Protect rights in ‘Super Emergency’ era, says Mamata on International Day of Democracy

first_imgWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reiterated that the country is going through a period of “Super Emergency” and called on people to protect the rights and freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy on Sunday, she urged the countrymen to safeguard the constitutional values upon which independent India was founded.“On the #InternationalDayofDemocracy today [Sunday], let us once again pledge to safeguard the constitutional values our country was founded on… In this era of ‘Super Emergency’, we must do all it takes to protect the rights and freedoms that our Constitution guarantees,” she tweeted. The Trinamool Congress supremo has time and again said that the country is going through ‘Super Emergency’ under the BJP-led NDA rule at the Centre. The United Nations General Assembly had in 2007 resolved to observe September 15 every year as the International Day of Democracy to uphold and promote the principles of democracy.last_img read more

Lionel Messi wins FIFA world player award

first_imgLionel Messi won his second straight FIFA player of the year award Monday, with his mesmerizing play for Barcelona outweighing a disappointing World Cup.Lionel Messi holds the FIFA Ballon d’Or during a ceremony in Zurich on Monday. APThe Argentine forward beat out Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta for the renamed FIFA Golden Ball Award, which merged the FIFA player of the year with France Football’s Golden Ball. Messi became the first repeat winner since Ronaldinho in 2004 and 2005.Messi received 22.65 percent of the votes cast by national team coaches and captains plus selected reporters. Iniesta followed with 17.36 percent and Xavi received 16.48 per cent to finish third for the second straight year. All three finalists are products of Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy.Eight of the 20 winners of the FIFA award have come from Barcelona, which also won with Brazilians Romario (1994), Ronaldo (1996 and 1997), Rivaldo (1999) and Ronaldinho.Jose Mourinho was voted men’s coach of the year after leading Inter Milan to the European Champions League title, Brazilian forward Marta was selected women’s player of the year for the fifth straight time and Germany’s Silvia Neid earned women’s coach of the year honors.Barcelona also placed six players on the 11-man All-Star team announced by FIFA and the union FIFPro, with Messi, Xavi and Iniesta joined by defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, and forward David Villa, who transferred from Valencia just before the World Cup.Also on the team were Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Castillas and forward Cristiano Ronaldo, and three Inter players: defenders Lucio and Maicon, and midfielder Wesley Sneijder.advertisementThe 23-year-old Messi helped Barcelona retain its Spanish league title. The Blaugrana lead the Spanish standings again this season.”It’s a very special day for me,” Messi said through a translator.The 23-year-old forward scored 58 goals for the Catalan club in 2010 but failed to score for Argentina at the World Cup. Iniesta and Xavi helped Spain win its first World Cup title, with Iniesta scoring the overtime goal in the 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the final.”I didn’t expect to win it today,” Messi said. “Already it’s a source of happiness to be here with my friends and even more to win it.”U.S. coach Bob Bradley and captain Carlos Bocanegra both voted Xavi first, with Bradley picking Sneijder second and Messi third. Bocanegra selected Iniesta second and Sneijder third. Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy, the only U.S. media voter, had Xavi first, followed by Messi and Sneijder.Mourinho was voted FIFA men’s coach of the year after leading Inter Milan to the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup titles.Mourinho, the self-dubbed “Special One,” received 35.92 percent and beat Spain coach Vicente del Bosque (33.08) and Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola (8.45) in the inaugural prize. The Portuguese coach left Inter after the 2009-10 season to become coach of Real Madrid.”The most important things for me are the collective titles, not the individual ones,” Mourinho said.Bradley selected Mourinho first, followed by Del Bosque and Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, while Bocanegra had Guardiola first, followed by Mourinho and Del Bosque. Kennedy voted Del Bosque first, followed by Mourinho and Germany coach Joachim Loew.Marta received 38.2 percent, beating out Germany’s Birgit Prinz (15.18) and Kosovo-born Lira Bajramaj (9.96). Marta was rewarded for her MVP season with the Gold Pride of the Women’s Professional Soccer league in the United States, which folded, The team, based in Santa Clara, Calif., folded in November.”I’m looking at contracts for the league. For the time being I have nothing confirmed,” she said through a translator.Neid, the coach of Germany’s national team, received 24.06 percent, finishing ahead of Maren Meinert of Germany’s world champion under-20 team (18.26) and U.S. women’s team coach Pia Sundhage (11.68).Hamit Altintop won the Puskas Award for most beautiful goal in 2010 for his volleyed shot for Turkey against Kazakhstan in a 2012 European Championship qualifier. The Bayern Munich midfielder connected with a right-footed shot from yards after a left-flank corner had looped directly into his path.The award is named after the late Hungarian and Real Madrid great Ferenc Puskas.Haitian soccer received the FIFA fair play award for its recovery from an earthquake which devastated the Caribbean island last January.The FIFA presidential award was made to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in recognition of South Africa’s organization of the World Cup.last_img read more

Pro Kabaddi 2019 HIGHLIGHTS, Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Tamil Thalaivas in Panchkula: Gujarat Beat Tamil 50-21

first_imgTheir defeat against U Mumba on Sunday coupled UP Yoddha’s victory over Tamil Thalaivas the previous night meant that it is now exceptionally difficult for Gujarat Fortunegiants to finish in the top 6 at the end of the league stage. Rohit Gulia continued to remain the only consistent player in the team and finished the match against U Mumba with eight raid points, completing 100 for the season. Injuries and poor form for star raider Sachin Tanwar have hampered Gujarat Fortunegiants’ raiding unit and the defence, too, has had its fair share of issues.Outside of skipper Sunil Kumar, the defensive unit has been marred with inconsistent form and poor play. Standout Cover defender Parvesh Bhainswal has scored just 40 tackle points in 18 appearances, a far cry from his Season 6 exploits where he finished second in the race for the Best Defender Award. Gujarat Fortunegiants have no room for error any more, however, victories in all their remaining matches could still prove to be inadequate in their quest for a playoffs spot.Their defeat against UP Yoddha meant that Tamil Thalaivas became the first team to be knocked out of the race for a top 6 spot this season. The writing, though, was the wall for Tamil Thalaivas after they failed to win in their previous 11 matches, managing a tie just twice during that spell. Injuries to stalwarts Manjeet Chhillar and Ajay Thakur, and the inconsistent form of ‘Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari, alongside other veterans like Ran Singh and Mohit Chhillar have been the key contributors to their poor run of results over the past 12 matches.The silver lining has been the emergence of raider V Ajith Kumar, who has enjoyed a fruitful rookie campaign. The youngster has scored 89 raid points, including three Super 10s so far and has been a consistent scorer of points for his team. The raider will hope to finish his campaign with a flourish by adding some more quality performances in the final four matches of the season, starting against Gujarat Fortunegiants on Saturday.last_img read more

Texas Hosting Elite 5-Star RB Zachary Evans Today

first_imgA cheerleader holding up a Texas sign.LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 1: A Texas Longhorns cheerleader holds up a sign during the Longhorns game against the Maryland Terrapins at FedExField on September 1, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)Zachary Evans holds the distinction of being both the top running back in the country and the top player from the state of Texas. Naturally, the Longhorns are extremely interested in bringing him to Austin, and it appears the interest may be mutual.According to the Austin American-Statesman, Evans is slated to make a visit to the Texas campus this weekend. The visit comes despite Evans having snubbed the Longhorns from his top five list in May.The 2020 running back is a five-star prospect ranked No. 6 in the nation by 247Sports. He is the No. 1 running back prospect in the country, and the No. 1 prospect from the state of Texas. His scouting report compares him to two-time Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon.Last season for North Shore High School, Evans rushed for 1,483 yards and 27 touchdowns en route to a Class 6A Division I state— Zach Evans (@Runzekerun01) May 28, 2019The Longhorns will likely need to make a very good impression in order to sway Evans, though.His top five list consists of some Power Five titans that have developed plenty of elite NFL running backs in their own right. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma all made the cut.Per the report, Evans is planning to “wait until late in the process” to make a college decision.last_img read more

Trudeau thanks Canadians for standing up for each other as countertariffs begin

first_imgOTTAWA – As Canadians celebrated the country’s birthday on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on the road highlighting the stand he has taken against the U.S. government’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.Speaking in Leamington, Ont., Sunday morning, Trudeau thanked residents and Canadians for always standing up for one another and for Canadian values.“This is who we are, we’re there for each other in times of difficulty, in times of opportunity. We lean on each other and we stand strong and that’s what we do from coast to coast to coast,” Trudeau said.The Ontario town is one of three cross-country stops the prime minister scheduled on Canada Day, and one of two designed to reflect the looming trade war between Canada and the United States.Trudeau met with workers at a major canning and food processing operation in Leamington, where the tomato paste used in French’s ketchup is made. Later in the day, he visited a major steel refinery in Regina. The two industries are at the heart of the trade dispute.Trudeau’s counter-tariffs on a range of products took effect on Sunday — a month after the Trump administration slapped duties on U.S. steel and aluminum imports from Canada and other allies.Canada’s response includes imposing $16.6 billion worth of tariffs on a long list of consumer products that come from a wide range of sectors — from beer kegs, to ballpoint pens, to ketchup.On Friday, Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump by telephone, reiterating that Canada has had “no choice” but to take countermeasures against the U.S. tariffs.It appears Trump, too, is not backing down.In an interview that aired Sunday morning, Trump said he will delay signing a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement until after the U.S. mid-term elections in November in hopes of reaching a better deal.He said he could quickly sign an agreement with Mexico and Canada, “but I’m not happy with it. I want to make it more fair.”In the interview on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” Trump again threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, saying, “The cars are the big ones.” The move has been viewed as a possible negotiating ploy to restart NAFTA talks, which could resume following Sunday’s elections in Mexico.U.S. tariffs on auto imports would be a major blow to Canada’s economy because of the importance of the auto industry plays in the country. The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to hold hearings on auto tariffs in late July and to complete its investigation into auto imports later this summer.Despite the tense political rhetoric among leaders, Trudeau kept his remarks upbeat and patriotic on Canada Day as he spoke to a crowd in Leamington. He praised Canadians for their supportive attitudes in the face of a trade dispute with its largest trading partner.“There is so much to be proud of as a country, but the thing we always have to be most proud of is Canadians ourselves — the way we step, the way we lean on each other, the way we’re creative and optimistic about the future, the way we look at challenges as opportunities, to grow, to build, to be there for each other. That’s the message we’re celebrating on Canada Day,” he said.Trudeau was speaking on the front steps of Highbury Canco with CEO Sam Diab.Diab said in an interview that the tomato-processing facility will face increasing cost pressures as a response to the Canada-U.S. trade dispute.However, the company does not plan on laying off any workers or shrinking its production, Diab said.Trudeau got a tour of the facility and the two spoke about the trade environment and how Diab supports Trudeau’s retaliatory tariffs.“We just need closure so that we can move forward and companies can start investing again,” said Diab, adding that the prime minister’s visit to the company made him feel more “confident” in the market.“Our company will survive no matter what.”Later in the day in Regina, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada’s tariffs were designed to offer a clear message that the Trump administration’s trade action against Canada is “illegal and absurd” and that Canada is responding, dollar-for-dollar, in retaliation.“We will not just be victims of American policy, we’re going to fight back.”He said Trudeau wanted to be on the ground with steelworkers at a family event on the day Canada’s counter-tariffs came into effect to “make it really tangible what this is about.“It’s not about corporate board rooms and decision-making at some 30,000-foot level. This touches families and lives and homes and communities.”Meantime, revellers on Parliament Hill who braved scorching temperatures to take in the festivities in Ottawa also expressed support for Trudeau’s hard line against Trump on trade.Angela Egan said she feels Trump is trying to “bully” Canada into submission.“I’m glad that Justin Trudeau is standing up to him, because I feel like that’s his modus operandi, he just tries to bully to get his way and we need to stand up for ourselves,” she said.“I think if you stand up to him, he’ll back down.”Ian Cross of Prince Edward Island said he does not believe Canada-U.S. relations are being damaged too deeply by the current trade spat.“I think we’ll get through this. Everybody has to go through different arguments and discussions. People do it, families do it, so I don’t think this is a big deal.”The prime minister ended his long Canada Day tour in the Yukon where he was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of about 600 people in Dawson City.Arriving a little late, Trudeau waded slowly through the crowd that had gathered for a barbecue at the city’s Waterfront Park, shaking lots of hands and posing for photos and selfies.Premier Sandy Silver and Mayor Wayne Potoroka were there as Larry Bagnell, Yukon’s Member of Parliament, gave Trudeau a rousing introduction as “the first prime minister in decades who has been outside Ottawa on Canada day.”Sounding a little hoarse, but still energetic, after his cross-country day of speech making, the prime minister said it was great to be back in the Yukon.“Happy Canada Day, Dawson City,” he shouted to his cheering audience.“You know, I’ve been right across the country all day, starting in Leamington, Ontario, through Regina, Saskatchewan, and ending here, and the sun is a long way from setting, so we’ve got a lot of time to party still.”He then returned to his themes from earlier in the day, talking about Canadians being “there for each other,” looking to the future “with optimism and strength,” and “facing down any challenges that come our way.”—With files from Alanna Rizza in Leamington, Ont., Sam Maciag in Regina, Dan Davidson in Dawson City, and The Associated Press.Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img read more

Tom Mulcair repeats promise to call MMIW inquiry if elected prime minister

first_imgAPTN National NewsNDP leader Tom Mulcair made a campaign stop in Saskatoon Monday.He promised millions to support ending violence against women.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf also reports he repeated a promise for missing and murdered women, too.last_img

Nonmedical cannabis retail stores in Fort St John continue to wait

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With non-medical cannabis retail stores opening their doors around the region, the question is when will the first shop open their doors in FSJ.With five shops submitting their applications to City Council and being approved, the shops of FSJ seem to be in a holding pattern in different states of assessment with the Government.The third applicant in FSJ is Cannabis Corner to be located at #2 – 10108 100 Street, in the location of the old Playtime Toys. Once that is approved staff can be hired and product ordering from the BCLCB can begin. “We will open within days of receiving conditional approval,” shared Lepine. Danny Lepine, one of the three partners of Cannabis Corner says, “We have completed our security screening interviews a few weeks ago tho we have heard nothing further. We have no idea as to when we may receive approval,”Lepine is waiting to receive conditional approval so the company can go ahead and prepare the store floorplan as designed. There is then a physical store inspection to confirm that the store matches the floorplans submitted.center_img With retailers already opening their doors in Pouce Coupe, Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek there is anticipation in Fort St. John to do the same.last_img read more

Dutch FarRight Politician to Be Prosecuted for Inciting Hatred against Moroccans

Amsterdam – Dutch far-right politician and leader of (PVV) party, Geert Wilders, will be prosecuted on charges of incitement “to discrimination and hatred,” following his racist comments last March against the Moroccan community living in the Netherlands, according to the Public Prosecutor in The Hague.“Politicians may go far in their statements because of freedom of expression, but this freedom is limited by the prohibition on discrimination,” the Prosecutor said in a statement.Geert Wilders tweeted earlier today that he can’t understand the decision to prosecute him. “Incomprehensible decision to prosecute me. The elite want to shut (PVV) down. Tey will not succeed. Never!” he said. Onbegrijpelijk besluit OM mij te vervolgen. De elite wil de PVV een kopje kleiner maken. Gaat ze niet lukken. Nooit.— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) December 18, 2014Charges against Wilders stem from anti-Moroccan chant he led during an electoral campaign in The Hague. The anti-Moroccan chant sparked uproar among Dutch politicians and social media users.Following this incident, the public prosecutor received over 6,400 complaints from Dutch citizens, including Dutch of Moroccan origin.As response to his xenophobic remarks, a Facebook page named “Ik doe aangifte tegen Wilders” (I am reporting Wilders) was created in March and gained 96,124 likes in a short time.Dutch Moroccans and other human right activists responded with a selfie campaign on twitter using the Hashtag #bornhere. read more

US orders end to Turkeys involvement in F35 program

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has notified Turkey that it is cancelling its purchase of F-35 fighter jets if the Turkish government goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defence system.Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has sent a letter notifying Turkey that all training of Turkish pilots will also end as of July 31. And all Turkish personnel connected to the F-35 program must leave the country by the end of that month.Shanahan’s letter to Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Aka also says Turkey won’t be allowed to take final delivery of the four F-35s it bought.The letter is the latest in an ongoing dispute over Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian-made S-400 system. The U.S. has repeatedly warned Ankara that the Russian system is considered a threat to the F-35.Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press read more

At UN youth stress efforts to promote development

10 August 2007More than 200 young people from around the world held a celebration today at United Nations headquarters in New York, kicking off a series of UN events to mark International Youth Day this year. Youth groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States showcased their contributions to society, and spoke about their efforts to make the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a series of targets to slash a host of social and economic ills by 2015 – a reality.They also gave presentations on how they are utilizing the Internet to take action in local and global communities as well as on the importance of young people’s participation in shaping the world they are to inherit. The celebrations also included performances from youth performing gymnastics, circus art routines, step dances and poetry.The photographs by the winners of the Shoot Nations International Photo Competition – which asked young people to document what matters to them and how to make a difference – were put on display in a specially made light-box art installation.International Youth Day is celebrated every year on 12 August, providing an opportunity to recognize the world’s 1.2 billion young people, to celebrate their achievements and to push for their participation in all areas of society and development. This year’s theme is “Be seen, be heard: youth participation for development.” read more

Ban Kimoon gathers global health experts to improve care for worlds poorest

9 May 2008United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and global health leaders meeting at the Carter Center in the United States city of Atlanta today agreed on measures to help make childbirth safer and tackle other challenges facing the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. “We are here not only because global health is an enormous challenge, but also because we can do something about it,” Mr. Ban said at a press conference following his meeting with leading global health experts from civil society, academia, philanthropy and the private sector gathered at the Carter Center, with its founder, former US President Jimmy Carter, in attendance.The meeting attracted the participation of Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, and previous WHO chief Gro Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and a member of the Elders, a group of world leaders whose goal is to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity in tackling some of the world’s toughest problems. The Secretary-General said participants had a productive session. “We have achieved consensus on the urgency of strengthening health systems to serve all, especially the poorest and most vulnerable,” he said.Maternal health was a key focus of the discussions. “We have outlined concrete options to make the process of giving birth safer for mothers, and debated concrete means to improve women’s health,” the Secretary-General announced.A mother dies every minute from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal health is the slowest moving target of the Millennium Development Goals – the goals that all countries have agreed to reach by 2015 to lift people out of poverty. “It is unacceptable that over half a million mothers die every year,” declared Mr. Ban. “We must put a stop to these senseless deaths.”Dr. Chan said women’s health is critical. “The world in the last 20 years failed to take care of its women,” she said. The maternal mortality rate had not budged in those two decades. She decried the fact that half a million women die in childbirth each year and another half a million suffer from neglected tropical diseases.Dr. Brundtland agreed that “on the side of mothers, the world is really far away from any improvements and we need to now focus again so that we don’t have a woman dying every minute because of childbirth.” She said the international community knows what works. “The resources are not outrageous – $10 billion is nothing in our world today to really make a serious impact on these kinds of issues,” she said. The Secretary-General said participants also targeted neglected diseases like guinea worm and river blindness that “can be eliminated if we only take the time to do so.”More than 1 billion people — one sixth of the world’s population — suffer from one or more tropical diseases that are neglected in terms of the international response. Experts say eradication of some of these diseases is possible if treatment is scaled up in the poorest countries, but they caution that functioning and affordable health systems must be in place for progress to be achieved. President Carter said this was “one of the most important meetings” that he would attend this year. He stressed that to address global health problems, “it is not only a matter of health care but of economic progress for the poorest people on earth.”In his comments to reporters, Mr. Ban also expressed concern about the situation in Myanmar, calling on the authorities to allow aid and humanitarian workers into the country without any hindrance. “I appeal to them strongly to do all they can to facilitate this aid.”Mr. Ban warned that inaction would be deadly. “If early action is not taken and relief measures put in place, the medium-term effect of this tragedy could be truly catastrophic,” he said, calling for an end to political differences to address the tremendous challenges ahead. “The sheer survival of the affected people is at stake.” read more

Planned Parenthood to close 2 Ohio health clinics

CINCINNATI — Planned Parenthood will close two Cincinnati health centres that together serve more than 6,000 patients a year.The planned closure of the Springdale Health Center and Western Hills Health Center comes after the organization refused to follow new rules for receiving federal money for birth control and other reproductive health services.Neither of the centres performs abortions.The organization blames the federal and state policy changes for the centres having to close the health centres on Sept. 20.The Trump administration began enforcing a “gag rule” in August, preventing entities receiving Title X dollars from recommending or advocating abortion.Planned Parenthood decided not to comply with the federal rule and stopped accepting funding through the federal program that provides family planning help to low-income women and families.The Associated Press read more

Encana to sell Wyoming gas assets to private equity firm for US18

by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 31, 2014 7:22 am MDT Encana to sell Wyoming gas assets to private equity firm for US$1.8 billion CALGARY – Encana Corp. has reached a deal to sell natural gas properties in Wyoming to a private equity firm for US$1.8-billion, as the Canadian company looks to pare down its portfolio.The deal Monday with TPG Capital involves about 1,500 active wells in the Jonah field in Wyoming’s Sublette County over some 9,700 hectares. The lands have proved reserves equivalent to about 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas.CEO Doug Suttles, who took the helm of Encana last June, said the sale fits the company’s new strategy.“With the divestment of Jonah, we are unlocking value from a mature, high-quality asset and allowing our teams to focus on our five core growth areas and continue with execution of our new strategy,” he said in a statement.Suttles has said he aims to make Encana a smaller, but more profitable and better focused, company.Instead of investing in dozens of projects North America, Encana is now focused on five core areas: the Montney and Duvernay formations in Western Canada, the DJ Basin in Colorado, the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in Mississippi and Louisiana.The strategic overhaul announced last year also saw Encana cut 20 per cent of its workforce.Encana’s current employees in Wyoming are expected to stay on with TPG Capital, which has offices around the world.TPG expects to continue investing in the Jonah field and nearby acreage.“We look forward to working with the talented Encana team that has made Jonah a successful operation for many years,” says Craig Manaugh, president and chief operating officer of TPG’s newly formed oil and gas business.“We are also pleased to announce that we will be maintaining the Jonah field office near Pinedale, Wyoming and opening a Denver office as a result of the transaction.”The proposed deal requires regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Somehow Rafael Nadal Got Better On Clay

For all his dominance, the only accomplishment Nadal has yet to achieve is going undefeated in the four premier clay court tournaments1The Monte Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open, the Madrid Open and the Italian Open. and then winning the French Open in a single season. The closest he came was in 2013, when he lost the Monte Carlo final to Djokovic and then won his next four clay events, including the French Open. Last year was similar for Nadal: He won four clay tournaments but lost in the quarterfinals at the Italian Open, in straight sets to Dominic Thiem. He later thumped Thiem in straight sets in the French Open semifinals, finishing the match with a 6-0 set.For Nadal to win in Madrid and Italy this year, he’ll need to stay healthy and play as few taxing games as possible, as he has done so far. But no matter what happens in those tourneys, unless he’s hurt, he’ll be the heavy favorite to win the French Open, where his record is 79-2. Don’t be surprised if that turns into 86-2 come June. When Rafael Nadal arrives in Paris this season with a chance to win his 11th French Open title, he could be there in a way no one expected: better than ever on clay.Nadal, who will be 32 years old in June, should have been finished by now, especially on clay. It’s rare for players older than 30 to win the French Open, and Nadal had been on a downward trend. He didn’t win the tournament in 2015 or 2016, and he won just two clay tournaments in 2015. Even worse, he lost to Novak Djokovic that year in the French Open quarterfinals, a sure sign that he was no longer invincible. (Djokovic won in straight sets, including a deadly 6-1 in the third.) A year later, Nadal left the French Open after winning two rounds because of a wrist injury. Even at his best in those two years, he looked well behind Djokovic, who beat Nadal seven times in a row without losing a set, including three on clay.But instead of crumbling, Nadal has climbed back and become more dominant on clay than ever before. He’s done it with more powerful strokes, a stronger serve and more volleys — and, most important, the confidence that seemed to escape him several years ago. Since the start of last year’s French Open, Nadal hasn’t lost a set on clay in three tournaments plus two Davis Cup matches. That’s an all-time record of 46 clay court sets in a row, smashing the former record of 35 consecutive clay wins by Guillermo Coria. Nadal has come close to this before, too: Four other times in his career he won 30 or more consecutive sets on clay, according to the ATP World Tour. But Nadal isn’t just winning matches on the surface he loves; he’s dominating them. Nadal’s dominance ratio, which is the measure of a player’s winning percentage when returning serve versus the opponent’s winning percentage on serve return points, is at the highest it’s ever been over the past two years. Essentially, his opponents are never safe on the court — Nadal can win any point at any time. In Barcelona this year, Martin Klizan lost his first set against Nadal at love, but he broke Nadal’s serve in the second set and led 5-3. Nadal held serve and then saved three set points against him to tie up the set at 5-5. Nadal proceeded to win the next two games to close out the match. Tennis has never seen a player who excels more on a single surface than Nadal. His career on clay boggles the mind. He owns a record that, in tennis, doesn’t compute — it shouldn’t be possible. His overall record on clay is 401-35: Yes, that’s 92 percent. In the Open era, which began in 1968, no other star in tennis has come close to that on any surface. The next highest winning percentage on clay comes from Bjorn Borg, who won 86 percent of his clay court matches — and he played far fewer matches than Nadal (294 in all on clay). The best players on other surfaces don’t match Nadal, either. Roger Federer has won eight Wimbledon titles, an all-time record, and 87 percent of his matches on grass, in 188 attempts. Pete Sampras, a seven-time Wimbledon winner, won 84 percent of his 121 total matches on grass. And Djokovic, winner of six titles at the Australian Open and two at the U.S. Open, has an 84 percent winning percentage in his 609 hard court matches. read more

Heading for a Christmas Day swim Heres 6 top tips to see

first_imgGraham O’Donnell at the 40 Foot in Sandycove, 2011 [Image: Photocall Ireland]Read: Irish endurance swimmers take double gold at World Winter ChampionshipsRead: The curious case of the swimming Scottish cows Roderick O’Connor at the Forty Foot in 2010 [Photocall Ireland]SOME DO IT for charity, others simply because it’s always been part of a family tradition; whatever the reason, a Christmas Day swim always seems like a great idea… until you actually reach the edge of the water.Nevertheless, it’s something thousands of Irish people go through with at beaches and swimming spots all over the country. Tens of thousands more turn up to show their ‘support’ — shaking their heads at the brazen bathers and laughingly shouting encouragement.Everyone’s got their theory about how best to prepare for the plunge (usually involving tots of rum or whiskey), and the best way to regain a regular human temperature afterwards (again with the whiskey). But what’s the official advice? We got on to the folks at Irish Water Safety — here’s what they told us…Gerard Graham from Blackrock takes the plunge at the 40 Foot last year [Photocall Ireland]1. If you’re organising a charity swim, make sure to give the details to your local Coast Guard unit and gardaí first.2. Appoint a ‘safety officer’ to oversee the event, and who will have the ultimate responsibility for deciding if the swim can go ahead.3. Don’t take a chance on running the swim if the weather deteriorates — defer it to a different day.4. It is a fallacy that alcohol will keep you warm when entering the water; in fact it has the reverse effect and could well kill you. IWS says it “strongly recommends that no alcohol be taken either before the swim or after the swim”.[Image: Mokolabs via Flickr/Creative Commons]5. “Make sure you have safe access and exit points from the water”… In other words, don’t thoughtlessly throw yourself into the sea without a plan for how to get out!6. And the final word of advice: “Swimmers’ remaining in the water for extended periods in a gesture of bravado is not acceptable. The message is ‘Get In, Get Out and Warm Up’.”So there you have it. Settling down to some sort of turkey and ham based meal at some point in the afternoon might be advisable too…Happy swimming…last_img read more

The most exciting things that happened to you as a kid

first_imgYouTube/PCummins2009There was a dog in the school yardVia ImgurYou got through to Longwave Radio Atlantic 252  and they played your requestThe carnival came to town, and you had a fiver to spendPhotocall IrelandYou got something in the post This is only a tiny snippet of some of the greatest things that happened to you as a kid. Tell us your memories in the comments section…Oh, just some newborn penguins>6 people who are NOT happy about spring> It got us thinking what the most exciting things that happened to you when you were growing up…Someone you knew was on Winning Streak or Where in the World DID THE 2FM Beat on the Street ever come to your town, you lucky divils?The open-air travelling roadshow brought fierce excitement to many an Irish town in the late eighties and nineties.This week a memory from the Beat on the Street in Waterford was shared on Reddit:center_img via OldSchoolPanini.comYou had unlimited access to a bouncy castleAdam Davy/EMPICS Sport The teacher pushed the telly on wheels into the classroomYou sent a letter complaining about some sweets and the company sent you some free sweetsThis wasn’t an urban myth you know? It actually happened.You managed to collect an entire set of Panini stickerslast_img read more

Meet the Irish delegates rubbing shoulders with the global elite at Davos

first_img FIVE POLITICAL AND business leaders from Ireland are set to rub shoulders with the world’s elite at the World Economic Forum this week.The annual four-day event, now in its 47th year, kicked off today and will see 3,000 people from nearly 100 countries flock to the Swiss town of Davos, which is where the conference gets its nickname.Political, religious, tech and business leaders – with a few celebrities like Matt Damon and thrown in – will attend the summit, which is basically a get-together for the rich and powerful to have a chinwag about the key problems they see affecting the world.Under the theme ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership’, around 400 sessions will take place across the four days, addressing topics such as gender balance and climate change.However the election of Donald Trump, whose inauguration clashes with the event, and Brexit are also likely to dominate discussions. Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be joined by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, a regular attendee for the sessions. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan Source: Rollingnews.ieNotably, one of Ireland’s richest men, Denis O’Brien, won’t be there after attending the last two conferences. That said, the official list released by WEF isn’t comprehensive, so there is a chance the billionaire media and telecoms mogul could still show up.With that in mind, here’s who will be joining Noonan and Kenny as part of the Irish delegation at Davos 2017, according to the names on the official guest list:Garry LyonsMastercard chief innovation officer Garry Lyons will participate in a panel discussion on improving agriculture for economic stability and growth.Lyons also heads up MasterCard Labs, the company’s research and development arm, which is based in Leopardstown, Dublin.He was chief executive officer of payments provider Orbiscom before it was acquired by MasterCard in 2008. By Fora Staff Join @GarryLyons in a panel discussion on importance of agriculture in driving #SDGs & economic inclusion @Davos #WEF17— Mastercard News (@MastercardNews) January 12, 2017 Jan 17th 2017, 2:50 PM Short URL Meet the Irish delegates rubbing shoulders with the global elite at Davos Denis O’Brien appears to be skipping the latest installment. Source: Mastercard News/Twitter Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news:center_img Take me to Fora Share12 Tweet Email Rob LeslieThe chief executive of Sedicii, a Waterford-based company that makes data protection software, will be taking part in a round-table discussion on how Europe can “return to a stronger growth track” amid the fragile recovery of the eurozone.Sweden’s finance minister Magdalena Andersson and the head of Italy’s postal system, Francesco Caio, will also take part in the discussion.Founded by Leslie in 2013, Sedicii makes encrypted software to protect consumers’ banking details and other sensitive information. It also makes a product that monitors social media pages for negative comments. Rob Leslie Source: YouTubeLeslie is also the founder of fintech firm Kyckr, which announced last year that it raised AU$5 million as part of its initial public offering on the Australian stock exchange.His CV includes working as a mentor for Enterprise Ireland and being part of the management team that helped Dell enter the Japanese market.Andrea BandelliThe Italy-born executive director of Science Gallery International, Andrea Bandelli, will take part in a number of panels at ‘Benevolent Machine’, an exhibition on how technology is getting better at mimicking human behaviour. Andrea Bandelli Source: Science Gallery InternationalBased in Dublin, Science Gallery International is the body that oversees the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin as well as sister galleries that will open in London, Melbourne, Venice and Bengaluru, India.Bandelli was appointed to his current role in March 2016 and has had a long history with Ecsite, a European organisation representing science centres and museums in 25 countries.Written by Conor McMahon and posted on 37 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 15,928 Views Tuesday 17 Jan 2017, 2:50 PMlast_img read more

Hopes over fate of missing Syria bishops

first_imgAlleged comments by Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun last week over the fate of two Orthodox bishops abducted in the troubled Middle East country earlier this year have raised hopes that the two clerics are still alive, Kathimerini understands.According to Russian media, during a visit to Moscow on Tuesday, Hassoun said he had information that Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim are alive and that they are in Turkey.The Turkish Foreign Ministry subsequently denied the allegations.Bishop Louka, the representative of Patriarch John X of Antioch, told Kathimerini the patriarchate was aware of the comments but did not have any firsthand information about their whereabouts.“We hear all sorts of things, but all we can do right now is pray for them,” he said.The two clerics were seized in April near the northern commercial and industrial hub of Aleppo, which was contested by rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Authorities suggested the abduction had been carried out by anti-Assad rebels.Optimism about their fate was also reinforced by comments made by Lebanese intelligence chief Abbas Ibrahim, who on Tuesday said that he knew the whereabouts of the two bishops, adding that he had been negotiating for their release. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Découverte de gènes qui jouent sur le vieillissement cérébral

first_imgDécouverte de gènes qui jouent sur le vieillissement cérébralDes équipes internationales de scientifiques travaillant sur la maladie d’Alzheimer révèlent avoir identifié des gènes ayant un impact sur le vieillissement du cerveau et de la mémoire.La revue Nature Genetics publiait hier deux grandes études internationales (Charge et Enigma) qui ont permis d’identifier des modifications génétiques héréditaires associées à une accélération du vieillissement cérébral. La zone qui a été particulièrement marquée par ce vieillissement, l’hippocampe, est une structure profondément enfouie dans le cerveau et qui joue un rôle primordial dans les processus de mémorisation. À lire aussiLe mariage aiderait à prévenir les risques de démence, mais pourquoi ?L’hippocampe rétrécit avec l’âge, indique le neurologue américain Charles DeCarli (Université de Californie), co-auteur de travaux. Toutefois, si ce phénomène s’accélère, cela peut rendre plus vulnérable à la maladie d’Alzheimer, estime-t-il. Or, les calculs des scientifiques a permis d’identifier des mutations génétiques qui sont très répandues et aboutiraient à provoquer un vieillissement de quatre ans prématuré. L’étude internationale Charge, pilotée en France par Christophe Tzourio (neuroépidémiologie, Inserm, Bordeaux) montre quant à elle que certaines de ces mutations touchent quatre gènes susceptibles d’accélérer le rétrécissement de cette région du cerveau si importante pour la mémoire. Selon les informations communiquées, il s’agit de gènes impliqués entre autres dans la mort des cellules (gène HKR), le développement de l’embryon (WIF1), le diabète (DPP) et la migration neuronale (ASTN2). Les chercheurs ont ainsi repéré 18 mutations, situées sur le chromosome 12 et deux autres sur les chromosomes 2 et 9 qui sont “associées de manière significative à une réduction du volume de l’hippocampe”. “La plus forte association dite “rs7294919″, située sur le chromosome 12, est confirmée par les deux consortiums Enigma et Change, et porte sur un petit changement d’une lettre du code génétique (un T qui remplace un C)”, souligne Christophe Tzourio.Si, sur le plan cérébral, chaque copie de la mutation ferait vieillir de 4 ans, lorsqu’on a hérité de deux copies, le vieillissement prématuré serait d’au moins huit ans, ajoute le chercheur français.  “Comprendre comment ces gènes affectent le développement et le vieillissement de l’hippocampe pourrait nous fournir de nouveaux outils pour retarder les pertes de mémoire liées au vieillissement et peut-être réduire l’impact de maladies comme la maladie d”Alzheimer”, souligne le Dr DeCarli.Le 16 avril 2012 à 15:05 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more