Raiders v Sharks: Schick Preview

first_imgThe Sharks headed to Melbourne last week with the chance of winning their first minor premiership since 1999.That chance slipped away as the Storm prevailed by 20 points. Making matters worse, Cronulla wouldn’t even finish second with the Raiders leapfrogging them less than 24 hours later after flogging the Wests Tigers 52-10.Canberra welcome back prop Junior Paulo (back) who will start instead of now 18th man Paul Vaughan as Ricky Stuart’s men look to make it a whopping 11-straight victories.The Sharks have lost Joseph Paulo (knee) for a couple of weeks but coach Shane Flanagan has welcomed back Ricky Leutele. Leutele starts in the centres and Gerard Beale returns to the bench and will be joined by 18th man Kurt Capewell. Watch out Raiders: Retiring Sharks hooker Michael Ennis has missed one game this season and not only did it coincide with the last time his side faced the Raiders, it also signalled the end of Cronulla’s unbeaten run of 16 games. Ennis has laid on 10 tries this year from dummy half and averaged 36.3 tackles per game. His work in the middle was sorely missed against Canberra six weeks ago as opposition rake Josh Hodgson ran rampant. Watch out Sharks: Jordan Rapana and Joey Leilua have combined so well this year they now have their own couple name. ‘Leipana’ have scored just over a quarter of Canberra’s tries this year between them (Rapana 20, Leilua 11) while combining for 16 try assists and 245 tackle breaks. It spells bad news for Sharks’ left-edge players, particularly the competition’s biggest defensive battler James Maloney (99 missed tackles). Key match-up: Jack Wighton v Ben Barba. With Wighton cleared by the judiciary on Tuesday night, a highly-anticipated clash with Sharks counterpart Ben Barba beckons. Barba has been one of the NRL’s success stories in 2016. With 18 try assists and 15 tries to his name Barba has proved a perfect foil for Sharks halves James Maloney and Chad Townsend. Wighton benefits Canberra most as a running fullback (137.1 metres per game) but is more than capable of laying on tries with eight tries and 12 assists under his belt already this year.  The history: Played 66; Raiders 31, Sharks 35. The Raiders and Sharks have traded wins in 2016. They last played in Round 22 when the Raiders prevailed by 16 points at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Since 2010 that these teams have traded two wins for two losses. What are the odds: Eighty per cent of money has been for the Raiders in the head-to-head market, and Canberra 13-plus is the best backed winning option with Sportsbet punters. Rapana is most popular in the first try scorer market ahead of skipper Jarrod Croker. Latest odds at officials: Referee: Matt Cecchin. Assistant Referee: Alan Shortall. Sideline Officials: Rickey McFarlane and Jeff Younis.Televised: Fox Sports 1 – Live Coverage from 2:25pm. The way we see it: There seems to be too many points in the Raiders to deny them the win on Saturday afternoon. The Raiders haven’t scored scored less than 20 points in a game since their last loss to the Broncos back in Round 14. Cronulla have managed to score more than 20 points just once in their past six games. Raiders by 10 points.last_img read more

In Peru, a new president is faced with old conservation challenges

first_imgVizcarra has inherited the task of making critical decisions on the long-term, global benefit of an intact Amazon against short-term profits from mining, extraction and both legal and illegal logging.Nowhere is this struggle for balance more critical than in the country’s nature reserves and national parks such as Manu National Park.Manu is renowned as one of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots, with greater numbers of certain plants and animals than any other park on the planet.Critics cite a legacy of neglect and question whether the Vizcarra administration will do any better enforcing the nation’s environmental protection laws. MANU NATIONAL PARK, Peru — There was movement in the understory deep in the dense rainforest off Trail 6. We saw a shadow scurry left to right, followed by more rustling. White-lipped peccary. Several of them.“You’re going to be as quiet as you’ve ever been in your life,” biologist Miles Silman told me as he stepped off the trail, lifting his muddied, shin-high rubber boots and setting them down softly, silently. I followed, mimicking his steps, looking for spongy footfalls, avoiding branches. Silman is with Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and has been doing field research in these jungles for more than a quarter of a century.It had already been a productive early-morning hike in Cocha Cashu Biological Station (CCBS), a world-renowned tropical ecology field station in the middle of Manu National Park in the southern Peruvian Amazon.Manu is equally renowned as the world’s richest biodiversity hotspot. It has a greater number of species — trees, frogs, birds such as horned screamers and hoatzins, butterflies, primates such as emperor tamarin and howler monkeys, snakes, big cats such as jaguar and puma, and oddball mammals such as giant otters, tapir, capybara, giant anteaters and spectacled bears — than any other park on the planet.The dense, untrammeled jungle in Cocha Cashu, where nature is in near-perfect balance. Photo courtesy Jason Houston.We set out in search of peccary after we had already marveled at a fist-sized pygmy marmoset with an even tinier baby clinging to her furry, brown back. Squirrel and spider monkeys, working in tandem, leaped through the canopy in search of fruiting fig trees. A flock of jet-black, razor-billed curassows, the size of wild turkeys and just as graceless in flight, crashed from tree to tree. A twig-thin snake the color of leaf litter slithered underfoot. Spiderwebs with shining interior spirals alerted birds and bats to steer clear.If ever there were a Garden of Eden, a lightly trammeled old-growth forest with soaring trees and nature in near-perfect harmony, Cocha Cashu is it. But like everything else in the tropics, the entire ecosystem is struggling from the effects of global warming. And Manu, established in 1973 and roughly the size of Connecticut, is also under threat from human incursions inside and outside its borders, just like so many other Peruvian nature preserves.last_img read more

O Cuttington, O Cuttington, How Long Will Government Neglect Thee?

first_imgIt was Robert Fulton Cutting (1852-1934), an American philanthropist and staunch Episcopalian, who made a gift of US$5,000 to the Episcopal Church of Liberia that led to the founding, in 1889, of Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University). And, you guessed it, the visionary first Liberian Episcopal Bishop, Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, the church’s preeminent Education Bishop, named the School after Robert Cutting in gratitude for his pioneering donation to higher education in Liberia. There are two other men besides Bishop Ferguson and Robert Cutting who played a pivotal role in the life of Cuttington. The first was Bishop Bravid W. Harris who, on his arrival in Liberia in 1945, following his election as Bishop of Liberia, befriended the other man, President William V.S. Tubman. They both lived across from each other, at the corner of Ashmun and Randall Streets. Tubman was in the Executive Mansion, now occupied by the General Auditing Commission (GAC), while Bishop Harris lived in Bishop’s House on the same corner, where ECOBANK is now located. The one-story building in the early 1960s was transformed into a beautiful, modern multi-storied complex by New York’s Chase Manhattan Bank. The building became known as The Episcopal Church Plaza.Bishop Harris did something daring and historic. He pleaded with and convinced President Tubman, himself a Marylander and devout Methodist, to relocate Cuttington from Cape Palmas, Maryland County to Suakoko, in then Liberia’s Central Province, now Bong County. Bishop Harris promised the President that, should he agree, Cuttington would establish an Agricultural program to train Liberian farmers. Tubman agreed, and the rest is history. Bishop Harris got immediately to work and by 1949 the first buildings were erected in the middle of the dense Bong forest, and classes commenced. The first graduating class came out in 1952.The course work started very well. One of the first graduates, Melvin J. Mason, won admission to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, one of America’s top 10 universities, where he took the master’s degree in Science Education. Mason later earned the Ph.D in Curriculum Development from Michigan State University.In the late 1970s Cuttington was transformed into a University College; and in the 2000s, it became Cuttington University.But Cuttington today is in trouble. Our Bong Correspondent Marcus Malayea reported last Tuesday that 800 Cuttington students are threatened with discontinuance of their education because of lack of tuition. Two reasons: First, the Liberian government drastically reduced its subsidy to the university. According to Correspondent Malayea, the GOL subsidy to Cuttington from 2009-2011 was US$1.1 million. But this was cut in half, to US$550,000 in 2014, due, they say, to Ebola.The second problem is that many scholarship donors, especially the Ministry of Education and other GOL institutions, have not been meeting their financial obligations to Cuttington. This has been going on for quite some time. Remember that in 2009 Cuttington President Dr. Henrique Tokpa prevented some of Cuttington’s top graduating students, including the dux, Dokie Mulbah, from marching. Mulbah, who majored in Chemistry, Physics and Math, was graduating summa cum laude. The reason: the GOL had not paid their scholarship fees.Seven years later this woeful situation has NOT changed. The GOL spends its money on many things, but sadly, tragically, Education is not one of them. We know not why. This is one of the reasons our education, by President Ellen Sirleaf’s own admission, is “in a mess.” It is, we now know, far, far more serious than that.BBC World Service announced last Thursday that several Asian universities are now ranked among the top in the world, with America’s Harvard still being number one. With our two oldest institutions of higher learning wobbling in dire financial straits, when will a Liberian university ever get on that list?But we should definitely aim for that.The UL students last week ran to the Capitol Building to appeal to Legislators to help stop the US$4 per credit hour increase. Yet, given its equally or even more serious financial difficulties, the Cuttington administration has increased its tuition by 25%, far higher than what UL is asking.We appeal to the GOL to make the sacrifice and fulfil its pledges to UL and Cuttington, first by immediately meeting its scholarship obligations; and by restoring its basic subsidies to our two oldest universities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

150 acres to be part of much larger park

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Some 150 acres of grassy hills studded with oaks will be transferred before the end of the year to a newly formed conservation agency, the first installment of what over the next 20 years is to become a 6,000-acre preserve. Set aside in increments as Newhall Land and Farming Company builds its giant Newhall Ranch development, the preserve ultimately will be nearly 10 square miles, larger than L.A.’s Griffith Park, offering residents outdoor opportunities from hiking and camping to horseback riding. “One hundred years from now, wall-to-wall houses (would have occupied) what we take for granted as open space,” said Joseph Edmiston, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy’s executive director. “Oak trees will be such a precious remnant of the way California was when the Gold Rush happened.” The land will be managed by the Newhall Ranch High Country Recreation and Conservation Authority, a partnership between the city, Los Angeles County and the conservancy. A $2 million endowment created by the developer to manage the land will be supplemented by $24-a-year special assessments paid by homeowners in the new tracts, said Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer. One difference between this assessment and the city’s recent failed proposal to collect $25 a year from property owners to fund park and open space purchases is that the homeowners agree to the fee when they buy their homes. The nonprofit Center for Natural Lands Management, which protects sensitive natural areas, will maintain the land, overseen by the authority. Habitat destroyed by cattle grazing and oil and natural gas drilling will be restored, Lauffer said. Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Laurene Weste, a champion of open space and trail links, was one of the original instigators of this project more than a decade ago. “This leaves a legacy for the future,” she said. “This could easily have been graded down.” (661) 257-5255160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The 6,000 acres will be donated by Newhall Land under agreements with the county for approving the Westridge tract and the 21,000-home Newhall Ranch development, planned west of the city and sprawling to the Ventura County line. The first 150 acres is west of The Old Road, near the Westridge development. “The long-term goal is to connect the Newhall Ranch high country and the Michael D. Antonovich Preserve with the Jouquin Ranch above Chatsworth and other open space in the Santa Clarita Valley into one seamless network of open space,” said Paul Novak, a deputy for county Supervisor Antonovich. “This is a big piece of the puzzle.” Public land in the Santa Susanas ranges from Simi Valley to the Santa Clara River to the west. This donation girds the greenbelt city officials envision encircling the valley, along with Santa Clarita Woodlands Park, Towsley Canyon, Mentryville and the Angeles Forest. Fifty miles of trails will link the wildlands to walkways in Newhall Ranch. last_img read more

EAA union opposes extended terms for City Council

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe ethics reform portion of Proposition R could require union representatives to register as lobbyists. But the EAA may be the only city union to oppose Proposition R. So far, three of the city’s most influential unions have indicated that they support the term limit/ethics reform measure. The Police Protective League contributed $25,000 and the United Firefighters Local 112 contributed $7,500 to the Yes on Prop. R campaign. The Service Employees International Union Local 347, which represents more than 10,000 city workers, endorsed Proposition R last week. SEIU Local 347 Business Manager Julie Butcher said union leaders felt the lack of consistency on the City Council – with two, four-year terms – doesn’t promote good government. The EAA, however, has had a more contentious relationship with the City Council in recent months. Workers went on a two-day strike in August to protest a salary package. Prior to the walkout, the City Council voted to end the stalemate with EAA and impose a four-year contract that had no raise the first year and raises totaling 6.25 percent over the next three years. That’s less than Department of Water and Power workers received last year, but comparable to contracts finalized by other civilian unions. Adding money and manpower to opposition efforts, a city labor union pledged Thursday to help defeat a measure on the November ballot that would give City Council members an extra term in office. The vote this week by the board of the Engineers and Architects Association comes as the union representing 7,400 municipal employees battles the City Council and mayor for higher wages. “This proposition and the secretive process that brought it about are the best examples of the lack of transparency in city government,” EAA Executive Director Robert G. Aquino said in a statement. “And all unions should be wary of supporting these issues for the restrictions it will place on their ability to represent their members’ interests before City Council.” Organizers of the Not PropR campaign committee said they are happy to have EAA support. (213) 978-0390160Want 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

Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Gunners stars rated and slated

first_img SUB – Mesut Ozil – N/A – Not enough time to make an impact. 14 Granit Xhaka – 6 – A subdued evening for the midfielder. Failed to get a handle on Krychowiak and did not prove to be much of an attacking force. 14 Aaron Ramsey – 6 – Earned his side’s penalty but was guilty of some bad decision making prior to that crucial moment. Sloppy in possession at times and could have been more street-wise. Alexis Sanchez – 7 – Created the opening goal with his deflected free-kick and showed some brilliant flashes of quick feet and dribbling against the Baggies. Shkodran Mustafi – 5 – A shaky performance by the German defender. Very fortunate to not give away a penalty in the first half and made a number of rash decisions on the night. 14 14 Laurent Koscielny – 6 – The more dependable of Arsenal’s centre-backs. Struggled to deal with the threat and pace of Rodriguez at times but showed leadership at crucial points. 14 14 14 14 Nacho Monreal – 6 – Not much of an attacking threat but produced a fantastic goal-line clearance to prevent Rodriguez from levelling the scores. Petr Cech – 7 – The experienced goalkeeper showed his worth on a testing evening. Produced a brilliant fingertip save to deny Rodriguez and stood strong at set-pieces. Arsenal moved within one point of a top four spot after seeing off West Brom at the Emirates on Monday night.Two goals from Alexandre Lacazette sealed all three points for the Gunners against an impressive Baggies outfit.Victory for Arsene Wenger’s side keeps the club’s perfect home record intact, having collected three wins from their opening three fixtures at the Emirates.But how did the Gunners perform at the Emirates against Tony Pulis’ men?Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s Arsenal player ratings…  14 SUB – Olivier Giroud – N/A – Should have done better with his pass to Ramsey in the closing stages. Hector Bellerin – 8 – Impressed on the right flank and looks far more comfortable in his natural position. Made plenty of good decisions and looks back to his best. 14 14 Mohamed Elneny – 7 – The Egyptian looked bright and proved more than a bully-boy in the centre of the park. Earned the free-kick from which Lacazette eventually scored from. 14 Alexandre Lacazette – 7 – Scored twice on the night but the Frenchman’s overall performance was far from breath taking. Hesitant to shoot at times and his link up play was found wanting. Sead Kolasinac – 7 – Gives the Gunners some much needed mettle and proved his worth against the Baggies. Strong going forward and made his presence felt. SUB – Ainsley Maitland-Niles – N/A – Not enough time to make an impact. 14 14last_img read more

Day Fire smoke adds to pollution, reduces visibility in region

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleOverall air quality was predicted to be moderate today in the Antelope Valley, with ozone – a product of car exhausts and factories rather than forest fires – the deciding factor, the Antelope Valley AQMD said. Started in Ventura County on Labor Day – which provided its name – the fire remains just 25 percent contained, with no predictions of when it could be fully controlled. The fire was blamed on somebody burning debris in Los Padres National Forest north of Lake Piru. It’s unusual for wildfires in Southern California to last longer than a week, but because of the steep and rugged terrain, firefighters have struggled to contain the fire. Authorities expect the fire to burn southeast to at least Canton Canyon northwest of Castaic. And so firefighters plan to make a stand a little farther south from the canyon, at a “contingency line” two miles north of homes in Romero and Hasley canyons. PALMDALE – Smoke from a giant forest fire burning more than 30 miles away has reduced visibility and increased air pollution in the Antelope Valley, but not to unhealthy levels, an air-quality official said Wednesday. Particulate levels have crept up, particularly in the evenings, from the 10-day-old Day Fire that by Wednesday afternoon had blackened more than 29,000 acres west of Interstate 5. “We’re monitoring it,” Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District operations manager Bret Banks said Wednesday. Visibility at Edwards Air Force Base was 35 miles Wednesday afternoon – compared with 85 miles Monday. Visibility at Air Force Plant 42 at its lowest Wednesday afternoon was nine miles. last_img read more

Nottingham Forest set to appoint club legend Martin O’Neill as manager

first_img Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 1 Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? REPLY MONEY Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade O’Neill spent a decade at Forest and looks set to return as the club’s manager BEST OF huge blow REVEALED Forest are ninth in the Championship and four points off the top six after losing to relegation-threatened Reading on Saturday.They have won just once in seven league games and risk losing out on promotion if their poor form continues.O’Neill guided the Republic to the last 16 of the 2016 Euros, but failed to win a competitive game in 2018 as they were relegated from their Nations League group.Former Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, Carlos Carvalhal and Paulo Sousa have been linked with the Forest job.However, O’Neill is now the clear favourite to replace Karanka. Latest Football News shining Nottingham Forest are set to appoint Martin O’Neill as their new manager.The Reds have been looking for a successor to Aitor Karanka after parting company with the Spaniard last week.A club statement said Karanka “asked to be released from his contract”.O’Neill, who left his role as Republic of Ireland boss in November, is a legend at the City Ground after winning two European Cups as a player under Brian Clough. Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ RANKED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card no dice Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move ADVICE Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester starslast_img read more

Stoke striker Saido Berahino charged with drink-driving after London arrest

first_img Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card ADVICE LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade RANKED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade REVEALED BEST OF 1 REPLY shining center_img REVEALED Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions huge blow Stoke striker Saido Berahino has been charged with drink-driving, police have confirmed.The 25-year-old was arrested in London’s West End on Monday following reports of a “disturbance” in Great Russell Street. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury no dice Saido Berahino has scored just five goals in two years Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said Berahino, of Old Penkridge Road, Staffordshire, was arrested in Bedford Square at around 3am, taken into custody and later charged.He is due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 6.Scotland Yard previously said officers arrived at the scene and saw a car “drive away at speed” and the suspect told officers while being detained that he had been robbed in Great Russell Street.“He alleged that a group of males surrounded his car in Great Russell Street and attacked him, stealing his watch,” the force added.Stoke did not comment on Berahino’s arrest, but it is understood he will be dealt with internally under their disciplinary policy. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move MONEY Reports claim the Championship club will look to offload Berahino, who earns £80,000-a-week, in this summer’s transfer window.The former England Under-21 international has scored just five goals since completing a £12million move from West Brom in January 2017.He still has three-and-a-half years left on his Potters deal.last_img read more