City’s Sterling expects close Premier League title race

first_imgBy Shravanth VManchester City forward Raheem Sterling has predicted the Premier League title race to be a very closely fought affair this season with most contenders having strengthened their squads.City’s £49 million man, who left Liverpool during the summer to become the most expensive English player of all time, made his debut on Monday in his side’s comfortable 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.“It’s going to be a really tough season,” the 20-year-old told the club’s website. “Everyone has strengthened their squads and the Premier League is always hard to second guess.”Sterling is set to make his home debut on Sunday against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea against whom City drew both their games last season.“Chelsea are very strong in every department from their defence and midfield to their attack, but it should be a good game and I’m really looking forward to playing in this match,” the England international said.“I’ve done alright against them in the past and results-wise, I think it’s been pretty even overall so far in the matches I’ve played in.“But I’m hoping this one will go our way and it’s vital that it does. We’re on our own ground and with it being our first home game of the season, we want to get off on the right foot.”Sterling was coy about his targets for the season as he wants to stay away from any added pressure.“I’ve set myself targets for goals and assists and I know where I want to be but I don’t really want to reveal what they are because I’ll put myself under massive pressure,” he said.“But I’ve got personal goals that I want to reach this season for City and hopefully I can meet them.”last_img read more

Pliskova beats Kvitova, advances to WTA Finals semis

first_imgSINGAPORE (AP): Karolina Pliskova won the first set to eliminate Petra Kvitova and then won the second set to advance to the semi-finals at the WTA Finals. Pliskova, who advanced from her group for the second straight year, beat Kvitova 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to improve her record to 2-1 at the season-ending tournament. It was Pliskova’s first victory over Kvitova in their fourth meeting. “I knew I lost my other matches to her. I knew this time I had a chance because I was playing pretty well in my other two matches here,” Pliskova said on court after the match. “Everything is working well for me this week, so I’m just happy.” In the other group match, Elina Svitolina stayed unbeaten and advanced to the semi-finals by beating defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. Kvitova jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Pliskova then won six of the next seven games. Kvitova finished the group with three straight losses. “I still had a lot of positive thoughts in the match to fight and turn it around, even [if it] didn’t happen,” Kvitova said. “I still need to be fine because I still have the Fed Cup final (against the United States) coming up.” Kvitova, who is from the Czech Republic, rarely loses to players from her country. Since the 2012 Madrid tournament, the two-time Wimbledon champion has won 27 of 29 matches against Czech opponents. Her only other loss to a Czech player in that time period was to Pliskova’s twin sister, Kristyna, at this year’s tournament in Charleston, South Carolina. Svitolina only needed to win one set in the late match to advance, but she had to wait for it. Wozniacki nearly pulled off the straight-set victory, which would have given her a place in the semi-finals instead. But she squandered two game points in the final game of the second set and then sent a backhand long on a fifth-set point for Svitolina. “It was an amazing match and a tough fight because Caroline always brings the best out of you,” Svitolina said on court. “You have to push your limits against her.” POSITIVE THOUGHTSlast_img read more

Looks a lot like we are on the road to the return of the…

first_imgThe A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) is extraordinarily insensitive to the plight of poor people. Last week they prohibited fishermen from using docking areas at Hope Canal, without giving the poor fishermen any option. Last week, some hard-working people from South Georgetown were given a two-week notice to remove themselves and their livestock or the APNU/AFC City Government would remove the livestock to the slaughter house. These stories are happening on a daily basis. APNU/AFC’s coldness resembles absolutely the behaviour and attitude of dictators. As people’s lives become more depressing, more and more of the APNU/AFC leaders claim the Guyanese people are enjoying the “good life” like never before.It is in this vein that even the talk of road tolls causes such anxiety among people. Road tolls are something a large section of the Guyanese people remember with a hefty dose of anxiety and ugly memories of political vindictiveness. The people of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) know that road tolls were used to punish them politically because they refused to support Forbes Burnham and the People’s National Congress (PNC) through the 1960s and until 1992. While road tolls are internationally used to generate revenues to support maintenance of roads, in Guyana, a large section of the population experienced the spiteful use of road tolls to politically discriminate against them. Travelling across Region Six and other parts of Guyana last week, I was amazed how quickly, the potential return of road tolls became a major discourse, particularly under the bottom houses in Region Six.Why has this ugly and vile practice of road tolls as a political weapon risen again among citizens? Infrastructure Minister David Patterson last week signalled the intention of the APNU/AFC Administration to introduce road tolls in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni). This announcement immediately made many of us wonder if APNU/AFC has intentions of re-introducing tolls on the East Berbice Highway. In fact, after increasing or introducing new taxes in more than 200 categories in just over two years of being in Government and encouraging parking meters in Georgetown, I am almost certain that this Government has every intention of introducing tolls on highways across Guyana. The announcement of tolls for Region Seven is just testing the waters for the introduction of road tolls. This tax and spend Government is determined to suck every cent they can from the Guyanese people.It should not shock anyone that APNU/AFC is signalling its thinking about tolls to support its brazen tax and spend propensity. After all, APNU/AFC comes out of the belly of the People’s National Congress (PNC). The PNC’s DNA and, therefore, that of APNU/AFC, includes a hefty reliance on schemes such as road tolls to raise money, but most worrying is that it is a political force that uses road tolls as a political weapon. The citizens of Region Six will never forget the brazen and reprehensible targeting of that region for the use of road tolls to punish people for their political alignment.People my age will remember that the East Berbice Highway had three toll gates – at Number 19 Village, Adventure and at Number 63 Village. The only highway that had multiple tolls was the East Berbice Highway. The reason was obvious – the people of East Berbice were overwhelmingly opposed to the PNC. The PNC wielded but its main purpose was political vendetta against the citizens of Region Six for their overwhelmingly solid opposition to the PNC. For almost 20 years, those toll gates stood as a symbol of the political spitefulness of the PNC. Cheddi Jagan and the People’s Progressive Party had promised that they would abolish tolls on the East Berbice Highway. The Hoyte Administration in preparation for the first free and fair election in independent Guyana gave in to pressure and abolished the tolls in 1992, just before the elections.In May 2015, I warned that road tolls will be re-introduced and used selectively as a political weapon. The possible introduction of road tolls in Region Seven, as announced by Minister Patterson, will be followed by introduction of other road tolls and the East Berbice Highway will be a priority for the introduction of road tolls. I suspect that the West Demerara and Essequibo Roads will also be subjected to tolls. I hope that if this is just wild speculation that the Minister will immediately dismiss the possibility that he and his Government has any intention to introduce tolls on our roads.last_img read more

GECOM must produce a credible voters’ list now!

first_imgDear Editor,As we quickly approach September 18, 2019, tensions are skyrocketing across our nation in reaction to the wanton lawlessness of the PNCR push for a state of emergency in Guyana. Our citizens are Guyanese who are worried about the future of the nation, even as the widely unacceptable and condemned House-to-House Registration has led to a most confused and unauthorised situation with no verification being done.To conduct the activities, the GECOM Secretariat selected numerous biased PNC enumerators who proved to be outrageously deficient, given the limited training provided. Under the PNC orchestrator’s wicked delaying scheme, the chosen enumerators along with multiple PNC scrutineers rushed into action to counter the immediacy of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) upholding that the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) was properly passed in the Guyana National Assembly on December 21, 2018.Combined with the absence of Opposition scrutineers, who were deliberately excluded by CEO Keith Lowenfield, the concocted plans resulted in threats of charges and prosecution to citizens who did not register. They were threatening the residents with the present ID card becoming non-commissioned and the need to get register to obtain a new ID card. Some citizens were wrongly placed to sit on the benches in the police stations and in the lock-ups while the cahoots used the police to force others to report to the stations, yet nobody was charged.This was the wicked, disgraceful, and anti-social behaviour of some enumerators, who were clearly not fit and proper for the conduct of any House-to-House activity. Their lackadaisical attitude contributed to their woeful and unprofessional conduct when dealing with registrants, which led to numerous rejections. It cannot be, therefore, seen or reasoned on any front that such biased and unqualified approach which lacks validation of additions to the National Register of Registrants, would earn the confidence and respect of Guyanese citizens.Further, there are numerous additional questions which taint the Lowenfield-PNC design in this instance and further informing the need for the highly credible and proven approach of the Claims and Objections. Why is more than ninety per cent of GECOM’s staff one ethnic origin? Who gave permission for the GECOM Secretariat to recruit temporary and permanent staff at GECOM?It is clear to all Guyanese that it is the Commission, which has the responsibility to employ all staff at GECOM, and the Commission was not in a place to address these matters at the time Lowenfield usurped the authority of the Commission.With less than two weeks before the deadline for Regional and National Elections, the Commission must be supportive to the Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, who clearly has some very difficult but necessary decisions to make in upholding Guyana’s Constitution. It is indeed very disappointing to observe the Secretariat recommending March 2020 as the proposed period for the holding of General and Regional Elections.It is unbelievable that at the last statutory meeting, held on Tuesday, the issues on the table included fingerprint cross-matching of persons registered under the Lowenfield House-to-House activity; the possible printing of National Identification Cards and the preparation of a Preliminary Voters’ List. In fact, the merger of data from the highly controversial and unverified House-to-House Registration is a recipe for serious challenges and it is all because the APNU and Granger, in particular, are dodging and delaying the imminent Regional and National Elections.The PPP Commissioners at GECOM should continue to be resilient and strong to carry their argument for elections at the earliest, knowing that it was due since March this year. The ID card printing seems to be the next area the caretaker Government is holding strong to, in further delaying the process. One hundred and forty-four days to print ID cards is total absurdity and Madam Justice Retired, Claudette Singh, is expected to make firm decisions in this regard to establish a clean list in the shortest possible time.Let it be known that after September 18, 2019, there will be no cover for the illegal Ministers, sadly prompting a total disintegration of norms in our dear land.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

New look side braces for World 7s Series test

first_img0Shares0000NAIROBI, Kenya, November 17- Kenya heads out for the opening 2011/2012 HSBC Sevens World Series in Gold Coast, Australia on Friday with an element of the unknown after head coach Mitch Ocholla named four debutantes to the travelling party.It will be the first time since 2006 for the team to embark on the elite rugby sevens circuit without their iconic former captain, top try scorer and most capped player, Humphrey Kayange, who quit the team to further his studies at UK’s Bristol Universities.“His shoes are too big to feel but I believe the selectors chose the best in the country and I have faith with the guys that have been chosen that we will perform to the best of their abilities. “We are going to win; with the bonus structure we have being among the top ten does not count. The incentive that has been pushed through means we have to way higher, we are talking about top five, that is our target,” Sydney Ashioya, who has been handed the armband for a second stint since 2006 said on Thursday when the squad was named.Following the $2.9m (Sh290m) sponsorship deal with national carrier, Kenya Airways, Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) for the first time announced the names of the 18 players who will be contracted to play for the team through out the campaign as well as the 12 who will feature in the opening HSBC leg.Seven fresh faces made the list of contracted players namely, Isaiah Moseti, Christopher Asego, Michael Agevi, a younger brother of Kayange, Dennis Ombachi, Tony Onyango, Philip Wamae, and Michael Wanjala.“We have monitored them in the local circuit and the two international tournaments they featured and we are confident they are up to the task. Yes, the team is a transitional side but we selected them owing to their ability to compete against the best,” head coach, Mitch Ocholla, explained their inclusion.Moseti, Asego, Agevi, Ombachi and Onyango will have their baptism of fire at the Gold Coast opener where they will face titans New Zealand and Fiji in the group stages after they made the travelling 12 of the opening leg of the HSBC series.“For me, it’s quite a step-up to make from local rugby to the international circuit but there is something the coaches saw in my play that made them give me this chance. I’m not thinking about the stage, I’m just going there to play my game,” Agevi who stated his intention to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious elder sibling stated.Among the contracted players, Charles Kanyi, who will make the first leg trip is back on the national team fold after a two year hiatus with Ashioya, William Ambaka, Horace Otieno, Patrice Agunda, Oscar Ouma, Andrew Amonde, Biko Adema, Collins Injera, Benedict Nyambu and Lavin Asego forming the experienced backbone in the side.Injera, L. Asego, Adema and Nyambu will not be in Friday’s travelling party but according to coach Ocholla, two changes could be made to the opening leg squad after the subsequent Dubai Sevens.For a series win, each member of the squad will receive a $5,000 (Sh500,000) pay out with $3,000 (Sh300,000) for final appearance with $2,000 (Sh200,000) and $1,000 (Sh100,000) per head set out for semi and quarter-final appearances in addition to monthly salaries under the terms of the KQ sponsorship deal.KRU chair, Mwangi Muthee told reporters on Thursday a joint account owned by the Union and the airline would be opened to manage the finances of the agreement.Other benefits of accruing to the players under the sponsorship include free flight to the HSBC World Series as well as comprehensive medical and insurance cover when featuring at the circuit.“Of course, the passion of the game is the biggest motivating factor but with the bonuses in place, we are obligated to aim not just to show up but win every game that we start,” Ocholla noted.The team is set to return on December 11 after touring Dubai and South Africa to complete the opening two legs.AUSTRALIA SQUAD: Sidney Ashioya (Quins/Captain), Isaiah Moseti (Homeboyz), Christopher Asego (Mwamba), Michael Agevi (Mwamba), William Ambaka (Quins), Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Tony Onyango (Strathmore), Horace Otieno (Mwamba), Charles Kanyi (Nondies), Patrice Agunda (Quins), Oscar Ouma (Nakuru) and Andrew Amonde (KCB).CONTRACTED PLAYERS: Sidney Ashioya (Quins/Captain), Isaiah Moseti (Homeboyz), Christopher Asego (Mwamba), Michael Agevi (Mwamba), William Ambaka (Quins), Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Tony Onyango (Strathmore), Horace Otieno (Mwamba), Charles Kanyi (Nondies), Patrice Agunda (Quins), Oscar Ouma (Nakuru), Andrew Amonde (KCB), Biko Adema (Nondies), Collins Injera (Mwamba), Benedict Nyambu (Nondies), Philip Wamae (KCB), Lavin Asego (Mwamba) Michael Wanjala (Strathmore).MANAGEMENT1. Mitch Ocholla – Head Coach2. Charles Cardovillis – Assistant Coach3. John Mbai – Team Manager4. Newton Ongalo – Assistant Team Manager5. George Odhiambo – Physiotherapist 6. Geoffrey Kimani – Conditioning Coach0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Pacoima woman slain; husband jailed

first_imgBefore making the arrest, officers evacuated Hyde and called for an ambulance. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded at 5:40 a.m., said LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey, and transported Hyde to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. She was pronounced dead on arrival as a result of wounds to the head and body. Homicide detectives seek additional witnesses to the incident and are asking anyone with information to call Detective Gehry or Santana at either (818) 834-3115 or (818) 756-8861. PACOIMA – Police arrested a man on suspicion of murdering his wife before sunrise Saturday morning. At 5:10 a.m., officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Division responded to a call of an assault in progress at 11656 Dronfield Ave. When they arrived, residents directed them around the corner to 11701 Cometa Ave. They found 59-year-old Jean Hyde, prone and unconscious, and her husband, Tanish Vasquez. “He was covered in blood, right by the body,” said Sgt. Enrique Mendoza. “He retreated back into the house. We surrounded the place, made contact and arrested him without incident.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has cash to sign striker before deadline

first_imgHearts boss Robbie Neilson has money to spend on players before the transfer deadline – but he has refused to be drawn on the club’s interest in John Souttar.Hearts are believed to be preparing a second bid for the Dundee United defender after an initial offer, understood to be around £100,000, was rejected.But Neilson has stressed that a striker is his main priority – citing the impact of Dutch loan signing Genero Zeefuik last term as motiovation for bolstering the ranks at Tynecastle.Regarding the bid for 19-year-old Souttar, Neilson said: “We are not going to comment on other teams’ players. “It is important that any transfer dealings we do are done behind closed doors.“We are looking to bring in quality players to add value to the squad.“The main aim is a striker and that’s what we’re looking to do.“There is money there to bring in players. We have a budget and at the start of the season we kept some of it so we could do something in January. “We did similar last year with Genero Zeefuik. There is value out there.“It is difficult to get the exact one that you want so unless that comes up then I won’t add [to the squad].“The next few days are important for us. We will see where they take us.”Neilson, who takes Hearts to Inverness on Saturday without suspended defenders Blazej Augustyn and Igor Rossi, is not anticipating any departures before Monday night’s deadline.Asked if any players could leave, the head coach said: “I don’t think so – not unless a bid comes in that we can’t turn down.“We don’t need to sell and we have money to bring players in.“It is only going to be if something comes up that suits us and suits the player.”last_img read more

Ice and snow warnings in place as Donegal wakes up to freezing conditions

first_imgMany roads across Donegal are very slippy this morning after overnight snow and frost. Motorists are advised to take extreme caution as ice has formed on many roads.Donegal County Council gritters have been out at 5am this morning but road users should not assume any road is ice free and continue to take care. The areas of Gweedore, Killygordan and Lough Mourne are reported to be slippery and drivers should drive with extra care.AA Roadwatch updates from across Donegal: Letterkenny has a significant amount of snow and Gardai are advising extreme care on roads.Roads conditions on Back of Errigal Road from Termon to Dunlewey are very poor and traffic is advised to travel via the N56.Grainne’s Gap between Muff and Buncrana is impassable due to snow. Use an alternative route.Road conditions are quite slippery around Buncrana, but particular care is needed on the Carndonagh Rd (R238/R244) and Derry Rd (R238). Both roads are passable with extreme care. Road conditions are poor in Milford and there are icy conditions around Termon/GweedooreCarrickart/ Termon Rd by Lough Salt is very slipperyHarry Blaney Bridge over Mulroy Bay is closed at present due to weather conditions.A Status Orange Warning for Snow and Ice is in effect for Donegal. This will remain in place until 6pm.Met Eireann forecast very cold conditions today, with strong and gusty winds. Snow showers are expected to remain on high ground with rainfall coming on lower levels later in the day. Tonight will be very cold with some showers in the north. Lowest temperatures of minus 1 to 3 degrees with frost and ice in places.Tips for driving on wintry roads:Use major routes if possible as they are likely to be gritted. See the Donegal County Council gritting route map here: yourself time to de-ice your car, and make sure it is completely visible before setting out. SLOW DOWN Stopping distances are 10x longer in ice and snow – keep well back from cars in front of you and signal in advance if you are going to brake or make a turn.If you skid, dont’t brake quickly, reduce acceleration and gears to slow down.Read the RSA’s Safety Advice for snow here: http://www.donegalcoco.ieIce and snow warnings in place as Donegal wakes up to freezing conditions was last modified: January 13th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ROADSsnowweatherlast_img read more

Thai plans second A350 service for Melbourne

first_imgThai’s A350 business class. Photo: Thai. Thai Airways international is expanding its Airbus A350 network with plans for a  long-awaited Melbourne service to be followed by a second A350 flight early next year.The airline received the first of 12 A350s in August, 2016, and destinations served by the fuel-efficient plane now include London, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan and Brussels.The first Melbourne A350 service, which touched down October 1, will replace a  Boeing 777 to operate Thai’s daily non-stop Melbourne-Bangkok afternoon service with connections to Europe and other destinations.But it came a year later than originally expected.It was originally scheduled to start flying to Melbourne in September, 2016,   but the airline said at the time the  service would be delayed because the approval process required by Australia’s  Civil Aviation Safety Authority would not be completed in time.With the service now underway, Thai says it  plans to also operate the evening flight from Melbourne with the A350 from February, 2018, “subject to confirmation”.Thai’s A350s are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and a combination of composite and titanium materials means advantages such as better fuel burn, a more comfortable cabin altitude and reduced maintenance costs.The airline has 32 lie flat business class seats in Royal Silk Class  with a seat pitch of up to 46 inches, a 16-inch touchscreen with on-demand content and a 1-2-1 configuration giving aisle access from every seat.Its 289 economy class seats,  with a seat pitch of 32 inches and an 18-inch seat width, come with an 11-inch touchsreen.Thai A350 Melbourne networkThe A350’s economy class.Meanwhile, the Thai carrier also recently opened new lounges in the popular holiday resort of Phuket.The new Royal Orchid lounges are located on the fourth floor of Phuket International Airport’s international terminal.Designed to showcase the Thai’s trademark orchid theme and a sea wave concept, the lounges feature different zones and a range of amenities such as high-speed wi-fi and USB power ports.Thai lounge phuketOne of the new lounges in Phuket.last_img read more