Khar Gymkhana, a reputed sports club in Mumbai has revoked the honorary three year membership offered to Hardik Pandya following his sexist comments on Koffee with Karan and subsequent BCCI suspension.”Our 4000 member strong social media handle has received a lot of outcry against Hardik Pandya and his comments. They, particularly the women members wanted the club to take some action and be pro active. So in our managing committee meeting, we decided to revoke the three year membership we had given him last October,” Gaurav Kapadia, Khar Gymkhana Gen Secretary told India Today.Khar Gymkhana has awarded honarary club membership to reputed sportsmen from Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal amongst others in the past.Pandya had earlier lost his endorsement deal with Gillette after the Koffee with Karan controversy.The all rounder currently commands seven sponsorship contracts and was considered the pin up boy of Indian cricket’s youth brigade until the controversy struck.Pandya, along with KL Rahul, had on Monday tendered unconditional apologies to the seven-day show cause notice issued to them by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BBCI).Pandya and Rahul have been asked by BCCI to return from the tour of Australia and with just five months before the 2019 World Cup, their future remains uncertain.Pandya and Rahul had appeared on the celebrity chat show Koffee with Karan where the duo made misogynistic comments and drew the ire of the entire nation.”When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, ‘Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)’. At a party my parents asked me ‘acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)’ and they were like ‘waah proud of you beta’,” Pandya boasted.advertisementThe 25-year-old also said things like, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move,” when Karan Johar asked him why he doesn’t ask women for their names in nightclubs.Rahul then went on to reveal how they both decide on who gets to date a girl when Karan Johar asked them what happens when both of them like a particular person? “Upto the woman,” Rahul replied.But Pandya interrupted and said, “Nahi nahi aisa kuch nahi hai, talent pe hota hai. Jisko mila woh leke jao. It is on talent.”The Committee of Administrators (CoA) Chairman Vinod Rai has now referred the matter to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who will investigate the case further. Johri is supposed to submit his findings in no more than 15 days.The much maligned duo’s fate hangs in the balance as the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (COA) continue to spar over the composition of the inquiry committee. COA member Diana Edulji wants CEO Rahul Johri out of picture, arguing it would be ‘bad optics’ for Bthe CCI due to the sexual harassment case around him.COA Chairman Vinod Rai wants to administer through the CEO as per the new constitution. “The COA is duty bound to follow the new constitution and what you are suggesting is neither in consonance with the constitution nor is it as per the legal advice received.(Edited by Ritayan Basu)Also Read | Hardik, Rahul suspended for Koffee with Karan controversy: What lies ahead for the two?Also Read | Hardik Pandya loses Gillette endorsement deal after Koffee with Karan controversyAlso Read | Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul tender unconditional apology to BCCI’s show cause notice
Stephanie Lacroix:Stephanie Lacroix was passionate about youth education and life skills development in both Canada and southern Africa.Lacroix was working with the United Nations Association in Canada to help engage young Canadians in the UN’s work to grow global citizens as a project officer with the association’s Canada Service Corps, her LinkedIn profile says.She graduated in 2015 with an honours degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa.She was a board member of the African Community Fund for Education Canada and previously volunteered with Free the Children.Her mother Sylvie Lamarche Lacroix of Timmins, Ont., confirmed her death in a Facebook message.In an interview, Jasveen Brar said she met Lacroix at COP24 in Poland.“She was a mentor to me and the two other guys that were selected for the conference. Since the COP, we kept in touch over email, where she offered me lots of advice about my career and life, she really was a star,” Brar said.Darcy Belanger:Parvati.org, a not-for-profit conservation group, says the former Edmonton resident was its founding member and director of strategic initiatives.Belanger’s LinkedIn profile says he was working as a United States director of professional development with PCL Construction in Denver.Parvati says Belanger had taken time off from PCL and was travelling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly.The organization said he was a champion of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary or MAPS because he realized the importance of the Arctic Ocean in balancing global weather patterns. MAPS declares the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle a protected area, the group said in a statement. “Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word,” Parvati said. “He was passionately devoted to the protection of all life through the realization of MAPS.” Micah Messent:Messent was an environmentalist from British Columbia who expressed his joy on social media at being able to attend the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.In an Instagram post, he said he had been selected by the United Nations Association of Canada to attend the assembly and was travelling to Kenya where he would “have the chance to meet with other passionate youth and leaders from around the world and explore how we can tackle the biggest challenges that are facing our generation.”“I’m so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far.”Prof. Laurie Meijer Drees taught Messent at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and said he was committed to being a role model for Indigenous youth and was regarded as a trailblazer among his classmates and the faculty.“He was a bright light among all of those bright lights,” she said. “He was very enthusiastic, a bright young scholar, very committed to the environment and the land.”Drees said Messent was part of a group of about a dozen Indigenous Studies students who wanted to make the world a better place.The First Nations Leadership Council said Messent was a member of the Red River Metis Nation in Manitoba and was raised as the youngest of five siblings in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. It said he had plans to return to school in the future to pursue a law degree. Amina Ibrahim Odowaa and her daughter Sofia Faisal Abdulkadir:The 33-year-old Edmonton woman and her five-year-old daughter were travelling to Kenya to visit relatives.Her brother, Mohamed Hassan Ali of Toronto, said he had planned to travel with them but had to cancel last week.“(She was) a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly — had a lot of friends,” he said.A family friend said Odowaa had lived in Edmonton since 2006. Pius Adesanmi:Adesanmi was a Nigerian-born professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa.He was a “towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship,” said the school’s president, Benoit-Antoine Bacon.Adesanmi was the winner of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010.Mitchell Dick, a Carleton student in communications, said Adesanmi was “extremely nice and approachable,” and stood out for his passion for African literature. Jessica HybaHyba’s Facebook page says she was born in Ottawa and pursued a career in international aid work.She worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as an public relations officer, based in Mogadishu, Somalia.Prior to that, the UNHCR said Hyba worked for CARE Canada.That agency issued a statement saying she had worked in Indonesia as part of the emergency response to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.“We remember her fondly as a dedicated humanitarian and loving mother,” CARE Canada said on their website. Peter deMarshDescribed by a longtime family friend in New Brunswick as a dedicated community activist, deMarsh also travelled the world as chairman of the International Family Forestry Alliance.The international group, based in Luxembourg, represents more than 25 million forest owners worldwide.Genevieve MacRae recalled how deMarsh and his wife Jean Burgess helped establish the Taymouth Community Association in central New Brunswick more than a decade ago.“Peter and his wife Jean made a pretty powerful team,” said MacRae, a friend of deMarsh’s since her childhood. “They were always looking for how to improve the lives of the people around them.”MacRae said deMarsh was a pillar of the Taymouth community.“He was warm, funny, passionate — you always felt listened-to with Peter,” MacRae said. “He was an intense person, except that doesn’t signify the warmth that was behind it all … It’s a monumental loss for our community.” Felix Montecuccoli, a board member with the International Family Forestry Alliance, said in an email that police shared the news of deMarsh’s death with his family late Sunday.DeMarsh was en route to Nairobi, where he and Montecuccoli had planned to attend a workshop on financing for small farms.The CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Derek Nighbor, issued a statement describing deMarsh as a life-long advocate for the Canadian forest sector.“The forestry community lost an incredible man this weekend,” Nighbor said.“Peter dedicated so much of his life to our sector and was travelling to Africa to do what he loved to do — talking about the environmental benefits of forestry … He was a true champion of forestry on the global stage.” Ashka Dixit, Anushka Dixit, Prerit Dixit, Kosha Vaidya, Pannagesh Vaidya and Hansini Vaidya:The family of six from Brampton, Ont., was planning to visit Kosha’s birthplace in Kenya, said her brother, Manant Vaidya.He said his 37-year-old sister hadn’t visited Kenya for decades. Her daughters, 14-year-old Ashka and 13-year-old Anushka, were looking forward to going on a safari, he said.The other family members on the trip were 45-year-old father Prerit Dixit, 71-year-old grandfather Pannagesh Vaidya and 63-year-old grandmother Hansini Vaidya.Manant said his parents were from Gujarat, India, but they lived in Kenya for three or four years. The family later returned to India. Kosha moved to Ontario in 2004 after marrying her husband, who already lived in Canada.The girls were strong students and enrolled in specialized science and technology courses, Manant said. Ashka was also known for her singing voice, while Anushka was talented in dance and was learning a traditional Indian form called khattak.Prerit worked as a medical lab assistant for LifeLabs and also held a job at Ontario’s Ministry of Health. Kosha used to work for the Canadian Hearing Society, said Manant.It was not immediately clear if Pannagesh Vaidya and Hansini Vaidya were Canadian citizens. The Canadian Press Angela Rehhorn:Angela Rehhorn, 24, was an enthusiastic conservation volunteer from Orillia, Ont., who was developing a citizen science project on bat conservation.The Canadian Wildlife Federation says she had recently participated in its Canadian Conservation Corps, a volunteer program for Canadians ages 18 to 30.She was on her way to participate in the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi as part of the UN Association of Canada’s Canada Service Corps Program, it said.Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, said in an interview that Rehhorn was a well-liked “outdoors girl” who was also a great leader.“She was full of excitement and the optimism of youth and wanting to change the world and work on changing the world. And that’s what she was doing,” Bates said.Rehhorn recently completed a bachelor of science at Dalhousie University and was “thrilled” to take part in the conservation corps, the federation said.Her experience took her to Alberta where she went backpacking in Kananaskis this fall, then to Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island for her field training. At the time of her death, Rehhorn had just finished volunteering her time to do species surveys and was especially interested in expanding her experience working in the marine environment, the federation said. Derick Lwugi:An accountant with the City of Calgary, Lwugi was on his way to Kenya to visit both his and his wife’s parents.“His mom was not feeling well,” Lwugi’s wife, Gladys Kivia, said in a brief interview from Calgary.The couple have three children, aged 17, 19 and 20, all of whom live at home.The family has lived in Calgary for 12 years. Details are emerging on the 18 Canadian victims of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in Addis Ababa that left 157 people dead. Here is what we know so far: Danielle Moore:A 24-year-old marine biology student from Winnipeg, Moore graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax in 2017.She posted on Facebook on Saturday morning that she would be travelling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly.“Over the next week, I’ll have the opportunity to discuss global environmental issues, share stories, and connect with other youth and leaders from all over the world,” she wrote.“I feel beyond privileged to be receiving this opportunity.”Prof. Kim Davies, her honours thesis adviser at Dalhousie, said Moore was an exceptional student.“She excelled at her studies, she was a kind and friendly person, and she was deeply devoted to environmental and human rights causes,” Davies said in an email.Davies said after graduating from Dalhousie, Moore returned to Manitoba where she worked for several non-governmental organizations, including the Canada Learning Code, a group dedicated to improving the accessibility of educational and technological resources for Canadians.The professor confirmed Moore’s work was recognized by the United Nations, which is why she was invited to be a delegate to the environmental assembly. Rubi Pauls:Nine-month-old Rubi was travelling to Kenya with her family to meet her grandfather for the first time.Her 34-year-old mother, seven year-old brother, four-year-old sister and 60-year-old grandmother were on the flight with her. Rubi was the only Canadian citizen in the family.Her grandfather, Quindos Karanja, said the family was on its way back to Kenya from Ontario to visit him for Easter. He said his daughter, Carolyne Karanja, had been excited to go back home but had said she had a “bad feeling” before the trip. He said he’s finding it hard to accept what has happened.
WHISTLER, B.C. — An annual migration involving tens of thousands of creatures is underway in Whistler, B.C., but observers could miss it if they don’t look down.Up to 40,000 tiny western toadlets are climbing out of Whistler’s Lost Lake where they hatched as tadpoles and are moving into the surrounding forest.The dime-sized toads, which are native to British Columbia and listed as a species of special concern, grow to full size in wooded areas before returning to the lake to breed.The Resort Municipality of Whistler says western toads are an important part of the Lost Lake environment because the tadpoles feed on residue in the lake, keeping the water clean.But the little amphibians are particularly vulnerable during the toadlet stage as they cross beaches, trails, lawns and busy roads in their journey.The Whistler website says the road to Lost Lake, as well as the beach and lawn are still open, but closures are possible at the height of the migration when as many as 1,800 tiny toads can hop over roads and paths every hour.A statement on the website says environmental technicians and volunteers monitor the migration, while temporary fences, signs and boardwalks have been installed to protect the toadlets from getting crushed.The migration will continue for the next three or four weeks. People are encouraged to observe but are urged to leave pets at home.“Dogs are not allowed on the beach area, as they may trample tadpoles and can become sick from ingesting or licking amphibians,” the statement says. Whistler’s migration has been monitored since 2005 because western toads are very sensitive to environmental changes and the municipality says the amphibians offer an insight into the health of the area’s entire ecosystem.The Canadian Press
While veteran stars including Nolan Arenado, Chris Sale and Mike Trout all signed massive extensions this spring, players with little major league experience made up the majority of the deals. Fourteen of the players — including reigning NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna, who signed a $100 million extension last week, and fellow Brave Ozzie Albies, who signed a much-discussed extension Thursday — were so early in their careers that they were not yet eligible for salary arbitration, which generally requires a player to accrue three years of major league experience before becoming eligible to negotiate for significant raises. Eight others were at least a year shy of six years of service time, the amount required to become a free agent. In 2019 to date, players signing extensions have forfeited 51 combined arbitration-eligible seasons and 69 future free-agent years. The deals also include club options covering 25 seasons.Buying out the arbitration and free agency years of younger stars for the purpose of controlling and reducing payroll costs was a practice pioneered in the early 1990s by John Hart, then general manager of the Cleveland Indians, who watched great Pittsburgh Pirates teams broken up prematurely because of escalating player costs. While extensions had since become common practice, the activity had slowed in recent seasons as young stars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado seemed intent on hitting the open market as soon as possible.So what’s behind the extension surge this spring? Why are MLB teams intent on avoiding arbitration and locking up young stars? It may be because arbitration wasn’t working to begin with — at least from the perspective of the teams.Under arbitration, a player and a team each puts forth a salary amount to a panel of arbitrators, who then must decide on one of the two figures. In the past two offseasons, players have totaled more wins than losses in arbitration cases against the owners — the first time that’s happened in back-to-back years since 1989-90. Through 2015, owners had won 58 percent of all arbitration cases, according to Forbes.This winter, Gerrit Cole ($13.5 million) and Trevor Bauer ($13 million) were among the six players to win their cases against their clubs. Arenado and the Rockies avoided a hearing, which is common practice, by signing a one-year, $26 million deal — a record for a player eligible for arbitration.“We’re going to be seeing $20 [million] and $30 million salaries regularly in arbitration,” one agent told us. “They [MLB teams] are going to try and push back on that. How do you do it? You pull those guys out of the system.“Every time the teams see a seam in the defense, they exploit the shit out of it and they are really good at it,” the agent said. “They are capitalizing on good players they have been watching through the draft, through the minor leagues, and who are represented largely by unqualified or under-qualified agents. The teams have scouting reports on agents the very same way they have on opposing hitters and pitchers. They have heat maps. They know our tendencies, they know who will go to arbitration, who won’t, whose business is failing and they need to vest their fees.”The agent noted that teams look at arbitration as an important battleground and have scores of analysts that compile data for these cases. By taking players out of the arbitration system, the teams not only cap earning potential for those players, but they also reduce salary comps for other players. Agent Scott Boras described the MLB’s aggressive approach with young players and extensions this spring as “snuff contracts” — or an attempt to snuff out future markets.Greg Dreyfuss, an associate general counsel for the union and the MLBPA’s director of analytics and baseball operations, also sees a link between the wave of extensions and players’ recent arbitration wins. The union and players have closed the data gap between clubs in making their cases. Dreyfuss says agents and players are educated on the market. While MLB payrolls remain stagnant, the records for largest arbitration salaries have been set in the past two years. The average salary of an arbitration-eligible player in 2011 was $2.73 million; that increased to $3.97 million this year, a 45 percent jump, according to analysis of MLBTradeRumors.com data.The total dollars and players in the arbitration system has jumped from $393.6 million and 144 players in 2011 to $789.6 million spread among 199 players this last offseason, growth in part due to the game trending younger — meaning that there will be more 20-somethings entering arbitration.“Nine of the 10 largest one-year contracts in the history of salary arbitration have come in the past two years, and overall, arbitration salaries have kept pace with the rise in industry revenue over a 10-year period,” Dreyfuss told FiveThirtyEight. “Recently a lot of really good players in that process have stood up and said, ‘No, I’m not just going to take what you give me,’ and they’ve fought for what they consider a fair salary. So, I do think there’s some correlation between players succeeding in arbitration and clubs wanting to take players out of that process.”While spending efficiently is always a goal for teams, how these clubs have handled free agency in recent winters may be a motivating factor in some players’ decision-making. Even Trout, the game’s best player, expressed reservations about entering the open market when he signed a record extension (which is also a bargain for the Angels) this spring.“I kind of saw what Bryce and Manny went through and it drew a red flag for me,” Trout said. “I talked to Manny and Bryce. It was a tough couple months in the offseason. They put it perspective in my mind.”Not all extensions are club-friendly. Drefyuss notes that there have also been a number of veteran players who have agreed to extensions that will pay them lucratively into their mid-30s.“Players agree to extensions for a variety of valid reasons, and there are any number of factors involved in their decisions,” he saidOne key decision a player must make when considering an extension is how much financial upside to concede for the sake of job and financial security. In dealing with future risk, teams face less downside than individual players do. While a team can absorb a poor contract, a player is one injury or decline in performance away from having his career trajectory significantly altered.Acuna and Albies look like future superstars, yet they signed deals that could potentially cost them nine figures in future earnings. White Sox top prospect Eloy Jimenez signed a six-year deal with two club options before he ever took a major league at-bat, limiting his financial upside. Those are the types of club-friendly deals that some on the players’ side have criticized. There is also an argument that individual players ought to consider not just themselves but their peers and future major leaguers when considering a long-term deal — and that they should wait until they are at least arbitration-eligible.“If guys aren’t going through the system, if all the young [stars] are signing before they get there, then we are not going to have those posts to hold on to,” the agent said of salary comps. “I don’t think this is teams trying to screw with the free agent market. They are trying to take the best young players out of the arbitration system.”Toronto outfielder Randal Grichuk, 27, said the Blue Jays began negotiating with him last month during spring training in the midst of the extension spree. He eventually signed a five-year, $52 million extension.“The way I looked at it was taking guaranteed money, setting my family up for life, it’s hard to turn down,” Grichuk said. “If I leave a few dollars on the table now, I’m going to just be finishing my 31 season [after his deal expires] going into free agency. If I produce well, I’m going to be young enough to make some more. And if I’m not able to, whether due to injuries, failures, anything happens, I’m still set for life.”Grichuk was into his arbitration years when he signed his extension, but he didn’t take issue with young stars like Acuna opting for financial security earlier along in the process.“He could have probably waited and got more, but it’s tough to talk negatively about a guy who just got $100 million and is set for life,” Grichuk said. “What’s the difference between $100 [million] and $200 [million]? His kids’ kids’ kids won’t have to work? … I think it’s one of those things where his life changes completely.”Neil Paine contributed researchCheck out our latest MLB predictions. On Feb. 13, 25-year-old ace Aaron Nola agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Phillies. A day later, 26-year-old Max Kepler and 25-year-old Jorge Polanco agreed to five-year extensions with the Twins. The following day, Yankees ace Luis Severino, who turned 25 a few days later, signed a pact with the Yankees. The deals marked the beginning of a historic spree of extensions.From mid-February through Thursday, 27 players had agreed to extensions worth a total of 132 years and $2.045 billion, according to data from the MLBTradeRumors.com extension database analyzed by FiveThirtyEight. There has never been a flurry of activity like this: March represented the most dollars ($1.126 billion) and years (58) awarded in contract extensions in a one-month period that we’ve seen.