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49ers Foundation hosts ‘Players for a Purpose’ fundraiser for Bay Area youth

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SANTA CLARA — The 49ers gathered on the field at Levi’s Stadium Sunday night not to play ball but for a special cause: to tackle the education and empowerment of Bay Area youth.

The benefit dinner in the end zone is the only event of the year where the whole team is present.

49ers players took part in a Family Feud-style friendly game on stage, helped auction off exclusive packages and met fans one-on-one.

The mission of this fifth annual launch event was to raise funds to help tens of thousands of young people.

“At the end of Friday night’s game – to see them all show up and show up on a Sunday after training and give their time and give back – it really shows the commitment to being champions on the pitch and champions in the game. community as well,” said 49ers Foundation executive director Justin Prettyman.

Big names in football, including Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens and new starting quarterback Trey Lance, sat down with guests, as did coaches, team executives and owners.

“I’m very proud that it’s for young people. I’m very passionate about it. I think young people are our future,” defensive lineman Arik Armstead said.

Armstead grew up in the Sacramento area.

“I’ve been to a lot of camps growing up, a lot of Kings players that I’ve met over the years and taken inspiration from,” he added.

Since 1991, the 49ers Foundation has raised more than $50 million and invested it in various community programs, including STEM classes and health and wellness services.

“This last offseason I was able to do my first flag football camp which was pretty special, just being around them, being able to touch them,” linebacker Fred Warner said. “Whatever questions they ask it’s usually something funny, I don’t know, they’re probably asking me to do the ‘griddy’ or something. But the message I always try to to pass on to them is to dream big.”

Sunday’s event raised $760,000, surpassing last year’s total of more than $650,000.

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Other voices: Alex Jones again demonstrates the depths of his depravity

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Other Voices: Alex Jones Again Demonstrates The Depths Of His Depravity
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Poisonous gasbag Alex Jones has already lost the defamation suit brought by families of children and educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary; the only purpose of a Connecticut trial is to determine the damages he’ll pay for defaming them by saying the murder of 20 first graders and six educators was staged.

On the stand last Thursday, questioned by an attorney for the families, Jones demonstrated his contempt for the entire exercise: “You’re unbelievable,” he spat: “You switch on emotions on and off when you want. It’s just ambulance-chasing.”

“Why don’t you show them respect?” replied the lawyer. “You have families in this courtroom that lost children, sisters, wives, moms.”

Retorted Jones: “Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry. I didn’t progenerate this. I wasn’t the first person to say it. American gun owners didn’t like being blamed for this as the left did, so we rejected it mentally and said it must not be true, but I legitimately thought it might have been staged. And I stand by that and I don’t apologize for it.”

The reptile whose words smeared murdered kids and their loved ones as crisis actors remains incapable of remorse. Meanwhile, his website Infowars continues mocking the proceedings. Soak the snake.

— The New York Daily News

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Ian just shy of a Category 5 hurricane as it nears Florida

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Ian Just Shy Of A Category 5 Hurricane As It Nears Florida
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By CURT ANDERSON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday. “This is going to be a rough stretch.”

The massive storm appeared on track to slam into the Florida’s southwestern Gulf coast somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the bay area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The Fort Myers area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn to pristine white sandy beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters said could be completely inundated.

The hurricane center warned of catastrophic storm surges raising the water level as much as 12 feet (3.6 meters) to 16 feet (4.9 meters) above ground level for coastal areas straddling Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, which are between Naples and Sarasota.

More than 2.5 million people were under mandatory evacuation orders, but by law no one could be forced to flee. Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars away from the shore.

“You can’t do anything about natural disasters,” said Vinod Nair, who drove inland from the Tampa area Tuesday with his wife, son, dog and two kittens seeking a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando. “We live in a high risk zone, so we thought it best to evacuate.”

Winds exceeding tropical-storm strength of 39 mph (63 kph) reached Florida by 3 a.m. and the first hurricane-force winds were recorded by 6 a.m., well in advance of the eyewall moving inland, the Miami-based center said. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Overnight, Hurricane Ian went through a natural cycle when it lost its old eye and formed a new eye. The timing of this is bad for the Florida coast because it means the storm got stronger and larger hours before it was set to make landfall, making it even more of a menace. Ian went from 120 mph (193 kph) to 155 mph (250 kph) in just three hours, the second round of rapid intensification in the storm’s life cycle.

“With the higher intensity you’re going to see more extensive wind damage. The larger wind field means that more people will experience those storm-force winds,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said. And “it will really increase the amount of storm surge.”

Ian’s forward movement slowed over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger, and its predicted path shifted slightly southward. That would likely spare Tampa and St. Petersburg their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Instead, the most damaging winds could hit a rapidly developing coastline where the population has jumped sevenfold since 1970, according to the U.S. Census, which shows Lee County has seen the eighth largest population growth among more than 180 Atlantic and Gulf coast counties in the past 50 years.

There were 250,000 people in the Fort Myers/Lee County mandatory evacuation zones, and authorities worried ahead of the storm that only 10% or so would leave.

Gil Gonzalez wasn’t taking any chances. He boarded the windows of his Tampa home with plywood and laid down sandbags to guard against any flooding. He and his wife packed their car with bottled water, flashlights, battery packs for their cellphones and a camp stove before evacuating.

“All the prized possessions, we’ve put them upstairs in a friend’s house,” Gonzalez said.

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed, as did Disney World theme parks and Sea World in Orlando ahead of the storm.

A couple from England on vacation in Tampa found themselves faced with riding out the storm at a shelter. Glyn and Christine Williams of London were told to leave their hotel near the beach when evacuations were ordered. Because the airport shut down, they could get no flight home.

“Unfortunately, all the hotels are full or closed, so it looks as though we’re going to be in one of the shelters,” Christine Williams said.

Her husband insisted all would be fine. “You know, you got to go with the flow,” Glyn Williams said. “So we’re quite happy doing what we’re doing.”

The precise location of landfall was still uncertain, but with Ian’s tropical storm-force winds extending 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center, flash floods were possible across the whole state. Parts of Florida’s east coast faced a storm surge threat as well, and isolated tornadoes were spinning off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without electricity. As a precaution, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals also were moving some patients.

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops onto standby to respond as needed.

Before turning toward Florida, Ian struck Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and causing destruction in the island nation’s world-famous tobacco belt. No deaths were reported.

Local government station TelePinar reported heavy damage at the main hospital in Pinar del Rio city, tweeting photos of collapsed ceilings, widely flung debris and toppled trees. Some people left the stricken area on foot, carrying their children, while buses tried to evacuated others through waterlogged streets. Others opted to stay at their damaged houses.

“It was horrible,” said Yusimi Palacios, a resident of Pinar del Rio inside her damaged house. “But here we are alive, and I only ask the Cuban revolution to help me with the roof and the mattress.”

___

Associated Press contributors include Christina Mesquita in Havana, Cuba; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York.

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Other voices: Reforming the Electoral Count Act should not be controversial

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Other Voices: Reforming The Electoral Count Act Should Not Be Controversial
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The U.S. House of Representatives this month passed a bill to reform how Congress certifies electors after a presidential election. That bill (or a similar but slightly weaker Senate one) needs to pass the Senate now.

After the November general election, Congress’ focus will turn to the 2024 presidential race. Good luck getting any meaningful election reforms passed then.

Ostensibly, the Presidential Election Reform Act is a response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and its aftermath. When Congress reconvened, 147 Republican representatives and senators voted against certifying that President Joe Biden had won. There also were desperate machinations to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the election result.

Jan. 6 is only the impetus of the hour, though. The need for reform has been clear for decades. It just took a near-complete collapse of the process and democratic-norms to prompt action.

The problem goes back to the 1887 law known as the Electoral Count Act. Historians, lawyers and Constitutional law scholars for decades have argued that it was so poorly written, vague and ambiguous that it was only a matter of time until some lawmakers tried to abuse it.

Indeed, Republicans in 2021 weren’t the first to object to certifying presidential electors, though they took it further than anyone before. Some Democrats objected to certifying electors in 2001, 2005 and 2017 when Republicans won the White House. The difference was that those were just protests after a candidate had already conceded, not an outright attempt to overturn a fair election.

The House bill would clean up the Electoral Count Act. It would raise the bar for members of Congress to object to certification and would make it explicit that the vice president’s role is strictly ceremonial. It also would establish clear rules for who in the states certifies electors.

None of this should be controversial. Establishing well-defined ground rules for elections and the transfer of presidential power benefits everyone. Yet only nine Republicans in the House joined Democrats in passing the bill. Most of the nine also had voted to impeach Trump after Jan. 6 and won’t return to Congress after this year’s election.

The Senate should act without delay, though whether it can overcome a Republican filibuster is uncertain. If it cannot, senators should vote on a similar Senate bill that does have bipartisan support. That one doesn’t go quite as far, but something is better than nothing. The alternative is heading into 2024 with the same broken law that led to a riot and members of Congress trading their honor for fealty to a losing presidential candidate.

— The Seattle Times

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Insurance regulator asks general insurers to offer long-term policies

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Insurance Regulator Asks General Insurers To Offer Long-Term Policies
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The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked general insurers to offer long-term policies, particularly with three different segments forming the majority of the business. These three segments are automobile insurance, health insurance and property insurance.

A working committee of 21 members was formed for this purpose. This working committee is made up of representatives from the general insurance industry, the regulatory side and the banking side.

The committee basically expected to give its recommendations and suggestions to the insurance regulator in terms of structure, operation of long-term products in these three segments as well as pricing and accounting mechanism.

This decision will help policyholders stay with one insurance company over the long term. The possible industry indication is that there could be 10-year auto insurance policies, health insurance policies, and property insurance policies.

This committee is supposed to give recommendations to the regulator. Once this is collected by the regulatory body, final regulations will be developed regarding the appearance of these products.

To learn more, watch the attached video

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James Stavridis: Putin’s new cannon fodder won’t win the Ukraine war

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A Man Hugs His Mother Outside A Military Recruitment Center Iin Russia As Officers And Others Look On.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin tripled down on the war in Ukraine in a short but defiant televised speech last week. Politically, he announced that a series of referendums on joining Russia would be held in the conquered territories of eastern Ukraine. Militarily, he repeated previous not-so-veiled threats to use nuclear weapons, and announced a mobilization of 300,000 reservists to be thrown into his flailing “special military operation.”

All these choices smack of desperation and an attempt to thread a narrow needle: Putin wants Russians to believe that everything is going fine and that ultimately he will conquer Ukraine; but he also knows that with as many as 80,000 troops killed in action or wounded in just over six months of war, he simply must get more soldiers into the fight.

The referendums are largely meaningless, with preordained outcomes that no informed observer or the United Nations will take seriously. The nuclear threat is a repetition of Putin’s bluster from months ago. He is highly unlikely to use even a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon given the obvious threat of starting World War III and also the immense damage it would do in his efforts to keep Brazil, India, Nigeria, South Africa and other large nonaligned countries in neutrality.

But the mobilization of 300,000 troops is worth examining as a matter of military analysis. What does the decision to call in reserves say about the state of the war, and how should the West react?

When I was supreme allied commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, I participated in exercises with many reserve troops, including those of three non-NATO countries with exceptional systems: Finland, Israel and Switzerland. (Finland is currently in the midst of the NATO accession process.)

Finland and Israel are small nations with a history of being invaded by their immediate neighbors — Russia in the case of the former, and various Arab nations for the latter. Both have universal conscription (males for Finland, both sexes for Israel) that flows into a highly ordered, motivated and exceptionally well-equipped reserve force. I came away with deep respect for their capabilities.

Another country with incredibly ready reserves is neutral Switzerland. The military tradition there is deeply respected and woven into Swiss culture, from highly trained fighter pilots to troops mounted on racing bicycles. Every time I flew over Switzerland in NATO aircraft, I would look with admiration to the left and right at reserve fighter pilots in high-end jets escorting us over their country.

The Russian reserve system, by contrast, is not highly regarded by outside military analysts. It is based on the vestiges of universal conscription that were in place for decades, and the stories of raw draftees being beaten, abused and starved are legendary. (See, for example, “One Soldier’s War” by Arkady Babchenko for a snapshot inside the brutal system.) It is also shockingly corrupt. When soldiers get out of uniform — after brutal wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria — they want to get as far as they can from the army.

Once discharged, former soldiers are loosely tracked by the Russian state. In contrast to modern Western militaries, there appears to be very little systematic training, no organized equipment maintenance or operations, and no in-depth ties with standing units and missions. While there are a few reserve units in the model of U.S. system, they are small and inadequately supported by the larger armed forces.

Ominously for Russia, the mobilization order places the onus for recruitment on various governors of Russian regions, under a system of quotas levied by the defense ministry. This demonstrates that there is no broad, structured reserve to which the Russian military can turn. Additionally, the decree allows for further call-ups down the road, and offers bonuses to the reserves who come forward, much like the incentives offered to convicts in Russian prisons to go and fight.

It will be a Herculean administrative task to provide uniforms and training for 300,000 troops, find qualified leaders at the officer level, provide them with effective equipment, and get them integrated with communications and logistics. It will be months before a significant number can be brought to bear in combat. Then, almost certainly, they will become yet another wave of cannon fodder launched at Ukrainian positions.

The Ukrainians, knowing they may eventually be facing a much larger force, will prepare their own responses. They will be seeking (and probably receiving from the West) systems that can negate large numbers of foot soldiers: close-air attack planes, tanks and artillery, mounted machine guns, precision mortars and long-range surface-to-surface missiles.

The Russians being pulled off the street in this mobilization will face a highly motivated, extremely well-armed and very innovative foe in the Ukrainians. The War of Putin’s Ego continues, and many of these 300,000 poor souls are likely to pay the ultimate cost for his folly.

A Russian recruit hugs his mother at a military recruitment center in Volgograd, Russia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a partial mobilization of reservists to beef up his forces in Ukraine. (AP Photo, File)

 

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Ukraine vows to challenge Russia’s ‘void and worthless’ referendums

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Ukraine Vows To Challenge Russia'S 'Void And Worthless' Referendums
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Ukraine will never recognize ‘void and worthless’ Russian referendums in its occupied territories and will continue to fight to free them, Kyiv promised today.

Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson ‘remain Ukraine’s sovereign territories’, Kyiv’s foreign ministry says, despite sham votes staged by Russia at gunpoint that paved the way for Putin to attach them.

“Ukraine has every right to restore its territorial integrity through military and diplomatic means, and will continue to liberate” its territory, the ministry added – in defiance of Kremlin threats to use nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers have reportedly earmarked an additional $12 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine, underscoring their commitment to supporting Kyiv for a long time despite Russia’s slashing.

Ukraine Has Vowed Never To Recognize Russian Referendums

Ukraine has vowed never to recognize ‘void and worthless’ Russian referendums or stop liberating its occupied territories (pictured, Russian troops outside a polling station)

President Zelensky Has Said There Will Be No Peace Talks With Russia As Putin Tries To Carve Up His Country Under The Guise Of Democracy

President Zelensky Has Said There Will Be No Peace Talks With Russia As Putin Tries To Carve Up His Country Under The Guise Of Democracy

President Zelensky has said there will be no peace talks with Russia as Putin tries to carve up his country under the guise of democracy

Russian officials in occupied parts of Ukraine announced yesterday that 90% of people had voted to be part of Russia – a result which was little in doubt as armed soldiers went door to door in the ballot boxes.

Kremlin puppets in occupied areas said they planned to seek permission to join Russia today, which Putin is expected to accept in a speech to parliament on Friday.

While devoid of legitimacy, the process will allow Putin to lie to his own people that Ukraine is now attacking Russia rather than the other way around – kicking off a dangerous new phase in the conflict.

President Zelensky, speaking at the UN last night, said there could be no peace talks with Putin while he worked to carve up Ukrainian territory.

“Russia’s recognition of these sham referendums as normal … will mean that there is nothing to discuss with this Russian president,” he said.

Separately, his foreign ministry criticized “armed aggression and powerless attempts to cling to the territories temporarily occupied” by the Kremlin.

“Forcing residents of these territories to fill out papers with the barrel of a gun is another Russian crime during its aggression against Ukraine,” he said.

“Such actions seriously violate the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, as well as the norms of international law and Russia’s international obligations. ‘

Russia Claimed Yesterday That More Than 90% Of The Inhabitants Of The Territories It Occupies Had Voted To Join The

Russia Claimed Yesterday That More Than 90% Of The Inhabitants Of The Territories It Occupies Had Voted To Join The

Russia claimed yesterday that more than 90% of the people in the territories it occupies had voted to join the ‘motherland’, although there is no doubt the poll was rigged

Moscow yesterday released the results of referendums its troops have held in occupied parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia over the past week – saying 90% of people voted to be part of Russia.

Videos of armed Kremlin soldiers going door to door with ballot boxes left little doubt about the validity of the votes, but it nevertheless marks an important moment as it gives Putin a pretext to claim them as part of Russia .

The despot is expected to do so on Friday when he addresses both houses of parliament, allowing him to lie to his own people that Ukraine is now attacking Russia – rather than the other way around.

This then increases the suite of options he must answer, including the use of nuclear weapons.

Putin threatened to deploy his nuclear arsenal last week, and his allies – including ex-president Dmitry Medvedev – have repeated it many times since.

Russia staged the referendums following a Ukrainian counterattack east of Kharkiv that put Putin firmly on the back foot and victory within reach.

The Kremlin now appears to be trying to regain momentum with a heady mix of threats and escalation.

Putin Is Expected To Annex Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia And Kherson Regions To Russia In A Speech To Parliament On Friday (File Image)

Putin Is Expected To Annex Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia And Kherson Regions To Russia In A Speech To Parliament On Friday (File Image)

Putin is expected to annex Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to Russia in a speech to parliament on Friday (file image)

Annexing The Territory Would Allow Putin To Claim That Ukraine Is Attacking Russia Rather Than The Other Way Around, Paving The Way For The War To Escalate (File Image, A Russian Soldier In Ukraine)

Annexing The Territory Would Allow Putin To Claim That Ukraine Is Attacking Russia Rather Than The Other Way Around, Paving The Way For The War To Escalate (File Image, A Russian Soldier In Ukraine)

Annexing the territory would allow Putin to claim that Ukraine is attacking Russia rather than the other way around, paving the way for the war to escalate (File image, a Russian soldier in Ukraine)

Besides referenda and nuclear saber-cutting, Putin also ordered the partial mobilization of the Russian population with the aim of sending 300,000 new troops to the front lines.

This sparked huge domestic unrest with protests breaking out in several cities and seeing thousands of people fleeing the country to avoid the project.

Meanwhile, videos revealed conscripts were given little training or equipment before being thrown to the front lines, with experts saying they are unlikely to turn the tide of the war.

But, rather than outright winning, Putin appears to be trying to increase the cost of his defeat so that the West stops trying.

In this context, two explosions yesterday seriously damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines which pass under the Baltic Sea – Moscow being the main suspect.

However, Western leaders have so far refrained from blaming Russia directly as the attack caught them off guard and evidence is still being collected.

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