Racecourse capital development, prizemoney, equine welfare, integrity, promotion and point-to-points the focus of HRI’s…

first_imgNew Curragh racecourse to open in AprilPrizemoney to reach €66.1 million Increased allocation to integrity servicesFunding allocation for equine welfare projectsIndustry-wide graduate programme among the education initiativesFirst television ad campaign for a decade planned for 2019Point-to-point prizemoney to increase by 13% Horse Racing Ireland (HRI)’s budget for 2019, approved at its Board meeting on Monday December 10, prioritises racecourse capital development, prizemoney, integrity and equine welfare, industry training and education, broadening the interest of the sport, and point-to-points.Prizemoney will rise by €2.9 million, to a figure of €66.1 million, with the additional commitment spread across some of Ireland’s big racing festivals as well as increases to feature races at 20 of Ireland’s Grade 2 and Grade 3 racetracks. The opening of the redeveloped Curragh Racecourse will see prizemoney increases for some of its feature races in 2019.Equine welfare and employee development are two priorities in the budget, with new lifetime traceability for thoroughbreds to be introduced for the 2019 foal crop.Next year, HRI will be working closely with Government and with industry stakeholders to advance the development of a state-of-the-art Irish Equine Centre in Johnstown, County Kildare. An industry-wide graduate programme is among the measures funded to assist those seeking to work in the industry and those seeking employees.2019 will also see Irish racing embark on a television advertising campaign for the first time in over a decade.Point-to-points will see increased prizemoney in races for older horse races.Prizemoney Levels and DistributionHRI will increase prizemoney by €2.9 million next year from a forecast €63.2 million in 2018 to €66.1 million in 2019. In a competitive international environment, this is important for Ireland to continue to attract owners with horses in training in Ireland.The reopening of the redeveloped Curragh will be marked by a prizemoney uplift for some of its feature races, as will Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival, the Punchestown and Galway Festivals. The racecourses will contribute to these increases through higher levels of sponsorship.A further €500,000 will be distributed among 20 Grade 2 and Grade 3 racecourses to be used to further enhance the prizemoney around their feature races. This initiative will be of particular benefit to the smaller racecourses in helping to promote their race days and will enhance values in races which are accessible to the majority of the horse population.Integrity Services and Equine WelfareAn allocation of €9.5 million has been approved for integrity services to be provided by the IHRB in 2019. This will feature increased levels of out-of-competition testing, enhancements to the IHRB security function and investment in upgraded I.T. systems. Increased funding has been allocated to equine welfare, including a new foal traceability system.Broadening interest and appeal of racingWorking with racecourses, HRI will conduct a comprehensive advertising and marketing campaign in 2019, including a return to TV advertising for the first time in over 10 years. The roll-out of free WiFi, which commenced in 2018 at Leopardstown, Naas, Fairyhouse, Ballinrobe, Navan and Cork, will continue in 2019 when 16 further racetracks will complete their WiFi implementation, bringing with it improvements to racegoer experience.Industry Training and EducationAn allocation of €1.6 million has been approved for industry training and development, with the focus on core skills within the RACE training centre as well as industry employment support programmes. The allocation includes funds for specific education and training initiatives, including the development of an industry-wide graduate programme and more tailored programmes to support attracting people into employment in the industry. There is also funding committed to a series of regional events hosted with second-level education guidance counsellors, and a further expansion of the equine industry information days.OwnershipInvestment has once again been committed to the recruitment and retention of owners in Ireland, with further funding in 2019 for the trainer marketing support scheme and a new loyalty scheme. The HRI Ownership Department will continue to work with all stakeholders on improving the experience for owners in Ireland, with particular focus on racecourse facilities and the additional benefits attached to racehorse ownership. The aim is to increase the pool of owners for all levels of the industry, building on the strong growth in new owners to date in 2018.Point-to-Point racingThe vital role the point-to-point sector plays is acknowledged with a further increase in prizemoney for 2019. Prizemoney for point-to-points will increase by 13% in 2019, driven by enhanced prizemoney for races for older horses, with a further 6% prizemoney increase due to an additional nine fixtures scheduled for next year. The total budget funding for point-to-points, including integrity services provided by the IHRB, will come to €2.4 million in 2019.Industry GrantsGrants of €1.32 million and €1.095 million were approved for the Irish Equine Centre and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing respectively, both of which also receive funds from the Thoroughbred Foal Levy (€900,000 and €450,000). A further €100,000 of funding from the Foal Levy was to support the funding of a Mass Spectrometer, which will improve the forensic examination of samples at the Irish Equine Centre. The funding for Irish Thoroughbred Marketing is particularly important as 2019 will see the United Kingdom exit from the EU.Racecourse Redevelopment2018 saw the completion of a number of capital projects across Irish racecourses and 2019 will see further activity in this area.April will see the opening of the redeveloped Curragh Racecourse which will ensure that customer facilities at the headquarters of flat racing in Ireland will match the quality of the racetrack and the race programme there.As Dublin’s only racecourse, Leopardstown plays a vital role in the Irish racing programme staging Grade 1 action on both the flat and national hunt.  Ground was broken on the latest phase of Leopardstown’s redevelopment programme in 2018 and next year will see this €18 million project advance towards completion.Capital projects at Bellewstown, Clonmel, Dundalk, Killarney, Listowel, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Tramore and Wexford Racecourses are also due to be completed next year.Discussions on further exciting developments are ongoing with a number of racecourses, while 2019 will see the conclusion of the grant scheme for drainage, irrigation and other track development works which will provide funding of €2.3m of works circa €6.8m.  These works, the majority of which are funded by the racecourses, are vital for the continuation of racing and the improvement of the quality of racing surfaces around the country.Starting Stalls/further capital investmentAn allocation has been made for the purchase of new starting stalls for Cork Racecourse, which will complete the replacement of the starting stalls at all racecourses in Ireland which host Flat meetings. Cork will also see the opening of its new seven-furlong straight track next summer, while 2019 will also see the continued development of HRI’s in-house on-line racing administration system (RAS) including new phases around digitised race planning and handicapping.Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said:“While there is much to look forward to for Irish racing in 2019, there are headwinds also, not least with Brexit. In 2019 HRI will therefore invest in areas which will deliver sustainable growth for the industry.“The completion of the Curragh redevelopment will give Irish flat racing the flagship it deserves and the new facilities will bear favourable comparison with other international racecourses.“The challenge of Brexit is substantial and the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union in March will leave Ireland more isolated.  It is important therefore to ensure that Irish prizemoney is competitive internationally and increases have been spread throughout the country.“The increased allocation to integrity services is welcome and will focus on critical areas such as drug testing, security and IT systems.  HRI is working closely with the IHRB to deliver efficient administration and regulation to the industry.“Staff and equine welfare will also be high priorities and 2019 sees an increased financial allocation to these areas. There are also increases in funding for point to point racing, ownership and the Irish Equine Centre.”Brian Kavanagh concluded: “We are grateful to Minister Creed and his team in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for the support which they have shown to our industry, which the Deloitte Report showed was worth €1.8bn per annum to the economy.  2019 will see the launch of the next Strategic Plan for the industry and HRI looks forward to working with industry stakeholders, as well as Minister Creed and his team, to deliver the plan and increase the yield which our sector provides.”print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

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Full publication of Garcia report impossible – FIFA judge

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodThe report into the turbulent bidding process for the rights to host the next two World Cups cannot be made fully public for legal reasons, though excerpts of it may be, FIFA’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert said on Friday.Eckert is still studying the report produced by his counterpart Michael Garcia into whether there was corruption in the process which led to the 2018 tournament being awarded to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar, and expects to issue a statement on his findings by mid-November.“The statement will contain an overview of the investigation report, a summary of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of the report, as well as a brief evaluation of the same,” Eckert said in an interview published on FIFA’s website.One of his tasks would be to decide which parts of the report could be made public, he added.Eckert cannot strip either Russia or Qatar from hosting their tournaments but can press charges against individuals.Several members of FIFA’s own executive committee have called for the report to be made public, as well as FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne, a decision which Eckert said fell exclusively to him and his deputy Alan Sullivan.Speaking in London on Monday, Garcia criticised FIFA for not conducting its ethics investigations in an open manner and called for the report to be made public in line with “the goals of the reform process”.GARCIA FINDINGSHowever, Eckert said that Garcia had not called for full publication of the findings.“Michael Garcia has never said that the report should be 100 percent published. He merely said that the ‘appropriate’ publication of his report should be authorised,” Eckert said.“The deputy chairman of the adjudicatory chamber and I now have the task of drawing up this appropriate form for publication.“Part of my current examination involves deciding what form this appropriate publication should take, whether this means issuing a statement regarding the investigation report or whether certain parts of the investigation report will be published while maintaining anonymity, or indeed a combination of these possibilities,” he said.“This decision is exclusively a matter for the adjudicatory chamber (of the ethics committee) — neither the investigatory chamber nor the FIFA Executive Committee can decide. The main requirement is that personal rights must not be damaged.”Eckert added: “Publishing the report in full would actually put the FIFA ethics committee and FIFA itself in a very difficult situation legally.“What is more, we have to respect the personal rights of the people mentioned in the report, which in the case of full publication of the report would in all likelihood not be possible.”FIFA and Qatar World Cup organisers have been fending off allegations of corruption ever since the Gulf state was awarded the 2022 tournament nearly four years ago.Qatar, which has repeatedly denied the allegations, has also been criticised over its treatment of migrant workers who work in the construction industry.The 2018 tournament was awarded to Russia as part of the same bidding process which culminated in December 2010.last_img read more

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Recently discovered Brazilian river dolphin’s calls could help us understand evolution of marine mammal communication

first_imgAnimals, Bioacoustics, Cetaceans, Dolphins, Environment, Mammals, Marine Mammals, Research, Rivers, Tropical Rivers, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Until recently it was believed that the solitary nature of Araguaian dolphins meant that they wouldn’t have much use for communication. But scientists have now documented hundreds of sounds made by the dolphins — and they say that these vocalizations could help us better understand the evolution of underwater communication among marine mammals.Using underwater cameras and microphones to record interactions between the dolphins, researchers recorded 20 hours of vocalizations, which they classified into 13 different types of “tonal sounds” and 66 types of “pulsed calls.” In total, they identified 237 distinct types of calls.The most common sounds the dolphins made were “short two-component calls,” the researchers report in the study. About 35 percent of these calls were made by calves while reuniting with their mothers, which suggests that the calls are an important component of mother-calf communication. The Araguaian river dolphin was just discovered and described to science in 2014, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot we don’t know about the cetacean native to the Araguaia and Tocatins rivers in Brazil.Until recently it was believed that the solitary nature of Araguaian dolphins meant that they wouldn’t have much use for communication. But scientists have now documented hundreds of sounds made by the dolphins — and they say that these vocalizations could help us better understand the evolution of underwater communication among marine mammals.Though the waters of the Araguaia and Tocatins rivers are relatively clear, Araguaian dolphins, known locally as botos, are difficult to even locate, let alone study in the wild. The animals are quite skittish and usually flee when in the presence of humans.But Gabriel Melo-Santos, a biologist from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, discovered that many of the dolphins frequent a fish market in the Brazilian town of Mocajuba, where shoppers typically feed the dolphins. Melo-Santos led a team of researchers that took advantage of the clear river water and the dolphins’ regular visits to get an up-close look at the animals’ interactions and behavior. The team detailed their findings in a study published in the journal PeerJ last month (the study was first published in PeerJ Preprints last year).Using underwater cameras and microphones to record interactions between the dolphins visiting Mocajuba, Melo-Santos and team recorded 20 hours of vocalizations, which they classified into 13 different types of “tonal sounds” and 66 types of “pulsed calls.” In total, they identified 237 distinct types of calls.The researchers say their findings show that Araguaian dolphins’ acoustic repertoire is anything but simple. “We found that they do interact socially and are making more sounds than previously thought,” Laura May Collado, a biologist at the University of Vermont and co-author of the paper, said in a statement. “Their vocal repertoire is very diverse.”The most common sounds the dolphins made were “short two-component calls,” the researchers report in the study. About 35 percent of these calls were made by calves while reuniting with their mothers, which suggests that the calls are an important component of mother-calf communication. According to May Collado, “marine dolphins like the bottlenose use signature whistles for contact, and here we have a different sound used by river dolphins for the same purpose.”The researchers theorize that the botos’ habitat is what caused them to evolve towards calls with shorter durations, since the echoes of longer calls would be subject to more interference in rivers than they would in oceans. That complex habitat might also explain why the acoustic characteristics of the river dolphin’s calls is somewhere between the low-frequency calls used by baleen whales to communicate over long distances and the high-frequency calls used by marine dolphins for short-distance communication. “There are a lot of obstacles like flooded forests and vegetation in their habitat, so this signal could have evolved to avoid echoes from vegetation and improve the communication range of mothers and their calves,” May Collado said.The river dolphins made longer calls and whistles, as well, but these sounds were much rarer and the researchers have yet to deduce the dolphins’ uses for them. However, Melo-Santos and co-authors write in the study that botos use these longer whistles in much different social contexts and for what appears to be quite different purposes than their ocean-dwelling cousins: “keeping distance between each other, rather than promoting social interactions as in marine dolphins.”The researchers say they next plan to study whether or not other populations of Araguaian river dolphins that have had less contact with humans employ the same diversity of calls, and then compare the results with the dolphin’s closest relatives. Two species, the Bolivian river dolphin and the Amazon river dolphin, are closely related to Araguaian dolphins, yet their vocal patterns are substantially different. Amazon dolphins in Ecuador, for instance, which May Collado studied in 2005, are not nearly as talkative.An Araguaian river dolphin swimming in the Araguaia River near a fish market in the Brazilian town of Mocajuba that the animals regularly visit to be fed by the people shopping there. Normally they are hard to find and study. Researchers from the University of Vermont and University of St. Andrews discovered that the dolphin species, which was thought to be solitary and quiet, can actually make hundreds of different sounds, a finding that could help uncover how communication evolved in marine mammals. Photo Credit: Paulo Castro.“We need more information on these other species and more populations,” May Collado said. “Why is one population chattier than others and how do these differences shape their social structure?”Because river dolphins are what Melo-Santos and team describe as “evolutionary relics” that diverged from other cetaceans much earlier than other dolphin species, many calls may have arisen first in river dolphins and only later evolved into the whistles and calls of marine dolphins, who use them in different social contexts. Examining the various contexts in which these calls are produced by dolphins in rivers and oceans may help us better understand the evolution of acoustic communication in marine mammals altogether.For instance, calls similar to those of Araguaian dolphins have been recorded in pilot whales and killer whales, and the similarities and differences between these species could help determine which sounds evolved first, and what evolutionary drivers led to them.“[G]iven that Araguaian river dolphin pulsed calls are similar in acoustic structure to those of delphinids [dolphins that live in the sea], we hypothesize that these signals evolved early in the evolutionary history of toothed whales as social calls, likely as mother-calf contact calls,” the researchers write in the study, “and that later in the lineage leading to dolphins its function evolved to group/family call recognition.”But, May Collado added: “We can’t say what the evolutionary story is yet until we get to know what sounds are produced by other river dolphins in the Amazon area, and how that relates to what we found. We now have all these new questions to explore.”Araguaian dolphins. Photo Credit: Gabriel Melo Alves dos Santos.CITATIONS• Hrbek, T., da Silva, V. M. F., Dutra, N., Gravena, W., Martin, A. R., & Farias, I. P. (2014). A new species of river dolphin from Brazil or: how little do we know our biodiversity. PLoS one, 9(1), e83623. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083623• Melo-Santos, G., Figueiredo Rodrigues, A. L., Tardin, R. H., de Sá Maciel, I., Marmontel, M., Da Silva, M. L., & May-Collado, L. J. (2018. The newly described Araguaian river dolphins, Inia araguaiaensis (Cetartyodactyla, Iniidae), produce a diverse repertoire of acoustic signals. PeerJ Preprints 6:e26962v2. doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.26962v2last_img read more

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30 Political Parties to Contest in 2017

first_imgThe certification of Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) has raised the number of political parties expected to contest the 2017 elections to 30, Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, National Elections Commission (NEC) Chair disclosed.LPDP was yesterday cleared by NEC to function in Liberia after meeting the requirements as outlined by the electoral laws of the country.The party predominantly comprises lawmakers, particularly members of the House of Representatives as evidenced by the presence of some of the lawmakers.The LPDP has been seen as an “institution that takes with it a majority of the members of the ruling Unity Party evidenced by the presence of many UP legislative caucus members who were reportedly involved with its formation.At the ceremony yesterday, Cllr. Korkoya expressed delight in the existence of the party, adding that its qualification to operate promotes democracy and freedom of association.He urged leaders of political parties to remain active and engage in positive undertakings with the aim of maintaining peace and stability.LPDP chairman, Cllr. Henry Gogba, said the party is confident, ‘’because we have come to offer Liberians new hope and the best deal ever for the governance of the country.“We have noticed that Liberians are anxiously looking forward to a period in their lives when increased gross national product can be visibly seen in their lives, especially rural district dwellers.”He said the party was registered to articulate the anxiety of Liberians in order to ensure that government creates a balance between urban and rural dwellers.Cllr. Gogba said the LPDP has also noticed how deeply Liberians have come to appreciate fundamental freedoms especially freedom of speech and freedom of the press, adding that these freedoms will be accompanied with economic freedom as well.Cllr. Gogba explained that his party has noticed the love for democracy in Liberia and therefore, has come to make it more meaningful to the extent that practically there would be a government for the people, of the people and by the people.“In this light, we shall push forward to achieve decentralization of powers and some autonomy to the 73 electoral districts. This party has emerged with detailed understanding of the workings of the three branches of government and is fully equipped with the understanding of grass-roots or constituents’ problems,” LPDP chairman asserted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Van Gaal claims he inherited a ‘broken’ Man United squad from Moyes

first_img1 New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal Louis van Gaal claims he has inherited a ‘broken’ Manchester United squad from David Moyes.The Dutchman went on to insist it would have been easier to follow Sir Alex Ferguson, who won 13 titles in 26 years at Old Trafford, than the former Everton boss.In Van Gaal’s eyes, Ferguson left Moyes with a team of winners. He says he is inheriting a “broken” squad awash with attacking midfielders.“No,” Van Gaal said when asked whether following Ferguson would have been harder.“I don’t agree. I had to follow Bobby Robson at Barcelona the year after he won three titles and there wasn’t a problem (Van Gaal won the league that year).“When there is success you have a very good squad, and now I have to follow and the squad was broken I think.“When you look at the squad, there is quality. There is (Wayne) Rooney, (Robin) van Persie, (Javier) Hernandez, (Danny) Welbeck, but you also see Juan Mata, (Marouane) Fellaini, and you see (Ander) Herrera. There are a lot of players that can play in the same position.“It is not in balance. It’s more difficult to succeed in a difficult situation than in a fantastic situation.”Van Gaal will look to address the imbalance in his squad by signing at least two players over the next three weeks.Van Gaal is interested in signing Thomas Vermaelen and Mats Hummels.United have been told they will have to stump up £79million to sign other target Kevin Strootman from Roma while Real Madrid are also demanding a big fee for Angel Di Maria, who is also on the club’s radar.Van Gaal insists he will not pay over the odds for any transfer targets though.“I don’t buy players for the sake of buying players,” he said.“I buy players to improve my selection.“Now I don’t know if we will play (5-3-2) or 4-3-3.“If I play 4-3-3 I need more specialists in the wings and attackers and then we have to buy another kind of player.”Meanwhile, Van Gaal insists he will not get drawn into any mind-games with Jose Mourinho this season and he says he still regards the Chelsea manager as his “friend”.Mourinho controversially claimed earlier this week that United were paying over the odds for Luke Shaw, a £27million signing from Southampton who reportedly now earns in the region of “100,000 a week.Mourinho said had Chelsea paid that kind of money to the 19-year-old, it would have “killed” the London club.United boss Van Gaal hinted he would speak privately to Mourinho about the matter. Many saw that as a sign the two former colleagues were set for a rocky relationship this season.Mourinho, who worked as Van Gaal’s assistant at Barcelona for three years, has a record of trying to wind up fellow managers.But Van Gaal is sure he will have a harmonious relationship with the Portuguese this term even though both he and his former protege are in charge of teams vying for the title.“I don’t think I will fall out with him. He is my friend,” Van Gaal said of Mourinho.United play the third game of their tour against Inter Milan in Washington DC on Tuesday night.last_img read more

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Exclusive – ‘I’m no rhino!’ Mertesacker laughs off criticism from Szczesny’s father

first_imgArsenal defender Per Mertesacker has laughed off comments from team-mate Wojciech Szczesny’s father and insisted his performance against Stoke City proves he’s no rhinoceros.Following his son’s disastrous display against Southampton, Maciej Szczesny likened Mertesacker, a World Cup winner with Germany in the summer, to the beastly animal in an attempt to deflect criticism away from the goalkeeper.But when the 30-year-old centre-back joined Call Collymore after the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Stoke, he revealed he has found the incident funny, insisting that after a chat with his team-mate there are no hard feelings.Asked if he had been hurt by the remarks or had simply laughed them off, he told talkSPORT: “I’m always laughing.“I know in football everyone has this opinion [that I lack agility] and it’s very strange but Wojciech [Sczczesny] and myself spoke about the situation.“It’s not easy for Wojciech either to respond to that but we’re quite fine now and the best response is to keep yourself calm and respond with that performance today [against Stoke]. That is all you can do.”last_img read more

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Distant smoke a constant reminder of local forest fire danger

first_imgANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – No place shows the trouble on the horizon better than the dusty turnoff along winding Lake Hughes Road. Some 60 miles to the west – but appearing much, much closer – billows a giant plume of smoke from the massive and relentless Zaca Fire that started a month ago in the Los Padres National Forest. There’s no question it could happen in the Angeles National Forest, where the U.S. Forest Service has increased the fire danger from “very high” to “extreme,” a designation that usually doesn’t come until the fall of a dry year. The region’s seen a scant 3 inches of rain since Oct. 1, compared with a norm of about 20 inches. On top of that, the heat this spring and summer has been sweltering and it shows in the thickets covering parched hillsides. “It’s really brown out there, scary brown,” said Lynne Dahl, administrator at Warm Springs, which houses up to 199 patients and 35 staffers. The center continuously trains its staff to handle evacuations – they’ve been ordered out twice in the last four years, Dahl said. “We have an extensive evacuation plan we go over and over this time of year,” she said. Fire drills are conducted and this year U.S. Forest Service firefighters have made frequent visits to ensure brush has been cut back to protect the facility and no other hazards exist that could mean catastrophe should fire sweep through. “They’re more nervous this year,” Dahl said of forest officials. “We’re pretty isolated and it’s really dry. We have a little creek and the water level is dropping.” In July 2004, some 37,000 acres burned in the Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers district, and the fire danger wasn’t termed “extreme” until two months later. The following year, more than 50 inches of rain wiped out the fire concern. With this year’s warning, issued Aug. 1, came restrictions in the forest that will last until the weather improves. Wood or charcoal fires are prohibited and only propane or jelled gas stoves may be used by those holding state campfire permits. Smoking is allowed only in enclosed buildings or vehicles. Shooting, power tools, welding, grinding and other activities that could produce sparks also are prohibited, Forest Service spokesman Stanton Florea said. Proof of the danger is evident in the Los Padres where the Zaca Fire has burned 38,400 acres since July 4, largely in deep wilderness, but prompting some evacuations in remote areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officials said that blaze was sparked on a private ranch by workers grinding metal to repair a water pipe. Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Mike Ricker works Station 81 in Agua Dulce, a semirural enclave northeast of Santa Clarita and on the forest’s edge. Adding to the worry of a bad fire year is the fact that residents have no public water source, relying on private wells. The hazards of a bad fire season are well-known about town and most residents are quick to take precautions, Ricker said. They got a warning last month when fire consumed 700 acres and threatened about 40 homes – though no structures were lost. “This year, we have had the rain and the fuel moisture is really low, but the people are a lot more cognizant and most of them take steps to protect their property,” Ricker said. “Anything they can do makes our job easier.” pat.aidem@dailynews.com (661) 257-5251 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We have an extraordinary situation,” said John Capell, ranger in charge in the Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger District. “The fuel moistures, they’re at a level that is beyond where we are typically by September, even October. It’s much drier that normal.” On this spot in the Angeles forest, overlooking the sprawling Castaic Lake, the plant life is parched to a crisp. It’s been far too long since any significant rainfall hit the spread of Angeles between the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys and forest officials worry that, indeed, there is trouble on the horizon. All it takes is a car overheating as it makes it way up the steep grade of Interstate 5 toward the Grapevine to spark a fire that can devastate this stretch of the Angeles, Capell said. Forest Service officials have worried for years that fire in this section of forest along the freeway can jump lanes and charge toward the Los Padres, which lost 163,000 acres to last summer’s month-long Day Fire. “A very common cause of fires is traffic collisions, traffic accidents,” he said. “They very frequently cause fires.” At stake is the obvious, swaths of the vast wilderness that provide escape so close to Los Angeles. And then there’s the not-so-obvious. Small towns are pocketed within the forest, their only escape the winding, narrow mountain roads. There are seasonal camps, some for kids with special needs. And a dozen miles up Lake Hughes Road from Castaic is the county-run Warm Springs Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. last_img read more

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Premier League Preview Show

first_imgThis week, the former Arsenal, Cardiff City and Wales defender Rhys Weston reflects on the Gunners’ start to the season, having commentated on the loss to Liverpool last weekend. Both Arsenal and Leicester City will be desperate not to lose their opening two games of the season when they meet on Saturday.The former West Ham, Tottenham and Stoke winger Matthew Etherington is also on the show looking ahead to West Ham’s first game at the London Stadium. Matt also reflects on Stoke’s good point at Middlesbrough before they play City and says Spurs looked impressive at Everton.Tom Rennie hosts.last_img

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Transfer Talk: Ross moves for Morgan, Edwards to Hearts

first_imgLewis Morgan and Jack Ross formed a formidable partnership last season at St Mirren before going their separate ways.But the duo won’t be apart for long if Ross has his way.The new Sunderland boss is reported to have made his move to bring Celtic winger Morgan to the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan.Ross will apparently be made to wait to see whether the Scottish champions will sanction their new recruit’s departure, though, as Brendan Rodgers wants to give Morgan the chance to impress in pre-season. Elsewhere, Rangers are on the brink of completing a double deal, with Brighton defender Connor Goldson and Liverpool playmaker Ovie Ejaria set to sign for the Light Blues this week.Celtic, meanwhile, could be in for a hefty payday if they can make the group stage of the Champions League after UEFA revealed prize money is to more than double.last_img read more

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Jackson County Inmate Roster – 2.12.17

first_imgAllison, Daniel K View Profile >>> Booking #:96321 Booking Date:02-12-2017 – 5:32 am Hensley, Brandon R Bond:$705 Bond:No Bond Charges:35-48-4-10 Dealing in Marijuana/Hasish35-48-4-11 Possession Marijuana/Hashish35-45-1-5 Common Nuisance Booking #:96323 View Profile >>> Charges:9-30-5-2 Operating Vehicle While Intox9-30-5-1 BAC .08% to .14% Charges:7.1-5-1-3 Public Intoxication Booking #:96322 Donaldson, Matthew D Inmates booked into the Jail within the last 24 hours. Booking Date:02-11-2017 – 6:45 pm Bond:$355 Booking Date:02-12-2017 – 12:11 am View Profile >>>last_img

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