The issue of developed countries, more particularly the US, deporting Caribbean nationals to their country of birth without providing much information as to their medical and criminal backgrounds and even more importantly, providing some form of support regarding their smooth integration into their home countries, has always been a concern for regional Governments.Not surprisingly, the matter was raised again, a few days ago, by newly elected Prime Minister of St Lucia, Allen Chastanet and St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, who complained bitterly that the practice was having a severe negative impact on the region, especially as it relates to crime and security issues. Prime Ministers Chastanet and Gonsalves also belaboured the point that very little information or help is provided by the US in terms of reintegrating the deportees in their home countries.It is no secret that while some deportees try as much as possible to turn their lives around in their new environment, many of them gravitate towards crime, which in most cases places a huge burden on the State to deal with. For this reason, regional Governments have been lobbying the US authorities to be more understanding as to the tremendous negative impact the practice is having on countries. However, the US officials have resisted the argument that the deportations are to be blamed for the increase in violent crimes in the region.For the record, the US has deported hundreds of convicted criminals to the Caribbean annually since 1996, when Congress mandated that every non-citizen sentenced to a year or more in prison be deported upon release.In an analysis of deportation data for Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, a Caricom study found that almost 30,000 criminal offenders had been deported to those countries between 1990 and 2005. Over 17,000 had been deported for drug offences; almost 1800 for possession of illegal firearms, and more than 600 for murder. The US is responsible for more than seventy-five percent of all criminal deportations to the region.It should be noted that security officials in Guyana have routinely placed the blame for some high level crimes on criminal deportees, particularly those that occurred during the 2002 to 2004 crime wave that gripped the nation when the Government was forced to enact the 2002 Amendment to the Crime Prevention Act, which stated that any deportee who poses a threat to public safety can be placed under police surveillance.Additionally deportation has caused devastating socio-psychological effects, not only for deported persons, but for other family members, and in particular their children, the vast majority of whom have been left behind in the US, Canada or other countries, and who have little or no contact with the deported parent.There is no need to elaborate on the challenges that confront countries such as ours when persons who have migrated many years ago are sent back after serving their time in jails overseas. What Caricom Governments need to focus on now is establishing an effective deportee resettlement programme for such persons to cater for their smooth reintegration into the society, so that once again they can become productive and useful citizens.Many would want to believe that most of the persons who are deported are willing to reform their lives, but the absence of an effective and functioning support mechanism makes this process very difficult.The main concerns for regional Governments are to ensure more focus is placed on information and intelligence sharing with respect to criminal deportees, in particular access to complete dossiers on medical and criminal history and consideration of financial and technical assistance to establish re-integration programmes within Caricom Member States.These are reasonable concerns and Caricom representatives should continue to raise them at the relevant forums and lobby their partners for the necessary support in this regard.
23 January 2006The South African canoeing community is mourning the death of pioneering black paddler Robert Lembethe, who passed away last week after a short illness.Lembethe died a week before the Hansa Powerade Dusi Marathon, the race which attracted him to the sport in the early 1980s. This year’s race, which starts in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday morning, will serve as a tribute to Lembethe.Lembethe’s vision for the sport, and his passion to take it to disadvantaged youngsters in rural areas, led to the formation of canoe clubs at the Midmar and Nagle dams.Dusi gold medallistsThe Nagle Dam Club flourished under his guidance, and now bears his name. The Robert Lembethe Canoe Club has produced several top paddlers, including Dusi gold medallists Michael Mbanjwa and Loveday Zondi, and regularly hosts national marathon and sprint events, as it has the country’s only permanent canoeing sprint course.In 1992, Lembethe was invited to attend the Olympic Games in Barcelona as part of the historic South African delegation to the first games since the country’s return from sporting isolation. It was during that trip that Lembethe became determined to become a paddling coach.In a short space of time, he became one of the country’s top coaches, particularly skilled in the difficult art of technical coaching, having worked closely with national coach Nandor Almasi.17 Dusi MarathonsLembethe raced the first of his 17 Dusi marathons in 1984, and went on to become one of the top sprinters and marathon racers in the country’s veteran and master classes. He represented South Africa at the Masters Cup Marathon Championships on several occasions.“Robert will be very sorely missed,” said Canoeing South Africa president Tim Cornish, who won the masters division in the 1998 Dusi with Lembethe.“The success that the sport’s development programme is currently enjoying is largely due to the pioneering work that Robert did over the past 14 years.”‘Robert was an icon’“Robert was an icon to paddlers all over South Africa,” said Hansa Powerade Dusi chairperson Cameron Mackenzie. “His legacy will live on for a long time.”Dusi title contenders Michael Mbanjwa, who was coached and mentored by Lembethe, and his partner Len Jenkins will wear black armbands during the race in tribute to Lembethe.Source: Canoeing South Africa Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
By Katherine KorneiApr. 17, 2017 , 3:45 PM How many tree species are there? More than you can shake a stick at, new database reveals You’ve probably heard of an oak tree (like the one shown here), but have you ever heard of a jabuticaba or boojum tree? Trees are important for timber, food, and medicine, but getting a handle on the world’s thousands of tree species is a tough task. Up until this year, there’s been no complete census. Now, researchers have published the first global database of tree species and their geographical ranges, a “huge scientific effort,” the team reports in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry. The scientists compiled the searchable online archive, which includes over 60,000 tree species, using data from a variety of sources such as museums, botanical gardens, and agricultural institutions. They found that Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia were the countries with the most tree species—each is home to at least 5000. And nearly 60% of the world’s trees are native to just one country, the team noted. This database, which will be continuously updated, should allow researchers, policymakers, and the public to better monitor tree diversity and efforts to conserve specific species in forests, the scientists suggest. It will also form the basis of the Global Tree Assessment, an effort to document the conservation status of each tree species before the end of the decade. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
Chinese tech giant Lenovo, fresh from its acquisition of Motorola, has come up with a new device that bears stark resemblance to Apple Inc’s recently launched iPhone 6 smartphone. A new report by Gizmobic which has also tipped the images and specifications of the device, the new Lenovo Sisley S90 is now up for grabs in China at a price tag of CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs 20,000).The report goes on to reveal that the Sisley S90 not only looks very much like the iPhone 6, even the S90 promotional images doing Internet rounds starkly resemble those pitched in by Apple to promote its latest offerings.The Lenovo Sisley S90 allegedly features a 5-inch Super AMOLED HD display with a 720×1280 pixels resolution. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with Adreno 306 GPU and 1GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of internal storage. It sport a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and 8MP front-facing snapper. Connectivity options include: TD-LTE and NFC. It decks in a 2,300mAh battery.The report further reveals that the Sisley S90 smartphone is 6.9mm in thickness and weighs 129g. It must be noted that this is same as the Apple iPhone 6.Meanwhile, Lenovo has launched the new Vibe X2 smartphone in the Indian market at a price tag of Rs 19,999. It will start retailing beginning November 10 exclusively via online retailer Flipkart.
#11 Shiv Nadar72, Chairman, HCL and Shiv Nadar FoundationTrail blazerBecause with a net worth of 14.5 billion dollars, he is ranked among the top 100 global billionaires. He saw his fortune rise by 1.8 billion dollars in FY 2018. HCL Technologies is investing in the future, having pumped in 780,#11 Shiv Nadar72, Chairman, HCL and Shiv Nadar FoundationTrail blazerBecause with a net worth of 14.5 billion dollars, he is ranked among the top 100 global billionaires. He saw his fortune rise by 1.8 billion dollars in FY 2018. HCL Technologies is investing in the future, having pumped in 780 million dollars into five intellectual property partnerships with IBM.Because he has been a trail blazer in corporate philanthropy, donating Rs 630 crore in 2016 to the Shiv Nadar Foundation, supporting causes as varied as art, education and healthcare.Because the Shiv Nadar Foundation is building an ecosystem of high quality education in India, with the Shiv Nadar University and the Shiv Nadar and VidyaGyan schools, the last aiming to identify and nurture gifted underprivileged students.Couple goals Wife and Shiv Nadar Foundation trustee Kiran Nadar’s team won the fifth Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championships.Photo: Business Today#12 Sunil Bharti Mittal60, Chairman, Bharti EnterprisesSpectrum lordBecause by acquiring more spectrum and users, Bharti Airtel has managed to stay on top in terms of subscribers and revenues against the onslaught of tariff wars unleashed by Reliance Jio. The recent acquisitions of Tata Tele and Telenor India should also help.Because Bharti Airtel’s average spectrum holding has jumped 25 per cent to 45.7 MHz, compared to 29 MHz for RJio and 40.4 MHz for Vodafone-Idea. Spectrum has a direct bearing on the quality of services that a telco can offer its customers.Because Bharti is expanding its global presence and will also list its Africa business, a move which will help it raise funds. With operations in 18 countries, Mittal can now be considered a global telecom major.advertisementGiving back The family has pledged 10 per cent of its wealth to charity.#13 Anil Agarwal64, Chairman, Vedanta ResourcesDigging deepBecause the conglomerate has a formidable footprint in India, from copper plants in Tuticorin and Silvassa, to zinc operations and oil blocks in Rajasthan, and bauxite operations in Chhattisgarh, and is planning a 9 billion dollars investment in energy and mineral resources.Because the mining giant returned to profit last year and continues to expand its global footprint from Australia to Zambia.Because he’s never far from the news-the group’s latest controversy is a copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu that has prompted thousands to take to the streets in protest.Because he regularly brings changes needed in critical policies to the attention of the government through newspaper advertisements, the latest asking the government to “resolve retrospective tax issues to give comfort to foreign investors” in the oil and gas sector.Next big idea Plans to launch a 1 billion dollars (Rs 6,500 crore) venture capital fund to support start-ups.#14 Amit Agarwal43, Country Head, Amazon IndiaSpeedy deliveryBecause, in over four years, he has built Amazon India into a formidable e-tail giant to take on rival Flipkart, garnering a 44 per cent customer share and a growth rate 50 per cent faster than the competition as of December 2017. Amazon offers more than 160 million products on its platform.Because after getting the go-ahead from the Reserve Bank of India to expand the scope of its digital payments business, Amazon India is preparing to make a big push into digital payments and compete aggressively with Paytm, Freecharge and arch-rival Flipkart’s payment business, PhonePe.Jobs zone More than 285,000 small and medium entrepreneurs make their livelihood on Amazon.#15 Subramanian Swamy78, MP, Rajya SabhaOne Man ArmyBecause he single-handedly revived the Ram Janmabhoomi case in 2017 by challenging the 2011 verdict of the Allahabad High Court.Because he questioned the holding pattern of GSTN, the company that provides the IT backbone of the government’s indirect tax network, forcing the finance ministry to consider taking over the firm.Because he is the scourge of many powerful people. He fought a 45-year-old case against IIT Delhi over his salary dues. AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala was jailed after the Supreme Court verdict in a 20-year-old disproportionate assets case filed by him. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are on bail in the 2013 National Herald case.Did you know? As president of the Janata Yuva Morcha (1977-1980), his Nagpur district secretary was Nitin Gadkari, Gorakhpur district president Rajnath Singh, Andhra Pradesh president Venkaiah Naidu and his polling agent Manohar Parrikar.Photo: Rajwant Rawat#16 Vijay Shekhar Sharma44, Founder and CEO, PaytmPay it forwardBecause with a net worth of 1.3 billion dollars, he is India’s youngest billionaire. He introduced the concept of mobile wallets to Indians and also made it to the Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, the only other Indian on the list being Narendra Modi. Paytm is the largest mobile wallet company with 250 million account holders; he wants to scale it to 500 million by 2020.advertisementBecause Paytm was one of the biggest beneficiaries of demonetisation. Its traffic increased by 435 per cent while its app downloads grew 200 per cent.Because as of May 2017, Paytm’s valuation was at 7 billion dollars and he accomplished this within the last decade. He was quoted in an interview as saying that the valuation could go up to 12 billion dollars.Did you know? He loves speed, in cars and work, is passionate about all genres of music, and considers Jack Ma of Alibaba to be his guide.Photo: Bandeep Singh#17 Aditya PurI68, MD, HDFC BankMr BankableBecause he stands tall among bankers. At a time when the sector is passing through its toughest phase with rising bad loans and allegations of fraud and nepotism, the country’s largest and most valuable private lender HDFC Bank with market capitalisation of over Rs 5 lakh crore reported a net profit of Rs 4,642.6 crore for the quarter ended December 2017-an increase of more than 20 per cent over the corresponding period last year.Because steering HDFC Bank since 1994, he is the only Indian on Fortune’s ‘Businessperson of the Year’ ranking of world’s top 20 heads of companies, at 18th position in November 2017.Because HDFC bank has launched a fund to help start-ups access capital as it seeks to expand itself in this space.Favourite movies Gone with the Wind and Guns of Navarone.Retirement plan Teaching MBA students.Bookmark Loved Ayn Rand, but complains of getting tired of reading economics.Photo: Rachit Goswami#18 Sanjiv Goenka57, Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka GroupEastern messiahBecause at a time when corporate credibility has hit an all-time low, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group has grown with an enviable debt to equity ratio of 1:1.1, having expanded using internal accruals rather than bank borrowings.Because his listed companies gave investors an average return of 66 per cent in 2017. Total market capitalisation of listed companies went up to Rs 20,000 crore, an addition of Rs 7,800 crore from last year.Because his company has forayed into the low calorie snacking market and Goenka is hoping to take it to 500,000 outlets in the next 15 months.Because he exerts considerable influence over the business policies of the West Bengal government and has been an important link between the state and the Centre.Gamechanger Having made inroads into cricket and football with Indian Premier League team Rising Pune Supergiant and Indian Super League team Atletico de Kolkata, he has partnered with India captain Virat Kohli to build a platform to support athletes with scholarships of upto Rs 2 crore.Photo: Bandeep Singh#19 Gautam Adani55, Founder & Chairman, Adani GroupPower packBecause this college dropout-turned- business tycoon, seen to be the closest to Narendra Modi, distanced himself from the power centre after increased public scrutiny of his group’s operations. He has further grown his Rs 71,500 crore business empire through a four-fold expansion of Dhamra port in Odisha to 100 million tonnes capacity.Because his group is betting big on defence by setting up a plant in Hyderabad to make a composite aero structure for Hermes 900 drones in a tie-up with Israel’s Elbit Systems.advertisementBecause India’s largest power producer Adani Power’s transmission arm entered the power distribution business by acquiring Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai distribution business.Because the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in 2017 nullified all proceedings against the Adani Group firms that were accused of allegedly inflating the total declared value of goods imported under power and infrastructure heads to the extent of Rs 3,974.12 crore.Did you know? Subramanian Swamy recently described Adani as the “biggest Non-Performing Asset (NPA) trapeze artiste”.Photo: Nandan Dave#20 Uday Shankar55, Chairman & CEO of Star India and President (Asia), 21st Century FoxRising starBecause Star India’s video streaming platform Hotstar has 75 million active subscribers. On April 10, it set a global record with 5.5 million viewers tuning in for the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders IPL match.Because Star Sports outbid Sony and Reliance Jio to bag the BCCI media rights for Rs 6,138.1 crore which entitles them to cover the men in blue’s home bilateral series for five years.Because rebranding of Life OK as Star Bharat has placed it among the top three in the general entertainment category.Did you know? Though a professional rival, Punit Goenka, the MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment, is a friend.-with MG Arun, Amarnath K Menon, Shweta Punj, Kaushik Deka, Suhani Singh, Asmita Bakshi, Damayanti Datta, Romita Datta, Uday Mahurkar and Anshuman Tiwari
TORONTO – At age 80, Ada Garrison finds herself at a new beginning.A host of new friends, activities and challenges abound since a health scare prompted her to move into a retirement home in downtown Toronto.Six months ago she had been living alone in a two-bedroom apartment. Her 54-year-old daughter and grandson were in the unit below but she saw them rarely, as was the case with her two sons, one of whom lives in New York.“I felt isolated,” Garrison admits of that time. “My kids were real busy and I could hear them; that was lovely, but the social time with them was skimpy.”Meanwhile, her own circle of friends was dwindling.“About half of them have died and that’s another reason that I felt blue. I was trying to make some younger friends, but people are swamped with work and there’s not a lot of leisure time.”The sociable grandmother moved to a retirement home where she now finds herself “cheek by jowl” with other seniors in an atmosphere she likens to living in a college dormitory. She takes classes and goes on group outings.Her new daily imperative: make new friends and live life to the fullest.Garrison is part of a growing group of single senior Canadian women who are redefining what it means to age alone. Their ranks are swelling, according to the latest tranche of data from the 2016 census, released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.The number of elderly Canadians is soaring — a 19.4 per cent increase among those 85 and older between 2011 and 2016. Since people are living longer and women tend to outlive men, females have long had to cope with standing alone as they grew old.Among Canadians aged 85 and older, there were nearly two women for every man in 2016, Statistics Canada found last year. For centenarians, whose ranks grew at a staggering rate of 41.3 per cent, the ratio was was five to one.Some are widowed or divorced; others never married. Many have children, but they live far away amid housing and employment pressures. Some liken becoming a single senior to reinventing themselves entirely.“There is a lot of reinvention because you’ve got another 30 to 35 years of life and why do what you’ve done before?” says 68-year-old Adina Lebo, who never married and lives alone in Toronto but finds support from a tight circle of female friends.“Some of my friends started little businesses, like dog walking, or they took their mum’s cookie recipe and started making cookies and selling them at the local bakery and local fairs. Other people have gone into business with Airbnb and turned their home into a revenue-producing (business).”Leslie Brodbeck, 71, says she found “a new confidence” after her husband died suddenly of brain cancer in 2008.“I went to the bank, for instance … and negotiated a bridge loan all by myself. I had never done anything like that in my life,” says Brodbeck, who lives in London, Ont. “I want to be a person that’s vibrant and involved, not someone who sits at home and knits.”And while it’s long been true that the people who approach 100 are mostly women, men are starting to close the gender gap, says Nora Spinks, chief executive officer of The Vanier Institute of the Family.In 2001, there were 2.3 women for every man in the 85-and-over group, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. In 2016, that ratio was down to 1.87.Spinks credits better illness detection, medical treatment and preventative care with pushing male life expectancy to increase at a slightly higher rate than that of women.But older women still live longer, and many are alone.Spinks says it’s not surprising many seniors describe feeling a newfound freedom, since it often follows a lifetime of sequential caregiving.“First you look after your kids, then you look after your parents, then you look after your spouse, then you look after your friends,” she says.“You’re taking care of others from the time you’re in your 20s — maybe late 20s, early 30s — right through to your 60s, and then all of a sudden, you get to focus on you. And for a lot of women that’s very liberating.”It’s something Bev Farrell sees everyday in her work at Third Age Outreach, a geriatric service out of St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Ont.As a “therapeutic recreation specialist,” she helps older adults find meaningful activities such as exercise, crafts or card games.She recalls helping a widow who was foundering after a decade spent caring for her ailing husband.“She had to give herself permission to have fun, because she felt a little guilty at first.”Lebo, chair of the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, says one of the biggest concerns of members is the fear they will outlive their savings.Health care, housing, transit and social supports are all big concerns, but she has struggled to find steady employment since being losing her job five years ago. She finds support from older single women who share her struggles and can offer a helping hand when needed.“We’re basically looking after ourselves and helping each other,” says Lebo, who also looks after her 96-year-old mother.“I have friends who’ve said, ‘Adina, we’ll be calling you to assist us on medical things that require a second person and please call us,’ so that’s an unwritten bond.”Meanwhile, older seniors like her mother are at greater risk of spending more time alone, says Lebo, especially when illness is involved and it becomes impossible to leave the house or entertain visitors.Brodbeck’s advice, meanwhile, is the same as that she gives her children: plan ahead while you can and celebrate every stage of life.“Look to the future, don’t dwell on the past, but live every day. Because you never know what’s around the corner and that’s what my husband’s death taught me.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version inverted the ratios of women to men in 2001 and 2016.
On Monday, October 12, 2015, tennis stars Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Andy Roddick will headline Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits at Caesars Palace, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King.“It is always such a great pleasure to co-host this wonderful event with my dear friend Billie Jean King,” said Sir Elton John. “I’m so pleased that we will be teaming up with Aid for AIDS of Nevada to raise awareness about the continuing challenges of the HIV/AIDS epidemic both locally and nationally and to raise urgently needed dollars for community-based HIV prevention, education, treatment, and care services. I urge all tennis fans and concerned citizens in the Las Vegas area to support this event and bring their families for a wonderful evening of tennis for a great cause.”“It is great to have Mylan WTT Smash Hits back in the U.S. and even better that we are making our first trip to Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world,” said Billie Jean King. “Smash Hits is one of my favorite and most meaningful events of the year and we are looking forward to a successful and entertaining night this October at Caesars Palace.”Tennis action is set for 7 p.m. PT. The pre-match VIP Reception and Auction will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. PT on July 23rd. For information on tickets – including group sales and VIP ticket packages – click here or call (212) 586-3444 x111.Captained by King and John, the players will form two teams and play a Mylan WTT match featuring singles and doubles action. The music legend is expected to participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Additional participants will be announced in the upcoming weeks. The overall series is tied 11-11 between Team Elton and Team Billie Jean. Team Billie Jean won the 2014 event in London with a 22-16 victory.This will be the 13th Smash Hits appearance for Agassi. The 8-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world No. 1 is well-known for his philanthropy, which includes starting the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas. Agassi was inducted into The International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011.This is the third Smash Hits appearance for Graf, a fellow Hall of Famer. Graf has long been considered one of the greatest players in tennis history, winning 107 singles titles, 22 Grand Slam singles championships, and an Olympic gold medal before retiring in 1999. Graf and her husband Andre Agassi have two children, daughter Jaz and son Jaden. Graf is very active with her charity Children for Tomorrow, a non-profit foundation with the aim of supporting children and families who have become victims of war, persecution and organized violence.Navratilova, a 59-time Grand Slam champion in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, was one of the participants in the first Smash Hits event in 1993 and will be making her 11th appearance. During her storied career, the Hall of Famer won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Navratilova holds 167 singles titles, more than any other player, male or female and 177 doubles titles.Roddick returns to Smash Hits for an 11th time. The popular American standout won 30 singles titles on the ATP World Tour, including the 2003 US Open, and was ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive years. Along with Venus Williams, Roddick is part of the WTT Ownership Group. He also founded the Andy Roddick Foundation which works to expand opportunities for young people to learn, thrive and succeed.