The Toronto Raptors have gone small in their starting lineup leaving some worried how they would incorporate Chris Boucher and Aron Baynes off the bench. Well, safe to say those concerns are no more.
The Toronto Raptors have gone small in their starting lineup leaving some worried how they would incorporate Chris Boucher and Aron Baynes off the bench. Well, safe to say those concerns are no more.
India vs England Live Score: Get latest cricket score and live updates, ball by ball commentary of Ind vs Eng 4th Test match being played at Narendra Modi Stadium, Motera.
NAJAF, Iraq — After his historic meeting with Pope Francis on Saturday, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric affirmed that religious authorities have a role in protecting Iraq’s Christians and said they should live in peace and enjoy the same rights as other Iraqis. For its part, the Vatican said Francis thanked Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the Shiite people for having “raised his voice in defence of the weakest and most persecuted” during some of the most violent times in Iraq’s recent history. He said al-Sistani’s message of peace affirmed “the sacredness of human life and the importance of the unity of the Iraqi people.” The Vatican said the historic visit was a chance for Francis to emphasize the need for collaboration and friendship between different religious communities. Pope Francis met Saturday with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, one of the most senior clerics in Shiite Islam, in Iraq's holy city of Najaf to deliver a joint message of peaceful coexistence, urging Muslims to embrace Iraq's long-beleaguered Christian minority. In a statement issued by his office after the meeting, al-Sistani affirmed that Christians should “live like all Iraqis, in security and peace and with full constitutional rights." He pointed out the "role that the religious authority plays in protecting them, and others who have also suffered injustice and harm in the events of past years.” Al-Sistani wished Francis and the followers of the Catholic Church happiness, and thanked him for taking the trouble to visit him in Najaf, the statement said. Al-Sistani is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and and his opinions on religious and other matters are sought by Shiites worldwide. For Iraq’s dwindling Christian minority, a show of solidarity from al-Sistani could help secure their place in Iraq after years of displacement — and, they hope, ease intimidation from Shiite militiamen against their community. The historic meeting in al-Sistani's humble home was months in the making, with every detail painstakingly discussed and negotiated between the ayatollah's office and the Vatican. When the time came, the 84-year-old pontiff’s convoy, led by a bullet-proof vehicle, pulled up along Najaf’s narrow and column-lined Rasool Street, which culminates at the golden-domed Imam Ali Shrine, one of the most revered sites in the world for Shiites. He then walked the few meters (yards) to al-Sistani’s modest home, which the cleric has rented for decades. A group of Iraqis wearing traditional clothes welcomed him outside. As a masked Francis entered the doorway, a few white doves were released in a sign of peace. He emerged just under an hour later, still limping heavily from an apparent flare-up of the sciatica nerve pain that makes walking difficult. The “very positive” meeting lasted a total of 40 minutes, said a religious official in Najaf, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media. The official said al-Sistani, who normally remains seated for visitors, stood to greet Francis at the door of his room, a rare honour. Al-Sistani and Francis sat close to one another, without masks, with their hands on their laps. A small table was between them with a box of tissues on it. The official said there was some concern about the fact that the pope had met with so many people the day before. Francis has received the coronavirus vaccine but al-Sistani has not. The visit was being carried live on Iraqi television, and residents cheered the meeting of two respected faith leaders. ”We welcome the pope’s visit to Iraq and especially to the holy city of Najaf and his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani,” said Najaf resident Haidar Al-Ilyawi. “It is an historic visit and hope it will be good for Iraq and the Iraqi people.” Francis arrived in Iraq on Friday and met with senior government officials on the first-ever papal visit to the country, aimed at promoting his call for greater fraternity among all peoples. It is also his first international trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and his meeting Saturday marked the first time a pope had met a grand ayatollah. Nearly 25,000 security forces were deployed in Najaf ahead of the pope’s arrival, according to the province’s governor. Rasool Street was emptied of its usual bustle to clear the path for the pope’s arrival. As soon as his motorcade left a swarm of people rushed to the street, filling it up again to see him off. On the few occasions where he has made his opinion known, the notoriously reclusive al-Sistani has shifted the course of Iraq's modern history. In the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion he repeatedly preached calm and restraint as the Shiite majority came under attack by al-Qaida and other Sunni extremists. The country was nevertheless plunged into years of sectarian violence. His 2014 fatwa, or religious edict, calling on able-bodied men to join the security forces in fighting the Islamic State group swelled the ranks of Shiite militias, many closely tied to Iran. In 2019, as anti-government demonstrations gripped the country, his sermon lead to the resignation of then-prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Iraqis have welcomed the visit and the international attention it has given the country as it struggles to recover from decades of war and unrest. Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group in 2017 but still sees sporadic attacks. It has also seen recent rocket attacks by Iran-backed militias against U.S. military and diplomatic facilities, followed by U.S. airstrikes on militia targets in Iraq and neighbouring Syria. The violence is linked to the standoff between the U.S. and Iran following Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord and its imposition of crippling sanctions on Iran. Francis’ visit to Najaf and nearby Ur traverses provinces that have seen recent instability. In Nasiriyah, where the Plains of Ur is located, protest violence left at least five dead last month. Most were killed when Iraqi security forces used live ammunition to disperse crowds. Protest violence was also seen in Najaf last year, but abated as the mass anti-government movement that engulfed Iraq gradually petered out. A heavy security presence was also awaiting Francis in Ur, where the pope was to preside over an interfaith meeting later Saturday. Ur, with its ancient ziggurat, is the traditional birthplace of Abraham, prophet common to Christians, Muslims and Jews. ___ Winfield reported from Ur, Iraq, and Abdul-Zahra reported from Baghdad. Associated Press writer Samya Kullab in Baghdad contributed. Anmar Khalil, Nicole Winfield And Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press
Janaki Jayanti, the festival marking the birth of Goddess Sita, is observed with great fervour and enthusiasm by her devotees
Best Buy's is having an enormous three-day sale on tons of tech, with deals on laptops, TVs, tablets, games and more—shop our top picks.
The tourists were reduced to 30 for four having conceded a first-innings lead of 160.
LONDON — Britain’s royal family and television have a complicated relationship. The medium has helped define the modern monarchy: The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s first mass TV spectacle. Since then, rare interviews have given a glimpse behind palace curtains at the all-too-human family within. The fictionalized take of Netflix hit “The Crown” has moulded views of the monarchy for a new generation, though in ways the powerful, image-conscious royal family can’t control. “The story of the royal family is a constructed narrative, just like any other story,” said Phil Harrison, author of “The Age of Static: How TV Explains Modern Britain.” And it’s a story that has changed as Britain moved from an age of deference to an era of modern social mores and ubiquitous social media. “The royals, particularly the younger royals, have moved from the realm of state apparatus to the realm of celebrity culture in recent decades,” Harrison said. “That’s worked well for them up to a point — but celebrity culture takes as well as gives and is notoriously fickle.” So anticipation and apprehension are both high ahead of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — a year after they walked away from official royal life, citing what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is biracial. A clip released by CBS ahead of Sunday’s broadcast shows Meghan, a former TV star, appearing to suggest the royal family was “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Harry. A look at some other major royal television moments, and their impact: PRINCESS DIANA The 1981 wedding of 32-year-old Prince Charles and 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral was a fairy-tale spectacle watched by an estimated 750 million people around the world. But the relationship soon soured. The couple separated in 1992, and in 1995 Diana gave a candid interview to the BBC’s Martin Bashir, discussing the pressure of media scrutiny and the breakdown of her marriage. “There were three of us in that marriage,” Diana said, referring to Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. The interview prompted a wave of sympathy for Diana, seen by many as a woman failed by an uncaring, out-of-touch royal establishment — a pattern some say has repeated itself with Meghan. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996; Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year, triggering intense public mourning and a period of reflection for the monarchy, which has since tried to appear more modern and relatable — with mixed results. ___ PRINCE ANDREW The biggest scandal to engulf the family in decades stems from the friendship between the queen's second son, Andrew, and wealthy convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a New York jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. One woman who says she was a victim of Epstein alleges she had sex with Andrew when she was 17, a claim the prince denies. The prince tried to undo the damage by giving an interview to the BBC’s “Newsnight” program in November 2019. It backfired spectacularly. Andrew appeared uncomfortable and evasive, and failed to convey empathy for those who say they were exploited by Epstein, even as he defended his friendship with the man. He called Epstein’s behaviour “unbecoming,” a term interviewer Emily Maitlis suggested was an understatement. Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, said at the time that the interview was "a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad.” After the interview, Andrew announced he was “stepping back” from public duties. He has not returned. ___ SARAH, DUCHESS OF YORK Like Diana before her and Meghan since, Sarah Ferguson was a young woman who had a bruising collision with the royal family. She was initially welcomed as a breath of fresh air for the stuffy royals when she wed Prince Andrew in 1986. But she quickly became a tabloid target, dubbed “Freeloading Fergie” for allegedly scooping up freebies and spending more time vacationing than performing public duties. Some saw snobbery in coverage of a woman who, before and after her marriage, worked for a living and was open about her problems with weight, relationships and money. After her 1996 divorce, the duchess used television to speak out — frequently. She appeared on Winfrey’s show in 1996, saying palace life was “not a fairy tale.” She spoke to Winfrey again in 2010 after being caught on video offering access to her ex-husband for $724,000. The duchess said she had been drinking and was trying to help a friend who needed money. The following year she appeared in her own reality show, “Finding Sarah,” on Winfrey’s OWN network. The duchess was not invited to the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, in what was widely seen as a royal snub. ___ “THE CROWN” It may be fiction, but Netflix's “The Crown” is the most influential depiction of the royals in years. Over four seasons that have covered Elizabeth’s reign up to the 1980s, its portrait of a dutiful queen, prickly Prince Philip, oversensitive Prince Charles and the rest of the clan has brought the royal soap opera to a new generation. It is widely seen as helping the royals by humanizing them, though British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden suggested it should come with a warning that it’s drama, not history. Prince Harry has defended the show — while underscoring that it's fiction — telling TV host James Corden that he was “way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing stories written about my family or my wife.” Now Harry and Meghan are getting their chance to tell their story. It’s a high-stakes strategy, especially since the interview is airing as 99-year-old Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather, in a London hospital after a heart procedure — timing critics have called insensitive. “I think this particular interview, like so many of those interviews, is going to do a great deal more harm to Harry and Meghan than anything to do with the British monarchy,” said royal historian Hugo Vickers. Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
French government regulations stipulate that anyone entering the country from outside Europe must self-isolate for seven days on arrival and present a negative Covid-19 test at the end of that period.
Sunil Gavaskar took the the cricketing world by storm 50 years ago when he scored 774 runs in his debut series against the West Indies.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate forged ahead with President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan early on Saturday, turning back Republican attempts to modify the package in a marathon session that had begun the prior day. With Republicans united in opposition, Democrats who narrowly control the chamber must keep all 50 of their members on board in order to pass the package, as they hope to do this weekend. Progress ground to a halt for more than 11 hours as Democrats negotiated a compromise on unemployment benefits to satisfy centrists, chiefly Senator Joe Manchin, who worried the massive package might overheat the economy.
Mo Williams played for the Eastern Conference in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, and he fully understands the enormity of the event’s platform. His team lost that game. His current team — and a lot of others — should be big winners this time around. Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta is generating $3 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, through donations to scholarship funds. But the actual value to those schools will far exceed that influx of cash, with almost every All-Star element set to showcase and celebrate HBCU traditions and culture. “Everything’s about exposure,” said Williams, who played 13 NBA seasons and now is a first-year coach at Alabama State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. “Being that the All-Star Game is putting an emphasis on HBCUs, it gives us exposure, and it helps in a lot of different areas, a lot of different ways, a lot of different schools. “It’s no different from Super Bowl commercials. People spend millions of dollars to put their commercial on the Super Bowl for the exposure. And, you know, the exposure we’re getting this weekend from the NBA All-Star Game, it only can help.” Those Super Bowl ads can be as short as 30 seconds. This exposure is going to last several hours — and cover almost every aspect of the NBA's midseason showcase. The court was designed in collaboration from artists who attended HBCU schools. The famed bands from Grambling State and Florida A&M will perform during the player introductions. Clark Atlanta University’s Philharmonic Society Choir will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly called the Black national anthem. Gladys Knight, a graduate of one of the nation’s oldest HBCUs in Shaw University, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The refereeing crew of Tom Washington, Tony Brown and Courtney Kirkland all are HBCU graduates. “We are here representing HBCUs and trying to shed light on their ability to dream and one day have the opportunity to follow in our footsteps,” Brown said. “So, this game is mainly about giving people hope and allowing them an opportunity to dream.” The timing and location — Atlanta, birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King — to pay tribute to HBCUs seems right. During the past year, racial injustice has become perhaps more of a national discussion point than at any time in a generation. It also saw history, with Kamala Harris — a graduate of Howard — becoming not only the first woman to be elected vice-president but the first HBCU graduate in the White House. Harris is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, one of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities, groups that the NBA is also paying tribute to Sunday. NBA players used their platform in the league’s bubble restart last summer to speak out against inequality. They were often at the centre of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many more. “You can’t talk about Black Lives Matter and not talk about the Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Charles McClelland, the commissioner of the SWAC and a member of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee. “A lot of these student-athletes have been talking. A lot of these professional athletes have been talking. But the platform really wasn’t that great for them to be able to extend that message. This is just in a unique time, and I think we’re at the right time, and I’m ecstatic that it’s happening at this point in time — because it’s so long overdue.” The NBA has just one active player who attended an HBCU: Portland’s Robert Covington, who went to Tennessee State. He was invited to be part of the skills challenge, which will precede Sunday’s game and typically is part of All-Star Saturday night; the events were condensed to one night this year because of the pandemic. Covington realized the significance of this moment. He could have been on vacation. He went to Atlanta instead. “I just want to leave a legacy,” Covington said. “I want to leave my mark and I want to let kids know that anything is possible.” That message has resonated in recent months. Some top basketball recruits have said they were considering bucking offers from traditional powers to attend HBCUs. Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has taken over as football coach at Jackson State, giving that school instant notoriety. And as the first half of the NBA season wound down, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers played in a pair of sneakers that paid tribute to Florida A&M — a school that just finalized a six-year deal with Nike to play in James’ line of uniforms, apparel and footwear. This game will provide more boosts. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund and United Negro College Fund will collect a total of $3 million, if not more. And HBCUs everywhere will share in the investment of time on a huge platform if nothing else. “To highlight the significance of HBCUs, it is a tremendous windfall,” McClelland said. “It’s not just about the money. The exposure is going to allow students to go to our member institutions, to learn about our history, to learn about our culture. What they’re doing for the All-Star Game, we could not pay for and we could not duplicate.” ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
The Frenchman narrowly escaped death when his Haas car burst into flames after it crashed into a barrier at 220km/h on the first lap at the Sakhir circuit on 29 November.
"Just another stunning example of the shamelessness of an institution that has outlived its relevance, and apparently bankrupt of decency."
The Ministry of Health has confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Saturday (6 March), taking the country's total case count to 60,020.
"This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat," the poet wrote on social media.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar’s India debut against West Indies.
A suicide car bombing killed the Afghan intelligence directorate’s chief prosecutor Saturday, an official said, amid in increase in violence in the war-ravaged country. Sayed Mahmood Agha was on his way to his office in the southern city of Lashkargah when an attacker driving a car full of explosives targeted Agha's convoy, killing him, said Attaullah Afghan, provincial council chief for Helmand province. One of Agha's bodyguards was also killed and eight others, including two civilian passersby, were wounded.
One witness said the body of Kyal Sin, widely known as Angel, was removed on Friday, examined and returned, before the tomb was re-sealed in Myanmar's second city of Mandalay. A military spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment. State media on Friday questioned reports that the protester had been killed by security forces when they opened fire to disperse a demonstration on Wednesday and said the cause of death was being investigated by "rule of law bodies".
'She is not a monster.'
Thousands of Indian farmers blocked a massive expressway on the edges of New Delhi on Saturday to mark the 100th day of protests against agricultural laws they say will devastate their income. Thousands of them have hunkered down outside New Delhi’s borders since late November to voice their anger against three laws passed by Parliament last year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the laws are necessary to modernize agriculture but farmers say they will leave them poorer and at the mercy of big corporations.
Meanwhile, Joe Manchin is doing Joe Manchin things