Fantasia is judges’ favorite competitor

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Barrino recently disclosed that she is functionally illiterate. The singer discusses her illiteracy in a new memoir, “Life is Not a Fairy Tale,” which she dictated to a freelance writer. The judges also had high praise for the new contestants they heard sing last week. “We saw a young girl we all thought was fantastic,” Cowell said. That alone was “worth the trip,” he said. The judges, who were joined by show host Ryan Seacrest, bantered affably, usually at the expense of Cowell, who was celebrating a birthday but still managed to live up to his reputation as a man not afraid to insult. After someone sang “Happy Birthday” to him, he said, “That was very nice, but you have a terrible voice.” Move over, Kelly. Take a back seat, Ruben. The judges for “American Idol” say their favorite winner is Fantasia Barrino, the North Carolina native who won season three of the Fox contest show. Kelly Clarkson was the first winner and Ruben Studdard was the season two champion. But judges Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell, who were in Greensboro for auditions Thursday, said Barrino was their favorite. “If we had to choose one American Idol to go out to dinner with, it would be Fantasia,” Cowell said. “There are no airs and graces about her. … I like her.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Chino blanks Diamond Bar, 41-0

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week It started from the game’s first series, when Jansen was sacked on the Brahmas’ first two plays from scrimmage, resulting in a third-and-22, which they could not convert into a first down. Each of Chino’s first 11 plays were runs to either running back Stanford or fullback Ryan Shawhan. The fifth play was the first of three Stanford touchdowns, a 14-yard run. The next six set up Chino’s unnecessary but effective passing game. The first of two Art Gracia touchdown passes, a beautiful 22-yard rainbow to Orlando Brazier gave the Cowboys a 14-0 lead. A Stanford 2-yard run in the final minute before the half gave the Cowboys (5-1 overall) a 21-0 lead at the break. Chino turned on the afterburners in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns in the first 4“ minutes of the second half. Stanford scored on a 49-yard run, McFoy returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and McFoy caught a short pass from Gracia and turned that into an 88-yard touchdown. “We played very good defense. They’ve got a very good quarterback, and we got pressure on him,” Chino coach John Monger said. “Our offensive line played very well, too.” There wasn’t much to find fault with. Chino’s defense harried Diamond Bar quarterback Jeff Jansen all night long, limiting the Brahmas to 83 yards of total offense and three first downs. CHINO – Normally, when you are penalized only once and don’t turn the ball over, it’s going to be a pretty good night. That was not the case for Diamond Bar on Thursday night as an impenetrable Chino defense, and the explosive R.J. Stanford and Ryan McFoy combined for a 41-0 Chino victory in a Sierra League opener for both schools at Chino High School. center_img The final 19 minutes were inconsequential. “I thought they would give us more of a challenge,” said Stanford, who finished with 22 carries for 200 yards. “Coaches talked to us about hustle.” The hustle was enough for Chino to amass 374 yards of total offense. While the performance overall was impressive, Monger sees room for Stanford to improve. “He could’ve hit the hole a little bit harder,” Monger said. Chino stayed on an emotional high throughout. “We came out pumped up,” McFoy said. “I thought they’d be a lot tougher after what we saw on film.” Diamond Bar’s offense got little going, as the Jansen was sacked six times, and the Brahmas (3-2-1) had only 36 yards rushing outside of the sacks. Jansen finished the night completing 8-of-20 passes for 88 yards. Diamond Bar’s best chance to score came in the first half, when Jonathon Amaya returned a kickoff 63 yards to the Chino 36. But the Brahmas couldn’t get a first down, and Isaiah Washington came up three yards short of a first down on a fourth-and-5 fake punt. “We have no excuse,” Diamond Bar coach Nick Cuccia said. “I don’t know how, but we came out flat. I think we were intimidated.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Raninder is first Indian to be elected international shooting body’s vice-president

first_imgNew Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI) Raninder Singh has become the first Indian to be elected one of the four vice-presidents of the International Shooting Sport Federation. The 51-year-old Raninder also heads the National Rifle Association of India. The former trap shooter bagged 161 votes to occupy the coveted post, while Kevin Kilty of Ireland received 162 votes, USA’s Robert Mitchell got 153 votes and Republic of China’s Wang Yifu was re-elected with 146 votes in Munich. Last year, Raninder was re-elected president of the NRAI for a four-year term with an overwhelming mandate in Mohali. In 2014, Raninder got 22 out of 25 votes in the General Assembly meeting at Munich, becoming the first from the country to be elected as a member of the global body representing the sport of shooting. On Friday, the NRAI president was awarded the ISSF diploma of honour gold medal at the general assembly. He was presented with the diploma and medal by the outgoing longest serving president of the ISSF, Olegario Vazquez Rana, who was at the helm for 38 years. PTI AHlast_img read more


Mohawk woman taking her place among the saints

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–A Mohawk woman buried in Kahnawake is taking her place among the saints.Pope Benedict XVI on Monday signed a decree approving a miracle attributed to Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as the Lily of the Mohawks, clearing the way for her canonization.The Vatican received evidence of Tekakwitha’s miracle in 2009 from Monsignor Paul Lenz, who sent the documentation to Rome through the Vatican embassy in Washington D.C.Tekakwitha is credited with healing a child in the U.S. from flesh-eating disease.The Pope also approved the miracles of six others who will also ascend to the pantheon of the Catholic Church’s saints.The official Vatican Information Service identifies Tekakwitha as simply an “American laywoman.”But she is much more than that to her numerous followers.Tekakwitha died at the age of 24 in 1680 and is entombed inside the St. Francis-Xavier Church in Kahnawake, a Mohawk community near Montreal.The Vatican has been receiving requests to canonize Tekakwitha for more than a hundred years.She has followers throughout the Americas and in parts of Europe. Tekakwitha is celebrated every year during a festival held in her honour in Fonda, N.Y., which is about 65 kilometres northwest of Albany, the state capital.In 1980, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II, the final stage before sainthood.Tekakwitha was born in 1656 in a Mohawk village near Fonda. Her mother was an Algonquin who was captured around Trois-Rivieres, Que., and then married a Mohawk chief.Her village was burned by the French and her mother, father and younger brother all died during the smallpox epidemic.Tekakwitha survived the disease, but it left its mark on her, leaving her body weak and her face scarred.She was baptized Catholic in 1676 and was taken to a village around what is now Kahnawake and Ville Sainte-Catherine after she faced pressure from her family to give up the religion.Tekakwitha stood only about 4 and-a-half feet tall and frequently fasted. It is said Tekakwitha once scattered thorns on her bed and lay on them for three nights.When she died, it was reported her face lost its scars and she became beautiful. Her crucifix, pieces of her garments and dirt from her grave were said to have healing powers.last_img read more


State Approves 13MW Solar Project at Camp Lejeune

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The North Carolina Utilities Commission last week approved Duke Energy’s plan to construct a 13-megawatt solar farm at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.The farm will cover 80 acres, and connect to the electric grid at a Duke Energy Progress substation on the base. Power generated by the project will be available to the utility’s customers, with Camp Lejeune continuing to purchase energy from Duke. The solar array, the company’s first at a military installation, is expected to go online this year.The project will use approximately 55,000 monocrystalline solar panels supplied by SolarWorld Americas, according to a Duke press release. GE’s Power Conversion business will supply its Brilliance inverters. Charlotte, N.C.-based Crowder Construction Services will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.The project, expected to cost between $25 million and $30 million, will help the Navy and Marine Corps meet renewable energy and energy security goals, while helping Duke meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard.“We are excited to work with Camp Lejeune to meet its renewable energy needs as part of our continued focus to bring more renewable offerings for our customers and the communities we serve,” said Rob Caldwell, Duke Energy’s senior vice president for distributed energy resources.last_img read more


Bengal BJP and Mamata

first_imgNew Delhi: It was a different time and a different India. The year, 1989. Nine years after it was established, the BJP with 85 seats was now one of the largest parties in the house. The Left Front government in Bengal seemed invincible and its sway over the state was unquestionable. L.K. Advani, the former deputy Prime Minister, had taken charge of the party. I was on my way to Kolkata for the BJP’s national executive meeting in the Kalka Mail, along with former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. At the time, the BJP would book an entire railway coach and all senior leaders and correspondents would travel together. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose But why Kalka Mail, why not the more comfortable Rajdhani Express? A query that stemmed from my own journalistic curiosity and I asked former vice president of the BJP Jagdish Prasad Mathur and former MP Krishna Lal Sharma. The two explained to me that the Railway Ministry doesn’t give permission to book an entire Rajdhani Express since it was a super-fast, elite and punctual train. On the journey, as the Kalka Mail chugged along, stopping at different station, Vajpayee would also get off and give small, impromptu speeches at different stations, armed with small portable microphones that have long since been replaced. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata I was in Bartaman – a Bangla news daily – at the time and I took this opportunity to interview Vajpayee. He explained that Bengal wasn’t a part of the BJP’s core area, unlike the Hindi heartland but it was the birth place of the party’s founder. “So our goal is to blossom like the lotus in communist Bengal,” he had said. At the time, Jyoti Basu’s CPI(M) rule over Bengal was extremely solid. The few chinks in the seemingly impenetrable armour were being explored by Mamata Banerjee, who had defeated CPI(M) MP Somnath Chatterjee in 1984. I asked, “Atalji , I can understand that you want to grow in the east and south. But with a special reference to communist Bengal and Kerala, how do you plan to do this? What is your action plan.” He responded that Bengal had a very different political culture from the rest of India. Not only did it have a high literacy rate, but it was also the first British capital, it was also the birthplace of the Renaissance. Thanks to the introduction of English by Macaulay, he added, it also saw stalwarts like Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Bankim Chandra, Rabindranath Tagore, among others. It won’t be the Ram Janmabhoomi Andolan or political Hindutva that would be the top priority. “We have to address the issue of Bengali chauvinism and the proud legacy of Bengal’s cultural nationalism. BJP needs to be linked with Bengali pride,” he had said. L.K. Advani wasn’t on that train. But in that party national executive he carved out a plan for Bengal, and later gave the responsibility to the-then general secretary of the party K.N. Govindacharya to finalise it. Govindacharya would speak Bengali and was highly connected within the RSS. It was then that the RSS and the BJP got together to celebrate Netaji’s birthday, and later held a seminar on Vande Mataram and Anandamath. Meanwhile, Advani’s Ram Mandir movement started and when V.P. Singh became the Prime Minister, both the Left and the BJP supported the government from outside. BJP had isolated the Congress but in the need for anti-Congressism in the national space, the state party’s politics got diluted. The state BJP was put in an uncomfortable situation and as relations between Mamata Banerjee and the Congress worsened, it was clear that she was more anti-CPI(M) than anti BJP at the time. The BJP, after all, had no presence in the state and her goal was to oust the Left Front government. *** Things are different again now. The BJP and Trinamool Congress are at loggerheads and the saffron party is now the key challenger for Mamata Banerjee, occupying the opposition space virtually vacated by the Left. But historically, I feel that the BJP has remained consistent on the BJP’s long-term plan, with some key additions. The party president is Amit Shah, highly energetic with age on his side. His politics is characterized by a strong will, singlemindedness of purpose – what in Hindi is called ‘Sankalpa’. Advani’s action plan didn’t look to pitch the Ram Mandir as the key issue – but that of “infiltration, pseudo-secularism and cultural nationalism.” Shah has remained consistent on this front and the RSS has also been very active in Bengal for several decades. I had the opportunity to interact with K. S. Sudarshan on several occasions, while he was Sarsanghachalak (chief), while he stayed in Kolkata for several years. I’d speak to him in Bangla (a language that interestingly Mohan Bhagwat also knows) and he’d also emphasize the need to meet public intellectuals and different professions, even encouraging workers to go to their homes. Today, the BJP is singling out the border districts, since it knows that the Muslim population in the state is close to 30 per cent and are key constituents of Mamata Banerjee’s votebank. Here, there are Bengali and Urdu speaking Muslims and the party’s strategy is to campaign against the Muslim’s appeasement policy and the party believes that political polarization can give BJP the edge here In the past few years, there has been a gradual but increasingly visible change in the Bengali bhadralok mindset. The middle class population has inched towards the cause of Hindutva and there is a growing sentiment towards ‘soft Hindutva’ in the Bengali community. Having said that there is also a debate about what the BJP has been doing in Uttar Pradesh, and how it can’t be replicated in Bengal. With the state’s legendary love for fish, preaching vegetarianism hasn’t gone down well. Neither does the state worship Lord Ram or Sankat Mochan Hanuman. They’re great devotees of Kali and reformers like Ramakrishna Paramhans. Hinduism here is based more on the liberal ethos of Vedanta and the Upanishads, than devotion for Lord Ram or Lord Krishna. But there are also those in the BJP who are pointing to other changes in Bengal’s religiosity – the inclusion of dhanteras in the calendar alongside Kali Puja, the celebration Hanuman Jayanti. Be that as it may: there is no denying that the BJP is growing in Bengal. With three MLAs in the Assembly from zero earlier and the Congress and Left virtually decimated, the opposition space is ripe for the taking. Past elections have made it clear that there are anti-Trinamool Congress votes in the state and what had been with the Left earlier are steadily going towards the BJP. The Congress and CPI(M) can come together, but even then they can’t take on the might of the Trinamool Congress. So, the Trinamool Congress will do well. Mamata Banerjee’s popularity still dominates Bengal politics, which is why – like Chandrababu Naidu – she isn’t interested in a pre-poll alliance with the Congress. But the BJP has become the main opposition in the state. I can’t forecast how many seats the BJP will get in Bengal, but it is undeniable that the main battle in Bengal now is between the BJP and Mamata Banerjee and that achievement has been twenty years in the making.last_img read more


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