Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan December 16, 2020 Find out more to go further Organisation Help by sharing this information December 28, 2020 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News A car-bomb explosion seriously damaged satellite TV news station Al-Arabiya’s bureau in the central Baghdad district of Harithya today, with an initial toll of three dead, 16 injured and one person missing. The explosion followed a series of threats of attacks on Al-Arabiya by terrorist networks.“It is unacceptable that journalists are the target of acts of such barbarity,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge to the authorities to do what is necessary to guarantee the safety of journalists at a time of violence in which they could be singled out.”Al-Arabiya had temporarily shut down the bureau on 25 June following an interior ministry communiqué warning that insurgents groups had threatened to carry out bombings.Opened in 2003, the station’s Baghdad bureau has been hit by terrorist attacks in the past. Bureau chief Jawad Hattab narrowly escaped the bomb that was set off underneath his car in September 2008. A car bomb targeted at the bureau killed seven people and wounded 20 others in October 2006.Several Al-Arabiya journalists have been injured or killed in targeted attacks. Atwar Bahjat and two colleagues were killed near the northern city of Samarra in February 2006. Jawad Kazem was injured in an attempted abduction in June 2006.Based in Dubai, Al-Arabiya is financed by Saudi and Gulf capital. Its Baghdad bureau was closed down for a month in September 2006 on the Iraqi government’s orders.Accused by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki of inciting sectarianism and violence, Al-Arabiya was banned from covering a vote on a law on provincial autonomy to which the Sunni Arab minority was opposed. Receive email alerts RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” News July 26, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Deadly car-bomb attack on Al-Arabiya’s Baghdad bureau News IraqMiddle East – North Africa News February 15, 2021 Find out more RSF_en IraqMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Iraq
Students and parents in Palm Beach County will find out Wednesday when the 2020-21 school year will actually start.At Wednesday’s school board meeting, School Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy plans to recommend that the academic year begin on Monday, Aug.31 rather than Aug. 10.During last week’s marathon school board meeting, in which board members voted to start the school year with distance learning, officials also expressed their preference to start the year on Aug. 31, leading Fennoy to respond that he and his team needed more time to adjust the school calendar.WATCH LIVE COVERAGE: “The board’s will and pleasure right now is to delay it, and it will be delayed,” Fennoy told our news partner, WPTV NewsChannel 5, last week.He continued, “We had already done some preliminary work and figured that, a week or two, we could probably do that with minimal disruption. But once you get beyond that, so we need to take the time this week to really dig into that.”Fennoy is expected to recommend that students finish the school year on Friday, June 18.To see the proposed calendar for the 2020-21 academic year, click here.The school board will meet at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to vote on a start date for the 2020-21 academic year.After approving a start date, the School District of Palm Beach County will send its reopening plan to the Florida Department of Education for final approval. That plan must be submitted to the state by July 31.
Gee has led efforts to make a change in his community through Residents Against Giant Electric (RAGE) and Consumers Helping Affect Regulation of Gas & Electric (CHARGE), even when the odds were stacked against them. In this election, Gee advised that if people truly believe in a cause, they should pursue it regardless of any politics behind it. In response, Hinds directed his attorney Lawrence Luttrell to file a lawsuit Dec. 5 against Holmdel Township. It states that the censure was made “for alleged conduct which is based on one or more false allegations that (Hinds) ‘violated the Township of Holmdel Ethical Standards’” by “diverting public funds.” Election officials indicate their findings on the outside of the ballot envelope. Those findings are then given to the Monmouth County Board of Elections for counting. The board makes the final determination on whether or not the ballot is valid and decides what will be counted and what will be voided. The board of elections also counted late mail-in ballots both on Election Day and Friday, Nov. 8, and made determinations of write-in candidates. Liu declined to comment on the situation. “Based on past recounts that I’ve seen, the results usually don’t change,” Santhana told The Two River Times after the recount results came in. “We have to obviously thank our supporters, not only in the regular election process but in the recount process. I’m definitely thrilled with the support.” In the Nov. 5 election, voters were asked to select two members for the governing body. Mayor Eric Hinds, who was seeking re-election to the township committee, faced censure in a 3-1 vote by elected officials at the Oct. 22 meeting, which he did not attend. The mayor was accused of misdirecting taxpayer money to bring a turf field project to the Holmdel Swim Club without township committee approval. Aside from commissioners and board of election staff, there were eight people present for the recount, Gee recalled. That included an attorney for Liu, a representative of the Monmouth County Republican Committee, Santhana, his attorney, Gee and a few additional campaign staff members. Once the final tallies were counted, results were read aloud by the county administration. Liu’s and Santhana’s teams were able to independently confirm the count as well. “With all the technological advancement we still go back to pen and pencil,” said Gee. Before the recount, it appeared that first-time Republican candidate Chiung-Yin Cheng Liu had won the seat on the dais alongside Weber. Kin Gee, Santhana’s campaign manager, described the scene at the recount as quiet and intense. County commissioners responsible for recounting votes require complete silence during the process so as to not make a mistake, especially considering it’s all done by hand. The Two River Times was unable to reach Hinds for comment before press time. “Even though the odds were clearly against Independents, we believed that was the right thing,” he said. Official results after Election Day showed that Liu had beaten Santhana by three votes. Due to the tight margin, the Independent candidates asked for a recount. HOLMDEL – In a surprising twist in the township’s local election, a Dec. 5 recount has revealed that Independent candidates Cathy Weber and Prakash Santhana were the top vote-getters in November’s election, clearing the way for them to join the Holmdel Township Committee in the new year. “We try to get to the issues and have frequent and constant engagement,” said Gee. “Very early on we identify what are the issues that we want to focus on, what residents should be concerned about, and a lot had to do with integrity and transparency.” At the Dec. 12 township committee meeting, elected officials agreed to direct the township attorney to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Hinds. Deputy Mayor Mike Nikolis and committeemen Rocco Pascucci, Gregory Buontempo and Tom Critelli voted “yes.” Hinds abstained. This is the first time in 25 years that Independent candidates have had a seat at the table in Holmdel, Gee said. It took a lot of effort to get this far. The candidates visited neighborhoods, made themselves available to the public and listened to residents’ biggest concerns. Official tallies after the recount put Santhana in the lead by two votes over Liu. Weber now has 2,170 votes, followed by Santhana with 2,087, Liu with 2,085, and Mayor Eric Hinds with 2,066. According to Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon, there are three offices involved in the election process in Monmouth County. The Superintendent of Elections Office is responsible for counting out provisional ballots and determining whether or not the sender is eligible to vote in the county, without opening the envelopes. The office counted over 3,000 provisional ballots this election season. HINDS FILES SUIT The lawsuit also states that per the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), municipalities must notify residents of meetings at least 48 hours in advance and must post the meeting agenda. The lawsuit alleges that the resolution for the censure Oct. 22, Resolution 2019-322, was not listed on the agenda “despite the (township committee) knowing in advance of the meeting of this subject matter and the intention to adopt it at said meeting.” When recounts are called for, the Monmouth County Board of Elections manually rechecks and recounts the late mail-in ballots and provisionals, and reviews machine tapes from the voting booths Nov. 5. Robin Major, the administrator at the board of elections, said the time it takes to complete a recount can vary, depending on how many districts are involved in the town. All the while, the clerk’s office waits for results and then posts them to the monmouthcountyvotes.com website.
Sixteen persons were awarded life imprisonment in two different cases — the killing of a youth over past enmity in Bhubaneswar in 2012, and the murder of six members of a family in connection with witch-hunting in the Keonjhar district in 2015.Sandeep Nanda, an MBA graduate, picked up a quarrel with a vegetable vendor in the Ghatikia area in 2012. The squabble took an ugly turn when in no time several people gathered and attacked the youth. Past enmity was said to be the prime reason behind the murderous attack. Nanda later succumbed to injuries.“Based on the complaint of Dillip Kumar Nanda, father of the deceased, police conducted an investigation and arrested several accused. As many as 18 witnesses deposed during the murder trial from prosecution’s side, while 27 appeared for convicts’ side,” said Suresh Kumar Barik, public prosecutor, on Thursday.Witness testimoniesBasing on the witnesses’ account, Satyaranjan Pradhan, Additional District Judge-4, sentenced 10 persons to life imprisonment. All ten life convicts belonged to the Ghatikia area of Bhubaneswar, said Mr. Barik.Similarly, Dolagobinda Barik, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Champua, on Thursday directed six persons to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life after convicting them in the killing of six persons of a family in the Lahanda village under the Joda Police Station in 2015. Two members survived the attack and their testimonies proved crucial in the murder trial.Another murder accused in the case Pandiri Munda, a woman, was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for three years and six months. The convicts had attacked the family, suspecting them to be involved in witchcraft.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday announced that the AAP will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on its own, ruling out any alliance with the Congress. Addressing the media here, he stated that the party plans to go full throttle on the issue of full statehood for Delhi. “We will be fighting the Lok Sabha elections on the issue of full statehood for Delhi as it (national capital) has been suffering because of it,” Kejriwal said. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items On being asked its alliance partners, the chief minister said, “We are not in talks with the Congress over alliance. We will be fighting the elections on our own.” The ruling AAP has declared names of candidates on six of the seven seats in Delhi. The candidate on West Delhi seat is likely to be announced soon. The party launched its mega poll campaign, centred around full statehood for Delhi, on Sunday. The party volunteers will also distribute Kejriwal’s letter to doorsteps of the voters during the campaign. The letter will elaborate the benefits Delhiites will have if full statehood is achieved. Elections to the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will be held on May 12.
NEW DELHI: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has told a television channel that he had “always considered the BJP as a communal party.” Between 1998 and 2009, his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was an alliance partner of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government. “They (the BJP) were less so (communal) earlier,” Naveen Patnaik said on the previous partnership. He said he discovered the BJP’s “true colours” after communal violence erupted in Kandhamal region in 2009, over which he ended his ties with the BJP. The riots, which broke out in the aftermath of the killing of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, saw local Christians being targeted by mobs. Though no longer a formal member of the NDA, the BJD has lent tacit support to the BJP-led government at the Centre and is expected to be one of the regional parties that the BJP might turn to, should it fall short of numbers.
There were 27 head-coaching changes this offseason, but only one — Northern Illinois’s hiring of Thomas Hammock — involved an alumnus returning home. Hammock and 11 other head coaches — all non-alums — made their FBS coaching debuts over the weekend, while Miami’s Manny Diaz made his debut the previous Saturday.If the recent success of certain high-profile alumni head coaches is predictive, Hammock should lead a successful squad in 2019. Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs were among the most efficient teams in the country. Fitzgerald led Northwestern to its first appearance in the Big Ten title game a third consecutive bowl game victory. Jeff Tedford coached Fresno State to its best season in school history. Scott Satterfield turned Appalachian State into the darlings of the Sun Belt and parlayed it into a job at Louisville. Bryan Harsin led Boise State to the Mountain West championship game for the second consecutive season.In total, alumni head coaches went 159-122 (.566) in 2018. According to Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System, the average alumnus-led program was 4.16 points better than the average team in 2018, the highest mark of any season since 1975. However, alumni-coached teams have also seen a broad range success relative to the average team in this time period.There were 146 alumni head coaches from 1975 through 2018. In total, they won 52.6 percent of their games, and the median alumnus-coached team was 2.2 points better than the average team in a given season. Non-alumni head coaches, of which there were 641, won 51.1 percent of their games and were on average 0.37 points better than the average team in a given season.That divide has increased over the last 20 years. Alumni head coaches have gone 2469-2029 (.549), while non-alumni have gone 13177-12299 (.349).4These win percentages don’t add up to 100 because NCAA sanctions — and resulting win vacations — have altered end-of-season records.In addition to recent success, there are several qualities that make the alumni coaches unique. Alumni traditionally begin their college head coaching careers where they suited up. Of the 146 alumni head coaches from 1975 to 2018, only 26 (17.8 percent) had previous Division I head coaching experience. That has continued to be the norm. Since 2000, of the 53 alumni head coaches who were hired, all but eight were becoming first-time head coaches.Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich knew at some point in his career he’d return to Honolulu. It ended up being where he got his first crack as the man in charge. “One of my real goals in coaching is to repay Hawaii [for] what Hawaii as a state and a university gave me,” Rolovich said. “Which is everything.”And once installed at the head of the program, alumni seldom leave. Of the aforementioned sample, more than 75 percent didn’t take another Division I head coaching gig after securing the job, and nearly 70 percent spent their entire college coaching careers at their alma mater.One potential reason for this continuity is that alumni seem to be working with a longer leash, perhaps as a result of performance. Since 1975, more than 80 percent of alumni head coaches lasted at least three years with a program, while the same is true for just 15 percent of non-alumni. While more than 12 percent of alumni last at least 10 years, only 2.2 percent of non-alumni can say the same.5Not counting coaches with stints of 10 or more years who didn’t coach 10 or more years after 1975.Some alumni coaches attribute this trend to their one of their strengths: having already demonstrated an ability to represent the university well as a student-athlete. “It’s very easy for me to talk about Boise State,” Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin said. “I don’t need a map.”“If you can have success, then hopefully they’ll be proud of you,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the hope, at least.” But is hiring an alumnus predictive in any significant way?Not especially.To measure how predictive hiring an alumnus is of on-field performance, I pulled all of the head coaches from 1975 to 2018 as well as their alma maters, their head coaching experience and their team’s SRS (as well as its previous season SRS), removing interims from the sample.6If a coach didn’t start the season as the head coach and was at the helm for fewer than six games in a given season, they were removed from the sample. Then I ran a linear regression. Controlling for the coach’s experience and the previous SRS of the team, coaches at their alma maters are statistically indistinguishable from non-alumni.However, a team’s previous season SRS (0.72) is far more predictive of on-field performance — each point of SRS in a previous season is worth around three-quarters of a point in the current one. Furthermore, whether it was the first year of a head coach at a given school is also more predictive of on-field performance than whether they were an alumnus; being a newcomer is strongly negatively correlated with performance (-1.53 SRS).Plus, despite the recent success they’ve had, in terms of historic single-season performance, alumni haven’t produced a ton. Of the 20 best single seasons, as defined by SRS, only one7Bryant’s 1978 Alabama team. In terms of alumni head coaching performance, Bryant accounts for the two best single-season SRS marks and five of the top eight. was coached by an alumnus.Phillip Fulmer is the last coach to win a national title at his alma mater. That was in 1998. Since 1949, only Steve Spurrier, Bryant, Ralph Jordan and Frank Leahy can say the same. That isn’t to say there aren’t obstacles. The allure of returning home is countered by increased expectations, both from inside and outside the locker room. Happiness is fickle and patience wears thin when losses pile up. And sometimes winning isn’t enough, even at your alma mater. At Maryland, Ralph Friedgen was fired after going 9-4 and winning ACC Coach of the Year. He later burned his diploma.“A lot of times, criticism is a faceless person,” Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester said. “But at your alma mater, sometimes it’s a little bit harder because you do know who they are.”It can be a challenge to remember that it is, in fact, a job.“You have to be able to mix the business side with the side where your heart is,” Rolovich said.Regardless of the campus where a coach cut his teeth, the terms of employment remain clear. In college football, the long-term prognosis isn’t stable. “Either we’re going to get fired or we’re going to leave,” former Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship said. Blankenship coached at Tulsa, his alma mater, from 2011 to 2014. “The odds of retiring at the school that hired you is a pretty low percentage.” When David Shaw informed his parents that he was Stanford’s new head football coach, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. “Pride,” he recalled in an interview this offseason, “is such a small word for that feeling.”Shaw remains at the helm nearly a decade later.Stanford is where Shaw was a four-year letterwinner and where his dad was nearly elevated to head coach. It’s where Shaw met his wife and where he proposed; where he left and where he returned. The lockscreen on his iPad is a family photo taken among the eucalyptus trees on campus in 1975, then replicated some 35 years later. “To have so much of your life associated with a place,” Shaw told me, “is weird.”An alma mater, Shaw contends, is an extension of home. In turn, its people — from the dining hall staff to the university board of directors — are akin to family. In 1957, Paul “Bear” Bryant left a winning program in College Station to return to Tuscaloosa, where the Alabama Crimson Tide had endured a fourth consecutive losing season. Why? “I’ve heard mama calling,” he told his players.Hiring an alumnus1For this article, “alumnus” refers to a coach who spent his undergraduate years at the university (not counting graduate degrees). has been a marketable, low-risk, high-reward strategy for athletic departments for almost a half-century. Unless a splashy move is feasible, if an athletic director seeks to turn around a program — or merely wants to sell more tickets — there are far worse blueprints to follow than returning someone to their roots. Which is perhaps why alumni have permeated the market for much of the modern era. Since 1975, 38 FBS football programs2Including West Texas A&M, which moved out of FBS in 1986. hired more than one alumnus as head coach.3The University of Nevada once brought in three consecutive alumni as head coaches. Over that period, there was only one season in which alumni didn’t hold at least 10 percent of the available head coaching gigs.And recently, hiring from within has been a successful strategy. Alumni accounted for roughly a quarter of the coaches represented in last season’s final Top 25 rankings. This season, alumni will command 18 programs, or 13.8 percent of the market. The fraternity includes long-tenured stalwarts (Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Air Force’s Troy Calhoun) in addition to the more idiosyncratic personalities in the sport (Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy).Shaw was hired to “take the dips out of Stanford football.” He became the winningest coach in program history two years ago. But was the university seal on Shaw’s diploma in any way predictive of that success? And more broadly, does an alumnus traditionally make for an exceptional hire? When Shaw’s legacy is written, it will no doubt be penned in cardinal red.“It’s one thing to fit the program, it’s another thing to fit the entire institution,” Shaw said. “Because I went to school here, I understand the ethos, I understand the air of this place.”But despite the recent tear of success, that indelible connection that he and fellow alumni head coaches have isn’t terribly predictive of future success.Neil Paine contributed research.
OSU senior kicker Jack Willoughby (98) during a game against Hawaii on Sept. 12 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorWhen Jack Willoughby’s 20-yard kick sailed through the uprights on Saturday, it was not just the first field goal he made in five years of college — it was the first he made in a game, ever.Willoughby, a former soccer player who walked on to the Duke football team in 2011, had never kicked a football until the summer after his high-school graduation. When he did learn how to do it, his coaching came in the form of an instructional DVD he purchased.While soccer was his sport of choice, football was his passion, and the Princeton, New Jersey, product saw an opportunity to contribute down the line for the Blue Devils.“My grandpa played college football, and I grew up a big college football fan,” Willoughby said. “I thought there was a chance to play college soccer at Duke, but I saw an opportunity to make the transition after high school.”Willoughby’s big leg enabled him to stick around on the Duke team and become its kickoff specialist, kicking off in three games in 2013 and all 13 the following year.However, with an All-American kicker in Ross Martin firmly in place as the placekicker, Willoughby knew his opportunity to kick field goals would likely only come elsewhere.“I decided during my (redshirt junior) season at Duke that I wanted to transfer. It was kind of a multistep decision,” he said. “First of all, do I want to play a fifth year of football or do I want to enter the working world? That was probably the hardest decision. Then after I made up my mind there, I decided that I wanted to leave Duke.”Willoughby said he put together a highlight tape that he mailed to coaches around the country to try to find interested schools, one of which ended up being Ohio State. Between the Buckeyes’ standing as defending national champions and a shaky kicking situation — last year’s starter Sean Nuernberger missed seven of his 20 attempts during his freshman year — Willoughby, who resides in his family’s home in Juno, Alaska, in the offseason, made the choice to move to Columbus in April.“I think Ohio State might’ve looked at me because of the role I could fill on kickoff, but for me it was about field goals as well,” he said. “If I wanted to just be a kickoff guy, I would’ve stayed at Duke.”Willoughby turned heads as a potential starting placekicker for the Buckeyes in August when he made back-to-back 60-yard kicks in practice.Now entrenched in a weekly one-on-one battle with Nuernberger, Willoughby has gotten the nod from coach Urban Meyer in each of OSU’s first two games.Things have not started great for the redshirt senior, as his first collegiate field goal attempt in OSU’s opener at Virginia Tech was a 43-yard attempt that went wide.While he raised his field goal percentage to 50 percent with the 20-yard make during the Buckeyes’ second game against Hawaii, two of his seven kickoffs went out of bounds for a penalty.Meyer said he has not been happy with the mixed performance by the kicker so far, especially on kickoffs.“We’re still not settled,” Meyer said. “Jack is — we had two penalties on kickoff, and that’s got to be addressed and got to get fixed.”As far as the issue of the kickoffs goes, Willoughby said he has been his own biggest critic.“I hold myself to a higher standard than to ever kick the ball out of bounds,” Willoughby said. “It’s definitely something I try not to beat myself up about, but I consider it unacceptable.”Whether he holds the starting kicker job from week to week or loses it to Nuernberger, Willoughby said coming to OSU has already been a worthwhile decision.“Clearly here, the tradition, the fans, the scale of a lot of what we do is at a slightly different level to me,” Willoughby said. “But if you ask guys why they really play the game, it’s for their teammates, for their coaches, and those things don’t really change here or at Duke, smaller places.”
Former Leicester City and England striker Gary Lineker has addressed the horror accident involving Leicester City owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter.The helicopter was leaving the stadium after Leicester’s Premier League clash against West Ham on Saturday evening but for some reason, the helicopter crashed as soon as it took off.The Foxes were held to a one-all draw at the King Power Stadium by visitors, West Ham United.Manuel Pellegrini’s men took the lead in the first half through defender Fabian Balbuena in the 30th minute but were also reduced to ten men, after captain Mark Noble was sent off in the 38th minute for a rash challenge.Nigeria international midfielder Wilfred Ndidi salvaged a point for Leicester in the 89th minute of the game when his long-range strike was deflected past Lukasz Fabianski in the West Ham goal.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.Lineker addressed the helicopter crash that has engulfed his favoured team Leicester City, during BBC’s Match of the Day program.He said: “Then, after Leicester played West Ham this evening, the helicopter owned by the Leicester chairman took off from the pitch at the King Power Stadium and a few seconds later crashed outside the ground.”“Clearly, this is a breaking story and we’ll do our best to keep you updated throughout the programme.”“First, this is what happened during the game.”
AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has admitted that the club is in crisis after they lost 1-0 at home to Fiorentina on Saturday.AC Milan were eliminated from the Europa League last week, and have also failed to score for three games in a row, but their latest defeat has left manager Gattuso with no option but to declare a crisis.“It’s certainly a difficult moment,” Gattuso told Football Italia.“But today we were in a state of emergency because of our injuries. I have nothing to reproach the team for. This result is hard to swallow, we weren’t sharp, but we weren’t lucky either.Serie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“The statistics say that Milan are in crisis. We’ve been struggling to cause problems for our opponents over the last three weeks.“It’s fair to say we’ve not exactly been calm before that either, but we have to find some peace and not seek scapegoats.“The team did everything it possibly could today and we tried to win it, but lost our shape under Fiorentina pressure.”