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Barcelona president fuels Griezmann speculation

first_imgBarcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has been in contact with Antoine Griezmann’s agent amid reports the Atletico Madrid striker is set to join the Spanish champions.Frenchman Griezmann has a 100 million euro release clause in his contract and Spanish media reported that Barcelona are ready to pay it.“We are analysing the season and we will see what we will do with ins and outs,” Bartomeu told radio station RAC1.“I have bumped into him (Griezmann) occasionally in the Balearic Islands. I have not spoke to him this year but I did speak to his agent in October.“With (Atletico Madrid President Enrique) Cerezo I have spoken about a lot of things, but not about this.”Barcelona are looking to strengthen their squad after winning the Spanish title at a canter, 12 points clear of second place Atletico with three matches left.They drew 2-2 with Real Madrid on Sunday in a tempestuous Clasico despite playing the second half with 10 men after Sergi Roberto’s dismissal, and are unbeaten in 42 league matches.“We are very happy with (coach) Ernesto Valverde’s work and that of the players,” Bartomeu added.“What they have done and the run they have gone on. When they sent off Sergi Roberto, I suffered a bit thinking about the second half, but then we went on to have a great game.”Barcelona also won the Spanish Cup this season but were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by AS Roma after squandering a 4-1 first-leg lead.last_img read more

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Barca’s Suarez in firing line after European away goals drought

first_imgBarcelona forward Luis Suarez is under scrutiny for his pitiful scoring record in European away games stretching to more than 25 hours without a goal after a 0-0 draw in their Champions League last-16 first leg at Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday.The Uruguayan is the second top scorer in Spain with 15 Liga goals but has not found the net in a Champions League away game since a 1-1 draw at AS Roma in September 2015, firing blanks in 16 consecutive foreign trips.He lacked sharpness and speed of thought in Lyon, spurning Barca’s clearest chance in the second half and frequently losing possession, interrupting Barca’s flow on a night when they had 25 shots on goal but only hit the target five times.“Suarez is not enjoying his best form, he hasn’t scored in four league games and his performances have clearly dipped since 2019 began,” wrote Spanish newspaper Marca.“Being Suarez, he is still scoring goals but his slump has not gone unnoticed at Barca, who are struggling as a result. Despite 25 shots in Lyon, they left empty handed.”Catalan daily Sport meanwhile gave Suarez a rating of four out of 10, the lowest of Barca’s players, saying he looked “anxious”.His meagre return on the continent reflects that of his team, who have not won away in the Champions League knockout stage for over three years, scoring three times in six games on the road since a 2-0 victory at Arsenal in February 2016.‘SCORING CURSE’Barca’s poor away record in Europe has played a big role in their failure to hurdle the quarter-final stage since they last lifted the trophy in 2015.“Barca let Lyon off the hook and seemed to be suffering from a goalscoring curse,” wrote Mundo Deportivo.Failing to score in Lyon means Barca must win the second leg at the Nou Camp on March 13 and they will be vulnerable should the French side, who like the Spaniards are unbeaten in this seaon’s competition, grab an away goal.Suarez could at least count on the support of his coach Ernesto Valverde and team mates after the game.“It would worry me if he wasn’t getting chances, which is what you ask for from a striker, and he is creating chances too,” Valverde said.“Opponents are still frightened of him, and players go through spells of scoring and not scoring.”Defender Gerard Pique added: “The players up front have shown throughout their career that they can score a lot of goals and the ball will go in the net soon enough. Suarez has given us so many goals and he will give us a lot more.”last_img read more

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Extra lessons a burden for Grade 2 students at Leonora Primary School

first_imgDear Editor,I write on behalf of several parents who are afraid to speak out and let their voices be heard because they fear that their children would be victimised. The issue is in relation to Leonora Primary School offering extra lessons to Grade 2 pupils. Yes, Grade 2. These children are on average six years old, have to attend school from 08:45hrs to about 15:00hrs, and are now being asked to attend extra lessons at the school. I should point out that this is being offered at a fee.After the lessons, these children, depending on where they live, get home very late. Once they are home, they have to complete homework which is due the next day. They are also required to study from the regular text books which have been made mandatory by the school/Ministry of Education if they are to cover the syllabus.By then these children are tired and worn out, and would have to retire to bed. My child has complained several times that this is too much for him to endure, and it is causing him to be sick.Editor, can you please tell me when would these children get time to play or to actually be children? Play time should be compulsory for every child; this is what happens in countries across the world. The question is: Why are these children made to go through this torture at such a young age? I should also ask what is preventing these teachers from finishing off the syllabus during regular school hours.Yes, we do understand that it is the level where children have to be prepared for the Grade 2 Assessment, but they should not be made to suffer. In fact, this is doing more harm to the children than good.It could be recalled that, sometime back, the Ministry of Education had implemented a policy to ban extra lessons and enforce teachers to work hard — which they are paid to do — to finish the syllabus on time, irrespective of the grade the child is in. If a teacher wants to give extra lessons, while the school may argue that these lessons are not compulsory, other children who are not attending will automatically feel that they are missing out on work that they should have been part of. It would also be of great disadvantage to the child if the teacher chooses these sessions to introduce new topics. One can only imagine the confusion this would generate.While I will not delve into detail on the additional financial burden this will place on parents, I should mention briefly that parents are already saddled with so many expenses in relation to ‘internet-based’ homework, transportation, meals, sanitation fees, money for text books, money for test papers, etc.On a separate note, in terms of the ‘internet-based’ home work, the Ministry of Education needs to relook at its approach to assignments in general. When concerns are raised with the teachers about the level of the assignments given out, the teachers would say it is the Ministry of Education that makes these decisions. Some of these ‘assignments’ could be done in groups in class with proper supervision from the teacher. What we are seeing now is that parents would have to refer to an internet café to get them done, as they ask for pictures. Also, in relation to the ‘projects’ given to do as ‘assignment’, because parents want the maximum marks for their children, some end up giving professionals to complete; like joiners, carpenters, workers at internet cafes etc. This is wrong, and unfair to other children who actually spend time to get their work done.In addition to being unfair, just imagine the cost for materials and labour etc that parents are burdened with. The point I am making is that because of the approach taken, the child is not allowed to explore his/ her creative abilities. Much of the work which should be done at school is being transferred to the home at a very high price.A number of parents are scared to speak out, but they are grumbling in small corners, and the general feeling is ‘that this is the system, and nothing can be done’.We do hope that the Ministry of Education will take note of the issues raised in this letter, and take action to ensure that some of these issues are addressed for the benefit of our children, not just for the Grade 2 level at Leonora Primary, but for others schools as well.Yours truly,Concerned parentName and addresswithheldlast_img read more

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UG workers protest deferred salary negotiations

first_imgWorkers of the University of Guyana (UG) picketed the Administration Office of the tertiary institution on Wednesday, raising concerns over the delays in the commencement of salary negotiations.The picketing exercise was organised by the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA). According to the Union representatives, the picketing exercise is as a result of the administration’s failure to respond within the timeframe requested, to their repeated requests and formal demands for the early and urgent commencement of salary negotiations.The Unions noted at a General Meeting on March 7, the workers indicated that they are not prepared to “wait until it’s convenient for the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, to begin salary negotiations in May 2017.” It was noted that the UG administration seems determined to withhold, indefinitely, the 15 per cent increase recommended by the Government in the last budget.To this end, the Unions wrote the Vice Chancellor on March 8, requesting a percentage figure for the increase and to start negotiations early, as well as to address the condition of the sewage system at the university.In a delayed response, the administration the promised to look into the sewage situation and while some steps have been taken in this regard, no word has been given with regards to the other two issues relating to salary increases, which were raised.At Wednesday’s protest action, President of the UGSSA, Jewel Thomas, explained to Guyana Times that the staff found the delays unacceptable and is calling for a much earlier date.“The reason for this protest here today is that we do believe that the money is available for them to begin negotiations but for reasons, known to them, they are delaying those negotiations,” Thomas posited.Furthermore, the UGSSA President noted that the administration is trying to tie the negotiations to the highly unpopular tuition hike. “Our position is that there is no need, whatsoever, to do that… There is no need to tie the two things together, we don’t believe in being played against our students. We don’t believe you should pit staff against students, we reject that,” Thomas outlined.Meanwhile, Sherwood Lowe, a lecturer at the University for over 20 years, expressed his disappointment at the UG Administration, noting that such behaviour is not good industrial practice.“In the meantime, we are seeing expenditures on high-level staff and overseas trips and we are generally concerned. There may or may not be good reasons for these overseas trips and receptions but we want to have a sit down with the Vice Chancellor so that we can go through the numbers,” the lecturer asserted.He added that the Vice Chancellor’s refusal to meet and discuss the issues at hand shows, while it may not be intended, disrespect to the staff, whom he said are working beyond the call of duty, given the conditions in which they are working.“It is a very serious matter, we are not very happy about it. The Vice Chancellor refusing to meet with us is not something that would encourage workers to give of their best and as soon as he understands this, it would be better for the University,” Lowe outlined.On the other hand, part time lecturer and Member of the UG Council, Christopher Ram, also showed solidarity with the workers, telling this newspaper that they have a right to demand proper level of earning.“It’s always unfortunate in my view when workers have to go on protest. We ought to be able to sit around the table and negotiate what is reasonable and what is not. So my roll here essentially is to show solidarity with the Union, to listen to their causes and if the issue comes up at the Council, to join in making representation on their behalf,” Ram stated.The irate workers will continue this industrial action until a favourable response is given by the Management of the University of Guyana.last_img read more

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City adopts fire prevention bylaw, public fireworks use now banned

first_imgCouncillors Larry Evans, Trevor Bolin and Dan Davies voted against it, while Mayor Lori Ackerman and Councillors Gord Klassen, Byron Stewart and Bruce Christensen voted for it, passing by a four to three vote. Bolin said he was in favour with the rest of the bylaw, but it was the provision that says “a person may not sell, offer for sale, give, fire or set off low hazard fireworks, as defined by the Canada Explosives Act within the City of Fort St. John” that he had a problem with.“Some people misuse them, but they misuse alcohol, they misuse campground fires in their back yard, they misuse their music in their house,” Bolin argues. “I don’t think we should be restricting stores from selling them and I don’t think we should be restricting people from using them.” “It’s just us trying to enforce something that I don’t think we need to,” adds Davies. “I think we can control it, put some controls in place, and I think that would be a better approach.” Both Bolin and Davies, along with Klassen, were not at the previous city council meeting when the bylaw was amended to the outright ban from the restricted dates and times it previously included. At that time, Mayor Lori Ackerman questioned both the safety of setting off fireworks and the impact they have on residents’ quality of life. Fire Chief Fred Burrows has also told council that the majority of B.C. communities have similar bans.center_img The City will still be permitted to use fireworks at civic events, like Canada Day, where there are professionals on hand should there be an issue.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Shakava’s own goal sees All-Stars fall to young Hull City XI

first_img0Shares0000Clif Kasuti of Sportpesa All Stars challenges for the ball against a Hull City select player.PHOTO/CourtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – The Kenyan Premier League All-Stars team fell 2-1 to a young English Premier League select side Hull City XI in an exhibition match played at the KCOM Stadium in United Kingdom on Monday night.Against a very young developing Hull City side that featured the under-16s, the All-Stars side coached by Harambee Stars tactician Stanley Okumbi went down on the 22nd minute through 16-year-old’s Elliot Holmes header that caught Patrick Matasi unaware at the Kenyan goal. Gor Mahia defender Harun Shakava scored an own goal in the 65th minute to seal the win for the home team.Tusker FC midfielder Humphrey Mieno netted All-Stars’ consolation with a long range 28-yard cracker in the dying minute to become the first Kenyan to score at the KCOM Stadium.Holmes’s goal came from a lovely build-up that saw the Hull City captain Greg Olley curl in a pin-point cross that perfectly landed on the teenager’s head.Holmes had just been on the pitch for just one-and-a half minute after coming on for Max Sheaf who was stretched off the field and rushed to hospital after colliding with Kenyan defender Wesley Onguso to see the match stopped for over 10 minutes as the doctors attended to him.The hosts dominated the first half where they came close two minutes after kick-off, but Jaron Bowen saw his shot miss the target by a whisker as the ball rolled over the left corner.All-Stars thought they could get an opening goal in the sixth minute when Ulinzi Star’s forward John Mark Makawatta was brought down in box to wave for a penalty but he was ignored by the referee.Approaching the half-hour mark, Matasi was forced to clear a danger through his right foot while on the other end Makwatta squandered an opportunity when he blasted wide with only the keeper to beat.The Posta Rangers goal keeper was called to action once again when he finger tipped a strong header to deny Josh Tymon for a fruitless corner.Four minutes before the ten that was added due to the lengthy stop caused by Sheaf’s injury, Cliff Kasuti came close for All-Stars with a well taken shot that was handled by the 17-year-old Hull keeper.The keeper was at it again, this time with a fantastic save to rescue Makwatta’s thunderbolt.Okumbi withdrew Gor Mahia midfielder Amos Nondi for experienced Moses ‘Dube’ Odhiambo in the second half and they nearly found the equalizer in the 60th minute when Makwatta set up captain of the day Allan Wanga but the Hull keeper who was having a good day in office came off his line to clear the danger.However, it was the All-Stars side that found themselves on the receiving end when they soaked in pressure to see Shakava score against his own net in the 65th minute as his side trailed 2-0.Mieno had himself to blame after squandering a glorious chance to pull one back when he headed a Moses Odhiambo cross wide in front of  a goal.The Hull City side was too good that they could bring on the club’s legend 47-year-old forward Dean Windass to replace goal scorer Holmes.However, Mieno redeemed himself when he met a Makwatta lovely set up to unleash a screamer that bounced before the young Hull keeper but it was too late as the referee blew the final whistle.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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A Coliseum by any other name may be a game saver

first_imgThe folks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – unsuccessful in their efforts to lure a National Football League team willing to help pay for needed improvements – are taking a page from the playbook of private stadiums with a proposal to sell naming rights for the historic facility. “It’s been a subject of some discussion,” said county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a member of the Coliseum Commission. “Everybody is looking at naming rights as a way to raise funds to make the capital improvements everyone agrees are needed.” The need for improvements is one of the factors being considered as USC’s lease of the Coliseum for its football team expires. “No decision has been made and we are still at the exploratory stage,” Yaroslavsky said. “One of the concerns I have is, do we want to attach a commercial name to it? Don’t ask the Los Angeles Police Protective League to any events featuring former Assemblyman Keith Richman. The Granada Hills Republican, who has made pension reform a personal crusade even after leaving office, is being targeted by the league for his initiative that would cut public employee pensions. With melodramatic music as a backdrop, the league has begun a radio ad campaign urging people to not sign petitions being circulated to try to qualify the measure for the ballot. The league calls the proposal “dangerous” and says it would dismantle “the safety net” for public employees. Richman said he didn’t not expect to win the support of any unions, but hoped the campaign against the measure would serve to heighten public awareness. Backers hope to qualify the measure for a ballot next year. City Councilman Dennis Zine lost his longtime chief deputy to the private sector last week and now has returned to his police roots to select a successor. Sharon Sandow said she is leaving Zine’s office to head the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Zine named Cliff Ruff of Agoura Hills to replace her. Ruff retired in April from the Los Angeles Police Department after a 41-year career. He served with Zine as a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is finding himself at odds with his own deputies. With morale said to be low these days, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs is raising questions about how promotions are given to aides. ALADS spokesman Jeff Monical said the number of top jobs has increased dramatically since 1998 and the association sees a link between the promotions and those who contribute to the sheriff. Baca spokesman Steve Whitmore categorically denied the accusation. “First off, there’s tests for all leadership jobs from sheriffs to lieutenants,” Whitmore said. “The sheriff promotes those who deserve to be promoted. Quite frankly, we don’t understand where this is coming from.” A new contract for deputies was approved this year and Baca does not face election until 2010. rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “That rubs me the wrong way. On the other hand, it might be the only way we can get enough money to pay for the repairs.” Coliseum General Manager Pat Lynch said nothing has been formalized to go to the full Coliseum Commission, a nine-member panel representing the county, city and state. “The Coliseum is still making money, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done, as well as to pay for upkeep and amenities,” Lynch said. “Buildings get old and need repairs and maintenance.” The Coliseum was built in 1928 for the 1932 Olympic Games and was the main venue for the 1984 Olympic Games. After the Northridge Earthquake, more than $110 million was spent on seismic repairs for the site. When the NFL was looking at the stadium last year, there were estimates it would cost upward of $500 million to modernize the facility. last_img read more

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Who are Liverpool’s worst Premier League defenders?

first_img Sotirios Kyrgiakos – Bought as a squad player in summer 2009 after Sami Hyppia’s retirement, Kyrgiakos ended up playing more regularly than anyone could have predicted. The Greek centre-back made 30 Premier League appearances for the Reds largely due to Daniel Agger’s inability to stay match fit. Danny Wilson – Wilson was signed by Roy Hodgson in the summer of 2010, making just two senior appearances. The Scot had various loan spells before securing a permanent transfer to Hearts. He now plays for Rangers. 11 Emiliano Insua – Insua was snapped up as a Boca Juniors youngster, but failed to make a positive impact on the Liverpool team. The left-back showed some promise going forward but consistently struggled to defend against pacey wingers from opposing teams. 11 Andre Wisdom – The versatile defender had a run in the first team in Brendan Rodgers’ first season as Liverpool manager with some fairly consistent performances. Wisdom has since had loan spells at Derby, West Brom, Norwich and Red Bull Salzburg. He moved to Derby on a permanent deal in the summer. 11 11 Liverpool’s defensive woes continued in their loss to Tottenham last weekend as they shipped four goals in a nightmare display.Issues at the back have been a familiar story for the Reds over the years and we take a look at 11 of the worst defenders to have played in front of the Kop… 11 Sebastian Coates – There was huge excitement when Liverpool signed the 2011 Copa America’s Best Young Player but things never quite materialised. Coates once scored a stunning volley against QPR in March 2012 but that was as good as it got for the Uruguayan, who now plies his trade at Sporting Lisbon. 11 11 Andrea Dossena – One of many woeful Benitez signings, Dossena was acquired for a mere £7million from Udinese, showing promise to be one of Europe’s best full-backs. Since he left Anfield, the Italian has suffered a spectacular fall from grace, most notably being released by Leyton Orient at the end of last season. 11 Torben Piechnik – The Dane was signed by Graeme Souness in the Premier League’s first season just a couple of months after winning the 1992 European Championship. However, Piechnik was out of his depth from start to finish and made just 17 appearances in two years. 11 Dejan Lovren – The Croat wrote himself into Anfield folklore with THAT header against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League. Apart from that he has largely failed to justify his £20million price tag, which was most recently called into question during his nightmare performance against Tottenham. Mauricio Pellegrino – Signed in January 2005 to boost Rafa Benitez’s injury-hit squad, the Argentine did anything but that. He made just 12 Premier League appearances before being released at the end of the season. Pellegrino came back to Anfield as first-team coach under Benitez, where he was more successful. 11 Djimi Traore – The left-back created a lot of nerves amongst Kopites in his time at Liverpool, and with good reason. Traore scored a calamitous own goal which saw Liverpool crash out in the FA Cup at Burnley in 2005. However, Traore does have a Champions League winner’s medal to boast. 11 Paul Konchesky – Probably the worst of Roy Hodgson’s signings after making the move from Fulham in 2010. The left-back was switftly sent on loan to Nottingham Forest in January 2011. Konchesky now plays for non-league Billericay Town.last_img read more

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Andy Murray to return from injury to play doubles at Queen’s

first_img“I just have to see what happens. I don’t feel any pressure that I need to come back but if my body feels good and I’m pain-free then I’ll give it a go.” His last appearance came at the Australian Open, losing to Roberto Bautista Agut in a gruelling five-set match in the first round, but has said since his surgery that he would love to be able to play at Wimbledon in July.That now looks like a possibility with Murray, who had previously announced that he was going to retire, having said that he was “pain-free” after returning to hitting a ball.“There’s no pain any more.” he said in April. “I’m happy, pain-free and enjoying my life.“I’ve been hitting a few balls from a stationary position. I’m still quite a long way from testing it properly, running around a court. Andy Murray will return to playing this month in an expected partnership with Feliciano Lopez at the Fever Tree Championship at Queen’s Club.The three-time grand slam winner had a hip-resurfacing operation in January as he attempts to overcome a problem that first occurred in the summer of 2017.Murray had a first operation in January 2018 and returned to action at Queen’s Club last summer but played only six tournaments last season and was in pain throughout. He then underwent a hip-resurfacing procedure earlier this year.The tournament has confirmed Murray’s intention to play, and it is believed the Spanish left-hander Lopez will be his partner.last_img read more

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Miniature Dioramas Are a Little Bundle of Cute

first_imgShare This!Looking for an inexpensive souvenir that is easy to pack in your suitcase but brings a little Disney magic home with you? These cardboard diorama kits may be the perfect fit.Unlike the Metal Earth series, which although impressive looking seems to require a PhD in engineering to put together, these dioramas are very simple to assemble. Each layer simply slips into place in the provided frame. The result is a 3-D scene from a favorite Disney attraction, like Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Splash Mountain. At $17, it is a fun way to bring the magic of vacation home with you with a simple project to do with a child. What do you think of these diorama kits? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more