Karachi, Jun 8 (PTI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will review the performance of national team head coach Mickey Arthur and support staff after the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has indicated in an interview that the performance of the coaches and support staff would be scrutinised by a committee which will submit its report to the board of governors after the Champions Trophy. “It is a wrong impression that we have formed another committee to probe Pakistans defeat to India. That is not the case. Before the Champions Trophy I had already formed this committee to look into the performance of the teams support staff,” Shaharyar said. He said the committee included former Test players Mudassar Nazar and Haroon Rasheed, who are already working in senior positions in the Board. “Win and loss are part of the sport and no panic button is being pressed because of the defeat to India. But this committee has been asked to talk to the players and support staff and gather feedback on their performances. We have been observing things and have got information from our managers,” he said. Shaharyar said although there was concern over the inconsistent batting performances of the team but otherwise the feedback about batting coach Grant Flower and even trainer Grant Ludon was good. “Everyone we have spoken to says the batting coach is doing well. But obviously he has been there for nearly four years and we want to see more results,” he said. Shaharyar also noted that contracts of some of the support staff were due for reviews after the tournament. PTI Cor SSC SSCadvertisement
Even Pakistan’s prime minister did not believe it could happen but when Sri Lanka visit the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday for a T20 match, the hosts will celebrate the end of eight years of isolation from international cricket.Less than a year ago, none of this appeared possible for a nation that had largely been shunned by international teams since 2009 due to security risks.That year gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lanka team from their hotel to Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium for a Test match, injuring six players and killing six security personnel and two civilians.The incident forced Pakistan to play their home matches in the United Arab Emirates and the country has since remained starved of international cricket at home, apart from Zimbabwe’s limited-overs tour in 2015.Last year, the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL), based on the franchise model of the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash League, became a success though all the matches were played in the UAE.Things changed in March this year when Pakistan hosted the final of its domestic T20 competition featuring high-profile international players.”Even that baby step seemed an impossibility. I can tell you that none of the franchises wanted it, they were scared … the government was scared…the players were scared,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi told Reuters in an interview.The match proved pivotal in changing the global cricket community’s opinion of Pakistan’s ability to host international matches and garnered support from cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).advertisementThe months leading up to the final were filled with endless negotiations with the government, persuading domestic franchise owners and convincing players that security was under control.”I had two meetings with the prime minister, I raised it with him, he heard me out, he didn’t give me an opinion, he said we will think about it closer to the event,” Sethi said.AP PhotoAs the match drew closer Sethi became desperate, sending then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif numerous requests “from various quarters” in the hope that he would make a favourable announcement.Sharif’s office did not respond to requests for comment.Weeks before the final was to be played Sharif made the announcement that it could go ahead.”I think he saw the wisdom of it and took the risk,” said Sethi.ALMOST WENT UP IN SMOKEIn mid-February, less than a month before the final, a suicide attack outside Lahore’s provincial assembly killed 13 and wounded 83.”There was doom and gloom over here. The franchises came to me and said nothing doing,” Sethi recalled.A series of late night phone calls and endless meetings with players and franchise owners ensued. The PCB insisted that adequate security measures were in place.Despite assurances, two days before the match, four international players pulled out, leaving the board 48 hours to find replacements.”Luckily we had every contingency arrangement in place,” Sethi said.After the final, Sethi went to work on bringing an international World XI to Pakistan with the support of the ICC.An international security company hired by cricket’s world governing body gave Pakistan the green light.Then came the work of assembling a high-profile team for the three-match series.”I said unless and until you give me top quality players, no way,” Sethi said.Once the players were finalised, administrators and fans were thrilled to welcome a star-studded World XI team led by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.”There was huge tension,” Sethi said, adding that despite all the planning, the PCB was still on edge during the series.”There were all these calculated risks but in the end it worked out,” he addedNext on the list was Sri Lanka, whose players were reluctant to tour Pakistan after the events of 2009.AP PhotoOn a trip to Colombo, Sethi talked about how Pakistan had always toured Sri Lanka even during the civil war, which ended in 2009, when other countries refused to visit.”I told them we need you now, when you needed us we were there for you,” he said.With Sri Lanka’s visit confirmed, Sethi is confident that international cricket in Pakistan will soon be fully restored.West Indies have committed to playing a three-match series but the dates are still undecided.”I have two other countries lined up who are ready to come,” Sethi said. “By the end of 2020 I think every cricket country would have come and played in Pakistan.”
Share via Email Cokanasiga helps England crush USA as Quill gets World Cup’s first red card Read more Rugby union High hits and Ford’s finesse: five things learned from England 45-7 USA Steve Hansen reflected this week on how much European teams had improved since the 2015 World Cup when, for the first time, they failed to provide a semi-finalist. In Japan this time around there should be at least one semi-finalist from the north, more likely two. The group match between Wales and Australia on Sunday will reveal more but, at a World Cup in which the team with the best defence has tended to prevail, the deliberation with which they have started the tournament – no nonsense and fewer frills – has not been lost on New Zealand’s coach. It is there where England have an advantage over their two European rivals. Wales have more depth than they did in 2015 but their starting lineup picks itself behind and there are only two real talking points at forward, loosehead prop and where Josh Navidi should play in the back row. They are more adept at playing catchup than England and Ireland, but they look the most susceptible to injuries.Ireland have more options, but not as many as England who as well as strength in depth have pace to go with their power – but it is the way all three are able to resist temptation that will pose the greatest threat to New Zealand, who waited in vain for Ireland to crack in Dublin last year.All three countries are coached by men from the southern hemisphere who, were they working with teams in their own countries, would have a different approach. They are making the most of what they have, patience against the virtuosity of the holders. Share on WhatsApp England rugby union team features Share on Facebook Reuse this content Topics There was a frenetic energy to his side’s match against South Africa, as if winning without style was not enough, that has not been imported by the Europeans: Ireland fed off mistakes against Scotland, Wales confounded Georgia by moving the ball quickly from set‑pieces and England, having ground down Tonga, were as remorseless against the USA.New Zealand dare, England wear down. They led 19-0 at half‑time having shut out their opponents, just as they had restricted Tonga to a penalty. They should have exposed a narrow defence more, but Eddie Jones would have been most irritated by a loose pass from Billy Vunipola near the break that would have given Shaun Davies a run to the line but for the quick reaction of Willi Heinz.Otherwise, the USA were frozen out, unable to seek refuge in any part of the game. Their head coach, Gary Gold, had said the previous day that despite a desperate search he could find no detectable weaknesses with England. There were a few on display here, not least passing and decision-making, but what he had not found the answer to was how to loosen the chokehold they impose on opponents.Ireland and Wales also minimise risk, profiting from the pressure they exert in defence. Ireland’s tries on Sunday came from Scotland’s mistakes while Wales’s grand slam success this year was founded on what they did without the ball. It is a different approach to New Zealand and, when Hansen talked about Europe having raised the bar, they have become far more difficult to beat.England, Wales and Ireland are the products of high-quality coaching. Gameplans are tailored on strengths, which do not include the innate understanding of New Zealanders, and England were at their least impressive here when throwing the ball around with victory secured, in the USA’s territory rather than their own: even a George Ford pass found the grass after a neat loop.The ball was slippery by then but, where the All Blacks are about the speed of their reactions and their capacity to improvise, England’s opening two matches were notable for the total control they exerted. The USA were given little hope of winning, but they thought they would cause problems for opponents who had played four days before and made 10 changes.Gold prepared his squad meticulously and had them together for three months. As the last team to feature in the tournament, they spent more than a week in Okinawa, training in the heat and humidity for nights such as this, practising defence in repeated bursts of 150 seconds to enhance their composure and decision‑making in the heat of battle.England gave them nothing. The USA spent 81% of the match in their own half. They did score a try, at the very end, which irked Jones but one of the stronger tier-two nations, one made up of professional players, was overwhelmed by a team some way below full strength. Read more Rugby World Cup Support The Guardian US sports Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. 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Today feels like a day that could be filled with major college football upsets. There aren’t a ton of exciting, top 25 matchups on today’s schedule. Usually, the days you think won’t end up being that crazy end up being just that.College football analyst Lou Holtz is calling for a major upset.Later today, No. 6 LSU is set to host Louisiana Tech. The Tigers are a big favorite. One college football analyst is picking the upset, though.Holtz, whose son, Skip Holtz, coaches La. Tech, is predicting the upset. He has a good reason, of course.“Picking @LATechFB to beat @LSUfootball Saturday in Baton Rouge. Not an upset. Upset is what my wife would be if I picked against her son. Last 2 years they lost to S. Carolina and Arkansas on the road by just 1 point on the last play of the game. They will not be intimidated,” he wrote.Picking @LATechFB to beat @LSUfootball Saturday in Baton Rouge. Not an upset. Upset is what my wife would be if I picked against her son. Last 2 years they lost to S. Carolina and Arkansas on the road by just 1 point on the last play of the game. They will not be intimidated.— Lou Holtz (@CoachLouHoltz88) September 18, 2018LSU and Louisiana Tech are set to kick off at 7 p.m. E.T. today.The game will be on ESPNU.
Kolkata: A fruit seller was shot dead by some miscreants at Kamarhati on Monday night.Later police arrested three youths from Kamarhati area. The deceased identified as Saheb Ali of Kamarhati used to sell fruits near the Kamarhati police outpost. On Monday around 7 pm an altercation broke between three youths and Ali over some issue. After a few minutes, local residents heard a firing sound and saw Ali fell the ground. Immediately, the three youth fled from the spot. Ali was immediately rushed to a private hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Meanwhile, Belgharia police station was informed. Later, his family members lodged a murder complaint. Police started a probe and came to know that the three youths were talking about some monetary transaction. Police came to know that Ali had borrowed money from one Asif of Kamarhati for business. To be clear about the motive police started searching for Asif. After he was detained, Asif confessed that he had gone there to recover his money along with two others identified as Pappu and Nepali. They had plan to threat Ali. To terrify him, Nepali brandished a gun at the time of altercation. But the bullet fired accidentally. After Asif’s statement, police nabbed Pappu and Nepali from a hideout in Kamarhati area. The accused persons have confessed to the crime.
Rabat – United States president Donald Trump signed a fiscal law on Friday, approved by the US Congress, which allows Morocco to use funds allocated to the kingdom in the Western Sahara.The Appropriations Bill passed by Congress and signed Friday by the American president requires that “funds appropriated under title III of this Act” for Morocco “shall be made available for assistance for the Western Sahara, Provided, That not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act and prior to the obligation of such funds, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the proposed uses of such funds.”Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affaires and International Cooperation has issued a communiqué hailing the United State’s decision to allow Morocco to use US-allocated funds in the Western Sahara. This provision is similar to that of the Appropriations Bills passed under former president Barack Obama in 2014, 2015 and 2016.However, what is new and may signal a new shift in US policy towards the conflict is that the first bill adopted under President Donald Trump adds a new sub-section devoted to the situations of refugees in North Africa.The new bill calls on Secretary of State to consult with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme and, within 45 days, “submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations describing steps taken to strengthen monitoring of the delivery of humanitarian assistance provided for refugees in North Africa, including any steps taken to ensure that all vulnerable refugees are receiving such assistance.”This recommendation puts heavy pressure on the Polisario and Algeria, and it echoes Morocco’s recent calls to the Security Council in recent years to compel the Polisario to allow the UN to conduct a census of the population in the Tindouf camps and to shed light on the systematic embezzlement of humanitarian assistance provided to the Tindouf camps.The latest UN Security Council resolution adopted on April 28 to renew the UN mission in the Western Sahara (MINURSO) puts more emphasis on the need for conducting such a census.The Security Council reiterated “its request for consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps and emphasizing efforts be made in this regard.”This new recommendation is a far cry from the that of the Appropriation Bill passed in 2012, which did not only refrain from making the fund allocated to Morocco available for use in the Western Sahara, but made the allocation of military assistance contingent on Morocco’s respect for human rights and permission for human rights organization to have access to the territory.The 2012 bills called on the Department of State to submit a report on steps Morocco has taken to “respect the right of individuals to peacefully express their opinions regarding the status and future of the Western Sahara and to document violations of human rights; and (2) provide unimpeded access to human rights organizations, journalists, and representatives of foreign governments to the Western Sahara.”The same condition was introduced in the 2008 Appropriations Bill, which allocated USD 3.5 million of military assistance to Morocco and stipulated that the an additional USD 1 million be allotted, provided Morocco makes progress in the respect of human rights of the Sahrawis by allowing them to freely express their views with regards to the status of the Western Sahara.The new bill signed by the US administration means that it is taking Morocco’s request for the conduct of census in the Tindouf camps and the monitoring if humanitarian assistance more seriously and breaks away from the approach of the former administration, which was more concerned with the politicized question of human rights than by making sure that the humanitarian assistance provided by the international community to the Tindouf camps benefits the entire population there.A report released by by the UNHCR in 2005 and another report by the European Union Anti-fraud Committee (OLAF) in 2015 documented the large-scale embezzlement of humanitarian assistance by the Polisario leadership and the Algerian government over the past four decades.It was high time that the international committee acted and showed its determination to put an end to the opacity surrounding the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Tindouf camps. The new US Appropriations Bill is a move in the right direction and might signal to the Polisario that the rules of the game have changed with the new US administration.
PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) _ MasterCard Inc. (MA) on Tuesday reported first-quarter net income of $1.86 billion.On a per-share basis, the Purchase, New York-based company said it had profit of $1.80. Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, were $1.78 per share.The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.66 per share.The processor of debit and credit card payments posted revenue of $3.89 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.87 billion.MasterCard shares have increased 31% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen 17%. The stock has climbed 41% in the last 12 months._____This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on MA at https://www.zacks.com/ap/MAa??:????????p?C?The Associated Press
Queen Elizabeth II visits victims of the Manchester bombing at a children’s hospital. Twenty-two people were killed in the attack outside of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday. CNN reports.
The CEO of Bausch Health Companies Inc. is predicting revenue growth this year as the drugmaker emerges from a mountain of debt and lawsuits.Joseph Papa said Monday he expects Bausch — formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals —will double revenue from its seven major products to between US$150 million and US$300 million, driving overall sales growth.The so-called “significant seven” include eye care products that treat conditions ranging from glaucoma to bloodshot eyes. Bausch Health looks to make first acquisition in more than three years Bausch’s Papa says ‘transformation on track’ as debt paydown continues Bausch Health, formerly known as Valeant, tops profit expectations Papa pointed to “mega-trends” such as an aging U.S. population as well as a “myopia epidemic,” with nearsightedness on the rise among young people.“It’s all the cellphones, it’s the iPhones…it’s the time spent on these screens. If you have grandchildren out there I’d keep an eye on it,” he told a health-care conference in San Francisco.Since taking the helm in 2016, Papa has shifted away from the aggressive acquisition strategy of his predecessor, Mike Pearson, and focused on slashing the company’s consequent debt, reducing it by more than US$1 billion in 2018 to less than US$25 billion.Papa said he aims to put another US$1 billion-plus toward debt reduction and “bolt-on” acquisitions in 2019.Bausch, based in Laval, Que., has spent the past few years mired in investigations and lawsuits, including antitrust litigation and a fraud probe in California.The company has landed settlements or dismissals for about 60 matters as of Nov. 7, with most of the legal issues now resolved, according to a spokeswoman.Bausch saw a net loss of US$3.8 billion in the first nine months of 2018. But in November the company raised its forecast for full-year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the second time that year, predicting EBITDA of between US$3.3 billion and US$3.45 billion.RBC Dominion Securities analyst Douglas Miehm said the CEO’s forecast largely matches his own outlook, “but we view it is a sign of management’s confidence in this basket of goods.”Miehm said in an investor note that Bausch “has historically been conservative” in its full-year guidance and that product sales “may in fact outperform these expectations.”
Stressing its determination to end all forms of misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) today issued a new report on the problem among its personnel, six of whom faced disciplinary action stemming from investigations by the world body’s independent oversight office.Disciplinary measures included repatriation, with a referral to the national court system of the accused for criminal prosecution, or summary dismissal, with a ban on participation in future UN missions, UNMIL said.“The United Nations and UNMIL are committed to preventing and sanctioning misconduct, in particular, the abhorrent practice of sexual exploitation and abuse,” the report states. “The UN policy is clear – zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and abuse.”Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UNMIL personnel are automatically investigated by a resident autonomous unit from the Office of the Internal Oversight Service (OIOS), with unimpeded access to personnel, and a reporting chain independent of the mission management.Aiming to prevent misconduct, the UN has developed a comprehensive standardized training module that focuses on accountability and consequences. Last year, over 1,300 civilian personnel, 350 UN Police and more than 13,000 military personnel from UNMIL received training focused on the issues of sexual exploitation and abuse. So far this year, UNMIL has turned over 17 cases to the local independent UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).In 2005, OIOS investigated three cases of rape or attempted rape, nine cases involving prostitution, 18 cases of sexual exploitation, two cases of sexual abuse and 13 cases of sex with minors, UNMIL said.After a preliminary investigation, three cases were closed due to lack of evidence. Investigation had been completed in two dozen cases, so far disciplining six persons. Investigations are continuing in the 16 other cases that stood.
by David Bauder, The Associated Press Posted Apr 23, 2014 1:30 pm MDT NBC says Olympic viewing shows how second (or third, or fourth) screens changing habits FILE – This Feb. 17, 2014 file photo shows Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in the ice dance free dance figure skating finals during the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi, Russia. Slightly more than half of the people who watched the Sochi Olympics on NBC also used a computer, tablet or smartphone to get information about the games while the TV was on, the network said on Wednesday, April 23. NBC and its cable networks televised 541 hours of Sochi action and made all Olympic competition available online. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Slightly more than half of the people who watched the Sochi Olympics on NBC also used a computer, tablet or smartphone to get information about the games while the TV was on, the network said Wednesday.NBC closely studies how Americans follow the action partly because the Olympics are a huge investment, but also to get a peek at how media habits are changing. This year’s takeaway: the multiscreen experience is rapidly taking hold and is doing so across all age groups.“It’s not 25-year-olds who wear black and live in Williamsburg,” said Alan Wurtzel, NBC’s chief researcher. “This is America.”NBC and its cable networks televised 541 hours of Sochi action and made all Olympic competition available online. The flood of material only increased the appetite; NBC said 49 per cent of viewers said they watched more Olympics action simply because it was more available, and that number shot to nearly two-thirds among viewers aged 18 to 34.The ability to find out results or even see live competition before events were shown on a tape-delayed basis on NBC in prime time didn’t hurt viewership. NBC had its second-biggest prime-time audience the night it showed American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White win gold, even though that performance was shown live online and on cable earlier in the day.In fact, NBC said people who watched live Olympics action on cable were 43 per cent more likely to watch NBC’s taped prime-time show. NBC’s ratings were up slightly over Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2010 despite a time difference that allowed for no live competition in prime time and arguably a poorer performance by American athletes.Only 9 per cent of Americans reported owning smartphones during the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics, compared with 60 per cent during Sochi, NBC said. Although Olympic fans of all ages used these devices to follow the games, it was dramatically more so among the young, many of whom followed the Olympics more on their phones than they did on TV.That’s a concern for NBC. Television networks still have no reliable way of measuring — and monetizing — viewing of video on smartphones, and that represents a lot of potentially lost revenue if smartphones become the viewing habit of choice for many in a new generation.Wurtzel also said he was surprised that social media use surrounding the Olympics was not more widespread. An estimated 3 million people said they sent at least one Olympic-related message on Twitter during the 17-day event, a relatively small number considering NBC averaged more than 21 million viewers each night in prime time.“Before the Olympics I thought I’d say this was the first social media Olympics,” Wurtzel said. “The reality is, it’s not a game-changer yet.”___David Bauder can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter@dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder
Greek bailout talks make major breakthrough on reforms by Raf Casert And Elena Becatoros, The Associated Press Posted Apr 7, 2017 6:59 am MDT Last Updated Apr 7, 2017 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BRUSSELS – Greece and its international creditors took a big step Friday toward an agreement that will ensure the country gets the money it needs to avoid a potential bankruptcy this summer but which could spell more pain for austerity-weary Greeks.For months, the bailout discussions have stalled amid disagreements over pension, tax and labour market reforms that Greece should take in order to get the rescue money due from its most recent international rescue. Without the money, Greece would once again be facing the prospect of having to exit the eurozone — so-called Grexit.“The big blocks have now been sorted out and that should allow us to speed up and go for the final stretch,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters following a meeting of the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers in the Maltese capital of Valletta.Once a broad agreement is reached in coming weeks, Dijsselbloem said the eurozone will come back to issues related to Greece’s stringent medium-term budget targets and the country’s debts — key conditions of the Greek government.However, in return for getting agreement on those conditions, the Greek government will have to push through some further tough measures for the years ahead — on top of all those enacted over the past seven years.Though Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said agreement had been reached on the basic issues that would allow bailout inspectors to return to Athens to iron out remaining issues, he warned of more hardship ahead for austerity-weary Greeks.“There are things that will not satisfy us, and there are things that satisfy us,” he said. “It is in the nature of every agreement for there to be compromises and things that will upset not generally the negotiating team but the Greek people.”Tsakalotos said further austerity measures demanded for 2019 — after Greece’s current third bailout ends next year — will be legislated on in the next few weeks, along with Greek-proposed countermeasures to alleviate the pain. However, while the cuts are automatic, the countermeasures will only be implemented if Greece meets its fiscal targets.The measures will include pension cuts in 2019 worth 1 per cent of Greece’s gross domestic product, and an increase in tax revenues in 2020 worth another 1 per cent through broadening the tax base.The counter-measures, including programs to alleviate child poverty and help those most in need, will offset those but only if Greece meets its targets.EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said a deal on the latest steps to keep Greece afloat should be within reach by the time eurozone ministers meet again on May 22 — easily in time for Greece’s next big debt-repayment hump in July.Another key development on Friday appears to be the ongoing involvement of the International Monetary Fund, which has been part of Greece’s bailout programs since the first rescue back in 2010.In recent months, there has been an open disagreement between the IMF and the eurozone over such matters as the sustainability of Greece’s debts going forward.“There is agreement on these main topics, on these big reforms, on the size sequencing and the timing — that is with the IMF absolutely yes,” Dijsselbloem said. “I could not talk about an agreement on those issues if the IMF had not agreed.”The IMF agreed that progress has been made in recent weeks but that a number of issues still needed to be addressed.“But we are at a point where we think there are good prospects for successfully concluding discussions on these outstanding policy issues during the next mission to Athens,” said Gerry Rice, IMF spokesperson.Without more bailout cash, Greece would struggle to make a debt payment in July, raising anew the prospect of default. The last time, Greece faced potential bankruptcy was in July 2015, when the Tsipras government eventually agreed a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($91 billion).As part of its third international bailout agreement, Greece has to make a series of sweeping reforms to its economy in return for the loans. But the talks have dragged on for months, freezing the latest loan payout and hurting the chances of a self-sustaining Greek economic recovery after years of recession and turmoil.Tsipras’ left-led government is pushing for a comprehensive deal that would cover more than just spending cuts and reforms by Greece, but also alleviate the country’s debt burden and pave the way for its return to international bond markets later this year.Greece has depended on international bailouts since 2010 after it was unable to borrow on international bond markets.To receive the money, successive governments slashed incomes, hiked taxes and implemented market reforms. Though helping to put the public finances on a surer footing, the measures came at a cost — the Greek economy lost a quarter of its output.Dijsselbloem conceded that the failure to agree the release of the next batch of bailout funds had harmed Greece’s economic recovery in recent months.“That momentum is slipping away from us so we really need to work fast and have it done certainly well in time for the next payments Greece has to make,” Dijsselbloem said.Currently demanded cutbacks include new pension cuts, a broadening of the tax base, labour reforms and privatizations. These will require approval by Greece’s parliament, where Tsipras holds a three-seat majority.___Pan Pylas contributed from London, Elena Becatoros wrote from Athens
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban also welcomed the role recent discussions between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia have played in today’s breakthrough and strongly encouraged those contacts to continue.“The Secretary-General stresses that credible and comprehensive monitoring and verification are essential elements for successful implementation of the cease-fire and the peace plan,” said the statement. “He encourages all who committed to the agreement to display good will and take concrete steps towards urgent, full and effective implementation. “He calls on the entire international community to rally behind these agreements to serve the interests of a sustainable peace based on a solution that leads to full respect of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”The crisis in Ukraine has displaced approximately 260,000 people, according to the UN. Eastern towns such as Donetsk and Luhansk are among the more affected areas in the country, with almost 94 per cent of civilians displaced. The fighting has also caused lack of access to basic necessities, such as water and food, as well as electricity shortages. The UN has also reported severe damage to infrastructure, including buildings and roads. In today’s statement, Mr. Ban said the cessation of hostilities will further allow the UN and other humanitarian actors of the international community to deliver critical humanitarian assistance and other needed support to the impacted areas. The Secretary-General also reiterated that there is no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine. “He strongly asserts that it is time to end this destructive conflict once and for all, to stop the bloodshed and to start rebuilding communities and livelihoods in a safe, stable and sovereign Ukraine. He offers the full support of the UN to efforts in this direction as appropriate and requested by the parties.”
No. 18 Mississippi State (9-3, SEC) vs Iowa (8-4, Big Ten), Jan. 1, 12 p.m. ETLOCATION: Tampa, FloridaTOP PLAYERSMississippi State: DE Montez Sweat, 51 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks.Iowa: TE T.J. Hockenson, 46 catches, 717 yards, six touchdowns.NOTABLEMississippi State: No. 18 final playoff ranking best since ending at No. 7 in 2014. Joe Moorhead joins Jackie Sherrill as only MSU coaches to make bowl game in first season.Iowa: Four losses came by a combined 23 points. Beat Illinois and Nebraska to end the regular season.LAST TIMEFirst meeting.BOWL HISTORYMississippi State: One of only five SEC schools to go to a bowl every season in this decade; 13-8 in bowl games.Iowa: Lost 30-3 to Florida two years ago in Outback Bowl, falling to 2-3 in Tampa game; 15-15-1 all time in bowl games___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and twitter.com/ap_top25The Associated Press
When Ohio State hired Melissa Schaub as its assistant women’s tennis coach in 2011, it was an exciting homecoming for the Ohio native. “I don’t know if it gets any better than Ohio State and being a part of this athletic department,” Schaub said. Now, after spending just a year on the Buckeyes’ staff, Schaub finds herself as the interim coach for the 2012-13 season after the departure of former coach Chuck Merzbacher, who was hired by Minnesota in July. She said she always wanted to return to Ohio and coach the Buckeyes. “It’s been great, it’s a dream come true job for me at Ohio State, being from Ohio and just growing up a fan,” Schaub said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. They’ve made the transition easy.” Still less than midway through the season, some members of the team said they have bought into what their new coach is teaching them and look to build on a promising start to the year. Junior Noelle Malley has been at OSU longer than Schaub has, but Malley has picked up on Schaub developing leadership as the year has gone on. “I feel like she has gained more confidence in what she’s telling us, and she’s adjusted to her role really well,” Malley said. “She’s just doing what she wants in practice and seeing what we need to work on.” During Schaub’s first season in Columbus as an assistant coach, the team struggled, going 10-15 on the year. Malley already feels more confident about achieving a better result than last year with Schaub at the helm. “Everybody is in way better shape this year,” Malley said. “We feel really confident when we play matches.” Graduating from Tennessee in 2006, Schaub was a star for the Volunteers, earning All-American honors her freshman season in Knoxville. Gabby Steele, a senior for the Buckeyes, said she likes having a coach that is close to her age who knows what they are dealing with as student-athletes. “It helps because she’s able to relate a lot,” Steele said. “She just got out of college, too, so she knows exactly what we are going through.” Not one to let distractions get in the way, Schaub said she is confident that the shaky job security that comes with the title of interim coach will not change how she goes about the season. “You can’t let that get in the way of the kind of coach you’re going to be or how you treat the team,” Schaub said. “It’s all about trying to get wins and bettering the program and getting these guys to buy into the system.” The Buckeyes are set to travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to play Purdue for their first conference road trip game of the season on Friday at 3 p.m.
Boreal Metals Corp has engaged Arctic Drilling AB to conduct exploratory diamond drilling at Burfjord in Norway. Boreal is mobilising to commence a 1,000 m reconnaissance drill program in late September and will test a variety of shallow drill targets across the property position. The drill targets include multiple zones highlighted by Induced Polarisation geophysical surveys completed by Boreal in late 2017. Widespread copper-gold mineralisation is seen in surface exposures in each target area and Boreal is excited to be the first to drill test these targets.“We are pleased to be working with Arctic Drilling on our Burfjord copper-gold project in Norway,” stated Karl Antonius, President and CEO. “Arctic Drilling has extensive experience drilling in the region and has developed a strong working relationship with the local community and stakeholders.”The Burfjord project is comprised of six exploration licenses totaling 5,500 ha in the Kåfjord copper belt near Alta, Norway. Copper mineralisation was mined in the Burfjord area during the 19th century, with over 30 historic mines and prospects developed along the flanks of a prominent 4 x 6 km fold (anticline) consisting of interbedded sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Many of the rocks in the anticline are intensely hydrothermally altered and contain sulphide mineralisation.Mineralisation occurs as high-grade copper-gold bodies that were historically mined at high cutoff grades (>3% Cu). Boreal has recognised significant volumes of bulk tonnage potential copper-gold mineralization developed in stockwork vein arrays throughout the property position which the Company believes have economic potential. Veins in the area are dominated by carbonate and iron-oxide minerals (magnetite and haematite), but also contain chalcopyrite, bornite and chalcocite in addition to cobalt-rich pyrite as generally coarse-grained (often 0.5 cm to multi-cm scale) disseminations in the veins. Discreet zones of cobalt and nickel mineralization are also present on the property.Only limited exploration has taken place in the modern era and only one prospect area has been drill tested to date. The best historic drill intercept consists of 7 m @ 3.6% Cu from the Cedarsgruve mine area in the northern portion of the claim block.
In China, Microsoft operating systems absolutely dominate the market — with an approximate 99.3% share. You’d probably assume that translates to a substantial amount of profit, especially in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion. Yet China comes in behind The Netherlands — with a population of about 17 million — on Microsoft’s profit charts.What’s to blame for the woeful situation in China? Piracy, of course.AdChoices广告Microsoft estimates that its per-PC profit level in China is about 1/6th what it is elsewhere in the world. While the the number of Windows PCs sold in China this year will easily equal the number sold in the U.S., CEO Steve Ballmer figures the actual profit Microsoft sees will be about 95% less.In China, finding bootleg copies of Windows and Office for a few U.S. dollars is all too common, despite Microsoft’s best efforts to derail piracy. The company has worked with the Chinese government, which, for its part, has ordered that all state agencies are required to use licensed software. There are also ongoing efforts to ensure that PC manufacturers are utilizing legitimate copies of the software which comes pre-installed on computers, and piracy rates have, in fact, slowed a bit over the past five years. Between 2005 and 2010, pirated software use dropped from 86% to 78%, still a staggeringly high percentage.Notorious Chinese pirates have even gone so far as to combine Ubuntu and a suspiciously Windows XP–ish theme to get around that whole nasty licensing thing. Microsoft remains hopeful, however, and continues to increase its presence in China — an estimated 300 new employees are on the agenda for its Beijing offices in 2011.More at Wall Street Journal
As we all learned from a good book once upon a time, space is big — really big — and we just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. So, when an international team of astronomers led by the University of Lancashire say they have found the largest known structure in the universe, we can all safely assume that we just won’t be able to properly grasp how big that structure is.The structure is a large quasar group (LQG), which is a group of supermassive black holes. This one is so enormous that the team says it would take a vessel traveling at the speed of light around four billion years to cross the structure’s expanse. The team points out that whole galaxy clusters can be about two-to-three Megaparsecs (Mpc) in size, whereas a typical large quasar group can be around 200Mpc. Astronomers note that we should not be able to detect LGQ’s larger than 370Mpc, however, this newly discovered LQG is around 500Mpc, but due to its elongated shape, reaches 1200Mpc at its widest point.To put the size of the newly discovered LQG into perspective, our Milky Way is only 0.75Mpc away from its neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, which translates to about 2.5 million lightyears — significantly smaller than the four billion lightyears it would take to travel across the LQG.Interestingly, the Cosmological Principle pioneered by Albert Einstein states that at a large enough scale, the universe looks the same to any observer at any viewing location. That, mixed with some more modern theories, suggest that we shouldn’t be able to view a structure larger than the aforementioned 370Mpc, but considering astronomers have just viewed a structure measuring in at 500Mpc and 1200Mpc at its widest point, aspects of the Cosmological Principle and other modern theories are being called into question.via Royal Astronomical Society
Grippe A : le bilan, un an après le début de la pandémieFrance – Un peu plus d’un an après que l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a annoncé la pandémie de grippe A, l’Inserm (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) établit un bilan de la maladie. Il y a un an, la pandémie mondiale de grippe A était annoncée. Hier, à cette occasion, des scientifiques de l’Inserm ont fait le point sur ce virus que les chercheurs avaient dû étudier dans la précipitation l’année dernière.Dans un premier temps, ils ont fait part du faible nombre de décès dus à la grippe A par rapport à ceux causés par la grippe saisonnière : 18.156 personnes sont décédées, dont 312 en France, contre 250.000 à 500.000 en moyenne pour la grippe saisonnière. Entre 7,7 et 14,7 millions de personnes ont été infectées par le virus, et bien d’autres l’ont été sans qu’aucun symptôme ne se manifeste. Autre différence : contrairement au virus de la grippe saisonnière, la grippe A a été particulièrement virulente chez les 15-65 ans ainsi que pour les personnes dont l’indice de masse corporel est supérieur à 40 et les femmes enceintes.5,7 millions de personnes ont eu recours à la vaccination en France. Elle a en revanche obtenu un franc succès dans certains pays comme le Canada, où 74% de la population s’est fait vacciner alors qu’en France par exemple, seuls 8 à 10% des habitants y ont eu recours, pour un coût de 500 millions d’euros. En France, moins de 25% des personnes à risques (les femmes enceintes, les bébés, les enfants et les personnes jugées fragiles) ont été vaccinées. La campagne de vaccination n’avait en effet pas remporté le succès attendu par le gouvernement et les commandes de 50 millions de doses aux laboratoires pharmaceutiques avaient ainsi été annulées. Le 25 juin 2010 à 10:39 • Emmanuel Perrin