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first_imgNaomi Osaka said Serena Williams’s row with the umpire during the U.S. Open final had not altered her feelings about winning a Grand Slam largely because she had no idea how she was supposed to react, the Japanese said on Thursday.Osaka’s breakthrough triumph in New York was overshadowed by an explosive row between her opponent Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos which resulted in the 23-times Grand Slam champion being docked a game and fined $17,000.At Flushing Meadows on Saturday, the 20-year-old was reduced to tears during the presentation ceremony but on her arrival back in Japan on Thursday, she said she had not been saddened by the incident.“For me, I don’t feel sad because I wouldn’t even know what I’m expected to feel,” she told a news conference in Yokohama ahead of the Pan Pacific tournament that begins on Monday.“Because it was my first final and my first Grand Slam victory, overall I felt really happy and I know that I accomplished a lot.“I don’t think I even thought about feeling sad because there’s no experience for me to draw on (from) any other Grand Slam final.”One of the most controversial Grand Slam finals of all time divided tennis and triggered a debate about sexism in the sport, fuelled by Williams’s assertion that Ramos would not have dealt with a male player in the same way.Much of the criticism of Williams has centred on how her actions had spoiled a precious moment for Osaka, who was even moved to apologise for beating the home favourite to a New York crowd angrily booing Ramos.In becoming her country’s first ever Grand Slam singles champion, Osaka, the daughter of a Haitian father and Japanese mother, is also helping break new ground in Japan as her biracial identity challenges the country’s self-image as a racially homogenous society.Public attitudes are slowly changing as Japanese society becomes more integrated with the global economy, and the emergence of more ethnically mixed celebrities, especially in sport, is helping.For her part, Osaka is not thinking too much about how her identity is perceived.“For me, I’m just me,” said Osaka, when asked whether she represented a ‘new Japan’“I know the way that I was brought up, people tell me I act kind of Japanese so I guess there is that.“But if you were talking about my tennis, I think my tennis is not very Japanese.”Osaka, currently ranked seventh in the world, is aiming to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore at the end of the season.Furthermore, in embracing her new high profile, Osaka wants to serve as a role model for young Japanese children.“I have definitely been thinking about if little kids were watching and they wanted to play tennis too,” she said.“I’ve always thought that Kei (Nishikori) is a super good role model on the men’s side and I wish that there was one on the women’s side.“So hopefully I can be that role model.”last_img read more

first_imgCoach of Harbour View Football Club Ricardo Gardner is unbothered by the criticism that sometimes comes his way for the struggles of his team. His largely youthful team, which lost key players Evan Taylor, Daniel Green, and Rafeik Thomas, who arrived in the second half of last season, have spent most of the first round in the bottom half of the table and currently sits in 11th position in the 12-team table. That for Gardner is only the short term, and there is a bigger picture. “My goal is to develop,” Gardner said of the job he is doing with the club. “Winning is important, but it is more than about winning games in the Premier League. It is important to learn the game – to grow and develop – and I think we are making some progress,” added Gardener, citing the progress of Peter Lee Vassell, Deshane Beckford, and Tyreek Magee, who is beginning to find his feet among the big boys. Vassell’s initial steps in the league were tentative. Now, he is a more confident player who has graduated to the national team. “I want to give people the opportunity to experience what I experienced. We do not have a talent problem in Jamaica. It is just the attitude that is the problem, and we have to work on that, and I want to play my part in addressing that,” said the man who was part of Jamaica’s historic qualification for and participation in the 1998 World Cup in France. Easily the most successful home-grown professional footballer so far, Gardner, a left-sided player who featured in attack, defence, and central midfield, ended his relationship with Bolton Wanders in 2012 after 14 years with the club. For the national team, he earned in excess of 100 caps and scored nine goals. – N.W.last_img read more

first_imgAfter three-and-a-half years of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), most Guyanese feel our Government is rotten to the core. Nothing exemplifies the rotten, corrupt, incompetent and uncaring core of APNU/AFC more than the report that medicines are being kept in termite-infested, humid and hot hotel rooms, while half of a Government-owned, international-standard warehouse at Diamond, East Bank Demerara is empty. People were stunned by the report that medical supplies were simply thrown into seven termite-infested, hot rooms at the Ocean View Hotel. Incompetence or corruption?When did the Ocean View Hotel rooms become “medical bonds”? Who certified these rooms as suitable for warehousing medical supplies? When did the Ministry contract these rooms? Was the need for more space to store medical supplies ever advertised? How much is the Public Health Ministry paying for the use of seven rooms at Ocean View? Where is the contract for the use of these rooms? The Auditor General could not answer any of these questions. All he could say is that there are seven rooms which are termite-infested, no temperature control, in which medical supplies were dumped and there was no way to verify what was in the room. This is simply shameless, naked corruption.While the daily newspapers and TV newscasts have highlighted this glaring corruption, there are many other questions yet to be asked. Why the need for extra space to store medical supplies, when just down the road, there is a half-empty, international-standard warehouse owned by Government? What is happening at the Diamond Medical Warehouse? If they tell us that Diamond is filled to capacity, we should really worry. First, if it is filled to capacity, why do we still have such chronic shortages of medicines across the country? If it is not full, why did we have to use termite-infested hotel rooms not far away? MPs and the media must demand to view the warehouse to verify the status at Diamond. My information is that the bond is only half-utilised, just as it was when the Sussex Street “medical bond” was contracted at the princely sum of about $15 million per month.Does this mean that at a time when APNU/AFC has buckled under pressure to end the contract by yearend for the Sussex Street “Medical Bond”, that this bond, too, is finally now fully utilized? The Auditor General’s Report appears to describe the Sussex Street “Medical Bond” that is not at full capacity and improperly used. But let us not forget that the Sussex Street “Bond” was only an excuse to be generous to one of APNU/AFC’s friends and that the official explanation given by the Prime Minister was that the “bond” was needed to avoid traffic on the East Bank Demerara.In the Auditor General’s Report 2017, there are ugly examples of how warehousing medical supplies provides opportunities for corruption. The misuse of the Sussex Street ‘medicine bond” is simply mind-boggling. This misuse adds to the shameful corruption of paying a donor and friend of APNU/AFC more than $400 million since July 2016. Basically, the Auditor General confesses exasperation that things have just been thrown into the “bond”, without any proper system of packing or cataloguing. Is the Ocean View rooms now another generous outreach to a friend?These corrupt contracts to warehouse medicines and medical supplies appear even worse considering this Government turned its back on the opportunity to use an international standard warehouse at a cost dramatically less than what APNU/AFC is incurring for the Sussex Street “bond”. For more than a decade, before 2015 and until 2016, the Health Ministry utilised a real medical warehouse owned by the NEW GPC for free. When the owners asked for a nominal payment for the continued use of this warehouse, the Government refused and ended up with a makeshift, unacceptable “bond” they were willing to pay rent and other charges amounting to $15 million per month, far in excess of what they would have paid for the continued use of an internationally certified warehouse. But at the time, there was also adequate space available at Diamond.The latest Auditor General’s Report, the 2017 Audit, is a catalogue of corruption in Guyana. That the Auditor General’s Report 2017 contains evidence of corruption is not breaking new grounds. But the Auditor General’s Report 2017 exceeds all previous reports in terms of the levels of corruption. Almost every page of the Auditor General’s Report 2017 has some evidence of corruption. Since its release in the Parliament two weeks ago, the newspapers have been highlighting some sensational examples of the corruption that appears to have Central Government’s stamp of complicity.last_img read more

first_imgAssociate Justice Jamesetta Howard WolokollieAssociate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie has called on Liberians to start building confidence in the Liberia National Police (LNP) and other state security agencies as they assume full responsibility over the country’s security sector following the expected drawdown by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) next year.She said that every Liberian should take responsibility to maintain the peace that is presently being enjoyed following years of crisis, which led to the intervention of the international community.Justice Wolokollie made the call on Monday during the formal opening of the November Term of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Kakata, Margibi County.She said Liberians should now begin to disabuse their minds of the thought that the only way they can enjoy sustained peace is when United Nations peacekeepers are in the country.The Associate Justice then called on Liberians to stop being very disobedient to authorities and respect the laws governing the country.She said that in the absence of respect for authorities, it will be difficult to maintain the peace after the departure of UNMIL peacekeepers, adding, “We must be respecters of the law at all times, irrespective of our status, culture or social callings.”She commended UNMIL and the international community for helping to maintain peace in Liberia, noting that “there were numerous challenges from the onset but they (UNMIL) were able to amicably tackle them and as a result Liberians have enjoyed a decade of sustained peace.” (LINA)Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img“When I’m stressin’, I put it on paper,” said one teenage boy, his hair neatly trimmed, his gray, county-issued sweat pants, sweat shirt and black Converse sneakers crisp and clean. “I like how it makes me feel when I write. It’s like freedom. My escape.” Since 1996, journalists, poets and screenwriters have voluntarily brought pens and notebook paper into the county’s Juvenile Halls and camps to teach incarcerated boys and girls how to express themselves through the written word. Called InsideOUT Writers, the program was formed by Juvenile Hall chaplain Sister Janet Harris, children’s book author and illustrator Karen Hunt and journalist Duane Noriyuki in Los Angeles’ Central Juvenile Hall. Since those early days, the program has grown from three classes to more than 28 a week with 150 young writers. Some of the students’ work is then compiled for an anthology called “What We See.” SYLMAR – They write as if the words they search for deep inside can tear down the concrete walls holding them or melt the shackles from their ankles and wrists. Inside Sylmar’s Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, teenage boys grab donated pens and notebooks, eager to compose honest accounts of their troubled pasts. As young as they are, they already understand that, like truth, it’s the words that can set them free. Free to write about fathers who walked out, or the disappointment in their mothers’ eyes. Free to express the bad choices they made while gang-banging. Free to admit they are scared of what awaits them when they move on to the penitentiary. “Instead of putting a fist through a wall, you can channel that anger through the pen,” said Jackie Gelfand, who was appointed recently as executive director of InsideOUT. “They may write about what happened in court that day, how they miss their mother.” Funded through grants and fundraisers, the $300,000-a-year program provides a modest stipend to its teachers. InsideOUT Writers is now taught at three Juvenile Halls, but Gelfand’s goal is to expand the course to the juvenile camp system. “If I were to really boil down what the program is about, it’s about listening,” said Harris, the chaplain who 30 years ago produced a documentary on gangs. And she saw that within the juvenile detention system, there were not enough rehabilitation programs that let teens talk about why they committed the crimes they did. “A lot of kids are dealing with father hunger,” she said. “They have scales over their hearts. Even though they were caught up in gangs, there is a core of inner goodness in many of them.” On a recent Saturday morning in Sylmar, teacher Susan Cuscuna passes out papers with the word “empathy” written across the top. She tells them that empathy means to feel what another feels, to walk in someone else’s shoes. “We saw the movie `The Pursuit of Happyness,’ and I felt empathy for that man,” one boy said of the Will Smith movie about a father trying to make life better for himself and his son. Cuscuna then asks the boys to write about a time when they showed empathy for someone else or someone showed empathy for them. They struggle at first. Some stare off, their minds far away. Then the pens begin to move. “We look forward to this class,” said another boy. “No one writes to me. I don’t write to anyone, so I write to myself.” While Cuscuna teaches a wide range of offenders, the boys in this class live within a section of the Sylmar facility called the compound. Surrounded by yards of chain-link fence and topped with spirals of barbed wire, the compound houses what the Los Angeles County Probation Department calls the system’s worst offenders. Some have killed; most are awaiting trials and court dates. Some, already 18, will soon go to the Pitchess Detention Center until they are sentenced. But Cuscuna said she is not interested in her students’ crimes. For a few hours a week, she turns Los Angeles’ incarcerated youths into poets and songwriters, observers and essayists. They are children with something to say, she said. “They’re not just a sea of thugs,” said Cuscuna, who has written docudramas for television for 25 years. She currently teaches five classes at the various Juvenile Halls. But Cuscuna said there are challenges to teaching these kids. She is often confronted by contradictions. Some look hardened, their skin covered in tattoos, their eyes vacant. But when they thaw, these offenders become the children they are, happy when Cuscuna hands out doughnuts or gives them a folder covered in Snoopy cartoons. “They are the best of the best, and the worst of the worst, all at the same time,” Cuscuna said. “They are kids who made mistakes, and some are heinous, but they are mistakes.” Some who have moved on to prisons write to Cuscuna, which means they have realized the goal of InsideOUT Writers. “Part of the notion is to convince them that – while prisons can take away their freedom and put them in a box – they can’t take away their brain and their heart or what they can put on paper.” (818) 713-3664 From the 2005 Anthology “What We See: Poems and Essays Written By Youth in the InsideOUT Writers’ Program.” “Sitting in this county jail bus shackled at my wrists and ankles, I gaze out through barred windows and realize I may never again behold such beauty. In the past, I seldom delighted upon the magnificent aspects of nature. I never truly appreciated the earth. … I never thought I would find myself on a bus, crammed with convicts, bound for prison.” – Mario “Bricks Count them by the thousands When you locked up and looking back On all the things you’ve done All the mistakes you’ve made You start making those bricks stepping stones to freedom.” – Shanti R.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

first_imgBASKETBALL: James, Anthony lead team to an easy win in the FIBA Americas championship. By Brian Mahoney THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LAS VEGAS – LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony finally earned the reward that used to await U.S. players. James scored 31 points, most by an American player in an Olympic qualifier, and the United States capped its dominance in the desert by beating Argentina, 118-81, on Sunday to win the FIBA Americas championship. Then James and Anthony climbed the podium and were given gold medals – a first for the two players whose international careers had consisted of nothing but bronze. “I’m tired of bronze,” Anthony said. “I’m speechless right now. This is my first time ever winning the gold medal.” Dwight Howard made all seven of his shots and scored 20 points, and Anthony added 16 points for the Americans, who were never challenged while winning 10 games in 12 days and will head to Beijing next summer as one of the favorites. The Americans averaged 116.7 points in the tournament. The game was largely meaningless because both teams already had clinched spots in the Beijing field by winning semifinal games Saturday. But the Americans didn’t let up, remaining perfect in four Olympic qualifiers, including 7-0 against Argentina. James and Anthony played on teams that finished third in the 2004 Olympics and ’06 world championships. The latter disappointment forced the Americans to play in the qualifying tournament this summer, but it proved to be just a minor roadblock. “I learned that players can throw their egos and personal accolades out the window,” James said. “We came here for one reason and that was to get the gold medal.” James finished the tournament shooting 76 percent from the field – his percentage actually dropped from 76.5 after he made 11 of 15 shots. He was 8-for-11 from 3-point range – another U.S. record – and also led the tournament in that category, hitting 62 percent. “You don’t like to single guys out, but LeBron’s performance today was one of the best ones in an international game that a U.S. player has had,” U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He was big-time today.” The game was close for six minutes before the United States blew it open with an 18-0 run. The Americans scored the final 15 points of the first quarter, then Chauncey Billups opened the second with a 3-pointer for a 38-14 lead. At one point in the second, the Americans scored five consecutive baskets on dunks – three by Howard and two by James, with each having one set up by Kobe Bryant, who had a quiet scoring night but had eight assists. “We have the depth, we have the talent to be able to keep that foot on the gas the entire game and just not turn it on and off,” Bryant said. Tournament MVP Luis Scola had 23 points for Argentina (8-2), which played without Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto, Andres Nocioni and Walter Herrmann. “This team for the USA is one of the best USA teams,” Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez said. “Of course, nobody forgets the first Dream Team with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, but I like this USA team so much.” Puerto Rico 111, Brazil 107: Larry Ayuso scored a tournament-best 39 points and Carlos Arroyo added 30 points and 10 assists to lead Puerto Rico past Brazil in the third-place game. Ayuso, who played at USC, was 8-for-12 from 3-point range, and Arroyo, who plays for the Orlando Magic, was 3-for-7 as Puerto Rico went 15-for-28 from beyond the arc. 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

first_imgMoville Gospel Choir, who have been singing regularly to packed congregations at St Pius X Church in their own hometown, are bringing their bright and invigorating brand of gospel music to Letterkenny this weekend.The Choir have been invited by Father Eamon Kelly to sing at evening Mass in St Eunan’s Cathedral this Saturday at 7.30pm. Choir Director Michael Fisher said the invite was a real honour which the choir were looking forward to.“We are delighted to have been asked by Father Kelly to sing this weekend in St Eunan’s and hope the parishioners enjoy our accompaniment to the Mass”     MOVILLE CHOIR INVITED TO SING AT CATHEDRAL was last modified: September 6th, 2012 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) Tags:letterkennyMOville Gospel ChoirSt.Eunan’s Cathedrallast_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesSavers weren’t rewarded in 2002 and particularly in 2003, a year when even the highest-yielding money market mutual funds returned less than 1 percent. But the yield of the top-ranked retail money funds tracked by Crane’s newsletter are now reaching or at least approaching 5 percent. I view 5 percent, a yield last available from money funds in 2001, as a magic number for an investment totally liquid and with arguably negligible risk to principal. The yield seems all the more attractive considering U.S. stocks have returned an average of less than 4 percent a year for the past five years. Money market funds, which invest primarily in short-term, high-quality money market securities such as certificates of deposit and commercial paper, are managed to maintain a price of $1 a share. With rates increasing, money market funds have become an “offensive” asset class for investors seeking attractive returns rather than merely a “defensive” one for those seeking safety of principal, said John Sweeney, a senior vice president at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Cash Reserves, a money fund approaching a 5 percent yield when I wrote this, has become the firm’s biggest retail mutual fund at $80.3 billion in assets, ahead of the old flagship Fidelity Magellan and the recently closed Contrafund stock funds. Meanwhile, savers are already earning 5 percent and more on some online bank savings accounts with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protection, which money market mutual funds don’t have. “Today’s investors are bullish about cash,” said Martin Glynn, CEO of HSBC Bank USA, which is paying 5.05 percent on its “HSBCdirect” online savings account with no minimum balance. A survey by HSBC found 80 percent of affluent investors consider cash – the generic term for savings accounts, money funds and other liquid or very short-term conservative fixed-income investments – an important part of their portfolios. They also would allocate twice as much new money to cash as financial advisers would. “A lot of advisers tend to have a blind spot for cash because they don’t get paid (at least not paid as much) to recommend it,” Crane said. (For a continually updated list of the five top-yielding money market funds and bank savings accounts, see Web site Money funds, under Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, report a simple seven-day annualized yield – in essence projecting the yield over the past seven days over a full year, but without any compounding. Banks, on the other hand, follow Federal Reserve rules mandating the use of the annual percentage yield or APY, a figure that both projects and compounds over a year the interest earned each day. With the Federal Reserve raising its target for the federal funds rate for overnight loans from 5 percent to 5.25 percent on June 29, money market funds will be earning higher yields on new securities on their portfolio as current ones paying lower rates mature. By contrast, banks have historically been slower to adjust savings rates in response to Fed action and don’t always follow in lockstep. Humberto Cruz offers personal finance advice. Write him at local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After 17 straight interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, many borrowers are feeling the pinch. Some economists worry the Fed may precipitate a recession if it keeps raising rates, and rate-related concerns share the blame for stomach-churning drops in the stock market since May. Now for the happier side of the story: “Everybody talks about the downside of higher interest rates, but they are good news for savers and cash investors,” said Peter Crane, publisher of the Crane Data’s Money Fund Intelligence newsletter. “Rates are now at a decent level that you can be conservative” and earn a competitive return, Crane said. “From a philosophical point of view, it is nice to see the right people (conservative savers who’ve worked hard for their money) rewarded.” last_img read more

first_imgTHIS summer, it’s not only rolling blackouts Angelenos have to worry about. Apparently, rolling strikes of workers are possible as well. The Engineers and Architects Association is threatening to conduct rotating walkouts if the city doesn’t give its 8,400 municipal workers the same sweetheart deal as Department of Water and Power workers. City officials aren’t offering that same lucrative DWP deal, though. Nor should they. The inflated pay scale at the DWP has caused enough problems by diverting millions of dollars that should have gone into capital improvements. The result is that transformers and other equipment are obsolete, leading to widespread outages during this heat wave – and the overpaid DWP workers are among the most complaining in town. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesIt’s only fitting that the utility that brought us power outages – and then stuck us with the bill – might deliver yet another booby prize. 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

first_imgTHE Los Angeles school board is glad Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to help choose the next schools superintendent – really, it is! – it’s just not going to let him be part of the decision. That’s the bottom line of board President Marlene Canter’s tactful but unhelpful letter to Villaraigosa, rejecting his request for information about the candidates vying to succeed Roy Romer. Thanks, but no thanks. The board, which has fought Villaraigosa’s school-reform effort all along, shows no real signs of wanting to cooperate with him before the law takes effect in January. It continues with its unilateral effort to choose the next superintendent, even though the new law will give Villaraigosa and other local mayors that power. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleThe board’s refusal to cooperate is a big mistake. If Villaraigosa, who is now charged with turning the district around, doesn’t approve of the board’s choice, he’ll have every reason to fire the new superintendent – and the public would have to pay out his or her contract. Better to avoid that costly possibility by letting the mayor in on the decision-making process now. But the board doesn’t want that kind of intrusion. It’s set up a secret search committee that will select finalists for the position. Until then, everyone else – board members, the mayor and the public alike – is in the dark. And that’s the way it’s going to be, no matter what Villaraigosa says or the people want. “I understand and know (Villaraigosa) wants to be involved. But now the main job of the board is to protect the process,” says Canter. That’s funny. We thought the main job of the board was to protect the Los Angeles Unified School District’s students, not the board’s beloved procedures. Given this odd set of priorities, it’s no wonder that Villaraigosa has fought to strip the board of much of its authority – or that the Legislature, the governor and the public have all backed him.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