REVEALED: Eriksen DID give Tottenham teammate Vertonghen black eyeby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChristian Eriksen did manage to give Tottenham teammate Jan Vertonghen a black eye – but the incident was a training accident.Eriksen rubbished rumours circulating on social media that Vertonghen had been involved in an affair with his wife Sabrina Kvist Jensen. An image of Vertonghen with a black eye had accompanied some of the posts, suggesting it was related to the unfounded speculation.The Mirror says Eriksen was to blame for the injury in an accidental training-ground clash.Both Eriksen and Vertonghen were involved on Tuesday night as Spurs were humbled 7-2 by Bayern Munich.It was the first time in Tottenham’s history they had shipped seven goals on home soil and extended their indifferent start to the campaign. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
SYDNEY, N.S. — His message to laid off Cape Breton call centre workers is straightforward.But the Iowa-based businessman’s words resonate like gospel in this hardscrabble region plunged into economic uncertainty earlier this month.“Things are going to stay the same or get better,” says Anthony Marlowe, a self-made telecommunications mogul who himself started as a telemarketer at 18 and quickly rose through the ranks before breaking out on his own.“We’ve committed to hiring every employee back plus some,” he says, adding he’ll honour pre-bankruptcy wages and offer retention sign-on bonuses for returning workers.They’re big promises that have earned the entrepreneur near messianic status on the Nova Scotia island.ServiCom Canada abruptly closed its Sydney call centre on Dec. 6, laying off hundreds of workers weeks before Christmas.“It was an emotional moment,” says Marlowe, who was in the process of buying the call centre. “Although those weren’t our people yet, they were potentially soon to be.”With more than two decades in the call centre industry, it wasn’t the first round of layoffs to touch Marlowe personally.“I have some extra sympathy for the workers,” he says, describing the “travesty and devastation” of seeing workers lose their livelihoods after bankruptcy proceedings closed call centres in the U.S. in the early 2000s.Marlowe grew up in La Grange, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, and moved to Iowa for university in his late teens.“My brother was there, I was living with him and my mom said, ‘Get a job,’” he says.“I took a job as a telemarketer for a telecommunications company and the next thing I knew I was a skyrocketing up the company and then I wanted to start my own contact centre telemarketing operation.”The 39-year-old says the Cape Breton call centre will be his ninth operation when it reopens, likely by the first week of January, as the Sydney Call Centre Inc.“There were a lot of tears, hugs and Christmas spirit,” Marlowe says of a meeting he held at a Sydney legion last week updating workers on plans to reopen the call centre.“It’s obviously a humbling thing to have someone say, ‘You’re our Christmas miracle,’” he says.“We never really wanted it to be about the company or me performing any miracles. Those workers performed at such a high level with such competency, tenure and aptitude that they deserved a miracle regardless of what holiday it was near.”Marlowe Companies Inc. (MCI) had expressed interest in the Sydney call centre several weeks before it closed, and was in the process of negotiating a deal.The closure forced MCI’s leadership to work feverishly behind the scenes to acquire the call centre.“It was like a melting ice cube at that point,” says Marlowe, chief executive officer of MCI.The concern was that ServiCom’s clients — such as OnStar Corp., a subsidiary of General Motors, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, AT&T Inc. and Allstate Insurance company — would start to look for new suppliers to provide customer support if the call centre did not reopen quickly.But he says while it appears ServiCom’s value was in its contracts with big name clients, Marlowe says “those contracts have no value if there are no employees to perform them.”“Time was absolutely of the essence,” Marlowe says, regarding his desire to retain as many of the 515 or so workers on the payroll when the Sydney call centre closed.In the end, MCI outbid two other buyers for the assets of ServiCom for $1.5-million during an auction at bankruptcy court in New Haven, Conn., last week.He says the competing bids “drove up our initial offer by a factor of four.”“They were successful at attracting other bidders, which wasn’t a surprise to us because when you myopically looked at just the contracts and just the Canadian operation, all of a sudden that became a more appealing value proposition,” Marlowe says.The Sydney facility is expected to reopen by Jan. 7, although it could open as early as Jan. 2, he says. The company has asked workers to complete paperwork this Friday and Saturday.“We’re working very hard through the holidays to turn the lights back on.”— By Brett Bundale in HalifaxThe Canadian Press
Panaji: Newly-appointed Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Tuesday met family members of his deceased predecessor Manohar Parrikar before assuming charge of office, hours after he took oath of the post at around 2 AM. Sawant visited the family members of Parrikar at their private residence at Dona Paula near here around 12 noon, before heading to the CM’s Office at state Secretariat, Porvorim. Speaking to reporters, the new chief minister said his priority would be to reach out to every person, and carry forward the “glorious legacy” of good governance left behind by Parrikar. Sawant, a BJP MLA, was sworn in as new Chief Minister just before 2 am Tuesday, hours after cremation of Parrikar, as the BJP moved swiftly to snuff out Congress’ attempts to wrest power in Goa. Sawant, a protege of Parrikar, was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly when he was picked to be the successor of Parrikar. “Manohar Parrikar is a father-like figure for me. He was my inspiration…every thing. I am here only because of him…I became MLA, then Speaker, and nowCM only because of Parrikar,” Sawant told reporters after meeting kin of the late chief minister. When asked to list his priorities, Sawant said, “As a chief minister, my aim would be to reach out to every person and complete his works”. Sawant also appealed that he not be greeted with bouquets for being the new CM, as the state is in morning. “I have taken charge with great humility and gratitude towards my idol and mentor Manohar bhai (Parrikar). I seek your blessings and support to carry forward the glorious legacy of commitment towards good governance,” he said. In the wake of the fluid political situation in Goa and Congress’ repeated attempts to wrest power, the BJP leadership ensured that the new chief minister was in place quickly. Sawant was sworn in by governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan at 1.50 am. Sinha also administered the oath of office to 11 other ministers, including those from BJP’s allies MGP and the GFP. Parrikar died at his private residence Sunday evening due to pancreatic cancer. He was cremated with full state and military honours Monday evening.
Kolkata: State Health department has extended the duration of the probe into the killing of puppies in the NRS Medical College and Hospital by one month.The Health department had earlier in January instructed to complete the probe within 60 days but it has not been done so far. As a result the department is forced to extend the duration of the probe by a month. A senior official of the health department said that they could not arrive in a consensual decision on the basis of the probe. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThose who are conducting a probe have sought some more time. On the basis of the request by the investigating team, the health department officials agreed to provide them another one month for the completion of the probe. According to the official, the decision will be taken against the accused on the basis of the report submitted by the investigation team. NRS Medical College and Hospital authorities assured stringent action against the accused involved in the killing of 16 puppies. The autopsy report suggested the puppies were beaten to death. A video corroborated the fact and showed two women hitting the puppies with an iron rod. The incident had taken place on hospital campus. A separate probe has been initiated by the city police and a case against some unknown persons has been lodged. Hospital authorities formed a three-member committee to probe into the incident. They earlier assured that action will be taken against the guilty. Two nursing students were arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident and they were later released on bail.
Kolkata: Kumartuli — the artisan hub of Kolkata — is all set to be transformed into a new avatar with a unique celebration of the artistry of the idol makers for the first time in the history of the city. A two- day carnival titled “Rang Matir Panchali”, will take place on Sunday and Monday to mark the occasion of World Art Day and Poila Baisakh on April 15.Three major lanes will be flanked by installations. Some of them will be in open air while others will be displayed inside several studios. An uneven patch of multiple colours will run from the gate along the ground, thus guiding the visitors along the exhibition trail. Exhibits will include idol-making, installations, paintings, sculptures, photographs, wall graffiti, street art etc. Modern art is blending with the traditional besides keeping Kumartuli’s rustic charm intact. About 30 artistes of Kumartuli are involved in this initiative including women idol makers China Pal and Mala Pal. Well-known theme makers Sushanta Pal and Partha Dasgupta are acting as mentors in the carnival. Three inmates from Pavlov Mental Hospital who have a fetish in art have also been roped in and they are working alongside Nabakumar Pal and Jiten Pal who are associated with the traditional idol making of Bagbazar Sarbojonin for years. “It has been less than a month when we reached with the concept to the idol makers of Kumartuli. They welcomed the suggestion and formed an umbrella body named Kumartuli Art Forum, uniting the three unions for organising the event,” said Sabyasachi Chatterjee who runs a creative agency and is managing the event. A leading paint company that awards “Sharad Samman” to the best Durga Pujas across the city has extended a helping hand in the event. Pictures have been taken of various corners of the hub and of various activities of the idol makers. Their idle afternoons have also been captured through photographs. The two-day carnival will be inaugurated at Banamali Sarkar Street at 3 pm on Sunday.
Madrid: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said he feels supported by club president Josep Bartomeu and compared the reaction to their Champions League exit to a child having a tantrum. Barca crashed out in the semi-finals on Tuesday after one of the greatest comebacks in the tournament’s history saw them lose 4-0 to Liverpool and throw away a 3-0 advantage from the first leg. The defeat has left Valverde’s future in doubt but, ahead of their penultimate La Liga game of the season at home to Getafe on Sunday, he insists he wants to continue. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I’m not thinking about it, not at all,” Valverde said in a press conference on Saturday. “I have the strength to continue, I’m fine, I’m like everyone else, what we want to do is take a step forward and face the situation, not hide under a stone. “I’ve talked to the president and I’ve always felt supported by the club. “I know that when there’s a blow of this kind, everything becomes disjointed. It’s as if you have to burn everything, like when our children have a tantrum, but you have to rebuild.” Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersBarcelona have already been crowned La Liga champions and could make it a domestic double by beating Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey later this month. But even two trophies would not make amends for the collapse against Liverpool, given the Champions League was the one the club really craved this season. “We are hurt, I’m not going to deny it,” Valverde said. “But we have time to recover for ourselves and also with our fans. We’re have to be honest with ourselves. We can lose against Liverpool, they have proved to be a great team. “The problem it’s how we lost, especially in the second half when we did not play well. It was painful because we lost from a very favourable situation. But there is no other way than to look forward.” Barcelona will be without Luis Suarez against Getafe after the Uruguayan had surgery on a knee injury on Thursday night. Suarez is expected to be out for four to six weeks. Ousmane Dembele, Arthur Melo and Rafinha are also injured. Valverde’s side are nine points clear at the top of La Liga with two games left while Getafe are chasing Champions League qualification. They sit fourth, three points ahead of Valencia and Sevilla.
Freshman Carter looks to follow in the footsteps of a legend at wide receiverWith every yard, touchdown and catch, Duron Carter is closer to following in his father’s footsteps. The freshman wide receiver has made an early impact this season and has found himself getting reps in three-wide formations. With a background like his, it is easy to understand how Carter has capitalized on his opportunities. Ohio State has a fine legacy of wide receivers, and like any young recruit, Carter will have to live up to their past achievements. Names like Joey Galloway, Terry Glenn and more recently Ted Ginn Jr. and Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes are just some of the past legends to wear scarlet and grey. However, before any of those wideouts made their name at OSU, the Buckeyes’ first great receiver was Duron’s Carter’s father, Cris.When Cris Carter’s career came to an end at OSU after three seasons, he held the all-time record for receptions and was also the Buckeyes’ first All-American at wide receiver. He was so smooth and athletic that some believed he might be the best to ever play the position. The eight-time Pro Bowler finished second in touchdown receptions for his career and is a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer. “I remember growing up and always being at my dad’s football games,” Duron Carter said. “I’ve been around football my whole life and always wanted to play. My dad has taught me almost everything he knows and it’s been great having a life full of football.”As a young player trying to improve his game, nothing can be better for Carter than having a father who has practically perfected his position. Using all of the elder Carter’s knowledge of the game could be key in making him the player he wants to be.“He’s taught me the little knowledge things like running routes and getting the shoulders down, little things that make a big difference playing receiver,” Carter said.Both father and son stand 6 feet 3 inches and it is obvious that most will find similarities between the two. However, Carter sees this as one of the few drawbacks in his situation, and said it is difficult being compared to “one of the best players to ever play the game.”Being a Buckeye was a dream come true for Carter, but he was not pushed toward it because of family ties. Interestingly enough, maize and blue were the colors that first attracted his attention.“I came on a visit my sophomore year, and I liked it a lot,” Carter said. “It was the place I wanted to go. It was either between here and the University of Florida, and I felt here would be a better place to develop me as a receiver. “I was a Michigan fan. I used to like Braylon Edwards a lot. He always made the spectacular catch, and that’s always something I wanted to do.”Carter’s impact thus far on his team might have been predicted by him or his coaches, but some believed it was his name that was garnering him attention during the recruiting process, and not his ability. “I thought it was pretty funny,” Carter said. “I remember going into the All-American game, I was like the No. 92 overall receiver, then after, they bumped me up to No. 11. It’s kind of comical what people say when they’ve never seen you play before.”Carter’s high school experience was also a great help to him. St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is a high school powerhouse, and was awarded the 2008 High School National Championship. He was a big part of their success the past two seasons, and is trying to translate what he learned there to the collegiate level.“I really went up against the best competition daily,” Carter said. “There are plenty of cornerbacks from St. Thomas. They’re eventually going to be the top product in the NFL and college football. Just going up against the best and getting reps against the best really prepares you.”Carter’s first touchdown grab came at Indiana on Oct. 3rd. However, it was one of his fierce blocks that caught the attention of his teammates. He said while scoring was great, he really enjoyed his punishing block because he loves to hit and get everyone on his team fired up.Although the name “Carter” will remain the same on the back of his jersey, Duron is determined to make a legacy all his own, and after 18 years, there really isn’t much more his dad can say.“We don’t really talk about football that much,” Carter said about his dad. “There’s really not much to talk about anymore.”
Lantern file photoDeshaun Thomas, a former forward for the Ohio State men’s basketball team, was selected with the 58th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Draft Thursday night.Thomas played a key role for OSU teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Final Four in 2012 and to the Elite Eight in 2013. A junior during the 2013-13 season, Thomas elected to forgo his senior season and declare for the NBA draft.The Fort Wayne, Ind., native is leaving Columbus as the Buckeyes’ No. 9 scorer all-time with 1630 points, including the third best single-season total of 733 points during his final season.After forward Jared Sullinger declared for the draft in 2012, Thomas took on a leadership role for OSU. He ended the 2012-13 season leading the Big Ten in scoring with 19.8 points-per-game and an average of 5.9 rebounds per game.Thomas, the former Indiana Mr. Basketball, was a part of the highly touted 2010 recruiting class which included Sullinger as well as guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr.Thomas is the ninth player under coach Thad Matta to be taken in the NBA draft. The 2013 draft marked the seventh straight draft in which an OSU player has been selected.Former Buckeyes under Matta to be drafted include center Greg Oden and guards Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook in 2007, center Kosta Koufos in 2008, center Byron Mullens in 2009, forward Evan Turner in 2010, forward Jon Diebler in 2011 and Sullinger in 2012.
Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) hands the ball off to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) during the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorComing off a disappointing 31-16 loss to now-No. 2 Oklahoma, Ohio State will look to rebound against the undefeated Army Black Knights (2-0) Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium.Ohio State offense vs. Army defenseThis has the potential to be the definition of a tune-up game for Ohio State’s offense. Last time out, redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett put up just 183 passing yards and the rest of the team only added 167 yards on the ground, accelerating panic among Buckeye fans over Barrett at quarterback and the offense as a whole.The defense Ohio State will go up against has been solid to this point, ranking 31st in rushing yards allowed (92.5 on average) and 68th in passing yards allowed (216.5 on average). However, Army has played two weaker out-of-conference opponents in Fordham and Buffalo and has yet to face a team from a Power Five conference. Squaring off against a secondary that is somewhat young heading into the year — two starting sophomores, a junior and a senior — Ohio State could have a chance to fix some of the issues in its passing game this season. The team is 57th in the nation with 243.5 passing yards per game and has completed only 55.7 percent of pass attempts this season.Observers have attributed the passing-game struggles thus far to Barrett’s play, but coach Urban Meyer said as the focal point of the offense, Barrett will be the chief recipient of all feedback, positive or negative.“Well, [he’s] the starting quarterback and you lost. We didn’t play very well,” Meyer said. “A lot of it is going to be on him.”One aspect of the team’s game that has not struggled has been the ability to run the football. The Buckeyes are 32nd in rushing offense, averaging 229.5 rush yards per game with four of the team’s seven touchdowns coming on the ground.Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins has been the leading force in the backfield while filling in for injured redshirt sophomore Mike Weber. Dobbins’ 253 rushing yards rank 17th among FBS running backs. He has received high-marks since fall camp from coaches, and so far has lived up to the hype.Army’s defense has been effective this season plugging up the run, as opponents have only averaged 92.5 rushing yards per game (31st in the nation). The Black Knights have allowed only two opposing touchdowns to come on the ground. However, the team has not faced opponents with a running game as potent as Ohio State’s, with Buffalo ranking 112th in rushing yards per game (85) and Towson sitting at 105th among FCS schools (58 yards per game). The Black Knight defense will be tested Saturday going up against one of the best rushing offenses in the nation. Ohio State defense vs. Army offenseArmy’s offense is designed to do one thing and one thing only: run. Like all service academies, the Black Knights are known for the triple-option, an offensive gameplan where the offense deploys a wishbone offensive backfield look rather than the more traditional look of two players behind the line. So far this season, no team has totalled more yards on the ground than the Black Knights, with 835 rushing yards. Their 417.5 rush yards per game is second in the nation, as is their 11 rushing touchdowns. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said Army’s unique triple-option — run by only a select few teams — poses a threat to Ohio State’s defense, and that instead of looking back at the loss to Oklahoma, the defense has focused almost solely on watching tape of Army.“It’s such a different animal moving forward that we’ll deal more with regular football corrections a week from now on Sunday when we get done with the Army game,” Schiano said. “I think people say, ‘Oh, it’s an option.’ Totally different. It’s not like anything else we see all year.”The rushing attack is led by a somewhat unlikely suspect in senior quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw. Ranking sixth in the nation in rushing yards with 324, Bradshaw is tied for the team lead with three rushing touchdowns, and despite having only three more carries than junior running back Darnell Woolfolk, he has 138 more rushing yards this season. Woolfolk’s 186 rushing yards rank 39th in the country. He also has three touchdowns on the season.The one thing Bradshaw does not do is throw the football. So far this season, he has completed just 2-of-10 passes for 17 yards, with all of the completions and passing yards coming in the team’s 21-17 victory over Buffalo last Saturday. Over Bradshaw’s three-year career as the starting quarterback, he has 348 total rushing attempts compared to only 149 passing attempts. The Army offense plays right into the strength of Ohio State’s defense. While Ohio State ranks last in the nation with an average of 403 passing yards allowed per game, its defense has suffocated the run game of the opposition, allowing just 60.5 rushing yards per game and only one touchdown on the ground thus far. Though the Buckeyes have only faced more traditional rushing attacks, the ability to load the box anticipating the triple-option rather than play to defend either a pass or a run could give the Buckeyes an edge.The last time Ohio State faced a team that ran a triple-option was in Barrett’s first career start in a game against Navy on Aug. 30, 2014, when the Buckeyes won 34-17 on the road. Predictions:Edward Sutelan: Ohio State wins 49-7Colin Hass-Hill: Ohio State wins 42-9