Saints and Sinners: The weekend’s talking points

first_imgShame faced: Karmichael Hunt at a press conference after receiving his ban. (Photo Getty Images)Drug ban for HuntKarmichael Hunt should be counting himself lucky to have escaped with just a six-week suspension from the Australian Rugby Union and Queensland Rugby Union after he pleaded guilty in court to four charges of cocaine possession.He has been stripped of the vice-captaincy of Queensland Reds and fined Aus$30,000 by the unions (and only Aus$2,500 by the court) but to only miss out on six weeks of rugby seems lenient. Stan Pilecki, who played 122 times for Queensland during the 1970s and 1980s, believes Hunt should have been kicked out of rugby altogether, even though he was contracted to play Aussies rules for Gold Coast Suns at the time of the offences. “He hasn’t fulfilled his contract to the Reds or Australian rugby or all the kids out there he was going to be an example for,” Pilecki told News Corp in Australia. Never say dieNorthampton Saints and Cardiff Blues both deserve praise for playing to the last peep of the referee’s whistle, as they changed the results of their games at the death.Northampton snatched a draw at Gloucester with a try scored by Samu Manoa and converted by Stephen Myler. They had trailed 23-9 at halftime and such is their lead in the Premiership that it wouldn’t have made a difference to their playoff hopes if they had lost this game, but they still found the grit to battle for a share of the points.Rhys Patchell landed the match-winning conversion with the last kick of the Blues’ game against Connacht after his team kept the ball alive for three minutes during stoppage time before finally creating the gap for Joaquin Tuculet to score the decisive try and turn an 11-17 deficit into an 18-17 win.That makes it two wins in a row for a Blues side who were all at sixes and sevens last month and shows their spirit has returned.Final score: Joaquin Tuculet touches down the decisive try for Cardiff Blues. (Photo: Inpho) TAGS: Cardiff BluesNorthampton Saints Welsh sweep the boardThe four Welsh regions beat the four Irish regions in the Guinness Pro12 this weekend for the first time since October 2010. Cardiff Blues got the ball rolling with a controversial but gutsy 18-17 win over Connacht, then the Ospreys beat Munster 26-12, the Scarlets downed Leinster 23-13 and the Newport Gwent Dragons rounded it off on Sunday afternoon with a 26-22 win over Ulster.The Welsh had home advantage in all four cases, but it was still a set of results to be proud of and put the Ospreys back up into the top four and kept the Scarlets in contention for a Champions Cup place next season.All smiles: The Ospreys celebrate the try scored by No 8 Dan Baker. (Photo: Inpho) Back row to the foreOpenside flanker James Davies was the Man of the Match in the Scarlets’ victory over Leinster after an outstanding performance in attack and defence. He helped set up Jordan Williams’s second-half try and seemed to be all over the pitch. Plaudits go to two of his back-row colleagues as well – John Barclay, who scored the Scarlets’ first try and replacement Rory Pitman who was a force to be reckoned with later in the game and barged through two tacklers and reach over the line to score the final try. Top try: Christian Wade scored arguably the try of the weekend for Wasps. (Photo Action Images) Landmark matchHats off to referee Wayne Barnes who became only the third man to take charge of 150 Aviva Premiership matches when he officiated at Bath v Sale this weekend.Barnes, 35, has refereed at two World Cups, set the record for the youngest ever Heineken Cup final referee in 2010 and looks odds-on to break Chris White’s record for taking charge of the most Premiership matches, which stands at 190.Phil Winstanley, the rugby director at Premiership Rugby, says: “Wayne is obviously very highly regarded by players, officials and coaches from within Premiership Rugby and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all in congratulating Wayne on reaching this milestone.”center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS King of the HolmBoth sides produced some fabulous rugby in Saturday’s 33-33 Aviva Premiership draw between Gloucester and Northampton but James Hook was responsible for the match’s golden moment as he showed once more why he is becoming a real favourite at Kingsholm.The outside-half went on one of his elusive, jinking runs from his own half and after he had broken the Saints’ line, instead of continuing on his own he put in the most exquisite kick with the outside of his boot to find wing Charlie Sharples steaming through on the outside to collect the ball and score. It was a perfect kick made while running at full pace and not something many fly-halves would attempt, never mind carry off successfully. The SinnersEnding on a sour noteTwo match officials found themselves subject to big criticism for decisions at the death of games which changed the result.Firstly, on Friday evening, Cardiff Blues scored a try six minutes into stoppage time to turn an 11-17 deficit against Connacht into an 18-17 win, after touch-judge Leighton Hodges advised referee Lloyd Linton to award a penalty for in at the side against Tom McCartney instead of a knock-on against Alex Cuthbert. The Blues went through the phases for three minutes until Joaquin Tuculet scored and Rhys Patchell converted, leaving Connacht head coach Pat Lam incensed that the match had not ended when Cuthbert knocked on.Then, on Saturday afternoon, referee Greg Garner helped Northampton snatch a late draw at Gloucester by firstly penalising Yann Thomas in a scrum when he looked to have done nothing illegal to force the visitors into reverse gear, then giving the softest of lineout penalties against Tom Palmer for the lightest of contacts on Courtney Lawes in the air. Saints kicked that penalty to touch five metres out and rolled a maul over for a try which meant the match ended as a 33-33 draw.Former England prop Dave Flatman said on BT Sport: “At the last scrum Yann Thomas did a brilliant job on Gareth Denman and was punished for it,” and commenting on the lineout penalty, he added: “There was physical contact but this is rugby for goodness sake.”It was a great shame a match which featured so much excellent rugby from both sides ended in controversy. The SaintsThat’s the Wade to do itChristian Wade gave Stuart Lancaster a timely reminder of his try-scoring prowess with a superb try for Wasps against Saracens in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday. Wasps attacked from their own half after stealing a lineout and Elliot Daly sent the ball spinning to Wade as he came speeding down the right wing on halfway.Wade chipped and chased, dribbled skilfully towards the corner and even though Alex Goode forced him out into touch, he still used his athleticism and strength to dive towards the bobbling ball in the in-goal area and touch it down. The fact that his feet were in touch did not matter as he was not carrying the ball and the TMO and referee awarded the try.Daly wrote some headlines of his own soon afterwards with a remarkable individual try, weaving and swerving through the defence from 60 metres out. However, these two Champagne moments were in vain for Wasps, as Saracens came back to win the game 26-17. The Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro12 served up some five-star rugby this weekend with the spring sunshine helping the try-scorers to blossom and Wales teaching Ireland a lesson at regional level. Sam’s the manOspreys outside-half Sam Davies scored 21 of his team’s 26 points in their win over Munster and played a key role in Dan Baker’s try too, finding the back row with a long pass inside the 22. Not only did Davies land six penalties to punish the indiscretions of a Munster side which had come to Cardiff as league leaders, but he had the maturity to kick a drop-goal just before halftime to take the lead beyond two scores at 17-0. It was a long way back from Munster from there and they didn’t trouble the scorers until the last ten minutes of the game.last_img read more

AP cameraman killed and a photographer wounded

first_img IraqMiddle East – North Africa December 16, 2020 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders said it was appalled at a fresh wave of violence against the press as two Associated Press journalists were targeted after arriving to cover an explosion in Mosul. One was killed and the other badly injured. IraqMiddle East – North Africa April 24, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 AP cameraman killed and a photographer wounded News December 28, 2020 Find out more Organisation February 15, 2021 Find out more to go further RSF_en Help by sharing this information News Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Cameraman Saleh Ibrahim and photographer Mohammed Ibrahim, both Iraqi, came under fire from unidentified gunmen as they arrived on the scene of the explosion on 23 April near Al-Yarmook square, said an AP colleague who requested anonymity for security reasons.Both men were very badly injured and their colleague drove them to Al-Jumhuri Hospital in Mosul but Saleh Ibrahim, who had three bullets wounds to the chest, died shortly after being admitted. A doctor at the hospital, Rabei Yassin said that Mohammed Ibrahim, who had shrapnel wounds to the head, was treated there before being transferred to an undisclosed destination under US military escort.”We are appalled at the death of Saleh Ibrahim, which brings to 55 the number of journalists and media assistants killed in Iraq since the start of the war, in March 2003,” said Reporters Without Borders, adding, that it was “extremely worried about the condition of Mohammed Ibrahim.””We appeal to all belligerents to at last guarantee the safety of all journalists, who have the courage to cover this particularly bloody conflict, whatever their nationality and for whichever media they work”, the world wide press freedom organisation said. The exact circumstances of the engagement remain unclear. Deputy police chief in Mosul, Colonel Wathiq Ali said that the explosion, which also killed two Iraqi civilians, was aimed at the US forces. The journalists’ colleague said that US military were present in the area of the explosion and went to the journalists shortly after they had come under fire.Saleh Ibrahim was just 30 years old and was father of five children.AP President and CEO Tom Curley said in a statement, “Our deepest sympathy goes to his family”, promising a full investigation of the circumstances of the tragedy. He also saluted Saleh Ibrahim’s “fervent dedication to reporting the complete story of Iraq at this historic moment which inspired all who knew and worked with him.”He was the second AP journalist to be killed since the beginning of the Iraq conflict. Ismail Taher Mohsin was killed close to his Baghdad home on 2 September 2004 for unknown reasons. Follow the news on Iraq News News RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace”last_img read more

The Data on Children in Same-Sex Households Get More Depressing

first_imgPublic Discourse 29 June 2016A new study released earlier this month in the journal Depression Research and Treatment contributes to mounting evidence against the “no differences” thesis about the children of same-sex households, mere months after media sources prematurely—and mistakenly—proclaimed the science settled.One of the most compelling aspects of this new study is that it is longitudinal, evaluating the same people over a long period of time. Indeed, its data source—the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health—is one of the most impressive, thorough, and expensive survey research efforts still ongoing. This study is not the first to make use of the “Add Health” data to test the “no differences” thesis. But it’s the first to come to different conclusions, for several reasons. One of those is its longitudinal aspect. Some problems only emerge over time.Professor Paul Sullins, the study’s author, found that during adolescence the children of same-sex parents reported marginally less depression than the children of opposite-sex parents. But by the time the survey was in its fourth wave—when the kids had become young adults between the ages of 24 and 32—their experiences had reversed. Indeed, dramatically so: over half of the young-adult children of same-sex parents report ongoing depression, a surge of 33 percentage points (from 18 to 51 percent of the total). Meanwhile, depression among the young-adult children of opposite-sex parents had declined from 22 percent of them down to just under 20 percent.A few other findings are worth mentioning as well. Obesity surged among both groups, but the differences became significant over time, with 31 percent obesity among young-adult children of opposite-sex parents, well below the 72 percent of those from same-sex households. While fewer young-adult children of same-sex parents felt “distant from one or both parents” as young adults than they did as teens, the levels are still sky-high at 73 percent (down from 93 percent during adolescence). Feelings of distance among the young-adult children of opposite-sex parents actually increased, but they started at a lower level (from 36 percent in adolescence to 44 percent in young adulthood).To be fair, life in mom-and-pop households is not simply harmonious by definition. It is, however, a recognition that it is not just stability that matters (though it most certainly does). It’s also about biology, love, sexual difference, and modeling.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Rose signs long-term Spurs deal

first_imgTottenham left-back Danny Rose has signed a new five-year contract with the club. Rose, who moved to Spurs from Leeds in July 2007, has made 59 appearances for the north London outfit. The 24-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Sunderland during the 2012-13 campaign and was rewarded with an extended run in the Tottenham first team last season. His future at White Hart Lane had been in question since Spurs signed 21-year-old left-back Ben Davies from Swansea last week. During Tottenham’s pre-season tour of America, however, head coach Mauricio Pochettino indicated Davies had been brought in to compete with Rose rather than replace him. “Ben Davies is important for us because he’s good competition for Danny Rose on the left side,” Pochettino told the official club website. “He’s a young player but he has good experience in the Premier League.” Rose has scored three goals for Tottenham, including a memorable long-range strike against Arsenal on his debut in April 2010. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Irvine to target Arsenal defence

first_img The Old Trafford manager said the Gunners gave his side too much space as they twice hit them on the break to score, and Irvine is hoping to exploit the same weakness. He said: “They play in such an open and expansive way. “They get so many players forward. On the one hand that gives you a huge problem dealing with all those players because I can give you video clip after video clip where they have eight players in the final third. “That only leaves three (in deeper positions) and one of them is a goalkeeper, so straight away you can see the difficulties they’ve got and how you can break out and hurt them. “But you’ve got to stop them first and Arsene (Wenger)’s philosophy has been ‘we attack and in order to be effective we have to commit a lot of players forward’. “That’s his method. Chelsea wouldn’t be quite as effective as that but then that’s their decision. “Manchester United under Louis aren’t being quite as open. “What’s a strength for Arsenal can also be a weakness but you’ve got to get the ball first and stop them from doing what they’re so good at, which is opening teams up. Irvine wants to cash in on the exposed Gunners defence and repeat Manchester United’s success at the Emirates Stadium last week when the north Londoners visit the Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime. Van Gaal’s United recorded their first away win under the Dutchman when they won 2-1 at Arsenal last Saturday evening. Press Association “They got a lot of criticism last week but Louis’ play almost didn’t work. If Arsenal had taken the chances they had it could have been a completely different result.” Claudio Yacob is suspended and Jonas Olsson (Achilles) is out for the Baggies while James Morrison is a doubt through illness. Saido Berahino is available despite being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving last month. Victory would leave the Baggies just one point behind the Gunners in the Barclays Premier League with Emirates boss Arsene Wenger under pressure during a stuttering season. But Irvine insisted the Frenchman does not deserve the criticism he gets. “He has been outstanding. He has brought in things that have changed the way people go about things in English football,” he said. “I don’t know how many times he needs to prove people wrong but he’s clearly done an exceptional job there. “They haven’t been the biggest-spending team there. They have spent a bit more money recently. “When they’re playing at their very best people say they’re a great team to watch, then everybody hammers them when they go and get caught on the counter-attack. “You probably can’t have it both ways.” Saido Berahino is available for West Brom at the Hawthorns despite the revelations of his arrest for alleged drink-driving. James Morrison is a major doubt for the Baggies though as he is struggling to recover from a sickness bug. The midfielder was on the bench for the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last week after feeling ill. Sebastien Pocognoli (hamstring) is a minor doubt and Jonas Olsson (Achilles) is out. Claudio Yacob starts a three-game ban after he was sent off at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is confident midfielder Jack Wilshere can return stronger from the setback of facing three months out with an ankle injury. The England international this week had surgery to repair ligament damage following a tackle by Manchester United defender Paddy McNair during the Barclays Premier League match on November 22. Wilshere is now set for another frustrating spell on the sidelines, having seen his progress hampered by various problems before and at one point being absent from the Arsenal first team for around 17 months after suffering a stress fracture in his ankle during 2011. Wenger, though, has no doubts the 22-year-old has the strength of character to overcome his latest challenge. “He is very down. Jack is a football man who loves the game, but on the other hand, he is a very strong character as well and he has learnt to deal with adversity at a very young age,” said Wenger, who has a host of fitness concerns ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at West Brom. “I think he will be back at the end of February, beginning of March, and he will focus on coming back to rehab, having a strong rehab, and then I am sure he will help us to do well until the end of the season. “Jack always came out stronger and, when I spoke with him, the final sprint of the season is already in his mind and [he wants] to come back stronger. “He is prepared and focused to come back and finish the season well.” Wenger believes Wilshere can shrug of the latest in what has been a long line of injuries to hamper his progress. “I was more worried one year ago than I am today because he had two or three surgeries on his right ankle. At some stage, you could raise that question, but today I am much more confident that he will [fulfil his potential],” Wenger said. “If he has no problem with his joints, he will make a massive career.” While Wenger feels McNair’s challenge was “very bad”, he accepts it was “not malicious”. He said: “When you see it again, I don’t think that anybody would have escaped without surgery in this tackle.” Wenger does not expect Wilshere’s dynamic playing style to change. “It is his strong point to turn, run at people and be committed – you don’t want to take that away from him,” he said. Arsenal will look to bring in “at least one body” to bolster the depleted squad, Wenger confirmed, with a defensive midfielder the expected target with centre-half Laurent Koscielny fit again and full-back Mathieu Debuchy close to a return from his long injury lay-off. Wenger, though, stated there had been “no enquiry from anybody” for Germany forward Lukas Podolski and denied a move for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. The Arsenal manager conceded, however, the set-up of the side would have to be changed, given the loss of captain Mikel Arteta to another calf injury, adding to an already packed treatment room. “I will adapt because I lost two players who can play in a defensive area in our midfield. We, of course, have to adapt,” he said. Wenger is confident Arsenal can use their midweek Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund to kick-start the Premier League campaign, his side currently in eighth place. “Even in the games we lost, there was something happening in the team. That, for a manager, is the most important thing,” he said. “I am very positive about this team because there is something special in there and we just have to keep going.” West Brom boss Alan Irvine has revealed his gameplan to beat Arsenal as he looks to follow Louis van Gaal’s lead. last_img read more

Suing NCAA not a viable option for USC

first_img“The 19th Hole” runs every other Wednesday. To comment on this article, email Joey at [email protected] or visit Well, that was exhausting.Five years, one month and six days later, and the final chapter to the Reggie Bush era officially closed Thursday morning with the NCAA once again giving USC the cold shoulder, announcing the school’s appeal of last June’s sanctions had been denied.And it’s about time.For a case dating back to early 2006, when James Blunt songs were actually played on radio stations, it had become all too tiresome to cipher through stories repeatedly littered with the words “infractions,” “sanctions” and “postseason ban.”No doubt, following the five-year ordeal, it’s time for USC to move on, no matter how unprecedented, how unwarranted the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ decision was last year regarding USC (a loss of 30 scholarships over three seasons, a two-year postseason bowl ban).Granted, the outcome was unquestionably unfair, but at this point, nothing is going to change. It’s time to put “Sanctionsgate” in the rearview mirror, time to quit the COI bashing, time to look toward the future.“We’ll deal with what we’re dealt,” junior quarterback Matt Barkley told a group of reporters last week.Atop the wish list for many disgruntled fans is a lawsuit against the NCAA, a way to seek damages, a way to expose the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the governing body of college athletics.Despite of such a possibility, school officials insist they won’t exercise legal action, not now or at any point in the immediate future.“The university has considered all the alternatives,” Athletic Director Pat Haden said Thursday. “We are not going to do that. We have decided to kind of move on.”Suffice to say, not everyone welcomes such a mindset.“What’s this WE business?” said one fan on the USC message board, “[Haden] should say “I” because the Trojan fanbase and I’m sure a large number of the alumni want to keep FIGHTING ON!!!”But a lawsuit is unquestionably farfetched.For starters, there is no technical “NCAA.” The organization is complex and composed of a litany of subcommittees, begging the question as to who you actually sue. The enforcement staff? The ones who initially uncovered the findings. The COI? The appeals committee? (The five-member group that ruled the sanctions were acceptable). Or for good measure, NCAA President Mark Emmert?But all are separate entities (the NCAA president is not responsible for enforcement). In short, putting a lawsuit together is complex.And who is going to file such a lawsuit? The university? The Board of Trustees? The athletic department? The boosters?I’m not a legal expert. I can’t tell you that if USC was able to sue the NCAA what the odds of success would be, or whether it’d be practical at all. It’d surely be unprecedented, unheard of in modern-day college athletics. Think about it: a member institution suing a non-profit organization it is a voluntary member of.And if successful, it’d have the impact to transform the sport 180 degrees. We know that much.Either way, it’s not on the horizon, and maybe that’s OK.Call it appeasement, call it raising the white flag, but it is quite possible that after five years, it’s time to turn the page and begin a new chapter.The initial violations stemming from Bush’s ineligibility date back to 2004 when Barkley and others  were in middle school, learning long division  and signing up for Pop Warner leagues. And for the next three seasons — potentially even longer — they, along with the entire program, will feel the impact of scholarships restrictions and bowl bans.So why drag it out?Now that the Trojans won’t be able to feature more than 75 scholarship players for the 2012, 2013 or 2014 seasons or partake in a bowl game come December, as losing the appeal guarantees the initial sanctions will no longer be altered, the only thing left the program stands to gain is monetary benefit.And considering the distractions this ordeal has caused and the potential it has to detract from the university’s success in the academic realm, it does pose the question as to whether this is an avenue worthy of pursuit.“I think we need to have a better relationship with the NCAA,” Haden said Thursday.Considering how the dominoes have fallen over the past year, maybe Haden’s right: It’s time to begin anew.last_img read more

Gyan challenges colleagues to be mentally strong after AFCON defeat

first_imgGhana captain Asamoah Gyan has challenged his colleagues to put the disappointment of not winning the AFCON behind and look ahead to a brighter future.Ghana put up a brave fight but lost 9-8 in a dramatic penalty shootout against Ivory Cost on Sunday at the just ended Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea.The Black Stars players were seeking to end the county’s 33-year wait for an African title but missed it narrowly.The technical team and the playing body looked dejected after the game but the skipper wants them to forget what has happened in the past and focus on the future.“Losing is part of the game but what I want to tell my colleagues is that they should be mentally strong and forget about what has happened and move back to our clubs to perform,” said Gyan“We really have to because if not it will disturb us and that is my advice to my brothers.”last_img read more

NHL playoffs 2019: Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner scores on penalty shot

first_imgOver the course of the 82-game regular season, the Toronto Maple Leafs had five shorthanded goals. In Game 1 of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday, they got one against the Boston Bruins.Just 31 seconds into a Bruins power play, Jake DeBrusk couldn’t handle the puck at the Leafs’ blue line. Mitchell Marner gathered it and broke out all alone. DeBrusk backchecked and knocked out Marner’s right skate, resulting in the third-year forward being awarded a penalty shot. MORE:  Maple Leafs only looking forward in rematch with Bruins: ‘We are a different team’ than 2018Mitch Marner became just the fifth NHL player to score a shorthanded penalty-shot goal in the postseason. #NHLStats #StanleyCup— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 12, 2019He joins Maple Leafs legend Mats Sundin as the only players to score on a penalty shot in the postseason. Sundin scored his goal in Game 4 of the 1999 Eastern Conference finals against fellow Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek; it was his first of two goals in a Leafs win.The Bruins had the third-best power play during the regular season but were tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most shorthanded goals against (15). Marner, who had never faced Boston netminder Tuukka Rask in even a shootout attempt, easily scored. It was Marner’s second goal of the night.”A little bit of both,” said Marner, when asked if he went into the penalty shot with a gameplan or if it was instinct. “I kind of had an idea of what I wanted to do. At the last second, I kind of switched it up, seeing where he was and seeing his position. From then on, I was lucky enough I got him and put it in.”Marner did Rask dirty 🤭— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) April 12, 2019Marner netted his first career shorthanded goal during the regular season against the Vegas Golden Knights.last_img read more

Lake Mills man pleads not guilty to multiple drug charges

first_imgFOREST CITY- A Lake Mills man has pled not guilty to multiple drug charges. 30 year old Caleb Robert Angel has pleaded not guilty to possession of meth with intent to deliver, sponsoring a gathering where illegal drugs are used, possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of a prescription drug. Police say that as they arrested two other people on felony warrants on July 18 in the 700 block of N Lake Street in Lake Mills, another man walked by with a drug pipe in his mouth with that man being Angel. A search of Angel’s home found  6.79 grams of methamphetamine, multiple plastic baggies, a digital scale, meth pipes, marijuana, and a prescription medication.His trial is scheduled to start on September 23.last_img read more