Apollon’s Schembri feels Lazio clash will be their litmus test

first_imgBy Liam CarterEurope’s second most prestigious club competition, the Europa League, sees Limassol side Apollon take on Italian giants Lazio in Rome on Thursday night.Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Apollon forward Andre Schembri said that, “although we have been drawn in a difficult group facing teams with sky-high budgets, everything is possible in football. Last year we managed to get good results away from home against similar top-tier clubs.”Last season, Apollon were eliminated in the group stages after being drawn alongside Everton, Olympique Lyonnais and Atalanta. Lazio meanwhile reached the quarter finals.The Limassol club have won just one of their last six European away fixtures, although last year they did draw their first away game against Premier League side Everton.“Thursday’s match against Lazio will be a good indicator of how far we can progress in the competition,” added Maltese international Schembri.Apollo have reached the group stages of the competition after beating Lithuania’s Stumbras, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Željezničar, Dinamo Brest of Belarus and Swiss side Basel on away goals in the play-offs.Apollon have never progressed beyond the group stages, finishing third in their group in 2013/14 and fourth in both their 2014/15 and 2017/18 campaigns.last_img read more

Jamaican Nunes out front in production division

first_imgJamaica’s Christopher Nunes ended the first day as the top individual in the production division, as the locals rebounded after a poor start in that section on the opening day of the Pan American Handgun Championships at the Woodleigh Complex in Clarendon yesterday. Nunes ended the day with a score of 1645.0320, which places him ahead of Estonia’s Dmitri Udras (1507.5366), who was 91 per cent complete, and another Jamaican Paul Shoucair (1435.3298), who was 87 per cent complete. Veonie Campbell-Simpson (1202.3626) was seventh with 75 per cent completed. The other Jamaicans in the division, Richard Darin was 28th, Anthony Johnson was 29th, Michael Bradshaw 31st, Ekpedeme Otuokon 36th, and Sanjay Welsh 42nd. Jamaica’s production team captain, Ryan Bramwell, noted that they had a bad start but recovered to end the day strong. “The first day is always a nervy day. Everybody was a little nervous on the first stage, but we shot it solid. I had a little equipment issue to start with, but I got through and picked up at the end,” Bramwell said. “But we got through those first two stages solid and with six stages down, I think we are in a good standing. We are feeling much more confident,” he said. He added: “The US is strong, the Canadians are strong, and so are the Argentinians, but once we get solid performances from everybody, we will definitely challenge and get a good placing,” he added Over in the Open division, Jamaican ace, Lesgar ‘Speedy’ Murdock (505.0000), hold third spot with 35 per cent of stage completed. He ended the day behind Australia’s Joseph Sullivan (1413.3707), who completed 100 per cent and US’ Carol Moreland (1007.3028), who has done 71 per cent. Jamaica Howard Brown (372.9428) also sits 13th and Kevin Cheung (365.5394) 14th. In the Standard division, Richard Yap (483.2733) is the highest placed Jamaican at sixth. That section is led by Richard Oh (1603.6053) of Canada, followed by Juan Diaz (1447.1505) and Daniel AldeCosea (1172.2325) of Uruguay. The next best Jamaican in the division are Greg Henry (418.6718) at 15th and Paul Dixon (363.5887) at 20. In the Classic division, where Jamaica does not have a team, Richard McNamus of the US leads with 1467.7844, with Regenyi Kund (1337.8479) of Hungary in second and Roberto Gomes (535.0000) of Brazil in third. Jamaica’s Steve Sherman, competing as an individual, was placed 19th with a score of 145.0000, with nine per cent of stage completed. BAD STARTlast_img read more

Clueless…

…in businessThe Muckraker’s controllers have their buktas all in a knot over Exxon’s “business practices”. Your Eyewitness wonders why. They should have a talk with their owner about his “business practices” when he was “backtracking” bodies into the US. Did he cut those “poor, huddled masses” any slack when they couldn’t cough up their US,000 fee? Did he allow them to “negotiate”? Not in this lifetime! Those poor souls were thrown into the arms of Immigration if they lagged with their payments.Whether we like it or not, businesses are in the business of making profit, and their social responsibilities are limited to complying with the law of the land. Any charity they undertake is to build goodwill for their business. Any business that ignores these rules will collapse into the dust. If Exxon is engaged in “sharp practices”, it’s up to the government of the jurisdiction to have laws that control those practices, so their country isn’t screwed.And it’s for this reason this Eyewitness snickered so vigorously when he heard Trotman was going to negotiate the new Oil Production Contract with Exxon’s army of lawyers! We predicted they’d make mincemeat of him; and boy, did they ever!! Imagine this clueless poseur has the temerity to BOAST about accepting a 2% royalty on our oil production! Nowhere in the world is royalty lower than 10%!!Trotman was a wet-dream to the lawyers of Exxon. Negotiators who know they’re clueless about their remit have the presence of mind to hire expert advisers. But insecure fellas like Trotman, who can’t admit they’re groping in the dark, try to bluff their way through. Can Guyanese blame Exxon for taking Trotman (and Guyana) to the cleaners? Isn’t that what the Muckraker’s owner does when he hocks his exercise books to poor schoolchildren??In the case of governmental officials, however, businesses like Exxon have been around the block and some. They also have, as part of their negotiating kit, “incentives” for greasing the wheels — especially in the Third World. But this is where there’s the need for transparency in negotiations, when there’s such a disparity in the capabilities of the two sides.The IMF has again emphasised the need for transparency — even as the EITI body is in Guyana. But that call is prospective. Who’s going to reveal what went on behind closed doors for Exxon to get that ridiculous (from Guyana’s perspective) 2% royalty? As your Eyewitness has insisted since last year, oil has peaked at US/barrel, and the “profits” at this price are tenuous at best, after Exxon amortises its exploration costs and adds it to production costs.That 50% “profits” is pure “kak”!…on integrityIn his new column (because he’s been reduced to running Government media) PM Nagamootoo pontificated on “Integrity” and the “Integrity Commission”. Well, they do say the best thieves make the best policemen! But that is only if they’ve turned over a new leaf! And from his effusions, it’s clear that Nagamootoo hasn’t been turning any leaves!Nagamootoo explained how Bishop George was the head of the Integrity Commission since 1997, and he (Nagamootoo) duly complied with filing his declaration of assets since that time until 2014. He stopped filing then, because he then discovered that the Commission was “headless” and “bodiless”. Didn’t he know Bishop George had passed away in 2006? Was he on a mountain top in front of a burning bush?But what he’s doing, of course, is providing cover for his new PNC cohorts, who’d never filed — even when Bishop George was the head and the full body was operational. Such “integrity”!!When the PNC non-compliants are jailed, Nagamootoo should join them, because of that “integrity”!…or devious?If search warrants are granted when “it is believed matters of evidential value were used or are intended to be used in the commission of a crime”, why was one needed, since Nandall declared he had the disputed (evidentiary) law books?? read more

Accepting refugees

first_imgDear Editor,Our benign President David Granger, in his noble address recently to the United Nations Assembly, on the matter of the current migrant crisis, noted that the situation “if left unattended or unresolved, can escalate into regional and even global crises, which can threaten the existence of larger numbers of persons in wider areas, even beyond their country’s borders.”Most of us in Guyana today are descendant of migrants who were brought from Africa or India or China and even Portugal in challenging times and conditions to work for the British who had conquered and colonised this land from our indigenous Amerindians.Some of us are even third generation migrants.Guyana currently has less than one million inhabitants in its eighty-three thousand square-mile; could it not accept an acceptable amount of those suffering humanity and demonstrate its good sense of magnanimity to a suffering humanity and the rest of the world?I bet we can! So let’s do it!Yours faithfully,Rooplall Dudhnathlast_img read more

Ruimveldt man busted with cocaine pellets in stomach

first_imgA 26-year-old chef of East Ruimveldt, Georgetown was on Sunday morning intercepted at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) after he admitted that he had swallowed cocaine pellets. The cocaine mule was about to board a Caribbean Airlines flight to The Bahamas.Police have since confirmed that the suspect had been on their radar for quite some time and upon seeing him at the CJIA, members of the Police Narcotics Branch confronted and interrogated him. During the interrogation, he admitted that he had swallowed cocaine pellets.He was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital and an X-ray was done which confirmed his confession. He has since excreted 52 pellets, which amounted to 554 grams of cocaine. He remains a patient under guard at the medical institution. He is expected to be charged once he excretes all of the pellets.last_img read more

Hart set to leave Manchester City

first_img0Shares0000Hart was benched for City’s opening game of the season at Sunderland.PHOTO/courtesyLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 17 – England keeper Joe Hart looks set to leave Manchester City this summer, according to  sources.Hart was overlooked by boss Pep Guardiola for the 2-1 Premier League win at Sunderland last Saturday, prompting a fresh wave of speculation that his City future hangs in the balance. City are thought to have all but agreed a deal to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and Sky Sports News HQ reporter Vinny O’Connor says Hart’s days in Manchester look to be numbered.“We understand Joe Hart is going to assess his options that are open to him over the next couple of weeks,” he said ahead of City’s Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest in Romania.“There is reported interest from Sevilla in Spain but I think the preferred option would be to remain in the Premier League, and to that end, Everton could possibly be an option.“Certainly, Everton are looking to bolster their goalkeeping ranks further following the acquisition of Maarten Stekelenburg, who made a decent debut against Spurs at the weekend, but Everton are looking for an established number one and [would be] interested in someone of the calibre of Joe Hart.“But to add to that it is my understanding that there has been no formal contact between the two parties in that respect. It’s a little more than two years since he signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2019 but it seems his time at City is coming to a premature end.”Hart has spent more than a decade at City after joining the club from hometown side Shrewsbury in 2006. The 29-year-old has made 347 appearances for City, conceding 347 goals.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

For the record

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A headline Wednesday said attorney Pierce O’Donnell had belittled a city ethics fine. In fact, what O’Donnell said was that his firm wouldn’t be harmed by city sanctions.last_img read more

Tottenham look certain to miss out on Keita Balde Diao

first_img Keita Balde Diao is on his way out of Lazio Inter Milan are close to completing the signing of Tottenham target Keita Balde Diao.The Lazio star’s future has been the subject of speculation all summer, with suggestions a move to the Premier League could be in the offing.However, both Juventus and Inter Milan have made most progress over a deal and it appears the San Siro giants are edging closer to completing the transfer.According to Calciomercato, Inter are set to sign the forward on a two-year loan with an option to buy included within the deal.Balde was hoping to join Juventus but the Old Lady were unable to agree terms with Lazio earlier this summer and have since begun pursuing other targets.The Senegal international also snubbed interest from West Ham and now it looks as if Spurs are next to miss out, with Inter adding the finishing touches to the deal. 1last_img read more

Judge: Cigarette makers ‘lied, misrepresented and deceived’

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Kessler, who presided over the nonjury trial in the case, said that adoption of a national stop-smoking program, as sought by the government, “would unquestionably serve the public interest” but that she was barred by an appeals court ruling that said remedies must be forward-looking and not penalties for past actions. The government had asked the judge to make the companies pay $10 billion for smoking cessation programs, though the Justice Department’s own expert said $130 billion was needed. That reduction in recommended remedies led to accusations that Robert McCallum, an associate attorney general appointed by President George W. Bush, had tried to weaken the case. An internal Justice Department investigation cleared him of wrongdoing, however, saying he was supporting a figure he thought could be sustained on appeal. McCallum is now U.S. ambassador to Australia. Kessler’s decision came nearly a decade after the states reached legal settlements with the industry worth $246 billion and aimed at recovering health care costs. Those settlements imposed some restrictions on the industry, such as banning ads on billboards and public transportation. In the federal case, tobacco companies had denied committing fraud and had said changes in how cigarettes are sold now make it impossible for them to act fraudulently in the future. WASHINGTON – A federal judge ruled Thursday that the nation’s top cigarette makers violated racketeering laws, deceiving the public for years about the health hazards of smoking, but said she couldn’t order them to pay the billions of dollars the government had sought. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler did order the companies to publish in newspapers and on their Web sites “corrective statements” on the adverse health effects and addictiveness of smoking and nicotine. She also ordered tobacco companies to stop labeling cigarettes as “low tar,” “light,” “ultra light” or “mild,” since such cigarettes have been found to be no safer than others because of how people smoke them. In her ruling in the long-running case, the judge said, “Over the course of more than 50 years, defendants lied, misrepresented and deceived the American public, including smokers and the young people they avidly sought as `replacement smokers,’ about the devastating health effects of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke).” In addition to saying she could not force the companies to pay for a quit-smoking program, Kessler rejected a government bid to impose fines on the industry if youth-smoking rates fail to drop in the coming years. Mark Smith, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said company officials were “gratified that the court did not award unjustified and extraordinarily expensive monetary penalties.” At the same time, Smith said, the company was disappointed by Kessler’s finding that the companies had conspired to violate federal law and deceive consumers. The Justice Department, which filed the lawsuit, expressed disappointment in Kessler’s decision not to impose financial penalties against cigarette makers. “Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the remedies that were imposed by the court can have a significant, positive impact on the health of the American public,” the department said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

War games anticipated problems in Iraq

first_imgWASHINGTON – The U.S. government conducted a series of secret war games in 1999 that anticipated an invasion of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, and even then chaos might ensue. In its “Desert Crossing” games, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence officials assumed the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs. The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by the George Washington University’s National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library. “The conventional wisdom is the U.S. mistake in Iraq was not enough troops,” said Thomas Blanton, the archive’s director. “But the Desert Crossing war game in 1999 suggests we would have ended up with a failed state even with 400,000 troops on the ground.” “Iran’s anti-Americanism could be enflamed by a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq,” the briefings read. “The influx of U.S. and other western forces into Iraq would exacerbate worries in Tehran, as would the installation of a pro-western government in Baghdad.” “The debate on post-Saddam Iraq also reveals the paucity of information about the potential and capabilities of the external Iraqi opposition groups. The lack of intelligence concerning their roles hampers U.S. policy development.” “Also, some participants believe that no Arab government will welcome the kind of lengthy U.S. presence that would be required to install and sustain a democratic government.” “A long-term, large-scale military intervention may be at odds with many coalition partners.” 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 MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’There are currently about 144,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, down from a peak of about 160,000 in January. A spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, which sponsored the seminar and declassified the secret report in 2004, declined to comment Saturday because she was not familiar with the documents. The war games looked at “worst case” and “most likely” scenarios after a war that removed then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power. Some are similar to what actually occurred after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003: “A change in regimes does not guarantee stability,” the 1999 seminar briefings said. “A number of factors including aggressive neighbors, fragmentation along religious and/or ethnic lines, and chaos created by rival forces bidding for power could adversely affect regional stability.” “Even when civil order is restored and borders are secured, the replacement regime could be problematic – especially if perceived as weak, a puppet, or out-of-step with prevailing regional governments.” last_img read more