Woods to play in next week’s Masters

first_imgBy Andrew BothTiger Woods ended weeks of speculation when he announced he will play in next week’s Masters golf tournament at Augusta National.Hobbled by back problems and poor play this year, Woods made the decision to go for his 15th major title after his second visit of the week to the famed Georgia course.The Masters, the first major of the year, begins on Thursday and will end a two-month absence from tournament play for the former world number one.“I’m playing in the Masters,” said Woods on his website, marking his return to the tournament he has won four times.“It’s obviously very important to me and I want to be there. I’ve worked a lot on my game and I’m looking forward to competing,” said Woods, who missed last year’s event after being advised by doctors to have a microdiscectomy to repair a pinched nerve in his back.The lure of Augusta has obviously proved irresistible to the 39-year-old, who has been plagued by a woeful short game over recent months.“I am excited to get to Augusta and I appreciate everyone’s support,” he said.Woods, who is still adapting to the fifth swing change of his career, this time with new consultant Chris Como, has dropped to 104th in the world rankings and bookmakers consider him a longshot to win the Masters.Centrebet and Ladbrokes both list him at 40/1.World number one Rory McIlroy is the tournament favourite.Former player Notah Begay said Woods was “completely undecided” until the last couple of days about whether to play, as he continued to evaluate his game.“One of the first discussions we had was not to come back until he felt he was ready and could compete,” Begay, a confidant of Woods, said on Golf Channel.“So obviously he feels like his game and all the work is really starting to show some dividends. I know he’s not just there to play. He’s there to compete.”Another former player, Curt Byrum, said it would quickly become obvious at the Masters whether Woods has solved his short game issued.“We’re going to find out really quickly if he’s solved his pitching and chipping problems because there’s not a tougher place on the planet to chip and pitch the ball than Augusta National,” Byrum said.Woods has not played in any tournament since withdrawing with tightness in his back during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open near San Diego on February 5.Woods later announced he would take a break from competition until he felt his game was ready to compete at the highest level.He has not won a major since the 2008 US Open and his most recent Masters victory came 10 years ago, though he has contended several times since, including just two years ago, when he finished only four strokes off the pace after incurring a two-shot penalty for a rules violation.Woods struggled badly in his first two events this year.He posted the highest score of his professional career, a shocking 11-over-par 82 to miss the cut at the Phoenix Open in January.A pathetic short game made him look more like a struggling amateur than the greatest player of his generation, prompting some experts to opine that he had the ‘chipping yips’.He did not look much better the following week at Torrey Pines, where he was two over par after 11 holes when he pulled out, his third withdrawal in his last nine tournaments.last_img read more

Man United sign midfielder Matic from Chelsea

first_imgManchester United have signed Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic from Premier League champions Chelsea on a three-year contract with an option to extend for a further year, both clubs said on Monday.Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but British media reported that United paid between 40 million and 50 million pounds to reunite the 28-year-old midfielder with manager Jose Mourinho.“Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player,” Mourinho said in a statement.“I would like to thank him for his desire to join us because without that, it would be impossible to have him here. I am sure our players and supporters will love him. A big welcome to our new number 31.”Mourinho signed Matic when he was in charge of Chelsea in 2014. Matic, who originally joined Chelsea in 2009 before moving to Benfica in 2011, became an influential part of Chelsea’s title-winning side under Mourinho in 2014-15.“To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” Matic said.“This is a very exciting time for the club and I am looking forward to playing my part in creating more history for this great club.”Matic’s arrival followed Mourinho’s unsuccessful move for Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier as United seek to mount a serious Premier League challenge for the first time since the departure of Alex Ferguson as manager in 2013.Matic made 40 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea last season as Italian Antonio Conte marked his first season in charge of the London-based club by winning the league.However, Chelsea’s signing of Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko in this transfer window was an indication that Matic could have struggled for game time next season.United have also signed defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.last_img read more

Why more women should be included in the leadership of Virunga National Park (commentary)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Since 2014, the number of female park guards serving in Virunga National Park, located in war-ridden eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been gradually increasing. Today, 29 women serve in the ranks of this 731-strong force.There has been a flurry of international media attention to the women who chose the ranger profession. But so far, nobody has looked at how the presence of these women affects the functioning of the ranger force, and the relations between the park and the population living in its vicinity.While gender equality is not a guarantee for improving park-people relations, we believe the integration of women in Virunga’s administrative and security structures needs to be reinforced, in particular at the higher echelons. Gender equality is not only of inherent importance, but — as our research indicates — also corresponds to a strong demand among the population living around the park.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Since 2014, the number of female park guards serving in Virunga National Park, located in war-ridden eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been gradually increasing. Today, 29 women serve in the ranks of this 731-strong force.There has been a flurry of international media attention to the women who chose the ranger profession. News reporting generally zooms in on their heroic nature, the dangers and hardships they face, and the para-military ranger training they passed, which requires extreme physical fitness. So far, nobody has looked at how the presence of these women affects the functioning of the ranger force, and the relations between the park and the population living in its vicinity.In the wake of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, there has been a flurry of scholarly and policy attention to integrating women into law enforcement and (para)military organizations. Female uniformed personnel are held to be more attentive to the needs of women and children and are believed to be easier to approach by civilians, in particular women. This would improve relations between security forces and local populations.However, a growing body of research shows that these assumptions are based on essentialist views of women, and do not always hold, especially not when patriarchal organizational cultures are not changed.Similarly, research we recently conducted in the Virunga area demonstrates that integrating women into the ranger force is not a panacea for resolving the deep running tensions between the park and the population. While the presence of female rangers is generally welcomed, few people we interviewed believe that they make a difference for the conflicts pitting them against the park. What’s more, reflecting deep-seated gender problems within nature conservation, women continue to be under-represented at higher levels of decision-making in the ranger force and Virunga’s management.While gender equality is not a guarantee for improving park-people relations, we believe the integration of women in Virunga’s administrative and security structures needs to be reinforced, in particular at the higher echelons. Gender equality is not only of inherent importance, but — as our research indicates — also corresponds to a strong demand among the population living around the park.We base our argument on focus groups conducted in January 2019 with men, women, and youth — the majority of whom were farmers — in 11 villages located in the territories of Rutshuru and Nyiragongo. Focus groups were complemented by interviews with key informants, including local chiefs, civil society actors, and a park representative. In total we contacted 303 persons.From our research, it emerged that few people have actually interacted with female park guards. The majority of the female rangers are deployed to escort tourists and guard installations, and remain at the level of the park headquarters in Rumangabo, or at the sub-station of the central sector in Rwindi. Only a few are deployed to patrol posts in remote areas, and therefore enter into contact with the population. Locals’ ideas about female park guards therefore mostly rest on perceptions, rather than experiences.Local perceptions of female park guardsIn the focus groups, men and women alike talked about the integration of women into Virunga’s ranger force as something positive. The ideas that people articulated around female park guards roughly correspond to two discourses that are often invoked to justify women’s inclusion: the first is an instrumentalist discourse, which highlights that integrating women will improve performance, effectiveness, or outcomes; the second is a rights-based discourse, which emphasizes that women have an inherent right to equal representation, regardless of whether that would improve the performance of an institution.Following an instrumentalist discourse, many of our interlocutors believed that having women in the ranger force would reduce the chances of ill or harsh behavior by rangers towards civilians, in particular women. Women often enter the park to cultivate crops such as manioc or maize, or to collect firewood (kuni) or sticks to support bean plants (mitegemeo). This exposes them to the risk of being intercepted by park guards. During some focus groups, women said that those who are intercepted are subjected to harsh treatment, including beatings. While we cannot substantiate cases of rape by park guards, in a few villages in Nyiragongo territory, where relations with the park are particularly bad, women believed that the guards sometimes also engage in sexual violence.A female ranger in Virunga National Park. Photo Credit: Joseph Tsongo.Female guards, many people thought, would never tolerate such behavior. As a woman in Mujoga said: “We would like the number of female park guards to increase, as they can never accept that another woman is forced to undress.” A woman in Katwa confirmed this idea: “If there were more female park guards, there will be less rape.” Furthermore, many of the women we interviewed believed that female rangers would be more lenient in general. In the words of one focus group participant in Mujoga: “Women have roho na huruma [literally: a soul full of pity]. They could more easily accept that a woman enters the park to collect sticks.”The rights-based discourse, which was shared equally strongly by men and women, was mostly reflected in remarks that women should be rangers as there is now parité (gender equality) in Congo, and women should therefore be equally represented in all state services. A man in Vitshumbi commented: “Women should be in the ranger force as there is parité according to the constitution.” The rights-based discourse was also strongly articulated by customary chiefs, commonly associated with conservative views about gender inequality. For instance, the village chief of Nyamilima said: “Women now have the right to do this work, they are also capable and there are also women in the military and police.”While the majority of our interlocutors welcome female park guards, a few expressed their doubts, in particular whether female park guards actually behave better towards civilians. A woman in Nyamilima commented: “They have no mercy neither for men nor for women.” Similarly, in Mujoga, a youngster said: “Women are more evil than men, they are more dangerous.”Concerns about female guards often appeared grounded in people’s experiences with or perceptions of female military personnel or female rebel soldiers. As research on Congolese female army personnel shows, these women are often considered to be of low standing and low morals, being cruel and mean, in particular towards other women. One woman in Kiwanja commented in relation to Chantal, an infamous commander of a Rwandan rebel group: “Women are meaner than men. Therefore the conflicts will not diminish. Chantal, she could even throw a child in front of a car without any pity.”No silver bullet for resolving conflictsThe idea that women can be crueler than men makes people doubt that female park guards can help resolve the many conflicts between park rangers and the local population. These conflicts center on contested park boundaries, the right to enter the park to collect firewood or sticks, and disputes over wild animals destroying people’s harvests, among other issues.To many of our interlocutors, it remains unclear how female guards can make a difference in these conflicts. As a woman in Nyamilima argued: “The conflict is around the park boundaries, for that it does not matter whether the park guards are men or women.” Men in Vitshumbi emphasized that the lack of impact was compounded by female rangers’ low status: “Biko chini [they are low in the hierarchy]… not decision-makers. Maybe when they also take the decisions.”Indeed, it was generally believed that female guards, given their low ranks, had little influence on decision-making. In Katwa, a woman said: “Even if there were women, they would obey the orders given, also to beat us, so there would be no difference in behavior.” Another often-expressed concern was that women working in the same organization have the same ideology as men. For a man in Nyamilima: “Having women as park guards cannot diminish conflicts. The problem is the ideology. When the ideology is bad, there won’t be any change.”Working towards gender equality in conservation leadershipMirroring a growing body of research on integrating women in security forces, our findings show that we should be cautious about the positive effects of integrating women in Virunga’s ranger force — in particular as long as organizational cultures do not change, and women are not equally represented within the higher ranks. Moreover, we should avoid essentializing discourses about women as inherently more peaceful or more lenient.A key finding of our research is that many people in the Virunga area believe that having women in the ranger force is a right — regardless of how it affects rangers’ work. Yet we concur with our interlocutors that women should also be represented in the higher ranks, as well as the park’s management structure.There is a notorious lack of female leadership in nature conservation, which has historically been imbued with patriarchal values. Donors supporting nature conservation should urgently acknowledge and address this gender problem — not least as women generally represent half of the population of conservation-affected areas.CITATIONS• Baaz, M. E., & Stern, M. (2011). Whores, men, and other misfits: Undoing ‘feminization’in the armed forces in the DRC. African affairs, 110(441), 563-585. doi:10.1093/afraf/adr044• Jones, M. S., & Solomon, J. (2019). Challenges and supports for women conservation leaders. Conservation Science and Practice, e36. doi:10.1111/csp2.36• Wilén, N., & Heinecken, L. (2018). Regendering the South African army: Inclusion, reversal and displacement. Gender, Work & Organization, 25(6), 670-686. doi:10.1111/gwao.12257Disclaimer: The research conducted for this article was supported by the Knowledge Management Fund of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law.Dr. Judith Verweijen is a Lecturer in International Security at the University of Sussex. Judith’s research is situated at the intersection of political ecology and conflict studies. It examines the interplay between violence, conflict and armed mobilization around natural resources. She focuses on eastern DRC, where she has conducted extensive field research since 2010.Janvier Murairi Bakihanaye is the President of the Association for the Development of Farmers’ Initiatives (ASSODIP) based in Goma, in eastern DRC. He has worked for over a decade on human rights issues related to the exploitation of natural resources, anti-slavery and prisoners’ rights, both as activist and researcher. Most recently, his work has focused on roadblocks and socio-economic conditions in mining sites and conservation areas. For his work on Anti-Slavery, Janvier was awarded the Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award 2016.Dr. Esther Marijnen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Conflict Research Group (University of Ghent) and is affiliated with the Center for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) based at London School of Economics (LSE). Her research focuses on violent conflict, nature conservation and public authority from a political ecology perspective. Currently she is working on the specificities of nature-society relations in times of war. Esther has conducted fieldwork in eastern DRC since 2013.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, Gorillas, National Parks, Research, Researcher Perspective Series, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Rangers center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Setting the record straight on several important issues

first_imgDear Editor,Comments made by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan in East Canje earlier this month (circulated on YouTube), merit a response, for the simple reason that Ramjattan continues to expose the fact that he cannot be trusted, as he persists in peddling more untruths about various issues.Ramjattan misleads when he insists that from 2005 to 2014, the European Union (EU) gave Guyana “every year” $20 million euros as support mechanisation and other undertakings in the sugar sector. Editor, the fact of this, Guyana received some G$34.8 billion from the EU. This fact was the subject of some debate in July 2017 when the coalition Government, in error (or by design to mislead), claimed that the EU gave Guyana $348 billion. The correct figure of $34.8 billion was given by the EU last year.Ramjattan misleads when he insists that US$200 million was spent on the Skeldon Factory. Editor, it was President David Granger’s address to the National Assembly, on January 10, 2018, which made clear that the cost of the Skeldon Factory was US$121 million. Editor, even the US$121 million (about GYD$24.2 billion) spent on the Skeldon Factory is less than the GYD$34.8 billion collected from the EU in budget support.Ramjattan misleads when he insists that other factories were ignored. Editor, the investments in the other sugar estates are clearly documented, as a matter of public record.It is interesting that even as he rambles about what was NOT done to support the sugar sector under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, he acknowledges, albeit tangentially, that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition promised Guyanese that a new government would not close sugar. Again, Ramjattan misleads about this promise, as he insists that the sector is not being closed, but is being “right sized” – the coalition Government’s new favourite phrase. Lastly,Editor, one alarming comment made in East Canje was Ramjattan’s confident declaration that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) would rule in favour of the Basil Williams-led team, in the case of the presidential term-limit challenge. I mention this because it comes on the heels of a boast by Ramjattan to at least three PPP/C parliamentarians, at a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional Reform – where Ramjattan insisted that he has ‘inside’ information that the CCJ will rule in a particular way. Editor, such disparaging comments about the CCJ can only be treated as more misleading comments.Ramjattan has distinguished himself as the PNC-led Government’s puppet, being used to address communities that are stronghold support areas of the PPP/C. Ramjattan uses sophistry in his attempt to make a case for the coalition Government. However, his ramblings are seen as false and the Guyanese people will not fall prey to lies.Zulfikar Mustapha,PPP ExecutiveSecretaryPPP/CParliamentarianlast_img read more

Only one issue for Spector jury

first_img“I would never allow that,” said Fidler, who added, “The only verdict form they will get is second-degree murder.” Given the limited issue, the judge said, “The instructions won’t take very long to read.” Attorneys are set to present closing arguments Wednesday and Sept. 6, and the case is to be submitted to jurors for deliberations Sept. 7. Defense attorney Dennis Riordan, who argued the law on jury instructions, told the judge: “I’m sure we can all agree this is a case about who fired the gun.” The prosecution is seeking a second-degree murder conviction under the theory of “implied malice,” which requires the taking of an extreme risk that could lead to death and a callous disregard for human life. The penalty for second-degree murder is 15 years to life in prison, and a convict has to serve 85 percent of the base term before becoming eligible for a parole hearing. The standards for the lesser offenses would have been different. Involuntary manslaughter, for example, would require a finding of negligence. There is no allegation in the Spector case of the premeditation or intent required for first-degree murder. At the start of Wednesday’s session, the judge clarified the new role of Riordan, a San Francisco attorney, who came in to handle jury-instruction arguments. Spector’s wife, Rachelle, had issued a press release Tuesday night saying Riordan was hired as “chief counsel” to replace Bruce Cutler, who bowed out at Spector’s request. Fidler said the chief counsel is Roger Rosen, who effectively became leader of the defense while Cutler was often absent for several weeks at a time to tape a TV judge show. Riordan also said he is not chief counsel.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Jurors in Phil Spector’s murder trial will have only one question to decide in their deliberations: Is he guilty or not guilty of second-degree murder? Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler told attorneys Wednesday that he pondered whether there could be “lesser included offenses,” which might allow the jury to consider voluntary or involuntary manslaughter rather than murder. “I don’t see it,” he concluded. Both the prosecution and defense agreed that the legal definitions of lesser crimes do not fit this case. Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said he wanted to be assured that he would not be sandbagged by any defense attorney telling jurors in final arguments that there might be a lesser crime involved. last_img read more

Miner fights fever as probe begins

first_img Byrd said federal mine safety officials would be called to testify before a Senate subcommittee that would hold hearings into the disaster beginning Jan. 19. “It’s time for the decisions affecting America’s miners to be made with their best interests at heart. That should be the legacy of the Sago miners.” Rockefeller said Congress had not held full oversight hearings into the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration since 2001. Among the questions investigators are sure to ask: Could the trapped miners have walked out under their own power, instead of following their training and waiting for a rescue that arrived too late? Gov. Joe Manchin said that it was too soon to tell. That opinion was also shared by Bob Friend, acting deputy assistant secretary of labor for mine safety at the MHSA. “We don’t know the exact conditions,” Friend said. “We don’t know what obstructions the miners encountered coming back in the other direction.” Another focus will be the miscommunication that led to the mistaken belief that 12 of the trapped miners had been rescued alive. That sparked a celebration at a nearby church that was halted three hours later by the devastating news of their deaths. “I am asking for that because I have witnessed firsthand the unbelievable human suffering that comes from miscommunication,” Manchin said. So far, medical examiners have completed autopsies on the miners. State Department of Health and Human Resources spokesman John Law confirmed Monday that the miners died from carbon monoxide intoxication. Drillers finished two ventilation holes and worked on a substantially larger hole. State officials have not started interviewing witnesses and said they did not know when they would begin. “We don’t want to make mistakes,” said Terry Farley, an administrator at the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training. “However long it takes, we want to get it right.” Also Monday, Manchin named J. Davitt McAteer, who oversaw the federal MHSA during the Clinton administration, to serve as his consultant, oversee the work of state and federal investigators, and issue a report on the disaster by July 1. “We will pursue every lead,” McAteer said. “We will follow every avenue of inquiry. We will take every step necessary to find the problems and to fix those problems.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita The updates on McCloy’s condition came as three more families held funerals Monday for the miners. An overflowing crowd of mourners at the Buckhannon Union Mission Church listened as miner Jim Bennett was eulogized as a man of fiery Christian faith. The 61-year-old man who operated the mine’s shuttle car wrote a note while trapped indicating he was still lucid 10 hours after the blast, his daughter has said. “I’m as sure as I’m standing here today, I believe that down in the pits of that Sago Mine, there was one fella, not tall in stature perhaps, but was telling the boys, ‘You better get ready. We’re going to meet Jesus,”‘ the Rev. Dennis Estes said. The disaster was the worst coal-mining accident in West Virginia since 1968, when 78 miners were killed in a mine explosion in Farmington. Federal and state mine safety officials pledged to hold joint public hearings on the accident. Meanwhile, Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, both D-W.Va., called for hearings into coal mine safety. BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – As the investigation into the Sago Mine disaster took shape Monday, the best hope for firsthand details about the explosion and its aftermath lay in critical condition, fighting a fever. Doctors treating sole survivor Randal McCloy Jr. declined to speculate on when the 26-year-old would fully wake up from a medically induced coma or to comment on the extent of any brain damage he suffered in the tragedy that killed 12 fellow coal miners. But physicians said McCloy’s brain stem appeared to be normal, and that a fever is common for patients in intensive care. McCloy was breathing on his own, although he remained connected to a ventilator as a precaution, and was responding to stimuli, doctors said. “He is likely one of the longest survivors of this sort of exposure, not only carbon monoxide, but the other circumstances in the mine, for about 42 hours,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, a neurosurgeon at West Virginia University’s Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. last_img read more

Business of four-legged friends is booming

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesThanks in part to people such as Marks, the pet industry is booming. Marketers are finding success in gearing human products – organic food, designer clothing, car seats – to pet owners and their furry friends. “Products that were popular with humans, they are finding animal versions,” said Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. Animal products have morphed into a cash cow, and major players are jumping on board. Disney recently introduced Old Yeller dog food in Kroger stores, and private investors agreed last month to pay $1.8 billion for Petco. The so-called humanization of pet products coincides with a growing segment of people who treat their pets like children. “More pet owners call themselves Mommy and Daddy,” said Merritt Schoch, a pet executive at JAKKS Pacific Inc. The Malibu-based company makes biscuits that profess to whiten canine teeth and chase away doggy breath. The birthday of Dakota, a buttermilk Labrador retriever, is celebrated like any other in Lisa Marks’ home – with presents and cake. On a recent afternoon at the pet boutique Bow Wow Inc. in Woodland Hills, Marks, 37, picked out gifts: peanut butter-banana-flavored Bon Bons, oatmeal shampoo to soothe Dakota’s “sensitive skin,” a fuzzy tug-of-war toy shaped like a frog head and a new pink leather collar. The tab came to $74. “She likes those little broaches that slide on her collar,” said Marks, looking at her two sons as they admired snapshots of pups that had visited the store. “She’s my girl.” At home, Marks planned to adorn a small cake with a bone for her pooch. “They are actually looking at these pets as members of their families and not animals,” Schoch said. About six out of 10 households have a pet, adding up to roughly 360 million fish, kitties, pooches and birds nationwide. All the cash spent on pets adds up to an average of 9.3 percent yearly growth since 1994, Vetere said. This year, experts estimate, the industry will grow by 6 percent. That growth towers over the toy industry, which shrank by 4 percent in 2005 to $21.3 billion, according to the Toy Industry Association Inc. Pet products and services reaped $36.3 billion in 2005. Are people spending more on their pets than playthings for their own flesh and blood? It might be so, but pets still cost a fraction of what children do. Having a pet costs roughly $1,000 a year excluding extraordinary veterinary bills, Vetere said. For a child born in 2005, a middle-income family will shell out a whopping $190,980 before he or she turns 18, said economist Peter Basiotis of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Spending on pets doesn’t stop at toys and treats. Pet-friendly hotels and vacation destinations offer packages for those who want to bring their four-legged companion. Some vets offer pet health insurance. For the social butterfly, there’s dogster.com, catster.com and hamsterster.com. The Web sites allow pet owners to create profiles of their pets, replete with photos, nicknames and pet peeves. In the marketplace, many retailers open wallets by playing into patrons’ devotion to their pets. The Web site for pet boutique Bow Wow, where Marks shopped for Dakota, reminds customers that pets deserve the creme de la creme. “Our pets give us endless hours of love and fun-filled moments of entertainment, so don’t hesitate in showing them how much you care for them,” an on-line banner reads. “They deserve all the luxuries of life, just as we do.” Neatly folded doggy T-shirts fill a round table in the Ventura Boulevard store and cost $18 each. A canvas stroller that functions as a car seat and carrier lists at $150. Sparkle and Shine Shimmering Mist, advertised as making fur shiny and moisturizing skin, sells for $18. For pet owners who want a cake their pet can eat, Three Dog Bakery in Sherman Oaks sells “celebration cakes.” The whole-wheat treats are one of the most popular items in their 40 retail stores, co-founder Mark Beckloff said. “It was like allowing people or giving them permission,” he said. “It’s OK to celebrate your dog’s birthday with a cake and invite their friends over.” julia.scott@dailynews.com (818) 713-3735160Want 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

7 new schools open today as academic year begins

first_img“Students are the focus of the community of learners formed by teachers, principals, administrators and parents,” Romer said. “We’ve made great strides in academic achievement and remain committed to helping children learn the critical-thinking skills that will serve them, their families and their society in years to come.” Just last year, the district began the school year with what officials called the historic opening of 13 new schools. Of the 13 additional schools set to open this year, two already started this summer, seven open today and the remaining four will open later in the year – part of a program to build 155 new schools by 2012. LAUSD has built and opened 63 campuses since 2000. Only 24 schools had opened from 1972 to 1999. District leaders urged parents to make sure their children are back in school on time and ready to learn. Extra attendance counselors will be assigned to campuses in the first days to make sure pupils make it to school on time, including calling or visiting parents of students who do not arrive at school the first day. The nation’s second-largest public school system kicks off the 2006-07 school year today with the opening of seven new schools and a cloud of uncertainty with the passage one week ago of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s legislation dramatically changing the governance of the district. But Los Angeles Unified School District officials said despite the changes likely to take place in early 2007 – the school board could be stripped of a great deal of its authority, and the mayor is expected to gain a significant role in running public schools – they will continue to focus on reforms to improve student achievement, reduce the dropout rate and make sure the $19.3 billion construction program remains on track. The seven new schools – including one in the San Fernando Valley – are part of a massive effort begun six years ago by Superintendent Roy Romer toward taking kids off year-round calendars and busing and into traditional fall-summer schedules in neighborhood schools. In all, 13 new schools will be built this school year. More than 418,000 students will start today, and the 13 new schools will house more than 10,400 students. The projected enrollment this year is 712,000 – a drop from the last school year’s 727,000. About one-third of the district’s 612 campuses remain on year-round calendars. “On their first day of school, our students will walk onto campuses boosted by six years of real education reform,” board President Marlene Canter said. “They will be greeted by teachers, principals and school staff who are focused on making this the most exciting, most productive year ever. I urge parents to make sure that their children are at school on time, ready to start the new traditional school year on the right foot.” After a year of criticism from Villaraigosa that LAUSD is a failing district, leaders touted the programs they will unveil this school year to raise student achievement. Extra counselors will be assigned to 80 middle schools and high schools to work with students at risk of dropping out and try to stem the rate. District officials place the dropout rate at 24 percent. Algebra class sizes will be reduced in the eighth and ninth grades, and 17 low-performing high schools will receive $36 million to transform academics, facilities and operations. Also, incoming students in sixth and ninth grades participated this summer in the district’s Bridge Program to help them in their transition to middle school or high school. Under the legislation that awaits a promised signature from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the mayor will oversee three of the lowest-performing high schools and their feeder elementary and middle schools, and he will have virtual veto power over the hiring of superintendents, which under the reform plan will have greater authority than ever before. Romer has announced he plans to leave in the fall, and the district is in the process of choosing his replacement. Officials at Villaraigosa’s office have said planning has already begun to implement the reform plan that would take effect Jan. 1 if signed into law, but the bulk of the changes that would affect LAUSD classrooms will likely take effect in the 2007-08 school year. naush.boghossian@dailynews.com (818) 713-3722160Want 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

MOURINHO BARB: ‘Thanks Ed Woodward for two important players…but we need more!’

first_imgManchester United manager Jose Mourinho admitted he is desperate to sign another player “as soon as possible” as he aimed a thinly veiled barb at executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.The Red Devils comfortably beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in a pre-season friendly in Houston, but attention quickly turned to the transfer market afterwards.Mourinho always wanted to make four top-quality acquisitions this summer, but appears to be only halfway through that process with Benfica defender Victor Lindelof and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku having arrived so far.Both started the 2-0 win against City in the United States, with Lukaku opening the scoring in style after latching on to a fine pass from Paul Pogba and converting from an acute angle.“When I look to the team and when I look to Lukaku and Lindelof, I would like my squad to be here – my whole squad,” Mourinho said on a night when Marcus Rashford scored the other goal.“If we manage to get one more player… I am not even crying for two but if we get one player as soon as possible [that would be great] because we can see the way Lindelof is in a team, you can see Lukaku is in a team.“The understanding between the players – the Paul pass for Lukaku’s goal, the way Lukaku holds the ball and waits for support…”Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic and Tottenham’s Eric Dier have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, while United have found Inter Milan stubborn in negotiations for winger Ivan PerisicMeanwhile, other Premier League sides have been busy in the transfer market, and Mourinho gave a hint of his frustration, particularly following West ham’s recent flurry of signings.Asked whether United could make that third signing before they fly home from America, Mourinho said: “I don’t know, I don’t know. I am not in control of that.“The credit of Lukaku, Lindelof to be here on time is not mine, the credit is Ed Woodward’s and his team.“I thank him for that fantastic work to bring us two very important players for us, but we need a bit more.“When you see the other teams in the Premier League, the way they get players and good players and important players, and you see the champions buy three fantastic, experienced players, and you see the way Man City go to the market, and Liverpool and West Ham.“I am thinking about West Ham to play the first match of the Premier League and they get Joe Hart, Chicharito and [Marko] Arnautovic. West Ham? Wow, it looks like they play to win the Premier League too, so the teams are fantastic in the market and I’m waiting for a bit more.”United feel they are fighting inflated prices brought both by the increased money swilling around and their standing in the game.“Unless you go to the clubs and you accept immediately the price tag, it is not so easy to do that,” Mourinho added.“We see other options, we see the way clubs want or don’t want to negotiate, but the market is open until August 31, but I like to work from day one and the difference for Lukaku to be with us since day one [rather than] August 29 is huge.” 1 Jose Mourinho appears to be frustrated Man United have only make two signings so far in the summer transfer window last_img read more

Everton fans ‘threatened coach driver and faked illness’ to fight Millwall fans

first_imgOn the morning of Saturday January 26, Huyton Mini Coaches sent six vehicles down to the capital from three different starting locations in Liverpool.However, one of the coaches went off the designated route and drove through central London to drop off a number of fans at Euston station.PC Michael Dacre detailed the abhorrent scenes which followed as he watched as a group of fans took ‘part in the most serious football violence seen in 28 years of policing’.Mr Szilagyi, who was driving a coach booked for a Mr Brophy, claimed he was ‘tricked’ into thinking one of the passengers required urgent medical attention. gameday cracker The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Lampard appears to aim dig at Mourinho for handling of Salah and De Bruyne at Chelsea REPLY Everton fan Jay Burns was slashed in the face outside The Den Sky Sports presenter apologises for remarks made during Neville’s racism discussion whoops Supporters from both clubs became embroiled in ugly battles outside of The Den before the FA Cup game in January of this year.Prior to the third round tie, the Metropolitan Police warned of a ‘much heightened risk’ and coordinated scraps planned by fans on the streets of Bermondsey.As a result of the security concerns, coach operators were forced to follow a set route to the ground – with any stops outside London forbidden by police.Strict arrival times were enforced to ensure coaches could deliver supporters to avoid potential clashes. tense Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update latest A second coach, which left Liverpool from the same location, was forced to stop off at a Luton pub when a passenger threatened the driver 3 MOST READ IN FOOTBALLcenter_img A police dog and his officer tries to keep order during the game between Millwall and Everton in January Did Mahrez just accidentally reveal Fernandinho is leaving Man City this summer? 3 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Everton fans ‘threatened a coach driver’ and ‘faked illness’ in order to get off an away day coach to fight Millwall fans, an official report has concluded.The Traffic Commissioner slammed Huyton Mini Coaches for their conduct surrounding the game, despite taking Toffees supporters across the country for several seasons.A report from a Merseyside Police officer attached to Everton FC described the antics of one coach as ‘the most serious football violence he had seen in 28 years of policing’. Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ JIBE revealed 3 Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City SORRY It is understood the passengers used this diversion to sneak away as the driver then carried on his journey into London independently.The report by the by Traffic Commissioner for the North West Simon Evans concluded that the coach company caused an ‘increased risk to the public’ as potentially dangerous individuals were allowed to travel through London undetected.A second coach, which left Liverpool from the same location, was forced to stop off at a pub in Luton when a passenger threatened the driver. Following the unauthorised stop at the pub, the coach arrived late to the ground and was attacked by home supporters.The report said: “Occupants of the coach were seen throwing bottles and cans and were said to be ‘winding up’ those outside, leading to serious disorder problems.”Mr Evans found the coach’s late arrival ‘placed passengers’ safety at risk as that decision [to stop] led to a violent public confrontation on the street.’last_img read more