Monday, June 21, 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


June 15, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey and Hearst Magazines are teaming up for interviews that pair young Black journalists with elders who include civil rights activists, celebrities and others sharing some lessons learned in life. The project, “Lift Every Voice,” will be featured on Winfrey’s website and in magazines like ELLE, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Runner’s World and Winfrey’s own O Quarterly. Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, Andre De Shields and the activist Claudette Colvin are among the people featured. While some material from earlier Hearst television stories is used, the interviewers are drawn primarily from the ranks of historic Black colleges and universities, with most of the portraits taken by Black photographers just starting in the field. In one example, 94-year-old community activist Opal Lee, from Fort Worth, Texas, talks to Mariah Campbell, a journalism student at Texas Southern University, about efforts to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Winfrey said she was inspired by her own memories of knowing poet Maya Angelou when Winfrey was young, and how Angelou stressed the importance of sharing stories from the time she grew up.

June 15, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Philharmonic will resume subscription performances in September following a historic 18-month gap caused by the coronavirus pandemic, presenting a shortened schedule of 78 concerts in a season shifted from Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall while the orchestra’s home is remodeled. The Philharmonic said Tuesday its season will open Sept. 17 with music director Jaap van Zweden conducting the orchestra and pianist Daniil Trifonov in Anna Clyne’s “Within Her Arms,” Copland’s “Quiet City,” George Walker’s “Antifonys for Chamber Orchestra” and Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 4. That concert, the orchestra’s first regular event since March 10, 2020, will be the first of 50 at Lincoln Center’s 1,086-seat Alice Tully Hall, a venue more typically used for chamber music and recitals. There will be 28 concerts in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 1,233-seat Rose Theater, located at Columbus Circle, less than half a mile from Geffen Hall, plus four concerts at Carnegie Hall, the orchestra’s home from 1891 to 1962.

June 15, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Rita Moreno emigrated with her mother from Puerto Rico at age five. By six, she was dancing at Greenwich Village nightclubs. By 16, she was working full time. By 20, she was in “Singin’ in the Rain.” In the documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” Norman Lear says: “I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met in the business who lived the American dream more than Rita Moreno.” In the decades that followed, Moreno won a Tony, a Grammy, an Emmy and an Oscar, for “West Side Story.” (Her entire acceptance speech: “I can’t believe it.” ) With seemingly infinite spiritedness, she has epitomized the best of show business while also being a victim to its cruelties. That has made Moreno, who co-stars in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “West Side Story remake, a heroic figure to Latinos, and to others. “I have never given up,” she said in a recent interview by Zoom from her home in Berkeley, California.

June 15, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — The tragedies of Brian Wilson’s life is a rock ‘n’ roll story well told. The postscript — that he’s a survivor nearing age 80 who appears to be supported personally and professionally in a way he never really had before — is less familiar. Despite some uncomfortable moments in “Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road,” that important update is the point of the documentary that premieres Tuesday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The film’s heart is a series of drives around Southern California, where Wilson and Rolling Stone magazine editor Jason Fine talk, listen to music and occasionally stop at restaurants. There’s a comfort level between the two; Fine is a journalist who has become a friend. Wilson, the creative force behind the Beach Boys, has dealt with an abusive, hard-driving father, the mental illness Schizoaffective disorder where he’d hear voices berating and belittling him, and band members often resistant to where he was going musically. Add in years of drug abuse, a quack psychologist who effectively held him, prisoner, for a decade and the younger brothers who died early, and it’s a lot to endure.

Business News

June 16, 2021 WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday installed an energetic critic of Big Tech as a top federal regulator at a time when the industry is under intense pressure from Congress, regulators and state attorneys general. The selection of legal scholar Lina Khan to head the Federal Trade Commission is seen as signaling a tough stance toward tech giants Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. Khan was sworn in as FTC chair just hours after the Senate confirmed her as one of five members of the commission on a 69-28 vote. Khan has been a professor at Columbia University Law School and burst onto the antitrust scene with her massive scholarly work in 2017 as a Yale law student, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” She helped lay the foundation for a new way of looking at antitrust law beyond the impact of big-company market dominance on consumer prices. As counsel to a House Judiciary antitrust panel in 2019 and 2020, she played a key role in a sweeping bipartisan investigation of the market power of the tech giants.

June 15, 2021  BRUSSELS (AP) — The deal the United States and the European Union reached Tuesday to end their long-running rift over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus will suspend billions in punitive tariffs. It will ease trans-Atlantic tensions. And it will let the two sides focus on a common economic threat: China. But the breakthrough still leaves some trade friction between the U.S. and the EU unresolved. Most prominently, President Biden kept in place import taxes that President Donald Trump imposed on European steel and aluminum, a move that infuriated some of America’s closet allies three years ago. For now, Tuesday’s truce in the Boeing-Airbus dispute goes a long way toward repairing a huge commercial relationship — $933 billion in two-way trade last year despite the pandemic — that came under enormous strain during the Trump years. Among other things, the former president angrily charged the Europeans with using unfair trade practices to sell more products to the United States than they bought and of shirking their responsibility to pay for their own national defense.

June 15, 2021 -A day after her interview for a part-time job at Target last year, Dana Anthony got an email informing her she didn’t make the cut. Anthony didn’t know why — a situation common to most job seekers at one point or another. But she also had no sense at all of how the interview had gone, because her interviewer was a computer. More job-seekers, including some professionals, may soon have to accept impersonal online interviews where they never talk to another human being, or know if behind-the-scenes artificial-intelligence systems are influencing hiring decisions. Demand for online hiring services, which interview job applicants remotely via laptop or phone, mushroomed during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains high amid a perceived worker shortage as the economy opens back up. These systems claim to save employers money, sidestep hidden biases that can influence human recruiters and expand the range of potential candidates. Many now also use AI to assess candidate skills by analyzing what they say.

Fashion News