Give us a rundown of your day?Today was a relaxing day, where the team was able to sleep in and rest up until 2:30pm. We all gathered at this time for a team meeting to discuss and review what will be going on for the next few days, injury concerns and what needs to be done before game one on Friday. After the meeting we went to Waiwera Hot Springs to relax in the team environment.How is the team shaping up for the 2010 Trans Tasman?The team is looking very sharp and confident for the up coming Trans Tasman. Everyone is excited and looking forward to game one on Friday.What is the Atmosphere like in the team?The Team atmosphere is very special. The team has bonded like no other team I have played in. Being so close makes it easier for us to play together on the field.After a strong performance in the 2009 Trans Tasman series, what can we expect out of you this year?Personally I am just looking to play my role for the team which Bernie has given me. We also have a lot more set up attacking plays and looking forward to running them out on the field.Who is your most annoying team mate to room with? Explain?This is an easy question. Tony Eltakchi is easily the most annoying person to room with. He is always walking around in his g strings listening and dancing to his 1980’s music. My other 2 room mates, Ryan Pollock and Peter Norman are also very annoying.Touch Football Australia would like to thank Ben for answering some questions to give the Touch Football community back home an update of what has been happening on the Tour.
APTN National NewsFamily and friends of a young man who died on a constructions site in British Columbia have taken to the streets of Saskatoon to raise awareness of his death.They also want the issue of worker safety talked about.APTN’s Chris Stewart has the story.
WASHINGTON — Marijuana has been legal in Canada for a month already but immigration lawyers and cannabis executives say when it comes to getting into the United States, the worst may be yet to come.As Canadians get used to the fact that cannabis is no longer against the law in their country, some experts fear they will forget the perils that past and present marijuana use still poses for those seeking to cross the Canada-U.S. border.Henry Chang, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer, says he’s bracing for a spike in cases of people who end up being banned outright from entering the U.S. for owning up to using pot.Customs and Border Protection officials have made it clear that anyone who admits to using marijuana prior to Oct. 17, the day it became legal in Canada, could be banned from entering the country.And Chang says U.S. law can still keep out anyone deemed to be a drug abuser or addict, or who is diagnosed with a mental disorder with a history of related harmful behaviour — including alcoholism or marijuana use.Investors and employees in the cannabis industry, too, are on shaky ground — one U.S. executive says the risk of being banned for life from crossing the border has become a major preoccupation for his Canadian colleagues.“The bigger issue is people thinking the slate has been wiped clean,” Chang said in an interview.“I think we’re going to start seeing more people getting banned, not because of them smoking marijuana after Oct. 17, but just because they think they have nothing to hide and they blurt out that they smoked marijuana when they were 18. That’s going to happen, because people just don’t understand that it’s still barred.”U.S. border authorities initially warned that any Canadian who gave off a whiff of pot involvement — from using the drug to working or investing in the industry —risked being banned or denied entry. They later softened that stance, saying industry workers would generally be deemed admissible so long as they were travelling for reasons unrelated to their work.Some Canadians travelling to MJBizCon, a major cannabis industry conference last week in Las Vegas, faced additional scrutiny at various border screening points.U.S. border staff at the airport in Toronto steered several attendees through a secondary screening process, said Global Public Affairs’ senior vice president Rod Elliot, who advises various clients in the cannabis industry.Elliot said he was one of roughly 25 people who were selected for additional screening — several of whom missed their flights, including him. He travelled to Las Vegas the next morning without incident.“There has been challenges for people going across the border,” he said. “It’s pretty clear that the border officials are targeting people attending this conference.”Len Saunders, a Canadian immigration lawyer based in Blaine, Wash., told a similar story about a group of would-be attendees and investors who were travelling through the airport in Vancouver. One of them, however, was part of a tour of a Vegas-based production facility in which he’d recently become an investor, arranged by his financial adviser.That investor was unaware of the risks he faced crossing the border, and must now contend with having been banned from entering the U.S., Saunders said.In the U.S., many in the industry — still hamstrung by the fact marijuana remains a controlled substance at the federal level, making it all but impossible to effectively obtain financing and other essential services — are hanging their hopes on bipartisan legislation aimed at ensuring states are protected from U.S. government interference.The bill, unveiled earlier this year by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Democrat counterpart Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, is beginning to get traction in the wake of a strong Democratic showing in the midterms, said Derek Peterson, chief executive of California-based pot producer Terra Tech Corp.“That, I think, will be the answer to legalization, and we will start to see some attention paid to that” in the new year, Peterson said.“I think (Republicans) now understand that most of the constituents in the U.S. want to have some sort of federal regulation, a tax-and-regulate program, rather than just kind of leaving it with the black market, for all practical purposes.”In the meantime, Chang has some common-sense advice for anyone who might have reason to be anxious entering the U.S.“Don’t dress like a hippie, don’t smell like marijuana, because then the questions get asked,” he said. “If you are asked the question, your only option is to refuse to answer, say it’s irrelevant, you refuse to answer — you’ll get into trouble, they’ll detain you, you’ll get sent back to Canada, but at least you don’t have anything on the record saying you engaged in controlled-substance use.”— With files from Armina Ligaya in Toronto— Follow James McCarten on Twitter @CdnPressStyleJames McCarten, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — A group of current and past Second Cup Ltd. franchisees has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian coffee chain.The suit filed earlier this month in the Superior Court of Quebec alleges the company misused a franchisee-funded advertising reserve and forced franchisees to acquire debt to fund equipment that failed to boost sales — among other things.None of the claims have been proven in court.The suit stems from an original claim by one Second Cup franchisee against the company that eight other franchisees later asked to join.Second Cup filed a document last week arguing the additional plaintiffs should be treated separately from the first claim as “each claim is extremely fact-specific.”The coffee chain and its lawyer declined to comment.A company spokesperson said the company does not comment on active court matters, particularly if they are at a very early stage of the proceedings. Companies in this story: (TSX:SCU)The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press Companies mentioned in this story: (TSX:FTS) (TSX:ENB) SURREY, B.C. — The company that supplies natural gas to homes and businesses around British Columbia says customers can go back to normal use after an explosion and fire in a pipeline that forced a plea for conservation.FortisBC had asked consumers to turn down the thermostat as supplies were limited to 50 to 80 per cent of normal levels during some of the coldest months of the year.A blast in early October shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.A news release from the utility says the increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather and conservation efforts have allowed the supply to reach normal levels. Fortis says in a statement that people should still continue be mindful of their energy use until the Enbridge pipeline is back to 100 per cent capacity.There were no injuries when the pipeline exploded and the RCMP says it does not suspect criminal activity, but the cause of the blast has yet to be determined.
Shimla: With BJP deciding to keep former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and party stalwart Murli Manohar Joshi out of the contest, Himachal BJP senior Shanta Kumar, 85, has made the first move.Shanta Kumar on Friday announced that he will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll. He is currently sitting Lok Sabha member from politically sensitive Kangra Parliamentary constituency, which had won four times including 2014. His statement comes at a time when the party’s Parliamentary Board was set to meeting in Delhi on Friday night and finalise the candidates’ second list. Top BJP leaders including Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and state BJP president Satpal Satti are in Delhi for discussions on the probable candidates. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”On Thursday night, things are thrashed to a large extent. Now, the central parliamentary board will put its seal,” said a senior BJP leader, who indicated that Kangra will get a new candidate. Three-time state Chief Minister Shanta Kumar is among BJP and Jan Sangh ‘s most potential and front line leaders in Himachal Pradesh, who was the face of the state’s politics and had a role in building-up the BJP in the Congress dominant state. Shanta Kumar had also remained a cabinet minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KReports say barring Hamirpur – where three-time MP Anurag Thakur is sure to be retained as ‘winnable’ candidate in Himachal Pradesh, there is quite a suspense on rest of the three seats viz Mandi, Shimla and Kangra. The biggest upsurge is in Mandi Parliamentary constituency in the home district of Chief Minister where former Communication minister Pt Sukh Ram’s grandson Ashray Sharma has staked his claim for the ticket. Sukh Ram’s son Anil Sharma, who was a minister in the earlier Congress government, had defected from the party before the poll and joined the BJP ahead of the 2017 polls. He is now a minister in the Jai Ram Thakur government. Sukh Ram has been camping in Delhi to meet the top BJP leaders even as state leaders including Chief Minister has refused to give any credence to Ashray Sharma’s claim for the ticket. Not Sharma alone, there are two other contenders against Ram Swaroop Sharma. Maheshwar Singh, a senior BJP leader and three-time former MP from Mandi, is lobbying hard for the ticket. He had lost the assembly poll in 2017 elections. Brigadier Khushal Thakur, a Kargil war veteran, is also seeking ticket and he had quite a following of his own in the area as being a war hero. Jai Ram Thakur has held two successive meetings in Mandi during past one week to send a message that the party will not tolerate any indiscipline if any leader tries to overstep the mandate of the party to decide on the ticket. He has also clearly told Anil Sharma, Pt Sukh Ram’s son and his cabinet minister to control his son. Some BJP leaders from Mandi had also sent a complaint to the party asking for action against Ashray Sharma and his father Anil Sharma for trying to jeopardise the party’s prospects in Mandi. The rebellion is also brewing in Shimla (reserve ) parliamentary constituency against the sitting BJP MP Virender Kashyap. Party leader H N Kashyap, a who had successfully contested the seat in 2004 is back strongly lobbying of the ticket alleging that he had been given unfair treatment by the party ever since he had lost the poll.
New Delhi: Lauding former BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav for “challenging” Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said there is “something in the soil of Haryana”, the state from where the sacked jawan hails. In a tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener said that in the 2014 general elections too, someone from Haryana– referring to himself– had taken on Modi in Varanasi. Yadav, the former Border Security Force (BSF) jawan, who was was dismissed in 2017 after complaining about the quality of food, was Monday declared as the candidate of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “There is something in the soil of Haryana. Last time too, someone (himself) from Haryana had challenged Modi ji in Varanasi, this time too Haryana’s jawan has locked horns with Modi ji. Best wishes to the SP-BSP alliance candidate from the entire nation,” Kejriwal tweeted. Born and brought up in Haryana, Kejriwal had contested against Modi in the 2014 general elections but lost to him by over 3 lakh votes. Varanasi goes to polls in the last phase of the ongoing elections on May 19.
New Delhi: A section of AIIMS faculty members have termed as “arbitrary and illegal” the administration’s imposition of conditions for holding a session to discuss caste discrimination at institutes of higher learning, and said it was an attempt to curb their fundamental rights.The organisers have postponed the event, which was to be held on Monday, in protest and have also sought revocation of the terms. A group of doctors, belonging to the forum AIIMS Front for Social Consciousness, had decided to hold a discussion on the topic “Ambedkar’s views on Social Relations: Caste discrimination in Institutions of Higher Learning” and had written to the administration to book a lecture hall for the same. In its reply, the AIIMS registrar issued certain directions for the event to be conducted. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles”No society/forum/association has been allowed to host or participate in the event. No political discussions should be held. No press/media coverage should be done and no press release should be issued without specific approval of the Director AIIMS, as this is being held within the AIIMS premises,” the conditions stated. Professors from the Hindu college and the IIT-Delhi, besides some faculty members, were scheduled to participate in the event. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThe response from the administration triggered a resentment among a section of doctors who termed it as an attempt to curb their fundamental rights and held a meeting with the director. In a communique to the AIIMS administration over their response, a senior doctor representing the group said the order was “arbitrary and illegal” by any parameter of democratic governance and that it prompted them to hold a meeting with the director over the proposed meeting. The faculty members said the director conveyed that after the election gets over on May 19, the conditions will cease to exist.
Draymond Green’s playmaking PASSES TO SHOOTEREFG%QSQQSI Games 1-44945.953.9-8.0 Game 5856.353.9+2.3 Crunch time in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals wasn’t subtle. The Oklahoma City Thunder lost the ability to run even basic basketball plays — they had six turnovers in the last five minutes, with four coming in a disastrous two-minute stretch — and Kevin Durant, who has played masterful defense all series, spent the final possessions looking like an overgrown Tim Thomas. Klay Thompson carried the Golden State Warriors with a record-setting 11-for-18 performance from three, and Stephen Curry registered enough of a pulse to get the Warriors over the final hump. But just as important to the Warriors’ Game 6 win as those runs of inept or brilliant play was Draymond Green’s return to form.The Warriors are solid favorites to win Game 7 tonight: -7 at the sports books, 70 percent to win by ESPN Stats & Info’s Basketball Power Index and 68 percent to win by our CARM-Elo forecast. Plenty of factors will go into tonight’s result, including the reemergence of Curry’s shot and handle and the sustained defense of both teams (the Warriors contested 56 of 58 field goal attempts by Durant and Russell Westbrook in Game 6 and forced each to shoot under 40 eFG%, according to player-tracking data). Curry also seemed to begin to solve Durant switching onto him in Game 6. But the Warriors need Green to play in Game 7 like the all-world playmaker of the regular season and Game 6.Green was lively on offense and forceful on defense in Game 6 in ways he wasn’t in Games 3 and 4, both won by the Thunder. He pressured the ball high and made crucial stops in the fourth quarter after the Warriors went to their “Lineup of Death” with about six and a half minutes remaining remaining. And throughout the game, he created shots for the Warriors at a rate and of a quality that was more like his regular season performance, when he was one of the best playmakers in the league.Using player-tracking data from the NBA, we can show Green’s ups and downs as a playmaker. Here’s the qSQ (shot quality expressed as the predicted effective field goal percentage of a shot, as determined by factors like defender location and where the shot came from) and qSI (how much better shooters did than the qSQ prediction) for Green’s passes to shooters in the regular season, and in the Western Conference finals so far. Game 61471.454.1+17.3 Green’s regular season numbers are outstanding — at +5.6, he ranked fourth in the NBA1Among players who passed to shooters at least 500 times. in qSI (meaning his teammates made shots he created for them more than player-tracking data expected), edging out both Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul (each at 5.2). High qSI numbers stem from having good teammates, but just as much, they come from providing value on shots that still escapes the scope of player-tracking data. Mike Conley, for instance, was No. 1 in the league (+6.7) before he went out to injury, and his Memphis Grizzlies are stocked with guys who couldn’t hit the ocean from an aircraft carrier.You can see in the numbers that Green’s passes weren’t very effective early in the series, but you could see this in the games just as easily, particularly in Games 3 and 4. Partly this was due to Durant playing suffocating defense, but Green wasn’t driving, rolling to the rim or putting pressure on the defense in any of the ways that he typically does. The shot difficulty numbers are broadly the same, but this is a place where the numbers don’t tell the whole story, with many of Green’s passes coming a little mistimed or just slightly out of rhythm. The result was a bunch of possessions that looked like this: Green came to life somewhat in Game 5, but in Game 6 he was outstanding. It’s tempting to look at that massive qSI number and assume that Thompson simply shot the Holy Ghost out of the ball, inflating Green’s numbers. That’s a little true — eight of the 14 shots Green created went to Thompson, who hit four, including three of his threes — but Green also created many of those with pressure and timing. In other words, this wasn’t simply the difference between shooters making and missing shots, but a fundamental change in the quality of the shots, even if player-tracking data doesn’t quite catch it.Consider the fast break in the video below, where Green drives into Durant’s chest before passing off to Andre Iguodala. On a similar play in Game 4 (in the above video), he passed off before putting his body on Durant, allowing KD to recover and break up the play. Source: NBA player tracking data Regular season1,06162.056.4+5.6 If Golden State gets more plays like these out of Green in Game 7, the Warriors will be that much closer to regaining their peak form, and likely on their way back to the NBA Finals.