ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan’s autocratic leader has established a national holiday to honor the local dog breed. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered the holiday praising the Alabai, the Central Asian shepherd dog, to be celebrated on the last Sunday of April when the ex-Soviet nation also marks the day of the local horse breed, according to Tuesday’s report in the daily Neutral Turkmenistan. The Central Asian nation of 6 million prides itself in horses and dogs, honoring its centuries-old herding traditions. Berdymukhamedov has ruled the gas-rich desert country since 2006 through an all-encompassing personality cult that styles him as Turkmenistan’s “arkadaq,’ or protector.
For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: They couldn’t stop gushing about Imran Khan’s leadership prowess as Pakistani cricketers—past and present—congratulated the World Cup-winning former captain for leading his party to power in the country’s general elections. “Congratulating the new Prime Minister of our Country. It was all very formal but I still got to call him Skipper.#ImranKhanPrimeMinister,” tweeted Wasim Akram, a former teammate of Imran and himself a former captain.“A cricketer who became a politician? Or a man who was born to serve this nation, protect our people and lead us in to our own. And one day they will say, that this same man was once a phenomenal cricketer. The time is now for change, Our country Our history!,” read one of his earlier tweets, lauding Imran’s journey.Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has emerged as the single largest party in the polls but is short of the majority mark. Imran currently leads the race to be the country’s next Prime Minister.Another former teammate Waqar Younis was equally effusive in his praise of the man who first spotted his talent after watching him for just a few minutes on TV.“A special speech from a Great Leader..Very simple, honest and practical..Feeling so proud to be a student of such a Mentor.. Congratulations Skipper,” he tweeted after Imran’s rousing Television address to the nation after the results came out yesterday.“It was in your leadership skip @ImrankhanPTI that we became world champions in 1992. It is in your leadership that we can again become a great democratic country,” stated one of his earlier tweets on Imran.Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi and pacer Mohammad Amir also congratulated the former cricketer, who has demigod status in the country and is fondly called the ‘Kaptaan’.“Congrats PTI and @ImranKhanPTI on a truly historic victory! The 22 yr old struggle has finally paid off & deservedly. Pakistanis have a lot of expectations from u I really hope u lead from the front! I request all opposing parties& media to accept the result and help rebuild,” the recently-retired Afridi tweeted.“Congrats to @ImranKhanPTI i hope u guys will do the best for pakistani nation INSHALLAH,” added Amir. Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz called Imran a model of sincerity.“That was one inspiring speech, had the honesty and sincerity of a leader who feels the people of Pakistan My daughter and the children of this generation are going to be part of #NayaPakistan. No words to describe that feeling. Congrats @ImranKhanPTI I’m praying for ur success..,” he tweeted.For all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, Imran’s victory is the beginning of a new era for Pakistan.“Ma Shaa Allah @ImranKhanPTI U done it once again, Long Marathon Struggle against corruption, A man of Strong Believe, #GREATLEADER #IRONMAN,” he tweeted.Imran was also congratulated by some Indian cricketers, including veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.“Many congratulations to @ImranKhanPTI for becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan! I hope you bring about peace and happiness amongst all, and work towards a bigger and brighter future! Wishing you all the best.”Also lauding his journey was former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.“Imran is the epitome of setting the bar high and reaching it. Congratulations & good luck to my cricketing hero, Imran Khan!”
BRYAN FAUST/Herald photoDuring the course of the past week, the Badgers have lost their first conference game, lost to independent unranked North Dakota State, lost two major contributors off the bench, one for the duration of the season and have lost their shooting touch (shooting 29.7 percent from the field).Wednesday night, against Penn State, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team hopes to find some answers and get its season back on track. Historically, the Nittany Lions are as good a remedy as an ailing team can find, as the boys from Happy Valley have finished below .500 in the Big Ten every year since the 1997-98 season (8-8), including last year’s 1-15 effort.However it appears as if that is not the case this season, as the Nittany Lions (10-6, 2-3 Big Ten) are the most improved team in the conference, having already doubled last season’s league win total. Consequently, a word that constantly came up when discussing Penn State with UW players was ‘dangerous.'”They are just hungrier. They come out every game ready to play and with something to prove,” sophomore guard Michael Flowers said. “They play with a lot of passion and a lot of heart and when you have those two things, you are a dangerous team.””If you read into the game and not just look at the box scores, they have played some tough games and played them all the way out. Those are the kind of teams that are going to be dangerous because teams are going to come in all loose and expect to win,” said junior forward Alando Tucker.One reason for the sudden change in quality of play has been maturity. Penn State returns five players who started at least ten games a year ago, led by sophomore forward Geary Claxton, who is among the Big Ten’s best in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg).”We know they have a pretty good player in Claxton. He is a real active kid,” sophomore Kammron Taylor said. “He has really improved from last year to this year.”Penn State has also benefited from the addition of some fresh faces, most notably freshman of the year candidate Jamelle Cornley. A true freshman from Columbus, Ohio, Cornley is averaging 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, both second best on the team. Since conference play has started, Cornley has played even better, averaging 16.0 points a night, best on the Nittany Lion roster. “It’s tough to contribute [as a freshman] on and off the court,” said forward Joe Krabbenhoft, who like Cornley is also making major contributions in their first year out of high school.Still, for all that Penn State brings to the table, the Badgers realize that they first and foremost have to clean up their own game and before they can truly worry about anybody else’s.”I, myself and the team, we really have to put this behind us,” Taylor said. “We have a great chance to fight to be at the top of the Big Ten.””We need to tune things up and play the way we know how to play,” freshman walk-on Kevin Gullikson said.In the end, the determining factor of the game will be whether or not the Badgers can not only regain their shooting touch, but their confidence along with it. “Right now they’re playing their best basketball, so they’re coming in with a heck of a lot of confidence,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “What our guys better do is make sure that we haven’t lost any.”Tucker unmasked: One change that Badger fans are sure to notice is that Tucker will be without the mask that he has been forced to wear since the second half of the Wake Forest game Nov. 29. Tucker expects to be free of the facial protector for Wednesday night’s contest.”I consulted with the medical staff and I told them I felt good. It looks like right now that it is in the past.”