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Nadal: I’m good to play at The O2

first_imgThe top-seeded Spaniard pulled out of the Paris Masters last week with a right knee injury, casting major doubt over whether he would be fit for the season-ending finale at The O2 in London.Nadal spoke to Sky Sports in an exclusive interview after arriving in London on Wednesday, when he insisted: “I’ve done everything I’ve needed to do to get ready for London.”He is guaranteed to end the year as No 1, irrespective of his performance at the finals, which begin on Sunday and end on November 19 – and you can watch every session live on Sky Sports.And Nadal, who faces David Goffin of Belgium in the last of the first round of matches, remained adamant during a pre-tournament media conference that he will take to the court on Monday evening.”If I didn’t believe I could be ready for Monday I wouldn’t be here,” Nadal said. “I don’t have to make a decision. I’m go to playing. That’s my feeling today. I had problems in Paris a week ago. I go day by day, how I’m feeling.”I cannot predict what will happen, but my feeling now is I’m going to play and try my best.”Nadal also insisted he had made no schedule demands on the organisers which would give him additional time to recuperate from his injury.”I didn’t have any request. I didn’t ask anything,” he said.With last year’s winner Andy Murray and runner-up Novak Djokovic absent through injury, there will be a new finals champion for the first time since 2011, when Roger Federer won the tournament for a sixth time.Nadal, who won the French and US Opens earlier this year to take his Grand Slam tally to 16, has never won the year-ending event.”It’s always in my mind, during 13 years that I’m qualified,” the 31-year-old said.”Being here is an important thing, but for me the most important thing is the only thing that happened to me this year. Winning tournaments, competing every week, being healthy until Paris.”I’m number one here, great. It’s a very important achievement, especially at my age.”It’s something important for me, but that’s all. It’s going to be a nice moment when I receive Sunday the award, a year ago it was never in my mind to achieve that again.”For me the most important thing is to finish the season well.”Federer opens on Sunday afternoon against Jack Sock of the United States, while third seed Alexander Zverev of Germany plays Marin Cilic of Croatia.Austria’s Dominic Thiem plays Grigor Dimitrov on Monday.last_img read more

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Defence is a big question mark but France have the firepower

first_imgFrance built their 1998 World Cup-winning squad around a rock-solid defence but 20 years on they could do just the opposite, with their dazzling array of creative, attacking talent ready to make all the difference at the 2018 edition.Such is Les Bleus’ firepower up front that manager Didier Deschamps even has the luxury of not missing Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who has not been selected ever since being involved in a sex-tape blackmail scandal in 2015.France can not only call on Paris St Germain prodigy Kylian Mbappe but also Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Olympique de Marseille’s Dimitri Payet, the duo who shone during Euro 2016 on home soil before the hosts lost in the final.Payet flew under the radar for most of this season but recent impressive performances earned him a place in the 23-man squad.In sharp contrast, the back four have been a recurrent problem for Deschamps.Neither Samuel Umtiti nor Raphael Varane have been convincing this season as France, while twice using them as their centre back pairing in their last three matches, have conceded six goals.To add to the concerns, centre back Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out of the tournament injured, limiting the coach’s options.There are also question marks over another key player, Paul Pogba, following a see-saw season at Manchester United, where manager Jose Mourinho has been starting him only sporadically.Yet France have weapons which should see them at the very least progress from Group C, where they face Australia, Denmark and Peru with a potential quarter-final against Spain or European champions Portugal on the horizon.For while Pogba has struggled, holding midfielder Blaise Matuidi has in one season become a cornerstone for Juventus while Corentin Tolisso has also dramatically improved at Bayern Munich.Indeed, Tolisso could end up paired with the Juve engine instead of Pogba, or even Ngolo Kante.Up front, Griezmann is a very likely starter after another prolific campaign, his pace and delicate turns able to unsettle any defence, while Olivier Giroud as number nine also gives France an aerial threat.The unsinkable Chelsea striker has scored with more headers than anyone in Europe’s top five leagues over the past three seasons.The last attacking spot should be filled by the exciting PSG teenager Mbappe, who has steadily improved as he has sought to live up to his billing as the world’s second most expensive player since moving from Monaco.last_img read more

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Essential ubiquity: How one tiny salamander species has a huge impact

first_imgAmphibians, Animals, Carbon Emissions, Chytridiomycosis, Diseases, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Herps, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Research, Salamanders, Temperate Forests, Wildlife Red-backed salamanders are little lungless salamanders that live in the deciduous forests of eastern and central U.S. and up into Canada. They have one of the biggest distributions of any North American salamander.Their secretive nature means they can be hard to find. However, they’re some of the most abundant leaf-litter organisms in the forests within their range.Research indicates that because of their abundance, red-backed salamanders hold pivotal roles in their ecosystems, influencing a forest’s fungal communities. Fungi break down organic matter like fallen leaves, logs, and dead organisms. If nothing were to rot, the forest would soon starve. Red-backed salamanders feed on a wide variety of invertebrates like ants, spiders, centipedes, beetles, snails, and termites — many of which graze on fungus.But while red-backed salamanders are still relatively common, they are facing a number of threats. Logging in the southern Appalachian Mountains has reduced their numbers an estimated 9 percent (representing a loss of around 250 million individuals). And a salamander-eating fungus may soon invade North America, which researchers are worried could decimate salamander populations across the continent. The red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is a creature of Earth, although a brief physical description can cast sufficient doubt. One deep red stripe runs the length of its body, though it’s sometimes found in all gray. It has four toes on its front feet, five on its back feet, and no lungs to speak of. This amphibian breathes oxygen through its skin and quietly shapes the forest floor.Red-backed salamanders belong to Plethodontidae, a crowded family of little lungless salamanders that scientists think evolved somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains between 60 million and 70 million years ago. This part of the world is still host to the vast majority of plethodontids, though some, like the red-backed salamander, range far beyond their ancestral home.Occurring from the maritime provinces of Canada to the north to as far south as the Carolinas and west to Minnesota, red-backed salamanders have one of the biggest ranges of any North American salamander. And where they live, there tend to be a lot of them.“Red-backed salamanders are some of the most abundant leaf-litter organisms in deciduous Northeast forests,” said biologist Donald Walker of Middle Tennessee State University.Red-backed salamanders are very common in the northeastern U.S. “Specifically, redbacks are extremely abundant, having a total biomass greater than many other vertebrates and likely serve as a food source for many other animals,” said Matthew Becker, a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Image courtesy of Matthew Becker.Red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) are small and rarely exceed 10 centimeters (3.9 inches). They come in several varieties, including this rare tan-striped color morph (left). Image courtesy of Daniel Hocking.Salamanders are not often thought of as an ever-present organism, but conservative estimates of their populations outrank all birds and mammals combined in Northeastern forests. For instance, a 2002 study published in Animal Behavior conducted at Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia yielded a density of three salamanders per square meter (10.7 square feet). According to these numbers, 1 square kilometer (247 acres) could harbor 3 million red-backed salamanders.Because of their abundance, red-backed salamanders play a big role in controlling insect populations and keeping soil communities balanced. Yet despite their prevalence and ecological importance, the secretive nature of these little salamanders means they’re likely an unfamiliar sight to many.“They tend to be an under-appreciated part of wildlife diversity,” said Frostburg State University population ecologist Daniel Hocking, “because they’re small and only active on rainy nights in cool weather when not many people are out in the woods.”On rainy nights, there is enough moisture for red-backed salamanders to safely depart the cover of leaf litter and crawl about the forest floor, even climbing trees. This salamander was observed in Camden Hills State Park in Maine. Image courtesy of Daniel Hocking.Yet even for a species as abundant as red-backed salamanders, looming threats mean that their continued existence may hang in the balance.A salamander’s social lifeRed-backed salamanders have a yearly social calendar. Their summers are spent mostly in solitude, with more than two-thirds of salamanders living on their own. But starting in October, courtship begins and they form (mostly) monogamous pairs. Winter is spent underground in a state of torpor, or hibernation, until the snows melt. Should there be a warm spell, the salamanders emerge and forage until the cold returns. Once the spring truly arrives, red-backed salamanders are often found in groups of two to seven individuals, curled up under logs, boulders and leaf litter, or, if it’s wet enough, crawling on the forest floor and around the bases of tree trunks.Breeding also occurs in spring. Males follow the scent of female pheromone trails to locate mates. Hocking was lucky enough to observe this ritual one afternoon.“The courtship involves males doing a tail-straddle walk and using special teeth to scratch the female’s skin. He rubs the secretions from his mental gland under his chin on the abrasions,” Hocking said. “It’s really special to see such a normally inconspicuous animal engage in such an elaborate courtship.”Their tryst ends when the male produces a package of sperm called a spermatophore, which the female picks up with her cloaca. If fertilization is successful, the female lays clutches of six to nine eggs that hatch an average of eight weeks later, often in June or July.Unlike most other amphibians that simply lay their eggs and leave, many plethodontid salamanders remain with their eggs to protect them. Such is the case for the red-backed salamander. Salamander eggs are highly susceptible to dehydration, so the female will inhabit a natural and moist nest cavity, often in rotting logs, and lay her eggs there. The female curls herself around her eggs, eating only opportunistically if something should cross her path. Due to the physical effort it requires to produce eggs and guard them without food, female red-backed salamanders only reproduce once every other year. The hatchlings remain in the nest cavity with their mother for up to a few weeks after hatching.A red-backed salamander guards her eggs. Image courtesy of Matt Smokosa (CC-BY-2.0).Red-backed salamander hatchlings, like the individual pictured above, born without their embryonic gills. This reproductive strategy is called “direct development” and means that a salamander doesn’t need to live part of its life in the water.  Image courtesy of Daniel Hocking.Because of their high population density, red-backed salamanders often maintain small territories that they guard and in which they exclusively forage. Before choosing a mate, females will crush male fecal pellets and investigate the contents, determining if the owner’s territory has ideal prey. Red-backed salamanders’ prey of choice is ants, due to their large size and soft exoskeletons when compared with other insects.Red-backed salamander territories host intricate politics. When a male pairs up, the female will also assume ownership of the area — although she will only guard the territory against other females, and the male only against intrepid males. However, both the male and female are friendlier if the encroaching salamander is a juvenile. Oftentimes, if it has not rained in a while, juveniles risk entering spoken-for territories to forage. Scientists believe this is a behavior that may have developed through recognition of kin, despite young salamanders remaining in the nest only one to three weeks after hatching.Territories appear to be an integral part of the life cycle of red-backed salamanders, but researchers are still trying to figure out just how significant they are. Individuals move only an average of half a meter (1.6 feet) a day. Yet, when displaced by 30 meters (nearly 100 feet), 90 percent returned to their territories, and traveled in a fairly straight path back home almost immediately upon being released. Still, an estimated half of red-backed salamanders are “floaters” at any given time, maintaining no territory.The red-backed’s roleThe forest floor is a sophisticated, perennial cycling system that rivals any Amazon warehouse. Like a seismic baklava, layers of leaf litter, fungus, minerals and soil extend from tree trunks down into the earth. Scores of critters travel in between, eating, moving, and transforming the layers as they go. With red-backed salamanders as abundant as they are, scientists have long been attempting to determine their role and overall impact within this earthen pastry.To figure this out, Walker and researchers at several U.S. universities conducted a study of the ecosystem services provided by red-backed salamanders. Their results were published recently in FEMS Microbiology Ecology.Walker and his team collected salamanders and studied them in mesocosms — small, controlled reproductions of the salamanders’ habitat — they created to monitor their impact on fungal communities in the soil.In Walker’s study, red-backed salamander habitats were recreated on a small scale. In each experimental mesocosm, the environmental conditions could be carefully controlled to observe the salamanders in varying conditions. Image courtesy of Donald Walker.“We simply lifted logs, rocks, and combed with our hands through the leaf litter,” Walker said, “they were abundant and just waiting to be found!”Fungi are a critical component of nutrient cycling in the forest. They break down organic matter like fallen leaves, logs and dead organisms. If nothing were to rot, the forest would soon starve. Red-backed salamanders feed on a wide variety of invertebrates like ants, spiders, centipedes, beetles, snails and termites, many of which graze on fungus.Walker’s study concluded that in doing so, red-backed salamanders exert indirect control on a forest’s fungal communities. Its results indicate that not only do the salamanders’ feeding habits influence the volume of fungus, but also the diversity of fungal species across the forest — from fungus deep in the soil to species that perch on trees in the forest canopy high above salamander habitat.But not all fungi eat dead plant matter. And in an ironic twist of fate, fungi-protecting red-backed salamanders may soon be facing off against a fungus that has a taste for living salamanders.Fungal threatSince 2013, researchers have been tracking a fungal pathogen that caused large salamander die-offs in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. It’s called Bsal, short for Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, and it causes the infectious amphibian disease chytridiomycosis. Bsal is related to Bd (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) a similarly infectious fungus implicated in the declines and extinctions of more than 200 species of frogs around the world. But Bsal focuses on salamanders, and it is deadly for many species.The U.S. is the global biodiversity hotspot for salamanders, hosting nearly half of all described species. Research indicates plethodontids like red-backed salamanders are particularly vulnerable to Bsal and may undergo massive die-offs and even extinctions if Bsal spreads to North America. Overall, scientists think more than half of U.S. salamander species are susceptible to Bsal infection.So far, Bsal has not been detected in North America, but researchers say global connectivity and specifically the pet trade mean that it’s likely only a matter of time before it gets to the U.S.And if it does, not only may millions of salamanders die, but researchers like Walker say their disappearance could also have serious repercussions for the ecosystems that depend on them.“If [Bsal] were introduced into the US, it could have catastrophic effects, causing local extinctions, disrupting the food web, and tentatively impacting biogeochemical cycling,” Walker said. In other words, the disappearance of these tiny salamanders might even affect the global carbon cycle.A fungal epidemic isn’t the only threat to U.S. salamanders. Habitat loss, invasive species and pollution have been affecting them for hundreds of years, leading to declines and disappearances of many populations across the country.Logging in the southern Appalachians resulted in a 9 percent loss of red-backed salamanders — a figure that, when factoring in their abundance, represents a loss of more than 250 million individuals.A red-backed (left) cozies up with a Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah). While it may look like the red-backed, the Shenandoah salamander does not have the same expansive range; it’s found only on north-facing slopes on the tops of three mountains in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Image courtesy of Ann and Rob Simpson (CC-BY-2.0).Even if a salamander’s specific habitat is not destroyed during deforestation, red-backed salamanders have been recorded deserting their territories if logging occurs nearby.“Woodland salamanders can be an important part of forest floor food webs and their loss may alter the interactions in significant ways depending on the other species in any particular forest stand,” Hocking said. “Given our lack of understanding of these complex food webs, it’s difficult to even predict the ecological consequences in any particular place and time. Humans have a long history of altering ecosystems in subtle ways that result in unexpected consequences.”Hocking recommends implementing the “precautionary principle” and avoiding activities that may result in species declines or extinctions — not only for salamanders’ sake, but also for our own.“Salamanders are also important parts of biodiversity and it’s sad to imagine a world without the interesting and inspiring richness of the natural world, one missing interesting and peculiar species,” he said. “There is joy in wandering in the woods and hearing the song of a hermit thrush and flipping a fallen log to discover a small woodland salamander.“It would be a lesser world in which my kids didn’t have these same opportunities for exploration and discovery.” Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Banner image: A red-backed salamander surveys its domain. Image by Dave Huth (CC-BY-2.0).Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

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Konneh Calls for Increased Financial, Technical Support

first_imgThe outgoing Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh, has led a high-powered delegation to attend 2016 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA.While in the US, Minister Konneh held talks with senior officials of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, the United States Peace Corps, US Departments of State and Treasury, African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, among others. According to a dispatch, Minister Konneh commended Liberia’s development and traditional partners for the level of support Liberia enjoys and emphasized the need for further financial and technical assistance. He lamented the critical need for swift intervention amid the twin shocks the Liberian economy experienced from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the decline in the global commodities prices, particularly iron ore and rubber; the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown in June 2016; as well as the upcoming general and presidential elections; all of which, he emphasized, pose further uncertainties that may have economic, political, social and security risks.Minister Konneh’s pitch for increased support coincides with the release of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, which predicts an extended period of slow global growth of only 3.2% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2017. These figures represent a second downgrade of the Fund’s forecast just this year. The IMF’s Primary Commodity Price Index has declined 19% since August 2015.To help ameliorate the impact of the dire economic situation in Liberia, Minister Konneh articulated committed measures by the Liberian government, which is intended to generate additional revenue to account for said deficit. “These measures include: Fuel excise charge (storage charge), surcharge on outbound international calls, Increase Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate – all of which is expected generate US$45.9 million in new revenues. Additional cuts to the recurrent expenditure ceiling especially goods and services as well as subsidizes and transfers and grants to some non-productive entities,” he disclosed.He further stated that there are growing needs for increased expenditure, especially in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis, as a countercyclical measure and the need to ensure credible elections. He made particular reference to government’s commitment to continuous spending in human development areas such as health, education and agriculture (value chain).In response, Liberia’s international partners assured the Liberian government through Minister Konneh of their unrelenting support to the Agenda for Transformation (AfT) and the Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP), with specific emphasis on budget support, the UNMIL drawdown, as well as the 2017 presidential elections. Officials traveling with Minister Konneh include Dr. Bernice Dahn, Minister of Health; Charles Sirleaf, Acting Governor, Central Bank of Liberia; Dr. Mounir Siaplay, Deputy Minister for Economic Management, MFDP; Bernard Jappah, Public Financial Management Reforms Coordinator, MFDP; and John Davies, President of LBDI, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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French referees keep right to halt games for abusive chants

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Several league games in France’s top two divisions have been halted by referees this season.Representatives of anti-discrimination groups and French football fan groups met with the French league — or LFP — on Wednesday to discuss the matter ahead of the resumption of league matches this weekend.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4“Our delegates have a working framework. If there are, and only if there are discriminatory chants, will they alert the referee, who will be finally the only one who will take the decision to interrupt the game or not,” said Didier Quillot, the LFP’s general director. “Homophobia is a plague and there is no place for it in the stadiums.”LFP president Nathalie Boy de la Tour said football fans are not discriminatory in general but that the language some supporters use has no place. LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:22SEA Games 2019: Charly Suarez stops Burmese foe, advances to boxing semi00:50Trending Articles01:52Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The debate was sparked by Le Graët’s comments in a radio interview on Tuesday.“To say that football is homophobic, and could be the only symbol of homophobia in France, that’s a bit strong. I don’t accept it,” Le Graët said. “We’ll make sure there are no more banners (in stadiums); that’s different. But stopping games, no.”France coach Didier Deschamps supported his president.“I know him well and I can assure you that he’s someone who’s always fought against all forms of discrimination in football,” Deschamps said after France’s 3-0 win against Andorra on Tuesday in European Championship qualifying. “We all hope there won’t be any problems, but there are. It’s up to the authorities, including the sports minister, to find the best solutions.”Sports minister Roxana Maracineanu met with Le Graët at Tuesday’s match. In a statement Wednesday, the FFF said Le Graët has pledged his “full commitment” to fighting “all forms of discrimination.”The issue is proving divisive, with France players Antoine Griezmann and Hugo Lloris offering different opinions.Griezmann, who has featured on LGBT magazine Têtu’s front cover and has said he would openly welcome gay players, told RTL radio that referees should stop games “whether it’s for homophobic chant or racist chants,” because eventually “people will stop doing it.”But Lloris, the France captain, thinks the opposite.“As a player I’m against stopping matches. It’s not the appropriate solution, whatever the form of discrimination,” Lloris said. “You have to fight against it, of course, but stopping matches isn’t necessarily the right solution. It’s not going to stop a minority of imbeciles from doing what they do inside a stadium. There are other solutions and we have to support the LFP, they will make the right decisions.”The high-profile first division match between Nice and Marseille on Aug. 28 was halted for several minutes during the first half after Nice fans unfurled three banners with homophobic messages. There was also chanting against the LFP with an anti-gay slur oft used by French fans. View comments “Football has a social responsibility. Football has to assume its responsibility,” she said. “For a long time we have maybe tolerated chanting in the stadiums, but today society does not accept them anymore.”Pierre Barthélemy, lawyer for the National Supporters Association of football fans, said fans will work harder to improve the situation.“Supporters are sensitive to all forms of discrimination,” he said. “Supporters wish to participate and to contribute where they can to the fight for diversity, for equality and for respect.”Among the anti-discrimination groups attending was SOS Homophobia, whose co-president Jeremy Faledam welcomed the discussions.“We are starting a dialogue,” he said. “Sanctions are being taken — it allows us to start speaking about this subject. That’s good.”ADVERTISEMENT Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption MOST READ Teen dead, another hurt in vehicular collision in Santiago City No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Analysis: USA Basketball’s World Cup plan went awry long ago Robredo to visit Batangas families displaced by Taal erruption LOOK: Kryz Uy, Slater Young expecting first son Residents rescue horses, farm animals left on volcano island FILE – In this Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 file photo, Nimes fans hold up a banner that reads “with us no homophobia” before the start of the French League One soccer match between Nimes and Brest at the Stade des Costieres in Nimes, southern France. Referees should no longer stop matches when there is homophobic chanting, urged French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole, File)PARIS— The French league insisted Wednesday that referees still have the right to stop matches in case of homophobic chanting, despite the national federation president urging them not to halt play.Referees were told by French football federation president Noël Le Graët on Tuesday to ignore a FIFA directive and no longer stop matches when there is homophobic chanting. In response, anti-discrimination groups urged Le Graët to resign.ADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista, Kim Chiu, more celebs appeal for animal rescue after Taal eruptionlast_img read more

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Guyana elected member of PAHO’s Directing Council General Committee

first_imgPublic Health Minister, Dr George Norton was among the panel of Health Ministers and other officials who met during the last week of September at the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) office in Washington, DC to discuss ways in which public health challenges can be tackled across the Region.Dr Norton was accompanied by Dr Karen Boyle, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the Public Health Ministry, to the 55th Directing Council, where Guyana was elected a member of the Directing Council General Committee along with Jamaica, Grenada and Honduras.Meanwhile, regional health representatives attended the 13th Meeting of the Council on Human and Social Development (COHSOD), which focused on matters such as chemical risk and thermo-nuclear risk management and infectious diseases.Discussions were also held on the Caribbean Cooperation in Health Priorities and Regional Public Goods, Management, Governance and Resourcing and the Regional Health Strategy. Countries were encouraged to take local ownership of moving the COHSOD agenda forward by ensuring support at the highest policy level.Caribbean Member States have committed to developing National Polio Preparedness and Response Plans in order to achieve the required 80 per cent target coverage for all the surveillance indicators for Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP). Countries were advised to integrate the surveillance for polio with the neurological manifestation of Zika.Following the recently commemorated Caribbean Wellness Week, at which Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) were topical over the past few years, discussions continued along this path. New initiatives for preventing NCDs and treatment methods were explored. Countries were also encouraged to implement health finance reform inclusive of increased taxation on harmful products such as foods high in sugars, salt, fat, alcohol and cigarettes.In addition, the Region’s achievements in relation to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV were addressed. It was recommended that countries strengthen the data collection for HIV and syphilis, and integrate available data sources to provide timely monitoring of maternal child health programme performance within the context of existing national information systems.Meanwhile, at the conclusion of the Directing Council, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General, Dr Margaret Chan declared Latin America and the Caribbean measles free.last_img read more

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Costa hospitalised with rib injury

first_img“He’s in the hospital,” Mourinho told his post-match press conference at the Britannia Stadium. Asked how Costa had sustained the injury, he replied: “I don’t know. I think he punched himself.”Chelsea lost 5-4 on penalties, with Butland saving the decisive spot-kick from Eden Hazard after the game had finished 1-1 in normal time.Costa, 27, was Chelsea’s top scorer last season with 21 goals in his first campaign after signing from Atletico Madrid, but has found the net only three times in all competitions this season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea striker Diego Costa hospitalised after suffering rib injury at Cup game. PHOTO/AFPLONDON, October 28- Chelsea striker Diego Costa was taken to hospital after sustaining a rib injury during the League Cup holders’ penalty shootout defeat at Stoke City on Tuesday, manager Jose Mourinho said.The Brazil-born Spain striker appeared to hurt himself in a collision with Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland and after initially playing on, he went off in the 33rd minute, with Loic Remy taking his place.last_img read more

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Rotherham complete Smallwood deal

first_imgRotherham have made Richard Smallwood’s emergency loan from Middlesbrough permanent.As reported by talkSPORT earlier this week, Smallwood had rejoined the Millers after a successful loan spell there last term.And now it has been confirmed that the 23-year-old has joined Steve Evans’ Championship side on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee.Smallwood, who made 60 league appearances for Boro, has signed a three-year deal in Yorkshire. Richard Smallwood in action against Leeds 1last_img read more

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One man in custody in connection with bludgeoning death

first_img After interviewing several witnesses in the area, including Mangas, investigators were able to determine Mangas as the suspect. He was booked on suspicion of murder and bail was set at $1 million. The victim’s name is being withheld until a family member has been notified. Anyone with information is asked to call Northeast Division homicide detectives Larry Burcher or Harrold DiCroce at (213) 847-4261. After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAW-FULL (1-877-529-3855). For up-to-date news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here. ATWATER – Police are investigating the death of a 56-year-old man whose body was found under a freeway overpass on Thursday. Officers were called out for a death investigation when a body was found Thursday after 10 a.m. at the Riverside Drive offramp, south of the Golden State Freeway in Atwater. Police initially responded to the scene for a traffic accident but were directed to the body of a Hispanic man lying on the ground, police said. Police say the the victim had become involved in an argument with another man, later identified as Oswaldo Mangas, 38. Mangas had become angry, picked up an unknown object and struck the victim on the head, police said. The victim suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Reports – Newcastle consider Benitez as McClaren edges closer to Tyneside exit

first_imgNewcastle head coach Steve McClaren’s future appeared to be coming to a head amid reports he was meeting managing director Lee Charnley on Wednesday afternoon.The club are understood to have sounded out a series of possible replacements, including former Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez, as they consider replacing 54-year-old McClaren after just nine months in his job. The Magpies have slumped to 19th place in the Barclays Premier League.McClaren has battled all season to edge Newcastle up the table but, despite an investment in new players of more than £82million, they have continued to struggle and slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday.McClaren has taken training for the last two days ahead of Monday’s trip to leaders Leicester, but he did so as the club’s hierarchy assessed options, with a place in next season’s top flight at stake and the estimated £100million that will be worth.The former England manager was due to meet Charnley after training, according to Sky Sports News.Three members of the club’s football board – Charnley, chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur – met on Monday in the absence of the fourth, McClaren.Sources close to Benitez have indicated he would have a qualified interest in any vacancy.The Spaniard is available after parting company with Real in January, as are former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes and ex-Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. 1 The Spaniard is available after parting company with Real Madrid in January last_img read more