The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a window of possible funding opportunities for the bankrupt Zimbabwean government, says an analyst.Noting improved cooperation on economic policies, the IMF announced on 6 May that it would resume technical support to Zimbabwe, but would not release any financial aid until Harare honoured its arrears. Zimbabwe owes the IMF about US$133-million (R1.1-billion).The IMF’s re-engagement could help allay scepticism over the viability of the newly installed unity government and bolster confidence in prospective investors, according to Emira Woods, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, a US-based think-tank.“Normally, financial creditors take their cue from the IMF,” she said. “This development therefore opens the doors for both public and private financiers to engage with the government of Zimbabwe.”The executive board of the IMF adopted a declaration of non-cooperation in 2002 over Zimbabwe’s overdue financial obligations, and suspended technical assistance.The news was welcomed by Elton Mangoma, Zimbabwe’s economic planning and investment promotion minister, who has been flying across continents to appeal for funds for his country.“This is a key step for us,” he said. “We certainly hope that their technical expertise will help us strengthen our systems, which have been undermined by years of economic collapse and international isolation.”But political analyst Rejoyce Ngwenya was more cautious. “The political environment in Zimbabwe is currently not conducive for any large-scale investor inflows,” he said. “The institutions of repression, both at legal and political levels, are still intact. Rights violations are also a daily occurrence, primarily because Robert Mugabe still dominates the government.“I think investors remain wary of all this, and know that it will be unwise for them to start triggering rapid movement into Zimbabwe. They can only do so when proper governance systems have been restored.”The IMF also noted that “Potential political instability and limited implementation capacity may undermine reform and stabilisation efforts, weakening the prospects for mobilising donor financial support and attracting private capital inflows.”Earlier this week, two journalists and members of the Movement for Democratic Change, which is part of the government of national unity, were sent back to prison after being out on bail for two months. Following an international outcry, most of them were again released on 6 May.The government has said it will need US$10-billion (R83.6-billion) to finance its economic recovery plan, but has managed to secure only US$400-million (R3.3-billion) from African countries.Mangoma noted that Zimbabwe was willing to fulfil its outstanding financial obligations to creditors, but the government was bankrupt and “we are doing the best we can to bring the country back to its feet.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]: Irin NewsRelated articlesZimbabwe’s turning point? To Zim, with love, Jenny … How to halt Zim hyperinflation? A holiday – in Zimbabwe? Useful linksInternational Monetary Fund
Users can then choose others to collaborate with them on the album. A tweet is sent inviting the collaborators to the album, and they are prompted to sign in via OAuth when they click the tweet in the link. This immediate request for account access without an explanation of the app might be a bit disconcerting for some, however. If an uninvited Twitter user clicks the link, they are given an “invite only” notice and denied access to the content.Collaborators can add content, leave comments and invite other users, depending on the permissions set by the original album creator. Finally, it’s interesting to note that the app’s creators have built in a mechanism for modest financial returns. Each uploaded file costs the user a single onsite credit, called a TwitSeed. Accounts come with 50 TwitSeeds, and more can be purchased in bundles of 100 for $1, 500 for $4, or 1000 for $8.One thing we don’t like is that the app pushes a ton of link- and hashtag-studded notifications into the user’s Twitter stream. As with other apps that gain access via OAuth, from the infamous Spymaster to the successful TinyChat, this is a very fine line that most users would appreciate the app not cross. Generally speaking, users won’t have a problem with a single tweet or two, but a constant stream of app-related messages when the user is active on the site can only end badly. Worst of all, we don’t see a way to opt out of these notifications, so we’ve had to delete these tweets manually, which does nothing to mitigate the swarm of updates for our friends using Twitter clients such as Tweetdeck. Particularly since the content is set up to be private, it doesn’t make sense to broadcast tweets about each user’s on-site activity.We think this app would work well for younger users, social media addicts and long-distance friends, especially if the above-mentioned issues are addressed. What do you folks think so far; does TwitAlbums have what it takes to become a widely used Twitter application? Would you use it, and what would you use it for? Let us know in the comments. jolie odell The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Have you ever wanted to share a set of memories with some of your Twitter friends, keeping the content private while still allowing for collaboration between certain folks?It’s not anything we thought we wanted, either, but after playing with TwitAlbums, we find the concept charming. Here’s how it works: Using Twitter’s OAuth function, users log in and create collections or “albums” containing multimedia content and text comments. They can invite whatever users they like to join them in adding files, and only the users they invite can see the content or comments. Best of all it looks like this little app already has a monetization strategy in place.The concept is inherently charming. Users create an album with a single click. They can then proceed to upload movies, pictures and audio files. We’d like to see options for adding more file types, such as web pages, text files and more. Tags:#twitter#web Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
Wales coach Ryan Giggs: Man Utd must keep buyingby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWales coach Ryan Giggs says Manchester United need FIVE new players to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s under-fire side have won just five of their last 22 matches, and are winless in ten away games, ahead of today’s crunch Prem clash at Newcastle.Giggs told The Sun: “I see what Ole is doing and I support that. He’s brought in three players but he probably needs seven or eight.”So he needs another four or five. But you can’t do that over one transfer window, so you have to be patient because it will be slow.“What he is trying to do was much needed. He needs time.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Up to this point, conference realignment has largely been about the expansion of the leagues’ footprints and adding games available to sell to broadcast partners. Even with possible movement in the Big 12, most believe that there will be around 64-68 schools divided up between four or five power conferences at the end of the day, with the rest of the FBS on the outside looking in.FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel thinks things will take an even more drastic change, with the sport’s upper crust eventually setting itself apart in an even more meaningful way. This morning, he published a post, framing what he believes the college football world will look like in 10 years. Rather than the four or five power conferences that we are now accustomed to, Mandel sees the top 24 schools in the sport joining together to create their own four-division “conference” that will eventually decide the four teams that make up the College Football Playoff. Rather than further expansion, he expects a “consolidation of power” in the sport.What will college football realignment look like in 10 years? Think consolidation, not expansion. Story: https://t.co/ErD34sFUVD— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) May 16, 2016 Here is how Mandel lays things out: His explanation: with the ongoing shift in how people consume television and live events, maximizing the number of big-name matchups to draw the biggest audiences every week will be the new goal of the sport.Whereas the last round of realignment was driven by inventory — bundle together as many schools from as many markets as possible to command the highest possible subscriber fees — the next round will be more about content. Put on the biggest possible games to garner the largest possible audience because the viewers themselves will become the buyers rather than Comcast or Time Warner.This is certainly different than what we usually see in college football realignment projection columns, and there is plenty of logic behind a lot of this. Whether these schools would actually ditch the majority of their leagues to make this happen is a huge question, but it is definitely not outside the realm of possibility.[FOX Sports]
Maybe Jared Sullinger isn’t who we thought he was. Maybe Ohio State’s sophomore big man is a square peg we’ve tried to put in a round hole. Sullinger is obviously an exceptional basketball player. He’s proven over his past two years at OSU that he is among the best forwards in all of college basketball and was named a first-team All-American in the 2010-11 season. Because he’s been so productive and his teams have been so successful, he’s been anointed a superstar. But I think that’s a misnomer. I think Sullinger’s reputation has exceeded his ability. He’s playing the part of a superstar in a role player’s body. Let’s look at what makes Sullinger so good. His offensive fundamentals are phenomenal. He has a repertoire of inside post moves to give himself space and top-notch touch around the basket. He has a big sturdy frame and is strong enough to overpower most defenders off the block (although some would argue Sullinger’s weight loss hampered this ability). He has a high motor and passes well out of the post. Those are great attributes, but the typical superstar has a little bit more. In addition to refined skill, superstars have elite athleticism, explosiveness and the ability to make plays when everything else in a game is crumbling. Sullinger doesn’t have those qualities. Before almost every home game, sophomore guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. and sophomore forward J.D. Weatherspoon have a dunk contest. They do windmills, tomahawks, bank balls off the backboard and even come close to converting between-the-legs dunks. Before OSU lost to Wisconsin Feb. 26, Sullinger decided to make a brief cameo in the competition. Sullinger ran in from the 3-point line and attempted a windmill dunk. The 6-foot-9 man unimpressively leapt from the ground and missed the dunk. Badly. The fact is Sullinger just isn’t that athletic and doesn’t have the height to make up for it. During games, when things are crumbling for OSU, the team looks for Sullinger to make plays. OSU feeds him the ball inside, but Sullinger hasn’t been able to convert. He’ll catch the ball and try to make a move, but when a double team or quality defender arrives, he either flops for a foul or forces a bad shot. Sullinger is in no way a bad player. He’s just not what we’ve made him out to be. Monday, Sullinger was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for his performances against Michigan State and Northwestern. He totaled 36 points and 28 rebounds in the two last two Buckeye wins and proved he can be dominant. He was named first team all-conference and as the Buckeyes head into postseason play, Sullinger’s play will dictate OSU’s success. Maybe Sullinger will prove me wrong. Maybe he’ll dominate the Big Ten Tournament and lead OSU on a deep run in the Big Dance. But Sullinger and the Buckeyes need to be realistic. The Buckeye big man is the best and worst thing OSU has going for them. He has more skill than anyone on the team, but if he overextends himself and tries to be what something he’s not, it spells trouble for the Buckeyes. Sullinger is no role player, but he’s no superstar either. To be successful, OSU and Sullinger will have to find the middle ground.
Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in the third quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo freshman running back has led the Big Ten in rushing yards in over a decade. Wisconsin then-freshman P.J. Hill racked up 1,569 yards in 2006, but every leading rusher since him has been a sophomore or upperclassman. This year, that will change. Badger true freshman running back Jonathan Taylor leads the conference with 1,806 rush yards. Sitting in second place, more than 600 yards behind Wisconsin’s phenom, is Ohio State true freshman running back J.K. Dobbins. Dobbins has 1,190 yards, more than the 1,096 yards last year’s starter, Mike Weber, had as a redshirt freshman. In the Big Ten championship game Saturday, they will face off in the first of many possible battles between the present and future of the conference’s best running backs. In the Big Ten, a storied conference loaded with run-first teams and former highly ranked running back recruits, physically mature veterans nearly always lead in rushing.Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who worked as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator in 2004 when then-freshman running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 1,925 yards, attributed the success to freshmen entering programs as “young men,” not “little kids.”Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) hands the ball off to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the third quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“One, it’s raw talent, but is the kid mature enough to handle the protections and the thought process because there’s some communication where there’s some guys who have the skill-set and they can’t process mentally,” Wilson said Tuesday evening.Dobbins and Taylor are the anomaly. That’s what makes their matchup on Saturday so intriguing. Many believe in the “freshman wall,” a name given to something freshmen who are not used to playing an extended schedule against collegiate competition.When asked about whether he hit the proverbial wall, Dobbins scoffed.“I don’t feel like I’ve hit that wall, I don’t feel like I did,” he said almost incredulously. The proof of his confidence is seen in the numbers. In his first collegiate game, Dobbins picked up 181 yards on 29 carries, an average of 6.2 yards per rush. The next game, against Oklahoma, he added 13 rushes for 72 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Since then, he has rushed for less than 6.7 yards per carry just once, when he picked up 4.3 yards per carry two weeks ago against Illinois.Wilson said he has been conscious of the freshman’s carry count, spelling him in games and in practice with Weber, who became the third freshman in program history to rush for more than 1,000 yards last season, and sophomore Antonio Williams. “You’ve got to be able to practice hard enough to get them tough, but you can’t over-practice, you can’t burn them out,” Wilson said. “You’ve got to be smart with them.”The return of Weber, who had just seven carries in the first four games due to an injury, takes pressure off Dobbins to be the Buckeyes’ bell cow running back. Weber has even received double-digit carries in each of the past two games.Unlike Dobbins, Taylor has been pushed to the maximum without anyone to sub in for him in most games. Wisconsin’s second-leading rusher, running back Bradrick Shaw, has 96 carries, more than 150 fewer than Taylor. And Shaw has not been nearly as successful as Weber, who has a 6.5 yard per carry average. Shaw averages just 3.7 yards per carry.Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first half in the game against Illinois on Nov. 18. Ohio State won 52-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBut Taylor has continued his stretch of dominance, averaging at least 5.4 yards per carry in each of the past eight games. He has received less than 19 carries just once during the stretch.On a teleconference Monday, redshirt linebacker Chris Worley said Taylor “doesn’t run like a freshman.” It did not take long for him and the rest of Ohio State’s first-team defense to learn the same about Dobbins. During spring practice, the first-team offense was working on getting out of its end zone against the Buckeyes’ starting defense. The coaches put the offense on its own 1-yard line. Redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett took a snap and handed the ball to Dobbins, who took just seconds to leave all the first-team defenders in the dust.“He busted up a 99-yard touchdown run, and that’s when I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be for real,’” senior left tackle Jamarco Jones said. “He’s for real.”Dobbins knows he’s for real. When asked whether the college game has been easier than he anticipated, he smirked, chuckled and said, “Yeah.” Dobbins said he thought it would be more difficult both physically and mentally. Even still, he was confident he would be OK. “I thought it was going to be really hard, but I knew I was going to do good,” Dobbins said. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this.”On Saturday on the conference’s biggest stage, Dobbins and Taylor will have the opportunity to not just prove who the Big Ten’s future greatest running back will be, but who is already the best.
Cristiano Ronaldo is now the primary free-kick taker at Juventus, reveals teammate Miralem PjanicPrior to Ronaldo’s arrival from Real Madrid last month, it had been Pjanic and Paulo Dybala who would regularly take the free-kicks for the Bianconeri.But now it’s the five-time Ballon d’Or winner who gets the priority going forward.“Cristiano is here now, someone who in the past few years has shown he is best in the world,” said Pjanic, according to Di Marzio.“At first when we trained on free kicks it would either be me or Dybala to take it. Now, it’s 100% him.“He is a tremendous free kick taker.”Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.The last free-kick Ronaldo scored came back in the World Cup when he memorably equalised for Portugal in their opening game against Spain.The 33-year-old hasn’t got off the mark yet for Juventus after attempting 14 shots in his first two competitive matches.Although he did register an assist in Old Lady’s 2-0 win over rivals Lazio last Saturday.Ronaldo will have another chance to break his duck away to Parma this Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo should win the Ballon d’Or this year instead of Luka Modric, says the Croatian’s Real Madrid team-mate CasemiroModric has had the most impressive year of his career to date and has already beaten Ronaldo to the World Cup Golden Ball and the UEFA Player of the Year awards.The 32-year-old playmaker is now being heavily backed by the likes of Real teammate Isco to put an end to Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long hold of the Ballon d’Or.Modric’s prospects were likely increased following another superb display for Real in Tuesday night’s Champions League opener against AS Roma, which saw the Croatian’s flawless pass create an opening for Gareth Bale to score the second goal in the club’s 3-0 win.Meanwhile, Ronaldo was shown a straight red card after just 29 minutes into his Champions League debut for Juventus against Valencia for an off-the-ball incident with defender Jeison Murillo.But Casemiro feels that former teammate Ronaldo deserves a sixth Ballon d’Or because it was his goals last season that helped fire Real to a third successive Champions League crown.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“Luka’s year has been spectacular,” Casemiro told reporters on SportsMax.“But in my opinion, I would give it to Cristiano Ronaldo because he has been the best throughout last season.”Isco and substitute Mariano Diaz were the other goalscorers as Los Blancos began the defence of their Champions League title with a 3-0 win over Roma.“Last year they reached the semi-finals, almost got to the final, we have to value the match we have played,” Casemiro added.“I would say it was almost perfect, I’ll keep the goal chances that we have created. We will correct [mistakes], the important thing is to create 30 goal chances.“With Luka, Toni [Kroos] and Isco we have known each other for a long time, the quality they have is impressive, everything is easier, I know them and we feel very comfortable.”
The English Football Association (FA) have decided to not take action against Mohamed Salah for the way he won a penalty in Liverpool’s 4-0 winThe Egyptian forward seemingly fell down too easily when Newcastle’s Paul Dummett tugged his arm at Anfield with Liverpool already 1-0 up.Referee Graham Scott awarded the hosts a spot-kick with Salah stepping up to score their second of the game.Magpies boss Rafael Benitez, who earlier this week labelled Salah one of the world’s best players, called the penalty call a “soft” one.He told Sky Sports: “The soft penalty in the game made the difference, we were in the game 1-0 at half-time, but when we conceded the second goal it was more difficult for us to react against a very good team.But now the FA confirmed on Sky Sports that Salah will not be investigated as the second-half incident didn’t reach the threshold for “attempting to deceive the referee”.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.This means Salah will face no match bans and can start in Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday.Dejan Lovren, Xherdan Shaqiri and substitute Fabinho were the other scorers for Liverpool in a 4-0 win over Newcastle on Wednesday.🙄 Mohamed Salah will not face action from the FA for the incident which led to a penalty against Newcastle.*Pretends to be shocked* pic.twitter.com/JJBLy46xhc— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) December 27, 2018