first_img Twitter By Alan Hartnett – 7th October 2020 Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date News Twitter The GAA’s decision to impose a blanket ban on all club activity could not have come at a worse time for hurling clubs in Laois.This week should have been all about the build up to the championship finals in the top three grades of the game in the county.On Saturday, MW Hire O’Moore Park’s new lights would have been on for the first ever senior final clash between Borris-Kilcotton and Clough-Ballacolla – with the premier intermediate meeting of Portlaoise and The Harps due on before it.Then on Sunday, intermediate hurling would take centre stage as Trumera and Rathdowney-Errill were set to fight it out for honours.However, five days before the senior final, the rug was pulled out from under clubs and they’ve now been left in a state of limbo.Borris-Kilcotton manager Ciarán Comerford says that getting so close to the final only for it to be postponed has been particularly hard on his players.He said: “It isn’t ideal but I suppose what is really hurting is the fact that it was a Level 3 announcement from the government and not the Level 5 that was being touted.“The fact we were so close – we were five days out from the final against Clough-Ballacolla when the decision was made to impose a blanket ban on club games.“It is a tough one to take. People talk a lot about mindset around sport and lads had been building for the last few weeks for a semi final and then on to a final.“It isn’t going ahead now and what fills the void? Three of our lads went to Carlow last night to hurl in a challenge match with Laois and you’d wonder where their heads are at because the rug has been pulled out from under them and they have to switch their focus to inter county mode.”And with the Covid-19 situation in the country deteriorating on an almost daily basis now, the former Roscommon boss says there are genuine fears that the final will not be played at all.As soon as is practically possible, Comerford would be very grateful if any direction could be given from the GAA or Laois County Board on a provisional new date – even if that means waiting until St Patrick’s Day in 2021.He said: “That worry is always there (that it won’t be completed) and this is new territory for everyone. When you are trying to prepare teams, you look for dates. Be it the first round of the league, championship – whatever.“So ideally you would like a date or some indication of what the GAA or County Board are hoping to do. I understand that they probably don’t know themselves – so they can’t tell us.“But ultimately the game isn’t going ahead and we are heading into inter-county season after this weekend. So the earlier we are looking at is the mid to end of November.“And that is assuming the worst for Laois which isn’t what anybody wants. And by then of course, there is no guarantee that this things hasn’t progressed to Level 4 or 5.“So maybe the right thing to do is to say ‘right lads, we’ll aim for Paddy’s Day next year’. So then you down tools for a couple of months and get the hurls back out on the first week of January and aim for that date.“I am sure the people making these decisions are making them on the basis of information they are being given and I have no issue with that. But all I would ask is that as soon as they know or have a plan – that they let us know so we can make one ourselves.“If we are told that it would be after Laois are finished, you’d probably take a week or two off and then go again.“If it is further afield than that, then you’d really have to leave it so because there is no way you would keep lads focused or interested for that length of time.”In the GAA’s statement, giving their reasons for the blanket ban, they said: “The decision has been taken in the interest of public safety following a number of incidents that have been brought to our attention in recent days.“​In particular, post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events have proved disappointing and problematic.”While the scenes following the Cork hurling final where city club Blackrock had won their first title in 18 years were widely criticised online, there was numerous other incidents of the whole thing fraying at the edges.Crowds were routinely spotted not practising social distancing at matches, we had scenes of wild celebration on pitches at full time, teams and supporters celebrating in pubs after matches in conflict with guidance, and inexplicably, there was even a case of a club allowing a player who was awaiting the result of a test, and subsequently tested positive, play in a county final.When you put it all together, it does not paint the GAA in a good light – something Comerford accepts but he also criticises the hierarchy for not being strong enough prior to this decision.He said: “It doesn’t paint a good picture. But the GAA President John Horan was interviewed on Monday and he said that they gave the clubs a warning shot last week.“Now their ‘warning shot’ was an email that instructed there to be no pre-match huddle, socially distant photos but nowhere did they suggest in that email that ‘hold on lads, yee are getting very close to stepping across the line here’.“I understand what has gone on before us in other places has gone against us.”Saturday at 5pm was supposed to be Borris-Kilcotton’s date with destiny against Clough-Ballacolla as they tried to claim just their second Bob O’Keeffe Cup since their amalgamation.The optimist in Comerford is holding out hope that it might still happen – but he knows now that it is more than unlikely.He said: “But I wonder maybe could there be some little bit of logic to say that I have 28 members of a panel, so too do Clough-Ballacolla. Let us in Saturday evening and we’ll play that game as planned.“Let us go home then and have a Zoom party or something – give the GAA those assurances. If people do things outside of that – that is outside of the club remit and it is on individuals themselves.“The optimist in me would love to see that but then I guess where do they draw the line? I know there are four or five senior finals still outstanding around the country – not to mention all the lower grades too.“It is just such a pity because it is so close that it is almost at the top of our fingers – but yet it is completely out of our control.”SEE ALSO – Action was needed around club GAA games – but cancelling fixtures is a step too far Facebook Pinterest ‘We were so close’ – Borris-Kilcotton manager yearns for new county final date following GAA ban Facebook TAGSBorris-KilcottonCiarán ComerfordCoronavirusGAALaois SHC Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival WhatsApp Electric Picnic Home Hurling Club Hurling ‘We were so close’ – Borris-Kilcotton manager yearns for new county final… HurlingClub HurlingSportGAA Previous articleCalls for range of new measures to support Laois people and businesses as Level 3 beginsNext articleHome Care help in Laois – a funding or an operational issue? Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. WhatsApp Electric Picnic last_img read more

first_imgSangster airport gets art lift TransportOctober 25, 2010 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail An art mural measuring 72 feet by 8 feet and titled, ‘Amongst the Living’ was unveiled at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, Wednesday (October 20) by Artist Fiona Godfrey and officials of the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).The large painting, described as a significant representation of Jamaican life and culture, was installed on a wall visible from the Arrivals Ramp at the entrance to Immigration Hall. It was designed and intended for a warm Jamaican welcome to the over 1.5 million annual visitors to the island.The mural entitled, ‘Amongst the living’ created by Irish/Jamaican Artist Fiona Godfrey is unveiled in the Immigration Hall at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The commissioned artwork is the largest project to be established at the airport and would welcome the over 1.5 million arriving international passengers to the island each year. It was officially unveiled in a ceremony at the airport last week.Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, in a message read by St. James Parish Councillor Mexine Bisasor, said that it was “a moment of celebration” to unveil another artistic commission at the airport, as these facilities have become centres of fine arts around the world and it was a matter of pride, that Jamaica is pursuing a similar goal.“Today, we unveil and celebrate the work of Fiona Godfrey, a native of Ireland who has made Jamaica her home and one who is a renowned artist of figurative paintings with a dreamlike power,” she said.She added that the impressive work of art, placed above the Immigration gates at the Airport, is intended to capture the ‘essence of Jamaica’ and establish a ‘sense of place”. She also congratulated Montego Bay Jamaica (MBJ) Airports Limited for having the vision to be an artistic patron, to seek out the best in Jamaican art and display it.Director of Tourism, John Lynch, congratulated MBJ Airports Limited for their vision in ensuring that, through various expressions of art including “Amongst the Living”, the airport provided the best first and last impressions for visitors to the island.Irish/Jamaican Artist, Fiona Godfrey (Second Right) points to a section of her art creation ‘Amongst the Living’ during the unveiling ceremony in the Immigration Hall at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The commissioned artwork is the largest project to be established at the airport and would welcome the over 1.5 million arriving international passengers to the island each year. It was officially unveiled in a ceremony at the airport last week.He suggested that the piece is perhaps the most significant artwork to be displayed in the airport, and represents a turning point in the endeavour to create that ‘sense of place’.“The mural is described as ‘a ballad of gratitude, a love song to Jamaica’ and will see both Jamaicans and visitors to the island finding something in the art work to connect with their own experiences, thus making the journey through the airport a more fulfilling one”, Mr. Lynch pointed out.Fiona Godfrey, an Irish artist, came to Jamaica in 1989 to teach literacy and art at the St. John Bosco Children’s Home for a year. She fell in love with Jamaica and never left. She now works full-time as an artist in Kingston. RelatedSangster airport gets art lift RelatedSangster airport gets art liftcenter_img RelatedSangster airport gets art lift Advertisementslast_img read more

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Authorities in Missouri are pointing to advanced DNA technology good police work for helping investigators to finally identify the suspect in the murders of a woman and her 12-year-old daughter in 1998.The Missouri State Highway Patrol and New Madrid County Sheriff’s Office held a joint news conference Friday to shed light on and detail how they’d linked the heinous double murder of Sherri and Megan Scherer, as well as several other unsolved crimes in other states, to Robert Eugene Brashers.Brashers, 40, of Paragould, Arkansas, died in January 1999 after he shot himself in the head during a standoff with police at a Missouri motel, authorities said Friday.In March 1998, the bodies of Sherri Scherer, 38, and Megan Scherer, 12, were found about 7 p.m. in their home in rural Portageville, Missouri, authorities said. They had been shot to death, police added, and Megan had been sexually assaulted.A few hours later, authorities said, police got a report of a man attempting to break into the home of a woman and her children in Tennessee’s Dyer County. During a struggle with the woman, the unidentified man shot the woman in the arm.The woman was able to get back inside the home, however. Ballistics connected the shooting to the Scherer murders, according to authorities.The woman gave police a composite sketch and a partial DNA profile was created in 1998. In 2006, evidence from the Scherer murders was then re-sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Crime Lab and a full suspect DNA profile was created and entered into the Combined DNA Index System.Police said that submission uncovered a match to the April 1990 unsolved murder of Genevieve Zitricki, 28, who was found dead in her home in Greenville, South Carolina. All the while, police said, investigators continued looking into leads and conducting interviews.A search for a suspect that had started in Missouri now had grown to include two additional states.In May 2017, another match was uncovered via the DNA index system that linked the suspected perpetrator to a March 1997 rape of a 14-year-old girl in Memphis during a home invasion. The victim and witnesses helped put together a composite drawing of the suspect, investigators said.In 2018, investigators said they reached out to a company called Parabon NanoLabs, whose technology “combines DNA testing and genetic genealogy analysis” to link a person with their ancestors.“Parabon’s process provided leads to law enforcement investigators that, when combined with traditional investigative techniques, led to the identification” of Brashers, authorities said in a statement.Investigators got DNA samples from his relatives and “test results indicated Mr. Brashers was, with very little doubt, responsible for the crimes,” the statement said.In September, his remains were exhumed and additional samples were taken and tested to confirm that his DNA indeed matched the DNA found in the crimes.“This is an amazing example of a cooperative, investigative effort by Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee authorities. All parties worked together, including the decision [to] seek the services of Parabon NanoLabs,” said Sgt. Shawn Griggs of Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control. “During the history of these cases, investigators from Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee have worked close to 1,500 leads and the homicides here in Missouri were featured on ‘America’s Most Wanted’ two different times.”Police said Brashers’ criminal history included a conviction for attempted murder in November 1986 due to an incident in Florida.In 1998, according to authorities, he’d been arrested in Paragould for allegedly attempting to break into a woman’s home.In January 1999, police in Missouri were investigating a case involving a stolen license plate when they encountered a friend of Brashers. Police said Brashers was allegedly armed with a pistol at a Kennett, Missouri, motel.“Officers learned during the standoff that Brashers had active warrants for his arrest stemming from the 1998 incident in Paragould, Arizona,” authorities said in its statement.Before police could arrest him, Brashers allegedly shot himself to death.Griggs told ABC News Friday that authorities had met with the Scherer family Thursday to inform relatives. He said technology and investigators’ working together had enabled authorities to “honor” their commitment not only to the family but also to the people of Missouri.“I have no doubt in my mind that this is the most heavily investigated case this county has ever seen,” Stevens said Friday. “When I took office in January of 2001, I made the decision this would never become a cold case, as far as we were concerned. This case would always be at the forefront of our workload. It was too important to the Scherer family and the community of Portageville.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Half of U.S. adults use social media. That is, they do according to the latest findings from Universal McCann’s “Media in Mind” study, an ongoing research effort that analyzes how consumers relate to media and products in their daily life. However, it’s worth noting that in this particular study “social media” includes text messaging. Combined with blogging and social networking, these three technologies are used by 50% of U.S. adults for communication purposes. Wait, What Are You Calling “Social Media”?In the 18-34 year-old demographic, the numbers of social media users are even higher: 85% of rely on one of the three platforms to stay in touch with others. Of course, the increase in those who are now texting could be pushing these overall numbers up. It seems that more adults are texting than ever before. Those adults who say that they’ve never sent a text message fell to 41% from 49% last year. Says Graeme Hutton, SVP-Director of Consumer Insights: “We’re definitely seeing continual shifts. The great unwashed – those people who have never sent a text message – is getting smaller all the time.”Side Note: Personally, I find the terminology “the great unwashed (masses)” a little demeaning. The fact is that those at the lower end of the technology-use spectrum don’t use things like text messaging and the internet as much because they are usually economically disadvantaged – an unfortunate condition that has numerous causes including everything from poor educational resources to lack of job opportunities in their geographic region. Lumping this lower-income group into one “great unwashed” group was an unnecessarily cruel way to address those not participating in the social media revolution. That aside, there are still plenty of valuable findings that have surfaced because of this study, including the following new data:1 out of 10 U.S. adults now publish blogs (up from 5% last year)1 out of 5 18-34-year olds publish blogs (up from 10% last year)22% of U.S. adults use IM (up from 9% last year)21% of 18-34-year olds use IM (up from 14% last year) But are these numbers showing a true shift in sheer numbers of users or really just a change in awareness? Hutton says, “Two years ago, asking people about blogs, people were shaking their heads. I think now it’s taking off because social networks are taking off…People may have been doing it before, but may not have realized it. Now they’re recognizing it for what it is.”Although these numbers look promising for our favorite genre, social media, they should probably be taken with a grain of salt. While we do believe that text messaging is an important method of communication, it doesn’t quite fit with what the standard definition of social media is: blogging, social networking sites, and other web properties that engage collective groups of people to drive their content. We would like to see how the numbers really break down among the three “social media” activities they measured, but that data was not immediately available. Source: MarketingVOXUpdate: After contacting Universal McCann to clarify whether or not they really believed that text messaging counted as “social media,” I received this response: “The Media in Mind research bulletin we issued was in fact about emerging media not social media. I think the article took a broad over-arching view of the emerging media reviewed by the MiM research which might lead to that possible reading of the article to put all three media you mention together as “social media”. However, that said, I think your query raises an interesting point. I think we would typically define social media as online applications that aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.In exploratory qualitative research, we have undertaken indicates the consumer might take a broader view of what social media might mean. For example, it could be taken by consumers to mean any digital form of personal communication that helps enable peer collaboration and sharing. This softer, less-structured definition is possibly useful in determining possible future growth areas of personal social P2P media from a consumer-centric POV.” sarah perezcenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Features#Social Web#Trends#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

first_imgTags:#Google#social networks#web Fox News seemed to fare better in its coverage of the Michael Jackson doctor trial verdict. Although to be fair, its posts came earlier in the day.Entertainers & Retailers Feel Out G+The initial sports and music Pages are mostly using Google+ to post photos and videos, although some promise to “hangout” with fans soon.The retailers are, as to be expected, using G+ Pages to promote their wares. The Macy’s Page wrote in its introduction: “Stay tuned for exclusive info on sales, promotions,events and more.” As with entertainers like The Muppets, Macy’s needs to be careful not to create a one-way advertising experience. The giant retailer is, however, promising “9 lucky trendsetters” a hangout with Fashionista Executive Editor and mBlog Style Blogger, Leah Chernikoff. So far 14 comments have been made on that post, including this potential question for Chernikoff: “What is the best way to mix pumps and tights that are more than just black on black?” So if you’re interested in knowing the answer to that, tune into Macy’s hangout. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts It is very early days for Pages with brands. Already though you get the sense that the best way for brands to use Google+ will be to truly interact with their followers. Whether by posts that solicit comments or by video hangouts, Google+ is best used to engage in conversation with other people. Indeed, that’s what we’ll be trying to do over on the ReadWriteWeb Page. So circle us on Google+ and together we’ll talk about what’s next on the Web! (yes that was an advertisement of sorts)Lead Image by M Kaye richard macmanus Google+ Pages for brands launched early today, with a select group of launch partners. Later in the day, G+ Pages were opened up to everyone. ReadWriteWeb, among others, immediately created a Page. I took point on developing RWW’s one and afterwards I was curious to see what other brands had done. While it’s very early days, it was clear to me what works and what doesn’t in Google+ Pages for brands.One thing to note is that Google+ Pages aren’t fully developed yet. For example, currently only one person can administer a Page. However Google+ engineer Dennis Troper assured everyone that “this is just the beginning!” Specifically, he stated that “a few of your top requests we’ve already started working on, such as multi-admin support, ownership transfer and page analytics.”Having said that, there is much potential for brands in Google+ Pages. Given that some companies got a head start in developing their Pages, let’s look at what they came up with.The Google+ team helpfully created a shared circle of the launch Pages. It features 36 Pages, 16 of which come from within Google and 20 of which are external brands. The external brands include retailers (Macy’s, H&M), sports teams (Phoenix Suns, Dallas Cowboys), mainstream media (Anderson Cooper 360, Fox News), entertainment (The Muppets, The All-American Rejects) and more.The Muppets Hangout… But Forget to Hang OutThe Muppets did a much publicized Hangout (a group video chat), which due to demand was affected by technical issues. However, more importantly, there was no interaction with the audience. One viewer called it an “elaborate ad for the next movie.” Google+ user M Monica wrote a disappointed review, noting that it “came across as a media/pr blitz with little consideration for the fans.”Brands will need to watch that Google+ doesn’t become just another way to advertise their wares to a mass audience. Google+ is known for its topic-focused conversations, so the creators of The Muppets need to find ways to really engage with its audience – not just show them a video. Hangouts can be a great way for brands to interact with their audiences. Imagine for example if Kermit and Miss Piggy took questions from the other users in the hangout. Sure that’s risky for brands, but that kind of two-way interaction is necessary if brands are to use Google+ effectively. CNN & Fox Reach Out To Their ViewersThe Page for Anderson Cooper 360 made a good attempt at creating a conversation around a hot topic for the day. It posted the following, presumably while the show was being broadcast on TV:“Are you watching AC360? Anderson is talking to James Carville and Ari Fleischer about the woman who claimed on camera, in detail, that Herman Cain made unwanted sexual advances.”The Page currently has over 8,500 followers, but the above post only attracted 11 comments and 7 +1’s. Still, it’s just Day 1 for the CNN Page and the quality of those 11 comments is encouraging. Once the Page gets promoted more by the show and gains more followers, I expect we’ll see more viewer interaction. I like that they posted this while the show was happening and tried to get a conversation going in real-time. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

first_imgIn more than five years with Intel Labs, I’ve had the good fortune to be involved with a team of extremely bright people focused on researching large-scale machine learning and data mining techniques. And now a great job is about to get even better, as I head out to sea this week with a team from Intel Labs and a collaborative team of ocean experts to put the same techniques to work to study the health and wellbeing of humpback whales.This expedition builds on our ongoing work with Parley for the OceansOpens in a new window, a group dedicated to advancing research and education focused on conserving whales and the oceans that sustain them. In early June, we highlighted some of the great work that Parley is doing in our blog on Parley ‘SnotBot’ and Intel AI TechnologyOpens in a new window.(Christian Miller Photography)This week’s Parley SnotBot expedition, parts of which will be captured live by National Geographic, will build on the work being done by the Mind’s Eye Lab, a research initiative arising out of a collaboration between Intel Labs and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The Mind’s Eye Lab is focused on decoding digital brain data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to reveal how neural activity gives rise to learning, memory, and other cognitive functions. The technologies that make this decoding process possible are a perfect match for the process of sifting through the “noisy data” captured by drones hovering over whales in the ocean.The drone innovation at play here is known as “SnotBot,” a colorful term that stems from the drones’ ability to collect the blow, or snot, exhaled from whales. That blow is rich with biological data, ranging from DNA, stress hormones and pregnancy hormones to viruses, bacteria, and toxins. These same drones also capture video of whales, which is the focus of the current expedition.(Christian Miller Photography)In our expedition on Alaska’s Frederick Sound, our team of computer scientists and marine biologists will employ sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data from the video imagery captured via the SnotBot drones. This analytical process will give us the ability to gain clarity from data that is inherently murky.So why is that data murky? When you capture video of whales, in our case the lively humpback whale, you are gaining glimpses of a twisting and turning target whose full form is often obscured by water. Water absorbs color and reduces contrast, making parts of the animal hard to see.  Waves further distort by reflecting and bending what gets through.  Even parts of the animal that surface, such as the whale’s flukes — the two lobes of the tail — is distorted by gravity, lighting conditions, and viewing angle.(Christian Miller Photography)Naturally, it can be an extremely challenging endeavor to identify and assess the health of whales using manual processes and conventional image processing. This is where machine learning comes into play.  Applied to drone video, machine learning can learn and remove the distortions caused by water, bringing out whale color patterns, speckling, and shape.  Distinctive features can be compared with images from whale databases, making it possible to automatically identify individual whales.Machine learning algorithms can also provide researchers with a full view of the animal. As such, the algorithms can help researchers understand the health of the whale by determining the shape and size of the animal and generating a body composite index (BCI) score. All of this is accomplished in a matter of seconds — without clear images. Essentially, machine learning and AI give researchers X-ray vision that sees through the water.(Christian Miller Photography)In machine learning terms, we are talking about unsupervised learning. This means that researchers don’t need to mark up the images they feed to the algorithms to help them along. Instead, they let the algorithms make judgments about the images and continually build on what they learn. While this week’s expedition focuses on humpback whales, the same technologies can be applied to other animals to generate deeper insights than would be possible even with direct observations in the field.Needless to say, I’m honored to be a part of this mission and excited at the prospect of taking machine learning techniques out of the laboratory and applying them on the waters off the coast of Alaska to gain insights that can help us protect whales and the oceans that sustain them.To catch a glimpse of the Parley SnotBot expedition, tune into the National Geographic live event at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, July 9 and to learn more about Intel’s machine learning technology check out www.intel.com/machinelearningOpens in a new window.last_img read more

first_imgThe Indian cricket board on Monday terminated a Rs 2,000 crore media rights contract of Nimbus and decided to encash the bank guarantee of the same amount, giving rise to apprehensions of another round of court cases.The decision was taken at a working committee meeting, presided over by N Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), while the top Nimbus officials and BCCI lawyers were also present at the same hotel.The BCCI did not issue a statement after the short meeting, but officials who were present there confirmed that a decision to this effect has been taken. Nimbus paid Rs 24 crore just before the meeting in an apparent effort to delay the inevitable, but it didn’t cut ice with the BCCI officials.”Every member’s opinion was sought at the meeting, especially Arun Jaitley’s as he is a lawyer too. Everyone was of the opinion that Nimbus has been often defaulting payments and the bank guarantee should be encashed,” a top official told Mail Today. “A considered decision will be taken tomorrow and announced.”The BCCI official said that Nimbus has even delayed the payment for the five-match One-day International series against England in October and the just concluded series against the West Indies comprising Tests and ODIs.According to the four-year contract – from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2014 – Nimbus was to pay Rs 31.50 crore each per Test, ODI and Twenty20 International played in India.When contacted, Nimbus chairman Harish Thawani said that he hasn’t heard anything from the BCCI. “We have no official word from the BCCI regarding the rumour in a section of the media, hence will not be issuing any statement today,” Thawani told Mail Today via SMS.advertisementJust before the BCCI meeting began at a five-star hotel at around 4 pm, Nimbus made the part payment. “Nimbus paid Rs 24 crore before the meeting, but this amount was not sufficient. According to the terms and conditions of the contract, Nimbus was supposed to pay 50 per cent of the amount 30 days before a series and the rest within 30 days from the end of the series,” said a BCCI official. “Even for the England ODIs, they paid the advance amount only halfway through the series.”The official explained: “The total bank guarantee of Rs 2,000 would be encashed from which the amount due to the BCCI would be deducted and the rest would be returned to Nimbus. But Nimbus will now have to sign a new contract and give a new bank guarantee, as per the contract clauses.”The BCCI official said that Thawani met Jaitley, a BCCI vicepresident and a leading lawyer, over the issue in Chennai a couple of days ago, but the stalemate couldn’t be broken.He said Nimbus had also been delaying payment and there have been issues relating to its previous contract with the BCCI – worth $ 612 million for the period March 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010.This is evident from the documents that the BCCI circulated during its working committee meeting in August. One issue was the clash of the international and domestic matches played in India, resulting in the BCCI and Nimbus disagreeing over the number of days/ matches of domestic cricket (72 days or 31 matches).A third outstanding issue related to the service tax and tax deducted at source after the union government promulgated that media rights were considered as “commercial” events and that they would come under the service tax net.The radio rights were included in the media rights of Nimbus. It was another contentious issue as there has been a dispute over the sharing of advertisement income between Nimbus and the All India Radio.In spite of the termination of its contract, Nimbus, which telecasts BCCI-organised domestic cricket tournaments through its production arm Neo, will continue to beam the next round of Ranji Trophy matches starting on Tuesday.”The Nimbus contract is separate from its production contract with the BCCI. We will continue to telecast the Ranji matches,” a top Neo official told Mail Today.last_img read more

first_imgUnion Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harish Rawat is set to turn up the political heat in Uttarakhand when he visits Dehradun on Sunday – his first to the state after he rebelled against the party for choosing Vijay Bahuguna as the chief minister over him.Although Rawat is coming to release a book on the Congress, his visit is significant as 11 Congress MLAs loyal to him are yet to take oath as legislators and the Speaker’s election is slated for Monday.”Yes, he will be in Dehradun to attend a book release function,” party spokesperson Surender Kumar said.Although the 11 MLAs can vote in the Speaker’s election even if they don’t take oath, it will be a test for the Bahuguna-led government as the possibility of the rebel MLAs defying the party whip is real.That would come as a huge setback to the Congress government and it could clear the way for the BJP, which is planning to put up a candidate, to get its nominee elected.Besides the Speaker’s election, the BJP is also eyeing the vote of confidence on March 29 and the Rajya Sabha election on March 30 to embarrass the Congress in the hill state.Due to infighting in the Congress, there is apprehension in the BJP that the Congress could poach its MLAs. As a precautionary exercise, the BJP secretly moved its newly-elected MLAs to Ujjain.last_img read more