Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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GLASGOW – Olympic champions David Rudisha and Sally Pearson take centre stage at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday where seven medals are up for grabs on the fifth day of track and field.

Kenya’s Rudisha, who set a blistering world record when winning Olympic gold in London in 2012, will go in the 800m against arch-rival Nijel Amos of Botswana.

“I’m happy to have qualified through the heat and the semi-finals. I am looking forward to the final. The final is my main competition and I am looking forward to it,” said Rudisha.

In the absence of Usain Bolt, Jamaica’s world silver and Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir and teammates Jason Livermore and Rasheed Dwyer will be hoping to emulate Kemar Bailey-Cole’s victory in the men’s 100m.

The men’s 400m hurdles also features a strong line-up for the final, with Jehue Gordon gunning for Trinidad and Tobago’s first track gold, but with South African Cornel Fredericks looking strong.

There are also finals in the men’s discus, while the women also have the 400m hurdles and discus.

Australia’s Olympic champion Pearson will be hoping to put the controversy over suspended head coach Eric Hollingsworth behind her when she takes to the track for heats in the 100m hurdles.

Hollingsworth was suspended Wednesday after disparaging comments about the star hurdler missing a pre-Games training camp.

The focus for cycling turns to the road with the individual time trial.

As the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, Scotland’s David Millar will be looking to defend that title over the 40km circuit around Glasgow and surrounding areas.

This marks his final season as a professional cyclist and he will be determined to finish his career in style.

His chances have been boosted by the absence of Bradley Wiggins’ name on the start sheet after the former Tour de France winner opted to focus on the track, where he won silver in the Team pursuit for England.

– Millar is time trial favourite –

Millar will face tough opposition from Alex Dowsett of England, who took silver in Dehli four years ago, and Welsh rider Geraint Thomas who arrives in Scotland on the back of claiming his highest ever finish of 22nd in the Tour de France.

Australian trio of Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn will also be among the favourites for the title.

New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen, who has been consistently winning medals on the road for the past five years, is the favourite to claim the women’s title.

Hoping to overhaul her are England’s Emma Pooley, who was recently crowned the British national champion for a third time, Scotland’s Katie Archibald, who claimed a bronze on the track in the women’s points race, and Welsh rider Elinor Barker.

In all 25 golds are up for grabs on Thursday.

Five will be in gymnastics with finals in men’s floor, women’s vault, men’s pommel horse, women’s uneven bars and men’s rings.

Four are to be decided in wrestling and two in diving.

Weightlifting concludes with the men’s +105kg where Australia’s Damon Kelly defends his title against the favoured challenge of Nauru’s Itte Detenamo who finished above the Australian at the 2012 Olympics.

India and South Africa will battle it out for a place in the semi-finals of the men’s hockey tournament.

A draw will be enough for 2010 silver medallists India as they have the better goal difference with both sides having lost to gold medal favourites Australia and beaten Scotland and Wales in their opening three matches.

Australia will look to round off a 100 percent record in Group A with a victory over already eliminated hosts Scotland in the other game in the group.

England will secure their place in the last four as long as they avoid a heavy defeat against Canada, whilst New Zealand can make sure they finish top of Group B and avoid a semi-final meeting with Australia with victory over Malaysia.

PTT palm oil deal under agency’s probe

Posted by pakin On July - 31 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Company seeks NACC help to ensure transparency

The probe on PTT Plc’s investment in a palm oil plantation in Indonesia remains under investigation by Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) at the request of PTT. The company seeks to find out if the investment decision was made by executives for their personal benefit.

Yesterday Panpree Pahitanukorn, the former chairman of PTT Group, told media an internal investigation last year probed the investment in a palm oil deal in Indonesia and might have found evidence of wrongdoing at the executive level. He said the committee reported the outcome and sought the approval of the board earlier this year for measures to punish the wrongdoers.

However, Mr Panpree, who left his position this May, said the board was cautious about punishment. PTT wants the NACC to investigate to ensure transparency.

An NACC official said yesterday the case is still under investigation. PTT chief executive Pailin Chuchottaworn declined to comment.

The transaction took place in 2008 as PTT’s subsidiary PTT Green Energy (PTTGE) paid US$14.725 million for a 95% stake of Indonesian palm oil company PT Mitra Aneka Rezeki.

The probe was started in 2012 by the chief executive, said Mr Panpree, but he declined to name the people under investigation.

Industry analysts criticised the deal as overpriced, but Nipit Isarankura, acting president of PTTGE, backed the deal, insisting the evaluation price of the assets was close to the purchase amount.

At the same time as the acquisition, PTT had decided to sell its palm oil business in Indonesia, worth an estimated $300-400 million, saying it was a non-core business, though no deal had been made.

A former senior PTT executive who requested anonymity agreed with the NACC probe because it would make the case more transparent and acceptable to the public, but he urged the public to be fair to PTT’s executives as all investments carry risk so the investigation should focus on the intent of the decision-making rather than pointing a finger at someone for making a decision.

“Anyone can make a mistake no matter how good your research. Good executives just make right decisions more often than wrong ones,” the source said. “If you blame someone for taking a chance and failing, don’t expect to see any more investment.”

He added the investment made sense, as PTT succeeded in investing palm oil in Malaysia and land prices in Indonesia are now rising.

State-controlled PTT is one of several Thai companies that expanded aggressively in recent years, but has scaled back investments. Recently, the new chairman Piyasvasti Amranand said PTT will need a business revamp after a disappointing return on investments.

PT Mitra Aneka Rezeki has licences to operate 14,000 hectares of palm oil plantations in West Kalimantan. In April 2008, PTT also bought a 95% stake in PT Az Zhara, which owns licences to operate 40,500 hectares of palm oil plantations on Borneo.

Prayuth set to finalise NLA list

Posted by pakin On July - 31 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha will finalise a list of about 200 National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members by the end of the week before submitting it for royal endorsement, an army source said.

Gen Prayuth, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief, was going through the list of candidates to select about 200 NLA members.

The assembly can have up to 220 members but the NCPO chief is naming only about 200 at this time, with the rest to be named later should they be needed.

The source said Gen Prayuth was taking the list of prospective NLA members to study at home, despite having worked on it at his office over recent days.

He will allot a portion of the NLA seats to officers from the army, navy and air force at a ratio of 2:1:1.

The rationale for the ratio is based on the fact the army was the largest armed service and was the key element leading the May 22 coup, the source said.

The army will get about 40 NLA seats which will go to its generals, lieutenant generals, regional army chiefs, and division chiefs, the source said.

The navy and air force would get 20 NLA seats each while the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence and the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters would each be handed 10 seats in the NLA, the source said.

Both current military officials and retired ones are eligible to become the NLA members, the source said.

It was expected Gen Prayuth would nominate 110 NLA members who are from the armed forces while the entire number in the NLA would be between 200 and 220, the source said.

Air force commander and NCPO deputy chief ACM Prajin Jantong confirmed yesterday the air force did receive a quota of 20 NLA seats and he had submitted names to Gen Prayuth for consideration.

“Gen Prayuth doesn’t want the NLA list to become tainted by criticism of alleged lobbying for NLA seats. He has to verify the list himself and look over the qualifications of every potential NLA member submitted by each military force,” the source said.

ACM Prajin also said that only 10 out of all the names he has proposed won Gen Prayuth’s approval. “So, I now have to propose new candidates,” ACM Prajin said.

Candidates who hold a master’s degree or a PhD in political science or law would have a better chance of winning selection to become an NLA member, another source said.

The source said Gen Prayuth said candidates who are retired military officials must be generals who had been in high-level positions in the armed forces.

Former leaders of the armed forces are considered being qualified for selection if the current armed forces chiefs nominate them, the source said.

Kasikornbank chief executive Banthoon Lamsam, meanwhile, dismissed rumours he was a key candidate to become finance minister in the new government to be installed by the NCPO.

“I’ve not been approached by the NCPO as rumoured. Anyway, I’ve told the NCPO that as the Kasikornbank chief executive, I have to focus on managing the bank … I have enough work already,” Mr Banthoon said.

Royal endorsement of the list is expected next week.

Katie Price has come down with a mystery illness weeks before she’s due to give birth, it has been revealed.

A number of weeks back, Price bagged herself a presenting spot on Fubar Radio on Tuesday afternoon’s, but yesterday, she was too ill to turn up to work.

Katie is due to give birth to her fifth child some time next month, but she was so ill yesterday that she couldn’t turn up to the station to present the radio show.

Co-host, Mark Dolan had to step in and present the show on his own yesterday, in which he insisted that Katie had not gone into labour.

“Unfortunately @MissKatiePrice is feeling unwell today and is unable to attend this week’s show. Get better soon from @Fubar,” the station tweeted prior to Katie’s show airing.

On the show, Mark later said that Katie is okay, and he couldn’t stress enough that she had not gone into labour, and her waters were still in tact.

“She was feeling queasy yesterday, which is understandable – she is eight-and-a-half months pregnant,” he added.

Later in the day, Katie’s spokeswoman confirmed that Katie had been feeling ill, but it was “nothing serious” – so nothing to worry about here then!

Katie is due to give birth to her fifth child – the second of which with love rat Kieran Hayler – at a private hospital next month.

I mean, I’m not surprised Katie is a bit run down at the moment, especially with everything she’s been through over the past couple of months. All the stress couldn’t have been good for her whilst pregnant.

It was one thing to find out that her perfect marriage was tainted after it was revealed Kieran had cheated on her, but then it was a whole other thing when it came out that he’d slept with TWO of her best mates. And, he only admitted that because he was up against a lie detector.