Ishant Sharma revives Lord’s 2014 memories with inspired Edgbaston spell

first_imgIshant Sharma tore apart England’s middle-order with an inspired spell of fast bowling as India took firm control of the first Test of the five-match series against England at Edgbaston.After R Aswhin snared Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings and Joe Root, Ishant got into the act with the wickets of Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Staurt Broad as England were bowled out for 180 in the second innings. India need 194 to win the match.Ishant took four wickets in three overs including three in the same over to bring India on the verge of a historic victory at Edbgaston. India have never won a Test match at this venue in six previous attempts. But things are now looking bright for the world’s number one Test side, spurred on by a sensational 149 from skipper Virat Kohli.R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami had starred in the first innings, sharing seven wickets between them as England were shot out for 287 after electing to bat first. India’s innings was in shambles before Kohli scored his first Test hundred in England, overcoming the horror of the 2014 tour.Ashwin brought India well and truly back into the match late on the second day when he dismissed Cook in similar fashion to the first innings. On the third morning, Ashwin struck early to first remove Jennings and then had Root caught beautifully by KL Rahul at leg slip.It was then time for Ishant to show his magic. The most experienced bowler in the team produced a majestic spell as he left England gasping for breath.advertisementIshant bowled with pace, fire and plenty of aggression. He squared Malan up with a great outswinger before removing the dangerous Bairstow with a nice inswinger. Two balls later, Stokes had no clue how to deal with another outswinger from around the wicket. Next up, right after lunch, Ishant got Buttler to edge one behind the wickets to Dinesh Kartik.The fifth wicket took a while coming for Ishant. He bowled another peach and Broad drove at a ball which was shaping away from him; Dhawan, who had dropped two easy chances before, took it safely at first slip.This was a spectacular performance from Ishant, who had single-handedly demolished a strong England batting line-up four years ago at Lord’s to set up a historic victory for India.In July 2014, England were 71/2 (in their chase of 319) before before Ishant turned up the heat and picked seven of the next eight wickets. India won by 95 runs to take a 1-0 lead after two Tests in the five-match series.However, India lost their next three Tests back then.This time, India have the chance to take an early lead again. And this time, Kohli is a far better batsman while Aswhin has looked lethal in seaming conditions. And once Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah return to the side, things could get even more difficult for England in their own backyard.last_img read more

Read More →

West Indies skipper Jason Holder blasts critics: Don’t think they’ll ever shut up

first_imgWest Indies skipper Jason Holder has lashed out as critics who have questioned his team over their one-sided defeat to India in the first Test in Rajkot last week.Prithvi Shaw’s debut hundred, Virat Kohli’s 24th century and a maiden five-wicket haul for Kuldeep Yadav saw India storm to victory by an innings and 272 runs – their biggest in Test cricket.West Indies were without Holder and Kemar Roach in Rajkot but what bothered former players was the lack of application by their batsmen. After India posted 649/9 declared, West Indies were shot out for 181 and 196 after some ordinary shot selection against the home spinners.Once the powerhouse of world cricket, West Indies are far removed from their glory days. They had last drawn a Test series in India back in 1994 – the only time Brian Lara played Test cricket in India.Since that tour, West Indies have toured India in 2002, 2011 and 2013 and lost all three series. Holder said it was not easy playing India in India and added he was focused on playing cricket instead of focusing on what critics had to say.READ – Chris Gayle declines selection, West Indies announce ODI and T20I teams vs India”We are playing the No.1 team, India, in their backyard. And history would show we haven’t won a Test match here since 1994 and if you look at the players who came through West Indies cricket I think Brian Lara and these greats have been playing all that time.”Recently, former West Indies captain Carl Hooper was critical of youngsters in the island nations being only interested in T20 contracts but without taking names, the current skipper presented a contrarian view.advertisement”Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just focus primarily on what I have to do and what the team has to do. There’s no point worrying about what people have to say because people will always have to say (something or the other). “The only way we can silence the critics or try to silence them because I don’t think they’ll ever shut up is by playing cricket.”According to a report in PTI, Holder, who did not play the first Test due to an injury, looked unhappy with the comments directed at his team.”A lot has been said about this Test team in particular; things that I am not in agreement with. Because we have beaten top sides in the last two-three series we’ve played. We probably haven’t won as many series as we’d like. Within the last year, I think we’ve won two out of four or five series we’ve played. So I don’t understand why people would be this harsh towards us.”READ – Ravichandran Ashwin surprised to see West Indies’s approach towards Indian spinnersHe also didn’t agree with the theory that West Indies can go the Bangladesh way by concentrating on one format.”I think I would disagree with that. If you look at our history in the last three-four-five years, our suited formats has ideally been T20 cricket and second behind would be Test cricket. We are really struggling in ODI cricket for the last 10 years, if you go back that far.”We’ve obviously had one or two bright spots – our notable performance in ICC 50-over cricket would be the Champions Trophy that we won in 2004. You can see we tend to struggle in ODI cricket. I think the bright spots in the last two-three years have been in Test cricket.”Holder believes that efforts should be made to popularise Test cricket among youngsters.”If you ask any great player in the world, they say ‘if you want to learn to play the game, play Test cricket, play longer format cricket’. So I think that’s something we urge a little more to the players in the Caribbean to understand.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Read More →

Andros Townsend hails Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose for speaking against racism

first_imgCrystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has hailed Tottenham Hotspur full back Danny Rose’s bravery for speaking out against racism and urged more players to join calls for the game’s authorities to take more decisive action on racist abuse.England international Rose said last week that he could not wait to leave football because he had had enough of the racism in the game and was frustrated by the response of the authorities to the abuse.”Danny’s a very brave man for coming out, being so honest and speaking the truth. Obviously I sympathise with him; we all support him,” Townsend told reporters after Palace beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.”Luckily, so far, I haven’t experienced racism but I know Danny has on more than one occasion. He’s experienced it with the England Under-21s and the seniors in Montenegro the other day.”We need more players like Danny to come out, be honest and speak the truth, to say what they really feel. Danny’s an incredible person; hopefully the system can help Danny and he can enjoy his football again.”Juventus teenager Moise Kean also appeared to suffer racist abuse from the stands in a match at Cagliari in Serie A last week and there were more incidents in England this weekend.Second-tier Wigan Athletic released a statement in support of Nathan Byrne after the defender was sent an abusive message on Twitter on Saturday, while Brentford confirmed a fan had been arrested at their ground for a racially-aggravated offence.advertisement”Racism’s crept back into our game a little bit, which is not great so we need Danny and the young lad at Juventus (Kean) to speak out because that will force action,” Townsend added.”I don’t know why racism’s still going on. We’ve got to move on in football and kick it out as much as we can. Hopefully the relevant organisations will do their best to stamp it out… They’re working their very hardest to stamp it out once and for all.”Also Read | Gabriel Jesus goal vs Brighton sends Manchester City into FA Cup finalAlso Read | Everton dent Arsenal’s hopes of top-four finishlast_img read more

Read More →

Real trouble: Zidane’s job hangs on PSG tie

first_imgReal Madrid ‘Real’s worst season ever?’ – Zidane’s job now hangs on PSG clash Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 18:30 1/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(11) Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid Getty Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Zinédine Zidane Real Madrid v Leganés Leganés PSG Copa del Rey Primera División Opinion After Wednesday night’s embarrassing Copa del Rey exit at home to Leganes, the Blancos boss knows that only Champions League glory can save him How quickly things can change. Real Madrid were on cloud nine after beating Gremio to claim the Club World Cup in mid-December, as they ended 2017 with a club record five trophies. Just a few weeks later, however, their season hangs very much in the balance.Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to Leganes in the Copa del Rey saw Zinedine Zidane’s side crash out of the Copa del Rey on away goals at the quarter-final stage and represents the latest embarrassment in an increasingly calamitous campaign.Already 19 points behind fierce rivals Barcelona in La Liga, the cup competition was considered a priority by Los Blancos, but it is over before some senior players (such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo) had even made an appearance. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player All Madrid needed to do was to avoid defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, after Marco Asensio’s late winner at Butarque last week, but even that proved too much to ask as goals from Javier Eraso and Gabriel cancelled out Karim Benzema’s equaliser.So, the thrill of those five trophies in 2017 has rapidly evaporated and, after the match, Zidane was asked if this was the worst season in Real Madrid’s history. “I don’t know if this is the worst,” he replied. “It doesn’t matter to me. I have to be positive. It’s a very hard blow for us, but the season is not over for us.”It is not, but it could be soon. All that is left now for Zidane’s side to play for in terms of silverware is the Champions League and although Los Blancos have won that competition for the past two seasons, this time they face the might of Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.The free-scoring French side have already netted over 100 times this term in all competitions and although they lost to Lyon in Ligue 1 last weekend, they still lead the championship by eight points. Furthermore, in Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, they possess Europe’s most exciting attack.Asked if he will be fighting for his future in the two-legged tie (on February 14 in Madrid and March 6 in Paris), Zidane said: “That is clear. I’m the one who is responsible for this and I’m the one who has to find solutions.” Madrid GFXThere are plenty of problem areas and Madrid’s disjointed displays at the Bernabeu in 2017-18 will be a concern. Real have now lost at home this season to Betis, Barcelona, Villarreal and Leganes, as well as failing to beat Valencia, Levante, Tottenham, Numancia and Fuenlabrada at their famous fortress.Defensively, Zidane’s side has shipped far too many goals in the current campaign as well, with 34 conceded already in their 36 fixtures in 2017-18. Even with Sergio Ramos back in the team on Wednesday, there was no improvement in that area.Further forward, Ronaldo has been struggling in La Liga and Zidane will hope the Portuguese can continue his better form in Europe after he hit nine in the side’s six group games earlier this season – especially now that Gareth Bale and Benzema are back to full fitness.LeganesNereo Champagne Real Madrid LeganesThose three will be playing for their Madrid futures against PSG, along with Zidane, as they come up against Neymar and Mbappe, two players previously coveted by Real for their forward line.A trip to Valencia comes before that in La Liga and with Villarreal and Sevilla just behind Los Blancos in the table, Zidane’s side face a fight to finish in the top four this season.That is a measure of how far this team has fallen after winning a Liga and Champions League double in 2016-17 and with the Copa del Rey now gone, Madrid now need to improve on their league position and start preparing for a what is a season-defining tie against PSG.Fail to win it and their season will be effectively over on March 6 and surely even Zidane would not be able to survive such a disastrous outcome to what was expected to be an all-conquering campaign for Los Blancos.last_img read more

Read More →

FIFA eWorld Cup: MSDossary and NRaseck eyeing all Rogue final

first_imgIt has been an extremely busy year of FIFA esports, but the FIFA 19 season is approaching its end, culminating with the FIFA eWorld Cup.Two of the tournament favourites are reigning FIFA eWorld Cup champion Mossad “MSdossary” Aldossary and Xbox sixth seed Niklas “NRaseck” Raseck. They represent esports organisation Rogue Esports, which is co-owned by world-renowned DJ Steve Aoki and also has investment from pop-rock band Imagine Dragons.Goal caught up with the duo to find out how confident they are ahead of the tournament and how they feel about having to face each other in the group stages: Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Both of you finished in the top 10 of the Xbox FIFA Global Series Rankings, how do you feel about how your seasons went overall?MSDossary: My season until now has been pretty good, I didn’t play that many FUT Champions Cups, I won two and I was in the Xbox final of another so I think I needed to finish in a good way, especially at the FIFA eWorld Cup.NRaseck: I feel like this season was pretty good, but last season was a little bit better. Last year there were only two FUT Champions Cups and I got to the final both times, but this year I only got to one FUT Champions Cup final. So I feel like this has been the second-best season of my career but it was still really good and I’m looking forward to the grand final.Niklas, you’ve been competing in FIFA for quite a few years now and you’re still looking for that first, major trophy. What would finally winning one mean to you?NRaseck: It would mean a lot to me. I’ve been to the grand final three times now, I’ve been close to winning a trophy so many times and never did. It’s the thing that’s missing for me right now and I hope I can do it at the FIFA eWorld Cup.Are you guys feeling confident ahead of the FIFA eWorld Cup?MSDossary: I know I usually win when tournaments are in the UK so that’s given me a lot of confidence, and hopefully I can do it.NRaseck: Of course I’m really confident going into the FIFA eWorld Cup. In the last tournament, the Xbox FIFA Global Series Play-Offs, I went to the semis and showed that I can be there in the top two. I think I played a really good tournament so of course I’m feeling really confident.Are there any players at the eWorld Cup that you’re hoping to face or excited to be matched-up with?MSDossary: I would definitely like to play one of my Rogue team-mates in the final so we could get more for the team. But I’m not scared of anyone, I will just see how things go.NRaseck: For me, a Rogue final would be great but I also want to play F2Tekkz and beat him. One of those two, either playing one of my team-mates in the final or playing Tekkz would be amazing, I need to get revenge for the Play-Offs.Speaking of an all Rogue final, yourselves and your team-mate Goal Machine are all in Group B of the FIFA eWorld Cup. How do you feel about having to face your team-mates so early on in the tournament?MSDossary: Maybe it benefits us, we might be able to help each other like warning them about something we notice with an opponent. Three of us can make it out, if we do that and are still winning then we could play in the final and that’s something we really want and I hope we can do it.NRaseck: I think it can be good because I’m confident all three of us can get out of groups and the good thing is we won’t play each other in the first knockout round. It’s bad we have to play against each other but at the same time I think it can help us go further in the tournament and I’m also confident all three of us can do that.MSdossaryYou say you want an all Rogue final but is there a friendly rivalry there? You two faced each other at the Xbox Play-Offs with Niklas coming out on top.Niklas: I almost don’t like to play against my team-mates because I don’t really feel a rivalry. They’re friends so you don’t like to play against them in a knockout match. But in the game you have to forget about that because it’ll distract you from playing your best. The Play-Offs were the first time I faced Mossad this year and I think it was a pretty even game, I just had luck on my side and won it.MSDossary: We’re just trying to help each other, we think Rogue is the best FIFA organisation right now so we just want to benefit them.All of your hard work this year now comes down to the final tournament of the year. How are you guys preparing for the FIFA eWorld Cup?MSDossary: I’m not really doing anything special, I try to analyse my opponents and try some new tactics just to make sure I reach the top level.NRaseck: It’s kind of the same for me, I’ll play a few games to keep my level and then I’ll try to analyse the game and see what I’m doing wrong. I know there’s still a lot of things that I can do better so I’ll try to improve on that so I can reach my top level.And finally, it’s been a very busy year. You’re both very experienced FIFA players but this has probably been the biggest season of competitive FIFA yet, what do you guys think of the FIFA 19 format with the rankings and having a lot more tournaments than in previous years?MSDossary: It’s always good to see this many tournaments, especially as a player as it helps you get more teams and organisations in the scene. It’s a busy year and it’s hard for players as every one or two weeks you’re going out to other countries for events but that’s how things should be. I’ve enjoyed this year and I hope I can finish it in a good way.NRaseck: I think competitive FIFA has made a really good step this year. This season has been all about finding the top 60 players per-console whereas last year qualifying for the FIFA eWorld Cup all came down to one tournament. It’s good to have a lot of tournaments, that’s what it should be like. It’s more stressful of course but I really like it.last_img read more

Read More →

Gov’t Leveraging Science and Technology to Build Climate-Smart Houses

first_img Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government will be leveraging science and technology to build climate-smart houses. Story Highlights Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government will be leveraging science and technology to build climate-smart houses.Dr. Chang, who was delivering closing remarks at the 2017 Regional Housing Conference in Montego Bay on Friday, October 20, noted that stakeholder deliberations during the forum around the use of technology to assist in land selection, spatial planning and housing design provide impetus for the Ministry to incorporate greater scientific inputs in future developments.“Jamaica will continue to experience warmer temperatures and by 2023, a mere six years from now, our coolest day will be hotter than any in previous years. The environmentalists across all agencies have served a clear warning to the Government that (we) must take heed and build homes that are…more suited to warmer temperatures,” he stated.Meanwhile, Dr. Chang said work undertaken by the University of the West Indies in seismic projections and research findings presented by the University of Technology on the value of designing and building homes to create safe communities, as opposed to establishing structures solely for shelter, were compelling.“The use of Geographic Information System (GIS)-based technologies and software and the research being done by our own geo-spatial professionals at the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) in this Ministry, provide useful tools to assist us in building homes that will indeed be safe and resilient,” he stated.Dr. Chang argued that stakeholders at the forum also underscored the broad considerations which are critical to governance and management of housing in Jamaica.These, he noted, include providing safe and quality housing; financing and access to affordable homes; and environmental preservation.The Minister said consequent on the housing sector’s high dependence on cross-sectoral and non-state input, the discussions on joint financing of housing developments involving public and private sector agencies were invaluable.Against this background, Dr. Chang said the knowledge and information garnered at the three-day conference would serve to guide the Government’s policies for future housing developments.The Regional Housing Conference, the first to be convened in the Caribbean, was hosted by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation under the theme: ‘Providing Safe, Legal and Affordable Housing for All: From Policy to Implementation’.Participants included: representatives from the World Bank, policymakers, members of academia, technocrats and housing agencies from across the Caribbean.Among the sponsors were: the National Housing Trust, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Housing Agency of Jamaica and First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited. Dr. Chang, who was delivering closing remarks at the 2017 Regional Housing Conference in Montego Bay on Friday, October 20, noted that stakeholder deliberations during the forum around the use of technology to assist in land selection, spatial planning and housing design provide impetus for the Ministry to incorporate greater scientific inputs in future developments. Meanwhile, Dr. Chang said work undertaken by the University of the West Indies in seismic projections and research findings presented by the University of Technology on the value of designing and building homes to create safe communities, as opposed to establishing structures solely for shelter, were compelling.last_img read more

Read More →

Crowley Christens 3rd LNG-Ready Product Tanker

first_imgzoom Florida-based shipping company Crowley Maritime Corporation christened on Thursday Louisiana, the latest of its four new Jones Act product tankers at the Port of New Orleans. Having received the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval, Louisiana has a potential for future conversion to LNG propulsion.Designed by South Korean Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD), the four Jones Act product tankers are being built for the company by Philly Shipyard (PSI) in Philadelphia.The 50,000 dwt Louisiana is capable of carrying 330,000 barrels of product.With its length of 600 feet, the ship has the capacity to transport crude oil or refined petroleum products, as well as various chemical cargoes. It will operate in the U.S. Gulf, according to Crowley.Louisiana joined sister ships Ohio and Texas, which were delivered in October and December 2015, respectively.Crowley’s fourth tanker is under construction at PSI and its delivery is planned for the third quarter of 2016.last_img read more

Read More →

Changes to the Marriage Act Come into Effect May 1

first_img These changes are part of Service Nova Scotia’s ongoing work to modernize its legislation to better meet the needs of Nova Scotians. changing the name of the act to the Marriage Act enhancing identity security by requiring both people who wish to marry to complete the marriage licence affidavit needed to get a marriage licence aligning the act with federal legislation by removing the authority for people under the age of 16 to marry removing specific religious references to ensure the act is inclusive of all faiths removing outdated language such as the terms spinster and illegitimate child and adding the term spouse to options for those marrying eliminating the role of the chief judge to recommend justices of the peace for appointment giving the Minister of Service Nova Scotia the authority to prescribe marriage forms. Changes to the Solemnization of Marriage Act, introduced last fall, will come into effect on May 1. “We are making the act more inclusive and providing enhanced security to couples getting married in Nova Scotia,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan. Marriage licences will now be valid for three months, instead of one year. This change is consistent with how licences are typically used with over 80 per cent of people getting married within three months of purchasing the licence. It is also consistent with other jurisdictions. Other changes include:last_img read more

Read More →

Sitharamanled 1st GST Council meet to decide on tax cut on EVs

first_imgNew Delhi: The GST Council will on Friday consider slashing GST rate on electric vehicles to 5 per cent, from 12 per cent currently, along with extension of the tenure of the anti-profiteering authority by a year till November 2020, an official said. The 35th meeting of the GST Council and the first under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also consider a couple of anti-evasion steps such as integration of e-way bill with NHAI’s FASTag from April 1, 2010, and asking businesses with a turnover of over Rs 50 crore to issue e-invoice for B2B (business-to-business) sales, as well as asking states to make e-ticketing mandatory for all movie halls. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe Council will also consider tweaking GST rate on lottery. An 8-member group of state finance ministers could not reach a consensus on whether a uniform tax rate should be imposed on lotteries or the current differential tax rate system be continued. Currently, a state-organised lottery attracts 12 per cent GST, while a state-authorised lottery attracts 28 per cent tax. Also, the Council is likely to discuss a mechanism for single-point sanctioning and processing GST refunds. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThe current mechanism entails twin refund sanctioning authority of the central and state tax officers but that could well change by August when the proposed new structure involving a single authority comes in place. Besides, the Council would also deliberate on setting up a national bench of the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling to reconcile the contradictory orders on similar issues passed by the Authority for Advance Ruling in different states, a move aimed at providing certainty to taxpayers. To give a push to manufacturing electric vehicles, the Council will consider slashing GST rates to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, the official said. GST rate for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles is already at the highest bracket of 28 per cent plus cess. Besides, the Council will also consider extending the tenure of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) by a year till November 30, 2020, as the authority continues to receive consumer complaints of profiteering against companies. The NAA came into existence on November 30, 2017, after its Chairman B N Sharma assumed charge. So far, the NAA has passed 67 orders in various cases. In a move to check evasion, the Council would also discuss the proposal of integrating e-way bill with NHAI’s FASTag mechanism from April 1, 2020. Such an integration would help find the location of the vehicle and when and how many times it has crossed NHAI’s toll plazas and restrict transporters from doing multiple trips by generating a single e-way bill. Transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 would be required to present an e-way bill during transit to a GST inspector, if asked. However, lack of harmonisation under the ‘track and trace’ mechanism in terms of sharing information among different agencies is leading to misuse of e-way bill. The Council would also consider another anti-evasion proposal of issuance of e-invoices on a centralised government portal by businesses with turnover of Rs 50 crore and above for B2B sales. An analysis of return filing shows that as many as 68,041 businesses have reported a turnover of over Rs 50 crore and accounted for 66.6 per cent of total GST paid in 2017-18. Further, while these businesses account for just 1.02 per cent of GST payers, they make up almost 30 per cent of the B2B invoices generated in the system.last_img read more

Read More →

Canada deeply concerned over possible return of Rohingya to Myanmar

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada is raising concerns over reports that Rohingya refugees will soon return to Myanmar — the country in which they have been targets of what has been officially declared a genocide.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau say they are “deeply concerned” about a proposed repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar this month.United Nations officials and international organizations have said such a return is unsafe due to ongoing violence and conditions that continue to force refugees to flee the country.Freeland and Bibeau say repatriation must not be rushed and they’re urging Myanmar’s government to ensure refugees that do return are protected and their human rights are upheld.Canada is also calling on Myanmar to grant full access to UN and international observers to monitor any repatriation efforts.More than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017.In September, Parliament voted unanimously to strip Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship for failing to stop the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Read More →

Jon Huertas Hosts Fulfillment Funds 7th Annual Taste Of Summer

first_imgThe Fulfillment Fund Leadership Council presented their 7th annual Taste of Summer on Saturday, July 28 in Culver City, CA.Jon Huertas at 7th annual Taste of SummerTaste Of Summer has quickly become the exclusive food and drink tasting event of the summer! This year’s event was hosted by Jon Huertas, star of NBC’s “This Is Us” and co-owner of CLUTCH, Venice Beach. Honorary Chef Eric Greenspan (Food Network star and chef/owner of Brekkie Breakfast Burritos), Honorary Co-Hosts Devin Alexander (New York Times best-selling author) and Shira Lazar (“What’s Trending”) joined the fun and festivities at Unici Casa where guests were treated to the beautiful atmosphere of one of Los Angeles’ premiere special events venues. Taste of Summer featured an array of renowned chefs, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and beverage makers, including Clutch, Preux & Proper, Phorage LA, Barbara Jean, iPic Entertainment, Kikori Whiskey, Neighbor, Knob Creek and Milk Jar Cookies.Among the celebrities in attendance were Zuri Adele (Freeform’s upcoming “The Fosters” spin-off “Good Trouble”), Mary Chieffo (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Ken Kirby (“Good Trouble”), Christine Ko (“Hawaii Five-O”), Tommy Martinez (“Good Trouble”), Elle McLemore (“Army Wives”), Goya Robles (“Get Shorty”) and Johnny Sibilly (“Pose”).The Fulfillment Fund has empowered youth through education for four decades. With a mission to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities, the Fulfillment Fund seeks to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of college, change their beliefs about what they can achieve, and support them on their path toward a college education. Through a comprehensive array of unique college access services, the Fulfillment Fund provides classroom-based instruction, college and financial aid counseling, individual and group mentoring, digital learning courses, scholarships, experiential learning groups, college field trips, and more. To learn more please visit www.fulfillment.org.The Fulfillment Fund Leadership Council is a young professional’s volunteer network of more than 100 members who support the Fulfillment Fund mission through fundraising, service and advocacy. Established in 2009, members range in age from 25 to 45, work in diverse industries such as finance, law, entertainment and technology, and are active philanthropists. Leadership Council members support the Fulfillment Fund by volunteering, mentoring students, building corporate partnerships, serving as ambassadors for the organization, and raising funds through events such as Taste of Summer, the LA Marathon and other fundraising and programmatic events throughout the year.last_img read more

Read More →

Pomeroy Sport Centre to host world record paper airplane attempt

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John residents could witness history next month when two American men will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest distance flown by a paper airplane at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.In 2012, John Collins designed a paper airplane that former college football quarterback Joe Ayoob threw an astonishing 226 feet, 10 inches. That flight would set the Guinness World Record for furthest recorded paper airplane flight, a record that still stands today.“It wasn’t all that surprising, but it was really a relief. It was just an amazing accomplishment after three years of trying.” Collins said of breaking the record, “A) it was a great relief, and B) it was just a really great moment to have a lot of my friends there to celebrate with.” Collins said he decided to come to the Energetic City after local resident and paper airplane enthusiast Parker Andrews told him he was going to break his record one day. He explained that he had been trying to find a place to beat his record for over two years, but couldn’t find a building large enough to attempt it. After Andrews told him about the size of the  Pomeroy Sport Centre, Collins said he thought it was the perfect fit.“It all looks good on paper, it’s the right length, and we’ve got plenty of headroom.” said Collins, “The idea that there is nothing and no obstruction above us is really good news. There is a lot to like about that building.”Collins may also return to the Energetic City in September to teach classes on building paper airplanes to schools throughout School District #60.Collins and Ayoob will attempt their record-breaking flight on July 11th.last_img read more

Read More →

Nepal UN welcomes decision to discharge thousands of child soldiers

17 July 2009The United Nations welcomed the decision to today begin discharging and rehabilitating more than 4,000 Maoist army personnel – including thousands of child soldiers – in Nepal, calling this a “significant milestone” in the country’s ongoing peace process. The UN special political mission, known as UNMIN, and the world body’s Country Team lauded the announcement by the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) that they would formally launch the discharge and rehabilitation process today for 4,008 Maoist army personnel (including 2,973 minors), who were disqualified under the verification process following the end of the civil war.In a press statement, UNMIN and the Country Team called on the UCPN-M to cooperate with authorities “to ensure the successful completion” of the initiative.They said that “it is encouraging that the agreement reached recognizes the importance of compliance with international standards in line” with the Security Council’s 2005 resolution on children and armed conflict.Further, today’s launch also “commits to following a discharge and rehabilitation process that will allow the disqualified personnel to choose freely between a range of rehabilitation assistance packages in the coming months,” the statement said, voicing the UN’s readiness to assist in the process.A decade-long civil war, claiming some 13,000 lives, ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists. After conducting Constituent Assembly elections in May 2008, the nation abolished its 240-year-old monarchy and declared itself a republic. read more

Read More →

ICC issues arrest warrants for Libyan officials for alleged crimes against humanity

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today issued arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, one of his sons and the country’s intelligence chief for crimes against humanity allegedly committed since the pro-democracy movement began in February.Hundreds of people are confirmed to have been killed since opposition forces rose up against the regime of Mr. Qadhafi in February as part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East. Earlier this month, the Court’s Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told reporters that his office had gathered direct evidence detailing the orders issued by Mr. Qadhafi, the role of his son Saif al-Islam Qadhafi in recruiting mercenaries, and the participation of the head of the Libya’s intelligence forces, Abdullah Al Sanousi, in attacks against protesters. The Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber considered that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that the three suspects committed the alleged crimes and that their arrests appear necessary to ensure their appearances before the ICC, it stated in a news release. Their arrests are also necessary to ensure that they do not continue to obstruct and endanger the Court’s investigations, and to prevent them from using their powers to continue the commission of crimes within its jurisdiction, the Court added. Libya is not a State party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC. However, the situation in the North African nation was referred to the Court in February by the Security Council, which adopted a resolution the following month calling on Member States to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians amid the regime’s violent crackdown against its own people. Updating the Council on the current situation in Libya, UN political chief B. Lynn Pascoe said resolutions 1970 (February) and 1973 (March) are clear. “We have an obligation to protect the people of Libya and that is the goal of the current international efforts. We must ensure that the basic rights and freedoms of the Libyan people are fully respected and protected and that their legitimate aspirations are met,” he stated.Mr. Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, added that the UN is concerned about all reports of civilian casualties, whether resulting from the regime’s violence or from military actions by opposition forces or NATO, and that the Secretary-General has emphasized that every effort must be made to avoid exposing civilians to risk.He also expressed gratitude for the Council’s support for the efforts of Special Envoy Abdul Elah al-Khatib as he works with the parties on a political solution that will end the violence in Libya, allow the UN and its partners to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need and meet the legitimate aspirations of the people of Libya.“While an agreement is still far from being concluded, the beginnings of a negotiation process are now under way. The nascent negotiation process must be given space to grow and bear fruit. It is important for the international community to deliver a consistent, clear and coherent message on a political solution to both parties,” said Mr. Pascoe. Mr. al-Khatib is in South Africa today conferring with President Jacob Zuma, following which he will accompany Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to attend the African Union summit. “He continues to be in close contact with both parties. He is trying to narrow the differences between the two parties and to start indirect talks,” Mr. Pascoe stated. “Discussions revolved around the need to end hostilities; agree on a transitional arrangement that is linked to a political process, as well as facilitate safe humanitarian access.”On the humanitarian front, Mr. Pascoe reported that as of 23 June, more than 1.1 million people had crossed the borders from Libya to Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Algeria, Chad and Sudan. UN agencies have been able to access more areas inside the country, largely due to an agreement that was reached with the Libyan authorities in April to provide security and other necessary arrangements for humanitarian efforts. 27 June 2011The International Criminal Court (ICC) today issued arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi, one of his sons and the country’s intelligence chief for crimes against humanity allegedly committed since the pro-democracy movement began in February. read more

Read More →

First steps taken on open Government commitments

Others on the panel included, Mrs.Mihiri Gunewardhana (Assistant Director,Public Interest Law Foundation),Ms. Sankhitha Gunaratne(RTI Manager,Transparency International Sri Lanka) and Mr. Ariyapala Gamage (Executive Director, NGO National Action Front). (Colombo Gazette) These will serve to counter discrepancies and standardize teacher recruitment processes across the country.Dr. Sanath Mahawithanage from Sarvodaya, the lead civil society organisation working on the Health commitment, spoke of Sarvodaya’s undertaking to coordinate island wide awareness campaigns on the National Health Performance Framework (NHPF). He also highlighted the publics’ lack of awareness on national health policies adding that “many people are still not aware of the price reductions on vital medicines”. To read the full commitments  and milestones made by Government of Sri Lanka under the OGP, please visit http://www.opengovpartnership.org/country/sri-lanka/action-plan To reinforce these findings a press conference was organized by the OGP Civil Society Steering Committee on 31st January at the Sri Lanka Foundation with the participation of 6 panel members from CSOs which are leading the Education, Environment, Health, Procurement and Right to Information thematic areas. The event was organized to engage the public on current OGP progress.Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Maithreyi Rajasingham, Executive Director, Viluthu, the lead civil society organisation working on the Education commitment, stated that they have already commenced working with the Ministry of Education and National Institute of Education to bring about changes to the teacher recruitment policies. The Government has taken its initial steps to implement ambitious governance reforms made through its Open Government Partnership (OGP) commitments, Transparency International Sri Lanka said.The 12 key commitments, which received Cabinet approval in October 2016, range from issues concerning teacher recruitment and chronic kidney disease treatment to enhanced Anti-corruption agency coordination and RTI implementation. The Ministry of Foreign affairs, the OGP coordinating ministry,convened a series of joint working group sessions which were held on the 18th and 19th January. The sessions brought together line ministry officials and members of Civil Society Organizations who have been working on areas aligned with the 12 thematic commitments. These sessions allowed for Government and civil society to understand the steps that are being taken under the OGP commitments, and for the identification of gaps in implementation and the need for Civil Society oversight and monitoring. read more

Read More →

Calgary falls behind in Alberta dominated list of entrepreneurial cities

Calgary falls behind in Alberta dominated list of entrepreneurial cities by News Staff Posted Oct 20, 2014 11:39 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Alberta is dominating a list of Canada’s top entrepreneurial cities, but Calgary is taking a less than impressive ranking. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business puts the city 29th overall, but has the surrounding communities of Airdrie, Rocky View, Chestermere and Cochrane as 2nd. Richard Truscott, Alberta director for the CFIB, said Calgary just isn’t doing as well with taxes and policies as neighbours in the city’s periphery. “Probably the single biggest thing they could do is find a way to focus on closing the tax gap between what residents pay in property taxes and what businesses, including small businesses, pay in property taxes and right now that ratio is out of whack,” said Truscott.He said that puts an unfair burden on small businesses which is keeping Calgary below Medicine Hat (14th), Edmonton (17th) and Lethbridge (24th). The number one place on the list giving small business their best chance is listed as Lloydminster. Alberta takes up the next seven spots with Edmonton’s periphery areas 3rd, followed by Fort McMurray, Camrose, Grand Prairie, Brooks and Red Deer. That’s where Saskatoon, SK steps in, followed by Collingwood, ON to round out the top 10. The worst place for small businesses, according to the CFIB list, is Montreal. read more

Read More →

Marijuana producers getting high on expansion in anticipation of rising demand

TORONTO – Canadian cannabis producers say they are ramping up their operations to keep up with growing demand for medical marijuana and in anticipation of legislation that would allow for recreational use of the drug.Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis is planning to expand its operations by 600,000 square feet over the next two years. That’s a more than tenfold increase over its 55,200 square-foot facility, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and would boost production to 70,000 kilograms per year, up from 7,000.The first 200,000 square feet, which is set to begin producing marijuana by next spring, is needed to satisfy the burgeoning demand from the medical market, says Aurora CEO Terry Booth.“The medical business in Canada is going crazy,” says Booth.There were 67,075 patients registered to use medical marijuana at the end of May, according to statistics from Health Canada — up from 43,342 at the end of January.“There’s no doubt about it that the medical community is more accepting of it,” says Booth, who credits the Liberal party’s electoral win last October with removing some of the stigma associated with the drug.But it isn’t just demand from the medical system that has producers eyeing expansion.Justin Trudeau’s government has promised to table legislation by next spring to legalize recreational use of the drug — a move that could create a $5 billion – $10 billion cannabis market, according to a report from CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld.Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corp., says the industry could be bigger than that because some would-be marijuana users don’t feel comfortable buying the drug illegally.“They instead go to the LCBO and they buy wine or beer or distilled spirits,” he says.“So I think the real market is a combination of the distilled spirits market and the current illicit market, and that number gets to be quite substantial — well north of double-digit billions.”Tweed, a subsidiary of Canopy, plans to more than double the production capacity at its operations in Smiths Falls, Ont., by the end of the year. The facility, located south of Ottawa, is capable of producing 3,500 kilograms a year.Bedrocan, another subsidiary of Canopy, is hoping to start construction next year on a new plant to supplement its operations in east Toronto.Aphria, another licensed cannabis producer based in Ontario, announced last month that it has acquired 345,000 square feet of greenhouses from DiNiro Farms for $2.1 million.The company is looking to capitalize on the demand it expects when the drug becomes legal for recreational use, Aphria president and CEO Vic Neufeld said at the time.Matt Schmidt, vice-president of investment banking at Echelon Wealth Partners, says the vast majority of money raised by cannabis producers on the public markets in recent months has gone to expanding capacity.“A significant amount of money is flowing into this space,” said Schmidt, who closely follows the industry.“From our perspective, that’s all in anticipation of this recreational market being legalized at some point in the not-too-distant future.”Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter. by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 9, 2016 10:00 am MDT Last Updated Sep 9, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Marijuana producers getting high on expansion in anticipation of rising demand FILE – Canadian cannabis producers say they are ramping up their operations to keep up with growing demand for medical marijuana and in anticipation of legislation that would allow for recreational use of the drug. Cannabis plants intended for the medical marijuana market grow at OrganiGram in Moncton, N.B., in an April 14, 2016, file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward, File read more

Read More →

The Dodgers Are The NL Wests Richest Team But The Giants Might

A FiveThirtyEight Chat Los Angeles Dodgersneil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Every year, it feels like the LA Dodgers open the offseason as World Series favorites, and every year they win 90-something games, but they haven’t quite put it together in the postseason. What do we make of them going into 2016, sans Zack Grienke? More of the same formula — regular-season success but disappointing playoffs — or do we think they move the needle away from that in either direction?tomley: The Dodgers are a strange team. Despite entering each season with a stacked roster and as World Series favorites, don’t they seem to have been — I don’t know — treading water these last few seasons? I realize it’s kind of crazy to say that about a team that spends and wins as much as the Dodgers have, but it feels like they always manage to slog their way to 90 wins, if that’s possible.But that’s why I’m really excited to see what they do this year. Losing Greinke is obviously a big blow, but I feel like this is the season in which the Dodgers might actually take a few steps forward. Corey Seager‘s arrival has a lot to do with that, and I’m also bullish on Joc Pederson ditching his Jekyll-and-Hyde routine and finding a happy middle ground. Toss in a bounce-back season from Yasiel Puig, and I think you’ve got something.Maybe you won’t have as many wins as years past, but you’ll certainly have a team more interesting than the one that was running out Jimmy Rollins and Carl Crawford.neil: It does seem like there’s already been a bit of a shift in organizational direction under the Friedman regime — rather than the typical guiding philosophy of “spend literally as much money on a baseball roster as is humanly possible.” (Then again, their relative lack of activity this offseason wasn’t exactly for lack of trying.)tomley: Yeah, maybe the team is moving beyond the “outspend everyone” phase, although I never really had a big problem with that strategy. Absorbing massive contracts attached to aging, once-great players is exactly what teams with More Money Than God should be doing.But saddling a roster with all those old guys can also give the team a kind of moribund feel. If the Dodgers want to move beyond that, they really need Pederson, Seager, and Puig to put something together this season.christina_kahrl: I still have to wonder if they really understand how to use their money muscle to good advantage, frankly. Blowing it on Greinke was certainly sub-awesome, and spending $62.5 million on Hector Olivera — only to flip him for a No. 4 starter like Alex Wood — makes me wonder if they’ve really got a handle on how to spend all those dollars well.That said, Tom’s hit the nail on the head: They really need Pederson, Seager and Puig to put it together, now.neil: Seems like that’s especially the case given the medical state of that rotation: Brett Anderson is out for months with a back ailment, Scott Kazmir’s velocity is down, etc.christina_kahrl: Anybody who signs Anderson has to be ready for his unavailability.tomley: If I were a Dodgers fan, thinking about Kazmir would give me hives. His late-career renaissance has been good and fun, but I always just assume his arm is about to come apart at any moment.christina_kahrl: Given their investments, I really think they’re going to have to pull the trigger on a deal to add a starter soon. They need the depth.tomley: Maybe we’ll get to see Julio Urias!christina_kahrl: I think we’ll have to, for the Dodgers to deliver on their promise. If not, bad rotations and rookie skippers lead to messy games lost in the middle innings.neil: We’ll definitely get to see Kenta Maeda — are you buying the relatively optimistic projections for how he’ll translate from Japan?christina_kahrl: He had a nice camp, but I’ve heard more than a few scouts say it’s fourth-starter stuff that may not be so deceptive once he has to make a second pass through the division. Accrued experience counts.But if he’s a No. 3, that’s still the second-best starter the Dodgers have if Kazmir’s gone kablooey. (It’s also significantly worse than what the Giants or D-backs have going for them in their first three slots.)tomley: Yeah, even if Maeda is fine, it’s hard to look at a team on which he’s the No. 2 starter and call them a real championship contender.neil: Of course, when your No. 1 is Clayton Kershaw, that does change things a bit. Kershaw, plus a pretty solid bullpen, plus … whatever the rest of that rotation is … might still equal a pretty good run-prevention corps. (In the regular season, at least.)christina_kahrl: Again, that’s where I worry about/for new manager Dave Roberts. In-game, in-series, in-week management of your bullpen is the tactical fulcrum around which managers succeed or fail. If he’s got a handle on that, great. If he doesn’t, you won’t see him back in MLB any sooner than you will Mike Quade. San Diego Padresneil: OK, now let’s pivot to the members of this division clearly belonging to the “also-ran” group.christina_kahrl: Who do we want to pick on first?neil: Well, PECOTA and FanGraphs are split on whether the Padres or Tom’s Rockies will be better — what do we think?tomley: I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to muster an opinion on the Padres.neil: Yeah, the Padres have been pretty opinion-proof for a while now, aside from that crazy offseason they had a few years ago.christina_kahrl: We could pick holes in the Panda-to-the-Padres rumors for pernicious pandering to Beantown fantasies!neil: Oooh, that might change things.christina_kahrl: Yeah, put Panda on the Padres, and I can imagine a quick parade to throw A.J. Preller into the Pacific.neil: But going back to that offseason and Tom’s point about the “Mid-Market Team That Makes Some Splashy Moves and Becomes a Trendy Pick But Then Continues to Suck” — that was San Diego not long ago.tomley: Yeah! I remember when they made all those moves and I thought to myself, “Oh hey, might be time to pay attention to the Padres.” Serves me right. Nobody should ever pay attention to the Padres.christina_kahrl: I think the jazzy opening of that one busy winter misled folks into thinking this was going to be anything other than a complete rebuild. But, having made noise to advertise that he’ll deal, Preller’s now retrenching with what he has to work with.I’m more interested in seeing if they flip Matt Kemp or lose him to a waiver claim in August, but with James Shields, he’s better off holding out for a premium prospect deal, not other people’s big-money mistakes. And I think the area of scientific curiosity I have about them is whether Austin Hedges is as amazing a receiver as we saw last season.neil: In an era where receiving numbers are potentially less predictive than usual.christina_kahrl: Indeed. And a Derek Norris trade would go far in giving us a better idea, obviously. Let’s have Mr. Preller get right on that.tomley: Norris for Sandoval. Let’s do it.christina_kahrl: Sadist.neil: All hypothetical transactions aside, what do we think about the Padres this season? A step in the right direction to move on from the disaster of 2015?christina_kahrl: Low 70s in wins if things break their way, but if the Giants, Dodgers and D-backs all get into the high 80s or more in wins, part of that’s going to come at the expense of the tiny two.tomley: My bold prediction is: The Padres will be bad.christina_kahrl: My equally bold prediction: They’ll be bad and boring, which is even worse.neil: Either way, the important thing is that you both mustered an opinion on the Padres. In honor of the 2016 Major League Baseball season, which officially opened on Sunday, FiveThirtyEight has been assembling some of our favorite baseball writers to chat about the year to come. Today, we finish the series by looking at the National League West with ESPN baseball writer/editor Christina Kahrl and Deadspin news editor Tom Ley. The transcript below has been edited.Los Angeles DodgersSan Francisco GiantsArizona DiamondbacksSan Diego PadresColorado Rockies San Francisco Giantsneil: Wait a minute, folks … I just remembered, it’s an even-numbered year. Which clearly means the San Francisco Giants are destined for a championship. Why are we even bothering to play the season?christina_kahrl: Heehee, well, they do have to play the games, right?neil: I suppose.christina_kahrl: One day at a time, 110 percent.I think any NL lineup that can afford to bat Brandon Belt seventh is pretty close to the definition of scary. And while everyone noticed Matt Duffy‘s breakout last season, if Joe Panik had put up a full season, we’d have been talking about his power outburst as well.tomley: The Giants make me very jealous. Not only do they have Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, but now Brandon Crawford can hit? Plus, Duffy and Panik are beasts? As a Rockies fan, I’m fed up.neil: SF was somewhat sneakily a good team last season, too. If any team that missed the playoffs might be due for an uptick, it’s probably them.christina_kahrl: Yeah, I definitely like the rotation depth — if Chris Heston‘s your No. 6 starter at the beginning of a season, that’s nice, because we’re going to have to see how long they roll with Matt Cain if he just can’t deliver.neil: They’re kind of the anti-Dodgers in that regard.christina_kahrl: And does anyone have less drama in their bullpen? I mean, let’s say Santiago Casilla loses the save-generator’s job to Hunter Strickland — so what? Sergio Romo was ready to roll with a demotion, and I expect Casilla will be as well. It all goes back to their stability, among the leadership — Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti — and the talent. Winning provides its own kind of chemistry, where a worse track record and other people would generate spats.They might be baseball’s perfect “Just win baby!” team.tomley: It’s really hard to find a real weak spot on the roster, which is normally a kind of odd thing to say about a team that missed the playoffs. But like you said, Neil, last year’s version of the Giants wasn’t that much worse than the one that won it all in 2014. Throw in Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and a full season of Panik, and an uptick seems almost inevitable.christina_kahrl: I do worry a little about the outfield, if only because Gregor Blanco can only only fill one hole at a time. Denard Span and Hunter Pence both need to show better health this season, because Angel Pagan could very well be completely done.neil: That might be the only hole to speak of — Fangraphs calls for 0.8 combined WAR all year from their LF corps.christina_kahrl: But even then, Mac Williamson‘s a decent prospect to have to turn to. Again with the nice problems.tomley: Again, I’m fed up.neil: So we all kind of sound higher on the Giants than the Dodgers, projections be damned. Embed Code Arizona Diamondbackschristina_kahrl: Now, should we skip to the cellar and talk about the Purple Eaten People, or will that just make you crankier, Tom?neil: Hey, we have to talk about Arizona first!christina_kahrl: Good point, we should stick to the upper crust before touching on the lumpenteam tandem at the bottom.tomley: Yeah, let’s give me a few more minutes of peace.neil: OK, fair enough. So the D-backs obviously made some splashes this offseason, on the heels of a 79-win campaign last year. Is there a chance those machinations propel them at least into the conversation for the division or a Wild Card slot? Or is Arizona this season’s version of the mediocre team each year that comes out of nowhere to spend a lot in the hot stove, only to still be … well, mediocre?christina_kahrl: I think the Snakes have an interesting riff on the stars-and-scrubs formula. Starting from Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke is a nice place to be, and A.J. Pollock, David Peralta, Patrick Corbin and Shelby Miller aren’t just sidekicks. It’s everything else that I sort of wonder about.(Ed. note: After we conducted our chat, Pollock fractured his elbow in a spring-training game. The Diamondbacks haven’t yet put a timetable on his recovery, but FanGraphs estimates his absence will cost Arizona about 3.9 wins above replacement.)tomley: I can’t decide what to make of the D-backs. On the one hand, they seem primed to pull people into the “Mid-Market Team That Makes Some Splashy Moves and Becomes a Trendy Pick But Then Continues to Suck” trap. But, there are some reaaaallllly good players on this team. Goldschmidt is incredible, Pollock is basically Desiigner to Mike Trout‘s Future, and I see no reason why Greinke won’t continue to dominate.christina_kahrl: If their “second rank” — say, the guys like Jake Lamb, Yasmany Tomas, Rubby De La Rosa, Robbie Ray — also deliver, that’s a team that will be in the Wild Card mix, absolutely. But Lamb has to show power, and Tomas has to show something.tomley: Tomas has to give them something more than he did last year, right? He can’t really be this bad …christina_kahrl: Or he could be the worst big-money mistake out of Cuba since Rusney Castillo. (Which is unfair to both guys, but when you have guys like Puig and Jose Abreu providing instant wins, that’s where expectations come from.)neil: Chris Owings, meanwhile, really is that bad.christina_kahrl: Yeah, and Nick Ahmed is sort of a latter-day Mark Belanger. You can win with that guy, but you need more from the non-Goldschmidts. I like the upside possibilities for Jean Segura, but if he’s just regular Segura, a relative improvement on Owings still doesn’t move the dial that much.neil: On the other hand, I can kind of appreciate where Dave Stewart’s coming from here. Are the uninspiring projections simply from factors like Goldschmidt (great as he is) regressing to the mean after such a tremendous 2015 season? Oftentimes it’s easy to envision poor performers improving and be blind to great performances regressing back.christina_kahrl: Absolutely, but that gets into the weird competitive imbalance of the NL, where you have eight contenders and seven also-rans. Given health from Greinke, Corbin, and Miller, plus Goldschmidt, the Snakes have mid-80s potential, and higher upside than that with the right kind of breakthrough from a guy like Miller. But it’s a fragile proposition, and really probably rests with one guy in particular. If Goldschmidt takes another hit and misses 50-70 games? Then 79 might seem high.tomley: This is when I really feel for the small-market teams. If this was the Dodgers, they could spend the money necessary to turn the holes around this roster’s (very good) nucleus into bright spots, and it wouldn’t even matter if Tomas continued to suck. But the D-backs can’t just eat the $68.5 million they spent on him and go get someone else. It’s never fun to be a fan of a team that has one of the best hitters and pitchers in baseball, and still have to say things like, “Hey, if Yasmany Tomas or Jean Segura give us something, we might be in business …” to yourself. Colorado Rockiesneil: All right, finally, we have to talk about the Colorado Rockies.(Sorry, Tom.)christina_kahrl: Hey, at least they’re not boring — Nolan Arenado is worth the price of admission.tomley: Oh boy, do I have some TAKES on the Rockies.neil: Do tell.christina_kahrl: Expectations of a clutterbuck-spattered detonation on the subject of their rotation in 3, 2, 1…tomley: Yeah, so, the rotation…I’ve spent most of the winter trying to convince myself that the Troy Tulowitzki trade was actually cool and good, and that Jeff Hoffman will indeed turn out to be the next Justin Verlander. But here’s the thing a lot of people who don’t care about the Rockies (i.e., everyone) may not realize: This organization has never once in its history successfully developed a pitching prospect.That’s bad news in any year, but it’s especially harrowing heading into this season, as the Rockies have one of the better farm systems in the majors and should be turning out quality arms in the next year or so.christina_kahrl: Yeah, I expect it’s going to be sort of bittersweet if Jhoulys Chacin has a good year with the Braves.tomley: But! So far we’ve only gotten glimpses at Jon Gray and Eddie Butler, and the results have been … not very encouraging. It’s hard to look at this team and not come away with the conclusion that there is just something fundamentally wrong with their development philosophy. Butler has only gotten worse as he’s risen through the organizational ranks, and Gray somehow lost a huge chunk of his velocity on his journey from college to the pros.This is not good! And it doesn’t bode well for a team that just traded its Hall-of-Fame shortstop for a collection of pitching prospects.christina_kahrl: Well, I think there we can hope that the change of philosophy in-house might be a good thing. They seem more ready now to let guys do their thing, instead of trying to mold them.tomley: Yes, the one thing that gives me some hope is that Jeff Bridich seems to be bringing a new philosophy, which values high-velocity guys and hopefully doesn’t involve trying to turn everyone into a worse version of Aaron Cook.christina_kahrl: “Make no small plans,” as it were.tomley: And I am legitimately intrigued to see how he plans on deploying the bullpen. We could definitely see the Rockies deploying the Rays’ strategy from last year, and try to get every game into the hands of the flame-throwers in the pen as fast as possible.neil: If they squeeze every bit they can out of the pitching staff, what are the bright spots in this lineup aside from Arenado?christina_kahrl: CarGo ain’t chopped liver.neil: He did have a resurgent year last season.tomley: Gonzalez is good, Charlie Blackmon is good and there are a few young guys who might make some noise. David Dahl is interesting, and Trevor Story has been tearing it up in the spring.christina_kahrl: Indeed, Story might make Jose Reyes history.tomley: Yeah, I don’t think we are going to see any of Reyes this season.neil: It’s amazing how quickly the Tulo trade just completely became about the prospects and not about Reyes at all.tomley: I don’t think many Rockies fans were all that excited about getting him in the first place. We mostly wanted him out of the way as soon as possible so that Story could get a shot.christina_kahrl: Now there’s the additional downside that they can’t flip Reyes for much. It’s a PR win if they excise him, though.tomley: But again, hitters like Story, Arenado and Dahl don’t matter unless there’s a dramatic shift in the pitching development. This really feels like a make-or-break year, in terms of what direction this team is going in. Trading Tulo was a nuclear option, and if it just yields another crop of failed pitching prospects, I don’t really know where the team goes from there. They’ve tried everything — throwing money at Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle, installing the humidor, preaching the importance of ground balls — and at some point something has to work.neil: And is it fair to say it’s a race against time to develop some of these supporting pieces before Arenado’s years of team control are up?tomley: Yes. Good things need to start happening this year, or the Rockies can say goodbye to Arenado.neil: That’s a lot of pressure for this season!tomley: I don’t feel great!neil: Do we think they start to make that progress?tomley: I’m cautiously optimistic. Like Christina said, there does seem to have been a real shift in philosophy, and I’m much more on board with the team collecting as many hard-throwing guys as possible, instead of trying to squeeze innings out of sinkerballers and guys who rely in the curve ball.neil: Strikeouts do make a lot of sense as an overriding strategy at Coors.tomley: But if Jon Gray comes out and is suddenly throwing 92 and pitching to contact, I will walk into the ocean.neil: Well, if you end up exiting the continent, can you do it via San Diego? The Padres need something exciting to happen around them.tomley: If I can remember that the Padres exist, I’ll catch a game before I hit the coast. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Ben Lindbergh joins the Hot Takedown podcast to preview the 2016 MLB season. read more

Read More →

Poll Is it time for Giovanni Trapattoni to step down as Ireland

first_imgYesNoOtherVoteTrap hails ‘physically superior’ Germans after defeat>House of horrors: 5 things we learned from Ireland v Germany> No (4046) Poll Results: Yes (2936)center_img Other (692) TONIGHT’S PERFORMANCE AGAINST Germany was widely considered to be one of the worst-ever displays produced by an Irish team.The side were hammered 6-1, with an unusual lack of spirit evident, in addition to the poor technique and defensive mistakes that have grown more prominent in Trap’s team of late.The result has left many Irish fans and pundits suggesting the Italian manager should step down, having presided over one of Ireland’s worst home defeats ever.Nonetheless, whether he will actually leave remains to be seen.Those defending Trap will point to the absence of several key first-team players as a partial excuse for the emphatic nature of the loss.Moreover, they will also likely highlight Trap’s record during his time as Ireland manager, in which he has so far helped Ireland reach one tournament (Euro 2012) and overseen them narrowly missing out on another (World Cup 2010).In addition, prior to the Euros, Ireland had not lost a competitive away fixture under Trap.Yet should the FAI ignore the increasingly tenuous positives and listen to the cries of many supporters, there is the added question of whether they can afford the ample compensation reportedly needed to be paid if they want to sack him.With that in mind, is it time for Trap to step down?last_img read more

Read More →

Prison Inmates Make 1 Million Selling Apple Gear Bought with Stolen Credit

first_imgIf there’s anything about the prison system that’s undeniably true, it’s that most prisoners emerge from it knowing how to be better criminals than they went in. Whether they opt to commit more crimes is a different matter entirely. Even so, some inmates at New York’s Rikers Island decided that hey, they were in jail already, so what’s a little white collar crime while they’re serving hard time? A little extra cash never hurt, even if you’re stuck in jail, right? That was the logic behind Shaheed Bilal’s new enterprise: allegedly directing his girlfriend and three brothers on the outside to forge stolen credit card information on magnetic strips and apply those strips to new cards. While he passed out the information to his girlfriend and brothers, they generated the cards and passed them out to friends, all of whom were tasked to buy as many iPads, MacBook and MacBook Pros, and iPod Touches they could soak up with the stolen card information. Once they’d hauled in all of the gear, Bilal and his crew then re-sold the gear at a discount to unwitting buyers who didn’t know the Apple products were all stolen goods. Bilal and his crew kept the money, handed over the laptops, tablets, and music players to their buyers, and the people with stolen credit card information were stuck holding the bag. Bilal pulled the strings for the entire syndicate from behind bars. That is, at least until the Manhattan District Attorney and the Secret Service caught on to the scheme, tracked the group’s activities for over 18 months, and finally charged Bilal’s girlfriend, his brothers, and 27 other people in association with the crime. The crime ring ran across 13 different states and Washington DC, in what amounted to millions of dollars of losses from hundreds of bank accounts. That said, there are probably a lot of happy Mac owners out there who have no idea exactly how much of a bargain their new MacBook Pro really was. [via NY Daily News]AdChoices广告last_img read more

Read More →