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first_imgLOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Pau Soriano and Rosemarie Vargas led the Cool Smashers, who have played without skipper Alyssa Valdez since the end of the elimination round, with 11 points apiece while Cesca Raqraquin and Rizza Mandapat combined for 16.And all that scoring began from the playmaking of the league’s Best Setter Jia Morado who put up 34 excellent sets.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 shutoutMary Ann Pantino led the Lady Jet Spikers with seven points. LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCreamline got a head start in the race for the bronze medal after putting down Philippine Air Force, 25-16, 25-21, 25-19, in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Cool Smashers, who went on an 8-0 tear early in the competition, lost two straight to Bali Pure in the Final Four and will now settle for a crack at third place.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss PLAY LIST 02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending 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 ‘Pool queens’ eye 1-2 billiards finish for PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses View commentslast_img read more

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first_imgBrazil were knocked out of Copa America after Paraguay beat them 2-0 on penalties during their quarter-final match in Buenos Aires, on Sunday.A day after hosts Argentina slid out, also on penalties, to Uruguay, the shocks kept coming as Venezuela reached the semi-finals for the first time with a gutsy 2-1 win over fancied Chile. But the real shock of the day was Brazil -not so much for their exit but the apparent paucity of their ambition.They had chances -Ganso and Pato brought good saves from Justo Villar in the Paraguayan goal and Fred, who rescued a dramatic draw between the two nations a week earlier in the group stage, had a header cleared off the line. But much of their play was laboured, while their penalty-taking was woeful.Paraguay’s Justo Villar saves a penalty shot by Thiago SilvaMarcelo Estigarribia and Christian Riveros converted for the Paraguayans while Elano, Thiago Silva, Andre Santos and Fred missed for the eight-time continental champions.”When you lose you know you made some mistakes,” said Brazil coach Mano Menezes, who blamed the poor state of the penalty spot for the dreadful finale.”This happens in football and we have to live with it. The object has always been to get a strong team together for the World Cup in 2014.” The five-time world champions host that and will want to provide much better fare for their fans than they did here.Brazil forward Robinho tried to put a positive gloss on the defeat. “I think we played a good Copa overall. But now we must keep our heads up and go on to lift the World Cup in our homeland,” said the Milan striker.advertisementIn an ugly incident, Lucas Leiva of Brazil and Paraguay’s Antolin Alcaraz were sent off for a tussle which sparked an injury- time free-for-all.Robinho joined Ganso and strike pair Pato and Neymar, the four comprising Menezes’s magic quartet. But they could not provide the necessary spark against tough opponents who gave no quarter. Paraguay boss Gerardo Martino rejigged his side as top striker Roque Santa Cruz missed out through injury.If they rode their luck at times, they ultimately won through sheer dogged rearguard resistance. With five minutes remaining Brazil should have stolen it but Fred, who poached a lastgasp leveller against the same rivals a week earlier, saw his header cleared off the line.”We showed a lot of heart,” said Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino, though he admitted: Brazil should probably have won it over the 90 minutes. In the other quarter-final, Oswaldo Vizcarrondo gave Venezuela a 34th-minute lead only for Humberto Suazo to level midway through the second half.But just as extra-time seemed to be on the way once again Gabriel Cichero struck from close range to spark scenes of joy among the travelling Venezuelan fans and leave the Chileans, four- times finalists, stunned.The giant-killers will now go up against the Paraguayans, whose last title came in 1979, in a Wednesday semi at Mendoza after Uruguay first take on Peru at La Plata.Coach Cesar Farias was delighted -if in more restrained fashion. “The happiness we feel gives us the desire to keep on in the same vein,” said Farias. But he added that winning the semi would be a tall order.”Paraguay are a strong team and they will start favourites,” insisted Farias.With inputs from Agencieslast_img read more

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first_imgSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ NU trounces JRU Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Petron and F2 Logistics were locked in Game 2 of their PSL AFC best-of-three title series at press time.Coach Joven Racelis said La Salle learned valuable lessons facing tough UAAP teams who, he admitted, intimidated the members of his team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“We were star-struck and very conscious [before], and fortunately we faced a team which we think is in equal footing with us,” said Racelis. “So I told the players, let’s just get the experience and make the most out of it.”Joven added: “This is something we cherish no matter what, because we played in a semi-professional league and our last game at MOA Arena.” Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss La Salle-Dasmariñas finally broke into the win column after downing Colegio San Agustin-Biñan, 25-23, 25-18, 21-25, 25-16, Tuesday night in the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam (CGS) at Mall of Asia Arena.Eunice Castillo and Cyrille Ramos and powered the Lady Patriots with 16 and 14 points, respectively, as they nailed their only win in the CGS, which is being played simultaneously with the PSL All-Filipino Conference.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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first_imgComparing India with China, coach Nandi believes India Comparing India with China, coach Nandi believes India has a bright future ahead in Gymnastics.”Seeing Dipa, others will also get inspired and by 2020 we will have atleast 2-3 more girls participating in gymnastics. We have a long way to go,” he said.”China started before us, in 2008 they won 8 medals. But this time out of the entire team, only one qualified for the finals. We have participated for the 1st time and were very close to a medal,” he added.Overwhelmed by the reception she received on her arrival, the gymnast said she still feels disappointed about missing the medal by the smallest of margins.”I was touched by the welcome I received, considering I didnt get a medal. I didnt expect this kind of welcome. It would have been nice had I won a medal, now I have to definitely do something in Tokyo for the people of India,” Dipa said.Trying to fulfill her fathers dreams who wanted her to join gymnastics, Dipas inspiration came in the form of Ashish Kumar who won the Bronze medal in gymnastics in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”My father liked gymnastics he wanted me to pursue it. Earlier I was not interested but when I saw Ashish bhaiya winning in 2010 and I thought girls should also win,” she said. PTI APA PM PMlast_img read more

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first_img Persons living in low-lying areas prone to flooding can be forcibly removed under law, once this threat has been identified, says Director General, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Major Clive Davis. Story Highlights “The law permits me under certain conditions to move anybody or anything… once a threat is identified (or) a threat is imminent. There are certain conditions that have to be met, and once the Prime Minister signs (off) on that, then it gives me, as the Director General, certain powers to then act in a certain manner, and we will do it to save lives. We have not done it since 2015 when that Act came into being,” he notes. Major Davis was speaking to journalists following a presentation on the country’s readiness for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, at a Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on June 7. Persons living in low-lying areas prone to flooding can be forcibly removed under law, once this threat has been identified, says Director General, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Major Clive Davis.“The law permits me under certain conditions to move anybody or anything… once a threat is identified (or) a threat is imminent. There are certain conditions that have to be met, and once the Prime Minister signs (off) on that, then it gives me, as the Director General, certain powers to then act in a certain manner, and we will do it to save lives. We have not done it since 2015 when that Act came into being,” he notes.Major Davis was speaking to journalists following a presentation on the country’s readiness for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, at a Rotary Club of Kingston luncheon held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on June 7.The Disaster Risk Management Act seeks to strengthen the country’s overall national disaster preparedness, emergency management and response processes and mechanisms through a range of measures.These measures include giving recognition to existing organisational structures such as the National Disaster Committee, Parish Disaster Committees and Zonal Committees with their roles and functions clearly established; provisions to legally evacuate persons identified as being at risk, based on their location; identifying and earmarking high-risk areas as especially vulnerable areas; and financing the National Disaster Fund (NDF).“We prefer to do moral suasion. We want to go in and we want to have the discussions; we want people to know their vulnerability, and we want people to get up and move because you could die, but if they are not moving, we will have to do it,” he emphasised.He said engagement with residents, as well as proper coordination of the evacuation efforts starting with warning and public education systems, have already commenced in several communities.Major Davis said sensitisation sessions have been conducted in communities on the south coast, primarily in the parish of Clarendon (Rocky Point); sections of the Rio Grande Valley in Portland; and in communities in St. James. He added that the sessions will continue.The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is projected to be near or above normal with 10 to 16 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes (category three and above).The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.last_img read more

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first_imgAs more and more cargo arrives to one of Europe’s leading ports, the Port of Hamburg, the port authorities have recorded an above average growth compared to their neigbouring competitors, especially in the container traffic. zoom World Maritime News Staff, September 15, 2014center_img 6.6 % growthseaborne cargo handling in 1HVarious factors have contributed to the growth, including considerable investment projects aimed at streamlining the existing cargo handling operations and those to be brought by even larger ships.Keeping up with the trend of being able to welcome ever bigger ships is an arduous task,  as various challenges arise in terms of logistics, planning and operational capacity.World Maritime News staff wanted to find out more about how the port is staying competitive despite congestion issues and delays and hear about the future plans for the port, so we spoke with Mr Axel Mattern, Chef Executive Officer at the Port of Hamburg and Mr Benght van Beuningen, Head of Communication and Information at the port.WMN: Recently you published the results for the first six months of 2014. What factors attributed to the record-breaking volumes of seaborne cargo?Axel Mattern, Chief Executive Officer at Port of Hamburg: “Basically, on the one side it is the development of break bulk cargoes, mainly agricultural products originating from central European markets. Of course, container figures are the main contributing factor to the growth. And then, this is followed by import and export, and normal continental cargo going via Hamburg into the European markets including transit cargo, transshipmentargo,  feeder cargo being shipped via Hamburg to the Baltic Sea heading for Russia, Poland etc. Poland has for us been the most interesting country for the last few years, since it is the fastest growing country in our hinterland. The biggest growing figure in Hamburg pertains to feeder shipping to Poland (33% increase from last year). This is believed to be the case because container ship transport prices are a little bit cheaper that that of trucks and rail.”WMN: What is the next step for the port, both in terms of investment and infrastructural capacity?Bengt van Beuningen, Head of Communications & Information at the Port of Hamburg: “Port of Hamburg, together with the State of Hamburg and the Federal Government of Germany has already invested heavily in the infrastructure of the port commencing with the start of the economic crisis. Now we already have better infrastructure at the port so we can invest in an intelligent way. We have already restructured the port’s rail system since 2007 with an investment of 300 million Euros. The port’s rail system is owned by the State of Hamburg and spans on around 330 km of rail tracks in the port, making Hamburg the biggest rail port in Europe.”Mattern: “In terms of investment, we are targeting more IT solutions and networks so that we have the possibility to utilize all the different information from different means of transportation in order to better organize our resources and prepare things in advance and anticipate the needs of handling the cargo. However, this is a very complex topic to solve. Nevertheless, Hamburg is quite far in developing this and we are very eager to show the world what the future of ports will be, so we are  hosting the 29th IAPH World Ports Conference next June.”WMN:  The port recently inaugurated the berth at Container Terminal Burchardkai capable of handling 18,000 TEU container ships. Has the port berthed any of these mega-ships so far, and how will the introduction of this berth affect your 2H results?Bengt van Beuningen: “The biggest ship to berth at the terminal so far has been CMA CGM’s 16 000 TEU ship.”Mattern: “In terms of influence of these bigger ships, the fact is that all of the ports, including Rotterdam and Antwerp will have to cope with this size of ships. The more difficult part from navigating these ships into the harbour is the operational segment. To handle these ships at the terminals is not a problem, but an issue that arises is: how fast do we get these volumes of containers offloaded? We are talking about 8,000-10, ooo moves per ship and that is unbelievable.Burchardkai has eight berths for these big ships and in the worst situation you have four or five of these ships simultaneously at the terminal. Hence, handling of each ship in Hamburg includes on average a great deal more moves than in any other port. What is interesting is that we in Hamburg have the same import and export percentage. Big container liner companies can discharge and load again in Hamburg fairly the same volumes. This on the other hand makes it extremely difficult for the Hamburg terminal operators because they have these huge volumes of containers to handle. And, if you get caught up in a situation that you have two ships at the same terminal at the same time undergoing the same operation then you have to “get rid” of the containers from the terminal as fast as possible sending them to truck, trains and feeder barges. Therefore, as we receive more and more of these bigger ships the challenge is getting bigger for the terminals.”WMN: How would you describe the current situation with respect to congestion issues and delays at the port? What have been the main reasons behind this trend? Mattern: “The congestion issues started before Christmas last year. Liner ships were clocking up delay days due to various reasons including slow steaming, bad weather in the Indian ocean, the Mediterranean etc. Presently, liner ship companies don’t have the power or the possibility to steam a little bit more knots because it is more expensive for them and they won’t do it. On the other hand, the shippers were delivering containers to the ports on schedule.As a result, all the liner companies are caught up in longer delays. Currently, the average delay of all the liner ships is seven days compared to their respective schedules. As a way of dealing with the delays, liners used to charter in additional ships into the system just to be able to  get the cargo from the terminals on schedule. Now they cannot do that, as it costs more money, so they continue as it is, as nobody has extra money to spare.”Speaking of when the port could to restore to normal operation, our interlocutors said that this is very hard to predict, however van Beuningen explained that one way to do so could be “a better logistics information and planning. So, if you are a carrier and you know that your ship is delayed for two days, a solution would be to inform the shipper early on not to export any more export cargo  to the terminal.”Mattern: “Hence, steps need to be taken to make available this kind of information to shippers, truckers etc. We need a system to reach truckers coming from Belarus, Romania so as to enable them to organize their work better. Because, it doesn’t make sense to have truck traffic stuck somewhere in the port. If a truck driver knows that he can deliver a container tomorrow he could easily wait outside the port and avoid these traffic jams.As a ways to combat these issues, we have started work on trucker apps, also, we have public information in and outside of the port with displays showing traffic situation at the terminals.”WMN: You mentioned Russia as one of cargo destinations. Are the recent sanctions imposed on Russia going to affect your projections of 145 million tonnes of handled cargo?Mattern: “The Russian market is very important for Hamburg, we are a hub port of a kind for Russia, seeing that they do not have the capability to receive big ships directly.The sanctions have not been really affecting the figures for the time being. The European trade to Russia is being affected, but that trade is not necessarily going via ports. If the sanctions were applied to cargoes coming from South America or China, the cargo figures in the Port of Hamburg would be affected. We have identified 40,000 TEUs which theoretically could be affected by the sanctions, mainly cargo such as food, but we expect that such cargo which was thus far coming from the EU will now be coming from China and South America. We are observing the situation very closely, we have an office in St. Petersburg with our two colleagues monitoring the situation, but in general, the situation is very unpredictable, seeing that even the mood in Russia is affecting trade figures.”WMN: Speaking of St. Petersburg and the latest reception hosted by the Port of Hamburg there on the topic of Germany-Russia business ties, what is to be expected when it comes to the trade relations between Russia and the Port of Hamburg specifically?Mattern: “The conclusions reached at the reception are that we as the Port of Hamburg community are a little bit different in our view of the matter compared to the official stand of our Federal Government of Germany. From our perspective, we are trying to do business as usual, there is no politics there.The main message of the reception is that both sides will try to keep the attitude of business as usual.”WMN: What procedures have you established to deal with the Ebola outbreak?Mattern:  “The trade between the Port of Hamburg and West Africa constitutes a rather small percentage overall, seeing that our main trading areas are Northern and Southern Africa. What we heard from our members and partners is that they had to change some liner service schedules, and to change port calls in these countries, in order to take the Ebola affected countries out of rotation, and to call at their ports separately.However, the issue is not really affecting the Port of Hamburg right now. I am sure that in the end we will see cargo handling in these countries drop, but our total figures will be unaffected by the drop.”WMN: What have been  your latest projects at the Port?Mattern: “One major project is the river Elbe dredging from the open sea to Hamburg. It is of utmost importance for the Port to get the draught of the river Elbe dredged for an additional one meter. We do not have to dredge the entire river, just a few parts. We have been planning this project for 12 years now, and along the way we have faced so many different protests, activities, as well as new regulations from the EU. We had our court case hearing  in June, and we expect the final decision on the matter on October 2.”WMN: What would be the consequences of having this dredging project denied by court?Mattern: “The consequences of not doing the project would be that the port operations will remain as they are now. That would be unfortunate, but I do not think the world would crumble if the project was denied. The deepening of the river would allow us to handle the increasing amounts of cargo that have been coming from Rotterdam and Antwerp in the recent years.  It would ease operating and navigating ships into the port. However, the depth is not the biggest issue for Hamburg, because  we are a turning point for liner services, and the ships do not really need the depth in Hamburg. On the other hand, we need the breadth for the river navigation because the amount of ships calling at the port is rising, and in order to accommodate these ships, we need to widen the river Elbe.Our river pilots and our IT systems are already at a stage where they could be more effective than they are right now. When you look at the order books of major shipyards, the number of big ships being built matches the current number of big ships in service, and seeing that Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg are the only ports handling these big ships, we have to cope with that and therefore we need these widenings.If we don’t get the approval for the river Elbe dredging project, then we will lose the cargo to Rotterdam, which I do not mind, but the fact is that Rotterdam is not so well connected to the rail system as Hamburg, thus we will have more cargo on the road. I do not think that would be the best solution for the European transportation system.”Speaking of the future, Mattern said: “I believe that ports of the future are those which are optimally linked to the hinterland transport systems, because that is what the client needs, the client needs the cargo in Prague, Vienna, etc.; and at the end of the day, it does not really matter if that cargo came from Hamburg, as long as we have the best possible transport solution in place.For us, it is really the question of European partnership, we all need the ports, we need the transportation systems, otherwise we would not be able to handle the cargo volumes. When you look at all these projections saying the cargo volumes will be increasing, bringing even more challenges, we need appropriate infrastructure, the example being the Kiel Canal, which is very important for the whole Baltic waterway traffic. More ships traverse through the Kiel Canal than through the Suez and Panama Canal put together. The overall transportation infrastructure in Germany is an acute problem, seeing that the system is underfinanced by 7 billion Euros each year.”last_img read more

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first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Viking Line The first steel plates have been cut for Viking Line’s new passenger cruise ship at the Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (XSI) shipyard in China, marking the start of the ship’s construction.Described as one of the most climate-smart ships in the world by its owner, the new cruise ferry will be fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG).The new vessel will have the capacity for  2,800 persons and a cargo capacity of 1,500 lane metres. It will be larger than M/S Viking Grace, featuring a length of 218 metres and gross tonnage 63,000 tonnes.The design of the new LNG-fueled newbuild is expected to cut its fuel consumption by 10 percent compared to its predecessor. In addition to optimized energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly solutions on board, the ship will be designated with Ice class 1 A Super.The new ferry will be launched for operation in early 2021 on the Turku–Åland–Stockholm route.“We want to provide our guests with unprecedented views of the archipelago. Our company’s roots are in the archipelago, and we wish this fact to be reflected in our activities. On the new ship, the views are unobstructed, and one can experience the overall presence of the sea. To protect our unique marine environment, we utilize innovative technologies. Tomorrow’s passenger experiences will incorporate an emphasis on environmental factors and comfort,” explains Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line.The ship is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2020. Partners on the project include Wärtsilä, ABB Marine, Kone, Koncept Stockholm, Deltamarin, and, Almaco, among others.last_img read more

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first_imgMONTREAL – Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan was remembered by Canadian politicians on Saturday as a friend of Canada and tireless advocate for peace around the world.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former prime minister Paul Martin were among the Canadians who added their voices to the tributes pouring from around the globe following the death of the Ghanian diplomat.The Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday at the age of 80 following a short illness, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced.Martin, whose tenure as prime minister overlapped with Annan’s as secretary-general, described his friend as “one of the greats.”“He had a very broad vision which enveloped everybody, and he was always looking ahead,” he told The Canadian Press.“He was one of those few people who were able to understand it wasn’t just the rich and powerful nations that counted … that the rich and powerful nations were going to be very dependent, ultimately, on the poorer nations doing well.”Martin, who worked with Annan on several occasions, said he believed the former UN head would be remembered most for his commitment to multilateral institutions in an age of globalization.“In today’s age, when many of the world’s leaders seem to think the national interest can prevail against the global interest, that was certainly not his view, it would not have been his view and he expressed it unequivocally,” he said.Martin said his strongest memory of his friend was a phone conversation the two had after he retired from politics, when Annan called to ask him co-chair a body that dealt with the future of the African Development Bank.Their long conversation was, as usual, “about the world, and how we all fit into it,” he said.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed his condolences on social media, saying Annan made the world a better place.“Kofi Annan didn’t just talk about building a more just and peaceful world, he dedicated his life to doing it — and the world is a better place because of him,” Trudeau said on his official Twitter account.“It’s now up to all of us to carry his work forward.”Former governor general Michaelle Jean also expressed her respect for Annan, who she called a “tireless peacemaker.”“From my friend #KofiAnnan, who saw the world fall into horror, I retain this confession, his dilemma: ‘How can the (United Nations) defend its raison d’etre if it fails to stand up in the defence of human rights above all?’” she wrote in French on her official Twitter account.Martin said Annan had a great love and affection for Canada that was clear every time he visited.“He loved Canada, he did visit Canada many times, and was always open to discussing issues, whether he was here or in New York, and he didn’t hide his affection for Canada,” Martin said. “It was evident always.”One of those visits occurred in early 2004, when Annan praised the country’s bilingual and multicultural character in an address to Parliament.“Throughout the years, Canada has been a pillar of support for the United Nations,” reads a text of Annan’s speech on the United Nations website.“Indeed, it’s hard to imagine the United Nations without Canada and, I might even say, it has become hard to imagine Canada without the United Nations.”A more recent visit came in 2016, when he attended the One Young World summit in Ottawa.There, he showed a lighter side of his personality by joking about a time when he thought he had been recognized by fans while on vacation, only to realize he’d been mistaken for actor Morgan Freeman.He later moved on to more serious topics, telling the young attendees in a panel discussion that they all had a part to play in countering the rise of radical extremism, even through simple actions such as standing up to bullies or denouncing injustice.“We have to have the courage to speak up and not allow a small group to intimidate a whole nation, or hijack a whole religion, and allow them to get away with it because of silence,” he said.Many current and former world leaders, including former U.S. president Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, have also responded publicly to Annan’s death.last_img read more

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first_imgThe winner of the contest will be announced on Monday, March 19th at 11:00 a.m. local time on CBC Radio One’s q. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Dawson Creek-based Scarlet Sway was announced yesterday as one of the Top 10 finalists in the CBC Music 2018 Searchlight contest.The group, which has performed at Northern GrooveFest, CanolaFest, and GrizFest in addition to a number of other local music venues, made the Top 10 after placing in the top five for number of votes out of the Top 100 that were announced last week. Searchlight is an annual competition by CBC Music to discover up-and-coming musicians from across the country, with the winner partaking in a residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary, as well as getting to perform at JUNOFest 2019.Scarlet Sway is joined in the Top 10 by two other bands from B.C.: Vancouver-based The Kwerks who also placed in the top five for votes, and Victoria-based Fallbrigade which was chosen among the other five on the list by CBC Music producers. The contest’s panel of judges, which includes Universal Music Canada V.P. Kristen Burke and Juno Awards President and CEO Allan Reid, will now decide which of the Top 10 artists will be the ultimate winner of Searchlight 2018.last_img read more

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Rabat – Police at the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca have arrested arrested a 51-year-old Chinese woman, who was under an international arrest warrant filed by the French judicial police for kidnapping.A statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), said that the police arrested the suspect on Monday.The Moroccan police arrested the suspect upon her arrival from Abu Dhabi. She was the subject of an Interpol red notice after being convicted in absentia by the French court for kidnapping her minor son, who she took out of France without the  permission of her ex-husband.Police put the suspect in custody for further investigation, pending the extradition procedure.The arrest is part of the DGSN services to reinforce international cooperation mechanism in security.Throughout the year, Moroccan police arrested a number of suspects under international arrest warrants. The latest operation took place in Marrakech on May 11, when DGSN members arrested a Danish national.The 30-year old suspect was arrested for his involvement in a fraud.In addition to its action against international wanted suspects, Morocco is also involved in several counter-terrorism projects in collaboration with the international community.Moroccan law enforcement is also working with international bodies on operations including tracking suspects involved in undocumented migration networks, and the fight against illegal psychotropic drug traffickers. read more

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MONTREAL — Growth in the number of passengers Air Canada carries could prompt it to order more narrow-body aircraft from Boeing and Bombardier, the airline said.The country’s largest carrier has placed firm orders for 61 Boeing 737 Max and 45 Bombardier C Series jets, but the number of aircraft was based on its requirements in 2013.Air Canada also has options and rights to purchase 48 more Boeing planes and an additional 30 CS300 aircraft to give it more flexibility to meet increased demand.“So obviously there is some pretty great opportunities there to expand that and exercise more, but obviously it won’t affect 2018 in any fashion,” CEO Calin Rovinescu said Wednesday as the airline posted record quarterly revenue and profits.The first two Boeing 737 Max planes will arrive this year and 16 more by next June. The remaining aircraft are scheduled to be delivered through 2021.Delivery of the first C Series jets are slated to be added for late 2019, through 2022.The comments came as Air Canada (TSX:AC) reported a third-quarter profit of $1.79 billion or $6.44 per diluted share, boosted by a one-time $793-million tax recovery. That compared with a profit of $768 million or $2.74 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.On an adjusted basis, Air Canada earned $950 million or $3.43 per diluted share in the quarter, up from $821 million or $2.93 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016.Meanwhile, revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 totalled $4.88 billion, up from $4.45 billion on a large growth in business cabin revenues and the carrying of a record 14 million passengers.Passenger traffic was up 8.8 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, while passenger revenue per available seat mile increased 0.4 per cent.Rovinescu said that expressions of interest from bank and non-bank financial institutions wanting to become a credit card partner for its new loyalty program will be submitted by year-end with a request for proposals coming in early 2018.“There has been a tremendous amount of interest from the financial community,” he said.The airline served notice in May that it does not plan to renew its partnership with Aeroplan parent Aimia (TSX:AIM) when the current contract ends. Aeroplan used to be a division of Air Canada before it was spun off as part of its restructuring.Air Canada has invited key financial institutions to participate in bids to join the launch of the program on July 1, 2020.Rovinescu added that Air Canada has also been approached by several technology companies interested in a separate request for proposal, or RFP, that will also be issued early next year. read more

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This is an excerpt from “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team” by Ben Lindbergh, a writer for FiveThirtyEight, and Sam Miller, the editor in chief of Baseball Prospectus. (The book was published this week by Henry Holt and Co.) In the summer of 2015, Lindbergh and Miller took over the baseball operations department of an independent-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, putting their sabermetric beliefs to the test with actual professional players. As spring training approached, they compensated for their lack of connections, tight budget and even tighter time frame by using statistics to scour the country for overlooked talent.As proud as we are of our Baptista heist, Sam and I still want to prove that we can find players who wouldn’t have been blips on the Stompers’ screen without us. What we want is a source of talent that the other teams in the Pacific Association aren’t already mining: a good, old-fashioned market inefficiency, like the one the Oakland A’s exploited in the “Moneyball” era when they targeted players with high on-base percentages, or the one the Tampa Bay Rays leveraged years later, when they realized that their opponents’ emphasis on power bats made it easier to sign players with good gloves at a discount. The problem is that inefficiencies like these are increasingly difficult to find.What sets us apart from our competitors in the Pacific Association, and theoretically gives us an edge, isn’t our meager budget, our nonexistent network of contacts in the indy-league grapevine, or our untested scouting skills. It’s our ability to find the significance in statistics, either on our own or through our relationships with the leading lights of the sabermetric community, who can crunch numbers in extremely sophisticated ways. We could search for wrongly released players by sifting through last season’s stats from the minors and upper-level indy leagues, but that method wouldn’t be the best use of our time. Players who’ve had any recent success at higher levels won’t want to sign with us until they’ve exhausted all their other options, which might mean waiting until midseason. For now, we need to aim lower. Baseball has a caste system, and at our level we’re trafficking in Untouchables. Although Chris promises results soon, it takes him some time to deliver. That’s understandable — we aren’t paying him, and plenty of others are — but as the days stretch into weeks, I start torturing myself by checking his Twitter feed a few times a day to see what else he’s working on. He’s a sports polymath (emphasis on the math), and he’s on an NCAA volleyball analytics kick. Thanks to a little light stalking, I learn a lot about the best volleyball schools, but Sam and I are no closer to building a baseball team. I send emails asking for updates at what I deem to be socially acceptable intervals. Finally, one of them works. The long-awaited rankings arrive.Chris cautions me that “99.9 percent of the talent is sucked away in the draft,” but I can almost hear the heavenly choir as my cursor hovers over the file. That remaining 0.1 percent could be the key to the Stompers’ season. I open the list of all players, create another spreadsheet of players who did get drafted, and filter the latter from the former, leaving only the undrafted guys. (When our story gets made into a movie, the spreadsheet-opening montage will make for an exciting scene.) There are hundreds of rows, each of them containing a name, a school, a division, a position, an at-bats or innings total, and a few columns of hitting or pitching stats, both raw and adjusted. Each player receives an “Index” score, based on adjusted on-base percentage and slugging percentage for hitters and those same stats allowed for pitchers (Column R).After additional begging by me, Chris also sends us estimates of each catcher’s “framing” skill — his ability to catch pitches in a way that makes umpires more likely to call strikes — based on the percentage of taken pitches that are called strikes when he’s behind the plate versus the percentage of taken pitches called strikes when the same pitchers are throwing to different catchers. On the phone, Chris suggests that we “find some senior guy who’s the best framer in all of the NCAA but wasn’t drafted. That would be an interesting guy to invite to a camp.”He’s reading my mind. “If you could find one who’s left-handed, he might have to get a restraining order against Ben,” Sam says. The majors haven’t seen a left-hander who played catcher as his primary position since before the birth of the American League, and no left-handed catcher has caught even an inning since 1989. The anti-lefty bias seems based more on superstition than sense, with explanations usually citing theoretical impediments (can’t throw to third; trouble applying tags) that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Chris agrees. “I think the bias against left-handed-throwing catchers is pretty stupid,” he says. He’s my statistical spirit animal. Embed Code By Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller The official Sonoma Stompers team photo. Pitchers have a weird trick, too. “I think there’s going to be a place for some junkball pitchers, guys that scouts wouldn’t touch because their fastball velocity is too low, but they did still strike out guys using a variety of off-speed stuff,” Chris says. “Some of those guys are going to do quite well at that level of competition. Put it this way: They did well in college. If your level of competition is at the level of good D1, for example, there’s still room for junkball pitching.”College stats are difficult to work with, which explains why, until very recently, major league teams all but ignored them when compiling their predraft rankings. College players face dramatically different levels of competition depending on whether they’re in Division I, II, or III, and even within each division there are significant variations from conference to conference. “An average D1 school is going to beat an average D2 baseball team about 70 percent of the time,” Chris says. “It’s not like 98 percent or anything. There’s a bit of luck, and the spread isn’t that huge.” Still, the gap between divisions and schools is large enough that one can get into trouble trying to go on gut feel or surface stats.On top of the interdivisional differences, there’s enormous variability from game to game: Some hitters beat up on bad weekday pitching that would pale in comparison to the Pacific Association’s, but look overmatched against stronger weekend starters. There’s also unevenness in climate, ballpark dimensions, and playing surfaces. Before players can be compared on an even footing, we have to take into account the diversity in environments that makes raw stats at certain schools far less impressive than the same stats would be elsewhere.To do his draft work, Chris built a repository of college statistics by “scraping” information from school websites and parsing it into a database-friendly form. By comparing players’ production at each park with their production elsewhere, he can isolate the statistical impact of every home field. And by comparing players’ performance against each opponent with their performance in all other games, he can also assess the impact of each school’s strength of schedule. Apply the appropriate adjustments to each player’s actual stats, and the result is a ranking of every player’s production on the same scale, independent of division and environment. With the confounding effects of location and competition neutralized, we can compare Division III hitters in good pitchers’ parks to Division I hitters in bandboxes, based purely on their play. This should save us from signing a “slugger” who posted gaudy stats against guys throwing garbage in the college equivalent of Coors Field.“The starting point would be, you really want to identify the best of the seniors that did not get drafted, and also didn’t return to college,” Chris says. He says he’ll send us his adjustments for every school, along with the real prize, rankings of every fourth-year college player from 2013 and 2014. This is our favorite phone call ever.Listening to Chris, Sam and I realize, much to our relief, that we’ve found an organizing principle for our Stompers star search. Chris’s stats will make the world seem smaller and more manageable, transforming a confusing array of unknown names and unverified claims into objective rankings like the ones we’re used to. We’ll operate under the theory that a player capable of posting elite stats in college could hold his own in the Pacific Association, one of the lowest rungs on the professional ladder. And if the stats insist that someone can play, we won’t rule him out based on body type, facial structure, or fastball speed. We’re the Ellis Island of the indy leagues. Give us your small, your soft-throwing, your huddled middle infielders yearning to play for (almost) free. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Ben with his clipboard at a tryout. There’s only one level of competition that combines a decent statistical record with players who’d probably be happy to hear from us: college. Every June, the thirty major league teams cull the best college talent in the forty-round amateur draft, leaving only the undesirables behind. But MLB scouting directors work with the far future in mind: Although they know that only a tiny percentage of their selections will work out, every player drafted — aside from a few nepotism picks — has a backer who believes he has some shot, however remote, at developing into a big leaguer. We aren’t worried about long-term potential; we care only about what players can do this summer. And because our incentives aren’t aligned with those of the big league teams that went back for fortieths from this buffet before we were seated, we might unearth a few “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” types: guys who can get outs, or avoid making them, right now, regardless of whether they have the physical tools that allow teams to dream. Drafting college players instead of riskier high school stars was one of the hallmarks of the “Moneyball” A’s, but Oakland owed much of its success to the type of amateur talents who never get near an indy-league team unless their careers take several wrong turns. If the A’s were “a collection of misfit toys,” as Michael Lewis wrote, then we’ll be building a team out of toys that got recalled because they were choke hazards.Nothing about baseball is as easy as it seems, and finding our statistical standouts isn’t as simple as sorting an official NCAA leaderboard. I email an acquaintance named Chris Long, who worked as the San Diego Padres’ senior quantitative analyst from 2004 to 2013 and has since consulted for other major league teams. Chris, who had no professional background in baseball when he was hired and occasionally clashed with traditional evaluators, was one of the first quants allowed in a draft room alongside scouts and grizzled special assistants, and his numbers-based evaluations helped dictate the Padres’ decisions.To our relief, Chris loves what we’re doing and agrees to help just for fun, even though he charges big league teams sums in the five figures for the same service. “Performance in college has a fairly strong predictive value to how [players] perform in the minors,” Chris tells us when Sam and I call to learn at his knee. Better yet, he says, some teams are still overlooking that link. “Probably starting in the late ’90s, every year it got a little bit better,” he explains. “It’s still not great. Even the Chicago Cubs, for example, have a very traditional scouting department in terms of how they approach the draft. It’s not like they don’t look at performance numbers at all, but they’re not analytically evaluating the performances of the players and then combining it in some sophisticated way with their scouting evaluations.“You’re looking for guys that you want to perform immediately,” Chris continues, echoing our thoughts. “That actually gives you more freedom, because you can go for guys that have flaws. High strikeouts, but also hit home runs, for example. Those guys tend not to do as well as prospects, but they’re certainly going to make contributions to the team. Or the scout’s least-favorite player, the short, gritty [batter] that gets hit by a ton of pitches and has a strike zone the size of a postage stamp — those guys are going to be perfect for your team.” His voice, normally low-pitched and nasal, takes on the bright timbre of an infomercial. “Win your independent league with this one weird trick!” Every rating Chris sends is based on a smaller sample than we’d like — in many cases, a four-year player’s entire college career comprises fewer innings or plate appearances than a big leaguer records in a single season — but it’s the best we can do. It’s clear that we’re not the first people to look at a list like this. Scanning the top of our leaderboard of undrafted players, we see a number of players who were signed as free agents after the 2014 draft and spent the summer playing for organizations that are known as early adopters of amateur analytics, among them the Cardinals, Astros, and Yankees. This is discouraging in one sense — the college carcass is picked even cleaner than we thought — but encouraging in another: Most of the undrafted free agents played well at minor league levels that are comparable in quality to the Pacific Association. We might be on the right track.Armed with the names we wanted, our job shifts from ranking to recruiting. Sam and I spend a few hours combing through Google results, YouTube videos, and social-media sites for information on the players with the most impressive stats. At the end of this process, we’ve created another spreadsheet full of players whose coaches we want to call. (Spreadsheet creation is becoming a theme.) Separately, we practice our sales pitches. In our fantasy leagues, it takes us one click to add an available player from the waiver wire, and no one is allowed to turn us down. In reality, we’ll have to talk to human beings and try to persuade them to travel to a place they’ve probably never been, to play for a team that they almost certainly haven’t heard of, for a salary that we’re embarrassed to say out loud. Aspiring pro athletes expect to lead nomadic lives, but this still isn’t the easiest sell.No matter how persuasive we are as speakers, there’s only one aspect of our project that makes this PR campaign possible: We have the power to make these people professional athletes, with all the cultural cachet and appeal to the opposite sex that this occupation confers. With a few words, spoken like a sacrament, we can give a few young men a line on their résumé that they’ll never remove, an answer to “What do you do?” that makes people perk up. The Stompers are the mangiest mutt of a team imaginable, but a pro team nonetheless. And ballplayers miss being ballplayers: Even two years after graduation, every player’s Facebook photo and Twitter bio is a callback to his college career.As we work our way down our short lists like political candidates calling potential donors, it becomes clear that college coaches — at least the ones we’re trying to reach — aren’t great at returning calls. I consider trying to catch their attention by claiming to be with a big league team, then decide that misrepresenting myself might not be the best way to persuade players to sign with the Stompers. Ben Lindbergh discusses his summer with the Stompers on our podcast What’s The Point. The manager’s office in the Stompers’ clubhouse at the end of the season. Mindful that each passing day might remove someone we want from the market, I bypass coaches who don’t call back and contact some players directly, gambling that they won’t be bad guys. But ballplayers aren’t award-winning communicators, either: Unlike a lot of people in our profession, they aren’t constantly connected to email, and they aren’t notified when someone sends them a tweet. Whenever possible, I call a player’s parents, banking on the fact that if his mother is like mine, he’ll know no peace until he replies.The more players I have trouble tracking down, the more I expand the search, and the longer my short list looks. I form attachments to strangers in our spreadsheet almost instantly: All it takes is a name, a stat line, and a head shot, and I’m mentally penciling a player into our lineup and announcing his name over the public-address system. If you’ve played fantasy baseball, or even rooted for a real team that’s one upgrade away from a well-rounded roster, you know the feeling of fixating on a particular player: refreshing MLB rumor sites until a deal is done or off the table, or sending several permutations of the same trade to a leaguemate and hoping that one of them will land your white whale. This is the same impulse, turned up to 11. I’m perplexed by the players who aren’t curious or courteous enough to respond, but the close calls are especially agonizing.Take Andrew Kelley, a 2014 graduate of Grinnell College, a Division III school known for its “rigorous academics and tradition of social responsibility.” (I see nothing about its undervalued athletes, but maybe that means we’re ahead of the curve.) Kelley, who’s fourth on our pitcher list, is listed at 5-foot-7, which is a concern given the sport’s prevailing preference for skyscraping pitchers. But everyone on our list is bound to have some physical flaw. And hey, he was 5-foot-6 as a junior — maybe he’s a late bloomer with 5-foot-8 in his future.In 48 innings, mostly in relief, Kelley struck out 48 batters and walked only 4. His LinkedIn account says he’s had a full-time job as an “Integration Engineer” since a few months after his final semester, but I dig up his email and message him anyway, just to make sure. His response, which arrives in under an hour, mentions small samples, machine learning, predictive statistics, a previous internship with an expert on the physics of baseball whose articles I’ve edited at Baseball Prospectus, and the fact that he possesses a “pretty good knuckleball.” He can’t quit his job to play baseball, but he feels bad about it. “It would have been awesome to have been able to play this summer and chat about all sorts of statistics,” he says. I come close to shedding tears. This feels like finding out that your biggest college crush, who met someone else and settled down soon after school, would have wanted to date you if you’d only asked her out sooner. Alas, Andrew is too smart and well compensated to be a baseball player. He’s in a better place, and it’s time to let go.Andrew Kelley isn’t the only one who gets away. He’s not even the only engineer: Our best shortstop option, with the improbable porn-star name Billy Steel, has just joined Northrop Grumman. Then there’s George Asmus, a standout pitcher at Sonoma State with hometown-hero potential. Unfortunately for us, he’s happy in his current role at Triple-A — as in, the American Automobile Association. There’s also Arismendy Nuñez, a well-intentioned but indecisive senior starter at Old Westbury, who strings me along over multiple calls (including a conference call on which Theo makes a passionate appeal) before breaking up with me by text. He says something about family obligations, but odds are he’s just not that into us.And then there’s the unicorn, the spreadsheet player who has great stuff. His name is T.J. Fussell, and he’s a 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander who pitched for Western Carolina, a Division I school. Fussell had a high ERA, but he struck out 81 batters in 64 1/3 innings, and we suspect he got somewhat unlucky. I contact his coach, Bobby Moranda, who gives Fussell as enthusiastic an endorsement as I’ve heard so far. “He is the best!!!” Moranda writes. “He was up to 94-95 with a plus breaker and change. Really should have been drafted!!!” It’s rare enough for us to see any velocity numbers that start with nine, so even after levying the 2-3 mph exaggeration tax, I’m still salivating.“I’m kind of in a peculiar situation,” Fussell says when I call. He explains that while he “hasn’t left [his] love of baseball behind,” he has enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. The good news is that he doesn’t have to head to basic training until August 25. The bad news arrives a second later: “I’m supposed to be getting married at the end of May.” And there’s even worse news than that: “We had a cruise planned right at the start of June, and it’s for seven days.” He sounds a little uncertain: Supposed to be? Had a cruise planned? Is the call of the mound so strong that he’d think about being a runaway groom? He says he’ll talk to his fiancée and let me know. The next day, he does: Shockingly, she’s pretty attached to the whole “honeymoon” thing. There goes my four-pitch flamethrower.Fortunately for the Stompers (and my sanity), we don’t always strike out. Our first “yes” comes from Kristian Gayday. (“He’ll be popular on LGBT night,” Theo says.) Gayday, an Indiana native, played shortstop in his final season last spring at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, a Division I school where he’s still working as a student assistant. Our spreadsheet says he was the best D1 hitter among 2014 fourth-year players. Not the best D1 hitter among undrafted fourth-year players; the best D1 hitter, period. (In fairness, most true prospects get drafted after their junior year.) He hit .358/.472/.653 with 12 home runs in 166 at-bats, and Long’s adjustments hardly hurt him. And unlike a lot of our targets, he’s 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, blessed with a prototypical baseball body.Granted, Gayday’s senior season was the exception: In his first three years, he didn’t hit for power, never slugging above .327. But it still doesn’t make sense that a strapping player with his senior stats and a modicum of defensive ability didn’t get drafted. Before talking to him, I email his college coach, Bobby Pierce. I ask him the questions that the spreadsheet can’t answer. Why the huge improvement in his senior year? Is he a good guy? Can he play defense? (A big blind spot for us: College fielding locations aren’t tracked, so Long’s method evaluates only offense.) They’re all ways of reframing the indelicate question at the root of all our inquiries: “What’s the catch?”Coach Pierce sets my mind at ease. More than that, he makes me excited, as if we’re party to a secret no one else knows. He tells me that Gayday’s newfound fourth-year “spray approach allowed him to really handle the breaking ball/off-speed really well,” and that he hit at least half of his homers — more than he’d hit anywhere in his first three seasons combined — to the opposite field. That change in approach gives us a plausible explanation for the extreme uptick in production.Even more encouragingly, Pierce says that Gayday was drawing interest from scouts and advisers until he suffered “severe lower back issues” for six weeks at midseason, playing one day at 50 percent, resting the next day, and pinch-hitting the day after that. “This middle part of the season was when all our local guys came to see him play, and they either saw him play at 50% with below avg draftable tools/skill/performance/ etc, or they didn’t even get to see him play,” Pierce writes. But by the end of the season — after his back had blown his chances — he’d recovered and gone deep in each of his last three weekend series.Despite Gayday’s breakout, the Mastodons went 19-34, and for them that was a good year. “We’re a small Div I that gets little respect and scouts never come to see us play,” Coach Pierce writes. “We haven’t been very good and I do understand that scouts are very busy and they can’t afford to waste a weekend afternoon on us, but Kristian was plenty good enough to be a 20-30 round guy. If he stayed healthy, he would definitely be in organized baseball.” Pierce also reports that Gayday would fit in fine in the clubhouse.On the phone, Kristian tells me that his back feels fine. I ask about his plans for the summer. “I was just gonna go to a couple tryouts,” he says. “And if nothing happened, I was just gonna call it quits.” In my eagerness to sign him, I tell him we’ll pay for a one-way plane trip, which I’m supposed to use as a bargaining chip in exchange for a lower salary. My unauthorized largesse works: Kristian consults with his family and commits to sign the contract as soon as Theo sends him a copy. I can’t believe our luck: We’ve signed one of our top targets, and he doesn’t even look like a runt. It seems as if we’ve stolen a march on the majors, using stats to take the long view on a player whom others might have missed because of an ill-timed injury.Sam seems content once we get Kristian to commit — at least we have something to show for our spreadsheet — but the taste of one transaction makes me hungry for more. I turn my attention to pitchers, tag-teaming with Theo on a series of deal-sealing conference calls. Jeff Conley is a skinny, 6-foot-2 lefty out of Alderson Broaddus University, a Division II school in West Virginia so obscure that most scouts haven’t heard of it. In eleven starts and six appearances out of the pen, the southpaw recorded a 1.96 ERA with 89 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 78 innings. Moreover, he recorded those stats while also playing outfield for 49 games, batting .345 with 21 walks and 11 hit by pitches against only 22 strikeouts, which helped him post a .446 OBP. His left arm was also an asset in the outfield, where he racked up 17 assists. Conley hit only 3 homers, so his adjusted offense isn’t good enough for him to appear on our batter spreadsheet, but even if he’s only an emergency outfield option, we’re happy to have the flexibility, given our restrictive roster size. Mr. Conley, come on down.We also recruit Sean Conroy, a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an engineering school in upstate New York. In 259 career innings at RPI, Conroy struck out 223, walked 49, and allowed only 4 homers, posting sub-2.00 ERAs in his last three seasons and going the distance in more than a third of his starts. He’s also interested in evaluating clubhouse chemistry, an obsession of ours. A psychology major, he’s working on a thesis entitled “How Perception of Teammates’ Ability Affects Personal Ability,” and we envision him as a like-minded mole on the inside who can be our eyes and ears while advising us on avoiding missteps. We also envision him as an effective arm.“I’m a sidearm pitcher,” he says. “Just recently I’ve added an over-the-top curveball for an out pitch, which is working pretty well for me.” He tells me how he dropped down in his senior year of high school, and how he’s alternated his arm angle ever since to maximize his deception. “The slider would be the pitch I throw most often, like more than 50 percent of the time,” he adds. No wonder the guy didn’t get drafted: He uses an atypical repertoire from an unorthodox angle, and according to his coach he tops out at about 85. All of the oddities that make him undraftable endear him to us.And then, of course, there’s Paul Hvozdovic, our on-paper ace and shining spreadsheet star. (The first “v” is silent.) When he signs with us shortly before spring training, I pump my fist, just like Jonah Hill in the “Moneyball” movie when he gets the approval to trade for Ricardo Rincon. I haven’t met Hvozdovic — haven’t watched him, haven’t even talked to him. There’s no way I should be this excited about someone I know so little about. But any hidden doubts that might be buried within me will have to talk to the hand, because the limbic system ain’t listening.People who write about prospects often speak disparagingly about “Google scouts,” wannabe evaluators who “scout the stat line” instead of seeing players in person or talking to experts who have. Sam and I are guilty of these sins — not because we wouldn’t welcome the input of a seasoned on-site observer, but because we have no time, no travel budget, no scouting staff, and next to no video. Stats are our specialty, but they’re also our only resort.Gayday, Conley, Conroy, Hvozdovic. At this point, they’re names and numbers, not fully fledged personalities. But they’re our names and numbers. Thanks to us, they’ve got golden tickets to spring training. And thanks to them, we won’t feel ashamed to show up. Umpire Dean Poteet with Stompers mascot Rawhide on opening day. read more

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The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York sat at 11, Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? took 13 and Michael Buble’s It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas claimed 16. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Social media has seized control of the Christmas number one as a previously unknown YouTuber has secured the top spot.In previous years, stars such as The Beatles, The Spice Girls, Cliff Richard and Whitney Houston won the race for number one. Now, the new social media trend for charity singles by non-celebrities means that this year’s top song is about a sausage roll, sung by a minor social media celebrity who calls himself “Ladbaby”.The “dad blogger” – real name Mark Hoyle – fought off competition from international pop stars Ariana Grande, Ava Max and Miley Cyrus for his charity single, all the profits of which will go to foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.The blogger, who has 450,000 YouTube subscribers, took the top spot with novelty song We Built This City. The tune riffs on the 1985 Starship track, but has changed the lyrics to “we built this city on sausage rolls”, instead of “rock and roll”.In a message to his fans, Mr Hyde, 31,  told OfficialCharts.com: “Thank you everybody in the UK who has got [the song] to the top. I can’t thank you enough, not only for downloading the song but for raising money for such an incredible charity. “I’m honestly speechless and lost for words. Thank you so much. Yes mate!”The 31-year-old recorded the ode to sausage rolls, as opposed to rock and roll, with his wife Roxanne and their two sons. Proceeds from the single will go to The Trussell Trust, which supplies food banks.He gained support from organisations including Luton Town Football Club, as well as BBC presenter Lukwesa Burak who told her followers to “get it to number one.”According to the Official Charts Company, We Built This City sold 75,000 combined sales in the last week, of which 93 per cent were downloads, and it finished 18,500 units ahead of Ava Max’s Sweet But Psycho, which claimed runner-up.Thank You, Next – last weekend’s number one – was forced into third place.While charity songs often win the race for number one, with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir winning in 2015, the track is the first novelty song to secure the spot since Bob The Builder’s Can We Fix It? in 2000.Christmas classics are still popular to download during the festive season; Mariah Carey’s festive hit All I Want For Christmas Is You took fourth place – as it did last year. Last Christmas by Wham! reentered at seven. read more

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first_img WhatsApp Kanye West Google+ WWE RAW Preview: King of the Ring Final Match, Fallout from WWE Clash of Champions Videos Articles The 12/1 WWE RAW once again ranked among the top 25 shows on cable for the week ending 12/7/14. The show came in at No. 6, No. 11 and No. 13.The show, which did a 2.79 cable rating with an average of 3.88 million viewers, came in at No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18 last week.Source: TVbythenumbers.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipKim Kardashian ‘Got in Trouble’ With Kanye For Daughter North Wearing MakeupVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:31/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:28 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Kim Kardashian ‘Got in Trouble’ With Kanye For Daughter North Wearing Makeup Pinterest Kendall Jenner opens up about her insecurities Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img WWE RAW Results – 9/9/19 (Steve Austin moderates, KOTR Semifinal, Women’s Tag Match) Rachel Bloom announces pregnancy following Emmy win Facebook Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey Launching ‘Office’ Podcast Now Playing Up Next Chad Gable advances to the finals of the King of the Ring to be held on this Monday’s RAW Exclusive Interviews – Oscars buzz is rising at the Toronto Film Fest Twitter Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Nextlast_img read more

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first_imgManchester City striker Gabriel Jesus praised the way they overcame a difficult challenge from Everton to emerge as 2-0 victors.It was hardly City’s finest performance of the season at Goodison Park on Wednesday night, but a battling display was enough to secure all three points and top spot in the Premier League.French centre-back Aymeric Laporte put City in front just before half-time by heading in David Silva’s free-kick.After Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling both missed chances to double City’s lead, substitute Jesus scored a header of his own to seal a 2-0 win in stoppage time.Speaking afterwards, Jesus commended the efforts of his teammates.“Everyone won the game, because we knew it was going to be a difficult game,” Jesus told the club website.“We need to work hard and tonight we went onto the pitch to win the game because we want to win the title again”.The Brazil international is more interested in taking things on a game-by-game basis rather than placing too much focus on the Premier League title battle.While Pep Guardiola’s side have reclaimed top spot for the time being, Liverpool can overtake them on Saturday if they manage to get at least a point against Bournemouth at Anfield.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.Therefore, Jesus concedes that any slip-ups are a big no if they are to stand any chance of retaining the league crown.“I think we really want to play well every single game and win the games and of course the Premier League because it’s an amazing league,” added Jesus.“We love football, so we go onto the pitch to play well and win the title.”The Citizens will next be in action on Sunday when they host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in another league match with kick-off set for 5:00 PM (CET).A fifth-round FA Cup tie with fourth-tier side Newport County then awaits them next weekend.Great job tonight guys 👏🏽🙌🏽 +3🔥 #comeoncity #alômãe #gratidão #doperi pic.twitter.com/KIfXa8MvBK— Gabriel Jesus (@gabrieljesus33) February 6, 2019last_img read more

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first_img All the gadgets for getting healthy at CES 2019 0 Quip toothbrush review: Six weeks in Y-Brush at CES is a toothbrush that cleans your teeth in 10 seconds Dyson’s Airwrap hair styler uses low heat, but it’s full of hot air Quip has a new electric toothbrush for kids. Quip Quip’s electric toothbrush service isn’t just for grownups anymore. The subscription-based startup today announced that it’s now selling an electric toothbrush just for kids.  There are two subscription options:Pay $25 up front for a toothbrush, a brush head and watermelon-flavored toothpaste. After that it’s $10 every three months to get a fresh brush head and new toothpaste.Or, you can pay $30 up front for a toothbrush and brush head — and then pay $5 every three months for a new brush head. So if you don’t want the toothpaste, you have to pay a little more initially, but less every quarter. We don’t yet have information on international availability and pricing.The battery-powered Quip toothbrush for kids is supposed to last for three months on a single charge and a new battery comes with each new brush head. It comes in pink, green, purple and blue color finishes, as well as a cover to protect the bristles when it isn’t being used.  21 Photos It’s similar to the adult version, but sized down to suit smaller hands and teeth. The electric toothbrush sets a timer for 2 minutes and pulses every 30 seconds so you know how much time is left. Quip says the brush bristles are soft and can work for kids with braces. It’s supposed to be waterproof, too, enough so that Quip claims it’s “shower-safe.” Share your voice Related links Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) CNET Smart Home reading • Quip Kids Electric Toothbrush brushes teeth on a 2-minute timer Now playing: Watch this:center_img Personal care Smart Home Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Post a comment • The Dyson Airwrap hair styler falls short 2:33 Aug 31 • The best coffee grinders you can buy right now Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Tags CNET Smart Home See Alllast_img read more

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first_imgAn ice jam on the Yukon River below Eagle has released. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb said the jam in place since Tuesday, broke up early this morning.Download AudioIce fog on the Yukon River (Creative commons photo by Anthony DeLorenzo)“Around 2:45 this morning, the jam, about 10 miles down-river near Calico Bluff released and a resident down there said the water dropped and the ice is moving fast and free right now,” Plumb said.Plumb says about 50 miles of the river are open, before ice cover resumes upstream of Circle.“So the next concern is that large surge of water now moving down toward where the river flattens out and it becomes a lot more braided,” said Plumb. “Circle is more prone to ice jam flooding than Eagle.”Plumb says a river watch teams plans to overfly the Yukon today to survey ice conditions in the Circle area and farther downstream at Ft. Yukonlast_img read more

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first_imgHyderabad: The fountain in Osmania University is as important as the Arts College itself, for it has been a rendezvous for many. It was also used as a backdrop in the iconic movie, Nikaah, starring Salma Agha and Raj Babbar. For students who studied here in the past, studying at present and to thousands who throng the university in the mornings and evenings for a stroll, the fountains in the university add beauty to the environment. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us Sadly, the fountains are a pale shadow of their former selves, as the university officials say that the lack of water is the reason that the fountains are not being used. Speaking to The Hans India, R Chandru, director for Gardens and Green Belt Department at OU, said “All the water fountains are in working condition and some don’t have water connections, and we will start the water fountains from the next month.” Also Read – Kolkata artists giving final touches to 24 ft clay Ganesh idol Advertise With Us There are six big water fountains in the 1,200 acres of Osmania University campus, and these fountains were repaired just before the centenary celebrations of the university two years ago. Huge and well-designed water fountains, set up in front of Registrar office building, Arts College, Varsity Library, Engineering College and Chemistry department building in the campus, are now not in use. Advertise With Us All the fountains were installed in the campus to enhance the beauty with the help of sanctioned amount in the varsity budget a few years ago, but all the fountains become dry and are filled with mud due to water scarcity in summer season. Even though there is not much water required for the water fountains, as water gets recycled and the water needs to changed only once in a 15 days, the varsity officials said that water is not sufficient for the hostel inmates and for 27 acres of garden area during summers. The water fountains, which are located in front of the Arts College and Engineering College, come under the authorities of the respective colleges and the remaining water fountains come under the Director of Gardens and Green Belt wing of the OU. Old water fountains have been removed and are replaced with new ones and new marbles were put in them. They were started just before the centenary celebrations of the varsity, but again they have been stopped working since summer. Till now, the fountains are not in the working condition, the varsity officials told the The Hans India. Around 250 people are needed to maintain the huge garden area and the fountains in varsity campus, but now only around 30 people are working, and it’s very difficult to maintain the huge garden area and the water fountains with less staff, said the varsity officials. Officials have asked the higher authorities to recruit some more staff for the maintenance of the garden, but they have not done anything yet, the official said. Other varsities allocate more funds in their budgets for the gardening to enhance the beauty of the varsity campus, but OU has kept very less budget for the gardening, said an official on anonymity.last_img read more

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first_imgEnvironment, forests and climate change affairs minister Md Shahab Uddin. Photo: cabinet.gov.bdEnvironment, forests and climate change affairs minister Md Shahab Uddin on Sunday acknowledged the dengue situation has taken a serious turn in the country for lack of prior preparations to face it, reports news agency UNB.“We’ve to take preparations in advance. Then the dengue situation can’t turn so serious,” he said while speaking at a views-exchange meeting on mosquito elimination and cleanliness at Moulvibazar municipality auditorium.Citing the case of finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, who could not place his budget speech in parliament on 13 June after being infected with the mosquito-borne disease, Shahab Uddin said, “What a dangerous situation is created following the biting of a little mosquito. There would have been no such a situation had we been prepared beforehand.”He also underscored the need for awareness to prevent dengue, saying the dengue situation is coming under control across the country.The minister also said steps will have to be taken at union level to prevent dengue prevalence.Dengue infected patients under treatment at Mugda Medical College Hospital, Dhaka. Photo: UNBNesar Ahmed, MP, Syed Johra Alauddin, MP, deputy commissioner Nazia Shirin, Zila Parishad chairman Azizur Rahman, superintendent of police Faruk Ahmed, civil surgeon M Shahjahan Kabir Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the event with Moulvibazar municipality Mayor M Fazlur Rahman in the chair.last_img read more

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