Round Seven of the PowerAde Isotonic South East Queensland Touch League (SEQTL) was played at the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association’s Whites Hill Complex on Friday 27 July 2007.In Men’s Open action, Dodgers continued on their winning way at the top of the Men’s competition with a solid 5-3 victory over University-Rebels in the 7.20pm clash.Dodgers’ New Zealand Men’s Open playmaker Leon Skinner was in dazzling touch for the Coast boys who worked hard to eventually fend off a spirited challenge from Uni-Rebels.2006 Queensland Mixed Open standout Damian Moar was Uni-Rebels best player and a constant threat with his silky handling skills a highlight of the game.Colts recent good form was rewarded with a 4-2 triumph over Southern Storm in the 8.10pm timeslot.Nathan Smith and Australian Youth Squad member Jason Schmidt had outstanding games for Colts, whilst Storm’s Queensland Men’s Open lynchpin Ryan Pollock, playing consistently good touch in 2007, was again his team’s best player.In the late timeslot at 9.00pm, Country Club United (CCU) produced a professional 6-3 win over Tigers.Hard working CCU stalwart Luke “Chucksy” Parker and the skillful Luke Feldman were dominant for the Northsiders, whilst Charles Seeto was again the pick of a vanquished, but willing Tigers team.Round Seven of the PowerAde Isotonic SEQTL Women’s Open began with the early clash at 7.20pm between Crushers and Dodgers.After a tight first half where both teams created numerous chances, Dodgers finished off better to go the break 2-0 up.Amy Turner, Nicola Slade, and Rachel Stevenson called the shots for Dodgers and they ran out 4-0 winners with a composed display in the second half.National 20 Years Youth Squad member Belinda “Bindoss” Hammett was Crushers best, whilst Tasmanian tyro Emma Haines, making her debut for the tri-colours, and Kathrine “Dooie” Moore led from the front.In the 8.10pm clash, defending premiers Uni-Rebels completed a 4-1 victory over Colts to reclaim top spot in the division.Colts were without their rock, Australian Women’s Open star Peta Rogerson, who has been far and away the competition’s most dominant player in season 2007.Rogerson’s absence was keenly felt by an out of sorts Colts combination who struggled without her input and direction.Uni-Rebels were full of running with Renee Murphy, National Youth squad member Alyce “The Rat” Hulbert, and Toni Elthrington leading the way for Rebels in a performance that smacked of the consistency and combination that the premiers had been lacking to this point.Colts 2007 Australian World Cup Mixed Open Captain Mary “Pasher” Steele, Meg Ballon, and Nikki Etheridge never stopped trying and the loss may be a timely one as Colts take stock and gear up for semi-final action in coming weeks.In the late game at 9.00pm, the Southern Storm produced a gritty 5-3 win over traditional arch rivals Country Club United.Storm’s Queensland and Australian Women’s Open Captain Sharyn “Billy” Williams came out firing and looks to be finding good form at the right time of the season as she steered her young chargers through a tough clash with the experienced CCU team.Young Storm middle Kirsty “Harry” Quince played with poise and maturity, and along with Sam Hopkin and veteran Angela Barr, were the Storm’s best players.CCU dug deep and pushed the southsiders hard with National 18 Years Girls squad members Gen “SG” Lacaze, Kelly Jones, and the experienced Nat Parker leading the CCU charge.In Round Eight of the PowerAde Isotonic SEQTL Men’s Open competition this Friday 3 August 2007, Tigers take on Storm at 7.20pm, CCU meet Dodgers in the 2006 grand final replay at 810pm, and Colts confront Uni-Rebels at 9.00pm.In PowerAde Isotonic SEQTL Women’s Open Round Eight action, CCU will meet Uni-Rebels at 7.20pm; Storm play Crushers at 8.10pm, and Colts will battle with Dodgers in the late game at 9.00pm.With just three weeks of regular season fixtures remaining, all teams are looking to consolidate their games and build into the finals race with good form under their belts.Men’s and Women’s Division two and three A and B fixtures also continue this Friday night with first games commencing at 6.30pm.
Itanagar: The Congress will restore special category status to all states of the Northeast if voted to power at the Centre, party president Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday, reaching out to the electors of the region where it is a sensitive issue.He also accused the BJP of trying to destroy the social and cultural ethos of the people of the Northeast by imposing on them the “RSS ideology”. Addressing a Congress rally in the run up to the Lok Sabha and Arunachal Pradesh assembly polls to be held simultaneously, Gandhi sought to appeal to the regional sentiments, saying his party will never “attack the language, culture, customs and traditions” of the Northeastern states. “The people of the region are close to Congress’s heart. The Congress has always worked for the development of the region. My party, if voted to power, will restore the special category status to Arunachal Pradesh and other states in the Northeast,” he told a well attended rally at Indira Park here. The Congress party’s last standing citadel in the Northeast fell in November last year when BJP ally Mizo National Front stormed to power in the state. There are some states which require special status because of their “unique problems and difficulties” such as connectivity, terrain and infrastructure, he said. Gandhi said these states had special status when the Congress helmed the central government. The Congress president called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP’s slogan of “Congress mukt Bharat” an expression of “hatred” towards the main opposition party. “However, the Congress being a secular party would not even want the BJP finished,” he said. Accusing the BJP-led central government of imposing “RSS ideology” across the country, including the Northeast, Gandhi alleged ineligible people with Sangh family background were appointed as vice chancellors. Touching upon yest another sensitive issue of Citizenship (amendmdent) Bill, Gandhi said his party will never allow it to be passed by Parliament as it is detrimental to the people of the region. “We will not allow the suppression of the people of the Northeast,” he asserted. “After the NDA government came to power, the Planning Commission, which was set up for meticulously planned development, keeping in mind the special requirements of the region, was replaced with Niti Aayog. “Earlier, all schemes for northeastern states were planned in due consultation with the respective state governments, but now all planning is done in Delhi,” he added. Noting that Arunachal Pradesh has a special place in the Congress’s scheme of things, Gandhi said his party wants a “bonding of hearts” with the people of the northeastern state. The Congress leader promised his party will give a fresh impetus to infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh if voted to power. He also pledged to revive the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) scheme and North East Industrial Policy for giving a boost to the region’s economy. Reaffirming the Congress’s commitment to providing ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ to every citizen, Gandhi claimed that instead of giving loans to the unemployed youth of Arunachal Pradesh, the Modi government wrote off the Rs 3.5 lakh crore debt of a handful of industrialists. He dubbed as a “blantant lie” the BJP’s promise of creating two crore jobs a year. “Instead, there are more than two crore unemployed youth now,” he said.
The humble chaiwala has lost his pride of place. Even the familiar Gorkha has been fired; along with him are gone his night howls of ‘hoshiar raho’. It is because Prime Minister Modi gave a clarion call to every citizen to become a chowkidar to protect our nation. Yes, he has done a great service in reminding us of our duty, albeit it is through protecting our democracy. For this, we need to choose the right chowkidar-in-chief, who would honour the very principles of democracy; and is committed to making us happy and changing our lowly position in the World Happiness Report Index. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe World Happiness Report of the UN looked at six key variables – well-being, income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support, and generosity. India stands at 140 among 156 countries in the survey of 2018, down by seven notches over the previous year. Finland is the happiest for the second year in a row, while Denmark has been consistently in the top five for the past five years. Are we really as unhappy as the survey says? Let us have a look at each of the parameters. Also Read – Insider threat managementFirstly, well-being. Our philosophy, Yoga, and Upanishads emphasise well-being and happiness as a state of complete physical, social, mental, and spiritual well-being and harmony with nature. But, the increasing stress of modern day life has robbed us of our mental peace and happiness. Studies have reported that extended families have more ‘life satisfaction’ than nuclear families which is a norm now. They further indicate that by 2025, over 38 million years of healthy life will be lost to mental illness in our country. Further, there is a total change in our cultural values. Leaders telling lies on oath, rendering ethics and values of no consequence, is so common. Alongside globalisation, religion too has become commercialised – profit and wealth being the primary objectives. In contrast, until recent times immediate well-being was not considered as important as the ultimate well-being. Religion is no longer a solace since the culture of rationality and truth-seeking has been replaced with blind faith, rituals and bigotry. Jesus was killed because he talked about taking business out of the temple, whereas Buddha called into question all the Hindu Gods and rituals, yet, no harm was caused to him. Instead, those who opposed him became his monks when they were convinced in months-long debates. It is not our culture to kill people with blind faith in our beliefs, like what the cow-vigilantes are doing with the blessings of the Party and governments. This change is a serious cause of social tension and unhappiness in the country. Happiness is elusive when we think of income too. Right to equality and equal distribution of wealth is only on paper; governments are pro-rich. The GDP growth of 7 per cent, being claimed by the government, is dubbed by many experts as manipulated. Doubting the figure, because not enough jobs are being created, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan even seeks to check its veracity by an impartial body. Total employment actually shrank by millions and the rate of unemployment is a whopping 16 per cent. And, whatever wealth is generated, the distribution is skewed. As per Oxfam survey in 2018, richest 1 per cent Indians cornered 73 per cent of Rs 20.9 lakh crores of wealth generated, while the rise is only 1 per cent for the poorest half of 67 crore Indians. Previous year’s survey showed the richest 1 per cent held 58 per cent of the country’s total wealth. Now, regarding freedom. We have freedom of the press, but the publishers are either induced or coerced into toeing the line of the government. We have freedom of religion, but there are communal tensions caused by bigots. There is freedom to choose professions; but the choice and opportunities are dwindling, with corruption inhibiting them further. One has the freedom to contest elections, but without money-power, it is beyond one’s dream. More than anything else, freedoms of thought and expression are stifled with government action; and freedom of privacy is intruded by snooping into every computer. There is also a great trust deficit. The promise of cooperative federalism is a farce; there is a mockery of democracy – no debates, no press conferences; only witch-hunting opposition with abuse of institutions; there is the only autocracy. Election promises are made only to be broken; election-time sops are only to please the voters. In the absence of a choice, one has to vote only for the better among the worst, who, once elected, would be on sale for voting in Parliament or Assembly. There is also mutual suspicion among people, like in the Big Brother regime. Now for health and social support. Easily available liquor every hundred yards, made so by the government of AP, etc., has proved to be a health hazard. Globalisation, and absence of character building in education, cause great stress and tensions, and there is a telling effect on life-expectancy; and even premature deaths through suicides. Food adulteration is another cause. Private medical treatment is very expensive and government hospitals, mostly, are not comfortable and conducive places. There is social support in terms of myriad welfare schemes, but corruption sabotages the very intentions. And, NGOs, mostly, work for their gains. Overall, for the chowkidars, there has been an increase in negative emotions – anxiety, sadness, anger and worry, distrust and insecurity. Thus, the survey has rightly placed India among the unhappiest countries. But, instead of sulking, it would be prudent to find ways to cheer us up. Happiness is variously defined. Psychologists consider it as ‘a mental or emotional state of well being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy’. Sociologists say it is the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of his life-as-a-whole positively, and refer it as subjective well-being (SWB) or life satisfaction. But quantifying it is difficult. A breakthrough, however, was made by Bhutan by calculating their country’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) and they evolved a single digit Index as a measuring tool for policy-making and to create policy incentives for the government, NGOs and businesses of Bhutan to increase GNH. Good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation and environment conservation are the four pillars that support the nine domains – psychological well-being, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards, and 33 indicators, which help in reaching the GNH Index. UN also passed a resolution in 2011 in support of this novel concept. While East European countries with no freedoms are low in happiness than poorest democracies, Denmark stands out as an example of happiness and well-being – free from corruption, thrust on health care, gender equality and voluntary work; and they proved the efficacy of cycling in environment protection, fuel saving, accidents, etc. As against the fact that 40 per cent Danes get involved in volunteer activities that generate a feeling of oneness of society, and accountability to each other for common growth, volunteerism is lacking in us. No serious efforts are ever made by us to bring such cohesion. Instead of emulating these examples, the government in power spends crores of rupees in advertising about their bounties and achievements. Any national newspaper of 26- 28 pages would generally have nearly half devoted to full page, half or quarter to advertisements from different government departments, although this does not pay any dividends. There are not even proper mechanisms to assess people’s satisfaction with government projects and schemes. The present systems of vigilance and anti-corruption are grossly inadequate since they only manage statistical targets, and whatever action is taken by them gets riddled in dilatory departmental or legal processes. It is imperative that effective feedback mechanisms are in place for real-time check and corrective action. In the past, apart from using elaborate spying systems and overt feedback mechanisms, benevolent kings themselves used to move incognito to check the well-being of their subjects. It is worthwhile, therefore, to divert the money spent on advertisements for this task since the dividends for the good and sincere work done, and the goodwill generated, are enormous. In a democracy, people’s satisfaction is paramount, like customer satisfaction in commercial establishments. The customer care departments vie with each other to please their customers, while sales departments aggressively advertise their products to lure potential customers. Take for example a pharmaceutical company. Whenever a new product is launched, their salesmen and qualified pharmaceutical degree holders interact with doctors who prescribe them to their patients and get feedback about how much better this new drug is working. Yet, not satisfied, they employ talented engineers and others to get independent feedback from the doctors who are handsomely compensated for the time invested. Similar is the case with sales of vehicles, and so on. It is time that chowkidars become inimitable and assertive, to set things right in our democracy. Revered Hanuman never knew his strength until he was reminded of it. Kumbhkaran had to be awakened from his deep sleep to show his power. For their own well-being and life satisfaction, for effective delivery and improvement in government policies, people should demand a comprehensive model based on Bhutanese and Danish experiences, and also for effective feedback mechanisms, with their participation. Lokpal has to be made proactive and given a pivotal role in this task. Ultimately, the happiness of a nation is the aggregate of the happiness of society and of individuals. For this, a real democrat should be chosen as the chowkidar-in-chief of India. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar is a retired IPS officer and a former member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)
There are cold streaks and then there’s what happened to the Ohio State men’s basketball team Saturday against Kansas. Trailing by two at halftime, the Buckeyes shot just 25 percent from the field and 11 percent from the 3-point line in the second half, including a stretch of more than 10 minutes in which they didn’t make a field goal. The Buckeyes made four of their first 25 shots in the second half, allowing No. 9 Kansas to pull away for a 74-66 victory against No. 7 OSU. The frigidity of the Buckeyes shooting did not affect Kansas’ Ben McLemore, who many project to be a lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Jayhawks’ star redshirt freshman scored 22 points and was one of four Jayhawks to reach double figures. When junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. finally ended another dry spell for the Buckeyes with a jump shot with 2:18 left in the game, the sold-out crowd at the Schottenstein Center let out a sarcastic cheer that was more a release of frustration than a celebration. The Buckeyes, behind junior forward Deshaun Thomas and sophomore guard Shannon Scott put up a battle, but their 16 and 15 points, respectively, weren’t enough for OSU to earn its first quality win of the season. Kansas took control from the opening tip, flustering OSU with full court pressure in the early going. Two 3-pointers from sophomore guard Sam Thompson kept OSU in it, but Kansas overpowered the Buckeyes inside to jump out to an 11-6 lead with 14:37 remaining in the first half. That’s when Scott entered the game and he made his presence immediately felt. After a 3-pointer from Thomas, the sophomore guard drove to his right past two defenders and laid in a tough shot off the glass. He then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled going to the rim, making one of two free throws. Later in the half, Scott scored seven points in a 14-0 run by the Buckeyes that saw the home team take its first lead of the game, 31-23. But McLemore proved to be too much for the Buckeyes, though. Kansas’ leading scorer hit three 3-pointers in the first half and scored five straight points in the period’s final minute to help give his team a, 37-35 lead at intermission. McLemore led all scorers at half with 13 points, while Scott chipped in 10 and also dished out three assists. Kansas had their way with OSU inside doubling up the Buckeyes, 20-10, on points from the paint in the first half. OSU fought their way back in the second half, though. Thomas, as he’s been known to do, went on a scoring binge, putting in eight points in the second half’s first seven minutes to help knot up the score at 45 with 13:31 left in the game. The crowd rose to its feet, but that’s when the Buckeyes, who shot 46 percent from behind the arc in the first half started their half-long shooting hibernation. OSU missed eight of their first nine 3-point shots in the second half and Kansas jumped out to a 53-48 lead. When sophomore forward Amir Williams banked in a layup with 8:14 remaining to cut the lead to three, it was OSU’s first made field goal in more than 10 minutes and the Jayhawk lead continued to grow. Down double digits with more under two minutes remaining, OSU was forced to foul, but Kansas’ free throw shooting was enough to put the game away. The loss drops the Buckeyes record to 9-2 as Kansas leaves Columbus 10-1. OSU next plays Chicago State next Saturday at the Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State senior Herkko Pollanen defeated Wisconsin’s Daniel Soyfer on April 16 at the Varsity Tennis Center. Credit: Walt Middleton | Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State men’s tennis team kept the momentum going with a 6-1 victory against Wisconsin at the Varsity Tennis Center on Easter Sunday, marking the team’s ninth consecutive win.With a 9-0 record in the conference, the Buckeyes are guaranteed at least a share of the Big Ten Championship title, a record they have held for 12 straight years. OSU holds a 24-3 overall record for the season, while Wisconsin falls to 14-5 for the season and 5-3 in the conference.“It’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,” senior Herkko Pollanen said. “It’s Senior Day and we got a good win out there. It’s pretty emotional. It’s been a long four years and to end it like this and get the championship, obviously it feels great.”The Buckeyes had no trouble gaining the first point during the doubles matches. Sophomore Martin Joyce and junior Hugo Di Feo swept Lamar Remy and Daniel Soyfer from Wisconsin with the first win by a 6-0 total. Joyce and Di Feo hold a successful 13-1 record for the season on Court Two.Sophomore Hunter Tubert and freshman JJ Wolf snagged the second win and doubles point for OSU to defeat John Zordani and Osgar O’Hoisin in a 6-2 tally. Junior Mikael Torpegaard and Pollanen held a 5-3 score over Chema Carranza and Josef Dodridge when the point was called.The Buckeyes moved on to the singles matches where Torpegaard took the first win on the first court over Remy with a 6-3, 6-0 score. In the first set, Torpegaard got two breaks but then lost two breaks of his own to even the score at 3. Torpegaard then came back with three consecutive points to take the first set. He dominated the second set for a 6-0 shutdown over Remy. Still undefeated for the season, Torpegaard holds a dual match record of 23-0.Pollanen then came out strong on Court Five gaining a break initially off the bat. He controlled the game to defeat Soyfer and pull a 6-1, 6-4 total to gain his 13th win of the season in dual play. Pollanen’s point put the Buckeyes at 3-0 over the Badgers. The remaining matches were much closer competitions.Di Feo clinched the fourth point for OSU in a tight match tallying 6-4, 6-4 wins over Carranza. The first set was an even back-and-forth in points between the two. Going into the second set though, Di Feo was down from an early break, but managed to come back after Carranza had four games on the board. Despite being down 15-40 in the final game, Di Feo came back and win the match and give the Buckeyes their fourth point.“The assistant coach, Justin (Kronauge), just told me to stick with the game plan, try to move my feet a little bit because I was a little bit slow out there,” Di Feo said. “So that’s what I did. I focused on every point, and at the end, I got it done, and I’m extremely happy.”The three remaining matches were played out in three sets. Wisconsin’s O’Hoisin gained the Badgers their first and only point of the match over redshirt freshman Kyle Seelig with a final post of 0-6, 6-2, 6-3. Seelig made a clean sweep in the first set over O’Hoisin, but then lost the momentum after being broken multiple times in the remaining two sets.Courts Two and Four held the crowd with super tiebreakers in their third sets. Both Wolf and Joyce lost their first two sets, Wolf at 4-6 against Dodridge and Joyce against John Zordani with a 6-7 (6-8) score.Wolf was the first of the two to clasp the win with a final score of 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7). In a nail-biter match with the whole team watching courtside, Joyce took the sixth and final point for the Buckeyes to finish a 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 1-0 (13-11) post.“It’s nice to get a win at home again and finish out strong,” Di Feo said. “And it was a little bit special at the end knowing that this is possibly my last match here.”In their final two matches of the season, the Buckeyes will travel next weekend for conference matchups against Northwestern and Illinois, two teams that hold 6-2 records in the Big Ten.“I have a lot of confidence in my guys,” Pollanen said. “I think that we’re working hard every day. We just need to get better because the coming teams are good and there’s no easy way out.”
Ohio State sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson defends a shot against UNC Pembroke on Nov. 1 in Value City Arena. Ohio State defeated UNC Pembroke 81-63 Photo: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorLuther Muhammad, receiving the first start of his collegiate career in the exhibition game against UNC Pembroke on Thursday, is in the middle of a learning process. He said he’s learning the offense, learning how to be a great teammate and how to come in and work every day. But that wasn’t the first thing he mentioned. “It’s been a learning process,” the freshman guard said. “Learning how to play our defense, the type of defense we play, staying in the gap.” As the Ohio State men’s basketball team prepares for its season, defeating the Braves 81-61 in the final exhibition before the season starts against Cincinnati on Wednesday, defense has been one of the main priorities for second-year head coach Chris Holtmann. For Holtmann, it’s more about what he does not have that he did have last season. “We don’t have the versatility that we had with last year’s group with [Jae’Sean Tate] and Keita [Bates-Diop]. And that’s significant,” Holtmann said. “We are going to have to figure some things out as coaches because we don’t have that versatility. But those guys care on that end.” Ohio State showed its aggressiveness defensively immediately after tip-off. With a starting lineup of Muhammad, senior guard C.J. Jackson, junior forward Andre Wesson, sophomore forward Kyle Young and sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson, what Holtmann considers his top defensive lineup, the Buckeyes forced UNC Pembroke to a shot-clock violation, a strip and a travel on the first three defensive possessions of the game. Ohio State allowed the Braves to shoot 32.8 percent from the field, out-rebounding the team 56 to 35, including 21 offensive rebounds, showing an aggressiveness in the post by Kaleb Wesson and junior center Micah Potter. Muhammad said starting the game with sound defense sets the tone for the rest of the game, setting the expectation for the Buckeyes. “Those first five minutes dictates just about most of the first half,” Muhammad said. “If you come out with the right intensity, right energy, it trends down to everyone on the team. And it just uplifts everyone on the court and off the court.” While Holtmann said his team cared about its performance defensively, highlighting the effort of Jackson specifically postgame, he said his team was especially careless with the ball on Thursday night. The Buckeyes recorded 21 turnovers in Thursday’s 18-point win over the Braves, with sophomore guard Musa Jallow recording five turnovers and Andre Wesson recording four. When asked if this had been a problem in practice, Holtmann did not hold back, saying there are certain players that struggle with turnovers more than others. “We just have to help them make better decisions and, you know, if not… I’m not playing guys extended minutes if they can’t take care of the ball,” Holtmann said. “Not doing it.” Freshman guard Duane Washington Jr. said ball security is something his head coach is very passionate about, especially with the guards on the rosters. He said Holtmann tallies up the turnovers made in practice and forces them to run depending on the total. But, for Washington, this just shows the importance of ball security, especially with Ohio State’s past. “Every possession matters,” Washington said. “They talked about last year how most of their games were between eight-to-10 points, so a turnover and a bucket could be that game decision.” Statistically, the Buckeyes also struggled with scoring from deep, making five of 25 attempts from three-point range. Washington and freshman forward Justin Ahrens combined to make just two three pointers in 10 attempts. Holtmann said he is not as worried about this aspect of Ohio State’s offense, citing “jitters” and not giving players extended and consistent minutes as reasons behind the struggles. However, that does not take away Holtmann’s urgency for improvement. Especially with the schedule that is coming up for the Buckeyes, opening the season on the road against CIncinnati, his team has work to do. “We have some significant, significant areas that need improvement,” Holtmann said. “Significant areas.”
AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco has revealed that they must improve up front if they are to mount a challenge for the Serie A title next seasonThe Giallorossi finished their league campaign with a narrow 1-0 win against Sassuolo on Sunday night with a Gianluca Pegolo own goal proving to be the difference between the two sides.Roma has finished in a respectable third place in the Serie A table for this term, but they have ended up 10 points off last season’s total at 77 points.While pleased with the defensive work of his side this campaign, Di Francesco is under no doubt that Roma must effective in front of goal.“We’ve got the second-best defence in the league, but we need to improve in front of goal. We’re too far off the teams who finished ahead of us. We’ve created a lot of chances this season but we could have done better to finish them off,” the Italian told the club website.Maurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.Since replacing the departed Wojciech Szczesny at the beginning of the season, Alisson has greatly impressed in goal for the capital club and is widely expected to be targeted by the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool this summer.“I haven’t been told anything about this. Obviously, the transfer market can throw up all sorts of situations, but my wish is that he remains here,” said Di Francesco.The Roma boss’ sole focus is on reducing the gap up front with the club having ended up 18 points behind champions Juventus with second place Napoli 14 points ahead.“We want to reduce the gap on the sides that finished in front of us. We want to improve and our performances are the way to show that. We will work hard to get better,” added Di Francesco.
Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel is hoping club teammate Harry Maguire ends speculation surrounding his future and commit to the club.Jamie Vardy, Wilfred Ndidi and now Schmeichel have committed their futures to Leicester City, and the Denmark international hopes defender HarryMaguire will be the next to sign up for the project. The defender was a subject of summer interest from Manchester United after an impressive outing at this summer’s World Cup with England and the Foxes are keen to tie him down at the club by offering him a new contract.Schmeichel, who signed a new five-year deal on Friday, said everyone would love to see Maguire agree a new contract, but no one would put any pressure on him.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“I hope Harry signs but I don’t want to put pressure on anyone,” said Schmeichel, according to LeicesterMercury.“It is up to him, his family and his situation. I am not going to start saying anything about his situation because I don’t know enough about it.”“If he feels it is something he wants to do then we would be delighted, but it is up to him.”City certainly showed signs of their youthful promise during the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.
Bangladesh Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader. File PhotoAwami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Sunday said the convicted people should not contest the upcoming national election on moral grounds, reports UNB.”It’s better for the convicted persons to stay away from the election on moral grounds. Awami League doesn’t support it morally,” he said while addressing a press briefing at party chief’s Dhanmondi political office.The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday stayed a High Court order that had allowed a convicted person to take part in the national election, blocking the way for those sentenced to over two years’ imprisonment to join the upcoming parliamentary elections billed for 30 December.Following the apex court’s verdict, many BNP leaders, including its chairperson Khaleda Zia, cannot participate in the election as they were convicted in various cases.Describing Jatiya Oikya Front’s ‘failure’ to announce its prime minister candidate before the election as its primary defeat, Quader said, “Although there’re many leaders in the platform, there’s no one who can take the responsibility of the prime minister.”He said BNP’s announcement to launch a movement just before 25 days of the election is nothing but a nightmare. “People are now in an election mood, they’re not in a movement mood,” he said, alleging that BNP is trying in many ways to destabilise the situation.The ruling party leader also claimed that Awami League depends on people’s strength while BNP on rumour. “As BNP has less confidence in people, they depend on rumour.””The difference between a communal party and non-communal one is now clearer than in the past. The people of Bangladesh will choose the right one for their betterment. We don’t believe that people will vote for the party which patronises communalism and militancy in the name of politics,” he said.Quader also warned that those will remain in the election race going against the party decision will be expelled from the party for life.
Share Laura Isensee/Houston Public MediaIn October, Trustee Diana Davila issued an apology to the community on behalf of the Houston school board, for how they’ve behaved over the last 10 months.The slate of candidates is set for the Houston school board elections in November, even as a state-appointed board of managers is looking more likely due to governance issues and chronic low test scores at one high school.Of the four seats up for election, two incumbents — Diana Davila representing District VIII and Sergio Lira in District III — are running for another term. But two other trustees, Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Jolanda Jones in Districts II and IV respectively, have decided to step down and not run for another term. In all, 11 candidates are vying for those open seats: seven in District II and four in District IV.Mark Jones, a political professor with Rice University, said that might not be enough turnover to avoid a state takeover of the entire nine-member board.“If in the end the level of renewal is only two seats, I doubt that has much effect on the overall function of the board and probably more importantly does not change the vision of the board in the eyes in the state of Texas government and the eyes of the TEA in particular,” Jones said.The beleaguered board is subject to a special investigation by the Texas Education Agency, whose top investigator has recommended that the state’s Education Commissioner, Mike Morath, replace the elected board with an appointed board of managers. Separately, the HISD board of trustees could be removed and replaced with appointed governors because one high school, Wheatley, recently had its seventh failing grade in a row. A state law mandates that a school be closed or a school board be replaced if a campus fails state standards for five or more years.Another HISD trustee, Elizabeth Santos, has announced she’s exploring a run for the Texas House to replace state Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Houston Democrat, but isn’t required to resign in order to campaign.Despite the threat of a state takeover, the elections will move forward, according to TEA’s rules. If the commissioner does appoint his own board of mangers, those governors would schedule new elections as they transition back to an elected board. In that scenario, recently elected HISD officials could assume their powers and serve out the remainder of their terms, if there is any time left during that transition. HISD trustees serve four-year terms; state-appointed board of managers have typically served between two and five years in other Texas districts.Jones said that Davila and Lira may be more vulnerable than typical incumbents because of the allegations in the state’s investigation, but considered them still the favorites as incumbents. They each face only one challenger: Judith Cruz in District VIII and Dani Hernandez in District III. What’s more, Jones said, is that the Houston mayoral race and City Council elections in November could drown out attention from the school board races.For the open seats, Jones said the real battle is to get into a run-off.He said while the general public may not be very attuned to the controversies swirling around the board — from secret meetings to free meals — the looming potential state takeover could have dampened a more robust challenge against either Davila or Lira.“There’s a sense of why bother — Why go out and work really hard? Why incur the wrath of incumbents and the special interests that support them if in the end, all that’s going to happen is a board of managers is going to take over?” Jones said.