10 months agoFree & nasty: Why Pepe the old ‘basket’ this Man Utd needs

first_imgTagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Free & nasty: Why Pepe the old ‘basket’ this Man Utd needsby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: They’ve already had the conversation. Jose Mourinho and Jorge Mendes. The Manchester United manager will have been all across it – and well before yesterday’s announcement…’So, do you want him? He fancies it…,’ the pitch from Mourinho’s agent will have been made. Short. To the point. Just as he offered Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to the then Chelsea manager some four years ago. That is, before delivering them to Ed Woodward, United’s vice-chairman exec. Mendes will have given Mourinho first refusal on his latest client to become available. A player to parachute into the shambles that is United’s back four this season. A player who has gone to war for Mourinho. Who has spilled blood for the manager. Both his and the opposition’s. One who revels in being a right old basket. The sort of basket this United locker room has sorely missed. Ryan Giggs, the Wales coach, said as much yesterday. Picking over the wreckage of what was left at Anfield, Giggs took aim at Romelu Lukaku – though with a twist. As bad as the Belgian was, argued United’s famous No11, the lack of confrontation inside the locker room was doing him no favours.”I look at Lukaku and his touch was bad,” stated Giggs, “but also I don’t see any other player having a go at him, saying: ‘Listen we need you to hold it up.’ “What that does is, Lukaku might have a go back and you get fired up.”It’s like when you get tackled or fouled, you get fired up. You don’t see that in that Manchester United team. “We’re playing in a different era to when I used to play when you had a lot more leaders and characters but if your team-mate isn’t performing, you tell them. You must do.” Step forward Pepe. The three time Champions League winner. Of Real Madrid fame. Now wrapping up his stay with Besiktas. In a day or so he’ll be a free agent. A leader. A winner. A personality to organise those around him. To demand they follow the manager’s instructions. And one who won’t flinch if a rollicking is needed for a young teammate – even if that young teammate boasts a World Cup winner’s medal.We know Mourinho has been seeking such a player. Those Andreas Granqvist stories weren’t plucked from thin air. United had a presence at Helsingborgs games this season. The veteran centre-half – at 33 – was a consideration for Mourinho. Granqvist knew it. The HIF board knew it. Like Pepe, the Swede’s experience and organising know-how was what had attracted the United manager. Though this is one we can’t confirm, it’s perhaps no coincidence that Granqvist – after some excitement last month – announced over the weekend he was “99.9 per cent sure” an Old Trafford move was now off. Maybe, just maybe, the word had reached Granqvist’s reps that another veteran was now Mourinho’s focus.After Liverpool. After the confusion. The chaos. Mourinho needs something different. Something to stop the monotonous lurching. From crisis to inevitable crisis. He needs a circuit breaker. And Pepe can be just that.The 35 year-old isn’t leaving Besiktas because of form. Nor any type of personality clash. With the Black Eagles struggling to pay the bills, the Portuguese has agreed to terminate his contract. The defender made an on pitch farewell yesterday for Besiktas’ draw with Trabzonspor. This just days after he left thousands in an envelope for club staff to share as a personal Christmas bonus.So now he is free – and been offered to Mourinho. Someone to help bring on Diogo Dalot. To guide and develop the raw talent of Eric Bailly. The potential of Victor Lindelof. And one to demand better from those around him. The leader on the pitch. The personality inside the dressing room. The one Mourinho has lacked since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure a year ago.That call from Mendes last week could be just the Lifebuoy Mourinho has been desperately seeking all season. last_img read more

Jim Harbaugh Absolutely Torches NCAA, Rival Conferences In Sports Illustrated Interview

first_imgJim Harbaugh winces as he looks on from the sideline.BLOOMINGTON, IN – OCTOBER 14: Jim Harbaugh the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines watches the action during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Jim HarbaughYouTube/Jim HarbaughWe knew that Jim Harbaugh would respond to the recent NCAA vote to ban satellite camps. That was a certainty. Even with the Michigan head coach’s history of lashing out, we wouldn’t have predicted just how hard Harbaugh swung back in response. In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh slams the NCAA, and even the term “student-athlete” in light of the vote.As Harbaugh tells SI : “The incompetence of the NCAA has reared its ugly head yet again.” …Harbaugh says the ruling was “knee-jerk … like somebody was shaving in the morning, cut themselves when they were shaving and said, ‘Let’s just ban satellite camps.’“I mean, what’s it based on? A survey? There wasn’t a lot of discussion or study. What are the facts? What are the perils and merits of making that decision? It just seemed lacking in that regard.”Satellite camps are no new concept, but Harbaugh put a special emphasis on them after taking over at Michigan, with a specific target on the Southeast, home of many ACC and SEC power programs.“During the NCAA basketball tournament we discuss the term ‘student-athlete’ ad nauseam in promoting our governing institution and our member institutions. Then, when we have an opportunity to truly promote the ‘student-athlete’ with a concept shared by educators and football men from all backgrounds, our leadership goes into hiding.“I suggest we drop the term ‘student-athlete’ for consistency.”Harbaugh wasn’t afraid to take targeted swipes at rival coaches either, specifically Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze who recently defended the decision.“It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC,” Harbaugh says. “They power-brokered that out … the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn’t the best thing for the youngsters. It’s not the best thing for the student-athletes.”Harbaugh saw Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze say, “I’m away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go,” and it did not sit well with him.Says Harbaugh: “You’ve got a guy sitting in a big house, making $5 million a year, saying he does not want to sacrifice his time. That is not a kindred spirit to me. What most of these coaches are saying is they don’t want to work harder.” While some may assume Harbaugh is the coach affected most, he’s done a great job at Michigan so far, and that program rarely needs help on the recruiting trail. He’ll get his players. This really hurts small schools that aren’t in talent-rich areas this most, and players who aren’t in position to receive the exposure that those in places like Florida, Georgia, and Texas receive. We’ll see if Harbaugh’s complaints hold real weight, or if they will just fall on deaf ears.[Campus Rush]last_img read more

Video: Watch Nick Saban Get Heated About Satellite Camps, Need For CFB Commissioner

first_imgNick Saban gets heated at the podium.Alabama head coach Nick Saban got a little heated during somewhat of a rant about satellite football camps and the need for a college football commissioner. Simply against the idea of satellite football camps, and with little belief in the positive narrative surrounding them, Saban let loose Tuesday afternoon in front of the media at the SEC Spring Meetings. As usual, AL.com was on the scene and posted the video to YouTube. AL.com did a terrific job describing the scene as Saban went off, and you can watch their video in its entirety here.last_img read more

Fincantieri to Set Up Cruise Hub in China

first_imgzoomImage by WMN Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed contracts with the Shanghai City’s District of Baoshan to set up a cruise hub dedicated to support the shipbuilding and maritime activities in the cruise sector.The hub builds upon the agreements between Fincantieri, CSSC and Carnival Corporation & plc announced in February 2017 for the construction of two cruise ships, the first ever made in China for the local market.The deal for the first two ships is worth around USD 1.5 billion. The ships are planned to be built for the Chinese market at the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) yard, a facility of CSSC Group. The first delivery is expected in 2023.Fincantieri said that the hub will act as a fundamental industrial basin to supply this production. As disclosed, 70% of the total value of a modern cruise ship is realized through the supply.Under the deal, the district will provide financing, tax commercial and administrative benefits, land for necessary development and other resources, in hope of attracting foreign investors and suppliers to the district.“Fincantieri has given a broad support to the district in defining the preferential policies to attract suppliers and will promote the park in its network and in the industry as a whole, as a foundation for the companies which want to access to the opportunities of this project. In this way, the group will become a lever for the establishment in China of its supply chain or of other SMBs, which would greatly benefit from this operation,” the shipbuilder commented.This project is part of the initiatives undertaken by Fincantieri in China aimed at developing the local cruise market, which in the coming days could reach new goals.last_img read more

In the news today June 5

first_imgFive stories in the news for Tuesday, June 5———PM TO MEET INDIGENOUS PIPELINE SUPPORTERSThe prime minister is expected to meet with Indigenous leaders in British Columbia today, including a First Nations chief who has been a vocal supporter of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Justin Trudeau will be in the Fraser Valley where he’ll speak with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee, a group that monitors existing pipelines and the construction of the Trans Mountain’s expansion project.———ONTARIO BUS CRASH INJURES 24Provincial police in eastern Ontario are seeking the cause of a bus crash that sent at least 24 people to hospital, including four with life-threatening injuries. Const. Suzanne Runciman says the bus carrying Chinese tourists crashed into a rock cut Monday afternoon between Brockville and Prescott. She said the bus carried about 37 people, including the driver and a tour guide, when it went off the highway.———DOUG FORD’S SISTER-IN-LAW FILES LAWSUITOntario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford denies allegations that he mishandled the estate of his late brother Rob Ford, causing financial harm to the late mayor’s widow and two children. The allegations, which have not been proven in court, are in a lawsuit filed by Renata Ford and her two children just days before the Ontario election.———WETTLAUFER INQUIRY TO START TODAYA public inquiry examining the circumstances that allowed a long-term care nurse to kill elderly patients in her care is set to get underway in St. Thomas, Ont., today. The inquiry will examine the systemic factors that allowed Elizabeth Wettlaufer to inject more than a dozen patients with overdoses of insulin while working at long-term care homes and private residences in southwestern Ontario for nearly a decade.———REPORT: STROKE AFFECTS WOMEN DIFFERENTLY THAN MENThe Heart and Stroke Foundation has issued a report showing how stroke can affect women differently than men. It says one-third more women die from having a stroke than do males, and women are 60 per cent less likely to regain their independence afterwards, with a worse prognosis for recovery than men. Less than half of stroke patients who participate in rehabilitation programs are female. Women are also less likely to return home after being treated: twice as many women as men go into long-term care following a stroke.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to visit the Kinder Morgan Edmonton Terminal South.— Annual Canada 2020 Conference in Ottawa. Former FBI director James Comey delivers keynote address.— Finance Minister Bill Morneau will appear before the Senate national finance committee.— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will hold a media teleconference following his visit to Vietnam.— Statistics Canada will release labour data for the first quarter.— Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will honour 43 recipients with various awards.— The Calgary Stampede will announce the 50 new Midway foods for 2018.last_img read more

Trans Mountain pipeline work to resume in August Kinder Morgan Canada boss

first_imgEDMONTON – The head of Kinder Morgan Canada says work is to resume next month to prepare a route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Ian Anderson says the company will secure, survey and prepare the right of way in coming months, and First Nations will monitor the work to look for traditional artifacts and medicines.Anderson says the plan is to start laying pipe early next year in British Columbia and Alberta.A completion date is to be announced in 2019.Anderson made the comments alongside Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at an event on the Enoch Cree Nation, just west of Edmonton.Enoch Cree land will be used as one of the staging grounds for the line and will stockpile at least 40 kilometres of pipe.The project will expand the existing Trans Mountain line from Edmonton to the B.C. coast to allow more oil from Alberta to be shipped to foreign markets.The line has been the focus of fractious debate and confrontation — the B.C. government, environmental activists and some Indigenous groups all oppose it.Earlier this year, the federal government agreed to buy the $4.5-billion pipeline to ensure it gets built, but the Liberals insist they don’t plan to be the long-term owner.last_img read more

NYC Wine Food Festival Raises Over 1 Million For Charity

first_imgThe eighth annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE (NYCWFF) took place October 15 – 18 and comprised of more than 100 events at various locations from Wall Street to Harlem.This year’s Festival raised more than $1 million for the hunger relief organizations Food Bank For New York City and No Kid Hungry, bringing the total to more than $9.5 million since the Festival’s inception.“In addition to the funds raised this year, NYCWFF provides an invaluable way to drive awareness, engage with, and inspire people to participate in philanthropic activities,” noted Festival Founder and Director Lee Brian Schrager, who also serves as the Vice President of Corporate Communications & National Events for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. “We are fortunate to give more than just money to our beneficiaries, but also a platform that enables them to reach a large and passionate audience.”The charities are not the only ones who came out of the weekend as winners, with a number of participants taking home top honors for their offerings. Beginning on Thursday, October 15, Carolyn Bane of Pies ’n Thighs in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Matt Fein of Federal Donuts in Philadelphia, Pa. tied up Whoopi Goldberg’s taste buds when she recognized their creations as her favorite dishes at her annual Chicken Coupe event.Friday, October 16 saw winners across several events. Henry Tibensky earned a trip to the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE (SOBEWFF set for February 24-28, 2016), when Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living; Tyler Florence, Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race; Matt Higgins, Co-Founder & CEO RSE Ventures; and Charlie Walk, Executive Vice President at Republic Records selected his restaurant concept, Hank’s Juicy Beef, as the winner of the Festival’s first FOODi Challenge. Guests at Thrillist’s Barbecue & The Blues hosted by Adam Richman voted Shane McBride of Pig Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Pitmaster – Best in BBQ 2015 for his mini BBQ baked potatoes with pulled pork, Benton’s bacon mac and cheese sauce and scallions.The Festival’s signature Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray welcomed new faces to its historic league of winners, now including: • Joe Isidori of Black Tap | Craft Burgers & Beer, who was crowned this year’s Blue Moon People’s Choice Award-winner for his Black Tap Kobe beef Burger with Wagyu beef, house buttermilk-dill, blue cheese and arugula. • GRAMMY Award-winning artist Coolio, Food Network host and cookbook author Robert Irvine, reigning champion Josh Capon, and the New York Jets’ Nick Mangold chose Ralph Perrazzo of BBD’s Beers Burgers Desserts as Pat LaFrieda’s 2015 NYCWFF Burger Bash Champion for the BBD’s “Steamed Double” with diced onions and pickles.Saturday, October 17 was also bestowed top honors for several participants at various events that were part of the LOCAL presented by Delta Air Lines series. Attendees at Stacked: Sandwiches & Sides hosted by Tiffani Thiessen chose Michael Ferraro’s Short Rib Dip of braised short ribs, whipped potatoes, wilted kale, and cheddar from Delicatessen in New York, N.Y. as winner of The “Sammy” Award, and Andy Kitko of STK Restaurants’ sweet corn pudding as winner of The “Sammy’s Sidekick” Award. Top Dog: A NY Hot Dog Competition hosted by Andrew Zimmern featured a special celebration in honor of the 200th episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on Travel Channel, which aired on Tuesday, October 20. Attendees voted the Cheddar Bratwurst, a pork bratwurst filled with pockets of cheddar, sauerkraut and grilled onions on a French roll, from Chase Hartwig at Rosamunde Sausage Grill in Brooklyn, N.Y. winner of The Delta Local Series People’s Choice Award.Craft libations also took center stage as Festival winners. At The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown presented by Cocktail Kingdom hosted by Emeril Lagasse, Three Dots and a Dash from Chicago, Ill. was chosen as Cocktail Kingdom’s People’s Choice Award winner for their Cabana Queen on Saturday, October 16. Additionally, the team at Fort Defiance in Brooklyn, N.Y. received Cocktail Kingdom’s Judge’s Choice Award for their Frozen White Zombie, as decided by Emeril Lagasse; Jeff Berry, Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29; Greg Boehm, Cocktail Kingdom; and Brian Miller, Monday’s with Miller.The cast of the Food Network prime time series Chopped came out on Sunday, October 18 for the Best Bloody Mary Brunch presented by Velocity to decide who will take top honors for their creations in three categories: • Death’s Door Spirits claimed two categories – best overall for their Intensely Bloody Mary and most creative for their Eason’s Nawlins-Style Bloody Mary. • Best dressed honors went to ABSOLUT Vodka’s Hello Sunshine Bloody Mary.NYCWFF came to an end on Sunday, October 18 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) with the first New York City screening of the movie BURNT, followed by a panel discussion with members of the cast and director John Wells moderated by New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni. Cast members Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, and Sam Keeley joined Wells in giving a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie and anecdotes about their personal relationship with food to an audience filled with chefs, culinary personalities, media, and industry insiders.Between NYCWFF and its sister SOBEWFF, more than $30 million has been raised to benefit the respective charities for each Festival. Beyond the funds raised, both Festivals draw attention to the vibrant dining culture in their respective cities, provide economic stimulus in their communities, and serve as an invaluable platform to drive awareness and engage and inspire people to get involved in philanthropic activities.last_img read more

Pickton Inquiry

first_imgWayne Roberts, aptn National NewsBritish Columbia’s missing women’s commission of Inquiry held its first public forum in Vancouver.The inquiry is set to look into how various police forces handled the case of Robert Pickton.The pig farmer was convicted of killing 6 women and has confessed to many more slayings.Yesterday’s forum was an opportunity for Commissioner Wally Oppal to hear from families who have lost loved ones on Vancouver’s downtown east side.A number of family members, politicians and members of the public talked about Pickton and how police handle cases in the notorious area of Vancouver.Bernie Williams works with people in the area.Williams organized the Walk 4 Justice after her mother and two sisters were murdered.Her question revolved around the police handling of the Pickton case.“My question keeps going back why did it have to take 69 women plus for it to get this far how many years after the fact it is still happening yet.”Police had information about Robert Picton as early as 1996. But neither the RCMP, Vancouver police or Crown prosecutors fully investigated him.In December 2007, Pickton was convicted of murdering 6 women between 1990 and 2002 and is now linked to 32 other killings.Vancouver Police later issued an apology for not catching him sooner.Wally Oppal was BC’s Justice Minister during one period that Pickton was killing women. At one point he refused to hold a public inquiry into the murders in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Now he says it’s time to get answers.“Most of all what we are interested in is what happens to the information that the police received what did they do with it would the existance of one police force have had a more efficient way of solving the crime.”Federal NDP MP Libby Davies says there must be a full investigation.“This whole question of the missing and murdered women is probably the greatest failure in our society.”Local Vancouver politicians also spoke at yesterday’s forum.Ellen Woodsworth is a city councillor who is now wondering whether the scope of this inquiry shouldn’t be broadened to include the rest of the country.“We need a national inquiry…Why are hundreds of women across canada going murdered and missing and how that relates to first nations women.”Others called for a inquiry into the infamous cases surrounding BC’s Highway of Tears.The next forum will be held on Friday in Prince George, BC where families will get a chance to talk about the Highway of Tears.Wally Oppal is hoping to start the inquiry into Robert Pickton in June.last_img read more

Taylor to begin engaging with ISPs about getting fibre optic Internet access

first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. — Staff at the District of Taylor are going to begin engaging with Internet service providers in the near future about the possibility of getting fibre optic internet access in their community.At Tuesday’s District council meeting, a motion by Mayor Rob Fraser to have staff start communicating with both Telus and Shaw about the potential for building fibre optic access to the community. The motion stemmed from Council adopting its April 3rd correspondence list.  Mayor Fraser said that he was inspired to bring the issue of fibre optic internet access after officials with Telus gave a presentation to the Peace River Regional District Board on March 8th about the future of fibre optic connectivity in the region.In 2016, Telus unveiled its PureFibre internet access in both Fort St. John and Dawson Creek, with residents in Charlie Lake and Hudson’s Hope getting access to the service shortly thereafter. The vast majority of PureFibre service is located on the South Coast, though other Northern B.C. communities such as Quesnel and Williams Lake have also been connected. Fraser explained that he has made inquiries himself with ISPs, but has not heard back on whether there is a fibre optic line that passes through, but doesn’t provide service to Taylor. He explained that the District needs to find out where the closest fibre optic line is, and what the cost would be to get a fibre line installed over the “last mile” to District residents.“If we want to see fibre optics in Taylor, we are going to have to start interacting with these folks. When it comes to keeping people in your community and attracting businesses that are part of this knowledge-based economy where they do everything over the computer, if you do not have fibre optic ability, you will not be able to attract people and keep them there. If it’s not already, it’s going to become an infrastructure that’s a requirement. I don’t believe we should let ourselves be isolated from this.”last_img read more

Grand Opening of Campaign Offices for Bob Zimmer

first_imgFort St. John Campaign Office Grand OpeningMonday, September 16, 2019, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m at 10230 100 StreetPrince George Campaign Office Grand OpeningTuesday, September 17, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m at 1905 Victoria StreetDawson Creek Campaign Office Grand OpeningWednesday, September 18, 2019, from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m at 1201 Alaska Avenue FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The public have been invited to join in the grand opening of the re-elect for Bob Zimmer, Conservative Candidate, offices.This is a chance to meet with Zimmer, Conservative Candidate for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies and his campaign team. Zimmer was elected to represent the Conservative party in 2011, 2015 and is now running for re-election in 2019.last_img read more

AAP eyes Muslim votes

first_imgNEW DELHI: With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner and little chance of an alliance with the Congress in Delhi, the AAP at the grassroots level initiated its work to bring together the Muslim votes of the city. Senior leaders of the party said that the AAP has initiated work targeting to get nearly 80 per cent vote.Nearly 12 per cent of the population of Delhi is Muslims which has been a stronghold of Congress however the AAP got 77 per cent Muslim votes in 2015 Vidhan Sabha polls. According to earlier data, in 2014 Lok Sabha elections AAP got 56 per cent of Muslim votes followed by 39 per cent Congress and 2 per cent BJP. Before 2014 also the available data showed that in Delhi the BJP has little base in terms of the Muslim votes but the Congress was the strongest. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIn this Lok Sabha elections in the ground, the leaders felt that there is a major sentiment among Muslims that the anti-BJP vote in Delhi should not be divided hence the community voiced for an alliance. Talking to Millennium Post, chairman of Delhi Waqf Board Amanatullah Khan said, “The Muslims in Delhi was a strong base for the Congress but now the entire community is with us. The party in the ground is working to 80 per cent votes.” Khan who is also an MLA of AAP from Okhla explained that the Muslims of Delhi has been the direct beneficiary of the development works of the AAP government which made the voters confident toward voting the party. “After coming to power the AAP has never taken any step which discriminates the religious minorities or the caste minorities. A large section of Dalits are also with the AAP and the Muslims have already been major voters of the AAP,” Khan said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHe also said that in the ground as there was a sentiment of alliance between the Muslims, the party found that nearly 60 per cent vote would be with AAP in today’s condition. “The way we have started working alone I believe that by the end of the campaigns we would be able to get the other 20 per cent of the Muslim vote because nearly 10 per cent Muslim vote would go the Congress,” said Khan. Meanwhile, the Sikhs, 4 per cent of Delhi’s population, also rallied behind AAP — 57 per cent in the 2015 assembly elections earlier this Sikhs were also a stronghold of the Congress.last_img read more

Notification for phase 4 of LS polls to be held on April 29 issued

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday issued notification for phase four of Lok Sabha elections to be held on April 29 in which 71 seats across nine states will go to polls. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal will head for voting in all the seven phases of the general elections. The election will pit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance against mostly different opposition groupings in various states, including of Congress, the Left and regional forces which are continuing to work out a grand alliance to minimise a division of votes against the saffron party. The BJP has worked out a seat-sharing formula with some new allies and several old partners. However, opposition parties are yet to do so in several states.last_img read more

AI denies price of VVIP Boeing 777-300s to RTI applicant without reasons; CIC issues show-cause

first_imgNew Delhi: An “irked” Central Information Commission (CIC) issued a show-cause notice to Air India’s CPIO on Thursday for the “callous attitude” while denying information about the purchase price of Air India-I aircraft to ferry VVIPs like the president and the prime minister. The national carrier, while denying an RTI applicant the details of the cost and status of the purchase of Boeing 777-300, to be used as Air India-I, did not invoke any of the RTI exemption clauses in an “inordinately delayed” response, Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha noted. An RTI applicant had approached the commission, the highest adjudicating body under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, after he failed to get a satisfactory response from Air India. Air India has purchased two Boeing 777-300ERs, which will replace the over 25-year-old jumbo jets — B747-400s — which used to ferry the president, vice-president and the prime minister. The jets chartered by the national carrier for VVIP flights are given the call sign, Air India-I. The two jets are part Air India’s 2006 order to Boeing for 68 aircraft — 27 Dreamliners, 15 B777-300 ERs, eight B777-200 LRs and 18 B737-800s. The aircraft have been retrofitted with additional features required for the movement of dignitaries. When the matter came up for hearing before the CIC, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), the nodal officer for handling RTI applications in a public authority, of Air India was not present. He had, instead, delegated it to a different officer, who was caught unaware about the reasons for the delayed response. Under the RTI Act, a response to an application should mandatorily be provided within 30 days. The information could only be denied citing a suitable exemption clause under the RTI Act and “not merely on apprehensions and conjecture”, Sinha noted.last_img read more

SDMC hosts Asia Pacific forum on sustainable urbanisation

first_imgNew Delhi: South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday kicked off the fourth Asia Pacific Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation-Resilient Cities 2019 in New Delhi hosted in association with the United Nations. The three-day event is being hosted in India for the first time with 31 participating countries.While inaugurating the forum, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said that with climate change reaching new heights by the day, green solutions are not just welcome but necessary to combat the adverse impact brought on by this, specifically in Asia. “Our cities are battling the consequences of climate change on a daily basis,” he said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHe added that with the massive number of migrants moving to cities and the rapid surge of urbanisation, problems caused by climate change need to be addressed. “More than 60% of the world’s population resides in Asia and nearly half of this resides in cities and towns. It is extremely crucial to link every aspect of urbanization with sustainability. Cities account for 2/3rd of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions. The new urban infrastructure should be low carbon, green and climate resilient,” Vice-President Naidu said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsIn his inaugural address, SDMC Commissioner, Puneet Kumar Goel said that climate change is a “global challenge and its impacts are serious, urgent and growing”. Saying that the mantle for tackling these issues must not be passed on to future generations, he said that if sustainable approaches to climate change are not adopted soon, the coming generations will be “consigned to irreversible catastrophes”. Citing SDMC projects that have taken proactive steps to adopt green solutions to problems related to rapid urbanisation, Commissioner Goel said the municipality has shaved of millions of dollars just by using energy-efficient LED lights in streets. He also mentioned that electric cars and solar power used in MCD buildings are valuable steps in proceeding towards sustainable urbanisation. “The SDMC is also taking result-oriented steps for management of solid waste. Our waste to energy plant has been one of the steps to convert waste to electricity,” Commissioner Goel said. SDMC Mayor Narendra Chawla was also at the event, where he said that Delhi is facing the brunt of problems that come as a result of converging urbanisation and climate change, adding that a “dialogue such as this one is the need of the hour”.last_img read more

Stone pelting near polling booths in J-K’s Kulgam

first_imgSrinagar: Several incidents of stone pelting took place Monday in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir where polling is underway for election to the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, police said. “Isolated incidents of stone pelting near polling stations have been reported from various parts of Kulgam district but the situation is under control due to timely action of security forces,” a police official said. He said there were no reports of anyone getting hurt in the stone pelting incidents so far. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency is spread over four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama with 16 assembly segments. The Lok Sabha polls to this constituency are being held in three phases due to security reasons. Anantnag district went to polls on 23 April, while voting in Pulwama and Shopian districts will take place on 6 May. The Election Commission has curtailed the polling duration for Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency by two hours following a request from the state police to this effect. The revised polling timing is from 7 am to 4 pm. There are 18 candidates in the fray for Anantnag constituency, including PDP president and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti. The Congress has fielded its state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, while former High Court judge Hasnain Masoodi is contesting on the National Conference ticket.last_img read more

Could the World Cup Champion Beat the Best Club Team in the

Update (July 13, 5:46 p.m.): Germany won the World Cup on Sunday, defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time.In basketball, it’s a safe bet that the United States men’s national team would defeat even the best NBA teams more often than not. Likewise, it’s hard to imagine any single NHL squad being favored against the Canadian national hockey team, if there were ever an occasion for them to face off. Yet it’s pretty conventional wisdom in soccer circles that the best teams in the Champions League, the world’s top club-level competition, are better than those in the World Cup, soccer’s premier international tournament. That’s because thanks to the economics of soccer, it’s possible for clubs to assemble all-star teams even in the absence of All-Star Games.Intuitively, it’s not hard to see why. Unlike basketball and hockey, where global talent is concentrated in a relatively small number of countries, soccer is a sport played at a high level across a much wider and more diverse set of locales. Talent is then naturally more diluted at the international level. The most important club soccer leagues also lack North American-style salary caps, so the richest club teams are (checkbooks willing) free to accumulate a far greater amount of talent than any national team can.I went to the spreadsheets to settle this debate, and, based on my calculations, the conventional wisdom is indeed wise — to a certain extent. The top club teams in the world as a group are superior to the national teams in this year’s World Cup field. But even so, teams that are the cream of the international crop are not as far behind their club-level cousins as managers like Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger would have you believe.One way we can test this is to use the individual plus/minus player ratings that underlie ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) rankings. We’ve been over the gory details of those ratings before, but here are the basics: In addition to using head-to-head results from international matches, SPI also attempts to measure the talent level of every team based on the skill of its component players. To that end, each player is assigned a per-minute effect rating determined both by his individual statistics and by how his team performs with him in the lineup (compared to its performance without him). ESPN’s Stats & Info team computes this for both national and club teams, provided the player’s club is in one of the “Big Five” European leagues1Those of Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France. or appeared in the Champions League.These numbers give us a player’s approximated influence on his team’s rate of scoring and preventing goals. For instance, Lionel Messi, the impossibly good attacker for Barcelona (on the club side) and Argentina (in this World Cup), is estimated to add 0.62 more goals per 90 minutes than an average player on offense, and save 0.03 more goals per 90 minutes than the average player on defense, for a net value of 0.65 goals per 90 minutes. (Nobody tops Messi among players with any kind of playing time over the past two seasons, although Messi’s longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo is a close second at 0.63.)If we aggregate these ratings for an entire roster, weighting by the number of minutes each player was on the pitch,2The minutes data I used for club teams was from the 2013-14 season; for national teams it was from the 2014 World Cup, through the semifinal round. we can derive an SPI-like number to describe the amount of talent on any team, whether it plays for club or country.3A team’s overall SPI is determined by a combination of its projected goals scored (offensive SPI) and its projected goals allowed (defensive SPI) against a theoretical average international opponent. And according to these numbers,4SPI player ratings are up to date through the World Cup quarterfinals. the three best club teams in the world — Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich — are a cut above the best national teams. But, in turn, the four most talented national teams — Brazil,5Remember, this rating includes Neymar and Thiago Silva both playing more than 80 percent of their available minutes. Argentina, Germany and Spain — are solidly better than the next tier of club teams, a group that includes Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and the Champions League runners-up, Atletico Madrid.According to these numbers, Messi’s club team (Barcelona) would win 56 percent of its matches against his national team (Argentina) if they somehow played in a knockout setting at a neutral location (this model obviously assumes a dramatic development in cloning technology). But Argentina would be expected to win 56 percent of its matches against Manchester City or Atletico Madrid under similar circumstances. The top national teams would be favored (or at least evenly matched) against all but the world’s very best club teams.Perhaps this shouldn’t be overly surprising. I combined Transfermarkt values for every player on this year’s World Cup rosters6Thanks to the research of my Grantland colleague Bill Barnwell. with Transfermarkt’s list of the 100 most valuable club teams in the world and found a similar pattern. A handful of club teams dominate the list of most valuable teams,7There’s one big divergence here from the SPI list: According to Transfermarkt’s player values, the Spanish national team roster is better than any in the world. but after that it’s a relatively equal smattering of club and national teams rounding out the top 20.8The dollar amounts in the table below were converted from British pounds, at $1.70 per GBP. The top-tier national teams at least appear capable of standing toe to toe in talent against most of the leading clubs in the world.9Occasional FiveThirtyEight contributor Roger Pielke, Jr., noticed a version of this phenomenon back before the 2010 World Cup. But aside from that top tier, national teams just can’t keep up with their counterparts on the club side. According to both the SPI talent ratings and the Transfermarkt valuations, there are about 10 or so national sides capable of contending with the top 10 club teams in the world. After that, the supply of strong national squads quickly starts to dry up. Based on the SPI estimates, the 15th-best national team in the world (Ivory Coast) would have just a 40 percent chance of beating the 15th-best club team (Benfica of Portugal’s Primeira Liga), and only a 21 percent probability of beating Real Madrid. According to SPI’s player ratings, 33 of the 50 most talented teams in the world are club teams.In that sense, pundits are right when they contend that the quality of play in a circuit like the Champions League is higher than that of the World Cup. Certainly it’s hard to argue that the worst teams in the World Cup’s group stage would be able to consistently compete with their counterparts in the Champions League group stage. But in its later rounds, the World Cup contains teams — like the German and Argentine squads that will face off in Sunday’s final — whose rosters rival almost any in the sphere of big-time club soccer. read more

Roberta Vincis Upset Of Serena Williams Is The Biggest In Modern Womens

As of Aug. 23,1We haven’t yet updated our Elo ratings to include the results of the U.S. Open so far, or of the warmup tournament the week before the Open started in New Haven, Conn. So the numbers we’re basing this on are slightly out of date. Vinci won five tour-level matches and lost one between our last Elo update and today’s upset, so her Elo has risen, although not by enough to undermine her win as the biggest upset in a quarterfinal or later at a Slam. Williams had won five matches, too, since our last Elo update, which would have increased her rating slightly and mitigated the effects of Vinci’s rise. Williams’s Elo rating was 2505 and Vinci’s was 1852 — a difference of 652 points.2The numbers don’t add up because of rounding. That gave Vinci about a 3 percent chance of beating Serena. The biggest previous Elo gap for an upset in a Slam quarterfinal, semifinal or final was 574, when Czech player Helena Sukova beat Martina Navratilova in the 1984 Australian Open semifinals. The upset ended a run of six consecutive Slam titles for Navratilova, who never managed to win a calendar-year Grand Slam.Sukova’s elation was short-lived. Chris Evert beat her to win the title. And that’s not atypical. The winners in these historic upsets have gone just 1-7 when trying to repeat their feats in the next match at the same event.3Arantxa Sanchez Vicario’s upset of Steffi Graf in the 1989 French Open came in the final, so Sanchez Vicario had no more matches at that tournament. After Roberta Vinci, the No. 43 ranked player in the world, defeated No. 1 Serena Williams in the U.S. Open semifinals on Friday, someone asked Vinci if she remembered a bigger upset in women’s tennis. She answered, “No. Just today.”We took a more quantitative approach and arrived at the same answer. Vinci’s victory was the biggest upset in women’s Open-era tennis history this late in a Grand Slam tournament.Before the tournament, we used Elo — the ratings system that takes into account players’ match results and quality of opposition and creates power rankings for anything from chess to the NFL — to rate the best women’s tennis players of all time. According to this system, Williams is one of the greatest but not the greatest. (Despite her loss, however, she is still playing well enough to keep building her case.) It’s this system that shows just how historic Vinci’s upset was. 1984Helena SukovaMartina NavratilovaAustralian OpenSF574L 1988Zina GarrisonMartina NavratilovaU.S. OpenQF471L 1999Amelie MauresmoLindsay DavenportAustralian OpenSF463L 1979Barbara JordanHana MandlikovaAustralian OpenQF513W 1989Arantxa Sanchez VicarioSteffi GrafFrench OpenF488N/A 1994Mary PierceSteffi GrafFrench OpenSF502L The real upset is that Vinci made the semifinals at all. These upsets are so rare late in majors because by the quarterfinals or later, both players’ ratings are usually far closer to each others’ than Williams’s and Vinci’s were.Bigger upsets have happened earlier in majors. Katarina Studenikova’s second-round upset of Monica Seles at Wimbledon in 1996 overcame an Elo gap of 764 points. Williams herself has suffered bigger upsets. Her loss in the third round of Wimbledon in 2005 to Jill Craybas occurred despite a 710-point gap in their Elo ratings.Men suffer upsets too, despite their best-of-five-set format that gives favorites more chances to come back and assert their superiority. The biggest in a quarterfinal or later was Christophe Roger-Vasselin’s defeat of Jimmy Connors, whose Elo rating was 580 points higher, in the 1983 French Open quarterfinals.Elo doesn’t capture the stakes of Friday’s upset. Williams’s quest for the Grand Slam made Friday’s result loom larger than most before it. And the upset is even more shocking when you consider that Williams has an extraordinary record late in Grand Slam tournaments. So what happened Friday?“I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” Williams said in her postmatch press conference about Vinci. ”I think she played literally out of her mind.” 1990Zina GarrisonSteffi GrafWimbledonSF473L 2007Marion BartoliJustine HeninWimbledonSF462L 2015Roberta VinciSerena WilliamsU.S. OpenSF652? YEARWINNERLOSEREVENTROUNDELO DIFF.WINNER’S NEXT MATCH 1997Amanda CoetzerSteffi GrafFrench OpenQF453L Baseline: A U.S. Open mini-podcastCarl Bialik and Grantland’s Brian Phillips discuss Roberta Vinci’s upset of Serena Williams and preview the Djokovic-Federer final. For more subscribe to our sports podcast Hot Takedown. read more

Mens hockey Ohio States Josh Healey suspended for NCAA regional third suspension

Ohio State senior defenseman Josh Healey corrals the puck at the blue line against Wisconsin in a Big Ten tournament semifinal at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on March 17, 2017. Credit: Courtesy of Ric KruszynskiOhio State men’s hockey senior defenseman Josh Healey has been ruled ineligible to play in the NCAA West Regional, the Big Ten Conference announced Monday. The suspension comes as a result of a game misconduct penalty that occurred at the 17:32 mark of the third period in a game against Wisconsin on March 17 at the Big Ten Tournament. Healey, who received an automatic one-game suspension for his third game misconduct of the season, has been suspended for one additional game under the conference’s supplemental discipline process — and therefore, will ultimately miss both potential regional games.The Buckeyes will open the NCAA tournament Friday afternoon in Fargo, North Dakota, against the No. 2 overall seed Minnesota-Duluth. Puck drop from Scheels Arena is set for 6:30 p.m. read more

Football Ohio State linebacker Chris Worley signs with Cincinnati Bengals as undrafted

Ohio State senior linebacker Chris Worley (35) returns to the line of scrimmage after breaking up a pass in the third quarter of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFormer Buckeye linebacker Chris Worley signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent, Ohio State announced Saturday evening. Worley is one of three former Buckeyes to join the Bengals, who drafted center Billy Price in the first round and defensive end Sam Hubbard in the third round. Playing in 50 career games, Worley recorded 154 tackles in his Ohio State career. He had 24 career starts and has starting experience at all three linebacker positions. During his junior season, Worley started on the outside, recording 70 tackles, with 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and an interception, earning him honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. Last season, Worley initially moved inside to take over the middle linebacker spot when Raekwon McMillan was drafted. But he missed three games due to a foot injury and started at least one game at all three linebacker positions. He was fifth on the team with 56 tackles and had four quarterback hurries. The former Buckeye participated in the 2018 NFL Combine, running a 4.86 40-yard dash with 15 bench press reps and a 29.5-inch vertical jump, all near the bottom of the linebacker group. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State finds new struggles on defense in defeat to

Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann talks to freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) in the second half of the game against Maryland. Ohio State lost 75-61. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorDuring Ohio State’s ongoing losing streak, which was stretched to four games following the Buckeyes’ 75-61 defeat to No. 19 Maryland, many of the struggles have been on the offensive side.After giving up 86 points to Michigan State, Ohio State allowed its next two opponents to shoot a combined 43.5 percent from the field in its losses to Rutgers and Iowa.But on Friday, it was the Buckeyes’ defense that hurt them the most.The Terrapins shot 58.1 percent from the field and 64.7 from deep in the 14-point win, while Ohio State shot 23.1 percent from behind the arc and 39 percent overall.“I think my biggest frustration tonight was our lack of activity defensively,” head coach Chris Holtmann said.In the days leading up to the Maryland matchup, Holtmann described the offense as Ohio State’s major issue during the streak.In previous defeats, the Buckeyes were sloppy with the ball, turning it over a season-high 21 times against the Hawkeyes, and failing to hit shots down the stretch, shooting less than 40 percent in the second halves of both of the previous defeats.Against the Terrapins, there were more of the same issues, with Ohio State shooting 9-for-29 overall in the final 20 minutes, including a span of more than six minutes where the Buckeyes were held scoreless.But even with the continued issues scoring the basket, Holtmann said it was the defense that let him down in the loss.Senior guard C.J. Jackson said it doesn’t come down to talent, but effort, and it’s costing the team in the recent stretch.“The biggest thing is we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot, whether it’s a bad shot or just not defending well enough,” Jackson said. “We’re very capable, I mean we’re in the game most of these games, goes down to the last couple minutes, I guess you could say that’s what’s frustrating.”Even with Maryland hitting 3 pointers more than it was missing them, the Buckeyes were largely defeated due to the Terrapins’ presence down low.The pair of 6-foot-10 forwards, sophomore Bruno Fernando and freshman Jalen Smith, were able to find space inside against the smaller sophomore forwards of Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young, forcing both players off the court with foul troubles.Fernando and Smith combined for 23 points and 21 rebounds on 8-of-10 shooting, helping Maryland out rebound Ohio State 33-26.In the loss that continued the longest losing streak since Holtmann has arrived at Ohio State, new problems surfaced defensively.But there were improvements in areas that had been major concerns through the past three defeats.Ohio State committed 10 turnovers against Maryland, 11 fewer than the previous game, while forcing 19 on the defensive side.Holtmann said there were large segments of the game where he was pleased with how the offense was finding shots, even if they weren’t falling.With a four-game losing streak after winning 12 of the first 13 games, the Buckeyes are falling from contention in the Big Ten.Matchups against Purdue, Nebraska and No. 2 Michigan are next on the schedule, and with defensive and offensive struggles alike causing issues with the team, it will take a complete change in momentum to shift the tides.Jackson said the team’s confidence won’t be a cause for concern.“I don’t think confidence should be an issue with anybody,” Jackson said. “At this point, confidence shouldn’t be an issue to anybody in the locker room, and I don’t think that’s it.” read more