A special CBI court on Thursday sentenced three brothers to life in prison for killing a 17-year-old girl five years ago. Special Judge Vinayak Singh also imposed a fine of ₹1.30 lakh each on the convicts – Rohtash, Sunil and Lalit – after holding them guilty under Sections 302 (punishment for murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They were directed to pay ₹1.50 lakh and ₹50,000 to the girl’s parents Suresh Pal and Anita, respectively. Public prosecutor Darshan Singh said due to a land dispute, the assailants barged into the girl’s house in Muthber village under the Bhorakala police station and attacked her parents in March 2014. As the assailants fired upon her parents, the girl came in between and sustained gunshot injuries. Later, she succumbed to her injuries, said Singh. Initially, Rohtash, who was also allegedly involved in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, had managed to evade arrest. Another suspect, Praveen, was given a clean chit during the investigation.
Rodri says workload hitting Man City campaignby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City midfielder Rodri says their workload is hitting their campaign.Pep Guardiola is aiming to win his third league title in a row with the Blues, but City have made their worst start to a league campaign since he took charge of the club in 2016. Asked to explain their losses in the league, he told ESPN: “I won my first title as soon as I arrived [Community Shield], so that [start] was good.”I think people have to be aware that there is a lot happening: we have had a lot of players out, it is difficult because we play every three days in three competitions and we are playing with more or less the same players.”What’s done is done.”We have to realise that we are doing things wrong, and we have to fix it. We have to be calm: it’s the start of the season, we have recognised that we have had our problems, and we improve.”Also, in football there are many things you can’t control. We hope we can get important players [back from injury] and when they do, that will be good for the team.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
JT Barrett Circle DrillToday was Student Appreciation Day at Ohio State, and as you can imagine, the turnout at Buckeye spring practice was strong. Fans usually love seeing players participate in the “Circle Drill,” but don’t often end up getting involved themselves. Quarterbacks are always excluded from the action as well, so naturally today saw an OSU QB and a young fan face off in the circle.Lori Schmidt of Columbus’ 97.1 The Fan has the video of J.T. Barrett “defeating” a young woman in the Circle Drill. Surely this was a thrill for her to be face-to-face with one of the Buckeyes. Ohio State QB JT Barrett participates in circle drill at the team’s student appreciation day practice. pic.twitter.com/GD6rAxK89O— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) April 2, 2016That will undoubtedly be the only time you see Barrett in the circle during his career in Columbus.
Kolkata: A major fire broke out at a slum in Kidderpore on Thursday afternoon. The fire was controlled after almost an hour. No injury reported. According to sources, on Thursday, around 1 pm, the fire broke out at a temporary shanty at a slum in Kantapukur located on Bhukailash Road. Fire brigade was informed immediately and 10 fire tenders were pressed into action in phases. Before a single fire tender could reach, fire started spreading due to high wind. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSoon, almost 20 shanties in the slum were gutted in fire. Firefighters started spraying water but, they reportedly faced difficulties while dousing the flames as the road was too narrow and the area was congested. Also, the shanties in the slum were filled with inflammable materials. Around 2 pm, the fire was controlled. The cooling process of the gutted area went on till the evening. State Fire minister Sujit Bose and Director General of state Fire and Emergency Services Department, Jag Mohan went to the spot and supervised the work. Some local residents alleged that fire brigade reached a bit late due to which the fire started spreading in other shanties. However, fire brigade officials denied the allegation and stated that they were facing trouble entering the area as the roads were narrow. As the area was congested, firefighters faced problems. It is suspected that the fire had broken out due to short circuit as water seeped into electrical wires.
The oral summary argument is open to the public to attend. Anyone entering the hearing room will be required to sign-in at the door. Upon doing so, each attendee will be provided with a lanyard that must be worn at all times.The NEB has been taking steps through a process determined in December 2018.The issue presented to the board is the jurisdiction of the Coastal Gas Link Pipeline.After the board received applications filed by B.C. resident Michael Sawyer, who worked two decades in Alberta as an environmental consultant in the oil and gas sector argued that Coastal GasLink should have faced a federal environmental review instead of a provincial one.The Coastal GasLink pipeline will bring natural gas from Northeast B.C. to Kitimat, where it will be processed and shipped to Asian markets through Shell’s LNG Canada project.$6.2 billion will be invested in the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. CALGARY, AB – The National Energy Board (NEB) will hold oral summary for the final oral argument and reply of Coastal Gas Link and intervenors on May 2nd and 3rd.Starting at 9 a.m. on May 2 and 3, 2019 in the Board’s hearing room, which is located at:2nd Floor517 Tenth Avenue SWCalgary, Alberta
NEW DELHI: A week before the Lok Sabha election in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday took the poll battle to unite the trader community of Delhi. “You have always voted for the BJP but this time I will urge traders to be with us and I promise that I will fight for your causes in every possible way. Modi’s nationalism is fake and do not fall in this trap again” said CM Kejriwal.A large number of Delhi voters belong to the trader community and this has always been a strong voter base of the BJP. However, from the ground reports due to the effect of sealing drive, the community faced troubles with their business. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesThe BJP, which used to be traders’ party, has “broken the backbone” of the community, he alleged, adding thousands of notices are being sent to traders and all this is being done with the intention of “extorting” money from them. “The Modi government has unleashed ‘tax terrorism’ on traders,” CM Kejriwal said. “The policies of the Modi government have ruined traders. In a single stroke, demonetisation brought endless miseries to traders. When the traders’ community had barely recovered from this rude shock, the Modi government hastily brought in the GST, which nobody could understand since it was implemented without any proper planning,” he alleged. After note ban, the next jolt came in the form of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which led to the closure of many shops and factories, causing loss of numerous jobs and heaped miseries on traders, the AAP leader claimed, adding under the Modi government, the traders’ community is feeling “orphaned”. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: Javadekar”I want to appeal to the traders of Delhi that so far you were with Modi, what did you get? Now build a relationship with Kejriwal, he will honour the relationship with you till his last breath,” he said. Referring to the violence in Mayapuri on April 13, Kejriwal claimed that the AAP intervened and stopped sealing drive. “Give all the seven Lok Sabha seats (of Delhi) to us, I will ensure that there is no sealing in the national capital. You (traders) strengthen our hands, we will ensure justice,” he said. Around 14 officials were injured after clashes broke out between the security personnel and scrap dealers during the sealing drive in Mayapuri on April 13.
Nap Lajoie1901, 1904, 1906451916 Frank Bolling1964231961 *Inverse rank is a player’s ranking from the bottom of the league (i.e., No. 1 represents the worst player in baseball by WAR)Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs Tris Speaker1912, 1914, 1916471907 Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels is the most feared hitter of his generation — one of the greatest ever to step into a batter’s box. He ranks eighth all-time in home runs, seventh in extra-base hits and 10th in total bases. At his peak, he won three MVP awards and was also the best position player in baseball — according to wins above replacement (WAR)1Taking the average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs.com’s versions of WAR. — three times (in 2006, 2008 and 2009). Pujols’s resume makes him a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.But this season, a new title can be assigned to Pujols: He’s the worst player in baseball.Pujols has flat-out stunk up Angel Stadium. He’s hitting .230 (79 points below his previous career average) with an on-base plus slugging 26 percent worse than league average. Even in an age of ineffective designated hitters, Pujols has easily been the worst hitter at the position that provides the least defensive value (i.e., zero value). As a result, no player has been less valuable than Pujols this year: His -1.99 WAR ranks dead last among all players (including pitchers).If he finishes the season in last place — which seems quite possible, as L.A. continues to pencil him into its starting lineup, day after day, despite his poor numbers — Pujols will become the first modern2Since MLB’s two-league era began in 1901. position player ever to be both baseball’s best and worst player at various points in his career. The worst finish by a former No. 1 player previously belonged to the delightfully named New York Yankees second baseman Snuffy Stirnweiss. Snuffy was baseball’s top position player in 1945, when many of the league’s best (such as Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Joe DiMaggio) were serving in the military. But he was also the league’s second-worst player in 1950, a miserable season that saw him hit .216 and get traded from the 98-win Yankees to the 58-win St. Louis Browns.Here are the worst finishes by WAR for position players who were also the best in baseball at some point in their career: From the penthouse to the outhouseWorst ranks (from the bottom of MLB) in wins above replacement for players who were best in the league for at least one season, 1901–2017 Bill McKechnie1913321914 WORST SEASON PLAYERNO. 1 SEASONSINV. RANK*YEAR Adam Dunn2011232004 Jim Rice1978341989 Pete Rose198341973 Fred Lynn1979501990 George Sisler1918311926 Mel Ott193871946 Albert Pujols2006, 2008, 200912017 Obviously, it isn’t good to take two wins away from a club’s ledger, relative to what it could’ve gotten from a minimum-salary scrub. That’s especially true for the Angels, who are a single game in back of the Minnesota Twins for the American League’s final wild-card berth and fighting for their postseason lives. But in a funny way, Pujols’ last-place ranking this year is also a kind of testament to how good he’s been over the course of his long, storied career.The bottom of the WAR leaderboard provides a good lesson in the difference between “ability” and “value”. Ability-wise, Pujols isn’t actually MLB’s worst baseball player — that distinction would probably go to a fringe player who was called up at midseason and rarely plays — but he has been its least valuable, in no small part because of the ample opportunities he’s received.3Pujols is third on the team in plate appearances. Simply being bad isn’t enough; in order to even get the chance to finish last in WAR, a player needs to have earned the confidence from management to let him play through a prolonged slump.That’s why, even though no former No. 1 player has sunk as low as Pujols this season, the list of league-worst players by WAR includes plenty of guys who were, at one point, extremely good at baseball. Most notably, the worst player in 1983 was the all-time hit king, Pete Rose, who — unlike Pujols — was eventually benched by the Phillies because of his poor play. PLAYERLAST-PLACE SEASONRANKYEAR(S) Rickey Henderson1985, 1989, 1990321979 Ted Simmons1984101978 Billy Urbanski1935321934 Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs Ernie Banks1959381971 Albert Pujols201712006, 2008, 2009 Bobby Byrne1908121910 Alex Rodriguez2000, 2005, 2007102016 Alexei Ramirez2016252010 Lou Gehrig1934, 1936501939 Al Rosen1953331949 Jimmie Foxx1932, 1933491944 Lee Magee1917231918 Willie Keeler1907151904 Milt Stock1924151919 Snuffy Stirnweiss194521950 Even the worst players used to be goodBest ranks (from the top of MLB) in wins above replacement for players who ranked last in WAR in a season, 1901–2017 George Scott1968131973 Derek Jeter1999422013 Marquis Grissom2005101994 Ken Griffey1996222010 In addition to Pujols, there are a few other names on this year’s worst-players list who peaked as stars not too long ago. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, the second-worst player this season, ranked as high as No. 15 in 2010. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez fell from 10th-best in 2009 all the way to sixth-worst this season. And Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, who clocks in as baseball’s 26th-worst player by WAR this year, ranked third-best as recently as 2011. It takes a great reputation to be afforded such a bad season.Since signing a massive contract with the Angels before the 2012 season, Pujols has had a few solid renaissance seasons, and he was an above-average hitter as recently as last season. So it wasn’t unreasonable for the Angels to expect him to eventually snap out of his funk at some point this season. And he may well end up with 100 runs batted in despite the poor sabermetric numbers — though it would be one of the least valuable 100-RBI seasons ever. Either way, he’s just the most glaring example of a phenomenon that probably won’t go away anytime soon. As long as there are managers dreaming of a turnaround — and ones who lack any better options4Pujols’ contract, which will pay him another $28.5 million per year for the next four seasons, may also play a role. — once-great players like Pujols will always get the chance to play themselves to the bottom of the WAR charts. BEST SEASON Mickey Doolin1918251910
Manuel Neuer has been out of play for the majority of the ongoing season but he is finally back in a light training practising with the ball – and he impressed Jupp Heynckes with his fitness.Goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic had the first training session with Neuer and it was filmed and handed to Jupp Heynckes afterwards – and the coach admitted that he was really impressed by what he saw.The experienced German manager spoke about Neuer’s condition as he said, according to Goal:“Toni trained with Manuel yesterday and of course we’re recording all of it. So, I watched him train [on the video].”Report: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“He looked very good. I talked to him and he is in very good shape. His foot coped well with the workload, there was no reaction.”“Now we have to wait and see what the physios come up with, what plan is best.”“We have a clear plan which we’ll stick to and we’ll see when he can train fully.”“I told him that I’d really like it if he were able to be with us in Augsburg to celebrate with the rest of the team if we secured the title.”
Chelsea have announced that midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has completed his season-long loan move to AC MilanThe France international joined the Blues last summer from AS Monaco and had made over 40 appearances in his first season at West London.However, consistency was something that often evaded him at Chelsea and Bakayoko had been linked with a move away from the club all summer.Chelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“Tiemoue Bakayoko has moved to AC Milan on a season-long loan,” read a statement.The 23-year-old will now spend the entire 2018-19 campaign at Milan, although there has been no mention of his stay at the San Siro becoming a permanent one at the end of the deal.
Jose Mourinho dedicated Manchester United’s victory over Burnley to Ed Woodward after a protest was held against him prior to kick-off.The Red Devils earned a deserved but hard-fought win over Sean Dyche’s Burnley at Turf Moor through a first-half brace by Romelu Lukaku.A plane trailing the banner ‘Ed Woodward – A Specialist in Failure’ flew above Turf Moor before kick-off, after a summer of tension between Mourinho and the club’s executive vice-chairman.When asked for his response to the fans’ protest, Mourinho said: “You know, in the match, I am not looking to the sky – unless I am asking something for the guy to give me help. I didn’t see planes but Ed Woodward won this afternoon. He won 2-0.”Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“I think we start winning this match because of Old Trafford after Spurs,” he said. “We lose at home, if the fans react bad, the team loses confidence, the team feels pressure and the next match is more difficult.“We lost at home, the fans were amazing and understood the performance was good, the result was bad so it was not a sad week. I feel a bit sorry we didn’t score a couple of goals in front of them because it would be magic for them.”When it was put to Mourinho that United’s fans had explicitly chanted his name after a week of speculation about his job, he said: “The manager is not important, the team is important. The manager does not play.“I have miles and miles and miles on the touchline to cope with every different reaction from the crowd. I am really happy with the performance, the result and to give that good feeling to the fans. They are the biggest responsible for the week.”
Jesse Lingard believes he deserves a better pace statistic inside the newest video game from the FIFA franchise25-year-old Manchester United footballer Jesse Lingard took it personally when he saw his personal stats on a leaked FIFA 19 image.The Electronic Arts (EA) Sports video game is coming out soon, but Lingard saw his statistics and he didn’t like them.So he did what anybody would do and ranted about it on Twitter.“I’m telling you something now, yeah. FIFA need to up my physicality to 99 and they need to up my pace to 84,” Lingard wrote on Twitter as reported by The Sport Bible.“Nah, actually, 95. You know why? Because I’m rapid. And I swear, I’m probably fastest…”Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.Lingard has been with the Red Devils since he started his professional career in 2011.The attacking midfielder has been loaned to Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton, and Hove Albion and Derby County during his career..@EASPORTSFIFA up my pace too ??♂️? #JLingz pic.twitter.com/Xuf4ZSHVot— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) September 5, 2018
Only Doug and Ralph and Ruth can fit, that’s why Related Items:40th anniversary, convention, Pdm Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 04 May 2015 – Big announcement to come today from the PDM Camp, media to hear plans of the 40th Anniversary Convention of the first democratically elected government of these islands. The headquarters is the site for the announcement where the press is to hear what the theme is for the June 4-7th gathering of delegates from around the country. The PDM called the coming convention “a great time together as it celebrates 40 years of stellar leadership and representation.” The first of the billboards for the PDM will be unveiled tomorrow at a public meeting, set for the headquarters in Provo from 7:30pm. TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOA Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska State Troopers responded to the Anchor Point Post Office after reports that a motorist drove through the front of the building Friday afternoon. In an email from Megan Peters, spokeswoman with the Alaska State Troopers: “We got the report at approximately 1:53pm. An employee and someone nearby called it in. Initially fire went out because they thought the driver may need to be extricated, but the driver got out on their own.” According to Peters, as of 4pm Troopers are still on scene investigating and arranging a tow. There were no reported injuries.
Shannon McCarthy with the Department of Transportation: “The traffic signals have been turned on so be aware of that, and be ready to stop on red.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Kalifornsky Beach Road users may have noticed that the new traffic lights were switched on at both Gas Well and Ciechanski Road. DOT, in cooperation with Knik Construction Company, installed two new signal systems at Gas Well and Ciechanski Road, and updated the signals at Bridge Access and Poppy Lane. The roadway has been resurfaced, striped and new signs installed. Upon project completion, speed limits in the area will remain the same. Work on K-Beach will continue to be carried out on weekdays between 8:00pm and 6:30am, until the end of October, weather permitting.
Amazon Share your voice Roberto Machado Noa / Getty Images Amazon’s facial technology had a harder time recognizing the gender of darker-skinned women and made more mistakes identifying gender overall than competing technologies from Microsoft and IBM, according to an MIT study published Thursday.Amazon’s Rekognition software incorrectly identified women as men 19 percent of the time, according to the study. In addition, it incorrectly identified darker-skinned women as men 31 percent of the time, it says. Software from Microsoft, by comparison, identified darker-skinned women as men 1.5 percent of the time.Matt Wood, general manager of artificial intelligence at Amazon Web Services, said that the study’s test results are based on facial analysis, not facial recognition. Analysis, he said, can find faces in videos or images and assign generic attributes, such as the wearing of glasses. Recognition, he said, matches an individual’s face to images in videos and photographs. The Rekognition technology includes both of these functionalities. “It’s not possible to draw a conclusion on the accuracy of facial recognition for any use case – including law enforcement – based on results obtained using facial analysis,” Wood said in a statement. Wood added that the study didn’t use the latest version of Rekognition. Amazon, using an up-to-date version of Rekognition with similar data, found no false positive matches, Wood says.Deborah Raji, an author of the study, said she and co-author Joy Buolamwini understand the distinction between facial recognition and facial analysis. “We make it clear in our paper that the task we chose to evaluate is the facial analysis task of binary gender classification,” Raji said. “That means, given the number of faces detected, how well does the model understand what it sees?”In a Friday blog post, Buolamwini cautioned people to be skeptical when companies say they have completely accurate systems.”Wood states the company used a large benchmark of over 1 million faces to test their facial recognition capabilities and performed well,” Buolamwini wrote. “While their performance on the benchmark might seem laudable, we do not know the detailed demographic or phenotypic (skin type) composition of this benchmark. Without this information we cannot asses for racial, gender, color, or other kinds of bias.”Amazon has provided Rekognition to law enforcement agencies, though civil liberties groups, members of Congress and Amazon’s own employees have raised concerns about privacy. Earlier this month, a group of shareholders also called on Amazon to stop selling its Rekognition technology to government agencies. In light of the MIT study, Buolamwini said it’s “irresponsible” for Amazon to keep selling the technology to law enforcement agencies. Facial analysis technology can be abused and could lead to mass surveillance, she said. In addition, inaccuracies could result in innocent people being misidentified as criminals.Raji echoed that sentiment. “If the system falsely identifies a suspect due to its reduced accuracy on a particular demographic,” she said, “that could be seriously harmful.”First published Jan. 25, 3:54 p.m. PT.Update, 11:14 p.m.: Adds comment from Buolamwini and Raji. Comments 6 Tags Tech Industry
A man and a woman were killed in lightning strikes in Pirojpur and Barisal districts on Thursday, reports UNB.In Pirojpur, Md Abbas, 42, son of Moazzem Hawlader, was killed as a thunderbolt struck him at Dabgachia village in Indurkani upazila.Police said that the thunderbolt struck Abbas when he was bringing his cattle from field around 12:30pm, leaving him dead on the spot.In Barisal, Hanufa Begum, 30, wife of Riyad Hossain of Badalpara village in Bakerganj upazila, was killed as a lightning hit her around 1:00pm when she went out of house for bringing her cattle, said Md Maksuduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Bakerganj police station.
A girl who was burned in an arson attack at a nursery school in Brazil succumbed to her wounds on Saturday, bringing the overall death toll to nine people.The four-year-old girl had been transferred to a hospital in Belo Horizonte , the state capital of Minas Gerais, some 370 miles (600 kilometers) north of the small town of Janauba where the attack occurred, according to Folha de Sao Paulo, a local newspaper.A security guard at the nursery sprayed his young victims with alcohol before setting fire to the building. He himself died from burns a few hours later.According to local authorities, he had suffered from mental health issues since 2014.In total, eight four-year-old children were killed, along with a teacher aged 43. Another 40 people were treated at three hospitals in the region.Dozens gathered for the first funerals of victims at a cemetery in Janauba on Friday afternoon, according to an AFP photographer.Small white coffins were opened for a few minutes as devastated family members wept.”What has happened is inexplicable. I have no words. When I heard about the fire on the radio, I immediately thought of my grandchildren. I was sure something had happened to them,” said Antonio Pereira da Silva, who buried his granddaughter.The mayor of Janauba declared seven days of mourning, while Brazil’s President Michel Temer expressed his solidarity with the victims of the “tragedy.”
Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneCampaign volunteers for Sri Kulkarni, a Democrat vying to unseat U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, work the phones before a primary runoff in May.Jana Lynne Sanchez had a surprise waiting for her when she returned home from a business trip last July.Sitting in her office were boxes filled with supplies for her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives: 5,000 push cards, 5,000 door hangers and a banner — all with her name misspelled. A staffer working for the fledgling campaign in Texas’ 6th District, which covers an area south of Dallas, had spent $1,500 — around 15 percent of the campaign’s monthly budget — on unusable merchandise that added an extra “n” to Sanchez’s first name.The staffer who made the mistake had no experience working on a congressional campaign, said Sanchez, a first-time candidate herself. She hired that employee and another inexperienced staffer — both of whom she declined to name — out of desperation, she said, unable to find anyone more qualified to run her campaign.“One of the most shocking situations that I had not expected was how difficult it would be to find qualified campaign staff,” Sanchez said last week. “If you have no one applying for the jobs, you’re begging people to apply. I had to stretch my imagination to believe that people could do the job I was hiring them to do.”With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Democrats have more candidates competing in congressional and state legislative races in Texas than the party has seen in years, as a wave of liberal enthusiasm fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump sweeps across the country. But the uptick in Democratic candidates has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus, according to interviews with more than a dozen candidates, consultants and political experts: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.The origins of the problem date back to the 1990s, when Republicans swept Democrats out of the state’s major offices, making it harder for many Democratic campaign staffers to find work between elections.“It’s a problem that has been around for a while,” said Colin Strother, a longtime Democratic strategist in Texas. “It’s just more pronounced this cycle because we have more competitive Democratic races than we have had in a generation.”At the time of the misspelling fiasco, Sanchez was one of several candidates running to challenge longtime U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis. Later that year, Barton decided not to run for re-election after a graphic photograph of him appeared on social media.By the March primaries, Sanchez had recruited a new team of staffers through connections at her alma mater, Rice University, and went on to win her party’s nomination in a runoff, setting up a showdown with Republican Ronald Wright, whom she has narrowly outraised in recent months. But for many Democrats competing in lower-profile races — particularly legislative contests in districts typically dominated by Republicans — recruiting qualified campaign staff has proved nearly impossible.Without dedicated staffers, these Democrats — many of whom are first-time candidates — are forced to spend valuable time writing their own press releases, drawing up fundraising plans and cobbling together lists of street addresses for volunteers to target during neighborhood block walks. The problem is partly financial. Candidates in low-profile races often have trouble matching the salaries offered by better-funded campaigns in districts widely viewed as more competitive. But this cycle, even Democrats who can afford to hire staffers say they have struggled to find people qualified to lead their campaigns.“I’ve had a terrible time hiring. I just don’t get that many applicants,” said Allison Lami Sawyer, a Democrat challenging state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the state Legislature. “All the ones with experience are going to federal and statewide races. And it’s not even a salary difference. Even if you’re matching salary, they’re going to the federal races.”In Texas, political experts say, a competitive state House campaign should generally have three full-time staffers: a campaign manager, a fundraising director and an official who oversees volunteers working in the field. Sawyer has one part-time staffer on her team.In less competitive races, many Democrats rely entirely on volunteers. Meghan Scoggins, a Democrat vying to unseat Republican state Rep. John Zerwas in a Fort Bend County district that has not seen a Democratic challenger in three election cycles, said she has had to “build an infrastructure from the ground up.”“A lot of the time that we’d normally be able to focus on voter contact, we’re having to focus on training volunteers,” Scoggins said.A range of factors — from decades-long political trends to quirks of the current election cycle — are responsible for the dearth of Democratic campaign staffers in Texas.Since Republicans took control of every statewide office in 1998, a number of experienced Democratic operatives left Texas after struggling to find consistent employment between elections.“Finding them a gig after a campaign is not always easy,” said Jeff Crosby, a Democratic consultant in Texas. “Back in the day, when we had a bunch of statewide offices, those folks could flow into jobs over there.”In 2010, when a wave of Republican victories cut the number of Democratic seats in the 150-member Texas House by a third, Dallas native Kirk McPike managed the state House campaign of Democrat Loretta Haldenwang, who lost to the Republican incumbent, Linda Harper-Brown of Irving. The election result left McPike with a difficult choice, he said: “Either go down to Austin and compete with my 20 best friends for the five jobs that were left working for Democrats in the Texas House, or look for employment out of state.”McPike chose the second option and now works in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat who McPike helped elect to office in 2012.In recent years, other Democratic operatives in Texas have left the campaign circuit to work for progressive advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and the Workers Defense Project. “There’s a lot of really quality staff who are working in those organizations, which just reduces the overall pool for campaigns,” said Jeff Rotkoff, the campaigns director for the Texas branch of the AFL-CIO, another organization that has attracted experienced political operatives.On top of those long-term trends, the unusually high number of competitive congressional races this cycle has exacerbated the staffing shortages faced by Democrats running for seats in the Texas Legislature.Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, said only one Texas Democrat challenging a Republican congressman in 2016 – Pete Gallego, who failed in a bid to reclaim his old seat from U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes – ran a professional, competitive campaign, compared to four such candidates this year.“The real difference this cycle is that the congressional candidates are sucking up all the talent that wasn’t all that deep to begin with,” Jones said.By contrast, he added, Republicans generally have a surplus of campaign talent for the general election, as staffers who worked for losing primary candidates look for new jobs in the run-up to November.The shortage of Democratic staffers has put strain on volunteers working for legislative candidates in Texas. Nancy Bean, a Democrat challenging state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said her volunteers have struggled to master the intricacies of the Voter Activation Network, an online database that the Texas Democratic Party maintains to help campaigns target individual voters.“It’s been a real uphill battle,” she said. “Because my volunteers are volunteers, it takes a long time to get people to be trained. Learning to do the VAN and all the ups and downs of the VAN is quite a steep learning curve.”Bean appears to have little chance of defeating Krause, whose district is solidly Republican. But even in historically uncompetitive districts, staffing shortages could hinder the party’s broader efforts to foster collaboration between local candidates and better-funded statewide campaigns, said Strother, the Democratic strategist.“We can’t get better unless we have these coordinated efforts, and we can’t have these coordinated efforts if we don’t have good staff,” he said.Crystal Perkins, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, acknowledged that the sheer number of Democrats running for office in Texas has made it “a little bit harder for folks to find staff.” But she brushed off concerns that the staffing problems might hurt the party’s chances this year, praising the work that local advocacy groups like Battleground Texas have done to improve Democratic turnout.And Perkins emphasized that the state party provides online training modules designed for candidates and volunteers, as well as in-person workshops to help campaigns make the most of the voter database.“We’ve really gone to a more training-focused organization,” she said. “We’ve tried to figure out how we could meet that challenge.”For some inexperienced candidates, however, webinars and occasional training sessions can only help so much.“If you’ve never run a campaign and you’re maybe not top of the class, then going to a training that’s offered by the party is probably not enough,” said Sanchez, the Democrat running for an open congressional seat in North Texas.“My initial impression was that it’s not rocket science,” she added. “Well, I changed my mind about that.”Gwenn Burud, a Democrat challenging state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, said she tried to hire staffers but found that most qualified operatives had already agreed to join higher-profile campaigns. Over time, however, that setback has become one of her campaign’s strengths, she said, because the volunteers she has recruited are talented and enthusiastic.In addition to developing volunteer networks, many female candidates in Texas have also made use of another resource: each other. In group chats and Facebook exchanges, Democratic women running for office this year share tips and anecdotes, turning to their fellow candidates for advice on everything from raising money and recruiting staff to deflecting sexist comments on the campaign trail. Scoggins, the state House candidate in Fort Bend County, said she got to know other female candidates earlier this year, when they were interviewed for a documentary about women seeking elected office across the country.“We talk policy, we talk strategy,” she said. “We talk all of the things that you might normally be paying staff to bring to the table.”Disclosure: Rice University and Planned Parenthood have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here. Share
Police are still searching for suspects in a Dec. 10 shooting of two teenagers on a basketball court in Southeast D.C., said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department on Dec.13.Lt. Sean Conboy said the offense took place in the 4400 block of F Street, SE. The shooting happened in the evening outside of the Benning Terrace housing complex. According to the spokesperson, a group of young people were playing basketball when they heard gunshots, and fled the court.The victims struck by gunfire are believed to be 14 or 15 years old, according to the Washington Post. Both victims were breathing and conscious when police arrived and were transported the hospital.Police are currently looking for two Black male suspects last seen in a burgundy car with unknown paper tags.Despite the 58 percent increase in homicide cases, and the 3 percent rise in robberies, “there is not a rise in crime in the District as a whole,” Conboy told the AFRO, in an email, on Dec.9. He said that violent crime, which sat at 5,526 as of Nov. 17, has only increased by 1 percent, and is still lower than 2014’s total of 6,194.However, the total violent crimes reported between Alabama Avenue SE and 46th Street SE, within 1,000 feet of this shooting, doubled since last year, according to a D.C. police crime map. Last year, this area had 22 violent crimes as compared 44.Deji Ayoku, 22, said youth live in fear of being harmed, even in locations that should be safe play areas. “If people are getting shot at least three times out of seven days then, yeah, I would be scared,” Ayoku said. He played soccer growing up in Prince Georges County, Maryland and his parents sent him to school in Buffalo, New York so he could get away from “bad areas” and trouble.Ayoku still visits his aunt and cousins who live and work in the District. He said he hopes something will be done about the crime so his family will be safe.
Arts Acre Foundation announced on Wednesday the second edition of its annual festival – Art Haat, 2017 – organized in association with Emami Art is going to be held at the Arts Acre Museum of Bengal Modern Art and International Centre for Creativity and Cultural Vision at Rajarhat from November 11 to 14. Eminent artist, Shuvaprasanna, acclaimed artists, Himmat Shah and Prabhakar Kolte, filmmaker, Gautam Ghose and prominent artists from Germany were present at the inauguration. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis year, the majority of the stalls at the Art Haat festival are being given to the emerging artists who are full-time practitioners of fine arts like painting and sculpture while some stalls are reserved for various handicrafts. Besides the fair, there will be performances at the open-air amphitheatre every evening during this four-day event. Last year, it was a mix of Baul and other forms of folk music like Rainbenshe, Chau, and traditional dance of Purulia and performances by Belgian Bluegrass band named Louvat Brothers. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis year there will be a performance by Folks of Bengal – a folk band performing songs and instrumental, folk songs by Swapan Basu, Raibenshe – traditional acrobatic dance form of Bengal, Chau – Dance form of Purulia and contemporary dance performance by Bittu Mondal and group.Present on the occasion, Shuvaprasanna said, “This is the second edition of Art Haat and I am extremely hopeful about its success. Last year, it was an interesting spread of experience. We have extremely talented artists across the city and state who have participated in this year’s art fair and festival and it is going to be big this year. From the last year’s success, we have been inspired to increase the number of stalls to 65 against last year’s 55. We will continue to hold this festival to exhibit the artistic excellence of our city and the country”. Different forms and types of affordable painting, sculpture, folk art, crafts, organic clothes, designer jewellery and handloom products would be exhibited at this unique fair. “The idea is to enable every family to carry back a piece of art with them. We have also tried to offer each artist and artisan an inexpensive platform for selling their creations”, added Shuvaprasanna. This year, the fair also offers delectable food items from K C Das, Biskfarm and Mukhorochak. They will be offering their delicacies besides food from the in-house cafeteria. There will also be stalls selling popular street foods in the festival. Arts Acre is the brainchild of the renowned artist Shuvaprasanna which has developed into a sprawling facility for fine arts. It is a self-contained mini-city for artists and art lovers providing world-class facilities for creating a model platform for the practice and propagation of art, craft and culture.