Former BPL player wins appeal LONDON (AP): A British court overturned the rape conviction of former Premier League player Ched Evans yesterday and ordered a new trial. Evans, a former Sheffield United and Wales striker, was in the packed London courtroom with his girlfriend when the verdict was read out by the Court of Appeal. Evans was convicted in April 2012 of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel in Rhyl, north Wales. He was released from prison last year after serving half of his five-year sentence. The 27-year-old Evans had always maintained his innocence and took his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Hodgson backs Vardy LONDON (AP): England coach Roy Hodgson backed Jamie Vardy on Wednesday, saying the Leicester striker did not dive in the incident that led to him being sent off last weekend and sympathising with his angry response to the referee. Hodgson’s employer, the English Football Association, charged Vardy with improper conduct over his reaction to the red card in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with West Ham. “I don’t see that as a dive,” Hodgson said. “I think he was unbalanced. I don’t think it was a penalty either, I think he was unbalanced, running at that speed. “I think there was a very slight sort of contact with the defender, who was trying to cover.” Vardy confronted referee Jon Moss, jabbing a finger at the match official while appearing to express his anger at receiving his first red card of the season. “I sympathise with him, I think he was very, very unlucky,” Hodgson said. “But now he has had to swallow the fact that he has been made to leave the field and then, unfortunately, he has reacted like sometimes human beings react. “He hasn’t just said to the ref, ‘Thanks very much, I understand’ and shakes hands and ‘Have a good game’. He has called him a few names, but he is a human being and that can happen.” Vardy seems certain to be in Hodgson’s plans for the European Championship in June and July after leading Leicester’s stunning pursuit of a first-ever top flight title. LEICESTER, England (AP): Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has accepted an English Football Association improper conduct charge over his reaction to being sent off against West Ham. Vardy’s standard one-match ban could now be lengthened, potentially hitting Leicester’s bid for a first Premier League title. The team is five points ahead of Tottenham with four games remaining. Vardy tangled with Angelo Ogbonna before going down in the penalty area early in the second half on Sunday. Vardy angrily confronted referee Jon Moss after receiving his first red card of the season. At the time, Leicester were leading through Vardy’s 22nd goal of the season and went on to draw 2-2. Leicester also tweeted that it accepted an FA charge of failing to control its players after West Ham was awarded a late penalty.
Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Vonn trying not to think of downhill as her last at Olympics Twice, though, Barcelona had gifted Willian the space to hit the post in the first half. It was third time lucky in the 62nd for Willian, who drifts in and out of the team but was the outlet of Chelsea’s most dangerous moments against the five-time European champions.The Brazilian was left unmarked just outside the penalty area to receive a pass from Eden Hazard. Sergio Busquets charged forward to block Willian but ended up on flat on his back after Willian shimmied past him.“We gave too much space to Willian to shoot,” Valverde said. “The pass to him was perfect, the control was perfect. And we just had to get closer to him.”They didn’t. Willian picked out a gap in the defense to send the ball into the bottom right of the night.“We stayed compact, had a plan,” Willian said, “and did exactly what we expected.”ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his side’s first goal during a Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON — Lionel Messi finally managed one of the few things he had yet to achieve in football.At his ninth attempt, the five-time world player of the year finally scored against Chelsea, salvaging a 1-1 draw on Tuesday and halting his longest drought against any opponent after 730 minutes.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Described by Valverde as a “clash of styles,” this was not a meeting of equals.While Barcelona enjoys a seven-point lead at the top of the Spanish league, Chelsea is in a scrap to even secure one of the Premier League’s four Champions League qualification places. Recent damaging defeats at Bournemouth and Watford have left Chelsea with only a one-point hold on fourth place — and no chance of defending its title with Manchester City 19 points ahead.Now Chelsea, which won its only European title in 2012, has to find a way to at least score at Barcelona next month to secure passage to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.“We have to go there to attack and score because 90 minutes defending at the Nou Camp is an eternity,” said Cesc Fabregas, who joined Chelsea from Barcelona. “It is a suicide mission.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed By cancelling out Willian’s opener, Messi also gave Barcelona a narrow edge in their Champions League round-of-16 matchup heading into the second leg at Camp Nou on March 14. The night’s other game produced a far more conclusive outcome with Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski both scoring twice as Bayern Munich beat 10-man Besiktas 5-0.It was far tighter at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea deploying Eden Hazard as a false nine and containing Barcelona’s energetic pressing before being made to pay for a rare slip in concentration in the 75th minute.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkAndreas Christensen, the 21-year-old center back who displaced 32-year-old captain Gary Cahill from the starting lineup, passed laxly across his own penalty area. Barcelona capitalized. Andres Iniesta beat Cesar Azpilicueta to the ball, skipped past the defender’s attempt to tackle and squared for the unmarked Messi to turn into the bottom of the net. It prevented Barcelona from slipping to only its second loss in all competitions since August.“We lacked more clear-cut chances, but the good thing is we managed to force an error out of them and score an equalizer,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said through a translator. “We go back to the Camp Nou happy.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano
BREAKING NEWS: Gardai have launched an investigation to find a missing man after his yacht was found moored off Sheephaven Bay.The yacht is anchored off Sheephaven BayThe yacht has been anchored in the bay for up to the past ten days.However, the alarm was only raised last night when the man’s family contacted Gardai. They boarded the yacht and found no trace of the man who is understood to be from the Inishowen Peninsula.A smaller vessel which was attached to the yacht was found turned upside down in the water.An immediate search was launched around the lough between Sheephaven Bay and Hornhead Head by the Mulroy Coastguard RIB as well as the Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo.However, no sign of the skipper of the yacht has yet been found. He was believed to be the only person on board the boat.It is understood that further searches will be launched at first light this morning. SEA SEARCH LAUNCHED AS EMPTY YACHT FOUND ANCHORED OFF DONEGAL was last modified: June 29th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ards FriarydonegalGardaimissingYacht
HOUSTON — I knew the question was coming before I opened my Twitter timeline.What do the Warriors do without Kevin Durant? A fair and complicated question. After all, the Warriors beat the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals despite Durant leaving late in the third quarter because of a strained right calf. But can the Warriors do this beginning with Game 6 tonight and possibly beyond?Warriors coach Steve Kerr sounded optimistic both with that question and about Duran …
(Visited 146 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Neither side feels their champion scored a clear victory in the creation debate. Now it’s time to evaluate who had the better facts and logic under fire.Here is a sampling of opinion after the widely-publicized debate Feb. 4 between Ken Ham and Bill Nye.USA Today provided a fairly neutral analysis of the two debaters’ major points, including video excerpts.Supporters of Ken HamKen Ham’s Answers in Genesis views it as a “historic moment for the creation movement.” Over 3 million tuned in, an AIG press release says.Answers in Genesis posted a follow-up video with Ken Ham, looking upbeat, discussing the debate with AIG scientist Georgia Purdom. He provides more clarity about what he said and meant to say.Kent Hovind of Creation Today had a booth behind the debate hall, where he recorded a post-debate show on YouTube. Historian Terry Mortenson (AIG) and astronomer Danny Faulkner joined in, pointing out Ham’s strong points, Nye’s weak points, and specific rebuttals to some of Nye’s scientific claims that Ken Ham lacked time to address.Creation Ministries International‘s review includes a list of scientific rebuttals to some of Bill Nye’s claims.The Discovery Institute called the debate a missed opportunity, and said that the debate avoided intelligent design. Dr. Michael Egnor, however, appreciates Ken Ham’s openness about his assumptions, and discounts the scientific validity of naturalistic assumptions.A writer for Uncommon Descent provided scientific support for some of the geological evidence against long ages.Cross Examined thought Ken Ham put the cart before the horse by arguing Biblical authority to a secular audience instead of disposing of naturalism first.WND gave Ken Ham the edge, pointing out what Nye admitted he didn’t know.Al Mohler analyzed Nye’s reference to the “reasonable man” as not an unbiased rhetorical device.Tony Perkins at Family Research Council turned attention to God’s moral law, saying it isn’t really a question of the incompatibility of creation and science. He urges parents to watch the debate with children, in order to teach them to be “able to respond with confidence and authority” to Nye’s assertions.Supporters of Bill NyeLive Science reported the debate, encouraging people to watch and describing the history of evolution debates. Most surprising was their less-than-flattering description of Bill Nye’s performance as “not a total disaster.”National Geographic‘s headline was, “Bill Nye and Ken Ham Debated Creationism—But Did They Change Anyone’s Mind?”The Daily Beast was very critical of Nye, calling the debate a “disaster for science.”On The Guardian: Liberty Voice, Rebecca Savastio gave a blow-by-blow synopsis and concluded Bill Nye clearly won, because he presented a lot of scientific evidence, but Ham presented mostly belief in the Bible.Jeremy Pritchard (U of Birmingham) wrote a typical anti-creationist rant on The Conversation, referring to the debate. Sample of his attitude:The patterns that weave through the natural world scream of evolution, extinctions, diseases and dead-ends, but also of intriguing solutions and wonderful designs from molecular motors to the efficiency of bird flight. These were not created but thrown together from a rag bag of historical left overs to ensure that the possessor was not perfect, but the best, the fittest, at that time and that place. There is no direction, no progression, no perfection but instead a wonderfully simple process as each generation runs as fast as it can to stay ahead of competition, predators and pathogens. Evolution may be going nowhere but it is better to travel in hope than to arrive.Many anti-creation sites mentioned that they advise against debating creationists. The NCSE has a standing policy against debates, because they feel it only gives a platform for their ideological enemies. Ken Ham and his supporters hope that the publicity will open some minds and get people thinking. One thing was undeniable: a lot of people were tuned in.Many have written in and shared similar sentiments to our mixed feelings about the debate performance. We hope that in the aftermath, with the personality issues fading from memory, the facts will be clarified with details and references, so that it will become clear who really had the better scientific information. What AIG needs to do (and appears to be doing) is to rush its supporting documentation to press as far and wide as possible, to clarify points that were not rhetorically effective, and to expose the factual errors and illogic Nye employed. Ken should also be honest about what he wishes he would have said, and should have said, instead of spinning the debate as a total victory (which it was not). He portrays his performance more positively than it came across to many listeners, even some supportive ones. The debate can still be rescued for good in at least two ways: (1) clarification of any lingering doubts about the science, and (2) use as a training video on how to improve debates against fast-talking Darwinians. In the final analysis, all viewers should keep in mind that, as in a court of law, it’s not the flair of the lawyer that should sway the jury, but his evidence.
21 June 2010Their outfits were bright, mesmerising and went perfectly with their sunny disposition … the Dutch fans invaded Durban on the weekend, both to support their team in a 2010 Fifa World Cup™ match and to soak up the the wonderful weather and atmosphere that the city has to offer.Durban Mayor Obed Mlaba on Saturday welcomed over 1 000 Dutch fans who had gathered to have a party before watching their team beat Japan at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a group E clash.Great city, wonderful weatherRotterdam resident Kin Sneijder said: “Durban is a great city. The weather is wonderful, there is good beer, and the girls are very pretty.”Should the Dutch side make the knock-out stages of the tournament, they could play in Durban, and this would make their fans quite happy – the warm weather being the cherry on top.Mary Knopp watched her team sail to victory at the Fifa Fan Park and enjoyed the atmosphere. “It’s so wonderful; no one here gets violent about the soccer like back home. I am having such a great time, just dancing and singing,” said Knopp.The young Almere student is in South Africa to do volunteer work in Amanzimtoti at Operation Bobbi Bear, an organisation which deals with children and women abuse issues.Knopp, after falling in love with South Africa, has also become an avid Bafana Bafana fan. “This is my first day at the Fan centre. I will be back to support Bafana Bafana,” she said.Like most women, Knopp is impressed with the looks department of the Dutch team. In fact she is happier talking about Rafael van der Vaart than predicting where Holland will finish off in the tournament.Having ‘a ball’Veerle Leiden, who is also in the country to volunteer her services, is in awe of the beauty the province offers, and has been having a ball since the World Cup started.“The people, nature … everything here is so beautiful. I am glad the World Cup is here. It is doing a lot of good to unite and bring the country together,” said Leiden.Leiden is confident that her team will go quite far in this competition because they “have a strong team filled with talent”.The Netherlands became the first team to book their place in the Round of 16 after their 1-nil victory over Japan and Denmark’s defeat of Cameroon on Saturday.Source: BuaNews
At a Toastmasters meeting, I was given two minutes to give an extemporaneous answer to the questions: “Who is your hero? And why are they your hero?” Without skipping a beat and without delay, I answered: “I am my own hero.” It sounds arrogant, I know.But before you judge the response, bear with me long enough that I can share with you the explanation that I gave the group I was speaking to. See if you don’t agree with me that you must be your own hero.You Have Only One StoryYou have only one story, for good or for ill. You are the producer, director, writer, and lead actor in only one story: your own. You are writing this story now, and you get decide, chapter by chapter, and frame by frame, just how that story goes.You get to decide whether your story is the tale of a passionate adventurer who is living their life and making big choices that make it something special. You also decide whether your story is one of a person leading “a life of quiet desperation,” wishing that things were different, but never taking the heroic action that would make that difference.Since you only get one story, you must choose to be the hero.If you don’t like the way the story is going, scrap it and call for a rewrite. Start it over right where you are. The best stories always have an arc in which the character overcomes their present circumstances to be something more by doing something spectacular.If your leading man (or lady) isn’t the passionate, romantic love interest that would make your story worth living, fire him (or her), and recast the part with someone else.If the great adventure in your story is simply making it to your cubicle day after day, scrap it and write the story of someone who breaks the bonds of indentured servitude and does something daring and remarkable instead. Make it the story of someone who brings so much passion to what they do that it changes everything. Forever.Lest you believe that this is arrogant or selfish, let me challenge you to write another story. How about the story of someone who helps to massively improve the lives of others, someone who touches lives in a way that inspires them to be more than they would otherwise be?Heroes always fight for causes greater than themselves, don’t they. What are you fighting for?When the Curtain FallsMost people have too small of a vision of themselves, and their lives are far less than they could be. They let the tiny voice that lives inside them drown out the voice of the hero. The go along silently, never allowing the hero inside of them to break free. There is no reason to go looking for heroes or heroines. When the curtain falls, when your story is over, you will have had your single opportunity to be whatever it was that you might have been.Don’t miss that opportunity. Don’t sit on the sidelines as a dispassionate observer of your story allowing others to write it for you. Write your own story, and be your own hero.
Tags Comments 85 Photos 3 Amazon launched its Fire TV streaming products in 2014. Sarah Tew/CNET Amazon’s Fire TV may be moving into the lead among video streaming devices, with its lineup of products attracting “well over” 30 million active users, the company said Wednesday at CES. That’s up from the 25 million Amazon disclosed in October, suggesting growth of 5 million new accounts in three months. And Amazon expects the number to grow soon, too. “We’re still in the middle of the ‘buy’ to ‘turn on’ period” from the holiday shopping season, Amazon’s head of Fire TV, Marc Whitten, said in an interview with CNET on Wednesday at CES. The 30 million figure seems to put Fire TV ahead of Roku, widely considered one of the most popular streaming-video products. Earlier this week, Roku estimated it had 27 million active users. The company said it defines an active account as one that has streamed content in the last 30 days; a single account may include streaming on multiple devices with multiple individuals in the household. Roku declined to comment on Amazon’s announcement.Amazon didn’t characterize its definition of a monthly active user. The company has Fire devices that work in more than 80 countries, according to its support page. Roku operates in 23 countries.The market for video streaming devices is exploding. The number of households with a streaming player has quadrupled in the last five years, according to Parks Associates, and Roku and Amazon have been competing for market share since Amazon launched the Fire TV line in 2014. Whitten plans to grow the Fire TV business this year by expanding Amazon’s international partnerships, though he avoided offering any specifics about those efforts. Whitten added that the company has been “very happy” with sales of Fire TV Edition smart TVs, which are sets that have Fire TV built into them.As an example of a recent partnership, Amazon signed a deal last April with Best Buy to bring a new lineup of Fire TV Edition sets to customers in the US and Canada. “Smart TV powered by Fire TV Edition, we think, is a great experience, and we want to build more of them,” Whitten said.Whitten said there’s still plenty more work to do to get the right balance on promoting Amazon’s Prime Video shows up against rival content on Fire TV, as well as figuring out the best experiences for controlling your TV via voice using the Alexa digital assistant. Those efforts will be works in progress over the year.”There are things where voice is not going to be as fast [as using a remote], and there are things with voice where it’s not even going to be in the same ballpark,” he said, “and we’re just going to keep working on making those parts great.”First published Jan. 9, 12:36 p.m. PT.Updates, 4:20 p.m.: Adds context and more comments from Whitten interview; Jan. 10 at 9:02 a.m.: Adds context.CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.5G is your next big upgrade: Everything you need to know about the 5G revolution. Share your voice Amazon Media Streamers Digital Media CES 2019 All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019
USAWillow TV Close CanadaWillow TV IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:44Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:43?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Mumbai Indians are favorites for IPL 2018 glory BangladeshChannel 9 AustraliaFox Sports South AfricaSuperSport UKStar Gold New ZealandSky Sports SubcontinentStar Sports AfghanistanLemar TV Mumbai Indians ready themselves to take on the rechristened Delhi Capitals in their first match of the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 24. When and where to watch the match on TV, onlineThe IPL match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will start at 8 pm local time and 2:30 pm GMT.Star Sports 1 & HD1 (English) and Star Sports 3 & HD3 (Hindi) will provide live television coverage of the match. The worldwide live stream will be available on Hotstar.MI vs DC preview Mumbai Indians tend to win the IPL in alternate years and their three previous victories came in 2013, 2015 and 2017. If one was to go by that pattern, 2019 would be their turn at the summit. But trends are bucked every day in the IPL and 2019 promises to be no different. Mumbai Indians will be keen to put their 2018 behind them.IANSDelhi will definitely want to be the flagbearers of bucking trends this season as they have failed to make it to the playoffs since 2012. The team has changed its name from Daredevils to Capitals and have roped in Sourav Ganguly in an advisory role. He will be teaming up with Ricky Ponting off the field to ensure the young guns of Delhi can find their groove. Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has already mentioned how he will be opening this season and that is the correct move from the Indian opener as the best players of a team must face the maximum balls in this short format. Quinton de Kock will, in all likelihood, come out with Rohit. This could mean Suryakumar Yadav goes back into the middle order despite doing well last season as an opener.But from an Indian perspective, all eyes will be on Hardik Pandya as he makes his return from his latest injury layoff owing to a recurring back problem. He will be one of may all-rounders the home team has at their disposal. Pandya’s international teammate Jasprit Bumrah will also be in focus as a lot has been made of workload management of Indian pacers ahead of the World Cup. For Delhi, the IPL provides Shikhar Dhawan with the perfect opportunity to get back among the runs after his recent poor form for India. Dhawan is back in his hometown of Delhi but this match will be the homecoming of his opening partner, the young Prithvi Shaw, who plies his domestic trade for Mumbai. Shaw is a one among a band of young Indian batsmen who will be keen to make their mark for Delhi with the others being Rishabh Pant and captain Shreyas Iyer. The Wankhede pitch usually has good bounce and carry which means both Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult could be in business for Delhi. Probable XIsMI: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Jason Behrendorff, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Markande Delhi Daredevils has been rechristened to Delhi Capitals.Delhi Capitals InstagramDC: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult Global TV listingsSubcontinentSubcontinentStar SportsStar SportsSubcontinentUKStar SportsStar GoldSubcontinentAustraliaStar SportsFox SportsSubcontinentSouth AfricaStar SportsSuperSportSubcontinentCanadaStar SportsWillow TVSubcontinentUSAStar SportsWillow TVSubcontinentCaribbeanStar SportsSportsMaxSubcontinentBangladeshStar SportsChannel 9SubcontinentNew ZealandStar SportsSky SportsSubcontinentAfghanistanStar SportsLemar TV CaribbeanSportsMax
An Afghan man walks along a path under snow-laden trees in Kabul on 5 February, 2017. Photo: AFPMore than a 100 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by days of heavy snowfall around Afghanistan, including 50 in one village, officials said Sunday, warning the death toll could rise still further.The avalanches struck after three days of heavy snow, which has destroyed scores of homes and blocked roads mainly in central and northeastern provinces, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach the stricken villages.The bulk of the deaths however occurred in remote Nuristan province, where at least 50 people were killed in a single village, Mohammad Omar Mohammadi a spokesman for the ministry of natural disaster told AFP.“Avalanches have buried two entire villages in Bargmatal district, 50 bodies were recovered from one village while rescuers are trying to reach the other village,” said the spokesman.Elsewhere 54 people were killed in northern and central Afghan provinces, where officials said massive avalanches destroyed 168 houses and killed hundreds of cattle.Bad weather and deep snow had hampered efforts of rescue workers to reach the isolated villages, raising fears the toll could rise sharply, according to officials.In Badakhshan province also in the northeast of the country, at least 18 people, including three women and two children, were killed when avalanches struck their houses overnight, said provincial spokesman Naweed Frotan.“Several dozens are still trapped, we are trying to rescue them,” he said, adding that many roads were still blocked.Five people were killed by avalanches in the Balkhab district of Sari Pul province in northern Afghanistan and at least 70 people trapped under the snow were being rescued, said provincial spokesman Zabiullah Amani.“The roads to Balkhab are still blocked and we are trying to open them,” he said.Freezing weather killed at least two people and over 100 animals in the western province of Badghis.In Parwan province just north of Kabul, the spokesman for governor Wahid Sediqqi said 16 people died.The government declared Sunday, a normal working day in Afghanistan, to be a public holiday to deter non-essential travel and ensure schools were closed.Heavy snowfall -Unusually, snow even fell in the southern province of Kandahar.Neighbouring Pakistan was also hit by severe weather, with at least 13 people killed in the northwest by avalanches or heavy rain.An avalanche smashed into eight homes in the village of Shershal in Chitral district, killing nine people including four women and four children.The region has been hit by heavy snowfall that is four feet (1.2 metres) deep in some places.Six people who had been trapped beneath the snow were rescued.A separate avalanche killed a soldier at a border checkpoint in Chitral district, a military statement said, while six more soldiers were injured.Chitral district mayor Maghfriat Shah said the city’s airport was closed because of the weather.The region’s electricity supply was also disrupted after the main power line was damaged.In the Khyber tribal district on the Afghan border in the northwest, three infant girls were killed and two women injured when the roof of their house collapsed in heavy rain.Deadly avalanches are common in Afghanistan’s mountainous areas in winter and rescue efforts are frequently hampered by lack of equipment.Despite billions of dollars in international aid after the ousting of the Taliban government in 2001, Afghanistan remains among the world’s poorest nations.Last month heavy snowfall and freezing weather killed 27 children, all under the age of five, in Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan.