About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool striker Firmino: Chasing ‘Invincibles’ not impossibleby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool striker Roberto Firmino has admitted they are thinking about emulating Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ this season.As the Reds overcame Manchester United 3-1, they are still unbeaten in the league.While they still have a long road ahead to finish the whole league season unbeaten, it is a goal they want to achieve.”Of course it’s very difficult to stay unbeaten in this league,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.”We’ll only do it with hard work.”That’s what we’ve been doing until now, including going back right to the start when we came back for pre-season.”We need to keep focused and fighting until the end to reach our goals and see where that gets us by the end of the season.”This team has lofty ambitions and aims high. We are going for titles, we are a big club, we are always fighting for trophies.”We’ll continue playing well, the way we are, and we’ll see where it gets us.”
Ohio State fans are justifiably still giddy about their team’s College Football Playoff National Championship victory two weeks ago. One fan decided to show her support with a huge OSU-themed cake, and in the process, honored deceased Buckeye lineman Kosta Karageorge.Karageorge, a walk-on, went missing in late November, and eventually turned up dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had suffered a number of sports-related concussions (he also wrestled at OSU) before his disappearance. He wore No. 53 during his time with the program.Here’s the photo of the baked tribute, from a fan named Arlena McCoy:@EzekielElliott Here’s the cake I made Saturday for, The Ohio State Buckeyes Football Team… pic.twitter.com/IOqc9xO8KB— Arlena M. McCoy (@McCoyArlena) January 26, 2015Pretty cool, and it’s good that the Buckeye faithful are keeping Kostageorge’s memory alive, even in atypical fashion.
BEIRUT – Lebanon hopes to secure billions of dollars for infrastructure this week at an international donor conference in Paris, as it grapples with low growth and soaring debt.Some 50 countries and international organizations are expected at the CEDRE (Cedar) conference that begins Friday, where Beirut will request up to $22 billion for an eight to 12 year investment program. Lebanon hopes an influx of cash will help revive the economy, which has been hammered by political unrest and spillover from the war in neighbouring Syria.Lebanon is home to some 1.2 million refugees, accounting for nearly a quarter of its population. The civil war next door has also hindered land exports to Jordan, Iraq and oil-rich Gulf nations.From 2007 until 2010, Lebanon’s economy grew at an average of 9 per cent annually. But it hit a major downturn in 2011, when a political crisis brought down the government and the Syrian uprising stoked unrest among Lebanese factions.Since then, growth has averaged a mere 1.5 per cent, according to government estimates, and rampant corruption has hollowed out infrastructure and basic services. Nearly three decades after the end of the 1975-1990 civil war, Lebanon still experiences frequent cutoffs of water and electricity. With public transport networks virtually non-existent, its aging roads are clogged with traffic. Chronic problems with waste management have sparked mass protests in recent years.“Lebanon currently is facing major economic challenges, and these challenges range from budgetary problems to balance of payment to growth to unemployment,” said Nadim Munla, senior adviser to Prime Minister Saad Hariri.“It has been characterized by many as a very difficult time,” with some calling it a “doomsday scenario,” he said.Munla said the conference will be seen as a major success if Beirut can secure funding for the first stage of its investment plans, an estimated $10 billion. He says the private sector can supply another $4 billion for the projects, which are aimed at revitalizing water, electricity, telecom and waste services.But critics fear the remainder of the financing will come from borrowing, exacerbating an already severe debt burden.French authorities have stressed that Friday’s gathering is not a classic donors’ conference, and that no figure can determine its success.Instead, it seeks to establish an investment plan around infrastructure, water, energy or education, delineate structural reforms so that investment works, and mobilize the private sector, according to the office of French President Emmanuel Macron. The conference will also adopt a follow-up mechanism to accompany the investment plan, it said.Fears of economic collapse have mounted ahead of the first parliamentary elections in nine years, scheduled for May 6. Many worry that the Lebanese currency, which has been pegged at 1,500 to the dollar since 1997, could be devalued. Central Bank governor Riad Salameh has repeatedly dismissed those fears, saying the bank has assets worth $43.2 billion in addition to more than $11.5 billion worth of gold.The state-owned electricity company is considered one of the biggest drains on the state budget, costing about $1.5 billion a year, depending on international oil prices. Tariffs have not gone up since 1996, even though many Lebanese say they would happily pay more if they could get 24-hour power instead of relying on costly neighbourhood generators.Hazar Caracalla, another adviser to the prime minister, said the Cabinet is committed to opening both electricity and telecoms to the private sector in hopes of improving services, and has already approved a framework for addressing the garbage crisis.Last week, Lebanon’s parliament approved a budget — its second since 2005 — with a fiscal deficit of $4.8 billion. The national debt at the end of 2017 stood at $80 billion, or more than 150 per cent of gross domestic product.The militant Hezbollah group, which is part of the coalition government, has expressed concerns that the conference will add to the already massive debt. Other critics have suggested the conference, which is organized by France, is aimed at boosting Hariri’s pro-Western allies ahead of next month’s vote.Munla hit back at critics, saying: “If they have an alternative, put it on the table and let’s discuss it.”Nassib Ghobril, the chief economist at Bank Byblos, Lebanon’s third largest lender, said the international community is eager to support Lebanon’s stability, but will expect the government to implement urgently-needed reforms.“The upgrade of infrastructure will help improve the competitiveness of the economy, but that’s not going to be enough without implementing structural reforms that would improve the investment climate and the business environment,” Ghobril said.___Associated Press writer Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report.
Lamond said the tale serves as a cautionary one, and that residents should make sure to do their research and be well-versed when venturing into the area wilderness. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Officials with North Peace Search and Rescue are advising members of the public take extra precautions when heading out on area waterways during the Spring snow melt after rescuing four overdue kayakers over the weekend.North Peace Search and Rescue GM Brian Lamond said crews were activated in the search for the four overdue boaters on Saturday evening at around 10:30 after receiving a call from the RCMP. Lamond said that after searching for around two hours, crews were able to track the four kayakers down and ensure they were able to make it back to their vehicle, which was parked on the Cecil Lake Road.Lamond said that the quartet put in to Fish Creek near Northern Lights College, with plans to paddle down the creek to Montney Creek to where that creek joins the Beatton River. He explained that though the four boaters thought they trip would be a short one, they were hampered by the swollen flows in area streams and a large amount of fallen trees across the creek’s path.
New Delhi: Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president and Delhi Capitals advisor Sourav Ganguly has replied to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ombudsman and ethics officer D K Jain after the latter asked him to clear his stand on allegations of conflict of interest. A senior BCCI official in the know of developments said that the former India skipper in his letter to the ombudsman has made his position clear and also clarified that he was not part of any committee that was overseeing the organisation of the Indian Premiere League. “At present I do not hold any post whatsoever or howsoever in the BCCI. I am neither a member of the Apex Council of the BCCI nor an office bearer nor a member of any of the Cricket Committees constituted by the BCCI under its Constitution. I am also not connected with the administration, management or running of the IPL by being a member of any of the committees or other organisational units set up by the BCCI in connection with the IPL. “Previously I had been a part of the BCCI Technical Committee; the IPL Technical Committee and the IPL Governing Council. I have resigned and/or withdrawn myself from all the said Committees. I am not a part of any committee/council/entity which has control or supervisory power or powers of management or administration of the IPL,” Ganguly’s letter read. As per the official, the current DC advisor has also mentioned about the fact that he is in no way connected to Kolkata Knight Riders. “Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is a franchise cricket team owned by Red Chilies Entertainment Private Limited. This is a company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956. I am neither a shareholder nor a director of the aforesaid company. I have no stake whatsoever or howsoever in the said company,” Ganguly has said in his letter as per the official. “Neither Red Chilies Entertainment Private Limited nor its franchise team viz. KKR has any relationship or link with CAB. CAB has no stake or interest or rights in KKR or in the company which owns it. CAB does not control, own, manage, advice or administer either KKR or the company which owns it.”
Teeth whitening products – that promise to make your smile brighter – may also be causing tooth damage, a study has found. Scientists at Stockton University in the US found that hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in over-the-counter whitening strips, can damage the protein-rich dentin tissue found beneath the tooth’s protective enamel. The tooth is made of three layers: the outer tooth enamel, an underlying dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainMost studies of whitening strips have focused on tooth enamel, which contains very little protein. The team focused on dentin, which makes up most of the tooth and has high levels of protein, most of which is collagen. It is well established that hydrogen peroxide can penetrate the enamel and dentin. Previous work by the researchers showed that collagen in the dentin layer decreased when teeth were treated with whitening strips. “We sought to further characterize what the hydrogen peroxide was doing to collagen. We used entire teeth for the studies and focused on the impact hydrogen peroxide has on the proteins,” said Kelly Keenan, associate professor at Stockton University. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe researchers demonstrated that the major protein in the dentin is converted to smaller fragments when treated with hydrogen peroxide. In additional experiments, they treated pure collagen with hydrogen peroxide and then analysed the protein using a gel electrophoresis laboratory technique that allows the protein to be visualised. “Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragments,” Keenan said in the statement. The researchers point out that their experiments did not address whether collagen and other proteins in the teeth can be regenerated, so it is unknown if the tooth damage is permanent. Following this research, next, the researchers plan to further characterise the protein fragments released when collagen is treated with hydrogen peroxide and determine if hydrogen peroxide has the same impact on other proteins in the teeth.
MADRID – Spain bowed to pressure Friday and released “full” footage of an attempt by hundreds of African migrants to swim to the Spanish territory of Ceuta in which 15 people drowned.Migrants told Spanish media that police fired rubber bullets at them and sprayed them with tear gas on February 6 as they tried to swim a breakwater that separates Moroccan and Spanish waters.Police originally said they did not fire rubber bullets when the migrants were in the water, only after they had reached land — and only in the air as a deterrent. But Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez told parliament last week that rubber bullets had been fired while the migrants were in the water, to a distance of at least 25 metres (80 feet) from them. He did not mention the tear gas.The minister said the shots were never intended to hit migrants and were appropriate since the migrants were acting aggressively.Up until now police have only posted video footage online of migrants throwing stones at the border fence but not of the moment when they went into the sea to try to swim around to Spanish land.But on Friday the interior ministry posted on its website a video containing what it said were the “full images” taken by police security cameras at the border.The footage was turned over on Thursday to a court in Ceuta that is investigating the drownings.“In the images, which are still awaiting a full forensic analysis, we do not see any migrant being struck,” the commander of Spain’s Civil Guards, Fernando Cubillo, said in the video.A coalition of left-wing parties, including the main opposition Socialists, had threated to launch a parliamentary investigation if the footage was not released.European Union officials have said they will ask Spain to explain why police fired rubber bullets at migrants trying to reach Ceuta.Ceuta and Melilla, Spain’s other exclave in north Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.
After suffering its third loss of the season to Illinois on Thursday, the No. 10 Ohio State women’s basketball team (22-3, 9-3 Big Ten) bounced back with an 80-71 win against the No. 16 Purdue Boilermakers (19-6, 9-3 Big Ten) Sunday. Sporting pinks socks and shoes to support breast cancer awareness, OSU trailed for the majority of the first period, which included a seven point deficit with 4:34 left in the half. Going into the locker room, the Buckeyes were down, 37-31. “At times it was hard for us to get gelling, but we grinded it out and played as a team,” senior guard Samantha Prahalis said after the game. The Buckeyes shot 48 percent in the first half while the Boilermakers shot 52 percent from the field. The most telling statistic of the half might have been rebounds. Purdue out rebounded OSU, 23-11, in the first half, including nine offensive boards that resulted in eight points. “They are a very aggressive team,” said redshirt junior guard Amber Stokes. “They were getting rebounds but we kind of just changed some things and also got rebounds back.” In the second half, OSU trailed until Prahalis was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit two of her three foul shots to tie the score at 50. With 12:30 left, Prahalis was fouled on another shot attempt and sunk one of her free throws to give OSU a one-point lead. The lead was short-lived, as Purdue scored on its next five possessions to pull ahead, 61-56. The Buckeyes would answer with a 14-3 run, but Purdue crept within two points with 1:03 left. Prahalis eliminated any doubt of a victory when she hit a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left to put the lead at, 76-71, and seal the victory for OSU. “Ashley posted up pretty strong, I saw she was open, I passed it to her, she made a great pass back and I hit,” said Prahalis, who lead all OSU players with 26 points and five assists, said. Stokes followed her, who tallied 14 points. The Boilermakers were lead by senior guard Brittany Rayburn and junior forward Sam Ostarello, who had 22 points and 12 points, respectively. Sunday’s game had the top spot in the Big Ten at stake, but OSU coach Jim Foster said his team isn’t focused on the conference rankings. “You are giving these kids far too much credit if you think they are analyzing the standings,” said Foster. “I think every game we play for the rest of the season is a must win.” The Buckeyes return to action Thursday as they host the Indiana Hoosiers (5-19, 0-11 Big Ten). The Buckeyes defeated the Hoosiers, 73-55, the last meeting. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Then-OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) leaps over a defender during a game against Western Michigan on Sept. 26 at Ohio Stadium.Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe NFL suspended former Ohio State and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for the first six games of the season without pay, the league announced Friday. The league also added that he should have no more violations of league policy, and could face a potential ban from the league if he is found to be in violation of any more rules.In a letter addressed to Elliott from the NFL and its chief disciplinary officer Byron Todd Jones, the league cites that Elliott used physical force against his alleged girlfriend Tiffany Thompson in 2016. A separate incident in which Elliott pulled down a woman’s shirt at a bar this year was also cited, though the letter states that it will not be considered separately for any additional discipline.According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension. He must file the appeal within the next three business days, and a subsequent hearing must be scheduled within 10 days after the appeal is made official.Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to appeal 6-game suspension, per sources. Has three business days to file appeal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017Elliott’s incident with Thompson allegedly took place during the week of July 16, 2016, and had been investigated by the city of Columbus. However, the Columbus Division of Police made no arrest, and a decision by the Columbus City Attorney’s office was made to not prosecute Elliott for the incident.The NFL investigated Elliott and determined that there was substantial evidence backing Thompson’s claims, citing three separate instances in 2016 on July 17, 19 and 21 where Thompson was physically abused by Elliott.On July 17, he reportedly caused injuries to Thompsons’ arms, neck and shoulders, claims that were backed up by several photographs of the injuries. Two days later, he reportedly again caused injuries to Thompson’s face, arms, wrist and hands. There were more photographs provided to back up the claims. Then on July 21, he was reported to have used force again to injure Thompson’s face, neck, arms, knee and hips. More photographs were provided, and medical experts confirmed the photographs backed up the claims made by Thompson.Though Elliott was never charged with any crimes, the letter states that players may still be suspended if evidence is found to support conduct prohibited by the league.The league finished the letter by saying that Elliott is also required to engage in a clinical evaluation by a qualified professional. He is expected to follow through with any recommendations of treatment or counseling provided by that professional.
When Urban Meyer, an Ohio native, took the head coaching job at Ohio State prior to the 2012 season, he knew what he had to do. “We’re going to make the great state of Ohio proud in everything we do,” Meyer said in his opening press conference. Six years, two Big Ten championships, two College Football Playoff berths and one national championship later, Meyer seemed to keep the promise on the football field. And after earning his second straight Big Ten title and his first Rose Bowl appearance in his 27 years in coaching, Meyer announced his tenure at Ohio State would be over. Ohio State announced Tuesday morning that he would be retiring as the head football coach at Ohio State. He will formally announce this as a part of a press conference at 2 p.m. Ohio State said that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day will replace him. Meyer said he was honored to represent his home state of Ohio and the university for the last seven years. “My goal has always been to make this one of the premier and comprehensive programs in all of America,” Meyer said. “It has always been the goal to see a healthy, strong program handed to an elite coach in person.” This announcement comes after a tumultuous season in which Meyer was suspended for the first three games after he was accused of knowing of domestic violence allegations made against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Meyer also disclosed this season he has suffered with a cyst in his brain that has led to severe headaches over the past few years.Meyer said he has been dealing with headaches over the past few years, saying it hit hard after the Penn State game in 2016. He also said it was something that both Gene Smith and his family knew about at the time. “But we had conversations back then about longevity and the seriousness of it,” Meyer said. “Because, as they said, it’s not your elbow or your foot. We’re talking about something else.” Meyer also said his decision was not based on the events surrounding the firing of Zach Smith in July and his suspension through the first three games of the 2018 season. It was the combination of the different situations he was in. “The decision was a result of cumulative events. And health number one,” Meyer said. “The fact that we have an elite coach on our staff. The fact that our program is very healthy. We’ve recruited very well all played a significant role in this. And I can’t say this is the reason, this is the reason. But there’s cumulative reasons that we’re at this point.” Meyer also said that he believes he will never coach again. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said it was a unique opportunity for the program to have a succession plan in place with Day. He said he and Meyer had begun to have discussion about the transition a month ago and that, instead of having a national search, he felt more comfortable with a coach already on staff in Day. “Our program does not need disruption,” Smith said. “It does not need to blow up and try and adapt to our standards of operation and try and change the infrastructure that we put in place for the student athlete. We had a talented guy that many others wanted to interview and potentially hire.” Day, coming in from the offensive coordinator role, will try and build off of what Meyer has created in his seven years with the program. “We are all part of something special here at Ohio State. And the culture that Urban Meyer has created here is strong. And my pledge to the players is that our staff will give you every opportunity to maximize yourself as a football player, as a student and establishing your career after football,” Day said. “You have my word that I am going to give everything I have to continue the tradition of excellence and winning in its storied career.” Meyer has been a head coach since 2001, coaching at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State in that timespan. In those 16 seasons, he has recorded the seventh-highest winning percentage in NCAA history, with a record of 177 wins and 31 losses. Through six seasons as the head coach at Ohio State, Meyer posted a record of 73-8, winning the first College Football Playoff in 2014 and giving the school its eighth national championship. Meyer has led three teams to a national title in his head coaching career and is the first to do so in two separate conferences, in 2006 and 2008 with Florida in the SEC and in 2014 with Ohio State in the Big Ten. With a career record of 46-3 in conference play, Meyer led Ohio State to six Big Ten East titles and two Big Ten championships. In six bowl games, Meyer posted a 4-2 record for the Buckeyes, including a win over USC in the Cotton Bowl.Over the past four years, Ohio State, under Meyer, has produced 26 NFL draft picks, including seven first round selections. Meyer also coached six consensus All-Americans while he was with the Buckeyes, including defensive end Joey Bosa, who was named an All-American twice.Taking over an Ohio State team amidst scandal, with the team ineligible for both the Big Ten Championship and any bowl game, Meyer led Ohio State to its sixth undefeated season in school history. He continued that success into the 2013 season. With quarterback Braxton Miller leading the way, the Buckeyes finished with a record of 12-2, losing to No. 10 Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. Ohio State finished the season with a loss to No. 12 Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Starting the 2014 season as the No. 5 team in the country according to the AP poll, Ohio State lost Miller to a season-ending injury prior to the start of its first game against Navy. With redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett at quarterback, the Buckeyes suffered a home loss to Virginia Tech during Week 2. However, after the loss to the Hokies, Ohio State went on a run, winning 10 straight games and entering the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin as the No. 5 team in the country. However, with Barrett out for the rest of the season after being carted off the field during the Buckeyes’ win over Michigan, Meyer was down to third-string quarterback Cardale Jones to start the conference championship game. Jones started with a bang, defeating the Badgers 59-0 and earning the No. 4 seed in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Meyer then led Ohio State to wins over Alabama and Oregon to win the Buckeyes’ first national championship since the 2002 season. With extremely high expectations entering the 2015 season, beginning the season as the No. 1 team in the country, Ohio State matched those expectations, winning 10 straight to start the season. However, Meyer and the Buckeyes fell to Michigan State in Week 11, losing their chance for a Big Ten Championship and, eventually, a berth in the College Football Playoff. After the 2015 season, Meyer saw 15 players leave for the NFL. In the 2016 NFL Draft, Ohio State had 12 players selected, including five first round selections, including the No. 3 overall pick in Bosa and the No. 4 overall pick in running back Ezekiel Elliott. Despite the amount of turnover the football program had prior to the 2016 season, a conference loss to Penn State and no spot in the Big Ten Championship game, Meyer still found a way to return to the College Football Playoff. As the No. 3 team in the country, the Buckeyes recorded only nine first downs, falling to No. 2 Clemson 31-0 in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. During the 2017 season, Meyer and Ohio State suffered two losses to No. 3 Oklahoma and Iowa, but earned his second Big Ten Championship of his tenure, defeating No. 7 Wisconsin 27-21 in the championship game. However, this failed to give Ohio State a Playoff berth and the Buckeyes went to the 2017 Cotton Bowl, defeating No. 12 USC 24-7. Updated at 3:55 p.m. with quotes from Urban Meyer, Gene Smith and Ryan Day.