CRPF command shifted back to Chhattisgarh

first_imgThe strategic anti-Naxal operations command headquarters of the Central Reserve Police Force has been shifted from Kolkata to the heart of the Naxal violence-hit Chhattisgarh after 37 jawans of the paramilitary force were killed by Maoists in less than two months. In a May 4 order, the CRPF directed the “immediate” transfer of the central zone command headquarters, roughly seven years after it was shifted from Raipur to Kolkata because of “logistics and connectivity issues”.The new CRPF Director-General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar has been asked to ensure that the command starts working from Raipur before the high-level meeting of Left Wing Extremism-hit States here on Monday.Kuldiep Singh, Additional Director-General of the CRPF central zone, was air-dashed to Raipur from Kolkata, and he took charge of the command on Friday, sources said.Raised on August 7, 2009, the central zone was tasked with overseeing troops deployment across the States affected by Left Wing Extremism such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It was moved to Kolkata in July 2010 for want of better rail and air links for the command office, days after the Maoists killed 75 CRPF jawans and a Chhattisgarh policeman in Dantewada on April 6. Review meetTop sources in the security establishment said the Union Home Ministry, after reviewing the April 24 ambush in Sukma district that killed 25 jawans, ordered the CRPF to immediately shift the central zone command to Raipur, without even bothering about the logistics to be put in place. The sources said Mr. Bhatnagar himself oversaw the quick activation of the command in Raipur after attending a meeting of the Unified Command on LWE on May 5, chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh. He later went to Sukma to make an assessment of the ambush site near Burkapal and held a ‘sainik sammelan’ (a troops meeting) to boost the morale of the jawans at a camp in the forests in south Bastar, a few km from the State’s border with Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.“Over the past two days, the new DG has travelled to the interiors of Sukma and Dantewada, the worst-affected districts. He also visited the ambush site at Bheji in Sukma,” an officer said.last_img read more

Dalit women ‘denied’ entry in U.P. temple

first_imgDalit women of a village in Bulandshahr say they are not being allowed to enter a temple by people of “higher caste”, in an alleged case of caste discrimination. Police have promised to look into the case after members of the community protested and a video lending credence to the charge went viral on social media. Women in Rakehra village of Khurja belonging to the Valmiki community were stopped at the gates of Chamad Mandir and allegedly assaulted by “local hooligans” when they protested. In the video, the women are seen confronting a young man stopping them outside the temple. When he tells them the temple is a private property, the women remind him that they have been praying there every year. The man is heard saying they could very well go to the police or the local politicians and the women retort that they are not afraid of anybody and threaten to sit on a dharna.last_img read more

Almost 3M netizens illegally streamed Mayweather vs. McGregor fight—report

first_imgFloyd Mayweather Jr. (right) throws a punch at Conor McGregor during their super welterweight boxing match on Aug. 26, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPThe fight of the century went down over the weekend, as boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. kept his record unblemished at 50-0, turning back a very game adversary in Conor McGregor.READ: 50-0: Floyd Mayweather stops Conor McGregor in 10th roundADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Williams wins at US Open to stay in No. 1 hunt; Konta out Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Nextcenter_img However, not every sports fan managed to watch the fight on pay per view (PPV) and resorted to illegal streams online.According to a report form Forbes, digital platform security company Irdeto estimated that 2,930,598 people illegally watched the fight on various social media platforms via 239 illegal streams.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPlenty of unwarranted videos were shared on Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch last Saturday (Sunday in Manila), while ads for the illegal streams were promoted on sites like Alibaba, eBay and Amazon.Other viewers, meanwhile, depended on “digital Robin Hoods”—or generous fans who purchased the fight and videotaped it live through their television or computers. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension On the other hand, Facebook did its part to stop videos from spreading by taking down live streams of the fight.However, the social platform still could not keep up with the number of users, as some videos managed to be streamed live up until the end of the fight.Despite the massive number of illegal streams, the Mayweather versus McGregor fight is still expected to break PPV sales. As of this writing, official PPV numbers have yet to be released.  Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:Canelo-GGG to MayMac fans: We’ve got a real show for youADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:21‘Bato’ says Robredo has to toughen up: ‘This is war…hindi ka pwedeng pa-cute cute dito’00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

ESPN Announces This Year’s Theme Song For The College Football Season

first_imgESPN PlayoffESPN PlayoffIf you’re constantly tuned in to ESPN during pigskin season, you’ll likely see the network’s college football promo commercials dozens, if not hundreds of times. The Worldwide Leader, much to the dismay of many, uses the same song for every bit. By the end of the year, you’ll know every word.So which song will you know every word to this year? According to Chris Fowler, who used to host College GameDay before giving up the job to Rece Davis last year, this year’s song will be “Collider” by the X Ambassadors and Tom Morello. The X Ambassadors are an alternative rock band from Ithaca, New York. Morello, of course, was the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine.Here’s the video for the song, if you’re so inclined. It was released on August 1st.As a huge Tom Morello/Rage Against the Machine fan, this makes me happy: new ESPN CFB anthem w/X Ambassadors https://t.co/0ipVtmRM4y— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) August 3, 2016Last year, the tune was “History” by Lauren Alaina. In 2014, it was “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy.The X Ambassadors were formed in 2009 and released their first full-length album in 2015. The band is comprised of four members – Sam Harris, Casey Harris, Noah Feldshuh and Adam Levin.ESPN will kick off its college football coverage in 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Hawaii and California are set to meet at ANZ Stadium on Friday, August 26. The Rainbow Warriors and Golden Bears will meet a week before all other teams.College football’s opening weekend will feature a number of important games, so expect to see a number of promos. In the first few days of the season, we’ll get to see Kansas State vs. Stanford, Oklahoma vs. Houston, UCLA vs. Texas A&M, LSU vs. Wisconsin, Alabama vs. USC, Florida State vs. Ole Miss, Texas vs. Notre Dame and Auburn vs. Clemson.last_img read more

JISCO Alpart Targeting Minimum One Shipment of Alumina Export Per Month

first_img “I think we are lucky to have had the first shipment by the end of last year, and the end of February was (when we had) the second shipment of alumina. So far, the operation has already gone to a higher level, so we will have enough eventually to arrange at least one shipment per month,” he indicated. Story Highlights Chinese entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO), which owns and operates the Alpart refinery in St. Elizabeth, is aiming to upgrade the plant and increase its capacity to facilitate the exportation of a minimum one shipment of alumina per month. Chinese entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO), which owns and operates the Alpart refinery in St. Elizabeth, is aiming to upgrade the plant and increase its capacity to facilitate at least one shipment of alumina per month.Assistant Managing Director of JISCO Alpart Jamaica, Sun Jing, disclosed that the company has already spent US$150 million to overhaul the plant in order to commence production that will lead to them attaining the target this year. According to Mr. Sun, the company has already been able to export two shipments of alumina in just over six months.“I think we are lucky to have had the first shipment by the end of last year, and the end of February was (when we had) the second shipment of alumina. So far, the operation has already gone to a higher level, so we will have enough eventually to arrange at least one shipment per month,” he indicated.The JISCO executive noted, however, that the outdated facilities present some challenges with respect to getting the plant fully operational. “We have to engage more persons to help us to run this plant. So although it probably needs 600-700 persons to operate, we have employed almost 900 Jamaicans for maintenance, operations and other relevant activities,” he said.Mr. Sun emphasised that modification and upgrade of the plant are imperative in order to maintain the operation. “Until then, we just keep going… although some of the (input) costs are very high, like oil and caustic soda. So to survive for the long-term, we need to do the expansion as quickly as possible.” Mr. Sun noted, however, that full modification and upgrading will take time.“When you finish the design, then you will have to begin the procurement process to buy equipment and do the installation. For the new equipment to be commissioned takes about one year.” he explained.Mr. Sun assured, however, that JISCO is committed to keeping the facility’s operations going until the modification and upgrading project is completed, “then we will have a chance to finish the new learning curve to bring this Alpart plant to the two million-tonne capacity per year”.A framework agreement has been signed between the Government of Jamaica and JISCO to undertake major improvement works at the plant and at Port Kaiser. This includes expansion of the existing refinery and construction of a new alumina plant; construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant; and the creation of a Special Economic Zone.Sale of the Alpart plant to JISCO and its subsequent reopening have been credited for significantly contributing to a 15 per cent growth in Jamaica’s mining sector over the October to December quarter of 2017. Assistant Managing Director of JISCO Alpart Jamaica, Sun Jing, disclosed that the company has already spent US$150 million to overhaul the plant in order to commence production that will lead to them attaining the target this year. According to Mr. Sun, the company has already been able to export two shipments of alumina in just over six months.last_img read more

TIFF STRESSES ZERO TOLERANCE AT THIS YEARS FESTIVAL IN METOO ERA

first_imgAdvertisement A sign bearing the Toronto International Film Festival logo sits on a fork lift as preparations are made for the festival’s opening night on Thursday. As the Toronto International Film Festival prepares to kick off Thursday, it’s doing so in a changed landscape — one organizers have responded to with a few powerful additions to the usual mix of glitz and glam. With initiatives including the Share Her Journey women’s rally, a newly created hotline and an emphasis on its code of conduct, TIFF is making it clear it’s an inclusive and safe space after the tide of sexual misconduct allegations stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal last fall. (CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS) As the Toronto International Film Festival prepares to kick off Thursday, it’s doing so in a changed landscape — one organizers have responded to with a few powerful additions to the usual mix of glitz and glam.With initiatives including the Share Her Journey women’s rally, a newly created hotline and an emphasis on its code of conduct, TIFF is making it clear it’s an inclusive and safe space after the tide of sexual misconduct allegations stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal last fall.“We’re making sure that everyone who’s taking part in the festival understands that there’s a standard of behaviour, that harassment and abuse won’t be tolerated and that there are repercussions for that,” says Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “You’re on our ground and there’s zero tolerance,” adds Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF. “You will not be welcomed back if you violate any of these rules.”This is the first TIFF since the Weinstein scandal last October led to a steady stream of allegations involving many others in the industry, and the establishment of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements to end abuse. Facebook Weinstein has been a fixture at TIFF in the past, using it for the world premiere of films that went on to Oscar glory, including The King’s Speech, The Imitation Game and Lion.Two misconduct accusations against him, from actresses Mira Sorvino and Montreal’s Erika Rosenbaum, allegedly took place in Toronto hotel rooms during past TIFFs.TIFF has always had a zero-tolerance harassment policy and a code of conduct, but this year those elements will be more visible through signage around the festival, says Handling. All delegates must also agree to the code of conduct in their accreditation forms and the press package includes a reminder of it.“For the first time we actually have a hotline, so if anybody feels that they’ve been harassed and they don’t feel they can approach us, they can go to a third party,” he adds.center_img Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: The hotline — 1-833-265-9835 — allows callers to confidentially report wrongdoing or unethical conduct.Handling notes they’ve taken badges away from delegates in the past but that was “more for bad behaviour.”Perhaps the biggest symbol of solidarity at this year’s festival will be seen on Saturday with the rally by TIFF’s Share Her Journey, a five-year commitment to support women in the industry.Speakers at the event will include Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder and director of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis and Canadian star Mia Kirshner, who co-founded the #AfterMeToo movement.Meanwhile, at a pre-rally breakfast, Bailey will pledge TIFF’s commitment to the 5050×2020 initiative that supports gender parity and inclusion in film festivals.Such initiatives can have a big impact, say those in the industry.This year TIFF has also increased the diversity of its press corps by about 20 per cent, adding up to 200 new journalists from under-represented groups. Inclusion and diversity will also be among the topics on panels at the TIFF Industry Conference.Handling notes TIFF has embraced diversity and supported women’s cinema from the very beginning, through programming, seminars, panels and various programs.This year’s overall TIFF lineup has 34 per cent films by women, up from 33 per cent last year.“We’d like it to get to 50 per cent, but I think the industry has to actually itself step to the plate,” says Handling.“We can only go so far. More women have to be behind the camera directing films and then we’ll show them.”By VICTORIA AHEARN | The Canadian Press Twitterlast_img read more

Patrick Mahomes And The Chiefs Are RedHot For Once They Might Stay

2Tom Brady20113471.694010.271510 5Phil Simms19842966.059410.270477 CLE1.91.4NYJ22.48.09.41378 NYJ61NYJ61MIA 20, NYJ 12-1.2– HOU7.63.6NYG4.52.86.41386 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality The best two-game QB starts to a season since 1970Most yards above backup quarterback (YABQ) for passers in the first two games of an NFL season, 1970-2018 KC85.05.1SF28.37.112.21542 DAL41.912.3SEA25.810.222.51523 LAR74LAR82LAR 34, ARI 0+1.9– PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS MIN60MIN56GB 29, MIN 29+0.0 QuarterbackYEARAgeComp%Pass YDSNet Y/ATDIntYABQ IND17.44.7PHI75.05.810.41522 Age is as of Dec. 31 of the season in question.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com GB30.411.5WSH20.78.620.21473 ARI8.44.5CHI23.810.014.51445 CIN50BAL55CIN 34, BAL 23-7.7– DEN63DEN63DEN 20, OAK 19-2.2– OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION And unlike the names above him on the list, each of whom were seasoned veterans, Mahomes is just 23 this season1And his first two games came before he actually turned 23 on Sept. 17. — and he had just one game started under his belt before this season. Although he probably won’t stay on this record-breaking pace all season, Mahomes’s early career performance doesn’t look like a fluke. Since 1970, only two QBs (Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and Pro Bowler Jeff Blake) had more YABQ through their first three NFL games as a primary passer2Meaning he led the team in dropbacks — i.e., pass attempts plus sacks — in a game. than Mahomes. Of course, not every hot three-game start presaged a path to Canton; for every Warner or Dan Marino near the top of the list, there’s also Eric Hipple, Scott Mitchell and Ty Detmer. But even if Mahomes’s career develops more like that of, say, Daunte Culpepper — whose stats at the same age are strikingly similar to Mahomes’s 16-game pace over his career to date — it would surely validate the Chiefs’ decision to jettison successful longtime starter Alex Smith in favor of his rifle-armed young successor.We can already see how the Chiefs’ offense has changed with Mahomes at the helm. According to ESPN’s Stats & Info Group, his air yards per pass — which measures the distance the ball traveled downfield before being caught (or hitting the ground) — is 11.5 this season, which ranks first among all qualified passers. Smith’s number last season was 7.4, which ranked 23rd. Mahomes has faced more blitzes (and more pressure in general) than Smith, but he’s handled the heat much more capably — his Raw Total Quarterback Rating against pressure has been 74.0 (the league average is about 50 on all passes and 20 versus pressure), compared with Smith’s 31.3 mark last year. And for a team that went an entire season without a TD pass to a wide receiver a few years ago, Kansas City now ranks third in touchdown passes to receivers and eighth in passing yards to wideouts, with Tyreek Hill on track to surpass his 1,183 receiving yards from a year ago.Kansas City is hoping this newfound offensive attack can prevent another midseason letdown like the one the team suffered last year. The 2017 Chiefs also got off to a blazing start, winning their first five games behind a dominating offense. Then they promptly lost six of seven at midseason to bring their record to 6-6, requiring a four-game end-of-season winning streak just to make the playoffs. That wasn’t exactly rare for K.C. under Andy Reid: The Chiefs finished the 2014 season on a 2-4 stretch after starting 7-3, and they went 2-5 down the stretch in 2013 after a 9-0 start. So Chiefs fans would be forgiven for tempering their optimism at the moment. But the versatility of this year’s attack — made possible in part by Mahomes’s unique arm strength and comfort level in a spread system — might be the missing ingredient that makes this hot start more sustainable than the ones that fizzled in years past.In light of all this Mahomes mania, the 49ers are an especially interesting foil for the Chiefs this weekend. Niners starter Jimmy Garoppolo captured the NFL’s attention late last season with a five-game run that rivaled what Mahomes has done thus far. (Jimmy G. averaged 131.4 YABQ per game in his best two starts of that stretch, compared with Mahomes’s 243.9 per game this season.) But Garoppolo’s 2018 also illustrates the reversion that is sure to come for Mahomes sooner or later: San Francisco’s highly paid QB has seen his QBR drop from 82.7 in 2017 to 22.7 this season. He’ll almost certainly improve on that in the near future — perhaps substantially so against a K.C. defense that currently ranks a distant last in the NFL in defensive expected points added. But Mahomes can learn from his counterpart how quickly a QB can go from acclaim to adversity once opposing defenses study enough of his tape.Until then, though, Mahomes and the Chiefs are riding high, with the league’s best projected record and playoff chances according to our model, plus a status as co-Super Bowl favorites (with the Eagles). It’s hard to imagine a better way for a young QB to begin his career as an NFL starter.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersIn addition to our NFL Elo prediction interactive, which updates after every game to help you keep tabs on how your team stacks up, we’re also running a prediction game in which you make picks against our model (and your fellow readers). After the dust settles each week, we like to look at where Elo made its best — and worst — picks against the field. Here’s how it did in Week 2: The Chiefs have certainly seen a boost in our ratings with this hot start. Before the season, they ranked seventh in the league, and it wasn’t clear that K.C. was even the best team in its own division. But since the start of the season, Kansas City has risen to third in Elo, adding the third-most rating points of any team in the league (behind only the Buccaneers and Bengals).Mahomes has been leading the Chiefs’ charge. Going into the season, we noted that he would have a ton of weapons to work with in the Chief offense, and that his starting career could get off the ground quickly if he reined in his occasional “gunslinger” tendencies. Two weeks in, it’s worked out almost perfectly. Mahomes is making great decisions with the ball and has thrown plenty of absolute darts downfield. Since the 1970 AFL merger, only three QBs — Peyton Manning in 2013, Tom Brady in 2011 and, yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick this season — have produced more yards above backup QB (YABQ) through the first two games of a season than Mahomes has so far this year: BUF11.54.5MIN73.77.311.91525 3Peyton Manning20133767.17698.590501 Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are officially the toast of the 2018 NFL season so far, after K.C.’s young quarterback threw an incredible six touchdown passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, bringing his season tally to 10 — and the Chiefs’ record to 2-0.It’s only been two weeks, but the reviews for Mahomes have been nothing short of breathless. The latest opponent that will have to weather the Kansas City onslaught will be the San Francisco 49ers, who travel to Arrowhead on Sunday afternoon. Although the game doesn’t figure to alter the playoff odds too much — according to our NFL Elo predictions — it’s an intriguing showdown that ranks fourth-best of Week 3 in terms of our measure of matchup quality (which uses the harmonic mean of the two teams’ Elo ratings): 10Dan Fouts19813074.064612.541414 DAL76DAL58DAL 20, NYG 13-15.1– PIT58PIT51KC 42, PIT 37+4.9– ATL62ATL58ATL 31, CAR 24-5.2– LAC47.010.6LAR68.19.219.81561 9Steve Young19983760.36667.961415 PHI63PHI67TB 27, PHI 21-7.6– MIA48.411.3OAK8.05.216.51463 JAX75.311.6TEN30.512.323.91529 CAR42.610.9CIN56.610.721.61538 1Ryan Fitzpatrick20183678.7%81912.981585 SF58SF62SF 30, DET 27+1.2– DET12.35.7NE72.09.415.01539 BUF53%LAC69%LAC 31, BUF 20+15.7– 8Lynn Dickey19833480.462310.681423 4Patrick Mahomes20182369.158210.1100488 WSH75WSH68IND 21, WSH 9+8.4– The best matchups of Week 3Week 3 games with the highest average Elo rating, using the harmonic mean, plus the total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions 6Joe Namath19722947.660913.472466 ATL62.6%+/-13.8NO29.8%+/-12.526.31578 Playoff %Playoff % NE56NE58JAX 31, NE 20-5.1– 7Drew Bledsoe19972564.16079.280428 NO85NO81NO 21, CLE 18-4.0– PIT39.911.7TB52.011.823.51548 BAL44.111.7DEN32.410.722.41503 Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. SEA54CHI52CHI 24, SEA 17+3.9– Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com TEN70HOU51TEN 20, HOU 17-20.1– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 2Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 2 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game After a successful Week 1 performance against FiveThirtyEight readers, I expected Elo to tail off a bit in Week 2. But instead, it did even better! On average, Elo beat the typical reader by 32.2 total points in our game this past week, bringing its overall lead up to 60.5 points on the season. The readers cleaned up in the Bills-Chargers game, taking advantage of Elo’s reluctance to acknowledge that Buffalo is a pit of despair this season. But that was offset by Elo’s confidence in the Cowboys at home against the Giants, and the fact that its seemingly misguided faith in the Titans — who were starting Blaine Gabbert, one of the worst QBs in NFL history, instead of the injured Marcus Mariota — paid off.We’ll see if Elo’s run of luck continues next week. Either way, congrats to reader Alexandre Augusto da Rocha, who led all (identified) users in points for Week 2 — and as a result leads for the season as well. And thanks to everyone who played last week. If you didn’t play, remember that it’s not too late to get in on the game, even if you missed the first couple weeks of the season. Make your picks now!Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

The Saints Big Three Cant Be Stopped

SF0.20.1NYG0.10.10.21377 BAL54PIT52PIT 23, BAL 16+4.3– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 9Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 9 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game 201311531125 WSH43.014.5TB5.94.118.61470 MIN68MIN69MIN 24, DET 9-0.9– 21976ColtsJones22Mitchell23Carr1820.8 The best matchups of Week 10Week 10 games by the highest average Elo rating (using the harmonic mean) plus the total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions 82000VikingsCulpepper21Smith18Moss1718.5 PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS YearTeamPasserRusherReceiverTriplet Score 191995CowboysAikman15Smith20Irvin1917.7 DEN54HOU54HOU 19, DEN 17+6.0– 91982ChargersFouts22Muncie14Chandler2218.5 51961OilersBlanda22Cannon16Hennigan2119.3 KC84KC87KC 37, CLE 21-0.5– CHI54.715.4DET8.97.723.11507 14199349ersYoung23Watters14Rice2018.2 Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com 31999ColtsManning18James21Harrison2019.6 122000RamsWarner15Faulk22Holt1918.2 152006ChargersRivers18Tomlinson26Gates1418.1 DAL66DAL64TEN 28, DAL 14+0.7– 162014PackersRodgers21Lacy16Nelson1818.1 20200049ersGarcia20Garner17Owens1617.5 The New Orleans Saints already looked like Super Bowl contenders at various times in the first half of this season. But after their 45-35 victory over the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the Saints have landed themselves squarely in the conversation of potential championship favorites. Certainly, no team is hotter as we survey the NFL at midseason: New Orleans has won seven straight, including triumphs over the Vikings, Falcons and Ravens. And for better or for worse, they’re doing it in classic Saints style — piling up a ton of points (and taking the occasional end-zone phone call) while simply hoping for the best on defense. Although this method might not ultimately result in the franchise’s second-ever Super Bowl title, it’s going to be damn entertaining to watch New Orleans try to score its way to the top of the NFL heap once again.Leading the way in the Saints’ offensive showcase is, of course, quarterback Drew Brees. Much has been said about how well Patriots QB Tom Brady has continued to play into his 40s, but Brees is only 17 months younger than Brady and has been just as good as ol’ Touchdown Tom was at the same age. Brees currently leads the NFL in passer rating and ranks fourth in Yards Above Backup QB (trailing only Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Rams’ Jared Goff and Philip Rivers of the Chargers). All this without the benefit of drinking up to 38 glasses of water a day and sleeping in his own brand of recovery pajamas.Some of the pinpoint throws Brees made Sunday against L.A. demonstrated once again how little touch he has lost — if any — since ESPN’s “Sport Science” scrutinized the mechanical perfection behind his superhuman passing accuracy nearly 10 years ago. Led by that star-powered triumvirate, the Saints’ offense currently ranks seventh in the league in yards per game, second in points per game and second in offensive expected points added (EPA) per contest. (And it’s anybody’s guess how much higher it will soar with new WR pickup Dez Bryant on board.) But the Saints’ undoing might be their backslide on defense, where they’ve fallen from a surprising 16th in defensive EPA last season to 29th this year. In that regard, the 2018 Saints are like too many versions that had come before last season — great on offense but prone to making opposing offenses look great, too. MIA21.210.3GB12.46.116.41457 For Brees’s excellence this season, my ESPN colleague Bill Barnwell made the case that New Orleans’s QB — not Kansas City’s — should be the MVP front-runner at the midpoint of the schedule. But Brees isn’t doing it all alone. In fact, the Saints’ resurgence in recent seasons has been as much about quickly re-assembling elite talent around Brees as it has been about Brees defying Father Time.New Orleans rolled out one of the league’s all-time great rookie classes last year, headlined by running back Alvin Kamara. Sharing touches with veteran ball carrier Mark Ingram in a historic RB tandem, Kamara was tabbed for the Pro Bowl while racking up 1,554 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns. And with Ingram suspended for the Saints’ first four games this season, Kamara has been even better in an expanded role. His touches per game are up 61 percent, and he’s on track to generate more than 1,800 scrimmage yards with 24 total TDs. Not bad for a player in his first real season as an NFL feature back.1Upon returning, Ingram initially ate a bit into Kamara’s workload, but over the past three weeks, Kamara is averaging 20.7 touches per game. That’s actually higher than his seasonlong average (which includes a 31-touch outing against the Falcons in Week 3).Kamara has provided the kind of monster performance New Orleans needed to build on last season’s explosive offensive output. But Brees also has a mega-productive target at wide receiver who keeps getting better every year: Michael Thomas. Thomas cracked 1,100 yards through the air in each of his first two NFL seasons, scoring 14 total touchdowns — and this year he has reached an entirely new level of statistical achievement. Averaging an astounding 110.0 receiving yards per game, Thomas would rank 15th all-time in the category if he somehow kept it up over the season’s second half.(We should also mention that Thomas’s outrageous catch rate of 88.6 percent is currently the best ever in a season2Since 1992, the first year for the statistic in Pro-Football-Reference.com’s data. among players with at least 750 receiving yards, more than 11 percentage points higher than the next-best season. It’s a friendly reminder that Thomas is having one of the most impressive WR seasons ever.)If we crunch the numbers for the Saints’ Big Three in terms of Approximate Value (Pro-Football-Reference.com’s cross-position measure of single-season player value), we find that Brees is on pace for 20 AV, with Thomas also at 20 and Kamara at 18. Together, the harmonic mean3A special kind of average designed to amplify combinations in which all individual values are high — and penalize ones in which they aren’t. of those AV numbers — a metric I’ll call the “Triplet Score” — is 19.3, which would rank New Orleans’s group fourth-best among QB/RB/WR trios since 1960: SeasonWinsLossesOffenseDefensespecial Teams SF62SF55SF 34, OAK 3-7.3– WSH55WSH52ATL 38, WSH 14+1.5– 172000ColtsManning18James21Harrison1618.1 NYJ1.00.6BUF0.20.20.91388 Even though New Orleans has that shiny 7-1 record, its defensive deficiency is probably something coordinator Dennis Allen will have to iron out if the Saints are truly going to vie for the Super Bowl. Although several other contenders — most notably Kansas City — are in a similar all-offense/no-defense spot at midseason, it’s rare to see such a poor defensive squad hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Since 2006, only one champion (the 2006 Indianapolis Colts) ranked 29th or worse in defensive EPA per game.4The 2011 New York Giants were close: They ranked 24th in defensive EPA. Aside from those two, no other champ since 2006 ranked worse than 13th on defense. But with an average of 62.1 total points being scored in their games thus far, the Saints have certainly been involved in their share of popcorn-worthy shootouts.They’ll take that brand of high-scoring football to Cincinnati on Sunday to face the Bengals. And although the Saints have all but locked up their postseason fortunes, this still counts as one of the best games of the week by our combination of matchup quality (i.e., the harmonic mean of the teams’ Elo ratings in each game) and game importance (how likely it is to swing either team’s odds of making the playoffs). That’s mainly because the Bengals, sitting on the precipice of the postseason picture with a 54 percent chance of getting in, have more than a dozen points of probability to lose or gain, depending on the game’s outcome. 18199249ersYoung22Watters16Rice1718.0 OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION PIT81.2%+/-10.5CAR75.2%+/-10.120.51618 CAR76CAR73CAR 42, TB 28-3.4– 20167953022 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality KC99.80.2ARI0.20.10.41520 PHI60.013.3DAL10.59.322.61548 MIA62MIA59MIA 13, NYJ 6-4.2– NO59LAR52NO 45, LAR 35-12.4– Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. JAX9.16.6IND10.56.212.81456 201711521615 Playoff %Playoff % Saints’ NFL Rank in … 42018SaintsBrees20Kamara18Thomas2019.3 ATL43.78.9CLE0.10.19.01434 LAC86.86.9OAK0.00.07.01454 2018712293 The Saints’ defense is reverting to (poor) formYearly record and NFL rank in expected points added (EPA) for the New Orleans Saints since 2013 131964BrownsRyan17Brown23Warfield1618.2 As for the Saints, we’ll keep a close eye on how far their high-octane offensive attack can take them in the season’s second half. Our model gives them a 16 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, which is tied with New England for second-best in the NFL (behind K.C. at 18 percent). And with Brees, Kamara and Thomas lighting up opposing defenses, New Orleans might lead the league in excitement either way, win or lose.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersBe sure to check out FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings using our NFL prediction interactive, which simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times and tracks how often each team should make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. And did you know you can also pick against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game? Maybe you can also climb up our giant leaderboard (or, if you’re like me, fall down it with each passing week).Here are the games in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: 20147953223 The Saints’ 2018 trio is on a historic paceTop QB/RB/WR trios ranked by their “Triplet Score” — the harmonic mean of each player’s Approximate Value (AV) — 1960-2018 20157923223 CHI54%CHI69%CHI 41, BUF 9+9.7– SEA61SEA51LAC 25, SEA 17+9.0– 101999RamsWarner19Faulk25Bruce1418.3 1199449ersYoung23Watters19Rice2120.9 2018 AV is pro-rated to a 16-game schedule.Source: pro-Football-reference.com Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group SEA33.713.4LAR98.32.215.61592 111992CowboysAikman17Smith20Irvin1818.3 72004ColtsManning21James21Wayne1518.5 62001RamsWarner20Faulk22Holt1619.0 CIN54.013.0NO94.14.017.01583 NE81NE71NE 31, GB 17-7.6– TEN40.513.7NE97.82.015.71590 Team Leaders and their Approx. value Readers kept it relatively close against Elo this week, losing by an average of just 5.1 points across all of Week 9’s games — their second-best showing of the season, behind Week 7. Of course, that tells you what kind of year it’s been picking against the algorithm: Elo has beaten the average reader in eight of nine weeks in 2018 so far. This time around, the readers’ bet against Nathan Peterman paid off (big surprise…) and they also picked up points with the Chargers’ victory at Elo’s longtime team-crush, the Seattle Seahawks. But the Saints’ win over the Rams hurt readers’ average score — perhaps they didn’t read that L.A. is good but not necessarily historically great.Anyway, congrats to the mysteriously named _ACN_, who led identified users in Week 9 with 204.0 points, and to Brian Hake, who pulled into the No. 1 slot for the entire season with 764.5 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and if you haven’t, be sure to get in on the action! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you haven’t played yet.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Pallotta has a good feeling for the second leg

first_imgAS Roma president James Pallotta, who became famous for his fountain dive after the beat Barcelona in the previous round, has shared he has a good feeling for the second leg of the semi-final clash with Liverpool.Despite the fact that the Italian side suffered a huge 5-2 upset away in the first leg, Pallotta doesn’t seem bothered by troublesome past but seems to believe in the bright future.Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in next week’s UCL Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 With the Champions League about to start, we need to start talking about the Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in the competition.Atletico…However, this is not out of nowhere – Roma already overcame a 4-1 deficit in the quarter-final clash with Barcelona in order to proceed to the semi-finals – they won 3-0 at home, which was the main reason why Pallotta was seen celebrating in Rome’s fountains.I have good feelings for tonight , we’ll see, another bathroom in the fountain? No, tonight the have kept the fountain closesd, perhaps they also close the Colosseum …” Pallotta shared, according to Calcio Mercato, just hours before the decisive game starts.last_img read more

High Winds Cause Early Morning Power Outages

first_imgPower has been restored to all consumers in the Scout Lake area- cause of the outage was a downed tree on a power line. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update – 7:30am Original Post – Currently Homer Electric Association is responding to a reported outage in the Scout Lake area affecting approximately 700 consumers. Crews have been dispatched. Cause is unknown at this time. As of 5:20 a.m.,  there are 196 consumer without power in Nikiski, another 35 in Soldotna, and 28 in Kenai. Strong winds throughout the Peninsula cause fallen trees, and power outages. CES and local fire departments have urged caution when traveling, and ask all residents to prepare for potential power outages as the strong winds continue. This is a developing story- updates will be posted as they are made available.last_img read more

City Of Kenai Looking Into Accelerated Funding For Bluff Erosion Project

first_imgOstrander says the project has been “very active over the last three weeks”: “I’ve been pursuing what’s called accelerated funding of the project. Our directors report is scheduled to be signed in January, However to continue this project I believe the best path forward is to fully fund this as a city.”  Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander told the council at its meeting last week that he’s pursuing accelerated funding for the project through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ostrander: “I’m going to draft the letter that states that the City of Kenai is willing to fully fund the design phase of this project. However, if the project goes through to construction the design phase contribution that we made would be credited towards our ultimate cost share. So basically we are spending money now and it will be credited so that we spend less in construction.”  According to Ostrander the next step in the process will be for the city to draft a letter to the Alaska district of the Army Corps saying that the city of Kenai will fully fund the design phase of the bluff erosion project. The project consists of constructing a berm about 5,000 feet long below the Kenai Bluffs toe. It is designed to prevent flood tides from washing away material that collects at the bluff toe and coastal storms from eroding the lower portion of the bluff. Getting approval will require a trip to Washington D.C. in February, according to Ostrander. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The City of Kenai may finally be making some headway on the long awaited bluff stabilization project.last_img read more

Harris County Officials Break Ground For New 911 Call Center

first_imgListen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:16 X Al OrtizFrom left to right: Russell Rau, Chairman of the Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network; Ed Emmett, Harris County Judge; and Ron Hickman, Harris County Sheriff; attended the ground breaking ceremony for the new call center held in north Houston.Harris County officials have broken ground for a new 911 call center that they plan to make one of the most advanced in the United States.The county will spend approximately 19 million dollars building the new emergency call center in the north section of Houston.It will be over 40,000 square feet in size and will have more than 50 call stations, with capability to expand to 80, that will use the newest technologies in emergency communications.With more than four million residents and growing, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett thinks this project is essential for the region.“For us to keep up with technology and to keep people safe and stay on the cutting edge we need to constantly grow and this is another example of upgrading the County facilities so that we can meet the needs of the future,” Emmett said after the ground breaking ceremony.The building will be energy efficient by using a hybrid geo-thermal cooling system and Sheriff Ron Hickman says the architects will also keep in mind that the greater Houston region is frequently at risk of severe weather.“The new facility will be a hardened facility capable of withstanding category four hurricane force winds and the staff will be prepared and capable of sheltering in place to take all the emergency calls that may arise from such emergency,” Hickman noted.Harris County officials estimate the call center will be completed in about 18 months. Sharelast_img read more

Funerals Grieving Teens Raw Emotions After School Shooting

first_imgEach funeral for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High massacre is different, yet the same: the mourning relatives, teens walking in clutches wearing black, politicians paying their respects, media cameras pointing at the entrance from across the parking lot.And each service takes its toll on the young mourners, many of them attending more friends’ funerals in a span of days than many middle-aged people have in their lifetimes. Services for 14 Stoneman Douglas students, the athletic director, a coach and a geography teacher began Friday, two days after the shooting, and will end in the next few days.Erica Sparrow, a 17-year-old senior, said Monday that she went to her first funeral a couple of weeks ago, “now I have one every day.” She and her friend, Lauren Kuperman, also 17, began ticking off names — Meadow Pollack from Friday, Joaquin Oliver from Saturday and Alaina Petty’s on Monday. Three more Tuesday, another Wednesday. It’s both difficult and cathartic, the girls said.“It kind of helps but at the same time it makes me sad,” Sparrow said.Stoneman Douglas senior Lewis Mizen said Monday he had never attended a funeral for someone his own age before the weekend. He will attend another Tuesday. When an older family member dies, he said, it seems natural that their children and grandchildren speak about their loss, but seeing parents eulogize their child cuts deep emotionally.“Seeing a father freak out, I hope I never have to see something like that again,” Mizen said. “Right now, it all seems very surreal.”The funerals have taken place in churches and synagogues, funeral homes and conference centers, all packed, sometimes with crowds topping 2,000. The last-arriving mourners have often been forced outside into the Florida heat, where they stand respectfully for an hour, straining to hear a snippet of the service.Monday’s funeral for Petty, a 14-year-old freshman, was unique but also unfortunately too common in this grieving community. More than 1,500 mourners, most dressed in black, filed into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Coral Springs to remember the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps member. Family members spoke about how she enthusiastically joined other Mormon youth to help with cleanup efforts in September after Hurricane Irma, and of her love of dogs and her confidence and wit.Her father Ryan Petty spoke about the support his family has received from their church, the community and from around the country and world.“We could not get through this without the love, prayers and support offered,” he said. “We may never know all of the acts of kindness that have been rendered on our behalf this past week. We have witnessed hundreds in just the past few days but we know that is a small fraction of the total.”Other fathers and mothers have said similar words in recent days, begging mourners to never forget their child and to treat each other with kindness.The father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack called out the 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz, the former Stoneman Douglas student who has admitted Wednesday’s killings, yelling, “You killed my daughter!” before calling him an obscenity. The mother of Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, called on politicians to enact laws that will prevent future school massacres.Siblings also have bared their loss. Petty’s older sister, Meghan Petty, talked about how Alaina will now be her guardian angel and that the shooting should not detract from the goodness that lives within the community.“What happened to her is that it was a very, very ugly act that was committed by one person but as you look around at how many people who are here … there are thousands more who are doing something really beautiful for my sister,” Meghan Petty said.Dr. Francisco Cruz, lead psychiatrist at Ketamine Health Centers, suggested some survivors may want to limit themselves to services for their close friends, but he said overexposure to news coverage and social media posts about the shooting may be more harmful than attending several funerals.“Going through the funeral process and remembering your classmates and feeling support from friends and family and the community can be empowering,” Cruz said. “It can help people to get through these tough times and help them be more resilient down the line.” Twitter via @BostonGlobeAnger boils over as funerals for shooting victims begin in Florida Sharelast_img read more

Breakthrough In Josué Flores Murder Case Gun Safety Awareness Campaign In Texas

first_imgTuesday, June 18, 2019Top afternoon stories:Ivanka Perez/Houston Public MediaHouston Police Executive Assistant Chief Troy Finner (center) said at a news conference Jackson had remained a suspect for HPD even though an initial charge was dropped in 2017.Breakthrough In Josué Flores Murder CaseHarris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Tuesday that a grand jury has indicted Andre Jackson for the alleged murder of Josué Flores after being presented with new DNA evidence that was examined in a Florida laboratory.Flores’ murder shocked Houston in May 2016 because of its brutality. The killer stabbed the child multiple times at the 1900 block of Fulton Street when the 11-year-old boy was returning to his home after leaving Marshall Middle School in the Near Northside neighborhood.Jackson, a 30 year-old homeless veteran, had previously been charged with Flores’ murder. But Ogg dropped the charges in July 2017 because of insufficient evidence that prosecutors felt could lead to a conviction. Now, the district attorney says there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt against Jackson.Houston Police arrested Jackson in Baytown and he is in custody. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday and faces five to 99 years in prison, or life. Jackson has publicly claimed he is innocent.Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaThe public safety campaign will urge gun owners to safely store their firearms to prevent accidents and shootings.Texas To Launch $1 Million Gun Safety Awareness CampaignThe Texas Department of Public Safety will launch an awareness campaign to urge gun owners to lock away their firearms.The initiative is part of the state budget Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law this past weekend.The budget allocates $1 million over two years to the campaign, which will likely be similar to DPS’ Don’t Mess With Texas and Turn Around Don’t Drown awareness campaigns.Currently, if a child 16 years of age or under gets a hold of a loaded weapon in Texas, the owner of the gun can be charged with a misdemeanor (Class A misdemeanor if someone gets hurt, otherwise Class C).The gun safety campaign is scheduled to start by Sep. 1, 2020.Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz/Houston Public MediaThis August 25, 2018, photo shows a voting sign in Harris County regarding the election on the county’s bond for flood prevention and mitigation projects.Poll Says Texas Voters’ Election Qualms Run HighTexas voters find a lot wrong with who does and doesn’t get to vote in the state’s elections, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.Generally speaking, Democrats see voter suppression and Republicans see voter fraud.“Partisans on both sides can find things to fault,” said Joshua Blank, manager of polling and research for the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “Texans as a whole look upon the election system pretty poorly.”Half of the voters said noncitizens vote “sometimes” (24%) or “frequently” (26%) in the state’s elections — a view held by 75% of Republican respondents and 54% of independent voters. Among Democrats, 27% said noncitizens “never” vote in Texas elections and another 37% said it “rarely” happens. White voters (56%) think noncitizens vote sometimes or frequently; 33% of black voters and 40% of Hispanic voters agreed with them.But those Democrats don’t think everything is rosy: 68% said eligible voters in Texas are sometimes (37%) or frequently (31%) prevented from voting. That view is shared by 44% of voters overall, by 24% of Republicans and by 37% of independent voters. Among all voters, 43% think eligible voters are never or rarely blocked from casting ballots. A majority of black voters (53%) said voters are frequently or sometimes prevented from voting; 49% of Hispanic and 40% of white voters agreed with them. Sharelast_img read more

Harry Potter Wizards Unite to Launch This Week

first_imgNiantic first previewed the game to a small group of journalists in San Francisco in March, and began testing it in Australia and New Zealand last month. The tweet said that fans should keep their “eyes peeled and wand ready for more information” as the game goes live in their region, suggesting that Niantic may be planning a staggered roll-out across the world.“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” has been developed by Warner Bros. games in partnership with Niantic, and uses Niantic’s real-world platform to combine location-based gaming with augmented reality (AR). The game tasks players to find magical places around them, collect special artifacts and fight death eaters and other creatures from the Harry Potter universe.The game uses many of the same mechanics as “Pokemon Go,” but also embraces some of the latest in mobile AR. For encounters with magical creatures, the game opens in AR mode, and allows players to cast spells by tracing swipes on their screen. “Pokemon Go” maker Niantic is getting ready to launch its next big game: “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is set to launch in June 21, the company revealed in a tweet this week. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Dance prodigy makes a distinct debut

first_imgWhen children her age would only think of their upcoming board exams, Niharika Prakash – a disciple of world-renowned Odissi dancer Ranjana Gauhar – is leaving no opportunity to showcase her craft on the international stage. An eleventh-grade student of Modern School, Barakhamba Road was introduced to the art of Odissi dance at a tender age of seven, and since then Odissi has become an integral part of Niharika’s growth. With time she has learned to strike a balance between academics and her passion for dance. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”I began dancing when I was seven. Back then, there wasn’t much academic pressure, but with time the work burden increased. Studies are hard, but I can confidently say that dance has helped me to perform better academically. It has taught me the importance of discipline and hard work,” says Prakash, adding, “There is no half-heartedness, there is no room for complacence for a dancer. Dance demands you give it your all, which is what I have tried to do. I wouldn’t have done any better at studies if I didn’t dance. Over the years, I have learned to prioritize, to multi task, to work hard and persist. I still spend 3 hours a day in my dance class and yet manage to get 90% and above.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis dedicated pupil knows there is no substitute for hard work. The young dancer – along with Utsav Dance Troupe – has performed at multiple prestigious events, including the Konark Dance Festival, the Khajuraho Dance Festival, Sangeet Natak Akademy (Imphal and Delhi), Kurukshetra Mahotsav, and regaled audiences in Spain and Argentina. On being asked about the most memorable experiences in her career, Prakash narrates the time when she was selected to represent her school (Raghubir Singh Junior Modern School) in an inter-school exchange program held in Boardilla Del Monte, Madrid, Spain. (In 2012). “I was ten and barely knew how to dress myself up. I had to muster up the courage to perform my first solo in front of hundreds of little Spaniards. It was a cold morning and the entire school of Teresa Berganza in Boardilla Del Monte was out in the court to watch me perform. I was so anxious. The music played, I began to dance, bare feet on the cold concrete ground of the school field. The audience was so appreciative of the performance that the children imitated my eye gestures and hand movements for days.”Every classical dance form has its own specialty and each person views a dance form differently. Niharika was more drawn to Odissi than any other style of dancing. “Odissi appealed to me as a confluence of grace and strength. A dance form with delicate eye and neck movements, supple torso movements yet rigorous footwork,” she says. Recalling how her grandmother and mother have always taken a keen interest in Indian culture, Niharika feels a tad nostalgic. “When I turned three, I tagged along for dance recitals and cultural events and learned to appreciate Indian art. This is how it all started,” she says.last_img read more