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Spy planes pass 5,000 hours

first_imgPALMDALE – The Palmdale-built Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft have flown more than 5,000 hours in support of the War on Terror, Northrop Grumman reported Tuesday. In virtually constant action since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Global Hawk aircraft have flown 233 missions supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of the 233 missions, 157 were flown by one Global Hawk aircraft, according to Northrop Grumman, the aircraft’s prime contractor. “The high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned reconnaissance system has performed exceptionally well in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, providing image intelligence for hundreds of time-sensitive targets,” said George Guerra, director of Northrop Grumman’s Air Force Global Hawk program. “It not only flies pre-programmed missions, but can also be re-tasked in just minutes to locate new targets. Global Hawk proved early-on its unique value, reliability and flexibility as an intelligence asset.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The program’s combat record includes providing images of 55 percent of the military targets during the initial Iraq campaign in 2003. Controlled by onboard computers, the Global Hawk is capable of flying at an altitude of 65,000 feet, above storms and some six miles higher than jetliners normally fly, for more than 35 hours at a time. During a single mission, a Global Hawk can cover 40,000 square miles. The Global Hawk aircraft are being built by a small cadre of Northrop Grumman workers in Palmdale. Although employment numbers on the program are small, Antelope Valley officials soliciting other programs point to the Global Hawk as an example of the region’s technical know-how. In November, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $60 million contract to begin production of the next five RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, an aircraft the company assembles at Air Force Plant 42. The contract will allow the company to start purchasing parts for the aircraft, including the intelligence-gathering electronic equipment, one set of mission control equipment, and one set of launch-and-recovery equipment. The “B” model aircraft are larger versions of the RQ-4A aircraft that are already in service. The B models are designed to carry 3,000 pounds of equipment, compared with 2,000 pounds carried by the RQ-4As. Northrop Grumman is already building five RQ-4B Global Hawks in Palmdale under previously awarded contracts. The first of those aircraft is scheduled to begin testing this summer or in the fall. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 james.skeen@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Virgil van Dijk ‘ready for move to top club’, Brendan Rodgers tells talkSPORT

first_imgChelsea and Liverpool target Virgil van Dijk is ready to take the next step in his career and join one of the Premier League’s top clubs, according to Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.Van Dijk joined current club Southampton after an impressive spell for the Scottish champions, and is now being chased by some of England’s biggest teams.The majority of the Premier League’s big guns will be looking to strengthen their defences this season, with Manchester City and Manchester United also linked with the 25-year-old Dutchman, while Inter Milan are also said to be interested.Southampton have reportedly already begun a search for his replacement, meaning it is almost certain the in-demand star will leave St Mary’s in the upcoming transfer window.And Rodgers insists the former Celtic man – who has missed half the season and is still sidelined with a foot injury he suffered in January – is more than ready.Asked if Van Dijk is good enough for one of the Premier League’s top clubs, Rodgers told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “Well he certainly looks it.“The problem sometimes for some of the guys playing up here for Celtic is that people were thinking that they were only playing in Scottish football, which is of course a less competitive league than the Premier League.“But if you’re doing it at a European level for Celtic and you’re playing under the pressure for Celtic, then you have to have something about you.“I speak to the guys at the club who have worked with Virgil van Dijk, and he’s always had those qualities. It’s just up to someone to take that punt on him.“He’s 6ft 4in, he’s fast, he can play, he’s an international footballer, he’s good in the air – he’s got everything. You saw that in a player like Wanyama when he was up here as well, you know they’re a top player.“Virgil is at a great club, let’s not forget, Southampton is a fantastic club, and if he left there then of course it would have to be what you would consider to be one of the top four or top six clubs.”Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Brendan Rodgers – as he reflects on Celtic’s Scottish Cup semi-final win and Christian Benteke’s match-winning brace against Liverpool – IN FULL abovelast_img read more

Chelsea player ratings: Who left much to be desired in Manchester City defeat?

first_imgChelsea were the losers at Stamford Bridge, as Manchester City came away with a deserved 1-0 win to inflict the first blow in the title race.So, who of Antonio Conte’s team left much to be desired and who impressed despite the scoreline?Scroll through the gallery above to see how talkSPORT.com rated each Chelsea player to feature in the defeat to Manchester City. 3. Andreas Christensen (centre-back), 6.5/10 – Christensen plays without fear when thrown into the heart of Chelsea’s defence, taking to the field with an authority beyond his years. Despite the defeat, there can be few complaints over his performance. 14 6. N’Golo Kante (centre midfield), 6.5/10 – As usual, Kante’s effort cannot be faulted, but Chelsea’s midfield, as a whole, struggled to keep pace with the fluid play of City. The Frenchman was also lacking in a little discipline, leaving Fabregas and Bakayoko exposed at times. 2. Antonio Rudiger(centre-back), 6/10 – The jury is still out whether Rudiger is an upgrade to Kurt Zouma. The German defender often looked out of his depth against City’s silky attacking players. 11. Alvaro Morata (striker), n/a – Morata lasted only 35 minutes after injury forced his substitution, which was a major blow to the Blues. 14 14 4. Gary Cahill (centre-back), 5/10 – Without David Luiz, Cahill doesn’t look assured at the back. He was culpable of basic errors against City’s players and Antonio Conte won’t have been satisfied by his captain’s performance. 14. Michy Batshuayi (substitute/forward), 5/10 – Conte surprised supporters when opting for Willian to replace the injured Morata, but Batshuayi entered the fold in the second period. The Belgian’s attempts to link-up play were futile. 14 14 14 14 5. Cesar Azpilicueta (right wing-back), 6/10 – Antonio Conte shifted Azpilicueta to wing-back and the Spaniard was missed in the heart of the defence. While his performance was far from poor, he might have been more effective in the back three. 1. Thibaut Courtois (goalkeeper), 6.5/10 – click the arrow above, right, to see how talkSPORT.com rated each Chelsea player – Courtois was the far busier of the two goalkeepers and remained alert throughout, but he couldn’t stop Kevin De Bruyne’s powerful winning strike. 14 7. Tiémoué Bakayoko (centre midfield), 6/10 – It wasn’t a great game from Bakayoko, who looked out of his depth. He wasn’t helped by a disappointing display from Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante, however. The former Monaco man was replaced in the 74th minute. 9. Marcos Alonso (left wing-back), 6.5/10 – It was a quietly effective game from Alonso. With City dominant, the Spaniard had little opportunity to influence the attack, but was alert in defence. He made an excellent block to deny David Silva in the second-half. 14 13. Pedro (substitute/attacking midfield), 6/10 – Pedro replaced Bakayoko and had few opportunities to get Chelsea back in the game. Many would rather he had replaced Morata in the first-half than Willian. 14 10. Eden Hazard (attacking midfield/forward), 6.5/10 – Hazard made his first league start since May and it wasn’t the return to the starting line-up he would have dreamed. The Belgian wasn’t helped, however, by Alvaro Morata’s forced early exit from the game. 12. Willian (substitute/attacking midfield), 5/10 – Willian replaced Morata in the first-half and delivered one of his worst performances in a Chelsea shirt. Too often did the Brazilian lose the ball and despite what it can do to a player’s confidence, he should have been one of the first players Conte brought off in the second-half. 14 14 8. Cesc Fabregas (centre midfield), 5/10 – Slow and sloppy, Fabregas struggled to influence Chelsea’s play and found it difficult to keep up with the speed of the game. Conte will be itching for Danny Drinkwater’s return from injury. 14 14last_img read more

Antelope Valley Calendar

first_imgTUESDAY J&J Social and Travel Club will meet for league bowling, 6-8 p.m. at the Sands Bowl, 43323 Sierra Highway, Lancaster. Call (661) 267-2586. Lupus International Support Group meets, 6:30-8 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in Palmdale. Call for information and location: Danielle Duffey at (888) 532-2322, Ext. 4. Business Network International B2 Bombers chapter will meet, 12:15 p.m. at Eduardo’s restaurant, 819 W. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Call (661) 609-1288 or e-mail audmill@qnet.com. The organization’s Web site is at www.bni-scav.com. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Prostate Cancer Support Group meets, 12:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Lutheran Church of the Master, 725 E. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call Susan Baker at (661) 273-2200. Toddler story time for children ages 2-6, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble, 39228 10th St. W., Palmdale. Call (661) 272-9134. Celebrate Discovery, a Christian-based 12-step program, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Palmdale United Methodist Church, 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale. Call (661) 947-3103. Jazzercise classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at George Lane Park, 5520 W. Ave. L-8 in Quartz Hill. Call (661) 722-7780. Successful Anger Management course, 7-9 p.m. in Lancaster. Call (661) 538-1846. Sand Creek Orators, Toastmaster International meets, 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Hummel Hall, 2200 Orange St. W., Rosamond. Call Miik Miller at (661) 256-0328. Caregiver Support Group will meet, 5:30-7 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at Lancaster Community Hospital in Lancaster. Sponsored by ProCare Hospice. Call (661) 951-1146. Tears in My Heart Support Group will meet, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 5:30-7 p.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Pancho Barnes Composite Squadron 49, Civil Air Patrol, will meet, 6-8:30 p.m. at Rosamond Sky Park, 4171 Knox Ave., Rosamond. Call (760) 373-5771. Antelope Valley Archaeology Club will meet, 9:30-11 a.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5656. Grief Support Group will meet, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hoffmann Hospice, 1832 W. Ave. K, Suite D-1. Call (661) 948-8801. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. Snyders Dance Groove meets, 6-8:30 p.m. the first and second Tuesdays of each month at the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., Lancaster. Cost: $2. Call (661) 609-6510. Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meets, 9-11:30 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month for brunch, speakers and crafts at Central Christian Church, 3131 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Cost: $6 per meeting, plus $2 per child for child care. Scholarships are available.Call (661) 945-7902. 12-Step Recovery Group for alcohol and drug addiction will meet, 7 p.m. at Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 1011 E. Ave. I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-2777. American Indian Little League will meet, 7 p.m. at HomeTown Buffet, 422 W. Ave. P. Call Harry Richard at (661) 267-2259. High Desert Woodworkers Club meets, 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Denny’s restaurant, 2005 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Call (760) 240-4705. Grief/Bereavement Group will meet, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 5:30-7:30 p.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146.Youth Anger Management Group for ages 8-11 will meet, 6:30-8 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or (800) 479-CARE, or visit the Web site: www.frf.av.org. Plane Talk Toastmasters will meet, noon-1 p.m. at the Lockheed Federal Credit Union, 1011 Lockheed Way, Palmdale. Call Doug Kelley at (661) 572-4123. Harmony Showcase Chorus of Sweet Adelines International will rehearse, 7:30 p.m. at 44857 Cedar Ave., Lancaster. The group is part of an international organization of women who sing four-part harmony. Call (661) 273-0995, (661) 285-1797 or (661) 940-3109. Al-Anon will hold a discussion, noon at 1737 E. Ave. R, Room 104, Palmdale, and at 7 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, Room 704, Palmdale. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. Cardio Knockout Blast, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat. Call (661) 267-5551. Billiards Gang for seniors, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program representative will be available, 1-3 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551 for an appointment. Tumbleweed Card Club for seniors will play canasta, pinochle and other games, 1-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Line dancing, 6-7 p.m. for beginners and 7-8:30 p.m. for intermediate dancers at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Palmdale Youth Council will meet, 5:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Parks and Recreation office, 38260 10th St. E., Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5611. Sierra Club will offer one- to two-hour conditioning hikes leaving at 6 p.m. from the Palmdale Park and Ride lot, Avenue S at the Antelope Valley Freeway. Moderately conditioned beginning hikers are welcome. Call (661) 273-2761. Expectant parent tours of the Antelope Valley Hospital obstetrics department will start at 6 p.m. from the hospital lobby, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 7-9 p.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1821 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster. Beginners will meet at 7 p.m. Call (661) 948-2571. Hotline: (661) 789-5806. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 10:30 a.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38530 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 274-4178. Also in Lancaster, 6:30 p.m. at Sunnydale School, 1233 W. Ave. J-8. Call Karen at (661) 723-9331. Overeaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 7:15 p.m. at Robin’s Law Office, 203 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 949-9192. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.sava-na.org. WEDNESDAY J&J Social and Travel Club will host a dinner, 5:30 p.m. at The Red Lobster, 1041 Rancho Vista Blvd., Palmdale. An optional movie will follow. Call (661) 267-2586 by Tuesday for reservations. Emotional Freedom Technique for pain relief, weekly demonstrations, 6:30-7:30 p.m. (except before three-day weekends), Stress Management Institute for Living Empowered, 44130 Division St., Lancaster. Call (661) 942-4220. Sweet Talkers Toastmasters will meet, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Wilsona School District boardroom, 18050 E. Ave. 0, Lake Los Angeles. Call (661) 944-1216 or 944-1130. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3000 will serve specialty meals, or hamburger baskets, 5:30-8 p.m. at the post, 4342 W. Ave. L, Quartz Hill. Proceeds will benefit community affairs. Members, guests and public welcome. Call (661) 943-2225. Kids Managing Anger Together for ages 13-17 will meet, 4:30-6 p.m. at 38345 30th St. E., Suite. B-1, Palmdale. Court approved. Call (661) 266-8700. Low-cost Facilitated Women’s Group will deal with the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of relationship, infertility and other issues, noon-1:30 p.m. Call (661) 266-8700. Fobi-Lyte Support Group meets, 7-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month to address the medical, nutritional and social ramifications of weight-loss surgery in fourth-floor Conference Room 16 at Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center, 44105 15th St. W., Lancaster. Call (661) 723-5123. Caregivers Support Group meets, 7-8:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center, 44421 10th St. W., Suite I, Lancaster. Call (661) 945-4852. Take Off Pounds Sensibly will meet, 9-10:30 a.m. Call (661) 272-0207 or (661) 947-7672. Eye Opener Toastmasters Club will meet, 7-8:30 a.m. at Crazy Otto’s, 1228 W. Ave. K, Lancaster. Call Al Moore at (661) 726-3627. Scrapbookers Club will meet, 5-7 p.m. at Peldyns, 27021 Twenty Mule Team Road, Boron. Free tools for use. Bring book and photos. Call (760) 608-1422. Antelope Valley Intertribal Council meeting, 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call (661) 435-0423. AIDS-related death support group meets, 5:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Sudden-death support group meets, 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. Dual Recovery Anonymous, an informal 12-step group for mental health consumers with a history of substance abuse, will meet, 3 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G. Call (661) 947-1595. Antelope Valley Interfaith Choirwill meet, 6:30-8 p.m. For adults and mature teenagers. Call Kathe Walters at (661) 285-8306. Hi-Desert Woodworkers Club meets, 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Don’s Restaurant, Victorville. Call (760) 240-4705. Schizophrenics Anonymous will meet, 2 p.m. at the Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G, Palmdale. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595 or (661) 319-5101. Desert Noon Lions Club meets, noon-1 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the California Pantry, 120 E. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Call Barbara at (661) 947-4079. Successful Marriage and Parenting course, 7-9 p.m. in Lancaster. Free. For information and location, call (661) 538-1846. Emotions Anonymous will meet, 7-8:30 p.m. in the multipurpose meeting room on the second floor at Antelope Valley Hospital, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. The organization is a 12-step, self-help group. Call (661) 943-5466. Little Angels, a support group for families with young children with Down syndrome, meets, 6:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the North Los Angeles County Regional Center, 43210 Gingham Ave., Lancaster. Call Cyndee Moore at (661) 945-6761 or e-mail cyndeem@nlacrc.com. Al-Anon discussion group will meet, 7 p.m. at 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale; Alateen at 7 p.m. at 39055 10th St. W., Palmdale, and a women’s discussion group at 7:30 p.m. at 32142 Crown Valley Road, Acton. Call (661) 274-9353 or (800) 344-2666. A Course in Miracles discussion, 7-9 p.m. Call (661) 723-9967. Palmdale Moose Lodge, 3101 E. Ave. Q, Palmdale, will host bingo games beginning at 10 a.m. Call (661) 947-6777. Bridge Club for seniors will meet, noon-3 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Beginner and intermediate players welcome. Call (661) 267-5551. Blood pressure testing for seniors, 10-11:15 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Billiard Gang for seniors, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Call (661) 267-5551. Flex and stretch, a workout for seniors, 8-9 a.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Bring a floor mat and hand weights. Call (661) 267-5551. Knitting and crocheting for seniors, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, 704 E. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale. Bring your own supplies. Call (661) 267-5551. Compulsive Eaters Anonymous – HOW Concept will meet, 6:30 p.m. at Palmdale Children’s Youth Library, 38510 Sierra Highway. Call Kathy at (661) 265-1839. Overeaters Anonymous will meet, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Multipurpose Room 2 at Antelope Valley Hospital, 1600 W. Ave. J, Lancaster. Call (661) 256-7064. Hotline: (661) 789-5806. Women’s Eating Disorder Group will meet, 6-7:30 p.m. at Family Resource Foundation, 1529 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite 203, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700. Bingo for seniors, 12:15-2:15 p.m. at the Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale. Cost: 25 cents per card. Call (661) 267-5551. Talents Unlimited Toastmasters will meet, 7 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Center, 44444 20th St. W., Lancaster. Call Dana at (661) 949-7423. Narcotics Anonymous: For meeting times and locations, call (661) 266-2200 or check www.todayna.org. THURSDAY Ask and It is Given classes, 6:30-8 p.m., Stress Management Institute for Living Empowered, 44130 Division St., Lancaster. Call (661) 942-4220. High Desert Toastmasters will meet, 7-8:30 p.m. at Larry Chimbole Cultura Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale. Call Eric Riddle at (661) 274-8252. High Desert Modular Model Railroad Club meets, 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month in the Experimental Test Pilots Association boardroom, 44814 Elm Ave., Lancaster. Call Bob Drury at (661) 400-4479. Cedar Open Reading meets weekly, 7-9 p.m. at Cedar Hall, 44851 Cedar Ave., Lancaster, except on the second Thursday of the month, when the meeting is in the gallery, 44857 Cedar Ave., Lancaster. Call (661) 943-4314. The Overcomers, an emotional and educational support group for mental health consumers, will meet, 6:30 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G. Call Bill Slocum or Mary Rogers at (661) 947-1595 or (661) 319-5101. Aces & Deuces Square Dance Club will meet, 7-8:15 p.m. for beginners and 8:15-9:30 p.m. for plus at Palmdale Senior Center, 1002 E. Ave. Q-12, Palmdale, for ages 10 and up. Cost: $3. Call (661) 256-7650. Grief/Bereavement Group will meet, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at ProCare Hospice, 42442 10th St. W., Suite D, Lancaster. Call (661) 951-1146. The Ups and Downs, a support group for people with bipolar disorder or depression, will meet, 2 p.m. at the Antelope Valley Discovery Center, 1609 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite G, Palmdale. Call Bill Slocum at (661) 947-1595 or (661) 319-5101. Facilitated Anger Management Group for teens will meet, 4:30-6 p.m., and adults will meet, 6:30-8 p.m., at Family Resource Foundation, 38345 30th St. E., Suite A-2, Palmdale. Call (661) 266-8700 or (800) 479-CARE or visit the Web site: www.frf.av.org.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Timbers visit Atlanta with ‘victory log’ in tow, out to upset the odds once more

first_img The Mercedes Benz stadium cost $1.5bn to build and hosts more than 70,000 people and is also home to NFL team Atlanta Falcons It was an unimaginable run then of nine games unbeaten. Following each of these results, a passer-by outside of the Timbers’ locker room would hear a passionate and impressively in-tune Scotsman, the club’s assistant coach Sean McAuley, leading the way in a rendition of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’.’The magic is real’ were the words used to describe the feeling back then. That feeling has returned. There’s a new coaching staff, a few new playing faces, but the core of the team that helped place the first ever star above the Timbers’ crest remains.To now claim a second star, Timbers must overcome arguably one of the best and most exciting teams in MLS history, Atlanta United.What to expect?The biggest MLS Cup final in the league’s 23-year history. Hosts Atlanta will welcome a capacity crowd to the state-of-the-art Mercedes Benz stadium, with 73,208 fans in attendance.Not only will the match feature two of the most exciting teams that play a counter-attacking style of play but the build-up and parties will be such that fans from Portland are scrambling to travel some 2,500 miles to get there.To be fair, the famous ‘Timbers Army’ would travel halfway around the world to watch their team play in a back garden. After the Timbers score a goal, a slice of the log is cut off and presented to the scorer by ‘Timber Joey’ Nobody else in America expected them to make this trip at this time of the year. But they have been here before. Everyone else said the same thing in 2015, that they wouldn’t be able to make the cross country journey at this time of the year, but these Portlanders just wouldn’t listen. They simply turned up the music in their headphones to drown out the noise, as they hummed the words “just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world…”Three years ago, the trip was to Columbus, Ohio, as Portland fans followed their beloved Timbers players to the MLS Cup. Against all odds, they lifted the trophy. 9 So who brings home the MLS Cup?For a one-off game, it is difficult to predict. Atlanta have progressed to this stage with relative ease, which is a result of them being at the top of their game. For the Timbers, the unheralded fifth seeds in the play-offs, it’s been the story of perseverance under extreme pressure. Atlanta will have home advantage, but the unnerved Timbers players are used to upsetting the odds.Who are the key men for Atlanta United?Miguel Almiron – #10A reported target for several Premier League clubs – with Newcastle said to be his biggest admirers – the Paraguayan playmaker is lightning-quick with the ball and has a beautiful left foot. On the counter attack, he’s deadly. A little bit of home is here in Atlanta. 🌲 #MLSCup #OnwardRoseCity #RCTID pic.twitter.com/x3enero3Nc— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) December 6, 2018 9 Many people in Portland today will be packing a suitcase. While filling the case with all kinds of green and gold items, the most notable feature will be the inerasable smile on their faces as they prepare for a 5,000-mile round trip to Atlanta and back in just a few days. 9 It’s a long old journey for Timbers fans Tata Martino has been a big success in the States 9 Michael Parkhurst – #3He’s the captain and calm leader of a youthful, energetic side. He has contested five MLS Cup finals, but he has yet to get his hands on the trophy. A versatile defender, he is set to be at the heart of a three-man central defence.Who are the key men for Portland Timbers?Diego Valeri – #8The 2017 season’s MVP, the man they call ‘El Maestro’ has been irresistible in this play-off run. He possesses wonderful passing ability, is willing to take risks, and offers a cool head in front of goal. He was part of the Timbers team which won the MLS Cup in 2015.Sebastian Blanco – #10A fizzy pop that never loses its bubbles, Blanco is diminutive in size but his personality on the pitch more than makes up for it. He has endeared himself to the Portland faithful with his fierceness and fiery temper. It also helps that he can score a screamer when the chips are down. Left foot, right foot, it doesn’t matter to Blanco as he can wiggle in and out of space and present a wide range of passes in the final third. Darlington Nagbe (right) makes a crucial block Portland Timbers won the MLS Cup in 2015 Who are Atlanta United?An expansion team in only their second season in MLS, this isn’t your typical new club needing time to build.Backed by the billionaire Arthur Blank, also owner of NFL side Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United have immediately raised the MLS bar on standards for facilities, fans and first-team players. But, most importantly, they got the front office and coaching staff right.The appointment of Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, former boss of Barcelona and the Argentina national team, as their manager in 2016 raised many eyebrows in regards to the standard of staff this league could now attract.This will be ‘Tata’s’ final match with the club – with reports claiming he has agreed a four-year deal to become the Mexico national team’s head coach. But for one more match, Atlanta fans can enjoy what has, in a short time, become one of the most exciting MLS teams and deadly youthful attacks the league has ever seen. The log has arrived in Atlanta 9 9 Miguel Almiron has been linked with a move to English football SPEECHLESS. #SKCvPOR // @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs https://t.co/7FHPXRawdk— Major League Soccer🏆 (@MLS) November 30, 2018Liam Ridgewell – #24The veteran English defender carries the most experience in arguably the toughest league in the world, with more than 300 Premier League appearances to his name. That’s more than any other player in this match (Brad Guzan, Atlanta’s goalkeeper, is a close second). Perhaps the best ball-playing centre-half in the league, he has a lovely left foot and a masterful way of managing the back-line and is playing some of his best football since moving to MLS. He lifted the 2015 MLS Cup as captain of the Timbers. Liam Ridgewell has been with the Timbers since 2014 9 9 Josef Martinez – #7This season’s Golden Boot winner and winner of MLS’s Most Valuable Player prize. With 34 goals to his name – an MLS record – the striker can find the net in so many different ways. He is unforgiving to defenders and ruthless with any sort of space should the ball find his feet in the box.Darlington Nagbe – #6Formerly on the Timbers’ books, the midfielder is known as ‘the fixer’ for how he solves problems when on the ball. He boasts impressive breakaway pace and wonderful balance, darting away from opponents with ease. 9 What about Portland Timbers?The exact same praise can be applied to the Timbers. Just replace ‘youthful’ with ‘experienced’. Although their ‘main men’ are the other side of 30, they are looking as youthful as ever while playing some of the best soccer of their careers.Big credit must go to Giovanni Savarese – in his debut year in MLS – and his staff for how quickly they have figured out this league.What about the victory log?One of the most popular members of the Timbers team is not a player. It is their lumberjack mascot, Timber Joey, who celebrates each goal (and clean sheet) at home games by sawing off a slab of wood from what is called ‘the victory log’, which sits behind the goal at one end of the ground and in front of the Timbers Army.These sacred emblems denoting success are then presented to the players following a match. Players who carry a log slice back into the locker room following a match have been recognised with great honour.So important is the victory log that it has been put on the back of a pick-up truck and hand delivered the 2,500 miles from Portland to Atlanta for this one match. The hope? A return to Portland much smaller than when it arrived. Diego Chara – #21The N’Golo Kante of MLS. Inexcusably, he won’t show up in any year-end league awards, but ask any player or manager who they would want to build their team around and Chara would be a recurring pick. Breaks up everything from the opposition, protects his back four, and has the ability to drive the ball forward. Truly a treat to watch, he was also part of the 2015 Timbers side.The MLS Cup between Atlanta United and Portland Timbers takes place in Atlanta on Saturday, December 8, kick-off 8pm local time (It will kick off in the UK at 1am on Sunday, December 9)last_img read more

Pogba ‘to join Hazard at Real Madrid’, Salah in Liverpool ‘row’, Ajax ace to Spurs?

first_img Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti 3 TOP WORK targets Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp have reportedly exchanged cross words Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer talkSPORT.com round up all the latest transfer news and football gossip from Thursday’s papers and online… Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January 3 Paul Pogba is set to leave Old Trafford this summer and join Chelsea forward Eden Hazard in moving to Real Madrid, according to reports. (The Sun)Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford is stalling on signing a new contract at United, with the 21-year-old demanding £200,000-a-week. (Daily Mail)Rashford is a reported target for Barcelona, who want to offer 22-year-old Brazilian winger Malcom in a swap deal for the England international. (Mundo)Arsenal scouts have been watching Ajax’s forward David Neres, with Juventus also interested in the 22-year-old Brazilian. (Daily Mail)The Gunners are interested in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Belgian Benito Raman, who is rated at £15m. Everton are also looking at the 24-year-old. (Sport Bild) Olivier Giroud is expected to leave Chelsea in the summer, with the Frenchman set to reject the offer of a 12-month contract extension. (Daily Mirror)Blues youngster Tammy Abraham could therefore return to his parent club this summer, rather than staying on loan with Aston Villa next season. (Football.London)Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie has been linked with a return to former club Bournemouth. (Chronicle) Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland IN DEMAND The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star center_img Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Mohamed Salah wants to leave Liverpool after a blazing row with manager Jurgen Klopp, according to reports in Spain. (AS)However, Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, has denied the reports and has insisted the Spanish media outlet are ‘talking out of their AS’ – FULL STORYMatthijs de Ligt is wanted by Tottenham, who are willing to pay the 19-year-old Ajax captain’s £69million price tag. (Daily Star)Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be given £250m to spend to strengthen his Manchester United squad this summer, with Borussia Dortmund and England forward Jadon Sancho high on his wanted list. (Daily Mirror) Tottenham target De Ligt was described as ‘the best young defender in the world’ after his powerhouse performance against Juventus in the Champions League LATEST TRANSFER GOSSIP 3 moving on LATEST Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ REVEALED LIVING THE DREAM targets Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit?last_img read more

SA banks to curb irresponsible lending

first_img2 November 2012 South Africa’s major retail banks and the Banking Association of South Africa (Basa) have signed an agreement with the National Treasury aimed at improving responsible lending and preventing households from becoming caught in a debt spiral. In a joint statement on Thursday, Basa, the banks and the Treasury expressed concern over lending to households that could not afford their loans, illegal collection practices such as keeping ID documents, bank cards and PINs, selling inappropriate credit products to maximise margins, and extending unaffordable loans to pensioners and other social grant recipients. The agreement calls for several measures to be taken, including a review of loan affordability assessments, appropriate relief measures for distressed borrowers, reviewing the use of debit orders and limiting the use of garnishee orders. The parties agreed that while there were currently no systemic risks related to unsecured or secured lending, certain market behaviour could result in households, particularly poorer ones, getting caught in a debt spiral. It was recognised that although efficient regulation of South Africa’s banking sector limited the incidence of poor credit practices, some practices were nonetheless “undesirable and reckless”.Preventative measures The parties agreed to support the National Credit Regulator in enforcing the law and stamping out poor market conduct, and encourage it to improve preventative measures. These measures included introducing stronger fit-and-proper criteria for all lenders, ensuring all financial service providers were appropriately licensed or regulated, taking steps to improve supervision of credit bureaux, and requiring credit providers to update credit information at least once a week. Basa and its member banks agreed to review their approach to the assessment of affordability, and ensure the selling of appropriate credit products to their customers. “Basa, the National Credit Regulator and the National Treasury will formulate a standard to measure affordability, which could then be incorporated into regulations as minimum standards,” a joint statement read. “Each relevant Basa member bank will develop approaches to provide appropriate relief to qualifying distressed borrowers by reducing their instalment burden, without additional cost to the borrower.” The association’s members further agreed to load payment data onto the various credit bureaux systems as soon as was practically possible, preferably overnight in bulk. They also agree to minimum norms and standards for consumer credit insurance practices linked to lending, and said they would work with the Treasury and the Financial Services Board to develop a framework that took into account the interests of customers and the impact of charges on affordability.Garnishee orders Furthermore, Basa members committed not to use garnishee orders against credit defaulters. Garnishee orders are court order requiring the employer of a person in debt to pay part of their wages, with interest, directly over to their lender. “Basa and the National Treasury will promote and support enforcement initiatives against credit providers that issue pre-signed garnishee orders,” the parties said. “The National Treasury will also engage with the Department of Justice about the abuse of garnishee orders and suggest that their use be restricted to maintenance orders.” Going forward, National Treasury, Basa and the National Credit Regulator are expected to discuss how the current system of debt counselling can be improved to remove perverse incentives and eliminate abuses. While the commitments were only made by Basa and itse member banks, other credit providers, such as non-bank micro-lenders and retailers, were encouraged to conform to the good practices committed to by the banks. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Don’t Miss the Current Online Magazine Focused on ORC

first_imgThe latest edition of LPM Online is focused on organized retail crime (ORC). Here’s a look at the excellent articles in this issue. Please forward the link to this edition to your friends in loss prevention and law enforcement who are focused on ORC.ORC Is Worrisome, Worsening…And at Risk of Becoming Ignored? LPM’s Garett Seivold looks at the National Retail Federation’s latest ORC survey results and talks to investigators on the front line about the current trends affecting retail.Organized Retail Crime Is a Community Concern Curt Crum is a career law enforcement officer with the Boise (ID) Police Department and president of the national Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR). LPM’s Jim Lee, LPC, gets Crum’s insights into the community problem of ORC.- Sponsor – Inside the ORC Interview Dave Thompson, CFI, offers a written treatise on Wicklander-Zulawski’s perspective on interviewing ORC offenders as well as a video discussing the subject.An Update on Emerging Issues in ORC The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) has been looking at ORC since the council formed in the early 2000s. In this article the LPRC team provides an update of what they’ve learned along the way and where ORC is heading.Intelligence: The Most Important Tool in the Fight Against ORC One company’s solution to preventing retail crime through information, intelligence, and collaboration.ORC: Arming Ourselves with Education LPM’s Jacque Brittain, LPC, provides a preview of a new ORC education course created by the Loss Prevention Foundation with help from a team of LP industry experts.Cargo Theft: Our Industry Problem One of the asset protection industry’s experts on retail supply chain provides a compelling argument for why cargo theft is not just a trucking and insurance problem but an LP industry problem that must be addressed.Rise of the Robots? Mobile security devices may sound like something out of Star Wars, but retailers are starting to implement robotic technology.The Unintended Consequences of California’s Proposition 47 on Retail Theft The podcast features a panel of experts on how increasing the felony threshold has negatively impacted retailers.If you’ve missed any of our previous LPM Online editions, go to the Archives page at the end of the edition to see what you’ve missed. Be sure to be an LPM digital subscriber so you are the first to know when new issues are available. If you haven’t already, sign up on the SUBSCRIBE NOW link. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Forget Hall Monitors, School Investigates Tracking Students with RFID

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#Internet of Things#NYT#web chris cameron So much for bathroom passes and hall monitors – these days it’s technology that is making the art of skipping class much more difficult for students, and we’re not just talking about security cameras. A forward-thinking school district in Connecticut is looking to crack down on wayward students, faculty and even equipment by making use of radio frequency identification (RFID) in its schools. New Canaan Public Schools hopes to increase the efficiency of its security efforts by embedding RFID tags into student and faculty identification cards and onto various pieces of school equipment. The tags could be used to track where specific students and faculty are located throughout campus, as well as hunt down missing laptops, projectors and other school property.SecureRF Corporation, a company specializing in secure RFID software, proposed the project to the school district. Funding for the project could come by way of a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, which the company is close to finalizing.One of the alternative uses the company has offered to the district is to enable tracking on school busses to see who uses the busses and how often. The data collected from experiments like these could be used to better budget the school funds, potentially opening up more money to underfunded areas of education, like the arts. Some district board members raised questions about privacy, but the experiments will likely be opt-in if they are given the green light.Anyone who has driven through a toll station on a highway without having to stop to drop a few coins knows the potential for RFID to improve and optimize our everyday lives. For school officials tasked with managing hundreds of students across large campuses, technology like this could make their jobs much easier, keeping kids safer.center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

The Rules of Exception

first_imgklint finley Tags:#Analysis#enterprise Sameer Patel of the Sovos Group wrote an excellent blog post on the way organizations tend to deal with exceptions to process. Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now “The sheer impracticality of channeling exceptions in any scalable way to get the right answers has plagued organizations for ever. Each exception requires a different set of experts or problem owners, some known but most unknown, and often spread across a global footprint at large organizations.”Patel characterizes three types of work: Process work, done “by the playbook.” This includes order processing, assembly of products, etc. This type of work is easiest to automate.Project work done “by management style.” This includes product development, marketing campaigns and other projects where the overall steps repeat, but the details change every time.Exceptions, done by the seat of your pants. This is practically everything else, especially the unexpected and unpredictable.According to Patel, organizations have traditionally just accepted that sometimes there would be exceptions, and sometimes exceptions would lead to things going wrong. Because it’s so much easier to focus on the routine, exceptions have been ignored. But he says that’s a bad idea.“In the age of the social web, those very ‘once in a while’ instances cannot be shoved under the carpet. The social web has a way of exposing and then amplifying our ineffective handling of exceptions. And no, this isn’t just about failed social media campaigns or online service. Its when the social web gets wind of something seemingly dopey we did in the offline world as well. And whilst there’s no trending data suggesting that negative press on the social web instills long term financial damage, find me one executive who wants to own or be a victim of the PR disaster that resulted in lower revenue or operating margins this quarter.”Patel uses the example of Delta Airlines’ recent blunder (I suppose it’s getting a little cliche to keep picking on United).Beyond bad PR, there’s what Gartner has referred to as the “De-routinization of Work.” Routine work is increasingly being automated (check out this story about a warehouse run by robots for example). More and more jobs will continue to focus on exceptions.Patel concludes by noting the advantages that the new wave of social and collaborative enterprise applications bring to the table and reminds of his idea that we’ve written about before:“I’ve long said that what rigid process systems are missing is a giant Discuss button that sits right between Submit and Cancel buttons that govern what in reality is not a very black and white day in the office. Same applies for face to face customer interaction that’s otherwise governed by rigid protocol, as in the case of Delta Airlines.”A low-tech approach is simply to give employees autonomy to make decisions regarding customer issues up to a certain amount. If those Delta employees had been able to just $200 worth of “wiggle room” per passenger (a small amount considering the total cost of an intercontinental flight), the issue would never have spiraled out of control.Photo by kioanlast_img read more