‘2002 World Cup will always have special resonance for us in India’

first_imgThere has never been a football World Cup like the one reaching its conclusion in Japan and South Korea now. Senegal’s victory over champions France on day one sent aftershocks which were felt all the way to the final stages of the tournament.While everyone delights in watching underdogs triumph, it would appear that the 2002 Cup has room only for underdogs. Favourites met with swift ends and European powers were on the run – protesting all the while that they were badly done in by referees, the weather, unfair odds. The truth is they have been outpaced and outplayed.The 2002 World Cup will always have special resonance for us in India. We can take vicarious joy in watching Asian teams hold their own against established giants of the game. The stories of South Korean and Japanese success come not only in expected areas, like the organisation of an efficient, hooliganism-free World Cup, but on the field as well.What is most remarkable is that both countries, eastern economic powers, have turned into soccer nations not to be trifled with. This after South Korea’s efforts in five previous World Cups did not produce a single win, and after Japan started its professional soccer league only a decade ago.Our cover story this week is written by arguably the world’s finest football writer, Rob Hughes, who has covered the sport for more than three decades. Hughes believes that by bringing the tournament to Asia, football has liberated itself from the old order and that the playing field is well and truly level.The underdogs have performed this miracle through nothing more miraculous than meticulous planning and single-minded perseverance. Money has been judiciously spent and no excuses – backwardness, poverty or the lack of a footballing heritage – have been made.Indian sport does the opposite. A billion people and no global dominance in any sport. We should draw inspiration from the events at the World Cup 2002.last_img read more

Raptors, Siakam agree on 4-year max extension

first_imgMOST READ SC gives QC court one month extension to resolve Maguindanao massacre case PLAY LIST 01:51SC gives QC court one month extension to resolve Maguindanao massacre case02:14Galvez OK with ‘selective’ martial law in Mindanao01:08Huge Toronto crowd celebrates Raptors’ historic win02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ This jewelry designer is also an architect Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Becoming his own man ESPN first reported the agreement.Siakam was a breakout player — and the league’s Most Improved Player — last season for the NBA champions, averaging career highs of 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He is entering his fourth season and now is under contract to the Raptors through the 2023-24 season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceSiakam was even better for the Raptors in the playoffs last spring, averaging 19 points and 7.1 rebounds in 24 games as Toronto went on to win its first title.During the offseason, Siakam said he still believes his best basketball is ahead of him. DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam, left, fights for a loose ball with Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Saitama, near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Pascal Siakam is officially a major part of the Toronto Raptors’ long-term plans.The Raptors and Siakam have agreed on a four-year, $130 million maximum extension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been publicly announced.ADVERTISEMENT Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014?center_img “I don’t feel no limits at all,” Siakam said. “I feel like it’s only the beginning for me and there is so much more to come. I’m just excited about the future and the possibility to even get better and better from this, and knowing that it’s only been three years. I’m in the league for three years and there is so much more growth and things that I can improve on … so I don’t think I’m going to stop now.”Siakam’s rise has been meteoric. He grew up as a soccer player in his native Cameroon before being steered toward basketball — first getting noticed at a Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa in 2012.He made his way to college at New Mexico State, wound up as the Western Athletic Conference player of the year in his second season and eventually got drafted by the Raptors.In 2017, Siakam was MVP of the G League Finals after helping Raptors 905 win that league’s title. And now he’s a max player, set to make $29 million in 2020-21 and just over $35 million in the fourth and final year of the new deal.ADVERTISEMENT CJ Cansino slowly getting his groove back for UST Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics LATEST STORIES Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

MI vs RCB: Struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore lock horns against in-form Mumbai Indians

first_imgAll but out of contention for the playoffs, Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to salvage a difficult season by sorting out their batting woes when they take on Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League match here on Monday.Mumbai are on the second spot in the IPL standings with 14 points, while Bangalore are second from bottom after having won just two of their 10 games.Mumbai Indians have won seven of their nine games so far and are in contention to make it to the play-offs.When the two sides meet at the Wankhede stadium, the hosts will have a distinct upper-hand as they have just lost one game at the venue.The form of opener Parthiv Patel, who scored a 70 against Gujarat Lions, will please the Mumbai Indians management.Parthiv will like to continue from where he left in the last game and he, along with Englishman Jos Buttler, would like to give the team a flying start.Mumbai won their match against Gujarat Lions in a super over after both the teams were tied at 153, and they would like to dominate Royal Challengers Bangalore right from the word go.They would except their batters Patel, Buttler, skipper Rohit Sharma, Nitesh Rana and the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik — to fire in unison.Mumbai will also like to get back to winning ways at the Wankhede as they lost their last match against Rising Pune Supergiant.As far as their bowling is concerned, the comeback of Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, who picked up two wickets last night, will please coach Shane Bond.advertisementThe biggest positive for Mumbai has been their death overs bowling, courtesy Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.Krunal and seasoned off spinner Harbhajan Singh have been effective and the team management would like all these bowlers to restrict the RCB batting line-up.It is also expected that Malinga would be retained in the team.For RCB, their batters, some of the best in the world on paper, have failed miserably in this tournament.Skipper Virat Kohli’s half-century in the previous match against Rising Pune Supergiant was the only bright spot of their performance last night.But if RCB have to score big on a batting-friendly Wankhede pitch, the likes of Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Kohli, A B de Villiers and Kedar Jadhav will need to fire in unison, which hasn’t happened so far.The RCB would also need their key spinner Samuel Badree to execute his plans well to stop the formidable Mumbai line- up.He will need support from the likes of Srinath Arvind, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Milne, and Aniket Choudhary to perform. For RCB, their bowling is not a big problem, but their batting is certainly one.Teams (from):Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Lendl Simmons, Mitchel Johnsohn, Mitchell McClenghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma and Vinay Kumar.Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Vishnu Vinod, Sreenath Arvind, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tymal Mills, Aniket Chaudhary, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake.last_img read more

Marquinhos enjoying PSG family atmosphere

first_imgMarquinhos Marquinhos enjoying family atmosphere at PSG Marquinhos Last updated 1 year ago 17:00 12/20/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Marquinhos PSG Goal PSG Ligue 1 The centre-back, in his latest column for Goal, discusses the positive environment at the club and how the players talk regularly with each other Dear fans and football enthusiasts.We’re only a few days away from Christmas and it is important to me to explain what it means to the large PSG family. In our locker room, we have great players and great personalities, but first and foremost they are good people, with whom we laugh and play, on the field, at training and even outside football.You can see that in the club’s videos, on our social networks and even during our day at Disneyland Paris. We have good times together. We get the most out of it because the team really is our family. Sometimes we even spend more time with our team-mates than our real families because of matches, travelling, hotels and training camps. If we didn’t have this great relationship with each other, things would not work very well. 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 PSG 2017We know that we will have good moments but also difficult ones. With friendship and unity, we know we can overcome anything together. The two defeats against Strasbourg and Bayern were difficult times. After those games, we stayed calm, we knew why we had lost those matches, we worked a lot in training and we spoke amongst ourselves.Sometimes victories can hide things that defeats can allow you to see. And we saw how we could improve, what we could do differently on the park. These were two accidents, but they kept us grounded, forced us to be more focused and to work harder.At the heart of this PSG family, I’m comfortable with everyone. I try to speak to the French players, the Germans, the Argentines and always go to the others. Some players are more reserved, others are always social. It’s easy for me to go to my team-mates to speak or joke around, even during tough times. I’ve always tried to be positive with the others.Today, I have the honour and pleasure of being the third captain of the team, which is a step up for me. I came here when I was very young and I’m happy with how I have developed here. My status has obviously changed. Among my team-mates, Lucas is a loyal friend, a brother, who was very welcoming to me when I arrived. We see his situation and we know that he is someone who needs to play, to be on the field to be satisfied and happy with his life. He’s someone very close to me.It’s easy to manage and talk to the guys who play. On the other hand, it is those who are playing less, who have less chance to show what they can do, who are the ones who need help, who need to be spoken to and their spirits kept up for the team. We need everyone during a season, because of injuries and suspensions. We will need 20, 22 or 23 players. That’s why, when I see a player sad because he does not play much, I go to him and listen a little – sometimes you don’t even need to talk. It’s work that needs to be done to make a united squad and a strong family.The holiday season is coming, and many people will spend it with their families. If I was going to make a PSG family, I would say that the father would be our captain, Thiago Silva. The granddad would be Thiago Motta. The big brother, who is wise and gives good advice would be me. And, as for the boisterous little brothers, I think there are three: Marco Verratti, Kylian Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe. They’re always moving!And the PSG family is growing. Paris is the capital of love and I think that we’re soon going to have a creche, but we have to ask sporting director Antero Henrique and Maxwell if it’s possible.Have a great holiday season and I’ll catch up with you next month.Marquinhoslast_img read more

Sure Wind Marine Takes Delivery of ‘Sure Swift’

first_imgzoom British company Sure Wind Marine Ltd. has taken delivery of its second Damen Twin Axe Fast Crew Supplier – the Sure Swift – in a little over a month after the first joined the company’s fleet.Established in 2009, Sure Wind is a specialist in the German offshore wind market and now has 10 dedicated wind farm service and crew transfer vessels, the latest two being the first newbuild Damen vessels.Sure Wind also owns the first FCS 2610 ever built – the pioneering ‘Shamal’ (renamed Sure Shamal) – which it acquired in July 2013.“The Damen vessels have certainly proven themselves and are hugely popular with customers”, says Lucy Kibler, Sure Wind Vessel Operations Coordinator. “Enquiries are unbelievable, Damen has really set the standard for a crew transfer vessel. The Twin Axe is in a different league in terms of seakeeping and crew comfort.”New standard in crew transfer“We aim to be the preferred crew transport vessel company and Damen helps give us the market presence. Customers want these vessels.” The Sure Shamal will have been working at the Barrow Offshore Wind Farm from October 2013 to end-March this year, before heading off for her next job in April.Sure Star and Sure Swift will be based in Eemshaven before being deployed in the German offshore wind market but again, the Sure Star has pretty much had non-stop work since joining Sure Wind’s fleet.“One of the advantages of the vessels is that they are excellent sea keeping vessels even in the winter months, and still maintain their passenger comfort ,” she adds. “Sure Wind does not rule out the addition of more Damen vessels in the future. The company has exciting expansion plans, which would involve an extensive fleet expansion. We can see more Damen vessels on the horizon.”Sure Wind Marine, February 27, 2014last_img read more

Govt duty bound to achieve fiscal deficit of 3 as per law

first_imgNew Delhi: Assuring that all the numbers mentioned in the Budget are realistic and achievable, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said as a government minister she is duty bound to follow glide path to achieve fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent as per the law. In the Budget presented on Friday, the government lowered the fiscal deficit target to 3.3 per cent of the GDP for 2019-20 as compared to 3.4 per cent projected in the interim Budget in February. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”I am a government Minister. There is a law under FRBM where we have committed ourselves for the gliding path for the adherence to achieving 3 per cent (fiscal deficit) limit set on me. Till such time the law exists, I have to comply,” Sitharaman said. The Centre has committed to reduce the fiscal deficit — the gap between total expenditure and revenue — to 3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020-21, and eliminate the primary deficit as per the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsPrimary deficit refers to the deficit left after subtracting interest payments from the fiscal deficit. On the narrative of fiscal relaxation to boost growth, she said, “I would happily join the debate either this way or that way to say should we for a country like India have obsession with 3 per cent (fiscal deficit)…Even now it is a debate. It has not come to the extent of changing FRBM law and permitting fiscal relaxation yet.” She further said that all the figures mentioned in the Budget are realistic and reasonable. “People feel that targets set for ourself are reasonable and achievable. There is no exaggeration in any of the targets inclusive of disinvestment. It is only Rs 25,000 crore more than what it was earlier,” she said in her interaction with media a day after the Budget was presented in Parliament. As far as revenue targets are concerned, she said, projections for both direct and indirect tax collection are realistic. The Budget has set a target of 17.5 per cent growth in direct taxes and about 15.5 per cent growth in indirect taxes. On criticism that the Budget has too little to propel consumption, the finance minister said, “We have not ignored consumption. We did not ignore consumption even in the last term. I am reiterating that public expenditure would be focused through infrastructure development.” Public spending on infrastructure is one of the most effective ways money can reach the hands of the people and that will trigger consumption, she added. She also said that the Budget has attempted to push consumption by taking the much needed step to tackle the crisis in non-banking financial companies (NBFC)sector. In a bid to address the stress in NBFC sector, the government proposed that public sector banks would purchase high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, amounting to a total of Rs 1 lakh crore during the current financial year. For this, the government will provide one-time six months’ partial credit guarantee to PSBs for first loss of up to 10 per cent. The government also proposed to allow NBFCs raise funds in public issues and do away with the requirement for creating a debenture redemption reserve (DRR), which is currently applicable for only public issues as private placements are exempt. As of now, NBFCs that do public placement of debt have to maintain a DRR and in addition, a special reserve as required by the RBI also has to be maintained. In a bid to improve regulatory oversight, the government also proposed to bring housing finance companies under RBI from the fold of National Housing Bank.last_img read more

Nursing grievances

first_imgAfter five years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi representing Varanasi, has the constituency changed for the better? Has it become cleaner? Has it been transformed into a Kyoto as Modi had promised? Are the weavers better off? Is the air less polluted? Has the river Ganges become cleaner? Is the infrastructure better? The jury will be out on May 23 when results come. Modi filed his nomination on April 26 to represent Varanasi for the second time. He has stuck to Varanasi and the Modi frenzy was in full swing at the mega roadshow on April 25. Also Read – A special kind of bondA visit to Varanasi reveals that Modi has done a lot but it is still ‘work is in progress’, as Professor A K Shrivastava of the Benares Hindu University claims. I found that Varanasi stands divided between those who support Modi’s ambitious developmental push and those who oppose it. In 2014, he had promised a metro, a monorail, six-lane highways, flyovers, satellite towns, 24-hour electricity and water, a clean Ganges, luxury cruises on the Ganges, solid waste management and other developmental works. Modi’s supporters point out that he has not only focused on improving roads but also improved the overall infrastructure in and around Varanasi. The Multi-Modal Terminal and the Trade Facilitation Centre, heritage lights installed across Varanasi are some examples. On paper, Modi has brought about Rs 30,000 crores worth projects in these five years. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe first thing that strikes you after landing at the Lal Bahadur Shastri airport is a four-lane road to the city with three flyovers. Our cab driver Kamalesh points out that it takes just 45 minutes to reach the city as compared to three hours earlier. A clear view of the Ganga, broadened roads, flyovers and bridges welcome you as you enter Varanasi. But there are no signs of posters and elections are low key. According to Anand Chaube, a staunch Modi supporter the improvements include gas pipeline, the Ring Road, bridges over the Ganga and the Varuna. But Modi’s critics point out that roads are dug up for laying underground cables. The city is dotted with filth, bumpy roads with potholes and crumbling bridges. The Congress candidate Ajay Rai notes that sanitation has improved, but the poor drainage system is another problem. Rai is critical of a dedicated Viswanath corridor to the temple. The project involves a 50 feet wide pathway after demolishing around 250 structures, some built in 17thcentury. The Rs 600crore project will create 45,000 square metres of prime space. I found that some of the residents from whom the houses were bought are not happy. Some religious leaders have also opposed the project. They claim that the project is trampling ‘Kashi’s soul’. From the Muslim side, Mufti Maulana Abdul Batin Nomani is concerned about the security of masjid adjacent to the temple. The RSS leader Ramesh and the VHP leader Divakar claim that the pilgrims are now able to move about freely. Incidentally, a visit to the temple proves pilgrims welcome this corridor. The boatmen who take you around the 90 Ghats are great fans of Modi. Showing the installation of lights on the riverfront, our boatman Mahesh Saini is proud of the improvements in the Ghats. “Modi ji ne bahut kaam kiya” he says. There is a visible difference in Assi, Dasaawamedh and a few other Ghats. The Alaknanda, the 60-seater luxury vessel floated by Nordic Cruise Line, offers breathtaking cruises on the Ganges. But the Samajwadi candidate Shalini Yadav notes that not far away from the Assi Ghats most of Varanasi’s waste spills into the Ganga. More than 3/4th of the total sewage generated in the city is being dumped in the Ganga through Assi and other drains. Varanasi is also faced with severe pollution problem. Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, the mahant of Sankatmochan temple, is the most vocal voice on lack of sewage system, Ganga cleaning etc. Modi had announced a Rs. 21,000 crore plan to clean up the river with Rs.600 crore specially allotted for his constituency Varanasi. Haji Habibullah, a Muslim weaver points out that the famous Benarasi silk industry is almost on the verge of collapse because of the mass-produced garments and the Chinese competition. There are about six lakhs weavers in the city; most of them Muslims, and many have abandoned their profession because it was no longer profitable. Modi’s Mudra loan schemes have helped them but the number of beneficiaries is falling. They have difficulty in filling out the forms for the GST, as most weavers are illiterate. Modi has no challengers in Varanasi. The BJP and RSS workers are complacent. Ajay Rai and Shalini Yadav are weak candidates. Had Priyanka Gandhi contested, there would have been some contest. The only debate now is the margin of victory for Modi. He had won in 2014 with a margin of over 580,000 votes. Modi told his supporters after filing nomination: “Mother Ganga will take care of me.” (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Trade between Australia and Sri Lanka reaches 13 billion

Trade between Australia and Sri Lanka has surged to a record high of A$1.3 billion in 2016-17, on the back of strong growth in trade in services, up more than 27 per cent. Growth for the year overall was more than 15 per cent, continuing the strong trend growth of 8.6 per cent over the past five years, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said today.Education continues to grow as a pillar of the economic relationship with more than 9500 enrolments by Sri Lankan students to study in Australia and thousands more pursuing Australian-affiliated studies locally. The rapid growth in Australian tourists visiting Sri Lanka (up almost 10 per cent for the year) saw Sri Lanka’s services exports to Australia grow by more than 36 per cent. ‘During Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Sri Lanka in November 2017, we signed the Australia-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement. The Arrangement provides a practical forum for our two governments to address trade issues.  Our shared aim is to open up new commercial opportunities for business.  I’m pleased that inaugural talks under the Arrangement will take place in Canberra in April 2018.’‘With the recent launch of direct flights between Colombo and Melbourne, we anticipate we will see continued strong trade growth in 2017-18.’ (Colombo Gazette) Merchandise trade remained steady at around $480 million, based on Sri Lanka’s traditional strengths in tea, textiles and rubber.Garments exports have grown strongly in the past year reflecting the decision by Australian retailers to source garments from Sri Lanka.  Australia’s major exports of vegetables, dairy, wheat and machinery have also performed well.  There are now more high quality Australian goods appearing on Sri Lankan supermarket shelves. Welcoming the trade figures, Australia’s High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson said ‘this year’s figures reflects the steady growthin commercial engagement between our two countries. As close friends and Indian ocean neighbours, we’re now seeing the trade and investment relationship expand as Sri Lanka’s economy moves forwards and Australian companies take an increased interest in the Sri Lankan market.’ read more

China urges Sri Lanka to promote bilateral ties under BRI

The Chinese Embassy said that 21 leading scholars from 10 countries, including China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore, Spain, Greece and Kenya participated in the seminar. Around 300 representatives from various sectors of Sri Lanka and foreign diplomatic corps attended the event.On the sidelines of the seminar, the foreign scholars visited the mega-projects under the framework of the BRI, jointly constructed by China and Sri Lanka, including the Colombo Port City, the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) and the Hambantota Port. (Colombo Gazette) “In the last five years, in-depth exchanges and cooperation in various fields has blossomed under the BRI framework. The pragmatic cooperation between China and Sri Lanka has made a great contribution to the latter’s development, and also brought tangible benefits to the two countries and two peoples,” he said. China has urged Sri Lanka to concentrate in promoting bilateral pragmatic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework.The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Cheng Xueyuan said that over the past five years, the BRI has developed from an initiative to a reality, from a vision to an important platform, and become more and more popular around the world. The Chinese Embassy in Colombo quoted the Ambassador as making the comments at an international seminar under the theme “BRI at Five Years — Regional and Global Dimensions” jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy and the Bandaranaike Center for International Studies(BCIS)held in Colombo, to mark the 5th Anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). read more

Bioterrorism nuclear safety on agenda for upcoming meeting of UN disarmament body

The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, which meets twice a year, counsels Mr. Annan on issues related to arms limitation and disarmament. It also serves as the Board of Trustees of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and is expected to review the Institute’s activities at its upcoming session. Arundhati Ghose of India will chair the Board, which has 22 expert members appointed by the Secretary-General.

Why France Is The World Cup Favorite Dont Worry — The US

Why France Is The World Cup Favorite Dont Worry — The US

SPI RatingsChance team will … All of this is before even getting into the specific on-field flaws that might haunt the U.S.’s bid for a second straight World Cup victory.But that’s not to say the USWNT looks weak this time around. The Americans still have the best team in the tournament on paper, and it took every bit of France’s home-field edge to deny the U.S. the favorite status. They have plenty of stars from World Cups past, present and future. There’s a solid chance that they will win it all again. (I personally would love to attend another victory parade down the Canyon of Heroes this summer.) Still, it will be a tougher path than usual, thanks to a vicious combination of geography, the knockout bracket and the parity growing across women’s international soccer. And while that might mean heartbreak for the U.S. and its fans, it should also make for an exciting tournament over the next month.Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. The favorites in the World Cup fieldTeams with a chance of at least 10 percent to win the 2019 Women’s World Cup, according to the FiveThirtyEight model TeamGroupOff.Def.OverallWin GroupMake KnockoutsWin WC Each team’s specific path through the tournament matters quite a bit as well. The USWNT wasn’t the highest-rated team in the field last time around, but it was our model’s overall favorite despite drawing the dreaded “group of death” for the initial stage of the tournament. This year, the Americans drew one of the easiest groups, at least in terms of bottom-feeders (Chile and Thailand), and the hosting French got stuck in the group of death. But thanks to the persistent presence of longtime nemesis Sweden, the U.S. won’t necessarily be guaranteed to win Group F — and even if it does, the winner of the group will face Group B’s runner-up (most likely either Spain or China, a couple of solid sides defensively) in the round of 16 and then very likely the winner of Group A in the quarterfinals. The most probable team to be waiting there? France.That’s why the Americans’ odds of making the semifinals are just 46 percent this year, compared with 65 percent back in 2015. That year, the USWNT went through Colombia (the team rated fifth-lowest by SPI in the field) in the round of 16 and then China (a middle-of-the-field team by SPI) in the quarterfinals before running into top-rated Germany in the semis. (As neither team was the host, SPI had that match relatively even, and the U.S. won 2-0.) This time, the Americans are more likely to face tougher teams earlier in the tournament — which also has the byproduct of giving those tougher opponents fewer chances to be upset before making their way into the U.S.’s path.And there’s the fact that this year’s field is deeper and more dangerous than perhaps any other in Women’s World Cup history. Among the soccer cognoscenti, there’s a distinct sense that the rest of the world is quickly catching up to the United States in terms of talent on the women’s side, where America has traditionally had a strong first-mover advantage. That’s borne out in the numbers, too: Our model thinks more teams have more of a chance this year than it did four years ago: GermanyB4.20.794.2619511 Source: ESPN FranceA4.10.695.371%97%20% USAF5.10.797.276>9918 EnglandD3.60.692.755>9910 When the 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off Friday, the initial match will contain FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament championship favorite — and no, the U.S. women won’t be on the field.1The Americans don’t play their first game until June 11. So, yes: With a 20 percent probability of winning the World Cup in our model, France has the best odds of any team in the field this summer, not the United States.Our American readers might be wondering, what gives?2First we declare the Golden State Warriors to not be NBA Finals favorites, and now this? Why is the defending-champion (and world No. 1-ranked) USWNT not the best bet to take home its fourth World Cup in the eight-tournament history of the event? After all, the last time the Americans didn’t win (back in 2011), it was a major upset that required Japan to score a dramatic tying goal in the 117th minute and win on penalties. And U.S. head coach Jill Ellis calls this year’s roster “probably the most talented we’ve had going into a major tournament like this, in my opinion.”But France is playing at home this year, and our model has traditionally given a big boost to the host country in international soccer tournaments. In the past, our research has found that soccer’s home-field advantage is worth two to three times as much as in, say, the NFL. There is recent evidence that this advantage is on the decline, though, so France’s added boost is a bit smaller than what historical World Cup results suggest the host team should receive. But even so, that edge is enough to lift France, the world’s second-most talented team (according to our Soccer Power Index ratings), past the top-ranked Americans for the title of most-likely champs. read more

Buckeyes continue hot hitting take two of three from Indiana

Ohio State used seven two-out runs to top Indiana 10-8 Sunday in the deciding game of the three-game series at Bill Davis Stadium. A bases-loaded throwing error in the first inning by Indiana catcher Dylan Swift got the scoring started for the Buckeyes, who claimed a 4-1 lead in the first. Errors by left fielder Zach Hurley and second baseman Cory Kovanda in the fourth inning allowed the Hoosiers to get back in the game, and a solo home run from Indiana designated hitter Josh Lyon tied the game at five in the top of the fifth inning.  “Once they tied the game, I came in and said that we got to quit fighting ourselves,” said Brian DeLucia, who went 3-for-3 with 4 RBI. “We need to play to get on the bases instead of playing to hit home runs and doubles and triples. Our main focus needs to be to produce runs.”  The Buckeyes seemed to listen to DeLucia, as they responded with three of their two-out runs in the fifth. DeLucia, Matt Streng and Tyler Engle each had an RBI in the inning.  Wild pitching from Indiana allowed the Buckeyes to add two runs to their lead in the sixth.Two Buckeyes reached base on walks, and two more were struck by pitches in the inning. Indiana tacked on two runs in the seventh and came within feet of two more as Tyler Roger’s fly ball was caught at the wall. A solo home run in the ninth gave the Hoosiers some hope, but their comeback effort fell short. It was a much-needed bounce-back win for OSU, who fell to Indiana 6-4 in extra innings in an error-filled game Saturday. “We needed to show some mental toughness, and I think they did that,” coach Bob Todd said. The Buckeyes moved to 3-2 in the conference with the win.  They have the week off and will begin a three-game series with the Big Ten-leading Michigan State Spartans at 3 p.m. Friday in East Lansing, Mich. read more

How the wife of former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys realised he

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Richard Keys and his wife Julia at an awards ceremony in 2006Credit:Mike Webster / Rex Features/Rex “When I confronted him, Richard brushed it aside and said he’d been helping her with a medical matter. He was dismissive.”A few weeks later, Mr Keys is said to have received more messages from her as he slept, and Mrs Keys pretended to be him in the responses.She said that when she confront her husband about it, he admitted he got “extremely close” to Ms Rose, and that it “hugely upset” her.She said his lawyers persuaded her to keep quiet when the revelations leaked to the press, but that she “knew it wasn’t over”. Then the fresh pictures of them together emerged – prompting feelings of “anger”.Mrs Keys added: “When you’re constantly being told, “It’s all in your mind” – which is part of the manscript, by the way, to shift responsibility – that “You’re mad,” or “You’re imagining things,” you start to believe it. On one occasion she even pretended to be her husband to communicate with Ms Rose, via text messages which she sent from her husband’s phone. She said: “I’d been working on this book about how to tell whether a man – it’s usually the man – is cheating.“These men behave in a very predictable way. We call it the manscript.”Mrs Keys, who had two children with the former Sky Sports football host, says his behaviour towards her also provided clues – such as acting defensively when she quizzed him.She explained how women who suspect their man of cheating feel “isolated and alone”, and she said: “I felt that too. So bewildered. And so betrayed.”The couple first met when he worked for Radio City in Liverpool as she was waiting to start her training as a nurse – and said he was a caring husband and father to their children. Richard Keys and his wife Julia at an awards ceremony in 2006 Sports presenter Richard Keys’ wife realised he was having an affair when she began writing a book about infidelity. Trained counsellor Julia Keys revealed she used her skills honed over a 20-year career to pen a book about the sensitive subject of helping women identify if their man is cheating.Mr Keys, 59, is said to have continued his affair with 27-year-old lawyer Lucie Rose – a friend of their daughter Jemma – after previously pressuring his wife to into saying it never took place.But it emerged last month that the pair spent two nights together in a West London hotel – prompting Mrs Keys to call her husband of 34 years a “pathological liar”.In her first interview since claims of an affair re-emerged, published in the Mail on Sunday, she explained how her research in writing the book helped her discover how Mr Keys began showing classic warning signs of infidelity – signs she calls the “manscript”.Mr Keys, for one, began being over protective with his mobile phone – and it paused her to stop and think: “Hang on. I think something is going on with Richard.”Mrs Keys, 57, then explained how she acted on her suspicions and she said women should “trust” their gut feeling, “He didn’t reply. He couldn’t. I’m really, really sad that at this stage in our life we find ourselves compromised in this way.”The book, called The Man Script, is expected out soon.A representative of Mr Keys declined to comment, while and Ms Rose did not return a request for comment. She said the moment it clocked was when Ms Rose confronted her at a party hosted by Mr Keys, quizzing her as to why she was leaving early.She said: “When Richard came home we went to bed, but in the early hours I went to his phone and there was a message from Lucie saying, “Where are you? I ran after you and came out as soon as you’d left.” Former Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray (left) and Richard Keys. The pair left the channel following a sexism row Former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys, with his wife JuliaCredit:Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock/Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock Lawyer Lucie Rose, who is said to have had an affair with married former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys.Credit: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED/ TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED Lawyer Lucie Rose, who is said to have had an affair with married former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys. Former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys, with his wife Julia As her husband’s career soared with Sky thanks to the growth of the Premier League, Mrs Keys herself became a respected relationship therapist.But Mr Keys parted company with Sky in 2011 when remarks he made about a female colleague were caught on tape, and he today works for a TV station in Qatar.It was there where he is said to have met Ms Rose, and when Mrs Keys said she began joining the dots. Former Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray (left) and Richard Keys. The pair left the channel following a sexism rowCredit:Fiona Hanson/PA/PA “I called Richard and I said, very calmly: “I’ve just been shown some photos of you and Lucie. There is really nothing left to say, is there?”last_img read more

Man in court after firearm recovered in Tallaght

first_imgA MAN IN his mid-30s is to appear in court this morning, charged in relation to the recovery of a firearm in Tallaght on Tuesday.The man was arrested during an incident on Ballinscorney Road at about 11.30pm on 19 March. The weapon had been discarded from the vehicle he was driving.Gardaí in Terenure detained him under the provisions of Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. He is due in the Criminal Courts of Justice at 10.30am.Three released after arrests over explosive devices in Corklast_img

Xbox 720 reveal Microsofts next console is the Xbox One

first_imgToday’s big Xbox announcement starts in under an hour. Geek.com, like so many other gamers, will watching Microsoft’s livestream, but in the minutes leading up to the event we’ll be following IGN’s pre-game show.IGN started things at noon (eastern time), 60 minutes ahead of the 1PM event. In addition to IGN staffers, the one-and-only Peter Molyneux will be providing commentary leading up to the next-gen news we’ve all been waiting for. We’re expecting the thoughtful, avuncular Molyneux that we’ve all come to know and sort-of-love, along with lots of speculation about the upcoming console as well as some talk about the his iPad game, Curiosity.And then once the Xbox reveal starts, at 1PM, we’ll switch this page over to Microsoft’s livestream so you can get the full, unadulterated coverage of the event, beamed to you straight from Redmond.Notes from the Xbox One reveal…Your living room is too complex and slow, Microsoft wants to help. Today Microsoft will unveil the “ultimate all-in-one” … the Xbox One.Yes, the new console is the Xbox One. From the looks of it, it’s quite large and has a two-tone exterior. There is a newly designed Kinect too. Early on the host is highlighting the voice commands, the speed of swapping operations, and the gesture controls.With Snap Mode Xbox One has real multi-tasking. You can use Internet Explorer while watching TV, or get league standings and related data while watching sports. Using the Xbox One you can view live TV (using an HDMI pass-through), watch on-demand movies, use Skype, get online, and do all the other stuff you’d expect from the Xbox.Xbox 720 specsIt’s a 64-bit box with a 500GB hard drive, an 8-core processor, and 8GB of memory. Other highlights include USB 3.0, Blu-ray, and WiFi Direct. There will be HDMI in/out and 802.11n as well.It has three operating systems in one: the Xbox OS, with Windows kernel, and a connection system between the two for instant switching and multitasking. You can switch to a game as if it it was just another channel on your TV.New KinectCompletely redesigned for conversational voice along with time-of-flight sensing for maximum accuracy. The host talked about it being able to sense individual photons (which seems impossible) but the bigger point is that this should have a entirely new level of accuracy.Xbox One’s cloud will be powered by over 300,000 servers, where the original Xbox used just 500.There will be a dedicated game DVR with sharing and editing tools built right into the console. (Just like the PS4.)The Xbox will be able to handle 4x more calculations per second than the Xbox 360. MS claims “human-like intelligence” with “10x more animation depth and detail”.Xbox One games[By the way, we’re 33 minutes in and Microsoft has not showed off a single game yet. Wait… there’s EA’s FIFA, the world’s most popular sports game.]And here’s another game: Forza Motorsport 5. It’s hard to tell from Microsoft’s live stream, but this will likely be a very pretty, highly detailed game. This will be launch game.Next up is Remedy’s Quantum Break. MS is announcing 15 exclusive titles for the first year, 8 of which will be new IP.TV on Xbox OneTV will be truly personalized for the first time ever. And TV will now become social. Microsoft will do this using “with magic and science”.First up, Halo. Bonnie Ross from 343 Industries, cleared the way for Steven Spielberg… yes, that Steven Spielberg … who introduced a “premium” Halo television series.Fantasy footballMicrosoft is specifically calling out Xbox One as a fantasy football platform. Xbox is partnering with the NFL which will being exclusive content and tools that will benefit football fans and fantasy football players alike.In the biggest of all games news: Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty Ghosts will launch timed exclusive DLC only on Xbox One. It will have the new engine players have clamored for for years.Release date and more informationAll MS has to say about the release date is that the Xbox One will be released “this year”. More information will be revealed at E3 next month.last_img read more

Eddie Howe reflects on United defeat

Eddie Howe reflects on United defeat

first_imgBournemouth manager Eddie Howe spoke to the press of his disappointment after losing 2-1 at home to Manchester United at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.Callum Wilson opened the scoring for AFC Bournemouth but Anthony Martial equalized before the break, but a stoppage-time goal by Marcus Rashford left Eddie Howe and his team empty-handed.“It’s a tough one for us today. I think a lot of the aspects of our game were really good, especially during the opening period. We passed the ball well and there was a really good intensity to our play.” Howe said at a post-match press conference, via AFCB.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“We were disappointed at half-time that we weren’t winning and we felt that we deserved to be leading by more than one. We knew the second half was going to be a different game.“Manchester United changed things and made substitutions but I was pleased with my players attitudes to the game and they gave everything to the match.“It was one of the best first-half performances I’ve seen us have in the Premier League since being promoted. I can’t fault anyone in terms of effort.”last_img read more

Areas gas prices continue to defy national trend

first_imgWest Coast and local gas prices continued to climb in the past week, again defying price drops in much of the nation.Vancouver’s average climbed by five cents, while Oregon’s statewide average gains three cents to $4.25.Meanwhile, the national average for regular unleaded dropped four cents this week to $3.64, according to AAA Oregon/Idaho.Oregon’s record high of $4.29 was set on July 3 of 2008, and AAA predicts continued pressure for gas increases due to ongoing problems at West Coast refineries.Washington’s Cherry Point refinery, the state’s largest, was shut down in February after a fire and has been mostly off line since then. Other West Coast refineries have also been hit by unplanned outages.Nationally, this year’s high point for gas prices was on April 6, at $3.94 per gallon. The national average has been dropping ever since, and it fell by 18 cents in the last month, AAA reported.Fifteen states now have gas below $3.50 a gallon, AAA said.last_img read more

Michigan Unveils Plan to Expand Defense Industry

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Michigan officials on Thursday introduced a strategic plan to preserve and build the state’s $8 billion defense industry through a variety of initiatives aimed at leveraging its 7 military facilities for economic development and focusing on growth areas such as aerospace, advanced manufacturing and autonomous systems.The Protect and Grow strategic plan was developed by the Michigan Defense Center in conjunction with the state Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the state’s congressional delegation.“Michigan has been a leader in the defense sector for decades and the industry is a major contributor to our economy,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said in announcing the plan, according to a news release. “With our assets, our state is well positioned to grow new opportunities, and the Protect and Grow plan will allow us to proactively develop this important business sector.”MEDC and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center leadership took the first step in implementing the plan by signing a cooperative research and development agreement. The agreement defines planned collaboration between the two organizations, covering testing and evaluating autonomous defense vehicles on I-69, transportation cyber security and next generation alternative energy development.The plan includes 17 recommendations to preserve current defense assets, missions and jobs, and foster innovation, including:invest state resources to enhance military installations and defense and homeland security missions;expand training ranges and opportunities;maximize the congressional delegation’s influence and support for military installations;pursue opportunities and branding to lead the nation in DOD and state-sponsored renewable energy solutions;study impacts and military research and development tax incentives and best practices in other states; andcreate new branding for the defense industry in Michigan.Michigan is home to seven military facilities — Detroit Arsenal, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Fort Custer, Defense Logistics Agency, Camp Grayling Joint Military Training Center and Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center.last_img read more

Hong Kong convicts Umbrella Movement leaders

Hong Kong convicts Umbrella Movement leaders
first_img(L-R) Occupy Central pro-democracy movement founders Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai and Chu Yiu-ming chant slogans after found guilty over the Occupy Central protests, also known as `Umbrella Movement`, in Hong Kong, China on 9 April 2019. Photo: ReutersA group of Hong Kong activists face jail after being convicted Tuesday on colonial-era “public nuisance” charges for their role in organising mass pro-democracy protests that paralysed the city for months and infuriated Beijing.The convictions followed a trial that has renewed alarm over shrinking freedoms under an assertive China which has rejected demands by Hong Kongers asking for a greater say in how the financial hub is run.Nine activists were all convicted on Tuesday of at least one charge in a prosecution that deployed rarely-used colonial-era public nuisance laws over their participation in the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, which called for free elections for the city’s leader.It is the latest blow to strike the beleaguered pro-democracy camp which has seen key figures jailed or banned from standing as legislators since their civil disobedience movement convulsed the city but failed to win any concessions.Among the most prominent members of the group on trial were sociology professor Chan Kin-man, 60, law professor Benny Tai, 54, and Baptist minister Chu Yiu-ming, 75.The trio founded the pro-democracy “Occupy Central” movement in 2013, which joined the student-led Umbrella Movement a year later that brought parts of the city to a standstill for months.All three were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Tai and Chan were also convicted of incitement to commit public nuisance although all three were acquitted of incitement to incite public nuisance.Of the remaining six defendants — a group of younger protest leaders, including two sitting lawmakers — all were convicted of at least one public nuisance charge.’Can’t stop the dawn’In an unusual move prosecutors tried the group under Hong Kong’s common law system, which carries a much steeper sentence than statutory public nuisance laws.Each protest leader could now face up to seven years in jail, rather than three months had the charges been brought under statutory law.Judge Johnny Chan ruled that the 2014 protests, which took over key intersections for many weeks, were not protected by Hong Kong’s free speech laws because the demonstrations impinged on the rights of others.”The unreasonableness of the obstruction was such that the significant and protected right to demonstrate should be displaced,” he said. “The act was one not warranted by law.”The defendants remain on bail with the court expected to continue hearing mitigation arguments in the coming days before handing down sentences.There were emotional scenes on Tuesday afternoon as the oldest defendant, Reverend Chu, delivered a statement in which he described the dock as “the most honourable pulpit of my ministerial career”.Former student leader Joshua Wong and activist Agnes Chow arrive at the court to support leaders of Occupy Central activists, in Hong Kong, China on 9 April 2019. Photo: ReutersHe warned Hong Kong’s leadership against ignoring youth-led calls for greater democratic freedoms.”The bell tolls. It gives out a warning sound, that something bad and disastrous is happening,” he said.In a submission sent to journalists fellow defendant Shiu Ka-chun added: “I want to warn the authoritarian government, even if you kill all the roosters, you cannot stop the dawn’s arrival.”‘Appallingly divisive’Human rights groups and critics hit out at the convictions, saying the use of the vaguely worded public nuisance laws — and wielding the steeper common law punishment — would have a chilling effect on free speech in Hong Kong.”Hong Kong courts, by labelling peaceful protests in pursuit of rights as public nuisance, are sending a terrible message that will likely embolden the government to prosecute more peaceful activists,” said Maya Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch.Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, said it was “appallingly divisive to use anachronistic common law charges in a vengeful pursuit of political events which took place in 2014.”Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang fired back at those criticisms, saying other countries would also have brought such a prosecution to “maintain order”.”The central government resolutely supports (Hong Kong) in punishing the main organisations and planners of the illegal Occupy Central movement in accordance with the law,” he told reporters.Hong Kong enjoys rights unseen on the Chinese mainland, which are protected by the 50-year handover agreement between Britain and China, but fears are growing that those liberties are being eroded as Beijing flexes its muscles.At the trial, prosecutors argued that the mass protests had caused a “common injury done to the public”, who had been affected by the blockage of major roads, and that the leaders of the movement deserved to be punished.In his verdict Judge Chan denied his ruling would impact the ability of Hong Kongers to protest.The Occupy movement highlighted widespread frustration, especially among the young, over Hong Kong’s direction but failed to win any reforms from Beijing.last_img