ANDY Murray was knocked out of the US Open at the hands of Kei Nishikori in an enthralling quarter-final match at Flushing Meadows yesterday.The Japanese, who lost out to Murray in the Olympic semi-finals last month, recovered from a worrying start to come away with a 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory.After struggling to cope with Murray’s strong returning in the opening set, Nishikori battled back after a rain delay to stun the world number two.The result marks just a second victory for the 2014 finalist over Murray in nine attempts.A long backhand from Nishikori earned Murray his first break to go 3-1 up, and the Briton’s vicious return of serve saw him power to a swift first-set victory.Murray’s dominance of the opening set faded in the second and, although he made the first break, Nishikori immediately pegged him back in a pattern that would later become a recurring theme.After a pause for the roof to be closed, Nishikori levelled matters as Murray found the net following a long rally.Nishikori appeared to have the crowd on his side against a visibly frustrated Murray.The Japanese twice came up with an immediate response to Murray during a tight third set, but the Olympic champion made a third gain stick and held serve to go back in front.Having started with a dominant 6-1 victory, Murray’s match was flipped on its head when Nishikori claimed the fourth by the same scoreline as part of a seven-game winning run.Murray finally stemmed the tide by holding serve to pull back to 2-1 in the decider and he converted a second break point to pull level.It proved to be brief respite for Murray, though, as Nishikori fired a winner down the left to regain the advantage, but a match of twists and turns had another twist – and turn – to come.Murray’s break to level at 4-4 had the feel of a moment that could shift the momentum in his favour, yet Nishikori – chasing just a second grand slam semi-final appearance – would come again.A double fault from Murray handed Nishikori a break point that was duly converted to the fury of the Wimbledon champion, and the 26-year-old held serve to wrap up a memorable win.Nishikori will face Juan Martin del Potro or Stan Wawrinka for a place in the final.
:10—I still find no humor in young children being abused and certainly a lot still remains to be seen regarding the allegations against former Syracuse Assistant Basketball Coach Bernie Fine who was fired on Monday. Clearly where there’s smoke there’s fire! And when your wife says she knew something was up … well let’s just say it doesn’t look good for ya!! Hold up, wait a minute … then you find out your old lady was getting busy with your hook-up too. It’s ugly and it’s nasty, just nasty!:09—You know I turn my column in every week before kick-off and I usually hit it on the head. So this you can take to the bank … Steelers handle the Chiefs big time, 21-10. Take it to the bank I said and deposit it!:08—C’mon Indy Colts, Payton Manning can’t be that valuable and Lord knows he doesn’t play defense. Win a game will ya!:07—Old School Fellas do yourselves a favor and dig up or tune in to a great cowboy shoot-em up classic. “Rio Bravo” still holds up as one of the all time greats. But for right now here’s your movie review for the week. Go see Tower Heist starring Eddie Murphy. It’s a good movie, you’ll like it. I give it 3 basketballs:06—John Elway you sold out your starting quarterback Tim Tebow. Shut up mmaaannn! You got nerve, it took you 40 years to win a title and you had great teams around you. But you want Tebow to do it overnight. C’mon man!:05—Hats off to Clairton High School. They win another WPIAL football title and go undefeated in the process. Clairton ain’t lost a game since 1920 or something. “Go Bears!!!” and congratulations to North Allegheny, Montour and Kevin Cameron’s Aliquippa squad for advancing upstate.:04—By the way, in case you didn’t hear the Champions Enterprises team fed 80 plus senior citizens for Thanksgiving this past week over at the Gable Ridge Homes in Wilkinsburg. Here’s a turkey leg to the management, Rev. Rocky Topek and family, Dennis Briggs and family, and Team Champion for a job well done and keeping the memory of the Late Great Rev. Bishop Councilman Duane A. Darkins alive. “WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!”:03—Speaking of food, and I was … pay attention you new Penn Hills residents … (oops, sorry my bad!) when’s the last time you had a “Dirty O” … Original’s hot dog down in Oakland? Man they still hit the spot. Go do it … go ahead do it … and remember how good it was back in the day!:02—Don’t ask me why. I just don’t like Green Bay and I can’t stand Aaron Rogers. They’re just too cocky for me. (Yea like the Steelers ain’t.) Anyway I hope they get beat, I hope they don’t go undefeated and I hope we see them again! I am just saying … you know we gave them that Super Bowl!!:01—If you don’t have “RED GEAR” now for the Champions First Friday—Christmas Par-Tay / Red Par-Tay you might be out of luck. People are calling me asking me where they can get their red hook-up. I don’t know mmmaaannn!!! But I know this. The First Big Holiday Par-Tay is on. Friday, Dec. 2—The Club in Monroeville—$10 at the door donation benefits Toys for Tots aka Toys for Champions—Everybody’s wearing red—Prizes for Best Dressed Single & Couple—Vendors in the house with Christmas gifts you can buy—cash bar—cash kitchen—free parking—Special guest The Pittsburgh Cheyney University Alumni Chapter, if you went there, be there! (Call Tammy Maltby for information 412-378-6009) and very special guest basketball legend B.B. Flenory. (That’s right I said legend. You try scoring 81 points in a game!)“DOUBLE OVERTIME”:00—It’s here and if you don’t have a ticket now you may not get one. The 36th Annual Willie Pops Stargell MVP Awards Banquet—Monday, Dec. 5—LeMont Restaurant Mt. Washington—$65 covers everything. Special guest KDKA’s Kimberly Gill—Guest speaker Rich Fitzgerald, new Allegheny County Executive—Keynote speaker Chuck Sanders—The Fabulous Diamond Models—And honoring the great Sam Clancy, J.R. Holden, Reggie Mitchell, Clarence Hopson, Ashley Battle and others—Call The Champions for information 412-628-4856.~ Game Over ~
It’s no secret that last season was deemed by many as a failure. An 8-8 finish in a year that had lofty expectations was a major disappointment for the players, coaches, ownership and of course the fans. There are many reasons the team underachieved in 2012; one of those reasons was a lack of leadership. Inside the locker room the team will have you believe that wasn’t the case but it’s hard to say otherwise. The Steelers started off strong and basically fell apart once Ben Roethlisberger was injured. A team with quality leadership wouldn’t allow that to happen. While the players returning to the team last year won’t flat out say they lacked leadership, they have all admitted in their own round about ways that there needs to be a change in the locker room; more of a team first attitude. The big question is who amongst the players can lead his teammates into battle? Who has the presence, ability and respect in the locker room to do so? The answer in the past was obvious, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Joey Porter. As this team transitions from old to young, the answer isn’t as blatant. My first candidate for captain and leader is the easiest of all the picks, it’s Big Ben Roethlisberger. He’s the franchise quarterback and the guy that most players will automatically look to first. He’s the best player on this team and can lead by example on the field and resource his vast experience of winning big games off of it when he’s working with and talking to the younger guys. Roethlisberger has matured vastly over the past few years and it’s now time for him to take this team on his back and lead them as far as he can. He knows he has to do this and I believe he can. Sticking with the offensive side of the ball; Maurkice Pouncey seems like another great candidate to lead the guys on the offensive side of the ball. As the Center, he works with just about every unit and player on offense. He’s a hard worker, perennial pro bowler and a guy who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. To me, he’s the perfect guy to teach the guys on the offensive line, both young and old as well as take the running backs under his wing too. As a guy who is down in the trenches on a down by down basis, he has a lot of respect inside that locker room and if he can step up and take on the responsibility of being a leader, it will help this team go a long way.On the defensive side of the ball my first pick to lead the guys is Brett Keisel. He’s a man who’s played for many years with great success. He’s acknowledged that he may be retiring after this season and it’s a good bet he’d like to add one more ring to his hardware. Being the long term veteran on a relatively young defensive line, it only makes sense for him to lead the group. He can still play well and put up some very impressive statistics and much like Big Ben, he can resource his experience in winning the big games to help tutor the youth that’s surrounding him. Lastly another grizzled veteran; Larry Foote. Foote put up one of the best years he’s ever had in 2012 and he too can lead on the field with his play as well as off with his experience. Foote has a lot of respect in the locker room and is a guy that won’t let things get out of hand if a guy or two starts to become individually focuses vs. looking at the teams’ long term aspirations. Look for Foote to step up and quite frankly he may be the best leader this team has by the time the season rolls around.Leaders however are not picked by me, you or even the coaches. Leaders step up on their own and other players begin to gravitate towards them. If the 2013 version of the Steelers has any of the four above players step up as leaders, they’ll be well on their way. If it’s not these guys, it will need to be another set of guys or else this team will find itself right where they were in 2012, disappointed, frustrated and looking for answers.Editor’s Note: Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com – Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, poses for photographers, backdropped by the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in central London, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Pittsburgh Steelers will play against the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium in London, on Sunday Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Nagpur: When the gram sabhas (villages bodies) in Maoist insurgency-hit Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra decided to contest the recently concluded zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections, many of their candidates were in jail or facing court cases.Those, who were not in jail or facing court cases, were facing hostility at the hands of police, and were being labeled as “Maoist sympathisers.”However, six out of 20 candidates fielded by the gram sabhas managed to win these local body elections.Tribal activist Sainu Gota and Lalasu Narote got elected to Gadchiroli Zila Parishad, while Sainu Gota’s wife Sheela Gota and three other tribal candidates made their way into panchayat samities.Poll plankThe poll plank of the gram sabhas was opposition to the proposed mining projects in the district. Many candidates fielded by the civic bodies were activists leading the anti-mining protests in the district.A statement issued by gram sabhas and gotul samities in Surjagad, Bhamaragad and other villages in Gadchiroli read, “Despite the opposition by the local people, the government is pushing mining projects in our area. Many gram sabhas have already passed resolutions against these projects and submitted it to the district administration. But the government wants to carry out mining activities in our area.”It added, “Our candidates had to face a lot of hostility and harassment in the last few weeks. Three of our candidates were in jail for over 15 days. He added that their win “against all odds” suggest that they are “the real representatives of the people.”Released on bailMr. Gota and his wife were arrested by police when they took two tribal women from Chhattisgarh to a lawyer in Nagpur, claiming that the girls were raped by policemen. However, at a hearing before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, the girls denied the claim, which resulted in backlash by the police against Mr. Gota and his wife.Lalasu Narote, who won from the Maoist-affected Nelgonda area of the district (bordering Maoists’ bastion Abujhmad), said, “Mr. Gota and his wife were released on bail a day before the campaigning was about to end. They had just one day for campaigning, but the people and workers were not even ready to talk them fearing police backlash. The people were not even ready to come near their house in Jambia Gatta village. But the couple won by a margin of more than 500 votes.”He added, “This suggests that people clearly supported Sainu and his wife but could not speak out due to the pressure from the authorities. This shows the ground situation in the district; the local people can not speak their mind freely.”Mr. Sainu and his wife could not be contacted for their comments as the village they live in has poor phone network connectivity.‘Maoist sympathisers’Mr. Narote, one of the very few tribal lawyers from Gadchiroli, lives in Hemalkasa village in Bhamaragad division. He has also faced allegations of being a “Maoist sympathiser.”Mr. Narote said, “The police have raided my house twice but they found nothing objectionable. The authorities call us Maoist sympathisers, but how can Maoist sympathisers get elected by such big margins in elections where the ballot is a secret? He added, “The fact is, every dissenting voice in the district is being termed as a Maoist sympathiser. This is a misconception by the police about everyone opposed to mining in the district. It’s wrong. The local people know who and what we are and that’s why they have elected us to raise their voice in zila parishad and panchayat samities.”Mr. Narote also said activists, until now, were taking out rallies and protests, they can take up their issues in the civic bodies. “We can also raise the issues of illegal arrests and detentions of local tribals in the name of counter-insurgency [operations] in the district.” Sweet successAfter tasting success in the civic polls, the gram sabhas are planning to contest the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, which are two-and-a-half year away.Mr. Narote said, “The gram sabhas will decide about [Assembly and Lok Sabha elections]. This victory has also shown that we are democracy-loving people.”Mr. Narote preferred to stay in his village, despite a professional degree.He told The Hindu, “People and police ask me why I am staying in the village, despite being educated. But you need educated people here, who can stay on the ground and raise the voice of local tribals because they don’t even know their basic rights.”
Sheltered beneath a canvas sheet to escape the blistering desert sun, miles from any roads or power lines, a group of Indian children huddle around a tablet and experience the internet for the very first time.The remote wi-fi connection is powered by a van bringing the digital world to around 10,000 families living on the inhospitable salt flats of western Gujarat state, where they work eight months a year in extreme conditions.The salt desert known as the Little Rann of Kutch, is roughly 180 km (110 miles) from state capital Ahmedabad.The workers mining the land for salt live without electricity and other amenities while their children attend school in mud huts or tin sheds where they lack even the most basic learning supplies.Bringing the web to this isolated region is no small feat, with communities scattered over thousands of square kilometres.The crew from NGO Agariya Heethrakshak Manch, one of the stakeholders in the project, first erected a powerful digital tower on the outskirts of the desert capable of sending a signal up to 60 km away.Then they fixed an antenna to the top of their van and hit the road armed with laptops, tablets and printers.They visit each of the region’s 14 makeshift schools approximately once per week, teaching the students how to use technology to access the internet and learn digital skills.The students are eager to learn, crowding around to watch online videos about maths and science.“The internet and these tablets have made learning much more fun and engaging for all the children. They now have so much to learn and explore,” Pankti Jog of Agariya Heethrakshak Manch told AFP.The youngsters are not the only ones discovering the joys of the web. This mobile service has also helped their parents — migrants who make the annual journey to the salt plains for work — access government welfare schemes online, Ms. Jog said.The crew hopes to increase the frequency of school visits to once every three days once they get more vans.Currently their single van speeds between three schools a day, spending about two hours at each, Ms. Jog said.“We have connected around 800 students to internet and digital learning in this remote region”, she said.
Manchester United’s decision to invest £52.5 million ($67m) in Fred has drawn support from Premier League rivals at Tottenham, with Lucas Moura considering a fellow Brazilian to be a “very, very good player”.The Red Devils were unable to bring as many fresh faces onto their books over the summer as they would have liked, but they did get one big-money deal pushed through.Fred’s services were acquired from Shakhtar Donetsk, with United seeing off interest from reigning English champions Manchester City to land the 25-year-old midfielder. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The South American has adapted quickly to new surroundings and is being backed to flourish under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.He will be hoping to impress again on his next outing against Spurs on Monday, with countryman Lucas talking up the threat he will pose Mauricio Pochettino’s side at Old Trafford when telling his club’s official website: “It’s very good to have another Brazilian in the Premier League and in a strong team like Manchester United.“Fred is a very, very good player, he’s young and he has a big future both in the Premier League and in the national team.“He has a lot of quality. When he gets forward from midfield, he can shoot with both feet and he is quick and intelligent.“I think he can be a very good player for United and I’m happy that he’s here in the Premier League, but I hope we win against him this time!”Another Spurs star fully aware of the ability Fred possesses is right-back Serge Aurier, with the Frenchman having previously locked horns with the Brazilian in the Champions League.He added: “Fred is a very good player.“He likes to play freely with the ball, he likes to run and he moves well from box to box.“I remember when I played against him when he was at Shakhtar Donetsk and I was at PSG, he played well but he was only young then.“Now he has got much more experience, he’s been to the World Cup.“He signed with Manchester United in the summer and, for me, that was a good decision by United. He’s good defensively and it’s a big, big test when you’re against him but we also have very good players and we will be trying to play our game and get the three points.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Keane and Carragher clash over Liverpool’s title failureby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Roy Keane has enjoyed a dig at Jamie Carragher over Liverpool’s title failure.Keane and Carragher were both in the Sky Sports studio analysing Manchester United’s latest defeat to West Ham in the Premier League. “I was in this position at Liverpool where you are trying to catch teams,” he said.”Sometimes you just need that two or three players who can transform them. I think of Luis Suarez coming to Liverpool.”For three or four years we were finishing sixth and seventh, where United are and then almost won the title.”Sometimes that one player can make all the difference.”But Keane hit back with his own response and suggested finishing runners-up would never be enough for United.”Jamie, you said almost winning the title. You didn’t win a title. You are talking about Manchester United here,” Keane said.Carragher responded by saying it would help United ‘bridge the gap’ but Keane snapped back: “But Liverpool are still trying to bridge that gap.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Sergio Ramos hails Real Madrid ‘hunger’ for victory at Sevillaby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSergio Ramos hailed Real Madrid’s “hunger” for victory at Sevilla.Karim Benzema scored the only goal of the game as Zinedine Zidane’s side bounced back from their 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.”We knew how difficult the game was going to be as it’s been years since we won here,” Ramos told Movistar+ at full time.”We came with a very strong mentality and with the intention of making as few mistakes as possible.”Even though Sevilla had possession, we always knew we’d have little of the ball and when we did have it we took advantage of it.”We achieved the objective and we stayed calm this week, after everything that was said.”Real Madrid are always hungry to win.”The team is always very optimistic.”The team is improving.”This is very long, we’ve drawn level with Athletic Club in the table and we have to keep trying to improve as a team and especially to take chances like we did today.”
ESPN’s pre-season Football Power Index (FPI), defined as “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season” has debuted. The rankings are compiled based off the results of 10,000 simulations. One of the categories you can rank teams in order of is remaining strength of schedule. Since the 2015 season hasn’t begun, the FPI strength of schedule rankings represent which teams have the toughest slates this year. Alabama tops the FPI strength of schedule rankings, and the top 20 is not surprisingly SEC-heavy. Twelve of the 20 programs are members of the SEC. ESPN SOS RankingThe full FPI rankings are available here.
zoom Japanese Sojitz Corporation has acquired Spanish First State Regasificadora (FSR), changing the company’s name to Sojitz Regasificadora (SR).SR owns a 15% stake in Regasificadora del Noroeste (Reganosa), whose assets include the LNG terminal located in Mugardos in the northwest of Spain. With this move, Sojitz is making its entry into the LNG terminal business in Europe.Reganosa commenced operations at the Mugardos LNG Terminal in 2007. LNG delivered to the Mugardos LNG Terminal is not only supplied to the domestic market in Spain but also reloaded and delivered to Asia as well as other parts of the world. Reganosa also has plans to use the terminal as an LNG bunkering station for ships using LNG as marine fuel, Sojitz explained.“Sojitz will contribute its LNG expertise and other businesses experience … to support the further development of the Mugardos LNG Terminal,” the company said in a statement.Involved in LNG business in Japan, Sojitz also has investments in Indonesia and Qatar.“Sojitz will continue to develop its global LNG business with a focus on LNG receiving and liquefaction terminals, and will look at expanding its LNG receiving terminal business into ASEAN and other countries in South Asia, and to also develop its LNG liquefaction business to help create a stable energy supply for Japan,” the company added.