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10 months agoBayern Munich chiefs Kovac, Salihamidzic concerned after Liverpool draw

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first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bayern Munich chiefs Kovac, Salihamidzic concerned after Liverpool drawby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich coach Niko Kovac believes getting Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16 is the toughest draw they could land.The Bundesliga champions will travel to Anfield for the first leg on February 19 with the second leg at the Allianz Arena on March 13.Kovac said, “Liverpool got to the final last year, they’re top of the Premier League and one of the favourites for the Champions League.“We’re FC Bayern München, though, and I’m sure Liverpool know they’ve got to come here to Munich for the second leg. The chances are 50-50. We’ll see what happens. I’m very confident we’ll get through.”Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added: “They’re the team of the hour, they’re the league leaders in England.“They play good football, they’re very physical and they’re full of energy.“You need two good days. They were in the final last year, they’re a top side, it’s a tough one but these are the challenges that you look forward to as a player and that you have to overcome in your career.”Winger Arjen Robben was also gushing in his praise of Jurgen Klopp’s side.“It’s an epic match. Liverpool are a super team who have gone through a great development,” Robben told Bayern’s website.“They have big players, a lot of pace and creativity in attack and they’re a real unit. The atmosphere will be phenomenal. It’s just a great draw. It’s a dream for every player to be involved in a game like this.”However, Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer claimed that the Reds can still be “vulnerable” defensively having shipped seven goals in the group stage.“They’re having a very good season and we know they were in the Champions League final last year,” Neuer said.“They certainly won’t be delighted with the draw, either. They can counter quickly and they’re dangerous in front of goal, but they’re also vulnerable, as we’ve seen, and they’ll be up against a good Bayern attack.” last_img read more

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13 hours agoRaul insists Wolves aiming for Europa League knockout round

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first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Raul insists Wolves aiming for Europa League knockout roundby Freddie Taylor13 hours agoSend to a friendShare the loveRaul Jimenez says Wolves are fighting to reach the Europa League knockout stages.The Molineux outfit recorded a brave 2-1 away win over Slovan Bratislava on Thursday, with Jimenez scoring the decisive penalty.He told BT Sport: “For me it’s always in my mind that I’m going to score. It’s my style of shooting penalty kicks, I’m never going to change. I had a lot of confidence and it was a good moment to score the second goal, we’re in the fight now.”We came here knowing that if we won the game it would be better for us, we’re fighting to go into the next round now.” last_img read more

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Lawsuit filed against gas company after Massachusetts blasts

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first_imgBOSTON – Lawyers filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of people who were forced out of their homes for days when dozens of natural gas explosions and fires ripped through three Massachusetts towns.The lawsuit is the first of what’s likely to be several filed against Columbia Gas and its parent company over Thursday’s explosions , which killed one person and injured more than two dozen in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.It accuses the utility companies of negligence and seeks compensation for residents of who had to evacuate but didn’t suffer injuries or damage to their homes.Frank Petosa, one of the attorneys who brought the case, said although families were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday, they still don’t have gas or hot water and must live in fear that the explosions could happen again.“These individuals have had their lives turned upside down,” said Petosa, of Morgan & Morgan.Columbia Gas officials didn’t immediately respond to an email on Tuesday.About 8,600 customers were affected by the explosions. Many had to evacuate their homes for days and may have to go without gas service for weeks.A letter sent by the state’s U.S. senators to executives at Columbia Gas and its parent company, NiSource, on Monday said the pressure in natural gas pipelines was 12 times higher than it should have been.“The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has reported that the pressure in the Columbia Gas system should have been around 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI), but readings in the area reached at least 6 PSI — twelve times higher than the system was intended to hold,” the letter said.The pressure spike registered in a Columbia Gas control room in Ohio, the senators said in the letter, which requests a reply by Wednesday.“We write to request that you provide us with information in order to help the American people understand why this terrible disaster occurred, whether the company was sufficiently prepared to respond to an incident of this magnitude, and how we can prevent any similar tragedy in the future,” the senators wrote.The explosions are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Chairman Robert Sumwalt has said the investigation is partially focused on pressure sensors that were connected to a gas line that was being taken out of service shortly before the blasts.On Tuesday, Columbia Gas President Stephen Bryant announced that the utility is donating $10 million to an emergency relief fund for people affected by the emergency.The Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund will help residents of the three communities with food, housing and other short-term needs as they recover, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said.Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, who has been highly critical of Columbia Gas, said the utility is “living up to their corporate responsibility” with the donation.Also Tuesday, Moody’s Investor’s Service said the explosions and fires are likely to damage the finances of Columbia Gas and its parent company.The Wall Street credit rating firm said the disaster was “credit negative” for Columbia and NiSource Inc., and may cause “the deterioration of each company’s financial position.”U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday sent letters to Columbia Gas and Eversource Energy – another utility in charge of recovery efforts – asking for more details about how residents have been notified that it’s safe for them to be receiving gas and whether the companies are maintaining a database and map of homes and buildings that have been inspected.The Massachusetts Democrats said there has been widespread confusion about whose homes were affected by the incident.U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a member of the House Subcommittee on National Security, is calling for a congressional hearing into gas pipeline safety nationwide, pointing to the natural gas explosions in Massachusetts and in western Pennsylvania.An estimated 650 pipeline incidents last year caused 20 fatalities and 35 injuries, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Massachusetts Democrat said. This year pipeline incidents have caused at least three deaths and 33 injuries.Lynch said the vulnerability of residents living near pipelines is even more worrisome given the aging state of pipeline infrastructure.last_img read more

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NDIT appointed by BC Hydro to administer Site C agricultural compensation fund

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first_imgNDIT is an independent corporation that was established in 2005 that has managed more than $80 million in funding for partner organizations, including administration of BC Hydro’s $800,000 Generate Opportunities, or GO Fund.Hydro said that NDIT will manage the fund and act as a secretariat to the regional decision-making board, which is responsible for overseeing the management and disbursement of the fund.Northern Development Initiative Trust and the board will work together to develop a strategic five-year plan, fund application packages and evaluation criteria, as well as a financial management plan.For more information about the Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund, visit www.sitecproject.com/AgFund. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro announced today that it has appointed the Northern Development Initiative Trust as the financial administrator of its Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund.The $20-million fund, which was launched earlier this year, supports agricultural priorities in the Peace Region.Hydro said it set up the fund to recognize the role that agriculture plays in the local economy and the potential effects of the Site C project on agriculture.last_img read more

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Synergy – Project Management Event

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first_imgThis event is hosting Sean Craig, a Project Management expert who will help guide the session. Craig has 14 years of experience in project management and has worked on projects all over the world. Craig has led projects worth $300 million dollars and has participated in projects worth over $5 billion. He most recently led the energy reduction project at our local Canfor plant.Synergy would like you to join them and interact with other people from different industries to learn more about project management.FB Event Page CLICK HEREFor Tickets to the Event CLICK HERESynergy attracts motivated individuals of all ages, all industries, and all levels of experience to come together on pertinent topics that are collectively important to the group.Synergy recognized there is strong economic growth and limitless opportunities in Fort St. John. This is a place for individuals to build their career skills in a variety of fields. Synergy can help provide relationships outside of the workplace with people from all over the world and from all walks of life. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Synergy allows individuals in the community to learn and grow from one another using a ‘Think Tank’ model.Wednesday, January 30th from 7 pm – 9 pm, join Synergy at Whole Wheat and Honey Cafe for this free ‘Project Management’ event.Shared from the event page, Synergy says, regardless of your role, if you take on projects as part of your overall position, knowing how to effectively maneuver stakeholders, how to plan and mitigate risks, and properly budget for projects requires a refined skillset from a project leader in Project Management. Synergy is open to anyone interested in building themselves through networking and collaboration. All ages, industries, and all forms of experience are welcome. The benefits of joining the group suggested by Synergy include;– Builds you which in turn, builds your business– Builds relationships, excellent networking activities before and after the event– Builds roots, leading to increased staff retention and staff engagement– Builds inclusiveness, everyone is welcomeFor more information, email; synergy@fsjchamber.comlast_img read more

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Injured Suarez to miss China Cup for Uruguay

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first_imgBarcelona: Barcelona forward Luis Suarez has been ruled out of playing in the China Cup with Uruguay after spraining his ankle for his club at the weekend. Suarez, 32, is expected to miss between 10 and 15 days after limping off late in Sunday’s 4-1 win at Real Betis in La Liga. “He will… undertake his recovery with the FC Barcelona medical team, having been withdrawn from the Uruguayan national team squad,” the club said in a statement Monday. Suarez’s absence adds to that of Edinson Cavani for Uruguay after the Paris Saint-Germain striker failed to shake off a thigh injury for the trip to China. Oscar Tabarez’s squad travel to Nanning to take on take on Uzbekistan on March 21, with the winner meeting China or Thailand in the final four days later. Suarez scored his 18th league goal of the season at Betis to draw level with Diego Forlan for the most goals scored by a Uruguayan in Spain’s top flight with 128.last_img read more

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Israelis among wounded in US synagogue attack

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first_imgJerusalem: Two Israelis were among the Jews wounded in the weekend attack on a synagogue in California that killed one person and injured three others, an official said Sunday. An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said an eight-year-old girl and her 31-year-old uncle wounded in the shooting attack in Poway, north of San Diego, on Saturday were from a southern town bordering the Gaza Strip. “The two moved from Sderot to San Diego a few years ago,” spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement, noting their condition was “good.” San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said both were wounded by shrapnel in the attack on the final day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover. A 60-year-old woman was killed in the attack, with the community’s rabbi wounded as well. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportIsraeli Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett called the slain woman, Lori Gilbert Kaye, “a Jewish hero” who threw herself “in the path of the murderer’s bullets to save the life of the rabbi.” Gore identified the suspect, who was arrested after fleeing the scene, as 19-year-old John Earnest and said he had no prior arrest record. US President Donald Trump denounced the shooting as a “hate crime”. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called the attack “yet another painful reminder that anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is still with us, everywhere.” “No country and no society are immune,” he said in a Sunday statement. “Only through education for Holocaust remembrance and tolerance can we deal with this plague.” The shooting in Poway’s Chabad synagogue came exactly six months after a white supremacist killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue — the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history.last_img read more

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Embattled Tunisia leaders face rising social discontent

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first_imgby Antoine LAMBROSCHINITUNIS – Tunisia’s sluggish economic recovery is spurring a growing number of strikes and protests, with the discontent compounding the ruling Islamist party’s woes amid a political crisis and growing insecurity.Public offices, businesses and entire regions have since the summer been staging walkouts and demanding pay rises, extra staff, hospitals and development projects — adding to a sense of growing turmoil in the birthplace of the 2011 Arab Spring. The number of working hours lost through strikes rose by 71 percent in October compared with September, according to the social affairs ministry.In November, the situation appears to have gotten even worse. On Wednesday alone, workers unions and civil society groups called general strikes in three regions — Siliana, Gabes and Gafsa.“Clearly the economic situation today is very difficult and cannot support this level of strikes,” said Ezzedine Saidane, an independent economist.He attributed the economic difficulties primarily to the political crisis, which has dragged on for months in the absence of any agreement between the ruling Islamist party Ennahda and its secular opponents on the formation of a non-partisan transitional government.Saidane argues that the current 3.0 percent growth rate is insufficient to bring down unemployment significantly or to launch major development projects, two pressing issues for young Tunisians.Joblessness and regional inequality were driving factors behind the popular uprising that unseated former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, inspiring protests across the Middle East and North Africa that toppledleaders in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.Meanwhile, the lack of functioning state institutions and a rise in attacks by Islamist militants continue to deter investors.For two years now, Ennahda has repeated promises of public spending and recruitment to meet the country’s social demands, constantly resorting to loans to fulfil its commitments, an option that is becoming increasingly difficult.On Monday, international ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Tunisia’s sovereign debt rating one notch, while maintaining a negative outlook.Moody’s cited the ongoing political uncertainty as the main factor, as well as increased external funding challenges, exacerbated by delayed economic reforms and the persistently large deficits in the country’s fiscal and external accounts.Saidane said the government’s policies had left it without any room for manoeuver next year.“When you look at the draft budget, you can see that 40 percent is allocated to salaries, 40 percent to debts and subsidies (on essential goods) and just 20 percent on social and economic development.”Union blames government ‘nonchalance’For the powerful UGTT workers union, which plays a key role in organising the strikes, the authorities who have been calling for months for a “social truce” are solely responsible for the current situation.In a statement this week, it slammed “the nonchalance of the government in implementing certain agreements, concluded but still not applied after nearly a year and a half,” saying that was why social movements were signing up for the strikes.Some reject this argument, however, like Nejib Mrabet, who heads the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG).The state-run producer of the valuable mineral, which represented 10 percent of the budget in 2010, the year before Ben Ali’s ouster, is the main employer in the neglected central Gafsa region.Mrabet said that despite the company hiring 2,600 people since the revolution, it was paralysed by the disruptions that the social movements agitated for and was running at only 30 percent of capacity.“The company cannot afford another year of uncertainty and deficit,” he was quoted as saying by the official TAP news agency, adding that if the situation continued, managers and employees might have to take forced leave in 2014.Even Ennahda itself has not been immune to the growing social mistrust plaguing Tunisia, with some party members criticising certain government decisions, such as where to locate five new university-linked hospitals.That decision has provoked anger in Gafsa and Gabes.Lotfi Zitoune, who was an advisor to former Islamist prime minister Hamadi Jebali, called the failure to invest in those regions a “clear example of the dubious work of the government … in the context of political instability and difficult economic circumstances.”“It will revive accusations of nepotism and regional favouritism,” he wrote in a scathing article posted on his Facebook page.last_img read more

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Zack Greinke Is One Of A Kind

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Here, we point out that the goal of a changeup is usually to fool the batter by presenting a speed different from that of the fastball. Greinke does not do that. Just over a month ago, the Houston Astros pulled off the biggest move of the season: In a deal reported minutes after the trade deadline had passed, the Astros acquired Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Diamondbacks to form baseball’s best rotation alongside Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, the two likeliest Cy Young candidates.Greinke, a future Hall of Famer, has been stellar this season — a 2.99 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP. According to FiveThirtyEight’s pitcher ratings, he would be the top pitcher on two-thirds of teams and the No. 3 on just three — and that’s the one he’s on. The move already has paid dividends for the ‘Stros, who are 5-2 in Greinke’s starts and have baseball’s best run differential since the trade — by nearly 50 runs.Now six weeks into team No. 6 (remember when he was traded to the Angels for the 2012 stretch run?), Greinke continues to adapt. At 35 years old, it’s anyone’s guess how long he can keep up this performance, but he’s signed through 2021 and should contribute through then. And because of the way he’s dealt with his decreasing velocity by relying on command and movement, he should be set up well for continued long-term success.According to Statcast, Greinke throws eight pitches: four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, curve, sinker (or two-seam fastball), split finger, cutter and eephus. (We’ll get back to that last one.) Only Yu Darvish has as many listed on his Statcast page, with the same eight (though the classifications may hide some of Darvish’s arsenal). Anibal Sanchez, Rich Hill and Odrisamer Despaigne are the only pitchers with seven.But it’s not just the variety of pitches that makes Greinke special. It’s how he throws them.Consider his changeup. Greinke throws his offspeed on 21.9 percent of pitches — a fairly steady increase from 7.9 percent back in 2008. Yet as his fastball has lost velocity, from once hitting more than 100 miles per hour in 2010 to averaging below 90 in 2019, his changeup has gotten faster. Instead, Greinke uses a power changeup with devastating late movement. Only Edubray Ramos has a smaller average speed difference. Greinke’s pitch has surpassed his slider, which used to be considered his best pitch, as the second option. Along with this, Greinke’s cutter, a staple of his arsenal in 2012 and 2013, has all but disappeared.Then there’s the curveball, a slow sweeping pitch. Greinke’s curveball is the second-slowest among qualified starters, behind the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin, at just over 70 miles per hour.This is where the eephus comes in. Greinke’s curve can be thrown so slow that Statcast registers it as the arcing pitch. But it’s not clear whether it’s a different pitch or just a curveball thrown slower. Nobody is throwing a true eephus, though six pitchers are credited with the pitch this year; only Greinke has one under 60 miles per hour. But even if you consider his eephus and his curveball as the same pitch, Greinke would still be tied with Sanchez and Darvish for the lead with seven different pitches.MLB pitchers have struck out 16 hitters on sub-67 mph pitches this year. Greinke owns eight of those (and four of the rest are from position players) with his slow curve that can make batters look silly.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/d20e23b5-749c-4869-9845-d5b61e1ee064.mp400:0000:0000:14Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The newest one is the split-finger, which he threw in April for the first time since pitch tracking began in 2008. He’s thrown five so far in 2019, including three to Jacob DeGrom in the same at bat. If he’s experimenting with it now, there’s a chance it becomes a regular part of his arsenal in the future, especially with the Astros’ penchant for getting the most out of pitch selection.But beyond his wide repertoire of pitches, Greinke’s pitching style is one of a kind. He throws most pitches low but gets strikes. Even though he throws fewer pitches in the strike zone than average, he almost never falls behind. And his .198 wOBA allowed on pitches out of the zone is second in MLB, also behind Corbin.Greinke has faced just 11 3-0 counts this year and had thrown a fastball every time, almost always on the edge, until he gave Christian Yelich a perfect changeup last week. None of the 20 other pitchers with as many pitches this year has seen fewer than 15 such counts. In the month of July, Greinke threw 479 pitches and none was in a 3-0 count. He threw eight pitches with a 2-0 count — seven were in the strike zone and the other was fouled off. He’ll throw in the strike zone when he falls behind; that just doesn’t happen very often. And even when he does, batters can’t take advantage — they’re just 2-16 on 2-0 counts this year despite seeing 65 percent of pitches in the strike zone.When he’s ahead, it’s a different story. That’s when the sub-70 curveball becomes devastating. Ahead in the count, Greinke throws just 27 percent of pitches in the strike zone; the league average is 38 percent. And 76 percent of his strikeouts have been on pitches out of the zone, well higher than the league average of 56 percent. And his plan of attack is to go low. On 1-2 counts, specifically, Greinke throws in either the lower third or below the strike zone more often than any other pitcher.Greinke is truly a unique pitcher. His fastball and offspeed have nearly the same velocity, but his curveball is one of the slowest. He throws outside of the strike zone but never falls behind, and batters can’t seem to figure out any of his pitches.Through his impressive career, the one thing Greinke lacks is a ring. He has 11 postseason appearances, but his biggest impact was probably his lone start in the 2014 NLDS (in which he scored more runs than he allowed in seven innings). He makes the top 10 list of career games started without a World Series appearance. But if he earns a huge postseason moment, he could move from likely Hall of Famer to potentially first ballot. Perhaps he’ll have that chance in Houston this October.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

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