Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Netizens were quick to predict the grim consequences ahead for the 18-year-old guard, but his outspoken father, LaVar Ball, assured everyone that his middle son would be all right.“He’ll be fine,” the Ball patriarch said, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “He’ll be fine. Everybody making it a big deal. It ain’t that big of a deal.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogLiAngelo’s older brother Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball also didn’t seem too worried about his sibling.“No, I haven’t talked to any of them yet,” he told the news outlet. “I know they are all over there in China taking care of it, so I will talk to them when they get back.” Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny LATEST STORIES LaVar Ball, father of Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers, jokes with fans at halftime of a 2017 Summer League game between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Clippers won 96-93 in overtime. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFPUCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Tuesday after he was arrested along with two other teammates for allegedly shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China.READ: LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates arrested in China for shopliftingADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene MOST READ Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award A follow-up report by ESPN’s Arash Markazi confirmed that Ball and teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill had been released on bail on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), but is barred from leaving their hotel until the legal process pushes through.The team is in the country to play an exhibition game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai this weekend. Khristian Ibarrola /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Magic end two-game losing streak with 112-99 win over Knicks
As the looming trouble in Grand Bassa County deepens, authorities of the county have reportedly accused some prominent citizens of the county of being behind the Aggrieved Bassa Citizens (ABC) who are calling for the immediate resignation of County Superintendent Etweda T. Cooper and Assistant Superintendent for Development Adonie Z. Greaves.The ABC group wants the current leadership of the county to be immediately unseated for allegedly mismanaging funds intended to kick Ebola out of the county among other funds also intended to develop their devastated county. The amount in question is a staggering US$307,000.During the second day of the ABC’s protest, on October 9, 2014, members of the group “booed at Superintendent Cooper and shouted loud voices.Rogue! Rogue!! Rogue!!! When she was attempting to flee the hostility of the ABC demonstrators gathered around her office on that fateful day. Had it not been for the police and other security officers to escort her away, all hell would have broken loose.Following this, some supporters of the county administration, already in ‘hot water,’ alleged that the Managing Director of the Liberian Petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC) and Executive Director of the T. Nelson Williams Foundation is one of the staunch supporters of the ABC’s action against the county leadership’s removal from office.During a press conference held at the offices of the foundation in Buchanan last week, Mr. T. Nelson Williams categorically refuted the allegation leveled against him, describing it as false, misleading and unfounded and intended to tarnish his long built reputation and to discredit his immense contributions to the eradication of the spread of Ebola and the development of our war torn county.Mr. Williams clarified that at no time has he given the ABC US$1,500 to facilitate the unseating of the current county leadership as had widely claimed by his accusers. He challenged them to prove their allegation to the letter.Mr. Williams disclosed that he only gave the amount of US$900 to six local radio stations in the county for the promotion of the prevention of the spread of the Ebola Virus in the county and nothing else.He revealed that his foundation is a non-political, non-profit one, but purely humanitarian. It continues to help vulnerable people, give scholarships to needy students at all levels, without any discrimination.He was allegedly linked to a staffer of his foundation, DU-Ben Cleon, who heads the ABC.Predicated upon this, Mr. T. Nelson Williams has suspended Mr. Cleon for time in definite for using the compound of the foundation to host ABC’s meetings.Grand Bassa County Electoral District #3 Representative Gabriel B. Smith, also denied the allegation that he is one of the supporters of ABC to unseat the county’s current leadership.Mr. Smith then clarified that he only received a letter from the ABC as their direct lawmaker informing him about its action against the county leadership, but he never replied the letter or supported the group’s action.“Under the Constitution of Liberia, every citizen has the right to freedom of speech, but he or she must be responsible for what he or she says,” he added.On Friday, October 10, 2014, pandemonium broke out when another resistance group calling itself Patriotic Alliance of Bassa (PAB) reportedly attacked the ABC members and violently stoned and wounded some of them at the Unification Pavilion Hall. The victims were rushed to nearby Drug Stores for medical treatment.At the same time the police in Buchanan, headed by the Superintendent Fredrick Nappy, arrested about 20 men of the PAB and detained them for disorderly conduct.The incident erupted when the ABC was awaiting the arrival of the county’s Legislature caucus to present their petition to them during the third day of their demonstration.At the police Headquarters in the Fairground in Buchanan on that fateful day, the Development Superintendent Adonie z. Greaves, who had carried the Buchanan City Solicitor, Isaac Yorcee, and the county’s Public Defender, Paul P. Jarvan, to release the detainees of PAB, went loggerheads with Buchanan City mayor Julia Bono.Had it not been for the interception of the police, Grand Bassa County supreme grand zoe Edward John Taywayou, the two groups would have engaged in a fist fight.Mr. Greaves accused Mayor Bono of supporting ABC, while Mayor Bono also accused Mr. Greaves of organizing the PAB to violently attack and disrupt the ABC’s protest.In another development, one Liberia’s seasoned lawyers, who is also a son of Grand Bassa County, Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould, allegedly quoted Mayor Bono as saying the ABC’s petition to the county lawmakers was delayed because she should have been in charge of the Ebola Task Force warehouse but to the contrary.Cllr. Gould then described her as being selfish and unpatriotic.He made the utterances on Saturday, October 12, 2014 when his group, the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, along with the General Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star of Liberia, donated some assorted Ebola preventive materials and food items to Grand Bassa County Ebola Task Force. The donations were received by Superintendent Etweda A. Cooper, on behalf of the Task Force.In reaction, Mayor Bono catergorily denied the allegation and described it as false and misleading which she said is intended to create confrontation.She then expressed disappointment over Cllr. Gould, as a renowned lawyer to the country, leveling such an allegation against her.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.And on top of that, you got to dress up like your favorite superhero or fairy princess or movie cowboy or whatever your fantasy was. And – the greatest thing of all – you got to go out by yourself after dark, an occurrence reserved the rest of the year only for adults. There were no worries then about razor blades in apples, no talk of having Halloween candy X-rayed at the local hospital, no fear of some pervert grabbing a little kid off the street. It was sheer fun, just for kids. The adults stayed in the background, remembering their own Halloweens, and some, perhaps, even playing their own pranks. My father, for instance, refused to hand out candy unless the greedy trick-or-treater danced for him first. The fun started early in the day. Kids all wore their costumes to school, where we’d have a costume parade so everyone could get a good look at their handiwork – or, more likely, their mother’s handiwork – generally late-night magic worked with a couple of burned corks, a pillowcase, a length of rope and maybe a little lipstick or your dad’s fishing hat. Back in the day, there were two holidays on the calendar you drew a red circle around if you were a kid. One was Christmas, for obvious reasons. The other was Halloween. It was the day of sugar highs to end all sugar highs, when nobody said you couldn’t have another candy bar or cupcake, and you ate all the treats you could swallow, even if – far back in your mind – there was the memory of the all-night bellyache you had the previous year. Nobody with any self-respect would buy a costume. That was only for the little kids, who were too young to realize their parents were dressing them up as adorable kittens and fat pumpkins. Older kids – third through sixth grades were the prime trick-or-treating years – took delight in creating our own outfits from stuff we found around home – or, if our mother was handy, something she could run up quickly on the sewing machine using some dish towels, an old sheet or a discarded suit from Grandpa. My twin younger brothers always dressed alike – usually as hoboes (big pants, big hats, cork-blackened faces) or ghosts (old pillowcases with two eyeholes cut in them). One year, though, they took first prize at their elementary school dressed in a single giant jacket, buttoned tightly around both of them. They carried a sign: “The Two-Headed Man.” My favorite Halloween was the one I dressed as a gypsy, or what my mom and I thought gypsies looked like, from what we had seen in the movies. I wore a voluminous purple skirt of my mother’s, with some kind of peasant blouse, a scarf tied around my hair and my mother’s big gold earrings. With a slash of bright red lipstick, I was ready. My second favorite – the year “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was released – was as a Jane Russell look-alike. I really wanted to go as Marilyn Monroe, but my best friend was the blonde so she got to go as Marilyn. I was a far-distant second, with my brown hair piled up on one side of my head, lipstick laid on heavy, my training bra stuffed with my father’s white socks to make me look as sexy as a mousy, plump preteen could look. That year, as I recall, the two of us ventured far out of our neighborhood. We got lost and it grew later and later, and we started to panic as people turned off their porch lights. Finally, we spotted my dad’s truck; he had come to rescue us. After that, trick-or-treating became a group effort: The littler kids would go with the bigger, older kids, and they would look out for us. Torture us is what they actually did, with tickle fights and ghost stories that made us want to run home to our mothers. And they taught us to soap windows and TP houses and bushes, and blamed it on us little kids when they were caught. But the one thing we would hang on for was a visit to a house a couple of blocks away where a grandmotherly woman – gray hair in a bun, sturdy shoes, apron covering her housedress – would lay out a spread the likes of which today’s kids can only imagine. She’d invite us into her living room, where she had pushed the dining room table up against the wall, covered it with an orange tablecloth and added big black spiders and cobwebs. On the table were fresh-made doughnuts, hot from the frying pan and sticky with sugar and cinnamon, along with hot apple cider, apple turnovers and platters of homemade fudge. Today, nobody would go to the trouble of setting out such a spread. And if they did, nobody would allow their children to go inside. But there was no fear then, when you could trust your neighbors – even the ones you didn’t know well – and Halloween was strictly for fun. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
gameday cracker 1 shining AC Milan are plotting an outrageous bid for Liverpool summer signing Fabinho.The Reds stumped up nearly £40million to sign the midfielder from Monaco in the summer but it has been a slow start to life on Merseyside for the Brazilian. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REVEALED Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won huge blow Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January whoops deals Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT REAL DEAL REVEALED Latest Premier League Stories However, he will not come cheap given his price tag in the summer so a loan move could be Milan’s only hope of getting the deal over the line. Liverpool star Fabinho in action against Napoli. Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star no dice tense He has so far started just three Premier League games, although he has been used more regularly in recent weeks.But now, according to reports in Italy, Fabinho has emerged as a potential target for AC Milan, who are expected to invest in a new midfielder when the January transfer window opens.Corriere dello Sport has suggested Milan are ready to approach Liverpool about the possibility of signing Fabinho.
One of Ireland’s most-strangely named villages is beating the recession by cashing in on its name.For years people have smirked at the signs welcoming them to the Inishowen village of Muff.But now locals have brushed aside suggestions to rename the village because they like it just the way it is Tara Reddin, chairperson of the Muff Festival, says visitor numbers have never been greater.“There was talk that people wanted to change the name but why would we do that?“I am born and bred in Muff and I never knew the double-meaning of the name until I went away.“Now we all just laugh at it and make the most of it,” she said. Tara revealed that the festival committee has even bought in a range of “I Love Muff” merchandise which is selling like hotcakes around the globe.The merchandise includes t-shirts, keyrings and baseballs with regular orders coming from as far away as America and Australia.Tara says stag parties coming to Donegal often come to the village to have their picture taken by the ‘Welcome to Muff’ signpost.“Muff is a small village and it only has one pub so it’s not a place where stag parties stay.“But they often come here to have their picture taken and might have a quick point or go into the local shops,” she said. She points out that most elderly people in the village aren’t even aware of the double-meaning of the village’s name which is officially referred to in some on-line dictionaries as “a vulgar word for a woman’s private area.”One of its most famous visitors was British comedian Alan Carr who had to have his picture taken beside the village’s sign when he played in nearby Derry.And Tara said that nobody in the village takes offence when people have a snigger at it.“I think we can all take a joke at this stage. If it brings people into the village and they want to spend a pound, then what’s wrong with that. “It’s not every village I Ireland can cash in on its name,” she said.* The Muff Festival takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend.IT’S ALL IN THE NAME – MUFF IS THRIVING! was last modified: May 30th, 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:muffMuff Festivalthriving
KCCA FC trail 2-3 from the first leg.CAF Champions League-First RoundKCCA FC vs African Stars (Agg: 2-3)StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo Friday, 23-08-2019 @4pmThe Confederation of African football (CAF) has appointed officials who will take charge of the CAF Champions league second leg tie between KCCA FC and African Stars.Four of the five appointed officials are from Sudan with the other being Malawian.The center referee will be Mahmood Ali Mahmood Ismail from Sudan.Mahmood will be assisted by Omer Hamid Mohammed Ahmed and Haitham Elnour Ahmed as the first and second assistants. Both the assistant referees also come from Sudan.Another Sudanese, Elsiddig Mohamed Eltreefe will be the fourth official with the match commissioner being Maxwell Mtonga from Malawi.KCCA FC will be hoping to overturn a 2-3 deficit from the first leg when they host African Stars at Lugogo on Friday afternoon.In the first leg played at the Nam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia, Mike Mutebi’s side took the lead inside 13 minutes off a wicked deflection by defender Kamberique.However, the Kasasiros could not hold onto the lead going into the break, conceding an equalizer by Ambrosious Amseb on 40 minutes.With 19 minutes to play, the home side turned the game on its head with Yossouf Ibrahim putting them 2-1 up.Patrick Kaddu replied with KCCA’s second of the day on 82 minutes to temporarily level the scores once again.However, moments later, Yossouf struck again to hand African Stars the lead once again, one they held onto until the end.The Kasasiro require just a 1-0 victory to eliminate their Namibian opponents.The last time KCCA FC participated in the CAF Champions League, they reach the group stages and finished third in Group A.However, last season, they failed to reach the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup as they were eliminated by Congolese side Otoho in the final round before the groups.Comments Tags: African StarsCAF Champions LeagueKCCA FCtop
Managerless Fulham trailed at the break to Joe Garner’s early goal.Visitors Preston took full advantage of a tactical mismatch to gain the upper hand in the opening stages.Their wing-back system allowed them to exploit the lack of width in the Fulham side and a Daniel Johnson pass into the open channel created the first chance, with Eoin Doyle’s snapshot saved by Joe Lewis.But it took Preston only 11 minutes to go in front. A short corner routine led to Paul Gallagher’s cross, and Garner headed it in at the far post.Johnson drilled a shot wide as Preston continued to look threatening and it wasn’t until midway through the first half that Fulham awoke.Tom Cairney fired wide, Ross McCormack saw a shot blocked and Moussa Dembele’s curling effort was superbly tipped over by Jordan Pickford.Preston squandered an opportunity to double the lead late in the half when Garner nodded a cross into Doyle’s path, but he headed just wide.Fulham made three changes to the starting line-up, with Scott Parker making his first Fulham appearance in seven months after Sakari Mattila pulled out with a back injury in the warm-up.Tim Ream and James Husband were also brought back into the side, at the expense of Dan Burn and Luke Garbutt.Fulham: Lewis; Fredericks, Stearman, Ream, Husband; O’Hara; Parker, Kavanagh; Cairney; McCormack, Dembele. Subs: Rodak, Voser, Garbutt, Hutchinson, Pringle, Smith, Woodrow.Preston: Pickford; Clarke, Huntington, Cunningham; Vermijl, Browne, Gallagher, Johnson, Reach; Garner, Doyle. Subs: Kirkland, Davies, Kilkenny, Welsh, Hugill, Keane, May.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
That covers the basic flame shape, but if you look at the DreamWorks example, you’ll notice that the edges are oval, not circles. To recreate this, drop your “Flame” comp into a new comp (I called mine “Flame Stretch”), then stretch the “Flame” layer to be taller vertically and skinnier horizontally. Building the FireTo create the whole fire, you’ll be making duplicates of the flame with different colors, and scaling/moving them around. For each duplicate you make, offset the timing of the layer to make sure it’s not showing the exact same frame as any other instance. Create a new comp (I named it “Vector Fire”) and drop the “Flame Stretch” comp into it. For the color, add a Gradient Ramp effect, and set it to yellow at the top of the flame and reddish orange at the bottom. Duplicate it and scale/move it to create a larger base.Gradient for the base flame:First instance of the flame:Two instances of the flame for the base. Don’t forget to offset the time of the second layer:Duplicate it again a couple times and change the colors of these to a white-to-yellow gradient. These will be smaller and form the brighter middle of the fire, so move/scale them to create that look.Gradient colors for the top/middle flames:First “small” flame:Another “small flame” instance:Last, we’ll need an in-between, so duplicate one of the orange base flames a few times and swap the gradient colors using the “Swap Colors” button. Use these new ones to create a mid-sized section of the fire behind the lighter/smaller flames.First “middle” flame instance:Another “middle” flame on the right:A third “middle” flame to fill in the right side:Scales and positions for the above:There you go! That’s how to make vector fire!This method uses nested comps, so most of the “physics” don’t apply of the bat, but if you don’t mind slower render times, you can turn on the “Collapse Transformations” switches and use a few parented nulls to get your physics back. On the other hand, if you don’t mind not having physics but want better render times, try pre-rendering the basic flame shape to a codec like ProRes 444 with an alpha, then do the coloring and duplicating for the full fire using the new .mov file. Create awesome vector fire in After Effects using Trapcode Particular!For a recent client project, I was asked to do a motion graphics video that was fire themed. In general, realistic fire effects are crazy hard to pull off well, so I started looking for a different approach. Most of the design collateral for the client revolved around a vector/illustrated look, so I decided to do some searching and experimentation around a “vector fire” theme.After a short Google session, I ran across a great example of exactly what I wanted to create:Sadly, they didn’t include a tutorial for how to create this look, so I took what hints I could from the comments and got to work experimenting, and ended up with this:It’s not exactly what’s in the original example – I modified its look to match my needs, so you’ll notice some key differences, like no little embers/sparks, and it goes straight up, not at an angle. That said, it’s not too hard to create. Here’s how:Building the Flame in After EffectsTo start with, create a new comp at a pretty big size: 1500 x 2500. We want a vector look, so a large size will give it the super-sharp feel of a vector.Next, create a new solid, name it “Flame”, and apply an instance of Trapcode Particular (the best particle emitter for AE, hands down). We’ll start by getting the particles to look right. Crank the size up to 80 and drop the sphere feather down to 0. Now we’ve got nice, large, sharp circles to work with.Change the emitter type to “Box”, and set its emission direction to “Directional.” Now, move the base of the emitter to below the bottom of the comp and make the emitter much wider on the X-axis (around 1200 or so worked for me) then adjust the velocity to somewhere around 900. You’ll probably notice that, by default, “Directional” emitters throw particles away from the comp into Z-space, so rotate the emitter by 40º on the X axis to get it going more vertically, but still tapering off a little towards the top. Set the emitter to start below the bottom of the comp:Now that the emitter is shooting particles in the right direction, we’ll want to get the emission and velocity settings down to create the base shape. We want to have basically a solid interior, with a little bit of randomness on the edges. To get the solid interior, crank the particles/sec up to 600, then set the direction spread to 10 to control some of the randomness of the edges; we don’t really want any huge pieces outside the main shape on their own. Last, set the life to 6 and the life random to 20, which will get us a taller flame with a nicely random tip.The base of the flame:Now that we’ve got the base shape down, what we want to do is create a wide, less dense emitter to cut off the right and left sides of the base to make it look like fire. We’re going to duplicate the Particular layer and change a few things. Place the new layer on top and name it, “Left Obscure.” Set the blend mode to “Silhouette Alpha,” which will cut the alpha of that layer out of anything below it.We’ll pull the size down a little to 70, but we’ll also crank the size random up to 60 so that we get some really huge ones and some much smaller ones. We’ll also set the life random to 50 to make things a little more sparse. For the emitter itself, we’ll want half the number of particles (so around 300) and a much larger direction spread of 30 to give us some great randomness.At this point it’s going to look really huge, and we only need it to obscure the edge of the whit emitter, so we can shrink the emitter’s X-axis size down to 200. Now we’ve got it the right shape, so we’ll move it to the left and rotate it on the Y-axis to -8, with the end goal of cutting off the left side of the base emitter at an angle.Set the emitter to come from the bottom left:Left side obscured:That’s one side done, so next we’ll duplicate the “Left Obscure” layer and rename it “Right Obscure.” Move it to the right and change the Y rotation to the opposite of the left side (8). Move the emitter to the bottom right:A nice looking flame:At this point, you may decide that you want a “bottom” instead of a hard cut-off (I did in my case), so you can increase the comp’s size to 1500×3000 if you’d like, and do the same for the base layer (you can leave the obscure layers as-is if you’d like. You’ll make a new obscure layer that overlaps them, so they’re fine as they are). To make a bottom, duplicate your base layer and rename it “Bottom Obscure.” We’re duplicating the base layer and not an obscure layer because we want the bottom to be more controlled. Don’t forget to set its blend mode to “Silhouette Alpha” so that it cuts away like the other “Obscure” layers.Move the emitter to the bottom left corner and change it’s rotation to 90º on the X-axis and around 100º on the Y-axis. It should be placed so that it completely covers the bottom. Next, twirl down Physics => Air => Spherical Field settings (it might help to have “Visualize Fields” on for this next part). What we want to do is create a sphere that pushes the particles away from the base of the flame to create a round “bottom.” Set the strength to around 80 (positive numbers repel, negative numbers attract) and the radius to fit the size of your flame’s base (600 for me). This should make a nice looking flame bottom for you. Don’t forget to turn off “Visualize Fields” before proceeding.
Nagpur: When the gram sabhas (villages bodies) in Maoist insurgency-hit Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra decided to contest the recently concluded zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections, many of their candidates were in jail or facing court cases.Those, who were not in jail or facing court cases, were facing hostility at the hands of police, and were being labeled as “Maoist sympathisers.”However, six out of 20 candidates fielded by the gram sabhas managed to win these local body elections.Tribal activist Sainu Gota and Lalasu Narote got elected to Gadchiroli Zila Parishad, while Sainu Gota’s wife Sheela Gota and three other tribal candidates made their way into panchayat samities.Poll plankThe poll plank of the gram sabhas was opposition to the proposed mining projects in the district. Many candidates fielded by the civic bodies were activists leading the anti-mining protests in the district.A statement issued by gram sabhas and gotul samities in Surjagad, Bhamaragad and other villages in Gadchiroli read, “Despite the opposition by the local people, the government is pushing mining projects in our area. Many gram sabhas have already passed resolutions against these projects and submitted it to the district administration. But the government wants to carry out mining activities in our area.”It added, “Our candidates had to face a lot of hostility and harassment in the last few weeks. Three of our candidates were in jail for over 15 days. He added that their win “against all odds” suggest that they are “the real representatives of the people.”Released on bailMr. Gota and his wife were arrested by police when they took two tribal women from Chhattisgarh to a lawyer in Nagpur, claiming that the girls were raped by policemen. However, at a hearing before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, the girls denied the claim, which resulted in backlash by the police against Mr. Gota and his wife.Lalasu Narote, who won from the Maoist-affected Nelgonda area of the district (bordering Maoists’ bastion Abujhmad), said, “Mr. Gota and his wife were released on bail a day before the campaigning was about to end. They had just one day for campaigning, but the people and workers were not even ready to talk them fearing police backlash. The people were not even ready to come near their house in Jambia Gatta village. But the couple won by a margin of more than 500 votes.”He added, “This suggests that people clearly supported Sainu and his wife but could not speak out due to the pressure from the authorities. This shows the ground situation in the district; the local people can not speak their mind freely.”Mr. Sainu and his wife could not be contacted for their comments as the village they live in has poor phone network connectivity.‘Maoist sympathisers’Mr. Narote, one of the very few tribal lawyers from Gadchiroli, lives in Hemalkasa village in Bhamaragad division. He has also faced allegations of being a “Maoist sympathiser.”Mr. Narote said, “The police have raided my house twice but they found nothing objectionable. The authorities call us Maoist sympathisers, but how can Maoist sympathisers get elected by such big margins in elections where the ballot is a secret? He added, “The fact is, every dissenting voice in the district is being termed as a Maoist sympathiser. This is a misconception by the police about everyone opposed to mining in the district. It’s wrong. The local people know who and what we are and that’s why they have elected us to raise their voice in zila parishad and panchayat samities.”Mr. Narote also said activists, until now, were taking out rallies and protests, they can take up their issues in the civic bodies. “We can also raise the issues of illegal arrests and detentions of local tribals in the name of counter-insurgency [operations] in the district.” Sweet successAfter tasting success in the civic polls, the gram sabhas are planning to contest the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, which are two-and-a-half year away.Mr. Narote said, “The gram sabhas will decide about [Assembly and Lok Sabha elections]. This victory has also shown that we are democracy-loving people.”Mr. Narote preferred to stay in his village, despite a professional degree.He told The Hindu, “People and police ask me why I am staying in the village, despite being educated. But you need educated people here, who can stay on the ground and raise the voice of local tribals because they don’t even know their basic rights.”
Kareena Kapoor Khan had been busy refuting rumours of differences with film-maker Karan Johar ever since she was dropped from his upcoming production Shuddhi. She chose the platform of dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa to clear the air. Dressed in an off-white anarkali suit, Kareena made an appearance on the sets of the show to promote her upcoming film Singham Returns, slated for release on Independence Day.Kareena Kapoor Khan with Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa judges (from left) Remo D’Souza, Madhuri Dixit and Karan Johar.The public display of affection between Kareena and Karan was too glaring for anyone to miss. Bebo revealed how she has always enjoyed sharing a stage with Karan and working with him in films in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. She has been missing in action after her last film Gori Tere Pyar Mein opposite Imraan Khan. The film failed to leave any impression at the box office, but, a dance number Tooh, did catch up with the audience. Kareena is trying to ensure that her comeback with Rohit Shetty directed Singham Returns opposite Ajay Devgn is not missed by anyone.Kareena was at her cheerful best as she sportingly came up on stage to dance with young dancing sensation Akshat Singh. Madhuri Dixit gave a tough competition to Kareena as she agreed to match steps with her on hit number Tooh. In the film, Kareena will be seen shaking a leg with rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh for an opening video album based on the Singham theme.advertisement