Morris Inn earns AAA Four Diamond rating

first_imgThe Morris Inn recently earned the AAA Four Diamond rating for the second year in a row since its 2013 renovation. The award applies for the 2015 calendar year.“We were thrilled to get this award during our first year [since the renovation]. It was really a testament to our design and the passion of our opening team,” Morris Inn director of sales and marketing Megan Akatu, Notre Dame class of 2004, said. “We are even more excited to receive the award a second time.”Photo courtesy of Megan Akatu The Morris Inn is currently one of only 10 hotels in Indiana to hold a Four Diamond Status, and it is the only one north of Indianapolis. “Four Diamond properties contain the top five percent of hotels in the U.S.,” Morris Inn general manager Joe Kurth said. “You just can’t have anything at Notre Dame that’s not in the top 95th percentile.”In order to become AAA approved, “properties must pass an unannounced, on-site evaluation,” according to the AAA website. Hotels must provide acceptable comfort and hospitality, and restaurants must meet requirements for cleanliness, food preparation and service. Hotels that earn a Four Diamond status are defined as “upscale in all areas and progressively more refined and stylish, with physical attributes that reflect enhanced quality throughout,” according to the AAA website.Kurth said the evaluation consists of a three-hour inspection of the property, assessing everything from room decor and dining options to towel size and thread count of the sheets.“I agree completely with the status,” junior Rachael Biscocho said. “I stayed at the Morris Inn with some of the cheerleading team during the polar vortex in January. … After the renovations, the staff is still fantastic and now the rooms are brand new and gorgeous. And Rohr’s, one of the restaurants inside, has delicious food.”Junior Dominic Bush said he also had an enjoyable experience at the Morris Inn.“I was really impressed,” he said. “The room was big, the shower and bed were great, the room service was fast and the food was good.”Kurth said one of the hotel’s most appealing aspects that many students might not know about is the concourse linking the Morris Inn to McKenna Hall. The underground tunnel allows campus visitors, especially those present for academic conferences, to travel quickly and easily to the University’s conference center.“The concourse has just been redesigned to include seasonal portraits of campus and highlights from various academic departments,” Kurth said. “It’s great for professional visitors who may not have a chance to see the whole campus during their visit. Having that, along with the new award, is a tremendous asset.”Kurth said all of the Morris Inn’s renovations were, to a certain extent, geared towards helping it achieve the higher ranking and prestige.“We’re just trying to stay competitive and support everything else on campus, and the new ranking has been a big draw,” he said.Tags: AAA Four Diamond, Morris Innlast_img read more

Murdered Woman’s Family Drops Lawsuit Against Best Buy, Others

first_imgThe family of a woman who was killed during an appliance delivery in Boca Raton last summer has dropped their lawsuit against Best Buy and its subcontractors.The suspect, 21-year-old Jorge Dupre Lachazo, is accused of killing 75-year-old Evelyn Udell on August 19, when he and David Gonzalez delivered a washer and dryer to her home. The pair worked for XM Delivery, which was subcontracted by Best Buy.The lawsuit named Best Buy, freight carrier J.B. Hunt, and XM Delivery, as well as the XM employees, Dupre Lachazo and Gonzalez, the driver in the delivery, and XM Delivery owner Manuel Chavez. It also named the two workers who sold the appliances at the Best Buy store.Online court records show that the family filed a notice of voluntary dismissal with prejudice last week, which means they are waiving their rights to file another lawsuit with the same claims.I’m working on legislation for the upcoming session that will protect Floridians when having furniture or appliances delivered to their homes. You can read more about it here. https://t.co/SQtsDwFyjT #flapol #Sayfie— Mike Caruso (@RepMikeCaruso) October 29, 2019 Dupre Lachazo is charged with first-degree murder and faces the death penalty. Police say he beat the 75-year-old retired librarian and grandmother, and then set her on fire. She died the next day.He told police that he heard voices telling him to kill Udell, adding that they belonged to drug dealers who had sexually molested him and threatened his mother.“I threw my life away at 21 years old,” Dupre Lachazo told the detectives on the day of the attack. “I’m a bad person. I want to die. Use that pistol already. Use it already. Disappear me. Disappear me.”Soon after the murder, State Republican Rep. Mike Caruso, of Delray Beach, introduced a bill that would require big-box stores such as Best Buy to notify its customers when a delivery has been subcontracted.The legislation, which failed to pass a subcommittee on March 14, would have also required fingerprint-based “Level 2” background checks for any delivery person who enters a person’s home.last_img read more

US women set to defend hoop title at world tourney

first_imgUSA’s Breanna Stewart, left, and Odyssey Sims, right, pressure Canada’s Tamara Tatham, center, during the second half of a women’s exhibition basketball game, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Bridgeport, Conn. USA defeated Canada 76-51. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)While the U.S. women’s basketball team is a heavy favorite to win another gold medal at the world championship, the Americans have shown some unusual vulnerability.The U.S. has only lost once at the worlds since 1998, but suffered a rare defeat in an exhibition game against France last weekend.That setback raised a few eyebrows heading into the tournament, which begins Saturday in Istanbul.“There are a lot of really good teams in the tournament and we’re one of them,” said coach Geno Auriemma “For us or anyone else to think we’re anything more than that is not being really objective about this whole thing.”The Americans ran through the 2012 London Olympics winning by an average of 34 points and have more than half of that team back in Turkey. Point guard Sue Bird, who will become the first U.S. player to compete on four world championship teams, will help lead the U.S. offense.Bird said she wasn’t aware of the milestone, “it’s kind of surreal in a way.”One reality she is used when it comes to playing for the U.S. is the limited training as a team.While other nations have been together for months preparing for the worlds, the Americans didn’t finalize their roster until Tuesday. What the team lacks in preparation, they make up for with talent. The roster is headlined by Diana Taurasi, Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore.One potential thorn for the U.S. is a lack of experienced post players.Two-time Olympians Candace Parker and Sylvia Fowles are out with injuries. That just leaves Tina Charles and Candice Dupree as the only experienced posts.They do, however, have 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner, who will be making her debut on the U.S. national team. She was the WNBA defensive player of the year and set a record for most blocked shots in a game and season. Griner recently was cleared to join the team after suffering a retinal injury in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals.“I think my role will be blocking shots, playing defense and protecting that paint,” said Griner, who didn’t play in the loss to France. “I’m happy with that, because I love defense.”The Americans have a relatively easy draw facing China, Serbia and Angola in preliminary pool play. The U.S. has won all 11 meetings with China and Angola and will be facing Serbia for the first time.Only Russia and Australia have caused problems for the U.S. in major international tournaments since 1996. The Russians handed the Americans their only major loss in the last 16 years in the 2006 world championship semifinals, but they didn’t qualify for Istanbul.Australia was leading the U.S. at the half of the semifinals of the London Olympics before falling by 13. The Aussies chances of a repeat performance took a huge hit as stars Lauren Jackson and Liz Cambage both are out with Achillies tears.That doesn’t mean the U.S. won’t be challenged.France made an incredible run to win a silver medal in 2012 and has confidence after beating the Americans by four points on Sunday. They are led by WNBA players Sandrine Gruda and Celine Dumerc.Turkey has been improving over the past few years and has the added advantage of playing at home in front of a spirited crowd.“They are going to be very tough to beat,” Auriemma said. “I think if you’re the home team like the Czech Republic was in 2010 there’s some emotional benefit you get from that, provided you play well.”___Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberglast_img read more

If Steve Smith was an Indian his unorthodox style would’ve been welcomed claims former…

first_imgAdvertisement f4p4iNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2yrwWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E698( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 8kvWould you ever consider trying this?😱1vq032bCan your students do this? 🌚8wymdfRoller skating! Powered by Firework Trent Woodhill, the former coach of Steve Smith stated that his student’s uniqueness and unorthodox batting style would have been accepted in the Indian cricket system, where everything is “about the output”. The Aussie superstar was named as the player of the tournament in the recently concluded Ashes for his sublime form and now his formative coach believes that Smith’s unusual technique should be celebrated in Australia.Advertisement “If Steven was Indian, his technique and mechanics and the strategy around his batting would just be accepted,” Woodhill said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.Advertisement “We see Kohli, Gavaskar, (Rohit) Sharma, Ganguly, Sehwag – all these players have unique techniques. The Indian system is all about output, about scoring runs. We don’t care how you do it as long as you do it’, whereas in Australia we wanted you to score well and we wanted you to look good” he added.The former Australian captain scored 774 runs in five Tests with an average of 110.57 which included three centuries and as many fifties along with a superb double hundred at Manchester. However, his peculiar batting style, especially while leaving deliveries, was criticized by those who still view Test cricket as a classical game. Woodhill though, is upset with those struggling to accept his uniqueness, saying this attitude can have a negative impact on a young player’s career.Advertisement “Young players need protection from both themselves and others who don’t like difference. A cricket dressing room can be a brutal place for a young player, who might be forced to conform – more so in Australia than any other country I’ve been in. In Australia we struggle with things that are different. We like a sexy Shaun Marsh thirty, made with a conventional, attractive technique, rather than an unconventional Steven Smith hundred.”  Advertisementlast_img read more

How the A’s might experiment with their bullpen during tough stretch

first_imgOAKLAND — The A’s have been able to rest the majority of their bullpen arms after a recent strong run by their starters. But the time to place more of a reliance on the relief corps is coming soon.Monday’s game against the Boston Red Sox was day five of a stretch of 18 consecutive days in which the A’s will play a game. The Red Sox come off a series in Seattle in which they lost three out of four against the Mariners. But boasting a powerful offense that includes reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts …last_img

Is the fall rest period really necessary for alfalfa?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The long-standing recommendation has been to take the last harvest of alfalfa by early September in northern Ohio and mid-September in southern Ohio. Every year I observe that many people do not follow this recommendation, probably for various reasons. Most people taking only three cuttings are finished with the final harvest by early to mid-September. But the fourth cutting is another story. As of the end of last week, only about half of the fourth cutting of alfalfa in Ohio was complete, which reflects the rate of fourth harvest completion going back at least five years.I have heard some say that the fall rest period is not necessary and fall cutting never harms their stands. This could well be the case in many years on many farms, especially where excellent management is in place…where a good variety is used under excellent fertility and high soil pH, on well-drained soils, etc. Our killing frosts for alfalfa are also later than they used to be, and this fall is predicted to be warmer than normal. So I am not going to disagree with people about their fall cutting practices. But my question for those who take fall cuttings is: are you certain that it is not harming your stand productivity at all? Have you made a side-by-side comparison to see if there is a difference? If not, then try it this year. Leave some strips that you don’t cut when you take a fall cutting this year, mark those spots and look at them carefully next spring compared with where you did cut in the fall.Cutting is always a stress to the plant. The recommendation to give plenty of time for recovery before winter is still a sound and very safe recommendation, particularly on soils that have less than ideal drainage or where the alfalfa is stressed.There are situations when taking some risk may give a reward. The beautiful high quality fall forage present in an alfalfa field in late September to early October may be valuable enough to take some risk with cutting it at that time. The weather through the rest of the fall and winter may cooperate nicely and it could be no problem. But be aware there is more risk with cutting late, and the risk probably increases in the latter half of September and into early October because the recovery time for replenishing energy reserves used in regrowth soon after cutting is growing shorter with each passing day.A number of factors affect the level of risk incurred with cutting during the fall period. These include overall stand health, variety disease resistance, insect stress on the stand during the summer, age of stand, cutting management, fertility, and soil drainage.A vigorous, healthy stand is more tolerant of fall cutting than a stressed and weakened stand.Alfalfa varieties with high disease resistance and good levels of winter hardiness will be more tolerant of a fall cutting. Adequate fertility, especially soil potassium levels, and a soil pH near 6.8 will improve plant health and increase tolerance to fall cutting. Stands under three years of age are more tolerant of fall cuttings than older stands where root and crown diseases are setting in.The cutting frequency during the growing season can affect the energy status of the plant going into the fall. Frequent cutting (30 day intervals or less) results in the plant never reaching full energy reserve status during the growing season. This makes the critical fall rest period more necessary for plants to accumulate adequate reserves before winter. So a fifth cutting taken in the fall carries more risk than taking a fourth or third cutting during the fall.A final factor is soil drainage. Alfalfa stands on well-drained soils tolerate later fall cuttings better than alfalfa on moderately or poorly drained soils. Low plant cover going into the winter from late cutting increases the risk of winter heaving on many Ohio soils. We have observed significant heaving in the past in northeast Ohio, and many of those stands had been harvested the previous fall.Cutting alfalfa during the critical fall period is always tempting due to the high quality of the forage in the fall and the sunny fall conditions. Carefully consider the condition of the stand and the risk factors discussed above before taking a fall cut. We took a fourth cutting in one experiment in late September, right beside where a fourth cutting was taken Sept. 9. So next year we will closely look at the spring yield following those two fall harvest dates. Join us with your own side-by-side comparison.last_img read more

Racing the Rain

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorASSUMPTION, Ill. (DTN) — Jeff Brown has taken to keeping changes of clothes in his tractor this spring. Home may only be 15 miles or so away as the crow flies, but most nights this spring he wasn’t sure when he’d see it next.The Blue Mound, Illinois, farmer has been racing the rain. On Sunday, the long-range forecast started calling weather to move in Tuesday night or maybe Wednesday morning. Bri-Mac Farms still had 2,000 acres to go before he could sleep.Brown is by reputation meticulous about planting — about everything, really. But he loves the preciseness of this ritual and the fresh start it brings each year. Spring is a clean slate and a promise. At least, it always has been.A perennial winner in the National Corn Grower Yield Contest, Brown is among the first to embrace modern innovations — whether it is technology or genetics. He subscribes to the yield-winning philosophies that every kernel of corn needs to emerge together. He has many of the planting tools to deliver just the right amount of pressure to tuck every baby seed in just right. Before he started farming full time in 2018, he saw and learned a lot as a company representative for Monsanto about how to make the most of every field.Nothing, however, prepared him for #plant19. “This year we have definitely learned who is in charge,” he said reverently.Across the landscape on Sunday, puffs of dust indicated other farmers in the same scurry to plant whatever they can as fast as they can. He knows them all and knows many are experiencing similar frustrations now that May has slipped away and with it, some of the yield potential for both corn and soybeans.Those yields and the pressure to produce are even more critical now that prices might finally be responding to the reduced planting prospects. Having a crop this year could potentially be more lucrative than was ever dreamed when farmers picked out hybrids and varieties last fall — tariffs notwithstanding.Still, making profits while others struggle isn’t how Brown, or most other farmers, prefers to operate.“Planting in June,” he spits out the words as if the stripe of dirt that decorates his cheek has somehow slipped and he’s tasted it for the first time.“Farming at night might be a blessing this year. At least when we look behind us, we can’t see all the agronomic sins we’ve committed,” Brown said. “There have been plenty of them this year.”He clicks off a list of things he thinks this crop will need to push past the subpar conditions. Ironically, more rainfall will be needed, especially if the corn gets lazy and roots higher in the soil profile, instead of pushing deeper for moisture. Heat units are needed — but not too many at pollination time.While an early harvest potential grabs headlines, he’s more worried about what conditions will be like in July.It’s not the first time that rain and even ponded conditions have held planting hostage, and it won’t be the last. This year differs in that about the time a field became fit, it would rain again and again. “We just never have caught much of a break. Usually we get bigger breaks,” he said.Brown knows he’s not even in the worst of this current farming fiasco and feels bad even complaining about it. He can name friends and fellow farmers stretched out along rivers that likely will not plant at all this year and others that have planted fields now flooded. Shoot … you don’t even have to be along a river to be weathered out this year.Central Illinois caught a small break in mid-May and a fair amount of corn was planted at that time. But black cutworms have already shown up to feast on those first fields to emerge — cutting down the young seedlings where they stand.He proactively sprayed for black cutworms last week. “They were small and going to be around long enough to do some real damage to some of the best fields we had so far,” he said.The tractor groans slightly as it pulls across land that is dry on top, but still too damp for ideal underneath. This pull is not something an experienced driver hears as much as feels.A tractor and field cultivator toiled all night in this spot the previous evening, opening up the soil to promote drying. The winds, which might ordinarily be a drawback for other practices such as spraying, came along strong to give the field a “good enough for this year” go-ahead.As a waterway comes on the horizon, Brown checks his first impulse to drive across it. The giant tractor stops just short of a deep, washed-out crevice hidden in a tumble of grass and weeds. These fields so carefully mapped have changed in a way no automation yet available can detect. “That’s what 23 inches of rain in a month will do,” he said.He backs the tractor up and works around the bottleneck. The phone rings as he gets to the far end of the field. It’s his wife, Amy. She’s arrived with dinner and is positioned as far away from the tractor as possible in this field.Brown chooses the most direct guidance line and heads for the dinner bell — only to have a different alarm begin to beep about halfway through the field. Row No. 23 isn’t getting full population. Deep breath … these are not welcome interruptions when the operator’s brain is running on pure adrenaline mixed with coffee or Red Bull or both. He discovers the hopper lid wasn’t properly sealed. A “please let that be it” look momentarily flashes across his face as he climbs back up to take the driver position.Anyone that knows Brown can tell you he’s looking thin these days, even for this extremely lanky guy. Inviting smells are coming from the slow cooker in Amy’s car and she starts to dish up sandwiches. He tells her only one, but she makes him take two. He waves off the other offerings, downs a bottle of water, swallows one sandwich and gnaws on the second, as he stalks back toward the planter.Then, he stops, turns around and comes back to give Amy a quick kiss and a thank you.Planting seasons like these don’t happen alone. There’s a big crew of people in the background — including the equipment dealer, various input reps, and it’s incredible how important the fuel guy becomes, Brown noted. Most of all, there is a list of family and farm partners pulling together to outpace a rain that at the moment they don’t want and in a few days they will likely need.As evening falls, Brown’s son Marshall arrives to run the planter so Dad can sleep in the truck for a few hours. Meanwhile, his other son, Walker, is in another field replanting and patching in areas that were previously too wet.“Everyone is learning on their own and the heat is on,” Brown said. The familial resemblance between these men is strong, but the streaks of dirt outlining their features on this evening make it more remarkable. The agrarian war paint might be comical under other circumstances, but this year it almost seems symbolic.When the June 5 prevented planting date turned over, Brown and the Bri-Mac farm crews had met the deadline. Relief and accomplishment mixed with a feeling of being blessed. “We know many farmers this year are not so fortunate,” he said.The sleepless nights because they weren’t farming, or because they were farming, may be temporarily behind them. Still, there’s no real rest for the weary. It’s already time to sidedress nitrogen in corn and tackle weeds in fields where residuals are quickly losing their hold.But for now, Brown and his boys will head home to take a shower, and ironically, those seeds so hastily planted will soon need one too.Pamela Smith can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

FDA goal to be first on devices worries former regulators

first_imgWASHINGTON — Dr. Jeffrey Shuren was adamant: The United States would never cut corners to fast-track the approval of medical devices.“We don’t use our people as guinea pigs in the U.S.,” Shuren said, holding firm as the new director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s medical devices division.Again and again in 2011 — four times in all — Shuren was summoned before Congress. Lawmakers accused the agency of being too slow and too demanding in reviewing new devices like heart valves and spinal implants, driving U.S. manufacturers overseas where products faced less rigorous review. Each time, he pushed back.And yet the next year, Shuren and his team adopted an approach that surprised even some of his closest colleagues: The FDA would strive to be “first in the world” to approve devices it considered important to public health.The agency’s shift mirrored the talking points of the $400 billion medical device industry — a lobbying behemoth on Capitol Hill — and ushered in a series of changes that critics say have allowed manufacturers to seek regulatory approval for high-risk devices using smaller, shorter, less rigorous studies that provide less certainty of safety and effectiveness.Under Shuren, annual new device approvals have more than tripled, while warnings to device manufacturers about product safety and quality issues have fallen roughly 80 per cent, an Associated Press investigation found.The FDA says warning letters have declined because the agency is using a new approach that involves fewer warnings but more inspections to oversee companies that violate its rules.The cheaper and faster medical device approvals began despite multiple high-profile problems involving pelvic mesh, hip replacements and other implants.An AP analysis of FDA data shows that since 2012, tens of thousands of injury and death reports have been filed in connection with devices that were cleared through a streamlined pathway that minimizes clinical trial testing. The FDA’s system for reporting device problems often includes incomplete, unverified information submitted by manufacturers, physicians, lawyers and patients. Because of these limitations, it’s often unclear whether a device played any role in an injury or death.In response to questions from the AP, the FDA said its “first in the world” goal was adopted as part of a broader strategy that also focused on quickly identifying defective products to ensure U.S. devices “remain safe, effective and of high quality,” the agency added.The goal is not about a competition between countries, the FDA said, but rather a response to concerns about delays in new technologies reaching U.S. patients.Last week, the FDA announced a new goal to be “consistently first” among the world’s regulatory agencies to identify and address medical device safety issues. And on Monday, a day after a global investigation into medical device safety began publishing, the FDA proposed changes that would push manufacturers to incorporate more up-to-date technology into their devices — reforms that could take years to implement.The agency also rejected the idea that Shuren’s approach to regulation has changed over time, saying he has worked for years to improve patient safety.Still, some current and former FDA officials are worried about the ambition to be first on approvals. They include Dr. Peter Lurie, who calls the agency’s direction “an invitation to a race to the bottom for scientific standards” seemingly prompted by industry pressure. Lurie held senior posts at FDA from 2009 to 2017 and now heads the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest.The FDA’s medical device standards are still considered among the highest in the world. But by trying to outpace countries with less stringent requirements, Lurie said the FDA has opened the door to lowering its own standards to achieve its goal.Earlier this year, Shuren addressed a conference of medical device industry executives, each of whom paid about $1,000 to attend.Armed with dozens of PowerPoint slides, he explained how the FDA was approving more new devices in less time and credited his “north star” — the FDA’s goal to be first to approve new devices.He highlighted the agency’s new focus on “customer service,” including streamlining clinical trials.“We all know that premarket clinical trials can be very costly, very time-consuming and, in some respects, of limited value,” Shuren said.He explained that the FDA was now using easier-to-produce data to approve a variety of devices, including artery-opening stents, spinal implants and diagnostic tests.In September, the FDA began codifying a concept called “acceptable uncertainty” in draft guidelines for manufacturers. The proposal would ease pre-market testing standards for some devices, in exchange for companies conducting larger follow-up studies, even though the FDA’s own data show that many studies are not completed until five or more years after approval.The FDA said in a statement that all devices carry a level of uncertainty, even after extensive testing. It said its guidance focuses on “breakthrough” devices, where “it may be appropriate to accept a little more uncertainty,” while still meeting FDA standards.Lurie and other former regulators worry that the FDA is laying the groundwork for a “sliding scale” of medical evidence that will leave patients even more uncertain about the safety and effectiveness of devices.“This guidance is basically a ‘come hither’ to industry, inviting them to ask FDA for the lower standards of evidence,” he said.___Follow Matthew Perrone at @AP_FDAwriter___Associated Press writers Holbrook Mohr, Reese Dunklin and Meghan Hoyer contributed to this story.Matthew Perrone, The Associated Presslast_img read more

China will never seek hegemony Xi says in reform speech

first_imgBEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised that the country will “never seek hegemony” even as it approaches the centre of the world stage.Xi gave a speech Tuesday to mark the country’s 40 years of reform and opening up.The address credited former leader Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms with saving the country from the brink of economic collapse following the tumultuous Cultural Revolution.Xi also expressed support for a multilateral trading system, but he did not directly address ongoing trade friction with the United States.China has been battling global scrutiny around its outsize economic influence. Xi assured in his speech that the country will not develop “at the expense of other countries’ interests.”The Associated Presslast_img

Sri Lanka expels 200 Islamic clerics

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka has expelled over 600 foreign nationals, including around 200 Islamic clerics, since the Easter suicide bombings blamed on a local jihadi group, a minister said Sunday. Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the clerics had entered the country legally, but amid a security crackdown after the attacks were found to have overstayed their visas, for which fines were imposed and they were expelled from the island. “Considering the current situation in the country, we have reviewed the visas system and took a decision to tighten visa restrictions for religious teachers,” Abeywardena said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”Out of those who were sent out, about 200 were Islamic preachers.” The Easter Sunday bombings that killed 257 people and wounded nearly 500 were led by a local cleric who is known to have travelled to neighbouring India and had made contact with jihadists there. The minister did not give the nationalities of those who have been expelled, but police have said many foreigners who have overstayed their visas since the Easter attacks were from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”There are religious institutions which have been getting down foreign preachers for decades,” Abeywardena said. “We have no issues with them, but there are some which mushroomed recently. We will pay more attention to them.” The minister said the government was overhauling the country’s visa policy following fears that foreign clerics could radicalise locals for a repeat of the April 21 suicide bombings, which targeted three Christian churches and three luxury hotels. Sri Lanka has imposed a state of emergency since the attacks and given wide powers to troops and police to arrest and detain suspects for long periods. House-to-house searches are being carried out across the country looking for explosives and propaganda material of Islamic extremists.last_img read more