Ex-wife says Donald Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks

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An ex-wife of Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, said Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks when the two battled over sending their daughters to private school nearly a decade ago, according to court papers reviewed Friday by The Associated Press. The revelation came a day after reports emerged that domestic violence charges were filed 20 years ago against Bannon following an altercation with his then-wife, Mary Louise Piccard.

In a sworn court declaration following their divorce, Piccard said her ex-husband had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”

“He said he doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiney brats,’” Piccard said in a 2007 court filing. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, took the helm of Trump’s campaign last week in yet another leadership shake-up. The campaign has been plagued by negative stories about staffers, including charges lodged against his former campaign manager following an altercation with a reporter, and questions about his former campaign chairman’s links with Russian interests.

Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, denied Friday night that he made anti-Semitic remarks about the private school. “He never said that,” Preate said, adding that Bannon was proud to send his daughters to the school. Trump has previously been criticized for invoking anti-Semitic stereotypes, including tweeting out an anti-Hillary Clinton image that included a Star of David atop a pile of money.

He also raised eyebrows when he spoke in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition and declared, “I’m a negotiator like you folks were negotiators.” Clinton has tried in recent days to highlight Trump’s popularity with white nationalist and supremacist groups. She delivered a speech Thursday that linked him with the “alt-right” movement, which is often associated with efforts on the far right to preserve “white identity,” oppose multiculturalism and defend “Western values.”

Trump has pushed back, defending himself and his supporters, and labeling Clinton “a bigot” for supporting policies he argues have ravaged minority communities. Trump has noted that his daughter, Ivanka, would soon be giving birth to another Jewish child. Ivanka Trump converted to Orthodox Judaism when she married Jared Kushner, a young real estate developer who has become a driving force in his father-in-law’s campaign.

Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, denied Friday night that he made anti-Semitic remarks about the private school.Trump has noted that his daughter, Ivanka, would soon be giving birth to another Jewish child. (Source: File/AP)

The court filing was among several documents related to Bannon and Picard’s voluminous divorce case, filed in 1997, which was revisited several times as Piccard sought support for tuition and other expenses. The documents reviewed by the AP were part of a request for Bannon to pay $25,000 in legal fees and to cover the $64,000 in tuition it cost to send both girls to The Archer School for Girls for the 2007-08 school year. Bannon’s remarks about Jews followed other comments that caught Piccard’s attention when they were visiting private schools in 2000.

At one school, she said, he asked the director why there were so many Hanukkah books in the library. At another school, he asked Piccard if it bothered her that the school used to be in a temple. “I said, ‘No,’ and asked why he asked,” Piccard said. “He did not respond.”

Piccard said Bannon wanted the girls to attend a Catholic school. In 2007, when the girls were accepted at Archer, he told Piccard he objected because of the number of Jews in attendance.

Piccard filed for divorce in January 1997, just over a year after she told police Bannon roughed her up on New Year’s Day 1996 following a spat over money, in which she spit on him. A police report obtained by The Associated Press said he grabbed her wrist and “grabbed at” her neck. When she tried to call 911, she told police that Bannon grabbed the phone and threw it across the room. An officer who responded reported seeing red marks on her wrist and neck. Bannon was charged in 1996 with misdemeanor witness intimidation, domestic violence with traumatic injury and battery, according to a Santa Monica, California, police report.

The charges were dropped after his estranged wife didn’t show up at trial, according to court records. Piccard said in her declaration that she skipped the trial after Bannon and his lawyer arranged for her to leave town. She said Bannon had told her the lawyer would make her look like the guilty party if she testified and the attorney told her she’d be broke if Bannon went to jail. The Trump campaign declined to comment on the abuse charges. But Preate said police never interviewed Bannon. She added that Bannon has a great relationship with his ex-wife and kids.

[source;indianexpress]

As Kashmir unrest continues, J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti to meet PM Narendra Modi today

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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will meet Prime MinisterNarendra Modi on Saturday and is most likely to have a discussion on the current state of unrest in Kashmir. She is slated to meet the Prime Minister at his 7 RCR official residence at around 10:30 a.m.

This will be the first meeting between the two after unrest broke out in the valley in July following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.

The meeting comes days after Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the state to assess the situation on ground. Singh held meetings with representative of civil society, political parties, Pahari community leaders and several individuals to find a solution to the current crisis. He also met Mehbooba Mufti, Governor N N Vohra and state cabinet ministers.

On Thursday, Mufti had strongly defended the action of security forces and claimed that 95 per cent of the people were keen on resolving the Kashmir issue politically and through dialogue, and added that only five percent of the people were resorting to agitation.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister had a meeting with a delegation of opposition parties from the state led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah. The Prime Minister had expressed his deep concern and pain over the situation in the valley and asked all political parties to work together to find a permanent and lasting solution to problems in the state.

[source;indianexpress]

Paris Hilton wants to launch a baby line soon

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton is 35. (Associated Press: Charles Sykes)

Former television star and designer Paris Hilton wants to release a fashion range for babies and the new aunt is all excited about it.

The 35-year-old, who has an extensive beauty collection of twenty fragrances including her latest perfume Gold Rush Paris Hilton, a children’s clothing line and a footwear range, now wants to expand her fashion range further, reports AOL.

“I want to continue to expand the brand. I’m getting into real estate and the tech world. I’m releasing new product lines all the time. I have my children’s line. I want to do a baby line,” Paris Hilton said to AOl in an interview.

The news comes after Hilton’s younger sister Nicky Hilton Rothschild last month gave birth to her first child Lily Grace Victoria. The excited new aunt then had to shop for clothes for her one-month-old niece and that inspired Hilton to create a new line for the tiny humans.

“I love it. I’m so happy for my sister. The baby is such a beautiful girl. It’s so much fun shopping for a little girl,” Hilton said.

According to a AOL, Hilton conducts art workshops with children and DJs with them in Ibiza, raising cash for kids in need. The entrepreneur is also planning to launch the Gold Rush men’s cologne soon.

For the first time, Paris Hilton will also be going the Burning Man musical festival and then will be busy with the New York Fashion Week in September. “I love fashion. With my line, it’s affordable luxury. I want my fans to be able to buy things that have that high designer look but at a great price point,” the AOL report quoted Hilton.

The former ‘Simple Life’ star admitted that she “can’t stop” being creative and is driven by success. Female First quoted Hilton saying: “I always wanted to build my own brand. Success drives me. It gets me excited. I can’t stop being creative. I love what I do. I’m passionate about my brand.”

[source;indianexpress]

Russia’s luxury gifts for Olympic medalists spark dispute

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Luxury cars, apartments, even a racehorse – being an Olympic medalist in Russia can come with great material rewards but also controversy.

Under President Vladimir Putin, it’s become a tradition for Russia’s Olympic heroes to be showered with large cash sums and sometimes unwanted gifts.

On Friday, less than 24 hours after dozens of medalists were presented with BMW cars at the Kremlin by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an advertisement appeared online offering one of them for sale, with photographs showing the car still covered in stickers celebrating Russia’s medal haul in Rio.

The advertisement offering the BMW X6 for 4.67 million rubles ($72,000) was anonymous and quickly withdrawn. It couldn’t be independently verified by The Associated Press, though Russian agency R-Sport claimed the seller was a Russian medalist who thought the car was too big and unwieldy.

Figure skater Maxim Trankov, who received a Mercedes-Benz SUV for his gold medal in 2014, said few Olympians could afford to own such cars.

“Has no one thought that these gift cars are not only liable for the tax on luxury items, but also aren’t cheap to run and earnings can’t cover it?” he wrote on Twitter. “I’d sell mine too if it came to it … Or does everyone think all sports pay as well as soccer, hockey or tennis?”

Gymnast Seda Tutkhalyan said she wouldn’t be able to drive her new BMW because at 17 years of age she was too young to have a license.

While online commenters mostly supported an athlete’s right to sell expensive Olympic gifts, many were critical of the government for a display of conspicuous consumption at the Kremlin at a time when Russia’s pension and healthcare systems are under financial strain.

It’s not fully clear how much the prizes have cost the Russian government.

State TV channel Rossiya 24 reported that the fleet of BMWs was provided by the Olympians’ Support Fund, which is backed by a group of Russia’s richest men, but that the accompanying cash prizes of tens of thousands of dollars per medalist came in part from the federal budget.

More awards are on offer from regional governments, many of which made public displays of generosity despite financial troubles of their own.

The Caucasus region of North Ossetia last month promised a free apartment for any medalists from the area, though it isn’t clear if this has happened yet. In another grand gesture, the head of the restive Dagestan region gave Olympic wrestling champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev 6 million rubles ($93,000) in cash and a racehorse at a lavish welcoming ceremony featured on local TV.

Still, all may not be well for Sadulaev, who’s nicknamed the “Russian Tank” for his habit of crushing opponents on the wrestling mat. He’s already facing an allegation from a Moscow radio presenter of reckless driving in his eye-catching BMW.

[source;indianexpress]

FBI raids home of ex-College Board official in probe of SAT leak

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Federal agents searched the home of a former employee-turned-outspoken critic of the College Board, the standardized testing giant, as part of an investigation into the breach of hundreds of questions from the SAT college entrance exam. The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized computers and other material on Friday from Manuel Alfaro, who left his job as executive director of assessment design and development at the College Board in February 2015.

The FBI is investigating alleged computer intrusion and theft against an unidentified “victim corporation” involving “confidential or proprietary information,” including tests, test forms and internal emails, according to a search warrant issued in the case.

Alfaro had contacted officials of seven state governments in recent months, accusing the College Board of making false claims about its tests when bidding for public contracts with the states. The College Board, he alleged, misled the states about the process it used to create questions for the new version of the SAT, resulting in an inferior exam. He also aired those allegations publicly, largely through postings on his LinkedIn account.

Lawyers for Alfaro could not be reached for comment. An FBI official confirmed that agents were present at Alfaro’s home in Maryland but declined to elaborate. College Board spokesman Zach Goldberg said the leak of test questions constituted a crime. “We are pleased that this crime is being pursued aggressively,” he said. He dismissed Alfaro’s criticisms of the SAT test-making process as “patently false.”

The FBI raid comes after Reuters reported earlier this month that the news agency had obtained about 400 unpublished questions from the newly redesigned SAT exam, which debuted in March. Some experts said the leak constituted one of the most serious breaches of security ever to come to light in the standardized testing industry.

Reuters reported previously that the SAT and its rival, the ACT, are being systematically gamed by test-prep operators in Asia. The SAT has proved particularly vulnerable to cheating because of its practice of reusing test questions. Test-preparation companies obtain previously administered questions that are scheduled for reuse and feed those questions to students, who can score higher by practicing on the exam items before the test.

BROADSIDES ON LINKEDIN

The SAT and ACT are taken by millions of students a year and are major criteria used by U.S. colleges in selecting applicants. The cheating rings and leaks, testing experts say, call into question the fairness and validity of the standardized exams. Alfaro, who oversaw the development of parts of the new SAT, jolted the staid world of standardized testing in May with a barrage of criticism of the College Board.

In a series of posts on LinkedIn and Twitter, he charged the New York-based not-for-profit with skipping a crucial step in the test development process, which he says resulted in a lower-quality exam. He also alleged in a June 1 post that the shortcut may fail to comply with federal guidance on peer review for state testing programs.

Alfaro wrote to seven states that have granted public contracts to the College Board to use the SAT as an official tool for assessing high school students. In a May 7 email to the education chiefs for those states, Alfaro said that while he was a College Board employee, he “became aware of patterns of concealment, fabrication, and deception used by the College Board to misrepresent the SAT and PSAT.” He alleged that the College Board didn’t follow the process to develop the SAT and PSAT that it publicly says it uses.

The PSAT is a test primarily aimed at high school sophomores and juniors used as practice for the SAT and to screen applicants for tens of millions of dollars awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Alfaro emailed his complaints to the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Michigan and New Hampshire.

A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, Bill DiSessa, said the state “checked with the College Board” and decided not to look into Alfaro’s claims. Jeremy Meyer of the Colorado Department of Education said the state discussed Alfaro’s email with the College Board and was “satisfied with the response we received.”

Kelly Donnelly, spokesperson for the Connecticut State Department of Education, said the state considered Alfaro’s email to be “replete with hyperbole, but scant on actual facts. We did not take further action.” Donnelly said the state hadn’t reviewed Alfaro’s detailed posts on LinkedIn. A New Hampshire official said the state had no immediate comment. Officials in Delaware, Illinois and Maine didn’t respond to requests for comment.

ALLEGATIONS OF SHORTCUTS

A member of Congress, meanwhile, has asked federal regulators to look into Alfaro’s allegations. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, has “been in touch with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” according to a July 28 letter she wrote to Alfaro. Asked Friday about Alfaro’s criticisms of the new exam, College Board spokesman Goldberg said: “Mr. Alfaro does not speak with any authority about our tests. With the new SAT, we have made an unprecedented commitment to transparency and have published our test specifications, which include the test development process. Any claims that counter the published information are patently false.”

The document cited by Goldberg contains a nine-step process for developing the new SAT and ensuring that exams contain fair and valid questions. It’s the fourth of those steps that Alfaro says the College Board routinely skipped, according to his posts on LinkedIn. That step, known as “external content & fairness reviews prior to pretesting,” relates to the checks that new questions are supposed to undergo before they are included on an actual test.

According to the College Board document, newly written SAT questions are scrutinized by external, independent reviewers, who look for mistakes and potential bias. After that initial review, the questions are field tested on actual test-takers in an unscored section of a regular SAT exam. The field testing helps determine whether questions are statistically valid and whether they should be included on a future, scored portion of the exam. After the field test, questions once again go through external reviews before they’re put on a live, scored section of the test.

The external reviews before field testing didn’t always happen, Alfaro alleged. “The Content Advisory Committee reviewed the items for the first time, not before they were pretested, but after the items were assembled into operational SAT forms,” he wrote in a May 27 post on LinkedIn. In a June 9 post, he added: “We first implemented Step 4 in August of 2014, after thousands of items had already been developed and pretested without this crucial step.”

An internal document from 2014 describes what the College Board called the “rigorous process of vetting new test items that could potentially become part of the Math Test in the redesigned SAT.” The document says changing items after pretesting was “rare.” Alfaro said such changes were actually common. “I’m not talking about adding a missing comma here, fixing a typo there,” he wrote in a May 20 post. “Sometimes the revised items,” or questions, “are completely different than the version that was pretested.”

An outside attorney for the College Board wrote to Alfaro on May 10, three days after Alfaro contacted the states with his allegations, and requested a meeting. Alfaro declined to see the attorney. But he said he would be open to explaining his concerns to the organization’s Board of Trustees and to lawyers for the seven states, according to an email he sent the states. No such sessions took place.

Inside the organization, the College Board’s top attorney has called Alfaro a “disgruntled former employee” and told staff to avoid him. “I am writing to alert you that the College Board is dealing with a disgruntled former employee who has expressed anger at the College Board in a very public way,” College Board general counsel Peter Schwartz wrote in an email to staff. “Please be aware that he has no reason to visit our offices, and in the event that he does, he should not be allowed in.” Reached by phone on Friday, Schwartz declined to comment.

[source;indianexpress]

To avoid Rio repeat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces Task Force to plan for next three Olympic Games

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Aimed at boosting India’s performance in future Olympic Games, Prime MinisterNarendra Modi on Friday announced that a Task Force would be set up to prepare a comprehensive action plan for “effective participation” of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games — 2020, 2024 and 2028.

The announcement was made at a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers at which the Prime Minister also reviewed the performance of various ministries vis a vis promises made in last three budgets (two full budgets). Modi also examined the status of the implementation of the Departmental Action Plan for various ministries.

It is learnt that the PMO has asked the Sports Ministry to submit a detailed report on India’s disappointing performance at the Rio Games. The report, a Sports Ministry official said, has to be submitted by the end of September.

The Task Force will be set up in the next few days and will prepare the overall strategy for sports facilities, training, selection procedure and other related matters.

An official statement said that the Task Force will have members who are in-house experts as well as those from outside. Of a 119-strong contingent that participated in the Rio Olympics, P V Sindhu secured a silver medal in badminton and Sakshi Malik won the bronze in 58-kg freestyle wrestling. Dipa Karmakar finished fourth in Gymnastics Vaults final.

Also Read | Glaring gap: What they did at home, what in Rio

The PM’s announcement comes when sports federations are entering a review mode to dissect what happened in Rio. On Thursday, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) constituted a four-member committee with Abhinav Bindra as its chairman to examine in a “cold and ruthless manner” the reasons behind India’s debacle.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has also decided to take stock of their flop show next week while the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has suggested that it will focus on young wrestlers for the Tokyo Olympics.

Shooting and wrestling are two disciplines where India was expected to return with medals. While the shooters returned empty handed, Sakshi Malik won a solitary medal for India in wrestling. However, the tally in the sport came down from the London Games, where Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt won a silver and bronze medal respectively.

Before the Rio Games, the ministry had projected that India would win around 10-14 medals based on the performances of individual athletes in the last 12 months. However, as an investigation by The Indian Express beginning Saturday will show, the run-up to the Olympics was mired in mismanagement and red tape with most of the financial assistance coming only in the last eight months. Speaking to The Indian Express, Sports Authority of India (SAI) Director General Injetti Srinivas underlined the need for a “long-term” view which is what the Task Force will aim to do. “There is no hiding the Rio disappointment but the fact is we are totally relying on handful of athletes for medals,” said Srinivas. “That’s not going to help you. You need to have proper bench strength.”

[source;indianexpress]

Kashmir unrest: In Valley, a new health emergency called barricades

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WHAT SHOULD have been a routine visit to hospital with his daughter-in-law, Haseena Bano, after she developed labour pain turned into a nightmare for Abdul Rahim Lone on August 21. There was no technician to conduct the sonography at the local hospital. Doctors told Lone the paramedic had not been able to come to work due to the ongoing curfew, and referred Bano to Srinagar’s Lal Ded, the only tertiary-care maternity hospital in valley.

For Lone, a resident of Preng village in Kangan town of central Kashmir, that journey to Srinagar turned out to be “hell”.

“I have lost count of the number of barricades on the road. We were stopped at every barricade, and at each one they (police and paramilitary forces on duty) got into the vehicle to check even as she (Bano) cried in pain,” Lone said. “They let us go, but at many places I was asked to remove the barricade myself. I had to put it back when our ambulance passed.”

Not all patients are let past.

With curfew and restrictions in place for 49 days now, admissions in hospitals in the Valley have come down by as much as 40 per cent, say doctors. Most patients are simply unable to reach hospitals, Syed Masood, Medical Superintendent (MS) at the District Hospital in Baramulla, said.

Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Lal Ded Hospital MS, said Out Patient Department (OPD) referrals at the hospital are down by half, and In Patient Department (IPD) admissions by nearly 30 percent.

Official figures at the hospital corroborate his approximation: 17,076 patients came to refer to doctors at OPD in July and so far in August this year, compared to 33,907 patients in the corresponding months last year. Similarly, 5,352 patients have been admitted in these two months against 7,383 during the corresponding period last year.

On dialysis for close to a year now, Sopore resident Ghulam Mohammad developed complications last week. A local doctor advised the family to rush him to Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) — the only advanced centre with dialysis facility. But with the highway to Srinagar closed even at night, the 65-year-old’s family decided to take him to the Sub District Hospital in Sopore.

On way to the hospital, the family said they were stopped at six places – the distance of less than three kilometres took them nearly 90 minutes.

“It is impossible to reach Srinagar, as security men are not allowing any travel. We know the (Sopore) hospital doesn’t have dialysis facility, but it can provide us an ambulance to Srinagar,” Ghulam Mohammad’s nephew said.

But ambulances cannot ensure patients reach hospitals, as their movement has been curtailed drastically since the protests began on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed. While protesters stop these vehicles during the day, security forces have stopped all movement at night. With many drivers from north Kashmir beaten up, and their ambulance ambulances stopped, health officials decided against referring patients to Srinagar hospitals at night.

“We refer patients only in extreme cases,” Baramulla hospital MS Masood told The Indian Express. The MS at Sopore hospital said they are referring “at least 60 per cent” fewer patients these days.

According to the government, 133 ambulances were damaged in the first 45 days since the unrest began.

Another big worry for doctors is the drastic fall in number of stroke and cardiac patients arriving at hospitals. “We normally get more than 60 such patients every day but these days the number is 15 to 20 on average. We only hope patients who are not able to reach hospitals survive,” said a doctor at SKIMS, Srinagar.

For cancer patients, who usually go to big hospitals for chemo- or radiotherapy, while the government has made chemo injections available at sub district hospitals, given the partial communication blockade in the Valley, few are aware.

While chemists said there is no shortage of drugs – “We usually keep stock for two months, and supplies are coming, although the quantity is down,” said Arshad Ahmad, president of Chemists and Druggists Association of Kashmir – going to the medical stores is fraught with risk.

Meanwhile, if getting to a hospital is difficult in these troubled times, the journey back home is equally arduous.

At Srinagar’s Lal Ded Hospital, where Haseena Bano reached with so much difficulty, Zareena Bano, a resident of north Kashmir, remains stuck after giving birth to a baby girl. There is no ambulance to take her, the newborn and her husband, Sawaria Sheikh, home. Their only hope now is an ambulance that arrives – with another patient – from their hometown. Given the barricades, that cannot be forecast exactly.

[source;indianexpress]

Kashmir unrest: In Valley, a new health emergency called barricades

Kashmir unrest, Kashmir curfew, curfew in kashmir, kashmir news, Jammu and Kashmirm J&K, kashmir doctors, kashmir hospitals, Hospital situation inkashmirm kashmir ambulance services, Kashmir violence, Burhan wani, Burhan wani death, burhan wani aftermath, Hizbul Muzahiddin militant, Kashmir, curfew in kashmir, kashmir valley unrest, india news, kashmir news

WHAT SHOULD have been a routine visit to hospital with his daughter-in-law, Haseena Bano, after she developed labour pain turned into a nightmare for Abdul Rahim Lone on August 21. There was no technician to conduct the sonography at the local hospital. Doctors told Lone the paramedic had not been able to come to work due to the ongoing curfew, and referred Bano to Srinagar’s Lal Ded, the only tertiary-care maternity hospital in valley.

For Lone, a resident of Preng village in Kangan town of central Kashmir, that journey to Srinagar turned out to be “hell”.

“I have lost count of the number of barricades on the road. We were stopped at every barricade, and at each one they (police and paramilitary forces on duty) got into the vehicle to check even as she (Bano) cried in pain,” Lone said. “They let us go, but at many places I was asked to remove the barricade myself. I had to put it back when our ambulance passed.”

Not all patients are let past.

With curfew and restrictions in place for 49 days now, admissions in hospitals in the Valley have come down by as much as 40 per cent, say doctors. Most patients are simply unable to reach hospitals, Syed Masood, Medical Superintendent (MS) at the District Hospital in Baramulla, said.

Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Lal Ded Hospital MS, said Out Patient Department (OPD) referrals at the hospital are down by half, and In Patient Department (IPD) admissions by nearly 30 percent.

Official figures at the hospital corroborate his approximation: 17,076 patients came to refer to doctors at OPD in July and so far in August this year, compared to 33,907 patients in the corresponding months last year. Similarly, 5,352 patients have been admitted in these two months against 7,383 during the corresponding period last year.

On dialysis for close to a year now, Sopore resident Ghulam Mohammad developed complications last week. A local doctor advised the family to rush him to Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) — the only advanced centre with dialysis facility. But with the highway to Srinagar closed even at night, the 65-year-old’s family decided to take him to the Sub District Hospital in Sopore.

On way to the hospital, the family said they were stopped at six places – the distance of less than three kilometres took them nearly 90 minutes.

“It is impossible to reach Srinagar, as security men are not allowing any travel. We know the (Sopore) hospital doesn’t have dialysis facility, but it can provide us an ambulance to Srinagar,” Ghulam Mohammad’s nephew said.

But ambulances cannot ensure patients reach hospitals, as their movement has been curtailed drastically since the protests began on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed. While protesters stop these vehicles during the day, security forces have stopped all movement at night. With many drivers from north Kashmir beaten up, and their ambulance ambulances stopped, health officials decided against referring patients to Srinagar hospitals at night.

“We refer patients only in extreme cases,” Baramulla hospital MS Masood told The Indian Express. The MS at Sopore hospital said they are referring “at least 60 per cent” fewer patients these days.

According to the government, 133 ambulances were damaged in the first 45 days since the unrest began.

Another big worry for doctors is the drastic fall in number of stroke and cardiac patients arriving at hospitals. “We normally get more than 60 such patients every day but these days the number is 15 to 20 on average. We only hope patients who are not able to reach hospitals survive,” said a doctor at SKIMS, Srinagar.

For cancer patients, who usually go to big hospitals for chemo- or radiotherapy, while the government has made chemo injections available at sub district hospitals, given the partial communication blockade in the Valley, few are aware.

While chemists said there is no shortage of drugs – “We usually keep stock for two months, and supplies are coming, although the quantity is down,” said Arshad Ahmad, president of Chemists and Druggists Association of Kashmir – going to the medical stores is fraught with risk.

Meanwhile, if getting to a hospital is difficult in these troubled times, the journey back home is equally arduous.

At Srinagar’s Lal Ded Hospital, where Haseena Bano reached with so much difficulty, Zareena Bano, a resident of north Kashmir, remains stuck after giving birth to a baby girl. There is no ambulance to take her, the newborn and her husband, Sawaria Sheikh, home. Their only hope now is an ambulance that arrives – with another patient – from their hometown. Given the barricades, that cannot be forecast exactly.

[source;indianexpress]

India at Rio 2016 Olympics: Medals two; disappointments multiple

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Jonathan Selvaraj shows how of the 85 in the Indian squad – excluding team events such as field hockey – only 13 could be reckoned to have matched a season’s best, qualifying mark or advanced past the first round of their event.

ATHLETICS:

Mohd Anas (400m)

Qualification: 45.40s, At Rio: 45.95s.

Jinson Johnson (800m)
Qualification: 1:45:98s, At Rio: 1:47:27s.
Recorded the second fastest time by an Indian a month before the Olympics. He was 1.29 seconds slower at the Rio Games.

Gurmeet Singh (20k walk),
Qualification: 1:20:29s, At Rio: DSQ,

Manish Singh (20k walk),
Qualification: 1:20:26s, At Rio: 1:21.21.

Ganapathy Krishnan (20k walk)
Qualification: 1:21:41s, At Rio: DSQ.

Sandeep Kumar (50k walk)
Qualification: 3:57:03s, At Rio: 4:07:55.

sports 1

Men’s 4x400m relay team
Qualification: 3:00.91s, At Rio: DSQ
After recorded the second fastest time of the year a month back, the team were disqualified in their Olympic heat.

Kavita Raut (Marathon)
Qualification: 2:38:38, At Rio: 2:59:29.*
*Kavita Raut was more than 20 minutes slower than her qualification time.

OP Jaisha (Marathon)
Qualification: 2:42:26s, At Rio: 2:47:19s.

Sapna Poonia (20k walk)
Qualification: 1:35:57s, At Rio: DNF.

Khushbir Kaur (20k walk)

Qualification: 1:34:53s, At Rio: 1:40:33s.

Manpreet Kaur (Shot put)
Qualification: 17.94m, At Rio: 17.06m
*Kaur would have qualified for the shot put final if she had matched her qualifying throw.

Seema Antil (Discus throw)
Qualification: 62.62m, At Rio: 57.58m
Antil threw 5m less than her qualifying throw.

Dutee Chand (100m)
Qualification: 11:24s, At Rio: 11:69s.

4x400m relay team
Qualfication: 3:27.88s, At Rio: 3:29.53s
The team was almost two seconds off the mark they had set a month before Rio.

Srabani Nanda (200m)
Qualification: 23:07s, At Rio: 23:58s.

Nirmala Sheoran (Event: 400m)
Qualification: 51:48s, At Rio: 53.03.

Tintu Luka (800m)
Qualification: 2:01:84s, At Rio: 2:00.58s.

Lalita Babar (3000 steeplechase)
Qualification: 9:27:09s, At Rio: 9:19.76 NR.

Sudha Singh (3000 steeplechase),
Qualification: 9:26:55s, At Rio: 9:43:29.

Thonakal Gopi (Marathon)
Qualification: 2:16:15s; At Rio: 2:15:25 PB

Kheta Ram (Marathon)
Qualification: 2:17:23s At Rio 2:15:26 PB

Nitendra Singh Rawat (Marathon)
Qualification: 2:15:48s At Rio: 2:22:52s

BOXING

Shiva Thapa (Bantamweight)
World Rank:3 , At Rio: 1st round loss.
Facing eventual gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez, Shiva Thapa exited in the first round of the Olympics for the second straight tournament.

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Manoj Kumar (Light welterweight)
World Rank: 6 At Rio: 2nd round loss.

Vikas Krishan (Middleweight)
World Rank: 13 At Rio: Quarter-final.

GOLF

Aditi Ashok
Rio Seeding 56, At Rio: 41/60

Anirban Lahiri
Rio Seeding: 19, At Rio: 57/60

SSP Chawrasia
Rio Seeding: 44, At Rio: Tied 50

JUDO

Avtar Singh
World Ranking: 72, At Rio: 1st round loss.
Lost to world no. 91 Popole Misenga competing as a refugee

Jitu Rai (50m pistol)

Quota at 2014 World Championships,
Qualifying: 565, (won silver); At Rio (554, finished 12)

(10M PISTOL)

(2016 World Cup, qualifying: 580, (won silver); At Rio (580, finished 8)

Abhinav Bindra (10m air rifle)
Qualifying score in 2015: 627.5, finished 6th); At Rio (qualifying 625.7, final 4th)

Gagan Narang (50m rifle prone),
Qualifying score in 2015: 626.3; At Rio (623.1, finished 13)

Chain Singh (50m 3 position)
Qualifying score in 2015:1174; At Rio 169, finished 23

Gurpreet Singh (10m air pistol)
Qualifying score in 2015: 578; At Rio 576, finished 20th

Kynan Chenai (Mens Trap)
Qualifying score in 2016: 120, At Rio (114, finished 19th)

Mairaj Khan (Men’s skeet)
Qualifying score in 2015:122; At Rio (121 (+3) finished 9th)

Manavjit Sandhu (Mens trap)
World Rank: 18; At Rio finished 16

PN Prakash (50m pistol)
Qualifying score in 2015: 567; At Rio 547, finished 25

Heena Sidhu (25m air pistol women)
Qualifying score in 2016: 387; At Rio (576, finished 20)

Apurvi Chandela (10m air rifle women)
Qualifying score in 2015: 418.4; At Rio (411.6, finished 34)

Ayonika paul (10m air rifle women),
Qualifying score in 2016: 416.6; At Rio (407.0, finished 43)

TABLE TENNIS

Sharath Kamal (Singles)
World Rank: 73, At Rio: 1st round loss

Soumyajit Ghosh (Singles)
World Rank: 65, At Rio: 1st round loss
Lost to world no. 181 Tanviriyavechakul Padasak ; Women’s players Manika Batra and Mouma Das too lost in the first round of their respective draws.

BADMINTON

Jwala Gutta – Ashwini Ponappa (Doubles)
World Rank: 22 Result: Group stage exit.

Manu Attri – B Sumeeth Reddy (Doubles)
World Rank: 21, Result: Group stage exit.
*Despite exiting in the group stage, the Indian mens doubles team managed to upset the higher ranked pair of Hiroyuki Endo and Kenicha Hayakawa

Sindhu-m

PV Sindhu (Singles)
World Rank: 10 Result: Silver medal.

Saina Nehwal (Singles)
World Rank: 5, Result: Group stage exit.
Nehwal was the highest ranked Indian singles player but exited the group stage after battling a knee injury.

K Srikanth (Singles)
World Rank: 11, Result: Quarter-final.

WEIGHTLIFTING

sports 2

TENNIS

Leander Paes+Rohan Bopanna (men’s doubles)
World Rank: Rohan Bopanna (WR10), Leander Paes (WR62) , At Rio: 1st round loss

Saniamirza-RohanBopanna-m

Rohan Bopanna+Sania Mirza, (mixed doubles)
World Rank: Rohan Bopanna (WR10) , Sania Mirza (WR1) , At Rio: Lost bronze medal playoff
*Lost to Venus Williams (WR 35) +Rajeev Ram (WR 22) in semifinals; Lost to Lucie Hradecka (WR 9) +Radek Stepanek (WR 32)

Sania Mirza +Prarthana Thombare, (Women’s doubles)
World Rank: Sania Mirza (1) , Prarthana Thombare (190); At Rio: Lost in Round 1*
*Lost to Peng Shuai (WR 147) +Zhang Shuai (WR 456)

WRESTLING

Yogeshwar Dutt, Yogeshwar Dutt India, India Yogeshwar Dutt, India Rio Olympics, Rio Olympics India, Rio 2016 Olympics India, Rio Olympics India, India contingent, India medals tally, India medals tally, SportsYogeshwar Dutt crashed out in the qualification round. (Source: PTI)

Vinesh Phogat (Women’s 48kg freestyle)
World Rank 14, At Rio: Lost in second round

Babita Phogat
(Women’s 53kg freestyle)
At Rio: Lost in first round

Sakshi Malik
(women’s 58kg freestyle)
At Rio: Bronze medal

Sandeep Tomar
(mens’s 57kg freestyle)
At Rio: Lost in first round

Yogeshwar Dutt
(Men’s 65kg)
World Rank 12, At Rio: Lost in first round

Ravinder Khatri
( Men’s 85kg greco roman)
At Rio: Lost in first round

Hardeep Singh
(Men’s 98kg greco roman)
At Rio: Lost in first round

ARCHERY

Deepika Kumari
Rank 12 / Womens team rank 3: At Rio: Rd of 16 and QF (team).

Laxmi Rani Manjhi
Rank: 15/ Womens team rank 3 At Rio: Rd of 16 and QF (team).

L Bombayla Devi
Rank 70/ Womens team rank 3; At Rio: Rd of 16 and QF (team).

Atanu Das (Individual)
World Rank 22 At Rio: Quarter-final

ROWING

Dattu Bhokanakal (Single sculls)
Qualifying time: 7:07.49, At Rio: 6:54:96.

GYMNASTICS

Dipa Karmakar
Expectation: Likely to reach final, At Rio: Finished fourth

[sourse;indianexpress]

Sucha Singh Chhotepur sacked as AAP’s Punjab convener over cash for tickets sting

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Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur was sacked by the party Friday after a video surfaced allegedly showing him accept from an AAP volunteer cash in exchange for a party ticket.

Chhotepur, at a press conference held on Friday, said that his friends had conspired against him and he has done nothing wrong. He rejected suggestions that he would quit AAP and join the Congress, and demanded a CBI inquiry into the sting operation.

On Thursday, 21 AAP leaders led by MPs Bhagwant Mann and Prof Sadhu Singh wrote to party chief Arvind Kejriwal, requesting him to sack Chhotepur from the post.

In their letter, the leaders said, “We urge to sack present convener Chhotepur without any delay and to replace him with an honest person to take the movement forward.”

Meanwhile, Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh came out strongly in support of Chhotepur and called the sting on him a coup by outsiders. “The sting operation has clearly been conceived, planned and executed as part of an internal coup engineered by the AAP leaders from outside who want to control Punjab through remote by using their local stooges and inconsequential wannabe leaders,” he said.

 

 

 

[source;indianexpress]