James Yap. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netIt’s not everyday that you see James Yap go scoreless in a game.Rain or Shine’s game against Star on Sunday marked the first time Yap didn’t hit a single point since July 24 last year when he was still with the Hotshots.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Victolero pleased with Star’s effort despite loss to ROS View comments Star handily won the elimination duels in the first two conferences, and even swept the Elasto Painters, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.Yap believes Rain or Shine has already turned the page, not only on its rivalry against the Hotshots, but also on its overall campaign this conference and moving forward.“We’re more active on defense and we have a better communication. I think we can sustain this if we continue what we’re doing. We have to be consistent on defense and stick to our system,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT But the two-time PBA Most Valuable Player couldn’t care any less as Rain or Shine finally got one against his former team Star, 92-88, on Sunday.With Yap taking a backseat, the Elasto Painters exorcised their demons and nabbed a victory over the Hotshots, while also claiming their fourth win in six games this 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Of course, I’m happy. I’m thankful for my teammates because we finally got one,” said a relieved Yap, who saw limited minutes and went 0-of-2 from the field. “We’re 0-4 against them, so I’m just grateful to my teammates that even if I’m not inside, we’re still able to get the win.”Since the blockbuster trade that saw Yap and Paul Lee switch teams, Rain or Shine has yet to beat Star until Sunday. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:44Lorenzana wants to send new Navy warship to Palawan, Sulu Sea01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
TORONTO Hundreds of Greeks – thousands according to the Milwaukee Bucks, 700 according to the local media – with Greek flags in their hands spent New Year’s Day 2018 at Toronto’s Air Canada Center for the Raptors’ NBA game against the Bucks featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo.Though Giannis’ team was defeated by the Raptors (DeMar DeRozan scored a record 52 points) 131-127, he was the reason for another moving Greek community event where the Greek National Anthem was played in an NBA venue.The night was also designated as “Greek Heritage Night” by the Raptors.The members of the Greek community, after the end of the game, filled a whole area and as soon as Antetokounmpo appeared, the crowd went wild. The Greek National Anthem sounded throughout the stadium and the Greek player was visibly moved as well as impressed by the scene.The Greek community of Toronto and Canada, in general, presented him with some gifts, and even offered a vasilopita for his family. The 23-year-old superstar Bucks player signed all the autographs he could, as his team rushed him out to catch the plane leaving Toronto.“Thank you for coming to support us. I wish you health, love, and a happy New Year,” said Antetokounmpo.Canada’s Greek community with Greek flags in their hands spent New Year’s Day 2018 at Toronto’s Air Canada Center to enjoy Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo: Courtesy by the The Greek-Canadian Games)According to the Thestar.com newspaper, whatever the virtues of Giannis Antetokounmpo, both on and off the court, no one can deny he has a bond with basketball fans, which goes beyond the game of basketball.Frank Karantonis, a doctor of Greek descent, talks about humility, Raptor’s coach, Dwane Casey talks about “pureness of heart” and the star of the Canadian team, DeMar DeRozan says it can be anything from the greatness of his sports skills to his nice nickname.“I think the biggest bond is his humility,” said Dr. Karantonis, who was the head of the Greek evening of appreciation for Antetokounmpo at the Air Canada Center on Monday.“He grew up very poor in Greece, in Athens… (It is) just the bond with his family and his loyalty to his country,” he added, emphasizing that “there is something with his humility that connects us with him and wanting to achieve our dreams some day,” as reported in thestar.com.Karantonis gathered hundreds of Greek expatriates through the Greek Canadian Games, which organizes various sporting events, in the Olympic model, every summer for Greek youth.“It’s such a great story and he is a hero to all of us,” he said of Antetokounmpo, as Thestar.com reported.He is also a nightmare for opponents, in the way he plays at both ends of the court, with passion and athletic abilities that terrorize opponents.Canada’s Greek community with Greek flags in their hands spent New Year’s Day 2018 at Toronto’s Air Canada Center to enjoy Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo: Courtesy by the The Greek-Canadian Games)Raptors’ coach Casey said, as reported in Thestar.com, “I think he plays with a pure heart. He’s trying to win. I don’t think there’s a selfish bone in his body. He practices, from my understanding, the way he plays, and you love that. His teammates love that because now he can go to another player and say, ‘Hey, you’re not going hard enough because I do it.’ His freshness, his innocence and he enjoys the game. All of those things rub the players the right way, his teammates the right way.”Raptors’ President, Masai Ujiri, desperately tried to make exchanges in the draft of 2015 to get Antetokounmpo on the team. The relationship with the Antetokounmpo family goes back many years. Ujiri helped the family, as reported in Thestar.com, to move from Nigeria to Greece.The fans now cheer for Antetokounmpo everywhere.“He has so much passion and there is so much thirst for a hero and that’s why this guy is such an exciting person for Greece right now,” said Karantonis, as reported in Thestar.com.Canada’s Greek community with Greek flags in their hands spent New Year’s Day 2018 at Toronto’s Air Canada Center to enjoy Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo: Courtesy by the The Greek-Canadian Games)Canada’s Greek community with Greek flags in their hands spent New Year’s Day 2018 at Toronto’s Air Canada Center to enjoy Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo: Courtesy by the The Greek-Canadian Games)Canada’s Greek community with Greek flags in their hands spent New Year’s Day 2018 at Toronto’s Air Canada Center to enjoy Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Photo: Courtesy by the The Greek-Canadian Games)TweetPinShare11 Shares
Xavier defeated Providence 78-69 this afternoon. Musketeer forward Jalen Reynolds tied for the team lead in points with 19, while point guard Dee Davis dished out 15 assists. Together, the two combined on a ridiculous fast break alley-oop.Check it out:Davis’ pass is a risky one with no one back on defense, let alone with a defender right there. And give credit to the Providence defender for reading the alley-oop and trying to make a play on it. Unfortunately for him, trying to make that play and actually doing it are two different things, especially with Reynolds above the rim like he was. [ H/T: @RobDauster ]
Story Highlights The CRP is designed to address living conditions in communities island-wide Slated to be undertaken between November 2013 and January 2014 Phase one of the programme will entail Majesty Gardens, St. Andrew The phased roll out of the Community Renewal Programme (CRP), being implemented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), is slated to be undertaken between November 2013 and January 2014.Director General of the PIOJ, Colin Bullock, who made the disclosure during the agency’s quarterly media briefing on Tuesday, August 27, said phase one of the programme will entail Majesty Gardens, St. Andrew, where the initiative is being undertaken as a pilot, and 18 other Corporate Area communities in the downtown Kingston developmental area.The CRP is a multifaceted programme, financed by the Government of Jamaica and international development partners, designed to address living conditions in communities island-wide, deemed the most socially problematic.It addresses community empowerment, housing, sanitation and waste disposal, economic opportunity, recreation, dispute resolution, crime, among other things.Mr. Bullock said the Majesty Gardens pilot is being used as the framework for designing model programmes to be undertaken in the other communities.These include: baseline studies being developed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) for phase one, slated for completion in January 2014; on-going work to design community level interventions, earmarked for completion by September 30; and implementation of new programmes to be undertaken through the partial roll-out of phase one.The programme is a key component of the Government’s growth agenda for Jamaica, a detailed update of which is available on the PIOJ’s website at: www.pioj.gov.jm. “The generation of stronger economic growth is dependent, not only on successful policy implementation by Government, but also on active participation by a reinvigorated private sector, labour movement, non-government organizations and active community participation,” Mr. Bullock said.He stated that the recent signing of a social partnership agreement “creates a basis for a productive sharing of the burden of adjustment, the effort to enhance productivity and the distribution of benefits. We can only solve our problems if we move in step with each other.”
Ohio State head men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame in Columbus on May 22. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAfter four years playing under Ohio State head men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson, one memory sticks out in Sanil Thomas’ mind: the pregame speech before the 2016 National Championship. A freshman at the time, Thomas had spent most of his first season as a Buckeye backing up star junior setter Christy Blough, who had totalled 1,232 assists during the 2016 season and would finish his career with 4,280 assists, ranking him No. 5 in program history for the category. In the biggest match for the Buckeyes since the 2011 National Championship, it was unlikely Thomas would see the floor, except for the occasional substitution to serve. Nevertheless, Hanson’s pregame speech was special for Thomas. “Honestly, I don’t even remember the exact theme of the speech or whatever it was, but I just know I was ready to play,” Thomas said. “And I wasn’t even playing. I was on the bench, and I was just fired up.” Hanson is known for his passion for the game of volleyball. This summer, he’ll be recognized for that dedication in front of a hometown crowd. On May 22, Hanson will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame in Columbus, among a group of 25 other volleyball legends. He’ll be honored with the Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach Award in the contemporary division. Hanson is already a two-time Hall of Fame inductee — the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. He’s served as the head coach for the men’s volleyball team at Ohio State for 35 seasons starting in 1985, winning three national championships and accruing only five losing seasons during that span. His teams have won 702 of their 1,042 matches for a .674 winning percentage, including a 63-5 stretch over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which featured the longest winning streak in Ohio State history for a head-to-head sport. Prior to his coaching career, which includes five years at the University of Wyoming and a year at Ball State, Hanson played at Kellogg Community College under head coach Mick Haley. Hanson said Haley was one of his earliest influences as both a player and a future coach. “[He] influenced me a lot about how to compete,” Hanson said. “You just needed to compete hard. You needed to get in there and grind for points and challenge the guys across the net … Mick was a very competitive individual, and I think I had that in me, but he kind of kept challenging us to bring that out.” In college, Haley was a setter under Ball State coach Donald Shondell, the legendary coach, who the award Hanson is being given is associated with. Hanson first got his start in volleyball after his father got him and a few other boys at their local church to start a middle-school league in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. “It just was a sport that resonated with me for some reason. I had played other sports,” Hanson said. “We formed a group of kids that stayed together, and it just grew from there, and three of us went to college together and just started playing, and so, lo and behold, here I am.” Tim Embaugh, who has been by Hanson’s side for the past 28 seasons as an assistant coach, said Hanson’s coaching influence extends beyond the collegiate level. Embaugh said Hanson has participated with multiple USA programs, including volunteering during the Atlanta Olympics, coaching the World University Games teams and participating with the youth and junior national teams.“He’s got a long history of not just college volleyball, but also USA Volleyball,” Embaugh said. Hanson has served as an assistant coach for various U.S. national team events from 1986-89 and 1994-95, including the National Sports Festival, the Olympic Sports Festival and the National Elite Junior Training Camp. He also served as head coach for the U.S. in the Olympic Sports Festival in 1989, the Junior Continental Championships in 2012 and the Men’s U-21 World Championship in 2013.Hanson said he puts a lot of value in learning from coaches and players around the world. “There’s good volleyball played around the world,” Hanson said. “Being exposed to other countries and other training methods and how they’re playing the game and the fact that they might train it differently, but they might train it very successfully, clearly expanded my vision and the way I looked at the game.” Hanson said this award, his third Hall of Fame induction, says more about the players and the teams he’s had at Ohio State than anything he’s accomplished himself. He praised the success of the program and what’s been achieved over the course of his tenure, but he avoids connecting himself to that success. Sanil Thomas does the opposite. “Being in the Hall of Fame once obviously is a feat in and of itself. To do it three times is something just surreal and something crazy,” Thomas said. “I think what you wouldn’t expect is the same — I would imagine, the same amount of passion he brought day one he brings that passion day — a lot; it’s a lot of days. That’s why he deserves this more than anyone.”
Former Los Angeles Galaxy manager Sigi Schmid has died at the age of 65, his family has announced.Schmid, who has the most wins as a manager in the history of the Major League Soccer, was admitted to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center earlier in the month, needing a heart transplant.The cause of Schmid’s death was not disclosed, but his family released the following statement, as quoted by ProSoccerUSA:“On Tuesday, December 25, Sigi Schmid passed away at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles due to a personal health matter.”Alexis Sanchez rules out move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami Andrew Smyth – September 5, 2019 Alexis Sanchez reckons he’s still got another “five or six years left” of European football in him amid links of a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami.“Our family is deeply saddened by his passing and is taking this time to grieve the loss of a tremendous husband, father, leader and mentor.”“We also recognize how much Sigi meant to so many people across the U.S. Soccer landscape and around the world at different levels of the game. That community meant a great deal to him as well, and for that reason, it was important to us that we share the news of his passing.”“While we mourn his loss, we appreciate privacy during this challenging time and will not be issuing further statements. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family asks to please consider a memorial gift to support the men’s soccer program at UCLA, Sigi’s alma mater. Donations in memory of Sigi may be directed to the attention of Emily Lerner of UCLA Athletics at 310-206-3302 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mustang rescued two mariners stranded near Driftwood Bay State Marine Park, southeast of Seward on Saturday. The cutter Mustang arrived on scene, the crew deployed a small boat and a rescue swimmer, and brought the man and woman aboard. Both mariners were safely transported to Seward with no medical concerns reported. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center watchstanders received a notification from the good Samaritan vessel Lights Out that two people were stranded after beaching their boat to avoid sinking, according to a release from the Coast Guard issued on Sunday. Lt. j. g. Scott Peters, Sector Anchorage command center duty officer: “The two people stranded had food and water but no way of calling for help due to a lack of cell phone and VHF service in the area. It’s important for mariners to prepare for worst case scenario before getting underway. This should include carrying vital life-saving equipment such as an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or other means of emergency satellite communications.”
$59 at eBay DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. 23 Angela Lang/CNET See It Boost Mobile Best Buy Read the AirPods review Comments TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Batman,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Sarah Tew/CNET Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. See It Tags Read DJI Osmo Action preview See at Turo Rylo Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) $999 Turo $210 at Best Buy See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Share your voice $520 at HP Amazon An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $155 at Google Express Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Apple iPhone XS Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Sprint $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express TV and Movies DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) The Cheapskate There’s a new Batman in town. Fadel Senna/Getty Images It’s official, Robert Pattinson will play Batman. Warner Bros. and the Twilight actor signed a deal for him to play the Caped Crusader in the upcoming film in the upcoming film The Batman, according to Variety. The studio, however, told CNET they’re currently in negotiations with Pattinson.The new film based on the DC character will be directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, War of the Planet of the Apes) and is scheduled to be released June 25, 2021. Preproduction is set to begin sometime this summer. Unofficial news of the British actor donning the cape and cowl came earlier in May. Pattinson takes over the role from Ben Affleck, who played the Dark Knight in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League but walked away from future films in the DC Universe. Pattinson’s publicist immediately responded to requests for comment. Originally published on May 31. Update, 11:09 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Warner Bros. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $999 $299 at Amazon Chris Monroe/CNET Read the Rylo camera preview $6 at Tidal Read Google Home Hub review Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Tags $60 at Best Buy Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express See It What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Comments 7 $999 Share your voice See it JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160)
.India is exploring setting up a new payments mechanism for trade with Iran, after its old sanctions workaround broke down, as state banks remain fearful of handling payments from Tehran in case the United States imposes a fresh financial embargo.US president Donald Trump has denounced an agreement between Iran and major powers on its nuclear program as a bad deal, and his administration has put Tehran “on notice” after the test-firing of a ballistic missile.Under previous Western sanctions, India had devised a barter-like scheme acceptable to Washington that allowed it to make some oil payments to Tehran in rupees through a small state bank, UCO Bank.Indian companies were then able to receive payments for goods exported to Iran using the oil money held in non-convertible rupee balances at UCO, maintaining a trade lifeline between two countries with long historical ties.But since sanctions were partly lifted early last year the rupee account has been run down by more than 90 percent to just 20 billion rupees ($305 million) because Indian refiners have resumed paying for Iranian oil in euros.Whilst the federal government and central bank have approved oil payments in euros – which Iran prefers because the currency is readily convertible – they have not given the all-clear for trade in the opposite direction to be settled in other currencies, leaving exporters stuck.”We are working on a mechanism through euros and looking for a common correspondent bank in Europe to act as an intermediary for India and Iran,” said RK Takkar, chairman of UCO Bank.”The euro payment system has not yet crystallized,” he said, adding the government was working to find a solution.For a graphic on India’s trade with Iran, click hereThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said some Iranian banks had applied to open branches in India, but gave no indication when it might approve settlement of trade with Iran in currencies other than the rupee.”Due to the geopolitical situation around Iran, and international sanctions-related measures, correspondent banking relationships are difficult,” the central bank said in a written reply to questions submitted by Reuters.”The Reserve Bank has facilitated payment for Indian exporters by permitting special arrangements for rupee-based settlements.”TENSIONS GROWAlthough European Union and United Nations sanctions against Iran have been removed some US measures remain, and that, along with the hard line promised by the new administration in Washington, has left the country still largely shut out of the global financial system as banks steer clear of its business.As tensions grow, New Delhi and Tehran are considering reverting to the old rupee mechanism that was viewed as a safe bet because UCO has no US exposure that could lead it to fall foul of any new sanctions.Iran has agreed in principle to accept some oil payments in rupees to fund imports from India worth an estimated $2.5 billion a year, a senior commerce ministry official told Reuters.No timeline has been fixed as yet to implement the new mechanism, however, as both sides await the outcome of Iran’s presidential election in May and seek clarity on the Trump administration’s approach toward Tehran, he said.The payment woes have hit the revenues of Indian exporters as they struggle to complete deals struck when the rupee account was flush with funds. Several containers from India are held up at Iranian ports, exporters said.”Our clients are threatening to cancel orders and procure from China,” said Jayanti Goela at Gas Lab Asia, a Delhi-based exporter that had won an order to supply gas storage tanks to Tehran.India’s major exports to Iran include food, chemicals, engineering products, garments and drugs.CHABAHAR PORTThe reticence of Indian banks with US exposure has also slowed work on the Iranian port of Chabahar and a $1.6 billion rail link backed by New Delhi that would bypass arch-rival Pakistan and counter China’s growing influence in the region.One official involved in the Chabahar project said contractors, concerned about getting paid, were now reluctant to supply equipment and materials for the Arabian Sea port whose completion is planned for 2018.”If Trump imposes more sanctions on Iran, we may have to wind up most of our plans,” the official said.Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament recently that Iran had yet to ratify a trilateral pact to set up the transit corridor to Afghanistan that was signed on a visit last year by prime minister Narendra Modi.”The government is still in a wait-and-watch mode and closely monitoring Trump’s approach towards Iran,” said a senior official who joined Modi on his trip to Iran. India, Iran’s top oil client after China, boosted exports to Tehran during sanctions as Western nations boycotted it.Yet India has lost out since the lifting of sanctions, with its exports to Iran declining to $2.4 billion in 2016 from $3.2 billion in the previous year.
A YouTube musical celebrity was sentenced Friday in a Chicago courtroom to 10 years in prison for enticing girls as young as 14 to produce sexually explicit videos of themselves.Austin Jones, who posted online videos of himself performing songs for a fan base of primarily teenage girls, was arrested in 2017 and pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of child pornography.As part of his plea, Jones admitted to a total of six identified victims and approximately 30 attempts to persuade other girls to send him child pornography, according to prosecutors.A federal judge on Friday imposed a 10-year prison sentence on the 26-year-old, who could have gotten as little as five years or as many as 20, according to sentencing guidelines.Prosecutors, pointing to text messages, alleged in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court that Jones targeted young girls under the pretense of “auditions” for modeling and other opportunities.”I’m just trying to help you! I know you’re trying your hardest to prove you’re my biggest fan. And I don’t want to have to find someone else,” Jones told one 14-year-old victim via Facebook messenger, according to the court filing.Prosecutors said Facebook tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about Jones’s conversations with 14- and 15-year-old girls using the social media service’s private messaging feature.Jones’s defense lawyers had asked that he be sentenced to five years on the basis of mitigating circumstances having to do with the man’s childhood.”Austin was a victim of sexual and emotional abuse by his father from age six until age 10. He was young, helpless and scared,” his attorney’s wrote in a court filing.They claimed Jones suffered from severe depression and other mental health problems.