Assam govt. makes Sanskrit compulsory

first_imgThe Assam Cabinet’s decision to introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject till Class VIII has evoked sharp criticism from students organisations and opposition political parties in the State.The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has criticised the decision to make Sanskrit compulsory instead of promoting Assamese in schools.“We are not opposed to the Cabinet decision but the government should clarify whether now there will be the four-language formula in Assam instead of the three-language formula followed in other States”, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said on Thursday.No compromiseMoreover, there can be no compromise with the teaching of Assamese in schools and the language has to be a part of the syllabus in the State, he added.Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) also alleged that the move was a “well-orchestrated conspiracy are being micro managed and monitored from Nagpur (the RSS headquarters)”.The State government was preparing to “recruit Sanskrit teachers from outside since the State now lacks the required strength but we won’t allow teachers from outside the State to be recruited in our schools,” AJYCP president Biraj Kumar Talukdar said.last_img read more

The Long, Hot Summer

first_imgImagine your throat is parched into metallic threads by the hot tropical sun and 100 degree temperatures – and then like a mirage in a desert, a tall chilled glass of nimbu pani, Delhi nimbus or limes no less – appears before you. A few miraculous sips and you feel life flowing into you again. Indian fruit punch by Suvir Saran, Indian Home CookingNothing cools you quite like nimbu pani – and Indian immigrants no matter where they go, reach for the limes when they need to cool down fast.For those who have spent time in the heat and dust of India, there are a handful of other quick sure-fire cures, such as lassi, chaas, sharbat, thandai, sugarcane juice, chilled rose or mango milk and pomegranate juice. All heavenly drinks, which take you out of the hell of a hot, dry summer. And if they can’t get the real thing, immigrants are turning to ready-made bottled copies of their favorite childhood drinks, which can be found in Indian grocery stores.India has always had a rich mix of fruits, vegetables, berries and herbs and everything seems to explode on the trees in summer as the branches bend over with the weight of a bounty of mangoes, oranges, lemons, litchis and guavas. Juice stalls offering fruit mixes from pomegranate to pineapple to vegetable juices spring up everywhere.In coastal areas in India, especially Mumbai, naryal pani or coconut water is the drink of choice. Walk to Nariman’s Point and sip the soothing nectar right from the coconut shell, with the bonus cream or malai of the coconut, which the vendor expertly scrapes out for you. How can a sugary cola compare?Sunil Rihal, a financial planner in New York, remembers well the soothing drinks of summer. Rihal, who was manager of a five star hotel in India, recalls that fruit drinks were big at the bar and one of the most popular during his time was a frothy concoction of Limca and pomegranate juice. Growing up in Delhi, he and his siblings would return home from school and the heat of the outside world to soothing squashes of raspberries, oranges, pineapple and lemonades made by their mother, Santosh Rihal.A cooking teacher, she transformed the kitchen with the fruits of summer, turning out fruit jams and beverages for the hot weather. “The summer season would start and she would be in the kitchen, preparing big quantities of squashes and filling up the fridge,” says Sunil Rihal. “She would basically make them from scratch.”Santosh, who now lives in the U.S. with her children, would conjure up many drinks, including the very hrefreshing panna, which is made from raw mangoes. There was also a bright purple drink made from the Phalsa fruits, which are indigenous to India. She would also squeeze large quantities of limes and bottle them. When guests came, it took just a bit of the concoction, ice cold water and sugar to make a tall glass of shikwanji.The most popular drink, however, is lassi, which is made with yogurt or buttermilk and water. Santosh says she served lassis in many forms, the kacha lassi, which is made with milk; the salted lassi laced with cumin, which was a favorite of the grown-ups and sweet lassi for the children. There was also lassi with a few spoons of Ruh Afza, a popular fruit syrup made by the Hamdard company. She recalls, “Lassi has to be made fresh, and so half an hour before the children came home from school, I would make the lassi and keep it in the fridge.”Lassi and other summer drinks continue to hold their lure for Indian Americans. Navin Patel who runs the Sabzi Mandi store in Jersey City says demand peaks during the summer months, especially the rose syrup of Ruh Afza, which is particularly popular with Punjabis and Pakistanis. In Edison or Artesia, during the searing summer months, vendors set up roadside stalls selling sugar cane juice.“Wonderfully hrefreshing fruit drinks such as strawberry lemonade and Indian fruit punch, fruited or spiced yogurt drinks called lassis and teas are especially effective fruit quenchers, because the acid in the citrus juice and yogurt both cools and cleanses the palate,” says Suvir Saran, chef at Devi restaurant and author of Indian Home Cooking. He considers sweet lassis, such as mango, pistachio and saffron-cardamom lassis, desserts in a glass. Recognizing the passion Indians have for fruit, he creates an Indian fruit punch which is great for hot summer days. He says, “A cup of cream smoothes and enriches the sweet-tart taste of fruit juices and turns the juice into an ethereal drink. I make this with a number of commercial fresh fruit juices that I buy at the supermarket.”Fruit punches are popular in the west, but interestingly the origins of punch lie in panchamrita – the Sanskrit word panch means five and amrita means nectar. In her book Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cuisine, Yamuna Devi who has lived in India, United States and England, describes the many Indian drinks. Panchamrita, which is a temple drink, is made of milk, yogurt, honey, sugar and ghee. More recently punch has come to mean more or less any sweetened juice, served hot or cold. She says there can be many variations on this theme, such as thandai, a luxurious amalgamation of nuts, raisins, and fennel-flavored milk, which lends nutrition and flavor to any light meal.To make a delightful Vedic chilled punch, she suggests trying any of the following combinations: papaya nectar, pineapple juice, orange juice, guava nectar, yogurt, lime juice and crushed ice; pineapple juice, coconut milk, apple juice orange juice ground cardamom and crushed ice; passion fruit nectar, pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon and lime juice and crushed ice.For any immigrant who grew up in India, the bottles of multi-colored sharbats are perhaps the most fascinating: the green of khus khus, the red of gulab and the yellow of kewra. Oh, the sheer sweetness of it, with ice tinkling in the glass!The word sherbet came originally from the Arabic word shariba, which means to drink; it evolved into sharbat in Hindi. In a verbal roundabout it came into English as sherbet.While most in this hectic age buy the ready made gulab sharbat or at the most boil sugar and water and add rose essence and color to it, there are some brave souls who actually make it from scratch. In her book Yamuna Devi describes how to make Ruh Gulab Sharbat, starting with fresh picked rose petals that are crushed with a mortar and pestle and then immersed in boiling water in a metal container with cardamom seeds and set aside overnight to infuse.She says, “Homemade rose syrup, lemon or lime juice and fresh pomegranate juice make this pale pink beverage elegant and exotic. In India, a container made from freshly tinned metal is recommended for soaking the petals, because the metal preserves their color.”Different parts of India offer different beverages, and communities add their own interpretations. She writes about the Perfumed Sandalwood Crush or Vrindaban Goswami Sharbat, which originated from the Radha Ramana Temple of Gopal Bhatta Goswami in Vrindaban and was centuries old. In fact, pure sandalwood is sold in small bars, which have to be chipped off to make an infusion, or sweetened sandalwood syrup can be used, and the recipe even includes dried malati or camomile flowers.There’s also barley tonic or Jawar sharbat, which is a real thirst quencher in Gujarat and is served much like lime tonic, over ice. The rather bland flavor of simmered barley and water is heightened by infusing lemon zest into the hot liquid.She even includes versions you may never have hard of, such as Lemon Flavored Yogurt shake or Nimbu Lassi. She says: “In India this beverage is popularly made with four ingredients: sugar cane juice, lime juice, fresh ginger pulp and yogurt. The flat sweetness of fresh cane juice pleasantly complements the acidity in the citrus juice.”Summer is a time of glorious mangoes and as if eating them wasn’t enough, we like to drink them too! Mangoes dominate many Indian drinks, be it lassis, milk shakes or juices, and immigrants like to incorporate the fruit in every way they can. Truly, the nectar of the Gods!Anjum Anand, author of Indian Everyday, lives in London, but her recipes all harken back home, including must-haves like adrak masala chai (spiced ginger tea) and chaas, which she calls Namkeen Madrasi Lassi or South Indian flavored buttermilk.Having left their homelands and the trees burgeoning with fruit behind, how do immigrants keep cool in America? Here it seems westerners have discovered the power of yogurt, something Indian immigrants knew all along. So the mainstream too is big into smoothies and flavored yogurts and drinks. For Indians, happily, the desi grocery stores have done everything, short of flying their grandmothers out here, to bring home tastes to America.As the beverage industry commercializes home recipes, scores of companies from Hamdard to Dabur have got into the business of packaged and bottled drinks, which are finding their way to diasporic shores. Indian stores also sell ready made bottled lassi, yogurt for lassi, sharbats and rose milk, as well as fruit juices like guava, pomegranate and litchi. The syrups for sharbats come in many flavors, which are dear to Indian tastebuds : almond, saffron, poppy seeds, cardamom, kewra, sandal, rose, and lemon. The homeland in a bottle, you could say. Clockwise: sweet and spicy lemon water, south Indian flavored buttermilk, mango sherbet, north Indian flavored buttermilkThe stores keep a smorgasbord of different brands and mixes not only from India but many other parts of the Diaspora, including Singapore, Pakistan and Dubai. According to Sam Patel of Patel Brothers, which is headquartered in Chicago, many of the bottled syrups they sell under their brand-name Swad are actually made in Dubai.The second generation may have grown up far from the mango orchards of Navsari, but they certainly love their mango fix. Indeed, is this passion something in the genes, something you carry from generation to generation? Mango lassis are a fixture of Indian restaurants on both coasts and probably Alaska too! Indian tastes in fruit are finding their way into the bars of trendy restaurants as well.Sameer Malhotra, one of the owners of Café Spice, an Indian restaurant chain with branches in New York, Philadelphia, Maryland and New Jersey, has seen the popularity of India-inspired drinks with patrons. Some of their concoctions include Kamasucra made of mango lassi, coconut flavored rum and Godiva white chocolate liqueur. Then there’s Moksha Martini made with Absolut Vodka, fresh ginger juice, lemon juice, sour apples and basil or tulsi. Sandeep Uberoi, manager of a Café Spice, says that mojitos made with fruits like mango, litchi and peaches are very popular as summer drinks.Eons ago the Vedas extolled a mysterious drink, Soma, as the nectar of the Gods. Over 114 hymns in the Rig Veda are dedicated to the wonders of this brew, according to K.T. Achaya, author of Indian Food – a Historical Companion. No one quite knows its ingredients, but historians suspect it was Sarcostemma acidum, which is still called somlata in several Indian languages. The soma plant might have also been the Indian bhang plant, Cannabis sativa or even Amanita Muscarita, a fly agaric mushroom with hallucinogenic effects.Whatever the plant, the Soma drink is lost to the world. Indian immigrants, however, still seem to be on a search for that heavenly brew, and these bottled versions of childhood favorites may be just one way of recapturing youth, or absent that, at least getting some respite during the long hot summer months! Whet Your AppetiteTHANDAI2 1/2  cups (600ml) water2 tablespoons (30ml) fennel seeds1/2 teaspoon  (2ml) cardamom seeds4 whole cloves2/3 cup (95 g) raisins1/2 cup (50 g) almonds, blanched and chopped1/4 cup (35 g) blanched pistachios, chopped1/4 cup (35 g) melon seeds, sunflower seeds or pine nuts1 quart/liter low-fat or whole milk1/4 teaspoon (1ml) good quality saffron threads, dry roasted and powderedPreparation and soaking time (after assembling ingredients): 1 1/2 -3 hoursServes: 81. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the fennel seeds, cardamom and cloves, cover, and remove from the heat. Set aside for 10 minutes.2. Place the raisins, almonds, pistachios and melon seeds, sunflower seeds or pine nuts in a bowl and add fennel tea. Cover and set aside for at least 1 hour.3. Transfer the infusion to a blender, cover, and blend until the nuts and the spices are reduced to a smooth texture. Pour into a strainer lined with a dampened cloth and set over a clean bowl. When some of the liquid has drained through the sieve, gather the corners and squeeze tightly to extract the maximum amount of liquid. (The pulp may be saved for nut cutlets, sauces or fudges)4. Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) of milk and add saffron. Combine the nut milk, saffron milk and remaining low-fat milk in a large jug or pitcher and chill well. Serve over cracked ice.– Yamuna Devi, Art of Indian Vegetarian CookingINDIAN FRUIT PUNCH2 cups fresh raspberry juice2 cups fresh strawberry juice2 cups fresh mango juice2 cups fresh banana-mango or other banana fruit juice1 cup fresh orange juice2 tablespoons grenadine syrup1 cup heavy creamCombine all of the ingredients in a large plastic pitcher with a lid and shake to combine. Chill and serve cold. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.VARIATIONFor a lighter, more hrefreshing punch, substitute an equal amount of plain yogurt for the heavy cream. Put the yogurt into a blender and blend until smooth (it’s important to get out the lumps now). Add about half of all the juices and blend again until smooth. Combine with the remaining juices in a large plastic pitcher with a lid and shake to combine as usual. You can make this with half-and-half, too, for a leaner punch.– Suvir Saran, author of Indian Home Cooking.NAMKEEN MADRASI LASSI1/2 tsp vegetable oil1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds3 fresh or dried curry leaves, shredded1 good pinch of salt1 pinch each of red chilli powder and turmeric powder400ml (13 fl oz) low-fat buttermilk or 200ml ( 7 fl oz ) each low-fat yoghurt and cold water whisked togetherServes 1-2Heat a tiny amount of vegetable oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the spices. Once the seeds stop spluttering, take off the heat and pour in the buttermilk. Stir well to combine and pour into a glass. Allow to cool and hrefrigerate. Serve chilled.– Anjum Anand, Indian Every Day: Light Healthy Food Related Itemslast_img read more

Ind vs WI 2nd Test: ICC confirms Dhoni adjudged out off no ball

first_imgThat Indian captain M.S. Dhoni was not out during in the first innings of the Barbados Test has been confirmed. The ICC on Thursday confirmed that an error by the host broadcaster during day one of the second Test between the West Indies and India in Barbados led to the wrong replay being shown to the third umpire during a review of a no-ball. During India’s innings, Dhoni was out caught at mid-on off the bowling of Fidel Edwards in the 59th over. On-field umpire Ian Gould suspected that the delivery may have been a no-ball so, as per the correct protocols, he sought confirmation from the third umpire, Gregory Brathwaite. Upon review, the delivery Brathwaite was shown by the host broadcaster was legitimate and so Dhoni was given out. It was subsequently established that Brathwaite had been shown the wrong replay and that the delivery that led to Dhoni’s dismissal should indeed have been called a no-ball.”The host broadcaster for this series, IMG Media, acknowledged the mistake and has apologised. Having looked into the situation, I am satisfied it was an unfortunate but honest mistake in what is a tense and live environment. It is worth pointing out that the umpires followed the correct procedures and are without blame in this matter.” said Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. “Seeing as the game has continued, clearly there is no opportunity to reverse the decision. We are forced now put it behind us and move on with the remainder of the match,” said Mr Broad. A spokesman for IMG said: “IMG Media takes its responsibilities on this matter very seriously. This was a case of human error, compounded by a senior replay operative having to return home at very short notice.”   Dhoni had been judged caught off Fidel Edwards with India struggling at 167 for 5. But a closer look at the pictures shows how umpire Ian Gould had stretched his arm to call a no ball. At a time when technology and the DRS are the subjects of controversy, the latest faux-pas from the broadcasters further highlights why camera outputs can’t be blindly trusted. The BCCI, though, has left the decision on any action over Dhoni’s dubious decision on the team management.advertisementlast_img read more

Prime your brain to percolate brilliant ideas at ESC Silicon Valley

first_img Continue Reading Previous The end of the smartphone era: What will be the technology battlegrounds of the next decade?Next RTOS Revealed Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Industry center_img Where does the time go? I can’t believe that just two weeks tomorrow as I pen these words, I’ll be setting off to the airport to fly out to attend the Embedded System Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley, December 6-8, 2016.As always, I will be enjoying ESC on many levels. In addition to speaking myself (and I must admit that I do enjoy holding forth to a captive audience), I’m very much looking forward to meeting up my friends and colleagues.In some cases, these are people I’ve only even known via the Internet. For example, I’ve been chums with Sree Harsha Angara for a couple of years now. Sree is an applications engineer at Cypress Semiconductor, and he’s written several articles for EETimes.com about hobby projects he’s implemented using PSoCs (see Building a Mandolin-to-MIDI bridge with a PSoC and PSoC 4 Emulation of a MSGEQ7 Audio Spectrum Analyzer). Until recently, Sree was based in India, but now he’s working in Silicon Valley and he’s planning on attending ESC, so we’re going to meet up and swap a few “engineering war stories from the trenches.”And, of course, I’ll be meeting up with old friends like Duane Benson. In addition to attending sessions of mutual interest and generally hanging out, Duane and I will be hammering out some techno-weenie details regarding the Bodacious Brain project because I’ve roped him in to helping out.Speaking of sessions of mutual interest, Duane will be joining me to hear The Keys to Innovation: Priming your brain to percolate brilliant ideas keynote presentation, which is to be given by physicist, engineer, and author, Ransom Stephens.(Source: Ransome Stephens) As a particle physicist, Ransom worked on experiments at SLAC, Fermilab, CERN, and Cornell, discovered a new type of matter, and worked on the team that discovered the Top quark. I don’t know about you, but I’d be more than happy to start my own resume this way LOL.Ransom’s new book — The Left Brain Speaks, The Right Brain Laughs — is an irreverent look at the neuroscience of innovation in technology, art, and science. In Ransom’s keynote, he will be examining the neural processes that percolate insights into consciousness — the physics of lateral thought, the power of perspective, the value of novelty, and how your brain selects and rejects ideas before you’re even aware of them. Methods for fine-tuning the balance of stress and confidence, concentration and distraction that prime our brains to innovate our way to solutions of the challenges that we each face, as well as those that we face together, will also be discussed, as will the neuroaesthetics of what makes products and discoveries good, bad, and valuable.Ransom has given thousands of speeches across the US, Europe, and Asia, and has developed a reputation for making complex topics accessible and funny. I, for one, cannot wait to hear this presentation. Like all the ESC keynotes, this is a free session that will be open to all attendees, but you must register to attend. Hopefully I’ll see you there (I’ll be the outrageously cool techno-dweeb in the Hawaiian shirt).last_img read more

Drama and joy of Frost and Gemmell help raise Cheltenham from gloom

first_imgCheltenham Festival Paul Townend repays Al Boum Photo’s owners in gold for mistake As a result the overall fatality rate – 0.6% – was down by more than a half compared to 2018 (1.34%), the lowest rate since 2015. On the face of it, fate was at least moderately kind to the 2019 Festival. But since the horses killed on Friday were running in two of the races with the biggest audiences of the week, while Sir Erec was one of the shortest-priced favourites of the week, their deaths seem to make a deeper impression.Yet the fact remains that for every horse that suffers a fatal injury at Cheltenham there are about 150 more that simply go out and do what they were bred, raised and trained to do. Without racing, these thoroughbreds would not exist in the first place and an all-time record crowd of 266,779 would not have found its way to the West Country over the course of the week.It was the second Festival in a row with a record attendance, which suggests that for all the gloom and uneasy defensiveness that followed last year’s meeting, the Festival’s popularity with the sporting public continues to rise.All four days had a record crowd under the current format and few can have left disappointed. Altior was an impressive and popular winner in Wednesday’s Champion Chase and the remarkable Tiger Roll even more so in the Cross Country later the same day, while Willie Mullins’s long-overdue first success in the Gold Cup was a fine way to close the week on Friday.But above all there were 45 thrilling minutes on Thursday afternoon when the Festival behaved itself and followed the script, delivering on the buildup with two of the most memorable victories of recent years.First there was Bryony Frost and her winning ride from the front on Frodon in the Ryanair Chase. Making much or all the running to win at Cheltenham requires split-second judgment of pace, an intuitive connection with your horse and immense self-confidence too. No one is ever gifted a soft lead at the Festival and Frost also had to contend with a 66-1 outsider harrying her at the head of affairs for much of the way. Share on Twitter Was this helpful? For a few minutes on Tuesday evening at Cheltenham the chance of heading home three days later riding even a gentle wave of positivity seemed to be receding by the second. The screens were up on the landing side of three of the fences after the National Hunt Chase as fallers were attended to by vets while, out in the Atlantic, Storm Gareth seemed poised to wipe out the second day altogether.There were, of course, downs as well as ups over the course of the next three days. The death of Sir Erec in the Triumph Hurdle was the most difficult blow to absorb, not least because of the connection he made with racegoers and television viewers alike as he waited patiently to be re-plated before setting off on the race that would be his last. Invitation Only was then killed in a fall in the Gold Cup, the third and last fatal injury of the week from a total of 497 runners, the highest number of starters at a Festival since 2009 and 50 more than went to post in 2018, when there were twice as many fatalities. Since you’re here… Support The Guardian It was a ride that any of the great Festival jockeys of the last 30 years would have been proud to call their own and the roar from the stands as Frodon responded to his jockey and fought his way back into the lead after the last was the most stirring and heartfelt of the week.Racing, where men and women can compete on equal terms, is unique among the major spectator sports in creating a moment like this and in Frost it also has a natural communicator. She was able to put the experience and emotions into words for ITV’s viewers within seconds of the finish: “He grabbed me by the hands and said: “Don’t you dare give up”.” Read more Pinterest Frost was the first female rider to win a Grade One race at the Festival over jumps but she did not have sole ownership of the achievement for long. A day later Rachael Blackmore matched it on the 50-1 shot Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle, her second winner of the meeting. Only Nico de Boinville, who took the prize for the week’s leading rider, had more.Minella Indo was also the fourth winner of the meeting for a female rider – Lizzie Kelly, in the Plate, has the other – equalling the record total at last year’s meeting. The strike rate of female riders at this year’s meeting – four wins from 46 starts, or 8.7% – was better than the 5.3% (24 from 452) of their male counterparts.No sooner had Frost left the podium than Andrew Gemmell, rightly the focus of many dozens of pre‑Festival features, was stepping up to receive the owner’s prize after Paisley Park’s hugely popular win in the Stayers’ Hurdle. Blind since birth, Gemmell has never seen a racehorse and fell in love with racing by listening to radio commentaries in the 60s and, as a small-scale owner with the immense good fortune to buy a Festival‑class horse for relatively minor money, he is also an example of a species that had seemed on the verge of extinction.Gemmell’s win does not, of course, hint at a new, more egalitarian age in jumping. Money does not work like that, and the colours of Michael O’Leary and JP McManus will be as ubiquitous as always at Cheltenham 2020. But very few, if any, former trade union officials have walked into the Festival winner’s enclosure over the course of the last 90 years and none with the sheer, unbridled joy of Gemmell on Thursday.Cheltenham spends heavily to publicise its biggest meeting but moments and memories like these are beyond price and the ones that will endure. “Is the Festival’s future on the line?” was a headline on one newspaper feature last week. The answer, as so often when a headline ends with a question mark, is undoubtedly a resounding “no”. Two fatalities on Gold Cup day dampen spirits at Cheltenham Festival Carlisle 2.15 Hill Sixteen 2.45 The Last Day 3.20 Dorking Cock (nap) 3.50 Jepeck (nb) 4.25 Cyrano Star 5.00 Road To Riches Ffos Las Abandoned (waterlogging) Facebook Share on LinkedIn Read more Twitter Cheltenham Festival 2019 Share on Messenger Harry Cobden and Topofthegame win the RSA Chase on day two. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Topics Hide Horse racing tips Quick guide Greg Wood’s tips for Sunday Sportblog Thank you for your feedback. Reuse this content comment Share via Email Show Share on WhatsApp Horse racing Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Bryony Frostlast_img read more

a month agoNewcastle boss Bruce eager to be careful with Carroll comeback

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle boss Bruce eager to be careful with Carroll comebackby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United boss Steve Bruce is eager to be careful with Andy Carroll’s comeback.Carroll rejoined Newcastle in the summer but had to wait to play while he worked his way back to fitness.The striker entered the fray in the 82nd minute as Newcastle drew 0-0 with Brighton at St James’ Park. Bruce told Sky Sports: “We’re just delighted to see him back on the pitch. He’s worked extremely hard. He lifts the crowd. He’s a handful, if he stays fit he’ll be ok.”We’re going to have to manage him in the right way. The big thing is his ankles. Let’s hope now that he’s injury free.”We noticed in training he’s got that bit of presence, the respect because of what he’s achieved. If you’ve got a big Andy Carroll in there, you’ve got to play to his strengths.” last_img read more

SEC Commissioner Is Not Happy With 2 Of His Programs

first_imgA football game between LSU and Ole Miss.OXFORD, MS – NOVEMBER 17: General view of fans watching the game between the LSU Tigers and the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field November 17, 2007 in Oxford, Mississippi. LSU beat Mississippi 41-24. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)Rivalry week brings out the best in some teams, but it clearly brought out the worst in two college football programs in the SEC. Now that the dust settled from the brawl that took place, commissioner Greg Sankey is voicing his displeasure with the situation.On Thursday, Ole Miss and Mississippi State battled for state supremacy. Instead of letting the actual game generate buzz, the chaos that erupted during the action stole all the headlines.Four players were ejected from the game, and once the final whistle blew, the athletic directors exchanged harsh words.Well, Sankey is making it abundantly clear that he won’t tolerate that behavior in his conference.“These incidents have become too common in this series,” Sankey said. “I will require both athletics directors to me with me at the SEC Office in the off-season to review past issues and develop a plan for the purpose of creating a healthier environment for this annual game.”Here is the full quote:Greg Sankey is calling Ross Bjork and John Cohen into the principal’s office so to speak. Not happy with the Egg Bowl hijinks pic.twitter.com/qu7jAuira6— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 26, 2018Despite being bitter rivals, both programs need to have respect for their opponent.If not, the Egg Bowl will certainly lose its appeal and might just turn into an annual game that everyone dreads watching.last_img read more

Narke Is the Emissions-Free Electric Jet Ski That Batman Would Ride

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Narke Electrojet is an electric jet ski that promises to eliminate the hazardous chemical emissions typically given off by personal watercrafts (PWC).Narke replaces a traditional jet ski engine with a 45-kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery, protecting the water and shoreline from exhaust fumes and oil pollution. Research from the late 90s proves that just two hours of exhaust emissions from a PWC is equivalent to driving a 1998 automobile 130,000 miles. Yeah, not good.Not only does Narke drive cleaner than a ’98 car, it also looks sexier. Imagine a futuristic jet ski with smartphone integration and digital dashboard, suited for the likes of suave 007 chase scenes and Bruce Wayne vacations.The not-so-sexy aspect of the Narke is the fact that its throttle peaks at just 35 miles per hour.Yes, 35 mph feels faster on water than it does on land, but die-hard jet ski fans might be a smidge underwhelmed. Narke is not marketed, however, as a speed machine. Instead, its website says, “you cruise slowly on your Narke,” as the Electrojet was also designed to be nearly silent compared to the arrogant vroom-vroom of normal jet skis.Narke was also made to be used with a wakeboard, where a driver can take out another adult or two kids for wave-riding. One half of Narke’s marketing makes it seem like the green jet ski was designed for rich guys and their beach babe (a la every ’80s movie ever made), but Narke is making a point to say their Electrojet is suitable for family members and kids as well.One charge lasts roughly 1.5 hours. Which isn’t bad, given the fact that you’re doing this emissions-free. Recharging the battery takes about two hours, but that gives you a break to hydrate, refuel, and get back on the water. However, if you’re itching to make waves again, check your smartphone to get a percentage-by-percentage update on how fast it’s juicing up.All the smartphone integration capabilities are not yet set as Narke isn’t available for purchase … but they’re getting close, with a probable price tag of €44,000. The Electrojet has undergone test drives and is moving fast to become the first of its kind silent and clean-emission electric PWC. Free Form Factory announced a similar concept in 2017, but nothing has hit the water quite yet.Narke (based in Balatonvilágos, Hungary) says they conceived the idea a few years ago when György Tóthfalussy and Péter Rádi combined their engineering power and clean-energy passions with György Juhász and Ákos Réder, who designed the electric-navigation COMO yacht.By the way, though, you can sail the world in this solar zero-emissions yacht.Now it’s a race to become the No.1 Electrojet, and the tortoise Narke might win over the hare. Could You Handle a Marathon, 20-Hour Nonstop Flight? The 200-Horsepower Vanquish Vanqraft VQ16 Is a Boat-Sized Jet Ski Behold the World’s Most Adventure-Ready Electric Motorcycle The Lampuga Air Inflatable Jetboard Is a Go-Anywhere Aqua Thrill Ride How to Put Out a Fire Without Hurting Yourself in the Processlast_img read more

Spotted: Gloucester Express Tested for Leaks

first_imgDutch shipping company organised a launching ceremony for Gloucester Express – the fifth in a series of seven livestock carriers the company had ordered at China’s Cosco.The ceremony took place at the Cosco Shipyard in Guangdong on July 11.The vessel is due for delivery to the company later this year.The first four livestock carriers have already been delivered and are trading successfully.last_img

CP Rail talks to resume in Calgary after unions reject railway offer

first_imgCanadian Pacific Railway Ltd. is set to resume talks with its train operators and signalling workers after they overwhelmingly rejected the company’s contract offer, leaving its already disgruntled customers fearing a labour disruption that could further affect their businesses.About 3,000 members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference voted 98.1 per cent against the company’s final offer Friday. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents 365 signal and communications workers, voted about 97 per cent against the offer.The results comes after the government intervened last month to force union members to vote on the company’s offer just before a strike deadline, ending mediated talks between the railway and two unions.The unions said they will work with federal mediators, but are prepared to exercise their right to strike if talks fail or the company does not wish to bargain. They could issue a 72-hour strike notice at any timeThe results come after union negotiators recommended that members reject the officer.“CP’s actions have forced us to vote for strike action three times in the past six years. Today, our members have again expressed their anger and frustration with CP,” Doug Finnison, president of the Teamsters Rail Conference, said in a news release.“It’s now up to CP to listen and show they respect workers by changing their confrontational relationship with their employees, our members.”Talks were set to resume Friday afternoon in Calgary in an attempt to achieve an agreement and avoid a work stoppage. CP Rail train crews have engaged in two strikes in the past few years. In 2015, they ended a brief walkout and agreed to arbitration after the Harper government warned of back-to-work legislation. Three years earlier, federal back-to-work legislation was enacted to end a 10-day strike.CP Rail said it was disappointed with the outcome of the vote given that both final offers provided for “significant improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions that are consistent with agreements recently reached with other CP unions in both the United States and Canada.”Negotiations were set to restart with agricultural customers warning that they can’t afford to see a work stoppage after seeing their livelihoods threatened when grain shipping came to halt because of extreme cold.“The railroads are finally delivering a little bit better service than they have for the past six months and we’re still over 20,000 rail cars behind so we certainly don’t have any time to have a work stoppage now,” said Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.“I think with past history it’s hard to be optimistic, but stranger things have happened,” Lewis said in an interview.CP Rail previously warned that a work stoppage would hurt its ability to provide safe and efficient freight and passenger/commuter service.Via Rail Canada, Greater Toronto transit operator Metrolinx, and the The BC Rapid Transit Co. have said it would result in some disruptions.The potential work stoppage comes the same week the government enacted a law that holds railways to account on their commitments to move products to market and allows shippers to immediately take advantage of measures to seek financial penalties for service failures.Federal Employment Minister Patty Hajdu urged the railway and unions to continue working to reach a fair deal that avoids any disruption in service after last month ordering the company’s offer be presented to union members in a vote administered by the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.“Our government believes in the collective bargaining process and I remain hopeful that the parties will be able to negotiate new collective agreements,” she said in a statement.The Calgary-based railway has offered two per cent annual wage increases and $1,000 to each member to drop a series of filed grievances.The Teamsters bargaining team rejected the offer and was unhappy that the fatigue of its members wasn’t addressed by the company.The vote strengthens the union’s hand by demonstrating to the railway that its effort to go around negotiators was misguided, said George Smith, a labour relations consultant and fellow at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University.He said the vote allowed the Liberal government to buy some time to tackle other issues while it determines how it will respond if a negotiated deal isn’t reached.“They are faced with the reality that the Canadian economy could take quite a whack with a national rail strike and especially at a time when there’s already complaints from customers around the country,” he said in an interview.The Trudeau government will try to differentiate itself from its predecessor by allowing collective bargaining to continue and even for a strike to begin before it passes back-to-work legislation, Smith said.“I think the next week to 10 days will be determinative.”Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:CP)last_img read more

Wine festival for moms sparks firestorm over drinking culture

first_imgTORONTO – A Toronto woman who organized a daytime wine festival for new mothers has found herself caught in a firestorm over the pervasiveness of alcohol at a time when heavy drinking is on the rise among women.The weekday event, dubbed “A Very Mommy Wine Festival,” was meant to give new moms a chance to get together and have fun without the judgment and “mommy-shaming” they consistently face, said organizer Alana Kayfetz.The 33-year-old, who has a one-year-old son, argues the backlash is simply another facet of the pressure placed on mothers.“If this was a man’s beer fest where babies were welcome, it would be celebrated, it would be revered,” Kayfetz said. “We would say ‘Oh that’s so cute, look at those dads guzzling beer and holding their babies.’ No one would question it.”But critics, some of them experts on substance use, have expressed concerns that making alcohol a focus of social events normalizes drinking and increases the risk of binge-drinking, a behaviour that has grown among Canadian women despite hitting a plateau among men.While the number of teen girls and women who reported drinking in the last year has not changed since the mid-1990s, the proportion of teen girls and women who reported heavy drinking has gone from 8.3 per cent in 2001 to 13.2 per cent in 2014, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.In comparison, the proportion of teen boys and men who reported heavy drinking in the last year has stayed around 23 per cent.When having a drink or two is par for the course at social events, it can be a slippery slope, said Catherine Paradis, a senior research and policy analyst with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.“The more you drink, the more likely you are to binge-drink,” she said. Binge-drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks on one occasion for men, or four for women.Part of the problem is that alcohol is “everywhere,” from races that see runners travel between breweries to university information sessions to cooking shows, Paradis said.“And now, you feel isolated and at risk for post-partum depression and anxiety? Join the boozy mom playdate,” she said.Ashley Wettlaufer, a researcher at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said events that prominently feature alcohol typically have alcohol brands as sponsors, which is a form of stealth marketing much like product placement in movies and television.“This is another way in which women are being targeted — the brands are aligning themselves with, say, breast cancer charities, for example,” Wettlaufer said.“We now see events like beer yoga advertised on social media and of course groups and events like the mommy wine festival,” she said, noting that Canada’s current regulations on alcohol advertising don’t apply to the internet and social media.Though most research on alcohol ads has focused on youth, it suggests exposure is linked to increased drinking and positive impressions of brands, she said.“This is all concerning because of the health impact of alcohol, especially for women,” such as increased risk of several cancers, including breast cancer, Wettlaufer said.Kayfetz, the organizer, said drinking at the festival was optional, as it is for every other event she organizes through her company, MomsTO.And the marketing — which includes taglines such as “babes on the hips, wine on the lips” — is tongue-in-cheek, she said.“I never thought about what we’re doing in part of the dialogue of the larger marketing phenomenon, what’s happening with alcohol being marketed to women,” she said.“We tried ‘Mommies that like to drink tea, join us,’ but nobody came.”last_img read more

Legal battle involving Ont govt Rob Ford and his sisters ex come

first_imgTORONTO — The Ontario government says a legal battle involving the province, the late Rob Ford and his sister’s ex-boyfriend has come to an end.The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services was one of the targets of a lawsuit filed by Scott MacIntyre, who alleged Ford conspired to have him attacked in jail so that he wouldn’t reveal the former Toronto mayor’s illicit activities.MacIntyre was sent to jail in early 2012 after being charged with threatening Ford, who was still mayor then and had not yet publicly admitted to using crack cocaine.He alleged security cameras in the area were “inexplicably disabled” before the attack and the guards stationed in the area didn’t help him.Ford denied the allegations, arguing he did not have the ability to control the operations of a jail. He also said MacIntyre did not have any intimate knowledge of his habits.A spokesman for the ministry said Tuesday the lawsuit was “dismissed on consent” on Feb. 13 but gave no further details, saying it would not be appropriate to comment.Neither MacIntyre’s nor Ford’s allegations have been proven in court.Ford died in 2016 after being diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. He was 46.His brother, the former Toronto city councillor and failed mayoral candidate Doug Ford, became premier and leader of the Progressive Conservatives last year.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

PETA Names Jared Leto And Ellen Page As Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities

first_imgWith his Oscar win, her inspiring “coming out” story, and their smash box office hits, Jared Leto and Ellen Page have had a big year—and now they both have an additional accomplishment to add to 2014: They’ve been named the winners of PETA’s annual Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest.The X-Men star triumphed over Ariana Grande, Jessica Paré, Laura Prepon and Sarah Silverman, among others, while the 30 Seconds To Mars singer snagged the title over such competition as Joaquin Phoenix, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Dinklage and Woody Harrelson.When British GQ asked Jared Leto the question on everyone’s mind — how he looks 31 at 41 — he said, “I’m pretty healthy so I think that helps a lot. I’ve been that way for a long time — 20 solid years of eating vegetarian/vegan and taking care of myself. That probably helps the preservation process.” Another reason why Leto’s vegan? “I don’t eat dairy because it’s disgusting,” he says. “In milk, there’s actually quite a bit of cow pus. There [were] a couple of films that I watched about the food industry that really just, I was like, no, I can’t do it anymore.”And Page shares Leto’s concerns over the cruelty of the meat, dairy, and egg industries. “Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?” she asked in a tweet.Previous winners of PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest include Kristen Bell, Woody Harrelson, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand, Olivia Wilde, Carrie Underwood, Prince, Natalie Portman, Shania Twain, Leona Lewis, Andre 3000, Tobey Maguire and Alicia Silverstone.Source:PETAlast_img read more

AMERICAN GODS TV SERIES IS ACTUALLY PRETTY CANADIAN

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement “And the other reason is Toronto’s a great city and it has fantastic crews,” said Fuller, who shot the NBC drama Hannibal in Mississauga. He said the crew he worked with on that series “had fantastic attitudes and became friends, so I love walking on set and seeing friends.”Based on the bestselling 2001 novel by Neil Gaiman, also an executive producer on the series, American Gods follows the adventures of Shadow Moon (played by U.K. actor Ricky Whittle), a man released from prison after the death of his wife Laura (Australian Emily Browning). Shadow meets a con artist named Mr. Wednesday (Deadwood star Ian McShane) and is soon caught up in an out-of-this-world road trip across America, recruiting old gods from mythology and religion to square off against new gods from the worlds of media and technology. Seems the historical gods are losing followers to these upstart gods, reflecting society’s fickle obsessions with money, media, celebrity and drugs.Developed at HBO then shifted to Starz, the epic series began production in 2015 and wrapped the first eight episodes in Toronto last October. The cast rocked Comic-Con last summer, even without the presence of recurring star Gillian Anderson, who plays new god Media.British Columbia-born Pablo Schreiber is among the principals as 4,000-year-old leprechaun Mad Sweeney, a part expanded beyond the original book. Where do American Gods go to build a home? Canada.The eight-episode first season of the multimillion-dollar U.S. TV fantasy series was shot in Toronto, one reason executive producer Bryan Fuller jokes it should be called “North American Gods.”Addressing reporters at a gathering of TV critics in Los Angeles, Fuller admitted the biggest reasons to shoot in Toronto were the tax incentives, not to mention the low Canadian dollar. Advertisement Facebook Schreiber, who at six-foot-five is rather large for a leprechaun, told the Comic-Con crowd that he felt like he was given “a gift from the gods” just being part of the series. Best known as “Pornstache” from Orange Is the New Black, Schreiber admitted fantasy is not his usual genre. He was hooked on the challenge, however, of trying to make these outrageous characters “incredibly believable.”The Toronto location was good news for several Canadian actors who round out the cast, including Demore Barnes (The Flash, 12 Monkeys) who plays Mr. Ibis, an old god who runs a funeral parlour and writes some of the books behind the mythology. Sonja Smits, Sebastian MacLean and Andre Dae Kim are other Canadian-born actors in the series.Whittle, who enjoyed a brief stint on The 100, endured 16 auditions before landing the lead role.“Finding our Shadow was a process that lasted several months,” Gaiman told fans at Comic-Con. “We put poor Ricky through the wringer.”American Gods can be seen as the story of how immigrants came to America and brought their gods, religious and mythical, across the ocean. The clash between old and new gods, and the immigrant storyline, might seem like a reaction to the ascent of Donald Trump, but showrunners Fuller and Michael Green (Heroes) caution that Season 1 wrapped before Trump was elected U.S. president last November.One of the things Green loves about the book is that “it manages to discuss religion in an inclusive way that invites all, whether you’re coming at it faithfully, whether you’re coming at it agnostically, whether you have an academic background in mythology, it really rewards varied attention.”American Gods premieres Monday in Canada on the streaming service Amazon Prime Video. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

UN welcomes relocation of Uzbek refugees from border camp

The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed the relocation of Uzbek asylum seekers further into the interior of Kyrgyzstan and away from a border camp in which they had been living since violence erupted in the Uzbek town of Andijan last month.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the 467 residents of the makeshift camp in Barash, Kyrgyzstan were taken on Saturday to a new camp site at Sasyk, well away from the border with Uzbekistan.“Border camps are nearly always highly problematic, insecure and a source of tension between states,” said Ekber Menemencioglu, UNHCR’s director for Central and Southwest Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. “The Kyrgyz authorities have been working closely with UNHCR on solving this situation, and we applaud their persistence in the face of varied pressures and a number of setbacks.”Hundreds of people fled into Kyrgyzstan from Uzbekistan after the May 13 violence in Andijan between protesters and security forces. The Kyrgyz government has repeatedly reassured UNHCR it would not forcibly return the asylum-seekers, despite rumours to the contrary. read more

Irish Water to appear before Public Accounts Committee following consultancy spend revelations

first_imgUpdated 5.35pmTHE WEEK AFTER the admission that €50 million was spent on consultants’ fees by Irish Water, representatives from the semi-State body are to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).Last week, the chief executive of Irish Water, John Tierney, said that half of its €100m spend over the past year went on consultancy fees. The figure was defended as it was spent “in the context of long-term cost savings”.The revelation led the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to say that Irish Water must show the consultancy fees were “value for money” and “necessary”.Tierney did say that the spend would not be repeated in the year ahead.Irish Water representatives are also due to appear before the Oireachtas Environment Committee tomorrow. Among the representatives will be Tierney.Michael McCarthy, Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, said: “This will be an opportunity for this Committee to examine the operation of Irish Water and address public concerns over spending levels with personnel responsible for the body.”PAC appearanceToday, it was confirmed that representatives of Irish Water will appear before the PAC this Wednesday, at 6.30pm.The PAC said his evening that it intends to review the oversight and accountability mechanisms put in place in respect of Irish Water.This review is necessary arising from the recent revelations that Irish Water had spent €50 million on consultancies who were engaged to put new systems in place for the introduction of water charges.The review by the PAC will involve representatives from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Commission for Energy Regulation, in addition to representatives from Irish Water.Chairman of the Committee, John McGuinness, stated that under the Water Services Act 2013, “there was no provision made for the conduct of value for money reports which would examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the systems that are put in place to run Irish Water and, under the current arrangements, the Public Accounts Committee is precluded from getting involved in examining the accounts of Irish Water”.Deputy McGuinness said:The meeting on Wednesday will provide an opportunity to stress test the oversight systems that are now in place for Irish Water and I would hope that after the meeting the PAC will make recommendations on how oversight and accountability will be enhanced. The review by the PAC is an important step in restoring public confidence in this important public utility company.The news was welcomed by PAC member and Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Simon Harris, who said he is pleased they will discuss how public money has been spent in setting up the body.Harris said that it is “only right that Irish Water appear before the PAC” on the issue of consultants’ fees.The fact that Irish Water doesn’t fall under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General should not diminish the PAC’s determination to scrutinise the spending of public money, so I am pleased that Irish Water is agreeing to appear before the Committee this week.The Secretary General of the Department of the Environment and representatives from the Commission for Energy Regulation have also been invited to attend.Harris said they should be called before the PAC “so we can get a full picture of how public money is being spent in the setting up of the new State utilities company”.Harris said he believes an appearance by Irish Water before both the Environment and Public Accounts Committee “will help ensure transparency and accountability”.Read: “You can’t create Irish Water out of thin air” – O’Dowd>Read: “No decision on Irish Water charging,” – Gilmore>Read: ‘A national scandal’: Irish Water facing questions from PAC over €50m consultancy fees>last_img read more

Officials say probe into deadliest biker shootout in US history would be

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Stephen McDermott 7 Comments Image: Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press 24,814 Views Officials say probe into deadliest biker shootout in US history would be ‘waste of time’ as charges dropped A total of 177 bikers were arrested after the shooting. McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson Wednesday 3 Apr 2019, 10:45 PMcenter_img Share9 Tweet Email1 McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson Image: Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press https://jrnl.ie/4575937 Short URL ALL CHARGES IN an investigation into a shootout between rival biker gangs that left nine people dead at a restaurant in Waco, Texas will be dropped.Prosecutors in the US state confirmed the news yesterday, saying there would be no convictions in relation to the deadliest biker shooting in US history.McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said any further effort to prosecute the case would be a “waste of time, effort and resources”.“In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl,” Johnson said.“Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day.”The shooting outside the restaurant on 17 May, 2015, which involved two rival biker gangs happened as bikers from various groups were gathering to talk, before fights and gunfire broke out.Waco police officers monitoring the gathering also fired on the bikers, killing at least two people.Surveillance footage showed many bikers running from the scene and ducking for cover after gunshots rang out.A smaller number could be seen pointing and firing weapons, slinging chains or participating in fistfights.Law enforcement officers recovered dozens of firearms, knives and other weapons from the restaurant and an adjacent parking lot.A total of 177 bikers were arrested after the shooting, then charged 155 of them with engaging in organised criminal activity. Many were held on a $1 million bond.Former District Attorney Abel Reyna ultimately dropped charges against all but 24 and re-indicted them on riot charges. However, those charges came to an end on Tuesday.“It’s a travesty that so many people were rounded up and then investigated, instead of vice versa,” Mark Snodgrass, president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said on Tuesday.“A lot of these people’s lives were put on hold for four years.”In a statement, Reyna said he disagreed with the overall result, but acknowledged it was the decision of prosecutors on how to proceed with their cases.With reporting from Associated Press. Apr 3rd 2019, 10:45 PM last_img read more