Sixteen years ago, Keyshawn Johnson was the No. 1 pick of the NFL Draft, landing in New York with the Jets. He was young and brash and before he was done he penned a book called, “Just Throw Me The Damn Ball.”To say Johnson was mouthy would be an understatement. So it was ironic – and pretty cool, too – that a much more mature Johnson spent some of the Jets’ first day of training camp to lend advice to the Jets’ current mouthy receive, Santonio Holmes.“It was a big brother-to-little brother talk,” Holmes said. “He was just teaching me to be cordial to everybody and to understand what gift I have to this football team and learning how to utilize it.”Johnson, at Jets camp working for ESPN, figured he catch Holme’s ear because the receiver lately has been spewing nothing but venom. Since the last game of disappointing last season, when he did not catch a pass and was benched, Holmes has blasted quarterback Mark Sanchez, questioned the two-quarterback system of Sanchez and Tim Tebow and generally been Mr. Grinch.Immaturity is what Johnson attributed to Holmes’ penchant to taking on anyone in his path.“All eyes are you,” said Johnson, relating what he told Holmes. “If you can do it — and you’ve done it before — you can write your ticket.”Holmes was a lightening rod and disruption last year, criticizing Sanchez and the offensive line, making a bad season worse. Johnson was not acting as if he were Dr. Phil, but he did seem to believe Holmes will comport himself differently this year.“He’ll grow up,” Johnson said. “He’ll get there. I’m not worried.”Already, Holmes contends and Sanchez have become close and are looking forward to a big season.“That was last year, man,” Holmes said. “Let’s move on.”
GMR Infrastructure, one of the biggest infra company in India, on Friday denied selling controlling stake in Hyderabad airport in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The clarification follows media reports of GMR being in talks with PE firms to sell stake in Hyderabad airport.”We completely deny sale of controlling stake in Hyderabad Airport. We wish to submit that GMR Group has been continuously exploring opportunities to raise necessary funds for the group,” GMR said in its regulatory filing to BSE on Friday.According to a report by the Economic Times, GMR Group’s business vertical GMR airport is planning to sell a controlling stake in Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi international airport. Apollo Global Management, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund and Canada’s pension giant PSP Investments are some of the private equity firms, which are in negotiations with GMR.GMR Airport (the holding firm) owns 63 percent stake in Hyderabad International Airport Ltd.The stake sale of the Hyderabad airport is valued between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 5,500 crore, the Economic Times had earlier reported. In addition, Paris Aeroport, which owns the TAV airports and manages the Istanbul Ataturk International Airports, Georgia, Tunisia and Macedonia airports, has also shown interest in the stake stale.Last month, GMR re-entered talks with Paris Aeroport as it plans to sell 49 percent stake in GMR airports. Paris Aeroport, formally known as Aeroports de Paris, is looking at global opportunities.Sources aware of the discussion told ET that GMR plans to close one of the deals, which would give a chance to the company to recover its debt and provide exit option to its present investors.A company spokesperson quoted by the Economic Times said “there is no definitive development. However, we are in the process of raising funds for the group to create liquidity and enhance shareholder value.”GMR under pressureThe company is reportedly looking to sell the stake at the earliest since its equation with three investors namely Standard Chartered Private Equity, SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund and JM Financial Old lane has gone cold. The three firms had invested Rs. 1,458 crore in 2011. Now the investors are pressurising GMR to pay the outstanding amount and let them exit or face legal consequences, ET added.Some analysts quoted by the publication believe selling stake in Hyderabad airport as a standalone asset would be an easier transaction.The GMR Infrastructure’s stock was trading at Rs. 12.94 at around 12 p.m. on Friday, up 1.41 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Kamal Hossain. File PhotoClaiming that the government staged a ‘farce’ on 30 December in the name of election, Jatiya Oikya Front convener Kamal Hossain on Friday urged all to be united to ensure the voting rights of people, reports UNB.”…this can’t be called an election. This is a farce. There was a ceremony on 30 December when the government staged a farce in the name of election, deprived the country’s people of their rights, violated the constitution and defamed democracy,” he said.Kamal, also Gono Forum president, made the comments while delivering his concluding speech at a public hearing arranged by Jatiya Oikya Front at the Supreme Court Bar Association auditorium.The public hearing was arranged to depict the ‘irregularities in the 11th parliamentary election before the country’s people and the international community.About the depositions made by 42 candidates in the public hearing, Kamal said, “The speeches all of you delivered here depicted a similar picture across the country. The government had taken all the mechanisms and strategies so that a free and fair election was not held.”He also demanded unconditional release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, saying the demand is justified and logical.Kamal led a seven-member jury panel at the hearing.Other members of the jury panel were professor Emajuddin Ahmed, ex-judge AKM Anisur Rahman Khan, professor Nurul Amin Bepari, Prof Dilara Chowdhury, professor Asif Nazrul and lawyer Mohsin Rashid.The public hearing was originally rescheduled to be held on 24 February. However, Oikya Front rescheduled it for 22 February as they failed to manage any venue in the capital to hold the programme on 24 February.
Bangladesh Awami League international affairs secretary Shammi Ahmed and Song Tao handing over the MoU copies on behalf of their respective parties in presence of prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban, Dhaka. Photo: PIDRuling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) and Communist Party of China (CPC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on boosting cooperation between the two parties.The MoU was inked after a meeting between prime minister Sheikh Hasina and visiting Minister of International Department of CPC central committee Song Tao at Ganabhaban in the capital in the evening.Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s speech writer Md Nazrul Islam said AL international affairs secretary Shammi Ahmed and Song Tao signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.At the meeting, the prime minister and the Chinese leader hoped that the relations and cooperation between the two friendly countries and the two parties will be further strengthened in the days to come.Song Tao mentioned that his party and Bangladesh Awami League believe in similar ideology.Nazrul Islam said the prime minister sought Chinese support for safe and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh.“China could play an important role in repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas,” she said.In response, Song Tao assured the prime minister of extending cooperation to this end saying that China is working and holding discussion with Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingya nationals from Bangladesh.The prime minister termed China as one of the development partners of Bangladesh and said China is extending cooperation for development of different sectors, including infrastructure and energy.Extending her sincere thanks to the Chinese government, she said the Chinese cooperation is helping increasing Bangladesh’s GDP growth.Mentioning that her government is establishing 100 economic zones in the country, the prime minister sought more Chinese investment in different sectors, particularly in agriculture, for mutual benefits of the two countries.Bangladesh Awami League international affairs secretary Shammi Ahmed and Song Tao sign the MoU on behalf of their respective parties in presence of prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban, Dhaka. Photo: PID“China is very developed in agriculture sector. So we want their cooperation for development of our agriculture, as the land is declining in the country,” Nazrul Islam quoted the premier as saying.Sheikh Hasina said 700 acres of land have been allocated for Chinese investors to set up an Economic Zone in Mirersarai and she proposed China to bring gas from Myanmar.“China is installing gas pipeline in Myanmar from its territory and it could bring gas in the Mirersarai Economic Zone from Myanmar,” she said.Song Tao highly appreciated Bangladesh’s tremendous socioeconomic development under the leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.He praised over 8 per cent GDP growth that Bangladesh is going to achieve this fiscal year.The Chinese leader conveyed the greetings of the Chinese president and the premier to Sheikh Hasina and invited her to visit China on behalf of them.He also greeted the prime minister again on behalf of the China communist party on securing her party’s landslide victory in the last general elections and assumption of office as the premier for the fourth time.Sheikh Hasina also greeted the Chinese president and the prime minister through Song Tao.About the BCIM Economic Corridor, Hasina said the initiative has been undertaken to expand ties and boost trade and commerce with neighbours including China.The prime minister recalled the visits of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to China in 1952 and 1956.Awami League presidium member Muhammad Faruk Khan, former ambassador Muhammad Zamir, AL acting general secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, joint secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman and state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present.
A man looks on from a building at a residential area from where several people travelled illegally on a boat to New Zealand, in New Delhi, India, 23 January 2019. Photo: ReutersIn a dark alleyway no wider than arms’ length, a single ladies’ shoe is all that remains on the boarded-up doorstep of Prabhu Dhandapani, his wife and their eight-year-old daughter.Prabhu, 30, was one of around 50 residents of a refugee community in New Delhi who left the capital to attempt a 7,000-mile boat journey through some of the roughest waters in the world with the aim of landing illegally in New Zealand, relatives and police said.He is now in custody in southern India, while his wife and daughter are missing, along with everyone else who boarded the fishing boat that police say left Munambam harbour in Kerala on 12 January carrying more than 100 people.The most likely and shortest route, though the straits between Indonesia and Australia, passes through seas where storms and typhoons are common.More than a dozen relatives of passengers on board the boat, that include pregnant women and young children, told Reuters they left to escape chronic unemployment in the Madangir area on the south side of New Delhi.“They had to leave to find jobs, to eat,” said Prabhu’s mother, Sugana. “They have been promised work in New Zealand.”When asked if she knew where the country was, she shook her head.It is the first known attempt by migrants to reach New Zealand by boat from India, and their story is a reminder of the vast challenge the country faces to create jobs for the 1 million young people who enter its workforce every month.Boats have been setting out from South and Southeast Asia for Australia for a number of years but Indians making the trip have been relatively rare, based on Australian government statistics that show the largest numbers detained there to be asylum seekers from Iran and Afghanistan.Long JourneyPassengers from Delhi left the capital in stages in December and early January. They checked into guesthouses near Munambam, a busy fishing port.They appear to have boarded the boat willingly, said a senior police official in Delhi briefed on the investigation. Their local police station in the capital had not received any missing persons’ reports.Precise numbers on the boat – and who organised it – are unknown. One officer from Kerala investigating the case said around 100 people were on board. A second said it could be more than 200, with the remaining passengers coming from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Police recovered more than 70 bags left behind by the migrants, said one of the officers, VG Ravindran.“The bags are full of dry goods and clothes, suggesting they were preparing for a long journey,” MJ Sojan, the officer leading the investigation told Reuters. “The people and boat are missing somewhere in the sea.”Some passengers, including Prabhu, did not board the boat, and police traced several back to Madangir after finding identification documents in the bags left behind. He was detained by Kerala police less than 10 minutes after arriving back in Delhi, his mother said, and taken back to the state for questioning.Sugana said she did not know why Prabhu did not board the boat with his wife, Anandi, and eight-year-old daughter Trisha. She said he was not involved in people smuggling.Hard LifeMany of the older residents of the Tamil community in Madangir fled Sri Lanka in 1983, when a civil war erupted between the majority Sinhalese Buddhist population and the minority Tamils, an ethnic group predominantly living in south India and north and east Sri Lanka.They settled in the area, a few miles from India’s parliament building and some of the country’s most expensive real estate, but which has suffered from rampant unemployment, residents said.“If we get the chance we will also go: this is a rotten place,” said Kanaga Lingam, a Sri Lankan refugee whose son, K Raghu, boarded the boat with his wife and two sons.There is anger too at prime minister Narendra Modi, who came to power in 2014 promising to create millions of new jobs for India’s young and rapidly expanding workforce.In fact, the country lost as many as 11 million jobs last year, according to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) think-tank, putting Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under pressure before a general election due by May.While the official jobless rate is only 3.5 per cent, the last comprehensive labour bureau survey was in 2015-16, and many unofficial estimates say it is much higher, especially if the underemployed, who only work for a few months a year or a few days a week, are counted.Many of those in the Tamil enclave who do work do so as daily manual labourers, a poorly-paid and unstable living.“If I am able I will go to Modi’s house and beg at his feet to be allowed to go to another country,” said a woman called Bumi, who like many southern Indians goes by only one name.“There are a hundred problems here. We have no jobs,” said a 32-year-old man, who like many in the area declined to be named, fearing involvement in the police investigation into the boat.Crime is also an issue in the area, primarily theft, the Delhi police official said.The BJP disputes the CMIE figures on unemployment. On Thursday several cabinet minister pointed to alternative figures from Naukri, an online jobs portal, showing a pick-up in employment over the last year.Land of promiseMany of those Reuters spoke to in the community, centered around a rubble- and garbage-strewn courtyard and several densely populated alleyways, said those on board the boat had been inspired by stories of Indian migrants starting new lives abroad, particularly in Australia.More than 600,000 Indians live in Australia, according to the latest government census, the vast majority of whom arrived legally. There are 155,000 in New Zealand.“People who go to Australia get put in camps for three months,” Kanaga said. “After that they get given proper housing. Everything is taken care of.”But few of those on the boat had passports, according to several people with relatives on board, and the reality for those arriving illegally is very different.If the boat lands in Australia or is intercepted by its border force on the way to New Zealand, those on board face being sent back to India, or to controversial camps in the South Pacific for long-term detention.“If they don’t have visas they would be unlawful maritime arrivals and as such they would be prevented from making an application for a further visa,” said Melbourne-based migration lawyer David Harvey. “They would likely be diverted to an offshore processing center.”New Zealand has seen fewer arrivals than Australia, although it now is also trying to warn off illegal migrants arriving by boat.“Any attempt to reach New Zealand will put your life, and the lives of your family members, at great risk,” said Stephen Vaughan, assistant general manager of the country’s immigration department. “There is every chance you will drown at sea.”But in Madangir, residents say the warnings will do little to deter such journeys.“We know about the dangers,” Kanaga said. “But it is more dangerous to live here than it is to go.”