BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Budapest’s assembly approved a motion Wednesday to withdraw the city’s bid for the 2024 Olympics.The decision leaves Los Angeles and Paris as the only remaining candidates. The International Olympic Committee will choose the host city in September.Budapest’s decision to withdraw came after a new political group appeared to have successfully gathered enough signatures to force a city-wide referendum on the bid. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government said the change of heart by opposition politicians who earlier supported the bid had shattered consensus on the issue.The withdrawal of the bid was decided with 22 votes in favor and six against, with support coming mostly from councilors from Orban’s governing Fidesz party.“Everything that is going on is no longer about sports,” Mayor Istvan Tarlos said during a heated debate at the extraordinary session of the assembly. “The saddest thing … is what kind of image the country is creating itself abroad with this circus surrounding the Olympics.”The opposition said the city government was letting down voters by preventing them from expressing their opinions about the bid.“If over a quarter of a million Budapest citizens have determined that they want to decide in a referendum about the Olympics, it is only right if we give them this opportunity,” said Antal Csardi of the Politics Can Be Different party.The Momentum Movement, a new political association, gathered more than 266,000 signatures in 30 days in favor of holding a vote. Some of the other opposition parties helped collect the signatures, far more than the 138,000 minimum needed.The opposition also criticized the government for apparently reneging on its promise to carry out the Olympic-related infrastructure developments even if the city did not win the bid.Despite comments from Orban’s chief of staff that the money originally earmarked for the Olympics could be spent on rural projects instead, Tarlos said he would wait for the government’s official position before getting involved in the debate.Political analysts said holding the referendum and keeping the issue on the agenda for months did not favor Orban’s plans to seek a fourth term in elections scheduled for April 2018.Hamburg, in 2015, and Rome last year also withdrew their bids. The IOC reiterated last week it would review its bid process because it now produces “too many losers.”TweetPinShare0 Shares
The St. Catherine Parish Court (Spanish Town) is to be refurbished at a cost of $43 million.The contract for the undertaking was signed on Thursday (July 19) during the quarterly press briefing at the Ministry’s Constant Spring Road offices in St. Andrew.SM Quality Construction will undertake the project, which is expected to get under way shortly and be completed over a four-month period.Building Project Consultant at the Justice Ministry, Vivian Gordon, said that renovations will be extensive.“We are changing windows, redoing the floors, we are painting, and we are upgrading plumbing and electrical services in the building,” he informed.“We have many areas in the building that we have to look at in terms of the type and quality of the finishes, and all of those things will be addressed by the refurbishing,” Mr. Gordon added.
Workers at the General Motors plant in Oshawa have stopped working as they wait for details on the company’s plan to close the facility.A source familiar with the situation has told The Canadian Press that General Motors Canada will shutter the plant as part of a shift in global production that will also affect operations in other countries.Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the plant, said it has been informed that there is no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019.On Monday morning, dozens of workers were seen walking out of the Oshawa Assembly Plant, with some saying they were very unhappy with news of the planned closure.One man said the union had told workers at the plant to go home and would be speaking with employees at an afternoon meeting.A spokeswoman for GM Canada said Sunday that the company had “no news or comment tonight” and would not be commenting on speculation.According to GM’s website, the Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222. Production began on Nov. 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.
Lahore: A man has been arrested in Pakistan for allegedly assisting in solemnising the wedding of two Hindu minor girls, who were reportedly abducted and forcefully converted to Islam, as the teenagers approached a court in the country’s Punjab province seeking protection. The two girls, Raveena (13) and Reena (15), were allegedly kidnapped by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the Nikah (marriage) of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered a probe into the issue. According to Geo TV, the teenagers approached a court in Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province seeking protection. “Police have arrested a man from Khanpur who is suspected to have assisted in the nikah (marital contract) of the girls,” it said. However, it is not confirmed whether the arrested man is the cleric who performed their marriage. Earlier, there were reports that the cleric who performed the minor girls’ marriage was arrested from Khanpur in Sindh. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a prominent Hindu lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, said he would present a resolution in the National Assembly in its next session demanding an end to forced conversions. The draft resolution demands that the most unfortunate incidents of kidnappings and forced conversions must be condemned unanimously by all honourable members of Parliament. “The bill against forced conversions which was unanimously passed by Sindh Assembly in 2016 and then reverted due to pressure of extremist elements, must be resurrected and passed in the Assembly on priority basis, ” says the draft resolution. The resolution would seek strict action against controversial religious elements for supporting such inhuman practice. A war of words broke out between India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry over the reported abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of the two Hindu teenagers. The spat started soon after Swaraj sought details from the Indian envoy in Pakistan into the reported abduction of two Hindu teenaged girls. Swaraj, while tagging a media report about the incident, tweeted that she has asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the matter. Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry responded to her tweet, saying it was his country’s “internal issue”. In a Twitter post in Urdu on Sunday, Chaudhry said the prime minister has asked the Sindh chief minister to look into reports that the girls in question have been taken to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab. He said the prime minister has also ordered the Sindh and Punjab governments to devise a joint action plan in light of the incident, and to take concrete steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. The Hindu community in Pakistan has carried out massive demonstrations calling for strict action to be taken against those responsible, while reminding Prime Minister Khan of his promises to the minorities of the country. Last year, Khan during his election campaign had said his party’s agenda was to uplift the various religious groups across Pakistan and said they would take effective measures to prevent forced marriages of Hindu girls. Rights activist Jibran Nasir tweeted that the sisters were converted at the Dargah Barchundi Sharif and were taken to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab following their marriages. Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. Majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province. According to media reports, approximately 25 forced marriages take place every month only in Umerkot district in Sindh province.
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday said Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, is “constitutionally vulnerable” and also hampering economic development of the state.The statement comes amidst the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pressing for early elections to the state assembly in the state. The state is under President’s rule and the Union Cabinet takes all policy decisions related to the militancy-hit state. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In a blog, Jaitley said the seven-decade history of the state of Jammu and Kashmir confronts changing India with several questions. “Was the Nehruvian course, which the state had embarked, a historical blunder or was it the correct course to follow? Most Indians today believe that it is the former. “Does our policy today have to be guided by that erroneous vision or an out of box thinking which is in consonance with ground reality?” Jaitley questioned. The senior BJP leader and in-charge of the party’s campaign committee for general elections said Article 35A was “surreptitiously” included by a presidential notification in the Constitution in 1954. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KArtcle 35A, he said, was neither a part of the original Constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly, nor did it come as a Constitutional Amendment under Article 368 of the Constitution which requires an approval by two-third majority of both Houses of Parliament. “It came as a presidential notification and is a surreptitious executive insertion in the Constitution.” Jaitley further said the Article gives the right to the state government to discriminate between two state citizens living in the state on the basis of declaring some as permanent residents while leaving out the others. It also discriminates between permanent residents of the state and all other Indian citizens living elsewhere, he added. “Lakhs of Indian citizens in J&K vote in Lok Sabha elections but not in Assembly, municipal or Panchayat polls. Their children cannot get government jobs. They cannot own property and their children cannot get admitted to governmental institutions. “The same applies to those who live elsewhere in the country. The heirs of ladies marrying outside the state are disinherited from owing or inheriting property,” the minister added. He said the state does not have adequate financial resources and its ability to raise more has been crippled by Article 35A.
Before scrolling down and peeking at the table, take a guess: Which team has the highest projected end-of-season win total according to FiveThirtyEight’s latest NFL Elo ratings and playoff odds?While you’re thinking, let me briefly explain what these numbers are all about. A team’s Elo rating represents its current strength — or at least an estimate thereof using a simple method that incorporates margin of victory, home-field advantage, strength of schedule and team quality in previous seasons. (For the really gory details of how the ratings work, click here.) To give you a sense of the scale, the average NFL team always has an Elo rating of 1500, and the ratings usually range from 1700 on the high side to 1300 on the low end of the spectrum.Anyway, once computed, they can be used to derive win probabilities for each game and even point spreads. That’s how we’re able to simulate the remainder of the NFL schedule thousands of times and track each team’s chances of winning the division or making the playoffs, right down to using the NFL’s actual, highly arcane tiebreaker rules.OK, so now that the explanation is out of the way, which team has the most predicted wins?Perhaps you’re thinking of the Seattle Seahawks, who won their Super Bowl rematch with the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. You’d be close; Seattle once again checks in with the top Elo rating this week (see left), but their schedule is difficult enough — eighth-toughest in the league, to be exact — that they don’t have the league’s highest expected win total. Speaking of the Broncos, they had the most predicted wins in last week’s column, but their loss to the Seahawks was damaging — both because it took away about 0.38 expected wins for the Seattle game itself, and because their Elo rating was downgraded by 14 (or the equivalent of a little more than a half a point of victory margin per game), reducing their win probabilities in future games as well.New England, then? The Patriots did manage to win last week but only marginally improved their Elo rating after a seven-point victory over the Oakland Raiders in a game Elo thought they should have won by more than two touchdowns. They currently rank fourth in expected wins. And the Carolina Panthers, who had been pegged for 10.7 wins after a 2-0 start, dropped to a 9.1-win expectation in the wake of an 18-point home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.The answer you were looking for was actually the Cincinnati Bengals, who project to win a league-high 11.2 games, according to our simulations. The Bengals moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006 (don’t ask what happened that year) by drubbing the Tennessee Titans 33-7, and they now have the NFL’s best point differential. They also have an easier remaining schedule than the teams above them in the Elo pecking order. Based on Elo, an average team would be expected to beat Cincinnati’s remaining opponents by about 0.1 points per game (taking into account where the games are being played), while an average team would lose by 0.6 PPG against Seattle’s slate, 0.4 PPG against Denver’s and 0.2 PPG against New England’s.The Bengals also have the league’s best playoff odds at 78 percent and its second-best shot at winning the Super Bowl. Cincinnati does not have the best division odds, thanks to the re-emergence of Pittsburgh and Baltimore (sorry, Cleveland). Before the season, we thought the AFC North would be up for grabs, and three of its teams had preseason Elo ratings above 1500, but they were all bunched at the fringe of the top 12. Now Elo’s fourth-, ninth- and 12th-best teams hail from the AFC North, making it the NFL’s second-best division (in terms of its members’ average rating) behind the fearsome NFC West.Either way, Bengals fans should enjoy their team’s newfound success. They’re in a relatively prosperous cycle of the franchise’s history; including the end of last season, the team is consistently producing its best Elo ratings since the end of the 2005 season. Let’s hope there isn’t another Kimo von Oelhoffen moment waiting to derail the momentum this time around.Here are the projected standings and playoff odds for every NFL team:Some other observations:After briefly pulling themselves up to a 1503 Elo with a win over the New York Jets in Week 2, the Green Bay Packers dropped below 1500 again and now have their worst rating since the beginning of the Aaron Rodgers era. It’s a far cry from the Packers team that boasted a 1780 Elo late in the 2011 season, just 145 short weeks ago.Like Cincinnati, the Arizona Cardinals are zooming up the expected-win charts. Our simulations have them winning an average of 10.6 games by the end of the season, which ranks third in the league. Interestingly, by Elo they aren’t even the second-best team in the NFC West — San Francisco is barely ahead despite losing to Arizona last week — but they are expected to win 1.8 more games than the 49ers because they are already two games up in the standings (though they play the fourth-hardest schedule in football from now on).San Diego shouldn’t be forgotten in the Super Bowl derby. Although the Seahawks are the clear favorites, with a 14 percent chance of winning it all, the Chargers are at the periphery of the next tier of contenders — a group that also includes Cincinnati, New England, Arizona, Denver and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles. And along with the Bengals and Cardinals, the Chargers have added the most to their Elo score since the preseason ratings, improving from a 1555 to their current 1602 mark over the course of three straight victories.Although their 1999 incarnation was pretty extraordinary, the 2014 St. Louis Rams — along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars — seem to be deteriorating. No teams have shed more points off of their Elo ratings since the season began, with each losing in excess of 49 points (the equivalent of about two points per game of expected scoring margin) compared to their preseason ratings.As I mentioned, Elo ratings can also be used to generate point spreads for future games. It is our staunch recommendation, however, that these be used for “entertainment purposes only” — especially after a performance like last week. Going up against the point spreads listed at Pro-Football-Reference.com, Elo’s picks were a dreadful 4-11-1 in Week 3. (They did have a 12-4 straight-up record.) But we’ll soldier on anyway and list the matchups for this week, along with their predicted win probabilities and point spreads:The best matchup of the week in Elo’s eyes is Philadelphia at San Francisco, which matches Nos. 6 and 10 in our rankings. But as far as marquee games go (measured by the harmonic mean of the two teams’ pregame ratings after adding half the home-field advantage to each side), it’s the worst week-leading matchup of the season yet.Even so, there are some interesting pairings to be had, in addition to Eagles-Niners. Elo considers Washington and the New York Football Giants to be a classic “pick ’em“, while Vegas sees Washington as three-and-a-half point favorites, perhaps underestimating just how bad of a period this is in the franchise’s history. Likewise, Green Bay is a one-and-a-half point favorite at Chicago despite Elo pegging the Bears as five-point favorites. How much of that is owed to the Bears’ banged-up defense, and how much simply stems from a refusal to believe the Packers aren’t the same team they were several years ago, is tough to say.Finally, a couple of NFC South teams are getting a lot more love in Vegas than the ratings say they deserve. The books have both Atlanta and New Orleans favored by 3 on the road this week (the Falcons visit Minnesota; the Saints go to Dallas), while Elo thinks Vegas is off by about 5 points in each matchup — enough to swing the expected winner of both games. In general, Elo has the NFC South as the fifth-best division in football, but if both teams buck the odds and live up to those spreads on the road, our computer might have to change its tune.
Depending on a team’s record, playing in a college basketball conference tournament can have a variety of implications. For some, it’s a final opportunity to attain an unlikely spot in the NCAA Tournament. For others, it’s a chance to improve seeding or tune up for a deep tournament run. This year, the Big Ten tournament could serve as something else: a tiebreaker. Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State each finished with a 13-5 record in the Big Ten, forcing a three-way split of the regular season conference title. Would winning the Big Ten tournament, which will be played Thursday through Sunday, give one of those three teams an unofficial title as the conference’s best? “These tournaments, the regular season champion, tournament champion, they’re a big deal,” said OSU junior forward Evan Ravenel. “It kind of sets you apart from the rest of the pack as far as within your conference.” Although a Big Ten tournament championship by one of the top three teams might offer some clarity within the conference, it might not have a significant impact on the national level. Despite the Big Ten being widely regarded this season as college basketball’s top conference and having five teams ranked 15th or better in the AP Top 25 Poll this week, many projections don’t have a Big Ten team receiving one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tourney. OSU coach Thad Matta said that should the Buckeyes, Spartans or Wolverines win this weekend’s tournament, that team should receive a top seed for the national tournament. “From what I’ve just gone through, I would say yes,” Matta said. “Now you can say, ‘Hey Thad, how would you guys do going through the Big East?’ There’s probably too much hypothetical involved in it, I don’t know the answer. But I know, just lobbying for the Big Ten, the different styles that you face from night to night, the arenas that we play in, that sort of thing, it’s a great challenge. But yeah if one of the three of us wins the conference (tournament) championship I could see validity in (getting a No. 1 seed).” Unlike last season when the Buckeyes went 16-2 in the Big Ten en route to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the strength of teams in the Big Ten this season ultimately prevented a team from pulling away in the standings. “We did a nice job of beating each other up throughout the course of (this season),” Matta said. “You didn’t have that dominating performance by anyone in the league. I mean 13-5 won it, so it probably just speaks more to top to bottom how good the conference is.” Based on tie-breaking procedures, Michigan State is the top seed, Michigan is the No. 2 seed and the Buckeyes are the third seed in this weekend’s tournament. OSU will play Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Thursday’s game between sixth-seeded Purdue and No. 11 seed Nebraska. Matta said conference tournament games give the younger OSU players a preview of what NCAA tournament games are like. “You’re going to a neutral site, you’re playing in a nice arena, you’re playing great competition obviously, and there’s that heightened awareness of second half, score tied, ‘Hey, if we don’t get it done we’re going home,’” Matta said. “So without really saying it, they have that understanding and appreciation for what we have to do at that time. “I will be anxious to see how this team plays in this setting.” Tip between the Buckeyes and either the Boilermakers or Cornhuskers is set for 9 p.m. Friday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
Watford manager Javi Gracia deflated talks on the controversial decisions that marred his side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.The Hornets came from behind to secure a draw on the south coast, which saw Gracia’s side climb above Manchester United into seventh on goal difference in the Premier League.“I prefer to speak about the penalty,” the Spaniard disclosed to Sky. “It was first when there were more than 30 minutes left, it could be the second yellow card for that player, a penalty and after that, maybe the game could change.“I didn’t see it from my position, it’s impossible to know what happened.What to expect from Watford V Arsenal? Taimoor Khan – September 8, 2019 Arsenal are set to take on Watford this weekend and the game is definitely going to be quite a peculiar contest between two sides…“But after asking Chalobah he told me it was clear and maybe changed the game from that moment. But I prefer to support the referee’s decision, it’s difficult their job.”Gracia thought it was a fair result after his team rallied round for a point.“We have won a point,” he said. “It is true, we were improving and at the end of the game we created some chances to win. But I think a draw is fair and Southampton created some chances to score in the first half as well.“And we tried to compete and in the second half we showed character and ambition to get this point and it is important after the game we played today to go back home with one point.”
Real Betis defender Junior Firpo revealed his father is a Real Madrid fan and they always used to watch the games together, amid reports of a potential moveThe Spain U-21 international’s impressive displays at Betis have caused reports to emerge of a potential transfer to Real.It’s understood that Los Blancos are willing to pay for Firpo’s €50m buy-out clause to sign him from Betis as a long-term successor to Marcelo.“I’m closer to Real Madrid as my father is a Madridista,” Junior told Spanish TV channel Cuatro, via Football-Espana.Match Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“We watched them on TV when we first arrived in Spain and for that reason I’ve always felt stronger about them.”Firpo is contracted at Betis until June 2023 and has scored three goals in 15 La Liga appearances.Premier League champions Manchester City along with Arsenal have also been linked with moves for the 22-year-old.
After reaching an impressive 150 La Liga matches for FC Barcelona, striker Luis Suarez explained the sacrifice he had to make when he arrived.As one of FC Barcelona’s greatest strikers to play in the modern era, Luis Suarez completed his 150th La Liga match against Girona last Sunday and he shared the moment in which he decided to sacrifice his game in order to fit in a squad that had Lionel Messi and Neymar.The Uruguay international was coming from a Liverpool squad in which he was the most important offensive player, he moved all around the pitch at will and didn’t have any restrictions to play in a specific position.When he first got to Barcelona however, the manager told him that he would be the player who was going to have to do the “dirty work” with all the defenders inside the box.This was something that Luis Suarez was very familiar with due to his learning experience for Uruguay under manager Oscar Washington Tabarez, when he realized that his defensive work was going to be on point, Luis didn’t care about making a sacrifice for his teammates because he was used to it already.The effort paid off in a major way, as he won the treble with his two offensive teammates on his first season with the club.Proud to have worn the FC Barcelona shirt 150 times in La Liga. Hear me discuss how I felt when I first joined, only on @OTRO. #OurOtherClub pic.twitter.com/7wbQhHDCW8— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) January 28, 2019But the Luis Suarez story didn’t stop there, as he went on to have an outstanding La Liga performance next season with the Catalan club after scoring an impressive 40 goals that gave him the chance to win the second Golden Shoe of his career.This individual award is only given to the player who scores the highest number of league goals throughout the season, but all those goals wouldn’t have been possible to score by Luis Suarez if it wasn’t for that indomitable fighting spirit that is very usual in players who were born in Uruguay.Luis Suarez shared his learning process in a new project called “OTHER”, where he also shared a hashtag by the name of #OurOtherClub.“When I first came to Barcelona I was playing with Neymar on one side and Messi on the other…” said Suarez on an interview for Otro.“I used to ask my self where was I going to play. Well, all I had to do was my job. I had to run, I had to fight the ball against defenders, I had to search for spaces so that two of the best players in the world could also play freely.”“In that sense, I knew that I needed to adapt and be smart.”Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.3 puntos y seguimos 💪💪💪VISÇA BARÇA 🔴🔵 Grande equipo 👏👏👏3 points and we keep going 💪💪💪 Great team pic.twitter.com/BUOiiEJQ2A— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) January 27, 2019Despite having all these obstacles on his career, Luis Suarez was always able to perform at the top of his game for any club he represented and FC Barcelona was no exception.Last Sunday’s match represented Suarez’s 150th La Liga match since he arrived in Barcelona, he’s become the player with the most goals after said number of matches in the club’s history even above Lionel Messi.The Argentine didn’t reach 150 league matches until that mythical 2011-2012 season when he scored the all-time record of 50 goals in a single tournament, Messi reached those 150 matches and he scored fewer goals than Suarez until that moment.The Uruguay international has a better goal-average than Barcelona’s greatest player in history and he still hasn’t reached the end of his career with the Catalan club, this relationship between both players might be the greatest duo in football history.So far this season, Luis has already scored 15 goals, and Messi has reached 19 in the current competition.Both of them seem like they will have a groundbreaking tournament, which may most likely end with both of them winning La Liga title.🎂 ¿Todavía no has felicitado a @LuisSuarez9?🎁 Envía tu mensaje de felicitación pic.twitter.com/2VxuIVH1Tl— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) January 24, 2019How many goals will Luis Suarez score this season for FC Barcelona? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.