You don’t want vendor lock-in: 5 rules for a real world solution

first_imgIn my last blog post I pointed out you can never actually avoid vendor or technology lock-in. This is particularly applicable to the main cloud orchestration tool you use. You have to choose one orchestrator and will want to stay with that choice for quite some time. So, making the right choice is key.As long as clear standards have not emerged you will have to make a choice regarding which technology you implement. Such technology can be provided by a vendor, meaning you trust the vendor, or come from a consortium building open source tools. In that case you are betting that consortium will be a winner moving forward.For some technologies, there are two ways of looking at standards. The orchestration tool is actually an interesting one from that perspective. On the one hand you have the orchestrator itself allowing you to provision, de-provision and run services. On the other you have the configurator, which will explain to the orchestrator what needs to be done for each service. The orchestrator might be proprietary, but if you have a standardized configuration “language”, you are able to shift from one orchestrator to another if you wish to. To stick to my example, you have TOSCA for example standardizing the specification of service automation.Since you can’t ever be fully sure, it’s critical right from the initial choice to look at how the tools you use can interact with the external world. This will allow you down the road to integrate with other environments if your original choice does not turn out. Here are five pragmatic things you better check out early.1. Support of heterogeneous environments (hardware, operating systems and hypervisors)This one is particularly applicable if you choose an integrated cloud environment but should be checked in other situations also.Which server, storage and networking infrastructures are supported by the environment you choose? How easy is it to add infrastructure from a different type? Not only does this allow you to include some of your existing infrastructure in your cloud, but it leaves you the freedom to make alternative choices moving forward.Most applications today are built either on Windows or Linux, but some still use a variety of UNIX type operating systems or even private ones. What OS is used by the applications you are planning to move to the cloud and are those supported by your environment? This is a key question to evaluate.The third element to this step is the hypervisor. Today the majority of the market uses VMWare’s products. But we slowly see a shift to other hypervisors such as Hyper-V and KVM. Costs and technology factors play a role here. Don’t limit yourself to one hypervisor, but make sure your environment supports multiple, giving you the possibility to choose what is best for you. Even if your existing operational systems run on VMWare, maybe you want to use KVM for the development of new applications. Some development tools currently in the market actually allow you to automate the deployment of applications on multiple cloud environments. This allows you, for example, to use KVM for development and most of testing while you run VMWare in production, hence reducing license costs.2. The availability of APIsHow can I interact with the chosen technology? Can I trigger actions from other applications or portals without requiring manual intervention? What do the application programming interfaces (APIs) allow me to do? How well are they documented? How easy are they to set up and use? These questions are fundamental in ensuring the technology is open and gives me the flexibility to evolve as my needs change. A couple API standards are emerging (AWS and OpenStack), but they only address IaaS functionality at the moment. You’ll probably need more.Look at APIs from two ways: incoming and outgoing APIs. Can an external environment trigger an action using the technology and can the technology initiate an action that needs to be taken by an external environment? Here are a couple specific areas to look at:Can I perform all functions available in the portal through programmatic interactions?Do I have the possibility to integrate an external identification/access management environment?Can I integrate with my existing LDAP/Active Directory environment and use its information?Can I use an external approval environment to approve for example the provisioning by a user of a service?Can I integrate an external service in my catalog (we’ll talk more on that a little further in this blog post)This is a non-exhaustive list. Make sure you have yours prior making a choice.3. Template DesignsOrchestration uses templates to define what action to take. Those are typically designed using graphical user interfaces. Obviously, in case you decide to change orchestration tools, the last thing you want is to have to redesign the thousands of workflows or templates you designed. Hence the fact standards are emerging. The most documented one at the moment is TOSCA as I already mentioned. However, we are still in the early days, so we cannot be sure this is going to be it. So, make sure the technology you choose is clearly intended to support a standard. Support of TOSCA is a good proof point.4. Configuring external servicesI often highlight intermediation, aggregation and bursting in this blog. All three require a programmatic interaction with external systems. This implies interactions between the two environments. We already talked about the APIs, their documentation and what they would do. But there is another aspect to look at and this is how the external service can be integrated.Let me give an example. You want to integrate in your catalog, allowing your users to request access to your CRM environment on You will need to describe the service in your catalog, define which users can request access and potentially identify an approval process and a price or charge back for the service. But then, you will need to make sure that, when a user places the request, this request is actually transmitted to You will define an orchestration template that will trigger the transfer of the request and check whether it actually succeeded or not. But then you will have to describe how Salesforce is actually triggered. You will use some of Salesforce’s APIs to perform this task. Salesforce makes its functionality available through SOAP and RESTful APIs as described in the documentation.  You will connect an action in your orchestration template with an XML string that is transferred using the API technology chosen. For each action you plan to perform, you will have to configure such action. This is how you build the integration. But obviously you only have to do that once for each external service you plan to integrate.Before choosing a technology, make sure you understand how this can be done, and how effective and secure the communication is.5. CustomizationThe last element to review is the level of customization that is offered. Over the years your users have become familiar with a specific vocabulary and a way of doing things. Can you adapt the portal and the other functionality exposed to the user to something familiar to them? Also remember the questions I raised earlier. You may have a specific identification and access mechanism. Can that one be integrated? You may have your own approval process mechanism; can that one be replicated or integrated? And I could go on like this.Assess how well you can customize the environment to your specific needs.  But at the same time, check whether you can keep the customization when moving from one version of the software to the next one. You don’t want to have to redo everything when you upgrade your software. And in the cloud environment, newer versions of the software are regularly released.ConclusionWhen choosing a specific technology you are locking yourself in, whether you want to or not. Moving to a different one will be painful. So, make sure you are taking the right bet. Choose a technology that allows you not just to address today’s needs, but to grow with them as they evolve. Keep my five rules in mind as they will help you find an environment that can grow with you. And that is probably the most important. Frankly, most often companies change technology because the existing one becomes a bottleneck. Make sure you do not have to do that.- ChristianChristian Verstraete is the Chief Technologist Cloud at HP and has over 30 years in the industry, working with customers all over the world, linking business and technology.Read more of Christian’s blogs herelast_img read more

ISL: Santos’ late goal gives Delhi Dynamos 1-0 win over Pune City

first_imgBrazilian winger Gustavo dos Santos’ magical left-foot kept Delhi Dynamos in contention for a semifinal berth as they defeated Pune City FC by a solitary goal in the 13th round encounter of the Indian Super League.Dos Santos, who scored his fifth goal in the tournament, broke the deadlock in the 88th minute to take Dynamos to 17 points and upto the fourth position in the league table. A win in their last away encounter against Chennayin FC will be enough to take Dynamos to the knock-out stages while Pune at 16 points and in sixth place will now have to win their last game and look forward towards favourable results.Dos Santos, who probably has been only second to countryman Elano Blumer in terms of exhibiting brilliant individual skills weaved past a couple of defenders before slotting it from a narrow angle beating Pune FC custodian Arindam Bhattacharya.What makes his goal special was the move initiated from the right flank and Dos Santos again did all the spadework with his left-foot. Alessandro del Piero got some 22 minutes of match time but didn’t look like bothering the Pune defence.Pune should have got the equalizer in the dying moments when their Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi had a free header from a cross essayed by Saidou Panandetiguiri. But Dudu failed to direct his nod with Kristof Van Hout at his mercy.The closest that Dudu came to scoring was in the 77th minute when a misdirected header from Jermaine Penant left Dudu with an opportunity to score from a sniffing distance but his shot went booming over the horizontal.advertisementEven Greek World Cup Kostas Katsouranis was guilty of not able to head home a perfect cross from Korean Park.last_img read more

Diksha Dagar becomes youngest Indian woman to win on Ladies European Tour

first_imgPublished on sport × Diksha Dagar’s story is unlike any other. A wisp of a girl with a shy smile, she is a profile in courage. And, a good portion of that has been acquired from her tenacious father, Col Narinder Dagar, who has not wavered from the belief that his daughter, born deaf, is world-class in sport.On Saturday in far-off Cape Town, South Africa, with her father being her caddie, Diksha wrote her own piece of history by becoming the youngest Indian woman to win on the Ladies European Tour (LET).“I just went out today trying to play my normal game,” said Dagar, who plays with a cochlear implant that helps her to hear at close-to-normal levels. “I really didn’t expect to win, but it happened and I am very happy. I got two lucky breaks towards the end, with a long birdie putt on 15 and then the chip-in on 16. Normally I would just try to chip it close and make the par putt, but this time I had a feeling I could do it and it went in.”Top amateurIn 2016, while still being an amateur, Diksha was given a place to play at India’s biggest women’s pro event, the Hero Women’s Indian Open. It was her first appearance on the LET and the then 15-year-old from Haryana made the cut and finished as the top amateur.Aditi Ashok, who became the first Indian to win a LET title, had won the event. At that time, Diksha said, “It’s great to see Aditi win and very nice that she’s the first Indian to win the tournament. I will take a lot of motivation from this and her performance on the LET. This year has instilled a lot of confidence in all Indian players.”On Saturday, as Diksha emerged triumphant in Investec Women’s South African Open in Capetown, Aditi congratulated Diksha on Twitter. Diksha thanked her for showing the way. Col Dagar had then observed, “I’m convinced that Diksha has a lot of raw talent as she is effectively self-taught. She’s also a leftie, so she’s more crafty. She is fearless in her shot making. She has great ball striking but will need technical support.”Dad doubles up as coachCol Dagar, whose life in the Army had given him access to golf, played at almost scratch handicap at one time. He brought a semblance of normalcy in his daughter’s life with cochlear implants and then began coaching her at age six. Diksha, recalling those early days, said, “I have been learning golf since the age of six. I love to play the sport, but no one was ready to provide coaching. So, my dad became my coach.” “Despite his job, he coached me and my brother, who also had hearing problems like me. I could not have played alone, so he coached my brother (Yogesh Dagar), too. I hardly had any friends. Besides my family, golf is my life.” In 2017, she represented India at the Deaflympics in Turkey and took a silver medal. She dominated the Junior circuit and the Ladies circuit. She won a Women’s Golf Association of India pro event while being an amateur.She represented India at the Queen Sirikit Cup team event and in 2018 won the Singapore Open. She wore India colours at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Her father confided that by year-end he was planning to turn his daughter professional.She played the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco and finished T-21 to get a status. Weeks later, she gained status on Australian Ladies Pro Tour’s Qualification. Diksha began her career Down Under and played six events, including the Vic Open co-sanctioned with the US LPGA, but missed the cut. Of the rest, three events were co-sanctioned with the LET. The last one was NSW Open last week and she logged her first top-5 by finishing fifth.Bright futureFrom Australia she flew to Capetown for the Women’s South African Open. A tired Diksha double bogeyed the first and third holes to be four-over after three. Then, she shifted gears and dropped just one more bogey in the next 51 holes. Her last 42 holes were bogey free.Diksha’s win can change her life and open new doors. The Olympics is still some distance away, but who knows Diksha and Aditi together could be doing National duty at Tokyo in 2020. golf Coached by her father, she overcame a hearing impairment to excel at the sport COMMENTS COMMENT March 17, 2019 SHARE Diksha Dagar Diksha Dagar SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

Q & A: The Legal Aspects of the Durban Platform Text

first_imgAt the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP-17) in Durban – “the longest COP ever” — Parties agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Working Group on a Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (AWG-DP). The AWG-DP has the mandate to develop **“a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties.”*The AWG-DP will start its work “as a matter of urgency” in the first half of 2012. It will complete it no later than 2015, with the outcome to be adopted at COP-21 and to come into effect and be implemented from 2020. The content of AGDP’s workplan will focus in particular on “enhancing mitigation ambition to identify and to explore options for a range of actions that can close the ambition gap with a view to ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties.”What are the legal implications of the Durban Platform text, and what could the different legal options mean for the UNFCCC? Below we go through some questions and answers:Q: Many Parties went to Durban concerned primarily about the expiration of the first commitment of the Kyoto Protocol, and the need to develop a new legally binding agreement, containing legally binding commitments for all major emitters of greenhouse gases into the future. Does the mandate of the Durban Platform ensure this outcome? Let’s start with the legal form of the agreement.A: The AWG-DP will complete its mandate if it is able to produce one of three outcomes: 1) a legally binding protocol (under Article 17 of the Convention); 2) another legal instrument (most likely an amendment of the Convention under Article 15, or a new or amended annex to the Convention, under Article 16); or 3) another “agreed outcome with legal force”. All three options must be agreed “under the Convention”.While the Durban Platform text contains a number of ambiguities, it has moved the process enough towards a new, comprehensive and legally binding agreement to have secured the agreement of the European Union (EU) to enter into a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.Q: What is an “agreed outcome with legal force”?A: The final deal was struck with the addition of this third option and as a result of a compromise between the European Union (which was keen to see the form of a legally binding agreement as parallel in form as possible to the Kyoto Protocol) and India (which has consistently resisted calls for a new legally binding agreement). Following a sharp-elbowed “huddle” during a break in the formal negotiations, the language was endorsed from the floor by India and the EU as a third option.It’s the least clear of the three options, as it uses language that doesn’t appear in the Convention. But this option seems to be designed to allow room for the negotiations to end with an outcome that doesn’t take the form of the legal instruments expressly contemplated in the Convention (a protocol, an amendment and or an annex to the Convention), and yet is still “under the Convention”.Those countries that have resisted calls for a new legally binding agreement may promote the use of this third option to lead to an outcome that is not conventionally viewed as legally binding, such as a COP decision. To succeed they will have to convince the majority of UNFCCC parties that support the adoption of a new protocol or an amendment.Q: How does an outcome with “legal force” differ from an outcome that is “legally binding”?A: Under international law, a binding agreement or commitment represents a country’s or countries’ express consent to be bound, and its willingness to be held accountable by other parties for its compliance with its obligations. Most often through the additional step of “ratification” these agreements become binding under the domestic law of each country as well. We have discussed the merits of legally binding agreements and commitments elsewhere; see our summaries after COP-15 Copenhagen, COP-16 Cancun, and before COP-17 Durban.Out of context, many would likely interpret “legal force” as being the equivalent to “legally binding”. For example, the Convention speaks of legally binding instruments such as protocols and amendments as “entering into force” when they become binding on Parties.In the context of the Durban Platform negotiations, this choice of words seems to signal something different, and softer, than a legal instrument requiring ratification. The EU, at a press conference immediately following COP-17, expressed its view that the third option is the weakest and therefore the least desirable. It will be up to those countries supportive of this third option to convince others what an “outcome with legal force” might mean under this Convention.Q: Why did some countries resist the idea of concluding the AWG-DP process with a legally binding agreement?A: India, alongside other countries, has made the point that the form of the agreement should be decided only after its content has been agreed. Many share India’s concern that it would be unfair if developing countries with rising aggregate emissions but very low per capita emissions were to find themselves trapped under legal obligations similar to those being taking on by far richer, and historically more culpable, industrialized countries.India has also stated that it feels that COP/MOP decisions, such as the so-called “Marrakech Accords” that operationalized the Kyoto Protocol’s market mechanisms, have in practice had all the force of law, even if many consider them to be non-binding. As has been discussed previously, many lawyers and Parties to the UNFCCC have expressed the view that the UNFCCC COP does not have the authority to adopt legally binding decisions.Among industrialized countries, the United States (which signed but failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol) has been the most resistant to commit in advance to a process leading to a legally binding instrument or protocol. The US delegation has frequently expressed the view that the process of generating the Cancun pledges was successful in securing the participation of more than 90 countries, in part because these pledges are non-binding. Also, the US Congress is notoriously reluctant to ratify international treaties.Q: How does this negotiating mandate differ from previous goals the process has set for itself, in terms of the form of the desired outcome?A: The importance of the Durban Platform text, which helps explain how long it took to negotiate, is revealed most clearly by contrasting it with the 1995 “Berlin Mandate” that guided the design of the Kyoto Protocol, and with the 2007 Bali Roadmap, the Parties’ most recent attempt to set a goal for negotiating a regime of post-2012 commitments.The Berlin Mandate limited the potential legal form of the outcome to 1) a protocol or 2) another legal instrument. More significantly, it limited the content of any outcome of the negotiation to the strengthening of developed country emission reduction commitments, and expressly excluded the introduction of any new commitments for developing countries.When adopting the Bali Roadmap, Parties were only able to set their sights on an “agreed outcome.”Durban thus represents the turning of a corner for the climate regime, in that it directs the negotiators towards a binding legally agreement (and/or one with legal force) that is applicable to the mitigation efforts of all Parties.Q: What about the content of any future legal protocol, instrument or outcome? Will the Durban Platform necessarily lead to legally binding commitments?A: The legal character of any new agreement emerging from the AWG-DP will have four dimensions: the legal form of the agreement, which we have just discussed; the legal form of commitments within that agreement; the prescriptive nature and content of these commitments; and the procedures and institutions set up under the agreement to hold its parties accountable for complying with their commitments.The AWG-DP’s mandate does not refer to the legal character of any commitments that it may contain. If the outcome itself isn’t legally binding then any commitments within it will not be legally binding. But it is also possible for a legally binding agreement to contain provisions that are softly worded, or that are so imprecise as to be, in effect, non-binding.The AWG-DP mandate does not mention commitments, but rather a “range of actions”, “efforts”, and “options and ways” that the negotiations will consider when addressing a long list of climate-related challenges, including “enhancing mitigation ambition” (emissions reduction), adaptation, finance, capacity building and technology transfer. It mentions the need for this content to be “ambitious.” It recognizes “that fulfilling the ultimate objective of the Convention will require strengthening the multilateral, rules-based regime under the Convention,” thus signaling the importance of transitioning away from the unilateral, unharmonized “pledge and review” approach of the Cancun Agreements.But the AWG-DP mandate does not reflect an explicit agreement that “actions” set out in the agreement will be legally binding. It is clear, however, from the context of the Durban negotiations that the bulk of the Convention Parties will be seeking to ensure that this next round of negotiations lead to new, legally binding commitments to reduce emissions, and that a powerful minority of Parties may continue to resist this outcome. While this will no doubt continue to be debated hotly, there seems little point in launching yet another ad hoc working group if it is to lead to the kind of unilateral pledges that Parties produced for Cancun.Finally, the AWG-DP mandate says very little about the nature of the institutions and procedures that will hold the Parties to the new regime accountable for implementing their commitments. The text refers to the workplan including “transparency of action” but much more will need to be done to ensure the post-2020 climate regime benefits from the lessons learned about the importance of compliance procedures to the effective operation of multilateral, rule-based agreements.Q: What about equity? What room does the Durban Platform allow for a legally binding agreement containing commitments that are highly differentiated between developed and developing countries?A: Any new climate change agreement will need, in its legal form, to address the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities. As we have discussed elsewhere it is possible to bring all countries into a common legally binding platform while assigning to them highly differentiated commitments.Both the US and the EU have insisted that any new legally binding agreement would need to contain legally binding commitments for major emerging economies, while it could allow for differentiated responsibilities with regard to the content of those commitments.The AWG-DP mandate calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, that the outcome of the negotiations will be applicable to all Parties, with “a view to ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties.” (emphasis added).Somewhat surprisingly, the mandate does not mention the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the concept of historical responsibility, equity, or other principles frequently invoked by developing countries to ensure that the industrialized countries take the lead in the global effort to combat climate change. This leaves it largely to the AWG-DP to determine how differentiation will emerge.Q: What is the relationship between any future commitments agreed on the basis of the Durban Platform and the legally binding commitments under a Kyoto Protocol second commitment period, as well as between these future commitments and the Cancun Agreement pledges?A: The AWG-DP mandate will develop a regime that will come into effect after 2020. While the Kyoto Protocol outcome from Durban is also ambiguous, it appears the agreement for a second commitment period, which will last either five (2013-2017) or eight (2013-2020) years, will be in the form of a legally binding amendment to the Protocol.There are signs however, that the European Union and its member states will be reluctant to ratify (legally bind themselves to) this amendment until they see significant progress in the implementation of the Cancun pledges, and progress being made under the Durban Mandate.Most of the Cancun pledges run from 2012 to 2020 and the experience of reviewing the adequacy and implementation of these pledges in the coming years will undoubtedly have an influence on the design and ambition of what emerges from the Durban Platform.last_img read more

‘We’re over it’: Carter-Vickers eager to take place with USA and Spurs

first_imgIn Earnie Stewart’s full-to-bursting inbox, resolving the ‘Europe question’ will not be far below the priority of appointing a head coach, when he begins his role as new USMNT general manager next week.The competing philosophies over whether to pick MLS-based players or choose those plying their trade in the European leagues dogged the US throughout their failed bit to reach Russia. Geoff Cameron’s post-mortem assertion that it created a “poisonous divide” in the squad remains an utterly damning assessment of US Soccer and then-coach Bruce Arena’s handling of the issue. If Carter-Vickers is to fulfill his international ambitions though, he is under no illusions that he needs to be playing regular first-team football for his club. Last season provided an invaluable learning curve after he enjoyed loan spells at Championship outfits Sheffield United and Ipswich Town.“I was getting a lot of game time alongside some experienced players at both clubs. That’s really helped me and I feel like I’ve improved as a player,” he said.But after signing a new contract until 2021 with Spurs in May, the upcoming Premier League campaign could be a seminal one in Carter-Vickers’ long-term future at White Hart Lane. He turns 21 in December and knows he is at a stage of his career where he needs to be challenging for a first-team spot under Mauricio Pochettino.Spurs’ 10-day stint in the States is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the academy product’s progress to Pochettino, with many of the club’s first-team regulars still on holiday after their World Cup commitments.“I’ve come back to Spurs this pre-season and I’ve been focused on working hard in every training session and trying to impress the manager as much as I can. I’m at that age now where I want to be playing games,” he added.“I’ve just signed again [a new contract] at Tottenham, so I’m aiming to get into that starting XI. I feel if you impress the manager here and you do the right things on the training pitch, he’ll give you that opportunity.”If Carter-Vickers can make the grade at Spurs, then he may well have already determined the philosophy of the next USMNT coach. US sports Share via Email features But if Stewart and Arena’s long-term successor are to follow the lead of caretaker boss Dave Sarachan and restore Jürgen Klinsmann’s outlook of prominently featuring those earning a wage on the other side of the Atlantic, then Christian Pulisic is merely the ringleader of a rich next generation of European-based American talent.Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Keaton Parks (Benfica), Luca de la Torre (Fulham), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Timothy Weah (PSG), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Shaquell Moore (Reus), Antonee Robinson (Everton), Erik Palmer-Brown (Breda) and Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United) have all been blooded during Sarachan’s six-game tenure. None will be over the age of 25 by the time of the 2022 World Cup.The same goes for Tottenham Hotspur center back Cameron Carter-Vickers – currently in California for the club’s participation in the International Champions Cup pre-season tournament. After making his USMNT debut as a half-time substitute in November’s friendly against Portugal and starting both of last month’s encounters against France and Ireland, the 20-year-old is determined to remain part of a rising crop of young talent. “I feel there’s definitely a strong group of players coming through in the next generation. We’ll all young, we’re all hungry and we’re all passionate about the US. We want to do well for ourselves and for the country,” he told the Guardian.“I feel like every player goes on different paths. There’s obviously a lot of competitive leagues in Europe, so for players to be playing at a good level every week definitely helps, and it will definitely help the US.”While Carter-Vickers was thousands of miles away from the blood-letting and questioning which followed last October’s debacle in Trinidad and Tobago, he was well aware of the ramifications of failing to reach a first World Cup in more than 30 years.But the English-born defender – who qualifies for the US through father Howard Carter, who had brief stints in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks – senses that focus has now shifted from asking what went wrong, to making sure that the USMNT reclaim a seat on the world stage in Qatar 2022.“I feel that both the federation and as a group of players, we’re over that now. We’re already looking to work towards the next qualifying campaign and moving on from there,” Carter-Vickers said.“The next World Cup is a must for the US. From a personal perspective, by the time the next qualifying campaign comes around, I want to be in the position where I can help the US and play in those qualifying games, and then hopefully help us do well at the World Cup.” Read more Share on LinkedIn Topics Tottenham Hotspur USAcenter_img Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Read more The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Share on Twitter Summer transfer window: club-by-club guide for the Premier League Share on Pinterest Which football club has made the biggest profit on a player in their 30s? Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Super League v NRL: is the northern hemisphere bridging the gap?

first_img Since you’re here… NRL Super League NRL warned of sponsor exodus over stream of off-season scandals Share on Messenger Ellery Hanley, the former Lions captain, thinks the number of Englishmen playing successfully in Australia has helped. “Guys like Elliott Whitehead and Sam Burgess, seasoned England internationals, going there and playing in the NRL have eliminated the fear factor for Englishmen and changed perceptions of our players and their abilities,” he says.“It was deemed that our boys wouldn’t be able to cope with their standard but I think England getting to the World Cup final shows that Super League is almost level with them now.”Paul Sculthorpe, the former Great Britain captain, is adamant the elite in both leagues are at a similar level. “Their player pool is bigger than ours but our best against their best, there’s not a lot in it – the World Cup proved that,” he says. “Some of our lads are now rightly considered to be the best players in the world.”But what about the World Club Challenge itself? With the Super League chief executive, Robert Elstone, admitting major changes could be afoot for the event’s format and scheduling next year, just where does it fit into the domestic calendar? “I think it would be a disgrace if this game ever disappeared,” Carney says. “Other sports would kill for a clash that pits its best club sides from different hemispheres against one another. If we lose it through the apathy of the NRL’s approach to it, that is a disgrace.” Share via Email Topics Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest It is said that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and never has that mantra been more applicable to a sporting event than in rugby league’s World Club Challenge. Of the 26 previous versions of the event to determine the best club side in the sport – dating back to the inaugural unofficial clash between Sydney and St Helens in 1976 – there have been more tweaks and changes than most league fans would care to remember.From the ill-fated, expanded 1997 edition, in which British clubs performed disastrously amid millions of dollars’ worth of losses, to the short-lived World Club Series of recent seasons, the format has never discovered its panacea. The purported disparity between the sport’s two elite competitions, Super League and the NRL, has long been cited as the reason why the competition has never properly taken off but, as Wigan prepare to host the Roosters on Sunday in the latest instalment, just how big is the gap between the two? Their player pool is bigger than ours, but our best v their best, there’s not a lot in it – the World Cup proved thatPaul Sculthorpe Wigan Warriors ‘Undervalued’ World Club Challenge in line for major revamp, says Elstone Support The Guardiancenter_img Reuse this content Read more “I think the standard over here is currently higher than it’s been for a long time,” says the current St Helens coach and former Sydney assistant, Justin Holbrook. “You can see that from the rule changes Super League has made to try to align itself with the NRL. Whether we’re catching the NRL up … we’ll find out on Sunday.”Perhaps we will. In the past decade only two British sides – Leeds in 2012 and Wigan in 2017 – have beaten the NRL’s best. But with Super League’s recent rule changes designed to close the gap on the NRL and speed the game up – plus England’s progression at international level – is the gap already being narrowed?“We as a competition have to get to a standard of play that threatens the NRL, I totally get that,” admits the former Great Britain winger turned TV presenter Brian Carney. “We’re going the right way now. We’re doing things that should have been done a long time ago but you won’t see instant results. You wouldn’t have kicked Italy out of the Six Nations a few years ago simply because they were struggling – now they’re competing.” Sydney Roosters features Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Carney is not alone in his views; it is widely acknowledged in the northern hemisphere that the tournament is too often viewed as a warm-up event for the Australians, prompting Elstone’s desire to shake it up.That attitude, however, cannot be attributed to this weekend’s visiting NRL champions. “If you love the game of league, then you must respect it on all levels – including the World Club Challenge,” says the Sydney coach, Trent Robinson, who previously coached in Super League with Catalans. “I’d like to see a bit more structure to it so you can look long-term, because you have discussions every year about where and when it’s being played.“But we want to showcase rugby league. If we’re going to invest time travelling to England, then we will respect the heritage and quality of the game in this country.”Robinson’s attitude is commendable, and perhaps indicative of a growing Antipodean shift towards Super League, given the influx of players to the competition this season in the peaks of their careers, rather than the usual annual arrival of those seeking one last payday in Europe. Share on Twitter Read more “I think all the high-profile imports who’ve arrived this year would give our competition a thumbs-up and are pleasantly surprised where we are,” Elstone says. “Increasing the intensity and pace of our game has been a priority but we have to aspire for our competitions, including this one, to look different in the future. We own such a fantastic property in the World Club Challenge, which arguably hasn’t been subscribed to properly by certain people in the past. We have to change that.”Carney agrees. “The game needs to back this concept. We’ve only got two elite professional competitions in the world and not much else, so if you are culpable for letting this event die, you cannot love rugby league.”League, one suspects, will not let that happen. But in a theme not too dissimilar from Super League’s constant league structure changes of recent seasons, perhaps the World Club Challenge will never get the respect it deserves until Super League proves it is on the NRL’s level this year and beyond. Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Australia sport Rugby leaguelast_img read more

2010 X-Blades National Touch League update

first_imgThe rain has finally stopped and there is a bit of sun shining over the fields at Stockland Park, Caloundra, giving the fields a much needed chance to dry. The TFA staff have arrived in full force to set up the new venue, and will continue to do so over the next two days in the lead up to the biggest National Touch League in history!In other news, make sure you join the brand new Touch Football Australia Facebook page to keep up to date with all the latest news and scores throughout the tournament. Search for Touch Football Australia on Facebook and become a fan today! As well as a day full of action packed Semi and Grand Finals on Saturday, 13 March, local radio station Hot 91.1FM will be at the fields doing live crosses from the venue as well as bringing their cheer squad. A big screen will also be used on finals day, with the Mixed, Women’s and Men’s Open finals to be broadcasted on the screen, including instant replays and interviews.Today’s edition of the NT News has a story about the 2010 X-Blades National Touch League. To view the story, please click on the following link: tuned to the TFA and NTL websites, as well as the new Facebook page to keep up to date with all of the latest news, previews and read more

Victoria Jubilee Hospital Receives Equipment

first_img The charity will also be donating two blood pressure machines and other equipment to the Kingston Public Hospital. The Victoria Jubilee Hospital has received medical equipment valued at US$6,700 from United Kingdom-based charity, Rejuvenate Jamaica Hospitals, to improve its neonatal services.The equipment, five incubators and five phototherapy devices, were handed over during a ceremony held on February 22, at the hospital’s North Street address in Kingston.The charity will also be donating two blood pressure machines and other equipment to the Kingston Public Hospital.In her remarks at the ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of the Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Colleen Wright, expressed gratitude for the donation.Proud parents, Diane Shand (second right) and Jeffrey Richards (right) show their newborn twins, Malik and Malia to Consultant Paediatrician, Neonatal Care Unit, Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Dr. Yanique Brown (left). Others are (from second left): Registered Nurse, Tamara Campbell; Chief Executive Officer of the Kingston Public Hospital and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Colleen Wright; and Director of Nursing Services for the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Elise Fairweather Blackwood. They attended the handover ceremony for five incubators and five phototherapy devices donated to the hospital by the United Kingdom-based charity, Rejuvenate Jamaica Hospitals. The ceremony was held on February 22 at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital’s North Street address in Kingston. The equipment, five incubators and five phototherapy devices, were handed over during a ceremony held on February 22, at the hospital’s North Street address in Kingston. The Victoria Jubilee Hospital has received medical equipment valued at US$6,700 from United Kingdom-based charity, Rejuvenate Jamaica Hospitals, to improve its neonatal services.center_img Story Highlights “I know that your donation will assist in enhancing the healthcare of our clients. At this hospital we provide gynaecological care, as well as maternity care. We know from time to time babies are going to be born that need to be placed in the incubators. We are grateful for the donation and we will use it as prescribed,” Ms. Wright said.Senior Medical Officer at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Dr. Rishi Chand, said the hospital’s services are in great demand, noting that an average of 700 babies are delivered each month.He expressed appreciation for the equipment, noting that it “is going to help us manage our patients”.Dr. Chand added that the Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PROMAC) which is to come on stream shortly, will further assist in expanding the hospital’s capacity.Representative of Rejuvenate Jamaica Hospitals, Joan Lindsay, said the charity remains committed to improving the services of the island’s public health facilities.“We have been fundraising for the past five years. We are grateful for the public that freely give and donate to the cause. It is because of them that we are able to equip the hospital with these incubators. Children are our future, and so we were inspired to try to get these equipment,” she said.Rejuvenate Jamaica Hospitals’ mandate is to improve public health facilities across the island.last_img read more

Kartarpur corridor hits roadblock as consensus eludes India Pak Report

first_imgLahore: The ambitious Kartarpur corridor linking Pakistan’s Gurudwara Darbar Sahib with India’s Dera Baba Nanak shrine has hit a roadblock after the technical experts from both the countries could not find a consensus on building a bridge over Ravi’s floodplain, a media report said Tuesday. The experts from Pakistan and India on Monday held a meeting to discuss the modalities for the corridor at the Kartarpur Zero Point. The Express Tribune reported that the meeting lasted only one hour during which the representatives of both the sides exchanged details of the construction work. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistIndia wants the construction of a kilometre-long bridge on the Ravi river while Pakistan suggested the need to construct a road, it said. The Indian officials objected to the road, citing the possibility of floods in the river. However, the Pakistani officials said that a dam could be built around the road and the inclination of the road could be kept high to avoid flood waters, the report said. The two countries also could not agree on the date for the next meeting. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceThe group from the Indian side had officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Land Ports Authority of India, National Highways Authority of India, among others. The Pakistani side was represented by the officials of Federal Investigation Agency, customs, construction, Pakistan Rangers Punjab and Survey of Pakistan. Earlier in April, technical experts and foreign ministry officials from both the sides participated in the talks held at the same venue. In the March meeting, the two sides decided to present surveys and maps for border fencing and developmental work on the Dera Baba Nanak-Kartarpur Sahib Corridor to their respective governments. In November 2018, India and Pakistan agreed to set up a border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak – to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. Pakistan has said that the work on the corridor will be completed before the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November this year. The Kartarpur corridor is expected to provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib a small town in Narowal, four kilometres from the Pakistan-India border, where Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.last_img read more

Cricketer James Anderson Names His Top 10 Songs For Charity

first_imgJames Anderson, Lancashire and England cricketer, and the man responsible for taking 10 wickets during the first Ashes test, helping England to victory, shares his top 10 favourite tracks of the moment to mark his ambassadorship of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.The ten tracks on James’ Spotify playlist are:Get Lucky – Daft Punk feat PharrellRadioactive – Imagine DragonsIndian Summer – StereophonicsDefault – Django DjangoMirrors – Justin TimberlakeLaura Palmer – BastilleHollow Talk – Choir of Young BelieversYou & I – Crystal FightersSomeone Told Me – Jake BuggHo Hey – The LumineersYou can listen to the Nordoff Robbins Amabassador James Anderson’s Top 10 tracks of the moment playlist on Spotify.Speaking about Nordoff Robbins’ work, James says, “Nordoff Robbins’ music therapy work struck a real chord with me. I’m a really big music fan so to see a charity using music to transform lives is really special to me. During a visit to their centre, I got to see first-hand the difference music therapy can make to all kinds of people. Their work is really unique and I’m proud to support them.”last_img read more

SEC charges Volkswagen former CEO with defrauding investors

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Volkswagen and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding American investors during an emissions scandal.The SEC said that between April 2014 and May 2015 Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the country grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits.The complaint claims Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and the company’s financial standing, which gave Volkswagen a financial benefit when it issued securities at more attractive rates for the company.Volkswagen did not immediately comment early Friday.The Associated Press read more

TSX advances as traders look to Fed rate announcement growth data

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher Monday as traders played it cautious ahead of a busy week for economic data and earnings news, including the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest word on interest rates.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 18.48 points to 14,797.83. The Canadian dollar moved down 0.26 of a cent to 80.23 cents US.New York’s Dow Jones industrials gained 6.1 points to 17,678.7, the Nasdaq was up 13.88 points to 4,771.76 and the S&P 500 index climbed 5.27 points to 2,057.09.Markets were unaffected by the election victory of Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party over the weekend. Syriza wants the eurozone to ease the spending cuts and tax increases required under Greece’s financial bailout program and even forgive some of the country’s rescue loan debt.“But so what? At the end of the day, they (Syriza) won but the negotiating room that they will have as a party is pretty much zero,” said John Stephenson, president and CEO of Stephenson & Co.The U.S. Federal Reserve is holding its interest rate meeting on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to start moving rates away from near zero around the middle of this year and traders will be looking for any signs the central bank might move earlier.But Stephenson thinks they will go later than generally thought.“Because of all this uncertainty out there, they will be on hold longer than most people think. Consensus is they move in June but I don’t think they move that soon. They’ll move later.”Other major data points include the latest economic growth figures for Canada and the United States, both out Friday.Economists believe Canadian gross domestic product grew 0.1% in November. TD Bank (TSX:TD) said Monday that it now expects the economy to grow by just 2% this year, compared with its December estimate of 2.3%, because of falling oil prices.TD also said that is expects oil will average US$47 this year. Oil prices have fallen more than 40% since the end of November when Saudi Arabia rejected calls to cut production in order to support prices.In the U.S., fourth-quarter GDP is expected to come in at an annualized rate of 3.1%, down from a 5% pace in the third quarter.On the TSX, lift came from the industrials sector, up one% with Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) rising 96 cents to $85.44 ahead of earnings coming out Tuesday.The gold sector ran up 1.75%%, while February bullion faded $13.20 to US$1,279.40 an ounce. However, the sector has surged 36% this month while gold prices have steadily advanced.The base metals sector was ahead 0.8% as March copper rose four cents to US$2.54 a pound.The energy sector advanced, up 0.3%, with oil in New York closing down 44 cents at US$45.15 a barrel.Telcos led decliners, down 1.85% with Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) down $1.98 or 4.2% to $45 after Canaccord Genuity (TSX:CF) cut its rating on the stock to hold from buy. It added it expects Rogers to report a “sluggish” quarter when it posts earnings Thursday.The Canadian Press read more

Kosovo two UN police officers repatriated due to professional misconduct

The repatriation occurred following an UNMIK investigation into charges that four of its police officers were involved in the movement of women for the purposes of prostitution.”The investigation has now been concluded,” said Derek Chappel, UNMIK police spokesman. “Two officers were found to have contravened the Code of Conduct. They have been repatriated. Two other officers have received letters of reprimand.”While the four policemen committed professional misconduct “to varying degrees,” evidence was not found to support criminal charges, the spokesman said. read more

Decades Before Moneyball The Dallas Cowboys Used Advanced Stats To Win Super

A. Salam Qureishi grew up in India and knew nothing about football — or America. And yet in the early 1960s, Qureishi, a computer programmer and statistician, helped the Dallas Cowboys overhaul their scouting system, replacing hunches with hard numbers.The result: five Super Bowl appearances and two titles. FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films present “The Cowboys and the Indian,” directed by Mark Polish. It’s the second film in our short series “Signals.” (Watch our first “Signals” film, “The Man vs. the Machine,” here.) read more

Football JK Dobbins announced as starting running back for game against Oklahoma

OSU freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs a play during the 2017 season opener vs Indiana. OSU won 49-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFor the second straight game, freshman running back J.K. Dobbins will be the starting running back for Ohio State Saturday, when the team hosts Oklahoma Saturday at 7:30 p.m in Ohio Stadium.Last season’s starting running back Mike Weber was held out of last week’s game with a hamstring injury, but is healthy and will play this weekend as well, according to coach Urban Meyer.“J.K. will start, and then we’ll see as we move forward,” Meyer said on his 97.1 The Fan radio show.Meyer said earlier in the week the two would operate in a rotation against the Sooners. During the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday, Meyer said the pairing offers the Buckeyes a couple of different style running backs and both will be used, even if he was still unsure in what capacity the two will be deployed.Dobbins set a record for an Ohio State freshman running back in his debut game as he rushed for 181 yards on 29 carries. The first-year starter also added 24 yards on two receptions, including an 18-yard reception on a wheel route on the second play of his career.reer. read more