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Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgIn other news concerning the coronavirus pandemic:— Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal were among the clubs who stepped up their preparations for the Premier League’s return by holding practice matches on Saturday. Man. U held an intrasquad match and Arsenal rolled past second-tier Charlton, 6-0. Clubs are attempting to build up players’ fitness before the league resumes on June 17 following a 100-day suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.— The pandemic caused a delay to the Spanish League season with 11 games remaining, but it also allowed Barcelona striker Luis Suárez to rejoin his team when the schedule resumes on June 13. Suárez had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 12 and hasn’t played since. The club said Saturday that he will be available for Barcelona’s first match in almost three months, at Mallorca.NBA-NEWSCoaches speak out on Floyd…More negotiations scheduled before season resumes “When you sit down and listen, you realize there’s a lot of injustices taking place across a broad spectrum. As a representative of our sport and just a citizen, it’s really time to listen.AMERICA PROTESTS-BRONCOSBroncos march for FloydUNDATED (AP) — Broncos coaches and players marched and spoke out against racism and police brutality at a protest in downtown Denver on Saturday.The players wore black shirts with the fist of power image and “Justice for George Floyd” emblazoned on the front. The words, “If you ain’t with us, you against us” were inscribed on the back. NASCAR looks to steer clear of protests over George FloydHAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — The only African American driver in NASCAR’s Cup series is expressing frustration that so many drivers were reluctant to speak out concerning the outrage over the death of George Floyd.Bubba Wallace said on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast that “a few drivers — a very few — have given their opinion on the day’s matter” and said he appreciated that. Wallace added that “the silence from the top drivers in our sport is beyond frustrating” … saying, “everybody thinks redneck, Confederate flag, racists”, and that he hates it because he believes that NASCAR can be so much more.Wallace said he encouraged other drivers to take up the cause in a sport with a checkered racial history. Fans have an affinity for displaying Confederate flags, and driver Kyle Larson was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing two months ago for casually uttering a racial slur during a virtual race.Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson reached out to Wallace to ask what he could do, saying that’s a big question for him right now. June 7, 2020 UNDATED (AP) — The first U.S. male gymnast to win a world championship gold medal has died.The family of Kurt Thomas says he died Friday at age 64. He had a stroke May 24, caused by a tear of the basilar artery in the brain stem.After competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Thomas won the floor exercise in the 1978 world championships for the first U.S. men’s title. He successfully defended the floor exercise title and won the horizontal bar in the 1979 worlds.Thomas lost a chance for Olympic gold when the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympics. He then turned professional, starred in the 1985 movie “Gymkata” and worked as a television commentator. UNDATED (AP) — A few-based NBA head coaches spoke out Saturday about their hopes the league visibility will be an asset again in the hope for actual social change following the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he’s “embarrassed as a white person” that Floyd could die in such a “nonchalant” manner. Popovich says the best teaching moment was the look on the officer’s face. He added that white people must help lead the charge for change.Miami’s Erik Spoelstra (SPOHL’-struh) says he doesn’t think anyone is ready to move on, and we shouldn’t. Said Spoelstra: “If anything, many times before, so tragically, there would be a similar incident of social injustice like this and then two weeks later people forget about it. This will be an opportunity for the entire association to land in one spot … to keep this conversation going and use our platform to make sure that this doesn’t go away.”Orlando coach Steve Clifford also seems convinced that the league’s players and coaches will take some sort of action when the season resumes. Clifford said he thinks everybody’s priority and hope right now is that they can all be part of the change that’s so necessary in the count. He added that, “We’ll have a collective platform where everyone can collectively send a message condemning racism, racial injustice, calling for police accountability. There will be a platform and I think we’re all thinking that way.”The Players Association voted unanimously Friday to approve a plan in which 22 teams move into the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, Florida, next month. Those teams are currently sitting in a playoff slot or within six games of a postseason berth. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB PROPOSALAnalysis shows a lot of money at stakeNEW YORK (AP) — There’s a lot of money at stake as Major League Baseball and players continue to battle over plans to start the coronavirus-delayed season. Associated Press The season is set to resume July 31, with playoffs starting in mid-August and leading up to an NBA Finals that could stretch until Oct. 12.The NBA has told teams that playoff seeding will be based on winning percentage, and that any tiebreakers necessary after that will follow the usual procedures.Elsewhere in the NBA:— The Chicago Bulls’ new top basketball executive isn’t ready to make any announcements about the coaching staff. Arturas Karnisovas still has not met in person with head coach Jim Boylen. And that’s something he would like to do before going public with any decisions. Boylen’s future is the biggest issue hanging over the Bulls, whose season ended when the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a 22-team format to restart the pandemic-interrupted season next month in Orlando. The Bulls have missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. Boylen has a 39-84 record in just under two years.NASCAR-RACIAL TENSIONS Head coach Kirk Ferentz made the announcement Saturday night and called it “a defining moment” for Iowa’s football program in a video posted on the team’s Twitter account. Ferentz said he saw difficult and heartbreaking posts on social media and appreciated the former players’ candor. He added that he has been reaching out to many of them individually to hear more about their experiences in their program.Dozens of former players took to social media in the past few days to detail the troubling issues they allege they saw and experienced while playing at Iowa.INDYCAR RESUMESDixon wins IndyCar openerFORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — IndyCar was finally able to begin a schedule delayed three months by the coronavirus. All wore face masks in accordance with coronavirus mitigation efforts. Most of the players’ masks were black with the phrase “I can’t breathe” in white lettering.Safety Kareem Jackson was instrumental in organizing the team’s appearance at Civic Center Park on the 10th day of demonstrations sparked by the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-IOWA-RACISM ALLEGATIONSIowa football assistant placed on leaveIOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle has been placed on administrative leave after several black former players posted on social media about what they described as systemic racism in the program. VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEWSUNDATED (AP) — Some NFL players say they are scared about returning to practices and games during the coronavirus outbreak.But they also say they trust the health protocols the league’s medical staff is developing so that practices can resume, and games can return. Those safeguards will certainly include frequent tests for COVID-19.The offseason programs have all been conducted remotely since the NFL shuttered team facilities in March in response to the pandemic.Coaches have been allowed back into the buildings but players who aren’t recovering from injuries likely won’t be allowed back until training camps begin in July. Update on the latest in sports: Five-time season champion Scott Dixon took the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway, his fourth win at the 1 ½-mile, high-banked oval. The 39-year-old New Zealander raced to his 47th career victory and matched A.J. Foyt’s record of 18 seasons with a win.Dixon sped off following a restart with three laps left. He surged ahead following a caution caused when young teammate Felix Rosenqvist crashed. Dixon finished 4.4 seconds ahead of Simon Pagenaud (PA’-zheh-noh).Defending IndyCar champion and polesitter Josef Newgarden finished third.GYMNASTICS-OBIT-THOMASKurt Thomas dies An analysis by The Associated Press has determined the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers would each save more than $100 million as part of management’s proposal when compared to the players’ plan.Set to earn $36 million each, Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would get $25.3 million under the union’s plan and $5.6 million under the teams’ proposal.The Yankees would pay players $155 million under the union’s plan and $48 million under management’s proposal.MLB has proposed a six-tier sliding scale of cuts starting at 10% and rising to 90% for the amounts of salaries above $10 million, followed by prorating based on an 82-game season. Players proposed prorating for a 114-game regular season schedule stretching through October without any further salary reductions.Players agreed on March 26 to accept prorated shares of their salaries during a shortened season, part of a deal that guaranteed $170 million in advances and service time even if the season is scrapped.last_img read more

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Duke football’s Koppenhaver reflects on career that cancer nearly cut short

first_imgSharon Koppenhaver knew something wasn’t right with her 10-year-old son, Davis. While playing sports, he wouldn’t sweat and his face would turn gray instead of the typical red color. He began snoring loudly while sleeping and his voice changed before hitting puberty. He was more fatigued than usual and even fell asleep at halftime of his youth football game and in between games at a travel basketball tournament.Neither an allergist nor an asthma doctor could figure out the problem.But finally after a few weeks, Jeffrey Birns, an ears, nose and throat doctor, put a camera down Koppenhaver’s throat and found a golf ball-like tumor blocking 90 percent of his airway. “They said that if they would have found it two weeks later, I probably would have died in my sleep,” Koppenhaver said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe tumor, which was later found as cancerous, was removed five days after Birns found it in December 2006. It all happened so fast that it seemed like a blur for Koppenhaver, now a freshman tight end for No. 22 Duke (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast). Though he only has one catch in four games this season, he’s enthusiastic about his future with the team because of what he’s already overcome.When he was diagnosed, Koppenhaver played football, basketball and baseball. He was in the middle of his travel basketball season and played in four games at a tournament the day before the tumor was found.Looking back, doctors were surprised he didn’t collapse on the court.Davis’ cancer had rarely previously been found in a child’s throat before, which added to the uncertainty of the situation, Sharon Koppenhaver said. But throughout the week leading up to the surgery, the Koppenhavers decided to keep everything as normal as possible — something they learned from his father’s experience with breast cancer six years earlier.“You can’t dwell on the negatives,” Dave Koppenhaver, Davis’ father, said. “You can’t focus on woe is us, woe is me.”Though Sharon Koppenhaver wanted to stay at home in Southern California before the surgery, her husband, son and daughter all wanted to continue their typical Christmas tradition of visiting friends and relatives in Sacramento, California. They outvoted her, and Sharon Koppenhaver said it worked out for the better because being with family and friends took their minds off the tumor.The night before surgery, Koppenhaver slept over at his friend Brady White’s house. They played video games, watched college football bowl games and SportsCenter and ate snacks just like they had always done.They prayed, too.“As a close friend of his, I was going through the same kind of worries that he was,” White said. “I just wanted to be there for him, just have a good night with him and kind of get his mind off of things.”After the surgery was successful, Koppenhaver just wanted to get back on the court. As a 10-year-old, he didn’t fully understand everything that happened.But over time, Koppenhaver said it sunk in.“I realized that sports don’t define me,” Koppenhaver said. “If someone asked me what my best attributes were before that, I’d probably say athlete or competitor. But now, it’s completely different.”Off the field at Duke, he’s laid back and enjoyable to be around, fellow tight end David Reeves said, and his attitude impressed teammates in the first week of training camp.And while Koppenhaver’s role is minimal at this point in his career, tight end coach Zac Roper said you wouldn’t be able to tell from watching him practice, because he still brings the same energy level and attention to detail as the Blue Devils’ starters. When he was younger, Koppenhaver wouldn’t talk about his cancer experience much. He still doesn’t, but he occasionally brings it up with his parents.As a sophomore in high school, Koppenhaver dislocated his shoulder, which put his athletic career in question again. But after nearly dying years earlier, Koppenhaver got back on the field. “I remember saying, ‘Are we done now?’ meaning football. ‘Are we done with this?’” Sharon Koppenhaver said.“No, I can’t wait to get back out there,” Koppenhaver responded. “Mom, I’m not even supposed to be here.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 6, 2014 at 11:18 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschwedslast_img read more

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USC safety T.J. McDonald to remain at USC

first_imgUSC junior safety T.J. McDonald announced Wednesday that he will return to school for his senior season, forgoing the opportunity to declare for the NFL draft.McDonald, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2011, had been projected as a possible second round pick in next April’s draft had he chose to declare.“We have an opportunity to do something great,” McDonald said in a video released by the school. “That opportunity doesn’t come around very often. I want to finish things out and be a part of something great.”A second-year starter for the Trojans last season, McDonald finished with 69 tackles and three interceptions, making the Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly All-American first teams. McDonald and his father, Tim, became the first father-son tandem in school history to be named All-Americans. Tim McDonald was an All-American for USC in 1985 and 1986 before a 13-year NFL career with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.In 2010, T.J. McDonald also led the team in tackles with 89.“We’re obviously very excited about T.J.’s decision to return next year,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement. “He’ll be a leading candidate for the Thorpe Award in 2012 and he has a chance to be a two-time All-American. Plus he will captain our team for a second straight year and graduate.”Fellow juniors left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry have announced intentions to declare for the draft, leaving quarterback Matt Barkley as the only prominent USC junior weighing whether to remain in school or turn pro.Barkley has until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.last_img read more

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Rays’ Austin Meadows talks trade to Tampa Bay, rhinos and the key to his 2019 success

first_imgMORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNSPORTING NEWS: Congratulations on the enormity of your success this season. How does it feel?AUSTIN MEADOWS: Thank you! It feels good. Just being able to play everyday. More just helping the team win, it’s been good.SN: You hear you were traded — who did you get the call from when you were traded?AM: The front office from the Rays called me. Just basically walked me through the organization.SN: What’s going through your mind at that point?AM: A lot. You wonder how the guys are gonna welcome you, where you’re gonna go. I ended up going to Triple-A in Durham. There’s a lot of things going through your head.You wonder if you’ll ever see your teammates again, my old teammates with the Pirates. There’s definitely a lot going through your head. But I was more excited, than anything, and anxious, to start my career with the Rays.SN: Obviously there was a logjam in the Pittsburgh outfield, you come here and you know you’re gonna get a chance.AM: That’s the biggest thing, knowing that I was going to get the opportunity over here. Being able to come over here to a team that is hungry, to a team that had 90 wins. It was a great time to come over. They were very welcoming when I came over, it felt like I had been here for a long time. SN: You come up and play a few games for Tampa last year. Struggle is a relative term — you didn’t really struggle. But what was it like going through that period, where you’re traded and you don’t really have the success you want?AM: For me, you realize the plan in place. You realize what (Tampa Bay) gave up to get me, them giving up Chris Archer to get me and Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz. To sit down and realize how badly they want you, and to realize you’re a part of their future. For me, that’s more what it’s about, it’s about the future and the potential.Last year, I only got about a couple weeks with the big leagues with the Rays, so obviously it was a really small sample size. But being able to start the year off fresh here and play everyday has been a blessing.SN: I actually asked Nate Lowe this question. There are certain teams in baseball that have an attitude, the A’s, the Rays, and so forth. What does it mean to be a Tampa Bay Ray?AM: It means a lot. For me to be able to come in here and be here for almost a year now, it’s been nothing but great times. Especially with my teammates, the guys I’ve made good relationships with. But to be a Tampa Bay Ray in general, it means a lot. It’s a great division that we’re in. Great baseball being played. We have a lot of talent, being a part of a talented group of guys is always fun. Being a Tampa Bay Ray, it means the world.SN: All right, some rapid fire, don’t overthink these. You’re in the gym, you’re lifting weights, you’re getting pumped. What’s your go-to song or artist?AM: I was just listening to Avicii today. Some nice, upbeat music to kinda get me in the mood. SN: Pizza or tacos?AM: Ooohhh, pizza. New York pizza.SN: Last question: if a rhino and a hippo were to get into a fight, who would win?AM: A rhino.SN: See, Nate (Lowe) said hippos.  AM: Why?SN: He said they’re very aggressive. But if you were to get two equally aggressive animals, I think the rhino would win.AM: I think the rhino would win. The weight, the horn, I think it would overpower the hippo. Throughout the 2019 MLB season, Sporting News will run short interviews with players, highlighting their favorite foods, activities and more.In this edition, SN’s Joe Rivera got two minutes with Rays outfielder Austin Meadows.last_img read more

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FIBA announced the List of the best young Players: Musa is the first Star of Qualifications!

first_imgFIBA announced the list of the best players under 21 years of age who are the stars of qualifications and at the very top of the list is our young representative – Dzanan Musa.Dzanan Musa was presented as the captain of the National team of BiH and the next super star.“Dzanan Musa, who turned 19 in May, had 21 points in average – including 26 points against Russia – 3 in jumps and 2 in stolen balls in February,” as written by FIBA on their page.The list, besides Musa, also includes Rui Hachimura (Japan), RJ Barrett (Canada), Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey), Jordan Nwora (Nigeria), Emanuel Cate (Romania), Arnoldas Kulboka (Lithuania), Yago Mateus Dos Santos (Brazil), Tryggvi Hlinason (Iceland), Ihab Al-Zuhairi (Iraq), Goga Bitadze (Georgia), Nico Mannion (Italy), Kristian Kullamae (Estonia), Hu Jinqiu (China), Andrew Nembhard (Canada), Yovel Zoosman (Israel), Kurt-Curry Wegscheider (Central African Republic), Jovan Kljajic (Montenegro), Maximo Fjellerup (Argentina), Isaac Bonga (Germany) and Isaac Letoa (New Zealand).(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)last_img read more

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30 Days: Gift Certificates to Wellington Fitness Center is a great gift for your love handled love

first_imgChristmas specials:•12 Days of Fitness – Currently, Fitness Center members can exercise 12 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and receive a Fitness T-shirt! Cost is only $5.•Fit to a Tee -Contest – Free for Fitness Center members! Sign-up to win a special Fitness t-shirt every time you work out. Drawings will be held on December 31st.Great Christmas stocking stuffers:Again, WRC gift certificates – not just for the Fitness Center – but for any rec program. And what is a rec program? Just log onto Sumner Newscow Monday for the WRC Rec Rap and you will know what we are talking about. There are a plethora of programs from fitness, sports, special events, leisure arts and other special interests.Hours: Fitness Center hours are Monday – Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday – 5:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday – 6 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday 1 to 3 p.m.Contact us at: E-mail – mgoodrum@usd353.com. Telephone: 620-326-3435.Catch our website at: www.wellingtonrec.com. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Christmas is a season of giving, fellowship, traditional rituals, eating, and renewing relationships. Notice that word “eating” in the previous sentence?Are you looking for a Christmas gift that will keep on giving? How about giving your special loved one (you know the one with the love handles) a membership to the Wellington Fitness Center.The Wellington Fitness Center, under Wellington Recreation Commission management, is offering gift certificates for memberships whether it is one month, six months or 12-month packages.The fitness center opened in October of 1995 and is located on the second floor of Memorial Auditorium. It features state of the art fitness equipment and qualified and friendly workers to assist patrons.Also, the WRC employees three personal trainers: Debbie Murphy, Cherity Elder and Judy Nusbaum, who offer individualized fitness programs to meet the needs, interests, and fitness goals. Coming soon: The design for a new Wellington Recreation Fitness Center has been in the planning stage off and on for a number of years.The WRC — working with the city and USD 353 — are working on a plan to build a facility that will house a fitness center, fitness classrooms, men and women’s locker rooms, restrooms, offices, storage rooms, and a community/art room. The proposed building will be a two story metal building, 64 feet wide by 80 feet long, located and connected west of the current building. This project is an investment in family and Wellington’s future for which WRC officials are excited to be part.last_img read more

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FAVORED WILD IN THE SADDLE HANDY 6 ¼ LENGTH WINNER OF $100,000 DREAM OF SUMMER STAKES UNDER BEJARANO

first_imgRACE PART OF GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED RUNNERS;ONE WINNING PICK SIX TICKET, PURCHASED THROUGH ‘ELITE TURF CLUB’ PAYS $385,622.40 ARCADIA, Calif. (March 22, 2015)–Odds on favorite Wild in the Saddle made short work of three California-bred or sired fillies and mares in taking Sunday’s $100,000 Dream of Summer Stakes by 6 ¼ lengths under Rafael Bejarano. Trained by Richard Baltas, the 6-year-old mare by Silic was attentive to a fast pace and took charge midway around the far turn en route to getting a flat mile in 1:36.73.Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Sudden Sunday, who broke from the inside, was hustled to a narrow advantage over the winner into and around the Club House turn, but Wild in the Saddle opened up leaving the quarter pole and the Dream of Summer was over.“The trainer told me to go to the lead, but when I saw Sudden Sunday rushing too much into the first turn, I just decided to let her go,” said Bejarano. “My horse doesn’t have to be on the lead and the way she was going I didn’t have to worry about the lead. I was holding her as long as I could and when we hit the three eighths pole, I asked her to pick it up and she showed me a big kick. She won easy.”With no show wagering, Wild in the Saddle was off at 3-5 and paid $3.40 and $2.40. Owned by Nadine Anderson and Cheyenne Ortiz, Wild in the Saddle was bred in California by Dinesh Maniar. The Dream of Summer marked Wild in the Saddle’s first stakes win and improved her overall mark to 34-8-1-9. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $289,318.“She’s starting to relax in her training finally,” said David Meah, assistant to Baltas, who is currently out of town. “It took a long time to get there. I think she can go a mile and a sixteenth and I think anywhere from seven furlongs, that will be her thing…It pays to have a Cal-bred.The longest shot in the field at 7-1, Melanistic, who was ridden by Tyler Baze, moved into contention when a close third going into the far turn and proved second best, finishing 4 ¼ lengths in front of Grazenette. Melanistic paid $4.40 to place.Fractions on the race were 22.63, 46.13, 1:11.15 and 1:23.94.With a Pick Six carryover of $92,696.80 coming into Sunday, today’s total Pick Six pool reached $641,020.62, and there was just one winning ticket, worth $385,622.40. The ticket was purchased for an as-yet undisclosed amount through the Elite Turf Club wagering hub.Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. –30–last_img read more

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UL’s Prolonged Closure Pricks FLY

first_imgThe indefinite closure of the University of Liberia (UL) has claimed the attention of the leadership of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY).As such, FLY is therefore seeking the intervention of the Visitor to the University, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.At a press conference Monday, January 20, in Monrovia, FLY secretary-general Flamah Howard called on the leadership of the University of Liberia Student Union to also liaise (coordinate, communicate) with President Sirleaf in seeking for the immediate and unconditional reopening of the UL to enhance the smooth learning of the over 30,000 students.FLY leadership, however, acknowledged the role the UP-led administration has played and continued to play along with the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as other stakeholders in fostering the wellbeing of the youths across the country.Meanwhile, UL has announced Sunday, January 19, that with the approval of the Board of Trustees, and in consultation with the Faculty Association (ULFA), the Administration, faculty and staff are therefore, asked to resume normal duties effective yesterday, Monday, January 2014 and that “classeson all campuses of the University will reopen on Tuesday, January 21,2014.”According to a statement released from the office of the vice president for UL Relations, Dr. S. Momolu Getaweh, Sr., the special investigative committee given the urgency of the situation of a temporary suspension of classes has submitted a partial report to the executive committee of the UL Board of Trustees.Accordingly, the full Board met Monday and discussed the report followed by a meeting with President Sirleaf.     “The Board of Trustees, together with the UL Administration appreciates the continuous patience and understanding of the faculty staff, students and the public, especially the eagerness of the students to return to their respective classes in pursuit of relevant academic preparedness for their future and the country,” the statement noted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Exporting Guinea’s Iron Ore through Liberia: Great Economic Integration Opportunity

first_imgIt has been long in the making, but is finally here.  Finance Minister Amara Konneh announced last week that an agreement had been signed between ArcelorMittal and Sable, one of the companies mining iron ore on the Guinean side of Mount Nimba.Liberia, which borders Guinea, has an existing rail link to the Buchanan port in the Atlantic and offers a far shorter export route from deposits such as the giant Simandou project and Mount Nimba in Guinea. This is vital for mines to be profitable.The rail line is currently operated by ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker.“ArcelorMittal is open to the multi-use of the rail because it is enshrined in the mineral development agreement signed with them. The government of Liberia would like to use its rail as much as possible for economic integration that is going to benefit both sides,” Minister Konneh told Reuters.“So this year I will be travelling between Guinea and Liberia bringing all the stakeholders together so that we can close this deal (between Sable and ArcelorMittal).” The Guinean government has so far granted permission to export through Liberia only to Sable Mining (SBLM.L), which is aiming to start production in 2015 and hit 5 million tonnes per year output after that.To allow more companies to use the line, more works need  to be undertaken to expand the rail’s capacity.Adding a second rail line is also an option, the Minister said. There is a short and direct route from the Guinean mines to the Port of Buchanan, making it far cheaper than shipping the ore all the way to Conakry,  the Guinean capital.This agreement will benefit both Guinea and Liberia.  Guinea will gain faster and cheaper means of shipping its iron ore to world markets; while Liberia will earn modest financial resources from the cost of shipping the ore throughLiberia on its railway.  This is a win-win situation for economic integration between the two sister countries, who are both members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and, closer home, the Mano River Union (MRU).  There are vast iron ore deposits in Guinea’s Mount Nimba; so the deal promise a long term means of cooperation between the two sisterly nations.This deal has been long in the making.  Discussions began between the two nations in the 1980s, following the death in 1984 of Guinea’s first President, Ahmed Sekou Toure, when the government of PresidentConteh began eying the exploitation of the Mount Nimba ore.  But that politically and economically chaotic decade in Liberia, that swiftly led to the civil war, was clearly no time for such serious bilateral deals.Does this teach anyone in Liberia today a lesson about the importance of political stability—especially those who, because they have differences with the present regime, have been calling for regime change?  Who doesn’t have differences with this government? Could such an agreement as that sealed last week have been possible in such a chaotic environment?  Who would enter any agreement with people they do not know and in an atmosphere of instability?The promise of economic integration between Guinea and Liberia is further enhanced not only by the possible installation of another rail line between Mount Nimba and Buchanan.  Rail transportation could open avenues for other forms trade, such as agriculture and timber. Minister Konneh has already hinted to the possibility of a second rail line to accommodate other companies mining in Mount Nimba.If carefully planned, the rail between Guinea and Liberia could also include passenger transportation, making it far easier for Guinean and Liberian market women and other businesspeople to traverse (navigate, pass through) the two countries. This would be yet another boost to economic integration.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Nimba Underestimated Bassa

first_imgNimba County football coach, Muta Fofana, has said that he lost the County Meet soccer finals to Grand Bassa because his boys underestimated their opponents.He was speaking for the first time since the team lost the finals 1-2 to the champions, Grand Bassa in the 2013-2014 National County Meet.He said, “I think we were so overconfident for victory so when our boys made up their minds it was too late to recover.” “I always told my boys not to underestimate any team,” he said, “but they failed to adhere to my advice.”Under Coach Fofana, Nimba became the only undefeatable team and didn’t draw any of her games in the last County Meet. The team only suffered its 1-2 defeat to Grand Bassa in the finals.He has meanwhile called on the leadership of Nimba County to give all necessary support for preparation of the next County Meet in early August, this year. He commended his players for reaching the finals, since only the best teams reach the finals.Nimba County reached the soccer finals of the County Meet, and only lost to eventual champions, Grand Bassa County in match that brought the best in Liberian County Meet football.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more