San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has taken a leave of absence from the team, according to 49ers CEO Jed York.The football player is scheduled to get treatment after being arrested Friday for suspicion of driving under the influence. After the incident, Smith apologized and acknowledged that he needs help.“First off, I wanted to apologize to the team, the organization, my family and everybody I let down,” he said. “I also wanted to let it be known that this is a problem and it’s something that I will get fixed, and that I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that this never happens again.”“I also wanted to let everybody know that once again I’m sorry.”The linebacker was arrested early Friday morning after his truck hit a tree. Two days after being jailed, Smith played for San Francisco and had five tackles in a 27-7 loss against the Colts. York talked about the team’s decision to play Smith.“Our opinion is if you’re sitting someone down and paying them to sit down when they’re going to seek treatment in the future, we didn’t feel like that was an appropriate punishment,” York said. “We’re not trying to circumvent what the NFL will do. This is about making sure that Aldon has the opportunity to work on something, to get better, and he knows that he has our support and hopefully he has everybody’s support in something that is going to be very difficult.”When asked how long Smith would be out, York said, “It will be indefinite. There’s no timetable.”
Cubs: Sammy, if you come clean about your PED use and start acting normal, we’ll embrace you again and invite you back to Wrigley Field.Sammy Sosa: pic.twitter.com/XOJQHYWOmY— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) February 11, 2018 Why is Sammy Sosa out here looking like Tattoo from Fantasy Island? pic.twitter.com/GfPMAtKgUw— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) February 11, 2018 Less than a year after his noticeably lighter skin sent Twitter users into a tizzy, Sammy Sosa has struck the same shock in the public once again. A photo surfaced over the weekend of Sosa celebrating his wife’s birthday at a cowboy-themed party. While the western costume is eye-catching, what most people focused on was Sosa’s complexion.“Sammy Sosa outchea looking like a peppermint in the bottom of my purse,” one person tweeted of Sonia Sosa’s celebration picture.Anyone who bleaches their skin to the level that Sammy Sosa has needs to know, you can ‘try to wash away your skin color,’” a person said. “But you can’t wash away the facts: You are Black. Self-hate is a monster!”“Sammy Sosa really gave it all up to be a white man from San Antonio,” someone else said.“The world deserves a ’30 for 30 on the last decade of Sammy Sosa’s life,” tweeted another.The Dominican ex-MLB star has explained away his skin lightening in the past, telling Univision’s “Primer Impacto,” “it’s a cream that I have, that I use to soften [my skin], but [it] has bleached me some.”Sammy Sosa in 5 years pic.twitter.com/9ENDQEzalL— KEVO (@Kevo_Bevo) February 11, 2018
FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions currently give the Carolina Panthers a less than 1 percent chance of making the playoffs. In the video above, Reuben Fischer-Baum walks us through the unlikely scenario that would allow the 6-8 Panthers to squeak into the playoffs as an NFC wild-card team. Share on Facebook
Best known for his ability to make his opposition pay with his legs, Pryor has rarely been seen as a player who was going to dominate with his arm, until he did so against Oregon. Whether the 266 yards and two touchdowns against the Ducks to win the Rose Bowl is going to be just one game or an every-game possibility remains to be seen. Pryor, however, continues to work in order to be known as a quarterback, not just an athlete lining up at the position. “I felt a little bit like it last year, but I was still going through the motions,” Pryor said. “Last year, I was trying to please people. People were saying I couldn’t play quarterback, and I feel like I was trying to prove people wrong.” He did at times silence his doubters, especially in the Rose Bowl, where his blend of pass and run finally bewildered a defense. After other games like OSU’s loss to Purdue, however, the talk that Pryor can’t play quarterback was heard loud and clear. In the second half of his career, Pryor knows he must eliminate the mistakes and mental errors which have affected him in seasons past. He said for him, the game is finally starting to change. “It’s all about decision making,” Pryor said. “I make a lot better decisions and the game has really, really slowed down. When you first get here, you’re kind of thinking ‘Is this ever going to slow down for me? Is this ever going to be easy like high school?’ Finally, it really slowed down.” The expectations for him, which were sky high when he stepped onto campus, have continued to rise. Not only his expectations for himself, but those of his fans, teammates and coaches have risen substantially. He was expected to manage games and limit mistakes, like he did later in the season against Iowa and Michigan. He will now be expected to win games and make plays as the most experienced weapon on a veteran offense. “He is a junior and the expectations here raise a little bit, meaning within the walls of the folks who are doing this every day,” coach Jim Tressel said. “I think just in general his calmness and his command have improved through the course of these first seven practices, and I think it really began heading in that direction during the month-long bowl practice as well.” One word will finally stop being used to describe the nation’s former No. 1 recruit: young. At times in the first two seasons, when a pass didn’t find a receiver or the ball was intercepted or fumbled, the fact that Pryor was new to the game of college football was used to buy him more time. That will no longer be the case, as Pryor is now on the backside of his career. Both highs and lows have encompassed Terrelle Pryor’s career so far, but as he ventures into the second half of his time at the helm, he is still working on that one final word to describe his game as a quarterback: complete. Pryor admitted it took time for him to realize that college football wasn’t going to come as easily as high school football did, when he “was a quarterback who could throw the deep pass 60-yards and would connect with somebody,” he said. Now Pryor isn’t looking to just find his receiver, but do all the things a quarterback should when completing a pass. He said he has worked tirelessly on timing and footwork, trying to complete a pass to his receivers in stride while also putting the ball on the correct shoulder. “I never worked on accuracy or did accuracy drills. That’s my girlfriend over there,” Pryor said with a laugh as he pointed to the accuracy throwing net. “I throw through that net all the time, me and coach [Eric] Lichter, and we work constantly three times a week.” “We come over here for about an hour and he goes to work with me and pushes me hard,” Pryor said. “It’s all about fighting yourself and making yourself better so you can eventually lead the team and make them better.” For Pryor to finally become a complete quarterback, he will have to master the art of decision making. If the Rose Bowl was any indication of what defenses he will have to deal with in 2010, Pryor will be difficult to contain. Pryor said his decision-making process will be judged by the game situation and if he feels like he could easily pick up the yards or a first down with his legs, he would do so. He has worked to improve his arm but he doesn’t want to forget what makes him such a threat. “I never want to lose that part of my game,” Pryor said of his scrambling ability. “You never can because then you are taking away from God’s gift that he gave you. That’s what God gave me, legs and an arm, and now I’m finally getting my arm involved and the defense has a lot of trouble to work on.” The progression of Pryor has taken part mostly on the field, but he didn’t doubt that he sees changes in himself off the field as well. Maturity and growth is something all players strive to experience, but for Pryor, his progression as a quarterback and even as a person have come full circle. “I feel like I’m more of a people person now. I feel like I have a relief off my chest,” Pryor said. “I can be just happy all the time and enjoy my teammates and talk with all my teammates no matter who it is and hold conversations with people outside of football. I feel great as an individual and I feel great as a quarterback.”
Members of the OSU football team huddle around coach Urban Meyer during the first day of fall practice Aug. 4 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus.Credit: Tim Moody / Lantern sports editorOhio State football coach Urban Meyer took to the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday afternoon and discussed topics ranging from his team’s depth chart to the Buckeyes’ weekend matchup with Cincinnati and an HBO “Real Sports” episode featuring the third-year OSU coach scheduled to air Tuesday night.The Buckeyes are 2-1 on the season coming off a bye week following a 66-0 win against Kent State on Sept. 13.As he has in the past, Meyer said the offensive line is “still a work in progress.” He said the coaching staff is looking for the best five or six guys at the position to put out on the field.He said the depth chart is mostly set outside of the offensive line, apart from a couple of positions where players still rotate in and out.Meyer said he didn’t know the path the HBO “Real Sports” interview would take when he accepted it. Ended up focusing largely on health concerns towards the end of his coaching stint at Florida. He said those health concerns only came towards the end of his tenure with the Gators. “Most of my career I was very health conscious, and I’m doing that right now.”Meyer said “academic people have a lot of respect for” junior defensive lineman Adolphus Washington. Added that Washington is a “very good student” but still has a ways to go to reach his potential as a player, “because he is a really talented player.” Said he is close to becoming a “special player,” just needs to find his way onto the field as an every-down guy.He said the best players want to go against the best competition in practice. Named junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker wanting to take on sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa as an example.Meyer said senior cornerback Doran Grant is “night and day” from where he was last season as a leader and player. “He’s always been a decent person and a pretty good teammate, but he was never a great player.”He said OSU’s game against Cincinnati on Saturday will be Grant and the pass defense’s first legitimate challenge of the season. “This will be a giant test for us.”Meyer said the matchup with the Bearcats will be a “great environment” for recruiting.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Cincinnati on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) hands the ball off to sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) during a game against Cinicinnati on Sept. 27 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 50-28.Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editorThe Ohio State Buckeyes are 3-1 heading into conference play as they are scheduled to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday.The Terrapins, who are playing their first Big Ten home game, boast a 4-1 record and sit atop the east division. OSU is one of three Big Ten teams that have yet to play a conference game this season. As the Buckeyes prepare for their trip to College Park, Md., The Lantern sports editors have come up with a list of five things we think you should watch for when OSU squares off with Maryland.1. What will the atmosphere be like at Byrd Stadium?Saturday’s game at Byrd Stadium is arguably the biggest game in Maryland’s football history as the team plays its first home game as a member of the Big Ten. Byrd Stadium holds 54,000, which is just less than half of Ohio Stadium’s record crowd from last week of 108,362. Despite the significantly smaller stadium, you can bet that the Maryland faithful will be loud and give the Buckeye offense some problems. Even playing at home, OSU was guilty of six false starts last week against Cincinnati. The matchup with the Buckeyes is something that Maryland coach Randy Edsall said in July at Big Ten media days he believes will create an exciting atmosphere. “Well, I think it will be electric. I think it will be a sold-out crowd. It will be something that I know our fans are looking forward to,” Edsall said. “And it will be something that I think everybody that’s in attendance and everybody that gets a chance to watch on TV wished that they were there, because I think it will be a ton of excitement.”The game will mark the first meeting between the two schools and the first meeting between OSU coach Urban Meyer and Edsall. 2. Will the Buckeye secondary be able to slow down Stefon Diggs?The junior wide receiver for the Terrapins earned all sorts of preseason honors, despite missing half of the 2013 season because of a broken leg suffered Oct. 19, and no doubt has the attention of the Buckeye secondary and coaching staff. Even though Diggs missed six games last season, he still earned All-ACC honorable mention honors, in addition to being named to the preseason Biletnikoff award watch list, which lists the best receivers in the country. The last time the Buckeyes went up against a high profile wide receiver, Clemson’s Sammy Watkins torched the OSU secondary as he caught 16 passes for 227 yards and two scores. Even last week against Cincinnati, the Buckeyes allowed touchdowns of 60, 83 and 78 yards as the Bearcats threw for 352 yards through the air.If the Buckeyes want to come out of College Park with a win, they will need to at least slow down Diggs, as there isn’t a good chance they will be able to shut him down altogether. 3. Was sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott a one-hit wonder?Elliott — pegged as Carlos Hyde’s heir apparent before the season — has started off somewhat slowly in 2014.Instead of taking over the starting job without a question, he was listed as a co-starter with redshirt-senior Rod Smith and freshman Curtis Samuel to start the year. Last Saturday at Ohio Stadium, it was clear that had changed.Smith and Samuel both still played as the Buckeyes beat Cincinnati, 50-28, and Smith had his best game of the season, but Elliott stole the show. He totaled career highs with 28 carries for 182 yards and a touchdown and didn’t lose yardage on any carry. He also finished second on the team with five receptions and added 51 yards through the air.If Elliott can keep up even anything close to that level of production, he might be able to make the coaching staff and fans forget the name Hyde — at least for the time being.4. What’s the next trick up the distributor’s sleeve?Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has filled in for injured senior Braxton Miller by loading his shelves with a total of four weekly Big Ten awards just four starts into his career.One thing he’s done differently than Miller is spread the ball around to an even greater range of targets, earning him his “distributor” nickname. Against Cincinnati, Barrett completed passes to 10 different targets and found time to pick up 79 yards on the ground as well.He’s certainly played at least as well as OSU fans could have hoped, but are there more tricks to come from the Wichita Falls, Texas, native?5. Youth vs. experienceIn the matchup with the Bearcats, freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan found himself thrust onto the field more often than expected from a player with little experience under his belt.According to the coaching staff, McMillan saw the field more in place of senior Curtis Grant because of his ability in pass defense, which is something that might be important again against the Terrapins.McMillan has shone bright in spot duty and had a decent game against the Bearcats, but every time he steps on the field, he adds a new dimension to the defense. That just means a matchup with the high-flying Maryland offense could be a coming out party for the freshman.
Caption: Freshman goalie Jill Rizzo saves a shot against Vermont Credit: Walt Middleton – Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team is set to embark on a four-game road voyage, beginning with Duquesne at 3 p.m. on Friday. Their previous five games, however, have been the start of a new era for Division I women’s lacrosse, the shot-clock era.The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel implemented a 90-second shot clock for the first time in collegiate women’s lacrosse history beginning this year. This was done in hopes of reducing the impact of clock management and to speed up the pace of play. “You know from two different perspectives, every team is always in it, right? Even if you are down by five or six goals,” OSU coach Alexis Venechanos said. “Maybe in that second half you are going to have an opportunity to get the ball back and continue to execute well and on attack, get back in the game.”Similar to basketball, the men’s lacrosse game adapted a shot clock prior to the women’s game. The possession timer in men’s lacrosse is 60 seconds shorter than the women’s shot clock, but serves the same purpose of forcing play to be initiated quickly.Already this season, the OSU women’s lacrosse team is averaging five more shots per game than they were last year, giving the Buckeyes an increase in goals scored per game, 11.94 last season compared to this year’s 13.20. Senior midfielder Paulina Constant, however, doesn’t feel like the shot clock has changed the team’s strategy.“It speeds the game up a little bit, it’s nothing too dramatic,” Constant said. “In practice we practice with the shot clock … but other than that there is no really game plan with the shot clock, you’re aware of it. When it gets to a certain point we have a play to get into.”The shot clock will count down from 90 and will only be reset once a shot on goal has been attempted. In 2018, the rule will also be instituted at the Division II and III levels.The Buckeyes have seemed to benefit from the new shot clock but much of that benefit has to do with a deep offensive repertoire. OSU has the top two leading scorers in the Big Ten — four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez and junior attacker Molly Wood — with 15 and 14 goals, respectively.“All athletes want to compete and get shots up and use their natural athletic ability,” Venechanos said. “If we continue to shoot well those five more possessions will end up with some goals.”The Buckeyes will begin their road stint against the Duquesne Dukes (0-1) who dropped their first game of the year to Penn State. Games against Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Harvard round out what will be a true test of what this year’s team is capable of. “We have different styles we’re going to have to be ready for,” Venechanos said. The No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 6-1 on the season and boast wins over Michigan and fellow lacrosse powerhouse, No. 9 Duke. Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer (27) and points getter (35), senior attacker Cortney Fortunato, poses a real threat to the Buckeyes’ defense.The game against Duquesne is set for a 3 p.m. face-off on Friday, while the match-up with Notre Dame will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in South Bend, Indiana.
Wyatt and Colin discuss Ohio State’s upcoming battle with Penn State, women’s volleyball’s major upset win against Penn State, men’s soccer’s continued woes and the start of the women’s hockey season. Ohio State has an easy road to the College Football Playoff? You’re McSorely mistaken.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo says he will be moving with full force to get as much help as possible to ensure that sanctions are placed on President David Granger and his Cabinet, declaring that the president will lose his immunity after Thursday, March 21.Guyana will be entering uncharted waters after Thursday as the three-month constitutionally mandated period -for election after a no-confidence motion- will come to a conclusion.But President David Granger has expressed little to no worry, claiming that everything remains the same until an election is held.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has a different view.In fact, Jagdeo said on Wednesday that Granger will lose his immunity.“One thing that is clear in all of the opinion we have received, that the government will be illegal from March 22. We have had politically here the Government shall become illegal. Lawyers are saying that this is some coup d’état against the constitution- illegal occupation of office. Every act that he undertakes. He will lose all his immunities, can’t claim entitlement” Jagdeo told the media at a press conference.By that he means Granger will also be illegally occupying his office and failing to act in accordance with the constitution of Guyana.Based on the advice of Opposition lawyers, every act that he conducts or undertakes after March 21. He will be answerable to all acts.While Jagdeo says his party plans to lobby international sanctions against the coalition, he noted that they will also organise protests.He however made it clear that these protests will not be destructive or violent as was with the protests organised by the PNC days gone by.“We have made it clear. We are very diffident from the PNC. We will not burn a single building as they did. We will not damage public infrastructure; we will not beat people on the streets or harass them” Jagdeo revealed.He added that Guyana will be faced with a crisis due to the Government’s failure to comply with the supreme law of the land. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJagdeo stands by “Chase them out” remarkMarch 12, 2019In “latest news”PPP/C will not return to National Assembly to extend life of “illegal” govt- JagdeoJune 24, 2019In “latest news”Jagdeo sets conditions for extending elections date beyond March 21March 5, 2019In “latest news”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedKohli slams RCB’s ‘reckless batting’April 24, 2017In “latest news”From brink of elimination, Virat Kohli drags RCB into first qualifierMay 23, 2016In “Sports”‘We just didn’t grab on to our chances’ – Virat KohliApril 2, 2019In “latest news” Virat KohliVirat Kohli has chuckled at the suggestion that not winning the IPL is a frustration for him, and said it doesn’t matter to him if his legacy is judged based on that.Kohli has been with Royal Challengers Bangalore since the team’s inception and their designated captain since 2013. Royal Challengers are among the three active teams – Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab are the other two – who have never won the title, although they have been runners-up on three occasions. Under Kohli, they were in the play-offs in 2015 and runners-up in 2016. However, they have finished eighth and sixth in the last two years.This middling record prompted Gautam Gambhir to say earlier this week that Kohli was ‘very lucky’ that Royal Challengers had retained him as captain for so long, and that he had a long way to go before being spoken about in the same bracket as multiple-IPL-winning captains like Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni.“Obviously, you want to win the IPL,” Kohli said on the eve of the IPL season-opener in Chennai. “I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this [not winning IPL] or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision-making in pressure situations.“If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home. I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team. We all are motivated to do so.”Kohli reiterated the point he made last week that decision-making in pressure situations had cost Royal Challengers in big matches, adding that he sees enough proof that his team are contenders this year.“It [winning the title] has not happened and that’s the reality,” he said. “No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six [five] semi-finals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things.” (ESPNCricinfo)
The woman who was yesterday attacked by a family friend who went berserk has succumbed to her injuries, while her husband and son are still battling for their lives.The woman, 56, was stabbed about her body several times by the 23-year-old family friend, who subsequently took his own life.The perpetrator also reportedly stabbed the woman’s 15-year-old son and her husband who are still hospitalised.He had also raped the woman’s 14-year-old daughter.Reports are that on Tuesday night, the family of Falmouth Village along the Essequibo River hosted his birthday celebration where the suspect, along with others, were consuming alcohol.However, around 02:30h on Wednesday, the teen girl and her parents retired to bed.The girl’s 15-year-old brother and the suspect were left watching television.However, shortly after, the suspect armed himself with a knife and slashed the boy to his neck.He then proceeded to the bedroom where the teen girl and her parents were sleeping.The suspect dealt several stabs about the bodies of the couple, who managed to escape, leaving the teen girl behind.According to the police, the suspect then allegedly sexually assaulted the girl but she later managed to run out of the house.When the family went back into the house, they saw their friend hanging from a beam. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTeen allegedly raped, others stabbed after family friend went berserkMarch 27, 2019In “Crime”Linden’s Cinderella City rocked by gruesome murderMay 10, 2018In “Crime”School gang members to be charged for stabbing 15-year-oldApril 12, 2019In “Crime”
The partially-decomposed body of a 46-year-old fisherman was found hanging from a tree in front of an abandoned lot on Thursday afternoon.The body being removed from the sceneThe body of Selwin Pratt was discovered in front of Lot 183 Parika Trainline, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) near his brother’s property.Eyewitnesses reportedly discovered the body in a kneeling position, indicating that foul play could have been involved.The dead man’s brother stated that a strange smell was detected when walking on a nearby dam, but this did not cause any suspicion, since it could have been the carcasses of fish.However, when he was returning with some animals, his sibling’s body was discovered.“We smelling a scent when walking on the dam…Until I go to look after the cow, then I see my brother,” said the brother.The man said he was told that his brother went to the East Coast of Demerara and as such, he did not worry about his whereabouts. The man says he sees no reason as to why Pratt would harm himself.“They said he gone on the East Coast and I thinking that he gone there to work the fishing boat,” he explained.Inews understands that the fisherman was a father of one and had no definite place of residence since he would reside with relatives. The Police are awaiting the result of the post-mortem to determine their next move as they continue to question persons in the area. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCops awaiting post mortem report of body found at Parika roadwaySeptember 5, 2016In “latest news”Livestock farmer found dead on canefield dam in East Canje – with suspected gunshot woundsSeptember 28, 2016In “latest news”Parika Taxi Driver died from fractured skullNovember 3, 2015In “Crime”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSLC softens stance, Lasith Malinga likely to be available for Mumbai Indians’ next two gamesMarch 25, 2019In “latest news”Malinga mulling his playing futureFebruary 9, 2018In “latest news”Malinga gets suspended ban for breach of contractJune 27, 2017In “latest news” Sri Lanka Cricket is set to revive the Lankan Premier League (LPL), with September 8-28 tentatively set aside for the potentially lucrative T20 tournament.“We have set the ball rolling and hopefully in August-September this year we will see the tournament taking place,” SLC secretary Mohan De Silva said, speaking at Monday’s launch of the Super Provincial 50-over Tournament in Colombo.Bemoaning the cancelation of last year’s tournament, which had been the direct result of a prolonged period of administrative instability at SLC over the latter part of 2018, De Silva also claimed that it had significantly hindered Sri Lanka’s World Cup chances.“It is very unfortunate that Sri Lanka Cricket was not able to implement the envisaged programs that we had planned in preparation for the World Cup due to the disruption in administration,” he said. “If the LPL tournament had gone ahead last September, we had arranged a much more competitive tournament, where players would have had the opportunity of competing with international players.”While many of the details are yet to be finalised for this year’s tournament, it is understood that SLC is looking at five to six teams taking part, and the board is also expected to bring Russel Arnold back into the fold as tournament director. (ESPNCricinfo)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedKraigg Brathwaite in ODI squad, T20 call-ups for Rovman Powell, PooranSeptember 5, 2016In “latest news”How Virat Kohli rules T20 cricketMay 6, 2016In “Sports”Crandon, Drakes, Radford to assist Richard Pybus -CWIJanuary 21, 2019In “latest news” West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph(ESPNCricinfo) When Alzarri Joseph dismissed David Warner with his first ball on IPL debut to start his record-breaking 6 for 12 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, many would have assumed that to be his most memorable wicket so far. Perhaps, they weren’t aware of his first Test wicket.At St Lucia in 2016, in his third over on Test debut, he got one to rear up on the batsman at 141kph. It was fended awkwardly to the slips. The batsman was Virat Kohli.So Warner or Kohli? As a 22-year-old, growing up watching a lot of T20 cricket, maybe Warner? Maybe not. “I am not trying to look at T20 cricket at the moment,” Joseph had said in 2016 while playing the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh. “I am looking at Test cricket. I like it.”That’s one of the things that sets Joseph apart. Unlike many others in their early twenties who first play in the T20 leagues and then move on to the international stage, Joseph played his first-ever T20 match barely a month before his Test debut. In fact, IPL 2019 is only his third T20 tournament, after featuring twice in the Caribbean Premier League (2016 and 2018).But who is this Alzarri Joseph, who keeps taking these big wickets on the big stage?At six feet and four inches, Joseph has the height for a fast bowler. He comes from All Saints in Antigua, and grew up idolising local heroes Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose.Joseph was first seen on TV at that Under-19 World Cup three years ago, when he was beating England batsmen with his pace and swing. His fastest ball in the tournament was clocked at 147kph. He was extracting good bounce from back of a length in Asian conditions, and he was almost always picking early wickets, just like he did against Sunrisers.He ended the victorious World Cup campaign with 13 wickets from six matches, at an astonishing average of 13.76 and economy rate of 3.31. Joseph was already being touted as the next Kagiso Rabada then for his ability to mix the short balls and yorkers well.He set things up for West Indies in the tournament final by removing India’s top order single-handedly and set up a small chase. One of those wickets was of India Under-19 captain Ishan Kishan, who was trapped lbw with Joseph’s early movement. Kishan and Joseph now share the Mumbai Indians dressing room.“Now, he has an even better rhythm,” Kishan said of Joseph on Tuesday. “He is looking even better, he has improved his line and length and reads the batsmen much better. His ball skids and because of his height, he gets a lot of bounce which makes it difficult for the batsmen.”After that final in February 2016, Ian Bishop, one of the commentators of the tournament, had said Joseph was “ready” for international cricket. Just five months later, Joseph made his Test debut.Up until the Under-19 World Cup, Joseph hadn’t met his hero Ambrose, but when he flew back home from Bangladesh with the trophy, Ambrose was part of the welcoming party at the airport. What was Ambrose’s advice to Joseph?“I am Antiguan, you’re Antiguan and I am proud. Anytime you need any advice or any help and as long as I am on the island, you can call on me anytime.“I’ve watched most of the games and you have the fast bowler’s streak; you don’t smile much … and I like that about you. You are very aggressive but I just want to say that it’s now the work will start.“Now that you are in the eyes of the world everyone will be watching you so I want to say to you just keep working hard, maintain your fitness, continue to develop your skills.”In a few months, Joseph would go on to work with his role model – Ambrose was bowling consultant of West Indies when he made his Test debut. The prized cap was handed by another West Indies legend Joel Garner at St Kitts, the country that was also home of his CPL franchise.As a kid, Joseph grew up bowling to his father, who played a bit of cricket for the Empire Cricket Club in All Saints, in their backyard. From there, he was coached by former West Indies quick Winston Benjamin in Antigua.Joseph grew up idolising Dale Steyn, hence honing his skill of swinging the ball away from right-hand batsmen. Putting his pace and swing to good use with his control, Joseph has gone on to become a vital cog in the West Indies ODI pace attack too.Just before his international debut, Joseph bowled to the touring Australians in the nets in St Kitts and then stand-in coach Justin Langer was impressed. “He bowled fast, beautiful yorkers – and what an athlete,” Langer said in June 2016.Just before the Test series in England in 2017, Andy Roberts was asked about West Indies’ pace attack and he said: “He’s (Joseph) young, I think he’s probably the fittest of the lot in terms of not breaking down and he also swings the ball a bit which is not common.“Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel are more seamers. They seem to hit the deck a lot harder and try to get legcutters and offcutters whereas Alzarri Joseph, especially early in the innings, will try to swing the ball.”At the end of 2017, Joseph suffered a stress fracture in the back that kept him away from international cricket for nearly 10 months. After slowly being drafted back into the ODI side, Joseph missed the Test tour of India late last year because of recovery, but was soon playing Tests again, against England earlier this year, although not in ideal conditions.Joseph was playing his first Test in front of his home crowd when he lost his mother because of brain tumour before the start of the third day’s play. Joseph stayed strong mentally, his team-mates showed solidarity, and he continued to play. He bowled a seven-over spell that morning and got the big wicket of England’s captain Joe Root for the second time in the game.Joseph showed then that even during the darkest of days off the field, he was not going to lose his on-field habit. Of taking the biggest wickets of the opposition, a habit he continues.
[BBC] Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy.It measures 40 billion km across – three million times the size of the Earth – and has been described by scientists as “a monster”.The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world.Details have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.Prof Heino Falcke, of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who proposed the experiment, told BBC News that the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87.“What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System,” he said.“It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe.”The image shows an intensely bright “ring of fire”, as Prof Falcke describes it, surrounding a perfectly circular dark hole. The bright halo is caused by superheated gas falling into the hole. The light is brighter than all the billions of other stars in the galaxy combined – which is why it can be seen at such distance from Earth.The edge of the dark circle at the centre is the point at which the gas enters the black hole, which is an object that has such a large gravitational pull, not even light can escape.Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47873592 Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedStephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies aged 76March 14, 2018In “World”EYEWITNESS: False alarm…February 22, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”Bandits strike in Young Professionals Housing Scheme againSeptember 6, 2016In “Crime”
With revelations of widespread fraud and financial irregularities within the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) coming out of an audit, the People’s Progressive Party is calling for the unit to be closed down.According to the party on Friday, the revelations vindicate its many warnings about SOCU deviating from its mandate. In fact, the party noted that the revelations are just the tip of the iceberg, and that a forensic audit from an outside impartial auditor is needed.“The materials”, the party said, “disclosed by the audit have confirmed our worst fears. But we are convinced that it is only the tip of the iceberg.“This Unit has rendered itself absolutely unfit to function as a law enforcement agency and as part of the prosecutorial arm of the State. There is no doubt that both investigations and prosecutions are being compromised by this diabolical outfit, who takes political instructions directly from Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, the Attorney General, and Ministry of the Presidency”, the party said.The party also called for Ramjattan, who is the subject minister responsible for SOCU, to immediately resign. It noted that the unit has for some time been giving appearances of unethical behaviour.“The public was made aware of the unholy relationship between Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Attorney General Basil Williams, British consultant Dr. Sam Sittlington, and senior functionaries at SOCU, who were sighted jovially sipping wine and champagne at public places after arresting a number of PPP leaders.”“The public”, the PPP added, “would well remember a former Commissioner of Police publicly distancing himself from the operations of this Unit. Recently, the Director of Public Prosecutions, in a sworn affidavit in a High Court proceeding, made it clear that the Office of the DPP did not advise on a series of criminal charges instituted by this Unit.”IcebergAccording to the PPP, complaints have been made against the unit by various business persons. The party related that businessmen have been shaken down by the unit and have had their valuables seized.“Over the years, we have received multiple reports from businessmen that SOCU officers have extracted from them huge sums of monies as bribes, and seized large caches of jewellery, monies and other personal valuables, including quantities of foreign currencies, from their premises without due process, and have converted these assets to their own use.“We have also received reports of falsification of evidence in prosecutions, and the refusal to disclose materials which the law requires them to do, in order to ensure a fair trial of persons charged,” the party said. “This contamination of the criminal justice system strikes at the very foundation of the rule of law.”SOCUAccording to information leaked to the media, a probe being conducted by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has unearthed irregularities that included falsified records and missing documents.According to reports, there was even a case of an official who alleged his signature was forged. In addition, there are reports of listed expenditure being concocted and receipts being backdated.SOCU was established in 2014 on the recommendation of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), and was intended to be a Police unit operating under the authority of the Police Commissioner, but with a close relationship to the FIU.Head of the Presidential Secretariat at the time, Dr Roger Luncheon, had disclosed that SOCU was tasked with investigating suspected financial transactions suggestive of money laundering and financing of terrorism.Amid widespread concerns of SOCU exceeding its mandate following a high-speed chase in which two persons perished, Ramjattan had introduced an amendment to the GPF’s Standing Order No 62, which concretised the expansion of SOCU’s mandate.The criminal activities outside of terrorism and money laundering which were outlined in the amendment were: participation in an organised criminal group and racketeering; trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling; sexual exploitation, including the sexual exploitation of children; illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; illicit arms and ammunition trafficking; corruption and bribery; fraud; counterfeiting and piracy of products; environmental crimes; murder; grievous bodily harm; kidnapping, illegal restraint and hostage taking; robbery or theft; smuggling; extortion; forgery; piracy; insider trading and market manipulation; tax evasion and gold smuggling.But there was no indication that it was authorised to investigate the “misfeasance” which the forensic audit claimed had been committed by the allottees of Pradoville 2. In fact, legal luminaries have contended that the grounds upon which SOCU is conducting its investigations are not even criminal. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTermination, transfer of SOCU officials needed – RamjattanMay 3, 2019In “Crime”$8B in financial crimes reported to FIU for 2018July 9, 2019In “Business”Top Cop signals intention to replace SOCU HeadJuly 17, 2019In “Crime”
The father of Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala, who was killed in a plane crash earlier this year, has died three months after his son. Horacio Sala, 58, suffered a heart attack on Friday, his friend and president of his local club confirmed.Daniel Ribero, from San Martin de Progreso, told C5N TV channel that Sala had passed away before doctors arrived at his home in Progreso.Horacio Sala was heavily influential in his son’s early football career.Emiliano Sala’s plane crashed en route to Cardiff after leaving from France.The Argentine footballer was on his way to joining his new club Cardiff City from French club Nantes in a club record £15m deal when the crash happened over the English Channel.Progreso mayor Julio Muller led the tributes to Mr Sala, telling La Red radio station: “Horacio could not overcome Emi, we thought that after the discovery he would be able to close that circle.”In a statement, Cardiff City said the club offered its “deepest condolences” to Mr Sala’s friends and family. “They are very much in the thoughts of us all at this difficult time,” a spokesman said.Sala’s father Horacio was seen crying at the vigil for his son (GETTY IMAGES)The Piper Malibu N264DB plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson went missing over waters near the Channel Islands on 21 January and it took rescuers two weeks to find the wreckage.The football star’s body was recovered on 8 February after a private rescue team took over the search for the missing plane. The father-of-three, a long-distance lorry driver, spoke to the BBC two weeks ago and pleaded “that justice be done” for his son. (BBC) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEmiliano Sala search team recovers body from plane wreckageFebruary 7, 2019In “latest news”Brazil football team in Colombia plane crash, 75 confirmed deadNovember 29, 2016In “latest news”UPDATE: Linden footballer killed in stabbing incidentDecember 22, 2018In “Crime”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNew cabinet members sworn in; several ministries renamedMay 20, 2015In “Politics”Nagamootoo stripped of all ‘line responsibilities’ …now reports to Min of Presidency HarmonJanuary 17, 2016In “Internet”THE PIPER: Advisors and PragmatismApril 3, 2016In “The Piper” With the possibility of elections looming, President David Granger has nonetheless hinted at more changes within his various ministries.He was at the time answering questions from the media on the sidelines of an event at the Ministry of the Presidency yesterday.“Other changes have to be made at the level of Permanent Secretaries and by the end of this month and the beginning of June, there should be some announcements,” President Granger posited.Already, President Granger has made some drastic changes within his Cabinet, following the resignation of four ministers.While those former ministers have since been retained at various capacities in the government, there was some reshuffling of the Cabinet to fill the ministerial posts.In fact, the changes saw the creation of new positions, department and ministries to accommodate party members.Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge was reappointed as Foreign Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry with responsibility for the Department of Frontiers and Territorial Integrity and the Department of Trade and Economic Cooperation.The position of Foreign Affairs Minister was taken up by Dr Karen Cummings, who previously served as junior Public Health Minister.The position of Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency was created for Joseph Harmon, who previously served as Minister of State. The new Minister of State is now Dawn Hastings-Williams, who previously served as Minister of Public Affairs.Former Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin was replaced by MP Haimraj Rajkumar. The position of Director of Manufacturing and Marketing within the Business Ministry with responsibility for the enforcement of standards, providing assistance to small producers and access to markets, particularly Eastern Caribbean markets, was created for Gaskin.Former Minister of Public Service, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine was replaced by Tabitha Sarabo-Halley while Dr Roopnaraine was appointed as Director of Public Service Training within the Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for training standards at the Bertram Collins College of the Public Service, the Guyana Defence Force Staff College and the Guyana Police Force Staff College – a position which did not previously exist.In addition to those four ministers who resigned, there were some other reshuffling. Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, the then Minister of Communities with responsibility for housing, was replaced by Annette Ferguson, who was serving as junior Minister of Public Infrastructure.A new position called Minister of Agriculture with responsibility for Rural Affairs was created for Patterson-Yearwood.President Granger has since confirmed that she was stripped of her housing responsibilities after it was revealed that her husband, Godfrey Yearwood, benefited from multi-million dollar contracts from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA).
The birthday celebration of a Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara resident turned into a nightmare when armed bandits stormed into her house on Saturday evening. At least one of the bandits was toting a gun.Reports are that around 22:00h at 21st Street, Diamond, four men attacked the family and demanded cash and jewellery.During the ordeal, two of the victims were physically assaulted. However, neighbours were not aware of the commotion owing to the loud music at the birthday celebration.INews understands that the robbery was executed within minutes and the four bandits made good their escape into the dark of the night heading towards Kaneville Village, EBD.According to a police source, the victims were traumatised and the two who were not injured were busy trying to help the others after the men escaped. They did not notice if the men left on foot or bicycle.However, the source explained that coupled with the darkness of the night and lack of street lights in the area, it would have been difficult to pursue the armed men.“You see, that area is like a canefield area, similar to a backdam. It leads into Kaneville, which is a known spot for petty thieves and other criminals to hide out sometimes. Without knowing where they went, what they looked like, or who we are looking for, then it would have been difficult to make arrests in 24 hours,” the police source explained.Meanwhile, the injured family members were treated at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre and sent home. Investigations into the matter are presently ongoing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUpdate: Dead bandits identifiedMay 31, 2019In “Crime”Bandits killed by Police ID’ed: Were ‘known characters’, 1 wanted for another crimeDecember 19, 2016In “Crime”Cops hunting bandits who terrorised, robbed New Amsterdam familyJune 28, 2017In “Crime”
As far back as 2016, the actuary review into the finances of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) had warned that repeat deficits may bring its reserves to the brink of collapse.Chartered accountants TSD Lall and Company said in the independent auditor’s assessment for the entity’s 2016 annual report, which was recently laid in the National Assembly, that the actuaries had warned that the reserves were in danger of running dry by 2021.“Without further qualifying our opinion, we wish to emphasise that… the actuaries reported several matters of concern among which were that the present value of shortfall of the fund over the period 2012-2041 amounted to $340.1 billion and also that the cash flow deficits will continue … and reserves are expected to be exhausted in 2021,” the auditors wrote.“When forming our opinion on the Scheme’s financial statements, we were not required and did not express an opinion as to the completeness or accuracy of the long-term liabilities, as this is determined by the Scheme’s actuaries.”NIS headquarters, Brickdam, GeorgetownAccording to the report, the NIS fund had $32.6 billion at the beginning of the year. But with the income received amounting to $19.5 billion and expenses amounting to $19.7 billion, the fund had a deficit of $220 million.“However, when other comprehensive income of $44 million was included, a deficit of $177 million resulted, which when subtracted from the fund at the beginning of the year amount to $32.4 billion.”Providing a breakdown, the auditors stated that the Scheme has fixed assets valued at $2.6 billion and investments valued at $29.4 billion. In addition, its net current assets are valued at $386.2 million.Concern has long been expressed that unemployment rates would have an adverse effect on NIS contributions. For instance, concern has been expressed that layoffs in the sugar belt could undermine the Scheme’s position.This is particularly so if the Scheme were to pay unemployment benefits. At a previous press conference, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had said that the idea of paying out these benefits did not take into account the current financial status of the Scheme and its ability to meet its current obligations.He had noted that the last actuarial report recommended that focus be placed on building the reserves to avoid a deficit. In fact, it was disclosed in that report that the life of the Scheme should come to an end by 2022 unless strategic plans for revenue earnings and expansion of the investment portfolio were effectively implemented. Jagdeo also referenced the thousands of dismissed sugar workers.Last October, the then Chairman of the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI), Dr Surendra Persaud, who is also the NIS Chairman, announced steep increases in tolls at the crossing. At the time Guyana Times was told that NIS, through its Chairman, was forced to push for the increase in tolls in order to protect its investment. NIS has majority voting rights on the BBCI Board of Directors.NIS had invested in Bond One of the project – $300 million. The Scheme received (not principal payments) $270 million, a 90 per cent return on the investment.NIS also invested in Bond Two, $760 million, and received $823 million in return. The company also invested $500 million for subordinate debt (loan stuck) $456 million and is now owed $207 million. Preference shares amounted to $950 million.NIS was paid back $163 million and is owed $507 million. Some $80 million was invested in common shares with zero returns so far. At the time, this newspaper was told that monies invested were performing better than what was predicated in the concession agreement. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGuySuCo pension fund: 2016 audited accounts show $32.8B net deficitJune 6, 2018In “Business”Guyana Govt still to determine how to use oil revenuesMarch 14, 2017In “Local News”Caribbean News Round-UpOctober 7, 2015In “Regional”