US President Barack Obama.US President Barack Obama was likely to announce the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday, senior administration officials said.However, the White House insisted that Obama has made no decision so far, but said the decision on it would be made “very soon”.”The president is still in the process of finalising his decision on the pace and scope of the drawdown that will begin in July of 2011,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.”He (Obama) is finalising his decision. He’s reviewing the options and the assessments and will have an announcement to make soon,” he said in response to a question.Diplomats from various countries in the knowhow of information being shared by the Obama Administration, said the withdrawal was likely to be equivalent to the 30,000 surge announced by Obama in December 2009. Currently there are about 100,000 US troops serving in Afghanistan.Obamas top commander for Afghanistan, General David Patraeus, is in Washington this week, giving rise to the speculation that the announcement is imminent. The Pentagon too refused to entertain questions related to the announcement.”He (Obama) has had a number of consultations with his national security team, all members from, obviously, his uniform command, his civilian leadership, rather, all the principals on the national security team. He is continuing those consultations and will have an announcement soon,” Carney said.He said there has been significant progress in disrupting or halting the momentum of the Taliban and in stabilising Afghanistan and the government to allow Afghan national security forces to build up, to train and prepare for taking over the lead.advertisement”We have made significant progress towards achieving those goals. Obviously, the most sensational and significant data point in that progress, of that progress, is the elimination of Osama bin Laden. But, there has been enormous progress in disrupting and dismantling al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region beyond and below Laden,” the official said.”So he looks at this decision as a part of a process, of a policy he put in motion in December of 2009. He said at the time that he would begin the drawdown of the surge forces in July of 2011. That will happen; the pace and scope of that will depend on his assessment of how far we have come in achieving the goals that he set out,” he added.- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too WATCH: Kawhi Leonard leads Raptors in Game 4 with 36 points Teammates realized they could become champions and now the Warriors know it all too well, even if Leonard lacks the flamboyant moves of LeBron James or injured Warriors star Kevin Durant.“You got to give him his credit. He imposed his will on the game and all the other guys followed him,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said. “I’m not sure if it will ever look like those other guys, but he gets the job done.”Curry was impressed at the way Leonard seized command.“He played amazing,” Curry said. “He hit every big shot, momentum shot that in that third quarter, it gave them the lead. And then kept the separation.”Leonard’s low-key attitude has kept the Raptors calm when excitement beckons, such as being a game from the title.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue With the game poised on a knife’s edge, Leonard opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Raptors their first lead and finished with 17 points in the quarter while helping silence Golden State stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.“The key was pretty much playing defense,” Leonard said. “That second half we started to make some shots and just pretty much stayed in the game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsLeonard, who was the 2014 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in leading San Antonio to a title, was 11-of-22 from the floor, 5-of-9 from 3-point range, and 9-of-9 from the free throw line to secure the victory.“He’s playing great and he has lifted us a lot of times with big buckets or runs,” Nurse said. “But more than anything, once we saw him early in the year… our team’s sense of who they thought they could become went up.” Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles03:16Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman hold final press conference ahead of bout02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “His demeanor has taken a big part of our team,” Lowry said. “We have some guys that are fiery and feisty, but we all just stay level headed and never get too up, never get too down. Kawhi definitely brought a lot to that.”‘Two big-boy shots’Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said there was nothing the Warriors could have done to stop Leonard from taking control early in the third quarter with his 3-pointers.“There’s no defense for that. There are no schemes for that,” VanVleet said.“That’s two big-boy shots that he came out of the half with, two back-to-back threes. And that just kind of let you know how we were going to approach the third quarter and the rest of the half. It put us in good position.”When the Warriors did try to stop Leonard, it opened plays for Serge Ibaka, who came off the bench to score 20 points.“We know they would try to take Kawhi away, double him, so I just tried to play in the space.”Ibaka had 12 points in the second half to keep Golden State at bay.“He was great,” Nurse said. “Once he starts blocking a couple shots, the offense comes and the rebounding comes and even his jump shot seems to come.” OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 07: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors drives to the basket against Stephen Curry #30 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in the second half during Game Four of the 2019 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 07, 2019 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFPKawhi Leonard hoisted the Toronto Raptors onto his back in the third quarter of Friday’s NBA Finals game against Golden State and lifted them within one triumph of their first championship.The 27-year-old playmaker with the cool-as-ice demeanor scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to power the Raptors over the defending champion Warriors 105-92 for a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ View comments
zoom Singapore-based Odfjell Asia II Pte Ltd, which was convicted in 2014 of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, has admitted to violating the conditions of its probation, the US Department of Justice said. As a result, the company’s term of probation, which was scheduled to conclude this month, was extended by one year, and the company has agreed to additional probation conditions.Back in May 2014, the US District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford, Connecticut sentenced Odfjell Asia II, a subsidiary of Odfjell SE, to a three-year term of probation and a total criminal penalty of USD 1.2 million for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.A special condition of probation required the company to implement remedial environmental measures as part of an Environmental Management System Plan (EMS/P). As part of the EMS/P, the company was required to implement enhanced procedures for internal reporting of violations.On May 16, 2016, a crewmember reported to Odfjell Asia II that, while he was serving onboard the company’s oil/chemical tanker Bow Santos, there may have been a MARPOL compliance issue involving the disposal of machinery-space bilge water in December 2015. The company reported the possible MARPOL compliance issue to US authorities and conducted an internal investigation.During the internal investigation, the vessel’s chief engineer, Oswaldo Dela Torre Salazar, denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, any MARPOL violations. Upon completion of its internal investigation, the company was unable to determine whether a MARPOL violation occurred.The US and Odfjell Asia II agree that there was a breakdown in the company’s internal reporting system in that it took more than six months before any crewmember of the Bow Santos reported the alleged incident to the company.Odfjell Asia II has also agreed that the breakdown in its internal reporting system constitutes a probation violation because the EMS/P’s internal reporting system had not been fully implemented as required by the special conditions ordered by the court, the Department of Justice said.As a result of this violation, on May 15, 2017, Judge Bryant ordered that the company’s term of probation be extended for one year. During the additional year of probation, the Bow Santos will undergo an environmental audit, and Odfjell Asia II must notify the US.Probation Office, the US Department of Justice and the US Coast Guard if Oswaldo Dela Torre Salazar is serving onboard a company’s vessel bound for a US port.
zoomImage Courtesy: Studio Ponant – Nathalie MICHEL Norwegian shipbuilder Vard has held a steel cutting ceremony marking the start of construction of a polar exploration vessel for French cruise company Ponant.The shipbuilding process for the new unit, to be named Le Commandant Charcot, was launched on November 6 at Vard Tulcea in Romania.Ponant said that the delivery of its new flagship, which will be an electric hybrid vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), is scheduled for 2021.Designed for intense polar explorations, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, Le Commandant Charcot is expected to start visiting the geographic North Pole following delivery.Ponant and Vard signed a contract for the design and construction of the electric hybrid cruise icebreaker in December 2017.The Ponant icebreaker will be approximately 30,000 gross tons, about 150 meters long, 28 meters wide, and will have a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water. The vessel can accommodate 270 passengers in 135 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 180 persons.