Murray crushes Coric to set up Goffin meeting in Paris

first_imgAndy Murray demolished Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-1 6-2 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday to set up a Davis Cup-flavoured clash with Belgium’s David Goffin. Britain and Belgium meet in the Davis Cup final in Ghent from Nov 27-29 with world number three Murray and Goffin, who eased past Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic, set to clash in the number ones’ singles rubber.Murray needed less than an hour to dismiss the 18-year-old Coric, converting four of his five break points while never allowing his opponent the chance to steal his serve.Earlier, the 16th-seeded Goffin also needed less than an hour to sweep aide Lajovic 6-2 6-2, converting five of eight break points.Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the sixth seed, survived a barrage of aces to beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 6-1, securing a third-round meeting with another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet.Chardy fired 17 aces but it was not enough to unsettle Nishikori, who played better on the key points.The 10th-seeded Gasquet looked solid in a 6-2 7-5 victory against Argentine Leonardo Mayer.The Paris Masters is the last tournament before the season-ending ATP World Tour finals, which will be played between the eight best players of the season from Nov 15-22 at the 02 arena in London.World number one Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Nishikori, Murray, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer have all qualified.last_img read more

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50+1 years later

first_imgThe speeches have been made, the songs have been sung, and the Golden Arrowhead has been raised for the 50+1 Independence celebrations. It might therefore be appropriate to reflect on where our country is in relation to the promises that were held out in 1966.If “independence” is to mean anything to a people whose lands were expropriated from them and whose labour was coerced through systems of slavery and indentureship, then it has to be judged by the degree of freedom that is enjoyed by the descendants of those indigenous peoples, slaves and indentureds. Freedom, as we were reminded by Isiah Berlin, is of two variants – negative and positive. In the former, it means the removal of restraints over our autonomous actions, especially by the state. Unfortunately for us, for the first two decades of our “independent” existence, Guyanese experienced a government using the apparatus of the state to increasingly impose controls over the people in what is ironically labelled “democratic governance”. The right to choose a government – the most fundamental in an independent, democratic state — was denied between 1968 and 1992. The freedom of assembly and the free speech of citizens were severely restricted as government goons regularly and violently broke up political meetings of the opposition. In one instance, the head of the government publicly regaled a Congress of his party about an opposition leader scaling a fence in his desperate effort to escape from the political enforcers.The freedom of movement was denied many opposition figures via “blacklists” that were issued to the immigration department at the airport. Today we have a case of the present government creating a list of 200 citizens who are not free to travel out of the jurisdiction. But even their names have not been made known, creating a dark and ominous cloud over persons who may fear they have been targeted. In a climate in which a slew of criminal charges were brought by the state on grounds that can only be described as “frivolous” and “vexatious”, this restraint on the freedom of movement of those citizens on mere suspicion at the very best makes a mockery of the freedom promised by ‘Independence’.It is redolent of the practices that were prevalent in the dark period of authoritarian rule, which all assumed would be banished forever after “free and fair” elections were returned in 1992. But based on utterances from the general secretary of the major party in control of the government — the same PNC that had ruled with an iron fist before — the new “blacklist” might just be the signal of what lies ahead under our negative freedom. “Positive freedom” speaks to the creation of conditions in which the citizenry can express the full spectrum of their full potential to be the very best they can be. And in the modern world, this means a government that is sensitive to the imperative to at least guarantee the basic needs of its citizens, primarily through securing full employment in the economy, educating the young to take advantage of those employment opportunities, providing health care, and providing a safety net for the aged, infirm or unemployed.At 50+1 years after independence, however, we witness the Government already dismissing 1700 workers in one sugar plantation, and promising to dismiss at least another 7,000 imminently. In an economy that has shrunk in all sectors except in gold mining, this callous action is tantamount to dooming those individuals and their families to lives that would be “nasty, brutish and short.”We witness, also, corruption in the procurement of pharmaceuticals — that has led to widespread shortages that endanger the health of the sick and infirm. We have also witnessed the imposition of the onerous 14% VAT on private education, which restricts the freedom of choice in this critical area of positive freedom.In retrospect, the question has to be asked: “What is there to celebrate after 50+1 years of independence?”last_img read more

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Late Baraza strike rescues Sofapaka

first_img0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000NAIROBI, April 29 – Veteran forward John Baraza struck late to help GOtv Shield Champions, Sofapaka salvage a point against struggling KCB as the two shared a 1-1 draw in a Kenyan Premier League mid-week clash in Machakos on Wednesday.Ronald Musana gave the Bankers the lead in the 14th minute from a Victor Majid pass but their dream of registering a second win of the season was snatched at the death when Baraza headed home an Enock Agwanda cross. Batoto Ba Mungu dropped points for the second successive game, a week after holding champions and leaders Gor Mahia to a goalless draw to remain stuck in seventh.Despite trailing by a goal to nil in the opening half, Sofapaka were the better side creating more chances through Ekaliani Ndolo and Danson Kago but none of them could beat KCB keeper, Sammy Okinda.Ndolo rattled the woodwork on the 18th after exchanging passes with Baraza as Danson Kago forced Mark Odhiambo to clear the ball on the line five minutes latter for a fruitless corner.The Bankers got their second chance at the half hour mark through Raymond Murugi who almost beat David Okello with his well curled cross from the right that also hit the crossbar as Felly Mulumba cleared the rebound.The second half saw Paul Kiongera make his debut since returning to the club from Tanzania’s Simba SC as KCB sat back to defend their lead.Sofapaka piled on the pressure but Okinda stood tall to deny Ellie Asieche and Baraza but could not resist the latter’s powerful header in the 90th minute.Sofapaka were without injured duo of midfielders David Bagoole and Erastus Mwaniki who picked knock in training.The league continues Friday with wounded AFC Leopards hosting Sony Sugar at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium, as they seek their first win in two matches.last_img read more

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Transfer rumours and paper review – Wednesday, August 27

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Wednesday’s newspapers…Arsenal will look to sign Paris St-Germain star and Manchester United target Edinson Cavani after losing Olivier Giroud to a long-term injury. (Daily Express)But the Gunners are likely to be priced out of a move for Cavani and will instead explore a deal for Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck. (Daily Mail)Juventus have made an enquiry about the availability of Javier Hernandez after Arsenal stalled on the proposed loan of Lukas Podolski to the Italian giants. (Daily Mail)Manchester United are in talks to make their FIFTH summer signing – Dutch defender Daley Blind. Former keeper Edwin van der Sar attended a meeting at the club’s training facility in Carrington yesterday to help thrash out a deal for the Ajax star. (Daily Star)Louis van Gaal is also weighing up a shock £20million move for Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen. (Daily Star)AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has confirmed he is in talks with Chelsea for Fernando Torres and Marco van Ginkel. (Daily Mail)Liverpool striker Fabio Borini could be on his way back to Italy, after reports in his homeland confirmed AC Milan have made enquiries. (Daily Mail)Daniel Agger claims he does not know if he will still be at Liverpool when the transfer window closes on Monday. (Daily Mirror)QPR boss Harry Redknapp is ready to snap up West Ham midfielder Momo Diame in a surprise deal. (Daily Mirror)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Exclusive – Liverpool legend backs Balotelli to hit it off with SturridgeExclusive – ‘Balotelli deal will blow up in Rodgers’ face’, claims ex-England strikerExclusive – Man United have NOT made move for Blind, insists Ajax star’s agentGiroud Injury Latest: Wenger fears striker will be out until New YearExclusive – No Arsenal approach for Remy, insists QPR manager RedknappTransfer Insider: Possible double deal for Spurs and Arsenal looking at ItalianTottenham sell Dawson to Hull as they close in on £8m deal for FazioExclusive – Leicester close in on deal for Lokomotiv Moscow strikerFormer Liverpool star turns his back on Premier League return to stay in SpainAtletico Madrid make bid for long-term Liverpool targetHamburg keen on taking out-of-favour Tottenham midfielder back to GermanyReports: Stoke star a shock target for LazioCole to stay at West Ham despite Championship interestQPR will need to move fast if they want to reactivate interest in French Under-21 starAC Milan set to make shock move for Fulham misfitFulham close to deal for Munich goalkeeperCeltic striker set for Portugal returnlast_img read more

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Auditors find Public Utilities Commission fails to collect fines

first_imgThe California Public Utilities Commission lost the state more than $32 million since 1999 because of inept debt-collection practices that allowed telecommunication companies to skip out on fines, an audit released Tuesday says. State Controller John Chiang ordered the audit after a Contra Costa Times investigation published in April revealed that the commission didn’t collect fines levied on phone companies that ripped off consumers. While the audit confirms earlier findings of the Times, it also raises new questions about the commission’s financial controls. The commission has not undergone a comprehensive financial audit since 1992, the controller’s audit states. “It should be of significant concern to the (commission’s) management that the conditions identified in our review of the collection system may exist in other areas of the (commission’s) fiscal operations,” the controller’s audit states. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The audit also found that the commission doesn’t know if its fines are accurate because it fails to properly record them. “It is important that the commission improve its collection procedures to safeguard not only the state’s limited resources but also protect consumers who rely on the commission to protect their interests and their pocketbooks,” the audit states. Commission President Michael R. Peevey and Executive Director Paul Clanon did not return messages Tuesday. In a written response to the Controller’s Office, Clanon said new operating procedures for debt collection would be formally adopted and a comprehensive audit would be performed. No time frame was offered. tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.comlast_img read more

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Death penalty total up in 2006

first_imgRome-based Hands Off Cain said the increase came because more countries that have capital punishment on their books actually resorted to it in 2006. In its annual report on the death penalty, Hands Off Cain said the gradual trend of abolishing capital punishment continued, with 51 countries retaining the death penalty compared with 54 in 2005. But it said 27 countries had resorted to the death penalty in 2006, up from 24 in 2005. As a result, the number of executions increased, to at least 5,628 last year compared with 5,494 in 2005 and 5,530 in 2004. Overall, 146 countries and territories have renounced the death penalty to some extent, either through outright abolition or a moratorium, Hands Off Cain said. The group said it uses reports from NGOs and mainstream media in compiling its report. The report said China remained the top executioner, with unconfirmed reports that as many as 8,000 people are put to death annually. The report cited Chinese officials and academics as saying executions had decreased, though – in part because of a new amendment requiring the Supreme Court to confirm all death sentences and for public hearings for appeals. Iran came in second in the group’s top execution rankings. Hands Off Cain said Tehran doubled the number of people it put to death in 2006, executing at least 215 people compared with 113 in 2005, though it said the real number may be higher. Pakistan also nearly doubled the number of executions in 2006, putting at least 82 people to death last year compared with 42 a year earlier. Hands Off Cain said both Iran and Pakistan executed minors in violation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. The United States remained the only country in the Americas that carried out a death sentence in 2006. Fifty-three people were executed in the United States in 2006, down from 60 in 2005 and 59 in 2004, the group said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! REPORT: Compared with 2004 and 2005, more countries used capital punishment. By Nicole Winfield THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ROME – Even though more countries are renouncing the death penalty, more people were put to death last year – 5,628 – than in the past two years, an anti-death-penalty group reported Thursday. last_img read more

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Reports – Aston Villa make £7m bid for Ghanaian striker

first_img1 Aston Villa have made a £7m bid for Lorient forward Jordan Ayew, according to reports in France.The Premier League club are on the hunt for attacking reinforcements this summer after selling star striker Christian Benteke.The Belgian joined Liverpool for £32.5m and Villa boss Tim Sherwood now needs his replacement.And, according to RMC, Ayew is the man identified by Villa to solve their striking crisis.The 23-year-old, who is the brother of Swansea City forward Andre Ayew, scored 13 goals in all competitions last season. Jordan Ayew last_img

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Transfer ALERT! Swansea and Hull defensive target could STAY at Inter Milan

first_img1 Swansea City and Hull City target Andrea Ranocchia could stay put at Inter Milan, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.The defender has firmly slipped down the pecking order at the San Siro and has been heavily linked with leaving the Italian giants during the winter transfer window.Swansea and Hull have been credited with showing interest in Ranocchia, who is also on the radar of Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg.The Swans have been pushing the hardest to land the central defender, who has made just nine appearances in all competitions for Inter Milan this season.However, it has been suggested there is serious chance of Ranocchia remaining at Inter beyond this month, at least until the end of the season.The 28-year-old, who joined the Italian giants from Genoa in January 2011, spent the second half of last season on loan at Sampdoria.With less than a week remaining before the closure of the window, the saga involving Ranocchia has now taken a new turn. Swansea and Hull target Andrea Ranocchia last_img read more

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Gas prices on the rise again

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Friday afternoon, the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the L.A. area was $3.199 – down 16 cents from a month ago but still up 54 cents from this time last year, according to the Automobile Club. Increased supply and demand depressed by record-high pump prices had reduced fuel prices recently, said Marie Montgomery, an Auto Club spokeswoman. “However, the last couple of days there has been a little bit of a U-turn in Southern and Northern California,” said Montgomery, who on Monday paid $2.99 a gallon for unleaded in Huntington Beach. Many people filling up at an Arco station on Friday said gasoline prices were hindering their Fourth of July plans. Abel Torres, a Chatsworth truck dispatcher, canceled plans for himself, his wife and four kids to visit family in Arizona. Gasoline prices continued their downward slide this week – the sixth in a row – but inched up Friday just in time for Fourth of July travel. Despite prices that remain about 20 percent higher than this time last summer, a record number of Americans and Californians plan to travel by land and air this weekend, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Officials expect 2.8 million Southern Californians to hit the highways to, among other places, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. “Gas prices suck, but I’ve got to get from Point A to Point B,” said Mitch Bush, who expected to spend $160 driving his sport utility vehicle from Reseda to San Luis Obispo to visit family and escape 100-degree heat this weekend. “Gas prices are too high. Gas is too … high to travel, especially when you have a family,” said Torres, who only pumped 2.9 gallons – costing $9 – into his car Friday because that was all he could afford. “I’m waiting for payday,” he said. Montgomery said it is difficult to predict whether gas prices will soon begin to climb again, a trend that typically runs through the start of the school year. But when bleary-eyed travelers refuel for their return home Tuesday, they could find that prices have shot up again over the weekend. If so, the philosophical Bush expects to either suck it up or soak it up in San Luis Obispo. “What are you going to do? Stay up there?” he asked, rhetorically. “I wish.” brad.greenberg@dailynews.com (818) 713-3634160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Liverpool have ‘stagnated’ and will struggle to get top-four, says Paul Ince

first_imgA disappointed Paul Ince claims Liverpool have ‘stagnated’ this season and will likely miss out on a top four spot in the Premier League.The former England winger has branded Jurgen Klopp’s side the Premier League’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ team and admits they are miles away from where they want to be.Liverpool sit fifth in the table following a 0-0 draw with West Brom, level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham, but they are 18 points adrift of runaway top flight leaders Manchester City and seven behind fierce rivals Manchester United in second-place.Klopp’s side have produced some of the most breath-taking attacking performances of the season, yet their struggles at the back have seen them needlessly drop points and there are fears their, at times helpless, back-four could prove the undoing in their pursuit of Champions League football.And Ince doubts whether a top-four finish is a realistic possibility due to their yo-yoing form.“This year, Liverpool have stagnated,” he told Paddy Power News.“I don’t think they’re at the level they should be, or would have expected them to be, looking back at last year.“I hate saying it, as a former Liverpool player, but I never thought they would have a chance at the title this year – and, seeing their performances so far, it’s obvious that was true.“They haven’t been in the same league as Man City and Man United. You knew that both of those teams would do better in the Premier League. They’re just better. Man City, Man United and Chelsea are all streets ahead.“Liverpool should really be finishing in the top four but, looking at it right now, I’m not sure if they will.“Behind the top three there’s a battle between Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and even Burnley.“Looking back at the games where they’ve dropped points, against sides like West Brom, Liverpool will be gutted. Not every game can be four goal wins. Some of them are tough, and so-called lesser teams will make it difficult. They need to be grinding out results in difficult, scrappy games.“I just don’t think Liverpool have dealt with that. I love watching them play and, on their day, they’re unbeatable – but, to win the title, you have to produce that week-in, week-out and Liverpool just aren’t capable of doing that.“Jurgen Klopp is completely frustrated. Liverpool are one of the most frustrating teams in the Premier League, no doubt about it. They’re so Jekyll and Hyde. One minute, they’re playing gorgeous, free-flowing football – the next they’re struggling against West Brom.”Paul Ince was speaking exclusively to Paddy Power News. To read more, visit news.paddypower.com 1 Liverpool have ‘stagnated’ under Jurgen Klopp this season, claims Paul Ince last_img read more

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