The core that has survived from Spain’s heyday contains Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, David Silva, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.Some of the energy and hunger missing in recent tournaments has been added by the likes of David de Gea, Koke, Isco, Thiago Alcantara and Alvaro Morata who plug the gaps left by Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Xabi Alonso.Morata’s stunning start to life at Chelsea has also eased a long-running void up front since David Villa and Fernando Torres were at their peak.Villa, now 35 and plying his trade with New York City in Major League Soccer, was even recalled to the squad for the demolition of Italy two months ago.Sometimes in the glory years Spain would line up without a recognised striker, and in this qualifying campaign the goals again flowed from a richly talented midfield.David Silva is now Spain’s fourth highest goalscorer of all-time with 11 in 15 matches, whilst Isco has netted six goals in his last nine caps.Spain may have to do it the hard way in Russia. Their seeding in pot two means the likes of Brazil, Germany or France could be waiting in the group stages.“We know we’ll get a big team for sure,” added Lopetegui. “All the seeded teams are dangerous.“We take what comes with confidence, believing in ourselves.”Without doubt a revitalised Spain will be the lower seeded side others most want to avoid on Friday.Share on: WhatsApp Spanish coach Julen LopeteguiMadrid, Spain | AFP | They may not be a top seed for Friday’s World Cup draw in Moscow, but the fresh blood added by coach Julen Lopetegui has put Spain back among the favourites for glory next July.Early exits at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 appeared to show the sun was setting on Spain’s most successful generation after three consecutive major tournament triumphs at Euros 2008 and 2012 either side of La Roja’s only ever World Cup title in South Africa in 2010.However, since succeeding Vicente del Bosque, Lopetegui has blended the experienced remnants of the World Cup winning side with a host of graduates from the under-21 team he led to a European title in 2013.The results have been spectacular. Sixteen games into his reign, Lopetegui has yet to taste defeat.Spain’s qualifying record of nine wins and a draw, scoring 36 goals and conceding just three, left Italy a distant second in Group G and on the brink of their World Cup abyss.Just over a year after being dumped out of Euro 2016 by the Azzurri, Spain thrashed Italy 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in September in a style reminiscent of the “tiki-taka” short-passing game that bamboozled opponents and won fans across the world between 2008 and 2012.“I believe that the best thing a coach has to do is optimise and make the most of the virtues of his players”, Lopetegui told Barcelona-based sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday.“I think that the best quality of Spanish players is their passing ability and individual technique. Logically, we have to take advantage of that.”Lopetegui said it would be a mistake to try to adopt the Italian “door-bolt” defensive system.“Spain can’t play catenaccio because that wouldn’t make the most of the quality of our players.”Spain’s selector Julien Lopetegui has published a list of 25 players who have been invited– Youth and experience –
“I really want you to remember that moment and hold on to it because that’s what’s going to power us to many more championships. Never let that energy drop… I tell you, that propels me.“These past six years have been epic and iconic. We are now legends. Just remember that. When you go home, when you look in the mirror, when you wake up, say ‘I’m a legend’. You’ve got to say that to yourself… ‘I’m a legend’.”By common consent, Hamilton has also become a legend of F1 with an error-free season providing the foundations for the team’s double success.Technical director James Allison pin-pointed him as the key factor in Mercedes’ victory in both championships after a fiercely-fought duel with rivals Ferrari.“You’ve got to say that Lewis this year has just made the difference for us,” he said. “He keeps putting it on pole. And whenever its wet, he’s always at the front. In the races, we can make mistakes and he’ll recover it by doing something unlikely on the track that no-one sees coming.“And he spends a whole year not making mistakes. He’s just the consummate racing driver.”Amid the celebrations, team chief Toto Wolff reminded of their need to avoid complacency and next season bid for an outright record sixth title double, moving them clear of Ferrari.“The job is going to get more difficult every year. We are setting the benchmark at the moment and our competition will get more energised and motivated by us…“All points start at zero next year. We will have forgotten about the five and will fight hard to be in contention for the sixth. Whether we achieve it or not, we will see next year.”Share on: WhatsApp Sao Paulo, Brazil | AFP | Lewis Hamilton hailed his Mercedes team as legends on Monday and described his championship-clinching victory in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix as the best moment in five triumphant seasons.His dramatic success confirmed Mercedes’ record-equalling fifth consecutive double of drivers’ and teams’ championships.It was his 10th victory this season, signalling that he has won 60 per cent of the team’s points, the 72nd of his career and his 50th in the 99 races held in the V6 turbo hybrid era since 2014.“It was an emotional afternoon,” he said.“And, I think, that might be the best moment I’ve had with this team… I’ve never seen the guys so happy.“We’ve been together a long time and the guys are usually happy, but reserved about it. So I was hoping that when I got back the guys could feel what I was feeling. I saw it and I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life.”The 33-year-old Briton, who plans to celebrate with the team back at their Brackley base on Tuesday, added: “It’s hard to contemplate what’s happened in these last six years. It’s been such an incredible journey and by no means has it been easy for anybody.“It’s just the greatest team effort that I can remember. It’s really awesome.”In a show of emotional gratitude in the garage after Sunday’s victory, he told the race team: “It’s an incredible honour to work with all of you… Seeing you guys after the race, seeing that energy that you guys all had, that happiness can fill a lifetime.
27 Jul 2012 England Golf seeks applicants for Under 16 Boys Regional Coaching England Golf is seeking 80 talented youngsters across the country to form ten under 16 Boys regional coaching squads for training over the winter months of 2012/13.Having recently identified ten regional coaches to lead its Boys’ regional coaching programme from September 2012, England’s governing body for amateur golf is now looking for young players to step up to the mark and get on the first rung of England Golf’s national coaching structure.“We aim to give our talented young players the best golf development experience available,” commented Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s Director of Coaching.“In return, we expect the players to commit themselves to a programme of golf coaching and physical training that will set them up for life, far beyond the U16 series of tournaments. By expanding our coaching commitment with this age group, we are giving England Golf the best chance of success at U18, men’s and ultimately touring professional level in future.”In a new development for 2012, players will no longer be nominated or selected for the Regional Coaching Programme. Instead, young golfers will be asked to submit an initial application form and if successful will be invited to one of five squad selection weekends.After competing with their peers in a series of skills tests, player profiling and on course ability they will learn if they have secured one of the squad places for the months ahead.“There is no guarantee that the current best U16 level players will automatically gain a squad place, they will have to work for it and demonstrate their desire,” expanded Edwards. “Current performance levels are a key factor but they will have to be matched and exceeded by work ethic, commitment and their attitude to improving. The player with more hunger and thirst for improvement is always likely to come out the more proficient golfer in the long run.”The deadline for applications is Friday 17th August 2012.
“The defense was horrible,” Cabrera said on the first day of full-squad workouts. In an assessment of himself, Cabrera said he merely was average last season, a far cry from the above-average ranking he typically gives himself. All the way around the infield, the Angels were substandard. It left them with the worst fielding percentage in the American League. As the captain of the infield at shortstop, Cabrera will be in the spotlight as the team looks for redemption on defense. Make no mistake, the poor defense is considered around these parts as just as much reason for failure last season as the shaky offense. “I believe this is a team that we have to have every single aspect of our game above average to maintain a winning attitude or a winning situation,” Cabrera said. “You know, our defense last year, we threw a lot of games (away). We need to improve that. We need to get back on track and play solid defense.” TEMPE, Ariz. – General manager Bill Stoneman is not happy with Jered Weaver’s off-season workout schedule, but is willing to chalk up the right-hander’s slow spring start to a learning experience. Weaver still has not thrown from a mound as he tends to biceps tendinitis. While additional defensive drills won’t necessarily be added to the spring routine, there still will be an emphasis on catching and throwing the ball. “After the first four weeks of the season, everyone picked up their defense, and it’s no coincidence that as we started playing better defense, we started winning games,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Hopefully we’ll start the season much closer to the team that ended the season defensively, if not better.” Cabrera said he got things going earlier than usual this winter by playing between 15 to 20 games of winter ball in his native Colombia. It gives him a head start as he comes into camp to learn new double-play partner in Howie Kendrick. “He’s pretty good at turning double plays and I’m pretty excited about playing the whole season with him.” Cabrera said. “I know I can learn a lot from him, as much as he can learn from me.” Dallas McPherson, a Phoenix-area resident, was on hand in the morning as the Angels gathered as a full team for the first time this spring. Four weeks removed from back surgery to fuse two lower vertebra, McPherson said he is walking two miles a day and about to increase that to three miles. He still is eight weeks away from any strenuous rehab, but remains encouraged for a full recovery. He is following the recovery plans of Dallas Cowboys tight end Anthony Fasano, among others, but still does not know if he will be able to get into any games this season. “If it happens to (cost) this whole season, so be it; I don’t have any options,” McPherson said. “I’ll try to get back as soon as I can. Luckily in this day and age, there’s a lot of ball after the season. There’s instructional league, there’s fall ball, there’s winter ball, there’s a lot of things I can do to get ready for spring training and try to get my timing back and make it a little better progression.” The Angels announced Amaury Pi-Gonzalez will assume the Spanish-language play-by-play duties and take over for Ivan Lara, who did not have his contract renewed. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “He probably should have done a little more than he did this winter to prepare for this,” said Stoneman, a former major-league pitcher. “You learn as you go, and he had never thrown as many innings as he threw this past year in major-league pressure situations. I’ve lived it and understand that doing work for six weeks leading into camp is important.” Orlando Cabrera, never one to mince words, gave his assessment of how the Angels used – or rather failed to use – their gloves in 2006.
9 December 2013 The gates of the FNB Stadium outside Soweto, Johannesburg will open at 6am on Tuesday, and those wishing to attend the memorial service for Nelson Mandela have been advised to use public transport as cars will not be allowed near the stadium on the day. Special bus and train services will be available to ferry people to the service, which begins at 11am. Entry to the service will be granted on a first come, first serve basis. Once the venue is full – the stadium has a capacity of 94 000 – people will be redirected to three other stadiums that will be broadcasting the event on giant screens: Ellis Park in Johannesburg, and Orlando Stadium and Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto. Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Monday on arrangements for this week’s period of national mourning, Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane said that people had to accept “that at some stage this capacity will be filled and police and other authorities will turn people away. “We call on people to cooperate and demonstrate patience and dignity if they were to be turned away,” Chabane said, urging members of the public to make use of the other viewing sites or to follow proceedings on the SABC’s live broadcasts. “Our advice is that people outside Gauteng come together in their own provinces to ensure that this is a truly nationwide event, and that people take advantage of the fact that all key events are being broadcast live.” International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told the briefing that a programme for the memorial service was being finalised, and would be presented to the Mandela family and government, and once signed off would immediately be posted on www.mandela.gov.za. Members of the public are urged to visit the site for updates on the memorial service, the funeral and the other events taking place during the week of national mourning.Lying in state Chabane noted that the body of former president Mandela would not be present at Tuesday’s memorial Service. Mandela’s body will be stationed at the amphitheatre at the Union Buildings daily from Wednesday, 11 October to Friday, 13 October. Chabane said that, on these three days, the body would leave Pretoria’s 1 Military Hospital at 7am and be on display from 8am. “On Wednesday, December 11, the Mandela family and VIPs will view the body from 10am. Members of the public will file past the body from midday to 5:30pm. On Thursday and Friday December 12 and 13, the public will have access to the casket from 8am to 5.30pm. “We also appeal to people to work with the various agencies of government who will manage this route so that this daily event will be dignified and secure.”Public viewing areas Chabane said 90 public viewing areas across the country would be activated from Tuesday and would continue to run until Reconciliation Day on 16 December. He said he expected this number to increase as provincial plans were consolidated. “Throughout this period, people will also be able to express their emotions and reflections in books of condolence that have been posted at various government offices around the country and our diplomatic missions abroad,” Chabane said. “On the Day of Reconciliation, we will unveil a statue of President Mandela at the Union Buildings and observe the 100th anniversary of the Union Buildings as the seat of government.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
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Hyderabad: In a suspected case of suicide, senior TDP leader and former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao died here on Monday, police said.Based on eye-witness accounts, Rao was suspected of having committed suicide, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Zone) A R Srinivas said without elaborating. Replying to questions, he, however, said it could be confirmed only after post-mortem. The 72-year old leader was last month slapped with a criminal case by the Andhra Pradesh police for alleged illegal possession of furniture of the assembly. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsHe is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter. Rao was rushed to the Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital in an ‘unresponsive’ state from his house here around 11 am, but died without responding to efforts to revive him, the DCP and the hospital said. “The family members are telling that he was under stress for the past few days, but the reasons for it are still not known,” the DCP said. The hospital in a release said Rao was brought at 11.35 am “in an unresponsive state”. As per protocol, resuscitative measures were initiated immediately.
CALGARY – A second coal-mining company in four months is being hit with a seven-figure penalty for polluting incidents that impacted fish in tributaries of the Athabasca River east of Jasper National Park in Alberta.On Tuesday, Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S) agreed to pay a fine of $1 million after pleading guilty in provincial court to three counts under the federal Fisheries Act.The Toronto-based company was charged five years ago due to incidents where wastewater considered toxic to fish was allowed to flow from its open pit Coal Valley Mine about 120 kilometres east of Jasper National Park into ecologically significant habitat for rainbow trout.In June, Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. — formerly known as Coal Valley Resources — was handed almost $4.5 million in federal and provincial penalties after it also pleaded guilty to polluting tributaries of the Athabasca River.Prairie Mines was charged after a catastrophic break in an earthen berm at its Obed Mountain coal mine about 50 kilometres east of the park allowed an estimated 670 million litres of wastewater to escape into the river system in October 2013.Environment and Climate Change Canada said Tuesday the Sherritt charges were laid following an inspection in August 2012 at the coal mine located about 90 kilometres south of the town of Edson.The company was ordered to stop its practice and the ministry subsequently discovered that two other discharges had occurred in 2011.The severity of the fine reflects the size of the offence as half a million litres of poorly treated effluent was estimated to have escaped into the environment, said Daniel Smith, regional director for environmental enforcement for Environment Canada in Edmonton.“In this case, in addition to the significant volumes deposited in the river, the toxicity level was quite high in the tests that we performed … (It) resulted in 100 per cent mortality in our lab samples,” he said.“These rivers and creeks in the foothills contain sensitive habitat for some protected species so it is quite an important watershed.”He said the Coal Valley Mine was treating collected surface water with a chemical to remove suspended fine sediment but it wasn’t properly monitoring the dosage, resulting in discharges that were just as toxic to fish.Sherritt investor relations director Joe Racanelli said the company installed new sediment control systems and initiated better management practices after the charges were laid.He said the company is taking responsibility even though it sold the coal mine in 2014.“We do not own the Coal Valley Mine but we were operators and owners at the time so we are responsible because there was a non-compliance issue. Sherritt takes these kinds of issues very seriously,” he said.He wouldn’t comment when asked if the amount of the fine was negotiated in return for the guilty plea.Most of the $1-million fine is to be assigned to Environment Canada’s environmental damages fund to be directed to programs intended to benefit the natural environment.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had the incorrect number of figures in the fines in the lede.
BAGHDAD – For more than three years after graduation, Karar Alaa Abdul-Wahid tried to get a stable job in the Iraqi government and in the private sector — to no avail.He once was offered a job with the Oil Ministry in his energy-rich hometown of Basra, but it came with a hefty price: he would have to pay a bribe of $5,000, which he couldn’t afford.“Every place has a copy of my resume attached with a request for job,” Abdul-Wahid, a graduate of the Basra Technical Institution, told The Associated Press by phone from the southern city.“If you are well-connected mainly among political parties and have money, you will get any job you dream of,” Abdul-Wahid said. “If not, you will get nothing.”Mismanagement since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein has increased joblessness nationwide. In more recent years, idle young men were lured into the ranks of militant extremists, and now unemployment is fueling violent protests in the capital of Baghdad and the Shiite heartland in the south.Demonstrations involving thousands of people broke out this month in Basra province, protesting the lack of jobs and poor public services, including frequent power outages.According to the World Bank, the overall unemployment rate in Iraq stands at 11.2 per cent and is nearly twice that, 21.6 per cent, in areas that once were under Islamic State control and endured heavy destruction from military operations that officially ended late last year.As of 2014, the poverty rate increased from 19.8 per cent in 2012 to an estimated 22.5 per cent, it added.In Basra, a city of more than 4 million, the unemployment rate shot up sharply to at least 30 per cent, according to deputy Gov. Dhirgham al-Ajwadi.Between 30,000 and 35,000 students graduate from the city’s private and government universities and institutions, and most of them end up without jobs, he said, blaming federal officials for not focusing on what the labour market needs.The Basra protests have spread to other cities and threatened to paralyze the oil industry, the lifeline of Iraq’s economy. They have derailed traffic at main ports on the Persian Gulf and neighbouring Iran and Kuwait.To contain the unrest, the federal government promised an urgent allocation of 3.5 trillion Iraqi dinars ($3 billion) for electricity and water projects, as well as 10,000 jobs.But the requests for jobs exceed that number, with more than 85,000 people applying so far, al-Ajwadi said. “Till now, there is no plan on how and when this will be implemented.”Unemployment has been one of the thorniest issues for the government, with 70 per cent of Iraqis under age 40 looking for work.The eldest of six children, the 26-year-old Abdul-Wahid has taken a series of unstable jobs since 2015 to help his family. But he recently got an idea he saw while surfing the internet: selling hot and iced drinks around the city from a vehicle.“I liked it because it’s something new and no one did it before in Basra,” he said.He borrowed money from relatives and friends to buy and modify a small car. Then approached a coffee-machine supplier, which helped him with a free machine and discounts on supplies.He now roams Basra’s streets, offering various types of coffee, tea and other hot and cold beverages. He makes around 900,000 Iraqi dinar (about $750) a month.Abdul-Wahid considers himself lucky, because his peers are forced to take menial jobs despite their education.“There are graduates who work as accountants in small business or construction workers or cleaners in hospitals or security guards in malls because they want feed their families,” he said. “The situation of youth in Basra is miserable.”He lamented that Basra is seen as “the mother of wealth” because it has about 70 per cent of Iraq’s proven oil reserves of 153.1 billion barrels, along with its ports.“When we think of all the wealth we have, we feel sad and upset. We deserve to live a better life, not only compared to other Iraqis but compared to the world,” he said.Iraq suffered a double shock in 2014, when militants from the Islamic State group swept through areas in the north and west and the price of oil plummeted on international markets. Oil revenues make up nearly 95 per cent of the federal budget.That forced the government to stop hiring and to divert much of its resources to the costly campaign to battle the militants, severely affecting job creation, the private sector and investor confidence. As a result, growth has been stunted, with poverty and unemployment on the rise.Among Iraq’s many unemployed is Ali Fadhil Kadhim, a 25-year-old graduate with a degree in science and physical education who has taken part in the Basra protests.Like others, he has applied for jobs but is not optimistic.“These promises are just anesthetization for the people and to keep them silent,” said Kadhim, who has worked as a security guard, construction worker and taxi driver. “We started a revolution and we will not give up.”___Follow Sinan Salaheddin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sinansm .
TORONTO — One of Canada’s largest distributors of vinyl records has shut down with little notice — leaving some retailers scrambling to find alternate suppliers and raising questions about higher prices.RPM Distribution, based in Concord, Ont., notified its clients by email on Monday that it would be “closing all operations effective immediately.”The move instantly put a stop to vinyl shipments for many smaller music shops, including Revolution Records in Hamilton.Owner Scott Bell says he’s relied on RPM to supply about 70 per cent of his new inventory, most which came from major label Universal, home of Bruce Springsteen, Imagine Dragons and an extensive hip hop catalogue.Other retailers leaned on RPM for an even larger chunk of their supply, Bell says, and some are worried about the fallout, which could include higher prices or a shortage of new titles.“I’ve not stopped talking about it,” he said of many calls he’s received from his friends in the retail industry.“Nobody knows. Everybody’s wondering what everybody else is doing.”Bryan Munn of Royal Cat Records in Guelph, Ont., says he first realized something was amiss when his post-Christmas restock order didn’t show up last week.“I’m already finding it a little bit difficult to get some regularly stocked items,” Munn says.He suggests customers keep a close eye on vinyl prices in the coming weeks, as the lack of supply drive them higher at some stores.The resurgence of vinyl has seen its share of casualties in recent years, despite the steady upswing in sales.Two years ago Calgary-based player Canada Boy Vinyl, one of the country’s only pressing plants, closed down little more than year after it opened.Despite the industry hurdles, vinyl sales rose over 21 per cent last year according to Nielsen Music Canada, selling more than 975,000 units. David Friend, The Canadian Press Follow @dfriend on Twitter.