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Virtual EE

first_imgEach spring, thousands of K-12 students attend environmental education camps at Georgia 4-H facilities across the state. They hold snakes, hike through creeks and marshes, visit historic sites and enjoy nature; all with a goal of learning about the environment. Since the COVID-19 outbreak has public schools closed, school buses parked and Georgians sheltered in place, the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education Program is now being offered virtually.To continue reaching students, Georgia 4-H centers have created “From The Mountains To The Sea,” an online educational series. The lessons began on March 30 and a new lesson will be added every weekday through May 22.“Thousands of K-12 grade students and teachers would have filled our 4-H facilities this spring, building memories and bringing learning to life using Georgia as a classroom without walls,” said Melanie Biersmith, associate state 4-H leader. “We hope that by offering these short programs each weekday, we can give youth and adults a way to stay connected to our facilities and our programs during this time when we aren’t able to physically participate in field studies. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to our facilities and give students these experiences in person, once it is safe to do so.”Each weekday afternoon, a different Georgia 4-H center uploads or live streams an environmental education lesson. Lessons will cover a range of topics such as herpetology, entomology and beach or stream ecology as well as highlight specific amenities at the 4-H centers including historic landmarks, salt marshes, tidal creeks, natural history museums and species exhibits.During the first week of lessons, the series reached more than 17,000 people. Topics included a tour of the Rock Eagle 4-H Center Wildlife Laboratory during feeding time, a lesson on diamondback terrapin turtles on Tybee Island, macroinvertebrates and stream ecology in the Georgia mountains, a walk through the maritime forest on Jekyll Island and an introduction to the farm area at Fortson 4-H Center.As one of the nation’s largest providers of residential environmental education, the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education Program provides opportunities for high-quality day and overnight educational experiences. The research-based curriculum correlates to the Georgia Standards of Excellence and provides hands-on learning in the context of the real world. Since the program began in 1979, it has reached over 1.2 million youth.Georgia 4-H offers environmental education at each of its six facilities: Rock Eagle 4-H Center located in the piedmont in Eatonton, Georgia, Wahsega 4-H Center in the Dahlonega mountains, Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, Georgia near Atlanta, Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island and Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll and 4-H Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll Island.To join in on the lessons, follow the Georgia 4-H Centers on social media or review the lessons in the series archive at https://georgia4h.org/environmental-education/from-the-mountains-to-the-sea-archive/.The centers and their Facebook pages are as follows:Rock Eagle 4-H Center for Mondays at The Mound, www.facebook.com/RockEagle4HCenter;Burton 4-H Center for Tuesdays on Tybee, www.facebook.com/Burton4H;Wahsega 4-H Center for Wahsega Wednesdays, www.facebook.com/wahsega4h;Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll/4-H Tidelands Nature Center for Thursdays with Camp Jekyll/Tidelands, www.facebook.com/CampJekyll or www.facebook.com/Tidelands4H; andFortson 4-H Center for Fortson Farm Fridays, www.facebook.com/Fortson4HCenter.Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships, and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office.last_img read more

New UN Arms Trade Treaty Boosts Central American Gun Control Efforts

first_img “In a crime scene, all that’s left are shells, so we want the investigation police to be able to track each shell back to the manufacturing batch and back to the person who bought them,” Chacón explained. This means that if passed, both the UN treaty and Costa Rica’s proposed law would require the participation of gun manufacturers around the world. The United States, Japan, China, Russia and Brazil remain the world’s largest gun-producing countries and compliance with new requirements would be necessary for these initiatives to have a broad impact. “It may be difficult for them to agree,” said Castillo. “But it would have to start with the manufacturers themselves, reporting their production and sales in detail such as number, type, buyer’s identity and inventory.” New gun-control laws spring up throughout the region Costa Rica is not the only country in Central America striving for better gun-control mechanisms. In 2012, Guatemala passed a reform that extended the registration period of guns by two more years, while Panama changed its penal code to double the penalty for illegal arms purchasing and sales, as well as for possession of drugs. El Salvador is now working on new gun-control legislation, with help from the UN Development Program. And in Honduras, that nation’s congress is discussing changes to its arms law, after a recent study showed that 81 percent of guns there are illegal. Nicaragua’s particular social system, in which communities organize themselves to keep the organized crime out of their neighborhoods, has also worked as a shield from violent gangs, protecting Costa Rica and Panama to the south. “As a region, in this way, we are divided: the countries in the north are caught in a bloody fight where they must attack the criminals that have already permeated society, while the rest of us in the south have to strengthen our prevention programs,” Chacón said. In 2011, the Central American Integration System (SICA) approved a single security strategy that offers countries a guide on how to tackle escalating homicide rates. But so far, only the countries in the south have lowered their homicide rates, while Central America’s so-called “northern tier” remains the most violent region on the planet outside a war zone. Treaty is a wake-up call for the world, say advocates The isthmus’s geographic location is both a blessing and a curse, said Morataya of CASAC. “It’s attractive for its rich natural resources and for facilitating trade,” he said. “But among other merchandise, drugs are traded from the south to the north and guns are traded down from the north to the south.” Organized crime is not just in the business of drug trafficking, says Costa Rica’s Chacón. Illegal arms dealing, money laundering and human trafficking also help diversify criminals’ income. She said “forced labor and human trafficking now constitute the second-highest source of income for organized criminals in this region.” Despite the increased presence of criminals in Central America, Chacón remains optimistic now that the highly visible UN resolution is shining a light on the global gun-control debate. “Regardless of what happens from here on, what matters is that this vote is the first in history to back up a global consensus that says that the weapons market should be regulated in some form, and it establishes criteria to do it,” she said. “This tells us that 154 countries agree something must be done so that guns are not taken to countries where they would be used in crimes against humanity — and that really matters.” SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica — Central American security officials hope that an international arms treaty which has just been approved by the United Nations will aid their struggle against a drug war that has exponentially increased the influx of guns into the region. On April 2, the UN General Assembly approved the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by a vote of 154-3, with only Iran, Syria and North Korea blocking it. Another 23 countries abstained, including China, Russia, Bahrain, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The historic ATT — which took seven years to negotiate — aims to regulate the global weapons market, estimated at $60 billion to $70 billion a year. The treaty’s goal is to ban the transfer of weapons when there are substantial reasons to believe their use would violate human rights or impair social and economic development, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo explained. Costa Rica is among the seven countries that first proposed such a treaty at the UN in 2006. The ATT would also block the transfer of guns if there is a risk of gender-based violence, or if the weapons might fall into the hands of organized criminals. It does not, however, “interfere with domestic arms commerce or the right to bear arms in Member States; ban the export of any type of weapon; harm States’ legitimate right to self-defense, or undermine national arms regulation standards already in place,” according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. Gun-control advocates praise ATT’s passage “This agreement could prove particularly helpful to Central American nations, where one of the biggest problems is the illegal traffic of guns. So we would hope that this could contribute to putting an end to the consequences of this trade,” said Hefer Morataya, director of the Nicaragua-based UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms in Central America program (known by its Spanish acronym CASAC). “Of course, the fact that the treaty has been approved doesn’t mean that it will start working immediately,” he added. “It’s going to take time and ratification by individual governments.” In fact, ATT needs at least 50 countries in order to be put into action, with all the challenges and setbacks that could entail. But Central America has no time to waste, said Marcela Chacón, the vice-minister for security in Costa Rica, where a heated public debate on arms regulation is now underway. President Laura Chinchilla is pushing lawmakers to pass a new arms law that would tighten gun-holding permits as well as rules on the importation and sale of ammunition. “A gun with no ammunition is simply a useless metal bludgeon,” Chacón said. Illegal weapons flooding Central America, says UN Of the 2.9 million firearms that have poured into Central America, only one million are legal, according to the 2010 UN Human Development Index. But officials say that for every registered firearm, as many as four more unregistered — and therefore illegal — guns are in circulation. And that number, they say, is rising as drug traffickers expand their business south of Mexico and depend on weapons to operate. Costa Rica’s proposed law would prohibit arms dealers from selling bullets without gun permits, while limiting the sale of bullets only to people who fit those permits’ profiles. It also would forbid the importation of ammunition that is not individually registered by the manufacturer. By Dialogo April 22, 2013last_img read more

Pink Slip Jan ’14: Christie, Bloomberg, Kim Jong-Un – You’re Fired

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [colored_box color=”red”]MEGYN KELLYApparently when Megyn Kelly says she’s dreaming of a white Christmas, the Fox News figurehead isn’t fibbing. “Kids, Santa Claus is white… And just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change…” she said, adding that “Jesus was a white man, too.” You could make the case that’s she’s wrong on so many levels but why bother? She’s the darling of Fox prez Roger Aisles, the right-wing political mastermind for Rupert Murdoch’s conservative cablevision channel and she’s no dummy. She knows what she’s doing—and for whom she speaks. When her Caucasian Claus comment hit the airwaves and lit up the Internet, she took enough heat to make the North Pole hotter than a Virgin Island. She then played the victim, saying that “race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News and yours truly are big targets for many people.” Considering that the average Fox viewer is a 65-year-old white guy, the only thing more shocking would be to see Kelly turn up in a blackface minstrel show. She should make the crossover to movies right away. She’s already shown a knack for dark comedy.CHRIS CHRISTIENew Jersey’s biggest bully of the Boardwalk won a cakewalk re-election as governor of a blue state, making him a contender in the national Republican Party’s next presidential bid. But it didn’t hurt that he spent $24 million in taxpayer money to hold a special election in October pitting Newark’s Democratic mayor Cory Booker against a Republican no-name for an open Senate seat and ensuring that Democrats would be less drawn to the polls in November when the state’s most popular African-American politician wasn’t on the ballot then. Christie has said he’ll reimburse the counties to cover their costs, but judging from his well-reported penchant for retribution, what county official would dare to do that? Let’s recall that when Christie first came to office, he arbitrarily cut his state’s funding of the much-needed rail tunnel project to Penn Station that would have benefited all railroad commuters, even LIRR riders, by relieving overcrowding and easing the commute. Christie used the bogus excuse that he was worried that what he termed the “tunnel to Macy’s basement” would lead to future cost-overruns, even though his headline-grabbing action as so-called fiscal conservative actually cost the state money, derailed this vita mass-transit project for our region, and curtailed thousands of construction jobs. Christie still has to come up with a plan to pay for a new rail passenger tunnel as well as improvements to highways and bridges. And that brings us, by extended detour, to the most controversial example of this thin-skinned guy’s demeanor, the outrageous closure of the George Washington Bridge. The dirty work was done by his two top henchmen, David Wildstein, his pal since high school whom he parked at the Port Authority for $150,000 a year, and Bill Baroni, another buddy he placed at the Port Authority with a salary of almost $300,000. Lanes at the GWB were closed on Sept. 9, causing a huge traffic gridlock in New Jersey, ostensibly to conduct a “traffic study” that Port Authority Chairman Patrick Foye admitted in December he knew nothing about—all reportedly to harass the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing the governor’s reelection. Fat chance that was ever in doubt. Christie’s greasy fingerprints are all over this political payback. If the Republicans want to nominate this porcine pol for president in 2016, go ahead—but nothing they can say will make his pettiness ever look presidential.DAVID DINSMOREForever looking across the pond for inspiration, we are disheartened to discover that David Dinsmore, the editor of The Sun, Sir Rupert Murdoch’s Fleet Street tabloid, had to run a recent apology after his not-so-esteemed rag had dubbed Lucy M. Powell, a Member of Parliament, “one of the 10 laziest MPs” based on her voting record. Actually, she was on maternity leave, and thus, as The Sun had to concede, “It was therefore wrong for us to say that she is lazy.” It’s a story that you’d think would be thoroughly fact-checked before it ever got ink. But that’s what a real newspaper is supposed to do. Perhaps, we shouldn’t hold The Sun to the same standard. Before Dinsmore became editor, Rebekah Wade was in charge—and she had to retire for her rancid role in the phone-hacking scandal for which she is on trial at the venerable Old Bailey. We pity the readers who get Sun burned.MICHAEL BLOOMBERGOne of New York City’s shortest but wealthiest mayors, Michael Bloomberg unquestionably did do a lot of good during his three terms—despite breaking his promise to observe term limits. But the billionaire’s callous disregard for those less fortunate finally reached the breaking point, and we’re glad to bid him good riddance. Under his reign, the rich got richer, the middle class shrank, and the poor grew by leaps and bounds. As Ralph Da Costa Nunez, president and CEO of the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, wrote in a Daily News op-ed, “Manhattan has effectively been transformed into a Hamptons on the Hudson, a Gold Coast of expensive and opulent housing that was snatched up by the ultra-wealthy, often before it is even built… Almost half (46 percent) of all New Yorkers live in or near poverty; the waiting list for public housing has grown by 19 percent to more than 167,000 families; and the overall number of homeless families seeking shelter is up a whopping 75 percent, while the number in shelters on any given night has almost doubled during Bloomberg’s time in office, from 7,000 to more than 12,000.” According to The New York Times, a record 22,000 children are homeless. The sad struggle of one of those kids, Dasani, was chronicled by the paper in a series called “Invisible Child.” Asked to comment on the girl’s plight, which was clearly worsened by city policies Bloomberg had instituted, the mayor was dismissive. “This kid was dealt a bad hand,” he sniffed. “I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works.” As well-known public policy advocate Diane Ravitch put it, “Some people have $22 billion; some people live in rat-infested shelters. That’s life.” If Bloomberg ever found himself in that kind of shit hole, would he be so forgiving? We doubt it.KIM JONG-UNParty on in ole Pyongyang! Hot times a-plenty in North Korea’s capital thanks to the pudgy leader of the people’s republic, Kim Jong-un, who not only got his uncle removed from power, he had him executed for “acts of treachery.” As our loyal readers know, we just give out Pink Slips, not execution orders. C’mon, Kim Jong-un, act civilized—Jang Song-thaek was family! In this country we only put people to death who’ve never held positions of power. What’s he thinking? Sure, state-run media in North Korea had called Uncle Jang “despicable human scum” and you know that’s the worst kind. But frog-marching the old man out of the communist party session and killing his top aides with antiaircraft machine guns (or  a pack of starved dogs) does seem rather harsh. And to think that Kim and Jang used to look so cute together in their near matching Mao suits. Fortunately, once Kim Jong-un is fired, he’ll have lots more time to improve his rebounding under the tutelage of Dennis Rodman. But what will they do with all those nuclear weapons?ETHAN COUCH & JEAN BOYDEthan Couch is the 16-year-old Texas teen who stole booze from a Walmart, piled his pals into his pickup and then drove 70 mph in a 40-mph zone, striking and killing four pedestrians, including a pastor. Couch’s blood-alcohol count was .24, and he also had Valium in his bloodstream. Prosecutors hoped the reckless youth would get up to 20 years in prison. Instead, the judge agreed with the rich kid’s defense attorneys that Couch was the poor pitiful victim of “affluenza,” a malady he caught because his parents had only taught him that “wealth and privilege shield consequences.” Couch was sentenced to probation. For his treatment, his parents are sending him to a “swanky” $500,000-a-year counseling facility in California. Tough love.Jean Boyd is the State District Judge in Fort Worth, Texas, with a soft spot for rich kids apparently. She gave Ethan Couch probation even though the 16-year-old teen had gotten behind the wheel of his pickup drunk as a skunk and plowed into four pedestrians, killing them and leaving a passenger pal riding in his pickup brain dead. The judge listened to Couch’s attorneys argue that his parents were responsible for the teen’s irresponsible behavior, letting him drive since he was 13 and drink when he was even younger. But Judge Boyd had a different reaction to the action of a 14-year-old African American who reportedly punched a person who died. She sentenced this juvenile to 10 years in prison. And they say justice is blind. Not in Texas.PHIL ROBERTSONWe don’t know how lucky we are to be living in the Age of the Reality Star. Phil Robertson, the Bible-thumping red neck patriarch of the multi-millionaire “Duck Dynasty” clan immortalized by A&E, has a right to denounce whoever he wants in the privacy of his duck blind. But when he’s a public figure, he’s got a different thing coming. He said in an interview in GQ magazine that “homosexual behavior” leads to “bestiality,” and, equally memorable, “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus.” The unedited Robertson in print now has a slew of opportunistic right-wing fans, like Sarah Palin, who are happy that he’s managed to piss off a whole group of people who had probably never heard of him before. His network has the right to suspend him when his idiocy in real life threatens a good thing created by his image in unreal life. His family’s three seasons of tramping through the bayou have spawned best-selling books and drawn in 14 million viewers, 9 million alone for its Christmas special. But it’s hard to reconcile the intolerant views of this homophobic bigot with the Christian spirit of compassion, just as it’s impossible to imagine Jesus Christ ever putting on hip-waders and going duck-hunting with a shot gun. Of course, the whole show is fishy—especially if the photographs on RefinedGuy.com of the three brothers—pre-ZZ Top beards—can be believed, as they’re posing like any clean-cut affluent family with their wives and kids on the beach before they joined the hit show. This “Dynasty” family may wear camouflaged attire but they can’t hide in plain sight forever. As the oldest, Robertson is all quacked up. Let the feathers fall where they must.MIKE SHANAHANThe sporting life isn’t fair. Fans can never fire the owners. We can think of at least two rich guys around these parts who shouldn’t even be allowed to carry their teams’ towels. But that’s not why we’re also giving the boot to Mike Shanahan, the head coach and executive vice president of the offensively named but offensively challenged (3-13 season) Washington Redskins. Let him take the fall for all the misguided masters of their universe whose large ego and short vision are too much to take when the results don’t live up to their delusions of glory. Shanahan doomed his team when he let his franchise player, quarterback Robert Griffin III, wreck his right knee last January. This season the team suffered while RG3 recovered from reconstructive surgery. At least, they managed to make the dreadful Giants look good. But Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder dropped the ball. We don’t envy Shanahan’s son Kyle, who was the play caller. Who’d want to be on the receiving end of what New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton referred to as Shanahan’s “piercing horror-film eyes”? Nobody, especially a manic coach, should have that much power to put a talented athlete’s promising career at risk. Let his firing be a warning shot. If ESPN dares to make Shanahan an NFL analyst, we’ve got more Pink Slips where this one came from.VLATKO MARIC & FRANCOIS MOLINSThe timing was off, to say the least. Days before France awarded Bob Dylan with the Legion of Honor, its most distinguished prize, a Parisian prosecutor named Francois Molins had filed preliminary charges against Dylan for “public injury” and “incitement to hatred.” Apparently, Vlatko Maric, the head of the Representative Council of the Croatian Community and Institutions in France, with some 30,000 members, had finally gotten around to objecting to Dylan’s remarks in an interview that he’d given Rolling Stone in September 2012, when he was denouncing racism. “It’s a distraction,” Dylan said in the interview. “People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back—or any neighborhood back. Or anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery—that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood. It’s doubtful that America’s ever going to get rid of that stigmatization. It’s a country founded on the backs of slaves.” Apparently those were fighting words. As Maric told the Guardian, “You cannot equate Croatian [war] criminals with all Croats.” If Maric took offense, why didn’t he write a letter to Rolling Stone? Dylan was just making a rather discursive observation that in no way should prompt an investigation by Molins, the Paris prosecutor, or as they say in France: “procureur de Paris.” Le Monde says he’s “competent’ and “contested.” We won’t dispute that. We’ll just give Molins and Maric each a pink slip. But we have to admit it does sound better in French: “Vous êtes renvoyés!”RAND PAULTheir thinking is stinking. But the pain they’re causing is profoundly real. Sen. Rand Paul, the Tea Party-backed radical rabble-rouser from Kentucky, recently shed light on the Congressional Republicans’ mindset when they cruelly let federal unemployment benefits expire Dec. 28, casting a dark shadow over the holidays for 1.3 million Americans who’ve been out of work longer than 26 weeks—and more suffering looms on the horizon. Rand said on Fox News (where else?) that spending $25 billion to extend the benefits nationwide would actually be a “disservice” to them. “When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy,” Rand said. It’s not like the Great Recession is behind us and happy days are here again. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are about 2.9 unemployed workers for every job opening. Studies have shown that companies will barely consider the résumés of anybody who’s been out of work for 27 weeks or more because the employers tend to assume there must be something wrong with these job applicants or somebody else would have hired them. So, the conservative reasoning goes, screw the unemployed because it builds character, and do nothing for them but cut taxes for the rich. It’s a shame that Rand Paul and his ilk can’t end up in a soup kitchen.THAMSANQA JANTJIEAccording to news reports, Thansanqa Jantjie was not mentally fit to stand trial for murder but was fit enough to stand next to President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa and be one of the weirdest sign language interpreters the world has ever seen. Jantjie later claimed he had a schizophrenic fit while on stage because of the stress. Experts said his bizarre gestures were meaningless and declared him a “complete fraud,” as one described him. Since the mid-1990s he’d been arrested at least five times, and in 2003 he reportedly faced murder, attempted murder and kidnapping charges. The African National Congress-led government should have given this nut job the cold shoulder once and for all. Wave goodbye, Jantjie.[/colored_box]last_img read more

Restaurant MICHELIN’S star was officially awarded

first_imgOne of the historic days for both our gastronomy and tourism is certainly a great success and recognition of the restaurant Monte from Rovinj, which became the first and only Croatian restaurant with a MICHELIN star.Late last week, Metro, which is a global partner of the MICHELIN guide, officially handed over the MICHELIN star to the Monte restaurant. Along with Monte, twelve restaurants from the Istrian County – Meneghetti, Batelina, San Rocco, Konoba Morgan, Zigante, Marina, Damir & Ornella, Konoba Čok, Sv. Nikola, Wine Vault, Alla Beccaccia and Pergola – entered selection of MICHELIN’s gastro guide for 2017 and presented them with plaques in METRO in August, the so-called MICHELIN plates.”METRO recognized the strength and potential of Istrian gastronomy in 2014 when we opened the first wholesale center in Istria adapted to hotels, restaurants and caterers. METRO has also cooperated with MICHELIN’s guide in Croatia in order to help Croatian restaurants and caterers take their place on the gastronomic map of the world.”, Said Roberto Mancuso, President of the Management Board of METRO Cash & Carry Croatia, adding that more than a third of METRO customers in Croatia come from the HoReCa sector, including 32 restaurants with a MICHELIN recommendation.With more than 100 years of experience in restaurant selection, the MICHELIN guide today recommends more than 20.000 restaurants in 30 countries around the world. Whether it is Europe, Asia or America, MICHELIN inspectors apply the same criteria in assessing the quality of every restaurant they visit anonymously. Using a unique process perfected over the decades, the MICHELIN guide has become an international reference for fine-dining, and the MICHELIN guide plaque is an official recognition that the restaurant is part of the 2017 selection. The MICHELIN guide presents a selection of the best restaurants and hotels in the 28 countries it covers.last_img read more

In sports, coronavirus shows no respect for stars or youth

first_imgHigh-level sports was one of the first social activities shut down by the coronavirus pandemic and many athletes, who play in front of crowds and train with team-mates, have been among the high-profile victims.While only one sports personality, the 76-year-old former Real Madrid president, Lorenzo Sanz, has so far died, those infected spread across the age range and the sporting spectrum, with clusters in Italian football, the NBA and cycling.The numbers could be higher because not all clubs are testing.  Topics : Valladolid in the Spanish Liga rejected test kits saying they should be used on those who need them. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors said they would only test players with symptoms.”We’re treating ourselves like people, which is what we are,” said general manager Bob Myers. “We’re just a basketball team.”Here, AFP Sport looks at some of the most high-profile cases.center_img — Sanz, who died on March 21, was in charge of Real Madrid from 1995-2000, overseeing two Champions League titles.”My father has just passed away. He did not deserve this ending and in this way,” tweeted his son, Lorenzo Sanz junior.– On March 17, while the International Olympic Committee and local organizers were still insisting the Tokyo Games would go ahead as scheduled this summer, Japan Olympic Committee deputy chief Kozo Tashima said he had contracted coronavirus.”I have a mild fever. Examinations showed a symptom of pneumonia, but I’m fine,” the 62-year-old Tashima said in a statement, issued via the Japan Football Association, which he also heads.– Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19. The English Premier League was suspended the day after the Gunners announced Arteta had tested positive. As a result of the Spaniard’s diagnosis, the Arsenal squad were sent into self-isolation for 14 days.– Callum Hudson-Odoi, the 19-year-old Chelsea and England winger on March 13 became the first Premier League player to test positive.The club said at the time that the teenager was “doing well.”– Among other young, rising, stars to catch the virus is 20-year-old Brazilian tennis player Thiago Seyboth Wild who announced on Wednesday that he had tested positive.He said he started feeling ill “about 10 days ago.”That came after a globe-trotting period typical of the tennis circuit.On March 1, Seyboth Wild won his first ATP title in Santiago Chile. The following week he played in a Davis Cup tie in Adelaide, Australia. “I really don’t think he’s the only player who has it,” former player Lindsey Davenport told Tennis Channel. “We have so many players all over the world.”– Former NBA season MVP, Kevin Durant, a 31-year-old forward former NBA most valuable player,is one of four Brooklyn Nets players to have tested positive. The forward had been sitting out the season recovering from an Achilles injury.– Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. The Frenchman had to apologise after pointedly touching every microphone and voice recorder on a table in front of him at a media conference, only to then test positive for COVID-19.–  Defender Daniele Rugani at Italian champions Juventus was the first player from Italy’s Serie A to test positive.Since then, team-mates Blaise Matuidi, a World Cup winner with France, and star striker Paulo Dybala have  tested positive.– Former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini, another World Cup winner, and his footballer son Daniel announced they were positive.– Six players at Sampdoria, Bartosz Bereszynski, Albin Ekdal, Morten Thorsby, Antonio La Gumina, Manolo Gabbiadini and Fabio Depaoli, along with team doctor Amedo Baldari, have tested positive. But team-mate Omar Colley said reports that he had tested positive were wrong.– In Spain, center-backs Ezequiel Garay from Argentina and Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala are among five cases.– In Germany, Luca Kilian is among four known cases in the Bundesliga but the news is good for the 20-year-old Paderborn defender. The club’s sporting director, Martin Przondziono, told German media Kilian “had two days of real trouble, with fever and chills, but he’s better now.”– Sean Payton, the long-time head coach of the New Orleans Saints in the NFL, announced March 19 that he has coronavirus. “If people understand the curve, and understand the bump, we can easily work together as a country to reduce it,” 56-year-old Peyton, who led the Saints to their only Super Bowl victory in 2009.– Another iconic coach, Fatih Terim, 66-year-old manager of Istanbul football giants Galatasaray, has tested positive. — Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, the former Manchester United and Everton midfielder who is with Shandong Luneng Taishan in China also reported that he had tested positive.– Former England cricketer Alex Hales self-isolated after showing symptoms. Two other England cricketers, Tom Curran and Jade Dernbach, who had gone out to play darts with Hales to celebrate Curran’s 25th birthday, also self-isolated.– The first sportspeople to be hit by the virus were at cycling’s UAE Tour in late February. One of the victims, Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria tweeted on March 12: “I’m okay and I’m feeling good”. But as recently as Monday, cycling media were reporting that he was one of eight people still quarantined in a hospital in Abu Dhabi. last_img read more

Man City and Arsenal target Kostas Manolas described as ‘Chiellini’s heir at Juventus’ by Fabio Capello

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Manolas has been a regular in the Roma team since 2014 (Picture: Getty Images)‘In any case, you need to know how to make wine with the grapes available, and champagne comes out with Juve players. Indeed, it is better to speak of Italian products.’Napoli and AC Milan are also interested in the 28-year-old and it had looked like it was Napoli that had won the race for his signature.Carlo Ancelotti’s side had attempted to drive down the price for the defender by offering a player swap deal instead of meeting the £32m release clause, but Roma rejected the deal.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityA deal could still be done between Napoli and Roma, but the negotiations have allowed other clubs the time to try and swoop for Manolas.Gazzetta have reported that Napoli have agreed personal terms with the Greek, offering him £3.2m-per-season on a four-year deal, but the clubs have not come to an agreement yet.MORE: Arsenal confirm backroom shake-up as Unai Emery replaces Steve Bould with Freddie LjungbergMORE: Arsenal ‘reach agreement’ with William Saliba ahead of transfer from Saint-Etienne Advertisement Man City and Arsenal target Kostas Manolas described as ‘Chiellini’s heir at Juventus’ by Fabio Capello Metro Sport ReporterMonday 17 Jun 2019 7:39 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link43Shares Kostas Manolas is wanted by a number of big clubs this summer (Picture: Getty Images)Fabio Capello has talked up a move to Juventus for Roma’s Kostas Manolas, which could disappoint Manchester City and Arsenal who are both interested in the defender.The Greek centre-back is wanted by a number of Europe’s top clubs this summer and with a release clause of £32m, he looks quite affordable.City are looking to replace Vincent Kompany, Arsenal need numerous defensive reinforcements, while Juventus are looking to bring in a younger model with Giorgio Chiellini turning 35 this summer.Former Juve and England boss Capello thinks that Manolas is the man to replace the eight-time Serie A winning Italian defender.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘​We would need a great central defender, which in the future could be Chiellini’s heir,’ Capello told Gazzetta dello Sport. ‘The most suitable would be Manolas, but I don’t go into their strategies.last_img read more

A great opportunity in Wynnum West

first_imgThe home at 7 Brockworth St, Wynnum West.This charming cottage is on a private 599 sqm block in Wynnum West. The property at 7 Brockworth St is perfect for first homebuyers, investors and downsizers. The home has a stylish kitchen with five-burner Miele gas cooktop, Westinghouse wall oven and dishwasher, pull out pantry, and plenty of bench and cupboard space.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020There is a dining room on one side of the kitchen, a living room on the other and a sunroom at the front of the home. The main bedroom has a built-in robe and ensuite and the second bedroom has a built-in robe. There is also a family bathroom, laundry and separate toilet. The property has airconditioners in the living room and bedrooms, security screens throughout and solar hot water. Outside there is a side access, carport and a double garage in the fully fenced yard. The property is on the market for $552,000.last_img read more

USS enters direct inflation-swap deal with Yorkshire Water

first_imgThe multi-employer pension scheme for higher education workers in the UK said long-dated derivatives were becoming expensive for counterparties to roll over with banks when break clauses are reached.Yorkshire Water’s break allowed USS to offer an alternative, adding an inflation match in the scheme’s liability-driven investment (LDI) portfolio.Ben Levenstein, head of private debt and special situations at USS Investment Management, the scheme’s in-house asset manager, said it restructured Yorkshire Water’s inflation swap to match its own requirements.“We got to a situation where both parties were happy with the predicted stream of cash flows from the new swap put in place,” he said.USS, which has 7.4% of its assets in LDI, purchased long-dated inflation swaps from Yorkshire Water that mature in 2063.It also removed any further break clauses.Levenstein said USS began discussions with the water company a year ago, knowing it would require inflation-linked financing.Water companies in the UK are owned privately, but their revenues are regulated by the government and include annual adjustments in line with the retail prices index, the same inflation measure used by USS to increase pensions.He said the scheme was keen to continue sourcing direct inflation-swap deals with companies that require counterparties with a longer-term perspective.“We are very keen to explore new opportunities,” he said. “USS is perfectly suited to this sort of investment with inflation and duration exposure.“There have not been many of these transactions before, so we have developed the process to undertake ones like this.”USS declined to comment on the structure of the deal, including whether the swap was collateralised.Levenstein, however, said Yorkshire Water was a “strong” counterparty.The pair set up a special-purpose vehicle, Aysgarth Finance, to manage the swap’s cashflows.Earlier this year, Yorkshire Water announced it held £2bn in inflation swaps, with further breaks in 2018, 2020, 2023 and 2025 but plans in place to manage the breaks in 2018.Yorkshire Water said its inflation-linked derivatives portfolio was putting pressure on the company’s credit quality, downgraded recently by Moody’s. The £49bn (€67bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has become a direct counterparty to a UK utility company in an inflation swap used to manage liabilities.Inflation swap derivatives are normally run through banks that act as counterparties to both sides.The cost of managing these transactions, however, has increased due to banking regulation since the financial crisis.The deal with Yorkshire Water, thought to be worth more than £130m, was arranged when the company’s previous swap deals approached a break clause – where banks and customers often renegotiate the pricing of derivatives.last_img read more

Gold Coast market on a downward slope but don’t panic just yet

first_imgVarsity Lakes is one of the Coast suburbs that’s performing well.Herron Todd White Gold Coast director Tod Gillespie said there were a number of reasons the market was softening, but assured there was no reason to panic.Different lending criteria potentially as a result of the banking inquiry and Chinese buyers disappearing from the market were partly responsible.But he said low consumer confidence was making buyers, particularly locals, cautious.“It’s a combination of the press about the Sydney and Melbourne markets slowing,” Mr Gillespie said.“Generally the Gold Coast market follows.“We’ve just gone through four years of sustained growth year on year so at some point, it has to slow down.”He encouraged anyone looking to buy on the Coast to do their research.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:28Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:28 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenElizabeth Tilley talks prestige property07:29 A new report predicts the Gold Coast property market will slow down in coming months.THE Gold Coast property market is on a downward slope, a new report reveals.The latest report by property valuation and advisory group Herron Todd White suggests both the housing and unit markets on the Glitter Strip are “starting to decline”.The findings are based on property market performance in major cities and regions across the country over the first half of the year and where they are likely to go in the next six months.Following a dull period during the Commonweatlh Games, the report said agents indicated the market had improved to level back out.Despite sales dropping over the past year in most areas, some suburbs were still performing well, particularly Varsity Lakes and Mermaid Waters. The Gold Coast property market has sustained strong growth over the past four years.“They have attributed the positive levels of buyer inquiry in these suburbs to a shortage of good quality stock in central areas and asking prices being more affordable in comparison to neighbouring suburbs,” the report said.However, it said agents were finding it tougher to get quick sales for units priced between 500,000 and $1.5 million.“If the apartment is not reasonably priced from the get go, feedback has indicated that it will likely sit on the market for an extended period,” the report said.“There are many new medium to high rise developments under construction between Mermaid Beach and Surfers Paradise at the moment. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“It will be interesting to see if this will create a huge oversupply in the near future.”The second half of the year is expected to remain stable.“Whilst we don’t expect sales volumes to increase any time soon, steady levels of demand and a lack of listed stock will likely continue in most central suburbs,” the report said.“An unexpected rate rise in the next six months however would definitely make things very interesting.”last_img read more

Graham Quirk works hard for first auction win

first_imgGraham Quirk had lots to say about Brisbane during long pauses between bids at Saturday’s auction. Picture: Steve Pohlner.And while he is on their team in a voluntary role, there was no International Olympic Organising Committee to sweeten the bidding here, so he was forced to place another vendor bid of $700,000.“Just to keep things rolling and what we’ll do now is bid in $10,000s,” Mr Quirk said.At this point, the Googan family asked about auction practices.“The vendor can bid as long as you can,” Karalis Real Estate’s lead agent Michael Sunderland explained to the family.“In NSW it’s one only, but in Queensland it’s as many times as you want.”Soon after this, Lily threw up paddle number eight and entered her first auction with a bid of $720,000 and what followed was a series of three quick-fire bidding volleys over five minutes between Lily and the Googans, during which the price got to $796,000. The largely local crowd gather to see Graham Quirk’s first auction, at 6 Archiva St, Mount Gravatt East: Picture: Steve Pohlner.“G’day, I’m lucky to have you all here,” Mr Quirk said, before reporting in for duty.“I’ve got the gavel, let’s hope I can bring it down.” Part way through the auction, a real estate agent’s mobile phone started ringing to the sound of Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice. Nobody was shocked by the tone of Graham Quirk’s voice. Picture: Steve Pohlner.The opening bid of $500,000 came from Peter Lukose, who was prepared to go to $650,000 but no further as his wife had not seen the house he was bidding on.“He’s 101 per cent for me,” Mr Lukose said of Graham Quirk’s first day on the job.“He’s a little bit tricky, going to the market, then winding us up, that’s a trick.“But the way he presented, just very nice, because he know every piece and corner of Brisbane.”Bidding against Mr Lukose was Peter Googan and his family from Holland Park.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoThe winning bidders James & Mae Googan, with their children Liam, 3yrs & Flynn, 6yrs. Karalis Real Estate agent Michael Sunderland (left) stood beside them during the auction. Picture: Steve Pohlner.“I think he was a little bit nervous,” Mr Googan said afterwards.“We didn’t know who he was to be honest.“We’re originally from Sydney and we came here about a year ago, but it wasn’t until we showed the listing to other people at work and they knew who he was. They were really excited. They were surprised, they thought he was still mayor I think.”Mr Quirk recommended $50,000 bids to start and found the going tough so at $550,000 with Mr Googan in front he was forced to place a vendor bid of $600,000.Mr Googan replied with $650,000 and then there was another long pause, during which Mr Quirk launched into a city sales pitch that would have made Queensland’s Olympic bid organisers proud to have him on their team. We’re not sure how much he’s charging for his auctioneering duties but Graham Quirk’s number plate might give us a hint. Picture: Steve Pohlner.“This is your virgin auction,” said Mount Gravatt East resident Dale Hanley, who was propped up on a pre-war shooting stick on the front lawn as part of the 80-strong neighbourhood welcome party for former Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. Racing champ to sell Brisbane house Graham Quirk congratulates the winning bidders. Picture: Steve Pohlner.“I’d give myself a seven out of 10,” Mr Quirk said afterwards.“I’ve got a lot of improvement that will come very quickly because today was a bit of an unnatural environment with the media around,” he said.“Not that that’s an unnatural environment for me but it still is in this set of circumstances.” He also had his Racing Queensland board member badge pinned to his jacket, but it would still take the best part of half an hour before the gavel came down on 6 Archiva St, Mount Gravatt East at $796,000, with two vendor bids, three active bidders, and not a single pause to negotiate.center_img Brisbane’s million-dollar suburb boom MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES Graham Quirk wore his Racing Queensland badge during the auction and was heading to the races for the afternoon. Picture: Steve Pohlner.It was 12.52pm, and the hottest part of the day, when Mr Quirk asked for the crowd’s indulgence to seek instruction from the vendor about whether the property was on the market, but there was no escaping the spotlight or the heat.“I’ve done it for you,” Mr Sunderland said by the auctioneer’s ear.“Oh, well, you’re ahead of yourself,” replied Mr Quirk.“Well ladies and gentlemen I’ve just had word … that this property is now on the market.”There were no further bids and the property went to the Googan family. FOLLOW DEBRA ON TWITTER Graham Quirk at his first auction as a professional auctioneer on Saturday. Picture: Steve Pohlner.A COUCH cushion in the house said ‘enjoy today’, but there were nerves all around as rookie bidders stood in front of a rookie auctioneer who just four months ago was the Lord Mayor of Brisbane.last_img read more