The Peak Bagger

first_imgIt’s just starting to snow as Rick Shortt and I hike into the clouds, climbing an old road bed to the pinnacle of Middle Knob, a 4,208-foot peak of Clinch Mountain in Southwest Virginia. On a clear day, Shortt says there’s an incredible view from a dilapidated fire tower on Middle Knob’s peak, but considering the soup we’re hiking through, the view will likely be a bust. It’s colder than either of us expected, so we’re not dressed for the sudden shift in the weather, but since we’re moving at a pretty quick clip, we’re soon sweating. The dude can hike. I’ve jogged at slower paces than we’re currently hiking, which makes me wonder how fast this guy would be moving if he hadn’t just had a hole cut out of his gut. He’s two weeks out of a hernia surgery, and this is Shortt’s shakedown hike to see if he can get back to the business at hand: the business of peak bagging.“We call really bad weather ‘full conditions,’ as in F-O-O-L,” Shortt says as the snow transitions to a cold rain. He’s hiked in “fool” conditions before. He’s post-holed through hip-deep snow to bag relatively inconsequential peaks. He’s pushed through head-high stinging nettles. He has crawled for a mile on his belly through rhododendron, all in his 20-year-long pursuit of the highest patches of dirt and rock in the Southern Appalachians and beyond.In the world of peak bagging, a hiking subculture where hardcore hikers obsess over lists of mountains grouped by characteristics, Rick Shortt could be the most obsessive of them all. The 46-year-old Wytheville native manages a print shop four days a week and typically spends his other three days trekking Southern mountains. By his own admission, he has no other hobbies, giving up the fishing and hunting of his youth as soon as he discovered hiking.“If I’m not climbing a peak, I’m on the computer researching a peak to climb,” Shortt says.Shortt's Short ListThe man has essentially arranged his life around peak bagging, living in Wytheville because it’s a crossroads of I-81 and I-77. “What I like most about Wytheville is that it’s easy to get other places from here,” Shortt says. “It’s three hours from Shenandoah National Park and three hours from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and 30 miles from Mount Rogers. Wytheville is convenient, that’s all.”He’s dressed straight out of a hiking catalogue. Gaiters, zip-off shorts, vest, GPS strapped to his shoulder, trekking poles in his hands. He is a self-professed hiking geek, with tinted specs and a graying goatee. Honestly, he looks more like a manager at a print shop than a hardened peak bagger, but looks can be deceiving.“He’s perhaps the most hardcore peak bagger in all of the Southeast,” says Peter Barr, author of a soon-to-be-released book of climbing the South’s 5,000-foot-tall mountains. “It would take me 10 pages to list all of his feats and peak lists he’s completed.”Along with his hiking partner Shane Ashby, Shortt was the first person to touch the summit of all 100 4,000-foot peaks in Virginia. He was the second person to climb all of the Southeastern Finest 50 (the 50 most prominent peaks from West Virginia to Georgia). He’s four peaks away from bagging all of the Southern Sixers (6,000-foot peaks), and halfway through the massive list of Southern Fivers (5,000-foot peaks). In total, Shortt has touched the top of 1,180 peaks in 20 years (yes, he’s counting), traveling all over the country (he’s bagged 25 of the 50 state high points), but doing most of his work in Virginia (358 peaks bagged) and North Carolina (158 peaks bagged), where some of the South’s tallest and most rugged mountains reside.According to Shortt, peak bagging in the South is an odd mix of civilized mountains with paved road access and remote knobs without even a hint of a trail.“Short Mountain in Russell County was one of the worst. We were in head-high stinging nettles, falling face first,” Shortt says. “But I’ll take stinging nettles over briars any day.”Considering the drama of some of Shortt’s other conquests, the three-mile road walk to the top of Middle Knob isn’t much of a challenge, even just two weeks after his hernia surgery. But the summit is spectacular, and one of Shortt’s favorite mountains. The fog’s so thick when we reach the rocky summit that we can barely see the steel tower 100 yards away, but the real gem of Middle Knob is an acre of eroded passageways between big blocks of 40-foot high sandstone boulders called the Great Channels. The snow has picked up again by the time we drop into the first channel, slipping between two smooth walls of sandstone covered in thin layers of moss. Some of the channels are as wide as a car, while others are too narrow to squeeze into. It’s like caving without a roof.Shortt had no idea these natural channels were here until he started ticking off Virginia’s tallest mountains. Shortt compiled a list of Virginia’s 100 4,000-foot peaks using data from the online peak-bagger clearinghouse listsofjohn.com, and started knocking off peaks, using a yellow highlighter to cross off each mountain he climbed from his master list. Shortt and Ashby finished the list in May.“There were a few we weren’t sure we’d be able to get because of access. There’s so much private property in the South, it makes peak bagging interesting,” Shortt says as we move through the narrow channels, the snow falling in big flakes now. “But I spend a lot of time asking permission from landowners. Some of the mountains on the list are spectacular. Some are hard to reach. Some are in some guy’s backyard. Some are crappy. We had a lot of gnarly bushwhacks through briars that led to mountaintops with nothing but more briars.”Peak bagging can be a frustrating process that might leave many of us wondering about the greater point of the pursuit, but for Shortt and others like him, the list is everything. Shortt has computer printouts of 4,000-foot peaks, state high points, county high points, 100 steepest peaks, peaks with 1,000-foot prominence, the 100 most isolated peaks in a given state…the potential lists can be endless. It can feel very Sisyphean, but that’s part of the appeal for Shortt.“I’ve thought about moving out West, but there’s still a lot left to find in the Southeast,” Shortt says.Ultimately, it’s curiosity that drives Shortt to devote every moment of free time to the art of pursuing the next lofty peak.“You see a lot of places you never would’ve bothered to go to otherwise. I’ve been to some spectacular places I never would’ve considered visiting if they weren’t on a list. Middle Knob is one of them.”Now that Shortt has knocked off the 4000-foot peaks of Virginia, he has a new list on his mind: the South’s 100 Steepest Peaks. He has the mountains broken down into a few different categories (steepest peaks within the last 100 meters of the summit, peaks with the steepest face) but he’s most interested in the steepest overall peaks. He used data on listsofjohn.com to figure out the angle of each mountain’s summit cone to surmise each mountain’s average angle of ascension. The overall steepest mountain in the South, according to Shortt’s data, is Table Rock, in North Carolina’s High Country, which has an overall grade of 25.44 percent as you approach its summit. It may sound like an arbitrary way to rank a mountain, but Shortt has a theory.“I like big views,” Shortt says. “My theory is that because these mountains are so steep, they’re bound to have more cliffs and more overlooks. They’re bound to be more interesting.”For the most part, Shortt has no idea what he’ll find. He’s halfway through the list already, but there are still 50 peaks left for Shortt to discover. He’s committed to rolling the dice on each of them. They could end up like Crabtree Bald, an open mountaintop meadow in North Carolina’s Balsam Mountains that’s similar to the Roan Highlands, “but without all the people.” Or, they could be like the South Mountains near Charlotte, where on one peak, Shortt had to climb through knee-high poison ivy for two miles to reach a non-distinct peak.“Either way, I’m happy,” Shortt says. “There are days when I question my sanity, but I’ve never had a moment in the mountains when I wished I was at home watching football.”We climb out of the channels and make our way beneath the fire tower, ready to start the three-mile hike back down to the warm car, but before we start dropping elevation, Shortt stops. “May as well hit the true summit while we’re here,” he says, scrambling a little ways to a small, rocky knob that sticks out just a bit higher than the other rocky knobs surrounding it. Shortt taps it with his foot, just to make it official.last_img read more

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Long Island Press Wins Top Honors at SPJ Press Club of Long Island Awards

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Long Island Press brought home 15 honors at the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists’ Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) Media Awards Thursday, clinching nearly a dozen of the competition’s top prizes and dominating several key categories.Founded in 1974, PCLI is a local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization. Its annual contest and awards dinner recognizes journalistic excellence across media outlets throughout Nassau, Suffolk and the region. It was held at Woodbury Country Club on June 5.News organizations of all genres and sizes—from small community websites and weeklies to behemoths such as Long Island’s lone daily newspaper and the TV network its parent company also owns—go head-to-head, judged across more than 80 categories for the very best journalism.The Press, which only published 12 issues last year, took home nine First Place honors across many of the contest’s most competitive categories. These include: Crime & Justice, Environment, Health, Arts, Entertainment, Sports Feature, Non-Local News/Feature, Video: Government/Politics, and Humor.Press Editor in Chief Christopher Twarowski took home First Place honors in the Environment category for his investigative cover story “Atomic Warfare,” documenting the relentless struggles of sick and dying workers who unknowingly toiled atop a former nuclear waste site in Hicksville without ever being informed of its hazardous past by state regulators nor its owners.The expose also earned First Place honors in the Health category.Press Managing Editor Timothy Bolger took Third Place in the Environment category for his in-depth, comprehensive “Gas Pains: Offshore LNG Port Proposal’s Critics Fear Fracking Exports on Horizon.”Press contributor Shelly Feuer Domash earned First Place in the Crime & Justice category for her exclusive, probing cover story into the infamous $6 million theft at JFK’s Lufthansa Terminal, titled “The Heist: Nassau Cop Breaks Silence on Mob Case that Left 16 Dead, $6M Missing,” which offered new revelations into the 1978 case and predated a historic arrest in the case by the U.S. Attorney’s Office by two months.Press Multimedia Reporter Rashed Mian grabbed a First Place nod in the Sports Feature category (despite the Press’ lack of a sports section) for his colorful, insightful and well-researched cover story “Julius Erving and the Nets’ Glory Days on Long Island.”Mian’s in-depth “Hollywood East: Behind the Scenes of L.I.’s Booming TV and Film Industry” also snatched First Place in the Entertainment category.Twarowski, Mian and Press Publisher Jed Morey won First Place in the Non-Local News/Feature category for “Revolution’s Family Tree: Blood-Soaked Roots of the Liberty Tree Bear Fruit Once Again in the Digital Age.” The several-thousand-word cover story was reported throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland—including at Fort Meade, where the National Security Agency is headquartered—and is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the handful of independent journalists and activists covering U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning’s court martial.Twarowski and Press Staff Writer Jaime Franchi brought home Third Place accolades in the Best Headline category for their Pink Floyd-inspired title “We Don’t Need No Education: L.I. Parents & Teachers Revolt Against Common Core.”Franchi also won Second Place in the Editorial/Commentary category for Press sister publication Milieu Magazine with her revealing “Not So Blurred Lines,” addressing the controversy surrounding Miley Cyrus’ tuckus-gyrating twerking on the VMAs.Press contributor Peter Tannen earned the First Place in the Humor category for his hilarious Just Sayin’ column “Long Island Slowly Drifting Toward Connecticut,” which sparked fear and consternation among some readers that did not realize it was an April Fool’s joke. The satire was also unfortunately reprinted as an actual news story by several local websites.Mian and Twarowski brought home First Place honors in the Video: Government/Politics category for their 12-minute mini-documentary “NDAA, Indefinite Detention, and the Battle Raging Against the Most Important Law You’ve Never Heard Of,” chronicling journalists’ and activists’ attempts to stop a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act to legalize the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens and raise awareness about the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers.The duo was also honored with Second Place nods in the Video: Neighborhood/Community category for their powerful short “Superstorm Sandy One Year Later: Much Work Still to be Done,” documenting the ongoing struggles of aid workers and residents still coping with the decimation wrought in the storm’s wake.Twarowski’s “Atomic Warfare: Sick Employees Seek Justice in Lawsuit Over Former Nuclear Site in Hicksville” was awarded Third Place honors in the In-Depth Report/Series category.Press contributors Cassidy Kammerer and Catherine Xavier were honored with a First Place prize in the Arts category for their moving, masterfully crafted “Sandy Art: Beauty from Devastation,” which brought to life local artists’ emotionally gripping, literal transformation of hope and life from the utter wreckage and decimation left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.Press contributor Steve Smirti and Twarowski shared Second Place nods in the same category for their colorful and fascinating “Art League of Long Island: L.I.’s Masters of Fine Art.”last_img read more

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Pertamina to go ahead with higher oil production plan despite oil price crash

first_imgIndonesia’s top oil and gas company, state-owned Pertamina, will press on with a plan to increase production by 1.8 percent this year despite financial pressures from falling global crude oil prices.Pertamina’s upstream director Dharmawan Samsu said in a statement on Monday that the company “will strive to maintain oil and gas production levels as per our Work, Program and Budget [RKAP]”, which pegs output at 923,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboepd).The state-owned company’s production rate reached 919 mboepd during the first quarter, which is 1.4 percent higher than last year but 0.4 percent lower than the RKAP target. Production growth was largely driven by the company’s foreign operation, particularly in Algeria, which is managed by subsidiary Pertamina International EP (PIEP). The subsidiary contributed almost a third of first-quarter growth.“Pertamina strives to maintain upstream investments in fulfilling national oil demand but with several adjustments based on our priorities to ensure project economics,” said Dharmawan.Pertamina adds to a list of Asian state-owned oil and gas companies, including Malaysia’s Petronas and India’s ONGC, that will commit to their existing work plans although falling global crude oil prices have threatened to derail financial expectations.Read also: Pertamina to monitor trends before deciding whether to lower fuel prices Crude prices fell about 30 percent on March 9 after the world’s largest oil-exporting country, Saudi Arabia, slashed selling prices and set plans to increase crude production next month, effectively starting a price war between petroleum exporting countries under OPEC.Indonesia’s own benchmark Indonesian Crude Price (ICP) reached US$34.23 per barrel in March, down 39.5 percent from the previous month, due to the price war.“Governments are looking to state-owned enterprises to maintain economic activity and employment, suggesting spending will continue as planned,” writes Gavin Thompson of energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific in a press note dated March 17.He added that Pertamina’s takeover of the Rokan Block in Riau — Indonesia’s second most productive oil block — was “of more immediate concern” amid the price rout. The state-owned company is slated to take over the block, which is currently operated by the United States’ Chevron, starting next year.Pertamina is also investing $1 billion, nearly a quarter of the company’s total 2020 upstream capital expenditure, in developing Indonesia’s fourth-most productive oil block, the Mahakam Block in East Kalimantan.“Any disruption to investment will have a significant impact on both corporate and national production,” said Thompson.Pertamina’s oil and gas production targets account for nearly half of the country’s projected domestic output at 1,946 mboepd this year.Indonesia’s Upstream Oil and Gas Special Regulatory Taskforce (SKK Migas) previously said it would coordinate with companies to ensure production levels remained in line with each company’s RKAP.”We will conduct technical and economic calculations to determine which programs will be a priority and which will be revisited without lowering RKAP targets,” said SKK Migas deputy of operations Julius Wiratno.Contrary to Pertamina, privately-owned PT Medco Energi Internasional, Indonesia’s second-most productive homegrown oil producer behind Pertamina, slashed its capital expenditure and production targets for this year due to the oil price crash.Capital expenditure was cut by 30 percent to $240 million “with potential for further 2021 reduction”, while production was lowered by 5 percent to 105 mboepd. The company may further cut production by 5 mboepd if demand weakens.In line with Medco’s move, many oil and gas companies worldwide have cut upstream capital expenditure by 30 percent, writes Wood Mackenzie in a press note dated March 19.Topics :last_img read more

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Jokowi calls for tight monitoring of COVID-19 clusters

first_imgTopics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has called for stringent monitoring of several clusters of COVID-19 cases to curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Indonesia.The President noted that clusters had been recorded among influxes of migrant workers returning home, Tablighi Jamaat members, factory workers and people returning to their hometowns.“These [clusters] must be well-monitored,” Jokowi said during the virtual meeting with the COVID-19 task force on Monday.He highlighted migrant workers as an example.“I have been told that around 89,000 Indonesian migrant workers have returned [to the country] and there will be more of them, possibly reaching 16,000 people […] This is something we must pay attention to,” he said.Read also: COVID-19: Govt must ensure well-being of returning migrant workers, advocacy group saysThe number is larger than was predicted by the Indonesia Migrant Worker Protection Agency (BP2MI), which estimated that around 37,000 Indonesian migrant workers had returned home after their contracts ended in April and May, Antara news agency reported.Of the returning migrant workers, BP2MI recorded that around 15,400 had returned from Malaysia, 11,300 from Hong Kong and 3,507 from Singapore.Recently, tobacco giant HM Sampoerna temporarily shut down its factory in Rungkut district of Surabaya, East Java, following reports that two workers had died from COVID-19 and that dozens of other workers had tested positive for the virus that causes the disease.The cigarette factory was identified as a new COVID-19 cluster in Surabaya when the two workers’ test results came back positive after their deaths on April 14.Surabaya – along with its satellite areas of Gresik and Sidoarjo – imposed a 14-day period of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) on April 28.Read also: High influx of Indonesian migrant workers from Malaysia, despite call to stay amid outbreakIn addition, Jokowi urged authorities to closely monitor industrial areas, especially in regions that have imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).“We must do inspections [if needed] to ensure they follow the health protocols,” the President said.Jokowi stressed on Monday that there needed to be an evaluation of PSBB measures, which are currently in place in four provinces and 22 cities. The restrictions that are aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, he said, must be evaluated to ensure they were being implemented effectively.last_img read more

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Keperra joins the million dollar housing club

first_imgRural living in the heart of BrisbaneSelling agent Carmen Briggs said the high price was thanks to the uniqueness of the property.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago“An average block in Keperra is about 600sq m,” Ms Briggs said. The home was called “Rosehill” when it was built in the 1920s as the homestead of a larger farming property.“It would have been a long way out of town, but now it is regarded as inner Brisbane,” she said. Over the decades, the block was subdivided to create neighbouring properties, but the original homestead remained. The home was snapped up before auction“It has been very well presented and maintained,” she said.As one of a handful of acreage properties in the suburb and a quick 20-25-minute drive from the city, the home attracted a lot of interest from people across Brisbane and interstate, Ms Briggs said. This home is a record breaker for KeperraAN OLD farm homestead at Keperra has smashed real estate records for the highest selling price for a residential home in the suburb.The 1.1ha property at 450 Settlement Rd was bought for $1.275 million just before going to auction last month.According to real estate data from CoreLogic, the previous record for a house sale was rural residential home in the same street that sold for $933,000 back in 2007. center_img The home is one of just a handful of acreage properties in the areaThe house was sold to a young family from outside the area.Despite the high selling price, she said Keperra was still an affordable option for young families, with the current median house price at $535,000.last_img read more

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​MP Pension extends oil ban and joins UN’s net-zero club

first_imgDanish pension fund MP Pension has gone further in its drive to rid its investment portfolio of fossil fuel firms, selling off the equities of another 24 oil companies and adding the corporate bonds of coal and tar sands firms to its list of undesirable securities.At the same time, the DKK128bn (€17.2bn) fund has become the third Danish pension fund to sign up to the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA).MP Pension chief executive officer Jens Munch Holst said: “As investors, we need to play our part in making sure the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in a more sustainable way.”Eight months ago, MP Pension announced the blacklisting of 10 of the world’s biggest oil companies such as Total and Petrobras, which it said would translate to DKK644m (€86m) of equities divestments. It also said at the time that it was looking into the impact of selling off bonds issued by oil firms too.Today the fund – which covers upper secondary school teachers and psychologists – revealed it has sold another 24 major oil companies, including Russian oil producer Lukoil PJSC, with these latest disposals bringing its total oil stock divestment to DKK870m.Anders Schelde, CIO at the North Copenhagen operation, said the pension fund would now scrutinise the many oil stocks the fund did not own, and that these would also be included on its exclusion list.“That way, our members can rest assured that they will never find their way to our portfolio,” he said.In addition, MP Pension said it had now decided to expand the divestment of fossil investment securities to include bonds as well as equities of companies involved in coal or tar sands business.MP Pension’s members voted at AGM last year for the fund to divest from bonds issued by fossil fuel companies.Coal and tar sands equities were dumped by MP Pension back in 2018, before its main move last year to sell off oil company equities.MP Pension also said today that it would analyse it fossil fuels divestment strategy a least once a year to ensure the pension fund was “keeping up with the green transition”.Besides Lukoil PJSC, oil companies added to MP Pension’s exclusion list since September 2019 include Norway’s Aker, Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum and Inpex in Japan.Commenting on MP Pension joining the AOA, Munch Holst said it was important that as the world emerged from the coronavirus crisis that everyone continued to focus on investing in the green transition and on keeping the global temperature rise “below the pain threshold”.“Now is the time for the countries of the world to seriously deliver on the promise to break the curve,” he said.The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – which along with the Principles for Responsible Investment convened the AOA – said the addition of MP Pension brought the alliance’s total assets under management to nearly $4.7tn (€4.2tn).The other two Danish investors to have joined the alliance are PFA Pension, which joined last month, and PensionDanmark, one of the six inaugural members of the pact in 2019.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

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Negrense senator Zubiri’s virus test may be ‘false positive’ – Duque

first_imgMANILA – Negrensesenator Juan Miguel Zubiri being tested positive for the coronavirus disease2019 (COVID-19) may be inaccurate, according to Department of Health secretaryFrancisco Duque III. He said in aradio interview yesterday that there’s a possibility that Zubiri’s result is“false positive” as he is asymptomatic. Another testing is set to be conductedon him. According to Department of Health secretary Francisco Duque III, Negrense senator Miguel Zubiri being tested positive for the coronavirus disease-2019 may be inaccurate as the latter is asymptomatic. ABS-CBN NEWS “As one ofthose very early on in the Senate who espoused and advocated for strongergovernment response on controlling COVID-19, I was very careful in my dealingswith people at work in the Senate,” Zubiri said. “Gusto kong ipaulit ito pero in themeantime, mas mahalaga namag-quarantine muna siya. Tapusin na lang niya ng sampung araw pa.Ang mahalaga wala siyang sintomas,”he added. The Negrensesenator announced on March 16 that he received a call from Duque confirmingthat he tested positive for COVID-19. Zubiri pointed out that he contracted thedisease despite taking strict precautionary measures. Meanwhile,Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Nancy Binay and Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilonhave already tested negative for the virus./PN “Kung hindi nga lang tayo medyo maylimitasyon pa sa testing capacity, gustoko sanang ipasuri siya ulit kasi hindi naman talagang 100% [accurate]… mayroon din kahit papaanong nakakalusot namga false positive,” Duque said. “I practicedsocial distancing as well as a no handshake policy, yet i got contaminated.How? I do not know. This just goes to show how easily this virus is spread andtherefore it is best for everyone to stay home and stay clean,” he added.last_img read more

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Brazil star Hulk marries ex-wife’s niece

first_imgRelatedPosts Martins joins Wuhan Zall China waste treatment plant fined $16m for dumping untreated waste Global COVID-19 cases surpass 27m – Johns Hopkins Brazil star Hulk has reportedly married the niece of his ex-wife after the two confirmed their relationship back in December. The attacker ended his 12-year relationship with Iran Angelo in July of last year and reports of his relationship with her niece Camila Angelo surfaced later in the year. The 33-year-old striker has caused quite the stir along with Camila, 31, after writing “married” on his social media bio. According to reports from Argentine newspaper Infobae, the “sudden marriage” occurred due to the fact that “Camila needed a visa if she was to stay in China with Hulk”. The couple have posted several pictures together to social media where it appears they both are wearing wedding rings. The attacker has three children with his ex-wife named Ian, Tiago, and Alice. Hulk and Camila reportedly now live together in China with the forward currently playing for Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG FC. The Brazilian midfielder was one of the first superstars to take the plunge and join the Chinese Super League back in 2016. He joined from Russian side Zenit St Petersburg and is the second highest earner in the whole league with a £320,000-a-week contract.Tags: BrazilChinaChinese Super Leaguehulkvisalast_img read more

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Pellegrini: We played to win

first_imgManuel Pellegrini made a veiled criticism of Chelsea’s style as Jose Mourinho continued his vow of silence after his side’s impressive rearguard display in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. Press Association Just a few moments earlier Loic Remy, deputising for the suspended Diego Costa, had given the hosts the lead. Chelsea were encamped in their own half for much of the match and will be more satisfied with a point which leaves them in pole position for a first title in five years with 15 games to go. Pellegrini, who called Chelsea a “small team” after September’s 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, questioned Mourinho’s approach afterwards. The City boss, the only manager to speak post-match as Mourinho continued his blank of the media, said: “Both teams have a clear style of play. Everyone wants to play in the way they think is better. “He has a style. You analyse the style of Chelsea. I analyse just the style of my team. “Our team tried to win the game from the first minute till the end. I’m very proud about that. “It’s not easy to come here, to Stamford Bridge, against the leaders of the Premier League, with very good players. “We create, especially in the first half, clear chances to deserve more than the point. “That’s why I’m not happy about the point but I’m happy about the performance of the team.” Pellegrini praised Chelsea’s defensive efforts, too. “From the first minute we came for the three points,” he added. “We made some changes to continue trying to create space against a team that defended very well, very near their box and is very dangerous on counter-attack. “We couldn’t just think about attacking. That was the most important thing of the game, that they didn’t have any chances to have those fast counter attacks that they always do. “I don’t think Chelsea played for a draw. I just said our team played to win.” City were the first team to emerge undefeated from Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this season, ending the Blues’ 10-match winning run. And Pellegrini maintains his side are capable of overcoming the deficit in the remaining months of the season. “Of course it was important to try to close the gap,” he said. “We tried, but we couldn’t. We still have 45 points more to play (for). “This was a very important game, it was not a final. We have time to try to recover those five points. “If we continue playing in the way we did today, I think will be more easy.” Mourinho, who cancelled his usual Friday pre-match media conference in apparent protest at Costa’s three-match suspension for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can, again declined to speak publicly. Midfielder Nemanja Matic told Sky Sports 1: “To be honest we expected three points, but I think the draw is a good result for both teams. “It’s the same (gap), five points, and we are happy because of that. “City showed they are very strong, they never give up and scored in the last minute of the first half.” Matic added that his side’s extra-time clash with Liverpool in midweek, when Chelsea advanced to the Capital One Cup final, had taken its toll. “I am happy with how we played but we did our best after a hard game of 120 minutes,” he added. “We felt it especially in the last 20 minutes, a little bit tired, but I am happy because everyone gave 100 per cent.” Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s record goalscorer after 13 years at the club, scored the equaliser in September’s contest, but was unable to make a similar impact on his Stamford Bridge return. Bar a few dissenting voices, Lampard was given a fine ovation and embarked on a lap of honour at the end – something he was denied when he left the club for New York City FC last May. “There were more chances for City in the game, Chelsea had a big old game in midweek and the draw probably suits them in the long run,” Lampard said. “It was a solid game and Chelsea probably accepted a point in the end. “This doesn’t change anything. Chelsea will be happy to be five points clear, we’re not stupid, we know what that lead is. But there are lots of points to play for.” On his own reception, he added: “The Chelsea fans showed complete class at the end. I enjoyed this.” City remain five points behind Mourinho’s Premier League leaders despite placing Chelsea under siege for much of the contest. Thibaut Courtois’ uncharacteristic error led to David Silva’s equaliser before half-time. last_img read more

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Mourinho expects tough QPR clash

first_img Press Association Mourinho’s first trip to play QPR at Loftus Road comes with Chelsea fighting for the Premier League title and QPR for survival. There is also the unpleasant history between the teams resulting from the Anton Ferdinand affair which saw Chelsea captain John Terry banned for four matches and fined £220,000 by the Football Association for ‘using abusive language related to colour’. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho focused only on the football ahead of a potentially hostile London derby at QPR on Sunday. Terry is poised to return to Loftus Road for the second time since the incident in October 2011 which resulted in a trial and his subsequent acquittal before the FA imposed sanction. The Blues skipper was stripped of the England captaincy amid the fall-out, and subsequently announced his retirement from international football. On Sunday, he will avoid facing Anton Ferdinand’s brother Rio, who branded him an ‘idiot’ over the affair, as the former Manchester United defender is out injured. Mourinho played down the relevance of the incident, saying: “I don’t think so. I think it’s just a football match. “Obviously a very important match for both teams. We know that, we know they want to win. Nobody is expecting an easy match.” Asked if he anticipates a hostile reception, Mourinho added: “That’s what people tell me. I never played there, I don’t know. “We go to play, we go to win, the people in the stands can play a role, but they cannot score goals. The referee and the assistant referees are there, so I’m not worried.” Chelsea will be without striker Diego Costa with a recurrence of a hamstring injury suffered in last weekend’s defeat of Stoke. “We have eight matches to play, if he plays four it’s normal,” Mourinho said. “If he plays three it’s a little bit below what I’m expecting. If he plays five it’s more than I’m expecting.” Costa will miss the matches with QPR, Manchester United and, probably, Arsenal and Leicester, with Didier Drogba or Loic Remy poised to come in at Loftus Road. John Obi Mikel is available following a knee injury and Cesc Fabregas will play with a mask to protect his broken nose despite being one yellow card away from a suspension. Nemanja Matic is also one booking away from a ban, with this Sunday the cut-off date, but Mourinho insists he will field the influential pair in the derby. “The way we play it’s not easy for our players to be booked,” Mourinho said. “(But) if they have to make a foul for a yellow card, this foul they have to do it. “This match is a three-point match and we have to play with our maximum power.” Manchester City’s loss at Crystal Palace on Monday night means Chelsea have a seven-point lead entering this weekend’s fixtures, with the target for an unassailable lead less than it was after last Saturday’s defeat of Stoke. “Now it’s just five victories or four victories and two draws,” Mourinho added. “Any points we do against QPR our situation improves, but we need points. “Every team with less than 21 points distance to us mathematically is in the race.” Chelsea have been linked with a move for FC Toyko’s Japan striker Yoshinori Muto, but Mourinho was quiet on a prospective deal on Friday. “I know a little (about Muto),” Mourinho said. “(But) I don’t think it’s nice for me to speak about a player who plays for FC Tokyo.” FC Tokyo said an offer has been received, with the news coming after Chelsea signed a five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Yokohama Rubber. Asked about commercial interests influencing transfer policy, Mourinho said: “That’s modern football, that’s modern management. “Football is a business, is an industry. You have to think about the financial situation, especially a club like Chelsea that wants always to be under the rules and Financial Fair Play. “You cannot close completely the door to a little bit of commercial interest. “But we are a football club, we want to win matches and trophies and we don’t get players if we don’t believe the player is a good player or a good prospect. That is for sure. “We would never bring a player if the player has no capacity to be in a Chelsea Football Club squad.” last_img read more

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