A sumptuous volley from Dimitar Berbatov was enough to settle a forgettable 1-0 encounter between Fulham and Stoke at Craven Cottage. Berbatov struck his ninth goal of the season on the stroke of half-time after the hosts had dominated possession without truly testing Asmir Begovic. The volley was head and shoulders above the general quality of the match with Stoke forward Jonathan Walters missing a second-half penalty as Fulham moved to within a point of the Potters in the Barclays Premier League table. Stoke were the first side to test the opposition goalkeeper as Peter Crouch dropped deep before threading a ball into the run of Walters, who forced Mark Schwarzer into a smart low save. Bryan Ruiz had the ball in the back of the net after 11 minutes but was cautioned by referee Lee Probert for clearly using his hand to convert Damien Duff’s free-kick. Stoke were lucky to not be reduced to 10 men midway through the first half as Steven Nzonzi, who had taken a knock on the nose in an earlier collision with Berbatov, was booked for shoving Ruiz in the face. Giorgos Karagounis struck the resulting free-kick well and Begovic was forced to tip over. The goal finally came in first-half stoppage time as Ashkan Dejagah and Sascha Riether combined down the left with Riether’s cross headed into the path of Berbatov by Robert Huth and the former Manchester United man smashed home a volley of the highest quality. The visitors were then presented with a great opportunity to equalise 10 minutes into a more even second half. Probert awarded a penalty as Dejagah blocked Potters’ debutant Brek Shea’s cross with his arm but Walters hit a tame spot-kick that was easily kept out by Schwarzer. Berbatov almost doubled his tally with another fantastic effort. The Bulgarian flicked the ball away from two defenders before firing in another volley with Begovic able to parry it away. Shea, a first-half introduction for the injured Matthew Etherington, then came close with a half-volley as Stoke started to fight their way back into the match but they could not find an equaliser. Press Association
Volunteers have a big role in helping Ethembeni Children’s Home care for children infected with or affected by HIV/Aids. The Go The Extra Mile campaign makes it even easier for them to get involved.Founded by The Salvation Army in 1995, Ethembeni Children’s Home in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, is a refuge for children from in and around the inner city. (Image: Mathiba MolefeMathiba MolefeIn the heart of Johannesburg’s bustling inner city lies a sanctuary for children either infected with or affected by HIV/Aids. It is a place where those left destitute by the endemic find refuge, a place that was fittingly named Ethembeni, meaning “place of hope” in isiXhosa.Volunteers, many of whom are part of the Go the Extra Mile (GEM) campaign, visit the safe haven weekly, as they did on the weekend of 8 and 9 April. Ethembeni is in Doornfontein on the eastern edge of the CBD.The group of volunteers arrived early in the morning, bright-eyed and ready to get stuck into their work helping the nurses and other staff at the home. When they weren’t busy spending quality time with the children, either playing games or feeding them, the volunteers also lent a hand in the general upkeep of the home and its facilities.“It’s nice to know that there are people out there who are willing to take the time to come and help out here at the home,” said Lucia Ntombela, the site manager at Ethembeni. “Nowadays people don’t have much time; people are busy. For them to take that hour or two hours to come and volunteer knowing that you won’t get paid. I really admire them.“It’s really beautiful to see, and we have a lot of people to thank for helping us.”Founded by The Salvation Army in 1995, Ethembeni now serves as a home to nearly 60 children from in and around Johannesburg’s inner city.“Some of the children arrive here and it’s difficult for them to smile. But as time goes on they slowly open up and start smiling again,” she said.It is a place where those left destitute by the endemic find refuge, a place that was fittingly named Ethembeni, meaning “place of hope” in isiXhosa. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Go the Extra MileGEM is a social development drive that was created to get people actively involved in the development of organisations and initiatives that aim to improve people’s lives, such as Ethembeni.By rewarding volunteers for their involvement, GEM hopes the incentive will drive more and more people to take ownership of the societies they live in and take a more hands-on approach to improving them.“We receive incentives and rewards for so many things, such as shopping at a certain place, or flying a certain airline,” explained Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.“Why then not offer incentives for the really important things, such as taking care of babies, helping to paint a school, working in a community garden, making food for the homeless, or cleaning-up neighbourhoods?”Encouraging active citizenship among people in South Africa is one of Play Your Part’s key objectives and partnering and supporting initiatives such as GEM is part of the effort to do just that.Volunteers can select one or more of the campaigns listed in the app’s database. Once the good deed is done, they receive a reward via the app, called a GEM.These GEMs can be redeemed for a range of products such as airtime, data, pre-paid electricity or movie tickets.Get involvedFor more information on how to get involved in your community and to keep track of the activities in and around your area, visit GEM’s website or download the application.Go out and take action, get actively involved in turning South Africa into a better place for all who call it home.
Suspected extremists gunned down five youths in eastern Assam’s Sadiya police district on Thursday. Police did not rule out the involvement of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), though the outfit did not claim responsibility.Additional Superintendent of Police Prakash Sonowal said some motorcycle-borne men indiscriminately opened fire on the youths at a dhaba at Kherbari village under the Dhola police station limits about 8.55 p.m.The victims were identified as Ananta Namasudra, Abinash Namasudra, Subal Das, Dhanai Namasudra and Syamal Biswas.“I condemn the killing of innocent people. Perpetrators of the crime would be dealt with firmly,” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said. He asked two Ministers and senior police officers, including Director-General of Police Kuladhar Saikia to rush to the site and deal with the situation.This is the second subversive strike in a little over a fortnight. The ULFA-I had claimed responsibility for a bomb blast in Guwahati on October 13, in which five people were injured.“This explosion was directed against those opposing the National Register of Citizens update and against those organisations supporting settling of Hindu Bangladeshis in Assam,” the outfit’s military chief Paresh Baruah had said in a statement then. Rajnath anguished In New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed deep anguish over the killings, saying strongest possible action would be taken against the perpetrators of the heinous crime. Mr. Singh spoke to Mr. Sonowal and took stock of the situation.Outfit denies roleIn a late night statement, the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) has denied its hand in the killings. “The killings might have happened due to the BJP government’s bid to derail NRC by pushing Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016”, a statement from the outfit said. (With PTI inputs)
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Washington DC: The US Federal Reserve cut the benchmark lending rate on Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade, moving to stimulate the economy after a year of sustained pressure from President Donald Trump. The target for the federal funds rate is now 2.0-2.25 percent, 25 basis points lower, and the central bank vowed to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” However, two officials on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee opposed the move to provide more stimulus to the economy and dissented in the vote. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe Fed also gave Trump something else he has demanded in his unrelenting attacks: an early end to a policy known as “quantitative tightening” or QT. Beginning August 1, that means the Fed will stop reducing the huge amount of securities it built up during the global financial crisis. “In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 2 to 2-1/4 percent,” the FOMC statement said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostWhile the committee continues to expect sustained economic expansion and gradually rising inflation to the Fed’s two percent target, “uncertainties about this outlook remain.” Officials will “continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labour market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective.” Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a news conference starting at 1830 which will be watched with interest to see if he hints that more interest rate cuts are ahead. It was a fairly sudden reversal for the Fed which raised the rate that influences the cost of all types of business and consumer loans, including credit cards and mortgages, four times last year, most recently in December. Trump, whose aggressive trade policies have thrown a wrench into the world economy and complicated the Fed’s carefully laid plans, will certainly welcome the rate cut and likely call for more, as he has been doing for months. However, Esther George, head of the Kansas City Federal Reserve bank, and Eric Rosengren, of Boston, dissented in the 8-2 vote, because they “preferred at this meeting to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent.” The statement recognized that the “labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.” In fact, with unemployment at 3.7 percent, near the lowest point in 50 years, and average job creation in the first half of this year having slowed at 172,000 new positions a month — slower than the 223,000 in all of 2018, but still solid — some economists see little need for the Fed to provide additional stimulus. Others see concerns on the horizon: a slowdown in China’s growth, the European Union on the brink of an unknown Brexit outcome, added to a drop off in US business investment and rising corporate debt levels. They say the Fed is right to retreat for now. “The Fed is focused on inflation, and for good reason,” Canaccord Genuity chief equity strategist Tony Dwyer said in an analysis. “The Fed has spent decades worried about higher inflation when the economy reaches full employment, yet when it reached the historically low current level, there was no sign of it.” Inflation is “monster that hasn’t come,” Dwyer said. However, economist Joel Naroff disagrees, saying “the data don’t point to a faltering economy only a moderating one.” “Where we go from here, though, is the real question and, given the rapidity with which Whiplash Jay changes direction, I have little idea what the next move will be,” Naroff said in a research note.
TORONTO – Stanley Hartt, who served as former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff from 1989-1990, has died of cancer in Toronto at the age of 80.In a statement, Mulroney says he is deeply saddened by Hartt’s death, calling him one of the “most outstanding public servants of our country.”Mulroney describes Hartt as having an “extremely brilliant mind with a delightful sense of humour” and a remarkable capacity to analyze complex issues and produce policy options.Prior to joining Mulroney’s office, Hartt served as deputy finance minister under former finance minister Michael Wilson and was a key figure in the negotiations that led to the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement.According to his LinkedIn profile, Hartt had spent the last five years as a lawyer with the Toronto-based law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright.He also served as chairman at such companies as Campeau Corp., Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., and Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc.“I will always remember Stanley as a warm and highly valued friend of some 50 years,” said Mulroney.“Stanley played an important role in all the major initiatives of our government, from free trade to the GST, from Meech Lake to the movement to free Nelson Mandela.”