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Nigeria considering $4.9 billion budget cut Bird’s-eye view of Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone /VCG PhotoBotswana requires some $3.40 billion over the next two and a half years to cover expected budget deficits and to revive its economy which has been battered by COVID-19, according to the ministry of finance.The Southern African country has reported very low numbers of COVID-19, with only three active cases remaining, but has been severely impacted by lockdowns.The country’s budget deficit is expected to more than double as reduced diamond sales and exports hit revenues.“The estimated total cost of Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP) spending is 20 billion pula ($1.7 billion) over 2.5 years,” read a draft of the plan seen by Reuters.“In addition, the anticipated budget deficit over the same period is 20 billion pula, making a total of approximately 40 billion pula to be funded,” it said.Industries earmarked for investment include agriculture, health infrastructure, transport and the tourism sector which has ground to a halt due to global travel restrictions and a nationwide lockdown.Funding for the economic recovery plan and the deficits is expected to be sourced mostly from domestic borrowing, drawing down on government savings, and taxes.Botswana recently ended a 48-day lockdown allowing businesses and schools to reopen under strict conditions as it seeks to restart the economy.Related Nigeria’s president signs $29 billion budget into law Uganda unveils $12.3 billion budget
MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Runners move along 4th Avenue in the Brooklyn borough of New York during the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya has won the New York City Marathon, holding off countryman Wilson Kipsang by three seconds for his first major victory.Kamworor ran the race in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 53 seconds. He and Kipsang embraced just past the finish line to huge cheers.ADVERTISEMENT Aussie coach, Reyes, Baldwin headline coaches convention Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Malditas save PH from shutout Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ American running great and 2009 New York winner Meb Keflezighi completed his 26th and final marathon, collapsing as he crossed the finish.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay
The infighting within Boxing India (BI) is taking a heavy toll onpugilists with each passing day and the junior national boxers (agegroup 14-16) are the latest to suffer.The Junior Asian Championships is currently on in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but without any Indian representation as there has not been a national championships at the junior level since 2012. Coach M.S. Dhaka, who used to train the junior national team, said it has been almost a year since the last national camp for junior boxers was held.”It’s unfortunate that our team isn’t participating at the junior Asian Championships and it will be very difficult for us to field a team at the World Championships in September, because we can’t select the team in the absence of junior nationals since 2012. The last batch of juniors we selected from the 2012 Nationals graduated to the senior category last year, and there hasn’t been a single junior national camp since July 2014,” Dhaka told MAIL TODAY. The 2012 junior Nationals took place in Akola, Maharashtra, while the last national camp was held in Mumbai. Dhaka is training upcoming boxers at the Sports Authority of India’s centre in Hisar, Haryana.The National Championships used to take place every year before they were halted post the suspension imposed by the world body on the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation in December 2012. After a gap of nearly two years, a new federation was established in September 2014. But it couldn’t get recognition from the sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association, as a result of which it couldn’t organise the junior nationals. Since the new crop of junior boxers was not identified, the national camp also couldn’t take place.advertisement”Early this year, I requested Boxing India to write to SAI to start a camp. But before the federation could take any action, the infighting started in February and all my attempts to restart the camp went in vain,” Dhaka said.He was referring to BI ordering its state units to boycott the National Games in Kerala in February-March. The miffed state units vowed to oust BI president Sandeep Jajodia and secretary general Jay Kowli.They managed to do so when a no-confidence motion was passed against the duo in New Delhi last month.”If the infighting doesn’t end and the current situation persists, our youth camp (age group 17-19) may also be discontinued since all of the boxers there will graduate to the senior category within a year. So, it’s high time boxing in India returns to the right track,” said Dhaka.
Asus launched as many as three new smartphones in India on Thursday at its ZenFestival event held in New Delhi. While the ZenFone 2 Deluxe and the ZenFone Selfie each look very promising on paper it’s the company’s third offering, the ZenFone 2 Laser that is particularly interesting.Also Read: Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe, Laser and Selfie variants break-down: Everything to know In a nutshell, the ZenFone 2 Laser aims to become the new hot favorite of buyers looking for a ‘good’ camera phone at a budget. How? By bringing in a camera gimmickry that was well until now limited to high-end premium phones like the LG G4 and very recently the OnePlus 2 (a mid-range phone) to the affordable segment. We are talking about laser autofocus technology.Not to mention that Asus likes to take a fair bit of inspiration from LG from time to time, be it in the design department or now the camera. But, the fact still remains that both the ZenFone 2 and now the ZenFone 2 Laser cost peanuts in comparison to LG’s high-end smartphones.Moreover, the ZenFone 2 Laser is the only phone in its segment to offer laser autofocus technology, which makes it quite a killer deal on paper if you’re looking for a good camera phone at a budget.Also Read: First impressions: Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe The ZenFone 2 Laser starts at Rs.9,999 for the lower-end model that comes with a 5-inch 720p display, Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 (quad-core) CPU with 2GB RAM and 2,400mAh battery. The second variant with a 5.5-inch 720p display has been priced at Rs.13,999 and comes with the same Snapdragon 410 CPU, but with 3GB RAM and 3,000mAh battery.advertisementThe third variant of the ZenFone 2 Laser has a 6-inch FullHD display and has been priced at Rs. 17,999. It is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 processor coupled with 3GB RAM and has a 3,000mAh battery.We played around with the 5.5-inch variant of the ZenFone 2 Laser and here are our first impressions?To begin with, the ZenFone 2 Laser has exactly the same design as that of the ZenFone 2. In fact, all the three smartphones launched by the company have the same design contours. The ZenFone 2 Laser, being the cheaper one of the lot is built rather ‘cheaply’ in comparison. Not that it’s bad, but you can make out the difference in the quality and craftsmanship which is slightly on the lower end of the spectrum.The front is still characteristic ZenFone-like with the familiar metallic strip on the front lower end featuring concentric semi-circles. The screen comes aided with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which is nice.The back is plastic with a slight matte finish and still houses the LG G2-like volume rocker. The power button – much to our disappointment – is still on the upper edge (like the ZenFone 2) which means using it on a 5.5-inch phablet is still a frustrating affair.The 5.5-inch variant of the phone comes with an HD 720X1280 pixels resolution and 294ppi density which translates to a decent screen, with a decent output and adequate viewing angles. Brightness levels could have been slightly better though.The phone is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 processor with 3GB RAM. In our brief usage we found the processor pretty nippy and multitasking was handled pretty well too, but we still need more time with the device to give out a final verdict. At this price it competes with the likes of the Motorola Moto G (Gen 3), the Xiaomi Mi 4 (and the Mi 4i) among others. We reviewed the new Moto G recently and that thing was smooth as butter. The Mi 4i, not so much, but the Mi 4 is pretty fast and smooth as well.The ZenFone 2 Laser runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box with the company’s ZenUI on top, which is pretty responsive, however it comes loaded with bloatware, which we did not like.The ZenFone 2 Laser sports a 13MP rear camera with laser autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash along with a 5MP camera on the front.The laser autofocus system to adjust the focus of the handset’s rear camera over regular autofocus is the phone’s key marketing gimmick. Whether or not it is able to excel in real-world usage is yet to be seen.In layman’s terms, the laser autofocus gimmickry is supposed to help in low light conditions, meaning better low light photos.We clicked some photos with the phone (in low light) and the results were a mixed bag. That said, some of the photos clicked with the phone’s rear camera came out pretty good, with good detail and colours that were punchy and almost true to source. There was some noise. More on that later.advertisementThe ZenFone 2 Laser uses a 3,000 mAh battery and supports 4G LTE. Our first impressions of the ZenFone 2 Laser are mostly positive, more so because the price at which the company is selling this phone seems quite well put out. It has the same processor as the new Moto G (but more RAM) which is nice. This doesn’t mean it’s smoother than the Moto G though, but considering that the original ZenFone 5 that was launched at a similar price point sold like hot cakes, chances are this one may see similar response. The camera gimmickry seems well put out too (unlike the Xolo Black where too much technicalities killed the fun).Also Read: Asus globally announces ZenFone Max with 5,000mAh battery in India
Flamengo chief Braz confirms they want to keep hold of Inter Milan striker Gabigolby Carlos Volcano7 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveFlamengo vice-president Marcos Braz has confirmed they want to keep hold of Gabriel Barbosa.Gabigol is on-loan at Fla from Inter Milan.“Conversations for his stay are underway, but it’s still too early,” Braz told Lance.“We’ve started talking to his agents. I don’t think there will be any problems if he wants to stay.“Flamengo will make a strong and satisfying proposal. We’ll make every effort to keep him.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Kolkata: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority has written to the Eastern Railways(ER) to conduct health audit study of Brace Bridge as soon as possible and take remedial measures if needed.The chief engineer of roads and bridges sector of KMDA has stated in its letter to the chief bridge engineer of Eastern Railways that the matter should be treated as urgent to avoid any catastrophe in the bridge. “After the cave-in of the Majerhat Bridge, we had written to the ER requesting them to conduct health audit study of Brace Bridge as early as possible and submit a report in this regard. However, we are not too sure whether the ER has conducted any audit of the bridge till date. So, as per the directions of the minister of Urban Development, Firhad Hakim, we have again written to the ER requesting them to take up any repair or retrofitting of the bridge if they deem so,” a senior KMDA official said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaKMDA has stated in its letter that they are ready to provide technical assistance to ER. Since the cave in of the Majerhat bridge, a major portion of the traffic particularly buses from the Behala side are being diverted over the Brace Bridge while travelling to the heart of the city. Moreover, with the bridge connecting the Port area, goods vehicles, including heavy trucks, also take Brace Bridge so there is huge pressure on the bridge even during the night. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayKMDA has also written to ER urging them to provide drawings of the Chitpur Bridge as it has undergone modifications from time to time for facilitating the movement of circular railways under the bridge. “We are soon taking up repair of the bridge and before that it is necessary to have in hand the drawing of the changes made earlier so that our engineers have a thorough knowledge of the structure of the bridge,” the official said. The inspection of the bridge by KMDA, state Public Works Department, ER and Kolkata Municipal Corporation in December last year has revealed that it has gone some serious geometrical and structural changes in the past particularly during construction of the Circular Rail project, the height of the old bridge was raised from its original one. KMDA feels that the bridge is in need of some major repairing work on an urgent basis.
New Delhi: The Election Commission Friday said the BJP has sought 10 more days to respond to a show cause notice issued to a member of its national election committee for sharing an “audio-visual advertisement” titled “main bhi chowkidar hun” on social media without complying with the directions of the poll body.Delhi’s chief electoral officer, in a statement, said, “As regards the show cause notice dated March 26, issued for sharing the audio-visual ad titled ‘main bhi chowkidar hun’ on social media, the BJP has sought 10 days to file a reply.” The poll body had earlier asked the BJP election committee member to submit a reply within three days. Earlier this month, the EC had directed political parties to keep the country’s defence personnel out of election campaigning and not to use their photographs in advertisements. The EC’s Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) had issued a conditional certificate dated March 16 to BJP national election committee member Neeraj “in respect of the said advertisement subject to the exclusion of the clips depicting Army personnel”. In a bid to check violation of the poll code on social media, the EC had earlier asked political parties and candidates to get their digital content certified by the MCMC before posting it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 16, launched the “main bhi chowkidar hun” campaign by putting out a tweet that read: “Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar.” He had also tweeted a video that begins with the PM addressing the people saying, “Your chowkidar is absolutely alert.”
Balrampur/Dumariyaganj: BJP president Amit Shah Thursday said Narendra Modi should be brought back as prime minister as only he can ensure national security. Shah also accused the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party of favouring certain castes and working for them, and stressed contrary to this, the BJP believes in the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Wielding the nationalism plank as he addressed multiple election rallies, the BJP chief told people that only Modi is capable of keeping the country safe and teaching terrorists a lesson, as he described Modi as a “man with 56 inch chest”. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework He also asserted the BJP government, if voted back to power, will scrap Article 370, which gives special powers to Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP president spell out the central government’s development and welfare projects such as providing free LPG connections, health insurance under Ayushman Bharat, construction of toilets, but it was his emphasis on the national security that drew loudest response from the crowd. He also jeered opposition leaders- from “Rahul baba” to “Akhilesh babu”- alleging the Balakot air strikes caused as much deep sorrow in their offices as in Pakistan because they feared their “vote banks” will be upset with the attacks on terrorist camps in the neighbouring country. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen “The Modi government has done so much of development work. But if there is one issue for which you have to ensure that Modi returns as prime minister, then it is national security. Only he can ensure the national security,” Shah said at Balrampur. When terrorists from across the border would target Indian soldiers, there would not be any reaction from the then Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, he alleged, attacking the opposition. Targeting the SP-BSP alliance, he said both regional parties are devoted to casteism and family rule and only worked for development of one caste or another when they ruled Uttar Pradesh separately for over two decades. Addressing an election meeting in Balrampur in support of party candidate Daddan Mishra, the BJP president said, “The SP and BSP are casteist and dynastic parties. When one party was in power, it favoured a specific caste and worked for it. “Similarly, when the second (party) was in power, it favoured another caste. The work of the society took a backseat,” he said. But, on the contrary, he said, “The BJP believes in mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, and it never asked the caste (of any person) while undertaking developmental work.” They never worked for the development of society, he said, asserting the BJP government under Yogi Aadityanath has been working for the progress of all sections of society since it came to power in 2017. Seeking vote in the prime minister’s name, Shah claimed that Modi had not taken leave in 20 years and worked for 18 hours a day. Taking a dig at rival leaders, he said Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav go on vacation in foreign countries when the weather hots up. Showering praises on Prime Minister, Shah said, “The Modi-Modi slogan, which can be heard across the country, is mot merely an election slogan. This is the blessings of the countrymen on Modiji. The slogan tells that, when counting of votes will take place on May 23, Modiji will be the next Prime Minister.” Shah also alleged that during the tenure of the SP, the BSP and the Congress, the poor people could not afford treatment in absence of money. “Modiji brought Ayushman Bharat Yojana,” he said, claiming that within four months lakhs of people have availed of the benefit of free treatment. “The poor people have got a right to live,” he said. Referring to the law and order situation in the state, the BJP chief said, “Earlier it was the policemen, who were afraid of criminals. But, after Yogi Adityanath came to power, the criminals have started fearing the police and are requesting the cops to arrest them and not kill them in encounters.” He also accused the past governments of the SP and the BSP of turning a blind eye to land grabbers. “After the formation of the Yogi Adityanath government, work of protecting the land of the poor has started. We have also put an end to illegal abattoirs in the state,” he said. “The security of the country is of top priority to us. If a bullet (goli) comes to us from Pakistan, our people will retaliate with a shell (golaa),” he said amid applause from the crowd. Shah also claimed that UP during the Sonia-Manmohan era got Rs 3.30 lakh crore, whereas when Modi became the prime minister, UP got funds amounting to Rs 10.27 lakh crore. The BJP chief also mentioned that it was the saffron party, which gave 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections without disturbing the quota for the backward people. Shrawasti, spread over Bhinga, Shrawasti, Tulsipur, Gainsari and Balrampur assembly segments, goes to polls on May 12 in the sixth phase.
Derek Jeter, a regionally popular player for a local New York ball club, announced his retirement in February, presaging the end to 20 seasons in Major League Baseball.I’ll leave it to the sports desk to discuss the actual performance of Jeter, but one effect the announcement had was a meteoric rise in the price of tickets to both his last game at Yankee Stadium, this Thursday, and his last, last game, in Boston this Sunday.And while they’re not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, the Yankees are what we in the statistics community call “pretty boned, all things considered.” So, it’s reasonable to expect that Sunday will be Jeter’s final game in the majors.We’ve seen a steady increase in recent weeks in the price of tickets sold on the secondary market StubHub. Here’s the day-by-day average sale-price data it sent us, starting Dec. 1 and going through the spike in February and up to Friday:Here’s the game in Boston: