Barcelona sack Setien, Koeman favorite to take charge

first_imgMessi future uncertain Shortly before the board meeting began on Monday, sources at Barcelona insisted the club had not heard anything from Messi about wanting to leave. But the 33-year-old has grown increasingly frustrated in recent months and a report from Esporte Interativo on Sunday claimed he has made up his mind to find a new club this summer. Gerard Pique said he would depart if it was necessary and it remains to be seen which players are considered surplus to requirements. Any recovery might be focused on youth, with Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig and Frenkie de Jong leading the next generation. Koeman will know the scale of the challenge at Barcelona, where an ageing team ended up lost under Setien, who failed to convince the players of his methods. Setien oversaw 16 wins, four draws and five defeats from his 25 games in charge. Despite the occasional high-scoring win and some eye-catching spells of the possession football he craves, Barcelona were also ponderous, disjointed and defensively weak. Before the three-month suspension, they lost the Clasico to Real Madrid and after it, they drew against Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid. After defeat by Osasuna effectively handed Madrid the title, Messi vented his frustration, pointedly saying the team had been a mess since January, which was when Setien was appointed. Setien, meanwhile, admitted he had never managed a dressing room like Barca’s and few place the blame for the club’s decline at his feet. Most of the fans’ fury is directed at Bartomeu and the board, who have alienated the dressing room and made too many mistakes in the transfer market.  There was no mention of sporting director Eric Abidal in the club’s statements and it appears he will continue for now. Abidal drew public criticism from Messi in February after suggesting the players were responsible for the sacking of Ernesto Valverde. He is also believed to have been key to the appointment of Setien.  “The Board understands that the immediate call for elections is not feasible considering the league will begin on the weekend of September 12 and due to the economic and social framework caused by the Covid-19 crisis.” Setien’s successor will still be under pressure to deliver quickly given a new board next year could install their own coach, with Xavi Hernandez linking himself to rival presidential candidate Victor Font. Koeman has been in charge of the Dutch national team since 2018 and is due to lead them at the postponed European Championship next year and the World Cup in 2022. Mauricio Pochettino was also considered but his previous comments dismissing Barca due to his links with rivals Espanyol have counted against him. Koeman and his agent were negotiating a two-year contract on Monday night, according to reports in Spain, with the second year dependent on the outcome of the presidential elections. He enjoys hero-status at Barcelona after starring for them as a player under Johan Cruyff and scoring the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final. But his coaching career has been mixed and he would arrive at a club in crisis, with one of his first tasks to persuade captain Lionel Messi not to depart.  His exit was finalized during an emergency board meeting at Camp Nou, which lasted almost six hours and saw Koeman emerge as the favored choice to take charge. The club also announced next year’s presidential elections, scheduled for June, will be brought forward to March 15. Angry supporters had hoped they would be held immediately but that possibility was ruled out, meaning under-fire president Josep Maria Bartomeu will continue.”After analyzing all the options, the Board considers that this (March 15) is the most viable date for holding these elections,” the statement continued.  Barcelona have sacked Quique Setien as coach, the club confirmed on Monday, with Ronald Koeman the frontrunner to be his replacement.”The new coach will be announced in the coming days as part of a wide ranging restructuring of the first team,” Barca said on Twitter.Setien was only appointed in January but has paid the price for Barca surrendering the La Liga title to Real Madrid and then being humiliated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Topics :last_img read more

Digicel Jamaica Appoints First Female CEO, Allison Cole-Philbert

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica – Earlier today, Caribbean telecommunications giant, Digicel announced the appointment of Allison Cole-Philbert as its chief executive officer (CEO) of Digicel Jamaica.Cole Philbert replaces Justin Morin, the first Jamaican CEO of Digicel’s Jamaica operations, who was appointed the position in 2017. She will be the first woman to be appointed as a CEO of Digicel Jamaica.With over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, Allison Cole-Philbert will drive the company’s new digital strategy going forward. The Jamaican has held various senior positions at the American telecommunications company, Verizon, including Vice President of Regional Operations- New England from 2012 to 2017.Allison joined the Digicel Jamaica team this February in the role of Digital Programme Director. She holds a BS and MS from George Washington University and an MBA from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.The appointment of Cole-Philbert is a win for businesswomen in Jamaica, especially CEOs. In 2015, a study done by by the International Labor Organization (ILO) found that Jamaica had the highest percent of female company managers than any other country in the world, with 59.3 percent.But despite the positive news for Jamaica, women were still underrepresented, globally, at the CEO level. Women represent around only 5% of CEOs of the largest global corporations, and they own and run 30% of the businesses in 73 out of 128 countries for which data was available.Allison steps into her new role as CEO at the end of July.last_img read more

No. 1 Corning to play against Anderson in the playoffs

first_imgCorning >> Corning High School girls, who top division 2 will play against No. 8 Anderson at home at 3 p.m. Thursday.The Cardinals stand at 18-1-1 in league and 13-5-2 overall.Anderson is at 2-8-0 in league and 3-15-0 overall.Pending a win, Corning would play No. 4 Live Oak (6-2-1, 13-5-4) or No. 5 Orland (4-5-0, 8-10-2) away. Red BluffNo. 5 Red Bluff will face No. 4 Foothill on the road at 3 p.m. Thursday in the division 1 playoffs. Red Bluff entered the playoffs at 5-3-1 in …last_img read more

Bollywood macho man Akshay Kumar stretches his acting muscles, dons thinking actor part

first_imgNew move: Akshay Kumar has a total makeoverIt’s probably symptomatic of an industry starved of stars that Akshay Kumar, once dismissed as a macho man with a Mickey Mouse voice, has become one of Mumbai’s busiest actors.He has replaced the luckless Salman Khan in the new Thums Up ad, signing,New move: Akshay Kumar has a total makeoverIt’s probably symptomatic of an industry starved of stars that Akshay Kumar, once dismissed as a macho man with a Mickey Mouse voice, has become one of Mumbai’s busiest actors.He has replaced the luckless Salman Khan in the new Thums Up ad, signing a year’s contract worth Rs 1.5 crore. He’s acting in the new Madhur Bhandarkar film, considered by many to be the isi mark of an actor. And he has as many as six films in the kitty, each at a fee of Rs 1.5 crore, with directors ranging from Raj Kumar Santoshi to Vipul Shah.It has made him more venturesome. He now calls his secretary his manager/agent, he has hired a PR-firm to stoke his image and taking a leaf from the books of actors like Ajay Devgan and Akshaye Khanna, he has decided to give himself a new look for every film. Never mind that his eyes swim if he reads more than half a page of print, that he’s not the most scintillating conversationalist and that he cheerfully con- fesses to borrowing stunts from Hollywood movies.Meet the new, improved Akshay Kumar, who has decided not to let his muscles do all the talking. He has worked on his voice with a teacher at home. His clothes are the collective efforts of designers Manish Malhotra, Aki Narula and Anna Singh. And the image as a serial philanderer is now consigned to glossy newsprint that lines bookshelves, thanks to his marriage to former actor Twinkle Khanna. Which explains the actor’s latest passion: playing with his month-old son Aarav.advertisementAs he steps out of his silver Mit-subishi Pajero and waits to go out to lunch with his mother-in-law,’ Dimple Kapadia, he seems to have re-invented himself. After over 12 years ‘ in Bollywood, he’s actually thinking about what he is doing.In Bhandarkar’s new film, Police Force, his name is Hari Om Patnaik (“I don’t want to have a regular name like Ajay Singhania”) and his clothes are a replica of a dcp’s wardrobe. For the new cola ad, he experimented with his hairstyle and tried a different, bronze make-up. “Now that I’m financially secure I like to challenge myself. I want to be an actor,” he says.PLAN OF ACTIONROLES: Mixes an action film with a more “authentic” part.APPEARANCE: Three designers fashion his clothes. Wants a new look in every film. Will sport a new hairstyle in Police Force.NEW MOVIES: With Raj Kumar Santoshi and Dharmesh Darshan.The turning point came in 1999 after three years of flops, when he did Sangharsh with Tanuja Chandra and Jaanwar with Suneel Darshan. Mahesh Bhatt remembers him from Angaarey, a 1998 film he directed him in: “He was always defensive about his acting. He would always say, ‘I’m a fighter, not an actor’.”Now, every Friday, he goes to his neighbourhood theatre, with a cap pulled low over his face, to watch the new releases. “I like to watch with the audience. They laugh where I would not laugh, cry where I wouldn’t. They can tell when you are faking an emotion,” he says. Which is why he likes to mix it up. “I do certain movies for A-list centres and others for B and C,” he says.This year, he played an action hero in Awaara Paagal Deewana and a blind robber in Aankhen. Later in the year, Talaash with Kareena Kapoor will be released, to be followed by the love triangle Andaz, where he’s an air force pilot, with Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta. Bhandarkar was impressed by his preparation for the film, whether it was working on his look or his lines. “His sincerity and hard work are his biggest qualities,” he says.Like his almost-director Deepa Mehta, he is convinced that Water will be made and he’ll get to play Narayan, Mahatma Gandhi’s follower. He still remembers the dialogue and rattles it off for your benefit: “Aadmi ke mar jane par naa hi uske kurte ko jalate hai naa hi uske jooton ko, par uski aurat ko (When a man dies they don’t burn his kurta or his shoes, only his wife).”His grandparents, who still live in Delhi’s Paranthewali Gali, would be proud of his makeover. So would the uncle at whose no-name restaurant in Bangkok’s Phurat Street he spent six years cooking chole-bhature and aloo subzi. The Khiladi has finally learnt how to play the game.last_img read more

Mythology redux

first_imgStarting on February 25, the festival will see Ahalya as its opening performance. Ahalya,  the wife of the sage Gautama Maharishi, believed to be seduced by Indra (the king of the gods), cursed by her husband for infidelity, and liberated from the curse by Rama. The performance is portrayed by Arupa Lahiry – disciple of Guru Chitra Visweswaran.The next act for the day will be Draupadi. Chaste and virtuous, divinely beautiful, endowed with youth and intelligence, she was a warrior princess whose anger destroyed the sinful Kauravas dynasty. This act is portrayed by Soundarya Srivathsa – disciple of Late Guru Narmada. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The second day of the festival will open with Soorpanakha. Soorpanakha was the sister of the main antagonist, Ravana, King of Lanka, is the catalyst of the chain of events leading directly to her brother’s demise. This production is portrayed by Dakshina Vaidyanathan – disciple of Gurus Saroja Vaidyanathan and Rama Vaidyanathan.The next act is Karna. He was the son of Surya and one of the greatest warriors in the Mahabharata, who fought against misfortune throughout his life and kept his word in every circumstance. Karna is portrayed by Sathyanarayana Raju – disciple of Late Guru Narmada. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixUsha Rk : Arts Consultant: Dance became her companion during her schooling days. Training under the venerable Gurus of the Raja Rajeshwari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir, Gurus CR Acharya and Vempati Chinna Satyam, Usha chose to take up research and academic aspects of dance that enabled her to develop her dance writing skills. A pioneer in the sphere of organising cultural and artistic initiatives,  Usha Rk has carved a niche for herself as a nurturer and propagator of immense talent. Conceptualising and creating some of the path breaking dance and music festivals, Usha worked with many of the legends in the music, dance and film worlds.  Whether it was thematic festivals like “Swarna Sankhya” or the grand music festival “Raga Tala” and  “Nritya Dhara” celebration of International Dance day, featuring over 175 dancers or the PR led concerts of music and art, almost all her endeavours have been successful and appreciated.Interesting thematic dance programs like Thyagaraja Vaibhavam, Margam – a festival of varnam, Rama Katha, Diksha – based on the compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Padams and Javalis, Dwaaram, Radha Madhurya etc by Usha have attained exceptional success.Her complete dedication to promoting and propagating the arts is significant and noteworthy, where for the past seven years she has been presenting artists and performances with a view to preparing the next line of superstars in classical dance basis goodwill and personal resources primarily.last_img read more

Python 380 alpha 1 is now available for testing

first_imgYesterday, the first alpha of Python 3.8.0 was announced in a Python blog post. The most important change in this version is the addition of Assignment Expressions. This is the first alpha, three more are yet to be released. Keep in mind that the features are raw and not meant for production use. Some changes in Python 3.8.0 alpha 1: Security changes When spawning child processes, the command line option -I to run Python in isolated mode is now copied by the multiprocessing and distutils modules as well OpenSSL is updated to OpenSSL 1.1.0i for Windows builds The thread safety of error handling is fixed in _ssl A small fix to prevent buffer overrun in os.symlink for Windows Changes in core and builtins PEP 572: This introduces a new way which assigns values to variables in an expression by using the NAME := expr notation Parenthesis are made optional for named expressions in a while statement. Python initialization is reorganized to get exceptions and sys.stderr early. A small memory leak is fixed in pymain_parse_cmdline_impl. For unbalanced parentheses in f-string, the syntax messages are better. End line and end column position information are added to the Python AST nodes During the Python initialization, the Python filesystem encoding is read faster Library changes Shared memory submodule is added to multiprocessing in order to avoid serialization between processes The KeyError exception when using enums and compile is now fixed help() on metaclasses is fixed The raise(signum) is now exposed as raise_signal Building enums by value are now faster These were a select few changes in Python 3.8.0 alpha 1. For a complete list of changes, you may go through the changelog. Read next Introducing RustPython, a Python 3 interpreter written in Rust EuroPython Society announces the ‘Guido van Rossum Core Developer Grant’ program to honor Python core developers pandas will drop support for Python 2 this month with pandas 0.24last_img read more

These videos of Worlds Longest Zipline will make you kiss the ground

first_imgThese videos of World’s Longest Zipline will make you kiss the ground you walk on Share Tuesday, February 6, 2018 Travelweek Group Ras Al Khaimah — As the saying goes, those who can’t do, teach. And those who don’t zipline, watch. But be warned: watching this video of the world’s longest zipline is just as terrifying as being strapped in.Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled the world’s longest zipline, beating the previous 2.2-kilometre world record in Puerto Rico by a full 600 metres. And, due to its location, it’s considered one of the world’s highest ziplines too.Starting from 1,680 metres above sea level, the zip line measures 2.8 kilometres, which is the equivalent of 28 football pitches.Yes, 28!It reaches speeds of up to 150 kph and weighs an astonishing six tonnes. In its first phase of operations, the zip line is able to accommodate 250 people a day (open to all ages), equaling 100,000 people in a single year. Prices start at £125 per person.More news:  Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongCreated by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and Toro Verde, the new attraction features a lounge, restaurant, lockers, equipment storage and offices. Guests will receive a pre-briefing before being escorted to the launch platform and fitted with a special suit.And if they need a helping hand to get through the terrifying ordeal, the zipline’s two lines allow friends and family to take the flight together. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more