Wednesday, September 22, 2021

May 2, 2021 Their reason for refusing to tour Bangladesh earlier this year was met with much skepticism. Not that the 10 cricketers who refused to travel and thus significantly weakened the West Indies teams didn’t have the right to decline the invitations, but their excuse at the time, all factors considered, lacked credibility in the eyes of many onlookers.

Some of them had travelled to England last summer during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and its deadly ramifications in that European country.

Relatively speaking Bangladesh had done a decent job of containing the outbreak and their protocols had met the approval of the Cricket West Indies medical panel.

Yet, those players who opted out cited Covid-19 related concerns, even though Bangladesh’s positivity rates and death rates were much better than what happened during the tour of England.

According to Cricket West Indies Covid-19 policy, any player can opt out of an overseas tour over fears of safety and the decision will not impact their future selection.

Of the 10 players who opted out, two – Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer – had also declined invitations to tour England. It should be noted that the England tour was the first international cricket series since the pandemic and there were many unknowns, so fear was indeed real for many.

Notwithstanding, there are prevailing views a tour of England by any team is always a significant revenue-earner, while that of Bangladesh is in no way similar.

But a lot happened since last summer’s ice-breaking tour of England and this year’s tour of Bangladesh. The International Cricket Council and all stakeholders were much better acquainted with the protocols deemed necessary for the successful staging of these matches.

Yet most of these 10 players have accepted huge contracts to ply their trade at the cash-rich 14th edition of the Indian Premier League now being staged in India. Their decision has left many to believe it was a case of players simply choosing huge sums of money over representing their country.

This is a situation that has robbed the West Indies of their best players for the past decade, what with these cash-rich Twenty20 leagues popping up all over the globe.

These West Indies players are risking their health at a time when India is staggering under 350,000 new infections and just under 3,000 deaths per day. And the numbers continue to increase daily at an alarming rate.

It has been so bad that several foreign players have left the tournament or have indicated their willingness to do so as they try to make their way back to their respective homes.

None of those players is reported to be West Indians.

The eight-week league has faced criticism for continuing in empty stadiums during this crisis, with a leading newspaper group accusing it of “commercialism has gone crass” as it suspended coverage on Sunday.

The Express Publications newspaper group said it had stopped reporting the competition until a “semblance of normalcy is restored”.

“In such a tragic time, we find it incongruous that the festival of the cricket is on in India,” the group continued.

One senior journalist Sharda Ugra hit out at the IPL in a column for the Hindustan Times, saying the IPL was “bubble-wrapped into tone-deafness” oblivious to “the suffering outside its gates”.

But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is anxious to hold the tournament, which generates billions of dollars for the Indian economy after last year’s edition was moved to the United Arab Emirates because of the pandemic risk.

In a letter to players a few days ago, BCCI interim CEO Hemang Amin has assured them of the organizers full support during and after the tournament, which end on May 23.

“The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you each reach your respective destinations seamlessly. Rest assured that the tournament isn’t over for the BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound.”

He further added that India needed the IPL now more than ever, as the four hours of cricket provided entertainment, relief and hope for the many stricken by the virus.

It’s full time some of our West Indies players display similar empathy for the people of the Caribbean who have suffered for a very long time by their poor performances on the international scene.

SXM Radio Online

Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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