Gareth Bale opened the scoring for Real Madrid in each of the last three La Liga seasons, but ultimately every time he played a supporting role in Cristiano Ronaldo’s show.Now the Portuguese forward, Real’s all-time top scorer, has left to join Juventus, the onus is on the 29-year-old to be the leader in attack.With a little help from the Welshman it was Dani Carvajal who headed home to send Madrid ahead, the warm-up act as Bale added the second in a 2-0 win over Getafe.Having helped create the first goal and convert the second to get new coach Julen Lopetegui’s debut La Liga campaign off to a winning start, comparisons to Ronaldo were natural.However, defender Nacho Fernandez insisted Bale is a talent of his own and does not need to follow in anyone’s footsteps.“It’s not a question of him following Ronaldo’s path,” Nacho said.“Cristiano left his mark on a whole era here. Bale is a really key player for us and he’s won many trophies here and has nothing to prove to anyone,” he added.“Everyone knows they can count on him and I’m sure that he’ll continue to perform well. The fans are fully behind Bale and he’s very happy at Real Madrid. We’ve got some fantastic strikers here.”Bale crashed a header against the crossbar in the first half, before his cross was pushed into Carvajal’s path by Getafe goalkeeper David Soria.In the 51st minute the forward sealed Madrid’s victory, reacting in the box to smash a loose ball past Soria.“He was the best, most dangerous, most incisive player on the pitch in Real’s La Liga opener, it was like seeing Ronaldo,” Spanish newspaper Marca said on Monday.However, this was the first league game since Ronaldo departed and also saw Madrid record their lowest attendance since before the Portuguese arrived in 2009.On Sunday 48,466 fans were present, barely filling half of the 90,000 capacity, the lowest number since May 24, 2009 when 44,270 attended a 3-1 home defeat by Real Mallorca.Ronaldo’s presence at the Bernabeu was undoubtedly a draw and, without signing a replacement, Madrid are depending on Bale to become the team’s new talisman who has the pulling power to draw in the masses and fire the team to glory.
MADRID (AP): Video review helped Real Madrid beat Espanyol 1-0 and go to the top of the Spanish league yesterday. Marco Asensio’s first-half goal was initially waived off for offside, but was confirmed by the video assistant referee. Madrid are one point ahead of Barcelona, who play today against Girona at Camp Nou Stadium. Madrid rested regulars such as Gareth Bale and Marcelo following their opening win against Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday. Thibaut Courtois, playing in goal after Keylor Navas started in the Champions League, saved Madrid in the first half, and Borja Iglesias almost equalised but struck the crossbar in the second half after a mistake by Sergio Ramos. BACK TO WINNING Thomas Lemar’s first goal for Atletico Madrid helped to end their winless run in the league. Lemar set up the other goal in Atletico’s 2-0 win at 10-man Getafe. After a loss and draw, Atletico moved within five points of Barcelona. Lemar, part of France’s World Cup-winning squad, contributed to the opening score when his long-range shot bounced off the crossbar and rebounded into the net off the back of goalkeeper David Soria, who was credited with an own-goal. In the second half, Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion set up Lemar, who dribbled past Soria and scored. Getafe who had not lost since the opening round, played a man down from the 67th minute after Ivan Alejo was sent off for a hard foul. TOP FORM Alaves routed promoted Valladolid 5-1 to earn their third straight win. Ibai Gomez scored in each half at Rayo’s Vallecas Stadium, which reopened after about a month of renovation work. GOALS AT LAST Promoted club Valladolid, owned by former Brazil striker Ronaldo, ended their scoreless streak in a 3-3 draw at Celta Vigo. Leo Suarez earned the point for Valladolid by scoring four minutes into second-half stoppage time. Valladolid had not scored in their previous four leagues matches. Celta, which got two goals from Spain forward Iago Aspas, had a two-goal lead until the 65th minute at Balaidos Stadium. CONTRASTING STREAK Mid-table Eibar defeated Leganes 1-0 at home with a second-half goal by Kike Garcia. Leganes’ third straight loss, and fourth in five matches, left them with only one point and in last place in the 20-team standings.
Police in Gbarnga, Bong County have charged a 32-year old man identified as Alvin Morris alias “Oldman” with murder and rape of an 11 year old girl identified as Little Darling Garpue.Darling Garpue went missing on January 15. Her decomposed body was discovered on Wednesday January 21 in the Jor Creek near a village called Cooper Town, an hour’s drive from Gbarnga, where the girl was living when she disappeared.Speaking to the Daily Observer in Gbarnga over the weekend, the Commander of the Crime Services Division (CSD) of the Bong County Police Detachment, Inspector Alvin James, said from the police investigation and observation, it was established that the private parts of the girl, the right breast, her tongue and the left eye were all missing.Inspector James informed this newspaper that suspect Alvin Morris has denied any involvement in the killing of the girl. But preliminary testimonies from witnesses have linked the suspect to the commission of crimes.The local CSD Commander disclosed that from the investigation it was established that the girl was raped before she was killed. Inspector James told this reporter that one witness told the police that suspect Morris kept the little girl in a local video club in their Plum Valley Community for more than nine hours and later sent another person to call the girl when it was already dark.Another witness told the police that Oldman was the last person to interact with the girl before she was raped and murdered.A third witness said suspect Alvin Morris’ girlfriend, whose name was not disclosed, sent the victim to deliver her boyfriend’s food to their room but Darling Garpue did not return. Information gathered by this newspaper revealed that suspect Morris and his girlfriend are renting the house of the deceased’s family in Gbarnga.According to information gathered, little Darling was living with her biological mother in Monrovia, but she was sent to Gbarnga to her grandmother to spend time during the health crisis and there she met her untimely death on January 21.Suspect Morris has denied any involvement in the killing of the girl but he has been charged and sent to court for prosecution.Meanwhile, family members of the deceased and some residents of Gbarnga who spoke with this reporter are appealing to the Judiciary and the Government of Liberia (GOL) for a fair and speedy trial into the murder Darling. Family members of the deceased have vowed to carry out a sit in action until a speedy trial of the case commences.The residents are also calling on the National Legislature to enact laws that will ensure harsh punishment for people who are involved in raping minors.The residents claimed the girl was ritualistically killed and are also pleading with court authorities for a fair and speedy trial into the death of the girl. At the same time, Inspector James is appealing to the public to assist the police with additional information that could lead to the prosecution of suspect Morris. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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0Shares0000Alexis Sanchez downcast after Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League by Monaco. PHOTO/FilePARIS, France, June 24 – At the European football championships on Friday it was left to players from the rest of Europe to express shock that Britain had voted to break away from the European Union.As the news broke in France, where the 16 remaining teams are preparing for the first knockout round of the continent’s football extravaganza, Italians and Germans spoke of their sadness at Britain’s decision. Yet England striker Harry Kane, perhaps conscious that his replies would be picked over for any political leanings, said his teammates were not “focused” on the result.“Obviously we woke up today and saw the news and a few of the lads were talking about it,” Kane told a press conference at England’s base camp near Paris.“But I don’t think the lads are too focused on it to be honest. The Euros is the main thing, trying to progress and do well in that.“I don’t think any of us know too much about it to comment on it. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini though said his team were “shocked” and expressed concern that the result in Britain could have a contagious effect in Europe.“We’re all a bit shocked. We all went to bed thinking the Remain would win. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened,” he said.“I think the major worry is, more than anything, the domino effect it could have. It might prompt other states to try to vote out. Maybe others will follow.”– Italy too? –Chiellini said he feared Italy might have come to the same decision in a referendum.“In general, when there’s a situation in which people are unhappy, they vote to change it,” he said.“But in all seriousness, I’m not sure Italy would survive such a decision to vote to leave Europe.”British people chose by 52 percent to 48 percent to quit the EU after four decades of membership, sending markets into turmoil and prompting Prime Minister David Cameron — who had backed the failed ‘Remain’ campaign — to resign.Michael O’Neill, the coach of Northern Ireland — one of the countries directly concerned by the result — said he was kicking himself for failing to cast a ballot.“I personally made an error because I didn’t give myself an opportunity to vote by postal vote, so I’m disappointed with that myself for that,” O’Neill said Friday.He said his players were too preoccuped by their last-16 match on Saturday against another of the United Kingdom’s smaller nations, Wales, to worry about Northern Ireland’s uncertain future.“I don’t think our players are too concerned about (the referendum result) in this moment in time, their focus is on the game and their football,” he saidGermany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said he was saddened by the referendum result.“I grew up at a time when it was normal that the EU stood together,” the 30-year-old said.“I can’t say anything about the politics, but I think it’s sad that Britain and England no longer have that feeling of unity.”England supporters gathering in Nice ahead of the last-16 match against Iceland on Monday roughly reflected the breakdown of the British vote.Tom Ratherem, 28, from Milton Keynes in southeast England, told AFP: “I was shocked and disappointed when I woke up. Now it has happened, what happens now?”Some fans at England matches at Euro 2016 have chanted anti-EU songs, but 30-year-old Rob Flynn was not among them.“Many of the English fans who go to away games are probably of the demographic who voted ‘Out’,” Flynn, a health worker from Middlesbrough in northeast England, said.“Many will do so for anti-Cameron reasons, without maybe thinking of the next step.”But Nigel Herrick, 59, an England supporter from London, said he was delighted with the result.“I voted ‘Out’, not because of immigration, but purely economic reasons,” he explained.“For me the EU doesn’t work economically, we needed to send a message and I think we’ve done that.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe White House said the trip also will be an opportunity to reaffirm U.S. commitment to the security of American allies in the Middle East, especially the Gulf nations, and work with them to combat terrorism and extremism. Iraq, Iran, regional security and economic ties also will be discussed on the trip. In Jerusalem, Bush will meet with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and in the West Bank he will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – President Bush will make his first trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank next month to push Israel and the Palestinians toward peace and try to write his own chapter in the annals of Mideast diplomacy. On a nine-day trip beginning Jan. 8, Bush plans to stop in Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It will be Bush’s first presidential visit to each of the countries, except Egypt. Mideast peacemaking has been on the back burner during most of Bush’s presidency, but he emerged from a high-stakes conference in Annapolis, Md., last month re-energized about assisting Israel and the Palestinians in forming an independent Palestinian homeland. The trip is aimed at helping the two sides gain traction in talks that got under way earlier this month. Bush will focus the leaders on finding a long-term, sustainable peace, although it remained unclear whether he would engage in detailed negotiations. He is scheduled to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. No three-way meeting is planned.
The AMT was enacted in 1969 as an indignation gesture aimed at fewer than 200 rich people who managed, legally, to owe no taxes. But the enactors neglected to index the AMT against inflation, so this year it would have been a $50 billion bite out of 23million taxpayers. The House voted to repeal it and pay for repeal with a $50 billion tax increase. Senate Republicans argued that no Congress ever intended the AMT to collect, or ever will allow it to collect, such large sums from such a large number of Americans. Therefore, paygo would siphon $50 billion to compensate for a fictitious $50 billion. The Senate voted 88-5 to not collect the AMT this year, the House acquiesced and paygo evaporated. Rep. John Campbell, a California Republican, notes that this year the House took many more votes (1,186) than ever but only 146 bills became laws, and most of those named buildings or other things, or extended existing laws. Congress, and especially the Democratic majority, should be congratulated for this because a decrease in the quantity of legislation generally means an increase in the quality of life. George Will is a Washington Post columnist (e-mail: email@example.com).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The precise number and amount will be unclear until implications of some obscure provisions are deciphered. The gusher of earmarks was a triumph of bipartisanship, which often is a synonym for kleptocracy. This was the first year since 1994 that Democrats controlled both houses. Consider Congress’ agreeably meager record: It raised the hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 – less than the $7 entry wage at McDonald’s – thereby increasing the wages of less than 0.5 percent of the work force. Rebuffing George W. Bush, who advocates halting farm subsidies to those with adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000, the Senate also rejected – more bipartisanship – a cap at $750,000. This, in spite of the fact that farm income has soared to record levels, partly because Congress shares the president’s loopy enthusiasm for ethanol and wants more corn and other agricultural matter turned into fuel. Although Congress trembles for the future of the planet, it was unwilling to eliminate the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. But our polymath Congress continued designing automobiles to make them less safe (smaller) and more expensive. It did this by mandating new fuel efficiency – a 35 mpg fleet average by 2020 – lest the automotive industry design cars people want. And Congress mandated a 12-year phaseout of incandescent light bulbs. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champBruce Raynor, president of the union Unite Here, expressed organized labor’s compassionate liberalism when he urged sparing workers the burden of democracy: “There’s no reason to subject workers to an election.” The House agreed, voting for “card check” organizing that strips workers of their right to a secret ballot when deciding for or against unionization of their workplace. Unions, increasingly unable to argue that they add more value than they subtract from workers’ lives, crave the “card check” system. Under it, once a majority of workers, pressured one at a time by labor organizers, sign a card, the union is automatically certified as the bargaining agent for all the workers. Senate Republicans blocked this, but the Senate Democrats voted to cripple the Department of Labor agency that requires union bosses to explain how they spend their members’ money. To improve Americans’ health, Congress hopes that by 2017, 22 million more people will begin smoking, enough to pay the increased cigarette taxes that purportedly would finance an expansion of SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program). The program, supposedly for low-income children, would have been expanded to cover many children – and adults – from households with incomes far above the nation’s median income. The president vetoed the expansion. Having vowed to end the war in Iraq, House liberals ended the year in a minuet of moral evasion. Representatives passed a bill containing money for the war in Afghanistan, but not for the one in Iraq. The Senate added money for Iraq. House Democrats then voted 141-78 against final passage, but House Republicans and moderate Democrats passed it and liberals headed home to brag about having voted against funding the war. In January, with much preening, House Democrats embraced “paygo,” the pay-as-you-go rule that any tax cut must be “paid for” by compensatory tax increases or spending cuts. In December, Democrats abandoned it because of the alternative minimum tax.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Councilman Frank Ferry, the assistant school principal who once donned fairy wings and “flew” across the Saugus High gym, was named principal Friday of Alemany High School. A 1983 graduate of the Catholic school in Mission Hills, Ferry said he will take the job July 1, the day after his contract expires with the William S. Hart Union High School District. “I had such a great experience there,” he said. “I’m returning home to a great place as principal. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m excited.” Alemany is operated by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and boasts an enrollment of about 1,500. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventFerry will replace John Monnig, who is retiring. Currently an assistant principal at Saugus High, Ferry was the man behind Valencia High’s school spirit when he served the fledgling campus as associated student body director. He orchestrated circus-like homecomings and at Saugus tossed “Ferry” dust on the crowd during a rally. Ferry also was re-elected earlier this year to his third four-year term on the Santa Clarita City Council. A father of two, Ferry holds a master’s degree in education and a law degree. As an Alemany student Ferry was junior class president, ASB president, a member of the band and goalie for the school’s CIF championship soccer team.
“And Craig Sibbald, who has been a superstar for us in the couple of years since I came in, it wasn’t his best night on the ball but he was still brave enough to take it and that’s important.“Luke Leahy takes a quick free-kick, Sibbs still wants it, cutback and Will scores. So I give the players great credit for that.” Peter Houston praised Falkirk’s character but admits his team were “fortunate” to run out 1-0 winners in their Premiership play-off first leg against Kilmarnock.An injury-time goal from Will Vaulks proved enough to give the Championship side the advantage heading into Sunday’s second leg at Rugby Park.The visitors enjoyed the better chances with Craig Sibbald and goalkeeper Danny Rogers called into action to deny Kris Boyd and Tope Obadeyi.And Sibbald played a key part in the winner, cutting the ball back for Vaulks to place through the legs of Jamie MacDonald. Houston said: “I’m happy to get the goal. I think we were fortunate to win though.“Kilmarnock started better and used the ball better. And although we worked very hard, I thought that guys in our team who are comfortable on the ball didn’t use it very well.“We looked nervous, we looked tentative at times and we caused our own problems by giving the ball away and it gave a bit of impetus to Kilmarnock.“But the character was still there in abundance because we kept going. We had to call on our goalkeeper a couple of times, Danny makes a magnificent save.
7 December 2011An important process that started three years ago will begin to move forward this week as the first round of negotiations to establish a free trade area covering 27 countries in east and southern Africa kicks off in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday.It is envisaged that negotiations for the proposed free trade area (FTA), which promises to be an important instrument for the future of trade and industrialisation in Africa, will be completed in about 36 months.The three trade blocs involved – the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) – decided in Kampala, Uganda in October 2008 to move towards a free trade agreement.Boosting intra-regional trade, industrialisationThe intention is to boost intra-regional trade. Because the market will be much bigger, there will be more investment flows, enhanced competitiveness and the development of cross-regional infrastructure.At the same time, the FTA will act as a spur to industrialisation, as countries move from selling primary products to making goods to sell.Competition with older, established and also bigger emerging economies might be a stumbling block initially, but the huge new market may make it possible for locally manufactured goods to compete with those imported from outside the FTA.With close to 600-million people live within the FTA, and a combined gross domestic product of $1-trillion, the region could find itself competing in the same league as the likes of China, India, Russia, Brazil, the US and the EU.The next economic frontierAnd it is becoming easier to make the world believe this, because the continent is already being touted as the next economic frontier.A glance at some figures confirms this view:Africa’s combined consumer spending was US$860-billion in 2008, and will be an estimated $1.4-trillion in 2020. With 43% of Africans currently under the age of 15, by 2040 there will be 1.1-billion Africans of working age. Urbanisation enhances growth – Africa already has 52 cities with more than a million inhabitants, more than Europe. By 2030, around fifty percent of Africa’s populationi will be living in cities. Africa’s returns on foreign direct investment (FDI) are the highest in the world. South Africa well placed to benefitSouth Africa, with its advanced and sophisticated economy, is best suited to exploit the advantages offered by such an expanded market.Already, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has rated South Africa first in the world for the strength of its auditing and reporting standards and for the regulation of its securities exchanges. The soundness of the country’s banks – rated second in the world – is an important asset these days when banks everywhere else are shaky.Add the certainty offered by the government’s recently announced National Development Plan, which sets out the country’s path until 2030, and it is clear that South Africa’s competitiveness will only be enhanced by the establishment of an African FTA.South Africa’s fellow BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – all started their upward economic trend based on huge domestic markets. With the establishment of an FTA, South Africa will have access a market 12 times bigger than the 50-million domestic customers it now has.Tough negotiations expectedHowever, the road to setting up the FTA could be a rocky one. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has warned that negotiations over industrial policy could be tough. South Africa has just set out to implement its Industrial Policy Action Plan, and talks around the trade in manufactured goods will be of particular concern.But South Africa does have an advantage. As Davies points out, unlike exports to the rest of the world, a high percentage of exports into Africa are already made up of value-added products.Other problems would be the levels of protectionism between African countries, restrictive trade permit needs, and very obvious economic disparities.Additionally, the fact that three existing trade blocs aim to merge into one is a stumbling block as they are at different levels of integration, with different rules and regulations.All of this will be part of the negotiations that start this week.The fact remains that economic growth in all participating countries will be boosted by increased intra-regional trade. For Africa as a whole, intra-regional trade currently stands at only 12% of all cross-border trade, whereas in Asia the figure is rising toward 50%, and in the European Union towards 80%.The FTA would also be an important building block towards achieving the vision of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963 – a continent-wide African Economic Union.The December talks may be the first concrete sign of Africa rising to take its rightful place in the world.Source: Brand South Africa