Will new rugby league clubs in the US and Canada pick up college footballers?

first_imgNFL “I played football, rugby union, and I also wrestled as well,” says Burroughs, the former Virginia football player. “I wouldn’t say you could rule anyone from any sport out. There are freak athletes who play basketball who could come over here and transition to rugby league, play in the second row maybe. The most comparable thing I could put rugby league to is American football: a few drives and then you get to the kick. If you played rugby union, playing league might confuse you a bit more because the games are totally different.”USA and Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott is more circumspect. “It can take three, four or maybe five years for someone who thinks they’re a full-back to really nail the skills of playing full-back, for someone who thinks they’re a nine to know all the subtleties, all the nods and winks that nines have. If you haven’t grown up with the game, the skill acquisition will take you five years.”Whether an American football player could go straight to the top level of league remains unlikely. “I’m not going to say anything is impossible,” says Burroughs, who struggled for game time with the Wolfpack in League One and is now injured until mid-season. “It depends on the person and how hard they are willing to learn.”Darker reasons have emerged for why Jarryd Hayne may have left San Francisco 49ers after just one season of trying to break the NFL but the Fiji World Cup star has valid opinions on who could make the transition. “A lot of the DBs [defensive backs] and wide receivers have the body shape, vision and agility for our type of game,” Hayne told me in Townsville. “The running backs are naturally suited to league as well. Watching PNG, they look like a team full of running backs, they’ve all got that nuggety build.” Share on LinkedIn Second Canadian team planned for RFL, says man behind Toronto Wolfpack Just a month after the uplift of the World Cup, a tug of war over NRL player availability is dragging the international game back down. It seems “so rugby league” that an Australian league and players union can put the handbrake on a venture featuring England and New Zealand playing in America. But the problems over releasing players to leave Australia to play a Test match in Denver rumbles on. There is a major point of principle here that is going to test the strength and backbone of Wayne Bennett, Kevin Sinfield and Nigel Wood – England’s administrative spine, if you like – to the limit. They are all publicly desperate to win this fight and get the game on. If they don’t, we will all know where the rest of the world stands: in the corner at Australia’s private party with dunce’s hats on all round. The wisdom of playing in Denver and not Toronto, or New York, Boston, Hamilton or Philadelphia – the four front-runners to join the RFL party – may not be accurately measurable until after the 2025 World Cup there. But playing at altitude in 75,000-seater Mile High Stadium does seem rather unnecessary and ambitious.Clubcall: New York City RLFCThis time next year we may well be preparing for New York’s debut game. Given that 2019 wil probably see Super League back up to 14 clubs, NYCRLFC (that might need tidying up) could be in an expanded Championship rather than starting in League One. League writer and entrepreneur Ricky Wilby – nephew of former Hull and Leeds player Tim Wilby – tells me they are already putting their community outreach programme together, with a New York sports promoter starting work.As confirmed by RFL supremo Nigel Wood, New York hope to get the green flag early this spring and open in front of a full Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey a year later. Having spent the World Cup down under meeting players, coaches, managers and agents, Wilby says we can expect to see a handful of current USA internationals in the inaugural NYC squad, alongside a couple of headline-grabbing NRL stars and some familiar names from our domestic game. Currently, NYC will have to meet the RFL’s Federation-trained quota restrictions: i.e. be treated like a British club, although they hope to get those tweaked.New York could be joined in 2019 by Boston – Massachusetts, not Lincolnshire – but that seems more likely to be in 2020. The learned consortium behind Boston RLFC, which includes co-owners from Super League and the NRL, have already lined up a venue, but they do not want to rush into anything until serious money is in place and local expertise on board. New York have done that and appear to be a year ahead.Goal-line drop-outExciting news has reached us from Seattle about the inaugural London9s. With 24 men’s and 12 women’s teams, LDN9s will be arguably the biggest rugby league event in London in 2018. A familiar face at London Skolars and the driving force behind Masters in the capital, Graham Oliphant is so committed to the emerging Nines circuit that he quit his career as a firefighter to run the London event and co-ordinate an RL 9s circuit. The latest team to confirm their presence at the LDN9s should bring some Super League scouts to East London on 21 July: PNG club West Papua Warriors will join league and union teams from across Europe, with talks continuing with teams from Brisbane, Fiji, USA and Canada.Tournaments in Valencia and Belgrade are in the pipeline, with Oliphant in Seattle to discuss plans for further events in the US and Canada. The LDN9s slogan is “100 games, 36 teams, 6 pitches, 3 bars, 1 amazing party”. See you there.Fifth and lastIf you find yourself watching Los Angeles Rams fighting for an NFL play-off place at their traditional Coliseum home, squint at the screen a little and allow yourself to drift away to the late 1950s. This was not only where Australia beat New Zealand in 1954, but where the LA Rams were due to play in the North American Rugby Football League against teams from San Francisco 49ers, BC Lions and Seattle. As readers of my book No Helmets Required will know, those football franchises had expressed interest in joining a spring league playing the 13-man code. There was speculation that Rams stars such as Les Richter and Jon Arnett would be playing our game, with football players earning money playing another code in the off-season rather than doing humdrum jobs. Like most other American ventures, the NARFL flopped as no one put sufficient money on the table to make it happen. Let’s hope the 2020 vision has more to it than sweet dreams.Finally, festive greetings to you all. Thanks for making 2017 the most successful year for the No Helmets blog. More of you are reading this than ever before and our World Cup coverage ensured that November was by far the biggest and best month ever. Merry Christmas and see you in 2018 – and keep the comments coming!Follow No Helmets Required on Twitter and Facebook It is not the physical challenge as much as the mental ones that would prevent talent following Hayne in making the opposite journey from elite rugby to the NFL, according to one Englishman currently doing that. Former England Sevens star Alex Gray moved from Leeds to Georgia earlier this year on the NFL’s International Player Pathway to sign for Atlanta Falcons as an aspiring tight end.“It’s not the physical skills that would get them into the NFL,” says the 26-year-old former Newcastle and London Irish back. “I know rugby, I know you don’t have to do that much studying. It’s a very instinctive game. What people think of the NFL is a warped perception. Everyone thinks it’s these amazing athletes doing miraculous things. But now I’ve been in the system and seen what it’s all about, that’s less than 10% of it. It is a glorified chess game.“In rugby league, there’s some great athletes, but it’s the mental side of it: can they take the humble route from being a star in their game to being essentially an academy player in another? And can they put in the hours studying the playbook? It’s what they are giving up: being at the top of one game, which they have spent ten years to reach, to the bottom of another.”Gray does think there is an opportunity for rugby to recruit college athletes, but only if clubs are willing to invest time and money in coaches to help them learn the game. “There are a couple of guys here who would make great rugby players,” says the Rio Olympic silver-medallist. “There’s a hole there. Thousands fall by the side every year, coming out of college with nowhere to go. But it would really test the clubs. Would the coaches be good enough to transfer them? Not a lot of development coaching goes on in rugby and there are not enough coaches at each club. The raw material is there, if someone has the interest to work with it.” Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Super League So that was the off-season: three whole weeks. Hope you enjoyed it! Five Super League clubs are playing derbies next week: Wakefield v Leeds and Castleford v Featherstone on Boxing Day, then Widnes v Warrington on Friday night. Leeds have named Brad Singleton and Antony Mullally in a strong side for their first Boxing Day visit to Belle Vue since 1954, just six weeks after they played for Ireland in Canberra!Unless you live in West Yorkshire or south-west Lancashire, the only professional rugby league you can watch in the dying days of 2017 will be on TV. Many of us will get our oval ball fix via gridiron, picturing the time when New York v Philadelphia or Boston will be a rugby league, not just NFL fixture – (ditto Hamilton v Toronto in the CFL). It may not be long before you see more American football players ditching the helmets and pads to try rugby league.Toronto Wolfpack and USA winger Ryan Burroughs thinks league should pillage the ranks of thousands of college football players who are at a loose end in their early 20s after failing to be drafted by the pros. Guardian Sport Network Foreign quota Share via Email Read more Share on Pinterest Share on Facebookcenter_img RFL Rugby league Share on WhatsApp Topics Jarryd Hayne features The most successful American football player to convert to rugby league remains former Rose Bowl winner Alvin Earl Kirkland from UCLA who, after starring at centre for the American All Stars down under in 1953, was ever-present for Parramatta in 1958 and made his debut for Leeds before failing to get a work permit and returning to southern California. … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.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 hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Reuse this content Share on Twitter Read more The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage US sports Support The Guardianlast_img read more

Arsenal vs Man City: TV, stream & preview

first_imgPremier League Arsenal vs Man City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 17:50 3/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal Nicolas Otamendi Manchester City Getty Images Premier League Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Arsenal Arsene Wenger’s side were left humiliated by the Citizens at Wembley so they will be aiming to restore pride on Thursday Just four days after playing in the Carabao Cup final, Arsenal and Manchester City meet again in London as they return to Premier League action.Pep Guardiola’s men emerged triumphant at Wembley on Sunday, beating the Gunners 3-0 to secure the Catalan coach’s first trophy since arriving in England.That defeat was Arsenal’s fifth in their last 10 matches in all competitions and they will need to improve if they want to secure a positive result at home on Thursday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player A chasm of 27 points separates City in first from Arsenal in sixth and the Gunners, who are also 10 points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham, will be hoping to reclaim some pride at the Etihad. Game Arsenal vs Manchester City Date Thursday March 1 Time 19:45 GMT / 14:45 ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) TV Channel & Live Stream In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream NBCSN fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Premier League and it can be streamed live online using Sky Go. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Premier League Sky Go Squads & Team News Position Arsenal players Goalkeepers Ospina, Cech, Macey Defenders Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Mavropanos, Osei-Tutu Midfielders Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Dragomir, Gilmour, Willock Forwards Aubameyang, Welbeck, Dasilva, Nelson, Nketiah Alexandre Lacazette recently underwent surgery on a knee injury so he is definitely out and Santi Cazorla is a long-term absentee who has been troubled by an ankle complaint.Nacho Monreal has been ruled out for the next few games too after suffering an inflamed disc in his back, but the remainder of the squad are fit to play.Potential Arsenal starting XI: Cech; Kolasinac, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin; Wilshere, Xhaka, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey; Aubameyang. Position Man City players Goalkeepers Bravo, Ederson, Grimshaw Defenders Walker, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Laporte, Adarabioyo, Otamendi, Duhaney Midfielders Sterling, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sane, B. Silva, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Toure, Foden, Diaz, Dele-Bashiru Forwards Aguero, Nmecha, Jesus Fernandinho is definitely out of the game after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday, but Raheem Sterling could be available again after Guardiola revealed he is “much, much better”.Brazil international Gabriel Jesus is back in contention after making a substitute appearance in the final.Potential Man City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Danilo; Gundogan, D. Silva, De Bruyne; Sane, Aguero, Jesus.Betting & Match Odds Man City are, perhaps unsurprisingly, favourites to win with dabblebet giving odds of 3/4 on Guardiola’s men. Arsenal are deemed a 7/2 bet to win and a draw is available at 3/1.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Hector Bellerin Kevin De Bruyne Arsenal Manchester CityIcy conditions are enveloping the United Kingdom this week as the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ arrives and the Emirates Stadium is becoming an increasingly cold house for Wenger too.The Arsenal boss was denied a maiden League Cup trophy on Sunday after his side meekly succumbed to the might of Guardiola’s City and the question of his future has now arisen once more.Even if the veteran coach guides the Gunners to a win over City on Thursday, those questions won’t go away, but he will be able to use a victory as a springboard for a strong finish to the season.The Europa League now seems to be their only realistic hope of achieving Champions League football for next season, but the pressure is still on to finish as high as possible in the league.City, on the other hand, are incredibly secure at the top of the table and have now comfortably beaten the Gunners twice this season.Despite the elation of winning the Carabao Cup, Guardiola’s men have a tough run of games to come, with Chelsea and Basel to play after Arsenal, so the Catalan will be demanding complete focus. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

13 days agoJuventus demand Mandzukic fee from Man Utd

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Juventus demand Mandzukic fee from Man Utdby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus have told Manchester United they must cough up a fee for Marko Mandzukic.The Daily Express says United will have to spend £10million if they want to sign Mandzukic from Juventus in the January transfer window but the player has reached a verbal agreement with the Red Devils.Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Croatian star Mandzukic to beef up his misfiring front line.He failed with a summer move for the former Bayern Munich star who will be 34 next May but is understood to have now reached a verbal agreement.Juve want to offload Mandzukic who has has been told that he won’t be featuring in Maurizio Sarri’s plans for the season.He has rejected a lucrative move to Qatar and has been offered the chance to play in the MLS with LAFC but still feels that he can play at the highest level in Europe. last_img read more

Benfica confirm €126m Atletico Madrid bid for Felix

first_imgBenfica have confirmed that a €126 million (£113m/$143m) bid has been made for star forward Joao Felix by Atletico Madrid.   The Spanish side are looking to rebuild after a number of big-name players, including Antoine Griezmann, confirmed they would be leaving the club this summer, and 19-year-old Felix, who has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, is clearly part of the club’s plan moving forward.Benfica have made clear in a statement released on Wednesday evening that they are considering the offer, but that nothing had yet been accepted. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Though the bid is in excess of Felix’s €120m release clause, Atletico’s insistence that the fee is paid over installments means that Benfica are within their rights to reject the offer.Felix has impressed in his native Portugal, scoring 15 goals and registering nine assists in just 26 league appearances last season, drawing interest from around Europe.   Juventus were among the teams strongly linked to the youngster, though it seems now that Atletico will win the race for his signature, something that should delight Diego Simeone.   “Historically, Atletico buy young players to develop them here. Like what happened with [Jan] Oblak, [Jose] Gimenez, Lucas Hernandez when they came through from youth teams – or Griezmann,” Simeone told Fox Sports Argentina earlier this month.   “We want a talented guy who can absorb our ideas. Our technical staff is already working on some situations to help to develop players.”Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid La Liga 02042019Simeone is dealing with a changing of the guard at Atletico, with a generation of veterans, including Diego Godin, Filipe Luis and Juanfran at the end of their contracts.   But the club have already moved to bring in Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente and defender Felipe from Porto, and the move for Felix would be another boost in the club’s attempt to stay as a perennial contender in both Spain and Europe.  Under Simeone’s watch Atletico finished second in La Liga last season, ahead of city rivals Real and behind champions Barcelona.  And while a substantial rebuild is needed, Simeone is confident he will be able to adjust to new talents such as Felix.  “If Joao Felix and others come with different characteristics than we had before, then we will have to play differently,” he said.  “In training we will see where we are going … It is clear that this year’s challenge is one of the most complex since I arrived at the club.”last_img read more

Registry Of Deeds To Stay in Pictou

first_imgThe province’s Registry of Deeds office will remain in the Townof Pictou, Premier John Hamm announced today, Nov. 1. “The Registry of Deeds office in Pictou has been an importantservice to the community for many years, carrying much historicalsignificance for local residents,” said the premier. “Aftercareful consideration of community needs and alternate spaceoptions within the Town of Pictou, it was important forgovernment to reassure the community that this office would notbe moved to another town.” Last month, the Department of Justice announced that it wasmoving Family Court proceedings from New Glasgow to Pictou. As aresult of the additional physical space pressures that this newservice in the Town of Pictou would provide, transferring theRegistry of Deeds office to the New Glasgow area was considered. “We have listened to the community, reviewed the physical spaceoptions within the Town of Pictou and have decided that no changeto the location of the Registry of Deeds will result in itleaving the Shire Town of Pictou,” added the premier. Officials from the departments of Justice and Service Nova Scotiaand Municipal Relations will meet soon to determine which is thebest option to keep the Registry of Deeds office in Pictou.last_img read more

Alleged Yahoo hacker Karim Baratov to forgo extradition hearing

first_imgHAMILTON – A Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails will forgo his extradition hearing and go face the charges in the United States in what his lawyer has called an effort to speed up the legal process.Karim Baratov signed documents agreeing to waive the hearing before a Hamilton judge on Friday, after weighing the decision for months.Ontario Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman warned Baratov that the move could leave him open to more charges in the U.S., prompting the 22-year-old’s lawyer to confirm his client knew the implications of his choice.“Good luck, Mr. Baratov,” the judge said as the hearing came to a close.An extradition hearing for Baratov had been scheduled for early September, though his lawyer, Amedeo DiCarlo, suggested in June that his client may opt out if talks with American officials proved fruitful.He would not comment Friday on discussions with the U.S., saying he didn’t want to compromise any negotiations.But he said outside court that this latest development was welcomed by his client.“He’s happy, he’s excited,” DiCarlo said. “All along, we’ve said he wants to move this along, he’s not trying to delay the system, he wants to assert his rights in the U.S.”DiCarlo has stressed that waiving the extradition hearing does not mean admitting guilt.U.S. marshals will be dispatched to fetch Baratov and take him to California, DiCarlo said. That is to take place “as soon as possible,” he said, possibly within the next few days.Baratov was arrested in Hamilton in March under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others — two of them allegedly officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service — for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.He has been held without bail since his arrest because an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that he was too much of a flight risk to be released prior to an extradition hearing.The judge also found that Baratov’s parents would not make appropriate sureties since they had not been suspicious of their son’s alleged activities while he lived under their roof.American authorities alleged in court documents that Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan, posed an “extremely high flight risk” in part due to his alleged ties to Russian intelligence agents and his financial resources.Baratov appealed the ruling that denied him bail but it was upheld in June.Yahoo said last September that information from at least 500 million user accounts had been stolen in a cyberattack two years earlier. Baratov is accused of hacking 80 Yahoo accounts and faces 20 years in prison in the U.S. if convicted.last_img read more

SC directs Bribery Commission to file charges on Namal

A case was filed against Namal Rajapaksa at the Supreme Court by the Bribery Commission in June over alleged defamation.The commission had accused the Parliamentarian of insulting the commission by not appearing to make a statement despite being issued notice. (Colombo Gazette) The Bribery Commission has been directed by the Supreme Court to file charges against Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.The Supreme Court directed the Bribery Commission to file the charges on or before October 3rd.

Some facts and figures about the federal riding of Regina Wascana

REGINA — Regina WascanaIt’s round two for the Conservatives, who are running the same candidate against longtime Liberal MP and cabinet minister Ralph Goodale. He’s the lone Liberal in the House of Commons from Saskatchewan and it’s been that way for years. Goodale has held the riding since 1993. His opponents are making a concerted effort to tie him to western alienation felt in Saskatchewan. He’s been the target of criticism, including from Premier Scott Moe, over federal infrastructure dollars and energy policies such as the carbon tax.Major communities: Regina, Rural Municipality of SherwoodPopulation: 84,153 (Statistics Canada, 2016)Incumbent: Ralph Goodale, Liberal minister of public safety emergency preparednessStory continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Main challengers: Software developer Michael Kram is running for the Conservatives; program assistant Tamela Friesen is with the Greens and Mario Milanovski is the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada. Hailey Clark is running for the NDP.Election history: Goodale won his seat in 2015 by more than 10,000 votes against Kram. In 2011, Goodale secured almost 41 per cent of voter support while the Conservatives finished in close second with 37 per cent. In 2008, 46 per cent of the vote went to Goodale while 35 per cent went to the Conservatives.Fun fact: Regina Wascana features Wascana Lake, a large man-made body of water in Regina, which was drained and deepened as part of a government relief project during the Great Depression.This report from The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2019. read more

Kentuckys overcrowded jails full of nonviolent offenders

Kentucky’s overcrowded jails full of nonviolent offenders LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s overcrowded jails are filled with nonviolent offenders who pose little risk. That’s according to an analysis by the Administrative Office of the Courts reported in the Lexington Herald-Leader.The analysis looked at every defendant in custody on Nov. 1, 2018. Of the 6,796 defendants eligible for release, approximately 71 percent were being held on nonviolent felony charges. The most common of those charges was drug possession. A distant second was theft.- Advertisement – The majority were classified as either low risk or moderate risk for failing to appear in court. They also were considered low risk for committing another crime.Tara Blair is director of pretrial services. She says the issue is more complex than bail reform.Blair says, “We have to come up with alternatives for people with substance use disorder.”___Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) read more

TDs stand for Gaza as Deaf community makes Dáil history

first_img Source: Hugh O’Connell/Twitter Tánaiste Joan Burton welcoming members of the deaf community in the Dáil gallery with a wave pic.twitter.com/Deqkt40C9k— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) July 17, 2014 Source: Hugh O’Connell/Twitter Additional reporting by Hugh O’ Connell.Read: It’s politicians’ last day in Leinster House before the summer holidays, here’s what they’re up to> HISTORY WAS MADE at Leaders’ Questions this afternoon, as an Irish Sign Language interpreter was made available to a group of members of the Deaf community present in the Dáil public gallery.There had been controversy earlier this week over whether a request from the Irish Deaf Society for an interpreter had been turned down, but Ceann Cómhairle Seán Barrett received acclaim all round for sorting it out.Tánaiste Joan Burton, facing her last round of Leaders’ Questions before the summer break, even had a special message for the history-making group in the gallery, signing “Welcome” to them at the opening of her remarks. For the second week in a row, when asked about Palestinian citizens, you revert to giving advice to Irish citizens in the area.The crux of this is the Israeli state’s failure to abide by international law.It is long past time that the Irish government said to the Israeli administration, ‘You cannot act with impunity.’Independent TD Catherine Murphy, for her part, pushed the Tánaiste to agree to a further referendum on the abortion issue. Perhaps not surprisingly, she declined to do so.Taking a standThere was a last-minute wildcard in store, immediately after Leaders’ Questions this afternoon.During the Order of Business, Gerry Adams sought a debate on Gaza to be held in the Dáil tomorrow, with support from Fianna Fáil and Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins.The move was defeated in a vote, but Adams subsequently took the rather unusual step of calling for TDs to stand – physically, not figuratively – “in solidarity with the people of Gaza and the Middle East.”His request was accepted, and the Dáil stood.It’s possible there may be some spontaneous activity in Dáil Éireann tomorrow, but as far as Leaders’ Questions goes – sin sin, until September. On the request of Gerry Adams, the Dáil stands in solidarity “with the people of Gaza and the Middle East”. pic.twitter.com/NpMegsDkGx— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) July 17, 2014 The party’s Deputy Leader was so taken aback by the Tánaiste’s response – which she called “limp and lily-livered” – that she abandoned her original topic, the mother and baby homes controversy. ‘Limp and lily-livered’After the shocking deaths, yesterday, of four Palestinian children playing football on a beach, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that Gaza would dominate the agenda.Charlie McConalogue took the captain’s armband for Fianna Fáil today, and – after some indecision on his part – asked Burton how the government intends to respond to the Gaza crisis.The Labour leader’s response was predictable enough – supporting an extended ceasefire, condemning violence on all sides, warning Irish citizens in the area to heed consular advice.But it got under the skin of Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, all the same.last_img read more

Air Force seeks to be fly on the wall with new drones

first_imgEveryone has either heard or uttered the old cliche, “I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during that conversation.” The United States Air Force has taken that statement to heart, and has been working on miniature remote controlled drones that resemble a flying insect. With the ability to capture audio and images, this new drone could be the ultimate in spy technology.Military and civilian scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory came up with the concept while researching how to create unique winged drones that resemble nature’s creations. The goal was to create a bird-like drone that would flap its wings realistically to avoid detection by enemy forces during surveillance operations. With miniaturization technology constantly getting more advanced, the lab was able to create a drone that fits on the pad of a finger as pictured above. Operating much like the Predator attack drones, the “Fly-Bot” is controlled by a trained pilot from a remote terminal. The aviator has full command of the drone, and can maneuver it into groups of real insects to hide, while a live feed is piped into the command center.The potential for this technology to be weaponized is limitless. Give the drone the ability to release a small amount of gas, or pack a high-powered mini-explosive inside its body and you have something to be feared above just surveillance. A swarm of these invading a building then detonating would bring new meaning to the phrase “smart-weapon.”The Air Force used a room with cameras that can track the movements of small airborne objects to within a tenth of an inch, allowing them to make the adjustments necessary to make the drone possible. A video from the Research Lab is below that outlines the work going on there.via Tom’s Guidelast_img read more

Everton draw up 52000 capacity stadium plan

first_imgEverton have revealed plans for a 52,000 capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, with the potential to increase to 62,000 in the future.Everton will submit a planning application in the “second half of 2019”, but final capacity and design will come down to public consultation and fans engagement.A statement released by the club read: “The projected capacity takes into account several factors which include design and orientation of the stadium on a dock site, current and future ticket demand and forecast revenues and costs.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“The stadium will also be ‘futureproofed’ for any changes in regulations in relation to ‘safe standing’.“The design of two of the stands will make it easy to adopt a rail seating/safe standing solution, which will offer optionality and flexibility, should the law change in future.“The proposed figure follows extensive engagement with fans and consultation with a range of professional advisors who have expertise in stadium design and defining the optimum capacity for new stadia.”last_img read more

MatSu grant targets parents in bolstering family wellbeing

first_imgSomething as simple as a family meal can go a long way in the fight against drug addiction. New parents are getting support in child rearing skills from a Mat-Su program that focuses on preventing the seeds of drug dependency from taking root in the youngest children.Download AudioAfter a series of health reports issued last year by the Mat-Su Health Foundation, health officials there are sharpening the focus on an old enemy: drug and alcohol addiction. The Foundation has provided grant funding to a number of nonprofits that provide behavioral health services in the Valley.One of the grant recipients is the Co-Occurring Disorders Institute, or CoDI, in Palmer. Aaron Clements, executive director, says he’s seeing alcohol and drug abuse at early ages in the Mat-Su Valley.“We have middle school and in some cases elementary children that are using different things, experimenting,” he says.“Where does it start? There are a lot of influential factors. It could be a neighborhood factor, it could be some biological factors, struggling and battling a mental health disorder, that’s going to potentially influences whether you try to use substances to help cope with some of the things that are going on in your life.”Allthough CoDI receives funding from the state division of behavioral health and the Alaska Children’s Trust, a $290,000 dollar grant from MSHF is being used to fund a program called Strengthening Families Treatment. It’s designed for high-risk families with children 3 to 12 years old.Clements says the 10-week course is specifically for parents of children with emotional challenges. The program attempts to address prevention in younger children, and the parents take part in it by getting coaching in strong family skills that help reduce problem behaviors.“They have a family meal together, as we know, family meals sometimes don’t happen as often as they may have used to. So that’s an important component, just having some time when the parents and children can connect. And then we have time when the parents and children are together, and then they break off into separate groups while children are learning some real key skills at the same time the parents are learning skills.”Strengthening Families Treatment is a program in line with an emphasis on prevention of drug and alcohol abuse at its earliest stages. Studies show that negative experiences early in childhood influence brain development.Trevor Storrs, Executive Director of the Alaska Children’s Trust, the state’s lead organization focused on child abuse and neglect, says child abuse can be physical, sexual or an exposure to domestic violence or substance abuse. He says strengthening families is one way to counteract child abuse in a positive manner.“If you keep going in there, and always keep talking about ‘you are doing this wrong, and this wrong and this wrong’ they are going to have no sense of confidence, you are not going to build resilience within the parents, and which then stems down to how they are interact with the kids. but if you find out what they are doing right, and build off of that, using that framework, your likelihood of developing the resiliency, the knowledge and the strength within that family is much greater.”Building resilience in children and in families counteracts the ill effects of childhood trauma, according to recent research. Aaron Clements says the Strengthening Families Treatment is one step in building that resiliency, one family at a time.“We are a small organization, and we want to have that family atmosphere. It’s not the all in all, but it is a start in bettering with support some family lives.”The Strengthening Families Treatment is unique in the Mat-Su in that it offers behavioral health treatment services for the child at the same time the parents receive family skills help.last_img read more

ExGuatemalan soldier jailed gets 5160 yrs over civil war

first_imgA map of Guatemala. Photo: AFPA Guatemalan court on Wednesday sentenced a former soldier to 5,160 years in prison for the massacre of 201 peasants during one of the worst atrocities of the Central American nation’s civil war.The court found Santos Lopez “responsible as author” of 171 of the killings and sentenced him to 30 years for each, or 5,130 years in total.He received an additional 30 years linked to the killing of a surviving child, but the sentences are symbolic because Guatemala’s maximum prison term is 50 years.Lopez was a member of a US-trained counterinsurgency force called Kaibil. He was arrested in the United States and deported in 2016.According to the investigation, Lopez belonged to a patrol that committed the massacre in December 1982 in Dos Erres, on the border with Mexico. The soldiers were trying to recover about 20 rifles stolen by guerrillas during an earlier ambush which left 19 soldiers dead.The story of Dos Erres was told in the 2017 documentary “Finding Oscar,” executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, which recounts the search for another boy whose life was spared and who was then raised by one of the soldiers.A handful of other “Kaibiles” have been convicted, each receiving a sentence of more than 6,000 years in prison.Three others accused in the slaughter were jailed in the US for immigration violations. Several others are believed to reside in the United States.The massacre occurred during the rule of dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who himself was indicted on charges of genocide and died last April.Rios Montt allegedly ordered the murders of 1,771 indigenous Ixil-Maya people during his short reign in 1982-83, which came at the height of the 36-year civil war.According to the UN, about 200,000 people died or were made to disappear during Guatemala’s war, which ended in 1996.last_img read more

Double Suicide Bombing In Afghanistan Kills 25 People Including 9 Journalists

first_img Share Photo by Omar Sobhani/ReutersAfghan security forces are seen at the site of a second blast in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani – RC19C7812B10A coordinated double suicide bombing by the Islamic State group hit central Kabul on Monday morning, killing at least 25 people, including nine Afghan journalists, officials said.An AFP photographer, a cameraman for the local Tolo TV station and several reporters for the Afghan branch of Radio Free Europe were among the fatalities, police said.At least 45 people were wounded in the twin attacks, according to Kabul police spokesman, Hashmat Stanekzai, who also said four policemen were among those killed.The attack was the latest in a relentless string of deadly large-scale bombings and assaults that have struck Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan so far this year. And even as the Afghan capital reeled from Monday’s assault, a suicide car bombing a few hours later in the southern province of Kandahar killed 11 children, a police spokesman said. Eight Romanian NATO soldiers were wounded in that bombing.In a statement posted on an IS-affiliated website, the Islamic State group said two of its martyrdom seekers carried out the Kabul bombings, targeting the headquarters of the “renegade” Afghan intelligence services.The blasts took place in the central Shash Darak area, home to NATO headquarters and a number of embassies and foreign offices — as well as the Afghan intelligence service.Stanekzai, the police spokesman, said the first suicide bomber was on a motor bike while the second explosion meant to hit those scrambling to get to the scene to help the victims of the first blast.The second attacker was on foot, in a crowd of reporters rushing to the site of the first attack, pretending to be one of the media, the spokesman said. The bomber then detonated his explosives while still among the reporters, Stanekzai said, intentionally targeting journalists.Agence France-Presse said the news agency’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was among those killed. AFP said Marai died in a blast that struck journalists who had rushed to the scene of the earlier attack.Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said along with the nine journalists killed, six were wounded. However, Sediqullah Tawhidi, an official with the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, sad only five journalists wounded. Conflicting casualty tolls are common in the immediate aftermath of big attacks.The Paris-based group named the journalists, working for media organizations from multiple countries, adding that Monday’s attack was the deadliest targeting reporters since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. The group, also known by its French acronym RSF, said 36 media workers have been killed in Afghanistan in attacks by IS or the Taliban since 2016.RSF urged the Afghan government to do more to protect journalists.Survivors and witnesses recounted scenes of mayhem.Jawed Ghulam Sakhi, a 28-year-old a taxi driver said “when the explosion happened, everywhere was covered with dust and fire, it was such a horrific scene” with bodies and body parts “thrown about on the street and the pavement.”“I saw journalists covered with blood, this time they targeted the media,” Sakhi added.Masouda, a young woman who was with her husband nearby, assailed the authorities. Her husband was wounded and was taken to the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital.“I don’t know who is responsible for all these attacks, every day we lose our loved ones and no one in this government is taking responsibility for the killing of these innocent people,” she said.Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attacks. The presidential palace released a statement saying that attacks targeting innocent civilians, worshippers inside the mosques, national and democratic processes, reporters and freedom of speech all are war crimes.The U.S. Embassy also condemned the “savage bombings” in Kabul and reiterated its support for the Afghan people and Ghani’s government in their fight against terrorism.”“We extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of all the victims, including a number of brave journalists among the dead and injured,” it said, adding that “where media are in danger, all other human rights are under greater threat.”Kabul chief of police Dawood Amin said the area hit was quickly sealed off and authorities were investigating. Mohammad Mousa Zahir, director of Wazir Akbarkhan Hospital, said several people suffering injuries from the blasts were being treated at his hospital.In its claim of responsibility, the Afghan affiliate of IS, known as Khorasan Province, said the first martyrdom seeker detonated his explosive vest near the intelligence service in central Kabul, forcing officers to head to the area of the explosion. The statement said the second attacker detonated his explosives vest after that. The statement, which exaggerated the overall death toll as militant claims often do, did not say journalists were specifically targeted.In the Kandahar attack, an Afghan official said a suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy in the district of Daman but killed 11 children from a religious school nearby. The children had gathered around the NATO convoy for fun when the bomber struck, said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a lawmaker from Kandahar.Matiullah Helal, deputy spokesman for the provincial police chief, said 16 people were also wounded in that attack, including NATO soldiers, civilians and policemen.Romania’ defense minister, Mihai Fifor, said eight Romanian troops with the “Carpathian Eagles” were among the wounded. NATO said the wounded service members, who are all in stable condition, were taken to Kandahar Airfield’s hospital for treatment.Gen. John Nicholson, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, said in a statement that “if the enemies of Afghanistan think their cowardly actions will deter the commitment of the brave Afghan forces and our Resolute Support advisers, or the call by the Afghan people for peace, they are sorely mistaken.”In other violence Monday, at least four Afghan policemen were killed in northern Balkh province, said Sher Mohammad Abu-Tariq, the district chief in Nahri Shahi. The insurgents ambushed the police vehicle and fired RPGs.Also, an Afghan police officer was killed and four people were wounded in an explosion in eastern Nangarhar province, said Attuhullah Khogynai, spokesman for the provincial governor. He said the slain officer was the chief of the criminal investigations unit for Behsud district.No one claimed responsibility for the other attacks. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan first emerged in Nangarhar a few years ago, then expanded its footprint to elsewhere across the country.IS and the more firmly established Taliban carry out regular attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the Afghan government and security forces and IS targeting members of the country’s the Shiite minority, whom the affiliate perceives as apostates.The relentless assaults underscore the struggles that Afghan security forces have faced to reign in the militant groups since the United States and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. Both groups want to establish strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan.Last week, an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a voter registration center in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others. There were 22 women and eight children among the fatalities.And the month before, an IS suicide bomber targeted a Shiite shrine in Kabul where people had gathered celebrating the Persian new year. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others.last_img read more

Sunwing Travel Group Planet Hollywood join forces for 2 new luxury allinclusive

first_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Sunwing Travel Group has signed a blockbuster of a deal with Planet Hollywood, with plans for two resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica, and more resorts to come.Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica will open in Fall 2018 and Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun will open in late Spring 2019.The two properties mark Planet Hollywood’s first foray into the in-demand luxury all-inclusive category and will increase the footprint of Planet Hollywood’s hotel operations globally.The Planet Hollywood brand has been positioned as the authority on entertainment and popular culture. Capitalizing on its close celebrity ties and the universal appeal of movies, television, music, and sports, the Planet Hollywood brand has been successful across the gaming, restaurant, lodging, retail, leisure and entertainment sectors.“The Planet Hollywood brand has always been about delivering unique and memorable experiences that translate into lifelong memories for our guests,” said Robert Earl, Planet Hollywood’s Founder and Chairman.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”“I am so excited to partner with Sunwing Travel Group and cannot wait to get started with the first spectacular locations in Costa Rica and Cancun. This is the perfect opportunity to bring ‘fame’ a lot closer to all customers by leveraging Sunwing Travel Group’s proven track record of successfully operating and rapidly expanding premier hotel brands.”As master hotel franchisor to the world-renowned Planet Hollywood brand, Sunwing Travel Group intends to establish a dominant position for Planet Hollywood in the luxury accommodation space. In addition to building and operating new resorts, Sunwing Travel Group will offer management services and franchise opportunities to prospective Planet Hollywood Hotels and Resorts worldwide.“Robert Earl is a visionary that knows how to create exciting and engaging experiences,” said Stephen Hunter, President & CEO of Sunwing Travel Group, adding that “it’s all about capturing the little details that others miss.”The new Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica will be the first resort under this new agreement, where customers can ‘Vacation like a Star’ and interact with Hollywood memorabilia, enjoy entertainment-themed facilities, purchase popular brand merchandise – and maybe even catch a view of a vacationing starlet. Posted by Sunwing Travel Group, Planet Hollywood join forces for 2 new luxury all-inclusive resortscenter_img Share Tags: Sunwing Thursday, February 22, 2018 last_img read more

Happy New Year from The Tico Times

first_img Facebook Comments From our family to yours: Whether you’re welcoming 2019 from San José, elsewhere in Costa Rica or anyplace in the world, The Tico Times wishes you peace, love and blessings in the new year.May 2019 bring you cute sloths, delicious tamales and safe journeys on a new year of adventures. Related posts:Tico Times distributors can keep the proceeds or donate them to a worthy cause Letter from the Editor: The Tico Times’ incredible year First Tico Times donors fund stories on environment, security Listen and subscribe to The Tico Times Dispatchlast_img

USs Nuland meets with Russians to back Ukraine ceasefire

first_img Sponsored Stories Nuland’s brief comments came after a meeting with Karasin and fellow deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov. There was no sign of any imminent breakthrough on issues that have sent Washington-Moscow relations to a post-Cold War low.While underlying the resentment his country holds for the United States over its criticisms and sanctions connected to the Ukraine crisis, Ryabkov said he did not rule out an increasing level of U.S.-Russian contacts.“The situation in our bilateral relations is generally depressing and we blame Washington for that,” he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.Nuland said her talks, together with last week’s meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, allow for “a more direct channel on Ukraine issues with the Russian Federation.”Her visit to Moscow followed a trip to the Ukrainian capital and she said “there is no indication from our own information or from my consultations in Kiev that anybody on the Ukrainian side, anybody in the leadership … has any intentions of launching new hostilities.”Karasin took issue with that.“This will have to be tested in real life. At this point, one has the impression that preparations for this kind of operation is in progress,” he told the state news agency Tass. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation MOSCOW (AP) — The United States wants to help solidify a shaky cease-fire and support efforts to resolve political and humanitarian concerns in Ukraine’s rebellious east, a top U.S. diplomat said Monday after meeting with Russian counterparts.U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland also said there are no indications that the Ukrainian government aims to resume offensives against the separatists — a claim that Russian foreign minister Grigory Karasin found unconvincing. Fighting between government forces and Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine has subsided since an agreement on a cease-fire and a pullback of heavy weapons was reached in February in the Belarusian capital Minsk. However, clashes continue and concern is high over the flashpoint of Shyrokyne, which is near the strategic port city of Mariupol that Ukraine fears the rebels want to seize in order to establish a land corridor between mainland Russia and the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula.The U.S. was not a party to the Minsk agreement, but Nuland said “we particularly dug in on how the United States might be able to support the process of Minsk implementation.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Australian tourism ends year on a high as dollar fall changes travel

first_imgQualia Luxury Resort in Hamilton Island AustraliaThe latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) shows that the fall in the Australian dollar has led to a significant increase in domestic tourism.According to Tourism Research Australia (TRA), the year ending September 2015 saw significant growth in domestic travel with overnight trips up 7% to 85.3 million, total nights increasing 5% to 318 million and spend growing 6% to $56.9 billion.The strong domestic results complement sustained inbound growth, and the impact of the dollar has become more pronounced with the number of Australians holidaying overseas falling 1% during the year ending September 2015, after growing by 132% between 2006 and 2014. This is the first decline in the number of Australian resident holidays overseas since 2003.On the back of strong growth for domestic overnight holiday and business travel, the number of nights in hotels, motels and resorts increased 10% to 80.2 million.Australia’s peak accommodation body, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), welcomed the results, saying that the Federal Government’s support of the industry was producing positive outcomes for the industry and would encourage developers investing in Australia’s hotel industry.The only concern was that while regional performance had improved, some regional areas lagged behind their city counterparts, with Victorian regional visitor nights down 2.3% compared to metro growth in visitor nights of 9.5%. In NSW, regional visitor nights grew 2.4%, but this contrasted with metro visitor night growth of 6.9%.CEO of TAA, Carol Giuseppi, said that both the National and International Visitor Surveys showed that Australian tourism was in a healthy position, with international visitors growing at over 5% annually, and more Australians choosing to stay and holiday at home rather than travel overseas for a holiday.“The sustained fall in the Australian dollar has clearly had an impact on travel patterns,” said Ms Giuseppi.“There is usually a lag in figures because people don’t suddenly switch from overseas to domestic holidays, but the NVS statistics are now reflecting a trend that began two years ago.“Allied to that, Australia is in the middle of its largest ever hotel expansion phase, which will see some 70 hotels added by 2020, providing high quality accommodation in areas that have often had little new supply since 2000. The new hotels are offering world-class design and standards for both domestic and international travellers.“It is very pleasing to see Federal and State Governments invest heavily in tourism infrastructure development and tourism promotion.“This is very positive, and we would like to see a particular concentration on growing business events and holiday travel in regional areas, as many of these areas have struggled over the past few years, particularly through falls in business-related travel.” Tourism Research AustraliaSource = Tourism Research Australialast_img read more