Category: pvdhotuv

1,200 athletes for JTA/Sagicor meet

first_imgAs many as 1,200 of the best athletes from the 7-15 age group will be on show at the National Stadium on June 2 and 3 for the 34th staging of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA)-Sagicor National Athletics Championships. Title sponsors Sagicor will pump $6 million into the meet. The sponsorship includes two five-year secondary level scholarships for the champion boy and girl. The scholarships will be provided through the Sagicor Foundation. Mark Chisholm, executive vice-president, Sagicor Life, Individual Life Insurance division, said his company remains committed to the meet. “We recognise and see the value it adds to the life of all who are involved – the student athletes, coaches, organisers, sponsors, teachers, parents and peers,” Chisholm said at Thursday’s launch at the JTA office on Church Street in Kingston. He added: “This championship has been the platform for exposing the talent of so many of our athletes who have gone on to have long and successful careers as track superstars. To name a few – the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt, our pocket rocket Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the great Yohan Blake.” MINISTER’S COMMENDATION Guest speaker, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green, commended JTA and Sagicor for their commitment to the meet. “Jamaica is well known for athletics and we continue to produce stars because companies like Sagicor invest from this level. We realise that development starts early,” the junior minister said. Chairman of the National Sports Committee, Colin Spence, said the meet for students from Primary, All-Age and Junior High schools is “special”. “The meet is special as the only national meet of its kind in the world, where students age 7-15 qualify to run at the National Stadium. We will showcase 1,200 of the best students from the parishes. We are about exposing athletes,” Spence explained. St Andrew are the defending champions. Last year they scored 359.5 points to emerge as overall winners. The meet’s associate sponsors include JTA Co-op Credit Union, National Baking Company, LASCO IDrade, JP Tropical Foods, JTA Publishing House, Lithographic Printery, TIP Friendly Society, Art and Fabric and Brawta Sports.last_img read more

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PSL: Rondina sparks comeback as Petron avoids Cignal upset

first_imgSons Of Apollo releases new studio album ‘MMXX’ LATEST STORIES MRT-3 files raps vs engineer who brought ammunition to station ‘Marawi hero’ is new commander of Army’s 1st Infantry Division Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Sisi Rondina over Mylene Paat and Ranya Musa. PSL PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—Petron came back roaring back from two sets down to frustrate Cignal, 17-25, 21-25, 25-11, 25-17, 15-10, in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference Thursday at Filoil Flying V Center.Cherry Rondina was a spark plugs off the bench, finishing with 23 points lifting the Blaze Spikers to an 8-1 record.ADVERTISEMENT Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Remy Palma added 12 points while Bernadeth Pons went to work on both ends with 10 points and 22 excellent digs.Down 0-2, the Blaze Spikers got their groove in the third and fourth sets then Rondina took over and finished things off in the decider.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsJovelyn Gonzaga and Mylene Paat had 17 points apiece while Rachel Anne Daquis added 12 for the HD Spikers, who dropped to 3-5. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: LJ Reyes, Paolo Contis celebrate 1st birthday of baby Summer Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Benefits of township living At 55, German Ensan becomes oldest world poker champion in 20 years Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists View commentslast_img read more

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Modular…

first_img…pipe dreams?Your Eyewitness was intrigued to read that the Private Investor who’d promised in Feb 2018 that he’d have a modular refinery ready “within a year” – meaning by Feb 2019 is still at it. He’d worried that only the PNC was working on “Guyana time”! To us mudlandrs, meeting deadlines – even constitutional or self-imposed ones – are such a bore. Spontaneity is our thing, man!! Go with the flow!!Back in 2018, the highly-hyped plan by the (former?) rice marketing magnate was to put up a 10,000bpd modular plant that would cost some US$100 million at Linden and provide scads of jobs for that community that had become the cynosure of political eyes. At the time, your Eyewitness had some serious doubts on the viability of the plan – which still remain. Even though we’re now told, the plan is downsized to start with modules producing only some 4000bpd and costing US$36M.The big question was why Linden?? Two years before,- the same businessman had announced with the same amount of gusto – that he’d be launching the production of Industrial Hemp from the same locale. This was going to be the next best thing that would lift Guyana out of its poverty stricken status. Oil was not to come until a few months later with the Exxon strike. Was he now moving into oil refining after no progress on the hemp front and he’d already bought land?Anyhow back to the questions. With these modular refineries, it’s most attractive feature in they can cut down on transportation costs by locating near the source of the crude. That’s not an inconsiderable saving when you think of running a pipeline from the source or shipping it in by tankers. At the time, the hemp/rice maven had insisted that he’d be purchasing crude from the open market until oil starts flowing from the Exxon field in 2020.Both of these options meant that the fella would be shipping crude up the Demerara River with its notorious bar and all – piling up costs. But the sourcing of the crude oil just didn’t make sense. There are hundreds of variations in the composition of crude – and modular refineries are pretty much customised to deal with oil of a specific composition. Had he tested the Guyana sweet and light to determine his needs?Then there was the marketing. Guyana uses approx. 13-15,000 bpd. Was SOL, Esso and Guyoil going to give this new kid on the block their business as opposed to their own refineries?? Then, what was the fella going to do with the 26% waste products since he wasn’t going to go further upstream?Dumping them into the bauxite lakes?…educationCaretaker President David Granger seemed to’ve hit a raw nerve in his WPA partner over his refusal to go along with their unconditional, universal cash transfer proposal of US$5000 or GY$1.3million (at the latest exchange rate!) per family – annually. Granger insists he’s guided by the homily not to hand out fishes, like Jesus, but to teach folks how to fish, like Peter.He insists that education will liberate all Guyana from the shackles of poverty. But it’s clear he’s spent too much time in the barracks, locked away from the reality of Guyana. The question is, what does “education” mean for Guyanese? The experience over the course of our history – especially after independence under his mentor Burnham says this.The brightest students will get admitted into Medical and Engineering schools. The next in line will earn MBA’s, LLB’s and ACCA’s and go on to manage the top students. The third tier students – like Granger – will enter politics and run the first two batches.The failures will go into crime and control the politicians and businesses!!…developmentWhat has Patterson’s achievements at MPI been? Incomplete, chaotic ECD widening; Burnhamite blackouts; a fraudulent new DHB design bid; still incomplete CJIA modernisation.But paradigmatically of his ineptness, he can’t even get elevators working on the EBD crosswalks!!last_img read more

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Realistic constitutional change

first_imgThe launch of the “Reform, Inform, Sustain, Educate” (RISE) movement — a group of citizens ostensibly drawn from outside the two major political parties, the PPP and PNC, to press for “constitutional change” — has once again brought to the fore the vexed question of moving our politics out of the zero sum parameters in which it has been stuck for more than half a century.The PPP government had initiated the process of constitutional change as early as 1995, when a Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC) was formed and hearings were held across the country as well in a Parliamentary Select Committee.The process was interrupted by the 1997 elections, which the PPP won, according to all foreign and domestic observers. The PNC, however, claimed the poll was flawed, and launched massive street protests that segued into ethnically-directed riots and violence. The Caricom-brokered Herdmanston Accord of Jan17, 1998 included an agreement to complete the reform of the 1980 Constitution.A new 20-person CRC acceptable to all Parliamentary parties was assembled. It included individuals drawn from the widest possible cross-section of society. For six months, the CRC conducted hearings and took submissions from every Guyanese individual or organisation that expressed a wish to do so. Their more-than-4000 submissions were reviewed by a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee, which then winnowed out and furthered 182 recommendations (drawn from 32 subject areas) to the Oversight Committee of the National Assembly. The final changes were approved unanimously, in 2000, by all the parties in the National Assembly, including the PNC. This question must be raised: why, after 182 alterations were made to the 1980 Constitution, are there now new demands for changes?The most criticised feature of the 1980 Constitution had been the powers allocated to the Presidency: The President was a de facto dictator who, for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, had complete veto power over legislation. He could be president for life, and could hire and fire at will most public officials (Art 232), and determine the length of tenure of others whom he might not have even appointed. In the new Constitution, the powers of the President were diminished considerably, while those of the Opposition Leader and the Parliament were increased.The President’s power to fire was restricted only to those individuals not appointed by the Service Commissions, but the incumbent has now challenged this rule. On those offices he created, if their salaries are charged to the Consolidated Fund, the appointments must be reviewed by the National Assembly; but this requirement has lapsed.In critical constitutional appointments, such as the Commissioner of Police, the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Chief Justice, the Opposition Leader’s agreement is necessary for confirmation. It is for this reason that some constitutional offices have been occupied by individuals in an “acting” capacity when there is no agreement. But experience has shown that all of these changes are still tested by Executive overreach when the consultation has reverted to being perfunctory.The Elections Commission had been the vehicle for rigging elections in the past, but the President had to now appoint its Chairman from a list submitted by the Opposition Leader. But this is now being challenged by the President, who has insisted on arbitrarily defining the constitutional stipulations.  It is clear that the powers of the Presidency have to be further curbed as a threshold issue; even the APNU/AFC Manifesto demanded this.There is no need to initiate wider changes at this time, since many of the other claimed “shortcomings” of the Constitution are actually the result of Executive overreach.RISE should not get caught up in trying to create a utopia via “constitutional change”, but merely put pressure on the Government to implement what it has already committed to in its manifesto and reiterated in the strongest possible language by the Prime Minister in the post-election period: reduce the powers of the Presidency in the areas he has been abusing them.last_img read more

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Under-utilised M&CC workers can be used in hurricane-hit islands’ rebuilding efforts

first_imgDear Editor,Watching the aftermath and devastating consequences of recent hurricanes in our region, including Hurricane Maria (the fourth named storm since Irma), and being well aware of the significant overstaffing and complete bankruptcy of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown, I would like to make a proposition that would ‘kill two flightless birds with one giant stone’, as they say here in Guyana.With thousands of Caribbean people, including a significant number of Guyanese, having no shelter, clothing, food or water; with animals stranded and pets abandoned and left behind; with many buildings flattened, roads ripped up, bridges damaged, and other public infrastructure destroyed, there is an urgent need for engineers, architects, surveyors, draughtsmen, public health workers, plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, tinsmiths, labourers, mechanics, welders, painters, crane and excavator operators, landscapers, security officers etc., all of which the Georgetown Municipality has. I would therefore like to suggest that the City Council sends roughly half of its approximately 1,000 workers to the islands to help with the rebuilding of the services and structures needed for people to resume some semblance of ordinary life in places such as Cuba, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St. Maarten, and Barbuda.In this way, these employees would have meaningful work to do for the next couple of years, as they are currently not provided with either tools or materials to work. And if funding could be obtained from international organisations to pay their salaries whilst they are rebuilding these countries’ infrastructure, it would save the City Council tens of millions of dollars each month — money which could be used to pay off their creditors, including the garbage contractors.Of course ‘Pat and Roy’, whom we all know love to travel, could travel between these islands ferrying supplies, supervising the workers, and providing nursing care and PR services.Best regards,Sambu Jacobuslast_img read more

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Hands-free law panic comes early

first_imgOfficials have blamed an e-mail hoax for helping to spread the panic that just days remain before drivers could be hit with fines. Peykar and other cell phone retailers said they saw spikes in the sale of hands-free devices at the beginning of the year, too, as customers thought the law began Jan. 1. Under the state law, drivers will be prohibited from using hand-held cell phones. First-time offenders can be slapped with a $20 fine; repeat offenders, $50. Commercial truck drivers and 9-1-1-dialers are among those exempt. The California Highway Patrol said it also has received calls from worried motorists and will launch an educational campaign to warn drivers before July 1, 2008, when the law really takes effect. That day, officers will start pulling over and citing cell-wielding drivers, Officer John Lutz said. But today, no traffic laws or fines that affect the general public will change. LOS ANGELES – Convinced that gripping a cell phone while driving would become illegal today, a customer walked into Jacob Peykar’s wireless store to beat the deadline. Peykar said Thursday that he tried to tell his persistent customer that the hands-free law was still a year away, but to no avail. The man spent $300 at the Woodland Hills shop to deck out his wife, kids and mother with blinking blue earpieces. But Peykar’s customer and lots of other Californians are wrong. The law will take effect July 1 – of 2008. That hasn’t stopped law-fearing but confused citizens from rushing to cell phone shops, calling police and even the law’s author to make sure they’re legal to chat on the roads. At least 15 to 20 people have called the author of the hands-free bill, Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. The bill was signed into law in September. Normally, bills become law on the first Jan. 1 after they are signed, or sometimes July 1. Simitian said he designated an extra 18 months to give state officials more time to incorporate the new rules into driver’s handbooks and inform the public – and give owners of mobile phones more time to adapt their technology. Simitian has also authored legislation to prohibit minors from using cell phones – even with hands-free devices – while driving. That bill, which has passed the Senate and is now pending in the Assembly, also would also take effect July 1, 2008. “I suppose there are worse things than people taking a little extra care and caution a year ahead of time,” Simitian said. “I suspect it is spawned largely by the misinformation on the Internet. … Thus far it hasn’t been terribly widespread.” The fact that the Internet fueled the rumor came as no surprise to Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC. The Web has long been used to scare people about “new” laws, Cole said. He recalled a message he received a few years ago voicing outrage that Congress was going to start taxing e-mails. “The Internet has really become the office water cooler for the world,” he said. brandon.lowrey@dailynews.com (818) 713-3634 160Want 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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Dodgers pay price when inside job goes wrong

first_imgOn an evening when there was no shortage of what-ifs for the Dodgers, Seanez wasn’t even close to being solely responsible for the loss. If the first-inning cloud cover hadn’t settled in directly over the ballpark, maybe Juan Pierre wouldn’t have lost Khalil Greene’s two-out pop fly against the steel-gray sky, turning a one-run inning into three. If the Dodgers hadn’t had runners on first and second with two outs when David Wells’ spot came up in the sixth, maybe Wells would have stayed in the game instead of giving way to a pinch hitter. But when the smoke had cleared and the Dodgers (70-64) had watched their faint flicker of hope in the National League playoff race grow just a little dimmer, both Pierre and Seanez took the standup approach, taking full responsibility for their contributions to this defeat. But on an evening when the Dodgers banged out 10 hits in 52/3 innings against Jack Cassel, who was making his first major-league start at age 27, and couldn’t parlay it into more than three runs, there were plenty of reasons they lost this game, reasons that had nothing to do with Seanez. “Rudy has been good for us all year,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “He has kind of stabilized us down there, to tell you the truth, in a lot of tough situations. (But) I thought the difference in the game was that their bullpen did the job, and ours had a little trouble getting the job done.” It could have been worse for the Dodgers. Although they lost a game in the wild-card standings, they remained a manageable four games out in the National League West, as the Padres pulled even with Arizona at the top and fourth-place Colorado moved back to within a game of the Dodgers. Seanez (6-3), who will turn 39 next month, has been a feel-good story in what is beginning to look like a feel-bad season for the Dodgers. He came to spring training on a minor-league contract and vowed to retire if he didn’t make the team. But rather than spending his summer working in his wife’s ice cream shop, he instead has spent it posting a 3.68 ERA in 62 relief appearances and giving the front office reason to believe there might even be another season or two left in that right arm. Seanez also hit Austin Kearns, one of only two batters he faced, on Wednesday, and Kearns came around to score the tiebreaking run for the Nationals in a game the Dodgers came back to win in 12. tony.jackson@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In the bottom of the sixth inning of Friday night’s game, a tough 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres before a sellout crowd of 44,324 at Petco Park, Seanez tried to go inside, just as he had done on so many hundreds of previous occasions during his career. This time, the consequences bit him in the derriere. Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez tried to get out of the way before the ball hit him on the right arm, but couldn’t. With that, the Padres had their leadoff man on base, immediately after the Dodgers had tied the game in the top of the inning. Three batters later, it was untied, with Gonzalez racing home from second on a single up the middle by Josh Bard, and the Dodgers’ 11th loss in their past 19 meetings with the Padres since the start of last season was all but a foregone conclusion. An inning later, Seanez issued a two-out walk to Mike Cameron before leaving the game, and Cameron also came around to score when Milton Bradley doubled off Joe Beimel. But in the end, it was the hit batsmen that had Seanez shaking his head in disgust. “That was the game,” he said. “I just went in too far. It came in a little high, and it’s probably tougher to get out of the way when it’s up top like that. You just hate to see a game … lost like that. That (hit batter) just set up the next couple of base hits.” BASEBALL: Seanez hits batter, setting off Padres’ winning rally. By Tony Jackson STAFF WRITER SAN DIEGO – Rudy Seanez is from the old school, and it is an education that has served the Dodgers reliever well through almost two decades in the major leagues. Part of that curriculum, a part that seems to be lost on many of his younger teammates and contemporaries, is the notion of pitching to the inside part of the plate, something that used to be done with regularity throughout the league with little regard to the possible consequences. last_img read more

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Wenger LACKS confrontational skills and Arsenal NOT good enough, says ex-Gunner

first_imgArsene Wenger likes to ‘keep everybody happy’ at Arsenal and it is affecting their chances of success, talkSPORT have been told.The Gunners have slipped off the pace in the race for the Premier League title, with the midweek defeat to Swansea leaving them SIX points behind leaders Leicester.Loud boos and jeers rang around the Emirates Stadium after the full-time whistle on Wednesday and fans are once again questioning the Frenchman’s suitability for the job.The 66-year-old has won three Premier League titles but the last of those came over a decade ago and his chances of securing a fourth in May are looking increasingly unlikely in an ever-changing title race.They look to be heading out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage for the sixth year running and former player Stewart Robson says Wenger has to stop pointing fingers at others.Ex-midfielder Robson, who spent five years in north London, told Hawksbee and Jacobs: “It’s how you bounce back from defeats. Arsenal have now had three on the trot and it’s not been good enough. “The attitude – I don’t think it’s quite been good enough – and the organisation wasn’t good enough when that ball was played through for Swansea’s goal. Look at the recovery run for Mertesacker – is that a player that’s desperate to avoid a goal being scored? I don’t think it is.“You can’t keep looking at everything else, you have to look at yourself at some point. That is where, over the years, I have thought the manager’s been wrong. They don’t look at themselves.“We’ve heard it time and time again. In the end you have to look at yourselves: Why don’t we defend well enough, why do we keep making the same mistakes and we need more leadership in the team.“That’s been the same for the last seven, eight, nine years and it hasn’t been resurrected by the current manager.”The Gunners have not won in their last four matches in all competitions – in the FA Cup against Hull, the Champions League against Barca and the league against Manchester United and Swansea.They face a huge north London derby against Tottenham at White Hart Lane at the weekend, which could define their season.Reports suggest Wenger could be ready to pen a new two-year deal at the Emirates, which would take his total stay at the club up to 22 years.But Robson says he lacks the leadership qualities to oversee success at a club of Arsenal’s stature.He added: “From what I hear, Arsene Wenger doesn’t like confrontation, he wants to keep everybody happy.“You can’t work at a football club like that because you have to have confrontation, you have to leave people out, you have to criticise people when things aren’t going right.“He picks the team and puts the players out and I don’t think he really gets after the players when it’s not happening.“He’ll have a moan to his coaching staff but he doesn’t confront the players and eventually the players have it too easy at Arsenal. They are given too many excuses and that’s been the case for the last six or seven years.”last_img read more

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‘Nobody fears Old Trafford anymore,’ says ex-Arsenal ace who angered entire stadium

first_img stalemate Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman latest appointed It ended in a 0-0 draw, a crucial result for Arsenal who were later crowned league champions with an undefeated record – ‘The Invincibles’ were born.However, both sides will go into this game in very different circumstances.Arsenal and United are no longer fighting at the very top of English football, and haven’t been those teams for quite some time.Instead, they appear to have become mere spectators as title challengers Manchester City and Liverpool gallop into the distance, with managers Unai Emery and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer both feeling the strain in their respective dugouts. Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff 2 “You can get it back by doing it in a certain way, you have certain types of individuals, winners, people who will stop at nothing to get there.“But that’s what’s missing from Manchester United. There’s no fear anymore.“You go to Old Trafford… if Rochdale can go to Old Trafford expecting to get a result, and they lost 6-0 recently in a league game [against Peterborough in League One], then anyone can go there and get a result.“Back in the day, people were expecting the ball in the back of the net in the first minute, in the second minute. We were going toe-to-toe with Manchester United so we didn’t have any fears when we went there, but we were worried about the rest of the teams in the league because of the aura, but that’s now gone.“The aura is back for Liverpool, it’s back for Manchester City, and that’s the task for Manchester United, to get it back.”Listen back to a clip of Martin Keown on talkSPORT above BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Getty Images – Getty Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a man under pressure Arsenal legend Martin Keown has claimed Manchester United have ‘lost their aura’ and ‘nobody fears Old Trafford anymore’ ahead of the next Premier League clash between the old rivals.Monday’s match is a repeat of the infamous ‘Battle of Old Trafford’ of 2003, although there will be precious little at stake other than pride in this edition of the historic meeting.That fixture has gone down in history as one of the most ferocious matches the Premier League has ever seen.There were eight bookings dished out by the referee and Gunners players furiously confronting United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy at the full-time whistle after he missed a late penalty and, they felt, had earlier got captain Patrick Vieira sent off. What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas This perhaps one of the most famous Premier League photographs in history, as Keown ‘gave it’ to Van Nistelrooy at Old Trafford targets Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta statement LATEST FOOTBALL HEADLINES Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Victory on Monday night will bring a timely lift to either club – the Gunners looking to continue winning ways after showing grit in their comeback win over Aston Villa, while United will be out there to prove to fans there is some fight left after needing penalties to beat League One Rochdale in the League Cup.But Keown, who took centre stage in 2003 for his ongoing battle with Van Nistelrooy, says Arsenal will not fear going to Old Trafford as they once did.Reminiscing about his old battles with a United side in their pomp under Sir Alex Ferguson, Keown told talkSPORT: “You talk about aura, just picture it: players who were almost like football Gods and you’re stood in the tunnel and there’s like a halo around them.“We’re playing them at Old Trafford and we’ve got to go into that cauldron, the fans are expecting them to win, the players are expecting to win…“…that aura has gone I’m afraid.“It’s disappeared, it’s stripped away and it takes years to get back. rookie error 2 AFP – Getty on target last_img read more

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NC Teachers Prepare to March on Raleigh

first_imgAt least 20 North Carolina school districts will be closed Wednesday to give teachers in those districts the chance to participate in the March for Students and Rally for Respect in Raleigh.North Carolina ranks 35th in the country in teacher pay, but Kristin Bellerose, a Wake County teacher and North Carolina Association of Educators board member, said it’s not just about their salary.“This is not just about teachers. This is not just about school staff. This is about our students. This is about their families. This is about what we want for North Carolina,” Bellerose said. “We’re looking at how all of our colleagues in these other states are making some real material wins for their students as well.”More than 700,000 students will be impacted by Wednesday’s closures, but many teacher groups and parent organizations are making arrangements to make sure children who depend on school meals are taken care of. Arizona and West Virginia teachers recently went on strike and succeeded in getting some of their demands met.Yevonne Brannon, chair of Public Schools First North Carolina, said beyond direct investment in schools, lawmakers need to look at the whole picture.“We have 25 percent of children in our schools living in poverty,” Brannon said. “We have kids who come to school every day, who are in need of health care, dental care, mental health services, who don’t have a secure place to live.”North Carolina’s starting teacher salary was increased in recent years, but Bellerose said when other funding cuts and things like longevity pay are considered, the state has taken a major step backwards.“I would really challenge any lawmaker to argue the fact that at this point, after so many cuts over so many years, that they could really make any kind of claim that they’re helping public education,” she said.Last year the State Assembly approved $2.5 million in cuts, including layoffs and the elimination of vacant positions in low-income and low-performing school districts.last_img read more

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