Isiah Thomas’ efforts as an NBA head coach and general manager were nowhere near as outstanding as his Hall of Fame career as a point guard for the Detroit Lions. He was not that good as a college basketball coach, either — or owner of the CBA.Maybe Thomas’ ideal role is in as an analyst. He will join NBA TV in the studio starting Friday during the network’s AutoTrader.com Pre-Game Show at 7 p.m.Thomas, who served years ago as an in-game analyst for NBC, will make several appearances each month on the network and will also be a regular contributor to NBA.com.It will be interesting to see if he is on set with Magic Johnson, who works for TNT but on occasion will be an NBA TV guest. Johnson and Thomas were best friends, so much so that they actually kissed before NBA Finals games in the late 1980s when the Pistons faced Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers.However, the thick-as-thieves-relationship fell off in subsequent years for many rumored but unconfirmed reasons.Thomas is a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.He became the target of much fury in 1987 when he repeated teammate Dennis Rodman’s comment that Larry Bird, the NBA’s MVP at the time, ”would be just another good guy” if he were not white. The backlash was so sever that Thomas flew to Los Angeles and appeared alongside Bird during a press conference.He explained then: ‘My mistake was in joking in a manner and with someone who did not fully understand that I was joking,” Thomas said. ”I’m really hurting about this.”At the same time, Thomas can be thoughtful, insightful and pensive. If he unleashes all his knowledge, he can become a strong addition to the network.He had a decent run as coach of the Indiana Pacers and a rally bad stint as coach and general manager of the New York Knicks. His latest basketball job was at tiny Florida International, where he did not make a significant mark.Recently, Thomas, who won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in ’87, spoke out at a rally in his hometown of Chicago to end the extreme violence that has marred the city.Thomas played 13 seasons in the NBA, all as a member of the Pistons. He led the franchise to back-to-back world championships in 1989-90 and earned NBA Finals MVP in 1990.Thomas is chairman and CEO of Isiah International, a holding company with interests in a diversified portfolio of companies with strong market positions and growth potential.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Critical infrastructure at Tyndall AFB is starting to come back on line, according to an update Col. Brian Laidlaw, commander of the 325th Fighter Wing, provided Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright over the weekend. The base now has power and workers are testing “various circuits,” Laidlaw said. The wastewater treatment plant is fully operational. Of the 300 buildings that employees have inspected — out of 704 total — at least 37 percent are fixable. Laidlaw said 1,200 people have been brought in from across the Air Force to recover base infrastructure. “Their job is to save what they can and, from there, build the base that is needed,” reported 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs. “If you would have asked me two weeks ago how many of our buildings we thought would be operational, I would not have told you 37 percent,” Laidlaw said. … Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, last week said the committee is prepared to provide whatever assistance is required to support areas devastated by Hurricane Michael. “[Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.)] has kept me updated on the situation on the ground, especially at Tyndall Air Force Base,” Granger said in a written statement. “I will be visiting Tyndall soon to see firsthand what is needed for the base and the community to fully recover,” she said. … It could cost $2.5 billion to rebuild Tyndall but the investment is justified, partially because of the installation’s proximity to the Gulf Test Range, which accommodates high-altitude supersonic air combat training, said David Deptula, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who now is dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “It makes sense to rebuild it,” Deptula told Defense News. “Other than its proximity to testing ranges, it makes sense for mission, economic and political purposes.” He dismissed the notion that the 325th Fighter Wing’s F-22 Raptors could be moved elsewhere. In July, the Government Accountability Office recommended DOD consider consolidating its F-22 fleet into larger squadrons or wings as a way to increase aircraft availability. Such a move would provide a larger pool of aircraft and spare parts to draw from in a contingency, GAO said.Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sean Carnes
A Vistara flight at Bengaluru airport (representational image).Wikimedia CommonsWith an eye on international operations, Vistara purchased 19 jets from Airbus and Boeing worth $1.3 billion on Wednesday.The airlines, a joint-venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has ordered 13 Airbus SE A320neos and six Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets to its growing fleet. It also announced plans to purchase rights over five more 787-9s, options over seven more A320neos and would procure another 37 A320neos from leasing companies.The deal will see the flights added to the fleet over a period of four years – from 2019 to 2023. Once the purchases are completed, Vistara will have a fleet of 50 jets.Vistara’s current fleet comprises 21 aircraft – 13 Airbus A320ceo and eight A320 neo. It uses them to serve 22 destinations in India with over 800 flights a week.The Airbus neos will be inducted by 2023 mainly for domestic routes, while the Boeing Dreamliners will arrive by 2021 and be part of medium and long-haul international flights, which the company plans to begin by the end of the year.”India’s position as the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation market and its impressive growth in air passenger traffic that has more than doubled over the last decade, makes us confident of our aggressive plans for domestic expansion and international foray. These orders are a landmark step in Vistara’s journey and demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to contributing to the rise of the Indian aviation industry and to offering more choices to our customers,” says Vistara CEO Leslie Thng.The latest deal cements Boeing’s position as the main source for wide-body aircraft in India, but European firm Airbus is still the leader in terms of sheer volume.In April, Vistara had added the 20th aircraft to its fleet, allowing it to begin international operations as per the government’s 0/20 rule. [With inputs from Reuters]
.The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act’s controversial Section 57, which is set to be revoked, will return in new forms in the proposed ‘Digital Security Act 2017’.In the face of widespread criticism from different quarters, the government has decided to abolish the Section 57, along with Sections 54, 55, 56 and 66 of the much talked about ICT law.But, the draft ‘Digital Security Act 2017’ has incorporated some provisions which are in the controversial ICT act’s Section 57.The final draft of the Digital Security Act 2017 received the nod at an inter-ministerial meeting at Bangladesh Secretariat on Wednesday. Officials engaged in drafting the law, said the draft will now be sent to the cabinet for approval and then to parliament to pass it as a law.Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu on Wednesday said the Digital Security Act could be passed in the next winter session of parliament.According to the proposed Digital Security Act, once the draft act will come into effect, the sections 54, 55, 56, and 57 of the ICT act will stand abolished.According to the ICT Section 57, “If any person deliberately publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted on the website or in electronic form any material which is fake and obscene or its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, or causes to deteriorate or creates possibility to deteriorate law and order, prejudice the image of the state or person or causes to hurt or may hurt religious belief or instigates against any person or organisation, then this activity of his will be regarded as an offence.”For such an offence, according to the Section 57, the person can be jailed not more than 14 years or not less than 7 years and fined maximum Tk 10 million.The definition of the offences under the section 57, the non-bailable provision and punishment drew huge criticism and had made the act controversial.Following widespread misuse of Section 57, the police headquarters directed the police stations to seek permission from the higher authorities before booking any person in a case under the section.Also, the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) asked its activists to consult the party before suing any journalist under the section.Legal experts who’ve already gone through the draft of the Digital Security Act said the offences defined under ICT’s Section 57 have been incorporated in various sections with varied range of punishment in the new Act.Layer Jyotirmoy Barua told Prothom Alo that Section 57 is against human rights.“The government said that the Section 57 will be scrapped. If the provisions are kept in different forms in different sections of the new act, how can you say that the Section 57 is abolished?” said Jyotirmoy.According to the Section 27 of the draft act, if anyone or a group consciously publishes or transmits or helps do anything on website or in any other electronic form to hurt religious sentiment, the act will be considered a crime. The offenders will have to languish in jail for maximum five years or fined maximum Tk 1 million or both.If the person commits the crime for the second time or third, s/he will be jailed for 7 years and fined maximum Tk 2 million or both. The offence is non-bailable here as well.Asked about the matter, Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik told Prothom Alo that the law which calls ‘attack on sentiment’ a crime must be misused.“What hurts whom totally depends on a certain individual and that is prone to the misuse.”“If you really want to keep such provisions, there should be a provision that it must be reported to the magistrate first, instead of police. Once the magistrate is convinced, then he can refer it to the police,” he noted.While talking to newsmen, the law minister, Anisul Huq, however, claimed that Section 57 will not be retained in the digital security act.Those ‘checks and balances’ which are required to defend the freedom of speech will be preserved in the Digital Security Act as well as in the proposed Broadcast Act.Section 28 of the draft digital act says that if a person commits any crime on any website or in any other electronic platform under section 499 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC-1860), the person will face maximum two years of imprisonment or will be fined Tk 300,000 or both.If the person commits the crime for the second time or more, s/he will be imprisoned for maximum five years or fined Tk 1 million or both.Section 499 of the Penal Code reads, “Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or published any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation or such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.”Whereas Section 30 of the digital security act says that if any person or group deliberately publishes or transmits on a website or in any other electronic platform any material which creates enmity and hatred among different sections or communities or hurts communal harmony, or creates instability or anarchy or the possibility of deterioration in law and order, the activity will be regarded as a crime.If the section is violated, the person will be jailed for maximum five years or fined Tk 500,000 or both.If the person commits the crime for the second time or more, s/he will be imprisoned for maximum seven years or fined Tk 1 million or both.Another section of the draft act reads that if anyone promotes any propaganda and transmits that or helps do that against Bangladesh’s freedom fight or sentiment of the Liberation War or Father of the Nation, the person will be sentenced to life term in jail or fined a maximum 10 million or both.Another section of the draft act says if any person sends or preserves any secret information by intruding into any government, semi-government, autonomous or constitutional body through computers, digital devices or digital networks or any electronic means, the activity will be regarded as a computer or digital espionage crime.For such a crime the person will be sent for maximum 14 years to jail or fined Tk 2.5 million or both.If anyone commits the offence for the second time or more, the punishment will be life imprisonment or a fine of maximum Tk 1 crore or both.Besides, if any person violates the law even staying abroad, the offence will be taken into cognisance as an offence committed at home.Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said different terms of punishment have been proposed for different types of crimes in the draft Digital Security act.A debate continues over the Section 57 for a long time as a number of people have already been harassed under the section.Quoting statistics of the police headquarters, a Prothom Alo report on 2 August said as much as 42 cases were filed under the ICT act in January and the number of cases rose to 79 in June. A total of 391 cases were filed against 785 persons between January and June this year. Police have already arrested 313 of them. Most of the persons were sued under the Section 57.Dhaka University professor Asif Nazrul Islam was sued under Section 57 with a Madaripur police station by shipping minister Shahjahan Khan’s nephew. The professor, however, secured bail recently. Dwelling on the digital security act, Asif Nazrul said as the definition of the offences mentioned in the act is not clear, the ruling party’s leaders and activists can easily file case against any person whenever they wish. The ICT act was enacted in 2006 and amended later in 2013, making it stricter.The government started drafting the Digital Security Act in 2015. At first, it was named as Cyber Security Act-2015 and it was renamed as Digital Security Act-2016.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islam
A driver of a human hauler was killed in a road accident at Polpukur on Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway in Puthia upazila of Rajshahi district on Friday.The deceased is Masud Rana, 40, son of a certain Shajahan Sarkar of Keshabpur village in Bagha upazila of the district, reports UNB.Poba highway police outpost in-charge sub-inspector Habibur Rahman said the accident took place when the human hauler plunged into a nearby ditch as the driver lost control over the wheel, leaving him critically injured.On information a team of the fire service and civil defence from Puthia rescued Masud and sent him to Puthia upazila health complex where physician declared him dead on arrival, he said.
With the ban on plastic in the national Capital, the manufacturers of Tricolour have created eco-friendly flags in order to celebrate the country’s Independence responsibly. According to traders at Sadar Bazar, the business of small flags is at an all time high as people love to display them on Independence Day.“These flags are made of paper and a layer of varnish has been applied to ensure its shine. These flags can be easily decomposed in soil in a couple of days,” said Chaman Gupta, a flag manufacturer at Sadar Bazar. The flags will fully decompose in soil in two to four days, he said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIUsing Tricolour, the manufacturers have created over hundred items like bands, caps, pens, cross flags, T-shirts, badges,