Bittersweet as Cousins injures Achilles in Pelicans’ victory over Rockets

first_imgTo have zero injuries, DOH wants a total fireworks ban PLAY LIST 02:24To have zero injuries, DOH wants a total fireworks ban03:10Injuries from fireworks down by 35% this year, DoH say00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Rockets: Harden moved into second in Rockets history in assists with 3,347, passing Allen Leavell’s 3,339. … Harden missed eight of nine 3-point attempts, although six of his free throws came after he was fouled on 3s. … Former Pelican Ryan Anderson, who came in averaging 10.1 points, did not score, missing all three of his shots.Pelicans: Piled up 24 assists on 27 field goals in the first half and finished with 36 assists on 44 made shots. … Recently acquired guard DeAndre Liggins contributed a pair of timely 3s in the second half. … Improved to 14-9 at home.UP NEXTRockets: Host Phoenix on Sunday.Pelicans: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because, officially, the team said an MRI will determine the severity of the injury.Yahoo! first reported the initial diagnosis.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe injury, which occurred as Cousins pursued a missed free throw with 12 second left in the game, all but squelched the jubilation from a team and its fans, who otherwise would have been celebrating a fourth straight victory and seventh in eight games.“We were just figuring everything out. That’s the tough part,” Davis said, adding that he hadn’t spoken to Cousins and wasn’t yet certain if the injury was season-ending. “We’ve got to keep going and just keep finding a way to win. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew D’Antoni to coach Team Stephen in NBA All-Star Game LATEST STORIES New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins lies on the court while being tended to after injuring his left Achilles tendon, according to the team, during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. The Pelicans won 115-113. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis scored 27 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists before seriously injuring his left Achilles, and New Orleans survived a furious Houston rally for a 115-113 victory over the Rockets on Friday night.A person familiar with the situation said Pelicans team physicians have provided a preliminary diagnosis of an Achilles tear, which would end Cousins’ season little more than a week after he was named an All-Star starter.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year MOST READ Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chris Paul scored a season-high 38 points before fouling out in the final seconds and nearly led Houston back from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit. James Harden had 23 points and 11 assists, and Eric Gordon scored 27 points.Houston tied it at 104 on Luc Mbah a Moute’s layup with 2:34 to go. And the game was tied once more at 109 on Trevor Ariza’s 3 with 1:17 to go before Holiday’s driving floater and Cousins’ put-back gave New Orleans the lead for good.The Rockets’ comeback bid began after Miller’s 3 gave the Pelicans an 81-60 lead with 5:54 left in the quarter.Houston turned the tide with a 20-6 run, during which Paul scored 10 on two 3s, a layup and two free throws.Early in the fourth quarter, Paul sneaked in behind Cousins to steal an inbound pass to set up his breakaway layup as he was fouled, trimming New Orleans lead to 96-92.However, Paul committed his fifth foul with 7:29 left, and went to the bench for more than three minutes, during which the Pelicans’ lead crept back to eight.Paul returned with four minutes left and the Rockets scored the next eight points to tie it.Davis dominated early, scoring 16 points in the first quarter, and the Pelicans pushed ahead in a lopsided second quarter in which they hit 14 of 20 shots.New Orleans took its first double-digit lead when Miller’s 3 made it 51-40. Davis’ third alley-oop dunk of the game put the Pelicans up 13 and his free throws one possession later gave the Pelicans a 15-point lead.Harden’s short jumper cut it to 66-53 at halftime.TIP-INS Read Next “We’ve got enough guys in here who are professionals who are always ready when their number’s called, so we’ve got to make sure that we stay locked in.”Jrue Holiday scored 21 points and unconventionally sealed the victory by purposefully missing a free throw with 1.8 seconds left, causing time to run out as players fought for the rebound.“Right now, just praying everything’s OK,” with Cousins, Holiday said, adding that it made the win victory “bitter-sweet.”“Just unfortunate, really. I think we’ve been doing really well, got in a great groove,” Holiday added, noting that Cousins’ triple-double against Houston was his second in three games. “The way we’ve been playing, and him in particular, has been awesome.”Darius Miller hit six 3-pointers, including one with 1:52 left to give the Pelicans a five-point lead, and finished with 20 points.ADVERTISEMENT Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases View commentslast_img read more

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BFF Cautions President Sirleaf on ‘Abrupt State of Emergency’

first_imgBFF’s Augustine ArkoiThe president of the Better Future Foundation, BFF, Rev. Augustine Arkoi, says the abrupt imposition of a State of Emergency by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the fight against Ebola without any visible containment plan has the potential to cause not only increased economic hardship, but also panic among Liberians.Rev. Arkoi said such containment plan should, among other things,  guarantee that health workers including doctors and nurses as well as hospitals and clinics that are in the vanguard in the fight against the deadly and incurable Ebola disease in Liberia are provided basic preventive needs and much needed support.    “When our doctors and nurses are not fully protected from being victimized by Ebola for lack of the necessary professional tools, specialized training and motivation for their sacrifices, the currently reactionary approach by the government, including the imposition of the 90-Day State of Emergency,  would have little or no tangible positive impact in the war against Ebola,” the BFF president maintained.Rev. Arkoi also expressed disdain that the State of Emergency was imposed by the government without consultation with civil society and other stakeholders relative to its socioeconomic implications on the vast majority of the Liberian people.He asserted that rather than imposing a State of Emergency, leading to the militarization of local communities, coupled with its potential infringement on civil liberties, it would have been more prudent for the Liberian government to remain collaborative with its partners and the entire citizenry in sustaining the massive public awareness and education campaign in the country, bordering on how the deadly Ebola disease can be contracted as well as its preventive methods.Rev. Arkoi: “Government alone cannot win the war against Ebola. It needs coordinated efforts and solidarity of all,” he stressed.According to the BFF boss, owing to the imposition of the current State of Emergency without prior public awareness, farming and other commercial activities have been disrupted, while farm produce destined for the market are being subjected to rot along the country’ highways as their owners have no access to the market.“The situation,” he added, “is being compounded by the daily skyrocketing of prices of basic commodities.”“Indeed, it has reached a point where ordinary citizens who live below US $1.00 a day cannot afford the costs of basic commodities,” said the BFF President.He also made reference to the recent order to commercial banks by the Central Bank of Liberia to close for three days without creating the necessary public awareness.Rev. Arkoi observed that CBL took such measure at a time when individuals and institutions were struggling to have access to funds in order to respond to some of the emergency problems created by the Ebola outbreak in the country.At the same time, Rev. Arkoi acknowledged that Ebola is real and that the virus exists in the Liberian nation.In this direction, he underscored the need for the Government of Liberia, civil society organizations and other institutions involved in the ongoing Ebola awareness campaign in the country also to make proper use of the various key points contained in the recently issued Ebola Alert from the Center for Disease Control of the US Department of State and the World Health Organization.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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26.5 million veterans sitting ducks for ID theft

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsVeterans advocates expressed alarm. “This was a very serious breach of security for American veterans and their families,” said Bob Wallace, executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars. “We want the VA to show leadership, management and accountability for this breach.” Ramona Joyce, spokeswoman for the American Legion, agreed that the theft was a concern. “In the information age, we’re constantly told to protect our information. We would ask no less of the VA,” she said. Nicholson declined to comment on the specifics of the incident, which involved a midlevel data analyst who had taken the information home to suburban Maryland on a laptop to work on a department project. The residential community had been a target of a series of burglaries when the employee was victimized earlier this month, according to the FBI in Baltimore. Local law enforcement and the VA inspector general were also investigating. “I want to emphasize there was no medical records of any veteran and no financial information of any veteran that’s been compromised,” Nicholson said, although he added later that some information on the veterans’ disabilities may have been taken. Nicholson said he does not know how many of the department’s 235,000 employees go thorough background investigations. He said employees who have access to large volumes of personal data should be required to undergo such checks, but he does not believe the VA employee was involved in the theft. “We do not suspect at all any ulterior motive,” he said. The department has come under criticism for shoddy accounting practices and for falling short on the needs of veterans. Last year, more than 260,000 veterans could not sign up for services because of cost-cutting. Audits also have shown the agency used misleading accounting methods and lacked documentation to prove its claimed savings. “It is a mystifying and gravely serious concern that a VA data analyst would be permitted to just walk out the VA door with such information,” Illinois Rep. Lane Evans, the top Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a statement signed by other Democrats on the panel. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is a Vietnam veteran, said he would introduce legislation to require the VA to provide credit reports to the veterans affected by the theft. “This is no way to treat those who have worn the uniform of our country,” Kerry said. “Someone needs to be fired.” The VA said it was notifying members of Congress and the individual veterans about the burglary. It has set up a call center at 1-800-FED-INFO and Web site, http://www.firstgov.gov, for veterans who believe their information has been misused.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Thieves took sensitive personal information on 26.5 million U.S. veterans, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, after a Veterans Affairs employee improperly brought the material home, the government said Monday. The information involved mainly those veterans who served and have been discharged since 1975, said VA Secretary Jim Nicholson. Data of veterans discharged before 1975 who submitted claims to the agency may have been included. Nicholson said there was no evidence the thieves had used the data for identity theft, and an investigation was continuing. “It’s highly probable that they do not know what they have,” he said in a briefing with reporters. “We have decided that we must exercise an abundance of caution and make sure our veterans are aware of this incident.” last_img read more

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Killer tornado grabs woman

first_imgSTRATFORD, Iowa – Ron Runyan couldn’t hear the sirens. The winds were deafening. In a matter of moments, the quiet weekend he had planned with his mother and sister in Iowa turned into a nightmare. Runyan, a 47-year-old truck driver from Fargo, N.D., looked outside a window Saturday night and saw a howling tornado headed for his mother’s house. He rushed his mother and sister toward the basement while the house was disintegrating in the winds. “My sister fell down right below the stairs, and my mom, … the wind kind of took her away from me,” he said. “It was so dirty I couldn’t see her, and that was it.” As many as 30 homes in Stratford were destroyed, and at least 40 in Woodward were severely damaged, officials said. Search dogs were brought in to check the rubble, but authorities believed all residents were accounted for and felt fortunate there were not more deaths. “It’s amazing if you’ve seen the damage here. We had homes that were just obliterated, and they had people in them at the time it came through,” said Dallas County Sheriff Brian Gilbert. Gov. Tom Vilsack on Sunday visited Woodward and Stratford, where he offered his condolences to the Runyan family. “Tornadoes in November in Iowa just aren’t supposed to happen,” he said. In Woodward, Jackie Seeman and her husband shifted through the rubble of their destroyed home. Seeman, 47, said she had been in bed when the house collapsed around her Saturday. “I heard a big whoosh and a big boom, and then my house just came in on me,” she said. On Sunday, the Seemans were delighted to find a few of their NASCAR collectibles, but their car was covered in rubble, and their boat had been tossed hundreds of feet by the wind. Boats, lawn mowers and board games littered lawns in Woodward, a town of about 1,200 residents, and debris hung from trees. “We’ll probably stay here, although I’d like to go somewhere without a tornado,” Jackie Seeman said as she began crying. National Weather Service meteorologist Karl Jungbluth said the tornadoes that struck Woodward and Stratford are both being classified as F-2 on the Fujita scale, which measures the strength of a tornado up to F-5, the strongest. Both towns were socked with winds of nearly 150 miles per hour, he said. There was structural damage only in Woodward, Stratford, the northwest edge of Ames and some farms, Jungbluth said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week His mother, Lucille Runyan, 84, was the only person killed in storms that produced at least nine tornadoes on Saturday. His sister, Nancy Runyan, 53, remained hospitalized Sunday night with a broken hip. As crews removed debris Sunday from what remained of his mother’s home, Ron Runyan stood across the street in Stratford, a small town of about 745 residents, remembering the terror. “Everything happened so fast,” he said. “We were down below the stairs, and the roof was coming off. Everything was folding. The house was crackling.” Runyan said he would have died, too, if he had not dived into a corner when the roof blew off. Stratford and Woodward, 30 miles to the south, were the hardest hit by the tornadoes that swept through central Iowa on Saturday afternoon. The governor declared Hamilton and Dallas counties, north and west of Des Moines, disaster areas, making them eligible for state assistance. last_img read more

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Pep ‘to snub Chelsea’

first_imgPep Guardiola will snub any offer to become Chelsea manager, according to The Sun.It is claimed that Guardiola has told those close to him he is not interested in a move to Stamford Bridge — despite the Spaniard stalling over a new two-year contract at Barcelona.Meanwhile, The Daily Mail include an interview with Paulo Sousa in which he says the documentary ‘The Four Year Plan’ proves his job at QPR was impossible.Sousa said: “I think people could see for themselves what was going on. It was as it appeared to be. And that made it impossible for any manager or coach to be successful.“I remain convinced that I would have achieved things with that club if I had been allowed to operate how I wanted.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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Denel ‘moving beyond weaponry’

first_img5 June 2013South African state-owned aerospace and defence technology company Denel is looking to diversify its offerings, moving beyond weaponry and opening exports to new markets, in order to reduce its dependency on government funding, the company said on Tuesday.“We are not [just] in the business of selling products. The partnerships that we are involved in, for example with Brazil [and the] United Arab Emirates, are testament that these business relations will be based on something more fundamentally sustainable than selling products,” Denel CEO Riaz Saloojee told reporters at a briefing in Irene, south of Pretoria.Reducing dependence on the taxpayerThe company was reducing its dependency on government funding, Saloojee said.“We don’t want to continue to be a burden on the South African taxpayer. But the fact of the matter is that there are certain strategic capabilities that will have to be funded.”Saloojee would not elaborate on these capabilities, saying it was between the company and the defence department.“That will be in the public domain when we agree on what are those capabilities.”The briefing was meant to give an overview of Denel’s growth, after the company made marginal profits in the past few years.Saloojee attributed previous low profit margins to slow global economic growth and the government’s policy on defence spending. Historically, Denel had sold products, and there was a lack of understanding or commitment to life-cycle support and ensuring skills support.Hi-tech manufacturing, researchThe company was taking a new direction, he said. An engineering bursary scheme and a Denel academy had been established for internship programmes and producing artisans and technicians.In the current financial year, Denel had invested R530-million in research and development. Through its high-tech manufacturing section, Denel brought in excess of R1.7-billion into the South African economy.Saloojee said Denel had also gone beyond providing the SA National Defence Force with technology, and now used its unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAVS) for border control, detecting veld fires and fighting rhino poaching.Regarding the latter, UAVS flew above national parks and had the capacity to take video footage and relay information in real time to law enforcement officials on the ground.Exporting to new marketsSaloojee said Denel had opened a centre of excellence during the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) summit earlier in the year. The centre performed maintenance, repair and overhaul services on both military and civilian helicopters manufactured by Russian Helicopters.“Our strategy is to grow the company’s revenue through diversification, exporting to new markets, and entering into new partnerships – both locally and overseas”, he said.The Middle East, Africa, South America and the Asia-Pacific regions had been identified as strategic markets for the company.An order book of R21-billion had been confirmed over the next three to eight years, Saloojee said.Denel was currently finalising a contract to produce 264 infantry combat vehicles. The company was also involved in the design and development of a complex missile system in partnership with Brazil and Abu Dhabi.Saloojee also announced that a Seeker 400 UAVS would soon undergo its final testing phase.Sapalast_img read more

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Navigating Big Data’s Fake News Problem

first_imgIn 2013, hackers managed to access the AP twitter account and posted a fake tweet implying that there was an explosion in White House and the then President Obama had been injured.Following the Tweet, the stock market went into panic mode with the Dow plunging over 150 points and the S&P 500 shedding $135.6 billion in a matter of seconds. The flash crash was associated with high-frequency trading algorithms interpreting the tweet as true and executing huge sell orders.Fake News and Big DataFast forward in 2018, and fake news is no longer limited to occasional incidents of hacking. Social media has seen explosive growth in the last few years and with it has come a massive influx of fake news, often used purposely as a tool for business and manipulation. Even worse, as media technology continues to get more sophisticated and available, fake news is becoming hard to detect.While fake news is a problem for those who seek information online, it is a bigger problem when viewed from a big data perspective. This is because in this age, big data is the core of decision making for governments and businesses alike and when elements of bad data can no longer be sieved from big data, poor decision making is inevitable because the decision is based on faulty facts.Even when not rampant, fake news has the power to make big data unreliable. Falsehoods and clickbait tend to spread faster than truth and a single piece of misinformation has the power spread like wildfire, hurting the integrity of big data.Possible SolutionsIf big data is to be trusted for decision making, a solution must be found to deal with the fake news menace conclusively. Following the exposure of the part social media played in alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, Facebook and Twitter have introduced a mechanism that enables people to flag news they suspect to be fake. When a good number of users tag a story as fake, it appears less in people’s news feeds and carries a warning that it may contain false information.While this is a good start, there are many issues with this system, such as people flagging content because they don’t like it, limiting them from seeing news which will contradict their worldview and hurting publications needlessly. This solution also doesn’t address the big data problem because people are likely to identify fake news based on other people feedback not necessarily based on accurate fact checking. The approach of identifying fake news on the basis of users’ feedback may not be very reliable given that people can manipulate the feedback to punish those that they do not like.Blockchain Innovation With blockchain technology, it is possible to trace news directly from the original source and therefore determine if it can be trusted. The distributed ledger technology makes it possible for all parties in a network to identify the chain of an article’s distribution of information from its origin. Apart from exposing the original source, blockchain protects the information from manipulation by ensuring that each party in the network can follow the entire dissemination process.Another way that blockchain is helping tackle fake news is by incentivizing good content and punishing bad content. Social media platforms such as Ask.fm are leveraging the token economy to reward content publishers based on how their content is received by users. Content that is popular with readers is rewarded with tokens and shown to many readers while unpopular content is hidden.The more a publisher gets positive feedback on the Ask.fm platform, the higher they rank in earnings and discoverability. This gives them an opportunity to attract brands that need exposure and are paid to mention them in their posts. Given that the publishers’ earnings are dependent on the overall rating, they have to ensure that they only publish high quality and truthful content.However, while the incentive model may help eliminate fake news to some extent, it cannot be relied on fully either. As mentioned earlier, a well crafted fake story is likely to gain popularity more than the truth given the human innate tendency to share rumors. Also, just like the Facebook approach, the incentive model can be gamed to meet a certain group interest. The incentive model also doesn’t offer a solution for the big data issue given that it does not provide a way for the algorithms to determine the legitimacy of a piece of information.With the rate at which the blockchain is advancing with, there is hope that better solutions to fake news and big data issues are yet to come. The few available options have already set the roadmap and it is just a matter of time before lasting solutions are found, In the meantime, exercising healthy doses of skepticism and caution is a good idea. Related Posts Tags:#Big Data#Blockchain#blockchain development Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Ruben is a blockchain security consultant currently living in New York City. He helps organizations fundamentally redesign experiences to create new sources of value also digitally reinventing company’s operations for greater efficiency. Reuben Jackson AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

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Lighting for Video: Mastering Hot Lights Part 1

first_imgTake your lighting savvy to the next level with our Lighting for Video series! In this tutorial we show you how to skillfully light with incandescents.Incandescent lights are much hotter than other types of lighting instruments. Only 5% of the power drawn actually converts into visible light. So, why would you want to use a hot light on your video set? Accurate color reproduction. Whereas, LED and fluorescents alter color, incandescent lights offer near perfect color. Incandescent lights are 3200K (a topic covered previously in our video tutorial on color temperature).In this Lighting for Video tutorial I discuss the different types of incandescent lighting instruments, their unique characteristics and examples of light output. From fresnels to focus floods, you’ll learn when and how to use these lights on set.Got lighting tips to share? We want to hear them!Share your thoughts and lighting experiences in the comments below.last_img read more

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Love What You Do and the Money Will Follow

first_imgYou might have heard that you can “do what you love and the money will follow.” I wish that were true, but alas, it is not. You can love doing all kinds of things that the market does not think highly enough of to compensate at all.Simply put, the idea that if you do what you love the money will follow isn’t true, but a derivation of those same words is truer: Love what you do and the money will follow.Love What You DoI am with Stephen Covey on the idea that “love” is a verb. It is something that you do. It is within your power to “love.”If you love what you do, you will pour your heart and soul into it. That love will allow you to give yourself over to your work, and that level of commitment is what creates something exceptional. Not something excellent. Lots of things are excellent. Exceptional means like nothing else.If you love what you do, you will care about the results you produce, and that caring is what is necessary to produce something exceptional.How You Do AnythingYou don’t get paid well for doing average work. You get paid a little better for excellence. The money follows when you to work that is exceptional. You say, “I can’t love what I do. It’s just a job I’m doing.” Because you believe that, it’s true for you. Know, however, that there are those who do the same thing that you do who are also craftsmen and craftswomen.It’s a matter of pride. Without caring, the work you do, regardless of what that work may be, won’t get you paid.When you love what you do and give yourself over to the work, what you do is extraordinary, regardless of what kind of work you are doing. You might not get paid for doing that exact work, but people will notice that your work is exceptional, and someone will pluck you from obscurity and pay you to bring that same quality to something else.How you do anything is how you do everything. Love what you do, and the money will follow. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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Uttar Pradesh bypoll: BJP retains Sikandra Assembly seat

first_imgThe BJP retained the Sikandra Assembly seat of bandit Phoolan Devi fame in a bypoll today by a margin of over 11,000 votes.According to the Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer’s office, BJP’s Ajit Singh Pal secured 73,284 votes (44.86 per cent), while his nearest rival, Seema Sachan of the Samajwadi Party (SP), bagged 61,423 votes (37.60 per cent).The victory margin of the BJP candidate was 11,861 votes.Prabhakar Pandey of the Congress secured 19,084 votes.While the SP and Congress had contested the State Assembly polls, held earlier this year, in an alliance, the two parties had decided to go alone in the bypoll.The scene turned ugly during the counting of votes today after the SP and Congress candidates and their agents claimed that the seals of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) were broken. They alleged that the authorities had deliberately tampered with the machines to ensure the BJP nominee’s win.Superintendent of Police Ratan Kant Pandey, however, denied that there was any disturbance during the counting of votes.“The SP and Congress candidates twice attempted to create a nuisance, claiming that the seals of the EVMs were broken.“The EVMs had three seals and all of those, including the presiding officer’s seal, were intact,” he said.On December 21, braving cold weather, nearly 53 per cent of the total 3.21 lakh eligible voters had exercised their franchise in the bypoll.Bandit Queen Phoolan DeviThe Sikandra constituency falls under the Kanpur Dehat district, a place which had gained notoriety after the 1981 Behmai massacre of 21 upper caste Rajputs by “bandit queen” Phoolan Devi and her gang to avenge her rape.Phoolan Devi had surrendered before the police in 1983.After completing her jail term, she had successfully contested the 1996 Lok Sabha election on an SP ticket and became an MP from Mirzapur. The bandit-turned- politician was shot dead by masked gunmen outside her Delhi residence on July 25, 2001.The Sikandra bypoll was necessitated following the death of its sitting BJP MLA, Mathura Prasad Pal, on July 22.In the Assembly polls, Mr. Pal had polled 87,879 votes, defeating his nearest Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rival, Mahendra Katiyar (Bablu), who had secured 49,776 votes.A total of 12 candidates were in the fray in the bypoll, including five independents.last_img read more

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