Champs matchups to savour

first_imgAbsorbing match-ups are sprinkled liberally across the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships this week. Yet, despite the collective allure, one has captured the nation’s imagination. That special one pits Nigel Ellis of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) against Jhevaughn Matherson of Kingston College (KC) and Raheem Chambers of St Jago High School. In a world where the Olympic or World 100m champion has long been dubbed the world’s fastest human, that extra interest is understandable. Chambers and Matherson are precocious talents who each have won the Class Three 100m in record time. Two years ago, Chambers out-started his friendly KC rival to win in a Class Two record time of 10.29 seconds, with Matherson next in 10.37 seconds. By contrast, Ellis has never won a Champs medal before. This late bloomer moved from Cambridge High and has blossomed at STETHS. He was fourth in both the Class One 100 and 200m last year, with Chambers behind him in the shorter race. All of those ahead of him, including former Calabar standout Michael O’Hara, are gone. So is his 2015 personal best of 10.45. Some didn’t believe his fast-winning Western Champs times of 10.20 and 20.40 seconds until his measured 10.26-second dash to beat Chambers in the Under-20 100m at the recent Carifta Trials. Even though that was Chambers’ first 100m of the season, and even though Matherson smoothly released a 10.25 to win the under-18, everyone believes in Ellis now. His mission is to become the first boy from STETHS to win the Class One 100m. For all that, there are some other big matchups. Ellis’ schoolmate, Junelle Bromfield, and Ashley Williams of Holmwood Technical are heading for a highly anticipated meeting in the Class One 400m. Bromfield is strong and Williams is quick, but the STETHS girl is just about 0.3 faster on the clock this year. Despite all that and the lofty expectations for the clashes between Jauavney James, Shevon Parkes, and Leon Clarke in the Class One 800m and between the JC pair of O’Brien Wasome and Clayton Brown in the Class One triple jump, the girls’ Class Two 100m hurdles will share the spotlight. Two former Class Three and Four winners, Sidney Marshall of Manchester High and Holmwood’s Shanette Allison, demand attention in the Class Two 100 metres hurdles. Allison edged her elder rival at Central Champs and looked great on Tuesday in the Champs heats. Her time of 13.60 seconds led all qualifiers in the preliminary round. Perhaps next year, when she will again be in Class Two, she will knock on the door of the record, set at 13.38 seconds by Peta-Gaye Williams. As in the boys’ Class One 100m, there is another worthy contender. That’s Marshall’s teammate, Daszay Freeman. This leggy lass has sprint credentials, having beaten St Jago’s outstanding Kimone Shaw. Marshall is slick. Allison is quick and Freeman has the look of someone who will keep improving. One of them could become really, really good. That’s the great thing about Champs. Whether the athlete is as unheralded as Ellis or as established as bright prospects like Chambers and Matherson, those who watch Champs keenly could see a gem. So here’s a word of advice. Don’t lose focus after the big 100-metre final. The girls’ Class Two 100-metre hurdles could be the race of the meet. HIGHLY ANTICIPATEDlast_img read more

Liberian Embassy in US Lobbies for Anti-Ebola Equipment

first_imgThe Liberian Embassy in Washington, the United States of America, has shipped a 40-foot container, loaded with ‘needed’ materials to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.According to Liberia Ambassador to the US, Mr. Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, the shipment was paid for by “Friends of Liberia (FOL),” a Washington DC-based organization, through the Liberian Embassy.The FOL, Amb. Sulunteh said, are a group of Americans, some of whom once served with the US Peace Corps in Liberia.Amb. Sulunteh told the Observer in an exclusive phone interview Thursday, September 4, that all the materials and financial support are being mobilized by the Liberian Embassy Ebola Response Team, which he heads.He stated that the FOL donated US$10,000 and another gentleman— Gus Gustafson— donated an additional US$10,000 to pay for the shipment, which contains needed materials for the fight against the virus, which has claimed over 1900 lives in the West Africa Region.The Liberian diplomat said the Embassy Ebola team had divided the US into two — Western and Eastern — so that Liberians and sympathizers can donate needed materials to two ware houses in Minnesota and Maryland, respectively.“Most of the materials were donated by Liberians and our friends. Global Health Ministry is collecting the materials and shipping them on our behalf,” Amb. Sulunted added.He said the first container left the US since August 9 and it might now be in Liberia. And the second shipment is expected to leave the US on September 15.He also told the Observer that an honorary Liberian citizen, Mr. Stephen Graham, also donated through the Embassy US$15,000, which was symbolically given to Vice President Joseph Boakai, when he was in the US, recently.“This money has now been transferred to the National Ebola Task Force in Liberia to help toward the fight,” he added.Meanwhile, Amb. Sulunteh said as Liberians and FOL in the US are graciously donating to the Ebola fight, other friends of Liberia in Canada, working with the Global Medic, based in that country, will this weekend airlift US$400,000 assorted materials needed toward the Ebola fight.According to him, included in the package are expected to be materials for tent construction, which Global Medic head, Rahul Singh, is sending three of his colleagues, including L. Herbert Buckwalter, Rachel E. Topping  and Roderick J. Schmidt to come and construct. Amb. Sulunteh also said that included in the Canadian package are water treatment materials.“Some of the materials from Canada are going to be given to the S.D. Cooper Hospital in Sinkor,” the Liberian Ambassador said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Frenkie De Jong Manchester City joins race to sign Ajax player

first_imgManchester City have become favorites in the race to sign Frenkie De Jong from Ajax Amsterdam.The Premier League champions are believed to be closing in on a £61 million deal for the Netherlands international, who has impressed in the Eredivisie in recent seasons.It is understood that the 21-year-old, who has been capped four times by his country, is viewed by City boss Pep Guardiola as the ideal successor to Fernandinho, with the Brazilian turning 34 in May.Guardiola tried and failed to find a replacement for the former Shakhtar man during the summer transfer window, with both Jorginho and Fred opting to sign for Chelsea and Manchester United respectively instead of a move to the Etihad Stadium.However, City are in line to get their man this time, with both Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona reportedly resigned to defeat in the hunt for De Jong’s services.norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…Earlier in the season De Jong’s representatives led by agent, Ali Dursun, refused to be drawn on speculation regarding the players future at Ajax.When asked if his client was joining Manchester City, Dursun, said according to Mirror Football:“I can neither confirm or deny this.”“You should ask Marc Overmars [Ajax’s sporting director].”“I send all clubs that contact me over to him.”last_img read more

Gold prices soar on safehaven demand after Paris attacks

first_imgGold prices soared on Monday as risk aversion sentiment in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris boosted the safe-haven demand of the metal.The yellow metal prices rose sharply by Rs 235 to end at Rs 26,150 per ten grams at the bullion market, posting a rebound from a sell-off seen in the past two sessions. Silver prices also gained Rs 300 to close at Rs 34,600 per kg.In the overseas markets, the precious metal prices rose to as high as $1,100 per troy ounce, as investors bought the metal due to its safe-haven status in risk-off environment.”Gold is again trading at a weekly high of just shy of $1,100 per troy ounce and is thus clearly profiting from its reputation as a “crisis currency” in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks,” said Commerzbank Corporates & Markets in a note.The metal prices were also underpinned by weak US economic data released on Friday that lessened the expectations over interest rate hike by the US central bank in December.”According to the Fed Fund Futures, the market sees the probability of a first rate hike next month as being 62%, as compared with 70% last week,” said Commerzbank.Sentiments in the precious metal markets was dampened after a slew of economic data in the US showed that the country’s labour market remains robust enough for the US Federal Reserve to raise policy rate as early as next month.Earlier this month, in her Congressional testimony, US Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen had hinted at monetary tightening next month.”While increased expectations for an early rate hike would be negative for gold in the short term, we suspect that once a rate hike occurs the gold market could begin to recover from recent declines,” The Bullion Desk quoted HSBC analyst James Steel, as saying.last_img read more

Boatman dies in Sunamganj

first_imgA boatman drowned after his boat capsized in the Surma river in Chhatak upazila of Sunamganj district early Monday.The deceased is Raju Ahmed, 17, son of a certain Aftab Uddin hailing from Rajanpur in Dohalia union of Doarabazar upazila of the district, reports UNB.Police said Raju was sleeping when the boat capsized and he went missing since.Later, a diving team of Chhatak fire service recovered his body around 11:00am.The body was sent to morgue for autopsy.last_img

Paris airport attacker ready to die for Allah

first_imgFrenchman Ziyed Ben Belgacem, who was shot dead by a soldier Saturday at Paris’s Orly airport, was ready “to die for Allah” and had vowed to slay others.The 39-year-old Paris-born Frenchman was killed as he attacked a soldier, grappling with her and trying to steal her assault weapon, ending an hours-long spree of violence.Ben Belgacem had a string of criminal convictions and showed signs of Islamic radicalisation.Paris prosecutor Francois Molins described him as “an extremely violent individual” harbouring terrorist instincts and his neighbours said he was a “devil” with a “scary face”.His rap sheet paints a picture of a seasoned criminal, well-used to courts and spells behind bars. He had nine entries on his record, from violence to receiving stolen goods. In 2001, he was sentenced to five years in prison for armed robbery.This was not his last stint in prison. In 2009, he was handed successive sentences of three and five years for drug trafficking.– ‘A scary face’ –While he was in prison, officials noticed “signs of radicalisation”, according to prosecutor Molins, and he was known to police but not considered a serious threat. His house was searched, with no result.The attacker lived on the sixth floor of a building in the northeastern Paris suburb of Garges-les-Gonesse, in the multi-ethnic Seine-Saint-Denis area. Neighbours described him to AFP as a withdrawn, serious man who nobody really knew. He seemed lonely, they said.No one had any idea of his spells in prison, although since his most recent release from jail in September, he had been under judicial monitoring.”The last time I saw him was three days ago. He had a determined air, as if he wanted to fight with his family or colleagues,” said one neighbour Hamid.”Sometimes, we’d meet in the elevator, that’s all. He always wore sports clothes. He has a scary face, a real devil,” said Hatice, another neighbour.At this stage, there is no indication Ben Belgacem had made trips overseas, according to the Paris prosecutor, unlike many other radicalised Islamists.Officers found several grams of cocaine in the apartment, and he was a regular at an Italian-Cuban bar in the south of Paris, which was known for its rowdy nights, a local said.It was to this venue he headed immediately after drawing a gun and firing at officers earlier Saturday, slightly injuring one in the head. He then burst into the bar, threatened customers and fired again without injuring anyone.Telling his relatives by phone that he had been up to some “mischief”, he then drove towards what prosecutors described as the “crescendo” of his destructiveness, stealing a car and heading towards the airport, with a can of petrol and a Koran in his bag.last_img read more

Upcoming Performance Fuses Shakespeare Indian Classical Dance

first_imgListen Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Lavanya RajagopalanSilambam company members as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” characters Lysander and HermiaThe inside of Dancescape Studio in Pearland looks like the usual place where dance lessons are given. Wooden ballet bars run the length of mirrored walls and the floor is smooth, allowing for quick steps and turns. On this day, about 20 girls are rehearsing for an upcoming dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.But there’s a twist. There are no slippers or tutus here. Instead, these dancers are barefoot and dressed in brightly-colored Indian saris. This is the Silambam Indian Classical Dance Company, whose students range in age from 10- to 19-years old.Many have been dancing for at least a few years, but this is a new experience for everyone in the group.“This is the first time we’re trying to use western classical music and choreography and it’s really hard,” says Lavanya Rajagopalan, Silambam’s founder and director.She says the dance form has been around in various incarnations for thousands of years. About eight different types exist today; this one is called Bharatanatyam.  It’s characterized by expressive movements, rhythmic patterns, and incredibly defined hand gestures that are almost like a language of their own. The footwork is also very intricate and rigorous. Even though it sounds like stomping, it can actually be pretty graceful.Lavanya RajagopalanSilambam company members as A Midsummer Night’s Dream characters Helena and DemetriusBut merging those styles with that of western music is tricky, says 19-year-old Thulasi Thiviyanathan, who has been dancing since she was five. She plays the character Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  “It was very different,” Thiviyanathan explains. “Especially using classical music, where there isn’t a lot of bass … and at the same time portray a very confusing story to the audience and have it all make sense.”The plots of Indian classical dances are usually centered around mythical legends based on Hindu text and are stories that the dancers know backwards and forwards.  “(They’re) things that we’ve grown up with,” says Anusha Venkatramanim, who plays Lysander in the performance. “Things that we’ve heard thousands and thousands of times from our parents and from our grandparents.”Along with most of the dancers, Venkatramanim wasn’t familiar with many of William Shakespeare’s  works, or at least not A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That was until they heard that the University of Houston was putting on a production. “That was good creative input for all of us,” Venkatramanim adds.Maybe some are wondering, “Why Shakespeare?” For Rajagopalan, it has to do with building an audience.“I thought that it would be best to take something that’s a more known theme that people would easily relate to,” she says.With this year being the 400th anniversary of the English playwright’s death, it seemed like an obvious choice.Thirteen-year-old Gayathri Sampathkumar has been dancing with Silambam for about four years. Even though she’s been with the company for the least amount of time, she’s got her eyes fixed on the future.  “I think this is going to be very new and exciting,” Sampathkumar says. “And it’s going to be a different starting point for our dance company.”Silambam performs their adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on August 21 at 3:30 p.m. on the San Jacinto College’s South Campus. 00:00 /03:31 Xlast_img read more