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first_imgENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning strongly denied a report set to air on Al Jazeera that contends the Denver Broncos quarterback received human growth hormone through his wife during his recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011 in Indianapolis.In a statement Dec. 26, Manning said: “The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never.”He added, “I really can’t believe somebody would put something like this on the air. Whoever said this is making stuff up.”The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera undercover probe into doping in global sports that is set to air Dec. 27 and was shared in advance with the Huffington Post.The report claims Manning received HGH from an Indianapolis anti-aging clinic in 2011 while he was still with the Colts.It said the drug, which was banned by the NFL in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, was delivered to his wife, Ashley, so that the quarterback’s name was never attached to the shipments.Liam Collins, a British hurdler, went undercover and spoke with Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who worked at the Guyer Institute, the Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011. Sly allegedly names Manning and other high profile athletes as having received HGH from the clinic.However, Sly backtracks in a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, saying Collins secretly recorded his conversations without his knowledge or consent.“The statements on any recordings or communications that Al Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect,” Sly said.“To be clear, I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those recordings, statements or communications be aired.”The NFL and players union added human growth hormone testing to the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 but the side didn’t agree to testing terms until 2014. Nobody has tested positive, which would trigger a four-game suspension.Manning, who joined the Broncos in 2012, has been sidelined since Nov. 15 by a left foot injury. Brock Osweiler makes his sixth consecutive start in Manning’s place Dec. 28 when the Broncos (10-4) host the Bengals (11-3).(ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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first_img Since you’re here… Paris would be a good one to win, of course. It would bring back memories of his four consecutive triumphs on the Champs Élysées, none more resplendent than 2012, when he wore the world champion’s rainbow jersey and was led into the final kilometre by his yellow-clad teammate Bradley Wiggins. For British cycling, that seemed like the day of days.So the record will have to wait until next year at least, and there are plenty of people ready to venture the opinion that the Manxman has missed his opportunity. Cavendish himself appeared to give them support when he was asked before this year’s Grand Départ whether he still commanded the same power that was at his disposal in the years when we was winning four, five and even six stages in a single Tour. His reply was typically blunt. “No,” he said. “I’m 33 years old and I’ve got four kids at home.”Others believe that his age has yet to assume a real relevance.Clearly his power and endurance are sufficient to carry him to the end of a stage in the leading group. His instinct for the right place to be in the hectic scuffle of the closing showdown is unlikely to have deserted him.What might be more relevant is the second part of his statement. The “four kids at home” are, as this emotional man has often said, the light of his life. They include a baby son, born in May, whom he has hardly seen, thanks to his pre-Tour training regime. The writer Cyril Connolly once warned that the pram in the hallway was the enemy of promise, while Enzo Ferrari believed that marriage slowed his drivers down by dividing their concentration. While neither view might stand up to serious examination, there could be occasions when it rings true.Cavendish’s devotion to his sport at all levels is beyond question. But sprinting is a matter of fine margins, both physical and mental, and a father of four would probably not be quite as keen to expose himself to the kind of risk that led to his collision with Peter Sagan a year ago, for which the Slovak was disqualified from the Tour. The crash ended Cavendish’s race with a shoulder injury which, he told my colleague William Fotheringham recently, has permanently affected the way he rides. Read more comment Topics Share on Pinterest Mark Cavendish “Gone are the days when I got angry,” he also said during the same interview, but there have been one or two signs of the sparks that once lit the bonfire of his competitive ferocity. At the end of Friday’s stage in Chartres his temper flared briefly when he accused journalists of concentrating on his own “choppy” riding rather than that of others. But he also conceded that, although his power meter had been giving encouraging messages, he was not able to match the speed of those ahead of him, led by Dylan Groenewegen, a 25-year-old Dutchman.A day later he might have had a rueful chuckle when he found himself elevated from 10th to eighth place in Amiens following the relegation of two of his direct rivals. André Greipel and Fernando Gaviria had displeased the commissaires when they came together in the final 300 metres while trying in vain to prevent Groenewegen from taking his second stage in a row. Once upon a time it would have been Cavendish in the thick of such an elbows-out, helmet-banging alpha-sprinter tussle.He may have seen the writing on the wall during his last season with Quick-Step in 2015, when Gaviria, then aged 20, arrived from Colombia and showed himself to be the obvious candidate to become the team’s next star sprinter. Two wins over Cavendish in the early-season Tour de San Luis prompted the former world champion to strike back and beat the young pretender in the final stage, but the long-term message was not hard to decipher. Read more Mark Cavendish: ‘I’m not scared but I think of the consequences more’ Tour de France 2018 Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. … 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. No longer does he have the best team around him, as was usually the case in his days with Highroad, Team Sky and Quick-Step. At Dimension Data he can count on the presence of Mark Renshaw, his long-time pilot fish, but Bernie Eisel, the brains and engine of his most effective lead-out trains, is still recovering from brain surgery following an accident during a race in March.And, of course, they are all getting older, even the man whose precocious virtuosity once led a writer for L’Equipe to call him the Mozart of the 11-tooth sprocket. Perhaps more victories lie ahead.If not then we have been fortunate to watch him, and to call him ours.center_img Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Cycling Support The Guardian Share on Facebook As he made it to the finish line in Roubaix on Sunday, the 52nd rider to come home on a day of bone-rattling cobbles and throat-clogging dust, Mark Cavendish would have been looking forward to a rest day. The first week of the 2018 Tour de France was harsh on a man who, chasing the all-time record of stage wins, had started the season with a series of bad crashes. The signs have not been promising for one of the most remarkable British sporting figures of our lifetime.The four victories that would bring him level with Eddy Merckx’s 34 are now out of reach for this year, at least. After a 500-mile transfer to the first rest day in Annecy, three days in the high mountains come before his next chance of a win, at the end of Friday’s flat stage from Bourg d’Oisans to Valence. Two more opportunities then present themselves, in Pau on stage 18 and in Paris on the final day. Reuse this content Tour de France Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Bradley Wiggins stirs pot with warning of leadership battle in Team Skylast_img read more

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first_imgTopics Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Stanley Cup Reuse this content US sports Share on Pinterest St Louis Blues Share via Email NHL Tuukka Rask made 28 saves, Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist, and the Boston Bruins beat the St Louis Blues 5-1 on Sunday night to even the bruising, physical Stanley Cup final at three games apiece.David Pastrnak had one of Boston’s four goals in the third period and an assist, helping the Bruins force the 17th Game 7 in Stanley Cup history. Brandon Carlo, Karson Kuhlman and Zdeno Chara also scored. “We’re fighting for our lives obviously,” Marchand said. “When you play desperate, I think you see everyone’s best game.”Boston also were involved in the final’s last Game 7, winning the championship at Vancouver in 2011. Rask was a reserve goaltender on that team eight years ago, while Marchand was a key performer. They will go for another championship on Wednesday night in Boston after losing to Chicago in the 2013 final.“The whole hockey world loves a Game 7, so it should be a great night in Boston and may the best team win,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.Ryan O’Reilly scored in the third period for St Louis, who are looking for the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title in their 51st season. Rookie Jordan Binnington finished with 27 stops. “We have to move on, get ready for the next one,” O’Reilly said. “We’re confident. We’re a great road team. Maybe that’s our story. Maybe we have to get it done on the road.”Backed by an electric Enterprise Center crowd that included actors Jon Hamm and Jenna Fischer and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, wearing a No 49 Blues jersey in honor of suspended forward Ivan Barbashev, St Louis looked a step off for most of the game. Prime scoring opportunities were derailed by misplaced passes or ever-so-slight timing issues.The unflappable Rask can have that effect on a team. And whenever the Blues threatened, the Finnish star was there. “He’s our best player,” Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. “He just steps up when it matters and we have all the faith in the world in him … He’s our rock.”The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Blues!” in the final moments, hoping to give St Louis a boost for their trip to Boston. “Listen, if you told me four months ago we were going to be in the finals in Game 7, I think I’d take it,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We’ve been a good road team. We’ve won twice up there in this series, so we’re a confident group.” Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. match reports Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Boston Bruinslast_img read more

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first_imgAn extreme closeup of ESPN's Paul Finebaum.ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)Florida State fans might be ready to move on from second-year head coach Willie Taggart, though the Seminoles are going to have to pay a massive price to do so.Taggart’s buyout right now is reportedly $17 million, a staggering number for a head coach who went 5-7 in Year 1 and is off to a 1-2 start in Year 2.ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum had some strong words for Florida State regarding the matter.“What idiot, what blubbering moron decided Willie Taggart was worth a $17 million buyout? Has anyone bothered to look at this career record? He’s 53-59 overall. He was 7-5 at Oregon. He had a losing record a Western Kentucky and South Florida. This guy is not a winner, but some athletic director gave him a big six-year contract with a $17 million buyout. Someone may need to pour lemonade on his head. If you want to hire Willie Taggart to wreck your program, $17 million buyout is available,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s Get Up!. Harsh – but probably fair – words from the ESPN analyst.Finebaum added on ESPN’s Golic & Wingo that Florida State should consider moving on.“Now should they consider getting rid of him? Absolutely,” Finebaum said. “There is virtually nothing he has done right in two very short years. Last year was a disaster. This year, they gave up a three-touchdown lead to [Boise State]. They beat Louisiana Monroe on a missed extra point in overtime and last week, they lost to a good, a good Virginia team, maybe one of the better teams in the ACC. Which by the way guys, is not saying very much. After Clemson, the ACC has nothing.”Florida State has a decent chance to get back in the win column on Saturday, as the Seminoles are hosting Louisville.Taggart will need that one – and plenty more – to cool his seat down.last_img read more

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first_imgVijay’s Thalapathy 64 to be directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj?Vijay is currently shooting for Thalapathy 63, directed by Atlee. Rumours about his 64th film are already doing the rounds and it is said that young filmmaker Lokesh Kanagaraj might helm the film.advertisement India Today Web Desk ChennaiMay 14, 2019UPDATED: May 14, 2019 11:46 IST Thalapathy Vijay and Lokesh KanagarajActor Vijay is currently shooting for his 63rd film, which is tentatively titled Thalapathy 63. Directed by Atlee, the sports-based film will also star Nayanthara, Jackie Shroff, Kathir, Yogi Babu, Vivekh, Indhuja Ravichandran and Varsha Bollamma in pivotal roles.Before Vijay could complete the shooting of Thalapathy 63, rumours about his 64th film have started doing the rounds. The latest buzz is that young filmmaker Lokesh Kanakaraj, who established himself with his debut film Maanagaram, is said to be in talks with Vijay and his team.Sources close to the actor revealed that the project will most likely be finalised in a couple of weeks. Reportedly, Lokesh has narrated a one-liner and Vijay seems to have been impressed with it. However, an official confirmation regarding the film is yet to be made.The shooting of Thalapathy 63 has been going on for about two months in Chennai. Currently, the team is shooting at a football set stadium which is located at the EVP Studios in the outskirts of Chennai.Thalapathy 63, which is tipped to be based on women’s football, will release on Diwali 2019. The team is expected to wrap up the shooting of the film in the coming weeks.ALSO SEE | Thalapathy 63 shooting spot accident: Vijay to provide monetary aid to injured electrician SelvarajALSO WATCH | Tamil actor Vijay hints at joining politicsGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byK Janani Tags :Follow VijayFollow Lokesh Kanagarajlast_img read more

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first_imgzoomIllustration; Source: PxHere Commodity trading company Trafigura Group has entered into a joint venture agreement with trading and logistics company Altis Group International in an effort to create a commodity petrochemical trading business, with a focus on bulk liquid chemicals.The joint venture has been formed between Trafigura and senior executives from the petrochemical trading industry, including the current management team of Altis.It will include two new trading entities – the already existing Altis Group International for the US, based in Houston and Altis International (Singapore), which will have a branch office in Geneva.Trafigura senior managers Chris Clarkson, Head of Gasoline Trading and Tom Jay, who until recently headed the Deals Desk for refined metals, bulk and concentrates, will join the boards of the new venture.“We believe that the time is right to start exploring the potential of this market,” Tom Jay said.“The market for petrochemicals is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, with Altis well placed to capture a share of this market,” he added.The new venture will be led by a team of industry veterans with more than 100 years of combined relevant experience, according to Trafigura.“The new global venture with Trafigura will be transformative not only for Altis and its employees but for all of our commercial partners. Teaming up with Trafigura will accelerate our growth and ability to expand our trading reach globally,” Jeff McNear, President of the Altis Group International management team, explained.Formed in 2014, Altis focuses on the trade of bulk liquid chemicals. Active in the petrochemical markets on a worldwide basis, with expertise in handling shipping and logistics for a wide range of chemicals, the employees and commercial activities of Altis will transition into the US-based and international companies and serve as the trading platform for the new venture.Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. Trafigura sources, stores, transports and delivers a range of raw materials — including oil and refined products and metals and minerals.last_img read more

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first_imgRestrictions on travel and activities within the woods announced last week have been lifted for mainland Nova Scotia. Travel restrictions for Cape Breton were lifted on Aug. 15. “After plenty of hard work by firefighters and the good fortune of rainfall, we are now able to safely open the woods to travel,” said Natural Resources Minister Lloyd Hines. “I want to thank Nova Scotians again for their co-operation and understanding while these restrictions were in place. “I realize it has been a challenging week and we are very appreciative of the patience and concern people have demonstrated across the province.” Due to the amount of rainfall, burning restrictions have also been lifted across the province. It is now safe to have a campfire or burn brush. However, all fires must be completely extinguished by 8 a.m. People are able to enjoy the woods and trails, but are encouraged to take necessary precautions, and to check the burning restrictions map at http://www.novascotia.ca/burnsafe The section of Trunk 8 near Maitland Bridge, Annapolis Co., that has been closed since last week is now open but drivers are advised to be aware of emergency vehicles still along the highway. The province will continue to provide updates until the remaining wildfires that are being patrolled are out. Updates can be found at http://www.novascotia.ca/nsfire .last_img read more

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first_imgLes résidents du Cap-Breton qui ont besoin d’aide financière après les inondations dévastatrices qui ont eu lieu recevront de l’aide du gouvernement provincial. Le premier ministre Stephen McNeil a annoncé, aujourd’hui 14 octobre, que le gouvernement provincial donnera 500 000 $ à Centraide au Cap-Breton afin d’offrir du financement d’urgence pour répondre aux besoins fondamentaux des gens. « Nous avons vu les gens du Cap-Breton se mobiliser, comme ils le font toujours, pour s’entraider pendant cette période difficile. J’ai vu moi-même les dommages et j’ai parlé aux résidents, dont plusieurs ont subi des pertes importantes, souligne le premier ministre McNeil. Les gens du Cap-Breton peuvent compter sur le gouvernement provincial. Nous les aiderons à se remettre de cette catastrophe et nous collaborerons avec la Municipalité régionale du Cap-Breton pour rétablir la région. » Le premier ministre a également consulté le gouvernement fédéral au sujet du lancement d’un programme d’aide financière aux sinistrés. Les propriétaires fonciers, les petites entreprises, les agriculteurs, les municipalités et les organismes à but non lucratif seront admissibles au programme. « Le ministre fédéral de la Sécurité publique est au Cap-Breton aujourd’hui. Nous avons discuté de l’importance d’aider les gens du Cap-Breton et d’accélérer le lancement d’un programme d’aide financière. Je prévois pouvoir donner des renseignements à ce sujet très bientôt », affirme le premier ministre McNeil. On demande aux résidents de continuer d’évaluer les dommages, de conserver tous leurs reçus, de prendre des photos et des vidéos et de collaborer avec leur compagnie d’assurance. La Municipalité régionale du Cap-Breton a mis en place une ligne d’aide afin d’établir les priorités en ce qui a trait aux besoins et de fournir des renseignements aux citoyens. Les résidents peuvent composer le 902-562-HELP ou envoyer un courriel au stormhelpline@cbrm.ns.ca. La ligne d’aide sera disponible du lundi au vendredi, de 8 h à 20 h, et le samedi et dimanche de midi à 18 h. La Municipalité régionale du Cap-Breton effectuera aussi une collecte des ordures et des gros objets à l’échelle de la ville à compter de la première semaine de novembre. L’horaire sera annoncé à une date ultérieure. La Municipalité régionale du Cap-Breton et la Croix-Rouge ont établi un refuge et un centre de soutien au Centre 200, situé au 481, rue George, à Sydney. Les résidents qui ont besoin d’un moyen de transport pour se rendre au Centre 200 peuvent composer le numéro du service de police non urgent, 902-563-5151. Les Néo-Écossais et autres personnes qui souhaitent aider les victimes des inondations peuvent faire un don à Centraide au Cap-Breton sur le site http://www.unitedwaycapebreton.com. Le gouvernement continuera de publier des mises à jour sur les inondations au www.novascotia.ca/flooding/fr.last_img read more

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first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will launch the first yatra under Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana on July 12, said Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot on Wednesday. The scheme covers five corridors that include, Delhi – Mathura – Vrindavan – Agra – Fatehpur Sikri; Delhi – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Neelkanth; Delhi – Ajmer – Pushkar; Delhi – Amritsar – Wagah Border – Anandpur Sahib and Delhi – Vaishno Devi – Jammu. The Delhi government had launched the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra Yojana on January 9, 2018. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsAnnouncing the first two yatras under the scheme, Gahlot said, “The government has received a good response for two corridors. The first yatra on the Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah Border-Anandpur Sahib corridor will be flagged off by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the July 12 from the Safdarjung station. The second tour on the Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu corridor, will be from July 20 to 24.” Gahlot said, “Under the Mukhyamantri Tirth Yatra scheme, the government will bear the entire expenditure for all yatris, including air conditioned train travel, accommodation, meals, boarding and lodging and other arrangements. One attendant above the age of 21 years can accompany each yatri.” Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderGahlot announced that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet all yatris on July 4 at the Delhi Secretariat. He said, “The Chief Minister will meet the yatris and take their suggestions and views on this scheme. The scheme is an opportunity for senior citizens in the city who have not yet got an opportunity to go on a religious pilgrimage.” Commenting on the details of this scheme, Revenue Minister Gahlot said, “It’s a one time opportunity and one person can avail this scheme only once. The government is also planning to expand the scheme after it has received requests for Tirupati Balaji, Rameshwaram and Shirdi. A cabinet decision may be taken in the future to expand this scheme.” This is the first time the Delhi government is implementing a pilgrimage scheme of this kind. Commenting on the planning and execution that has gone into the scheme, Gahlot said, “A lot of work has been done to develop the software. The revenue department received applications from all over Delhi, which were processed thoroughly. The approved applications were transferred to the Delhi Tourism Department, which examined them and sent them to IRCTC. Once the applications were finalized, the Delhi Tourism Department and IRCTC initiated the booking process.”last_img read more

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first_imgMumbai: “Mardaani 2”, starring Rani Mukerji’s as police officer Shivani Shivaji Roy, will hit the theatres on December 13. The film, which is a sequel to the 2014’s “Mardaani”, marks the directorial debut of Gopi Puthran, who wrote the the first movie in the franchise. Produced by Aditya Chopra and Yash Raj Films, “Mardaani 2” was shot extensively in Jaipur and other parts of Rajasthan. The movie will see Shivani, now Superintendent of Police, face a cold, merciless villain who has no empathy and “is pure evil”. “Mardaani 2” will be Rani’s next after 2018’s “Hichki”.last_img read more

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first_imgKent DriscollAPTN NewsSome residents in Clyde River, Nunavut are wondering if their cultural centre is going to be turned into a place of rehabilitation for people with drug and alcohol problems.That’s because of a question from Pangnirtung MLA Margaret Nakashook who asked in the legislature if the government was still considering repurposing the facility into a rehab centre.The answer “still considering” is what is getting all the attention.kdriscoll@aptn.ca@kentdriscolllast_img

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first_imgREYKJAVIK, Iceland — For those hoping for ever cheaper fares on long-haul flights, this month’s takeover of Icelandic airline Wow is not good news.The struggling airline, which specializes in ultra-cheap flights between North America and Europe, was taken over by Iceland’s flagship carrier, Icelandair, for just $18 million. Its rescue is a reality check for an industry hoping to apply the budget flying model to long-haul routes.And for now it means that passengers from, say, Washington will likely have to pay more than the $99 teaser rates previously offered for the six and half-hour trip to the Icelandic capital, which serves as a stopover to mainland Europe.“It simply costs more than $99 to fly between continents and Wow air has not found ways around it,” said Kristjan Sigurjonsson, editor of local travel news site Turisti.While Wow will continue as a separate brand for now, Sigurjonsson says it’s unclear whether Icelandair will have it continue offering such low fares in an attempt to compete with Norwegian Air, which is offering cheap flights at a loss to gain market share.But for now, the numbers don’t add up for budget long-haul flying.Part of the business model for low-cost flying across the Atlantic depends on getting cheaper airport slots, both by departing at odd hours and by flying to smaller cities in the United States. Wow flies to St Louis and Pittsburgh, for example. The low fares, in turn, mean planes are typically full.Wow flies across the Atlantic with single-aisle, narrow-body Airbus A321 jets. Being smaller than a widebody plane makes them easier to fill, an important consideration in keeping down costs per seat. They are also cheaper than two-aisle planes. Wow’s jets are relatively new, meaning they are more fuel-efficient than some competitors’ fleets.However, those savings have been squeezed in the past couple years as oil prices have risen. The U.S. benchmark for oil has risen 50 per cent from late 2016 to a peak of $75 in September this year, before easing back somewhat.For a budget airline like Wow, where margins are already tight, that means a direct hit to earnings. On top of that, wages have been rising sharply in Iceland, where its employees are based.Founded in 2012, the airline expanded fast to 37 destinations and reported up to 60 per cent annual growth in passenger numbers. Its revenue per passenger, however, has not kept up and fell by about 20 per cent in 2017, according to the last earnings report.About 70 per centper cent of Wow’s passengers travel between Europe and North America. Combined with Icelandair, the airlines will carry about 3.8 per cent of transatlantic passengers, according to analysts at Icelandair.Experts say that what budget airlines like Wow lack is the big source of money from transatlantic flying: business travellers. The New York-London route is the most lucrative in the world, thanks to the amount of business travelling done between the two financial hubs. British Airways takes in a reported $1 billion a year between those cities alone.Budget airlines have been trying to tap that market. Wow created a new business-class scheme and in a presentation to investors this year it predicted that would help it make a profit this quarter. Norwegian Air has also offered “Premium class without the premium price,” reportedly with modest success.But it remains to be seen whether companies booking trips will agree to pick budget airlines over established carriers that are often seen as more reliable because they have bigger fleets and deeper pockets.“The established airlines have loyalty programs that hold tight to the most lucrative clients,” said Skarphedinn Steinarsson, former CEO of low-cost carrier IcelandExpress and the director of the Icelandic Tourist Board. “It takes longer to win this group over than the typical bargain-hunter.”For now, it is the flagship carrier coming out on top.Wow founder and CEO Skuli Mogensen urged his staff Monday to “look at this as an opportunity to continue our journey now as a part of a much stronger group”.The charismatic boss, who has in the past mocked Icelandair as “outdated” and used his image to represent the airline, acknowledge defeat with much understatement: “It was not part of the original game plan.”Egill Bjarnason, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Rabat – The lecture of Saudi preacher Mohamed al-Arifi on October 25, in Rabat is stirring controversy in Morocco.Moroccan social media users denounce the event, which will be organized by the Movement for Unification and Reform on October 25, in Rabat under the theme “The Role of the Quran in Shaping the Human Being.”Opponents of the lecture claim that the preacher condones terrorism and supports al-Qaeda in Syria. Accusation against Al Arifi flared up after his statement on Al Jazeera channel in February 2013 when he said that Oussama Bin Laden “was a victim of wide-level character assassination.”During the same interview, the Saudi cleric, who has over 18 million followers on Facebook and almost 13 millions on Twitter, claimed that the terrorist organization “does not tolerate bloodshed.”“These beliefs in fact are not correct. Al-Qaeda members do not tolerate accusing other Muslims of apostasy and they do not tolerate bloodshed. I am not part of al-Qaeda and I do not adopt their thinking, but Allah says: ‘And when you testify, be just,’” Arifi said.“Even al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Oussama Bin Laden, may his soul rest in peace, did not adopt many of the thoughts that are attributed to him today,” he added.After A serious critical backlash from his followers on social media, the religious scholar backtracked and said he was not defending Al Qaeda.“I am not in a position to defend them; I am not one of them, but again ‘when you testify, be just.”Al Arifi made also headlines when called on parents to prevent their daughters from revealing clothes in their presence.The 45-year-old Muslim cleric is known for his constant opposition and condemnation towards inhumane behaviors of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad’s regime.The Unification and Reform (or in Arabic, “Attawhid Wal Isslah”) is a religious movement established in 1996 by Ahmad Raissouni. It is the advocacy part of the current ruling party in Morocco (PJD). read more

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Ohio State redshirt junior goalie Kassidy Sauve (32) prepares for a shot in the first period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s hockey team’s improbable season came to a close Friday night when it fell 1-0 to the defending NCAA champions, top-seeded Clarkson, in sudden death overtime in the semifinals of the Frozen Four. The Buckeyes and the Knights entered the tournament as the top teams from their respective conferences. It was the first time in program history the Buckeyes appeared in the Frozen Four and the third consecutive appearance for the Knights. Ohio State and Clarkson headed into overtime after three scoreless periods despite 63 combined shots.Clarkson broke the scoreless tie and advanced to the national championship game when  freshman forward Loren Gabel scored the game’s only goal 16:12 into overtime. Clarkson freshman forward Elizabeth Giguere and sophomore forward Michaela Pejzlova were credited with assists. Although the game was scoreless until overtime, excitement struck in the second period when a Buckeye puck shot by redshirt sophomore defender Jincy Dunne passed Clarkson senior goaltender Shea Tiley. But the Ohio State goal was negated due to a penalty. The Buckeyes outshot Clarkson with 41 shots on net, but Tiley saved every shot. Ohio State redshirt junior goaltender Kassidy Sauve saved 33 of the 34 shots that came her way. The winner of the second semifinal game between Colgate and Wisconsin will take on Clarkson for the NCAA championship on Sunday. read more

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9Xander BogaertsBOS.53636.5 An MVP candidate can always use more team successModeled probability of a league WAR leader winning the MVP award, based on his gap over the No. 2 player in WAR and on the deficit in winning percentage between the teams of the two players 4Justin VerlanderHOU✓.645>996.8 WAR Lead-.200-.180-.150-.130-.100-.080-.050-.030 +0.5027%31%36%40%45%50%55%59% WAR through games on Sept. 4, 2019.Source: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs 6Lance LynnTEX✓.486<16.8 8Marcus SemienOAK.583796.5 +2.503338424752576266 +3.003540444954596368 10George SpringerHOU.645>996.3 5Mike MinorTEX✓.486<16.8 +3.503741465156616569 The AL MVP race has a lot going onTop 10 players in the 2019 American League by wins above replacement, plus team record and playoff odds (according to the FiveThirtyEight model) RkPlayerTeamPitcher?Team WPctPlayoff OddsWAR/162 +1.503034394449535863 7Mookie BettsBOS.53636.6 3Matt ChapmanOAK.583796.9 Many of the other elite performers on this list are matching the mold Trout has fit all too often: great player, not-so-great team. Texas’s Mike Minor and Lance Lynn have each had unexpectedly outstanding seasons, but the Rangers are below .500 — and again, pitchers are usually undervalued in MVP voting anyway. Boston has two top-line candidates in defending MVP right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts (plus a third if you count third baseman Rafael Devers, who ranks 12th in AL WAR), but the champs have almost no chance of making the postseason. The best of the A’s duo, Chapman, is on pace to run nearly 3 full WAR behind Trout by year’s end. And Houston has hoarded enough elite individual performances to potentially dilute each player’s MVP case, leaving Bregman as just one of many Astros who could claim credit for the team’s blistering 104-win pace this season.Perhaps all of this is why Trout is such an overwhelming favorite in the betting odds for the award. As of Sept. 2, the money line on Trout winning MVP was -1000, which implies a 90.9 percent chance of taking home the hardware.5Before adjusting for the bookmakers’ “take” on each bet. (Running second in the odds, with a 12.5 percent implied probability, was actually DJ LeMahieu of the Yankees, who ranks only 14th in the league in WAR, followed by Bregman at 9.1 percent.)Seldom in the entire history of baseball would voters consider the best player on a 74-win team — even a player as great as Trout — worthy of the game’s top individual honor. But in a season when so many other top players are either also toiling on bad teams or facing vote-splitting amongst star teammates, Trout appears to be the choice regardless of whether you prefer the “best” or “most valuable” player as your MVP.Check out our latest MLB predictions. 1Mike TroutLAA.461<1%9.7 2Alex BregmanHOU.645>997.9 Mike Trout’s WAR as of Sept. 4, prorated over 162 games, was 1.9 WAR ahead of No. 2 Alex Bregman, and Bregman’s team is +.184 ahead of Trout’s in winning percentage.Source: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs No sport loves parsing out the “best player” vs. “most valuable” argument in MVP debates more than baseball. Sure, the NBA hasn’t given its MVP to a player on a nonplayoff team since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976. But the best basketball players exert so much more influence on the game than their baseball counterparts that it’s difficult to have individual success without the team coming along for the ride. For MLB players, however, we frequently see good — and even historically great — seasons on bad teams. That creates a perfect recipe for all those endless debates about what “value” really means.Will it happen again this year? Some of the ingredients are there in the American League. AL wins above replacement1Using our JEFFBAGWELL metric to combine Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs WAR figures. leader Mike Trout is tracking for 9.7 WAR (prorated to 162 team games), which would once again rank among the top 100 individual campaigns by a batter since 1901. (He’s already had three of those in his eight full MLB seasons, and he came extraordinarily close to a fourth in 2013.) But his Los Angeles Angels are, once again, lousy. Our predictions think they’ll finish 20 games out of the playoff race, with a lowly 74-88 record.But before we dig in for one more round of online MVP bickering, another factor should come into play: This year’s AL MVP landscape is weird. There’s so much else going on, Trout could very well avoid too much friction along his path to putting a third Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award on his mantle.First, how big is Trout’s edge in individual value? The gap between his WAR and that of Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who ranks second in the AL, is 1.9 wins if prorated over 162 games. (That’s basically an entire season’s worth of value from an average player!) Limiting to cases in which the top two in WAR were both position players, the only league leader since 2002 with a wider gap came in the 2012 AL, when Trout himself was 2.5 wins ahead of No. 2 Robinson Cano. (Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera famously took home the MVP instead after winning the Triple Crown.) About three-quarters of WAR leaders in the modern MVP award era2Since 1931. lead the league by a smaller margin than Trout is on pace to beat Bregman by.Historically speaking, though, Trout’s MVP case would be better served if he were on a team with a slightly better record, even if his personal stats were worse. To examine this, I built a model3Using a Lasso classification regression on data since 1995. predicting a league WAR leader’s chances of winning the MVP based on his differentials (relative to the No. 2 player) in both WAR and team winning percentage.4I also accounted for whether the player was a pitcher — which significantly downgrades MVP odds after holding WAR constant — and whether the season came since WAR hit the big time as an MVP metric in 2012, which makes a WAR leader more likely to win MVP. According to the model, Trout would have better MVP odds than he currently does — with a 1.9-WAR lead on a .461 winning-percentage team — if his WAR lead got trimmed to a half-win but his team won just three or four more ballgames: +2.003236414550556065 +1.002933374247525661 (It’s worth noting that this effect is more descriptive than causal — we don’t know how Trout, or any other player, would play on a different team alongside better teammates. But for the purposes of illustration, it’s clear that MVP voters are traditionally very responsive to players on better teams, even if they have a much smaller WAR lead than Trout currently has over Bregman.)In general, MVP voters have long tended to smile more on players with solid stats on winning teams than players with dominant numbers amidst a string of defeats. Only seven modern-era MVP winners were on teams with a losing record: Giancarlo Stanton (2017), Trout (2016), Alex Rodriguez (2003), Cal Ripken Jr. (1991), Andre Dawson (1987) and Ernie Banks (1958 and 1959). And among those, only three played for a team whose record was as bad as the current Angels’ is: Trout in 2016, Rodriguez in 2003 and Ripken in 1991. Similar to his MVP bid in 2016, another Trout win would be a rare victory for great players on bad teams — and another sign that voters are redefining the way they make that distinction between the “most valuable” and “best” players.But Trout might also get some help from just how scattershot the competition is in this year’s AL MVP race. Aside from Bregman and fellow Astros Justin Verlander and George Springer, Oakland’s Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien are the only other members of the AL’s top 10 in WAR on a team with any kind of playoff odds whatsoever. WPCT Deficit read more

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christina: We should also remember that base stealers were 23 for 26 against Jake Arrieta, as well, so this isn’t just a Lester problem. I can see arguments that Willson Contreras might help control the damage in games that don’t feature the Lester-David Ross battery, but we’ll see.neil: Sounds like we shouldn’t be surprised if Cleveland’s baserunning makes life difficult all series for what is otherwise a scary good Chicago rotation.christina: They’ll need to try, because they only thing that’s going to take that Cubs’ defense down a notch is the friction multiple baserunners and men in motion can create. Play a static, big-inning offense where you wait around for hits, and the Cubs will find ways to kill your scoring opps. Russell-to-Baez-to-Rizzo is going to merit its own poetry.rob: The defensive skill of the Cubs infield is a major factor that stops potential base runners. It’s all too easy to get caught in a TOOTBLAN* with Javy Baez’s creativity on one side of second base and Addison Russell’s sure hands on the other. In that way, it will be strength against strength.(* Ed. note: That’s “Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop,” for the uninitiated.)christina: I’m also wondering which Arrieta or Kyle Hendricks we get. That could shape the series. Take Hendricks: The Indians are the best team in baseball at killing pitches 90 mph or slower. They’re third in baseball in OPS against off-speed pitches. If anyone is going to get to Hendricks in his magical year, it might be the Indians.rob: I agree that Hendricks and Arrieta are less sure bets. Generally, a major strength of all of the Cubs pitchers is that they suppress batted ball velocity. I believe that’s a genuine skill that the Chicago rotation possesses, but it also seems like a skill that’s more variable than say, throwing 98 mph fastballs that your opponents can’t catch up to. So I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the Cubs have a couple of disastrous starting pitching outings and get BABIP’d to death.neil: All right, let’s close this out with some official predictions. Who ya got, and in how many games?rob: I’ll take the Cubs in 6. They are the better team, and one thing we only briefly alluded to is how tired and tattered Cleveland’s rotation is. I think the Cubs will dampen Cleveland’s bullpen advantage by overworking them, and that will be enough to close the Indians out. But not easily.christina: It’s really tough, because while Cubs in 5 is probably the safest choice, there are so many things that could go wrong with that (or even just extend the series) that I’m sticking with my prediction over on ESPN.com: that the Indians find a way to win in 7. Because, how safe are the safe bets? But I’ll admit, there’s also an element of my wanting this to be an epic series, to give us something to remember beyond one of these two teams’ “curses” ending.neil: Indians in 7? Christina, I knew you were a Chicagoan, but now I see you either are not a Cubs fan, or the most quintessential Cubs fan possible.christina: Hah. Funnily enough, people mistake me for a White Sox fan, but I’m agnostic. (I’ve stuck with the team of my childhood, the A’s — hence my bitterness about Mr. Lester in 2014.) When I polled Chicagoans last week on Twitter, the second-largest group beyond the 39 percent of Chicagoans who call themselves Cubs fans who think they’ll win it all was the 31 percent who said they’re Sox fans who hope they blow it.Besides, if the Cubs win, I can claim I didn’t jinx it, right?neil: Very true, you are zigging where those not-so-covert Cubs fans we saw everywhere on Saturday night are zagging.christina: I did the double-reverse, anti-curse, non-jinx prediction. Shazam!neil: Well, I’ll split the difference and say Cubs in 7. That feels like the way this season is, and always has been, destined to end — though as we know, sometimes real baseball gets in the way of destiny, narratives and whatnot.Either way, though, it looks like one of the more entertaining on-paper World Series in recent memory. I can’t wait! VIDEO: Cleveland fooled us twice In preparation for the World Series, which starts Tuesday night, we invited ESPN MLB writer/editor Christina Kahrl and our own baseball columnist, Rob Arthur, into Slack to chat about the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. As usual, the transcript below has been lightly edited. neil (Neil Paine, baseball editor and sportswriter): Well, we’re finally down to two teams, the Cubs and the Indians, both of whom have long championship droughts on the line. So my first question for the room is just a big-picture one: How did these teams stack up in the overall sabermetric numbers during the regular season?rob (Rob Arthur, baseball columnist): Both teams were good, but the Cubs were also great, fantastic, amazing and 10 other superlatives on top of that. In the first half of the season, they had as good a run differential as any team ever — right up there with the 1927 Yankees. They were merely dominant in the second half, but in either half Chicago was better than Cleveland: the Cubs had a +91 run differential in the second half alone, which is only 10 less than the Indians racked up all season. And, remarkably, some measures (such as cluster luck) suggest this Cubs team got unlucky.Which is not to say that the Indians were a bad regular-season team — they had the fourth-best run differential in baseball. But they also probably got a little fortunate from a cluster luck perspective, and their pitching, while solid, was also weakened due to injuries by October. So this matchup is probably a bit lopsided in favor of the Cubs, at least if we go by regular-season numbers.christina (Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com baseball writer and editor): I would think whatever metric you used, you’re going to get happy answers about the Cubs and Indians that don’t involve a stack of head-scratchy one-run outcomes or players having extraordinary seasons outside their expected range of performance. (Well, except maybe Tyler Naquin’s strikeout rate.) But across 162, these were two very good teams. Outside of the Cubs’ sporadic offensive disappearances, we’ve seen two of the best regular-season teams also play well in October. If not for injuries to the Indians’ rotation, you could have seen that these two teams belonged here months ago.There are interesting distinctions, of course. The Cubs and Indians both walk plenty, but the Indians aren’t in quite the same class when it comes to power production. But they’re both very balanced offenses, with good amounts of contact (call it BABIP or just execution on balls in play), power, patience and speed. The fun gets into the differences between how Cleveland manager Terry Francona used his bullpen to compensate when the rotation melted down, and how the Cubs churned through relief combinations before trading for Aroldis Chapman at the deadline. To some extent, both teams are where they are because of how well their answers worked out.neil: So we’re not seeing fluky teams! These two teams might legitimately be some of the very best in baseball! Seems like a departure from recent World Series history.christina: And yet — maybe it’s because I’m in Chicago — because of those injuries in the Indians’ rotation, folks are already anticipating a walkover. The last 15 years or so should perhaps suggest a little less overconfidence on this score. I can’t help but think of the 2006 or 2011 Cardinals as notable examples of underdog winners.rob: Right, and given that it’s only seven games, anything can happen.neil: Yeah, I was gonna ask because Rob mentioned that it was “a bit lopsided” — in baseball, that still doesn’t really mean either team is very likely to win over the other. At most maybe it’s 60-40, or 65-35, for the favorite?christina: Well, the Cubs should be favored, for all sorts of reasons about how awesome they are (not just because the Indians’ rotation is a shambles). And I think you’re right in terms of how far that lean should be. But I also remember “October unbeatable” Jon Lester losing a must-win game in 2014, so I tend not to believe in absolutes.rob: Yeah, and interestingly, everything from betting markets to our Elo ratings to FanGraphs’ simulations puts the probability between 60 to 70 percent for the Cubs. So that speaks again to the randomness of baseball — I think it would be hard to argue that the Cubs aren’t better than the Indians, but despite that edge they only have about a 2-in-3 chance.christina: To put it another way, this series doesn’t feel like the 1998 World Series, where there was almost no reason to watch unless you were a Yankees fan.neil: Hey! Those Padres had a pretty good seas… — ah, I can’t finish that thought. It was a rout. But this one, less so, it sounds like.Now, have we seen anything during the playoffs to make us think either team is better or worse than the yearlong numbers would indicate?rob: Yes, I think it’s fair to say that the Cleveland bullpen — and Francona’s clever use of it — gives the Indians a strong advantage that isn’t reflected in their regular-season numbers. The Cubs don’t really have anything comparable to that; although their bullpen is strong, Chapman doesn’t seem comfortable outside of the eighth or ninth innings. (Even then, he’s looked shaky at times.) I don’t think we can say with much confidence how much exactly fireman Andrew Miller is worth, in terms of series win probability. But I think he probably keeps things to closer to 60-40 than 70-30, as some outlier predictions would put it.christina: I do wonder how well the Cubs will do if the Indians get to their ’pen in the fifth, sixth or seventh innings. The Indians’ lineup has many strengths — it’s front-loaded with Carlos Santana leading off, it’s deep, and Francona isn’t afraid to use his bench. So in those middle-inning matchups, especially during games with the DH, I wouldn’t bet on Joe Maddon securing advantages as easily as he does against some NL opponents. A lot depends on whether the Indians get to the Cubs’ starters early — running up pitch counts, making them work from the stretch — and then forcing the game into the hands of relievers like Justin Grimm or Carl Edwards.neil: Speaking of the managers, this seems like it’s going to be a battle of two extremely smart, saber-savvy tacticians — perhaps the likes of which we’ve never seen before.christina: Well, let’s be fair, Howser vs. Herzog in 1985 was pretty awesome.neil: If you wanted Whiteyball, you got it with last year’s Royals. This year — well, it’s not exactly Moneyball that these two teams play, but maybe something in the same tradition at least.christina: But to your point, yes, it’s going to be a very interesting series in that regard, watching a couple of brilliant skippers with histories of putting players in a position to succeed. For those folks who say “managers don’t matter,” here are two great tacticians who are also extremely smart about how to manage people across six months, and who get the difference between managing the regular season and managing in October.rob: Yes, although Maddon’s strength seems to lie in the parts of baseball that still aren’t visible to us: chemistry, the clubhouse and getting the best performances out of players. Francona is probably good at that, too, but bullpen management is a visible manifestation of his skill, whereas the best we can do to quantify Maddon’s ability is look at how his teams consistently have positive run differentials.christina: Yeah, I wouldn’t put either over the other as far as people management. “Tito” and Maddon both deserve their reputations.neil: So, aside from the battle of managerial wits and the two bullpens, what else will you be keeping an eye on as key matchups in the series?rob: Christina mentioned above that Lester’s been incredible in the playoffs. That’s true — he’s Bumgarner-esque — but he has a critical weakness: the yips that prevent him from throwing over to first. In theory, that should make it easy to steal bases on him, but opponents have been curiously reluctant to exploit Lester’s flaw. The Dodgers tried — and failed — to do so, largely by dancing around between first and second, and Lester turned in another awesome start. But I do wonder if Francona’s tactical savvy can translate into more stolen bases and potentially weaken the Cubs’ best starter.neil: Do the Indians have base runners who might especially be able to take advantage of something like that?rob: The Indians had the third-best baserunning team in the majors, according to FanGraphs’ metrics. The Dodgers were 11th, although they had some good base stealers who just failed to convert. Jeff Sullivan posited that it’s a mental block for potential base stealers, as they are so unused to getting leads of 25 feet (or more!) that they don’t know what to do with them. That’s why I think it will mostly be a matter of Francona getting the base runners to actually take off, and not the skill of the base runners themselves. Almost any major leaguer should be able to get to second base before the throw when they have a 35-foot lead, as some of the Dodgers’ baserunners did: read more

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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJomel Warrican back in West Indies Test squadAugust 30, 2018In “latest news”Sri Lanka beat West Indies to draw Test seriesJune 26, 2018In “latest news”England stick with unchanged Test group for West IndiesDecember 11, 2018In “latest news” Jason Holder celebrates a dismissal with his team-mates CWI Media/Randy BrooksESPNcricinfo– Sri Lanka had hoped this would be one of their easier away tours this year. West Indies’ home record was modest; Sri Lanka’s Test side was picking up some momentum. But the Test in Port-of-Spain wasn’t merely a defeat, it was a decimation. Twice West Indies’ quicks scythed through the visitors’ top order. Although Sri Lanka had fielded five frontline bowlers, they still could not capitalise on having the opposition 147 for 5 on the first day. On a batting track, only Kusal Mendis could muster a score of over 45 – and even that, only having given two clear-cut chances.When these teams had last met, in Sri Lanka in 2015, West Indies had shown flashes of individual brilliance but had failed to come together as a team. In the first Test, they had no such problems. Commitment to the team cause was visible in the way Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach buckled down alongside Shane Dowrich, to haul West Indies to a formidable score. Even with the ball, there were unlikely contributors – Roston Chase running through Sri Lanka’s tail on the fifth day, after the quicks had knocked out the top order.While the hosts surge, Sri Lanka have tactical questions to answer. Is the five-frontline bowler strategy worth persisting with, given Dilruwan Perera’s modest returns with the ball? Kusal Perera is likely to make way for Dhananjaya de Silva at the top of the innings, but can Sri Lanka accommodate Kusal lower down the order, now that Angelo Mathews has left the tour? And is the attack dynamic enough? Or does it require the insertion of Akila Dananjaya?However Sri Lanka chooses to answer those questions, they will be in flux – Lahiru Gamage also having left the Caribbean, with a fractured finger.West Indies are in the unusual position of having to follow up a supremely dominant performance. One fact that may give Sri Lanka some hope is that it has been almost four years, and 31 Tests, since West Indies won back-to-back matches.While the opposition struggles with balancing their XI, the man who ensures West Indies have no such issues is Jason Holder. He was part of his team’s the first-innings resistance with the bat in game one, before supporting the frontline bowlers through the remainder of the Test. That he is growing in confidence as a leader was evident from his first-innings declaration – pulling the batsmen out with the score at 414 for 8, in order to bowl at Sri Lanka late on the second day. His batting average is on a gentle forward march, but it is a breakdown of his bowling figures that provides the biggest surprise. In West Indies victories, Holder averages a staggering 17.69, compared to his average of over 50 in drawn and lost Tests. If Holder gets wickets, West Indies tend to be competitive.It was a surprise that Lahiru Kumara took twice as many wickets as any other Sri Lanka bowler in Trinidad. Although he is still hugely indisciplined, the pace and bounce he generated made him effective on a largely unresponsive track. Kumara’s issue, though, has been consistency. He excites on occasion, but can just as easily go wicketless and leak a hundred runs in the next match. With Gamage out of the side, Sri Lanka are desperate for Kumara to provide the same intensity in St Lucia that he had shown in Trinidad.Devon Smith’s comeback Test did not go well. But it is possible West Indies will give him another shot at the top of the order, which will, of course, keep Shimron Hetmyer out of the XI. If Hetmyer does play, he will probably bat at No. 3 and Powell will open the innings again. Elsewhere, West Indies are unlikely to make changes.West Indies (possible): 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Devon Smith, 3 Kieran Powell, 4 Shai Hope, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Shane Dowrich (wk), 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Devendra Bishoo, 9 Miguel Cummins, 10 Kemar Roach, 10 Shannon GabrielIf Dhananjaya de Silva plays, Sri Lanka not only gain a batsman averaging over 45 after 13 Tests (though his best performances have come in Asia), they also have a half-decent offspinner in the top six. Perhaps this will prompt them to return to a 7-4 combination, fielding an extra batsman in place of another bowler. Dilruwan Perera, the most orthodox of Sri Lanka’s spinners, also stands to lose his spot to Akila Dananjaya – a far less experienced but more aggressive option.Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Kusal Mendis, 2 Mahela Udawatte, 3 Dhananjaya de Silva, 4 Roshen Silva, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 6 Kusal Perera, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Akila Dananjaya, 11 Lahiru Kumara read more

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Espen Smeplasshandball goal Espen Smeplass – remember his name! Maybe this 14 years old Norwegian boy won’t be a proffesional player, but certainly he did something what most of the “big names” could only dream about.When we think that ways of scoring goals reached the ending level, some kid showed once again, how beautiful is our sport… ← Previous Story Piotr Wyszomirski to Pick Szeged! Next Story → MACEDONIAN PLAY-OFF: Vardar beat Metalurg in first match

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CSM BucurestiNaumce Mojsovski ← Previous Story Qatari El Jaish Sports Club promote new members! Next Story → Jens Schöngarth to FA Goppingen One of the best RK Metalurg players in the golden period of Macedonian team, playmaker Naumče Mojsovski is on the way to finish with the long break which last since June, when he ended contract with Qatari Lekhwya. Macedonian sportmedia.mk write about his new team – CSM Bucuresti! Romanian vice-champions had Macedonian coach Zvonko Šundovski, who already worked with Mojsovski in the national team, making the biggest success by winning the fifth place at Men’s EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.The 35 years-old Mojso will sign contract with Romanians upon arrival in Bucharest on Sunday.Mojsovski was out of Macedonian squad for Croatian Cup in the previous EHF week as free agent. The first Macedonian playmaker has to find form quickly if he wants to be a part of team for Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Poland and Olympic qualifications afterwards… read more

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first_img I grew up watching the original Transformers animated series on TV and spent countless hours waging battles between Dinobots and Constructicons. When I wasn’t doing that, there’s a good chance I was building things out of Lego.I never thought to combine the two the way builder Sam.C has, however. He’s posted a gallery full of his amazing Lego Chibi-formers over on Flickr… and he’s also been kind enough to let us share a few of them with you here!You can see three of his creations at the top in their robot forms: Optimus Prime, Grimlock, and Jazz. Let’s take a look at them when they’re in disguise. Here’s Optimus, who still retains a definite Chibi look even when he’s transformed and ready to roll out:And here’s Jazz, Optimus’ second in command:And last, my personal favorite, Grimlock. Sure, he’s cute, but he still looks plenty menacing:Sam’s MOCs would be great enough as individual models, but here’s the kicker: they actually do transform. No joke. Here’s a video of Sam transforming Optimus Prime:Now, no eight-year-old kid is going to be doing that anytime soon. It takes more than two minutes to complete the switch, and Sam has to make a lot of very subtle adjustments along the way to get it just right… but let’s not forget what he managed to do.Not only did Sam give his Transformers a Chibi-style makeover, but he also made them out of Lego bricks. From scratch. And he didn’t forget that the ability to transform is what makes Transformers truly awesome.Well done, Sam! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next! Stay on target Hands-On: Lego Hidden Side Packs Plenty of Spooky AR FunThe New Lego UCS Imperial Star Destroyer Is Nearly Four Feet Long last_img read more

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