Double blow for Northern Ireland

first_imgAaron Hughes and Ryan McGivern have been ruled out of Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers against Portugal and Luxembourg. Press Association Manager Michael O’Neill revealed on Wednesday that the defensive pair were struggling with respective groin and knee injuries and his worst fears were confirmed after further assessment. Had they been fit, both were expected to start against Portugal at Windsor Park on Friday night – with Hughes at right-back and McGivern deputising for the suspended Daniel Lafferty at left-back. center_img With Craig Cathcart already missing with a knee problem of his own, O’Neill has summoned Chris Baird and Rory McArdle as cover. Baird is a vastly experienced player at international level, and can play in a number of positions, but had not initially been considered for the double header due to being unattached. He has been training with QPR since his release by Fulham at the end of last season but has yet to agree terms and has not played competitively this term. Bradford centre-back McArdle, meanwhile, offers additional cover for Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley. last_img read more

Why the ‘Final Vote’ is the best thing about the MLB All-Star Game

first_imgThat’s why, in an unexpected twist, the Final Vote stands alone as the best thing about the All-Star Game.At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Dodgers opened the doors of their Ketel One Club, a posh lounge area on the field-level concourse beyond right field. A couple dozen members of the Pantone 294 fan club entered, sat down in front of computers and remained there for up to 24 hours without interruption. Their sole purpose: to elect Max Muncy to the All-Star Game by clicking over and over again.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.It was a team effort. The Dodgers provided some desktop computers, while other fans brought their own laptops and tablets. Papa John’s delivered pizzas a few innings after the Dodgers’ game began in San Diego. Twelve-ounce aluminum cans of Coke, Pepsi and Fanta littered the empty surface areas; a full refrigerator was stocked with even more drinks. Cracker Jack, potato chips and a single-serve coffee contraption sat on the bar.“We’re pretty prepared,” said Desiree Garcia, “considering last year we were up longer.”“Last year was 72 hours,” Alex Soto added. “It was like three days.” The author Robert Greene revealed in a recent interview that he writes out much of the material that forms his books by hand. Typing words on a screen is faster but more passive, while writing by hand forms a real-time connection between the author and his words. “I’m actually thinking more deeply than when I’m sitting there typing stuff out on a computer,” Greene said. “I don’t know how to explain that.”Faster and more passive defines much of what we call technology, which brings us to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Winners of the “Final Vote” in each league were announced Wednesday: Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar and Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura. The online contest has been used since 2002 to fill the final roster spot in each league.Until internet voting began in the mid-1990s, it was difficult to vote for All-Star teams without attending an actual baseball game. When Texaco sponsored the event, it distributed ballots at gas stations. Wal-Mart once offered ballots in its stores. Fans could call a 1-800 number to cast votes for a time. But for most of All-Star Game history, the ballots were distributed at ballparks, before the internet slowly and subversively redefined elections. Paper ballots were eliminated completely in 2015.Voter participation appears to be higher now than ever. In 1994, approximately 14 million All-Star votes were cast. By 2015 that number had increased to 620 million. (That year, more than 60 million votes were invalidated out of fear of improper voting.) On a less measurable level, I think some fan engagement was sacrificed in the process of going digital. If you wanted to watch this bizzare postgraduate cram session unfold, the Dodgers set up a camera to broadcast the whole thing live on their Facebook account. Several local television crews offered their own dispatches throughout the day. Steve Yeager, the team’s catching instructor, came by to pay a visit Tuesday. So did Manny Mota, the pinch hitter-turned-coach-turned-broadcaster.On Tuesday afternoon, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts used the video-chatting application Skype to offer some words of encouragement en vivo. “Go Max Mun-cy,” the fans cheered on camera, followed by a five-clap. Roberts clapped along with them.Then Muncy, among the most introverted men in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, Skyped in himself.“When we started doing the ‘vote Max Muncy’ cheer, he started getting a little bit blushy,” Garcia said.While their sick days and vacation time might have suffered, the fans’ effort succeeded in electing Justin Turner to the All-Star Game in 2017. The Dodgers reached out to Pantone 294 last year, Garcia said, eight years after they first began organizing trips to road games from coast to coast. Naturally, they were invited back to elect Muncy.“We didn’t expect all the media attention,” Soto said. “The Dodgers said, hey, let’s get Max in. Let’s do it again.”Los Angeles was not alone in staging an impromptu Final Vote event.The Angels’ candidate was shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The team gave away six tickets to Tuesday’s game against the Mariners; the winners sat together and voted throughout the evening using team-issued iPads. The six fans also received autographed Simmons bobblehead dolls.First baseman Aguilar was the Milwaukee Brewers’ candidate. Wednesday morning, the Brewers staged a voting event for fans at a local pastry shop. Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts offered one free “Sweet Jesús” doughnut to the first 500 fans.Critically, MLB removed the option of counting individual Twitter hashtags as Final Vote ballots this year. That forced fans to deliberately visit a website, choose one player from the list of candidates and inform the title sponsor, Camping World, whether or not they owned a recreational vehicle. It was cumbersome, but it also reduced the likelihood of collecting votes from those who have no interest in baseball.In that way, a trend was reversed.Like writing words on paper, voting for All-Stars at a live baseball game offers a deeper connection than a digital screen. Those paper ballots are gone, but a few clever teams have found a way to connect fans to the sport, and to each other, in a meaningful way. Like the game itself, the outcome should be secondary to the journey.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

At the World Cup, very little breaks through the USWNT bubble

first_imgREIMS, France — Follow the U.S. women’s national team for any significant period of time at this World Cup, and there’s bound to be a word that will surface soon enough.“Bubble.” Martin Rose For many members of the USWNT, the only way to deal with the increased focus and scrutiny that comes with playing on the world’s biggest stage is to block it all out entirely.There are myriad of talking points that accompany this team outside the pitch.WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: USA-Spain and other knockout-stage matches, by the numbersFrom the continuing fight over equal pay to the controversy over enthusiastic celebrations in its 13-0 win over Thailand, so much is written and talked about the USWNT that has nothing to do with tactics, formations and lineup choices.Ask many players and coach Jill Ellis about these topics, though, and you may get an answer that sounds like Ellis’ recent response to a question about a non-soccer query: “When you’re in your bubble, it’s not something that permeates.”Of the 23 players on the USWNT roster, 11 are making their first appearance at a World Cup. Staying entirely present has been extra imperative for the rookies, who are experiencing the increased scrutiny of a World Cup for the first time.Some have even taken more drastic measures.“I’ve actually been deleting social media every camp since about last year,” midfielder Rose Lavelle said.“I knew it was something that if I didn’t start slowly, like trying to wean off it, it could be something that maybe negatively affected me during this tournament.”Lavelle’s fellow World Cup newbie Mallory Pugh, the team’s second-youngest player, has done the same.“I’m not on social media [at the World Cup],” Pugh said. “I’m learning this process so it’s testing what works best for me and for right now, it is to stay off social media and just be solely in this environment.” Of course, not every player is doing the same as Lavelle and Pugh, and some controversies will inevitably pierce the bubble, no matter how hard the U.S. tries to block it all out.The USWNT couldn’t help but be aware of the outcry over its celebrations against Thailand, and it crafted a winking response with the golf-clap celebration in the following game against Chile.As Alex Morgan said knowingly after the game: “The whole team is having fun with this.”Veterans like Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and others have been active on social media during the tournament, or at least one of their handlers has, because as much as players want to remain in their bubble, they know there is still value in connecting with the outside world.“A lot of us have just tried to spend less time on social media or looking at media in general, but I think at times there are so many positive things,” midfielder Sam Mewis said.“You want to interact with people,” she continued. “I get a lot of messages from friends and people like that, so parts of it are really positive.” There may be positives from social media, but several players have decided that they aren’t worth the effort while they are in France. Connecting with the outside world can certainly be gratifying but for one month at least, winning a World Cup is priority No. 1.“Whatever is outside our bubble, whatever situation it is, these players are locked on,” Ellis said.“The trappings of everything else is probably more for everybody externally to deal with, but right now the focus has to be what we’re doing inside our bubble.”last_img read more

Foreign media explore South African innovation projects

first_imgJohannesburg, 7 November 2013 – Foreign correspondents based in South Africa who are being hosted on a Brand South Africa media tour aimed at profiling the country’s innovation, will today visit the iThemba Labs in Cape Town where nuclear medicine will be profiled.The tour is aimed at profiling South Africa’s innovation, and coincided with the country’s inaugural Competitiveness Forum, which took place at Gallagher Estate in Gauteng on Tuesday 5 November. The South African Competitiveness Forum brought together leaders in government, business and civil society, to discuss the factors that impact on South Africa’s global competitiveness.JohannesburgOn Monday 4 November 2013, the group held discussions with the Auditor General’s office, the Association of Public Accounts Committees, the Innovation Hub and SpringAge.Later in the day they visited Mobile Money, for a fist-hand look at innovation in the financial services industry – bringing banking services to the unbanked using only a valid mobile number to transfer money.PretoriaJournalists also visited the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on Wednesday 6 November 2013. The CSIR conducts ground-breaking work in science, engineering and technology. At the site, journalists were briefed about world-first digital laser technology, which is being tested by scientists at the CSIR.The delegation also visited Pretoria’s Innovation Hub, which is a science and technology park which supports innovation and the competitiveness of businesses and knowledge-based institutions. At the park, journalists were taken on a tour of Sappi’s Technology Centre and the manufacturer’s pulping and bleaching processes, as well as research and development initiatives.Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola commented on the significance of the media tour, saying it is important that South Africans shape the narrative we want told about our country: “South Africa scores highly on international indices, in the areas of innovation and business creativity. We are making great strides in the fields of science and technology, attested to the projects being showcased during this week. The inspiring work being carried out by young South Africans in the medical, science and technology fields will assist us to achieve the objectives set out in the National Development Plan at all levels. Through this we can reshape our narrative and our developmental trajectory,” Mr Matola said.In Cape Town, the delegation will visit various innovation projects and sites, including: iThemba Labs, Robben Island, the Cape Town Port and explore the wine route.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.Follow Brand South [email protected]_SA ( more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Nadia Samie-JacobsPublic Relations DomesticTel: +27 11 712 5007 Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399Email: [email protected]last_img read more

Ohio 4-H awarded $20,000 through national program

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio 4-H announced its award of $20,000 for participation in Raise Your Hand, a national 4-H initiative asking the millions of 4‑H alumni across the nation, including 4-H alums in Ohio, to “Raise Your Hand” and pay it forward in support of providing the hands-on learning that empowers youth across America.4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, called on alumni to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently 4-H empowers nearly six million young people in every county across America, including 444,900 4-Hers in Ohio.“We are delighted that in the national campaign to connect with millions of 4-H alumni, our Ohio 4-H alums led the way to a first place finish,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “When the hands were counted, the Buckeye State accounted for about one-fifth of the participants.“Best of all, raising your hand meant paying it forward for the next generation and our 4-H youth programs will benefit from the $20,000 award. Thanks to all our great alumni for, once again, making us 4-H and Buckeye proud!”With all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., participating, Ohio 4-H alumni took the lead with nearly 12,000 hands raised, with Indiana 4-H (10,600) and Texas 4-H (6,836) rounding out the top three.“Whether they’re running Fortune 100 companies, performing to sold-out crowds, leading community programs or volunteering to empower local youth, 4‑H alumni are the epitome of true leadership,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4‑H Council. “Our remarkable alumni truly showed their support ensuring the next generation has the opportunity to benefit from the 4‑H experience.”last_img read more

Marinerong Pilipino continues to stay afloat, tops Wangs

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Gabriel paced Wangs Basketball with 19 points and five rebounds, while Michael Juico got 17 markers, four boards, and three assists in the defeat.The Couriers ended their campaign at 5-5, still with a chance to advance to the quarterfinals, but their fate would largely depend on the fortunes of the other teams which are still in the playoff race.The Scores:MARINERONG PILIPINO 83 – Isip 29, Lopez 12, Alabanza 9, Iñigo 8, Sargent 8, Subido 7, Moralde 5, Marata 4, Javelona 1, Javillonar 0.WANGS BASKETBALL 82 – Gabriel 19, Juico 17, Herndon 15, Tayongtong 11, Habelito 6, Montemayor 6, Sorela 4, Ambulodto 2, Arambulo 2, Bitoon 0, De Chavez 0, Riley 0.ADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games “Clearly, it was the grace of God. It was our faith that gave us the positive attitude that even though we’re down by 13 in the last four minutes, we didn’t waive and kept on believing that God will help us,” said coach Koy Banal, as the Skippers battled back from an 80-67 deficit with 4:46 to play.Mark Isip led the Marinerong Pilipino fightback as he dropped eight of his 29 points in the fourth period, while also grabbing nine rebounds and three steals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsLopez added 12 markers, eight boards, and three assists, JR Alabanza had none points and five rebounds, and Sargent just missed out on a double-double with his eight markers, nine boards, four assists, and four blocks.The Skippers continued their late rally in the homestretch of the eliminations as they coasted to their third straight win to level their standing at 4-4. LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Quarters: 12-18, 40-38, 63-69, 83-82.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Morado: We rely on every spiker who comes to the floor Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mark Isip. PBA IMAGESMarinerong Pilipino scored a huge 83-82 victory over Wangs Basketball to remain in the playoff hunt in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Julian Sargent found an open John Lopez for the go-ahead bucket with 27.6 seconds left, before the former La Salle forward made his imprint on the defensive end, halting Jon Gabriel’s potential game-winner in the waning seconds to seal the deal for his crew.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View commentslast_img read more

Jeff Van Gundy on All-Star Game: Eliminate it

first_imgFILE – In this Sept. 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. basketball coach Jeff Van Gundy speaks from the sidelines of the team’s FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 qualifier game against Panama in Panama City. Van Gundy has an idea on how to fix the NBA All-Star Game. His plan: Eliminate it. Van Gundy, the former NBA coach and now longtime television commentator for ABC and ESPN, said what he’s seeing now from the game is embarrassing and “a bastardization of the game that is beautiful to watch.” The teams picked by captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined to attempt a record 167 3-pointers in Sunday night’s game–and 96 of the 134 field goals in the game came off either 3s or dunks. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, File)MIAMI — Jeff Van Gundy has an idea on how to fix the NBA All-Star Game.His plan: Eliminate it.ADVERTISEMENT Last year went down to the wire, a 148-145 game that was well received. This year’s 178-164 game was won by James’ Team LeBron, which trailed by 20 points in the second half before rallying — largely behind the 3-pointer. James’ team took 65 shots in the second half, and 49 of those were 3-point tries.And players this year didn’t seem to mind the way the game unfolded.“It’s just about having fun,” Oklahoma City’s Paul George said Sunday night. “At the end of the day, it’s for the fans. It’s just to have fun.” PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Van Gundy, the former NBA coach and now longtime television commentator for ABC and ESPN, said what he’s seeing now from the game is embarrassing and “a bastardization of the game that is beautiful to watch.” The teams picked by captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined to attempt a record 167 3-pointers in Sunday night’s game — and 96 of the 134 field goals in the game came off either 3s or dunks.“You can be a Division III player like myself and be All-Star MVP,” Van Gundy said. “All you have to do is drive in and shoot a layup.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesVan Gundy coached in the 2000 All-Star game, his Eastern Conference team falling to Phil Jackson and the Western Conference 137-126. There was no shortage of alley-oops tried in that game, though Tim Duncan, Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal spent plenty of time defending the rim against those lobs as well.“I would name All-Stars, I would have All-Star weekend, they have all these things, introduce them … the players are great, they should be applauded,” Van Gundy said this week, while preparing to coach USA Basketball’s team picked for the final two games of qualifying for this summer’s FIBA World Cup in China. “But to take this game and shoot 160 3s, it’s an embarrassment. It’s an embarrassment.” UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes calls out UAAP officiating after loss to Ateneo ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 Van Gundy said he doesn’t need to see a game with Game 7, playoff-level intensity.He just wants to see some effort.“The equivalent would be like Major League Baseball, a guy hits the ball, you throw it to him at 70 mph because you’re not trying,” Van Gundy said. “And then you hit it and no one chases it and you just let a guy circle and score and you have unlimited runs. You’ve got to try.”Players, including James and National Basketball Players Association President Chris Paul, along with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver all said after the 192-182 game two years ago that the All-Star game had to be more competitive.“Let’s just say it: They don’t want to play,” Van Gundy said. “Adam said, ‘It’s got to be fixed.’ There’s nothing fixed.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more

Solo climber stranded on Yukons Mount Logan rescued

first_imgWHITEHORSE – A climber who was stranded on Canada’s highest mountain following an earthquake in Yukon has reportedly been rescued.Natalia Martinez, 37, of Argentina, began a solo climb on Mount Logan in Kluane National Park and Reserve on April 22. Two large earthquakes on Monday caused avalanches near her camp.A message posted by ExpeNews on its website — which is used by climbers, trekkers and outdoor enthusiasts to track their progress and location — said Martinez was successfully rescued in a three-hour operation that ended at about 10:30 p.m. local time. (1 a.m. ET).Parks Canada had said Thursday that bad weather was preventing a rescue attempt, but ExpeNews said a pilot with the charter service Icefield Discovery was in the area and noticed an improvement in the conditions.ExpeNews said the pilot alerted a rescue team, and after checking with Martinez, it was decided to launch a rescue. The website said Martinez was taken to the Icefield Discovery base in Kluane Lake in southwest Yukon.Parks Canada spokeswoman Christine Aikens said earlier that officials were in close contact with Martinez — an experienced climber who reported that she still had a good supply of food and fuel.Aikens said avalanches caused by the quakes had caused glacial ice to fall in the area of the climber’s camp, which is at 3,900-metre level on the east ridge of Mount Logan.An average of 25 climbers try to summit the mountain every year, but Aikens said solo attempts are rare.last_img read more

Fekir decides to don Betis kit until 2023

first_imgFrance playmaker Nabil Fekir has completed his transfer from Lyon to Real Betis for a reported fee of around €20m and has signed a contract that is set to end in 2023.The 26-year-old was close to moving to Liverpool last summer after scoring 18 goals and providing eight assists for the French side. However the move to England, which would have cost Liverpool €60m, did not take place with reports suggesting that the Anfield outfit showed concerns after Fekir’s medical tests.The Frenchman, who made six substitute appearances for Les Bleus, refused to extend his contract with Lyon and the club was forced to sell Fekir rather than lose him for free next summer.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more