Dick Jauron2008BUF25 Bill BelichickNE1621+164+761 COACHTEAMSEASONSPLAYOFF WINSBEFORE 2015DURING 2015CHANCE OF FIRING Ron RiveraCAR51+145+1543 Pete CarrollSEA67+276-37<1 Chuck PaganoIND43+173-316 Mike ZimmerMIN20+4+995 Dan QuinnATL10—+6<1 Dave Campo2001DAL39 Jim TomsulaSF10—-103<1 Jason GarrettDAL61+141-11735 John Mackovic1985KC28 Mike McCarthyGB107+136+202 Mike PettineCLE20+32-8319 Herman Edwards2007KC47% Chan Gailey2011BUF28 The idea here is to measure what sort of team performance, somewhat devoid of context, would get a typical coach fired. You’ll notice in the table that Marvin Lewis — a coach pretty unlikely to be fired — is third on this list; that’s mainly because he’s been with the Bengals for 13 years and has zero playoff wins. The real world context is that while that is a broadly undesirable outcome, the Bengals being the Bengals, the team has more than exceeded the existential target of being Not The Browns. (You can see the lasting improvement that Lewis has brought to Cincinnati in the “before 2015″ column, which shows how much the team’s Elo rating improved between the time he got the job and the beginning of this season.) So Marv, like Chip, is probably fine, for reasons that are very different but just as amusing.As for Kelly, he’s in his third year of his tenure with a club, after winning zero playoff games in Years 1 and 2 — a scenario that has traditionally been the death zone for NFL coaches. Coaches in that predicament must show progress to keep their jobs: Roughly two-thirds of surviving coaches improved their team’s Elo rating (relative to preseason expectations) in Year 3, while nearly three-quarters of those fired oversaw an Elo decline from the preseason. So the Eagles’ 86.4-point Elo drop this season doesn’t look good for Kelly — since 1970, only 15 of the 128 coaches in Kelly’s position (Year 3 with a team, no previous playoff victories) oversaw a bigger drop-off in Elo through 11 games of the schedule, and two-thirds of them were fired before the following season began. John FoxCHI10—+50<1 Sometimes coaches still survive odds like Kelly’s. This table shows the coaches whose jobs were in the most jeopardy 11 games into a season yet went on to keep the job. But if Kelly does manage to stick with Philly beyond this season, he would set a new mark for unlikely job retention.Kelly’s trajectory wasn’t always so negative. After Philly beat Dallas in early November to make their record 4-4, there was only about a 5 percent chance that Kelly would be fired according to the model. But the Eagles’ current three-game losing streak has caused his probability of being fired to skyrocket: Things look bad for Chip Kelly and his Eagles. Fans are calling for his head; discord is rampant in the locker room; Kelly seems to be linked to every college job not nailed down or on fire; and the Eagles have found themselves on the receiving end of consecutive beatdowns so humiliating that mayor-turned-governor-turned-commentator Ed Rendell — a man last seen in public supplication outside a McDonald’s, begging for a McRib — was so ashamed that he hid his head in a bag. If Kelly is the NFL’s mad scientist, the lab is on fire.In the short term, Kelly is probably safe. He has two years left on his contract after 2015, and his newfound authority over Philadelphia’s roster — wrestled away from Howie Roseman in a power struggle in January — makes him a little more entrenched than your typical head coach. But the Eagles have also been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams, by both the eye test and fancier metrics. So while Kelly the personnel czar still has some rope, we can entertain ourselves with a thought exercise wondering just how often such a disastrous season traditionally leads to a coaching change.To measure just what it takes for a coach to get fired in the NFL, I trained a classification model on data for every NFL coach since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, looking for the factors that predict whether he’ll return the following season. The best model, in terms of having the lowest “out-of-bag error,” accounts for how long a coach has been with his team, the team’s outlook going into the season, and how many playoff wins the coach has recorded during his tenure with the team. Coaches are typically given more leeway early, with firings peaking three to six years into their tenures, and unsurprisingly, playoff wins buy more job security. We used our Elo ratings as a proxy for team outlook; whatever you think of its predictive capabilities, Elo is a fantastic gauge of team perception and expectations.According to that historical rubric, no current coach1So, excluding Joe Philbin and Ken Whisenhunt, both of whom were fired earlier this season. should be feeling the heat more than Kelly, whose indicators have traditionally led to termination a shade over half the time (through 11 games): Gus BradleyJAX30+8-1851 Mike McCoySD31+32-1055 Neill Armstrong1980CHI22 Sean PaytonNO96+94-7619 Bill O’BrienHOU20+120+10<1 Jack Del RioOAK10—+37<1 Gary KubiakDEN10—+66<1 Sam Wyche1994TB30 Jim CaldwellDET20+66-645 John Mazur1971NE29 Rex RyanBUF10—-22<1 Jeff FisherSTL40+124-5613 Chip KellyPHI30+144-8652% Lovie SmithTB20-59+4517 COACHYEARTEAMCHANCE OF FIRING John HarbaughBAL810+117-741 Marvin LewisCIN130+184+10140 Dave McGinnis2002ARI21 Bruce AriansARI30+120+125<1 Tom CoughlinNYG128+81+217 Andy ReidKC30+185+841 Todd BowlesNYJ10—+34<1 Jay GrudenWAS20-28+55<1 Mike TomlinPIT95-6+24 Jim Hanifan1983CRD26 ELO CHANGE There’s still time for Kelly to turn things around. For one, the average coach who was fired since 1970 was assigned a 76 percent probability by the model at this stage of the season, so Kelly, at 52 percent, has some room left to fall. Second, despite their abiding awfulness, the Eagles somehow have a 15 percent chance of winning the NFC East, which would put a little shine on the turd. Although one of the most similar coaching seasons to Kelly’s2In terms of the arc his probability of being fired has taken each week. resulted in Wade Phillips being fired by the Denver Broncos in 1994, other similar years belonged to coaches who held on for another year (Bruce Coslet with the 1993 Jets) or even unexpectedly went to a Super Bowl a year later (Jim Fassel with the 2000 Giants).However the season plays out, Kelly will probably hang onto his job — particularly given the personnel control matter we mentioned earlier. But based on what typically gets coaches fired, Kelly should be thankful that he’ll (probably) remain employed when the smoke clears on this garbage fire, because historical precedent says it should pretty much be a coin flip whether he gets swept out with the ashes.
Lebron James declared his support for the re-election of President Barack Obama Monday night, despite being advised beforehand making his vow publicly could be “bad for the brand.”James makes millions of dollars each year off his endorsements, Nike being his biggest endorser. Nike, along with other endorsers, felt that announcing his backing of the President would be a negative reflection to the deals that he has in place.“I’ve been second guessed,” James said after Monday’s 124-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on the eve of election. “They’re saying it’s bad for the brand. If I feel like I want to support someone, then go for it.”James signed a seven-year, $93 million contract with Nike in May 2003. In March 2010 the brand signed him to an extension for an undisclosed amount.James has made it known that he is not afraid to take a stand as an athlete.“I just think it’s about knowledge if you know what’s going on,” James said. “I’ve always said I feel like it’s important for me to do it because that’s just who I am. I got out there and I learned a lot about it in ’08 and I learned a lot about it now.”In 2008, the three-time NBA MVP said he researched Obama before voting for him, but adds he has done the same this time around.Heat president Pat Riley and James are on two different sides of the aisle when dealing with politics. Riley has donated $2,500 to Republican challenger Mitt Romney.James was asked if he thought about throwing an event such as Bruce Springsteen did to rally support for Obama. The NBA champion said that his busy schedule during the summer, preseason and now regular season have prohibited him from being able to organize an event.“It’s kind of late now, but I’ve been able to send out a few tweets and support (Obama),” he said. “But I’m supporting him and I think his camp knows that and everybody that knows me knows that.”James is glad that he did not let endorsers influence his decision to speak out, but issued a challenge to everyone who can vote and hasn’t voted.“I think it’s a very important election for everyone,” James said. “Everyone, they talk about having a right to vote. Just don’t talk about it, actually go out and do it. And let your voice be heard, and I’m happy to be in the position I am.”
Hot Takedown’s Super Bowl Special No NFL team other than the Patriots boasts a first-down success rate above 90 percent on sneaks. And this rate might actually conceal how good New England is: Twenty-one of its sneaks have come when needing 2 yards to go, also the most of any NFL team.4Two-yarders make up 15 percent of the Pats’ sneaks, the 10th-highest proportion in the league. With only 1 yard to go, the Pats have converted the first down on 105 of 113 tries (93 percent).This success begets more success. The 133 Patriots QB sneaks that Pro Football Reference shows were worth a cumulative 138 expected points, the equivalent of about 20 touchdowns.5We used PFR’s play-finder tool to find extra QB sneaks from the Patriots, summing the expected points added on each. As an example, the aforementioned Huard sneak added 2.58 expected points. That’s a net benefit of about a point per QB sneak. Of course, most of the Patriots’ other offensive plays have also been net positives. But their 455 non-QB-sneak rush plays on the same downs and distances have been worth just 0.38 expected points per play.The Huard sneak is a prime example of the play’s effectiveness. According to PFR, it was New England’s fourth-most valuable offensive play that day, worth an estimated 2.6 points. A simple QB sneak that kept a drive going was worth a larger improvement in the Pats’ expected point total than Kevin Faulk’s 15-yard touchdown reception during the third quarter.The frequent success is due largely to two factors. The first: The simplest football play is a constant focus for the Patriots. Huard, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the San Francisco 49ers during his 14-year career, said Belichick and the Patriots prioritized the QB sneak more than any other team. “Oh yeah,” he answered simply when asked, adding that while he can’t remember QB sneaks ever being the specific focus of a game plan, Brady, Belichick, the offensive coordinator and the offensive line talked about them on a weekly basis. They practice them, too, a fact that shocked coaches around the league. With 13:33 remaining in the second quarter of a game on Nov. 10, 2002, the New England Patriots faced a 4th-and-1 from their own 39-yard line. Head coach Bill Belichick chose the traditional option and sent out the punt team. But there was one notable exception: Backup quarterback Damon Huard was included among the 11 men on the field.Huard, in his second year with New England, rarely played, and a quarterback isn’t a typical member of the punt team.“I sort of snuck out onto the field, and I was lined up as the personal protector [on the play],” Huard, now an administrator and fundraiser for his alma mater, the University of Washington, said over the phone. “At the last second, I jumped up under center and did a quarterback sneak. We got 4 yards and a first down.”Six plays later, a 57-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri tied the score 3-3, and the Patriots went on to win 33-30.Huard’s quarterback sneak was a single moment in a long game. It didn’t ensure victory for the Patriots, nor did the Chicago Bears’ obliviousness on that fourth down doom them to defeat. But it was emblematic of a hidden theme of the Patriots’ 16-year run of unprecedented success: No team sneaks more often nor more effectively than the Patriots.Since the start of the 2001 season, the Patriots lead the league in QB sneaks, running 0.52 every game, which translates to one roughly every other week.1We define a QB sneak as a middle run from a quarterback on third or fourth down and 1 or 2 yards to go. Shotgun plays are excluded. For comparison, Kansas City, which is last in the league, runs about two QB sneaks per season. Most teams attempt about three or four sneaks in a season, with Jacksonville (0.5 per game or roughly eight per season) and Baltimore (roughly seven per season) the only other teams that approach New England’s frequency. During that period, the Patriots, led by Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, have won 14 of 16 AFC East titles and have been to the Super Bowl seven times, including Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.The QB sneak is a remarkably efficient play, and an excellent way to extend a drive. Leaguewide, the conversion rate2Including both first downs and touchdowns. from 2001 to 2015 on 3rd-and-1 or 4th-and-1 plays that are not QB sneaks is 65 percent — on sneaks, that success rate jumps to 84 percent.3We checked to ensure these numbers weren’t affected by teams’ behavior late in games. In the first and second quarters, success rates are 66 percent (non-sneaks) and 86 percent (sneaks) And there’s a similar story when teams have 2 yards to gain, with sneaks 20 percentage points more successful (75 percent versus 55 percent) relative to other runs or passes.So the sneak is usually a good idea, relative to other play calls. But even compared to that higher baseline, some teams are much better at it than others. The second reason for success is that Brady excels in picking up the yard or two that’s needed for a first down. He’s not fast — notoriously running a pedestrian time at the 2000 NFL combine — but he’s large enough (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) to help push a pile, and he’s “not afraid to stick his face in there,” according to Huard. He’s also adept at reading defenses and determining their weaknesses. Huard saw this firsthand in practice and games: If Brady got to the line and thought he could get 3 or 4 inches, he would sneak. If not, if a massive noseguard and two linebackers were crowding the A-gap, making a sneak difficult, he’d run the play that was called.“It’s a feel thing, a look-and-see thing,” Huard said. “And no one does it better than Tom.”The QB sneak is an example of what the Patriots have done so well over the past 15 years. They find an advantage, and they exploit that advantage relentlessly. It’s so simple yet so effective. Belichick has been benefiting from using it for more than a decade and a half, putting his players into situations where they can succeed and positively affect the outcome.“I wasn’t exactly Randall Cunningham,” Huard said, laughing as he remembered the play from 2002. Brady isn’t, either, but it doesn’t matter. When it comes to the QB sneak, he’s more effective than Cunningham or any other quarterback. This success is a factor in the Patriots’ sustained success.VIDEO: The Patriots better worry about Julio Jones Related: Hot Takedown
Patriots20112,5426,577423.7403.5.833.813 Yards AllowedYards/GameWin % The Kansas City defense is historically poorNFL team defenses that surrendered the most yards through Week 6 and how each fared the rest of the year, 1940-2018 TeamYearBy Week 6Full YearBy Week 6Rest Of YearBy Week 6Full Year Chiefs20182,809—468.2—.833— Patriots20172,6445,856440.7321.2.667.813 Colts19502,7435,246457.2417.2.000.083 The stomach-turning numbers from the Chiefs’ defense can partially be explained by their offense. Patrick Mahomes and company have routinely jumped out to big leads, outscoring opponents by a league-leading 46 points in the first quarter. That has made opposing offenses play with urgency and desperation — two qualities that will generate yardage quickly in the NFL.3This was not a valid excuse Sunday night, when the Patriots racked up 500 yards and 43 points while leading the majority of the game.The good news for Andy Reid and the Chiefs is that every team that appears on the list above eventually got better. On average, they allowed 81.72 percent of their yardage per game for the remainder of the season. If the Chiefs enjoy a similar regression, they would allow 382.6 yards per game, which through Sunday of Week 6 would rank 23nd. That’s like being The Steel Curtain compared with where they are.Kansas City doesn’t have to look far for an example of how to rebound on defense. The Patriots last year had allowed 2,644 yards (440.7 per game) at the same stage of the season — good for fifth worst since 1940 at the time. They improved that to 321.2 for the rest of the year and coasted to the Super Bowl. (Granted, that’s when they reverted to their prior form and lost 41-33 to the Eagles despite posting 613 yards of offense and never punting. The Pats’ defense gave up 5384Our favorite number. total yards.)Or maybe Kansas City doesn’t even need to improve on defense. Mahomes is a big play waiting to happen, and the Chiefs have firepower everywhere on the field — from the backfield with Kareem Hunt, to middle of the field where Travis Kelce roams, to far downfield where Tyreek Hill hauls in Mahomes’s rockets. Plus defense seems optional this year, with the league on a record pace since 1950 in points, yards, yards per play and yards per pass play — and even yards per rush has never been higher. In other words, in 2018, NFL teams generally can’t stop anyone or anything.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Bills20122,5795,806429.8322.7.500.375 The 1950 Colts played 12 games; the 1976 Chiefs played 14.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.Com Chiefs19762,6635,357443.8336.8.333.357 Saints20122,7937,042465.5424.9.333.438 Raiders20162,6696,001444.8333.2.667.750 Chiefs20022,5806,248430.0366.8.500.500 Browns20122,5535,821425.53126.96.36.1993 The Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in New England showed they have the second-most explosive offense in football. The most explosive one? Whomever they happen to be playing.Through six games, the Chiefs are the worst defense ever measured in yards allowed.1Since 1940. They’ve yielded 2,809 yards, or 468.2 per game, and are on pace for 7,491 yards allowed over the full season. That would smash the record set by the 2012 Saints, the only team in history to give up more than 7,000 yards. No team that’s allowed even 6,600 yards in a season has ever finished with a winning record.For all their offensive firepower, the Chiefs have somehow gained nearly 300 fewer yards than opponents (2,511). They are more efficient in yards per play — but not by much. Their opponents’ 6.56 average gain is the seventh most through six games since the 1970 merger. But defenses in 2018 are struggling leaguewide: Two clubs this year are actually worse in yards allowed per play than the Chiefs — the Buccaneers (who have played just five games) and the Raiders.Yes, the Kansas City offense is so good that the Chiefs are still 5-1. They’ve already won two games this year when they gave up more than 500 yards, while every other team in the 500 Club since 2000 is 63-186-3. They have allowed at least five entire football fields worth of offense three times — putting them easily on pace to break the single-season record of five by the 1950 Colts.2The Colts hit that mark in only 12 regular-season games. Only seven other teams ever gave up four 500-plus-yard games in a single season. Could any team that’s so seemingly helpless on defense overcome such profound weakness on that side of the ball? Or could their defense somehow improve? 49ers20052,7166,259452.73188.8.131.52
29C. KeenumDEN81.256.2 In the original conception of passer rating, an average rating was about 67. In 2018, only one qualified passer (Arizona Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen) fell below that threshold, and even then just barely (his rating was 66.7). But what if the standards for what makes a good or bad performance had evolved as leaguewide numbers changed? Pro-Football-Reference.com does a great job of adjusting for era with its Advanced Passing indices, which are centered on an average of 100 with 15 points representing 1 standard deviation in either direction. But I wanted to rescale the building blocks of passer rating itself to see how today’s passing numbers would translate to a rating if the NFL had simply allowed its rating system to change with the times.To do that, I looked at the distribution of stats in each category that goes into passer rating — completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown percentage and interception rate — from the sample originally used to craft the formula back in the early 1970s (qualified passers from 1960 to 1970). Specifically, I figured out the spread of values (relative to the league) that, in a given category, led to the minimum number of points (0), the average number of points (1) and the maximum (2.375). Under the hood, passer rating is built around these ranges; it hands out points on that 0-to-2.375 scale in each category, then sums up the four values, divides by 6 and multiplies by 100. (Hence, 67 is supposed to be average — a 1.0 in four categories, divided by 6, times 100.)For any era, we can rescale what performance “should” lead to a given value in each category to keep the relative leaguewide distribution the same as it was when passer rating was first conceived.2Just like with PFR’s advanced passing stats, I calculated these distributions using qualified passers in rolling three-season periods to avoid a strange spread in one season causing overly volatile results. (To qualify, a passer needed at least 14 attempts per team game.) So while, say, Alex Smith’s 62.5 percent completion rate in 2018 was worth 1.0 point, so was Don Meredith’s 49.5 percent mark from 1962. Do this for every category in every season, and you have a stabilized version of passer rating that no longer spirals uncontrollably upward with each innovation in the passing game.Some ultra-high ratings change less than you might expect under this new method. Rodgers’s single-season record of 122.5 from 2011 tumbles all the way down to … 121.1. (He was very good that year.) But other seemingly immortal ratings, such as Kirk Cousins’s 99.7 mark this season, get knocked down quite a bit — in Cousins’s case, he falls to a much more reasonable 81.5 rating. (Anyone who watched a Vikings game this year would surely argue that this is more appropriate.) Similarly, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 100.4 mark this season — yes, that is real, look it up — gets heavily penalized in the interception category (his 4.9 percent INT rate was more than double the league average), taking him down to an adjusted rating of 77.4.Moving further down the list, Joe Flacco’s decent-sounding 84.2 classic rating properly falls to a mediocre 62.8 after our adjustment, while the 30.7 rating of WOAT candidate Nathan Peterman becomes an 11.6 — perilously close to the minimum possible rating of 0.0. (If Peterman had thrown enough passes to qualify, that 11.6 rating would have “surpassed” Ryan Leaf’s 19.1 from 1998 as the lowest-rated season since 1950.)All told, the new ratings are once again grounded in a world where an average quarterback scores about 70 — not exactly 67 because the rolling distribution includes multiple seasons for comparison3Causing 2018 performances to score slightly higher on average, since this year was a better passing season than 2017. — and as a result, the numbers make far more intuitive sense at a glance than the ludicrously inflated official ratings of 2018: 20B. MayfieldCLE93.771.7 10K. CousinsMIN99.781.5 PlayerLast YearOldNewPlayerLast YearOldNew 31S. DarnoldNYJ77.649.7 17M. TrubiskyCHI95.473.2 16D. CarrOAK93.974.0 13T. BradyNE97.778.8 PlayerTeamOldNew 4M. RyanATL108.193.4 5P. RiversLAC105.587.3 6D. WatsonHOU103.185.3 Ratings 13L. Dawson197582.982.728F. Ryan197078.078.0 12D. PrescottDAL96.979.0 14D. Marino199986.481.429B. Jones198278.578.0 19C. NewtonCAR94.271.7 26J. WinstonTB90.264.9 Ryan Fitzpatrick2005-184,28581.160.2-20.9 8J. GoffLAR101.183.3 5P. Manning201596.587.120M. Ryan201894.979.8 Marcus Mariota2015-181,60589.467.5-21.9 7C. WentzPHI102.285.1 30B. BortlesJAX79.854.5 9A. RodgersGB97.683.0 10O. Graham195578.284.725R. Gannon200484.778.4 2P. MahomesKC113.898.5 11K. Warner200993.783.726B. Griese198077.178.3 32J. AllenBUF67.937.1 27A. SmithWSH85.764.5 15B. R’lisbergerPIT96.575.7 RatingsRatings PlayerYears PlayedAttemptsOldNewDiff. 1D. BreesNO115.7103.3 According to the NFL’s official passer rating system, the most efficient quarterback in NFL history is Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, with a lifetime mark of 103.1.1Pro football’s passer rating has a possible range from 0 to 158.3. That makes sense: Rodgers is generally regarded as one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. But if you scroll further down the list, the results become much harder to explain. In the world of passer rating, Kirk Cousins is better than Joe Montana; Derek Carr and Matt Schaub top Dan Marino; and, after one season, Broadway Sam Darnold is running circles around Broadway Joe Namath.Passer rating is often criticized as Byzantine (have you seen that formula?), incomplete (it does not include data on rushing plays or sacks) and arbitrary (again, have you looked at the formula?). Yet its biggest shortcoming might be the way it is unmoored from changes in the game itself. Passing has never been more efficient than it was this season, in which the league’s average QB posted a rating of 92.9. That is remarkably high considering that a quarterback who posted a rating of 92.9 would have led all qualified passers in 15 separate seasons from 1950 through 1986. Clearly, the scale needs recalibrating. 18E. ManningNYG92.472.3 Chad Henne2008-181,95975.555.3-20.3 Ryan Tannehill2012-182,91187.067.2-19.8 Cam Newton2011-183,89186.466.1-20.3 22R. TannehillMIA92.768.8 21M. MariotaTEN92.370.6 A new all-time passer rating hierarchyCareer classic and adjusted passer ratings for qualified* NFL and AFL quarterbacks, 1950-2018 9T. Romo201697.185.024D. Fouts198780.278.4 11A. LuckIND98.779.1 Ratings 2A. Rodgers2018103.192.517B. Starr197180.580.7 PlayerTeamOldNew * Minimum 1,500 career pass attemptsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com * Minimum 14 pass attempts per team gameSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com 6R. Staubach197983.486.721J. Garcia200887.579.6 7R. Wilson2018100.485.422B. R’lisberger201894.379.0 15K. Anderson198681.981.230J. Kelly199684.478.0 3J. Montana199492.390.018P. Rivers201895.680.5 1S. Young199996.794.216F. Tarkenton197880.480.7 Case Keenum2013-181,84484.561.8-22.6 Mark Sanchez2009-182,32073.352.5-20.8 Who’s been overrated in traditional passer ratings?For qualified* NFL and AFL passers since 1950, the biggest shortfalls between adjusted and classic passer rating 12S. Jurgensen197482.782.927N. Lomax198882.778.1 8D. Brees201897.785.423J. Unitas197378.378.9 According to the NFL’s official system, there have been 93 qualified quarterback seasons since 1950 with a passer rating of at least 100.0, and nine of those happened in 2018 alone. After our adjustment, though, there have been only 46 such seasons since 1950,4Four QB seasons cracked the 100.0 mark under the new system but didn’t under the classic passer rating. and only one of those happened this year — the 103.3 mark Drew Brees put up with the Saints. It’s still a golden age for passing, as nearly half of those 46 seasons have happened since 2000, but we’ve also filtered out 51 “false 100s” — seasons that cracked 100.0 on the old scale but not the new one — of which 47 have happened since 2000.The result of our passer rating adjustment is a much more reasonable career leaderboard that features qualified quarterbacks from a variety of different eras: The biggest beneficiaries of our changes are 1950s-era passers like Otto Graham, who originally rated in the 70s (discarding his eye-popping pre-1950 numbers, which were compiled in the upstart All-America Football Conference) but leaps up into the mid-80s after judging him in comparison with his peers. San Francisco 49ers legend Steve Young also gets a boost relative to other great QBs from history, reclaiming the No. 1 slot that he’d held in real life before Rodgers and friends came along.At the other end of the spectrum, nobody loses more points of career rating than Blake Bortles, who somehow has an 80.6 mark under the classic system but falls to 55.2 with our adjustments. Here are the biggest losers between the old and new QB ratings: 23M. StaffordDET89.968.6 Ratings Deflating the ratingClassic and adjusted passer ratings for qualified* 2018 NFL quarterbacks 3R. WilsonSEA110.996.5 25A. DaltonCIN89.666.1 4T. Brady201897.687.219C. Pennington201090.179.9 24N. MullensSF90.866.3 Derek Carr2014-182,80088.868.4-20.4 28J. FlaccoBAL84.262.8 14R. FitzpatrickTB100.477.4 33J. RosenARI66.735.9 Jameis Winston2015-181,92287.864.0-23.8 Blake Bortles2014-182,63280.655.2-25.4 * Minimum 1,500 career pass attemptsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com A change like this wouldn’t fix the rest of passer rating’s deficiencies, and it wouldn’t include all the fancy bells and whistles you’ll find in a metric like ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating. But passer rating itself has always been a surprisingly decent metric within any self-contained era; the team with the higher passer rating (by any margin) in a game wins about 80 percent of the time. It’s the comparisons across eras that have become distorted as the game has changed over time. But a simple fix tethering modern stats to the standards contained in passer rating’s formula would go a long way toward restoring sanity to the metric you still see in every NFL box score and broadcast. The Blake Bortleses of the world might not like seeing their shiny 80-something ratings get dumped into the 50s, but it’s a change whose time has come.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
7/31/2018Leonys Martín-0.3Willi Castro0.022 7/31/2017Alex Avila2.1Isaac Paredes0.020 DateVeterans TradedWAR SinceProspects AcquiredWAR SinceAge Paul Richan0.022 Jose King0.020 The 2003 Detroit Tigers were a shining beacon of bad baseball. This was true both as a team — they lost 119 games, the second-most of any MLB team since 19011Only the comically bad 1962 New York Mets, a 120-loss expansion team, lost more. — and also at the individual level. Hapless starter Mike Maroth, for instance, became the only pitcher to lose 20 times in a season since 1980 (and perhaps the last ever to earn that not-so-proud distinction).And yet, this year’s Tigers might be every bit as awful.The FiveThirtyEight projection model thinks the 2019 Tigers will fall a bit short of the 2003 version’s loss total, predicting 111 defeats for Detroit by season’s end. But in terms of other measures, such as our Elo ratings, these Tigers are astonishingly close to their abysmal predecessors. Through 125 games, the Tigers have an Elo of 1398, which not only means Detroit has wrested the crown of “Worst Team in Baseball” away from the Baltimore Orioles — a title that once seemed impossible for the O’s to lose — but it also makes these Tigers just the 14th team ever to have an Elo under 1400 at this stage of a season. Their Elo is currently within striking distance of the 2003 team, which had a 1387 rating at this point in the schedule, and the current Tigers were slightly ahead of their ancestors in the race to baseball’s bottom as recently as eight games ago:(All of this is true even after Detroit pulled off a shocking win over the Houston Astros Wednesday night, in one of the biggest upsets of the 21st century.)It’s never good to be compared with that infamous 2003 squad — even if the current edition of the Tigers was intentionally built to “compete” with the Orioles and Miami Marlins for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. After years of enjoying superstar performances from Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer, Motor City fans were hoping they’d never again return to the days of Maroth, Bobby Higginson and Ramón Santiago. But history is repeating itself with the likes of Jordan Zimmermann, JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario this year.For their part, the 2003 Tigers were the culmination of a long, steady decline following the breakup of the mega-talented core that won the 1984 World Series (and posted at least 84 wins eight times between 1983 and 1993). After the 1993 Tigers went 85-77, the team wouldn’t go .500 again for another 13 years. An initial rebuild following the 1994 strike yielded 109 losses in 1996 — impressively bad, if mere child’s play compared with some Tiger seasons to come — and the payoff was a team that topped out at just 79 wins in both 1997 and 2000.Then came one of the sharpest downturns in baseball history. Slugger Juan González — for whom the Tigers had traded a number of their best prospects just a year before — left the Tigers via free agency, the team was fleeced in a handful of trades, the farm system yielded little of note, and the rest of the players Detroit staked its future on (Higginson, Dean Palmer, Damion Easley, etc.) all stopped being productive. Over the four-season period from 2000 to 2003, Detroit’s record got progressively worse each year, by an average of 12 wins per season. By 2003, the Tigers were spending a combined $37 million (or 54 percent of the MLB median team payroll that season — the equivalent of $69 million today) on eight players2Higginson, Palmer, Steve Sparks, Matt Anderson, Craig Paquette, Danny Patterson, Shane Halter and Eric Munson. who together generated 0.18 Wins Above Replacement.3Using our JEFFBAGWELL version that merges the WAR found at Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs into a single metric. It was a masterclass in how to turn an average team into a 43-win one practically overnight.The Tigers won five of their last six games to avoid tying the 1962 Mets’ record for futility. But they also needed bad luck to win so little in the first place. No MLB team truly contains 43-win talent — we think? — and the Tigers undershot the record we’d expect from their run differential by five wins in 2003, with another six-win deficit coming from the team’s run differential falling short of its underlying metrics. Add in even more bad luck from players unexpectedly producing career-low numbers,4In a 2014 update of sabermetrician Phil Birnbaum’s classic study of lucky and unlucky teams, I found that the 2003 Tigers had been the 31st-most unlucky team since 1901 in terms of its players all slipping in performance at once. and the 2003 Tigers were probably a team with 55-to-65 win talent and some of the worst luck in baseball history. Manager Alan Trammell, a Tigers legend as a player, deserved better than to manage such a notoriously cursed season of Detroit baseball.A few teams have come close to matching the ‘03 Tigers ineptitude in the years that followed. The very next season, the Arizona Diamondbacks lost 111 games, just three years removed from winning the World Series. The 2013 Astros (111 losses) and 2018 Orioles (115) also made valiant runs at the Mets’ record this decade. In fact, the recent prevalence of tanking teams has created more historically awful teams than ever before: This season alone, our model thinks four teams — the Marlins, Royals, Orioles and Tigers — will each lose more than 100 games.Detroit’s current path to horrendousness was similar — if slightly more straightforward — than the one the team followed 16 years ago. These Tigers were also coming off a period of sustained success, with MLB’s fourth-best record from 2009 through 2014 and three consecutive League Championship Series appearances in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (including an AL pennant in 2012). But by the end of that stretch, Detroit found itself with an old, expensive roster and a bunch of money committed to veteran stars like Cabrera and Verlander. (Though not Scherzer, oddly enough. Then-general manager Dave Dombrowski let Scherzer walk to the Washington Nationals after the 2014 season; all Scherzer has done since then is lead all MLB pitchers in WAR.)After a downturn to start the 2015 season, in which they would finish finish 74-87, Dombrowski unloaded recently-acquired stars David Price and Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline and then was eventually relieved of GM duties himself. The Tigers regrouped for one last bid with an aging core in 2016. It worked, to the extent Detroit had a winning record (86-75) again. But the team missed the playoffs by three games despite once again having one of the highest payrolls in baseball. And when the wheels fell off for good in the summer of 2017, the fire sale was on; midseason deals sent away Verlander, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, Alex Avila, Justin Wilson and pretty much anybody else who wasn’t nailed down. The Tigers’ fire sale hasn’t paid dividends … yetAge and wins above replacement (WAR) for notable Detroit Tigers prospects acquired since the 2017 season, plus WAR for veterans traded by Detroit Justin Wilson1.2Jeimer Candelario3.125 8/31/2017Justin Verlander12.8Daz Cameron0.022 7/31/2019Nick Castellanos1.2Alex Lange0.023 Dawel Lugo-0.824 7/31/2019Shane Greene-0.1Joey Wentz0.021 Maybe the Tigers held out for too long before hitting the reset button, trying to extend their window beyond the point of reason. But once it began, this was a conventional rebuild — Detroit flipped their desirable veterans for prospects like teams are supposed to do. Early on, though, the prospects haven’t provided much in return. Of the 17 prospects acquired, only four have made the majors so far, and only one — third baseman Isaac Paredes (acquired from the Cubs) — ranks among the team’s top five prospects according to Baseball America. Most of the prospects are still young, so there’s plenty of time for them to add value in Detroit uniforms. For now, those young Tigers have a lot of ground to make up for the team to break even on its fire-sale deals.Perhaps relatedly, going into the 2019 season, Baseball America ranked the Tigers’ farm system as the 14th-best in baseball. On the one hand, that’s the highest organizational ranking Detroit has had since 2007 and a major improvement after the team ranked among the bottom six nine times between 2008 and 2017. (Blowing up a minor-league system to keep the big-league team competitive is a Dombrowski specialty.) But it’s also behind schedule for the type of total teardowns the Tigers are trying to emulate, such as those executed by the Astros and Chicago Cubs earlier this decade. By the same stage in their respective rebuilds — judging by when each team dipped below 70 wins for the first time in its ramp-up towards contention — the Astros had MLB’s ninth-best system and the Cubs ranked fourth:Detroit’s current farm system ranking improved to 13th after its midseason deals this year, and that’s roughly where the Tigers were (12th) back in 2003. The core of that young group — led by Curtis Granderson — played a big role in leading Detroit to a surprise World Series appearance within three years of its 119-loss catastrophe. That model might be a good one for the Tigers to follow when they are finally ready to compete again. But it’s also worth wondering whether bottoming out has the same competitive advantage now that so many other teams are also doing it. When the Tigers lost 119 games, by contrast, that was 20 more than any other team in baseball. The ‘03 Tigers didn’t mean to build one of the worst teams ever, but the 2019 version can’t make that case as convincingly — and neither can the Orioles or Marlins. Nor can this year’s team claim anywhere near as bad luck as in 2003.As it stands now, the Tigers are currently in the driver’s seat when it comes to the race for next year’s No. 1 draft pick. Though they’ve built one of the worst teams of all time, it will all be worth it if they can use the picks and prospects to get back to the World Series quickly, just like the Cubs and Astros — or even an earlier version of the Tigers — did not so long ago. But if not, are all the losses be worth it? Because no one fan base should be forced to watch multiple 110-loss seasons in the span of 16 years without some World Series swag to show for it.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Franklin Pérez0.021 Jake Rogers-0.124 Logan Shore0.024 Elvin Rodriguez0.021 7/18/2017J.D. Martinez11.2Sergio Alcantara0.022 8/6/2018Mike Fiers3.3Nolan Blackwood0.024 8/31/2017Justin Upton3.9Grayson Long0.025 Travis Demeritte0.124 WAR numbers through Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.Sources: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com
With a national TV audience, intensive medical examinations and the unfamiliarity of being on the road, the NFL Scouting Combine can be a nerve-racking experience. That’s why Ohio State’s Pro Day on Friday was such a welcomed relief for former Buckeyes looking to break into the pro ranks and hear their names called at the NFL Draft during the last weekend of April. “I think it’s a lot better. You’re in the place you’ve been training for your whole career, so I think it puts you a little more at ease,” offensive lineman Justin Boren said. “Combine — all the cameras, so many people — it’s nice working out here.” The pre-draft process is an arduous one of being constantly evaluated in nearly every way imaginable, from on-field positional drills to personal interviews that gauge players’ personalities and character. A school’s Pro Day represents the end to the constant needling of prospects until NFL teams invite players to their facilities to have private workouts just prior to the draft. Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher expressed relief that the Combine and his Pro Day were over and likened the process to something everyone looking for a job has to go through after college. “It’s a big job interview,” he said. “Not many of them are fun but they’re necessary evils, but it’s to get to do what you really want to do.” Sanzenbacher was one of the big winners of Pro Day, reducing his time in the 40-yard dash to 4.48 seconds on Friday from 4.59 at the Combine. “You haven’t been poked and prodded by doctors for three days so I mean, it felt good. It felt better,” he said. Sanzenbacher said he has no idea where he will get drafted come late April. He said teams will likely question his slight build, but he proved a lot by running a sub-4.5 40-yard dash. He hopes that his solid career and game film at OSU will be enough for scouts to form a solid impression of the Buckeyes’ 2010 MVP. Buckeye coach Jim Tressel was in attendance and watched his former players participate in drills from afar. It was announced last Tuesday by the school that Tressel would be suspended for the first two games of next season for allegedly violating the school’s compliance policy and NCAA Bylaw 10.1 by not reporting e-mails he received last April from local attorney and former Buckeye Christopher Cicero, who indicated that Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey had sold OSU memorabilia to Eddie Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. Other performances on Pro Day that helped players’ draft stock came from linebackers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, defensive lineman Dexter Larimore, Boren, defensive backs Devon Torrence and Jermale Hines and running back Brandon Saine. Homan improved his time in the 40 to 4.6 seconds from 4.68 at the Combine, Torrence improved to 4.5 seconds from 4.68, Hines to 4.57 seconds from 4.68 and Saine to 4.4 seconds from 4.43. One of OSU’s most interesting draft prospects is Rolle, who is considered undersized for an NFL linebacker and might be asked to make a position change to safety. The four-year letterman has plenty of solid game film to go with his decorated career as middle linebacker for the Buckeyes. He won four Big Ten Player of the Week awards and was selected by coaches for the Randy Gradishar Award for outstanding linebacker. Weighing 230 pounds, 12 pounds more than his playing weight his senior year, Rolle said he would play wherever he was needed and participated in position drills at both linebacker and, for the first time Friday, defensive back. “It’s not really hard because I’ve heard ‘You’re short’ my whole life. It is what it is. God wanted me to be 5-foot-9 and 7/8 for a reason,” Rolle said. “I’m not going to shy away from playing linebacker just because somebody says I can’t do it. I’m going to compete and work hard at what I’m good at. When a team looks at me as a safety, I’m willing to do it.” Despite being undersized by traditional standards, Rolle’s 4.51 in the 40 proves that he’s fast enough to be a safety. At the Combine, he put up 28 reps of 225 pounds. Only Homan (32) and Boston College’s Mark Herzlich (29) did more reps as linebackers. Rolle said the biggest difference between linebacker and defensive back is the pack pedal used to drop into coverage. He mentioned that linebackers at OSU would sometimes get into a “lazy backpedal,” but that his athleticism would show teams he’s more than capable of learning how to drop into coverage. In the NFL, many non-starters are asked to play special teams — an area that seemed to excite Rolle more than playing defense. “That’s the first thing they ask, ‘Are you willing to play special teams?’ I love special teams. I don’t feel like there’s nothing more (fun) to do,” he said. “It’s great to play defense, great to play offense. Special teams, you get to set the tone of games … or change the momentum of a game … that’s something that at the next level, I think can really help me out.” Homan is one of the most sure-fire picks in this year’s draft of the Buckeyes coming out. Both his 40 time of 4.6 and his performance in the bench press at the Combine ranked highly for his position. He’s added 13 pounds of muscle since the season ended and is up to 240 pounds. “They say they evaluate you on 90 percent of your game film and 10 percent of your combine, so I’m happy with that because I think my game film speaks for itself,” Homan said. Homan was a three-year starter, first-team All-Big Ten performer, Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-America and academic All-Big Ten. He amassed 287 tackles (17 for loss) in 54 games as a Buckeye. He also has the outstanding pedigree NFL executives associate with linebackers from OSU, something Homan attributes to his position coach. “Luke Fickell is one of the best coaches, I believe, in college football,” Homan said. Hines is another Buckeye in flux when it comes to a position at the next level. He played the “star” position at OSU, which is a hybrid of safety and linebacker. The four-year letterman with three career interceptions participated in drills for both defensive back and linebacker on Friday. Aside from improving his 40 time to 4.57 seconds at his Pro Day from 4.68 at the Combine, Hines broad-jumped 9-feet 6-inches. He said he thought he played well at both safety positions as a Buckeye but only had one regret. “The only thing I wanted more of during my college career was people to take more shots at me … throw the ball at me more. … Every time I’m in the middle of the field it’s a slant or a curl or something like that,” Hines said. Larimore and offensive lineman Bryant Browning weren’t invited to the Combine, but were excited to workout for scouts for the first time since ending their college careers. For a defensive tackle, Larimore ran an impressive 4.97 in the 40 and bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times. Browning participated only in position drills because he said he tweaked his hamstring last week. He said he will participate with defensive lineman Cameron Heyward during Heyward’s personal Pro Day on March 30. Heyward injured his elbow in the Sugar Bowl win against Arkansas and subsequently needed Tommy John surgery to repair a tendon in his elbow. He was present at Pro Day, but didn’t work out. He’s been a regular at the team’s 6 a.m. workouts all last week and, prior to his injury, was considered a first-round pick. Defensive back Chimdi Chekwa ran a speedy 4.4 at the Combine and decided that was enough. All he did at the Pro Day was participate in positional drills. Former Buckeyes James Laurinaitis of the St. Louis Rams and Malcolm Jenkins of the New Orleans Saints were in attendance. Representatives for 29 of the NFL’s 32 teams were at OSU’s Pro Day — only the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals did not have anyone in attendance.
With a 4-1 lead heading into the ninth, the No. 4 Ohio State baseball team looked poised to take down No. 1-seeded Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament, but a four-run outburst by the Fighting Illini ended that possibility Thursday night. “That’s by far the toughest loss that we’ve had all season,” senior outfielder Brian DeLucia said. “I don’t know if it’s going to hit quickly or if we are going to feel it tomorrow.” OSU (26-26, 13-11 Big Ten) had freshman pitcher and first baseman Josh Dezse try to close out the ninth against Illinois (26-25, 15-9 Big Ten). Dezse came into the game with six saves, but played a different role than usual, pitching the eighth and ninth innings. He pitched a scoreless eighth, but walked two and had runners in scoring position at one point. Coach Greg Beals kept him in for the ninth, and Dezse gave up a leadoff double and two RBI singles. He was taken out after giving up a walk with a pitch count of 55, well above a closer’s average. Junior reliever Andrew Armstrong came in with two outs to finish the game, but gave up the walk-off RBI single on his very first pitch. Beals said he asked a lot out of Dezse in the game but that, win or lose, he likes to have Dezse on the mound. “Obviously, in retrospect, when you look back, we asked him to do something he hasn’t done yet this year,” Beals said. “As a coach, as a competitor, you want to put your players in the best opportunity possible, and we thought we were. As you look back at it, maybe we should have gone with the bullpen like we’ve done all year long in that eighth inning.” After Illinois scored its only run off starter Brett McKinney in the bottom of the third, it was DeLucia who responded with a leadoff home run in the fourth to tie the game, 1-1. Both starters went deep into the game. McKinney pitched six innings and gave up one run, while Illinois starter Kevin Johnson went eight and gave up four. Illinois coach Dan Hartleb said McKinney pitched well and that OSU threw some pitches that made his hitters look bad. “Ohio State’s a very good team,” Hartleb said. “We’re very fortunate getting down like that, to come back and beat a good team.” Johnson’s last three runs came in the eighth when the Buckeyes made their push. On Wednesday, OSU scored five runs in the eighth to beat Minnesota, fueled by a leadoff bunt single by sophomore catcher Greg Solomon. Same inning, different game and with a man on second, Solomon lined a ball to center that the Illinois outfield missed, allowing him to complete a two-run inside-the-park home run. Tim Wetzel later provided a two-out RBI single to increase the lead to 4-1 before Illinois made its comeback. “You never think you’ve got the game secure, but I certainly liked where we were at, at that time,” Beals said. “Our guys kept grinding to get us that fourth run, and, as you see, every run’s very valuable.” With the loss to Illinois, the Buckeyes move to the losers’ bracket, in which they will play Minnesota again in an elimination game at 12:05 p.m. Minnesota rematch This will be the fifth time in less than 10 days that OSU and Minnesota will meet. The Buckeyes won three of the first four. Both have a loss already, so the loser of the game will go home, while the winner will turn around and play Purdue. Freshman Greg Greve is the expected starter for the Buckeyes. “The first challenge is put this game behind and get ready for Minnesota,” Beals said. “Minnesota, you can bet, is going to be ready for us. We’ve been playing with them, and we’ve got them three of the four games we’ve played, so they’re going to be hungry for us.” Making the rounds DeLucia and Solomon had home runs in the game, marking the second time this season against Illinois that the Buckeyes have hit multiple home runs. OSU has hit just 19 home runs this year. Thursday’s home runs were DeLucia’s first and just Solomon’s second of the year. Cat scratch fever Assistant coach Mike Stafford visited the mound in the third to talk to McKinney after he gave up his only run of the day and hit an Illinois batter. Play was delayed more when a cat somehow found its way onto the field, making an appearance on the bullpen near the OSU dugout. Junior reliever Paul Geuy was able to chase the cat under the tarp and out of play. The extra break seemed to help relax McKinney, as he allowed just three more hits through his last three innings.
Ohio State sophomore forward Jared Sullinger was named one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award Tuesday. The award, named after former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, recognizes the top player in college basketball. Sullinger is the only player on the list who was a 2011 Wooden Award All American. He was also named first-team All-American by Sporting News for the second straight year. The Buckeye big man has averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds for the No. 7-ranked OSU basketball team this year as the team compiled a 25-6 regular season record. Sullinger’s 14 points and 10 rebounds helped OSU beat Michigan State, 72-70, Sunday and give the Buckeyes a share of the Big Ten regular season championship along with the Spartans and Michigan. MSU senior forward and Big Ten Player of the Year Draymond Green was the only other player from the Big Ten named a finalist for the Wooden Award. Other notable names include Kentucky freshmen forwards Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kansas junior forward Thomas Robinson, and North Carolina senior forward Tyler Zeller. The list, which also requires the student-athletes to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, was comprised of three freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and seven seniors. The Big East had three players on the list, which was the most of any conference. The Wooden All-American teams will be announced during the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. In the meantime, Sullinger and the Buckeyes will travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten tournament. They will play Friday at approximately 9 p.m. against the winner of a game between Nebraska and Purdue. After the tournament ends Sunday, the team will learn its seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior guard Shannon Scott (3) looks for a pass during a game against Iowa Jan. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 84-74.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorFirst, it was 15 straight wins and a No. 3 ranking. Now, it’s four straight losses, an increased risk of dropping out of the top 25 and a season spiraling out of control.The Ohio State men’s basketball team has had an odd feeling about it lately.“It’s definitely been different. No one in that locker room has ever lost like this,” junior forward Sam Thompson said. “No one has ever lost four in a row and we know that it’s unacceptable for our program to lose four basketball games in a row.”The current skid is the first time OSU has lost four straight games since February 2009. In those four losses — to Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota and Monday at Nebraska — the Buckeyes (15-4, 2-4) have struggled shooting the ball, making just 40.4 percent of their shots from the field. Points in the paint have been an issue as well, particularly in the last three games, as OSU has given up 120 points down low.Junior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald have struggled, causing OSU coach Thad Matta to play with a smaller lineup down the stretch late in games to give his team a chance. Williams has started all 19 games this season for OSU — along with senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., junior guard Shannon Scott and junior forward LaQuinton Ross — but his recent play begs a question: Should there be a change to the starting five?“I haven’t even thought in terms of that, from what we did (Tuesday) to what we’re getting to go out and do here in practice. We’re going to compete and get after it and I want to see who’s standing at the end of the day, but I’ve had a lot of thoughts go through my mind. But the starting lineup — I haven’t even thought about that one,” Matta said after a brief pause. “We’ve started games well. Last couple, we’ve got off to decent starts. I’ve been pretty pleased with those, but we gotta get the middle and the end corrected.”No matter who starts or finishes the games, though, the end result has not been what OSU wants, as turnovers, missed shots and poor defensive executions have led to almost three weeks without a victory.“I don’t know if I’d call it a lack of confidence. I’d definitely say there is a different feel around than we had (19) days ago, but I wouldn’t call it a confidence issue,” Thompson said. “I would say there is a certain frustration level with the basketball team, just with losing. We’re not frustrated with each other, we’re not frustrated with the coaching staff, we’re just frustrated with ourselves that we aren’t coming out and doing the things we know we’re capable of doing.”Scott agreed with Thompson, and said the team is going to be “fine” once it gets back to what it needs to do.“We know what we have to do now, we know what we’re capable of doing as a team but until we take action and fix what we’ve been doing lately, we’re not going to be a successful basketball team,” Scott said. “Once we all get our heads straight and stick together, we’re going to be fine.”The team standing in the way of OSU putting a halt to its four-game skid is Illinois (13-6, 2-4), also a team that has lost four in a row. With both squads reeling, the intensity is likely to be high Thursday.“We both need wins. Illinois, right now, is in the same position as us, having lost four straight,” Thompson said. “I can’t exactly speak on how they feel, but we assume they feel the same way that we feel in that this is a one-game season.”“(It’s) another Big Ten game. Because I think you would look and say everyone in this league is, in one way or another, desperate,” Matta said. “You can’t take anything for granted. You gotta go out and play.”As OSU looks to get back on track, Thompson said it is using the four straight losses as motivation.“We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. We’re not going to get down on ourselves. We’re a tougher basketball team than that,” Thompson said. “We’re a veteran-led basketball team and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we come out and play to the best of our abilities on Thursday.”Tipoff at the Schottenstein Center is set for 7 p.m.
Ohio State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom HermanCredit: Hayden Grove / Lantern TV Sports directorA former Ohio State assistant coach has been identified as the source of a report that head coach Urban Meyer knew of domestic abuse allegations against his former wide receivers coach, according to sports writer and author Jeff Snook. Tom Herman, now the University of Texas head coach and former offensive coordinator under Meyer, was named by Snook as the person who told former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy about Meyer’s alleged knowledge of domestic abuse from Zach Smith.Snook’s report states that Herman was “furious” after 2019 five-star receiver Garrett Wilson committed to the Buckeyes in April, which, according to the report, was his motive behind the leaked information. According to the report, while at Ohio State, Herman encouraged Smith’s now ex-wife Courtney Smith to “go public” with the alleged domestic violence incidents while he was a member of the Ohio State staff. Snook said the Herman family also helped Courtney Smith pay her legal fees.McMurphy tweeted out a statement on Saturday.“I have never revealed my sources in my nearly four decade journalistic career & I am not going to start now,” McMurphy said on Twitter. “However, I will say unequivocally that Tom Herman was not my source.”Herman, through a Texas spokesman, told Brian Davis, a reporter from the Austin-American Statesman who posted it via Twitter, the story was “absolutely untrue” and that he had never spoken with McMurphy about the Ohio State situation.Herman worked under Meyer at Ohio State as the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach from 2012 to 2014, winning the Broyles award as the top assistant coach in the nation after the Buckeyes won the National Championship in 2014. Herman declined to comment on the Smith allegations on August 2 in a press conference in Austin, Texas. “I left the program after the 2015 season, excuse me, the 2014 season and the things that occurred, in my knowledge, happened in late 2015,” Herman said. “I really don’t think it would be fair or appropriate…to comment about a situation that happened in another program while I wasn’t there.” Neither the Ohio State football program nor the Texas football program could be reached for comment.Updated at 3:08 on Aug. 11 to include McMurphy’s statement. Updated at 3:37 p.m. on Aug. 11 to include information from Brian Davis.
“It is incredible what you get back actually. It’s rarely as simple as you’d think. “It is always very, very individual.”For the adolescents I care for, a lot of it is about their legacy, what they leave behind.”It’s about what they wish to achieve with the time they have – do they want to do their GCSEs? If they have treasured possessions, are they desperate to know who they are going to leave those to?”On one level, it opens a conversation you need to have and on the next level, it promotes you to think about them as an individual, not just as a person whose medical or social care you are delivering.”Leaving an online legacyMeanwhile, terminally-ill teenagers may want to be asked if they would like social media accounts to be closed down or turned into memorial pages.The new guidance states that when a child or young person is approaching the end of their life, health or care workers should talk to parents about “what would help them”, such as plans for social media content.Dr Harrop, who works for Helen & Douglas House Hospices in Oxfordshire, said: “Some young people are old enough to have their own social media pages and when someone passes away, there is a mechanism to make ‘in mem’ (memorial) pages where people can add tributes but the content is limited. “It was brought up as something that might come into a conversation with parents, or conversations parents have with a young person, to say ‘do you have a specific wish of what we do with your Facebook page or Whatsapp?”Do you want us to leave something about you on the net because your friends might find that very meaningful or would you like us to take it all down because it is private to you?”‘The new guidance, which aims to improve the end-of-life care for babies, children and young people, suggests that hospital, hospice and home care staff must look after the whole family, practically and emotionally, when a child is dying. Children and young people should be asked what they want to achieve before they die, Nice says Credit:PA To lose a child is a tragic, life-changing event. But the care given to a child and their family during this difficult time can offer great comfort, if done properly Children and young people who are dying should be asked if they have a ‘bucket list’ of wishes they want to accomplish, health officials have said. Medics or care workers developing care plans for terminally-ill children should ask about their “life ambitions and wishes”, according to guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).Watchdogs said it might be appropriate to ask youngsters what they want to be done with their social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter pages, after their deaths. Young people or their families should be asked about what they hope to achieve in life, including ambitions for social activities, relationships and educational attainment, the guideline suggests.Dying teenagers might want to complete their GCSEs or make specific wishes on who should be given their personal belongings, according to Dr Emily Harrop, a paediatric palliative care consultant who helped to develop the guideline.The child or a parent, depending on the child’s age, should also be asked about life ambitions, she said.Dr Harrop said: “When we start a conversation about end-of-life planning, rather than introduce that with a very closed question or a very negative question, we often start by asking for things like ‘What do you hope for? What do you aspire to do for yourself? What would you hope your child to achieve?’ It is estimated that more than 40,000 children and young people in England are living with a life-limiting condition – where there is no hope of cure.Professor Mark Baker, director for the centre of guidelines at Nice, said: “To lose a child is a tragic, life-changing event. But the care given to a child and their family during this difficult time can offer great comfort, if done properly.”This guidance clearly sets out best practice for all those involved in palliative care, whether that be at home, in a hospice or in a hospital. I hope it will be implemented fully so that those families going through the worst time of their lives are properly supported.” The guidance also says doctors and nurses should not be afraid to cuddle and comfort dying children.The guidelines from Nice suggest that physical contact such as “touch, holding and massage” should be offered as non-pharmalogical interventions for pain and agitation.In recent years, healthcare professionals have become wary of personal interaction with children following a spate of child abuse scandals.But the new guidance makes it clear that physical contact is important, particularly for children. And it suggests that doctors and nurses include using art, music and play to explain the concept of death to children. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. He added that one growing problem for those attempting to unravel a divorcing couple’s finances was the level of financial support previously provided by parents-in-law to help them get a foothold on the housing ladder.“Debts of all kinds are a regular feature of divorce and not just more of a concern as couples tighten their belts during a recession,” he added.“That is certainly true for arguments related to sums provided by family members, despite the fact that rising property prices in recent years have meant more individuals feeling that they have to call on parents for help.”“In some of those cases, though, what were assumed to be cash gifts for things such as house deposits or even support in starting a business are suddenly classified as ‘loans’ when marriages hit the rocks.” Even though the failure of any marriage is unfortunate, it is perhaps especially so to see couples divorcing after only a couple of years spent as man and wife with bills for their wedding worth many thousands of pounds still not settledMichael Chapman, JMW Solicitors Credit:Getty Dr Rowan WilliamsCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA Credit:Andrew Crowley The pressure on couples to stage increasingly expensive “fairytale” weddings is now so great that some are now still trying to pay off the bills when they get divorced, family lawyers claim.One law firm has reported that more than a quarter of divorce settlements it handles is now held up by complications over who should be responsible for paying off debts accrued during the course of the marriage – or even from its beginning.In most cases the disputes between separating husbands and wives centre on the unpaid instalment plans for expensive items such as sports cars, caravans or holiday cottages. More recently the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams of Oystermouth also spoke out about the threat to family life from what he called the “marketisation of marriage”.He warned of long-term consequences from the notion of “the perfect relationship crystalised in the perfect wedding day – the immense economic, advertising investment in this massively fantastical experience which you go through on your wedding day, after which, of course, nothing is ever quite so good again.” Mr Chapman, a specialist family lawyer at JMW, said: “The issue of debt is, sadly, a recurrent part of discussions when it comes to dividing assets and providing the means for both spouses to move on after a divorce.“Although the topic is particularly acute for younger couples who might not yet have had the opportunity to build up property, pensions or cash reserves, it is not exclusive to that age group.“There is still a considerable number of middle-age couples choosing to go their separate ways with the question of who should honour hire purchase or loan agreements still unresolved.“Disputes about household furniture and electrical items, cars, caravans and property are far from uncommon.“It is not solely about whether couples might be considered reliant on loans or not.“We have dealt with many instances in which even relatively wealthy couples regard determining ownership of debt almost as a matter of principle. It follows a warning from the then Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in 2013 that overpriced “glitzy, celebrity” weddings are killing marriage by putting many off tying the knot altogether and saddling others with crippling debts which put a strain on the relationship. “Even though the failure of any marriage is unfortunate, it is perhaps especially so to see couples divorcing after only a couple of years spent as man and wife with bills for their wedding worth many thousands of pounds still not settled.” But others involve expensive “start-up” costs for the marriage itself such as furniture and other household necessities.Michael Chapman of JMW Solicitors, which handles around 300 divorces a year, said that a small but significant number of such disputes that his firm sees even centre on who should clear loans used to pay for the couple’s honeymoon or the wedding ceremony itself.He added that such disagreements were frustrating attempts by couples “of all ages and circumstances” to start over once their marriages had collapsed.
She replied: ‘I didn’t miscarry, I went into early labour and by son died from his chord wrapped round his neck.’She also wrote: Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Lily Allen has been targeted by online trolls after revealing that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following the stillbirth of her son.The singer also revealed that she has bipolar disorder in response to abuse from other Twitter users suggesting that she had mental health issues. Other Twitter users responded with inflammatory Tweets, with one saying: ‘Not to be a d–k but I very highly doubt it was 10 hours’, prompting Allen to respond: ‘You are a d–k. And it was. I was there, you weren’t.’Shockingly, another Tweet aimed at the singer read: The mother-of-two explained that her PTSD came after losing her son six months into her pregnancy in 2010.She wrote: .@Ged_2345 I DO have mental health issues.Bi-polar,post natal depression, and PTSD, does that make my opinion void.— Lily (@lilyallen) February 25, 2017 maybe if you didn’t pump your body full of drugs you wouldn’t have miscarried— le 😤 jmës (@BELLERUNNING) February 25, 2017 @Lumix_Trident @Ged_2345 when I lay in a hospital bed with my deceased son stuck between my legs halfway out of my body for 10 hours.— Lily (@lilyallen) February 25, 2017 Lily Allen on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014Credit:Geoff Pugh Allen, 31, is active on Twitter and often posts on immigration, Donald Trump and Brexit. However, she has now announced that she would be taking a break from the social media site.’My timeline is full of the most disgusting, sexist, misogynistic, racist shit. Really, new levels. I’m no masochist so I’ll be back x,’ she wrote.Her account appeared to have been handed over to a user called Dennis, who announced he was going on a ‘hate blocking spree.’Allen has two daughters aged five and four with her former partner Sam Cooper.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. For months Paul Higson had given up all hope of finding his lost wedding ring – then his wife found it under a rock on a beach in Orkney.Mr Higson, 60, is an environmental consultant who works all over Orkney had no idea where the ring was, or even how he lost it in the first place.A keen birdwatcher and beachcomber, the ring could have been anywhere.Then walking on the Sands of Wright beach Mr Higson’s wife, Jan, noticed a sparkling object beneath a rock while the couple were walking their dogs.”I originally thought it was a washer or something like that but I bent down and moved one of the stones because it was wedged under one of the stones and pulled it out and it was Paul’s wedding ring,” she told BBC Scotland.Mr Higson could not believe the find. “I was quite stunned, to be honest, because I thought Jan was joking.”She showed me the ring and it just fitted straight back on my finger again.”When you’ve worn it as long as I have you just know. It fitted perfectly. It was the ring,” he added.”For Jan to just to look down and see it was a million-to-one chance really.”
McEnroe added: “I think there’s a big difference, one is the age, but two the health. I think this (Djokovic’s form) isn’t a physical thing, this is more a mental thing.”The commentator also sparked controversy recently when he said that 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams would be ranked around 700 if she competed in the men’s game. BBC commentator John McEnroe surprised Wimbledon viewers when he compared Novak Djokovic with troubled golfer Tiger Woods.Speaking about Djokovic’s period of poor form, McEnroe compared the former Wimbledon champion with Woods, who in the past has had a high-profile divorce, been arrested, and suffered problems with prescription medication.McEnroe claimed Djokovic “had some off-court issues with the family,” adding: “That’s going to throw you.””If you’re distracted you’re not the same player,” he said. McEnroe, 58, said: “The person that comes to mind immediately with Novak is not a tennis player, it’s actually a golfer: Tiger Woods.”When he [Woods] had the issues with his wife and then he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to being the same player. In 2009, Woods crashed his SUV into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his Florida home. Just months later he was divorced after reports of extra-martial affairs surfaced. “So we’re starting to say: ‘Wait a minute, is this possible with him [Djokovic]?'”Former world number one Djokovic has suffered with his form in the last year – after completing a career Grand Slam last year, he started to lose matches and momentum.He is married to Jelena, 31. They have a son together and she is expecting their second child. Djokovic is married to Jelena, pictured in 2015Credit: Mike Egerton/PA McEnroe is on the BBC commentary teamCredit:Karwai Tang/WireImage Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Speed cameras should have been installed three years ago on the road where the Duke of Edinburgh crashed in Norfolk, but disgruntled police say that councillors delayed the scheme.Back in 2016, local police and Norfolk County Council agreed to fund and erect speed cameras along the A149 between Castle Rising and Snettisham – the stretch of road where Prince Philip’s Land Rover collided with a 28-year-old mother’s Kia.But according to the Eastern Daily Press, local county councillors requested further consultation with their communities and the chance to explore alternatives, so a decision was made to suspend the scheme.The paper reported that Stuart Dark, a former Met Police officer, Andrew Jamieson and Michael Chenery had sought reassurances that the cameras would not be a “cash cow” and that there should be a better process for involving councillors.This move irked Norfolk Constabulary, who said in a statement: “We have continuously been in support of road safety improvements on the A149 between Castle Rising and Snettisham. Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “We have been looking closely into the safety of the A149 for some time.”A detailed report was submitted to Environment, Development and Transport Committee by Norfolk County Council officers last week along with a recommendation to approve, at today’s meeting, the implementation of a 50mph speed limit and to install road safety cameras.“Based on the report and our dedication to the safety of the people in Norfolk, the committee has agreed to reduce the speed limit of the A149 to 50mph on two sections of the road and approved the Norfolk Camera Safety Partnership scheme to install road safety cameras along the road.”A spokesperson for Norfolk constabulary said: “While it is regrettable there has been a delay, we fully welcome today’s decision by the environment, development and transport committee to approve the scheme.” “In 2016, the decision to fund and proceed with the scheme was agreed by the Safety Camera Partnership Board, which is a multi-agency partnership of the police, Norfolk County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.“As with all such schemes there is an appropriate process to follow which can be lengthy, however at every stage we have expressed a strong desire to proceed with the implementation of average speed cameras in a bid to improve road safety.“Following concerns raised by councillors, a decision was made by the county council to suspend the scheme.“This decision was not agreed to by the police and was against the expressed wishes of the chief constable, clearly outlined in a letter to the county council in September 2018.”Only on Friday, after Prince Philip’s crash, did the new cameras – and a reduction in the speed limit along the road, from 60mph to 50mph – get rubber stamped by the council.Police are investigating the car crash in which the Duke of Edinburgh was left bleeding and two women were hospitalised, but there is no suggestion that either car was travelling over the speed limitThe Duke’s car was seen to “tumble” across a road near the Sandringham Estate following the collision, with an eyewitness reporting that he was helped from his car before immediately asking whether others were “alright”.
When G force is increased, blood in the head is pulled down to the lower… I was strapped inside the RAF’s new High-G centrifuge, officially unveiled today at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier. It is designed to allow fast jet pilots to experience increased G force and mitigate its worst effects. My head felt like a bowling ball balanced uneasily on my shoulders and it was hard to lift my arm into the air. I had to fight to regulate my breathing as I’d been taught in the pre-flight brief and the specially-designed clothing inflating around my legs and stomach was forcing me to tense every muscle to stop blood draining from my head.
MPs are also seeking an independent advisory Committee on Plastics Pollution which will advise the government on policy… All plastic which is not absolutely essential must be phased out by 2042, MPs will say today, as they launch a new bill to cut waste and pollution. The bill calls for a complete ban on all but the most essential plastics, such as those needed in healthcare or for safety, as well as an end to single-use plastics such as coffee cups, takeaway packaging and plastic cutlery by 2025. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The new draft will be presented in Parliament by Alistair Carmichael, Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland, whose constituency suffers from alarming levels of microplastics, threatening birds and sea life.
“All three boys used to have contracts with Arsenal,” Mrs Beckham said. “They were going to be footballers so they were signed at a very young age. And they were all really good.“Brooklyn was the first to say that he didn’t want to play any more. And then Romeo decided he didn’t want to do it either. Victoria Beckham has disclosed she is a “self-diagnosed dyslexic”, saying the condition “doesn’t run in our family, it gallops”.Mrs Beckham, the former Spice Girl and a fashion designer, spoke of her pride at building a brand that is not a “vanity project”, as she shared details of life in one of Britain’s most famous families.In an interview with the Financial Times, she said her three sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz each used to have football contracts with Arsenal because of their talent, but had given up despite fearing they would let their father, the former England footballer David Beckham, down.Asked whether she was ambitious for her children, three sons and daughter Harper, Mrs Beckham disclosed: “Dyslexia doesn’t run in our family, it gallops.”Brooklyn, 20, wants to be a photographer, the newspaper reported, while 16-year-old Romeo is training to be a professional tennis player, 14-year-old Cruz is a performer, and Harper, seven, is “a real little tomboy”. “I remember Romeo sitting in the bath getting really upset, saying ‘I don’t want to let daddy down’.”So I told him daddy just wants you to be happy. And now he’s playing tennis. Every day.”In May last year, David Beckham said on television: ‘Harper is playing [football] every Sunday and loves it. The boys don’t play and it’s heartbreaking.“They have a talent but it’s down to Harper now. I get very enthusiastic when watching her.” Brooklyn Beckham, Hana Cross, Cruz Beckham, Romeo Beckham, Harper Beckham, David Beckham and Dame Anna Wintour attend the Victoria Beckham show during London Fashion Week Credit:David M. Benett Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A scandal-hit NHS trust faces its third inquiry to investigate patient deaths.Liverpool Community Health (LCH) will also be scrutinised over “historic incidents of serious harm” and 17,000 cases related to patient safety.The government review, which is expected to finish in 2020, comes amid fears that 150 patient deaths were not properly investigated by the trust.Health minister Stephen Hammond said patients and families affected by substandard levels of care deserve answers.”We are prepared to take any action that is necessary – locally or nationally – to prevent such occurrences in the future,” he added.David Rafferty, chief executive of LCH’s successor Mersey Care, said there is a “disturbing picture” of the way incidents had been reported. It comes after two previous reports found evidence of patient harm and a culture of bullying at the “dysfunctional” trust, which was plagued by staffing problems.Investigators previously found that patients suffered too many falls, with some left with hip fractures, had bed sores that were left to get worse and suffered from inadequate levels of care.Senior managers were so determined to achieve financial trust status that they turned a blind eye to issues, discouraged the reporting of incidents and were so inexperienced they did not realise they were out of their depth, the reports found. LCH was formed in 2010 and ran health care services for about 750,000 people in Merseyside until it was taken over by Mersey Care last year.Mersey Care medical director David Fearnley said LCH’s system was “absolutely” not safe, adding: “It’s likely that avoidable harm occurred because the learning that could have been in place wasn’t in place.”The new inquiry will be overseen by a panel led by Bill Kirkup, who led a 2018 investigation into the trust, as well as a review into the Morecambe Bay scandal at Furness General Hospital. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) says as many as 30 passengers on board an American Airlines flight were injured during turbulence as the aircraft approached the Piarco International Airport late yesterday.Initial reports had indicated that 22 people were injured.The Airport Authority said three had to seek medical attention at hospital.“On Wednesday 2nd August, 2017 at 9pm, American Airlines Flight 2713 contacted the ATC Tower to advise that they experienced severe turbulence while en route from Miami to Port of Spain and would require medical assistance upon arrival at the Piarco International Airport, as there were injuries on board,” the AATT said in a release on Thursday.The authority said the aircraft landed safely at 9:33 pm and emergency response agencies arrived on site immediately to lend support.AATT said it remains committed to the safety and security of customers. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNo more hassle …CJIA-bound CAL passengers to get priority processing – while in transit at Piarco Int’lJuly 4, 2016In “latest news”American Airlines plane makes U-turn after taking off from CJIAAugust 10, 2019In “Business”Guyanese passenger taken off CAL flight after objecting to delay without explanationAugust 6, 2013In “latest news”
On December 8, 2006, America’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published a final rule on Emergency Mine Evacuation which replaces the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) published on March 9, 2006. JacksonKelly LLC explains that the “Final Rule was effective upon its publication and makes permanent the underground coal mine requirements of the ETS with some minor changes. The accident reporting requirements that apply to all mines are finalized with more significant modifications.“The Final Rule retains the language that accidents shall be reported at once without delay and within 15 minutes. This requirement is applicable to the 12 types of immediately reportable accidents as defined in 30 C.F.R. § 50.2 (h)(1) through (12). However, the Final Rule amends the definitions of some types of accidents. Specifically, 30 C.F.R. § 50.2(h)(3) relating to entrapment now requires that an entrapment lasting more than 30 minutes or which has reasonable potential to cause death be reported. The Final Rule also amends subsection § 50.2(h)(6) to now require that unplanned fires in underground mines not extinguished within 10 minutes (as opposed to 30 minutes) be reported within 15 minutes. The immediate accident reporting requirement for surface mine fires that burn for more than 30 minutes of discovery is unchanged in the Final Rule. The regulatory provisions should be read in conjunction with the requirements of Section 5 of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act). Section 5 requires operators to report the “death of an individual at the mine or the injury or entrapment of an individual at the mine which has reasonable potential to cause death within 15 minutes of realizing such an event has occurred, and imposes a minimum penalty of $5,000 for each infraction.”JacksonKelly goes on to explain that in attempts to streamline the process of notifying MSHA of an accident, “the Final Rule eliminates the need for operators to first report an accident to the District Office. Written comments and public hearing testimony received by MSHA following publication of the ETS indicated that the old system for notifying MSHA of an accident was inefficient and time consuming.” MSHA agreed and has created an accident report call centre where a person will answer calls 24/7. Calling the call centre, fulfills the immediate reporting requirements.Mandatory requirements of the new rule applicable to underground coal mines include:Availability of additional gas detectors for the purpose of alerting miners of the need to don selfcontained self-rescuers (SCSRs) Installation and use of directional lifelines in escapewaysQuarterly emergency mine evacuation training, including a drillStorage of additional SCSRs in working places, escapeways, and where outby crews work or mtravel, as well as on man tripsSubmission of a training plan and programme of instruction for improved training on SCSRs.Annual SCSR training is to be conducted in smoke, simulated or real, while breathing through a realistic training unit. A copy of the final rule may be obtained from MSHA’s web site at the following link: http://www.msha.gov/REGS/FEDREG/FINAL/2006finl/06-9608.pdf
A subsidiary company of Minefinders, a precious metals mining and exploration company, has commenced a binding arbitration process seeking approximately $10 million in damages from Ausenco International. This was launched on May 22 by Cía Minera Dolores (CMD), before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution of the American Arbitration Association. In addition to the damages, CMD seeks to recover the costs of the arbitration and its legal fees. Separately, CMD has assumed responsibility for the final stages of commissioning the multi-million ounce Dolores gold and silver mine in Mexico. Minefinders continues to expect the mine will commence commercial production in mid-2008. Minefinders believes it has adequate funds in place and available from its revolving credit line to meet its cash needs for the commissioning of the Dolores Mine until the mine reaches full commercial production.The claim for damages relates to breaches by Ausenco of contracts between CMD and the Ausenco companies, under which Ausenco Americas was to provide engineering and design services for the Dolores mine and Ausenco International was to act as construction manager. In the arbitration Minefinders alleges that the Ausenco companies were responsible for a number of engineering, design and construction problems and delays that increased the cost of developing the Dolores mine compared with expectations prior to the February 14, 2008 study. A portion of this additional cost will be recouped should Minefinders be successful in the arbitration.Minefinders says it is aware that Ausenco International filed a writ of summons in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on May 9, 2008, against Minefinders and CMD for allegedly not paying $1.9 million under the construction management agreement. The writ of summons has not been served, and all disputes under the construction management agreement and the engineering services agreement between the parties must be decided by binding arbitration. CMD has demanded that the writ against CMD be withdrawn based upon the mandatory arbitration clause and as against Minefinders because Minefinders is not a party to any of the relevant agreements. CMD intends to vigorously defend against any such claims by Ausenco International or Ausenco Americas.Minefinders is in the final stages of commissioning the multi-million ounce Dolores gold and silver mine in Mexico. Construction at Dolores is substantially complete. Mining within the pit began last fall and, to date, more than 7.3 Mt of material has been moved and 700,000 t of development ore stockpiled. Ore is now being crushed and placed on the leach pad with the recently commissioned conveying and stacking system. The mine is expected to have a 15-year life as an open pit mine with additional potential as a high-grade underground mine in the future. The company continues its exploration efforts on several other prospective projects in Mexico to build a quality pipeline of precious metals projects for future growth.
With the rapid onset of the worldwide recession in late 2008, marked by sharp drops in commodity prices that continued well into 2009 – especially among base metals – acquisitions activity almost ground to a halt. This is one of the findings from Metals Economic Group’s (MEG) recent Strategic Report. The publication shows that the volume of large acquisitions in 2009 decreased by 66% from 2008, the third consecutive annual decrease in acquisitions spending since the historical high in 2006. Although in nominal terms the 2009 total was still the fifth-highest annual total in the past ten years, the steep year-on-year drop from 2008 is slightly more than the 65% decline from 2001 to 2002, at the bottom of the cycle.Data analysed from MEG’s Base Metals and Gold Acquisitions services shows a 79% plunge in base metals acquisitions spending from just over $32 billion in 2008 to just under $7 billion in 2009, the largest year-on-year decline in base metals spending since 1990. In contrast, 2009 gold acquisitions decreased by a relatively mild 18%, from almost $9 billion in 2008 to just over $7 billion.Of the 31 base metals transactions considered in 2009, Australia-Pacific was by far the richest regional target in 2009 in terms of in-situ value acquired, with seven transactions totalling almost $113 billion in in-situ value-38% of the $290,278 million total value acquired. Africa was second with five deals totalling almost $63 billion in value. Of the 43 gold acquisitions, Africa, with 28% of the $95,152 million in-situ total value acquired, had six transactions containing $26,642 million of resources in the ground.MEG’s Strategic Report provides informed, insightful analysis for mining industry planners, analysts, executives, and exploration managers. Published since 1982, the Strategic Report draws on MEG’s wealth of knowledge and insight in a bi-monthly compilation of timely, informative, and analytical articles on critical supply-side issues facing the global mining industry. In addition to original research, articles are drawn from MEG’s flagship MineSearch database, Corporate Exploration Strategies, Reserves Replacement studies, and Acquisitions and Exploration Activity services.
Hitachi Construction Machinery (HCM) and Clarion have jointly developed an overview monitoring system to support operator safety checks surrounding machinery. The system enables synthesized images taken from several cameras mounted on mining earthmovers to be shown on a display from the operator’s seat. The system has already completed basic performance tests using a prototype.Future plans call for commercialising the system to conform with the specifications of HCM’s mining trucks and ultra-large hydraulic excavators by spring 2012.Based on the development of in-vehicle compact camera technology promoted by Clarion under the concept of supporting safe, secure and comfortable driving, the overview monitoring system featuring several wide-angle cameras will be fitted on the machines. The images taken from respective cameras will be converted and synthesized and shown on a display from the operator’s seat as a bird’s-eye view focused on the machine.In addition to the proximity of machinery, the operator can switch to ‘zoom display’ and ‘wide display’ in accordance with machinery needs requiring wide-area monitoring. With this functionality, operators can quickly comprehend situations surrounding their vehicle, such as the positions of other machines or service vehicles.HCM has been continuously promoting initiatives to enhance on-site safety. In 2001, the company launched a rear monitoring system that comprises a rear-view camera and display from the operator’s seat as optional equipment for hydraulic excavators. In 2006, HCM introduced this system as, it says, “the world’s first standard equipment on all hydraulic excavators that are 6.5 t or larger.The overview monitoring system, which has been developed in collaboration with Hitachi Group companies, is expected to significantly contribute to operational safety on site.System Overview(Example of mining dump truck equipped with overview monitoring system)[Components]Four cameras (FrontRight sideLeft sideRear)Image synthesis controller (inside operator’s compartment)Display (inside operator’s compartment).
Increasing health and safety regulatory control, rapid energy cost escalation and rising operating costs as mines go deeper are driving the global industry to react vigorously. Simsmart Technologies has recognised this and has perfected a mining solution adapted from its military business to control and optimise underground ventilation, pumps and other electrical equipment. To address these matters, Simsmart now offers the mining industry a complete SCADA system called SmartEXEC (EXpandable Energy Control). Working closely with major mining companies, several SmartEXEC systems are currently being implemented. SmartEXEC is a turnkey expandable solution that integrates existing PLC or DCS based controls, their expansion, instrumentation and optionally personnel and machinery tracking. SmartEXEC fully supports Ventilation-On-Demand (VOD). SmartEXEC offers five levels of system implementation from an entry level to a complete solution adaptable to each customer’s needs. Each implementation level offers unique benefits.Level 1 offers surface/remote manual control and monitoring using a low maintenance, very flexible integrated HMI (fans on-off or VFD speed setpoint, controllable doors, regulators/dampers).Level 2 offers event based and scheduling control applicable to all implementation levels. Events are executed on a time basis, on signal threshold or on demand (i.e: zone flushing, shutdown, pre blast, post blast, shift start, high gas concentration.)Level 3 offers operator setpoint for flow, gas concentration and temperature control.Level 4 offers flow control via ventilation demand calculation as a function of personnel location, machinery location and operating status. A link to a tagging and tracking system is required for this implementation level. Tracking may cover zone in/out gates to full tracking coverage. SmartEXEC may be provided with a turn-key tracking system or link to an existing or planned tracking installation.Level 5 offers mine wide air distribution optimization and surface fans energy optimisation.
Komatsu Australia has launched a new range of component solutions, developed “in response to evolving customer needs to cut costs, minimise downtime and increase efficiency.” Komatsu’s expansion of its current range of component solutions has been designed to meet customer needs for lower cost alternatives in component management across the quarrying, construction, utility and mining sectors.Its Component Solutions covers six flexible options, tailored to customers’ needs and working environments, and allowing them to better to balance cost and risk. Component Solutions cover:» Purchasing new genuine components, with a 10% credit for returning a used component» Remanufactured (Reman) components, allowing customers to switch out a component for one that has been remanufactured to meet Komatsu’s OEM specifications» Komponent Exchange – Single, under which a single component can be changed out using a Komatsu remanufactured product, with a variable cost of repair based on the condition of the returned component» Komponent Exchange – Fleet, where components can be changed out across a fleet, with flexibility to choose between a customised scope of work or leveraging Komatsu quality standards as well as the ability to re-use the customer’s “own iron”» Rebuild or repair and return, a flexible option under which the customer can define their scope of works» Purchasing Komatsu used components, a dependable off-the-shelf alternative at a competitive price.According to Tom Zube, Komatsu Australia’s General Manager Product Management Components, all Component Solutions offerings are now covered by Komatsu’s extended warranty. “This offering is an important contributor to Komatsu’s vision to become indispensable to our customers by providing Komatsu quality and the productivity, reliability and safety that is built into every Komatsu process,” he said.“This expansion of Component Solutions is part of our commitment to better serving the needs of our customers across all industry sectors. However, we also recognise that in today’s changing market, there is a risk that customers may continue to stretch components past the recommended point at which they should be replaced, in an effort to reduce costs,” Zube said. “This creates the potential for undue wear or damage to components, leading to more expensive repairs, reduced efficiency and even a risk to safety. “Our solution is to take our product range and component offerings and delivering them in a different way. We want to say yes more often.”“As a company that can provide a full range of options across the whole country, for our customers, we have worked hard to develop solutions to reduce costs, lower risks and cater to a cross-section of diverse and unique business needs. Komatsu Component Solutions offers a way for customers to best determine which option best suits them.”
“It was an immediate success and CSIRO’s drag reduction technology is now part of our toolkit when considering other slurry pumping constraints on site,” said Wiltshire. CSIRO Senior Engineer Dr Rueben Rajasingam (pictured) said that reducing water content, power demand and pumping inefficiencies always results in significant operational and cost improvements. “The thicker the material, the more friction or ‘drag effect’ you get which makes it hard to pump and more energy and capital-intensive.“Water is typically added to dilute the material before pumping, but only as a last resort, because the more water you add the less throughput you achieve.“Our technology combats both these challenges: it introduces a thin, uniform and long-lasting ring of fluid between the slurry and the inside of the pipe so that thick material can be efficiently pumped without friction at a high throughput,” Rajasingam said. CSIRO’s drag reduction technology is simple, cost-effective, easy-to-implement and could be applied to a broader range of industrial processes where there’s a dewatering aspect that results in a sludge, slurry or paste that needs to be transported.In mining, the technology means that variation in ore viscosity or water content, can be easily managed. It also offers a solution for backfill. “The idea of using a lubricant is not new, but we’ve come up with a better technology that overcomes issues with coating uniformity. The way we introduce the coating creates a thin, uniform sheath around the slurry, whereas other methods coat sporadically,” Rajasingam explained. Other CSIRO minerals processing innovations include a better performing agitation system called Swirl Flow, the world’s leading technology for rapid mineral analysis QEMSCAN, and new environmentally-friendly processes for the recovery of gold, nickel and cobalt. A new CSIRO technology that takes the energy-sapping ‘drag’ out of industrial pumping has been adopted by major mining company Glencore’s Minara Resources following a successful full-scale trial. CSIRO says “the drag reduction technology can save mining companies millions of dollars on energy and water use each year, while boosting their productivity.” Minara’s Technical and Engineering Manager, Paul Wiltshire, explains that the technology was installed to improve the feed ore slurry pumping capacity at the Murrin Murrin nickel operation in Western Australia, which was overloading as ore throughput was increased. “Working together with CSIRO, we were able to identify a low-cost installation point with good potential for reducing the slurry drag effect in the piping system. The technology freed up capacity, which meant we could avoid an expensive plant upgrade to meet throughput demand.
Albemarle Corp, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, has announced that Talison Lithium, a joint venture between Albemarle and Tianqi Lithium Corp, has approved the expansion of lithium concentrate production at its Greenbushes, Australia spodumene mine. Greenbushes is the world’s largest active lithium mine. It has the largest known hard rock lithium reserve, and contains the highest concentration of lithium oxide available of any active mine.“This project is integral to our announced lithium expansion plans so that we can meet the growing needs of our customers,” said John Mitchell, President, Lithium and Advanced Materials for Albemarle. “The expansion of the mine and ore upgrading facilities is a key deliverable in our supply strategy to grow total combined lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) production to approximately 165,000 t/y early in the next decade.”The expansion is intended to more than double the LCE capacity at Greenbushes from 80,000 t to more than 160,000 t/y, of which Albemarle has a 50% interest in the offtake. Commissioning of the expansion is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019.Albemarle, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts.
Stilfontein-based sand and aggregate supplier CNC Crushers raised throughput at its Roadstone Shaft 5 crushing plant by 45% while cutting back on maintenance and simultaneously increasing production, after implementing a full process-focused solution from Weir Minerals Africa.According to JD Singleton, Weir Minerals General Manager for Trio™ and Enduron® equipment, the customer was experiencing high wear on the installed conventional cyclone, as well as on the older technology pump, having to replace liners every 120 hours of operation.“Our brief was to increase solids to the cyclone underflow and increase the wear life on the cyclone feed pump,” says Singleton. “The continuous breakdowns experienced with the older-technology crushing equipment, and the excessive oil usage was also causing high downtime for the plant. CNC Crushers needed a solution that would utilise the existing footprint and infrastructure.”As a solution, Weir Minerals Africa installed a new technology Warman® WBH® 100 slurry pump and a Cavex® 400CVX10 hydrocyclone; it also replaced the existing cone crushers with Trio™ TC51S and TC36SH cone crushers to increase up-time and reduce maintenance costs.“After 1,900 operating hours, the slurry pump was still running without needing any replacement parts, a vast improvement on the previous mean time between liner replacements of 120 hours,” he says. According to CNC owner Carl Crous, this has meant that the company could take pumps off the critical maintenance list. “Pump problems are something of the past,” says Crous.With regard to the hydrocyclones, these proved to be more efficient than the conventional cyclones, highlighting the benefits of the Cavex® hydrocyclone’s laminar spiral inlet geometry. “The Cavex hydrocyclone increased the mass pull to the underflow, which resulted in increased production and reduced slimes to the tailings dam,” he says. “Using new technology equipment pays.”For their part, the cone crushers increased plant availability as well as production, while meeting the criteria of matching the customer’s existing footprint. These crushers also incorporate multiple hydraulic cylinder clamping and adjustment, which enabled them to reduce the closed-side setting adjustment time from an hour and a half to just 5 minutes. In addition, their larger socket assembly was able to give full support under both extreme and light load conditions, providing a longer service life.“Partnering with Weir Minerals Africa increased my production output significantly and my uptime increased overnight,” says Crous. “I should have done this long ago.” After the cone crushers were installed, a spares and service agreement was put in place to maintain maximum plant availability. “Spare parts are kept in stock with our agent in Klerksdorp, in close proximity to the customer, and a dedicated service team for the North West province is always at hand,” says Singleton.Following the crusher upgrade, a competitor’s installed primary and tertiary classification screens were replaced with a Trio™ TIO5162 (5’ x 16’ double deck) inclined screen, and the final product screen was replaced by a Trio™ 4102 (4’ x 10’ double deck) inclined screen.
In a recent article on water management in mining timed to coincide with its inaugural Water Report, BHP President Operations, Minerals Americas Daniel Malchuk comments: “Sustainable mining is a complex enterprise that depends on three things – people, the environment and technology. This trifecta requires a healthy dose of capital, whether it be social, environmental, geological or financial. We aim to strike a good balance between all four when it comes to effectively managing water resources. Without water, our business simply could not operate. And without water, the communities we operate in wouldn’t survive.”He adds: “That’s why minimising our impact on water resources and forging strong ties with the local communities where we operate are vital. Transparency across all sectors is crucial to effective water governance. Our inaugural Water Report…is the first step in our long-term plan to do our part and more effectively disclose our water use and performance as we strengthen water management across our operations.”“The report is based on the International Council on Mining and Metals water reporting guidelines, which set a transparent minimum benchmark for disclosure. This helps us and others monitor and hold us accountable for our progress. In FY2017, we announced a new five-year water target of reducing fresh water withdrawal by 15% across our operated assets. Reducing fresh water use is critical as this is generally the most important water resource for our host communities and the environment. In FY2018 we achieved a 2% reduction against this target. However, we still have a way to go.”“Over in Chile, our Escondida copper mine has made a significant contribution to water preservation. In April this year, we inaugurated the largest desalination plant in South America to supply water to our copper operations. The desalination plant involved the construction of a 180 km water transport system to reach the Escondida copper mine. Four high-pressure pump stations move water from the Port of Coloso across the Atacama Desert and up to a reservoir at the Escondida mine site, more than 3,000 m above sea level. The facility is one of the largest desalination plants in the world and Escondida’s second plant. The first plant has operated for the past decade and produces 525 litres of water per second.”The new plant has the capacity to produce 2,500 litres per second of fresh water. “It not only secures a sustainable water supply for our operations, but minimises our reliance on the region’s aquifers. The sheer scale of this project, along with the $3.4 billion of funding, demonstrates our commitment to preserving fresh water and making every drop count. Industry cannot rely on groundwater in the long-term given it is a vital yet limited resource for communities and the environment. Since Escondida first started 25 years ago, our environmental standards have increased and we have stronger connections with our indigenous communities. But we also face many challenges through increasing expectations from workers, communities, regulators and government that match those of developed economies. And yet, our industry must stay competitive, particularly as resource quality (grade, hauling cycles, hardness, etc) naturally deteriorate over time.”“While the strategy will have a significant impact on Escondida’s production costs in the near term, we are convinced that today’s challenge is tomorrow’s opportunity. We can best compete globally if we make the most of what we have – and that includes water.”“In Australia, at Olympic Dam, we are improving water efficiency in all aspects of our operations and beyond. We’re working closely with the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI), a program introduced by the Australian Government in 2000 to reduce the impact on springs as a result of water extraction in the region. Since 1999, Olympic Dam has worked with GABSI and neighbouring landowners to decommission or replace bores, or provide reticulation systems to reduce water losses. As a result, Olympic Dam has contributed to 235,000 megalitres in cumulative water savings for the region.”“Water management has long been part of BHP’s governance, risk and operational practices. The shared nature of water resources means we must think ‘beyond the fence’ and work more closely with communities, government, industry and other stakeholders. Increased pressure on water resources means we must do more – to responsibly meet water needs today and safeguard water supplies for future generations. This is not only for our future, but the future of the local communities and the environment where we operate.”
Voith recently introduced Dtect, its intelligent monitoring system that provides real-time data of driveline performance and coupling status. Based on this, the operator can take actions to prevent potential problems and avoid unplanned downtime. By supporting better decision making, Dtect helps to increase productivity as well as significantly lower production and maintenance costs. Dtect enables comprehensive monitoring of a driveline’s torque limiting couplings. It was specifically designed to work with couplings, such as Voith’s SmartSet, which serve to prevent machine damage in high value rotating equipment. It is also possible to upgrade existing couplings with the intelligent system. These types of couplings are used in mining in applications as diverse as tunnel boring machines, mills, crushers, conveyors and excavatorsThrough continuous measurement of the slip angle, Dtect accurately identifies and monitors coupling slippage caused by high torque peaks in a driveline. This allows operators to take action if necessary, for example by adjusting the load of the driveline or by performing a controlled shutdown. The results include increased uptime, reduced maintenance and lower spare parts cost.Dtect continuously collects driveline performance data that can be analyzed to ensure maximum productivity. It uses an updated quadruple sensor setup that increases the sensing range without affecting the resolution of the measurement. By analyzing the slip behavior of the coupling, the operator can evaluate if the system is running at full capacity and if not, adjust the parameters accordingly. If necessary, proactive coupling maintenance can be performed to avoid costly downtime.Dtect now makes it possible to monitor multiple couplings at the same time. It assesses each coupling individually and communicates the different parameters via a common interface. In this way, Dtect allows for simultaneous monitoring of all connected drivelines. Operators benefit from comprehensive real-time status information provided by one central system.Equipped with Modbus TCP/IP communications, Dtect is easily integrated into established process information networks. Given its high flexibility, the system can be adopted with ease to other communication standards to meet a wide range of requirements.Dtect can be fitted with an integrated HMI touch panel. It offers highest usability, better control and status information at a glance. With visual warning indicators, the system assists operators in making decisions and taking the necessary actions in any given situation.
Handball-Planet.com Contest for the World’s Best Female Player in 2011 attract more almost 3000 Handball fans Worldwide to vote for their favorite players .The biggest support among “Best Seven” girls this year, until now got Norwegian line player, Heidi Loke with almost 2/3 of all votes (64%). Scandinavian fans made a fantastic effort in last hours to put their star in the lead. French star and former leader, Allison Pineau, now is in second place with 22%.Last 48 Hours: Till Saturday at 14:00 (2 P.M) Handball population across the Globe will have opportunity to give opinion. Don’t miss the chance: VOTESTANDINGS:Heidi Loke 64,15%Allison Pineau 21,93%Linn Jorum Sulland 5,81%Silvia Navarro 3,19%Andrea Penezic 2,66%Carmen Martin 1,86%Emiliya Turey 0,38% ← Previous Story Laszlo Nagy about Spain: “When the time comes, I will take decision” Next Story → Denmark with 14 players without Spellerberg and Noddesbo – Wilbek presents “Polish surprise”
← Previous Story VELUX EHF CL: THW Kiel with home win over Atletico, Vive Kielce too strong for Bjerringbro Next Story → Marcus Ahlm leaves THW Kiel at the end of the season Handball was one of the biggest success stories of the London Olympics, where and even renowned US writer Bill Simmons fell in love with the game (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8213663/handball-handball-handball) (ok, he mostly fell in love with the Swedish women’s team…). Amateur clubs have since sprung up all over the UK, but the true test of the global reach of the sport will be its ability to sustain interest in its annual competitions. With the European Women’s Championship about to throw off in Serbia, I have provided below some pointers to help you sound like an expert as you gather your friends/co-workers to watch the free broadcast of the Championship onhttp://www.ehftv.com/.Main storyline (non-handball-related): When Serbia hosted the European Men’s Championship in January, violence during the semi-final between the hosts and Croatia (and in the days surrounding the game) marred what was otherwise an excellent and well-organised tournament. Let’s hope that the ugly side of the Balkans’ recent history does not find its way into the women’s championship.Main storyline (handball-related): Most of the key players from the winning Olympic team are back for Norway, but can they retain the European Championship for a fifth consecutive time without star playmaker Gro Hammerseng?Favourites: NorwayBiggest rival: FranceOutside bet for the title: RomaniaExpectations for the host: As Serbia is in the “easier half of the draw”, getting out of the first group stage is a must. Beyond that, the team is capable of a top-six finish.Serbia’s best player: Andrea Lekić (playmaker)Seven players to watch:* Klara Woltering (goalkeeper, Germany)* Nina Kamto Njitam (pivot, France)* Ann Grete Nørgaard (left wing, Denmark)* Cristina Neagu (left back, Romania)* Anita Görbicz (playmaker, Hungary)* Nerea Pena (right back, Spain)* Linn-Kristin Riegelhuth Koren (right wing, Norway)Five unmissable group games:* Serbia – Norway (4 December), the hosts open the tournament against the four-time defending champions* Romania – Russia (4 December), two of the most talented teams meet in what is becoming a modern rivalry* Russia – Montenegro (5 December), no rest for Russia as they take on the new-look Olympic silver medallists* Romania – Montenegro (7 December), the potential decider for the top spot in Group D* Hungary – Spain (7 December), with their “group of death” rivals severely weakened by injuries, Hungary and Spain should be playing for the top spot in Group CEvery team in a sentence (in my predicted order of finish):* Norway – their constant winning is getting a little boring, but I just can’t see past the current Olympic, World and European champions* Spain – the return of Nerea Pena from injury and the nationalisation of Alexandrina Barbosa give the Olympic bronze medallists both the quality and depth to compete with Norway* France – there are some question marks about goalkeeping and consistency, but there is no doubting the quality of the outfield players* Romania – the return of Cristina Neagu from a long-term injury should give this talented team a boost* Montenegro – with the retirement of Bojana Popović and Maja Savić the team will take a step back, but should remain competitive at the highest levels* Serbia – An opportunity for a relatively unknown set of players to use home court advantage and make a name for themselves* Hungary – domestic clubs are thriving, and now it’s time for the national team to regain its status as a contender, two years before co-hosting the European Championship* Russia – the core of this team remains young and on a learning curve, but at some point Russian fans will begin to lose their patience waiting for a return to the glory days* Denmark – after Denmark’s embarrassing performance in London, a young and experimental squad has been assembled with the future in mind* Ukraine – in impressive form this year, and could be a surprise package* Germany – could have contended if it weren’t for a slew of injuries to key players* Sweden – would you trust a team built around Isabelle Gulldén (of Usain Bolt’s bedroom fame/infamy)?* Croatia – just too many key players missing for them to be competitive* Macedonia – has the potential to finish anywhere between second and bottom in the weak Group B* Czech Republic – getting out of Group A would be a real achievement* Iceland – the last-minute replacement for original hosts Holland has little real chance in a group with Montenegro, Romania and RussiaTEXT: Ben Shafran ehf european championship 2012ehf veluxeuropean championship
handballHarald ReinkindRhein Neckar Lowentim suton Norwegian right back Harald Reinkind (21) has signed two years contract with Rhein Neckar Lowen. Young Norwegian lefthander who is coming from Fyllingen Handball, will be useful addition to the squad on the position where the “Lions” had Alexander Petersson…Two days ago, team from Mannheim announced deal with young German Tim Suton… ← Previous Story D-day in Group D Next Story → Anders Eggert joins Danish squad before Spain
Dunkerquefrancehandballst raphael ← Previous Story DKB Bundesliga: THW Kiel crush Goppingen Next Story → Serbian playmaker Kristina Liščević to miss Women’s EHF EURO 2014 The 10th round of the LNH in France confirmed us that the team of St Raphael might have the chance to be Dunkerque of the last season, after they have defeated Dunkerque away with 36:33, and have held onto the second spot on the table. The other two contenders for the title, the teams of Montpellier and PSG Handball have won as well. Montpellier had an easy job against Aix winning 33:22 away, while PSG Handball won at home against Toulouse with 34:31.LNH Scores: Aix 22:33 Montpellier, Creteil 28:27 Nimes, Dunkerque 33:36 St Raphael, Tremblay 23:25 Selestat, Nantes 33:24 Istres, PSG 34:31 Toulouse
← Previous Story HBC Nantes deny Maqueda transfer to RK Vardar Skopje! Next Story → Unexpected rivals – Sweden and Iceland to play 6 days before WCh 2015 Qatar 2015Saudi Arabia handball The IHF Council Meeting in Herzogenaurach (GER) on 21 November had to deal with the withdrawal of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates from the 2015 Men’s World Championship.The IHF Council considered that the two letters of withdrawal were final and, as a consequence did not consider any further correspondence from these two National Federations.The IHF Council decided to impose a financial fine of CHF 100,000 on each of the two National Federations for withdrawal after the championship draw.The IHF Council, confronted with the issue of determining substitute nations, decided on awarding the free positions to the continents of Asia and Europe.On the basis of continental results the Asian Handball Federation nominated the team of Saudi Arabia and the European Handball Federation nominated Iceland as participants in the 2015 Men’s World Championship in Qatar.The teams of Iceland and Saudi Arabia were drawn by the COC Chairman in front of the IHF Council to group C (ISL) and group D (KSA) respectively on the positions of the two teams who had withdrawn.
They can win in Veszprem, but French champions are always in danger on every away experience in strong domestic LidlStarligue. After Nimes, also Aix beat Paris Saint Germain 33:31. Aymeric Minne led the winning team with nine goals, while in absent of suspended Nikola Karabatic, who will be out of the court until December 14 (case of betting from 2012), team of Zvonimir Serdarusic wasn’t on the level. Nedim Remili netted eight goals, while Uwe Gensheimer ended match with seven.HBC Nantes showed great performance in Tremblay against home team 45:33 (10 goals of Balaguer), while the new lider is USM Nimes after tough win over Massy 27:25.Montpellier Handball will have a chance to overtake the leading position in the last match of the Round 10 against Fenix Toulouse.Results:Aix 33 – 31 Paris SGTremblay 33 – 45 NantesCesson Rennes-Metropole 22 – 30 Chambery SavoieIvry 26 – 29 DunkerqueNimes 27 – 25 Massy EssonneSaran 27 – 28 St. RaphaelSTANDINGS:1. Nimes 10 9 0 1 284:249 182. Montpellier 9 8 1 0 256:217 173. Paris SG 10 8 0 2 311:256 164. Dunkerque 10 6 1 3 268:264 135. Nantes 10 6 0 4 303:285 126. Toulouse 9 6 0 3 268:253 127. St. Raphael 10 5 2 3 276:262 128. Aix 10 6 0 4 294:274 129. Chambery Savoie 10 4 0 6 267:281 810. Ivry 10 3 1 6 261:292 711. Saran 10 2 0 8 284:322 412. Tremblay 10 1 1 8 276:307 313. Cesson Rennes-Metropole 10 0 2 8 250:283 214. Massy Essonne 10 0 2 8 221:274 2 aixLidlStarligueNikola KarabaticPSG Handball ← Previous Story “Hey PSG, are you afraid of VIVEKINGS?” Next Story → GERMANY: “BLACK THURSDAY” for THW Kiel and Rhein Neckar Lowen
THE US-ANTI-Doping Agency said this evening it has gathered “overwhelming” evidence that Lance Armstrong and fellow US Postal Service cyclist had engaged in sport’s biggest doping conspiracy ever.In a statement, the agency said it was releasing its “reasoned decision” and more than 1,000 pages of supporting evidence to the Union Cycliste International and the World Anti-Doping Agency.“The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” it said.More to follow
Updated 10.55pmA WOMAN HAS been charged with assisting the suicide of another woman in Dublin in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Ireland.Gail O’Rourke of Kilclare Gardens in Tallaght appeared before the Dublin District Court this morning before Judge Michael Walsh under the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993.She was charged with assisting the suicide of Bernadette Forde in Dublin between 10 March 2011 and 6 June 2011.The case was sent forward for trial at the Circuit Criminal Court which will begin on 13 December.Assisting another person to end their own life is a criminal offence in Ireland. Section 2 (2) of the Act states that anyone who aids, abets, or procures the suicide of another person – or the attempt by another person to take their own life – can be sentenced to up to fourteen years in jail.Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not contain either a right to suicide or to arrange for the end of one’s life following the court battle by former lecturer Marie Fleming.Fleming, who is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, had taken a case to test whether her family would be prosecuted if they helped her to take her own life.Originally published 1.00pmSupreme Court: Ireland has a right to life, not a right to die > Poll: Do you think the law should be changed to allow for assisted suicide? > Read: Taoiseach rejects plea to allow for assisted suicide >
NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news. ..Gardaí leave the former home of bankrupt property developer Thomas McFeely earlier this year after finding €200,000 in cash at the property. (Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland) IRELAND Ford has revealed its first self-driving car which uses scanners to create a 360-degree 3D view of its surroundings.Norway’s government says Bitcoin doesn’t count as real money. Ouch.PARTING SHOTTis the season to send Christmas cards – but sending a good card can be a minefield. Do you write a generic message or a personalised one? How much should you pay? Can you send a religious card to an atheist? BBC Magazine has gone through the 10 most common Christmas card-related dilemmas for anyone who has ever spent time thinking about this stuff. [BBC] A man has been charged over the murder of Sarah Staunton in Mayo.Stephanie Meehan has been given some of the money found in Tom McFeely’s old home.More details have emerged about the Roma child mistakenly removed from her family in Tallaght.A third person has been arrested over the shooting of a man in Finglas.NAMA says it has no evidence of impropriety by staff after allegations by a FF Senator.Mario Draghi says Irish banks are still a source of concern.Gardaí have released a photo of the €1 million in cash found in Limerick.The HSE has paid over €255 million on legal fees in eight years.Eamon Gilmore does not want to be the next EU Commissioner for Ireland.More than 600 people will spend Christmas in hospital – despite being better. INTERNATIONALPolice officers assemble outside a building at Harvard University to investigate the bomb threat. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds). #APPEAL: The United Nations has announced its biggest ever appeal as it seeks to raise €4.7 billion for humanitarian aid to Syria. [BBC]#HORSEMEAT: 21 people have been arrested in France as part of an investigation into claims that horsemeat designed to be used for pharmaceutical products ended up in the food chain.#EVACUATION: Harvard University has reopened four buildings following a bomb threat earlier today.INNOVATION
AT 7.03PM ON 21 December 1988, a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew on board.The aircraft then crashed into the town of Lockerbie in Scotland. Eleven more people were killed on the ground.Twenty-five years on, events are being held in the UK and US today to remember and honour the 270 victims.A wreath-laying ceremony is to take place at Dryfesdale Cemetery with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond in attendance. Westminster Abbey, Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and Syracuse University also organised memorials.“Lockerbie remains one of the worst aviation disasters in history and the deadliest act of terrorism ever committed in the United Kingdom,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said as he marked the anniversary of the tragedy.The loss of the flight was a shocking event that was “made more poignant still by being so close to Christmas”, he added.“Over the last quarter of a century much attention has been focused on the perpetrators of the atrocity. Today our thoughts turn to its victims and to those whose lives have been touched and changed by what happened at Lockerbie that night.“To families, friends, neighbours, loved ones, and all those caught up in the painful process of recovery. Let us say to them: our admiration for you is unconditional. For the fortitude and resilience you have shown. For your determination never to give up. You have shown that terrorist acts cannot crush the human spirit. That is why terrorism will never prevail.And even in the darkest moments of grief, it is possible to glimpse the flickering flame of hope.The majority of the passengers on board were American citizens, including 35 students from Syracuse University.Cameron noted that there is still a strong bond between the Scottish town and the school.“Syracuse lost 35 of its own on that fateful evening. Nothing can restore the promise of those young lives cut short. Yet their memory is honoured by the scholarships Syracuse awards each year to 2 Lockerbie students and 35 of its own undergraduates,” he said.“They represent a growing band of beneficiaries, each given the chance to fulfil their own youthful promise. This is the lasting and optimistic legacy bequeathed to future generations on behalf of those who lost their lives on this day 25 years ago and who we remember here today.”
“The savvy approach to shopping is continuing to work in the favour of the German discounters,” Berry added. “Both retailers are in a strong position as we head into the all-important Christmas weeks.”Multiples accounted for 88.9 per cent of the total ‘take-home’ grocery market, according to Kantar’s data.Read: Aldi to create 300 jobs around the countryRead: Tesco leaves US as profits drop by 51 per cent BOTH ALDI AND Lidl have posted impressive growth over the past year, with the German discounters both gaining ground in the grocery sector. Tesco, which remains the largest player in terms of consumer spend, has shown a decline over the same 12 month period.Latest figures from consumer monitoring firm Kantar Worldpanel show that Aldi grew its share of the ‘multiples’ grocery market by 18.7 per cent in the 12-months leading up to the start of December this year. Lidl grew by 8.4 per cent — while Tesco, by contrast, saw its market share decrease by 6.4 per cent.Overall, however, Tesco still has the edge on its competitors in terms of size, at 26.1 per cent — followed by Dunnes (24.2 per cent) and Supervalu (19.5 per cent). Aldi’s share is 7.4 per cent, while Lidl are at 6.7 per cent; Superquinn have seen a slight drop in their share of the consumer take-home spend in the last 12 months, moving from 5.3 per cent to 5.1 per cent.According to David Berry, Kantar Worldpanel’s commercial director: “Value continues to be an attractive proposition for shoppers”.Despite the Central Statistics Office recently announcing that the economy grew by 1.5 per cent between July and September, the average household spend on grocery items has fallen by 0.2 per cent compared with last year.This is considerably below the 3.4 per cent price inflation as shoppers look to control their spend by reducing the amount of goods they buy.
Our diasporaFrom Mary Robinson lighting a symbolic candle in the window in 1990 to the 2002 Taskforce Report on Ireland and the Irish Abroad, a succession of recent Irish governments have made increasing efforts to establish a ‘Diaspora engagement policy’. Those currently running the country, and accused of running people out of it, are no exception. The Emigrant Support Programme (ESP), which funds almost 200 Irish community organisations in over 20 countries, has not suffered a significant budget cut in three years. Irish groups ranging from those providing support for the elderly abroad and the newly arrived to GAA clubs and other culture and heritage organisations have received grants of over €104 million from the ESP since 2004.In recent years organisations in Canada and Australia, such as the new Irish Canadian Immigration Centre in Toronto, have received additional funding in light of the large numbers of new Irish migrants seeking work in these countries. While the ESP budget falls well short of recommendations made in 2002 in a State Taskforce Report on Policy Regarding Emigrants— and the commitment made on the basis of that report in the 2007 Programme for Government— it is a significant step up from the paltry £250,000 offered in 1987.It is one of many such steps taken. The Irish Abroad Unit was established in 2004 to ‘provide greater strategic direction’ to the State’s engagement with the diaspora and the first Global Irish Economic forum was held in 2009. The Global Irish Network, a group of influential Irish business figures drawn from over 40 countries overseas, whose role it is to aid in the development of the Irish export market and State initiatives like the Irish Technology Leadership Group, are the direct result of the first Global Irish Economic forum and participated in the third one held just this year gone. In short, the last few years have seen a more widespread involvement of Irish communities overseas in Irish affairs than any other era in a country that has experienced many waves of emigration.An external vote for Irish emigrantsAlthough critics see Ireland’s renewal of its relations with the diaspora in a cynical light— for example, renaming the Gathering 2013 as ‘the Grabbing’— there are signs amongst the Irish overseas that these new ties are being taken seriously. As protest mounts at home against the excessive rate of emigration, those who have already left are campaigning for an external vote. A young emigrant movement called We’re Coming Back hosted ‘a toast for a vote’ on the weekend of the 20th of December; inviting participants to photograph a toast in solidarity and post it on Facebook.We’re Not Leaving, a sister campaign that aims to stem the flood of people leaving Ireland, supported the event and also demand that an external vote be accorded to Irish emigrants.Nor is it only protesters and pressure groups but politicians also are in favour of granting the Irish abroad the right to participate in elections at home. President of Sinn Féin and a long-time supporter of the overseas vote, Gerry Adams, personally endorsed We’re Coming Back while personalities such as Paul Kehoe, the Fine Gael Minister of State, and Mark Daly, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for the Irish Overseas and Diaspora, also support extending the democratic franchise to the diaspora.As Ireland begins to recover its economy but continues to lose its youth, it looks more and more to its emigrants. Therefore, while those leaving are in the paper, in the planes and perhaps reading, it is important someone notes that they are still, more than ever before, a part of the country.David Burns works in Paris as a TA (Teaching Assistant) at La Sorbonne Nouvelle. He left Ireland after the Dublin restaurants in which he used to work, Frankie’s Steakhouse & Chatham Brasserie, both closed. David is a campaign member of We’re Coming Back, the new movement for an emigrant vote.Follow We’re Coming Back on Facebook, Twitter or email WCBIreland@gmail.com.Column: Operation Emigration – is the Government trying to give us the shove?Read: Irish emigrants organise worldwide toast to highlight their right to vote EMIGRATION IS A phenomenon, a potential future for thousands of young people, and a popular topic in Ireland at this time of year. Whether it’s post-holiday photos from the departure gates at Dublin Airport or articles on demographic change, whether it’s classed as a Government operation or a national sport, emigration is currently making headlines.Already a longstanding feature of Irish history, current events increasingly place it as a feature in Irish newspapers. Emigration itself places Ireland above the other EU countries; in average rates, the Old Country currently holds the highest.Irish students, interns and young people in general are either partaking in or protesting against emigration. Irish families are being separated by it. Rural areas in Ireland are being depopulated by it. Emigration is even having an effect on the property market. Small wonder then that it should feature so prominently in Irish publications and— when covering the country— in foreign press such as the Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Le Monde and The New York Times.However although the current budget, which has been variously termed as seen as ‘Operation Emigration’ and ‘the Scattering,’ has provoked anti-Government protest: emigration is nothing new. The current outflow might, at times, equal but does not largely surpass the rate of people leaving Ireland in the 1950s or the 1980s. Considerably more attention is being paid to it now than then, however.
NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news…Seán Fitzpatrick leaving court today. Pic: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.IRELANDTwo students from GMIT died in a fire at an Irish college residence in Leuven, Belgium.It later emerged that no safety checks had been completed on the house they died in.Seán Fitzpatrick and two other Anglo Irish top executives pleaded not guilty in court to unlawfully providing assistance to people to prop up the bank’s share price.Minister Pat Rabbitte said that he won’t be interfering in how RTÉ deals with the Saturday Night Show controversy.Gardaí found €43k worth of cocaine in a van they searched at a checkpoint.A Northern Ireland couple accused of sexual slavery can be named, a court said.A viable bomb was defused in Monaghan by the Defence Forces.The IMO accused the Government of ‘spin over substance’ after a meeting on free GP care for the under sixes.Bord Gáis announced a 2.2 per cent electricity increase, bringing a price freeze to an end.A storm warning now covers all of Ireland, with a threat of flooding.Midwives at Portlaoise hospital wrote to Brian Cowen and Mary Harney over ‘fears that a mother or baby would die’.WORLDAmanda Knox. Pic: Good Morning America.#SYRIA Almost 2,200 people have died since the Syria peace talks began.#ITALY Amanda Knox will fight her conviction – and will never go willingly to Italy.#IRISH SEA The higher radiation levels reported at Sellafield were just ‘background radon’.#UKRAINE A Ukrainian activist was tortured and crucified, he said on national television today.INNOVATIONWe’ve all heard about Tinder, but what about a dating app where you judge people on their personality, not their looks? Meet Twine Canvas. (Yes, that’s its real name). [TechCrunch]Here are the first 10 users of Facebook. [TheGuardian]PARTING SHOTPic: AP Photo/Yves LoggheThis? Oh, only a cat brothel. The image was projected onto a hotel near the red light district in Brussels as part of a campaign to pressure the Belgian government to pass a law forcing cat sterilisation. The aim is to help curb the overpopulation of cats and the euthanisation of thousands of unwanted kittens. [Can’t see the image? Click here]
EUROZONE FINANCE MINISTERS have agreed on a €10 billion bailout package for bankruptcy-threatened Cyprus which will involve a near 10 per cent levy on all bank deposits over €100,000.People with less than €100,000 in their bank accounts will have to pay a one-off tax of 6.75 per cent while those with more will pay 9.9 per cent under a measure that will raise €5.8 billion in additional revenue.Cyprus will also be forced to sell off some €1.4 billion in State assets and raise its corporate tax rate from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent, the rate currently levied by its fellow bailed-out eurozone nation, Ireland.BBC News quotes a European Central Bank official as saying that Cypriot authorities have already started to take action to ensure that the levy is collected before depositors can withdraw their funds to avoid it.Officials fear that there could be a run on the country’s banks when they reopen on Tuesday after the bank holiday weekend but pictures from the country already show people queuing at ATMs to withdraw funds.The deal comes after Cyprus requested international assistance last June having become badly exposed to the Greek financial crisis. It now becomes the fifth eurozone country to enter a programme of financial assistance and the fourth to take on a full sovereign bailout. All night talksIt had been thought that the deal would involve the EU/IMF ploughing some €17 billion into the country but ten hours of talks late last night and early this morning among EU finance ministers in Brussels saw a deal reached.The belief was that a €17 billion bailout would have increased the country’s debt burden to unsustainable levels as it would have equalled the total annual output of the economy.The International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, who was involved in discussions, said in a statement: “I welcome the agreement reached today to address Cyprus’ economic challenges.“The IMF has always said that we would support a solution that is sustainable, that is fully financed, and that appropriately allocates the burden sharing.“I believe that the agreed package meets these three objectives. On this basis, I intend to make a recommendation to our Executive Board for the IMF to contribute to the financing of the package.”Russia could also contribute to a portion of the bailout by extending the repayment term of €2.5 billion in financial assistance that it has already provided to Cyprus.In a joint statement the eurogroup said that it expected the board of governors of the European Stability Mechanism, the eurozone’s permanent bailout fund, to approve the financial assistance to Cyprus by the second half of April.Last month: Cyprus holds presidential election following heated campaign
GOOGLE IS MOST known for its incredibly powerful web search and Android mobile operating system.But the internet giant is about much more than just searching and smartphones.Some former and current Googlers have listed lesser known Google products over at answers site Quora.Google has products and services all over the internet that aim to inform users, make their lives easier, and more secure too. We had no idea that some of these existed.1. Google Mars is just like Google Earth except this programme lets you explore the red planet.2. Google Scholar is a search engine for scholarly articles. Scholar is pretty expansive, letting you access articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.3. Google Art Project is a site that lets users take virtual tours of museums and art galleries, similar to Google Street View.4. Google Transliterate is a service that helps users type in a different language. An anonymous Quora user explains transliterate: 7 things you should never buy online without doing your research first We compared 13 veggie burgers and Burger King’s Impossible Burger was the only one that stood out 5. Build with Chrome is a partnership between Google Australia and Lego. The project is a way to show how Google’s Chrome web browser can display 3D images. Users can build their own 3D Lego structures too.6. Google Think is a site for advertisers and similar professions to get marketing insights and inspiration straight from Google.7. Power Searching with Google is a feature that sharpens users search skills. Google’s search experts offer tips and tricks to better navigate the search engine and help you find exactly what you’re looking for.8. Schemer is a network that helps plan things to do with your friends. The service works best in densely populated areas9. Google Sound Search is an app that is similar to Shazam that tells you what song is playing.10. Google Moderator is an open forum for discussing topics, asking questions and sharing ideas. Moderator helps anyone receive feedback on anything they want.11. Google Encrypted is a more secure way to search for things. Encrypted users Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which is the same security that banks use online.All images via screengrabs- Kevin Smith Read: Google Reader to close following ‘spring clean’ > Read: Google wants to replace your passwords with jewellery > Video: How Google’s offices looked back in 1999 > A quantum computing startup that spun out of a Harvard lab just came out of stealth mode with $2.7 million in seed funding from investors like Samsung Amazon is partnering with Western Union to let its US customers pay for online orders with cash (AMZN) Say you speak another language (which does not use the standard Roman alphabet), but you can’t write it very well. Or you have a recording of another language and want to translate that.In comes transliterate – you just type in the phonetic sounds of the language, and it converts it into the desired language. They’ve really done a good job to hide the link recently, but I managed to dig it up Google Input Tools
Updated at 22.24SECOND-HALF GOALS from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves booked Barcelona’s place in the Champions League quarter-finals for a seventh consecutive year as they beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday to progress 4-1 on aggregate.City were looking to become the first side to come back from losing the first leg 2-0 at home in the Champions League era and they had chances to reduce the deficit as Victor Valdes denied Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko either side of half-time.However, Messi killed the tie as a contest with 23 minutes remaining as he pounced on a loose ball inside the area to flick home his eighth Champions League goal of the season.The visitors were then reduced to 10 men as Pablo Zabaleta was shown a second yellow card for dissent after Dzeko looked to have a legitimate penalty claim waved away by French referee Stephane Lannoy.City captain Vincent Kompany looked to have salvaged at least a draw on the night when he tapped home a minute from time, but Alves restored Barca’s lead from Andres Iniesta’s cut-back in stoppage time. Source: LaLigaAction/YouTubeBarca midfielder Cesc Fabregas said this result would ease the pressure on the team following a couple of poor ones in the league.“It was a very tight game, we were playing against a world class team. We knew it was going to be a difficult game,” he said. “We had a great result, 2-0 over there, because it’s never easy to go to Manchester and win the way we did.“We created lots of chances, there was a penalty not awarded, a goal from Neymar that was onside. We take a lot of positives, we played much better than the last few games when we were not at our best but this relieves a lot of pressure.”Kompany complained that the sending-off had been unfair and costly to City.“We’ve got nothing left in the tank, we gave everything. A few times we could’ve scored and obviously that would’ve changed the game,” he told Sky Sports.Going for the second time down to 10 men when it was a clear penalty, it’s not easy conditions to come and play against such a good team. Over the course of the two games, whenever we were with 11 players there wasn’t much between the two teams.“Obviously Messi is an incredible player, whenever he has the ball danger can happen, but we had a few chances too.”With a huge mountain to climb, City started on the front foot but they were lucky not to concede a penalty on eight minutes when Messi went down under a challenge from Joleon Lescott.The visitors’ first opening arrived on 16 minutes when James Milner could only direct Aleksandar Kolarov’s driven cross wide of the target.City were then handed another break by the officials as Neymar had a goal controversially ruled out for offside as Jordi Alba was deemed to have been offside when he crossed for the Brazilian to finish. Source: LaLigaAction/YouTubeWith City still needing two goals to even force extra time, the injured Sergio Aguero was replaced by Dzeko at the break.However, the Bosnian nearly made an instant impact as his low drive was smothered by Victor Valdes. Messi came within inches of sealing the tie with another wonderful solo run on 50 minutes as he teased Lescott before passing the ball off the inside of the post.City then had a couple of great chances to get back into the tie as Valdes produced a magnificent save to turn Dzeko’s towering header over the bar before Zabaleta skewed wildly wide when presented with a clear sight of goal at the back post.The opener finally arrived when Fabregas’s intended through ball bounced off Lescott into the path of Messi and he gave Joe Hart no chance with a nonchalant finish off the outside of his left foot.There was still more controversy to come, though, as Dzeko appeared to have been felled by Gerard Pique inside the area. Lannoy was again unmoved and Zabaleta was dismissed for taking his protests too far as a host of City players surrounded the referee.The English side did manage a consolation a minute from time when Kompany tapped home Dzeko’s knockdown from a corner. However, Barca weren’t to be denied victory on the night as with their next attack Iniesta rounded Hart and kept his head to set up Alves to hammer home from close range.Elmo and Fran from Love/Hate are spending this evening with Robbie Fowler and Jason McAteer>11-year-old Cork boy picked for lead role in Roy Keane film>
Updated 3.50pm GOVERNMENT MINISTERS HAVE been accused of trying to be “the coolest kid in the schoolyard by chasing headlines” over the Garda Commissioner row on day two of the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis.Thousands of delegates have gathered at the INEC in Killarney this weekend where the party has been debating and voting on hundreds of motions, including one that would allow the government to shut down a social media site where it leads to the death of a citizen.This afternoon, a proposed amendment to that motion was defeated before delegates easily voted down the motion itself.In the same session, a call to raise the age at which a person can buy alcohol from an off-licence to 21 was defeated while a proposal calling on the government to regulate cash-for-gold shops was passed.Local and European election candidates addressed delegates during a two-hour televised session. Party leader Micheál Martin delivers a keynote speech at 8.30pm tonight.‘Chasing headlines’ In a session on justice, Senator Thomas Byrne criticised Alan Shatter for the closure of rural garda stations – a view echoed by several delegates who spoke – and said that ministers had been acting immaturely in the row over the Garda Commissioner calling the actions of whistleblowers ‘disgusting’.He said that in recent days each minister is “trying to be the coolest kid in the schoolyard by chasing headlines”.The party’s justice spokesperson Niall Collins slammed Shatter, accusing him of arrogance and abuse of power over the several controversies surrounding the gardaí. He said: “He’s not up to the job and it’s time for him to.”The Ard Fheis heard calls for the establishment of an independent police commission to take decisions on the governance and accountability of the gardaí away from the Minister for Justice.Turnout was low for a session entitled ‘social equality for all’ this morning (above). One delegate said that when Labour took office it had taken all of its policies outside Leinster House and “made a big bonfire”.The abolition of the bereavement grant in the last Budget was condemned with social protection spokesperson Willie O’Dea saying: “The reality is when you die, from now on, you’re on your own.”The Limerick TD claimed that in his own constituency there are 32 applicants for every available job and that 250,000 people have emigrated in the last three years seeking employment abroad.Earlier, the Ard Fheis heard from Tom Healy, of the Nevin Economic Research Institure (NERI), who said that a year before the financial crisis every major party had advocated tax cuts.He argued that universal social charge was a good policy introduced by the previous Fianna Fáil government and said greater work should be done to emphasise how it pays for public services.‘Backslapping’ In a session on finance and public expenditure, the party’s Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley praised the late Brian Lenihan and said the former finance minister was forced not to burn the bondholders by the ECB.“There’s no allowance given that Ireland saved the euro by the actions that we took,” he said, criticising the lack of progress on separating Ireland’s banking and sovereign debt.This view was echoed by the the party’s finance spokesperson Micheal McGrath. He said the Irish economy is “like a patient who has come out of intensive care, in deep shock, with a long road ahead”.He slammed the sell-off of the IBRC loan book and criticised banks in relation to mortgage arrears and lending to SMEs.Of the coalition he said: “A bit less backslapping and self-congratulation and a bit more focus on the real issues affecting the people of this country.”Among proposals heard this morning were Galway delegate David Burke’s idea that 10 per cent of the local property tax be ring fenced for use by those who pay it for use on improving their estates.Follow @oconnellhugh for updates from the INEC this weekend.First published 10.37am Last night: Phil Hogan accused of a ‘good old-fashioned gerrymander’Read: Micheál Martin thinks Alan Shatter seems to have a huge problem saying: ‘I got it wrong’Read: Shutting down social media and 11 other motions at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis