The relentless scathing criticism around the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games on Tuesday waned with top sporting nations Australia and England leading a stream of contingents in expressing satisfaction at the arrangements in the village even as star pull-outs continued.New Zealand, one of the countries which raised a strong pitch on the issue of cleanliness, also expressed satisfaction with the condition at the Village while neighbouring Pakistan also took a U-turn after its initial complaints on Monday.Sensing the positive buzz in the controversy-marred Games, Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi asserted that all the 71 participating nations have reposed full faith in them to pull off a spectacular show.”Three thousand athletes and officials have already entered, many (visitors) are coming and returning home satisfied. Let me tell you that all the 71 participating nations have full confidence that we will do it well.””Notwithstanding the controversy and all the bad publicity that has come out, I want to make it clear that the Commonwealth Games infrastructure is fully ready… the Games Village is in place,” Kalmadi said.However, top athletes continued to pull out of the Games, already hit hard by star withdrawals.South African world champion 800m runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi today became the latest high-profile athlete to pull out of Commonwealth Games due to injury while English tennis player Richard Bloomfield also decided to skip the event.Mulaudzi, who won men’s 800m gold in the Berlin World Championships last year and a silver winner in the 2004 Athens Olympics, has a nagging back injury problem.advertisementAnother South African and women’s 800m world champion, Caster Semenya will take a decision on her participation in the Games following a back injury.Australia, which has been severely critical of the Games arrangements, today said they are satisfied over the preparations and sought to downplay the remarks of its Prime Minister Julia Gillard cautioning her countrymen while travelling in India.Three days after India took exception to Gillard’s comments with regard to security here, High Commissioner Peter Varghese said, “I don’t think we should read too much into it” as she only stated the “factual material” in the travel advisory.He said Australian authorities are “impressed” with the “strong commitment” and “vigour” on the part of organisers with regard to security arrangements. Australian Chef-de-Mission Steve Moneghetti said his country’s athletes earlier had some doubts about the conditions at the Village but were pleasantly surprised after checking-in at their accommodations.”There were some doubts regarding the condition at the Village before coming but our athletes have been pleasantly surprised after the feel of the arena themselves. There has been no problem as such. We are happy with the residential tower, training facilities and dinning area. Our team is arriving in batches. Some have arrived and some will check into the Games Village in the next 48 hours,” he said.England, whose first batch of athletes were put up in city hotels initially before checking into the Village after the cleaning works in their residential zone were over, said they are “reasonably satisfied” with the facilities at the Games Village.”This is not a five star … it is reasonable three star and athletes are fine with that,” England’s Chief-de Mission, Craig Hunter said.One of the New Zealand coaches, Dave Edwards said his country’s athletes have no complaints after their first night in the Village.”Obviously, there’s been a bit of work over the past few days, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s fine. There’s a little bit of dust and some poor finishing with plaster and paint and things like that, but we’re very happy with what we’ve got,” he said.”Our flats are roomy and spacious in that regard and the rest of the Village is all fine. The dining hall is excellent,” he added.A day after complaining about the arrangements at the Games Village, Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik took a U-Turn and expressed satisfaction at the facilities, saying most of his country’s athletes will check in at the 63.5 acre sprawling complex here tomorrow.”We are quite satisfied with the facilities and the credit for this goes to Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit, who has taken personal interest,”Malik said.”Pakistan has never raised any security issue and never did they say that they are not willing to stay at the village.We are satisfied with the security and 90 per cent of our athletes are coming tomorrow and the rest will be coming in a day or two,” he said.His Bangladesh counterpart Tarik A Karim also gave thumbs up to the arrangements and said athletes from his country will arrive here on Thursday.Meanwhile, foreign contingents continue to check-in at the Village with around 3000 athletes and officials from 46 countries having given accommodation at the 63.5 hectare sprawling campus.advertisementAnother 850 foreign athletes and officials are arriving the national capital on Tuesday.-With inputs from PTI
Twitter/MiaKhalifaHere’s everything that has gone viral in college sports over the past 24 hours.1. Former Oregon player Kyle Long explained why he didn’t have to watch quarterback Marcus Mariota in the NFL combine over the weekend.2. Porn star Mia Khalifa poked fun at quarterback Jameis Winston for his slow 40-yard dash time.3. Louisville announced senior guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team.4. Penn State’s Football team dropped an incredible dance routine at THON on Saturday.5. Ohio State football players reminded Michigan of the Buckeyes’ domination on the gridiron following its basketball loss.6. Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones made it clear over Twitter that he’s not impressed with the Knicks.7. Miami defensive back Antonio Crawford skipped practice and went on a Twitter rant.8. Nebraska students wore protective goggles at its basketball game to mock notorious Iowa eye poker Adam Woodbury.9. Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh was at the Ohio State-Michigan game yesterday.10. Ohio State outside linebacker Jamarco Jones was disgusted with its performance and loss to Michigan.Video of the Day: Miami’s Phillip Dorsett Ran 4.33 40-Yard-Dash At Combine. Tweet of the Day: 4-Star Ohio State Commit JaQuan Lyle Was Very Excited To See Thad Matta On His TV.Turn on the TV and see this guy..makes me excited to be apart of something special..#BuckeyeNation ⭕️ pic.twitter.com/lo7oP969qO— JaQuan Lyle (@JMamba5) February 22, 2015Girlfriend of the Day: Michigan’s Spike Albrecht, who once tweeted at Kate Upton, hasn’t lowered his standards. He’s isn’t dating Charlotte McKinney, but he clearly wishes he was.Check Out Friday’s Cheat Sheet
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) on Tuesday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $629 million.On a per-share basis, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based company said it had profit of 78 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and asset impairment costs, came to $1.04 per share.The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 97 cents per share.The home improvement retailer posted revenue of $17.42 billion in the period, which also beat Street forecasts. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $17.33 billion.Lowe’s expects full-year earnings in the range of $5.08 to $5.13 per share.Lowe’s shares have dropped almost 2 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen almost 1 per cent. The stock has risen 14 per cent in the last 12 months._____This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on LOW at https://www.zacks.com/ap/LOWThe Associated Press
Kolkata: The Election Commission is yet to give BJP permission to play its controversial theme song sung by Asansol MP Babul Supriyo. However, leaders and activists of the party were found playing the song rampantly in the vehicles on their way to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Brigade Parade Ground on Wednesday.The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state had categorically told BJP to submit the revised lyrics of the song on the basis of certain recommendations put forward by the commission. After examining the song, the CEO’s office had raised 15 objections and instructed the party to make necessary rectifications in the song, as it would not be possible for the Election Commission to provide clearance for the same otherwise. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe state BJP leaders are yet to submit the revised lyrics of the song to the commission. Despite that, some leaders and activists seem to be using the song in their election rallies, flouting the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) laid down by the commission. The city on Wednesday witnessed a classic example of MCC violation when many BJP cadres enthusiastically played the song on loudspeakers fitted in their vehicles, without paying heed to the Election Commission’s directive. Some BJP activists were even seen dancing to the tune of Supriyo’s song. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe commission did not give permission to play the song during BJP’s campaigns or election rallies, as it carries a subtle attack on Trinamool Congress and its Supremo Mamata Banerjee. The CEO’s office had also show-caused Supriyo for releasing the controversial song. In his clarification to the commission, Supriyo claimed that he did not release the song and hence it did not fall under the purview of the commission. Contrary to what Supriyo claimed, the song was found on various social media platforms.
New Delhi: Taking the Yuva initiative to another level, the Delhi Police will impart vocational skills to transgenders. According to police, on April 15, eight transgenders who were found begging on the street were counselled by the police team regarding the vocational courses in Madhu Vihar police station.Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range) Devesh Srivastava said that they are trying to bring them in the mainstream. “In the past also we have counselled them. Our main aim is to make sure they left begging and live a dignified life,” said Joint CP. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDelhi Police tweeted,”It’s never too old, never too bad and never too late, to start from scratch once again. 8 transgenders counseled and enrolled into self employment program. #CreatingEqualOpportunities under #YUVA initiative by @DelhiPolice.” A special Community Policing Scheme ‘YUVA’ launched by Delhi Police, keeping in mind the problems of the youth in Delhi. YUVA aims to wean adults and underprivileged children, who, for want of proper education and sports facilities, tend to take to crime. Delhi Police takes initiatives like organizing sports activities, painting workshops, vocational training etc to channelize the underprivileged children. Recently in Outer North district, more than 700 Yuvas trained at this centre attended the Kaushal Mela and Rozgar Mela and after interviews, more than 200 Yuvas were offered placement on the spot. Besides, more than 500 Yuvas from all the 8 police stations of Outer-North Distt also attended the function for joining the training.
New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) plans to take a variety of steps including enhanced localisation, increase in productivity and reducing overall costs in order to improve margins in the current fiscal, a senior company official has said. The auto major reported EBITDA margin of 14 per cent for 2018-19, down 1.9 per cent from 15.9 per cent in 2017-18. “We are working very hard on cost cutting, there is lot of effort on cost side…as a company we are all committed to work towards it and ensure that it (margins) improve from here,” MSI CFO Ajay Seth said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe company will carry on with its internal efforts without worrying about the external factors like foreign exchange rates, he added. “External factors will be there but whatever is in our control we will try and work harder in terms of cost reduction and enhancing productivity,” Seth noted. He said increasing localisation is an important part of the initiative. “Localisation is a big drive now. Wherever we have been hit on account of foreign exchange, we are now looking at large targets for localisation,” he said. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysOverheads are under severe scrutiny and the company is looking at vendors in terms of more productivity gains, Seth added. “So a variety of things are being done. For us it is very crucial that we improve from here,” he said. EBITDA margin is an assessment of a firm’s operating profitability as a percentage of its total revenue. It is equal to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) divided by total revenue. MSI reported a 4.6 per cent decline in net profit to Rs 1,795.6 crore for the fourth quarter of the 2018-19. For the entire 2018-19, MSI posted a net profit of Rs 7,500.6 crore, down 2.9 per cent from the previous financial year. The carmaker has also decided to phase out all diesel cars from its portfolio with effect from April 1, 2020. When asked if the company is looking for write offs having already put in large investments in diesel engine plants over the years, Seth said, the auditors have done a detailed study and concluded that there would not be any significant impact. “Around 99 per cent of it (diesel capacity) is getting converted (into petrol, CNG etc).. there is no impairment as such, even if there is a impairment it is going to be a negligible amount,” he added. “If you cannot convert your facilities into anything else then you have to impair it,” he further said. The company would be able to convert its existing plants as per the company’s long term goals, he added. MSI plans to shift its entire portfolio to petrol, CNG powertrains. The auto major currently gets 23 per cent of its total sales in the domestic market from diesel cars. It sold a total of 4.63 lakh diesel units last fiscal. Some of the company’s models like Vitara Brezza and S-Cross currently come with a diesel engine option only. Others like Swift, Baleno, Dzire, Ciaz and Ertiga also have petrol versions in addition to the diesel trims.
Gorakhpur (UP): Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar Wednesday accused the BJP of diverting people’s attention from development issue and trying to spread communal hatred for garnering votes. Canvassing for party candidate Supriya Shrinate in Maharajganj seat, he said most of the development works were done during the Congress rule and his party is the real voice of the poor, backward and the downtrodden sections of the society. “The BJP is trying to divert people’s attention from development issue and are trying to spread communal hatred and seeking votes,” Babbar said at an election meeting in Maharjganj district. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”Only the Congress is capable of carrying out development works for people belonging to all castes, religions and geographical areas… only the Congress can take the country ahead on the path of development,” Babbar said. Shrinate said she entered politics to fulfil the dreams of his late father Harshvardhan Singh who had been elected MP from Mahrajganj twice. “The district is facing massive problems, sugar mills are closed and there is no industry to provide jobs to the youth. Here, the struggle is between rich and poor. “Since the BJP came to power, our country has gone back many steps and there is no one to listen to the poor and helpless,” she alleged.
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Nov. 24, 2015), we bring you the latest edition of “Stat School,” just in time for you to enjoy alongside Thursday’s Thanksgiving football feast. Last time, Statman, aka Neil Paine, talked to us about NFL quarterback stats. This week, it’s the art of rushing. Neil takes us through three rushing-centric statistics: raw yardage, yards per carry and expected points added.Stat one: Raw yardageThe number of yards a player runs for in a game.Stat two: Yards per carryThe average number of yards a player gains per rushing attempt. Yards per carry is calculated by dividing the number of yards by the number of attempts.Stat three: Expected points addedAn estimate of the scoring margin generated by a player’s performance, based on a model predicting how many more points his team was expected to score after each play than before the play began.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Listen closely and you can school your football-obsessed uncles while chowing down on turkey and stuffing. If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Hot Takedown
Even before President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that the U.S. and Cuba were re-establishing diplomatic relations, the countries’ baseball relations were warming.Twenty-five players who were born in Cuba played for a Major League Baseball team in 2014, and together they accumulated 27.5 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s Play Index. Those are the highest totals for Cuban players in MLB since 1970 — back when players such as Tony Oliva, Tony Perez and Bert Campaneris, who’d signed with major-league teams before the U.S. trade embargo kicked in, were still stars.Raw numbers overstate the growing Cuban power in the majors. MLB has expanded from 24 teams in 1970 to 30 today. There are more players of all nationalities, and more wins above replacement to go around. (Roughly 1,000 per season these days.) But even as a percentage of MLB totals, Cuban batters and total Cuban WAR reached levels this past season not seen in at least 40 years.That level still isn’t all that high. Cuban players accounted for less than 3 percent of all wins above replacement last season. But even if Congress doesn’t lift the embargo, Cuban players already in the majors are likely to keep getting better and increase their share of MLB wins. Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Leonys Martin and Jose Fernandez all are in their 20s. Each man has, in just the last two years, had seasons among the best ever for Cuban MLB players.It’s possible that a player who has debuted recently or who will join the league in the warmer diplomatic climate will become MLB’s best ever Cuban player. Only two Cubans have accumulated more than 54 wins above replacement in MLB history: Rafael Palmeiro and Luis Tiant. Neither was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Junior center Trey McDonald (55) covers his face as he sits on the side of the court following the game. OSU lost to Dayton, 60-59, at First Niagara Center March 20. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorBUFFALO, N.Y. — The swan song has been sung for the Ohio State Buckeyes.As senior guard Aaron Craft’s desperation shot at the buzzer fell hopelessly to the floor, so did his career at OSU, as the No. 6-seed Buckeyes fell to No. 11-seed Dayton, 60-59, Thursday.Craft made a tough layup in the lane with less than 20 seconds to play to put his team ahead by one, but a running layup by Dayton redshirt-senior guard Vee Sanford proved to be the difference as the Flyers — and ex-Buckeye guard Jordan Sibert — pulled the upset.OSU started quickly, leading 7-3 after a layup by senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. at the 16:43 mark.But Dayton responded, scoring 10 of the game’s next 12 points after Flyer redshirt-senior center Matt Kavanaugh finished off a 3-point play.The Flyers held the lead until Craft made two free throws with 8:15 left in the first half to give the Buckeyes the lead, 22-21. Craft finished a perfect 3-3 from the field and 3-3 from the line in the first half, on his way to a team-high nine points in the game’s opening 20 minutes.The game remained close for the remainder of the first half, but Dayton took a 33-30 lead to the break behind nine points from Kavanaugh.OSU came out sluggish in the second half, allowing the Flyers to extend their lead to 41-34, with 15 minutes to play.But back-to-back dunks by junior forward Sam Thompson and a bucket by Ross tied the game at 41 with 10:58 remaining.Thompson tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Craft on the Buckeyes’ next possession for OSU’s first lead since the 8:15 mark of the first half.A rugged game ensued, and the Buckeyes led 50-49 before freshman forward Marc Loving picked up his fourth foul of the game. Sophomore forward Dyshawn Pierre then made two free throws to put the Flyers back in front by one.But after former Buckeye and now Flyer Sibert missed a 3-pointer, Craft drove the lane and scored to put OSU back up. He missed the free throw, but OSU still led, 52-51 with 3:32 left.Dayton senior forward Devin Oliver scored at the other end, and after a turnover by OSU, Craft committed a flagrant-1 foul on Sibert as he drove to the hoop. Sibert nailed both free throws, and Dayton led by three.But Craft responded with yet another and-one, this time making the free throw to tie the game at 55 and lead to the dramatic finish.Craft finished with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists in his final game as a Buckeye, and Thompson finished with a game-high 18. After his game-winning shot, Sanford tallied 10 points for the Flyers, who are set to face the winner of No. 3-seed Syracuse and No. 14-seed Western Michigan Saturday.