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Crises Overshadow Rio Olympics

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s economic and political crisis has relegated Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic preparations to an afterthought with South America’s first games just over four months away.Rio’s Olympics are being sidelined by an even bigger show: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s fight against impeachment with millions on the streets marching against her.All of this amid multiple corruption scandals with the country mired in the worst economic recession since the 1930s.“If this was five years ago, we could have even lost the games,” organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada told The Associated Press. “I have never experienced such political turmoil in my whole life,” he added. “If you ask me what’s next on the political front, I don’t have a clue.”Brazil’s leaders were hoping attention from the Olympics — and the 2014 World Cup — would burnish the country’s image.Instead, they may have done the opposite with the ominous impeachment getting intense coverage, highlighting graft trials, endemic corruption and a sharp fall in the value of country’s currency.Earlier this month an estimated three million people took to the streets across the country in anti-Rousseff demonstrations, which were reported to be larger than protests in 1984 demanding elections and an end of the country’s military dictatorship.Andrada sounded buoyant, saying: “We are almost there. The things that we need from the government — they are smaller, day-to-day things.”However, there are worrying signs.The city of Rio de Janeiro, which is building many of the new Olympics venues, has rescinded contracts on at least two venues — the tennis and equestrian center — and delays have been reported on at least four other Olympic projects. The city says about 95 percent of the building work is done and venues will be delivered in time.“The political crisis at the federal level does not affect the last building mile for the preparation of the games in any way,” the city hall said March 22 in a statement.On March 21, the head police for the State of Rio de Janeiro, Jose Mariano Beltrame, said his budget had been reduced by two billion reals ($600 million), a cut sure to impact Olympic security.Sergio Praca, a political scientist at the respected Getulio Vargas foundation, said the Olympics would not escape the government chaos.“The Federal bureaucracy is completely paralyzed right now; for lack of money, for lack of knowing where all of this is headed,” he said. “So all the security planning, any planning that has to do with the Olympic Games is made more difficult now.”It was different in 2009 when Rio was awarded the games, championed by then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He called it a “sacred day” and praised the “strength of Brazil’s economy,” which shrank by 4 percent in 2015 with no improvement in sight.“This is a day to commemorate because Brazil has left its status as a second-class nation,” Silva said in Copenhagen as thousands back home celebrated on Copacabana beach. “Today we’re getting the respect that Brazil has been deserving.”The promises now seem hollow, and so does the legendary Silva. A few weeks ago he was hauled into a police station for questioning in a graft and money-laundering investigation.Last week Rousseff named him her Chief of Staff, which would grant him some legal immunity — an appointment subsequently blocked by a court ruling.Hours later he told a screaming rally: “There will be no coup,” a reminder of the military dictatorship that ended 31 years ago.“I assure you the Olympic Games are the last thing on everybody’s mind right now,” Praca said. “This was supposed to be a great year for Brazil and Rio, but it’s been anything but that — even if the Olympic Games go well.”It’s possible that Rousseff will be out as President when the games open on Aug. 5, which may leave the ceremonial opening of the games to Vice President Michel Temer.  Lula’s future is also murky with some newspapers suggesting he and some family members could face jail time.“Part of me wishes the Olympics Games would not happen here just so people don’t see how politically disorganized the country is, the economic chaos and the recession,” Praca added.“This is the worst time in Brazilian history to hold the Olympic Games. Brazil’s image, which had gotten a lot better in the last few years, will now completely tank.”Organizers, led by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, have been downplaying expectations for at least a year as endless problems have surfaced: virus-infested venues for sailing, canoeing and rowing; the mosquito-borne Zika virus; $500 million in spending cuts; charges the $10 billion spent to ready the city is benefiting mostly construction companies and real estate developers.Paes has repeated often that Rio “is not a developed city like London or New York or Chicago. You can’t expect as much from us.”Several email requests for comment from the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee went unanswered.This is not the first time in recent memory that unprecedented events have pushed the Olympics off the radar.The May 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China killed tens of thousands and left millions homeless. It muted protests in the three months before the games began, sparking a wave of goodwill toward the Beijing Olympics that had been battered by pro-Tibet protests, noxious air pollution and attacks on the torch relay as it circled the globe.Paes, seen by the IOC as the main force behind the games, was caught on a tapped telephone call earlier this month with Silva — one of dozens of calls released by a judge investigating Silva. The calls also included Silva talking with Rousseff and show the powerful speaking candidly — and often crudely.Viewed as a potential 2018 Presidential candidate, Paes seems to lament how the games are going.“You have no idea how I’m suffering. It’s screwed,” he tells Silva.Silva reminds Paes that other mayors across Brazil have bigger problems, and less political and financial clout.“But you, with all those problems — my dear friend. You still are blessed by God because of the Olympics.”“That’s true,” replies Paes. “It’s true.”(STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports Writer)last_img read more

Lee Corso Thinks Notre Dame Gets Bumped Out Of Playoff If Alabama Loses SEC Title Game

first_imgLee Corso ahead of the national title game.ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Lee Corso looks on during the first quarter between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)The College Football Playoff race is complicated every year, but the 2018 version could be the most controversial yet. There are dozens of scenarios – mostly because there are only three undefeated teams in contention at the moment.Lee Corso had a bit of a controversial take on College GameDay Saturday morning. Corso argued that if Alabama, which is now undefeated, loses to Georgia in the SEC title game, the Crimson Tide should still be afforded an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff.Kirk Herbstreit pressed him a bit – asking him which team he’d then leave out. Corso’s answer? Notre Dame.Why would a team need to be left out? Because Georgia, currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the Playoff field, would be bumped in if it won the SEC.”If Alabama loses to Georgia, I don’t care what the score is, Alabama’s in” –Lee Corso— Medium Happy (@jdubs88) November 10, 2018″I pick Notre Dame, to put ’em out, even if they’re undefeated.”–Corso— Medium Happy (@jdubs88) November 10, 2018If Corso is right, the Playoff would likely consist of Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and Michigan. Notre Dame fans would lose their minds, assuming the team went 12-0.Notre Dame still has three games to play – against Florida State, Syracuse and USC. Most believe that a 12-0 record gets them into the Playoff, no questions asked.In reality, it probably makes more sense to leave Michigan out in such a scenario. Notre Dame beat the Wolverines in the first game of the season, after all.We’ll know more in a few weeks. Notre Dame fans are obviously hoping Corso is wrong.last_img read more

ESPN’s 2nd Half Prediction For Clemson-North Carolina Game

first_imgTravis Etienne carries the ball against Alabama in the national title game.SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers carries the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide n the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)There didn’t appear to be that many obvious upset spots in college football this week. Most certainly wouldn’t put teams like Clemson and Alabama on the list of teams that could be in trouble.And yet, the nation’s top two schools still have plenty of work to do as we near halftime. Alabama had trouble with Ole Miss early on, but has opened up a 24-10 lead in the second quarter.Clemson, meanwhile, is getting matched by Mack Brown and North Carolina. The two teams just went to the locker room tied at 14.The Tigers have a slight edge in yardage, 221-to-170, but UNC is yet to turn it over, while Clemson running back Travis Etienne lost a fumble in the first half. Freshman quarterback Sam Howell has looked impressive again for UNC, despite facing Brent Venables’ elite defense. He has 99 yards and a pair of touchdown throws early, finding Dyami Brown and Beau Corrales for scores.Even so, ESPN’s Football Power Index still has Clemson as a heavy favorite, even with how well the Tar Heels have played. At halftime, it gives the Tigers an 80.5-percent chance to win the game.Clemson vs. UNC halftime ESPN FPI win percentage.Both of Clemson’s touchdowns so far have come on the ground. Etienne has 51 yards and a score on 11 carries, while Trevor Lawrence scored on a quarterback keeper.The star sophomore has played well for Dabo Swinney so far, completing 10-of-13 throws for 126 yards, and another 29 and the score on the ground.last_img read more

Whoever beats India will win World Cup. Michael Vaughan’s prediction will only be partly correct

first_imgadvertisement Next commentary Rohan Sen BirminghamJuly 11, 2019UPDATED: July 11, 2019 23:17 IST New Zealand and England are the only two teams which managed to defeat India in World Cup 2019 (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSMichael Vaughan had predicted that whoever beats India will win World Cup 2019England and New Zealand will face each other in the World Cup final on July 14 at Lord’sEngland had defeated India in the league stage while New Zealand knocked them out in the semis on WednesdayFormer England captain Michael Vaughan’s prediction has come true as England and New Zealand will be playing the final of the Cricket World Cup 2019 in London on July 14.Vaughan had predicted quite early into the tournament that the team which will beat India will eventually go on to lift the World Cup at Lord’s on Sunday. England and New Zealand are the only two teams which defeated India in this tournament.England had crushed India in the league stage while New Zealand knocked them out of the competition after their 18-run win in the first semi-final in Manchester on Wednesday.Always said whoever Beats India will the win the World Cup … #CWC19Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 11, 2019?? ‘Whoever beats India will win the World Cup’??? @MichaelVaughan has had his say on @englandcricket’s chances of winning the #CWC19Listen to the full @bbctms podcast ??????: 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) June 19, 2019England on Thursday crushed Australia by 8 wickets in a completely one-sided clash at Edgbaston to enter the World Cup final for the fourth time.Chasing a paltry total of 223, England rode on Jason Roy’s swashbuckling 85 off 119 balls to chase down the total with 107 balls to spare.Roy was part of a 124-run stand for the first wicket with Jonny Bairstow (34) which made the job easier for Joe Root (49 not out) and Eoin Morgan (45 not out) to take the team past the finish line without any trouble. Root and Morgan were part of an unbeaten 79-run partnership.advertisementThe win was however, set up by the English bowlers who bundled out the defending champions for 223 in 49 overs after Australia won the toss and opted to bat.Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid picked up 3 wickets each while Jofra Archer bagged two and Mark Wood got one wicket for England.Steve Smith top-scored with 85 off 119 while Alex Carey made 46 but the rest of the batsmen failed to fire for the Aussies which eventually led to their downfall.England will be playing their first 50-over World Cup final after 27 years after the 1992 edition in which they had lost to Pakistan in the summit clash. Before that England had played the finals in 1979 and 1987.Australia meanwhile, suffered their first defeat in a World Cup semi-final in eight matches. They had won in 1975, 1987, 1996, 2003, 2007 and 2015 while the 1999 semi-final against South Africa had ended in a tie.The summit clash at Lord’s on July 14 will be the first instance when New Zealand and England will face each other in a World Cup final.Also Read | World Cup 2019: England crush defending champions Australia, set up final vs New ZealandAlso Read | Mitchell Starc breaks Glenn McGrath’s 12-year World Cup record with 27th wicketAlso Read | Steve Smith equals Sachin Tendulkar’s record in World Cup knockoutsAlso Read | Joe Root breaks Ricky Ponting’s 16-year-old World Cup recordFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow England VS AustraliaFollow Michael VaughanFollow World Cup 2019Follow New Zealand vs EnglandFollow World Cup final graphs scorecard Whoever beats India will win World Cup. Michael Vaughan’s prediction will only be partly correctEngland vs Australia, World Cup 2019: England crushed Australia by 8 wickets in a one-sided semi-final to set up the World Cup 2019 final against New Zealand on July 14 at Lord’s. view more view less No data available!last_img read more

Gem of the Ocean

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities Isolation can lead to deprivation so one would think a two-island nation, situated at the bottom of the globe, separated by thousands of miles from the nearest large land mass, would have little to offer the intrepid tourist. But New Zealand has an abundance of riches, from great seafood and lamb to world-class wine and shopping to beautiful beaches and spectacular glaciers.Auckland, the country’s largest city, boasts a wealth of fine dining options from Cin Cin on Quay to The Grove Restaurant. Fresh seafood such as oysters, John Dory and scampi are on hand as is fine New Zealand lamb. On a balmy summer evening, head to the harbor to see the sailboats sway in the breeze. Have more than a day in town? Take the ferry to nearby Waiheke Island for a bit of R&R or drive across the mountains to the black sands of Piha beach, famous for its thunderous surf. The Coromandel peninsula, stretching northeast from Auckland, offers a scenic view of the Pacific as well as geothermal hot springs, a rainforest reserve and a Bigfoot-like monster.Driving down to the South Island, don’t bypass Hawke’s Bay, the country’s oldest wine-growing region. It’s here that you can savor the New Zealand’s distinctive Chardonnays, Syrahs and Pinot Noirs. Craggy Range is the region’s preeminent winery: you’ll agree with the pundits after sipping wine amid gorgeous views.Once on the South Island, stop off in windy Wellington, the country’s energetic capital. Enjoy a pint or two at a gastropub such as The Tasting Room before heading to the Carter Observatory or the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, one of the finest galleries about aboriginal culture in the world.While the North Island is tame and civilized, the South Island is savage, with miles of dense forests—perfect for intrepid hikers—as well as looming glaciers. If you’re gutsy, head to the West Coast town of Franz Josef, named for the Austrian emperor. Here you can climb down part of the Franz Josef glacier. Or book a helicopter tour for a more relaxed view. The stunning scenery will live in your memory, long after you make the journey home.Getting there: Air New Zealand offers direct daily flights from Los Angeles, San Fransisco and Honolulu.Where to Stay: In Auckland, try the blissful Boatshed on Waiheke Island. Budget-conscious travelers will love the cool Gourmet Stay in Wellington. Hawke’s Bay has some of the country’s finest accommodations at Cape Kidnappers. Glenfern Villas in Franz Josef boast an alpine feel that won’t break the bank. America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene Long Hair for Men: Tips for Growing and Maintaining Your Style An Astronomically Fun Chat About Space and Wine With a Winemaker and Former Physicist 10 Best Whiskies for Irish Coffee last_img read more

Atikamekw filmmaker is the toast of Montreal Film Festival

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere aren’t a lot of Atikamek filmmakers, let alone award winning ones.But that all changed at Montreal’s Land Insights Aboriginal Film Festival.That’s where Therese Ottawa’s short documentary, the Red Path, has been winning accolades and praise.What makes this story unique is where Ottawa comes from.APTN’s Tom Fennario has that story.tfennario@aptn.calast_img

Judi Dench doesn’t like watching her films

first_imgLos Angeles: Veteran actor Judi Dench says she is “allergic” to watching her own films. The 84-year-old star said if she saw her movies, she would get “irritated” by her acting and start judging her performance. “I’m so allergic to seeing myself… I don’t see myself on film. When I do, I’m terribly conscious of what I chose to do and not to do in a moment. And I always am irritated,” Dench told USA Today. She, however, added, “I like to watch it quite a long time afterwards when I have forgotten all the questions I had to ask myself in the moment. So I can look at it much more dispassionately.” Dench admitted she has not seen her 1985 classic Room With A View. The film, directed by James Ivory, written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and produced by Ismail Merchant.last_img read more

Endangered animals gain tougher protection under UNlinked treaty

Nations meeting in Bonn, Germany, to review the Convention on Migratory Species also agreed on measures to give further protection to six species of whale, leading to the possibility that a new, regional agreement was likely to emerge in the South Pacific giving greater protection to the mammals and their habitats, breeding grounds and migration routes.Delegates also backed plans to protect birds and other migratory species from power lines and wind turbines, following increasing concern that large numbers of birds were being electrocuted during their annual migrations because many power lines have been strung and constructed across their “flyways.”The resolution urged countries to adopt bird-friendly techniques when constructing medium-voltage power lines and to investigate installing bird-friendly kits, including the erection of so-called “bird-safe poles” to reduce mortalities from existing ones.Meanwhile, the meeting also supported a campaign spearheaded by the Prince of Wales to reduce the huge losses of albatrosses and petrels to long-line fisheries. More than 300,000 seabirds, of which 100,000 are albatrosses, are thought to be dying annually after drowning on baited hooks set to catch fish.Welcoming the outcome of the meeting, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said that conserving the rich, wealth and range of wildlife was vital for conserving the health of the planet.”Animals and plants, from the humblest to the highest, all have their role to play in making the ecosystems and habitats upon which we all depend, tick,” he said. “They also have great psychological and cultural importance for humankind, whether it be the romance of the whales or the charming chatter of the birds.” read more

Security Council sends advance team to Sudan in anticipation of peace accord

Video of Council meeting [16mins] In a unanimous vote, the Council’s 15 members approved a resolution saying they were ready to consider creating a UN peace support operation to help implement a comprehensive peace agreement in Africa’s largest country. Representatives of the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) last month initialled protocols aimed at ending the conflict has engulfed southern Sudan since 1983. More than 2 million people have been killed since the war began, at least 440,000 others are living as refugees in neighbouring countries, and between 3 and 4 million people have become internally displaced. The negotiators of both sides, who have been meeting in Kenya, now say they expect to reach a full peace agreement within the next few months. As soon as possible after a deal is signed, the Council said it wanted Mr. Annan to inform it of the proposed size, structure and mandate of a political mission. In a report to the Council earlier this week, the Secretary-General said Sudan’s sheer size – it is about as large as the whole of Western Europe – and its relative lack of infrastructure mean any mission there would face daunting logistical challenges. For example, each one of the planned sectors in a future UN mission would be the size of Austria. The Council said it was important that Sudan’s radio stations, television channels and newspapers be used in a public information campaign to explain the peace process and what role the UN would play post-conflict. The Council also backed Mr. Annan’s call for the parties to the southern Sudan conflict to do all they can to bring an end to the separate civil conflict taking place in the Darfur region of western Sudan. read more

UN on alert after new Indian Ocean quake calls for speeding up

“What we hope is now that the international community will really speed up work on the early-warning system for the tsunami,” Under-Secretary-General Jan Egeland told a news briefing in New York, noting that there were unconfirmed reports of deaths on one island near the epicentre and accounts of limited damage in the region, which suffered most from the earlier disaster.”A little bit stronger earthquake this time [and] we could have another major tsunami in the middle of the night,” he added, referring to the giant waves of 26 December that killed more than 200,000 people and left up to 5 million in need of basic services in a dozen Indian Ocean countries. “We need that early warning system up and going.”But the UN, which mounted its largest ever coordinated relief effort following the December catastrophe, already has relief workers in place this time because of the ongoing reconstruction.”We have helicopters, we have trucks, there are now more than 1,000 international relief workers in Sumatra, [and] 300 international relief organizations present in Sumatra,” Mr. Egeland said, noting that a helicopter survey will start at dawn for those islands which are feared to have suffered most within the 50-kilometre zone of the epicentre and are home to some 10,000 people.”So we’re in a very different situation than we were on the 26 December, where we had no possibility, no permission to go outside Banda Aceh (in northwest Sumatra) since Aceh was a conflict zone,” he added.”My impression is that the system worked far better this time, that there was a vigilance. Not only did we have surveillance and information to the countries but we also had governments reporting out to the local authorities. We will have to assess that tomorrow, how well it worked in the various locations,” he said.As soon as news of the quake came in, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) contacted immediately all UN offices in the dozen countries affected by the tsunami. In Banda Aceh, the local authorities did not give the order to evacuate but some people fled on their own, Mr. Egeland said.”We see this as yet another example of panic spreading, of deep concern in an already mentally scarred population. It will cast shadows not only over our relief effort but also the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts,” he added. “Now the big fear again rises. Is it too early? Can we start rebuilding?”He appealed to governments to honour the billions of dollars they have already pledged for the reconstruction and development phase of the earlier disaster. read more

South Sudan Security Council urges restraint calls for humanitarian access in Jonglei

In a statement to the press, the Council “called on all parties, including armed militias, to exercise restraint, refrain from any acts of violence against civilians” and to “fully respect their obligations under applicable international law, including human rights law and international humanitarian law.”An estimated 100,000 civilians in Jonglei alone have been cut off from life-saving assistance as a result of fighting between State and non-state armed actors, and the recent resurgence of inter-communal clashes, according to the UN.The Security Council, which noted that it is the primary responsibility of the Government to protect civilians, called on Juba to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and the UN guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.The Council also urged the Government to provide full freedom of movement and unhindered access for the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (UNMISS) to all parts of the State. The Mission yesterday said it had intensified its patrols in recent days in Jonglei’s Pibor and Gumuruk towns, and launched sustained patrols in areas outside both areas to help create a secure environment which allows civilians to safely return and access ongoing food distribution.Members of the Security Council condemned all attacks on UNMISS troops and staff, called for prompt and thorough investigation, and, in today’s statement, demanded that there be no recurrence of such attacks or impunity for the perpetrators.Also in its statement, the Council reiterated its deep concern at human rights violations and abuses by armed groups and by national security institutions, including some members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and emphasized that those responsible for any violations must be held accountable.The members of the Council also underlined the need to address the underlying causes of inter-communal violence in South Sudan and urged all parties to seek peace through reconciliation.President Salva Kiir as part of a wider effort in facilitating the peace, renewed an amnesty offer on 9 July toward relevant armed groups. read more

As thousands flee Syrias besieged historic city of Palmyra UN refugee agency

Situated in central Syria, Palmyra had been sheltering thousands of people forcibly displaced from other parts of Syria for the past three years. It was reportedly captured from the Syrian army on Wednesday, along with the nearby World Heritage-listed archaeological sites.According to a news release issued today by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), about 8,000 people have found shelter in the village of Al-Qarayateen and a further 3,000 fled to nearby Furglus village. “The displaced are staying with relatives or schools in the villages, which are located about 75 kilometres to the west of Palmyra,” Firas Al-Khateeb, UNHCR’s representative in Damascus said in the release. He said that the Al-Birr Society, a local implementing partner, has started to distribute UNHCR aid and prepare reception centres and according to UNHCR, Al-Birr has reported that “people are arriving exhausted, scared and in increasing numbers.”The refugee agency is now sending more relief supplies to Al-Qarayateen and Furglus to meet the rising needs, though UNHCR expects new arrivals will move further west towards the city of Homs. UNHCR teams in Homs first noticed an increase in the number of displaced people some weeks ago, when clashes began near Al-Sukhneh, about 70 kilometres north-east of Palmyra. Last week, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, prepared two public buildings as shelters in Palmyra to host almost 1,000 people who had fled Al-Sukhneh. These people have since left Palmyra and moved to Al-Qarayateen.UNHCR is working with sister UN agencies and NGO partners to deliver a response plan to the new displacement, expected to increase in the coming days.Inscribed on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List, the historic city of Palmyra contains the ruins of “one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.” From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences. Earlier this week, UNESCO chief, Irina Bokova, reiterated her appeal for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in the Syrian city, urging the international community “to do everything in its power to protect the affected population and safeguard the unique cultural heritage Palmyra.” Some 12.2 million people, including 5.6 million children, need humanitarian assistance throughout Syria. And by conservative estimates, more than 220,000 Syrians have died in the conflict, but that number is likely much higher. read more

Man held after €52500 methylethcathinone seizure in Sligo

first_imgA 25-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested after a quantity of methylethcathinone was discovered following a search in Sligo.The drugs have an estimated street value of €52,500 and are believed to have originated in China and were destined for Northern Ireland.Approximately 1.5kg of the mephedrone-like substance was discovered by Gardaí and customs officials at Holywell Road outside Sligo town.The man was held at Sligo Garda Station and PSNI officers are also assisting with the investigation.It is the second seizure of this type of drug within the last week according to the Revenue’s Customs Service.last_img

VIDEO The Rolling Stones play surprise gig

first_imgTHIS WAS THE tweet that excited thousands of Rolling Stones fans across Los Angeles last night, leading to a scramble for 650 $20 tickets.The legendary rock band played the Echoplex in LA’s Echo Park neighbourhood just two hours after announcing the gig on Twitter.The 14-song set included You Got me Rockin’, Brown Sugar and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. The Stones begin a north America tour next week to mark the group’s 50th anniversary. Tickets for those shows are selling for a lot more than $20 with cheap seats starting at $250.(YouTube: TheRollingStones)last_img

Breakfast At Bebetos All you need to know from the fifth night

first_imgJohn Brooks celebrates after he hit the winning goal for the USA last night against Ghana. Source: Hassan AmmarOn Day 5Pre-tournament favourites Brazil and Argentina have had to work for their opening round victories in this World Cup while Spain slumped to a disastrous defeat last Friday. The fourth well-fancied side Germany stepped out in Group G and endured no such problems. They were clinical and ruthless in despatching Portugal 4-0.Thomas Müller bagged a hat-trick and Mat Hummels thumped home a header as Joachim Löw’s side got off to a terrific start. A bad day at the office for Portugal was compounded by the first-half dismissal of Pepe for a headbutt on Müller. Pepe was shown a red card in the first-half of yesterday’s game in Fortaleza. Source: Paulo DuarteIn Group F, Iran and Nigeria combined for the first scoreless draw to date in this World Cup when they met in Curitibia. In a game with a glaring lack of quality, neither side could hit the net and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils. The challenges don’t get any easier for either side, particularly for Iran as they are set to face Argentina next Saturday while it’s Bosnia next up for Nigeria. Honours even in Curitiba and everyone goes home happy. Source: Fernando VergaraAnd there was late drama in Group G in Natal last night with the USA claiming a brilliant 2-1 win over Ghana. The USA have been knocked out of the last two World Cup tournament by the Africans so last night’s success was a sweet one.Jurgen Klinsmann’s side got off to an amazing start with Clint Dempsey waltzing through the Ghana defence before netting after just 29 seconds. They held on to that lead until the 81st minute when Andre Ayew capped a brilliant Ghana move by firing home the equalizer. Ghana looked the more likely victors at that juncture but up popped John Brooks to become the hero for the USA with an 86th minute winner. His Wikipedia page got a little makeover after that goal.WinnerThomas Müller is quite a fan of playing on the World Cup stage. During his debut campaign in 2010, he netted five times for Germany. He finished joint top scorer on that occasion in South Africa but won the Golden Boot by virtue of more assists than David Villa, Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlán.Yesterday he picked up where he left off four years ago by hitting the first-hat trick of the 2014 World Cup of Brazil. Germany routed Portugal 4-0 with Müller spearheading their success as he fired home an early penalty and then showed assured finishing to find the net from open play in either half. The Bayern Munich man is already on course to hold on to that Golden Boot award. Celebration time for Thomas Müller and his German teammates. Source: Nick PottsLoserIt’s been a cracking opening to the World Cup but sadly the high quality and entertaining football had to draw to a halt at some stage. Football was the real loser when Iran and Nigeria met last night to produce a snoozefest in Group F. No goals were registered and there was little in the way of magic from either team. Source: Martin MeissnerJoga BonitoTwenty-nine seconds in and Clint Dempsey produced a Messi-esque dribble and shot last night for the fastest goal in this year’s World Cup and the sixth fastest World Cup goal of all time.What have we got to look forward to today?Belgium, the darkest of dark horses and the football hipster’s choice, make their World Cup bow against Algeria in Group H in Belo Horizonte at 5pm. Here are five reasons why they can be positive about how they’ll fare in this tournament.The hosts are back out in Group A with Brazil in action in Fortaleza against Mexico at 8pm. Both sides should be buoyed after winning their opening games against Croatia and Cameroon respectively.It falls to Russia and South Korea to become the last two teams that will take to the field in the World Cup. Their Group H match is on at 11pm tomorrow night in Cuiabá.Aprés Match’s brilliant parody of Jim White and Sky Sports NewsWe all dream of a team of… Mario Balotellis?last_img read more

Thousands turn out for Oakleigh Glendi

first_imgGrey skies weren’t enough to discourage Melbourne festivalgoers over the weekend, with thousands turning out to enjoy Oakleigh’s Greek Glendi. Organised by the Greek community of Oakleigh and Oakleigh Grammar, the event saw two days of music, dance and food unfold in the heart of Australia’s biggest Greek community. Though Greekness was at the heart of the festivities, the underlying theme of the glendi was ‘unity through diversity’, showcased on Saturday with a number of cultural groups taking to the stage.Sunday’s events kicked off with a church service at Oakleigh’s Agion Anargyron, followed by a parade by the students of Oakleigh Grammar. A blessing was delivered by Bishop Iakovos of Melitoupolis, with City of Monash mayor Cr Paul Klisaris commencing the day’s speeches. Oakleigh Grammar students bearing the Australian and Greek flags. President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Oakleigh and District, Angelos Sardellis, also said a few words, followed by Peter Cummins, deputy principal of Oakleigh Grammar. Present on the day were a number of political representatives, including Federal Member for Higgins Kelly O’Dwyer, representing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull; Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews; Member for Chisholm Anna Burke representing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten; Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimpoulos; deputy leader of the Liberal Party, David Hodgett and Ross Alatsas, deputy chairman of the VMC.Dancing groups on stage celebrate Greek culture and entertain the crowds.Concluding the day’s speeches was the Consul General of Greece in Victoria, Christina Simantiraki.A wreath-laying ceremony followed at the Cenotaph in honour of OXI Day and World War II. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

David Luiz sees room for improvement despite win

first_imgChelsea defender David Luiz has urged his side to stop offering a lifeline to our opponents after their hard-fought 2-1 victory against Newcastle United on Saturday.Luiz provided a sumptuous assist to Pedro Rodriguez who opened the scoring to give Chelsea the lead in the ninth minute.But Newcastle United equalized five minutes before the break from a corner kick nodded in by Ciaran Clark.Chelsea rallied in the second half and took back the lead in the 57th minute thanks to Willian’s delightful strike.“It’s an important win, it’s three points at home and we did the job. It was not an easy game for us,” Luiz told the club’s website.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I think we could have killed the game in the first 25 minutes, but we didn’t score the second goal.“In the Premier League every team can be dangerous from set-pieces and that is what happened.“They scored the equalizer and after that, it is always difficult but I think the team was mature enough to be calm at half-time. Then, in the second half, we controlled the game and scored the second goal.“I think we have to improve because you cannot give your opponents openings. When you have time and opportunities to kill the game, you have to do it.”last_img read more

Solskjaer believes Lukaku has a vital role to play

first_imgRomelu Lukaku still has a major role to play at Manchester United according to interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.The ex-Everton striker has only managed a cameo role  in Solskjaer’s six league games in charge apart from the FA Cup tie against Reading where he startedWith the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial getting the nod ahead of the Belgian, the former United striker has revealed he is a key player in the squad.Only Rashford and midfielder Paul Pogba have scored more than the three goals Lukaku has managed since Mourinho was sacked on 18 December.With the competition for places hotting up following the return of Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata, Solskjaer was quick to point out a similar situation in his time.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.After moving to Old Trafford in 1996, Solskjaer scored 126 goals for United in 11 seasons.He disclosed to the BBC: “I used to be one of four strikers when we played with two. Now we have six forwards and we play with three.“There are enough games. It is about taking your chances when you get them.“No-one is scoring as many as Romelu in training.”last_img read more

Mayor Faulconer announces plan to create governmentcontrolled alternative to SDGE

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Mayor Faulconer announces plan to create government-controlled alternative to SDG&E Posted: October 25, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Thursday announced the city’s plan to create a city government-controlled energy provider to compete with San Diego Gas and Electric.Faulconer formally announced the city’s plan to offer utility services at a news conference to release the city’s annual report on the progress of its Climate Action Plan. The report includes data showing that the city is ahead of schedule toward the CAP’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2035.According to the mayor’s office, providing utility services would reduce energy costs by at least 5 percent and help the city attain its goal of 100 percent renewable energy use by 2035.“I want San Diego to lead this region into a cleaner future,” Faulconer said. “This gives consumers a real choice, lowers energy costs for all San Diegans and keeps our city on the cutting edge of environmental protection.”The mayor’s office will send the proposal to the San Diego City Council, seeking a resolution of intent to create a utility-providing entity that allows other cities in the county to join. According to the mayor’s office, several cities in the county have expressed interest in joining a joint- power energy-providing authority. On the city’s current timeline, the energy authority would begin service in 2021.“This is a win-win-win — it creates jobs for workers, seeks to stabilize green energy costs for families and generates clean energy that preserves our environment,” the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council said in a statement. “In San Diego, we must continue to build and produce renewable power to grow green jobs and ensure the environment is truly protected.”SDG&E said in a statement that it respects the city’s right to look for other energy providers and does not anticipate any financial impact from the decision in the immediate future.“SDG&E has a long history of partnership with the city, and is committed to continuing a productive, cooperative relationship,” the investor- owned company said. “As the city charts this new course for purchasing electricity, SDG&E will help enable the transition.”Environmental activists have asked the city for more than a year to provide utility services in some way, often referred to as community choice energy. According to the San Diego Community Choice Alliance, a coalition of multiple organizations, businesses and politicians that support community choice energy, San Diego Gas and Electric charges some of the highest energy rates in the state and the country.“Today, families in San Diego can breathe a little easier because we are finally on a path to enjoying energy choice and giving our families relief in their electricity bills,” said Nicole Capretz, the executive director of the SDCCA-member Climate Action Campaign. “We ask our coalition and supporters to be ready to promote a Community Choice program that serves all San Diegans, prioritizes local control, local clean energy with high quality jobs, helps clean our air, and offers affordable rates and a path 100 percent renewable energy.”Joining Faulconer at the announcement were Assemblyman Todd Gloria, City Councilwomen Georgette Gomez and Lorie Zapf and Cody Hooven, the city’s chief sustainability officer. Gloria originally helped draft the Climate Action Plan in 2013 when he was a City Councilman.“Community choice is the only pathway to achieve 100 percent renewable energy, a cornerstone of our Climate Action Plan, and ultimately puts the community in charge of our climate destiny. San Diegans deserve consumer choice,”  Gloria said.The Clear the Air Coalition, while supportive of the community choice energy concept, was more measured in its response to the city’s announcement. The coalition expressed concern about what happens if the plan fails and whether a community choice energy project should even be a priority considering the city’s current issues with homelessness and high housing costs.“If the city decides to form a (community choice energy provider), an important question to ask is: would it actually help San Diego reach its clean air goals faster and cheaper than current state laws require?” Clear the Air Coalition Co-Chair Ruben Barrales said. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom October 25, 2018last_img read more

School boosters fined over spending report

first_imgThe state Public Disclosure Commission found that a political committee supporting a 2008 school bond issue in Evergreen Public Schools failed to report two 2008 expenditures in a timely manner.The PDC’s presiding officer found at a Jan. 24 hearing that Evergreen Citizens for Schools failed to report $5,500 for a survey conducted by Conkling, Fiskum & McCormick in October 2008 and $9,681 for advertising in The Columbian in May 2008.The presiding officer assessed a civil penalty of $500, but he suspended $300 on the condition that the committee is not found to have committed any further violations within four years of the date of the order.last_img