Manchester City send official for two left backs – Young right…

first_imgIt’s reported the scout’s first mission was to watch Panathinaikos’ young right back Georgios Vagiannidis.The 18 year old is currently playing for the Greek club’s U19 side, but Sportime say Vagiannidis could be more suitable for other teams owned by the City Group, not Manchester City.According to Sportime, the Manchester City scout was then present during the game between Olympiacos and PAOK in the Greek Super League. The attention was reportedly on Olympiacos’ Konstantinos Tsimikas and PAOK’s Dimitrios Giannoulis.Both players are natural left-backs and that’s an area Pep Guardiola may want to strengthen in January, given the injury to Oleksandr Zinchenko and the inconsistency of Benjamin Mendy.With Tsimikas there are reports in the Turkish press Fenerbahce are also interested in signing him, but the Super Lig club are unlikely to meet his asking price. Tsimikas has made 19 appearances for Olympiacos this season and is under contract with the Greek club until June 2022.The other player said to be on City’s agenda, Dimitrios Giannoulis, has a release clause of €8m. The 24 year old has been in impressive form for PAOK this season, making five assists in 16 appearances so far this Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameIf You Like to Play, this City-Building Game is a Must Have.Forge of Empires – Free Online GameUndo聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoCNN with DBS BankThe New Role Banks Are PlayingCNN with DBS BankUndoSmart Tech TrendOver 55? You Have to Try Those Revolutionary Glasses!Smart Tech TrendUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoHero WarsGetting this Treasure is impossible! Prove us wrong!Hero WarsUndoLoans | Search AdsNeed a loan? Search hereLoans | Search AdsUndoInstant Voice Translator43 Languages Instant Voice Translator Flying Off Shelves in Hong KongInstant Voice TranslatorUndoTheTopFiveVPNEnjoy Netflix Now Without Any RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPNUndo Sportime.Gr claim a scout who works for Manchester City has been in Greece since Sunday.last_img read more

Charles out to prove he has what it takes

first_imgA famous Chinese proverb states “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. When Delon Charles makes his professional boxing debut on September 22 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, he will be looking to begin his journey to a world title on the right footing.The orthodox fighter is part of the stacked card of fresh and upcoming talent dubbed ‘Young Guns- The Proving Ground’.After a prolific amateur career, he will be looking to prove he has what it takes in his first professional outing against Terrence Adams (1-0-0) in a four-round featherweight contest. “I am feeling confident and really enjoying training for this fight” said the 29 year-old who was dripping in sweat yesterday at the Ricola Boxing Gym.When he steps into the ring in less than three weeks, the protégé of former world rated boxer, Clive Atwell aims to pull out all the stops to secure the ‘W’.“We all train to win and I expect to win.” His work ethic allows his to be confident.After clocking out from his day job at the Guyana National Bureau of Standards, Charles makes his way to the gym religiously on a daily basis.“I want to be Guyana’s next world champion, that’s why I do what I do. I believe I have the discipline and the talent.” Charles’ boast was co-signed by the charismatic Atwell.Will Charles start his career with a bang or will Adams play the role of spoiler? That answer will be known in 18 days.Bell time is 20:00hrs. Admission is $1000 for stands and $2000 for ring side. (Emmerson Campbell) The full fight card is listed below:Bout 1 Anson Green vs Joel Williamson (Junior Welterweight-Four Rounds)Bout 2 Delon Charles vs Terrence Adams (Featherweight-Four Rounds)Bout 3 Rewinna David vs Ansilla Norville (Bantamweight- Four Rounds) Bout 4 James Moore vs Romeo Norville (Cruiserweight-Four Rounds)Bout 5 Derick Richmond vs Keithland King (Middleweight-Six Rounds)last_img read more

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo details long path to “unprecedented” $20 million contract

first_imgABC/Bob D’Amico(LOS ANGELES) — After nearly 15 years as the lead of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo will now be the highest-paid woman in TV. Her new deal has her making $575,000 per episode, or $20 million per year.“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The truth is, anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that’s a f*****g skill.”Pompeo also spoke about how Patrick Dempsey leaving the show in 2015 helped put her in a more powerful position.“They could always use him as leverage against me — ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick’ — which they did for years,” she says. “So, what does it look like when he leaves the show? First, it looks like a ratings spike, and I had a nice chuckle about that”But then, Pompeo continues, “The ink wasn’t even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy. I was on vacation…and they’re calling me, going, ‘What do you think of this guy?’ ‘What do you think of this guy?…I couldn’t believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there.”Ultimately, Pompeo credits Grey‘s creator Shonda Rhimes for her new deal. “I was always loyal to her, and she responds well to loyalty,” says the actress. “So, she got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power.” Pompeo thanks Rhimes for “letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show…and signing off on the…unprecedented…deal that the studio gave me.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more

US, North Korea Olympic delegations make last-minute additions, raising eyebrows

first_img Related iStock/Thinkstock(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) — Both the Americans and North Koreans have said that they do not intend to meet with each other while in Pyeongchang for the Olympics’ closing ceremony.Despite what officials from both countries said, a couple of hints have emerged that possibly point toward secret talks.Each nation’s delegation have added a last-minute name — and both of the individuals have been key in U.S.-North Korea relations.The North Korean delegation — headed by Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee — arrived Sunday morning in South Korea with last-minute addition Choe Kang Il, who deals with U.S. affairs.The U.S. delegation — led by first daughter Ivanka Trump — arrived earlier this week with new addition Allison Hooker, a National Security Council official who specializes in Korean affairs. Hooker was in North Korea in 2014 and was part of six-party nuclear negotiations, according to local reports.On the surface, however, the two sides are talking tough.Upon her arrival in South Korea, Ivanka Trump said she’s in the country to cheer for Team USA, not to meet with the North Koreans.And on Sunday morning, North Korea’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee blasted the Trump administration, saying there would be “no face-to-face talks for 100 years or 200 years” and “we will never beg for dialogue.”The statement was also in reaction to Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday calling leader Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo-jong a “central pillar of the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.”Aside from attending the closing ceremony in PyeongChang on Sunday, the schedule for the North Korean delegation is unknown — and that’s raising a lot of questions. When Kim Yo-jong was at the opening ceremony, the South’s Unification Ministry had been mostly open about her daily schedule. Not this time.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo does not want to return to Juventus

first_img ¡Cristiano Ronaldo no quiere volver a la Juventus! IN SPORT.ES Sport EN Cristiano Ronaldo is one of nine foreign players at Juventus who is not to be found in Italy. In fact, he has no intention of returning while there is no date for Serie A to restart. The Turin club, for their part, understands the posture of the players and even in some way shares it. The problem is that, per some information, he was worried by Dybala’s positive coronavirus test. 30/04/2020center_img CEST Upd. at 14:13 Per Corriere dello Sport, Juve aren’t in too much of a hurry to restart the competition. They would like to finish the league but also consider health the priority. Some Italian sources think that Ronaldo played dirty and filtered Dybala’s positive to the media so he wouldn’t have to go back to Italy.last_img read more

Galway Minors Book Semi-Final Spot

first_imgEvan Niland scored 1-7 as defending All-Ireland minor hurling champions Galway enjoyed a 2-22 to 0-9 quarter-final win over Antrim at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Scorers for Galway: E Niland 1-7 (4fs), J Coyne 0-5 (2fs), C Salmon 1-1, J Canning 0-3, C Fahy, R Malone, K Cooney, R Murphy, E Fahy, M McManus 0-1 each.Scorers for Antrim: C Doherty-Cunning 0-5 (4fs), K Molloy, D McShane 0-1 each, D McKernan 0-1 (f)Galway: J Forde; S Molloy, J Fitzpatrick, R O’Neill; I O’Shea, C Fahy, P Foley; J Coyne, R Malone; J Canning, E Niland, L Forde; K Cooney, C Salmon, R Murphy.Subs: E Fahy for Murphy (38), C Caulfield for O’Neill (51), M McManus for Forde (51), O Connolly for Cooney (54), D Mannion for Niland (56).Antrim: P Carlin; E McQuillan, L Gillan, C Carson; S Magill, C Boyd, E Smyth; D Black, K Molloy; P McCallin, G Og Laverty, D McKernan; D McShane, C Doherty-Cunning, E O’Neill.Subs: E Laverty for Black (HT), C Kinsella for Magill (37), C McDonnell for G Og Laverty (53), S O’Connor for McQuillan (53), S Shannon for McKernan (54).Referee: G McGrath (Wexford).The Galway Minor Hurlers will also play Tipperary in the All-Ireland Semi-Final after Limerick beat Wexford in the last of the Quarter Finals on Sunday.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Commentary from Niall Canavan and Sean Walshlast_img read more

Hazy figures cloud Indonesia’s peat restoration as fire season looms

first_imgBanner image: Firefighters extinguish fires in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Image by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay Indonesia. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong An El Niño weather system in the early months of 2019 could see forest fires flare up once again in Indonesia.The government rolled out a slate of measures following disastrous fires in 2015, centering on the restoration of degraded peatlands that had been rendered highly combustible by draining for agriculture.While the number and extent of fires since then have declined significantly, activists attribute this more to milder weather in the intervening years, rather than the government’s peatland management and restoration measures.Activists have also questioned figures that suggest the target of restoring 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of peatland by the end of 2020 has been almost achieved, saying there’s little transparency about the bulk of the required restoration, being carried out by pulpwood and plantation companies. JAKARTA — Indonesia has restored degraded peatlands the size of a million football fields in the three years since President Joko Widodo launched an ambitious program aimed at preventing a repeat of some of the worst forest fires in the country’s history.But that success may have had more to do with luck than anything else, activists say, as anticipated tinderbox conditions mirroring the 2015 dry season that led to those earlier fires loom over the next few months.The 2015 fires raged across 26,100 square kilometers (10,100 square miles) of land, much of it peat forest that had been drained for agriculture and rendered highly combustible. The resultant haze sickened hundreds of thousands of people, shut down airports, and spread to neighboring countries, inflaming long-running diplomatic spats. The dry conditions that year were exacerbated by an El Niño weather system, which is likely to make an appearance again in the next few months, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The impact from El Niño “started in November, but the trend is increasing, and it’s going to peak in February or March,” said Ruanda Agung Sugardiman, who oversees climate change policies at the Indonesian environment ministry.NOAA has predicted up to an 80 percent chance of a full-fledged El Niño by February, with a 60 percent chance of it continuing into April.In anticipation of the coming dry season, the government is taking extra measures, Ruanda said, including allocating more funding to local governments for fire prevention.“Before this, most of the budget [for forest fires] was earmarked for the central government, but now we’re allocating 75 percent of our climate change budget to local governments,” he said.The environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, said the slate of policies rolled out since 2015 had resulted in a significant decline in the number and extent of fires, from 26,100 square kilometers that year to 1,950 square kilometers (750 square miles) in 2018. The number of fire hotspots also dropped during the same period, from nearly 71,000 to just 9,200.But that apparent success may have had less to do with the peat-restoration and fire-prevention measures than with the milder weather conditions in the intervening years, activists say: there hasn’t been a full-on El Niño since 2016.“We attribute the decrease in the intensity of forest fires not to an improvement in [peat and forest] management, but to natural factors,” Khalisah Khalid, a spokeswoman for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the country’s biggest green NGO, told Mongabay.Activists from Pantau Gambut, a coalition of 23 NGOs that acts as a watchdog for peat protection and restoration efforts, have also questioned the effectiveness of the government’s policies. The coalition’s own spatial analysis shows most of the hotspots detected during the peak of the dry season in August 2018 were inside areas that were either prioritized for peat restoration or supposed to be protected under a moratorium on developing peatland.If those measures were truly effective, there should have been a steep reduction or complete elimination of fires in those particular areas, Pantau Gambut said.“These findings indicate that we need to question [the government’s] claim and the effectiveness of its restoration work,” said Muhammad Teguh Surya, the coalition’s national coordinator.A peat swamp in Sumatra smolders during the 2015 haze crisis. The drainage canals were dug in order to prepare the land for planting with oil palm, but the practice renders the land vulnerable to catching fire. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.‘We can handle this’In the wake of the 2015 fires and haze, President Widodo established the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) and charged it with leading nationwide efforts to restore 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of peat areas, the size of 4.5 million football fields, by the end of 2020.The rationale was that by restoring degraded peatland, including through blocking drainage canals and rewetting the dried-out peat layers, it would be harder for fires to spread out of control and make it easier for officials to contain them.In 2017, the BRG rewetted just over 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) of degraded peatland. In 2018, it restored another 4,600 square kilometers (1,780 square miles), for a total of 6,650 square kilometers (2,570 square miles), or the size of a million football fields.In addition to the restoration policy, in 2016 President Widodo also announced a moratorium on the clearing of carbon-rich peat forests across the country.The BRG chief, Nazir Foead, said he believed that peat fires on the scale of the 2015 disaster would not happen in 2019, citing lessons learned from past mistakes.“We are very convinced … that we can handle this,” Nazir said as quoted by The Straits Times. “We cannot say that there will not be fires, but there will be fewer incidents, and they will be put out much quicker.”Enviroment minister Siti was similarly upbeat, saying at a year-end gathering at her office that “our transboundary haze [policies] have shown results.”Fires engulf a palm oil plantation in Rokan Hilir district, Riau, Indonesia. Image by Zamzami/Mongabay Indonesia.‘A lie and an error’But field investigations by Pantau Gambut throw those claims into question. The coalition found that peat-rewetting and firefighting equipment in some areas weren’t functioning properly. One village in Jambi province on the island of Sumatra was found to have fire hoses that were too large for the available water pressure, and too short to reach fire-prone areas. In another village in Jambi, a water pump installed there wasn’t powerful enough to provide sufficient water to put out fires.“If we’d found this inadequate equipment in the 1990s, maybe we could understand,” Teguh said. “But this happened after the president launched the peat-restoration initiative, so we have to question this. How can areas that had been prioritized for peat restoration have equipment that can’t be used in the event of a fire?”BRG secretary Hartono Prawiraatmadja said those particular facilities had been built by third parties in 2016, before standardized specifications for the equipment needed had been drawn up. He also said the BRG had earmarked at least 20 percent of its funding for the maintenance of equipment.“Last year, we didn’t allocate any budget for maintenance,” Hartono said. “There’s a concern that if there’s no maintenance, then the facilities won’t work properly during fires. That’s why, starting in 2019, we’ve allocated funding for maintenance.”Teguh dismissed the explanation as a cop-out.“There should have been concrete actions [to fix the equipment],” he said. “In my opinion, the excuse of not having funding or standardization is a lie and a serious error. How could such a vital project be carried out without any clear standards [or maintenance]?”Fires smoldering from a peat forest in West Kalimantan. Image by Aseanty Pahlevi/Mongabay Indonesia.Target in sight?There’s another key point where the BRG and NGOs differ. Under the peat-restoration initiative, companies whose concessions include peatlands are responsible for restoring those areas, which amount to 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) of the total 24,000 square kilometers.The concessions in question include areas of deep peat that contain high biodiversity. Under the president’s signature anti-haze regulation, these areas must be zoned for conservation and rewetted to prevent fires. As of August 2018, 127 pulpwood and plantation companies had submitted their restoration plans to the environment ministry. Three months earlier, the ministry reported that the companies had restored a combined 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) of degraded peatland since 2015, mostly by blocking the canals initially dug to drain the peat in preparation for planting.That figure has since been updated to 14,000 square kilometers, which, if accurate, means the companies have fulfilled their peat-restoration obligations, the BRG’s Hartono said. He added that this claim on the part of the companies had yet to be verified through on-the-ground inspections.But Pantau Gambut says the government has failed to disclose detailed information on the implementation of the companies’ restoration plans. There also hasn’t been any transparent follow-up to the companies’ submitted plans, despite the fact that the restoration is required to be carried out immediately upon approval of the plans.Ultimately, Teguh said, there’s no independent confirmation that the peatland restoration has been carried out as reported by the companies.“Unfortunately, after they’ve revised their plans, it remains unclear whether the restoration work has been carried out or not,” he said. “The public has never been involved in the process. Without a transparent [process to disclose the] information, the public is left in the dark.”For its part, the government is preparing a regulation to serve as a guideline for the BRG and civil society groups to monitor the companies’ restoration activities, Hartono said. To verify their claim to have restored 14,000 square kilometers of peatland, the BRG needs to have the regulation in place, currently being drafted by the environment ministry.“If the BRG enters [the companies’ concessions] without a clear regulation [permitting it to do so], the companies are worried that it might disrupt [their operations],” Hartono said said.“We haven’t been able to confirm yet that what the companies are doing matches our expectations,” he added. “So we will supervise the companies, both in terms of what they’ve done and what they’re planning to do.”If the companies’ claims are confirmed, then that leaves the BRG with less than 4,000 square kilometers (1,540 square miles) of degraded peat areas to restore before the end of 2020.“We’re optimistic [we can meet that target] if that’s the case,” Hartono said.Teguh cautioned that while this might seem a small number compared to the agency’s achievements in the past two years, the BRG should be diligent about ensuring it met its target in an open and accountable manner.“Considering how there’s only two years left, the BRG has several big tasks pending,” he said. “That includes making its peat restoration agenda more inclusive and accountable, sharing its data and restoration progress in more detail, accepting criticism and recommendations for improvement, and not basing its work only on projects.” Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Climate Change And Forests, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Fires, Forests, Haze, Peatlands, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Southeast Asia Haze, Southeast Asian Haze last_img read more

Contractor killed over money

first_imgA small contractor, who also moonlights as a “PH” taxi driver “to make ends meet”, was stabbed to death on Saturday night allegedly by one of his part-time employees over money.Michael Ali, 31, the father of a two-year-old daughter, of Quarry Village, Siparia, Trinidad died some three hours after the attack while undergoing treatment at the San Fernando General Hospital.A 42-year-old fruit vendor has since been detained. The suspect, Police said, was released from jail about three weeks ago.“Michael didn’t deserve that,” cried Ali’s grieving uncle-in-law Jaglal Singh. He described Ali as an honest, hardworking man who always looked out for others.“With all his (suspect’s) faults, he (Ali) still gave him a chance and carried him to work with him in Princes Town.“He owed him a little balance (money), because the lady (person who hired Ali) didn’t pay him all the money she suppose to pay him, for him to pay his workers,” Khan told Newsday. He said Ali explained the situation to the suspect asking him to “hold on” as he was going to work “PH” to make up the money to pay him.However, about 20:00h on Saturday, Khan said the suspect arrived near Ali’s home and began cursing and “carrying on” for his money. Khan said he was forced to intervene. “I cross the road and gave the worker $200 hoping that would have calmed him down, but it didn’t.” Relatives said the man pulled a knife and stabbed Ali in his upper chest.“Michael was like a son to me, very respectful and someone you could trust. He worked very hard,” Khan said.Investigations are continuing. (T&T Newsday)last_img read more

Ronaldo looks to avoid Ballon d’Or curse

first_imgSince the inception of the Ballon d’Or, conceived by France Football magazine in 1956 to recognise Europe, and then latterly, the world’s most outstanding player each year, of the 14 players in possession of the prize heading into a World Cup none have achieved ultimate success on the global stage.Granted the facts are skewed to an extent given only European players were eligible for the prize prior to 1995, ruling out the likes of three-time World Cup winner Pele and Diego Maradona, who was central to Argentina’s 1986 triumph, but that still leaves some of the game’s most decorated players who have fallen short.Take Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who won the first of his four consecutive Ballon d’Or awards in 2009, for example.An Argentina side with an embarrassment of attacking riches breezed through to the quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa despite Messi not contributing a single goal. However, when they needed him most he was unable to deliver as Maradona’s shellshocked Argentine team were ruthlessly torn apart by Germany 4-0 in the last eight.That provided merely just the latest chapter of a World Cup campaign ending in disappointment for the world’s leading player, a story that dates back to 1957 Ballon d’Or recipient and Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano.For Argentine-born Di Stefano, who acquired Spanish citizenship in time for the 1958 qualifiers despite previously representing his homeland as well as Colombia, his adopted nation fell short in their quest to reach the finals leaving one of the world’s greatest players to ultimately finish his career without ever appearing at the World Cup.The only other time the reigning European Footballer of the Year, as the award was also referred to prior to merging with the FIFA World Player of the Year accolade in 2010 to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or, didn’t appear at the global showcase was in 1978 when Danish striker Allan Simonsen, a European Cup finalist with Borussia Moenchengladbach the previous year, saw his nation’s hopes dashed in qualifying.However, there have been five teams featuring the reigning Ballon d’Or winner to reach the final.Perhaps no player has come quite as close nor suffered a fate so cruel as the one that befell Italy’s Roberto Baggio at USA ’94.Baggio netted all five of his goals in the knockout rounds, including two in the semi-finals against Bulgaria, to send the Azzurri into the final against Brazil.But after a goalless 120 minutes in Pasadena, the Juventus forward blazed his penalty over the bar in the shootout to hand Brazil their fourth world title.Before that Johan Cruyff and the Dutch appeared most likely to put an end to the curse at the 1974 tournament.The Netherlands and their revolutionary brand of “Total Football” conquered all before them on their way to the final and seemed destined to be crowned champions after an early penalty put them ahead against West Germany.However, the Dutch came unstuck and would lose 2-1.Italy’s Gianna Rivera (1970), West Germany striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1982) and Brazilian forward Ronaldo (1998) also fell a win shy of the Ballon d’Or-World Cup double.Three-time reigning European Footballer of the Year Michel Platini saw his France side knocked out in the last four of the 1986 edition, while Eusebio, despite a sparkling performance at the 1966 tournament where he scored nine times to claim the Golden Boot, was part of the Portugal side dumped out by hosts England in the semi-finals.2001 award winner Michael Owen could only help England as far as the quarter-finals the following year before they were dispatched by Brazil, while a sub-par Ronaldinho was helpless to save his country from a last-eight exit the following tournament.The Netherlands’ Marco van Basten (1990) and Italy’s Omar Sivori (1962) fared even worse, also succumbing to the mysterious jinx of the Ballon d’Or.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000PARIS, June 2- When Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded last year’s Ballon d’Or in recognition of his dazzling achievements over the course of 2013 he naturally had plenty of reason to celebrate although one could forgive him for feeling apprehensive about his country’s hopes at the World Cup in Brazil.Portugal will go the tournament as dark horses heavily reliant on their captain and talisman Ronaldo, who will need to defy the odds if he is to avoid becoming another footnote in a cautionary tale.last_img read more

College texts add to already hefty bill

first_imgNEW YORK Like many college students, Andrew Favreau finds shopping for textbooks to be a challenge. “Most people don’t think about it, but the cost of textbooks is huge,” said Favreau, 26, who is studying part time for a master’s in business administration at DePaul University in Chicago. While most families factor rising costs for tuition and room and board into their college budgets, they often overlook the increasingly hefty bill for books. The College Board, which tracks college pricing trends, estimates that students spend about $940 a year on books and supplies. “An absolute best-seller – and there are few – would sell 40,000 editions a year,” he said. Teachers have options At the same time, some textbooks are “incredibly expensive to produce,” especially math and science texts that require frequent revisions. Hildebrand also pointed out that it is professors who decide which textbooks they want their students to use – and that they often have a lot of options. “Take introductory psychology, a very popular course,” Hildebrand said. “There are currently 216 different introductory psychology books on sale, and prices at retail range from $22.50 to $125.” Still, he said, publishers were trying to respond to calls for lower-cost texts, producing some in black-and-white instead of color, offering split texts – half now, half later – for some courses, even customizing compilations for some professors. Jennifer Libertowski, spokeswoman for the National Association of College Stores, a trade group of campus bookstores based in Oberlin, Ohio, said a recent study found students were buying about a quarter of their textbooks online, with the bulk still from bookstores. Comparing prices Students still worry that books ordered from the Internet won’t arrive ahead of the start of school, she said. But a bigger reason to buy from a brick-and-mortar store is that if a student drops a course, “the local store will take the books back, with a receipt of course.” Libertowski said a major contributor to cost was the “bundling” of scholastic material – a textbook plus a study guide, a CD, a passcode to a Web site. This trend, however, can cut into the resale value because some bookstores may be hesitant to take the textbook back if they can’t replace the other materials separately, she said. Some students also are shopping for textbooks on price comparison sites such as, which is operated by Best Web Buys of La Ca ada. Sugi Sorensen, vice president of engineering, said shoppers can “get prices from the 23 stores we search.” Among the offerings are lower-cost, overseas editions, he said. Heidi O’Connor, 20, who will be a senior this fall at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, said it wasn’t unusual for undergraduates to spend $1,000 a year for books, “and for my friends in law school and medical school, it’s even worse.” Advance planning While she does shop at the campus bookstore and local bookstores, she and her friends also use “as many channels as possible,” including the marketplace section of the social networking sites Facebook and “What really gets students angry is the buyback problem,” O’Connor said. Campus bookstores often will buy back books for just pennies on the dollar, especially if they’re not sure the text is going to be used in subsequent semesters. Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Hammer out your classes, then be a pest if you have to figure out what books you need. E-mail the professor to make sure. It’s your education; you’re paying for it.” With more time, O’Connor said, students have a better chance of getting lower-cost texts. “The earlier you can buy, the better because the inventory of used books tends to go pretty fast,” she said. “Or if you want to order online, you have time for the books to get there.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! To hold costs down, students who once shopped for texts only at the campus bookstore are casting wider nets, searching for new and used textbooks at online bookstores, seeking out student book exchanges, investing in e-books, sharing books with fellow students – even borrowing books from public libraries. Favreau, who works in marketing and public relations, said he’s been willing to invest in some business school textbooks “because I’ll likely revisit them or use them during the course of my career.” He said he’s saved money by buying used texts at, eBay Inc.’s and other online booksellers. He’s also turned to the Internet to resell the books he doesn’t want to keep – and, he said, got more cash than he would have selling through a campus or local bookstore. Last semester, for example, he needed a book on information systems management that retails for about $150 new. He bought it used online for $84.99 and resold it for $59.99. currently sells used editions of the book for $73. Bruce Hildebrand, executive director for higher education with the New York-based Association of American Publishers, said textbooks are more expensive than other books in part because most have small press runs. last_img read more