QPR boss Mark Hughes is confident Armand Traore will make a swift recovery from his hamstring problem.Traore was injured during last week’s victory over Liverpool and missed the 3-1 defeat at Sunderland on Saturday.This weekend’s game against Traore’s former club Arsenal may come too soon for the player, but Hughes is hopeful he will soon be available again.“It’s a grade-one hamstring problem so not too serious. We’re keeping an eye on him and he should hopefully be fine soon,” said Hughes.Click here to test your knowledge with our QPR quizFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Tottenham have leapfrogged Chelsea and Arsenal in a race to sign Everton defender John Stones, the Daily Express say.It is claimed that the Blues want Stones but that Spurs have targeted him as a potential replacement for Jan Vertonghen, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona.The Express also say Gary Cahill will be offered a new four-year contract by Chelsea, while the Daily Mail reports that Filipe Luis is close to completing a £20m move to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid.The Mail also say Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is interested in signing Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.Cahill has been tipped to sign a new deal.There continues to be speculation that Real Madrid’s Germany midfielder Sami Khedira could join Chelsea rather than Arsenal.The north London club are ready to end their interest in Khedira, 27, because of his wage demands, according to the Daily Mirror.And the Daily Telegraph reports that Petr Cech has returned to full training three weeks ahead of schedule following his shoulder problem.The Chelsea goalkeeper, who is reportedly wanted by Paris St-Germain, was injured in the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid and missed the final matches of last season.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
If waters from the Almatti dam in north Karnataka had been released on time, people of Kolhapur and Sangli would not have had to endure the the devastating floods, said Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Wednesday, while stressing that a permanent solution to the problem must be found through proper coordination with the neighbouring State.Mr. Pawar was on a tour of the worst-hit talukas in Kolhapur and Sangli district. “There is an urgent need for the Central government to hold talks with both States on this matter. There was no proper communication and coordination between the two governments this time,” he said, speaking in Kolhapur’s Shirol taluk.The NCP chief said the magnitude of the floods was unprecedented and that it was a mistake to take the water level of the 2005 floods as the ‘danger mark’. He urged the government to undertake a massive construction drive of building new and durable houses for the flood-affected population akin to the rehabilitation efforts post the 1993 Latur earthquake. “Thousands of homes and structures have been weakened by the floods, even at a higher altitude. With the onset of summer, these structures will crumble under the severe heat. So, new houses must be built by the State under Central government schemes,” Mr. Pawar said.He pushed for a complete overhauling of village infrastructure in terms of roads, water supply, electricity — all of which had been thrown awry by the deluge.Expressing concern for farm labourers, The NCP chief urged the government to ensure that they received work through employment guarantee schemes. He also reiterated on the need for a complete loan waiver, as the two districts are the most important sugar-producing regions in the State.“The factories will have to decide what to do with the destroyed sugarcane crop. They will also have to arrange to pay for seedlings as the farmers will have to plant a fresh crop,” he said.“We urge the State to grant a complete loan waiver for farmers for the present fiscal. We demand that a fresh crop loan be granted so that agriculturists can undertake cultivation in the affected areas,” he said, adding that the condition of the flood-affected people is taluks like Shirol was pitiable despite the large-scale relief efforts.Mr. Pawar said that as the deluge had hit everyone — from farmer to the small trader — loans must be waived off for all of them.He also rebuked the governement and administration for failing to fulfill its task of distributing flood aid. “A lot of aid is being sent by individuals, outfits, trusts, political parties from all over the State. But it appears that this help is not reaching the flood-affected people. In some instances, relief trucks were being stopped and the aid was being siphoned off,” Mr. Pawar said.Saying that the floods were not an occasion for playing politics, the NCP chief took potshots at the ministers and leaders of the BJP government, saying that it was deplorable that elected representatives of the government were holding ‘token 15-minute meetings’ in flood-hit areas.
Facebook / Game of ThronesEver since Game of Thrones started to air on HBO, fans have been wondering who will be the promised prince or princess. There were earlier theories that Jon Snow is Azor Ahai but Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3’s ending proved that Arya Stark is Azor Ahai.Major spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3:In the earlier released Battle of Winterfell episode, we saw several heart-wrenching moments. In the end, we see Arya Stark using her Valyrian steel knife to kill Night King. By stabbing Night King and breaking him down like a glass, Arya proved that she is the promised princess all along.Game of Thrones fans knows about an old prophecy that a legendary warrior will fight off the night and bring peace to the land. It was long assumed that Jon Snow is the Promised Prince who will use his Valyrian steel sword to kill Night King and restore peace but that did not happen.It was also assumed that Daenerys Targaryen is going to be the Promised Princess. She had three dragons at one point and was the true heir to the throne (it was before we knew about Jon Snow’s parentage). There were several predictions that Jaime Lannister or Samwell Tarly can be Azor Ahai. Arya Stark in the official trailerYouTube/HBOIn all these, it was Melisandre who believed that Stannis Baratheon was the Promised Prince. But in season 3 of Game of Thrones, when Melisandre and Arya Stark crossed each other’s path, they had a conversation. The Red Priestess told Arya that she would kill Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes — eyes sealed shut forever. The Blue Eyes are the literal meaning of killing the white walkers.When Melisandre reminded Arya about her true purpose, we see her killing the Night King with one swift motion. The use of Valyrian steel also favoured her and it looks like Melisandre knew from a long time that Arya is Azor Ahai.At the same time, many fans would contradict this theory and point out that Arya was not born under a bleeding star. At the game time, she has not sacrificed anyone close to her to take possession of Azor Ahai’s sword. But one should not forget for a moment that Arya literally sacrificed herself in order to become the “no one.”Arya Stark will be back as Azor Ahai in Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4.
Share During that period, overall spending rose about 25 percent; adjusted for inflation, it fell almost 6 percent. State funding rose, but not as fast as the student population; the result was a per-student drop in state spending and a local increase in per-student spending.That shift to local funding increases Texas public education’s reliance on “recapture” — a formula that balances differences in local property values by taking money from property-rich school districts and distributing it to property-poor districts. That redistribution is built into the state system, but when Texas cuts its share of the total, it increases the load on local property taxpayers — both for their own schools and for recapture.Abbott contends his limits would also limit recapture but also says it would increase pressure on the state to put up the money to equalize spending across school districts.“It is difficult to estimate the exact amount of funding that the state would have allocate for this purpose, though it is worth noting that a revenue cap would not likely eliminate the entire $1.7 billion in annual recapture payments,” the governor’s proposal says. “The state has, for too long, relied on the rapid growth of school district property tax collections to fund increases in public education spending.”The governor, like the legislators who make up a good part of the new school finance committee, is on the ballot in 2018, and he’s clearly siding with property taxpayers. That built-in nod to increased state spending can wait until the Legislature comes back — or until the new committee starts crunching the numbers. And the current crop of state officials elected by a price-sensitive electorate — you might remember that the now-assimilated TEA Party movement was an acronym for Taxed Enough Already — isn’t in the mood for a sudden increase in state spending, for education or anything else.That’s the minefield the state’s latest school finance reformers want to cross. This week, the Texas Commission on Public School Finance started work on one of the state’s most intractable problems, hoping to come up with remedies in advance of 2019’s 86th legislative session.You wouldn’t be out of line wondering why this didn’t happen in 2017. Or 2015. Or 2013. But it’s because this is a hard policy problem and a harder political one. The prompt now is that property taxes have gotten so far out of hand that lawmakers have no choice but to act.The governor is in on this, too, recently unveiling his proposal — a worked-over version of legislation that fell short last year — to limit increases in local property taxes without voter approval. The governor’s plan doesn’t call for lower property taxes and, in fact, in a detailed version of the proposal from Abbott’s political campaign, he makes the case for higher state spending on public education.“A major effect of capping the growth of local property tax collections will be to reduce the extent to which local revenue for public schools is able to grow,” the proposal says. “The state must therefore be prepared to increase its share to the extent necessary to ensure that public schools have access to the funding they need.”Declining public education spending by the state puts pressure on local school districts to raise property taxes to compensate. It’s not the only reason taxes rise: Overall spending per student has risen, too. But the state’s share of the costs of public education dropped to about 38 percent in 2017 from about 45 percent in 2007, according to the Legislative Budget Board. The local share — reliant on those rising property taxes — rose to 52 percent from 45 percent. (Federal funds accounted for the remainder.) Bob Daemmrich for the Texas TribuneState Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, l, chats at the lunch break with chairman Justice Scott Brister at the Texas Commission on School Finance meeting on Jan. 23, 2018.You can’t untangle school finance in Texas unless you do one of three politically dangerous things:Cut spending on public education.Raise local property taxes to keep up with growth and rising costs.Raise state spending (and state taxes) to keep up with costs while keeping local property taxes down.State lawmakers cut spending in 2011. Texans didn’t like it much, and the state has, to this day, never recovered the even balance of state and local spending it had set just five years before those cuts.High and rising property taxes have become — for understandable reasons — a major concern for voters and, in turn, for the people who rely on voter favor to stay in office.