After an encouraging couple of weeks under Roberto Di Matteo’s leadership, the past few days have seen Chelsea brought back down to earth – and could end up having a significant impact on the club’s longer-term fortunes.Four straight wins, including that memorable victory over Napoli, had brought some smiles back to Stamford Bridge – on and off the pitch.But we fans knew deep down that matches against Manchester City and Tottenham would be more of a test than cup ties against lower-division opposition and the home game against Stoke. And so it has proved.The defeat in Manchester and, perhaps more crucially, the failure to beat Tottenham, have probably ended our chances of finishing in the top four.A win over Spurs would have left us just two points behind them and poised to pounce on any more points dropped by an out-of-form side.But a five-point gap with only eight games left to play is probably too much to overturn, especially when our own form is not great.So it looks like fifth place could be the limit of Chelsea’s league expectations this year, which would mean a worst finish for a decade.The Europa League next year could actually make a bit of a change – a few different away trips – but we all know it’s not where Chelsea want to be.If the four wins had begun to spark a small clamour for Di Matteo to get the job permanently, the City and Spurs games have perhaps brought that to an end.He’s a Chelsea man through and through and I hope he keeps a job at the club.But will a lack of Champions League football put off potential suitors? I’d love to see Jose Mourinho back, but would he want to manage a club that isn’t in the Champions League? I’m not sure hewould.And if we can’t get him or somebody comparable, we could look back and feel that a 0-0 draw with Spurs – so uneventful it was featured last on Match of the Day – actually shaped the future of Chelsea for years to come.James Clarke is the author of Moody Blues: Following the second-best team in EuropeFollow James on Twitter
The sixth and final episode of Stephen Curry’s behind-the-scenes Facebook Watch series drops later today (5 p.m. PT). Its main focus is the Warriors’ injury-riddled playoff run and how Curry came to terms with the team’s loss against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.“At the end of the day, I knew I gave my best shot and it just didn’t work out,” Curry says, looking back at how the season ended in heartbreaking fashion at Oracle Arena. “I’ll never cheat the game, I give everything I have …
The 79th session of the Indian History Congress (IHC) that was to be held in the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) between December 28 and 30 has been “indefinitely postponed” by university authorities allegedly due to a shortage of funds.The university put up a statement on its website on Wednesday.The IHC, considered the premier body of academic and professional historians in the country and which boasts a membership of over 7,000 academics, said it was “shocked” and “deeply disappointed” at the university’s last-minute decision.On Thursday, SPPU organising committee member professor Radhika Seshan said that the ‘Khelo India’ programme scheduled between January 9 and 20, 2019, in the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi, meant that the facility would be unavailable for housing delegates coming to the IHC.“We have asked the IHC for a postponement till February or March owing to shortage of funds and because of the Khelo India programme. The loss of the Balewadi Sports Complex means that we would have to arrange for hotels to house the delegates. This would add to our costs,” she said.Though the IHC was scheduled in advance, she said that the neck-to-neck schedules of the congress and the ‘Khelo India’ event was the reason given by authorities for not making the Balewadi facility available to the SPPU. Ms. Seshan denied suggestions of any ‘political pressure’ on the university to host the IHC.Over 2,000 delegatesMore than 2,000 delegates from across India were expected at the Congress. According to SPPU authorities, the cost of hosting an event at this scale would come to ₹1.5 crore.“It is a matter of pride for us and we would still be happy to host. We hope that the IHC’s executive committee will agree to our request for a postponement,” Ms. Seshan said. When asked if the varsity would be able to secure funds if the IHC agreed to a postponement, she said that the organising committee had the full support of the SPPU.In a note put up on the IHC website on Wednesday, Professor Mahalaxmi Ramakrishnan, secretary, IHC said: “We had received an email from [university authorities] on the night of December 11 which said that due to financial difficulties and lack of arrangements for accommodation of delegates, they have at the last moment taken this unilateral decision. This morning [December 12], the website of SPPU carried the announcement of the postponement of the IHC, without the approval of the executive committee (EC) of the IHC. We have written to the Vice-Chancellor of SPPU expressing our deep anguish and asking him to ensure that the local delegate fee is returned immediately to the members.”Ms. Ramakrishnan further said that the IHC regretted that its members were being put to great inconvenience at this late hour but assured them that the 79th session of the congress would be held at a future date, the dates and venue of which would be duly conveyed to all members.Ms. Seshan, however, said that most delegates had not yet asked for the fee refund and had inquired about future dates.The IHC, which prides itself with the promotion and encouragement of the scientific study of Indian history, has often taken a critical stance in the past towards attempts at rewriting history on the basis of myth.The Congress met for the first time in 1935 in Pune city under the auspices of the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal and on the initiative of the renowned historian, Professor D.V. Potdar.A strong link with the city constituted the rationale for the congress to be held in Pune this time. Distinguished historians from Maharashtra and Pune including Professor D.V. Potdar, G.H. Khare and Prof. H.D. Sankalia among others have served as past presidents of the IHC.The history body’s link with Maharashtra is further exemplified by the fact that the most prestigious prize that the IHC awards is named after V.K. Rajwade, the great Maratha archivist and historian of King Shivaji.Delhi-based historian of modern political history, S. Irfan Habib in a tweet said, “Shocking to know that Savitri Bai Phule university in Pune suddenly decided not to host the 79th Indian History Congress session. IHC session was supposed to be held by the end of this month. Law and order issues are cited as one major reasons by the university host.” SPPU authorities, however, categorically repudiated speculation about having sent the IHC any previous communication expressing reservations about hosting the congress owing to a potential ‘law and order situation’.
Kolkata: Nearly a month after Sajal Kanjilal, a passenger, was dragged to his death by a Kolkata Metro train with his hand stuck between its sliding doors, a girl commuter on Tuesday complained that the Metro train she was travelling in, started moving with her shoulder stuck outside the doors.According to a social media post by the victim, Aatreyee Bhattacharya, the incident took place at the Park Street Metro station on Tuesday morning, the very station where the previous accident had occurred. However, the Kolkata Metro Railway authority refuted the charges. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”@RailMinIndia I was going to die today, thanks to you. My shoulders were stuck on the doors, and I felt the metro starting to run. Again? @metrorailwaykol how many more before you take a step,” tweeted Bhattacharya. Minutes after her tweet, the Kolkata Metro Railway authority came into action and started scrutinising the CCTV footage of the Metro station. According to sources, the incident took place at the Park Street Metro station when the rush of passengers was less. The Kolkata Metro Authority claimed that no such incident took place. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”We have thoroughly scrutinised the CCTV footage of the station. But there was no such incident,” said Kolkata Metro Railway Chief Public Relation Officer Indrani Banerjee. She reiterated that the Metro police personnel have been asked to keep a close eye on passengers trying to force their way into the rakes at the last moment to avoid any untoward incident. This apart, a penalty is also there for passengers who are caught getting into the train forcefully. Hours after complaining on social media, the girl deleted her tweet. The incident reminded of 66-year-old Kanjilal who eventually died after being dragged through the tunnel between Park Street and Maidan Metro stations last month. The passenger count of Kolkata Metro Railway has increased during the first four months of this financial year (2019-20) in comparison to the same period of 2018-19. During this period, from April 1, 2019 to July 31, 2019, the Metro Railway carried 698.49 lakh passengers in comparison to 690.60 lakh passengers carried in the same period of the previous financial year (2018-19), registering an increase of 7.89 lakh commuters.
TORONTO – With cases of flu continuing to rise in Canada, there’s likely a whole lot of “achooing” going on across the country. But ear, nose and throat doctors advise against trying to stifle those sneezes, as such suppression can in rare cases lead to injuries.One of the most serious is detailed in the journal BMJ Case Reports, published online Monday, in which a 34-year-old man from the United Kingdom ruptured his throat after pinching his nose and clamping his mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze.The post-sneeze trauma left the man in pain and barely able to speak or swallow.When emergency care doctors examined the patient, they heard popping and crackling sounds extending from his neck to his rib cage — a sign that air bubbles had found their way into the tissue and muscles of his chest, the authors at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust write.The unidentified man, who was treated in hospital for a week, was advised against repeating such a “dangerous manoeuvre” in the future.“This tear in the throat is incredibly unusual,” said Dr. Douglas Chepeha, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at University Health Network in Toronto. “In my career, I’ve never seen anything like that.”However, he said there are a number of other injuries that could occur from trying to block a sneeze, though they, too, are relatively rare.Impeding the release of air from the nose and mouth during a sneeze could rapidly increase the pressure in the lungs, forcing the air out and trapping it in the chest between the lungs — a condition known as pseudomediastinum.A suppressed sneeze could also build up pressure in the middle ear, though Chepeha said bursting an eardrum that way is very rare. (To understand the effect, think of popping one’s ears in a descending airplane by breathing out against pinched nostrils to restore hearing.)In the BMJ case report, authors point out that thwarting a sneeze — the body’s attempt to eliminate such irritants as mucus or allergens in the nose — could conceivably rupture an undetected aneurysm, or ballooning blood vessel, in the brain.And it could also cause small surface blood vessels in the eyes and other areas of the head and neck to burst due to built-up pressure, Chepeha said.“In your nose itself, you can burst a blood vessel and get a bleeding nose.”Even without being impeded, sneezing has been known to cause injuries, said Dr. Eric Monteiro, an ENT at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.“There have been reports of elderly women who develop brittle bones in osteoporosis, developing vertebral compression fractures as a result of sneezing,” he said Monday in an interview.Some Major League Baseball players have hurt themselves by sneezing, including Toronto Blue Jay Kevin Pillar, who ended up on the 10-day disabled list when a sneeze led to an oblique muscle strain during the 2015 pre-season.So is there a right way to sneeze?Not really, said Monteiro, explaining that sneezing is an involuntary protective reflex that can’t necessarily be controlled.“But I think there is a wrong way, which is trying to plug your nose and close your mouth, which is just generally not recommended because you inhibit the natural process,” he said.“And if you do that, you’re potentially setting yourself up for an injury, notwithstanding the fact that they’re rare.”While doctors may discourage people from stifling a sneeze — whether it’s a dainty achoo or a big honk — Chepeha said people should deliver it into their inner elbows to prevent spreading the flu virus or other air-borne bugs.“Of course you have to cover your mouth, and the absolute best way is to cough or sneeze into your sleeve.”– Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.