Leicester’s players in spotlight

first_img Last-place Aston Villa are heading into their home match against Chelsea without a manager following the departure of Remi Garde on Tuesday. With seven games left, Villa are 12 points from safety and has only won three league games all season. MANCHESTER, England (AP): There have been considerable knock-on effects for Leicester following the team’s giddy rise to the top of the English Premier League. A ramping-up of global interest and adulation? Definitely. Qualification to the Champions League for the first time? Almost certainly, especially if the surprise leaders beat Southampton at home on Sunday. Then there’s growing international recognition for their star players. On Tuesday, England started with two Leicester players in this case, Jamie Vardy and debutant Danny Drinkwater for the first time in 42 years in the 2-1 loss to the Netherlands. And on the same night, N’Golo Kante, Leicester’s enforcer in central midfield, made his full debut for France on his 25th birthday and marked it by scoring one of the goals in a 4-2 win over Russia. “Things are going fast,” said Kante, who was playing for Caen in France’s second tier only three years ago. “I wouldn’t have said it was possible four or five years ago,” said Vardy, a goalscorer against the Dutch and a striker who once worked in a carbon-fibre factory. Leicester’s fans will be saying the same kind of things. After narrowly escaping relegation last season because of an incredible run of results in the final nine games, Leicester are mounting the most unlikely of title challenges and are five points clear of second-place Tottenham with seven games left. The club has never won a top-flight English league title. Training would have been unusually quiet for Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri over the recent international break, given the increased number of national-team call-ups. Ranieri, therefore, must reignite the team’s momentum from before the two-week hiatus ahead of the biggest six weeks in the club’s 132-year history. Southampton could be one of the toughest remaining opponents for Leicester, with the visitors from the south coast having won their last two games to climb within four points of the Champions League places. But Leicester are showing remarkable resilience under pressure, winning its last three matches 1-0. “They’ve been the best team this season, without question,” Alex Ferguson, a managerial great in English soccer, has told Sky Sports, “and they deserve to win it.” Tottenham would pile the pressure on Leicester by beating Liverpool tomorrow, a day before Leicester play. MAN CITY’S REINFORCEMENTS In danger of dropping out of the top four, out-of-form Manchester City have been handed a much-needed boost on the injury front. Three midfielders Samir Nasri, Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph were back in training this week after long injury layoffs and could be in line to play against Bournemouth tomorrow. De Bruyne’s return after two months out with damaged ankle and knee ligaments is especially important for City, who have not scored in their last three matches and have been short of creativity. City broke their transfer record last August to sign De Bruyne for more than US$77 million. City are in fourth place the final Champions League qualification position and only one point ahead of West Ham and Manchester United. West Ham host Crystal Palace tomorrow and Manchester United are at home to Everton on Sunday. MANAGERLESS VILLAlast_img read more

St. Bernard’s baseball opens league play with sweep of reigning champion South Fork

first_imgMiranda >> For the first five-plus innings, the Crusaders were searching for the big hit that would get them out in front.Come the turn of the lineup card for a third time, it all changed for the better.Garrison Finck’s two-out, two-run double — on an 0-2 pitch, no less — in the top of the sixth inning proved to be the difference, as the St. Bernard’s baseball team opened league play with a 7-2 win over reigning Little 4 champion South Fork in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.Finck …last_img

African leaders unite economies

first_imgSouth African president Kgalema MotlantheAnd Ugandan president Yoweri Museveniarriving at the Tripartite Summit inKampala. African leaders at the sitting of the firstmeeting of the three regional economicblocs.(Images: Daily Nation)Khanyi Magubane Heads of states of 26 African countries belonging to three economic regions across the continent, have resolved to merge the blocs into a single regional market.The first ever tripartite summit, held in Kampala Uganda on 21 October, brought together 26 leaders of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).All three regions have agreed to establish a free trade community and a single customs union.This will stretch from South Africa to Egypt and from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya.South Africa’s President Kgalema Motlanthe represented the SADC region as its chairperson. He said that the launch of the free trade bloc would place the African continent in a stronger position to respond effectively to intensifying global economic competition.Speaking to delegates, Motlanthe said, “Our convening here today reflects a profound recognition that sustainable integration into the global economy requires a commitment to an irreversible process of building economic, political and social unity.”Motlanthe also emphasised the importance for African countries to have strong economic ties with each other in the wake of the current global financial crises sweeping through the west.“The process we have embarked on today marks an important step towards the realisation of building an economic bloc in today’s challenging world that will increase the levels of intra-African trade.”Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Uhuru Kenyatta, also echoed Motlanthe’s views and said that the tripartite conference has come at the right time when international financial markets are tumbling, “It is important to acknowledge that the global financial crisis, soaring oil and food prices may lead to the weakening of our economies and deterioration of the global economic outlook.”The merger, bound to create the largest free trade area in Africa, will in total, combining the three regions, represent a population of over 248-million people and have a combined Gross Domestic Product of R749-trillion (US$650 billion)The roll out planDuring the summit, it was revealed that the three blocs would have a single airspace within a year and an inter-regional broadband network for internet.The three communities also resolved to coordinate their master plans for regional transport and energy within 12 months.Comesa secretary general Stephen Karangizi said the areas identified as starting points for cooperation among the member states include infrastructure development for regional integration and trade.Karangizi said infrastructure development includes developing energy generation and transmission facilities, transport networks, telecommunication and ICT infrastructure.The chairperson of the EAC Coordination Committee, Charles Gasana, said during the summit that the three regions need to rely more on trade rather than aid to fight poverty in Africa.He said that this mind shift would rid the continent of the stigma it has as the world’s poorest continent. Gasana also said that trade cannot be promoted if countries set barriers that inhibit flow of goods among each other.“We have instituted policies that encourage smooth flow of goods among each other and some members are even offering better terms of trading to developed countries.” He challenged the delegates to start offering the good terms of trade to their neighbours rather than to developed countries.Some of the challenges that the free-trade agreement will have to overcome include the multiple memberships of some countries to various trade blocs and fear of the weaker economies of being flooded by goods from their stronger counterparts like South Africa and Egypt.United states of AfricaThe summit’s host, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, told those gathered for the event, that regional integration was a powerful strategic tool for the group to use since it could ensure the prosperity of all it represents.He said the heads of states should see the move as more than just a trade agreement but an opportunity to create politically stable climates, “Economic integration is not enough. There is need for political integration which will bring about a common army to protect the interests of Africa.“Apart from the economic injustice by the developed world, their overwhelming military superiority is a threat to the future of Africa.”Museveni added that the time has arrived for a united Africa to start protecting its resources,“Some people are saying they want to build their superiority on water, air and land. Where does this leave us?” he asked the participants. “Why should Africans insure cars and bicycles but do not insure Africa?”The three economic regions enter into the agreement as already well-established entities in their own right.The SADC was first established in 1980, as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference in a bid to increase the participation of other countries in the then apartheid South Africa.After dwindling in subsequent years, the organisation was reincarnated as the Southern African Development Community in 1992.In 2006, it was estimated that the SADC region pulled a GDP of R437-trillion ($379-billion.)Some of the social and human development and special programmes that the SADC preside over between regions includes its Hiv/Aids programmes, which has been operational for the past 20 years. They also facilitate the “Roll back Malaria” campaign, aimed at eradicating the number of unprotected people in malaria-rife areas.The region’s social desk also runs education and skills development programmes; these are aimed at building capacity amongst the poor and unemployed.Comesa was established in 1994 and replaced the Preferential Trade Area. Its 20 member states are Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.According to its objectives, Comesa strives to create a level playing field, i.e. one that allows free and fair competition within the principles of market economics.The countries are engaged in issues of prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, strengthening of democratic infrastructure, and development of a vibrant culture.It includes 398-million people and in 2006, the area had a combined GDP of R33-trillion ($286.7-billion.)The smallest of the three, EAC, had a GDP of R537-trillion ($46.6-billion) in 2006. Established in 1967, disagreements between founding members Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania led to its collapse.On 30 November 1999, 32 years after the demise of the EAC, a treaty was signed, re-establishing the organisation and on 7 July 2000, the EAC officially started its work again.The EAC aims at widening and deepening co-operation among the partner states in, among others, political, economic and social fields for their mutual benefit. In 2005, the EAC countries established a Customs Union and are currently working towards the establishment of a Common Market by 2010.Some of its other future plans include; a Monetary Union by 2012 and a Political Federation of the East African States.Related StoriesBetter government across Africa The African Union SADC Africa: fast facts Angola heads for democracy SADC free trade area launchedUseful linksCOMESA SADCEACAfrican UnionSouth African PresidencyDo you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

Malaysia A330 landing gear was replaced after Melbourne hard landing.

first_imgA hard landing by a Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 that substantially damaged the landing gear was the result of an unstable approach that the crew initially failed to recognise,  safety investigators have found.The A330 landed so hard at Melbourne airport two years ago that the main landing gear had to be replaced.Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators found that the captain felt the aircraft sink when it was in the final stages of approach and about 50ft from the ground.He used an unapproved procedure to increase the engine thrust in an effort to slow the rate of descent but the landing was hard enough to cause substantial damage. There were no injuries in the March 14, 2015 incident.Investigators found the approach had become unstable at 300ft due to control inputs by the captain.“Flight data showed that the pilot flying  (the captain) disengaged the autopilot at approximately 700 feet above ground level (AGL) and from that point until touchdown there was an increase in the frequency and magnitude of sidestick pitch control inputs by the PF,’’ the ATSB said in a final report released Wednesday.“In response to these inputs the aircraft’s autothrottle system varied the engine thrust to maintain a target speed, as per system design, and the aircraft pitch angles fluctuated between approximately -0.5 degree nose down and +5.0 degree nose up. “The net result of the varying thrust settings and pitch angles was a fluctuating rate of descent between approximately 380 and 960 feet per minute.“Large sidestick inputs, specifically nose-down, also have the potential to inhibit the vertical speed reduction function, which is an automated function that provides some protection against touchdown at very high vertical speeds.’’The investigators found the rate of descent at 300ft was 960ft per minute, close to the maximium allowed by Malaysia of 1000ft per minute.The pilot continued the unstable approach despite company procedures and manufacturer’s recommendations that dictated a go-around if an approach is unstable below 500ft.There was also confusion in the cockpit when the captain moved the thrust levers momentarily into the take-off/go around (TOGA) position and the first officer assumed that a go-around was being conducted and tried to pull up the aircraft’s nose. “Inadequate monitoring and communication by the crew led to a lack of recognition of the Undesirable flight state and the continuation of an unstable approach,’’ the report found.“Continuation of the unstable approach led to a high rate of descent at touchdown and resulted in a hard landing in excess of the aircraft design loads and short of the normal touchdown.’’The incident prompted Malaysia Airlines to circulate a memorandum to A330 flight crew highlighting the details and outlining procedures aimed at preventing a similar occurrence. The flight crew involved also undertook additional training and assessment before returning to flight duties.“If an approach does become unstable, a rushed attempt to recover the approach may produce an undesirable aircraft response,’’ The ATSB said. “There is also a risk of breaking down the shared understanding between the pilots, which in turn limits the opportunity of the other flight crew to detect or react to inappropriate actions.“When landing, pilots should maintain a safety philosophy of ‘If in doubt, go around’.”last_img read more

MTN-Qhubeka invited to Tour du Suisse

first_img11 March 2014 Further evidence of Team MTN-Qhubeka’s growing status was provided on Monday when the South African UCI Professional Continental cycling team was given a wild card invitation to be part of the 78th Tour de Suisse, a World Tour stage race taking place from 14 to 22 June. The World Tour includes cycling’s Grand Tours, the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana. MTN-Qhubeka’s goal is to earn invitations to the three events. Hard work paying off “Our World Tour programme keeps growing and shows the hard work the team put in last year is paying off,” Team Principal Douglas Ryder said in a statement. “We have had some fantastic results recently in stage races with our African and South African riders and to be able to race in a World Tour stage race as iconic as the Tour de Suisse is huge. “Many teams use the Tour de Suisse as a final preparation race for the Tour de France, and so for Africa to be a part of this race is just a massive opportunity,” Ryder said. “Linus Gerdemann will lead the team in this event, a race he has participated in six times previously and where he won his first race as a professional cyclist.”‘My most favourite race’ Gerdemann is excited to see his new team in his favourite race. “The Tour de Suisse is my most favourite race of all races,” he said. “It is incredibly well organised and races on the most beautiful terrain. It is also where I won my first professional race so it will always be a special race for me. “Our team is very well suited for this race and we will work hard to do a good result there.”2013 victories Last year, Team MTN-Qhubeka recorded the second most wins among Pro Continental teams, with 16 victories. The most high profile of those was Gerald Ciolek’s stunning win in the Milan-San Remo. They will be joined at the Tour de Suisse by two other wild card teams, the Swiss Professional Continental Team IAM Cycling and the Polish team CCC Polsat Polkowice. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Make Your Own Online Magazine From Your Flickr/Facebook Photos With YouTellYou

first_imgRelated Posts Our wishlist for this app would be a drag-and-drop interface for pulling photos into the magazine, Facebook Connect for easier account creation, some kind of theming for finished zines, the ability to add photos from other users and the ability to reblog or share the content we created in more ways. Finally, the site navigation and overall design needs improvement; however, for a free app with no advertising, we can’t complain too much.We’re torn on whether we personally would use the app again – for most on the RWW team, it’d be worth the effort to just build a webpage from scratch. But for end users, this kind of tool is indicative of a trend for amateur content creation and sharing in more polished ways than a simple Flickr slideshow or Facebook set.What do you think – would you use YouTellYou to tell a story with your photos? Let us know what you think of the app in the comments. We love site-building and story-telling applications, and social webizens love sharing their content – particularly multimedia content – in new and compelling ways.YouTellYou is a fun and simple tool that allows users to grab, annotate, tag and share their pictures in an online magazine-type format. Users can pull in photos from Smugmug, Facebook, Flickr or one’s own computer, then go to town in a frenzy of sequences, captions and true pictorial story-weaving.In about 10 minutes, we created this story about SxSW 2009. We were able to get access to all the needed Flickr photos through a simple interface. Pics were then organized into layouts of one or two photos per section with optional captions for most layouts. When we published, we were pleased to see links with each photo to enlarge it or to find the original URL for each pic. The finished product also has a thorough commenting system and the option to share zines via email and Twitter. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Tags:#Photo Sharing Services#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… jolie odell 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The game goes on even after retirement

first_imgWhen Anil Kumble walks out as IPL Royal Challengers Bangalore captain again in April – yes, it’s a possibility, though Vijay Mallya is yet to choose his team – he would be establishing a unique record of playing representative cricket as president of a state association affiliated with the BCCI.Kumble can, anyway, be categorised as an ‘active’ player as he captained India at the Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes this month, even though he has quit Test, ODI and Twenty20 International formats. Probably no player has ever been elected to head an association so soon – just two years and 49 days – after his retirement. So, either ways, Kumble has set a new benchmark.And as the cherry on his KSCA cake, Kumble’s cricketer friends Javagal Srinath (secretary), Venkatesh Prasad and Roger Binny (both vice-presidents), Sujith Somasundar and Vijay Bharadwaj (both managing committee members) have also won, which makes it a virtual clean sweep by the players’ group.In the past, there have been many Test/first-class players who had gone on to hold administrative posts, but all of them achieved that feat well after their retirement. Delhi’s Ram Prakash Mehra (BCCI and DDCA president), Fateshsinh Rao Gaekwad (BCCI and Baroda president), Maharaja Vijaya Ananada ‘Vizzy’ of the United Provinces (BCCI chief), Ghulam Ahmed (BCCI secretary), Syed Mohammad Hadi (Hyderabad secretary), Niranjan Shah (BCCI secretary), M.P. Pandove (Punjab secretary and BCCI treasurer) and the new Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy (ex-Hyderabad Ranji player) are just a few ones to name.advertisementIt’s not just players, but even officials who often hold more than one post, which at times poses a conflict-of-interest situation. BCCI’s chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty is also treasurer of the Mumbai Cricket Association while board joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale is also secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.The most curious case is that of board secretary and presidentelect N Srinivasan as he is not just president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, but also holds the top post of the All India Chess Federation, besides being the owner of the IPL Chennai Super Kings franchise. M.P. Pandove is BCCI treasurer as well as Punjab secretary.Rajeev Shukla is a BCCI vice president and secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association. Similarly, Arun Jaitley, Shivlal Yadav, Arindam Ganguly, K Srikkanth (chairman of national selection committee and brand ambassador of IPL Chennai), Lalchand Rajput, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Anurag Thakur are among the many officials holding posts that can be questioned as they may pose conflict of interests at some stage.The other aspect of the current crop of immediately-retired players is that they are into multiple activities, which make them extremely busy and occupied. They are the true ‘allrounders’ of the modern age, and here one doesn’t refer to someone who bats and bowls with distinction.Kumble, for instance, is chairman of the BCCI’s National Cricket Academy (NCA) and is also a member of the athlete commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He also writes a newspaper column, and runs a company along with his brother. Srinath is another busy man, being an ICC match referee. Besides, he turns up as television expert every now and then, and also writes a column. Prasad was till recently the bowling coach of the Indian team as well as of the IPL Chennai Super Kings. He appears as an expert on television and thus has his hands full as well.Samosas to jostle with KFC at Kotla during WCKFC and Pizza Hut have secured the official license to sell their products during next year’s cricket World Cup, but fans in Delhi who can’t afford these don’t have to worry. They will have the option of buying cholebhature, samosas and chaat etc. during the four matches at the Ferozeshah Kotla.When officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) visited Kotla on Monday, DDCA officials asked them if local vendors can put up stalls to cater to the thousands of spectators who usually throng the venue. “They said that until the vendors don’t sell the same stuff as KFC and Pizza Hut, they would be allowed to sell local snacks like samosas and chole-bhature etc. But the ICC officials said that they can’t do branding, implying that they can’t put up boards and sell the same food/snacks as KFC and Pizza Hut,” a DDCA official told MAIL TODAY.However, ICC’s official beverage partner Pepsi, will not be allowed to sell packaged water inside the stands. The Delhi Police officials, who joined the ICC inspection team, said that they won’t allow plastic bottles due to security reasons. The police also told the inspection team that they won’t allow spectators to take any articles inside the stadium without getting them scanned. “They said X-Ray machines will have to be installed at the gates. So, we might either buy X-Ray machines or take them on rent,” the official said.advertisementLike in the Commonwealth Games, volunteers will play a crucial role in the World Cup. “The ICC has said that it will provide attractive volunteer kits – track suits, caps, waist pouch etc. It’s not known how many volunteers will be deputed at each venue, but the officials said that they would be young and in sufficient numbers,” he informed. One only hopes that DDCA officials refrain from deputing their kids and relatives, like they usually do during international matches.The visit of the ICC team, which included a few BCCI officials, ended with the DDCA hosting a dinner at a five-star hotel. “One can understand that we were being good hosts by treating them to drinks and good food. But what surprised many was the DDCA presenting each of the 29 ICC members with expensive gifts. What was the need of giving these gifts? What was the DDCA trying to achieve? Defies logic, really,” he said.BCCI can learn a lot from PatelAnil Kumble and Co’s ascension to the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) throne might not have been as smooth had Brijesh Patel not decided to opt out. Patel, who turned 58 on Wednesday, had served KSCA for 12 years as secretary.”We achieved a lot but could not do much in the last three years due to a fractured mandate,” Patel told MAIL TODAY, referring to the election three years ago when Srikanta Wadiyar was elected president and his group clinched more seats than Patel.”The KSCA is in good hands [of Kumble & Co].By deciding to not to contest, we have set an example for various sports bodies, including the BCCI,” stressed Patel.When asked to point out his achievements, Patel said: “Overall, we made the facilities better. We took the game to mofussil areas and built the infrastructure there. We also contributed to the BCCI’s National Cricket Association.”Another significant step that Patel took was to tweak the KSCA constitution, making it easier for cricketers to get into administration and keep the politicians at bay. “Now, for example, even Vijay Mallya can’t be elected as a KSCA office bearer. Only the 1,300 members and 229 clubs in Bangalore can vote,” he pointed out.last_img read more