Colin Kaepernick, who made a rousing debut as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback Sunday replacing concussed Alex Smith, will take all the first-team reps for the Niners as they prepare to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.This comes from none other than Smith, to ESPN.The move seemingly would put Kaepernick on track to start against the Saints; players who receive first-team reps usually draw starts for that week’s game.Harbaugh said earlier Wednesday the QB for the NFC West-leading Niners (7-2-1) could change week to week, and even during the course of a game.Kaepernick went 16 for 23 for 243 yards, two touchdowns and an impressive passer rating of 133.1 in his first NFL start Monday against Chicago. The second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011 hardly seemed fazed by football’s big stage. He directed scoring drives and made beautiful throws on the Niners’ initial four possessions and completed 12 of his first 14 passes, with a 57-yard throw to Kyle Williams, setting up Vernon Davis’ 3-yard TD on the next play.Harbaugh rated Kaepernick’s debut start as “A-plus-plus.”Smith said plans to fight for his job once he is fully healthy, but he had yet to be medically cleared Wednesday after missing Monday night’s 32-7 rout of the Bears while recovering from a concussion. He was supportive Wednesday of Kaepernick’s success, even if the second-year pro takes Smith’s starting job as 49ers quarterback.“If you can’t be happy for your teammate’s success you’re playing the wrong sport. Go play tennis or golf or something,” Smith said Wednesday. “That’s ridiculous, I think. That doesn’t belong in team sports, in my opinion. It’s the quarterback position. It gets a lot of attention. We’re going to get talked about.”Harbaugh underwent a follow-up evaluation for his irregular heartbeat Tuesday and said, “believe we’ve got that one licked.” He has quit chewing tobacco and given up the four or five Diet Cokes he was drinking daily after doctors encouraged him to improve his diet and decrease his caffeine intake. Harbaugh underwent a cardiovert procedure last Thursday.“Zero,” he said of soda and dipping. “Cold turkey.”He swears he’s had no headaches as he moves off caffeine.Smith completed 18-of-19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in a Monday night win Oct. 29 at Arizona for a passer rating of 157.1. Smith then sustained a concussion in the second quarter of a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11. He even threw a touchdown pass with blurred vision six plays after taking the hit doctors believe caused his injury.
John Wall exceled with 31 points, including a crowd-pleasing 360-degree dunk, to go with nine assists as he led the Washington Wizards to a 116-111 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.The Lakers had a tough time dealing with Wall especially on a fast break play where he showed off his leaping ability.With the Wizards behind 42-41 in the second quarter, Wall stole a pass which was headed to Wesley Johnson jetted the towards Washington’s basket, finishing with a flashy 360 dunk.Wall has 30 points or more for the three straight game. This has been the first time he has accomplished that in his career. He scored 13 points with 4:41 left in the fourth-quarter to help the Wizards beat Los Angeles. Wall was also 10 for 18 in field goals and he made 11 of 12 free throws.Dunk is below:
On Sunday, in a 30-24 overtime win in Tampa Bay, the Oakland Raiders were flagged for 23 penalties, which cost them an even 200 yards. That was the most penalties for one team in a single game since at least 1940 and the third-most penalty yards that any one team has racked up in a single game in that same span. The Raiders have a history of committing penalties — the franchise led the NFL in that category for four straight years in the nineties and set the single-season record with 163 back in 2011 — so adding the single-game record to that legacy is at least in character. Heck, Oakland was already leading the NFL in penalties this season even before that, um, historic performance in Week 8. But what if I told you that the same factors that are driving the Raiders’ penalties are likely driving their surprising success?The Raiders have the second-most penalties through eight games of any team since 1940, but Oakland is also 6-2. That may not be as surprising as it appears, because committing more penalties isn’t as strongly correlated with losing as conventional wisdom suggests. I looked at all team penalties through Week 8 of each season since the NFL’s realignment in 2002, and there was only a slightly negative correlation between penalties and winning (i.e., the more penalties a team has, the lower its winning percentage).1The correlation coefficient between winning percentage and penalties over that span was just -0.10. And that correlation is actually positive for the 2016 season, thanks to the Bay Area teams: Not only is Oakland an outlier, but also the 1-6 49ers have the fewest penalties in the NFL this season. And while most coaches stress to players that they shouldn’t incur penalties, the relationship between penalties and success (as we can see from the chart) isn’t as clear as you might think. Sure, on any given play, a penalty is bad, but penalties are also associated with aggressive, physical play, and those can be very good things on the plays where penalties aren’t called.Of Oakland’s 103 total penalties (both accepted and declined), a league-high 53 (51 percent) of them have come on offense. (On average this season, 49 percent of all penalties have come on offense, compared to 37 percent on defense and 14 percent on special teams.) Of Oakland’s offensive penalties, 18 have come from offensive holding, which is tied for first with the Patriots (who have only played seven games), and 14 have come via false start, second in the league to Washington’s 16. And Oakland’s offense has been flagged a league-high four times for unnecessary roughness, with tackle Donald Penn owning two of those infractions.So far this season, 45 players have been flagged for at least five offensive penalties, and six of those players are Raiders: backup lineman Vadal Alexander (8), followed by Penn (7), center Rodney Hudson (6), guard Gabe Jackson (6), WR Michael Crabtree (5) and guard Kelechi Osemele (5). In total, Raiders offensive linemen have been flagged for 33 penalties, nine more than any other offensive line in the league.That’s a lot of penalties, but what that analysis is missing is what’s happening on all the plays that don’t result in a penalty — especially if those plays include ones where the refs don’t throw a flag because they’ve already thrown so many. And Oakland’s offensive line is doing really, really well on those plays. No team has spent more 2016 salary cap dollars on its offensive line than the Raiders, and it’s paid off: Oakland has been sacked on just 2.7 percent of all pass plays this season, the lowest rate in the NFL. And Oakland’s top three running backs — Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard — aren’t highly-regarded and weren’t drafted with premium picks, but they have rushed 156 times for 763 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. The Oakland line is getting things done.We don’t often think of offensive linemen as boom-bust players, but that’s what the Raiders have created under OL coach Mike Tice. Because while that unit has been responsible for an enormous share of the team’s penalties, on most other plays, it’s operating as one of the best units in football. The Raiders have talked about building a nasty, physical, aggressive offensive line — and for better or worse, that’s exactly what they’ve done.CORRECTION (Nov. 2, 12:34 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article misstated the time period of the penalties and win percentages shown in light purple. The correct time period is 2002 to 2016, not 2012 to 2016.
Kasautii Zindagiii Kay 2 actress Erica FernandesinstagramErica Fernandes has emerged as one of the most sought after actresses of the telly world in recent times. While the actress enjoys a massive fan following, her fanbase multiplied two-fold after she played Prerna in Ekta Kapoor’s popular show Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2. Her striking chemistry with lead actor Parth Samthaan aka Anurag Basu is another factor for the show being loved by millions.Although Erica has a hectic work schedule, she recently managed to take some time out to shoot for another show. Yes, Erica will soon be seen in Colors’ show Khatra Khatra Khatra with Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa.Erica shot for the show on July 24 and will be seen performing fun tasks on the show, PinkVilla reported. She is one among the many celebrities who have appeared on Khatra Khatra Khatra.The gorgeous actress must have been paid a whopping amount to appear on Khatra Khatra Khatra given that Erica’s show runs on a rival channel.Earlier, Parth had participated in Colors Kitchen Champions and was rumoured to be the highest-paid celebrity contestant to appear on the show. Besides his crazy fan following, it was said that one of the primary reasons for the fat paycheque was apparently because Parth’s show airs on a rival channel.Meanwhile, angry fans of Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 are blasting the makers for not uniting Prerna and Anurag. As per the recent development on the show, Prerna married Mr Bajaj (Karan Singh Grover), ditching her love Anurag. Such is the craze for Anurag and Prerna that fans started trending #WeWantAnuPreOnly on social media despite knowing that Mr Bajaj’s entry will change the equation between Anurag-Prerna. Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2 stars Erica Fernandes and Parth Samthaan in Switzerlandinstagram
Sri Lankan Muslims attend a prayer at the Jumha mosque after a mob attack, in Minuwangoda on 15 May. Photo: AFPSri Lanka’s minority Muslims attended Friday prayers as heavily armed troops and police guarded all mosques, including those badly vandalised in riots in the wake of the Easter terror attacks.Police said security would remain tight over the weekend for a major Buddhist festival as well as the 10th anniversary of the ending of the country’s decades-long Tamil separatist war.Clerics said some of the damaged mosques cleared out glass shards and other debris and conducted services with attendance at a high level.”We had about 450 to 500 people,” M. I. M. Siddeeque, the trustee of the riot-hit Kinyama mosque in the worst affected North-Western Province told AFP by telephone.”There were six soldiers outside the mosques and many more police at the top of the road.”Siddeeque said his mosque was cleared of the debris, but windows, furniture and the public address system were yet to be replaced.In the town of Minuwangoda, the faithful packed the first floor of the two-storeyed Hujjaj mosque to pray even though repairs were yet to begin.Local residents said Buddhists and Catholic priests were also present as a sign of solidarity with Muslims community.Police said there were no major incidents although sporadic clashes were reported from a handful of places.”Police are firmly in control and the situation is fast returning to normality,” a senior police official told AFP. A nationwide night curfew was lifted Thursday.The riots came three weeks after suicide bomb attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo, killing 258 people. The April 21 attacks were blamed on a local jihadi group.This weekend Sri Lanka celebrates Vesak which marks the birth, enlightenment and the passing of the Buddha over 2,500 years ago on Saturday and Sunday.The most important Buddhist celebration coincides this year with the country marking a decade since ending a 37-year-separatist by annihilating the entire leadership of Tamil Tiger guerrillas.The head of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed 10 years ago Saturday while the government declared an end to the war a day later.President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are due to attend several ceremonies in and around Colombo on Sunday to pay tribute to over 28,000 security personnel who died during the nearly four-decade-long war.The minority Tamil community too is expected on Saturday to pay tribute to their war dead, including Tiger rebels at low-key ceremonies in the northeastern district of Mullaittivu where the final battles were fought.Army chief Mahesh Senanayake said security forces will not obstruct any war remembrance by the Tamils. Under the previous regime, any war remembrance by Tamils was outlawed.
Indian security force personnel keep guard alongside a road during restrictions after the government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar 15 August, 2019. Photo: ReutersIndian troops detained a Kashmiri reporter working for a local newspaper in an overnight raid at his house in the Tral area of Southern Pulwama district, his family said on Thursday.Irfan Ahmad Malik, 28, works for Greater Kashmir, the largest circulation daily newspaper in the Kashmir valley. It was not immediately clear why he had been detained.The arrest comes as the Kashmir region remains under a clampdown by the Indian army and police, including the blacking out of phone and internet connections, in lockstep with the Indian government’s announcement on Aug. 5 that it was taking away special status from Jammu and Kashmir state.”The troops jumped over the compound wall of our house last night at around 11:30 p.m.,” said Malik’s father, Mohammad Amin Malik, 57.”We were asleep, they knocked at the door. We opened the door and troops asked for Irfan. He was taken along. We asked for reasons behind his arrest, they decline to say anything,” he said.A spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir government, Rohit Kansal, told Reuters that he would seek information about the arrest.“I just heard about the incident. We are trying to verify it. We will collect details and look into it. As of now we have no information,” he said.More than 500 local leaders and activists have been detained in the past 12 days of the crackdown.Malik had worked for the paper for the past three years in the restive town of Tral, which is a hotbed of militancy in a decades-old Kashmiri separatist movement.Malik’s father said he was told by an officer at the Awantipora police station on Thursday morning that there were “orders from the top” to arrest his son but the local police did not know the reason. They declined to release him.Wiping away her tears, Malik’s mother, Haseena, told Reuters: “We curse the day he chose to become a journalist.”Both parents spoke to Reuters in Srinagar, where they were hoping to see officials to plead for their son’s release.India’s move this month tightened New Delhi’s grasp over the country’s only Muslim-majority region. It means that non-residents will no longer be banned from buying property in the state and state government jobs will no longer be reserved for residents.