Asking the Madhya Pradesh government to refrain from dabbling in matters of religion, BJP leaders have objected to an advisory issued by the district administration making it mandatory to declare with it idols more than three feet tall, ahead of the Durga Puja on October 6. The first such advisory in the State comes days after 11 youths drowned in a lake here as their boats capsized during the immersion of an 18-foot-tall Ganesh idol. “The accident was not caused because of the idol’s height. It was a result of the administration’s negligence,” said Vishvas Sarang, Narela (Bhopal) MLA. The government had no right to restrict an idol’s height or impose conditions on it, he said, “it should be left to the Hindu community.”Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur said it was a crime to play with sentiments of Hindus. “If the administration is trying to discourage immersion of tall idols, it should do the same for tazias.”Collector clarifies“We have not restricted the height but asked people to keep us informed in case they are keeping an idol more than three feet tall,” said Bhopal Collector Tarun Kumar Pithode. “Especially if the height goes beyond six feet, we need to be informed so that arrangements could be made accordingly at immersion sites.”BJP State media chief Lokendra Parashar said the administration should instead focus on ensuring safety during immersions. “They should not talk such things.”At least a week before the festival, organisers and puja committees must register idols more than three feet tall with either the Municipal Corporation or the police, says the advisory. Without it, they will not be allowed to take out processions or immerse idols. Mechanised immersionsMoreover, the use of boats for immersions will be prohibited, and only mechanised immersions of idols more than three feet tall, using a crane or other means, will be permitted, that too only during the hours fixed by the administration. And use of loudspeakers and idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) will be prohibited. Although the State government has no law regulating idol immersion, an informed source in the district administration said a proposal for it would be sent to the Chief Minister soon. Bengal ruleAt present, only West Bengal has rules regulating idol immersions. It prohibits idols more than 20 feet tall and makes it mandatory for puja committees to submit a declaration before the Municipal Corporation on the compliance with rules such as no use of PoP idols, synthetic colour or toxic materials, and height of the super structure below 40 feet. The State Pollution Control Board could penalise committees in case of violation.
The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced a relief package of ₹700 crore for the farmers in the state, whose crops have been damaged due to excess rains this year.Talking to reporters, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said the move would benefit over four lakh farmers in the State.Farmers in Gujarat witnessed damage to their crops due to excess rains that lashed the state even after the monsoon season officially ended.“The cabinet meeting held today decided to declare a relief package for farmers who have faced crop losses due to excess rains in the last week of October and early part of November,” Mr. Patel said.“We have decided to give a relief package of ₹700 crore for the farmers. The main crops that have been damaged are groundnut, cotton and rice…Over four lakh farmers will benefit from this package,” he said.The relief package will be over and above the crop insurance that the companies will provide to the farmers who under the insurance cover. The relief will be given as per the rules of the Central government’s Calamity Relief Fund, Mr. Patel said.According to him, a survey is being carried out in different parts of the state to assess the crop damage and it will soon be completed.“Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had promised to provide relief to all the farmers even if they have not taken crop insurance. To keep that promise to the farmers in the state, this relief package has been announced,” he said.However, the opposition Congress termed the relief package to farmers as a mere “lollypop” and asked the state government to provide crop insurance to them.The Gujarat government’s announcement came at a time when Congress leader Hardik Patel was about to end his day- long symbolic fast at Paddhari in Rajkot district over the issue of crop insurance and farm loan waiver in the wake of unseasonal rains.“Farmers are committing suicide as they are not paid 100 per cent crop insurance. While we welcome the government’s move (relief package), we want prompt disbursement of crop insurance,” Hardik said.“The BJP government was forced to announce a package of ₹700 crore because of the Congress. We will continue our fight for the farmers in the coming days,” he added.Congress MLA Lalit Kagathara, who accompanied Hardik during the fast, claimed that the relief package would hardly cover the actual losses incurred by the farmers.“This package is just another lollypop by the BJP government. As per the package, a farmer would get ₹2,000 to ₹1,000 per bigha as compensation. You can hardly cover the cost of hiring two labourers in that money. This announcement is misleading. Farmers must get 100 per cent payment towards the loss of their crop,” the legislator said.
Venus Williams of the United States pauses between points as she plays Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the Women’s Singles final match on day twelve at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, July 15, 2017. (David Ramos/Pool Photo via AP)NEW YORK — Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and John Isner will headline World TeamTennis, which begins its 42nd season on Sunday.Williams, who finished runner-up at Wimbledon on Saturday, will play her sixth season for the Washington Kastles. She’ll travel to Philadelphia to face the Freedoms on July 24 and be home for the Springfield (Missouri) Lasers on July 25.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Harden plans to be in Houston ‘forever’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress The six-team coed league also features Wimbledon semifinalist Sam Querrey and Australian Nick Kyrgios on the Kastles.Sharapova recently returned to the WTA after a doping ban and skipped Wimbledon because of a thigh injury. She plays for the Orange County Breakers, who face the defending champion San Diego Aviators on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsIsner and Eugenie Bouchard play for the New York Empire.The WTT final is Aug. 5 in San Diego. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES View comments
Olympiacos 0 Juventus 2: Bianconeri book last-16 berth Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 05:39 12/6/17 Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images Juventus overcame the absence of key players to secure second spot in Champions League Group D with victory over Olympiacos. Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi found the net as an understrength Juventus clinched a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win away at Olympiacos.Despite being without injured stalwarts Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini, Massimiliano Allegri’s side coped comfortably in Piraeus to reach the knockout stages for a fourth successive season.While they needed two second-half goals to win the reverse fixture in Turin, Cuadrado’s close-range finish in the 15th minute set them on course to complete the double over their Greek opponents. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Wojciech Szczesny, standing in for Buffon, who was ruled out with a calf complaint, was required to make two smart saves to preserve a clean sheet, though El Fardou Ben Nabouhane hit the crossbar as full-time approached.But late substitute Bernardeschi capped a solid display by curling home a fine finish in the 89th minute, ensuring it was Sporting who dropped into the Europa League.While Juventus finish behind Barcelona in Group D, the Serie A champions – beaten 4-1 by Real Madrid in last season’s final – will be one of the second seeds to avoid in the draw for the next round.FULL-TIME: Olympiacos 0-2 JuventusJob well done boys!!! #OLYJuve #ForzaJuve #FinoAllaFine pic.twitter.com/5SvLYkfDQG— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 5, 2017Any concerns in the visiting squad about missing out on qualification were eased when the busy Cuadrado popped up in the right place to break the deadlock.The Colombia international was left with the simple task of tapping home Alex Sandro’s low cross from the left to score his fourth goal of the season but his first in Europe.Silvio Proto had already turned aside a curling effort from Paulo Dybala before conceding, while an unconventional slide tackle from the Olympiacos goalkeeper prevented Cuadrado doubling both his and Juventus’ tally midway through the first half.At the other end, Szczesny enjoyed a comfortable ride in the visiting goal until Uros Djurdjevic forced him into a smart reactionary stop four minutes before the break.The Poland international – who had fumbled his only other save during a tepid opening half – stretched out a leg to impressively keep out the striker’s close-range header at the back post.Olympiacos coach Takis Lemonis sent on Marko Marin for the start of the second half in the hope of inspiring his side to an unlikely comeback.The change so nearly had the desired effect when the substitute broke clear of an attempted offside trap to get a clear sight of goal, only for the alert Szczesny to race from his line and smother his attempted chip.The hosts felt they were also denied a clear penalty soon after when Bjorn Engels collided with Blaise Matuidi at a corner, though the contact appeared accidental as the Juventus player only had eyes for the ball.When Ben Nabouhane sent a header against the woodwork in the 82nd minute, Olympiacos must have realised their luck was out.Juventus rubbed salt in the home side’s wounds too, adding a second before the final whistle as Bernardeschi – who had replaced Cuadrado in the 84th minute – found the far corner of the net with his left foot after cutting in from the right wing.90′ – GOALLLLLLLL!!!!!! @fbernardeschi makes it 0-2!!!!!!#OLYJuve pic.twitter.com/H5B54mQQXL— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 5, 2017Key Opta facts:- Juventus have kept a clean sheet for four consecutive games (all competitions) for the first time since April.- There were 44 minutes between Juve’s last shot in the first half (37th minute) and their first in the second (81st minute).- Andrea Barzagli made his 250th appearance with Juve in all competitions. read more
Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, is imploring Jamaicans to be extremely cautious and responsible on the nation’s roads during the festive season.His warning comes against the fact that 303 persons have lost their lives in road crashes since the start of 2017.“I want to appeal to every one of us to behave ourselves in the traffic environment. The speeds recorded in the black boxes that are involved (in road crashes) are frightening,” he said.He noted that pedestrians “are being hit between 38 kilometres per hour and 100 kilometres per hour and they are never able to survive such impacts”.“Too many of our people have been injured or killed because of excessive speed; therefore, as we look forward to this Christmas period, I appeal to every Jamaican to walk, ride and drive for the family and for other persons,” he added.Minister Henry was speaking at the Child Health Initiative and the National Road Safety Council’s (NRSC) Policy Forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, December 14.Minister Henry noted that while strides have been made in improving road safety, particularly among pedestrians who are children, “there are more negative behaviours to be arrested”.“We are below the numbers of (road deaths) for the year before, (but) persons are dying needlessly, leaving behind their precious children to grow up without a mother or a father, but more predominantly, without a father, since male casualties account for over 85 per cent of the fatalities. This leaves a negative impact on the social economic stability of the family structure,” he pointed out.He expressed particular concern about the behaviour of motorcyclists. “Already, 88 of them have been killed so far this year. I am calling on them to cut out the dangerous practices on the roads,” he urged.Minister Henry also called on persons who have outstanding traffic tickets to take advantage of the second traffic ticket amnesty now under way, which ends on January 13, 2018.The Child Health Initiative and NRSC Policy Forum involved partnership with the FIA Foundation, an independent charity known for global philanthropy focused on road safety and sustainable mobility.The event, which involved stakeholders from various government entities and the private sector, had the objective of, among other things, examining the Road Safety Act and facilitating discussions towards creating a policy to provide greater protection for children on the roads.Vice Chairman, NRSC, Dr. Lucien Jones, urged motorists to look out for children on the roads.“Road crashes are the global number-one killer of school-age children, especially older children. Here in Jamaica, we will be stepping up our efforts and practical steps to protect our children as they take the journey, often a challenging one, from home to school and back,” he said.FIA Foundation Deputy Director, Avi Silverman, noted that around the world, children are among the most vulnerable on the roads.“We must do all we can to protect them. Jamaica has the potential to make huge progress and to become a global leader in this effort. We’re delighted to be able to support our partners in Jamaica in this fight to save lives. Every life we save is precious, and every child deserves a safe journey to school. We must not fail our children,” he added. Story Highlights Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, is imploring Jamaicans to be extremely cautious and responsible on the nation’s roads during the festive season. “Too many of our people have been injured or killed because of excessive speed; therefore, as we look forward to this Christmas period, I appeal to every Jamaican to walk, ride and drive for the family and for other persons,” he added. He expressed particular concern about the behaviour of motorcyclists. “Already, 88 of them have been killed so far this year. I am calling on them to cut out the dangerous practices on the roads,” he urged.