Crime and inequality still holding back Central America – Ban Kimoon

Speaking to a conference at UN Headquarters in New York on the way forward for Central America, Mr. Ban also called for more concerted efforts to help the region meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of anti-poverty aims – by the target date of 2015.“The perception that democracy has still not responded to the aspirations of the region’s poor brings home to us the need to make the fight against poverty and extreme social inequality a regional priority,” he said.The drug trade and the relatively easy access to large amounts of illicit small arms were serving to fuel crime rates, slowing economic development, he added.“Crime scares away investors. It encourages ‘brain drain.’ And it erodes support for democracy,” he said.Pledging the UN’s commitment to helping Central American governments overcome these problems, Mr. Ban stressed that regional cooperation is also vital to reducing crime and social inequality.Today’s conference marks the anniversary of the 1987 adoption of the Esquipulas II Accord, which Mr. Ban noted had “triggered a series of initiatives that enabled the region to turn the page on a long era of bitter armed conflict,” including deals ending civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador.In his speech, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias – one of the signatories to the Esquipulas II Accord – urged the governments of Central America to back what is known as the Costa Rica Consensus, where countries that spend less on their militaries and more on health care, the environment and education are rewarded with more development aid and debt relief.The conference, A Firm and Lasting Peace in Central America: The Pending Agenda 20 Years Later, was organized by the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University and the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, and included the participation of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Conference panels focused on security and violence, democratic governance, economic development and social development. 13 June 2007Twenty years after a landmark peace process helped end decades of conflict across Central America, the region has posted impressive gains but still faces daunting challenges that include deep income inequality and persistent crime, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today. read more

Top UN humanitarian official visits longdisplaced Ugandans

“Humanitarian, recovery and development actors must redouble their commitment to working with the Government and people of Uganda to help the most vulnerable members of the displaced population return to their homes, and to ensure that those who have already returned have the basic services they need,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said in Pader district in the Acholi region.“Since my first trip here in May 2007, there has been a dramatic improvement in the situation,” he added, noting that 85 per cent of the camp population across the Acholi region has now returned to their original homes. “However, some areas still lack the basics of clean water, and access to health and educational facilities, to make returns fully sustainable.”Mr. Holmes, who will attend an African Union (AU) Special Summit on Refugees, Returnees and IDPs during his four-day visit to Uganda, stressed that development efforts needed to be stepped up as emergency relief needs lessen.“Meanwhile most of the 15 per cent remaining in camps are particularly vulnerable – widows, the elderly and disabled, child-headed households and those suffering from HIV/AIDS,” he said. “We must do more to help them too regain an independent life outside the camp.” Meeting with displaced and host communities in the Geregere and Omot IDP camps, as well as representatives of regional and local government and UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the area, Mr. Holmes heard from a number of extremely vulnerable individuals about the difficulties impeding their return.Among the chief reasons were age and disability, which prevented them from building shelters or farming, as well as illness and disease. Lack of access to anti-retroviral medications in some health centres means that those living with HIV/AIDS cannot access treatment outside the camps. Others face difficult disputes over land rights and ownership and are unable to use the land for production until the cases are settled.The LRA, which terrorized northern Uganda for two decades, has been accused of committing atrocities including mutilations and the recruitment of child soldiers.On Friday, Mr. Holmes is expected to visit the Karamoja region in the northeast, one of the most under-developed and marginalized regions of the country, exemplifying the complex interaction between the effects of climate change, and more traditional humanitarian and development issues. 21 October 2009The top United Nations humanitarian official today witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda, some of whom are still in camps more than three years after an end to vicious fighting with the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. read more

Flights between Colombo and Kochi cancelled until Saturday

SriLankan Airlines said it has temporarily suspended flights to and from the South Indian city of Kochi until 18th August, following the closure of the Kochi Airport due to flooding in the region. The airport was closed today (15th August) until  2 p.m. on 18th August due to heavy floods in the area and further updates on the situation are awaited from authorities at Kochi Airport. Flights between Colombo and Kochi have been cancelled until Saturday.The flights have been cancelled as a result of flooding at the Kochi Airport. Accordingly, SriLankan Airlines said that all passengers booked to fly to or from Kochi during this period may opt instead to fly from or to another city served by SriLankan in South India, at no extra charge. read more

At Security Council UN envoy warns LRA shifting focus to more highprofile

“The LRA continues to threaten the security of the population in its operating area and has notably increased its alleged attacks in the Central African Republic (CAR) during the reporting period, reportedly extending into areas that had previously seen little to no LRA movement,” said Abdoulaye Bathily, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office For Central Africa (UNOCA), in his briefing to the Security Council.Group elements have also persisted in attacking the civilian population in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), he added.UNOCA has continued its active engagement to fill coordination gaps on the LRA issue over the past six month, convening the bi-annual meeting of LRA focal points in April and also, together with the AU and other UN partners, organizing a workshop in March to identify more clearly the respective roles and responsibilities of different actors in LRA-affected countries that are assisting LRA members who have defected or escaped from the group, Mr. Bathily said.Although the successful holding of presidential and legislative elections in CAR has put the country back on the path of sustainable peace, development and longer-term peacebuilding, challenges remain immense, in the context of ongoing, serious protection and humanitarian needs, crushing poverty and urgent requirements in the areas of disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation as well as on security sector reform, he noted.“Armed groups still control large parts of the country, and the Government is in need of the full political, programmatic and financial support of the international community to ensure the re-establishment of state authority throughout the country,” Mr. Bathily explained.On Boko Haram insurgents, he said that the collective efforts of the Lake Chad Basin countries have reduced the terrorist group’s capacity to undertake frequent attacks, as the cross-border operations by the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) have captured Boko Haram fighters, freed captives and reclaimed territory from the group.Boko Haram, however, continues to pose a serious threat to regional stability, he said. While humanitarian assistance has been mobilized for the populations affected by Boko Haram, the number of internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing from Boko Haram violence continues to rise, with limited funding received thus far to address the growing humanitarian needs.“For these reasons, it is crucial that international partners maintain their support to the region to end the threat posed by the group and stress the need for a holistic regional approach, as emphasized during the Second Regional Security Summit, held in Abuja on 14 May,” he said, urging the global community to support MNJTF through the mobilization of requisite political, logistical and financial support in a flexible manner.In all of UNOCA’s work, he noted, principal partner remains the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and during the reporting period, the two institutions have focused on the further strengthening of their relationship. read more

Dwight Howard Vows Revenge Against Warriors David Lee

It was not bad enough that the Golden State Warriors bruised the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night in Oakland. They left Dwight Howard bloodied, too, and the L.A. big man was not happy about it.Specifically, Warriors all-star forward David Lee busted up Howard with a elbow into his mouth on a drive to the basket, causing a cut that required three stitches to close.“I will take care of it later,” Howard said.Howard was limited to 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting in the Lakers’ 109-103 loss. That did not seem to bother him as much as Lee.“He got away with a shot,” Howard said, according to Yahoo! Sports. “I will remember this game. I will remember that shot. He said he wasn’t trying to do it. You can look at the play and see it for yourself. I will take care of it later.”Howard will not have to wait long. The Lakers host the Warriors two weeks from Friday, on April 12, in the third-to-last regular-season game for both teams.That said, the Lakers, who are vying for a Western Conference playoff spot, lost an 18-point lead to the Washington Wizards and then fell behind by 23 points to Golden State before mounting a token comeback and falling short. Not the type of efforts for a team claiming it is playoff worthy.Curry scored 25 points and had 10 assists two nights after sustaining a sprained ankle. The Lakers also struggled to contain Lee, who added 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Warriors improved to 41-31.With the loss, the Lakers dropped to 36-35 and hold only a one-game lead over the Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot.“We are the better basketball team,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “They are in the rearview mirror and I have not checked it and I will not.”The frustration for the Lakers was apparent to end the first half. First, Metta World Peace jawed at Lee, then awkwardly patted the All-Star forward’s head after officials intervened.A few minutes later, Howard picked up the technical foul while exchanging words with Lee and an official, after he was called for a foul on Lee’s layup.“We made a statement in that first half,” Jackson said. He could have been talking about Lee’s elbow, too. read more

Ireland to consider rest period for Sexton after outhalfs latest injury

first_img 54 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Follow us: Nov 28th 2016, 12:40 PM Short URL Johnny, I got asked last week does he need a window of time to really make sure that he can be more robust and that’s probably one of the things that comes up for discussion now that this window is over,” said Schmidt.“So, some of those discussions will take place and we’ll have a clearer picture after that.”While a period of rest for Sexton might be in the national team’s best interests long-term, it does seem unlikely that Leinster would be happy for their star player to miss important games in the coming weeks.The eastern province face Northampton in back-to-back Champions Cup clashes in December. However, Sexton is an employee of the IRFU and their philosophy is to serve the national team’s needs as a priority. Schmidt hopes Henshaw will only be out for the short-term. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOSchmidt did say that he hoped Sexton’s time on the sidelines will not extend beyond the short-term, stating the same of Robbie Henshaw, who suffered a heavy head injury against the All Blacks and also missed the win over the Wallabies.“I’d like to think they’re relatively short-term,” said Schmidt. “Robbie was pretty sore, he was pretty knocked about and that’s disappointing.”Schmidt said Rob Kearney was removed in the first half of Saturday’s victory in Dublin as a precautionary measure, while he expects Sean O’Brien to return from a hip flexor issue within the next fortnight. Share11 Tweet Email By Murray Kinsella JOE SCHMIDT SAYS Ireland will consider giving Johnny Sexton a period of time out of action to fully recuperate his body, after the latest in a growing line of injuries for the out-half.Sexton was replaced early in the Dublin defeat to the All Blacks two weekends ago, having suffered a hamstring injury in his right leg. The 31-year-old missed last weekend’s win over the Wallabies as a result. Sexton was injured against the All Blacks two weekends ago. Source: James Crombie/INPHOSexton had come into the November Test window with some doubts around his fitness after a hamstring problem in his other leg.Asked immediately after the All Blacks clash whether Sexton would benefit from being allowed time off games in order to fully recuperate, Schmidt had joked about the out-half’s “skinny legs” and rejected the notion, saying:“I don’t think putting him out of the game for a prolonged period is the solution.”However, following Saturday’s win over the Wallabies, Schmidt said that Ireland and Leinster would now consider the idea. Wallabies flanker Mumm cited for dangerous lifting on Ireland’s FurlongSchmidt watches on as clinical Black Ferns have too much class for Ireland Andrew Trimble suffered an ankle injury against the Wallabies and was waiting on scans to determine the severity, while Jared Payne picked up a rib injury to go with his existing dead leg, according to Schmidt.The Kiwi head coach also confirmed that the rare sight of Jamie Heaslip being replaced in the second half was not due to injury.“Jamie’s had the biggest volume, the biggest workload,” said Schmidt. “CJ had 60 minutes less last week so we knew that some people were going to be really struggling with the engine, so that was the decision we made.“It was really just tactical in trying to make sure that we kept as much energy on the pitch as we could.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Ireland to consider rest period for Sexton after out-half’s latest injury The 31-year-old has had a tough time with injuries in recent seasons. Monday 28 Nov 2016, 12:40 PM 32,429 Views last_img read more

FInal 1/18 WWE RAW rating, overall number sees increase

first_imgFacebook Velvet Sky Twitter Impact Preview for January 18 on Pursuit/Twitch, Top 5 Controversial Title Moments Now Playing Up Next This week’s 1/18 WWE RAW drew a 2.45 cable rating with an average of 3.50 million viewers on Monday night. The first hour drew 3.775 million viewers, the second hour drew 3.591 million viewers and the third hour closed out the night with 3.123 million viewers.This is up from last week’s 2.36 rating with 3.32 million viewers.As reported earlier, RAW averaged a 1.22 rating among adults 18-49 on Monday.Source:, Showbuzzdaily.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipBully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On TwitterVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:26 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Now Playing Up Next Pinterest Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions NFL Week 2 Preview With Mike Lombardi, Will Antonio Brown Play? Impact Highlights: LAX and Lucha Bros, Scarlett reveals her Talent Search winner Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Videos Articles Roman Reigns is in Remission Google+ Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Kalisto tries to redeem infamous promo, Vince McMahon on The Rock making Forbes listlast_img read more

Former employee sues Clark County Fire & Rescue

first_imgA former Clark County Fire & Rescue employee is suing the department, alleging that she was forced out because she was married to another employee, despite the fact multiple related men have worked at the district without reproach.The suit filed Monday in Clark County Superior Court seeks damages for Jennifer Yager — following her alleged wrongful termination in 2015 — in an amount to be proven at trial. However, Yager’s attorney Robert S. Milesnick previously stated in a notice for a tort claim that his client is entitled to at least $970,000 in damages.Yager, 47, was with the district for more than 19 years — starting with Clark County Fire District 11 — and worked as an administrative secretary, administrative assistant, grant writer and district human resources manager. She married Dan Yager, another district employee, in 2000, the suit states.Despite Jennifer Yager and her husband working together for 15 years as a married couple, District Commissioner Larry Bartel in April 2015 proposed implementing an anti-nepotism policy in order to keep the two from working together, according to the complaint. It was later determined that such a policy would be illegal to enforce retroactively.In September 2015, Interim Chief Ron Oliver told Jennifer Yager that her position was being eliminated for “financial reasons.” However, a budget presented by the former chief kept Yager on as the district finance and human resources manager, a plan that the board approved, the suit states.last_img read more

We have to start winning trophies – Kane

first_imgHarry Kane says the time has come for Spurs to start clinching trophies as they prepare to face Arsenal in Carabao Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday.Kane hasn’t been born the last time Spurs won the league title back in 1961, but he was instrumental as they finished runners-up in 2016.Their last trophy was 10 years ago when Spurs defeated Chelsea 2-1 to win the Carling Cup.Ahead of their North London derby at the Emirates on Wednesday, Kane believes the next step in their development under Pochetino is to start filling their trophy cabinet.“The stage we are at now as a team, it is the next step for us. We have to start winning trophies,” Kane told Sky Sports News.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“If we win this one, it will be another tough team out of the tournament so it is a big opportunity for us and one we are really looking forward to.“It is massive. Obviously, we played them a couple of weeks ago and they got one over on us.“It will be nice to play them again so soon. Hopefully, we can get it right this time and get the win. It is a quarter-final against your London rivals so it does not get much bigger.”last_img read more

Grand Turk escapees sentenced

first_img Related Items:#GrandTurkPrisonescapees, #GrandTurkprisonescapeescaught, #HenricoMorris, #magneticmedianews, #RendallRigby, #StavonHarris Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 22, 2017 – Grand Turk – The three men who broke out of the Grand Turk prison in early December by climbing the fence and hopping onto an overgrown tree were also in court and were charged and convicted of escaping lawful custody.Rendall Rigby got nine months and Stavon Harris and Henrico Morris got 10 months each.    The trio was found the same day of the escape, in Grand Turk, at a local pizza eatery.#MagneticMediaNews#GrandTurkPrisonescapees#StavonHarris#HenricoMorris#RendallRigby#GrandTurkprisonescapeescaughtlast_img read more

Foreign flags galore during WC court issues rule

first_img.The High Court on Monday issued a rule about use of foreign flags that have been widely noticed during the current Football World Cup.The court has sought explanation as to why the inact6ion of the authorities concerned to stop hoisting of foreign flags in the country should not be declared illegal, reports UNB.In the rule, the court wanted to know as to why the authorities should not be directed to publicise in the people’s interest the rules of hoisting the national flag and the foreign flags as per the Bangladesh Flag Rules.A bench of justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and justice Md Salim issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed in the form of public interest litigation.Four people, including home affairs, liberation war affairs and information secretaries, have been made respondents to the rule which is returnable in two weeks.On 25 June, Dhaka University teacher Manjurul Haq and 12 others filed a writ with the High Court seeking its directive to ban unauthorised hoisting of foreign flags across the country during the Football World Cup.According to rules of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 1972, there are restrictions on the use of foreign flags.Foreign and national flag will have to be hoisted in two separate pillars but football fans are seen to host foreign and national flags in a single pillar where a small size of nation flag is hosted atop.The size of the national and foreign flag would be of equal size. But no one abides by the law.last_img read more

Oscar Ratings Plunge To A Record Low

first_imgTwitter via @nerdistThe Academy AwardsViewership for the Academy Awards plunged 20 percent from last year to a record-low 26.5 million, the first time on record the Oscars reached fewer than 30 million people.The Oscars are often the most-watched TV show after the Super Bowl. Not this time: the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics last month was seen by 27.8 million.Television viewership in general is declining, but Oscar ratings are often tied to the popularity of the movies that are celebrating, and this doesn’t say much for “The Shape of Water,” which won best picture on Sunday night.The previous low-water mark for the Oscars came in 2008, when “No Country For Old Men” won best picture. Last year’s show, also hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, reached 33 million viewers. Sharelast_img read more

State govt mulls hike in paternity leave

first_imgKolkata: The state government is planning to increase paternity-cum-child care leave for its employees from 30 days to 45 days.At present, the male employees of the state government get a leave of 30 days. All male employees of the Panchayat and other local bodies, boards, sponsored and non-government aided schools and colleges, state-aided universities and companies, corporations and undertakings are entitled to get the paternity-cum-child care leave. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, the state government is planning to increase the number of days of the leave to 45 days, considering it will help the employees take care of their children in a better way.It may be recalled that the Mamata Banerjee government had introduced the paternity-cum-child care leave in February 2016 and it was stated that the leave can be taken during the birth of his child or at any time at a stretch, up to 18 years of his child’s age.It was introduced, considering that it would be of great help for the male employees to discharge their responsibilities towards their children in a better way. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPOn Father’s Day this year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had tweeted: “My best wishes to everyone on #FathersDay. Welfare of fathers is also a priority of our Govt.”The Mamata Banerjee government had taken up several measures for the benefit of state government employees, in the past seven years. The Chief Minister has also declared a total additional dearnessallowance (DA) hike of 25 percent for the employees, that will come into effect from January 1 in 2019.Also, employees who get retired, will not have to wait for years to get their pension now. With the introduction of e-pension, retired employees have started getting pension without any delay.last_img read more

This emotional video features gay men discussing growing up with their moms

first_imgProduced by Matthew J. Dempsey, the video explores the special relationship gay guys have with their mothers.Dempsey and his gay male friends flew their mothers into Los Angeles to ask them what it was like raising gay sons and how they think things turned out.In the video caption, Dempsey writes: ‘Gay guys and their moms often have a special bond and a uniquely close relationship.‘Our moms gave us license to set down the pretense of how a “real boy” was supposed to be. [It] allowed us to just be ourselves. ‘However, even the most open-minded mothers can still naturally have all kinds of concerns for their young gay sons as they grow into men,’ he said.In the video, the gay guys ask their moms a series of questions.These include when they first knew their sons were gay. They also discuss the hardest thing about parenting a gay child and their biggest fears after coming out.Watch the sweet video:[embedded content]See also: a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . A heartwarming new video features gay men discussing their childhood with their moms. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) GAYSTARNEWS-center_img Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Gay men and their moms. | Photo: Matthew J. Dempsey / YouTube These gay people reveal how India forces them to live secret double livesWhy do so many gay men get married to women in India?Duncan James shares cute story of how he came out to Geri Halliwell after dating herRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : read more

Hit n run in Shepstone Road

first_imgA man was hit by a vehicle in Shepstone Road last night (Friday). The vehicle left the scene of the accident.The man was seriously injured and rushed to hospital by ambulance.Police also responded to the scene and are investigating the matter. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

Run Gringo Run

first_imgWith my long torso and short legs, I am not a natural runner, and after four half-marathons, I’m still slower than most retirees. Obese men and middle-school girls routinely cross the finish line before I do. One woman once beat me pushing a baby carriage. Even the weirdoes in unwieldy costumes generally pass me by. This has never bothered me, because 13.1 miles is still 13.1 miles, and for a non-athlete with a zest for lying on the couch, just finishing fills me with joy. (And shin splints).My wife is a different story. After a half-dozen full marathons, she usually doesn’t trifle with “halfs.” Running the whole 26.2 miles required a lot of training. Back in Pittsburgh, she could spend hours running through the city’s vast urban parks. The terrain was hilly, the green space was generous, and the streets produced a labyrinth of ever-changing routes.Then we moved to Costa Rica, and we hit a wall.“I almost fell in a hole today,” Kylan said, ripping the headphones out of her iPod. “I looked down, and it was just there. A hole. In the pavement. Like three feet deep.”“I can’t believe you tried to run in Alajuela,” I said. “I can barely walk here.”When we first arrived in Costa Rica, we spent about two weeks in Alajuela, and our exercise regimen drew to a halt. Downtown Alajuela is pleasant in many ways, and the streets can feel homey and communal. But navigating the narrow sidewalks is like sprinting across a balance beam. The curbs are dangerously high; the gutters are cut as deep as irrigation trenches. Stop signs are unpredictably placed, and you’re forced to pause at every street corner and watch for speeding cars. People are everywhere – crowding the walkways, stepping in and out of doors, lining up to board buses – and the bustling throngs leave only inches of space. City parks like General Guardia Plaza are beautiful public squares, filled with venerable trees and mingling citizens, but they’re terrible for runners; you can barely jog one lap before having to dodge a shoe-shiner or a nun.When we moved closer to San José, we avoided the city altogether. The nation’s capital is just as claustrophobic as Alajuela and twice as fast-paced. Even long pedestrian walkways like Fourth Avenue are far too busy to accommodate a decent run.“How about La Sabana?” people say. “Have you tried there?”How about La Sabana? San José’s largest urban park is one of the most beautiful stretches in the city, and thousands of people congregate here to play soccer, ride horses, and run its racetrack. Formerly a park (1600s), then an airport (1930), then a park again (1960s), La Sabana provides runners with a web of roads and trails, which crisscross 72 hectares of grass and trees. La Sabana has it all: the National Stadium, a manmade pond, ball fields, light woods, grassy mounds and even the Museum of Costa Rican Art. Spend more than a minute in La Sabana, and you are bound to see runners bobbing past.When we first ran in La Sabana, we felt liberated. The space isn’t big, but you can easily gain some miles by running the perimeter, and there’s a Powerade-sponsored running course that snakes through the park. Granted, La Sabana is surrounded on all sides by four-lane highways, and the noise and fumes constantly besiege you. Once you’ve run every trail in the park, your only option is to do it again. After a while, I started running to La Sabana as well. The streets were still perilous, but at least I could finish my route in an ample slice of nature. • No related posts. Robert Isenberg Costa Rica isn’t known for its runners, and while there are innumerable Tico athletes, marathons aren’t their cultural strong suit. Since Costa Rica first participated in the Olympics in 1936, athletes have won medals only for swimming. Yes, nearly every breathing Costa Rican can play soccer, and the game requires a lot of running, but long-distance races are a totally different game.Kylan searched for running groups online, but only one group wrote her back. They were based in Heredia, and they regularly gathered at 5 a.m.“Wow,” Kylan said, sighing at her computer. “I just don’t know if I can do that.”It wasn’t just waking up early – it was taking multiple buses before dawn. We don’t own a car, and we didn’t appreciate the irony of riding a motor vehicle across the city just so we could exercise.I considered joining the Hash House Harriers, an international “beer and running club” with a local chapter. I had known some “hashers” back in Pittsburgh, and although the group is as well known for its aggressive alcohol consumption as its cross-country jogging, I figured I might meet some kindred spirits. The chapters in San José and Escazú sounded like a great time, but after some consideration – and no response to my emails –I decided that knocking back cervezas was probably not the best training program. Maybe after the race, I thought.So we had to train alone, or sporadically with friends. We haven’t spent much time in Costa Rica, and although we have a healthy number of friends, none of them are taking on the 21K race on Sunday. The race is wholly mysterious to us: We don’t have a map, we don’t know the route, and no Marathon Costa Rica veterans have foretold what we’ll be facing. Will there be serious hills? How packed will the corrals be?Luckily, we can expect about 3,500 athletes to share our pain. •One idle Sunday, I decided to run up a mountain.“There’s no reason to live in Costa Rica if you don’t leave the city,” expats always tell me. The statement is a little trite, but there’s truth to it: Costa Rica is famous for its volcanoes and waterfalls, not its high rises and traffic jams, so residents should enjoy the outdoors where they can.I pass these mountains every day. In the morning, they are folded green massifs against a baby-blue sky. By noon, their rounded peaks are subsumed in clouds. Within hours, they have disappeared in sheets of rain and overcast. Ever since I first saw this venerable range, I yearned to explore it.So I seized the moment. No time to waste, I thought, flying out the door.Madcap streets aside, Costa Rica is a land of rain and early darkness, and these impediments can’t be helped. No matter what the season, the sun will set by 6 p.m., and ill-timed downpours can waste precious daylight. Sometimes Kylan and I see a bright sun through the windows; we decide to run; we change into our running gear; and by the time we’ve filled our water bottles, a storm breaks over the neighborhood. Restless with coffee, we wait for the monsoon to wane, but then dusk falls, and our time is up.On that Sunday, though, I ran down the main avenue, then turned onto an unfamiliar street. As I headed up a steep incline, rounding strange corners and passing yowling dogs, the traffic thinned, and the streets felt quieter and more relaxed. I paced through an old neighborhood, passing hordes of finely dressed families, just as church bells clanged in a nearby steeple. I continued to climb, trading nods with men on the sidewalk, zigzagging across the streets when sidewalks abruptly ended, and waving to drivers who stopped and ushered me across. I even passed other runners – mostly older men wearing Spandex and angular sunglasses.Beneath a fierce sun, my body was so driven by adrenaline that I didn’t even think to look back. The town’s streets merged into a single road, which meandered higher and higher. On one treacherous stretch, I watched a mountain biker fly past, his face taut with concentration; behind him, a pair of laborers watched from a construction site and shook their heads.The mountains grew larger, more textured, but they never seemed to come any closer. That’s the thing about mountains – they’re always farther than you think they are. But I loved their massive ridges, the carpets of trees, the meadows that patched their bases. The road crumbled at the sides and abandoned its dividing lines. Now and again a car drove toward me and swerved to give me room. Some people walked in the road, eyeing me curiously. If there weren’t many runners in San José, there certainly weren’t many up here.Finally, after a brutal tract of road, I stopped. My chest throbbed. Then I turned around and blinked away beads of sweat. The Central Valley sprawled before me, a vast white floor of urban development, framed by the teal highlands beyond. I had escaped the city, risen above its tapered streets and corrugated rooftops. Instead of winding down and hopping a bus, I could take in this vista and rejoice.In the end, my distance wasn’t impressive, only five or so miles, according to Google Maps. The digital map couldn’t calculate elevation, so I had no gain to brag about. I didn’t realize for some time that San José stands at 3,800 feet above sea level, significantly higher than Pittsburgh, and the thinner air should be an impediment. How far up had I gone? It didn’t matter. In a month, I would run my first half-marathon outside the U.S., and hopefully one of many. After conquering the mountain – or at least barreling up its shoulder – I felt ready for a 21K.Vamos, I thought, back in my kitchen as I guzzled water. Let’s do this thing. Facebook Comments Robert Isenbergcenter_img San José eats runners.  Don’t get hit by a car, I think, pulling on my shoes.I step through the gate and start to jog down the street, giving a wide berth to the neighbor’s fence. Don’t piss off the dog. The black-and-white mongrel paces behind its bars, but it doesn’t snarl or bark. Good dog.I rejoin the sidewalk. Don’t slip on the moss. The soles of my shoes twist against the slickened pavement, but they stick. Don’t twist an ankle. Just three more weeks. You can do it.Such mantras echo in my head as I veer onto a busy street, cut through a gas station, and narrowly avoid a gaping black hole in the pavement: Don’t fall down the hole. Don’t step in the dog feces. Don’t kick the discarded glass bottle. Don’t slam into the guachiman in the sombrero. Don’t get run over by a reversing taxi. Don’t lose your footing in the overgrown grass…This is running in the Central Valley – a pinball machine of odd intersections, massive hills, mad traffic and sidewalks that look shattered by a divine hammer. You can do almost any kind of outdoor sport in Costa Rica, from zip-lines to parasailing, but if you want to run long distances in San José, good luck.For my wife and me, though, running is non-negotiable. Wherever we go, whatever the circumstances, we find a way to hit the asphalt. Because of our work, we have to live in the San José area, so like it or not, the city is our only playground. And as a half-marathon looms Dec. 1, we have miles to go before we sleep.• Think of it as an obstacle course.last_img read more

Pax fights airline on bomb threat charge

first_imgA Jetstar passenger accused of making a bomb threat has told a Queensland court that he plans to fight the charge, claiming he is a “victim of a crime”. Man says he is a “victim of a crime”.Image: commons.wikimedia The aircraft, which had not yet left Cairns, was forced to return to the boarding gate and Mr Grillis was arrested. Source = ETB News: NJ Earlier this week, the passenger’s duty solicitor Paul Richardson told the Court that Mr Grillis would fight the accusation, and instead lay charges against police prosecutors. “I’ve been a victim of a crime.”center_img According to Mr Grillis, he had a disability and should not be facing possible jail time. “I will be charging these police officers as well,” he said. The accused is expected to return to Court on 22 July. According to Police, Harry Grillis allegedly told people on board a Cairns to Sydney flight in May that there was bomb on the aircraft, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.last_img read more

Jammu Kashmir focuses on golf tourism to attract more tourists

first_imgJammu & Kashmir is planning to develop its own golf circuit in a big way for the international tourist as well as the domestic corporate tourists. Sundeep Kumar Nayak, Principal Secretary to Government – Tourism Department, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, after taking his position gave an exclusive interview to Travel News Digest, speaking about the tourism developments in Jammu & Kashmir. “It will be a MICE kind of arrangement where you come not only to play but also mix business and play together. We are trying to tie up with golf circuits like South Asian and South East Asian golf circuits so that golf is promoted as an independent destination in Jammu & Kashmir and also as a part of MICE,” he said.He also added, “We have improved and refurbished our entire infrastructure in the Kashmir valley as well as in Ladakh and Jammu. We have a new circuit of premium golf courses Pahalgam, Gulmarg and, of course, the royal spring golf course in Srinagar. The Pahalgam property of the tourism corporation has come up very well. The Pahalgam club is a brand new property which we have commissioned in November-December last year and we have also introduced helicopter sightseeing in the valley. Apart from this, we have given a lot of incentives to our own tour and travel trade where they have also gone for the renovation of their properties and also different aspects of the transport. The state government has gone for a major role building exercise, they have improved the riding surface in the valley in the Jammu province, and all this are aimed at facilitating the visitors. I will make special mention of the Vaishno Devi tourism, as almost 95% of our tourist, they come to the Mata Darshan and it is being developed as a circuit. We have plans to introduce shuttle bus service from Patnitop so that people can stay a few days more and visit the nearby places.”Nayak said, “Yusmarg is one of the most beautiful and unexplored places in Kashmir valley. Yusmarg Development Authority is planning to introduce skiing in a good way along with other adventure sports like mountaineering. The access to Yusmarg has been improved with better roads and the accommodation is also very good. We are re-establishing and revisiting our relationship with the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. We also had a meeting with the Himalayan Mountaineering Group recently and we are going to invite all the people to come to Kashmir and Ladakh for mountaineering and trekking. We are also developing new trekking routes in the upper reaches of Jammu along with the Mughal road which is highly unexplored and it will come up as a good destination for the trekkers.”Nayak also noted that for the last couple of years, Bollywood has taken note of the new infrastructure and new things which have come up in the Kashmir valley and Jammu and Ladakh. “We are going to pitch the film industry to take up Kashmir valley as a shooting location a big way and we are working towards that. Not only Bollywood, we would also like to invite other filmmakers from rest of the country and outside India to come and shoot in Jammu & Kashmir, for that we are going to have single window clearance for filming.”Lastly, Nayak stated that there are many destinations which are pristine and untouched in Jammu and Kashmir like in the Chenab valley there are many such destinations and the districts of Kastovert and the district of Doda, Adarva and also in places like Rajouri and Poonch. These are the places where perhaps the tourists would like to explore when they come to Kashmir, apart from the areas in Kupwara district and Baramulla district. Places like Ori, Keran, Machil and Lolab Valley where tourists can come in addition to the Sonmarg and upper reaches of Sonmarg.last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson 31

first_imgArizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs from San Francisco 49ers linebacker Nick Bellore, middle, and defensive end Taylor Hart (96) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   As teams are still struggling to figure out how to contain him, the 86th overall pick from Northern Iowa in 2015 is having a blast leaving defenders in the dust with his elite athleticism.Other players receiving votes were the Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot, the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders. The Arizona Cardinals came into this season as strong Super Bowl contenders. This year has proved disappointing for many as they sit at 3-4-1, but that hasn’t slowed down running back David Johnson.Heading into Week 9, Johnson has rushed for 705 yards while adding another 407 yards as a receiver. The second-year back accumulated 1,112 yards from scrimmage, most in the league, and tallied eight touchdowns, which already ties the total he had his rookie season.center_img Johnson’s effort hasn’t gone unnoticed, as four out of fifteen analysts have Johnson winning the Offensive Player of the Year Award for his stellar performance.Maurice Jones-Drew: David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals. He is having an unbelievable season with 1,100-plus yards from scrimmage through eight games.David Carr: Johnson. The Cardinals’ offense used to revolve around Larry Fitzgerald, but we’ve seen that change this year. Johnson is so valuable to this team.Marcas Grant: Johnson. There was an extreme amount of offseason hype for Johnson … and he might be exceeding it while almost singlehandedly keeping the Cardinals’ offense afloat.Alex Gelhar: Johnson. It’s hard to envision the Cardinals winning a game at this point if they didn’t have Johnson, who’s looking like the best back in football.How important has Johnson been? He is responsible for nearly 40 percent of the Cardinals’ total yards this season, with an offense that should be flourishing through the air.Sunday’s loss against the Carolina Panthers showed just how versatile he is as a rusher and receiver, as Johnson accumulated 84 yards alone from the air, which was more than any receiver on either team. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more