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FIFA keeps 32 teams for 2022 World Cup, scrapping expansion

first_imgBut FIFA has now concluded that it lacked to the time to prepare a country to host the extra games.In Kuwait, Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium has 60,000 seats and the capacity at Sabah Al-Salem Stadium is only 26,000. Both venues would require upgrades to be used at the World Cup, putting the spotlight on working conditions and labor rights.FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura wrote to human rights activists last month to offer assurances that there was going to be “an assessment of human rights risks and potential opportunities associated with a possible expansion.”Qatar has an exemption that allows foreigners to drink alcohol, but Kuwait has a complete ban which would have be problematic for FIFA, which has Budweiser as a major sponsor.FIFA has already had to adapt to cope with taking its showpiece tournament to the Middle East for the first time.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting While Qatar won a vote in 2010 on the basis of staging a June-July World Cup, FIFA shifted the tournament to from its usual slot because of the fierce summer heat to Nov. 21-Dec 18, 2022.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue LATEST STORIES DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rudy Gobert, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo headline NBA All-Defensive teamscenter_img ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP People watch the inauguration ceremony, Thursday, May 16, 2019, of the Al Wakrah stadium, which is the first stadium has been built from the scratch for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)FIFA scrapped plans to expand the 2022 Qatar World Cup to 48 nations, deciding Wednesday to stick with 32 countries due to the political and logistical complexities of using another Persian Gulf nation.FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s hopes of expanding the Middle East’s first World Cup in the region were stymied by the regional diplomatic crisis and the governing body’s demands on host nations to adhere to its human and labor rights requirements. That means the World Cup will not be expanded until 2026, with FIFA already having approved a format with 48 teams for that tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo calls for scrapping of ‘Oplan Tokhang’ PLAY LIST 02:34Robredo calls for scrapping of ‘Oplan Tokhang’00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess A meeting of the FIFA Council in March authorized Infantino to work with Qatar on seeing if it was feasible to use at least one more country in the region to accommodate an additional 16 matches and present a proposal at meetings in June.“Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now,” FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday. “Due to the advanced stage of preparations and the need for a detailed assessment of the potential logistical impact on the host country, more time would be required and a decision could not be taken before the deadline of June. It was therefore decided not to further pursue this option.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsA FIFA internal report had already concluded that the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia could not join as co-hosts unless they restore the economic and travel ties with Qatar that were severed two years ago.The regional diplomatic crisis left neutral Kuwait and Oman as the viable options. Oman has said it isn’t keen on hosting games at the FIFA showpiece. Infantino visited Kuwait last month in an attempt to persuade them to host matches in 2022. Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too View commentslast_img read more

Andy Murray Will Do ‘Great Job’ at Davis Cup, Says British Captain

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. andy murraydavis cupGerard PiqueGreat Britain First Published: November 18, 2019, 8:00 AM IST Madrid: Andy Murray will do a “great job” when he continues his comeback from injury at next week’s inaugural Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, British captain Leon Smith said on Sunday.The former world number one claimed his first ATP title since 2017 last month in Antwerp to raise hopes that he could return to the top of the game despite needing career-saving hip surgery earlier this year. Murray, who inspired Britain to the 2015 Davis Cup title, will line up alongside his older brother Jamie, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Neal Skupski at the Caja Magica.”Andy feels great,” said Smith. “He’s obviously extremely happy to be back in tennis.”He’s training unbelievably hard to get back to his best position, with great focus.”If he’s picked to play, then I know he will do a great job on the court. That’s not ego, that’s confidence of course.”He’s still a very good tennis player, he’s pushing (the other) guys ahead. And at the same time, you realise what he’s gone through.”Britain, who were handed a wildcard for the first tournament since the old World Group was scrapped, will be favourites to progress from a Group E which also features Kazakhstan and the Netherlands.The teams will face off in two best-of-three-set singles matches in each tie, with one doubles rubber.”We are very lucky to have three very good singles players and really good doubles options,” added Smith, who is expected to choose either British number one Evans or Edmund to partner Murray, now ranked 125th.”So I’ve got a few things to ponder in the next couple of days, but it’s a good situation to be in.”It wasn’t that long ago that it wasn’t like this and the guys all stepped up even though they were ranked 270, 300, 400… Beating guys 30th, 60th in the world.”That’s why you have to respect any opposition.”Russia get the finals, revamped by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique’s Kosmos company, underway on Monday against reigning champions Croatia.But the Russians have been weakened by the withdrawal of world number four Daniil Medvedev, who has been struggling with exhaustion after a gruelling season that saw him reach six consecutive finals.Croatia are missing the injured Marin Cilic, while the tournament will have to launch its new format without Roger Federer, who decided not to play.Novak Djokovic and home favourite Rafael Nadal have committed themselves to the event, although the Spaniard has been struggling with an abdominal injury in recent weeks.But his captain Sergi Bruguera insisted the 19-time Grand Slam champion wants to take part.”The truth is that he’s in a great moment,” said Bruguera. “He is doing well and is eager to compete.”The other ties on Monday see Belgium take on Colombia, who never played in the World Group, while Italy face Canada. last_img read more

Top seeds fall in Hamburg as Thiem, Schwartzmann lose in quarter-finals

first_imgBoth the top seeds of the German Tennis Championships fell short in the quarter-final stage at Hamburg as upsets reigned supreme on Friday. Dominic Thiem’s bid for a third claycourt title this season was stopped by Chile’s Nicolas Jarry while Diego Schwartzman fell to his countryman.Thiem, who was the runners-up at French open, suffered a shock 6-7(5), 6-7(7) defeat at the hands of big-hitter Chilean Jarry. Jarry is ranked 69th in the world while Thiem holds the eighth spot in ATP rankings.Young firebrand Jarry’s incredible tally of 35 winners came at a cost of 51 unforced errors but it was his ability to claim points under high-pressure situations that proved decisive in two intense tiebreaks.Jarry saved three set points in the second set tiebreak before closing out his first victory over a top-10 opponent.Fantastic match of Nicolas #Jarry against Dominic #Thiem! Congrats! #Rothenbaum #Hamburg #ATP #GOTC18 pic.twitter.com/IbMNIO7XoDGerman Open (@Am_Rothenbaum) July 27, 2018Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer defeated his fellow countryman and second seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg on Friday. Mayer has been a champion at Hamburg two time prior to this and that perhaps played a role.There were six serve breaks in the final set but the 2014 and 2017 champion controlled better to secure a victory in two hours and 14 minutes.Second seed Schwartzman struggled to find the rhythm in his serves and recorded eight double faults. For the second straight year, he failed to advance to the semi-finals of the event.advertisementMayer will take on Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik, who earlier beat Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Ohio State Coach Zach Smith Trashes Michigan In Response To Recruiting Pamphlet, Posts Photo Of Rings

first_imgFans of the Michigan Wolverines react to a 14-3 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 17, 2007 at Michigan Stadium.ANN ARBOR, MI – NOVEMBER 17: Fans of the Michigan Wolverines react to a 14-3 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 17, 2007 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)It may be June, but Ohio State and Michigan are in mid-season form in the trash talk department. Saturday night, Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith, taking exception to what appears to be a recruiting pamphlet produced by Michigan, blasted the Wolverines on Twitter. Smith, who is clearly ticked off that Michigan is is promoting its assistant coach Jedd Fisch as a better alternative for recruits to develop under, fired back, boasting about Ohio State’s three victories in a row over the Wolverines.Smith also predicted a fourth straight victory and posted a photo of all of the rings he’s won in his coaching years. It’s strong.U mad bro?? #LevelsToThis #IfTheyAintHatingYouAintPoppin pic.twitter.com/QhnJceNL4W— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 7, 2015@CoachZachSmith that’s all they got?!— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) June 7, 2015Check my Resume… And if it’s confusing… Check my live resume next November. It will be the same resume as the last 3 Novembers.— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 7, 2015Back to my regularly scheduled Saturday… #ThisAintWhatYouWant #Zone6 pic.twitter.com/6bxT0IoN3E— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 7, 2015Jim Harbaugh and his staff certainly aren’t bowing down to Ohio State. But the Wolverines may want to win a few games before they start comparing anything between the two schools.last_img read more

Tenders Called for South Shore Paving Project

first_imgThe road to fun in the sand and sun at two popular Nova Scotia beaches will be smoother after the completion of a road-paving tender announced by the province. The Department of Transportation and Public Works called for tenders to repave Trunk 3 from the Lunenburg-Halifax County line for eight kilometres to east of the intersection of Cleveland Point Road. “Queensland and Cleveland beaches are two of our busiest every summer,” said Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “This tender will result in a stronger, safer road for all drivers in the area.” The project is scheduled for completion this summer. The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.last_img read more

Nova Scotia Welcomes New Lieutenant Governor

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter welcomes the appointment of Brig.-Gen. John James Grant as the new Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. The appointment was announced today, Feb. 16, by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “General Grant is an accomplished businessman, community volunteer and a proud member of Canada’s military,” said Premier Dexter. “He has represented Nova Scotia proudly throughout his career and his life in Pictou County. His service to Canada will continue in his new role, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated Nova Scotian as the province’s next lieutenant governor.” Mr. Grant will replace Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis, who has held the position since 2006. She was the first African Nova Scotian to become the Queen’s representative in the province. “Nova Scotia has been well represented by Lt.-Gov. Francis and the province thanks her for her years of service and her commitment to help make life better for families,” said Premier Dexter. The primary responsibility of the lieutenant governor is to act as the Crown’s representative and chief executive officer of the province of Nova Scotia. Every measure and bill passed in the Nova Scotia Legislature must be given royal assent before it can become law.last_img read more

Mistaken Release from Custody

first_imgA 72-year-old male inmate was mistakenly released from custody by Sheriff Services at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, following an appearance at the Pictou provincial court. He returned to the Northeast Correctional Facility near New Glasgow and was taken into custody without incident, at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19. The inmate was supposed to be returned to the facility on an existing remand warrant related to sexual assault charges.The incident is under investigation by the Department of Justice. No further details can be released at this time. -30-last_img read more

OPEC countries to pump more oil to contain price increase

first_imgWhile OPEC’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be open to higher production, Iran has been hesitant because of its trouble to increase output and tensions with the U.S. President Donald Trump has been calling publicly for the cartel to help lower prices.The production limits by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia since 2016 have helped increase oil prices, with the benchmark U.S. crude contract hitting its highest level in more than three years in May. Some analysts note that while Trump has blamed OPEC, his policies have also helped increase the cost of oil by, for example, limiting exports from Iran.Some analysts believe that Saudi Arabia needs a Brent price closer to $90 a barrel to cover its domestic spending but is feeling pressure from the United States to head off rising prices by boosting output. Russia may be happy to pump more oil and settle for prices in the $60s, according to Tamar Essner, chief energy analyst for Nasdaq.There are other considerations than dollars and rubles. How that translates into effective production increases is uncertain, as some OPEC countries cannot easily ramp up production. Iran, for example, has been hit by U.S. sanctions that hinder its energy exports. Venezuela’s production has dropped amid domestic political instability.The price of oil jumped after the announcement, with the international benchmark, Brent, gaining $1.61 to $74.66 a barrel.Al-Mazrouei noted that the decision “is challenging for those countries that are struggling with keeping their level of production.” However, he indicated that some countries could pick up production if others lag.“We will deal with it collectively,” he said.Friday’s decision means OPEC will observe the production level it agreed on in late 2016, when it cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day. In practice, its combined output was even less due to production problems. That has since then helped push up the price of oil by almost 50 percent.Non-OPEC countries like Russia had agreed in 2016 to participate in OPEC’s effort to raise prices, cutting 600,000 barrels a day of their own production. They will discuss with OPEC on Saturday on whether to increase their own production. Daniel Yergin, the vice chairman of research firm IHS Markit and author of several books on the energy industry, says geopolitical factors are a big element in the oil production talks.Yergin said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates support the current, tougher U.S. policy toward Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival for influence in the region. So they will want to support Trump’s call for higher production and lower prices. Iran will struggle to increase production, meaning it could lose market share and revenue.By Kiyoko Metzler And Geir MoulsonTHE ASSOCIATED PRESScenter_img VIENNA, AUSTRIA – The OPEC oil countries agreed Friday to increase their combined production by almost 1 million barrels a day, though questions remain over some members’ ability to do so amid domestic trouble and sanctions.After a meeting in Vienna, Emirati Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the cartel decided to fully comply with its existing production ceiling.Because the group had been producing below that level, that effectively means an increase in production. The minister said that amounts to “a little bit less than 1 million barrels.”last_img read more

Afghanistan UN calls for redoubled peace efforts after hotel bombing

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the attack, which killed at least eight people and injured a number of others at the Serena Hotel in Kabul, the capital.“Among the victims were Afghan security guards and hotel staff, whose bravery prevented the death toll from being much higher, as well as members of the international community who were assisting development efforts in Afghanistan,” he said in a statement.“The attack will not diminish the commitment of the international community to Afghanistan, and that efforts must be redoubled to bring stability to the country and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice,” he added.Mr. Ban’s Acting Special Representative in Afghanistan, Bo Asplund, called the attack an atrocity deliberately targeting foreigners helping to rebuild the country and their Afghan colleagues.“The international community has been present here for many years, enjoying the hospitality and generosity of its Afghan hosts,” he said in a statement.“Its work is driven by the shared belief that peace and progress must prevail over war and suffering. This was an attack on those values, and a senseless crime under both national and international laws,” he added, calling on “all in the community, Afghan and foreign, to join with us in redoubling our commitment to the cause of peace.” Noting that the Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, the Security Council underlined the need to bring those behind “this reprehensible act of terrorism” to justice.In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, which holds the rotating presidency for January, the 15-member body “reiterated that no terrorist act can reverse the path toward peace, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and the international community.” 15 January 2008The United Nations today called for a redoubling of efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan after yesterday’s deadly hotel suicide bombing targeting foreigners and Afghan civilians working together to help the violence-wracked country. read more

Security Council voices support for incoming Burundi Government

“The installation of a broad-based government on the basis of an internationally sanctioned peace process makes armed rebellion an unacceptable means of political expression,” the Council said in its statement, read out by its President, Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France. He called on the Forces for National Liberation (FNL) and the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD), together with the Burundi Government, to strictly observe the rights of the civilian population and other provisions of international humanitarian law.The Council also called on all countries, particularly those in the region, to stop all forms of support to the FLN and the FDD, and urged all Member States to encourage the armed groups to join the peace process. Additionally, the Council asked for the States of the Regional Initiative to mark the installation of the transitional government by further enhancing their bilateral and regional cooperation with the new government. In its statement, the Council appealed to the Burundian parties to quickly reach agreement on the establishment of a special protection unit entrusted solely with the police function of providing personal security for politicians returning from exile. It welcomed the convening of a pre-implementation stakeholders meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, and urged the international community to provide urgently support for the training and deployment of that special protection unit. The Council also called on donors to increase humanitarian assistance to Burundi and to accelerate its delivery. read more

Protect the rights of Dreamers UN human rights experts urge US Government

“We are increasingly concerned about the impact that ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme could have on the young people who benefit from it,” said the rights experts in a news release issued by the UN human rights wing, OHCHR, Tuesday.The call comes ahead of the 5 March deadline for the DACA programme, which grants work permits and renewable two-year deferments from deportation to qualifying migrants who arrived as children under 16, are pursuing or have completed a high school education or military service, and have not committed a serious crime.Often referred to as ‘Dreamers,’ the DACA beneficiaries – estimated to number around 800,000 – will be stripped of their legal status and their protection from deportation without procedural safeguards if a solution is not reached by the deadline.The majority of Dreamers are ages 25 or below, and many are current students.“The US needs to adopt measures to address this situation as a matter of urgency. These migrants risk losing protection of their rights and being expelled from the country where many of them have lived and developed their lives for decades,” the experts underscored, noting that of particular concern is that the majority of these migrants are young women at risk of being expelled to countries where there are high levels of violence, lawlessness and crime.The human rights experts also underscored that an abrupt end to the DACA programme will disrupt the lives of these migrants and cause “profound grief and irreparable harm by tearing their families apart” and making them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse if deported to countries where they barely have any ties.“Ending the programme without a feasible alternative would also send a wrong signal to the population, as it would reinforce harmful racial stereotypes and stigmatize hard-working, law-abiding young migrants who are an asset to the country which they consider home,” they added.In the news release, the human rights experts also highlighted that the expiry of DACA offers a “unique opportunity” for regularization of many migrants who have strong economic, social, cultural and family links in the UN, and whose contribution to society is unquestionable.The UN rights experts making the call include Felipe González Morales, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Elina Steinerte, Vice-Chair on Communications of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Alda Facio, Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; and E. Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism.UN Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Carbon County Jail Bookings March 2531

HERZET, ALINA325201972 HOUR HOLD28PRICE VIGIL, ANTONIO325201972 HOUR HOLD41EAST CARBON HERRERA, MELINDA3252019POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA, FALSE PERSONAL INFO, WARRANTS X539PRICE MIGLIORI, DYLAN326201972 HOUR HOLD26PRICE FOX, DANIEL3252019DUI DRUGS20PRICE TRUJILLO, KYLE3272019HOLD FOR COURT29PRICE WILLIAMS, JAMES3292019WARRANTS X3, FAILURE TO REGISTER AS SEX OFFENDER, POSS. OF PARAPHERNALIA, CIVIL BENCH WARRANT51HOMELESS MADDERA, ROBERT33020192 DAY COMMITMENT30PRICE THRILLKILL, HEATHER3272019NCIC WARRANT42IDAHO HERRERA, RICHELLE3262019ASSAULT, DIS CONDUCT, TRESPASS42PRICE OLSON, RILEY3262019WARRANT21PLEASANT GROVE ROLFSNESS, ERIN3312019FELONY THEFT, POSS WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE METH, DRIVING ON A SUSPENSION, 72 HOUR HOLD42PRICE PARRY, AMANDA3282019POSS METH, POSS PARAPHERNALIA, 72- HR HOLD27PRICE FONOTI, GILBERT3312019WARRANT33WEST VALLEY THAYN, FREDRICK3252019WARRANT40HELPER WHEELER, GLORIA3252019WARRANT39PRICE HINTZE, BRITTNEY327201972 HOUR HOLD30WEST VALLEY DAVIS, DAMON3302019DUI, DRIVING ON DENIED DL45PRICE BEDWELL, JESSICA3272019ATTEMPTED THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE, POSS MARIJUANA27MYTON REYNOLDS, IAN3262019WARRANTS, POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (X2), POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA, FAIL TO STOP AT COMMAND OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, INTERFERENCE WITH ARRESTING OFFICER27SLC MACIAS, TYLER3292019INTOX, DISORDERLY CONDUCT, THREATS OF VIOLENCE26PRICE NEELY, CHARLES3292019WARRANT39HELPER MARX, DANIEL3252019VIOLATION OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER43PRICE REA, DAVID3272019COMMITMENT58WELLINGTON PEAY, BRADLEY3282019WARRANT38HELPER SWEARINGEN, JAMESON3282019WARRANT X440WELLINGTON MCCOY, GERALD3262019NCIC WARRANT33BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS FISHER, CHRISTOPHER3302019WARRANT22PRICE KELTNER, DANIEL3262019ASSAULT DV, INTOXICATION31HELPER COLEGROVE, MATTHEW327201972 HOUR HOLD35PRICE ELLIS, REBECCA3292019POSS OF METH, POSS OF HEROIN, POSS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA27PRICE NUNEZ, SALENA3292019WARRANT19PRICE NEUMANN, JARED3282019WARRANT, POSS. PARAPHERNALIA, POSS CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSS. HEROIN22HELPER BARNETT, ZACKARY3262019WARRANTS24PRICE ELLIS, DEBRA3292019RETAIL THEFT, POSS OF METH64PRICE VALENTE, KAI3312019OBJECT RAPE, SEXUAL BATTERY19ORANGEVILLE MOSSMAN SCHWAB, AMBER3282019RIM COMMITMENT41PRICE BEARNSON, TY3282019POSS METH, POSS PARAPHERNALIA52PRICE read more

Dayton Does Matter
Dayton Does Matter

Most office pools — and a certain billion-dollar bracket contest — insist the NCAA Tournament still has the pleasing, symmetrical, 64-team format: Six rounds, each winnowing the field by half, for a total of 63 games, 63 losers and one winner. Fans, likewise, haven’t gotten over the habit of calling the round of 64, played out over the manic Thursday and Friday of this week, the first round.But the real first round is happening now in Dayton, Ohio, and for the fourth straight year, it really matters. In the so-called play-in games, eight teams will compete on Tuesday and Wednesday for four spots in the round of 64. And two of the winners will have a real chance at a deep tournament run — a better chance than you’d think if you’d glanced at the contenders’ resumes on Selection Sunday. Their first-round — I mean, round-of-64 — opponents could regret having to face them. And you, too, could regret filling out your bracket before the opening-round games are done: North Carolina State and the winner between Iowa and Tennessee could shake up the strong Midwest region.The play-in games aren’t just a gimmick. Like wild-card rounds in the playoffs for the NFL and MLB, they help sort the contenders from the also-rans. Teams that have to play, and win, a contest before facing their next opponent have momentum, an actual phenomenon in college basketball.1As my colleague Benjamin Morris will show in an upcoming article.Most important, play-in games provide vital data about teams’ current strength, which is hard to get from their schedules, littered as they are with non-tournament teams and results from months ago. Winning the play-in game, the most recent and important contest to date against a strong opponent, is a big indicator of a team’s ability today.The baseball playoffs have validated the potency of this combination of momentum and trial by fire. Wild-card teams that have won their first MLB playoff series have won their next series about half the time, despite facing opponents with home-field advantage and, usually, a better record. Winners in the NFL playoff wild-card round, on the other hand, have slightly underperformed expectations, winning three fewer games against rested opponents (out of 124) than would be expected based on their regular-season performance.2This finding is based on NFL playoff data provided by ESPN Stats & Information, combined with Simple Rating System scores from Pro Football Reference, and this formula for converting SRS into win probability (assuming home-field advantage is worth 2.5 points). Why are the NFL playoffs so different from baseball and basketball? Two untested hypotheses: 1) The extra week of rest matters more because the sport is so physically demanding; and 2) SRS understates the gap in quality between bye teams and wild-card winners because many top teams rest starters after clinching byes, artificially deflating their ratings. Also notable: More recently, the NFL playoffs have looked a lot more like MLB’s. Over the last nine postseasons, wild-card winners have won their next game against bye teams 15 times, compared to an expected total of 12 wins.Sorting contenders from also-rans is particularly helpful in college basketball, a sport that’s particularly hard to predict from regular-season results. Each team has played fewer than 10 percent of other Division I teams. Top teams come from more conferences in college basketball than in football, making each team’s average conference game less meaningful as a postseason preview. Many regular-season starting lineups are a mix of new players and players who have never played with them, meaning November results may predict little about March results.From 2001, when the play-in concept was introduced, through 2011, this sorting mechanism didn’t matter much, because the single game decided which team would offer itself up for ritual sacrifice in the next round. In those days, play-in games pitted two would-be No. 16 seeds against each other for a chance at a game against a No. 1 seed. Those games aren’t unwinnable, yet they were never won.Those 10 underdogs did slightly better than expected in the round of 64. Their Simple Rating System3Simple Rating System is, as its name suggests, a basic way of evaluating teams based on their schedule strength and margin of victory. score heading into the tournament, along with the SRS of their top-seeded round-of-64 opponents, suggested they should have lost those games by an average of 29 points. Instead, they lost by an average of 27 points — a layup better per blowout.Since 2011, though, the play-in round has expanded to four games, with four of the teams competing to be seeded from 11th to 14th. These teams have a lot more to play for: They aren’t going to face a top-two seed in their next game, so they have a fighting chance of winning.The NCAA’s move was both innovative and retrospective: The 1983 and 1984 tournaments — with field sizes of 52 and 53 teams, respectively — also had play-in games, then called an opening round. Winners advanced to the first round, which was then also a kind of preliminary round of its own, pitting outsider teams against each other for a chance to play the top 16 teams, which each got two byes.The back-to-the-future tournament restructuring of 2011 immediately paid dividends. Virginia Commonwealth beat the University of Southern California for an 11 seed in the Southwest region, where VCU was a 10-point underdog to Georgetown, according to pre-tournament SRS. Instead, VCU crushed Georgetown by 18 points. And that was no fluke — the Rams then routed third seed Purdue by 18 and went on to the Final Four.VCU’s run is an outlier; you’d want good odds to bet on any play-in winner reaching this year’s Final Four in Arlington, Texas. But it’s also consistent with the historical data. Since 1980,4As far back as our data set goes 61 percent of 109 teams that had to win an opening or first-round game exceeded SRS expectations in their next game, against an opponent with a bye. The data set spans the play-in games of the past 13 tournaments, plus the opening rounds and first rounds in the early 1980s, when more teams got at least one bye. And the average team outperformed its rating relative to its opponent by two points. An extra layup doesn’t matter in a blowout, but it could swing a close 5-12 matchup.The sample size here is too small to be definitive: The standard deviation of teams’ performance relative to expectations is almost 10 points. But other findings corroborate this one. For instance, the analysis so far hasn’t accounted for how play-in teams that won their next game did later on in the tournament. But many went on to make deep tournament runs. VCU was the seventh opening-round winner to get to the Final Four. The 1980 Final Four featured three teams that had to play their way into the main, 32-team bracket. And Jim Valvano’s North Carolina State championship team of 1983 was a No. 6 seed that didn’t get a first-round bye.Seven semifinalist berths is a remarkable yield from this group of teams. Treat the 32 opening-round winners who won their next game as you would any other team in that round of the tournament, and you’d expect seven of them to reach the Final Four. And yet these were no ordinary teams. Each was, after all, flawed — it was in the opening-round game for a reason. None was seeded in the top four in its region.Don’t take this as advice to write in any of this week’s play-in winners for a trip to Arlington. The most important factor in predicting winners will remain teams’ relative strength through the season. But if you’re looking for an edge in a bracket contest, you could do worse than backing a play-in winner. And if you’re a fan of a team slotted to play one, hope your team’s coaching staff has been keeping a close eye on Dayton.CORRECTION (March 19, 11:00 a.m.): An earlier version of this article said four teams would match up in two play-in games. Eight teams will play four play-in games this week in Dayton. read more

Quick Thoughts on Michael Sam to the Rams
Quick Thoughts on Michael Sam to the Rams

I wrote this week that Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end who came out as gay in February, wasn’t certain to be picked in the NFL draft. Of those players at his position who had been rated as sixth-round picks before the draft — as Sam was — slightly less than 50 percent were chosen by an NFL team.I also wrote that I’d take Sam’s side of the bet given even odds:Personally, however, if the odds are something like 50-50 on Sam being drafted, I think I’d take his side of the bet. Why? A player only needs one team to draft him. A player like Sam who generates polarized opinions might have a better chance of being chosen in a late round by a team like the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks than one who everyone agrees is mediocre.Perhaps this counts as a “correct” (if well-hedged) prediction. But I got one thing pretty wrong. I assumed that Sam would be chosen by a team like the Patriots or the Seahawks or the San Francisco 49ers that play in an urban area especially tolerant toward gay people. But St. Louis was probably the best fit all along.How come? Public acceptance of homosexuality certainly varies from city to city and state to state. If we use support for gay marriage as a rough proxy, for example, I estimate that about 47 percent of voters approve of it in Missouri, as compared with 58 percent in California, 59 percent in Washington state and 66 percent in Massachusetts. (Obviously, the percentages are likely to be higher in cities such as San Francisco and Seattle specifically as opposed to the states as a whole. But that’s probably also true for St. Louis, which is considerably more liberal than the rest of Missouri.)What varies a lot more, however, is appreciation for University of Missouri football. Interest in the Tigers is about 50 times higher in Missouri than in the rest of the country, according to the number of Google searches.In other words, a higher percentage of people in St. Louis and elsewhere in Missouri will know of Sam as a football player and not just as a gay athlete. Here’s hoping that helps him to concentrate on what he does best. read more

Shark bites off tourists arm in the Bahamas

An American woman is scheduled for surgery on Friday in preparation for the fitting of a prosthetic arm after a shark attack in the Bahamas two weeks ago left her without part of her right arm.(WSOC TV Video Screenshot)Tribune 242 reports that the woman was snorkelling in waters near Athol Island around noon on June 2 when the attack took place. She was transported to shore and taken to hospital where she was detained in serious condition.North Carolina residents Tiffany and James Johnson were reportedly enjoying the last stop of their cruise vacation when the mother of three encountered the shark while snorkelling in a shallow reef.“I wasn’t in pain, it just felt like I had bumped into something so I just casually turned to my right to look to see and that’s when I was face-to-face with the shark,” Tiffany Johnson told WSOC.She recalled seeing the shark’s mouth clamped onto her right arm. She struggled with the beast for a few minutes before it tore her arm off.“I kept trying to yank my hand back and the last time I yanked he had cut it clean off so I was able to actually get free,” Johnson told the news station.Her husband jumped in to help when he heard her scream, and she was helped ashore and rushed to hospital.Doctors in the Bahamas stopped the bleeding and administered emergency treatment, but her return to the United States was said to have been delayed because of passport and customs issues.A medical evacuation company reportedly eventually agreed to cover the flight cost to Carolinas Medical Center.“I’m just so thankful. I’m thankful to be here,” Johnson said after the ordeal. “I’m thankful to be able to share this story and I hope, and I know, that it’s going to change people’s lives because you can’t hear this story and not see God in it.” (Caribbean360.com) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUS woman killed by sharks in front of familyJune 27, 2019In “latest news”‘I just gave it my all’ – Shaunae MillerAugust 16, 2016In “latest news”Indian woman fights off tiger with stickApril 4, 2018In “World” read more

Portyanko – Best foreign player in France

← Previous Story EHF forbids Tatran to play in SEHA?! Next Story → Cervar and Vujovic acquire new players! Juliya Portyanko, the Macedonian international playing for Arvor, has been voted the best middle-back in the French league, and also the best and most useful foreign player in the league. The success is due to the fact that she helped greatly the team to get to the 2nd place in the league, right behind the champions, and for the next season, as Portyanko says, the expectations are much higher and we can even expect a title challenge. read more

Over 40000 people in Ireland have a dangerous heart rhythm disorder they

first_imgEVER HEARD OF Atrial Fibrillation? Well, you’re in good company. Three-quarters of us haven’t, according to the Irish Heart Foundation.The condition is the most common form of heart rhythm disorder, according to the IHF, and the charity’s secured the services of former Munster and Ireland rugby stalwart Frankie Sheahan to help educate the public on the risks associated with it.The disorder usually has no symptoms, so most people don’t know they have it. However, warning signs can include palpitations, tiredness and shortness of breath. It’s more common as people get older, and it’s estimated more than 40,000 people over 50 years old in Ireland suffer from it; most are unaware.Diagnosed at the age of 30, Sheahan’s sporting career was thriving until he started having difficulty breathing and feeling like his heart was fluttering.“I could feel my heart pounding and it was hard to get my breath but my immediate thought was, it will pass so get on with it,” the former hooker said.“I didn’t want anything to interrupt my rugby career so I was very secretive about it despite having a lot of anxiety about it.” He says the condition got worse over the next few years “as did my performances,” and after he sustained a serious neck injury at around the same time, Sheahan decided something had to change.“Dr Gerry Fahy subsequently did a very successful ablation procedure and in hindsight, I wish I’d spoken out about my heart sooner because after the operation, I was better than ever before.”The IHF launched a new radio awareness campaign yesterday to stress the importance of regular pulse checks to detect the condition, which causes around one in three strokes in Ireland.The charity’s also providing a step-by-step guide for adults on how to take their own pulse at its website. According to IHF Medical Director Dr Angie Brown “The recommended normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 heartbeats per minute but some people can have heart rates over 100″.“You should see your doctor if you have a persistent heart rate above 120 beats per minute or below 40 beats per minute.”Check out IrishHeart.ie for more >Related: What overeating does to your bodyRead: Frankie Sheahan column: stop blaming the reflast_img read more

Victims of motherandbaby homes should give evidence in public if they want

first_imgAN IRISH HUMAN rights watchdog says that new laws may be needed to give the Commission of Investigation into mother-and-baby homes the powers it needs.In a submission to the department, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) says that it feels the Commission of Investigation Act 2004 may need to be amended so that the investigation can find out if the State breached its human rights obligations in relation to the homes.The IHREC has made a number of other recommendations including that victims should be allowed to give evidence in public if they so wish.They also recommend that the terms of reference of the inquiry should include all mother-and-baby homes, including Bethany Home, and any similar institutions which may include psychiatric hospitals or Magdelene Laundries if required in certain cases.“In establishing the Commission of Investigation, it is essential that the State ensures that a human rights and equality framework be applied,” says acting chair of the IHREC Betty Purcell.The commission goes on to say that where human rights violations are established, it must lead to “effective remedies including redress for victims”.The redress should come in “three distinct areas” argues Purcell: three distinct areas: Criminal prosecutions where warranted, remedies for individuals whose human rights were violated and a right to truth and apology to ensure guarantees of non-repetition.The cross-departmental review committee tasked with examining the issue will report to the government before the end of this month.Anyone who wishes to make a submission ahead of the establishment of the inquiry should contact motherandbabyhomes@dcya.gov.ie.Read: Inquiry should ‘examine all issues faced by children born out of wedlock’ >Read: Here’s how to make a submission to the mother and baby homes inquiry >last_img read more

Pep Guardiola dismisses Klopps claim about City
Pep Guardiola dismisses Klopps claim about City

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims by Jurgen Klopp that his team are showing “no sign of weakness” in the race for this season’s Premier League title.Liverpool remain the only unbeaten side in England’s top division this season and lead City by a point at the top of the table ahead of Friday’s trip to face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux.A win for the Reds would see City lag them by four points by the time they kick-off against Crystal Palace on Saturday.Both clubs will conclude their busy festive schedule when they face off at the Etihad Stadium on January 3 and Guardiola, whose team have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last seven games, feels they’ve got a lot of improvements to make before that game.“Any team has strong points and weak points,” Guardiola said, according to Goal.“Of course, we have weaknesses and we are working on it. Of course we have. But that’s normal.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“These kinds of comments I put in the perspective that there must be [weaknesses].”Meanwhile, Guardiola has revealed the club will be without the pair of David Silva and Vincent Kompany when they face Crystal Palace on Saturday.“[Silva] started to train. He had the first steps but still he is not ready for tomorrow,” Guardiola said.“I don’t know if he will be ready for the Christmas period.”“Vincent is better but for tomorrow he is not able.”last_img read more