Arsenal, Chelsea reach Europa League semi-finals after hard-fought wins

first_imgA magnificent Alexandre Lacazette free kick sent Arsenal into the Europa League semi-finals with a comfortable 1-0 win away to a toothless Napoli on Thursday, ending Serie A’s interest in European competition this season.The Frenchman struck in the 36th minute to earn Arsenal a tie against Valencia, just as Napoli, trailing 2-0 from the first leg, were threatening to take control of the game.Carlo Ancelotti’s team lost their way after that and, although the hosts had 67 percent of possession, Arsenal were able to sit out the second half to reach the semi-finals for the second season in a row with a 3-0 aggregate win.”We came here with ambition, we wanted to win, to score some goals. We did it, and kept a clean sheet as well, which is important for the confidence,” said Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.Ancelotti said that “the game lasted 30 minutes.””We had two chances to score and we didn’t succeed,” he added. “We have not been as lucid in the last two months, we are more predictable and because of that, we have difficulty with our finishing.”In a lively opening half hour, Napoli threatened to make a breakthrough as Jose Callejon’s effort was saved by Petr Cech’s legs and Arkadiusz Milik had a goal chalked off for offside.The Pole should have put Napoli ahead minutes later when compatriot Piotr Zielinski’s cross found him unmarked in the penalty area but he headed wide.Arsenal also lost Aaron Ramsey to an apparent hamstring problem but, just as it seemed things were going against them, they went ahead as Lacazette curled his free kick around a poorly organised wall from 25 metres.advertisementArsenal should have wrapped up the game four minutes into the second half but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with only Alex Meret to beat, placed his shot too near the goalkeeper who was able to save.The second half petered out after that as Arsenal sat back and Napoli enjoyed most of the possession but did little with it.Lorenzo Insigne shot weakly at Cech after getting clear of the Arsenal defence and was immediately substituted, a decision which infuriated the forward who watched the rest of the match on the touchline with his arms folded.Fabian Ruiz summed up their evening by firing their last chance wildly over the crossbar in stoppage time.”Insigne was just disappointed with the way the match went, he had believed in our chances like everyone else” said Ancelotti. “His reaction was not linked to the substitution.”Chelsea reached the Europa League semi-finals by beating Slavia Prague 4-3 in a roller-coaster game on Thursday, helped by a Pedro brace in a first-half onslaught before withstanding a comeback bid by the Czechs after the break.Chelsea, who will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the last four, were cruising 4-1 at halftime but Slavia’s Petr Sevcik slammed home two strikes early in the second half, narrowing the aggregate score to 5-3.With the Stamford Bridge crowd increasingly unsettled, and Slavia being roared on by their travelling fans, Sevcik spurned a chance to cut the deficit further.But Chelsea, having won the first leg 1-0, held on to set up a semi against Eintracht, who beat visiting Benfica 2-0 to go through on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate scoreline.A Chelsea triumph in the Europa League, a trophy they won in 2013, would secure a way back into the prestigious Champions League if they finish outside Premier League top four this season. They currently sit fifth in the table.”As usual in the last two months we started very badly in the second half,” Sarri told reporters. “It’s a big problem… We need a solution, we need to solve this problem.”Sarri, who has never won a major final as a coach, said he was determined to see his side triumph this time.”For me, I think it is very important first of all to get to the final, but this time I don’t want to just get to the final, I want to win the final,” he said.Slavia coach Jindrich Trpisovsky lamented his side’s defensive performance in the opening 45 minutes.”If we had managed the first half better, I think we could have gone through,” he said. “Everyone says the English Premier League is the example to follow and that we cannot play against teams like this. But I think we showed today that we can.”Also Watch:last_img read more

Manchester City’s plan for global domination

first_img Listen Pinterest Facebook United Arab Emirates Facebook But Tebas’s suggestion that CFG uses its muscle to push the regulatory boundaries is not without merit. In 2014, Uefa punished City with a €20m fine for breaking the financial fair play rules in previous seasons. The Australian league, meanwhile, introduced new rules last year after CFG circumvented the league’s ban on transfer fees between clubs with a ruse that one critic dubbed “farcical”. Manchester City bought a local player called Anthony Cáceres – “outbidding” Australian clubs by paying a transfer fee – before loaning him straight to Melbourne. The league responded by banning the practice for the first year after signing.The same ownership whose deep pockets have enabled these global ambitions may also be a source of further difficulties – in part because the desire to protect Abu Dhabi’s image looms large at CFG. This has become more challenging as the emirate’s ambitious mega-projects, such as the collection of museums on Saadiyat Island, attract the attention of human rights organisations, who accuse the UAE of violating the rights of migrant construction workers. When emails from the Emirati embassy in Washington were leaked earlier this year, among them was a memo revealing that CFG’s directors had fretted about a proposal to build an NYCFC stadium on parkland in Queens – where there was already public opposition to such a project – out of fear that stadium critics would attack Abu Dhabi’s involvement, targeting its attitude to “gay [rights], women, wealth, Israel”. The project was abandoned, and NYCFC still does not have its own stadium.There is a central paradox to the economics of football. While the global business has long expanded at annual rates of 10% or more, few clubs have ever made much profit, let alone paid owners an annual dividend. Even the mighty Premier League clubs have, jointly, posted pre-tax losses in three of the last five seasons. And yet the price of clubs keeps rising. Mansour, for example, was estimated to have paid around twice as much for City as the previous owner, the exiled former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, had done just 15 months earlier.Soriano says that sports franchises are exposed, week-in, week-out, to such relentless competition that they are driven to constantly reinvest profits – meaning that owners only really make money by selling. Others see football clubs as a “rarity” for ultra-rich collectors – with billionaires queueing to join the small, exclusive club of those who own famous clubs. These are also incredibly resilient assets: Manchester City, founded by vicar’s daughter Anna Connell to keep working men off booze and brawling in 1880, is one of many now in their second century. “How many companies that were on the New York stock exchange in 1917 still exist?” Soriano asks. Facebook Share via Email Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Facebook Manchester City’s plan for global domination – podcast Pinterest Chinese president Xi Jinping, Man City striker Sergio Aguero and then prime minister David Cameron at MCFC’s Etihad stadium in Manchester in 2015. Photograph: Sergio Aguero/AP Back at home in Barcelona, it was a bittersweet moment for Ferran Soriano. A hairdresser’s son from the city’s working-class district of Poblenou, Soriano had become one of FC Barcelona’s top executives – and had helped build what could now claim to be the greatest football team the world had ever seen. “I was happy, but it was also painful not to be there when the team reached its pinnacle,” he told me. Instead, he picked up the phone and called Guardiola.Soriano had overseen Barcelona’s finances for five years until 2008, and the club’s record owed much to the ideas he had developed after running a US-style political campaign to bring a group of swashbuckling, sharp-suited young men to power at elections for a new board of directors in 2003. He had even written a book, La Pelota no entra por azar (“The ball doesn’t go in by chance”), in which he argued that Barcelona’s success – and, by inference, that record – was the result of good, creative business management. Vicious political infighting had driven him to resign from the club the previous year. But even before that, he had seen one of his more ambitious ideas – to set up franchise clubs in other countries – thwarted at Barcelona. This was a step too far for a club owned by 143,000 voting fans, firmly rooted in their city and Catalonia.But Soriano’s big idea has now been brought to life by two men who were watching very closely on the night Guardiola wept in Abu Dhabi: one is a member of the United Arab Emirates’ ruling family, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and the other is Khaldoon al-Mubarak, a youthful executive and adviser to the royal family. With their backing, Soriano is now upending football’s established order by building its first true multinational corporation – a Coca-Cola of soccer.That corporation is City Football Group (CFG). It already owns, or co-owns, six clubs on four continents, and the contracts of 240 male professional players and two dozen women. Hundreds more carefully picked teenagers and younger children who aspire to greatness play in CFG’s lower teams. The longterm ambition is huge. The company will trawl the world for players – shaping and polishing them in state-of-the-art academies and training facilities across several continents, selling them on or sending the best to the clubs it will own (and improve) in a dozen or so countries. Supplied and shielded by the vessels around it, the flagship of this new football flotilla – Manchester City FC – will continue its already startling rise to become the world’s greatest club.That is the Soriano idea – or at least, a simplified version of a complex plan. The corporation is only four years old, but it is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful forces in the world’s favourite sport – watched with awe, envy and fear by those who wonder if it could become football’s own Google or Facebook.In a game where top players cost £200m, televised matches attract audiences of hundreds of millions and club owners are among the wealthiest potentates on the planet, no expense is spared in seeking any competitive edge. Once upon a time, money alone was enough to make the difference (if it was spent wisely), but that is no longer the case, in part because there is so much of it sloshing around the game.When Manchester City won the Premier League in 2012, Sheikh Mansour was widely accused of “buying the title for £1bn” – the amount of money he had poured into City since purchasing the club four years earlier. It was City’s first league title in 44 years, and grown men cried when Sergio Agüero’s goal in the penultimate minute of the season’s final game secured the title. Mansour watched it on television: he had only ever been to one match at City’s Etihad stadium, and did not enjoy the fuss his visit caused. In the hours that followed, his phone hummed, filling up with 2,500 messages. Business Share on Facebook Pinterest features Share on Pinterest CFG is not the only owner of multiple clubs – and some other teams are experimenting with modest forms of integration – but the others are largely just investment portfolios. CFG is the only owner that has consciously established a single corporate culture around the world, which in some cases extends to wearing the same sky-blue shirts. Fernando Pons, a sports business partner at Deloitte in Spain, sees this as a prime example of what consultants have dubbed “glocalisation” – a concept that implies taking a global product, but adapting to local markets. “A Girona or New York City fan will almost certainly also become a City fan,” he said. It also means that the advertising for Nissan, SAP and Wix that is seen at the Etihad stadium in Manchester will be replicated in Melbourne or New York – and that players from the US or Australia will be able to travel off-season to the world’s most advanced training centre, built on 34 hectares of land beside the Etihad and equipped with sophisticated extras such as hyperbaric and hypoxic chambers that can simulate high altitude or boost blood oxygen levels.What seems to excite Soriano most, however, is the vast pool of players and the range of clubs they can play in. CFG almost certainly already owns the contracts of more professional soccer players than anyone else in the world, and that number is only set to go higher. So while “entertainment” and running clubs is the group’s first business, he explained, “business number two is player development”. The inspiration is Barcelona’s famous and much-copied Masia youth academy, which, for about €2m each, produced legendary players such as Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol and Guardiola. At today’s prices, the same group would cost closer to €1bn. “We are globalising the Barça model,” Soriano said.The logic behind this was made even more clear – in the same week we met in July – by the widespread amazement over the £198m fee that the Qatari owners of Paris Saint-Germain had agreed to pay Barcelona for the Brazilian star Neymar. Transfer records are smashed almost yearly, and Soriano now sees this inflation as an inevitable part of the game, now driven not by wealthy owners but demanding fans.“Why is that? It’s very simple: the industry is growing,” he explained. “Ultimately, it goes back to the clients – these are the fans, who want to watch good football and are ready to pay. So clubs have more money to spend, but the number of highly skilled or top players generated each year does not change.”“This is a typical ‘make-or-buy’ challenge. You can’t buy in the market, so you have to make,” Soriano said. “This means spending a lot of money – on academies, coaches, but also in transfers for young players. It’s like venture capital in that if you invest 10 million each in 10 players, you just need one to get to the top who is going to be worth 100 million.”For Manchester City, the expanding web of CFG clubs solves a particularly English problem, which occurs when promising footballers hit 17 or 18. Soriano calls this “the development gap”, and it may explain why England’s national team performs so badly. “If the player is top quality, he needs to play competitive football to develop. It’s not only for the technical aspect of the game, but also for the pressure. The under-21 or under-19 competitions in England don’t provide this, because games aren’t in front of a lot of fans and there isn’t enough competitive tension,” he said. If Spain and Germany are much better at developing players, he says, it is because clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich all have reserve teams that play in their countries’ second or third division against other professional clubs – not in a separate league, as English youth teams do. “If you manage a boy who has talent and is promising, who is 18 or 19, you can have him training with the first team, but playing in the second, where games are difficult, competitive and you play before crowds of 30,000.” Sheikh Mansour (front right) with chairman of Manchester City FC Khaldoon al-Mubarak (front left) and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (front centre) at a training camp in Abu Dhabi, 2017. Photograph: Victoria Haydn/Manchester City FC via Getty Images Pinterest Man City CEO Ferran Soriano. Photograph: Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images Twitter Twitter Twitter The long read Man City star Kevin De Bruyne (centre) during their recent victory over Swansea City. Photograph: Thomas/JMP/REX/Shutterstock Because Premier League clubs are not allowed to field second teams, the primary way to develop promising young players who are not quite ready is to loan them to another club, usually in a lower division; Manchester City, for example, currently has around 20 players out on loan. But once a player is loaned out, the parent club loses control over their development – as Chelsea can testify, having bought up so many young players that more than 30 are on loan at 24 different clubs. At worst, this leads to the warehousing of players and the ruining of promising careers. CFG’s integrated web of clubs, all (in theory) playing the same style of football, is meant to solve that. “In this system we control exactly what they do. The coaching is exactly the same. The playing style is exactly the same,” Soriano said.If this vision works out, successful players will progress from, say, Torque to New York, and then to Girona, and then – eventually – to Manchester City. CFG will not “own” them, since they will belong to the individual clubs, who must compete against outside bidders and pay transfer fees where appropriate. But CFG clubs will have insider information on the players, who can, in turn, be confident of fitting in with the style at all the other CFG clubs – while transfer income will end up back in a single corporate pot. In May, club officials gave me the example of the Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy, who joined Melbourne City in 2014 and was the team’s player of the year in his first two seasons. CFG decided Mooy was good enough to play in England, and Melbourne sold him to Manchester City for £425,000 in June 2016. But Mooy did not play for the club – he was immediately loaned to Huddersfield Town, who were then a second-division team. After helping them win promotion to the Premier League, Mooy was then sold to Huddersfield – for £10m. The deal shows how CFG can leverage its insider knowledge of players to simply trade them, even if they never actually play in Manchester. The profit from this one transaction, incidentally, was some 40% more than it cost to buy the entire Melbourne club.Hiring Pep Guardiola was always part of Soriano’s big plan – though enticing him to Manchester required time and patience. One of Soriano’s first City hires was Barcelona’s former director of football, the man responsible for buying new players and helping to choose coaches, Txiki Begiristain. “Immediately we went to talk to Pep, because Pep was the best coach in the world,” Soriano told me. Guardiola had just left Barcelona and was determined to enjoy a sabbatical year in New York. “So we said: ‘OK, come next year’,” Soriano recalled. “And [the next year] he said: ‘I’m sorry, I want to go to Bayern Munich’. So we said: ‘OK, come in three years.’ And he came.” This kind of patience is only available when your owner has no need to cash in and, in a fast-moving sport where fans demand instant results, knows how to play a waiting game.Guardiola’s prime task is to meet Soriano’s definition of a “number one” club by winning at least one title per season. “That doesn’t mean you win every year, but that in five seasons you win five trophies. It means getting to April with possibilities of winning the Premier League and playing in the semi-finals of the Champions League,” he explained. City have only managed the latter once – in 2015/16, the season before Guardiola arrived – but the target implies winning the Champions League every four years. Manchester City: a tale of love and money Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger Topics But this was also the end of an era. European football’s regulator, Uefa, had brought in new rules designed to stop clubs spending much more than they earned. Critics dismissed Mansour as a spoiled hobbyist, and even today some wonder to what extent his “private” ownership might become an instrument of Abu Dhabi’s soft power. But his few public statements made it clear that he had bought City – and ploughed money into it – as a genuine, long-term investment because “in cold business terms, Premiership football is one of the best entertainment products in the world”.The ambition, then, was double – he intended to win at both football and business. But with the Uefa spending brake, that was about to become much tougher. He needed something new. Could City win without losing money?In fact, when Soriano’s gang of smart young businessmen took over Barcelona in 2003, it was a loss-making club. As finance chief, Soriano helped deliver a spiralling “virtuous circle” of high investment, trophies and then even higher revenues. Forceful and analytical, he had built and sold a global consultancy business by the age of 33; at Barcelona, where he was nicknamed both “the Panzer” and “the Computer”, he made a strong-willed but sensible counterpoint to the club’s mercurial president, Joan Laporta. But Soriano also saw Barcelona as something far bigger than a city club, while realising that the global football business itself was poised to enter a new era. In 2006, at a talk Soriano delivered at Birkbeck College in London, he presented 28 slides that set out his early vision. Thanks to the phenomenal growth in their worldwide fan bases, he noted, big clubs were being transformed from promoters and organisers “of local events, like a circus” into “global entertainment companies like Walt Disney”. If big clubs seized the opportunity to “capture the growth and become global franchises”, they would soon stand apart from their rivals, creating a new, world-conquering elite.“He thought, and thinks, in a different way to most other people in football,” says Simon Chadwick, now a professor at Salford University, who had invited Soriano to give the talk at Birkbeck. At the time, Soriano himself was disappointed to find English football so in thrall to a model in which managers such as Arsène Wenger and Alex Ferguson appeared to run their own clubs, while “the level of conceptualisation of the business model was zero”. Even the language was telling. “They called the coach ‘manager’, as if he managed everything,” Soriano recalled.With his abrupt departure from Barcelona in 2008, Soriano’s dream of turning that club into a global franchise, with a first satellite team in the US, was definitively dashed. Instead, Soriano threw himself into running an airline, Spanair. But five years after his presentation in London, as Mansour sought a fresh competitive edge, both on and off the field, Soriano found himself, in October 2011, sitting down for a 7am meeting in a Mayfair hotel with the globetrotting New York lawyer Marty Edelman – who was tempting him back into football.Edelman had been drafted on to City’s board by Mansour, working alongside his appointed chairman, the US-educated Khaldoon al-Mubarak, from the very beginning. Edelman, a real estate expert, was already a trusted adviser in Abu Dhabi, and the choice of an American was an early sign of the club’s new cosmopolitanism. Soriano initially brushed off City’s advances. He was used to associating Manchester with its glittering rival United, and he still distrusted what he called “the stereotype of the rich owner”. (In his book, he had even described City as a club that provoked “savage inflation” through “irrational investment”.) But the two sides were slowly discovering shared values. Chief among them was ambition – and with that came a willingness to challenge the status quo.Even then, it was an off-and-on affair. Meetings followed in Paris and Abu Dhabi, before, in April 2012, Soriano was sneaked through Manchester airport (where the club says it “can get people in without anyone knowing they have arrived”) and taken to a room at the Lowry Hotel booked in someone else’s name. A former rugby second-row forward, Soriano is, at 6ft 3in, difficult to hide. By now it was a mutual seduction, with City wanting to persuade him that, with Mansour’s long-term commitment, the club could be as great as Barcelona. Soriano, in turn, pitched a mould-breaking plan that required deep pockets, imagination and a steady nerve. Both sides agreed that City should aspire to being the world’s top club – a position long held by either Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United. “And I mean number one – not number two or three,” Soriano told me.The idea of becoming the world’s biggest club was not just vanity or business machismo. Soriano had spotted long before that a tiny group of elite clubs would capture the new global market, but he also wanted to build something “far bigger”. Football clubs, he pointed out, were massive brands but absurdly small businesses: a team with a global following of 500 million fans might have an income of only €500m. “That’s one euro per fan,” he says, “which is utterly ridiculous.” In business terms, this was “a combination of a lot of love and, literally, no love” – because fans in, say, Indonesia spent nothing on their club. “So what can we do? The answer was pretty simple, maybe too simple, but very bold. You have to be global but local. You have to go to Indonesia and open a shop.” He outlined his idea for a corporation that would have both a global brand – in Manchester City – and lots of local brands, developing talent through a network of clubs that would also provide a pipeline of players for City. He knew this might sound far-fetched. “If I had pitched this idea to Real Madrid, the answer would be ‘you’re crazy’ – and that is actually what had happened in Barcelona,” he told me.But City was already going through a revolution, and was ready for more. For Edelman, the plan put flesh on the skeleton built with Mansour’s millions. “Any great idea needs to have a host, right? And we were a great host,” Edelman told me at his Park Avenue offices. “You couldn’t take Ferran’s idea and just put it on a blank sheet.” Soriano’s idea (which he now terms his “artistic challenge”) was a way of taking Mansour’s original vision – summed up in his early pledge to build “a structure for the future, not just a team of all-stars” – and putting it “on steroids”, in Edelman’s words.Soriano started work as CEO of Manchester City on Saturday 1 September 2012. Two days later, he arrived in New York to create a new football club. This meant paying $100m (£74m) for a spot in Major League Soccer (MLS), the professional league for the US and Canada, and building a team from nothing. Seeking a local partner, Edelman eventually took Soriano to see Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, the owners of the New York Yankees. The brothers had inherited their baseball team, but Hank is a soccer fan who played at college and coached his local high-school team. It was one of the quickest deals Edelman had ever seen struck, taking “about 15 seconds” to agree it. “It just worked,” he told me. The Yankees took 20% of the new team and offered their stadium as a temporary home. (It still is, though it takes 72 hours to transform it from a baseball field into a soccer pitch.) The team, baptised New York City Football Club, began playing in 2015. Forbes now values it at $275m (£205m). To fans it is “NYCFC”, or simply “New York City” – a marketer’s dream. “Our brand is perfect, because it is ‘City’ and we know we can add that word to any city,” observed Soriano, who began his working life marketing detergents. Twitter Support The Guardian Fifa Football politics Middle East and North Africa Sheikh Mansour On 19 December 2009, Pep Guardiola stood and wept in the middle of Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The 38-year-old Barcelona manager clasped a hand across his face as his body gave way to huge, shoulder-heaving sobs. Zlatan Ibrahimović, the club’s towering Swedish striker, wrapped a tattooed arm around Guardiola’s neck and then gave him a vigorous push in order to jolt him out of it. But Guardiola could not stop. It was a strange place for the world’s most celebrated football coach to break down: Barcelona had just won a game that few people watched on television to secure one of football’s most obscure titles, the Fifa Club World Cup. But the victory secured an unbreakable record: Barcelona had won all six titles available to any club in a single year. That is why Pep was sobbing. Ultimately, value comes from combining talent and emotion – meaning players and the fans who adore them. This is the “love” Soriano talks about, which CFG must turn into money if it is to become the successful multinational corporation that the owners want. If Guardiola ever sobs for City – something only likely if he wins another Champions League trophy, which Soriano hopes will happen this season – then fans of one of England’s most historic football clubs will happily give themselves up to adoration. Many more might follow them.But CFG’s multinational corporate model somehow obliges us to take a more hard-nosed view of how much this “love” is really worth. Will CFG ever match a Coca-Cola, Disney or Google for size or value? Manchester City will have to win many more games, and many titles, before that happens – by which time, if the model works, other football multinationals might have appeared, all of them transforming love into money at a global scale. In the hard world of business, of course, there is only one way we will ever find out the “true” monetary value of CFG’s global juggernaut, on the day Mansour, or someone else, sells the company, and the market renders its own judgment – and puts a price on all that love.• Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here. MCFC players in training at the City Football Academy in Manchester. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Read more But an implicit part of Guardiola’s job, away from the merry-go-round of matches and press conferences, is to help engineer something that may ultimately prove more valuable – a recognisable and entertaining playing style across all of CFG’s teams and players. Again, the model comes from Barcelona, where players moved seamlessly from junior teams to the Camp Nou because all had learned the same Cruyff-style soccer. In the CFG model, clubs and academies in a dozen countries should be doing the same – creating a frictionless supply line of players who automatically know how to play Pep-style and can slip in and out of the group’s teams. Soriano says that will allow “a more seamless movement of players”, with the best ending up at City.This may prove more challenging than it sounds. On a warm August afternoon this year, as smoke rose from dozens of tailgate barbecues in gravel-covered parking lots, I joined fans wearing the sky-blue colour of NYCFC as they trooped into the New York Red Bulls stadium in Harrison, New Jersey. David Villa – the 35-year-old former Barcelona player – led them to a 1-1 draw in what has already become New York’s “classic” football derby. But this was relatively scrappy football – the kind played in the second or third divisions of England or Spain.A few days earlier, I had watched coach Patrick Vieira – who moved here from managing City’s “elite development” under-23 team – train his squad on a pitch in leafy Westchester County, north of New York City. When I asked Vieira, a former Arsenal captain who finished his playing career in Manchester, if his team – whose salaries, under MLS rules, are capped well below Premier League level – always played “City football”, he admitted that it did not. “You can’t play the same football in New York as in Manchester, because of the players,” he said. “What we have in common is a philosophy to play what we call ‘beautiful football’ – the offensive game, to try to have possession, create chances, score goals and play attractive football. The level will be different, but the philosophy tries to be the same.”As CFG grows and its impact is felt around the world, its rivals are beginning to fear its size, and hover, hawk-like, over its accounts. Javier Tebas, the outspoken lawyer who presides over Spain’s La Liga, clipped CFG’s wings when it appeared on his territory this summer, accusing Girona of misrepresenting the details of five players loaned by City. The club was forced to increase the accounting value of those players – a measure that, given Spain’s budget cap system, left Girona with 4% less money to spend on players’ wages. “We had to correct certain market values … so that loaning of players did not represent unfair competition,” explained Tebas. Girona are still trying to get that decision overturned.At the Soccerex football business conference in September, Tebas took aim at Manchester again, accusing City of circumventing the rules by taking hidden state aid in the form of sponsorship contracts with public companies from Abu Dhabi. (He had similar complaints about Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari owners, who he claimed were “pissing in the swimming pool” of European football.) In Tebas’s view, what is provoking inflation in transfer fees and player wages is not fan demand, but Gulf cash and so-called “state clubs” – including “Manchester City and its oil”. City not only denied this, but threatened to sue him – and Uefa has ignored Tebas’s demands that it investigate the club’s finances. But the vocal hostility from the head of a league dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona is a sign that the latter two – whose not-for-profit, member-controlled structure prevents them taking the CFG route to global expansion – are starting to feel threatened. Twitter Share on WhatsApp When I first visited the Etihad campus in March, the wall behind the reception desk bore the shields of City, NYCFC and two other clubs: Melbourne City, and Yokohama F Marinos, a Japanese club in which CFG owns a minority stake. Melbourne Heart, as the Australian club was originally known, had only been founded in 2009. It won its first major trophy last season, just two years after City bought it and changed its name, and changed its colours to sky blue. “It’s like being a start-up tech firm, and Apple buying you,” Scott Munn, the club’s founding CEO, told me. East Manchester, in this analogy, will become the Silicon Valley of soccer. A modest cluster of other football businesses is even forming in the area – making the Californian analogy even more apt.By the time I returned two months later, City had bought yet another club, this time in Uruguay – Atlético Torque, a second-division side that was founded in 2007 and became professional only in 2012. At the company’s annual staff meeting in May, a representative from the new outpost began his presentation with a map of South America and a large arrow pointing to Uruguay. “Nobody knows what is Torque. Nobody knows where is Torque,” he admitted, only half-jokingly. (It is in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo.) “In this room we have as many people as go to a Torque match.” The ambition, however, was for the club to rise to the first division, finish in the top four and qualify for continent-wide competitions – and this in a country that produces world-class players such as Barcelona’s Luis Suárez or Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani. Rather more mysteriously, the club also aimed to “sign and register players from all across South America”. The latter was the result of a cold statistical analysis, which had revealed that Uruguay was the biggest per-capita exporter of professional footballers – an astounding £25m-a-year business. And this was despite the fact that many small clubs often sold talented players cheaply when they were still teenagers. “It’s astonishing,” Soriano said. “We are big, and will hold on to them longer” – making them even more valuable.The next time I saw Soriano – at his holiday apartment in the small Catalan beach resort of Tamariu – it was July, and he had closed yet another deal just a day earlier. For €3.5m (£3.1m), City had purchased 44% of Girona, a club in Spain’s top division. This was a far bigger fish. As he sat on a balcony overlooking the bay in shorts and a T-shirt – pulling data on fan numbers and television rights out of a battered laptop – Soriano looked happy (and not just because, in Tamariu, he can make work calls from his balcony and then pop down to join his two “Mancunian” infant daughters on the beach).“When we agreed the price last year, it was in the second division. Now it’s in the first,” he said. On 29 October this year, with help from players loaned by Manchester City, the newly promoted team convincingly beat Real Madrid in their first meeting. The injection of CFG cash and know-how at Torque has had an even more dramatic effect. Last month it finished top of Uruguay’s second division, meaning it has already been promoted – just six months after it was bought.Soriano is convinced that football will eventually become the biggest sport in almost every country in the world, “including the United States and India,” he says. So how far will CFG go? “We’re open. In Africa we have a relationship with an academy in Ghana. And we’ve been looking at opportunities in South Africa,” he said. CFG already has a close relationship with Atlético Venezuela in Caracas; Soriano also mentioned Malaysia and Vietnam. The limit, he suggested, was two or three clubs per continent. But the next major purchase may well be in China, where the group is “actively looking” to buy a club.In October 2015, China’s football-loving president, Xi Jinping, visited City’s Etihad stadium; two months later, Chinese investors bought 13% of CFG for $400m (£265m), valuing the whole at $3bn. This was probably well over 30% more than Mansour had pumped into it (no exact figures are available). Soriano has been watching the dramatic, chaotic evolution of Chinese soccer – a pet project for Xi – ever since he arrived in Manchester. At first, Soriano was put off by rumours of chaos and corruption, and then by a price bubble. “The market is now more rational and the league is more structured,” he says.Xi wants China to create 50,000 special “soccer schools” within 10 years – partly to get deskbound schoolchildren fit – and to make ready 140,000 pitches. Soriano sees an opportunity to teach millions of children soccer, which “might be bigger than the business of Manchester City”. It is a reminder that CFG – which recently put $16m into a joint venture to own and operate five-a-side urban pitches in the US – is interested in the entire sector, not just clubs. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

In-form Alisson proving World Cup credentials

first_imgBrazil In-form Alisson proving World Cup credentials for Brazil Raisa Simplicio 21:52 1/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Alisson Seleção Brasileira Haiti 09062016 Getty Images Brazil Russia v Brazil Germany v Brazil Russia Germany Roma Friendlies Serie A The Roma man has put an end to suggestions he should surrender his position with the Selecao after starring in Serie A this season There are few shirts in world football that come with more responsibility at a World Cup. It is one that leaves no margin for error. Particularly at the World Cup finals. Despite the 7-1, Brazil boast a historically excellent defensive record in the tournament: In 102 games, the Selecao have conceded less than a goal-per-game – a better average even than Germany, who have allowed 121 goals in 106 games.And with so many teams ready to sit back and counter-attack against five-time world champions Brazil in Russia this year, Tite’s side can ill-afford to give anything away. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: BGT meets Willian | Neymar moved to tears | EXCLUSIVE: BGT meets Renato Augusto Thankfully, they have found the most dependable of custodians in Roma’s Alisson, who first broke into the side under previous coach Dunga and has remained first-choice since Tite’s arrival in June 2016.Despite some early criticism after ousting Jefferson from the role, Alisson has never let his country his down, and looks set to arrive at World Cup 2018 in the form of his life and with total confidence from the coach and his staff.Alisson Serie A Goalkeepers GFX 12012018While last season there were constant suggestions that Brazil must find a new goalkeeper due to the fact that Alisson was a reserve to Wojciech Szczesny following a move to Roma, this season he has not only become his club’s undisputed no.1, but is the outstanding goalkeeper in Italy at the halfway stage of the season.”I worked hard to get where I am, to be a starter in the Selecao, and I’m not going to give it up,” Alisson told Folha de Sao Paulo.Alisson never gave it up, or had it taken from him, last term despite the lack of action he saw for his club. Every time he was called upon by Tite, he performed. Alisson Becker Roma Chelsea UEFA Champions League 10312017In fact, there has been no major blips since a mistake against Peru at the Copa America under Dunga, and that was perhaps more illustrative of the general disarray in the team at the time than of Alisson as an individual.Since then, Alisson has conceded just one goal 11 World Cup qualifiers under Tite. Moreover, his excellent record has continued in Serie A, where he leads the way when compared to Italy’s other goalkeepers.“The goalkeeper coach told [of his quality] right away, but when I saw him on the pitch I was stunned by his presence and the calmness he brought to the entire team,” Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco told Corriere dello Sport.Alisson Serie A Goalkeepers GFX 12012018And since making the position his own in the eternal city, Alisson himself has noticed there are no longer discussions over whether or not he should be his country’s no.1, despite the impressive form of Ederson at Manchester City.”In the last few months, I have not seen the criticism that was there before but, even then, it did not affect me very much. Whenever I was called up for national team, I was ready.”Alisson has conceded just 14 goals in 19 games in Serie A this season, and just 18 in 24 overall. He was particularly impressive in his side’s vital UEFA Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid, making save after save to secure Roma a crucial point that helped them to the knockout stage.Ederson is still competing for the no.1 jersey, but with just six months and four matches until the competition begins, it appears that only an injury would prevent Alisson from adding his name to an illustrious list of those who have kept goal for Brazil at a World Cup.All he has to do now is hold his nerve. He’s earned the responsibility.last_img read more

Yotun moves from Orlando City to Cruz Azul

first_imgYoshimar Yotun is headed to Cruz Azul, the club announced Thursday.The Peruvian midfielder was one of few players who stood out for Orlando City in a 2018 campaign that saw the club change coaches midseason but still miss the playoffs and finish last in the Eastern Conference with only 28 points from 34 matches.The fee was not disclosed in the official announcement, but media reports on both sides of the border put the fee between $3.5 million-$4 million. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The MLS club made clear that it worked to keep him in Florida but was unable to convince the 28-year-old to stay.”Yoshi has been an important player for this Club; however, he expressed interest in Cruz Azul at the conclusion of the season. We worked closely with him and his agent to keep him in Orlando, including offering new contract options,” Orlando City EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in a news release.“Ultimately, the player had his mind set on a move to Mexico, and we reached the best possible outcome for both him and the Club. We thank Yoshi for his time with Orlando City and wish him the best of luck in the future.”Cruz Azul finished as Liga MX runner-up after topping the regular season table but falling 2-0 on aggregate to Club America in the final. In search of its first title since 1997, the club again has been active in the transfer market with sporting director Ricardo Paleaz making Yotun his fourth winter signing. Earlier in the window, La Maquina added midfielder Orbelin Pineda from Chivas and forward Jonathan Rodriguez from Santos Laguna.Yotun and Pineda are both versatie players who can fill various roles in the midfield, but still add to a crowd in the midfield for Pedro Caixinha’s club. They’ll be competing for minutes with 20-year-old Roberto Alvarado while Ivan Marcone seems likley to keep his place as the No. 6. Rafa Baca and Javier Salas, both of which started as 8s during the season, also remain on the roster.Orlando City also has been busy with Muzzi starting work this month and looking to overhaul the team as it seeks a playoff return. The club moved the rights for goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the Columbus Crew for $50,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Goal sources indicate the Lions also are set to make a move for Real Salt Lake left back Danilo Acosta.last_img read more

Fireside cooking with Chef Tim Byres

first_imgAfter leaving the fine-dining industry, longtime chef Tim Byres spent the summer of 2009 traveling through the Mississippi Delta. “I wanted to trace the roots of American food,” Byres recalls. The trip rekindled his love for family-style eateries and old-school home cooking. When he returned to Dallas, Texas, Byres opened Smoke with a clear goal in mind. “I said I’m going to cook from scratch,” he says. “I aspired for everything to be homemade.”From curing meat to canning jams and jellies, Byres has mastered the art of scratch cooking. And with his new cookbook, Smoke: New Firewood Cooking, he wants to show others that they can do. The Manual caught up with Byres to get a glimpse of his cookbook’s offerings.Your cookbook is all about making food from scratch—why is it worth learning?Nowadays, people are detached from their food. For me, knowing how to make things from scratch is exciting. It lets me have a personal relationship with the ingredients I’m working with. With the book, I wanted to demystify scratch cooking and make people say: “Wow, it’s not that hard. Who would’ve thought?” Some people think they can’t cook this way and that’s not true. If you don’t think you can’t make something, the only thing stopping you is you.What are some tips you lay out about firewood cooking ?In the book, I break down down the different types of wood and the importance of ash and charcoal. I also talk about how to build a fire to last a long time and to understand direct and indirect heat, the two primary methods of cooking in the book.  This book will even show you how to build a smokehouse if you really want to. One thing to understand about this kind of cooking is that it isn’t so precise. There is no “set it to 350 degrees and come back in an hour.” Sometimes you’re just going to have to roll with it.Is the book  user-friendly for those who live in urban areas and don’t have access to outdoor cooking equipment? I tried to add that smoke flavor that comes from firewood cooking in all of my recipes. So you might not have the capability to light a big fire in your backyard but you would have the capability to make the barbecue spice mixes. Take the beef spice mix with coffee, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar and smoked paprika. That’s something you can make in your kitchen, rub on a strip steak and sear on a pan. It would give you the flavor of a backyard grill.Most of the recipes seem geared for large gatherings. Was that your intention?All of them are meant to be shared at a huge table. With the book, I encourage family-style meals. I think it’s awesome if you can have twenty to twenty five people over, roll up your sleeves and just have a great time. That’s what I remember as a kid at my grandmother’s farm in Northern Idaho. During harvest season, everybody ate at her house–my aunts and uncles, and all of the people helping on the farm. It was like a mini restaurant. The woman would cook, then the men and the kids would show up. It was like Thanksgiving every day.What’s something you want readers to take away from Smoke?I would like people to take my recipes and create their own. For instance, my book has recipes for basic spices. I tested most of the spice mixes in my house and kept them jarred in my cupboard. My mother-in-law would sometimes use these spice mixes, which I intended for grilling, to make dinner. She would take a tablespoon of the poultry spice and add it to stir fried vegetables or throw it in her beans. While that’s her interpretation of that recipe, you can take that same spice and sprinkle it on a salad for a completely different dish.Are there key tools we would definitely need before trying out your recipes?A 12-inch cast iron sauté pan, which is great for working in a fire or even on a stove at home. Other essential tools: a charcoal chimney, a good knife and tongs. But it’s all about what you want to do. My dad used to say, “Plan your work and work your plan.” So if you want to do pickling, you’re going to need mason jars and a stockpot. I think the most essential thing is to have an open mind and just have fun.Here’s a peek inside Smoke: New Firewood Cooking: Is Classic French Technique Still Relevant In Today’s Culinary World? How 2 Noma Alumni Brought Their Flavorful Spirits Line to the United States How to Netflix and Chill: Mastering the Invite, Finding the Best Shows, and More How 2 Brooklynites are Reviving an Iconic Midwestern Supper Club On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip Editors’ Recommendations last_img read more

$376 Million Worth of Counterfeit Goods Seized

first_img This was disclosed by Director of the Contraband Enforcement Team, Jamaica Customs, Albert Anderson, during a press conference held recently at C-TOC’s headquarters, 8-10 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston. For the 2017/2018 fiscal year, over $376 million worth of counterfeit goods were seized at the nation’s ports by the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), in collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC). Story Highlights For the 2017/2018 fiscal year, over $376 million worth of counterfeit goods were seized at the nation’s ports by the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), in collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).This was disclosed by Director of the Contraband Enforcement Team, Jamaica Customs, Albert Anderson, during a press conference held recently at C-TOC’s headquarters, 8-10 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston.He said the counterfeit items included over 98,000 pairs of footwear, 15,000 pieces of clothing and 11,000 handbags and purses. More than one million sticks of cigarettes and 2,000 cigars were also seized.In addition, Mr. Anderson said there are 14 containers with intellectual property rights-infringing items on the port awaiting destruction.“The majority of Jamaicans do not recognise the damaging effects of counterfeit items, especially as it relates to clothing. It undermines the efforts of the legitimate owners of the product and strengthens the capacity of the black market,” Mr. Anderson noted.He pointed out that it has been realised that from enforcement activities, persons involved in the sale of counterfeit products also engage in the sale of restricted and potentially life-threatening items, such as black mosquito coils, skin bleaching products, fireworks and uncustomed alcohol.“The Jamaica Customs Agency faces a challenge in restricting the importation of these items at the point of arrival due to limitations within our aged Customs Act. This is one of the reasons why we are now in the process of creating a new Customs Act, which will be more effective in treating with current realities. The current Act predates our Independence and does not effectively address several areas of concern,” Mr. Anderson said.He informed that the new Act, once enacted, will serve as a major deterrent to an importer of counterfeit items and further tighten controls at the regulated ports, while allowing an almost seamless movement of goods between legitimate importers and exporters.Mr. Anderson added that Jamaica Customs is also in the process of acquiring new X-ray machines for use at the airports and seaports.This new technology, he said, will support increased trade facilitation, while enabling greater risk management through non-intrusive viewing of cargo.Meanwhile, the Director said that the Jamaica Customs Agency appreciates the partnership with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, as this has proven to be substantially beneficial to both parties in the fight against illicit goods and the criminal network.“This relationship augurs well and anticipates that our operations will continue to have a crippling effect, which will further protect our country and our citizens. This is a warning to persons involved in the smuggling of contraband through the ports that it is time to cease and desist, as the penalties will become more severe and the financial gains far less attractive,” Mr. Anderson said. He said the counterfeit items included over 98,000 pairs of footwear, 15,000 pieces of clothing and 11,000 handbags and purses. More than one million sticks of cigarettes and 2,000 cigars were also seized.last_img read more

Human Trafficking Portfolio Now Shared

first_img The Ministries of Justice and National Security now have joint portfolio responsibility for the handling of human trafficking. The Ministries of Justice and National Security now have joint portfolio responsibility for the handling of human trafficking.This was noted by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, at the recent sitting of the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.“Cabinet gave approval for joint portfolio responsibility with regard to the handling of human trafficking, given that the Ministry of Justice is the current chair of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP),” the Minister said.“The plan is for the Ministry of Justice to provide support to the Ministry of National Security as needed, while continuing to carry out core functions as chair of NATFATIP,” he added.Human trafficking is considered a transnational crime, with the primary objective of gaining profit through the exploitation of human beings.The NATFATIP is a multi-agency body, comprising representatives from ministries, departments and agencies and non-governmental organisations, which support the Government’s policy and action in combating human trafficking in Jamaica.Senator Reid noted that the Government has partnered with the United Nations to launch the Global Blue Heart Campaign Against Human Trafficking.The campaign is an international awareness initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to fight human trafficking and its impact on society. It seeks to encourage citizens’ involvement and inspire action to help stop the crime.The initiative was launched in Jamaica recently. This was noted by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, at the recent sitting of the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. “Cabinet gave approval for joint portfolio responsibility with regard to the handling of human trafficking, given that the Ministry of Justice is the current chair of the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP),” the Minister said. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Thomas Cook India sees 22 pc growth in bookings this summer

first_imgNew Delhi: Travel services firm Thomas Cook India Wednesday said it has witnessed 22 per cent growth in bookings this summer driven by various factors including rising demand from smaller cities and the country’s transition from a saver’s economy to a spender’s economy. The company’s data reiterated a strong shift in source markets to regional tier 2 and 3 cities and towns, Thomas Cook India said in a filing to BSE. According to Thomas Cook India, metro/mini-metro cities such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Chennai continue to witness an increase in demand with 20 per cent growth over last year. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep While, tier 2 and 3 markets such as Amritsar, Karnal, Guwahati, Ranchi, Aurangabad, Vishakapatnam, Hubli, Udaipur and Vijaywada have shown a high growth in demand upwards of 30 per cent. “Summer has always been a peak travel season, this year, we have noticed a significant growth in bookings of 22 per cent as compared to the previous year,” Thomas Cook (India) Holidays, MICE, Visa, President and Country Head Rajeev Kale said. Amongst others, one of the key highlights of this season was that there was an increase in the range of traveller segments, each one unique and clear about what they seek from their holidays, he added. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs “A key highlight has been the shift from a saver’s economy to a spender’s economy with the rise in the number of vacations Indians take as a family each year,” Kale said. Rise of millennial travellers has seen a shift towards experiential holidays, with demand for outdoor and adventure activities witnessing a surge of around 28 per cent, Thomas Cook India said. Another trend that has been witnessed is Indian travellers are moving from a single long annual vacation to multiple short recurring holidays or micro-breaks, it added. Shares of Thomas Cook India Ltd were trading at Rs 213 per scrip on BSE, down 3.09 per cent from its previous close.last_img read more

Old Peace River Haven Seniors facility deemed total loss in fire

first_imgSome residents believed that the old Seniors facility might be used for local fire practice, but Legget says that was not the case, but instead, another nearby building was selected to be used for that purpose.“The practice burn was set to be conducted on the Hillcrest Motel property, they’re actually pretty close to each other. We had a couple of calls from members of the public inquiry about that, but, no, completely separate properties.”The Peace River Haven Seniors Facility closed in 2012 and was put up for sale by Northern Health and was sold.  Over the years several groups have tried to buy the facility with one proposing to open a drug and alcohol treatment centre.  Those proposals never moved forward, and the facility has been left vacant since 2012. POUCE COUPE, B.C. – The Pouce Coupe Fire Department and the Dawson Creek Fire Department responded to a fire at the old Peace River Haven Seniors facility in Pouce Coupe late Wednesday night.Pouce Coupe CAO, Chris Leggett, says fire crews are still on the scene in an effort to extinguish the remainder of the flames. He also says that the Fire Chief will start an investigation into the cause of the fire, adding that the building is a total loss.“They’re still there putting it out. I spoke with the Chief this morning and he is going to start doing the fire investigation as soon as the flames are extinguished and hoping that it might be as early as tomorrow or the day after. It’s a total loss of the building.”last_img read more

Will hold by-polls in TN within reasonable time: ECI tells SC

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it will hold by-elections on vacant assembly seats of Tiruparankundram, Ottapidaram and Aravakurichi in Tamil Nadu within a reasonable time. The counsel appearing for the ECI told this to a bench of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer which was hearing a plea filed by the DMK seeking a direction to the poll panel for holding the by-elections on these three vacant assembly seats. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The bench, while taking on record the submissions of the ECI’s counsel, disposed of the petition and observed that the court cannot determine the timing of elections and it was for the poll panel to decide. The counsel appearing for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had earlier told the apex court that there are 21 vacant assembly seats in Tamil Nadu but the poll panel has notified by-polls for only 18 seats. The DMK’s counsel had said that by-polls on 18 vacant seats are scheduled to be held on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state. He had said that the ECI should be asked to hold the by-elections on the remaining three assembly seats along with the general elections.last_img read more

Musk, SEC settle dispute over tweets; Musk accepts oversight

WASHINGTON — Elon Musk and U.S. securities regulators have settled their dispute over the Tesla CEO’s tweets, with Musk agreeing to having his future communications regarding the electric-car maker pre-approval by a company-employed expert.The Securities and Exchange Commission and Musk reached the agreement, which they detailed in filings Friday in federal court in Manhattan. The agreement must be approved by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who has presided over the case.The deal means Musk would no longer face the threat of being held in contempt as the SEC has demanded.The agreement requires Musk to get approval in advance from “an experienced securities lawyer” employed by Tesla before he issues any written communication on a wide range of financial topics detailed in the documents.The Associated Press read more

Stocks decline amid mixed data

The Toronto stock market was lower Monday as weak U.S. economic data and worries about going over the “fiscal cliff” overshadowed news that China’s manufacturing sector is finally back in expansion mode.The S&P/TSX composite index lost 27.98 points to 12,211.38 and the TSX Venture Exchange lost 7.26 points to 1,213.64.Markets had started the session in a more positive mood after HSBC’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for the world’s second-biggest economy rose to 50.5 in November from October’s 49.5. Any reading above 50 indicates activity is expanding. It was the first time in 13 months that China’s manufacturing sector emerged from contraction.Growth in China is particularly welcome since so many other countries are faltering to one degree or another. China is just starting to revive after the government took steps to slow the economy in order to reduce high inflation.But signs emerged that uncertainty over whether the U.S. can avoid a major fiscal crisis could be already affecting the U.S. economy as the Institute for Supply Management index for November came in at 49.5, the lowest level since July 2009 and down from 51.7 in October.“I think there is no doubt there is some concern and anxiety,” said Fred Ketchen, manager of equity trading at Scotia Capital. “What you’re playing with is confidence. You have this push-pull situation with confidence (and) confidence for those who have it is more hopeful than real I think at the present time.”The Canadian dollar was down 0.08 of a cent to 100.56 cents US.U.S. indexes also weakened after the mid-morning ISM report as the Dow Jones industrials lost 27.53 points to 12,998.05, the Nasdaq composite index rose 2.6 points to 3,012.84, and the S&P 500 index was off 0.74 of a point to 1,415.44.Traders were not inclined to make big bets as the end-of-year deadline approaches for averting the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts set to automatically take place at the first of the year if there’s no compromise agreement.The shock of seeing the drastic fiscal measures go into effect in January would cut economic growth and likely push the U.S. back into recession.Obama proposes US$1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade and heightened presidential power to raise the U.S. government’s debt limit. In exchange, Obama proposes $600 billion in spending cuts, including some to Medicare. He also wants $200 billion in new spending to support economic recovery.House Speaker John Boehner, a key Republican in the U.S. Congress, says Obama’s plan isn’t serious. He says Republicans have plenty of ideas, but he’s not giving specifics.The gold sector led decliners, down about one per cent while bullion gained $5.40 to US$1,718.10 an ounce. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) faded 78 cents to C$37.93.Techs were weak with Research in Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) down 13 cents to $11.46 as its stock was downgraded to sell from hold at Canaccord. The firm cited RIM’s recent share strength and doubts that the new BB10 lineup, which is being launched at the end of January, can turn its long-term business trends.The financials group shed 0.27 per cent as Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) gave back 29 cents to $55.71.The industrials sector was off 0.4 per cent as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP) set aside plans to build a 420-kilometre extension to serve coal mines in the Powder River Basin, which underlies parts of Montana and Wyoming. CP will take a $180-million non-cash charge on its books as a result of a decision to defer the plan indefinitely because of a deterioration in the market for thermal coal, which is primarily burned to produce power. Its shares were down $1.32 to $91.38.Gainers were led by a 0.55 per cent climb in the consumer staples sector. Dairy and grocery products company Saputo (TSX:SAP) is making a major acquisition. The Montreal-based company is paying $1.45 billion to buy Morningstar Foods, a 2,000-employee company that makes dairy and non-dairy products for the U.S. market.Saputo has said it plans to expand in the United States but has downplayed speculation it might acquire Hostess, the bankrupt company that makes Twinkies snack cakes. Saputo shares gained $1.40 or three per cent to $47.44.The base metals sector gained 0.5 per cent even as copper prices failed to find lift from the Chinese data with the March contract unchanged at US$3.65 a pound. China is the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, which is viewed as a proxy for the global economy as it is used in so many applications. Taseko Mines (TSX:TCO) climbed three cents to C$2.81.The energy sector was flat while the January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 68 cents to US$89.59 a barrel.Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE) added six cents to C$27.94 as it said it has set a 2013 capital budget of $4.8 billion, a modest increase from the $4.7 billion it expects to spend this year. The energy company also aims to substantially increase production in the coming years.In other corporate news, automakers are reporting sales figures for November. Chrysler was first out of the gate Monday, announcing its U.S. sales rose 14 per cent last month, making it the best November since 2007. Chrysler says its sales were led by the Dodge brand with sales up 32 per cent over November of last year.Chrysler Canada reported Monday its sales in November totalled 17,013, up five per cent from November 2011, boosted by improved car sales. Ford says U.S. sales rose 6.5 per cent in November thanks to strong demand for its F-Series pickups and the company’s new C-Max hybrid. General Motors’ U.S. sales rose just three per cent from a year earlier.European bourses turned mixed as London’s FTSE 100 index dipped 0.07 per cent while Frankfurt’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.35 per cent. read more

Transport News Brief – Monday 5 November 2007

Transport News Brief Week 45, Monday 5 November 2007 Daimler looking at Indian tie up Just-auto.com says that Daimler is in talks with India’s Hero Group over a similar commercial vehicle tie-up to that recently announced between Nissan and Ashok Leyland. More from www.just-auto.com SMMT extends supplier-finder free trial The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has extended the free trial for firms using its Automotive Supplier Finder service, to 23 November 2007. Developed around its 12,000 strong product and supplier database, the SMMT says this is the largest automotive industry-specific supplier-finder service. “It is a single-source matching service, unrivalled in depth, scope and ability to deliver good, targeted leads,” says Yung Tran, e-business manager for the SMMT. “Hundreds of UK buyers and suppliers already use it, including volume vehicle makers and tier one component firms.” Features include the ability to create private and public requests for quotations, view company profiles and browse the SMMT Motor Industry Directory. More from Nikki Huggett on +44 (0)2 073 441 611 or nikki@autosupplierfinder.com New Care and Community transport package from MacNeillie MacNeille says that its all-new Community Transport Demonstrator has been developed following extensive user-focused industry consultation and research. The firm says the result, on show at the 2007 Community Transport Exhibition at G-Mex in Manchester, “offers a range of options for operational flexibility in use,” and the package is supported by MacNeillie’s recently strengthened aftercare and customer support programme and whole life vehicle management deal. The vehicle is based on a Renault Master LM35 100dCi and the use of light-weight and advanced materials means the complete vehicle remains well under 3.5 tonnes gvw. More from Adrian Graves on +44 (0)1 284 787 438 or adriangraves@pressandpr.com Iveco plans UK expansion Iveco wants 25 more dealers in the UK to support its plans to take its share of the UK’s heavy truck market up to 15% from its recent 6%. The firm says order intake for its Stralis heavy truck is already up 25% on last year. Speaking to journalists recently, Henk van Leuven, newly appointed as UK managing director, said he also wants to see the Eurocargo medium range take 30% share of its market, up from the present 25% and the Daily vans and light truck range take 15% more of its market. Van Leuven wants to hit these targets by 2012 and says he already has “investors knocking on the door”, impressed by the firm’s products and confidence. More from Nigel Emms on +44 (0)1 923 259 513 or emms@iveco.com More Lutons from easyVan easyVan.com says it has made its Luton van fleet more accessible by simplifying the booking process. They can now be booked and confirmed straight away on the firm’s website. The only conditions are that the minimum lead time between booking and pick-up is five days and the minimum rental length is two days. All other vans, including the Vauxhall Combo and regular Ford Transit can be booked for the next day. The low-cost rental business operates from more than 120 sites across the UK and John Sinke, marketing director says the latest move follows increased demand for Luton vans fitted with tail-lifts. easyVan.com acts as the van rental company and is responsible for the website, marketing and customer services, while the vehicles come from a range of quality suppliers including Northgate plc. The business was launched in January this year. More from John Sinke on +44 (0)2 072 419 044 or john.sinke@easycar.com GAZ to invest $2bn The Gaz Group says it will spend $2bn to renew 90% of its product range as part of a four-year plan. It aims to use a combination of acquisitions, partnerships and strategic alliances to grow to world status. It recently took a stake in the Canadian automotive parts maker, Magna International and has a partnership deal with AVL in Austria to develop a new, medium-sized diesel engine. The group bought the LDV Group in 2006. More from Hazel Crawford on +44 (0)1 902 714 957 or hazel@connect-group.com Gaz Group ambitious for Maxus Gaz Group says it has doubled LDV Maxus production in a year, hiked UK sales by 50% and productivity by 60%. On the back of this, Martin Leach, for Gaz International says, “We already have 70 new dealers across Europe including Spain, France, Belgium and Holland and will have 116 dealers by the end of 2007.” He plans to expand into Portugal, Germany and Italy next year. “2009 will see Maxus production start in Russia where we expect to grow the business by 50,000 units a year. The vehicles built there will be solely for the Russian and CIS markets, with the European market supplied via our LDV Group factory in the UK.” More from Hazel Crawford on +44 (0)1 902 714 957 or hazel@connect-group.com Concept van from Nissan At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, which runs till November 11, Nissan has its NV200 concept van. The combined office and van is 1.8m tall and has a 2.8m wheelbase. It is the result of work by Nissan design teams in Japan and Europe. More from Gloria Maydew on +44 (0)1 923 899 937 or gloria.maydew@nissan.co.uk Daniel Magyar is new CLLCR president The Comité de Liason de la Construction de Carrosseries et de Remorques, which represents the business interests of van, truck and bus body-builders and trailer maker trade associations across Europe, has elected Daniel Magyar as its president. He replaces Henk Nooteboom, who has been president for the last six years. Magyar is managing director of road-tank maker G Magyar SA of Dijon, France. He represents Carcoserco, the French trailer makers and body-builders trade association on the CLCCR and was elected vice president in 2003. Noteboom is a former director of the Nooteboom Group and now is a part owner of that company and the Pacton Group. He is also on the board of the Rai, the Netherlands’ automotive trade association and chairman of its trailer and bodybuilding group. He has represented the Rai at the CLCCR for some 20 years. The VDA in Frankfurt provides the secretariat for the CLCCR. More from Dirk Höke on +49 (0)69 9 75 07 – 308 or hoeke@vda.de Eco-Oil takes three more oil-recovery tankers Newport-based waste oil specialist Eco-Oil just took three more Iveco-based specialist tankers from Seven Asset Management. They are two 18 tonners and one 26 tonner, fitted with tank bodies by Jones Tankers. The three new trucks join a 38 strong fleet. The firm offers a nationwide service with a network of five reprocessing plants and four transfer stations. These handle automotive and marine oils as well more specialist products. Seven offers 24/7 support as well as on-line maintenance reporting and document retrieval systems. More from Steve Cole on +44 (0)1 473 261 777 or steve.cole@sevenasset.co.uk New boss for SMMT The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that Paul Everitt will be its next chief executive. He will succeed Christopher Macgowan who leaves the society at the end of December, after a nine-year term. Everitt will start his new job on 2 January 2008. He is director of civil air transport and communications at the Society of British Aerospace Companies, where he is responsible for environmental and safety issues, as well as leading its media team and government relations programmes. Before joining SBAC, Everitt was head of communications, economics and policy at SMMT. He played a big part in launching the SMMT’s motor industry sustainability report and its annual CO2 report. He also took a lead on a range of high-profile policy campaigns, including the End of Life Vehicle Directive, Block Exemption and the Climate Change Levy. More from Nigel Wonnacott on +44 (0)2 073 449 226 or nwonnacott@smmt.co.uk Daf hybrids to start work in the UK Daf will have seven hybrid trucks on operator trials in the UK during next Spring. So said Stuart Hunt, UK managing director, speaking to journalists recently. He also said the Daf XF 105 already meets the Environmentally Efficient Vehicle emission standards without any exhaust after-treatment and that an even more efficient version, effectively at Euro 5.5, will be available next Spring. Hunt says these developments come against a background of increasing demands from operators to demonstrably cut their carbon footprints. More from Martin Hayes on +44 (0) 2 074 948 050 or mhayes@automotivepr.com Climate change policy needs joined-up government The SMMT’s Week in Westminster bulletin reports that the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee thinks the government needs a new group within the Cabinet Office to push climate change policy forward and cut the potential for conflict between different bits of government. More from www.smmt.co.uk RHA wants fuel duty freeze The Road Haulage Association wants the government to scrap any plans for further fuel duty increases. It says hauliers are paying an average of 85.7 pence a litre for diesel and that the two pence a litre fuel duty hike due next Spring may force some firms to close. “Our haulage industry is one of the largest employers and providers of freight services in the UK,” says Kate Gibbs, communication manager for the RHA. “The chancellor should be giving our hauliers an incentive.” More from Kate Gibbs on +44 (0)1 932 838 917 or kate.gibbs@rha.net MEPs to sort out compulsory fire-extinguishing systems The SMMT’s Week in Brussels bulletin reports that the European Parliament wants the Commission and the Council to demand that all road vehicles carry a personal safety system, consisting of a fire-extinguisher and a first-aid kit on all road vehicles. This is already mandatory in at least 12 Member States of the EU. More from www.smmt.co.uk £2.5m depot for Keltruck Midlands-based automotive and commercial specialist Adonis Construction says it just finished a new £2.5m depot in Worksop, Nottinghamshire for Keltruck Limited, the UK’s largest independent Scania dealer. As well as an eight-bay dealer point with an air conditioning service-centre for trucks, buses and coaches, the 10,000 sq ft depot also houses an MoT test preparation centre. Its construction has led to the creation of 24 new, full-time jobs. Keltruck employs 520 people across 14 depots and has a turnover of some £100m. More from Sophie Hunt on +44 (0)1 527 881 965 or sophie@betterpr.co.uk Good news coming from truck and van registrations Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders should show UK van truck registration levels are back very close to the medium term averages. “The clumsily handled introduction of digital tachos in May 2006 and the confusion over Euro 4 and possible incentives for Euro 5 last October caused enormous market distortion,” said Robin Dickeson, manager commercial affairs for the SMMT. “But through the autumn, registrations have steadily returned to the long-term average and we’re confident that things will be back to very healthy levels soon. Strong order books should bring good figures next year too.” More from Robin Dickeson on +44 (0)2 073 449 222 or rdickeson@smmt.co.uk Oshkosh earnings up Business Wire says that US truck maker Oshkosh has reported record earnings per share, up 72.7% in the fourth quarter of its financial year that ended on 30 September 2007. At the same time the firm says it plans action to return Geesink Norba, its European refuse collection truck business, to profit. The US firm’s net income was $268.1m in this last financial year, compared to $205.5m in the previous financial year. More from www.buinesswire.com New boss for Russian Machines automotive division OSJC Russian Machines, which says it is Russia’s largest industrial holding corporation, has appointed Erik Eberhardson to head its automotive manufacturing division and to join the Board of RM Systems, Russian Machines’ automotive components business. Eberhardson was chairman of the Gaz Group and is succeeded by Sergey Zanozin. The automotive division of Russian Machines includes Gaz Group and RM Systems. The company also has a big stake in Magna International Inc. Gaz Group makes vans, trucks and cars, and has 18 automotive outfits in Russia, LDV Group in the UK, as well as distribution and servicing facilities. RM Systems specialises in developing new technologies for the Russian component market. Magna International says it is the world’s biggest maker of auto industry components, with 235 national production sites. More from Hazel Crawford on +44 (0)1 902 714 957 or hazel@connect-group.com New, ready-to-work vans and light trucks from Renault Renault Trucks just launched a range of ready-bodied vans and trucks, based on its Master, Maxity and Mascott models. The firm is working with four UK bodybuilders to offer tipper, dropside, box, Luton and curtain-side bodies, hook loaders and refrigerated bodies. Ingimex will do tippers and dropsides, Palfinger will do hook-lift systems, JC Payne will do box, Luton and curtainsiders, while Coolfreeze will do temperature-contolled bodies. Renault will sell the bodied vans and trucks through its 70 strong dealer network. Nigel Butler, sales and marketing director, said the deal will help customers beat the industry-wide, long lead-times. More from Penny Randall on +44 (0)1 582 479 619 or penny.randall@renault-trucks.com Euro 5 EGR from Scania Scania says its new Euro 5 engine breaks a mould, confounding sceptics who said it would be impossible to hit Euro 5 emission levels without combining exhaust gas recirculation and selective catalytic reduction. Jonas Hofstedt, in charge of engine development for the firm, says the new engine gives “excellent fuel economy,” comparable with Euro 3 engines of similar output. The engine also delivers “exceptional torque” at low speeds. A triple-pulse injection system, delivering fuel at 2,400 bar and variable geometry turbocharger, help scavenge unburt fuel. Hofstedt said that the same technology will spread to other engines in the Scania range. More from Chris Love on +44 (0)1 908 210 210 or chris.love@scania.com 7.5 tonner from LDV LDV showed a new 7.5 tonne truck at the recent Rai Show. Called the Maxus MX100, the concept vehicle on show was a chassis-cab with drop-side body. Based on the Russian Valday range, the cab exterior and interior is based on and looks very similar to the Maxus. It is part of the firm’s plans to extend its European product range beyond its present 2.8 to 3.9 tonne range. Target specifications include a payload capacity of over four tonnes, and a three litre, Euro 5 diesel producing 350 Nm torque and 150 hp. There were no sales details available. “This is one of a number projects we’re working on,” said Martin Leach, head of light commercial vehicles for the Gaz Group, LDV’s owners. “We’re looking forward to comments and reactions to help us develop the MX100.” Expect more information at the CV Show in Birmingham, next April. More from Hazel Crawford on +44 (0)1 902 714 957 or hazel@connect-group.com Changes to strengthen the draft Climate Change Bill The SMMT’s Week in Westminster bulletin reports that environment secretary Hilary Benn MP says the Government will change its draft Climate Change Bill to include the views of a three-month public consultation and pre-legislative scrutiny by parliamentary committees. The target for cutting emissions remains unchanged at 60% by 2050. The plans include strengthening the role and responsibilities of the Committee on Climate Change and demanding the Government to seek the Committee’s advice before amending the 2020 or 2050 targets in the Bill. The Committee will publish its analysis and advice to Government on setting five-yearly carbon budgets. Benn also said the Bill will be used to introduce the Carbon Reduction Commitment and help ensure that the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation increases the use of biofuels. Friends of the Earth said “the Bill needs to be beefed up” to deliver the necessary cuts. More from www.smmt.co.uk Goodbye DaimlerChrysler, hello Daimler As expected, DaimlerChrysler AG has changed its name to Daimler AG. In the UK this means the firm’s commercial vehicle and car business is run by a renamed Mercedes-Benz UK Limited. The firm’s retail subsidiary is Mercedes-Benz Retail Group UK Limited. A new company, Chrysler UK Limited, has taken over head office operations for the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge business in this country. All this follows the sale of the company’s Chrysler Group business interests to Cerberus Capital Management in the US. More from Ian Norwell on +44 (0)1 908 245 949 or ian.norwell@daimlerchrysler.co.uk Construction orders rise The snappily named Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform says construction industry orders rose 2% in the rolling year to September 2007, compared to the previous twelve months. But orders in the third quarter of 2007 fell by 2% compared to the same quarter a year earlier and those in the third quarter 2007 fell by 13% compared to the previous quarter, with decreases in all sectors. More from www.berr.gov.uk Scottish sales manger for Hellmann Hellmann Worldwide Logistics UK says Jason Sanders is its national sales manager for Scotland. More from Fiona on +44 (0)1 484 469 601 or fiona@manifestcomms.co.uk Transport data from DfT The Department for Transport just published statistics on a range of topics relating to transport in its annual Transport Statistics Great Britain 2007 volume. These data cover the following: Modal comparisons, aviation, energy and the environment, freight, maritime, public transport, roads and traffic, transport accidents and casualties, vehicles and international transport data comparisons. More from www.dft.gov.uk And finally, New Scientist’s Feedback column says Vivyan Lisewski has sent it a photograph of a sign in New Zealand that states categorically: “Water and mud do not climb fences.” More from www.newscientist.comClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) New Caddy van from VW Volkswagen used the Rai commercial vehicle show to launch its new Caddy Maxi. At 470 mm longer than the regular VW Caddy van, the new model offers a 2.25m load floor, 4.2m3 cubic capacity and a payload potential of 800kg. The new van can also tow a trailer loaded to 1,500 kg and will go on sale in the UK early next year. More from John Rawlings on +44 (0)1 908 601478 or john.rawlings@vwcv.co.uk Transport Minister to talk about road pricing The Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP, minister of state for transport, is to outline the Government’s plans for road pricing at this year’s Transport Times Annual Road Pricing Conference on 15 November at the Hilton, Kensington, London. The magazine says its conference will discuss local and national progress on the subject. Other speakers include: Peter Hendy CBE, transport commissioner for London, Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive, Manchester City Council, Stephen Joseph OBE, chief executive, Campaign for Better Transport, Edmund King, executive director, RAC and Theresa Villiers MP, shadow secretary of state for transport More from Karen Todd on +44 (0)1 315 567 704 or k.todd@mackayhannah.com TIP wins 10 trailer deal for LV Shipping GE Capital’s TIP Trailer Services says it just delivered 10 new trailers to UK logistics firm LV Shipping. The deal comprises six new Schmitz Cargobull Euroliner curtainsided trailers and four SDC flat trailers. They join LV Shipping’s 25 strong trailer fleet based at one of the company’s UK depots in Middlesbrough and will work between the UK and Scandinavia, including Norway, Finland and Sweden. TIP’s FleetCare Europe-wide trailer maintenance programme covers all ten new trailers. More from David Nash on +44 (0)1 614 567 870 or quadpr@globalnet.co.uk read more

Droid Bionic inspected by the FCC inductive charger 43inch screen confirmed

first_imgRecently there was a notable step forward towards the release of the Motorola Droid Bionic: the Federal Communications Commission got their hands on the phone. Just like with any other radio-equipped device the FCC tore down the Bionic, finally confirming details about the delayed superphone. In addition to the standard battery of benchmarks–Specific Absorption Rate testing and the like–the FCC was kind enough to post images of the phone and a full copy of its manual.Above you can see the most interesting reveal made by the FCC: the inductive charging back. Presumably this will replace the standard back plate for the Droid Bionic and enable wireless (inductive) charging, just like on the Palm Pre when paired with the Touchstone charging kit. Images of the charging base were not included in the FCC report and we have yet to see images of the inductive rear door next to the standard one, but based on the leaked images we’ve seen in the past they look basically the same.The manual held the rest of the interesting information. It confirms much of what we’ve already heard and once and for all clears up some rumors about the device. Foremost, the Droid Bionic has a 4.3-inch display (qHD), not a 4.5-inch one as was postulated last week. Next we see that it has a micro HDMI port, and then all the standard features like micro USB and a 3.5mm headset jack. The manual confirms this model as being the XT875.Other notable mentions in the manual include Netflix playback and that the Bionic is a world phone, usable in over 200 countries thanks to its use of “CDMA, GSM 900, GSM 1800, and UMTS 2100” and, obviously LTE.We still have no official release date for the Droid Bionic, though we have been told that it will definitely land in September. This was stated by Motorola’s CEO and is in keeping with the Summer 2011 timing on Verizon’s Droid Bionic signup page.FCC, via android centraldroid_bionic_manualdroid_bionic_manualdroid_bionic_inductive_chargerdroid_bionic_fccbionic_moreScreen Shot 2011-08-08 at 10.59.11 AMlast_img read more

Eddie Hearn tightlipped following reports that hes signed Katie Taylor to pro

first_img Short URL Image: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images Tuesday 25 Oct 2016, 3:31 PM By Steve O’Rourke However, Hearn reportedly told RTÉ that they were in negotiations with the Bray boxer.Speaking to The42 earlier this month, Taylor was still undecided about turning professional.““I’m just weighing up all my options at the moment and I’m considering the pro game as well,” she said.“I haven’t made any decision as of yet but I’m definitely looking at every avenue. I’m speaking to a few promoters as well but I’m in no rush, I’m taking my time because it’s obviously a huge decision for me.“The pro-game is an option at the moment but I do love the Olympic Games. As I said, I am weighing up everything.”If confirmed, the news would be another blow to the Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s High Performance Unit after Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Steven Donnelly have all decided to turn professional in the wake of Rio 2016.Klitschko injury means December title fight with Joshua won’t be happeningKatie Taylor denies reports she’s back training in father’s gym 18 Comments Katie Taylor has decided to turn professional. Image: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images KATIE TAYLOR IS reportedly set to turn professional and could make her debut as early as next month.But Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sports have yet to officially confirm that they have signed the Olympic gold medallist to a pro deal.Just 24 hours after the fighter confirmed she was not back training at her father’s gym in Bray, it was reported in this morning’s Irish Sun that the 2012 Olympic gold medallist will fight on the undercard of Tommy Coyle’s bout with John Wayne Hibbert at Wembley Arena on 26 November.The paper claims the fight will be live on Sky Sports.When pressed this morning, a spokesperson for Matchroom Sports told The42 that the fight is:Not something we can officially comment on at this stage.” 16,279 Views Oct 25th 2016, 3:31 PM http://the42.ie/3044740 Katie Taylor has decided to turn professional. Eddie Hearn tight-lipped following reports that he’s signed Katie Taylor to pro deal The former Olympic gold medallist has reportedly signed with Matchroom Sports. Share6 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Bayern Munich beat Man United in tough preseason friendly

first_imgManchester United rounded up their pre-season friendly with a 1-0 away defeat to German Champions Bayern Munich in what has been a turbulent transfer window for the English side.Jose Mourinho recently warned the club that they may face a “difficult season” if they do not act quickly in the transfer market.The Portuguese manager was able to call upon Marcus Rashford in Munich who started alongside Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata in the attack, with summer signing Fred lining up in midfield.However, United were on the back foot for much of Sunday evening’s friendly, with David De Gea busy at one end as Manuel Neuer was rarely troubled at the other.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…The Bavarians deservedly took the lead with a close-range header from Javi Martinez who powered in from a corner kick.Anthony Martial was a notable absentee considering the recent fiasco with the Mourinho indicating his future lies away from Old Trafford.With the transfer window set to close on Thursday, United may need to secure some shrewd signings to avoid the “Mourinho hangover” usually suffered every third season.Next up for United is a Premier League clash against Leicester City on Friday night.last_img read more

Media struggles for covering hostile Trump

first_imgFacing a White House which has been unrelenting in its attacks on the media, news organizations are struggling to find the right balance in covering President Donald Trump’s administration.Reporters and media groups are increasingly finding they are part of the story, after Trump’s denunciation of “fake news” and his branding of media groups as “the enemy of the people.”Most news organizations have promised to fulfill their responsibility to report aggressively, without being vindictive.”The goal is to be tough, but to be fair. The fairness part is an important part of the equation,” said Richard Benedetto, an adjunct professor of journalism at American University who was a White House correspondent for USA Today.The White House may have some justification for claiming the press is unfair: an NBC survey last month found 53 percent of Americans believed the media was exaggerating problems in the Trump administration.”There seems to be a lack of concern about being fair,” Benedetto said. “It’s become kind of personal.”Before Trump’s inauguration, Politico writer Jack Shafer said the press “ought to start thinking of covering Trump’s Washington like a war zone, where conflict follows conflict, where the fog prevents the collection of reliable information directly from the combatants, where the assignment is a matter of life or death.”Dogged, and impartialReuters editor-in-chief Steve Adler said the news agency planned to do its job in Washington as it does in other countries where governments are hostile to the press.The agency responds to difficult conditions “by doing our best to protect our journalists, by recommitting ourselves to reporting fairly and honestly, by doggedly gathering hard-to-get information — and by remaining impartial,” Adler said in a January memo to staff.Karen North, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, said objectivity has become complicated as more journalists feel a need to connect with readers by offering personal thoughts on social media.North said some reporters feel a need to rebut the president on his favorite platform, Twitter.”We have the president speaking directly to the people through Twitter,” North said.In the fast-paced Twittersphere, she said, reporters are not just churning out facts but “they’re also putting out their opinion through social media.”North noted that news organizations are also struggling for ways to keep the attention of their viewers and readers.”Especially with the internet, with digital media, news has to compete with entertainment,” she said.”So there’s a huge mandate now for news to be entertaining or at least to be engaging in a way that draws attention.”Crossing a lineNew York Times public editor Liz Spayd acknowledged that some reporters in their Twitter messages during the campaign may have gone “over the line” and cast doubt on their objectivity.Trump has tested the limits of the media meanwhile not only by attacking the press as “dishonest,” but by stretching or ignoring facts about the economy, crime, and the probe into his own circle’s contacts with Russia during the campaign.Some newspapers, notably the New York Times, have decided to brand Trump’s statements “lies.”The Wall Street Journal has ordered a more restrained interpretation of Trump’s conduct, drawing protests from the editorial staff against chief editor Gerry Baker.There are no shortage of opinions on how the press should deal with the Trump problem.Some analysts say the media should turn the other cheek, others say they should boycott or ignore Trump’s efforts. Some news organizations are stepping up their investigative efforts.Nic Dawes, a former journalist who now works for Human Rights Watch, says the news industry has a difficult task in dealing with an administration hostile to the press.Trump is seeking “to undermine the basic information infrastructure of democracy. His ultimate target is accountability in the largest sense,” Dawes said in a blog for the Columbia Journalism Review.”The war for freedom of the press in the Trump era must be fought on many fronts,” Dawes wrote.”If journalists insist on appearing neutral, they will avoid asking hard-edged questions or calling a lie a lie.”last_img read more

Celebrating drama in diversity

first_imgThe Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), a weeklong national theatre festival and awards programme, has announced the list of nominations for its 13th edition. The ten nominated productions, representing a cross-section of India spanning diverse and wide-ranging subjects, will be showcased at the META Festival from April 13 to 18 at New Delhi’s Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre, where they will be performing for an esteemed panel of jury members and a discerning audience. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfEach of the ten nominations expresses the cultural sensibilities of the region it comes from along with strong infusions of reinterpretations in classical and modern theatre. This year’s final 10 nominations feature plays in Assamese, Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and Manipuri as well as a non-verbal movement theatre production. The plays explore subjects as far and wide as gender identity through Indian mythology, the machinations of the entertainment industry in how they treat their female leads, folk literature from Bengal, the balance between the female (prakriti) and male (purusha) energies, the politics of religion and the religion of politics and its division of society, the brutality against women by Japanese imperialists during World War II, Greek tragedies reinterpreted, German philosophy revisited and last, but not the least, the flamboyant playing style of veteran Colombian goalkeeper, José René Higuita Zapata. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Promoted by the Mahindra Group as part of its cultural outreach and curated by Teamwork Arts, META rewards and recognizes the best productions and performances, along with their makers and facilitators, providing a major boost to the indigenous theatre industry, with an aim to increase not just awareness but also the appreciation of theatre in India. META, a must-do for theatre enthusiasts and professionals across the country, received over 330 entries this year, from more than 280 theatre groups across 22 states in India representing more than 20 official Indian languages and 10 regional dialects. After being viewed by a selection committee comprising eminent theatre personalities such as Bharati Achrekar, Chandradasan A, Swaroopa Ghose, Vikram Phukan, and Vivek Mansukhani, the ten productions that have been nominated for the Awards represent the best in Indian theatre staged across the country over the past year.The Umbilical Theatre (Hojang Taret), along with Director Oasis Sougaijam and Theatre Artistree (Caucasian Chalk Circle), along with Director Chandra Keerthi B, are both first-time entrants at META. Other first-time nominations include Abhigyanm production (Comfort Women: An Untold History) with Director Ranhang Choudhary, Indianostrum Theatre (Karuppu) with Director Koumarane Valavaneand, and Natak Company (Item) with Director Kshitish Date. Black Theatre (Nona) is a first-time entrant too, but with veteran Director Jino Joseph who won the 2015 META for Best Director, Best Production and Best Original Script with Matthi.META 2018 will give away awards in 14 categories including the Lifetime Achievement Award as well as 13 competitive categories of Best Play, Best Director, Best Stage Design, Best Light Design, Best Innovative Sound Design, Best Costume Design, Best Actor in a Lead Role (Male/Female), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male/Female), Best Original Script, Best Ensemble and Best Choreographer. The awards will culminate with a Red-Carpet Awards Night on Thursday, April 19.last_img read more