Omonia host Apollon in crunch clash in Cyprus

first_imgBy Iacovos ConstantinouJust three rounds remain before the Cyprus playoffs with the top three teams, Apollon, APOEL and Omonia all facing each other over the next three weeks in crucial matches that may go a long way in deciding the championship.This week’s top-of-the-table clash is between Omonia and Apollon at the GSP stadium in Nicosia on Sunday. More than 14,000 fans are expected to turn up for the game where a win for the home side will see them enter the championship race for good as they will be just four points off the top. The GSP is not a happy hunting ground for Apollonas as in the past 16 meetings against Omonia they only managed to beat them twice. However the most recent win was just 13 months ago.Omonia’s coach Kaiafas has no injury concerns and will be fielding his strongest eleven while Andone will be without his suspended captain Argentinian Gaston Sangoy for yet another game.APOEL take on last-but-one Doxa Katokopias at the Makarion stadium and anything other than a win will be considered a major upset for the champions. However Doxa managed to leave with a point when the two teams met back in November.Yet again APOEL will be without a number of key players (Aloneftis, Manduce, Carlao, Vinicius) but they should have Tomas de Vincenti back in their line-up after he served his one-match suspension. Doxa will be without the suspended Paolo Jorge and Ernesto Calderon.Nea Salamina have slipped perilously close to the relegation zone and need the points against AEK Larnaca. They will be without their recent signing Grigalasvili while AEK’s coach cannot count on Englezou and Mitides.Anorthosis travel to Achna to face Ethnikos without the injured Avraam and Ende.Anorthosis have lost just once in 14 meetings against Ethnikos and will be favourites for yet another win.Othellos Athienou are at home to Ermis Aradippou with the visitor’s new coach Mitchell van der Gaag hoping for his first win that will allow Ermis to hang on to the coveted sixth position for yet another week.Othellos are battling to stay in the top-flight and will prove to be a tough opponent in a game that can go either way.The only team capable of leapfrogging Ermis into sixth place is AEL who have a seemingly easy task against bottom of the table Ayia Napa.Saturday, February 14th: Doxa Katokopias v APOEL (17.00), Ethnikos Achnas v Anorthosis & Nea Salamina v AEK (18.00)Sunday, February 15th: Omonia v Apollon (16.00), Othellos Athienou v Ermis Aradippou & AEL v Ayia Napa (17.00)last_img read more

Uruguay battle Argentina to predictable stalemate

first_imgUruguay and Argentina drew 0-0 in an uninspiring but hotly contested World Cup qualifier in Montevideo on Thursday, a result that leaves both sides still needing points to guarantee a place at Russia 2018.The home side had the better of the first half and Argentina were on top during the second period but neither team posed much of a goal threat in a typically tense encounter.Uruguay’s Diego Rodin had a goal chalked off for offside in the first half and Luis Suarez saw his 45-yard attempt to lob keeper Sergio Romero sail narrowly over.At the other end, Lucas Biglia had a 30-yard strike deflected just wide and Lionel Messi saw a shot turned around the post after a brilliant, jinking run and one-two with Paulo Dybala.Suarez, who recovered from a right knee injury just in time to play, limped off with eight minutes left but said on Twitter that he had just suffered a cramp.“An important point to keep us going and dreaming of the World Cup,” he wrote on Twitter.Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli made his disappointment clear with the result.“We played against a side that was always trying to shut us down … It’s a bitter taste not winning,” he told reporters, adding that his side must be “more aggressive” in the final third of the field when they play last-placed Venezuela next week.The draw means Argentina lie in fifth place in the South American qualifying table with 23 points, behind Chile on goal difference.Uruguay, who have now gone six games without a win, are a point above them in third.Brazil, the only one of the 10 teams to have already qualified for Russia, lead the table with 36 points after defeating Ecuador 2-0 at home.The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia 2018 and the fifth-placed side goes into a play-off against a rival from the Oceania confederation.In the region’s other games on Thursday, Artur Vidal scored a spectacular own goal as Chile lost 3-0 at home to Paraguay.Vidal dived to head out a Paraguay free kick midway through the first half but his header soared into the corner of his own net.Victor Caceres doubled the lead nine minutes into the second period and Richard Ortiz added a third in injury time.Colombia drew 0-0 at Venezuela and remain in second place with 25 points.Colombia host Brazil next Tuesday, while Uruguay face Paraguay in Asuncion the same day.Two goals in a four-minute burst helped Peru beat Bolivia 2-1 in Lima to keep their slender hopes alive.Edison Flores got the first for the home side after 54 minutes and then Christian Cueva then hammered home a second from 20 metres.Gilbert Alvarez got one back for Bolivia after 71 minutes but Peru held on to leapfrog Paraguay on goal difference into sixth place, just two points behind Argentina.last_img read more

Westbrook with another triple-double as Thunder down Knicks

first_imgWestbrook is on pace to equal Robertson’s record, albeit with only 19 games of the season gone. Westbrook’s display Monday helped the Thunder improve to 11-8 as the Knicks fell to 8-9.However Westbrook is adamant that matching Robertson’s record is not on his agenda.“Winning is sustainable,” Westbrook said. “My job is to go out and find the best way to win games. Right now, we won three straight and that is what’s most important to me.“I don’t really care, honestly. I like to win and compete at a high level. I do the same thing every year.”Enes Kanter offered another offensive threat for the Thunder, rising from the bench to score 27 points and grab 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the Knicks, Derrick Rose led the scoring with 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists.Kristaps Porzingis added 21 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 18 points.Thunder coach Billy Donovan however paid tribute to Westbrook’s display.“He (Westbrook) obviously set people up tremendously tonight,” Donovan said.“Offensively getting and creating shots, getting in the lane. I thought his rebounding, getting to a couple of loose ball plays. When he does that it sends an unbelievable message to our team of his spirit and his fight and the way he competes.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Westbrook needed just 20 minutes on court to complete his latest masterclass, part of a haul that leaves him averaging triple-double numbers for the season.The 28-year-old finished with 27 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliWestbrook is now averaging 30.9 points per game, 11.3 assists and 10.4 rebounds for the season.Only one player in NBA history — Robertson in 1961-62 — has ever gone an entire season averaging triple-double numbers. Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket defended by Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 2016 in New York City. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFPRussell Westbrook insists he is not interested in chasing history after a quickfire eighth triple-double of the season left him on track to equal Oscar Robertson’s long-standing NBA record.Westbrook was in scintillating form once more to help the Oklahoma City Thunder overpower the New York Knicks 112-103 at Madison Square Garden, bagging his third consecutive triple-double — the 45th of his career.ADVERTISEMENT PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports View comments MOST READcenter_img As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise We are young Senators to proceed with review of VFA Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 EDITORS’ PICK Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine NBA: Mavericks easing Nowitzki back from injurylast_img read more

It’s time to strengthen the macroecology–conservation practice interface (commentary)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Big Data, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Commentary, Conservation, Ecosystems, Editorials, Environment, Land Use Change, Research, Researcher Perspective Series Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Imagine being able to know how many individual organisms occur at any given time across areas as large as whole continents or even the entire globe. Though satellites may one day enable us to obtain this information directly, a sub-discipline of ecology — macroecology — currently represents the main tool to generate those estimates.With biodiversity under increasing pressure from human activities, macroecology can contribute greatly to the scientific evidence base for national and international decisions aimed at conserving biodiversity and ensuring a safe future for our planet.Yet, examples of macroecological research directly supporting conservation decisions remain rare. Why does a sizeable macroecology-conservation practice gap persist?This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Imagine being able to know how many individual organisms occur at any given time across areas as large as whole continents or even the entire globe. Though satellites may one day enable us to obtain this information directly, a sub-discipline of ecology — macroecology — currently represents the main tool to generate those estimates.Macroecology attempts to identify patterns that might be universal across ecosystems in order to explain and predict the abundance, distribution, and diversity of organisms at large spatial scales in the past, present, or future. For instance, macroecological models have been used to estimate that around 305,000 arthropod species inhabit Amazonia, that 5 percent of all extant mammal species remain undescribed, and that Earth is home to approximately 8.7 million eukaryotic species and as many as 1 trillion microbial species.With biodiversity under increasing pressure from human activities, macroecology can contribute greatly to the scientific evidence base for national and international decisions aimed at conserving biodiversity and ensuring a safe future for our planet.First, its large-scale “macro” focus makes macroecology the tool of choice for regional, national, or global biodiversity assessments — much like macro-economics is the tool to study the behavior of regional, national, or global economies. Second, its emphasis on generating predictions over both space and time makes macroecology an ideal tool to forecast the future of biodiversity under environmental change. Finally, its embrace of “big data” approaches to generate large-scale predictions make macroecology an ideal tool for stimulating the uptake of cutting-edge data analysis and visualization methods in conservation.Combined, these three features make macroecology a unique and timely tool with the potential to provide key contributions to conservation practice and policy, such as detecting biodiversity trends, forecasting responses to climate and land use change, and identifying priority regions for conservation.Yet, examples of macroecological research directly supporting conservation decisions remain rare. This is not due to a lack of motivation on both parts. On one hand, conservation practitioners and policy makers welcome robust scientific evidence to back their decisions and, increasingly, require evidence across large spatial and temporal scales (i.e. over the last/next 50-100 years). On the other hand, macroecological research is increasingly inspired by conservation applications, with many macroecologists aspiring for their research to be implemented in practice. So why does a sizeable macroecology-conservation practice gap persist?For one thing, large-scale predictions of complex ecosystems do not come without significant uncertainty. Moreover, generating such predictions often requires quantitatively complex methods, which can be challenging to understand. Together, these attributes might lead to skepticism about the use of macroecological research in support of important conservation decisions.In a recent paper, I argue that these perceived issues can be overcome by careful repackaging of macroecological research findings for conservation decision makers. Uncertainty and complexity are not issues in themselves — decisions can and frequently do happen under considerable uncertainty and without a full understanding of all processes underlying the available information. For instance, complex and uncertain algorithm predictions support important decisions across sectors as diverse as health care, transportation, food supply, and criminal justice. Therefore, there is no reason why, at least in principle, conservation decisions could not also benefit from similar methods.Indeed, macroecological model predictions can at least provide first approximations of expected outcomes, pinpoint instances where more information will be required, and draw attention to particular areas or species. The key is to be transparent about prediction uncertainty and to highlight situations where uncertainty may be more or less relevant to given decisions. Ultimately, this will require macroecologists to adopt clear and concise research documentation standards explicitly aimed at conservation practitioners. Such documentation standards will also help practitioners grasp the complexity of the methods, by developing expectations of which information about the approach can readily be found and where.However, there are bigger challenges to the implementation of macroecological research into conservation practice. Documentation standards can improve the uptake of macroecological research only if the research is both accessible and relevant to practitioners. Unfortunately, the absence of a two-way flow of knowledge between macroecologists and conservation decision makers means that much conservation-inspired macroecological research falls short of being useful in practice, while research topics useful in practice remain unexplored.Facilitating a two-way flow of knowledge between macroecologists and conservation decision makers will necessitate the creation of boundary-spanning organizations and individual positions at the macroecology-conservation interface. Boundary-spanning organizations could include dedicated think tanks, special interest groups, research projects, institutes, and even informal meetings among as few as two individuals. Boundary-spanning individual positions could include knowledge brokers, who combine PhD-level macroecological expertise with experience in a relevant regulatory setting and whose roles include synthesizing and translating scientific evidence, analyzing and evaluating policy, and working with stakeholders directly. Funding for these boundary-spanning activities could be shared among existing government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and/or environmental consultancies.Planning the road ahead for biodiversity conservation and human well-being will require gathering all relevant information to make the best informed decisions. As macroecology approaches its 30th anniversary, it is now time to recognize its potentially key role in conservation and significantly develop the macroecology–conservation practice interface.Wildebeests photographed after having crossed the river Mara from Serengeti to the Mara during the Great Wildebeest Migration. Macroecology is the study of relationships between organisms and their environment at large spatial scales. Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.CITATIONS• Fisher, M. A., Vinson, J. E., Gittleman, J. L., & Drake, J. M. (2018). The description and number of undiscovered mammal species. Ecology and evolution, 8(7), 3628-3635. doi:10.1002/ece3.3724• Harte, J., & Kitzes, J. (2015). Inferring regional-scale species diversity from small-plot censuses. PloS one, 10(2), e0117527. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117527• Hoskins, A. J., Harwood, T. D., Ware, C., Williams, K. J., Perry, J. J., Ota, N., … & Purvis, A. (2018). Supporting global biodiversity assessment through high-resolution macroecological modelling: Methodological underpinnings of the BILBI framework. bioRxiv, 309377. doi:10.1101/309377• Jetz, W., Wilcove, D. S., & Dobson, A. P. (2007). Projected impacts of climate and land-use change on the global diversity of birds. PLoS biology, 5(6), e157. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050157• Locey, K. J., & Lennon, J. T. (2016). Scaling laws predict global microbial diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(21), 5970-5975. doi:10.1073/pnas.1521291113• Mokany, K., Westcott, D. A., Prasad, S., Ford, A. J., & Metcalfe, D. J. (2014). Identifying priority areas for conservation and management in diverse tropical forests. PLoS One, 9(2), e89084. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089084• Mora, C., Tittensor, D. P., Adl, S., Simpson, A. G., & Worm, B. (2011). How many species are there on Earth and in the ocean?. PLoS biology, 9(8), e1001127. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127• Rapacciuolo, G. (2018) Strengthening the contribution of macroecological models to conservation practice. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Online Early. doi: 10.1111/geb.12848• Tallis, H. M., Hawthorne, P. L., Polasky, S., Reid, J., Beck, M. W., Brauman, K., … & Clark, A. An attainable global vision for conservation and human well‐being. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. doi:10.1002/fee.1965Giovanni Rapacciuolo is a biodiversity data scientist and macroecologist. His work at the macroecology–conservation practice interface takes advantage of emerging approaches for analyzing and visualizing big datasets to improve our predictive understanding of large-scale biodiversity change and support conservation decisions. Giovanni is currently a Research Scientist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Find out more about Giovanni at giorapacciuolo.com.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Is the new Demerara River bridge another scandal in the making?

first_imgDear Editor,The Guyanese people, I am sure, are ripe with some excitement and welcome the news of a new Demerara River bridge. This excitement, however, is now tempered with the facts that are becoming public and as such, a public discussion is current.They are a number of issues that the Public Infrastructure Minister must come clean on and level with the masses. Now that there is an announcement by the Government that the bridge will be built from Houston to Versailles, some specific questions must be answered.1. What would be the cost of the acquisition of lands at Houston and at Versailles? Why did the Public Infrastructure Ministry only announced acquisition of lands at Houston? What about Versailles? Who is the owner(s) of the land at this location?2. If a decision has been made for Versailles to be the agreed site on the western end where the bridge will terminate, what is the agreed figure which the owner(s) agreed upon for the acquisition of the lands?3. With this new structure, what would be the cost of tolls for commuters and for commercial transporters? What would be the percentage increase in tolls? Since the feasibility study indicated that increase of tolls will be inadequate to finance this project, what would be the level of Government subsidy/financing? We need to know the amount; it cannot be a blind date. Minister David Patterson, the figures please.4. To support the construction of this bridge, there will be the need for other infrastructure, approach roads, vehicular overpass and other non-bridge infrastructure that would be priced separate and apart from the cost of the bridge. What would be the total or estimated total of such infrastructures?5. Since we have not seen copies of the social impact assessment or the environmental impact assessment, could the Minister inform the nation how will this site affect businesses in the vicinity of the proposed site on both North and South on both sides of the river? Since, within a specific distance determined by international standards mooring of vessels are restricted for safety purposes in the vicinity of this bridge, how will this impact the publicly announced on-shore oil and gas facility and investments made by Muneshwars Limited at the recently acquired Gafoors property, at Houston? Notwithstanding, other existing fishing establishment, fuel terminals and other wharfs that service ocean going vessels?6. As it relates to traffic flow and congestion, is there a network of roads that was considered and how does the propose Ogle to Diamond by-pass road fit into this scheme?7. What is the financing model for this bridge? Would it be a Private Public Partnership (PPP) or the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model? Would the selected contractor be responsible for financing and building the bridge as well as other infrastructure to accommodate usage of the bridge or would it be two separate awards?8. Why is the Ministry requesting that bidders sign non-disclosure agreements as well as waive their rights to protest the award, if aggrieved? Is it because the Government has already predetermined who will be contracted to build this bridge and the financing model secretly agreed on? Are the few selected bidders only to be window-dressing and to give the impression of a fair and open process? Why is it necessary to waive their rights to protest if aggrieved?9. What are the experts estimated total cost of the bridge as well as other infrastructure to facilitate and operationalise the Houston to Versailles Demerara bridge link?Minister, my fellow Guyanese and I would like to have a bridge, not another scandal.Sincerely,Bishop Juan Edghill,PPP/C MPlast_img read more

Mavericks destroy personal demons

first_img0Shares0000MIAMI, Florida, June 14- The dust had barely settled from Sunday night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks when the questions started flying for the Miami Heat.With all the talent that came from their free agent signings in the offseason how could “King” James and the Heat lose the NBA finals in six games to Dirk Nowitzki and his Merry Men? Miami was in basketball mourning on Monday.“It is a failure for myself losing to the Mavericks. Absolutely,” said LeBron James.The pieces of the puzzle were supposed to be in place from the beginning of the season. Miami had re-signed Dwyane Wade then lured James and Chris Bosh to form the most dangerous trios in the NBA.But the Mavericks proved with their 105-95 series clinching win at the AmericanAirlines arena that teams, and not individuals, win championships.“Their time will come but now it is our time,” said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “Everybody answered the bell.“This is one of the most unique teams in NBA history because it wasn’t about high-flying star power. Come on, how often do we have to hear about the LeBron James reality show and what he is or isn’t doing?”Nowitzki even struggled early in game six. But it didn’t matter because his band of outlaws kept the Heat at bay until the German star was able find his form and help put the finishing touches on the win in the fourth quarter.Nowitzki, who turns 33 on Sunday, struggled mightily in the first half, scoring just three points on one-of-12 shooting from the field.“In the first half I had so many good looks,” he said. “I had some one-leg fadeaways that I normally make. My team stayed with me.“(Jason Terry) got going early. That one timeout he said to me ‘Keep pushing. Remember 2006’. I kept plugging and kept fighting.“In the third I made a three (pointer) and then in the fourth I was able to make a couple of pull-ups.”Give Dallas its due. They beat the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the quarter-finals then had to beat the supposed heir apparent Oklahoma City Thunder in the semi-finals.“Game two was probably the key to the series,” said Carlisle. “Because if you go down 0-2 against Miami it is very difficult.“And coming back in game four in Oklahoma City, those are key games. Because the Oklahoma City win kept us from going six or seven games.”Nowitzki silenced his critics and secured his legacy as one of the all-time NBA legends.“I played with Larry Bird, I played with Bill Walton, I played with Robert Parish. I played with the all-time greats. And Dirk is up there with that upper echelon of great players,” Carlisle said.Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revealled at the postgame news conference that a couple of years ago he had a chance to acquire Kobe Bryant from the Lakers but decided to stick with Nowitzki as his No. 1 guy instead.“I remember one time years ago when Shaq was available, no Kobe I think it was,” Cuban said.“There was a discussion. He (Nowitzki) came to me and said ‘You know what, I understand if you think this is a deal you need to pull’. I am like it ain’t going to happen. Because chemistry is important — no disrespect to Kobe. Kobe is obviously a great player with lots of rings.“But Dirk helps set the culture of a team. And culture is critically important for a winning organization.”This year’s final was a rematch of the 2006 NBA championship which Miami took in six games for its first title in franchise history. Dallas had never won the NBA championship in its 31 year history.“Our guys took it personal,” Carlisle said. “They were not going to be denied. Dirk and Jet (Terry) had to live for five years with what happened in 2006 and as of tonight, those demons are officially destroyed.”There are no guarantees in the NBA even if you have the best team that money can buy.Can the Heat bounce back? Can they still win with Wade deferring down the stretch to James who looked like the pressure of carrying his team to the title might have become too much.“We have to go back to the drawing board,” said Bosh.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


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Anti-gang proposal clears Senate committee

first_img“Unfortunately, California has been a source … for gangs, and as the years go on they become more vicious.” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, is carrying a gang bill similar to Feinstein’s in the House. While no vote has yet been scheduled, Schiff said he will be part of a major strategy session next week on fighting gangs. He predicted the House bill, much like Feinstein’s, will be modified to incorporate more prevention options. “Things look very positive,” he said. Cities throughout Southern California, including many in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas, have intensified efforts to quell growing gang violence. WASHINGTON – Sweeping anti-gang legislation sailed unanimously through the a key Senate committee Thursday, giving the proposed expansion of federal authority to combat gang violence its best chance in a decade of becoming law. The measure would be a boon to Los Angeles and cities across the country grappling with growing crime rates and would pour $1 billion over five years into gang suppression and prevention programs. Los Angeles and Southland leaders had heavily lobbied congressional leaders to support the measure and hailed the 17-0 vote by the Judiciary Committee as a major victory. “It’s going to mean a federal helping hand,” said California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who co-wrote the measure with Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. Feinstein’s bill would make it a federal crime to recruit minors into a gang and to be a member of a street gang. In addition, it creates a string of new criminal offenses in an effort to make the country’s estimated 30,000 gangs easier to prosecute. And it would dole out millions of dollars to hire additional state and local prosecutors who can bring more cases against gang members. With the November 2005 killing of 11-year-old Mynisha Crenshaw still fresh in the minds of many San Bernardino residents, the bill also incorporates an element designed by Sen. Barbara Boxer to honor the girl’s memory. The provision calls for a local and federal task force comprised of the departments of Justice, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development to identify successful prevention efforts. The bill now goes to the full Senate. Feinstein said Thursday she didn’t know when a vote might be taken. But Feinstein – who with Hatch has spent the past decade pressing for the measure known as the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act – said she believes it has a significant chance of passage. She said that when the measure arrives on the Senate floor it will have more support from Democrats than ever before. That’s largely because Feinstein – a former mayor of San Francisco known for backing tough law-and-order measures – agreed to drop a number of provisions that upset liberal and social justice groups. A call for mandatory minimum sentence was scrapped, as well as an increase in death penalty crimes and a provision that would have made it easier to prosecute juveniles. In just the past week, Feinstein also narrowed her definition of what constitutes a gang to an association of five or more people, each of whom has committed at least one gang crime. She also incorporated a mentoring program at the suggestion of a colleague and raised the threshold of what could be considered a gang crime – eliminating what she called “lower level” state crimes like a simple assault charge. At the same time, she added $160 million more for prevention and intervention programs after juvenile justice groups complained that she was shortchanging those organizations. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., called the newest version “enormously strengthened” as he and others praised Feinstein for working with Republicans and Democrats on the changes. “This might not have the answer and be the silver bullet, but I think it’s going to make a difference,” he said. Many who work with teens, however, say they remain opposed to Feinstein’s bill. “It emulates a failed approach – more cops, more investigations, and more ways to categorize behavior,” said Jason Ziedenberg, co-founder of the Justice Policy Institute think tank in Washington, D.C. He also criticized the grant funding for prevention in Feinstein’s bill – about $411.5 million – saying lawmakers need to target programs that are proven to work. “This is the wrong way to address the serious youth violence problem in Los Angeles,” Ziedenberg said. “California’s got enough ways to lock up gang members … If we agree that there’s no way to arrest our way out of this problem, why are we doing that?” lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

UCLA defensive line banged up, in flux

first_imgTom Blake was playing with the first-team defense at end Wednesday, and defensive end Reginald Stokes could make the travel roster. Jeff Miller, who is listed as fourth-string defensive end, was working with the tackles. Chase Moline, Kevin Brown, Ward and Jerzy Siewierski all will see time at tackle. The changes at defensive line might be scarier if Utah was still running a spread offense, but with quarterback Brian Johnson injured, Walker doesn’t expect to see as much spread offense with Tommy Grady under center. Practice follies UCLA’s Rodney Van and Korey Bosworth collided in special teams practice, Van suffering a stinger in the shoulder and Bosworth hurting his knee. Neither injury is believed to be serious. Bosworth did return to practice for precautionary reasons. … Wide receiver Brandon Breazell practiced again with a no-hit red jersey. Breazell suffered a concussion when he was accidentally hit by teammate Logan Paulsen while the two were trying to make a tackle after an interception in the BYU game. Around the nation Oklahoma: The school has filed its appeal requesting the NCAA overturn an infractions committee ruling that would strip the Sooners of eight wins because of rules violations involving former starting quarterback Rhett Bomar. The university notified the NCAA in July that it intended to appeal the ruling that would take away the Sooners’ wins from an 8-4 season in 2005 that concluded with a victory against Oregon in the Holiday Bowl. Oklahoma is also appealing a “failure to monitor” violation based on findings that the school failed to track athletes’ employment at a Norman car dealership. Oklahoma has said it would accept penalties including two additional years of probation and reductions in scholarships and recruiting time, but the university believes it’s excessive to take away the wins. Clemson: Reserve running back Ray Ray McElrathbey had successful surgery to repair a torn knee ligament. The Associated Press contributed to this notebook.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I’m excited and really focused on what I have to do,” Ward said. “I’ve been in the program three years, so I want to make the best of this opportunity.” Ward’s UCLA career took a few steps back last year when he and teammate John Hale were suspended for the season opener for their role in an altercation at a party. There were no charges filed in the incident. “I just kept my head down and worked hard on and off the field,” Ward said. “I stayed out of trouble, and I’m doing the right things in order to get on the field.” Ward might not be the only defensive lineman to get an opportunity this weekend. Defensive end Nikola Dragovic – who sustained a concussion against BYU – wasn’t at practice, and Coach Karl Dorrell said Dragovic had a headache when he woke up, one day after feeling fine. Dragovic was at Tuesday’s practice but didn’t participate. He would need to practice today, at the very least, in order to play in Saturday’s game at Utah. He’s listed as doubtful, said defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker. By Jill Painter STAFF WRITER It’s been a long road back for UCLA defensive tackle Jess Ward. Ward, who’s been working with the first-team defense, said he will start at defensive tackle at Utah on Saturday. Ward replaces Brigham Harwell, who suffered a torn ligament in his left knee against BYU. last_img read more

Liverpool will play hardball with Sterling over his new deal, says Evans

first_imgLiverpool won’t be held to ransom over Raheem Sterling’s contract, believes The Times’ football editor Tony Evans.England starlet Sterling, 20, has been in protracted talks with the Reds over a new deal and reportedly turned down a £180,000 a week offer – although Evans believes the figure is actually closer to £100,000.He has insisted the Merseyside giants will not break the bank to push through a deal, no matter how much they want the player to stay.And, speaking to Hawksbee and Jacobs, Evans reckons any contract could include a release clause should Sterling be adamant he’d like to move on in the future.last_img read more