Daniel Ricciardo showed Red Bull’s pace on Wednesday by lapping Barcelona’s Formula One circuit faster than anyone since the track was reconfigured in 2007.The Australian’s time of one minute 18.047 seconds on the new hypersoft Pirelli tyres lit up the timing screens on the second day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.The time was more than a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton’s 2017 Spanish Grand Prix pole position of 1:19.149 for Mercedes, and also quicker than any lap in last year’s winter testing.Track records set in testing are deemed unofficial.Four-times world champion Hamilton, who was fastest last week, was second on the timesheets with a lap 0.043 seconds slower on the ultrasoft tyres with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third.“There’s three quick teams and there’s no doubt that Red Bull are going to be people that we are going to be fighting with this year,” Mercedes technical head James Allison told Sky Sports.“There’s clearly no doubt about that… there’s still some blurriness, it’s still not possible to say for sure whether we’ve got our nose in front of them or they’ve got their nose in front of us.“But you can say it’s close.”Vettel, who did 171 laps on Tuesday when he was fastest, was drafted in for the morning after team mate Kimi Raikkonen felt unwell.McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest at the halfway point, with teams deciding not to break for lunch to make up for bad weather last week, and did 47 laps before pulling over with smoke coming from the car.The team detected an oil leak and decided to change the Renault engine, costing the Spaniard several hours of much-needed track time.“Even when you have a small problem, the world is watching,” said McLaren’s executive director Zak Brown of a stoppage that revived painful memories of the now-terminated Honda partnership with its regular engine failures.“We know what the issues are, they’re all easily fixed,” added the American.“Of course you’d like to do more laps but we don’t think we have any problems. So we’re not concerned.”The season starts in Australia on March 25.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remained coy amid intensifying talk about Manchester United’s interest in Erling Haaland.The highly-rated 19-year-old is among the Red Devils’ transfer targets after making an outstanding start to his first season at Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg.United are not alone in showing interest but boss Solskjaer already has a personal relationship with striker Haaland thanks to their time together at Molde.Speculation ramped up this week when the teenager was pictured signing a United shirt, with talk increasing further on Friday morning when reports emerged in Norway that he was on a flight to Manchester with his father Alf-Inge.“I don’t think he’s en route here, to be fair – not through me, anyway,” Solskjaer said.“You know I can’t comment on other teams’ players. I’ve said that many a time.“That’s just one of those things that in this job you get so many speculations all the time.”Pushed on whether he was saying Haaland was not coming to Manchester, the Norwegian said: “Well, he is not coming to Manchester because… well, I know the boy and I know his friends and all this. He’s on a Christmas holiday.“No (not in Manchester) but you can’t fly anywhere from Stavanger, can you, so you need to go via via…!”Norwegian newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad late updated their initial story that Haaland was heading to Manchester, confirming the striker had instead headed to Copenhagen with his father.Haaland Sr, the former Leeds and Manchester City midfielder, knows Solskjaer well and made light of the speculation on Friday, posting “have another guess” on Twitter alongside a photo of his son looking at a departures board.Little wonder that Solskjaer insisted he would not be seeing Haaland on Friday, having previously brushed off reports that he had visited the player in Salzburg last week.And while clearly uncomfortable talking about other clubs’ players, the United boss is hopeful they can bolster the squad in January.“Yeah (I am hopeful),” Solskjaer said. “As a manager, you always hope that you can do something.“But, then again, it’s not something that’s nailed on.“It has to be the right player, the right age, going to fit into this squad and for the right value.“We’re always looking and it’s a transfer window that’s open, but it might not happen.“We’re getting players back. We’re getting Paul (Pogba) back, we’re getting Timothy (Fosu-Mensah) back, Eric Bailly back, Diogo (Dalot) back so that’s four extra bodies for us for the coming months anyway.“Diogo is playing tonight in the game for the youngsters (against AC Milan) so from then on he’s ready.“Eric, Tim and Paul probably need a little more time.”That quartet will be absent as United travel to Watford on Sunday, when Angel Gomes appears unlikely to feature yet again.Contact negotiations with the 19-year-old have stalled and the midfielder has not been named in a first-team squad since starting at Astana last month.Gomes and fellow youngster Tahith Chong are both out of contract at the end of the campaign but Solskjaer has not given up hope of keeping them at Old Trafford.“Both of them are players we want to keep,” he said. “I think they are good talents.“They’ve had a couple of niggles and injuries. They know that so I haven’t been able to play them as much as I’d like.“Angel, for example, has been ill now for a few weeks, he’s had a bad ankle.“But they are talents and they are Man United people.”
Roger Federer has said he will miss a number of tournaments, including the French Open that begins in May, after undergoing knee surgery in Switzerland on Wednesday.The 20-time Grand Slam champion had been struggling with injury at the Australian Open, where he made a semi-final exit to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, and has not played since.Federer, 38, said he would also miss ATP tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells, Bogota and Miami.“My right knee has been bothering me for a little while. I hoped it would go away, but after an examination and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday,” Federer said in a statement on Twitter.“After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery.”The Swiss skipped the entire claycourt season in 2017 and 2018 and last year played only two tournaments on the surface before arriving in Paris for the French Open.His agent told Reuters last week that Federer was planning on playing only at Roland Garros while skipping the Madrid and Rome Masters.The French Open begins on May 24.
Dear Editor,Reading the article featuring senior Minister Joseph Harmon’s comment in the media begs the question, why is Harmon attacking the messenger and refusing to deal with the message.The issue is extremely simple and as a trained lawyer, Harmon should be more enlightened at how to reject the issues I have highlighted. But he cannot competently reject the issues, so instead, Harmon chooses the option of attacking the messenger rather that address the message. How can a Government in a country with more than 50 per cent of its people being Amerindians and East Indians appoints one of the 17 Permanent Secretaries from that combined group?I, therefore, continue to reject Harmon’s assertions that I am trying to create a “boogie” when the real ethnic insecurity imbalance at the top of the public service was created solely by this People’s National Congress (PNC)-led Granger Administration.Harmon should enlighten himself of our history and properly understand the concept that Guyana was a nation that was not meant to be, being below sea-level and constituted as a mash-up of people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds in an environment deliberately cultivated for the British to rule, using the model of ethnic division. But our peoples from all six races survived, persevered and rose that Golden Arrowhead in 1966. Thus, what Harmon is doing today to the leadership of the public service is a great disservice to the ancestors of all Guyanese.Our social strategy, especially in the public service, must reflect the net self-worth of all of our people because all of our people gave their blood for this land called Guyana. When two major segments of the population (Amerindians and East Indians) are disenfranchised (deliberately or accidentally) from Harmon’s Public Sector because they are perceived as not his supporters, then this is a problem.Why is the Granger-led PNC Administration not leveraging the diversity out of our unique differences to create a village of unity in diversity? How are we going to motivate the majority in the nation when 16 out of the 17 Permanent Secretaries do not represent them?Harmon is trying his best to wash away my position using the powers of his office under the false pretext that the nation will listen to him because he is a senior Minister, but he is being iniquitous and this strategy will fail.The people have eyes and they can see, they can read and they have read my list and they are waiting for Harmon’s list. The longer Minister Harmon takes to publish his list, the greater the damage to his credibility and once that is lost, as a human being, he has a problem.We cannot mould a nation with such a prejudiced policy as is being practiced by this Granger-led PNC Government. There needs to be more balance at the top of the public service. That is all I am saying, so I cannot understand why Harmon is taking this issue so personally. Unless there is something to be guilty about.A nation is not moulded by speeches, symbols, and subterfuge. A nation is moulded by the systems, programmes, and mechanisms we put in place to achieve the desired outcome. Is Minister Harmon saying that the desired outcome from this Granger-led PNC Administration is ethnic domination of the leadership of the public service by his “kith and kin”?Sincerely,Sase Singh, MSc –Finance, ACCA
By Sase Singh; MSc – Finance, ACCAThe negative economic impact of the mismanagement of the economy is escalating and there is no greater evidence of this than the state of the Government Deposits at the Bank of Guyana.Lawmakers in Georgetown are really testing the mettle of the people when they conduct the affairs of the State so tragically. Every day uncertainty continues to build in society, so much so, that it has now been ingrained in the psyche of consumers, the investors and most definitely – the official Private Sector. This is not how you mould a nation.If one is to observe how the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change/People’s National Congress (APNU/AFC/PNC-led) Government has managed the deposit account of the Central Government at the Bank of Guyana, it is a manifestation of gross incompetence of the highest order. That account should at all times have cash in it as a strategy to combat inflation. Yet this PNC-led Government continues to spend and spend and not earn adequately. All they are doing is empowering the economic demon called inflation to creep deeper into the economy, and in the process destroy the wealth of the people. Inflation usually hits the poorest hardest and their “bellies ah bun” already. Could that be a big part of the reason why they delivered a shellacking on the siting PNC-led Government at the recently held Local Government Elactions?The International Monetary Fund continues to recommend that limiting overdrafts at the Central Bank enhance its credibility and is a key ingredient for achieving effective monetary policy. Recently, the rules governing Central Bank lending to the Government have been revisited to make them efficient (Bank of International Settlements, 2009). The basic recommendation was to establish explicit restrictions to Central Bank financing governments in order to avoid disrupting Central Banks’ objective of preserving price stability.The graph above illustrates that when the People’s Progressive Party lost power in May 2015, they transferred to the new PNC-led Government GY$10.4 billion in liquid cash sitting at the Bank of Guyana. Fast-forward three plus years to the end of September 2018, and the evidence shows that the PNC-led Government spent all that cash and ran up an overdraft of some GY$55.4 billion. That translates to the fact that they have drained all of the deposit and then went on to borrow from the Central Bank at a rate of G$54 million per day during their tenure with no source of inflows to replenish those outflows.The empirical evidence further proves that for more than 12 months there has been massive capital flight from the country, as the Private Sector thought it fit to park their resources in Miami rather than Mahaica. One only has to look at the data and they can see that private investment is down drastically. Additionally, there is a stark reduction in money circulating in the hands of the working class and one only has to visit places like Canje on the Corentyne to witness how a once vibrant community has been reduced to an economic ghost town.But do these politicians in Congress Place care? From where the Guyanese people sit, all they are seeing is a bunch of opportunists singularly focused on personal power and enrichment and do not care a hoot for the welfare of the working class. Even after more than half of the electorate rejected the ruling political establishment, we continue to see an opacity and denseness in the brains of these politicians.The demographic evidence proves that Guyana is a nation of minorities and that our Constitution is outdated at serving the nation. Yet the PNC found the opportunity to scuttle the constitutional reform as proposed in the APNU/AFC Manifesto? All the PNC has done – by destroying that process – was to put Guyana firmly on a path that is heading for the bottom of the Caribbean economic ladder and fast.Today the majority of Guyanese truly believe the Government of Guyana cannot be depended on. More importantly, the Guyana Parliament has been reduced to the laughing stock of the Caribbean. No side can be proud of itself today. I keep hearing Bharat Jagdeo must do this and Jagdeo must do that, but Jagdeo is not the President of Guyana.This situation demands leadership from Congress Place and what I saw at that Moses Nagamootoo press conference held at Congress Place on November 16, 2018, was most uninspiring. What next must we expect from these incompetent and intellectually bankrupt politicians?
But it has emerged the commercially in-demand personality had few financial assets.In response, New Zealand Rugby Players Association chief executive Rob Nichol said the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust had been established by business people and friends of the hulking winger to support his children Dhyreille, six, and Brayley, five.Nichol told Radio NewstalkZB that Lomu’s wealth from a stellar career did not match people’s expectations and he may have been a victim of his own generosity where he often helped others at the expense of his own family.“The estate has to go through a probate period, but we don’t see any financial benefit or proceeds going to his family,” Nichol said.“The impression that he was a global superstar doing all this stuff, I think over time, frankly, it probably wasn’t as substantial as people just assumed.“Yet he had this sense of pride that he wanted to maintain that front that he could help everyone, he could help his family and help his community, anyone who came knocking and wanted assistance.“He’s clearly taken on obligations, financial or otherwise, on behalf of others and that has definitely been at the expense of his family.”Close friend and fellow All Black Josh Kronfeld told the New Zealand Herald players of Lomu’s era did not get paid big bucks.“People read what Richie McCaw and Dan Carter make playing for the All Blacks and assume those figures are what Jonah was on from the mid-1990s on but that’s just not right,” he said.“That sort of money wasn’t around for any players in our era, including Jonah.”He added that Lomu’s earning potential after retirement was also affected by his health problems.– ‘Give back a little’ -Nichol said Lomu, hailed as the sport’s first global superstar, was a proud man who did not want to be a burden and felt an obligation “to be the one who helped others as opposed to being the one reaching out for help”.“People have presumed or assumed that he has been able to earn quite good money over the last 10 to 15 years but his illness and the treatment he has had to go through have severely hindered his ability to do that,” he added.Nichol said he did not know if Lomu had been “ripped off”.Jonah Lomu’s sudden death last month at the age of 40, following a years-long battle with a rare kidney disorder, brought outpourings of sympathy from around the world. PHOTO/AFP“We know people are going to have a lot of questions around what has happened and what’s gone on in the past. We just don’t know,” he said, adding that the trust was solely for his sons and excluded wife Nadene as a beneficiary or from having control over the funds.While it was not unusual for people to die broke, Nichol believed Lomu deserved special attention.“What we can’t ignore is that Jonah Lomu was a phenomenal success for rugby, he took rugby to the world to a certain extent. And we have all benefited from that,” he said.“If people have benefited then now, understanding the situation, they might want to give back a little bit to a guy who wasn’t sophisticated or complicated, he didn’t try and trick anyone, he just went about doing what he did and handling it the best he could.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Widow of late New Zealand All Blacks rugby legend Jonah Lomu, Nadene Lomu (C) is comforted by her two sons, Brayley (C-L) and Dhyreille (C-R), her mother Lois Kuiek and father Mervyn Kuiek during memorial service on November 30, 2015. PHOTO/AFPWELLINGTON, December 15- All Black Jonah Lomu may have been one of the biggest names in rugby union but he was nearly broke when he died, the organisers of a trust set up to support his young sons said Tuesday.Lomu’s sudden death last month at the age of 40, following a years-long battle with a rare kidney disorder, brought outpourings of sympathy from around the world, not only from sports personalities but also heads of state and Hollywood stars.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Insurgents launched their most intense mortar attack to date on the Green Zone on Tuesday, killing three people and injuring 18, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy. The attack set off a succession of explosions that could be heard on both sides of the Tigris River about 5:30 p.m. Multiple rounds landed inside the Green Zone, seat of the embassy and the Iraqi government. The attack came from northeast of the Green Zone, a predominantly Shiite area. Among those killed was a U.S. soldier, an Iraqi citizen and a foreign national. Five of the wounded were U.S. civilians, two were members of the U.S. military, and three were working for U.S. contractors, according to the embassy statement. The blasts smashed windows in buildings and cars, and the worst-hit area was immediately sealed off by U.S. soldiers, International Zone police and Peruvian security guards. All entrances to the zone were closed as firefighters, medics and contractors cleared the scene. A minibus was towed away, its passenger windows caved in. Within an hour the area had largely returned to normal, with Western officials jogging along the streets, waiting at bus stops and strolling to work past the blast scene. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Green Zone is the most fortified area in Baghdad, surrounded by walls and protected by multiple checkpoints manned by American and Iraqi security forces. It has always been vulnerable to mortar and rocket attacks, however, and has been attacked almost daily for weeks. Still, this was a particularly brazen onslaught even by Baghdad standards. Typically, there are no more than a half-dozen mortar explosions at a time but according to one American official in the Green Zone who spoke on condition of anonymity, the attack may have involved as many as 31 mortars. Elsewhere in the country, sectarian violence as well as intra-Shiite fighting continued. In Diwaniya, in the south of Iraq, Iraqi security forces and Americans clashed with insurgents in an area held by the Mahdi militia, which has ties to the anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. A hospital official in Diwaniya said seven civilians, including a child, were injured in the fighting. Further north, in Babil province, just south of Baghdad, a mortar attack killed three people. West of Baghdad, a suicide bomber used a bicycle to get around a vehicle ban in the city, but killed only himself when he tried to attack Iraqi police in the former insurgent stronghold, said Maj. Jeff Pool, a U.S. military spokesman.
1 Former footballer and Match Of The Day presenter Jimmy Hill has died aged 87, his family have confirmed.The Londoner, who made his name playing for Fulham in the 1950s, enjoyed a second career as a distinguished broadcaster.He died after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years.In a statement, Jane Morgan, spokeswoman for Hill’s wife Bryony, said: “It is with great sadness that Bryony Hill and the children of Jimmy Hill have announced that Jimmy passed away peacefully today aged 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Bryony was beside him.”Stars from the world of football spoke of Hill’s contribution to the game following the announcement of his death.Current Match of the Day presenter Gary Linker led the tributes.He wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to hear that Jimmy Hill has left us. A football man through and through who gave the game so much in so many ways #RIPJimmy.”BBC pundit and former England striker Alan Shearer said: “Very sad news about Jimmy Hill. Footballers and football have so much to thank him for. A man who loved the game.”Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said: “For generations of fans Jimmy Hill was an authoritative voice as both a presenter and analyst.He was committed to innovation in every aspect of the game, including broadcasting, and always believed supporters came first. His influence lives on in the programmes we enjoy today.”Hill will be cremated at a private ceremony.A service for his friends and colleagues will be held in the new year, Ms Morgan said.Hill started his career at Brentford in 1949, where he made 87 appearances before moving to Fulham three years later.Hill scored 52 goals in close to 300 games for the Cottagers and became the chairman of the Professional Footballer’s Association in 1957, where he made a significant impact.During his spell as PFA chairman, Hill successfully campaigned for the abolition of the £20-a-week maximum wage and to introduce freedom of contract.After his retirement at the age of 33 in 1961 he took his only managerial role at Coventry City and changed the club’s strip colour to sky colour and Hill also introduced the first-ever colour match programme in English football.He led the club the the Division Three championship in 1963-84 and the the Division Two title three years later but he quit the club shortly after before the start of their top-flight campaign.Hill was the Head of Sport at ITV between 1968 and 1972, a spell which including fronting the coverage of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.He moved to the BBC in 1973 where he became the host of Match of the Day before Des Lynam took over the reins in 1989.He made more than 600 appearances on the show as both a presenter and analyst.‘Everything I have, I owe to one man’ – Bobby Gould pays tribute to Jimmy Hill Former player, manager and broadcaster Jimmy Hill dies aged 87
Wayne Rooney says Jose Mourinho has sharpened the mind of Manchester United players and reminded them of their winning mentality.Life since Sir Alex Ferguson brought the curtain down on his remarkable reign has been galling for a club synonymous with success.Last season’s FA Cup is the only major trophy United had to show for the subsequent three seasons, with the 20-time Premier League champions even failing to qualify for the Champions League in two of those campaigns.Mourinho is now entrusted with restoring the club to the top of the English game and United captain Rooney has praised the Portuguese’s influence at Old Trafford.“He’s obviously a top manager – I think his record at all the clubs he’s been at shows that,” the club’s all-time top scorer said.“I think he knows what he wants from the players, and the players know what the manager wants from them.“He’s strong in that sense but as long as you’re doing what he wants, then I’m sure you’ll be fine.“I think you can see he has got a winning mentality – not that we didn’t have that already, but he’s certainly reminded us of that.”There is still work to do, though, highlighted by the fact United sit sixth in the Premier League – albeit just five points split them and second-placed Tottenham.Rooney accepts leaders Chelsea – 14 points better off than United – are all but out of reach, but is confident of providing some memorable moments before the season is out.“I think it’s going okay,” he told GQ. “We’re in a good position in terms of making the top four.“Obviously our ambition was to try and be champions, which will be difficult now. We know that.“But we’re right there in terms of trying to place ourselves in the top four.“We’re still in the Europa League, in the final of the League Cup and still in the FA Cup, so they’re trophies we believe we’ve got a strong enough squad to go and win.“Then obviously now probably we have to look at trying to finish in the top four.” Mourinho has sharpened the players minds according to Rooney 1
Share This!The Princess and the Frog fans rejoice! The Disney Wonder will be going into dry dock later this year and during that time, the ship will be adding some new experiences themed around the popular film.The first new addition will be a new New-Orleans-themed lounge, called the French Quarter Lounge. At the French Quarter Lounge, Guests will be able to enjoy live music that will be performed on the gazebo stage and sip specialty drinks at an updated bar. This area will, of course, be a natural precursor to having dinner at Tiana’s Place Restaurant. It will also be the the perfect destination for entertainment and libations after dinner. Oh and the space will come alive throughout the day with New Orleans-themed family activities, trivia and character encounters. There may even be a chance to meet Princess Tiana herself.As far as atmosphere goes for the newly updated area, the French Quarter Lounge will evoke an airy outdoor space and will be surrounded by touches of iconic New Orleans architecture such as wrought-iron balconies, classic brick walls and shutter-framed windows. Decorative details including a life-size trolley car and nods to the film in the form of signs and facades on the walls.For teens, the club reserved for 14-17 year olds, Vibe, will transform into a contemporary place to hang out. The space will be given a timeless feel with an open, bright redesign, a light color palette and industrial metal work. There will also be a new coffee bar added and there will be updated virtual reality technology included, as well.Adults will also be able to enjoy updated areas. The Cove Café will be redesigned to look like a local coffee shop, complete with warm, comfortable and trendy décor. There will be ample seating and a relaxed atmosphere for Guests to be able to sip specialty coffee or tea throughout the day or partake in wine, cocktails and light bites during the evening. In addition, Signals Bar will also be undergoing a transformation with a similar look.These new enhancements will debut on the Disney Wonder on the four-night sailing from Vancouver to San Diego on September 30.