By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaPeanut lovers, ready your taste buds. Three new snack foodsdeveloped by University of Georgia scientists have moved a stepcloser to your supermarket’s snack food shelves.The three new products, peanut-butter tarts, peanut chips andpeanut crackers, should hit Georgia grocery stores by the newyear. Georgia Bell Plantation, Inc. will produce the new peanut snacks.The farmer-owned company has worked closely with UGA researcherson the Griffin, Ga., campus over the past two years.Peanut butter tartsThe peanut butter tart was developed to be a breakfast food andan alternative to protein foods that require cooking. It’ssimilar to the conventional fruit-filled tart.”But it’s filled either with peanut butter, peanut butter andhoney or peanut butter and either strawberry or grape jam,” saidKay McWatters, a UGA research scientist working on the projects.Peanut chipsThe peanut chip is a baked product made from peanuts instead ofthe more commonly used wheat or corn. The chips are made from thecold-pressed pellets that are left when oil is extracted frompeanuts.”The partially defatted pellets are ground into a powder, thencombined with either soybean or wheat flour to soften the textureof the finished chips,” McWatters said.The mixture is made into a dough, cut into squares and placed onsheets to bake, she said.Peanut crackersThe new peanut cracker is similar to baked chips. But it’s madewith wheat, rice and peanut flour. “This mixture produces atexture more like that of commercial crackers,” she said.Developing new peanut-based products is a major focus for UGAfood scientists. Georgia peanut farmers fund many of the projectsand reap the benefits.The work of UGA food scientists and nutritionists has helped toincrease the consumption of peanuts in the United States by 14percent over the past five years, said Rakesh Singh, head of theUGA Food Science and Technology Department.Georgia Bell Plantation’s peanut division expects to use 20million pounds of peanuts in the first production year alone.Farmers fund projectsThe research that led to these three new products was funded byGeorgia farmers through the checkoff funds they pay to the U.S.Department of Agriculture. The National Peanut Board and GeorgiaAgricultural Commodity Commission for Peanuts administer thesefunds.”These funds are used for research projects in the southeasternUnited States,” Singh said. “So actually, the farmers are fundingprojects that will help create a demand for their crops.”The three new snacks may be just the beginning for peanutlovers.Georgia Belle Plantation has expressed interest in licensing moreUGA-developed food products.UGA food scientists have several new peanut-based products in thedevelopment stage including a peanut-soy beverage, a peanutburger, peanut pasta and a peanut puff snack food.The development of the three newest products took off when J.C.Bell, owner of Georgia Belle Plantation, called his local countyExtension Service office for guidance.”Mr. Bell came to us for help and we introduced him to the UGAfood scientists in Griffin and later to the agribusiness centerfaculty in Athens,” said Keith Rucker, Tift County extensionagent. “By working through our office, he now has a feasibilitystudy and a business plan which would have cost him much, muchmore if he’d worked with a private industry source.”
The US Commission on Civil Rights has appointed 15 people to its Vermont State Advisory Committee.Kim Tolhurst, designated the authority of the staff director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, announced the appointment of â ¢Francine T. Bazluke of Essex Junction, John H. Bloomer of Wallingford, Luther M. Brown of Rutland, Ellen Mercer Fallon of Middlebury, Leslie Ann Holman of Burlington, Terrance D. Martin of Brattleboro, Marion C. Milne of West Topsham, Cheryl W. Mitchell of New Haven, Tara O’Brien of Brattleboro, Eric D. Sakai of Randolph, Stephanie L. Sidortsova of Westford, Diane B. Snelling of Hinesburg, Tracey H. Tsugawa of Williston, and Stewart R. Wood of Quechee. The Commission appointed Diane Snelling as Chair. The appointments are for two years.Congress has directed the Commission to establish advisory committees in all states and the District of Columbia to assist in its fact-finding function. These committees receive reports, suggestions, and recommendations from individuals, public and private organizations, and public officials, and forward advice and recommendations to the Commission. Members of State Advisory Committees serve without compensation, conduct civil rights reviews and investigations, and report to the Commission.###
By Dialogo June 02, 2016 The investment in the VRAEM includes assistance and incentive programs for farmers who replace illegal coca crops with alternative crops. The funds will also go towards implementing police stations and other initiatives. The additional aircraft will assist the Armed Forces in their ongoing efforts to fight organized crime and terrorism in the VRAEM. For example, in May 2016, the Peruvian Police’s Executive Counter-Terrorism Directorate (DIRCOTE) seized explosive material, garments such as boots and scarves, a solar panel, and others belonging to the Shining Path in the VRAEM area. Police General José Baella, DIRCOTE’s executive director, told Diálogo that the intervention was carried out in the Cusco districts of La Convención and Echarati, in the jurisdiction of the VRAEM, under the framework of the 2016 Caletas II Operation. “We have located at least 10 caches or hiding places [in the jungle] where terrorists kept war materials for use in different subversive operations.” The Military has added 24 helicopters, seven Cessna 172 Sky Hawks, a Piper PA-44, and four other aircraft that can transport Troops and strengthen the Armed Forces’ efforts to fight the illegal drug trade and terrorism, according to an analysis by Roberto Chiabra, Defense Minister under the administration of President Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006). Céspedes applauded the government “investing in roads, prioritizing investment in social infrastructure, and increasing social programs that reduce poverty and provide basic services such as water, sewage, and electricity”. The National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA), stated there are plans to invest about $5.1 million in 2016 to combat the illegal cultivation of coca in the VRAEM. The institution said the budget represents a 10 percent increase over 2015. Consequently, strengthening the operational capacity of the Armed Forces has improved public security, particularly in the country’s main coca-growing regions, such as the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) and in the regions of Ayacucho, Junín, and Cusco. “Government security forces are confronting drug trafficking in the VRAEM, which poses the greatest security challenge in the region,” Gen. Acosta stated, adding that the government is also investing in roads, schools, and providing health care in the region. The Special VRAEM Command Chief, Peruvian Army General Fernando Acosta, stressed that the Peruvian government’s strategy, which consists of coordination between the police and Military, is enabling an expansion of government presence in areas that had been overtaken by narcotrafficking. “There is an intelligence committee that is operating on a permanent basis in the VRAEM area to determine the circumstances and the perpetrators of the ambush.” Using public funds to improve conditions in areas where organized crime groups and terrorists operate is a good investment, said Rubén Vargas Céspedes, a security analyst who studies drug trafficking, adding that providing legal alternatives to farmers is also an important component of the government’s anti-crime strategy. “It is important to generate a greater number of productive chains in the coca-growing areas focused on the export of quality products like cocoa and coffee to the international market. They could even create special credit and advisory programs.” Peruvian Armed Forces and police cooperate Fighting drug trafficking “Security forces seized 49 sticks of dynamite, 20 plastic containers [booby traps], an ammunition belt for a machine gun, material for making apparel [cartridge belts, backpacks], a rocket-propelled grenade, and a minesweeper,” Gen. Baella explained. Peruvian authorities have strengthened the operational capacity of the Armed Forces by adding new aircraft to fight terrorism and drug trafficking in coca-growing regions. In these locations, wild vegetation and geographical complications work in favor of the criminals and terrorist groups like the Shining Path, which is engaged in narcotrafficking. “With its new capabilities, the Armed Forces will also be able to handle crime, El Niño, and other acts of nature,” Chiabra said. “That equipment has multipurpose characteristics that are vital to operating efficiently in the difficult Peruvian geography.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The latest proclamations by a Suffolk County town and village to help spark improved Long Island Rail Road service in Suffolk County aren’t as electrifying as they might appear. In fact, they seem shockingly short-sighted.Starting last month, several municipalities made their pitch to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to electrify LIRR tracks to Port Jefferson, Riverhead and Patchogue, and their approach was reportedly echoed on Wednesday by the Suffolk County Planning Commission after a meeting of the Long Island Regional Planning Council at Hofstra University.To transit advocates, municipalities and proponents, electrification means no more diesel trains, more frequent service and quicker travel times to New York City. To a developer, adding electric service means one thing: The opportunity for increased “economic development,” usually in the guise of mixed-use, multi-family projects.In making their demands to the transit agency, municipalities must be ready to answer these questions: Does current ridership demand justify the capital investment? Further, is electrification even feasible? Lastly, can the Long Island communities that dot the train lines adequately handle the growth the increased electric service may bring?The Village of Port Jefferson was the first to announce that they back any effort the MTA will exert to electrify the LIRR’s Port Jefferson Branch. Roughly running along Route 25A and through the hills of the North Shore, the branch’s busiest stations are between Huntington and Syosset, before the track merges with the other lines at Hicksville. Currently, electric service terminates in Huntington, leaving dual use electric/diesel locomotives as the only option for the rest of the trek to communities eastward.According to Newsday, the LIRR has said that the electrification of the remaining 23 miles that span Huntington to Port Jefferson would roughly run $18 million per mile, for a cost of some $414 million. Other portions of track these advocates want electrified include the 25-mile stretch from Ronkonkoma to Riverhead, and 17 miles from Babylon to Patchogue. Add those figures up, and the sum is more than $1.1 billion.Next to climb on board, the Town of Brookhaven held its own press event urging the MTA to electrify the Montauk branch east of the Babylon station, which currently is a major commuter hub for the South Shore. The town said an electrified line would greatly benefit Patchogue, Bellport and Mastic-Shirley.Policymakers, from the village to the state level, have chimed in for electrification.“Electrifying the line would revitalize every single community along the line,” Port Jefferson’s Mayor Margot Garant told the Times Village Herald. Adding his support to Brookhaven’s proposal, State Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) said that “demand will continue to grow as our population increases. Even with the development of the Ronkonkoma Hub, commuters will still need to use more than the Main Line. Given the reality that electrification will take at least a decade or more [to complete], it makes sense to start the process now so that the capacity will be there to meet the demand.”Over the last decade, development efforts across Long Island have focused on the areas around train stations. The argument driving these projects is the creation of affordable workforce housing for Long Island’s millennials, which according to countless stakeholder and anecdotal studies, are leaving by the bus load year after year for some brighter horizon.The projects, often residential in nature with a splash of commercial usage, are deemed transit-oriented by their backers, regardless if they are 200 feet or two miles from the closest LIRR stop, or if the residents who live inside them actually opt to take the train. Other terms for this “smart growth” favored by developers include “walkable downtowns.” The terms for such growth are diverse, but there is one constant: There is no substantive, concrete proof that these projects are actually increasing transit ridership.These trends make the calls for electrification by Port Jefferson and Brookhaven that much more interesting, especially when the stats of ridership and methods commuters get to work are examined.According to census figures, just 5.6 percent of Suffolk’s workers commute to Manhattan. The total percentage of workers from Suffolk who travel to NYC each day is 10.2 percent, down from 11.1 percent in 1990. In 1990, 8,986 of Brookhaven’s residents used public transit, while in 2012 it was 8,954 – highlighting the stagnant nature of LIRR ridership in the town.Some more sobering statistics: 88 percent of Suffolk’s workers drive to work, with the average commute time for a resident of the county being 28 minutes, indicating that these commuters work within either Nassau or Suffolk. A recent study by Suffolk found that around 8 percent of residents in these “smart growth” projects actually take the train to work, far less than one would expect.Given these paltry figures, is it worth the time, money and effort to electrify the LIRR’s Montauk and Port Jefferson branches at this time? If one were to listen to the gloom and doom development narrative being put forth by the stakeholder groups, you’d assume so, but the hard data tells a much different story. Simply put: The demand isn’t really there.It’s easy to grandstand for transit improvements, but much more difficult to actually fund and implement them.For one thing, consider the monumental costs that would be incurred by the MTA, an entity not known for its deep pockets due to the constant financial uncertainty with its capital budget, which is currently facing a $15-billion gap in funding its $32-billion five-year plan. Besides, the communities along the diesel portions of the transit system lack an adequate rail yard to both store and maintain the new trains that would be needed for any increased levels of service. Further, the challenging topography of the North Shore limits the ability of the trains to take full advantage of the speed that electrification could offer elsewhere.If the Village of Port Jefferson and the Town of Brookhaven want to nurture economic development, LIRR electrification is putting the cart before the horse. Both governments should focus on long-term job creation strategies that, over time, will generate further transit demand. Despite the popular narrative, the recent trend of “build it and they will come” cannot work in these communities, because the demand is not there. The MTA’s time, energy and capital should be focused on maximizing the LIRR’s underutilized existing assets, as opposed to trying to create new ones.If the Long Island region is to move forward, policymakers must accept on-the-ground realities and realistically plan for the future based upon them.Rich Murdocco writes on Long Island’s land use and real estate development issues. He received his Master’s in Public Policy at Stony Brook University, where he studied regional planning under Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran planner. Rich will be contributing regularly to the Long Island Press. More of his views can be found on www.TheFoggiestIdea.org or follow him on Twitter @TheFoggiestIdea.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsNo doubt about it, the weather is definitely right for going outside and spending time getting all those home improvement projects done that you’ve been putting off until the forecast was totally agreeable.Here on Long Island, winter wasn’t too bad, especially compared to last year, but that doesn’t mean you can skip doing a thorough job this summer making the outside of your house sparkle. We won’t detail all you need to do to whip your lawn into shape, but your friends at Alure Home Improvements are more than willing to help you win the battle for the home front.What you want to do first is perform a complete inspection of your house, from top to bottom, and front to back. Don’t forget your garage, too, especially if it’s a stand-alone structure, because all too often homeowners forget about it until it’s in bad need of repairs.Take a look at your roof and chimney. Long Islanders didn’t have to endure blizzards this year like in past years when they seemed non-stop, but winter weather is notoriously hard on the exteriors, and now is the time to take a closer look. You’ll want to remove all the leaves from the roof valleys, eaves, dormers and skylights, and clean your gutters, too, while you’re at it. And if you discover any nests, be prepared to remove them very carefully when they’re either away or asleep.If you see any lifted, curled or damaged shingles, it could mean the underlying structure is exposed—and, left untreated, that problem could spell leaks. If you suspect damage to your roof, then go to your attic and check it out from underneath. Keeping a good roof over your head may sound like a cliché, but the stability of your house depends on it.Look around your chimney and skylights and check the condition of the flashing, which refers to thin, impervious material installed to prevent water penetration and seepage. If you spot any holes or corrosion, you may have to replace the flashing.Next, inspect your windows and doors for signs of wear and tear. Make sure the weather stripping is in good shape. You may want to seal any openings with caulk, foam, or glazing compound. If a gust of wind loosened a shutter, now is the time to fix it right. While you’re at it, wash the outside of your windows and repair any holes in your screens.Look around the joints of your house, the places where different kinds of materials meet, such as vinyl siding and cement foundation. You want to prevent insect invasion, water leaks, and hot air or cold air loss. You are on the prowl for holes, loose joints, cracked mortar and fissures. These are not the kinds of openings you want to leave untouched.If you spot mold or mildew on your siding, decks and trim, you should deal with it before the weather stays hot and humid. On large surfaces you can use a power washer to do the job. But on small areas, like under a windowsill, you may have to do it by hand. Mix a solution of 1 cup bleach, 1 cup white vinegar and a gallon of water. Make sure there’s proportionally much more water than bleach or you risk damaging the vinyl siding or the finish. Be sure to wear gloves when you scrub with a sponge. And don’t splash this solution on your plants and flowerbeds. If you need to repaint your siding or trim, use a mildew-resistant exterior paint.Check your decks and patios for any boards that are warped, loose or splintered. Replace them if the condition warrants it. Also, really do a thorough sweep and get rid of all leaves and debris that might have accumulated between the boards. If you don’t, it could turn to rot. You may have to refinish the wood deck if it looks faded or worn.Take a look at your lawn furniture. You want your guests sitting in those dirty and dusty chairs? If not, then maybe you should hose them down or wash them with a mild detergent. Check your metal furniture for rust or chipped paint. Sometimes just a spray enamel will make them shine for the hot summer months ahead, when your family and friends definitely want to hang out outside.Learn More About Alure Home ImprovementsDid your driveway, sidewalks or steps get cracked over the winter? You must repair them before they get any larger and pose a hazard. You can get patching material and fillers for asphalt and concrete from your hardware store. If the driveway or walkway has dry-set pavers, take the time to brush some extra sand or stone dust into the joints to keep them in place and prevent weeds from springing up between them.How is your heating and cooling system? Did you schedule your annual tune-up if you have central air? You can clean or change the air filters and remove dust and debris from around the grills and ducts. Your outdoor window air conditioners need attention, too. Remove the covers and clean the filters–some experts advise doing this every month of the summer.And remember, if you spot something serious, you can always rely on your friends at Alure Home Improvements for the best advice, no matter what the season is.
– Advertisement – The storm was 100 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias Dios on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras with maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said on Monday morning. The storm was moving west at 9 m.p.h. Iota was expected to make landfall in the area on Monday night.A hurricane warning was in effect for several cities along the coast of both countries, where the storm was expected to produce up to 30 inches of rain in some areas through Friday. The intense rainfall could lead to significant flash flooding and mudslides in higher elevations, the center said, and that Iota was forecast to make landfall in northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras on Monday night. Forecasters warned that damage from Hurricane Iota could compound the destruction caused by Hurricane Eta in Central America. As Hurricane Iota intensified and inched closer to the coastline of Nicaragua and Honduras, it appeared that there would be no reprieve for Ms. Rodríguez and many others weary residents of the region.The storm, which was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane Monday morning, was expected to make landfall by Monday night, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Those in the path of Hurricane Iota were not the only ones comparing it to Hurricane Eta.“It’s eerie that it’s similar in wind speed and also in the same area that Eta hit,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman and meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center.The storm’s impact will be felt “well before the center makes landfall,” Mr. Feltgen said.- Advertisement – “I am afraid of the sea level,” Ms. Rodríguez said. “You can see the water coming up and up every minute, so I guess we will have to evacuate.”- Advertisement – The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is set to end on Nov. 30, has seen 30 named storms and 13 hurricanes. Meteorologists exhausted the 21-name list that is used each season, turning to the Greek alphabet to name systems. The last time the Greek alphabet was used was in 2005, which saw 28 storms strong enough to be named.Scientists have found that climate change affects how hurricanes form and strengthen; rising ocean temperatures linked to global warming can cause storms to weaken more slowly and remain destructive for longer. In a recent study, scientists found that 50 years ago a typical storm would have lost more than three-quarters of its intensity in the first 24 hours, when it might travel several hundred miles inland, but now it would only lose about half.Alfonso Flores Bermúdez reported from Puerto Cabezas, Derrick Taylor from London, Allyson Waller from Texas and Neil Vigdor from New York. Johnny Diaz contributed reporting from Miami. More than 60 deaths were confirmed throughout Central America from Hurricane Eta. In Guatemala, rescuers feared that more than 100 people had been killed in the village of Quejá after the storm chopped off part of a mountain slope.Many people in the region were left homeless after a number of structures were damaged or destroyed. “Shelter is going to be a problem,” Mr. Feltgen said.Dozens of Indigenous communities were evacuated starting on Saturday night in Nicaragua and Honduras. In Puerto Cabezas, families were sleeping amid the rubble left from the previous hurricane.Elsewhere in the country, it was not immediately clear how many people had been transferred to shelters, but photos taken by residents showed hundreds of people being evacuated in Cabo Gracias a Dios and other remote villages.SINAPRED, the National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters in Nicaragua, had also suspended sailing and fishing in nearby waters.Sadam Vinicius, a father of three, decided to stay with his family at their home near the coast. Afraid of losing his roof, he tried to save it from damage by tying it up with ropes he uses for his work as a fisherman. “We have not received any aid from the government yet,” Mr. Vinicius said. “I am afraid of losing my roof.” PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua — The situation was all too familiar for Marina Rodríguez: A destructive storm in what has been a record-setting Atlantic hurricane season was bearing down on the Mosquito Coast.The previous storm, Hurricane Eta, washed away her home less than two weeks ago, said Ms. Rodríguez, 47, whose children were helping her build a temporary shelter on Sunday.- Advertisement –
By: Jason Snyder, DDAP Communications Director Panel Discussion: Building Bridges to Recovery Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Public Health, Substance Use Disorder, The Blog A few years ago, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) created the Building Bridges to Recovery initiative, which encourages dialogue between medical providers and the recovery community. As part of that initiative and National Recovery Month, DDAP is convening a panel discussion from 9 to 11 am, Thursday, Sept. 29, at the State Museum in Harrisburg. It will be live webcast and offered as continuing medical education.The panel discussion will focus on ways to improve identification of people with addiction and ways to more effectively refer and treat them. Panel members will also identify and address barriers, including stigma, to those efforts. As part of the discussion, people in recovery will have an opportunity to share their insight and experience with the medical providers to better inform the discussion and direct next steps.Last year over 3,500 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdose – that is an astonishing 10 deaths a day and up from the more than 2,500 reported deaths in 2014. Having open and candid conversations and working together are vital tools in combating this terrible epidemic.For questions, please email email@example.com.Opening SpeakersGary TennisSecretary, Department of Drug and Alcohol ProgramsRachel LevinePennsylvania physician generalJohn P. Gallagher, MD,Vice chair Pennsylvania Medical Society Board of Trustees and chair, Pennsylvania Medical Society Opioid Advisory Task ForcePanelDr. Thomas KohlBerkshire Family Medicine, Reading Health SystemBrandon Antinopoulos, Pharm.DPharmacy Manager, Hometown Apothecary DrugsDr. Roderick GroomesDirector, Armstrong County Memorial Hospital Emergency DepartmentCindi Coffman, BA, CADC, CCSAssistant Program Director, Cove Forge BHSDr. Bill SantoroChief, Section of Addictions Medicine, Reading Health SystemMedical Director, New DirectionsScott Scotilla, Psy.D. ICAADCScotilla Psychological Services LLCAndrew Schmitt, LCSWMazzitti and Sullivan Counseling ServicesJen Zampogna, MDLawyers Concerned for Lawyers and a person in recoveryOvis Mangum, BA, CEAPEAP Case Manager, Norfolk Southern Corp. and a person in recovery SHARE Email Facebook Twitter September 26, 2016 SHARE TWEET
Chelsea have won the title once since Mourinho’s departure – in 2009-10 under Carlo Ancelotti – and his second Blues team is often compared to his first. The Chelsea boss believes his current squad have the potential to replicate the long period of success enjoyed by his first team, who won the Blues’ first championship in 50 years in Mourinho’s first season in 2005. “My team here was an amazing team, it was a team that lasted for almost a decade and won lots of trophies for the club,” Mourinho said. “These people here are just starting and I don’t want to compare. “Potentially this team is good and hopefully we will have a good decade because only John (Terry) and Frank (Lampard) and a couple more are over 30, after that they are young guys with lots of years to play.” Hazard could be the cornerstone of the Chelsea of the present and future. But Mourinho does not believe the Belgian’s performance against the Magpies was any better than other displays in recent weeks. “The only difference was that he scored a hat-trick for the first time,” Mourinho added. “But it was a very similar performance to the one he had at Hull, at City, at home against (Manchester) United, against Liverpool, at Southampton. “He’s playing basically the same way. In my opinion he’s playing really well. Big evolution, consistency, ambition. Fantastic.” The latest victory came without captain Terry, who missed his first Premier League minutes of the season as a precaution due to a muscular strain but could be back for Tuesday’s match at West Brom. “It’s not an injury, it’s almost an injury,” said Mourinho, who revealed Fernando Torres could also play at The Hawthorns. “We decided not to risk and to protect him. Normally he’s ready for Tuesday.” Newcastle boss Alan Pardew bemoaned injuries, the form of Hazard and substitute Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s decision to wrestle Samuel Eto’o to the ground and concede a penalty. Pardew said: “I don’t know why he’s grabbed him quite in that manner and I think Mapou’s scratching his head about why he got himself in that position.” Newcastle were already two down at that point as Hazard enjoyed his afternoon and Moussa Sissoko fluffed a chance at 1-0. The Newcastle boss believes the current Chelsea squad is as good as any from Mourinho’s first spell and is also optimistic of a resurgence from his team. “This is as good as he’s had. They’ve got a good chance,” Pardew said. “We need those players back, especially for games at this level. “Tottenham is a game I’d like to think we can get through and hopefully get a strong result. “And then after that I think a lot of our big players will come back to us and for the next 13 games I think we’ll be strong and then in the summer we’ve got work to do.” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho again downplayed his side’s title chances after Eden Hazard’s hat-trick earned a 3-0 win over Newcastle which took the Blues to the top of the Premier League standings. “We are playing well. People individually are in a good moment, the team is getting results and we are top of the league. “That is something that we can’t hide, but I say the same and I feel the same. I don’t change.” When told that bookmakers had made Chelsea title favourites, Mourinho said: “I don’t bet.” Hazard struck two goals in eight first-half minutes and a second-half penalty as Chelsea capitalised on Arsenal’s 5-1 loss at Liverpool and Manchester City’s goalless draw at Norwich. “A big result is always surprising,” Mourinho added. “When two big teams are playing against each other, you are never expecting such a big result, but sometimes it happens. “Norwich is not easy. We beat them there in the last minutes. “These are the results that can happen to any one of us. But when it happens to City it’s more surprising, because City are City, their attacking power is fantastic, so when they get this kind of result, it’s a bit surprising.” Press Association Mourinho is now tired of his little horse metaphor coined after Monday’s win at Manchester City, but he maintains Chelsea are still third favourites behind Arsenal and City despite taking advantage of their rivals’ slips on Saturday. “It’s time to kill the horses,” Mourinho said.
The early months of the 2017-18 campaign wreaked havoc on the USC men’s basketball program. Returning with all five of last year’s starters and adding three key recruits, USC appeared poised for its best season in decades and sustained success for years to come. However, the September scandal involving former assistant coach Tony Bland rocked the program to its core, leaving questions surrounding two players’ eligibility and even the job security of head coach Andy Enfield. USC hired former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh to investigate the program’s NCAA compliance. Senior guard Jordan McLaughlin reaches for a layup against the Cal Bears. In that game, he recorded a .429 field goal percentage. Deanie Chen | Daily TrojanIn November, minutes before USC’s season tip-off, the program announced sophomore guard De’Anthony Melton would sit out indefinitely as a consequence for his embroilment in the Bland investigation. The Trojans ranked 10th in the AP Preseason Poll — their highest starting mark since 1974 — and played well in their first couple games, including an overtime win at Vanderbilt when senior captain guard Jordan McLaughlin scored a career-high 35 points.Then, USC started a brutal stretch of losses against Texas A&M, SMU and Oklahoma. The Trojans continued to sputter throughout December, losing to Princeton and Washington at home.However, they had some bright moments, too. On Christmas, the Trojans won the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, and McLaughlin tied a longstanding Pac-12 record for assists in a game with 19 versus UCSB on Dec. 17. Nevertheless, for the AP voters and USC basketball fans, the losses certainly drowned out the preseason expectations for the program. On top of it all forward Taeshon Cherry, USC’s highest-ranked recruit in a decade, decommitted from USC and has since committed to rival ASU. Perhaps morale bottomed out after the Stanford loss on Jan. 7. After USC blew a 15-point lead in ten minutes, McLaughlin scored a reverse lay-up to give USC a 2-point lead with less than two seconds on the clock. Tragically, Stanford’s freshman guard Daejon Davis scored a magical 55-foot shot as time expired to gift the Cardinal a victory.In the moment, his half-court heave seemed to suck the life out of Trojan basketball. Forget top-10 aspirations. After a 2-2 start to conference play, even an NCAA Tournament bid seemed in jeopardy. Since, the Trojans have gone 6-0. In the past three weeks, the Trojans beat Utah for the first time since 2012. On the road, they swept the Oregon schools and won in Eugene for the first time since 2009. They are second place in the Pac-12, a half-game behind No. 9 Arizona and two games ahead of their next opponent, perennial rivals, UCLA. They appear safe off the NCAA Tournament bubble and again received votes in Monday’s AP Poll.So, what changed? How did the Trojans turn the season around?One could cite Enfield’s decision to switch the rotation. Over the last six games, redshirt junior Shaqquan Aaron has started in place of sophomore Jonah Mathews. Over that span, Mathews, who had been averaging 8.5 points per game, has led USC in scoring twice. Undoubtedly, he has freshened USC’s bench, which on Sunday outscored UC Berkeley’s bench 31-4, even though the usual sixth man Nick Rackocevic had to start in place of an injured Bennie Boatwright.“Our players are resilient,” Enfield said of his players’ adaptability in new roles.McLaughlin added that coming off the bench gives Mathews, an underclassman, the ability to see a bit of the other team’s strategy before he has to make key decisions. “That helped me when I was coming off the bench as a freshman,” McLaughlin said.High energy on defense is another reason for the team’s turnaround. After bouncing back from the Washington loss, Enfield said, “The team was simply tired of playing below its potential.” After allowing Washington to shoot 67 percent from the floor, USC has held its opponents to 43 percent from the floor.“We’re playing great defense. In man-to-man and in zone,” Enfield said after Sunday’s game. “We are forcing a lot of turnovers, which gives us a chance to stay in the game until we start to shoot the ball better.” But the paramount reason for USC’s outburst of energy is not tactical. Rather, USC has found its identity through the trials and tribulations of the Bland scandal. Indeed, the same events which initially deflated the team have become a source of inspiration. Since sophomore guard De’Anthony Melton was officially ruled ineligible for the season on Jan. 11, the Trojans have played with greater unity and purpose. Without hope of Melton returning, the players and coaches finally realized that their current lineup would be the one available for the rest of the season. Although not ideal, the finality of the decision to keep Melton ineligible has strengthened everyone’s resolve to perform well knowing that a knight is not going to rescue them in the midnight hour.Some of USC’s best have funneled their resentment about the Melton decision into more passionate play on the court, for better or worse. Junior forward Chimezie Metu, for instance, has always had a reputation as a violent player thanks to his rim-rattling slam dunks. Recently, though, his play has become noticeably unsettled, as he has received three technical fouls and an ejection since conference play began. Metu is one of Melton’s closest friends; his temper could suggest that he is playing to avenge his pal. Junior forward Bennie Boatwright, too, has engaged in some horseplay, for which he has garnered a couple technical fouls and also an ejection. Although Metu and Boatwright’s comportment does not necessarily reflect well on USC or add to the Trojans’ win probability, their rough style of play has galvanized the esprit de corps of their teammates and fans.“When [Metu] is screaming, he gets us all fired up,” redshirt junior guard Shaqquan Aaron said.When the Trojans take the court, there is a sense of USC basketball versus the world. With some conference foes elevating their smack talk against the Trojans or circling the USC matchup on their calendar, USC could have backed down, intimidated. Instead, they have harnessed their rivals’ negativity. The veteran team — used to the underdog label — started to feel at home when their dismal start to the season pushed their backs against the wall, and existential questions about the program cast doubt on the entire legitimacy of this squad.“Our chemistry has improved throughout the season,” Aaron said. “It is better to have your losses at the beginning.”With Melton gone for good this year, the Trojans are playing with an intensity they lacked earlier in the year. Although he still attends each game, Melton, in some sense, has become a martyr for USC, motivating the Trojans. The rest of the team does not want to look at him and think of what could have been. They are determined to win, hell or high water, Melton or not.
AHEAD OF AFCON 2019Super Eagles central defender, William Troost-Ekong, has started a campaign to draw attention to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect more than 120 million Nigerians. In partnership with the END Fund and Common Goal, William appears in a 48 seconds public service announcement where he calls on affected Nigerians to seek free treatment.Neglected tropical diseases are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that affects more than 1.5 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including 869 million children. They include intestinal worms, schistosomiasis (bilharzia), river blindness, trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis. William Troost-Ekong Preparing to represent the Super Eagles at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, William is hoping that every Nigerian will participate in the free treatment campaigns from several END Fund partners across the country.“Like the rest of the team, I joined Common Goal because I wanted to use football as a tool to make a difference. I’m proud that we’re partnering with the END Fund to challenge every Nigerian to tackle neglected tropical diseases or NTDs,” said William.“600 million people in Africa need treatment for these diseases with over 120 million living in Nigeria alone.“Football is a powerful force in Nigeria and as a footballer and parent, I believe we should do everything we can to end these preventable and treatable diseases that stand between you and your goals.‘So the next time a health worker comes to your school, community or place of worship make sure you take the free medicine that they are giving out. Keep the ball rolling – spread the word to your family and friends and let’s be the generation to beat NTDs,” he concluded.Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, Director and National Coordinator of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, described the campaign as an important opportunity to bring attention to NTDs in the country.“We are very delighted to have William join the Federal Ministry of Health and our partners in Nigeria’s fight against neglected tropical diseases, we hope that this campaign helps to highlight the importance of the fight against NTDs in Nigeria and across the continent,” Dr. Anyaike said.The campaign will run on local radio and television stations during the months of June and July across the following states: Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Gombe, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. It will also feature on digital platforms nationwide as well and include targeted SMS messaging.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram