CONFIRMED! Watford sign Roma defender Jose Holebas

first_imgWatford have confirmed the signing of Greece international defender Jose Holebas.The 31-year-old has left Serie A runners-up Roma and signed a three-year deal with the Hornets.Watford confirmed the news on Thursday night in a tweet which read: “Greece international defender Jose Holebas signs a 3-yr deal with #watfordfc after joining from Italy Serie A runners-up AS Roma.”The arrival of Germany-born Holebas came on the same day former Manchester United defender Craig Cathcart signed a new contract at Vicarage Road.Watford, under new head coach Quique Sanchez Flores, had been busy during the close-season – even before Thursday’s activity.Matej Vydra has turned his loan move from Italian side Udinese into a permanent deal and Gabriele Angella has penned a new five-year deal. New Watford defender Jose Holebas 1last_img read more

QPR 3-3 Burnley: Highlights of the action-packed draw at Loftus Road

first_imgPromotion rivals QPR and Burnley played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Loftus Road, where Modibo Maiga’s late equaliser kept Rangers in the top two.See also:QPR and Burnley draw in six-goal thrillerQPR wait for news on Phillips ankle injuryQPR v Burnley player ratings Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Inside Glenn Robinson III’s frustrating ride to the Warriors

first_imgOne of the newest Warriors, Glenn Robinson III, takes an Uber to work because he has yet to ship his Porsche Panamera to his San Francisco apartment. He was on his way to Chase Center for the Warriors’ second game of the preseason, and the Uber driver didn’t recognize him.Then came his highlight of the preseason. Early in the first quarter, Robinson bothered a layup attempt by Timberwolves wing Andrew Wiggins, his hand almost a foot over the basket when he deflected the shot. Robinson landed, …last_img read more

Free online courses for environmental science

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Anyone with access to the Internet, any time, anywhere, can take a series of free online introductory courses in environmental science at The Ohio State University.Three new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are available for anyone interested in learning more about Earth’s environment and sustainability. The courses are part of the Introduction to Environmental Science series offered by the Canvas Network.The first course in the series, Earth’s Environment: Soil, Water, and Air, introduces students to environmental science, environmental literacy and the scientific process.The series’ second course, Energy and Earth: Fossil Fuels, Alternative, and Renewable Energy, explores human energy production and use and their impact on the environment, human health and Earth’s ecosystems.The third course, Life on Earth: Biomes, Climates, Ecology, and Evolution, looks at the vast diversity of life on Earth.Brian Lower, associate professor in Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), leads the courses’ team of instructors. SENR is part of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).The new series is being made available to students across the globe at no charge through Canvas, which, according to its website, works “to promote openness and innovation in education.” It does that by assimilating courses from colleges, universities and organizations to create open-access educational experiences.“These courses have the potential to reach a variety of learners, and we hope that the material helps students reach their educational or career goals,” Lower said.Designers from Ohio State’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning (ODEE) helped develop the new series. ODEE has collaborated with SENR over the past three years to develop several online courses for Ohio State undergraduate students, including Sustainability Metrics; Introduction to Rural Sociology; Introduction to Environmental Science; and Introduction to Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife.Anyone from across the globe can easily enroll in the series once they create a Canvas.net account, said Ella Weaver, one of the courses’ instructors and an instructional aides associate who works to support SENR’s eLearning initiatives.“By enrolling, students are able to connect to open content in an online platform at their leisure,” Weaver said. “Each course offered is free and self-paced, so students have access to all the course material and resources on a continuous basis and don’t have to worry about cost or time constraints.”Offering the course content as a series allows greater flexibility for the diverse needs of students, Weaver said. Students can opt to enroll in the full series or simply enroll in an individual course in the series that aligns more with their interests or goals.“We recommend spending three hours per week if students are going to be active participants in the courses,” Weaver said. “Participants may also just access the chapters they are interested in and pop in and out of a course.”Lower said the new courses keep with Ohio State’s tradition of developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning. He said he and the other instructors have strived to provide engaging, inclusive educational materials to attract a diverse audience of students.“Several hundred students have enrolled in the course during the first month, and we expect this number to grow to several thousand enrolled students in 2018,” he said.Through a welcome survey built into the courses, the instructors have learned more about their student enrollees. For example, of those completing the survey, 65% were outside North America, 43% use a language other than English as their primary spoken language, and 23% were taking their first online course.last_img read more

Play football, beat cricket craze: Goel

first_imgNew Delhi, May 11 (PTI) Youngsters should take to football so much that it beats the craze for cricket in the country, Union sports minister Vijay Goel said today. The minister was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Oorja- CAPFs U-19 football talent hunt tournament phase-I for the Delhi region organised by paramilitary CISF at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here. The minister said his department will leave no stone unturned to ensure that better facilities are created for the sport and its players in the country. “The government and the Prime Minister desire that football talent is nurtured and developed in India. I will urge youngsters and players to take to football so much so that it even beats the craze for cricket in the country,” Goel said. The tournament is a pre-cursor to FIFA U-17 Football World Cup this year that is being in the country. Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the Central Industrial Security Force and others have been entrusted to hold the talent hunt trials in various cities across the country. Goel also awarded the winning teams at the end of the event. PTI NES ATK ATKlast_img read more

2 days agoLiverpool veteran Milner hopeful of settling new contract

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool veteran Milner hopeful of settling new contractby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool veteran James Milner is hopeful of settling his contract situation.The experienced utility man, 33, revealed he is in talks with the Reds over an extension of his current contract.But he is yet to put pen to paper to renew his deal which expires in the summer, meaning he will be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with European clubs from January.Asked about his future, Milner said: “Who knows, you know?“There have been talks so hopefully it gets resolved sooner rather than later.“But at this moment I will just keep playing football as well as I can.” last_img read more

May Pen Police Station Voted the Best

first_img May Pen Police Station recognized as ‘The Best Police Station’ Winners are chosen based on the level of public voting Several new strategies placed the station in a favourable position to secure the award Head of the Clarendon Police Division, Senior Superintendent Michael Bailey and his team are still celebrating after the May Pen Police Station was recognized as ‘The Best Police Station’ in the recently held Public Sector Customer Service Awards competition.The station won in the ‘Best of Like’ category which is reserved for selected entities that have high public contact and serve customers from various locations, branches, or parish offices across Jamaica. Winners are chosen based on the level of voting by members of the public island-wide. The judges then assess the data and confirm the locations that received the most votes. The winners in this category received J$40,000 and a plaque of recognition.   “I am grateful and would like to commend the staff who have worked hard and allowed the division to be so successful,” Superintendent Bailey said.He informed that several new strategies were implemented in the Division, which placed the station in a favourable position to secure the award.  One of these is a ticketing system implemented at the May Pen Police Station.“Not only do our customers get a ticket to wait, there is also someone who assesses the customers and those who have urgent matters are dealt with first,” Superintendent Bailey explained.He said that the officers who are more capable of delivering the best customer service are those who interact with the customers in the reception area. These officers also received additional training in customer service.“We also do training of our staff, through workshops and seminars each week; assessing the orders from the Commissioner of Police, new directives, new policies and prepare the staff accordingly,” Superintendent Bailey informed.He pointed out that the May Pen Police do their usual community policing in Clarendon, in an effort to increase the residents’ confidence in the Police and to rid the parish of gangs.The officers work assiduously with the youth, through their Community Safety and Security Unit that is responsible for improving and forming new youth clubs, neighbourhood watches and citizen associations. They also ensure that in each police district, there are at least two meetings per week.“At these meetings we bring to the residents an update of our policing activities and we try to get their input on what is happening and what they would like to see done in an effort to build our partnership,” the Senior Superintendent shared.He also informed that a farmers’ watch and a business watch, similar to the neighbourhood watch, are among new strategies planned for Clarendon. These are in response to praedial larceny problems and crimes committed against the business community. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Stiffer rules needed on money spent by third parties in elections report

first_imgOTTAWA – A think tank report commissioned by Elections Canada is recommending some stiff new restrictions on money raised and spent by advocacy groups to influence the outcome of federal election campaigns.And the recommendations are being welcomed by the Trudeau government, which is promising legislation along these lines sometime this spring.In a bid to ensure foreign money is not involved in the Canadian political process, the Public Policy Forum report says only citizens who are eligible to vote should be allowed to make donations to parties, candidates or advocacy groups, known as third parties, that try to influence how people vote.Moreover, it says third parties should face the same restrictions on donations — an annual maximum of $1,575 per individual — as political parties.There is currently no cap on donations to third parties and they can accept unlimited amounts of money from businesses, unions and other organizations which are banned from contributing to political parties.The report further recommends that every cent a third party spends on electoral communications should be reported and limited — not just what they spend on advertising, which is all that’s currently regulated.And to enable effective tracking of their spending, the report says third parties should be required to open separate bank accounts, into which they would deposit all donations for electoral purposes and out of which they would pay for all election-related activities.The report also recommends that spending limits be applied to all political entities — parties, candidates and outside advocacy groups — six months prior to the launch of a federal election campaign, not just during the official election writ period.“Current limits only kick in after the campaigning horse has left the barn,” the report says, noting that the advent of fixed election dates has resulted in parties and groups ramping up their spending months before an election is called, taking advantage of the absence of regulation during the pre-writ period.The report is the result of a roundtable discussion involving academics, political strategists and journalists. It was hosted by the Public Policy Forum last October, at the behest of Elections Canada.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised legislation to regulate pre-writ spending by political parties and his government has indicated it’s planning to introduce legislation sometime this spring that would impose more stringent rules regarding money raised and spent by third parties.“One of our top priorities is strengthening and safeguarding Canada’s democratic institutions from foreign interference,” Nicky Cayer, a spokesperson for Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, said in a statement Wednesday in response to the think tank report.“Canada has robust finance rules governing political fundraising from foreign actors, but our government will further strengthen and clarify these rules to ensure greater transparency around third party financing, close loopholes in the law, and ensure a stronger defence against foreign interference in our democratic process.”last_img read more

NAFTA Why the US wants a deal within weeks and whether its

first_imgThe United States is suddenly proposing a sprint to the finish toward a new NAFTA deal within about four to six weeks — a jet-fuel pace that aims to soar past political obstacles and procedural hurdles.Is it doable?Count veterans of NAFTA 1.0 among the skeptics. In interviews Tuesday, the top Canadian negotiator in the original NAFTA and the top American trade official who completed the pact under Bill Clinton expressed their doubts.”I don’t think so,” said John Weekes, Canada’s chief negotiator in the original deal.”These are complex things… These aren’t the sort of things you can just decide bang, bang… (It) has to be a good agreement that makes sense for all three countries — and not taking short cuts, and not agreeing to a bad deal.”The stated reason for the hurry now is simple: It’s the U.S. argument that political events beyond the spring could make it harder to finish a deal and get final ratification votes. In a few months, the Trump administration could face a more hostile Congress, and a more combative Mexican president.The U.S. argues that there are just two months left to get a deal this year — otherwise procedural rules, including more than six months required to ratify an agreement in the U.S. Congress, will make a final vote impossible before 2019.A more realistic timetable in Weekes’s mind would be a deal by December. That’s similar to the estimate offered by his former American counterpart Mickey Kantor — Clinton’s first U.S. trade czar foresees at least six months more of negotiating.”It’s going to take time,” Kantor said. ”Trade agreements don’t end before their time… There are a number of issues on the table — they have to be resolved.”Compare the current and past timetables.The original NAFTA took 14 months to negotiate. Lawyers then combed the text for errors, Clinton was elected and insisted on new labour and environmental side-deals, and then there were ratification votes — in the end, it took about 30 months.The current negotiations are into their seventh month. Of the roughly 30 chapters to complete, six are done so far. That’s not fast enough, current U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer said at the close of a round in Mexico City.”Now our time is running very short,” said Lighthizer, who described the four-to-six-week horizon in a chat later with American media.But the NAFTA veterans suspect something else is afoot.They believe the Trump administration is trying to squeeze the neighbours: ”I think they’re trying to pressure the Canadians and the Mexicans into a quick deal,” Kantor said.“I believe that Lighthizer thinks, and what President Trump thinks — if he understands this, which is debatable — is that the steel and aluminum tariff pressure will cause Canada and Mexico to fold.”That theory was bolstered this week when the threat of tariffs was dangled over the negotiating table. Lighthizer suggested that if Canada and Mexico sign a quick NAFTA deal, that could void any tariffs before they take effect.Weekes offers two bits of advice to the Canadians.The first is to nod politely, agree to the sped-up timetable — and then just keep doing whatever they need to do to get the best possible deal: “I would be inclined not to (admit my doubts about the timetable)… I’d say, ‘We’re prepared to proceed very, very fast… Speed — we’re prepared to go very, very quickly.’”His second suggestion is to show a counter-threat on the steel and aluminum tariffs.Weekes suggests mapping out a longer-than-necessary list of products, potential retaliatory targets, where tariffs would create maximum political damage for American politicians, but the least economic damage.He would make that preliminary list public, in the hope that it scares a few people in Washington. He would hope never to have to use it. And he would ignore the Economics 101 lectures about tariffs being mutually destructive.“I think we need to do something to make sure we don’t look like we’re pushovers,” Weekes said.“If we roll over, we’re basically saying, ‘Come after us anytime. Be my guest.’”It’s unclear whether Trump’s tariffs will ever actually hit the neighbours.On the one hand, a new poll says they’re unpopular — just 28 per cent of Americans want a trade war and 31 per cent want tariffs, according to a Quinnipiac survey. Already the administration says the penalties might never come into effect for Canada and Mexico if there’s a new NAFTA.The idea of tariffs on Canada is even becoming a political liability for the administration: for those Americans bashing the steel and aluminum plan, the notion of a trade war against Canada has actually become a favourite talking point.On the other hand, the most powerful pro-trade advocate in the White House is quitting. News late Tuesday of the departure of former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn stoked suspicions he’d lost in a tug-of-war over tariffs.President Donald Trump promises more details in a formal announcement within about a week, coinciding with a big congressional election March 13 in the steel-producing state of Pennsylvania.On Tuesday, the president indicated he would be delicate in imposing tariffs: “We’ll do it in a very loving way,” he said, standing next to the prime minister of Sweden.last_img read more

The Only Opponent Villanova Has Left Is History

101991Duke682.868.8+14.0+6.0 171998Kentucky685.772.3+13.3+3.7 82008Kansas675.060.8+14.2+6.5 SeasonChampionGamesTeamOpponentAveragevs. Expected Which champion had the most impressive tourney run?Best NCAA tournament points per game margin vs. expected (based on Elo ratings) for men’s champions, 1985-2018 321997Arizona678.272.8+5.3-0.2 181995UCLA686.372.0+14.3+3.6 291994Arkansas687.576.3+11.2+0.3 301987Indiana689.278.7+10.5+0.1 251986Louisville685.573.7+11.8+1.6 In the battle between the nation’s best (Villanova) and hottest (Michigan) teams, it was the latter that started Monday’s NCAA men’s national championship game right on script. The Wolverines led by 7 about a quarter into the game, and it looked like Michigan was tracking for a title-game upset that would rank alongside Syracuse over Kansas in 2003, UConn over Duke in 1999 and Arizona over Kentucky in 1997.1Just to name a few comparable upsets from recent memory.Soon, though, reality set in, and the superior Wildcats asserted themselves. With its 79-62 victory over Michigan, Villanova ended any debate about who was No. 1 this season — and instead opened up the discussion about where coach Jay Wright’s team should rank among NCAA champions from history.When things were going well for Michigan, the Wolverines were perfectly playing to their strengths — and shutting down Villanova’s. Led by the versatile 6-foot-10 forward Moe Wagner, Michigan had the big advantage over Nova in Ken Pomeroy’s effective height metric (which measures frontcourt size), and it flexed that muscle early on. Michigan outrebounded Villanova 7-4 in the game’s first seven minutes, while Wagner scored 9 quick points in the same span. At the same time, Michigan’s staunch 3-point defense — which held opponents to the sixth-lowest rate of attempts from beyond the arc during the season — gave Villanova few clean looks from deep. Uncharacteristically, the Wildcats missed eight of their first nine shots from the outside.But after the textbook start, the wheels fell off for Michigan. Midway through the first half, Nova embarked on a 16-5 run that saw them take the lead for good. The rest of the game was a clinic for Villanova; the final stats for the title game bore little resemblance to the numbers that generated Michigan’s early lead. Nova ended up outrebounding the bigger Wolverines 38-27 and knocked down 10 of 27 3-pointers. (In the end, it was Michigan — another team heavily reliant on the three — that went cold from deep, missing 20 of 23 attempts from long range.)It helped Nova that sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo saved the game of his life for the championship. Despite starting the game out on the bench, DiVincenzo poured in 31 points, including 15 from 3-pointers alone. Every time Michigan appeared to be on the verge of mounting a comeback, DiVincenzo came up with a big shot to quell the rally. Monday’s performance, on the heels of a mega-efficient 15-point outing in the national semifinals, earned DiVincenzo well-deserved most outstanding player honors for the tournament.Now the only real question that remains is where Villanova ranks in history. By winning two championships in three years, the Wildcats have already earned some measure of immortality: Before Villanova, just three teams in the 64-team bracket era — since 1985 — have won twice in three seasons. (The others were Duke in 1991/92, Kentucky in 1996/98 and Florida in 2006/07.) But this season’s team is also in elite company by deeper metrics than simple ring-counting. According to KenPom.com’s power ratings, Villanova ended the season as the second-best NCAA men’s champion since 2002, trailing only Kansas in 2008. The Wildcats also rank eighth among champs in the 64-team era according to our Elo ratings,2Behind 1992 Duke, 1996 Kentucky, 2001 Duke, 2016 Villanova, 1993 North Carolina, 2008 Kansas and 2009 North Carolina. which estimate a team’s quality at a given point in time, and their impressive title run should elevate them on anybody’s list of all-time champs.How to judge a champion’s tournament performance? One way is to look at how much more it outscored opponents than we’d expect based on those opponents’ Elo ratings. During the 2018 tourney, Villanova trounced opponents by an average of 17.7 points per game — never winning by fewer than 12 and covering the Vegas spread in all six games — against a set of foes that we’d expect the average champ3With an Elo rating of 2150. to beat by just 9.8 per game. That difference of 7.9 points per contest ranks fifth among men’s champs since 1985: Points/GameMargin 11996Kentucky689.267.7+21.5+13.0 111993North Carolina684.568.8+15.7+5.7 22016Villanova683.562.8+20.7+12.9 32009North Carolina687.867.7+20.2+10.2 132000Michigan State671.756.3+15.3+4.6 241992Duke682.369.8+12.5+1.7 52018Villanova683.866.2+17.7+7.9 162010Duke671.356.8+14.5+4.2 62001Duke686.870.2+16.7+7.5 122013Louisville679.563.3+16.2+5.4 41990UNLV695.276.5+18.7+8.2 332003Syracuse677.068.0+9.0-0.4 311988Kansas673.865.0+8.8-0.1 222017North Carolina681.770.5+11.2+2.1 341985Villanova655.050.0+5.0-2.6 232004Connecticut677.263.8+13.3+2.0 201989Michigan690.080.2+9.8+2.4 92006Florida672.756.7+16.0+6.1 142005North Carolina684.270.3+13.8+4.4 282014Connecticut671.763.8+7.8+0.9 192007Florida682.768.5+14.2+2.5 152002Maryland683.569.5+14.0+4.4 212012Kentucky681.369.5+11.8+2.1 262011Connecticut666.356.0+10.3+1.5 72015Duke671.856.3+15.5+7.0 Show more rowsExpected margins were generated for an average champion with an Elo rating of 2150. 271999Connecticut675.864.0+11.8+1.1 Of course, as impressive as Villanova was this season, Elo still thinks more highly of the team’s championship run two years ago. So it’s not completely open-and-shut where this season’s Wildcats even rank relative to themselves in terms of recent champs. But after the way Nova dismantled Michigan and Kansas in San Antonio, it’s run out of yardsticks from 2018 with which to compare anyway. The only opponents left to vanquish at this point are the ghosts of the past.UPDATE (April 3, 2018, 1 p.m.): This post has been updated to reflect the latest data from KenPom.com, which shows Villanova as the second-best NCAA men’s champion since 2002. (Villanova’s new +33.76 rating moved them ahead of Duke’s +33.29 mark from 2010.) read more