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NFF disowns story on appointment of Amokachi as Technical Director

first_imgRelatedPosts Nigeria plan Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies Nigeria’s former U-17, U-20 goalkeeper dies at 26 NFF top shot dies The Nigeria Football Federation has stated that Bitrus Bewarang remains the Technical Director of the football-governing body. It said at no time has the body called for applications from candidates for Bewarang’s position, not to talk of appointing anyone into the post. “This clarification becomes necessary against the background of wide-circulating but totally misleading reports of the appointment of Mr. Daniel Amokachi, a former Super Eagles captain and coach, as head of NFF technical department,” Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, said in Abuja on Wednesday. “The NFF has been bemused by this unfounded story, which no doubt must have embarrassed Mr. Amokachi himself.” Yusuf Fresh, who is also member of the CAF Technical and Development Committee, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Amokachi as ambassador of Nigerian Football, saying: “Mr. Amokachi richly deserves this appointment as someone who served our dear nation meritoriously on the field of play as a player and coach.” NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, added: “While the NFF does not and will not foreclose the possibility of a major role for Ambassador Daniel Amokachi in the federation in the future, the truth is that presently, such an appointment has not been made. “Ambassador Amokachi no doubt deserves all the regard and respect befitting his new role as an ambassador. He should not be dragged into needless controversies such as this. “The NFF, once more, enjoins the generality of the media to retain the important work ethic of fact-checking and verification, and beware of empty wildfires lit by obscure online cells that lack any iota of credibility.” A sports news website had earlier published the appointment of Amokachi by the NFF as its Technical Director, a story from which several newspapers took a cue.Tags: Ademola OlajireBitrus BewarangDaniel AmokachiNigeria Football FederationYusuf Ahmed Freshlast_img read more

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Ranking: Which Premier League clubs have been most affected by VAR?

first_imgThe implementation of VAR has been one of the biggest talking points of the 2019-20 Premier League season, but which clubs have been most affected by its use?We have ranked every Premier League club from who has benefited most to who has had the most decisions go against them when VAR has overturned an on-pitch decision.The figures do not include VAR referrals that have upheld the officials’ original decisions.Brighton +8Brighton’s first taste of VAR saw Leandro Trossard’s goal against West Ham disallowed in August, but they have fared better since with six goals scored against them subsequently being disallowed.They were also awarded a penalty by VAR against Everton in October, while Jamie Vardy was forced to retake a penalty against the Seagulls the following month when encroachment was spotted. He scored it anyway, mind.Glenn Murray’s originally ruled out goal against West Ham in February was also allowed to stand after a VAR review.On the final day of the season, Brighton then saw Jay Rodriguez’s potential equaliser for Burnley ruled out for offside.Manchester United +7Just two VAR referrals have gone against United. In September, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s originally ruled-out goal for Arsenal was allowed to stand, while they saw a penalty given for a foul on Bruno Fernandes against Tottenham overturned in June.In their favour, the Red Devils have seen Sadio Mane’s goal at Old Trafford and Roberto Firmino’s goal at Anfield ruled out by VAR.United also had two penalties awarded at Norwich City – they contrived to miss them both – and then another penalty given against Manchester City.VAR came to United’s rescue once again during their game against Chelsea, ruling out goals from Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud, while Watford were denied an equaliser at Old Trafford after seeing Troy Deeney’s goals disallowed for handball.Everton were denied all three points at Goodison Park when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late goal was chalked off.In their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, Jordan Ayew’s potential equaliser was ruled out for offside, but they were punished for Paul Pogba’s handball against West Ham, which led to the penalty converted by Michail Antonio, who couldn’t help but laugh at the midfielder.WATCH: Antonio takes p*ss out of Pogba handball in front of Man Utd manCrystal Palace +4Palace benefited from three VAR decisions in October when Jordan Ayew’s late goal against West Ham was awarded after initially being given as offside, a penalty was awarded against Arsenal after Wilfried Zaha had been booked for diving, and then Sokratis’ late goal was disallowed for the hosts.The Eagles have had goals ruled out against Liverpool and Southampton although a Manchester City penalty was cancelled by VAR and Connor Wickham’s goal against Norwich was allowed to stand.It has also helped Crystal Palace in terms of reds cards, sending off Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January before rescinding Joel Ward’s red card against Sheffield United.More recently the have rued VAR, seeing Mamadou Sakho’s goal against Aston Villa and Jordan Ayew’s equaliser against Manchester United ruled out.Burnley +3Aston Villa have had two goals disallowed against Burnley, while a penalty awarded to Chelsea was overturned after Callum Hudson-Odoi was deemed to have taken a dive.The Clarets were then awarded a penalty of their own against Watford after a foul was spotted by VAR, but Sean Dyche’s team also had goals disallowed against Leicester and West Ham.Since the turn of the year, three VAR decisions involving Burnley have gone in the Clarets’ favour, ruling out goals for Jack Grealish, Josh King and Harry Wilson, with the latter coming with the added bonus of a penalty awarded in their favour due to a handball all the way back at the opposite end of the pitch in the build-up.But upon their return following football’s postponement, Burnley saw Manchester City awarded a penalty by VAR for a foul by Ben Mee, with the resulting spot-kick converted by Riyad Mahrez.In the final two matches of the campaign, Burnley were helped by Norwich’s Emi Buendia receiving a red card for an elbow on Ashley Westwood, but they were hindered by Jay Rodriguez’s equaliser against Brighton being disallowed for offside.Newcastle +3VAR has only been involved in two Newcastle fixtures, with all three decisions going in their favour.First, Jonjo Shelvey’s goal against Sheffield United was given after initially being ruled out for offside in December.In March, Southampton were reduced to 10 men and Newcastle were later awarded a penalty for a handball by Sofiane Boufal.Southampton +3Southampton have had six goals against them ruled out by VAR, but Ryan Bertrand’s red card against Leicester went against them.January was a tough month for the Saints as VAR reversed a decision to give them a penalty against Leicester due to an offside call in the build-up and it then awarded Wolves a penalty in the next game.In their final game before lockdown, Southampton had VAR to blame for Moussa Djenepo being sent off against Newcastle, who later had a penalty awarded for a handball against Sofiane Boufal.In their penultimate match of the season, Southampton were awarded a penalty against Bournemouth for handball and also saw Sam Surridge’s late goal for the hosts disallowed.Liverpool +2Chelsea and Crystal Palace had goals ruled out against Liverpool, but Sadio Mane had goals ruled out against Manchester United and Watford, leaving the Reds level in VAR judgements.Then Wolves arrived at Anfield and saw Mane’s goal allowed to stand after the referee had whistled for an Adam Lallana handball, and then Pedro Neto’s goal ruled out for offside.Just like Mane, Firmino then had a goal ruled out against Manchester United after Virgil van Dijk had fouled David De Gea in the build-up.Most recently, Riyad Mahrez’s goal for Manchester City was disallowed against Liverpool due to a handball in the build-up, although it wasn’t exactly crucial given City were 4-0 up at the time.Leicester City +1Spurs and Burnley and Wolves (twice) have all had goals disallowed against Leicester, while Ryan Bertrand was sent off for Southampton.Kelechi Iheanacho also had a goal awarded against Everton after originally being given as offside, but the Foxes had a penalty cancelled in the same game.Jamie Vardy was made to retake a penalty against Brighton for encroachment, albeit he still scored.VAR cancelled a Southampton penalty in January but Jonny Evans then had a late goal ruled out for offside in the same game.Facing Manchester City in February, a penalty was given against Leicester for handball, only for Sergio Aguero to miss the spot-kick.A week later, Iheanacho was foiled as his goal against Norwich was ruled out for handball.In July, Leicester were punished for Wilfred Ndidi’s handball against Everton, with the resulting penalty scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson, and also benefited from seeing Eddie Nketiah sent off for Arsenal.Tottenham +1Spurs were left thanking VAR after Gabriel Jesus’ late winner for Manchester City was ruled out in August, while they saw decisions go both for (Ayoze Perez having a goal disallowed) and against (Serge Aurier’s effort suffering the same fate) them in the defeat at Leicester.Sheffield United and West Ham both then had goals ruled out for offside against Spurs before the tables turned against Chelsea when the Blues were awarded a penalty and Son Heung-min was sent off.Harry Kane then had a goal ruled out for offside against Brighton before Teemu Pukki suffered the same fate for Norwich against the north Londoners.VAR then awarded Manchester City a penalty after Serge Aurier fouled Sergio Aguero, although Ilkay Gundogan did miss from the spot.Spurs were awarded a penalty for Bjorn Engels’ foul on Steven Bergwijn in their 3-2 win over Aston Villa in February.They were saved against Manchester United in June as a late penalty awarded for a foul on Bruno Fernandes was overturned, but saw goals against West Ham and Sheffield United ruled out.It worked back in their favour a week later as Bournemouth saw a late goal disallowed for handball.Manchester City 0Gabriel Jesus has seen two goals ruled out, against West Ham and Tottenham, although City were allowed to retake a penalty against the Hammers due to encroachment from Declan Rice, with Sergio Aguero converting from 12 yards.Like Liverpool, City benefited from two decisions against Wolves, with a penalty awarded and then retaken after being missed when encroachment was spotted.Sheffield United also had a goal disallowed for offside against City, but Pep Guardiola’s side did have a penalty given against them in the Manchester derby.Phil Foden’s goal against Everton was ruled out and a penalty against Crystal Palace was cancelled, but VAR did award City a penalty against Tottenham.Guardiola’s men were awarded another penalty against Leicester, only for Aguero to miss from the spot.Since football has returned, City have had a penalty awarded against Burnley, only to see Fernandinho sent off against Chelsea for a deliberate handball on the goal-line which also led to him being sent off, while Mahrez’s goal against Liverpool was chalked off. City also saw the decision to award a penalty against Bournemouth overturned.They have ended the season with decisions having balanced out after Onel Hernandez saw his goal for Norwich disallowed on the final day of the campaign.Everton -1VAR proved costly for Everton against Brighton as Michael Keane was deemed to have fouled Aaron Connolly, conceding a penalty, in the 3-2 defeat.They then saw a penalty awarded to Leicester cancelled out by VAR before a Kelechi Iheanacho effort, originally ruled offside, was given as a 94th-minute winner.The Toffees were relieved when Phil Foden’s goal was ruled out for offside but the boot was on the other foot when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s strike against Brighton was disallowed for handball.Calvert-Lewin was again left frustrated when his late ‘winner’ against Manchester United was chalked off for offside.But VAR worked in their favour against Leicester in July as the Toffees were awarded a penalty against Leicester, converted by Gylfi Sigurdsson.Arsenal -1Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal against Manchester United was initially disallowed for offside, only to be awarded after a VAR referral.But the Gunners were left to rue the system against Crystal Palace as the visitors were awarded a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was initially adjudged to have dived before Sokratis had a late goal ruled out.Aubameyang was then allowed to retake a missed penalty after encroachment was spotted against Norwich before the Gunners moved back into the red when David Luiz had a goal disallowed for offside against Brighton.VAR cost Arsenal against Palace for a third time when Aubameyang was sent off for a foul on Max Meyer.It came to their rescue against West Ham as Alexandre Lacazette’s winner was allowed to stand after originally being disallowed for offside but was to blame for Eddie Nketiah’s red card against Leicester.In their final match of the season, Arsenal were awarded a penalty against Watford for a foul by Craig Dawson on Lacazette.Bournemouth -2Josh King’s goal against West Ham was ruled out for offside in Bournemouth’s first taste of VAR, but King then had a goal against West Ham given after being flagged offside.Dan Gosling and Dan Burn then benefited in exactly the same way against Chelsea and Brighton before Norwich’s Ben Godfrey was sent off for a foul on Callum Wilson.West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell looked to have been sent off against Bournemouth but VAR downgraded the red card to yellow.And the Cherries were left to rue VAR twice against Burnley as King and Harry Wilson had goals ruled out, with the latter compounded by the decision to award the Clarets a penalty for a handball at the opposite end of the pitch in the build-up.Since football’s restart, Bournemouth have seen a Callum Wilson goal ruled out against Tottenham, although they were given a reprieve against Manchester City when the decision to award a penalty against Steve Cook was overturned.In their penultimate game before relegation, Bournemouth saw Southampton awarded a penalty and later had a goal from Sam Surridge ruled out in a costly 2-0 defeat.Chelsea -2Kurt Zouma and Cesar Azpilicueta have both had goals ruled out by VAR, against Norwich and Liverpool respectively, while Callum Hudson-Odoi had a penalty overturned after being adjudged to have dived against Burnley and Gerard Deulofeu had a penalty for Watford awarded following a trip by Jorginho.Bournemouth were also awarded a winning goal at Stamford Bridge that had originally been given as offside, but Frank Lampard’s side did benefit from VAR when West Ham had a goal ruled out for handball.Chelsea were also given a penalty and then had Son Heung-min sent off against them when they won at Spurs just before Christmas.Against Manchester United, Zouma had another goal ruled out by VAR before Olivier Giroud’s goal was also disallowed in the same game.Since football’s restart, the two VAR decisions involving Chelsea have both gone in their favour as Fernandinho was sent off for Manchester City and Tomas Soucek saw his goal disallowed for West Ham.Watford -2Watford were awarded a penalty against Chelsea and saw Sadio Mane’s goal for Liverpool ruled out for offside.However, the Hornets had a penalty given against them against Burnley and Christian Kabasele received a red card against Wolves.In February, Troy Deeney then saw a potential equaliser at Old Trafford disallowed for handball.In their final game before suffering relegation, Watford conceded a penalty to Arsenal after Craig Dawson was judged to have fouled Alexandre Lacazette.Aston Villa -3Villa have also had two goals ruled out against Burnley this season, although only one proved costly.John McGinn’s disallowed goal against Burnley meant Villa were held to a 2-2 draw in September, but they still managed to beat them 2-1 in January despite Jack Grealish having his goal ruled out.The Villans were awarded a penalty against Sheffield United, only for Grealish to miss before Conor Hourihane had a goal disallowed against Brighton.VAR then gave a penalty against Villa as Bjorn Engels was penalised for a foul on Steven Bergwijn against Tottenham. It then worked for and against Villa in their victory over Crystal Palace, ruling out Mamadou Sakho’s goal but also overturning a penalty awarded in Grealish’s favour.West Ham -4Manchester City, Brighton and Burnley all had goals ruled out against West Ham, but Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Brighton all had goals originally chalked off eventually given by VAR.City were allowed to retake a missed penalty due to encroachment, which was subsequently converted by Sergio Aguero. But given that game ended 5-0, let’s not split hairs.Declan Rice had a goal disallowed for offside against Spurs but Aaron Cresswell’s red card against Bournemouth was downgraded to a yellow card.Michail Antonio saw goals ruled out for handball against Chelsea and Southampton before Robert Snodgrass also had a goal against Sheffield United disallowed for handball.In their final game prior to lockdown, the Hammers saw Alexandre Lacazette’s originally ruled-out goal for Arsenal allowed to stand.Since returning, they have had a Son Heung-min goal disallowed in their favour, only to see Tomas Soucek have his goal against Chelsea ruled out.The Hammers were awarded a penalty at Old Trafford after VAR spotted Paul Pogba’s handball, much to the delight of Michail Antonio.Wolves -5It’s even more remarkable how well Wolves are doing when you consider how much VAR has affected them.Leander Dendoncker’s effort against Leicester in August and Raul Jimenez’s strike against Southampton in October were both ruled out, and then Wolves had four decisions go against them in the space of three days against Manchester City and Liverpool.First City were awarded a penalty and then allowed to retake it after it was missed, and then Liverpool had a goal given after originally being ruled out for a handball before Pedro Neto’s goal for Wolves was then ruled out for offside.VAR had been kinder to Wolves in 2020, sending off Watford’s Christian Kabasele and awarding them a penalty against Southampton.However, it then disallowed Willy Boly’s goal against Leicester for an offside in build-up by Pedro Neto.Sheffield United -5Like Wolves, Sheffield United are impressing in spite of VAR.The Blades have had goals against Southampton, Spurs, Brighton (2) and Manchester City ruled out while Joel Ward’s red card was rescinded. Newcastle also saw a goal originally given as offside subsequently allowed to stand.They have had three decisions go in their favour: Chris Basham’s red card against Norwich was chalked off while Robert Snodgrass and Harry Kane have seen goals against the Blades ruled out for handball.Norwich City -7Norwich benefited from their first taste of VAR when Kurt Zouma’s goal for Chelsea was ruled out, and they came out unscathed when Manchester United had two penalties awarded at Carrow Road following VAR referrals, only for Tim Krul to save them both.Since then, however, Arsenal were allowed to retake a missed penalty following encroachment, Sheffield United’s Chris Basham had a red card rescinded, and then Teemu Pukki had a great goal against Spurs ruled out for a marginal offside.Crystal Palace’s Connor Wickham had a goal awarded after it was originally ruled out for offside and Ben Godfrey was sent off for a foul on Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson following a VAR review.VAR finally came to Norwich’s rescue when Kelechi Iheanacho saw his striker ruled out for handball as the Canaries beat Leicester.A season in which Norwich have really done it tough was summed up in the final two matches, when Emi Buendia was sent off for an elbow against Burnley and Onel Hernandez saw a goal ruled out against Manchester City. 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It’s the only thing I haven’t won, declares United star

first_img Wayne Rooney FA Cup despair 1 Wayne Rooney is desperate to win the FA Cup, the only domestic trophy absent in the England captain’s trophy cabinet.Losing two FA Cup finals, against Arsenal in 2005 and Chelsea in 2007, the Manchester United star says Monday night’s quarter-final against Arsenal is “massive”.United have the benefit of home advantage but the Gunners are in better form and are the defending champions.Rooney watched Everton lift the FA Cup in 1995 and the memories of that make him even more determined to match his old club’s achievement.He said: “We have an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal on Monday and that is massive for us.“Of course, I think it is a massive trophy. It is a trophy that, growing up as a youngster, I used to love watching and I was fortunate enough to see Everton lift the FA Cup in 1995 when I was nine years old. It is something which I would love to do and hopefully it can be this year.“We haven’t been to a final for a few years, we want to try to win that game and we are looking forward to that.”last_img read more

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Brand South Africa lights up Constitution Hill In honour of former President Nelson Mandela

first_imgJohannesburg, 11 December 2013 – Brand South Africa lit up the sky above Constitution Hill on Wednesday night, in honour of former President Nelson Mandela.This historical landmark will be lit up with the South African flag colours in remembrance of our dear Tata Madiba every evening between 18h00 and 02h00 until Sunday, the day of Mandela’s funeral.This will form part of national and international efforts to celebrate the life of the man who confirmed to our people, and the world that South Africa can inspire new ways of doing things.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.Follow Brand South [email protected]_SA (https://twitter.com/Brand_SA) Tell us how you Play Your Parthttp://www.playyourpart.co.za/[email protected]#DoBestFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Arahna SinghBrand South Africa CommunicationsTel: +27 11 712 5061 Mobile: +27 (0) 82 491 2332Email: [email protected]:   www.brandsouthafrica.comEndslast_img read more

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10 months agoMan Utd coach Carrick: Dubai trip fantastic for squad

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd coach Carrick: Dubai trip fantastic for squadby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United assistant coach Michael Carrick says taking the squad to Dubai this week has been the right decision.Carrick, who has been reunited with former colleagues Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan in his first season after retiring as a player, explained that the climate in the Middle East enables the staff to focus on more detailed sessions.“It’s fantastic. It allows us to train in a way where you probably can’t do it at home, at this moment, with it being so cold,” reported Carrick. “We can work on different things. When it’s freezing cold at home, you’ve got to keep on the move and you don’t want the lads standing around too much.“So here we’ll work hard, especially over the next few days, and prepare for Sunday, but it allows us to maybe spend a little bit more time on the training ground and go into a little bit more detail, which we need at this moment.“As you can imagine, it’s quite a happy camp. When you’re winning football matches, you can’t put a price on the feeling that gives you, and the confidence and the belief.”You almost sense a calmness when you’re winning games. It’s great to see the lads enjoying themselves. The football’s flowing, the training’s good, they’re bouncing around the place, and it’s nice to see.” last_img read more

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Plaxico Burress Took A Twitter Jab At Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

first_imgPlaxico Burress close up.plaxico burress upset michigan state nebraska gameSince taking over at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh has certainly gone above and beyond in terms of recruiting. Whether it’s sleepovers, climbing trees, going to class with recruits or moving spring practice to Florida for a week, Harbaugh is committed to selling his vision in any way possible.The future is Harbaugh’s biggest selling point, as the Wolverines haven’t been elite lately. In recent years, Michigan has been on the short end of the stick against arch-rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. They’ve lost 11 of 12 to the Buckeyes and seven of eight to Sparty. Taking all this into account, former Michigan State star Plaxico Burress dropped a quick jab at Harbaugh and his recruiting tactics on Twitter this morning. According to Burress, while Harbaugh has to peddle his program, the Spartans simply have to point to the results. Looks like J Harbaugh is pulling out all stops to get kids to Michigan. We @MSU_Football just believe in the product. Don’t have to sell us— Plaxico Burress (@plaxicoburress) March 1, 2016Plax has a point because Michigan State has been the premier program in the state of Michigan the last several seasons. However, Harbaugh did lead his team to a 10-3 record in his first year and was one insane fluke play away from beating the Spartans. The Wolverines also have an outstanding recruiting class on the way.Will the Maize and Blue begin dominating its in-state rivals starting in 2016? We won’t go that far, but this series should be much closer in the coming years.last_img read more

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Taylor Swift To Share The Power Of Literacy In Live Webcast

first_imgAfter reaching 2 million students with her Fall 2010 Live Webcast, “Read Now with Taylor Swift,” one of the world’s most successful singer-songwriters returns to Scholastic.com in a LIVE Webcast about the power of literacy.In this new 30-minute online classroom event, hosted by MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway, Taylor Swift shares “where reading can take you” and how great literature has inspired her writing. Taylor will also answer questions from students and perform a song from her new CD, Red.Teachers must register for the webcast at www.scholastic.com/readeveryday no later than 12:00pm ET/ 9:00am PT on Wednesday, October 24th in order to access the live event at 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT, or the video replay of the event, which will be available at 4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT.Find more information here.last_img read more

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Alberta court overturns murder acquittal in Cindy Gladue case

first_imgThe Canadian PressThe Alberta Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in the case of an Ontario trucker who was acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of an Indigenous woman.A jury found Bradley Barton not guilty last September in the 2011 death of Cindy Gladue.Gladue body was found in a bathtub in an Edmonton motel room.She bled to death after a night of what Barton called consensual, rough sex.The Court of Appeal says there were serious legal errors during the trial, including how the judge charged the jury about Barton’s conduct and on the law of sexual assault relating to consent.The appeal panel says these errors negatively compromised the jury’s ability to properly assess the evidence and apply the law correctly.last_img read more

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Opinion European soccer could be next big thing for American fans

Manchester United’s Juan Mata, left, and the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes fight for the ball in an exhibition game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on July 23. Manchester won, 7-0.Credit: Courtesy of MCTAmerican sports fans are always looking for the next big thing.With a number of sports trying to leave their mark over the years, soccer has seemed destined to lag behind, with legions of fans and media types wondering when it will finally reach mainstream popularity in America.They can stop wondering.Some may credit this summer’s highly-entertaining World Cup in Brazil, which featured the world’s biggest stars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, its share of villains, like Luis Suarez and his bite or Arjen Robben and flopping, and the advantage of being one of two sporting events that the world turns to collectively.But for the college-aged generation and younger, soccer has been a premier and attractive sport for much longer than people without a finger on the pulse realize.Recognizing this, some of the top European clubs have flocked to America for matches that, despite the fact that they amount to what the preseason is for the NFL, are thrilling for fans. It is a perfect business model for European clubs: they see a growing market and realize they can provide a superior product than the hometown teams can.Manchester United, the most historically successful, and hated, club of the English Premier League, went on a preseason tour of the U.S. that began with a match against the L.A. Galaxy in July. The 84,362 fans in attendance at the Rose Bowl witnessed a thorough drubbing by United, who dropped the Galaxy 7-0 in a match that certainly did no good for the MLS.As part of the 2014 International Champions Cup — technically a tournament, although it is really only friendlies for the European clubs — United also took on Italian notables Roma and Inter Milan –– getting a victory and a draw, respectively –– before the big one: a showdown with Real Madrid in Ann Arbor, Mich.Real, of Spain’s La Liga, have an embarrassment of riches. The club team of not only one of the most famous athletes in the world in Ronaldo, Madrid’s confines are also home to too many superstars to list. Their match against Manchester United was hotly anticipated, and it came as no surprise that it set the record for the largest turnout for a soccer contest in America.A 3-1 final score in favor of Manchester left the mostly red-clad crowd satisfied, and although it had been declared he would not play, the subbing in of Ronaldo for the final twenty minutes had the crowd in hysterics.With that win, Manchester United advanced to the final of the tournamentUnited took the title from Liverpool, another English club team on a U.S. tour, 3-1.Liverpool’s most notable game stateside was a contest against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City –– a victory for Liverpool played at Yankee Stadium. Attendance fell just below 50,000, more than it has been for any Yankee game this season.The teams playing these friendlies in America are not here for simple preseason warm ups. Their brand is expanding to America, and these clubs want to be here now that they see America as a cash cow. Manchester United is worth $2.81 billion, and they didn’t get there by isolating themselves — their marketing and reputation has turned them into possibly the best known sports organization in the world. Four of the top 10 most valuable franchises are European soccer clubs, with Real Madrid weighing in at $3.44 billion.With English and Spanish teams showcasing their talents in the U.S., they remind us that there is not much reason to give much thought to Major League Soccer. The best team in MLS looked totally outclassed in their match with United. Add that to the fact that Manchester was playing more than 5,000 miles from home, and the embarrassment keeps mounting for the Galaxy.We need to let go of the belief that MLS needs to be popular for soccer to make its mark in America. The best players in the world play elsewhere and fans have no interest in watching something that is not world class — it is the same reason we don’t care about Minor League Baseball or the Canadian Football League.The game at Michigan Stadium is definite proof that European soccer has reached its highest level of fandom, a level that MLS may never come close to. Two foreign clubs squared off in the largest stadium in the country, and filled it to near capacity.Maybe someday MLS will improve enough to be popular in America. For now though, American fans are content just watching Ronaldo warm up. read more

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Dangerous road conditions from rain across SD County

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Posted: December 5, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- The slick roads that stayed empty most of the day and afternoon quickly filled up by the evening and hours of rain pouring onto the road made for dangerous road conditions.KUSI’s Ashlie Rodriguez has more on this story. December 5, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Dangerous road conditions from rain across SD Countylast_img read more

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Government launches new Air Travel Services Panel

first_imgThe Government has appointed a new whole-of-Government panel for air travel services for the next five years. The new panel consists of 18 airlines, including:Air New ZealandAir NiuginiBritish AirwaysCathay Pacific AirwaysChina Eastern AirlinesEmiratesEtihad AirwaysFiji AirwaysFinnairGaruda IndonesiaLATAM AirlinesQantas Airways (including Jetstar)Qatar AirwaysRegional ExpressRoyal Brunei AirlinesSingapore AirlinesThai AirwaysVirgin AustraliaReplacing the current domestic and international air services panels, the new panel is expected to reduce travel expenditure by departments and agencies and additionally, increased baggage allowances, reduced or removed fees and more flexible fare conditions are expected to provide further savings.Compared to the previous contracts, the new panel provides:competitive route deal fares and discounted point of sale, point of origin and inbound fares that provide departments and agencies with substantial savings in comparison to market fares;flexible fare conditions that provide a range of benefits for government travellers;supports compliance with the government’s best fare of the day international travel policy and lowest practical fare domestic travel policy;detailed reporting on government travel patterns;simplified contract management; andthe ability to adapt to the government’s changing travel needs.In 2014-15, the Government booked approximately AU$420 million of domestic and international air travel, across 1.4 million sectors. The new panel began on 1 May 2016.Source = Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Financelast_img read more

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Lately it seems you cant read a newspaper or turn

first_imgLately it seems you can’t read a newspaper or turn on the nightly news without getting bombarded with political rhetoric about how our government must do something to bring our country out of the economic doldrums. The debate boils down to raising taxes or cutting taxes. Either way, pundits complain that the rich are “not paying their fair share,” or that politicians are “just making their rich cronies richer.” It’s sad how much investors have to factor the current political climate into their investment decisions. But savvy investors have to cut through the political rhetoric and look at reality. Regardless of the party in power, all levels of government are masters at increasing tax revenue to help do their bidding.Once You Open the Door, 2% Can Turn Into 94% I looked up the history of the federal income tax and found some interesting data. The first income tax, passed in 1894, was a 2% tax on incomes over $4,000. Fewer than 10% of US households paid any federal income tax at all. After the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913, there were seven income brackets for the federal income tax, the highest starting at $500,000 – or about $10 million in 2007 dollars. Tax rates ranged from 1-7%. Much like the old stories of vacuum-cleaner salesmen, once they get a foot in the door, look out! Trickery and deceit are a normal part of the political process. When the original income-tax law was passed, very few Americans were affected. The government was essentially taxing “someone else.” By 1944, the top marginal tax rate hit 94%. When politicians are faced with taking salary cuts or cutting payments to those who help elect them, they always find ways to extract more tax revenue from the working class. It’s been that way for all of time.Who’s Really Paying What? When I started hearing protests about the top 1% folks not paying their fair share, I realized that much of the noise was just rhetoric for politicians to sell a particular point of view. So what are the facts? One quite politically biased report I read claimed that the top 1% of taxpayers have an average net worth of a little over $19 million each. It basically implied that unless you’re worth $19 million or more, potential tax hikes won’t affect you. Bill Gates has an estimated net worth of $61.3 billion; the Walton family’s (of Walmart fame) combined net worth is about $93 billion. That means that Bill Gates is worth about 3,226 times more than the average top 1% folks, and the Walton family about 4,894 times more. $19 million may be the accurate average net worth of the top 1%, but averages can sure be misleading.Do You Feel Rich Today? After spending a couple frustrating hours on the Internet finding old data, I turned to our research team for some help. Adam Crawford, one of our energetic researchers, put together a much clearer picture based on a recent report from the US Census Bureau. The net worth on top of each column is the entry-level net worth – not the average – for each percentile noted. Adam also pointed out a couple of interesting items from the report. If you have a total net worth of $344,000, or $179,533 excluding the value of your home, you are better off than 80% of Americans today. The top 7% of the population begins at $856,000, but when you exclude personal-residence values, it’s $586,507. In simple terms, if you have a home worth around $270,000 and a $587,000 portfolio, you’re ahead of 93% of Americans. Those 93% think you’re rich, even though you’re a long way from $19 million. I mentioned to Adam that a lot of folks in California and the northeast must be in the top 7% because of real-estate values in those parts of the country. He reminded me that a person may live in a million-dollar home, but it’s likely heavily mortgaged. True net worth comes from equity, not your address.Retirement Income in the Post-2008 Economy I’ve read many reports claiming that the average net worth of 99% of the population dropped 20% or more after the 2008 housing crash. Many people had contemplated retirement with the idea of downsizing and investing some of their home equity to provide retirement income. Instead, they saw a couple hundred thousand dollars or more vanish as their home equity collapsed. Time to look at some real numbers. Let’s assume our entry-level elite top-7% couple – I’ll call them the “Rich Joe” family – has $86,000 in cars and “stuff,” and a $500,000 portfolio. If they’re retired, they have to live off income from their investments and Social Security… for the rest of their lives. In 2007, before the crash, a five-year CD paid around 6% interest; $500,000 invested in CDs at that rate would provide $30,000 in interest. Assume that Rich Joe family collected the Social Security payments of high-wage earners – $30,000 between Rich Joe and his wife. That’s a combined gross income of $60,000. If they spent and invested wisely, hopefully it would last. Times, however, have changed since the housing crash. Two percent is about the best rate Rich Joe family can hope for from a five-year CD, so their $500,000 investment in CDs now earns them only $10,000 annually. Their income has dropped from $60,000 to $40,000 per year. The picture is even gloomier when you factor in inflation. Current CD interest rates don’t even cover the current inflation rate. In other words, when Rich Joe family buys a five-year CD, at the end of the five-year period, even with interest, their buying power has been reduced. Many retirees are now finding second careers to supplement their income because they know that their life savings won’t last long enough. You many have noticed the number of seniors working in fast food restaurants, which may also be a factor in the high unemployment rate of young people today. Sadly, many grandparents are lamenting how they’ve had to really cut back on travel and Christmas gifts for grandchildren.Watch the Other Hand I have a friend who’s a pretty good amateur magician, doing many tricks with cards and coins. He regularly preaches to “watch the other hand,” and cautions his friends to do the same with the government. The current political debate is whether to extend the Bush tax cuts or make them permanent. I recently read another idea about extending them for everyone except folks earning over $250,000. Certainly most retirees don’t fall into that category, so they may not see the trick. What’s in the other hand? Since retirees can’t find decent yields on CDs and top-rated bonds, many have turned to good-quality, dividend-paying stocks. As of 2008, 42% of all reported dividend income went to people 65 and older. In the last four years, the percentage has likely risen dramatically as seniors saw their CDs mature and were offered inadequate rates to roll them over. The Bush tax cuts allowed for a 15% tax on dividends. I recently read that some politicians would like to let this portion of the tax cuts quietly expire also. If that were to happen, dividends would be taxed as ordinary income. That’s a jump to a 25% marginal tax rate for a married couple earning just over $70,000. Politicians and pundits may talk about the repeal as though it only affects folks earning $250,000 or more, but watch the other hand. Many retirees have given up on CDs and are investing in dividend-paying stocks. A higher tax rate on those dividends will affect a lot of retirees who need that money to pay their bills.“Don’t Trust the Government” Club What would be the consequences of taxing dividends as ordinary income? Some pundits argue that it would cause a sell-off of dividend-paying stocks. Maybe investors needing dividend income would see a reduction in their investment capital. Others disagree, pointing out that many mutual funds and 401(k)s are heavily invested in dividend-paying stocks, and they would hold on to them. The only common conclusion I can offer is this: If the Bush tax cuts on dividends expire, a lot of folks with income under $250,000 are going to see a bigger tax bite. There does not seem be a consensus that dividend-paying stock prices will drop because they are being sold as investors seek higher yields. The appeal of dividend-paying stocks taxed at a lower rate may lose some glamor, as investors evaluate their alternatives. Most baby boomers thinking about retirement have likely done a few calculations on one or more financial-planning websites, and the average yield on your investment portfolio after retirement is always a part of these calculations. My generation was encouraged to use 6% as a “safe” estimate. Now that CDs and top-rated bonds are not realistic options, investors have to put more of their money at greater risk for a decent yield. Certainly a 4% dividend taxed at a rate no higher than 15% is one option to consider, particularly if the investor thinks there will be stock appreciation as part of the process. Dividend-paying stocks are an option we don’t want to lose. Right now, my state of Florida has a senator from each political party, but in this case it makes little difference which side of the aisle they’re on. This concerns everyone living on a fixed income and everyone trying to figure out how they can afford to retire. I’ve written both of my senators and my representative, pointing out that the incomes of many seniors and savers have been radically reduced because the government holds interest rates near zero. They’d better vote to freeze the current tax rates and the tax on dividends, or seniors and savers will once again bear the brunt of their tax policies. Enough already! The average net worth of the top 1% may be $19 million, but some data from the Federal Reserve shows that the median of the top 10% of the population is approximately $1.8 million, inclusive of personal residences. Maybe Bill Gates and Warren Buffett make a lot of money on dividends, but the vast majority of retirees rely on that income to survive. If Mr. Buffett thinks millionaires should pay more in taxes, I can gladly direct him to a government website where he can voluntarily contribute to the federal government. Sometimes I feel like Papa Bear guarding the food supply – we need to let “Big Brother” know it better keep its hands off our dividends.On the Lighter Side The first weekend of the NFL season is now in the books. It’s interesting that the last three Super Bowl champions all lost their first games. Several games went down to the last minute or even into overtime, which kept a lot of folks glued to their seats. On Thursday night, the Bears take on the Packers – a rivalry of the highest order. And finally… With the political conventions behind us, we’re all being bombarded with campaign advertisements. I suspect I’m not the only person who is already sick of the negative advertising, and we still have two months to go. Political candidates and their consultants seem to think their best bet is to depict their opponent as some sort of a crook or bum beholden to special interests. It’s no wonder voters are so cynical when the election rolls around. I have a friend who gets pretty upset and starts yelling at the TV when he knows the facts have been misrepresented. He told me he’s relinquished total clicker control to his wife until after the election – a wise man. Until next week…last_img read more

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A top Justice Department official is putting citie

first_imgA top Justice Department official is putting cities considering medically-supervised drug injection sites on notice: If you open one, prepare for swift and aggressive legal action. With record numbers of fatal overdoses, several cities are working on plans to launch facilities where people can inject illegal drugs with staff on hand to help them if they overdose. Now, however, the Trump administration is vowing a major crackdown. In an interview with NPR, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he understands city leaders are desperate to curb the mounting overdose deaths, but there is one problem: providing a place for people to use heroin and other illegal substances is a violation of federal law.”I’m not aware of any valid basis for the argument that you can engage in criminal activity as long as you do it in the presence of someone with a medical condition,” Rosenstein says.City officials in Philadelphia and San Francisco say they are moving forward with their plans, despite the threats.In California, state lawmakers recently passed a bill awaiting the governor’s approval that would advance a three-year supervised injection site pilot program. San Francisco Mayor London Breed says the Justice Department putting cities on notice should not make them back down, given the worsening overdose problem.”There is strength in numbers,” Breed said at a press conference. “And we are talking to other cities who want to consider this as an option. I mean, here in other cities like New York and Seattle, we are trying to address the crisis.”The view from Washington is different.”Just because someone tells you in San Francisco that San Francisco is not going to prosecute you for doing something, that does not make it legal. It remains illegal after federal law,” Rosenstein says. “If anybody thinks this is a good idea, there’s a way to accomplish that: try to persuade the U.S. Congress to legalize it.”His advice to mayors and other top local elected officials? Consult your lawyers about all legal repercussions.That could mean criminal prosecution.U.S. attorneys in Philadelphia and Vermont have come out strongly against supervised injection sites. But Rosenstein’s comments mark the first time a high-ranking Department of Justice official has weighed in on the controversial sites that Philadelphia and about a dozen other jurisdictions are considering in response to the worsening opioid crisis.No matter how severe the crisis gets, Rosenstein says inviting people into a space and permitting them to use dangerous drugs there is a troubling notion. It may, in Rosenstein’s view, even accelerate the problem. “This is not a disease that gets spread like the flu,” Rosenstein says. “People can only become addicted if they have access to these illegal drugs. And so if we can prevent that access, we can prevent the addiction.”But supporters point to the latest grim federal statistics as evidence of why the sites are a necessary tool to help save lives. More than 72,000 Americans died from overdoses last year, exceeding any one-year death total during the AIDS crisis.In Philadelphia, more than 1,200 people died of drug overdoses, most fueled by opioids, last year. That is about 35 percent more than the deadliest days of the AIDS epidemic, says Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.”This would be the worst public health crisis in a century,” Farley says.He says just as public health officials realized syringe exchanges worked to save lives during the worst years of the AIDs epidemic, “likewise, now, we know there are a lot of needless death from drug overdoses and we know we can save lives because the evidence is clear that these facility save lives.”Farley recalls the early backlash to needle exchange programs, and hopes that the criminal justice community will gradually come around to the idea of supervised injection sites.While the research is still preliminary, most studies show that the supervised injection sites can drive down fatal overdoses. These sites are credited with containing the spread of infectious diseases. And advocates say the facilities help move more people into treatment. The American Medical Association has endorsed launching supervised injection site pilot programs.”Nobody likes the idea of watching someone who is addicted just inject drugs. We want to get all of those people into treatment, but we all have to recognize that, despite all of our efforts, many people are not going to drug treatment,” he says.Farley worries that if the Justice Department’s threats spread widely enough people will be too scared to show up when the city’s site does open.”If the message is clear that, if you walk in this facility you’re going to be arrested, people wouldn’t be using that,” Farley says. “But that is not what is happened currently with syringe exchange, and that’s the sort of accommodation we hope we can set up with an overdose prevention site.”Rosenstein says he “wouldn’t speculate” on what exactly the enforcement would look like or who might be arrested, but he says options include suing under the Controlled Substances Act to get an injunction, or even pursuing criminal charges depending on the circumstances. He says federal officials are watching cities that advancing injection site plans.”If local governments get in the business of facilitating drug use … they’re actually inviting people to bring these illegal drugs into their places of business,” Rosenstein says. “If you start down that road, you’re really going to undermine the deterrent message that I think is so important in order to prevent people from becoming addicted in the future.”But for public health leaders like Farley, the bottom line is that lives are at stake and supervised injection facilities could help.”In a crisis like thus, with this many people dying as we have, it’s worth a try,” says Farley. Copyright 2018 WHYY. To see more, visit WHYY.last_img read more

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