“There is no reason for concern,” Ukibay wrote, referring to the health of 79-year-old Nazarbayev, who retains sweeping powers as Yelbasy, or national leader, and chair of the oil-rich nation’s security council. (Reuters) ALMATY – Kazakhstan’s influential former president Nursultan Nazarbayev has self-isolated after testing positive for COVID-19, his spokesman Aidos Ukibay wrote on Twitter. Kazakh former President Nursultan Nazarbayev attends a meeting in Moscow, Russia March 10, 2020. SPUTNIK/ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS
A summer spending spree, which has seen owner Mike Ashley sanction the acquisition of nine new arrivals to date, has helped to dilute some of the ire on Tyneside, but Pardew will return to the dug-out for the visit of champions Manchester City on Sunday with bridges still to be built. However, asked if he feels he has been given a second chance by supporters, he said: “I’ve been here long enough not to have to play politics with the fans. “I think they know I’m an honest person, I think they know that I work hard, because I do, to try to achieve success at this club. “I’m going to stay and bring that honesty onto the pitch. I have to make tough decisions at this club. I’ll make the ones I think are right to take this club as close as we can to winning something or to get us as close as we can to the Champions League or even into the Champions League at some stage. “I need to grow the team and build it as I go. At the back end of last season, I felt the team was nowhere near that. “We had to improve it and we have. Now I’ve got to make sure that’s replicated in results.” Pardew will be without midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote and summer signing Siem De Jong through injury, but with Daryl Janmaat, Jack Colback, Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere, Facundo Ferreyra and Ayoze Perez also on board, he believes he has a strong hand. He said: “I’ve nothing to moan about now in terms of what’s happened this summer. We have got a strong squad, perhaps the biggest and best I’ve ever had in terms of options, so we are in a great position.” Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (groin) has not been ruled of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League opener at Newcastle but new signing Eliaquim Mangala will not feature. City boss Manuel Pellegrini has warned Newcastle that the champions intend to hit the ground running this season. In both their Barclays Premier League title successes of 2012 and 2014 City needed to wait until the final day of the campaign to secure the crown. Last year their away form in the early part of the season proved problematic as they lost four of their first six games on the road. Pellegrini put that down to the players’ lack of familiarity with his attacking philosophy but he is confident of avoiding a repeat as the title defence begins at St James’ Park on Sunday. The Chilean said: “We must improve the first part of the season last year – it was very bad, especially playing away. I hope it will not be so bad. “We had so many good things last year but that maybe is one of them we will not repeat. “We were starting the season with a new style of playing. Maybe people didn’t believe we could continue playing that same way but one of the most important things when we won the title was that we continued playing that way. “This year we know how to do it and we have new players that must understand the way we want to play.” The 53-year-old manager ended last season firmly in the firing line when he was booed by his own fans at St James’ Park with the campaign drawing to a disappointing conclusion. It was he who bore the brunt of the criticism after Yohan Cabaye’s January exit for Paris St Germain prompted an alarming slump in form, and his cause was not helped by his own disciplinary problems after he head-butted Hull midfielder David Meyler. Press Association Alan Pardew has insisted he will not shy away from the tough decisions as he attempts to bring tangible success to Newcastle.
LEWIS Hamilton insists the challenge of retaining his Formula One world championship never gets old as he looks to create history with Mercedes.Hamilton led from start to finish at Circuit Paul Ricard on Sunday, easing over the finish line 18 seconds ahead of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.The five-time F1 champion had to switch from medium to hard tyres halfway through the race in Le Castelle, though that stoppage made little difference as he claimed a fourth successive win.With six race victories under his belt already this season, Hamilton is well on his way to defending his title with ease, but believes the real test comes in finding marginal gains after another procession to the top of the podium.“It never gets old, it’s always such a challenge out there and I just love that trying to find the edge,” Hamilton said.“I couldn’t do it without this incredible team, we’re creating history. I’m hyped.“It wasn’t easy at all. There’s always things happening, everything’s on the edge.“Reliability is everything, I had big blisters on the front two tyres so I was a bit worried. This has been the best start so we’ve got to enjoy it.”Bottas sits second in the drivers’ standings, with Mercedes well in front of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, and the Finnish driver lauded Hamilton’s dominant display.“Not that much happening from my side obviously,” Bottas said.“The start was the best bet for me but Lewis had a good start as well. I couldn’t match his pace. He was really strong and consistent. He’s not unbeatable. I just need to work hard.”Frenchman Charles Leclerc took third place, while Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel crossed in fifth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.(Yahoo Sport)
By Peter RutherfordGWANGJU, South Korea (Reuters) – If the world swimming championships in Gwangju were just a taste of what is to come at the 2020 Olympics, then in the words of recently retired Australian sprinter James Magnussen — “Brace yourselves”.A meet that was supposed to serve as an indicator of form heading into next year’s Games in Tokyo, the championships delivered this and more. Much, much more.Champions were dethroned, new national heroes born and world records smashed. Swimmers pushed the limits of performance and the boundaries of sportsmanship. The scourge of doping reared its head once more.After winning six gold and two silver medals, it would be safe to say Caeleb Dressel will arrive in Tokyo with a huge target on his back. The U.S. sprint specialist became the first swimmer to win eight medals at a single world championships, taking down Olympic great Michael Phelps’s 10-year-old 100 meters butterfly world record for good measure.The 22-year-old became the spearhead of the U.S. challenge in Gwangju after freestyle queen Katie Ledecky succumbed to illness and, after surrendering her 400 title to rising Australian star Ariarne Titmus, pulled out of two more events.Ledecky recovered enough to defend her 800 title but health issues notwithstanding, a growing cast of rivals will perhaps feel emboldened after Gwangju, where Italian Simona Quadarella emerged as a threat in the 800 and won the 1,500. There was no shortage of swimming storylines. Britain’s Adam Peaty proved peerless in the 100 breaststroke once again, completing his ‘Project 56’ by becoming the first swimmer to breach 57 seconds.He also won gold in the 50 and another from Britain’s sensational 4×100 medley relay win on the final night of competition. “Looking good for next year and all ready for what comes with a bunch of four lads who are young but gathering experience,” said Peaty after the relay. “And yeah, I think we are going to smash it.”PODIUM PROTESTSBut performances in the pool were overshadowed by events on the podium as simmering anger over world governing body FINA’s handling of doping issues boiled over in spectacular fashion.China’s Sun Yang was allowed to compete in Gwangju despite the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealing a FINA doping panel’s decision to clear the 27-year-old of wrongdoing during a random drug test last September.Documents leaked to the media revealed the multiple world and Olympic champion questioned the credentials of the testers before members of his entourage smashed the vials containing his blood samples with a hammer.After Sun, who also served a doping suspension in 2014, won the 400 freestyle on Sunday, silver medalist Mack Horton refused to share the podium with him. Two days later, British bronze medalist Duncan Scott would not shake Sun’s hand or pose for a group photo with him after his victory in the 200, sparking an angry, aggressive response from the Chinese swimmer on the podium.FINA sent warning letters to all three swimmers and tweaked its code of conduct in response to the incidents, with Executive Director Cornel Marculescu confirming athletes could be stripped of their medals for similar behavior in future.Major sporting events rarely escape the ugly menace of doping and Gwangju was no different. Australian swimmer Shayna Jack, who withdrew from the team just before the world championships, confirmed she had tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test.Swimming Australia (SA) came under heavy fire for concealing the news given Jack’s team mate Horton was waging a public campaign against Sun over the Chinese swimmer’s doping history.Responding to accusations of hypocrisy and double standards, SA Chief Executive Leigh Russell said: ‘An Australian swimmer returning a positive result is both bitterly disappointing and embarrassing to our team, our sport and our country”. Australia will hope it can restore its battered reputation before next year’s Olympics.
10 months ago NBA: Things to look forward to ahead of the upcoming 2019-20 season First Published: 22nd October, 2019 12:03 IST WE RECOMMEND Mrigank Pandey Last Updated: 22nd October, 2019 12:03 IST NBA: Tacko Ball, Bol Bol And Other Tall Players To Watch Out For In this article, we take a look at the top six tallest players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The regular NBA season will begin on October 23. 10 months ago NBA 2019-20: Houston Rockets profile, roster and season schedule 10 months ago Addressing growing fan behavior problem top priority for NBA 10 months ago LA Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma not to feature in NBA season opener LIVE TV FOLLOW US The National Basketball Association (NBA) houses some of the most talented athletes in the world. The NBA also plays host to some of the tallest athletes in the world since the nature of the game favours the same. We take a look at six of the tallest players who are currently playing in the NBA.ALSO READ | NBA: Things to look forward to ahead of the upcoming 2019-20 seasonTacko FallThe 23-year-old player from Senegal is 7.5 feet tall. He was picked up in the 2019 Draft by the Boston Celtics. He played for the University of Central Florida.Boban MarjanovicThe 31-year-old Serbian player stands tall at 7.2 feet. He currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks as a Centre. He has also represented the Serbian National Team. He has also represented the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers. ALSO READ | NBA 2019-20: Houston Rockets profile, roster and season scheduleKristaps PorzingisKristaps hails from Latvia and is currently playing for the Dallas Mavericks. The player stands tall at 7.2 feet. He was picked up in the 2015 Draft by the New York Knicks. He plays as a Power Forward/Center.Bol BolThe 7.18 feet tall Sudanese-American players currently plays for the Denver Nuggets. His father, Manute Bol, was also a basketball player. He was picked by Miami Heat in the 2019 Draft but then traded to the Nuggets. He played college basketball for the Oregon Ducks.ALSO READ | Addressing growing fan behaviour problem top priority for NBADeandre AytonDeandre was picked up by the Phoenix Suns in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 21-year-old is 7.08 feet tall. He currently plays as a Centre for the Suns. He hails from The Bahamas. Marc GasolThe Spanish 34-year-old currently plays for the defending champions Toronto Raptors. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2007 Draft. He is 7.08 feet tall. He has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies. He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He also represented Spain in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.ALSO READ | NBA 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks profile: Roster and season schedule 10 months ago NBA 2019-20: All about the Eastern Conference sides this season COMMENT WATCH US LIVE Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US
“I’m not surprised he went to United,” Eriksson told Omnisport when asked about Ibrahimovic’s decision to move to England at the age of 34.“Mourinho has the reputation, similar to Zlatan, that when they go to a new club they normally win in the championship in the first year. So why not? Mourinho and Zlatan it could be enough to win the Premier League.“It would be great for both of them, especially for Zlatan. That would be something incredible, if he could also add that to his other titles.”United face Everton in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial on August 3, before taking on Premier League champions Leicester City in the Community Shield four days later. Ibrahimovic and Co. kick-off their Premier League season against Bournemouth on August 13.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Former Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson’s fancies Manchester United’s chances of winning the Premier League with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho together again.Ibrahimovic – 35 in October – swapped French champions Paris Saint-Germain for United as a free agent at the start of July, reuniting with former Inter boss Mourinho.Eriksson – now coaching Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League – hopes the former Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan and Juventus striker can add the Premier League to his LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1 titles.
Segun James reports that it’s a new order at the Niger Delta Development Commission under the leadership of Professor Nelson Brambaifa, who was recently appointed acting managing directorUntil recently when the Boko Haram terrorist group took the title of the most volatile region in the federation to the North-east, the Niger Delta militants were seen as one.In some quarters, the militants in the Niger Delta were “freedom fighters”, whose activities was geared towards drawing the attention of the federal government and the world to the plight of the people in the much neglected region, whose land produces the oil that is the mainstay of the nation’s economy. It was in the realisation of the need to correct this that the federal government set up the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to be the vehicle to drive this radical change in the region, given the fact that the task of developing the Niger Delta is too important to be toyed with and too compelling to waste time upon.Given the fact that the region has suffered enough deprivation and realising the urgent need for a change, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed university don, Professor Nelson Brambaifa as the acting managing director of the commission to drive the president’s dream for a new order in the Niger Delta region.Brambaifa’s appointment came alongside that of the acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Chris Amadi and the acting Executive Director Projects, Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, who are experienced technocrats.President Buhari who is also the Minister of Petroleum, who has a deep understanding of the region and recognising the need to redress the situation in the region had charged the new team to be the difference by ensuring rapid infrastructural development and capacity building in the region.On assumption of duties, Brambaifa had hit the ground running. He ordered the resumption of work in ongoing projects especially in the deep riverine areas. Projects in these areas, which are the core oil producing areas, had been abandoned because of the difficult terrain, which makes accessibility almost impossible.The new team had found out that contractors handling some projects in these areas had also capitalised on this difficult terrain to abandon jobs only to claim that woks have been completed on them. But with the arrival of Brambaifa, a man who grew up in the creeks and very conversant with the ways of the creeks and waterways, the situation changed.Being a child of the creek himself from Agbere, a oil producing community on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean, in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Brambaifa has seen it all with the eyes of a man with a deep understanding of the terrain, the people and their needs.Brambifa, comes to his new office with over four decades of career experience. To him, his appointment is another step in the effort to offer genuine hope to the Niger Delta people and restore their confidence and faith in rebuilding the region.According to him, there is a new dawn in NDDC and an opportunity to do things differently for the development and actualisation of the aspiration of the people.A Professor of Pharmacology, Brambaifa, has demonstrated the zeal to positively affect the life of his people. As the commissioner representing Bayelsa State on the immediate past governing board of the commission, his vision as the acting managing director of the commission has already manifested within the short period he has led the management team.Given Brambaifa’s tract record and experience as an academic and former member in the immediate past board, he has shown good leadership and competence coupled with the zeal to positively affect the life of his people, his vision as the acting MD of the commission has already manifested within the short period he has led the management team.Braimbifa is insisting that the commission must provide for the region a credible roadmap for building a rapidly growing region and economy which will eliminate prevailing extreme poverty and foster prosperity in an environmentally and socially sustainable level.As a respecter of the traditional institution, Brambaifa at an interactive meeting with traditional rulers from the region said the commission will work with traditional rulers for sustainable development in the region given their crucial role in ensuring peace as well providing a platform for dialogue.He expressed the hope that the royal fathers will continue to support the development process given that they play crucial roles in ensuring peace as well as providing a platform for dialogue in the region.To serve as a clearing house for its projects, he said efforts were being made to revive the Partnership for Sustainable Development (PSD) forum as an important organ for bringing all stakeholders under one umbrella to aid the process of harmonising development projects as enunciated in the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan.EU DelegationAt a visit of a delegation of the European Union (EU) to the commission, Brambaifa had reminded the visiting team that the commission will strengthen its collaboration with the EU through the Niger Delta Support Programme (NDSP) to resuscitate abandoned water infrastructural projects across the nine Niger Delta states.While emphasising the need to develop a framework to ensure community ownership of water projects in the region, he said much can be achieved through institutionalising community-based management structure for the maintenance and sustainability of basic infrastructure in the region.Brambaifa had also told the Ijaw Elders Council from Delta State, who visited him at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt that the goal of the commission’s leadership is to uplift the living standard of the people, engage in infrastructural development and drive a robust capacity building.He said: “These are the things we are doing to promote the stability of our region, and we urge you to partner us.”Renewed CommitmentExpressing the urgent need for a renewed commitment by the leadership of the commission, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Useni Useni, during working visit to commission as the supervisory ministry, told the management team that the federal government is determined to succeed with the programmes at the NDDC.Accompanied by his Minister of state, Prof. Claudius Daramola; the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu-Bisalla and other directors of the supervising ministry, the minister said the current NDDC management, being an interim one, was expected to do more for the people of the Niger Delta than a regular board as it has more to prove.He said: “We expect every functionary and staff of the commission to appreciate this fact and put up the very best efforts in the performance of their duties. It may be too early to assess the performance of the new management team, but it is essential for us to know that the task for the management is a greater burden than it would have been if it has longer time to stay.”According to the minister, his ministry will continue to supervise the commission to ensure that it performs maximally “because the performance of NDDC goes a long way to determine the forms ofagitation we get from the different segments of members of Niger Delta society”.CommendationThe secretary of the Bayelsa First Initiative group, Mr Mekunisi Aworabi, who also visited the commission, while commending President Buhari for the appointment of Brambifa as the acting MD of the commission, described the appointment as a right step in the right direction.Aworabi said that given Brambaifa’s track record and experience as an academic and former representative of Bayelsa State in the immediate past board, he has shown good leadership and competence within the short period he led the board.Aworabi said the acting MD is already standing up to the challenges of giving direction to actualisation of the objective of the commission.Quiet and unassuming, the managing director started life in Agbere where he had shown brilliance as he made his WAEC papers in flying colours. After his secondary education, Brambaifa proceeded to the Free University, Berlin, in then East Germany where he graduated with a Degree, Vor-diplom Biochemie (Biochemistry) in 1974.In pursuit of higher degrees, four years later and in quick succession, on the path of scholarly procession, he earned his first; Diplom Biochemie in Oral Examination in Biochemistry, Clinical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry and Pharmacy graduating with distinction from the same university.By 1982 he has earned his Doktor der Naturwisseshaften (Dr.rer.nat) in Oral Examination in Pharmaology, Biochemistry, Clinical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, progressing in the process to Research Assistant in Research Laboratories of Scharing, Research Fellow in Scharing Central Research both in Berlin and a post – Doctoral Research fellow at UCLAF in the Loire Valley France.Brambaifa has worked as team leader in Scchearing, Central Research Department of Neuroendocrinology and Neuropscychopharmacology from 1984 to 1993 and became a professor of Biochemical Pharmacology in 1996.As a scientist, his attention to detailed clinical inquiry remains precise. As a teacher on the other hand, he is as inspiring as he is an example of ceaseless scholarship, reflecting a mind of profound intellect and a passion of unerring gusto. He had served as Dean Student Affairs 1992 to 1996 as well as been the pioneer Dean Faculty of Basic Medical Collage of Health Science, at the University of Port Harcourt. He also served as the pioneer Provost, College of Health Science, Niger Delta University Amassoma in Bayelsa state.He has published 62 scientific articles and delivered several public lectures in concern about health, environment and the lingeringissues of seeking a credible roadmap for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.With a rich academic background, international exposure and socio-political involvement in affairs of the region and the nation at large, there is groundswell of opinion that Brambaifa should transit as the substantial MD of the commission.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nelson Brambaifa
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisIf you love reading and goodies, the 3rd Annual Alpena Book Festival is coming up this Saturday, September 23rd. There will be over 10 panel discussions, and 23 writers making their way to Alpena Public Library.Thanks to the libraries collaboration with Olivet Books and Blue Phoenix Books, the festival will feature poets, graphic novelists, and 13 new authors from all over the state of Michigan.“We’re one of the few Michigan book festivals that only invites Michigan only authors to attend and participate. It also is a key event in promoting literacy. All of the festival proceeds benefit the read adult literacy program here at the library, which is a life–changing program that’s really behind what we do which is helping people through education,” Jessica Luther said.The book festival is free but will be offering some nice items to collect and take home.Attendees will also have a chance to enter to win a free tuition to the Lost Lake Writers Retreat.“Tote bags are full of all sorts of stuff including advanced reader copy books that are donated by publishers and these are books that have not been published yet so they’re not available on the market so it’s kind of a cool sneak peek. We also have some mainstream books, but there’s something from everybody,” Luther said.So if you don’t have anything to do make your way to the Alpena Public Library. The Alpena Book Festival will be held once again this Saturday, September 23rd from 10 am until 5 pm.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alpena Book FestivalContinue ReadingPrevious 8th Annual Deer Blind Round Up Will Take Place This WeekendNext HUNT Team and Michigan Department of Corrections Arrest a Wayne County Fugitive in Alpena
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is enjoying a tremendous campaign but believes he doesn’t get the proper credit because he’s from Africa. He thinks it’s a long-standing problem that also impacted the likes of Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o.Toure, who has won league titles in England, Spain and Greece, as well as the Champions League with Barcelona, was among the six names shortlisted for the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year award on Friday.Following the club’s Capital One Cup victory at Wembley in March, Samir Nasri claimed Toure would be considered as the best midfielder in the world if he wasn’t African.“I think what Samir was saying was definitely true,” Toure told BBC’s Football Focus.”To be honest, proper recognition has only come from the fans.“I don’t want to be hard and I don’t want to be negative, but I want to be honest. “If you go to any part of Africa now, people will say ‘yes, we know him [Lionel Messi]’, but when you come to Europe and say ‘Yaya Toure’ people will say ‘who is that?’ Some will say they know my name but not know my face. But they will know Messi’s face.”I am very proud to be African, I want to defend African people and I want to show to the world that African players can be as good as the Europeans and South Americans.”