation.
HOTAN, China — Barbed wire and hundreds of cameras ring a massive compound of more than 30 dormitories, schools, warehouses and workshops in China’s far west. Dozens of armed officers and a growling Doberman stand guard outside.Behind locked gates, men and women are sewing sportswear that can end up on U.S. college campuses and sports teams.This is one of a growing number of internment camps in the Xinjiang region, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries. Some of them are within the internment camps; others are privately-owned, state-subsidized factories where detainees are sent once they are released.The Associated Press has tracked recent, ongoing shipments from one such factory inside an internment camp to Badger Sportswear, a leading supplier in Statesville, North Carolina. The shipments show how difficult it is to stop products made with forced labour from getting into the global supply chain, even though such imports are illegal in the U.S. Badger CEO John Anton said Sunday that the company would source sportswear elsewhere while it investigates.Chinese authorities say the camps, which they call training centres, offer free vocational training for Uighurs, Kazakhs and others, mostly Muslims, as part of a plan to bring minorities into “a modern civilized” world and eliminate poverty in Xinjiang. They say that people in the centres have signed agreements to receive vocational training.The Xinjiang Propaganda Department did not respond to a faxed request for comment. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman accused the foreign media Monday of making “many untrue reports” about the training centres, but did not specify when asked for details.“Those reports are completely based on hearsay evidence or made out of thin air,” the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said at a daily briefing.However, a dozen people who either had been in a camp or had friends or family in one told the AP that detainees they knew were given no choice but to work at the factories. Most of the Uighurs and Kazakhs, who were interviewed in exile, also said that even people with professional jobs were retrained to do menial work.Payment varied according to the factory. Some got paid nothing, while others earned up to several hundred dollars a month, they said — barely above minimum wage for the poorer parts of Xinjiang. A person with firsthand knowledge of the situation in one county estimated that more than 10,000 detainees — or 10 to 20 per cent of the internment population there — are working in factories, with some earning just a tenth of what they used to earn before. The person declined to be named out of fear of retribution.A former reporter for Xinjiang TV in exile said that during his month-long detention last year, young people in his camp were taken away in the mornings to work without compensation in carpentry and a cement factory.“The camp didn’t pay any money, not a single cent,” he said, asking to be identified only by his first name, Elyar, because he has relatives still in Xinjiang. “Even for necessities, such as things to shower with or sleep at night, they would call our families outside to get them to pay for it.”Rushan Abbas, a Uighur in Washington, D.C., said her sister is among those detained. The sister, Dr. Gulshan Abbas, was taken to what the government calls a vocational centre, although she has no specific information on whether her sister is being forced to work.“American companies importing from those places should know those products are made by people being treated like slaves,” she said. “What are they going to do, train a doctor to be a seamstress?”___The predominantly Muslim Uighur and Kazakh ethnic minorities in China live mostly in the Xinjiang region bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a legacy dating back to ancient traders on the Silk Road. In recent decades, violent attacks by Uighur militants have killed hundreds and prompted the Chinese government to blanket Xinjiang with stifling security.About two years ago, authorities launched a vast detention and reeducation campaign. They also use checkpoints, GPS tracking and face-scanning cameras for surveillance of ethnic minorities in the region. The slightest perceived misstep can land someone in the internment camps.Men and women in the complex that has shipped products to Badger Sportswear make clothes for privately-owned Hetian Taida Apparel in a cluster of 10 workshops within the compound walls. Hetian Taida says it is not affiliated with the internment camps, but its workforce includes detainees.As China faced growing international pressure about the detention camps, its state broadcaster aired a 15-minute report in October that featured a “vocational skills education and training centre” in the southern Xinjiang city of Hotan.“Terrorism and extremism are the common enemy of human civilization,” the China Central Television program began. In response, the report said, the Xinjiang government was using vocational training to solve this “global issue.”Wu Hongbo, the chairman of Hetian Taida, confirmed that the company has a factory inside the same compound as the training centre featured in the China Central Television report. Hetian Taida provides employment to those trainees who were deemed by the government to be “unproblematic,” he said, adding that the centre is government-operated.“We’re making our contribution to eradicating poverty,” Wu told the AP over the phone.The 20 to 30 trainees at the factory are treated like regular employees and make up a small fraction of the hundreds of people in its workforce, he said.Trainees featured in the state television report praised the Communist Party for saving them from a criminal path.“I don’t dare to imagine what would have happened to me if I didn’t come here,” one Uighur student said. “The party and government found me in time and saved me. They gave me a chance to reinvent myself.”The segment said that in addition to law and Mandarin-language classes, the training centre collaborated with companies to give trainees practical experience. Trainees were shown hunched over sewing machines in a factory whose interior matches that of Hetian Taida’s main Hotan branch, as seen in prior Chinese media reports.Police told the AP journalists who approached the compound earlier this month that they could not take photos or film in the area because it was part of a “military facility.” Yet the entrance was marked only by a tall gate that said it was an “apparel employment training base.”Posters line the barbed-wire perimeter, bearing messages such as “Learn to be grateful, learn to be an upright person” and “No need to pay tuition, find a job easily.”Nathan Ruser, a cyber-policy researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), analyzed satellite images for the AP and found that in Hetian Taida’s case, the apparel factory and the government-run training camp are connected by a fenced path.“There are watchtowers throughout,” Ruser said. “There are clear fences between the buildings and walls that limit movement. Detainees can only access the factories area through walkways, and the entire facility is closed.”The AP could not independently determine if any workers were allowed to come and go, or how much if anything they were paid.At least 10 times this year shipping containers filled with thousands of men’s, women’s and youth polyester knitted T-shirts and pants were sent to Badger Sportswear, a 47-year-old athletic gear seller. The company mostly manufactures in Nicaragua and the U.S., and there is no way to tell where the products from Xinjiang specifically end up. But experts say supply chains are considered tainted by forced labour and modern slavery if even one item was produced by someone forced to work.Sprinkled on the Internet are clues that repeatedly tie the company to the detention camp’s sewing factory floor.Shawn Zhang, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, noted an overlooked Hotan city social media post from February about the first batch of some 1.5 million pieces of clothing worth $400,000 heading overseas from the Hetian Taida Factory. In the middle of a photo of young women flashing the peace sign is Badger Sportswear’s marketing director Ginny Gasswint, who is quoted as saying she’s surprised the workers are “friendly, beautiful, enthusiastic and hardworking.”Badger Sportswear goes to sports teams large and small, ranging from ranging from Charlotte Country Day School Squash team in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Rhode Island’s Coventry Little League and Hansberry College Prep in Chicago, according to its website and advertisements. The AP also found dozens of college bookstores advertising their gear printed on Badger Sportswear, including Texas A&M, University of Pennsylvania, Appalachian State University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Evansville and Bates College. However, it’s impossible to say if any particular shirt is made with forced labour.Badger chief executive Anton said Sunday that his company has sourced products from an affiliate of Hetian Taida for many years. He said about a year ago, the affiliate opened a new factory in western China. Anton confirmed Badger Sportswear officials visited the factory and have a certificate that the factory is certified by social compliance experts.“We will voluntarily halt sourcing and will move production elsewhere while we investigate the matters raised,” he said.Badger Sportswear was acquired by New York investment firm CCMP Capital Advisor in August 2016. Since then, CCMP has acquired three more team sportswear companies, which they are managing under the umbrella of Founder Sport Group.In recent years, Badger imported sportswear — jerseys, T-shirts, workout pants and more — from Nicaragua and Pakistan. But in April this year, it began importing 100 per cent polyester T-shirts and pants from Hetian Taida Apparel, according to U.S. customs data provided by ImportGenius, which analyzes consumer shipments. The address on the shipping records is the same as for the detention camp.The U.S. and United Nations say forced labour is a type of modern slavery, and that items made by people being exploited and coerced to work are banned from import to the U.S.It’s unclear whether other companies also export products made by forced labour in Xinjiang to the U.S., Europe and Asia. The AP found two companies exporting to the U.S. that share approximately the same co-ordinates as places experts have identified as internment camps, and Chinese media reports mention “training” there. But the AP could not confirm whether the companies use forced labour.___The detention camp system is part of China’s increasingly stringent state security under President Xi Jinping. Some detainees told AP earlier this year about beating, solitary confinement and other punishments if they do not recite political songs, names and phrases. The AP has not been given access to these facilities despite repeated attempts to get permission to visit.Not all the camps have forced labour. Many former detainees say they were held in facilities that didn’t have any manufacturing equipment and focused solely on political indoctrination.“They didn’t teach me anything. They were brainwashing me, trying to make us believe how great China is, how powerful it is, how developed its economy is,” said Kairat Samarkan, a Kazakh citizen who said he was tortured with a metal contraption that contorts your body before being released in February after he tried to kill himself.Interviewees described a wave of factory openings earlier this year. Ex-detainee Orynbek Koksebek said that shortly before his release in April, the director strode into his class and announced that a factory would be built in the camp. Koksebek, who cannot speak Mandarin, listened to a policeman as he translated the director’s words into Kazakh for the roughly 90 women and 15 men in the room.“We’re going to open a factory, you’re going to work,” Koksebek recalled him as saying. “We’ll teach you how to cook, how to sew clothes, how to fix cars.”This fall, months after Koksebek’s release, news began trickling into Kazakhstan that the Chinese government was starting forced labour in internment camps and would transfer some detainees out into gated, guarded factories. The workers must live in dormitories on factory grounds. Contact with family ranges from phone calls or in-person visits, to weekends at home under police surveillance.In October, Chinese authorities acknowledged the existence of what they called vocational training centres. State media published an interview with Shohret Zahir, the governor of Xinjiang, saying that “some trainees” were nearly done with their “courses.”“We will try to achieve a seamless connection between school teaching and social employment, so that after finishing their courses, the trainees will be able to find jobs and earn a well-off life,” Zahir said.The forced labour program goes along with a massive government initiative to develop Xinjiang’s economy by constructing enormous factory parks. Another internment camp the AP visited was inside a factory compound called Kunshan Industrial Park, opened under the national anti-poverty push. A local propaganda official, Chen Fang, said workers inside made food and clothes.A hospital, a police station, smokestacks, dormitories and a building with a sign that read “House of Workers” could be seen from outside the surrounding barbed wire fencing. Another section resembled a prison, with guard towers and high walls. The AP did not track any exports from Kunshan to the U.S.Many of those with relatives in such camps said their loved ones were well-educated with high-paying jobs before their arrest, and did not need a poverty alleviation program. Nurbakyt Kaliaskar, a sheepherder’s wife in Kazakhstan, said her daughter, Rezila Nulale, 25, was a college graduate with a well-paid advertising job in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, where she lived a typical urban lifestyle with a computer, a washing machine and an apartment in the city centre.Then last August, after returning from a visit to her family across the border in Kazakhstan, Nulale vanished. She didn’t answer phone calls and stopped showing up to work.Four months later a stranger contacted Kaliaskar online and confirmed her fear: her daughter had been detained for “political training.” The next spring, she said she fainted when two cases of her daughter’s clothes were delivered to her home in Kazakhstan.Last month, Kaliaskar got word via a friend who knows the family that Nulale was working in a factory next to the camp where she had been detained. The friend had heard from Kaliaskar’s brother, who had visited Nulale, bringing medicine for an injured hand.Kaliaskar learned her daughter wasn’t being paid and had to meet a daily quota of three articles of clothing. She couldn’t leave. Her uncle thought she looked pale and thin.“They say they’re teaching her to weave clothes. But the thing is, she’s well educated and had a job,” said Kaliaskar. “What’s the point of this training?”A former detainee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect himself and his family members, said other detainees from his camp also had been forced into jobs at factories far away. They were taken to a government office and handed labour contracts for six months to five years in a distant factory, which they were required to sign.If they ran from the factories, they were warned, they’d be taken straight back to the camps for “further education.”Farmers, herders and manual labourers with little Mandarin and no higher education say they appreciated Beijing’s past initiatives to help the poor, including subsidized housing and the installation of electricity and running water. But the camps, the forced education, and the factories, they say, go too far.“I never asked the government to find work for my husband,” said Mainur Medetbek, whose husband did odd repair jobs before vanishing into a camp in February during a visit to China from their home in Kazakhstan.She has been able to glean a sense of his conditions from monitored exchanges with relatives and from the husband of a woman who is in the same camp. He works in an apparel factory and is allowed to leave and spend the night with relatives every other Saturday. Though she’s not certain how much her husband makes, the woman in his camp earns 600 yuan (about $87) a month, less than half the local minimum wage and far less than what Medetbek’s husband used to earn.Since her husband was detained, Medetbek and her children have had no reliable source of income and sometimes go hungry. The ordeal has driven her to occasionally contemplate suicide.“They say it’s a factory, but it’s an excuse for detention. They don’t have freedom, there’s no time for him to talk with me,” she said. “They say they found a job for him. I think it’s a concentration camp.”___Martha Mendoza reported from Santa Cruz, California.Dake Kang, Martha Mendoza And Yanan Wang, The Associated Press
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tumbler Ridge RCMP at 250 242-5252.TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – Search and Rescue crews are continuing the search for a man who went missing near Kinuseo Falls on Saturday night.The Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue is being supported by the North Peace Search and Rescue and the South Peace Search and Rescue in their search for the man, who was camping on an island at the bottom of the falls in Monkman Provincial Park when they were last seen.Search and Rescue crews are asking boaters to stay off the Murray River unless they have signed up with Search and Rescue crews to assist with the search. A post on Facebook by the Tumbler Ridge Search and Rescue organization says a swift water response team is in place.According to a post on Facebook, the missing person, who can be seen standing below the falls in a photograph while fishing, was wearing the same clothing when they disappeared. UPDATE: North District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said in a release that the search is continuing today with multiple trained personnel on site, including four jet boats that are searching the Murray River, the RCMP helicopter and Police Dog Services.A 29-year-old man from Dawson Creek was camping with friends near Kinuseo Falls when it is believed he may have gone into the river. The RCMP were notified about the missing camper at around 6:30 on Sunday morning.Search and Rescue was immediately called to the scene, including a swift water trained team. Personal belongings believed to be the missing Dawson man’s have been found, however, the man has not been located. Posts on social media suggest the person standing is the one missing.Anyone wishing to help can check in at the incident command post which is located at the nine-kilometre marker of the Murray Forest Service Road, or by calling Sarah at (250) 242-7733. The RCMP are expected to provide more information about the search for the missing person later this morning.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday sought response of the Election Commission on a plea by a Congress MP alleging Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on their alleged hate speeches and using armed forces for “political propaganda”. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the poll panel was free to pass orders on complaint of Sushmita Dev, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Silchar in Assam and President of ‘All India Mahila Congress’. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, fixed Dev’s plea for hearing on Thursday. Dev has alleged that “inaction” by EC on complaints against top BJP leaders was “a sign of invidious discrimination” as also “arbitrary, capricious and impermissible” as it was destructive of the integrity of electoral process. The plea listed out several alleged instances of MCC violations by Modi and Shah in their meetings and referred to as the first violation the speech of Modi at a rally at Wardha, Maharashtra, on April 1 where he had allegedly raised the issue of ‘bhagva aatankwad’ (saffron terror).
OSU junior forward Nick Schilkey (7) during a game against Michigan on May. 6 at Nationwide Arena. Credit: Lantern File PhotoOhio State senior forward hockey captain Nick Schilkey wishes he had a dollar for every time he has been asked why he came to OSU from his home state of Michigan. If so, he said he would be as rich as another Buckeye: L Brands owner Les Wexner. The constant questioning will be worth it, however, if Schilkey is successful in his pursuit of a Big Ten championship and the program’s first berth into the NCAA tournament since 2009. A native of Marysville, Michigan, Schilkey grew up playing in the Detroit area primarily with the nationally recognized HoneyBaked AAA program. It was his parents, Glen and Michelle, along with his other family ties that instilled the love for the game of hockey in him.“My dad always joked that he put me in skates before I could walk.” Schilkey said.His speed and agility — which led him to score 87 goals and assist on 85 others between the ages of 13 and 16 against NHL players Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens and Jacob Trouba of the Winnipeg Jets — caught the attention of OSU.It was not until his final year with HoneyBaked in 2010-11 that he realized college hockey was a legitimate option.“I don’t think I could ever look back at one of those teams and thinking to myself as being one of the best guys because we were so good,” Schilkey said.OSU was the first school to approach Schilkey about furthering his career in hockey. The program’s commitment to Schilkey, facilities and campus life sold him immediately, he said.“I go to different schools around the country and play and nothing beats what we have here,” Schilkey said. “I came down here and the coaches really wanted me to be here and I wanted to be here. This was the spot for me.”Before he moved to Columbus, Schilkey played junior hockey for two years, a common prerequisite for hockey players before beginning their college endeavors.After two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in the U.S., Schilkey was ready to showcase his talents at OSU.The team he was recruited by, however, had changed by the time he arrived. In April 2013, OSU coach Mark Osiecki was fired and replaced by Steve Rohlik, who had been an Osiecki assistant.Schilkey was not deterred.“I was comfortable with the coaches because (Rohlik) was here,” Schilkey said. “For me, I didn’t think anything would change too much.”Rohlik recalled the recruitment of Schilkey, who stood out like maize and blue in a sea of scarlet and gray.“When you walked into the rink, you knew who Nick Schilkey was,” Rohlik said. “He’d get that puck and he’d be Mach 10 down the ice. He could score. One thing that always grabbed me is that he wanted it. He wanted the puck, he wanted to be involved, he wanted to be ‘the guy.’ There was no hesitation in his game.”Rohlik has continued to be impressed by Schilkey’s performances weekend after weekend.“You know what you’re getting when he touches the ice,” Rohlik said. “I know if I throw him out there, he’s going to give me everything that he’s got.”And it shows in his production, Rohlik said.In 108 career games, Schilkey has 43 goals and 48 assists. He has been voted team captain twice due to leadership that has rubbed off on his teammates.“Right away freshman year, I noticed that he never quits,” senior defenseman Josh Healey said. “He goes out there every shift and every time in the weight room and goes until he can’t go anymore. It really pushed me to be my best when I was around him … He’s a leader by example and guys follow that, it’s a credit to him.”So far this season, the team has followed him to an upset win over No. 3 Denver last Friday on its home ice, followed by a tie with Air Force the next night. As the Buckeyes head into the heart of the 2016-17 season, Rohlik said there is no one he would trust more to lead the team.“I think it’s in him right now that he wants to do something special before he leaves here,” Rohlik said. “He’s already had such a huge impact on this program, not only by being a great player, but by being a great person. I can’t say enough about him. He’s one of those guys, as a coach, you love having him in your program.” As for Schilkey, the legacy he wants to leave behind is a championship in his home state. The conference tournament will be hosted at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit for the final time in March.“To get this team back there and obviously it’s going to take a lot of leaders in the room, it’s going to take the team to accomplish that goal,” Schilkey said. “I think we’re excited for it. I think we’re confident in that this is one of the best opportunities we’ve had in my four years here. To leave on top is something everybody wants to do.”Ranked No. 19 in the latest uscho.com poll, Schilkey and the Buckeyes head to Oxford, Ohio, on Saturday to take on in-state rival Miami at Goggin Ice Center with the puck drop scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
When a professional sports team in America has a bad season, as the old saying goes, there’s always next season – but not in European soccer. End-of-season discussions around some European professional soccer leagues are about survival. Mainly, which teams are going to survive to play another year in a given country’s top league. The English Premier League, the world’s most prominent soccer league, is among those leagues where suspense almost always carries into the final minutes of the season. The EPL has a stipulation in place that relegates or downgrades its bottom three teams in any one season to the Football Association’s Championship division. In return, the top three teams of the Championship are promoted to the Premier League. Conceptually, it would be like the Columbus Clippers having the best record in Triple-A baseball and then moving up to play Major League Baseball the following season. And the same goes for the Championship, as well as the two divisions below it – the FA’s League One and League Two. The top and bottom three teams from each of England’s four divisions shuffle back and forth season after season. With its season concluding on Sunday, this year’s EPL relegated teams are Wolverhampton F.C., Blackburn F.C. and Bolton F.C. No club is safe from the relegation rule as Blackburn (1995 EPL Champions) becomes the first former Premier League champion to be relegated. How harsh is that? 17 years removed from a championship and you’re deemed not good enough to compete in the league. Harsh or not, the rule is ingenious on some levels. It creates a level playing field and makes every game in a season matter. There certainly isn’t any talk of “tanking” game in the Premier League for any reason. So, what if American sports leagues adopted its European counterparts relegation and promotion rules? Would it be a good thing? Is it even possible? Would the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats have lost 23 games in a row to end the season? Whether it would be good for leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA and the NHL to adopt the relegation-promotion rule is purely subjective. It would be good in the sense teams likely wouldn’t tank, and every regular-season game matters, but at what cost? Would the playoffs have to be eliminated? The EPL crowns its champion based solely on regular season performance. If there were no Super Bowl or World Series, would that be a good thing? The question of whether it’s even possible to have a relegation-promotion rule in American professional sports is interesting. As it stands now, only two of the top four leagues have the type of minor-league system in place to piggyback off the system used English soccer. The NHL has the American Hockey League (AHL) below it as an incremental level and MLB has Triple-A baseball with the International League and Pacific Coast League. Even then, those leagues would need adjustment. The NHL or MLB teams couldn’t have ties to the AHL or Triple-A teams as they do now using the lower level teams as a means of producing players within a farm system. The Premier League’s relegation and promotion rule is something American sports fans envy, and although some fans wish it would be adopted tomorrow by America’s sports leagues, it’s not a simple as it may seem.
Nicolo Zaniolo’s father revealed the Roma midfielder will extend his stay at the club and rejected claims that Mino Raiola will not become his agent.Reports circulating in Italy were rife that Juventus were preparing a ‘huge’ offer for Zaniolo, who has broken out for Roma this seasonAnd Raiola was equally reported to have been keen on recruiting the Italy starlet.However, dad Igor told Football Italia via Corriere dello Sport: “Raiola asked for information and is interested in Zaniolo, but Vigorelli will remain Nicolo’s agent for a long time.“My dad says you can reach the top quickly but you can fall to the bottom even more quickly…”Nicolo Zaniolo, in his own words…➡️ https://t.co/cDOk3ZLeXy pic.twitter.com/y2WwCg3Zbl— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) February 21, 2019“At the end of the season there will be a meeting with Roma for his renewal, and there won’t be any problems.“On both sides, there’s a willingness to conclude negotiations in a positive way. The recent talk has been bad for Roma and Nicolo.Zaniolo’s agent admits Spurs interest Manuel R. Medina – September 9, 2019 According to his agent, Nicolo Zaniolo was wanted by Tottenham Hotspur during the summer, but he explained why he renewed with Roma instead.“We all have to row on the same boat if he is to develop properly. We mustn’t upset the fans and club: Roma are going for third place, there’s the derby and then the match against Porto: for him, the priority is the team and he only wants to think about the pitch.“Yesterday he spent the day at home with his mother. He wants to stay focused on Roma’s upcoming games in Serie A and Champions League.“The first leg against Porto was a good test, but of course it’s not enough. We won’t hide his quality as it’s undeniable, but obviously, we mustn’t stop now because he hasn’t done anything yet.Zaniolo’s father: ‘He has to keep both feet on the ground’ | English News https://t.co/UCJeph3LRI pic.twitter.com/Qs78oCmIh3— SPORTS USA (@sportsusa_net) February 23, 2019“[His talent] will have to be confirmed in the final part of the season and then the next few years.“If he stops at his two goals against Porto then we’re at the beginning of the end. The derby? I’m pumped for it.“The derby is always a special game and there’s a fantastic atmosphere for it in the city. Nicolo is fired up, but I hope he’s more relaxed than I am.”
More than a few magazine and media executives spent the holidays putting the finishing touches on deal closures. We’re only 3 weeks into January and there’s been a flurry of M&A action—from decently big deals to small. Here’s a recap:Today of course Meredith announced it’s buying Allrecipes.com from Reader’s Digest Association, advancing a deep dive strategy into the food vertical as fast as RDA is pulling away from it, having also bought Everyday With Rachael Ray from them. The deal closely followed Meredith’s acquisition of FamilyFun from Disney Publishing earlier in the month. Harry Stagnito has sold Stagnito Media to private equity firm Topspin LBO, which also owns his son’s Vermont-based Moose River Media. The deal, says Stagnito, will allow the company to build out its marketing services and data and information products. Edwin V. Avent’s Heart & Soul magazine has been sold to a group of investors called Brown Curry Detry Taylor & Associates. BCDT’s principals all have direct ties to the magazine, having worked for it in one capacity or another.Hanley Wood is now owned by Oaktree Capital Management, Strategic Value Partners and Tennenbaum Capital Partners after going through a major recapitalization, cutting its debt from $410 million to $80 million.In a retreat from the U.S. market, Future plc sold its U.S. group’s Music Division, including 3 magazines, to NewBay Media for $3 million. Revenues for the group in Future’s fiscal 2011 were about $13 million. Grand View Media has taken over management of Shooting Sports Retailer magazine. While not technically a sale, Grand View may have an option to buy after a certain period of time and certain performance goals are met.F+W Media is expanding its food vertical coverage, too. It bought World Tea Media, which produces the World Tea Expo as well as associated editorial products. Vibe Holdings has been merged with BlackBook Media and Access Network, forming Vibe Media. The combined entity will be owned by the Yucaipa Johnson Fund, backed by Ron Burkle and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and InterMedia Partners.Bangor Metro, a regional magazine serving the Bangor, Maine region, has been sold to Cashman Asset Management.
High Times has announced that it’s appointing David Kohl, a digital media veteran who helped launch the digital music video service Vevo, as its new chief executive. Kohl served most recently as a strategic adviser to Microsoft and NBCUniversal and was previously an executive at Nokia, Viacom and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Time Out Group has announced the appointment of Julio Bruno as executive chairman of Time Out Group and Noel Penzer’s promotion to CEO of the Group. Their appointments come as Time Out looks to capitalize on its momentum as the company has grown and expanded to 107 cities across 38 countries with an audience of nearly 40 million per month across multiple platforms. Quentin Walz has joined Fast Company as chief revenue officer and chief development officer. He replaces Christine Osekoski. Andy Hart has been appointed senior vice president, chief revenue officer of Hearst Magazines International, a newly created role. From 2002 to 2008, Hart was CEO of the digital division of DMGT (Daily Mail and General Trust plc). Previously, he was CEO of Diageo Plc’s Translucis. Stephen Pope has been named editor-in-chief of Flying. Over the past five years, he’s instilled his writing skills in Flying as senior editor. Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move: Penzer joined Time Out as managing director Europe in April 2015 from AOL where he oversaw all AOL properties in Europe, including Huffington Post and TechCrunch. He was later promoted to the position of president of the Time Out Group. XO Group Inc., a consumer internet and media company devoted to “weddings, pregnancy and everything in between,” has announced that Brent Tworetzky is joining the company as executive vice president, product. Tworetzky’s product and business leadership includes Udacity, Chegg and WebMD, among others. Bruno was global vice president of sales at TripAdvisor leading the global expansion of Business Listings; and previously held senior executive roles at Travelport, Regus and Diageo. Stephanie Miller has been named account executive and social media manager at MP&A Digital & Advertising. She had been communications coordinator at Walt Disney World Resort.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept is breathtaking Post a comment More From Roadshow More about 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 Review • 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS450 review: Normcore sensibility for the Neiman Marcus set Share your voice Future Cars Luxury cars SUVs Superluxury Cars 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 review: Let it semi-autonomously chauffeur your chauffeur 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class first drive: ‘The S-Class of SUVs’ earns its title Tags 2019 Mercedes-Benz S560 Coupe review: Still the luxury benchmark 0 18 Photos Preview • 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is a smooth makeover for the brand’s largest SUV Mercedes-Benz Enlarge ImageDon’t expect that car-like rear end to show up on the production version. Even Mercedes-Maybach has its limits. Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz plans to lean on its Maybach sub-brand to help the automaker compete against a growing contingent of super-luxury SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. And now we know where it will be built.The upcoming Mercedes-Maybach SUV will be built in Alabama, Automotive News reports. With an estimated price around $200,000, that this super-SUV would become the most expensive vehicle manufactured in the US, a title currently held by the $159,300 Acura NSX. Before production begins, it’s expected to make its formal debut in China later this year.The upcoming Maybach SUV will be based on the same platform as the new generation of Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, which will also be unveiled this year. Both vehicles will be built alongside the GLE-Class and C-Class at the Mercedes-Benz US International facility, which was first announced in 1993 and got its start building the automaker’s M-Class SUV. Eventually, the facility will also be responsible for electric vehicles, and the automaker is investing $1 billion in preparation for this new addition.Mercedes-Benz announced its aspirations to build this properly plush SUV last year, when it introduced the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at the Auto China show in Beijing. It was a wild thing, with a car-like top half seemingly grafted to an SUV’s bottom half. A properly regal interior complemented the insane exterior styling, with quilted leather, rose-gold accents or wood trim with embedded LEDs on just about every surface. Its powertrain consisted of four electric motors that combined to produce 750 horsepower.Later in 2018, Mercedes let slip additional details about what to expect in a production version. It will reportedly feature an improved version of the automaker’s Magic Body Control suspension, which uses cameras proactively adjust the suspension ahead of bumps and potholes. The automaker is also reportedly working on a “chauffeur-focused” driving mode that minimizes shifts in order to translate less movement to the cabin. Talk about prioritizing comfort over all else. Mercedes-Benz
JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUTZika can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it while pregnant.Mosquito season is upon us, and Texas still isn’t out of the woods when it comes to Zika.The mosquito-borne illness can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it while pregnant. Last year, there were 312 cases of Zika reported in the state.KUT’s Ashley Lopez reportsPublic health officials say they are more prepared this season and have a better picture of what to expect. Part of the problem, though, is that Zika didn’t really go anywhere.Some locally transmitted cases continued to pop up near the border during the winter months. That means the disease lingered in the local mosquito population.According to Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, historically warm weather last winter compounded the problem.“We have probably not had a huge die-off of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in places like San Antonio or in Houston,” he said, referring to the type of mosquito linked to Zika.The Aedes aegypti mosquito also happens to be prevalent in Texas, specifically in densely populated areas. Hotez said the combination of all of this is not good.“I am quite worried that we’re still quite vulnerable to Zika virus transmission,” he said.State health officials said they’re worried, too.“Certainly it’s something we’re on guard for” said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. “We’ve continued our planning, continued working with local health departments, with mosquito control, folks around the state to provide some additional funds for Zika control, Zika planning. And that’s certainly something we’re going to continue working with throughout the summer.”Van Deusen said officials are also drawing on lessons learned from last year’s Zika cases.“One thing that we’ve done recently is further expanded our testing criteria, particularly in the valley,” he said. The agency now recommends testing for all pregnant women in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata counties in South Texas Van Deusen and Hotez said the importance of actively testing humans for Zika was one of the bigger lessons learned.“And second, we’re not really getting a lot of help from the federal government,” Hotez said. “So, the state of Texas is kind of on our own.”There have been 10 Zika cases reported in Texas so far this year. All of them have been related to travel. Copyright 2017 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM. Share
– / 7The Trust for Public Land says Houston improved four spots over last year’s ParkScore ranking, but still comes in at #77 on the list of the country’s 100 biggest cities.The study shows Houston has double the national average when it comes to park space. But the problem is accessibility, considering less than half the city’s residents live within a ten-minute walk from a park. Share View Fullscreen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X “The need for recreation is always a challenge and always an issue,” said Charlie McCabe, Trust for Public Land spokesman. “One of the challenges of the ten-minute walk is that you want a distribution of park land across the city.”On the plus side, McCabe said there’s increased investment by park conservancies and management districts.“The nice thing about all the work that nonprofit parks organizations are doing, thanks to a number of really generous donors across the City of Houston, is that they’re kind of filling the gap and they’re going after and trying to address the bigger needs,” said McCabe. “All of these efforts that are resulting in on-the-ground improvements as well as improvements to come.”The ParkScore study says Houston ranks high when it comes to amenities like park restrooms and splash pads, but still falls behind in the number of playgrounds and dog parks. Listen 00:00 /00:49
X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:37 Listen REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/Via Texas TribunePolice tape in front of Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas on May 20, 2018.Texas lawmakers are meeting today in Austin to consider how to protect schools against gun violence. The hearing comes three weeks after the shooting at Santa Fe High School that killed 10 people and injured more than a dozen others. Efforts to curtail school shootings are also moving ahead in Houston.Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Commission Against Gun Violence is working to come up with safety measures that can be put in place before the next school year starts.Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is on the mayor’s commission. “This was already in the making for some time, so it wasn’t simply a response to Santa Fe,” Gonzalez says. “He’s concerned a lot about just everyday gun violence as well.”The commission held its first meeting at the end of May. Sheriff Gonzalez says Mayor Turner has also directed the group to come up with a second round of recommendations by year end, in time to propose them to state lawmakers before the Legislature convenes in January. Share
Depression has not been taken with much seriousness for long, due to social stigma or lack of awareness and diagnosis but is now an acknowledged malady that affects growing numbers of people across the world. In a mental health survey released by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, one in every 20 Indians suffers from some form of depression. Not just that, as a country India was ranked 122nd in World Happiness Report released last month. If more evidence were needed, the UN has declared Depression as the theme of World Health Day 2017. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDepression can be due to various reasons ranging from endogenic to environmental causes. Sometimes environmental situations can trigger a genetic predisposition and cause the onset of depression. However, there is now growing agreement that food plays a significant role in brain chemistry. A good food selection with the right quantities and combinations of food groups helps in better wellness resulting in effective ability to handle and recover from stresses. Being happy goes hand in hand with optimum cognitive performance, and although one cannot alter the environmental stress one is exposed to, consistent low-intensity stresses of day to day life is often a challenge experienced by all. However, right foods prevent the onset of depression or help alleviate depression. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive According to growing consensus in the scientific and nutrition community, Omega-3 fats are an effective nutrient in our diet that provides adequate protection against depression. Foods rich in omega-3 are fish and a few plant produce. Chia is one of the richest sources of plant based omega-3 fats for vegetarians. Omega-3 fats have shown a positive role in improving mood in people suffering from depression. It is estimated that some cultures who have been consuming foods such as Chia as part of their regular diet do better than others in mental health. Chia is an ancient grain and was an essential part of the Aztec culture with a presence in their religious practices, daily food and special foods as well as food for the ancient Aztec warriors. Over the centuries, witnessing many a military invasion, the crop lost its presence and was revived only in the recent past. Chia seeds occurs in nature in black, mottled and white forms with white seeds having an edge over the rest. Due to its high import costs, superfoods have been inaccessible to a majority of consumers in India, leave alone the common man. However all that may be about to change.India’s premier nutrition research development organisation, Central Food Technology Research Institute, has developing agro-technologies to grow superfoods in Indian conditions, and as a pilot programme provided Chia seeds for free to Indian farmers. CFTRI has developed blue flower, white seed Chia lines which blend seamlessly into foods, which have a better market globally. Farmers from across the nation have benefited with better incomes due to the seeds they received and cultivated with CFTRI agro-technology.Chia seeds do not require post-harvest processing and can be directly consumed after cleaning. It is highly versatile and can be consumed by adding to our daily foods. Chia upon adding to water becomes a gel that is easy to drink. One can add about 3-gram Chia to a glass of water and allow the water to rest for about 10 minutes; the seeds form a transparent gel that can be easily consumed. Seeds can blend well in into fruit juices, smoothies, shakes, buttermilk, puddings and bakery products like bread and cakes. The neutral taste of the seed helps in seamless blending into all food products. On an average, an adult needs about 1-1.6 gram of omega-3 fat daily and that can be met by simply having 1 teaspoon of chia seeds dissolved in water or in any other form.One of the main focus of CFTRI’s work on superfoods like Chia is to make it easily available and affordable to Indians at large so that it can gain the currency of a stable like a dal or pulses of everyday use. (Courtesy: Prof. Ram Rajasekharan)