Oracle Park, Chase Center events put Mission Bay to test

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Concert-goers at the Chase Center may benefit from the San Francisco Giants’ recent struggles.Attendance at Oracle Park dropped to a nine-year low on Monday as the Giants announced that a paid crowd of 26,826 fans took in the team’s 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The number of fans who actually showed up and used their tickets was significantly lower.This may be good news for people planning to attend concerts at the newly-opened Chase Center this week. For the first …last_img

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Urban housing success story

first_imgKhanyi MagubaneThe Department of Housing has applauded the completion of the urban housing project funded by the European Union’s (EU) R200 million investment. The money was donated in the form of a grant, enabling South Africa to develop an affordable urban housing programme.The urban social housing project came about as a means of addressing the need for more affordable accommodation in cities, said Department of Housing spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya. “The money was used to set up housing associations, such the Johannesburg Housing Company and the Madula Mogo (“we all live together”) company. These are section 21 [not-for-profit] companies, who used the money to buy and renovate inner city buildings.” The units in those buildings are then rented out to low-income earners.Besides the buying and renovating of buildings, part of the money was used to develop social amenities, such as play areas and crèche facilities for children, homework centres for school learners, and relaxation/games areas for adult residents. The money was also put towards economic amenities, including computer centres, where residents can access the internet. Also included in the economic amenities are the small businesses run within the complex.Mabaya said the nationally run programme, which took seven years to complete, was put into place as part of the Department of Housing’s vision of eradicating informal settlements around South Africa. He said the growth of the informal settlements in urban areas was caused, in part, by low-income earners’ inability to afford accommodation inside the city. “Most people go and stay in informal settlements because that is the only area they can afford. This project was carried out in Durban, Cape Town, and Gauteng in the urban cities, to address the high need for social housing.”Speaking at the official completion of the project, Itumeleng Kotsoane, Housing Department Director General, said stakeholders could now stand back and reflect on the many successes that they have jointly achieved. He noted that “without the European Union’s involvement…we would not have made this dream possible for the citizens of this country”.Use of the fundsThe project was established in 2000, and in the past seven years the funding was spent as follows:R26.68-million to social housing institutions in the form of capacity grants, which enabled the section 21 companies to purchase and refurbish inner city buildings.R25.5-million on capacity building and training in the sector, including training in property management, on being landlords and in business management.R23.1-million to social housing institutions as bridging finance through the National Housing Finance Corporation and the Trust for Urban Housing Finance,R4.8-million towards management staff costs, andR3.6-million into focused technical support to social housing institutions.Lodewijk Briet, EU ambassador to South Africa, also voiced his contentment at the completion of the project. “There is no doubt that we value these essential services as we formally conclude a successful participation of this programme, as housing is one of important areas of delivery in South Africa,” he said.The New European House in Hillbrow, in Johannesburg city centre, was officially opened at the completion of the project. The building consists of 68 units and a 100-bed shelter to accommodate people in emergency situations.Mabaya also said that in a bid to further cement the EU’s commitment to South Africa, Briet also announced that the EU has now made €960 million available to enable the South African government to implement social programmes. “The European Union is not coming to us with its own programme and agenda; it’s coming to us saying that ‘you have programmes, we want to help you implement them’. The Department of Housing will apply for some of that money, to continue our programmes.”Useful linksNational Association of Social Housing OrganisationsTrust for Urban Housing FinanceThe Johannesburg Housing Companylast_img read more

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Champion Vettel thanks Red Bull team for success, asserts ‘focus and discipline’ key to winning races

first_imgDefending champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull insists that “discipline and focus” were the two main ingredients of his success after winning his second successive Indian Grand Prix here on Sunday.A flying Vettel faced no challenge as he led from the start to finish at the Buddh International Circuit and recorded his fourth win on the trot to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 13 points over second-placed Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.”It was my fourth win in succession. The feeling is pretty amazing because it is hard to set these targets. These kinds of things either happen or they don’t. All in all, it was a fantastic race and I enjoyed it. I got a good start which was important. We had very good pit stops,” he said at the post-race press conference.”It takes a lot of discipline and focus at the right moment to achieve such feats,” Vettel said.The German was gracious in thanking his entire Red Bull Racing team for the success. “I thank the whole team because the whole team is working together fantastically. The guys are working night and day in the garrage and in the factory to improve the car,” Vettel said.He was full of praise for the circuit and the great Indian hospitality which he received here in the last two years. “The feedback from drivers about the circuit is very positive. You are challenged to the limit here. One mistake can cost you dearly,” Vettel said, adding that warmth and affection of Indians is something that he will always cherish.advertisement”India is an impressive country. Life outside the circuit is very different from other places. The country has a lot to offer. The culture and livelihood is very different. Unlike Europe, here people have low expectations and money is not that important. People are warm-hearted and are very happy to live a healthy family life here,” he said about the country.Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso managed to finish second and remain in the hunt for drivers’ championship.Click here to Enlarge Starting from fifth position on the grid, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso raced amazingly as he went past the two McLaren cars and then Red Bull’s Mark Webber to take second position, which kept him in the hunt for the Drivers’ title.The win here might have given Vettel a slight edge over Alonso but the Spaniard sounded a warning to his Red Bull compatriot, saying things can change quickly in the last three races of the season.Asked whether he is still positive about his chances of winning the Drivers’ championship, Alonso replied in the affirmative. “Of course, I still fancy myself. There are still 75 points to race for and I am just 13 behind. There are still many points in table,” an optimistic Alonso said.”Hopefully, we can improve in Abu Dhabi and USA. I expect the Brazil race to be good for us. Today Mark (Webber) had a problem with his KERS, you never know tomorrow it might be Sebastian,” he said.Third-placed Webber said his aim for a top-two finish ended after his KERS (Kinetic Energy System) failed in the first quarter of the race. “My start was good. I settled into the race well but I lost my rhythm and tempo due to KERS,” he said.”There was no battle (for top two positions) after I lost KERS in lap 19 or 20,” the Australian said.last_img read more

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10 months ago​Crystal Palace defender Souare undergoes surgery

first_img​Crystal Palace defender Souare undergoes surgeryby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace defender Pape Souare has gone through with an operation on his dislocated shoulder.The Senegalese international was injured against Grimsby in the FA Cup over the weekend.There is hope that he will be back soon, but it is not a major loss for Palace. Souare had only played in four games this season prior to his injury.Souare took to Twitter to say: “Quick minor op, and it went great can’t wait to get back doing what I love.”I wanna thank everyone for their ongoing support. See you soon.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Eniram Inks MoU to Participate in Project Forward Initiative

first_imgzoomNew generation of bulk carriers developed by Project Forward. Image Courtesy: Wärtsilä Eniram, part of Finnish technology group Wärtsilä, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Athens-based Arista Shipping to participate in the Project Forward initiative.Led by Arista, the project has developed a dry bulk carrier vessel that features “an unprecedented high level of energy efficiency.” The carrier’s design is based on LNG fueled propulsion.Under the MoU, Eniram will assist in the development of monitoring and optimization tools.“We are delighted to be a part of this exciting project, which will create a vessel with the levels of performance and sustainability needed as the marine industry enters a new era. Our input will help ensure that operational visibility will be maximised, and that the new ships can operate at optimal efficiency,” Giannis Moraitakis, E&A Business & Sales Development Manager at Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, said.As informed, the vessel design will enable compliance with all known, applicable, and anticipated regulations proposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These include the Energy Efficiency Design Index 2025, SOx post 2020, and NOx Tier III without any after treatment.“Project Forward represents a milestone for the shipping industry, since it brings a substantial discontinuity to traditional ship design and performance. The project establishes LNG as a global marine fuel, and we welcome Eniram’s involvement (…) The aim of the project is to arrive at a fully elaborated decision support tool, which will be extremely valuable in enabling us to predict, monitor, optimise, and also demonstrate the actual performance of the vessels,” Antonis Trakakis, Technical Manager at Arista Shipping, explained.Wärtsilä is also a part of the project team, contributing with LNG propulsion technology. The propulsion design concept is to be based on an arrangement featuring just two highly efficient Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines without additional gensets. Other parties involved include Finnish ship designer Deltamarin, the Houston-based classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), and GTT, the French LNG membrane containment system designer.Earlier this year, Arista Shipping signed a letter of intent with Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (YZJ) to build a series of up to twenty bulk carriers to the new design. The Kamsarmax vessels are scheduled for delivery between 2020 and 2023.last_img read more

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Bruno Mars Plays July 4 USO Gig At White House

first_imgGrammy-winning recording artist Bruno Mars performed a USO show for hundreds of cheering troops, military family members and guests of the First Family on Saturday, July 4, on the South Lawn of the White House.The multi-platinum recording artist played a collection of hits as part of the USO’s seventh annual Salute to the Military USO concert. While storms cancelled the pre-show cookout festivities on the White House lawn, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama came out and addressed the crowd from the stage before Mars’ hour-long USO performance that led into a fireworks show on the National Mall.“It was an honor to perform at the Fourth of July concert at the White House,” Mars said in a release. “It was incredible to stand with the First Family and the USO to recognize the service and sacrifice of our troops and military families.”Source:USOlast_img read more

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What to Watch For in the NBA Finals

For all the talk this season about conference imbalance in the NBA and the inequity of its playoff structure, things seemed to have worked out just fine. Measured by point differential, we’ve ended up with the best teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences in the finals, and fans everywhere get the chance to watch a rarity in pro basketball: an NBA Finals rematch.Who’s going to win? The old adage is that defense wins championships, but this matchup is all about the offenses.The San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat have had the two best offenses in these playoffs and, surprisingly, both have been more efficient than they were in the regular season. Their offensive systems are different, but they have the same basic goal: Create good shots. With that in mind, here are some things to watch for:Spurs movementIn April, a study by two members of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective found that, after controlling for time of possession, the Spurs’ offense had more movement and more passing than any other offense in the league, and by a wide margin. Indeed, according to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking Statistics, the Spurs’ offense has featured more movement during the playoffs than the other three conference finalists.Movement Per Minute of PossessionPassing and ball movement are not perfect proxies for offensive effectiveness, but in the Spurs’ case, they are symptomatic of an offense that is working well. San Antonio doesn’t have any player as individually brilliant as Miami’s LeBron James to consistently pull good shots out of thin air, so the Spurs rely on their collaborative system. The distance traveled is of particular importance. On average, the five players on the floor for the Spurs cumulatively travel nearly 500 feet farther per minute of possession than the players for the Heat. That’s 500 extra feet of screening, rolling and cutting, searching for seams in the defense and open space on the perimeter.The Heat’s defense plays at a frenetic pace, aggressively trapping pick-and-roll ball-handlers and flying around the perimeter in a series of rotations to cover shooters. It can be devastating when done well, but the Spurs are uniquely suited to turn this aggression against the Heat.Shot selectionWhile a key indicator of the Spurs’ offensive health is the movement and passing they use to create shots, the key for the Heat is simply the location of their shots.The Heat spent most of the past two weeks burying the Pacers with 3-pointers. These outside shots buoy Miami’s offensive efficiency, but the Heat’s 3-point shooting is also a reflection of how easily James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat’s other ball-handlers get into the lane and collapse the opponent’s defense.In his NBA Finals’ preview at Grantland, Zach Lowe pointed out some of the methods the Spurs used to defend the Heat in last year’s playoffs, and how they resulted in a slew of mid-range jump shots. If we look at the breakdown of the Heat’s true shot attempts (which includes field goal attempts and trips to the free-throw line) we can see just how far last year’s pattern was from what the Heat have just done.Miami Heat Shot SelectionFor the Heat, 3-point attempts are tied to their ability to get inside the defense. James, Wade, Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers were able to get into the lane with ease against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, and the result was that nearly 30 percent of Miami’s true shot attempts in that series were 3-pointers (which they made at an obscene 40.8 percent clip).In last year’s finals, however, by walling off the paint and offering up mid-range jump shots to the Heat, the Spurs were able to keep them away from the rim, off the free-throw line and inside the 3-point line. The Heat will surely have some adjustments ready this year, and we should be able to tell a lot about how they are working just by looking at the locations of their shots.LineupsThe offensive systems each team employs to create good shots revolve around lineups. The Heat would prefer to play small, arraying three and sometimes four shooters around James. The Pacers were loathe to change gears and try to match up with them, but the Spurs may be more willing. They have more depth than any of the teams the Heat have played in these playoffs, and San Antonio is much more comfortable using that depth in a variety of arrangements.A big issue in last season’s finals’ matchup was the way the Heat’s small lineups forced the Spurs to separate Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan. The Spurs used that pairing for about 20 percent of their regular-season minutes, then just over 11 percent in the finals. But Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich has been more aggressive this season about experimenting with different lineups.It is tricky to parse statistics for the Spurs between big and small lineups because of the big and small skill set of Boris Diaw. When he’s playing power forward for the Spurs, the “big” or “small” nature of the lineup depends on the matchups and what he’s being asked to do. But having him on the floor allows the Spurs to have their cake and eat it, too.Back to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking Statistics: Diaw was third on the team in touches per game, at 49.2, during the regular season. While Diaw is capable of scoring in a variety of ways, he averaged just 9.1 points per game because his role in the Spurs’ offense often called for him to be a facilitator. He averaged 38.9 passes per game; about 79 percent of his touches involved moving the ball to another player. This usually worked out well for the Spurs, as Diaw is among the best big man passers in the game. His assists created an additional 6.7 points per game for the Spurs during the regular season.In the Spurs’ Game 6 victory to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder, Diaw saw a lot of extra touches by virtue of playing some extra minutes, but it was what he did with those touches that made the difference.The Boris Diaw StoryIn Game 6, Diaw’s touches accumulated nearly 50 percent more points for the Spurs than they did during the regular season or in the series to this point. This increased output from Diaw was needed, with the Spurs struggling to hit 3-pointers and Tony Parker sitting out the second half with an ankle injury.Diaw’s ability to shift between big and small defensive assignments, and scoring and facilitating roles on offense, may allow the Spurs to sidestep a lot of the matchup land mines the Heat have waiting for them.MarginsThese teams are incredibly talented, well-coached and, ultimately, evenly matched. Each has a series of counters available for every obvious advantage the other will try to exploit. That’s why this series will be won at the margins and in the minutiae. Little things — the Spurs forcing the Heat to make one extra defensive rotation, the Heat getting the ball to a 3-point shooter instead of settling for a seemingly open jump shot around the free-throw line, and the tiny in-game matchups that shift the rotations — will be the deciding battles. read more

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Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston on watch list for Ray Guy Award

OSU junior punter Cameron Johnston (95) stands on the sideline during a game against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Virginia. OSU won, 42-24. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Lantern photographerCameron Johnston, a senior punter on the Ohio State football team, has been named to the preseason watch list for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation’s top punter. Johnston, one of 28 collegiate punters on the watch list that was released Thursday, was a semifinalist for the award during the past two seasons. Since the award’s inception in 2000, the only Buckeye to take home the hardware was B.J. Sander in 2003. Johnston is one of the most decorated punters in program history, with three school records to his name. He set the single-season record in 2015 for most punts inside the 20-yard line, with 31. En route to that total, he set a new career mark, with 83. His average of 57.0 yards per attempt in a 2014 game against Illinois is also a school record. A native of Geelong, Australia, Johnston’s ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory has been invaluable to coach Urban Meyer’s teams over the past two seasons. With the loss of 14 starters total from last year’s roster, having Johnston back to lead the special-teams unit should be an asset.In all, five Buckeyes are on preseason lists, including redshirt senior Pat Elflein, who was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list on Wednesday. The award honors the nation’s top collegiate center. It’s the first time Elflein has been included on the trophy’s watch list, but that’s because this will be his first season as OSU’s center. He has started the past two seasons at guard, where he helped turn the Buckeyes’ front five into one of the most respected units in the country. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Elflein, who has twice been a first-team all-conference guard, shocked many with his decision to return for a fifth season. But his decision to stick around will likely pay dividends for an OSU offense that lost seven starters from a season ago, including three on the offensive line. Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett is on the Maxwell Award watch list, handed out to the nation’s top player, regardless of position. Junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan and redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis are on the Bednarik Award watch list, given annually to the country’s top defender. OSU is set to open the 2016 season on Sept. 3 against Bowling Green. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Ohio Stadium. read more

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Zlatko Dalic compares Croatia to Greece

first_imgCroatian coach Zlatko Dalic prepares for 2018 World Cup finals with his national side.He compares Croatia’s run in Russia to that of a fellow Mediterranean country –Greece – that surprised the football world at UEFA EURO 2004.“I see the connection between Croatia now and Greece in 2004, although they are two different styles of football,” he said via FIFA.“No one believed that they could be the [European] champions, but they were compact and had great teamwork.”Euro 2020Euro 2020 Qualifiers Betting: 06/09/19 Stuart Heath – September 6, 2019 With the international break in full-swing, here at Ronaldo.com we are going to take a look at Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers match-betting odds.With a…As the smallest nation to reach a World Cup Final since Uruguay back in 1950, Croatia coach is confident Croatia can win the Trophy on Sunday evening.“There are two top teams in the World Cup Final,” he said.“This will be our biggest game and our toughest opponent, for sure. France are very dangerous on the counter-attack. We had a tough journey to the Final, but there are no excuses, we are ready for the last game of the tournament.”last_img read more

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Agent Vinicius Junior not returning to Flamengo

first_imgThe agent of Vinicius Junior has dispelled rumours that he could be on his way back to Flamengo on loan in JanuaryThe 18-year-old winger was signed by Real Madrid this summer for €46m from Brazilian side Flamengo.However, Vinicius has struggled to break into the first-team and head coach Julen Lopetegui has since demoted him to the Real Madrid Castilla team.Rumours have emerged of a supposed clause in his contract that will allow Vinicius to return to Flamengo in January to gain more top-flight football experience.But his agent, Frederico Pena, has denied such a clause.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“This option does not exist in his contract,” Pena told GloboEsporte, via AS.“The plan is being strictly followed, so a return to Flamengo in January is unlikely.”Pena explained that Real Madrid’s plan is to closely monitor Vinicius’ progress amongst their own ranks.After a quiet first game for Castilla, Vinicius scored a brilliant brace against Atlético Madrid B last time out.However, the match ended in controversy after Atletico B captain Tachi attempted to bite his head.last_img read more

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