April 15, 2021

Avi Loeb nominated to presidential advisory council

first_imgHarvard Astronomy department chair Abraham Loeb has been nominated to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The council advises the president of the United States on science and technology.Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science and the longest-serving chair of Harvard’s Astronomy department in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He was also the founding director of the Harvard Black Hole Initiative. Among a slew of accolades and appointments, Loeb was chosen in 2012 as one of TIME Magazine’s 25 most influential people in space. He has written six books and over 725 papers on topics ranging from black holes to the first stars to the search for extraterrestrial life.“I am delighted to join PCAST, especially at this challenging time — when scientists must help the fight against COVID-19 and do their best to boost our nation’s health and prosperity,” Loeb said.He noted the service will not interfere with other academic or research commitments.PCAST was initially established by President George W. Bush in 200. It was reestablished by President Barack Obama in 2010. In October 2019, President Donald Trump issued an executive order reviving the council.The council will ultimately include 16 chosen members. Kelvin Droegemeier, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will serve as the chair and 17th member. Droegemeier visited Harvard in January and held a closed door event on the U.S. research environment.last_img read more

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Muffet McGraw awarded Key to the City of South Bend at Common Council meeting

first_imgWomen’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw was awarded a Key to the City of South Bend in a Common Council meeting Monday in the County-City Building downtown.At the meeting, McGraw and the 2018-2019 women’s basketball team was recognized by a special resolution “honoring and thanking” the team for their “contributions to the South Bend community.” Mary Steurer | The Observer The women’s basketball team was recognized by the South Bend Common Council at a meeting Monday. At the meeting, the Mayor’s Office awarded head coach Muffet McGraw a Key to the City.The resolution, presented by Common Council members Oliver Davis, Sharon McBride, Tim Scott and Karen White, named the Notre Dame women’s basketball team as among the nation’s “most visible and respected” athletic programs and praised its players and coaching staff for the program’s consistent success.“Individual members of [the] team received far more accolades than can possibly be included in this resolution,” the resolution stated. “[And] the true meaning of the team’s greatness cannot be summarized in wins, losses and titles, but does also include academic success, class, dignity, toughness, determination and grace under pressure.”It also commended McGraw for her moral voice off the field, expressing gratitude for her “valuable contributions … to the betterment of society at large.”After the resolution was read aloud, McGraw was given the chance to speak, taking the opportunity to call for change of heart in the South Bend community.Her speech follows two events last week that left the city fractured: the June 16 fatal police shooting of Eric Logan, an African-American man, by white city police officer Sgt. Ryan O’Neill, as well as a bar shooting Sunday morning that left one dead and 10 injured.Tensions gripped South Bend this weekend as community members protested in front of the police headquarters Friday and urged Mayor Pete Buttigieg for sweeping reforms at a Town Hall meeting Sunday.South Bend faces problems symptomatic of larger, deep-seated social issues that have become part of the national culture, McGraw said.“I am so proud to be a part of this community — I love South Bend,” McGraw said. “But we have some issues, and I think South Bend is not immune to problems that every city across the country is facing. Racial inequality, gender inequality, homophobia — we are a nation divided. … When did we stop listening to each other? When did we stop having open and honest debate?”The city will not be able to move past such issues without a combined effort from all of its members, McGraw said.“It’s a Herculean task, to be honest,” she said. “But I would love to see South Bend be that city that everybody in the country can point to across the country and say, ‘This is how people live in community. This is what community is all about. This is how you solve our problems.’“McGraw then called upon the community to take action in creating a more unified city.“We can’t wait for people in Washington to step in and fix things,” she said. “They don’t want to fix things, they just want to tell us who’s to blame for it. We’ve got to stand up, and we’ve got to stand together, and we can do it. We can be that city.”After McGraw’s speech, Buttigieg announced via video recording McGraw would be awarded a Key to the City.“Coach Muffet McGraw has been an inspiration … to our community and to athletes, women and girls and boys and men across the country with the determination, the outstanding work ethic, the very … leadership that she has demonstrated over many years and continues to show with the extraordinary performance of Notre Dame’s women’s basketball,” Buttigieg said in the video.Buttigieg also praised McGraw for her commitment to social progress, especially in the area of gender equality. McGraw drew national attention last April after calling for more female representation in national leadership at a Final Four pregame press conference in Tampa, Florida.“Coach McGraw is a beacon — not only within the field of athletics, but truly a leader in our country — and I admire everything that she has done, and South Bend is proud to claim her as a member of our community,” Buttigieg said in the video.Tags: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Muffet McGraw, South Bend, South Bend Common Councillast_img read more

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First TV Images of French Reporter Held in Colombia

first_imgBy Dialogo May 30, 2012 The first images of a French journalist held captive for a month by leftist rebels in the Colombian jungle were broadcast on May 28, days before his expected release. In apparent good health, the France 24 reporter Romeo Langlois could be seen smiling in a camp in the jungle in the footage shown on Latin American TV station Telesur. He was captured at the end of April by FARC rebels during an attack on a Colombian army unit he had embedded with to film a counter-drug operation. FARC said at the weekend that they would free Langlois on May 30. “You know what you’re exposed to when you undertake this kind of activity… (but) the truth is I didn’t think it was going to get so big,” Langlois said in the footage, apparently referring to his reporting trip. A French envoy joining a humanitarian mission to pick up Langlois out of the jungle was due to arrive in Bogota on May 28, according to French ambassador Pierre-Jean Vandoorne. The envoy, who has not been identified, will be part of a delegation including the International Committee of the Red Cross and former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba, to receive 35-year-old Langlois on Wednesday. “We just have to hope everything goes well on the day,” Vandoorne said in a statement to radio Caracol, adding that he expected to meet the envoy later that day with other members of the mission after they arrive. Founded in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is the oldest and largest leftist guerrilla group in the country with some 9,200 fighters. In February, it renounced the practice of kidnappings for ransom.last_img read more

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Brazilian Air Force Commences Largest Enforcement Operation against Unauthorized Flights

first_imgBy Andréa Barretto/Diálogo April 13, 2017 The Brazilian Air Force (FAB, per its Portuguese acronym) launched Operation Ostium on March 24th, one of its longest and most comprehensive initiatives over the course of 2017. “Operation Ostium is daring. We are setting up a strip along the border where we will be focusing all of our resources. Our objective is clear: reduce the number of illicit goods coming in by air along a huge swath of the border to zero,” stated Lieutenant General Ricardo Cesar Mangrich, commander of the operation. In the initial phase of the operation, resources are concentrated in three cities: Campo Grande and Dourados, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul; and Cascavel, in the state of Paraná. In Campo Grande, the FAB has A-29 Super Tucano fighters, E-99 radar planes, as well as R-35A and RA-1 reconnaissance planes. The airports in Cascavel and Dourados have already been transformed into veritable air bases for Operation Ostium. The facilities that have been set up allow for the operation of AH-2 Sabre and H-60 Black Hawk combat helicopters, A-29 Super Tucano fighters, and RQ-450 unmanned aerial aircraft, known as drones. “These regions were selected according to operational needs for securing our airspace, based on strategic information about the flow of clandestine aircraft entering Brazil,” the FAB Public Affairs Office reported. Over the course of 2017, troops and equipment are due to be relocated to other regions of the country, their missions coordinated from the Aerospace Operations Command (COMAE, per its Portuguese acronym), which is located in Brasília. Patrolling from the sky FAB maintains a year-round, 24-hour air defense alert service. With Operation Ostium, the intention is to expand its capacity for detecting unidentified air traffic, and increase rapid response for aircraft interception. To meet the objective of stepping up security, especially against unauthorized low-altitude flights, the FAB installed mobile radars in addition to employing E-99 radar aircraft. The first towns to receive the radars were Chapecó, in the state of Santa Catarina, and Corumbá, in Mato Grosso do Sul. The city of Chapecó is located less than 500 kilometers from Paraguay, and approximately 136 kilometers from Argentina. Corumbá is situated in the Tri-Border region between Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. According to information from the FAB Public Affairs Office, E-99 aircraft are already executing flights in various regions, pursuant to mission requirements. The E-99 Brazilian-made radar planes are known for the large antenna attached to their fuselage, which can trace small-size aircraft flying slowly at low altitudes. Additionally, their scanning capability spans more than 350 km around the plane. With that, the “eyes” of the E-99 are able to simultaneously visualize up to 300 targets in the air and on the ground. Military force in the air To increase their response capacity for potential air defense alerts, Operation Ostium relies mainly on the use of A-29 Super Tucano fighters and two helicopters, the H-60 Black Hawk and the AH-2 Sabre. The A-29 Super Tucano is a light attack fighter, developed by Brazil, and used by 13 foreign air forces, including the United States. This fighter reaches a speed of 600 km per hour, and can be equipped with machine guns, bombs, rockets, or missiles. AH-2 Sabre helicopters are also suited for interception missions, as they can fly at low altitudes and high speeds –320 km per hour–for up to three consecutive hours. To carry out operations under Ostium, the AH-2 Sabres are equipped with a 23 mm cannon with highly destructive firepower. These helicopters are even capable of launching rockets and missiles. In the event that an unidentified aircraft lands in an area unsuitable for airplanes, the ideal aircraft is the H-60 Black Hawk. This helicopter easily lands in different locations and transports troops trained in descending to the ground, while taking the necessary measures to deal with an unidentified crew. In Operation Ostium, the FAB is also making use of remotely piloted aircraft, with the intent of identifying clandestine runways and trafficking routes. “One of the main features of these systems is their autonomy and persistence; that is, their capacity to remain above an area for a long time, observing patterns and behaviors,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Sandro Bernardon, commander of the Hórus Squadron. “Our systems have the capacity to hover above a target for 10 to 30 hours.” Approach in stages Brazilian law sets forth a series of procedures that must be met in the event that suspicious aircraft is identified in the nation’s airspace. The sequence of events begins with the activation of pilots on standby at an air base. Once in flight, the pilots must identify the unknown aircraft from a distance and attempt to communicate with its crew. Next, FAB pilots relay the information they have obtained to the operations command. In Operation Ostium, COMAE will decide what the next steps are. They may ask the unidentified aircraft to change course or make a forced landing, in which case, FAB service members will take measures to identify the crew on the ground. If the detected unauthorized aircraft fails to obey air-defense orders, Brazilian Aeronautical Code states that a warning shot can be fired, which is not aimed at the aircraft. If after that, the aircraft remains noncompliant with national defense instructions, it is then considered a hostile aircraft. In that case, the unidentified aircraft is subject to what the law describes as a detention measure. “FAB aircraft armament will be activated. The shot will be aimed at forcing the hostile aircraft to land,” the FAB Public Affairs Office stated. To make the shot, an express authorization from the Air Force commander is required.last_img read more

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Australia records youngest coronavirus victim with death of 30-year-old

first_img“He was showing symptoms prior to his death but also had other illnesses. He tested positive in the post mortem. His partner is now sick with symptoms. She is now being isolated,” state Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk said.Police and medics who attended the man are now in isolation.Life for many Australians is beginning to return to normal with schools returning to face-to-face learning this week and the National Rugby League competition set to resume on Thursday.”Large parts of the country have had no cases for prolonged periods and the majority of our cases now are returned travellers, with only a handful of people still in intensive care,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, told a government enquiry. Australia recorded its youngest victim of COVID-19 after a 30-year-old man with underlying health conditions died in Queensland state, having shown symptoms of the disease for weeks but without getting tested, officials said on Wednesday.The latest case brings to 103 the number of deaths recorded in Australia, from more than 7,100 cases. The island continent been among the most successful nations to contain the coronavirus spread, which officials attribute to early travel restrictions, social distancing measures and widespread testing.Authorities were tracing a possible link between the man and the Ruby Princess cruise ship which docked in Sydney in March and was responsible for Australia’s biggest outbreak of the virus, Queensland state officials said. If Australia had registered the same death rate as the United Kingdom, it would have had some 14,000 deaths, Murphy added.”So I think we have done well, we are in a very cautious phase now of trying to move to a living-with-COVID economy.”Still, several state and territory borders remained closed, raising tensions between officials as the focus shifts to reviving the economy, facing its first recession in three decades.Prime Minister Scott Morrison reiterated the Federal government’s stance that there was no advice for states to keep their borders closed. center_img Topics :last_img read more

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This is the most popular family suburb in Brisbane — and you’ve probably never even heard of it

first_imgThis house at 27 Oak St, Heathwood, is for sale. The suburb has the highest proportion of homes occupied by families within 25km of Brisbane’s CBD. Picture: realestate.com.au.She said families were particularly keen on big homes on big blocks and she recently sold a five-bedroom, two-bathroom property on 761 sqm at 27 Oak Street for $690,000 cash.Ms Child said buyers who purchased land in the suburb’s original estate and built a decade ago would have achieved excellent capital growth in that time.Peter and Mel Morrison built one of the first houses in their estate in Heathwood 10 years ago and have since raised two boys in the property.Mr Morrison said he saw the suburb’s development potential at the time and was also attracted by its affordability.“The price of land these days is ridiculous,” he said.“(Heathwood) was still being developed when we moved in, but there was so much development going on and it was just a good area to get into.” Peter and Melissa Morrison with their kids Tyler and Izaac live in Heathwood, which is the most popular family suburb within 25km of Brisbane’s CBD. Photo: AAP/Steve PohlnerIT’S the most popular family suburb in Brisbane, but there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of it.Squeezed between the state’s capital and all the glitter of the Gold Coast, the little-known suburb of Heathwood is proving a hit for raising kids, with about one in three homes occupied by families.Property research firm CoreLogic has compiled a list of the 10 suburbs within 25km of the CBD that have the highest proportion of family households, based on the 2016 Census.It shows more people are choosing to move further out to raise a family in the city’s middle or outer suburbs, where houses are more affordable and amenities are close by.And it seems to be paying off, with many of these suburbs experiencing above average capital growth.Heathwood, about 18km southwest of the CBD, has a median house price of $579,164 and has seen house prices grow by a steady 18 per cent in the past five years. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE A stone’s throw away is the suburb of Drewvale, which has the second highest proportion of homes occupied by families. Houses in this suburb have increased in value by 27.6 per cent in the past five years — well above the Brisbane average of 19.5 per cent.Brisbane’s newest million dollar suburb, Pallara, neighbours both of these suburbs.With a median house price of $1.63 million, the suburb is now the second most expensive in the Queensland capital after experiencing phenomenal house price growth of 36 per cent in the past 12 months as developers moved to snap up rezoned acreage.All Properties Group agent Tracey Child has been selling homes in the area for years and said Heathwood had seen explosive growth since construction of its first housing estate 11 years ago.Homes in the area typically had four bedrooms and two bathrooms and blocks of land ranged from 400 sqm to 700 sqm.“We do get a lot of families coming in to the area,” Ms Child said. This home at 3 Coolibah Street, Heathwood, is on the market. The suburb has seen strong capital growth.The Morrisons are now reluctantly selling their four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at 3 Coolibah Street to move closer to family, but Mr Morrison said they had benefited from solid capital growth in the past decade. Facilities such as a new primary school — Pallara State School, an express to the city bus route and the proximity to the Logan Motorway made the area attractive for families like his own. “In this estate alone, we have one massive big oval with a park in it,” he said.“It is very family friendly.” Family violence victims black-listed Where the under-30s want to buy Suburb hiding untapped city views New research by Place Advisory is also reflective of the changing attitudes among families, with their Investor Sentiment survey finding the majority of people looking to buy in Brisbane want a home with at least three bedrooms in the city’s middle ring close to public transport and amenities.Place Advisory has surveyed its database of 500 people and asked what families prioritise when it comes to buying a home.It found the key factors that drive a buyer’s purchase are proximity to public transport and retail and entertainment, followed by school zones, parks and walkways and employment opportunities.Place Advisory’s Lachlan Walker said that in the past two years, investors were seeing opportunities to buy in suburbs that were located further from the CBD but close to public transport services and amenities. Top 10 Family Suburbs in Brisbane (within 25km of CBD) 1. Heathwood 2. Drewvale 3. Upper Kedron 4. Augustine Heights 5. WakerleyMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago 6. Pullenvale 7. Cashmere 8. Fig Tree Pocket 9. Parkinson 10. Springfield(Source: CoreLogic)Top 10 Family Suburbs on the Gold Coast 1. Maudsland 2. Pacific Pines 3. Gilston 4. Bonogin 5. Upper Coomera 6. Coomera 7. Ormeau 8. Reedy Creek 9. Pimpama 10. Tallebudgera(Source: CoreLogic)Top 10 Family Suburbs on the Sunshine Coast1. Palmview 2. Tanawha 3. Glenview 4. Mountain Creek 5. Mons 6. Peregian Springs 7. Bokarina 8. Yandina Creek 9. Mooloolah Valley 10. West Woombye (Source: CoreLogic)last_img read more

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Girls in single-parent families at greater risk of obesity

first_imgThe Conservation 16 Dec 2011In Australia, girls in single-parent families are at a higher risk of being overweight or obese than children in dual-parent families. This fits with recent research findings from the United States showing that children in single-parent households are at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese than those from households with two parents.A staggering one-in-four children between the ages of five and 17 are overweight or obese. The sooner we understand the risk factors that make children vulnerable, the more traction we can gain to reduce this number.Our research indicates that children in single-parent households eat fewer servings of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat more servings of food high in fat and sugar, and spend an extra two hours every week watching television, compared with children in dual-parent families.The difference in servings per day is relatively small, about half a serve less of fruit and vegetables, and half a serve more of food high in fat and sugar, but clearly this, combined with increased sedentary behaviour, such as watching television, is having a cumulative effect.http://theconversation.edu.au/girls-in-single-parent-families-at-greater-risk-of-obesity-3183?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+December+15+2011&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+December+15+2011+CID_ce05e599c625b42f55263199a6b26fb2&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Girls+in+single-parent+families+at+greater+risk+of+obesitylast_img read more

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Who do people say I am?

first_img Tweet 332 Views   one comment Share Share FaithLifestyle Who do people say I am? by: – September 15, 2012center_img Share Sharing is caring! Jesus raised this question when it was still unclear what his contemporaries were making of him. From the answers the disciples gave, it’s clear that there was no unanimity among the people about who he was. We, however, couldn’t give those same answers today. It couldn’t possibly occur to us, for example, to confuse Jesus with John the Baptist.The issues for us are different. ‘Who do people say I am’ does not make us think principally about his identity. We are concerned with other things. Many people today, for instance, say regarding Jesus that that they can worship him in private without going to Church. In one sense, the sentiment is perfectly in order. The day is coming, Jesus said in John’s gospel, when believers will worship the Father “not on any hill or mountain,” but will worship Him “in spirit and in truth.” And that, of course, you can do anywhere, including the confines of your own room.And yet, faith has a necessary public dimension. It involves not just private but also public witness, and this has been the case since the beginning of Christianity. In the Acts of the Apostles, the early followers of Jesus, many of whom had actually seen him, or had had, we must assume, some actual encounter with him, used to gather in homes for prayer and the breaking of bread. Later history also shows that Christianity has never entailed purely private witness. Even in periods of great prosecution, when Christians could have easily and understandably taken refuge in privacy, they often chose instead the dangerous course under the threat of death of secretly meeting in different houses for the Eucharist. They deliberately chose this way to give public testimony to their faith, and keep the memory of Jesus alive. It was so under the Communists in Russia and China, and in Ireland in the time of persecution by the British.We have no such choices to make; we face no such fear-inducing circumstances or conditions. Why then do we make such a boast of the claims of privacy? One remark you often hear regarding Church attendance today is that services are boring. Sometimes they are, of course. A deaf and dumb person knows and sees that. But this is something that afflicts not only Church services. For many people today work is boring, marriage is boring, life on the whole is boring.How do we deal with that? There are different kinds of boredom in life, and ways of dealing with them that are also different. If you’re watching a TV program at night, for instance, and you find it boring, you can use your remote to switch to something else. If you find this sermon boring, you have the consolation of knowing that I can’t go on forever; I must stop at some point. If you’re in a cinema and you find the movie boring, you can just get up and leave. But if you find your life as a whole boring, what do you do? Clearly the remedy will not be as easy as flicking a remote or getting up and going somewhere else. You will need a response of greater complexity. What do we do about boring Church services? One important thing we can’t do is leave our liturgies to chance. In other words, we must plan our celebrations; we must sing things that are accessible and appropriate; preach sermons that speak to people’s needs; and – and this I where you come in – we have to cultivate prayer on our own. Good services depend significantly on the prayer life we bring to them. We have to come, in other words, with something in order to find something.This doesn’t take care of everything. These are difficult times for religion. There’s no easy way round that. It’s a time that calls for special discipline. We have to accustom ourselves to praying in season and out of season, when the mood is upon us and when it isn’t. We have to learn not to depend so much on external stimuli and draw on our own internal resources of resilience. I wish I could propose easier ways of dealing with the issue, but I’m afraid – at least my conviction is that there’s really no easier way of doing so.By: Henry Charles PhDlast_img read more

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Giants rout Blaze

first_imgJeff Mason and Mike Kompon scored a brace each as Belfast Giants recorded their eighth victory of the season with a dominant 7-2 win over Coventry Blaze at the SkyDome Arena. The away side flew out of the blocks with goals from Craig Peacock, Mason and Calvin Elfring – all in the first period, and offset only by Steven Goertzen’s equaliser. In the second, Mason doubled his tally to put the hosts 4-1 ahead before Ross Venus pulled another one back for the Blaze. Evan Cheverie and Kompon’s double then made the points safe in the third. Press Associationcenter_img The victory moved second-placed Belfast to within two points of Braehead Clan ahead of Friday night’s fixture against the league leaders, while the Blaze remain in fourth, three points further back. last_img read more

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ICC World Cup Dilip Vengsarkar says India has got ‘fantastic chance’ to lift World Cup

first_img“T20 Mumbai League is soon going to be a league that most of the players from across the nation will want to participate in. For so many years, the (way) Ranji Trophy team has played, if given a choice a number of players would have wanted to be part of Mumbai Ranji Trophy because the brand of cricket was different and everyone wanted to be part of it,” said Tendulkar.Tendulkar also said Mumbai still has enough talent.”I don’t think we are down in the dumps at all. There have been occasions where we have gone to the semis and final (in the Ranji Trophy). I feel with this T20 League’s performance, as Mr (Sunil) Gavaskar put it correctly, a number of careers started.”I think 4-5 players were picked up by IPL teams to represent their teams. I think it’s a beginning when we compare ourselves to someone like Punjab who has 14 players playing for various teams (in the IPL). I am sure we can get there. We have got good talent here in Mumbai cricket. It is all about opportunities and I keep coming back to that,” he said.Gavaskar urged the MCA authorities to schedule the league before the IPL auction.”Shivam Dube got an IPL contract after (playing in T20 Mumbai League), Suryakumar Yadav also got a big contract and I am pretty certain that there will be many more coming from this league, who will be wanted by the IPL franchises for the next season,” said Gavaskar.(With Inputs: PTI) highlights Dilip believes that India has a good chance to win the upcoming World Cup. India will start their World Cup campaign on June 5 against South Africa. India has won two 50-over World Cup.  New Delhi: The former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar believes that the Virat-Kohli led team has a “fantastic chance” to lift the upcoming World Cup, which begins on May 30 in United Kingdom. India begin their campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Southampton.”India has got a fantastic chance to win the World Cup. At-least last four they will go definitely. But the final, I can’t predict to be honest. But we have got extreme potential and all the players are (in) good form,” Vengsarkar told reporters here on Monday.Vengsarkar, who is the mentor of the T20 Mumbai League, was speaking after the organisers Mumbai Cricket Association announced its second season which will begin from May 14. League’s ambassador Sachin Tendulkar and mentor Sunil Gavaskar were also present. Tendulkar too praised the League. For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

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