Putin Jumps Into Doping Scandal

first_imgMOSCOW — Stung by a report accusing Russia of a vast state-sponsored doping program, Vladimir Putin will meet with the head coach of the country’s track federation on Nov. 11.A report Nov. 9 by a commission of the accused Russia of widespread doping and cover-ups affecting track and field athletes, including Olympic medalists.It said that agents from the FSB intelligence service interfered with the work of a doping lab during last year’s Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi.Russian officials fought back against the report, saying it failed to prove its main points and suggesting the existence of a conspiracy to vilify Russia.“As long as there is no evidence, it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the report.Because of the report, Russia has been threatened with suspension from track and field competitions, including next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.The Russian track federation said head coach Yuri Borzakovsky, a former Olympic 800-meter champion, will meet Putin at a sports center in Sochi on Nov. 11.While the meeting between Putin and Russian sports leaders was planned as a discussion of preparations for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Acting Federation President Vadim Zelichenok told The Associated Press the doping allegations could be discussed.“There may be a conversation, but not necessarily within the framework of the main meeting,” Zelichenok told the AP by telephone.In the first move to implement a recommendation made in the report, WADA revoked the accreditation of the country’s anti-doping lab in Moscow. That blocks all testing of samples, which will now be transported to another WADA-accredited lab outside Russia.The WADA commission says tests were routinely falsified at the lab to protect top Russian athletes. The facility is headed by Grigory Rodchenkov, who stands accused of concealing doping, extorting money from athletes and destroying 1,417 samples to stop WADA investigators from gaining access to them. The report recommended a lifetime ban for Rodchenkov.Nikita Kamaev, Executive Director of the Russian anti-doping agency known as RUSADA, said that Rodchenkov’s lab had “ceased functioning” but said RUSADA is still operational.“The Russian agency completely complies with the requirements of WADA at the current time,” Kamaev said, adding that the agency is preparing a detailed response to all issues raised against it in the WADA report.The Russian agency faces possible suspension by WADA after the report, which accused it of numerous failures in its testing program, including notifying athletes ahead of time for supposedly surprise tests, colluding with coaches and allowing some banned athletes to continue competing.Kamaev is one of a number of Russian officials to say the report is biased against Russia. “Some of the issues have a particular acuteness and are, if you like, politicized,” he said, refusing to go into further detail.Allegations that FSB agents infiltrated the testing process are the product of an “inflamed imagination” and more suited to a spy film, Kamaev added.Earlier in the day, Zelichenok said in comments quoted by Russian media that the report contains “an element of material made to order,” without specifying who might have manipulated the report.Zelichenok also appealed to the sport’s governing body to show “prudence” and allow Russian track and field athletes to compete at next year’s Olympics.(JAMES ELLINGWORTH, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Maharshi: Shooting of Mahesh Babu’s film with Vamshi Paidipally wrapped up

first_imgFinally, Mahesh Babu and Vamshi Paidipally have wrapped up the shooting of their upcoming film Maharshi, which is gearing up for release in May. The film stars Mahesh Babu, the Tollywood Prince in the lead role. He is reportedly sporting three looks in the film.Maharshi was recently wrapped up and Mahesh Babu took to Instagram share a post from the sets. The actor shared the picture of a huge mouthwatering cake from the sets. Looks like the crew celebrated their last day on sets in style.Here’s the post:Maharshi is the story of Mahesh Babu’s character and it will show the different stages of the protagonist’s life. Pooja Hegde, who is now a much-sought-after actress in Tollywood, has been roped in as the heroine for Maharshi. The film also stars Allari Naresh in an important role, who plays a friend of Mahesh Babu in the movie.After Maharshi, Mahesh Babu is teaming up with Rangasthalam director Sukumar. The details about the upcoming project are still under wraps. He also has another film with Anil Ravupidi.Maharshi also has Meenakshi Dixit in a lead role. Devi Sri Prasad is composing the music for the film.ALSO READ | Mahesh Babu hangs out with Karthi on Maharshi sets. See unmissable photosALSO READ: Leaked videos from Maharshi shooting spot leave Mahesh Babu and team in shockadvertisementALSO WATCH | Decoding the Telugu superstar Mahesh Babulast_img read more

Maersk Sells Maersk Tankers

first_imgzoom Danish shipping and energy conglomerate A.P. Møller – Mærsk has today signed an agreement to sell Maersk Tankers to APMH Invest A/S, a subsidiary of A.P. Moller Holding for USD 1.17 billion in an all-cash transaction.A.P. Moller Holding plans to establish an ownership consortium for Maersk Tankers’ fleet with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and other potential partners, in which A.P. Moller Holding will be the majority shareholder.The proceeds from the transaction will be used to reduce debt, the group said.As explained, the transaction entails a market upside provision regulating total payment should the product tanker market significantly improve with a rebound in vessel values before the end of 2019.As a result, two scenarios have been identified: if the tanker markets improve based on a fleet value accretion, the adjustment is capped at USD 200 million, which can be exercised once and expires on December 31, 2019.if APMHI sells on vessels at a higher price than the purchase price and higher than an agreed hurdle rate, the on-sale adjustment expires on June 30, 2019 or if the purchase price adjustment is called whichever is the earliest.“Maersk Tankers has served A.P. Moller – Maersk well for almost a century, building an industry-leading position within the product tanker market. As former CEO of Maersk Tankers for more than 10 years, I recognise the importance of having an owner with a long-term market view in this industry, and this is why I am pleased that Maersk Tankers can continue to build on its strong name and position under A.P. Moller Holding,” says Søren Skou, Maersk CEO.“In determining the best future ownership for Maersk Tankers, it has been imperative for us to assure a financially solid owner with industry insight and a long-term view on the inherent cyclical nature of the tanker industry. This will secure that Maersk Tankers can continue to take advantage of market opportunities, as well as uphold the capabilities and the organisation on which Maersk Tankers global leading market position is built,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.The sale is part of Maersk Group’s focus switch to container shipping, ports, and logistics.The shift saw the group’s oil business, Maersk Oil, being sold off in August to Total S.A  for USD 7.45 billion in a combined share and debt transaction.Maersk said earlier that the separation of its energy businesses was decided as a result of recent years’ oil and gas industry and market developments.Declining spot market rates and vessel impairments have pushed tanker shipping company Maersk Tankers to a USD 483-million loss in the second quarter of 2017 from a profit of USD 28 million recorded a year earlier.The vessel impairments worth USD 464 million were due to an expected continuation of the lower asset valuations, the company said.The group is yet to find buyers for Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service, which are expected to be found before the end of 2018.Under the terms of the deal, A.P. Moller Holding will take over Maersk Tankers’ entire organisation, portfolio and obligations. As part of the agreement, it would assume all outstanding capital commitments of Maersk Tankers’ fleet renewal programme.The closing of the transaction is not subject to merger control approvals and is expected to take place in October 2017.“As the transaction is between related parties, fairness opinions have been obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. Int. Plc. and DNB Bank ASA. The conclusions from these fairness opinions confirm that the transaction value including the agreed price adjustment mechanism is fair from a financial point of view,” Maersk Group said.Maersk Tankers has a fleet of 161 product tanker vessels, with 80 owned vessels, across four segments; Intermediate, Handy, Medium Range and Long Range 2.As informed, the company will continue trading as Maersk Tankers, using the Maersk’s seven-pointed star-logo as part of its brand.Furthermore, due to the transaction, Maersk Tankers will be classified as held-for-sale and discontinued operations in the Interim Report Q3 2017 for APMM.Maersk said that the transaction has no impact on APMM’s financial guidance for 2017.last_img read more

Wynne continues to campaign hard despite predicting loss in Ontario election

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne switched gears Sunday, from pushing for her party to be re-elected to instead using the last few days of the election campaign to try to save what Liberal seats she can.Wynne admitted Saturday that her party won’t form government after Thursday’s election, but pleaded with voters to at least elect some Liberals. She warned about what an NDP or Progressive Conservative majority government would bring, and pitched votes for the Liberals as a way to keep either of those parties in check.Standing behind a sign reading simply, “Vote Liberal,” instead of her usual sign with her campaign slogan of “Care Over Cuts,” Wynne said it’s important to return as many Liberals as possible to the legislature to avoid having a majority government.The Liberals under Wynne won a majority in 2014.“I know that there are people who are trying to decide how to vote on June 7 and they are worried about a majority (Progressive Conservative) Doug Ford government,” Wynne said.“They are worried about a majority NDP government, and they want to know what it would mean to cast their vote for Liberal and what I’m saying is, ‘Yeah, it looks like I’m not going to be the premier. It looks like we’re not going to have a Liberal government. But you better believe having more Liberals at Queen’s Park to fend off whatever extreme policies a Doug Ford or an NDP government would bring forward, that’s important.”Wynne began her day today in Richmond Hill, Ont., where she is trying to help Liberal Reza Moridi get re-elected, and was also campaigning in Scarborough North, Toronto-St. Paul’s, and her own riding of Don Valley West.But NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Sunday that she would not accept help from the Liberals to prop up an NDP government.“People have rejected Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals,” she said after a rally in downtown Toronto. “It is apparent. Even Kathleen Wynne is not supporting Kathleen Wynne this time around by the looks of it.”Liberals say that now their focus is on trying to maintain official party status in the legislature, which requires at least eight seats. A Liberal source told The Canadian Press about a dozen ridings in which the party thinks they have a reasonable shot at winning, but Wynne’s own riding was not among them.On Sunday, Wynne said she is still pushing to represent her riding again.“I’m running hard in my own riding, Don Valley West, because I want to go back to Queen’s Park to continue to work for you, bringing our Liberal values to Queen’s Park,” she said.Ford, meanwhile, was campaigning in Kingston, focusing his attacks on the NDP.He said they would drive Ontario deeper into debt, but when asked if he had a plan to pay down Ontario’s more than $300-billion debt, Ford promised to find efficiencies of four per cent in the provincial budget.Ford has said a Tory government would run deficits for the first two or three years, but his plan doesn’t spell out the size of those deficits, a path to balance or a way to start paying down the debt.“We’re going to bring an outside auditing firm in to go line item by line item to drive efficiencies,” Ford said.Ford was also asked by a reporter for the Queen’s University student newspaper if he had a plan to address tuition fees. Ford responded by saying he had met with 40 Queen’s students and their biggest concern was the job market.— with files from Salmaan Farooqui in Kingstonlast_img read more