Cowboys TE Jason Witten to Avoid Spleen Surgery

Jason Witten – What has been a physically trying preseason for the Dallas Cowboys got a little better when team doctors informed tight end Jason Witten that he will not need season-ending surgery to repair a lacerated spleen, ESPN reported Wednesday.The bleeding in Witten’s spleen has finally subsided, leading his doctors to believe that it will heal on its own.Witten, who suffered the injury during an Aug. 13 preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, is still aiming to return in time for the Cowboys’ Sept. 5 regular-season opener against New York Giants, but it remains unclear whether he will be ready to play again so soon.A more likely return could be in Week 2, when Dallas plays at Seattle.The news will be welcomed by a team that has been devastated by injuries so far this preseason, particularly throughout its receiving corps. In addition to Witten, Dallas will likely be minus quarterback Tony Romo’s two other top threats in wide receivers Dez Bryant (knee) and Miles Austin (hamstring) until the start of the regular season.Witten, however, is the glue that often keeps the offense together and his loss would have been a major blow to a Dallas team trying to shed its underachieving label of recent years. The nine-year veteran and seven-time Pro Bowl selection is Romo’s unquestioned go-to guy, hauling in 409 passes for 4,824 yards and 21 touchdowns since Romo took over as the starter in 2006.Witten, who is also a key part of the Dallas ground game with his blocking on the edge, has missed just one game in his career because of a fractured jaw he suffered as a rookie in 2003. He’s played through a broken rib, as well as knee and ankle injuries.Witten totaled 79 catches for 942 yards and five touchdowns a year ago, passing Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome as the tight end with the third-most receptions in NFL history. read more

Social media buzzer battlegrounds as Indonesia elections near

first_imgIndonesia`s president Joko Widodo (C) walks together with Siti Aisyah (front R) and her family after their meeting at palace in Jakarta, on 12 March 2019. Shock and delight rippled through the Indonesian town of Sindangsari on March 11 as residents got word that a local woman accused of assassinating the North Korean leader`s half-brother had been freed. Photo: AFPAlmost every day, “Janda”, a self-described Indonesian housewife with 2,000 Twitter followers, dispenses lifestyle tips, complains about city life, and praises how the government of president Joko Widodo has improved her life as a young mother.But Janda the housewife does not exist. The Twitter account’s real owner is an unmarried middle-aged man who offers political social media services backing Widodo’s re-election campaign.He is a leader of one of the many so called “buzzer” teams, named for the social media buzz such groups aim to create, that have sprung up in Indonesia ahead of the presidential election next month in the world’s third-largest democracy.”Our battleground is social media. The content we are making for the election is reaching at least a million people per week,” said the owner of the Janda account, declining to be named because his work is legally in a gray area.In interviews with Reuters, over a dozen buzzer team members, social media consultants and cyber experts described an array of social media operations that they said were spreading propaganda on behalf of both Widodo and his challenger, retired general Prabowo Subianto.Widodo enjoys a comfortable lead in most opinion polls over Prabowo, as the challenger is widely known. The two contested the previous election in 2014 as well, and Widodo won narrowly.Fake news was spread in that election as well, although social media was less far-reaching than it is now.Under Indonesia’s broad internet defamation law, creating and spreading fake news is illegal, but holding social media accounts in false names is not, unless a real person is being impersonated. Social media companies however mostly bar holding accounts under false names.Three buzzers directly involved in the current campaign described how they operate hundreds of personalized social media accounts each on behalf of the candidates. One denied propagating fake news, while two said they didn’t care about the accuracy of the content.Both campaign teams deny using buzzers or spreading fake news.Ross Tapsell, an expert on politics and media at Australia National University, said that it has become normal for candiates in Southeast Asia to hire online campaign strategists, who in turn tap an army of people to spread content on social media.”So there is no direct link at all to the candidate,” he said.The buzzer campaigns have far outstripped the efforts of Facebook and other social media companies to curtail creation of fake accounts and spread fake news, cyber experts say. Reuters found that while robot accounts were occasionally deleted, personalized fake accounts like “Janda” are widespread on Twitter and Facebook platforms, despite violating the companies’ rules.On the EdgeMisinformation spread by real accounts – which are often coopted by buzzer teams – is rampant on Facebook as well as on its Instagram and WhatsApp affiliates and rival service Twitter. The companies say they are working with the government and fighting back against false content.Representatives for Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp told Reuters they regularly delete fake accounts in Indonesia, but declined to share removal numbers.A Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters it is working to remove networks of accounts engaged in misinformation and disinformation.Facebook, which counts Indonesia as its third-largest market globally with an estimated 130 million accounts, says it trains election management bodies how to flag fake news to the company, which is then evaluated by moderators and deleted if it breaks its community standards.For Indonesian Communications Minister Rudiantara, those efforts are not enough.He said the government had asked social media companies to work with authorities to create a standard operating procedure that would allow fake news and hoaxes to be flagged and resolved. They have yet to comply.”We expect it to get much worse as we get closer to the election,” said Harry Sufehmi, co-founder of Mafindo, an Indonesian organisation fighting fake news, which listed nearly 500 social media hoaxes related to politics in 2018.He was one of three experts whose research found that a larger proportion of the misinformation targets Widodo, with some posts depicting him as anti-Islam, a Chinese stooge or a communist.All are inflammatory accusations in a country that has the world’s largest number of Muslims, where the communist party is banned and suspicions linger over the influence of Beijing.A smaller portion of the misinformation campaigns target Prabowo.Buzzing for MoneyOn a recent afternoon in Jakarta, one buzzer team leader scrolled through two mobile phones that had over 250 Facebook , Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube and Twitter accounts, each with a fake persona. He updated five of them with posts praising Widodo’s achievements or mocking Prabowo and his running mate.He denied disseminating misinformation, focusing instead on content that gushed about his clients’s virtues. But he admitted he does look for dirt on opponents as part of a “complete package” of posts and videos that he sells for 200 million rupiah ($14,000) a month.His staff of 15, whom he refers to as “cyber troops”, in turn have subcontractors, throughout Indonesia, many of whom are unaware of the ultimate identity of clients, he said.He told Reuters he was hired by an adviser to Widodo’s campaign.Ace Hasan Syadzily, a spokesman for the president’s campaign team, denied knowledge of such groups, but said “the campaign had an obligation to counter false or negative narratives” against Widodo.Another buzzer said he had been hired by advisers to Prabowo, while the third said he supplied services to a social media agency used by both campaigns.Anthony Leong, the Prabowo digital team’s coordinator, denied they use buzzer teams, noting that the campaign required its “10,000 digital volunteers” to use real names and only allowed them to post “positive content”.”Work is Fun”According to the buzzers interviewed, a junior “cyber soldier” can be paid between 1 million to 50 million rupiah per project depending on the reach of his social media accounts.”For a lot of us, the work is fun…and the salaries are decent,” said the buzzer who said he is a contractor for a social media agency used by both the Widodo and Prabowo campaigns.He said his role was to create trending topics during key election moments, using hashtags and content provided by his agency in combination with his personal fake accounts, he said.”For me, there’s no hoax or so-called negative content. The material just comes from the client,” he told Reuters.Pradipa Rasidi, a researcher at the University of Indonesia, said most buzzers are young graduates who do it “because it’s hard to find a job after university and the pay is higher”.But the legal risks are real. The buzzer activities are punishable by jail if they are judged to breach Indonesia’s internet defamation law.All three buzzers interviewed by Reuters declined to be named or provide certain details of their operations because of those risks.Policing by the social media companies, however, was not a concern: None had ever had an account or post deleted. ($1 = 14,115.0000 rupiah)last_img

Reviving organic fashion at the runway

first_imgIt was a fashion parade on the second day of the Amazon India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter’ 17 – from incredible sarees designed in lustrous tussar silk to kurtas woven from Kuchai – garments created from some of the best organic fabric of Jharkhand were on glorious display as internationally acclaimed designers showcased their work. Madhu Jain, craft revivalist and textile conservationist showcased her specially curated collection at the fashion extravaganza by taking the ‘Ikat weaving craft’ style to another level. Here, she showcased a blend of several cultures that straddles geographies; from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in India, to Thailand and Uzbekistan. The collection bears her inimitable stamp of exquisite craftsmanship, striking design intervention, and an outstanding colour palette. And the best part? Every single textile innovated by Madhu has been woven in India. Her exquisite collection was introduced with some soul-stirring singing by the mesmerising Raghav Meattle, a Finalist of the wildly popular TV show ‘The Stage.’ Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSome of India’s top fashion designers including Rina Dhaka, Shaina NC, Shruti Sancheti, Divya and Ambika Jain showcased their latest fashion collections designed from Jharkhand’s rich fabrics and handloom at the grand fashion show put together by ‘Jharcraft’. Top models sashayed the ramp displaying the elegant collections with elan as the designers showcased their designs made of Tussar silk, Kuchai silk and other handloom fabrics of Jharkhand.”The treasured hand-loom clusters from remotest tribal belt of Jharkhand inspired me to redefine muted glamour of tribal India. Luminous looms like Tussar, mulberry silk, Eri silk and spun cotton in decadent palette of Sand, Ecru, berry purple, Onyx, Charcoal, Burgundy, Mahogany and Teal are meticulously crafted to create easy separates for the coming festive season,” says Shruti Sancheti. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive’Jharcraft’ (Jharkhand Silk Textile and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd) conceived the fashion event with an objective to put spotlight on to the exquisite and organic fabrics handcrafted by craftspersons of the state.Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Irani also paid a visit to the ‘Jharcraft’ pavilion and took a close look at the handloom collection. She also discussed the initiatives being undertaken to help artisans from the state to achieve better market access and improve their livelihood. Tussar Silk, a special silk variety produced in eastern and central India, primarily in Jharkhand, was the special focus of the collection. India is the second largest producer of Tussar silk and the exclusive producer of Indian Tussar (also known as tropical tussar). In recent years, Jharkhand state has emerged as the largest producer of Tussar silk in the country.The artisans producing the silk are largely poor tribals from Jharkhand state. In its quest to improve sources of livelihood for these artisans, ‘Jharcraft’ works to promote their work and take it to national and international platforms. “These silks are a deep manifestation of the tribal arts and crafts of the region and reflect the well-springs of creativity endowed with the ethnic communities of Jharkhand. Recognising it as a source of income, the artisans of the state have in recent years further cultivated and enhanced their skills as well as variety of products. Jharkhand is today the leading producer of Tussar silk which is attracting much attention, especially among the discerning fabric lovers. By associating with such an event and showcasing Tussar silk and garments made of other handlooms of Jharkhand, our attempt is to take ours fabrics and handlooms to international markets,” said K Ravi Kumar, Managing Director, ‘Jharcraft’.last_img read more