The Rajasthan Cabinet on Monday decided to conduct indirect election for the post of mayor and chairperson in corporations and municipalities in the State.“The Cabinet today (Monday) took a decision for indirect election of mayor and chairperson. Ward councillors will now elect them,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal told reporters after the meeting. First direct elections of mayor and chairperson were conducted in the State in 2009.“A mayor or chairperson elected by public usually ignores councillors and development works get affected. When a directly elected mayor or chairperson is from one party and the majority in the corporation or municipality is of the other party, it also stalls development,” he said. BJP blamedAccusing the BJP of creating an atmosphere of hate and violence, Mr. Dhariwal said that it was necessary to return to the old mode of indirect elections of mayors and chairpersons to counter the divisive policies of the BJP.
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding PBA chief believes Gilas can get back at Aussies Lazarus hopes the PFL will be able to commercialize the platform through advertising, sponsorships, subscription or pay-per-view opportunities for live matches.On top of the streaming service, Sportradar will provide the PFL integrity services to identify and analyze suspicious activities.“We are particularly encouraged by the PFL’s commitment to keep the league clean,” said Gautam.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Read Next LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving The deal was signed yesterday by Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, PFL chief executive officer Lazarus Xavier, and Sportradar director of business development in Asia Biplav Gautam.Gautam will pave the way for the company to live stream matches through its website and www.pfl.tv.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“The past year was a fantastic first year for the PFL, and we believe that 2018 will be the year we take the league to the next level with Sportradar,” said Araneta, also chair of the league’s board.Sportradar will help PFL create its own video and streaming platform using the company’s Over The Top solution. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Philippines Football League (PFL) attracted its first big partner for its second season that kicks off March 3.Sportradar, a global sports data and media company, will serve as official audio-visual and data distributor as well as integrity services partner, which aims to address the threat of match-fixing.ADVERTISEMENT
Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic says canceling the Olympics “is unthinkable” and, “for the moment,” he is still planning to compete at the Rio de Janiero Games, despite worries about the Zika virus.Speaking at the French Open on Saturday, Djokovic added that people should not only be concerned about those who are going to Rio for the Olympics, but also the Brazilians themselves – “not talking about them too much.”Earlier Saturday, the World Health Organization rejected a call from 150 health experts to consider postponing or moving the Aug. 5-21 Olympics.Says Djokovic: “Honestly, I don’t know what to think anymore.”The No. 1 women’s tennis player, Serena Williams, says Zika has “been on my mind” and she will have to head to Rio “super-protected, maybe.”
GAINESVILLE, FL – OCTOBER 05: Dante Fowler Jr. #6 of the Florida Gators celebrates a fumble recovery during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 5, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)University of Florida defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler is forgoing his final year of eligibility so he can enter the 2015 NFL Draft, where he is a projected top-10 pick. Even though he is leaving Gainesville a year early, Fowler has shown he has a lot of love for Gator fans and he did so again today.During UF’s 57-56 win over Arkansas, Fowler hung out with the Rowdy Reptiles, Florida’s student section. He waved pom-poms and even showed off his dance moves. After the game, Fowler showed love to the fans via his Instagram account:Had fun with them #RowdyReptilesA photo posted by Dante Fowler (@6ixxgod) on Jan 31, 2015 at 12:15pm PSTIt’s always good to see college athletes have fun and support fellow student-athletes. Fowler is an excellent example of that.[ @ThomasGoldkamp ]
Chief among these is the National Export Strategy (NES) Several pieces of legislation have been advanced to support an enabling business environment Story Highlights Exporters urged to invest in continuously upgrading their operations, as well as accessing various legislative and policy provisions Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is urging exporters to invest in continuously upgrading their operations, as well as accessing various legislative and policy provisions being piloted by the Government in order to ensure that their outputs are deemed export-ready.Speaking at Tuesday’s (September 3) launch of the Jamaica Exporters Association’s (JEA) CARICOM market access website, at the JEA’s Winchester Road offices in Kingston, Mr. Hylton contended that while the government facilitates the environment for business, exporters must determine their state of readiness.“The role and goal of government is to ensure that the most enabling business environment is in place by providing the most appropriate legal and policy framework to support businesses. The export community must (however) be introspective and ask the question- ‘are we ready to compete on the global platform?’ – and if not, ‘how do we propose to re-tool and re-organize with the end game of increased competitiveness and integration into the global economy?’. In other words, ‘how do we make ourselves more export-ready?’” he said.The Minister cited several pieces of legislation, which have been advanced to support an enabling business environment.Chief among these is the National Export Strategy (NES), the review of which he said the Ministry is “advancing”, through its agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).He said “an early exchange” with the JEA on a process is anticipated, arguing that it is long overdue.Major initiatives under the NES, which Mr. Hylton said are geared towards capacity building for exporters, include the Inter-American Investment Corporation’s the FINPYME Export Plus Programme, coordinated by JAMPRO in collaboration with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and JEA.“The Export Plus programme is geared towards improving access to export markets for small and medium size enterprises, and to develop trade related skills and infrastructure, all in conjunction with the World Trade Organization’s Aid-for-Trade goals. This is done through the offering of technical assistance in areas such as certification, operations and management, geared towards improving international competitiveness in the global export sector,” he explained.The Minister pointed out that Jamaica is among a select number of countries in which the FINPYME Programme has been established, and is the only one, to date, that has implemented the undertaking’s six initiatives.Another initiative, he informed, is the Enterprise Development Programme, also called export-max. This focuses on developing of a cluster of export-ready clients, facilitating market opportunities, and increased export earnings.“The first phase of the programme assisted 15 companies, and the second phase has earmarked some $54.9 million for technical assistance to an additional 10 companies,” he stated.Mr. Hylton also cited the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), which he chairs, as another significant initiative, noting that it facilitates companies conducting businesses easily, and trading across borders.He pointed out that the Council has developed a “comprehensive” reform agenda, which outlines key initiatives to be implemented by 2015. This is in order to increase the ease of doing business in and with Jamaica and, ultimately, shoring up the country’s ranking in key benchmarking reports such as the World Bank’s Doing Business Report.He asserted, however, that the reforms “must go beyond the report”, to address fundamental issues affecting Jamaica’s businesses, the business environment, and their readiness to support the business community.“There are too many areas in which our exporters find themselves severely handicapped in their attempt to penetrate and to maintain an advantageous presence in overseas markets. (In addition to) operating at global standards…. we must also strengthen our capacity-building programmes, fix the business environment, and improve market access,” he contended.The Minister also argued that removing bureaucratic impediments and improving the business environment remains a key focus of the Council, “which constantly seeks to implement reforms to foster a more investor and export-friendly business environment to support the growth agenda.”The CARICOM market access website is the result of a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)/JEA workshop, done in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, which represents an attempt to provide exporters with accurate information on the country’s export process, and guidelines foe exporting within CARICOM.
DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, and Be a STAR, an anti-bullying initiative co-founded in 2011 by The Creative Coalition and global entertainment company WWE, are teaming up for The Bully Text: Superstar Edition, a campaign that uses an SMS text message game to get young people to take action around bullying.Video: The Bully Text: Superstar Edition – SheamusBeginning today, young people will be able to participate in the SMS text message experience that virtually walks them through a day in the life of a student giving them a chance to take action around bullying. For example, young people receive a text in the experience with the following scenario: “Seth teases Amy, ur lab partner, about her stutter & everyone laughs. Do u A) wait & comfort her after class or B) tell them to quit it.” Each scenario is designed to make young people think about what they would do in the face of bullying alongside some of their favorite WWE Superstars.“Both DoSomething.org and Be a STAR are committed to giving young people the tools they need to combat bullying,” said Naomi Hirabayashi, Chief Marketing Officer, DoSomething.org. “Through DoSomething.org’s expertise in using innovative SMS games to tackle important issues and WWE’s global reach and passionate fan base, this partnership is a no-brainer.”WWE Superstar Sheamus has joined forces to record a public service announcement to encourage participation in The Bully Text.“We are proud to partner with DoSomething.org and their successful Bully Text Campaign, which has already provided thousands of young people with the education and resources they need to stop bullying in their communities,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “Utilizing WWE’s global platforms will provide additional exposure for The Bully Text as well as new opportunities for young people to take a stand against bullying.”“Bullying is the unfortunate great equalizer. The Bully Text Campaign provides a direct and positive resource to the younger generation,” said Robin Bronk, Chief Executive Officer, The Creative Coalition. “Be a STAR aims to provide students with the best assets that help combat the bullying epidemic, and the Bully Text Campaign is something we want in every student’s anti-bullying toolbox.”To play the Bully Text, click here or text STAR to 38383.
Last week, WildAid celebrated its international ambassadors at a special event in Los Angeles.Josh Duhamel and Fergie at WildAid’s LA Gala; photo in background by Nick Brandt/Big Life FoundationCredit/Copyright: Brian To Photography via WildAidThe event, hosted by the Montage Beverly Hills, raised over $2.5 million to support WildAid’s programs throughout the world.Actress Maggie Q was honored with WildAid’s 2015 Wildlife Champion Award. A WildAid ambassador since 2012, Maggie stars in the “Say No to Rhino Horn” campaign, which in part educates consumers about the myths of rhino horn’s medicinal properties, as well as the “I’m FINished with Fins” campaign against shark fin soup. She has filmed several PSAs, and has participated in multiple photo shoots and media interviews to help raise awareness of the plight of animals around the world.John Corbett and Bo DerekCredit/Copyright: Brian To Photography via WildAidJoining Maggie at Saturday’s gala were Fergie and Josh Duhamel, Paula Abdul, Chevy & Jayni Chase, Tanzanian music artist Alikiba, Kristin Bauer, Michael Cudlitz, Bo Derek and John Corbett, Junior Nyong’o, Amy Tan and many more devoted WildAid supporters.Source:WildAid
MILAN – Donatella Versace is embracing her own inner Versace. After coming off a triumphant outing at the Golden Globes, she helped launch Milan Fashion Week menswear previews for next winter on Saturday on a high note.Versace dressed three women for last Sunday’s awards show: Angelina Jolie, Saoirse Ronan, winner for best actress in a comedy, and star of the evening Oprah Winfrey, who wore a shape-hugging number to deliver her celebrated lifetime achievement award speech.Versace has been riding a wave of appreciation since her September tribute show to her slain brother, fashion house founder Gianni Versace, reunited supermodels from the 1990s while highlighting some of the new generation’s top talent.“It is appreciation for Gianni, but maybe also a little for me,” she said backstage before her show in Milan.Here are some highlights from the first day of Milan Fashion Week, which also included fall-winter menswear shows by Emporio Armani, newcomer Isabel Benenato, Marni and Dolce & Gabbana:____VERSACE GOES HOMEThis is about as homey as it gets in the take-it-or-leave it ethos of Versace.Donatella Versace is urging aficionados to “to embrace your inner Versace” with winter menswear looks that take cues from the brand’s home collection.During her Milan Fashion Week show, pillow plaids became suit jackets worn over archival prints in seafoam green, hot pink and yellow. The effect was punk.Crushed velvet upholstery prints in deep hues of golden, purple and red were cut into wild mid-length coats worn over a silken print shirt and a neckerchief. Burned umber puffer jackets recalled a comforter.“These are very Versace elements, refreshed in a street key,” Versace said.The designer punctuated the show with 11 looks for women to demonstrate, she said, “that our two souls communicate with one another.” They included tassel accents on a low-back mini-dress.Versace wasn’t afraid to take things down a notch with camel overcoats. A women’s version included colorful side panels that matched a headscarf and leggings.Men’s trousers were kept short to show off Versace’s new tennis shoe, which features the form of a chain moulded into the sole and the words “Love is blind.”____DOLCE & GABBANA’S KING OF ANGELSIt was a bling call at Dolce & Gabbana.The designing duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana constructed a Baroque Sicilian church façade as the background for their “King of Angels” collection. The show opened with a tableau of young stars in formalwear, including elaborately embroidered military-style jackets and floral suits, walking beneath a pair of cherubs.The colorful knitwear that featured cherubic putti in oval frames looked inspired by church ceilings, and angelic visages also graced motorcycle jackets.Dolce & Gabbana, as usual, offered a range of looks — with suits styled formally, layered with furry jackets and coming pajama-inspired with robe overcoats. The designers employed light-heartedness and humour with heart-shaped backpacks, as well as one that looked like a golden puppet peeking over the wearer’s shoulder.The designers also emblazoned slogans such as “Time of Change” and “Love is Love” across beanies, waistbands and backsides. Nothing on the runway made the slogans’ meanings explicit, although both could be interpreted as calls for new attitudes.Colombian singer Maluma closed out the show in a glittering silver suit to match his stage presence.___UNEXPECTED DOLCE&GABBANADancers busted a move in Dolce&Gabbana active-wear at an exclusive late-night “unexpected show” for a smaller fashion crowd. While activewear has long been part of the designers’ repertoire, they are putting new emphasis on the hot category.Their Millennial models showed off the collection, ranging from baseball shirts emblazoned with “King of My Life,” to soft bear-head hoodies, eliciting cheers and cat-calls from admiring on-lookers.____EMPORIO ARMANI’SArching zippers, tufts of fur and smooth velvet gave zest to Emporio Armani’s youthful tailoring for next winter and fall.While silhouettes mostly were relaxed, the palette was dark, albeit geared toward the fun end of deep with black, navy and slate giving way to mauve, other blues and shades tinged with purple.Floral patterns and hypnotic repeating graphics complemented the flowing silhouette of open jackets and easy trousers. Swirls of colour also burst forth on alpaca knitwear in soothing blues and icy greens.Designer Giorgio Armani has forsworn using real animal fur in all his lines, winning praise from animal rights activists. The fur accents on the boots and detachable dyed collars therefore were surely faux. A series of furry black coats were rendered from curly-haired sheepskin, according to the press release, and there were only pony-effect goatskin jackets.Zippers were deployed with frivolity across knitwear, inviting the playful to detach, or along sleeves, giving a cape-like feel when opened. Trousers were tapered, most elaborately so with a button cuff. Pants were mostly relaxed for daytime leisure and evening events, but tight for the sleek business suits worn tieless.Velvet worked for day or evening, as casual wear in bomber jackets or elegant suits. Gloves were the accessories of the choice, but the 83-year-old Armani is not abiding the smartphone-driven trend of returning to the fingerless gloves of the 1980s. All of the designer’s gloves were perfectly winter-proof.____MOSCHINO GOES UNDERCOVEROnly Jeremy Scott would send the fashion crowd running around Milan with a videocassette tape in their bags. That was the invitation to the evening Moschino show.Scott’s collection challenged the gender conventions by being up front about sexual predilections. The suggestion is that the videotape contained something X-rated, if anyone could find a VCR to play it.The mixed men’s and woman’s collection started with some deconstructed pinstripe suits, held suggestively together by suspenders or garters, but quickly devolved into an S&M, role play exploration, complete with a chauffeur in a silken white cape shirt followed by a madam in a black latex body suit. The music climaxes.Beyond the runway props and edgy fashion statements, Scott also included pretty sheer dresses and skirts, as well as suits that suggest nothing more than business. That is if you leave home the leather props.But even then, Scott pushed the envelope. Turn your head and look at the back of the suit, and there might be a trailing evening dress, or a panel made from a beaded women’s dress: A cross-dresser’s coming out fashion statement.His final look: a Siamese twin tuxedo jacket joining androgynous models at the tails.—–NO FURAnimal rights activists made their presence known during Milan Fashion Week, with several dozen attempting to block access to the Marni preview.The show went on, running late as the fashion world is wont with or without protests. One fur-wearing fashionista endured a shower of verbal abuse as he ducked into the show at the last minute, but no violence was reported.Animal rights activists have claimed victories recently, with Armani and Gucci being among the latest to commit to not using animal furs in future collections. Brands like Marni, which was born out of a family fur business, have a tougher line to tread.Still, the runway show by Francesco Risso, in his second year, included only one obvious animal skin reference, and that was a shearling coat.___MARNI’S TRAVEL JOURNALEntering the Marni showroom is to enter designer Francesco Risso’s world, immediately.Rather than conventional seating, he offered objects to sit upon. A child’s stuffed giraffe. A hose-less vacuum cleaner. Stacks of disused videocassettes. Sacks of flour, whole wheat.These are the details that fill Risso’s travel journal. And the traveller’s wardrobe embrace a naive, awe-struck sense of the world, with oversized jackets and trousers hand-painted with arm chairs, monkeys or musical instruments. Suits, puffer coats, nylon jumpsuits and anoraks round out the collection. Overcoats, in salmon pink, or blue, look slept in. Blankets do the same tricks. Men, spanning generations, not just youthful, wear talisman around their necks: a string of found trinkets, or a plasticized bear.The rule, Risso said back stage, “is that there are no rules.”____ISABEL BENENATO’S ZENIsabel Benenato held her hands to her mouth in disbelief after her Milan runway debut. Her two young daughters, one clutching two stuffed rabbits, ran to hug her.Benenato, 38, has nurtured her nine-year-old brand in the Tuscan city of Lucca, far from the Milan fashion epicenter — and won the notice of the Italian Fashion Chamber, which invited her to Milan Fashion Week.The brand’s philosophy revolves around natural materials, she said backstage.The preview menswear and womenswear collection was inspired by planets, and was fittingly elemental. The looks were layered, say, a jacket over a tunic and trousers, all loose, well-proportioned and easy to wear. Or a crisp, long white shirt over trousers. A long dress wraps and drapes.“There is this sense of being wrapped. Of silence. Of relaxing,” Benenato said.
See the full warning.3:22 PM PST Thursday 13 December 2018Snowfall warning in effect for:B.C. North Peace RiverB.C. South Peace RiverSnowfall with total amounts of about 15 cm is expected.An approaching Pacific low pressure system will spread snow across northern BC overnight tonight. The snow will intensify on Friday before easing in the evening. Total snowfall amounts of up to 15 cm are expected across Williston region, Pine Pass and the areas of the BC Peace near the Rockies.Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to BCstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #BCStorm. 3:22 PM PST Thursday 13 December 2018Snowfall warning in effect for:Highway 97 – Pine PassSnowfall with total amounts of about 15 cm is expected.An approaching Pacific low pressure system will spread snow across northern BC overnight tonight. The snow will intensify on Friday before easing in the evening. Total snowfall amounts of up to 15 cm are expected across Williston region, Pine Pass and the areas of the BC Peace near the Rockies.Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for the B.C. Peace and Pine Pass.A low-pressure system will spread snow across Northern B.C. overnight Thursday that could bring as much as 15 cm of snow.The snow will intensify on Friday before easing in the evening. Weather in the mountains can change suddenly resulting in hazardous driving conditions.ShiftIntoWinter.ca reminds drivers to know before you go. Adjust to winter driving behaviour and use winter tires and chains.Road conditions are available at www.drivebc.ca.
Ahmedabad: Two contractual workers were killed in a fire at an ONGC well near here, the company said Thursday. A fire broke out around 2030 hours on Wednesday at Nandej well when repair and maintenance operations were being carried out by chartered hire Workover Rig Akash 4, it said in a statement. Nine fire tenders — four of ONGC and five from district fire services — were deployed and the fire was completely extinguished in less than an hour. “Unfortunately two contractual workers have lost their lives in the incident. While Sanjay Mahendra Singh, 25, was brought dead (at hospital on Wednesday), Shahjad Alam Ansari, 27, succumbed to the injury at 0700 hours today (Thursday),” it said. Four other contractual workers with severe burn injuries are being treated at a hospital here. “While reasons behind this accident are being enquired into, ONGC is committed to provide all support as per its policy to the bereaved families as well as the ones who have suffered burn injuries,” it said.
New Delhi: A-62-year-old man was arrested for allegedly supplying ammunition illegally to criminals based in Delhi-NCR and Punjab, police said Saturday. Amarlal, a native of Abohar in Punjab and residing in Patel Nagar, was arrested on Friday at Sonia Vihar Pushta road near MCD Khatta here. He had arrived in a white car to deliver a huge cache of ammunition to his contact, said G Ram Gopal Naik, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime). Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plasticA total of 1,000 live cartridges of .32 pistol, 1,000 live cartridges of .315 pistol and Rs 25,000 were recovered from his possession, he said. During interrogation, Amarlal disclosed that he used to get the ammunition at a cost of Rs 125-150 per cartridge from a known gun house owner at Shahbad in Ambala, Haryana, and sold them to criminals for Rs 200-250 per cartridge, Naik said. He has been supplying the ammunition illegally to criminals since 2002, the DCP said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Naik said Amarlal initially used to work as a salesman in gun houses in Abohar and Fazilka in Punjab. He then started his own gun house in Abohar but suffered losses, the DCP said Naik said Amarlal later began selling ammunition illegally to criminals and also helped people get fake arms licenses. He was first arrested by the CBI in a fake arms license case in 2002 and later on by local police in the Arms Act cases, said the officer. Further investigation is underway, police said.
The AIIMS Karamchari Union has opposed the hospital administration’s decision to outsource the operation of its in-house cafeteria, claiming it would lead to rise in prices of food items which only the “highly-paid” staff would be able to afford. The Union has written to the AIIMS Director urging him to reverse the decision in the interest of patients, employees and visitors. The union alleged in a statement that the way the tenders have been awarded after “recently spending hefty amount of Rs 15 crore on cafeteria building, turning into a lavish three-storied structure, casts shadow on the intentions of the authorities.” Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Out of more than 100, only 17 food items have been subsidized, and that too by enhancing their prices, still the authorities are claiming that their step is for the benefit of the patients, it alleged. Other than the 17 items, prices of other items are likely to be increased even further, the union claimed. The employees of All India Institute of Medical Sciences who were running the cafeteria are also likely to suffer because of the outsourcing decision, the statement stated. “The step of outsourcing is clearly aimed at causing undue benefit to the two bidders for reasons known only to the authorities. The employees union are trying to persuade the authorities to reconsider their decision,” it said. Recently, the employees, residents and some doctors took out a protest rally against the decision of the authorities.
New Delhi: Disgruntled Bharatiya Janata Party MP Udit Raj, who switched over to the Congress on Wednesday after being denied a ticket from North West Delhi, accused the saffron party of nominating Ram Nath Kovind for the President’s post because he ‘kept quiet’ over Dalit issues.Launching an attack on his former party hours after his exit, the Dalit leader said, “The BJP had refused to give a ticket to Ram Nath Kovind as he kept quiet. So he was made the President.” Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderRaj claimed that the BJP replaced him with Punjabi sufi singer Hans Raj Hans because he had raised his voice for Dalits. “I am sure that if I had not raised my voice, then maybe I would have been made the Prime Minister,” he said. The miffed MP said that though his party wanted Dalit votes, it did not want Dalit leaders. “If at all they want a Dalit leader, he should be silent,” Raj said, adding that he wanted to join Congress much earlier, but the circumstances were not favourable. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHailing the schemes of the Congress, Raj said, “It was the contribution of Congress government that was protected by the constitution, but the Modi government changed its status from constitutional to general so that the funds allocated for the upliftment of Dalits could be used for other schemes. The Modi government is totally anti-Dalit.” He also attacked the party’s programmes, saying the Mudra Bank scheme “only benefited drivers and helpers of big businessmen instead of the people who actually needed it”. Raj said that he was ‘hurt’ by the fact that the BJP did not inform him of their decision earlier, leaving him hopeful of a ticket right up to the moment Hans was announced as the candidate. “The BJP uses internal survey to choose its candidates and even though I was deemed most popular, I was refused a ticket because I had supported Dalits in their recent protests,” Raj said. Present on the occasion, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said, “Udit Raj is a dynamic and sincere face of Indian politics. He fought for the rights of Dalits. For the last five years, the Modi government has been an anti-Dalit government.” Welcoming Raj into the grand old party, DPCC president Sheila Dikshit told reporters that they know each other for the last 20 years. “I was surprised when he had joined BJP. Now, he has been freed from BJP. Raj would prove to be helpful in winning more seats in Delhi,” she said. In reply to a question related to the interview of the Prime Minister, Randeep Surjewala said, “Akshay Kumar is a great actor. We all like him, but, Modi is a successful actor and unsuccessful politician who decimated India’s economy. It’s interesting that PM Modi who has made life hell for Indian farmers is now trying to become a better actor than Akshay Kumar.”
The end of Ilyumzhinov’s reignResults for World Chess Federation (FIDE) presidential elections Nigel Short🇬🇧 EnglandTBD– Ilyumzhinov’s dual tenures in Kalmykia and at FIDE were dogged by scandal.Once dubbed the “King of Kalmykia,” Ilyumzhinov allegedly used his homeland as a base of operations for illicit activity and intimidated those who stood in his way.In expert witness testimony submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice and obtained by ABC News and FiveThirtyEight, Louise Shelley, the founder and director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University in Washington, D.C., wrote that, “Under the Ilyumzhinov regime, the Kalmyk public and law enforcement agencies were repeatedly accused of interfering in election campaigns, engaging in corrupt activities, [and] covering up and profiting from organized crime.”The allegations, which Ilyumzhinov denies, go beyond corruption. Shelley testified that Ilyumzhinov’s regime “was tainted with gross human rights violations, including suppression of political opposition and harassment of human rights activists.”Perhaps the “grisliest,” she noted, was the assassination “linked to Ilyumzhinov’s name.”“But when you start to touch the purse, when you start to uncover concrete things that touch on money and concrete people, then they kill.”As Ilyumzhinov prepared to welcome players and delegates from more than 100 countries to Kalmykia for the 1998 Chess Olympiad, the mutilated body of a local journalist was discovered in a pond on the outskirts of Elista, the region’s capital city.Larisa Yudina had been the editor of Sovietskaya Kalmykia, an opposition newspaper affiliated with Yabloko, Russia’s most prominent liberal party. According to two of Yudina’s former colleagues, Valery Badmaev and Batyr Boromangnaev, Yudina had discovered details about a scheme involving Kalmykia’s so-called “offshore zone,” a tax haven from which many of Russia’s best-known oligarchs benefited.Yudina’s colleagues said she was poised to report that money paid by companies registered in the offshore zone was flowing into a presidential fund and foreign bank accounts instead of Kalmykia’s budget.“In Russia, you can criticize about some kind of general questions as much as you like,” said Badmaev. “But when you start to touch the purse, when you start to uncover concrete things that touch on money and concrete people, then they kill.”The subsequent federal investigation into Yudina’s murder quickly yielded three suspects — Sergey Vaskin, Vladimir Shanukov and Andrey Lipin — and uncovered a direct link to Ilyumzhinov. The leader Vaskin, a former police officer, was a onetime member of his campaign team.The three men were convicted, and in a Russian court filing detailing their sentences, the judge presiding over the case described how one of the men posed as a disgruntled former employee of an Ilyumzhinov-controlled agency that Yudina was investigating. He appeared to be eager to provide Yudina with compromising documents, luring her to an apartment where she was beaten and stabbed to death.“Her professional activities are creating headaches for some influential people in the republic,” Shanukov testified Vaskin told him. “In connection with that, she needs to be removed.”But in the end the authorities and the court found that “the involvement of other persons in the commission of the crime is not established.”Almost immediately after Yudina’s body was discovered, Yabloko launched its own investigation into the murder, fearing a cover-up by local authorities loyal to Ilyumzhinov. Valery Ostanin, a former police officer with 20 years’ experience, was given full access to the case materials.He called the murder the most “bestial” he had ever encountered. “There was blood on every wall and even on the ceiling,” Ostanin said.According to Ostanin, there was credible evidence linking the murder to Ilyumzhinov, including a flurry of communications between Vaskin and members of Ilyumzhinov’s administration shortly after Yudina’s body was discovered. Yet the investigation stalled, he said, as case materials went missing and key investigators were transferred away.In an interview, Ilyumzhinov acknowledged his acquaintance with Vaskin and his familiarity with Yudina’s reporting, but he dismissed the accusation he had any involvement in the tax scheme or her murder, claiming that he “investigated it specially so that there wouldn’t be conversations” and personally invited the federal agents from Moscow to launch their probe.“There was a trial, there was an investigation, it was proved. The issue is finished,” Ilyumzhinov said. “Let me accuse you or your father of killing John Kennedy or Martin Luther King. It’s absurd.”No charges were ever brought against Ilyumzhinov. In his childhood years, Ilyumzhinov wrote in his autobiography, he “seemed to be living two lives,” one as a troublemaking child, the other (after a lesson from his grandfather) as a chess obsessive.“I became fascinated by chess; I would sit at the checkerboard for hours forgetting everything,” Ilyumzhinov wrote of his childhood. “The 32 white and 32 black checks on the board seemed to me to encompass the duality of the whole world.”After a stint working in a factory and then military service, Ilyumzhinov entered the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, one of Russia’s most prestigious universities and widely known for producing two types of graduates — diplomats and spies.He graduated in 1989, having studied diplomacy and Japanese in the midst of perestroika, an era when the Soviet authorities began to allow limited types of private enterprise.“I wanted to become a millionaire,” he said. So rather than enter, say, the foreign ministry, he became a car salesman. Ilyumzhinov said he made a small fortune importing Japanese and other luxury cars and wrote that he turned some “huge profits” on various high-risk, high-reward ventures.According to Michael Khodarkovsky, a professor of history at Loyola University Chicago who has both studied in and written on Kalmykia, Ilyumzhinov quickly established himself among a new breed of post-Soviet powerbrokers.“His early biography is very murky,” Khodarkovsky said. “After the Soviet collapse, people [like Ilyumzhinov] knew what strings to pull and quickly accumulated sizable fortunes.”With wealth came power, as impoverished institutions looked to Ilyumzhinov and his considerable resources for a financial bailout.He was elected to the Russian parliament in 1990, at which point, he wrote, he “began to allot money from [his] personal funds” to fill the gaps in the state’s budget. A few years later, in 1993, he was elected president of Kalmykia.He was 31 years old. His first decree was to make chess obligatory in Kalmyk schools.FIDE came calling shortly thereafter, and Ilyumzhinov harbors no illusions about the reason behind the sudden interest in his leadership.“Why was I elected? Because FIDE was bankrupt then,” Ilyumzhinov told us. “There was no money. And so they asked me.”In 1995, he was unanimously elected president of FIDE, giving him control of the sport that had long ago captured his imagination. He immediately moved to close FIDE’s debts, spending $2 million, he said, from his personal fortune.It would become apparent, however, that both Kalmykia and FIDE had traded a short-term problem for a long-term ruler whose alleged activities were destined to make headlines around the world for more than two decades.Some headlines were just weird — he has repeatedly claimed he was abducted by aliens in 1997. Others spoke to something more wicked. 2006Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia64%– Garry Kasparov🇷🇺 Russia36%– Whatever lingering suspicions surrounded Ilyumzhinov following the murder investigation, they don’t appear to have loosened his grip on power. He remained firmly entrenched in his Elista headquarters for more than a decade after Yudina’s killing, where throughout his rule a trio of flags waved overhead — one for Russia, one for Kalmykia, and one for FIDE.In the months following the murder, Ilyumzhinov was re-elected president of FIDE. He ran unopposed.According to Garry Kasparov, then the world’s top player and now an outspoken critic of both Ilyumzhinov and the Kremlin, chess insiders were more than willing to look the other way.“[It] just put on display the indifference of the world of chess,” Kasparov said in 2017, “for the source of money that was being used to fund chess activities.”“It’s not a secret. He can go like he is just there for chess, for the chess tournament, but he can deliver a message. And the message won’t get screwed up.”Ilyumzhinov maintained a packed travel schedule that saw him unexpectedly but repeatedly appear beside some of the world’s best-known strongmen leaders, typically under the auspices of promoting the game.In 2003, Ilyumzhinov flew to Iraq, less than two days before the start of the U.S. invasion, where he reportedly met with Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday. In 2011, he flew to Libya, amid an ongoing NATO bombing campaign, where he played a chess match against Moammar Gadhafi. And in 2012, he flew to Syria, shortly after the outbreak of civil war, where he met with Bashar Assad to, in Ilyumzhinov’s telling, deliver chess textbooks to Syrian schoolchildren.At times, he appeared to be doing much more than promoting chess. Over the years, Ilyumzhinov has repeatedly been alleged to act as an informal envoy for the Russian government.His son David confirmed that Ilyumzhinov served a unique role. “It’s not a secret,” David told us. “He can go like he is just there for chess, for the chess tournament, but he can deliver a message. And the message won’t get screwed up.”With 188 national chess federations scattered across the globe, Ilyumzhinov’s opportunities for chess diplomacy were all but endless.“It offers unique opportunities to be used as the unofficial embassy,” Kasparov said. “So Ilyumzhinov can go to different places as the president of the chess federation. … He’s a very useful ambassador. If you can call it ambassador.”Ilyumzhinov, however, scoffed at questions about his association with other autocrats.“If tomorrow Kim Jong Un from North Korea [contacted me],” Ilyumzhinov said. “I would also travel there and develop chess.”He denied working directly for the Kremlin but acknowledged that his trips served a dual purpose. He described himself as a “people’s diplomat,” one who promoted not only chess but also “peace and stability.” He became “friends,” he said, with businessmen and politicians around the world with whom he might have casually shared information over lunch.Peskov, who also serves as the chairman of the board of trustees of Russia’s national chess federation alongside other senior Russian officials, denied any connection between the Kremlin and Ilyumzhinov.“He used his influence, and he used his authority to promote chess globally,” Peskov said. “And he’s got certain results. He was very successful.”But Ilyumzhinov’s globetrotting — which his longtime deputy Georgios Makropoulos said was often the largest line item in FIDE’s annual budget — contributed to another fiscal crisis for the federation.Several chess insiders agreed that the FIDE president’s well-publicized association with oppressive regimes made would-be sponsors increasingly wary of association with FIDE.Rex Sinquefield, an American philanthropist and the biggest benefactor of American chess, bankrolls his own tournaments rather than doing business with FIDE.“It’s not a group we could work with,” Sinquefield told us. “There’s a fundamental question of integrity and honesty, and it’s pretty clear to me the mess they’re in.”But just as in Kalmykia, Ilyumzhinov’s money and Kremlin connections would make him especially difficult to remove from his perch atop chess.The first serious challenge to his presidency came in 2010, when the Russian former world champion and onetime Communist Party apparatchik Anatoly Karpov ran against him. Karpov initially managed to win the support of the Russian Chess Federation until an armed raid of its headquarters, reportedly ordered by a then-senior Kremlin advisor Arkady Dvorkovich, appeared to persuade its officials to reconsider.The second serious challenge came in 2014, when Kasparov ran against him. He appeared to attract significant support to his reformist agenda until what Kasparov described as “direct interference” by the Russian Foreign Ministry and the network of Russian embassies, including, he said, threats of retaliation and outright bribery, accusations Ilyumzhinov dismissed.“What do I need votes for,” he asked us, “if I practically kept that organization running for 23 years?”It would ultimately take an intervention of the highest order to precipitate Ilyumzhinov’s downfall — and it came from President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department. Kalmykia, where Ilyumzhinov was born in 1962, would seem an unlikely springboard to power, but that’s where his rapid rise began.One of Russia’s harshest and poorest regions, it is a sweeping stretch of arid grassland home to a largely Buddhist population that was once targeted for exile and extermination by Joseph Stalin. 2018Arkady Dvorkovich🇷🇺 RussiaTBD– YearCandidateCountryVote share 1995Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia—– 1996Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia65%– Vladimir Putin speaks with Ilyumzhinov during a meeting in the Kremlin in 2006. Like in other elections around the world, Russia has been accused of meddling in FIDE’s election for the top spot in international chess. DMITRY ASTAKHOV / AFP / GETTY IMAGES But what’s next for Ilyumzhinov? His work, he said, is far from over. He said he will focus on philanthropic efforts to further his new goal of “teaching 1 billion people to play chess.”He also suggested he might play a role in the reconstruction of war-torn Syria.“Maybe I will do business there,” Ilyumzhinov said. “They are inviting me to get into it.”According to Ilyumzhinov’s son, David, Ilyumzhinov’s “connections” remain valuable, and his presence can provide a measure of protection and influence in Russia’s notoriously ruthless business environment.“He just partners,” David said. “Sometimes he goes in as cover, so that people won’t have problems. … It’s kind of lobbying but in a different way.”Ilyumzhinov wavers between aggrievement and acceptance. He laments that the institutions he believes he saved have now turned on him, calling him “a fool” and telling him to “get out of here.” But he also adopts a kind of Buddhist serenity, claiming he “never look[s] back” and declaring “what’s past is past.”“When people do nothing, just criticize, then I’m silent,” he said. “Because I have nothing to say to them. Like with the aliens. Why do aliens not argue with us? Because they are on a different level. I am on a different level to people. Why should I discuss or talk?”He points to the Buddhist temples and “chess palaces” he built in Kalmykia and in countries around the world, monuments to the money he poured into his passions.“Is that corruption?” he asked. “It’s a gift from me. Look how many I have built. I built that with my own money. In every region. They are real. They stand. Is that corruption? You Western people, you don’t know. You Western people don’t understand. You are a different mentality. I give.” The actual Chess City in Elista, on the left, and a model of its original, grander plan, featuring a chess-decorated castle, on the right. The neighborhood sits largely neglected in the Russian desert. PATRICK REEVELL Bessel Kok🇳🇱 Netherlands36%– In 2015, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Ilyumzhinov “for materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the Government of Syria,” which had employed brutal measures to maintain control of its territory amid a popular uprising.U.S. officials provided few details about the exact nature of the activity that led to the sanction but alleged that Ilyumzhinov owned or controlled the Russian Financial Alliance Bank alongside Mudalal Khuri, its chairman, who “has had a long association with the Assad regime and represents regime business and financial interests in Russia.”According to a former U.S. Treasury Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, being placed on the U.S. list of sanctioned individuals not only freezes all U.S.-based assets but “really is a scarlet letter in the financial system.”“Banks around the world will stop doing business with those people,” the former official said. “I mean a lot of banks, even non-U.S. banks.”Ilyumzhinov vehemently denied allegations that he had assisted the Assad regime, but the sanction created a legitimacy crisis for him at FIDE. Despite that, Ilyumzhinov continued to enjoy a level of state support that revealed how important chess remains to Putin and his inner circle.Peskov called the sanctions “illegal,” pointing out that Ilyumzhinov has never been convicted of any crime.“We’re living in a world of allegations and fake news,” Peskov said.Ilyumzhinov did all he could to combat the sanction. He wrote letters. He hired a lawyer. He even appealed directly to “His Excellency” President Donald Trump, whose alleged affinity for Russia had been dominating headlines for months.“I know that you are completely and utterly committed to the principles and ideals of America,” Ilyumzhinov wrote to Trump in September 2017 in a letter obtained by ABC News and FiveThirtyEight. “I ask you to use your power and authority to allow me to come to New York and face law enforcement … Mr. President! What I’m asking is not vital for either FIDE or Ilyumzhinov. This is required by the principles of justice and human rights.”None of his efforts appeared to make much progress, so with his colleagues within FIDE urging him to step down, he focused on doing what he did best.Running for reelection.“You are managing the responsibilities well,” Putin said. “You have accumulated lots of experience and have every chance to win … and I’d like to wish you success.”By 2017, he appeared set to face his own deputy Makropoulos and English grandmaster Nigel Short, each of whom sought to cast themselves as reformers of a corrupt federation too close to the Kremlin.In response, Ilyumzhinov began mobilizing state support behind his candidacy. In July, he secured Putin’s endorsement in a segment on Russian state-owned television. “I feel that Russia should not concede this position,” Ilyumzhinov told Putin. “And I have decided to run again for the post of the president of FIDE.”“You certainly deserve this position,” Putin replied. “You are managing the responsibilities well. You have accumulated lots of experience and have every chance to win. In any case, you have deserved the right to present your candidacy and fight for the position, and I’d like to wish you success.”In October 2017, the U.S. Chess Federation received a letter, which was obtained by ABC News and FiveThirtyEight, from the Russian Embassy in the U.S., urging the federation to support Ilyumzhinov’s candidacy.“Chess is developing steadily,” wrote Russian Minister-Counselor Denis Gonchar. “And Mr. K. N. Ilyumzhinov enjoys high credibility according to his merit in the chess world.”But just as a financial crisis gave Ilyumzhinov power, it would ultimately be a financial crisis that took it away from him.In January of this year, the Swiss bank UBS moved to close FIDE’s accounts, notifying the federation of the “termination of [its] business relationship.” Bank officials, Makropoulos told us, made it clear in private meetings that FIDE’s accounts had become toxic.Despite the financial problems, Ilyumzhinov remained undeterred. He bolstered his presidential ticket with an American named Glen Stark. But this would-be chess official, it was soon discovered, was neither named Glen Stark nor was he American; he was, in fact, a Russian named Igor Shinder allegedly peddling inflated credentials.This strange scandal appeared to be too much, and Ilyumzhinov’s candidacy suffered an abrupt end — he stepped aside in favor of the Kremlin’s new chosen candidate, former deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich.Ilyumzhinov characterized his departure differently. He is merely stepping down, he said, because he has already “fulfilled all the tasks” before him and, like an undefeated boxer in his heyday, he has “already beaten the strongest.”“If you have beaten Tyson and everyone, why go on, right?” Ilyumzhinov said. “You’re already top.” Georgios Makropoulos🇬🇷 GreeceTBD– Whether he’s on the ballot or not, the upcoming chess election, like every chess election since 1995, is about one thing: Ilyumzhinov.And like so many elections around the world, the Russians are allegedly meddling in it.Chess leaders have convened in Batumi, Georgia, this week to elect the federation’s first new leader in 23 years. On Wednesday, they will choose between three men — Greece’s Georgios Makropoulos, England’s Nigel Short, and Russia’s Arkady Dvorkovich.Makropoulos, Ilyumzhinov’s longtime deputy, is the de facto incumbent put in the awkward position of running on reform, framing the election as a choice between the federation’s political independence and continued “Kremlin control.” And Short, the longshot challenger, appears to have made more accusations than progress — he hoped for “the removal of the Makropoulos administration, which is nothing but a giant cancerous tumour on the body of chess.”But the Kremlin-preferred candidate is the late-entrant Dvorkovich, the former deputy prime minister, who oversaw Russia’s staging of the FIFA World Cup earlier this year. Dvorkovich has supported Ilyumzhinov in the past — he reportedly ordered the raid on the Russian Chess Federation in 2010 — and in many ways represents a continuation of the sport’s alignment with the Kremlin.The contest is facing mounting allegations of Russian interference, including an intervention by Vladimir Putin himself.In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in July, Putin appears to have offered Netanyahu a deal to shore up support for his chosen candidate.“The Russian president asked the prime minister for Israel’s support in favor of former deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich’s candidacy,” wrote an Israeli official in a cable obtained by ABC News and FiveThirtyEight. “Putin, in turn, said he would support Israel as the host of the next world championship.”Dvorkovich disputed the interpretation that Putin was pressuring the Israelis to support him, telling the BBC that the Russian president “didn’t do anything wrong” and was merely “informing” his counterpart of an “important” election.Makropoulos has also accused Russia of trying to boost Dvorkovich’s candidacy by promising money, positions of power and gifts — including 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets — to officials who have a vote in FIDE’s election.Dvorkovich acknowledged inviting chess officials to the World Cup but denied providing them with tickets, and responded to Makropoulos’s claims by filing a defamation suit.Peskov said the Kremlin has had no involvement in the candidacies of either Ilyumzhinov or Dvorkovich and rejected any allegations of interference.“It’s a free vote,” Peskov said, “and we simply don’t have any means to interfere and we don’t have the slightest intention to interfere.”So Ilyumzhinov’s legacy-defining battle rages on without him. Chess has been established as an effective instrument of “soft power” for the Russians, the former Treasury official said, and a “feather in the cap” like the Olympics or the World Cup that allows Russian leaders to project a polished image to visiting politicians and businessmen.Ilyumzhinov has endorsed Dvorkovich, hopeful that under the former deputy prime minister, the “status” he says he brought to the organization will be “maintained,” but he dismissed the suggestion of holding a position under the new administration should a Russian keep the post.“For what?” he scoffed. “I’m not a bureaucrat.” 1998Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia—– Anatoly Karpov🇷🇺 Russia37%– 2002Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia—– Jaime Sunye Neto🇧🇷 Brazil35%– In the days following the 2016 election, a large group of Russians gathered in New York to watch one of their own wage war in miniature.They were at the World Chess Championship, where a patriotic Russian grandmaster was challenging the Norwegian defending champion in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. Members of Russia’s business and political elite gathered in the venue’s dimly lit VIP lounge and whispered over martinis as their countryman tried to restore Russia to its former chess glory.One person was especially conspicuous, and he wasn’t even there.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has lorded over the sport as the president of the World Chess Federation, more commonly known by its French acronym FIDE, for more than two decades. But the game’s most powerful figure had been barred from the country hosting its highest profile event. Ilyumzhinov was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in 2015 for providing financial assistance to Bashar Assad’s government in Syria as the regime inflicted a shocking degree of violence upon its citizens and purchased oil from the terrorist group ISIS.The sanction was an extraordinary allegation to level against a sports chief, but Ilyumzhinov is no ordinary chief, and chess is no ordinary sport.For years, he served simultaneously as the president of a Russian region and the steward of its national pastime. His authoritarian rule in those dual posts established him as a uniquely valuable Kremlin asset and has led his critics to bestow him with other, less flattering titles. Stooge. Spy. Madman. And perhaps worse.Now, after a 23-year reign atop the game, Ilyumzhinov is days away from the end of his colorful tenure. An election to replace him takes place this week.In a series of interviews with ABC News and FiveThirtyEight, former U.S. government officials, political rivals, criminal investigators, Russia experts, chess insiders, and top players dissected Ilyumzhinov’s career, revealing new details about the mysterious provenance of some of his wealth, the Kremlin connections that critics say kept him in power, and the ongoing battle for the sport over which he presided. Ilyumzhinov replaced a resigning president in 1995, and in 1998 and 2002, he was unopposed. The 2018 election is scheduled for Oct. 3.Source: FIDE The portrait that emerges offers a window into how Russia has used sport as statecraft, allegedly currying favor and peddling influence around the world under cover of an ancient board game.Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, denied that Ilyumzhinov had ever acted on behalf of the Kremlin.“He never represented Russia and the Russian Federation as a kind of envoy,” Peskov told us. “Of course, we’ve been proud of our citizen to be such a successful head of FIDE.”In a wide-ranging and often baffling one-on-one interview, Ilyumzhinov disputed or deflected the allegations against him, portraying himself as a builder and benefactor whose career defies easy classification.“I am simply a citizen of Russia and a simple person,” Ilyumzhinov said, “who sort of travels around the whole world.” 2014Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia64%– 2010Kirsan Ilyumzhinov🇷🇺 Russia63%– Elista’s Chess City is one such gift, a relic of the city’s once-favorite son. Built by Ilyumzhinov to host international chess tournaments, it is a convention center surrounded by a semi-gated community that is now home to the city’s small upper class. Its tidy suburban streets are lined with about 150 houses, many of which appeared to be empty, with crumbling facades and broken windows.It is a rundown fantasy sitting neglected in the desert.As his tenure with FIDE comes to a close, Ilyumzhinov envisions a different fate for himself. Asked directly why he was useful to the Kremlin, he bristled at the suggestion that his useful days are behind him.“Why ‘was’? Have I flown away to the moon?” he asked. “I’m staying around!” Halley Freger, Emily Ruchalski and Jinsol Jung also contributed to this report.This story was initially developed with the support of The Hatch Institute, formerly The Contently Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit that offers editorial guidance and financial support to aspiring investigative reporters. Madden has since joined its board of advisers.This story was featured in the Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, episode of ABC News’ daily news podcast, “Start Here.”
When Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta thinks his team needs a boost, he’ll sometimes show highlights of former OSU players to amp up his Buckeyes. One of Matta’s favorites involves a player still on his roster. During the final minutes of an 81-68 win against Jacksonville on Dec. 17, 2008, then-OSU junior David Lighty raced up the sideline and stole a pass to help move the then-No. 16 Buckeyes to 7-0 — all while playing on a broken foot. “He broke his foot in that game and continued to play the last five minutes,” Matta said, “and played harder than anybody I had ever seen.” At the time, Lighty’s injury was a blow to a Buckeye team looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2007–08 season in which it didn’t make the NCAA Tournament. With Lighty’s foot recovering in time for a potential return to OSU at the tail end of the season, Matta debated bringing back the forward for a potential postseason run. “Part of me wanted to see how good that team could have been,” Matta said. “He was such an intricate part of it.” Matta ultimately decided against bringing back Lighty during the 2008–09 season, and the Buckeyes went on to make the 2009 NCAA Tournament, falling to Siena in the first round. With Lighty being granted a medical redshirt for that season, Matta recalled realizing that the injury could end up paying dividends for OSU in the long run. “I remember when he broke his foot and you’re visualizing ahead, and we knew we were going to have a big incoming class coming in that year,” Matta said. “I remember saying to myself, you know, this could be good to have David Lighty as a fifth-year senior guiding those guys.” Matta’s prophecy has turned into a reality this season, with Lighty playing a key role on a Buckeye team that is 24-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country. Lighty said there was never any doubt in his mind that his injury two seasons ago was a blessing in disguise. “I always look at it as a positive thing,” Lighty said. “Being with these guys one more year and being able to develop my game another year and especially having the chance and opportunity that we have right now to leave Ohio State, hopefully, as a national champion would be great.” Playing on a team with freshmen Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft, who weren’t yet in high school when he was playing his first season at OSU, Lighty has made his impact mostly on the defensive end of the floor, something Matta says Lighty is the best in the country at doing. When the Buckeyes were tied with Northwestern during the final minutes of their Jan. 29 matchup, it was Lighty who made a key steal that resulted in the game-winning free throw from Sullinger. The win gave the Buckeyes their 22nd consecutive win, a feat that Lighty — the player who’s been a part of the most wins in OSU history — has accomplished twice in his career. The other time came during his freshman season, 2006–07. Matta made a point of praising Lighty for the accomplishment following the game. “Of the four teams he’s played on, two … have won 22 games in a row at some point in his career,” Matta said. “That’s incredible.” Matta isn’t the only one to realize the impact Lighty has had on this year’s team. A freshman when Lighty broke his foot in 2008, junior guard William Buford said that what Lighty has brought to this year’s Buckeyes has been invaluable. “You’re always going to need Dave. He brings all the energy to the team,” Buford said. “He’s the most talkative guy when we’re on the floor. He’s the heart and soul to this team.”
Isaac Hayden has reportedly handed in a request to leave Newcastle United as to seal a return to southern England based on “exceptional family reasons”.The 23-year-old, who hails from the Essex city of Chelmsford, joined Newcastle United on a five-year deal in July 2016 after moving from Arsenal in 2016.Hayden established himself last season as a mainstay in Newcastle’s Premier League starting lineup, having helped the Magpies to the Championship title in 2017.As stated by The mirror, however, the former England youth international has handed a transfer request and has spoken face-to-face with Rafael Benitez regarding his decision.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.It is also stated in the report that Hayden has proclaimed his love for the club, its fans and the city, he also declares his respect for Benitez, and that the club is aware of his situation.Hayden is yet to complete his five-year contract with Newcastle contract, with three years left.Hayden who has represented England at the Under 16, 17, Under18, U19, U20 and Under 21 levels of football sure has a great career ahead.
AC Milan’s proposed swap deal involving their captain Leonardo Bonucci for Gonzalo Higuain has been rejected by Juventus, reports Calcio MercatoThe Rossoneri are resigned to losing Bonucci this summer with the defender believed to have been unsettled by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Milan’s financial future with club owner Li Yonghong having recently lost control of his shares to American Hedge fund Elliot Management due to his failure to pay off his loan debts.Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has recently admitted that he is currently unsure if Bonucci will remain at the San Siro this summer or not.“It will be up to Leo and the club to decide, but I hope that Bonucci can stay here. I think that when a player expresses a desire, the coach must do all he can to convince him to stay,” he said on Bonucci.But it appears that Milan have decided to act first and have now reportedly offered Juventus the chance to resign the 31-year-old in return for their out-of-favour striker Higuain.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.The Argentina international appears almost certain to leave Turin this summer following Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival from Real Madrid, which has deemed Higuain surplus to requirements.However, Juventus have rejected the offer but have not closed the door on reuniting with Bonucci this summer.The Old Lady feel that Milan should offer cash in the swap deal with Bonucci believed to be valued at €35m.The Serie A champions are asking Milan to come back with €25m included in their next offer and, in return, they will get Higuain.
Manchester United praised the recent performance of Matteo Darmian after the Italian played out of position during their FA Cup win at the weekend.Darmian, was deployed in the central defence during United’s 2-0 win against Reading on Saturday and he received accolades from club fans and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.“He [Darmian] is the biggest plus today,” Solskjaer told MUTV after the game.“Matteo looked like he had played there before for a long time. As an Italian, he’s very cultural and very calm on the ball.“He was one of the few that at times tried to settle us down and pass the ball. I don’t think he put a foot wrong.”The 29-year-old had been heavily linked with a return to Serie A but never criticised the Red Devils publicly for his lack of game time.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.“I can play there. Of course I play at right-back and left-back, for me it doesn’t matter,” he added.“I try to do my best every time and I try to help the team to reach the victory. Sometimes I’ve played in a back three so it’s not a problem for me.“Of course I’m more of a defender than an attacking player, but I have to help the team.”The best way to start the new year at Old Trafford!! 💪 #nextround #MUFC @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/XaomQdvxhc— Matteo Darmian (@DarmianOfficial) January 5, 2019
The Alaska license plate was K9DOC and the vehicle was a green 2001 Chevrolet pickup. The owner of the vehicle was contacted and reported the vehicle had been stolen from 11635 Seward Highway. The vehicle failed to stop for APD and was last seen northbound on the Seward Highway where the pursuit was ended by APD due to dangerous conditions to the public. The Anchorage Police Department was notified of the stolen vehicle and reported the vehicle had been called in as a REDDI earlier and the occupants of the vehicle had brandished a handgun. APD located the vehicle on the Seward Highway between Girdwood and Anchorage. On June 23, the Seward Police Department attempted to stop a dark colored Chevrolet pickup traveling at a high rate of speed near the Seward Highway and Nash Road. The vehicle failed to yield and the Seward Police Department did not pursue the vehicle. The stolen vehicle was last seen headed north on the Seward Highway, according to the online Trooper dispatch. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers are trying to locate a stolen Chevrolet pickup that eluded both Seward and Anchorage police over the weekend. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to contact the Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453.