Struggling Lakers in need of a break

first_imgEL SEGUNDO – At least the Lakers won’t lose any games this weekend. Of course, the All-Star Game break begins Friday, so after tonight’s home game against Cleveland the Lakers will have five days to rest and ponder what has gone wrong during their four-game losing streak. “It won’t hurt, let’s just put it that way,” coach Phil Jackson said Wednesday. “I told them that they can’t take it off yet. They still have a game to play.” Jackson cut short practice Wednesday and limited it mostly to film review, and that couldn’t have been a fun exercise. As the Lakers try to head into the break with some momentum, there is plenty to correct. In each of the last three games, the Lakers have held the lead with less than five minutes to play but lost. Transition defense continues to be an issue, as does the ineffectiveness of Lamar Odom. With the Cavaliers, a team that handed the Lakers a nine-point loss just five days ago, in town tonight, the Lakers don’t have much time to correct their disturbing habit of losing leads late in games. “I would say it’s just a lack of playing together and finding a way to win,” Jackson said. “Those are the things the team was capable of doing earlier in the year and they’re not now. Sometimes you can throw it out and say it’s bad luck. Sometimes it’s a lack of execution.” In Tuesday’s loss to New York, it was more of the latter. Eddy Curry did the damage in the final minute, but throughout the second half the Lakers were flat-footed on defense while Knicks guards cut through the lane for shots or passes back to the perimeter. Penetration also was a factor in New York getting 60 points in the key to the Lakers’ 34. center_img Twice in Tuesday’s game, as the team huddled during a timeout, Jackson yelled at Odom, once for a quickly taken 3-pointer and once for a defensive lapse. It’s been a tough go for Odom since his return from a knee injury. Odom went scoreless in the first half Tuesday, finished with 12 points and missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer. “I’m sure he’s not happy with his game,” Jackson said. “He can play a lot better.” Asked about his physical condition Tuesday, Odom gave a shrug and said, “I’m playing.” (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

SA leads Africa’s growing Twittersphere

first_img57% of tweets from Africa are sent from mobile devices.At the same time, African Twitter users are also active across a range of social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.Twitter in Africa is widely used for social conversation, with 81% of those polled saying that they mainly used it for communicating with friends.But Twitter is also becoming an important source of information in Africa. 68% of those polled said that they use Twitter to monitor news, while 22% said they use it to search for job opportunities. 27 January 2012 Young people tweeting from mobile devices are driving the growth of Twitter in Africa, with South Africans leading the way as the social networking site becomes an increasingly important information tool across the continent, new research has found. According to How Africa Tweets, a study released by Kenya-based Portland Communications on Thursday, South Africa is the most active country in the continent’s burgeoning “Twittersphere”. In the first attempt to comprehensively map the use of Twitter in Africa, Portland teamed up with UK-based company Tweetminster to analyse over 11.5-million geo-located Tweets originating on the continent during the last three months of 2011, complemented by a poll of 500 of Africa’s most active tweeters. Over the survey period, South Africa registered over twice as many tweets (5 030 226) as the next most active country, Kenya (2 476 800), followed by Nigeria (1 646 212), Egypt (1 214 062) and Morocco (745 620).African tweeters younger How Africa Tweets found that Africa’s tweeters are considerably younger than their global counterparts: 60% of the continent’s most active tweeters are aged 20-29, whereas the average age of Twitter users worldwide (according to is 39. The researchers also found that: Forming new links in Africa The survey also found that Twitter is helping to form new links within Africa, with the majority of those surveyed saying that at least half of the Twitter accounts they follow are based on the continent. Beatrice Karanja, head of Portland Nairobi, said in a statement: “We saw the pivotal role of Twitter in the events in North Africa last year, but it is clear that Africa’s Twitter revolution is really just beginning. “Twitter is helping Africa and Africans to connect in new ways and swap information and views,” Karanja said. “And for Africa – as for the rest of the world – that can only be good.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

South Africa’s Wits University climbs world rankings

first_img31 August 2016The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg has climbed the world rankings of universities, to become the best in Africa.This comes from the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities, commonly referred to as the Shanghai rankings. It placed Wits among the top 1% of all universities in the world, and on the threshold of making it into the top 200.Wits University, as it is more informally known, welcomed the news, released in mid-August, and credited its outstanding staff, alumni and student body.“At Wits our research output has increased substantially in the last few years,” said Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, deputy vice-chancellor of research at the university.“Noting though that this achievement is a culmination of work done over many years by our researchers. We are truly appreciative of this recognition, and we are particularly appreciative of our researchers, scientists, students and alumni to whom these accolades really belong,” said Vilakazi.Wits University has steadily climbed the Academic Ranking of World Universities. (Image: Screengrab via Academic Ranking of World Universities)For the 14th consecutive year, Harvard University in the US took the top spot, while Stanford University and the University of California, Berkley, both also in the US, came in second and third respectively.Other South African universitiesThe universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and KwaZulu-Natal all featured in the top 500 academic institutions in the world. Vilakazi said it demonstrated the strength of the South African higher education system.Wits acknowledged different rankings made use of different methodologies so results should be “approached with a level of measured circumspection”.“For this reason and others,” he said, “we believe that as a university we should not be driven by ranking systems. Rather, our focus should be on building a nationally responsive and globally competitive institution. This means concentrating on research and teaching, and embedding the institution in the work that is necessary to South Africa, the continent of Africa, and the rest of the globe.”Source: Wits University and South reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using materiallast_img read more

Siblings leave their mark

first_imgArcher siblings Dola and Rahul Banerjee have put their stamp on the Games with a gold and bronze respectively.Two sets of siblings have made their mark at the XIX Commonwealth Games. While their disciplines are different, their stories are a testament to their respective journeys and their campaigns to bring glory to the nation in the field of sport.While Geeta opened India’s gold account in women’s wrestling on Thursday, her sister Babita just missed out on replicating her sister’s feat. Babita’s effort, however, was good enough to earn her a silver medal in the 51kg freestyle category on Friday.Also on Friday, archer Dola Banerjee helped India clinch the women’s team recurve gold.Meanwhile, her brother, Rahul, was spearheading Team India to a bronze medal in the men’s team recurve.Having siblings represent the country and winning medals at the Games is a remarkable feat to say the least – considering how few Indians take up wrestling and archery as a career.WRESTLING IN THEIR BLOODA rural family’s decision to move out of the conservative culture of northern Haryana, where female infanticide does not figure as news, is already paying rich dividends to the nation and looks likely to continue to do so for years to come.Once regarded as a male-dominated sport, it is the woman grapplers who have become the rage at the Commonwealth Games.Mahavir Singh, a former wrestler, dismissed the archaic belief that precluded women from wrestling and introduced his five daughters to the sport.advertisementDespite his limited resources, and the years of hardship, Singh’s daughters have given him a reason to smile.From wrestling in mud akhadas , Geeta and Babita have made their way onto the national stage and the accolades have already started flowing in.Fresh from her gold medal-win, Geeta credited her success to her father. “It was my father who believed his daughters could do something in wrestling and now he stands vindicated with medals hanging round our necks,” Geeta told Mail Today .”Back home in Bhiwani, we did not have the facilities to practice in as we couldn’t train outside because that was not considered suitable.”So we used to practice at our home on a mud akhada that our father had created. He used to train us with great dedication and now we feel so relieved that we have repaid his faith and dedication, although there is still a lot to be achieved,” Geeta said.While Geeta and Babita are in the limelight, their sisters – Priyanka, Ritu and Vinish – are well on track to follow their footsteps.Babita claims that trio will soon burst onto the scene.BULL’S EYEAfter losing their semi-final match, Rahul Banerjee, Jayanta Talukdar and Tarundeep Rai began practising for their bronze medal play off. Given the windy conditions, the archers were having a tough time of it.Rahul’s elder sister Dola, who had won the team gold earlier in the day, chipped in with a few important suggestions.”She (Dola) told me exactly how the wind was behaving and what I needed to do to counter it. Earlier, all our arrows were falling to the right side of the target because of the wind. I shot a 6, something I hadn’t done in years. But things improved in the bronze medal match,” Rahul said.last_img read more

Semis-bound Phoenix just getting started

first_imgPhoenix Fuel Masters. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Phoenix experienced a pair of memorable firsts on Sunday night.The top-seeded Fuel Masters picked up their first win in the playoffs with a 91-76 romp of the Alaska Aces and booked their maiden trip to the semifinals as well.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Tough calls prove again that sports aren’t perfectly fair MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The KaTropa on Monday got back at the Beermen to force a Game 3 which will be played on Wednesday.And whichever team the Fuel Masters end up playing against isn’t going to matter as far as swingman Matthew Wright is concerned.“We gotta beat the best teams to win a championship. We’re not gonna waltz our way to the finals and win a championship easily,” Wright said. “We’re gonna go against Talk N Text, we’re gonna go against Rain or Shine, we’re gonna go against San Miguel, we’re gonna go against Ginebra, Magnolia.”“There’s no easy route to the Finals. We’re not avoiding anybody. So we gotta go through these teams.”ADVERTISEMENT They hope to continue their celebration for as long as they could.After all, the breakthrough only got them raring for more.“We cannot afford to be satisfied at this point,” said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics “The war is just about to begin. That’s what I wrote on our board. This is just like the tip of the iceberg so we have to stay humble and keep working hard.”Phoenix will face either defending champion San Miguel Beer or perennial contender TNT in a best-of-seven semifinals series. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

This UFO on Google Street View is likely a butterfly

first_img Sci-Tech Google Maps 52 Photos Crazy images caught on Google Street View CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further. Post a comment Some media outlets have been running with a story about an unidentified flying object spotted in a Google Maps image of South Florida. But a few simple clicks allow for the rather easy identification of the flying object.Granted, when looking at the Street View image at its full resolution, it does look like there’s some sort of metallic or manufactured object of alien origin emerging from behind a cloud. But simply tapping the icon to zoom in on the image twice reveals that the bizarre-looking blip is really a product of the wondrous beauty of nature combined with the imperfect nature of having to stitch together multiple images to create Google’s three-dimensional Street View snapshot of the world. The flying object is actually quite well known: a butterfly, or maybe a moth. An entomologist might be able to clear up the exact species, but the patterned wing, visible antennae and head of the insect make it pretty clear that this is a member of the Lepidoptera order rather than the kind of transport aliens from Proxima b might order up. A UFO no more! Identification complete. Any entomologists care to confirm? Google Street View Screenshot by Eric Mack / CNET What makes the picture odd appears to be that the flying bug image was cut in half because of the way Street View stitches together different stills of a landscape. In other words, the camera took one image as the presumed butterfly was beginning to pass into frame and then took an adjacent shot after the insect had flown along and the two images were joined together, producing a half-butterfly artifact.Bolstering this explanation is the fact that you can “step to the side” in Google Street View and all other elements in the scene — including the clouds — stay the same. But the half-butterfly UFO is no longer visible, having flown out of frame. Even if it was a true UFO in the image, it probably wouldn’t be the freakiest thing captured by Street View in Florida. I’d be much more worried about this alligator caught lying in wait by a rack of canoes. 0 8 Photos The year’s wackiest ‘evidence’ aliens and UFOs are real (pictures) Share your voice Tagslast_img read more

New telecom policys ambitious target Internet access to 13 billion Indians

first_imgManoj Sinha, Minister of Communication and Minister of state for railwaysPIBThe new Telecom Policy of India, expected in March 2018 will set an ambitious target of providing affordable internet access to almost 1.3 billion people and push domestic manufacturing to cut down on imports.”Internet to all will be the basic principle and to give a boost to telecom manufacturing would be a key factor of the new telecom policy,” said Communication Minister Manoj Sinha to Economic Times.The government last year decided to introduce a new telecom policy to facilitate growth of the sector and meet the requirements of next generation technologies.According to the reports, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has already started the work on the new telecom policy this year. Minister Sinha also said that the policy will be finalised by March 2018.Last month, a research firm KPMG said that mobile Internet users in India is expected to surge and cross the 300 million mark by 2017 from about 159 million users at present.Though India has low Internet penetration compared to other developed nations, the country still has the third largest Internet user base in the world with more than 300 million users of which 50 percent are only mobile Internet users.Reports also suggest that the number of internet users in India will rise to 730 million by 2020, as against its 350 million users at the end of 2015. By the end of this decade India would also surpass the number of internet users in the US.The new telecom policy once implemented would boost the number of mobile internet users and with cheaper facility it will also penetrate the rural India.According to the telecom minister the new policy is forward looking and current challenges of new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) will also be taken care of. A rickshaw puller speaks on his mobile phone as he waits for customers in front of advertisement billboards belonging to telecom companies in Kolkata February 3, 2014.REUTERS/Rupak De ChowdhuriAnalysts forecast that high-speed data services with cross-industry IoT applications and AI-driven services could open up close to 20 percent of additional revenue opportunity for the industry.The players in the telecom industry are working on the call drop challenges and to improve the service quality.Once the new telecom policy is implemented, it is likely to remove the distinction between local and STD calls too. It is also expected to ensure faster and cheaper availability of internet service. The service providers will no longer be needed to take separate licenses for operations in different parts of the country. A single licence would be enough.last_img read more

UPDATE RNC Resolution Condemns White Supremacists

first_img Share Mark Humphrey, APPeople talk before the start of the meeting of the standing committee on rules at the Republican National Committee summer meeting, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.12:25 p.m.:The Republican National Committee has unanimously approved a resolution denouncing white supremacist groups without criticizing President Donald Trump, who waffled in his own statements in the wake of the deadly clash in Virginia this month.The resolution asserts, “Nazis, the KKK, white supremacists and others are repulsive, evil and have no fruitful place in the United States.”While the vote was unanimous, some members had grumbled that the resolution was unnecessary and suggested the party reflected unnecessary defensiveness.But the resolution was a priority for Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, who said condemning violence was an American issue, not a Republican or Democratic one.A woman was killed at the white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a car rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters.The Republican National Committee is headed toward adoption of a resolution condemning white supremacists, at the strong urging of the party’s national chairwoman but also with groans from some party activists.From this morning:The grumbling reflects a difference between RNC leaders concerned about the party’s image in light of President Donald Trump’s latest rhetorical thicket and newer, more ardently pro-Trump state Republican leaders who say such a statement appears defensive.“It’s amazing that we have been lured into this argument that we’re not racists. It’s absurd,” said Colorado Republican Chairman Jeff Hays. “Why would we feel compelled to do that?”But make no mistake, this is a priority for Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel and committee members who were bothered by Trump’s initial resistance to singling out white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as the antagonists in Charlottesville.“There’s no debate. We’re affirming we’re the party of Lincoln,” McDaniel told The Associated Press. “We are showing the moral high ground by disavowing hate and violence.”Despite the resolution, there doesn’t appear to be a softening of support for the president within the party’s national organization.Rather, what was to be a sleepy, pro-forma late summer gathering seemed to spark renewed backing for the president despite a series of recent setbacks: the GOP’s stunning failure to repeal and replace “Obamacare”; the furious backlash over his comments about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; and the departure of crowd favorite Reince Priebus, the former RNC chairman, as Trump’s chief of staff.“The president was not wrong to point out what the media has failed to point out,” that counter-protesters also “came for a battle” in Charlottesville, Pennsylvania Republican Chairman Val DiGiorgio said.DiGiorgio was standing by the “many sides” comment Trump immediately made after the clash in Virginia, in which a car was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman. The president had been criticized harshly by both Republicans and Democrats because he didn’t immediately denounce the white nationalist groups in Charlottesville.Bill Palatucci, a RNC committeeman from New Jersey who sponsored the resolution, said it was important for the committee to formally denounce white supremacists. Palatucci said, “I think he got it wrong a week ago Tuesday, in regards to Charlottesville,” when Trump said during a free-wheeling, defiant news conference that there were “very fine people on both sides” at the demonstration.But even Palatucci, who was a devout supporter of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign, said, “I support the president’s agenda.” He cited deregulation measures Trump has signed and the president’s plan, outlined Monday, to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan to revive the effort to root out terrorist cells.The party’s robust $75 million in first-half 2017 fundraising — more than twice what Democrats raised in the first half of President Barack Obama’s inaugural year in office — has also lifted spirits, as has improving economic confidence.The consensus in Nashville is that the Republican-controlled Congress, not Trump, has let down the party.“There is a level of frustration that Congress didn’t repeal and replace Obamacare,” Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken said. “They want the president’s agenda passed. They blame Congress.”While Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have feuded before and since the failed health care vote in July, there was little talk in Nashville of dumping the veteran Kentucky senator as leader.“I’m not ready to abandon McConnell,” Pennsylvania’s DiGiorgio said. “But I would urge him to come together and get this done.”Trump has complained about McConnell, and other Republican senators who have criticized the president or opposed his efforts. He notably pointed to Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, Arizona Republicans, during an angry speech to supporters in Phoenix Tuesday.Trump’s intraparty attacks have some GOP strategists worried that the fighting could harm Republicans’ chances of holding the Senate in next year’s midterm elections, though that would require Democrats to retain almost all of the 10 seats they occupy in states Trump won last year.Chairwoman McDaniel said Trump’s taunts are the outspoken New Yorker’s way of urging action.“The president wants to see his agenda passed,” McDaniel said. “He’s channeling what I’m hearing from the American people, which is, ‘We gave you the White House. You have the Senate. You have the House. Why aren’t you getting these things done?’”last_img read more

Indian theatre faring poorly

first_imgIt’s faring very badly… because the kind of state subsidised or state sponsored theatre that we have is very mediocre, because of the bureaucracy involved and a lot going on that is very unhealthy for artistic growth’, Dattani said in an interview. An out-of-the-box-thinker, the Mumbai-based Gujarati has also donned the director’s hat for movie ventures such as the Shabana Azmi-starrer Morning Raga and Mango Souffle (2002), tagged as the country’s first gay male film. He was in the city to conduct an intensive acting workshop organised by art and culture magazine Kindle in association with the iLEAD educational institution and The Corner Courtyard, a newly-opened boutique hotel. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He is the first Indian playwright in English to receive a Sahitya Akademi award. And to pump fresh life into regional theatre, there’s a need for more money, more collaborations and at the heart of it, artistic integrity, says he.‘Collaborations are good…one can learn from marketing techniques…how they (international theatre) can sustain themselves in stiff competition. Acknowledging that films are “our bloodline”, he conceded that while Bollywood can be meaningful, its shallowness has influenced commercial Indian theatre. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Bollywood is inspired by shallow Hollywood and commercial Indian theatre is inspired by shallow Bollywood’, he said pointing out the vicious circle. Moreover, the ace playwright highlighted the flip side of blindly aping western concepts in theatre, that is adopting a text-based approach while traditionally it is a rich blend of text, dance, music and drama. International influences, he said, ‘are not necessary at all’. ‘In fact, sometimes I feel they are detrimental. I am not against cultural collaborations but what I am talking about is blind following of western concepts and systems – which is what modern Indian theatre does. Noting some encouraging trends in Indian theatre, such as its becoming more visually rich – in terms of intelligent use of space and spontaneity – and shifting away from verbosity’, Dattani said the surge in numbers of international collaborations and experiments hasn’t yielded anything original.Known for exploring sensitive issues, he dubs recent instances of curbing creative freedom in India as an ‘unhealthy trend’ but also a ‘backhanded compliment’ to the might of art forms in bringing about change.‘I think it is a very unhealthy trend and in a way it’s a backhanded compliment to theatre because people are saying that theatre is powerful enough to make a difference and that is why you are bringing in all these restrictions,’ Dattani added.‘With these restrictions the first freedom that goes is the freedom of expression and the rest follows,’ said the man behind thought-provoking works like Dance Like a Man, Thirty Days in September and Final Solutions. In his tryst with theatre and films, the 55-year-old has delved deep into topics of gender bias, communal tensions and homosexuality among others. A staunch believer in theatre’s power to ‘reflect society’, Dattani said the medium should be channeled to showcase the current scenario of increasing violence against women as well as bring out the ‘much-ignored’ lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community.last_img read more

Over 60 arrested in Bengals Bhatpara political blamegame on

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday continued to blame each other over the violence in Bhatpara Assembly constituency – that voted in a bypoll last Sunday – while over 60 people have been arrested. The by-polls were necessitated after Arjun Singh, who defected to the BJP from Trinamool Congress, resigned as Bhatpara MLA to contest the Lok Sabha polls. His son Pawan Kumar Singh is fighting the Assembly by-polls on a BJP ticket. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata He faces former minister Madan Mitra of the Trinamool. “Police are beating up women and their role has called for immense protests. It is highly shameful. I want Election Commission to deploy military here and assign a special observer to oversee law and order and restore peace,” Singh said. On the other hand, Mitra alleged that BJP workers had torched the residences of Trinamool workers and councillors and the party has informed the District Magistrate about the situation. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “We want the rule of law to be in place immediately. If it is not established, people will take the matter in their hands,” he said. Earlier, state Food Minister and Trinamool North 24 Parganas district President Jyotipriyo Mullick had blamed Singh and the central forces for disruptions and obstruction of trains at Kakinara station. “Singh and his men are creating trouble. They are setting shops and houses on fire, disrupting trains and harassing the public. The paramilitary forces, deployed during the elections, are also supporting them. We have met the District Magistrate and sought their arrest within 24 hours,” he said. Police have made several arrests and deployed the Rapid Action Force (RAF) to control the situation. “Till morning 62 people were arrested. Raids are on and there have been more arrests. Some explosive material has also been recovered,” a senior officer of Barrackpore Police commissionerate said. He said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, banning assembly of more than four people in an area, have been imposed and police pickets posted. “We are announcing that people should not believe in rumours,” the officer added.last_img read more