(REUTERS) – Batsman Alex Hales has been withdrawn from England’s preliminary World Cup squad to avoid any “unnecessary distractions” ahead of the showpiece tournament, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Monday.Hales is serving a three-week ban for recreational drug use, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.“We’ve worked hard to create the right environment around the England team and need to consider what is in the best interests of the team…” Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said in a statement.“I want to make it clear this is not the end of Alex’s career as an England player. The ECB and the PCA will continue to aid Alex and work alongside his county club Nottinghamshire to give him the support he needs, to help him fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer.” The Nottinghamshire batsman will not travel to Ireland for a one-off ODI on Friday and has also been removed from England’s ODI and Twenty20 squads against Pakistan.The selectors added Nottinghamshire batsman Ben Duckett and Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan to the squad for the Ireland trip and the T20 against Pakistan after Jason Roy and Mark Wood were ruled out. Roy is unavailable after suffering a back spasm, while Wood will feature for Durham in the domestic ODI competition against Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire Vikings.The pair will return for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan which begins on May 8. They will be joined by Hampshire batsman James Vince, who was also included in the 17-man squad. A replacement for Hales in the World Cup squad must be named by May 23, when final squads are submitted to the International Cricket Council.Hales was fined and suspended for his involvement in a nightclub altercation with team mate Ben Stokes in 2017. The 30-year-old was given a six-match one-day international ban in December. He had already missed two games and the remainder of the ban was suspended for 12 months so he could be available for selection.The 50-over World Cup begins on May 30 with England taking on South Africa in the opening match in London.
Air New Zealand has revealed Peter Jackson’s theatrical interpretation of the mythical Dragon Smaug exclusively to the world, ten days ahead of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.See video below.A Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the 54 metre (177 feet) long Dragon emblazoned on both sides was unveiled in Auckland on Monday December 2.The first film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey famously featured just Smaug’s eye, leaving it to fans to envisage for themselves how he might look in Peter Jackson’s imagination.Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline has been in discussions for some time around permission to feature Smaug on the ‘flying billboard’ ahead of the film’s official release.“For our partners to allow Air New Zealand to reveal their star to the world is a huge privilege. We worked with Weta Digital which designed the graphic especially for us for this purpose.”This is the second 777-300ER inspired by The Hobbit Trilogy in the Air New Zealand fleet. The first was unveiled last year to coincide with the launch of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and has been wowing fans around the world since.Director of The Hobbit Trilogy, Sir Peter Jackson, says while the first aircraft, featuring various characters from the first film, was extremely impressive the enormous scale of the single Dragon running the entire length of the aircraft is even more awe inspiring.“To see Smaug fly off the big screen and into the skies like this is pretty exciting. We’re proud to debut him here in New Zealand, where our team has worked so hard to bring him to life.” Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Saindon of Weta Digital says designing a graphic which not only fits with Peter Jackson’s creative vision but also meets the various specifications required to fit on an aircraft was no mean feat.“Capturing Smaug’s presence and the amazing detail in his design while accommodating the windows, doors and wing shape was quite a different experience for us,” said Saindon. “It was great to see Smaug brought to life, and he appears even larger in the film!”The aircraft will head to Los Angeles Monday evening, to arrive just in time for the premiere on December 2nd local time.As part of its global marketing campaign around The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug, the airline has also released a video entitled Just another day in Middle-earth, which features staff from across its business, with a magical Hobbit movie-inspired twist. The video has been viewed online 1.5 million times in less than two weeks.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After seeing picture after picture of the devastation that wildfires caused to farmers and ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado, Lykins, Ohio’s Rose Hartschuh and her husband, Greg, both knew they had to do something to help. As Hartschuh tells The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins, they are spearheading a major effort to make a trip to that part of the country, loaded with supplies and manpower to help rebuild.Click here to find out how you can helpThere has also been a fund set up to help move the donated hay to the affected areas. Checks can be made to Ohio’s Kansas Rancher Wildfire Relief Efforts and mailed to 6348 Parks Rd, Sycamore, Ohio 44882.
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNational University kept its record unblemished but not after overcoming a gritty stand by Far Eastern University, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24, in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals Wednesday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Jaja Santiago dominated anew for the Lady Bulldogs, who shoot for a finals sweep and a perfect season in Game 2 on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president MOST READ Aiko Urdas delivered a pair of clutch hits for NU and FEU committed a couple of costly errors from Heather Guinoo and Celine Domingo to end Game 1.Sato added 12 points while Jasmine Nabor had 46 excellent sets. Urdas finished with eight points and 16 digs.Czarina Carandang paced the Lady Tamaraws, who were without team captain Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, with 17 points.Pons and Atienza are focused on playing for FEU in the UAAP beach volleyball tournament and likely to miss Game 2 as well.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Santiago, who averaged 26 points per game in the semifinals, picked up where she left off with 23 points, including four blocks and four service aces. “The game was a bit tight but I give it to the evolution of the team,” said NU coach Babes Castillo. “They played a bit relaxed under pressure, though, they have yet to find the balance between being relaxed and assertive.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We will try our best to win. Hopefully, very, very convincingly. We have to limit our errors, we want to be more intelligent and organized,” Castillo said.The Lady Bulldogs blew a big lead twice. The last instance was in the fourth set where the Lady Tamaraws rose from six points down, 21-15, to tie the match at 22 after Risa Sato’s attempt went out. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH After frustrating him in NCAA, Thompson looks to turn tables on Amer in PBA Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
\R Santiago, Jul 4 (AFP) A Chilean judge has convicted nine retired soldiers in the 1973 murder of one of Chile’s most beloved folk singers, Victor Jara, the judiciary said.Jara, 40, was arrested the day after the September 11, 1973, CIA-backed coup that overthrew Salvador Allende and installed Augusto Pinochet as dictator.Jara’s body was found days later, riddled with 44 bullets. He had been held, along with around 5,000 other political prisoners, in a sports stadium where he was interrogated, tortured and then killed.Among other horrors, the singer-guitarist’s fingers were crushed, broken by rifle butts and boots.”Judge Miguel Vazquez Plaza convicted nine retired members of the army for their responsibility in the homicide of singer Victor Jara and the ex-director of prisons Littre Quiroga Carvajal, in September 1973 in Santiago,” a statement from the judiciary said yesterday.Eight of the accused — who held ranks from lieutenant to colonel and brigadier — were sentenced to 15 years and one day in prison for their roles as “perpetrators” of both murders.They all received another three years for kidnapping the two victims.A ninth officer received five years and a day for being an accessory to the murders, and 61 days for his role as an accessory to the kidnappings.The pacifist singer, whose lyrics spoke of love and social protest, became an icon of Latin American popular music with songs like “The Right to Live in Peace,” “The Cigarette” and “I remember Amanda.” Jara was married to British dancer Joan Turner, with whom he had two daughters.advertisementHe was also a member of Chile’s Communist Party and a fervent supporter of the Popular Unity coalition that backed Marxist president Allende, who came to power by popular vote in 1970.The singer’s fellow detainee, Littre Quiroga, 33, was national prisons director and a Communist Party militant.His body was found with signs of torture along with that of Jara and three other political prisoners, in a vacant lot near Santiago’s Metropolitan Cemetery.In Chile, Jara became an icon for hundreds of artists who suffered human rights violations under Pinochet.Abroad, the singer inspired musicians from U2 to Bob Dylan. At a 2013 concert in Santiago, Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Jara.In June 2016, a federal jury in the United States found another former Chilean soldier, Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez, liable in a civil case for Jara’s murder and awarded USD28 million to his family.One witness, an army conscript, told the court via videotaped deposition that he heard Barrientos, then a 24-year-old lieutenant at the stadium, tell someone he had fatally shot Jara.Chile has unsuccessfully sought the extradition of Barrientos, who obtained US citizenship.Pinochet ruled Chile until 1990 and died in 2006 without ever being convicted for the crimes committed by his regime.In 2009, Chilean judicial authorities ordered the exhumation of Jara’s remains. He was buried in an official ceremony attended by then-president Michelle Bachelet.The stadium where Jara was held and suffered today bears his name. (AFP) IJTIJT
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea defender David Luiz: We must find consistencyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea defender David Luiz says finding a winning consistency is key to returning to the top.Luiz knows Chelsea need consistency, after their win over Manchester City was sandwiched between defeats against Wolves and Leicester.He said: “In those games we had the same problem after the goal we conceded. We changed our style. We have to be consistent in the way we play, and after that the results are going to come.”Luiz praised Eden Hazard, who has been playing as a false nine recently. “He’s a fantastic player, an intelligent player,” he said. “He is playing a different position but intelligent players can play anywhere. He is doing well and he deserves it.”
Fredericks: West Ham boost from Bournemouth drawby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRyan Fredericks says West Ham United have gained plenty of confidence from their 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday.The Hammers came back twice to steal a valuable away point which leaves in fourth place on the Premier League table.”Coming back like that gives us a lot of positive feelings,” Fredericks called the club’s website.”We’re a confident bunch anyway and we know we can go anywhere and pick up a result.”We didn’t panic when we went 2-1 down. Obviously it was frustrating to go behind, especially so early in the second half, but we knew we were going to get chances. “We have very good forward players who always create chances so we knew that as long as we didn’t concede a third we’d always have a chance of getting back in the game.”We’re a different beast this season. We don’t want to just be up there and think ‘it’s nice to be here’. We think we’re good enough to stay in and around these positions so we’re going to fight for every point, every goal and I think teams know that when they play against us it’s never going to be an easy game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/RussiniIn just a few short weeks, Dianna Russini, a 32-year-old former sports anchor for NBC Washington, will be making her debut for ESPN. The news was announced back in mid-May, and Russini recently finished up her last day with her former employer. She’s expected to be an anchor for the Worldwide Leader’s SportsCenter program. How often she’ll be featured is still a mystery.Where is she from? How did she get her career started? Is she single? We’ve got all of those answers and more, along with a few photos of the rising star. In Photos: Everything You Need To Know About ESPN’s Dianna Russini >>>Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7