Lukashenko: Tainted strongman on Europe’s doorstep

first_imgTopics :  ‘Why cry now?’ After post-election protests in which dozens were injured and a prominent rights group said that one man was killed, Lukashenko defended the use of force.”Why weep and cry now?” he said.A father of three, Lukashenko often attends official events with his youngest son, 15-year-old Nikolai. His latest election declaration said that he is still legally married although he is never seen in public with the wife he wed in 1975. He has insisted that Belarus is not ready for a woman leader.A female president “would collapse, poor thing,” he said.Amnesty International has accused Lukashenko’s government of “misogyny” and targeting female activists with discriminatory tactics.Lukashenko has been known for his blunt-speaking folksiness and the former collective farm director is routinely pictured in rural settings like tractor factories or potato fields.Despite tens of thousands of coronavirus infections, he has dismissed the pandemic as a hoax and refused to introduce a lockdown or postpone the election.He has offered dubious tips on avoiding the virus, recommending driving tractors in the countryside, drinking vodka and taking steam baths.  Critics call the mustachioed leader “the cockroach.”As Europe’s longest-serving non-royal leader, he has held onto power since 1994.He detained his main opposition rivals ahead of Sunday’s poll and afterwards vowed he would not allow opponents to “tear the country apart”.During an animated address to the nation last week, Lukashenko wiped sweat from his brow as he accused the opposition of planning mass riots in the capital Minsk. Strongman Alexander Lukashenko has ruled over ex-Soviet Belarus for nearly three decades and says he cannot bear to part with his “beloved” country.The 65-year-old won a sixth term in Sunday polls, according to the official results, and brutally crushed protests by opponents who claim he rigged the vote. Ordinary Belarusians and independent observers accuse him of stealing the election from 37-year-old Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has emerged as the leader of the protest movement against his rule.center_img Between Russia and West Lukashenko has kept his landlocked homeland wedged between Russia and EU member Poland largely stuck in a Soviet time warp.A quarter of a century after the collapse of the USSR the tightly controlled eastern European nation still has a security service called the KGB, adheres to a command economy and looks to former master Moscow as its main ally, creditor and energy provider.But Lukashenko has not been afraid to cross swords with the Kremlin as he nervously eyed its intervention in neighboring Ukraine and has sought to mend fences with the West.In February, he welcomed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, making the first visit to Belarus by a US Secretary of State since 1994.Despite recurring financial crises Lukashenko has stood firmly by Soviet-era economic policies.He has also signed the country up to the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pet project.But while Belarus remains the most closely aligned former Soviet republic to Moscow, Lukashenko insists he is no Kremlin patsy, often switching from speaking Russian to Belarusian to show his independence.When Putin seized Crimea from Ukraine and was accused of sparking a rebellion after the February 2014 ouster of Kiev’s Moscow-backed leader, Lukashenko appeared wary of Russia’s aggressiveness.He has rejected the idea of outright unification with Russia and has accused Moscow of meddling in the current presidential campaign. Less than two weeks before the polls Belarus arrested more than 30 Russian “militants”, saying they were on a mission to destabilize the country.The arrests sparked a crisis in ties with Moscow, but after the widespread claims of blatant vote rigging Putin was quick to congratulate Lukashenko on his re-election.By contrast, European governments questioned the results of Sunday’s election, with Belarus neighbor Poland calling for an emergency EU summit on the situation. “We will not give the country to you,” he said, speaking in front of a glum-faced audience of officials, church leaders and military personnel.He likened Belarus to a woman, saying “You don’t hand over your beloved.”last_img read more

Teekay LNG Secures 3-Year Charter for Magellan Spirit LNG Carrier

first_imgOwner and operator of LNG carriers Teekay LNG Partners has secured a new charter contract for its LNG carrier, the 2009-built Magellan Spirit.The 3-year fixed-rate contract, secured with an integrated oil and gas company, is scheduled to commence during the summer of 2019.Concurrently, Teekay LNG extended the in-charter of the Magellan Spirit until the summer of 2022.With this deal “the partnership’s LNG carrier fleet is approximately 97, 93 and 92 percent fixed for the remainder of this year, 2020 and 2021, respectively, which further supports Teekay LNG’s expected earnings growth and continued deleveraging profile over the next few years,” Mark Kremin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teekay Gas Group Ltd, said.Furthermore, Teekay GP LLC, the general partner of Teekay LNG Partners, has declared a cash distribution of USD 0.19 per common unit for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, representing a 36 percent increase over the previous quarter’s distribution.“Our new annual distribution of USD 0.76 per unit is supported by our diverse portfolio of long-term fixed-rate LNG contracts. Importantly, our new distribution level strikes a balance between providing a meaningful increase in returns to our unitholders, while simultaneously allowing Teekay LNG to continue along its existing delevering path,” Kremin added.last_img read more

Batesville Freshman Boys Basketball vs. Connersville

first_imgThe Batesville boys 9th grade basketball team was defeated by the visiting Connersville Spartans Thursday night by a score of 26-24.The Bulldogs started the game with a great effort and went into halftime up 5. The Spartans responded in the second half with great effort which the Bulldogs could not match. Connersville took a 2 point lead with under a minute to play and Batesville could not get a good look at the basket.For the second game in a row Devin Scripture led all scorers with 10 points, scoring both inside and from 3 point range. Alex Westerfeld also chipped in 6 points.The team is in action again next Monday when they travel to Greensburg to take on the Pirates .Score by quarter vs Connersville:  BHS: 8 16 18 24; CHS: 3 11 20 26.Scoring:  Lane Oesterling 2; Sam Giesting 0; Gus Cooper 3; Nathan Eckstein 0; Devin Scripture 10; Alex Westerfeld 6; Tyler Myers 3; Kevin Salatin 0; and Charlie Prickel 0.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Michael Lanning.last_img read more

Rohr’s contract extension lies with NFF — Dare

first_imgRelatedPosts Rohr lists Musa, Ekong, 23 others for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says the issue of contract extension for Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr lies with the Nigeria Football Federation.The minister gave the clarification on Wednesday in Abuja at a brief meeting with Rohr before dashing for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the presidential villa.News Agency of Nigeria reports that the media have been awashed with news of a log jam on the extension of the coach’s contract.Rohr’s current contract expires in June 2020 which will fall to the middle of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.Dare, however, stressed that the ministry would continue to give the coach all the necessary support as the NFF finalises its meeting on the contract talks.“The issue of contract (with Rohr) will be best handled by the NFF, I understand the need to work the fine lines.“I understand there is a contractual arrangement with the NFF, I will allow the NFF to work through its process,” the minister said.Dare charged the coach not to be distracted but intensify efforts to take Nigerian football to the pinnacle.“Are we happy about where our football is at the moment, not exactly but we know there’s an ongoing process that we make this country a better football nation. That process is on and you are part of the process”, he added.He tasked the coach on working with stakeholders to develop the Nigeria Professional League in line with international best practice.“More importantly your knowledge and support for the domestic league will be very important because you can share your experience with our local coaches,” the minister said.Earlier, Rohr congratulated the minister on his appointment and efforts to reposition Nigerian sports.He pledged to work more closely with the minister going forward as the Super Eagles strive to pick the AFCON 2021 ticket.High point of the event was the presentation of an autographed Super Eagles jersey by the coach to the minister.Nigeria currently top group L of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers with six maximum points ahead of Benin Republic, Sierra Leone and Lesotho.Tags: Gernot RohrNFFSunday Darelast_img read more

Pulis calls for Stoke unity

first_img Press Association Pulis’ side have slipped into relegation trouble at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League after winning just one of their last 14 games. They find themselves just three points above the bottom three on 34 points ahead of this weekend’s trip to the apparently doomed QPR, one of just five remaining games. Pulis believes the figure typically associated with safety, 40, will again be enough. He said: “We have got five games, five throws of the dice to get the six points we need. There are 15 points there, so that is what we have got to do and stay focused and positive. We need everybody around, it is a call to arms for everybody in Stoke-on-Trent.” Stoke manager Tony Pulis has issued a “call to arms” in an attempt to arrest the Potters’ alarming dip in form.center_img He added: “This is when we need everybody to stick together and I think the majority of supporters understand we need their help.” Fans have made their displeasure at the Potters’ nosedive evident in recent weeks with booing during matches and Pulis himself coming under fire. Pulis has not let that affect his determination to prolong his side’s five-year stay in the top flight. He said: “There might be a small portion of supporters that have done that but it is not the majority. We have been having a difficult run and minorities get a lot of publicity in this country. The majority of supporters have been brilliant. They understand we are in a battle, a scrap, and they are right behind the team. “We need as many points as we can get. If we lose the next three games and win the last two we will get 40 points – that keeps you up. But we have got to get as many points as we can from those five games.” There is little doubt where Stoke’s major weakness lies having scored just 28 goals all the season, the lowest in the Premier League. Of those only nine have come away from home and Pulis’ men have found the net just twice in their last seven games. Pulis said: “We have needed to score more goals, even when we were doing well we needed to score more goals. But the players have trained really well and look really bright. “We have got to keep them bright and positive. When you get in a run like this a lot of negativity surrounds football and we understand that. It is important you try to keep them away from that, keep them focused and positive.” last_img read more

Help cheerleaders go to camp

first_img Latest Posts Latest posts by (see all) Drive-thru flu shot clinics scheduled – September 18, 2020 Real Estate Transfers Week of Sept. 17 – September 18, 2020 Donald Trump Jr. to host Holden campaign event – September 18, 2020center_img This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text Bio GOULDSBORO — The K-eighth-grade Peninsula School’s cheerleading team is on its way toward raising $3,040 to make it possible for all of its nearly two dozen members to hone their skills July 17-20 at the 2015 National Cheerleaders Camp at Husson University.The Bulldogs recently held a successful bottle drive and will hold a benefit supper from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday, May 15, at Masonic Lodge No. 192 in Winter Harbor. Admission is by donation.Coached by Kayla Geel, with assistance from Carrie Faulkingham, the Bulldogs will serve up hot dogs and hamburgers, casseroles, a selection of macaroni and cheese dishes, salads, desserts and beverages. As part of the evening, parent Klair Moshier will auction off a secondhand kayak, two canoes, a Wellfleet Clock Co. tide clock and a bronze-finish sundial made by Virginia Metalcrafters in Waynesboro, Va.In addition, the Bulldogs will draw the winning ticket in a 50-50 cash raffle. Cheerleaders are selling tickets before and at the supper.last_img read more

Ellsworth’s Higgins receives coaching honor

first_imgELLSWORTH — The National High School Coaches Association named Ellsworth’s Brian Higgins as 2017 High School Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year on Friday.Higgins, who is Maine’s winningest tennis coach with over 600 victories, has led the girls’ team to five state runner-up finishes in his tenure as coach. He also coaches the boys’ team, with which he won a state championship in 1996.“We are extremely pleased to honor Coach Higgins as National Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year,” NHSCA Executive Director Eric Hess said in a statement. “Coach Higgins’ commitment to excellence for his student-athletes on and off the tennis [court] makes him an excellent choice for this honor.”Higgins is the second coach from Maine to receive the award. Lewiston’s Anita Murphy became the first when she did so in 2011.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textHiggins will receive a trophy and a spot in the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum, which the NHSCA’s Mattie Potter said will be built “in the near future.”last_img read more

Windies need to play like champions

first_img(CMC) – CAPTAIN Carlos Brathwaite believes West Indies need to bring their ‘A’ game to the three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand starting here today.The all-rounder reminded that the Caribbean side were World champions in the shortest format and therefore had a duty to themselves and their fans to play accordingly.“Any time you have the title of world champions you need to defend it, not only at the World Cup but in every series,” Brathwaite said, ahead of the opener at Saxton Oval which bowls off at 15:00hrs (22:00hrs Thursday Eastern Caribbean time).“Regardless of whether we win or lose we need to play like world champions. People in the Caribbean look to the T20 format for the success and feel good and we need to do that. If there’s added pressure, then so be it. We have a legacy to carry on.”West Indies are winless on tour so far and the T20 series represents the ideal chance for the visitors to make their mark.Their record against the Black Caps, however, is a dodgy one, having drawn the last two-match series they played in the Caribbean and suffering a clean sweep in a similar two-match rubber the last time they were in New Zealand three years ago.Since capturing the T20 World Cup in India last year April, the Windies have won seven of 14 matches – with three of those wins coming against minnows Afghanistan.Brathwaite will be featuring for the first time in the series and joins the side on the heels of solid performances in the Bangladesh Premier League where he topped the batting averages for Khulna Titans.The 29-year-old, the hero of the last T20 World Cup, said his focus was on making strong contributions to the unit.“I’m not the saviour,” he stressed.“But for me I’m always my own harshest critic and for me it’s just about controlling what I can control and making sure I get through my four overs as economically as possible and grab a few wickets if I can.”He cotninued: “Batting-wise I’m having a decent year, averaging around 40 (48) with the bat so it’s about closing out the year well and going into 2018 with the next two games and hopefully starting next year as well as I can.”The last two T20s will be played at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on New Year’s Day and January 3.last_img read more

Women of Troy travel to NCAA championships

first_imgThe No. 9 USC women’s swimming and diving team will fly to Purdue, Ind., on Monday to compete in the NCAA championship meet.After the team’s breakthrough performance two weeks ago at the Pac-10 championships, where the Women of Troy placed third overall, a more refined women’s team will be looking to turn heads not just in its conference but all across the nation.“We have a very strong team going into NCAAs and we’re aiming for top five,” co-captain senior Dina Hegazy said. “And the team is very excited and motivated to reach that goal.”The hand-picked NCAA team will consist of returning All-Americans Hegazy, juniors Presley Bard, Lyndsay DePaul and Ellie Doran, sophomores Katinka Hosszu, Tanya Krisman and sophomore diver Victoria Ishimatsu. USC will also be sending freshmen Haley Anderson, Yumi So, Jessica Schmitt, Christel Simms, Kate Shumway and Ariel Rittenhouse.This means the Women of Troy will be represented by one more swimmer and diver than they had in 2009, an outstanding performance considering last year’s NCAA team had four members who graduated.The backstroke and freestyle events have a strong team this year, with veteran Hegazy and young additions incuding Shumway and Simms. But overall these events will mainly be dominated by Bard. The junior will be looking to improve on her already stellar results at the Pac-10 championships, where she broke two individual school records in the 50-yard freestyle (22.26) and the 200-yard backstroke (1:51.80). She also helped destroy the team’s 800-yard freestyle relay record by more than eight seconds (6:59.48). The transfer junior will be representing USC for the first time at the NCAA championship.DePaul, another junior transfer, will also be wearing cardinal and gold for the first time at the NCAA meet. After breaking several records of her own at the Pac-10 championships in the 100-yard butterfly (51.86) and also doing her part in the 800-yard freestyle relay, DePaul will be a key asset in the butterfly and medley events as well as relays.The competition begins March 18 and concludes March 20.last_img read more

UPDATE: Trojans fall at ITA All-American Tournament

first_imgUSC’s men’s and women’s tennis teams found success competing in their respective ITA All-American tournaments over the past week.The women’s team played at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Senior Zoë Scandalis, who is ranked No. 15 in the nation, was the sole representative in the main singles draw for USC. In the first round, Scandalis cruised past Princeton’s No. 67-ranked Lindsay Graff, 6-1, 6-0. This put her through to the Round of 16, where she fell to third-ranked Hayley Carter of UNC, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.Scandalis couldn’t dwell on the loss, though, as she had to turn around and keep playing in the doubles draw with her partner, junior Giuliana Olmos. Olmos and Scandalis, ranked No. 7 in the nation together now, made it to the finals of this tournament last year, and were looking to repeat their success. This year, the squad earned a bye in the first round of competition. They got off on the right foot in the Round of 16 on Oct. 2 defeating Cal’s No. 11-ranked Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr, 6-0, 6-4.Olmos and Scandalis, who went 22-8 overall together last season, came up against Michigan’s 14th-ranked team of Sarah Lee and Ronit Yurovsky, and took home a 6-2, 7-5 win.This earned the duo a spot in the semifinals against Stanford’s Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao. Davidson and Zhao, who went 29-6 together last season, pulled off a straight sets win over Olmos and Scandalis, 7-6, 6-2.The men’s team was just as busy playing in the ITA Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.The Trojans earned three spots in the main singles draw and had one squad playing in the main doubles draw. Seniors Yannick Hanfmann, Roberto Quiroz and Jonny Wang all earned automatic bids to the tournament.Hanfmann, ranked No. 2 in the nation, has not dropped a set yet in five matches for this tournament and earned a spot in the finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 20 Romain Bogaerts of Wake Forest on Sunday. He will face Louisville’s Sebastian Stiefelmeyer in the finals, who is ranked No. 110 in the nation.In the first round, Hanfmann beat No. 36 Florian Lakat of Mississippi State, 6-2, 6-4. That win earned him a matchup against Texas’ No. 31 Lloyd Glasspool, where he pulled off a 6-1, 6-1 win. Hanfmann then advanced to the Round of 16, where he beat Harvard’s No. 18 Denis Nguyen, 6-0, 6-3. In the quarterfinals, he steamrolled Duke’s Nicolas Alvarez, 6-1, 6-1.In typical fashion for the San Marino, California, native, Wang pulled off an impressive upset in the first round, beating Texas A&M’s No. 11-ranked Harrison Adams, 6-3, 6-3. In the Round of 32, he faced Texas Tech’s Felipe Soares, ranked No. 43 in the nation, and prevailed by a 6-3, 6-3 score again. But Wang fell to No. 17-ranked Nathan Pasha of Georgia by a 6-3, 6-4 score to end his tournament run.Quiroz was on the other end of an upset in the first round, falling to Notre Dame’s No. 88 Quentin Monaghan. The Ecuadorian had more success in doubles, though, teaming up with Hanfmann to make the finals of the tournament.The duo topped ranked teams from Indiana, Florida State and Vanderbilt to reach the semifinals on Sunday against Texas A&M’s Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo. The Trojans prevailed, 6-1, 6-4, to earn a spot in today’s final against Tennessee’s Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis, the top-ranked doubles squad in the nation.The singles final will kick off at 8 a.m. today and the doubles final begins at 11 a.m. today. UPDATE:Senior Yannick Hanfmann fell to Louisville’s No. 110 Sabastian Stiefelmeyer in the singles finals on Monday. No. 2 Hanfmann had not dropped a set all tournament, but was upset, 6-3, 6-2 by the Austrian who made his way through the qualifying rounds and all the way to the championship.Hanfmann had his hands full again in the doubles final later in the day. Hanfmann and Quiroz, ranked No. 19 together, took on the defending ITA All-American doubles champions, Tennessee’s top-ranked Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese. The Trojans came up empty handed, losing 6-3, 6-4.last_img read more