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Baseballs Kids Are All Right


When Derek Jeter retired last year, the pundits puzzled over who would be the next “Face of Baseball.” Jeter was the guy on the Wheaties box, after all. And more broadly, Jeter’s retirement seemed to close one era of baseball and open another. Without an elder statesman, the game belonged to the kids. But would there be enough excellent, prodigious young players to replace Jeter’s cohort? We already have an answer: The kids are damn good, and they’re part of one of the most significant youth movements in baseball in the past 25 years.Baseball’s excellence is supremely concentrated in its young players at the moment. To get a sense for the balance of power in MLB, I calculated the average age of all position players in the league while weighting each player’s age by how good they were in a given year (using wins above replacement1FanGraphs’ version.). For example, the age of an MVP-type player counts for roughly eight2Here, I am contrasting an average MVP-level of performance — about 8 WAR — with a below-average player’s performance — about 1 WAR. times as much as a below-average scrub because he’s eight times better according to WAR. So, if the MVP is young, he’ll pull the weighted average down toward him. By weighting the ages in this way, we get a sense for where in MLB the production comes from — specifically, whether it arises from the grizzled veterans or the youngsters.The youngsters are winning.Since the early 2000s, the MLB’s weighted age has consistently fallen, hitting its low point (of 27.76) this year. This graph tells us that in recent years, more of the positive value in the league has been coming from younger players.The twin faces of the youth movement are undoubtedly Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, still only 22 and 23, respectively. Despite the best efforts of opposing pitchers, Trout is performing at his now-routine MVP level. Harper seems to have finally discovered consistent success with an overwhelming power stroke. But Harper and Trout have been joined by a generation of super-prospects who are outperforming even the loftiest expectations. Kris Bryant is the most obvious, but others include Joc Pederson, Carlos Correa, Mookie Betts and Addison Russell.There are several ways that baseball’s production could be getting younger, but it turns out that there are two straightforward explanations. One is that the oldest players have become less productive. The second is that the youngest players are on pace to create a tremendous amount of value.Let’s start with the veterans. Players ages 333Roughly the oldest 15 percent of players in MLB. and up have produced only 24 WAR so far this year, on pace for the second-lowest total of the past 25 years. Over a full year, that prorates to 54.8 WAR, which is less than half the total achieved by the equivalent group of players around the turn of the millennium.It’s not clear what is driving older position players down. One possibility is that new pace-of-play rules are making it harder for older hitters to make use of their experience. On the other hand, older position players seem to be getting worse not only at hitting, but also with the glove — and even on the base paths.There could be a connection between the fluctuating pattern of production by older players and the steroid era. Certainly, some of the confirmed steroid users managed to be productive well into their 30s, suggesting that steroids might confer their beneficial effects especially upon older hitters. But in the absence of data on who used what steroids when and how, it’s difficult to pursue this idea beyond a hypothesis. Regardless of the cause, it looks as though the current trend of age and production is more of a return to the norm of the early 1990s than a novelty.At the same time, we are witnessing a historic youth movement. Just as the very old players have gotten worse, the youngest have become much better. Players 24 and younger4Roughly the youngest 15 percent of players in MLB. have produced 48.7 WAR this year, which puts them on pace for about 110 WAR in a full year. If it holds, that would be the most WAR put up by this age group since 2007.That year saw a generation of future stars cement their place in the league. David Wright, at that time 24, had his best season, an MVP-caliber effort. Wright was joined by a host of talent, from Troy Tulowitzki to Jose Reyes to Miguel Cabrera. In total, 13 young hitters put up WAR values greater than 4, in the neighborhood of All-Star-level performance. Many of those players, and even some of the tier below them, have gone on to become superstars.Young players have traditionally relied upon their defense to build their value, and this year is no exception. The 24 and under group typically performs anywhere from 100 to 500 runs below average on offense but makes up for it to some extent with 100 to 200 runs from their defense.5I am also including the FanGraphs positional adjustment here. Less than halfway through this season’s games, young position players have been worth 93 runs defensively. Prorated to a full season, this would be the best defensive performance for that age group since 2001, when the overall value of the youngsters was near its low point.Except today’s kids can do something those 2001 ones couldn’t: rake. With an average mark of 94.6, young hitters are putting up the best Weighted Runs Created+ (wRC+) since that marvelous 2007 class (which was at 99.2). The average wRC+ is set at 100, so the young players are adding decent hitting to their superlative defense. Much of the hitting stems from a power surge: The young hitters are racking up a slugging percentage of .400, slightly better than the league average of .397.6Relative to the league average, this is the second-best number in the past 25 years (second, of course, to 2007).The young players are even providing value with their baserunning. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, 24, leads the way, but the group is already up to 27.1 runs of baserunning value (Hamilton alone is responsible for nearly a third of this number). If it holds over a full season, that will be the best mark since 1990.Some of these statistics will not hold up over the length of a full season because of injuries or regression to the mean, of course. And many of the averages will be distorted by September call-ups. But two-thirds of the total WAR in this year’s young group comes from the 10 best players, all of whom are firmly ensconced in starting roles.A wave of young talent has arrived, just as the old veterans are fading into irrelevancy. Whether your preference is for Nolan Arenado’s slick glove work, Harper’s absurd power or Bryant’s eyes, we are witnessing the rise of a generation of future superstars. read more


Jonathan Dwyer Arrested Accused of Breaking Wifes Nose Punching


Hard to believe, after all the news around Ray Rice’s potentially career-ending domestic violence case and Adrian Peterson’s child abuse drama, that another NFL player would be photographed in handcuffs for similar charges any time soon. And then there was Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday.Dwyer, from metro Atlanta and Georgia Tech, was was arrested Wednesday for investigation in two altercations that occurred on July 21 and 22 at his Phoenix residence, just days before the Cardinals reported to training camp. His wife left the state after the incidents but came forward a week ago after Dwyer apparently sent suicidal text messages including a photo of a knife.In the first encounter, police say Dwyer attempted to kiss and undress his wife, but she refused. Someone who heard the argument reported the assault to police, who showed up at the apartment but did not make an arrest. Dwyer hid in a bathroom and the wife denied he was in the home because the running back threatened to kill himself in front of her and their child if she told police about the assault, police said.The next day, Dwyer punched his wife with a closed fist on the left side of her face, according to police. He also punched walls and threw a shoe at his 17-month-old son, who was not injured, police said.As his wife tried to call police, Dwyer grabbed her cellphone and threw it down from the home’s second story. Witnesses told police that Dwyer’s wife said, “I’m calling the police,” as she held her swollen face and clutched her son.During his police interview on Wednesday, Dwyer acknowledged hiding in the bathroom when police responded to the first argument and sending a photo of a knife with suicidal threats. Dwyer denied committing an assault, though he acknowledged that he punched walls in his home, threw a phone and that his wife bit his lip during the disputes, according to the police report. As he was released from jail Thursday, he said he never hurt his son.The Arizona Cardinals say they first learned of the domestic abuse accusations Wednesday afternoon. Hours later, “the serious nature of these allegations” led the team to deactivate the running back from all team activities.Dwyer was released early Thursday after posting bond, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said. Police said they were carrying out a search warrant at Dwyer’s residence in pursuit of more evidence.The 25-year-old player denied committing any assault against the 27-year-old accuser, police said.Authorities depicted a stormy relationship between Dwyer and the woman that escalated into violence on July 21, four days before the Cardinals reported to training camp.Neighbors heard a fight and called police, who showed up at the residence but left without making an arrest because Dwyer hid in the bathroom, and the woman said she was the only one at the home, Sgt. Trent Crump said.“She said she was in an argument on the phone only,” Crump said.The next day, Crump said, Dwyer snatched the woman’s cellphone and threw it from the second floor of their residence to prevent her from calling police about another dispute.Crump confirmed there was an allegation that Dwyer threw a shoe at or toward the couple’s 18-month-old son. Crump said he couldn’t elaborate on it.Crump said the woman moved out of state with the child but came forward last week and provided police with information about her injuries and text messages indicating Dwyer ”was going to harm himself because of what had been going on.”The NFL has been jolted by domestic violence issues since a videotape surfaced that showed Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator. Peterson has been deactivated after child abuse charges were filed against him.So, a league that was reeling since the Rice news continues to spiral in a public relations mess. read more


Legal sale of recreational marijuana enters second day in San Diego


first_img Posted: January 3, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings Legal sale of recreational marijuana enters second day in San Diego January 3, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 3:38 PM KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Marijuana FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Booming business continued Tuesday on the second day of legal recreational marijuana sales for those ages 21 and up in California.The store, Urban Leaf, had previously only handled medical marijuana prescribed by physicians. It is tucked away in an industrial park. near the 15/94 interchange, across a freeway from a Costco and two miles east of downtown.Manager Peter Yousif told City News Service there was a long line out the door of the dispensary.“We’ve been slammed since opening at 7 a.m.,” said Yousif. ”We have a line out the door right now. We expected it.”Yousif said about 250 people had visited the dispensary during its first four hours of operation on New Years Day.The marijuana dispensary operator said he felt there was a lot of pent-up demand for the now-legal drug.“I think it will be like this for at least a few months,” Yousif said. ”Before, some people were reluctant to try it because they were concerned about getting a medical marijuana card. But now that it its legal, people are more willing to try it.”Yousif cited a case in point.“I had a lady who came in here today who hadn’t done marijuana in 30 years,” he said. ”She said, ‘Now that it is recreational — I want to try it out again.’“Urban Leaf in Golden Hill will be open until 9 p.m.In 2016, Californians voted to legalize sales of recreational marijuana for anyone age 21 and older. It is now legal to purchase marijuana for recreational use at licensed shops as well as to grow, possess and use limited quantities of cannabis.The state led the country in efforts to legalize marijuana. Through Proposition 215, passed in 1996, California became the first state to legalize the drug for medical use.In November 2016, state voters passed an amendment legalizing recreational use of marijuana taking effect Jan. 1, 2018.Join the conversation on our Facebook page:last_img read more


VIDEO Watch 2018 Wilmington Highs Senior Athletic Banquet


first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington High School held its Annual Senior Athletic Banquet on Wednesday, May 30 at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall.The event, sponsored by the Wilmington Athletic Alumni & Friends Association, featured an awards presentation; words from Shelia Burns, Jack Cushing, and AD Tim Alberts; and a speech from Dan Vassallo, a WHS alum (Class of 2003) who has had a very successful collegiate and post-collegiate track career. Most recently, Vassallo finished in 10th place in the 2018 Boston Marathon.Congratulations to this year’s award winners:Harold “Ding” Driscoll Award (Most Dedication To Sports)Female: Liz GordonMale: Tyler RobertsLawrence Cushing Award (Demonstrating Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Athletic Ability)Female: Mia O’ConnellMale: AJ McKearneyDr. Gerald Fagan Award (Most Outstanding Wilmington High School Athlete)Female: Dana GouletMale: Dan GraciaWildcat Distinguished Service AwardDon CowdenWatch the banquet, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:—Video Playerhttps://objects-us-west-1.dream.io/wilmington/6/9/4/b/e/a/694beaa5-c993-4d71-86c7-3861d47ac98b1527793062.963%2B32575762.007%40castus4-wilmington%2B15277968191527795545990252.vod.720p.Wildcat%20Athletics%20Association%20Banquet_%20May%2030th%2C%202018.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.—(Cover photo credit: Athletic Director Tim Alberts)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedBenoit, Hill, Mastrorilli, Packer, Palmer, Stokes, & WCTV Honored At WHS Senior Athletic Banquet (with VIDEO)In “Sports”PHOTOS: Wilmington High’s Senior Athletic Banquet Award WinnersIn “Photo of the Day”VIDEO: Watch 2017 Wilmington High’s Senior Athletic BanquetIn “Videos”last_img read more


Amazon Prime Air gets more planes to boost oneday shipping to you


first_img 50 surprising things people are buying on Amazon right now 50 Photos Tags Share your voice 0 Amazon’s drones and robots want to take over your deliveries In April, Amazon said it was spending $800 million this quarter to bolster its shipping infrastructure to support the change. Last month, CEO Jeff Bezos attended a groundbreaking ceremony for Amazon’s new $1.5 billion air transportation hub in Hebron, Kentucky. Amazon has also built out a network of 10,000 truck trailers.Still, this work has come with new challenges for the company. Pilots working for Prime Air have regularly complained about poor pay and lousy working conditions. Also, FedEx this month decided not to renew its Express air shipping contract with Amazon, a move widely seen as a reaction to Amazon expanding its own shipping network. 1:32 Post a comment Before that Amazon Prime shipment gets to you, it’ll probably hitch a ride in a plane like this one. Amazon Amazon on Tuesday said it agreed to lease 15 more Boeing cargo planes from GE Capital Aviation Services, helping the e-commerce titan continue growing its air fleet so it can speed up Prime deliveries.The 15 Boeing 737-800 planes are in addition to the five planes Amazon already agreed to lease from GECAS earlier this year. The company has 42 planes flying today, and by 2021 it will operate 70 planes.Amazon expanded its fleet as part of its expensive effort to transition its Prime two-day shipping program to one day in the US. That work is already resulting in packages arriving earlier at Prime customers’ doorsteps and may help Amazon maintain its competitive edge against rivals like Walmart. Now playing: Watch this: Internet Amazon Prime Amazonlast_img read more


Milan Kordestani gives this piece of advice to new startup founders


first_imgMilan and Misha KordestaniPR HandoutStartup founders are the risk takers, the ones who aren’t afraid of failure in the pursuit of reaching their dreams. Creating something new needs attention to detail, good knowledge of the subject and determination to make it stand out, apart from various other factors.Independent record label Guin Records made it big with the release of their debut album Uncharted. The album consists of various hip-hop artists and also consists of their individual tracks. The vibe of the album is completely different from others. The label has got the ability to give artists a unique platform on a large scale. This also proves that the founders of Guin records, the Kordestani siblings definitely like to think outside the box.Milan Kordestani (19) and Misha Kordestani (21) of Guin Records are amongst the youngest record label executives in America. Not many people are acquainted with the fact that the origin of Guin Records happened inside Milan Kordestani’s college dorm room. As a young entrepreneur, Milan is excited to create and be a part of growing industries at a young age, bringing new perspectives to the table.Both Milan and Misha are well aware of the history of hip-hop and also with the kind of impact their label works to create. However, their journey as the proud business owners has not been an easy ride. Being young and inside the business comes with its own challenges. However, when it comes to creating a successful label, Milan and Misha have done everything right, bringing in as many experienced industry personnel that they can, to ensure the label’s success.From coming up with the ethos for an independent record label, Milan’s journey to create this label has been a rollercoaster ride. In the initial days, Milan approached various SoundCloud and YouTube rappers and asked them about their interest in being a part of the Uncharted album. While Misha kept advising him on various matters, things started solidifying, and they quickly became the duo they are known as today. Their joint efforts and out of the box approach started turning heads and bringing in interest from industry heads who wanted to collaborate to bring the mission of Guin to life.Since then, the Kordestani siblings have collaborated with many artists creating cultural impacts in their communities. Their major focus has been on creating music that is impactful. Both Milan and Misha are excited about working with influential artists in the future and making Guin Records a large entity.Milan keeps a strong opinion about the impact of technology on music. He believes that as various streaming platforms have given budding artists their own space and sales, their fandom still remains flickering. While the streaming platforms offer quite less to the artists, they help bring their music to a world panorama.With more playlists and streaming platforms, there is a reduction in album sales. This also brings in the uncertainty about what the future of technology will bring for the artists. Milan believes that artists shape our culture and they should be getting the rewards of the hard work they deserve.Milan Kordestani has got a piece of valuable advice for the coming of age entrepreneurs. He believes that one, especially when new to an industry, should never stop asking questions and learning. He states that “Continuing to be a student in all aspects of my life allows me to improve myself and the work I do daily. I think the moment someone thinks they know everything, they enter a state of ignorance, or they become ‘dated’ within their field.”last_img read more


MS Dhonis number 7 jersey to be retired Indian players might not


first_imgIn the upcoming Test championship, players will sport their numbers and name on the back of their white shirt. However, when it comes to the Indian team, it will not see two numbers – 10 and 7. While number 10, which is Sachin Tendulkar’s jersey, has been unofficially retired by the BCCI, MS Dhoni’s number 7 jersey might also not be opted for by the players.It is now learnt that most of the Indian players will opt for their limited-overs jersey numbers.”Virat is expected to wear 18 while Rohit wears 45. Most of the players will wear their respective ODI and T20 numbers. Since MS is no longer playing Test cricket, jersey No.7 is available but there is very little chance that any of the players will wear it,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity.’BCCI’s gesture to pay tribute to Dhoni’ MS DhoniHannah Peters/Getty Images”People relate jersey No 7 with MS. The consignment of numbered jerseys will only arrive in the Caribbean only after ODI series,” he further added.It should be mentioned here, that a jersey cannot be officially retired, but the BCCI could opt for a move which pays respect to a player of MS Dhoni’s stature in Indian cricket. As far as his international career is concerned, the former Indian captain is not part of India’s limited-overs squads for the West Indies tour. There are speculations over his retirement, but statements by few BCCI officials have suggested that the wicket-keeper is not yet keen to move on.Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin too said that communication between the selectors and Dhoni will be vital as he enters the final lap of his career.”About big player, the player is also taken into confidence and spoken to. I feel some decision will come. Otherwise, people will keep writing that (he) should retire, not retire. Because, no statement has come from Dhoni,” Azhar said. File photo of MS DhoniSydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty ImagesHe also said that if the wicket-keeper batsman is fit and wants to continue playing, he should be backed to come good.”My opinion is that if he is fit and playing well, he should play. If he is fit and performance is good, he can play. Sometimes what happens is, interest is lost after playing so much cricket. If his interest is still 100 per cent, I feel, he is good player and he should play,” he further added.Even as the Indian team travels to West Indies, Dhoni has opted to train with the Territorial Army battalion of the parachute regiment and this request has been approved by Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat.last_img read more


BNP to protest Milons death in custody


first_imgBNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi. Prothom Alo File PhotoBNP leaders and activists will hold demonstrations carrying black badges across the country on Sunday to protest against custodial death of a leader of the party’s student wing, reports UNB.Dhaka’s Tejgaon thana Chhatra Dal leader Zakir Hossain Milon allegedly died in torture during the police remand last week.The party will also arrange doa mahfil in mosques across the country after Juma prayers on Friday seeking salvation of the departed souls of those who were subjected to ‘government’s planned’ killings, including Milon.BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programme at a press conference at its Nayapaltan central office on Thursday.Their party’s all district and city units will stage demonstrations holding black badges on Sunday, he said.In the capital, the BNP leader said their all the thana units will also hold the similar programme on the day.Plainclothes police arrested Milon, also the acting president of Tejgaon thana unit of JCD, front in front of the Jatiya Press Club after a human chain programme of the party on 6 March.He was taken on a three-day remand on 8 March and sent to jail on Sunday.Milon was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Monday morning where doctors declared him dead. BNP alleged that he died due to ‘brutal torture on him during the remand.”Rizvi alleged that their party’s Narayanganj unit general secretary Mamun Mahmud has been tortured taking him on remand repeatedly in ‘false” cases.He said Mamun has got seriously ill due to immense torture on him. “I, on behalf of BNP, demand the law enforcers immediately stop repression on him.”Rizvi criticised Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader for his comment that the BNP has become dejected and desperate as people did not respond to its movement, saying it his delirium. “Even, Awami League’s friend HM Ershad said two days back that Awami League’s popularity has gone down to zero level.”He also alleged that Quader is making provocation to create anarchy in the country in a planned way.last_img read more


Myanmar army uses fake photos to malign Rohingyas Reuters


first_imgA combination of screenshots shows (top) an image taken from Flickr depicting the bodies of Bengalis being retrieved following their massacre in Dhaka in 1971. The same image (bottom) as it appears in the Myanmar army`s recently published book on the Rohingya describing it as the brutal killing of the local ethnic people by Bengalis in Myanmar. Photo: ReutersMyanmar’s army has used a photo of Bangladesh’s liberation war in a new book to cover their ethnic riots in the 1940s, reveals a Reuters exclusive report.The photo of the killing of the Bengalis (Bangladeshis) by the Pakistani forces was claimed to be the image of murder of Buddhists by Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority the Myanmar army refers to as “Bengalis” to imply they are illegal immigrants, according to the report.Reuters’ examination of the photograph shows it was actually taken during the 1971 independence war of Bangladesh, a country that has given shelter to more than one million Rohingyas who fled Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing.Another photo in the book was falsely labeled as depicting Rohingya entering Myanmar from Bangladesh, when in reality it showed migrants leaving the country, Reuters’ investigation found.Such fake photos were “sourced to the military’s “True News” information unit”, reads the Reuters report.In the 117-page “Myanmar Politics and the Tatmadaw: Part I”, the army has tried to establish its own narrative of August 2017 crackdown, when some 700,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine to Bangladesh. Mass killings, rape, and arson were reported later on.The full report of the Reuters, filed with Yongon dateline, is given below:The grainy black-and-white photo, printed in a new book on the Rohingya crisis authored by Myanmar’s army, shows a man standing over two bodies, wielding a farming tool. “Bengalis killed local ethnics brutally”, reads the caption.The photo appears in a section of the book covering ethnic riots in Myanmar in the 1940s. The text says the image shows Buddhists murdered by Rohingya – members of a Muslim minority the book refers to as “Bengalis” to imply they are illegal immigrants.But a Reuters examination of the photograph shows it was actually taken during Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war, when hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis were killed by Pakistani troops.A combination of screenshots shows (top) an image taken from the Pulitzer Prize website depicting the migration of Rwandan Hutu refugees in 1996 following violence in Rwanda. The same image (bottom) appears in the Myanmar armyÕs recently published book on the Rohingya, converted to black-and-white, describing the people as Bengalis entering the country following the British colonial occupation of lower Myanmar. Photo: ReutersIt is one of three images that appear in the book, published in July by the army’s department of public relations and psychological warfare, that have been misrepresented as archival pictures from the western state of Rakhine.In fact, Reuters found that two of the photos originally were taken in Bangladesh and Tanzania. A third was falsely labeled as depicting Rohingya entering Myanmar from Bangladesh, when in reality it showed migrants leaving the country.Government spokesman Zaw Htay and a military spokesman could not be reached for comment on the authenticity of the images. U Myo Myint Maung, permanent secretary at the information ministry, declined to comment, saying he had not read the book.The 117-page “Myanmar Politics and the Tatmadaw: Part I” relates the army’s narrative of August last year, when some 700,000 Rohingya fled Rakhine to Bangladesh, according to United Nations agencies, triggering reports of mass killings, rape, and arson. Tatmadaw is the official name of Myanmar’s military.Much of the content is sourced to the military’s “True News” information unit, which since the start of the crisis has distributed news giving the army’s perspective, mostly via Facebook.The book is on sale at bookstores across the commercial capital of Yangon. A member of staff at Innwa, one of the biggest bookshops in the city, said the 50 copies the store ordered had sold out, but there was no plan to order more. “Not many people came looking for it,” said the bookseller, who declined to be named.On Monday, Facebook banned the army chief and other military officials accused of using the platform to “inflame ethnic and religious tensions”. The same day, UN investigators accused Senior General Min Aung Hlaing of overseeing a campaign with “genocidal intent” and recommended he and other senior officials be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.In its new book, the military denies the allegations of abuses, blaming the violence on “Bengali terrorists” it says were intent on carving out a Rohingya state named “Arkistan”.Attacks allegedly by Rohingya militants calling themselves the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army preceded the military’s crackdown in August 2017 in Rakhine state, in which the UN investigators say 10,000 people may have been killed. The group denies it has separatist aims.The book also seeks to trace the history of the Rohingya – who regard themselves as native to western Myanmar – casting them as interlopers from Bangladesh.A combination of screenshots shows (top) an image taken from Getty Images depicting Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants, who were trying to flee Myanmar, after their boat was seized by MyanmarÕs navy, near Yangon, in 2015. The same image (bottom) appears in the Myanmar armyÕs recently published book on the Rohingya, flipped and converted to black-and-white, describing Bengalis entering Myanmar. Photo: ReutersIn the introduction to the book the writer, listed as Lieutenant Colonel Kyaw Kyaw Oo, says the text was compiled using “documentary photos” with the aim of “revealing the history of Bengalis”.“It can be found that whenever a political change or an ethnic armed conflict occurred in Myanmar those Bengalis take it as an opportunity,” the book reads, arguing that Muslims took advantage of the uncertainty of Myanmar’s nascent democratic transition to ignite “religious clashes”.Reuters was unable to contact Kyaw Kyaw Oo for comment.Reuters examined some of the photographs using Google Reverse Image Search and TinEye, tools commonly used by news organizations and others to identify images that have previously appeared online. Checks were then made with the previously credited publishers to establish the origins of those images.Of the 80 images in the book, most were recent pictures of army chief Min Aung Hlaing meeting foreign dignitaries or local officials visiting Rakhine. Several were screengrabs from videos posted by Rohingya militant group the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.Of eight photos presented as historical images, Reuters found the provenance of three to be faked and was unable to determine the provenance of the five others.One faded black-and-white image shows a crowd of men who appear to be on a long march with their backs bent over. “Bengalis intruded into the country after the British Colonialism occupied the lower part of Myanmar,” the caption reads.The photo is apparently intended to depict Rohingya arriving in Myanmar during the colonial era, which ended in 1948. Reuters determined the picture is in fact a distorted version of a color image taken in 1996 of refugees fleeing the genocide in Rwanda. The photographer, Martha Rial, working for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, won the Pulitzer Prize.The newspaper did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the use of its photo.Another picture, also printed in black-and-white, shows men aboard a rickety boat. “Bengalis entered Myanmar via the watercourse,” the caption reads.Actually, the original photo depicts Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants leaving Myanmar in 2015, when tens of thousands fled for Thailand and Malaysia. The original has been rotated and blurred so the photo looks granular. It was sourced from Myanmar’s own information ministry.last_img

Trump plans to declare national emergency


first_imgIn this file photo taken on February 12, 2019 US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC as Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan (L) and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross(R) look on. Photo: AFPPresident Donald Trump plans to declare a national emergency to fund his controversial border wall, the White House said Thursday, a move that alarmed US lawmakers shortly before they passed legislation to avert a government shutdown.Trump has signaled he will sign the massive spending measure keeping federal agencies operational through 30 September.But it does not specifically fund a wall on the US-Mexico border, and Trump’s emergency declaration would help him bypass Congress to locate and redirect billions of dollars in funding to build it.Trump will take the action “to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said shortly before the Senate passed the spending bill.The House of Representatives followed suit hours later, and Trump has until a midnight Friday deadline to sign it and prevent the government from going into shutdown for the second time this year.Signing the spending bill would bring an end to a rolling, two-month battle over government funding. But by declaring an emergency, Trump opens a new confrontation — and creates some of the riskiest legal peril of his term.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump’s Democratic nemesis in Congress, said members of her caucus were “reviewing our options” about how to respond to Trump’s move.”Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that president Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” Pelosi and senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he backs the president, but several others in the Republican camp have expressed deep reservations.”I have concerns about the precedent that could be set with the use of emergency action to re-appropriate funds,” veteran Republican senator Chuck Grassley said in a statement.Senator Susan Collins said it “would be a mistake on the part of the president” to declare such an emergency, warning it would “undermine” lawmakers’ all-important role as financial appropriators.Many lawmakers have said they have no idea from where Trump will draw the funding. Democrats in particular have signaled that the move would open the door to future presidents declaring emergencies on various topics, from gun violence to climate change to the opioid crisis.Court challenges likelyUnder the National Emergencies Act, the president can declare a national emergency, providing a specific reason for it.That allows the mobilization of hundreds of dormant emergency powers under other laws, which can permit the White House to declare martial law, suspend civil liberties, expand the military, seize property and restrict trade, communications and financial transactions.Trump has repeatedly stated he will look to other federal sources to fund his wall, one of his top campaign trail promises from 2016.There is broad expectation that Trump’s move would be challenged in court.And house judiciary committee Jerry Nadler expressed support for a joint congressional resolution to “terminate” Trump’s emergency declaration.That resolution would likely pass the Democratically-controlled House, but it would face a tough road in the Senate, where several Republicans may not wish to cross the president.Even if it passed, Trump could veto it.The spending measure includes only $1.375 billion for border barriers or fencing, far from the $5.7 billion that Trump has sought for his long-promised border wall — a demand that led to the recent 35-day government shutdown, the longest in US history.The compromise package funds until 30 September the 25 per cent of the government whose operations would lapse if the bill is not signed by Trump by the midnight Friday deadline.Pelosi expressed disdain for the president’s upcoming emergency declaration, warning that he was doing “an end run around Congress.””It’s not an emergency, what’s happening at the border,” she said in comments echoed by multiple Democratic lawmakers.Conservative ireTrump is widely seen to have suffered politically more than Democrats over the previous shutdown fight.But he also needs to assuage conservatives livid that the president retreated from his wall-funding demand, a longtime campaign pledge.”This bill must NOT be signed by @realDonaldTrump,” tweeted Fox News host Laura Ingraham, warning it would serve as a “stimulus” for illegal immigration in part because it puts limits on law enforcement’s ability to deport some undocumented immigrants.The bipartisan spending measure, negotiated for weeks, notably does not contain the word “wall” in its 1,165 pages, instead calling the structures physical barriers and pedestrian fencing.last_img read more