FRENCH LICK, Ind. – Franklin County was among seven county Farm Bureaus recognized for outstanding achievement during Indiana Farm Bureau’s state convention this past weekend.The recognition was through INFB’s county recognition program. All 92 county Farm Bureaus participated in the program.The Franklin County young farmer program was awarded for its community outreach efforts. They support local food pantries, buy livestock for underprivileged families at the 4-H auction, support needy families at Christmas, sell ice cream at the county fair, host a truck and tractor pull each spring and purchased grain rescue tubes for local fire departments. They also have 2,500 fans on their Facebook page.The county also received an impact award for public relations and education. Franklin County purchased two grain rescue tubes, two grain evacuation augers, rescue harnesses and rigging for their local fire departments. They also provided training for local farmers and volunteer firemen. A local youth had recently perished in a grain bin accident, so this training event was especially close to their hearts.Other counties receiving special recognition include Jefferson, Kosciusko, Marshall, Montgomery, Pike, Washington.
Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, the Minister with Special Responsibility for the OPW and Flood Relief, has promised to revisit parts of Donegal which suffered major flood damage in August 2017.The Minister is due to visit the county with his officials in a fresh bid to progress works for dedicated flood relief and mitigation measures throughout Inishowen and other affected areas.Minister Moran made the commitment this morning during discussions with Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty at an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting. Deputy Doherty highlighted the mixed progress made on flood and coastal erosion schemes which were promised for a number of communities.Solutions are being sought for regular flood-affected areas including Finn Valley basin, Downings, Glenties, Kerrykeel and Burnfoot, while the Minister had also committed to progress efforts aimed at tackling coastal erosion at sites throughout West Donegal including at Maghery, Magheraroarty, Carrickfinn and Portnoo.The Minister is due to review the mixed pace of progress on these relief schemes during his visit.Sinn Féin Deputy Pearse Doherty said there has been increased concern locally following recent heavy rainfall. Deputy Doherty said: “This week, owing to recent heavy rains and localised flooding in parts of the county, I’ve been contacted by countless local residents, businesses and community groups in areas such as the Finn Valley who are justifiably concerned at the lack of progress made so far to actually develop these schemes.“They are fearful for their properties and understandably do not want a repeat of floods which have devastated their communities following a number of notable flood events in recent years.”Doherty said he was delighted with the response to his invite to the Minister’s willingness to take action on works.Deputy Doherty added: “I of course very much welcome the commitment the Minister has given at this morning’s session, and I am sure that communities in Donegal will also take some solace from this news.“In the interim, I will continue to work closely with all the communities involved in the hope that everything which can be done to highlight their needs and lobby on their behalf is done to have these vital projects expedited and delivered.” Minister to revisit Donegal for flood scheme inspections was last modified: March 7th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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:flood reliefminister kevin boxer moran
South African art has always taken on the unique flavour of the country, from the 4 000-year-old cave paintings of the San Bushmen – the richest collection of rock art in Africa – to the homegrown conceptual art movement that sprang up as apartheid came to an end in the 1990s.Elephants Charging over Quartos Country (1870) by Thomas Baines (1820-1875)Sections in this article:The 4 000-year-old galleryColonial art The 20th century and apartheidImpact of African forms Emerging black artistsThe outsiders’ viewApartheid in crisis: 1970s and 1980sConceptual art of the 1990sCrafts: the reinvention of traditionUseful links The 4 000-year-old gallerySan Bushman rock painting in the Drakensberg range of mountains.The San Bushmen, Africa’s oldest hunter-gatherers, lived in the massive Drakensberg range of mountains from 4 000 years ago until they were driven out by colonialists in the 19th century. Over that time, they created a vast body of art on the walls of caves and rock shelters – the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in sub-Saharan Africa.This rich collection prompted the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation – Unesco – to inscribe the Drakensberg as a mixed natural and cultural world heritage site in 2 000. The paintings, Unesco said, “represent the spiritual life of the San people” and are “outstanding both in quality and diversity of subject”.“The San people lived in the mountainous Drakensberg area for more than four millennia, leaving behind them a corpus of outstanding rock art, which throws much light on their way of life and their beliefs,” Unesco said.“The authenticity of the paintings, and their shelter and cave settings, as a reflection of the beliefs of the San peoples, are without question.”Watch: The world heritage San Bushman rock art of the Drakensberg:Colonial artDuring the early colonial era, white South African artists tended to concentrate on depicting what they saw as a “new world”, in accurate detail. Artists such as Thomas Baines travelled the country recording its flora, fauna, people and landscapes – a form of reporting for those back in the metropolis.Towards the end of the 19th century, painters Jan Volschenk and Pieter Hugo Naudé and the sculptor Anton van Wouw began to establish a locally rooted art. Their work – the first glimpse of an artistic vision that engaged with life as lived in South Africa – marked the moment the country began to acquire its own national identity, with the 1910 Union of South Africa marking the formal end of the colonial era.The 20th century and apartheidAn Extensive View of Farmlands by JH Pierneef (1886-1957)In the first decades of the 20th century, the Dutch-born painter JH Pierneef brought a coolly geometric sensibility to the South African landscape; he also, in a way that fed into Afrikaner nationalist ideology, found it bereft of human inhabitants.By the 1930s, two women artists, Maggie Laubscher and Irma Stern, brought the techniques and sensibilities of post-impressionism and expressionism to South African art. Their bold colour and composition, and highly personal point of view, rather scandalised those with old-fashioned concepts of acceptable art. Yet younger artists such as Gregoire Boonzaier, Maud Sumner and Moses Kottler were rejoicing in this new spirit of cosmopolitanism.The apartheid years (1948-1994) witnessed a great diversity in South African art – ranging from landscape painting to abstract art. There was engagement with European and American currents, but also a fiercely local sense of what it meant to be an artist in this country during troubled times.Inevitably, black artists were largely neglected. It was left to white artists, endowed with training, resources and supportive galleries, to build a corpus of South African art.After World War II, returning soldiers and some immigrants brought European ideas to the local art world. In the 1940s, Jean Welz, for instance, born in Austria in 1900, brought a detailed, nuanced and sophisticated style to still lifes, portraits, nudes and landscape paintings. Maurice van Essche, born in Belgium in 1906, applied the modernist techniques of his teacher Matisse to specifically African subject matter.Impact of African forms This detail of a mural by Walter Battiss in the foyer of the Pretoria city hall reveals the influence San Bushman rock painting had on his work.Meanwhile, African forms themselves began to have an impact on the work of white artists. An awareness of art forms ranging from those of the ancient Egyptians to San Bushman rock art increasingly influenced South African artists from the 1950s onwards.Walter Battiss, for one, had developed an interest in rock art long before he became an artist in the 1930s. Until his death in 1982, Battiss returned repeatedly to the motifs and styles of San rock art. In Symbols of Life (1967), for instance, San-type figures and patterns become stylised into a kind of symbolic alphabet.Other artists found different ways of interacting with the visual stimuli of Africa, whether by adapting its outward forms or finding ways to incorporate its textures into the work.Alexis Preller, for instance, created fantastically detailed canvases influenced by the European surrealists of the 1920s and 1930s. Beginning in the late 1940s, Preller painted African scenes and themes such as The Kraal and Hieratic Women, but these were not realistic portraits of African life: instead, they were reinvented by Preller’s startling visual imagination.Cecil Skotnes, by contrast, took a leaf from Picasso’s book – the European art revolution instigated by the great Spaniard had, in part, been generated by his appreciation of African masks. Skotnes became South Africa’s master of the woodcut, bringing European modernism into fruitful collision with African styles.Meanwhile, a host of white artists were engaging with the South African landscape in interesting ways – though such formalism was increasingly criticised during the struggle against apartheid for its detachment from the political situation.Emerging black artists Song of the Pick (1947) by Gerard Sekoto (1913-1993)By contrast, black artists such as Gerard Sekoto and George Pemba concentrated on depicting their realities and environments in a direct, though forcefully expressionist, manner.From the 1930s onward, Sekoto portrayed urban African life in places such as Sophiatown and District Six, vital and tumultuous hotspots of an emerging though unacknowledged black culture.In Sekoto’s works of the early 1940s, such as Street Scene, bustling African figures are placed in the context of their often denuded environment, while Yellow Houses (the first work by a black artist bought by the Johannesburg Art Gallery), reduces the human presence, focusing instead on the environment itself. In Song of the Pick, naturalism gives way to severe stylisation: a rank of workers wield picks in unison, forming a powerful image of African labour; a white overseer’s figure is dwarfed, even threatened, by this phalanx of diggers.In 1947, Sekoto left for Paris. Illness and intermittent impoverishment meant that his work never again reached the heights it had in South Africa.George Pemba, by contrast, stayed in the township of Motherwell near Port Elizabeth, living into his 90s and patiently continuing to paint despite the lack of public acclaim. His often naïvely styled work focused on the simple lives of poor black people, humbly and sometimes humorously evincing their fundamental humanity, though he also treated themes such as the story of the Xhosa prophetess Nongqawuse of the 19th century.Increasingly, and inevitably, black artists began to give voice to a political sensibility that left behind the realist depiction of township life. Lack of resources meant that many had to rely on media other than oil-painting, but making a virtue of necessity gave added force to their work. Dumile Feni (known as Dumile), for instance, became a master of drawing, often in ballpoint pen.Dumile’s sense of anger and despair fed into work of extraordinary power; his distorted figures seemed to have been physically deformed by the very forces of society. Called “the Goya of the townships”, he painted his own version of Picasso’s Guernica, a cry of pain at human suffering. Dumile went into exile in 1968 and died in New York in 1991.Black artists such as Azaria Mbatha and John Muafangejo also made striking use of the accessible and relatively cheap medium of the linocut. In the 1980s and 1990s, artists such as William Zulu, Vuyile Cameron Voyifwa, Cyprian Shilakoe and others extended linocut work into what has become practically a subgenre of its own.The outsiders’ view The Rice Lady by Vladimir Tretchikoff (1913-2006).Meanwhile, the idiosyncratic Jackson Hlungwane, discovered by the mainstream community only late in his life, produced a vast body of sculpture in wood and built environments expressing his own highly individual religious world. It contains a multitude of creatures both mythical and real, as well as a large cast of characters.In this he has something in common with another “outsider artist”, Helen Martins, who obsessively peopled her small-town home – known as the Owl House – with sculptures of concrete and found objects, up to her suicide in 1976.Yet South Africa’s most successful “outsider” artist is perhaps the Russian émigré Vladimir Tretchikoff, who developed a distinctive style in which arch sentimentality was rendered with virtuoso formal exactitude.Tretchikoff had considerable commercial acumen, turning paintings such as The Dying Swan and Chinese Girl (also known informally as The Blue Lady) into prints and selling millions around the world. To the post-modern eye, Tretchikoff’s work, long scoffed at as the peak of kitsch, now has a distinctive ironic charm.From the 1960s on, many South African artists responded to developments in American and British art. The severe yet sensual work of Cecily Sash showed the impact of post-painterly abstraction and later “op art”; the playful surfaces of Helmut Starke and Kevin Atkinson opened the dialogue with pop art.A wide range of styles and modes were now available to South African artists, and the likes of Judith Mason and Andrew Verster extended the traditions of oil painting into personal expressions of life, society and the world around them.Apartheid in crisis: 1970s and 1980s The Conservationists Ball (1985) by William Kentridge (1955-)As the apartheid state became more repressive in the 1970s and 1980s, many artists faced the harsh realities of South African life, sometimes obliquely, sometimes head-on.In the early 1980s, for instance, Paul Stopforth made a series of works dealing with police torture – the cause of the death of resistance heroes such as Bantu Steve Biko. And Robert Hodgins satirised figures of power in paintings that turned leaders into sinister but laughable echoes of Alfred Jarry’s mad king Ubu.In paintings, lithographs and sculpture, Norman Catherine developed the playful sensibilities of Walter Battiss into a disturbing private menagerie of threatening and threatened theriomorphs and larger-than-life human figures.The crowded collages, pastels and charcoals of Helen Sebidi spoke of the struggle of human life; her figures seem to battle upwards, towards the picture plane, as though they were drowning.William Kentridge used expressionist drawings and highly developed personal metaphors, symbols and characters to expose the hypocrisies and ironies of white South African life. More recently, he has employed his powerful drawing technique in “animated” films and installations, and the set design of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.Penny Siopis tackled femininity and history in dense, allusive paintings, and in installations, photographs and other conceptual works.In the 1980s, “resistance art” was increasingly recognised as a genre of expression directed at the white elite’s oppressive exercise of power. For example, trade union posters and T-shirts used imagery that had something in common with the Russian constructivists as well as African art. And anonymous artists placed images of state violence (or bewildering dream reflections) at traffic intersections.Conceptual art of the 1990s The Butcher Boys by Jane Alexander is one of the most famous contemporary sculptures to come out of South Africa. (Photo: Laurent Chicoineau, Flickr)Conceptual art in South Africa seemed to come into its own in the 1990s. Events such as the two Johannesburg Biennales (1995 and 1997) contributed to a new dialogue between local artists and currents from other countries. Media such as video, performance and installation took the place of painting.Jeremy Wafer, for instance, used photography, earth, and fibreglass sculpture to tackle issues such as borders and boundaries.The complex installations of Sue Williamson used found and reworked materials to speak of memory and history. Sandile Zulu made paintings out of the unpredictable marks of fire on surfaces, or created sculptural tableaux from natural materials.Even refuse was turned into suggestive assemblages and collages by Moshekwa Langa. Steven Cohen made drag into a form of sculpture-performance that addressed identity and marginality, while Kendell Geers interrogated the very process of artmaking itself.Other artists put a conceptual spin on traditional artforms: Jane Alexander, for example, took sculpture into new realms with disturbing figures that place the human form in extremis or subject it to frightening transformations, while Jo Ractliffe worked with photography to investigate personal and familial memory, death, decay and love. Hentie van der Merwe also used photographs, taken or found, to talk about the body in an age of HIV/Aids.Crafts: the reinvention of tradition The elaborate beadwork of the Ndebele tradition. (Image: Media Club South Africa. For more free photos, visit the photo library.)While the “high art” continues to blossom in South Africa, the market for crafts has expanded to include every possible form of traditional artwork.There is a host of work in traditional media on the market. Artists are constantly developing the repertoire of African crafts – from intricate and near life-size beaded wire sculpture to tableware, ornaments and embroidered cloth, to stunning costume jewellery, welded cast-iron objects, folk painting and more.At the same time, the status of the traditionally anonymous maker of craft works is changing: “folk art” has made inroads into “high art”. For example, in the 1990s the work of late ceramicist Bonnie Ntshalintshali went well beyond the confines of traditional African pottery, yet her exquisite creations could conceivably still be used at the dinner table.The Ndebele tradition of house-painting exploded with the advent of commercial paints, giving rise to artists such as Esther Mahlangu, whose adaptations of the highly coloured geometric designs adorned everything from cars to aeroplanes.Notwithstanding the appearance of celebrity “folk artists”, ordinary craft continues to thrive – the main examples being beadwork, pottery, basketry and wooden carving.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] linksArtThrobArtslinkAfrican Art CentreContemporary Art in South AfricaDavid Krut Publishing and Arts ResourceJohans Borman Fine Art GallerySouth African Rock Art Digital ArchiveSouth African Virtual Art GalleryArtist websitesIrma SternGerard SekotoGeorge PembaDumile FeniNorman CatherineMajor art galleriesAlliance Française (Johannesburg)Andrew Walford Shongweni Pottery Gallery (Durban)Art on Paper (Johannesburg)Art.b (Cape Town)Artists Under the Sun (Johannesburg)ArtSpace Durban (Durban)Association for Visual Arts (Cape Town)Bag Factory (Johannesburg)BAT Centre (Durban)Bell-Roberts Art Gallery (Cape Town)Cape Gallery (Cape Town)Carmel Art Original (Cape Town)Carnegie Art Gallery (Durban)Cherie de Villiers Fine Art Gallery (Johannesburg)Everard Read Gallery (Cape Town)Everard Read Gallery (Johannesburg)Gallery Momo (Johannesburg)Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg)Greatmore Studios (Cape Town)Irma Stern Museum (Cape Town)Johans Borman Fine Art Gallery (Cape Town)Michaelis Collection (Cape Town)Pretoria Art Museum (Pretoria)Rose Korber Art Consultancy (Cape Town)South African National Gallery (Cape Town)Standard Bank Gallery (Johannesburg)Tatham Art Gallery (Durban)
The Children’s Monologues is a spoken-word performance piece of soliloquies and testimonies of South African children about their country, performed by some of the biggest names in international film and television. The show had its New York debut on 13 November 2017.The Alexandra pantsula dance group Via Vyndal were personally selected by director Danny Boyle to perform in New York, in The Children’s Monologues, on 13 November 2017. (Image: Via Vyndal Facebook page)CD AndersonThe show, first performed at London’s Old Vic theatre in 2010, features a host of Hollywood and British acting royalty performing the monologues. Previous performances featured stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nicole Kidman.For the New York show, held at the famous Carnegie Hall, performers included Anne Hathaway, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Trevor Noah. The once-off show, a benefit for Dramatic Need, an international NGO that develops the arts across Africa, was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire).The New York show also featured South African music and dance, including the international debut performance by South African pantsula dance troupe Via Vyndal.A production of the show was also performed in tandem in South Africa on the same day. Acclaimed local theatre director James Ngcobo presented the South African performance with an all-female cast of top South African actresses, including Pearl Thusi, Fiona Ramsay and Lesedi Job, at Johannesburg’s famous Market Theatre.The monologuesThe monologues were written by South African children about their experiences of living in the country. The stories are both harrowing and joyful: ranging from cherished moments of youthful exuberance to indelible accounts of young people’s struggle against violent crime and detached patriarchy. The monologues are comic and tragic, real and imagined, poignant and traumatic.“The monologues are a vehicle for audiences and actors to connect with the children and to almost see inside the children’s hearts and provide a voice of assurance that their future is not bleak and that their circumstances do not define who they are,” Ngcobo said in the run-up to the performance.Critics reviewing the New York show were impressed. Roger Friedman from Hollywood 411 wrote that it was “a five-star night that beautifully captured the spirit of South Africa [and its people]”. The Hollywood Reporter called it “a powerfully emotional presentation”. A particular highlight for the Carnegie Hall audience was the energy of Via Vyndal.Via VyndalThe New York performance was the first time the troupe, from Alexandra in Johannesburg, travelled overseas.They were personally selected by Boyle following auditions across South Africa earlier this year. Boyle said he wanted a group that exemplified the spirit of South African youth culture and he felt the Vyndals possessed an authenticity that could not be recreated, in the same way Indian street performers in his award-winning hit film, Slumdog Millionaire, had done.Via Vyndal artistic director Sicelo Xaba told TimesLive that the group were proud to represent South Africa in New York. “This is not just important for the guys going; it’s also important for pantsula as a culture and a dance form.”Lead dancer Sandile Ngqulunga hoped that the international exposure would show global and local audiences that pantsula was a positive, nation-building art form, as well as lead to more opportunities for South African dance troupes at home and abroad.Source: TimesLive, Hollywood Reporter, WikipediaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp surprised by Moreno comments: He’s a fantastic professionalby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he was surprised by comments made by Alberto Moreno in the Spanish press.Moreno criticised Klopp for mishandling him being replaced by Andy Robertson as the Reds first-choice left-back.The German sympathises with Moreno’s situation, but he insists the 26-year-old has not confronted him personally.”Matt [McCann, press officer] told me about it! I’m still not prepared to say something to be honest,” Klopp told a press conference. “How I deal with things like that is usually; my door is not always literally open, but it’s always open if somebody wants to talk.”As long as they don’t talk to me, it doesn’t really exist!”But that Alberto is not happy with not having too much minutes, it’s obvious. The more important thing is he never shows it in any training sessions, he’s a fantastic professional and trains really well when he can.”The last couple of weeks he has had back problems and that kept him out of a lot of sessions. Yesterday was the first session it looked 100 per cent good again. That’s all.”
WASHINGTON – In its toughest challenge to Russia to date, the Trump administration accused Moscow on Thursday of an elaborate plot to penetrate America’s electric grid, factories, water supply and even air travel through cyber hacking. The U.S. also hit targeted Russians with sanctions for alleged election meddling for the first time since President Donald Trump took office.The list of Russians being punished includes all 13 indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller, a tacit acknowledgement by the administration that at least some of Mueller’s Russia-related probe has merit.Trump has repeatedly sought to discredit Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, but the sanctions appeared to rely on the special counsel’s legal conclusions in deciding who should be named. The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.The named Russians — 19 in all — are unlikely to have any assets in the United States that would be covered, making the move largely symbolic. But it could help inoculate the president from persistent claims he’s afraid or unwilling to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin or to fight back against efforts to undermine America’s democracy and domestic affairs.“We’re going to be tough on Russia until they decide to change their behaviour,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. At the same time, she left open the possibility of better U.S.-Russia co-operation, arguing that “if we can work together to combat world threats on things like North Korea, then we should.”U.S. national security officials said the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence agencies determined Russian intelligence and others were behind a broad range of cyberattacks starting a year ago. Russian hackers infiltrated the networks that run the basic services an Americans rely on each day: nuclear, water and manufacturing facilities like factories.The officials said the hackers chose their targets methodically, obtained access to computer systems, conducted “network reconnaissance” and then attempted to cover their tracks by deleting evidence of the intrusions. The U.S. government has helped the industries expel the Russians from all systems known to have been penetrated, but additional breaches could be discovered, said the officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security information.The officials described Russia’s operation as ongoing.The U.S. accusations and accompanying sanctions mark a stepped-up attempt by Trump’s administration to show it’s adequately confronting Russia over hacking, election meddling and general efforts to compromise Western democracies and infrastructure. Trump on Thursday also joined the leaders of Britain, France and Germany in blaming Moscow for the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy who was living in England.The sanctions prompted a swift threat of retaliation from Russia’s government, which said a response was already being prepared. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested the Trump administration had timed the action to taint this weekend’s presidential election in Russia, in which President Vladimir Putin is expected to win an overwhelming victory.“It is tied to U.S. internal disorder, tied of course to our electoral calendar,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the Russian state news agency Tass.Altogether, 19 Russians were cited. Also sanctioned were five Russian companies, including the Internet Research Agency, which is accused of orchestrating a mass online disinformation campaign to affect the U.S. presidential election result.The U.S. Treasury Department announced the sanctions amid withering criticism in the U.S. accusing Trump and his administration of failing to use its congressionally mandated authority to punish Russia. The sanction targets include officials working for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.The sanctions are the first use of the new powers that Congress passed last year to punish Moscow for interfering in the election that Trump won over Democrat Hillary Clinton.Yet Russia hawks in Congress deemed it too little, too late.“Even more must be done,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona called the action “overdue.”And Democrats homed in on the fact that the list of Russians hit with sanctions included all of those indicted by Mueller. That shows the administration believes the investigation is legitimate, they argued.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the sanctions prove that Mueller’s “investigation is not a ‘witch hunt’ as the president and his allies have claimed.” He said, “It’s more clear than ever that the president must not interfere with the special counsel’s investigation in any way.”The Treasury Department said the GRU and Russia’s military both interfered in the 2016 election and were “directly responsible” for the NotPetya cyberattack that hit businesses across Europe in June 2017, causing billions of dollars in damage by disrupting global shipping, trade and medicine production. Treasury said that the attack caused several U.S. hospitals to be unable to create electronic medical records for more than a week.Among those affected were Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef” and who ran the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, and 12 of the agency’s employees. They were included in Mueller’s indictment last month.The Russian agency “tampered with, altered or caused a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes and institutions,” specifically the 2016 U.S. presidential race, the U.S. said.___Reach Matthew Lee on Twitter at http://twitter.com/APDiploWriter and Josh Lederman at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim reiterated on Monday that funds in the fixed deposit of the civic body will be utilised only for development work and civic amenities and any wastage of such funds will not be tolerated.Replying to a query from Congress councillor Prakash Upadhyay regarding the existing amount in the fixed deposit of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) at the monthly meeting, Hakim said: “We have an amount of Rs 17.10 crore till February 2018. The funds in the fixed deposit, whether it is more or less, does not matter. What matters most is offering services and civic amenities to the people. Since the Trinamool Congress took over the board of the KMC in 2010, it has provided civic amenities in the form of potable drinking water, lights, development of slums, an overhaul of the drainage system, scientific plan for solid waste management etc.” According to Hakim, when Subrata Mukherjee of the TMC ended his term as the Mayor in 2005, the amount of fixed deposit stood at Rs 377.16 crore. When Bikash Bhattacharya of the Left Front board took over as Mayor, he sold a number of plots of land and the fixed deposit went up to Rs 721.25 crore. Hakim further informed that when Bhattacharya’s term as Mayor ended in 2010, he left Rs 588. 67 crore in the fixed deposit of the KMC. “The revenue earning is a part our job but our main aim is to ensure that the citizens get the best of amenities,” he maintained. The Mayor further said that the KMC has set a target of three years to ensure the supply of potable drinking water to every single pocket in the city. “There are problems in certain pockets, particularly in the added areas in the southern part, and we are taking all possible measures to augment water supply. The capacity of the Garden Reach Waterways is being raised by 25 million gallon and we are also constructing small booster pumping stations in these areas to boost water supply,” he added.
In the run up to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, the Serge Ibaka story dominated the series. Ibaka injured his calf in the final game of the Thunder’s series against the Clippers and isn’t expected to return, leaving the Thunder without their starting power forward. It was clear how that might become a problem for the Thunder; Ibaka was one of the most active and effective rim defenders this season, according to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking. He defended an average of 9.5 shots at the rim per game (defined as any shot attempt where he was within 5 feet of both the basket and the shooter), seventh most in the league, and held opponents to 43.9 percent shooting on those attempts, sixth lowest among players who defended at least five shots at the rim per game.Without Ibaka on the floor, the Spurs partied down low Monday night, making 67 percent of their shots in the paint, 33 of 49 overall. With Ibaka healthy, the Thunder’s playoff opponents had made only 51 percent of their inside shots.Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City’s coach, decided to go small for much of Game 1, playing Kevin Durant at power forward and entirely neglecting a big lineup that had been instrumental in helping close out the Clippers. According to SportVU, the Thunder defended 34 shots at the rim Monday night, just a touch under the 35.1 they’ve been averaging in the playoffs. But far fewer of those shots were defended by front-court players — the tall guys.Thunder Defense at the RimDurant, Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson are fantastic, but their size offers less resistance at the rim than a guy nicknamed “Iblocka.” During the regular season, those three players combined to defend 6.3 shots at the rim per game. On Monday night, they defended 16. The Spurs made 12 of them.In Game 2, there may be an opportunity to play Steven Adams more minutes, but the Thunder simply don’t have the bodies to avoid these small lineups. If they can’t figure out how to assemble a better defensive structure with the players available, this series might not last long.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) throws the ball during a game against Indiana Nov. 23 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller has made the decision to return for his senior season and not enter the 2014 NFL Draft.An OSU spokesman confirmed Thursday that Miller will return to OSU.Miller is the two-time defending Big Ten offensive player of the year and is coming off a season in which he finished in the top 10 in the conference in both rushing and passing yards per game.“I want to help this team win a Big Ten championship next year,” Miller said in a press release Thursday night. “Plus, I want to improve as a quarterback in all aspects of my game. I’m looking forward to working for another year with coach (Urban) Meyer and (offensive coordinator quarterbacks coach Tom) Herman.“And I want to graduate, so this will help get me close to my academic goal.”The quarterback is also coming off back-to-back losses, including a 40-35 defeat at the hands of Clemson in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3. Despite the losses, he has compiled a 28-8 record as the starting quarterback at OSU.Meyer said he is looking forward to working with the quarterback for another season.“We look forward to having Braxton Miller return to this team for his senior season,” Meyer said in the release. “He has been an extremely valuable member of our team and he is also a fine student. His desire to lead our team to a championship, to earn his degree from The Ohio State University net spring and to continue to improve as a quarterback are his motivation.”With Miller’s decision, the Buckeye offense will return five starters from a offense that finished the year third in the country in scoring offense with an average 45.5 points per game and seventh in total offense with 511.9 average yards per game.After the Orange Bowl loss, Miller said he was going to talk to coach Urban Meyer about whether or not he should turn pro.“I’ve got to think hard about it. I will talk to coach Meyer and see what he thinks,” Miller said. “He’s been through the process many times, so that’s the guy to go to. He never steers you wrong and ever since I got here, he took me under his wing and taught me a lot of things.”The Buckeyes are set to open their 2014 season with an Aug. 30 trip to Baltimore against Navy.