Sushant Singh Rajput’s unnatural death case has become the talk of the nation as the late actor’s father recently filed an FIR against actress Rhea Chakraborty in Patna, charging her with abetment to suicide, theft, wrongful confinement and cheating.
Fans have been demanding justice for the late actor by trending #JusticeForSushantSinghRajput over social media. And now, the hashtag has also reached the US. SSR’s sister Shweta Singh Kirti shared the picture of a billboard which showcased the ‘Kai Po Che!‘ actor’s image along with the hashtag in California. She tweeted, “Bhai’s Billboard in California…It’s up on 880 north, right after the great mall parkway exit. It’s a worldwide movement. #warriors4ssr”
Check out the video here:
Bhai’s Billboard in California…It’s up on 880 north, right after the great mall parkway exit. It’s a world wide m… https://t.co/eWTasaV302
Two more top-10 women — Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens — will miss the U.S. Open, joining No. 1-ranked Ash Barty in skipping the Grand Slam tennis tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Tennis Association also announced Friday that Barbora Krejcikova withdrew. She is ranked 115th in singles, eighth in doubles.
The fifth-ranked Svitolina, a Ukrainian who was a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows a year ago, posted Friday on social media that she doesn’t “feel comfortable to travel to US without putting my team and myself at high risk.”
No. 7 Bertens, who is Dutch, wrote on Instagram that one of her concerns is the need to be quarantined upon returning to Europe after the U.S. Open, which runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 and will not have any spectators.
The French Open — where Bertens reached the semifinals in 2016 — is scheduled to begin Sept. 27. She also wants to play on the clay-court tournament in Rome before heading to Paris.
“The situation around COVID-19 is still that worrying and the health of everyone and the control over this virus is priority,” Bertens wrote.
Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal also has said he won’t play at the U.S. Open, citing concerns about travelling during the pandemic. Also out of the field: Roger Federer, who is sitting out the rest of the season after two operations on his right knee.
Stan Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils are among other men not going to New York.
With Friday’s three withdrawals, Francesca Di Lorenzo), Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Viktoriya Tomova moved into the women’s singles draw.
Sachia Vickery gets the wild-card invitation that originally was awarded to Di Lorenzo.
The professional tennis tours went on hiatus in March because of the pandemic. The women’s circuit returned to action this week in Palermo, Italy; the men are scheduled to begin play later this month.
Tiger Woods said the absence of an adoring and raucous crowd at the PGA Championship on Thursday was part of the “new normal” for the sport, which is holding its first major without any fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Woods, who is playing for just the second time since the PGA Tour returned to action in mid-June, shot an opening round 2-under 68 at an eerily quiet TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
“Well, that’s our new normal,” he told reporters.
“It’s just the way it is and it’s going to be for a while … the energy is different.”
On the plus side, he said not being followed around by noisy fans made it easier to focus.
That showed in his putting, which included a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-four 13th that drew applause and some hoots from a group of grounds crew.
“It’s just different. That’s probably the only way to say it,” he said.
“This is what we’re going to have to get used to in the near future and for probably for a while.”
Every player and caddie underwent coronavirus testing prior to the tournament and media are required to wear face coverings and maintain social distance at the event, which was originally scheduled to be held in May.
Woods is looking to win his 16th major, fifth PGA Championship and record-breaking 83rd PGA Tour victory at the lake side course on the west side of San Francisco.
Woods, who went out in the morning wave alongside world number one Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, did not appear bothered by the coastal fog and cooler conditions as he mixed five birdies and three bogeys.
He is using a new, longer putter at the event, which he said helps take pressure off his surgically-repaired back, allowing him to practice for longer.
“Most of the guys on the Champions Tour have gone to longer putters as they have gotten older, because it’s easier to bend over, or not bend over,” the 44-year-old said with a smile.
“And so this putter is just a little bit longer and I’ve been able to spend a little bit more time putting.”
California officials have identified two data glitches that caused the state to undercount new coronavirus cases for more than a week, leaving a backlog of as many as 300,000 lab records to process.
The held-up test results will probably be worked through in one to two days, Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, said in a briefing Friday. The data reporting issues, first disclosed on Tuesday, have left public health officials unable to trust numbers showing cases slowing in the state with the most US infections.
Two overlapping issues created the problem, Ghaly said. On July 25, a server outage in the state’s centralized reporting system prompted workers to install a temporary patch that, over days, interfered with the proper flow of lab records. Then, on the 31st, the system stopped receiving records from one of the largest commercial labs in the state’s testing program, Quest Diagnostics, after a certificate that needs to be renewed every two years expired.
Both problems have since been fixed, Ghaly said. But state officials are now building a new system to track disease data, since the old one, known as CalREDIE, wasn’t designed to handle this many records.
There are 250,000 to 300,000 lab records that are left to process, and the exact effect on California’s coronavirus case counts isn’t yet known, Ghaly said. The state’s 14-day average rate of positive tests — which may be affected by the backlog — is at 6.1%. Some of the jammed-up records will be duplicates, while others will be for other infectious diseases tracked by the same systems.
California has more than 538,000 confirmed virus cases, and on Friday became the third US state to exceed 10,000 deaths from Covid-19. Earlier this week, before the data glitches came to light, Governor Gavin Newsom said slowing new case counts offered “encouraging” signs the state may have turned a corner in its outbreak.
Ghaly said that after checking with hospitals around the state, he believes accurate data won’t change the underlying trend of improvement. New case counts, he said, appear to be stabilizing and trending down after July’s spike. The state’s data show hospitalizations, unaffected by the reporting issues, have fallen 17% from a peak.
Popular reality show Bigg Boss enjoys a massive fan following and has made stars out of many of its contestants. However, when actor Sahil Salathia was approached for the upcoming season of the show, he turned it down and said it was ‘not (his) cup of tea’.
Sahil told The Times of India in an interview that he turned down Bigg Boss 13 as he could not see himself being locked up with a bunch of people with different personalities. “Yes, I was offered the show, but I declined it politely. Honestly, I have never followed Bigg Boss. I am a trained actor, and acting is my passion. Being locked up in a house with a set of people, who have different mindsets, is not my cup of tea,” he said.
“If I participate in Bigg Boss, I will top the list of the worst contestants in its history. I am not someone who would pick fights or hurl abuses at people for entertainment,” he added.
Sahil, who has appeared in many advertisements, made his acting debut in 2014 with the show Everest, which was produced by Ashutosh Gowariker. He was also seen in the series P.O.W. – Bandi Yuddh Ke, developed by Nikkhil Advani.
Last year, Sahil made his Bollywood debut with the historical epic Panipat, which also starred Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon and Sanjay Dutt. He played the Maratha ruler Shamsher Bahadur, son of Peshwa Bajirao and Mastani, in the film.
Earlier, actor Adhyayan Suman refuted rumours of him being one of the contestants of Bigg Boss 14. In a tweet, he wrote, “False news of me being a part of big boss ! Thanks but no thanks ! Disrespectful to say the least !” In another tweet, he said that he would not be a part of the show ‘even if it was the end of the world’. “I Would never go there don’t worry ! That’s not my career goal,” he said.
Filmmaker Onir and model-turned-actor Rajeev Sen, too, have denied reports of being a part of Bigg Boss 14. According to reports, television stars Nia Sharma and Vivian Dsena are likely to participate in the show this year. Salman Khan will return as the host.
At Friday’s meeting, ministry officials in a detailed presentation, said that there have been 55 amendments and many court orders on the EIA since 2006, people familiar with the matter said. In the presentation, officials stressed that EIA 2020 is key to ease of doing business and the much needed systematization.
Russia has announced that mass vaccinations are planned for early October, which would make it the first country to approve and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, but scientists are warning against the move.
The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, who sponsored the Gamaleya Research Institute’s development of a vaccine, says that a vaccination may be approved in just days, before scientists have completed a three phase study.
“I’m worried that Russia is cutting corners so that the vaccine that will come out may be not just ineffective, but also unsafe,” a global public health law expert at Georgetown University, Lawrence Gostin, told the Associated Press Friday. “It doesn’t work that way. … Trials come first. That’s really important.”
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko announced that people who are considered to be a part of the “risk group,” like healthcare workers, could be offered the vaccine as soon as this month.
Murashko did not clarify if the healthcare workers receiving the vaccination would be a part of the Phase Three study.
U.S. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has warned against rushing to find a vaccination without the necessary precautions and studies being taken.
“I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing a vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone, because claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing I think is problematic at best,” Fauci said last week.
The U.S. has accused both Russia and China of attempted espionage and theft in the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
The U.S. Justice Departement indicted two Chinese nationals in late July for working with the Chinese intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), after they were caught hacking U.S. and international data bases containing information about vaccine development.
One of the companies targeted by the hackers was Moderna, who received half a billion in funding from the U.S. government for the development of a vaccine. They are expected to launch a 30,000-person clinical trial this month
China has denied all accusations.
“Recently so-called sources from the U.S. government have been accusing China of hacking to steal technology and data of U.S. vaccine research, but there has been no evidence whatsoever,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, said last week.
Britain, Canada and the U.S. have also accused the Russian Kremlin of using hackers to break into databases to steal intelligence on COVID-19 vaccines.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” U.K.’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement following the British National Cyber Security Centre advisory detailing recent Russian hacking.
“While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the U.K. and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health,” he added.
Kristin Cavallari is opening up about how she’s feeling these days and what she’s been up to.
“This is the first time in a very long time that I feel like I can take a breath. I’m enjoying things slowed down and having more time to focus on what really matters in life,” the 33-year-old reality star and Uncommon James mogul told Us Weekly.
The mom of three said that she’s using the time she has right now for being a good mother and some self-care.
“I want to take this extra time I have right now to better myself and be the best mom I can be and continue to grow Uncommon James,” she said. “I’m not thinking about what I want to be doing next year or the year after that. I’ve driven myself crazy with that mentality the past few years. Right now, I just want to be present and enjoy this journey.”
“And for me that means working out, eating healthy and having balance in my life,” she explained. “Getting rid of the things that don’t bring me joy. … I hate negativity. I will run the other way from it, but I’ve had to learn how to cut toxicity out of my life as I’ve gotten older.”
As for who she leans on in tough times? “My mom is my best friend and always knows what to say,” she shared. “I’m also lucky to have some incredibly strong friendships who I can always count on to make me feel better.”
Cavallari recently stunned fans in a recent swimsuit photo on Instagram, with some social media users asking what her workout routine is like. The post was part of a new collaboration between Cavallari’s jewelry brand and DIFF Eyewear.
“I had been toying with the idea of doing sunglasses for about a year when DIFF came knocking,” she explained of the partnership to Us Weekly. “They have a similar aesthetic to Uncommon James, so the partnership excited me. Being able to design jewelry and sunglasses together was a ton of fun to create coordinating pieces.”
The chemicals that went up in flames in Beirut’s deadliest peace-time explosion arrived in the Lebanese capital seven years ago on a leaky Russian-leased cargo ship that, according to its captain, should never have stopped there.
“They were being greedy,” said Boris Prokoshev, who was captain of the Rhosus in 2013 when, he says, the owner told him to make an unscheduled stop in Lebanon to pick up extra cargo.
Prokoshev said the ship was carrying 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a highly combustible chemical compound, from Georgia to Mozambique when the order came to divert to Beirut on its way through the Mediterranean.
The crew were asked to load some heavy road equipment and take it to Jordan’s Port of Aqaba before resuming their journey to Africa, where the ammonium nitrate was to be delivered to an explosives manufacturer.
But the ship never left Beirut, the crew having tried and failed to safely load the additional cargo and the owners getting embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute over port fees.
“It was impossible,” said Prokoshev, 70, of the operation to try and load the extra cargo, speaking by phone from his home in the Russian resort town of Sochi on the Black Sea coast.
“It could have ruined the whole ship, and I said no.”
The retired sea captain said he was baffled earlier this week when he awoke to find an email from a journalist asking him about the Rhosus.
“I didn’t understand anything,” he told The Associated Press. “I opened my inbox and saw a letter about the Rhosus. I thought maybe they were sending me money, my salary.”
Crew spent 11 months on ship in Beirut port
In 2013, after it became clear the additional cargo could not be accommodated, Lebanese authorities impounded the vessel for failing to pay port fees. Prokoshev and lawyers acting for some creditors accused the ship’s owner of abandoning the vessel without paying his outstanding debts to the port or the crew.
Nearly a year later, once the crew had disembarked, the ammonium nitrate was unloaded and put in a dock warehouse for safety reasons.
On Tuesday, that stockpile caught fire and exploded not far from a built-up residential area of the city. The huge blast killed more than 145 people, injured 5,000, flattened buildings and made more than a quarter of a million people homeless.
The ship might have succeeded in leaving Beirut had it managed to load the additional cargo.
The crew had stacked the equipment, including excavators and road-rollers, on top of the doors to the cargo hold, where the ammonium nitrate was housed, according to the ship’s Ukrainian boatswain, Boris Musinchak. But the hold doors buckled.
“The ship was old, and the cover of the hold bent,” Musinchak said by phone. “We decided not to take risks.”
Immigration restrictions forced the captain and three crew members to remain onboard while the legal dispute dragged on for 11 months, without wages and with only limited supplies of food.
At some point, Prokoshev said, he sold some of the ship’s fuel and used the cash to hire lawyers, who got the crew released on compassionate grounds in 2014.
The lawyers’ application to the court emphasized “the imminent danger the crew was facing given the ‘dangerous’ nature of the cargo,” the lawyers wrote in a 2015 article published by shiparrested.com, a website providing information on ship arrests and releases.
Once the crew left, the ammonium nitrate was unloaded.
“The cargo was highly explosive. That’s why it was kept on board when we were there … that ammonium nitrate had a very high concentration,” Prokoshev said.
Bound for Mozambique
Prokoshev identified the ship’s owner as Russian businessman Igor Grechushkin. Attempts to contact Grechushkin were unsuccessful.
Cypriot police questioned Grechushkin at his home in Cyprus on Thursday, a security source said. A Cyprus police spokesman said an individual, whom he did not name, had been questioned at the request of Interpol Beirut in relation to the cargo.
The ammonium nitrate was sold by Georgian fertilizer maker Rustavi Azot LLC and was to be delivered to a Mozambique explosives maker Fabrica de Explosivos.
WATCH | An explosives expert explains what made ship’s cargo so dangerous:
Chris Hunter says the huge quantity of ammonium nitrate should have been immediately moved out of the busy port after it arrived. 1:51
A senior representative for Fabrica de Explosivos did not immediately respond when sent a request for comment on LinkedIn.
Levan Burdiladze, the Rustavi Azot plant director, told Reuters that his company had only operated the chemical factory for the last three years and so he could not confirm whether the ammonium nitrate was produced there.
He called the decision to store the material in Beirut port a “gross violation of safe storage measures, considering that ammonium nitrate loses its useful properties in six months.”
Initial Lebanese investigations into what happened have pointed to inaction and negligence in the handling of the potentially dangerous chemical.
Lebanon’s cabinet on Wednesday agreed to place all Beirut port officials who have overseen storage and security since 2014 under house arrest, ministerial sources said.
The head of Beirut port and the head of customs said that several letters were sent to the judiciary asking for the material be removed, but no action was taken.
WATCH | See some of the worst damage left by the blast:
The damage at Beirut’s port, where the blast occurred, shows the full power of the explosion. 1:26
Reuters could not immediately reach Lebanon’s justice minister for comment. The Justice Ministry is closed for three days of national mourning.
According to Prokoshev, the ship had been leaking but was seaworthy when it sailed into Beirut in September 2013. However, he said Lebanese authorities paid little attention to the ammonium nitrate, which had been stacked in the hull in large sacks.
“I feel sorry for the people [killed or injured in the blast]. But local authorities, the Lebanese, should be punished. They did not care about the cargo at all,” he said.
According to Prokoshev, he received an email in May 2018 from a lawyer telling him the ship sank “recently.”
Prokoshev said the ship had a hole in the hull, and the crew, while on it, had to regularly pump water out to keep it afloat.
An analysis of a satellite image from February 2018 commissioned from space technology company Maxar by the New York Times showed the sunken ship a few hundred metres from the warehouse where its cargo was stored. The times reported that the ship sank between Feb. 16 and 18, 2018.
WATCH | Blast leaves an already struggling city devastated:
A desperate search for survivors is underway after the deadly blast at the port in Beirut, which left the city devastated. Several port officials have been placed under house arrest and Lebanon’s president is promising a transparent investigation into the explosion. 2:41
Enerplus Corp. says it has restored North Dakota crude oil production halted during the pandemic-linked oil price crash in May despite a court ruling last month that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down.
The Calgary-based company says it is confident that crude-by-rail shipping from the state can be ramped up if the decision, stayed by an appeal court earlier this week, is restored and the pipeline that moves oil out of the state is out of commission for a longer term.
Last month, a U.S. District Court judge ruled the three-year-old pipeline must be closed down and emptied while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts a more extensive environmental review. The stay by the U.S. Court of Appeals this week is only a temporary reprieve.
Getting barrels out of the North Dakota Bakken oil basin won’t be a problem because up to 800,000 barrels per day moved by rail before the 570,000-bpd pipeline began operating, pointed out Enerplus chief financial officer Jodine Jenson Labrie on a conference call on Friday.
The higher cost of rail, however, would likely result in lower profit margins for oil producers, she said.
“There remains a lot of rail infrastructure in the Bakken,” she said, noting that discount pricing in relation to benchmark U.S. crude would likely widen from about $5 US per barrel to between $6 and $8 US with rail transport.
“In terms of impact to Enerplus, if we were to assume the pipeline could not operate for all of 2021, we estimate the wider Bakken differential would impact our corporate netback by approximately 80 cents per boe (barrel of oil equivalent),” she said.
The company “hit the brakes” on oilfield activity in North Dakota in May as oil prices plummeted due to a global glut of barrels from OPEC-plus overproduction as demand fell thanks to the COVID-19 lockdowns, said CEO Ian Dundas.
“As we entered May, with the weakness in the oil market, our teams began curtailing volumes rather than risk negative margins,” he said.
“We ended up curtailing approximately 25 per cent of our corporate liquids volumes and, as the market continued to improve in June, we began restoring curtailed volumes.”
Enerplus reported a second-quarter net loss in Canadian funds of $609 million or $2.74 per share due to non-cash impairments of $630 million on assets and goodwill as a result of market volatility and low commodity prices.
That compares with a net profit of $85 million or 36 cents in the same period of 2019.
Excluding those impairments and other non-cash or non-recurring items, its adjusted second quarter net loss was $41.2 million, versus adjusted net income of $74.4 million a year earlier.
Analysts said the company’s financial results beat consensus estimates, as did second-quarter production of 87,360 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down 11 per cent from the first quarter.
Enerplus reinstated its 2020 guidance cancelled earlier this year, calling for an unchanged capital budget of $300 million and average production of between 88,000 and 90,000 boe/d.