Stan Wawrinka is two wins from accomplishing what few have before in modern tennis history: capturing a second Grand Slam title after winning the first in his late 20s.Last January, two months before he turned 29, Wawrinka beat three top-seven players in succession to win the Australian Open. He’d never before won a Grand Slam title. He’d never even made a final. He’d beaten top-seven players just three times before at major tournaments — in 18 tries. His win in the final in Melbourne last year came against an injured Rafael Nadal. He failed to reach the semifinal of any subsequent Grand Slam tournament for the rest of 2014.In short, he looked like a fluke.But Wawrinka has looked a lot less fluky this year in Melbourne. He has advanced to a semifinal meeting Friday with No. 1 Novak Djokovic, whom he upset last year. If Wawrinka can repeat that feat, he’ll play the final against either Andy Murray or Tomas Berdych — two opponents who haven’t beaten him over seven matches going back to April 2013.Since 1968, the year when the majors opened up to professional players, it’s been rare for any man or woman to win a first singles Grand Slam title past age 28. It’s been rarer for any of them to win a second. Four men and four women were older than Wawrinka when they broke through at a major, according to data provided by Jeff Sackmann of Tennis Abstract: Goran Ivanisevic, Petr Korda, Andres Gomez, Andres Gimeno, Kerry Reid, Jana Novotna, Francesca Schiavone and Li Na. Collectively, they reached just three more major finals and won just one follow-up Slam: Li’s, at the Australian Open last year. Schiavone and Wawrinka are the only ones among them who are still active.One factor works in Wawrinka’s favor: Players are sticking around at the top of the sport longer than they used to, in both men’s and women’s tennis. It’s no anomaly that it was only last year that Li became the first Open-era player who won a first singles Slam at 29 or older to follow it up with a second major title.The other men’s semifinalists — Djokovic, Murray, Berdych — are at least 27 years and 8 months old. Djokovic has spent the majority of his time at world No. 1 after turning 25. Murray has won both of his major titles since turning 25. If Berdych wins the title, he’ll have his first Grand Slam championship, he’ll reach a new career high ranking of No. 3 in the world — and, like Wawrinka, he’ll then try to show he’s no fluke but just a late bloomer in an aging sport.Women’s tennis players’ peaks also have gotten later in their careers, though about a year or two before men’s. (That’s based on peak rankings and average age of winning major titles for the first time.) The women’s semis feature the world’s two top players — 33-year-old Serena Williams and 27-year-old Maria Sharapova — and two younger women trying to reach their first major final: 26-year-old Ekaterina Makarova and 19-year-old Madison Keys. If Keys wins, she’ll be the first teenage man or woman to win a major since Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open. If Makarova wins, she’ll be where Wawrinka is now, trying to back up a late-20s breakthrough. Among multiple-Slam women winners, only Li was older when winning her first. One promising sign for Makarova: Like many peers on tour these days, she’s playing her best tennis after 25.Correction (Jan. 28, 9:30 p.m.): An earlier version of a chart in this article showed that Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title at age 22. She won it two weeks before her 18th birthday.Correction (Jan. 29, 6:58 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Francesca Schiavone is no longer an active player.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Starting next month, the Army will begin testing a new customized transition program for separating personnel at six installations that will provide additional resources for service members that are more likely to have difficulty finding employment.The two-year pilot program will gather input on best practices for the Army’s Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, a mandatory program for all service members leaving active duty that covers resume writing, military skills translation, financial planning and other topics.The six test sites — Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Army Garrison Bavaria, Germany — will divide soldiers into control and test groups, reported the Fayetteville Observer.The control groups at each pilot site will receive the existing assistance program, which requires personnel to complete a set of 12 benchmarks related to career readiness skills training. The test group will be required to complete only the training modules assigned to each participant based on an algorithm developed from unemployment records. The algorithm predicts the relative difficulty troops will experience finding employment based on demographic data, education, military occupation and where they plan to live.Depending on the results, soldiers may need to complete only three-quarters or half of the transition requirements, Walter Herd, director of the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, told the Observer. At four of the sites, battalion commanders would have the authority to adjust a soldier’s training requirements assigned by the algorithm.“Our theory is that different types of soldiers need different types of assistance,” he said. “It makes sense. The point of this pilot is to prove it. Employment is the metric.”Reducing the number of soldiers who take all of the training will free up counselors to work with personnel who need more help. The six test sites represent large Army installations, with Fort Bragg considered a leader in Army transition programs. “If you transition off of active duty at Fort Bragg, you have a statistically better chance of finding employment than most Army installations,” Herd said.
READING, MA — This spring, Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) held its second annual public power themed student art contest for high school students from Reading, North Reading, Wilmington, and areas of Lynnfield served by RMLD.On May 2, RMLD honored participating students at an awards ceremony held at its office in Reading. Awards were presented by Coleen O’Brien, General Manager, and Phil Pacino, a member of RMLD’s Board of Commissioners.Students were asked to focus their artwork on specific topics related to public power including: conservation during peak demand times (Shred the Peak); community solar (Solar Choice); and public power within the community. Five winners were selected based on the creativity of the artwork and the message that was portrayed.The following students were recognized at the awards ceremony:Megan Coram, Grade 11, Reading Memorial High School, received the Environmental Inspiration Award for her piece titled Growing a Sustainable Future. Megan’s art was also selected to be featured on the cover of RMLD’s annual report.Laura Buscemi, Grade 10, North Reading High School, received the Community Inspiration Award for her piece titled The Foundation of Conservation.Jesse Ding, Grade 9, Wilmington High School, received the Global Inspiration Award for her piece titled Community Power.Yuzhe Tian, Grade 9, St. John’s Prep, Reading, received the Holistic Award for his piece titled Harmonious Relationship.Julianna Connor, Grade 10, North Reading High School, received the Clever Award for her piece titled Shave the Peak.Each of the five winners was awarded a $75 Staples gift card, and all other participants were given an honorable mention to thank them for their creativity and for submitting their original artwork. All participating students received a certificate for ten hours of community service for taking part in the contest.RMLD’s Board of Commissioners later voted on which of the winning artwork would be featured on the cover of RMLD’s upcoming Annual Report, selecting Megan Coram of Reading. Megan was awarded an additional $25 gift card.Entries will be displayed in the lobby at RMLD’s office through the summer, and may be viewed on our website at http://www.rmld.com/community-relations/slideshows/high-school-student-art-contest-2018-results.Thanks to all who participated in RMLD’s High School Student Art Contest!(NOTE: The above press release is from the Reading Municipal Light Department.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Bonaccorsi Wins Award In RMLD Summer Art ContestIn “Education”PHOTOS: RMLD Honors West & North Students Following Annual Art ContestIn “Photo of the Day”PHOTOS: RMLD Recognizes West & North Students Following Annual Art ContestIn “Photo of the Day”
TexasEric Johnson and Texas Speaker RaceWas Jade Helm Russian inspired?Cornyn critical of PaxtonAug Election & Harvey BondsHouston DraingateNationalGOP Primaries recap3 Americans freed in North KoreaCohen receiving Russian payments? Listen 00:00 /25:31 Evan Vucci/APPresident Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House Tuesday.On Party Politics this week, co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Brandon Rottinghaus are going to catch you up on the week’s political news: To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Brandon and Jay talk about President Trump withdrawing from the Iran deal, as well as August elections. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts. Tweet us using #PartyPoliticsPod or email email@example.com. Party Politics is produced by Edel Howlin, audio engineer is Todd Hulslander and our digital editors are Matt Prendergast and Giselle Bueno. This article is part of the Party Politics podcast Share X
July 27, 2015 Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Imagine a future where artificially intelligent (AI) military robots decide who to kill, when and why — entirely on their own, without human intervention. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak have — and, together, they’re calling for humanity to stop the terrifying possibility before it starts.The world-renowned intellectuals today joined some 1,000 thought leaders and AI and robotics researchers in warning that autonomous weapons could tip off the next global arms race. That is, if we don’t stop the killer machines first.Related: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Artificial IntelligenceTheir stark message appears in an open letter published online today by the Boston-based Future of Life Institute (FLI). The missive — also notably signed by Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis, Google research director Peter Norvig and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky — calls for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons.” It will be formally presented tomorrow at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.The letter warns: “If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.”How soon is ”tomorrow,” according to the leading minds behind the grim, if not alarming, call to action? We’re talking years. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades,” the letter reads.Related: Human + A.I. = Your Business FutureIts authors cite the use of armed assassin quadcopters, “that can search for an eliminate people meeting certain pre-defined criteria,” as an example of a type of technology that can “select and engage targets without human intervention.” (You might recall that, just last week, a consumer drone jerry-rigged with a handgun set the Internet ablaze, though it appears to have been controlled by a lowly human.)The four-paragraph letter isn’t all doom and gloom. It briefly acknowledges that AI war machines can benefit humans by replacing them in combat, potentially reducing casualties. On the flipside, however, they can be disastrous, potentially “lowering the threshold for going to battle,” fueling terrorism and destabilizing nations.Related: 5 Things You Don’t Know About Elon MuskThis isn’t the first time Hawking and Musk have publicly called for caution regarding the applications of AI. Last January, they both signed a similar FIL document. It too expressed the need to avert the dystopic potential pitfalls of AI, while urging the exploration of its use toward the “eradication of disease and poverty.”Wozniak signed the same earlier letter as well, though his views on AI seemed to have lightened up since. The Apple co-founder recently said he’s gotten over his fear that we’ll be replaced by artificially intelligent bots. When they do eventually take over, he thinks we’ll make great pets for them.Related: Elon Musk’s Money Is Being Used to Stop AI From Obliterating Humans Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now 3 min read
DerryDerry and Strabane CouncilSt John’s AmbulanceTwo Tempo‘Live music’ and ‘free health checks’ to feature at Walled City Market ShareTweet “I’m delighted that as part of our June offering, we’ll be having live music by ‘TwoTempo’, free health checks provided by the ‘Drink Wise Age Well’ team and St John’s Ambulance on the look-out for bright and enthusiastic people to join their fantastic team of volunteers.“We’ve already over 20 traders confirmed so far for what I have no doubts will be a really busy day – but I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage further applications particularly from local fresh food producers.”Trading at the Walled City Market on Saturday 1 June will take place from 11am to 4pm where you can purchase many artisan products such as freshly baked goods, sweet & savoury treats or end the search for that unique handcrafted gift!Further information on the Council markets can be found by visiting www.derrystrabane.com/markets, Facebook Derry Strabane Markets, Twitter @DSMarkets or by contacting Market Development Officer Nicolle Walters on 02871 253 253 Ext: 6664 or firstname.lastname@example.org‘Live music’ and ‘free health checks’ to feature at Walled City Market was last modified: May 24th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: Are you over 50? If so, come along to Guildhall Square from 11am-2pm and join the ‘Drink Wise Age Well’ staff from Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum for a free health check – including blood pressure and cholesterol.As well as conducting free health checks, the team will also provide information on alcohol and getting older – to help people make informed choices about their alcohol use, including on unit guidelines, tips for cutting down and where and how to get help if they need it.St John’s Ambulance will also be in Guildhall Square from 11am to 4pm providing CPR, AED and first aid demonstrations, as well as handing out information leaflets and recruiting for new volunteers.Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Market Development Officer Nicolle Walters expects the additional events planned will give the Walled City Market on 1 June an extra dimension. LIVE music by ‘TwoTempo’, ‘free health checks’ for over 50s and a ‘St John’s Ambulance volunteer recruitment event’ will all feature at the ever popular Walled City Market.The market returns to Guildhall Square from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday 1 June with over 20 traders offering fresh foods and bespoke handcrafted products.Hannah Louise McCauley & Sarah McGoldrick – otherwise known as ‘TwoTempo’ – will be performing live music from 1pm to 3pm.
Source:http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_18_10_11_en.html?infocentre&item=Infocentre&artid=49705 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 12 2018The EU faces alarming increases in obesity and associated health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Worldwide, some 10 % of people are excessively overweight and obesity is on track to overtake smoking as the single biggest cause of preventable cancer in some countries. The issue is complex and rooted in the inactive nature of modern life characterized by extensive car use and widely available, affordable, and often unhealthy food.Focusing specifically on adults, the EU-funded SPOTLIGHT project built on evidence that lifestyle-related interventions should not just deal with single social or environmental aspects but rather target a combination of individual, family, community, organizational and societal elements – the ‘causes of the causes’.SPOTLIGHT analyzed around 80 community projects aimed at preventing obesity in different EU countries. Studies in Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK highlighted reliable funding and local community involvement – as well as balancing the need for rapid delivery with long-term continuation – as vital to the success and lasting impact of such projects.SPOTLIGHT then developed an interactive, map-based database of these projects and a model for integrated multi-level approaches that could be applied by local authorities and public health practitioners across Europe. It disseminated the findings and recommendations among policymakers and scientists to support the implementation of such approaches. The aim was to counteract unhealthy behavior, prevent obesity and related chronic diseases, and reduce health inequalities linked to social status.‘SPOTLIGHT has increased understanding of the relationship between social and physical environments, the importance of context around individuals in terms of obesity and the role of this context in things like sleep, diet, physical activity and health inequalities,’ says project coordinator Jeroen Lakerveld of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc in the Netherlands. ‘We also better understand the factors that determine the success or failure of interventions.’Mapping riskRelated StoriesMaternal obesity may negatively affect children’s lung developmentMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseSupervised fun, exercise both improve psychosocial health of children with obesityUsing Google Street View, SPOTLIGHT developed a tool for assessing environmental characteristics related to diet and physical activity within neighborhoods.It covered walking- and cycling-related features such as the presence of foot and bike paths, street lighting, pedestrian crossings, traffic calming measures and bike rental facilities. It also looked at the availability of public transport; aesthetics including green spaces, litter and graffiti; land use; and the presence of grocery stores, food outlets and areas for exercise and recreation.In one instance, 128 street segments in four Dutch urban neighborhoods of varying socio-economic status and housing density were assessed using the tool, which helped to confirm its reliability. A wider mapping exercise also encompassing Budapest, London, Paris and the Belgian city of Ghent, showed how likely residents of 60 neighborhoods were to become obese. This was combined with health and behavioral information for more than 6 000 residents of these neighborhoods in order to find links between environment and lifestyle.Collection of Europe-wide data and gathering of expert and target-group perspectives enabled SPOTLIGHT to define the elements necessary to change lifestyles at different levels of society and in various contexts.The results were translated into dissemination materials designed for different stakeholders to support development and implementation of intervention approaches at individual, team and organizational levels.Long-term preventionExperience gained from SPOTLIGHT will maximize use of state-of-the-art knowledge, help policymakers invest in long-term prevention efforts and stimulate scientists to further explore ways of reducing obesity and associated social inequality.‘Much of the learning has fed into new projects, analyses and approaches, and helped to shift the status quo among researchers,’ says Lakerveld. ‘Also, as well as more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and methodological tools, the project resulted in three PhD theses and more than 15 Master’s theses.’
The scientists investigated the error cascades using a combination of computer simulations and mathematical analyses of simple network models. The static approach was compared with the new dynamic approach using a simulated network in which specific connections are interrupted. Often the broader dynamic view shows that the network can become completely unstable, even if the static approach still predicts stability. Overall, more potential failures are detected and the potential extent of a failure is more accurately predicted. In order to compare the processes found on the model with reality, power line networks with real connection structures were examined, specifically the Spanish, British and French topology. The new analysis method was successfully applied to complex and more realistic networks.In addition, statistical studies on failures were carried out using the dynamic approach. How many lines fail if a random line is affected? “In many cases the effects are small, i.e. hardly any other lines fail. At the same time, there are a few critical lines that lead to major failures. Taking into consideration possible attacks (physical or virtual, e.g. by hackers) it is extremely important to identify and relieve such critical lines. Therefore, using the dynamic approach, we have developed a tool that predicts which lines are critical,” describes Dr. Benjamin Schäfer from cfaed at TU Dresden.Finally, initial investigations on the spread of cascades in the network were carried out. “Instead of purely geographical distances between different locations, we consider the so-called ‘effective distance,’ which takes into account how strongly different parts of the power grid can influence each other. However, in order to gain a better understanding, further research is necessary to examine the possibility of stopping such cascades,” explains Schäfer. In an article now published by Nature Communications, an analysis scheme is presented which takes into account the event-based character of the chain reaction as well as the specific network dynamic influences.The international team of scientists from the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) at TU Dresden and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen (Prof. Marc Timme, Dr. Benjamin Schäfer), the Forschungszentrum Jülich (Jun.-Prof. Dr. Dirk Witthaut) and the Queen Mary University of London (Prof. Vito Latora) was able to find out that some transition processes between different states of the power grid take place on a time scale of a few seconds. “These can play a decisive role in the development of collective reactions, which can eventually lead to a ‘blackout.’ In our study we propose a prediction method to identify potentially endangered lines and network components already at the planning stage and, if appropriate, also during the operation of power networks. Such dynamic effects could be integrated into network operators’ risk assessments and system planning. Overall, our results underline the importance of dynamically induced failures for the adjustment processes of the national power grids of various European countries,” says Prof. Marc Timme from the Strategic Chair of Network Dynamics at TU Dresden.Major power outages, which often affect millions of people, are caused by complex and often non-local interactions between many components. In Europe, for example, the planned shutdown of a line in 2006 led to the failure of large parts of the European grid and affected up to 120 million people. Such unfavorable chain reactions can already build up by switching off a single line in the network. In an advanced stage, a fast dynamic develops, that is based, in particular, on the automatic switch-off devices, which are actually supposed to ensure the safety of the network. This rapid dynamic was the focus of the research of the team of scientists. Professor Dirk Witthaut from Forschungszentrum Jülich explains the reasons: “In recent years, the trend in the electricity sector has continued towards strong networking, the countries are very closely integrated into the European grid. Since such failures anywhere in this network could affect us at any time, we must understand the causes. That’s why we were concerned with these questions: Can we understand how these fast processes work? Can we predict which lines could cause a large-scale power outage?” Journal information: Nature Communications Explore further Credit: Technische Universitaet Dresden “The basic idea behind the security architecture of the power grids is this: If any part of the grid fails, then the power grid should continue to function. The network then takes on a new stable state in order to compensate for the defect. The question of what this state looks like when the network has enough time to find it has already been investigated many times. For the relatively short time scale of the error cascades in power grids, however, our current study is virtually pioneering,” says Vito Latora, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Head of the Complex Systems and Networks Group at Queen Mary University of London. Citation: Failures in power grids: Dynamically induced cascades (2018, May 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-failures-power-grids-dynamically-cascades.html Credit: Technische Universitaet Dresden A reliable functioning of technical infrastructure networks is essential for our modern, high-tech society. Cascading failures, i.e. chain reactions of failures of different infrastructures, are the cause of many failures of entire networks, e.g. large parts of the European power grids. Although cascading failures are usually influenced by network-wide nonlinear dynamics between the individual failures, their modelling has so far concentrated primarily on the analysis of sequences of failure events of individual infrastructures – however, the dynamics between these events have not been taken into account. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Benjamin Schäfer et al. Dynamically induced cascading failures in power grids, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04287-5 Provided by Dresden University of Technology A formula for preventing power outages
15 of the Largest Animals of Their Kind on Earth Dangers in the Deep: 10 Scariest Sea Creatures A pair of divers swimming off the southwestern tip of England hit the jelly jackpot last week after crossing paths with a hulking barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) — a rarely seen species that can grow about as large as a full-grown human. Luckily, they filmed the whole thing. The divers — biologist Lizzie Daly and underwater cinematographer Dan Abbott — shared the encounter in a Facebook video posted Saturday (July 13) as part of the Wild Ocean Week campaign — a series of videos showcasing the oddities of the deep to help raise money for the United Kingdom’s Marine Conservation Society.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65946-human-size-jellyfish-found-in-uk.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35 Daly and Abbott were diving off the coast of Cornwall, U.K., when they saw the giant jelly emerge from the murky water. Also called the dustbin-lid jellyfish, the species is characterized by eight puffy arms capped by stinging tentacles and a large, globular head that lends the creature its unglamorous nickname. Barrel jellyfish sometimes wash up on the shore, Daly told Vice, but it’s rare for a diver to swim face-to-faceless-head with one of the massive blobs. [Marine Marvels: Spectacular Photos of Sea Creatures] While the barrel jellyfish is the largest species of jelly found in U.K. waters, it’s a mere shrimp when compared to the lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata), the largest known species in the world. This coldwater jelly is known for its galaxy of 1,200 long, trailing tentacles, which can bring an individual creature’s total body length to up to 120 feet (36.5 meters) — which is longer than the average blue whale. This tangle of tentacles is so massive that a single lion’s mane jelly may be able to sting 50 to 100 people in just a few minutes if currents carry the jelly too close to a populated coast — a fun fact that a group of unlucky New Hampshire beachgoers learned the hard way in 2010. In Photos: Spooky Deep-Sea Creatures Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoComparisons.org2019: Little-Known Rule in Rowland Heights, CAComparisons.orgGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoairdogusa.comThe World’s Best Washable Air Purifierairdogusa.comUndo
RELATED Published on BJP COMMENT BJP president Amit Shah hugs Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray after announcement of an alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, in Mumbai on Monday. Also seen are Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and former state chief minister Manohar Joshi. – PTI February 19, 2019 Overcoming their strained ties and grandiose declarations of going solo, the BJP and Shiv Sena on Monday announced a seat-sharing pact for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra. The announcement was made by BJP president Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at a joint press conference in the night, shortly after Shah flew in from Jaipur.The BJP will contest 25 seats and Shiv Sena 23 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The two parties will contest an equal number of seats, after allotting allies their due share of segments, in polls for the 288-member state Assembly, due this year.Common threadBoth Shah and Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said public sentiment was that the two parties should come together. Shah recalled his earlier remark that the BJP and Sena will together win at least 45 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. Crores of workers of BJP and Shiv Sena wanted the alliance between the two parties, Shah said. The Sena is the oldest ally of BJP, he added.The Ram temple has been the common thread for alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena and has to be built at the earliest, Thackeray said. BJP and Sena are parties with national ideology which have come together in wider public interest, Fadnavis said. In principle, both the parties are pro-Hindutva, he added.The alliance renewal announcement comes after several hard-hitting editorials in Sena mouthpiece Saamana blasting the BJP in general and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular.At a public rally last year, Thackeray had declared that his party won’t have a tie-up with the BJP. The party now appears to have given in to the ‘persuasive skills’ of Amit Shah and Fadnavis. “We rotted for 25 years in the alliance with the BJP,” Uddhav Thackeray had said last year, ruling out any pact with that party.Related news: Shiv Sena to go solo in 2019 Lok Sabha, Assembly pollsAnnouncing the seat-sharing, both the parties stressed that Hindutva was the common thread between them. Fadnavis said the two parties with national ideology “have come together in the wider public interest.” Fadnavis also announced that the Nanar refinery project proposed in coastal Konkan will be shifted to a place acceptable to people.Shah said it was the wish of the workers of the BJP and the Shiv Sena that the two parties joined hands for the elections. “The two parties have respected that public sentiment and we have decided to contest the Lok Sabha, Assembly polls together,” Fadnavis said. “In principle, both the parties are pro-Hindutva,” he said. Parties with national ideology have come together in wider public interest, he added.The two parties have decided to join hands keeping in mind how they can work in the broader interest of farmers and the poor, he said. “Uddhav ji has insisted on construction of Ram temple. And the BJP completely supports it,” Fadnavis said, referring the Shiv Sena chief as ‘margdarshak’ (mentor) of his government.On his part, Thackeray said there was anger and dissent among the people over the Pulwama attack. Thackeray said he expected the government to show to Pakistan that India was not a weak nation. He also thanked Fadnavis for deciding to shift the proposed Nanar refinery project.Shah said the two parties decided to contest the polls together after detailed thinking. “This is not just a political alliance, but one based on principles. The two parties have fought for decades on the issues of Ram temple, national security and cultural nationalism and also attained victories. I am sure we will win again,” he said. “I thank and congratulate Uddhav ji for ending the differences with a large heart,” he added.In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the two parties along with their allies had won 42 out of the 48 seats. The BJP had bagged 23 seats, while the Shiv Sena had emerged victorious in 18 constituencies. The two parties had contested the October 2014 Maharashtra Assembly election separately and had come together to form government in a post-poll arrangement in December that year. SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL elections BJP to contest 25 seats while Shiv Sena 23 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra political development Land acquisition for refinery project scrapped: Maharashtra Minister state politics Maharashtra COMMENTS