Van Dijk: Liverpool will ask me about De Ligt if we want himby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk admits there’s little talk about Matthijs de Ligt.The Ajax stopper is expected to leave for a major European power, though Van Dijk says there’s been little talk of his Holland teammate at Melwood.He told AD: “It does not work like that. A big club like Liverpool has so many scouts looking around, they will keep an eye on him. “If they want to know something, I’ll hear about it.”Asked how much he would pay for De Ligt, Van Dijk laughed: “Well, less than that for me, hahaha. But Ajax is in a luxurious position. We will see.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham legend Ardiles insists title push remains onby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham legend Ossie Ardiles insists a title push remains on.Tottenham are third in the Premier League table after five matches, just two points behind Manchester City but seven adrift of leaders Liverpool.”[It’s been] very positive. I believe that there are two teams to beat – Liverpool and Manchester City – but I think we are one of the teams that can beat them and we are going to try and fight with them all the way,” Ardiles told Sky Sports.”We have a very, very strong squad. That showed last season and in the Champions League as well. “We do have a very strong squad but we have to be a little bit better and I hope we will do it this year.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bournemouth boss Howe: Southampton clash will be really feistyby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournemouth boss Eddie Howe expects the tackles to fly tomorrow night against Southampton.Southampton meet traditional rivals Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, but Howe feels Bournemouth’s games against the Saints are “gaining in everybody’s focus”.”It should be a really feisty game, a really good atmosphere and an entertaining match,” Bournemouth boss Howe told Sky Sports. “Southampton have started very well, too.”It’s gaining in everybody’s focus. The more games we have, the more the rivalry will intensify I think.”We’ve enjoyed the games against Southampton which have been tight and tough, from both clubs’ perspectives. We’re looking forward to another entertaining match.”
SAN FRANCISCO – The owner of China’s largest music streaming services is looking to strike it rich in the U.S. stock market.Tencent Music Entertainment plans to sell its stock in the U.S. as part of an initial public offering. The IPO documents filed Tuesday propose raising $1 billion, but that preliminary figure often ends up being substantially higher.Investor demand is likely to be high, given the rising popularity of music streaming and Tencent’s success so far.Tencent says its services have more than 800 million users, including 23.3 million subscribers who pay to listen to its music library.It’s also profitable, having earned $199 million on revenue of $1.66 billion last year.Tencent’s major shareholders include the leading music streaming service Spotify, which went public earlier this year.
LONDON — The Latest on Brexit negotiations (all times local):12:20 p.m.The German government is holding back on its assessment of the draft deal on Britain’s exit from the European Union, saying it has yet to be briefed on the details.A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that “the government naturally welcomes any progress that leads to Britain’s departure taking place in an orderly manner.”Martina Fietz, said the EU’s executive, which is negotiating with Britain, will brief the other 27 members of the bloc Wednesday at 3 p.m. (1400 GMT).She added that Brexit isn’t on the agenda for Merkel’s weekly Cabinet meeting Thursday.Maria Adebahr, a spokeswoman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry, said that “should there be an agreement, or significant progress be announced, we would very much welcome that.”___12:15 p.m.U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May says a draft divorce agreement with the European Union “takes us significantly closer to delivering what the British people voted for” when they decided to leave the bloc.May told lawmakers that the deal means Britain will “take back control” of its laws and borders “while protecting jobs, security and the integrity of our United Kingdom.”May’s Cabinet is due to meet later Wednesday to consider whether to back the deal. Pro-Brexit politicians are already attacking it, saying it will bind Britain to EU rules and regulations long after it leaves the bloc in March.May said the Cabinet would decide what to do “in the national interest.”___8:30 a.m.British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face her divided Cabinet in a bid to win support for a draft Brexit deal with the European Union.Negotiators from the two sides have reached agreement on divorce terms, including a plan to resolve the key issue of the Irish border.But pro-Brexit lawmakers in May’s divided Conservative Party are angry, saying the agreement will leave Britain tethered to the EU after it departs in March.Failure to secure Cabinet backing will leave May’s leadership in doubt and the Brexit process in chaos.If Cabinet supports the deal Wednesday, it needs approval from the EU at a summit in the next few weeks. Then May will need to win backing from Parliament, where pro-Brexit and pro-EU legislators alike are threatening to oppose it.The Associated Press
Wellington: New Zealand’s intelligence minister said Wednesday he was allowing spy agencies to carry out “intrusive” activities following the Christchurch mosque shootings that claimed 50 lives. The government this week ordered a judicial inquiry into whether the South Pacific nation’s intelligence services could have prevented the March 15 attack amid criticism the white supremacist gunman went unnoticed as they were too focused on Muslim extremists. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAndrew Little — the minister responsible for the GCSB and SIS intelligence services — said he had signed powerful surveillance warrants as information gathering continued in the wake of the attack. “I have given authority to the agencies to do intrusive activities under warrant, the number of those (warrants) I’m not at liberty to disclose,” he told Radio New Zealand. Little said intelligence services typically monitored 30-40 people but that number had now increased, although he was unwilling to reveal by how much. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe said a warrant permitted anything from physical surveillance to the monitoring of telecommunications activity. “The whole gambit of what would otherwise be described as intrusive activity,” he told the New Zealand Herald. “The purpose of a warrant is to authorise and effectively make lawful what would otherwise be unlawful activity.” Little denied New Zealand had proved a “soft target” for the accused gunman, an Australian with apparent links to right-wing groups who reportedly moved to the country with the intention of carrying out an attack. Little said he maintained confidence in the intelligence services and until the inquiry into their actions was complete it was “premature” to say they had failed. “Until there’s a very microscopic look at what the agencies have been doing and whether they’ve missed anything, I can’t say for certain,” he told RNZ. “It’s important for me, the agencies, but ultimately for public confidence that we let that commission of inquiry do its job and reach its conclusions.” Meanwhile, police remained tight-lipped about two raids conducted by armed officers in Christchurch overnight. The raids took place at opposite ends of the city centre, the first at 8:00 pm (0700 GMT) Tuesday and the second around 1:00 am Wednesday.
Rabat- American Magazine published its list of the best countries for business in 2013. According to the list, which was published last December, Morocco ranks 78th worldwide for doing business. Morocco ranks second country in the North Africa behind Tunisia, which ranked 77. In the Arab world, Morocco is ranked 9th after the United Arab Emirates (30th), Qatar (40th), Saudi Arabia (56), Oman (58), Bahrain (59), Jordan (65), Kuwait (76) and Tunisia (77). Algeria ranked 131, while Libya ranked 136.Ireland tops the list of best countries for business followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, Canada, Norway and the Netherlands. The American famous magazine based its assessment on data made public by a number of think tanks and international organizations, such as the Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation, the Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Hines Ward on the mic.Former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward showed his moves on the football field in arguably a Hall of Fame career and he showed his deft footwork in winning ABC’s Dancing With The Stars last year. Now, Ward takes on a new challenge: television analyst.The former Georgia Bulldog has been signed on by NBC Sports to work as an analyst for its NFL and college football coverage — a nice gig for Ward, who retired from the NFL in March after 14 years with the Steelers.The four-time Pro Bowl participant has a multi-year deal and will be a regular contributor to the NBC’s Football Night In America on Sundays and will be part of NBC Sports Network’s college football studio show on Saturdays.
Jay Bruce1.1.84914.3 B. J. Upton3.0.78013.8 David Wright2.0.83549.7 Jurickson Profar1.7.678-0.1 Miguel Cabrera2.0.76259.4 Even the messiah can strike out three times on his first day in the majors. Last Friday, Kris Bryant, the Cubs’ anointed savior, was called up from the minors after weeks of debate about whether he should’ve just started the season in the majors. There is an aura of myth to Bryant’s arrival, as though the stars have aligned to offer the Cubs a chance to fulfill a prophecy. Yet Bryant is still an untested prospect, and, as Cubs fans know too well, even the best prospects can fail to live up to expectations.But Bryant really is special — he’s the rare prospect that has both scouts and stats in complete agreement. Because of the unique intersection of scouting know-how and minor league data, Bryant is likely to match the hype.Let’s start with the stats. In this case, all we have to go by are projection systems, which take the minor league data of previous prospects and compare it with their MLB results to predict what up-and-coming players will accomplish. That’s no easy task — the minor league data is sparse, and performance is confounded by the effects of the league and the age differences between players.In Bryant’s case, however, the projections are so high that there is little room for doubt. No matter whether you look at FanGraphs’ Steamer (.260/.333/.498) or Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA (.265/.356/.525), all the algorithms are in agreement in their preseason projections: Bryant is going to be a fantastic hitter.1This kind of agreement among separate systems often means greater certainty in the resulting prediction. ESPN’s Dan Szymborski, who runs another algorithm called ZiPS, tweeted that Bryant’s is the best prediction he’s ever given to a prospect.There’s no mystery as to how Bryant arrived at these projections — the guy hit between 60 percent and 120 percent better than average while in the minors, depending on the level. Still, Bryant’s projection is so extreme that at one point, the developers who run the projection systems became worried. In a mid-winter Twitter consultation, baseball projection system developers compared Bryant’s projections to make sure that they weren’t out of line. There was consensus: All of their independently developed algorithms were giving Bryant one of the top hitting lines in the majors.Even so, not all prospects hit as well as their projections say they should. The computers, operating solely on minor league performance, can fail to notice fatal flaws in a hitter’s swing, flaws that can be exploited ruthlessly at the major league level. That’s partly why projection systems aren’t as good as scouts at predicting how prospects will perform in the major leagues. So, despite their depiction in “Moneyball,” scouts are an integral part of evaluating baseball players, and that goes double for prospects.Scouts look at the shape of a hitter’s swing, if he can generate power, and how easily he adapts to a pitcher’s shifting tactics. Bryant’s ludicrous numbers in the minors were no guarantee that the scouts would love the tools he used to achieve those numbers.The scouts are every bit as high on Bryant as the projections. He was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball for 2015 by venerable scouting organization Baseball America. FanGraphs also put him at No. 1, Baseball Prospectus put him at No. 5, and a host of others ranked him similarly. All publications praised his rare, top-notch, seemingly effortless power. As with the projection systems, a consensus quickly developed, and that consensus proclaimed Bryant the best prospect in baseball.The highest-rated prospects of the past 25 years have tended to become great major leaguers — on average. Yet there are some notable busts, players who the scouts thought were destined for greatness but who ended up falling short. Orioles outfielder Delmon Young, for example, consistently rated among the best prospects in baseball four years in a row, only to turn in a disappointing, journeyman career. Projection systems aren’t immune to mistakes, either. Once upon a time, Eduardo Nunez was PECOTA’s favorite, but he’s since become better-known for hitting a preponderance of popups. There’s no foolproof way to tell how a player will develop or respond to the challenges of the major leagues.Independently, then, each source has its share of errors. Often, the scouts will disagree with the predictions, or vice versa. Scouts might see future potential that never manifests in the majors. Or PECOTA will fail to consider a player’s unfixable weakness against major league competition.But Bryant has the approval of both stats and scouts, which is why he’s so special. Using data on historical prospect rankings2Which are generously provided by Chris St. John. and PECOTA projections going back to 2004, I looked for players who received comparable acclaim from both PECOTA and the scouts. Here is a complete list of the players in my data set who received a consensus prospect ranking better than fifth and a PECOTA-projected OPS greater than the projected league average. Kris Bryant1.7.881— Jose Reyes2.0.72336.2 The names on this list combine for three MVP awards, 34 All-Star appearances and 273.2 wins above replacement3Baseball-Reference.com version. (a statistic that measures the overall value of a player, combining his hitting, baserunning and defense). Bryant’s predicted OPS, relative to the league average, is higher than the comparable projections for all the players on the list before they entered the league.Several of the above players are potential Hall of Famers (Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Joe Mauer), while others have been merely very good (Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce). Notably, there’s not a true bust among them. Melvin Upton (formerly B. J.) isn’t a good hitter anymore, but he was excellent for the first six years of his career (just less than the seven years for which the Cubs will control Bryant).A few of these players (such as Profar and Wieters) have fallen victim to injuries. This is the kind of problem that can end the career of any young player, no matter how bright his future might be. But Bryant has yet to suffer any serious injuries, whether in the minors or in college before that.4Whereas both Profar and Wieters lost time in the minors due to injury. To the extent that players can be injury prone, Bryant has so far shown no such inclination.Bryant has won the acclaim of both the projections and the scouts. Rarely are the two in such resounding agreement. He is likely to be great, and while it may be too soon to be planning a parade, it’s not too early to begin envisioning a long period of Cubs offensive dominance led by Kris Bryant. PLAYERAVERAGE PROSPECT RANKPROJECTED OPSCAREER WAR Matt Wieters1.1.94113.6 Joe Mauer2.2.82346.3 Evan Longoria2.6.79940.0
When it comes to the Ohio State men’s golf team readying themselves for post-season play, previous experience has proven that preparation isn’t everything. The NCAA selection committee announced May 7 that the team has earned a spot in this year’s NCAA Men’s Golf Regional held in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes are coming off a disappointing ninth-place finish at the Big Ten Championship in Indiana, but coach Donnie Darr said the scores posted were no indication of how his team played. “We really weren’t that far off from playing well,” Darr said. “You can’t just walk away and say we played terrible because we actually played really well, we just didn’t finish our rounds off.” Darr said it is important to maintain similar preparation, but the team must limit their mistakes. “I think we prepare the right way every week,” Darr said. “Our guys work hard and play hard, but we just have to stay away from a big number.” And although this year’s selection to the regional tournament marks the second straight under Darr, none of his players have ever played on the University of Michigan Golf Course. “It’s the same design as our course,” Darr said. “But there are significant differences.” Players said they are expecting shorter yardages into the green, thicker rough and narrow openings throughout the course. And Big Ten Freshman of the Year Grant Weaver said he welcomes the challenge. “It’s just about learning from your mistakes,” he said. “You have to pick out what you did good and what you did bad and improve. We’re just trying to put everything together.” Weaver said the team has tackled those mistakes by playing at various local golf courses that will resemble the course in Michigan. And the Buckeyes hope to follow the lead of seniors Alex Redfield and Dan Charen, who could be hitting the links for the last time as collegiate players. But Redfield said he isn’t worried about that. “All I’m worried about is our team finishing in the top five,” he said. “That’s my only concern.” The team will need a top-five finish to advance to the next round of competition. Redfield said he is confident the team has the skills to advance to the national competition and he is excited to make one more run as a collegiate player. “I think we’re going to play well and advance,” he said. “And even if it is my last tournament, I’ve had a great career and I get to go out there and compete with my team and my friends, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.” The Buckeyes advanced out of the regional tournament in San Diego last year, reaching the match play round before falling to top-ranked and host Oklahoma State. OSU is set to compete against 12 other teams in the tournament May 17-19. Purdue is the only other Big Ten school competing in the Buckeyes’ region.