‘He was a 'live-wire' on the field’: Symonds' car crash death shocks Tendulkar, Harbhajan

News Network
May 15, 2022

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Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who found himself getting unwittingly involved in the 'Monkeygate affair' when it unfolded during the second Test at Sydney in 2008, termed former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds -- who died in a car crash in Queensland on Saturday -- as a "live-wire" on the cricket field.

"Andrew Symond's demise is shocking news for all of us to absorb. Not only was he a brilliant all-rounder, but also a live-wire on the field. I have fond memories of the time we spent together in Mumbai Indians. May his soul rest in peace, condolences to his family and friends," Tendulkar tweeted on Sunday morning.

Symonds, 46, was the sole passenger in the crash just outside of Townsville in his home state of Queensland and police confirmed that a 46-year-old died at the scene of the mishap.

During the infamous Sydney Test in January 2008, which Australia won by 122 runs, Tendulkar was at the non-striker's end when the altercation between India spinner Harbhajan Singh and Symonds took place, which later came to be called the 'Monkeygate affair'.

Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a 'monkey', which triggered a war of words between the two sides. In fact, India even threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the spinner was initially suspended for three Tests.

Initially, Tendulkar denied hearing anything, but the legendary cricketer later insisted that Harbhajan had actually said a Hindi slang which was a long way from being a racist remark.

The then Australian skipper Ricky Ponting complained to match referee Mike Procter about the India spinner calling Symonds a 'monkey'. Ponting then pressed charges against Harbhajan despite the then India skipper Anil Kumble's request to apologise.

Harbhajan was then slapped with a three-Test ban, which brought the two powerful cricket boards on a confrontation path -- and left the series in jeopardy.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen to hear Harbhajan's ban appeal after the Test series. The tour continued and Hansen later trusted Tendulkar's testimony to conclude lack of evidence to press racism charges against Harbhajan.

Harbhajan Singh mourns Andrew Symonds' death

India spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was involved in one of the biggest on-field controversies that threatened to spoil the relationship between the Australian and India cricket boards, on Sunday paid his tribute to legendary all-rounder Andrew Symonds who was killed in a car crash in Queensland on Saturday.

The off-spinner took to twitter to pay his tribute to the 46-year-old former Australian all-rounder, saying the cricketing great went too soon.

"Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul. #RIPSymonds," tweeted Harbhajan.

The charismatic all-rounder played 26 Tests for Australia, scoring 1,462 runs at 40.61 and picking up 24 wickets with his off-spin and gentle medium-pace.

During the second Test of the series between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2008, Symonds scored an unbeaten 162 in the first innings that helped the hosts to a 122-run victory.

However, the Test would later be mired in controversy over the 'Monkeygate affair'. Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a 'monkey', which triggering a war of words between the two sides. In fact, India even threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the spinner was initially suspended for three games.

Symonds had then lodged a complaint that he had been racially abused by Harbhajan. The case then went to match referee Mike Procter, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lodging a protest over their player's suspension.

However, later the racism charge against Harbhajan could not be proved and the three-Test ban was lifted.

Symonds also featured in 198 ODIs -- scoring six centuries and 30 half-centuries -- while also contributing 133 wickets with his more than handy off-spin and medium pace.

It was at the 2003 World Cup where Symonds burst onto the stage with perhaps his greatest innings as he smashed Pakistan with an unbeaten 143 in Johannesburg early in the tournament and helped Australia remain unbeaten and defeat India in a one-sided final.

The right-hander was also part of the victorious World Cup side at the 2007 World Cup in West Indies as Australia claimed their fourth 50-over World Cup title.

Symonds also played 14 T20I for Australia, managing 337 runs and eight wickets. 

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Agencies
July 1,2022

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New Delhi, July 1: India imposed a ban on many single-use plastics on Friday in a bid to tackle waste choking rivers and poisoning wildlife, but experts say it faces severe headwinds from unprepared manufacturers and consumers unwilling to pay more.

The country generates around four million tonnes of plastic waste per year, about a third of which is not recycled and ends up in waterways and landfills that regularly catch fire and exacerbate air pollution.

Stray cows munching on plastic are a common sight in Indian cities and a recent study found traces in the dung of elephants in the northern forests of Uttarakhand state.

Estimates vary but around half comes from items used once, and the new ban covers the production, import and sale of ubiquitous objects like straws and cups made of plastic as well as wrapping on cigarette packets.

Exempt for now are products such as plastic bags below a certain thickness and so-called multi-layered packaging.

Authorities have promised to crack down hard after the ban -- first announced in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- came into effect.

Inspectors are set to fan-out from Friday checking that no suppliers or distributors are flouting the rules at risk of a maximum fine of 100,000 rupees ($1,265) or five-year jail sentence.

Around half of India's regions have already sought to impose their own regulations but as the state of rivers and landfill sites testifies, success has been mixed.

Firms in the plastics industry, which employs millions of people, say that alternatives are expensive and they have been lobbying the government for a delay to the ban.

Pintu, who earns his living hacking the top of coconuts with a machete and serving them to customers with a plastic straw, doesn't know what he will do.

Switching to "expensive paper straws will be tough. I will likely pass the cost to the customers," he told AFP in New Delhi.

"I've heard it'll help the environment but I don't see how it'll change anything for us," he added.

GlobalData analysts said small packs with plastic straws make up 35 per cent of soft drinks volumes, meaning manufacturers will be "badly hit".

"(The) price-sensitive masses are unable to foot the bill for eco-friendly alternatives," Bobby Verghese from GlobalData added.

Jigish N. Doshi, president of industry group Plastindia Foundation, expects "temporary" job losses but said the bigger issue was firmed "which had invested huge capital for machines that may not be useful" after the ban.

"It's not easy to make different products from machines and the government could help by offering some subsidies and helping develop and purchase alternative products," Doshi told AFP.

Satish Sinha from environmental group Toxics Link told AFP that "there will be initial resistance" as finding replacements may be hard but it was a "very welcome step".

"There will be difficulties and we may pay the price but if you're serious about the environment, this is an important issue that needs a concerted push," he said.

One young company trying to be part of the change is Ecoware, which makes disposable bio-degradable products at its factory outside Delhi.

Chief executive Rhea Mazumdar Singhal told AFP that the appalling state of landfills and widespread plastic consumption inspired her venture.

"We've seen plenty of bans before, but as citizens the power lies with us," Singhal said. 

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News Network
June 23,2022

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Kabul, June 23: Afghan authorities are struggling to reach a remote area hit by an earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people as poor communications and a lack of proper roads hampered their efforts, officials said.

“We can’t reach the area, the networks are too weak, we trying to get updates,” Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, a spokesman for the top Taliban military commander in hardest-hit Paktika province, told Reuters news agency on Thursday, referring to telephone networks.

Survivors dug by hand through villages reduced to rubble by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck early on Wednesday about 160km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, in arid mountains dotted with small settlements near the border with Pakistan.

The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in 20 years, and officials said the toll could rise. An estimated 1,500 others were reported injured.

Access to the affected eastern provinces of Khost and Paktika has been hampered by road blocks due to the earthquake as well as prior landslides from recent heavy rains.

In Paktika’s hard-hit Gayan district, villagers stood atop a pile of mud bricks that once were a home. Others carefully walked through dirt alleyways, gripping onto damaged walls with exposed timber beams to make their way.

Survivors quickly prepared the district’s dead, including children and an infant, for burial.

“We ask the Islamic emirate and the whole country to come forward and help us,” a survivor, who gave his name as Hakimullah, told The Associated Press. “We are with nothing and have nothing, not even a tent to live in.”

Helicopters were used to reach the injured and deliver urgent medical supplies and food provisions. Authorities confirmed 1,800 households have been destroyed.

Sultan Mahmood, Spera district’s chief, told Al Jazeera that 29 people have been killed in the area, 42 injured and 500 homes have been destroyed, with the remote village of Afghan-Dubai being hit the hardest.

The Taliban government has appealed for international aid. Most aid agencies pulled out of the country and many governments imposed sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sector and cut billions of dollars worth of aid after the Taliban took control in August last year.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the foreign affairs ministry’s spokesperson, told a press conference that “entire villages have been razed to the ground”.

“Despite the sanctions that have been imposed by the international community, the government has done whatever it can in its capacity and the Afghan Red Crescent has immediately dispatched emergency aid to the area, along with the Turkish Red Crescent and other agencies,” Balkhi said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter that eight trucks of food and other necessities from Pakistan arrived in Paktika. He also said on Thursday that two planes of humanitarian aid from Iran and another from Qatar had arrived in the country.

Neil Turner, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Afghanistan, said in a statement that Taliban authorities had granted humanitarian agencies full access to affected areas.

However, according to Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN deputy special representative to Afghanistan, the Taliban did not formally request that the UN mobilise international search-and-rescue teams or obtain equipment from neighbouring countries.

Many international aid agencies are wary of dealing directly with the Taliban due to sweeping international sanctions, while others have left Afghanistan altogether after the Taliban takeover last August.

Al Jazeera’s Ali Latifi, reporting from the Paktika province, said World Food Programme (WFP) trucks could be seen heading to affected areas as well as convoys from other international organisations, but that poor weather conditions on Wednesday had prevented much of the aid from reaching people in need.

At the Paktika regional hospital, badly injured patients were being turned away. “The Paktika regional hospital still lacks very important resources,” Latifi said. “For instance, they don’t have a helicopter, so patients have to be sent to Kabul by road,” a journey that takes on average five hours.

The United States on Wednesday expressed sorrow and said it would look for ways to help, including through potential talks with Taliban rulers.

“President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess US response options to help those most affected,” Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said.

The Khost province, one of the most affected by the earthquake, is home to thousands of internally displaced Afghans, returnees, and refugees from Waziristan who had already been displaced.

The death toll reported as of Thursday was equal to that of a quake in 2002 in northern Afghanistan. Those are the deadliest since 1998, when an earthquake of 6.1 in magnitude and subsequent tremors in the remote northeast killed at least 4,500 people.

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 30,2022

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Mangaluru, June 30: The life in the port city of Karnataka was thrown out of gear as the shoddy preparedness on the part of local administration and the crumbling public infrastructure exposed the so called ‘Smart City’.

Torrential rain that lashed Mangaluru today wreaked havoc in the form of artificial flood in a majority of the city roads, besides leaving a trail of destruction. Amidst relentless rains, there were reports of damage to roads and buildings whereas minor landslides reported across the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada.

Meanwhile, the Met Department has issued an orange alert till July 1 and yellow alert from July 2 to 4.

Trains cancelled

The services of unreserved express special Train No.06488 and 06489 between Subrahmanya Road - Mangaluru Central was cancelled due to a landslide that occurred between Padil and Mangaluru Junction section 9am on Thursday. 

Railway authorities expressed hope that the Landslip between Padil and Mangaluru Junction was likely to be restored by Thursday night.

Flights affected

Bengaluru- Mangaluru Indigo flight scheduled to arrive at MIA at 7.10am, diverted back to Bengaluru after 30 minutes of hovering over the airport due to poor visibility. It Later arrived at 12.50pm and left 1.15pm. 

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad Indigo flight scheduled to land at 11.30am, landed 40 minutes late. Another arrived from Bengaluru 15 minutes late at 11.35 am and departed 50 minutes late at 12.50pm. Yet another Bengaluru Mangaluru flight arrived 25 minutes late at 2.05 pm and left at 2.59 pm, instead of the scheduled departure time of 2.35 pm.

Threat to bridge

The intense rainfall saw a side of the approach road at Maravoor bridge, connecting the Mangaluru International Airport, sink causing fear of damage to the road, PWD executive engineer, who inspected the spot, said the bridge was intact. 

He said on the approach road, there is a slight slipping of earth towards the airport side which will be attended immediately. But since traffic was restricted on the bridge, there were long queues with only one-way traffic, from either side being permitted at a time.

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