“IS IT TRUE” MARCH 13, 2018

first_imgWe hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE that the Ford Center had a capacity crowd of over 10,500 paying customers for an NCAA basketball game on Saturday night for the championship of the Ohio Valley Conference?…the winning team was the Murray State Racers that took the first automatic entry to March Madness 2019 over Belmont to finish their regular season with a record of 27 wins and 4 losses?… Murray State has a large local fan base and enjoys a very gifted player that is expected to be chosen in the top 3 of the NBA draft?…the semifinal game with Murray against Jacksonville drew over 8,500 fans to downtown Evansville?…this proves that a winning team with a shot at the NCAA tournament can draw fans to Ford Center and that lesson should not be lost for the University of Evansville Purple Aces who once drew capacity crowds to Roberts Stadium?…the Aces have no reason not to expect seasons with 25 wins and when they do the crowds will follow?  ..the City-County Observer has always stated that a winning record will bring more to fans to the Ford Center?IS IT TRUE the other games in the Ohio Valley Conference did not fare so well at the box office drawing only between 400 and 900 fans per game?…that is because there is no fan base locally for the other teams and Murray States women’s team was eliminated early?…these lessons should be learned and we do congratulate the Evansville Sports Corporation creating two nights of exceptional basketball at the Ford Center?IS IT TRUE that some legislators just stand out?  …there are times that our local legislators deserve a big “thank you” and sometimes we fail to acknowledge them? …the City-County Observer would like to thank Senators Jim Tomes and Vaneta Becker for standing up and speaking against the “Sports Book” gaming bill that was just passed by the State Senate? …we totally agree with them that this legislation discriminates against the taxpayers of Evansville?  …posted below is a link to this bill:Indiana Senate passes ‘major expansion’ of gaming allowing Terre Haute casino, sports bettingIS IT TRUE  last week an overflow crowd attended the  “Meet Your Legislators” meeting and only two (2) legislators attended this important community event?  …we want to thank State Senators, Vaneta Becker and Jim Tomes for attending this important governmental meeting? …it’s obvious that Senators Becker and Tomes realizes the importance of having direct and open communications with the people they represent?  …since this meeting was planned many months in advance one would expect that the majority of our State Legislators would have made advance plans to attend this extremely important public forum?  …we are told that at least one (1) State Representative couldn’t attend this gathering because of a funeral and another one went on vacation?  …that the remaining members of this group went to a breakfast meeting in Posey County?IS IT TRUE we are told that the University of Evansville is attempting to get the State of Indiana to drop the zoning restrictions on property they own at Lloyd near Stockwell Road next to Wesselman Woods?  …we are told that University wants to build a new health center in that area and the rezoning of this property is important to those plans?  …people that oppose the rezoning of this property feel that if this legislation is passed it would encroach on the pristine and valuable Wesselman nature preserve?IS IT TRUE  we congratulate State Senators Vaneta Becker and Jim Tomes for strongly opposing the “Payday Lending” bill?   …we are pleased that Senators that Tomes and Becker also had harsh words when they voted against this ill-advised Senate-approved bill? …It passed the Senate 26-23 and now is before the House.  …attached below is the link of the ‘Payday Lending ” bill that we urge you to read? An effort to legalize ‘loan shark’ rates could bring a new breed of a lender to IndianaIS IT TRUE last year that the Evansville DMD leased a dilapidated, vacant block building to the Davita Dialysis Center?  …right after the Davita Dialysis Center signed a lease with the Evansville DMD for a nominal monthly payment someone started to do extensive and expensive renovations on this building?  … last week we couldn’t officially verify who paid for the extensive and expensive renovations of this property?   …it’s now alleged that the costs of renovation ($350,000 t0 $400,000) of this building were paid by the Evansville DMD? …we have attached a link from the Vanderburgh County Assessor concerning the sales transactions and old and new appraisals of this building? …we look forward to getting your take on this entire transaction? http://vanderburghassessor.org/Default.aspx?PID=82-06-20-026-091.008-029IS IT TRUE that the City of Evansville made a dubious list compiled by the National Council for Home Safety and Security and the results are not flattering?… Evansville ranked at number 40 in the Top 100 nationally for the most dangerous large cities in America?… Evansville also checked in at number 45 in large cities with the highest increase in violent crime and number 38 in large cities averaged violent crime rate increase in violent crime?…as far as the most dangerous cities list is concerned, Evansville got the worst score in the State of Indiana including Indianapolis that came in at number 41?…South Bend came in at number 49 to round out the Hoosier cities that made this Hall of Shame?… Gary, Indiana which has been a perennial leader on the violent crime list did not make this list as Gary has gotten so bad that there has been an exodus large enough to remove them from the list of large cities?…the most dangerous on the list was Springfield, Missouri that is known as a center for meth as Evansville was several years ago?…to put things into perspective that longtime violent drip hole called St. Louis came in at number 99?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Are you disappointed that not one City Council member made a request to the City Controller to give them a detailed financial accounting of the Evansville Thunderbolts?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports. We are pleased to provide obituaries from several area funeral homes at no costs.  Over the next several weeks we shall be adding additional obituaries from other local funeral homes.  Please scroll down the paper and you shall see a listing of them.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Shryock takes off, takes home top cash from Tri-State Kegger

first_imgTenth starting Kelly Shryock was first to the IMCA Modified checkers at Tri-State Speedway’s Cecil Harlan Memorial Kegger. The win paid $1,500. (Photo by Fujibayashi Photography)POCOLA, Okla. (April 1) – Kelly Shryock admitted to having some concerns after drawing the outside row five start in Saturday’s Cecil Harlan Memorial Kegger IMCA Modified main event at Tri-State Speedway.“There were some pretty good drivers starting ahead of me. I drew 10 and thought the inside row was going to take off,” he said. “They dropped the green, I took off and I think we had the lead by lap five. It turned out to be a pretty cool win for us.”No stranger to the Pocola speedplant, Shryock took home more than a little gas money – $1,500 – for the victory. He was already a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational candidate.Defending race winner Jeff James was a distant second and Ken Schrader took third. Rounding out the top five were Cole Traugott and Danny Womack.Traugott had started the 25-lapper from 14th.“We pitted next to Schrader. He’s a hoot,” said Shryock. “We went to Tri-State wanting to race, wanting to try out some new things on the car and wanting some warm weather. It all worked out for us.”Feature – 1. Kelly Shryock; 2. Jeff James; 3. Ken Schrader; 4. Cole Traugott; 5. Danny Womack; 6. Stephen Muilenburg; 7. Mike Hansen; 8. J.J. Andersen; 9. Kayden Menasco; 10. Kris Lloyd; 11. Jason Payton; 12. Toby Lindell; 13. Eric Beshoner; 14. Jake Davis.last_img read more

49ers’ Dee Ford and Chiefs’ Frank Clark timelines linked by trades, costly offside penalty

first_imgA for effort, Dee for execution.The Chiefs were oh so close to a Super Bowl 53 appearance, when Kansas City defensive back Charvarius Ward picked off Tom Brady, effectively ending the Patriots’ season. Jan. 28, 2020: Clark admits he knows next to nothing about Ford, except for Ford’s “dumb penalty” last year:”I don’t know nothing about him,” Clark said Tuesday, per ESPN.com. “I couldn’t name a stat. I don’t know the school he went to.”I just know he had lined up offside and anybody who lined up offside at a time like that, I feel like that’s a dumb penalty at the end of the day. I’m sure he feels the same way.” But, as per usual, there was a flag on the play, four words every football fan dreads hearing at this point. Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford was flagged on the play for being offsides, nullifying the interception and setting into motion a chain of events that culminates in Super Bowl 54.MORE: How do Super Bowl squares work?Ford, coming off a career year, was a free agent after the season, but it would have been hard to see him starting the 2019 season in a Chiefs jersey, and that’s exactly how things panned out.Here’s why.Dee Ford trade detailsFord was traded to the 49ers on March 12, 2019, for a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Ford agreed to a new deal with the 49ers the next day.Frank Clark trade detailsClark was traded to the Chiefs on April 22 for a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick and a third-round pick swap in 2019. Dee Ford vs. Frank Clark timelines, from offside call to Super Bowl 54Jan. 20, 2019: The 2018 AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs were up 28-24 on the Patriots with 1:01 left on the clock. A Tom Brady pass glanced off the hands of Rob Gronkowski and dropped into the hands of Charvarius Ward. The game was all but clinched. Chiefs win! But not.Flag on the play: Dee Ford was offsides and was penalized — not for jumping across the line or goading an offensive lineman into a false start — but for lining up in the neutral zone. Brady and the Patriots would score a few plays later, taking the lead with time running down in regulation.The Chiefs would tie it up with a field goal, but the Patriots would go on to win in overtime, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, and eventually win Super Bowl 53.Jan. 22, 2019: The Chiefs fire defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.Jan. 24, 2019: The Chiefs hire defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Spagnuolo is known for running a 4-3 defense, and some questions arise as to whether Ford, who has proven himself as an outside linebacker, would be able to transition into a 4-3 a defensive end.Feb. 27, 2019: Ford admits he is remorseful for his penalty in the AFC Championship game. In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei, he explained his feelings.”I couldn’t believe it,” Ford told Pompei. “It was heartbreaking. In games like that, it’s going to come down to five or six critical plays. That was one of those critical plays, and it don’t feel good.”March 2, 2019: The Chiefs slap the franchise tag on Ford. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the Chiefs will listen to trade offers, with the Eagles and 49ers reportedly interested in acquiring him.March 4, 2019: Seattle places the franchise tag on pending free agent Frank Clark.March 12, 2019: The Chiefs agree to trade Ford to the 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick.March 13, 2019: Ford signs an extension with the 49ers for five years and $87.5 million. The deal includes more than $33 million in guaranteed money.March 21, 2019: Justin Houston, longtime Chiefs linebacker, signs with the Colts, leaving the Chiefs with no real in-house solutions at pass rusher. The Colts were originally interested in trading for Dee Ford, per Adam Schefter.April 19, 2019: Amid silence on the contract extension front, Seahawks GM John Schneider says he doesn’t expect Clark to sit out in 2019. “We love Frank, obviously. That’s why we franchised him,” he said.April 20, 2019: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Seahawks could look to trade Frank Clark, and it would take at least a first-round pick.April 22, 2019: NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Jets, Colts and Chiefs are interested in trading for Clark amid rumors that Seattle and Clark are on opposite ends for a long-term deal.April 23, 2019: Clark is traded to the Chiefs for a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2019 third-round pick swap. Clark agrees to a massive extension with the Chiefs, signing a new, five-year, $105.5 million deal with $63.5 million guaranteed.Sept. 9, 2019: Ford records his first sack for the 49ers, getting after Jameis Winston in a 33-17 win over Tampa Bay. He would finish the 2019 season with 6 1/2 sacks, though he dealt with a nagging hamstring injury throughout the season.Sept. 22, 2019: Clark records his first sack for the Chiefs, taking down Lamar Jackson in the 33-28 win. It’s the first of his eight sacks this season.Jan. 19, 2020: Ford’s 49ers and Clark’s Chiefs secure wins on Championship Sunday and punch their tickets to Super Bowl 54.Jan. 21, 2020: Dee Ford reiterates that he harbors no ill will toward the Chiefs ahead of the Super Bowl 54 matchup.”It’s just me playing my brothers. At the end of the day, we just have to compete,” Ford said. “But I’ve got so much love for the people in that building. And likewise, they’ve got love for me.”last_img read more

Friendly Fair faces: Gerald Harkness

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseWith delicious fair food, hard working youth exhibitors, extensive entertainment options, and countless other attractions, there is plenty to enjoy at the Ohio State Fair. Among my very favorite things, though, is seeing the familiar faces each year and stopping for a few minutes to chat in between livestock shows and the many other happenings of the Fair.For those in the draft horse barn, there are not many faces more familiar than Gerald Harkness, who has exhibited Belgians at the Ohio State Fair for an astonishing 72 years.Gerald Harkness“My grandpa and dad started showing in the late 30s or early 40s. I was born in ‘38 and I started showing horses at 8 years old,” Harkness said. “It was great to show horses and back then the draft horse people would have a big barn party. The people who showed draft horses were great people. Everybody got along. We were competitors but there was no knock down drag out stuff. All the exhibitors would help each other out. If a piece of harness would break, the other exhibitors would run out to help. It was almost like a family. I have a son and three daughters involved and a grandson and granddaughters who help. My great-grandson is two and he comes along too, so now there are six generations of my family that have been involved in showing at the Ohio State Fair.”Harkness, from Erie County, has taken Belgians all over the country.“Way back in the 40s and 50s we went to a lot of national shows all over. It didn’t cost then like is does today. We’d take off and get back about six weeks later going to all of those shows. We took anywhere from 15 to 18 halter horses — no hitches,” he said. “From the time I was around we’d have a heck of a show at the State Fair. I can remember when we’d have 25 to 30 horses in each class. It took two days to show the halter horses. It was really a big deal. In the mid 40s we had a couple of horses that were the champions all over and won every class they went in.”Going way back into the 1800s the Ohio State Fair was an important stop for draft horse shows because of the proximity to railroads, the transportation method of choice for draft horse exhibition animals.“The Ohio State Fair used to be one of the top three or four state fairs in the country for draft horses. Ohio was a big importer of horses back in the late 1800s. They were big time then,” Harkness said. “All the big boys went to Ohio and Chicago and they moved horses from fair to fair by train.”Harkness has seen the Ohio State Fair draft horse shows thrive, then wane, then thrive again. He serves as a historian for the Belgian breed and is often asked to advise regarding judge selection and show schedule for the Ohio State Fair. And, for 18 years, he has provided the valuable service of helping at the exhibitor hospitality room by getting the coffee brewing by 5:30 a.m. His early start to the day may have something to do with the fact that he sleeps in the barn.“We have always slept in the barn down at Columbus near the horses,” Harkness said. “If you’re sleeping in the camper and something happens, you don’t know about it.”Harkness is known around the draft horse barn for his generous attitude, selflessness and dependability that have contributed to the general success of the draft horse show and many other draft horse exhibitors. He is being inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame this year for his efforts.The Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame (which is different from the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame that is also held during the State Fair) was established in 1976 for the purpose of recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward making the Ohio State Fair one of America’s premier expositions. The Governor selects the inductees into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame each year.With so many draft horse shows under his belt, I thought it was appropriate to ask Harkness about his thoughts regarding our live streaming of the evening draft horse shows at the Ohio State Fair this year. He told me that watching the show (whether in person or online) was fine, but it simply cannot compare to the thrill of participating in the show.“The added exposure of the live streaming is great, but watching the show is not the same as participating in it. To be involved hands-on in the show — to me that is what makes it,” he said. “The horses are popular. There are a lot of people out there with a couple of draft horses. They claim there are more draft horses in the U.S. today than back before there were farm tractors.”The live streaming of the draft horse shows and some dairy events is being added to our usual offering of instant results from the junior market shows and the live streaming of the Sale of Champions. The OCJ/Ohio Ag Net staff puts in a HUGE number of hours over the duration of the Fair to serve the exhibitors, their families, the Ohio livestock industry, and you. The long hours at the Fair fly by, though, because we love seeing all of our favorite familiar faces each year (the food surely doesn’t hurt either).last_img read more

Bensonwood Enters the Passive House Market

first_imgBetting on steady growth ahead, the New Hampshire firm has expanded its line of prefabricated building components to include wall, roof, and floor panels intended for Passive House buildings. Bensonwood launched the PHlex brand as an outgrowth of its 9-month-old Tektoniks line as it sensed rising interest in buildings that can meet the strict energy and airtightness requirements of Passive House certification. The company was founded by Tedd Benson in 1973 to help revive the craft of timber framing. It’s since branched into a line of prefabricated single-family houses called Unity, and runs a custom design and construction firm. With the introduction of PHlex, Bensonwood joins a growing number of companies that see increasing consumer demand for high-performance houses assembled from factory-made components.RELATED ARTICLESPassive House Building in the Digital AgeFactories Gear Up for Passive House BuildingBringing Passive House to Production BuildingPrefab Passive House Partnership Hits a MilestoneUnity Homes Combines Prefab with Energy Efficiency “Since Passive House has finally started to gain traction in the mainstream, we thought that we have a lot of things figured out in our system that dovetailed very nicely with Passive House requirements, specifically in terms of airtightness,” Bensonwood Chief Operating Officer Hans Porschitz said in a telephone call. Tektoniks is the production line building system developed by Bensonwood that can be used in Bensonwood and Unity homes. Components also can be bought by outside firms that need the high-performance building parts but not the design services that Bensonwood has to offer. The availability of airtight building parts that arrive on the job site insulated and fitted with windows helps fill a void in the industry, Porschitz said. “There are a lot of architects and Passive House consultants who can design Passive House buildings, but they sometimes run into challenges when it comes to execution,” he said. “There’s not a high level, a broad base, of Passive House builders out there. They’re growing but they’re not quite there yet.” How the panels are made The exact makeup of the panels varies depending on the climate zone where the house will be built. The amount of insulation needed in Maine is obviously far different than what a designer would want in South Carolina, so the thickness of wall and roof panels would differ accordingly. A typical wall panel would start, on the inside, with a service cavity that may or may not be insulated, then an airtight layer of 7/16-inch oriented strand board (OSB), and then a structural framed wall of I-joists or sawn lumber. The exterior sheathing might be OSB — typically, Huber’s Zip System OSB — or a continuous layer of wood fiber insulation, depending on need. Cavity insulation is dense-packed cellulose. Porschitz acknowledged that there are some doubts in the industry that OSB can make a reliable air barrier. But, he said, Bensonwood has a source of good quality OSB, and blower door tests show the components can easily hit airtightness requirements for Passive House building. Bensonwood’s production facility in Keene, New Hampshire, uses sophisticated equipment from the more developed European panel market, including a computer-controlled cutting station for framing and a robot that picks up and delivers building materials where they are needed. (See the photos in the gallery above.) Once the panels roll off the production line, they can be shipped to the job site for assembly. As other high-performance panelizers also argue, using factory-produced components drastically reduces room for error on site. Crews that put the houses together mostly have to focus on the intersections between panels — where the roof meets the walls, for example, or where walls come together at a corner. Buildings can be dried in very quickly, and there is virtually no waste generated at the site. On the Bensonwood or Unity side of the business, the company typically sends a least a couple of people to the site to oversee assembly of the building. But Porschitz sees a future where Bensonwood customers are doing more of that work. “We want to get away from where we have to be involved in every aspect,” he said. “We are in a transition phase from having our own crews to ultimately having partner builders who are certified and trained to install these enclosure systems without a direct advisor from us on site.” How much do these buildings cost? Production-line efficiencies are aimed at delivering high-performance houses at progressively lower prices. But as other manufacturers also have found, building to the Passive House standard on a state-of-the-art production line isn’t necessarily cheap. How expensive? That’s hard to say, because the cost depends so heavily on the climate-driven specs for the building, as well as the distance the components must be shipped. The vagaries make it complicated for buyers and builders who are used to thinking about the cost per square foot, not the cost of the components themselves. “The price per square foot of living space is a very gooey metric,” he said. “We’re trying to get away from that.” Instead, Porschitz said, the object is to come up with a flat rate for a particular wall or roof section, depending on the required R-value, as the component sits on a truck in the company’s yard. Change is coming to a hidebound industry Building houses from prefabricated parts is more common in parts of Europe than it is in the U.S., but a number of design/build firms are adopting production-line techniques in an effort to boost the quality and availability of high-performance houses. Among them are smaller firms such as Phoenix Haus, Ecocor, and GO Logic, as well as a few larger companies, like Katerra. All of them are looking to change the way people shop for and buy new homes, while prying the building industry out of its 19th-century mindset. Porschitz said that increased media attention to the Passive House standard, a growth in conference attendance, and more inquiries from potential buyers helped convince Bensonwood of the opportunities for growth in that part of the market. “In the past,” he said, “Passive House was like a buzzword that people picked up on a fancy website but they didn’t quite know what they were talking about. What we’ve found is more and more professionals are getting certified with that level of expertise and knowledge, and that tells us that more and more want to put it into their buildings.” Porschitz, who with a colleague went through Passive House training at the Yestermorrow school in Vermont earlier in the year, thinks that smaller companies may have the edge as prefabrication takes hold. Larger firms have the financial backing to advance to the next level of technology, but they may be managed by executives who come from other industries. “What they’re lacking is the knowledge about the product,” he said. “They’re not carpenters.” Bensonwood is still a relatively small company, with $20 million to $30 million in annual sales and still overseen by its founder and his wife. “Tedd has always been fascinated with Passive House,” he said. “We’ve been eyeing it. Well-insulated enclosure systems have always been a big part of what we did as a company. It has always been on our radar.”last_img read more

NU opens UAAP Season 80 bid with rout of UE

first_imgUAAP greats from all sports honored as Season 80 unfurls Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDave Yu gave National University a big lift to put away University of the East, 86-69, at the start of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.Yu scored 14 points on an efficient 5-of-8 shooting from the field while team captain Jay Alejandro had an all-around effort with 11 points five rebounds, five assists and seven steals.ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ The Red Warriors, who finished at the bottom of the standings last season, faded in the second half after a promising start. Alvin Pasaol paced UE with 14 points.“It was good because we won. It feels good that we won, but still a lot of things to work on,” said new NU head coach Jamike Jarin. “A lot of mistakes. It’s always hard to play the opening game because you don’t know what time you’re going to play.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingYu sparked a big third quarter by NU, which went on a 17-3 run that broke a 42-deadlock and set the tone for the rest of the second half.Alejandro found ways to be effective despite having a tough offensive outing with a big part UE’s defensive game plan focused on limiting the veteran guard. “This guy, he just played consistent,” Jarin said, referring to Alejandro.NU also drew quality minutes from its Senegalese import Issa Gaye, who nearly had a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds on top of three blocks. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his sidelast_img read more

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Portugal

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo and Pepe will be crucial for Portugal at the World CupPortugal has long been admired for producing talented players, and their flair has earned them the tag of “the Brazilians of Europe.”But Portugal heads to the World Cup still looking for its champagne moment after coming up short at past tournaments. The Portuguese lost in the final at the 2004 European Championship and in the semifinals at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012.Here are five players to watch:CRISTIANO RONALDOAlong with Lionel Messi and Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world-class stars expected to light up the tournament.Since his debut at 18 in 2003, Ronaldo has grown into the Portuguese team’s dominant figure. Now 29, he will arguably be at the peak of his international career in Brazil.Ronaldo has been in deadly form in front of goal. This season, he became Portugal’s all-time leading scorer and has also surpassed Real Madrid great Ferenc Puskas’ mark of 242 goals for the Spanish club.PEPEPortugal and Brazil are bound by centuries of history, family ties and a shared language. While Brazilian talent at European clubs is a common sight, Portugal has turned to its one-time colony for the national team, too, as many Brazilian players are entitled to dual nationality.Pepe is one of them, and has made 57 appearances since his 2007 debut. The 31-year-old Real Madrid defender is a mainstay who can also add muscle to the midfield.Before him on the list of Brazilian-born Portugal players were midfielder Deco, who appeared 75 times for Portugal, starting out under Luiz Felipe Scolari – another Brazilian and Portugal’s longest-serving coach, between 2003 and 2008 – and Liedson, a striker who made 15 appearances.advertisementJOAO MOUTINHOMonaco midfielder Joao Moutinho keeps a low profile, but his vision, expert passing and high work rate have made him the focal point of Portugal’s attacking moves.Moutinho has made 66 appearances since 2005, though in Brazil he will be looking to build on his meager two-goal tally.He produced a standout performance in Portugal’s semifinal match at the 2012 European Championship before missing the target in a penalty shootout that gave Spain victory.NANIManchester United winger Nani has had a miserable time over the past year due to injuries and poor form. The World Cup offers him the stage for a comeback.Nani’s peak form at his Premier League club came in the 2010-11 season when his teammates voted him their player of the season. Hopes were high that Portugal had discovered another Cristiano Ronaldo.But since then Nani has faded, and he didn’t find the net for 16 months up to October’s qualifier against Luxembourg when he stood in for Ronaldo as team captain.WILLIAM CARVALHODefensive midfielder William Carvalho is regarded as one of Portugal’s promising newcomers.Carvalho was named the Portuguese league’s player of the month for three straight months between October and December. In November, he made his first two national team appearances, coming on as a substitute in a tense playoff match against Sweden and impressing with his composure.Like Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, he is a product of Sporting Lisbon’s youth academy.Carvalho, who will be 22 at the World Cup, is highly regarded for his powerful physique and heading skills, impressive reading of the game, and speed at tipping play from defense to attack.last_img read more

Man shot at for target practice 4 held Police

first_imgNEW DELHI: Four men, who had shot at a person for “target practice” and injured him in Dwarka’s Bindapur area last week, have been arrested by Delhi Police.CCTV footage from over 100 cameras was used to identify the area where the accused were staying, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Anto Alphonse said. “The footage from the CCTV cameras along the route used by the accused persons was examined. A search was conducted at the last place where they stopped, Ram Dutt Enclave in Uttam Nagar, and they were arrested,” Mr Alphonse said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe accused are Pawan, 22, Vishal, 23, Parveen, 22, and Kishan, 23. Three pistols along with 13 cartridges were seized from them, the police said. “The four men used to fire from their vehicle at random things at night for target practice. On August 29, around 3:30 am, they shot at Sunny just for target practice. They first fired in the air and then at Sunny, who suffered a bullet injury in his stomach,” he said. The police had found two empty cartridges at the spot where Sunny was shot at. They had got the weapons from an acquaintance Amir, who is in Tihar Jail, the police said.last_img read more

US average mortgage rates ease 30year at 483 per cent

first_imgWASHINGTON – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, in a quiet pause after weeks of market anxiety over rising interest rates.Home borrowing rates still remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, dampening the outlook for prospective homebuyers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages eased to an average 4.83 per cent this week from 4.86 per cent last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94 per cent.The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 4.23 per cent this week from 4.29 per cent last week.Anxiety over rising interest rates, which result from strength in the economy, has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks and spilled over into the housing market.U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday and Wednesday after falling sharply from early October through the last few days of the month — a skid that wiped out their gains from earlier in the year.The combination of higher mortgage rates and increasing home prices has made home ownership less affordable.Despite the higher borrowing costs, “the monthly mortgage payment remains affordable,” Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater said. For many buyers, he said, the persistent lack of available properties for first-time homebuyers is a bigger hurdle than higher mortgage rates because choices are limited. And the shortage of available homes has pushed prices higher.To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year mortgages rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 4.04 per cent from 4.14 per cent last week. The fee held steady at 0.3 point.last_img read more

Asian stocks sink after Wall Street tech selloff

first_imgBEIJING — Most Asian stocks sank Tuesday after a tech sell-off dragged Wall Street lower.KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 2.3 per cent to 21,760.59 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 per cent to 2,652.70. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 1.8 per cent to 5,834.20 and Seoul’s Kospi gave up 0.7 per cent to 2,065.42. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 per cent to 25,706.88, while India’s Sensex retreated 0.2 per cent to 34,747.01. Jakarta gained while New Zealand, Taiwan and other Southeast Asian market declined.WALL STREET: A sell-off in technology companies knocked more than 600 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The wave of selling snared big names including Apple, Amazon and Goldman Sachs. Banks, consumer-focused companies, and media and communications stocks all took heavy losses. That, in turn, weighed on chipmakers. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 2 per cent to 2,726.22. The Dow gave up 2.3 per cent to 25,387.18. It was down briefly by 648 points. The Nasdaq composite slid 2.8 per cent to 7,200.87.APPLE: The tech tumble followed an analyst report that suggested Apple significantly cut back orders from one of its suppliers. That fueled questions about the outlook for tech industries and U.S. economic growth. Apple fell 5 per cent after Wells Fargo analysts said the iPhone maker is the unnamed customer that optical communications company Lumentum Holdings said was significantly reducing orders. Shares in Lumentum plunged 33 per cent.US-CHINA TRADE: Markets in Shanghai and Hong gained after the South China Morning Post newspaper reported Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He, might visit Washington ahead of Xi’s planned meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said the visit is aimed at easing trade tensions but no schedule had been decided. The two sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a dispute over U.S. complaints about Beijing’s technology policy. Xi and Trump are due to meet during this month’s Group of 20 gathering of major economies in Argentina.ANALYST’S TAKE: “The U.S. morning sell-off in the tech sector triggered the equity rout,” said Stephen Innes of OANDA in a report. “It is hard to overlook the global growth slowdown, while the Trump administration seems set to exert pressure on China trade.” A stronger U.S. dollar usually acts as a “wrecking ball through Asian equities.”OPEC: Saudi Arabia said the oil cartel and allied crude producers will likely need to cut supplies, perhaps by as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day, to rebalance the market after U.S. sanctions failed to cut Iran’s output. Khalid al-Falih’s comments showed the balancing act U.S. allies face in dealing with President Donald Trump’s actions. Trump has demanded OPEC increase production to drive down U.S. gasoline prices. Al-Falih, who on Sunday said the kingdom would cut production by more than 500,000 barrels per day in December, said Saudi Arabia gave customers “100 per cent of what they asked for.” That appeared to be a veiled reference to Trump.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 87 cents to $59.04 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract sank 26 cents on Monday to $59.93. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 81 cents to $69.33 in London. It declined 6 cents the previous session to $70.12.CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 113.89 yen from Monday’s 113.84 yen. The euro gained to $1.1241 from $1.1218.Joe McDonald, The Associated Presslast_img read more