By Bharat Sharma New Delhi, July 26 (PTI) Twenty20s and one-dayers are the formats driving womens cricket forward but it is only the ultimate challenge of playing Tests that will help India produce more world-class players, said skipper Mithali Raj who has played just 10 Tests in an 18-year-old career. Speaking at felicitation function organised by the BCCI, where each of the squad member was presented Rs 50 lakh by the Board, Mithali spoke of the importance of playing more Tests. The Ashes between Australia and England is the only regular Test fixture in womens cricket while other teams mainly play the shorter formats. India have played just five Tests in the last 10 years. “Test matches are the ultimate test for cricketers, whether it is your temperament, skill or endurance. However, womens cricket needs promotion and so far it has been done mainly through T20s and ODIs by the respective cricket boards,” said Mithali at a special felicitation ceremony organised by the BCCI. “As of now, it seems every board wishes to market the sport through T20 and ODIs as they think they are the ideal formats. I feel Test matches should be played as frequently as limited over games because it churns out quality players. If the Indian team wants to play, the other teams should also be ready to play Test matches,” she added. The Indian womens team has been busy attending a host of felicitations ever since it returned from England, where it exceeded expectations by reaching the World Cup final. They are not used to it but the entire squad was mobbed by the media and the fans. Mithali said it feels good to be wanted, as it was never the case earlier. “I am one of those players who have seen days before the BCCI took over and after that as well. I am fortunate that I continued to play. Today I am seeing this phase in womens cricket, the reception we have got has been overwhelming. “I clearly remember, despite doing well in 2005 World Cup, we never had this kind of a reception. It is a nice feeling after what we have all gone through, we feel wanted, feel appreciated for the effort we have put in all these years. Mithali said Indian Railways played a huge role in giving support to the players through jobs. “A special mention to the Indian railways for supporting us and extending jobs to the girls. If it was not for the Railways, many more talented cricketers would have quit the game to focus on getting jobs for financial security,” said Mithali, who played her fifth World Cup. Despite India losing the final from a comfortable position, Mithali said it was a brilliant team effort. “Not many gave us a chance to reach the semis or final. This world cup has been very tough. “What the team has achieved in this World Cup, the seeds were sown in the ODI series against Australia, the West Indies tour, the Quadrangular Series in South Africa, the Qualifiers in Sri Lanka and into the World Cup. The preparation was very good,” she said, adding that she will continue playing for another 2-3 years. Sharing the stage with her captain, batting sensation Harmanpreet Kaur too felt good about getting a grand welcome. “It is only when you do well, you are recognised. This is exactly what has happened. It is a big achievement to play the final, considering we did not do well in the earlier editions,” said Harmanpreet, who is seen as Mithalis successor in ODI cricket. Her 171 against Australia in the semifinal has made the history books. She is the first Indian to play in Womens Big Bash in Australia and now hopes the country can have a league of its own. “Playing Big Bash was a very big achievement for me. I learnt a lot there and that helped me a lot in the World Cup. I hope more Indian players get the opportunity post the World Cup. It has only been Smriti Mandhana and myself so far. “If womens IPL happens, other countries players will come and play here, and sharing the dressing room with international players will be a big confidence booster to the the local players,” said Harmanpreet. PTI BS PM PMadvertisement
Virat Kohli is the toast of the nation these days thanks to his unbelievable scoring rate in all forms of cricket. Ever since he made his debut in 2009, Kohli has been breaking and setting new records in Tests, ODIs, T20I and has decimated almost every opponent he has faced so far.On Saturday, Kohli once again starred with the bat for India scoring his 20th hundred in the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. The Indian captain remained unbeaten on 156 as India reached 371/4 at stumps on Day 1 after opting to bat first.Speaking on Kohli’s latest hundred and achievements on the field, Aaj Tak managed to bring former India captain Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Aakash Chopra and Harbhajan Singh together at Agenda Aaj Tak where the cricket stars heaped praise on the 29-year-old.”When we used to go to Australia, there was a gut feeling Laxman and Harbhajan will defeat Australia on their own. Kohli gives me the same feeling,” Ganguly said at Agenda Aaj Tak.”When we played, Indian cricket was different and the thinking was different and we had to take Indian cricket forward, when Dhoni came, he took it forward. Now during Virat’s time he had an established team and he had to take it even further.”The best thing about Indian cricket is that we have had different role-models in different eras. It has been a step by step growth and we have created champions in different generations. Kohli is the role model now.”advertisement”If Virat wins the World Cup in 2019, he will roam around Oxford Street with his shirt off. Mark my words,” joked Ganguly.Kohli on Saturday surpassed the great Sachin Tendulkar (107) to become the second fastest Indian batsman to score 20 hundreds in Test cricket.Talking about the comparisons between Kohli and Tendulkar, Dada said the current skipper can come close to the Little Master’s records but only time will tell if he can break any of them.”Don’t know if Virat can break Sachin’s records…I don’t compare two generations. But he has scored 52 and if he plays at this rate…he can reach Sachin’s record,” Ganguly said.Laxman agreed with Ganguly’s sentiments and said, ” I agree with Dada. You can’t compare two generations. Sachin was the trend-setter of our generation. He used to go out and win matches for India and we thought we will do that and I see that in Virat.”Harbhajan infact went on to say that as a cricketer Tendulkar was on another level.”Sachin and Virat are different batsmen. It won’t be fair on Sachin. Nobody is like Sachin and there will never be another Tendulkar ever in world cricket. I’ve bowled to both batsmen and I feel getting Sachin out was impossible.”Virat is a great batsman, in great form and has been dominating for the past 4-5 years but I feel Tendulkar is on another level.””If we just talk about statistics, I feel Virat will overtake Sachin in terms of ODI tons. It was difficult for people to imagine someone can overtake what Sachin has done but Kohli has done that and he is setting an example for the team and the whole country. And his love for love for Test cricket will make youngsters love the longest format of the game,” Aakash Chopra also weighed in on the debate.He is also the quickest to complete 52 international centuries across formats, achieving the feat in his 350th innings to beat South African Hashim Amla’s record of 378 innings.The Delhi dasher also went past 3000 Test runs as captain. He is the third Indian skipper after MS Dhoni and Gavaskar to achieve the feat. He also went past 5000 Test runs in the same match today to become the fourth-quickest Indian to achieve the feat in his 105th innings.Kohli is scoring hundreds for fun these days and this was his 11th hundred this year across formats which made him the most prolific captain, in terms of hundreds scored in a calendar year. Overall, he is the third player after Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting to score 11 tons in a calendar year.”He was a 10,000 player (in terms of Test runs) before and now he is like a 20,000 player. He is doing what others have not done before,” Harbhajan said. “I feel Ganguly is the biggest-ever captain of India. He did a very good job to take the team here after the match-fixing scandal and all… Virat is only taking the legacy forward.”advertisement”Virat always had the hunger and any person who has the hunger, he doesn’t look back. He is a champion player and is a role-model for all young players. Virat is a great batsman, in great form and has been dominating for the past 4-5 years but I feel Tendulkar is on another level,” Bhajji added.He has also scored two double tons this year, the first came against Bangladesh in February and the next one he slammed against Sri Lanka in the second Test in Nagpur six days ago. He also holds the record for scoring four double hundreds in consecutive series.The Delhi batsman is the only player in international cricket to average of more than 50 in all three formats of the game at the moment.Kohli has the best conversion rate among the 18 captain’s who have scored more than 10 Test hundreds. Out of the 17 times he has gone past 50 as the skipper, he has converted 13 of those into hundreds.
DUMPED? Liverpool risk expulsion from Carabao Cupby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool risk expulsion from the Carabao Cup if they are found to have fielded an ineligible player against MK Dons on Wednesday.The EFL is investigating the third-round win, in which Liverpool fielded four teenagers in the starting line-up.Sanctions could range from a fine to being ejected from the cup. Liverpool face Arsenal in the next round.”The club are aware of a potential administrative issue pertaining to one of our players,” a club statement said.”We are working with the relevant authorities in order to establish the facts of the matter and will be making no further comment until this process is complete.”The EFL added: “We are currently considering the matter.”The identity of the player in question has not been disclosed. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
New Delhi: Superstar Rajnikanth on Sunday lauded the Centre for abrogating Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and likened the duo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to “Krishna and Arjuna”.”My heartfelt congratulations to Amit Shah for Mission Kashmir. Hats off,” he said while speaking at the launch of a book on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai. Comparing the combination of PM Modi and Shah to Lord Krishna and Arjuna, the actor said, “We don’t know who is Krishna and who is Arjuna.” The Krishna-Arjuna combination is credited with playing a key role in the Pandavas winning the Mahabharata battle against the Kauravas. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Last week, the Centre had revoked the provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into union territories. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was also present at the event, said the removal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir will end terrorism and enable the progress of the region. “I was firm that Article 370 should be removed…. after (scrapping) Article 370, terrorism in Kashmir will end and it will progress on the path of development,” he said. (With inputs from Indian Express)
APTN National NewsA protest against the tar sands has ended in convictions against a group of activists.Twelve Greenpeace members pleaded guilty to a charge of mischief over $5,000 for their involvement in a an October 2009 protest at a Shell construction site.
24 February 2012The United Nations refugee agency today called on China not to send back to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) a group of some 25 people it arrested this month and to find a humanitarian solution to the situation. The United Nations refugee agency today called on China not to send back to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) a group of some 25 people it arrested this month and to find a humanitarian solution to the situation. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has not had access to this group and only learned about them about a week ago from media in the Republic of Korea, according to the agency’s spokesperson.“UNHCR has been in communication with the Chinese authorities on this group and has called on the Chinese Government to uphold the non-refoulement principle,” Adrian Edwards said, referring to the obligation of States to not forcibly return people where they face persecution or serious harm.“UNHCR is encouraging all parties concerned to find a viable humanitarian solution in the best interests of these individuals and to ensure their safety,” added Mr. Edwards.The agency said it is closely following the situation and reaffirms its commitment to continue to work with all parties on the issue.
Related: Hot Takedown The offense has worked because Durant and West are excellent all-around players; they rank third and fourth, behind Curry and Green, for assist percentage on the Warriors. But without Durant around to cover for regression from players like Green, or for deficiencies in the roster created to make room for Durant himself, the Warriors will need improvements from a few key contributors. That could be Green and Iguodala hitting shots they hit last season, or it could mean continued improvement from JaVale McGee in a thin and aging frontcourt.So the Warriors are in a tough spot for a while, as any team would be with the loss of a player as good as Durant. But if after four weeks it looks as if Durant will have to miss a significant portion of the postseason, the Warriors will be in better shape than just about any team in NBA history to carry on without their star and make a run at the title.Check out our latest NBA predictions. As a rule, losing a superstar player to injury in the NBA means a team’s title chances are history. That means every NBA title run is, in a real way, a matter of luck. A team has to be better than its opponents through four seven-game series, but it also has to dodge largely random injuries to its most important players. A team can be as good as it wants, but there will always be a certain, irreducible chance that it loses its star, and its chance at a title, at the worst possible time. That is, unless it finds a way to tilt those odds.Kevin Durant is familiar with ill-timed injuries. Over his final four seasons in Oklahoma City — the seasons after James Harden was traded away to Houston in 2012 — the Thunder’s playoff runs were marred by injuries in all but one season (Durant in 2015, Russell Westbrook in 2013 and Serge Ibaka in 2014) . They made the Western Conference Finals in 2016, and held a 3-1 lead over the defending champion Warriors, sure, but they never returned to the NBA Finals after 2012. The Thunder had one of the most talented lineups in the league, but without Harden, they’d sacrificed an advantage that, to some, had looked like a weakness: redundancy.The Warriors understand this need better than most. Last April, after the Warriors had won an NBA-record 73 regular season games, league MVP Stephen Curry left Game 4 of the team’s first-round playoff game with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, after having missed Games 2 and 3 with a sprained ankle. Golden State limped through the remainder of that series and the beginning of the next without Curry, and fought through a tough matchup with Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals. But that glimpse of life without Curry in the postseason, and that Curry never really regained his MVP form afterward, made it clear that even the best regular season team in history is vulnerable to injuries at the top of the roster.To insure against this kind of thing happening again, the Warriors pursued redundancy, signing Kevin Durant in the offseason. On Tuesday, Durant was the one who went down. The Warriors announced Wednesday morning that Durant has a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise, and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. The team has not ruled out a regular season return, to say nothing of the postseason, so the Warriors may well end up at full strength by June. (Bookmakers have already updated their NBA championship odds, and Golden State remains the favorite.) But losing a player as good as Kevin Durant, even just for a month, is never a good thing. However, the Warriors are uniquely equipped to handle such a loss, because they’re uniquely stacked.Last season, according to data from Basketball Reference’s count, the Warriors were 22.2 points worse per 100 possessions without Curry. (Strangely, in the playoffs, the Warriors were 2.7 points per 100 better without him on the floor, possibly because Curry was diminished by injury.) This season’s Warriors are worse by 15.6 points without Curry and by 6.7 points without Durant. Those are still big numbers but far more manageable than the massive gulf last season.And they still have Curry, of course. One of the things that separates great NBA players from merely very good ones is the ability to take on workload without sacrificing too much efficiency. In fact, that’s been one of the defining characteristics of Curry’s rise to NBA superstardom. Without Durant, Curry is likely to recover the drop in his usage rate, and he’s shown in the past that he can thrive while taking on added work. Having players who can take on more possessions when necessary is a nice luxury; having ones who can step into the lead role on a championship-caliber team minus an All-NBA teammate is an advantage few teams have ever had.But Durant’s absence will be felt. While his presence insulated Golden State from an injury to a player of Durant’s caliber, he also provided coverage for a different sort of issue: regression. The Warriors offense runs on shooting, and this season’s roster isn’t as rich in gunners as last season’s. Golden State has just four players who have taken more than a handful of threes who are making them at better than a league-average rate, compared to eight such players last season. As a team, their 3-point percentage has gone from 41.6 to 38.5.This goes deeper than a mere shooting slump from Curry, or Durant taking a lot of threes and hitting “only” 37.8 percent. Draymond Green attempted 3.2 threes per game last season and made 38.8 percent; this season he has attempted 3.4 per game and made 32.6 percent. Andre Iguodala’s overall 3-point percentage has held steady around 35 percent, but his percentage on corner threes — the threes that come to him most naturally in the offense — has fallen from 43.1 percent to 31.5 percent. And the bench, which last season had gunners such as Brandon Rush (41.4 percent from three), Leandro Barbosa (35.5 percent), Ian Clark (35.7 percent) and Marreese Speights (38.7 percent), this season has only Clark (39.3 percent) shooting well, instead running with midrange specialists such as David West and Shaun Livingston. When Did Sports Become So Political?
There is nothing on Earth that has a greater impact on the world than human beings. We have explored every inch of the Earth’s surface, traveled outside of our atmosphere and into space, and only really have the depths of the oceans left to conquer. And yet our relationship with the world isn’t exactly healthy. We tend to change things, and not usually for the better.That relationship with the natural world is perfectly summed up in an animation created by London-based freelance artist Steve Cutts called “MAN.”Cutts has produced work in the past for high profile clients including Coca-Cola, Sony, Toyota, and Reebok, but this looks to be a more personal piece.Created using Flash and After Effects, it shows a man pacing across the world taking what he wants, when he wants it, and enjoying every minute of his destruction. The conclusion is inevitable, with a surprising little twist, and although enjoyable should leave us all thinking about the effect we are having on this lovely planet.The 3m 36s piece is packed full of animation I’d have guessed it would take a team of people weeks to complete. But this is the work of a single artist who clearly knows his tools well and has talent to spare. And if you enjoyed MAN, I highly recommend giving In The Fall a watch, too.
Spurs’ striker Harry Kane was bussing after the victory at Old Trafford, but a day after the win he was able to explain that the lack of new players motivated them.A couple of days after the historic Spurs’ victory at Old Trafford in which the only top-five club that didn’t sign new players defeated the Red Devils, we are still trying to make sense of what happened but Harry Kane has a very interesting theory. The England skipper is convinced that the lack of new arrivals has given all Tottenham Hotspur players a new drive, a motivation that only they understand how it works because they feel like they have to do the extra effort compared to the rest of the clubs in both the Premier League and Europe. Kane used Lucas Moura’s arrival from last season as a perfect example because the Brazilian hadn’t performed well in his first year as a Spurs player, so this year is different because he decided to remain at the club and work hard for glory days like the one he got last Monday. We know that it would be crazy to think the Spurs actually have a shot at the title, but it will be interesting watching them play all season with this obvious handicap.2️⃣ consecutive Man of the Match performances. ?⚡ Moura that. ⚡#COYS pic.twitter.com/ikTnt1igWV— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 28, 2018When asked about the extra effort they have to make in order to compete, Kane said: “That’s what happens. The gaffer said he’s not just going to bring in players for the sake of it. What that does is it give the rest of the squad huge belief, because it shows he has belief in us. So now we have to repay him for that and repay the club for that. Lucas [Moura] is one of them that some fans might have thought ‘is he going to stay or is he going to go?’ He’s stayed, and he’s worked hard and he’s done well, and he’s deserved his place in the team and that’s what it’s about. He wants to keep his place and we all do. The competition for places is high and we’ve just to keep it going. We’ve maybe fallen behind at the start of the season the last few years, so we have to stay up there from the very start. The only way to do that is to come here and win, and all the other big games as well. It’s a great start for us. We’re not getting too carried away, of course, it’s only three games in, but that’s what we needed. We needed to start the season well and now it’s about maintaining that for the rest of the year.”Raw emotion. ⚡?#COYS pic.twitter.com/WkRfrVw3vRChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 28, 2018Despite Tottenham not having made any signings this season, there is no doubt that Mauricio Pochettino already has an incredible squad which they have been able to put together in the last five seasons and one that can indeed give them a good enough chance to compete for trophies this season. Mauricio Pochettino knows that he will need to win a trophy soon because despite having played spectacular football during his spell with the North London side, this is a club that has grown enough in the last decade to start demanding trophies and the clock is ticking for the Argentine manager. It’s not as if Daniel Levy isn’t happy with Pochettino, but even a patient man like him can get tired eventually and decide to change the manager one day out of the blue. Harry Kane is right at the center of this new season because he is the franchise player that any club in the world would love to have and who is actually capable of getting Tottenham a trophy with his incredible stats. Let’s see if not having any new players this season will be an important factor in their performance, we certainly expect that it isn’t.⚽ @HKane loves scoring in August…#COYS pic.twitter.com/QTqSF5VPFr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 28, 2018Do you think Tottenham Hotspur will suffer this season with no new signings? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.
WILMINGTON, MA — The 29th Semi-Annual Northeast Materials Show will take place in Wilmington on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, from 9am to 5pm, and Wednesday, August 7, 2019, from 9am to 4pm, at the Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road).Tuesday, August 6 features Spring/Summer 21 Inspirations by PECLERS Paris and an overview of graphene technology for smart sportswear applications courtesy of World Textile Information Network. A networking & cocktail reception will take place after the event from 5pm to 7pm.The Northeast Apparel and Footwear Materials Show aims to bring some contemporary changes and developmental changes in the apparel, leather and footwear industry. The event provides the professionals with a scope to get acquainted with the advanced technologies which are required for making this industry more advanced.Learn more about the show HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Shriners Auditorium To Host Huge Car Show On August 25In “Community”SAVE THE DATE: Castleberry Faire Holiday Craft Festival Coming To Shriners Auditorium On November 29-December 1In “Community”COMING TO THE SHRINERS: Women’s Roller Derby On August 3In “Sports”
West Godavari: The YSRCP Tanuku MLA Karumuri Venkata Nageswara Rao’s elder brother Karumuri Venkata Prasad (59) has died on Thursday afternoon. He breathed his last while receiving the treatment at Eluru Ashram hospital. MLA Karumuri, who was about to leave for the US, has canceled the trip over the unexpected death of his brother. Venkata Prasad has left behind with wife Subhadra Devi, son Ramsai Charan, and daughter Lahari. He was working as a chemistry professors at SCIM government degree college in Tanuku. The final rites were held at native village Attili where a large number of party leaders and activists have attended and paid tribute.
Anushka Sharma at India-Sri Lanka World Cup matchVideo screengrabWhile India won the recent World Cup match against Sri Lanka, a video of Anushka Sharma from the same event is now doing the rounds on social media.Anushka was present at the stadium on Saturday to cheer for her husband Virat Kohli and team India. The video shows her first enjoying her own self on the music playing in the ground. She then looks sharply towards the camera and describes something to the person sitting next to her.Although there is nothing unusual in the video, Anushka’s cute expressions certainly make it worth watching.Recently, Anushka and Virat were spotted on the streets of London. Apart from them, other players including Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were also seen with their spouses during the ongoing World Cup 2019.While Virat has been performing brilliantly on the field, Anushka was last seen in Zero that featured Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. Although the film did not fare well at the box office, Anushka’s performance was much appreciated.Cutie! @AnushkaSharma had a gala time in the stands during the #IndiaVsSriLanka match yesterday. pic.twitter.com/HelONjy5c0— Filmfare (@filmfare) July 7, 2019
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,CHICAGO (RNS) — When Krish O’Mara Vignarajah and her family arrived in the United States as refugees fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka, the community welcomed them with open arms.Her dad found a job as a schoolteacher in Baltimore, where the family, including the then 9-month-old Vignarajah, settled.The superintendent of schools helped her family find an apartment, she said. The vice principal helped them start a bank account. Churches and temples literally put clothes on their backs — warm coats and other gear to help them adjust to the city’s bitter winters.“It was because this community — we call it now the ‘circle of welcome’ — embraced us not just as strangers, but as neighbors, as friends, as family, that I had the chance to really live the American story,” she said.Now Vignarajah hopes to extend that same welcome to others as president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.Vignarajah, who was policy director for former first lady Michelle Obama, is the second refugee and the first non-Lutheran to lead the Baltimore-based organization in its 80-year history.RELATED: Two years after Trump’s travel ban, faith-based refugee groups struggleIn a statement on the LIRS website, Bishop Michael Rinehart, chair of the organization’s board, called the new president and CEO “exactly the kind of once-in-a-generation leader LIRS needs right now.”He also said her recent appointment comes at a time when “the LIRS mission — to protect, embrace, and empower those we serve — is more crucial now than ever.”“The selection of Krish is an embodiment of the Lutheran commitment to be a church for the sake of the world,” he said. “Today, we have the opportunity to extend and embrace the gift and energy of a leader who came to this country as one of the most vulnerable.”Before she worked for the former first lady, Vignarajah was a senior adviser at the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. There she worked with religious communities and also worked on programs that dealt with refugees and migration.Among the proudest moments of her career, she said, was when former President Obama raised the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. to 110,ooo in fiscal year 2017. President Trump has since cut that cap to 30,000 for fiscal year 2019, a move that has caused agencies like LIRS to cut staff and shift programs.Krish O’Mara Vignarajah. Photo courtesy of LIRSIn 2017, she ran for the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland. Outside of politics, she has experience in business at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and in law, practicing at Jenner & Block, clerking for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals and teaching international law at Georgetown University as an adjunct professor.She plans to bring that experience from government, business and law to her current role, she said.She also plans to draw on her faith.Vignarajah is Hindu. Her husband, Collin O’Mara, is Catholic. They are raising their daughter, who is one and a half, in both faiths.Being in an interfaith family has taught her “there is so much more that we share than those differences that divide us,” she said.“I hope that through my appointment, I can highlight what joins us all.”The new president and CEO is looking forward to engaging congregations in the work the LIRS does, she said. In addition to churches raising funds for the organization through offerings, she hopes individuals also will get involved, spreading the word about its work on social media or volunteering with hands-on programs.She wants to reach out to both champions and critics of LIRS’ work with refugees and immigrants. She knows there are Lutherans and others who are nervous about immigration and who are unsure about who refugees are or why they are coming to the U.S.Just days into the job, Vignarajah had her first opportunity to do that. She was in Chicago last week for meetings at the headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America when Trump declared a national emergency at the border with Mexico.Within hours, she had released a written statement criticizing the move as unconstitutional and “both unnecessary and ineffective.”“The administration cannot afford to play games when lives are at stake,” she wrote.She hopes that work will put an “empathetic” face on refugees and raise the profile of the work LIRS does to support them.“What I want to do is take the message to people who need to hear it,” she said.“I want us to harness the grassroots enthusiasm that exists, knowing that embracing the stranger is as Lutheran a value as it is American. That’s where I hope that I can be a unique messenger, because I know the personal benefit and the life-changing work that LIRS does.” Michael says: Share This! Share This! News Share This! February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 News • Photos of the Week Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Tagshomepage featured immigration Krish O’Mara Vignarajah LIRS Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service refugees,You may also like Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Emily McFarlan Miller Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.,2 Comments Click here to post a comment February 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm Share This! Catholicism By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Agni Ashwin says: “When Krish O’Mara Vignarajah and her family arrived in the United States as refugees fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka, the community welcomed them with open arms.”How lucky she is. Not for my family who arrived from Sri Lanka in 71 only to face hostility and racism. No love, no welcome, no nothing, just hatred. My Tamil mother died alone and penniless. My Sinhalese father died betrayed by the state he worked for.and I hated every day that God cursed my family to come to this land.,Southern Baptists should investigate churches that cover up abuse, says SBC president Vignarajah is Hindu.Mostly likely, a Shaiva Hindu.Her husband, Collin O’MaraCollin OM-ara? I see what she did there. By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Report: One in three in UK say Islam threatens British culture By: Emily McFarlan Miller emmillerwrites Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email
Share This! Share This! News • Photos of the Week As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Share This! By: Nicole Winfield By: Nicole Winfield Catholicism Nicole Winfield,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Amid Ramadan celebrations, Jordanians fear an uncertain future Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Share This! News TagsCatholic abuse crisis clerical abuse Daniel DiNardo Frank Rossi Galveston-Houston Archdiocese homepage featured Laura Pontikes Top Story U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,You may also like Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Nicole Winfield Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,HOUSTON (AP) — When Cardinal Daniel DiNardo first met Laura Pontikes in his wood-paneled conference room in December 2016, the leader of the U.S. Catholic Church’s response to its sex abuse scandal said all the right things.He praised her for coming forward to report that his deputy in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese had manipulated her into a sexual relationship and declared her a “victim” of the priest, Pontikes said. Emails and other documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the relationship had gone on for years — even as the priest heard her confessions, counseled her husband on their marriage and pressed the couple for hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.She says she was assured that priest, Monsignor Frank Rossi, would never be a pastor or counsel women again. Months after that meeting, though, she found out DiNardo had allowed Rossi to take a new job as pastor of a parish two hours away in East Texas. Her husband said that when he confronted DiNardo, the cardinal warned that the archdiocese would respond aggressively to any legal challenge — and that the fallout would hurt their family and business.On Tuesday (June 4), after written inquiries by the AP, the church followed through on promises to remove Rossi, announcing in a statement from his new bishop that he was being placed on temporary administrative leave.Laura Pontikes, a 55-year-old construction executive in Texas, had been at a low point in her life when she sought spiritual counseling from Rossi, the longtime No. 2 official in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese that DiNardo heads. Instead, she said, Rossi preyed on her emotional vulnerability to draw her into a physical relationship that he called blessed by God.“He took a woman that went into a church truly looking for God, and he took me for himself,” she told the AP.Rossi’s sexual relationship with Pontikes is now the subject of a previously undisclosed criminal investigation in Houston.Yet it is DiNardo’s handling of the case that poses far-reaching questions for the church in the #MeToo era, when powerful men and institutions are being called to account over sex abuse.As the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, DiNardo will lead a meeting next week in Baltimore to address the church’s credibility crisis over its failure to fully reckon with sexual abuse, 17 years after it committed to cleaning house. DiNardo is expected to present his brother bishops with new proposals to hold one another accountable for sexual misconduct or negligence in handling abuse cases.Laura Pontikes pauses as her husband, George, holds her hand after an interview in their apartment in Houston on April 13, 2019. From beginning to end, George Pontikes said, the church has failed them in its response to allegations of sexual misconduct. “They are doing exactly what the pope told them not to do: They are defending Frank Rossi,” he said. “They are not defending the victim.” The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese acknowledged a sexual relationship between Monsignor Frank Rossi and parishioner Laura Pontikes but asserted that it was consensual. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)But Pontikes’ case lays bare that even leaders in the Catholic hierarchy who have vowed to do right by victims continue to fail them. Pontikes said DiNardo has been negligent by keeping in ministry a priest who “seduced, betrayed and ultimately sexually victimized” her, Pontikes’ therapist told Texas prosecutors.The June 11-14 meeting in Baltimore is part of the church’s effort to confront sexual abuse worldwide. In a little more than a year, Pope Francis admitted he made “grave errors” in Chile’s worst case of cover-up, an Australian cardinal was convicted of abuse and a French cardinal was convicted of failing to report a pedophile.In the U.S., a Pennsylvania grand jury blasted church leaders for following “a playbook for concealing the truth,” and attorneys general in at least 15 states are investigating sex abuse by Catholic clergy and its cover-up.The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese acknowledged an inappropriate physical relationship between Rossi and Pontikes, but asserted that it was consensual and didn’t include sexual intercourse. In a written statement to The Associated Press, it defended its handling of the case, saying Rossi was immediately placed on leave and went for counseling after Pontikes reported him.Rossi returned to active ministry, without restrictions, based on recommendations from an out-of-state “renewal” program for clergy he completed, the statement said.Pontikes filed a police report in August. Under Texas criminal law, a member of the clergy can be charged with sexual assault of an adult if the priest exploited an emotional dependency in a spiritual relationship.Rossi’s attorney, Dan Cogdell, said Rossi is cooperating with the investigation and has met with police. He declined further comment.Monsignor Frank Rossi stands outside Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Woodville, Texas, on April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)Pontikes’ allegations against DiNardo add to questions about how he has dealt with abuse in the past. SNAP, a national group of survivors of clergy abuse, has called for him to resign as head of the bishops conference because he allowed predator priests to remain in ministry in Houston, as well as in his previous diocese in Sioux City, Iowa.And when law enforcement raided DiNardo’s offices in November as part of an investigation into an alleged abuser, they found files locked away in a bank vault that the archdiocese had failed to turn over, according to police documents released last month.Rossi previously helped handle Galveston-Houston’s abuse cases for more than two decades. But in a church bulletin in February, he minimized the number of abusers nationwide, accused the media of hyping the scandal and insisted that while even one case of abuse was too many, the vast majority of accused were “good men” who simply made a “terrible single decision.”Pontikes provided the AP with seven years of her email correspondence with Rossi, therapists, priests and friends, along with financial data and communications with the archdiocese. She told the Vatican in April that Rossi heard her confessions after their relationship became physical — a potentially serious crime under church law that DiNardo never asked her about. The Vatican said her complaint was under review.The church, which has been grappling for decades with the sexual abuse of children, is now being forced to reckon with the idea that adults too can be sexually exploited by clergy. Last summer, amid revelations that ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had preyed on adult seminarians, DiNardo used his pulpit to apologize for the leadership’s failures.“This is especially true for adults being sexually harassed by those in positions of power,” DiNardo said Aug. 27. “We will do better.”That statement gave Pontikes hope, but nothing changed, she said. She said she came forward to protect other women and expose DiNardo’s handling of her case, which has left her so distraught that she can barely sleep or work.“They’re not going to play with my life like this,” said Pontikes. “They just can’t get away with it…Somebody had better stand up and tell the damned truth.”Pontikes first met Rossi in the confessional at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in December 2007. At the time, Pontikes sought to fill the void of an emotionally distant husband and mounting pressures at the family business by throwing herself into her faith, giving sizeable weekly donations at Mass.Rossi’s easy manner and laughter broke the ice.The weekend home of Laura and George Pontikes, center; a guest cottage, left; and a chapel, right, are shown in this April 12, 2019, photo in Anahuac, Texas. The family had built the guest cottage for Monsignor Frank Rossi at the weekend retreat. The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese acknowledged a sexual relationship between Rossi and parishioner Laura Pontikes but asserted that it was consensual. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)Soon the coiffed and charismatic preacher was calling her “Laura dear” and attending family dinners. In 2008, while she showed him a religious painting in their downstairs wine cellar, Rossi slipped his hand under her jacket and rested it on her bare waist, she said.She froze, embarrassed, but didn’t know what to do, she said. So she did nothing.During a 2009 dinner, Rossi asked the couple to give to an ambitious capital campaign that included rebuilding the St. Michael rectory where the parish priests lived. Their firm built the new rectory for $900,000, more than half of which the couple donated themselves. In addition, Laura Pontikes donated nearly $250,000 in religious art and furnishings, including $20,000 for an 18th-century scroll depicting the Virgin Mary as the Good Shepherdess, according to a list of vendors provided to AP.In all, the Pontikeses said they gave the church about $2 million over nine years, and Rossi asked for more, including $750,000 for a new school chapel they couldn’t afford. The archdiocese countered that their construction firm benefited from contracts worth $24 million over that time.Pontikes began seeing Rossi for regular spiritual direction in 2010, at the same time her husband was trying to get an annulment for his first marriage. The couple wanted their civil marriage of two decades to be recognized by the church.Rossi married the Pontikeses in a religious ceremony at St. Michael’s in August 2012. Less than four months later, during a session of spiritual counseling in his office, Pontikes said, Rossi started their physical relationship with an intimate, sexual embrace. The next day, Rossi wrote her an email with the subject line “blessings.”“It was wonderful to visit with you yesterday and continue to unfold the love of God in your life,” he wrote.She felt blessed and special to him, but also conflicted, knowing a boundary had been crossed. That same confusion tormented her during the many times he induced her to perform sexual acts in his office during spiritual direction, she said.Pontikes phoned and emailed Rossi several times a day with spiritual musings and work and family problems, and he responded with the attention she sought. In time, she was increasingly questioning her feelings for him.“I have blocked my faith mightily over my fear of my love for you,” she wrote him Jan. 5, 2013.Rossi assured her that such feelings are common in spiritual direction and that “holy touches” were not only sanctioned but encouraged by St. Paul the Apostle.Houston architect Ken Newberry was dismayed at seeing his longtime friend and client fall under Rossi’s spell. “She was like someone that was hypnotized or mesmerized,” Newberry said.Newberry recognized a process of grooming that he went through when he was abused by a Catholic priest at the age of 15. He eventually told Pontikes he couldn’t bear to hear any more, because it was triggering his own trauma.“Someone is talking to you about God,” he says, “and they’re pulling you in and telling you that this is right…It is very, very confusing and overwhelming.”Throughout the relationship, Pontikes said, Rossi was her confessor. On Dec. 20, 2012, about two weeks after their first sexual embrace in Rossi’s office, he agreed to hear her confession: “I would be most happy to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation with you if you would like.”A few months later, Pontikes was rushing to catch a flight to visit a friend whose husband had died. Guilt-ridden about her growing intimacy with Rossi, she wanted to ease her conscience with confession before leaving town.He was not happy with her request and said he didn’t have time. But she chased him down, followed him out the side chapel and made him hear her, according to Pontikes. She confessed that she had been inappropriate with her priest.He absolved her of their sin, she said, and told her, “Go forth and sin no more.”The so-called “absolution of an accomplice” crime, one of the most serious in canon law, must be reported to the Vatican and can carry the penalty of excommunication. It occurs when a priest absolves someone with whom he has engaged in a sexual sin, including merely a lustful touch.The archdiocese claims Rossi never heard Pontikes’ confession during or after their physical relationship, but the emails Pontikes turned over to church officials include several references to confession.Edward Peters, a leading U.S. canon lawyer and consultant at the Vatican high court, says that “as a matter of good governance” the bishop in question — DiNardo — should have asked Pontikes about possible confession-related crimes. Pontikes said neither DiNardo nor his subordinates ever did.The sexual relationship grew during a March 2013 trip to Taormina, Sicily, one of several family vacations Rossi joined at the Pontikeses’ invitation and expense. The family also had begun building a guest cottage for him at their weekend retreat on Trinity Bay.George Pontikes, who knew nothing of the sexual encounters with his wife, reached out to Rossi for advice after the trip. She was growing more distant, irritable and distracted, he said, and the couple was on the verge of separation.“I don’t know whether I’m asking for help or sympathy,” he wrote on April 3, 2013. “I know Laura listens to you.”Rossi responded that she was going through strong mood swings. “My gut feeling is that she is on the verge of a breakdown due to the stress,” he wrote.George Pontikes reached out again two weeks later.“Frank: Laura is close to losing it,” he wrote Rossi. “I want to help. She does not want it. I think you should give it a try. She trusts you.”Four days later, on a Friday night after George had gone to bed, the priest and parishioner consummated the relationship in the pool house bathroom of her Houston home, Laura Pontikes said. It was the first of up to half a dozen such sexual encounters over more than a year, according to Pontikes.“I wish I could have walked away from it, but I just didn’t and I just couldn’t,” she said.The archdiocese denied key portions of Pontikes’ claim, saying the relationship included encounters of a sexual nature but not intercourse. It also said Rossi ended the physical relationship, but Pontikes continued sending him “hundreds of unsolicited messages primarily by email and phone.”Although Pontikes acknowledged the continued correspondence, she said she was desperate to hold onto the spiritual relationship because she believed it an essential part of her faith. Rossi assured her that their relationship was “a blessing from God.”“I am praying fervently and digging deeper and deeper into my own soul,” he wrote her in 2015, after the physical relationship had ended. “I ache at my very core.”The turmoil tore Pontikes up so much that she sought therapy. Gradually, painfully, she came to believe that Rossi had preyed upon her. Her suspicions were confirmed when she watched him interact with other women, and she remembered seeing him touch one on the bare shoulder at her wedding.Then two friends told her about his inappropriate attentiveness to yet another woman on a Holy Land pilgrimage. It was the tipping point. She confided in her friends, and they urged her to turn him in.Pontikes reported Rossi to the archdiocese April 7, 2016. She met with Auxiliary Bishop George Sheltz and Sister Gina Iadanza. They didn’t ask questions, Pontikes recalled, but Iadanza wrote down everything she said, and she left them with a stack of email correspondence.That night, as she sat in the prayer chair in her living room, she finally told her husband.“What have you done?” George Pontikes asked his wife in shock.Over the next few days, Laura checked herself into a residential clinic to cope with the trauma. George spoke with her therapists, read the emails between Rossi and his wife and began to realize that the priest had manipulated and betrayed them both. He was livid.Less than a month after reporting Rossi, Laura Pontikes said, she got a phone call from Iadanza. She and her husband listened together.“She said they had completed their investigation and that a committee had determined that he must be turned over to the authorities,” Pontikes said. “I panicked. I did not want to ruin anyone’s life, even as mine appeared to be in shambles.”The archdiocese maintained that it was not legally obliged to report Rossi to police at the time, and that Pontikes “vehemently resisted” their suggestion that she do so. However, Joe Bailey, a onetime assistant district attorney in Harris County who is now advising the Pontikeses, said Rossi’s wrongdoing is clear and should have been reported immediately. The archdiocese did report the case last year, and said it is cooperating with the investigation.For Pontikes, this case is as much about DiNardo as it is about Rossi.DiNardo’s archdiocese is known for its secrecy among victim advocates. In the November raid on the diocese, prosecutors backed by 60 members of the Texas Rangers and federal agents seized records related to the Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, who has been charged with sexually abusing minors. Two of LaRosa-Lopez’s alleged victims have accused DiNardo of downplaying their claims and keeping him in ministry, around children, until his arrest in September.DiNardo also allowed the Rev. John Keller to celebrate Mass on the same day his name appeared on the archdiocese’s list of accused priests, even though allegations that he fondled a 16-year-old boy had been public since 2003.In 2002, during his tenure as bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, DiNardo apologized for allowing the Rev. George McFadden to continue working as a priest after he molested at least 25 children.Rossi, for his part, helped handle Galveston-Houston’s abuse cases as vice-chancellor, chancellor and vicar general of the archdiocese. Pontikes recalls he boasted that his bosses couldn’t take action against him since “I know where all the bones are buried.”In 1998, Rossi signed a form letter stating that the Rev. Jesse Linam was a validly ordained priest who had been granted “complete retirement for medical reasons,” according to documents obtained by AP.The letter didn’t mention that Linam had been removed from ministry five years before after admitting to sex abuse. In a 2003 letter with a $2,000 loan to Linam for legal fees, Rossi wrote, “Jesse, I realize that this has been a very difficult time for you. It has been for Bishop (Joseph) Fiorenza and myself as well.”In his new posting in east Texas, Rossi continues to express sympathy for accused priests.“These men need our prayers, as they too are suffering due to the harm they know they have caused,” he wrote in the Feb. 2-3 parish bulletin.A month after Pontikes reported him, Rossi sent an email to the staff of St. Michael’s with a letter to parishioners announcing his resignation as pastor, effective May 7, 2016.“I am being faced with some very difficult personal issues affecting my priesthood which require my full and single focused attention;” Rossi wrote. He vowed to return after “a period of renewal.”Pontikes said Iadanza later told her that Rossi would never be a pastor again, and that the archdiocese was looking for a position for him as a port chaplain or in prison ministry — where he wouldn’t have access to women. The archdiocese said Pontikes’ account of Iadanza’s comments is “not accurate,” but did not elaborate.The Pontikeses found out about Rossi’s return to Houston when they learned a parishioner had invited them all to the same Christmas party. George Pontikes pressed DiNardo in a subsequent meeting to hold Rossi accountable, but said he came away feeling threatened.“He told me that this could be headed for some type of civil or criminal matter and that we should resolve this problem because ‘Laura can’t handle it, you can’t handle it and your business can’t handle it,’” George Pontikes recalled DiNardo warning him.“I told him, ‘Neither can you.’ He said, ‘You’re right. I’ll put money, art and everything on the table. Let’s have a mediation.’ ”Scott Allen, an attorney representing Pontikes, also thought the church was bullying the couple. After a May 31, 2017 meeting, he wrote that archdiocesan lawyer Robert Schick had tried to warn them off litigation by mentioning the “public domain exposure to Laura, George their business” as well as the potential for “St. Michael’s community fallout.”“Despite attempt at ‘cordiality,’ I found the tone and content purposefully vaguely & opaquely threatening and somewhat insulting,” Allen wrote.The archdiocese didn’t respond to questions about the exchanges.Rossi’s “retirement” from the archdiocese was announced that spring, along with his new appointment as pastor of Our Lady of the Pines in Woodville, Texas, a humble parish that seats about 100 people. Laura Pontikes said Iadanza assured her Rossi would be under a strict monitoring protocol. In the meantime, DiNardo defended his actions to George.“They started telling me things like, ‘His life is ruined, George. We’ve already punished him,’” George Pontikes said. “‘We’ve sent him out to east Texas… He will never ever be looking at an upward mobility anymore.’”By October 2017, Dr. Ken Buckle, Laura Pontikes’ Catholic therapist, had outlined mediation proposals. They included a formal apology for actions by Rossi and by the archdiocese; ongoing monitoring of Rossi along with five years of therapy, with annual reports to the couple; and “more compassionate” policies in cases of inappropriate conduct.But Pontikes said that during two years of mediation, the church focused exclusively on a financial settlement.What happened between Pontikes and Rossi is under investigation by the Houston police department, and Harris County prosecutors have subpoenaed her therapists in the name of a grand jury.In an affidavit seen by the AP, Buckle wrote that Pontikes was in crisis as a result of “sexual and religious abuse” and that the decision to relocate Rossi to another parish was “highly distressing” to her. Texas law states that sex is without consent if a clergyman exploits a person’s emotional dependency on him.“It’s recognized that the person really can’t give consent,” said Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas lawyer who represents abuse victims. “And the church knows that.”The archdiocese said it informed Rossi’s new bishop of his violation of his vow of chastity and time in a renewal program.Beaumont Bishop Curtis Guillory didn’t respond to questions about what other information or monitoring recommendations DiNardo had provided. He told AP that he accepted Rossi into his diocese as a retired Houston priest “in good standing,” and that he has received no allegations of misconduct in his parish. In a press release Tuesday put on the Beaumont website, he announced Rossi had been placed on temporary administrative leave pending the investigation.Until the suspension, neither the criminal investigation nor the years-long mediation with the archdiocese appeared to have crimped Rossi’s ministry. As usual, he led a 13-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jordan in early November. The pews at his new parish were full on Palm Sunday, when Rossi celebrated Mass and then greeted visitors in near-perfect Spanish.“At times, we betray the Lord, through our evil acts of sin,” Rossi said in his homily. “And then we regret our sins.”Rossi’s parish bulletins included posts on spousal love and sexuality, including how husbands and wives should communicate. Laura Pontikes read them in disgust, seeing them as an attempt by Rossi to find women in troubled marriages who might seek counseling.She enclosed the bulletins in her April letter to the Vatican, including one from November that read:” Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intimacy are all ways of communicating marital love… For a person whose primary love language is touch, physical contact with their spouse is essential.”(AP writer Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report.) The complex role of faith in the women’s suffrage movement By: Nicole Winfield Share This!
By Stephen Janis and Taya Graham, Special to the AFRODuring the uprising after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody attention focused on Baltimore’s stark inequality.The flourishing downtown and Inner Harbor fueled by tax incentives was often compared to Gillmor Homes, the crumbling city-owned housing project where Gray was arrested; both were considered contrasting examples of how one Baltimore was thriving while the other suffered from neglect.Now the city says it wants to fix the blight in one of Baltimore’s oldest and most decrepit public housing projects, Perkin Homes. But, the proposed use of a tax break to fund the development is fueling controversy.Artist rendering of what a renovated Perkins Homes housing project (located in the shadow of the glittering Harbor East community near Fells Point), would look like. The developer is seeking more than $100 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from the city. (Illustration: Baltimore City Housing Department)Situated a short distance from the Inner Harbor and adjacent to Fells Point, the city wants to tear down Perkins Homes as part of a larger $889 Million plan to build 1,345 mixed income housing units within a 244-acre “transformation zone,” that includes a makeover of the predominantly vacant Old Town Mall and rebuilding City Springs Elementary School.Last week Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the project won a $30 million “Choice Neighborhood” grant from the Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD). The grant will fund in part what Pugh characterized as a unique opportunity to revitalize a section of Southeast Baltimore that has seen little substantive development.“I am committed to providing Perkins residents the opportunity to live in a “community of choice,” Pugh said in a statement sent to supporters touting the fact that current Perkins residents would be temporarily relocated until the project is complete.“Our goal is to gradually move all of our existing Perkins residents to alternate housing as we tear down the public housing and build a larger, mixed-income community,” Pugh said.But the grant is just one part of the financing city officials say is needed to make the deal work. Last month the city also laid out plans to grant a roughly $102 million tax break to group of developers that will manage the project.The aid will come in the form of a TIF, or Tax Increment Finance deal. A TIF allows the developer to plow decades of future property taxes into the project using city-backed bonds.Like past deals, city officials tout the TIF as a way to finance infrastructure including the $33 million overhaul of City Springs.The companies that stand to benefit from the TIF include Henson Development, St. Louis based McCormack Baron Salazar, Cross Street Partners, and Beatty Development.Beatty in particular is no stranger to TIFS.The longtime Baltimore developer netted a $106 million TIF to build out Harbor Point, a piece of property that extends into the Inner Harbor and is now the home to the Maryland headquarters of energy giant Constellation Energy.The controversial deal marked an ever-escalating use of TIFs to fund downtown construction, which culminated in a whopping $660 million TIF to Under Armor founder Kevin Plank to build out Port Covington, an old industrial park south of 1-95.Both tax breaks fueled controversy that led to heated council meetings, which is why City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young says he still is not completely committed to the deal for Perkins.“I don’t really have an appetite for another large TIF,” Young told the AFRO.“I know they’re saying this is for the community, but when we did the Harbor Point TIF the people were screaming next they are going to come and take Perkins, now look what’s happening.”Indeed, the property included in the Perkins plan would form an almost contiguous swath of development linking Old Town Mall to Harbor East, the upscale neighborhood built from scratch by late Baltimore developer John Paterakis.Still, despite concerns over financing, the project has a variety of backers, including Rep. Elijah Cummings.“I commend HUD for awarding the grant to help improve housing and living conditions for residents who have been neglected for far too long. It is an investment in a community that will impact the lives of future generations,” Cummings said in a written statement.
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on Author Bio by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this GameGrepolis – Free Online GameUndoMayo ClinicManaging psoriatic arthritis painMayo ClinicUndoTODAYCeline Dion Discusses Her Recent Weight Loss: ‘Everything’s Fine’TODAYUndoCNETThe absolute fastest U.S. Air Force planes in the skyCNETUndoInspiratoThe Most Beautiful, Least Visited Islands in the WorldInspiratoUndoAdvertisement Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief Whether you’re interested in Apple’s iPads, Amazon’s Fire HD line, Samsung’s Tab S slates or the versatile Surface Go from Microsoft, now is the time to score an incredible deal.Currently, Amazon has the Editor’s Choice 2018 model iPad on sale for $249. That’s $80 off its regular $329 retail price and the second-lowest price we’ve ever seen for this Apple tablet. Walmart has this same iPad on sale for the same price, as well as a $175-off offer on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro (high-end 2018 iPad Pros get extra discounts at checkout).It features a 9.7-inch Retina display with a 1536 x 2048 pixel resolution, an A10 Fusion CPU, and 32GB of storage. This Editor’s Choice tablet is a solid choice if you’re on a budget and don’t want to drop $500+ on a new iPad. Looking for a lower price? Amazon’s slashed the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.1-inch) down to only $198.MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air and Pro look pretty similar, but our testing proved they differ in crucial ways.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Which Cheap Tablet Is Best? Amazon Fire 7 vs Walmart Onn02:45关闭选项Automated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/best-tablet-deals?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0003:4603:46 Here are a few more of the best tablet deals we’ve seen so far. Best Tablet Deals NowYou can get a great deal on some of the best tablets:iPad, iPad Pro dealsApple iPad 2018 (32GB): was $329 now just $249 @ AmazonApple iPad 2018 (128GB): was $429 now just $329 @ AmazoniPad Pro 10.5-inch (64GB): was $649 now just $474 @ WalmartiPad Pro 11-inch (256GB): was $949 now just $899 @ AmazoniPad Pro 11-inch (1TB): was $1,549 now just $1,199 @ Amazon (see final price at checkout)iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2018 (64GB): was $999 now just $800 @ AmazoniPad Pro 12.9-inch 2018 (512GB): was 1,349.00 now just $1,099 (see final price at checkout)iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2018 (1TB): was $1,749 now just $1,399 @ Amazon (see final price at checkout)Surface, Lenovo Tab, Samsung Galaxy Tab and moreMicrosoft Surface Go (128 GB): was $499 now just $439 @ AmazonMicrosoft Surface Pro 6 (128 GB): was $1,059 now just $899 @ Best BuyLenovo Tab 3 (32 GB): was $249 now just $159 @ AmazonLenovo Tab 4 10″ (w/ Bluetooth keyboard): was $259.98 now just $199 @ LenovoSamsung Galaxy Tab A (16 GB): was $279 now just $198 @ AmazonLenovo X1 Tablet (3rd Gen): was $2,369 now just $1,777 @ Lenovo
No related posts. On Sept. 16, the Las Catalinas and Playa Dante community hosted the first annual free bike parade around Las Catalinas, which included strollers, tricycles, bicycles and other things with wheels. There was a wheel-decorating station and a dressage show, with Friesian horses as well as pony rides for the kids.Pura Vida Ride offered $10 rentals throughout the morning, and Lola’s offered a free pizza-making station for the children. Everybody had a great time.Maxwell’s Restaurant and Bar in Surfside/Potrero will be open throughout September and October, so check with Kelly and Mike for specials and events. For more info, call 2654-4319.Ruta La Paz III is a perfect opportunity for participants of all ages and skill levels to come together, be healthy and raise funds for scholarships at La Paz Community School. Distances are a 5K and 10K on the beach in front of the Rotonda in Playa Tamarindo The race takes place Saturday, Nov. 10.All proceeds from Ruta La Paz go to the La Paz scholarship program, which is now providing scholarships for 25 students. The program allows the school to accommodate various socioeconomic levels, bridging the resource gap between families.–Babe Hopkinstbabehopkins@gmail.com Facebook Comments
Related posts:Actor Leonardo DiCaprio talks about illegal fishing in Costa Rica’s Cocos Island Sea Shepherd’s R/V Martin Sheen lands in Costa Rica for 4-month research mission Chile declares huge Easter Island marine reserve; US announces 2 more protected areas Obama will propose expanding Pacific Ocean marine sanctuary “What It’s Like to Live Underwater for 31 Days,” appears in the Atlantic magazine.“Fabien Cousteau is on the ocean floor right now, and he’s not coming up for air until July.” So begins Svati Kirsten Narula’s story in the Atlantic magazine about the undersea adventure called Mission 31.Cousteau — grandson of the legendary Jacques — and a small team of fellow aquanauts are living in an underwater habitat called Aquarius and hope to stay there for 31 days. Sitting on stilts about 60 feet beneath the surface a few miles off the Florida Keys, Aquarius is about 9 feet by 43 feet — about the size of a school bus, as Cousteau says. To combat claustrophobia, the crew plans to spend several hours every day doing rocket-pack-assisted swims and tooling along the continental shelf on underwater motorbikes. Fabien Cousteau and fellow aquanauts are living in an underwater habitat off the Florida Keys and hope to stay there for 31 days. (Carrie Vonderhaar)Cousteau and two technicians arrived June 1 and plan to remain on Aquarius for the entire 31 days. Two teams of three researchers each will each spend half the time on board, mainly studying the effects of climate change and pollution on the coral reef. Beyond that, they just want to get better acquainted with the vast underwater world that oceanographers including Cousteau believe is woefully underexplored. (As submarine designer Graham Hawkes once scolded the scientific community, “Your rockets are pointed in the wrong g—— direction!”)To engage a global audience, the underwater team will keep up regular communication with reporters, teachers and students via email and Skype. And the entire adventure is being broadcast live online at the Mission 31 Website.When we tuned in the other day, the interior of Aquarius was pretty mundane, with T-shirt-clad researchers sweeping something off the floor (there’s no sound, so we didn’t know what), checking their dials, squeezing quietly past each other in the narrow control space. But the action outside was lively, with dozens of brilliantly colored fish poking attentively at the 80-ton behemoth that had suddenly appeared in their world. Curiosity, it seems, works both ways.Watch Jacques Cousteau’s and Louis Malle’s exquisite documentary about the first manned undersea colony, which won an Academy Award in 1964: © 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments
Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The vital role family plays in society http://www.coreyrich.com/ Associated PressISLAMABAD (AP) – The use of drones in Pakistan normally brings to mind images of U.S. spy planes attacking tribal areas. But drones now are being used to capture a different kind of picture in the country _ showing some of the world’s highest mountains being scaled by world-class climbers through some of Earth’s thinnest air.Drones, or remote-controlled aircraft, have long been the domain of the American military and are used extensively in Pakistan’s tribal areas near the Afghanistan border to spy on and target militants. Recently, however, civilians have increasingly turned to drones to shoot ground-breaking footage of adventure sports. http://peakproject.mammut.ch/en/peaks3/home___Rebecca Santana can be reached at http://twitter.com/@ruskygal Top Stories http://dedicam.tv/ Experienced climbers say the Karakoram puts the rest of the world’s mountain ranges to shame. Neighboring Nepal has Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, but Pakistan has four of the world’s 14 peaks that soar to more than 8,000 meters (26,246 feet) above sea level, including the second highest mountain on earth, K-2.Lama and Ortner said climbing the legendary Pakistan mountains was an amazing experience.“Here there are so many mountains, and so many difficult mountains, and mountains that haven’t been climbed,” said Lama. “That’s probably why the Karakoram is known as paradise for us.”This year has been particularly successful for Pakistan’s climbing industry, which plummeted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the U.S.In addition to hosting the renowned Lama for the first time, Nazir Sabir, Pakistan’s elder statesman of climbing who was the country’s first person to scale Everest, said 30 climbers summited K-2 in 2012, the first summits from the Pakistani side of the mountain since 11 people died trying in 2008.And the drone footage obtained during Lama and Ortner’s climb will expose even more viewers to the legendary Karakoram mountain range. 0 Comments Share (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Drones also increasingly are being used in other adventure sports to push conventional photography boundaries. Cameras on drones have been used to capture video of surfers on Hawaii’s North Shore and to chase mountain bikers speeding down mountain trails.“I’ve filmed anything from kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, to track and field to just casual walking,” said photographer and videographer Mike Hagadorn, who has begun to build his own drones to support his Colorado-based firm, Cloud Level Media. “Anything you can dream of _ and as long as you don’t crash _ you can make it happen.”Experts predict drone cameras eventually will become an integral part of every sports shoot. But for now, they’re definitely a novelty. The Swiss team filming Lama said villagers in Pakistan stood in awe, staring at the drones as they buzzed around, whenever he used one on the expedition.“We were trying to do this shot that showed this quaint village,” Rich said. “But every single person in the shot is standing, stopped in the street, looking up at the helicopter.”___Online: http://www.david-lama.com/en.html Drones, which can weigh just a few kilograms (pounds) and cost between $1,000 and $40,000, are a fraction of the size and cost of the helicopters traditionally used in adventure photography. Newer models tend to have all of their rotors facing into the sky, making them look a bit like a mechanical flying spider or insect.The main concern for the summertime expedition was how _ and if _ the drone would perform in Pakistan’s rugged conditions and high altitude.“The main challenge was that the air is much thinner, and we didn’t know how the flight controls would work with this and the propellers and motors,” said drone operator Remo Masina, from Lucerne, Switzerland. He brought two drones on the Pakistan expedition _ one with four propellers and another with six. From the ground, he flew them with a handheld console that resembles a video game console, and wore goggles to let him see the camera’s view.Another challenge was to find the climbers on the mountain. Tracing the planned trek route, Masina directed the drone up the mountain until he spotted them _ more than a mile (roughly 2,000 meters) away.The result was stunning images of the Karakoram and the climbers making it to the top. This summer a Swiss expedition used remote-controlled helicopters to shoot rare footage of climbers on the Karakoram, one of the world’s most demanding and formidable mountain ranges.“People are going to see footage from the Karakoram that no human being has ever seen,” said Corey Rich, a photographer and videographer from Lake Tahoe, California, who was on the expedition.The expedition was a joint project between outdoor clothing and equipment company Mammut, and Dedicam, a firm that specializes in using remote-controlled helicopters to shoot video. Their goal: to document world-class mountaineer David Lama and his climbing partner Peter Ortner as they climbed Trango Tower. The sheer granite tower in the Baltoro Glacier is more than 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) above sea level and is one of the most technically difficult climbs in the world.Filmmakers long have used helicopters to capture aerial footage of climbers _ as well as other extreme sport athletes like surfers and skiers _that is hard to capture from the ground. But helicopters are costly and can be dangerous if they crash or get too close to the people on the ground. Additionally, their beating rotors often kick up dust, snow and wind _ and can push climbers off balance. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top holiday drink recipes
Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Urban Institute 2015-03-16 Samantha Guzman Share March 16, 2015 479 Views in Daily Dose, Origination GSE’s had an impressive year in 2013, however Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw a huge drop in profits in 2014, forcing many to question the future of these enterprises. The Urban Institute has released a report discussing the impact of these changes and the likelihood Freddie Mac will need to take another draw from the Treasury.Accord to the report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made a combined profit of over $120 million in 2013. But by 2014 the net profit from both institutions fell by 80 percent, with Fannie Mae profit totaling to $14 billion and Freddie totaling $8 billion. More alarming were Freddie’s fourth quarter profits, which were down 90 percent from just the previous quarter.Fannie and Freddie get about half of their profits from reclaiming tax assets that were written down during the crisis. Almost a third of their profits came from earnings in their portfolio and they also get a significant sum from legal settlements. All of these sources are disappearing rapidly, leaving these institutions with only one source of revenue that is not being wound down. The only major revenue source not being wound down is what the GSEs generate from their core guarantee business, in which they collect a fee in exchange for guaranteeing the default risk of loans for investors.As these more large sources of income decrease, GSEs will have to rely more on their guarantee business for their profits. Having the GSE’s rely heavily on this single resource will create a significant shift in profitability for the institutions, and thus explains the big drop in revenue from 2013 to 2014. Stripping away all non–guarantee fee earnings from the 2013 numbers, for instance, Fannie would have made about $8 billion in profits ($12 billion taxed at 33.8 percent) and Freddie $3 billion ($5 billion taxed at 32.6 percent). Of the profits made in 2014, Fannie made about $9 billion from guarantee fees ($14 billion taxed at 32.8 percent) and Freddie made $4 billion ($5 billion taxed at 30.1 percent); the rest came from investments on their portfolio and other net income. Freddie’s investment profits were notably down over prior years, in part because its portfolio is being wound down, but also because Freddie took a large loss on a derivative position used to hedge some of its portfolio risk.Freddie’s dramatic drop in profits in the fourth quarter has raised some concern that it may be headed for another draw on the Treasury, something both enterprises have avoided since 2012. The GSEs require a draw when their losses exceed their capital buffer. Each enterprise has a buffer of $1.8 billion in 2015, declining by $600 million each year until it is extinguished altogether in 2018.According to the report, several key factors lessen the probability that Freddie would need the draw in the coming quarters. Freddie will likely see a reversal of the accounting losses on its derivative position as interest rates rise. Freddie will also have a still-significant portfolio for next couple of years and Freddie’s older loans, which have lower guarantee fees, will gradually be replaced by newer ones with higher fees. As long as Freddie retains a dominant market share, this shift toward more high-fee loans will mean an increase in revenues. However, Freddie’s risk of a draw will continue to rise in the next several years. Urban Institute Report Discusses Plunge in GSE Profits