Drew, Yankees Near $5M Deal

first_imgNEW YORK — Infielder Stephen Drew and the New York Yankees are working to finalize a $5 million, one-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is subject to a physical. The agreement includes $1.5 million in performance bonuses: $500,000 each for 450, 500 and 550 plate appearances.New York has planned to platoon Didi Gregorius and Brendan Ryan at shortstop following the retirement of captain Derek Jeter.Drew appears likely to slot in at second base, where the top candidates following the trade of Martin Prado to Miami had been a pair of rookies, 23-year-old Rob Refsnyder and 25-year-old Jose Pirela.Drew, who turns 32 in March, was acquired by the Yankees from Boston on July 31. He hit .150 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 155 plate appearances for New York while making 34 appearances at second base and 12 at shortstop as a backup to Jeter.He batted .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs for Boston in 2013 as the Red Sox won the World Series, and then became a free agent. Drew didn’t accept Boston’s $14.1 million qualifying offer but couldn’t find a deal to his liking as teams seemed reticent to part with a top draft pick.Drew re-signed with the Red Sox on May 22 in a deal that paid him exactly $10 million for the remainder of the season, but he hit .176 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 39 games and was dealt to the Yankees at the trade deadline for third baseman Kelly Johnson.(RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Ian McKellen Narrates Homeless Charity TV Campaign

first_imgSir Ian McKellen has narrated the first ever Crisis at Christmas TV advert.The advert – which was made with professional actors and homeless clients from Crisis Skylight London – is accompanied by a radio advert also narrated by Sir Ian McKellen.Sir Ian McKellen said: “Please support this year’s Crisis at Christmas Appeal. In these troublesome times of rising homelessness, you can reserve a place at the Crisis at Christmas table for someone to whom it will make a real difference. Without your generosity, people living on the streets would have nowhere to go over the festive season and would not have this life-changing opportunity to take those first, very difficult steps out of homelessness.”This year Crisis at Christmas will run from 23-30 December across ten centres in central London. The target for the TV Campaign is to raise £50,000 to help pay for Crisis at Christmas and year-round Crisis Skylight Services.Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive, said: “For the first time we are taking our Crisis at Christmas Appeal directly into people’s homes via their TV screens. We expect to be busier than ever this year, as homelessness continues to rise. We really appreciate Sir Ian McKellen giving his time to support our first television advertisement.”Source:Crisis.org.uklast_img read more

NBA Union Plans Grievance Over New Flopping Fines

Anyway, Howard said the only problem he had with the new rule was that punishing floppers after the fact isn’t going to change any of the outcomes on the floor during the game. The new punishment for flopping the NBA instituted is being met with resistance by the players union, which said it will file a grievance and unfair labor practices charge against the league over the disciplinary guidelines aimed at curtailing flopping.“The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union,” executive director Billy Hunter said in a statement.Earlier Wednesday, the NBA announced a fine schedule for flopping, the practice of tricking the official into calling a foul by exaggerating contract. Under the guidelines being challenged by the union, the league said players would receive a warning for the first flop, followed by fines of $5,000 for the second offense, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth and $30,000 for the fifth. Beyond that, players would be subject to increased discipline at the league’s discretion, including higher fines and/or suspension.All punishments would be handed out after possible flops are reviewed on video after the gameHunter called the new rules “without precedent in our sport or any other sport,” and characterized the penalties as “a vague and arbitrary overreaction and overreach by the commissioner’s office.”NBA spokesman Tim Frank said, “Although we haven’t seen any filing from the Players Association, our adoption of an anti-flopping rule is fully consistent with our rights and obligations under the collective bargaining agreement and the law.”The move by the NBPA was expected and largely procedural. Union officials are not necessarily opposed to putting rules in place to curtail flopping, but are prepared to argue that monetary discipline cannot be imposed outside of the fine schedule for various offenses already contained in the collective bargaining agreement.Player reaction Wednesday was strongly in favor of the new flopping guidelines, however — at least at Lakers camp, where Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash all gave their approval for the concept, if not the execution.“I’d love to see it have an impact on the game itself,” Bryant said. “In international play, they give you a technical foul, a free throw and you get the ball back. I like the rule, though. Shameless flopping is just a chump move. We’re familiar with it, and Vlade [Divac] kind of pioneered it in the playoffs against me and Shaq.” Nash said it’s “good, actually, to try to keep the game honest and penalize guys for trying to trick the referees.” Moments later, he was accused by his own teammate of flopping in practice. “I drove down the lane today and I saw him and as I was going towards him, I passed the ball to Kobe and [Nash] kind of touched me and said, ‘Ahhhh!’ and fell on the ground,” Howard said. “That’s a flop. And coach called a charge on me, but he’s going to get fined by me and David Stern.” After Howard informed his new point guard of this, Nash replied, “There’s no videotape in here.” Good comeback, but it’s not clear whether this incident was an indictment of flopping or the new offense the Lakers are running. Shouldn’t Nash — not Dwight — be driving down the lane and passing to Kobe? “If guys are going to flop in a game, we’re going to get the foul called,” Howard said. “So the fine is not really going to help us in the game. It is what it is. I’ve never flopped. I don’t know how to flop. For the guys who do, this is good. They can’t do it as much and guys like me can be a little bit more physical and get away with it.” read more

No progress in quota reform committee

first_imgQuota reform activists are holding a human chain on the premises of Central Shaheed Minar. Photo: Prothom AloThere was a proposal to form a committee led by the cabinet secretary in connection with removal, preservation and reform in the quota system for government jobs. But no committee has been formed officially so far.It has not been possible to start work in this connection either. Over a month ago, the public administration ministry sent a proposal to the government about forming a quota reform committee.Several officials of the public administration ministry said, given the prevailing circumstances, the quota system should not be abolished. If it is abolished, the beneficiaries of the system may file cases. They said, ‘something’ will be done on the issue, but did not specify.Several officials from the cabinet ministry shared the same view.Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said he had no news about the quota issue.Currently, 55 per cent of the first and second grade government job positions are filled by preference. The remaining 45 per cent are recruited by merit.There are various quotas in the third and fourth grade jobs too.The students and job seekers have been long demanding reforms in the existing quota system.During the movements, police attacked the agitators in March. On 8 April the law enforcers beat the protesters at Shahbagh and fired teargas at them. This created unrest.The following day the movement spread across educational institutions in the country.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina then declared abolition of quotas on 11 April.As no notification was issued regarding reforms, the agitating students called a press conference Saturday at the Central Library compound in Dhaka University. They wanted to declare their stand at the conference. Just before the press programme a group of ruling-party-backed BCL (Bangladesh Chhatra League) leaders attacked the activists of the movement.A senior official at the public administration ministry told Prothom Alo, “If any committee had been formed, you would certainly know.”last_img read more

Turnbull meets Suu Kyi to raise human rights concerns

first_imgMyanmar`s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi stands next to national flags of Australia and Myanmar at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on 19 March. Photo: ReutersMyanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Canberra on Monday to be met by a military honour guard and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has said he will raise human rights issues during her visit.Suu Kyi has been in Australia since Friday, attending a special summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders in Sydney, where her presence drew street protests and a lawsuit accusing her of crimes against humanity.Australia’s Attorney General has said he would not allow the lawsuit, lodged by activist lawyers in Melbourne on behalf of Australia’s Rohingya community, to proceed because Suu Kyi had diplomatic immunity.Since coming to power in 2016, Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for democracy in Myanmar, has faced growing criticism for failing to condemn or stop military attacks on her country’s minority Rohingya Muslims.UN officials say nearly 700,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar to Bangladesh after militant attacks on Aug. 25 last year sparked a crackdown, led by security forces, in Rakhine state that the United Nations and United States have said constitutes ethnic cleansing.The UN independent investigator on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said in Geneva this month she saw growing evidence to suspect genocide had been committed.Myanmar denies the charges and has asked for “clear evidence” of abuses by security forces.Neither Suu Kyi nor Turnbull made public remarks before their meeting, but the Australian leader said on Sunday that Suu Kyi spoke “at considerable length” during the ASEAN meeting about Rakhine State, appealing to her Southeast Asian neighbours for humanitarian help.last_img

Assange arrest followed drawnout dispute with Ecuador

first_imgEcuadorean minister of foreign affairs Jose Valencia gestures during a press conference with foreign media at Carondelet Palace in Quito on 11 April 2019. Ecuador said Thursday that it had identified a WikiLeaks collaborator close to Julian Assange as being involved in a plot with two Russian hackers to destabilise president Lenin Moreno`s government. Photo: AFPEcuador’s decision to abruptly end Julian Assange’s seven-year asylum in its London embassy on Thursday followed a long deterioration in relations, driven in part by suspicions he was secretly fuelling corruption allegations against president Lenin Moreno.British police on Thursday arrested the WikiLeaks founder, who sought asylum in the Andean nation’s diplomatic mission during the government of former Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa – who saw Assange as a hero for leaking secret US documents.By contrast, Moreno took a dim view of Assange when he took office in 2017, ordering the Australian hacker to cut back his online political commentary, stop riding his skateboard in the halls of the embassy and clean up after his pet cat.Moreno’s government accused WikiLeaks of being behind an anonymous website that said Moreno’s brother had created offshore companies that his family used to fund a luxurious lifestyle in Europe while Moreno was a delegate to a UN agency.Moreno denies wrongdoing.The leaked materials, dubbed the “INA Papers,” contained private photographs of Moreno and his family. After the release of the materials, Moreno said that Assange had no right to “hack private accounts and phones,” without directly accusing him.WikiLeaks tweeted about the reports but, in messages and statements to Reuters, strongly denied that Assange was responsible for the leaks or had anything to do with their initial publication.Embassy BehaviourEcuadorean government figures on Thursday publicly described what they called Assange’s unacceptable and ungrateful behaviour in the embassy. The government said it had spent $6.2 million on his upkeep and security between 2012 and 2018.Foreign minister Jose Valencia said Assange had been using a mobile phone that was not registered with the embassy and had warned the ambassador in January that he had installed panic buttons that he would activate if he considered his life at risk.”It’s strange that Mr. Assange has insisted on being the victim,” Valencia told Ecuador’s National Assembly.The interior minister, Maria Paula Romo, told reporters on Thursday that Assange had been “allowed to do things like put feces on the walls of the embassy and other behaviours of that nature.”Valencia told the congress that embassy cleaning staff described “improper hygienic conduct” throughout Assange’s stay, adding that a lawyer representing Assange had attributed the issue to “stomach problems.”Lawyers for Assange did not respond to requests for comment. Vaughan Smith, a friend and founder of London’s press Frontline Club who visited Assange late last week, told Reuters he believed the feces allegation was false.”Julian has been under stress but seemed in a balanced frame of mind every time I have seen him. It doesn’t seem in character,” Smith said.Staffing ChangeFriends of Assange who visited him inside the embassy over the last several months say that since Moreno became president, almost the entire embassy staff was replaced.The foreign ministry named a new ambassador after Moreno took office and fired one official, Fidel Narvaez, seen as close to Assange.While embassy staffers were friendly to Assange during Correa’s presidency, Moreno’s new diplomats were polite to visitors but hostile to Assange, his friends said.In early February, according to Ecuadorean government memos released by Assange’s supporters, Ecuador complained to Assange that he had deliberately pointed a studio lamp at a security camera the embassy had installed in a room where Assange was receiving visitors.Later that month, the ambassador sent Assange a memo complaining that he had “shown once again an unacceptable behaviour” by playing a radio loudly while meeting visitors. “This action disturbed the work being carried out by the embassy,” the ambassador said.Assange had taken refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault investigation that was later dropped.US officials announced after his arrest on Thursday that he had been charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, paving the way for his extradition.Correa, in an interview with Reuters in Brussels, said Moreno had given Assange “to his executioners.”Asked whether he had worked with Wikileaks to leak the INA documents, he did not directly respond. He said the documents showed the “rottenness” within Moreno’s family.”I apologise on behalf of the Ecuadorean people. A government like that – such a treacherous, treacherous president – does not represent us,” Correa said.Valencia declined to comment on criticisms of Moreno.Correa is embroiled in a legal battle with prosecutors pursuing a case involving the kidnapping in 2012 of an opposition lawmaker. A court in Ecuador last year ordered him to be imprisoned pending a trial and issued an international arrest warrant. Correa denies the charge.last_img

Black Press Hosts Leadership Awards Reception

first_imgThe National Newspapers Publishers Association recognized four individuals for their leadership skills in the Black Community and also highlighted the significance and need that the Black Press still has in America at their Leadership Awards Reception Sept. 25.Rep. Charles B. Rangel speaking at NNPA 2014 Leadership Awards. (Photo Credit: LaTrina Antoine Washington, AFRO D.C. Editor)The event, which was hosted at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel, was held in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference.Speakers at the event included several congressmen, the award recipients, NNPA chairman Cloves Campbell Jr. and Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the new president and CEO of the NNPA.“We have made progress,” Chavis said, thanking the news publishers and writers in the room.Award recipients included, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), civil rights leader; Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer, award-winning Hip Hop artist; Margaret Fortune, president and CEO of Fortune School of Education in Sacramento, Calif. and Melvin Foote, founder, president and CEO of the Constituency for Africa, an Africa support group.“Thank you for telling the story when no one else would tell the story,” Lewis said, in reference to the news articles on the death of Emmett Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the freedom rides, the March on Washington and other occurrences in the African- American community’s struggle for freedom.“May all you brothers and sisters find a way anyway. Thank you for using your pen to find trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble [but] we need to use it more,” Lewis said in reference to voting.Lewis announced he was going back to Montgomery, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.“We’ve invited all of the living presidents to come,” he said.All of the speakers, including Chavis, highlighted the strength the Black Press and stressed that there is more work that needs to be done.last_img read more

France Telecom is now Orange

first_imgAdvertisement France Telecom has announced that as of today, Monday 1 July 2013, the company name and stock symbol will change from France Telecom to Orange.The change of name signals the Group’s intention to simplify and modernise its profile and image for the benefit of its stakeholders. It completes a process started in 2006 aimed at responding to both the changing conditions in the telecommunications market, in particular the convergence of fixed and mobile networks, and the Group’s expansion internationally.As of today, all of the Group’s products and services in France and in over 30 countries will be sold under the Orange brand name, and all of the Group’s commercial, internal and corporate communication is grouped under this single brand identity. – Advertisement – “Most of the Group’s employees expected the company name to be aligned with its identity, which is now more than ever based on a collective culture of public service, expansion and a social partnership. Our group has shown that it is able to adapt to today’s competitive and global environment”, points out Stéphane Richard, Chief Executive of Orange.“Studies show that Orange is in a position to achieve the fresh start and sense of community that the Group thrives on. We want the Orange brand to convey a sense of modernity, energy, innovation, trust and focus on the future and on customers.”Once the new name comes into force, the Group’s national and international employees will gain a greater sense of belonging to a single entity. The change symbolises the values of a French Group – one that is proud of its roots, its achievements and its history, and which has grown to become one of the world’s largest communications providers.Orange, a global brand with a strong digital presence Supported by 170,000 people who implement the brand for the company’s 230 million customers, the Orange brand is ranked 60th in the world brand rankings and is in 6th place in the Millward Brown telecoms sector rankings. Orange is also a brand with a strong online presence, boasting 7 million fans on its Facebook pages and 600,000 followers on its Twitter accounts, including @orange, the CAC 40 Index’s number one Twitter account.Name change to be underpinned by launch of a corporate communications campaign focused on the importance of digital technology Orange is launching a corporate communications campaign to support the Group’s name change, by highlighting connections between the present and the future, and between France Telecom and Orange. It will also emphasise broader connections: between generations, between people and the society they live in, and between technology and its uses.This new campaign, which seeks to show that Orange is focused on the future, conveys a key message at a crucial time for the Group when momentum is building. It highlights the influence of digital technology and the important role it plays and will increasingly play in everyone’s lives, allowing them do what they want, where they want, when they want.Orange’s new challenge of providing personalised service by listening to all of its customers, giving them the best possible service and connecting them only to what is most useful to them in their lives is demonstrated by its new strapline: “The digital revolution is here. Let us connect you to what’s essential for you.”Béatrice Mandine, Executive Vice President of Communication and Brand, commented: “The name change is an opportunity for us to step back into the limelight and reaffirm our role and our mission. This new corporate communications campaign aims to show that now more than ever, Orange is listening to its customers to better understand their needs and how their lives are changing and to help them, thanks to its intelligent networks and the passion and talent of its staff, to make the best use of what has become essential to them. We must continue to be relevant, useful and responsive.”The campaign seeks to reiterate that Orange is a brand aimed at everyone, thanks to the relationships it has created and the trust it inspires.To mark the name change, a wide-ranging initiative dubbed “the Orange storyline” (“Le fil Orange”) was implemented across the company in May and June, giving employees the opportunity to contribute a testimonial and detail their best memory of the Group in the form of a written account, video or photo.Events have also been organised at most premises in France and internationally to celebrate this important day for Orange. Watch the “Employee testimonials” film Watch the corporate advertising campaign film. Watch the animation on the milestones of the telecoms sector and the Group.last_img read more