Indianapolis, In. — The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs is announcing the first round of Community Development Block Grants for 2019 is open.The following programs are accepting applications this round:Main Street Revitalization;Public Facilities;Stormwater Improvements; andWastewater/Drinking Water.The complete application, which includes the instructions, proposals/application template and sample documents can be found at www.in.gov/ocra/cdbg. A video overview of the application can be accessed here.New guidelines from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on LMI census data and income surveys requires OCRA to make adjustments to the income survey policies and procedures.Effective April 1, applications must use the new census data and income survey process. Communities must use the HUD LMI Map tool to source the LMI data. An income survey would only be necessary if a community has an LMI percentage lower than 51 percent. In those cases, the community must seek permission from OCRA before moving forward with an income survey. Additionally, income survey certifiers will no longer be required to verify an income survey. A webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2 to provide more detailed information on this change.Round one proposals are being accepted until Friday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m., ET. Final applications are due by Friday, June 28 at 4:00 p.m., ET with funding awards announced on Thursday, August 15.Funding for all of the CDBG programs comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is administered by OCRA. The state of Indiana distributes CDBG funds to rural communities to assist units of local government with various community projects like: improving infrastructure, downtown revitalization, public facilities improvements and economic development.For further information on these programs, contact the assigned Community Liaison for your region.
Tennessee rookie A.J. Brown makes very clear personal goals take a backseat to helping the Titans clinch a playoff berth.Even if that means missing out on becoming the Titans’ first 1,000-yard receiver since 2015.“If I get 10 yards Sunday and I help the team win, then I’m fine with it,” Brown said Tuesday. “The ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs and try to win the Super Bowl. I’m not too worried about my own goals right now. I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to try to get this win because it’s huge for the team.”TheBrown also leads all NFL rookies in receiving yards and is tied with Baltimore’s Marquise Brown and Terry McLaurin of Washington for the rookie lead with seven TD receptions each.”He’s one of the best players we’ve played against,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien said of the Titans’ rookie.The Texans scouted Brown before the draft, and O’Brien said the big rookie plays physical, runs good routes and has good hands. Then Brown went out and caught a career-high eight passes and finished with 114 yards receiving and a touchdown to impress O’Brien in person on Dec. 15.With 73 more yards, Brown can become the Titans’ first 1,000-yard receiver since tight end Delanie Walker finished with 1,088 yards in 2015. Brown also would become just the franchise’s third rookie to reach that mark joining Bill Groman (1,743 in 1960) and Ernest Givens (1,062 in 1986).O’Brien said what Brown has done is fantastic.“It’s very difficult to play receiver as rookie in this league,” Brown said. “So, to do what he’s done shows that he’s got a great work ethic, he’s got really good playing strength. He’s got a lot of great attributes to be a great wide receiver, which is what he is.”The 6-foot and 226-pound Brown also is fast. He wasHe’s averaging 19.3 yards per catch, second among qualifying receivers behind only Mike Williams (20.5) of the Chargers.“He continues to just work technique and be strong with the football,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “I know this is a fast and a violent and big game. I think A.J.’s done a good job playing through contact and catching the ball, being strong with the catch.”The Saints used Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore to slow Brown down last week, and the rookie finished with only one catch for 34 yards with 2:04 left“You go against a high, powerful guy like that it makes you key in … kind of re-humbles you a bit,” Brown said. “I really enjoy myself going against a guy like that because you don’t lose, you always learn. So I’m going to take everything I can from that matchup.”Ryan Tannehill likes the rookie’s consistency.”How he’s constantly taking steps just taking steps week in and week out throughout the season has been very impressive, how he’s grown as a player throughout the season and really come on strong as of late when a lot of rookies are starting to hit that wall and digress or stagnate,” Tannehill said.“He’s continued to step up, and that’s been huge for us.”Notes: The Titans held a walk-through Tuesday taking Wednesday off the holiday. CB Adoree’ Jackson, who has missed three straight games, took part in warm-ups. Vrabel said they would see what Jackson could do. WR Corey Davis (concussion protocol), also stretched during the open portion of practice along with DL Jeffery Simmons (knee) and LB Daren Bates (shoulder).___Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL COMMENT Associated Press Television News SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By First Published: 25th December, 2019 12:50 IST Last Updated: 25th December, 2019 12:50 IST Rookie Wants Titans’ Playoff Berth Over 1,000-yard Season Tennessee rookie A.J. Brown makes very clear personal goals take a backseat to helping the Titans clinch a playoff berth. FOLLOW US LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE
School board members will decide on Wednesday when they officially vote on a reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year.sAccording to the school board’s agenda, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donald Fennoy is recommending that all schools in the School District of Palm Beach County start the year with online distance learning.The new school year in Palm Beach County is currently slated to start on Monday, Aug. 10. WATCH LIVE COVERAGE:
Commissioner of Information, Charles Ramson Sr, has filed legal action against his boss, Prime Minister and Information Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Attorney General Basil Williams. Among the former Attorney General’s contentions are that his salary for last month was withheld.Ramson Sr, whose suit was filed for him by his Attorneys Ashton and Pauline Chase on Thursday, is seeking a declaration that his fundamental right to workFormer Justice of Appeal and Attorney General,Charles Ramson Srwas violated by the respondents. He is also seeking an order for the respondents to continue to pay his salary, emoluments and allowances “until such time as his appointment is revoked lawfully.”In addition, he is seeking an order for the Prime Minister, the second named respondent, to provide “such accommodation, resources and officers and employees for the efficient functioning of the office of the Commissioner of Information pursuant to Section 5 of the Access to Information Act 2011.”Ramson’s writ also includes a request for “exemplary damages against the second named respondent for his unlawful acts and/or the violation of his constitutional right to work”; “any other order as may be just” and finally, cost.Contending that his right to work has been violated, Ramson quoted Article 149A of the Constitution of Guyana in the writ, which states that; “No person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her right to work, that is to say, the right to free choice of employment.”While Attorney General Basil Williams was named a respondent as a representative of the State, Nagamootoo was sued under the State Liability and Proceedings Act 1988. He noted that Nagamootoo is required by law to make provisions for his office to function efficiently.He stated that post 2015, his accommodation and staff was “degutted in stages”, both unilaterally and by mutual arrangement. He claimed to have relocated to his property for an agreed period of three months which came to an end on December 31, 2015.“In that event, I continued to report to work routinely, commencing at 07:00h and have always been ready, willing and able to meet the legal responsibilities of my office. Notwithstanding several notices to (Nagamootoo) his statutory obligations were not given effect, refused and neglected and I have since filed proceedings for compensation for use and occupation of my property for January 1st to 31st December, 2016.”He went on to note that “payment of my salary was made for December 2016, but my gratuity payable half-yearly was unlawfully and without notice, withheld upon the instructions (of Nagamootoo).”But that’s not all. Ramson is also contending that for January 2017, his salary was also withheld despite “(Nagamootoo) announcing in the National Assembly at the Committee of Supply stage that $36 million was allocated to my office for the period 1st January to 31st December 2017.”All of these acts, according to Ramson Sr, have affected his fundamental right to work. He also alleged that Nagamootoo has a “lack of comprehension of the Act aforementioned and/or prompted by malice and/or improper legal advice by person’s with whom he associates and/or is politically aligned resulting in loss and damage to me.”The matter is scheduled to be heard on February 24 at the High Court. It also warned in the action filed that failure by the respondents to appear may see judgment being given in absentia and without further notice.
This was bound to happen sooner or later. It was a surprise that UCLA hadn’t stumbled earlier. But the injury bug that has plagued UCLA all season finally took its toll on the Bruins, as they squandered a 15-point first-half lead and Washington did whatever it wanted inside to post a 69-65 win on Saturday in front of 10,232 at Pauley Pavilion. In what has become typical fashion, UCLA lost another player to an injury, this time forward Alfred Aboya. The diagnosis is a sprained right knee, the one he had surgery on in July. An MRI was scheduled for Saturday night. The frontcourt is an area in which the Bruins can ill afford another setback, as they’re already too thin at center. And against the Huskies, that lack of depth in the middle showed. “Any time you allow a team to shoot 64 percent and you get outboarded (by six) and turn it over 19 times … it was disappointing,” Howland said. “The five-spot, rebounding wise, we’ve got to get more from that spot.” The UCLA centers combined for four rebounds, although forward Luc Mbah a Moute had a fine game with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Washington took its first lead of the second half on a Jamaal Williams basket inside, something that happened all too frequently, for a 61-60 lead with about three minutes left. On the Huskies’ next possession, Ryan Appleby made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc for a 64-60 lead. Darren Collison made a driving layup for the Bruins to make it a two-point deficit, and thenWashington inexplicably didn’t get a shot off before the shot clock expired. After several missed shots and fouls, Washington’s Bobby Jones made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to make it 66-62. Afflalo, wearing No. 44 because he got blood on his No. 4 jersey (from diving for a loose ball), made a 3-pointer from the right wing to pull the Bruins to within 66-65. Jones made the front end of a one-and-one but missed the second and Afflalo got the rebound. As he pushed the ball upcourt, he passed it to Mbah a Moute in the lane, who was called for traveling. “I thought he was going for the basket,” Mbah a Moute said. “I didn’t think he was going to pass me the ball. I was going for the rebound. I was going too fast, I guess.” Washington’s leading scorer, Brandon Roy, was held to 10 points but it didn’t matter since the frontcourt players had so much success. Jones had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Williams scored 14. Freshman Jon Brockman had 12 points and six rebounds. UCLA freshman Ryan Wright, making his first start at center, had eight points but no rebounds. Center Ryan Hollins played for the first time after missing seven games with a groin injury and had four rebounds and a turnover, along with three fouls. Michael Fey (sprained ankle) was ruled out for the game earlier in the week but unexpectedly suited up. He played just one minute and his only contribution was a turnover. The 7-footer is expected to return to practice this week. Jill Painter, (818) [email protected]ews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita No. 11 UCLA (14-3) fell to 4-2 in the Pac-10 Conference but is still in first place by a half-game over four teams. No. 13 Washington (14-2) improved to 3-2 and is one of those four teams tied for second place. As everyone knows, UCLA goes as its guards go. Point guard Jordan Farmar had 12 assists but was held to three points. Arron Afflalo, UCLA’s leading scorer, had 16 points. “I think we just missed a lot of open shots,” Afflalo said. “I was 6 for 15 and Jordan was 1 for 7. We get the bulk of the shots on this team, and if we don’t knock down the open shots, we’re not going to win too much.” UCLA freshman guard Michael Roll had 14 of his 17 points in the first half. He made 5 of 6 3-pointers – mostly on open looks off screens – but just one in the second half. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar pointed to the Huskies’ improved ball-screen defense in the second half. UCLA’s defense was worse. The Bruins allowed the Huskies to shoot 64 percent from the field in the second half, much to Ben Howland’s chagrin.
Exclusive Another origin-of-life expert made a presentation to a filled auditorium at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Dec. 2 (cf. 11/05/2004 headline). His scenario differed radically from last month’s. Instead of trying to get ribose (for RNA) to form in a desert, he put his speculative natural laboratory 4 to 10 km underwater at the bottom of the sea. Why? Because the surface of the Earth would have been a deadly place: under attack by UV radiation (“disastrous” on the early earth, he said; for contrasting opinion, see 05/28/2003 headline), volcanoes, and meteorite impacts of world-wipeout class. For his model, he needed a safe haven “out of harm’s way,” and found one, he believes, near deep sea vents.1 Dr. Michael Russell (geologist, U. of Glasgow) believes life began in an alkaline hydrothermal reactor. Russell has a simple view of life: “Life emerges because of a chemical disequilibrium,” he said, as a kind of natural feedback mechanism “to solve the problem” of the need for a catalyst between carbon dioxide (oxidizing) and hydrogen (reducing). “Don’t be vivocentric,” he cautioned the audience; a mineral-based catalytic cycle does the same thing as life, acting as a natural regulator between extreme conditions. He also emphasized that living systems rely on convection, and generate byproducts. “What does life do? It makes waste,” he began. (The waste in his model that might provide astrobiologists with clues on other planets is acetate or acetic acid, i.e., vinegar.) At another point, he dismissed life as simply “failed mineralogy.” Building on his belief that life emerges in environments far from equilibrium, his scenario proposes an environment with strong gradients. His illustrations portrayed a battle between high temperature water, laden with alkaline substances and metals, rising up through cracks in the crust to face the cold, acidic ocean water, loaded with dissolved carbon dioxide. He explained that this sets up a temperature gradient, a redox (oxidation-reduction) gradient, and a kinetic barrier that produces a 500 millivolt energy source at just the right temperature, about 40° C (hot, but not too hot, “like California”), where life could start cooking. At the junction of all this turmoil, a “membranous froth” forms, providing a nest where organic chemicals like amino acids could form and evolve. He thought that 35,000 years or so (the presumed lifetime of the Lost City thermal vents—see 07/25/2003 Quick Takes), was plenty of time to get life started. Amino acids would link up, with help from mineral platforms, into chains up to six units long. These, in turn, through hydrogen bonding with nucleotides, could spontaneously induce a prototypical “coding” that would not have depended on one-handed (homochiral) peptide chains. Heterochiral polymers would have actually been preferable at first, he said, and might have been selected for homochirality later, the left-handed ones winning the luck of the draw over the right-handed. Another thing life requires is compartmentalization – a membrane. With apologies to the biochemists, who assume today’s lipid membranes would have been a requirement for life, he proposed that iron sulfide (FeS) might have been just the thing at that early stage. It might have formed sandwich layers where the polymers of life grew, spalled off, with more forming in their place, producing a steady supply of prebiotic ingredients on which natural selection could act. He did not discuss harmful cross-reactions or interfering products, but made the setup appear like a “self organizing proto-enzymatic system,” a forerunner of the complex acetyl-coenzyme A pathway employed by today’s living cells, which is assisted by proteins called ferrodoxins that act as electron-transfer agents. The “extremely steep gradients” at the seafloor, he felt, could allow FeS to handle the electron transfer work. In short, he proposed a “peptide world” first instead of an RNA world, the popular choice among those in the origin-of-life research community (see 08/26/2003 for other options). In fact, he felt it a big mistake for most researchers to promote the RNA World hypothesis (see 07/11/2002 headline), because to him it is highly unrealistic, given the assumed geological conditions on the early earth. “You’re not going to get RNA in the early earth; it is too unstable in water,” he emphasized (yet failed to mention how it appeared in the primitive “coding” with peptides he described earlier.) Moreover, he flatly admitted the Urey-Miller experiment was completely unrealistic (see 05/02/2003 and 10/31/2002 headlines), because everyone since Darwin knows that carbon dioxide (not hydrogen or methane) must have been the predominant atmospheric gas. By contrast, he sold his model as meeting all the realistic early-earth geological requirements, and getting free fringe benefits as a bonus. For instance, he touted his model as providing a mechanism for proton motive force (pmf), in addition to electron transfer. Pmf is observed in all organisms to build ATP. Understanding how pmf arose in prebiotic conditions is, for most researchers, a difficult problem, but he claimed his model produced it as a “free lunch.” This represented the tone of his talk: getting life is quick and simple. In a somewhat overconfident manner, he described life as a natural consequence of disequilibrium conditions readily available deep under the sea, here on Earth or on any world undergoing convection and chemical disequilibrium. The audience gave him a hearty round of applause. Noting that the audience may have missed the fact that his scenario falsified the previous speaker’s (and vice versa), this reporter asked during the Q&A period about it. “Benner said that ribose was essential to life, yet is unstable in water, so he theorized it had to form in a desert with borate to stabilize it,” I said. “You are proposing that it formed in a deep sea environment. How do you reconcile your view with his?” “I don’t,” he responded without hesitation. “I’m a geologist – he’s a biochemist. To me, you must start with a realistic geological scenario for the early earth. There were no deserts! There was no borate, a rare mineral in cosmic terms. I consider that a highly unlikely scenario.”2 He had stated emphatically earlier in the lecture that organic molecules did not come from space, as some astrobiologists suppose. Regardless of what the cosmologists say, “There were no organic molecules on the early earth,” he said forcefully, “even from space.” He didn’t need special delivery anyway; all the ingredients cook up just fine in his frothy alkaline reactors. No primordial soup here; in fact, his first life has to invade the oceanic crust to survive, because the open ocean is the last place to put fragile early life forms. Like a desert, it would have provided nothing to eat. When a listener asked him his opinion about when life originated, he speculated confidently it was about 4.4 billion years ago – in geological terms, almost immediately after the earth cooled enough for the oceans to form. He made it seem an almost automatic result of the circumstances. To someone not vivocentric, it appeared to be no big deal.1Russell agreed with Stanley Miller and Jeffrey Bada (see 06/14/2002 headline) that black smokers are not suitable locales; too acidic and too hot (400° C). He suggested pH of 10-11 (strongly alkaline) was more appropriate. Contrast this with the highly acidic conditions found on Mars (see next headline).2Quotes are paraphrased but quite close to the actual statements.This reporter could not suffer bluffing to go uncontested, so he went up afterwards to talk to the speaker in person. A series of questions nailed the bluffing to the wall:Chirality: Like Benner, Russell admitted that 100% pure one-handedness is vital (see online book). He admitted during the talk that amino acids racemize immediately (i.e., they revert to mixed-handedness). His lecture had bluffed about heterochirality being acceptable at first, but he provided no means other than chance to achieve 100% homochirality later. He seemed to assume getting a six-unit peptide of one hand was plausible, and that was sufficient (see next point).Information: He confused chemical specificity with information when I charged him with pulling information out of a magic hat. “The small peptides you propose are no more informative than a child’s alphabet blocks bouncing around at random,” I said. When he tried to declare that a six-link peptide chain “has a lot of information, because it will only join with certain side chains and reject others,” I reminded him that such an arrangement provides no functional information (it doesn’t “do” anything useful—see 06/12/2003 headline). Information is not the same as natural law. I reminded him that sodium chloride (table salt) links up naturally, too, but provides no real information. How much information is necessary to provide function? As a real world example, he admitted that the simplest ferrodoxins are more than 53 amino acid units in length. But that is an exceedingly high degree of information for just one protein molecule, especially when each unit has to be one-handed. Getting something that size by chance is astronomically improbable.Genetic Takeovers: I reminded him that Benner had warned against proposing too many genetic takeovers, because each one requires a radical overhaul of the conditions. Compounding ad hoc conditions raises charges of telling a just-so story. Yet his model invoked three takeovers: minerals, then peptides, then RNA. He responded that the first two were “co-evolving.” Reader, please ponder: does that really solve the problem? Is it not a personification fallacy?Gaps: He admitted that there is a huge gap between his proposal and the operation of the simplest living thing, especially considering the highly complex translation process between DNA and proteins involving transfer-RNA (see online book). Yet he did not mention this gap during the talk when the audience was present.If a layman can nail a PhD chemist, it doesn’t mean the layman is bright; it means the chemist’s story is weak and shatters easily. After I hammered away with these pointed questions, he asked me in mild exasperation, “Well, you’ve got to start somewhere. What is your model?” “You wouldn’t like it…. ” I replied, then thanked him for his time and bid him adieu. There wasn’t an opportunity to elaborate, and my model was not the issue. Before you can get a horse to drink, you have to salt the oats; you have to create thirst, and get him to admit a need. The horse will come to the water when licking the salt lick over and over doesn’t satisfy. Think about his last point. To an evolutionist, proposing a just-so story is better than admitting ignorance. It doesn’t matter whether it is highly implausible, or whether it contradicts (and essentially falsifies) other popular models, or whether it contains gaping canyons between the model and the real world (see 05/22/2002 commentary). “What is your model?” – the question illustrates the assumption that something is better than nothing. Is that always true? Some people feel uncomfortable with silence and fill the air with verbiage. But talk is cheap and sometimes less than worthless. Telling a hungry hobo in a boxcar, “If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs,” is less helpful than shutting up. Saying it with feeling is worse. Jeffrey Kargel (see next headline) suggested that the decreasing evidence for life beyond earth should generate “an increased respect for life on our own planet.” Calling life “failed mineralogy” and quipping “What does life do? It makes waste” is profoundly disrespectful. Evolutionists need more respect for life. They need to silently ponder the complexity of DNA, RNA, proteins and molecular machines. Only then we can reason intelligently about alternatives like intelligent design. So the first two lectures in a JPL series called “Life Detection Seminar,” have already falsified each other.* In effect, they canceled each other out, leaving the audience behind square one, heading backwards. Both models required highly implausible conditions. Improbabilities do not add up to probabilities. They multiply into impossibilities.*Here is the abstract of Russell’s presentation from the advertisement, with comments inserted and emphasis added to highlight the speculative elements and logical fallacies. Compare this model with Benner’s scenario last month (see 11/05/2004 headline). Notice the personification fallacy as he assumes these chemicals were striving upward to bigger and better organization:It is suggested [by whom? – identify yourself] that life got started when hydrothermal hydrogen reacted with carbon dioxide dissolved in ocean waters in a hydrothermal mound (pH ~10, T =100° C) partly composed of metal sulfide [life is more than chemistry; it requires specified complexity arranged for function]. This mound was the hatchery of life [misleading analogy] and the vent fluids bore life’s waste products back to the ocean. Bacterial life is characterized by its wastes [reductionism], e.g., acetate, methane, oxygen and hydrogen sulfide. The first waste product of life was probably [let’s see the calculation] acetate. So we may think [who’s we?] of the hydrothermal mound as a natural hydrothermal flow reactor in which iron and nickel sulfides catalyzed the formation of minor concentrations of amino acids [you’re gonna need a lot of ’em, baby] and their polymerization to short peptides [Whoa! peptides do not form in water easily] – peptides that got caught in pore spaces while most of the acetate was eluted to the ocean [ad hoc; how convenient the good stuff lingers, while the bad stuff escapes]. These peptides wrapped themselves around inorganic metal sulfide and phosphate molecules [ad hoc], and also coated the inside of the pores [story’s over; now it’s a death trap]. The efficiency of the acetate generator was optimized by the emergence of the first organic living cells [Whoa! He just jumped the canyon in a single bound!] through the intervention of nucleic acids [Whoa! Another canyon! Where did they “emerge” from? – the same conditions are hostile to nucleotides] in the metabolizing system [systems are built by intelligent design]. The hydrothermal mound continued to support a community of cells through to the community’s evolution and differentiation to bacteria and archaea [evolution always assumed; does he have any idea how complex these critters are?]. The archaea added waste methane to the effluent. From the mound the only safe escape route was down [only intelligent agents care about safety], down into the ocean floor where nutrients and energy were still available. Any cells discharged to the ocean would have starved [only intelligent entities suffer hunger]. Thus the ocean floor sediments and crust were colonized and the deep biosphere was born. [Presto! Now clap for the magic show.](Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? James Harden has Rockets rolling with visit to Warriors looming Sharapova, who won the last of her five Slams at Roland Garros in 2014, has endured a disappointing return to the majors since the end of her drugs ban in April of 2017.She will next face 17-year-old Chinese wild card Wang Xinyu.Meanwhile, France’s Caroline Garcia lost in straight sets to Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic 6-4, 6-2.The tournament, which runs until Saturday, will see players battling for $750,000 in prize money.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 3, 2018 file photo, Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns a shot to Carla Suarez Navarro, of Spain, during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Maria Sharapova returned to competitive tennis with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win against Timea Bacsinszky in the first round of Shenzhen Open on Monday, Dec. 31. Sharapova cut short her campaign in September to recover from shoulder complaint. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, file)Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova had a tough start to her 2019 tennis season Monday at the Shenzhen Open, edging out Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky 6-2, 7-6 (7/3).In a battle of former Top 10 players, Sharapova’s serve faltered early in the match but she regained composure to take the first set, cheered on by the spirited crowd at the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Center.ADVERTISEMENT Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Bacsinszky put up a strong fight in the second set, claiming the first two games and forcing Sharapova to step up her game.The Russian powered through to take the match in one hour 42 minutes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion“It’s been a few months since I’ve been out of playing competitively,” Sharapova said in a post-match interview, calling Shenzhen a “warm-up tournament” for next month’s Australian Open.“Considering the opponent and everything I had to go through today I think it was a great practice for me.” TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid View comments
Chennai: The DMK on Tuesday promised to do away with the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions and ushering in quota in the private sector in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election. “The NEET for medical admissions will be scrapped,” DMK chief M K Stalin said while unveiling the salient features of his party’s manifesto. Opposition to NEET in Tamil Nadu from major political parties and students had taken emotive overtones in the past. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Stalin said steps would be taken for implementing reservation in the private sector. The party also assured steps for waiver of all educational loans taken by students. Against the background of agitations by state government employees seeking reversion to the old pension scheme in place of the newly-introduced contributory scheme, the DMK chief said: “We will bring back the old pension scheme for both the central and state government employees.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The DMK president said the party would revert to the administered-price mechanism to regulate the prices of petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Another key feature of the manifesto is doing away with the direct cash transfer of subsidy for the LPG and bringing down the prices of cylinders. The DMK is contesting 20 seats in the state, allotting the remaining 19 to its allies. The state goes to polls in a single phase on April 18.