Two arrested in Lucknow for dumping potatoes Large dumps of rotting potatoes can be spotted on either side of the kutcha road leading to Bhimakpura village. The stench emanating from them is unbearable. But for hungry mules and cows, the potatoes, discarded by farmers and cold storages, are a welcome treat.“At least these animals are helping us clear it, or else all this will lead to illness,” said young farmer Anuj Yadav, who is stacking Pokhraj potatoes freshly reaped on his family’s 20 bigha land some distance away.This year, Mr. Yadav, a resident of Tirwa, has already got 50 sacks of potatoes (one sack holds 50 kg on average) from just three bighas.Production is not the problem here. Farmers are finding it difficult to sell their produce at profitable rates. Mr. Yadav fears the potatoes grown by him this year will face the same fate as his produce last year, when he produced 200 sacks. Out of it he sold 100 in the market, while the other half he dumped in a cold storage, in the expectation that the government would purchase it or the rates would improve. That didn’t happen.Also Read And as prices fell and the new crop started pouring in, Mr. Yadav’s old potatoes turned into a liability as they had no takers. Withdrawing them from the cold storage and transporting them to the marketss in the hope of a profitable sale would entail additional costs for him.“So I left them to rot. The cold storage dumped it outside as I didn’t go to pick it up. The government did not buy a single kilo. Where else will I take the potatoes?” he asked. In addition to the cost of the crop, which comes to around ₹6-8 per kg, Mr. Yadav would also have to pay ₹240 per quintal to the cold storage. “I still owe them money. They will squeeze it out from me next season or will not allow me to store my potatoes,” said Mr. Yadav.Last year, Uttar Pradesh produced 155 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes, the highest ever in the State. However, the bumper crop led to a slump in rates for farmers. To provide them relief, the Yogi Adityanath government launched a market intervention, under which the State agencies would purchase 1 lakh metric tonnes at a support price of ₹487 per quintal. However, farmers alleged that the State left them in the lurch.At best, only their best potatoes were selected, leaving the bulk of the produce at their disposal with few takers. Due to the State’s grading system, of a quintal on average only 20 kg of potatoes, the shiny, smooth, medium-sized ones, would be selected, said Kuldeep Singh, a farmer.Payment delays“What do I do with the rest? When we sell to the government, the payment involves a lengthy process as it is done through the bank. We are hard-pressed to pay the labour and settle our dues in cash. So we sell our produce to the traders, who may not give us satisfactory rates but are not so choosy about grading,” said Mr. Singh.According to a government official, 12,937 quintals of potatoes, the highest-ever, were purchased from farmers in April-May last year. This pushed up the rate for farmers by ₹100 per quintal. “But then farmers started getting more than the government price in the markets; so they stopped coming to us,” said S.P Joshi, Director, Uttar Pradesh horticulture department.And the price is at the core of the discontent. According to farmers, to grow 1 kg of potato, including costs of storage, required an investment of ₹8-9.Geetendra Yadav, a farmer-cum-activist, said the minimum cost to grow a kg of average-quality potatoes was ₹6.27, more than the ₹4.87 offered by the government.
Olynyk thinks he and Miami will be a great fit.“The culture here, I’ve heard so much about it,” Olynyk said. “I’m really excited about it.”Olynyk being added to the mix was the lone surprise.Johnson and Waiters had made clear they wanted to stay in Miami long ago.Johnson was courted by the Utah Jazz after Gordon Hayward left for Boston and said he was still getting used to the idea of being a sought-after commodity.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Miami Heat’s Dion Waiters shouts to the fans after shooting a basket in the final seconds of the game to secure the Heat’s victory over the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in Miami, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald via AP)MIAMI— They came to the Miami Heat a year ago almost as afterthoughts, two guys with less-than-stellar reputations who didn’t exactly have an abundance of options.Those days are long gone for James Johnson and Dion Waiters.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection LATEST STORIES LaVar Ball on Lonzo’s debut: ‘His worst game ever’ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena They’re now cornerstones of Miami’s plan to return to contention.Capping several days of salary-cap maneuvering to make sure all the pieces fit the right way, the Heat announced the signings of Johnson, Waiters and newcomer Kelly Olynyk on Friday to new four-year contracts. All were agreed upon earlier this week, though Miami didn’t start closing those deals until more cap space was created earlier in the day by trading Josh McRoberts to Dallas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsCombined, Johnson, Waiters and Olynyk’s deals have a maximum value of about $165 million. Those three played for $10 million last season.“As soon as Kelly Olynyk became an unrestricted free agent, we pursued him,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “He is not only a post player, he can also play away from the basket. What we like the most is that he is a playmaker, tough defender and rugged rebounder. At just 26 years old, he fits in perfect with our young core that will play together in their primes.” Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was my first time ever being in a situation like this,” Johnson said on Friday night. “Everything was mind-boggling and exciting at the same time. I was just riding the rollercoaster.”As intoxicating as it was, he had so many reasons to stay.Johnson could make over $60 million in the next four seasons, a huge bump from the $4 million he played for last season. He dropped 40 pounds, changed his body, changed his outlook and went from someone who bounced around the league — and carried a bit of an underachiever label — to someone Miami trusted to have on the floor at the end of games last season.Waiters transformed as well. He slimmed down at the team request, and his game took off — making him a go-to player in Miami last season.“Dion was so important to us,” Heat point guard Goran Dragic said. “He worked hard and you saw what that did for his game.”Much of the space Miami used this summer was created by the waiving of Chris Bosh, who still gets his $25.3 million salary for this season but doesn’t have it count against the Heat books. The Heat went after Hayward and lost out when he picked Boston, so that meant Miami went to what Riley described as Plan B: keeping its own guys.Waiters was the first big domino to fall Miami’s way in that plan, agreeing to his deal on Wednesday. Johnson and Olynyk agreed on Thursday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch which seemed conducive for stroke play. India got off to a stellar start as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul put together a superb century stand for the first wicket. While Rahul was not entirely fluent, Rohit Sharma was at his best and after he was put down by Tamim Iqbal on 9, he never looked back.He galloped along to his fourth century in the World Cup and thus equalled the feat of former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara as the player to have scored four centuries in one single edition of the World Cup. Sangakkara smashed four centuries on the bounce in the last edition in 2015. Overall, the Indian opener now has five centuries in World Cup and is now tied with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and is one century short of Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar, who has 6 centuries to his name. Rohit joined Sachin Tendulkar in an exclusive list Rohit SharmaICC TwitterAlso, during this innings, Rohit joined Sachin Tendulkar in an exclusive club as the Indian opener became the second Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to score 500 runs in a single edition of the World Cup. The batting icon achieved this feat twice during the course of his illustrious career (673 runs in 2003 and 523 runs in 1996).It has been a brilliant tournament for Rohit so far as he started the campaign with a brilliant unbeaten 122 against South Africa and followed it up with 57 against defending champions Australia. He then smacked a superb century against Pakistan in Manchester. After stuttering in the two matches against Afghanistan and West Indies, he hit form again in the match against England, where he scored 102.Despite India’s stellar start and a solid platform, the middle order stuttered once again and Mustafizur bagged a 5-wicket haul as Bangladesh managed to pull things back considerably as India could only manage 314. Rohit SharmaICC TwitterSpeaking at the end of the innings, KL Rahul said that the pitch was slow where the bowlers can restrict the scoring and apply pressure on the batsmen.”It will come and it is due. (The surface is) Pretty similar to what we played on a couple of days ago against England. It is really slow. The bowlers have bowled here before and know what lengths to bowl, what pace to bowl and hopefully, we will come out and execute our plans,” Rahul said after the Indian innings.
ESPN layoffs see 100 employees face cuts Close As the United States celebrates Thanksgiving today, November 23, it looks like several ESPN employees will have little to give thanks for. The US-based global cable and satellite sports television channel is set to lay off about 100 staffers between Thanksgiving and Christmas reportedly due to budget constraints.A lot of these job cuts are said to be from the television division, including producers, executives, and digital and technology employees and staffers of the SportsCenter franchise are also likely to bear the brunt of the move, reported Sports Illustrated.With this round of layoffs, ESPN is likely to slash an estimated amount of $80 million in salaries and other expenses. Speaking of the planned layoffs, a source told Sporting News: “ESPN is dealing with three simple math problems. They have fewer subscribers than they planned for. They have higher costs than they planned for. They have lower ratings than they hoped for.”ESPN’s budget is said to have been impacted by the increasing costs of event rights as well as the advent of online streaming services, due to which it has also lost several customers.Another source also told the site that many ESPN employees are worried about the reported layoffs and have already been sending resumes to competitors. “The narrative from many long-timers still there is: ‘I know my day is coming. It’s not if. It’s when.'”While these layoffs have been a hot topic for discussion for a while now, with employees said to be feeling “queasy,” about the job cuts, ESPN is yet to comment on any of these reports.Even though the network remains one of the most preferred firms for job seekers in the field of sports and has also been hiring several employees, ESPN also seems to be cutting jobs on a regular basis. In April, the television channel laid off about 100 employees, which included about 10 percent of its on-air staffers and writers. A not-so-happy Thanksgiving for employees as ESPN gears up to cut about 100 jobsReutersExplaining its stand ESPN had then said: “A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions.”Additionally, in October 2015, ESPN cut about 300 jobs, which included employees that had been with the channel for several years, and helped build the brand with all their hearts. At the time, ESPN president John Skipper had written to the firm’s employees and said that the job cuts was a part of “a number of organizational changes at ESPN to better support our future goals.””I realize this process will be difficult – for everyone – but we believe the steps we are taking will ultimately create important competitive advantages for our business over the long term. I sincerely appreciate your professionalism and continued support as we move forward to ensure the continued success of ESPN and assure sports fans everywhere the best is yet to come,” Skipper added.
Share Robin Jerstad for The Texas TribuneState Senator Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, at a Texas Tribune legislative preview on Dec. 2, 2016. Uresti’s San Antonio office was raided by the FBI on Feb. 16, 2017.Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.State Sen. Carlos Uresti, accused of misleading a former client who invested in a company in which Uresti has a financial stake, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on 11 charges over his involvement in the alleged investment Ponzi scheme, and he also faces a separate indictment alleging bribery surrounding a government contract.In the first indictment, the federal grand jury charged Uresti, a San Antonio Democrat, with eleven counts of wrongdoing over his complicated saga involving a now-bankrupt company. The company, FourWinds Logistics, purported to sell sand used in hydraulic fracturing, a process that extracts oil and gas from shale rock, but has been accused of misleading investors and grossly misspending funds. The grand jury indicted Uresti on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering; five substantive counts of wire fraud; two counts of securities fraud; one count of engaging in monetary transactions with property derived from specified unlawful activity; and one count of being an unregistered securities broker.A separate indictment centered on a contract to provide medical services to a correctional facility in West Texas. That indictment alleges that a colleague of Uresti’s, Vernon C. Farthing III, paid Uresti $10,000 per month as a marketing consultant and that half of the money was given to an unspecified Reeves County official to win over his vote to award the contract to Farthing’s company. It was the culmination of a 10-year scheme to commit bribery and money laundering, prosecutors argued.In a prepared statement, Uresti said he would plea not guilty to the charges.“I am hard at work representing District 19 in the 85th Legislative Session,” he said. “The charges against me are groundless and I look forward to proving my innocence in a court of law at the appropriate time.”It was the frack sand case that received the most scrutiny in recent months.A lengthy investigation published by the Express-News in August first detailed the involvement of Uresti, a personal injury attorney, in the company and fraud allegations it faces.FourWinds’ supposed intent was to buy sand and sell it at a markup to oil and gas companies, but investors have accused the company’s leadership of misrepresenting its financial health and spending their money on frivolous, personal expenses. It now faces millions of dollars in claims from investors and other companies.Uresti’s alleged wrongdoings trace back to one of his previous legal clients. Uresti represented Denise Cantu in a wrongful-death case after Cantu’s 13-year-old daughter, four-year-old son and two friends were killed in 2010, when a tire on her SUV blew out, causing the vehicle to roll over. Cantu received $900,000 in a settlement, but she said she lost most of the money after she invested it in the now-bankrupt FourWinds firm at Uresti’s suggestion.Cantu has said she was not initially aware that Uresti would get a piece of her investment, though Uresti has suggested otherwise.With allegations of serious financial mismanagement detailed in bankruptcy court, the FBI last year opened an investigation. Federal agents raided Uresti’s law offices in February in connection to the case.Documents in the company’s bankruptcy proceedings list Uresti as owner of a 1 percent stake in FourWinds. Also, the company granted Uresti a $40,000 loan in June of 2014, and hired him to perform legal services, the documents show.At least four former FourWinds employees have now been indicted for their involvement in the company: chief executive Stanley Bates; Eric Nelson, the former marketing director; Shannon Smith, who held a 48 percent stake in the company; and Laura Jacobs, who worked as its comptroller. Gary Cain, a company consultant, was also indicted.Three months after the Express-News story, Uresti coasted to re-election, winning his San Antonio seat with 56 percent of the vote against Republican and Libertarian challengers. Uresti is among the Legislature’s most powerful Democrats. He is vice chair of the Health and Human Services committee and sits on three other high-profile committees: Finance, Education and Veteran Affairs & Border Security.Uresti’s indictments put Texas Democrats in an awkward position. The fraud charges bear similarity to another high-profile case: that of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican. Paxton is similarly charged with misleading investors and failing to register as a securities broker.A spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Texas GOP chairman Tom Mechler was quick to condemn Uresti in a prepared statement: “As I’ve said before, there is an unprecedented amount of corruption among Texas Democrats, and Senator Uresti’s indictment only further proves that they are clearly incapable of being entrusted with governing in the state of Texas.”Uresti could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the fraud-related charge, and the money laundering charge carries prison time of up to 10 years. If convicted of being an unregistered securities broker, Uresti could spend up to 20 years in federal prison.In the Reeves County case, Uresti could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery, and up to 20 years if convicted of the money laundering charge.Uresti is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad at 11 a.m. tomorrow in San Antonio.Julián Aguilar contributed to this report.Read related Tribune coverage:Three members of the Texas Legislature, all Democrats, easily won their re-election bids in November despite a cloud of ethics questions hovering over their campaigns.More than two dozen former elected officials convicted of felonies may be receiving taxpayer-funded retirement pay. But state law keeps the details secret.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/16/texas-sen-carlos-uresti-indicted-fraud-charges/.Texas Tribune mission statementThe Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.