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first_imgXiaomi, on Tuesday, launched an all-new variant of its ultra-affordable Redmi 4A phone in India with more RAM and more storage. The upgraded Redmi 4A with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage – keeping all the other specifics constant – will cost buyers in India Rs 6,999 which is interestingly the same price that the base model of the Redmi 4 retails at. The new variant of the Redmi 4A will be available for buying from Mi.com, Flipkart, Amazon India, Paytm, and Tata CliQ from August 31.  The Redmi 4A is currently the most affordable smartphone in Xiaomi’s Redmi-range in India. In terms of hardware specs, the phone comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display with a 720p resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU. The base model – that costs Rs 5,999 – comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage which is further expandable via micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phones runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.On the camera front the Redmi 4A comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture along with autofocus and an LED flash. On the front you get a 5-megapixel snapper. The phone is backed by a 3,120mAh battery which is non-removable.Clearly, the 3GB RAM, 32GB storage version of the Redmi 4A costs the same as the entry-level model of the Redmi 4. The Redmi 4, it should seem, would be the better choice of the two, but, Xiaomi believes that the two can co-exist, so be it.advertisementThe Redmi 4 comes with an all-metal body and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It comes with curved 2.5D glass on the front and will also come in matte black finish and gold colour options. It comes with a 5-inch 720p display and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor under the hood.The Redmi 4 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.On the software side, the Redmi 4 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI. The phone will be eligible for Android Nougat preview out-of-the-box. Furthermore, the phone is backed by  a 4,100mAh battery. The phone supports 4G LTE and is also VoLTE-ready.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 4A review: An entry-level phone never looked so goodlast_img read more

first_img“I am the first person in my entire family to have traveled outside my hometown, and the first girl from my village to get into an IIT,” says Neha Kataria, a first-year Mechanical Engineering student who hails from Haryana.Expressing her gratitude to her family, she confides that if it were not for them, her fate would have been similar to that of other girls in her village who are often not allowed to have ambitions and are likely to be married off after school.”When I told my father that I dream of going to space, he advised me to aim for IIT, and that was the beginning of my journey,” reveals Neha. Induction programme at IIT Mandi prepares students for a productive timeNeha is only one of the many students from small towns across the country who have chosen IIT Mandi to begin their life in engineering and are undergoing an intensive five-week induction programme (5WIP) on campus.From dramatics, dance, a cleaning drive in Mandi and trekking, to designing real-life solutions using Lego models and attending guest lectures by alumni and industry experts, the new batch of students is getting a unique opportunity for holistic personality development. This induction programme ensures that the students, coming from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, are exposed to activities that will allow them to shed their inhibitions and familiarise themselves with the campus, faculty, seniors and more importantly, with each other even before the classes commence.”We are a group of 196 friends,” quips a student alluding to the total number of students who have joined IIT Mandi this year.advertisement”After coming here, in these few weeks I can see positive changes in my personality and have also taken a keen interest in sports that I had never played in life. The exposure here is far more profound than in the other IITs,” says Mohib Qureshi from Madhya Pradesh who proudly claims he never took a coaching class and took it as a challenge to get into an IIT.Ankit Karan from Bihar, the first person from his village to have gotten into an IIT, believes the extracurricular activities being organised during the 5WIP are helping him imbibe discipline, yet a welcome change from having worked tirelessly focusing solely on academics while preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). Inclusive and liberal environment brings out the best in studentsIIT Mandi has come to be known for its inclusive and liberal environment, driving sustained emphasis on academic excellence, practical application of technical knowledge, and imbibition of human values.”IIT Mandi was the only institute that I felt confident of and would offer me a safe environment, away from politics where I could focus on my studies; apart from, of course, being climatically similar to my hometown Kupwara, Kashmir,” says Zaidan Mohammad Bhat, a first-year student in the Civil Engineering department.Zaidan hails from a district rife with conflict due to which he missed almost one year of schooling during 12th grade. IIT Mandi has come to be known for its inclusive and liberal environment.6 ways IIT Mandi is transforming engineering education1The institute encourages students to contribute towards the socio-environmental landscape of the region through both academic as well as extra-curricular activities. 2While the thrust on region-specific research has helped develop solutions to environmental issues, other initiatives have sought to empower local women through the creation of employment opportunities. 3In addition, student volunteers have introduced several initiatives in association with local schools, helping the school children with their homework, catch up in mathematics and science curriculum, and engage in interactive lessons through demonstrations of science experiments. 4″We also read to the school children and share books with them to help them develop an interest in reading,” says Yashika Arora, a PhD student at IIT Mandi. 5Another initiative is the Bridge School, through which student volunteers teach basic lessons to the children of the migrant labour working in construction on campus, such that they can continue from where they left off wherever they go next. 6Several students also reveal that they feel motivated by the existence of the institute’s Technology Business Incubator Catalyst that is open to offering multilateral support to outstanding startup ideas from them. Through this incubator, IIT Mandi recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation, and seeks to offer mentorship and guidance to entrepreneurial ideas that are driven by the objective of creating socio-economic impacts.  Absence of anxiety in studentsAnyone visiting the serene campus is likely to be overcome with a sense of calm, perhaps also a result of the complete absence of any sign of anxiety exuded by the young fresh-out-of-school students.It is not an easy feat for an adolescent to call a new place their home, a place that is so far away from the chaos of the city, from all things ‘happening’. Yet, the students in the new batch appear as if they have lived here for years and their new batchmates were their childhood friends.”The spirit of camaraderie is much higher than any feeling of competition amongst us,” is a sentiment shared by every student at the institute.- Article by Madhulika Narasimhan, a freelance writer who often writes on higher education, public health and matters.last_img read more

first_imgCrushers Women’s Open captain Kate ‘Golden Boots’ McCarthy nudged me in the ribs and pointed to a group of players excitedly gathering on the end of field six as the hum of the floodlights provided a low key soundtrack to the festivities unfolding on a perfect summer’s evening.‘Golden Boots’ and I were on the walk back to the car park after watching the 2011 BCTA Cobras Cup Women’s Open Grand Final between undefeated minor premiers Southern Storm and three time champions and hot favourites Caboolture Colts who had been shooting for a record breaking fourth straight title.It is history now that Southern Storm removed the monkey, no make that, the giant sized Gorilla that was on their backs for over a decade when they triumphed 8-5 over the benchmark team of the prestigious BCTA Cobras Cup, Caboolture Colts, on Saturday night at the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association’s Whites Hill complex.I smiled at ‘Boots’ and said, “Our time will come mate, this is one of the hardest competitions to win.” Testimony to this is the fact that it took Caboolture Colts eight semi-final appearances in a row to even make the Grand Final, and that Storm has waited 10 years to win this competition since their last premiership in 2000.Kate and I paused for a moment to watch and admire and definitely envy the Storm girls congregating on field six and even though we were a distance away, the happy faces, the sheer joy, the overwhelming relief, the light-hearted banter, the spot of drunken shenanigans, and the pure bond of friendship that only playing in a team and achieving a special shared goal such as this breeds, was crystal clear.“I want to do that again too,” I said.My mind wandered back to 12 months ago, same team, same scenario, but a very different result.Storm had been the first team through to the Grand Final last year and had been considered favourites for the title as Colts had struggled to overcome a determined and in-form Crushers line up 4-3 the night before in the preliminary final.Inexplicably Storm, top heavy with representative superstars and a very talented coaching staff, failed to produce the level of performance required to win the Grand Final and Colts collected their third title in a row.The Storm girls gathered sadly in their circle on field six last year and no doubt felt the agony of a second successive loss that cut deep. I remember I was hanging around waiting to have a consoling word to Kirsty Quince, a Storm girl for life and a player who I work a lot with and count as one of my best mates on the planet. When we win or we lose on the field or in the game of life we are there for each other the Quince and I, it’s just how we roll. Quince didn’t say much, and that always means she’s hurting. She headed over to her team huddle and the disappointment was etched on each girl’s face I saw. I have known my share of losses, in fact, have made a bit of an art form of it, so I was well qualified to provide an empathetic ear. I felt the Storm girls’ pain but I also knew that it was something they needed to deal with as a team. I don’t know what was said in that huddle, but I do know there was lots of alcohol consumed because I received a 2.00am text saying ‘Karrllsss, come out???’ from Quince so I smiled and went back to sleep secure in the knowledge my little mate was ok and figuring it had been a really galvanising night for the Storm girls and whatever happened in that huddle would be very important to their team going forward in season 2011.I am positive that the happy circle Kate and I spied after Southern Storm’s wonderfully professional and clinical performance to claim the title Saturday night would not have been possible without a searching examination of the past and a commitment to being their best for each other in the future.The catchcry for the Storm girls Saturday night was ‘it’s our time’ and in everyway this team invested in every department to make the dream a reality.As expected this game had more twists and turns than all the waterslides put together at Wet n Wild on the Gold Coast.Caboolture Colts are the toughest team mentally and physically in the competition and they are proud of their sustained period of excellence at the top of the tree in Women’s Touch in South East Queensland. If Storm wanted to be premiers, there was no way it would be gifted to them and they would have to produce a near perfect game and an unwavering commitment to their game plan to make it happen. And that is precisely what happened.The game began at a cracking pace with both teams chancing their arm early. Colts tap off move came to naught, and for first five minutes both sides entered into an expansive arm wrestle, seeking to move each other around like pawns on a chess board, searching for the move that would produce the chink in the armour and checkmate a pathway towards a coveted early lead.There were some early errors on both sides of the half way line, which is only to be expected given the big match occasion and excited jumble of expectation and nerves that accompany a Grand Final appearance. Even though these two battled hardened combatants were facing off against each other for the third successive year, the butterflies were still fluttering fiercely in the stomachs of both line-ups who both had so much at stake in this game.Like two Queen Bees fighting for control of the hive, the thrust and parry of the opening exchanges was intense and neither team gave an inch.Storm came out full of running and after probing the Colts line and some thoughtful composure from 2011 Australian World Cup Mixed Open winner and Storm captain, Sarah ‘Sez’ Spacie, and partner in attacking crime, Australian Women’s Open World Cup champion, Kirsty ‘Mud’ Quince, the Storm girls ran their pet play ‘the special’ for the mercurial Emilee Cherry. ‘Chez’ split hard to the open side, Spacie ran a perfect angle to scythe between defenders, then gave a quick ball to Cherry who on cue, when the Colts defence collapsed, rifled a stunning left to right long ball that the lightning fast Tracy Hill latched onto to dot down in the corner for an early 1-0 lead.Storm have run this play countless times during the season and in particular unsettled Colts with the identical play in the last fixture round of the season proper two weeks earlier, and so no doubt Colts would have been disappointed with the defensive effort on this occasion, given that they knew the play was coming and coach Morrow would have planned strategy to minimize Storm’s pet attacking play.In the next five minutes Colts looked to get back on level terms with Savannah ‘Sweet cheeks’ Pratten and the ever-improving Emma Blanch driving strongly and featuring prominently for the defending champions. Storm were not backing down though, and kept driving directly and seemed to make easy metres through the usually granite-like ruck area of the Colts defence.The ‘human plough’ physicality of the Colts combination is renowned, and dare I say, feared by many teams in this competition, and it is fair to say in previous Grand Final showdowns the Storm girls have become intimidated and dominated in the field position battle of attrition, but Saturday night it was evident early that the Southside girls were not going to surrender meekly and that if Colts wanted to bash and barge then the premiers would have to be prepared to take as good as they gave.Colts were stung into action after Storm’s initial bright start to proceedings and their big guns, wonder twins, Gemma and Nikki Etheridge, did what they do best and drove the ball deep into Storm territory, earning their team a much needed relieving penalty.So often the saviour for Colts, two time World Cup winner, Peta Rogerson, stamped her undeniable class on the contest soon after by crafting a touchdown off a static play for her good friend and fellow Australian World Cup winner and long serving Colts captain, Mary ‘Pasher’ Steele in the 12th minute. At 1-all it was game on and both teams lifted their intensity again with power rucking and strong defence the order of the day from both sides.So often the game can turn in a twinkling of an eye and Colts will look back on the set of six at the 14th minute mark and wonder just how the next touchdown was conceded.Storm were rucking off their own line and frankly, the set of six was going to hell in a hand basket for them, with Colts bustling defenders controlling the set nicely after working hard to knock off four touches in good field position.Special players have a happy knack of doing the most extraordinary things at precisely the right time. That girl, Emilee Cherry, adjusted the super girl cape on the sideline and swept on left to right from the sub box, seemingly with not much doing. She shaped to run the ball out towards the right link then at the last moment propped inside and used that freakish acceleration she possesses to step inside both middles on an angled sideways run. She then beat her link for speed and drew the winger in down a narrow sideline corridor. The always clever and ever present Kristy ‘Kmart’ Brennan held her wing line brilliantly to skip clear a few steps, then with the inside Colts defenders converging, the Australian 20’s lynchpin delivered the perfect inside ball to a grateful Cherry who finished off the opportunistic play and ensured it was nothing but hi-fives and backslaps all the way back to the Storm sub box for the Storm girls who were chuffed with their 2-1 lead.The happier than a girl spotting a shirtless Sony Bill Williams feeling didn’t last long though for the Stormies who were reminded of the fight and pride and sheer talent that exists in the Colts line-up.Colts worked down to the opposition score line and were unlucky not to score off a well-worked middle/link ‘A’ pop out play featuring their attacking powerhouse Peta Rogerson. ‘Skeet’ gave the link the ball in some space and the link had the winger open but unfortunately didn’t release the ball and a touchdown may have gone begging. Fortuitously, Colts received a repeat set and that was always going to spell trouble for the Storm girls.If the ‘special’ has been the flagship play for Storm over the last two seasons, then ‘Zonda’ must surely be the equivalent play for the Colts girls. The angled hit wrap and step out between the two middles and either give the wrap, hit outside runners, or the ball player having a crack at the line themselves, are all options the Colts girls have perfected over the last few years.Rogerson called the play and ran the ball out unselfishly and engaged the correct middle. Bec Lapraik then got to half and wrapped around the impressive Emma Blanch who had played wing for most of the season but had recently moved into the middle to cover the loss of Colts outstanding middle Emily Reed, who was in England watching her brother Jack star for England overnight in the Four Nations Rugby League final against Australia.Ironically, the ‘Zonda’ with the step and go with a slidey dive yourself option is a well known pet play of Reed’s, so it was fitting that the girl replacing ‘Reedy’ ran a perfect line and did it all herself to score at the feet of the Storm defence to square the ledger at 2-all with 16 minutes gone on the clock.In the aftermath of the touchdown, Storm defender Lizzie Campbell disputed the decision and was sent for a period of time for dissent, leaving her team five on six for an extended period before half time. This situation was potentially a make or break one for both teams.Storm coach Swain Rovelli later revealed that the handling of the period of time by Campbell and the rest of the team was crucial in them maintaining their focus.“Last year we would probably have stewed over the decision and become distracted. The experienced girls like Rach Noble, Sez (Sarah Spacie) and Quincey (Kirsty Quince) refocused the girls and we played the time we had to endure with five players particularly well. We slowed the play up and gave Colts not too many opportunities to get their hands on the ball and that was a real bonus for us. To then get back to the full complement just before half time and put another touchdown on them I think really broke their backs,” Rovelli said.Campbell spent the better part of three minutes and 30 seconds cooling her heels ‘in the bin’ and her teammates dug in for her and each other. The entire Storm camp remained composed and the maturity and discipline shown under pressure was a real sign of the growth this team has made and the lessons learnt over the last few years when inexperience and lack of belief were key stumbling blocks to them achieving their potential.Strangely Colts did not seem to press Storm or bustle them defensively in that period of time when they had the one player advantage, and it was perhaps a hint that the Colts girls were a little off their game that is usually characterised by assertive defence and confident option taking.With 30 seconds left in the half, ‘Lizard’ Campbell was saved the brainwork of masterminding a prison break and granted a thankful release from Alcatraz in time to see her teammates put together a well-worked play to ensure they went to oranges with a precious  onetouchdown advantage.The experienced Rach Noble, who is Storm royalty, is the sole survivor from Storm’s last premiership winning team in 2000 and she used all her experience and undeniable guile to move the ball to the right and work a clever switch into phase with Candice Humm and Anna Hicks. Hicks phased the ball for the enigmatic Humm, who happily for Storm fans, was having one of the games of her life. Humm released quickly off the deck to a running Emilee Cherry who sent a pinpoint missile in the direction of reliable finisher Chelsea Brigginshaw, who gleefully dotted down for a crucial 3-2 lead to Storm on the stroke of half-time.With the Foo Fighters committed to a previous engagement in Europe, and just out of the budget capacity of BMTA, the half-time entertainment consisted of the a few of the Coastal Suns Open Women’s team (average age 16) doing their best Justin Bieber, and despite it being a resounding ‘yes from me’, they may have to play second fiddle if Snow Patrol are secured for next year’s half time extravaganza. Just sayin’….Half-time in both camps was a pretty controlled planet to be on. In Storm central, coach Rovelli implored their players to make touches in front and continue to commit to the drive and their ruck defence by muscling up and pushing out on the line. Whilst in Coltsville, Craig Morrow reasoned that there was no need to panic and that the game was still there for the taking if his girls got some rhythm and stayed controlled. “The game was still very much in the balance at that point. The touchdown right on half time was a tough one to take. We were guilty of ball watching a little in the first half with a couple of their set plays and we resolved to get back on track with our defensive intensity in the second half and be a bit more patient with the ball in hand. I was always confident we could bridge a deficit of a couple of touchdowns, and it wasn’t through lack of effort, we just weren’t as mentally across everything as we needed to be at that point, but I knew if a few things went our way we could get back into it,” Morrow said.The game resumed at a frenetic pace in the second half with a variation of the ‘special’ play almost hitting the jackpot off the tap off for Storm. Colts, to their credit weathered the storm and went close at the other end of the field, but after some resolute defence and inspired driving from Lizzie Campbell, Tracy Hill and Kirsty Quince, Storm established field position quickly to have the Colts defence in trouble early in the second stanza.On the fifth touch of an industrious set, a fantastic piece of individual brilliance by Candace Humm to come up with a one on one snap of her opposite defender pushed the Storm girls out to a 4-2 lead and a two touchdown buffer that allowed coach Rovelli to breathe a little easier and the Storm girls to start to believe that there 10 year wait for a premiership was finally within sight.You never write off champions and Colts were a long way from dialling 911, and in the next 60 seconds proved why they are such a great team who have been the benchmark of this competition for the last three years.Off the tap, the Colts girls went back to the ‘old faithful’ Zonda play and with Peta Rogerson again running the A line out and engaging the correct middle, the classy Lauren ‘Harry’ Potter, produced a little wizardry of her own that her much vaunted namesake would have been happy to claim.  Her angle was inch perfect and her wrap release to Savannah Pratten gave ‘Sweet cheeks’ Pratten the space and opportunity to rip a magnificent long ball to Colts veteran winger Kate Barker who did the rest to help the Colts girls bridge the deficit to 4-3 and stay within striking distance of claiming their fourth straight premiership.The game ebbed and flowed for the next few minutes as each team searched for the crucial break that would give their team the ascendency.The defining moment of this game was upon us when Colts Gemma Etheridge, who has been in stellar form all season, and recently won the Player of the Final playing for runners up South West Queensland in the Women’s Open division at the QTA State Championships, chanced her arm on an open side raid.Etheridge ran a drifting angle out of acting half and was looking to play some phase, but unfortunately for her, good mate and fellow SWQ Swan, the irrepressible Emilee Cherry was lying in wait and like a thief in the night she pounced on the Etheridge pass and intercepted cleanly to race the length of the field and score a game breaking touchdown to take the Stormies out to a 5-3 lead.Colts threw their best attacking shots at Storm in the next set with big names Rogerson and Gem Etheridge challenging Storms’ key middles and Queen Bee middles in Quince and Campbell who both withstood the deadly ‘sting’ and along with veteran Storm champion Rach Noble stood up brilliantly making some inspiring touches to save a couple of certain touchdowns.Storm trucked the ball down the other end of the field with Charlotte ‘Classic’ Caslick featuring prominently. Storm received a penalty late in the touch count in good field position and this next touchdown would have had coach Rovelli beaming from ear to ear and each of the players involved in its successful execution lining up for an end of season $10 bonus for scoring off a set play. The ‘special’ play variation that nearly netted Storm a touchdown off the half-time resumption tap was run again, but this time the line running was perfect with Stevie-Lee Thompson, who was having a wow of a game, splitting off the ball to the open side and young gun Anna Hicks picking up from half and going short side splitting the middle defenders before a slick inside ball found touchdown hungry captain, Sarah ‘Sez’ Spacie, hitting between the middles to score a touchdown that took her team out to an impressive 6-3 lead. Like the true champions they are, Colts were never going to go quietly into the night and off the resumption, long serving captain Mary Steele showed her truly inspirational qualities to work in tandem with Lauren Potter to press the Storm line and work for some phase. ‘Pasher’ picked up out of half and went open side then stepped in and dished to Potter who drove in close to the line. Steele gave a precision passing class 101 on the run to the big crowd on the ‘Hill’ as she hit a diving Gemma Etheridge who spliced the angle as only she can to score between the link and wing to get the Colts girls back in the game at 6-4.Off the restart Storm were building again and once again it was courtesy of their pet play ‘special’ that they made an instantaneous reply to Colts hit back. Fittingly it was master organiser Kirsty Quince, the on-fire Candice Humm, and the amazing Emilee Cherry once again combining to conjure up another variation off the set play that Colts will have nightmares about. Fittingly, it was 12-year Storm veteran Rach Noble who dived over in the corner to grab a ‘meat pie’ in what would be a very satisfying moment for the girl who has given such outstanding service and loyalty to the club she joined as a 16-year-old girl, playing division two then working her way into Division 1, playing for Queensland and Australia along the way and sticking with her team through the good times and the tough times.At 7-4 up Storm were rolling down the field with certainty and as the game reached the 10 minute mark, every passing minute was drawing one team closer towards a memorable victory and the other team towards a disappointing defeat.Disaster struck for Colts soon after when Gemma Etheridge was given a period of time for an over vigorous touch. Whilst Etheridge watched proceedings from the end of the field, her teammates were unable to halt the Storm juggernaut with just five defenders. Good phase play by that girl Cherry and Candice Humm, and great initiative by Stevie-Lee Thompson and the dangerous Charlotte Caslick, allowed Tracy Hill to snare a double for the Grand Final and extend the Storm lead to 8-4.Colts kept trying desperately hard to penetrate the Storm line but resolute defence from middle bookends Kirsty Quince and Lizzie Campbell and Rach Noble and the determined Kristy Brennan foiled Colts at every turn.With five minutes left in the contest, Colts got a hard earned touchdown with the old firm of Gemma Etheridge and Mary Steele combining again, this time it was Etheridge delivering the pinpoint ball for Steele to dive low and beat the defence to ground the ball to peg the score line back to 8-5.To Colts credit they kept chancing their arm to the final whistle and Storm did not clock off, still searching for a final touchdown to end the game on a high.At full-time the relief and satisfaction for the Storm team was palpable. After 10 year of heartbreaking near misses they finally got their game together in the most perfect of ways to claim a memorable victory.The Storm girls were buzzing after the victory and the feeling in the camp was best summed up by their veteran champion Rachel Noble, a 12 year player for the Southside club, who reflected on the last few years of struggle and disappointment and paid homage to the coaching staff at Storm for the role they played in the memorable victory.“Winning this year after so many losses to Colts in the last couple of finals was so much sweeter. It was a great game to be a part of. Being the oldest in a team of young and talented players I knew what my role was and loved playing this year with the Storm girls and to do it undefeated makes it even better. The hard work, dedication and endless effort our coaches’ put in at Storm year after year has finally paid off. I’m glad we could give them the victory they so deserve. Thank you to Swain and Wayne and also to their families for believing in us and it’s just an awesome feeling to have again,” Noble said.Colts coach Craig Morrow was philosophical about the loss and paid tribute to the Storm girls for the quality of Touch they produced and the clinical nature of their performance.“Full credit to Storm, they played near perfect Touch tonight. They played well and have overcome a lot of adversity over the years to finally get it right. From our perspective the touchdown before half-time killed us and the intercept was hard to take. We had prepared well for their set plays at training but we ball watched too much in the moment and mentally we were not across everything like we should have been. To give them eight touchdowns was a little disappointing, but I always thought we could come back. Losing Gem for a period of time probably sealed our fate, but everyone tried hard and did their best and we probably need to look at training more for next season as well. It was the best I’ve seen Storm play so at least it took their very best to beat us,” Morrow said.For Storm coach, Swain ‘Swingers’ Rovelli, this Grand Final win with this team has been eight years in the construct. Rovelli coached division two for five years before three years ago stepping into the vacant division one coaching position at the club and the dedicated mentor has been building the Storm girls game slowly but surely ever since. Blessed with big name players who have talent to burn, particularly when they are very young, can be a tough gig and Rovelli and the Storm club have done remarkably well to be patient and learn the times to cuddle and the times to criticise their players efforts, but at all times help them grow into better people and better players.Rovelli was awarded the Brisbane Cobras Coach of the Year at the BCTA Grand Final breakfast on Saturday and his efforts in coaching the Storm girls to an undefeated premiership in the wake of the loss of key personnel from his division one team in 2010 such as Australian Women’s Open superstars Emily and Sam Hopkin and Ali Brigginshaw, makes his coaching performance all the more metorious.Rovelli was understandably excited and very relieved when the full time siren sounded and was full of praise for his troops who produced a stellar effort under pressure.“It’s such a great feeling. Very happy and very relieved that we could finally do it. We talked about it in the warm up that we wanted to be remembered as a great side that won – not be remembered for our near misses. We did play very well tonight. We started well and just built into the game. The biggest difference for us this year is our composure. It started last week when we were 2-0 down early to Crushers and we stayed patient. We did that again tonight and kept our heads on for 40 minutes and that was most satisfying. We got exposed in our semi-final and we nearly didn’t get to the Grand Final and knew we could do better so we were committed to being really true to ourselves and our game plan and thankfully everything worked out. The box was really positive and composed which hasn’t always been that way in the past. Full credit to the senior players for making our culture what it is. We are a training club and we work hard for our success and this is our reward for doing all the little things right. We said it was ‘our time” and tonight the girls decided as one and showed it in the way they played that they really wanted to step up to the mark and win this premiership,” Rovelli said.Both teams had numerous standout players who created the standard of a game to remember. For Colts, captain Mary Steele led by example and played courageously and cleverly to keep her team in the hunt. Steele was well supported by the always dangerous Gemma Etheridge who was everywhere for Colts and played her heart out for her team. Young gun Emma Blanch stepped up nicely to the big time and stamped herself as a player of the future. Australian Women’s Open superstar Peta Rogerson had touches of brilliance, but unfortunately for Colts was not in the sort of freakish form she has been in when Colts annexed their hat-trick of grand final triumphs over the last three years. Savannah Pratten and Lauren Potter never stopped trying for Colts and veteran winger Kate Barker, at the tail end of her career, produced a game she can be proud of and if she is finishing up she can be very satisfied with her stellar record of service to the Colts team.For the winners, each player stepped up to the mark and produced an amazing level of cohesion and clinical execution of the game plan and the teamwork and commitment to the goal was outstanding.Senior middles Lizzie Campbell, Sarah Spacie and Kirsty Quince were towers of strength all over the park in attack and defence and their intelligent direction, big match experience, individual contributions and support allowed the likes of Charlotte Caslick and Anna Hicks to play with confidence and produce some inspired and mature touches of class that smacked of a happy marriage of talent and temperament at the right times.Stevie-Lee Thompson, Tracy Hill, Rachel Noble and Kristy Brennan were tireless and produced their own sparks in attack to complement their team’s efforts. These four girls produced terrier like defence and helped set the tone against a physically imposing team who needed to be taken on at their own dominating style of game play. The Storm defence proved harder to crack than the Da Vinci code and was one of the foundation blocks that led to this famous breakthrough victory. The strength of this Storm team is their unselfish ability to play their roles and work for each other. Just as they did last week in their desperately close semi-final against Crushers, the team worked hard to give their game-breaking champion, Emilee Cherry, the field position and set-ups so she could impart her considerable influence over the game when it was needed most. Cherry was exceptional again Saturday night and again proved to be the point of difference for her team at crucial stages of proceedings. JK Rowling may have got it very wrong given the quantity and quality of magic this once in a generation player continues to conjure from her bag of tricks almost on cue. We’re pretty sure if you check Chez’s forehead for a scar, it’ll reveal who the real ‘chosen one’ is. 2011 has been a stellar year for the Roma product who was an integral part of Australia’s seventh straight Women’s Open triumph at the FIT World Cup in June and over the last month has been in rare form playing some of the best Touch ever witnessed in this competition for many a day. For the last three years we have been blessed to witness Colts’ Peta Rogerson weigh in consistently with her individual pieces of brilliance that have proved to be key in her team’s domination of the competition and now Cherry is producing a similar rich vein of form that makes her the most valuable player in the Cobras Cup.The modest champion who incredibly, along with teammate Lizzie Campbell, was in camp playing a tournament with the Australian Women’s Rugby 7’s team and had to rush back to play in the Cobras Cup Grand Final, was rewarded for her performances this season with the ‘Player of the Series Trophy’ as well as the prestigious Sally Urquhart ‘Memorial Player of the Final’ Award. The Sally Urquhart Memorial Award commemorates the contribution of Sally Urquhart, a Cobras Cup premiership winner and life member of the Crushers club. Sally represented Brisbane City at Women’s Open and Mixed Open level and Queensland in the Mixed Open division. She was universally adored and revered by teammates and opponents alike for her talent, selflessness, determination, courage, and sportsmanship. Sally, a law graduate and police officer was tragically killed in the Lockhart River air disaster in 2005 and BCTA/BMTA struck the Player of the Final award to commemorate a young life of great strength and integrity that upheld the finest sporting ideals on and off the field of play. Cherry joins an illustrious group of players to win this award that include Kylie Hilder, Jarah Jennings, Teena McIlveen, Peta Rogerson (twice) and Hayley Maddick.Cherry was chuffed to receive both the Player of the Series and Player of the Final awards and as always displayed her trademark humility and modesty when accepting the awards, traits that confirm her as not only a champion player, but more importantly, a champion person.“It’s just been a really good year. There are so many good players, so to be judged the Player of the Series is a very humbling experience. To win Sally’s award is very special, and I’m very honoured to receive it, it means a lot and it will be something I will treasure,” Cherry said.So that’s it, another season in the Cobras Cup dusted. But what a season it’s been!The Cobras Cup competition is undergoing a restructuring with a heavy emphasis on club development, but hopefully the 2012 tournament will bring with it more action, drama, and intrigue than all the ‘Underbelly’ series’ put together. Can Storm go back to back? Can Colts avenge this year’s defeat? Will Crushers finally make the grand final after finishing one touchdown out of the decider for the second year running? Will Uni-Rebels make a charge for the title? Or can the chasing pack that includes Coastal Suns and Eagles make a bold run at the premiership?Should Emilee Cherry, Kate McCarthy and Catherine Sargent be assigned speed limits to give every other player the chance to catch them on the field?Can Kelly Jones simultaneously maintain an excellent standard of Touch and the title of most beautiful hair in the game, or will Charlotte Caslick steal the crown? Will Sarah Spacie lose her headband fetish? Will Coastal Suns young gun Chloe Crotty manage to play even one game without borrowed shoes? Will BMTA rename the common fields at ‘the Hill’ after Eagles stalwart Renee Fraser because she spends so much time training there? Can Sharyn ‘Billy’ Williams produce another show stopping injury moment that brings the ambulances, if not the crowds back to Touch? And can any of the coaches fill out the game cards correctly and sign in all the right places?The answer to this and all the other hard-hitting issues will be revealed in time. Stay tuned for next year’s Cobras Cup, reserve seating on ‘the Hill’ is selling fast so just sayin’, I’d be investing in a season membership to avoid disappointment.Thanks to all the players and coaches for their input into this article.When in doubt throw the flick pass, or if you’re Emilee Cherry snap the whole team…Written by Karley Banks. 21.11.2011Touch Football Australia would like to thank Karley Banks for providing the article content.last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – A global payment company will give members of Canada’s largest small- and medium-business association lower rates on American Express transactions.Chase Merchant Services will charge a new lower rate to Canadian Federation of Independent Business members that process less than $500,000 in Amex transactions.CFIB says the deal aims to make it easier for small businesses to accept Chase payment cards.CFIB president Dan Kelly says the partnership means many of the federation’s members could see significant savings thanks to the offer, with some members potentially seeing fees reduced by almost 50 per cent.Retailers pay fees each time consumers use a credit card. The fees differ based on type of credit card, business and other considerations.The retail industry has been advocating for lower fees, arguing that Canadian businesses pay some of the highest fees worldwide.CFIB’s 110,000 members collectively process more than $12 billion in electronic payments through Chase every year.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is grossly overstating the extent of U.S. economic and job gains.In a tweet Monday, he declares that the economy has “never been better” and jobs are at the “best point in history.”In fact, the economy and jobs are nowhere close to historic bests based on several measures. Economists have also warned that U.S. growth is largely fueled by government borrowing, as the federal deficit rises because of his tax cuts, and is thus unlikely to be sustainable after a few quarters.A look at the claims:TRUMP: “Great financial numbers being announced on an almost daily basis. Economy has never been better, jobs at best point in history.”THE FACTS: He’s exaggerating. The economy is healthy now, but it has been in better shape at many times in the past.Growth reached 4 per cent at an annual rate in the second quarter, which Trump highlighted late last month with remarks at the White House. But it’s only the best in the past four years. So far, the economy is expanding at a modest rate compared with previous economic expansions. In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 per cent for four straight years, from 1997 through 2000. And in the 1980s expansion, growth even reached 7.2 per cent in 1984.It’s not clear what Trump specifically means when he declares that jobs are at the “best point in history,” but based on several indicators, he’s off the mark.The unemployment rate of 3.9 per cent is not at the best point ever — it is actually near the lowest in 18 years. The all-time low came in 1953, when unemployment fell to 2.5 per cent during the Korean War. And while economists have been surprised to see employers add 215,000 jobs a month this year, a healthy increase, employers in fact added jobs at a faster pace in 2014 and 2015. A greater percentage of Americans held jobs in 2000 than now.Trump didn’t mention probably the most important measure of economic health for Americans — wages. While paychecks are slowly grinding higher, inflation is now cancelling out the gains. Lifted by higher gasoline prices, consumer prices increased 2.9 per cent in June from a year earlier, the most in six years.Adjusting for inflation, hourly pay for non-managers — about 80 per cent of the workforce — fell 0.2 per cent over the same period. Yet in 1998, for example, inflation-adjusted hourly pay growth topped 2.5 per cent.___Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bdFollow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheckEDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figureslast_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – Here is a timeline of key events that sparked the 14-month renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, leading to Sunday’s historic breakthrough with the creation of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA:June 28, 2016 — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declares his antipathy for the North American Free Trade Agreement in a campaign speech in Pittsburgh, in the heart of a Rust Belt state that he would eventually win to secure the presidency. “NAFTA was the worst trade deal in history,” says Trump, pledging to renegotiate the pact “to get a better deal for our workers.” He promises to leave the agreement if Canada and Mexico refuse to bargain with him.Aug. 16, 2017 — Canada, Mexico and the United States commence the renegotiation of the NAFTA in earnest. The Trump administration opens with a lecture, upping the ante from earlier remarks that it simply wants to “tweak” the deal. Trump’s trade czar Robert Lighthizer declares: “We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement.”October 2017 — The U.S. introduces so-called “poison pills” that Canada says it simply can’t accept. The U.S. wanted to increase American content in automobiles, get rid of Canada’s supply management system for agriculture, establish a five-year sunset clause, do away with a dispute settlement mechanism and reduce Mexican and Canadian access to bidding on U.S. procurement projects. The three countries would eventually reach a new deal on autos, while the U.S. backed away from the other demands.March 14, 2018 — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada won’t be “bowled over” at the NAFTA talks by Trump. Trudeau makes the remarks while visiting steelworkers in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. “We’re standing up for ourselves. But we know there’s a win-win-win we can get to,” Trudeau says. “We’re pushing back on some things that we think might not be the right suggestions, which is what people would expect from Canada.”June 7, 2018 — Trump hurls a series of personal insults at Trudeau from Air Force One after the G7 summit in Quebec. The president calls Canada’s prime minister “dishonest” and “weak” after Trudeau repeats his objections to massive steel and aluminum tariffs Trump imposed the previous week — tariffs that remain today. The incident marks a new low in prime ministerial-presidential politics across the 49th parallel at a time when NAFTA negotiations remain deadlocked.Aug. 27, 2018 — Mexico and the United States announce their own bilateral trade deal after weeks of negotiations that were simply supposed to be about autos. Instead they negotiated a sweeping text covering the full scope of the trading relationship. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is forced to blow up a trip to Europe and diverts to Washington, starting a month of intense negotiations to bring Canada into the NAFTA fold.Sept. 30, 2018 — Staring down a midnight deadline to provide a text of an agreement to Congress, Trump’s and Trudeau’s team work of the last minute details that brings Canada into a renewed continental trade pact. Trudeau leaves the Prime Minister’s Office after a late night cabinet meeting and says six words: “It’s a good day for Canada.”last_img read more

first_imgRecent news about an increase in Indian corporates and state entities issuing dollar bonds is welcome news, especially since it clearly shows investor appetite for lending to credible Indian business models. However, relatively easy liquidity and high investor appetite for lending in the international markets must be tempered by the fact that borrowing in foreign currencies is beneficial for businesses with certain specific balance sheet structures. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhile relatively low interest rates abroad and increasing investor demand for relatively good quality debt assists in borrowing for Indian businesses, it is essential to realise that severe foreign exchange rate fluctuations can severely impact the debt servicing capacity of a company that relies excessively on foreign borrowings. For businesses that have assets creating dollar cash flows, borrowing in the currency makes sense. For instance, for an exporter of products or services to the United States with a dollar-based stream of income, financing greenback liabilities is more feasible. While macro factors are beyond the control of a business, understanding and creating a well-balanced balance sheet is something that deserves attention. Not only is it essential for a balance between assets that can generate cash flows to match liability outflows, in the case of multiple currencies, it is vital that currency mismatches are avoided as far as possible. Also Read – Insider threat managementFor businesses looking to take on foreign currency denominated debt, it is essential that there is a long-term focus on how foreign exchange volatility will be dealt with. For firms that do not have dollar-based assets that generate foreign currency denominated cash flows, prudence is advised on foreign currency borrowings. While the appreciation of the Indian rupee can lead to windfall gains by way of lower interest and principal payments, a severe depreciation of the currency, a factor beyond the control of a business can leave the company in a precarious position with debt servicing. Most importantly, the company might be in the sectors of financial services, energy or IT services, and therefore being exposed to the macro-vagaries of the foreign exchange market for business success is not an ideal situation to be in. The experiences of European and Japanese financial institutions during the 2008 financial crisis are a good reminder of the perils of creating excessive dollar-denominated liabilities while owning assets primarily in domestic currencies. Balance sheet imbalances and a shortage of dollar funding precipitated a crisis that severely damaged the financial systems and institutions in Europe and Japan. One major takeaway from the 2008 crisis was that creating an imbalanced balance sheet renders the business exposed to risks, managing which is inherently not the core objective of the company. For instance, an energy developer facing severe pressure to fund dollar liabilities isn’t ideal. The funding pressure may lead to a situation in which despite having a robust energy business, the energy developer might be severely loss-making due to a significant change in the cost of foreign liabilities that need to be paid off. The decision of how much of liabilities must be in a foreign currency is no less important than the choice of how much debt a business must utilise. While the decision around leverage is driven by the quality of cash flows that a company has to finance the future liability payments, i.e. interest payments, the decision around the currency to be utilised must also be factored in separately. Effectively, the risk a business undertakes in using foreign currency debt must factor in the volatility in the currency pair that is applicable in terms of the cash flows and liability payments. For instance, if a business receives all incoming cash flows in Indian rupees, then the amount of dollar-denominated debt ideal for the company needs to be carefully evaluated. In a world with relatively low yields, especially in the developed economies, and a growing economy such as India, the interest to lend to Indian businesses by global investors is inevitable. For any business, the focus must be on creating a long-term track record of utilising foreign currency denominated debt effectively to either take advantage of relatively low-interest rates or potentially finance international growth. However, prudent usage of foreign debt by Indian business is also vital to ensure that investor confidence builds up for both individual companies and Indian firms in general. Judicious usage of foreign currency debt is critical for the long-term goal of increased access to global capital markets for Indian companies. As with financial structures and balance sheet decisions, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for foreign currency borrowings. A sustainable long-term focused borrowing strategy will be the key differentiator for successful businesses.(The author heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

OSU sophomore attacker Colin Chell (22) prepares to shoot during a scrimmage against The Hill Academy on Jan. 30. Credit: Kylie Bryant | | For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team almost has an embarrassment of riches on the offensive side of the ball. Seemingly each week, anyone can step up in a pivotal role and provide a spark on the attack. Such was the case again Friday in Ohio Stadium.Sophomore attacker Colin Chell scored the Buckeyes’ first three goals and added an assist, while junior attacker Austin Shanks scored two goals and assisted on two more to lead the Scarlet and Gray to a 12-7 win over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.OSU coach Nick Myers had high words of praise for his sophomore attacker.“(Chell) is a special player,” Myers said. “He had a great week of practice … and did a great job at the attack position tonight.”Although the Buckeyes, who were coming off their first loss of the season to Massachusetts last week, were in control for most of the game, it took them some time to get there.The first quarter was relatively even between the two teams. UMBC opened up the scoring at the 13:40 mark when freshman midfielder Billy Nolan threw a strike to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead. A pair of goals by Chell and one more by UMBC leveled the game at 2-2 to end the quarter.Chell kept it rolling to open the second quarter with his third goal of the game, giving him six on the year. After the win, he tipped his hat to defense for allowing him to make an offensive impact early in the game.“You got to credit (redshirt junior goalie) Tom Carey in cage and the defense for making some quality stops down there and being able to get us the ball on offense,” Chell said.OSU’s defense clamped down on the UMBC offense for the next two quarters after allowing the pair of goals in the first quarter. The Retrievers were only able to attempt four shots in the second and third quarters combined. For the game, they had just 16, whereas OSU attempted 41. Myers said the key to this was being able to work together.“I think the biggest thing we stressed defensively in practice this week was just playing with seven (and) getting more guys on the same page,” Myers said. “Anytime you hold a team scoreless for 25-to-30 minutes in a row is a positive.” This staunch defensive effort allowed the Scarlet and Gray to hold a 9-3 lead as the fourth quarter began. It was a lead that proved to be insurmountable, as the game finished by a score of 12-7.Junior midfielder John Kelly said this game was a step in the right direction, especially with the Buckeyes coming off a loss in their previous game.“We feel great, a complete turnaround from last week,” Kelly said. “Overall, we had a fantastic performance and feel really good about the way that we played.”Junior faceoff specialist Jake Withers continued his stellar play at the position. Withers won nine of 11 faceoffs in the first half and 14 of 22 total, continuing his streak of advantage in faceoffs through the first four games of the year.“(Withers is) an amazing faceoff guy,” Kelly said. “He fights for ground balls, and I love the way he plays. He’s very important to our time of possession and allowing us to keep the ball on the offensive end of the field.”The win means the Buckeyes are off to a 1-0 start in games played at the ‘Shoe. Chell said it gives the Buckeyes an extra edge to play home games in the historic stadium.“Everybody was amped up to play in the ‘Shoe tonight,” Chell said. “It’s a great atmosphere — a night game — and we brought the juice.”While noting it is still early in the season, Myers said he likes how the team is looking.“It’s still February. We’ve got a long way to go,” Myers said. “But being at home in the ‘Shoe, it’s important that we came out and played with the urgency that we needed to, and I thought that the men did that tonight.”The Buckeyes will stay at home next weekend, as they are set to host the Midwest Lacrosse Classic. They are scheduled to play Marquette on Friday at 6 p.m. and Bellarmine on March 6 at 3 p.m. read more

Unai Emery happy with Arsenal squad

first_imgUnai Emery’s Arsenal debut may have got off to a bad start by losing 2-0 to Manchester City, but he insists that he is “happy” with his side’s performanceThe Spaniard’s first competitive game in charge of the Gunners came in a 2-0 home defeat to defending Premier League champions City on Sunday afternoon with goals from Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.And over the course of the 90 minutes, Arsenal were largely second-best compared to Pep Guardiola’s mighty City squad.But Emery pointed out that his counterpart is in his third year at City and that it will take time to properly build a team that can be considered serious title challengers.Although, he was content with what he saw from his players on Sunday.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“I am happy with the players because they ran and they fought. We need to continue working tactically and defensively, and doing more to shorten the differences today between Manchester City and us,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.“We’re starting and we need also to do one process one way. Today is the first step. Manchester City are working in their third year with Guardiola and they have built a team with security, good players and a great stability of playing like they want. We are only starting out now.”The 46-year-old’s next chance at securing his first competitive win for Arsenal will come next weekend in a London derby against Chelsea.“Each match is different. We want to prepare for each match with the difficulty and demands of the opposition,” said Emery.“In the next week we are continuing this work and against Chelsea we are going to analyse the opposition. We are going there to win, with this intention against Chelsea.”last_img read more

Rangers boss laughs off suggestions of foul play

first_imgQueens Park Rangers manager Steve McLaren has laughed at suggestions that accused his team of using foul play to stop Aston Villa midfielder, Jack Grealish, when both sides met on Friday night.QPR defeated Villa 1-0 at Loftus Road thanks to a first-half strike from Poland international, Pawel Wszolek, and despite comments from Villa boss Dean Smith that the London club’s players took turns to kick at Grealish, McLaren has come to the defence of his players.“I’ve got to say I wish we were that clever to rotate around to kick him,” he said, according to Sports Mole.“Jack Grealish is a player we had to stop and I thought we did that to a certain degree.”“I don’t think they took turns, I just think we had to stop him. He’s just that good a player – you think you’ve won the ball and you just nick him.”Les Ferdinand: QPR dreaming of Premier League promotion Obinna Echi – November 27, 2018 QPR director of football Les Ferdinand reveals the London club has their sights set on returning to the top tier of English football next season.QPR…“They were all small fouls, not big ones. That really upset his rhythm, which we needed to do.”“I thought the officials were very good and handled the game well, with not too many yellows despite all the fouls.”“I’m proud of the players and the performance they produced tonight. This was a big win for us.”“Villa are a good team. Wow – the attacking options they’ve got are formidable and we had to be at our best defensively.”“I’m proud of my team for what they showed and for fighting for each other.”last_img read more