Share Share Caricom logo. Photo credit: glas.netGEORGETOWN, Guyana — CARICOM heads of government at their 23rd inter-sessional meeting, which ended in Suriname on Friday, have agreed to “move immediately” to implement major recommendations that would see the restructuring of the Community’s administrative body — the CARICOM Secretariat. To this end, the conference has directed the CARICOM secretary-general, Irwin LaRocque, to begin the search for a change facilitator who would help him navigate the change process. The recruitment of a change facilitator was one of the recommendations contained in the Landell Mills Report, submitted to heads of government by the British-based international consultancy firm Landell Mills Ltd, which was commissioned by CARICOM to conduct a comprehensive review of its administrative body. Chairman of the conference, Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse told journalists at the closing press conference of the two-day meeting that heads of government had accepted in general, some recommendations of the report, but would seek clarification on others. He said the conference had directed the secretary-general to move immediately to recruit a change facilitator who would help him to steer the implementation process and strengthen the corporate functions of the Secretariat in the first instance. Bouterse explained that in a parallel exercise, heads of government would work with an internal group from the Secretariat to facilitate improving regional governance and implementation. This process would involve an outline of a five-year strategic plan in time for consideration by heads of government at the thirty-third meeting of the conference in july. “All in all it was a most productive and fruitful inter-sessional meeting and as chairman I am looking forward to moving urgently with the secretary-general to see the initiatives through,” the CARICOM chairman told journalists. Prime minister of Saint Lucia, Dr Kenny Anthony gave support to the president’s statement and explained that there would also be changes made to the conference regarding its agenda, structure and approach to meetings. He agreed that the 23rd inter-sessional was a purposeful meeting and that every member of the conference present understood quite clearly that the people wanted change now. It was not a question of postponing or feet-dragging. It was vital that change process commenced immediately, he said.Caribbean News Now Sharing is caring! LocalNews CARICOM to commence secretariat reforms immediately by: – March 12, 2012 Share 7 Views no discussions Tweet
United drew 2-2 at West Brom on Monday to drop more points as they try to catch Jose Mourinho’s leaders, who they host on Sunday. Daley Blind scored an 87th minute equaliser after Saido Berahino’s sixth league goal of the season almost wrapped up victory for Albion. Louis van Gaal insists Manchester United can still close the gap to Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Press Association Marouane Fellaini scored his first United goal to make it 1-1 but the draw left United 10 points behind Chelsea yet Van Gaal believes they can catch them. He said: “That’s possible but difficult to say because then I am arrogant. But I have done it a lot of times. “It is two points lost. I think we were the better team and I am very disappointed by the result. We were two times behind but I don’t think West Bromwich Albion created too many chances. “We gave the two goals away and we created four chances in the first half and seven in the second. We dominated the game. “That’s what I want as a coach and as a manager but the manager doesn’t want a result like 2-2. “I have said to my players I cannot be happy. I am happy about our play style but not the result.” Fellaini could have left Albion red faced after a tweet from their official Twitter account which appeared to take a dig at the Belgium international. “Fellaini has now taken his tracksuit off, fortunately he has a Man Utd strip on underneath,” they tweeted as he prepared to come on as a half-time substitute. Albion insist it was taken out of context as it was meant to show relief he was not naked but it was still retweeted 16,000 times. The Baggies were good value for the point though and had taken the lead through Stephane Sessegnon’s fine eighth-minute effort. The result lifted them to 14th in the table but head coach Alan Irvine revealed his frustration. “We’re all bitterly disappointed. We were so close to getting a great result against a top team and for us not to get three points feels really tough in this moment,” he said. “The players were terrific all the way through, they worked really hard when we didn’t have the ball and passed the ball really well. We got two great goals and we’ve led twice and I felt quite comfortable on both occasions we had the lead.” Berahino impressed again and Irvine believes he added weight to calls for senior international selection. “He is in great form. He deserves what he is getting, his application as been really top class. He’s behaving like a top professional day after day,” he said. “If he scores goals every week then he has a great chance (of a senior call) but Roy will decide when is the right time for him.” Albion later wrote a further tweet to say they had meant no offence by their earlier reference to Fellaini. “Sorry if a joke about a footballer not having a shirt on under his tracksuit top has caused such outrage. It was not intended as a slur” the tweet read.
Spectators wearing Chiefs colours thrashed television equipment and set fire to some seats at a venue built for the 2010 World Cup.An eyewitness who requested anonymity told AFP they saw a female security guard being assaulted by some supporters. “It was chaotic,” the eyewitness said. “The rampage appeared to catch the police and security guards by surprise initially. I was frightened.”Only this week Chiefs were fined 250,000 rand (about $20,500/17,000 euros) after supporters recently flung plastic bottles on the pitch following a heavy league defeat.Supporters of the famed Soweto club, who have won more trophies than any other football club in the republic, are angry after three seasons without a trophy. Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in Durban Saturday to disperse angry Kaizer Chiefs fans after the club suffered a shock South African FA Cup semi-final defeat.Chiefs’ players had to sprint to the changeroom when furious supporters invaded the pitch following a 2-0 loss to Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the Indian Ocean port city.There were unconfirmed reports that coach Steve Komphela had resigned after the latest setback for the Soweto club in a bleak, trophy-less season. The last chance of silverware this season disappeared with the loss to Free State Stars, a club without any big-name players from a small central South African town.Plastic bottles and other missiles were hurled at Chiefs’ dugout during the closing minutes of the cup tie when it became obvious that the last chance of glory this season was disappearing.Komphela has been the main target of furious fans for some months and his contract expires this June.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2
An organization is encouraging presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to pick Michelle Obama as his Vice Presidential running mate. The “Draft Michelle Obama for VP” organization wrote an open letter to Biden Tuesday suggesting he extend a formal invitation to her join him on his campaign ticket. The letter says the former First Lady has the power to assure a win over President Trump but to also bring together a divided nation. It goes on to say Biden cannot afford to take any chances and needs the strongest ticket possible which they believe would be with Mrs. Obama as his VP.
by Malik VincentAs one of the region’s most decorated athletes, Baron “B.B.” Flenory added one more to his laundry list of accomplishments.At the Four Points by Sheraton Pittsburgh North hotel on May 5, Flenory was the lone African-American enshrined in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Western chapter this year. B.B. Flenory “It was a great thing for me to be a part of,” Flenory said. “What a tremendous honor.”A 2011 Courier 50 Men of Excellence honoree, Flenory, was a part of the last Duquesne squad that clinched an appearance in the NCAA tournament (1977).He then went on to play professionally with the Boston Celtics and overseas in Venezuela.When asked about his fondest memories, to this day, his 81 point game in junior high still sticks out his mind, a performance that led to an appearance in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the crowd”. It also set the tone for his star career at Valley High, where Flenory amassed over 1,800 points on the way to being named Pennsylvania’s HS player of the year in 1976.“To get into my state’s hall of fame ranks up there with one of my greatest accomplishments,” he said. “I know that there are better players than me out there. But, the committee remembered my name. That means a lot to me.”Flenory notes his 2010 induction to the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Hall of Fame as a building block for consideration with the State committee.“If it weren’t for me getting into the WPIAL hall, I don’t think I would have gotten into the State,” Flenory added. “There are several people on the committee that also votes for the State’s, too.”The Pittsburgh Power of the Arena Football League (AFL) recently honered him with their community service award.Currently, he works as a transition specialist for the Pressley Ridge schools, which is the equivalent to a public school’s guidance counselor.“I take pride in what I do now,” Flenory said. “It’s a total change from what I was doing when I first came home from playing ball.”Flenory got a degree in criminal justice from Duquesne and worked in the penal system as an athletic director at the State correctional facility in Greensburg. He’s also had a stint as a probation officer.“I got tired of working in the punitive system,” he added. “I wanted to do something more therapeutic.”So now at Pressley Ridge, his responsibility is to help the students at the school, who mostly have special needs, transition into life after their school years.His steadfastness in the community and in his career is something that Flenory has also attributed to his induction to the State hall.“I believe that was something (that was present) on the selection committee’s mind when they chose me,” he said. “It’s not just about what you get accomplished in athletics. People will always notice what you do in humanity, as well.”(Malik Vincent can be reached at [email protected]burghcourier.com or on Twitter @malikvincent.)
Facebook1Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Red Lion Hotels CorporationRLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation) (NYSE:RLH) has announced the opening of Hotel RL Olympia. The hotel was built in 1969 and has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation to be rebranded as a Hotel RL. Hotel RL Olympia is the first of five Hotel RLs scheduled to open this year and the third to launch since the brand’s first opening last August.“The Hotel RL brand DNA is consistent with Pacific Northwest values, which makes us especially delighted to open Hotel RL Olympia in the heart of Washington’s state capital” said RLHC Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Linehan. “The Living Stage, a unique feature to Hotel RL, located in the hotel’s open pavilion-style lobby, is an exceptional venue for people to share their creativity, innovation or spread awareness about their passions during scheduled performances. This feature caters to local artists from all walks of life and benefits the community as well as overnight guests – it’s a lively concept that has been very well received.”“The Living Stage is one of a series of spaces, experiences and amenities at Hotel RL especially suited to travelers seeking more than just a hotel room,” Linehan added. “Hotel RL offers spaces for business and leisure travelers to immerse themselves into local culture, while maintaining their connection to the world.”Hotel RL Olympia has 193 guest rooms and features major enhancements and expansions to the lobby, bar and restaurant. The hotel also offers 16,500 square feet of meeting space. Other hotel amenities include free Wi-Fi, complimentary parking, Cascadia Soapery bath and beauty products, complimentary artisanal coffee by Victrola Coffee Roaster made to order, complimentary Villy Custom bicycle rentals and performances by local artists and influencers at the Living Stage.Doing Good For Our Neighbors: Project Wake Up Call Hotel RL Olympia will also continue the brand’s charitable awareness campaign, Project Wake Up Call, which focuses on aiding the homeless in each city that a Hotel RL is located. Guests can donate to SideWalk, a non-profit that provides rapid rehousing to those who are experiencing homelessness in Thurston County, Washington. All of the charities participating in Project Wake Up Call align with RLHC’s mission and have been carefully selected to help those without homes get the support they need. RLHC donors that contribute $100 or more will enjoy a complimentary night stay at a Hotel RL location of their choice.“The team at Hotel RL Olympia has been a great ally to us through Project Wake Up Call,” said Anna Robinson, Development Director at SideWalk. “We appreciate their intention to support and raise awareness for local non-profits that are working to end homelessness across the country. We look forward to our continued partnership.”Hotel RL Olympia is in the state’s capital at 2300 Evergreen Park Drive Southwest. Olympia is only 60 miles from Seattle. Nearby attractions include Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Percival Landing, Priest Point Park, Millersylvania State Park, Tolmie State Park and more.For more information, please visit: www.rlhco.com.
Die Stadte sind gewachsen, viel Land wurde der Landwirtschaft zugeteilt, mit der Jagd wurden ganze Herden ausgeloscht und die Zeiten, in denen eine Springbockherde tagelang durch eine Karoo Stadt hindurchziehen konnte, sind lange vorbei.Und dennoch bleibt Sudafrika gesegnet mit einem Überfluss an Wildtieren, dank der Voraussicht von Naturschutzern in der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart.Die großen funfDie grossen KatzenWeniger bekannte WildtiereÜber 200 Arten von SaugetierenMeeressauger und FischeDas Krokodil…und andere ReptilienVogelweltDie großen funfAm bekanntesten sind die Saugetiere, und die bekanntesten davon sind die beruhmten großen funf: Elefant, Lowe, Rhinozeros, Leopard und Buffel. Nicht dass Giraffe, Flusspferde oder Wale etwa klein waren…Sudafrika’s Bushveld und Savannenregionen sind immer noch die Heimat einer großen Zahl von Saugetieren, die allgemein mit Afrika verbunden werden. Der Kruger National Park hat alleine uber 10.000 Elefanten und 20.000 Buffel – in 1920 waren nur schatzungesweise 120 Elefanten in ganz Sudafrika ubrig.Weisse Nashorner sind ebenfalls vor dem Aussterben gerettet worden und gedeihen nun mit sowohl im Kruger als auch im Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. Das Augenmerk ist derzeit auf die Erhaltung des schwarzen Nashorn gerichtet.Beide Parkts bieten den großen Funf eine Heimat, wie auch andere großere Schutzgebiete in Sudafrika – wie z. B. Pilanesberg in der Provinz North West – und zahlreiche kleinere Schutzgebiete und private Jagdhutten.Die grossen KatzenSie haben nicht nur den hochsten Rang auf der Raubtierleiter inne, Lowen sind auch top im Glamourfaktor. Traurigerweise haben sie im Menschen einen schrecklichen Feind, der sie aus weiten Teilen des Landes verjagt hat, so dass sie fast nur noch in Naturschutzgebieten vorkommen.Der schone Leopard uberlebt in einem großeren Gebiet, in großen Teilen des Sudkaps und weit im Norden des Landes, obwohl die Zahlen in einigen Gebieten niedrig sind.Die dritte der beruhmten Großkatzen ist besonders faszinierend. Der Gepard schlagt sie alle in Geschwindigkeit, mit einer Sprintgeschwindigkeit von nahezu 100 kmh. Dennoch ist die Gepardenpopulation vergleichsweise klein, gefahrdet durch die Verluste aus Raubtierangriffen auf ihre Jungen, und beschrankt sich weitgehend auf den hohen Norden (inkl. dem Kruger National Park), dem Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park am Nordkap, und Reservaten in KwaZulu-Natal und der North West Provinz.Weniger bekannte WildtiereAndere vollkommen afrikanische Großtiere sind Flusspferde, Giraffen, Kudus, (die beruhmten Wildebeest) Gnus und Zebras, alle haufig Sudafrika’s Naturschutzgebieten zu sehen.Erweitertes Bewußtsein hat ein gesteigertes Wertschatzung weniger bekannter Tiere bewirkt. Eine Sichtung der seltenen Leierantilope (einer Verwandten des Gnus) kann ebensoviel Begeisterung hervorrufen wie der Anblick eines Lowenrudels, das sich unter einem Bushveld Dornenbaum rakelt. Und obwohl man einen Elefanten in der Nahe wohl kaum ubersehen kann, braucht man schon gute Augen, um die scheue kleine waldbewohnende Suni Antilope (Livingstone’s Antilope) zu erspahen und man darf sich in jedem Fall selbst gratulieren.Auf dem wirklich kleinen Maßstab konnte man sich der Herausforderung stellen und alle der sieben Arten von Russelspringern in Sudafrika abhaken – eine Aufgabe, die einen durch das ganze Land fuhren wurde und wahrscheinlich eine sehr lange Zeit in Anspruch nehmen wurde.Über 200 Arten von SaugetierenMit mehr als 200 Arten ist der Begriff kurzer Ausblick bei Sudafrika’s einheimischen Saugetieren ein Widerspruch in sich. Ein paar Beispiele genugen, um die Bandbreite anzudeuten.Im Bereich Attraktivitat liegen die Primaten weit oben. In Sudafrika gehoren die nachtaktiven Buschbabies dazu, die grune Meerkatze und die Weißkehlmeerkatze, Tchakma Paviane, die sich – ermutigt von unverantwortlichen Futterungen und unter dem Druck, ihren Lebensraum zu verlieren – unbeliebt gemacht haben durch Raubzuge durch die Hauser an der Kap Halbinsel.Klippenschliefer (Hyraxe, Bewohner felsiger Lebensraume) und Erdmannchen (Suricate, bekannt durch ihre aufrechte Alarmhaltung) haben enormen Reiz, obwohl die Klippenschliefer ein Problem fur die Landwirtschaft darstellen konnen.Das zuruckhaltende nachtaktive Erdferkel (das Ameisen frisst und das einzige Mitglied der Ordnung Tubulidentata ist) und der Erdwolf (der Termiten frisst und mit den Hyanen verwandt ist) sind zwei weitere reizvolle Geschopfe, und man findes sie sozusagen uberall im Land.Und fur diejenigen, die ihre Erdsaugetiere feucht mogen, gibt es den weitverbreiteten Kapotter, der sowohl in Frischwasser als auch im Meerwasser herumschwimmt. Der Fleckenhalsotter hat ein eingeschrankteres Revier. Beide sind jedoch selten und schwierig zu finden.Ein Saugetier, dessen Anziehungskraft sich erst neu herausgestellt hat, ist der afrikanische Wildhund oder Hyanenhund, eines der gefahrdesten Saugetiere Afrika’s. Einst irrtumlich als wahllose Killer verunglimpft, mittlerweile aber geschatzt wegen des okologischen Wertes und ihrem bemerkenswert fursorglichen Familienverhalten im Rudel, brauchen Wildhunde ein großes Revier. Ein einziges Rudel braucht durchschnittlich mehrere hundert quadratkilometer.Sie finden sich in kleinen Zahlen in Kruger Nationalpark und Umgebung, im nordlichen KwaZulu-Natal (einschließlich Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park), in der Kalahari, und im Madikwe Schutzgebiet in der North West Provinz.Verbreitere Canide sind Hyanen, Schakale und Loffelhunde. Neben den bereits erwahnten Katzen gibt es noch den Karacal mit seinen charakteristischen gepinselten Ohren, die afrikanische Wildkatze und den seltene Schwarzfußkatze. Weitere Fleischfresser sind Zibetkatze, Ginsterkatze und einige Mungoarten.Die Pflanzenfresser sind besonders gut vertreten durch verschiedene Antilopen, vom kleinen Kronenducker bis zu den großen Kudus und den außerordentlich schonen Rappenantilopen, die nur in den nordlichsten Gebieten zu finden sind.Aber die Saugetiere schwingen sich auch in die Lufte: Sudafrika ist reich bestuckt mit Fledermausarten.Meeressauger und FischeUnd sie begeben sich auch ins Wasser. Das großte Saugetier von allen – in Sudafrika wie auch der Welt – ist der Blauwal, der eine Große von 33 Metern erreichen kann.Aber von den acht Walarten, die in sudafrikanischen Wassern gefunden werden (inkl. dem aufregenden schwerz-weiße Schwertwal), ist es der Sudkaper, der am haufigsten von Menschen beobachtet wird. Dieses beeindruckende Geschopf kommt in die Kustenbuchten um zu kalben, wobei man sie hervorragend vom Land aus beobachten kann.Der Sudkaper steht fur eine der Erfolgsgeschichten des Naturschutz’s. Einst zum “richtigen” Wal fur die Jagd erkoren wurde ihr Bestand derart dezimiert, dass sie zu den geschutzten Arten zugeordnet wurden. Mit großerer Vertrautheit, bedingt durch ihre Ruckkehr in die Kustenbuchten, sind sie nun genauso beliebt wie die viele Delphine in unseren Kustengewassern.Sudafrika verfugt auch uber einen großen Fischartenreichtum. Der wohl beeindruckenste ist der große weiße Hai, er ist aber nur einer von mehr als 2.000 Arten, die 16% der Arten in der ganzen Welt darstellen. Verschiedene Fangfische, Langusten und Seeohren sind von besonderem Interesse fur Gourmets, wahrend Hochseefische (Sardinen und Pilcharde) von großem wirtschafltichen Wert sind.Das Krokodil…und andere ReptilienNicht so reichlich bestuckt mit Frischwasserfischen – 112 bekannte Arten, lediglich 1.3% des Weltanteils – hat Sudafrika dennoch einen Flußbewohner, der im gleichen Maße wie die Großen Funf ein Symbol Afrika’s ist. Das Krokodil beherrscht immer noch einige Teile von Flussen und Flussmundungen, Seen und Teichen, und fordert auch gelegentlich noch ein Menschenopfer.Andere bemerkenswerte Wasserreptilien sind die Kabarettschildkroten und Lederschildkroten, die durch die Seen ziehen, sie sind Schwerpunkt großerer Naturschutzbemuhungen der Gemeinden, die ihre Nistplatze an der nordlichen KwaZulu-Natal Kuste schutzen.Zu Sudafrika’s Landreptilien zahlen seltene Schildkroten und die faszinierenden Chamaleone. Es gibt weit mehr als 100 Schlangenarten. Und wahrend etwa die Halfte, einschließlich Pythons, ungiftig sind, sind es andere – wie die Puffotter, die grune und schwarze Mamba, die Boomslang und die Ringhalskobra – ganz bestimmt.Das vergleichsweise trockene Klima des Landes ist verantwortlich fur die relativ geringe Zahl an Amphibien – 84 Arten. Als Ausgleich dafur glanzt Sudafrika mit uber 77.000 Arten von wirbellosen Tieren.VogelweltVogelkundler aus der ganzen Welt kommen nach Sudafrika um die große Vielfalt typisch afrikanischer Vogel, Zugvogel und (nur in Sudafrika) heimische Vogel zu erleben.Mehr als 850 Arten in etwa wurden bisher in Sudafrika erfasst, ungefahr 725 sind ortsansassig oder kommen jahrlich zu Besuch, und etwa 50 davon sind einheimisch oder quasi einheimisch.Abgesehen von den ansassigen Vogeln, halten sich in Sudafrika auch eine Reihe von intra-afrikanischen Zugvogeln wie Kuckucke und Eisvogel, wie auch arktische, europaische, zentralasiatische und antarktische Vogel wahrend des Jahres auf.Die sudafrikanische Vogelwelt reicht vom Strauß – der in Farmen im Kreis Oudtshoorn am Westkap gezuchtet wird, aber in wilder Form zumeist im Norden des Landes zu sehen ist – bis zu so auffallenden Arten wie dem Nashornvogel und dem allgegenwartigen kleinen braunen Cistensanger.Nur ein kleines Gebiet um die Stadt Vryheid herum in nordlichen KwaZulu-Natal, bietet Sumpf, Grunland, Thornveld und sowohl berg- als auch flussartigen Wald, und etwa 380 Arten wurden hier erfasst.Ein Vogelkundler muss sich nicht einmal aus einem typischen Gauteng Garten herausbewegen um Graularmvogel, Mausvogel, Wiedehopf, Hagedashe, Halsband- oder Haubenbartvogel, Kapbrillenvogel, Kurrichane zu sehen… oder einen einsamen Tiputip, der linkisch um einen Baum herum stochert. Und damit ware die Liste keinesfalls schon beendet.Zu den spektakularsten Vogeln Sudafrika’s zahlen die Kraniche, die am besten in den Supfen gefunden werden – obwohl der Klunkerkranich so selten ist, dass eine Sichtung schon viel Gluck erfordert. Der wunderschone Paradieskranich ist der Nationalvogel von Sudafrika; der Kronenkranich ist wahrscheinlich der auffalligste von den dreien mit seinem unverkennbaren markanten Kamm.Unter den großeren Vogelarten hat Sudafrika auch einige Adler und Geier zu bieten. Zu den farbenprachtigsten zahlen die Eisvogel, Bienenfresser, Nektarvogel, die exquisite Gabelracke, der Helmturako und der Glanzhaubenturako.Quelle: South African Tourism
El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes View comments Antetokounmpo thrills in ‘Greek Freak Invades Manila’ “I’m very happy with our effort to night especially on the defensive end. We played good defense the entire game. A lot of people were involved with that,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.“Cliff Hodge did a great job defensively today. LA Tenorio got off to a quick start but after that I thought Chris Newsome also picked up his defense against LA. I think overall it was just a great defensive effort.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Bolts outscored the Gin Kings, 29-12, in the pivotal third period where swingman Jared Dillinger fired 12 of his 17 points.“In the second half we played much better offensively, moved the ball better, started to make some shots. JD (Dillinger) made some outside shots for us and 3-point shots that opened up their defense,” said Black. National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress “Overall it’s just a great start for us. I’m really happy for the players they worked hard in the offseason,” Black added after his team rose to 2-0.Meralco also ruined the return of Ginebra center Greg Slaughter, who played his first game in 10 months due to an ACL injury.Slaughter finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAllen Durham had another dominating outing and Meralco shook off a slow start to rip debuting Barangay Ginebra, 93-78, in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Durham bullied his way to 30 points and 24 rebounds with nine assists to power the Bolts, who trailed by as much as 11 early before a big third quarter got them cruising to a big win.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’
One school of thinking about the MLB trade deadline, which passes at 4 p.m. Eastern time, is that teams should address their weaknesses and become more balanced in preparation for the stretch run. The notion, which we’ve taken as a given around these parts in the past, is that sacrificing in some area of strength (whether on offense, pitching or defense) to plug a weakness makes a team less vulnerable in the postseason. But is that true? Certainly teams should patch up their weaknesses if it doesn’t mean taking away from their strengths, but all else being equal, balance for its own sake may not necessarily help improve a team’s chances.It’s easy to look at a team’s offense/defense balance — defined as how closely matched a team’s run-scoring and run-prevention capabilities are. We can quantify the clubs most in need of it at the deadline this season by indexing each team’s (park-adjusted) runs scored and allowed per game against the league average. In the chart below, the teams in the bottom right-hand corner are the most balanced — they’re good at both scoring and preventing runs1In this case, a lower defensive index is better because it means a team allowed fewer runs. — but those in the adjacent quadrants have a weakness in one of the two categories. (Those in the top left are just bad at everything.) But to examine the broader question of whether balance helps a team, we need to see if our measure of balance — specifically, the absolute difference between a team’s index and the league average of 100 on both offense and defense — tracks meaningfully with a team’s future success after controlling for its overall talent level.To that end, I computed the same offensive and defensive indices as above for each team on July 31 of every season since 1986, when the trade deadline was permanently moved to that date (except this year, when the commish moved it to Aug. 1 because July 31 fell on a Sunday). As a first pass, I checked whether a change in a team’s balance correlated with improved play over the remainder of the regular season — and the relationship was practically non-existent.2In statistical parlance, the r between the change in a team’s balance from before the trade deadline to after and its change in winning percentage was 0.018. I then did the same thing but for eventual playoff teams only … and got the same result.3This time, the correlation was -0.009. Finally, I looked at whether a playoff-bound team’s balance had any real bearing on its World Series odds after controlling for its talent, and again, a team’s balance had no significant effect. (If anything, less balanced playoff teams have tended to win the World Series more often since 1986, though that finding is likely just noise.)In other words, balance isn’t something for a team to seek at the deadline — talent is. Teams should be wary about dealing from a strength to improve a weakness if it doesn’t leave them in a better overall place than where they started. Even under the bright lights, a run saved is still worth the same as a run scored, balance be damned.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
IN SportALL EVENTSShare of The Dutch do one thing very, very wellThe countries that have won the largest share of their medals in one sport at the Winter Olympics Among countries that won at least 10 medals in a single sport. Through Feb. 14, 2018 (South Korea time).Source: Sports-Reference.com SwitzerlandAlpine skiing20595013940.042.5 CroatiaAlpine skiing410411100.090.9 NetherlandsSpeedskating401144212195.4%94.2% FranceAlpine skiing15483311545.541.7 ChinaShort track930125375.056.6 The Summer Games’ one-sport specialistsThe countries that have won the largest share of their Summer Olympic medals in one sport At the Olympics in South Korea, highly populated countries such as the U.S. can contend in a broad range of sports, including skiing, hockey, skating and more. But smaller countries have a harder time producing world-class athletes in so many disciplines, so they often concentrate on just a few. Then there’s the Netherlands, which owns one event alone: speedskating.Through the end of competition Wednesday (South Korea time) at the Pyeongchang Games, 40 of the 42 gold medals Dutch competitors have won in any Winter Olympics had come in speedskating — not to be confused with speedskating’s more exciting half-brother, short-track speed skating, which the Olympics count as a separate discipline. Just seven of the nation’s 121 total Winter medals came in a sport other than speedskating, a measly 5.8 percent. At the previous Winter Olympics in 2014, the Dutch claimed 24 medals: 23 in speedskating and one, a bronze, in short track skating. Eight of their medals were gold.In sports, a country’s dominance often fades — look at Romania in Olympic gymnastics or U.S. men in tennis Grand Slams. But Dutch speedskaters have sustained their superiority. In the 2010 Olympics, they won eight medals: seven in speedskating and one, a gold, in snowboarding. They won nine in 2006, all in speedskating. So far this Olympics, they’ve already won nine speedskating medals,1Not counting their two on the short track, or the silver speedskating medal the country won on Thursday. including five golds. The most impressive Dutch medal so far in these games: a third consecutive gold in the 5,000 meter race for Sven Kramer, who is 31 years old. He is the first man to win three straight golds in the same Olympic speedskating event. He won this year’s race by nearly two seconds. JamaicaTrack & Field777898.7 Things weren’t always this way. Looking at all the medals ever given out in speedskating, the Dutch have captured 21 percent. This is impressive, but it’s short of other countries’ performances in other sports: Canada has won 31 percent of all curling medals, and the U.S. has won 29 percent of all snowboarding medals, for instance. But much of this has to do with the fact that speedskating has a long history at the Olympics, and the Netherlands has only reached its current level of dominance relatively recently. The Dutch won 13.1 percent of all speedskating medals between 1924 and the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and all of those came after 1952. But since the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, the Netherlands has captured 36.6 percent of all podium spots.2Through the end of competition (Korea time) on Feb. 14, 2018. Medals South KoreaShort track2243275481.579.6 CountrySportIn sportTotalshare of total IndonesiaBadminton193063.3 MoroccoTrack & Field192382.6 Trinidad and TobagoTrack & Field151979.0 BahamasTrack & Field121485.7 CountrySportGoldTotalGoldsTOTALGoldsTotal The Dutch dominance is so complete that it inspires wacky theories. NBC’s Katie Couric was mocked for her recent statement that the Dutch are so good because they have a longstanding tradition of skating from place to place on frozen canals. The problem: Those canals freeze only a few times a year, if at all, and when people skate on them, it’s for recreation. Dutch skeedskaters are also rumored to have an ideal body type for the sport, but while the country’s racers are often tall, so are many of their opponents from other countries. Nor do the Dutch use a proprietary method to glide past other competitors: While many members of the team have spectacular form, which includes bending low and skating with force and precision, the technique isn’t a secret.The real cause, more than anything else, is dedication. Starting in childhood, Dutch skaters train with excellent instructors. The Dutch team’s skating equipment is the best in the world, too. For the Olympics in 2014, officials from the host city of Sochi went to the Netherlands to learn how to build a top-of-the-line racing rink. By the time they are ready to compete, Dutch stars have been skating in ideal conditions and learning how to peak in time for the biggest races.The ultimate proof of a country’s prowess in an Olympic event is sweeping all three medals. The Netherlands managed it earlier this week, when Dutch women took gold, silver and bronze in a 3,000 meter speedskating race. In another race, the 31-year-old Ireen Wust won her fifth career gold medal and 10th overall medal, a speedskating record. That victory was a surprise, as the silver medalist, Miho Takagi of Japan, was a strong favorite. Wust is the first Dutch athlete to win five gold medals.The only champions who beat out the Dutch in terms of winning all their medals in a single sport in either the Winter or Summer Games3Among countries that have won at least 10 medals in a single sport. are Ethiopia and Jamaica, who excel in track and field races. Ethiopia has 53 summer medals, all of them in track and field. Jamaica, famous for the record-holding sprinter Usain Bolt, has won 98.7 percent of its medals in track. The Dutch are next on the list, at 94.2 percent. Great BritainFigure skating515113345.545.5 Among countries that won at least 10 medals in a single sportSource: Sports-Reference.com AustriaAlpine skiing351156122157.452.0 KenyaTrack & Field9310093.0 EthiopiaTrack & Field5353100.0% FinlandCross-country ski20774316446.547.0 SlovakiaCanoeing182864.3 IranWrestling436863.2 TurkeyWrestling639566.3 SwedenCross-country ski31765515356.449.7 So, will the Dutch team’s rule ever end? This seems impossible now, especially given the relatively low levels of attention the sport gets in powerful countries like the U.S. But you never know. As the U.S. and many other countries have shown, Olympic dominance usually doesn’t last forever. Enjoy it, those of you from the Netherlands, while you can.