Assistant boss David Platt claims Manchester City will not ease up in their remaining Barclays Premier League games, even if they secure second place. He added: “If we can secure second place within the next two or three games that won’t put any kind of slant on our last two games, at Reading and at home against Norwich. “We want to win football matches, that is what the players want to do. They don’t like getting beaten, which they did at Tottenham last week, even though we controlled the game for large periods. “We have no doubts. We don’t need the stimulus and motivation of going for trophies to go out there and perform.” But Platt does admit that thoughts will soon start to turn towards next season. City, who snatched the title in such exhilarating fashion on the final day of last term, were unable to hit the ground running at the start of the current campaign. That is something they intend to avoid repeating next August. Former England international Platt said: “Maybe once we have made sure nobody can come past us we can look at some kind of strategy for next season. Football is no different to horse racing, you want to show them a racecourse because you can stand them in good stead the following year. We will have a look at that later. “At this moment in time our focus and intensity is to make sure we amass full points, secure second position and win an FA Cup final. Once we have done that we will look at other things.” Press Association City may not have defended their title but they are determined to claim the runners-up spot and win the FA Cup to put a healthier gloss on their campaign. With a six-point advantage over third-placed Chelsea, they look well on course to achieve that first aim, but Platt insists there will be no slackening off with the second task in mind. City travel to Swansea and host West Brom before taking on Wigan in the FA Cup final at Wembley, and Platt, the first-team coach at the Etihad Stadium, said: “I have been saying for weeks that this football club is obligated to win football matches.”
Newcastle have reopened talks with Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis as they attempt to bolster their squad ahead of the transfer deadline, Press Association Sport understands. Pardew was diplomatic when asked about the situation, although he knows it will be resolved within days. He said: “Some of the issues around this situation, I think, best remain private, if I am honest, for now. “At some point in the future, I think the fans can understand why I want to do that. I hope they do. At the moment, I am keeping some of the issues private.” The news comes a day after Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was quoted as saying the France international had his heart set on a move to Germany. Newcastle are long-term admirers of the 28-year-old frontman, who has also attracted interest from Marseille, although they have as yet been unable to make a breakthrough in a protracted saga. Manager Alan Pardew has been desperate to boost his striking resources ever since Demba Ba’s departure for Chelsea in January and with Senegal international Papiss Cisse currently becalmed in front of goal, his need is growing by the day. Remy was a threat for relegated QPR during the second half of last season and Pardew is hopeful he will be involved from the bench in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham. However, the addition of another goalscorer would significantly strengthen his hand. Director of football Joe Kinnear vowed to land a striker within days of his appointment and belatedly tied up the Remy deal, but whether or not the club can persuade Gomis that his long-term future is on Tyneside remains to be seen. The Magpies head for Morecambe in the Capital One Cup second round still not knowing if France midfielder Yohan Cabaye will be on the books when the transfer window closes on Monday. The 27-year-old will not be involved once again at the Globe Arena after Arsenal tabled a formal bid for him, although the Gunners are yet to return with a second offer after their initial approach was rejected out of hand. The two parties have resumed discussions which stalled earlier this summer after the clubs had agreed a fee. The Magpies have to date made only one summer signing with Loic Remy having arrived on a season-long loan deal from QPR, although he is yet to play for the club which initially tried to sign him in January because of a calf injury. Press Association
Jonas Olsson (groin) is also struggling while James Chester has failed to impress since his £8million summer move from Hull, with the Baggies’ defence having shipped eight goals in their last three games. “We’re hoping everyone returns back okay. Evans and Morrison (ankle) are still being assessed at this stage. We will see how they are but both are doubts,” said boss Tony Pulis. “Many of the players won’t be back in till later this week. Salomon (Rondon), Sess (Stephane Sessegnon) and Cristian (Gamboa) for instance don’t come back until late Thursday or early Friday. It’s ridiculous really but there’s nothing we can do about it.” West Brom are 17th in the Barclays Premier League after successive defeats to Everton and Crystal Palace and Pulis hopes the home nations’ qualification, with Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley helping Northern Ireland reach France next year and Chester aiding Wales, will boost their season. “It’s pleasing to see them both qualify when you think of the nations who usually qualify – it’s good to see other nations get their success. To have so many home nations at the Euros next summer will be good for everyone,” he told the club’s official site. “I hope we will see a reaction from those players – if we do, brilliant.” The defender will be assessed, along with James Morrison, after missing Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualification with a hamstring injury. Evans, who joined from Manchester United in the summer, made 35 appearances during two loan spells at the Stadium of Light but faces missing a reunion when the Black Cats visit The Hawthorns on Saturday for Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge. Jonny Evans is facing a race against time to return for West Brom against Sunderland and boost their depleted defence. Press Association
ORONO — The Ellsworth boys took first place in Saturday’s Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet at the University of Maine.Ellsworth got a relay win from the team of Beck Deeny, Colby Hamilton, Tulas Weaver and Henry Scheff, who finished with a time of 1 minute, 6.07 seconds in the 4-by-200. Deeny had long jump and triple jump wins, and Weaver (55-meter dash), Scheff (high jump) also claimed individual wins for the Eagles, who finished with 139 points to place first of nine teams.On the girls’ side, Marissa Havey, Samantha Simmons, Rachel Barnes and Madison Alley notched a fourth-place finish in the 4-by-100 throwers’ relay. The Ellsworth girls finished fourth in the team rankings with 35 points.In the morning meet, Johanna Stiles of Bucksport won the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.73 seconds. Stiles later took third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.02 seconds.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textHancock County teams will return to UMaine on Saturday, Jan. 18, for the next meet. Mount Desert Island and George Stevens Academy will compete in the morning meet at 10 a.m., and Ellsworth, Bucksport and Sumner will compete in the afternoon meet at 2 p.m.
… Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Jean Symes were also sanctioned for accepting moneyBy Mark GleesonCAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) – Four South African cricketers, including former Test wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile, have been handed bans ranging from seven to 12 years for attempting to fix matches, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced yesterday.Tsolekile, who played the last of his three Tests against England at Port Elizabeth in 2004, received a 12-year ban for “contriving to fix a match or matches” in the 2015 Twenty20 domestic competition, the board said in a statement.Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Jean Symes were also sanctioned for accepting money from ex-international Goolam Bodi who was banned for 20 years in January for attempting to fix matches in the Twenty20 tournament.All the players, bar Mbhalati, were team mates of Bodi, perceived as the go-between between corrupt betting syndicates and cricketers, at the Johannesburg-based Lions franchise.Matshikwe and Mbhalati was banned for 10 years for receiving payments, although three years of Mbhalati’s sentence were suspended.Symes received a seven-year ban for also receiving a payment and failing to disclose details of the approach to engage in match-fixing.“There is no evidence that this is widespread. We are fully confident that it is contained but will continue investigating,” CSA chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat told a news conference at Newlands.Details have also been passed to the South African police, he said.The bans follow a lengthy investigation by CSA’s anti-corruption unit.“We take our work seriously. We need something serious to trigger an investigation. We do not engage in witch hunts. Our primary responsibility is to protect the integrity of the sport and no stone will be left unturned,” its chairman Bernard Ngoepe said.Bodi, who was born in India and moved to South Africa as a teenager, played two one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match for the national side in 2007.Tsolekile played three Tests for South Africa in 2004.South Africa’s government made match-fixing illegal and punishable with a prison sentence following the Hansie Cronje scandal.Cronje was a respected captain of the national side before being banned for life in 2000 after attempting to fix matches on the orders of an Indian betting syndicate. He died in a plane crash in 2002.
Despite the impression a look out the window or a trek up Bascom may give, let me assure you — spring is coming.Of course, the Midwest and the Northeast continue to be hit by cold and snow, but that’s why baseball begins down south and out west. That’s right, spring training is here.Pitchers and catchers are in, and by next week, all position players will be, as well, to commence spring training games. Regardless of whether you care about Grapefruit League and Cactus League spring games, you know the thought of baseball beginning again tickles your fancy just a little bit.In the spirit of being honest with ourselves, though, let’s not forget what the onset of baseball has also come to mean — steroids talk. In an offseason marked by the usual number of big-name transactions (the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee deals, Curtis Granderson to the Yankees) and talk regarding the biggest names in the game (Joe Mauer’s future in Minnesota), the steroids mess created by the recent decade has generally been pushed aside.Former steroid cheat Mark McGwire returned to baseball and his old St. Louis stomping grounds as the Cardinals’ hitting coach and A-Rod received good news about the hip that kept him out of the beginning of the 2009 season, but otherwise, the “s-word” has kept itself out of offseason talk. No tearful press-conference apologies nor any performance-enhancing distractions to start this season.However, with news that a UK rugby player by the name of Terry Newton was given a two-year ban Monday for testing positive for human growth hormone, steroids have worked their way back into baseball’s center of attention. Many have taken this news from overseas as an indication that a reliable test for HGH is now available and are trumpeting American sports — particularly Major League Baseball — to implement such tests.MLB has banned HGH since 2005, but no test for the substance has been available. Thus, baseball has seen its performance-enhancing drugs policy become widely regarded as a sham. Last year, MLB overhauled its policy to include random drug testing — again, not for HGH — and a tiered suspension system. After the first offense, violators are suspended up to ten days without pay. Next comes a 30-day ban and after that, a 60-day ban.This year, MLB hopes to administer HGH blood tests to minor leaguers. While it may be a stretch to say these plans stemmed directly from the announcement of Newton’s suspension, minor league testing is the logical first step. However, testing the big leaguers may not be right around the corner. An agreement must be reached with the MLB Players Association before unionized players on the 40-man rosters may be tested.With the NFL facing the first season without a salary cap since 1993, and the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement due to expire next year, labor issues have become no stranger to sports fans around the nation. MLB’s labor agreement is also due to open in 2011, so the question facing baseball is whether to push for HGH testing now, or wait until the labor talks roll around.In case you didn’t know, I’m not a lawyer. So, I’m not exactly sure about the legal ramifications of the collective bargaining agreements and contracts between the leagues and their respective unions, nor to what extent steroid testing should be put into the agreements. What I do know, though, is that MLB needs to get HGH blood testing implemented as soon as legally possible.After decades of magnifying — and possibly enabling — the performance-enhancing drugs situation, baseball may actually be in position to thank Newton. Provided a new chance to give the HGH testing movement some momentum, MLB has an opportunity to bring the steroid era to a close. Already forced to alienate some of its biggest names — Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and McGwire, before this season — baseball has placed a dark mark on the legacy of the late 1990s and 2000s.To restore baseball to its glory as the undisputed national pastime — a title the NFL is rapidly seizing — players need to pressure their union representatives to agree to HGH blood testing. Since the 2004 Athens Olympics, a blood test for HGH has existed. Now, six years later, the HGH testing movement is just gaining its biggest momentum. How does that reflect on baseball’s legacy?While the onus seems to be on the Players Association to relent on their opposition to blood testing because of “privacy issues,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig stands to gain very much for getting HGH out of baseball. Criticized more than anyone in baseball throughout both the McGwire-Sosa controversy of the late ’90s and the Mitchell Report-marked end to the 2000s, the commissioner cannot afford to continually rely on the thinking that once baseball season gets into full swing, people forget about steroids. Such thinking would only mask the current HGH problem. If a player ends up testing positive down the road, baseball could be dealt a deathblow.Perhaps more than any other sport, baseball’s history has been partitioned into a variety of eras. The dead-ball era, the WWII era, the expansion era, the long-ball era and the steroids era are some of the most recognizable periods in sports history. As a result, MLB needs to move on. This offseason is proof that no matter how much goes on aside from steroids, the subject will find a way to creep back into the public eye until it is fully eradicated. This is the chance MLB officials, the Players Association, Bud Selig and baseball as a whole have been waiting for — and now they must take advantage.Mike is a sophomore planning on majoring in journalism. Agree that HGH testing needs to reach the big leagues right now? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophomore guard Taylor Wurtz and the rest of the Badgers have stepped up early in the season to help UW get off to a fast start. Wurtz has 22 points, has pulled down 9 boards and has hit 4 threes so far.[/media-credit]After a 65-38 rout of William & Mary, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team is off to an impressive 2-0 start.Women’s basketball head coach Lisa Stone was pleased with her team’s win, and thought the team gained some experience on the defensive end that will be valuable later in the season.“They ran a lot of great offensive sets that we had to defend, that we’ll see again,” Stone said. “They threw some different kinds of zone defenses and half-court pressure against us. And when I look back at the film, and I watch it, it really is a great game that we’re going to benefit from later on.”Stone also talked about the injuries the team has had to deal with, as senior guard Alyssa Karel, the scoring and assist leader from last year, went down with an injury in the team’s first exhibition game against Winona State. Stone mentioned that Karel’s condition is definitely improving, but that the star point guard is still considered day-to-day.Despite the costly injury, other seniors including forward Tara Steinbauer and forward Lin Zastrow have done a great job stepping up during the absence of one of the team’s best players. Steinbauer has put up two double-doubles in the first two games and led the team with 22 points and 12 rebounds against William & Mary.“I’m really pleased with our players’ ability to step in,” Stone said. “When someone’s injured, next player in has really done a nice job, and that experience, hopefully, will be something that will really help them later on, particularly in the Big Ten season.”Younger players have also done a great job stepping up in Karel’s absence and have given some players a chance to shine. One of those players is sophomore guard Taylor Wurtz, who has had a great start to what should be her breakout season.Stone has also been impressed with the maturity of Morgan Paige, a true freshman who was expected to play more of a backup role this season and has helped fill in for Karel.“[Paige’s] growth from day to day is amazing,” Stone said. “She’s an analytical player that really has taken the defensive end very seriously. She knocks down shots, and what I’m most impressed with is she makes her free throws.”Following a strong early season start, Stone is excited about a matchup on the road with in-state rival UW-Green Bay. An experienced team that advanced to the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, the Badger’s game against the Phoenix looks to be their most challenging test of the year so far.UW-Green Bay is also carrying a lot of momentum going into their game against Wisconsin, having just pulled off an upset over Minnesota on the road. “The bottom line is no matter what state they’re from, they’re a really good basketball team,” Stone said. “They play hard, defensively will try to turn you over, and we have to be sharp. We have to play very, very hard, keep building off what we’ve been learning, continue to do what we do well, and, you know, we’ll be ready by Thursday.”Stone also discussed the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge that the Badgers will take part in for the first time when they play Kansas Sunday and later in the season when they travel to Oklahoma State.Participating in the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge is part of what makes for such a challenging non-conference schedule for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team. But Stone also sees this as an opportunity for the Big Ten to strengthen its reputation in the college women’s basketball world.“The Big 12 is one of the best conferences out there, and it’s great for the Big Ten,” Stone said. “We want [Big Ten] teams to do well. And now we’re stretching into a powerful Big 12 conference and looking forward to it.”
Lloyd Grief, benefactor of the USC Marshall Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, began the rally by calling for increased University transparency. (Mia Speier | Daily Trojan)The USC community responded with mixed reactions to Interim President Wanda Austin’s decision last week to terminate Marshall School of Business Dean James Ellis in June 2019, three years before the official end of his term.On Friday afternoon, a crowd of nearly 150 students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered at Tommy Trojan to protest the decision, chanting “Keep Ellis” and wearing “I Stand with Dean Ellis” shirts provided by the USC Marshall Alumni Association.In an email to Marshall faculty on Dec. 3, Ellis said the decision was reached from a cumulative record of complaints against Marshall faculty and staff reported to the Office of Equity and Diversity since 2009.The Los Angeles Times reported that Ellis, a tenured professor, will remain a Marshall faculty member and that the University will pay out the remaining three years of his contract. Ellis received an annual salary of $636,000, according to the Times.Currently, a petition on Change.org directed to Austin and Board of Trustees Chairman Rick Caruso has garnered over 1,950 signatures by time of publication. Marshall’s Board of Leaders, a group of more than 100 prominent senior-level executives, has also penned a letter urging trustees to rescind Austin’s decision, according to the Times report.Lloyd Greif, benefactor of the USC Marshall Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, started the rally, criticizing administrators for their lack of transparency and urged the University to publicly release reports that led to Ellis’ termination. “This is about Dean Ellis, and more importantly this is about transparency, due process [and] shared governance,” Greif said at the rally. “This is about a university that has gone backwards in a new administration instead of forwards … This is their first definitive action. I can tell you based on knowing this man and based on the fact that nobody has provided us any information that would justify his departure this is a bad start.”In a statement to the Daily Trojan, Austin said that the decision was reached in partnership with the University’s Office of Professionalism and Ethics, which was launched in September. “The commitment we made to our University community to improve our campus culture sometimes requires us to make difficult decisions,” Austin wrote. “We understand that there will be those who disagree, but that doesn’t mean these aren’t the right decision to move the university forward.”Former USC Marshall Partners Chairman Heather Kline said that University administrators should have disclosed the charges made against Ellis before making any decision to terminate him.“The reason that we assembled here today is we are calling for due process, and we are calling for shared governance,” Kline said. “We do not understand why this happened, we do not understand how it happened and with due process, we should be able to evaluate the evidence. Jim and his family should be owed all of the evidence.” Kline, also a Marshall alumna, served as the first female leader of Marshall’s fundraising society from 2015 to 2017. Kline said she met Ellis at a Marshall Partners event nine years ago, and Ellis supported her when she was nominated to serve as chairman.Joshua Ogundu, who graduated from Marshall in 2018, said he does not believe the charges needed to be released to the public before a decision was made. He did not attend the rally, since he said he trusts the Board of Trustees and Austin to make the right decision to improve the school’s leadership. “I don’t believe he is being asked to step down for small transgressions,” Ogundu said. “There has to be a pattern of things that have happened over time that he may have mishandled, maybe not known about and should have had more oversight over.”As a student, Ogundu said he had professors who made “racially charged” jokes in class, and he believes many people who attended the rally focused more on the school’s rankings and prestige than the students’ needs.“Whoever comes in as our next dean should care about rankings and prestige and also care about having oversight needed when it comes to the racial or gender or sexual harassment types of situations,” Ogundu said. “We need oversight over all of the student experience and not just the experiences that are outward facing.”Greg Autry, an associate professor at the Lloyd Greif Center, called out the University’s “guilty until proven innocent” process when dealing with internal matters. “This process problem has been beyond just Dean Ellis,” Autry said. “I can tell you I have seen the exact same process occur with student organizations that I’ve been an adviser for and with the fraternity my son is in … And that is unacceptable.”Dean James Ellis declined to comment.
Caribbean countries have paid tribute to the late former United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, who died Saturday at the age of 80. Annan, was the seventh Secretary-General to lead the UN, during the period 1997-2006.JamaicaJamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness described Annan as “a humanitarian icon who served with distinction during his two-term tenure and was the epitome of a dedicated and committed international civil servant. Among his most significant pursuits was his persistent call for governments to be held accountable for the treatment of their people.“The former UN secretary general was also an architect of the Millennium Development Goals which, for the first time, set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality. These and other humanitarian accomplishments earned him the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001.”The Bahamas The Bahamas government described Annan as “a global statesman who always strived for the best in finding common ground to resolve differences in the world,” The Hubert Minnis government said Annan’s “contributions to issues that are impacting our world are part of his legacy that will continue for time to come. The World has lost a true Ambassador and Internationalist.” BermudaMeanwhile, Governor John Rankin led Bermuda tributes to Annan, noting that “Annan was a statesman and champion of peace who showed that moral leadership can make a big difference. “I have no doubt that then Governor Sir John Vereker was delighted to receive Mr Annan and his wife, Nane, at Government House in 2005. The Bermuda cedar tree which he planted in Government House gardens continues to thrive.”BarbadosPrime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley said, “Barbados has lost a friend and the world has lost a skilled international statesman.During his historic stewardship of the United Nations, Kofi Annan redefined, revitalized and brought a measure of reform to that premier multilateral organization. His achievements were many, but of particular significance and relevance to Barbados was his work on building an international development agenda.” Trinidad and TobagoFor his part, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago said the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago join the international community in mourning the passing of the former UN Secretary and Nobel Peace Laureate. “Trinidad and Tobago not only shares the loss of Mr. Annan with the world, but particularly with the African region and the countries of the Global South.”Kofi Annan, the first black African to serve as Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), died peacefully after a short illness. The career diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, died in hospital in Switzerland.
David da Silva: “EasyOdds has a natural role to fulfil” February 25, 2019 Better Collective’s Jesper Søgaard: Cultivating a sustainable affiliate model March 15, 2019 Submit Share Related Articles David Da Silva: Easyodds.com – A ‘modern romance’ with Vinnie Jones February 14, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Spiffx has confirmed that technical work will start immediately on the integration of its consumer products on the Eclectic Media Network platform.The strategic UK distribution deal will see Spiffx, a Stockholm listed betting exchange, integrate its portfolio of ‘Sport Random Games’ including the recently launched B2B Take5 products. The mutual target is to have a number of operators launched and live during the third quarter of this year.Lennart Gillberg, Spiffx Co-Founder and Director, said: “The deal with Eclectic not only opens up distribution in and access to the big and important UK market, it also gives us a collaboration with a very professional partner.“Eclectic Media Network has identified the enormous potential of casino-sport betting hybrid games, a segment we at Spiffx call ‘Sport Random Games’. We believe that this is the start of a long and lucrative cooperation with Eclectic.”David da Silva, Chief Marketing Officer at Eclectic, added: “Our Fan Engagement Platform adds compelling interactive second screen experiences to live sports broadcasts, so we are excited to add the Spiffx Take5 betting app to our portfolio. The quality of games from Spiffx are superb, and we look forward to this developing into a long-term strategic collaboration.”