Kimone Hines, the 2017 Western Championships class one 100m winner, is going for gold. Hines, an outgoing senior at Green Island High School, says she is looking forward to the ISSA GraceKennedy Boy’s and Girl’s Championships where she will do her best to win in both the 100m and 200m sprints. She was speaking just after winning the shorter event on Saturday at the Western Championships in Montego Bay.The Green Island sixth former took the 100m in 11.95 seconds with a composed performance. Having won a bronze medal in the class one 100m behind Shellece Clark of Edwin Allen Comprehensive High in 2015, and a silver in the class one 200m last year while chasing Ashley Williams, then of Holmwood Technical, Hines has her eye on top spot. “I want to see if I can go for the gold, the 100 or the 200, because I got bronze and silver there already”, she revealed, “so I’m, going to put in the work, train hard and see what I can get out of it.”She described her Western Champs race as ‘great’. “I just went out there and all I have to do was just keep focused and have the confidence in myself and that’s what I went out to do”, she recalled.Michael McIntosh, Hines’ coach at Green Island, spoke highly of her Western Champs performance. “She executed all the phases that we have practised and she’s on the bubble and she is destined to execute well come March and beyond.”When she heard his assessment, she was moved. “Oh my God”, she exclaimed, “he made me cry, yes, honestly.”While she is the highest returner to the class one 200m, the Edwin Allen pair of Clarke and defending champion Patrice Moody will stand in her way in the 100m at Champs when it begins on March 28. Nevertheless, McIntosh is optimistic. “She has a very, very good chance”, he said, noting that her best wind legal time at Western Champs last year was 12.14 seconds, the coach who tutored Odail Todd to the 2011 World Youth Championships gold in the 100 said, “That’s a great improvement at this time of the year and with 41 days to go, or 40 days to go, I have the plan and she will execute it.”McIntosh has reduced her training load since Hines, who has 8 CXC passes, is busy with schoolwork. However, he is aiming to help Hines qualify for the Pan American Games. That could prepare her for the future which will also include university studies.Her presence amongst the best high school sprinters in the country is remarkable for an athlete described by her coach as a late bloomer. He reckons that she has a bright future in the sport.”She’s very, very, very in tune with what is happening around her so I don’t see her stopping here”, he intoned about the young athlete. “I expect her to go as far as the Olympics, the World Championships and beyond”, he concluded.Hines completed her Western Champs career with second place in the 200m. That event was won by Debra Wallace of Herbert Morrison High School, 24.52 to 24.59 seconds for Hines.
talkSPORT’s transfer guru, Warren Haughton, joins Hawksbee and Jacobs to round up all the very latest rumours and gossip.Chelsea star Andre Schurrle could stay at Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window. The Blues forward has been linked with Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.Meanwhile, Koke is desparate to stay at La Liga side Atletico Madrid – despite rumours Man United, Liverpool and Barcelona are all interested in him.Meanwhile the transfer expert talks Hawksbee and Jacobs though the latest reports from the Football League too.Here’s some of the top transfer rumours on talkSPORT.com:Arsenal could follow up Gabriel Paulista deal with move for ANOTHER defenderSpain ace tells Premier League suitors: No deal!Spurs on alert as PSG make u-turn on teenage star’s futureValencia move to tie down young star amid growing interest from ArsenalFormer Leicester and Ipswich man in bid to win MLS dealFormer Wolves defender Zubar nears New York Red Bulls switchCharlton line up loan swoop for Sporting Lisbon defenderCrystal Palace and West Brom told Blackburn striker won’t be sold for less than £5mPochettino suggests Spurs outcast could be on his way after cup clashSouthampton set to move for ‘the best player in the Dutch league’?Newcastle close to agreeing long-term deal with young Spanish starLazio set to finalise move for wantaway West Ham star
Big Mountain Productions in Newry are currently producing a new series called ‘The Lost Village’ to be broadcast on RTÉ during ‘Seachtain na Gaeilge’ March 2013, which will be based on the story of evictions in County Donegal.They will be taking two families back to live in a traditional long-house for a weekend to explore the living conditions in Ireland during the 19th century and in particular during The Land War.The series itself is focusing on the evictions and they have a family from America coming back to Ireland as part of the series. This is a bi-lingual production and we would like to find an Irish speaking family with to take part also. It can also be brothers or sisters, sisters in law or any family connection etc. The children must be over 12 years.Filming will be on 12th 13 14th January in Ulster American Folk ParkIf you can help contact Seán Ó CearbhaillBig Mountain Productions NewryTel: 0483083404600442830834046Email: email@example.comWeb: http://www.bigmountainproductions.com/ IRISH-SPEAKING DONEGAL FAMILY WANTED FOR FILM was last modified: December 12th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal familyfilmIrish Speaking
heading off Carroll explains why he wanted to fail Liverpool medical before £35m move 1 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade GOSSIP RANKED Man United ‘miss out’ on Minamino, West Ham scout Flamengo strikers, Auba wants out Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star three-way race Tottenham have reportedly the strongest interest in the 22-year-old and manager Steve Bruce has predicted a ‘fraught’ few days before the transfer window shuts.“You can’t replace him, it’s as simple as that,” Bruce.“We understand the human side of him. He wants to play in the Premier League, in Europe, in the Champions League. It’s all natural, but he’s an Aston Villa fan, his family are Aston Villa through and through — they were probably in the away end tonight — so it’s an emotional thing for him but he’s young and ambitious.“I’m sure it will be a fraught two or three days before the window closes but the owners have been clear they want him to stay and that’s what we will try and do. At the moment there is no decision to be made because the figures that are being talked about, the owners aren’t even blinking.” LIVING THE DREAM REAL DEAL ‘perfect fit” IN DEMAND As Aston Villa beat Hull 3-1 at the KCOM, chants of ‘we want you to say’ could be heard from the away end.They were talking to Jack Grealish, the midfielder and Villa fan who came through the academy, but has been linked with a deadline day move away. TRANSFER LATEST Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing fear Arsenal ace heading for January exit as German club ready bid for midfielder on his way Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Signing imminent? Man United target ‘on flight’ to England for talks with club Euro expert explains why Liverpool should be so excited about Minamino
Looking to overcome more than 20 years of objections, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Friday that a independent panel of experts will meet Oct. 24 to review the feasibility of building a subway under Wilshire Boulevard. Plans to extend a leg of the Red Line subway under Wilshire ended abruptly in March 1985, after a methane gas explosion erupted under a Ross Dress-for-Less store in the Fairfax district. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, subsequently sponsored legislation that prohibits tunneling under Wilshire Boulevard. Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to reconsider subway bans in Los Angeles and agreed to pay the costs of travel and lodging for the consultants. Waxman, who endorsed Villaraigosa’s election, has been working with the mayor to create the panel. “Wilshire Boulevard is the densest corridor and most heavily traveled bus route in Los Angeles,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “It also is the most logical choice of mass transit investments. This panel will help to determine if subway tunneling is a safe alternative.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Waxman said he was supporting the study, something he had asked for years ago. “We discussed creating an independent review in the 1990s, but the MTA decided not to go forward with one at that time,” Waxman said. “I am pleased we will have an independent study now and look forward to reviewing the panel’s work.” The mayor said he also has been working with Councilman Tom LaBonge, an MTA board member who has spearheaded the idea of reviving subway construction. “I strongly support the work of this peer review panel as they evaluate the feasibility of tunneling so we can move forward with our transportation planning,” said LaBonge, who represents the Westside. Villaraigosa, who also chairs the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, has called for a broad expansion of transit projects, including a subway under Wilshire Boulevard from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. The panel includes experts in tunneling, engineering, transit construction, rail operations and underground safety. It includes three members of the American Public Transportation Association and two from the National Academy of Sciences, who were selected by Waxman. The three APTA members are Henry M. Nutbrown of Pennsylvania, Raymond Sandiford of New York and Jeffrey Hewitt of Virginia. The two other experts are Fred Kissel, a mine safety consultant, and John Christian, a consulting engineer. Villaraigosa said the panel will meet in Los Angeles for three days beginning Oct. 24 and submit its report by November. !dtpo st!Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390rick.orlov@dailyne ws.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Ever since National Geographic announced the completion of a translation of the Gospel of Judas (a 2nd-century apocryphal gospel attributed to, but not authored by, Judas), the news media have been abuzz with speculations that it provides a clearer view of Jesus from Judas’ point of view, and that the early church leaders suppressed it. The Gospel of Judas was known to exist around 180 A.D. but there were no surviving copies till now. Some media reports smack of sensationalism. Example spin-off news articles: LiveScience, MSNBC News. Few seem to be asking about the authenticity of the document or the credibility of its claims; the burden of proof is being put on Bible-believers. An underlying assumption is that any contrarian view must be more reliable than the accepted view. Once the story hit the press, articles supporting the traditional canon of the New Testament (NT) have started appearing. Collin Thomas wrote one for Christianity Today, and Al Mohler wrote one for Baptist Press. Union University profs also responded in another article on Baptist Press, calling the Gospel of Judas both “heresy and unreliable history.” Responding to the argument by Princeton professor Elaine Pagels that Gnostics did not consider their views heretical, Greg Thornbury said, “When do heretics admit that what they believe is, in fact, heresy? Whether one is talking about the fourth century or the 21st century, there has been no shortage of people trying to discredit the Christian faith.” Ted Olsen on Christianity Today listed two dozen links to news articles discussing the Gospel of Judas, pro and con. A couple of days later, Biola University posted a response in Q&A format by Clinton E. Arnold, professor and chairman of the Department of New Testament. So rather than running for cover, many Bible scholars are engaging the issue. Donald Senior said in an AP story on Fox News, “Let a vigorous debate on the significance of this fascinating ancient text begin.”Update 04/22/2005: Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times (copied in the International Herald-Tribune) wrote, “Jesus-Judas manuscript is genuine, but is its story true?” Baptist Press printed an article, “Orthodox scholars: gospel of Judas not a Christian document.” Rev. Mark Creech responded also on Agape Press. The May issue of National Geographic, however, contained an expanded article similar in content to the press release.What has become of National Geographic? Right before Easter, they published two reports trying to put Christians on the defensive: the silly claim by Doron Nof that Jesus walked on ice instead of water (04/04/2006), and now passing off this phony gospel with a conspiracy-theory flavor that the church “doesn’t want you to know” the truth about Judas. Why are they doing this? Is this objective scholarship, or activism? Think for a moment what would happen if they did this to the Koran. Imagine the consequences that might ensue, considering the some hundred people that died over cartoons of Mohammed. Or consider if NG made a crusade of debunking native American beliefs. Only with Christianity is there a continual onslaught to undermine a religion’s historical foundations with impunity, and for added insult, right before their holiest time of the year. Why the asymmetry in so-called political correctness? Since Christians are a forgiving lot, let’s set aside such feelings for now, and talk about the new document. The Gospel of Judas is merely one of many apocryphal, spurious writings of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. This is not news; though we didn’t have a copy of this one till now, others are well known from antiquity or from the Nag Hammadi cache of Gnostic texts found in Egypt in 1945. Scholars have read them, analyzed them and put them in context. As with any long-lost manuscript, the Gospel of Judas is historically interesting and worthy of analysis. The scientists who dated and translated this document did exemplary work. Ancient texts, reliable or not, can shed light on the period in which they were written and on the beliefs of certain sects at the time. Whether its contents have historical validity is a completely separate question. Compare, for instance, the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are of immense value for historians and for textual criticism of the Old Testament manuscripts, but whether the teachings of the Qumran community accurately reflected Judaism is a separate question. Scholars debate whether they were the Essenes of which Josephus wrote, and what was their relationship to the priestly class of Jewish believers in Jerusalem or to the Diaspora or to other Jewish sects. The contrast between true Christianity and Gnosticism is more stark. Sure, there were spin-off churches and various sects, but Christians and Jews have a standard: the Scriptures. The NT canon (from a word meaning measuring rod) is to true Christianity what the OT canon was to Judaism: a rule, a guide, a trustworthy body of inspired writings that distinguishes the true faith from the false. Gnosticism is not Christianity, and Christianity is not Gnosticism; their doctrines are poles apart. We don’t need spurious writings to tell us what Christianity is. We have the evidence right in front of us; the earlier, more reliable, more credible writings of the real apostles and their companions, and the words and acts of Jesus Himself as recorded by eyewitnesses. Even unbelievers should acknowledge that you should get your information from the best sources available, not from later writings of doubtful authenticity used by heretical sects. (Whether these sects considered themselves heretical is completely irrelevant; if you feel six feet tall but the yardstick measures you at three feet, sorry—enjoy your delusion.) The canonical NT writings all date from the 1st century, and some from just a few decades, or less than a decade, from the events described. This is widely acknowledged by reputable historians, both secular and Christian. There is an embarrassment of riches of manuscripts of these texts: thousands of them, not to mention translations and citations by early church fathers. Long before the present NT canon become “official” in the days of Constantine, and long before there was a centralized church authority, early Christians shared a broad consensus on which texts were authentic and inspired. The ones that were written by the original apostles or their close associates (such as Mark and Luke), including Paul’s epistles, were accepted by Christians all over the Roman empire. There were a few without complete acceptance: documents such as II Peter and Revelation were accepted by some and not others; this may have been due to availability. On the other hand, some documents like the Didache and Shepherd of Hermas enjoyed wide popularity for awhile but either were not considered inspired like the apostolic writings, or eventually declined in acceptance – not by official decree, but, again, by consensus. Before there was a Catholic church with a centralized authority, church councils later codified what was already the accepted canon of the NT. In the councils, there was some debate about the few books enjoying wide but not universal acceptance; the debates concluded with a strong affirmation of the present 27 books (a list nearly identical to those of some apostolic fathers much earlier). How the NT canon came to be is a fascinating subject that will not be explored in detail here. The main point is that the NT canon was not some arbitrary decree of a hierarchy trying to suppress minority views within a church, but an affirmation and formalization of the beliefs of Christians from around the Empire about what constituted Scripture – the word of God. Into this milieu appeared a number later documents that were either (1) known to be from Gnostic and other heretical sects, or (2) were falsely attributed to apostles or other first-century characters. These are called pseudepigrapha, or falsely-ascribed epigraphs – i.e., spurious writings. The Gospel of Judas is both. As Collin Hansen wrote in Christianity Today (good article), the Gospel of Judas is not a gospel, and it was not written by Judas. It would “sure change things, if it were true.” But it isn’t. It’s a phony document, written by a heretical cult. So why the media attention? That there would be competing documents with the New Testament should come as no surprise. Look at the copycats that follow any successful movie or book today. As Christianity spread, so would motivations rise for competing with it or corrupting it with other religious traditions. This had already begun in the book of Acts (e.g., see Paul’s warning to the Ephesian elders, Acts 20). There were Judaizers trying to pull it toward legalism, and Roman mystery religions trying to pull it toward secret wisdom, and philosophers trying to meld it with Greek philosophy. Jesus, Paul, Peter and Jude all warned of false teachers that would quickly arise and mislead many. Already in Paul’s time there were hints of the Gnostic sects that the early church had to confront (cf. the warnings in Paul’s epistle to the Colossians, and I John). There have been off-shoot and off-beat sects all through history. True believers have always heeded the stern Biblical commands to guard against false teachers and deceivers who pollute the word of God with falsehoods out of the imaginations of their own heart. Comparison of Gnostic teachings with the core of the New Testament doctrine easily shows the differences. The New Testament is remarkably consistent in doctrine, though written by men with a variety of backgrounds (fisherman, Jewish scholars, a doctor, a tax collector, and more), whereas the Gospel of Judas is clearly a Gnostic polemic dressed up as a historical narrative. It is one of many false “gospels” that arose in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Naturally, a fake would get more attention if it could be passed off as written by Mary, Judas, Peter, Thomas, Barnabas or other (by now) famous characters. (This particular fake was authored by the Cainites, a Gnostic sect devoted to praising the villains of the Bible.) None of these spurious writings had the wide acceptance of the New Testament texts, and many were overtly denounced as heretical by local elders and Christian writers. It’s easy to see why; they contained crazy ideas, or doctrines clearly contradictory to Scripture. The Gospel of Judas falls into this category. Perhaps some copies were destroyed, but more likely, it was not copied because it was known to be phony. The copy we have now dates from about 300 AD. Irenaeus knew about it in 180 and condemned it in Against Heresies (notice this is long before any centralized church or official councils), though its original date is unknown. No serious scholar believes it has any real connection to Judas. While any new archaeological find is interesting and worth study, a book like the Gospel of Judas, a translation of an earlier work, of doubtful antiquity and likely forgery, should not be put on the same shelf as the more trustworthy and verifiable manuscripts of the New Testament. For these reasons, is it not strange that the media are leaping to conspiracy theories that the early church tried to cover up these texts? Read the New Testament, especially the sources accepted as earliest and most genuine by all reputable historians, and the differences are clear. What does straw have in common with gold? Yet NG and other news sources seem beside themselves to find ways to call the teachings of Jesus into question. This is not scholarship; this is agenda-driven advocacy. Let a modern hypothetical case illustrate the point. Suppose Michael Moore writes a secret biography of George Washington and attributes it to Benedict Arnold. (Moore is able to maintain his anonymity somehow.) A few copies get into circulation but are widely dismissed by scholars as forgeries and not worthy of any serious consideration. The book is a flop; few copies ever get circulated, but it gets notoriety from high-profile book reviews, mostly negative. A thousand years pass, and some archaeologist finds a German translation of Moore’s book. For a long time in between, historians had possessed a wealth of primary sources and reputable biographies of Washington. They had heard about Moore’s book only from reviewers who denounced it. Now, the German version appears and is translated. Radiocarbon dating places it somewhere about 200 years after Washington lived. Scholars read the words of now-forgotten Michael Moore impersonating Benedict Arnold, Washington’s confidant turned traitor, telling new secrets about the father of our country. Among other shocking revelations, “Arnold” claims that he only defected to the English because Washington asked him to. Would it make any sense to give such a book equal or superior standing against the reputable biographies that actually date back to the time of Washington himself? Of course not; that would make the National Enquirer blush. Then why all the hubbub over the Gospel of Judas and other apocryphal writings that were known and discounted by the heirs of the true apostles, who knew about and refuted the heretical sects that were putting out these teachings? What if new writings of David Koresh or Jim Jones were to surface? Some historians would probably be interested in them, and would benefit by learning details about the beliefs that led them to do what they did. Most Christians would lose nothing by remaining ignorant of such things and focusing, instead, on the real Scriptures. Light is more satisfying than darkness. If NG, the New York Times and the popular press have an axe to grind against Christians, and if they hold a political and social agenda overtly contrary to the principles of the New Testament, let them say so; it is their right in a free country (as long as they are not getting government funding). But if they want any credibility, they owe it to themselves to get their facts straight and follow best practices of scholarship. Then, and only then, can an intelligent discussion take place.(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
14 March 2014 The Mandela Day Libraries Project, an innovative response to the shortage of libraries at South African schools, delivered its 36th and 37th libraries – made from custom-adapted 12-metre shipping containers – to Moime Primary and Refentse Primary in Limpopo province in February. The libraries were provided by charity Breadline Africa and sponsored by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Breadline Africa and the GIA are among a number of NGOs and corporates that have partnered with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to drive the container library project, with corporates providing financial support, sponsorship of books and employee volunteers, and literacy organisations, book donation agencies and publishers providing books, educational equipment and materials. Launched in 2011, the project has given thousands of disadvantaged pupils across South Africa access to books they otherwise would not have had. The arrival of the 36th Mandela Day library at Moime Primary, south-east of Tzaneen, on 19 February was met with an enthusiastic response from the school and community. Serving approximately 300 learners from Grades R to 7, Moime Primary is now the only school in the entire district with a library. With approximately 1 400 books, the library is off to a great start. Breadline Africa’s partner NGO, Soul Buddyz, will be donating funds to reinstate life skills and literacy programmes at the school. On the following day, 20 February, the 37th Mandela Day library was delivered to Refentse Primary in the heart of the Namakgale district near Phalaborwa. The school has over 800 learners and is severely overcrowded, with over 100 pupils crammed into each classroom. Speaking at the handover, Room to Read director Chris Mothupi told the learners to “continue working hard and be diligent”. Room to Read, an international literacy development organisation which has partnered with the school, has greatly improved the literacy and language skills of its pupils. Marked across the world on 18 July each year, Mandela Day aims to inspire people to take action to change the world for the better and, in doing so, to build a global movement for good. Breadline Africa’s highly successful Container Programme converts old shipping containers into vital community structures for a range of projects including community kitchens (Cans4Feeding), child day-care centres (Cans4Learning), health clinics and ablution blocks (Cans4Hygiene), classrooms for teaching vocational skills (Cans4Skills), and sports club changing rooms (Cans4Clubs). SAinfo reporter and Nelson Mandela Day
Tags:#Sponsors#web Editor’s note: We offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write posts and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.It happens to all of us. You hear from your support desk, call center, or customers via Twitter that there is a problem with your website. Servers crash, applications break, and/or networks slow down to a snail’s pace. So, what should you do when it happens?Don’t panic! Here are five steps that can help you to hunt down the cause and ease the pain of your website woes:Step 1: Communicate With Your Audience Priority one: inform your website visitors before you do anything else. Let them know you are aware of the issues and that you are working on it. Read more on the benefits of transparency here.Step 2: Inform IT If you’re not in the IT department yourself, let them know there might be something wrong. They have their own ways to find possible causes, and better still – they can fix them!Step 3: See for yourself Do what everyone does: open your website in your browser of choice. If the page doesn’t show up, or the page is blank, unfamiliar, or loads slow, move on to Step four. Even if the website looks okay in your browser, you may still want to check it from another location outside your corporate network via a site like downornot.com.Step 4: Collect More InformationThere are a myriad of free tools that can help you diagnose website issues:Check for possible network issues with ping from over 50 locations worldwide: just-ping.com. Another way to see if the network is the cause is by using trace route: watchmouse.com/traceroute/. If the DNS is not working, nothing works, so check your site with: intodns.com and just-dnslookup.com. Check if there are general Internet issues here: internettrafficreport.com. Your site might work in some browsers, but not in all. Find out here: browsershots.org.Slowness might be the cause of the problems, take a speed exam for your site: gtmetrix.com.Step 5: Get it Fixed! Now that you have a range of information about the possible cause and characteristics of the problem, contact the appropriate party and provide them with useful input. Depending on your organization you might just be the one having things fixed!Mark Pors is CTO and co-founder of WatchMouse, a company that monitors websites and services 24×7 from over 50 locations worldwide and delivers detailed insight about their performance, uptime, and functionality. Inspired by the dashboards of Amazon and Google, WatchMouse introduced Public Status Pages (PSP) in early 2010. Companies like Twitter, Mozilla, WordPress, and many more use this product to be even more transparent to their customers, users and developers. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… rww sponsor 1 Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Army operations in Kashmir are heading to a point where other processes, especially political ones, can take over so that soldiers can return to the borders, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of strategic 15 Corps, Lieutenant General Anil Kumar Bhatt, told The Hindu in an exclusive interview in Srinagar. “The results of operations are never seen in the short term but we are making headway. The Army can always create conditions of peace and tranquillity for other processes. Presently, we are reaching there. In the long-term strategy, any Army would prefer to do its primary role of protecting the borders,” said Lt. Gen. Bhatt. He said the launching pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) saw a dip during elections in Pakistan. “It has increased since then, as 250 to 300 terrorists are waiting to infiltrate. What they (Pakistan) speak publicly has not changed anything on the ground,” he said. On the killing of 37 militants in November, the most for any month in the ongoing offensive, the Army officer said the change in tactics was yielding results. “One, there is cooperation from people. Two, we shortened operations and finished them in the night. The idea is not to get involved in crowd control. We have slowly learnt our lessons. It’s equally important for us to avoid civilian casualties.” He said the swelling of militant ranks with local boys joining them, even two years after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing, was an area of concern. “There is a bench strength terrorists maintain and fill it with people who are on the sidelines waiting to get recruited. The social media has been a challenge to us on this. Youths are radicalised by online propaganda. Photos of youth posing with guns posted online is done as part of a strategy, so that the door for return is shut.” He said Pakistan succeeded in exploiting the “situation of alienation in south Kashmir” to fill militant ranks with emotionally vulnerable youths. “The trend has waned considerably in the past two months. It had reached 24 recruits a month in June-July,” said the Army commander. “What is also turning the tide against the terrorists is that a lot of people have been at the receiving end of the terrorist atrocities of the worst kind and are refusing to provide shelter to them,” he added. He said targeting policemen or security forces personnel at home or during leave “was a new low on the part of terror groups.” “There is an attempt by the terrorists to compensate their loss of capabilities by targeting innocents and unarmed personnel, and adopt the methods of ISIS and Al-Qaeda for infusing fear,” said Lt. Gen. Bhatt. However, the Army will abide by its rule not to go after “terrorists’ families or unarmed civilians”, he said. Approximately 300 terrorists are still operating in the Valley, he said, with 175-180 in South Kashmir, while 57 surrendered or were apprehended this year. The IS, the officer said, has attraction to the extent of its glamour. “It is a matter of great concern for the separatists’ Joint Resistance Leadership. Its strength remains in single digit,” he said. Lt. Gen. Bhatt said there was no case where the soldiers violated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during operations this year, even in the incidents of Kulgam and Shopian, which left seven civilians dead. “There was no crossing of line. The casualties have been a result of cross-firing or where the crowd posed a danger to the life of soldiers or in cases of grave provocations. Houses are destroyed as a last measure. During the operations in November, only in 30% cases houses were damaged,” he said.
Sourav Ganguly ruled out any possibility of India playing Pakistan in bilateral cricket after the Pulwama terror attack. The former India captain also said that he completely understands the reaction of Indians, saying he too feels the same.”Whatever happened in Pulwama last week was really sad…it is the worst possible thing that could ever happen. And, whatever reactions came from the people of India…was right. There is no chance of a bilateral series with Pakistan after this incident,” Sourav Ganguly was quoted as saying by a media channel.”I can also understand the sentiments of people asking India not to play Pakistan in the World Cup and I feel the government should take strong action on this issue. The after effect of this should be strong from India,” Ganguly added.Sourav Ganguly also said that the fact is BCCI under the control of the Supreme Court almost renders itself powerless at the moment and are not in a position to take any strong action.”I don’t think anything is left in BCCI after the Supreme Court situation. There are no office bearers left to take a decision but I feel that BCCI should take a strong decision on the issue and send a strong no nonsense message.””This is a 10-team World Cup and every team plays every team and I feel if India doesn’t play a match in the World Cup, it won’t be an issue,” Ganguly added.With the calls for India to boycott Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup growing, Sourav Ganguly chose to stay pragmatic. He explained to India TV that it would be really difficult for ICC to have a World Cup tournament without India.advertisement”ICC can’t go on with a World Cup without India and I feel it will be really difficult for ICC to go on with a World Cup without India. But, you also have to see if India have the power to stop ICC from doing such a thing,” Ganguly said.”But, I feel a strong message should be sent,” Ganguly added.Also Read | India should put pressure on ICC to throw Pakistan out of the World Cup: Chetan ChauhanAlso Read | World Cup not more important than the country, say Harbhajan and AzharuddinAlso Read | What will be the worth of a World Cup if India haven’t beaten Pakistan? Aakash Chopra