New Delhi, Jun 8 (PTI) In a huge boost for Heena Sidhu, the Sports Ministry today increased the financial aid for the Rio Olympics-bound ace pistol shooter from Rs 75 lakh to Rs one crore under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme for her training till the showpiece event. Heena secured an Olympic quota for the country in January when she led from start to finish and claimed the gold medal in womens 10-m air pistol at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers for Shooting. Besides raising the amount of her financial assistance, the ministry has also approved the release of 90 per cent of total estimated cost for the former world number ones training, which is scheduled from June to August. “Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved the enhancement of budget for Heena Sidhu from Rs 75 lakh to Rs one crore under TOP Scheme for training and other support till Olympics 2016,” the sports ministry said in a statement. “It has also approved release of advance for her training during June-August, 2016.” PTI AH AH
The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football Share on WhatsApp Barney Ronay Read more Share on Twitter Topics Pochettino said he had been happy with Alli’s last three performances – against Liverpool, West Ham United in the Carabao Cup and Manchester United, although he missed a golden late chance at Old Trafford, when the score was 0-0. United would win 1-0.It seemed to sum up the stop-start nature of his season, in which he has also served a one-match international ban for making a middle-finger gesture during England’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia. Pochettino maintained he would not want to remove the fire from Alli and flare-ups such as the one with United’s Ashley Young on Saturday were inevitable. The Real tie promises drama and opportunity.“I think Dele needs to enjoy playing football,” Pochettino said. “He is a special player. With time, improvement and not repeating his mistakes, he can, for sure, become one of the best players in the world.” Share on LinkedIn Read more Share on Messenger Dele Alli Real Madrid Alli travelled with the Tottenham squad for the tie in Madrid, even though he could not play, and he trained with his team-mates the night beforehand at the Bernabéu. It was quite an experience but watching the 1-1 draw from the stands was an altogether more testing one.Now Alli is back for Real’s visit to Wembley and it is impossible to ignore the impression that he is on a mission to make up for lost time.Harry Kane, the in-form striker and another reported Real target, has seemingly shaken off the hamstring injury that ruled him out of Saturday’s defeat at Manchester United. He trained well on Tuesday and Pochettino said he is “very confident” he will start. Alli’s return supplies the intrigue.“For the player that is not involved from the beginning in a very exciting competition, you always feel a little bit down,” Pochettino said. “Of course it can affect the motivation about preparing yourself to compete. Sometimes you stay alone at the training ground and it’s not easy. Maybe Dele was affected a little bit by that.“But we are so happy now in how he is doing. His internal motivation is higher to compete at his best level. It’s true that maybe he is disappointed with himself because he’s not been at his best but it is coming – like the winter is coming.” Deep-lying or forward-thinking, Dele Alli is Tottenham’s total footballer Pochettino ‘very confident’ Kane will feature for Spurs against Real Madrid Champions League Read more Share on Facebook features Share on Pinterest The admission that there has been a problem for Alli was the serious bit and Pochettino was a little vague, at first, when he attempted to explain why. “I think it’s normal after two very successful seasons, or one-and-a-half …” the manager started, before trailing off. “It was a strange pre-season for Dele, a difficult pre-season for him for different reasons.”It was over the summer that Alli parted company with his agent, Rob Segal, and his search for fresh representation has made the headlines at Europe’s biggest clubs – chief among them Real Madrid. It should be noted that Alli remains under contract to Segal for the next two transfer windows, meaning that he could be in line for a payday if the attacking midfielder were to sign a new contract at Tottenham or get a move. In that event, the agent used by Alli would most likely have to reach a settlement with Segal.Alli is not the sort of guy to worry at night about who represents him but Pochettino did note in his book that it was important the player does not “forget what has got him to his point”.Pochettino continued: “Dele’s WhatsApp photo of a cartoon of a boy surrounded by people who all want a piece of him suggests that he needs to be surrounded by the right people. I often think about that WhatsApp photo. John McDermott [the head of the Tottenham academy] says that when the trough is full, the pigs come from all over to feed.”Pochettino would alight upon a more concrete reason for Alli’s relative splutters – the 21-year-old’s frustration at the Champions League suspension that ruled him out of Tottenham’s first three Group H ties, the last of them the trip to Real two weeks ago. It was the result of his sending off in the Europa League against Gent at Wembley last season and it is fair to say that the consequences of the lunge on Brecht Dejaegere have stayed with him for a disproportionate length of time. Share via Email Tottenham Hotspur It has been apparent to everyone that Dele Alli has suffered, at times, over the early months of the season, that his stars have not been aligned, and Mauricio Pochettino is well aware of it. “I think [it has been] for many reasons that maybe you must read in my next book,” the Tottenham Hotspur manager told his audience before Wednesday night’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid, which got few laughs.The joke threatened to run away from him when the Uefa translator relayed it back in Spanish – on a literal level – for the benefit of the Madrid media. Pochettino was forced to butt in and clarify that he was not about to write a sequel to Brave New World, his diary of last season which has just been released. Reuse this content
Norwich City boss Farke: I’m at the right placeby Freddie Taylor21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveDaniel Farke says he feels like he is the “right place” at Norwich City. The German will rack up 100 league matches in charge of the Canaries this weekend when his side face Aston Villa at Carrow Road.”I feel that I’m totally in the right place. I enjoy my life here and I like the challenge to create something special, and we are creating something special at the moment,” he said.”I feel really honoured and blessed and look forward to be allowed to work in this responsible role for such a long time. You can’t take it for granted but it would be a great honour to be here even longer.”Then hopefully one day we can look back in this spirit and I would be happy if the people can say, ‘Okay, he’s done alright and we’ll take this’.”To be honest, I don’t look back too much. It was mentioned to me in the beginning of the week so you have to be unbelievably thankful to the key people in our club – to our owners Delia and Michael, to Stuart (Webber) and to our board but also to our supporters to trust me and allow me to help the yellow shirts to succeed.”I am humble and just thankful that I’m allowed to plan this extraordinary role for this amazing club and it’s a great privilege.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
DucatiIt’s fitting that Italian motorsports brand Ducati would open its newest showroom in SoHo, New York City, seeing as everything they do (including the newest 2018 bike models) is drenched in luxury and exclusivity.Global Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali was in attendance alongside Ducati MotoGP “team flag-bearer” Jorge Lorenzo for the grand opening opening of the 7,500-square-foot space dedicated solely to Ducati motorcycles, accessories, and apparel in April 2018. As the store sees traffic, don’t be surprised if you find celebrity Ducati riders like Ryan Reynolds and Chris Pine browsing the racks.“The opening of this new Monobrand Ducati Store represents a further step forward in the process of continuous improvement of the quality of our network internationally,” said Domenicali in a press release. “Riders here are enthusiastic and passionate about their bikes, and the riding terrain is very diverse, from the urban landscape here in the city to the rural roads a few hours away. We feel this new showroom will be a location where motorcyclists of all skills can gather as a community, experience our new models in a fresh space, and head out to their favorite riding roads.”It’s true — the outpost at 155 6th Ave. is perfect, projecting the brand’s heritage vibe infused with a modern, metropolitan style; a swanky customer lounge; and experts that live and breathe Ducati. Previously, the space catered to a medley of luxury labels, but now the location one-woman man. Behold the World’s Most Adventure-Ready Electric Motorcycle Editors’ Recommendations Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 Scout Lineup Pays Homage to Its 100-Year Legacy 7 Mountain Bike Destinations to Put On Your Bucket List What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types Stepping inside the renovated space, the 2018 Ducati lineup meets you with breathtaking design. The dealership acts as the grounds for displaying the brand’s variety, which totals 37 different models in everything from Adventure, Touring, Sport & Fun, Lifestyle, and Racetrack styles.In recent years, Ducati’s expansion into new motorcycle categories like cruisers has been a straight flush, with the 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S leading the way. Agile yet comfortable, the dudes at Cycle World called this new touring bike their pick “if you were going to rob a bank on a motorcycle.”Ducati just spawned a new Monster model, the 2018 Monster 821, which has all the ingenuity of its older brother but with a newly designed tank, tail section, headlight, and muffler — great timing, since Monster marks its 25th birthday in 2018. For those who know Ducati, they know Monster is synonymous with the name, speed, and reputation of the brand. In fact, in 2005, more than half of Ducati’s worldwide sales were from this bike.Ducati New York/FacebookDucati is also showcasing the new 2018 Panigale V4, the next evolution of Ducati’s heritage that’s bring racing technology to the streets, and the new Scrambler 1100 (here is literally all the exciting shit you need to know about the new Scrambler … ugh, it’s so good.)Wait, Scrambler? That’s right, the store will also have models from Scrambler Ducati, with a dedicated “Scrambler Camp” featuring motorcycles, apparel, and accessories. More free-spirited, Scrambler off-shoot is inspired by Ducati’s past classicism but with more modern tech and detailing.Yes, the bikes are the most exciting part of the store … but you’d be surprised how jiggy Ducati’s apparel is. So if you come for a bike and leave with a shirt, that’s a win. Dumbgood Makes ’90s Nostalgia Apparel and We Aren’t Mad About it
Fifty homeowners will soon have their outstanding mortgage balances written off, and their titles officially presented to them at a ceremony.The gesture is part of the Government’s commemoration of Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence, under the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing’s Jubilee Housing initiative.Making the announcement in his 2013/14 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, May 21, Minister without Portfolio, with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy stated that suitable beneficiaries have now been identified and plans for the ceremony are now being arranged.“The potential beneficiaries have been drawn from all parishes wherever there are active housing schemes being operated by the Ministry,” the Minister pointed out.Meanwhile, Dr. Guy said he has mandated the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) to accelerate its titling programme, with a view to transferring 5,000 of the remainder of the 9,000 titles to Operation Pride beneficiaries.Some of the areas concerned include: Bedward Gardens and St. Benedicts in East Rural St. Andrew; Gravel Heights, Eastern St. Catherine; Spanish Villa/Woodland, Central St. Catherine; Norwood, North West St. James; Retirement I and II, West Central St. James; Whitehouse, Eastern Westmoreland; Boscobel Brownfield, Western St. Mary; Galloway, Central Westmoreland; Lower Works, South West St. Elizabeth; Vaughnsfield, Southern St. James; and Dunbeholden, Southern St. Catherine.Regarding the other 4,000, Dr. Guy assured that when land ownership, surveying, and land acquisition challenges are resolved, the titles for these will be issued over the medium term.Contact: Alphea Saunders
zoom The three crew members of Nigerian nationality who had been kidnapped off the coast of Nigeria in April have been released, French vessel operator Bourbon confirmed.The company’s crew boat, the Surfer 1440, was boarded off the Nigerian coast in the night of the 8th of April 2015.“They are in good health and arrived at Port Harcourt on May 8, 2015. This news comes as a great relief to all Bourbon employees as a whole, who share the joy of the families,” the company said in a statement on Monday.The French offshore contractor did not want to disclose further details on the terms of the crew’s release. Bourbon’s Surfers are speedboats used to transport personnel and light parcels to and from offshore oil and gas sites. The company has around 250 surfers in its fleet.World Maritime News Staff
zoomImage Courtesy: Vale The latest disaster at the Brazilian mine Córrego de Feijão is likely to reduce Capesize demand by some 35-40 vessels in 2019, according to UK-based shipping consultancy Drewry.To remind, the breach of the upstream Dam I of the Brumadinho-based mine occurred in the early afternoon of January 25, 2019, releasing a tsunami of toxic mud that swept across the area damaging buildings and trapping hundreds of people.Based on the latest information from Vale, operator of the mine, 99 fatalities have been confirmed as a result of the dam collapse, 67 of which have been identified, while 259 remain missing. A total of 393 people have been found, and 192 rescued.Drewry anticipates that the collapse of the dam will hurt Vale’s iron ore production from Minas Gerais in Brazil if the Brazilian government does not allow Vale to compensate the loss by increasing production at its other mines.“While Vale wants to increase production at its other mines to compensate for the loss of the 40 million tonnes, a furious Brazilian government is unlikely to permit the company to increase operations in the near term. Allowing Vale to do so will only add to public resentment against both the company as well as the Brazilian government,” Rahul Sharan, Drewry’s lead analyst for dry bulk shipping, explained.This is in particular due to the fact that this is the second incident in less than four years.In November 2015, at Mariana, there was another disaster when a dam using the same old technology collapsed. After much criticism, Vale decided to decommission nine of its upstream dams and the process is still underway. But following the current disaster, Vale has decided to decommission all of the remaining 10 upstream dams as well. As of today, 40 million tonnes of iron ore production associated with the dams will be decommissioned, Drewry’s data shows.As a result, Sharan expects that the loss of 40 million tonnes of iron ore on the Brazil-China route will leave an equivalent of 55-60 Capesizes unemployed, but will provide employment for some 20 Capesizes on the Australia-China route.Australia’s port Hedland is 3,524 nautical miles away from Qingdao while the Brazilian port Itaqui, which ships most of the iron ore from Feijao, is 11,979 nautical miles from Qingdao.In a year, one Capesize vessel ships two million tonnes of iron ore from Hedland to Qingdao, while the same vessel ships just 0.7 million tonnes in a year from Itaqui to Qingdao. Therefore, at 12 knots, it takes 30 days for a Capesize vessel to complete a round voyage between Hedland and Qingdao while it takes 85 days for it to complete a round voyage between Itaqui and Qingdao, Drewry’s data shows.In the meantime, most of the iron ore produced at the affected mines is sold on a spot basis and exported to Asia.Replacing the 40 million tonnes will be difficult for any exporter (India, South Africa and Canada) other than Australia.India for example will find it difficult to increase iron ore exports as its domestic demand has been on the rise and the country is fast becoming a major iron ore importer.Elsewhere, South African mines are struggling with rail/road logistic issues to transport iron ore to ports. The country’s iron ore exports declined in 2018, similar to those of India. Likewise, Canada’s exports of iron ore to Asia have been low, and have grown by less than two million tonnes annually over the past five years, Sharan pointed out.“As these three major exporters of iron ore are unlikely to be able to compensate for Vale’s loss of production, Australia will most probably gain from Vale’s loss of exports. However, due to voyage distances a sharp decline in Capesize tonne miles is on the cards,” he concluded.Vale’s CEO Fabio Schvartsman has proposed to Brazil’s Attorney General Raquel Dodge in Brasilia for the company to pay extrajudicial compensation to victims and family members of those affected by the dam breach.According to Schvartsman, payments would be made as soon as the company signs the extrajudicial agreement with the relevant authorities.“We are prepared to waive the lawsuits to expedite an agreement with the authorities of the State of Minas Gerais, so Vale can proceed immediately with the indemnification process,” he said.Vale’s CEO also stated that the company is committed to repairing the environmental damages caused by the dam breach, but, that the main focus at the moment is on responding to the people affected by the incident.
Les parents de familles d’accueil recevront plus d’argent pour alléger les dépenses associées aux soins qu’ils prodiguent aux enfants qui leur sont confiés. « Les familles d’accueil sont composées de gens aimants et attentionnés qui ouvrent leur cœur et leur foyer à des enfants qui ont besoin qu’on s’occupe d’eux. Nous voulons nous assurer de soutenir le travail important qu’elles font, a indiqué la ministre des Services communautaires, Kelly Regan. Au cours des années, le coût des soins à apporter aux enfants a augmenté mais les fonds versés aux parents d’accueil n’ont pas toujours suivi le même rythme. C’est pourquoi nous apportons ces améliorations qui sont basées sur ce que les parents d’accueil nous ont dit. De cette manière, les enfants et les parents recevront un meilleur soutien, et les familles et la Nouvelle-Écosse n’en seront que plus fortes. » À compter du 1er août, les parents d’accueil recevront un meilleur soutien financier pour des choses comme les frais de garderie et les indemnités quotidiennes. De plus, le remboursement des dépenses de voyage se fera dorénavant au moyen d’un système de paiement automatique, ce qui rendra les choses plus faciles pour les parents d’accueil. Le financement permettra au Ministère : « Aujourd’hui, c’est une bonne journée pour être parent d’accueil, de dire Wendell Fraser, président du conseil d’administration de la Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia. Nous sommes reconnaissants du travail d’équipe dont a fait preuve la Province. » Il y a actuellement 619 parents d’accueil en Nouvelle-Écosse. Une campagne de sensibilisation est en cours afin de faire augmenter ce nombre pour que plus d’enfants puissent vivre de manière sûre au sein d’une famille aimante. « J’apprécie les efforts qui ont été faits pour apporter des changements au système des familles d’accueil, indique Nattie de Truro, une enfant qui a déjà été en famille d’accueil. Il y a encore du travail à faire mais je suis rassurée, je peux exprimer mes préoccupations et je suis certaine que nos voix sont entendues. » « Je remercie toutes les personnes qui ont contribué aux changements qui font que le placement en famille d’accueil est une meilleure expérience pour nos enfants, souligne Maureen, parent d’accueil dans la Municipalité régionale d’Halifax. Je suis certaine que ces changements vont aider à garder les foyers d’accueil que nous avons maintenant, et ils encourageront peut-être plus de gens à devenir parents d’accueil. » Les sommes supplémentaires versées aux parents d’accueil sont de 1,6 million de dollars par année. Pour plus d’informations sur la façon de devenir une famille d’accueil, allez à fostercare.novascotia.ca (site en anglais seulement). d’augmenter le taux journalier pour les enfants ayant jusqu’à neuf ans, pour le faire passer de 17,50 $ à 19 $, et d’augmenter celui pour les enfants de 10 ans et plus, pour le faire passer de 25,43 $ à 27,50 $; d’augmenter le taux versé pour les frais de garderie pour les enfants ayant jusqu’à 12 ans, le faisant passer de 4 $ l’heure à 10,60 $ l’heure pour le premier enfant. Le taux pour chaque enfant supplémentaire est de 4 $ l’heure, jusqu’à concurrence de quatre enfants par foyer; de lancer un nouveau système de remboursement automatique mensuel du kilométrage, et de fournir ainsi une somme de 50 $ par enfant.
Rabat – President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina has reiterated his country’s support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.The president reaffirmed his country’s position when he received Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita on Tuesday, June 11, at the Presidential Palace in Santo Domingo.The meeting is part of Bourita’s official tour of four Latin American countries from June 11 to 14. On his tour, the minister is expected to discuss Western Sahara with the Latin American leaders. During the meeting, Bourita conveyed a verbal message from King Mohammed VI to the president. In the message, the Moroccan monarch reaffirmed Morocco’s determination to foster its bilateral relations with the Dominican Republic and to encourage a partnership between the two countries.Bourita also spoke about the “sustained and constructive” action of the Dominican Republic in the United Nations as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in support of Morocco’s territorial integrity.Following the meeting, the Dominican Republic issued a statement to express its satisfaction with the bilateral relations between the countries. In the same statement, the country also expressed its “respect for the territorial integrity and national sovereignty” of Morocco. The Dominican Republic also expressed full support for Morocco’s efforts to reach a mutually acceptable solution for the Western Sahara conflict.The Dominican Republic is on the list of the countries which deem the autonomy initiativea realistic and credible political solution for the Western Sahara conflict. The territorial dispute pits Morocco against the Polisario front, a breakaway movement that claims to be the sole representative of the Saharawis and seeks to establish an independent state in southern Morocco.
7 February 2011The United Nations today hailed the announcement of the official results of South Sudan’s referendum – which showed that an overwhelming majority opted for secession – and called on both sides to agree quickly on a host of issues stemming from the separation and to resolve the future of a disputed area. Both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the panel he appointed to monitor the referendum urged the sides to reach lasting post-referendum arrangements, building on the momentum generated by the successful holding of a vote that by 9 July will sever a third from what has until now been Africa’s largest country and is widely expected to lead to the creation of the UN’s 193rd member state.Such issues include border security, citizenship, wealth-sharing, frontier demarcation, and popular consultations in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile – and Abyei, an area straddling northern and southern Sudan, that was due to have voted in a separate but simultaneous referendum on which side it would join. But a referendum commission has yet to be established there, and there is still no agreement on who would be eligible to vote.“Their work is not over,” Mr. Ban’s Panel on the Referenda in Sudan said in a news release. “The Panel calls on the parties to build on the constructive relationship they have developed to quickly reach a lasting agreement on post-referendum arrangements so that the peoples of Northern and Southern Sudan can live together side by side in cooperation, security and dignity.”Mr. Ban appointed the panel, headed by a former Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa, to monitor January’s week-long vote, a culminating point of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ending two decades of civil war between the north and the south that killed some two million people and drove an estimated 4.5 million others from their homes.In a statement issued today by his spokesperson, hailing the announcement of the results, Mr. Ban said the “peaceful and credible conduct of the referendum is a great achievement for all Sudanese.” The statement went on to call on the international community to assist all Sudanese towards greater stability and development, reiterating the UN commitment to do so.In its statement, the Secretary-General’s Panel noted recent deadly clashes in Abyei – ”which have only further complicated the situation” – and stressed the continuing importance of the protection of all Sudanese civilians, whether northerners or southerners.“The Panel believes that the referendum’s outcome reflects the free will of the people of Southern Sudan and that the process as a whole was free, fair and credible,” it said, citing an appropriate environment and security conditions for the free exercise of the right to self-determination, the high degree of transparency, and the extensive participation of civil society organizations.It noted that the tone of media coverage and public statements from senior government officials improved as the voting neared. “In spite of political uncertainty and some security incidents during the referendum period, and sometimes inadequate efforts to inform voters about their rights and options, the Panel concludes that voters were able to express their will freely,” it said.The Panel also commended the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission for overcoming numerous challenges to administer the vote successfully, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division, and international electoral advisers, donors and observer groups for their assistance.“The Panel congratulates the people of Sudan for their discipline and patience, which ensured the process was peaceful and on schedule,” it said in its statement.Throughout the referendum period, UNMIS intensified its peacekeeping patrols in Abyei after reports of clashes between Arab nomadic cattle-herders, known as Misseriya and linked to the North, and the Dinka ethnic group linked to the South.The other two members of the Secretary-General’s Panel on the Referenda in Sudan were António Monteiro, a former Portuguese Foreign Minister, and Bhojraj Pokharel, a former Chairman of the Election Commission of Nepal.The UN Development Programme (UNDP), which provided ballots and registration kits, voter registration campaigns, logistics, and technical support for the referendum, also hailed the results.“UNDP is standing by the people of Southern Sudan as they move forward into the next stage of building a strong, stable, and responsive state,” the UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, said. “UNDP is working with the government of Southern Sudan to build up core government functions and efficient processes, particularly in the areas of rule of law, security, and public finance.”
Earlier today, shells were fired from Lebanon towards an Israeli military position along the so-called Blue Line, prompting an Israeli artillery and air response. This constituted the third violation of the Blue Line in recent days in what a UN spokesman termed “a worrisome escalation of the situation.” In a statement issued on Mr. Annan’s behalf, the spokesman called on all parties to “exercise the utmost restraint in a situation that continues to be fragile, not just in Lebanon, but also in the wider region.”The Government of Lebanon was called on to extend its control over all of its territory, to exert its monopoly on the use of force, and to put an end to all attacks emanating from its territory.“The Secretary-General once again urges all parties to fully respect the Blue Line, which was unanimously determined by the Security Council, and reminds them that one violation cannot justify another,” the spokesman said.
What next? If Scotland votes for independence, prepare for intense talks and a messy divorce LONDON – How do you divorce after a 300-year union? It’s complicated, and there is a deadline.If Scots vote yes to separation on Thursday, a clock starts ticking down to March 24, 2016 — the independence day declared by the Scottish government.The British and Scottish administrations have agreed that they will recognize the outcome of the referendum and appoint negotiators to work out the details of separation “in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.”But there is disagreement on many issues, and only 18 months to redraft laws, establish international agreements and work out relationships with international organizations.Robert Hazell, head of the Constitution Unit at University College London, says that is an “impossible timetable,” and estimates it could take up to three years to hammer out the details.Some of the key issues:___DIVIDING THE ASSETSThe Yes and No campaigns have very different assessments of Scotland’s financial picture, including its share of Britain’s national debt and North Sea oil reserves.The pro-independence Scottish government says Scotland would be entitled to 90 per cent of Britain’s oil wealth — based on divvying up the two countries’ waters — but only liable for about 8 per cent of its 1.3 trillion pound ($2.1 trillion) national debt, based on its share of the U.K. population.The British government disputes this, pointing out that Scotland has higher per capita public-sector spending than England and so is more indebted.Scottish independence leader Alex Salmond has signalled he could play hardball.___COUNTRY CLUBSSalmond says that Scotland wants to remain in the United Nations, the European Union and NATO, and he anticipates little difficulty in keeping those seats.Opponents say re-admission cannot be guaranteed. NATO, in particular, may be perturbed by Salmond’s promise to remove nuclear weapons from Scottish territory.That’s not so much a problem for Scotland — nuclear weapons are not a membership requirement — as for Britain, whose entire nuclear arsenal is based aboard submarines at the Faslane naval base in western Scotland.Adm. Mark Stanhope, a former head of the Royal Navy, has said that moving the weapons “would add a dangerous period of destabilization in our nuclear defence posture at a time when the international picture is clearly deteriorating.”The Royal United Services Institute, a military think-tank, estimates that moving the weapons could cost several billion pounds (dollars) and take until 2028. In the shorter term, Salmond may seek to use the base as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Britain.Opponents of independence also say the loss of Scotland would sharply reduce Britain’s clout on the world stage. It could endanger its place in the G-7 group of wealthy industrialized nations and its seat on the United Nations Security Council, although Salmond says Scotland would support Britain in efforts to keep the security council seat.___THE CURRENCY QUESTIONThe day after an independence vote, the pound sterling will remain Scotland’s official currency. The Scottish government wants to keep it in the long term as well — as a key prop of stability amid the uncertainty independence would bring.British officials and bankers say it’s not that simple. Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said that “a currency union is incompatible with sovereignty.”Salmond thinks the British government is bluffing. He says “a common-sense agreement on a common currency” is in everyone’s best interest.Another unknown is whether businesses will pull out of Scotland. Financial institutions including the Royal Bank of Scotland and insurance giant Standard Life have announced plans to transfer some operations south of the border to ensure they remain part of British tax and currency systems.Salmond says these are administrative measures and that the firms will keep most of their thousands of jobs in Scotland — but only time will tell.___DRAWING A BORDERAt the moment only a blue-and-white billboard informs motorists and train passengers that they have passed from England into Scotland, and border checks will not be set up the day after an independence vote.Salmond said there is “no danger” of such border formalities, saying Scotland would become part of the passport-free Common Travel Area Britain operates with the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland.He says Scotland, like Britain, will be a member of the EU. But opponents say membership cannot be guaranteed; countries such as Spain, that face strong secessionist movements, may be uneasy about quick recognition.If Scotland remains outside the EU — or if Britain leaves, as some London politicians wish — there may be no alternative to border checks. Britain could also take umbrage if Scotland adopts much more liberal immigration policies.Scots will be getting different passports if they opt for independence, even if they don’t need them to cross the border. The Scottish government says all British citizens living in Scotland will automatically be considered Scottish citizens, as will Scotland-born Britons who live elsewhere. They will be able to apply for Scottish passports from independence day in 2016, and would be allowed to retain dual Scottish and British nationality.___KEEPING THE QUEENOne thing both sides agree on — Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be the Scottish monarch after independence.Scotland and England shared a monarch for a century before they united politically in 1707, and the queen remains head of state in Canada, Australia and several other former British colonies.The queen will keep her Balmoral estate in Scotland, the royal family’s traditional summer-vacation destination.Many other symbols of state are up for grabs. Scotland will likely adopt the Saltire, a blue-and-white flag that already flies alongside the Union Jack over government buildings in Edinburgh.The red, white and blue British flag combines the emblems of its member regions, including England’s red-and-white Cross of St. George and Scotland’s blue. A redesign of the iconic banner may be in order.___Follow Jill Lawless at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Jill Lawless, The Associated Press Posted Sep 14, 2014 2:46 am MDT
However, some countries in the region had witnessed political uncertainty or significant security challenges, noted the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas. “We were saddened by the quickly unfolding political crisis resulting from President Jammeh changing his mind and deciding to reject the results,” said Mr. Chambas, referring to the presidential elections in Gambia and the ensuing crisis. He further updated the 15-member Council on the initiatives – to resolve the situation there – taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), that agreed to uphold the elections results and decided to take all necessary actions to enforce the results. “UNOWAS is fully involved in supporting the ECOWAS-led mediation, which continues to explore all avenues towards a peaceful transfer of power,” the UN envoy added. He also informed Council members of elections in Cabo Verde and Ghana as well as in Guinea, where polls anticipated to be held in February have been postponed. In his briefing, Mr. Chambas also spoke of the continuing security and humanitarian challenges in Nigeria due to frequent attacks perpetrated by the Boko Haram militant group and appealed for more funding and support for relief programmes in the country. He further updated the Council on UNOWAS’ close collaboration with other UN missions in the region and, in the context of the drawdown of the UN missions in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and Liberia (UNMIL), as well as its work on issues related to regional stabilization, technical support as well as in the implementation of its Resolution 2282 (2016) and the General Assembly Resolution on Sustaining Peace.
Redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby (1) tackles a player during a game against Indiana Nov. 23 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorSix former Ohio State football players took their shot at boosting their NFL stock at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 22-25.Running back Carlos Hyde, cornerback Bradley Roby, wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown, offensive linemen Jack Mewhort and Corey Linsley and linebacker Ryan Shazier were the six Buckeyes who tried to impress scouts, general managers and owners of teams as they continue their evaluations for the 2014 NFL Draft, scheduled to kickoff May 8.The six players who took part in the combine join seven other former players — kicker Drew Basil, quarterback Kenny Guiton, safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant, offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall and running back Jordan Hall — who declared for the draft following the 2013 season.Shazier impressed in both the vertical and broad jump, posting the best marks in each among linebackers and defensive linemen with jumps of 42 inches and 130 inches, respectively.Hyde pulled his left hamstring in his only attempt while running the 40-yard dash, and Roby finished with the third best time in the category among defensive backs at 4.39 seconds.Here’s a look at how each player performed at the combine, in the 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jump as well as how many reps of 225 pounds each player did on bench press. Bradley Roby:-40-yard dash: 4.39 seconds-bench press: 17 reps-vertical jump: 38.5 inches-broad jump: 124 inches Carlos Hyde:-40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds-bench press: 19 reps-vertical jump: 34.5 inches-broad jump: 114 inches Jack Mewhort:-40-yard dash: 5.37 seconds-bench press: 28 reps-vertical jump: 26 inches-broad jump: 101 inches Ryan Shazier:-40-yard dash: did not participate-bench press: 25 reps-vertical jump: 42 inches-broad jump: 130 inches Corey Linsley:-40-yard dash: did not participate-bench press: 36 reps-vertical jump: 27 inches-broad jump: did not participate Corey “Philly” Brown:-40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds-bench press: did not participate-vertical jump: 33 inches-broad jump: 116 inches
The kittiwake has been added to the list of British birds facing global extinction, with plastic, pollution, climate change and overfishing blamed for catastrophic declines this century.The familiar seabirds used to nest in their millions around UK’s shores but now only around 300,000 breeding pairs remain.It is the first British bird to be added to the IUCN’s Red List where plastic has been a factor in its decline. Kittiwakes have been known to drown in fishing nets while oil pollution and plastic litter can kill chicks in the nest.Since 2000 bird populations have dropped by 87 percent in Orkney and Shetland, and by 96 per cent on St Kilda in the Western Isles.Earlier this year, a two month Greenpeace survey of the important kittiwake stronghold Bass Rock, in the Firth of Forth, found plastic bags, packaging and netting strewn in nesting sites, and microplastics in the water.The RSPB said plastics and pollution made survival even harder for populations which were already struggling to feed themselves and their young. Plastic found on Bass Rock by Greenpeace Credit:Greenpeace A Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla at Bullers of Buchan Aberdeenshire ScotlandCredit: David Tipling Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo Rising sea temperatures due to climate change also threaten sandeels, so kittiwake food supplies could be affected by both local and large-scale processes.“We need to ensure that the future management of the sandeel fishery is sustainable. If our internationally important populations of seabirds are going to cope with climate change, then we need to make sure industrial fisheries are not adding to their problems”, said Dr Euan Dunn, the RSPB’s Marine Policy Specialist.“This is an example of why fisheries policy is vital to the health of our seas. Our thinking on fisheries and marine protection must be as joined up as the seas on which we all rely.Others birds listed as at risk in Britain include the Atlantic Puffin; European Turtle Dove; Pochard; Slavonian Grebe; Balearic Shearwater; Long-tailed Duck; Velvet Scoter and Aquatic Warbler. Globally, the species is thought to have declined by around 40 per cent since the 1970s, justifying today’s uplisting from Least Concern to Vulnerable.In the North Sea, sandeels provide a vital food source for breeding seabirds and they are crucial to the breeding success of kittiwakes. However, they are heavily fished to be used for animal feed and fertiliser. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Laura Bambini, the RSPB Scotland’s seabird recovery officer said, “Some efforts are underway to protect important seabird foraging areas in international waters, but there is much more we could do around the UK to protect our internationally important and increasingly threatened seabird populations.”
A PLAN TO demolish 14 blocks of flats in Dublin’s south inner-city has been published by Dublin City Council.St Teresa’s Gardens, near The Coombe, was given the go-ahead for a regeneration project in 2012, having first been earmarked for work in 2005.Since then, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) plan has been shelved and the plan delayed.Funding for the project was provided in Budget 2014, meaning that the plan can now progress. The plan will see all but two of the 16 blocks of flats torn down. Those blocks left standing will be completely changed internally.The council will build 50 houses on the site, with 34 terraced houses and 16 apartments.The plans will be on display in City Hall and submissions can be made until 7 March.Subject to the plan being passed by councillors, the demolition is expected to begin in the summer.The council’s plan will see 550 less housing units built than under the PPP scheme, but less land will be used. It is hoped that private investment can be attracted for the left over land.Read: ‘Irredeemable neighbourhood’ now an example of regenerationRead: Over 20 Irish estates in need of major regeneration
The roadway has since reopened. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A bicyclist has been struck and killed by a Virgin train in Pompano Beach.Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene along North Dixie Highway and 33rd Street just before 7:30 a.m., Tuesday.Witnesses said the man tried to beat the oncoming train but did not make it in time.He was pronounced dead at the scene.7News cameras captured the man’s mangled bicycle near the side of the road.Drivers are advised to avoid the area due to traffic delays.Part of 33rd Street was temporarily shut down.
BULDIR ISLAND — The night before Ryan Mong was scheduled to start his summer job on Buldir Island, the lanky 31-year-old ducked into the cargo hold of the federal research vessel Tiglax to make sure his supplies were in order.Download AudioWaves break against rocks near Buldir Island as researchers and supplies are ferried from the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax to Buldir Island in the Aleutians during a trip from Adak Island to Attu Island on a weeklong research mission in southwestern Alaska, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)“All these white boxes are the food that we’ve ordered from a distributor,” Mong said, gesturing past gently swaying piles of waterproof Pelican cases. “Packed up the things we really like — nutritional yeast, the Srirachas, the stuff you just always have a lot of back home.”Mong was one of a handful of biologists hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. They maintain nine field stations stretching from southwest Alaska to Saint Lazaria Island near Sitka.Researchers and their supplies are moved from a beach to the beach in front of their camp on Buldir Island as the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax is on a weeklong voyage in the Aleutian Islands on Friday, June 5, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)But Mong and his colleagues — an adventurous couple, also in their 30s — signed up for a special challenge. Their job was to spend three months studying seabird nests on a windy speck called Buldir Island.Located more than 300 miles west of Adak Island and 70 miles from the next nearest piece of land, Buldir is the most isolated island in the Aleutian Chain. It’s also the most pristine; the fox breeding operations that altered the ecologies of other islands never took here.Without any threat from foxes, seabirds had free rein on Buldir. More species now build their nests among the island’s jagged rock faces than any other location in the Northern Hemisphere.The Alaska Maritime refuge has been sending biologists into voluntary exile on Buldir each year since 1988. The program has become legendary among bird researchers such as Ryan Mong — and the scientist who first clued him in during a field season in Arizona.“It was like, ‘Oh, you get to ride a boat for two weeks out to the end of the Aleutian Chain! And there are so many seabirds that they’re gonna hypnotize you!’” Mong said. “So I immediately got on email, sent the resume off.”It took three years and a stint at another Alaska Maritime research camp in the Pribilof Islands before Mong secured a spot on Buldir. “To describe it to family, I just call it National Geographic Syndrome,” Mong said. “You want to go to the wildest places, the places with the most species, and enjoy the show. And it’s quite a show.”A skiff takes a wave over the bow as it returns for another load of supplies are moved to a research camp on Buldir Island as the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax is on a weeklong voyage in the Aleutian Islands on Friday, June 5, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)A “swiss cheese” islandWhen the birds come back to roost on Buldir, it seems like there’s no number large enough to capture them all — and certainly not enough space. The island is just four miles long and two-and-half miles wide.Nests are built on top of nests, filling every available nook and cranny.Biologist Steve Ebbert has help getting into a dry suit as supplies and researchers are ferried from the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax to Buldir Island in the Aleutians during a trip from Adak Island to Attu Island on a weeklong research mission in southwestern Alaska, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)“You might find like four or five burrows around this rock, and a storm petrel that’s nesting in the grass tussock on top and puffins underneath from different angles,” said assistant refuge manager Jeff Williams, pointing to an innocuous-looking boulder on the beach. “Swiss cheese just really describes it.”Williams got his start doing the same kind of work as the field biologists he now hires on an annual basis — hiking over rocky beaches and dense clusters of ferns to find a handful of diverse seabird nests. The researchers go back again and again to find out how many eggs hatch over the course of the summer, and what happens to the chicks.Over time, that data can be used to uncover population trends. Seabird populations are in precipitous decline worldwide, with flocks reduced by up to 70 percent. But the refuge hasn’t detected that trend in the Aleutian Islands. The biggest change seems to be in where birds go to build their nests, which is usually driven by the availability of food in the surrounding ocean. Those observations get sent along to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, so they can get a read on the ocean ecosystem before they set fishing quotas.Williams said that might be part of the appeal for researchers — seeing their work get some use in the real world, instead of going “into a filing cabinet.”Supplies are ferried from the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax to Buldir Island in the Aleutians during a trip from Adak Island to Attu Island on a weeklong research mission in southwestern Alaska, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)There’s also the unique office environment to consider.“If you think about it, every one of these birds poops,” Williams said. “There’s millions of them. So it’s like millions and millions of pounds of fertilizer coming onto this. It creates this vegetation that’s super dense and rank. I bring machetes and stuff for people to cut their ways through the paths.”Williams also tries to set up the island’s radio antenna and make sure the rough wooden cabin and weather-port tents are in good shape. But this summer, a string of storms in the North Pacific Ocean almost disturbed those plans. It took days before the Tiglax, the refuge’s research vessel, could steer close enough to the island to launch an inflatable skiff and sail ashore. The ride was still choppy, and it wasn’t safe to land on the beach closest to the campsite.That left the research team with no choice but to strap on frame packs and start carrying hundreds of pounds of fuel, food, and tools around the rocky point to their cabin. The crew of the Tiglax had to push on — conducting more research and checking on interpretive signs posted by Fish and Wildlife throughout the refuge.The storms broke and the ship eventually turned back, unloading deckhands, biologists, and refuge staff to help haul the last boxes ashore. But it just as easily could have gone the other way. The rough arrivals are one of many reasons why Williams says any field worker who can handle Buldir “has earned their stripes.”Biologist Jeff Williams, biologist Steve Ebbert and deck hand Andy Velsko return to the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax after checking the conditions to land researchers on Buldir Island in the Aleutians during a trip from Adak Island to Attu Island on a weeklong research mission in southwestern Alaska, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Scientists on the R/V Tiglax conduct research in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)“Buldir’s a big life-changer”McKenzie Mudge and Kevin Pietrzak had already been through the wringer before they were hired to spend a season on Buldir.“Usually we say we do bird surveys because that’s something most people can understand,” Mudge said. “Nice and simple. We’re outside looking at birds.”Night shift deckhand David Martindell and biologist Ryan Mong on the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat M/V Tiglax pull in a substance crab pot with Tanner Crab in the Kuluk Bay area of Adak Island in the Aleutian, in western Alaska, on Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)In reality, Mudge and Pietrzak have spent the last six years studying bird migration and diet together. Since they first met at a research site in Antarctica, they’ve traveled from Chile all the way up to the North Slope.“When you get to working in remote field camps like this, at least a third of your time is camp maintenance and trying to keep the building from falling down,” Pietrzak said. “It’s work, too — trying to figure out how to survive in a place like this. It’s not always easy.”Mudge and Pietrzak are not the first scientists to fall in love under these conditions. There are several couples who met working for the Alaska Maritime refuge (Williams, the assistant manager, met his wife that way). But it’s not as common to find a couple that chooses to stay in the field.“It’s different,” Pietrzak said with a laugh. “It’s kind of weird to go back down to Southern California and see my friends that have houses and families and kids of their own, and I’m like, ‘Well, I got to see a lot of the world. That’s really cool, right?’”Katherine Robbins photographs the sunset from the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax as sails from Adak Islands on a cruise to Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands, in western Alaska, on Sunday, May 31, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)Eventually, Mudge said, they would like to put down roots — adopt a dog, make their own home. But first, they wanted to find out what Buldir had to offer.“You know, everybody always says Buldir’s a big life-changer,” Ryan Mong said. “But you feel lucky getting to do it, because most people just get to come here once or so.”As Mong spoke, he tugged on a pair of hip waders. It was early summer, and the camp was ready — time to push the inflatable skiff back out to sea so the Tiglax could continue on its way. I asked Mong if it bothered him that the field season he was about to start on Buldir could also be his last.“I like living like that,” Mong said.For two months, I didn’t hear another word from Mong or the rest of the camp.It was to be expected. Besides a sluggish email connection and a satellite phone, there aren’t many opportunities to reach the outside world from Buldir. And there shouldn’t be any opportunity to post images of the island’s rolling green hills and endless views of the North Pacific to Instagram.Captain Billy Pepper of the US Fish and Wildlife Service research boat R/V Tiglax stands on the back deck as he prepares to start moving researchers and their supplies s to their camp on Buldir Island in the Aleutian Islands on Friday, June 5, 2015. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)“My season got cut short due to an injury to my finger,” Mong said after I messaged him about his posts on the social media app. “I was done checking all the burrows that I needed to check and I was making my way back down a hill — slipped, dropped the machete I was carrying, and it cut right into my hand, really deep.”Mong tried to work through it, but medical advisors for the refuge suggested he leave. The damage wasn’t permanent. And McKenzie Mudge and Kevin Pietrzak took it all in stride.Even though it was truncated, Mong said the experience was everything he’d hoped — the sheer variety of seabird species, the headiness of living in isolation, the camaraderie among his crew.In fact, spending so much time with a couple like Mudge and Pietrzak got him thinking.“I kind of need to go settle down with my loved one and make her mine for the long run,” Mong said. “So I decided out on Buldir that it’s finally time to propose to my girlfriend.”Once he made it back to the Lower 48, Mong rode his bicycle across the West to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, where his girlfriend works as an interpreter. When he got there, the answer was yes.
New Delhi: The BJP and the Congress exchanged barbs in the Rajya Sabha on the issue of party presidentship, with Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh asking each other to settle leadership matter in their respective parties. During a debate in Rajya Sabha on the amendment in the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019, (UAPA), Singh asked Shah not to act with “political motives” while being a home minister. Also Read – Trinamool, BJP activists scuffle at Dilip Ghosh’s event Advertise With Us He said Shah occupies the post once held by Vallabhbhai Patel and he should act like a statesman. “You should leave your the party presidentship and coronate (JP) Nadda ji,” Singh said, referring to JP Nadda who was recently appointed as the BJP working president. Shah still holds the post of BJP president. Shah hit back at Singh saying, “you should first find your party president.” Also Read – NRC in Assam to be released: list to finalize if a person is Indian or Foreigner Advertise With Us Shah was joined by his party members who jeered at Singh and the Congress in the wake of Congress being without a party president after Rahul Gandhi resigned from the post. The Home Minister also hit out at Singh, saying that he would not be labelled a terrorist under this law as long as he did not do anything that supported a terrorist or aided any such activity. Advertise With Us “Digivijaya Singh has said he would be named as terrorist. I want to assure him, if he does not do anything, then nothing will happen to him. It is now time to listen,” Shah told Singh. Digivijaya Singh had earlier objected the provision of the Centre getting powers to declare any individual a terrorist under this law. Singh had also accused the BJP of compromising on national security. “We doubt their (BJP’s) intent. The Congress never compromised on terrorism that is why we had brought this law.”
The benchmark indices rebounded strongly Tuesday after the government kept its fiscal deficit target unchanged for 2016-17, paving way for lending rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the coming months.While the BSE Sensex index surged 777 points to close at 23,779 points, the 50-share Nifty rose 235 points to end at 7,222 points.Contrary to the expectations of easing the fiscal deficit target to boost spending, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his third budget Monday, kept it unchanged at 3.5 percent for the next fiscal year.Most of the analysts had expected the finance minister to announce a higher fiscal deficit target amid slowing economic growth.”There were apprehensions that government would not stick to the path of fiscal consolidation and would tinker with long term capital gains tax and both the things did not came which is positive for the markets in the near term,” Nilesh Shah of Envision Capital Services, told NDTV Profit.The status quo on the fiscal consolidation path will enable the RBI to cut interest rates in the coming months, which could be positive for the corporate sector.Earlier this month, global brokerage firm Nomura had said that the RBI is expected to cut the repo rate by 25 bps at its policy meeting in April, after the announcement of the Union Budget.On the BSE sectoral front, Auto, Banks, IT and FMCG were the top gainers. Banking shares witnessed heavy buying, supported by RBI rate cut hopes.While ICICI Bank shares rose 8 percent to trade at Rs 205, Axis Bank shares gained 4.5 percent to Rs 391. IDBI Bank was up 1.8 percent, posting gains for the second consecutive session after Jaitley hinted at selling stake in the bank, while presenting the budget on Feb. 29. Stock price of ITC climbed about 10 percent to Rs 325 despite a rise in excise duty on cigarettes. The excise duty increase was the lowest in the past five years.