No talks with guerrillas while violence continues: Colombia

first_imgBy Dialogo August 18, 2010 Colombia on August 15 rejected an offer for talks with the country’s most powerful guerrilla group, saying there could never be dialogue with rebels engaged in “terrorism.” “Colombia will never talk with terrorists; that is a lesson we have already learned,” said Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera in an interview with Bogota’s daily El Espectador. “There is no dialogue with those who turn to terrorism,” Rivera said. In a videotaped message released a week before President Juan Manuel Santos took office on August 7, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leader Alfonso Cano offered to open peace talks with the new government. In a separate interview with RCN radio network, Rivera said that government forces knew where Cano is hiding. He is “fleeing from the security forces. He has no rest… we are not going to let up,” Rivera said. After taking office Santos said he would not close the door to talks, but they would have to be “based on the unalterable premise that (the guerrillas) give up arms, kidnapping, extortion, drug trafficking, and intimidation.” The FARC has an estimated 8,000 fighters. Another leftist guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army, is believed to have some 2,000 combatants. A car bomb exploded in Bogota on August 12, wounding seven people and damaging hundreds of buildings. As of August 15 however the government was unwilling to assign blame for the blast. Colombia has been beset for years by violence involving leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitary death squads, and powerful drug cartels. Santos said on August 13 that he did not believe the conditions were ripe for talks with the guerrillas, and ordered Rivera to press ahead with an offensive against them. As defense minister, Rivera is in charge of both the armed forces and the national police.last_img read more

Stone pleased with Badgers’ trip to Hawaiian tourney

first_imgYANA PASKOVA/Herald PhotoThe Wisconsin Badgers women’s basketball team returned to Madison Monday morning from their trip to Hawaii after competing in the Rainbow Wahini Tournament. Despite their first loss of the season to No. 17 DePaul in the championship game, the team gained a great experience by traveling to Honolulu.”What a great trip,” said head coach Lisa Stone. “A tremendous opportunity for our players not only to play three games in three days and play some great competition and to beat a team on their home court in Hawaii, but some great bonding, a great opportunity to be with the football team and watch their game and have some success.”Continued bench production: As the contributions of sophomore phenoms Jolene Anderson and Janese Banks have almost become a given early on this season, the most surprising part of the Badgers women’s basketball team’s trip to Hawaii was how the bench stepped up at some very crucial moments.”I think our bench production certainly stands out statistically if you look at that,” coach Stone said. “Go back to our first game in Idaho State; they had a great, strong start — a tremendous first half and Idaho State cut back in and they didn’t flinch at all. We had people step up and perform very, very well down the stretch and sustain the victory.””Come back the next night against Hawaii trailing at halftime, never panicked,” Stone said. “We had our backs against the wall — Banks was fouled out, Danielle Ward was fouled out, and Ashley Josephson is injured so we have our reserve players in the game with two and a half to play, tie game, and a bit of a hostile environment and we sustained it … I’m very pleased with our bench.”The bench’s continued contributions were highlighted in the Hawaii game as Kjersten Bakke, a typical starter who Stone kept out of the starting lineup in favor of Ward, came up with a couple of critical rebounds in the clutch to secure the Badgers’ lead.Wahini Experiments: During the Rainbow Wahini Tournament, some experiments were made to the style of play — the 10-second backcourt rule and farther 3-point line were being used and may have affected the Badgers in their 76-57 loss to No. 17 DePaul.”This tournament, they ran the experimental rule and it may have had a slight affect, but we really didn’t concern ourselves with it,” Stone said. “From a 3-point shooting percentage-wise from the weekend, the 3-point line was deeper.”Wisconsin/Marquette Rivalry: As the Badgers’ men’s basketball team has created a rivalry with the Golden Eagles, the women’s basketball team is beginning to as well.The Badgers will face Marquette this weekend, but Coach Stone isn’t looking at it as a rivalry matchup, but as rather another chance to improve her squad against a quality opponent.”I think a lot of people would like to look for that [rivalry],” Stone said. “There’s a lot of mutual friendships there and on the other hand it’s an in-state game, an inner state rivalry, and Marquette’s a great team. They got us at their place last year, they’ve played really well, they’ve had great postseason experience and success, and they’ve done a nice job. They’re off to a decent start, but we look to get back home to the Kohl Center and demonstrate this improved basketball team — that’s what I hope I see.” Winning changes everything: With the team off to a hot 4-1 start, Stone has noticed a big difference in the team’s confidence as opposed to her previous two seasons at Wisconsin.”The look on the team’s faces is very different this year and I’m very pleased with that,” she said.Apparently winning changes everything and Stone hopes the team will take the same mindset from this early season success for the remainder of the season.”You don’t want to go back and talk about the last years, but there’s a different pulse in the locker room now,” Stone said. “They want to get better, they want to be good teammates, and they want to be a successful basketball team. I feel that pulse in the locker room and that’s very hard to explain, but it’s two-way without even being verbal and hopefully we’ll send that heartbeat and that passion in the way we want to go.”last_img read more

Djokovic Marches Flawlessly into Semi final

first_imgUS OPEN 2018Novak Djokovic reached the US Open semi-finals after continuing his flawless record in the last eight with victory over Roger Federer’s conqueror John Millman.The 31-year-old earned a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over the Australian world number 55. The Serb, twice champion at Flushing Meadows, has now won all 11 of his quarter-final matches in New York.He goes on to play Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the last four on Friday.Djokovic missed last year’s tournament with an elbow injury but has now reached at least the semi-finals in every appearance at Flushing Meadows since 2007.The victory was not as easy for the sixth seed as the scoreline suggested, Australian Millman providing stoic resistance before Djokovic came through to take his first match point after two hours 49 minutes, just before midnight local time.Djokovic has gone on to reach the final seven times from those 11 straight last-four appearances, and victory over Nishikori would move him alongside Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl’s record appearances total in the men’s showpiece.A bigger piece of history awaits, however, if he can go all the way in New York – a 14th Grand Slam victory would rank him alongside Sampras, and behind only Federer (20) and Nadal (17), in major triumphs.But first he had to get past the energetic Millman on another stuffy night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.Djokovic had breezed past the Australian on grass at Queen’s Club in June – their only previous meeting – dropping just three games.This time he was made to work much harder.The former world number one missed 16 of 20 break points, and was pegged back from 3-1 up in the third set, before winning 12 of the final 15 points to advance.Heat causes more problems as Millman forced off courtA failure to convert break points was not the only problem faced by Djokovic.Not for the first time at the tournament he struggled in the conditions which, although still hot and humid, appeared much easier than on previous nights.He was given some tablets during the second set – but declined to say what they were when asked in his post-match media conference.“I personally have never sweat as much as I have here. Incredible. I have to take at least 10 shirts for every match. It’s literally after two games and you’re soaking,” Djokovic said.“I asked the chair umpire whether they are using some form of ventilation or air conditioning down at the court level, and he says that ‘he’s not aware of it’, that, you know, only what comes through the hallway type of thing.“I think that this tournament needs to address this. I mean, because whether it’s night or day, we just don’t have air down there. It feels like sauna.”Djokovic was also given time violations in successive points when serving at 3-2 in the third set, meaning he lost his first serve while break point down, and Millman duly capitalised.The Australian also suffered with the heat, having to disappear off court at 2-2 in the second set to change his sweat-soaked kit.“[In] these night matches, the humidity goes through the roof,” he said.“It is tricky, but it’s the same for both people. You’re dripping. But, that’s no excuse or anything. I’d play in a swimming pool if I got to play a quarter-final every week at a Grand Slam.”Ball boys and girls had to wipe the court with towels between games, and the USTA issued a statement afterwards confirming the chair umpire allowed Millman to leave the court after determining the surface was “dangerous”.Millman leaves with reputation and ranking enhancedMillman produced a big shock when he inflicted a four-set defeat on Swiss second seed Federer in the last 16, ending the possibility of a meeting between two of the game’s greats in the quarter-finals.The affection of the New York crowd followed Millman into his match against Djokovic – and he thrived on the backing.The 29-year-old, often chatting and interacting with his supporters in the stands, fed off the crowd’s energy as he continued to frustrate Djokovic.He entertained them with some remarkable retrieving, in addition to clutch serving and the odd brilliant winner, on his way to seeing off 11 break points – between the ones Djokovic did convert for a 2-0 lead in the first set and a 5-4 advantage in the second.But he was unable to test the Serb’s serve often and when he did, breaking back to level the third set at 3-3, Djokovic hit straight back.Nevertheless he will leave New York with an enhanced reputation and a career-high ranking of 37 after reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Novak-Djokoviclast_img read more

Hammond’s ‘Give Away Budget’ triggers further ‘nightmare’ for UK gambling

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 Related Articles Share Submit This afternoon, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered the UK’s ‘final budget before Brexit’, promising a ‘big give away’ for UK public services and healthcare.Prior to publishing the 2018 Budget, political commentators expected Chancellor Hammond to deliver a fiscal plan which would support PM Theresa May’s autumn declaration that the ‘era of austerity was coming to an end’.Presenting the 2018 Budget, Chancellor Hammond stated that the Conservative government was fully committed to delivering its funding pledge of a £20 billion cash boost for the NHS.As anticipated by industry leadership, Hammond’s increased public expenditure would see the UK gambling sector hit once again with increased duties.Outlining its 2019 tax plan, the UK Treasury will increase Remote Gambling Duties from 15% to 21% on ‘online games of chance’, a figure that has been labelled as a further ‘nightmare scenario’ for industry stakeholders.“I can confirm that we will increase Remote Gaming Duty on online games of chance, to 21 percent in order to fund the loss of revenue as we reduce FOBT stakes to 2 pounds,” Hammond told parliament.Preparing for future duty impacts, industry leadership will likely seek for a clear definition on categorising ‘online games of chance’.The Treasury would later confirm through a policy document that it would implement its long-awaited FOBTs stake reduction on October 2019, alongside the introduction of its increased RGD charge. UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020last_img read more