AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThree whale species, the humpback, minke and southern right, are recovering from the threat of extinction according to a new study released by the world’s largest conservation network. Thanks to curbs on hunts since the 1980s, the status of both the southern right and humpback population has been lowered from Vulnerable to Least Concern. The blue whale, fin whale, and sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) all remain listed as Endangered, pending more evidence of recovery. With less whale hunting over the last few decades, accidental killing in fishing gear has become the main threat. “Disentanglement programmes to release whales captured in fishing gear, already carried out in the United States, New Zealand and Australia, help some individuals survive,” says the Cetacean Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission, which produced the new listing of assessments. Climate change is also starting to affect whales. The distribution of many species is changing, with the potential for a cascade of effects such as exposure to new diseases, inter-species competition and changes in prey populations. The Antarctic great whales, for example, depend on krill for food. As water temperatures rise, krill populations may decline, leaving such whales short of food. “To save whales for future generations, we need to work closely with the fishing industry, the military and offshore enterprises including shippers and oil developers – and we need to fight climate change,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
CDC: 41 more measles cases raise total to 1,022The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 41 more measles cases in the past week, raising 2019’s total number of cases to 1,022, a record for the post-elimination era.”This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000,” the CDC said today.Twenty-eight states have recorded cases, with several states reporting outbreaks, defined as three or more related cases. The biggest outbreaks have occurred in New York and New Jersey, with Washington state, California, and Pennsylvania also currently tracking outbreaks.The CDC said all seven ongoing outbreaks are related to international travel to countries currently experiencing outbreaks, including Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines. The number of ongoing outbreaks, however, fell from 10 a week ago.The largest US outbreak is in New York City, which involves at least 566 measles cases since last September, primarily in the city’s Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn community. Jun 10 CDC update Jun 3 NYC Health update MERS-CoV sickens 3 more in Saudi ArabiaOver the last 2 days Saudi Arabia’s health ministry reported three more MERS-CoV cases, all of them involving men from three different cities.One is a 55-year-old from Qusaiba in Al Qassim region in the central part of the country. It’s not known if he had contact with camels, and his exposure to MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is listed as secondary, meaning he likely contracted the virus from another patient.The second patient is a 65-year-old from Qaisoumah in Eastern region who had contact with camels, and the third is a 28-year-old from the city of Unaizah in Al Qassim region who also had contact with camels, a known risk factor for MERS-CoV.Saudi Arabia has now reported 150 MERS-CoV cases for the year. The World Health Organization said in its most recent global update for the disease as of the end of April it had received reports of 2,428 cases, at least 839 of them fatal, since the virus was first detected in humans in 2012. The vast majority are from Saudi Arabia.Jun 10 Saudi MOH epidemiological week 24 report ‘Blue ribbon’ panel issues recommendations on Cyclospora outbreaksA “blue ribbon” panel of experts commissioned by Fresh Express late last week issued interim recommendations for preventing and addressing Cyclospora outbreaks in the United States, including stepped-up assessment of water sources, personnel training, and data collection.After several produce suppliers, including Fresh Express, were hit with a Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreak in 2018, the first linked to US-grown produce, the company formed the blue-ribbon panel of 11 experts, headed by food safety expert Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), which publishes CIDRAP News, and 16 other contributors.”The goal was to establish a Blue-Ribbon Panel to summarize state-of-the-art advancements regarding this public health challenge and to identify immediate steps that the produce industry and regulators can take to prevent future outbreaks,” Osterholm writes in the introduction to the report.The expert panel first met in November 2018, then formed four working groups to focus on root causes, preventive steps, collaboration, and testing validation. Recommendations developed by the working groups and included in the report are divided in prevention, incident response, and collaboration.The vast majority of Cyclospora outbreak cases in the United States have involved imported produce.Prevention advice in the report includes surveying environment water sources for Cyclospora contamination; properly training of farm crews about sanitation, hygiene, and waste management; and developing a fact sheet to raise awareness about the disease, which the experts released with the report. Incidence response steps including assessing farms for unsanitary conditions and probing the role that animals, especially birds, might play in contaminating water bodies. Collaboration improvements include enhanced communication between government and industry, and expanded lab capacity. The report includes 30 recommendations.”This is an exceptional collaboration by those most knowledgeable about a particular food safety risk,” Osterholm said in a Fresh Express news release. “Their value in shedding light on the Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreak problem cannot be overstated and is already providing long-needed assistance toward discovering how best to manage risk and limit future outbreaks.”Jun 5 blue-ribbon panel report Fresh Express report landing page Study: Chickenpox vaccine cuts shingles risk in childrenChildren who received the chickenpox vaccine are significantly less likely to contract shingles, according to large study based on electronic health records that appeared today in Pediatrics.The varicella vaccine’s impact against herpes zoster infection is well known, but researchers weren’t sure if the vaccine also had an impact against children’s shingles, for which symptoms are generally milder than the adult form of the disease, which is marked by a painful, burning, and blistering skin rash.For the study, a team led by Kaiser Permanente and funded by the CDC examined data on 6.3 million children from six integrated healthcare organizations between 2003 and 2016. About half of the children were vaccinated for some of all of period covered by the study.Over the 12-year study period, the shingles rate fell by 72% overall, as the number of vaccinated children rose. Incidence of shingles was 78% lower in vaccinated kids than their unvaccinated counterparts. The team also found that rates for children who were immunosuppressed and weren’t able to be vaccinated were 5 to 6 times higher than in kids who weren’t immunosuppressed.Sheila Weinmann, PhD, the study’s lead investigator who is with Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, said in a press release that the highest shingles rates were in the early years of the study when there was a higher proportion of children, especially older ones, who weren’t vaccinated against chickenpox.Jun 10 Pediatrics abstract Jun 10 Pediatrics commentary Jun 10 Kaiser Permanente press release Study: Mid-Atlantic white-tailed deer more susceptible to CWDAccording to new research from Penn State University, white-tailed deer from Mid-Atlantic states are more susceptible to chronic wasting disease (CWD) than deer found to the west, likely because of genetic variants that make them more vulnerable to neurologic illnesses. The findings are published in BMC Genetics.The research is based on tissue samples collected from 720 white-tailed deer from an area encompassing Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. The samples were tested for 17 microsatellite loci markers. Microsatellite markers are short, repetitive DNA sequence elements, used to identify genetic differences. Eventually, the researchers selected 11 markers most likely to show susceptibility to CWD.”The genetic variants that would make deer less susceptible to chronic wasting disease are in much lower frequency in the East, likely because they weren’t needed,” said David Walter, PhD, adjunct assistant professor of wildlife ecology at Penn State and the lead author of the study, in a Penn State news release. “We have seen that deer with the more susceptible genotypes are in the majority.”White-tailed deer populations are larger in the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic parts of the United States, Walter said. In recent years, more states have reported growing numbers of CWD, a fatal prion disease, among deer populations. Jun 6 BMC Genetics study Jun 6 Penn State press release
Ter Linden Transport BV has been working in the field of special transport and heavy haulage for many years, and has now branched out into the specialised sector of wind power generation, making some major investments over the past year in the development of its crane fleet.With some 200 wind turbines transported annually, the company has vast experience and a great deal of know-how in this area. Together with the newly-founded Ter Linden Craning BV, the company can now offer extremely successful complete solutions for the transport and installation of wind power plants, an all-round service which provides major advantages for individual clients, in particular when it comes to timing and scheduling.The first LTM 11200-9.1 (pictured below) has been hard at work with Ter Linden Craning BV for just over a year now, and the company has been so pleased with it, as well as experiencing such high demand for its services, that the decision was made to buy the second LTM 11200-9.1 and the two LTM 1130-5.1 units to go with it.”The two LTM 11200-9.1 and both the LTM 1130-5.1 cranes form a perfect ensemble when it comes to installing wind power systems for the most widely differing suppliers”, is how the company views the investment. “The LTM 11200-9.1, with its 100-metre telescopic boom, with Y-guying, the boom extensions of 6 m and 10 m, the hydraulically-adjustable jib of 6.5 m, a second hoist gear, and the dismantling device for the outriggers, all create the best possible combination when it comes to erecting wind power systems”. The two 130-tonners will be used as auxiliary cranes. They are each equipped with a main boom of 60 metres, the 10 x 8 drive arrangement, active speed-dependent rear-axle steering, disk brakes, Telma eddy brakes, adjustable operational spotlights, and variable ballast for different axle loads. This means that Ter Linden can now undertake projects economically and flexibly throughout the whole of Europe and beyond.
According to Heuiser this would allow the chamber to bring a broader range of music for Music in the Park in 2019: “That first night that we did Music in the Park, I think maybe 50 people came out, and we were so proud. Now it’s nothing strange to have over a thousand people in the park on a given Wednesday.” Andy Heuiser, Events & Programs Director for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce: “We’ve made it through the voting phase of the grant process. Out of 45 places that you can vote for 25 got to move on, and we were number 23. I know that sounds pretty tight considering everything thing, but we were competing with places like Boise, Idaho with much larger populations.” The grant award is a dollar-for-dollar match from the foundation, with a minimum local contribution from the Soldotna Chamber of $25,000. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The City of Soldotna has made it to the final round for the 2019 Levitt AMP Grant. Each year, the Levitt Foundation awards $25,000 matching grants to up to 15 U.S.-based nonprofits serving small to mid-sized towns and cities to present the Levitt AMP Music Series, 10 free concerts that inject new life into public spaces and create vibrant community destinations. The 15 winners of the grant will be announced on December 18.
“We had a big problem – and it was a great problem to have – in that we have 16 incredible players and we would have been happy – and counted ourselves lucky – to bring any of the 16 to Montenegro. Every one of them has done everything we’ve ever asked of them from day one. They couldn’t have done any more or worked any harder and they should be so proud of all they’ve put in and how far they’ve come. For those who didn’t make it, I really hope they use the experience and channel it into them continuing to work and improve in order to make sure that the next time, they will get that one step further.“The team we picked are the 12 players that we feel give us the best chance at having a successful European Championships. For those 12, the hard work has only just begun and they have a gruelling four months ahead of them between now and August – but from what we’ve learned of them over the last 18 months, that’s a task they’re more than up for.“I know I say this every time, but I’m genuinely blown away on a weekly basis with the work they put in and the dedication they show. It’s a real honour to be able to work with a group like this. With around seven training sessions between now and when we leave, we have a lot of work to do; but as a management team, we couldn’t be more excited for the task ahead.” Speaking about the announcement, Coach Kilbride stated: “This is by far the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make. As a coach, over the 18 months of the programme, you develop a bond with the players, so to tell a player their journey has ended at the final hurdle is very tough. There have been many sleepless nights in the last while. Head coach of the Ireland Under 16 women’s team, Karl Kilbride, has today announced his final roster of 12 players for this summer’s FIBA Under 16 Women’s European Championship Division B which will take place in Montenegro from August 16th to 25th, 2018. The squad includes Hazel Finn from Kiltimagh, who plays her club basketball with Maree and her clubmate Lisa Blaney from Galway. The final 12 players selected are:Abigail Rafferty, St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, Tyrone TowersCiara Byrne, Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise, Portlaoise PanthersErin Maguire, Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus, Ulster University ElksFatimah Akorede, Coláiste Chiarain, Leixlip, Liffey Celtics BCGillian Wheeler, Cross & Passion College, Kilcullen, Portlaoise PanthersHazel Finn, St. Louis, Kiltimagh, Maree BCKate Hickey, Mercy, Waterford, Waterford WildcatsLisa Blaney, Jesus & Mary Salerno, Salthill, Maree BCSabhbh Edwards Murphy, Kilrush Community School, Limerick CelticsShauna Dooley, Scoil Chriost Ri Portlaoise, Portlaoise PanthersSinead Boyle, Manor House, Raheny, Killester BCSíofra O’Shea, Coláiste na Sceilge, Cahersiveen, Cahersiveen BCprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email
Galway came from behind to beat Waterford in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Quarter Final and in doing so, will face Cork in the All-Ireland Semi-Final on the 17th of August at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Here is another opportunity to hear the commentary of the game with Tommy Devane. Presented by Doc O’ConnorThis is the Match Report from Tommy DevaneAfter the game, Tommy spoke to Galway Captain Sarah DervanTommy then spoke to Galway manager Cathal Murray The Galway Intermediate drew 1-10 apiece with Kilkenny and topped their group and will play Tipperary in the All-Ireland Semi-Final on the 17th of Augustprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email
Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Eastern Cape region has been described as the crucible of modern South African history and identity. The eastern part of the province, where the former black homelands of Ciskei and Transkei were located in the 1970s and 80s, has inherited a legacy of under-development as a result of the so-called independent status foisted upon them by the apartheid government during the homeland phase. But that is about to change.The area is to receive a much-needed boost with the re-opening of the rail route that runs between the port city of East London, and Mthatha, 235 km to the northeast. Both freight and passenger services on the 281-km stretch of line came to a halt in 1988, as the route was carrying less than 400 000 tons of freight a year and came to be regarded as low-density.Kei Rail received its operating licence on 5 February 2008 from the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR). Both passenger and freight services will be offered; 1 March has been officially named as the starting date of the Kei Rail passenger service while freight services will commence later in the year. It is hoped that the latter will reduce the high levels of heavy-duty traffic on the road between the two towns, thus cutting down on the costs of road maintenance and repair.The resurrection of the route is expected to “lay a firm foundation for future economic expansion in the impoverished eastern half of the province”, says Eastern Cape Member of the Executive Council for Safety, Liaison and Transport, Thobile Mhlahlo.A passenger service between East London and nearby King Williams Town is also expected to commence before the end of March 2008.“This is a great day for the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Mhlahlo. “They will now have a safe and reliable transport option in an area with limited options. The revival of the Kei Rail line, which has lain dormant for many years, has been a focus of the Department of Roads and Transport for some time now. ”Rich in historyThe railway between East London and Mthatha dates back to 1916. The re-opening of the long-dormant route is only one component of a wider socio-economic initiative of the Eastern Cape provincial government intended to increase economic activity and job creation and alleviate poverty in one of South Africa’s poorest, yet most historically rich, provinces.Mthatha, in the OR Tambo municipality, was previously known as Umtata, and between 1976 and 1994 was the capital of the former black homeland of Transkei.Statistics reveal that 88% of the households in this area live below minimum poverty level, and 77% of the economically active population is unemployed. A massive 93.3% of inhabitants live in rural conditions.Many prominent South African leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu hail from this part of the province. The Nelson Mandela National Museum, situated in Mthatha, is visited by thousands of local and international tourists every year. Development of a better public transport route to the town is expected to attract even more tourists.Great economic potentialThe area has never been allowed to reach its full economic potential. The Glen Grey Act of 1894, which was driven by mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes, took away the land rights of the indigenous people in certain areas and pushed them into reserves, leaving the way open for industrial development and exploitation of the lands which were historically theirs.The Glen Grey Act, and other legislation such as the Land Act of 1913, which limited land ownership for black people to black territories, as well as the so-called land betterment schemes, had a profound effect on the region. These schemes effectively stifled traditional African techniques of agriculture and animal husbandry that, in hindsight, were better adapted to local soil and climatic conditions than the government-initiated strategies that replaced them.In addition, the railway line, once established, took resources away from the area. With limited opportunities to earn a living, workers were forced to seek jobs further afield. Many of them left the area to take up employment in the mines in Johannesburg. Agricultural and mineral produce was shipped out, destined for bigger markets.Eventually the economy of the area became so stagnant that the decision was taken to close the passenger and freight services.Transport is a developmental priorityDeteriorating transport infrastructure has also played a role in the depressed economy of the region because of limited access to markets and labour. The Eastern Cape provincial government has identified transport as a vital component in economic growth. It has accordingly earmarked R1.48 billion to improving transport infrastructure as part of its 10-year provincial growth and development plan, which is designed to reduce poverty and attain sustainable levels of economic growth and job creation.The timber industry, in particular, will benefit from the resumption of rail services – it is estimated that more than 2.4 tons of timber will travel on Kei Rail over the next 20 years. A strong transportation network will facilitate the movement of timber products to foreign markets. The improvements to the East London-Mthatha line will also benefit the agricultural industry, with the shipping of 1.4 million tons of grain and 500 000 tons each of red meat and wool. Additionally, 200 000 tons each of fertiliser, lime and fuel are forecast.Phasing in the serviceLaunched in 2003, the R117 million Kei Rail project created jobs for more than 500 skilled and semi-skilled people in the initial phase and to date has afforded more than 1 400 people the chance of employment. The Eastern Cape government envisions the creation of 28 000 jobs over the next 20 years through the project.Initially the train will run on weekends only, and during the day – because pedestrians have become used to the empty rails and they are often found walking on the line. So for safety purposes the train will only operate when it is most visible.The Department of Roads and Transport also conducted an awareness programme to inform people of the dangers of an operational railway line. This took the form of a poster campaign and a radio and print advertising campaign, as well as flyers and visits to communities along the line. Learners participated in a colouring-in competition, and industrial theatre visits were arranged for schools in Butterworth, Komga, Dutywa and Viedgesville – these communities are situated along the railway line.Railway police to ensure commuters’ safetyA related initiative of the Eastern Cape provincial government is the launch of the Eastern Cape Railway Police Unit, in collaboration with the South African Police Services and Metrorail. The launch took place on 11 February and forms part of the provincial government’s Safety and Security Month programme. The unit aims to be 1 000-strong by 2010 to ensure the safety of commuters who will be visiting the Eastern Cape to watch matches during the Fifa World Cup.Said Mhlahlo at the launch, “Today we are making history as the province of the Eastern Cape by reintroducing strong security measures that guarantee the safety of our people when they use trains.“Our main objective is to have a law enforcement contingent, which is founded on democratic values and observance of human rights, which are matched by issues of development, cooperation and peace. The new unit’s duty is to provide a security service to the people who use the trains.”The numbers of the Railway Police Unit will soon be swelled with the deployment in December 2008 of 215 student constables, currently enrolled at the Police Training College in Bhisho, the capital of the Eastern Cape.Rail services in South Africa have experienced high levels of crime in recent years, but with the new Railway Police Unit on patrol the government hopes to restore the confidence of citizens in the rail service, easing the daily traffic congestion on the roads.Partners in the Kei Rail resuscitation project include the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport, Sheltam Grindrod, the South African Rail Commuter Corporation (Metrorail), Transnet Freight Rail, and Rail Focus.Useful linksKei RailEastern Cape Department of Roads and TransportEastern Cape Provincial GovernmentBuffalo City municipalityOR Tambo district municipalityMetrorailTransnetSouth African Police ServicesThe Construction Education and Training AuthorityStatistics South Africa online
Editor’s Note: The following missive is a response from the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) to the class action lawsuit filed against a number of major retailers on April 9, which asserts that the retailers participated in a racketeering scheme with Utah-based Corrective Education Company (CEC).We write in response to the suit filed against CEC and its participating retailers yesterday that seizes on the California Superior Court’s earlier finding of extortion based on California state law.Without regard to or comment on the guilt or innocence of any party, the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) views this lawsuit as yet another challenge to retailers’ efforts to address a community-wide burden that they are, by and large, left to shoulder on their own in jurisdictions around the country and especially in California post-Proposition 47.- Sponsor – Moreover, as an organization whose mission and focus is offender accountability and education, NASP is particularly troubled to note that, once again, this suit discounts (and thus excuses) any role or responsibility on the part of the alleged offenders. The suit misleadingly refers to alleged offenders as “extortion targets” in another example of the role reversal that paints retailers as villains rather than victims.It is essential as an industry, that we continually bring the focus back to the community-wide value of retail/criminal justice collaboration to address the proliferation of retail theft holistically and cooperatively. The lack of resources available to address shoplifting and retail theft in the criminal justice system, coupled with the continually increasing felony thresholds around the country, have resulted in an alarming de facto decriminalization of shoplifting. This not only encourages offenders to continue to shoplift but also empowers them to move on to greater and often more violent levels of retail theft.The nature of this suit brings into specific relief the value of the upcoming panel discussion and subsequent breakout session at the RILA Asset Protection Conference in Orlando on Tuesday morning, May 1. Beginning with a General Session at 9:30 followed by a 10:45 breakout, retail, criminal justice, academic, and community experts will discuss retail asset protection challenges and share their legal opinions, expertise and experience in using, challenging and defending programs that seek to use education to address shoplifter recidivism while preserving police and public resources for communities.Panelists will examine the value of non-traditional and civil alternatives to holistically address retail crime inflation and begin to fill the gaps left by fixed and shrinking public resources. The ultimate goal is to identify model program policies and practices that, when carefully and collaboratively vetted and executed, will meet the needs of all parties involved—from offenders to retailers to criminal justice and community.Panelists: Paul Jaeckle, vice president loss prevention, Meijer Honorable David Larson, presiding judge, Federal Way Municipal Court Attorney General Curtis Hill, State of Indiana Chief Deputy Attorney General Aaron Negangard, State of Indiana Kevin Kolbye, assistant police chief, Arlington Police Department John Rappaport, assistant professor of law, University of Chicago George Kelemen, president and chief executive officer, Texas State Retail Association Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
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Jagmohan Dalmiya is a consensus candidate from N Srinivasan’s campAt the peak of his career, cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya’s detractors rued that such was the man’s resilience that he had it in him to swim back to the shore if thrown deep into the sea, or rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes. The 74-year-old’s almost unbelievable comeback at the head of the country’s premier cricket body has only reinforced the notion.After losing his almost vice-like control of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) midway into the last decade, the Kolkata-based businessman had to endure court cases, political pressure, corruption charges, arrest and even expulsion from the BCCI, as he seemed helpless and lonely in the face of sustained offensive by a formidable coalition of Sharad Pawar, I.S. Bindra, Shashank Manohar, A.C. Mutthiah, Lalit Modi and N. Srinivasan.Joining them was the then West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who used all his clout – both political and administrative – to oust Dalmiya from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).But Dalmiya held on to his position in the CAB against all odds, and silently started mending fences with his detractors in the board.The businessman and ace manipulator pulled off the first surprise when sidelined president Srinivasan pitchforked him to the post of BCCI interim chief in June 2013 after the spot-fixing scam emerged.That stint was small – lasting only four months – and Dalmiya’s powers seemed grossly limited, but enough to announce to the cricketing world that he could not be written off.advertisementBorn in a business family in 1940, Dalmiya was a club-level cricketer. He kept wickets for two teams – Jorabagan and Rajasthan – in the (then) Calcutta cricket league, and switched to cricket administration after hanging up his gloves.Mentored by then BCCI mandarin Biswanath Dutt, Dalmiya cut his teeth in CAB politics, beginning what has turned out to be one of the most chequered and marathon innings in India’s sports administration.Dalmiya became BCCI treasurer in 1983 – the year India won the World Cup – and later served as its secretary, before becoming ICC chief for three years in 1997.After continuing as International Cricket Council chief for three years, Dalmiya was elected BCCI president in 2001. He was all-in-all in the board till his tenure ended in 2004.Later that year, Dalmiya hoisted his acolyte Ranbir Singh Mahendra as BCCI president in a tantalizingly close election where then union minister Sharad Pawar threw his hat into the ring for the top post.As the election ended in a tie, Dalmiya gave his casting vote to ensure Mahendra’s victory, prompting a dejected Pawar to remark that the entire process was unfair.”The umpire was the bowler,” Pawar had quipped after his loss.Dalmiya then controlled the board by proxy for a year, with Mahendra being a mere puppet. But the Pawar camp fought back by using all means to checkmate Dalmiya at his own game in the 2005 election.Months later, the BCCI lodged a police complaint against Dalmiya for alleged misappropriation of funds related to the 1996 World Cup in which India was a co-host.As Dalmiya faced a police probe, the BCCI expelled him in December 2006, that also forced him to step down as CAB president, months after a nerve-wracking election which he had won by defeating the chief minister’s nominee, city police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee.In mid-2007, Dalmiya was exonerated by the court, and he returned to head the CAB in 2008, by defeating then president Prasun Mukherjee.However, in the next few years, Dalmiya seemed only a shadow of his former self. He looked old, and his lack of full fitness was talked about in CAB circles.But the wily cricket administrator bided his time, and the short term as BCCI interim chief brought him back to centrestage, also displaying his wide acceptability in the board.This time around, Dalmiya seemed to have played his cards well, after the Supreme Court ran out Srinivasan from the race.Keeping both the lobbies headed by Srinivasan and Pawar guessing his next moves, Dalmiya deftly exploited the hostility between the two to put himself up as an acceptable candidate.At the prime of his career, Dalmiya was known as a trouble shooter par excellence. His convincing powers were such that the joke used to be that he could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.He now takes over the reins of the BCCI in challenging circumstances. The spot fixing scandal has taken some of the shine off the IPL.advertisementIt will be Dalmiya’s first challenge to clean up the game, while India’s poor performance in several series away from home is also an issue that needs redressal.His critics say, Dalmiya’s hands will be tied, as he is surrounded by office-bearers elected with Srinivasan’s backing. However, those who have followed Dalmiya’s style of functioning over the years, have no doubt he will be his own man.