Liverpool eye Real Madrid ace, Arsenal ‘close’ to double signing and more gossip

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Liverpool eye Real Madrid ace, Arsenal ‘close’ to double signing and more gossip

first_img 3 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Meanwhile, the Gunners are close to signing Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and are locked in talks with Freiburg to sign Turkish centre-back Caglar Soyuncu. (Sky Sports)Everton will hold talks this week to discuss the future of RB Leipzig target Ademola Lookman. The 20-year-old forward is not among the players Everton want to offload this summer, but he is said to be keen for a fresh start after struggling for regular football at Goodison Park. (Daily Mirror)Leeds United could land a number of Manchester City’s best young players on loan, with Pep Guardiola reportedly set to help out new Elland Road boss Marcelo Bielsa. Leeds are said to be desperate to land England Under-21 goalkeeper Angus Gunn on a season-long loan deal, while Tosin Adarabioyo, Brahim Diaz and Lukas Nmecha could also be on the list of targets. (The Sun) 3 Liverpool’s have been boosted in their pursuit of Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio. According to reports in Spain, Los Blancos chiefs are considering selling the 22-year-old to raise funds to sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain. (Sport)Roma’s sporting director, Monchi, has said in-demand Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson – linked with a move to Anfield this summer – is not ‘unsellable’. (Daily Express)Jack Grealish is reportedly ready to leave Aston Villa this summer to return to the Premier League, with Tottenham said to be leading the race for the 22-year-old. (Daily Mirror)Chelsea have made a £35million offer for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani and hope to make the 23-year-old Italy international Maurizio Sarri’s first signing as manager. (Evening Standard)Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has emerged as a target for Lazio, who are eyeing up the Welshman as a replacement for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Ramsey is out of contract in 2019 and has yet to indicate whether he will sign a new deal. (The Sun) Here are the latest talkSPORT..com headlines:Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: It’s tough to watch England at the World CupDanny Rose may reconsider flying his family out to RussiaAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Jack Wilshere could play for any team in the worldTottenham could get cash and a player from Inter Milan in return for Mousa DembeleBarcelona eyeing up Gabriel Jesus after Antoine Griezmann snubBarcelona withdraw from race to sign Manchester United target Sergej Milinkovic-SavicEverton want to sign Croatia star Domagoj Vida from Besiktas Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland LATEST The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade moving on RANKED World Cup latest on talkSPORT.com targets REVEALED LIVING THE DREAM Here’s a round-up of all the top football headlines and transfer-related gossip from Wednesday’s newspapers and online… targets 3 WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: Marcelo Bielsa is looking to bolster his Leeds squad this summer Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Could Aaron Ramsey leave Arsenal this summer? Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father IN DEMAND Manchester City could activate a £20million buy-back option to re-sign Aaron Mooy from Huddersfield Town. The 27-year-old joined City in 2016 but never played a game for the side before being loaned out to Huddersfield for the 2016-17 season – later making his move permanent. But City are reportedly considering bringing him back to the Etihad following his impressive performances for Australia at the World Cup. (ESPN)Divock Origi will get the chance to resurrect his Liverpool career in pre-season. Jurgen Klopp is said to be keen to assess the 23-year-old striker, who has had an underwhelming loan spell at Wolfsburg, before deciding on his future. (Liverpool Echo)last_img read more

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Gardai hunt for tin thieves in Buncrana

first_imgGardai are investigating the theft of 40 sheets of galvanised tin from a company at Stragill in Buncrana.The theft of the large number of sheets took place between the 15th and 28th of August.Gardai say a vehicle and trailer would have been needed to transport the stolen sheets. Any information on the theft should be given to Gardai in Buncrana.Gardai hunt for tin thieves in Buncrana was last modified: September 3rd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:buncranadonegalGardaiTHEFTStinlast_img read more

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Rookie Sharks defenseman out vs. Nashville Predators

first_imgSAN JOSE — Still feeling the effects of a hit he took two days prior, Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro missed Saturday night’s game with the Nashville Predators at SAP Center.Ferraro was injured in the second period of Thursday’s game against Minnesota after he landed awkwardly against the boards following a hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. He did not play in the third period. Friday, Ferraro said he was still sore, “but recovering.”Tim Heed, a scratch for the last two games before …last_img read more

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Solar System Is Weird Only if It Is Old

first_img(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 To someone who believes the solar system is billions of years old, no wonder its contents look weird.Mercury is weirdDavid Rothery, planetary scientist at The Open University, remarks on The Conversation that “The more we learn about Mercury, the weirder it seems.” As we shall see, weirdness is not limited to Mercury.For such a tiny planet, Mercury is a pretty big puzzle for researchers. NASA’s MESSENGER probe already has revealed that the planet is surprisingly rich in elements that easily evaporate from the surface, such as sulphur, chlorine, sodium and potassium. This is incredibly odd as these kind of substances most likely would disappear during a hot or violent birth – exactly the type of birth a planet so close to the sun, such as Mercury, would have had.Scientists are also struggling to understand why Mercury is so dark and what its earliest planetary crust, created as the newly-formed planet cooled down, was made of. Research has now started to throw up answers – but these are raising a lot of new questions.Perhaps their research is starting to “throw up answers” because all the proposed answers are making them nauseous. One thing is clear from this quote: the puzzles come from dating the planet as billions of years old. Elements that easily evaporate should not be there after that long. A BBC News article sounds more confident, explaining that the unexpected graphite found on the surface may have floated on top of Mercury’s original molten interior. It doesn’t however, address the puzzle of surface volatiles that should have disappeared during a hot or violent birth.Mars is weird A paper in Icarus examines a “young” crater named Zumba. It is 3 km in diameter with ejecta rays that extend outward for hundreds of kilometers. Remember when scientists thought that each crater was produced by a separate impact? (5/22/12). They say this one crater has 352,000 secondary craters, all from the same event. They think they can still date the Zumba impact to 570 million years, but earlier scientists thought they had a handle on crater count dating, too.Mars is also weird because of its volcanoes and canyons. Space.com now claims that water carved its features, not a massive volcano. That’s right: rain and snow carved major valleys on Mars just as the giant Tharsis volcanoes were forming. This shows that the battle between the wet-Marsers and dry-Marsers is still going on. New Scientist has more on this theory that the crust tilted due to “true polar wander,” resulting in volcanoes and resultant flooding.Mars suffered a major catastrophe to its weak magnetic field in October 2014 when a comet swept by, its coma reaching down to the surface. Several orbiters measured the effect. Astrobiology Magazine says the episode threw the magnetic field into chaos and accelerated the escape of some of its atmospheric molecules to space.At first, the changes were subtle. As Mars’ magnetosphere, which is normally draped neatly over the planet, started to react to the comet’s approach, some regions began to realign to point in different directions. With the comet’s advance, these effects built in intensity, almost making the planet’s magnetic field flap like a curtain in the wind. By the time of closest approach — when the plasma from the comet was densest — Mars’ magnetic field was in complete chaos. Even hours after the comet’s departure, some disruption continued to be measured.Espley and colleagues think the effects of the plasma tide were similar to those of a strong but short-lived solar storm. And like a solar storm, the comet’s close passage likely fueled a temporary surge in the amount of gas escaping from Mars’ upper atmosphere. Over time, those storms took their toll on the atmosphere.This cannot be the first time such an event has happened. No one thinks the solar system scheduled it for us to observe while humans have the instruments to appreciate it. How many thousands, perhaps millions, of comets have swept near Mars in billions of years? Why is there any atmosphere left at all? The weakness of Mars’s magnetic field is a reminder that decay is in the future of Earth’s magnetic field as well—a physical phenomenon that cannot last for billions of years (5/17/12, 4/17/15, 5/08/15).Ceres is weirdThe Dawn spacecraft has been in orbit around asteroid Ceres for a year now. “A mountain emerges” in the images, says Astrobiology Magazine. Ahura Mons is 3 miles higher, taller than Mt. Rainier or Mt. Whitney on Earth. “No one expected a mountain on Ceres, especially one like Ahuna Mons,” the principal investigator said. “We still do not have a satisfactory model to explain how it formed.” Summing up the surprises, the deputy principal investigator remarked, “Ceres has defied our expectations and surprised us in many ways, thanks to a year’s worth of data from Dawn. We are hard at work on the mysteries the spacecraft has presented to us.”Titan is weirdSaturn’s large moon Titan, large enough to be a planet in its own right, has lakes of liquid methane. Previously thought to be as calm as a mirror, evidence of ripples has come to light, reports New Scientist. Are winds picking up during the change from equinox to solstice? PhysOrg posted artwork of a deep global ocean on Titan, which is what scientists had expected to find in the 1990s. Cassini has only found scattered lakes, mostly in the northern hemisphere. While some are estimated to be over 600 feet deep, containing some 40 times the volume of all of Earth’s methane reserves, it is far less than estimates based on methane and ethane rain induced by the solar wind over billions of years. The ripples are surprising for a body that should have come to rest long ago. “Planetary scientists are taking note,” PhysOrg says, “…because these waves show that Titan has an active environment, rather than just being a moon frozen in time.” Astrobiology Magazine posted comparison photos of a “mystery feature” in one of the lakes that seems to appear and disappear.Comet 67P is weirdRosetta’s comet has turned up some surprises, too. PhysOrg says that ESA scientists have inferred a relatively homogeneous interior, lacking caverns from escaped volatiles. This implies that Comet 67P is a fluffy aggregate with very low density. Crystalline ice suggests parts of the interior date from the early solar system, Science Daily says. The article doesn’t explain, though, that the age inference depends on theory about which isotopes of argon, nitrogen and carbon date are primordial and which are more recent. “If comets are made of crystalline ice, this means that they must have formed at the same time as the Solar System, rather than earlier in the interstellar medium,” the article states confidently. “The crystalline structure of comets also shows that the protosolar nebula was hot and dense enough to sublime the amorphous ice that came from the interstellar medium.” Crystalline ice was not directly observed; it was inferred from the isotopes of argon present.Pluto is weirdIf you want to ski Pluto’s mountains, you have to learn how to navigate methane moguls. Latest images from New Horizons show methane ice on the peaks, “but it’s more exotic than the frozen stuff we’re used to here on Earth,” Space.com says. The bombshell news that came earlier is still puzzling the team:New Horizons’ July 14 flyby, which took the spacecraft within just 7,800 miles (12,550 km) of Pluto’s surface, revealed the dwarf planet to be a complex world with surprisingly diverse landscapes. For example, in addition to the towering mountains, Pluto hosts a vast nitrogen-ice plain known as Sputnik Planum, which lacks any detectable craters.Sputnik Planum’s unblemished surface indicates that the region was resurfaced very recently, which in turn suggests that Pluto harbors an internal energy source (which drives the resurfacing). What that energy source may be remains a mystery.Something is “eating on Pluto,” Science Daily says; a geological feature looks like something took a bite out of the crust. Was it caused by sublimation of methane from below? The article speaks of “remnants of methane that have not yet sublimated away entirely,” but fails to explain why there is any left after 4.6 billion years.Meteors are weirdPNAS scientists have a theory for why certain groups of metal-rich chondrites (chips off the parent asteroid block) have their own signature of short-lived radionuclides, if one is prepared to accept their ad hoc initial conditions. “The lack of evidence for this material in other chondrite groups requires isolation from the outer Solar System, possibly by the opening of disk gaps from the early formation of gas giants.” Another PNAS paper piles on the ad hoc conditions to explain millimeter-size chondrules. “Moreover, the isotopic complementarity of chondrules and matrix requires that chondrules formed in a narrow time interval and were rapidly accreted to a parent body, implying that chondrule formation was a critical step toward forming planetesimals.” This sounds like special pleading. The fact that theory “requires” special indications points to difficulty explaining these objects within a general theory.Asteroids are weirdAre you worried about the asteroid deficit? It may not be as serious as the federal deficit, but it keeps some planetary scientists scratching their gray hairs off. Nature describes what they’re worried about:Models predict that numerous asteroids should be found on orbits that closely approach the Sun, but few have been seen. In addition, even though the near-Earth-object population in general is an even mix of low-albedo (less than ten per cent of incident radiation is reflected) and high-albedo (more than ten per cent of incident radiation is reflected) asteroids, the characterized asteroids near the Sun typically have high albedos.To explain this, the authors find a possible physical mechanism, but it’s catastrophic:We conclude that the deficit of low-albedo objects near the Sun arises from the super-catastrophic breakup (that is, almost complete disintegration) of a substantial fraction of asteroids when they achieve perihelion distances of a few tens of solar radii. The distance at which destruction occurs is greater for smaller asteroids, and their temperatures during perihelion passages are too low for evaporation to explain their disappearance. Although both bright and dark (high- and low-albedo) asteroids eventually break up, we find that low-albedo asteroids are more likely to be destroyed farther from the Sun, which explains the apparent excess of high-albedo near-Earth objects and suggests that low-albedo asteroids break up more easily as a result of thermal effects. Catastrophic disruption can be rapid. In fact, an asteroid too close can be completely obliterated in just 250 years. OK, so how long has this been going on? 4.6 billion years? Why are there any left? The theory accounts for the asymmetrical distribution of albedos, but not the absolute ages of the bodies.Update 3/16/15: Uranus Is Weird, too. See Space.com‘s “Top 5 Weird Facts About Mysterious Uranus.” Why does Uranus have rings? “The circumstances behind their formation are poorly understood,” the article says (they should be gone long before billions of years). Why doesn’t Uranus give off internal heat like the other gas giants? If it is so cold, why does it have storms? Why is the planet tilted almost on its side, and why is its magnetic field way out of alignment with its spin axis? Why is its moon Miranda so odd, with a mosaic of features scientists are still “puzzling to explain” 30 years after Voyager 2 photographed it?Are there any other bodies in the solar system that are weird? Yes; the skulls of moyboys. They have to come up with weird conditions to keep things billions of years old.last_img read more

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Goldblatt: half a century in photos

first_img18 August 2005A retrospective of David Goldblatt’s works, spanning his 51 years in photography, opened this week at the Johannesburg Art Gallery.The exhibition includes more than 250 photographs taken between 1948 to 2002 that document the changes South Africa has undergone.Fifty One Years, the name of the exhibition, is a Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona production. It was originally curated by Corinne Diserens and Okwui Enwezor.So far, it has been seen in galleries and museums in New York, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Oxford, Brussels and Munich.Khwezi Gule, curator for contemporary collections at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, describes the exhibition as “a tribute to Goldblatt’s contribution to the world of photography, not only in South Africa but in the world.”Miners going home: Mayfair railway station, Johannesburg, December 1952Born in Randfontein in 1930, Goldblatt became interested in photography while in high school. He wanted to become a magazine photographer after he matriculated, in 1948. However, after trying in vain to join the industry, he went to work in the family business selling men’s wear.After his father died in 1962 he sold the family business and devoted his time to photography.“My professional work has been almost entirely outside the studio and has involved a broad variety of assignments for magazines, corporations and institutions in South Africa and overseas,” Goldblatt wrote in a piece for the Goodman Gallery website.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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Saru one of world’s top two

first_imgJubilant Springbok fans at the victory parade held in Cape Town after the team’s second crowning as world champions in October 2007. (Image: Cape Town daily photo) A Springbok supporter. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation) One of the most enduring moments in sporting history – Nelson Mandela, wearing a replica of Bok captain Francois Pienaar’s number 6 jersey, hands Pienaar the Webb Ellis trophy when the Springboks first took the title on home soil in 1995. (Image: IRB Rugby World Cup 2007)Janine ErasmusThe South African Rugby Union (Saru) has successfully managed to overcome recent controversy and uncertainty to be named by the International Rugby Board (IRB) as the second-best rugby administration in the world. Rugby’s world governing body placed only the Welsh Rugby Union ahead of the local organisation.The announcement was made by current Saru president Oregan Hoskins, who said that he was delighted with the great honour for Saru. Hoskins added that his vice president Rautie Rautenbach, also head of the East Gauteng-based Falcons provincial union, had made known the contents of an IRB report which named Saru as one of the top two rugby administration bodies in the world.“It is so heartening because a few years ago Saru was in a state of disarray with all the infighting,” said Hoskins. “So we are really pleased. It is a great feather in our cap.”The local authority has overcome serious challenges that arose a few years back, with vicious infighting and back-stabbing among management tarnishing the local image of the game in South Africa and internationally. At one stage government was forced to intervene to quell the hostilities.However, the new board has worked hard to transcend the blemish on Saru’s record, keeping debates discreetly in the boardroom instead of airing them in the press as the previous administration did.“Communication at all levels in Saru has improved significantly this year,” commented Saru CEO Johan Prinsloo. “It is important for us as an administration to function well because we are one of the top rugby nations in the world and we want to lead by example.”The Springboks, South Africa’s national rugby team, are currently ranked second on the IRB’s world rankings, just three points behind New Zealand’s formidable All Blacks. Among their supporters is former president Nelson Mandela, who has been seen wearing a Springbok rugby jersey on a number of occasions.Overcoming the challengesSaru weathered a storm earlier in 2008 when officials from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport described the sport as “racist” and “for criminals”, sparking a storm of outrage amongst officials and rugby followers alike – many of whom are not white.The committee also attempted to have the iconic national rugby emblem, the Springbok, removed from the jersey altogether, saying that it was “divisive” to the nation owing to its history as the symbol of a formerly white-dominated sport. The Springbok, South Africa’s national animal, sits traditionally on the left side of the jersey, in pride of place over the heart. It will now move to the right side, to be replaced by the King Protea, South Africa’s national flower.Then there was a dispute over ownership of the Springbok emblem, with both the national Department of Sport and Recreation and Saru claiming that right. It finally emerged, after an investigation by a top firm of intellectual property lawyers, that the sport ministry is not the legal owner of the Springbok rugby emblem. The firm could not say, however, whether Saru or its business division SA Rugby was the owner.And in spite of inflammatory comments from controversial Springbok and Western Province player Luke Watson that the Springbok jersey was “a burden” and that it nauseated him to wear it, Saru has had the last laugh as it has been acknowledged for its smooth operation by international rugby’s highest authority. Watson has since reversed his stance.UnificationSaru arose out of the old South African Rugby Football Union and was established in 1992 after the amalgamation of two rugby bodies – the whites-only South African Rugby Board and the non-racial South African Rugby Union. The body is based at Newlands in Cape Town, home of the world-famous Newlands rugby and cricket stadiums, both of which boast the spectacular Table Mountain as their backdrop.The establishment of the new rugby administration body also meant that South Africa could be readmitted to world rugby – the country had been ostracised for eight years during the tenure of the former apartheid regime.Saru, which became known by its current name in 2005, has since formed a new business arm known as SA Rugby, which oversees all commercial matters such as branding, media rights, financial and medical services, and merchandising.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articles:The other Rugby World CupKick start for rugby programme Useful linksSouth African Rugby UnionSA RugbyInternational Rugby BoardDepartment of Sport and RecreationSasol – Springbok rugbylast_img read more

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Sihle Ndaba Launches Foundation

first_imgThursday, 25 October 2018Local television star and BrandSA Play Your Part  Ambassador Sihle Ndaba popularly known as ‘Smangele’ from the hit television telenovela Uzalo, is set to launch her foundation on Friday 26 October 2018 at her hometown Kwandisamfuyo Primary School in Ermelo. Growing up with a single parent and not having the most favourable upbringing inspired Sihle Ndaba to set out and make a real difference in the lives of many young South Africans. The Sihle Ndaba Foundation with the assistance of various partners and donors will focus its efforts on education at elementary.“I have been very privileged to have a hard-working mother who made sure that I didn’t go to bed hungry, and that I went to the best schools she could afford. Many children grow up in child-headed households, with not a lot of resources and I want to use my platform to make a significant difference. We’re starting small with a few donations but I ultimately want the Sihle Ndaba Foundation to touch as many lives as possible.” says Sihle Ndaba.As part of the launch, The Sihle Ndaba Foundation with the assistance of various sponsors including Ntenga Foundation, West Street Inn Ermelo & Pick n Pay Ermelo will donate 100 pairs of school shoes to students at Kwandisamfuyo Primary School. There will be an address by Sihle Ndaba detailing what the foundation aims to achieve, this will be followed by a few words from other invited guests including the principal. The festivities will end with some light refreshments and “The Wall of Possibilities” activity where children will leave their handprints.For more information about the launch event or The Sihle Ndaba Foundation please email sihlendabafoundation@gmail.com.last_img read more

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Dispatch from ACI

first_imgA convergence of weatherization and home performance professionals (aka “Roomful of Geeks”) met in Kansas City at the end of April for the annual ACI Advancing Home Comfort Conference. This event, formerly known as Affordable Comfort, brings together industry leaders and practitioners to teach, learn, and share ideas about the industry. The educational sessions I attended were generally solid, if somewhat dry and technical, but that is to be expected. I struggled to stay attentive (and occasionally awake, but I take personal responsibility for that) at some of them, but I am happy to report that I gained at least one, if not more, solid pieces of information at each presentation. Most of the presenters were very knowledgeable in their field as well as interesting speakers, but every one that I saw could benefit from training in public speaking and creating visual presentations. My most common complaint is a lack of flow.Death by PowerpointPresentations should be like term papers: State your hypothesis, then prove it, succinctly, in the allotted time. The Powerpoint presentations were challenging to read and understand. How about larger type, fewer words, and crisp charts and photos, folks? Oh, and let’s try darker backgrounds to reduce eyestrain. If you can’t read it easily from 20 feet away, it isn’t effective. Nobody I saw was terrible, but there is a lot of room for improvement, just as there is at any conference.My favorite bad presentation of all time was by some poor guy at Greenbuild several years ago who was apparently thrown in at the last minute to take over someone else’s slot—each of his slides was packed with words written in 8-point type and completely illegible charts, which he proceeded to read in heavily accented English. I didn’t last long.I do a lot of speaking and training, and while I acknowledge that my style is not to everyone’s (or anyone’s?) liking, I always do my best to keep it interesting, make the story flow, and finish on time.Hot under the collar about cold climate biasMy primary complaint is that most of the conference focused on cold climates. While this is understandable, considering that its roots lie in the northern states, sometimes it seems like hot and humid climates don’t even exist. I understand that people are comfortable teaching what they know, and the majority of the presenters come from cold climates. It is time, however, for ACI to pay more attention to the South. A common thread running through several sessions went something like, “Well, you would do it differently in a hot and humid climate, but…” and then the talk went back to heating degree days, extra wall insulation, and thermal breaks.Trade show goodiesThe swag (Stuff We All Get) wasn’t bad; in fact there were two different sizes of foam CFLs available for me to take home and add to my collection. Not a single thumb-drive give away to be found, unlike Greenbuild, where they were a dime a dozen, but no good foam toys in sight. Thermal imaging, or infrared cameras were the belle of the ball, with about a half dozen vendors hawking theirs as the best on the market. I expect that lots of people in the industry, including me, will be purchasing one of these soon. Not only are they a useful tool, but man, are they way cool!I’m off to the AIA Convention in San Francisco, likely to be about as different from ACI as a conference can be. Probably lots of Corbu glasses and bow ties. I’m also hoping for some good swag.last_img read more

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Minerva forfeit I-League tie vs Real Kashmir in Srinagar due to unrest after Pulwama attack

first_imgDefending champions Minerva Punjab FC Saturday forfeited their I-League match against Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) turned down their request to relocate the fixture in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attacks.The match was scheduled for Sunday and Minerva said its foreign players have been advised by their respective countries’ embassies to pull out.”…we regret to inform you that this is not a risk that we are ready to take hence we shall not be travelling to the turbulent region,” the Punjab club said in its letter to the AIFF.Minerva also said that it did not receive the security assurances it had sought from the AIFF following the attack on Thursday which led to the death of 40 CRPF personnel. It is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.”Considering the extraordinary circumstances following the Pulwama attack just 20Km from Srinagar Airport, the Ministry of Home affairs need to approve the football match being held. If the CRPF convoys are not safe, then we are very soft targets for such attacks,” the club stated.”We had asked for written assurance and permission from Ministry of Home Affairs which we still haven’t got from your or Home team’s end. Please note that our foreign players have already received Travel Advisory Warnings from their respective embassies asking them not to travel to Srinagar till further notice,” it added.Minerva once again urged the AIFF “to delay the match for at least a fortnight till situation in the valley is settled.”advertisement”…alternately we are ready to play in Delhi, Chandigarh or any other neutral venue,” the club said.Earlier, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said local security authorities in Srinagar gave the go-ahead to hold the match at the TRC Ground. He said the AIFF was assured of all the necessary security arrangements for the players and officials by the local authorities.”Our officials are already in Srinagar in preparation of the match. I have spoken to the match commissioner and he told me that the situation in Srinagar is currently normal. The local security in-charge of the match has also assured full security to the players, officials and all those related to the match,” Dhar told PTI on Saturday.”We have been assured that the whole security bandobast of players’ transport from the airport to the team hotel and for travelling from the team hotel to the ground and return on match day will all be provided. So we have decided to go ahead with the match,” he added.But Minerva said that the arrangements mentioned by the AIFF “are routine” for any visiting team.Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said his side decided to forfeit the match due to security concerns and as a mark of respect for the slain CRPF Jawans.”We are not going to play the match, we will forfeit it. We have decided it and I have no second thought in doing that,” he said.Real Kashmir will get all the three points. The league debutants will be on 35 points from 17 matches. Leaders Chennai City FC (34 points from 16 matches) will play against Shillong Lajong on Sunday.”The AIFF wants to portray that the situation in Srinagar is normal but it is not normal there,” Bajaj said.Third-placed East Bengal (31 points from 15 matches), who are scheduled to play against Real Kashmir on February 28, have also got in touch with the AIFF after the attack, expressing similar security concerns.last_img read more

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Ship Finance in Fleet Renewal Mode

first_imgzoom Bermuda-based shipowner Ship Finance International (SFL) continues with diversification and renewal of its fleet as it recently took delivery of the second 19,200 TEU boxship and sold two older oil tankers.In March, MSC Viviana was handed over to SFL and immediately commenced a 15-year bareboat charter to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). The first 19,200 TEU vessel was delivered in December 2016 and is also chartered to MSC for a period of 15 years.In addition, the company agreed to sell the 2000-built VLCC Front Scilla and the 1998-built Suezmax vessel Front Brabant to unnamed buyers during the first quarter of 2017. The agreed net sales prices are USD 27 million and USD 12 million respectively, including compensation for the early termination of the charters from Frontline. The vessels are expected to be delivered to their new owners in the second quarter of 2017.Also in March, Ship Finance delivered the 1998-built VLCC Front Century to its new owner, an undisclosed party. The sale was agreed in November 2016 and the net proceeds from the sale amounted to USD 24 million, including compensation from Frontline for the early termination of the charter.SFL expects to take delivery of the two 114,000 dwt LR2 newbuilding product tankers in 3Q 2017. Both ships have been chartered out on long-term charters to Phillips 66, with a minimum period of seven years and options for the charter to extend the period to up to 12 years.In April, the 1,700 TEU containership MSC Alice started a hire-purchase lease with MSC for a period of five years at a net bareboat hire rate of USD 1,600 per day.Furthermore, SFL secured a charter for the 2007-built drilling rig Soehanah with a national company in Asia for a minimum period of 12 months.The information on fleet modernization comes on the back of SFL’s financial results for the first quarter of this year which show that the company delivered a net income of USD 32 million, up from a net income of USD 29 million posted in the previous quarter.The company earned USD 152 million of total charter revenues in 1Q, compared to USD 154 million posted in 4Q 2016.“Ship Finance continues to take steps to strengthen its balance sheet and diversify its contracted backlog. In the first quarter, we took delivery of our second 19,200 TEU container vessel, and we expect to take delivery of two product tankers in the third quarter this year. These three vessels, backed by long-term charters, will add approximately USD 26 million in annual EBITDA following their deliveries. We are also pleased to have secured employment for our sole uncontracted drilling rig,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, commented.“We are of course focused on the restructuring of Seadrill, one of our large counterparties, which we hope will be finalized in the coming months. At the same time, we have significant capital available for investments, and our objectives remain to find accretive investment opportunities across our core markets and to maximize returns from our existing portfolio of assets,” Hjertaker added.last_img read more

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