Iraq: With US bent on uprooting him, Saddam Hussein prepares to ‘fight from every house’

first_imgWar paint Adulatory posters may not be true indicators of Saddam Hussein’s popularityShe looked 20 and it was her fourth cigarette in the past 30 minutes; but you could be sure those weren’t the figures the nine men at her table-at least the ones who were still sober given the,War paint Adulatory posters may not be true indicators of Saddam Hussein’s popularityShe looked 20 and it was her fourth cigarette in the past 30 minutes; but you could be sure those weren’t the figures the nine men at her table-at least the ones who were still sober given the Blue Label that was flowing-were interested in. It turned out Huda Rubaiya, wavy hair, beautiful smile and mischievous, almost naughty eyes, was 23.She was at the restaurant in Arasat al Hindia-literally, Plot of India, Baghdad’s most trendy address is named for the Indian lady who once owned the entire area-with, among others, her boyfriend. Delsoz H. Sherwani is deputy managing director of the Galala Group. He’s a successful exporter and contractor and has been seeing Rubaiya for a year. He’s also 45 and grins as he mocks your surprise, “So you think I’m too old for her, eh?”The autumn-spring relationship isn’t unique. In Baghdad, capital of Iraq, younger women tend to prefer older, much older men, says a friend. A decade and more of embargo has throttled the economy. Men of 25, the type Rubaiya, an aspiring fashion model, may have preferred in normal times, are strugglers. No wonder she prefers a man who, like the wine she likes, has aged well.Battle plansClick here to EnlargeMeanwhile, the restaurant begins to crowd. The performer at the electronic keyboard begins to play Yesterday … all my troubles seemed so far away and, shortly afterwards, sings Frank Sinatra’s My Way.The second song could be President Saddam Hussein’s signature tune; the first may well be the anthem for his citizens. Welcome to Baghdad, a city that is at once Paris before the Nazis came in – absolute in its revelry-and Enver Hoxha’s Albania, all absolutist isolationism.advertisementThere’s a parable in the restaurant; there’s one on the streets too. Baghdad’s cars tell Iraq’s story. They zip around on amazingly smooth roads-embargo or no embargo, Saddam’s regime has ensured that the highway from the airport is first class, the streets are well paved and flyovers are impressive. The city traffic also tells you why, in today’s Iraq, there is very little room for middle ground. Life is given to extremes.Most of the cars in Baghdad are old and tired. When they were bought two or three decades ago, these Toyotas and Mazdas and Mercs must have been the spanking best the world’s automobile industry had produced. Today, they would make an ancient Ambassador taxi in Kolkata look plush. Yet for every 10-15 old cars you see, there’s one alluring and shining set of wheels. Usually a power-packed BMW or Hyundai’s upper-end models.In step hostile Kurdish forces may align with America in toppling Saddam in case of a warSo who buys the fancy cars? Those who thrive on Iraq’s e-commerce, where ‘e’ stands for embargo and all the opportunities it throws up. Traditional business is dead, reduced to a trickle by the United Nations sanctions that allow Iraq to barter its oil for specific and strictly monitored purchases.What has filled the vacuum is a contraband industry worth billions that runs extensive trade networks with Syria, Jordan and Turkey. The smugglers, almost all fronting for some important personage in Saddam’s Baath Party or Government, are the only ones who have made money.If Iraqi society lives in the grey zone between unreal and surreal, the polity does no better. Nothing represented its alternative universe more than the referendum on October 15, 2002. The Baath (Renaissance) Party rules through a nine-member Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), of which Saddam is the chairman. Every seven years, beginning 1995, as per a law drafted by Saddam, the RCC nominates its chairman for the presidency. On the morning of October 16, just over 12 hours after voting concluded at 8 p.m. the previous evening, RCC Vice-Chairman Izzat Ibrahim announced the results. Almost 11.5 million-11,445,638 to be precise-of Iraq’s 25 million people had been eligible to vote. All of them had voted and all the votes had gone to Saddam. Ibrahim congratulated the people for having “chosen the wise man of the Arabs” and the “spirit of history”.Saddam used the referendum to mobilise his forces and his people. Television channels had a black-suited choir singing patriotic, pro-Saddam numbers in Arabic to, admittedly, pulsating music.Foot fall Saddam Hussein may not be able to walk over George Bush in a war the way Iraqis do over his image in a Baghdad hotel lobbyKeeping them company on the screen- and on the streets of Baghdad-were portraits and images of Saddam: Saddam in an army beret, Saddam with a hat and gun, Saddam sporting a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headgear, Saddam on a horse, Saddam waving a clenched fist, Saddam waving an open hand, Saddam with a scimitar, Saddam in a field marshal’s uniform, Saddam kissing a child, Saddam conferring with a wiz ened old Arab, Saddam being kissed by an old woman.This was not Charlie Chaplin burlesque. It was a mad, mad world, one where people have not seen their leader in person for years but have to simply make do with the visual substitutes and, if western intelligence agencies are to be believed, physical substitutes too.advertisement There are supposed to be at least three Saddam clones, their faces surgically altered so that even senior government colleagues won’t know who they are meeting. The entire process of Saddam’s elec- tion reveals how out of touch the top leadership is with both its people and global currents.Lobbying people and governments in the name of “Third World unity,” “anti-imperialism” and “revolutionary democracy” were once the bread and butter of non-elected heads of state. Today, as concepts, they are as stale as old bread. Somebody forgot to tell Saddam. India’s concernsTERRORISM: Jehadis in Kashmir will get a boost if the US stalls its war against terrorism.OIL PRICES: Crude oil prices may rise if Iraqis target shipping lanes in the Gulf.ECONOMIC: India has lost $30 billion in oil imports, trade, exports after the 1991 sanctions.DIASPORA: 3.1 million emigrants in the Middle East who send $6 billion home may be insecure.Actually, maybe there is a method to the madness. Saddam is desperate to prevent a war that even he realises will be his last. To put pressure on enough Arab and European governments so that they in turn put enough pressure on Uncle Sam, he is playing every card he can lay his hands on-he’s Islamist, Arabist, non-aligned, socialist.Eleven years ago, despite the humiliating defeat in the Gulf War, Saddam survived because his countrymen decided they hated America more than they hated him. They rallied around a leader who had been targeted by the Satan in Wash- ington. Will the same impulses prevail? In the northern town of Mosul, Yosin Ibrahim, a government official, puts forth the more heard argument, “Bush and America have crippled us with the embargo. We want to live with dignity. Dignity is important. Saddam gives us dignity.” Like a decade ago, there are those who take a perverse pride in the fact that the world’s most powerful country feels threatened by, of all the billions in the world, only their leader. Yet collected crowds and aggressive agitprop may not reveal the full tale. In Baghdad’s Antar Square, Hussain Bahet, professor of economics at Baghdad University, watches a post-referendum celebration. Is he happy with the result? He nods. Is he worried about the economy? He nods twice. Is he worried about the war? He nods vigorously.Bahet points to the telecom office building that was bombed by the Americans in 1991, “If we have war, everything will be destroyed.” Then he smiles, “Of course, I’m wor ried about my family. But where do we go ? Maybe after the war there will be an Opposition. For the moment Saddam means stability.”advertisementIt is middle-class folk like Bahet who have borne the brunt of the Saddam-Sam mutual hate club. Some live on pensions of a dollar a month, which, even by Iraq’s subsidised food and housing parameters, is a pittance. Lecturers now seek jobs as domestic help, locals tell you.It is this “silent majority” that America is betting on. In the words of a diplomat: “Till 1991, Saddam was the popular patriarch. Not since. They may not like the Americans but may just stay neutral in case of a conflict.” Should that happen, Saddam will have to pack his bags.For both Saddam and America, the stakes are enormous. For the US, Saddam’s removal is integral to President George W. Bush’s war against terror. The Iraqi leader has been charged with helping Osama bin Laden-an accusation that disappeared when hard evidence was not forthcoming-and, more important, pursuing a chemical and biological weapons programme that could some day threaten America.America looks to a friendly regime in Iraq that will allow it military bases. From here, it will keep watch on the trouble spots of the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. The royal family in Riyadh is seen as an unreliable ally and is in any case unpopular. If Saudi Arabia implodes, the world oil economy will go to pieces.With 265 billion barrels of oil reserves, Saudi Arabia controls a quarter of the planet’s most vital energy resource. Iraq is a distant second at about 11 per cent or 100 billion barrels of proven reserves. Under the US tutelage, it may limit the Saudi hold on the oil market and provide the world’s biggest petroleum consuming country the energy security it seeks.Saddam will do his best to avoid a war. The differential between the American and Iraqi armouries is simply too vast-whatever rebuilding Saddam may have done in the past decade-to allow for an even contest. Should war break out, Saddam will take recourse to battling the invading allies with civilian logistical backing or “a fight from every house” as he terms it. If he has truly lost almost all popular support-as foreign intelligence agencies believe-then even that may prove a non-starter. Officially Iraq expects America to attack after the holy month of Ramzan, which ends on December 4. If a UN resolution delays things, the attack could come in January. The plan is to resort to “coercive inspections”. UN weapons inspectors will arrive in Iraq with mini armies at their command. They will want to check everything, right down to Saddam’s palaces and personal rooms.At some stage they will provoke the man into refusal. That will be the casus belli and America will attack. Saddam’s best bet is to be patient and give the inspectors no cause for complaint. If he staves off the US Central Command troops till March-April, he’s home and dry. The Americans, Baghdad reckons, wouldn’t want to fight in the searing heat of May.The other American calculation is that Saddam may be done in by a palace coup, that somebody in his immediate power circle may decide dumping him is wiser. The course seems logical but identifying the possible rebel is not easy. Saddam shares authority with few outside his family or clan. His chief lieutenants are his sons.Udai Hussein is brash and violent, head of the state-run media and of the National Olympic Committee, giving him control of the young and the restless. Kusai, Udai’s younger brother, has recently emerged as the more favoured son. He controls the Revolutionary Guards militia and the security agencies.Iraq is also a religio-ethnic minefield. It is embattled by the longstanding Kurdish insurgency in the northern areas. In the south, Shia discontent is strong. Saddam is trying to invoke Iraqi nationalism by suggesting the Americans will break up Iraq and create two or three nations-Kurdistan, a Shia homeland and the Sunni-held rump.But analysts say the last thing the West wants is more instability in the region. It would prefer a federalised polity controlled by Baghdad. Some role for the Hashemite family that once ruled Iraq-cousins of the royals of Jordan-is not ruled out. As winter beckons, Iraq is quite simply the world’s speculation capital.In a country where a litre of petrol costs four cents but a similar quantity of packaged water could set you back by a dollar or more, don’t look for straight and rational answers. Like Rubaiya and Sherwani, enjoy it while it lasts-and make sure you know the route to the nearest bomb shelter.last_img read more

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin operating like couple

first_imgAfter their “conscious uncoupling”, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are now almost operating like a couple, reveals a source.The pair announced their separation publicly in March. But they have been spotted together numerous times in the Hamptons this week, reports pagesix.com.The couple seperated in March this yearWhile the duo dined with their children Apple and Moses Monday evening, on Tuesday, Martin dropped into a sports store to pick up skateboards before heading to meet the children Apple and Moses at a joint.A witness said” “They were operating like a couple, and with the kids looked like a happy family.”A reconciliation could be in the works.last_img read more

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Old Delhi was once the hub of everything grand, charming and beautiful. Rediscover its lost magic through the restored 200-year-old Haveli Dharampura, situated in the heart of Chandni Chowk.

first_imgIt’s a quagmire of opposites. Spit-stained lanes lead to gorgeous arched doorways, shops bursting at their seams hide spacious courtyards, dust-covered windows reveal shiny interiors, and crumbling buildings give way to new architecture. But then that’s the magic of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, where every street and alley reveals,It’s a quagmire of opposites. Spit-stained lanes lead to gorgeous arched doorways, shops bursting at their seams hide spacious courtyards, dust-covered windows reveal shiny interiors, and crumbling buildings give way to new architecture. But then that’s the magic of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, where every street and alley reveals a footnote of history and at the same time hints at its past splendour. It’s hard not to feel intoxicated by this heady mix of the past and the present.The haveli has several arched doorways.No one knows this better than MP and Heritage India Foundation president Vijay Goel and his son Siddhant, who along with architect Kapil Agarwal spent the last six years restoring a haveli in the heart of this conundrum. The Goels call the restored building Haveli Dharampura. Be forewarned though, you can’t take your vehicle here, which adds to its quaint charm. A short walk from the Jama Masjid police station takes you into Chandni Chowk’s Gali Guliyan, or the brass-makers’ lane, where Haveli Dharampura is located. Walk in through the grand doorway and you realise that the luxury of space lies not just in the eyes of the beholder but also in the experience of it. The 200-year-old haveli offers a window into the life that was once led here.TRACING ITS HISTORYSpread over 600 square yards, the distinctive features of the haveli can be attributed to the late Mughal style, though part of it is a later addition in the 20th century. During Mughal and late Mughal period, the courtiers built a large number of havelis. Historical references suggest that construction of the haveli dates to 1887 AD. “It was originally designed to have a mixed-use pattern, both residential and commercial. Shops on the lower ground floor that open towards the street and the remaining floors, designed as residence portray the mixed use of haveli. The ground floor with a grand entrance and first floor were constructed at the same period, while second floor clearly seems to be a later addition at much later stage in the mid 20th century,” says Vijay.advertisementBEFORE THE MAKEOVERThe three-storeyed haveli is a coalescence of Mughal, Hindu and European styles of architecture. However, before it was restored, it was in ruins. There were many families living in it who had altered its structure. The original roof at the upper level had collapsed, rooms were partitioned into smaller ones (60 in all), thick layers of synthetic paint was found on stone columns, and wooden doors and window frames had rotted.OVERCOMING CHALLENGES”When we started the restoration process, we were clueless about how and when to begin it,” says Vijay, adding, “The heavy rains also added to our woes. As an emergency measure to prevent further collapse to our structure, the damaged walls were given necessary support with props and jacks and the building was covered with tarpaulin.”This was clearly a big challenge, but one the father-son duo were happy to face head on. Over the next six years they had over 50-odd masons and craftsmen work round the clock under their supervision to achieve the result one sees today. “Our top priority was to retain and restore the original structure and character of the haveli,” adds the heritage enthusiast.One of the 13 bedrooms with attached baths created for tourists and heritage enthusiasts.RESTORING ITS GLORYThe first thing they did was to remove all the later additions and partition walls; they tried to stick to the original architecture of the building. Next, the Dholpur stone pillars, which had lost their original sheen under thick paints, were cleaned and found to be in perfect condition. “Each and every carving detail was still legible,” says Vijay.The old salwood joists and planks of the ceiling were termite affected some of which had to be replaced and others were reused after appropriate anti-termite treatment. “Since the traditional building construction was with chuna (lime plaster), which is not in vogue anymore, it was a big challenge to find the masons. Thankfully, the ongoing conservation work in the Red Fort was of help and some of the masons from there were employed,” adds Vijay. These masons had the know-how of preparing lime mortar by mixing pozzolanic materials and additives such as belgiri, gursheera, sun (jute fibre), methi and daal. All broken and collapsed walls, roofs were rebuilt matching the original materials.The entrance to Haveli Dharampura in Chandni Chowk.The original lakhori (kiln baked) bricks masonry was found in good condition, which was maintained and consolidated with a water proofing layer. The long deep cracks on some parts of the walls were stitched using cross-stitching method with MS (mild steel) bars, while the gaps and holes in the masonry were filled in lime mortar by gravity grouting. Further, all sandstone brackets were strengthened and retained; the cast iron railings, replica of Shahjahani design were made in Jaipur; and the entrance wooden door was carved in Shekhavati.advertisementDISCOVERING THE BUILDING’S SECRETSIt is estimated that the haveli was owned by a Muslim family before being purchased by wealthy Jain traders. A proof of the rich past was unearthed during the restoration work, with the discovery of secret rooms. The haveli has several small secret rooms, where money and other precious belongings were hidden to prevent theft.Owners put their money in the walls and basement rooms as well. “We unearthed a basement while putting glass flooring. Today, the glass floor in the courtyard, offers a spectacular view of the tijori (safe) located in the basement that the haveli’s original occupants had constructed. This space was used to store valuables, protected and sealed,” says Vijay.All broken and collapsed walls, roofs were rebuilt matching the original materials.IT WILL BECOME A CULTURAL HUBThe haveli now has 13 rooms for tourists and heritage enthusiasts to experience the unique and vibrant culture of Old Delhi. It also has two restaurants serving street food delicacies and Mughlai cuisine, one with the interior of Lakhori Bricks and one on the rooftop, where all major monuments of Chandhi Chowk can be seen including the Red Fort. There is also an art gallery and space for cultural expressions of various kinds. The best part?Haveli Dhrampura will soon to be open to the public. The Goels have planned it as a cultural centre and a knowledge hub for people and students to learn about restoration. It will also double-up as a place to display art or host a fashion show/pop-up boutique. “Further we wish to showcase the traditional sports of Chandni Chowk, like kabootarbazi (pigeon fights) and kite flying here,” adds Vijay. Think of this haveli as a museum, library, heritage centre and performance space, all rolled into one. It is an example of how history can be restored and saved, in style. AT 2293, Gali Guliyan, Dharampur, Chandni Chowk.last_img read more

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Premier Farnell: new global franchise with Nordic Semiconductor

first_imgPremier Farnell announces the addition of Nordic Semiconductor to their extensive product offering, providing Farnell element14 customers with access to a market leading brand that provides a world class range of wireless devices.As the future of electronics goes wireless and portable due to insatiable consumer demand for ever greater levels of freedom and flexibility, Nordic Semiconductor will play a key role in the realisation of that future by providing ultra-low power wireless chips that can run for a long time from small power sources.Premier Farnell is part of Avnet, and this new franchise builds on the strong relationship Avnet have held with Nordic Semiconductor since 2001. With the addition of this franchise, Premier Farnell and Avnet are now able to support customers using Nordic Semiconductor devices from concept and design right through to high volume production.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous ARBOR supplies IoT connected medical computing solutionsNext MicroEJ and Software Imaging announce strategic partnership in Asialast_img read more

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Minerva request AIFF to shift Real Kashmir game from Srinagar over Pulwama terror attack

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiFebruary 15, 2019UPDATED: February 15, 2019 14:51 IST Minerva Punjab FC are also ready to forfeit the match against Real Kashmir FC if AIFF doesn’t shift the match. (@IndianFootball Photo)HIGHLIGHTSMinerva Punjab FC are slated to play Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar on February 15Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said that they cannot play in Srinagar when soldiers have diedMinerva also expressed security concerns in Srinagar in their statementHolders Minerva Punjab FC have requested the All India Football Federation to shift their upcoming I-League match from Srinagar or defer it in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack, saying the club is ready to forfeit if the game is not rescheduled.On Thursday, at least 40 CRPF paramilitary troopers were killed in a terror attack while several others are battling for their lives following what is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.Defending champions Minerva Punjab FC are scheduled to play Real Kashmir FC on February 18 at the TRC Turf Ground in the Jammu and Kashmir capital.”We have written to the AIFF requesting them to shift the game from Srinagar. My team jersey has the line written ‘We Salute Indian Army’. A game of football is nothing compared to what has happened last evening,” Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj told PTI.He added, “We are willing to forfeit the game if it is not moved out. I am sure the people will stand by us and really three points don’t matter under the circumstances.”An explosive-laden SUV rammed into one of the buses in the CRPF convoy at Awantipora town in the Pulwama district on Thursday.When contacted, I-League CEO Sunn Sando Dhar said they will consider the feedback from the local authorities irinagar.”We will see what the local authorities have to say. We will go ahead with the match if the local authorities give us a positive feedback. As of now, it is on, and shifting remains the last resort,” Dhar said.advertisementMinerva Punjab FC also issued a statement and explained the security concerns that the team has. Real Kashmir are currently placed second on the points table behind Chennai City FC, while Minerva are already out of title contention owing to average results this season.”We regret to inform you that due to current instability and volatility in the region, we request you to please defer the I-League fixture against Real Kashmir or have it held at a neutral venue,” the club said in a statement.Established in 1955, Minerva Academy is a premier training institute for SSB aspirants with over 60 years of experience.”We wear a tribute to the Indian Armed Forces on our match jerseys. Needless to say, we stand in support with our Armed Forces, and cannot play a football match, where 42 of our brothers have been martyred.”Additionally there is the security threat which will be faced by us when if we do travel for our match. Who will guarantee our safety? Ideally, there should be written assurances and permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs that the region is safe enough to conduct the match as scheduled and that our safety can be guaranteed,” the club said in its statement.The terrorist attack has attracted condemnation from the global community with nations such as the USA and France again pledging their support to India in the war against terrorism.The club further said, “Considering the extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances we hereby request you to please defer the I-League fixture against Real Kashmir till such time our safety is guaranteed by the authorities or have it held at a neutral venue.”Third-placed East Bengal, who are scheduled to be in the valley on February 28, have also got in touch with the AIFF after the attack, expressing similar security concerns.Also Read | Real Kashmir, East Bengal to play snow-postponed I-League game on February 28 in SrinagarAlso Read | Swiss giants FC Basel buy stakes in Chennai City FC in landmark dealFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPTI Tags :Follow Minerva Punjab FCFollow Real Kashmir FCFollow SrinagarFollow AIFFFollow I-League 2018-19Follow pulwama terrorist attack Next Minerva request AIFF to shift Real Kashmir game from Srinagar over Pulwama terror attackI-League: Minerva Punjab FC ask AIFF to shift their match vs Real Kashmir FC, slated for February 15, from Srinagar or are ready to forfeit in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack.advertisementlast_img read more

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Here’s What to Wear for Valentine’s Day This Year

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Best Backpacking Chairs for Your Next Adventure Bundle Up Right Now With the Best Sweaters for Men NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski on Crashing, Winning, and Creating a Legacy 9 Best Spirits For Spiked Apple Cider Dating, newly engaged, married, or heck, even single (and in the mood to treat yourself), we’d wager you’re likely thinking about what to wear for Valentine’s Day this year. It’s a holiday that (however you might feel about it) can be a great opportunity to put your best foot forward, no matter your plans for the day or night. Although the below outfit won’t exactly work for a well-deserved evening at home, this outfit covers what to wear for Valentine’s Day if, in fact, you’re hitting the town for a show, grabbing drinks or going all-out on a vacation. So, don’t ask yourself anymore, “What am I wearing for Valentine’s Day?” because we just solved it. Outerknown Ambassador Blazer in Heather Charcoal – $325Warm enough for winter, casual enough for a laidback night, and formal enough to be dressed up for your date – that’s what the Outerknown Ambassador Blazer brings to the table. It’s made with boiled wool in a flexible weave that provides breathability, and it’s also totally compostable. A winning Valentine’s Day style move in our book.Shop NowMott & Bow Kent Oxford Shirt – $69When in doubt for Valentine’s Day, a crisp, well-fitting Oxford shirt toes the line between formal and casual, plus, the design is impeccable coming from a lauded denim maker.Shop NowAbercrombie & Fitch Classic Peacoat – $123You know you can count on Abercrombie & Fitch to deliver pleasingly rugged-yet-dressy style. This is the perfect coat to fight chilly V-Day weather.Shop NowFrank And Oak Newport Chinos – $79Perfectly cut in a classic color, these chinos are, like the Oxford shirt, a perfect go-between option when it comes to casual-yet-versatile style.Shop NowAllen Edmonds Normandy Cap-Toe Boots – $259We love these tough leather boots for their weather-ready performance and dependable looks. They’re just what you need for Valentine’s Day, whether it takes you to a speakeasy or to a skyline bar.Shop NowKomono Orson Watch – $220If you want to spend some serious coin on Valentine’s Day, then you’d do well to save at least a bit on your dress watch. The Komono Orson Watch checks all the right boxes when it comes to the watch to wear on Valentine’s Day, including affordability.Shop NowAmerican Trench Mil-Spec Sport Socks – $13Even your socks should be well-considered when it comes to what to wear for Valentine’s Day. That’s why we can’t stress enough the quality and style of these sub-$13 socks.Shop NowFlint and Tinder Heritage Boxer Briefs – $28Hey, every last detail counts on Valentine’s Day — Flint and Tinder knows this, and its Heritage Boxer Briefs deliver quality and comfort.Shop NowNow that you have an outfit for your big V-Day date, why not drop some hints to your S.O. about a few gifts you wouldn’t mind receiving on this heartfelt holiday. A Good Waxed Jacket Is the Best Jacket to Wear This Season last_img read more

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Savanna-La-Mar Hospital Gets New Machine to Reduce Amputations

first_img The Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital has been outfitted with a new C-arm machine, which will help to reduce the number of amputations, by enabling the hospital to undertake more surgeries and reduce patient waiting time.Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who spoke at the official handover of the machine on March 23, described it as another big addition to the infrastructure at the hospital.He attributed the successful acquisition to the relentless efforts of the Hospital Management Committee, chaired by businessman Eric “Busha” Clarke and the medical team at the hospital.“It is the first piece of equipment of its kind that has been installed here at the Savanna-la-Mar hospital. The implication of that, in terms of the pace of doing procedures, the efficiency of the administration of procedures, the waiting time, the bed space that it will free up, is that you can now more precisely attack and deal with the problem that is at hand,” Dr. Tufton said.“This institution is so much better off today, because of the leadership at the local level, not in Kingston, led by “Busha” Clarke and his team. I have witnessed a number of initiatives that signal the start of a process that represents transformation here at Savanna-la-Mar,” the Minister added.The C-arm machine is used to provide high-resolution X-ray images in real time, allowing doctors to monitor progress and immediately make any corrections during surgical, orthopaedic and emergency care procedures.The machine, donated to the Savanna-la Mar Public General Hospital, is valued at $16 million. It was acquired through funding efforts led by Food for the Poor and supported by other organisations, including the National Commercial Bank Foundation, Jamaica National Foundation, American Friends for Justice, Tank-Weld, Couples Resorts and the Issa Trust Foundation.Dr. Tufton said the benefits the new technology brings to Westmoreland “are tremendous,” as it is a response to an important need of the parish, which is disproportionately impacted by “significant trauma-related to motor vehicle accidents and in particular, biking accidents.”The Minister emphasised that the acquisition symbolises the important partnership that is required in public health…“the support through partnerships to build out the public health infrastructure is absolutely critical and we will be placing a lot more emphasis on it this year and in years to come, because we believe there is a lot of value and a lot of goodwill that we can tap into.” Story Highlights Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who spoke at the official handover of the machine on March 23, described it as another big addition to the infrastructure at the hospital. The Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital has been outfitted with a new C-arm machine, which will help to reduce the number of amputations, by enabling the hospital to undertake more surgeries and reduce patient waiting time. “It is the first piece of equipment of its kind that has been installed here at the Savanna-la-Mar hospital. The implication of that, in terms of the pace of doing procedures, the efficiency of the administration of procedures, the waiting time, the bed space that it will free up, is that you can now more precisely attack and deal with the problem that is at hand,” Dr. Tufton said. last_img read more

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Grand Final for Festival Song July 15

first_imgThe grand final of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition will be held on Sunday, July 15 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Hope Road in Kingston, beginning at 6:00 p.m.It will be the first event for the 56th anniversary of Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations, being held under the theme ‘Jamaica 56 – One Love…One Family’.The event, which is free to the public, will be streamed live across three platforms – the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) website, Facebook and YouTube.Head of Marketing and Public Relations of the JCDC, Andrew Clunis, told JIS News that the Festival Song winner will be chosen by a panel of seven judges who are knowledgeable about the music industry and the festival product.“Those judges will deliberate about the criteria given to them to select a winner,” he said, adding that much emphasis will be placed on the quality of the song. Mr. Clunis pointed out that the writer of the song will receive a special prize.Persons who submitted entries to the competition were exposed to workshops to improve their stagecraft, writing of lyrics, composition of melodies as well as learning the basics in music theory.Meanwhile, Mr. Clunis is calling on Jamaicans to come out and support their favourite performer.“It is going to be a great evening of entertainment. We might think it is down to the contestants, but we have done a bit more and we are offering the pubic a bit more in terms of entertainment,” he said.Performers at the event will include guest artiste Leroy Sibbles, past Festival Song winners Roy Rayon and Tinga Stewart, and the ASHE ensemble.“We will be bringing to the audience all that is Festival and all that is celebratory about our Independence in their presentations,” he added.Explaining why the final will take place two weeks before the Independence celebrations, he said the idea is to allow the public to become familiar with the winning song.“In order for us to have that song that we are familiar with and to sing along, we need to give time, and so when we select the winning song on Sunday, it will be for us to say to Jamaica, here is your Festival song,” he said, adding that it will be on every radio station in Jamaica and overseas.“Come Independence, it will be on everybody’s lips and everybody will be dancing,” he said.The inaugural Festival Song Competition was held in 1966, with the group Toots and the Maytals copping the honours with their seminal composition titled – ‘Bam Bam’.last_img read more

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First Shipment of US-Bound Jamaican Mangoes Being Delivered in May

first_img Come next month, Jamaica will export its first shipment of mangoes to the United States (US). Come next month, Jamaica will export its first shipment of mangoes to the United States (US).This, according to Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries Minister, Hon Audley Shaw, is being facilitated through the Mango Irradiation Programme.Under the programme, the Ministry works with the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) to ensure compliance with the US import requirements, which stipulate that mangoes be treated by irradiation or hot water emersion, prior to being brought in.“As an incentive, the Ministry will provide assistance by waiving the fees associated with inspection, storage and usage of the plant quarantine/produce inspection facilities for a one-year period [from] May 2019 to May 2020,” Mr. Shaw informed.He added that “only approved mango exporters to the United States will be eligible for this waiver, at an estimated value of $1 million per exporter for the year”.The Minister was making his 2019/20 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on April 23, under the theme ‘On the Road to Prosperity…Growing Jamaica’s Industries’.Three farms have already been approved to participate under the programme, with another 12 on the verge of approval.Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw indicated that a Fruit Tree Programme Unit will be established to commence an initiative that he announced last year, to plant five million fruit trees over a five-year period.“We are exploring grant funding, including the UN Green Climate Fund, to boost the programme. The Unit will be staffed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the Research and Development Division of the Ministry and the 4-H Clubs,” he said. This, according to Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries Minister, Hon Audley Shaw, is being facilitated through the Mango Irradiation Programme. Story Highlights Under the programme, the Ministry works with the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) to ensure compliance with the US import requirements, which stipulate that mangoes be treated by irradiation or hot water emersion, prior to being brought in. last_img read more

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Call for Applications for Adjudicative NonAdjudicative Boards

first_imgNova Scotians who want to serve the public can now apply for the many available positions on the province’s 165 agencies, boards and commissions. The province launched its fall recruitment campaign today, Nov. 12, to get more people to play an active role. “It is truly commendable that so many Nova Scotians want to volunteer their time and expertise to help make government work at its best,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister of the Voluntary Sector. “Agencies Boards and Commissions provide an important role for Nova Scotians who want to make a difference in their province.” Adjudicative agencies, boards and commissions involve a variety of roles and interests and have quasi-judicial functions. They review evidence, make findings of fact and law, and make decisions affecting the liberty, security or legal rights of people. Members must apply legal, sound professional and technical principles for decisions. Examples include: Farm Practice Board; Review Board under the Criminal Code; Tuition Appeal Board. Non-adjudicative agencies, boards and commissions make decisions or recommendations to government on financial, regulatory, business or policy matters. Their work has far-reaching implications for Nova Scotians in many areas including youth services, health authority boards and licensing boards. “I have served on many provincial boards and commissions over the past four decades because I truly believe that if we participate we can make a difference,” said Daniel Paul, Nova Scotia Police Review Board member. “I would not hesitate to do it again because I’ve met many interesting people and received a first-hand education on how government functions.” Applicants are assessed on skills and qualifications and the needs of the individual agency, board or commission. Applications for non-adjudicative agencies, boards and commissions are welcome anytime, with assessment of applications to begin Dec. 9. The application deadline for adjudicative agencies, boards and commissions is Dec. 16. “I was pleased to serve with the many board members who are from diverse areas of expertise and deal with complex engineering and strategic financial issues,” said William Mills, commissioner, Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission. “I enjoy being active in business and making a contribution to my community. The experience is both challenging and rewarding.” Applications will be considered for both current vacancies and openings over the coming year. Due the wide variety of potential positions across government and timing of appointments, applications can take considerable time to process. Applicants can contact the Executive Council Office at 902-424-4877 or toll free at 1-866-206-6844 for updates or if they have any questions about the process. The province has an Employment Equity Policy and welcomes applications from Aboriginal people, African Nova Scotians and other racially visible people, persons with disabilities and women. People are encouraged to self-identify on applications, covering letters or resumes. For more information on board position profiles, current opportunities and how to apply, visit www.gov.ns.ca/exec_council/abc/current-opportunities.asp .last_img read more

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National Bank of Canada says data exposed includes name birthdate and phone

first_imgNational Bank of Canada says a website error may have exposed the personal information of nearly 400 of its customers, including their names, birthdates, phone number and email address.The Canadian lender says in a statement the problem related to an electronic form on its website and did not expose clients’ banking information, social insurance numbers or addresses.The bank says a customer filling out an online form to make a branch appointment may have been able to see the data entered by a previous user.National Bank says it was notified earlier this week about the problem, which lasted a few days.The lender adds the incident was the result of human error while setting up the online form, and was resolved immediately.The bank is contacting the nearly 400 potentially-affected customers to offer free credit monitoring.last_img read more

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Cameroon Requests CAF to Postpone its June Match Against Morocco

Rabat – The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) has requested the African Football Confederation (CAF) to postpone its match with Morocco, scheduled to take place in June.  The scheduled match, which is part of the first round of 2019’s African Nations Cup qualifiers, coincides with the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.Cameroon, Africa’s third top team according to FIFA’s ranking, will be representing Africa in the cup, following its victory against Egypt (2 -1) in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), held in Gabon in February. Cameron’s request for a postponement will help them prepare for their upcoming tournament in Group B with Chile, Australia and Germany.The Cameron Football Federation is currently facing obstacles within its football’s department. Team coach, Hugo Broos, threatened to quit the team following management and funding problems in the national team’s set-up, blaming the officials who “sit in their chairs doing nothing” while the players work in “poor conditions.”The national Moroccan football team might play a friendly match against another team in order to prepare for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Morocco is set to play against Mali on August 28.Morocco had already started its preparation for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers by playing friendly matches. Last week, Morocco beat Burkina Faso (2-0) and Tunisia (1-0). read more

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TSX little changed amid thin holiday volumes commodities mixed

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market started the week slightly lower as gold stocks continued to add to the huge losses racked up this year amid thinner-than-usual volumes as 2013 trading winds down.The S&P/TSX composite index slipped 2.92 points to 13,585.06.The Canadian dollar climbed 0.09 of a cent to 93.51 cents US.New York markets were weak with the Dow Jones industrials up 12.17 points to 16,490.58, the Nasdaq lost 11.31 points to 4,145.28 while the S&P 500 index dipped 0.34 of a point to 1,841.06.On the economic front, there is nothing on the Canadian calendar while traders will take in U.S. data on pending home sales for November.Economists forecast the gauge from the National Association of Realtors will show a rise of 1% after a 0.6% drop in October. An increase would come after five months of declines.Later in the week, they will take in the latest readings on house prices, consumer confidence and the American manufacturing sector.The gold sector led decliners, down 1.35% while February bullion lost $7 to US$1,207 an ounce, adding further damage to a sector already down almost 50% for the year. Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) faded 21 cents to C$18.47 while Goldcorp (TSX:G) gave back 32 cents to $22.79.The base metals sector was flat with March copper on the Nymex unchanged at US$3.38 a pound. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) shed 10 cents to $8.57.Techs led advancers with Constellation Software (TSX:CSU) ahead $3.89 to $220.50.The energy sector was slightly higher while the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was 34 cents lower to US$99.98 a barrel.Consumer staples were also supportive.The TSX is preparing to end 2013 with a respectable gain of about 9%. Gains would have been greater if not for deep losses in the mining sectors. Besides the gold sector, the base metals component has retreated 22%.In sharp contrast, the Dow industrials have plowed ahead 26%.In corporate news, Montreal-based TransForce Inc. (TSX:TFI) has come out the winner in a two-way bidding war for Vitran Corp. (TSX:VTN), another Canadian trucking and logistics company. Toronto-headquartered Vitran is now supporting TransForce’s offer of US$6.50 per share in cash for the stock it doesn’t already own. The deal is valued at US$136 million, including US$29 million of debt that will be assumed by TransForce. TransForce shares ran ahead 42 cents to $25.33 while Vitran was unchanged at $7.13.U.S.-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its proposed $2.2 billion buyout by India’s Apollo Tyres, a deal that would have created the world’s seventh largest tire company. Cooper said Monday that financing is no longer available and that it still believes Apollo breached the terms of the agreement.Meanwhile, European bourses were mainly in the red as London’s FTSE 100 index lost 0.29%, Frankfurt’s DAX gave back 0.39% while the Paris CAC 40 was flat.This was a strong year for many markets, with the DAX up 26%, the CAC index up 18.4% and the FTSE 100 gaining 14%. But none matched Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, which soared 56.7% in 2013 on renewed confidence in the economy after years of feeble growth. Easy liquidity from government spending and monetary policies aimed at fuelling inflation boosted shares, though the potential for continued strong gains remains uncertain.On Monday, the Nikkei 225 index ended 2013 at its highest level in more than six years.The Japanese benchmark gained 0.7% to 16,291.31 on Monday, its highest close since late 2007.For the rest of Asia, 2013 has turned out to be much less exuberant.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, burdened by rising concern over debt and slowing growth in mainland China, has gained just 2.4% this year. On Monday, it edged 0.2% lower while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 7% this year and extended that loss Monday, drifting 0.1% lower. read more

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UN experts recommend ways to maintain arms embargo against DR of Congo

For its part, the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), denounced the attempts of two militias, the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC-L) and the Front for National Integration (FIN), to destabilize Ituri district in the eastern border region abutting Rwanda and Uganda.In a report to the Council, the Group of Experts said it has found that “more than a lack of State capacity, it is the intertwining of shared interests and objectives on both sides of the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that render the arms embargo subject to abuse.”The panel focused on three primary sectors involved with weapons supplies and logistical support: civil aviation; customs and immigration; and border commerce.Knowing how the networks involved in these sectors operate in violating the embargo would suggest ways of breaking the links they were using, it says.”Once arms or related military equipment have entered illegally into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, existing distribution channels supervised by key political and military stakeholders, acting either in their own interest or in the interest of their respective parties, enable further dissemination at the grass-roots level,” it says.The distribution continues no matter whether the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration campaign and the integration into the national army are taking place and the Group is trying to identify the “regional spoilers” linked to political actors in the DRC capital, Kinshasa.The internal provision of weapons, training and “military sustenance” to renegade members of the national army (FARDC), local defence forces, proxy forces, foreign armed groups and militias maintains a vicious cycle in which the presence of the armed groups are used as an excuse not to build an integrated army, it says.In turn, “both Rwanda and Uganda maintain security arrangements with leaders of armed groups in the embargoed regions, under the pretext that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has so far failed to disarm rebel forces” constituting threats to their national security, it says. read more

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UN envoy maps out ideal trajectory to next round of intraSyrian talks

“We are at a time of testing whether the political will exists for real de-escalation and more meaningful political talks and move beyond preparatory talks,” Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, told the Security Council via videoconference from Geneva.His briefing focused on the latest developments and some of the possible future steps ahead to create a conducive environment to bring the six-year war to an end.He said that “the ideal trajectory” over the coming two weeks would be progress in the next round of the Astana talks on 4 and 5 July.The process taking place in the Kazakh capital is led by Russia, Turkey and Iran and produced agreement on a ceasefire between warring parties in Syria in late December 2016. Five months later, a deal was struck to set up “de-escalation zones” in Syria to prevent incidents and military confrontation between the warring parties. These zones are expected to also give greater humanitarian access to the 6.3 million people still living the country today. “Let’s give de-escalation efforts a fair chance to succeed because that is what people are asking in order to bringing the violence further down and enabling confidence-building,” Mr. de Mistura said.Since the three guarantor States signed the de-escalation memorandum on 4 May in Astana, violence is clearly down, he said, noting that hundreds of Syrian lives continue to be spared every week, and many towns have returned to some degree of normalcy. But in some areas, the fight and violence has been continuing and in fact intensified. And the overall improvement of the security situation has regrettably not yielded equally significant progress on humanitarian access to areas where the needs are the greatest, he added.“With every week that passes, we know it, without a final arrangement for the de-escalation zones being indeed finalized, the fragility of the ceasefire regime and the risk posed by the fragility increases,” warned Mr. de Mistura.Next, Astana talks would be followed by a further set of joint technical expert meetings with the opposition groups in the same week, and then a continued discussion and dialogue among international stakeholders, including at the G20 Summit in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July, in which Syria cannot be avoided as a subject, he said. “I hope that a combination of these elements would help shape an environment conducive for the next round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva in the months to come,” the UN envoy said, noting that it “would bring us one step forward on the journey towards our shared goal” of implementing the resolutions of this Council, in particular resolution 2254 (2015), which laid out the pathway to peace. read more

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Rain Limits Mammoth Fire

US Forest Service Press ReleaseHUNTINGTON, Utah, July 28 – The Mammoth Fire has grown to eight acres and has moved into an area previously planned for prescribed burning. Crews have established a secure line on the southeast of the fire to keep it burning to the northwest among dead spruce and deadfall timber. Grass meadows and aspen in the area are green and wet.High relative humidity and rains have kept the fire from growing as it would under dry conditions, so firefighters did a test burn Saturday to determine whether it would continue to burn in the decadent timber. The burn successfully moved the fire further west, but then it received heavy rain. Crews will continue work to determine whether the fire can successfully burn out the dead timber. A drying trend beginning Sunday is expected to aid the effort.The fire is directly bordered by an earlier, closed timber sale adjacent to the south shore of Huntington Reservoir and a drainage with a flowing stream to the east. It is burning entirely on the Ferron-Price District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. There are no state or private lands involved. The lightning caused fire is about 29 miles northwest of Huntington, Utah and just southwest of the Miller Flat Junction with SR-31. No campgrounds are threatened and there are no evacuations. There are about 30 crew members on the fire at this time.Lightning has been credited with several smoke reports on the National Forest in the past week. Although there are no fire restrictions on the National Forest at this time, visitors are asked to use caution when building fires. Never build a fire under a tree or in vegetation, never leave a fire unattended and always be sure it is dead out. Fireworks are not allowed on the forest.To receive updates on fires on the Manti-La Sal National Forest, go to https://www.fs.usda.gov/mantilasal/ and sign up under Stay Connected! read more

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27th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting set for Feb 27 2015

One of Canada’s most sought-after wine events, the 27th annual Cuvée Grand Tasting, has been set for Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 at Fallsview Casino Resort.Cuvée has become one of the most prestigious celebrations of Ontario wine for the last 26 years. Now as the event evolves, proceeds will go to support the industry it showcases.Organized by the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University, money raised from Cuvée 2015 will support student bursaries and research that will benefit the Ontario grape and wine industry.CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis said the leadership transition has brought a new look and feel for the event along with a new website.The feedback gained from small, medium and large wineries has positioned CCOVI to take Cuvée to the next level.Inglis said CCOVI’s long history of supporting Cuvée gives it a natural fit for taking on the role of organizing the event.“CCOVI is committed to helping the industry continue to grow by training the next generation of industry professionals, and by providing the industry with applied research solutions,” Inglis said.Scholarships will be established for undergraduate oenology and viticulture students as well as graduate students studying in fields across the grape and wine value chain, including viticulture, wine science, business and tourism.Research funding will go to support projects that address priorities identified by the industry.The Cuvée Grand Tasting on Feb. 27 will feature Ontario’s best VQA wines as well as food prepared by local chefs. The Cuvée en Route passport program will run at participating wineries from Feb. 27 to March 1 and showcase exclusive tasting flights. read more

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Hot shooting leads Creighton past Montana 9872

OMAHA, Neb. — Damien Jefferson scored 18 points, Martin Krampelj added 17 and Creighton shot 60 per cent in beating Montana 98-72 on Wednesday night.Creighton was 32 of 53 from the field, including 13 of 25 from distance, and made 21 of 30 free throws. Crieighton’s first miss did not come until the 12:10 mark of the first half and by then the Bluejays already had five 3-pointers. The Bluejays hit 29 of their first 44 shots.Mitch Ballock made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for Creighton (6-1), which outrebounded Montana 34-20. Ty-Shon Alexander added 13 points and freshman Marcus Zegarowski had 11 points, five rebounds and six assists.Sayeed Pridgett made four 3-pointners and scored 21 of his 23 points in the first half for Montana (4-2). He also had five steals. Michael Oguine added 21 points with nine rebounds. The Grizzlies made 8 of 17 from 3-point range but were just 12 of 22 from the free-throw line.The Griz shot better than 50 per cent from the field for a fifth straight game, finishing at 55 per cent overall.The Associated Press read more

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High school football playoffs at Ohio Stadium estimated to bring in 4M

After Ohio State plays its last regular season game against Michigan in late November, Ohio Stadium will keep its gates open.For the first time in 25 years, Ohio Stadium is set to host the Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs and is set to bring in an estimated $4 million in visitor spending for Columbus, according to a Greater Columbus Sports Commission press release.The OHSAA state playoffs are set to begin Friday.From Dec. 4-6, high school teams from around the state and in all seven divisions will compete for a state title from the confines of Ohio Stadium.Game one is scheduled to take place Dec. 4. at 7:30 p.m. while the following two days will host three games each, with games starting at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.Single game tickets for each game can be purchased for $15 for club level seating, or $12 for general stadium seating. In addition, an all-session ticket can be purchased for $105 that gives the ticket holder access to the Huntington Club for each game, while an $84 all-session pass will simply give the ticket holder access to each game.For the last 24 years, the OHSAA state title games have been held at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and also at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio. Ohio Stadium last hosted the OHSAA title games in 1989. read more

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