Democracy and free expression under threat in Iraqi Kurdistan

first_img Help by sharing this information News Ara Ibrahim, the publisher of Hawlati, and Saman Majid of the magazine Livin and the TV station Gorran (Change) were attacked by security forces in Sulaymaniyah while covering the election campaign on the evening of 18 February. Organisation February 26, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Democracy and free expression under threat in Iraqi Kurdistan Asos Hardi, Awene’s founder and head of the company that publishes it, said: “The authorities do not stop talking about freedom of expression, constantly boasting of the media’s independence. But these words are meaningless. In practice, the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan do not believe in freedom of expression.” Hardi won the 2009 Gebran Tueni Prize for the defence of press freedom, which is awarded by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). RSF_en Receive email alerts December 16, 2020 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” “You have guns, we have pens,” was the message that the Sulaymaniyah-based independent newspaper Hawlati (Citizen) printed on an otherwise blank front page on 24 February in a bold protest against a spate of threats, harassment and physical violence against journalists in Iraqi Kurdistan in the run-up to a parliamentary election on 6 March. Shaswar Mama of Sbeiy.com (www.sbeiy.com), the official website of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was attacked by PUK and KDP supporters in the city of Raniya as he and KNN reporter Karwan Anwar were taking photos in the city’s market on 18 February. “I was invited to dine in a restaurant in the city’s Ankawa neighbourhood,” he told Reporters Without Borders. “After my arrival, I was attacked by the bodyguards of Dr. Nuri Othman, the head of the Kurdistan cabinet’s secretariat, who was also there. There were about 25 soldiers at the restaurant. They tried to scare me. It was clearly linked to my recent criticism of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The PUK’s own security forces, which are regarded as illegal, are alleged to have been responsible for most of the attacks on journalists in Sulaymaniyah since the start of the election campaign. IraqMiddle East – North Africa Hawlati editor Kamal Rauf told Reporters Without Borders: “I called Kurdistan’s prime minister, Dr. Barham Salih, to talk about the recent incidents involving journalists. He told me he was going to request an investigation.” Dawoud Baghstani, the editor of the magazine Israel-Kurd (www.israelkurd.com), who is also a local political figure and a member of Kurdistan’s Jewish minority, was attacked in a restaurant in Erbil on 18 February. Some, but by no means all, of the press freedom violations of the past week are summarised below: Ibrahim, who still has not got his camera back, is the third Hawlati journalist to be attacked in Sulaymaniyah. An independent biweekly, Hawlati (www.hawlati.com) was founded in November 2000 with the aim of defending free expression, reinforcing civil society and helping the development of democratic debate. Othman disputes this version of the incident, claiming that his bodyguards just defended him. “I was in a restaurant with foreign journalists,” he told Awene. “Dawoud Baghstani was also there. He brandished his pistol and insulted me and Iraqi Kurdistan. I just asked by bodyguards to disarm him.” News December 28, 2020 Find out morecenter_img Baghstani said he intended to bring a complaint against Othman. “Masoud Barzani, the president of Kurdistan, must investigate what happened,” he said. “I will file a complaint although I am sure the courts will support him. In a Hawlati editorial about the abuses, Rauf appealed directly to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani: “As free and independent journalists, we have improved the media’s level of impartiality and independence in the reader’s interests but now the security forces are attacking us and beating us without reason.” News He added: “The KDP and PUK do anything they want against journalists, who are the victims of frequent attacks and cannot work freely. Democracy and free expression are in danger in Kurdistan. International organisations must act to put an end to this harassment of independent journalists, otherwise we risk going back to the darkest years of Baathism.” Security forces attacked and beat Hawlati reporter Soran Ahmed in Sulaymaniyah at 7:50 p.m. on 20 February, seized his mobile phone and camera and shut him in the boot of a car for more than half an hour. He got his phone and camera back when he was freed, but the data on both of them had been erased. Follow the news on Iraq IraqMiddle East – North Africa News The newspaper Awene, Radio Nawa, the television station Kurdish News Network (KNN) and Speda, a TV station that belongs to the opposition Kurdish Islamic Union (Yekgirtu), issued a joint statement on 23 February condemning the recent violations of free expression and media freedom in Kurdistan. Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan to go further Two Speda television journalists were attacked in Erbil on 19 February. Responding to these comments in a speech at the opening of a students’ conference in Erbil on 24 February, Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani said: “There is no place in Kurdistan for those who say that the province’s security forces are militias. I see nothing to stop me from acting against these people.” February 15, 2021 Find out more Adnan Othman, a former Hawlati editor who is now an MDC parliamentary representative and editor of Rojname, a newspaper that supports the MDC, has received many death threats by email and SMS. He was also insulted by KDP and PUK supporters after he referred to the security forces that had attacked MDC supporters as illegal and called them “militias.” RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” A Hawlati photographer had already been attacked there on 16 February, when his camera was broken and his photos were erased. “We were taking photos in Sahollaka Street, especially of a man who had been injured by members of the security forces, when individuals in civilian dress ordered us to stop, saying they were authorised by the PUK to confiscate our cameras,” Ibrahim told Reporters Without Borders. “One of them managed to take my camera. Then he began hitting him and insulting me. Saman managed to get away.” Hawlati’s front page is just one example of the growing protests by Kurdish intellectuals and independent media against abuses by the Kurdish security forces and by the supporters and security forces of the two parties that control the Kurdistan Regional Government – the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Anwar Bazgr, the head of a press freedom defence committee formed by the Union of Kurdistan Journalists, has also condemned the recent attacks and has called on political parties to respect a law protecting journalists that was passed by Kurdistan’s parliament.last_img read more

NFL star Ziggy Ansah set to host third Football Camp in Accra

first_imgGhana’s NFL star Ezekiel ”Ziggy” Ansah is set to host his third annual Football camp this month in Accra.The camp which seeks to discover and nurture talents will see hundreds of senior high school students from all over the country participate.  The participants will be taken through a number of techniques and skills in playing American football.The camp has been scheduled for Saturday, 29 June 2019 and will take place at the University of Ghana Main Field. According to the organizers, the main purpose of hosting the event annually is to promote healthy living, physical education, teamwork and demonstrating the discipline to work hard towards one’s goals.The former Detroit Lions Pro Bowl pass rusher, who joined the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year contract, is confident this year’s football camp will be greater than the previous years. “This is one thing that I have really been passionate about. Growing up I never had anybody coming down [to Ghana] to do a football camp for me. But it’s something I learnt in the states, it has been great so far. I am looking forward to making it even bigger and better than previous years,” Ziggy said.Throughout the years the defensive end player has given back to society and continues to reach out more to deprived people through the Ezekiel Ansah Foundation, a non-for profit organization that strongly believes that with the right support and opportunity, they can steer youth on the right path and help them realize that they are, in fact, the answer to their own success.To participate, in the 3rd Ezekiel Ansah Football Camp register at www.eafghana.orgPROFILE of EZEKIEL NANA ANSAH Ezekiel Nana Ansah is a Ghanaian who played American Football for the Detroit Lions and is currently signed to play for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He is the youngest of five children. Edward Richmond Ansah, his father, worked for a petroleum company and Elizabeth, his mother a nurse. Ezekiel grew up playing soccer and was introduced to the game of basketball by his brother. He developed his basketball interests and abilities at junior high school at the Golden Sunbeam Montessori School and played on the school’s basketball team, leading them to win several trophies. During his years in senior high school at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior Secondary School (PRESEC), he participated actively on the school’s basketball team as well as track and field. He moved to the United States of America and attended the Brigham Young University (BYU), after high school and studied Actuarial Science, major in statistics. He tried out for the BYU Cougars men’s basketball team and he was not successful. He then spent a season running track (100 and 200 meters) and competing in the triple jump. He had no knowledge of American Football when he arrived in BYU but with the urging of his friend he eventually took interest and tried out for the BYU Cougars Football team. With hard work, he impressed the coach, Bronco Mendenhall, who saw so much potential in him and gave Ezekiel an opportunity to join the team. He played very well during his last two years at BYU. Ansah was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the fifth overall pick, of the 2013 NFL Draft. On May 10, 2013, the Detroit Lions signed him to a fully guaranteed four-year, $18.59 million contract with a signing bonus of $11.90 million. After six years at Detroit, he moved to join Seattle Seahawks on May 2019, signing a one-year, $9 million deal. —last_img read more

Angry Raiders fans show more fight than team after final Oakland home game

first_imgThe Raiders have long been done with Oakland, their 2020 move to Las Vegas the result of years of apathy toward the Northern California town.On Sunday, after the team’s last home game in the region, Oakland showed — in over-the-top fashion — that it was done with the Raiders. Black hole tosses garbage onto the field as Raiders lose their last game in Oakland in the final minute. pic.twitter.com/mhv4gRr1LG— Torrey Hart (@torreyhart) December 16, 2019Derek Carr gets booed off the field after the #Raiders blow a 4th quarter lead in their final game in Oakland.(via @StanfordVoice) pic.twitter.com/Qo4Wuty7YE— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 16, 2019MORE: Updated NFL playoff pictureSeveral people appeared to be injured in the chaos. Security personnel and fans could be seen clashing on video.Things are descending into chaos in Oakland. Media has been asked to leave the field as security engaged in full-on brawl with a fan. Another woman gushed blood from her forehead, appearing as if she had been hit by trash heading for the field. pic.twitter.com/zOlImU7hEh— Torrey Hart (@torreyhart) December 16, 2019The Raiders’ departure marks the second Oakland sports team to depart in a short span. The Warriors moved to San Francisco earlier this year. And the A’s, who are about to become Oakland’s lone occupant, are not exactly in a stable position, either. Some fans charged the Coliseum field following a 20-16 loss to the Jaguars. Others remained in their seats but threw items toward the playing surface. Most people booed.last_img read more

‘Four Centuries of Monmouth County Women’ Oct. 12

first_imgWalter D. Greason, associate professor and chair of the department of educational counseling at Monmouth University, will lead the first public program at 9:30 a.m., From the Pines to the Waves: Wealth, Leadership and Historic Preservation. The presentation will focus on the economic patterns of land-use and local governance, especially those in Monmouth County, that have historically shaped New Jersey. “Four Centuries of Monmouth County Women” will focus on extraordinary women, said Christine Giordano Hanlon, Monmouth County clerk, some of whom had an impact on the women’s suffrage movement will be highlighted. By Rick Geffken At 10:45 a.m., Melissa Ziobro, specialist professor of public history at Monmouth University, will focus on the marriages between American women and men of European nobility during the Gilded Age in her presentation, American Women and Royal Marriages: New Jersey’s Real-Life “Lady Coras.” Ziobro has been studying the history of these so-called “dollar princesses” for several years. Among them was the 16-year-old Florence Hazard from Shrewsbury who married an Austrian price in 1899. “These presentations will provide great background to accompany this year’s Archives and History Day catalog which profiles more than 50 notable Monmouth County women with a wide variety of achievements,” said Hanlon. Archives Day brings together researchers, scholars and historical society members from many of the 53 municipalities in the county. With backgrounds as professional genealogists, amateur historians, authors and writers, the group discusses new findings, books and events of various historical topics. The informal discussions are lively and the featured speakers and break-out sessions are well-attended. There will be a spotlight on the history of notable Monmouth County women at the county’s annual Archives and History Day, to be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan. The complete Archives Week program can be viewed online at the Monmouth County Clerk’s Archives Division at monmouthcountyclerk.com/ archives. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can purchase books, historical maps and other documents, in many cases directly from the authors and creators. The day’s final presenter will be Carol Smith Levin, performing at 1 p.m. as Lillian Feickert, an early president of New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association. Her presentation will focus on the suffragists’ sustained efforts to restore women’s voting rights and their involvement on the national stage.last_img read more

Why Most Facebook Marketing Doesn’t Work

first_imgFor almost four years, since the Facebook Platform was launched, I have been involved in delivering Facebook apps for top brands such as CBS, NBC, Lifetime, Universal Music, Visa and more. Here’s what we have learned doesn’t work, and more importantly, what does work.First, deep campaigns don’t work. Digital agencies love deep, expensive campaigns on Facebook, with tons of pages, interaction, and art. It fits in with how agencies build microsites and websites, and justifies the $100,000-plus price tag that they like to charge. Examples include lightweight games, prediction contests, treasure hunts where you include friends, and such. Unfortunately for agencies and the brands that drop a lot of cash, Facebook users decidedly don’t like deep campaigns.Guest author Peter Yared is the vice president and general manager of Webtrend Apps, a platform used by top brands to engage their customers on Facebook, iPhone and Android. He has has an extensive background in highly scalable Internet infrastructure and tools, and has authored patents on fundamental Internet infrastructure including federated identity and data marshaling.They do not like to spend 20 or 30 minutes on a single brand’s page, unless they are consuming innovative, funny, or exclusive content. So a travel site looking for a long time spent on a page should not put up a treasure hunt on a world map where you invite your friends and can together find great prizes after exploring cities. Sounds good in a pitch meeting, but it results in abysmally numbers of active users.Facebook users are very sophisticated, and there is no way a single campaign is going to compete on game mechanics with CityVille. If you want to build CityVille, it might work. But, even Netflix pulled their Facebook app. You’re better off putting up a bunch of funny videos from around the world and leave it at that.Lots of Apps on One Tab Don’t WorkIt is easy to think of a Facebook tab like a Web page, and throw a bunch of features on it – such as a poll, gifting, and some videos – all on one tab. However, most users do not show up on a Facebook tab like they do on a Web page. They are usually coming in by clicking on a page’s newsfeed posting (“What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz!”), a friend’s newsfeed posting (“I’m a cranky traveller! What kind of traveller are you? Take the quiz?”), or a Facebook ad (“Find out what kind of traveller you are!”).Now, if after clicking on one of these links a user is dropped into a Facebook Page tab with eight different things on it, they are not going to see a quiz immediately and move on. There should only be one engagement feature per tab.Sweepstakes Don’t WorkAfter an initial onslaught of Facebook sweepstakes promotions, marketers are learning that sweepstakes have very low conversion rates and almost no viral uptake. We’re also learning that they attract unengaged users who are there for the prize rather than a relationship with the brand. Facebook users like to click around and look at stuff, and absolutely do not like filling out forms. We have run highly promoted sweeps campaigns for major artists that included things like backstage passes and a limo ride to the show that had abysmal conversion rates. There is absolutely no incentive to make sweepstakes social.Why would you invite more people to join a sweepstakes? It reduces your own chances. Have you ever seen a “I just entered a sweepstakes and you should to” posting on someone’s wall?One attempt to increase viral spread in sweepstakes is to offer more prizes when there are more entrants, but all that does is confuse users with conflicting agendas. There is a disincentive to invite people since it reduces your chances of winning, but if enough new people join up perhaps you can win something else… “Ah, too confusing, I’m going to watch videos instead.”Photo and Video Contests Rarely WorkA lot of brands like to do photo and video contests, but unfortunately they do not have the user base that likes to submit photos and videos. Travel and photography brands? For sure. Mobile carrier? Beverage brand? Not likely. Even clothing brands can’t pull this off.Uploading a photo or video is a big investment on the part of the user, and they do not expect to do it for the vast majority of businesses. These campaigns also require the labor to moderate the submissions. If you must run a photo or video Facebook campaign, the best way to do it is actually NOT in an app.Instead, have users upload the photos and videos to the brand’s page, and moderate them there. Then have users get their friends to Like the photos or videos. This way, the campaign leverages all of Facebook’s viral channels around photos – when the user uploads the photo, when they Like the photo, when their friends like or comment on their photo submission, it is all highly likely to show up in their friends’ feeds, drawing traffic. The great thing about this is that it is easy to do for free, since using all of Facebook’s photo and video features are free, and users get to use the known Facebook photo and video interface, which increases conversions.Like Blocks Rarely WorkLike blocking, where a user has to “Like” a Facebook Page in order to access a feature, typically has a 50% or more drop off rate, even when there is something there that is actually worth liking the page to get, such as exclusive content or a great coupon. Putting a Like block on basic content will almost guarantee a 100% drop off rate.Be very, very selective about Like blocks and be sure to tell the user that it is worth it to them. A Like is the mailing list opt-in of the Facebook world, so be willing to offer up some goodness and know that most will opt not to Like.Extended Permissions Rarely WorkA brand on Facebook should be like a casual friend or neighbor and not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction. What do you do with a friend? Comment on their photos, like their status, vote on their outfit.Asking the user for a laundry list of access to their profile usually results in a 30% or more drop off rate, and that is for well known brands that they trust. Do you really need to know their relationship status? Generally a brand already knows its demographic – does a youth-oriented clothing brand really need to validate that it is 16 to 25 year-old women that are engaging with the brand?So while it sounds good to ask for extended permissions, do the math and monitor the drop off rate to ensure that it is worth it to you, otherwise the overall campaign ROI may not turn out the way you want, especially if the campaign is being graded on number of engagements.Unbranded Apps Don’t WorkIt’s got to look good, and be on brand. In the early days of Facebook, a brand could put up a basic presence with some turnkey apps, and users accepted that. Now that Facebook is all grown up, a brand presence needs to be on par with its website. Facebook users are savvy and will judge your brand in comparison to the best they’ve seen.Dedicated Facebook Storefronts Kinda Work Right Now, But Soon Won’t WorkDedicated Facebook storefronts are the rage on Facebook right now, but they are unfortunately not integrated with an e-commerce site’s existing payment and inventory systems, and are therefore a logistical nightmare. The best bet right now is to list featured products on a Facebook Page with click-thrus off of Facebook to the e-commerce site.Now that Facebook is supporting iFrame tabs in pages, an existing e-commerce site can be skinned to fit in a 520-pixel-wide Facebook Fan Page, thereby integrating existing payment and inventory systems into the Facebook Page.So What Does Work? Promotions and Consistent, Lightweight EngagementMake sure your fans get something in return for liking your page with promotions likes offers for fans that they can easily redeem. The more lucrative the deals offer, the more sharing with friends will happen. Fans want things like exclusive products/services, drastically discounted prices akin to Groupon type deals, and early notification and registration for upcoming events, ideally exclusive to fans. Promotions should make the fan feel like they are a brand insider, not just a standard consumer.A big secret of Facebook marketing is that it is easy and cheap to drive promotions using ads targeted only at your fans that link to landing tabs that deliver the offer and encourage fans to share to their newsfeed.A brand on Facebook should be like a casual friend or neighbor and not try to suck people into heavy levels of interaction. What do you do with a friend? Comment on their photos, like their status, vote on their outfit. These types of interactions take seconds, not minutes, and definitely not hours.A brand on Facebook should offer their users regularly updated, simple to interact with engagement features. Each of the engagement apps should be fully branded, and run in a separate tab with traffic driven from wall posts, newsfeed and Facebook ad units to increase engagement. Start with a personality quiz. Then two weeks later put up a poll. Then try a trivia app. For special events, put up a gifting app for Valentine’s Day, or for the holiday season, a holiday song card.Some brands, like media properties and well-known consumer brands, get an immediate fan base for this type of lightweight engagement. For the rest, building a fan base on Facebook is no different than building a mailing list in the previous generation of the Internet. It takes consistent engagement, and builds over time.Methods to accelerate growth include tying Facebook ad campaigns with engagement apps and driving traffic from the homepage. The apps should still be lightweight and fun, with the conversion goal of getting the user to like the brand.The point is to regularly put up new, fresh engagement features that are easy and fun for users to interact with, that they will want to post to their wall and share with their friends. Then users will interact with your brand just like they interact with their friends on Facebook! The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img guest author 1 A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Facebook#marketing#web last_img read more

MEMORABLE MOMENTS 2007 NATIONAL TOUCH LEAGUE

first_imgThe 2007 National Touch League produced many memorable moments. A selection of ten of the best from the tournament wraps up the premier event on the National calendar for Australia’s elite participants.Please click on the attachment to read the feature on Memorable Moments from the 2007 National Touch League.Related Files2007_ntl_memorable_moments-pdflast_img

John Levi warrior chief speaks to APTN about antifracking protest

first_imgAPTN National NewsHe says he’s a warrior chief defending the land from environmental destruction.John Levi leads a group from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick who are fighting against a fracking company looking for shale gas.The battle may be unwinnable, but Levi isn’t giving up.APTN’s Ossie Michelin has the story.last_img

Online report system reveals ‘malpractices’ at Calcutta Medical College & Hospital

first_imgKolkata: Until a few months ago, the pathology department of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital use to get around 800 blood samples a day. However, after an online system of blood report collection was introduced at the hospital, the number of samples reduced to around 300.It was found that several unauthorised persons from private pathological centres had been submitting blood samples at the medical college to get the tests done at no cost. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersAccording to a source, before the online system was introduced around 800 blood samples were deposited at the pathology department of the hospital. Under this system, the patient or his family members had to fill up a requisition form issued by the pathology department of the hospital. The patient party used to get two copies of the filled up requisition form and a date was issued by authorities for blood collection. On the day of collection, the hospital authorities use to take one copy from the patient and wrap it around the sample container. After the examination process was completed, the patient used to get the report from the pathology department by submitting the other copy to the pathology department. Some persons from a few private pathological centres around the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital were using these forms to get blood reports of their patients from the pathology department of the medical college and hospital. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThey used the findings of the reports, provided by the pathology department of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, to come up with their own reports. These pathological centres charged a good amount of money to hand over these reports to their patients. Superintendent of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital Indranil Biswas said the hospital authority used to get several complaints of missing reports and there were allegations that people working with private pathology centres were using the pathology department of the medical college and hospital to conduct tests for their patients. “After the online system was introduced, the requisition form was obsolete. Now, the registration number of the patient, which is printed on the outdoor ticket, is the only identification,” said Biswas. A source said after the online system was introduced, the number of sample deposit has come down to around 300 a day. It is alleged that a section of staff of the medical college and hospital were involved in corruption.last_img read more

SC order quashing RBI circular to give relief to power cos but delay bankruptcy proceedings

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court order quashing a Reserve Bank of India circular on resolving bad debt will provide relief to power companies and lenders as well as flexibility to restructure debts but will slowdown bankruptcy proceedings, experts said Tuesday. The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed RBI’s February 12 circular, which prescribed rules for recognising one-day defaults by large corporates and initiating insolvency action as a remedy. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Vishrov Mukerjee, Partner, J Sagar Associates said after the Supreme Court judgment, the RBI may have to issue revised guidelines/circulars for the restructuring of stressed assets. “There is also a question mark over existing processes which may have been completed/nearing completion,” he said. “However, with the threat of IBC proceedings mitigated, it will give some breathing space to power companies and lenders as well as flexibility to restructure debts in a manner which ensures continuity and value maximization for lenders as well as power companies.” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, termed the ruling as a major development that shows how “proactive” the judiciary has been. “Whilst it’s too early to say but if banks voluntarily still invoke IBC – the practical impact will be minimal,” he said. ICRA senior vice president Sabyasachi Majumdar said the Supreme Court decision is likely to result in a further slowdown in the already tardy pace of resolution of stressed assets in the power sector. “This apart, the resolution process is in any case subjected to regulatory risks as exemplified in the case of the Prayagraj Power asset, where the regulator has given a recent directive for a discount in PPA tariff while allowing the shareholding change approval for the same,” he said. The RBI had on February 12, 2018, issued a circular on the resolution of stressed assets revised framework — commonly known as February 12 circular. According to the circular, lenders had to classify a loan account as stressed if there was even a day of default. The bankers had to mandatorily refer all accounts with over Rs 2,000 crore loans to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) or the bankruptcy court if they failed to resolve the problem within 180 days of default. Lenders were supposed to file an insolvency application under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 within 15 days of the completion of the 180-day deadline. The circular also withdrew the loan resolution mechanisms the RBI had implemented, such as Corporate Debt Restructuring and Strategic Debt Restructuring. Power sector was the worst hit by the circular and so were companies in steel, textile, sugar and shipping sector. GMR Energy Ltd, RattanIndia Power Ltd, Association of Power Producers (APP), Independent Power Producers Association of India, Sugar Manufacturing Association from Tamil Nadu and a shipbuilding association from Gujarat moved different courts against the circular. The power sector argued that outstanding loans of Rs 5.65 lakh crore (as on March 2018) were a result of factors beyond their control such as unavailability of fuel and cancellation of coal blocks. The Supreme Court Tuesday held that the circular was ‘ultra vires’ — meaning it went beyond the scope of what the RBI can do when coming up with rules and regulations. Mukerjee said the Supreme Court verdict along with recent government decisions implementing the recommendations of the High-Level Empowered Committee will provide much needed respite and impetus to regulatory reform in the power sector.last_img read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State ahead of schedule going into next season

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann yells onto the court after a Buckeye turnover in the second half of the game against Indiana on Feb. 10. Ohio State won 55-52. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorEntering his first season as Ohio State men’s basketball head coach in fall 2017, Chris Holtmann went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a preseason college basketball preview from a local publication. To his surprise, no Ohio State players were featured on the cover.“To me, that was a statement about how relevant the program was at the time,” Holtmann said.Now, going into his third season with the Buckeyes, Holtmann and the nation’s No. 9 recruiting class have been top 10 selections in both ESPN and Sports Illustrated’s “Way-Too-Early” Top 25 rankings for next year.“I think we’re ahead of schedule,” Holtmann said. “I wasn’t sure, this quickly, we would be in a position to where we would have guys that have had early tournament success. Both getting there and competing.”Finishing 20-15 overall and just 8-12 in the Big Ten, Ohio State squeaked into the NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed, but still managed a victory over No. 6 Iowa State in the Round of 64.That upset was an impressive feat for a team without any All-Big Ten performers. To get there, it survived a five-game losing streak and a three-game suspension for sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson.Still, Ohio State will be without a couple key pieces come next season.Senior guard C.J. Jackson was the team’s second-leading scorer at 12 points per game and senior guard Keyshawn Woods nearly doubled his average of 8 points per game in four postseason games for the Buckeyes this year.Taking their place, however, are three top-50, four-star recruits in DJ Carton, Alonzo Gaffney and E.J. Liddell.The highest rated of the bunch is Carton, an athletic point guard hailing from Bettendorf, Iowa, who Holtmann said is “hard-nosed.”Gaffney, a forward standing at 6-foot-9, adds height to a team that sorely missed it in stretches this past season with no player on the team being taller than 6-foot-9 in 2018-19.Holtmann said Liddell brings versatility and a winning pedigree to the Buckeyes, having won two state championships in Illinois.The expectation is that these three will play heavy minutes right away, which is a prospect that Holtmann said is exciting.“What you really hope is the youth we played this year and the youth that we’ll play this coming season will provide benefits for us here moving forward,” Holtmann said.One young player that Holtmann said made significant strides this year was Wesson, who led the team in points at 14.6 and rebounds with 6.9.Wesson entered his name in the NBA Draft last Wednesday, but the current rules allow players to retain college eligibility if they go undrafted.Without Wesson this past season, Ohio State was a shell of itself, losing all three games and nearly its chance at an NCAA Tournament berth during his suspension, including a 35-point demolition by Purdue.Wesson is expected to return for his junior season, and Holtmann said the team needs a backup for down low. That need became even greater with freshman forward Jaedon LeDee’s intention to transfer out of the program.Holtmann got his wish Sunday, as 7-foot center Ibrahima Diallo out of Senegal committed to Ohio State.The four new commits give Ohio State its best recruiting class since 2015, but Holtmann and the Buckeye coaching staff will spend the next several months trying to duplicate that success with the class of 2020.“It’s always a challenge when you have a good recruiting class, in some cases a really good recruiting class, and then back that up with another really good recruiting class,” Holtmann said. “That’s what we need to do. That is absolutely what we need to do.”Ohio State will be doing so without assistant coach Mike Schrage, who took the head coaching job at Elon on April 5. Schrage coached for Holtmann in his last year at Butler before following him at Ohio State for the past two seasons.Holtmann said special assistant Mike Netti and director of recruiting and player development Scoonie Penn are among his top candidates to fill the open position for next season.For the past two seasons, Holtmann and the Buckeyes have overachieved.With the early hype already rolling in for next season’s team, however, Holtmann knows the bar will not be set as low.“I didn’t get into coaching at the highest level of college basketball to be fearful of expectations,” Holtmann said. read more