‘Why not?’ FIFA boss says 48 teams ‘feasible’ for Qatar World Cup

first_img“We have decided… to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments from 32 to 48,” Infantino told the Asian Football Confederation’s annual congress in Kuala Lumpur.“It will happen in 2026. Will it happen in 2022? You know me. It is possible. It is possible. Why not?” he added.Infantino said an expanded tournament would see Asia’s allocation rise from 4.5 places to 8.5, raising cheers from the delegates assembled at a luxury hotel in the Malaysian capital.“You will have (a bigger) chance. It is possible. It is feasible. We are discussing with our Qatari friends. We are discussing with many other friends in the region. We hope we have it happen. We always have to try,” he said.Accommodating another 16 teams would vastly complicate Qatar’s task in preparing for the World Cup, which was awarded to the tiny desert state in 2010.Qatar has also been involved in a stand-off with neighbours Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, who have cut off diplomatic relations and imposed a blockade on the resource-rich country, accusing it of endorsing terror activities.Hassan al-Thawadi, head of the 2022 organising body, told AFP that Qatar was studying the 48 teams proposal and would make a decision before qualifying gets under way.“We are still looking at the feasibility studies and we will be in a better position to provide a feedback in the future,” he said.“But it will be decided before the qualifications… sometime in the first quarter of next year.”He added that preparations remained on track despite the blockade, and that the budget of $200 billion for the entire infrastructure, including metro and expressway, has not been affected.“We are very happy and excited with the progress. It is on track. By 2020-2021 all our (eight) stadiums will be ready,” al-Thawadi said.“This is the first World Cup in the Middle East and is a perfect opportunity to bring people together and contribute to the process of healing,” he added.Ahead of FIFA’s presidential election next year, Infantino said 180 out of the 211 federations had given him their support.“You know there is an election coming. I have announced I will be a (presidential) candidate. I have received over 180 letters of support,” he said.“And when it comes to Asia, only a couple are missing.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000FIFA president Gianni Infantino hopes to expand the World Cup to 48 teams at the next edition in Qatar in 2022. © AFP / Mohd RASFANKUALAR LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct 31 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino said expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams was “feasible” on Wednesday, as hosts Qatar pledged to come to a decision in the early part of next year.Infantino said “Why not?” bring forward the expansion from 32 teams to 48, which is currently due at the 2026 tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico.last_img read more

Gardaí issue warning over text banking scam

first_imgGardaí have issued a warning to the public over a new text message scam focused on gaining access to personal bank accounts. Consumers are being advised to be on alert to a text message or ‘smishing’ scam in which victims receive a text appearing to be from their bank asking them to confirm personal details or click on links to unfreeze their account. The criminals behind the scam are aiming to obtain personal information that will allow them to steal money from bank accounts. Consumers should note the warning signs of false texts:The text message will be unsolicited The text message will always seek information that allows access to bank accounts, Note; banks or other financial institutions would not look for that kind of information.The text will instruct the individual to go to a website or make a phone call to a specified number The text will create a fear that if the customer does not take action requested in the text, their account will be compromised The text will emphasise the need for urgent action by the recipient of the text Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) stated that “banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, 4-digit pin number or passwords.” He warned that “people receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, emails or other communications. They should contact their bank independently to check on the validity of the communications they have received before taking any action”.If you think you have responded to a Smishing text message, contact your bank immediately. Gardaí have released key details of the scam:1. The message will imitate a text from your bank. 2. The message will typically ask you to click on a link to a website to “verify”, “update” or to “reactivate” your account. 3. It may ask you to reply to the text message with personal or financial information or to click on a link to website. 4. If it includes a link, the website is a fake one. The website will then attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information. If clicked on it also could download dangerous software known as malware to your computer or mobile device.  5. Often the text will create a sense of urgency to make you act without thinking e.g. your money is in danger or your account will be frozen. Gardaí issue warning over text banking scam was last modified: August 21st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Arsenal v Fulham line-ups: Hangeland starts, Arsenal man passed fit

first_imgFulham skipper Brede Hangeland, who was assessed after returning to action in midweek, has been passed fit to face Arsenal. Nacho Monreal starts for the Gunners after recovering from a foot injury.Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Gnabry, Ozil, Giroud.Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju-Young Park.Fulham Stekelenburg; Riether, Burn, Hangeland, Richardson; Dejagah, Sidwell, Parker, Kacaniklic; Dempsey, Berbatov.Subs: Stockdale, Riise, Kasami, Karagounis, Duff, Hughes, Bent.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Top 5 moments from Jon Gruden’s memorable bye week presser

first_imgOn his meeting with GM Reggie McKenzieIt’s no secret who calls the shots in the Raiders’ Alameda headquarters.Gruden has … ALAMEDA — If anyone has ever said head coach bye week press conferences are boring, they should’ve waited to listen to Jon Gruden.The more the Raiders lose the better Gruden is at the podium, and Tuesday that trend reached its peak.If you’re just catching up before the Raiders’ bye week, here are the best five moments from Gruden’s session in Alameda.last_img read more

Molecular Clock Keeps Wild Time

first_imgEvolutionists used to hope that the mutation rates in genes were relatively constant, so that they could provide a kind of “molecular clock” for inferring dates of divergence of ancestral species.  The first bad news was that not all molecular clocks tick at the same rate (rate heterogeneity).  Then they hoped that rate differences corresponded to body size, because there appeared to be such a trend among vertebrates.  The second bad news now comes out; according to an international team publishing in PNAS,1 rate variation does not scale with body size:The existence of a universal molecular clock has been called into question by observations that substitution rates vary widely between lineages.  However, increasing empirical evidence for the systematic effects of different life history traits on the rate of molecular evolution has raised hopes that rate variation may be predictable, potentially allowing the “correction” of the molecular clock.  One such example is the body size trend observed in vertebrates; smaller species tend to have faster rates of molecular evolution….    Phylogenetic comparative methods were used to investigate a relationship between average body size and substitution rate at both interspecies and interfamily comparison levels.  We demonstrate significant rate variation in all phyla and most genes examined, implying a strict molecular clock cannot be assumed for the Metazoa.  Furthermore, we find no evidence of any influence of body size on invertebrate substitution rates.  We conclude that the vertebrate body size effect is a special case, which cannot be simply extrapolated to the rest of the animal kingdom.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)1Thomas et al., “Evolution: There is no universal molecular clock for invertebrates, but rate variation does not scale with body size,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print May 1, 2006; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0510251103.Though disappointing to Darwinists, this will in no way affect their theories, because Darwinism does not rely on empirical evidence for support.  Evidence is just a nice thing to have when available.  Darwinism is more like entertainment; the show must go on.  Should non-Darwinists call this entertainment a comedy, or a tragedy?(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Political Correctness Blinds Science to Common Sense

first_imgThere’s been a rapid rise in transgender cases lately, and researchers at an ivy-league college can’t figure out why.The latest PC craze, bouncing off identity politics, is transgenderism. According to the leftist totalitarians in the media, denying your biology is cool, and nobody is allowed to question it. Big Science and Big Media—slaves to political correctness—are caught in a dilemma. On the one hand is scientific objectivity and common sense. On the other hand is the wrath of the PC enforcers, who must not be challenged. This can lead to ridiculous, even humorous, lapses in logic.Case in point: there has been a rapid rise in “gender dysphoria” cases, where individuals express confusion about what gender they are. The answer could be as simple as looking inside their pants, but PC enforcers have severed the common sense bonds between biological sex and gender “feelings,” leading to dozens of new kinds of genders. Each new gender comes with obligatory pronouns that compliant PC followers are supposed to learn under penalty of discipline— even to the point of being fired.Accompanying the confusion usually comes new PC terminology. For instance, we notice that scientific papers about ‘gay sex’ (yes, there are researchers who dig into this) have dropped the word “homosexual” entirely, using the convoluted mouthful, “men who have sex with men.” In the transgender world, new terminology has also arisen. Science Daily reports an alarming rise in “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” This refers to teens who are suddenly switching genders with no prior evidence of gender discomfort. Scientists at Brown University are completely baffled by this trend, because the need to be politically correct has put blinders on their common sense.Until recently, it was unusual for a teen to report initial feelings of gender dysphoria during or after puberty without childhood symptoms. Clinicians have reported that this kind of gender dysphoria is on the rise, particularly for patients whose sex was observed to be female at birth. Additionally, the numbers of adolescents seeking care for gender dysphoria has increased dramatically. It is unknown why these changes are occurring.This month, a Brown University researcher published the first study to empirically describe teens and young adults who did not have symptoms of gender dysphoria during childhood but who were observed by their parents to rapidly develop gender dysphoria symptoms over days, weeks or months during or after puberty.Image by Nikolay LammThe reasons for this trend become obvious as one continues reading— obvious, that is, to all but PC scientists, who could not reason about facts that were staring them in the face if their careers depended on it:Among the noteworthy patterns Littman found in the survey data: 21 percent of parents reported their child had one or more friends become transgender-identified at around the same time; 20 percent reported an increase in their child’s social media use around the same time as experiencing gender dysphoria symptoms; and 45 percent reported both.Clearly, the media have laid the groundwork for this trend, which the article says is “a rate that is more [than] 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults.” Do these researchers, most of them Darwinians, believe that teens are evolving that fast? They should hope not, or else the human race is bound for extinction.Conveniently for Big Science, the situation may lead to more research opportunities.Littman added that more research is needed to determine the prevalence of rapid-onset gender dysphoria, whether adolescent-onset gender dysphoria and rapid-onset gender dysphoria are temporary or likely to be long term, and how to best to support individuals with rapid-onset gender dysphoria and their families.Funding is bound to forbid common sense so that any conclusions can appear scientific. You can be sure that the conclusions will never dare suggest that transgenders should go back to their biological reality.You, dear common-sense reader, have undoubtedly figured out what’s going on. Transgenderism has become trendy! The PC culture of our day has glorified the brave souls who switch genders, giving them all kinds of new attention and praise. It’s easy to visualize teens gathering about the latest star in class who transitioned and is now getting all the attention. She tells how easy it was to become a boy, or a whatzit, and how she/he/zhe/it is getting offers for TV and radio to tell how victimized it felt being trapped in another person’s body. Everybody bows down to it now, careful to use the right pronoun, apologizing for any slip. It is now a celebrity! It explains to all its non-transitioned friends on Facebook how to do it, and all its friends imagine themselves as something else, thinking of the times they have felt victimized by their biological gender expectations. The boy athlete who kept losing against his peers envisions himself winning all the girls’ athletic events, knowing that nobody will dare complain.Big Media and Big Education put fuel on the fire, glorifying the T in LGBT. How bad is it? Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio program recently told about a library that was offering readings to 3-to-6-year-olds by drag queens. Schools bring in T celebrities to talk about their experiences as victims, and how they were liberated by transitioning. Teachers warn their students against using wrong pronouns for the new class royalty, the T’s. Infractions are punished severely. High schools let biological boys be prom queens and biological girls be class kings. Lusty boys learn how to enter the girls’ bathrooms. T is trendy. Glorify transitioning, and you will find a sudden rush of “sudden onset gender dysphoria” supported by Big Media, Big Education, Big Law, social media and student gossip.That was easy, wasn’t it? Don’t ask the Science Experts. They will say, “It is unknown why these changes are occurring.”If you are struggling with gender identity, please read Nancy Pearcey’s new book, Love Thy Body. There is hope. (Visited 836 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mike Machat

first_imgMike Machat’s passion and knowledge for aviation is bettered by few. Pilot, author, artist, photographer, editor and commentator, Mike has done it all and then some. As the nephew of the chief engineer for Republic Aviation Corporation, he was inspired to his aviation career at an early age. Model building and endless hours sketching planes at New York airports gave way to flying, and he earned his private and commercial pilot licenses.Mike served in the U.S. Air Force and with the National Security Agency in Washington DC. After relocating to Los Angeles, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach, and was hired by the Douglas Aircraft Company as a technical illustrator. There, he quickly advanced through the ranks to become Staff Artist and Corporate Representative for the McDonnell Douglas Corporation.Moving on from the corporate world, Mike established his own independent aviation art studio and was elected first president of the American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA). He also became a senior, flight-rated, member of the Air Force Art Program, contributing 21 original paintings to the national collection. His aviation artwork has won numerous national and international awards, and is displayed in many museums and airline headquarters.As an aviator, Mike has flown in more than 200 different types of aircraft, and every type of airliner from Ford Tri-Motor to Concorde. He has flown with NASA, the Blue Angels, and the USAF Test Pilot School, and was the first Air Force Artist to fly in the Rockwell B-1B Lancer and Grumman F-14 Tomcat in a U.S. Navy exchange program. An avid glider pilot, Mike has logged more than 2,100 flights in sailplanes.In 2001, Mike expanded his career to include writing and served as Editor-in-Chief for Wings & Airpower magazine as well as Acquisitions Editor for Specialty Press Aviation Publications. He has authored two best-selling books and countless magazine and website articles, and has contributed to another 25 books. Mike brings a wealth of editorial and literary knowledge to all of his aviation endeavors.Contact:Airline Ratings PTY Ltd.Newspaper House, 50 Hasler Rd.Osborne Park, 6017Western AustraliaPhone: +61 41 7936610Email:mike.machat@airlineratings.comlast_img read more

The Acquisition of Etacts and Email as a Platform

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#news#web Etacts, an email add-on that layers social network profiles, conversation history and other relationship management information on top of your email conversations, announced abruptly this morning that it is shutting down its service, deleting all customer data at the end of next month and has “decided to pursue other opportunities.” Having raised more than a half million dollars from some of the hottest investors in Silicon Valley just over six months ago, it’s unlikely the Etacts team has decided to go do something unrelated. It is most likely the company has been acquired by a larger firm that does heavy business in email. The Inbox 2.0 market has long been expected to heat up and indeed it has. Etacts competitor Rapportive also recently drew big name funding, Gist is rumored to be in acquisition talks with RIM and now Etacts announces a mysterious shut-down. Update: See our subsequent coverage, it appears to be Salesforce that has acquired Etacts.FundingIn May of this year, Tomio Geron at the Wall Street Journal summed up the funding story thusly:Etacts, which completed the Y Combinator incubator program in March, has just closed a $700,000 seed round from prominent angels including Ron Conway’s SV Angel; Eric Hahn, former chief technology officer at Netscape; Joshua Schachter, founder of Delicious; Jim Young, co-founder of HotOrNot; Barney Pell and Lorenzo Thione, co-founders of Powerset; Jawed Karim, co-founder of Youtube; Ashton Kutcher, actor and now angel investor; Robby Walker and Wayne Crosby, former Y Combinator participants; and Irene Pedrazza, founder of CheetahMail.Etacts raised the funding quickly – in just over a month – and had intended to raise $500,000 but decided to let in more investors because of the strong interest, said [Howie] Liu, who co-founded the company with classmate Evan Beard after the two graduated from Duke University last year. You don’t take Ron Conway money and then just give up in six months.Rapportive raised a small round from other impressive funders 3 months later. Gist raised $4 million in between those two announcements, in July.Etacts hasn’t replied to our request for comment, but an acquisition certainly seems the most likely explanation for the service’s decision to shut down.Email as a PlatformWe wrote about email as a platform for application development most recently in August. Yahoo’s Eran Hammer-Lahav, then working on developer relations for Yahoo Mail, explained why so many companies are interested in this space.“It’s pretty clear that email provides a huge potential for extensibility, given the wide range of ways people use it. The inbox is much more than just a place for incoming mail, it is the primary dashboard for many web users – it is how they manage their lives. So when looking at email as a platform, the opportunity of making it more useful and productive reaches most areas of online activities.So far the focus has been on taking social information to help better manage email overflow, but the platform has much more potential beyond that.”What will its likely acquirer do with Etacts? Presumably displaying the social networking profiles and past conversations we’ve had with the people who sent us emails is just the beginning. How will other email providers respond, lest they fall behind in richness of user experience? That’s where things will get really interesting. Personal Data as a PlatformPerhaps even more interesting is the way that all of these services use data about the people who have sent you email that they have acquired through services like Rapleaf. Services that scoop up and wholesale personal profile data (“the person attached to this email uses this LinkedIn profile, this Twitter profile, owns a home, has kids and loves short videos about kittens”) are wildly controversial but also very useful. Nowhere is that usefulness more clearly demonstrated than in the email CRM services like Etacts, Rapportive and Gist. Perhaps if Etacts’ feature-set goes mainstream in some big email program, the story of value built for everyday people (not just marketers) from aggregate online personal data as a development platform would become easier to tell.That would be very good news. Related Posts center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Predicting Facebook’s Q3 Earnings: Reasons For Cautious Optimism

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#advertising#e-commerce#earnings#Facebook#mobile dave copeland Facebook will release its second set of quarterly earnings as a public company on Tuesday, and early indications are they will be better than the results the social network announced in July. But even if they aren’t, Wall Street seems to be falling in love with the company all over again, as Facebook now seems to have an actual plan to get more of your money.Like a lot of Web companies, Facebook adopted the drug dealer’s business model: The first one’s free. That is, give the product to the users for free so they get hooked on it and start spending real money. But unlike a lot of other tech companies, Facebook promised early on it would never charge users. That means while competitors like LinkedIn pull in a few dollars per user per month on average as a result of premium subscription models, Facebook has to eke out about 40 cents per user per month through display advertising.When you have more than a billion users, a few cents per user per month is still a lot of money, but not nearly as much as Wall Street had hoped Facebook would earn.A Better Ad StrategyFacebook matched analysts estimated when it released second-quarter earnings in July, but the company’s shares still fell, mostly because comments made by its top executives in a conference call with analysts failed to offer concrete proof the company had a plan for growth.Facebook has spent the past three months hoping its actions will speak louder than words. It released faster mobile platforms for iOS and Android. Faster platforms mean more content consumption which means more ads served. It has struck partnerships to better understand how its ads work and convince advertisers that an unclicked ad on Facebook may still lead to an offline purchase.Digital media management company Spruce Media is already seeing its clients spend more on Facebook ads as a result of the improvements to the programs and mobile platform, according to COO Lucy Jacobs. She expects spending to increase even more this quarter, as her clients take advantage of targeted advertising and promoted posts through Facebook’s platform.“Overall Facebook spending is healthy,” she said. We’re “seeing sequential increases in spend and advertiser excitement about the company’s new ad products.”But the biggest change, and one that drew praise in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, has nothing to do with advertising. But it may be why investors may be taking a second, third or fourth look at Facebook shares.Going Beyond AdvertisingThe Journal was enamored by Facebook Gifts, a product that makes it easy for users to send each other gifts – including real, physical gifts, not just online tokens. It fits in nicely with Facebook’s birthday reminders, not to mention congratulations gifts when someone posts about an engagement, a new job, a new baby or any other life event. Unlike Amazon, you don’t need to know the recipients address, as they will have filled that in on their own.But there’s another reason why Wall Street likes the product – and a reason why users might want to be wary. In the process of sending that gift, Facebook also gets your credit card number.“Facebook probably can build a sizable business around gift-giving, but having credit-card data opens up a new range of revenue opportunities,” the newspaper noted. “The ability to generate cash from ‘likes’ isn’t clear. But the commercial potential from a ‘buy’ button, with commissions coming back to Facebook, could be quite large.” The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

Exclusive: India will never win athletics medal with current set-up, says Krishna Poonia

first_imgKrishna Poonia, one of India’s star performers at the 2012 Olympics with a seventh place finish in the women’s discus throw event, is concerned about the future of athletics in the country.India has never won a track and field medal at the Olympics and Poonia believes the wait isn’t going to end anytime soon.”What else do you expect? An Indian has finished seventh at the Olympics,” the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist told India Today in an exclusive interview. “Unless we have good competition in India, we will never produce an Olympic medallist.”Poonia also expressed frustration and anger for the pathetic situation of athletes and the utter disregard of officials to make things better.”Where are the competitions?” she asked. “You don’t even know when the National Games will be held. They just keep getting postponed. There is not even a single good grand prix event in India. Even to practice we have to go out to Europe and America and that’s not always possible.”Considering all the hurdles along the way, Poonia said she was happy with her performance in London. “I have a worked so hard for the last two years and have hardly been home. I am happy with my show,” she said.Poonia also spoke at length about her once fierce rivalry with Australia’s Dannie Samuels, who had challenged the Indian to a straight shootout after the 2010 Commonwealth Games.The showdown never took place, of course, and Poonia said she had buried the hatchet with Samuels in London. “Danni finished way down the order here. So I went to her, hugged her and consoled her. She is a young girl and she is my friend now. Our animosity is a matter of past,” she said.advertisementLooking ahead, Poonia’s fans are hoping that she can better her seventh place finish at the next Olympics in Rio de Janerio. However, the 35-year-old is not sure what the future holds for her.”I can’t travel abroad all the time as my kids are growing up. They need me too. I have to look at my priorities,” Poonia said, perhaps indicating that we have seen the last of her.last_img read more