So much is different for Andy Murray at Wimbledon this time

first_imgJury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 The first British man in 77 years to win a Wimbledon singles title when he did so in 2013, before adding another in 2016, Murray lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 to Sam Querrey, clearly hampered by his hip. Murray wound up not playing another match last season, then had his operation in January.Nearly 12 full months had passed by the time he ventured back into competition at the Queen’s Club grass-court event less than two weeks ago. Still with a hitch in his gait, Murray played more than 2½ hours before losing to Nick Kyrgios in three sets.This week, again on grass, Murray beat fellow three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka, before losing to countryman Kyle Edmund.“I’m pumped obviously because, I mean, four or five weeks ago, I didn’t know whether I’d be capable of competing at a level I’d be happy with. I think the last couple of weeks has been beneficial,” said Murray, a two-time Olympic singles gold medalist whose first Grand Slam championship came at the 2012 U.S. Open. “I don’t think I played amazing in the matches, but I think I’ve done well, considering the opponents.”Now comes Paire, a former member of the top 20 who is currently ranked 48th.ADVERTISEMENT Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “Andy being here is obviously great from a tennis fan point of view,” Edmund said. “But also being British, having a bit of a personal relationship with him, it’s good to see him back after pretty much a year out.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Messi and Ronaldo exit World Cup without titles Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Andy Murray of Britain arrives for a practice session ahead of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London Saturday, June 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)LONDON — Everything’s changed for Andy Murray at Wimbledon this time.A two-time champion at the All England Club, he’s not really considered a serious title contender — by himself or by anyone else, for that matter.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READcenter_img Murray has won both of their two previous matchups, including in the fourth round at Wimbledon a year ago.“He’s a tricky guy to play against, because of his style,” Murray said. “He does hit a lot of drop shots, he serve-volleys. He’s unorthodox with his shot selection and stuff. He can be quite up and down, too, at times.”Get past that test, and Murray could face No. 26 Denis Shapovalov of Canada in the second round.Asked to assess how deep he might be able to go in the draw, Murray rested his chin on his right hand and exhaled.“I don’t know. Because how am I supposed to tell you how I’m going to feel if I play for four hours in the first match? I can’t answer that question honestly,” he said. “In terms of how I would fare, how I would do in the tournament, results-wise, I have no idea.”Murray is accustomed to experiencing so much pressure and attention during this fortnight.That should ease, theoretically at least. Any fair assessment would conclude that Murray’s streak of reaching at least the quarterfinals at the past 10 Wimbledons is in jeopardy.There are other owners of multiple titles at the tournament known simply as The Championships who will be hounded about their prospects: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal among the men; Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova among the women. (Williams was slated to hold a news conference Saturday, but it was moved at the last minute to Sunday because of what was described as a scheduling conflict.)For the first time in a dozen years, Murray is not Britain’s highest-ranked male tennis player.That honor — burden? — belongs to Kyle Edmund, who is seeded 21st at Wimbledon and reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open. View comments He is not as prepared as usual as the grass-court Grand Slam tournament’s Monday start approaches, having played a total of three matches all year after recently returning from hip surgery.He is not seeded, because his ranking is outside the top 150.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownMurray is, however, thrilled to be playing, provided nothing crops up before he’s scheduled to face Benoit Paire of France in the first round Tuesday.“I always want to be here competing. It feels a little bit odd coming into the tournament this year,” Murray said Saturday after practicing at the All England Club. “Normally, like, at this stage, I feel really nervous, lots of pressure, and I expect a lot of myself around this time of year. I’ve always loved that and enjoyed that in a way. It has been difficult, but enjoyed it. Whereas this year, it feels very, very different.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

In battle of endurance, Brownlee outlasts Onuaku

first_imgMOST READ The Bolts, meanwhile, saw Arinze Onuaku run on fumes.For Brownlee, who played 41 minutes and 39 seconds, playing for almost the whole game was a testament to his hard work and discipline.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“I pride myself every time I come, I want to be better than the last conference especially with my endurance and just the kind of shape I’m in,” said Brownlee who had 36 points, six rebounds, and nine assists.On the other side of the court, Onuaku’s fast start was just that, an early spark of energy that dissipated in the two quarters the Bolts needed him the most. Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Onuaku had 16 points in the first half and tried to match Brownlee, who had 24 in that period, shot per shot.Brownlee, however, was able to continue his momentum in the second half while Onuaku barely got a sprint in as he labored to run up and down the floor and lagged behind the Bolts’ offensive and defensive sequences.“Good news for us, Justin’s like an Energizer bunny right now and he doesn’t just get tired,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone. “He used to get tired when he first came in but he’s in such awesome shape now that he doesn’t get tired.”Onuaku scored just five points in the second half while Brownlee had 12 including a couple of points that came off a fastbreak jam that gave Ginebra a 92-81 lead with 4:16 left in the fourth.“I always want to get better in that area [stamina and endurance] so I took a lot of pride in that so I just tried to get in the best shape that I can,” said Brownlee.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Report: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View comments PBA IMAGESIn a basketball game that saw two individuals duke out in a marathon, it was Justin Brownlee who passed the tape with the greater of ease.Barangay Ginebra rode the coattails of Brownlee to take the 104-90 win and the sweep Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Roger Federer knocked out of Wimbledon after wasting match point LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Chemistry is the key as Maliksi, Pinto team up to lift Blackwater

first_imgGov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Maliksi and Pinto scored the Elite’s first 14 points in the overtime and starting with a three-pointer from the sly guard to the open the extra period.After Pinto’s triple, he found the trailing Maliksi in transition for the mid-range jumper for the 91-86 Elite lead with 3:56 remaining in the game.Pinto then knocked down another three for Blackwater’s 97-89 lead with 2:17 left in the clock.But before Pinto turned hero for the Elite, he had an embarrassing air ball late in the fourth quarter with the Elite trailing 86-82.“When I shot that air ball, Henry was very vocal about it so when overtime happened I knew I was given a chance to redeem myself,” said Pinto. “I had the chance, Henry cheered me up, and if I’m open I’ll just take it.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Alaska holds off Meralco to open PBA Governors’ Cup bid Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Maliksi and Pinto, who had 28 and 12 points, respectively, said their late-game chemistry wasn’t built overnight and nor was it developed through just their daily practices.The Elite had a couple of pocket tournaments in Indonesia and Macau before they returned to the Philippines a few weeks before the start of the Governors’ Cup and it was during their time abroad that they cultivated the intangibles that eventually helped them in the conference.“Chemistry was a big factor for us because we developed it in the two tournaments that we played in and it was on a higher level so our confidence translated here in our first game,” said Maliksi.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Elite haven’t had a single victory against the KaTropa in the previous 11 times they’ve faced each other in the PBA, but Allein Maliksi and Nard Pinto were determined to end that drought.Maliksi and Pinto combined for 15 of the Elite’s 18 points in overtime as they inspired Blackwater to a 104-98 win over the KaTropa in the Governors’ Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’And although both said they didn’t demand the ball during crunch time what they did, however, was just execute what needed to be done.“It just happened, we were given the opportunity and I actually told Nards that if he’s open he just has to shoot it,” said Maliksi in Filipino. “And as for my shots, I try to be aggressive because Henry [Walker] is also relying on us to be scorers so we just work on it.” MOST READ View comments When Blackwater needed a hero to stop its curse against TNT, a couple of men in tank tops heeded the call.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Peza offers relief to ecozone firms ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

Bracket busted: 10 of top 13 women’s seeds gone at US Open

first_imgAngelique Kerber, of Germany, reacts against Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)NEW YORK — Dickie V found a totally awesome PTP’er in the U.S Open’s women’s bracket.His pick is on point — Madison Keys knows how to make a Final Four.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Only No. 3 seed and defending champion Sloane Stephens remains among the top six women.On Saturday alone, No. 6 Caroline Garcia, No. 10 Jelena Ostapenko and No. 13 Kiki Bertens were eliminated, too.The early stunners seem to clear the field for No. 17 seed — oh, and six-time champion — Serena Williams to move in on another title.“I think she’s playing really good tennis,” Keys said.Maybe the losses are a case — or curse — of the Louis Armstrong blues.Halep, Wozniacki, Kerber and Kvitova were all beaten at the new Louis Armstrong Stadium. Two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza lost there, too, in the second round.The 14th-seeded Keys has stuck around in a field smacked with upsets.Keys whiffed on an overhead, fought a case of first-set jitters and never found a groove with her backhand. She rallied after dropping the first set and the U.S. Open finalist from a year ago beat Aleksandra Krunic 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday.Keys plays Cibulkova in the quarters.“I think she’s super feisty,” Keys said. Keys lost to Stephens in the final last year and lost to her again this year in the French Open semis. But Keys has been plagued with various injuries (right wrist and ribs, notably) most of the season and slipped out of the top 10 in the rankings.Krunic beat Keys four years ago at Ashe and the Serb seemed poised to do it again when she took the first set. Keys rebounded to win 12 of the last 15 games and thanked the pro-American fans for pulling her through into the round of 16.“The biggest confidence boost for me has been being able to get myself back into those matches and knowing that in a situation like today, if I make some adjustments and stay calm, then I can usually figure things out,” Keys said.Keys’ parents are both attorneys and she picked up some jargon — from a different kind of court — when she explained how she fanned on an overhead.“In my defense,” she said, laughing, “the sun was right there. The ball went right there and I couldn’t see it. You know, it happens. At least it doesn’t happen to everyone else on national television.”She pleaded the fifth when asked how having the top seeds out of the tourney affects her and potentially makes for an easier road back to the final. Like everyone else who watched, she couldn’t ignore, though, the dominance by Williams over sister Venus Williams on Friday night. Serena equaled her most-lopsided victory against her sister with a 6-1, 6-2 rout.“I think she played really well. You obviously have to play well to beat Venus,” Keys said.The 23-year-old Keys joined Stephens, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe for an all-American semifinals at last year’s Open. Keys’ run to the French Open semifinals showed an overall development of her game. Her big-hitting style makes her more of a natural fit on hard courts and there’s no reason she couldn’t have another long stay in New York.“Coming into here, I was, like, ‘Oh, last time I was in here, I lost.’ That’s fun,” Keys said, smiling. “It’s fine. I’m not torn up about it.” MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “Madison’s backhand is lethal !” Vitale tweeted Saturday from the Open . “Her physical skills r #awesomebaby.”Keys was one of the fortunate favorites in the Open, as she survived-and-advanced to the Sweet 16.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’But much like Vitale would say in a March stuffed with busted brackets, the women’s side is loaded with upset specials.Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber was eliminated, leaving none of this year’s Grand Slam winners left in the U.S. Open. And No. 5 Petra Kvitova lost later, meaning only three of the top 13 women’s seeds remain in the field. And it’s still just Week 1 in Flushing Meadows. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins View comments It’s similar to the way things went at the last major tournament: For the first time in Wimbledon history, none of the top five women’s seeds reached the round of 16. And only one of the top 10 made it to the second week there.On Saturday in New York, No. 29 seed Dominika Cibulkova rallied Saturday to beat the fourth-seeded Kerber 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. No. 26 Aryna Sabalenka beat Kvitova 7-5, 6-1 at night.“I was not able actually to play my best tennis in the important moment,” Kerber said.Join the club.Top-ranked Simona Halep, the French Open champion, was eliminated in the first round. Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 2 seed, fell in the second.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Weather woes hit college football, stadiums cleared Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displacedlast_img read more

Golden girls: US wins 3rd straight women’s hoops World Cup

first_imgThe pair has been a key part of all three titles and hasn’t lost a World Cup game in nearly 12 years, including Sunday night’s 73-56 win over Australia in the gold medal game.“It means a lot. I was saying yesterday in the press conference that there’s this misconception out there that this is easy for us,” Bird said. “I get it, because the scores can say that at times. But this isn’t easy. We’re thrown together and need to figure it out on the fly. We need to peak at the right time. It’s extremely satisfying when we get it done.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBird now is the most decorated athlete in World Cup history, winning four gold medals and one bronze.“I don’t know if I can put it in perspective because I’m still in it,” Bird said. LATEST STORIES Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum The victory gave the U.S. 10 World Cup gold medals and was the 22nd win in a row overall for the Americans dating back to the bronze medal game in 2006. That was the same year that Australia won its only World Cup title. The Americans lost to Russia in the semifinals and haven’t lost since in the World Cup or Olympics. The win also made Dawn Staley the first person ever to win a World Cup title as a player, assistant and head coach.The U.S. didn’t have its entire team together until a few days before the tournament started as Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd were winning the WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm. Stewart, who was the WNBA regular season and postseason MVP, added the MVP of the World Cup to her resume after scoring 10 points in the championship game.“It’s been an incredible few months, that’s for sure,” Stewart said. “The biggest thing about it all is it’s all focused on the team and having the team win.”Brittney Griner scored 15 points to lead the U.S. and anchored a stellar defensive effort against Liz Cambage. Australia’s star center came into the game averaging 27.2 points in the tournament, but was held to just seven.She remained the No. 1 enemy of the Spanish fans, who jeered and whistled every time she touched the ball. Cambage keyed Australia’s win over the host nation in the semifinals. Spain won the bronze medal, beating Belgium 67-60 earlier Sunday.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Taurasi, who scored 13 points, helped the U.S. get off to a strong start with a 10-0 lead. Australia could only get within three the rest of the way. It was the first time in the tournament that the U.S. didn’t trail in a game.“It was huge,” Stewart said about the fast start. “Dee (Taurasi) was talking about being the aggressors as Australia’s used to punching first. Today we were going to punch them first. That’s what we did. We rode on that momentum the rest of the game. That’s something they hadn’t seen this whole tournament.”The U.S. led 35-27 at the half and didn’t give Australia any chance to come back, scoring the first nine points of the third quarter.This was Australia’s best finish at the World Cup since 2006.“To beat the USA we had to play really good defense and rebound,” Australia coach Sandy Brondello said. “We contested a lot of shots, but they found too many shooters.”FLAG FLAPAs the flags of the three medalists were being raised during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Australia’s fell down midway through the song. It drew some laughs and shocked expressions from the Opal players. Cambage tweeted, “our shots didn’t fall but our flag did.”TIP-INSThe Americans remained unbeaten against Australia in Olympic and World Cup games, improving to 18-0. In the World Cup, the U.S. has 11 wins over Australia, although this was the first time the teams had met in the final. … Brondello joined a select group of people to win a World Cup medal as both a coach and player. She starred for the Australians as a player in the 1990s before taking over the coaching job this year. … With the win, the U.S. earns an automatic spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. FIBA is changing the qualifying format next year for the Olympics and World Cup. … The Soviet Union won a record five World Cups titles from 1959 to 1975. … Since the 1996 Olympic Games, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team program will have posted a 100-1 record in major international competitions, winning six consecutive Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016), five FIBA World Cup golds (1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, 2018), one FIBA World Cup bronze medal (2006) and one FIBA Americas Championship gold medal (2007).RECORD BREAKER Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Europe finishes off dominant week to win back Ryder Cup Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? United States players celebrate after winning the Women’s basketball World Cup final match between Australia and the U.S.A. in Tenerife, Spain, Sunday Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Gutierrez)SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain — Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi shared a hug as the final seconds ran down on a third straight World Cup championship.The longtime USA Basketball teammates had accomplished another piece of history together.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Bird passed Staley’s career U.S. mark for most assists at the World Cup. Bird fittingly got the record-breaking assist on a 3-pointer by Taurasi, her teammate since their days at UConn in the early 2000s.Staley had 103 in her three World Cups while Bird now has 107. The U.S. coach had joked after the semifinal win that she would sit Bird for the gold medal game to keep the record. Bird arguably had it easier than Staley because FIBA changed the way it counted assists in 2014, giving one to a player if her pass led to free throws.SCOREBOARDSpain beat Belgium 67-60 to win the bronze medal. Canada edged Nigeria 73-72 to finish seventh while France topped China 81-67 to come in fifth.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray all confirmed for Australian Open

first_imgLATEST STORIES Williams returned from giving birth to her first child to reach the 2018 Wimbledon and US Open finals, but suffered upset losses in both to leave her stuck on 23 major wins.Australian Open organisers said she was among the entries for the opening Grand Slam of the year as she attempts to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHer appearance will mark her first major since her controversial rant at an umpire during the US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka, which overshadowed the Japanese star’s biggest ever win.In the aftermath, Roger Federer said Williams “went too far”. “Serena Williams, currently ranked 16, will make her highly anticipated return to Melbourne for the first time since winning in 2017 when eight-weeks pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia,” said tournament organiser Craig Tiley.The evergreen Federer will be back to defend his title, along with long-time adversary Novak Djokovic. Caroline Wozniacki defends the women’s crown.Organisers said the world’s top 102 women and top 101 men have all confirmed they will be playing.The only top-100 absentee from the women’s draw is 74th-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Polandwho recently announced her retirement. “It’s always special to see our defending champions — Caroline had her first Grand Slam win here last year so will be keen to start 2019 on a high,” said Tiley. ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “And of course Roger Federer has special memories of Melbourne, having won here six times, something only Novak (Djokovic) and Roy Emerson have done in the past.“I’ve been in touch with Rafa and he’s back to full fitness after cutting his season short after Paris and can’t wait to arrive in Australia,” he added.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award FILE – Serena Williams reacts after winning a point against Anastasija Sevastova, of Latvia, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Serena Williams will make her return to the Australian Open for the first time since winning in 2017 when eight-weeks pregnant, it was confirmed Wednesday, with virtually all the world’s top 100 players due at Melbourne Park.That includes injury-prone Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title View comments Deontay Wilder hoping for a rematch with Tyson Fury ‘ASAP’ MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folklast_img read more

Pres. Sirleaf Freezes LTA Account

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has frozen the accounts of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, (LTA) headed by Angelique Weeks.The Liberian leader also suspended the US$1 million lease agreement between LTA and a Chinese construction company, Qinjian International, for a building LTA intended to secure as office. President Sirleaf took the decision to freeze the account of the LTA on Tuesday February 4, 2014Though the release from the Executive Mansion indicates that the LTA “intends” to secure the building as office space, credible sources have it that LTA has indeed relocated its offices to where they are paying a steeper figure in the range of $385,000 per year for the lease of the property.Sources said that consolidating all their employees in one location rather than three or four, cuts down on the number of security personnel; the cost of generator and fuel at the previous premises.The building in question is located on the Congo Town back road, around the Chinese Embassy. The LTA last week left its 12th street headquarters and relocated in the Congo Town area, a move that may have been done without the consent of the Liberian leader.The process of leasing the building, it is strongly believed, was approved by the Public Procurement Concessions Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, but the President might have preferred being informed of the move.The Finance Ministry, according to one source, was fully involved with the lease-agreement, as it had to approve the expenditure. The Justice Ministry was involved as well, since the lease involved a private party and a government entity.  “The PPCC had been on board from the beginning, to make sure we followed procedures as stipulated in the guidelines.  We have no problem renting from legitimate landlords who pay taxes to government, the source said.The LTA earlier had leased three buildings at three different locations, prior to its last-week move.  While not cheap, the new location allows the LTA to foster greater unity among employees and provide an excellent area for the International Gateway Monitoring System that takes up an entire floor.It was indicated that the West Africa Regional Communications Project was also relocating to the site in March. “The cost of the move was budgeted and approved in our 2013-2014 budget.We have been very transparent about this whole procedure pursuant to the PPCC Act.  We looked at other buildings and considered other locations before the final choice was made,” a source said.Asked why the LTA does not just purchase a building or buy and build, we were told that they intend to find a location that will allow them to accommodate their growing staff, as well as for Spectrum Monitoring equipment.  ‘We would prefer to build but we have to find the right location to allow for expansion and growth.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Constitution in Braille: A Revolutionary Idea Long Overdue

first_imgLiberia’s blind have called on government to produce the Liberian Constitution in Braille so that they will have the opportunity to read it.Braille is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or whose eyesight is not sufficient for reading printed material.In their frank exchange with the CRC last week, representatives of the blind and visually impaired lamented, “Considering the way we are treated, we don’t feel as though we are part of this country.”We consider this a serious indictment of the way we do things in Liberia. The CRC’s mandate is to include ALL citizens of Liberia.The representatives told the CRC, “Now is the time to reflect on treatment of the blind and visually impaired by providing them with copies of the nation’s most important document in Braille. It is just as important for us to read as it is for those with sight.”We pray that the CRC will pay keen and active attention to this community, which in Liberia number at least 35,000, or one percent of the population.  According to recent statistics, three percent of our people are visually impaired.These are significant numbers of people that must be included not only in the constitutional review process, but in the broader spectrum of national affairs.  Their exclusion is unconstitutional, since the Constitution, the basic law of the land and the nation’s most important document, is what guides citizens as they participate in the process of governance.  A citizen’s knowledge of the Constitution empowers him or her to play a more effective and more meaningful role in national affairs and hopefully makes a better citizen.The CRC is, therefore, called to recommend immediately to government the production of the Constitution in Braille, even as the Committee continues its work.  This will enable the blind and visually impaired to participate NOW, while the Review process is ongoing.  GOL could contact the Braille Institute of America, based in Los Angeles, California, or other Braille institutions in neighboring countries or in Europe, for advice and assistance. Perhaps one of development partners interested in the constitutional review process could be approached to assist in this endeavor.But the CRC should not wait, as time is of the essence.  The year 2015, when the CRC should be completing its work, is now only months away.  If the CRC is proactive and swift, treating this matter with urgency, the Constitution in Braille should be ready within the next three months and placed in the hands of these citizens.Another matter of urgency which, not just the CRC but more so the national government should immediately address is the matter of access to buildings for our physically challenged people.For too long, these unfortunate brothers and sisters of ours have complained about access, especially to public buildings and educational institutions.  The time is long past when we as a nation should DO something about this problem, by reaching out to these people and giving them access to places they need to go.The government will, hopefully soon, begin renovating the E.J. Roye and completing other unfinished buildings.  In this process, the physically challenged should be remembered.  Architects and engineers involved in the renovation and construction need to visit the Japanese Friendship Hospital at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and see what has been done there giving complete access to pregnant mothers and other people in peculiar circumstances. The government also needs to put in place mandatory measures to ensure the efficient maintenance of elevators in buildings that have them. For example, when last did anyone–even the Ministers whose office was on the sixth floor–use the elevators in the old Ministry of Education on Broad Street?That building was totally off limits to our physically challenged, many of whom are teachers.We hope government will act NOW to protect access of ALL the people to buildings in Liberia, most especially government ones.  GOL should make it mandatory that BEFORE a construction permit is given for ANY building now or in the future, access by the physically challenged should be assured.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

CBL Begins Developing Collateral Registry

first_imgThe government of Liberia through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has begun the development of a Secured Transactions/Collateral Registry program in the country.The registry, which is purely an electronic program, is expected to be formally inaugurated in June this year, to register movable assets that debtors would want to put forth as collateral to lenders.It is being developed by the CBL with technical support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance increase financial access to small medium enterprises (SMEs) that do not have the type of collateral required by banks to access loan.Speaking at a one-day stakeholders meeting with economic journalists in Monrovia on Friday, the head of the Registry, Mrs. Euphemia Gbadee Teeta Swen Monmia, said the registry will be seated at the CBL and will allow users to access information online in real time. She declared that the CBL will set up computer facilities at key stations across the country to allow businesses and ordinary people to learn about the program and make decision.Giving some details about the registry, the registrar noted that the secured transaction registry will create opportunity for debtors to use their movable assets such as cars, equipments and other household and agricultural materials as collaterals in order to access loans for their businesses.“Some of the benefits of the registry are that it increases access to credit and reduces risk of credit, reduces cost of credit, promotes credit diversification and increases market competition,” Mrs. Monmia added.She stressed that the role of the registry will be to primarily register debtors’ movable collaterals so that lenders are able to easily access those assets and to ensure that the same assets are not offered as collateral to other lenders.Mrs. Monmia noted that the establishment of the collateral registry is part of the mandate of the CBL as enshrined in the Central Bank of Liberia Act of 1999, and specifically consistent with Section 55 of said CBL Act of 1999 and Section 39 of the Financial Institutions Act of 1999.She declared that the establishment of the registry is also pursuant to Chapter 5 of the Liberian Commercial Code.Also speaking, Deputy CBL Executive Governor for Economic Policy Boimah Kamara observed that the collateral registry is a new business model being introduced in Liberia that would enhance financial access to businesses and bring transparency between the borrowers and lenders.“This exercise is intended to bring transparency between borrowers and lenders. For example, you can’t take a loan from bank ‘A’ and use the same collateral to borrow from bank ‘B’. But, the movable assets will be registered in the system for all of its users to see,” said Mr. Kamara.Some of the movable assets the collateral registry will registered include bank accounts, account receivables, vehicles and equipment for industrial use, agricultural products such as crops and livestock, consumer and household goods and inventory and raw goods, amongst others.Immovable assets such as land and real estate buildings will not be captured in the registry as they are mainly required by banks as collateral for loans, the registrar said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GuySuCo spent $1M on meals

first_imgDear Editor,The GAWU, through a usually reliable source, has learnt that Uitvlugt Estate during 2018 expended well over a million dollars on meals provided to visitors to the estate. Those visitors, we understand, are mainly personnel from the corporation’s head office. It, therefore, would mean that over 1000 meals would have been prepared last year, assuming that a meal costs $1000. If that is the case, it would mean that the estate had about three visitors every day of the year. This is incredible and incredulous at the same time.If the information that has reached the Union’s hands is indeed accurate then it is cause for great concern regarding the administration of the industry’s finances. At this time, as the workers well know, the corporation has relied on the excuse of lack of finance to deny, over and over, justifiable requests for improvements in working conditions and benefits.GAWU, on several occasions, has expressed concern about the management of the industry’s finances. Previously, we pointed to the hefty sums going to what the corporation deems it’s Key Managerial Personnel. On this matter, we noted, from the most recent data available, that sums going to this group of the State-owned enterprise’s top-echelon almost doubled between 2015 and 2016. We know too that the industry invested $61 million into its seed paddy project at Wales but realised only $9 million in income, in other words, it realised a loss of $52 million. It also came to our attention that the corporation spent nearly $58 million on a feasibility study for aquaculture and not one fish was harvested. With such expenditure seemingly becoming a feature of the corporation, it was not surprising when we saw that the corporation’s head office cost rose from 9 per cent of total costs in 2017 to over 14 per cent of total costs at the end of September 2018.This sort of expenditure is coming at the same time that the corporation is telling the public that it needs investment in the fields and factories. Moreover, we see such expenditures taking place when the industry’s workers, whom the corporation describes as its most important assets, being denied a pay rise since 2015 and have had several important benefits suspended and ignored.To say that the Union is disheartened by the most recent revelation is to say the least. Undoubtedly, at this time, when workers are having a most difficult time to make ends meet it is upsetting that such disturbing news is coming to light.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more