RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” to go further BelarusEurope – Central Asia Organisation June 7, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two more independent newspapers closed down June 2, 2021 Find out more BelarusEurope – Central Asia News Follow the news on Belarus “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says News Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders protested today against the closure of two more independent newspapers by the information ministry for three months. Editors of the twice-weekly satirical newspaper Navinki learned on 3 June that they were being closed down. The weekly Ekho was prevented from coming out the following day.”We are extremely concerned about these new closures,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. “The press law permits the temporary closure of a news media after two warnings, but the authorities are using ridiculous bureaucratic pretexts to get rid of the independent press,” he said.Navinki did not learn about its closure until the company that distributes it, Belsajuzdruk, refused to distribute the latest issue on 3 June. It has still not received any official notification of its closure. The information ministry gave it a first warning on 21 May for publishing, in the same issue, “two photos of the President of Belarus with an insulting comment.” On 22 May, the ministry gave a second warning about two articles published earlier in the year, in numbers 87 and 90, headlined “The press law” and “Offence to the people’s morality.” Ekho, which has managed to put out only one issue since its creation, was prevented from printing its 4 June issue, in which it had planned to include articles from the independent daily Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta, which was itself closed down on 28 May. The information ministry gave Ekho two warnings, on the pretext that it had changed its legal address, name and the subjects it writes about without re-registering with the authorities. Then, on 4 June, the head of the Krasanaya Sevzda printing works, Uladzimir Celesh, told Ekho that he was ending their contract with immediate effect, thereby preventing that day’s issue from being printed. Help by sharing this information News News May 28, 2021 Find out more May 27, 2021 Find out more RSF_en
An 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. 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.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma cracked half-centuries as India recorded their maiden win of the England tour with a six-wicket thumping of Sussex in a rain-affected practice game here on Thursday. India have already lost the Test series 0-4.The two talented youngsters put on 104 runs for the third wicket in impressive style as Indians chased down the 235-run target with 4.1 overs to spare after the game was reduced to 45-over-a side affair due to two rain interruptions.Put into bat, Sussex were 236 all out with seamer R P Singh snaring four wickets but the Indians needed 235 to win due to the revised target under Duckworth-Lewis system.The Indians looked in control even though Sachin Tendulkar (21) did not last long as the other opener Parthiv Patel (55), Kohli (71) and Sharma (61 not out) played around with an average home attack.Kohli’s knock came from 83 balls and included six fours and a six. Sharma’s unbeaten 61 came from 65 balls and studded with eight fours and a six.Tendullkar played some gorgeous strokes before he spooned up a catch at mid-off against left-arm paceman Chris Liddle.As many as four fours were hit by Tendulkar in his brief 17-ball knock.Patel was similarly aggressive, relying a great deal on chipped shots behind square before he played back to off-spinner Chris Nash and missed the line completely. He made his 55 runs from 65 balls and slammed nine fours.But Kohli and Sharma then took over and literally toyed with the home side attack, running their singles crisply and hitting big shots at will.advertisementSharma was effortless in his drives through the off-side and a driven six over mid-off was as exciting as it come. He hit the winning runs off Luke Wells.Much welcomed as the Indians’ win was, it still would bother the tourists that the bowling attack was not looking up to a scratch and that Suresh Raina failed once again.Left-hander Raina, a miserable presence at the crease during the Tests, came into bat with only token runs required by the visitors for a win. He survived a near-catch at the square leg ropes and was bowled off the next ball for a personal score of 12.Earlier, RP Singh took four for 44 but two of his wickets came in the final over when batsmen were attempting to slog and the first two when the conditions were overtly favourable to swing bowling under overcast conditions.Munaf Patel was disappointing and conceded 52 runs from his seven overs for a wicket and generally was slogged around the park.Praveen Kumar was a heartening return to bowling crease after his ankle injury which made him miss out the final Test at the Oval last week. He bowled his eight overs for 28 runs and picked up a wicket.The two spinners, leg-spinner Amit Mishra and off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin bowled economically without appearing threatening at any stage.- With inputs from PTI
Annette FrancisAPTN NewsThe National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is preparing election kits that will be sent out to partner organizations across the country.The NAFC represents 113 friendship centres across the country.They offer culturally appropriate programming and services to First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples living in cities.NAFC Executive Director Jocelyn Formsma said it’s important the centres prepare their clients for the election.“We’re encouraging friendship centres to invite candidates to the centre, so that they’re aware of the programing,” she said.“And that people at the centres are also aware of who the candidates are.”Read More: #Vote2019: Climate change and drinking water top Indigenous issues in federal election#Vote2019: Truth and Reconciliation still important to Indigenous voters according to pollAccording to a poll commissioned by APTN and conducted by Environics, the environment is one of the most pressing issues on the ballot this year with housing it on the lower end at 6 per cent.But according to Formsa, the urban population’s needs are different.“Making sure people have a safe place to live, shelter, making sure that families have support, that children have support especially those who are leaving the child welfare system or currently involved with the child welfare system,” she said.72 per cent of those surveyed said they’ll definitely vote on election night, but that number is often higher than the actual turnout.Gabrielle Fayant, the founding member of a non-profit youth group Assembly of Seven Generations, said the number of youth at the polls could be lower than in 2015 due to the fact the politicians have failed to reach out to them.“It seems like a mixed response, like some youth are really outspoken and they’re saying like we need to go out and vote and other youth are just like, why, why should we even vote”, said Fayant.The poll also found that 73 per cent of respondents said child welfare is a very important issue, something that Fayant [email protected]@aptnafrancis
It could be that the ongoing analytics boom in hockey has affected a change in the old “get the puck to the net however possible” evangelism that once was pre-eminent. It’s true that the puck won’t go into the net unless it’s guided toward the net, but not all shots are created equal: An unimpeded shot from between the dots has a much better chance of hitting the twine than a shot taken from the blue line and directed toward a bunch of traffic in front of the net, for example. If expected goals are any indication, players are taking smarter shots — not more shots — than they did in the past, and that’s leading to more goals.We might expect that slumping goaltending could also provide part of the answer. The average save percentage (.908) across the NHL is the lowest it’s been in a decade. But if we isolate goaltenders who were roughly in their prime (between the ages 25 and 31) in both 2015-16 and 2018-19 — presumably a group whose inherent skills haven’t changed very much even as the NHL’s goals-per-game average has — their average save percentage has dipped by an astounding 12 points over that span.By comparison, the overall league average in save percentage is down by only 7 points, which indicates that goaltenders who were not in the goalie population in 2015-16 are having a better time adjusting to the league than goalies who were already around — even ones still in their primes. It’s fair to conclude, then, that goaltending has gotten demonstrably more difficult in a short period of time, and veteran goalies appear to have had a hard time adapting to shooters who have figured out how to take smarter and more dangerous shots.This is all in sharp contrast to the amount of scoring that occurred in the past decade-plus. In the past, changes to the NHL rulebook have had a bubble effect: Scoring increases immediately but regresses within a season or two. That was certainly the case in 2005-06, which was defined by a spate of rule changes and a cadre of whistle-happy referees. That season, the size of goaltender equipment was reduced; the two-line offsides rule was abolished; the neutral zone was reduced by 4 feet, expanding the space each team had to mount an offensive zone attack; and goaltenders were no longer allowed to play the puck anywhere they wanted behind the goal line, instead restricted to a trapezoid behind their own net. Power-play opportunities skyrocketed to 5.85 per team per game, up by 1.61 from 2003-04.This all meant that scoring jumped from 5.14 goals per game in 2003-04 to 6.16 goals per game in 2005-06. The boost was short-lived, however. Scoring dipped beneath 6 goals per game the following season, and as the decade post-lockout progressed, scoring continued to suffer. Power-play opportunities declined drastically, goaltenders got better, and the average goals scored per game stayed below 6 for a dozen seasons. Until this season.Whether the scoring uptick can be attributed to a culmination of rule changes, smarter shot selection, worse goaltending or evolved tactics — or some combination of all of that — one thing is certain: The NHL is a scorer’s league again, and the 2018-19 iteration is the most entertaining in nearly three decades. Players in the NHL are scoring at a prodigious pace. Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov is on pace to score 125 points, which would be tied for the highest point tally of the new millennium. If they keep up their current clip, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid would score 122 points, Chicago’s Patrick Kane 119 points and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen 117 points. All of these point totals would smash each player’s previous career high. This makes sense given the climate of the NHL this season — it’s the highest-scoring season since the one that took place immediately after the lockout of 2004-05. There are currently 40 players scoring at least a point per game.1Among players who have played in at least half of their team’s games. If the season ended today, it would be the highest number since 1995-96, when 42 finished the season with a point per game or better. This is excellent news for a league that’s constantly tinkering with its rulebook to increase scoring.For the first time in more than a decade, the average goals scored per NHL game has surpassed 6. But unlike previous spikes in scoring, there weren’t any sweeping changes made to the rulebook before the season,2The league did reduce the size of goaltending equipment again, but whether that meaningfully affects scoring numbers is up for debate. so what exactly is going on?An obvious stat to look at is the average number of power-play opportunities teams are getting each game. More man advantages, it would seem, might lead to more quality scoring opportunities. But power-play opportunities per game have actually decreased steadily since 2005-06, the season after the lockout, and are static when compared with last season, when the average goals scored per game was below 6.Shooters do appear to be taking better shots in five-on-five scenarios. The average for the league in expected goals per 60 minutes per team3Expected goals functions as a proxy for shot quality. is 2.38, according to data from Corsica Hockey — up from 2.19 in 2015-16. And shooters are actually performing better than the expected goals model suggests they should be: The league average goals per 60 minutes per team is 2.49. A 10th of a goal may not seem like a lot, but it translates to about 254 more goals scored per season. Shots against per game have remained fairly stable since the lockout of 2004-05, which makes it somewhat difficult to explain the sudden glut.
If there is any time to have complete focus on the mission that has been set for the No. 5 Ohio State (22-4, 14-1) women’s basketball team, it’s now, and the players are well aware.With the postseason in the near future, the Buckeyes continue to possess the “one game at a time” mentality that many teams live by, and they had Nebraska (17-9, 8-7) down to a science right from the jump, routing the Cornhuskers 96-70.Both the Buckeyes and the Huskers immediately sprung out to a fast-paced start, with Nebraska scoring within the first 15 seconds and OSU answering right after.Although the Scarlet and Gray controlled the pace of the game and showcased an abundance of energy, senior Ameryst Alston said they still believe they can do better in that realm.“In the first half, our intensity wasn’t quite there,” the guard said after the game. “We weren’t really in the right spots, but in the second half we made adjustments.”Nebraska’s first-half scoring attack was led by its freshman forward Jessica Shepard, who was nothing but smooth on the block, showing that she is one of the top post players in the Big Ten. She scored 12 points prior to the break.Shepard’s 6-foot-4 frame and ability to convert a close-range hook shot with both hands made it difficult for her to be stopped. The Buckeyes’ forwards were able to limit Shepard to 20 points by the end of the match thanks to the tempo that they initiated, forcing Shepard to limit her playing time due to fast-break style that the Buckeyes followed.When the Huskers were able to get the ball into Shepard, they had a lot more productivity within their offensive possessions. Having the basketball IQ of a veteran point guard, Shepard knew when it was appropriate to look for her own shot or to find an open teammate.“Jessica Shepard is so good, that if you are going to let them walk the ball down and pound it in to her, it’s going to be a long night for us,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said.But as a result of OSU’s scheming to limit Shepard, the night ended up not being all that long.The Buckeyes followed the path of their most recent 2,000-point scorer, Alston, who went a perfect 3-of-3 in the first quarter, later ending the half with 12 points. Alston continued to orchestrate the OSU offense, finishing the game with 16 points and three assists.It was Hart’s 14th consecutive game in double-figure scoring. A Dec. 31 game against Michigan State was the last time she scored in single digits. Sophomore forward Alexa Hart remained an efficient shooter for McGuff’s team, going 8-of-10 from the field and maintaining her No. 3 rank in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (64.6 percent). Hart completed the evening with 18 points and nine rebounds.In the last 20 minutes of play, it was difficult for the Huskers to come back and make a run on the Buckeyes.The tenacious defense from OSU’s guards forced several Nebraska mistakes and made it difficult for any of the Husker ball-handlers to get the rock in Shepard’s hands.OSU sophomore guards Asia Doss and Kelsey Mitchell were the triggers to the Buckeye defensive energy, tipping and stealing a multitude of balls and creating havoc for Nebraska. Doss would finish the game with four steals, while her and Mitchell combined for a flurry of deflections, a statistic that goes unrecognized by the stat book.On the offensive end, Doss and Mitchell finished with 16 and 13 points, respectively.Besides limiting Nebraska’s Shepard to an average scoring night, the Buckeyes were able to shut down sophomore guard Natalie Romeo, who is No. 2 in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made with 86 on the season. Romeo went 1-of-6 from behind the arc, having to rush each one of her shots due to the limited space she received from the several Buckeyes who had the opportunity to guard her.“(Limiting Romeo) was one of the goals,” Alston said. “She does a lot for her team hitting her threes.”With only three games left in the regular season, OSU will continue to have the same mentality: one game at a time.On deck, the Buckeyes will host Illinois (9-17, 2-13) at the Schottenstein Center on Sunday. The program will recognize seniors Alston and Cait Craft in the final regular-season home game of the year.The match between OSU and the Fighting Illini is set to tip off at 2 p.m. OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) is honored before a game against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins attempts a pass against Michigan on Nov. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke the Big Ten single-season passing touchdowns record Saturday against Michigan.Haskins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill, his fourth of the game and 40th this season, to break former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees’ record set in 1998. Haskins and former Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett, Troy Smith and Bobby Hoying hold five of the Top 10 spots in conference history for most touchdown passes thrown in a single season.Haskins also broke former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter’s single-season passing yards record against the Wolverines on a 10-yard pass to redshirt sophomore tight end Luke Farrell, needing 300 yards going into the game to break the record.This season, Haskins already has broken the single season Ohio State record for most touchdowns (36) and passing yards (3,330) in a single season.The redshirt sophomore quarterback also broke the record for most completions (49), most pass attempts (73) and most passing yards (470) in a single game in Ohio State’s 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20. Haskins also threw six touchdowns on Oct. 6 against Indiana, tying Barrett and Kenny Guiton for the most by an Ohio State quarterback in a single game.Haskins also entered the game 300 yards away from breaking the Big Ten record for most passing yards in a single season, a record former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter set in 2006.
Rangers Football Club manager Steven Gerrard has called on his players to reduce their number of cautions after their 10-man win over St. Mirren.Rangers had a player sent off in their opening game against draw Aberdeen away from home, after striker Alfredo Morelos was sent off for a flick on defender Scott McKenna.The player’s dismissal was overturned and the decision reaped benefits as he opened the scoring for the Gers on Sunday against St. Mirren before defender Conor Goldson gave Rangers a comfortable 2-0 lead.Steven Gerrard saw his team reduced to ten men on the half-hour mark when Ross McCrorie was shown a straight red card.Gerrard who was pretty vocal about the sending off of Morelos in their first game decided against making any for the offense committed by McCrorie on Sunday.“I’m very happy with the result and performance in the circumstances. Again, we’ve got down to 10 men.” Gerrard said, according to Evening Times.Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“I thought that was the correct decision. The referee got that one right.“The response from my team, every single one of them rolled their sleeves up and did what they had to do.“It was completely different to last week when we felt hard done by, said our piece and got justice in terms of the decision being overturned.“I thought the officials were really, really good today. They got the decision spot on and we’ve got no complaints.“I’ve spoken to the team and praised them for the result and clean sheet. But I’ve also spoken about discipline and composure out there.“It’s difficult enough with 11 men. We are picking up too many red and yellow cards for my liking. But we’ll learn, grow and keep going.”
The Barcelona coach doesn’t think to lose a minute checking the Video Assistant Referee as a waste of time because “it’s fairer”Barcelona needed to wait to celebrate after scoring a goal against Huesca this weekend.But for the Blaugrana coach Ernesto Valverde, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology is giving football some fairness.“It takes some getting used to. There’s an initial uncertainty, which is why I ask the referee what’s going on,” he told Barca Blaugranes after trashing Huesca 8-2.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“What I see is that the linesmen usually get it right. Today wasn’t the case but in Valladolid it was.”“You realize that the plays are so tight but they usually get it right. It means you celebrate a goal with some delay but “what are you gonna do? We’ll get used to it,” he explained.“You feel like it’s fairer. I don’t think it loses much time neither. Just half a minute or so.”
The Chelsea defender has been reported to want a move out of the club in January, after not playing in many of the team’s matches this seasonDefender Gary Cahill has been with Chelsea since 2012. From then on, he has appeared in 190 matches for his team, scoring 13 goals.But this season he has only appeared once for Chelsea, and that was to replace injured Antonio Rudiger on Sunday.And former Arsenal footballer Olivier Giroud understands Cahill’s unhappiness.“We have a lot of good players who can play in the starting XI. The problem is we have four or five center-backs and the coach made his choice,” Giroud told ESPN.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“Gary is not in a good position because it is quite tough for him, he doesn’t play so much. I understand that he wants to play more. At one stage I was the same and I didn’t like that. As players, we are happy when we are on the pitch.”“I think his heart is still in Chelsea and hopefully we will keep him because we need him,” he added.“He needs to be happy, that is the main thing, but I hope he stays because he is important for us.“He is a very good player. He’s been at Chelsea for six years, he is one of the faces of Chelsea and one of our captains. We need him,” he concluded.