The pernicious sedition laws

Cricket fans in India are notorious for being highly enthusiastic that sometimes crosses over into being bad sports, getting angry when their team is doing badly. There was an infamous event in a 1996 World Cup tournament semi-final game against Sri Lanka that was being played in India. When India started doing poorly and were heading for defeat, fans halted the game twice by throwing bottles on to the field at the Sri Lankan fielders. The last straw was when some fans set fire to the stands. The match referee, the great West Indian cricketer Clive Lloyd, called off the match and awarded the win to Sri Lanka.
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Pakistan are surprise winners of ICC Champions Trophy

Pakistan has emerged the winners of the cricket tournament, notching a surprisingly easy win over India in the finals. India had clinically dispatched Bangladesh in the semi-finals, bowling them out for 264 and then reaching that total for the loss of just one wicket. In the other semi-final, Pakistan also beat England easily, reaching the target score of 212 with the loss of just two wickets.
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They like me! They really like me!

When we switched over to the new server last week, there were some glitches about comments. Marcus Ranum alerted me to the fact that some comments by long time commenters were going straight to the spam folder and not even being queued for moderation, so I went into that folder and rescued them. While doing so, I had to read a lot of genuine spam and two things struck me. One is the sheer volume of spam and the other is the quirky nature of so many of the comments, their peculiar choice of words (‘fastidious’ and ‘peer’ seem to be popular for some reason) and their general lack of grammar and coherence.
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ICC Champions trophy update: India and Pakistan get into semi-finals

In the final group games, India easily beat South Africa and Pakistan beat Sri Lanka, the latter being a see-saw game in which the ever-mercurial Pakistan did well to restrict Sri Lanka to a low score of 236 and then seemed to be cruising towards a comfortable victory at 92/1 before experiencing a batting collapse that left them reeling at 162/7. But a stout rearguard action saw them reach the target.
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ICC Champions Trophy: Bangladesh in, Australia out

England defeated Australia today in a rain-shortened game with the result that Australia did not make the semi-final round of the ICC Champions Trophy tournament, a shock for this perennial cricket powerhouse. As a result, Bangladesh now joins England (who had already qualified) in that round, a result that must be causing massive celebrations in that cricket-mad country. Bangladesh have shown that they are no longer capable of just the occasional win, since their first match with England was closely fought and they also beat New Zealand. They also beat England and eliminated them from the 2015 World Cup and now they have done the same for Australia. In 2015 they made it to the quarterfinal round and thus this is their best showing so far. If they and England win their semi-final games against opponents that will be determined after Sunday and Monday’s games, the final will be between them, mirroring the opening game.
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And now for something completely different – cricket!

The International Cricket Council Champions Trophy tournament is underway in England right now. This consists of 50 over one-day games and features the top eight teams in the world. The teams are split into two groups of four that play round robin games, with the top two in each group going to the semi-final round. Although Bangladesh edged out the once mighty West Indies to qualify for the eighth and last spot in the tournament, it seemed like it and Sri Lanka would not make it to out of the group stage, with Pakistan possibly joining them for an early trip home. Australia, India, and South Africa seemed the likely contenders for the trophy, with England and New Zealand close behind.
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People take children’s sports way too seriously

Some of you may have seen this item about a girls soccer team being disqualified from the finals of a tournament because Mili Hernandez, an 8-year old girl with short hair, was suspected to be a boy even though she was not.

The Springfield club told WOWT that a misprint in the team’s roster identified Mili as a boy. Her family brought several forms of identification, including her insurance card and a doctor’s physical form, to prove she’s a girl, but the team was still disqualified.

Teach coach Mario Torres told KMTV in Omaha that tournament officials did not handle a clerical mistake properly.

“Even if it was a mistake, they did not need to humiliate her or kick the entire team off the field,” Torres said.

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New hosting service up and running (almost) smoothly

PZ Myers informs us that the switch to the new host server occurred last night and went pretty smoothly and that the only glitch seems to be that the list of approved commenters (i.e., those whose very first comments were approved by the editor of each site) has disappeared and so your first comment after the switch might have to be approved by me again. I’ll monitor the site more frequently than usual to do so.

We are moving to a more stable hosting service

As visitors to any of the FreethoughtsBlogs site will have noticed, there have been server problems that have periodically made the sites unavailable during the past few days. But PZ Myers says that we are shifting to a new webhosting service this week that one hopes will be more reliable. The move should be invisible to visitors to FtB and also (I hope!) to those of us who write the blogs.

Turning down requests for ‘collaborations’

In the past few months I have been getting repeated requests for collaborations on this blog. People send me emails saying that they like what I write (always gratifying to hear!) and that they have interesting content that they could contribute and are willing to pay me for the privilege of doing so. These requests often sound like they are coming from genuine people (except for one feature that I will discuss later) and at the beginning I would write back politely declining the offers. I realized that they may not be real when I would get repeat messages from the same people reminding me of their earlier message and requesting a response. Ever since then, I have treated them as spam and simply deleted the emails without replying
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