Liverpool ace Mane: Lovren’s right! He’s one of the bestby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool ace Sadio Mane won’t hear criticism of teammate Dejan Lovren.The Croatian was trolled when he claimed “People should recognise I am one of the best defenders in the world” before the start of the season.Yet he helped Liverpool to last season’s Champions League final and his country to the World Cup final.And Mane backed him, despite sniping from other fans.He said: “I agree. Even now Dejan is one of the best defenders out there.“He went to the World Cup and we saw what he did. In football it is normal for us to give ourselves morale in major competitions. So if he said he is the best defender in the world, why not?“He was playing amazingly well, so there is no problem with that.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@Fine_and_Tandy Twitter/@Fine_and_TandyLouisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has had a rough season in the PR department, between the alleged sex scandal rocking his program and the way he acted following his team’s loss to Kentucky on Saturday. One writer believes that the recent developments have vaulted him into a league of his own – one you don’t want to be in.FOX Sports’ Aaron Torres believes that Pitino is now the “least likable figure in college sports.” Here’s his thought process:…He’s a man who has proven to have virtually no moral compass off the court, and on the court, has a program that is currently in the midst of the NCAA’s crosshairs. And yet despite all that, despite the fact that he continues to make an embarrassment of both his school and himself, he found time to put himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons again this weekend. That man is Rick Pitino, and while fans continue to dislike Coach K, Calipari and Saban for reasons only known to them, I am here to say that Pitino is, without a doubt, the most impossible person to like in all of college sports. And since no one else is going to call him out for making a fool of himself Saturday I will do so here. Obviously, coaches stick around much longer than players in college athletics, so they’re going to make up the majority of any kind of list like this. Pitino certainly has his fair share of questionable incidents over the years to justify a spot on here.But is he the least likable of all? You can read Aaron’s entire column here.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Disney is buying a large part of Fox , but Fox News Channel and other U.S. television businesses are staying with the Murdoch family.Here’s a look at what the Disney and Murdoch empires will look like under The Walt Disney Co.’s $52.4 billion deal for 21st Century Fox:THE DISNEY BANNERBesides classics such as Mickey Mouse and Goofy, Disney already owns several iconic franchises, including the Muppets, “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero movies and comics. It operates a major movie studio and several TV networks, including ABC, ESPN, the Disney Channel and Freeform.With the deal, Disney gets the Fox movie business, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000. Fox held rights to some Marvel characters; this deal will bring Marvel’s X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool under the Disney roof. Disney will also take ownership of the “Avatar” franchise, which has already spawned a Disney theme park ; sequels are on the way.In terms of television production, Disney will get Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, with shows including “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.”Disney will get at least a 39 per cent stake in European satellite-TV and broadcaster Sky. Fox is hoping to acquire the remainder of Sky before the deal closes, giving Disney full control. Disney is also acquiring Star India, a major media company with dozens of sports and entertainment channels.Disney, a co-owner of Hulu, will get Fox’s share in the streaming company, giving Disney a majority control.THE MURDOCH FAMILYBefore the sale, Fox will spin off some properties into a separate company, which the Murdoch family will control. Murdoch’s new Fox will have the Fox television network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the U.S. sports channels FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. It will also keep the Fox studio lot in Los Angeles and an equity investment in Roku, a maker of TV-streaming devices.The publishing and newspaper businesses will stay with Murdoch, as those have already been separated into a different company, News Corp. Those businesses include the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Sun and The Times in the U.K., and book publisher HarperCollins.There’s been speculation the Murdoch family will try to combine News Corp. with what’s left of Fox, though Rupert Murdoch told investors Thursday, “We haven’t thought about combining with News Corp.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – After six movies, 22 years, countless bruises and a broken ankle, Tom Cruise’s death-defying “Mission: Impossible” stunts continue to pay off at the box office.“Mission: Impossible — Fallout” easily took the No. 1 spot on the domestic charts this weekend. Paramount Pictures estimates that it earned $61.5 million from 4,386 North American theatres.Not accounting for inflation, it’s a best for the long-running franchise, which has grossed $2.8 billion worldwide, and one of Cruise’s biggest too (just shy of “War of the Worlds’” $64.9 million debut in 2005). Internationally, the film earned $92 million from 36 markets which is also a franchise best.Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, “Fallout” has scored some of the best reviews in the series and has been in the news cycle for almost a year. Talk about the film started early, in August of 2017, when Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt in London with video to prove it.“Paramount was strategically perfect in their marketing and publicity game,” said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “They showed how important a star’s presence is in marketing the movie early on. Tom Cruise broke his ankle and they made that into a positive for the movie — it fed the Tom Cruise ‘Mission: Impossible’ mystique.”Second place went to “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” which fell 57 per cent in its second weekend in theatres, to earn $15 million. It was a much steeper decline than the first film, which dropped only 36 per cent between its first and second weekends.Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer 2” slid to third with $14 million in weekend two, and “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” took fourth with $12.3 million.The animated “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” a feature spinoff of the Cartoon Network television show about Robin and some of the lesser-known DC superheroes, was the only major film to open against “Fallout.” The Warner Bros. release earned $10.5 million and landed in fifth place.The film earned positive reviews from critics and younger audiences, but also faced a fair amount of animated competition from both “Hotel Transylvania 3” and “Incredibles 2,” which is still going strong in its seventh weekend and headed toward the $1 billion mark. As of Sunday the Disney/Pixar sequel had earned an estimated $996.5 million globally.But although $10.5 million might seem on the lower side, “Teen Titans” also cost only $10 million to produce.“Family movies like this will play for a lot of weeks,” said Warner Bros.’ domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein. “The whole objective of this movie was to work with our cousins in other Warner units for brand identification.”Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.1. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” $61.5 million ($92 million international).2. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” $15 million ($26.6 million international).3. “The Equalizer 2,” $14 million ($1.9 million international).4. “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” $12.3 million ($31 million international).5. “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” $10.5 million ($1 million international).6. “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” $8.4 million ($11.5 million international).7. “Incredibles 2,” $7.2 million ($20 million international).8. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” $6.8 million ($10.9 million international).9. “Skyscraper,” $5.4 million ($17.7 million international).10. “The First Purge,” $2.2 million ($4.5 million international).___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:1. “Hello Mr. Billionaire,” $129.5 million.2. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” $92 million.3. “Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings,” $42.9 million.4. “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” $31 million.5. “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” $26.6 million.6. “Incredibles 2,” $20 million.7. “Skyscraper,” $17.7 million.8. “Ant-Man and The Wasp,” $11.5 million.9. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” $10.9 million.10. “Illang: The Wolf Brigade,” $5.2 million.___Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr
OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says it will not publish international merchandise trade statistics for December as scheduled on Feb. 5 due to the U.S. government shutdown.The agency says it uses U.S. import data to measure Canadian exports to the United States.However, the partial U.S. government shutdown that began Dec. 22 has meant that Statistics Canada will not receive that data as expected.It noted that trade statistics without Canada’s exports to the United States have limited use as they represent approximately 75 per cent of Canada’s total exports.Statistics Canada noted that other quarterly economic reports that rely on the trade data such as the balance of international payments and quarterly gross domestic product will go ahead using special estimates of Canadian exports to the United States if necessary.It said that combining an estimate of one month with two months of actual trade figures and other sources of economic data reduces the risks associated with publishing an estimate for December trade data on its own.The Canadian Press
Patna: Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi on Friday claimed that Prashant Kishor had met her husband Lalu Prasad with the proposal that the RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) merge together and the new entity thus formed declare its “prime ministerial candidate” ahead of polls.If Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a blatant lie, she said. “I got infuriated and asked him to go away as I had no trust left in the Bihar chief minister following his betrayal,” the RJD national vice president, who is also the leader of the opposition in the legislative council, told a regional news channel here. Kumar had last year walked out of the Grand Alliance, which was formed upon his party’s partnership with the RJD and the Congress. He re-joined the BJP-led NDA. “All our staff and the security personnel deployed here are witnesses. He called on us at least five times, mostly here (her 10, Circular Road residence), and one or two times at paanch number (5, Deshratna Marg – the bungalow allotted to her younger son Tejashwi Yadav),” Rabri Devi said. “Kishor was sent by Nitish Kumar with the proposal – let us merge both parties and declare a prime ministerial candidatehe came in broad daylight and not clandestinely in the dark of night,” she asserted. Expressing displeasure over Kumar’s claim that the RJD supremo keeps talking to Kishor from jail, she said, “Even we, (family members), do not get an opportunity for a telephonic talk with him (Lalu Prasad). And what about the claim by Anant Singh that while he was in jail, Lalan Singh (minister) used to arrange his telephonic talks with Nitish”. A mafia don-turned-politician who represents Mokama assembly segment, Anant Singh was earlier considered close to the Bihar chief minister, but fell out with him prior to the 2015 assembly polls. His wife Neelam Devi is contesting the Lok Sabha polls as a Congress candidate from Munger, where she is pitted against JD(U)’s Lalan Singh – a state minister and close aide of the chief minister. Anant Singh made the claim in a recent interview to a local news portal.
New Delhi: Salil Parekh, the chief executive officer of Infosys, took home a pay package of Rs 24.67 crore in the last financial year, the company’s annual report showed. Parekh, who joined Infosys in January 2018, received Rs 6.07 crore in fixed salary and Rs 10.96 crore in bonus, incentives and variable pay in 2018-19. He also received Rs 7.64 crore in perquisites on account of exercise of 1,03,604 restricted stock units (RSUs) during fiscal 2019, the annual report said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraCompared to this, Tata Consultancy Services CEO Rajesh Gopinathan drew a package of over Rs 16 crore. In its annual report, the country’s IT services firm said Gopinathan’s compensation had grown over 28 per cent in FY2018-19. Gopinathan’s remuneration included Rs 1.15 crore in salary, Rs 1.26 crore in perquisites, Rs 13 crore in commission and over Rs 60 lakh in other allowances – all of which added up to a package of Rs 16.02 crore. Infosys chief operating officer UB Pravin Rao earned Rs 9.05 crore in FY2018-19 against Rs 8.22 crore in the previous financial year. His remuneration in FY2018-19 included Rs 4.41 crore in fixed salary, Rs 3.83 crore in bonus/incentives/variable pay and Rs 0.81 crore in stock option.
CAIRO – Egypt on Thursday denied it was mistreating Syrian refugees following a report by Amnesty International accusing authorities of unlawfully detaining and deporting hundreds of Syrians fleeing civil war.In a statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry said the content of Amnesty’s report was “inaccurate and does not reflect the reality of their situation in the country.”“There are over 300,000 Syrians (in Egypt) and they are treated in a dignified way… and receive the same treatment as Egyptians with regards to health care and education,” the ministry said. It reiterated that Egypt’s policy was to “support the Syrian people … and the Syrian revolution.”“There is no policy of deportation of our Syrian brothers and the vast majority of them live in peace,” the ministry said.Egypt has recently required Syrians and other nationals to acquire visas from Egyptian consulates abroad prior to arrival in the country.“This is related to the security situation in Egypt and as soon as calm returns, this measure will be reviewed,” the ministry said.Earlier on Thursday, Amnesty had accused Egypt of unlawfully detaining and deporting hundreds of Syrian refugees, many of them women and children.“Instead of offering vital help and support to refugees from Syria, the Egyptian authorities are arresting and deporting them, flouting human rights standards,” Sherif Elsayed Ali, Amnesty’s head of refugee and migrants’ rights said in a statement.“Most refugees lost their homes and livelihoods when they fled Syria.Failing to help and protect them is a stain on the reputation of Egypt and could seriously damage its image as a key stakeholder in the region.”Ali said Egypt was failing “abysmally to meet its international obligations to protect even the most vulnerable refugees.”Amnesty said hundreds of refugees who fled Syria, including scores of children, face ongoing detention in poor conditions or deportation.It said the Egyptian navy has intercepted around 13 boats carrying refugees from Syria in their attempt to reach Europe.Quoting the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, it said 946 people have been arrested by Egypt while attempting the crossing, and that 724 remain in detention.Egyptian authorities say the country has taken in around 300,000 Syrian refugees, with some trying to leave for Europe aboard overcrowded ships.The media has often accused refugees of backing the Muslim Brotherhood and of being involved in political violence that erupted in Egypt after the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
OSU then-junior Alex Bayne (2) is welcomed by her teammates at home plate after hitting a home run during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Lantern File PhotoAbout 20 miles south of Houston, in the small town of Manvel, Texas, Edith Applegate walked her 10-year-old granddaughter Alex Bayne home from elementary school.As the pair walked up the driveway, a young Bayne pranced up toward the house that stood on 5 acres of land. She patiently sat, waited for her parents to get home from work, and thought about her upcoming dance recital.Later that night, she would play catch with her father, David, as her mother Joni looked on. As the ball hit the glove that was bigger than her head, Bayne knew almost immediately this was something she would want to do for a long time.Fast forward to a decade later, Bayne crosses home plate at Buckeye Field, pauses at the dish, firing an imaginary bow and arrow into the outfield. She just hit her second three-run home run of the game against Maryland, giving the team a 12-2 lead in the 2016 Big Ten opener.These would be just two of the 19 home runs she slugged in her junior season for the Ohio State softball team, leading the team and tying a single-season school record.But before Bayne was leading the Buckeyes in home runs, she was told by multiple schools that she was just too small to succeed in their programs.“It’s kind of ironic now,” said Bayne, who is now entering her senior season. “There were times when schools would literally tell me they were looking for someone with bigger stature or someone with a little more power in their bat.”At 5-foot-5 inches tall, Bayne might not be the biggest player on the field, but she sure does pack a punch. What she lacks in size, she makes up for in drive and determination.“With a small stature, she is still our strongest player in the weight room,” said coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly. “She absolutely crushes it in there.”Bayne learned her drive and focus from an early age.As an Associated Press and Texas scholar during her high-school career, Bayne was able to excel in both academics and athletics, while still maintaining a social life. She learned to prioritize what was most important with the help of her parents. It also helped that Bayne had an immense interest in learning.“It sounds kind of geeky, but I loved it and I still do,” Bayne said. “My parents helped me to learn that education is the most important thing. They taught me that if you excel in your education, you’ll be able to play softball and still hang out with friends.”Joining an 18-and-under league by the age of 14, Bayne realized she had the talent to play at the next level. After what felt like hundreds of emails and handwritten letters to coaches all across the country, she found herself at Marshall University for her freshman year of college.While falling in love with the community atmosphere of Marshall University that reminded Bayne a lot of home, the program wound up not being the right fit. As a result, she would take the year off from softball during what would have been her sophomore season, giving Bayne time to refocus and regain a passion for the sport.It was during this time that Bayne discovered OSU. After numerous visits with her then-boyfriend, now-fiancé Bryce Calvin, who was a student at OSU, Bayne felt a special connection with the university.“I fell in love with the school, the traditions and how everyone strives for excellence here,” Bayne said. “You don’t come to Ohio State to be average. You come here to be awesome academically and athletically. I knew this is where I wanted to be and the people I wanted to surround myself with.”Having already made her transfer academically, Bayne then looked to join the Buckeyes’ softball team. After numerous emails with the coaches, Bayne came in for one of the team’s open tryouts, where she impressed enough to become a member of the team.“At the time we really didn’t have a lot of room on our roster, but there was something about Alex; a spark and determination that we couldn’t turn down,” Kovach Schoenly said. “I really didn’t know how she would fit in or develop, but we took the chance.”The rest is history. Through long hours and steady focus, Bayne has made herself into one of the best power hitters Ohio State has ever seen. She attributes much of her success to the advice she has received from hitting coach Jenna Hall and strength coach Andres Britton.“She bought into the training program and puts all her energy and focus into it and it has paid off,” Britton said. “She takes her time and makes sure she gets the most out of every training session. She embraces the process, trusts in the program and has a tremendous work ethic and positive attitude.”While acknowledging the schools that overlooked her for her lack of power, Bayne does not hold a grudge. Rather, she is grateful.“I’m very happy with where I am,” Bayne said. “If they hadn’t have passed on me, I wouldn’t have worked my way here to where I am today. Now I’m just like ‘Hey, I’m still 5-foot-5, but I do have power.’”With just one year of eligibility left, Bayne has big goals for herself and her team in her final season. While wanting to limit strikeouts, make herself a harder out and become a better leader, the main thing on her mind is making the postseason. “The most important thing to me in my senior season is knowing I helped this team get to where we wanted to go, regardless of my recognition,” Bayne said. “That is what would make me have a happy and fulfilling senior year.”