Syria jihadist-regime clashes leave 41 fighters dead

first_imgAn Al-Qaeda offshoot led an offensive Monday against regime forces in northwest Syria, sparking clashes that left 19 pro-government fighters and 22 jihadists dead, a war monitor said.”Jihadist factions led by Hurras al-Deen launched an assault on two villages in Sahl al-Ghab,” a region of the central province of Hama, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.They briefly seized the villages of Al-Fatatra and Al-Manara, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. Topics : The offensive was launched from within the Idlib region, which is controlled by jihadists and rebels and is the last bastion of resistance to Damascus after nine years of devastating civil war.A truce reached on March 6 has largely stemmed fighting in the region, which President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to fully retake.Hurras al-Deen is a relatively small but powerful armed group led by Al-Qaeda loyalists.It is a rival of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of Islamist factions dominated by former members of Al-Qaeda’s ex-Syria affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra — although the two groups cooperate at times.The Idlib truce brokered by regime ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey has largely kept Syrian and Russian warplanes out of the region’s skies.The calm came as the novel coronavirus pandemic spread across the Middle East.Aid groups had warned that an outbreak of the COVID-19 illness in the Idlib region could cause a humanitarian disaster of previously unseen proportions.center_img But regime forces took them back just hours later amid Russian air strikes and intense shelling, the Britain-based monitor said.Abdel Rahman said the clashes left 19 government soldiers and 22 jihadists dead.The country’s official SANA news agency also reported the attack on “two Syrian army positions,” saying it involved “explosive-rigged vehicles and suicide bombers”.Citing a military source, it said the situation was now under control after the jihadists were forced to pull out under regime fire.  last_img read more

Pension funds less tough on tobacco than insurers: survey

first_imgIt suggested the difference was attributable to the fact that many insurers also sell healthcare policies and have adjusted their investment policies accordingly.VBDO found that six pension funds had blacklisted investments in tobacco firms. They include the €185bn healthcare scheme PFZW, which ceased investing in cigarette manufacturers in 2013.The occupational schemes for general practitioners (SPH) and medical consultants (SPMS) have also halted investing in tobacco.The large metal schemes PMT and PME, when asked, indicated that they didn’t have a tobacco policy, although PME said it would introduce one soon.The €22bn multi-sector pension fund PGB also said it would come up with a policy, following a survey suggesting that just 17% of its participants supported tobacco investments.The €382bn civil service scheme ABP and the €54bn pension fund for the building sector (BpfBOUW) said they invested in tobacco companies “as the sale of cigarettes is still legal in the Netherlands”.The €5bn pension fund PNO Media made clear that it had launched a survey to find out how its participants perceived tobacco investments.According to VBDO, which didn’t publish the names of the investors participating in the survey, nine of the 11 interviewed insurers did not invest in tobacco.VBDO and the Heart Foundation rejected the often cited point that smoking is a free choice, arguing that many smokers have difficulties to quit the habit because of their physical addiction.They also contended that excluding tobacco investments doesn’t negatively affect returns.In their opinion, tobacco investments don’t have a future “as governments increasingly curb smoking and the worldwide number of smokers has been decreasing for years”. Dutch insurers have much stronger exclusion policies on tobacco industry investments than the country’s pension funds, a survey has revealed.The study, conducted by the Association of Investors in Sustainable Development (VBDO) and commissioned by the Heart Foundation found that an increasing number of pension funds were looking into the issue.VBDO said 55 institutional investors took part in the survey, including 30 pension funds with combined assets of €800bn, and 11 insurers.According to the VBDO, more than two-thirds of pension funds didn’t have a policy in place for tobacco investments, compared to 10% of insurers.last_img read more

Danz Catz take second place in national competition

first_imgBrookville, In. — The Franklin County High School Dancz Catz earned second place at a national competition at Northern Kentucky University recently for their Pom, Open and Kick routines.The team is made up of captain Ashlin Sacksteder, co-captain Sarah Wewe, co-captain Gracie Graf, Kendra Hunter, Emma Metcalf, Brylee Pace, Allie Routh, Jaylee Cregar, Brianna Meyers, McKenna Metz, Chloe Cowen, Regan Barker, Halee Barker and Macie Fohl. The coaches of the team are Erin Bath, Alex Kirkindall and Kamryn Schell.last_img read more

D.C. Businesses Ordered Closed

first_imgGREENSBURG, Ind. – The Decatur County Board of Commissioners, the executive body of county government, issued an Emergency Ordinance Saturday afternoon.  The measure declares a two-week period, beginning Monday, March 23, at 8:00 a.m., during which all non-essential businesses should close.  Below is the complete text of the ordinance, along with a statements of support from Decatur County Public Health Officer Dr. Arthur Alunday, and Greensburg Mayor Josh Marsh.Ordinance No. 2020-____AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE OF THEDECATUR COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERSWHEREAS, Decatur County believes its residents are immediately threatened by the Coronavirus/COVID19 and believe it is imperative to take action at this time in an effort to protect citizens and contain the spread of the virus to the greatest extent possible, andWHEREAS, Covidl9 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness and death and is easily transmitted from person to person, and:WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020 the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary declared a public emergency for the COVID-19, and:WHEREAS, on March 6, 2020 Governor Eric J. Holcomb issued his Declaration of Public Health Emergency for the State of Indiana for COVID-19, and:WHEREAS, The Board of Commissioners of Decatur County, pursuant to IC 36-8-2-4 and 5, is authorized to regulate conduct that might endanger the public health, safety or welfare and to impose restrictions to prevent the transmission of diseases, and:WHEREAS, due to potential severity of COVID-19 and the need to take urgent action, the following is effective Monday March 23, 2020 at 8:00 amNOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Commissioners of Decatur County, Indiana, do hereby:Declare that a public health emergency exists in Decatur County due to COVID-19.For a period of two (2) weeks, only critical or essential business should remain open. All other non-essential businesses should remain closed.Only those organizations providing essential services such as Community food assistance, Meals on Wheels, counseling services, transportation assistance, and the like may remain open subject to further review.Critical Essential businesses to remain open, include, but are not limited to:All health care service providers, including doctor offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and therapy establishments;Essential City of Greensburg and Decatur County governmental service offices;Grocery Stores;Funeral homes;Banks, lending institutions and all other related businesses;Gas stations and auto repair businesses;Convenience stores;“Dollar” stores;Day care facilities;Restaurants and bars (carry out, delivery, and drive up only;Utility and Trash ServicesAirport;Postal Services/ Delivery Services;Veterinarian clinics;Home improvement/hardware;Hotels/Motels;Laundromats;Public Transportation;Agricultural Operations;Legal Services;Social Service agencies such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.;It is recommended to limit travel to essential business only, such as grocery, medical, pharmacy, or work.There should be no public gatherings of more than ten (10) people and all residents are to attempt at all possible times to maintain a social distance of six (6) feet or more from others. The 10 person restriction does not apply to work places so long as the social distancing guidelines are followed and internal safeguards are put in place with regard to cleaning and social distancing.The Board of Commissioners acknowledge the hardship and sacrifice that is being imposed on the businesses and citizens of Decatur County by these closures. These restrictions will be revisited as the COVID-19 circumstances change, and are subject to revision as deemed appropriate for the health and well-being of Decatur County Citizens.This is an ongoing and evolving public health crisis. Refusal to comply may result in suspension of permits as well as fines by order of the Decatur County Health Department and the Health Officer under IC 16-20-1-19 and IC16-20-1-21.Read and adopted this 21st day of March, 2020.Supporting Statement From Mayor Joshua Marsh:As the world, United States, Indiana, and Decatur County continue to battle COVID-19, we have seen our community come together to lend a hand to one another. Both County and City Officials have worked well together over the last several weeks, and now the City of Greensburg joins the Decatur County Commissioners in supporting travel restrictions for nonessential business and personal travel. We also join the call for all nonessential businesses to close for at least the next two weeks. We will continue to work closely with each group and every major employer and service provider to keep a unified front against this outbreak. We ask that all residents join us and adhere to these restrictions to help keep Greensburg and Decatur County as safe and healthy as possible.Supporting Statement of Decatur County Public Health Officer Dr. Arthur Alunday:Due to the evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Decatur County Health Department is convinced it is absolutely necessary to take more extensive measures to control this of this decision is about not only protecting our citizens but also about limiting the burden on the local healthcare system so that it is not overwhelmed and can continue to serve our entire community. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and sacrifice to keep Decatur County safe.last_img read more

DWD provides update on unemployment insurance eligibility

first_imgStatewide– The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is required by federal law to re-determine eligibility on a quarterly basis for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).Claimants who must file a Quarter Change claim can take the following steps to continue to file for unemployment benefits:• On your Uplink Claimant homepage, check to see if you have vouchers to file. File all vouchers for weeks you wish to claim and were unemployed;• After filing all vouchers, return to your Uplink Claimant homepage and check to see if you have a link to file a new claim. File the new claim as soon as the link is available, before Saturday, July 11, and complete it by 8:45 p.m.PUA created a temporary federal unemployment insurance program for individuals not otherwise eligible for benefits, including the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers.PUA benefits are set to end on Dec. 25, unlike the $600 weekly benefit available under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Those benefits are scheduled to end in Indiana on July 25, but DWD will still make FPUC payments after that date on benefit weeks for July 25 and earlier.PEUC also is a federal program and provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to claimants who have exhausted their Unemployment Assistance benefits.Since the week ending March 13, 2020, DWD has paid out $3.6 billion in unemployment insurance benefits. To apply for unemployment insurance benefits, review Frequently Asked Questions or learn more about unemployment insurance benefits, click here.last_img read more

Rohr: Draw with Brazil is big booster

first_imgRelatedPosts Rohr lists Musa, Ekong, 23 others for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies Global COVID-19 cases surpass 27m – Johns Hopkins Everton sign Brazil midfielder from Napoli Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has landed his playing body a huge pat on the back for a gutsy performance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Brazil in a friendly match in Singapore.Five-time world champions Brazil to to dig deep into their arsenal before securing the equaliser as the Super Eagles had them on the back foot following Joseph Ayodele-Aribo’s 35th minute goal.“This result is a good confidence booster for the team. We now have to prepare for the more competitive games next month. I am happy we stayed organized even when the Brazilians mounted a lot of pressure on us in the second half. The only negative thing is the injury to (Francis) Uzoho,” the Franco-German said minutes after the final whistle at the Singapore National Stadium in Kallang.Aribo’s goal, his second in as many matches in the colours of the Super Eagles, was an eye-catching finish as he received a pass from Moses Simon and then waltzed his way through a number of outstretched Brazilian legs to shoot past goalkeeper Ederson.Brazil drew level three minutes after the restart but the three-time African champions held firm in the face of onslaught after onslaught, and could have won in the end had Thiago Silva not upended a marauding Aribo with the South Americans exposed.Uzoho, who horribly twisted his leg as he went for the ball from a corner kick, will be out for a minimum of six months, according to team doctor Ibrahim Gyaran.Nigeria host Benin Republic on November 14 in the opening day of the 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign, before flying to Lesotho for a Day Two match on November 19. Tags: BrazilGernot Rohrlast_img read more

Middle Tenn. looks to end streak vs Southern Miss

first_imgSUPER SENIORS: Middle Tennessee has relied heavily on its seniors. C.J. Jones, Antonio Green, Donovan Sims and Jayce Johnson have collectively accounted for 65 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 67 percent of all Blue Raiders points over the team’s last five games.FUELING THE OFFENSE: Gabe Watson has either made or assisted on 44 percent of all Southern Miss field goals over the last three games. The sophomore guard has 14 field goals and 21 assists in those games.WINLESS WHEN: Southern Miss is 0-12 this year when it scores 65 points or fewer and 9-6 when it scores at least 66.PERFECT WHEN: Southern Miss is a perfect 7-0 when it scores at least 74 points. The Golden Eagles are 2-18 when scoring any fewer than that.DID YOU KNOW: Middle Tennessee has averaged only 74.8 points per game over its last five games. The Blue Raiders are giving up 81.6 points per game over that stretch. Middle Tenn. looks to end streak vs Southern Miss Associated Press February 20, 2020center_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMiddle Tennessee (6-21, 2-12) vs. Southern Miss (9-18, 5-9)Reed Green Coliseum, Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Saturday, 1 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Southern Miss looks to extend Middle Tennessee’s conference losing streak to five games. Middle Tennessee’s last CUSA win came against the UTSA Roadrunners 83-80 on Feb. 1. Southern Miss is coming off a 75-67 win over Florida International in its most recent game. ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Joint leaders at the KLM

first_imgThe pair are  two shots clear of Belgium’s Thomas Pieters on 16 under par, both just having completed their rounds in the last hour. Simon Thornton heads the Irish challenge – he’s 9 under at the end of his third round. Meanwhile Padraig Harrington is two shots behind him on 7 under for his third round.last_img

Eagles Uninspiring Uyo Misadventure

first_imgBy Duro IkhazuagbeNew Bafana Bafana Head Coach, Stuart Baxter, warned Nigerians 48 hours before last Saturday’s embarrassing 2-0 defeat of Super Eagles. Baxter said he was coming to Uyo to win. Nobody took him serious. Nigerians thought it was going to be the usual easy ride over the men from Mandela’s country. Now we know better.Instead of seating at the top of the AFCON 2019 Group E qualifying round on same three points with Libya, who took Seychelles to the cleaners, Eagles have returned to the permutation game again! Are we going to qualify or not? Miss three Nations Cup editions in a row? Clearly unthinkable but the reality is starring us in the face with Bafana Bafana victory at the Nest of Champions.Of course, Franco-German Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, who has had a jolly ride since he was appointed some months ago is seeing the other side of football crazy Nigerians. He’s getting flak here and there. Nobody wants to know this is the first defeat Eagles have suffered under his watch in nine games. The 2-0 defeat remains a nightmare of some sort.But Baxter made it clear when he was appointed weeks ago that he was not bothered by the arrays of stars in Nigeria’s camp. What mattered to him was getting the South African squad to play as a unit.On arrival in Uyo last Thursday, a confident Baxter told reporters he has the key to unlock Eagles. “We don’t have the big stars but we have a team. Every Africa nation faces the same problem but then the coaches try to balance the stars and others to make the difference.“We are not going to play defensive or careful because Nigeria has good players. We should not be intimidated by anybody. Nigeria is the favourite for this game but will South Africa be intimidated? No. We are confident in the way we are approaching the game at the moment but the players know what to do to get the job done. The players are hopeful ahead of the game but not intimidated,” Baxter warned as a matter of fact. He was ignored at our peril. Now, Rohr must have learnt a lesson or two from Baxter. The Eagles gaffer must have realised that playing in big clubs in Europe does not translate to success. In the Bafana starting 11, only two players Dolly Larenzo Keagan who plays for Montpellier in France and Turkey-based Rantie Tokelo came from outside the South African league. The reserve bench of the South Africans was also dominated by players from the PSL. What this means is that the players know themselves and have a sort of synergy. The chemistry was the same. But unfortunately, the mix of young and old players that Rohr fielded lacked the bite and that never-say die spirit that keeps Eagles going. How on earth Rohr expected his defensive midfield approach to the game to work when Eagles forward combination of Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Moses Daddy Simon played like strangers?  Oghenekaro Etebor too appeared off duty last Saturday as most of his incursions deep into the Bafana goal areas ended with no goal. On one or two of such, Etebo blasted wide when a simple pass to Simon could have made the difference. There was nobody in the middle to hold on to the ball and do the playmaking role. John Mikel Obi’s absence clearly showed and for 90 minutes, Rohr didn’t know that his game plan wasn’t working. The Wilfred Ndidi we saw against South Africa was clearly a different chap who has become the darling of Leicester City fans.Eagles backline didn’t fare any better. By my rating, only Williams Troost Ekong stood out of the floundering pack. His pairing in the central defence with Chidozie Awazie too looked shaky for the better part of the second half. Shehu Abdullahi can be forgiven for the type of school-boy errors but certainly not Elderson Echiejile. Was he also on recess last Saturday?When Eagles team list was released, I remember pointing out that Daniel Akpeyi has not been too impressive and wondered why Rohr opted for him ahead of Ikechukwu Ezenwa of FC IfeanyiUba.  Akpeyi lacks confidence in big occasions. Again, he also does not have the type of Vincent Enyeama’s organisational ability. If he had organised his defenders well perhaps, the scoreline would have been different. Why start Akpeyi who ply his trade with Chippa United in South African against some of the players who know his weaknesses and strength having played together in the same league? Eagles need to celebrate the slim 2-0 scoreline. The embarrassment could have been more if some of the balls that hit woodwork had found the back of the net.However, rather than see this setback as the end of the rebuilding process of a formidable Eagles, I see it as a wake-up call for handlers of the three-time African champions. If Nigeria had defeated South Africa, a false impression would have been created ahead of our World Cup 2018 clash with Cameroon in August. Now, Rohr has been told that he needs to do more to earn the confidence of Nigerians back. It is obvious that the presence of Mikel, Victor Moses and Carl Ikeme cannot be waived for now. The team that played last Saturday in Uyo lacked leadership. I don’t want to believe that the preference of Onazi instead of vice-captain, Ahmed Musa, had anything to do with how the boys played. Mikel is a leader. He commands respect almost like the late Stephen Keshi as captain.The challenge posed by the Cameroonians is far greater than what Bafana brought to Uyo. The Indomitable Lions are the current African champions and would want to prove that to Eagles. What is at stake is far greater than the AFCON ticket. The Cameroonians want to go to Russia World Cup 2018 as African champions. The rivalry between both countries is legendary. With Nigeria at the top of the Group B pairing, the Lions know they need at least four out of the six points at stake for them to have any chance of grabbing the ticket. They certainly must be having a healthy laugh in Yaounde now. Their feelings would be: “If South Africa can do it, the Indomitable Lion can also.” This is the real challenge ahead of Rohr as he gets back to the drawing board ahead of the August battles in Uyo and Yaounde.A third Nations Cup miss would certainly create a problem for the game here while failing to grab the ticket to the World Cup cannot be explained with Nigeria leading the pack right from the first game. Let’s not just think about that happening as the consequent may be too hot to handle. LAST LINE….With Daniel Akpeyi’s uninspiring display against Bafana Bafana last Saturday in Uyo, agitations have started again for the return of Vincent Enyeama from retirement. It is very doubtful if Enyeama will listen to any plea for him to return. Given the manner he was treated before calling it quit. Nigerians should enjoy the memories of the former Enyimba safe hands between the posts for Eagles. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Floyd Mayweather shuts down possibility of competing in MMA

first_imgLAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather has often teased the idea of competing in MMA with posts on social media. Although it would likely yield him a massive payday, the undefeated boxer would be at a serious disadvantage if he ever decided to enter the world of mixed martial arts. Still, some question if there is a dollar amount that would drag the 41-year-old into an Octagon. The short answer is “No.”  Mayweather also shot down a return to boxing. He said he was happily retired and in the business of entertaining. He also teased that this wouldn’t be his only exhibition and that he was interested in putting on more shows like this across the globe. As far as money is concerned, Mayweather suggested that he doesn’t need the payday but is happy to “work smart and not hard” when an opportunity like this presents itself. He made it clear, however, that he’ll never put himself in a position where he could lose.In August 2016, Mayweather stopped MMA star Conor McGregor in the 10th round when the Irishman decided to step into the world of boxing. McGregor has offered to fight Mayweather under MMA rules, but The Money Team fighter said he has no desire to fight any MMA fighter under their rules.  “I’m not going into somebody else’s cage and do what they do. Everybody knows that Floyd Mayweather is a boxer. If anybody wants to fight against me, it’s in a boxing ring,” he said. MORE: Join DAZN and watch Canelo plus more than 100 fight nights a yearMayweather addressed the possibility during a media day for his upcoming boxing exhibition against Japanese kickboxing star Tenshin Nasukawa that will likely headline Rizin 14 on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo. Mayweather held court to address details regarding his three-round exhibition that will have no judges and will be fought under boxing rules. When a reporter asked why Mayweather wouldn’t allow the fight with Nasukawa to be under MMA rules, the five-weight world champion seemingly grew annoyed with the question.”Everything is always on my terms because I am the ‘A’ side,” he said. “I’m not going to fight in an MMA ring. If I do fight in an MMA ring (it will be) boxing only. Everything is my rules, my way. I work hard to put myself in the position where I call all of the shots. He may be a kickboxer, but he has to abide by my rules, simple and plain.”The retired champion said he would be earning a seven-figure payday for his exhibition and will be taking home more than most fighters who put themselves through grueling training camps for a 12-round fight.”No disrespect to Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, but I’m making more in a nine-minute exhibition (than) what they made after their heavyweight fight last weekend,” he said.  last_img read more