July 31, 2021

Ryan’s Centra, Askeaton named as store which sold €1 Million Millionaire…

first_imgTwitter Advertisement RESIDENTS of Askeaton in Co. Limerick have been urged to check their National Lottery Christmas Millionaire Raffle tickets after it was announced that the winning €1 million top prize ticket was sold at a local store for the New Year’s Eve draw. The winning Millionaire Raffle ticket number 010661 was sold on Sunday, November 24, at Ryan’s Centra store in Askeaton in Co. Limerick and the National Lottery has also confirmed that it is still waiting to hear from the winning ticket holder.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Co-owner of Ryan’s Centra store in Askeaton in Co. Limerick, Brian Hanly said, “We can’t believe this. What a great way to start 2020 for one of our customers. We were just told the good news this morning and we really hope it’s a local. There has been no speculation as to who the winner may be just yet, so over the next few days, we will be ensuring that all of customers check their tickets to see if they are the winner of the €1 million prize.”A spokesperson for the National Lottery added: “We are calling on all of our players in Limerick to carefully check their Millionaire Raffle tickets to see if they are the big winner of the €1 million prize. The winning raffle ticket was sold way back on Sunday 24th November so it really was a case of the early bird getting the worm! There is a possibility that the ticket may have been a present so if you received a Millionaire Raffle ticket as a Christmas gift, make sure you check it carefully and if you are the winner, contact the National Lottery prize claims team and we will arrange for you to come and collect your prize.” Facebook Linkedin Email WhatsApp Print NewsLocal NewsRyan’s Centra, Askeaton named as store which sold €1 Million Millionaire Raffle winning ticketBy Staff Reporter – January 3, 2020 1289 Previous articleLimerick Hurling Team of the Decade: Full ForwardNext articleCampaign to revive Christmas swim at Corbally baths Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ielast_img read more

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Wrestling community rips WWE’s Jaxson Ryker for tweeting Donald Trump support: ‘Sorry a— motherf—er’

first_imgForgotten no more, indeed.WWE’s Jaxson Ryker tweeted his support for President Donald Trump on Tuesday, just hours after Trump gave a controversial press conference and had peaceful protesters tear-gassed so he could stage a photo opportunity in front of a church in Washington, D.C. Thankful for the @POTUS we have! God bless America. Built of freedom. Forgotten No More— Jaxson Ryker (@JaxsonRykerWWE) June 1, 2020Currently, Ryker stars in WWE as a member of the Forgotten Sons stable, a trio of wrestlers with the gimmicks of “forgotten veterans.” Of the three members, Ryker and stable mate Steve Cutler both served in the United States Marine Corps.Needless to say, in today’s WWE landscape where diversity and inclusion is (gradually) increasing, several WWE stars past and present took to the Twitter machine to lend Ryker a piece of their mind. (Warning: Some tweets contain NSFW language.)I’m thankful you posted this because I’m now aware of what you stand for. When black brothers and sisters are crying, you praise someone that refuses to acknowledge their hurt. https://t.co/O4xm5L3Rpl— Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@AliWWE) June 2, 2020The freedom you speak of entitles you to speak your mind all you want. I’m not here to argue that. I just really need to tell you that I think you pushing your shitty wrestling catchphrase as all of this is happening is absolutely fucking pathetic.Good night. https://t.co/d34xdOXZr6— Kevin (@FightOwensFight) June 2, 2020I’m just keeping him nameless because he’s a sorry ass motherfucker who I refuse to let ride my coattails. He gets no love from me. He gets no rub from me. And if he would like to discuss it in person we have enough mutual acquaintances that he will be able to find me easily. https://t.co/IW25S376L4— Super Duper Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) June 2, 2020This braindead milkshake of a tweet reads like you shook your phone and words just fell out randomly.— Ryan Nemeth (@HotYoungBriley) June 2, 2020Someone is gonna take a nice shit in your gear bag….— “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela (@JANELABABY) June 2, 2020Shut the fuck [email protected] is a drizzling shit American and so are you for supporting him.— AJKirsch (@AJKirsch) June 2, 2020Literally built on oppression. https://t.co/yi26CWPgz6— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) June 2, 2020I get you’re a “bad guy” on tv. And I’m HOPING that’s all this is. Even then, that ain’t it. But if this is actually your true thoughts – I’ll be really sad, man. 😔 https://t.co/9unml5rsiY— Pretty Ricky (@KingRicochet) June 2, 2020We’ve all said it. We’ve RT’d images and articles. We’ve made articulate tweets and posts. If you cannot comprehend how African-Americans are literally fighting for their lives right now, you choose not to get it.Also, built on freedom? https://t.co/rJnI9x8Uda pic.twitter.com/GjtdRM2gHk— Malcolm Bivens (@Malcolmvelli) June 2, 2020Delete this, chief. This ain’t it.Regardless if this is in character or you really think NOW is the right time to post something like this, you should be ashamed. https://t.co/8ge8V0TKZ2— Daily DDT (@FanSidedDDT) June 2, 2020WHAT NOT TO DO: https://t.co/GPDDTYq5VY— 𝕬𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖎𝖊 𝕵𝖆𝖒𝖎𝖊 (@thejamiesenegal) June 2, 2020last_img read more

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Uganda join Harambee Stars in CECAFA semis

first_img0Shares0000Uganda Cranes left back Mustafa Kiiza celebrates scoring against Eritrea during a CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match at the Lugogo Complex in Kampala, Uganda on December 11, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKAMPALA, Uganda, Dec 11 – A strong second half performance saw hosts Uganda Cranes beat Eritrea 2-0 and progress to the semi-finals of the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, joining defending champions Kenya who were the first to qualify on Tuesday.A long range shot from Nicholas Kasozi and a penalty scored by Mustafa Kiiza saw the Cranes pick their third win of the Championship and are assured of finishing top of Group A and will face the team which finishes second from Group B. If Kenya fails to beat Zanzibar on Saturday, then there might be an early final before the final, but a win for Stars against the islanders will mean they also top the group and will meet the second placed team from Group A.Eritrea are on three points and face second placed Djibouti on the final match day on Friday and victory there will see them book an appointment against Kenya. Djibouti will however progress if they avoid defeat to the Eritreans.Uganda coach Johny McKinstry made a wholesome change to his squad, swapping all but two of his regular starters. Only skipper Halid Lwaliwa and left back Mustafa Kiiza were retained in the starting team.Having picked a shock 1-0 win over Burundi in the opening game, Eritrea knew that a wi  against the home side would be a sure bet to the semi finals and they were relentless in their hunt.Uganda kept early possession with Muzamiru Mutyaba’s early shot from range going just wide.Eritrea were direct in their approach and whenever they won the ball, they swung into attack. They had a chance in the 22nd minute but Filmon Semere’s header from a Robel Teklemichael cross was tipped over by keeper Joel Mutakubwa.Seven minutes later, Teklemichael played a brilliant through ball to Ali Ibrahim but keeper Mutakubwa was quick off his line to save the one on one effort.On the half hour mark, Uganda had another opportunity when Karim Watambala dribbled his way to the edge of the box but his eventual shot went inches wide.At the stroke of half time the Red Sea boys should have gone 1-0 up but Deyben Hintseab’seffort at chipping over the keeper from the edge of the area went over when he had acres of space ahead of him to prod forward and shoot.In the second half though, Uganda came back a better side.They went ahead just 12 minutes in when Kasozi’s shot from range slipped through the keeper’s fingers and into the net.They made it 2-0 in the 78th minute when Kiiza stepped up to score from the spot after his freekick from the edge of the box was handled by the wall.Five minutes from full time, they should have been 3-0 up with four minutes left but Joakim Ojera blasted his shot wide with a gaping goalmouth from Kiiza’s cross.0Shares0000(Visited 273 times, 3 visits today)last_img read more

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Must-see TV

first_img “I’m going to show you a hockey shot – you’ve never seen anything like it,” he claims. Well, heck, how are we supposed to go to sleep now and miss this? This is the second of a four-part annual series on the best and worst of the Los Angeles sports media. Today, the TV anchors and reporters. About five minutes into the 11 p.m. newscast on KNBC Channel 4 on Monday, Fred Roggin pops up on the TV screen. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The video clip was as advertised – Washington Capitals rookie Alexander Ovechkin somehow managed to score a goal while he was diving and twisting and has just one hand on his stick and … you really had to see it. The next day on the Kings’ telecast, Hall of Fame play-by-play man Bob Miller called that one of the most incredible shots he has ever seen as well. So once again, Roggin, the master of the tease, had done his job. Just as he has for 26 years running. You’ve got to be doing something right to have stayed at the same station in the same city for more than a quarter of a century, even if the task seems so simple. In the time it takes to cook a hard-boiled egg, all the local TV sportscaster has to do is boil down the day’s local sporting events into a window between the weather and that cute feel-good story at the end of the show. If there’s a live car chase going on, his segment might be wiped out entirely – which is almost what happened on that same Monday night to Channel 2’s Jim Hill, who managed to squeeze in just a live two-minute standup from the empty Staples Center to at least inform his audience that, in fact, the Lakers had beaten the Miami Heat. center_img For the 48-year-old Roggin, his survival guide is based on developing skills that go far beyond just delivering a couple of slick highlights – he’s a prodigious producer, a master salesman, as adept at analyzing marketing data and rating trends as he is with stats and scores, and a familiar face in a market where change takes place far too often. Roggin might not be at every game doing those live shots, but you know he’s back in the studio making magic somehow that’ll pay off for him in the long run. In December 1980, KNBC recruited Roggin from the NBC affiliate in Phoenix to create the station’s expanded “Sunday Night Sports” show (which lasted 18 years), be the weekend sports anchor and do features in the middle of the week while working with Stu Nahan. Twenty-six regional Emmy Awards – one for each year – and 21 Golden Mike Awards pretty much prove Roggin knows what he was doing. “Cable had not yet taken off, so local news was still a go-to destination,” Roggin said, describing the TV landscape in those early years of ESPN and CNN, which were figuring out how to fill these new half-hour sports highlights shows. “We had to start changing because the world was changing, and we had to figure out how to appeal to the broadest audience, not just the male-driven sports viewer. So how were we going to do it? We had to remember: Our business is television, and our assignment is sports, and good production makes good TV. “Sports is action, and television is video-driven. Video sells, action sells. You don’t go to a sporting event to hear someone talk about it, you go to watch it.” Warner Wolf and Marv Albert had been doing the off-beat sports video highlights at local TV stations in New York, and George Michael was making it work in Washington, D.C., so Roggin had a template to use in L.A. going up against the other stations that had the same stories to deliver but hadn’t figured out how much or little to incorporate the pizzazz factor. “It was all about packaging,” Roggin said. “The analogy is to pretend it’s tonic water – why is Schweppes better than Canada Dry? It’s how it’s packaged, and branded, for the audience. “Over the years, you do have to reinvent yourself. We may not be a destination port for sports information anymore, but people do come to us for perspective and uniqueness. The research has proved that over the years.” Two important elements have also helped keep Roggin pointed in the right direction, particularly over the past few years. As always, he’s assembled an award-winning crew of producers and editors that currently include Steve Leveton, Kevin La Beach, Charlie Rosene and Marc Blaine. They’ll be involved in the return this fall of a weekly NFL postgame show that will include elements of the old standbys, “Roggin’s Heroes” and the “Hall of Shame,” which were parts of syndicated shows Roggin’s production company churned out in the mid ’90s. But what might have finally opened the local TV audience’s mind about Roggin’s depth of knowledge is how he’s done with the two hours of sports talk every weekday afternoon on KMPC-AM 1540 The Ticket, produced by Jared Kiemeney. Roggin says that has translated to his TV sportscast. “There’s only a handful of people who can succeed purely on who they are – I’m not blessed with that skill,” Roggin says. “I’ve had to work at developing production skills. “The radio has definitely changed what I do on TV now. I can add more opinion and perspective and analysis. You’ve got to be able to do more than one thing if you’re going to grow as a media person.” Even with the extra radio show, Roggin believes he’s been able to find a balance for work and family. On a typical weekday, Roggin wakes up at his Porter Ranch home at 7 a.m., takes his three youngest kids – 9-year-old Haylee, 7-year-old Jack and 5-year-old Josh – to school, works out, gets in touch by phone with producers of his radio and TV shows, surfs the Internet for topics to talk about on the radio show from 2 to 4 p.m. (which he does either from home or from his KNBC studio office in Burbank), does his Channel 4 sports segments for the 5:30 and 6 p.m. news, is back home by 7 p.m. for dinner with his family, returns to the studio by 9:30 p.m., pre-tapes sports segments for “Today in L.A.” and other shows, does the 11 p.m. news and is back home by midnight. Roggin and his wife, Richel, dedicate the weekends to the kids’ sports events – soccer, basketball and ice hockey. Roggin also has a set of twins, Jeff and Shannon, who are about to graduate from The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks and head off to Bucknell and Syracuse next year. “She’s very sharp, and she’s always giving me feedback on the radio and TV,” Roggin said of Richel, one of his former Channel 4 producers who recently did some reporting on the Long Beach Ice Dogs’ local TV coverage. “Ultimately, she wants to be a mom, and I can say that the thing I look forward to doing most is being with the kids. I think I’m at a point in my career where I’m confident in what I’m doing and can really focus on what’s important, and that’s family.” And there’s no teasing there. Notes: Five months after its debut, ESPN2 has decided to pull the plug on L.A.-based “ESPN Hollywood,” with the last show set for Jan. 26. “Our research and the ratings clearly suggest that a daily show may have been too much,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president. Starting Jan. 30, ESPN2 will also move “Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith” from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. PDT. … ESPN’s “College GameDay” for basketball starts Saturday from Louisville, leading into the Cardinals’ game with Connecticut at 6 p.m. Rece Davis hosts with Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and Andy Katz on the dais. Tom Hoffarth is at (818) 713-3661 and [email protected] TOP 10 1. Jim Hill KCBS Channel 2 Save the date: He will (legitimately) get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 9. Kind of makes sense, with this being his 30th year in L.A., starting at Channel 2 in ’76 (plus a short run at Channel 7 from ’88 to ’92 before returning to KCBS). Maybe that’s what inspired him to take off his sports coat and do the traditional Samoan dance at a press and family gathering last Saturday in Carson, where USC’s Fred Matua announced he was going pro. Last year: 1. 2. Fred Roggin KNBC Channel 4 Another one of the NBC perks is grabbing an assignment at the Olympics every now and then. In a couple of weeks, Roggin is off to Italy for the Winter Games, hosting the curling coverage. What’s the deal with curling? “It’s critical that you have a good skip and a good vice skip,” he says. We’ll have to take his word for it. Last year: 6. 3. Curt Sandoval KABC Channel 7 He finds the inspiring local stories on a more consistent basis than anyone else in town. Last year: 4. 4. John Ireland KCAL Channel 9 If only the Lakers had some loose fuse who we could count on an occasional profanity-laced tirade. Last year: 2. 5. Lindsay Soto Fox Sports Net Another network hasn’t picked her up yet? Just wait. Last year: 5. 6. Bill Macdonald Fox Sports Net He’s become so versatile, we’ve seen him interview a player with the mike first in his right hand, then switch to his left. Last year: 4. 7. Petros Papadakis Fox Sports Net The USC grad hardly pulled any punches during his analysis work during the football season. Last year: 7. 8. Patrick O’Neal Fox Sports Net Continues to make a name for himself as a sportscaster, especially as a hockey point man. Last year: 8. 9. Jim Watson Fox Sports Net Does he not have the best preppy flip haircut in the biz? Billy Mac only wishes his hair could do that. Last year: Not ranked. 10. Gary Miller KCAL Channel 9 The former ESPN whiz has finally filled that job opening at the station after Darrin Horton left. Paired with Alan Massengale, it’s like an ESPN deja vu experience, except Miller isn’t going for the watered-down jokes. Last year: Not ranked. Honorable mention: Mario Solis and Bill Seward, KNBC Channel 4; Barry LeBrock, Sean Farham, John Jackson, Matt Stevens and Priscilla Hojiwala, Fox Sports Net; John Hartung, KABC Channel 7; Marty McSorley, Fox Sports Net hockey studio. BOTTOM 5 1. Carolyn Hughes Fox Sports Net It’s been our policy to only rank those who are actually on the air at the time this comes out. But the fact that her name is on the ballot for the Southern California Sports Broadcasters’ annual awards ceremony delights us to no end. What if she freakin’ wins, and then shows up to the luncheon with Derek Lowe on her arm? Classic stuff. Last year: Horrible mention. 2. Jennifer Gould KTTV Channel 11 If she was just another pretty-face ex-cheerleader, maybe we could understand her function more. But how much botox can one grill take? Last year: Horrible mention. 3. Damon Andrews KTLA Channel 5 We kid you not: Last year, he was given a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-TV News Directors Association. You gotta be wondering if Hal Fishman is thinking to himself as Andrews does his jargon-filled scripts: What the heck is this kid talking about? Last year: 1, bottom five. 4. Rob Fukuzaki KABC Channel 7 Gotta say, one of his best performances came about a week ago, when news anchor Marc Brown regretfully informed viewers that Fuk had called in sick, and there was no one else to replace him. So Brown did the sports highlights – flawlessly, by the way – while holding up Fuk’s 8-by-10 color photo. Last year: 3, bottom five. 5. Michael Eaves Fox Sports Net So why was Kings’ coach Andy Murray so livid at Eaves after the team’s 4-1 loss the other night? Seems that after Eaves was left to ad-lib live on camera when a players-only meeting prevented him from getting an interview, he said something to the effect that Murray had to address the fact that the Kings were outworked by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Murray heard that in the coaches’ office and bolted out to confront Eaves. Murray eventually did a live interview with Eaves, but only after the latter altered his analysis and said it really wasn’t a lack of effort that hurt the Kings after all. Last year: Horrible mention. Horrible mention: Alan Massengale and James Worthy, KCAL Channel 9. LAST WEEK’S POLL Your top five favorite’s on the radio: 1. Dave Smith – 30% 2. Steve Mason – 28% 3. Petros Papadakis – 21% 4. Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton – 6% 5. Steve Hartman – 5% Note: Numbers add up to 90% because only the top five are listed. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Play Your Part Episode 26: Synopsis

first_imgThe 26th and final episode of the Play Your Part Television Series will air on Saturday, 17 March 2018 on SABC 2 at 18h00.  Kabelo MabalaneIn this episode, Play Your Part ambassador and host Kabelo Mabalane will take viewers through some of the highlights of the season.Over the course of the season viewers saw a wide variety of people doing extraordinary things for the benefit of South Africa.  Viewers saw the pillars of Active Citizenship, Social Cohesion, Youth Development, Women Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Skills Development being promoted. Each of these pillars could stand on their own, but the foundation on which they stand is education. Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree. It’s about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life. The season saw individuals and organisations with a passion for educating and empowering others to get involved by being proactive, creative and  committed about the development of the country.You can continue to follow the conversation on follow the conversation on Play Your Part initiatives on #GetInvolvedTell us how you Play Your Part through our social media channels:Follow Play Your Part on Twitter: @PlayYourPartSALike us on Facebook: Play Your PartWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Scoring Spree Gets NSW Over The Line

first_imgMake sure you stay up to date with these websites for all the State of Origin action: State of Origin – www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTouch Football Australia – www.austouch.com.auTouch Football Australia’s YouTube channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausTwitter: www.twitter.com/touchfootyausFacebook: www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Related LinksWomen’s opens game two By BEN HARRISFour touchdowns – three in the final two minutes of the first half and one inside the first 30 seconds of the second – helped New South Wales to keep the Women’s Open series alive in the 2012 State of Origin.Going down 5-3 to Queensland in game one on Friday night, New South Wales had to win to send the series into a deciding third match, which will be played later this afternoon.New South Wales scored the first touchdown but Queensland hit back with five minutes remaining to level the scores at 1-1.However, the Blues jumped to fifth gear and scored three touchdowns – Ashleigh Dind, Kristin Boss and Louise Winchester – in quick succession to stun Queensland and lead 4-1 at half-time.It didn’t stop there, New South Wales captain Winchester scored her team’s fifth after 27 seconds of the second half.   NSW coach Peter Forrester said that scoring spree was the difference between the two teams.“I thought our first half was magnificent, we were full of running,” he said.“Getting the try just after half-time to go 5-1 just gave us that security blanket.”However, as they did in game one, New South Wales dropped off and let Queensland back into the game.The Maroons scored three touchdowns through Savannah Pratten, Kelly Woods and Lauren Potter to get within one of their opponents.Forrester said that was a concern.“Probably the last 10 minutes we just lost our structure in particular on the line and on the ball, so that is probably disappointing.“The first half was just so good that it laid the platform.”Game three will be played at 4.15pm today.last_img read more

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7 days agoEx-Liverpool No1 James a fan of Man Utd keeper Romero

first_imgEx-Liverpool No1 James a fan of Man Utd keeper Romeroby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool goalkeeper David James admits he’s a fan of Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero.Romero is expected to replace United No 1 David de Gea in goal for Sunday’s clash against rivals Liverpool after the Spaniard picked up an injury while on international duty.”I’ve analysed him and there are a few keepers who are highly-rated who just put the ball out there in a general area. But he’s as good as Ederson and Alisson using his left foot and right foot,” James told Goal.”David de Gea is, of course, the No 1, but I looked at Romero when Manchester United bought him and I was amazed at how good the guy is with his feet – then I saw an improvement in De Gea.”What you tend to find is when you’ve got two keepers or two players training with each other day in, day out, you start picking up positive habits from the other player.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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I considers Pakistan to be most dangerous country Mattis

first_imgNew York: Former US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis considers Pakistan to be the most dangerous of all the countries he has dealt with, blaming it on the “radicalisation” of its society and the country’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal. Mattis was speaking at an event here Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He has co-authored the just released book Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead’. CFR President Richard Haass referred to a portion of the book in which Mattis talks about Pakistan, saying Of all the countries I have dealt with, I consider Pakistan to be the most dangerous. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USWhen asked by Haass why he believes Pakistan is the most dangerous, Mattis said, “The radicalisation of their society. By the way, that is also the view of members of the Pakistan military. They realise what they’ve got going on there. They recognise it. It’s a very twisted relationship between Pakistan and us. “But when you take the radicalisation of the society and you add to it the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal I think in the world, you see why one of the points I would make that we need to focus on right now is arms control and nonproliferation efforts. This is a much worse problem, I think, than anyone’s writing about today,” he said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMattis has previously commanded troops in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq and had headed up Central Command. Answering a question on China, Mattis said the US can find a way to work with China, “but we are going to have to confront China where they are interrupting the universal or the order the orders of the world where freedom of navigation and all. He added that he is convinced we can find a way to work with China and for there to be peace. “There doesn’t there are a lot of decisions to be taken, but it’s going to take it’s going to take alliances, again. They are trying to gain a veto authority over their neighbours” diplomatic, economic, and security interests. That we have to recognise. They’re piling massive debt, as Prime Minister Modi has pointed out, on other nations, and then when those nations can’t service the debt they take sovereignty, like over the port in Sri Lanka, he said, a reference to Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.last_img read more

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ATT suit may herald a new antitrust era – or Trumpian pique

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – The Trump administration’s decision to oppose the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger may be clouded by suspicions of political influence. But considered on its merits, it could mark a significant departure in antitrust policy, one that might block or modify a broader set of mergers found to harm consumers.The move disconcerted both Wall Street and the telecom and media industries, none of which expected it. Consumer groups are applauding, saying it’s a good step by the Justice Department to protect people from higher cable bills and ensure that web-based alternatives to TV aren’t stifled. (Many of the same groups, however, are also protesting the government’s plan, announced Tuesday, to roll back “net neutrality” rules intended to equalize access to the internet.)Matters, of course, are complicated by President Donald Trump’s long-running feud with CNN, a Time Warner company, which Trump regularly denigrates as “fake news” and “failing.” On Tuesday, Trump called the deal “not good for the country” and said he thought it would cause prices to go up. A White House spokeswoman said Monday she wasn’t aware of any efforts to influence the case.The Justice Department has suggested that AT&T could resolve the case by selling off DirecTV or a Time Warner business that includes CNN, according to a person familiar with the situation who couldn’t go on the record. AT&T has rejected any option that would cause it to lose control of CNN.LEGACY OF THE PASTIn 2011, Obama-era antitrust regulators waved through Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal — a deal that, like the current one, brought together a major provider of television and internet service and an entertainment conglomerate. (AT&T offers wireless, home internet and TV services; Time Warner owns the Warner Bros. studio and networks including HBO, CNN and TBS.)To prevent Comcast from abusing its greater leverage, regulators imposed a host of conditions on the company. For example, Comcast had to offer its TV and movies to online video competitors at the same rates as it did to cable and satellite rivals. But this approach isn’t universally acclaimed.For one thing, conditions are typically temporary; the ones for Comcast expire next year. They also don’t fundamentally change behavioural incentives for the company, and they require ongoing enforcement. Complaints in the past have dragged on for years. Among critics of such “behavioural commitments” is Makan Delrahim, now the Justice Department’s new antitrust chief.“The DOJ in this instance is learning from those past mistakes,” said Lina Khan, the legal policy director at the Open Markets Institute, a think-tank that opposes excessive corporate power.Delrahim has argued for requiring merged companies to divest certain businesses instead of imposing post-merger requirements on them. AT&T, however, doesn’t want to do that. Its plan is to marry popular Time Warner networks with its nationwide wireless and television services in order to build a data-driven ad business on top of it all.NEW THEORY OF COMPETITIONAT&T says TV bills won’t go up and consumers will benefit from innovations in packaging video. The Justice Department and some experts argue the opposite.For instance, MoffettNathanson analysts said in a note Tuesday that it was “in fact, very easy to imagine” how a company that both makes and distributes “must-have” news, sports and entertainment programming could use its power to thwart competitors by withholding it from rivals.The government argues that AT&T could, for example, charge upstart streaming services prohibitively expensive fees for the rights to HBO or other channels, or even withhold them, making it harder to compete with AT&T’s services. AT&T has said it intends to broaden, not limit, distribution of Time Warner.“The DOJ’s argument is simple: AT&T cannot lawfully be given this market power, because the incentives for them to abuse it are self-evident,” the analysts wrote. “It is simply not the case that this is a ‘novel’ legal theory.”Antitrust enforcement used to be more aggressive. But starting in the 1980s, it became more focused on promoting consumer welfare than on ensuring competitive markets, Khan said. That made “vertical mergers,” where the companies in question weren’t direct competitors, more attractive, since regulators believed they created efficiencies without harming consumers.For regulators to reject a vertical merger “represents a stark departure from the U.S. enforcement practice of the recent decades,” Columbia law professor Anu Bradford said in an email. The last time the U.S. government won a court victory in a vertical merger antitrust case was in 1972, when the Supreme Court said Ford’s takeover of a spark-plug business violated antitrust law.The suit against AT&T could be the start of a new, more aggressive tack in antitrust by the Justice Department. But that depends on whether other considerations played a role.“If it’s politically motivated because the president doesn’t like CNN, then it’s just a wild card,” said NYU law professor Eleanor Fox. “If this represents a change of heart, to be much more aggressive against mergers, it would be a game changer.”last_img read more

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Coalition aims to put First Nations in the drivers seat on major

first_imgTired of waiting for major construction projects to come to them, a growing coalition of First Nations is instead taking the lead on ventures to better control their economic futures.“We really are in a place looking to diversify our economies,” said Jasmine Thomas, a councillor of the Saik’uz First Nation in central British Columbia.“Really moving away from projects proposed and imposed on us, and changing that whole direction to projects that we’re leading, and that make sense to us.”The Saik’uz are one of four bands working with an initiative called the First Nations Major Projects Coalition to jump-start a hydroelectric enterprise that has been stalled for decades.The roughly $300-million Kenney Dam Water Release Facility is the first project the coalition has taken on in its mission to create a First Nation-led service providing trusted advice and co-ordination on getting major projects off the ground.“We are a first-of-its-kind model,” said Niilo Edwards, executive director of the coalition.“What we do is we respond to the requests that come in and provide the support necessary so that communities can make informed business decisions.”The coalition, currently funded from provincial and federal grants, is designed to move beyond impact benefit agreements towards greater initiative and ownership of projects with budgets of over $100 million, said Edwards.“In this day and age, First Nations have the opportunity to become project proponents themselves. Gone are the days of treating First Nations as stakeholders. They are governments, they have interests in their territory, they have economic and social interests that need to be satisfied.”To help First Nations get projects going, the coalition provides a forum for discussions and consultations as well as expertise, but it is not a project manager, nor does it negotiate on behalf of First Nations.The Kenney Dam project is the most advanced for the coalition, but Edwards said he has received requests to look into electricity transmission projects as well as the potential for a provincial loan guarantee fund.The coalition, which started taking shape in B.C. in 2015 and now counts 47 members as far east as Ontario, is also framed around projects that meet standards of cultural values and environmental stewardship and to demonstrate how projects can move forward with free, prior and informed consent.The Kenney Dam project looks to have met the criteria of the Saik’uz, Nadleh Whut’en, Stellat’en, and Cheslatta Carrier First Nations involved in moving it forward. The project will direct overflow water from the dam to a generation facility, and restore water flow to a stretch of the Nechako river that was choked off when the dam was built in the 1950s to power the Rio Tinto Kitimat aluminum smelter.The project has been proposed in various forms for decades, but never got off the ground. The coalition, along with independent power producer BluEarth Renewables Inc., is now advancing it through a new feasibility study with the hope of finally making it a reality, said Edwards.“This project was on the books for 20 or 30 years, and the First Nations who have an interest in it today, struggled to advance the project until the coalition came along and was able to act as a forum for capacity and technical support to make the project go, or at least as far as we’ve gotten it today, which is a heck of a lot further than it’s ever been.”BluEarth CEO Grant Arnold said the project itself fit key criteria for the company, but that the coalition has helped smooth out the process.“It’s a really impressive way for these groups to build capacity, and to get involved in large projects,” he said.“The model in Canada is evolving very very quickly, and to the benefit of everybody, including First Nations, project developers, there’s a lot of positive trends.”The coalition’s design of First Nation-led projects will help create more certainty for future projects, said JP Gladu, CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.“It creates certainty for investors, it creates certainty for communities, and at the end of the day, this is an opportunity for First Nations to generate new revenue sources through infrastructure. So I think more of this has to happen.”For Thomas, who acts as a spokeswoman for the four First Nations involved in the Kenney project, the development and the coalition in general are part of a new era for First Nation independence.“We’re talking about a new political landscape,” she said.“Having First Nations lead these type of projects, major projects, risks are definitely reduced. There’s a lot of economic certainty and it’s really helping to promote economic reconciliation for communities.”Ian Bickis, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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