#Donkomi: David Accam joins Columbus Crew

first_imgMLS side Columbus Crew have announced the signing of Ghana International David Accam for around $500,000. The 28 year old joins from fellow MLS side Philadelphia Union where he scored 5 goals in an injury stricken time. “We want to welcome David Accam to Columbus Crew SC as David is a fast, dynamic player and a proven attacking threat in MLS,” said Crew SC President Tim Bezbatchenko. “In addition to having experience in the League, we believe David’s specific skillset will help us bolster the attack of our current roster and we look forward to his contributions to the Club this season.”Accam who is in his fifth Major League Soccer season has made 109 appearances, scoring 38 goals and providing 17 assists since joining the League.Accam will join three other international teammates in Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Lalas Abubakar at Columbus.last_img read more

For climate action to take hold, activists need more than just polar bears

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar 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 Activism, Climate Change, Conservation, Environment, Impact Of Climate Change, Interns, Research center_img A new study finds that people who do not have “biospheric concerns” are unconvinced by climate change arguments that hinge on such avatars as polar bears, coral reefs and pikas.Researchers suggest policymakers, activists and the media must choose stories that hit closer to home, by focusing on the more personal impacts of climate change.Scientists would also like to see more research on how to convince people who are largely concerned with their own narrow interests that climate change, and nature in general, matters. Type “climate change” into any search engine and the results aren’t difficult to predict: you’ll probably see a woeful polar bear on a shrinking patch of ice. Either that or cracked, parched earth. But a new paper published in Global Environmental Change questions the power of nature to motivate climate action.“Frequently, visual and verbal stimuli used in the media to describe threats of climate change feature plants, animals and other typical nature depictions,” said Sabrina Helm, associate professor of retailing and consumer science at the University of Arizona and lead author of the paper. “However, for people who are more concerned about possible effects on themselves, their family, or people in general […] such stimuli may not be effective.”Helm’s paper distinguished three different forms of environmental concern among people: biospheric (concern for nature), social-altruistic (concern for other people), and egoistic (concern for oneself).Participants in the study who showed biospheric concern were most likely to perform positive environmental behaviors. The paper concludes, however, that by catering only to biospheric concerns — and neglecting egoistic or social-altruistic concerns — policymakers and activists may be unintentionally “increasing the risks associated with delaying climate change adaptation.” Hitting closer to homeResearchers presented 342 adults in the U.S. with questions about what most concerned them regarding global environmental problems. Participants could choose from prepared answers that indicated egoistic concern (“my lifestyle,” for instance), social-altruistic concern (“my children”) or biospheric concern (“marine life”). The study also plumbed participants’ so-called pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs), such as whether they used reusable bags, actively reduced emissions, or ate organic food.Results indicated that whereas respondents with higher biospheric concern tended to perceive ecological stress and engage in pro-environmental behaviors, participants with social-altruistic concern were less perceptive though did engage in similar actions. Participants with higher egoistic concerns neither perceived ecological stress nor engaged in behavior to mitigate it.Researchers believe this is because egoistic and social-altruisic concerns are seen as less vulnerable to climate change impacts than biospheric concerns.Egoistic and social-altruistic respondents “did not seem to perceive climate change threats as having a profound effect on their own or their families’ life,” the scientists wrote in the paper. This finding is also backed up by other psychological studies. “We summarize that policymakers frequently emphasize climate change as a global, distant, and abstract societal risk,” said Sander van der Linden, a researcher at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, who was not involved in the study. Pointing to the constant use of polar bears as an avatar for climate change, van der Linden said: “Instead, we recommend that policymakers should change their approach to emphasizing the local, present, and concrete aspects of climate change as a personal risk.”Van der Linden, who is also a psychology researcher at the University of Cambridge, co-authored a paper in 2015 outlining five “best practice” insights for how psychological research could improve public engagement with climate change. Helm echoed van der Linden’s sentiment, encouraging the deployment of stories that “hit closer to home” for people for whom biospheric concerns do not register strongly. Some examples she suggested include linking climate change threats to issues of personal health, national security, and the well-being of future generations.The researchers suggest a nuanced finding that instead of using shock tactics to barge down the door of indifference, perhaps climate change communication is a matter of finding the right keys to different locks.Using the plight of polar bears in the Arctic, which suffer from thinning sea ice, as a proxy for climate change communication could risk losing the interest of people for whom biospheric concerns don’t register all that strongly. Photograph credit: Wikimedia Commons.Motivating climate actionIn Helm’s paper, the scientists reference a 2009 publication by WWF-UK whose authors, evolutionary biologist Tom Crompton and psychology professor Tim Kasser, dissuade campaigners from encouraging egoism as a means to engage climate action. This is because, they argue, egoistic concerns can often engender a separation from nature: one feels superior to, rather than a part of, the natural world.Instead, Crompton and Kasser recommend that increasing awareness of the inherent value of nature and empathy for non-human animals — in other words, biospheric concerns — is best for long-term environmental improvement.Commenting on Crompton and Kasser’s research, Helm said that while “it may be desirable for all people to have biospheric concerns in mind,” she expressed doubt that “it’s just not a reality.”Both Kasser and Helm agree there are people who simply don’t care much for the environment, but also that telling such people to be more sensitive to biospheric concerns is not the answer.Kasser suggested a different way in which climate change communicators could effectively reach individuals who showed little concern for the environment: through a sensitive and empathetic approach to discover their value systems.“Having done that, it then becomes even more possible … to engage that person in thinking about his/her behaviors and … ways that can help him/her to see how protecting the environment is actually supportive and expressive of those values,” he wrote in an email.In Helm’s paper, individuals with social-altruistic concerns also showed fewer pro-environmental behaviors than individuals with biospheric concerns. However, where they did, the scientists hypothesized that it was because they felt their value system would be strongly affected by climate change — in this case, their children’s future. Using this approach, communicators could both attract the attention of people with egoistic or altruistic concerns, while also promoting a message of nature’s inherent worth to every value system.Helm expressed hope that future research might examine more links between egoistic concerns in particular and positive environmental behaviors to figure out how to motivate pro-environmental consumption and climate change mitigation.Either way, it probably won’t involve a polar bear.Sorry, polar bear. Photograph credit: Rhett A. ButlerBanner image: A polar bear on thin ice. Photograph credit: Arturo de Frias Marques.CITATIONSCrompton, T., Kasser, T., 2009. Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity. WWF-UK, Godalming.Helm, S. V., Pollitt, A., Barnett, M. A., Curran, M. A., & Craig, Z. R. (2018). Differentiating environmental concern in the context of psychological adaption to climate change. Global Environmental Change, 48, 158-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.11.012van der Lindern, S., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A. (2015). Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five “Best Practice” Insights From Psychological Science. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Vol 10, Issue 6, pp. 758 – 763. DOI: 10.1177/1745691615598516last_img read more

150 years after being discovered, African monkey with handlebar moustache becomes its own species

first_img 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 An African monkey first described to science more than 150 years ago has now been elevated to full species status.The Blue Nile patas monkey is found in the Blue Nile basin of Ethiopia as well as in eastern Sudan. Its range is geographically distinct from that of other patas monkeys, as Sudan’s Sudd swamp region and the Ethiopian highlands isolate the Blue Nile patas in the extreme northeast end of patas monkeys’ known distribution range.Patas monkeys are ground-dwellers and the fastest runners amongst all primates, capable of reaching more than 30 miles per hour. They were, up until now, considered to be one species, Erythrocebus patas — the only species within the genus Erythrocebus. Or at least it was the only recognized species in the genus until Erythrocebus poliophaeus, the Blue Nile patas monkey, was recently elevated to full species status by Spartaco Gippoliti, a scientist with the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group.The Blue Nile patas monkey has a black face and nose as well as a tuft of fur below its nose that looks distinctly like a white handlebar moustache. The species does not, however, have the band between ears and eyes that is characteristic of other patas monkeys.Gippoliti wrote in a recent study published in the journal Primate Conservation that “New data on the distribution and physical appearance of patas monkeys in Ethiopia, together with a review of the old taxonomic literature, allows to us disentangle some questions concerning the taxonomy of Erythrocebus in northeast Africa.”Adult male Blue Nile Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus poliophaeus), Beijing Zoo. Photo courtesy of Jonas Livet.The Blue Nile patas monkey was first described and given the name Erythrocebus poliophaeus in 1862. But a taxonomic revision of Erythrocebus was done in 1927, and it was erroneously determined at that time that the genus was monotypic, meaning it consisted of just one species.According to Gipolliti, “Given the huge distributional range of Erythrocebus, it seems unlikely that the current monotypic classification describes the diversity of the genus correctly, all the more since other savannah dwelling African primate genera, such as Papio and Chlorocebus, comprise multiple species.” Even in 1927, there were enough differences observed among various populations of patas monkeys that three subspecies were identified — and a fourth subspecies was added in 1950.In 2008, the IUCN assessed Erythrocebus patas as a monotypic genus with no subspecies and classified it as a species of Least Concern. This was “undoubtedly the result of the deficient current taxonomy, the ample geographic range and the scarcity of research,” Gippoliti writes in the study. “Further, savannah primate species are generally believed to be less at risk than forest primates, but this is clearly an oversimplification that may be encouraged by an excessively-lumped alpha taxonomy.”Gippoliti adds that, though the results are still unpublished, Erythrocebus patas was reassessed as Near Threatened by the IUCN in 2016. The conservation status of the three subspecies initially recognized in 1927 were also assessed, for the first time ever. Erythrocebus patas patas was found to be Near Threatened, E. baumstarki to be Critically Endangered, and E. pyrrhonotus to be Vulnerable.Blue Nile Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus poliophaeus). Illustration by Stephen NashGippoliti notes in the study that Erythrocebus poliophaeus is threatened by habitat loss, and that while we still know very little about the extent of its range, the species’ distribution is “certainly limited” and therefore “the species is a cause for conservation concern.” But Gippoliti also argues that, now that it’s been established as taxonomically distinct, the monkey could serve as something of a flagship species to help spur the conservation of the wildlands of Ethiopia and Sudan.“Refining the taxonomy of the patas monkey was particularly rewarding for two main reasons,” he said in a statement. “The basic concept of the genus Erythrocebus was unchanged for about 100 years now, and the discovery of a distinct species living in eastern Sudan and western Ethiopia will put in the spotlight a little-known region of Africa, offering opportunities for new conservation projects in the area.”Gippoliti detailed his findings in an issue of Primate Conservation published at the end of 2017. The Blue Nile patas monkey is just one of several discoveries reported in that issue. Among the others is Grove’s dwarf lemur, found in Madagascar, and two new species of tarsier found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.Anthony Rylands, primate conservation director for Global Wildlife Conservation, also serves as deputy chair of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, which publishes the journal Primate Conservation. He said in a statement that “Patas monkeys occur west to east across sub-Saharan Africa, and there is notable variation in these remarkable primates. It’s only through this kind of painstaking research that we get a proper handle on their diversity so that we can more effectively protect these species from the threats they face.”Adult male Blue Nile Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus poliophaeus), Beijing Zoo. Photo courtesy of Jonas Livet.CITATIONS• Gippoliti, S. (2017). On the Taxonomy of Erythrocebus with a Re-evaluation of Erythrocebus poliophaeus (Reichenbach, 1862) from the Blue Nile Region of Sudan and Ethiopia. Primate Conservation, 31, 53-59.• Kingdon, J., Butynski, T.M. & De Jong, Y. 2008. Erythrocebus patas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T8073A12884516. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T8073A12884516.en. Downloaded on 16 March 2018.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Conservation, Environment, Mammals, Monkeys, New Discovery, Primates, Rediscovered Species, Species Discovery, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

English Premier League Reviews

first_imgBARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEWSCHELSEA 3 SUNDERLAND 1GOALS:- CHELSEA: IVANOVIC 5th; PEDRO 13th; OSCAR PEN 50th. SUNDERLAND: BORINI 52nd.Chelsea began life without JosÈ Mourinho by punishing a poor Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. The Blues, watched by incoming caretaker boss Guus Hiddink, took an early lead through Branislav Ivanovic and added a second before the break through Pedro. Oscar’s penalty confirmed the win, though Fabio Borini replied in the second half.EVERTON 2 LEICESTER CITY 3GOALS:- EVERTON: LUKAKU 32nd; MIRALLAS 87th. LEICESTER: MAHREZ PEN 27th, PEN 65th; OKAZAKI 69th.Leicester ensured they will be top of the Barclays Premier League at Christmas by beating Everton at Goodison Park. Riyad Mahrez scored the first of two penalties after Ramiro Funes Mori held back Shinji Okazaki. Romelu Lukaku levelled, but Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard tripped Jamie Vardy to allow Mahrez to convert from the spot a second time. Okazaki scored a third for the Foxes, who held on despite Kevin Mirallas’ late strike.MANCHESTER UNITED 1NORWICH CITY 2GOALS:- UNITED: MARTIAL 66th. VILLA: JEROME 38th; TETTEY 54th.The pressure is on Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after his team were humbled by struggling Norwich at Old Trafford. Norwich took the lead in the first half through Cameron Jerome. It got worse for the home side in the second half, as Jerome broke clear to feed Alex Tettey, who netted from close range. Anthony Martial pulled a goal back, but United’s winless run is now six games, while Norwich are out of the drop zone.NEWCASTLE UNITED 1ASTON VILLA 1GOALS:- NEWCASTLE: COLOCCINI 38th. VILLA: AYEW 61st.A wonderful second-half strike from Jordan Ayew earned Barclays Premier League bottom-club Aston Villa a valuable point at Newcastle. Ayew drove into the top corner from inside the area to cancel out Fabricio Coloccini’s close-range opener. Both sides had chances to win in the closing stages, with Newcastle striker Georginio Wijnaldum and Villa’s Rudy Gestede having shots saved.SOUTHAMPTON 0TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2GOALS:- TOTTENHAM: KANE 40th; ALLI 43rd.Harry Kane scored on his 100th Tottenham appearance, as they moved into the Barclays Premier League top four with victory at struggling Southampton. Kane broke through the Saints’ defensive line and finished coolly for a 10th goal in his past 10 games. Soon after, Dele Alli benefitted from some lax defending to score from close range and put Spurs firmly in control.STOKE CITY 1CRYSTAL PALACE 2GOALS:- STOKE: BOJAN PEN 76th. PALACE: WICKHAM PEN 45th; LEE 88th.Lee Chung-yong came off the bench to claim an 88th-minute winner for Crystal Palace at Stoke, leaving the Eagles level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. Connor Wickham’s penalty gave Palace a first-half lead, but after Stoke levelled from the spot when Damien Delaney was punished for handball and Bojan stepped up to dispatch his fourth goal of the season, Lee found the net with a 30-yard shot which sailed past Jack Butland on 88 minutes.WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH 2GOALS:- WBA: McAULEY 79th. BOURNEMOUTH: SMITH 52nd; DANIELD PEN 87th.Charlie Daniels’ late penalty earned Bournemouth a third successive Barclays Premier League victory at the expense of West Brom, who finished with nine men.The Baggies were a man down in the 34th minute when James McClean was shown red for scything down Adam Smith.The Cherries took the lead when Smith fired in low from 20 yards, before Gareth McAuley equalised with a header. Daniels crashed home the winner three minutes from time, before Salomon Rondon saw red for a clash with Dan Gosling.last_img read more

Three things we learned today at the World Cup

first_imgHere, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the World Cup today.Never count Germany outThe world champions were staring elimination at the first hurdle at a World Cup for the first time since 1930 when Kroos stood over a free-kick with 94 minutes on the clock in Sochi.One majestic swipe of the Real Madrid midfielder’s right foot and Germany are suddenly a threat to win the competition again.But there remains plenty of room for improvement. Joachim Loew’s decision to drop Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil wasn’t a resounding success as Germany struggled to create chances and were opened up on the counter-attack just as they were in defeat by Mexico.But Kroos’s brilliance has handed the holders a lifeline. Count them out at your peril.Brilliant BelgiumIn a World Cup where the favourites have largely failed to shine and struggled for goals, Belgium have so far stood out as a class apart.Lukaku moved level with Cristiano Ronaldo as the tournament’s top scorer on four goals, but an ankle ligament injury may prevent the Manchester United striker from fighting for the Golden Boot.After Panama and Tunisia, Roberto Martinez’s men face a steep step up in opposition, starting with England in Kaliningrad on Thursday.But their place in the last 16 should already be guaranteed by then with Martinez promising to ring the changes and they may even prefer to finish second in Group G.The group winners look set for the tougher side of the draw that could contain Brazil, Germany and France.Mexico making a noiseOne of the best supported nations in Russia, Mexican fans have flooded across the Atlantic in tens of thousands and their side are making just as big an impression on the pitch.After the emotional highs of beating Germany in their opening game, there was no hangover in Rostov as Juan Carlos Osorio’s men kept South Korea at arm’s length despite some rough treatment from the Asians and deservedly claimed another three points.Work still needs to be done with Mexico needing to avoid defeat against Sweden to be sure of making the last 16 for the seventh straight World Cup.On the last six occasions, that is as far as Mexico have gone. But there can be high hopes of making the quarter-finals this time around, particularly if they top the group to avoid a potential last-16 clash with Brazil.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Just in time: Toni Kroos saved Germany’s World Cup hopes in stoppage time against Sweden © AFP / Odd ANDERSENSAINT PETERSBURG, Russian Federation, Jun 23 – Germany staved off an early World Cup exit by the finest of margins thanks to Toni Kroos’s brilliant stoppage-time goal, but continue to trail an impressive Mexico side in Group F.Belgium, meanwhile, produced one of the few free-scoring performances of the tournament so far with Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard in fine form for the Red Devils.last_img read more

New political party as poll nears

first_imgIFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi is the leader of KwaZulu-Natal’s House of Traditional Leaders. (Image: Angeljes blog, Belgium) The recently formed National Freedom Party (NFP), a breakaway from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), hopes to draw in South Africans who’ve grown weary of racial battles among other political groups in the country. The party was officially launched at the Durban City Hall in KwaZulu-Natal on 25 January 2011.Recently dismissed IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi was elected by her supporters to be the leader of the NFP.Msibi had in the past been eyed as the next leader of the IFP, although its long-running president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has said that he will not be stepping down anytime soon.“I never thought that in my wildest dreams that I would ever stand in front of you and make this pronouncement about leaving the IFP, the party I have dedicated my entire life to serve,” Msibi said at the NFP launch.The NFP has already been registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and intends contesting the upcoming local government elections.“The NFP is a home to all South Africans, irrespective of their race, colour or creed. It is a home for the majority of our people who found themselves caught up in the racial battles of many parties in South Africa,” Msibi added.The party believes it will gain significant support from Zululand District Municipality’s Ulundi and Nongoma regions in the polls later this year.“We will win in Zululand because we have worked very hard there. In May, after local government elections, I will be the mayor of Zululand,” Msibi said.Breakaway a long time comingA rift within the IFP has existed since 2009 with members’ loyalties divided between Msibi and Buthelezi.Msibi’s faction has been in a tug-of-war with Buthelezi supporters and recently went to court to prevent an inquiry against her. If this intervention had been successful, it could have prevented her expulsion from the party.Msibi lost her fight in early January 2011 after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed her application to order the IFP to hold an elective conference, and to prevent it from subjecting her to a disciplinary inquiry.After the court dismissal, IFP secretary-general Musa Zondi said: “We have been vindicated. We have never had any doubt that the court would dismiss the applications brought against us … since the grounds for these applications carried no substance.“Our immediate goal today is to start recovering the lost ground ahead of the 2011 local government elections and contest these elections as one organisation with one leader,” added Zondi.But Msibi was already hinting at a split: “We will never regain the relationship we once had with the leadership of the IFP. We have to accept the court’s decision and move forward as the party has shown that they no longer want me and my supporters in their fold.“The president (Mangosuthu Buthelezi) made it clear that there will never be reconciliation between us and therefore if one door closes, other doors open. We will be there in the local government elections and we are capable of doing anything,” she added.Although Msibi lost her place within the IFP, she praised Buthelezi as her mentor: “He groomed me and I have no qualms with him, but now we need to let bygones be bygones.”Long-time rulerMangosuthu Buthelezi founded the IFP in 1975 and has been its president ever since. He is a former member of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, which he joined while studying at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape.The IFP and ANC had been bitter rivals since the 1980s, but after the first democratic elections in 1994 the relationship eased somewhat and the two parties formed a coalition in KwaZulu-Natal – the IFP’s stronghold.The IFP has 18 seats in the National Assembly and largely draws its support from isiZulu-speaking South Africans. The IFP strongly supports traditional leadership structures.Buthelezi plays an advisory role in the government as the head of KwaZulu-Natal’s House of Traditional Leaders.last_img read more

Citizenship Bill protests: no inputs of extremist role

first_imgThe Assam Police are ascertaining the role of extremist groups in the ongoing protests in the State against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.Addressing a press conference with Chief Secretary Alok Kumar on Saturday, Director-General of Police Kuladhar Saikia, however, said security forces did not have specific inputs about the involvement of extremists in the movement. “Eight cases have so far been registered over stray incidents of violence, and several people arrested. We can ascertain the involvement of underground outfits only after a thorough interrogation,” Mr. Saikia said.Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent was remote-controlling the protests. He claimed that the Bill was needed to save the State from “going Jinnah’s way.” Appeal for restraint Appealing for restraint, Mr. Alok Kumar said, “The State is passing through a challenging phase, although the law and order situation [arising out of the protests] is under control. The people have a right to protest, but there have been certain deviations.” Mr. Saikia said the police were overburdened with cases of social media abuse. Such cases, he felt, were taking up much of the time of police personnel.“Police stations are flooded with cases in connection with social media posts that people find objectionable or abusive. The police need some space to look into theft and other cases of crime,” he said.Many cases of alleged social media abuse turn out to be frivolous, the DGP added.The social media monitoring cell of Assam Police has been on overdrive since the lynching of two Guwahati-based youth in Karbi Anglong district last year.last_img read more

Hearing expected in BC human rights case involving transgender inmate

first_imgVANCOUVER – A lawyer for a transgender woman who was forced to stay in a men’s jail says his client hopes her human rights case against the British Columbia government will change policies for other inmates.Dan Soiseth said his client Jaris Lovado, who calls herself Bianca, was incarcerated at the Surrey Pretrial Centre for five months last year before being moved to a women’s facility after filing multiple complaints.The Justice Ministry tried to have Lovado’s complaint to the BC Human Rights Tribunal dismissed, but the tribunal ruled the case is worthy of a further hearing.BC Corrections has a policy of housing inmates according to their self-identified gender unless health and safety concerns can’t be resolved.The ministry told the tribunal that during a previous stay at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, Lovado engaged in inappropriate relationships with female inmates and posed a safety risk to women who may have experienced trauma.It also said Lovado displayed a “male persona.”“We don’t know exactly what that means,” Soiseth said.Soiseth, who represents the Community Legal Assistance Society, said there was no evidence provided of any safety concerns and it’s not unusual for inmates to have relationships.He said the main issue is that Lovado, who was serving time for fraud-related charges and breaching conditions of release, faced discrimination as a transgender person and her needs were not met until she complained.Lovado was moved to the women’s facility in Maple Ridge last September after she agreed to meet behavioural expectations.The tribunal’s written decision stated Alouette Correctional Centre initially declined to accept Lovado as a transfer based on information from BC Corrections that she’d been living in the community as a male.The decision said an April 26, 2016, email from the deputy warden to the assistant warden at Surrey Pretrial said Lovado refused to be skin frisked by a male but that the deputy said Lovado should undergo that procedure because she had “all the equipment of a male.”Lovado requested a “female Alouette Centre diet” while at Surrey Pretrial but was told that wasn’t possible, the ruling said. The tribunal noted BC Corrections branch did provide her with female underwear including bras and make-up from Alouette.Corrections said in its application for dismissal that staff at the Surrey Pretrial Centre ensured Lovado was placed in areas where she could have adequate privacy.“It says it also ensured Ms. Lovado’s physical and mental health-care needs were addressed in a timely manner,” the ruling said.Lovado did not respond to requests for comment, and the Justice Ministry said it could not provide information until the election writ is returned.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitterlast_img read more

Each Contenders Path To The College Football Playoff

For every team in the College Football Playoff hunt, the path forward remains an arduous one, filled with peril at every turn. But some of those paths are at least relatively straightforward; others involve a bunch of different moving parts. Today, let’s take a look at what each significant playoff contender needs to go its way — keeping things vaguely within the realm of the likely — in order to get to at least 90 percent playoff odds in the eyes of our prediction model. In each case, we’ll try to get it there in as few results as possible,1It’s important to note that this is without regard to chronology. So for instance, winning the conference championship could be the simplest way a team gets to 90 percent playoff odds, but that team would also need to win some easy games beforehand to make the conference title game matter. Our approach would still consider a conference title game win to be the simplest path, because the high probability of getting to that game in a position to make the playoff is “baked in” to the conditional probabilities. (Yes, my head hurts, too.) which is easier said for some teams than others.ClemsonCurrent playoff chances: 87 percentPath to 90+ percent:Clemson wins the ACC championship (Week 14): +9 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 96 percentChance of happening: 85 percentAlabamaCurrent playoff chances: 76 percentPath to 90+ percent:Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC championship (Week 14): +23 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 99 percentChance of happening: 64 percentGeorgiaCurrent playoff chances: 39 percentPath to 90+ percent:Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship (Week 14): +52 percentage pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 36 percentThese three are pretty basic. The undefeated Tigers and Crimson Tide are both practically assured of making the playoff if they just win their respective conference title games — even if they don’t otherwise win out. There are a few scenarios in which the two teams could miss the playoff with losses in between now and championship Saturday, but our model says the Tigers would still have an 80 percent playoff shot even if they lose to, say, Boston College this weekend but win the ACC. Likewise, Bama would be at 92 percent if it loses the Iron Bowl against Auburn but still wins the SEC.Alabama and Clemson’s chances if they win all their remaining games except the conference championship are 45 and 44 percent, respectively. But for the one-loss Bulldogs, that number is 12 percent. So for all intents and purposes, they have no choice but to hand the Tide a huge upset defeat if they want to extend their national championship hopes. The good news, though, is that if we assume UGA plays to the model’s expectations in its other three games (against Auburn, UMass and Georgia Tech), the SEC title game is the big win-and-you’re-in matchup to circle on the Bulldog calendar. In other words, for all three teams, the simplest playoff road leads through the conference championship.Notre DameCurrent playoff chances: 58 percentPath to 90+ percent:Notre Dame beats Florida State in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsNotre Dame beats Syracuse in Week 12: +15 pointsNotre Dame beats USC in Week 13: +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 49 percentOklahomaCurrent playoff chances: 41 percentPath to 90+ percent:Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in Week 11: +4 percentage pointsOklahoma beats Kansas in Week 12: +1 pointsOklahoma beats West Virginia in Week 13: +21 pointsOklahoma wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +24 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 37 percentOhio StateCurrent playoff chances: 18 percentPath to 90+ percent:Ohio State beats Michigan State in Week 11: +12 percentage pointsOhio State beats Michigan in Week 13: +32 pointsOhio State wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +28 pointsConditional playoff chances: 90 percentChance of happening: 18 percentNotre Dame doesn’t have a conference and therefore doesn’t have a chance to pad its resume with another signature win, so it has no room for error. Luckily, the Irish’s remaining schedule is quite reasonable. Florida State is a shell of its former self, Syracuse is having a good season but not on the Irish’s level, and USC isn’t what it used to be either. And our model says an undefeated Notre Dame is essentially a playoff shoo-in. The only cause for concern might be the health of quarterback Ian Book, who will miss Saturday’s game against FSU with a rib injury. But the Irish are still 16½-point favorites over the Seminoles even with backup QB Brandon Wimbush at the helm.Oklahoma and Ohio State can basically control their own destinies as well — the model says both have playoff chances of greater than 91 percent if they just win out. An Irish loss could potentially help the Sooners and Buckeyes, too. Oklahoma has a greater than 90 percent playoff probability conditional on just three outcomes: beating West Virginia and winning the Big 12 while Notre Dame loses at least one game. And any Notre Dame loss would nudge OSU’s chances above the 90 percent threshold as well, provided the Buckeyes beat Michigan and win the Big Ten.MichiganCurrent playoff chances: 40 percentPath to 90+ percent:Syracuse beats Notre Dame in Week 12: +9 percentage pointsMichigan beats Ohio State in Week 13: +28 pointsMichigan wins the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +15 pointsConditional playoff chances: 92 percentChance of happening: 13 percentUnlike Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Michigan can’t get to 90 percent simply by winning its remaining games. (That maxes them out at 82 percent.) The Wolverines need help, then, most likely in the form of an Irish loss against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17. Michigan has other potential paths — Boston College beating Clemson this weekend, for instance, would push UM’s odds to 88 percent if coupled with Wolverine wins over Ohio State and whomever they’d play for the Big Ten title. But watching some other team vicariously avenge Michigan’s early season loss in South Bend would be a fitting way for the Wolverines to stamp their ticket into the playoff.West VirginiaCurrent playoff chances: 12 percentPath to 90+ percent:West Virginia beats TCU in Week 11: +2 percentage pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma State in Week 12: +6 pointsWest Virginia beats Oklahoma in Week 13: +19 pointsWest Virginia wins the Big 12 championship (Week 14): +38 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +14 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 2 percentWVU needs even more help than does Michigan. And in fact, it might need help from Michigan. Generally speaking, it needs whoever wins the Michigan-Ohio State game — which will torpedo the chances of one member of the one-loss club — to then proceed to lose in the Big Ten title game. (Our model gives West Virginia slightly higher odds under the configuration where Michigan beats OSU, then loses.) Either way, the one-loss Mountaineers need as many teams with a similar resume as possible to move aside. But West Virginia isn’t necessarily putting all its eggs in the Big Ten basket. It could also see its playoff odds soar into the high-80-percent range if Notre Dame loses one of its remaining games (while WVU wins out).Washington StateCurrent playoff chances: 13 percentPath to 90+ percent:Washington State beats Colorado in Week 11: +5 percentage pointsWashington State beats Arizona in Week 12: +3 pointsUSC beats Notre Dame in Week 13: +5 pointsWashington State wins the Pac-12 championship (Week 14): +48 pointsMichigan loses the Big Ten championship (Week 14): +17 pointsConditional playoff chances: 91 percentChance of happening: 1 percentOne-loss Wazzu is in the same boat as West Virginia in terms of benefiting from a Michigan defeat in the Big Ten title game. (Assuming it wins its own remaining games — including the Pac-12 title, most preferably over Utah.) Washington State could get another boost if USC beats Notre Dame since both teams would then have one loss, against the Trojans in each case. It’s unclear how realistic this actually is (since our model doesn’t have a specific Notre Dame adjustment reflecting its tendency to, um, get the benefit of the doubt), but the Irish make the playoff only 18 percent of the time in the scenario laid out above, compared with the Cougars’ 91 percent mark.Central FloridaCurrent playoff chances: 4 percentPath to 90+ percent:¯\_(ツ)_/¯I’m kidding. But not really. This one is far more difficult to pin down than the others above, just because it’s so rare in our data for UCF to make the playoff (and the specifics of each scenario are rarer still). So I’ll just list some of the common outcomes in what few simulations give UCF a relatively large probability of making the playoff:UCF wins all four remaining games, including the American championship. (Duh.)Both Notre Dame and Washington State lose at least one remaining game, and at least one loses twice.Oklahoma and Michigan both fail to win their respective conference championships.Chance of happening: less than 1 in 2,000These probably aren’t the only scenarios under which UCF makes the playoff, but there just aren’t very many UCF-friendly combinations that come up in the simulations. Their 4 percent overall probability of making the playoff is more about adding up a bunch of fractional chances over the course of many simulations — where they’re not overly likely to make it in any given one, but there’s enough uncertainty that they could potentially get in.And that’s the important thing to remember when discussing UCF’s playoff chances: The selection committee has never taken an undefeated Group-of-Five conference team2Schools from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt Conference. in four years of picking playoff squads, and similar undefeated candidates (UCF last year, Western Michigan two years ago) have been denied entry by the committee. So all of this is, by definition, theoretical. Our model bases its predictions on the way in which college football’s power structure has traditionally grouped teams into tiers and given priority to different types of resumes, which is why there are at least some universes where a team like UCF can get real consideration if all hell breaks loose elsewhere. But more likely, they’re getting stray points of probability from the fact that we still don’t always know how the committee will react to a team like the Knights.Of course, a cynic would say we do know — and the answer will always be “no.” But that’s part of what’s interesting about the playoff. There’s much we still don’t know when it comes to who will win upcoming games, and that’s one source of uncertainty built into our model. But we also can’t perfectly predict how the committee itself will react. All UCF and the rest of this year’s contenders can do is win the games in front of them and hope for the right combination to fall into place around them.Check out our latest college football predictions. read more

Francesco Toldo Inter Milan are still antiJuventus

first_imgFormer Inter Milan goalkeeper Francesco Toldo insists that the club remain as Juventus’ closest challengers, despite a mixed start to the seasonLuciano Spalletti’s side have only claimed one win in their opening four league games and lie 15th in the Serie A table.This development comes as somewhat as a surprise to many considering that Inter invested over €77m this summer on new recruits in order to challenge for their first Serie A crown since the 2009/10 campaign.“The Nerazzurri continue to be the anti-Juventus, despite their limitations. I am sorry that Inter have remained lacking in terms of scoring,” Toldo told Radio Marte.Mario Mandzukic, JuventusJuventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.The 46-year-old also gave his verdict on Napoli, who replaced coach Maurizio Sarri for Carlo Ancelotti this summer.“Napoli are still too dependent on Sarri. Carlo Ancelotti is a great coach and a great man but the team still has to demonstrate its continuity,” he said.While they struggle domestically, Inter won their Champions League opener against Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Tuesday evening.last_img read more