first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoFor UW, this weekend’s games against Penn State and Ohio State carry major postseason implications. In order to have a chance to realize their pre-season goal of qualifying for the Big Ten tournament, the Badgers figure to need to take three of four games against high quality competition.”Penn State has good pitching, Ohio State has good hitting … but if we play the way that we can, we will be able to be in those ball games,” UW head coach Chandelle Schulte said, adding, “This weekend it is for us. We know we have to win at least three of those four to be in that tournament.” UW (20-19, 4-8) currently occupies 10th place in the Big Ten standings, one and a half games back of eighth place Indiana. UW must displace Indiana and take over the eighth spot to garner an invitation to the tournament.Toeing the rubber this crucial weekend will be workhorse staff ace Eden Brock. Brock (16-10) has started the last nine games for the Badgers, including a complete game shutout Wednesday.”The last two weeks, Eden has carried this team,” Schulte said of her junior pitcher. “We will ride Eden as long as Eden allows us to ride her. At this point it is about experience, and Eden has it.”In other words, there is a good possibility Brock will start all four of the weekend’s games.Penn State (33-12, 6-8) enters the weekend in third place in the conference standings. The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start in the non-conference portion of their schedule, then struggled for a stretch, but have come on strong as of late, winning 12 of their last 13.Penn State provides a similar challenge to that of other top tier Big Ten teams. Penn State’s strength lies in a strong pitching staff anchored by Missy Berseres. The staff hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any game in almost three weeks and enters weekend play with a staff ERA of just over one.Normally, this would signal a tough couple of games at the plate, but UW has hit top level pitching at most times better than weaker pitching.Offensively, Penn State is led by junior outfielder Jen Williams. Williams has hit for a .321 batting average and also leads the team in triples and stolen bases. The overall team attack manages only a meager 3.3 runs per game, so if UW can score some runs, they should be in position to win.”If we can put some things together, we should be OK,” Schulte said.Ohio State provides a vastly different challenge for UW. The Buckeyes enter the weekend statistically ranking in the top four in the Big Ten in nearly every offensive category. Victory will depend on how well Brock is able to quiet the Buckeye bats.”If we can keep the ball in the park against Ohio State, we’ll be successful,” Schulte said.Doing so will be easier said than done. Ohio State has sent out 37 home runs on the year, and is led by a pair of native daughters, Chelsea Baker and Courtney Pruner, who each have gone yard seven times.Production is by no means limited to those two sluggers. Eight Buckeyes have driven in at least 16 runs this season, as part of an offensive attack that averages just over four and a half runs a game. For comparison’s sake, the UW line-up features only two players with such production.If Wisconsin is to keep its postseason hopes alive for another week, Schulte knows it will take an opportunistic effort which has, up to this point, been missing.”Every series we have gone into seems to be as if it was important, but we have not capitalized on the errors of our opponents,” Schulte said. “This weekend, that will be the key.”last_img read more

first_imgRemember when The Guardian newspaper called Collins’ emergence significant for LGBT acceptance … “as professional sports had long been seen as the final frontier”?Remember when the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network presented Collins with its courage award? Remember when the veteran NBA center was being likened to Jackie Robinson?Well, eh, forget it. Forget the whole thing.As you read this, Collins is likely sitting somewhere inside his California home, twiddling his thumbs, watching reality TV, waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping for the groundbreaking opportunity that looks, increasingly, unlikely to occur. Put differently: For one to actually become the first openly gay active male professional athlete in a team sport, one must be an openly gay active male professional athlete playing a team sport.And Collins ain’t playing squat.With the NBA opening in less than two weeks, it has become clear that the league’s 30 teams have no interest in Collins, a 34-year-old journeyman. From a purely basketball standpoint, this is understandable: Once a valuable role player on a New Jersey Nets team that reached back to back NBA Championship series in the early 2000s, Collins is a shell of his former self.Playing with Boston and Washington last season, he averaged but 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in 38 games. He is — to be blunt — a slow, nonathletic player with creaky joints and no offensive repertoire of which to speak. Were this any other similarly submediocre player in any other sport, his departure would register nary a blip on the radar. He would vanish, and life would move on.Jason Collins, however, ceased being ordinary the moment he announced he was gay.To thousands upon thousands of Americans, he became a beacon of hope and a sign that maybe sexuality would matter not the in machismo-stuffed world of professional sports. If LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul could embrace a gay man as a teammate, what excuse would the loudmouth, homophobic blockhead at the construction site or law firm have for his close-mindedness?Finally, things were about to change.Only they weren’t because, well, nobody called. The NBA has been repeatedly defended in its inaction with predictable attacks on Collins’ game — too slow, too marginal, too worthless. Yet could somebody (anybody?) have at least invited him to training camp — land of myriad oafs and fringe players itching to land a job?Hell, the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason roster included Dan Gadzuric and Eric Boateng, two men with limited skill sets and without Collins’ great teammate/dogged worker resume. Hell, the Atlanta Hawks briefly employed David Lighty, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard with no redeeming NBA attributes. Hell, the New York Knicks, according to NBC Sports’ D.J. Foster, “have basically worked out everyone who has ever touched a basketball this offseason.” Everyone save Collins.This isn’t a hard one to figure out.As the late Branch Rickey of baseball fame repeatedly pointed out, change within the sports landscape doesn’t come easily.Just as members of the Brooklyn Dodgers were loathe to share locker space with Robinson in the summer of 1947, many NBA players (whether they admit it publicly or not) were likely not thrilled by the idea of showering alongside a gay man even if they’d been showering alongside said gay man for more than a decade.Adding Collins to a roster — even a preseason roster — would likely have meant awkwardness, confusion and weirdness.There almost inevitably would have been conservative Christian teammates asking to change in a designated private space. Special press conferences would need to be arranged.Gay rights groups would flock to the arena — and they’d be loud. And what of the slurs that fly across courts during practice with staggering regularity, and without much thought? What would happen the first time a Clipper or Piston or Spur uttered the word “f****t,” even if it were not directed at Collins?Could all this trouble (and it would, inevitably, be trouble) be worth it for at best a seldom-used 12th man?Answer: Absolutely.Opportunities like this don’t happen often, and the NBA — arguably the most progressive of the four major American team sports — is failing miserably.Where is Kidd, the Nets’ new coach and former Collins’ teammate, with a camp invite? Where is Mark Cuban, the forward-thinking Dallas Mavericks owner, with a pen and a contract? Where are the Golden State Warriors, the team whose arena is 18 miles from the spot where Harvey Milk was murdered? Where are the Lakers, a franchise desperately in need in grit and toughness? Where are the Miami Heat, whose bench could use a bruiser of Collins’ ilk?How in the world could no one think to add Collins to a roster, if only to give his courageous first step the conclusion it deserves?How are we letting this one slip away?Editor’s note: Jeff Pearlman blogs at His most recent book is “Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton.” Follow him on twitter @jeffpearlman. In this photo provided by ABC, NBA basketball veteran Jason Collins, left, poses for a photo with television journalist George Stephanopoulos, Monday, April 29, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Eric McCandless) by Jeff Pearlman(CNN) — It was merely a dream, wasn’t it?That whole Jason Collins thing of six months ago — never happened, right? The headline news of his becoming the first openly gay active male professional athlete in a team sport. The Sports Illustrated cover. The supportive tweets from everyone ranging from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to Jason Kidd and LeBron James. The interviews. The raves (“Game-changing!”). The altered landscape.last_img read more

first_imgCeltic are looking to sign Christian Atsu on loan from Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail.Aston Villa and West Ham are also reported to be interested in the 22-year-old Ghana winger, who featured in the World Cup in Brazil.The Mail also say Chelsea have opened talks to bring Didier Drogba back to Stamford Bridge and are confident of beating Arsenal to the signing of Germany star Sami Khedira.Boss Jose Mourinho is said to want Drogba, 36, as a second striker and to give him coaching responsibilities at the club, where the former Blues star remains a hugely popular figure.As for Khedira, Spanish media reports suggest the midfielder, 27, will sign for Arsenal on a four-year contract in a deal worth around £23m.Drogba has been linked with a return to Chelsea.Meanwhile, Liverpool have again been linked with a possible move for QPR striker Loic Remy, this time by the Daily Express.And Tottenham’s apparent bid for R’s transfer target Jamaal Lascelles of Nottingham Forest is on hold because Spurs are struggling to offload Michael Dawson, according to the Daily Mirror.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_img7 April 2008India is to offer trade privileges to countries on the African continent, especially those least developed nations, with the Asian economic giant stating that market access was vital in ensuring the development of international trade.Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his government would offer a duty-free tariff preference scheme for the least developed countries around the world to spur trade and commerce.“The objective of our partnership is to co-operate with all African countries, within the limits of our capacities and capabilities, in their efforts towards achieving economic vibrancy, peace, stability and self-reliance,” he said in his opening address at the two-day India-Africa Forum summit in New Delhi on Tuesday.“Towards this end, it is our intention to become a close partner in Africa’s resurgence.”Under the scheme, India will unilaterally provide preferential market access for exports from all 50 least developed countries, 34 of which are in Africa.Singh explained that the scheme would cover 94% of India’s total tariff lines, and would offer preferential market access on tariff lines that comprised almost 93% of the global exports of all least developed countries.Some of the products of immediate interest to Africa that are covered include cotton, cocoa, aluminium ore, cashew nuts and ready-made garments.Singh said India would also undertake the development of critical projects over the next five to six years, against grants in excess of US$500-million.He said that India would also strengthen local capacity by creating regional and pan-African institutions of higher education, especially in sciences, information technology (IT) and vocational education; invest in research and development in renewable forms of energy; and agricultural development.“We will enhance opportunities for African students to pursue higher studies in India,” he added. “As an immediate measure, we propose to double our long-term scholarships for undergraduates, post graduates and higher courses and increase the number of training slots under our technical assistance programme from 1 100 to 1 600 every year.”Leaders of 14 African countries were in attendance to explore deeper trade relations with India, which is now the world’s fourth largest economy. Africa-India trade has surged significantly, from $5.5-billion in 2002 to $30-billion last year.Source: BuaNews and NNNlast_img read more

first_imgzoom German asset and investment management company Ernst Russ informed that its first half of 2017 financial performance was in line with expectations.Revenue for the first half of 2017 increased year-on-year from EUR 17 million to EUR 20.8 million. Revenue in the shipping management more than doubled from EUR 4.1 million to EUR 8.6 million.As operating earnings increased to EUR 2.1 million from last year’s EUR 0.6 million, and net income was at EUR 3.1 million, against EUR 0.8 million seen in the first half of 2016, the company said that its “positive trend of recent years has continued.”Ernst Russ explained that the basis for an improvement in performance is the strategic, systematic restructuring of the company.“By establishing the new companies Pareto Holding GmbH, Ernst Russ Maritime Management GmbH & Co. KG and EFS Elbe Financial Solutions GmbH, the group can open up exciting new areas of business and complete more transactions in corporate finance and maritime assets,” the company informed.Ernst Russ expects the financial position and financial performance to develop according to plan over the remainder of the financial year and close with positive operating earnings on at least the same level as the previous year.last_img read more

On Saturday, as thousands of protesters, dissatisfied with the results of the presidential election, were marching from Union Square to Trump Tower, just a few miles north, the two grandmasters sat down in the spaceship to play again. Game 2, with Karjakin handling the white pieces, began with the all-too-familiar Ruy Lopez opening, a staple of chess for 500 years. The rest of the game was an equally uncreative and plodding affair. One prominent grandmaster on Twitter called certain passages “flaccid.” After just under three hours, and not much else to speak of, they arrived at a second draw. (The computer chess engine Stockfish was in full agreement, seeing both games as nothing but deadlocked.) The actor and chess fan Woody Harrelson was on hand for Game 1. The star of “True Detective” brought to my mind that show’s oft-quoted line, bastardized from Nietzsche: “Time is a flat circle.” In chess, and at this championship, what’s old is new again, and moves and characters are strangely familiar. Donald Trump made the ceremonial first move at a qualifying event for that 1995 New York championship, at Trump Tower. And Rudy Giuliani, then the mayor and now rumored to be high on the list to be Trump’s attorney general, made the ceremonial first move in those finals. (Giuliani was late — and made the wrong move.)Carlsen remains the heavy favorite, although his chances according to my Elo-based simulations have dipped from 88 percent at the start to 84 percent now, as Karjakin has held serve.1I simulated 10,000 iterations of the remainder of the match using the players’ current Elo ratings and assumed that they draw half their games, as grandmasters historically tend to do. The players seemed to sense that the large crowds were getting a bit restless. “I ask you for your understanding that this is a long match,” Carlsen said at Saturday’s postgame press conference. “Not every game will be a firework.”Game 3 begins Monday afternoon. I’ll be covering the rest of the match here and on Twitter. The last time the World Chess Championship was held in New York City, titleholder Garry Kasparov met challenger Viswanathan Anand on the 107th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. They played their first game on Sept. 11, 1995.That tower is now gone, a new one stands nearby, and the grandest board in chess is again set in lower Manhattan. This year, the venue is the new Fulton Market Building in the South Street Seaport, an area of the city that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was rebuilt and has been thriving in recent years.The players are different, too. Magnus Carlsen of Norway, ranked No. 1 in the world, is defending his title against Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin, ranked No. 9. The first weekend of their best-of-12 match is in the books, and after two games — and two draws — the score is level at 1-1.This year’s chess venue is sparse and sleek, heavy on concrete and hypermodern black-and-white branding. Large flat-screen televisions dot the open floor, providing live views of the tense and slowly unfolding games. The sellout crowd mills around, stealing meaningful-looking glances at the game on TV, listening to live commentary on headphones, eating sandwiches and playing their own games of speed chess in the cafe’s Eames-style dining chairs.The two grandmasters play alone in a separate room, accompanied only by two stoic match arbiters. On the inside, the room resembles the bridge of a sci-fi spaceship. To the spectators on the outside, though, it evokes a reptile house in a zoo. You enter the dark, hot and humid viewing gallery through thick black curtains. You’re hushed as you enter and reminded to silence your phone. The lights inside are dimmed, and an eerie purple light glows from behind the thick glass of the one-way mirror. You can see Carlsen and Karjakin, leaning in close to each other over the board in deep thought. They can’t see you.In Game 1, Carlsen, playing with the white pieces, chose an unusual opening called the Trompowsky Attack. The joke around the Fulton Market Building on Friday was that he played it as a homophonic nod to the new president-elect. There was truth to the joke. Asked after the game whether his choice had anything to do with Donald Trump, Carlsen replied: “A little bit.”“I’m a big fan of Donald Trump,” Carlsen told Norway’s TV2 in March (in Norwegian). “Trump is incredibly good at finding opponents’ weaknesses. He speaks only about that the other candidates are stupid or smelly. There should be more of this in chess, too.” Carlsen then offered a Trumpism of his own: “Karjakin is incredibly boring!” Karjakin, for his political part, is an avowed supporter of Vladimir Putin.By the end of that first game, each side had pushed its wooden army as far as it’d go — two phalanxes scrumming at the center of the board. No further blood was drawn, however, and the players agreed to a draw after the 42nd move and just under four hours of play. (Draws are quite common in championship chess.) read more

Then-freshman goaltender Kassidy Sauve (32) defends the net during a game against Mercyhurst on Nov. 11 at the OSU Ice Rink. OSU lost, 3-0. Credit: Lantern file photoAfter sweeping its opening series against Lindenwood last weekend, the Ohio State women’s hockey team is set to stay on the road for its third and fourth games of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday and Sunday.In its first two games under new coach Jenny Potter, OSU scored eight goals on 60 shots and controlled virtually every category in the box score.Despite the two victories, the team knows it will have to make adjustments before facing the high-scoring Badgers.“I think with a new coach and new systems, they did a fantastic job adapting to those new systems, I think that (Lindenwood) only scored one power-play goal,” Potter said. “I know the first night we killed 11 penalties. I think they did a great job. We know we can get better, but I think they are working really hard and we’re learning.”The physical Buckeyes face a new set of challenges against Wisconsin.The Badgers had the second-ranked Western Collegiate Hockey Association offense in 2014-15, the top-ranked power play attack and scored 13 goals in their first two games of the 2015-16 season.This year’s OSU squad has said it prides itself on an up-tempo, physical style, so to combat the high-powered Badgers, it might end up committing penalties.“Obviously I don’t want to take penalties, but where we are in our system and as a team there might be some penalties,” Potter said.The sentiment that this team expects to take penalties is consistent with Potter’s skaters, who believe an aggressive style suits them.“I think we’re playing a very aggressive style this year that not a lot of people have seen before, so matching their speed that (Wisconsin) is notorious for is a big part of what we are trying to do,” freshman defender Lauren Boyle said.Boyle believes the team’s effort in the weight room overpowered Lindenwood. The level of aggressive style OSU plays with comes from that hard work in the weight room, which causes the penalties — not chippy play.OSU is confident that as the season rolls on, it will be able to compliment its physical game with the offense necessary to beat a high-scoring team like Wisconsin.“It’s about going out and playing our game and worrying about what we can do,” sophomore forward Lauren Spring said. “I think we have a lot of girls who are just as fast as them, so I think if anything we’ll be able to match them or out-skate them.”For a program that ranked No. 18 in total offense last season, the team is confident that it will be able to score enough goals this season to contend with the top teams in the nation to compliment its physical style of play.“I don’t think we’re going to struggle to put the puck in the net this weekend,” Boyle said. “Because of all the conditioning we’re doing, I don’t think they’re going to keep up with us by the third period. I don’t think anyone is doing what we’re doing.”The Buckeyes will look to keep up their strong start against Wisconsin. Puck drop is set for 3:07 p.m. read more

first_imgInter Milan target Luka Modric has hinted that he will likely be remaining at Real Madrid for the upcoming seasonThe Croatian playmaker has been a subject of strong interest for Inter this summer with head coach Luciano Spalleti recently confirming the rumours.Modric and his representatives have now held a meeting with Real president Florentino Perez to discuss his future plans.And the former Spanish politician has made it clear to the 32-year-old that he will be going nowhere due to Real having already lost Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.Now Modric has posted a message on Instagram on Thursday night that appears to indicate that he will be remaining with the Merengues.“It was a hard defeat but defeats do not belong to this team”, He wrote after Real’s UEFA Supercup defeat to Atletico Madrid.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“We’ll have to work hard like we’ve always done. #HalaMadrid.”Modric was a second-half substitute in Real’s defeat to city rivals Atletico on Wednesday night.last_img read more

first_imgPaulo Dybala is fired up to enter the record books as the all-time top scorer in the history of the Supercoppa when Juventus confront AC Milan today.La Joya as he is fondly called has a knack of scoring in this occasion having found the net three times in Super Cup clashes.That puts him on a par with Samuel Eto’o of Inter, Alessandro Del Piero and Carlos Tevez of Juventus, as well as Milan hero Andriy Shevchenko.Dybala’s strike helped Juve to a 2-0 victory over Lazio in August 2015, and then netted a double in another meeting with Lazio in August 2017, despite losing the tie 3-2.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….However, the Argentine forward would be looking to go one better when they take on Gattuso’s Milan in Jeddah.Other players who have already found the net twice in the Supercoppa and may likely increase their tally are Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini and Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain.last_img read more