Low-scoring and edge of the seat exciting matches don’t mix. But Saturday’s ODI at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg not only mixed but gelled rather well with India winning the match by one run. SCOREWith this win India have squared the five-match ODI series 1-1.Man-of-the-Match Munaf Patel. APAnd the result wouldn’t have been so had India bowlers not come good at death against host South Africa.India batsmen after scoring a meagre 190 had left a lot to be done by the bowlers and still they performed.India’s Munaf Patel took the cake finishing with figures of 8-0-29-4. Undoubtedly, the wickets of openers Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith earned him the Man-of-the-Match award.The wickets though widely spaced brought about the desired result. Amla fell early but Smith’s wicket came towards the end. In a way it was Smith’s wicket that proved to be the turning point of the match.Munaf knew that early wickets can make the difference in an ODI and he struck really early. He scalped Hashim Amla on 4 with a ball that came in from the off to take the edge of his bat and settle in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gloves behind the stumps. The hosts were 7/1 at this juncture.Still, a target of 191 was an easy call for South Africa batsmen. And Colin Ingram and Graeme Smith wanted to make sure that it stayed easy. The two batted on to numb the Indian bowling attack and kept the Protea scoreboard ticking.advertisementThe duo had put on 59 runs for the second wicket before Harbhajan Singh claimed Ingram on 25 with the umpire adjudging him LBW even as the South Africa score was 66/2.Unfortunately for the hosts AB de Villiers, who wasn’t looking confident, fell to Ashish Nehra on eight.Later, Rohit Sharma accounted for J.P. Duminy on 13 as the South Africa score was 120/4.But, Smith was still at the crease and had found his lost form. Finally, Munaf Patel sent him back on 77 with an inside edge from his bat crashing into his stumps.At death, Zaheer Khan claimed David Miller and Johan Botha to bring India within striking distance of a victory.And then Dale Steyn’s run out and Morne Morkel’s wicket added to the excitement, but again it was Munaf who performed the final act when the hosts were just two runs away from a win with just one wicket in hand.A short ball saw tail-ender Wayne Parnell go for a big hit but Yuvraj Singh caught him at point and that was the end of South Africa batting. They could only manage 189 on board.Lonwabo Tsotsobe. APEarlier Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who had claimed four wickets in the first ODI in Durban, came up with another four-wicket haul to reduce India to 190 all out.He scalped opener Murali Vijay, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina to nip in bud any designs that the visiting batsmen had of scoring at a brisk pace.After scalping opener Murali Vijay early, Tsotsobe came back to send Yuvraj Singh packing on 53, breaking the 83-run fourth wicket partnership between him and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.Yuvraj went for a big hit but failed to cross the boundary and Dale Steyn lapped it up in the deep as India score read 150/4.That wicket started the slide as batsmen kept paying the crease quick visits.Suresh Raina, who picked up from where Yuvraj Singh had left too fell after staying in the middle for a few minutes. He had put 11 on board before Tsotsobe claimed his third wicket of the day. India score then was a poor 169/5 in 41.1 overs.Soon, he struck again to send skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni back on 38. India now were 172/6 with the tail popping up. And the tail managed to put just 18 runs before heading back to the pavilion.Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli too could not stay in the middle for long.Tendulkar fell in the 19th over when the India total was 67/3. Off spinner Johan Botha foxed Tendulkar with a turner as the batting maestro failed to read his delivery that turned in sharply from the off stump line. He fell for 24 with an edge from his bat striking against the stumps.Virat Kohli, who had scored a resolute half-century in the first ODI in Durban, was run out by David Miller in Morne Morkel’s over. He fell on 22.India skipper M.S. Dhoni had won the toss and elected to bat.The two teams now meet at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday.advertisement
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Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi failed to notch up his third Wimbledon mixed doubles title as he and his partner Elena Vesnina were outplayed by Jurgen Melzer and Iveta Benesova in straight sets in the final here on Sunday.The fourth seeded Indo-Russian pair lost 3-6, 2-6 to their ninth seeded opponents in a 51-minute summit clash at the center court.Austrian Melzer and Czech Republic’s Benesova, who have not lost a single set on their way to the title, were the dominant pair for most part of the final match with better serve and returns.Bhupathi and Vesnina found their opponents’ serve too hot to handle most of the time as the Austrian-Czech duo had as many as seven aces to the Indo-Russian duo’s two — with Melzer serving at lightning pace without reply on many occasions.Bhupathi and Vesnina were broken serve in the fourth game as Melzer and Benesova raced to 4-1 lead before winning the first set 6-3 in 24 minutes.In the second set, Bhupathi and Vesnina were broken in the third and seventh games to lose it in 27 minutes and surrender the match.With the loss today, Bhupathi failed to equal his once estranged doubles partner Leander Paes’ 12 Grand Slam titles as he remained on 11 Major crowns — seven in mixed doubles and four in men’s doubles.Bhuapthi has not won a Grand Slam title since clinching the 2009 Australian Open mixed doubles trophy along with compatriot Sania Mirza. All of Bhuapthi’s mixed doubles titles have come with different partners.advertisementPaes has won six men’s doubles and as many mixed doubles titles.- With inputs from PTI
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal set to change policy for January transfersby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal will look for short-term cover in the January transfer window, football.london reports.The Gunners had originally planned to remain inactive during the midseason window.But long-term injuries have forced them to re-think their plans.Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding are likely to miss the majority of the season, meaning Arsenal will try and find stop-gaps on the wing and centre-back.The club are still working on a deal for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez, who will fill Welbeck’s position.It remains unclear who Arsenal will target for their defensive hole, however, a veteran is likely to be chosen so as not to disrupt the development of their current crop of centre-backs.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s education minister says people spreading misinformation about the effectiveness of vaccines are from the “far, far fringe.”A committee of the New Brunswick legislature is hearing today from supporters and opponents of more stringent vaccine requirements for New Brunswick children.The province’s Tory government wants to pass legislation making vaccinations mandatory for children in schools and daycares unless they have a medical exemption.Education Minister Dominic Cardy opened the hearings by cautioning the committee about false information being spread by vaccination opponents.He says getting vaccinated is safer than spurning vaccines.The bill was introduced in June amid a measles outbreak in southern New Brunswick.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – Home sales and average prices rose in B.C. in September, according to the latest figures from the British Columbia Real Estate Association.It says a total of 8,340 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service during the month, an increase of 9.9 per cent from the same period last year.Total sales amounted to $5.8 billion, up 30.2 per cent from September 2016, and the average MLS residential price was $693,774, up 18.5 per cent.Year-to-date, the dollar value of B.C. residential sales was down 12.8 per cent to $57.6 billion, when compared to this time last year.The BCREA also says residential unit sales declined 13 per cent year-to-date to 81,608 units while the average price was down 0.2 per cent to $705,501.Cameron Muir, the association’s chief economist, says B.C. home sales rose nearly five per cent from August on a seasonally adjusted basis.“Total active listings on the market continue to trend at 10-year lows in most B.C. regions, limiting unit sales and pushing home prices higher,: he said.“While the economic fundamentals support elevated housing demand, rising home prices are eroding affordability, particularly for first-time buyers.”
Visual representations of steel and wood structures were presented. Wood was visually appealing, yet the concern for long-term maintenance of wood would be costly. As the location of the building is close to the road, the building will require regular washing due to road grime.A steel structure with wood cladding was requested by Council, as well as seeking more visual representations of what this combination would look like. Images of the steel building options were limited. It was expressed as necessary that the new building represents the region as it will be seen as people drive into the city.Council had other questions regarding items that were shown on the proposed plaza design such as fire pits and wanting them to be temporary and the options for closing the building with doors or walls which will be discussed once the building structure material is chosen.Council directed staff to proceed to a detailed design with Site Design – Option One with a steel building with wood cladding, and further consultation with the community regarding the design of the proposed building structure.The goal is to get a plan in place for tender in March 2019, with construction starting in April and completed by September. The site of the new festival plaza will be located on the site of the old visitor’s centre, $1.2 million was allocated from the Peace River Agreement signing bonus in 2015 for the development of this space.This new space in Centennial Park aligns with the City’s strategic plan to use downtown as a social, vibrant hub. As the plaza will be an addition to the Park, it is desirable for the new space to complement and be cohesive. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – John Buchko of EDS Group Inc. on behalf of the City of Fort St. John presented ‘Festival Plaza Conceptual Development’ to seek direction from Council to the general design concept, the type of material the plaza structure would be built from and would Council want continued public engagement.Two configurations of the space were presented to Council; option one included a one-way road lane and space for vending trucks. The second option included a two-way lane and a loading area, Council voted in favour for the first option.As this meeting was to ask for clarity to start creating more detailed design options, the other question for the Plaza site was what would the main structure be made of.
If you are a bullying boss, your employees are more likely to be less committed to their work, take longer breaks or come in late without notice, finds a study. The study led by researchers from the Portland State University in Oregon, US, showed that a bullying boss can decrease “organisational citizenship behaviour”, or the voluntary extras one does that are not part of the job responsibilities. On the other hand, the study also reveled that he/she increases “counterproductive work behaviour”, such as sabotage at work, coming into work late, taking longer-than-allowed breaks, doing tasks incorrectly or withholding effort, all of which can affect the team and co-workers. Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”The findings highlight the consequences of abusive supervision, which is becoming increasingly common in workplaces,” said Liu-Qin Yang, Associate Professor at the University. The study, published in the Journal of Management, attributes negative work behaviour to either perceptions of injustice or work stress. In response to perceptions of injustice, the employees are more likely to purposely withhold from the unpaid extras that help the organisation, like helping co-workers with problems or attending meetings that are not mandatory. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardHaving an abusive boss can also lead to work stress, which reduces an employee’s ability to control negative behaviour or contribute to the organisation in a positive way. “Stress is sometimes uncontrollable. You don’t sleep well, so you come in late or take a longer break, lash out at your co-workers or disobey instructions,” Yang further added. “But justice is more rational. Something isn’t fair, so you’re purposely not going to help other people or when the boss asks if anyone can come in on a Saturday to work, you don’t volunteer.” The researchers of the study have highly recommended that organisations should take measures to reduce or curb abusive supervision. Regular training programmes to help supervisors learn and adopt more effective interpersonal and management skills, implementing fair policies as well as conducting stress management training can help employees, they suggested.
Kolkata: The Special Task Force of Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar Police have busted an illegal arms factory running at Narayanpur in Rajarhat on Thursday night. Sleuths also seized good amount of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) from the factory.The STF sleuths came to know that the raw material for manufacturing firearms was supplied from Munger in Bihar. According to sources, on Thursday afternoon, officers of the Special Task Force arrested four persons in the city and recovered 30 semi-finished improvised 9mm pistols. During interrogation accused persons stated that they procured the firearms from a factory running in Rajarhat. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaImmediately, sleuths asked them to show the factory from where they had procured the firearms. The STF got in touch with Bidhannagar Police seeking necessary assistance. In the evening, a joint team of Kolkata Police STF and Narayanpur police station of Bidhannagar Police raided a place at Ganganagar and the house of the factory owners at Choto Gaanti in Narayanpur. Both the places were identified by the accused persons who were arrested on Thursday afternoon. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayDuring the raid, sleuths found 60 more pieces of semi-finished improvised 9mm pistols from the factory. Also several manufacturing apparatus and lathe machines were found. Following the warehouse STF and Bidhannagar Police raided the house of the factory owner Shaikh Ali Hossain alias Munna and found FICN worth Rs 88 thousand from his house in Choto Gaanti. He along with his wife and another associate were immediately arrested. Later, all seven accused persons have been brought to the STF office in Lalbazar. The raw material for manufacturing firearms was supplied from Munger in Bihar. After obtaining the raw materials the arms dealers used to manufacture a part of the firearms. Following that the semi-finished fire arms used to be delivered to Munger in Bihar for finishing. After completion of manufacturing, the firearms were again delivered in West Bengal for selling them off. Munna used to be the prime accused here in this case as he used to take orders and deal from the customers. Apart from firearms, sleuths have found four 7 mm bullet from the factory. It is suspected that the bullets were being used to test the firearms. All seven of them have been booked under IPC Sections 489B (using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes), 489C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes), 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) along with 25(1)(a) (manufactures, sells, transfers, converts, repairs, tests or proves, or exposes or offers for sale or transfer, or has in his possession for sale of fire arms] and 25(1B)(a) (acquires, has in his possession or carries any firearm or ammunition) of the Arms Act.
Learn how outer order can spell peace for your inner calm and productivity; Read a translated love story that travelled from Persia to medieval Kashmir and eventually to the modern day; And finally, flick through the words of wisdom of some of the greatest business minds, including Azim Premji and JRD Tata. ‘Outer Order Inner Calm’ by Gretchen Rubin A messy desk, crowded closet or jumbled-up handbag may seem like a trivial problem, yet getting control of the stuff of life makes it easier to feel in control of our lives generally. That’s the basic premise of happiness and human nature writer Gretchen Rubin’s latest novel, which summed in a nutshell sermonises that outer order leads to inner calm. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIn its introduction, the author has offered five stages for establishing outer order. First, we make choices – what possessions to keep and what to do with them. Once we’ve cleared through our things, we create order by organising, repairing, and attending to neglected areas. Next, we reflect on ourselves, to know ourselves, and others, so that we can take those individuals insights into account. Then, once the clutter is vanquished, it’s useful to cultivate helpful habits to maintain that order, so the clutter doesn’t return. The fifth and the final step is to add beauty to to make out surrounding more inviting and comfortable. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award ‘A Tale of Wonder’ by Srivara This book is a translation of the Sanskrit verse epic ‘Kathakautukam’, written by the poet-scholar Srivara in 15th century Kashmir. It’s historical roots go back to the Persian poem ‘Yusuf wa Zuleikha’. The story of Yusuf is recounted both in Holy Quran, as also in the Holy Bible, as Joseph. Zuleikha is not mentioned in the holy scriptures but in the early Persian poem, which where she has come to ‘Kathakautukam, and eventually to the translated book in our hands. How their story pans out remains a matter of reading and interpretation. The translation has been done by Aditya Narayan Dhairyasheel (A N D) ‘Achievement: The Greatest Business Minds on Success’ ‘Achievement’ condenses and compiles words of wisdom from some of the world’s greatest business minds. Henry Ford writes about his journey, from being an engineer at Edison’s electricity company to revolutionising the automobile industry. J R D Tata shares his ‘golden rules’ for success. Azim Premji, the czar of the Indian IT industry, stresses the importance of hard work, humility and taking charge of your destiny, to list a few.
Defending champions Real Madrid will be facing Bayern Munich for the semi-finals of the Champions League, while Liverpool will be playing against AS RomaSky Sports have reported that Los Galaticos will travel to the Allianz Arena for the first leg of their semi-final clash against the recently crowned Bundesliga champions on April 25.Zinedine Zidane will be hoping for a better performance from his side after their near shock elimination against Juventus, despite having held a 3-0 aggregate heading into the second leg last Wednesday.During the second leg, Juventus had three goals unanswered at the Santiago Bernabeu and appeared to be on the verge of producing one of the greatest comebacks in European history. Yet, a late decision by referee Michael Oliver gave Cristiano Ronaldo the chance to save Real from a shock exit with the aggregate score ending with a 4-3 win in their favour.Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in next week’s UCL Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 With the Champions League about to start, we need to start talking about the Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in the competition.Atletico…Meanwhle Bayern overcame a tricky tie against Sevilla with a 2-1 aggregate. Although the Andalusian side did become the first team to have prevented Jupp Heynckes’ side from scoring in the competition at home in 22 matches.While Liverpool will host Roma for the first leg of their semi-final at Anfield on April 24 with Jurgen Klopp’s men likely to be wary of another stunning comeback from the Serie A side, that saw Barcelona being eliminated.Semi-Final Draw (April 24/25 – May 1/2)Liverpool v Roma Bayern Munich v Real Madrid
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, January 31, 2017 – His Excellency the Governor, Dr John Freeman, attended and spoke at a meeting of the Native Men’s Fellowship in Providenciales on 29 January, during which he praised the Fellowship’s voluntary work in the community and spoke on the dimensions of belief in today’s society.On the morning of 30 January, His Excellency the Governor received at Waterloo the Reverend Laish Loyd, the Anglican Bishop of The Turks and Caicos Islands and Bahamas and learned at first-hand about the Anglican community in TCI.#MagneticMediaNews ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Related Items:#magneticmedianews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting
KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Studies show one in every 10 children will experience child sex abuse before age 18 and the majority of cases are at the hands of a known person.Palomar Health Forensic Health Services is offering classes to youth servicing organizations to help them learn how to identifying and responding to child sexual assault.Palomar Health Forensic Health Services Supervisor Christina Shultz has personally interviewed hundreds of child sex abuse survivors and is an expert court witness for the District Attorney’s Office in prosecution cases.For more information about the class click here. Posted: January 28, 2019 Child sexual abuse identification and response January 28, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
Cornell’s GRAMMY wins came at the 37th GRAMMY Awards for his work with Soundgarden. “Black Hole Sun” won Best Hard Rock Performance and “Spoonman” won Best Metal Performance.The unique evening is hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Funds raised by the tribute concert will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation and the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation. A limited number of tickets are still available at Cornell’s website.Chris Cornell: Public Vigil To Mark First Anniversary Of Soundgarden Frontman’s PassingRead more All-Star Chris Cornell Tribute Concert Tonight i-am-highway-tribute-chris-cornell-all-star-concert-la-tonight Twitter “I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” All-Star Concert In L.A. Tonight Incredible array of rockers proves the Seattle-sound singer’s legacy lives on as a powerful source of inspirationPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Jan 16, 2019 – 1:33 pm Solo artist, Seattle grunge rocker and GRAMMY-winning member of Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell and his life’s work in music will be memorialized on Jan. 16 in Los Angeles at “I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell.” In addition to members of Audioslave and Soundgarden as well as Temple of the Dog, the career retrospective concert features performances by Ryan Adams, Fiona Apple, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, Foo Fighters, Josh Homme, Adam Levine, Ziggy Marley, Metallica, Miguel, and Chris Stapleton.On May 17, 2017 Cornell’s death at age 52 in Detroit shook music lovers everywhere. Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow said, “Chris’ extraordinary talent will forever live on and inspire fellow musicians and fans worldwide.” Tonight’s tribute lineup is a case in point. News Facebook https://twitter.com/chriscornell/status/1085332205298012160 Email
Tags Amazon Prime HBO Amazon Hulu Netflix Audio (weekly): RSS | iTunes | Google PlayVideo (monthly): iTunes (HD) | iTunes (HQ) | iTunes (SD) | RSS (HD) | RSS (HQ)| RSS (SD) Share your voice Netflix teases Stranger Things season 3 in new trailer TV and Movies Home Entertainment Will Barry try a third career as a reporter? HBO Welcome back to your guide to finding out what’s new online. Every week, we put together a podcast that lets you know what’s been added to services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now. The audio is about a minute or two long.Since you’re reading this, let’s give you some extra information not found in the podcast: Episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood have arrived online at the new MisterRogers.org. More episodes will be added twice a month on Mondays. Want to know what else is new? Listen to this guy: Barry and Santa Clarita Diet are back for your amusement Post a comment Your browser does not support the audio element. For more information on what’s available to watch online, check out CNET.com/Netpicks or subscribe to the podcast — it’s free! And go to TVGuide.com to see what else is out in the world of streaming. Now playing: Watch this: Netpicks Cord Cutters (OTT) 0 2:50
TwitterPriyanka had also come under fire when a picture of her smoking with her husband and mother on a yacht in Miami came out. Netizens reminded her of her ‘asthma’ which she had said that she was suffering from. Mrs Jonas had once objected at firecrackers being burnt during Diwali. She had said that she suffers from asthma since childhood and the smoke causes problems for many people like her. She had even claimed that she does not smoke. InstagramJust like her extravagant wedding festivities, Priyanka Chopra had a rather elaborate birthday party too. Priyanka Chopra, 37, celebrated her birthday with family and friends in Miami. While the family including mother Madhu Chopra, husband Nick Jonas and cousin sister Parineeti Chopra had begun celebrating her birthday a few days in advance, the celebrations haven’t stopped yet.For her birthday, Priyanka Chose a shiny and shimmery, sequined red mini-dress with billowing sleeves. The pictures from her lavish birthday bash immediately went viral with one picture mainly in the spotlight.A picture from Priyanka’s bash, where Priyanka can be seen trying to blow out sparkling candles as hubby Nick Jonas looks on has now gone viral. Sparkling candles are not supposed to be blown, however, Priyanka’s excitement gave Twitter a field day with netizens trolling the actress. While we totally understand Priyanka’s excitement, let’s take a look at some of the memes below. Twitter
Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone.InstagramA mischievous comment actress Deepika Padukone posted in a chat session conducted by her husband and actor Ranveer Singh on his Instagram page, briefly threw fans of the star couple in a tizzy, with many of them speculating if the actress is pregnant.”Hi Daddie,” wrote Deepika, after joining Ranveer’s Insta session. She posted the comment with a waving emoji, a baby emoji and heart emoji.Ranveer responded, saying: “Hi Baby”.Things got more interesting when actor Arjun Kapoor wrote: “Baba Bhabi is gonna give you one.” Many construed Arjun’s comment as evidence that Deepika and Ranveer were on way to having a child.Fans started decoding Deepika’s comment, speculating if she was hinting at her pregnancy. There had been pregnancy rumours about Deepika after her appearance at Cannes film festival earlier this year, too.The session, which Ranveer conducted on Instagram, is no longer visible on his page.Earlier this year, the actress discussed motherhood in an interview to an international media portal. “It will happen when it has to happen. Motherhood trumps being married. That’s what I hear from people who have had children. Of course, it will happen at some point,” she had said.Deepika and Ranveer tied the knot in Italy last year.
Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, inspect the recently recaptured Tabqa dam. Photo: AFPThe road to the Tabqa dam in northern Syria is strewn with evidence of the clashes being waged by a US-backed alliance of fighters against the Islamic State group.Bits of burned vehicles and the casings of ammunition litter the roadside leading into the dam complex, which the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) entered Friday.Two overturned tanks lie in the rubble and dirt berms along the roadside, and the bodies of several alleged IS fighters lie in the shallow water of a canal.The jihadist group still controls the main dam itself, Syria’s largest, which straddles the Euphrates River.But fighters from the Kurdish-Arab SDF alliance who were airlifted behind IS lines last week by US forces entered the complex from the north on Friday and seized part of it.The battle for the dam has sparked concern about its integrity, with fears that any damage to it could cause its failure and “catastrophic” flooding.The facility went out of service over the weekend, a technical source there told AFP, after damage to its power station.“We tried to preserve the dam as much as possible so that it was not damaged,” SDF commander Rojda Felat told AFP.“We think Daesh has laid explosives on it to prevent our advance,” she added, using an Arabic acronym for IS.‘Jihad is our path’Signs of IS control are everywhere, starting with a placard cautioning that the maximum load allowed on the dam is 50 tonnes, and warning that any additional weight will incur a fine.Elsewhere, a sign in white Arabic script on a black background reads: “The Quran is our constitution, Mohammed is our leader, and jihad is our path.”The battle for the dam is part of the SDF’s preparations for a larger assault on IS’s de facto Syrian capital Raqa, which lies around 55 kilometres (34 miles) east of Tabqa.The alliance, backed by the US-led coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, is aiming to effectively encircle Raqa, and on Sunday captured the nearby Tabqa military airport.The coalition has launched air strikes in support of the operation, and Felat said its forces were playing a stepped-up role on the ground.“This time, coalition forces took part in greater force than previous occasions with new tactics like the airlift, crossing the river, and artillery fire,” she said.Inside the part of the complex under SDF control, a concrete bunker near the water’s edge bears a crude white rendition of IS’s flag, painted on its side.And from a position on the edge of Lake Assad, created by the dam and Syria’s largest water reservoir, positions still held by IS can be seen, with the group’s black flag fluttering next to a mosque.Fears of floodingSince arriving at the complex, the SDF has left their mark too: the letters SDF and YPG are graffitied in English on concrete barrages pockmarked by bullets.Amid fears for the dam’s integrity, the SDF announced Monday it was pausing operations for four hours to allow engineers to enter the facility.A source at the dam said the team needed more time to carry out inspections and repairs.“It will take two or three days to assess and repair the damage, which was a result of the bombardment of the electrical distribution room,” he told AFP.“The teams will try to find alternatives to the power station to make the dam functional again,” he said.But an SDF spokeswoman said inspections had been successful and the pause in fighting was now over.“There is no damage to the dam or its function, the engineers have finished their work and confirmed that the dam has not been damaged, and on this basis the ceasefire ended,” said Jihan Sheikh Ahmed in a statement.Earlier this year, the United Nations raised concern about the prospect of damage to the dam in fighting, warning that water levels—which put pressure on the structure—were already high.It warned damage to the dam could produce “massive scale flooding” in Raqa province and even further east in Deir Ezzor, with “catastrophic humanitarian implications”.
Taliban founder Mullah Omar lived within walking distance of US bases in AfghaniMullah Omarstan for years, according to a new book that suggests embarrassing failures of American intelligence.US and Afghan leaders believed the one-eyed, fugitive leader fled to and eventually died in Pakistan, but a new biography says Omar was living just three miles from a major US Forward Operating Base in Zabul province, where he died in 2013.”Searching for an Enemy”, by Dutch journalist Bette Dam, says the Taliban chief lived as a virtual hermit, refusing visits from his family and filling notebooks with jottings in an imaginary language.Dam spent more than five years researching the book and interviewed Jabbar Omari, Omar’s bodyguard who hid and protected him after the Taliban regime was overthrown.The author spent years reporting in Afghanistan and also wrote an earlier book about former Afghan president Hamid Karzai.Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 which led to the fall of the Taliban, the US put a $10 million bounty on Omar and he went into hiding in a small compound in the regional capital Qalat, Dam writes.The family living at the compound were not told of the identity of their mystery guest, but US forces twice almost found him.At one point, a US patrol approached as Omar and Omari were in the courtyard. Alarmed, the two men ducked behind a wood pile, but the soldiers passed without entering.A second time, US troops even searched the house but did not uncover the concealed entrance to his secret room.Omar decided to move when the US started building Forward Operating Base Lagman in 2004, just a few hundred metres from his hideout.He later moved to a second building but soon afterwards the Pentagon constructed Forward Operating Base Wolverine — home to 1,000 US troops, and where American and British special forces were sometimes based — close by.He dared not move again, Dam says, rarely even going outside and often hiding in tunnels when US planes flew over.Though he listened to the BBC’s evening Pashto-language news broadcasts, even when he learned about the death of al-Qaeda supremo Osama Bin Laden Omar rarely commented on the outside world, the book says.The book goes on to claim that Omar became ill in 2013, did not see a doctor and refused to travel to Pakistan for treatment, later dying in Zabul.- ‘Piles of evidence’ -The allegations sparked mixed reactions, with the Afghan government quick to deny the claims.”We strongly reject this delusional claim and we see it as an effort to create and build an identify for the Taliban and their foreign backers,” tweeted Haroon Chakhansuri — a spokesman for the Afghan presidency.”We have sufficient evidence which shows he lived and died in Pakistan. Period!”Former CIA director and US military commander in Afghanistan David Petraeus also appeared sceptical, saying the Taliban leader’s alleged decision to stay in Afghanistan would have been laden with risk.”We had access, as needed, to anywhere inside Afghanistan, and I would be very surprised if Mullah Omar would have taken the risk that we could come calling some evening,” said Petraeus according to the Wall Street Journal.”I have piles & piles of evidence which shows he lived & died in Pakistan,” added Amrullah Saleh, who was head of Afghan intelligence from 2004-2010.Afghan officials have repeatedly accused Pakistan of harbouring Taliban insurgents.Omar’s Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, and has waged an insurgency since then.Dam’s book says Omar delegated effective Taliban leadership after 2001 and appears to have acted as more of a spiritual leader after that. The militants kept his death secret for two years.The latest account of Omar’s life comes as the Taliban and US are holding ongoing peace talks aimed at bringing an end to the nearly 18-year conflict.The US and Taliban have remained tight-lipped about the most recent round of talks in Doha, which have been ongoing for two weeks, sparking expectations that they may be inching closer to a deal.
Share So you watched the James Comey testimony, now what?What does the Senate Intelligence Committee even do?Never fear! Like every Friday, our political experts Brandon Rottinghaus and Jay Aier are here to break down the Senate’s Investigation proceedings for you. All in under a minute.For more on your weekly political dose, don’t miss their podcast Party Politics.