Real Madrid need Champions League triumph to salvage season

first_imgIn suffocating August heat at the start of the season Real Madrid stayed ice cool to crush Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup.It was a show of force from Spain’s dominant side, the double winners exerting their power over Barcelona and leaving their arch-rivals on the verge of crisis.New Barca coach Ernesto Valverde looked on helplessly as Brazilian forward Neymar joined Paris St Germain and Real looked unstoppable.“It’s the first time we’ve felt Madrid are superior,” Barca defender Gerard Pique said after the game.But as the months passed, it became clear that Real were not capable of defending their league title as Barcelona surged clear at the top of the standings.Madrid’s league hopes lay in tatters by December, the Catalans raiding the Santiago Bernabeu with a 3-0 win in the Christmas Clasico and moving 14 points of Zinedine Zidane’s team.Real were dumped out of the King’s Cup in January on away goals by unheralded Leganes and Barcelona went on to win that trophy for the fourth season in a row.That was the first step towards a near-certain double for Barcelona, who need one point in their remaining five games to wrest the title back from Real.Real will ease the pain by retaining their Champions League title, their only hope of salvaging a disappointing season.They face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals as they bid to win it for a third season running, having last season become the first side to retain the trophy by beating Juventus in the final.The German champions, however, are desperate for revenge after they were eliminated 6-3 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage by Zidane’s side last season in controversial circumstances.“You need a better referee for a quarter-final,” complained then Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti after his team had two men sent off over the two legs and Real scored goals from offside positions.“We’re working hard and, if we’ve done it twice, why wouldn’t we go for that third consecutive Champions League?,” Real defender Dani Carvajal said ahead of Wednesday’s first leg in Munich.It would not be the first time Real’s season has been salvaged by a European triumph.In 2016 they lifted the trophy after Barcelona won the double and in 1998 they triumphed after finishing fifth in La Liga.last_img read more

It’s a wild and wacky Guyana…

first_img…in the courtsThe phrase “the law is an ass” was coined by Charles Dickens who put it in the mouth of one of his characters: if the workings of the law leads to patently absurd decisions, then “the law is an ass”. The phrase immediately came to your Eyewitness’ mind when he read the snippets of the judgement by the Appellate Court, which affirmed President Granger’s UNILATERAL appointment of the GECOM chair.Now this appointment is governed by Art 162 (2) of the Constitution which states (very clearly, your Eyewitness thought) that the individual would be “appointed by the President from a list of six persons, not unacceptable to the President” submitted by the Opposition Leader. Now, this procedure worked for the 1992 elections when Rudy Collins was accepted by Desmond Hoyte from the PPP’s list, and then in 1997 when Doodnauth Singh was selected for the 1997 elections from the PNC’s list and again in 2001 when Steve Surujbally took over. David Granger was even on two of the PNC’s list!!But in approving Granger’s unilateralism, one Judge, for instance, threw all of that out of the window!! It’s not just required that the Opposition Leader submit a “list of six”…no siree Bob!…there must now be consultations between him and the President!! “The submission of a list, never mind 18 names and three lists, but without the engagement on their acceptability, separate from the choice, could not have led to a consensual candidate”!! Why? She pronounced that “the manner in which the lists were submitted was not reasonable”!!!Imagine that!! Consensus was reached three times from submission of lists by the Opposition Leader, but suddenly there has to be “engagement”? Well, there has been “engagement” on the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice between the President and the Opposition Leader, but no consensus. What now? It’s OK for the President to unilaterally appoint his choices? Well, for what it’s worth, your Eyewitness thinks this is exactly what Granger will now be doing – because the law has been shown to be an ass!!The present Acting Chancellor’s decision was also inexplicable. Rejecting the President’s expressed position that all six of the OL’s nominees should be “acceptable”, she however said that if more than half of the names are acceptable by the “reasonable man’s test” then the President should pick from the list. Well, shouldn’t this be the “reasonable President” would have acted under the circumstances?And if all three Presidents before Granger picked FROM the names on the OL’s list isn’t that the reasonable thing to do?But then such reasoning assumed the law isn’t an ass, doesn’t it?…with procurement corruptionOctober’s supposed to be “Agriculture Month”, but with the Auditor General’s Report released in this month, over the last three years, it’s become “Corruption Month”!! For a Government that rode into power promising a “clean” Government after accusing its predecessor, the PPP regime, of “siphoning off billions and billions”, the PNC is certainly sticking its hands into the cookie jar! And being caught!! Shameless!!This year’s AG Report is so chock-full of scandals, your Eyewitness just doesn’t know where to begin!! The contractor for the Port Kaituma Doctors’ quarters who received $45 million (72 per cent) of the contract price since 2016 but has only done 28 per cent of the work? So what if the doctors are sleeping in hammocks under trees!! No accounting for the $550 million given to HDI – the “private company” with Roopnaraine – for D’Urban Park? The $112 million in advance payments for works never done in Region 10??We could go on and on…but what’s the point?? How long has the D’Urban Park boondoggle been in the public? What about the $600 million Ansa Pharma scam?Corruption is power; and absolution is now absolute power!!…showing mercy to the Attorney GeneralIs it possible the Appellate Court’s GECOM chair’s decision was to save Basil Williams who’d lost eight cases in a row?Naah! The court threw out his arguments and made up their own!!last_img read more

Fighting neonatal deaths

first_imgOn Thursday, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence revealed that some 119 neonatal deaths were recorded at the Georgetown Public Hospital for the period June 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, with 32 deaths occurring during the first quarter of 2018 alone.A neonatal death is the death of a baby within the first 28 days after birth.The minister, after being quizzed by Opposition Member of Parliament Dr Vindhya Persaud in the National Assembly, also admitted that while there has been no significant increase in the numbers of neonatal deaths, the figure which she provided the House was still “alarming” and “too high”.A number of other pertinent and serious questions were posed by Dr Persaud to the Public Health Minister during their exchange, and the minister, no doubt, attempted to defend the work being done by the hospital and its administration, as well as the Ministry of Public Health and its partners, to tackle the worrying situation.Among other things, the parliamentary Opposition’s questions provided food for thought about a number of deeply connected matters related to the fight to reduce neonatal deaths in Guyana while boosting the general quality of care and services provided to pregnant women and their newborns, as well as unborn children.The exchange also allowed the general public and other experts in the field of medicine, child care and clinical services insight into what is really taking place at the nation’s premier health institution, as the Government has been known traditionally to horde and hide statistics that could damage its track record and shift the public’s thinking about the performances of key sectors.The fact that the number of deaths decreased from 295 in 2014 to 119 in 2017 is neither here nor there. Guyana should be striving to have zero neonatal deaths; or, if this is impossible, numbers in the single digits, which are extreme cases.Also, the revelation by the minister that no new recommendations were made by those in authority — particularly the Child Morbidity and Mortality Committee — because no special investigations were conducted, as there were no discrepancies found, or further investigations warranted for the period, is disappointing to say the least.Surely, no less than ten women have complained to various sections of the media about the quality of care they received at the hospital’s maternity ward, which each has linked to death of her baby. And, of course, those at the helm of GPHC know full well that there is a perception that some of the senior staff and junior staff there are negligent in the execution of their official duties. Additionally, patients have complained, time and time again, about the indifference and lack of remorse shown by some whenever would-be mothers make allegations, which quite a few times ended up in lawsuits being filed by the parents against the hospital for skullduggery.In order to combat this perception, and boost the public’s confidence in the hospital’s ability to arrest the situation and provide the highest possible care, these statistics should be released in a quarterly fashion by the Chief Medical Officer in the presence of the media. He must share details about probes, findings, and what measures are being implemented; as well as the number of staff disciplined or retrained.The minister must also embark upon a campaign to get another Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in order to boost the hospital’s ability to cut the number of deaths by 80 percent over the next 4 years. She may choose to embark upon a private/public partnership model to ensure that all of the key health care institutions in the country have at least one NICU of their own, in order to cut the demand for the services at the GPHC. On the other hand, the Government can divert some of the resources spent on the unnecessary commissions of inquiry, the payment of special prosecutors and advisors to the Attorney General’s Chambers, ministers’ travel and other non-priority areas, to tackle the issues of maternity and neonatal deaths.Every life matters, and in this era of technology and advanced communication, Guyana can ill-afford not to boost its resource management techniques and levels of preparedness for any and all forms of emergency.The Public’s confidence, therefore, is intricately linked to the level of openness, honesty and frankness displayed by those at the helm of the GPHC, who must see and engage the media as a key partner in its work programme.The wealth and health of the nation’s children is everybody’s business, and no one should be offended by the tone, spirit and frankness of the exchange between the two parliamentarians on this sensitive subject matter.last_img read more


first_imgWNO is a 20-hour training programme that helps people who areunemployed to access new education, volunteering, enterprise, and employment opportunities.The programme assists participants in gaining confidence in their skills and strengths, while at the same time helping them to analyse and develop solutions for their ownsituations.To date, WNO training programmes have been run in Donegal,Sligo, Galway, Limerick, and Tipperary; a recent survey found that 92% of respondents felt they had benefitted “a great deal” from the programme. The Arranmore Island WNO programme is being run byTuath in collaboration with Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta (MFG), and is funded by the International Fund for Ireland. The programme will take place at Ionad Pobail Arain Mhór from Monday, 7th March, to Friday, 11th March, for four hours per day. Please ring MFG on (074) 95 32017 for more information.THE ‘WINNING NEW OPPORTUNITIES’ PROGRAMME COMES TO ARRANMORE was last modified: February 16th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jose Mourinho responds to reports of world record Man United move for Paul Pogba

first_imgJose Mourinho is remaining tight-lipped about Manchester United’s pursuit of Paul Pogba.United are reportedly ready to pay a world record transfer fee to lure the Juventus midfielder to Old Trafford this summer.According to reports in Thursday’s newspapers, personal terms have already been thrashed out with the 23-year-old and a deal worth almost £100m is close to being agreed.Mourinho has admitted he wants another midfielder this summer having already landed Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.But he claims he has given United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward the names of THREE players that fit the profile he is seeking – and refused to confirm whether one is Pogba. “I don’t confirm, I don’t deny, I cannot tell you,” Mourinho told a press conference in Shanghai when asked whether Pogba is on his way to United.“First of all because I don’t think it’s correct to speak about players from other clubs. He is a Juventus player and he is not a Man United player.“The only thing I can say is that my board, my directors, they did fantastic work to do 75 per cent of the job I asked them to do.“I asked them for four players, to be more accurate I asked for four profiles of players I need.“And I gave them a few options and they did for me 75 per cent of the job with Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan and Bailly.“We just have 25 per cent to do before the 31st of August, so we are in great conditions to have what I would consider a good market for us.“We are calm, we know the profile of player we want. “We have three faces to fill that profile and I am really confident that Mr Woodward and the owners will bring me that profile of player that I think the squad needs to have a good balance.” Paul Pogba in action for Juventus 1last_img read more

Barcelona legend Xavi reveals how Man United can pull off Champions League upset

first_img Paul Scholes tries to get close to Xavi in 2011 at Wembley Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted stopping Lionel Messi will be of maximum importance for the Red Devils, there are a plethora of ways Barca can hurt teams.As best exemplified against Tottenham Hotspur in the group stages at Wembley, trying to stop Messi merely creates space for the likes of Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic.Former blaugrana midfielder Xavi exclusively told the Daily Mirror he feels as though his former side are not impossible to beat however.And while the current Barca captain may well be the best in the world, Xavi feels as though the Red Devils can tear through a porous defence. Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford were excellent against PSG in the previous round LIVE ON talkSPORT Atletico handed huge boost for Liverpool tie with Diego Costa returning from injury 3 getty Preston vs Leeds (Tuesday, 7:45pm) –  talkSPORT 2Birmingham vs Sheffield United (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2Slavia Prague vs Chelsea (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2Southampton vs Wolves (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester United vs West Ham (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORTLeeds vs Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Wigan vs Norwich (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2Crystal Palace vs Manchester City (Sunday, 2:05pm) – talkSPORT He said: “This season Barcelona have let in more goals than is normal for them and that will give Manchester United some hope I am sure.“In games like this you need a leader and a player like Pique need to make sure the rest of the team stay calm and composed. He has won everything and can be that leader.
”Of course, without the firepower to trouble top European teams, progression to the later stages of this famous competition is almost nigh-on impossible.But the World Cup winner conceded that, under Solskjaer, Manchester United are a team to be feared at this stage. Liverpool set for Champions League boost as Takumi Minamino will be available on target Xavi celebrates beating Manchester United in 2009 LATEST CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEWS talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2… 3 “This is an area [up front] that Manchester United can really cause Barcelona a problem in,” he added.“Lukaku is a big physical threat and then they have then players like Martial and Rashford who have a lot of speed, a lot of quality, and both can get goals. ready? Aiming high 3 BOOST Manchester United have the strength in attack to worry a nervous Barcelona defence.That’s according to Camp Nou legend Xavi, who was speaking ahead the two European giants’ Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday night. Ancelotti tells fans he has Champions League dream for Everton last_img read more

IIT Delhi’s Tech Fest, 2007

first_imgA bioreactorPluck volumes off the top shelf of your bookrack while standing on ground level. Or scrawl all you want on a pulley-operated blackboard and watch it erase the chalk marks on its own. Better still, clean your lawn in a jiffy with an easy garbage collector. Nope, these are,A bioreactorPluck volumes off the top shelf of your bookrack while standing on ground level. Or scrawl all you want on a pulley-operated blackboard and watch it erase the chalk marks on its own. Better still, clean your lawn in a jiffy with an easy garbage collector. Nope, these are not gadgets from a new sci-fi flick, but a realisation of the ideas of IIT Delhi students, as seen at the institute’s recent I2Tech fest. Far from being bespectacled nerds holed up with formulae and figures, the undergrad, postgrad and PhD students who displayed their projects, showed that they were more than five point someones in the making.Students with their Mechanised BookrackFor the past three years, the institute has been setting aside a day when visitors-those with a scientific bent of mind and those who are plain curious-can come in and in-spect the students’ projects. Held on April 21, this year’s fest featured over 225 projects. Says Prof. Surendra Prasad, the institute’s director: “IIT is known for the opportunities it offers students, but this is also an R&D institute and we like our students to develop a love for learning. Besides, explaining their projects to lay persons generates excitement and pride among the students.”Models of the Smart CaneDelhi took full advantage of its brief brush with science as curious onlookers, students, proud parents and gadget connoisseurs made a beeline for the exhibits. Among the most popular was the Quad V, a human-powered four wheeler, much like a rickshaw except that it could be driven by as many as four persons and could seat up to five. Built in 25 days by four second-year mechanical engineering students (Mukul Modani, Suyash Kothari, Jainesh Sinha and Rajdeep Paul), the ecofriendly vehicle costs Rs 5,000. “Though such vehicles are found in France and Sweden, we innovated by replacing the costly differential gear with an idler shaft to help the vehicle move easily,” says Sinha. Another vehicle, the Mini Baja all-terrain vehicle, which was made by third-year students in 2006 and won second prize at the Society of Automobile Engineers competition in South Africa, was upgraded by a team of 20 second year students. Pravesh Nehra, who has worked on the car for the past two years, is a motor sports fan. “Most people who visit us are more interested in speed and how the car looks than in the mechanics behind it,” he says. Mini Baja’s construction cost was sponsored by Maruti, Autodesk and Altair Engineering. Helping the campus sport a squeaky clean image was the Easy Garbage collector, created by a team of five second-year industrial and production engineering students. “This gadget reduces labour fatigue involved in manual cleaning,” says team member Monika Tanwar, one of the only five girls in her department.advertisementStudents test drive their eco-friendly vehicleThe pick of the department was the Fruit Plucker, which helps you pluck fruit from the highest branches of a tree without much effort. Or a ladder. Made by four second-year students (Madhur Kabra, Pushkin Jaitly, Amlan Das and Giriraj Meena), the Plucker uses a clipper and a net mounted on a 10-ft PVC pipe while a pulley and rope mechanism facilitates the cutting action. Says Jaitly, “We were hit by the idea at 2 a.m. when we were about to call it a day, after brainstorming for hours.”Plucker picks fruitsCharting starry nights is Skyfy, a database programme developed by Nishil Gupta and Ashok Mandavagane, that allows you to see all the stars in one single frame, at any date, time and place. It is the result of Gupta’s fascination with the heavens ever since he attended an astronomy workshop by Amit Sriti, an NGO, in his hometown Bhopal.The computer wizardry got more intense at the Bharati Lab, which played host to the team (Rohan Paul, Ankush Garg, Dheeraj Mehra and Vaibhav) that designed a Smart Cane for the visually impaired. Tested by Delhi’s National Association for the Blind, the cane uses ultraviolet rays to sense objects within three metres. A computer programme within the rod makes it vibrate (at four different levels depending on the proximity of the object).Easy Garbage CollectorIn the electronics alley, was PhD student Pavan Gilhotra’s De Design Analog VSLI Chip to Emulate Retina. Simply put, Gilhotra’s chip, once it has been human tested, will work as faux eyes for the blind in place of the retina. Says Gilhotra, “This product will restore vision and make it more accurate.”Another product that is poised to make waves is Lt Cdr Santosh Biradar’s High Speed Digital Underwater Modem, which allows real voice communication between divers in deep waters. A young officer in the Indian Navy, Biradar is currently pursuing his MTech in electrical engineering along with four other naval officers. Biradar, a product of the National Defence Academy, says, “I love water skiing and sailing and have done recreational diving in Lakshwadeep.”advertisementWon the All-India DD MIT 2007One of the most user-friendly inventions was a mechanised bookshelf. Designed like a giant wheel, it could help those who find it painful to reach the lower and upper racks of shelves. Designed by second year mechanical engineering students-Kritika Upreti, Gautam Chawla, Ruchir Gupta and Vineeth Naik-the shelf can hold about 80 books. Says Upreti, “The idea came from a shoe shop, where we saw shoes being stocked haphazardly. But ultimately, we ended up making a book rack.”Ruling RoboFor those looking to have some fun, there was Robocon. Made of three machines-one pre-programmed and two operated by remote- the machine is part of a competitive game. Designed by Manvendra Singh, along with 20 of his classmates, IIT Delhi’s Robocon came first among 26 teams at the all India DD MIT 2007 Robocon competition held this March in Pune. Techno talk is sure taking on a more active role in everyday life.last_img read more

Standing Committee not convinced with charges against Sharjeel

first_imgKarachi, Feb 3 (PTI) The head of the Senate Standing Committee on Sports has expressed doubts over involvement of Test batsman Sharjeel Khan in spot-fixing during last years Pakistan Super League (PSL). Dr. Ashok Kumar while presiding over a hearing in which Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials were in attendance said that the Board must produce evidence on basis of which it says Sharjeel was guilty of corruption. “We have been told time and again that Sharjeel is innocent and he has not been treated justly by you,” Kumar told Subhan Ahmed, the PCB?s chief operating officer. Subhan insisted that the Board had all the evidence on basis of which the anti-corruption tribunal of the board had banned him and Khalid Latif for five years. He informed the senators that the appeals of both the Pakistani batsmen had also been dismissed by an appellate tribunal. The PCB tribunal banned both the national team players last year in August and September and Sharjeel has now taken his case to the Islamabad High Court. Senator Kumar said that no institution would be allowed to show injustice with any player and at next hearing the Board must come with the evidence against Sharjeel. He also reminded that that lawyer for Sharjeel had insisted that the PCB had not interpreted the anti-corruption code nor shown any strong evidence on basis of which it charged its client with five breaches of the anti-corruption code. The Senate standing committee which is holding regular meetings with all the national sports federations in a bid to improve the sports structure in the country also expressed annoyance over the absence of PCB Chairman, Najam Sethi from the hearing. Subhan informed the senators that Sethi was busy with a PSL meeting which is why he couldn?t attend but senator Kumar made it clear that the PCB chief must be present at the next meeting. PTI Cor AT ATadvertisementlast_img read more