DAVAO CITY—Mac Mac Cardona couldn’t help but turn emotional as the final buzzer sounded at Rizal Memorial College Gym late Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENT Not only did the San Juan Knights pull off a miraculous comeback for a thrilling 87-86 victory over the Davao Occidental Tigers for the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup crown, the win capped a tumultuous past year for the former La Salle hotshot, who has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons.Almost a year ago, Cardona was arrested on attempted homicide charges for stabbing a former live-in partner. He spent three nights in jail, putting in jeopardy his stint with the Knights. In 2016, Cardona tried to take his own life.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAfter much prodding from Knights coowner former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Cardona promised to turn a new leaf.The Knights rallied from seven points down in the last 3:43 with unheralded Jhonard Clarito scoring the last six points, including the game-winning layup with eight seconds remaining as San Juan completed a 3-2 series victory. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cardona also took Mike Ayonayon under his wing during the postseason, mentoring the young hotshot, who exploded for 33 points in the deciding Game 5. Ayonayon was later named Finals MVP.“This is probably the most important championship in my life considering what I’ve been through,” said Cardona, a two-time UAAP champion, who also won a title with TNT in the PBA.“It was all about trust,” Cardona added. “I understand people will judge me. There will always be doubters. But they don’t know me. This is life. There will be ups and downs. Of course, the big goal was always a championship.”ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Tiger and his cubs LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss
Gujarat Lions were sitting pretty at the top of the table at the end of the league stages of the Indian Premier League 2016. They had not one but two opportunities to reach their maiden IPL final. However, they are heading home now after running into two ‘world-class’ players who stole the game away from them on both the occasions. (Full Coverage) Lions batsman Aaron Finch says he and his team-mates could only appreciate and laud the match-winning knock of David Warner, who single-handedly crushed their hopes and took Sunrisers Hyderabad to the IPL summit clash with his majestic 93 in the Qualifier 2 on Friday. (Also Read: David Warner targets Virat Kohli in IPL final to defuse RCB’s batting)In the Qualifier 1 also, Lions were inches away from the final but for a gritty knock from AB de Villiers. (Also read: Sunrisers Hyderabad ready for Virat Kohli challenge, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar) After scoring 162 for seven, Lions had Hyderabad 84 for five and then 117 for six but skipper Warner carried his bat and saw his side through.’SOMETIMES YOU CAN ONLY SAY WELL PLAYED'”Tonight, I think that we had a very competitive total, it was around par. 170 would have been nice as it turns out, but two (De Villiers and Warner) of the best players in the world have both got big scores against us in the last two games.Sometimes you just have to take your hat off and appreciate how good cricketers the two are. And say well played,” Finch said at the post match press conference yesterday.advertisement’AMAZING KNOCK’The Australian was effusive in praise of his compatriot.”It was an amazing knock, wasn’t it? The way that he controlled the innings and went right through and got them home was outstanding. We have been at the receiving end of a couple of great knocks in this tournament, and it is just that one batter in every couple of games seems to get us,” Finch said.”AB (De Villiers) in the last game and David (Warner) tonight. We can hold our head up very high. We played some really great cricket throughout this tournament but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the world-class players out when it counted right at the end there.”FINCH ALL PRAISE FOR SHIVIL KAUSHIKAsked which Indian player impressed him the most in the entire Lions campaign in their debut season, Finch named spinner Shivil Kaushik.”I think we have seen an unusual spinner in this tournament in Shivil. He has been outstanding for us. Anyone who can bowl with an unusual action like that and who can spin the ball both ways is a huge asset, and he has been outstanding,” Finch said.The attacking batsman also mentioned Kaushik’s impact spell in last night’s match, where he gave away only four runs in two overs and eventually 22 in four. His tight bowling in the middle overs put pressure on Hyderabad batsmen, keeping his side in the hunt.”It was beautiful the way that he bowled tonight. Under pressure in a big game, to come back into the team after a few games out just shows a real lot of character and someone who hasn’t had cricket given to him easily. He has had to work very hard for what he has achieved. He was great all season and I think he can play a big part going forward,” he said.’FANTASTIC FIRST YEAR’Asked what positives Lions would take away from their debut season as they finished on top of the table at the end of league stage, Finch said the fighting spirit of the team.”I think the way we played throughout the tournament was fantastic from the team’s point of view. To finish top of the table for a franchise in their first year was fantastic. I think it’s obviously disappointing that we couldn’t get through to the final but the way we fought and fought…”We had our back up against the wall a couple of times.We started off the tournament fantastic. I think we had six wins, one loss and then we had a bit of a down period but then we hit back hard and beat two outstanding teams in Kolkata and Mumbai coming into the finals,” he said.”It goes to show what an amazing competition it was. If we had lost one of those games, we would have finished out of top four. But we won both and we finished on top of the table.Same with Bangalore. It was an amazing tournament all around, the way that it unfolded.”advertisement
Patrice Evra has been suspended by Olympique de Marseille following a scuffle with a supporter before Thursday’s Europa League game at Vitoria Guimaraes, the Ligue 1 club said on Friday.OM said in a statement that the France international had been summoned to an interview that will lead to disciplinary action.Video footage showed a Marseille player aiming a kick at a group of fans during a scuffle behind one of the goals but the club did not mention the kick.France fullback Evra has been regularly targeted by Marseille fans since joining from Juventus during the close season and his poor performances have led coach Rudi Garcia to drop him from the starting line-up.”As a professional and experienced player, Patrice Evra could not react in such an inappropriate manner,” the statement said after acknowledging that Evra has been provoked by OM fans who insulted him.”Pat has experience and he must not react. It’s obvious,” Garcia said.”Patrice is more than experienced and we can’t respond, obviously, to insults as low as they might be and as incredible as they might be because they come from one of our supporters.”
The first stage on a circular path leading back to Epsom for the Derby on 1 June saw Cape Of Good Hope take the Blue Riband Trial, the year’s opening trial for the Classic, by half a length on Wednesday.He remains as big as 40-1, however, to give Aidan O’Brien a record-equalling seventh win in the race and stronger candidates from the stable will surely emerge as the cycle of Derby trials winds through Chester, Lingfield, Leopardstown and York.Cape Of Good Hope was one of only two runners in a seven-strong field already holding an entry for the Derby. The remaining five were racing for a free pass into the Classic, avoiding the £85,000 supplementary fee that is now the only other way to get into the field. One of those, last year’s Chesham Stakes winner Arthur Kitt, was backed down to replace Cape Of Good Hope as favourite, perhaps as punters sensed the urgency of his mission. Share on Messenger Reuse this content Thank you for your feedback. Quick guide Greg Wood’s Thursday tips Horse racing Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Talking Horses: racing attempts to get out in front of gene doping Share on WhatsApp Read more The Derby Topics Share on Facebook Was this helpful? Show Hide news Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Since you’re here… Share via Email But it was a doomed mission just a couple of strides after the start, as Arthur Kitt stumbled badly and never looked like making up the lost ground. Cape Of Good Hope made good progress in the final quarter-mile to lead inside the final furlong but was closely pressed by Cap Francais, who came from a long way off the pace, before crossing the line half a length in front.“He brought some of the best form into the race,” Kevin Buckley, Coolmore Stud’s British representative, said. “It’s good to get that experience into him [and] he’s a full-brother to Idaho, who was third in the Derby and also to Highland Reel, who won the Coronation Cup, so the family has experienced success around here. I can’t say he’ll definitely come back here [for the Derby] but on that performance, you’d like to think so.” Beverley 1.40 Iva Go 2.15 Knightcap 2.50 Prestbury Park 3.20 King Of Tonga (nb) 3.55 Dragon Sun (nap) 4.25 Agar’s Plough 4.55 Kylie Rules 5.25 Oasis Prince Perth 1.50 Rakhine State 2.25 Theflyingportrait 3.00 Las Tunas 3.30 Saint Leo 4.05 Bordeaux Bill 4.35 Double Whammy 5.10 Rizzardo Warwick 2.00 My Charity 2.35 Danseur Du Large 3.10 Cardigan Bay 3.40 Cruiseaweigh 4.15 Potters Hedger 4.45 Boughtbeforelunch 5.20 The Swagman 5.55 O Connell Street Kempton Park 4.40 So Lonely 5.15 Fransham 5.50 Statistical 6.20 Black Kalanisi 6.50 For Good Measure 7.20 Kings Ryde 7.50 Monsieur Gibraltar Chelmsford City 5.30 The Pinto Kid 6.00 Hero Hero 6.30 Walk On Water 7.00 Dream Of Dreams 7.30 Pentland Lad 8.00 Labrega 8.30 Harbour Vision 9.00 Admiral Rooke Cap Francais was bred by the late John Pearce, who died in January 2017 at the age of 98 and was within a short head of his lifelong dream of both owning and breeding a Derby winner when the 66-1 chance Dragon Dancer was edged out by Sir Percy in one of the closest ever finishes to the Classic in 2006.“It’s £85,000 [to supplement] and that’s a lot of money,” Ed Walker, Cap Francais’ trainer, said. “We’ll watch the other trials and might even take in another trial [with him]. There are loads of options for him but given the remit which Mr Pearce left, it’s a tough one. If we’d won half a length, there would be no question [about going for the Derby]. Maybe he is not a horse for the Derby, but for another Derby, maybe in Ireland.”
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – SEPTEMBER 25: The Virginia Cavaliers play host to the Syracuse Orangemen during NCAA football at Scott Stadium on September 25, 2004 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)A major college football program’s players are reportedly refusing to speak to the media this week.Virginia’s players have reportedly made a decision to not speak with reporters in anticipation of this weekend’s rivalry game.The Cavaliers’ reporters were reportedly informed of the decision today.“We’ve just been told that #UVA’s players won’t be available to the media this week. The players were given the choice and they opted to not do interviews. Not a great look from an ACC program during rivalry week,” a beat reporter tweeted.We’ve just been told that #UVA’s players won’t be available to the media this week. The players were given the choice and they opted to not do interviews. Not a great look from an ACC program during rivalry week.— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) November 19, 2018Virginia is set to play Virginia Tech on Friday.Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. E.T. on ABC.
Team India security upped in West Indies after hoax security threatBCCI had reportedly received a mail about potential security threat to the Indian team which is in West Indies on Sunday.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service AntiguaAugust 19, 2019UPDATED: August 19, 2019 10:17 IST India won the ODI and T20I series in West Indies (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSIt was a hoax and all things are in order: BCCI functionaryIndia are currently playing a 3-day practice match in AntiguaIndia begin World Test Championship campaign from ThursdayThe Indian team currently playing in the Caribbean Island has been given additional security after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) received a hoax message that cited Virat Kohli and boys were in danger and their movements were being monitored.Speaking to IANS, a senior board functionary said that while there was a hoax call on the lines, there is no truth to it. Despite that, the Indian team has been given additional security.”It was a hoax and all things are in order. The Indian team has been provided with an additional pilot vehicle and the Indian High Commission informed the Antigua government on the same just as a precautionary measure,” the functionary explained.India just finished playing the three-match ODI series in the West Indies after playing a T20I series against them where the first two games were played in Florida and the last game was in the West Indies.The players are currently playing a warm-up game as the Test series will start from Thursday and will also mark the start of India’s journey in the inaugural World Test Championship. Skipper Kohli is very excited about the WTC and feels that India have a good chance of winning the tournament two years down the line.”It (the WTC) is very exciting. I think it’s happening at the right time for Test cricket. Although you are going to play a bilateral series, the meaning and importance are way more. You have to plan for every series. I was excited about something of this sort and now it’s coming to life,” he said.advertisementAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow India tour of West IndiesFollow BCCIFollow India national cricket team
Next I’ll get many more medals for this country: PV Sindhu returns home after historic triumphPV Sindhu returned back after becoming the first Indian to win a BWF World Championships gold medal when she made light work of a challenge from higher-ranked Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles final on Sunday.advertisement Asian News International New DelhiAugust 27, 2019UPDATED: August 27, 2019 12:28 IST PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win a World Championships gold medal. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSPV Sindhu will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren RijijuSindhu became the first Indian to win a World Championships gold medal by defeating Japan’s Nozomi OkuharaAfter her win, Sindhu arrived in India early Tuesday morning and was seen thanking fans for their supportAfter winning a gold medal at the BWF World Championships, shuttler PV Sindhu will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju today.After her win, Sindhu arrived in India early Tuesday morning and was seen thanking fans for their support and said that she wished to win “many more medals for the country.””I wish I’ll get many more medals for this country. I would like to thank all my fans. It is because of their blessings and love that I am here today,” she told ANI at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.”A great moment for me. I am really very proud to be an Indian,” she added.Sindhu became the first Indian to win a World Championships gold medal by defeating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in the finals of the tournament on Sunday.On Monday, she took to Twitter to express her emotions and feelings after achieving the feat and said that she failed to hold back her tears while witnessing the Indian flag go up on the venue amidst singing of the National anthem.”I could not hold back my tears when I saw the Indian flag and heard the National anthem playing. Words can’t express my feelings about yesterday’s win at the World Championship,” she tweeted.The 24-year-old further stated that she had been preparing for so long and thanked her parents, coaches, and trainer for the victory.Also Read | World Championships gold will give PV Sindhu confidence for Tokyo Olympics: Abhinav BindraAlso See:advertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow PV SindhuFollow Nozomi OkuharaFollow World Badminton Championships
The 12 Best Laptop Bags for Men Mountain Hardwear Is Bringing Augmented Reality to the Great Outdoors The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About A Peek Inside the Joseph Abboud Factory: Italian Fabric, Made in America You Should Read Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard’s Guide to Life It’s getting to be nice and crispy outside around most of America, the perfect season for sweatshirts. As much as we love the raggedy one we have had since college, it’s good to invest in something new that your date won’t be embarrassed to be seen with you wearing. That is where the new company, Ace Rivington comes into play.We love that the company only makes sweatshirts (for now!) and has been working on the feel and fit for some time. In fact, they aren’t just sweatshirts but ‘Homespun French Terry Sweatshirts” thank you very much. Made in Los Angeles, they are constructed of super soft fabric with superior construction. As the founder Beau Lawrence told us, “This sweatshirt is sophisticated enough to fly around the world – and comfortable enough to make it worth the trip.”Launched on Kickstarter in January of 2014, Ace Rivington is a clothing company based on a character – Ace Rivington. He’s the embodiment of today’s American man, an independent blend of the vintage and modern that’s always in style. The grandson of a barnstormer, Ace learned to fly at age 12 by piloting a beat up sea plane around Alaska. Today, he flies all over the world as a private jet pilot. But the brand isn’t just about Ace’s style, it’s also about his adventures.Beau Lawrence, Founder and President of Ace Rivington, has over 17 years of experience working in design and development of men’s jeanswear. The former Director of Product Development at Guess and VP of Design and Merchandising at Neff Headwear, Lawrence ventured out on his own in November of 2013. I launched this brand based on a unique fabric, a dream and a pilot’s story. “When I came across it, all I could think was that I wanted to live in this fabric.” Within weeks of finding the fabric, he quit his job, incorporated the brand, made his first prototype and launched on Kickstarter. With overwhelming interest and support, Ace Rivington was successfully funded at over 200% of goal, raising over $60,000 in 34 days.Truly a brand with a story, each seasonal catalog will have a destination theme that will include a travel guide as well as timeless designs inspired by the location.As for the Feel Good Friday angle, social responsibility is very important for the brand and they wanted to partner with a non-profit that resonated with them and had to do with aviation. Mending Kids International was a perfect fit.The collection will be available both in the catalog online, and in select specialty, boutiques, starting with Fred Segal Man in Santa Monica where they launched in late August 2014. Editors’ Recommendations
zoom Mermaid Marine Australia Limited (MMA) has confirmed that it has now completed the acquisition of all the subsidiaries of Jaya Holdings Limited.The acquisition adds 27 modern offshore vessels to MMA’s fleet as well as two strategically located onshore facilities in Singapore and Batam, Indonesia.In line with MMA’s five year strategy, the acquisition expands the company’s geographic reach, provides the company with immediate scale into the South East Asian, African and Middle Eastern markets, increases MMA’s exposure to high specification vessel classes (including 6 high specification new builds currently under construction) and enhances MMA’s integrated business model.In close cooperation with Jaya’s management and staff, MMA has developed a detailed integration plan to swiftly and effectively integrate Jaya’s operations with its own.MMA Managing Director, Jeff Weber said: “The Jaya acquisition represents the realisation of a number of the strategic goals we set for ourselves as a company in 2011/2012. It is with great excitement and confidence that we start this new phase in MMA’s development as a major international offshore oil and gas service provider.” June 5, 2014
MSC Seaside is the first of the two cruise vessels ordered by Switzerland’s MSC Cruises from Fincantieri.With a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons, the ship is 323 meters long and 41 meters wide. It will be able to carry 5,179 passengers and 1,413 crewmembers. MSC Seaside is the largest ship so far built in Italy, according to Fincantieri.Its sister ship, MSC Seaview, is slated for delivery in June 2018, according to data provided by VesselsValue.With the addition of these new ships, the company’s already investment plan will now account for 12 new ships to be built by 2026, for an overall investment of EUR 10.5 billion.World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: MSC Cruises, Fincantieri MSC Cruises has formalized the order this afternoon with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of two Seaside Evo Class ships, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, announced.As informed, the ships will be completed in 2021 and 2023, respectively. The said ships will entail a further investment of EUR 1.8 billion, taking the company’s investment at Fincantieri to EUR 3.5 billion, Vago said.“Fincantieri and MSC cruises have reached an understanding for the construction of two new cruise ships, evolutions of those of the Seaside class,” Fincantieri confirmed.Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, more cabins, and will be hosting up to 5,646 passengers.The ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, an advanced active emissions control technology system, exhaust gas cleaning (EGC) technology to meet the strictest exhaust regulations in port and in operating areas; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems and, an advanced energy and heat recovery system, Fincantieri said.The contract signing ceremony took place as part of the MSC Seaside’s delivery hosted by the shipyard today in Trieste.“MSC Seaside coming into service marks another key milestone in the history and future of our company, but she also embodies a pivotal moment for the industry. In fact, she is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that we bring into service and introduces a wholly-innovative product that sets a new standard for the industry to follow,” Vago said.“As we are nearing the end of 2017, we can look back on a year when we enjoyed unprecedented capacity growth. With two of the more innovative new ships in the industry having come into service in the past six months and now with the addition of two Seaside EVO ships to our investment plan, we are now even better positioned to further extend our global footprint. We are expecting the delivery of at least one new ship each year through 2026, with six to have come into service between 2017 and 2020. ”
Advertisement Facebook Two of four Canadians to win the 2016 Artist of Choice award from the Kevin Spacey Foundation are from Vancouver.The KSF Artist of Choice award offers a grant of $10,000, along with mentorship and professional guidance, for artists and companies working in theatre, dance, film, or musicals. Each year, 12 recipients are chosen, four each from the U.K., the U.S. , and Canada.Filmmaker Mary Galloway and her production company Bright Shadow Productions won the award for her forthcoming short film “Unintentional Mother”. Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The film, set in the 1970s, explores the dilemma of a young aboriginal nanny forced to choose between running away from her abusive father or remaining as a loyal nanny.Galloway, who is from Qualicum Beach and is Coast Salish, previously wrote, produced, and starred in the 2016 short film “Ariel Unraveling”, which received BravoFACT and Creative BC awards. Twitter
APTN National NewsThe problem-plagued Poundmaker Cree Nation is seeing even more controversy as the school year kicks off.The chief and council await sentencing for fraud charges next week.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf explains.
“In other words, our sentiment is: before it gets better it may get worse,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council, noting that the combined activity by the Afghan and international forces is intensifying and showing results.“At the same time, we are detecting from the anti-Government elements an attempt to show some spectacular attacks in order to diversify the feeling of a change of momentum. What does it mean? That we should be ready, I’m afraid, for the next few months for some tense security environment.”Mr. de Mistura was briefing the Council on Mr. Ban’s latest report, which noted that conditions for reconciliation in Afghanistan are becoming more favourable and that there may soon be a real opportunity for a political dialogue leading to a settlement. The Special Representative, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), gave his assessment of September’s parliamentary elections and the final certification of the results three weeks ago, which the Council welcomed.“The Security Council members reiterated that the elections which have been carried out under difficult security conditions under full Afghan ownership constitute an important milestone in the vital political process in Afghanistan,” it said in a press statement following the briefing.In his report Mr. Ban noted that the electoral process was far from flawless but he commended the Afghan electoral institutions their independence and integrity and for having accomplished the logistical feat of organizing such a complicated operation in a difficult political, security and geographic environment. 22 December 2010In the face of increased successes by international forces and the national army in Afghanistan, the Taliban may attempt spectacular attacks in the coming weeks, the top United Nations envoy in the country warned today.
After conducting an evaluation mission last month to assess the security situation in the Masisi territory in North Kivu province, located in the country’s east, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) reported that there has been a significant increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Kilimani, Kalinga, Lushebere and Bihito camps in Masisi.“Currently, 20,700 IDPs are living in the four camps, and 8,000 others have settled in an additional camp in central Masisi,” MONUSCO noted on its website. “In addition, a large number of other IDPs are living with host families and in other public sites. All have to deal with the hostility of the local communities who suspect them of having links with the armed groups.”“Violence and harsh living conditions are the daily lot of those IDPs,” the peacekeeping mission added. “At long last they were able to receive their first food assistance on 30 December when trucks finally arrived after two-week drive on very difficult roads.”MONUSCO pledged to step up its presence in Masisi with peacekeepers from its brigade in North Kivu. The peacekeeping operation has 6,700 and 4,000 troops in the provinces of North and South Kivu, respectively. North Kivu alone is four times the size of Belgium.Since September, central Masisi has witnessed a surge in the number of ethnic-related incidents. According to MONUSCO, at the heart of the conflict are two main groups: various armed groups allied with ethnic Hutus and other ethnic Hunde armed groups such as the Mai Mai Nyatura, the Alliance patriotique pour un Congo libre et souverain, the Forces Démocratiques Congolaise, the Maï Maï Kikokota and the Maï Maï Rahiya Mutomboki.The violence reached its peak between 3 and 29 November with attacks against the Shoa, Buabo, Banyungu, Biiri in central Masisi and Kihuma localities, leaving 40 dead. Minor incidents have since continued to be reported in the region. The problem of armed groups in the eastern DRC has been a long-running one for many years, most recently throughout 2012, when – in addition to the activities of other armed groups – fighters from the 23 March Movement (M23) occupied the Goma, the capital of North Kivu.The M23 – made up of former national army troops who mutinied in April and named after a 23 March 2009 peace agreement that they reportedly say has not been implemented – entered the city on 19 November, after an advance that included clashes with the DRC armed forces.Amidst widespread condemnation and calls for their withdrawal, they pulled out from the city of one million after 11 days in accordance with requirements laid out by a regional inter-governmental organization, and monitored by some of the 1,500 MONUSCO peacekeepers in the city.
Finally, after a seismic NBA free-agency stretch that was like nothing we’ve ever seen before, things have quieted down, and all the moving and shaking has just about ceased. This is the calm before the storm; one in which a wide array of teams may feel they have a shot at winning an NBA title.With all this in mind, we pieced together four questions that lie ahead for a handful of teams before the league goes into its late-summer slumber.Will the Warriors have enough defense?Losing Kevin Durant was an obvious blow for Golden State, but even if you set aside his departure, you could intelligently argue that the club lost its heart and soul this summer.This isn’t a reference to Andre Iguodala alone. (Though some would make the claim that he is — or at least was — that vital all by himself.) Instead, it’s more a nod to the smothering style of defense the Warriors figure to lose without him, Shaun Livingston and, to some extent, Durant.Simply put: It’s not clear if Golden State will be elite again on the defensive side of the ball without the versatility, speed, synchronization and smarts they once enjoyed. The Warriors will always be known for their incredible perimeter shooting. But what was often lost was their ability to repeatedly pull off ridiculous comebacks because of their defense, which exposed other teams’ inability to play small.There were signs that the “Death Lineup” was beginning to lose steam throughout this past season, something that became apparent as Iguodala (and even more so with Livingston) were growing older and slowing down. But there will be a steep learning curve this season with so many new faces on the team — especially without the rehabbing Klay Thompson in the lineup for months.Golden State, which ranked No. 1 in defensive efficiency in 2014-15 — the first season of their five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals — has since finished sixth in 2015-16, second in 2016-17, No. 11 in 2017-18 and No. 11 in 2018-19. And by plugging in D’Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein,1A player who was a beast defensively in college, but hasn’t come anywhere near that level on D at the pro level yet. it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Warriors fall into the bottom third of the league defensively.There are some potential upsides to this, of course. Former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green could view this situation — critics counting the Warriors out now, the lack of standout defenders around him2With the exception of Thompson when healthy and center Kevon Looney, and his upcoming free agency3If he doesn’t sign an extension this summer — as a personal challenge. And if the Warriors do end up being lackluster on D, it could make for some fun shootouts.But on some level, it really does feel like the engine that once made this team unbeatable — their suffocating defense — has been replaced with one that simply doesn’t have the same gears.How will the Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon gamble play out?There will understandably be considerable attention surrounding Brooklyn and possibly Philadelphia out East heading into the regular season, but it will be intriguing to see how the Bucks fare following their 60-win season. Going into the summer, we knew that Milwaukee was going to be doing damage control in free agency, with Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic all hitting the market.The club batted .500 in terms of retention, losing Brogdon4While getting a first-round pick protected in the top-14 from 2020 to 2025 and two future second-rounders from Indiana — an admittedly decent consolation, but not one that figures to move the needle considering this team needs to win now in hopes of convincing Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a long-term extension. — a restricted free agent the Bucks could’ve kept had they been willing to go into the luxury tax — and Mirotic (to Europe) while maxing out Middleton and hanging onto Lopez.How successful this summer was for Milwaukee will ultimately come down to whether the Bucks can take the next step, and much of that is rooted in the team’s guard play. Brogdon was solid as could be, and now will hand the reins fully to inconsistent playoff performer Eric Bledsoe5Whose postseason true-shooting percentage numbers have now dropped from 62 percent and 55 percent in 2012 and 2013 to 51 percent and just 49 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively. and 33-year-old George Hill, who was impressive in the postseason. Surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo with catch-and-shoot threats like Kyle Korver and Wes Matthews6Milwaukee would be wise to tell Matthews that posting up isn’t allowed after how that went last season, when he shot 39 percent from 2-point range. could also help, as could Robin Lopez, Brook’s long-haired twin brother, who will make an impact defensively and on the glass.Of course, Giannis could render much of this moot if he makes another leap this season. (Shooting more consistently from three — which he showed glimpses of after New Year’s — would be one way of accomplishing this.) Still, Brogdon’s ability to handle, defend, shoot and create competently was really integral to this team. It remains to be seen whether the Bucks can replace enough of those things piecemeal with this new roster, but it certainly feels like a lot could be riding on the answer to that key factor.The Thunder are still kind of interesting. But are they a playoff team?There’s no question that this has been a tough offseason for Thunder fans to swallow, even if it was relatively clear that the Russell Westbrook-and-Paul George-led team wasn’t going anywhere.The franchise has cashed in its stagnant present for a future full of first-round picks, yet still has a lot of talent left on the roster, including a 34-year-old Chris Paul (with a contract that could age like a used diaper); Danilo Gallinari; Steven Adams; and talented guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.Understandably, most have written off Oklahoma City for this coming season now that the rebuild is just about in full-swing with George and Westbrook out the door. But people shouldn’t mistake that the team can’t compete on the court — at least not yet.Yes, the wheels may come all the way off health-wise if Paul and Gallinari log heavy minutes (it seems a safe bet that one or both won’t finish the season on the Thunder roster). But it’s also not inconceivable in the slightest that OKC’s new core could make an unlikely run at a playoff spot. The team, deficient in shooting for the longest time, now has some perimeter threats. Turnovers will decrease by swapping Westbrook for Paul. The club’s defense could also take a step forward with the new cast and by bringing back Andre Roberson, one of the league’s premier stoppers before getting injured and missing all of last year.This isn’t a suggestion that the Thunder will be better. They probably won’t be. But our current projections have them finishing 41-417Surprisingly better than both the Blazers and the Spurs, who made the playoffs last season. — a mark that would leave them just two games out of the projected No. 8 spot out West (while getting them into the East playoffs somewhat comfortably). So while few, if any, would give OKC a chance of reaching the playoffs in the crowded West, crazier things have happened. Until the club sells off more parts, there’s still enough talent.Will the Pistons’ smaller moves make up for the bigger one that didn’t happen?No, Detroit didn’t land Westbrook via trade. But even without the former MVP — who would’ve clogged their cap space even more, all without definitively making them even the third-best club in the East — it’s easy to see how the Pistons might have gotten at least slightly better for this coming season.Similar to the Thunder, Detroit had issues with outside shooting — even when opponents abandoned defending the perimeter altogether. As such, the Pistons made a draft-night deal with the salary-shedding Bucks to acquire Tony Snell — and the 30th pick in the draft, which Detroit opted to flip for multiple second-rounders — who’s knocked down triples at around a 40 percent clip each of the past three seasons in Milwaukee.Beyond that, you might remember how mightily the Pistons struggled last season when backup guard Ish Smith, of all people, was out of the lineup. (The team saw one of the biggest win-loss-percentage swings in the entire NBA depending on whether he played.) So the team sought to find a bigger, higher-scoring replica in Smith, and did so by signing Derrick Rose.The obvious question here is whether Rose, who for years was railroaded by his own injury problems, will be healthy enough to be a consistent enough upgrade at the position. But if he is and can score anywhere near as efficiently as he did last season, it would give Detroit another much-needed scoring threat, and another player, aside from Blake Griffin or Reggie Jackson, to set up players like Snell and sharpshooter Luke Kennard. And on some level, Rose, doing that would give the Pistons a poor man’s version of Westbrook — and a former MVP who doesn’t further cripple the team’s future cap scenario the way a Westbrook acquisition would have done.
6. Bjerringbro-Silkeborg6204161:167(-6)4 PSG Handball beat FC Barcelona Lassa 32:26 in derby match of the VELUX EHF Champions League Round 6. The French team led by surprisingly good this season, right back Nedim Remili (8 goals) was better rival during 60 minutes of fight in front of 4.200 domestic fans.32 – París Saint Germain: Omeyer (Skoff); Abaló (3), Remili (8), Luka Karabatic (5), Mollgaard (2), Nikola Karabatic (2), Gensheimer (3, 1p); Nielsen (2), Stepancic (2), Mikkel Hansen (5, 1p), Narcisse y Kounkoud.26 – Barcelona: Ristovski; Tomás (2), Lazarov (4, 1p), Andersson (2), Syprzak (3), N’ Guessan (3), Rivera (2); Noddesbo (1), Entrerríos (1), Ariño (3), Jallouz, Mem (5) y Saubich.Veszprem’s tight win over Bjerringbro SilkeborgSTANDINGS: 3. Telekom Veszprém6321158:154(4)8 2. FC Barcelona Lassa6501172:156(16)10 5. THW Kiel6303154:152(2)6 4. SG Flensburg-Handewitt6312149:144(5)7 FC Barcelona LassaPSG Handball PHOTO: Stephane Pillaud 1. Paris Saint-Germain Handba…6501191:161(30)10 7. Orlen Wisla Plock6114149:166(-17)3 8. Kadetten Schaffhausen6006157:191(-34)0 ← Previous Story Veszprem’s tight win over Bjerringbro Silkeborg Next Story → PICK Szeged – KINGS of the neighborhood!
Although Microsoft‘s Kinect platform for the Xbox 360 is selling like gangbusters, its software library leaves much to be desired for the hardcore gamer… but evidence appears to be mounting that Epic Games intends to remedy this by bringing a new Gears of War game to the Kinect system.What Gears of War for Kinect might look like now is unknown, but Kotaku has gotten its hands on a screenshot of an older build of the title, showing how the game would use the Kinect’s gesture-recognition technology to control the on-screen character… well, at least to answer a call on his headset.This screenshot apparently comes from an earlier build of the game that was supposed to debut during Spike TV’s last Video Game Awards show. However, at the last minute, the reveal of Gears of War Kinect was pulled from the line-up and promised for a reveal at a later date, indicating strongly that Epic and Microsoft didn’t feel they really had enough to show off to a positive effect.What is known is that this is an entirely new game in the Gears of War series, with Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski confirming that there would be “No Kinect in Gears of War 3.” Kotaku posits that the new game will be called Gears of War Exile and be an on-rail shooter with Kinect elements, which seems like a good match for the Gearsiverse: the series’ level design is already largely on-rails.Read more at Kotaku
HD video recording is now firmly entrenched in the consumer space with affordable digital cameras shooting 1080p video. Likewise, many households have solid motion capture hardware in the form of Microsoft’s Kinect Xbox peripheral. What happens when you combine the two? Magic, that’s what happens.RGBDToolkit is a system for taking the HD video that you record with a DSLR, and applying the Kinect’s depth mapping on top of it. The results are far from perfect, but it adds a new dimension to your video. Microsoft has traditionally been encouraging of Kinect hacks, and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.The free software is available on Windows, Mac, and as source code on github. The software download also includes calibration images to make sure your rig is properly set up. Of course, that’s only half the battle. The DSLR and Kinect have to be mounted together in a very particular way. The folks behind RGBDToolkit have instructions online on how to build the mounting rig that will give you the necessary camera positioning. Some of the materials include a drill press, saw, thumbscrews, strips of aluminum, and sandpaper.You have to be a real “do it yourself” kind of geek to get this up and running, but the effect is very cool. The RGBDToolkit videos look like a virtual hologram that really shows you the depth of the scene. One day, cameras might have the option to incorporate depth data into the final product for a more immersive experience. For now, though, it’s just for fun.via PetaPixel
A total fire ban has been declared in Victoria due to extreme fire conditions caused by the heatwave this week.The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has said that conditions will become tinder dry due to the hot northerly winds. Extreme fire danger warnings have been issued for the southwestern Victoria whish will see temperatures hit 43 today, while the rest of the state has received severe fire warnings or high to very high. Dennis Ward, state duty officer for the Department for Sustainability and the Environment (DSE) has asked all Victorian’s travelling over the Christmas / New Year period to remain alert. “We are asking all Victorians to be aware of the safety issues and include any holidays or travel in their bushfire survival plans,” Mr Ward said. “This means planning ahead, checking on conditions, tuning in to the emergency broadcasters and seeking out information before visiting.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram