The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has reacted strongly to his detractors, admonishing them to stop the baseless argument against his financial empowerment of ordinary citizens in the country.Governor Jones made the statement last Saturday at a program marking the official opening of the second Nimba Rural Community Finance Institution in Sanniquelle.According to him, the action of CBL’s financial inclusion is based on findings and responses to situations that exist in Liberia, especially when it comes to fighting poverty.“We shall not allow detractors to distract us from our drive to empower ordinary Liberians because they know we are doing the right thing to lift them up. This nonsense must stop,” he declared.Governor Jones said he can longer sit under the carpet and see ordinary people suffer. “We are in the fifteenth year of this 21st century and there is no doubt that as a nation we are far removed from where we used to be potentially. We cannot play with the detriment of our country and need to put our economy on a new path which is a defining challenge of our time.”“There is nothing wrong with using Liberian resources to fight poverty in the country, especially where the people are striving to make a living. At the CBL, we are not using the reserves of the country to fight poverty,” he insisted.Governor Jones told the gathering that the Central Bank of Liberia is audited by a reputable institution and therefore there is no reason for people to call for the auditing of CBL. CBL is audited by the international auditing firm Price Waterhouse.He noted that the poverty reduction program through micro financing came about during the African Governance Summit of Central Banks in Abuja March, 2014 when Governors of various African banks decided to tackle and support the economies and poverty reduction in the sub-region.Making reference to former Nigeria Bank Governors and those of Bangladesh, the CBL boss said those two countries are providing credit to small businesses and extending loans to people in rural areas who are able to meet the credit requirements of commercial banks.The CBL Governor maintained that if a true Liberian middle class is to be created, Liberians must be empowered economically.He said “Liberians must have the vision and will to bring about economic transformation. We must not do things the same way which has brought us where we are today.”The CBL Governor responded to his detractors who he said are in the constant habit of misleading the public that the bank is using the country’s resources to empower Liberian citizens and therefore they must stop the negative criticism that would not help them.This country, he said belongs to everyone and as such everyone should have an equal opportunity.He used the occasion to call on the people of Nimba to be united in order to bring about meaningful benefits.The CBL Boss said when united, the people of Nimba and any other county will find value in diversity, saying, “Let’s say no to the destructive politics of tribalism.”Traditional leaders, marketers and officials of the county showered praises on Governor Jones for his initiative aimed at giving villagers and other grass-root citizens’ access to finance and credit.Governor Jones and his entourage upon entering Ganta and Sanniquellie were greeted to a rousing welcome by traditional dancers, elders, women’s groups and students.The people of Nimba appealed to the CBL Boss for more financial intervention in their area through the establishment of financial and other banking institutions.Governor Jones was accompanied on the trip by members of his staff, Afriland First Bank Managing Director and members of its board of directors, and Liberia Crusaders for Peace.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
WASHINGTON – The Senate endorsed a chance at citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants Wednesday but also voted to build 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the Mexican border in increasingly emotional debate over election-year immigration legislation. Taken together, the votes gave fresh momentum to legislation that closely follows President Bush’s call for a major overhaul of the nation’s troubled immigration system. The vote was 66-33 against a proposal that would have removed provisions giving an eventual chance at citizenship to illegal immigrants who have been in the country more than two years. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsA few minutes earlier, the Senate had voted 83-16 in favor of construction of the fence and 500 miles of vehicle barriers, the first significant victory in two days for conservatives seeking to place their stamp on the measure. The developments unfolded in a volatile political environment. The White House struggled for a second day to ease the concerns of House Republicans who contend that Bush favors amnesty for illegal immigrants, and demonstrators amassed a few blocks from the Capitol demanding immigrant rights. Construction of the barrier would send “a signal that open-border days are over. … Good fences make good neighbors, fences don’t make bad neighbors,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He said border areas where barriers already exist have experienced economic improvement and reduced crime. “What we have here has become a symbol for the right wing in American politics,” countered Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. He said if the proposal passed, “our relationship with Mexico would come down to a barrier between our two countries.” The Senate labored to complete work by next week on immigration legislation that generally follows an outline Bush set out in a nationally televised speech this week. The measure includes provisions to strengthen border security, create a new guest worker program and crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants. Most controversially, it offers an eventual chance at citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country. Senate Republicans staged an impromptu, occasionally emotional debate over whether that amounted to amnesty. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana said it did. “Surely this is a pardon from what present law says must happen,” he said of provisions in the bill that require immigrants to undergo background checks, pay back taxes and take other steps before they can become citizens. Sens. John McCain and Chuck Hagel replied heatedly it was not amnesty. “Let’s stop the nonsense,” said Hagel, addressing fellow Republicans. “You all know it’s not amnesty.” Said McCain, addressing Vitter, “Call it a banana if you want to … to call the process that we require under this legislation amnesty frankly distorts the debate and it’s an unfair interpretation of it.” The clash erupted after Vitter sought a change in the legislation to strip out provisions of the bill that would allow for guest worker programs and give some illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship. Across the Capitol in the House, the story was different. Republicans pushed through a border security bill last year, and several members of the rank-and-file have criticized Bush for his proposals. To calm their concerns, the White House dispatched Karl Rove to their weekly closed-door meeting. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, an outspoken opponent of the Senate bill, derided the effort. “I didn’t see it was a persuasive event. If it was about Karl Rove seeking to convince members of Congress after debate that he’s right and we’re wrong it would have been better not to have the meeting,” he said. King said Rove told lawmakers Bush is sincere about enforcement. But, he added, “The president doesn’t want to enforce immigration law because he’s afraid he’ll inconvenience someone who wants to come into the country for a better life.” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., agreed that Rove did not seem to have been persuasive. “It’s not the kind of issue you can compromise on; either you’re giving amnesty to people who are here illegally or you aren’t.” At the White House, press secretary Tony Snow defended Bush. “The president is actually taking a more aggressive role on border security than the House itself took,” he said. “That is the sort of thing that is going to answer a lot of the complaints that we have heard.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
FROM NEIL DOHERTY AT CELTIC PARK: AROUND 300 Donegal fans of the Hoops made the long trek to Glasgow today – and saw Celtic overcome a stubborn Heart side by a single goal.And they would have seen one of the most nerve-wracking ends to a game here in a long time, when Hoops keeper Fraser Foster saving a last-minute penalty to maintain the 1-0 win, three points and a gap closed on Rangers who had beaten Hibs 2-0 in Edinburgh earlier in the day.Celtic manager Neil Lennon singled out the contribution of goalscorer Victor Wanyama in the 1-0 victory. The Kenyan’s 72nd-minute wondergoal added to his growing reputation as a passer, defender and all-round reader of the game. He went on a rare solo run and fired in a stunning goal from 25 yards.Lucky? Genius? Who cares?“It was a brilliant goal,” said Neil Lennon afterwards.. “He hasn’t been showing that.“His shooting is normally as bad as mine, but I’m delighted. It was a great finish and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win.” Goalkeeper Fraser Forster then pushed away an Eggert Jonsson’s penalty with 60 seconds remaining to secure the three points.“We were the dominant tream, and it’s always a worry at 1-0, but I thought we dominated the game for long periods,” said Lennon.“Hearts made it difficult – they packed the midfield and I thought Marius Zaliuskas had a great game in the midfield.“They fought for everything and credit to them for what they’re going through (most players haven’t been paid for more than a month).“They showed admirable fortitude against us, but I thought we played well. “It wasn’t vintage Celtic, but it was gutsy and there was some good performances.”Lennon was also puzzled as to how referee Calum Murray arrived by his decision to award a late penalty for Hearts, as television replays were inconclusive over the incident between Wanyama and Maruis Zaliukas that determined the spot-kick.“The ref is saying it’s a handball, but I’ve seen it again,” said Lennon.“Wanyama went up for a header with his arms, but he hasn’t touched it with his hands – Zaliuskas headed it, so I don’t know how Calum had a good view of it because he couldn’t see it from that angle. “If you look where the ball has ended up, it’s impossible for him to hit it with his hand and direct it that way.“But Fraser was due a save and it was a magnificent save.“We were patient and we got a wonder goal and the three points, which I felt was thoroughly deserved.”ENDSTHE HOOPS REPORT: PERHAPS LENNON’S LUCK HAS FINALLY TURNED AFTER WIN OVER HEARTS was last modified: December 10th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CELTIC V HEARTS DECEMBER 10 2011hoops reportvictory
NEWSLETTERSt. Patrick’s Church, Donegal Town Fr. Willie Peoples 074-9721026Saturday 23rd 10.00am Sonny Mc Ginley – Anniversary6.00pm Susan Johnson -AnniversarySunday 24th 9.00am11.30am Andrew & Mary Ann Gallagher – AnniversaryThursday 28th 9.30am Deceased Members of the Ramsey FamilyFriday 29th 9.30amSaturday 30th 10.00am Deceased Members of the Mc Gowan Family6.00pmSunday 1st 9.00am John Logue -Months Mind11.30am Frankie Cassidy – AnniversaryNo Mass – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of this week – due to Priests Retreat in Ards.Recent Death – Jimmy Mc Ginley, Water St. formerly Dunkineely – funeral was on Saturday.Eucharistic Adoration- St. Patrick’s Church, on Thursdays from 10.00am -9.00pm. All Welcome!St. Agatha’s Church, Clar Fr. Danny Mc Brearty 074-9721093Saturday 23rd 6.30pm Willie Gillespie – AnniversarySunday 24th 10.30am Packie McGettigan – Anniversary & Months Mind- Sadie McGettigan (Glasgow)Wednesday 27th 10.00am Grainne Ward – AnniversarySaturday 30th 6.30pm Nora Martin and Margaret Boyle – AnniversarySunday 1st 10.30am Margaret and Charlie Callaghan – Anniversary Masses during the Week – Monday, Tuesday & Thursday – 10.00am. Wednesday – 7.00pm.Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament – Tuesday from 3pm -7pm in St Agatha’s Church, Clar.Cemetery Sunday – July 8th at 10.30am, in St Agatha’s, Church, Clar. Please tell your family and friendsTawnawilly Community Centre – Coffee/Tea morning on Tuesday, 26th June 11.00am – 1.00pm. (Last coffee morning before the summer break). Thanks for €109.00 which was raised for the North West Simon Community at the last coffee morning. All Welcome and child friendly.JAMES MCCAFFREY MEMORIAL VINTAGE CAR AND TRACTORThe above will take place on Sunday, 24th June at E & J Oil Depot, Ballymagroarty, Ballintra. All proceeds being given to Sr. Magdalene, Solace Cancer Care, Donegal Town and Kidney Dialysis Unit, Sligo Hospital. Great display of vintage vehicles and items. Cake stall and lots of other attractions. Admission €10.00, Children free.ARDS FRIARY – HEALING AND RENEWAL RETREATAn opportunity to be healed from the wounds of our past in a wonderful retreat setting given by John Pridmore and St. Patrick’s Community. Experience a more personal relationship with God; grow in the freedom and peace you were created for. A WEEKEND THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Commences: 6.oopm Concludes: After Lunch on Sunday. Cost: Residential, €160.00. Non Residential €85.00. Contact: Ards Friary 074 9138909 email@example.com. Catherine Leigh – 0719620175 or John Pridmore – 0873623996 Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPEACE MASSThe monthly Diocesan Mass for Peace will be celebrated in Kerrykeel on Thursday, 28t June, 2012 at 7.30pm. Bus leaving Main Street car park at 6.00pm. FRIENDS OF ST LUKES HOSPITAL DUBLINClothing collection in aid of Friends of St Lukes Hospital, at car Park beside Pier, Donegal Town on Friday 29th June. Clean dry, Ladies, Gents, Children’s Clothes, Bed Linen, Curtains, Towels, sheets, Handbags. Contact 087 9703266 if you need bags collected.SPARTANS SPORTS AND ARTS CAMPWill take place in Barnesmore Community Centre from Monday 13th August – 17th inclusive Age groups 5-12 years, €50.00 per child with family discounts available – registration at centre on Wednesday, August 8th from 8-9pm.BARNESMORE COMMUNITY CENTREWe are taking part in the car boot sale on July 8th at the Bosco centre. All items suitable for a car boot sale would be gratefully appreciated. Contact Noelle 0861210999. John 086 3309777.DOWN SYNDROME ICE CREAM DAY THE DIAMOND DONEGAL TOWNThank you to everyone who supported the Ice Cream Dayon June 16th Your support was greatly appreciated.RAFT RACE & SKIFF REGATTAThe RNLI in conjunction with the Donegal Bay Rowing Club will hold a Raft Race, Blessing of Boats and Skiff Regatta at Mountcharles Pier on Sunday 1st July. Registration of Skiffs will take place at 1.30pm followed by racing. The Blessing of Boats will take place at 4.00pm followed by the Raft Race and an Exhibition Skiff Race. A contribution of €10.00 to the Lifeboats is respectfully requested from each Raft Race crew member for the Lifeboats which saved 84 people around the Irish coast in 2011. For road safety, access to the event is from the Donegal Town side of the Pier and leaving via the opposite (Salthill) direction. LOCAL NEWS: PARISH BULLETIN OF TAWNAWILLY was last modified: June 22nd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:LOCAL NEWS: PARISH BULLETIN OF TAWNAWILLY
Excitement is building for the inaugural Diecast and Model Show coming to Letterkenny next month.The event will see working models of miniature tractors, cars, lorries and other machinery running through parts of the Radisson Blu Hotel on Sunday the 8th of October 2017.Farm model enthusiasts are all welcome to admire the top-quality displays in operation. Traders from all over Ireland, and as far away as Cork, are coming to Donegal for the show.All proceeds after expenses will be donated to the NCBI, Ireland’s national sight loss agency. Admission for adults is €5, children under 14 go free.Co-organiser Raymond Holmes of Ideal Farm Models told Donegal Daily that there are already huge levels of interest in the event. “This will not only be for children, adults especially are reliving their childhood again and seeing the models they used to have or have always wanted.“Maybe they are farmers who have a real model in the yard and want a smaller version. There will be something for everyone,” he said.Raymond said there is a large catchment area in Donegal where people have an interest in diecast models.“This is something that will attract a big crowd,” he said, adding that craftspeople are welcome to get in touch to inquire about setting up stalls.The event is sponsored by Ideal Farm Models, Linton Film Productions and Breffni Crafts.For updates follow the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Letterkenny-Diecast-and-Model-Show… Relive your Childhood: Diecast and Model Show coming to Letterkenny was last modified: September 4th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Diecast and Model showeventsfarmingfundraisingncbi
Crescent City >> Allison Douglas allowed just four hits and struck out five, as the Del Norte Warriors remained undefeated in Big 5 Conference play with a 3-0 victory in the opening game of a doubleheader at Del Norte High School Tuesday afternoon.The contest began as a pitcher’s duel between Del Norte’s Douglas and Eureka’s Alyssa Jimenez, with neither side being able to get on the scoreboard in the first two innings. The Warriors had their share of opportunities early, but Jimenez was able …
It’s official: Virgin America, the award-winning start-up that delivered a shot of adrenalin to the US airline system, will cease to exist.New owner Alaska Airlines has said it will retire the Virgin America name and logo “likely sometime in 2019’’. “However, many of the elements you love about Virgin America will live on, paired with Alaska’s unbeatable performance and top-rated customer service,’’ Alaska said in a blog. “Our colleagues at Virgin America built something truly amazing over the past decade, and it’s our goal to honor what they achieved while taking it one step further.’’Founder Richard Branson lamented the loss of the funky Virgin America, which has consistently been seen as a star performer in a lack-lustre US field since its launch in 2007. “This was the ride and love of a lifetime.,’’ Branson said in in a tribute to the carrier. “I feel very lucky to have been on it with all of you.“I’m told some people at Virgin America are calling today “the day the music died”. It is a sad (and some would say baffling) day.’’The two airlines officially merged in December, 2016, and Alaska recently announced it was using Virgin’s Airbus A320 fleet 21 new markets and 25 new daily departures from San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose, California. Alaska paid $US2.6 billion to make the combined airline the fifth biggest in the US and further consolidate a market that has seen the number of competitors dwindle markedly in recent years.Other airlines to have merged include US Airways, Continental, Northwest, AirTran, and America West.Whether Alaska will be able to match the standards of its popular take-over target with its remake remains to be seen but it will include redesigned cabins, high-speed internet, more premium seats, new staff uniforms and more loyalty rewards.The airline said the combined airline will offer “a fresh modern experience’’ that would offer consistently low fares and more destinations from the West Coast than any other airline.Alaska plans to give its brand a new personality in 2017 with a “welcoming West Coast vibe’’ and music from new artists in planes, airport lobbies and gates.It will debut a redesigned cabin with new seats and amenities in 2018 and says it has already started to retrofit select Boeing aircraft “expressive blue mood lighting”. High-speed satellite wi-fi fast enough to use entertainment streaming services will be retrofitted in Boeing aircraft from autumn, 2018, with the remainder of the Airbus fleet to follow so that both fleets will have the service by the end of 2019.“Modern, stylish uniforms by fashion designer Luly Yang will roll out in mid-2019 for flight attendants, customer service agents, pilots, mechanics and ground crew,’’ Alaska said.There will more premium seats, with 18 35-inch seat pitch Premium Class seats due to be added to Airbus aircraft from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the number of 41-inch pitch first class seats increasing from eight to 12. The airline noted this would produce more opportunities for premium upgrades.Alaska’s mileage plan will become the sole loyalty program in 2018 and will continue to reward a mile flown with a mile earned.
The terror angle in the deadly grenade attack on Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar’s Rajasansi village on Sunday is becoming starker. Intelligence agencies are connecting the dots of the attack in Amritsar and terrorist Zakir Musa’s recent appearance in Punjab.Musa, al-Qaeda’s commander and a ‘most wanted’ terrorist, is planning to replicate Jammu and Kashmir-style terror attacks in Punjab, according to investigators. Musa, the chief of J&K-based Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (an Al-Qaeda cell), was recently spotted near Amritsar after which a high alert was sounded across the state.He, along with a group of five or six Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, was reportedly in Punjab and planning to move towards Delhi, Punjab Police officials had said. At least three people were killed and over a dozen injured when unidentified assailants lobbed grenades at the Nirankari Bhawan on Sunday.The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been roped in to investigate the attack and the needle of suspicion points to Khalistani terrorists, the Al-Qaeda cell and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Following the reported sightings of Musa in Amritsar, his posters were put up in Gurdaspur and Dinanagar.Read | PMO, Defence Ministry offices on high alert over security threat from Jaish terroristsMusa, sources said, is widening the arc of terrorism by creating a pipeline between Kashmir militancy and Khalistan radicals. Sleeper cells have been reportedly set up in Punjab under his supervision and these are gathering arms and ammunition, the sources added.It is suspected that Musa is wellnetworked in Punjab as he spent his student years in the state. He left Kashmir after school to study BTech at a private engineering college in Mohali in 2010, but he left it in 2013 after failing his exams. He joined the Hizbul Mujahideen in the autumn of 2013. During his stay in the state, Musa made a lot of friends and he is said to be using his old contacts for recruiting agents of terror.advertisementIn the Hizb, Musa rose quickly and soon became a prominent member of the Burhan Wani faction – a group of young men who used social media to draw a new generation of Kashmiris into militancy.When Wani was killed by security forces in 2016, Musa took his place. Musa is actively creating sleeper cells in Punjab, and there is a probability that the two men named as accused in the Amritsar attack case might be his new recruits – as there is little data available on them, according to sources. Eyewitnesses said two young men – with faces covered, but one of them sporting a flowing beard – arrived on a motorcycle and threw a grenade inside the Nirankari Bhawan complex.The accused used HG 84, which is similar to the ones manufactured by the Pakistani Army Ordinance factory. According to experts, handling such grenades require specific training as these are very dangerous. Sources close to the investigation said that the duo was trained in handling such grenades, but were not experts. If used properly, the tragedy could have been much bigger, they added.The police had recovered similar HG 84 hand grenades from a terror module busted last month – indicating a high probability of the involvement of forces from across the border. Information released by security agencies has suggested that plans to revive terrorism in Punjab had been in the making for a long time, and the grenade attack in Amritsar was the first step.In further proof of the link between pro-Khalistan groups and terror groups in Pakistan, intelligence agencies had recently shared inputs on Gopal Singh Chawla, a Khalistan supporter, who is in Pakistan.According to sources, Chawla was in contact with ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed to hatch a terror plot. He has been posting inflammatory posts on social media and it has been suggested he was using the medium to recruit supporters. In 2017, the NIA had hinted at possibilities of religious organisations in Punjab coming under attack while probing the murders of eight RSS workers in the state(With inputs from Arvind Ojha)Read | Amritsar attack: CM announces Rs 50 lakh reward as police hunts for cluesWatch | Amritsar attack: Punjab Police releases sketches of 2 suspects
In wake of the escalating controversy over Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s recent Pakistan visit, the state cabinet is set to meet at 3 pm on Monday (December 3).The meeting is scheduled to be held at Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s official residence.Sidhu visited Pakistan on November 28 on its prime minister, Imran Khan’s personal invitation, as he puts, to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor.The Kartarpur corridor will connect the shrine in Pakistan to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Gurdaspur and give visa-free access to Indian pilgrims.Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan had riled Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who said he tried to dissuade Sidhu, following a grenade attack in Amritsar that left three people dead.READ | 3 captains, 4 Gandhis and 3 Modis: BJP-Congress war intensifies over Sidhu’s Pak visitAlso, Sidhu’s recent remark that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was his ‘Captain’ reportedly irked Singh even more and several cabinet ministers too.Two days back, Sidhu, when reporters asked him about going to Pakistan to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor, despite Singh’s disapproval, said, “Rahul Gandhi is my captain. It is he who sent me to Pakistan. Rahul Gandhi is the captain of the captain (Amarinder Singh) also.”This issue is likely to be discussed during Monday’s meeting.Sidhu, however, is not expected to attend the meeting as he is away in Rajasthan, campaigning for his party members for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.On Saturday, three ministers — Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi — called for Sidhu’s resignation from the state cabinet.advertisementOn Sunday, state’s Women and Child Development and Transport Minister Aruna Chaudhary said Sidhu’s remark was “unforunate” and “uncalled for”.”What Navjot Singh Sidhu said about Capt Amarinder Singh is unfortunate. Such things should not have been said by him,” she said.Chaudhary said, “Capt Amarinder Singh is our undisputed leader. He is captain of the party in the state. He was the chief ministerial candidate in the last assembly elections and under him the party returned to power with an overwhelming majority. At the same time, Rahul Gandhi is captain of entire Congress, no one is disputing this fact. But what Sidhu has said about captain sahib is unfortunate.”Minister of Forests Sadhu Singh Dharamsot Sunday demanded Sidhu’s apology to the chief minister. He also reminded him he was not running a comedy show.Sidhu had been a part of a popular TV comedy show aired in India.”It seems Sidhu sahib has forgotten that he is a minister. He should know he is not running a comedy show here. He must learn how to respect the elders and seek an apology from the chief minister,” Dharamsot said.Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa continued his attack on Sunday saying Sidhu’s tone and the body language towards the chief minister was not appropriate and demanded he apologise.Bajwa, along with Revenue and Rehabilitation minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Sports Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, had on Saturday said if Sidhu didn’t consider Amarinder Singh his captain he should quit the chief minister’s team.On Sunday, Bajwa said, “Sidhu sahib has said that Capt Amarinder Singh is not his captain, he said that he is Army’s captain. The tone and body language used by Sidhu towards the chief minister is not appropriate. It shows disrespect towards the CM. If Sidhu doubts Capt Amarinder’s leadership, his ability, then it becomes his moral duty to resign.””The speed at which he is going may cause an accident,” he said of Sidhu. “I want to request Sidhu that he apologises to the chief minister and matter will end.”The row over the trip escalated in the state even as Sidhu backtracked on his claim that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was involved in his decision to attend the ceremony. “Get your facts right before you distort them, Rahul Gandhi Ji never asked me to go to Pakistan. The whole world knows I went to Pakistan on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal invite,” Sidhu had tweeted on Saturday.Sidhu’s wife and former BJP MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu on Sunday said his heart is clean and his remark was being twisted and taken out of context.”Navjot Sidhu’s heart is clean. He has not committed any mistake that he should resign. He has already said Capt sahib (Amarinder) is a father-figure to him. If outside Punjab, he said Rahul is the captain, what is wrong on that? He has not called (Narendra) Modi his captain. He is only calling Rahul his captain. And Capt Sahib’s (Amarinder’s) captain too is Rahul, isn’t it?,” asked Kaur.advertisementMeanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too took potshots at Sidhu, headlined by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.She, when asked about the controversy, said she would not be able to comment on the issue as it was a major tussle between “the three captains in the Congress party.”For the unversed, the first captain Swaraj refers to here is the Punjab chief minister himself, known as Captain Amarinder Singh. The second is Sidhu, who chose to visit Pakistan despite Singh’s opposition.The third is Rahul Gandhi, who Sidhu referred to as the captain in one of the his earlier statements.BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, on his part, said, “When Sidhu was in the BJP, he hailed the contribution of Atal Behari Vajpayee, L K Advani, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley. He used to ridicule (former PM) Manmohan Singh by terming him ‘Mouni Baba’. He is a man of U-turns. It seems his lust for power would end with accepting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan as his Captain. He should be sacked immediately.”Union minister and senior BJP leader from Punjab Vijay Sampla said Sidhu has “lost mental balance” and wants to remain in news with such remarks.The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), BJP’s coalition partner in Punjab, has also demanded Sidhu’s resignation.(With inputs from PTI)ALSO READ | Rahul never asked me to go to Pak: Sidhu clarifies after Captain dig at AmarinderALSO READ | Not trapped by your googlies, it just exposed you: Sushma to Pak foreign ministerALSO WATCH | We are Congress soldiers, not Amarinder’s, says Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife
Now, we wait.We wait to see if Italy, the host of the 2019 European Under-21 Championship, will fall at the first hurdle.The Azzurrini did what they had to do in Saturday’s must-win meeting with Belgium in Reggio Emilia, triumphing 3-1 with goals from Nicolo Barella, Patrick Cutrone and, almost inevitably, Federico Chiesa, but it wasn’t sufficient to secure top spot in Group A. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? That honour goes to Spain, who routed Poland 5-0 in Bologna to secure their place in the semi-finals by virtue of the fact that they had the better goal difference in a three-way tie for top spot with their vanquished opponents and the Azzurrini.Italy had needed La Rojita to defeat the Poles – who had won both of their previous games – but not by more than two goals.As it stands, the Azzurrini, with their tally of six points and a goal difference of +3, now need results to go their way elsewhere so that they can progress as the best runner-up across all three groups.The wait will be agonising and might not end well for the hosts, given France and Romania need only draw their final game on Monday night to ensure both progress to the knockout stage with seven points apiece.Italian football fans have bitter memories of the ‘biscotto’, with an unlikely 2-2 draw between Sweden and Denmark at Euro 2004 having eliminated the senior squad and allowed both Scandinavian sides to progress.However, there was never any evidence anything untoward went on in Porto and besides, Italy, just like their Under-21 counterparts now, only have themselves to blame for even being in this position.Luigi Di Biagio and his side have essentially consigned themselves to possibly two days in purgatory for losing to a Poland team that Spain routed.Elimination would, thus, be hellish, particularly having overwhelmed La Rojita in their tournament opener in Bologna last weekend.To their credit, they also played with a similar intensity against the hapless Belgians.Crucially, they rediscovered the goalscoring touch which so frustratingly abandoned them against Poland.It took a while, though. Several chances were squandered before Barella atoned for the worst miss of all – an unmarked diving header from a central position – when he lashed in left-footed at the second attempt just moments before the break.Cutrone then doubled the Azzurrini’s advantage with a fine, glancing header from a Lorenzo Pellegrini cross eight minutes into the second half.Knowing that goal difference would be crucial to their hopes of securing the best runners-up place, the hosts continued to charge forward in charge of a third.Unfortunately for them, it was Belgian who struck next, with Yari Verschaeren finding the top right corner of Alex Meret’s goal with a sumptuous curling strike from outside the area.Italy kept coming, though, and deservedly restored their two-goal advantage when Chiesa cut inside from the left flank and whipped the ball home into the top corner with just over a minute of normal time remaining.The goal was originally disallowed for offside but VAR intervened. The wait was excruciating.But nothing compared to what now awaits the Azzurrini and their coach, Di Biagio, who will come under serious pressure to step down if such a talented squad fails to even make the knockout stage of a tournament staged on home soil.In fairness to the former midfielder, his cause was hardly helped by Nicolo Zaniolo and Moise Kean turning up late for a team meeting on the day of the game.Zaniolo wouldn’t have played anyway, as he was suspended, but Di Biagio had already confirmed that Kean would start, so it was a big call for the coach to omit his star player for a game of such importance.The Juventus sensation could have aided the Azzurrini’s bid to boost their goal difference, certainly late on.As it was, though, Kean’s absence didn’t make a difference in terms of determining the outcome of the group.Captain Roland Mandragora said beforehand, “We need a victory and then, we can only hope for the best.”They got their victory in Reggio Emilia. It wasn’t enough to take spot. And is unlikely to earn them a place in the last four.Hope really is all they have left now.