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Worlds largest blue star sapphire found in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s gem industry, for which sapphire is the main export, is worth at least £70m ($103m) annually. The gem is valued at at least $100m and the current owner estimates that it could sell for up to $175m at auction. Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewellery Association said in 2011 that the engagement ring for Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, included a sapphire mined in the country in the 1970s.It was previously owned by Diana, Princess of Wales. (Colombo Gazette) It has been named the The Star of Adam by its current owner, after a Muslim belief that Adam arrived in Sri Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden. It is claimed he then lived on the slopes of a mountain now known as Adam’s Peak. The owner of the Star of Adam said he bought it thinking “this was not a piece of jewellery but an exhibition piece”.Speaking to the BBC, Armil Samoon, a leading gem and jewellery dealer in Sri Lanka, confirmed this was the largest blue star sapphire in the world.A 17kg (18 stone six pounds) rock containing sapphires was revealed in 2013, but the final weight of the gems inside is not yet known. Blue star sapphires are so named because of the distinctive mark found at their centre.“The moment I saw it, I decided to buy,” the current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC World Service’s Newsday programme. “When the stone was brought to me I suspected that it might be the world’s largest blue star sapphire. So I took a risk and bought it.”The owner said it was “absolutely confidential” how much he paid for it. The previous record holder weighed 1,395 carats.The new gem was mined in the city of Ratnapura, in southern Sri Lanka, which is known as the City of Gems. Gemologists in Sri Lanka claim that the largest blue star sapphire yet has been discovered in a mine in the country.The gemology institute in the capital Colombo has certified that the gem weighs 1404.49 carats and say they have not certified anything larger, the BBC reported. read more

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Battleford RCMP constable under investigation for excessive use of force during arrest

RCMP are investigating allegations of excessive use of force by a Battleford constable in connection with the arrest of a 40-year-old man in the spring.The constable is the subject of an internal code of conduct investigation, RCMP announced Thursday. In addition, Prince Albert city police will investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest on May 14.Under the RCMP Act, an incident in which the actions of a member may have constituted a federal or provincial offence are to be investigated by an external police force.According to RCMP, the 40-year-old man was arrested on May 14 by a Battleford constable after a report of a man causing a public disturbance. A second RCMP constable responded to the scene to help with the arrest.While the man was handcuffed and lying on the ground, “a physical altercation occurred between the second constable and the 40-year-old male,” RCMP said in a statement.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“Internal and external complaints were made concerning the level of force used by the second constable during the altercation.”Battleford RCMP reviewed the incident and, on Aug. 16, ordered a statutory investigation as well as an RCMP code of conduct investigation.The constable has been suspended from duty with pay pending the conclusions of the two investigations, according to RCMP.The 40-year-old man did not report any injuries as a result of the incident, RCMP said. read more

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Kraigg Brathwaite wants West Indies batsmen to trust their defence

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedChase, Holder resist to give West Indies respectabilityOctober 12, 2018In “latest news”Brathwaite leads West Indies to famous win against PakistanNovember 3, 2016In “Sports”West Indies crumble against spin after Bangladesh rack up 508December 1, 2018In “latest news” West Indies opener Kraigg BrathwaiteESPNcricinfo– West Indies lost six wickets in a session on Friday and the remaining 14 were gone soon after tea on Saturday. In all, they batted only 98.5 overs. But that isn’t the story. The way they batted is.Keemo Paul and Roston Chase were the overnight batsmen. Their team was six down in the first innings with less than 100 on the board. But neither man cared about playing time. Paul kept sweeping Kuldeep Yadav to the square-leg boundary. Chase enjoyed lofting R Ashwin straight down the ground. And these were the few instances of them making proper connection.There were other times that West Indies tried to attack India’s spinners but came away looking quite clumsy. Shane Dowrich, with four overs left to stumps, went for a booming cover drive against Kuldeep and was bowled through the gate. In the second innings, Chase plopped a half-volley straight into the hands of cover and Shimron Hetmyer slogged right across the line to be caught at short third man.Four batsmen in the first innings (Sunil Ambris, Chase, Dowrich, Paul) and five (Hetmyer, Ambris, Chase, Paul, Shannon Gabriel) in the second fell playing attacking shots. Two of them were caught at long-on and long-off. Was that because the team had decided if they were going down, they’d do so all guns blazing? No.Kraigg Brathwaite, the stand-in captain, confirmed it was a “personal plan, obviously, in terms of attacking shots. Going forward what we need to do is along with the attacking shots, trust in defence. I think that’s the key. Obviously, when the field goes back, it’s a matter of still saying positive in defence and putting away the bad balls, stroking the ball along the ground for singles. I just think we didn’t trust our defence as much as we should have.”This approach surprised the Indian bowlers as well. “I genuinely believed that the second innings will be a lot more fighting and there will be a lot more partnerships,” Ashwin told host broadcaster Star Sports. “Yes, there was one. But this wicket is pretty good, it’s pretty solid to bat and I don’t think it’s going to spin tomorrow as well. So I was quite surprised – shocked is the wrong word – with the number of shots that were played against spin and the number of high-risk shots that were played. Maybe it was a strategy they came out with, to try and attack the spinners and put us off. It clearly didn’t work this time.”While he didn’t want West Indies to stop trying to play their shots, Brathwaite hoped that they be more judicious with it.“It’s just about trusting your plans. I think today we were a lot more positive but we still didn’t get the big partnerships. So I think going forward, a balance of defence and attack, I think once we can do that and build partnerships, will be good.”Jason Holder, when he addressed the pre-match press conference three days ago, said he wanted his batsmen to “be patient”; to look for runs but not be “reckless”. In his absence, his team was found lacking for both bowling and batting discipline.Brathwaite said he wasn’t “100% sure” of Holder’s condition for the next Test in Hyderabad which begins on October 12; that they needed a “couple more days” to assess the ankle injury he had picked up during the third week of September in a training camp in Dubai.Meanwhile, another important member of the bowling attack appears to be under a cloud. Gabriel bowled only three overs on the second day. When asked about his status, Brathwaite said, “He had a slight niggle. So he wasn’t on the field for a majority of the day.” When asked if he was fine, Brathwaite replied, “I think so.” read more