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Piutau advocates for Pacific rugby players in Europe

first_imgPhoto: PHOTOSPORT Charles Piutau has 17 All Black caps. The 17-test All Black is currently plying his trade for Irish side Ulster and is the first Pro12 representative on the board, providing a voice for players of Pacific heritage in Ireland, Scotland, Wales & Italy.The 25-year-old said he was excited about the prospect of helping improve conditions for Pacific Islanders and their families abroad.”I’m glad to be joining PRPW and contributing to the great work that the guys are doing amongst our European/Pacific community. The Pacific culture is all about giving back and being a part of this initiative gives me a chance to do that,” he said.Piutau, who is the younger brother of Tonga captain Siale Piutau, joins a who’s who list Northern-Hemisphere-based players of Pacific Island heritage, including England internationals Mako Vunipola, Nathan Hughes and Manu Tuilagi, former All Black John Afoa, ex Wallaby Matt To’omua, Manu Samoa halfback Kahn Fotual’ii, Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo and Tonga’s Soane Tongahuia.Pacific Rugby Players Welfare Director Dan Leo said having someone like Charles Piutau on board was a “real coup”.”You see a lot of good players come over here, who played for the All Blacks for instance, or the Wallabies, that don’t cut it at the highest level over here in Europe and can actually struggle,” he said.”Whereas Charles has transitioned into European rugby like a duck to water so with that comes a lot of respect for what he’s done on the field but off the field as well he’s a person who puts his money where his mouth is, so to speak, and he’s actually made the decision to come over here at the detriment of his own All Blacks career.”Putting his family first and obviously there’s a lot of money to be earned over…really putting the family first and the extended community first and that’s what every Pacific Islander, it’s at the forefront of our thinking and it’s intertwined into our being.”Daniel Leo said 20 percent of all professional rugby players these days are of Pacific Island heritage and whether they represent Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Australia or New Zealand, they experience the same issues.He said, since its formation 18 months ago, the focus of Pacific Rugby Players Welfare has been supporting players on the ground, helping them navigate challenges like contract or agent disputes and preparing for life after rugby through education and work experience.”Our players have said to us when push comes to shove we need to be able to keep our community’s agenda at the forefront of every decision that we’re making, ” he said.”So we’ve purposely kept a distance from World Rugby and the International Rugby Players Association, which are funded by World Rugby, in order to represent our people in the best way we can.””We’re currently making inroads to working with the British military,” said Leo, who won 42 test caps for Manu Samoa and the Pacific Islanders.”Myself and three of our other directors just met with the Fijian ambassador to the UK and really just trying to establish mental health services that are provided by the army predominantly to the Fijian soldiers.”…And really trying to tap into those services and saying if you’ve got a repore working with Fijian soldiers then maybe there’s a crossover to providing services for the 600 plus rugby players that we’ve got here in Europe as well.”last_img read more

More sports in brief

first_imgSpanish prosecutors call for arrest of Messi’s father MADRID (AP): Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Lionel Messi’s father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of €4 million (US$4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. The decision is considered a win for Lionel Messi, who also had been mentioned in the investigation. A Spanish judge had recently rejected an appeal filed by the player’s lawyers to drop the Barcelona star from the case. In the documents made public yesterday, prosecutors also called for a fine of €2 million (US$2.2 million) for the father of the Argentina playmaker. Klopp could take over at Liverpool LIVERPOOL, England (AP): Juergen Klopp appears to be close to taking over as Liverpool manager. Representatives of the former Borussia Dortmund coach are in talks with the Premier League club, which fired Brendan Rodgers on Sunday after the team’s 18-month slump since nearly winning the league title in 2014. Liverpool could make a new appointment by the end of the week. The team’s next game is against Tottenham on October 17. The 48-year-old Klopp has been out of work since leaving Dortmund at the end of last season, after winning two German league titles. He is regarded as one of European football’s most respected coaches. Former Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, is also considered to be a potential candidate to replace Rodgers. Rio Olympics cutting costs RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Olympic organisers, faced with the reality of a country deep in recession, are trimming costs to keep their budget balanced. To keep spending in line, officials say they will cut back on volunteers, reduce staffing at dozens of test events and trim costs for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. “This is a very strict budget,” said Sidney Levy, the organising committee’s chief executive officer. “There’ll be no excess, but we are not going to compromise the essentials.” News of the budget austerity comes as hundreds of journalists from around the world are in Rio this week visiting Olympic venues and talking with organisers about how the Games will run when they open August 5, 2016.last_img read more

Rubio’s triple-double leads Jazz past Thunder for 2-1 lead

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ MOST READ Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) reacts after being fouled as he shot a three-point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY — Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah’s first playoff triple-double in 17 years, and Donovan Mitchell added 22 points to lead the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.Joe Ingles, who had 21 points, made two 3-pointers around two free throws to spark a 13-0 surge that ended on Mitchell’s 3 to put Utah up by 20 points in the fourth quarter. The big run was just par for the course in a series characterized by large runs by one team, then countered by the other.ADVERTISEMENT Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Adrien Broner, Jessie Vargas fight to 12-round majority draw ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Rubio’s triple-double was the first by a Jazz player in the postseason since John Stockton in the 2001 playoffs against Dallas.Paul George scored 23 points and Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Raymond Felton each had 14 for the Thunder. Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and nine assists, just missing his ninth playoff triple-double but also had eight turnovers and shot 5 for 17.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownGobert’s dunk and pair of free throws capped a 9-0 run in the third quarter to give Utah an 84-70 lead. Minutes later, Rubio hit a running 28-foot 3-pointer to make it 89-75 entering the final period.The Jazz changed coverages on Westbrook throughout the game and surprised the perennial All-Star with different players in his expected passing lanes. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Jazz: Utah started the game by converting nine of its first 10 shots, then missed eight of the next nine. … Royce O’Neale and George got double-technicals for some pushing and words early in the fourth quarter. … Carlos Boozer had the last triple-double for the Jazz in 2008, but it came in the regular season. … Utah had 19 second-chance points to the Thunder’s eight.UP NEXTGame 4 is Monday night in Salt Lake City.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Utah also outrebounded the Thunder 48-33 and seemed much quicker to the loose balls in the midst of a charged atmosphere. The Jazz’s hustle plays energized the packed arena festooned in the colors of Southern Utah – red, orange and yellow.With Utah trailing 47-43, Rubio scored 10 consecutive Jazz points and his 3-pointer and subsequent three free throws gave Utah a 53-49 lead. The point guard walked toward half-court with his arms outstretched, drinking in the deafening roar and subsequent “RU-BI-O! RU-BI-O!” chants from the fans.Rubio, playing just his third playoff game in his seven-year NBA career, had 19 at the half and the Jazz led 58-53.The Thunder, shot 16 for 24 on field goals and 7 for 11 on 3s, to lead 45-33 on Westbrook’s layup with 7:26 left in the second quarter.TIP-INSThunder: Oklahoma City was outscored 30-14 after Adams sat down with his third foul early in the second quarter. … Both Adams and Mitchell picked up their fourth fouls in the first half of the third quarter. … Adams finished with two rebounds. … The Thunder shot 14 for 28 from 3-point range.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Insurance Inspections Underway

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first_imgAll Liberians should seriously ponder why Liberia with a population of only about 4 million should account for more than half of the Ebola deaths. Sierra Leone has a population of about 6 million and Guinea around 12 million. Why did a population of 4 million come to account for more than half of the Ebola deaths than a combined population of around 18 million in Guinea and Sierra Leone?Let me start by citing the The Liberian Daily Observer editorial of September 17, 2014 “When, by God’s grace, we overcome this Ebola crisis, Liberia and Liberians will need to start doing everything differently…We need a THINK-TANK … to help us to chart a more constructive and brighter future for ourselves and our posterity”.The asymmetrical and disproportionate impact of the Ebola on us than on Sierra Leone and Guinea should make us rethink our strategies: the things we should have done but didn’t do and the things we should not have done but did.Let us look at the way Ebola is spread. We are told that we should not be afraid of Ebola because it is not spread through the air but by contact with … bodily fluids like blood, sweat etc of an Ebola infected person. Well, Liberia is in the Tropics and it is a hot country. In addition, most people walk. When you walk in the heat in a hot country, you sweat a lot and most Liberians sweat and sweat is one of the major conduits of Ebola. Thus in a densely populated area, sweaty contacts are easy to come by. Just walk along streets in Monrovia and it will become apparent how easily sweaty contacts can be made.Let us take a look at some density issues. Guinea occupying an area of about 95,000 square miles has a population of around 12 million. Metro Conakry has a population of about two million or about one-sixth of the population, or roughly 17% . Sierra Leone occupying an area of about 28,000 square miles has a population of around six  million. Metro Freetown has a population of around 1.1 million or, again, around 18% of the population. Compare these to Liberia, occupying an area of around 43,000 square miles, with a population of roughly four million. Metro Monrovia has a population of around 1.3 million or about 32%.  So, roughly one-third of the population of Liberia is in the Metro Monrovia area. We can see how dense the Monrovia environ is and, therefore, how easily the Ebola virus can spread.Why did Liberia have more than half of the Ebola deaths? We should remind ourselves that we cannot excuse ourselves because of coups and wars. Both Sierra Leone and Guinea have had the same disruptive issues. Indeed the more gruesome things like lost limbs occurred more in Sierra Leone than in any other place. So we should really and seriously consider the reasons why we should account for more than half of all the deaths from the Ebola virus. Maybe it is the bad things we should not have done but have done and the good things we should have done but have left undone.Let us take a look at some of these. Liberia cannot develop the way it wants to without a robust and effective devolution of powers and resources to the counties or regions. Dr. Sawyer knows how hard I have insisted on this, way back, even before the 1986 Constitution. We had worked on a pattern of devolution with, at that time, fewer counties. I still wish that, for purposes of development, we had fewer counties but we can not go there now because of political and delimitation issues. I was told, at that time, that the legal advisers of President Doe did not think that that is how a strong man governed and, to put it in colloquial terms, he should be able, and have the power, to appoint the lowest dog catcher in the smallest village. So it was not done. I have been adamant about this issue of devolution and I have come back to it time and time again, this time, recently, even suggesting a formula for revenue reallocation and enduring political structures for the counties. Some have argued that with devolution there will be too much corruption in the counties to which I counter by saying that even now there is a huge volume of corruption in “River City”; that the counties with their own resources can manage their development and even compete with one another; that the counties will be able to attract indigenous people and technically skilled people to increase the population and help the development. I am still insisting on a robust devolution because I am convinced that it will bring about excellent benefits to the Nation and spread the wealth of the country more evenly and more equitably.One of the effects of devolution, I submit to you, is the even distribution of the population, easing the population pressure on Monrovia and its environs. I am always puzzled why most of the Ministries do not have full functioning branches in all the counties —Agriculture, Youth & Sports, Commerce, Finance, Information, Transport, Public Works, Labor, Gender, Posts & Telecom, Health and Human Services, etc and agencies like EPA, Forestry, GSA. Indeed, these regional or county branch offices can make effective local data collectors for the central government, thereby making it possible for the government to have more accurate and reliable national data. With a functioning devolution and regional or county branches of Central ministries, we will have these regions developing robustly and fast, while, at the same time, reducing the pressure on Monrovia and its environs. I am sure that Monrovia is not able now and will be far less able in the future to sustain the influx and growth of its population. It does not now and will not have the amenities nor the basic infrastructure to sustain a larger and growing population.There is also another growth effect. As the counties have their own resources to develop, other businesses like banks, restaurants, barber shops, tailors and seamstresses and other shops will spring up thereby attracting more people and, again, reducing the pressure on Monrovia. Monrovia will not be the only center of government and population growth and that will be good for the entire Nation.There is also an additional benefit that accrues from this. We may not know it or we may know it and look away, but as the “up country” pours into Monrovia, foreigners (you know who they are) pour in to fill the vacant spaces. There are now many towns in Liberia that have “plenty” of foreigners, good neither for our growth and development nor for loyalty to the Motherland. A robust devolution will help us solve some of these issues and problems. If more and more indigenous Liberians stayed behind “up country”, it will be more difficult for foreigners to invade and occupy our towns and villages.One of the arguments when Ebola first showed its ugly head from Guinea into Liberia was that we could not close the border because of the food coming in from Guinea. We have a very fertile land, why have we so neglected our agriculture? Agriculture should be a major priority and with it and many road arteries to bring the food to the market we can have food sufficiency. There is, for example, a 1970 extensive study on the problems and prospects of rice production in Liberia that is still relevant today. If the recommendations were followed, we may be self-sufficient in rice production today and less reliant on imports. It is important to note here that the concentration of the population in the urban area has constrained governments to advocate and make policies that are urban-friendly and appease the urban dwellers to the detriment of the whole country. The importation of rice and its heavy subsidization has blunted the domestic rice production. No well-meaning farmer will make an input of, say, seven dollars in producing a hundred-pound bag of rice and sell it for six dollars while at the same time giving away, free, a couple of bags to politicians, soldiers, police officers and the like. Local farmers are not stupid. They are experienced and are economically savvy.Why did all those who took the entrance examination to the University of Liberia fail? Why are more and more students taking the West Africa examinations failing? Why do we not have enough seats in schools even at the university? Why are there not enough, some times no, books for students? Why aren’t there enough qualified teachers in the schools? There is also an earlier study on teacher retention in Liberia done with Dr. Jabaru Carlon. We cannot continue to blame all our social, economic and development problems on the civil war. We are more than ten years from the war and more than eight years into a democratically elected government. As the editorial said, we need to start  doing things differently. Maybe this ugly Ebola has come to open our eyes to the fact that we should figure out new and creatively novel ways of approaching and solving our problems. We need to ask ourselves very serious questions about the way forward.Our health and road infrastructures need to be attended to urgently. I am not unaware of the flow directions of Liberian rivers, from north to south, and therefore the engineering difficulties in road and bridge construction. But I am told that this can be overcome by long north south roads and short east west roads. We need good roads all over the country and not just in the Monrovia area. The road system will facilitate agriculture, health delivery and even education. It will facilitate trade and communication.As I see it, devolution will help us solve a lot of our problems and we will not be in a position where a catastrophe like Ebola will impact us far more than it impacted countries much larger than we are. Let us get our priorities straight. Let us provide the leadership to significantly curb, abate and reduce CORRUPTION (notice that I did not say ERADICATE because, for all practical reasons, that is an impossibility). Let us go out and resolve to make a better Liberia. Let us chart a new course and apply new ideas, even organize a THINK-TANK to help us chart new and novel territories. We have abundant resources.  Let us use them wisely, prudently and equitably for the benefit of all Liberians.Dr. Igolima T. D. Amachree is a professor of Sociology emeritus. He can be reached at Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Suicide bomber strikes Sunni worshippers

first_imgBAGHDAD, Iraq – A suicide truck bomber sent a deadly storm of metal, stone and jagged plaster through worshippers leaving a Sunni mosque Saturday, killing at least 39 in a possible sign of escalating internal Sunni battles between insurgents and those who oppose them. The motive for the attack was not clear. But it carried the hallmarks of an increasingly bloody struggle for control of Anbar province – a hotbed of anti-U.S. guerrillas since the uprising in Fallujah in 2004 that galvanized the insurgency. U.S. military envoys and pro-government leaders have worked hard to sway clan chiefs and other influential Anbar figures to turn against the militants, who include foreign jihadists fighting under the banner of al-Qaida in Iraq. The extremists have fought back with targeted killings and bombings against fellow Sunnis. The blast in Habbaniyah – in the heart of insurgent territory about 50 miles west of Baghdad – was among the deadliest against civilians in Anbar. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The imam of the mosque had spoken out against extremists – most recently in Friday’s sermon, residents said. Many people in the neighborhood work for the Iraqi military and police forces, who frequently come under militant attack. The truck, filled with building materials such as stone and plaster board, was blown apart as worshippers left following midafternoon prayers. Rescuers, including U.S. soldiers, pulled survivors from the debris. The U.S. military sealed off the area and said it opened its medical facilities to “the most life-threatening injuries” among the more than 60 hurt. Police official Lt. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed placed the death toll at 39, but authorities warned it could rise.last_img read more

Jamie Carragher’s Raheem Sterling tweet: Liverpool fans react

first_img1 Raheem Sterling has quickly become a key player for Liverpool, but Reds’ hero Jamie Carragher is not happy with the player’s agent.Carragher tweeted “Message to Raheem Sterling’s agent, shut up feeding stories about his contract” – seemingly a thinly veiled reference that rumours suggesting the youngster has sparked interest from Real Madrid are being leaked to secure a new deal for the England international.Sterling played 33 Premier League games in the Reds’ title push last season and started this season in good form, but struggled in Liverpool’s limp 1-0 defeat at Basel in the Champions League.He currently earns a reported £30,000-a-week, but is sure to increase that amount with a new contract if he maintains the kind of form that has made him a first team regular at Anfield.Take a look at Carragher’s tweet and the response from football supporters… Jamie Carragher tweeted his views on Raheem Sterling’s agent last_img read more

Video: Stunning goals send Darlington to the top

first_imgDarlington have moved to the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North after a 3-0 win over Lancaster City.And they did it in style as Tom Portas and Leon Scott scored a couple of belting goals, which you can see in the video above.last_img

Premier League round-up: Leicester claim late win, Chelsea comeback beats Saints

first_img1 Leicester 1-0 NorwichPremier League leaders Leicester City have gone five points clear in the title race thanks to super-sub Leonardo Ulloa’s last-minute winner against Norwich at the King Power Stadium.After a two-week break from Premier League action, all eyes were on the Foxes to keep up their title challenge in this tricky clash, which it proved against a plucky Canaries side.Norwich dominated in large spells away from home against a mostly limp Leicester, with the likes of the Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater all out of sorts.But the visitors failed to convert their chances, with Cameron Jerome heading wide and Nathan Redmond firing off target from distance.Leicester failed to really test John Ruddy until Ulloa’s introduction, the Argentine replacing Daniel Amartey on 78 minutes.His presence turned the tide for the Foxes, and he was there at the right time, as in so many times throughout his Leicester career, to convert Marc Albrighton’s cross at the far post to claim all three points.Southampton 1-2 ChelseaBranislav Ivanovic was the hero for Chelsea as the Blues came from a goal behind to seal a 2-1 victory at Southampton which lifted them up to 11th in the table.Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long put the Saints in front in the first-half with a beautiful chipped finish, pouncing on Baba Rahman’s defensive error and clipping the ball over Thibaut Courtois.Saints were good value for their lead and did well to keep Chelsea mostly at bay after the break, with Diego Costa volleying wide with the Blues’ best chance.But they were soon back in the game as a Cesc Fabregas cross eluded goalkeeper Fraser Forster and crept in for the equaliser.It was the first goal Southampton conceded in seven games – since the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace on January 9.Chelsea smelled blood after the equaliser and streaked forward in search of the winner. Willian went close with a drilled low shot which dribbled just wide, but the Brazilian was soon involved again, as his delivery was headed in by Ivanovic in the 89th minute to seal a late three points.They are now 11 games without defeat under interim boss Guss Hiddink.Stoke City 2-1 Aston VillaAston Villa are perhaps out of chances to save their season after Stoke ran out 2-1 winners at the Britannia Stadium thanks to a Marko Arnautovic double.The Austrian forward opened the scoring minutes in the 51st minute from the penalty spot, thumping down the middle after Phil Bardsley was hauled down by Ashley Westwood in the area.His second came just five minutes later, when he headed past Mark Bunn at the second attempt after neat build-up play from the Potters.Leandro Bacuna netted a late goal to give the Villans hope of an unlikely comeback, but Stoke held on to their lead to leave Aston Villa still eight points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.Watford 0-0 BournemouthWatford and Bournemouth were both guilty of glaring misses as the two sides played out an entertaining goalless draw.In an afternoon where ‘still 0-0’ was tending on twitter, most of the action in Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs came late on, but fans at Vicarage Road were the only ones who failed to see the ball hit the back of the net.The Cherries were boosted by the return of summer signing Max Gradel, who made his first appearance since suffering ligament damage in August.The midfielder was a bright spark for the visitors, and his surging run had the Hornets scrambling at the back but he couldn’t keep his shot down.Watford top striker Odion Ighalo has the hosts’ best opportunity but he too failed to hit the target as his header sailed over the crossbar, while Artur Boruc was forced to palm away his sweetly struck free-kick. Leicester super-sub striker Leonardo Ulloa last_img read more


first_imgA young Letterkenny architect has been short-listed for one of Ireland’s most coveted design awards.Deirdre McMenamin, who is part of LiD Architecture, is in line for the RIAI Public Choice Awards for her Butterfly House in County Leitrim. People are asked to vote for Deirdre by simply logging onto and voting for the Butterfly House design. LETTERKENNY ARCHITECT NOMINATED FOR PUBLIC CHOICE AWARD FOR ‘BUTTERFLY HOUSE’ was last modified: June 9th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Deirdre McMenaminLiD Architectslast_img read more

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