What to Expect from FIFA World Cup’s Last 4

first_imgWhoever said there is magic in football was apparently right. If not, how come 32 nations began the race and it is now left with four to determine who eventually captures the most coveted soccer cup in the world?Last week Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil and Germany took their chances further afield.Germany edged out France, Argentina denied Belgium the opportunity, Brazil took out Colombia and Netherlands got the scare of their lives when minnows Costa Rica took them to regulation time only to succumb during penalty shootouts to bow out.Brazil — Will go against Germany on July 8 and it is possible that the Brazilians would put their striking cylinders on but winning narrowly against Colombia should give the Brazilians another opportunity to make it to the finals on July 13th.Germany — Lothar Matthaus who lifted the most precious trophy in 1990 as captain of the German team is aware that Germany has reached the semi-finals for the fourth time in succession and may be keen to go all the way. Against Algeria, the team was sloppy but it would seem that Germany picks up their game one at a time. Against Brazil is quite another story and many are waiting to celebrate.Netherlands — Their luck came against Mexico and got scared by minnows Costa Rica, surviving on penalties. Arjen Robben and his team-mates should know by now that this is the time to shine. Against Messi, the Dutch can no longer allow situations to take them by, and Louis Van Gaal can find a way to ensure a chance for the finals.Argentina — Put up some performance against Belgium but playing against Netherlands should remind Messi and co that they have work to do. Against Belgium, Messi could not drive home a begging chance, but the Dutch cannot be tempted with such chances and Angel Di Maria and Pablo Zabalet will need more support for the finals on July 13.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Political Parties Collaboration: A Welcome Development But…!

first_imgStandard-bearers of four opposition political parties have put pen to paper in a Memorandum of Understanding, pledging to step up efforts leading to the formation of a united front to challenge the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) at the Polls in 2023. The four parties include the Unity Party (UP), the All Liberian Party (ALP), the Liberty Party (LP) and the Alternative National Congress (ANC). This is indeed a welcome development but…!This development marks a very early start in what promises to be a challenging 2023 electoral period. That the Liberian people are sick and tired of divisive politics is plain and evidenced by the rather enthusiastic response of supporters who turned out to witness the signing ceremony.But just whether the chest thumping and welter of pledges of goodwill and commitment to the formation of a united front will amount to anything more than the paper on which the MOU was signed, is the key question lingering on the minds of an anxious public.It can be recalled that during the period leading to the 2017 elections, a number of political parties met in the northern Liberian city of Ganta and put pen to paper in similar fashion.But no sooner than later the alliance fell apart, with each party going its separate way. This newspaper recalls that during the immediate period preceding the runoff elections, the UP, LP, ANC and the ALP came together in an unprecedented fashion to protest irregularities in the elections.Their joint action had raised many hopes that those parties would have come together and declared their support for the UP candidate Joseph Boakai after it had become clear that he had secured a place in the runoff with the CDC candidate George Weah.But rather than showing true leadership by calling on their supporters to vote for the UP candidate, they acted otherwise and the rest is history. Now, barely a year after, they are expressing alarm at the manner in which they say the country is being run under President Weah’s leadership.And it does appear as though their actions, as welcoming as they may be to many, are being driven by fear and consternation of losing out at the polls come 2023.Whatever the case, the issue, the real issue that is, whether the replacement of the Weah government by another duly elected government is sufficient in itself, especially if the replacing government continues to follow economic policy prescriptions which have over the years done little or nothing to address growing inequality and rising mass poverty.What is required, in the opinion of this newspaper is a national dialogue on the economic direction the country is expected to take under the new leadership if elected into office. This would require a critical review of existing policies with the view to determining what would best work to suit our situation.Prime on the list of topics of such a dialogue should be the issue of corruption and how it can be effectively addressed in order to help enhance the attainment of national development objectives including the critical need to address growing mass poverty.This newspaper recalls that almost prior to the elections of this government, former Deputy Finance Minister Alvin Attah, speaking at a forum organized by the Governance Commission on economic issues likely to confront the incoming government, called for a paradigm shift in economic policy and decision making.He only stopped short of calling for the scrapping of the “trickle-down” theory whose tenets, according to him, have long since undergirded the pursuit of national economic development objectives.As can be discerned from the comments of the various political leaders as well as those from the public carried on the various media including radio talk shows, Liberians in general have and are expressing a burning need for justice which they maintain should form the basis for genuine reconciliation. Liberians are also expressing the urgent need to tackle corruption and impunity.Aside from the mere declaration of intent to field a united front during the 2023 elections, political parties should begin to show leadership by raising the content and level of our national discourse to include especially discussions on the economy and how it can be fixed.This is where the real challenge lies. However the step taken to form a united front must be commended. Prudence would suggest that the search for unity on ideas for economic transformation of our dear country should place high on the agenda going forward.Political leaders should be reminded that much of the problems which confront the country today are rooted in what can be aptly termed as a failure of leadership by the country’s intellectual class.They appear to have all placed their backs to the grinding wheels in desperate search of opportunities to fleece the nation. The Congo Town Declaration has again raised hopes but whether they will be dashed or realized, lies in the hands of our political class. And the Nation now waits with bated breaths.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

KCB FC hope to emulate rugby peers in Shield

first_img0Shares0000Mathare United players celebrate their goal against Mathare United during their Kenyan Premier League fixture at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on April 3, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – The KCB RFC have dominated the Rugby 15s scene in the country for the last two years, earning their mark as one of the best rugby clubs around with back to back Kenya Cup titles.It is this success that is pushing their football nemesis with whom they share a sponsor to clinch a first ever title as they gear up for Sunday’s Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield showdown with defending champions Kariobangi Sharks in Machakos. “The rugby team and the volleyball girls are a particular inspiration to us because winning has been a part of them. It tends to build some pressure on us because even if you look at the volleyball team, they are out there performing well. The onus is now on us to replicate the same,” assistant coach Sammy Omollo has said.The bankers have made it into their first ever Shield Semi and if they can manage a way past the holders, then they can dare dream of clinching a maiden crown.“We want to be on the right side of history. We want to be the first KCB side that won a trophy and that is what is motivating us. This will be huge for the team and the company and the players know this too well and they know their obligations,” further stated Omollo.KCB players celebrate Bolton Omwenga’s goal during their Kenyan Premier League clash against Gor Mahia at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 2, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe bankers progressed after slapping away National Super League side Bidco United 4-1 in the quarters and they hope to keep the same engine running when their turbos charge at Sharks.“It will be a very tough match because Sharks have been here before. They are more experienced than us at this stage and that tells just how tough they will be to beat. They haven’t been doing well in the league but they are the defending champions and won’t want to let go of the trophy,” Omollo noted.“We have young players hungry for success and I believe this will be our propelling force,’ he added.The side will be buoyed by the return of midfielder Eston Esiye who had been out for three games with a hamstring strain while keeper Peter Manyika who has been the designated starter in the Shield has been ruled out with an ankle sprain.They come up against a Sharks side that has been struggling domestically, but they come in with some renewed momentum after picking a 3-2 win over Mathare United in a league fixture in midweek.Sharks just but scraped through to the semis after edging out Bungoma Super Stars on post match penalties having scored a late equalizer through Eric Kapaito to tie the game 1-1 and take it to the lottery.Kaariobangi Sharks Eric Kapaito celebrates with Yidah Sven. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYABut, William Muluya’s men have been in four successive semi-finals; losing in 2016 to Ulinzi Stars, progressing to the 2017 final and losing 2-0to AFC Leopards and last year clinched it for the first time when they came from behind to beat Sofapaka 3-2.Sharks and KCB are separated by four points in the Kenyan Premier League table, Sharks at ninth while KCB are at 11th.The first leg league meeting between them ended 1-1 and they will face each other in the return tie just six days after playing in the Shield.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Antonio Conte admits delight at Cesc Fabregas’ performances for Chelsea

first_img1 Antonio Conte has heaped praise on Cesc Fabregas following the Spain midfielder’s fine performance in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.The Blues eased to victory on Monday night to move within one win of the Premier League title, and confirm Boro’s relegation to the Championship after just one year in the top flight.Fabregas played a key role in the league leader’s dominant performance, creating the first goal – though he wasn’t credited with the assist – and setting up Nemanja Matic for the third strike of the night.And despite a season in which Fabregas has appeared to be nothing more than a backup option, and potentially set to depart west London, Conte has lavished the Spain playmaker with praise.The Italian manager said: “Cesc has improved a lot this season and I’m pleased for him. He put himself in the team. At the start of the season it wasn’t easy for him because he didn’t play a lot but then he showed me he is up to play, he played and he is performing very well. I am pleased for him.”Chelsea can win their fifth Premier League title on Friday night, with a win against West Brom at the Hawthorns enough to earn Conte his first silverware in English football.With such an achievement in sight, the Italian has urged his players to keep their focus and win the title on their own terms – rather than having to wait for second-placed Tottenham to play and hope upon their result.“This game was very important for us,” he added. “After the Tottenham defeat and the possibility to take three points and go seven points (clear). It was very important to play and to win.“This is a big step. Another three games and we need to take three points to take the title. It’s our answer to Tottenham. In the last 10 games they won nine and lost only one. We won eight games and lost two. We showed a great will and we decided to win the title this season. Now we are very close.“We are doing a fantastic job together with the players, now we need to take another step, another win and then to celebrate. It is important now to rest and to prepare very well for West Brom.“It’s important to look at ourselves, to win the title without having to wait for the Tottenham result.“Away against West Brom it won’t be easy but we are in a good moment.” Cesc Fabregas put in a superb showing against Middlesbrough last_img read more

The Press Pass – Sunday, July 2

first_imgNeil Ashton is joined by Darren Lewis and Tom Collomosse to cast their eyes over the main sporting stories.The trio look into the Garcia report and the impact it will have on the FA following the controversial bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.Plus, the panel discuss England’s U21s’ semi-final loss to Germany and their early impressions of Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace. Listen above or click here to download the podcast from iTunes.last_img

Daniel O’Donnell delighted to present TG4 country music show

first_imgDaniel O’Donnell is set to take part in TG4’s hit Country Music series, Opry an Iúir, by presenting the event live from the Millennium Forum and performing his top hits.Opry an Iúir will be taking place in Derry for four nights from 30th August until 2nd September, starring the best of country music entertainers.The Millennium Forum will house the hit series, hosted live by Daniel O’Donnell who will be performing some of his hit songs, and Lynette Fay of Radio Ulster. Daniel O’Donnell, Susan McCann & Cllr. Maolíosa McHugh – Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District CouncilIt promises to be a fantastic week with performances on the opening night, Wednesday 30th, from Country legends such as Big Tom, Brian Coll, Susan McCann, Dickie Rock and Frankie McBride.Thursday 31st brings many more stars to the Opry Dhoire stage, with Declan Nerney, Philomena Begley, Mike Denver & Hugo Duncan performing a tribute to the late legendary Larry Cunningham.The night also holds performances from Derry’s very own John McNicholl and the stunning Niamh Lynn. [Back Row, Left to right:] David McLaughlin -Chief Executive of Millennium Forum, GráinneGavigan, Daniel O’Donnell, Susan McCann, Cllr. Maolíosa McHugh – Mayor of Derry City andStrabane District Council & Niamh Lynn[Front Row: Left to Right:]  Ben Troy, John McNicholl & Shane Owens.Bringing September vibes to the Forum on Friday 1st will be Ireland’s latest Country Sensations such as Richie Remo, Gráinne Gavigan, Shane Owens, Jordan Mogey and Ben Troy with the one and only Mick Flavin celebrating a special 30th Anniversary alongside special guest Mary Duff.Wrapping up the series on Saturday September 2nd will be a fantastic concert when Una Healy of The Saturdays will perform live from her new album “The Waiting Game” and she will be joined on the evening by special guest Moya Brennan of Clannad fame.Daniel O’Donnell says; “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been invited back to present Opry Dhoire this year.“For many years we’ve enjoyed the Opry from Newry and now hopefully the people from Derry and the surrounding area will be able to come out to enjoy all the shows.“There’s a great line up of entertainment this year. Plenty of up and coming stars and plenty of familiar country stars that we’ve enjoyed through the years.”[Back Row, Left to right:]  Niamh Lynn, David McLaughlin -Chief Executive of Millennium Forum,Daniel O’Donnell, Cllr. Maolíosa McHugh – Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, GráinneGavigan.[Front Row: Left to Right:]  Ben Troy, John McNicholl & Shane Owens.Daniel O’Donnell delighted to present TG4 country music show was last modified: August 2nd, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:daniel o donnellOpry an Iúirlast_img read more

Adobe: Mobile Flash to Get Accelerometer, Multi-touch Support Early Next Year

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Related Posts Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said at a company event for analysts today that a full featured version of Flash for mobile phones will be available in beta by the end of this year and by early next year the technology will be making use of multi-touch and accelerometer features on smart phones.Ted Patrick, Adobe’s Senior Manager of Developer Communities, put it like this: “I think we will see Flash on different devices support the soul of the device in capabilities and APIs” – including GPS. That’s an exciting trajectory and more than we’ve heard before. Full Flash on phones by the end of this year is more or less on schedule, but the integration of these physical features certainly revs up the imagination.The company’s presentations were reported live on Twitter by multiple analysts present; the multi-touch and accelerometer integration forecast was first tweeted by Redmonk’s James Governor and then quickly passed around between attendees.“As Apple has shown,” Governor told us by phone, “the User Experience elements are really important – it’s not just how you draw screens. Adobe has understood this and will be offering APIs accordingly. What’s most important is that they support a new interaction model because that’s what developers want. Augmented reality apps, being more gestural about how you interact with applications – that’s a big deal.”Governor, whose analyst firm counts Adobe among its clients, says that things will get really interesting when the Flash developer tool Flash Builder (formerly known as Flex Builder) integrates mobile and mobile features like accelerometer and multi-touch into its development environment. That’s not currently on the public road map, but seems like the next logical step. “There’s all these really cool phones beyond the iPhone, like Nokia phones, that have APIs for things like accelerometers, but the functionality hasn’t been taken advantage of,” Governor said. “If Adobe can simplify access to this functionality for new interaction models then it can, through tools, democratize sophisticated development on these platforms.”We’ve had only initial contact about this with Adobe at press time but will update coverage if we get more information.While we tend to focus here on non-gaming mobile apps, it’s not hard to see that multi-touch, accelerometer and GPS use by Flash apps will probably have the biggest impact on games. The mobile Flash demonstrations shown today by Adobe were all on Android devices, still no world on Flash for the iPhone. (“It’s up to Apple,” was the line again today.) A bevy of beautiful, touchable, turnable, location-aware Flash apps on Android could create a pretty compelling competitor to the contents of the iPhone app store. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#mobile#news#NYT#web center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Report: Facebook Game Addicts “Paid” to Oppose Health Care Reform

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos marshall kirkpatrick The Apocalypse must be fast approaching, that’s the only explanation that can help me wrap my mind around this. A health insurance lobbying group is reportedly paying Facebook users in virtual, “in-game” currency to send a letter opposing health-care reform legislation to their Congressional representative. This according to the blog Business Insider today, in a report that’s frustratingly short on details but remains plausible.From BusinessInsiderThe ContextTechCrunch did an in-depth investigative series on the sleaziness of the in-game advertising industry this Fall. Market leader Zynga, maker of the home-wrecking game that turns Facebook users into zombified farmers of imaginary crops (Farmville), was the primary target of that report. Advertisers pay users in virtual goods, like fertilizer for their imaginary crops, for signing up for offers to purchase real goods for real cash (with a credit card). Other offers include market research surveys and apparently political action. The games are psychologically addictive, there’s an art to making an effective one, and so payment with in-game currency is very compelling.Zynga claimed that it was cleaning up its advertising market and that such virtual-goods-for-action offers never made up a substantial portion of its revenue, anyway. None the less, it’s not hard to imagine this same industry being used for nefarious political purposes. Not hard at all.The AccusationBusiness Insider cites the CEO of casual gaming startup OMGPOP, who didn’t name the game the health-care offers appeared in but blamed ad serving startup Gambit. Gambit says there’s no evidence they served up the offer and says they prohibit advertising on “hot political topics.” The report is an unusual bit of original investigation by Business Insider, which is a blog that does best at finding and excerpting at length from other peoples’ reporting around the web. Got that? An aggregation-heavy blog quotes a Flash game CEO blaming a casual game ad network (who denies it) for serving up in-game currency offers from a health-insurance front lobbying group to millions of people who spend their time doing things like watering crops that don’t really exist on Facebook to instead send letters to politicians opposing government reform of the health care system. That long sentence went from vacuous to real serious, there at the very end.We’re talking to people in the casual gaming advertising field and they say that something like this is very possible, though no one else has seen these ads. This may be nothing but rumor and speculation right now, or it may really be happening, but it’s not an implausible scenario at all. Update: We just heard from another casual gaming ad network that says it was approached with this ad and another calling people to oppose immigration reform late this Summer but declined to run the ads.The ConsequencesThere’s something very sci-fi about this though, isn’t there? Apparently some people look at Facebook’s 350 million users and see an army of minions that can be paid in other-worldly, ephemeral “cash” to do a benefactor’s bidding. Combine this with Facebook’s radical redrawing of its social contract with users today, changing the default setting on status messages from being private to being exposed to everyone online, and Facebook looks a little more dangerous than it did before.Facebook hasn’t yet responded to our request for comment on this story.Update: A Facebook spokesperson has responded to say: “We have not seen the ad in question or received any user complaints about the issue. We can’t comment on ads we have not seen, but we will take action against those that exploit political agendas for commercial use or receive significant negative user sentiment. We have clear policies (http://www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines/) in place to protect all users from inappropriate advertising content. In addition to our own enforcement actions, it is the responsibility of both developers and ad networks to make sure the content running in third-party applications is appropriate.”center_img Tags:#Analysis#Facebook#news#web Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

‘Transformed’ police stations in Odisha from October 2

first_imgWhen the nation celebrates the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, walking into any police station in Odisha may not evoke a sense of nervousness in the mind of the common man as officers won’t dare to ill-treat a complainant.As part of its much-talked about ‘Mo Sarkar [My government]’ programme, which would be rolled out from October 2, the Naveen Patnaik government on Saturday announced that the conduct of police officers towards complainants will be linked to their career progression.“Our officers and police stations exist for the citizens. It is our utmost duty to treat the citizens with dignity, whenever they visit police stations, deal with their complaints in a professional, ethical and humane manner,” he told policemen in all districts through videoconferencing.Saying a system was put in place to take feedback from complainants, the CM added: “We will follow up with the complainant, how he was treated at the station and how his complaint was dealt with. The phone number of every petitioner will be recorded and available to everyone in the system — from the CM to the SP.”“Starting from October 2, I will personally make 10 phone calls every day. Based on the feedback, there will be immediate action appreciating those who are doing good work and initiating action against those who are not,” he added.last_img read more