Blues re-sign key backs

first_imgPhoto by: DIANNE MANSON/GETTY IMAGES Caption: Matt Duffie will reform his back-three combination with Michael Collins for the Blues Next Super Rugby season Collins confirmed to Stuff in June that he had re-signed for another season with the Blues after his venture north from Otago for 2017 had proved so successful.Now the Auckland franchise have announced that Duffie and Nanai have both committed through until the end of 2019, which establishes some much needed continuity in their back-three stock.The numbers support a view that the Blues’ attack had made necessary improvements. They scored 58 tries in 2017 – an increase of more than 30 per cent over the previous year, with the quartet of wing/fullbacks (including Rieko Ioane) responsible for over 40 per cent of them.That was double the number of tries scored by the wing/fullbacks last year.”It is an indication that as a unit we did move forward with more quality ball from the forwards, but also our desire and ability to take advantage both of front-foot possession and of counter-attack opportunities with their outstanding speed and skillset,” said Blues coach Tana Umaga.”Matt Duffie took time to adjust from rugby league but this year has shown to be among the best wings in the competition with his aerial skills and ability to beat players.”Matt has become an important member of our leadership group and club, reflected by winning the Club Person of the Year.”Umaga said Nanai was “an exciting open-field runner” and added that Collins had “quickly asserted himself as an excellent fullback in all aspects of the game”.Said the Blues coach: “Collectively this trio, along with Rieko, enjoyed an excellent season and we believe all will take another step forward in 2018 and beyond.”last_img read more

JOA paying close attention to Rio troubles

first_imgJamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell said they have been paying close attention to the various health and political issues affecting Brazil ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and that they were pleased with the precautions and countermeasures being taken. The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil has been a major cause for concern going into the 2016 Olympic Games. The virus, which the World Health Organization has declared an international public health emergency, has created great uncertainty and has left many doubting whether or not they should attend the games in the South American country. There is also the issue of an impeachment in congress for the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, while there are also concerns with water pollution. Noting that he hopes that the political situation can be resolved before the games commence on August 5, Fennell said he was comfortable with the situation at this point. “In Rio, there are a number things we have to deal with. Everyone knows there is a public health problems with the ZIKV, but we are quite comfortable with the arrangements that have been made for the protection of the athletes, officials and other people, so we are satisfied Brazil has taken all the precautions that are necessary and we are monitoring that carefully,” Fennell said. He also believes it would be best if the country’s leaders resolve the uncertain political situation ahead of the games. “What has not directly impacted the games but will affect the nation is the government situation in Brazil. The president of the country is facing impeachment, and that always presents a challenge when you have political uncertainty. We just have to wait and see how it unfolds, but it would be best if that is sorted out before the games not, just for Jamaica, but for the whole world.” he continued. Meanwhile, the long-serving JOA boss believes that the Olympic Games today plays an even greater role in enhancing the careers and reputation of sportsmen and women right across the globe. “The demand for a place on the Olympic team is even greater than ever before because it is such an important event in the life and career of any sports person. It’s the ultimate achievement, representing your country at the Olympic Games. This has been enhanced even more for those athletes, who are following careers, as representing your country at the Olympic Games opens up doors for professional contacts later on, and if you medal it even goes much further … it’s a tremendous thing for the athlete,” added Fennell. NECESSARY PRECAUTIONSlast_img read more

Rural, urban netballers on show at G.C. Foster

first_img Denbigh will start as the big favourites to advance to the senior final when they battle Knox at 12:30 p.m. They were easy 52-10 winners over Herbert Morrison Technical, while Knox edged Anchovy High 31-27. In the urban semi-finals, junior champions, Gaynstead High will face Norman Manley High at 1:30 p.m. before Queen’s face Camperdown at 2:30 p.m. Defending Senior champions Camperdown and Excelsior, who suffered their first defeat this season against Queen’s at the same venue last Thursday, will meet in a high power senior semi-final at 3:30 p.m. Former champions Queen’s and Gaynstead will close the day’s proceedings when they meet in the second semi-final at 4:30 p.m. BIG FAVOURITES History will be created at the G.C. Foster College today as for the first time both the rural and urban schoolgirls’ netball semi-finals will be played on the same day and at the same venue. Junior rural action begins at 9:30 a.m. with Holmwood Technical facing Manchester High before defending champions Denbigh High oppose first-time semi-finalists St Thomas Technical. Many-time champions Holmwood will be seeking another final berth among the seniors. They tackle Manchester High at 11:30 a.m. The team got a scare in their quarter-final match against Glenmuir winning 38-37. They will have to improve on that performance if they hope to advance as they will be up against a confident Manchester High team that blew away Thompson Town 46-19.last_img read more

As Ebola Lingers, 1.4 M Students’ Hopes On Hold

first_imgThe outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country early this year has  forced Liberian education to fall by the wayside.Public and private schools were shut down in July by the government through the recommendation from the Ministry of Education (MOE), and no additional plans have  since then been provided on how Liberian children will  continue their education.Nearly five months later, the doors of the 4,413 schools remain closed with no indication of when they will reopen for the 1.4 million school-aged children currently without access to education.According to a Mashable’s Assistant Real-Time News Editor, Megan Specia, education in Liberia has, understandably, taken a backseat to combating the epidemic as more than 2,200 people have died from the virus. While communities mobilize to fight Ebola, little has been done to encourage continued education among school-aged children. Small community-driven initiatives have started, but no official government-led program currently exists.Authorities at the MOE in Monrovia have begun producing content for school aged children, and UNICEF is working alongside them to develop a plan moving forward.UNICEF’s Rukshan Ratnam told Mashable that the organization is working on long-term options for students as schools show no signs of reopening.”Discussions are beginning this week on the protocols and certifications needed for schools to reopen — as this will ensure that when schools do reopen, they remain safe environments for children,” Ratnam said.UNICEF is working with Liberia’s Ministry of Education to develop educational radio programs for children, so that  they may continue studies in their own homes, according to Ratnam. These are planned to begin airing within the next month.Stable education in Liberia is a relatively new thing since the country’s civil war ended in 2003. The More Than Me Academy, which provides education to vulnerable girls from Monrovia’s West Point slum, was among the schools directed to close in July.”While this break seems dramatic to us, it may not be so strange to Liberians. If this goes on for a year, there may not be that much effort by communities to provide education to children, but if it goes on for longer, they might,” said Emily Bell, marketing manager for More Than Me. The school was closed in July.”UNICEF is putting out home education resources, but we haven’t seen communities using them yet,” Bell said.Since schools are closed, Bell noted, they’ve been repurposed to deal with Ebola response. Many are running childcare centers for abandoned children. More Than Me, for example, has been working to quarantine children to monitor them for Ebola before they are placed in foster homes.School teachers, who are held in high esteem in Liberian communities, and staff have pivoted from their traditional roles and now work to combat the spread of Ebola in some parts of the country.Meanwhile, UNICEF is currently training 300 teachers, who will then train 11,000 teachers, to engage in efforts to raise awareness on Ebola prevention at the community level.Students unable to attend school also face increased risks.”Our school acted as a safe place for students to come where they received food, medicine and counseling on top of the normal school day,” said Bell. “Our students are at higher risk for sexual abuse and transactional sex, and are getting sick more often without a school nurse.”While they are unable to provide this security in their school facility, More Than Me is now working with those in their community of West Point to make sure resources are available to their students.”We have a social work team that goes into West Point twice a week to check on each student,” said Bell. “We hand out preventative medicine such as vitamins and Advil, as well as health materials on Ebola, common illnesses and sexual/reproductive health to ensure our girls’ safety as much as possible during this time.”While the school shows no signs of opening, UNICEF has also stressed the need for proper measures to be taken before reopening Liberia’s schools.”Children have certainly been affected by this,” said Ratnam. “However, discussions are beginning very soon on the protocols and certifications needed for schools to reopen — as this will ensure that when schools do reopen, they remain safe environments for children.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GOP unveils ethics changes

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Eager to shake off the shadow of corruption cast by recent lobbying and bribery scandals, Republicans unveiled sweeping ethics changes Tuesday that would limit politicians’ perks and could fundamentally change the tactics special-interest groups use on Capitol Hill. The proposal, spearheaded by Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, would ban lawmakers from accepting all corporate-sponsored trips; prohibit all but inconsequential gifts like baseball caps and T-shirts; and force lawmakers convicted of felonies to forfeit their congressional pensions. Dreier said GOP leaders also plan to make former House members wait two years before registering as lobbyists, instead of the current one year; and plan to pass separate legislation the day Congress returns to work Feb. 1 blocking former lawmakers who now work as lobbyists from the House floor and the congressional gymnasium. “I believe that this is a very, very, very exciting opportunity for us,” Dreier said. House Speaker Dennis Hastert noted that ethics concerns raised by the guilty pleas of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., involved violations of existing rules. But, he said, “I believe that to regain the trust of the American people that this institution must go further than prosecuting the bad actors.” He and Dreier said they hope to enact a comprehensive package by early March. Hastert said House Republicans also will consider limiting or abolishing “earmarks,” the pork-barrel spending often quietly slipped into laws at the last minute, and vowed to take on tax-exempt political interest groups called 527s that can accept unlimited contributions. “The real key to this issue is, of course, enhanced disclosure, transparency and accountability,” Dreier said. “We are going to place much more of the onus on the lobbying community.” Democrats, who will present their own ethics reform package today, accused Republicans of sidestepping their own responsibility by shifting the blame onto lobbyists. “The very Republican members of Congress who put America up for sale to the highest bidder have neither the ability, nor the credibility, to lead us in a new direction,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., the leading Democrat on the House Rules Committee, which Dreier chairs. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, said many of the Republican reforms make sense, but noted that Hastert would have to approve every taxpayer-funded trip under the proposed reforms. He said Democrats need some assurance that the power will not be wielded with partisanship and suggested members be allow to use a small portion of their budget for travel. “We have to make sure we don’t invest more power in Hastert and call that ethics,” Sherman said. He and other Democrats and political analysts also criticized Republicans for ignoring campaign finance reform. “I think that they’re skirting the main part of the issue, which is the involvement of lobbyists in financing campaigns,” Sherman said. Added Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, “There’s nothing about campaign finance, and most of the money that’s involved is campaign money, not trips.” He called the proposal to ban lobbyists who once served in the House from the floor and the gym as a “feel-good thing” and said the extension of the waiting period for registering will make the current seamless transition from politicians to influence-peddler more cumbersome, but not impossible. Indeed, asked if he will ban lobbyist spouses of former lawmakers from the House floor or gym, Dreier said he had not thought about that. In the Senate, John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said they will propose reforms that include bans on private travel and eliminating earmarks. “We’ve reached a tipping point now where the American people are saying `enough,”‘ McCain said. Lobbyists are already banned from paying for trips, but approved interest groups and think tanks can finance travel for speeches, meetings and fact-finding trips. Lawmakers also can now accept only gifts valued at under $50, with a ceiling of $100 from any one individual per year. Under the new rules, gifts worth more than $20 would be off-limits. Said Stern, “These are all steps in the right direction. It’s certainly much better than it was a year ago. Unfortunately, it shows that scandal drives reform.” (202) 662-8731last_img

Sam Allardyce CONFIRMS Crystal Palace exit and reveals future plans

first_img Sam Allardyce has officially left Crystal Palace Sam Allardyce has confirmed he has stepped down as Crystal Palace manager, saying he has’ no ambitions to take another job’.Reports broke on Tuesday afternoon claiming the 62-year-old had decided to leave Selhurst Park, and he later released a statement to confirm the rumours.Allardyce revealed he has not left due to a falling out with Eagles chairman Steve Parish, and simply wishes to take a break from the game so he can ‘savour life while I’m still relatively young’.The former England manager also revealed he has no plans to look for another job.The statement released by Allardyce read: ‘In some ways, this has been a very difficult decision to make but in others it has been a simple one.‘I will always be grateful to Crystal Palace and Steve Parish for giving me the opportunity to go out with my head held high having helped keep the Club in the Premier League.‘More than, they gave me a chance of rebuilding my reputation after what happened with England. I felt I needed another shot at being a Premier League manager and in helping to achieve something. As I said last weekend, Palace gave me the chance of rehabilitation.‘That’s why it’s hard walking away now. I think the Club are heading in the right direction with a hugely supportive board of directors, a great squad of players and some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever met. It’s been a privilege to have worked here for the past five months.‘But there comes a time when you have to take stock of what direction you want your life to take – and that’s been the simple part for me.‘I want to be able to savour life while I’m still relatively young and when I’m still relatively healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, like travel, spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager.‘This is the right time for me. I have no ambitions to take another job, I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.‘Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations today. I know it came as a shock to him that I would walk away but our discussions have been incredibly civilised with no recriminations and no fall-out.‘This is not about transfer targets, finances or anything along those lines. This is me taking the decision I believe is right for my family and myself.‘I would like to thank everybody for their messages of support since the news broke. I’ve no doubt I will miss management but I certainly have no regrets at this decision.’Allardyce leaves Palace after guiding them to Premier League survival, having been appointed just prior to Christmas 2016. He won nine of his 24 games in charge, and confirmed the Eagles’ top flight place on the penultimate day of the season with a 4-0 win over Hull. 1last_img read more

Can you name Premier League’s costliest Brazilian? Top 20 revealed and ranked

first_img 21 21 21 21 21 =20. Sandro – Tottenham Hotspur (2010) – £8million 21 3. Robinho – Manchester City (2008) – £32.5million 18. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool (2012) – £11.05million 17. Gabriel Paulista – Arsenal (2014) – £11.3million 21 11. Jô – Manchester City (2008) – £19million 16. Fernando – Manchester City (2014) – £12million 21 21 21 =12. Paulinho – Tottenham Hotspur (2013) – £17million 21 21 Chelsea are rumoured to be on the verge of signing Juventus fullback Alex Sandro for a club-record £61million.The Brazilian defender caught the eye for the Old Lady as they secured the Serie A title and progressed to the Champions League final against Real Madrid.Antonio Conte is set to raid his former club as he attempts to launch a credible challenge on both domestic and European fronts.Sandro will be joining fellow Brazilians David Luiz, Willian and Kenedy at Stamford Bridge, at a club that has always valued South American talent.But which other Brazilians have commanded the biggest transfer fees after joining a Premier League club?Here, talkSPORT takes a look at the 20 most expensive Brazilians to have been signed by English teams. Click the right arrow, above, to view the slideshow…. 21 21 =12. Ramires – Chelsea (2010) – £17million 7. Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City (2016) – £27million 21 14. Filipe Luís – Chelsea (2014) – £15.8million 9. David Luiz – Chelsea (2011) – £21.25million 1. Ederson Moraes – Manchester City (2017) – £35million 8. Anderson – Manchester United (2007) – £26.78million 2. Fernandinho – Manchester City (2013) – £34million 15. Afonso Alves – Middlesbrough (2007) – £12.5million 21 21 21 21 21 4. Willian – Chelsea (2013) – £30million 6. Roberto Firmino – Liverpool (2015) – £29million 21 10. Oscar – Chelsea (2012) – £19.35million =20. Elano – Manchester City (2007) – £8million 5. David Luiz – Chelsea (2016) – £29.75million 19. Alex – Chelsea (2007) – £8.5million last_img read more


first_imgCharlie Collins: Back talking sportVOICE of Sport Charlie Collins has launched his first podcast.The former Highland Radio man, who quit the station earlier this month, had made it clear he was not retiring….just resigning.His job at the station has been taken by Shaun Doherty. Last night Collins launche the inaugural episode of “Charlie Collins Talking Sport”, and a new weekly podcast hosted by Charlie Collins and featuring the  voices in sport in the North West.For his first show Charlie is joined by Rory Kennedy, Brendan Kilcoyne and Chris McNulty to discuss a range of topics, focussing on this weekend’s key local sports fixtures – The Donegal International Rally, happening all weekend, and the Donegal v Down Ulster Championship Semi-Final taking place on Sunday.You can listen to it here:    VOICE OF SPORT CHARLIE COLLINS STEPS INTO DIGITAL AGE WITH SPORTS PODCAST was last modified: June 20th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:VOICE OF SPORT CHARLIE COLLINS STEPS INTO DIGITAL AGE WITH SPORTS PODCASTlast_img read more


first_imgA fine ram is auctioned at last year’s event.The Poor Farmers Auction in Ardara has managed to raise another €17,870 – bringing the total money generated in the past nine years to more than €200,000.Everything from sheep to signed jerseys were auctioned at Teague’s Bar in the town this week at what was another hugely-successful and fun event.The auction has now become one of the highlights of the year in Ardara. This year’s theme was ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and many who turned up on the night wore fancy dress, adding to the craic on the night.The €17,870 raised this week was divided between the Killybegs Hospice Suite, Donegal Alzheimer’s branch and cancer Care West.Well done to al who took part on the night.   POOR FARMERS AUCTION IN ARDARA PASSES €200,000 WITH ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT! was last modified: December 31st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ArdaradonegalPoor Farmer’s AuctionTeague’s Barlast_img read more

Mitochondrial Clock Untrustworthy

first_imgA major assumption of the “molecular clock” dating method has been called into question.  If so, Science Now describes the impact on current theories:“Mitochondrial Eve,” the hypothetical mother of all modern humans who lived about 150,000 years ago, might be lying about her age.  A key assumption in determining how long ago she lived—that molecules of mitochondrial DNA do not swap segments with one another—is false, researchers now say.  Their findings call into question a multitude of findings in evolution, early human migration, and even the relations between languages.The mitochondria in our cells, organelles that provide the ATP power supply, contain small amounts of DNA.  You may have heard that we inherit this mitochondrial DNA only from our mothers.  Now, scientists have found evidence that male mitochondrial DNA can be inherited, and might be mixed in with the rest of the mitochondrial DNA.  Since “the implications are that this is going on all the time in our cells,” that would render it untrustworthy as a genealogical tracer and dating method.    An announcement about evidence for recombination in human mitochondrial DNA was published in the May 14 issue of Science.1Kraytsberg et al., “Recombination of Human Mitochondrial DNA,” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5673, 981, 14 May 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1096342].If confirmed, this calls into question many studies on presumed evolutionary history.  Mitochondrial DNA’s history “is clearly not as clean as people had thought.  Or people had wished,” lamented one molecular biologist.  The wishers are the dreamers in the Darwin Party, who are waking up from one of their favorite dreams to find out it was just … a dream.    Harrub and Thompson have a good section on “the demise of mitochondrial Eve” and the problems with the molecular clock hypothesis in their new book, The Truth About Human Origins (Apologetics Press, 2004, ch. 3).  Unfortunately, some creationists had joined the Mitochondrial Eve bandwagon, thinking it supported the Biblical story of a single human pair.  It had problems years ago (see 10/31/2000 headline).  This should be a lesson on the folly of trusting any tale about the unobservable past coming from the Darwin Sand & Gravel Co.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more