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Pique didn’t deliberately get himself booked against Arsenal, insists Barca boss

first_img Gerard Pique fouls Danny Welbeck during Barcelona’s Champions League victory over Arsenal 1 Luis Enrique has denied suggestions Gerard Pique purposefully got himself booked during Barcelona’s victory over Arsenal on Tuesday night.With Barca leading 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at the Emirates, Pique held a brief discussion with his manager on the touchline.Just a minute later, the defender produced a rash challenge on Danny Welbeck to receive a yellow card.That rules Pique out of the return fixture with Arsenal but crucially means his disciplinary slate will be wiped clean at the quarter-final stage.Southampton boss and former Barca star Ronald Koeman, watching the game as a TV pundit, claimed after the match it was a deliberate ploy.“For sure he took it. It’s not a tackle that you do at 2-0 up,” said the Dutchman.But Enrique played down claims of a conspiracy.“It wasn’t deliberate,” said the Barca boss. “Gerard Pique, if you saw the fault (foul), he had to do it, it wasn’t deliberate at all.”Barcelona were well contained by Arsenal in the first half but their class shone through in the end, with two Lionel Messi goals in the last 20 minutes securing a 2-0 win.“Everyone who knows about football knows you need a first half like this in order to have a second like the one we had,” said Enrique. “Arsenal are very good at helping each other collectively and we needed a lot of possession of the ball.“My players individually performed perfectly. But there is nothing decided yet, we will have to perform very well in the (second leg).”last_img read more

Scully gets his `who’s on first’

first_imgVIN Scully. The voice of the Dodgers. The voice of the San Fernando Valley. The voice of Los Angeles. No doubt about it, one of the best things about living in L.A. is being able to listen to Vin Scully broadcast Dodgers games. The Los Angeles Dodgers might have ended the baseball season on a dismal note, but the award-winning Dodger sportscaster finished it off on a “high-larious” note, by smacking a grand-slam comedic homer out of the park. Last Sunday, Scully completed his 58th season as the Dodgers’ premiere broadcaster. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityMagic is exactly what Scully has brought to baseball broadcasting. Doing both the play-by-play and the color, he saves the listeners from a montage of conflicting voices and unending, mind-numbing monotony of detailed analysis of every player’s most nuanced gesture. The only magic he hasn’t been able to work is a pennant for the Dodgers. Often he plays the Jewish or Italian momma and is a down right “noodge,” telling people to drive carefully to and from the stadium. Not a day game goes by without him telling the fans to slather on the sun block. No one knows how he does it. He probably doesn’t know himself, but he can be in the middle of a story, call a play, and immediately pick up the thread of the story without missing a beat. At season’s end, it’s not unusual to hear him give us the play-by-play of three games at once, while keeping us posted on which team is vying for what position in the standings for the playoffs, which is exactly what he did during the last three days of the season. After 58 years of calling games, Scully has seen everything on the field and in the stands, from perfect games to no-hitters, from records broken to championships won and lost, from players rushing the field to fans behaving badly. In all those years, there’s only been one thing Scully couldn’t do, one elusive thing that he confessed on-air that he’s always wanted to do. Say three little words: Who’s on first. That was until Chin-Lung Hu, a native of Taiwan, joined the team at the beginning of September. Pronounced “who,” Hu’s first hit as a Dodger was a homer in a game with the San Diego Padres. Touching first base was all that was required, not visiting it. His second game appearance resulted in four round trips from the bench to the batter’s box and back to the bench. In the next game against the Arizona Diamondback, Scully uttered something that’s still cracks me up, “Let’s hope Hu get’s a base hit, folks. I can’t wait to say Hu’s on first.” They say that three’s the charm. Game three. The Dodgers were still in Arizona, and voila! Hu gets his first single. Scully took a deep breath and said, “OK everybody. All together … Hu’s on first!” When Vinnie said he couldn’t wait to say “Who’s on first,” I laughed for days and listened closely waiting for it to happen. The moment would be too priceless and it was. I’m still laughing, and so is Scully. Chin-Lung Hu can’t do anything without us being able to hear the chuckle in Scully’s voice. The only times he suppresses it is when he says the shortstop’s full name. As long as Vin Scully calls Dodgers games and there are kids out there to listen, they will not only learn about America’s pastime, but Scully will teach them about Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First,” which is perhaps the most famous comedy routine that has been immortalized in comedy history. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are also the only two men who never put on a baseball uniform, or played for any professional baseball team, who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Perched in the audience in comedy heaven, Abbott and Costello must be smiling down on Dodger Stadium, Vin Scully, Chin-Lung Hu and all the fans, because now an entirely new generation of fans will get in on the joke, and finally … Hu’s really on first! Sandy Sand is a resident of West Hills and former editor of the Tolucan.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center opens gardens

first_imgThe new koi pond was a welcome inclusion in the gardens because the hospital’s old koi pond had to be taken out years ago to accommodate the new project. “I think everyone’s going to be thrilled that there isn’t a lot of noise anymore,” said hospital spokesman Dan Boyle, “because there was a lot of construction noise for a long time.” [email protected] (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.In the old building, where doctors and nurses had cared for patients for decades, staff members wrote blessings and messages of thanksgiving on the walls before the building was sealed for demolition. The Healing Gardens – an open space area with three small gardens – was the last piece of the project. Separated by overhead bridges, the meditative area has a koi pond, a dozen crape myrtle trees and a maze-like pathway. The path is a spiritual tool for meditation, with deep roots in Catholicism, said Sister Colleen Settles, regional director of mission leadership for Providence hospitals in the area. “Some people have a spirituality that is more quiet and our chapel is wonderful for that,” Settles said. “Others connect with their spirituality when they’re in a movement mode.” During Wednesday’s ceremony, a classical music trio played in the shade of the crape myrtles, and officials unveiled a bronze statue of a nun holding out a loaf of bread. BURBANK – Marking the end of an 11-year, $151 million project to make it earthquake-safe, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center opened three healing gardens Wednesday where employees and patients can get away from it all. Looming above the garden is the Northeast Tower, a two-year-old, seven-story building with 154 beds. It replaces the hospital’s main building, which was old and outdated. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake set the stage for the project, since the damage it caused made the hospital eligible for $88.7 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Planning for the project began in 1996, and within a few years workers had demolished two small buildings to make room for the new tower. Most of the work was finished in 2005, and over a couple of days, hospital staffers rushed to transfer everything from the hospital’s old main building to the new one. last_img read more

Gates says more facts needed before any strikes on Kurds

first_img“It’s a pretty tough area. It’s a pretty mountainous area,” he told reporters. “Nothing would be simple.” In Washington, Pentagon officials said they could not confirm news reports of airstrikes. “I don’t know of any Turkish airstrikes in that area today,” Maj. Gen. Richard Sherlock, Joint Chiefs of Staff operational planning director, said at a Defense Department press conference. Separately, a senior defense official said there is increasing frustration at the highest reaches of the Bush administration with the Turkey-Iraq situation; that the Iraqis understand this; and that there is growing sympathy with the Turkish position that something has to be done. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the U.S. military believes the Turks would “like to avoid a cross-border military operation on the ground if they could.” In congressional testimony Wednesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Iraqis are taking steps to crack down on Kurdish rebels. The U.S. has told Turkey that retaliatory attacks would have a “destabilizing effect,” she said. Few of the U.S. military forces in Iraq are along the border with Turkey, but there is ample air power available. U.S. officials have said repeatedly in recent days that U.S. forces are tied up with the long-running fight against insurgents and the al-Qaida in Iraq group elsewhere in the country.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NOORDWIJK, the Netherlands – Pentagon chief Robert Gates said Wednesday he saw little sense in airstrikes or major ground assaults by U.S., Turkish or other forces against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq until more is known about their locations along the border. His comments to reporters during a break in a NATO defense ministers meeting suggested U.S. concern that Turkey will open a large-scale offensive across the border into the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. That area has been one of the most prosperous and peaceful parts of Iraq in recent years. Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships reportedly attacked positions of Kurdish rebels just inside Turkey earlier Wednesday, and Turkish leaders in Ankara discussed the scope and duration of a possible offensive. Turkey’s leaders face demands at home to stage an offensive in northern Iraq. Rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – known as the PKK – rest, train and get supplies in relative safety in the area before returning to Turkey to conduct attacks in support of their goal of autonomy in southeastern Turkey. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.At a news conference in this seaside village, where defense ministers of all 26 NATO member countries gathered to discuss their efforts in Afghanistan, Gates was asked to assess the prospects of the U.S. military launching airstrikes in support of Turkey’s efforts against the Kurdish rebels. “Without good intelligence, just sending large numbers of troops across the border (from Turkey) or dropping bombs doesn’t seem to make much sense to me,” Gates said. The defense secretary was questioned about whether his sense of the limitations on effective military action applied to U.S. as well as Turkish strikes. “For anybody,” he replied. Adm. Michael Mullen, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told soldiers at Fort Riley, Kan., that the border situation is complex and any incursions across it would be a difficult undertaking. Asked later whether the U.S. is considering airstrikes, Mullen said he would not disclose any military options at this point. last_img read more

First Thursday events will get a holiday twist

first_imgBy Rachel Jones STAFF WRITER This week’s First Thursday will be more spooky than usual. The monthly event still will feature plenty of art, food and culture, but the date also marks Dia de los Muertos and the 10-year anniversary of the Art Walk. Merchants are combining the two occasions for a celebration with special activities and promotions. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.There will be crafts, music and an Aztec dance troupe to honor the traditional Latin American holiday of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. A mock cemetery will be set up in an empty lot, and there will be a small procession to altars that are set up in some shops. In addition, there will be lots of activities for children, from face-painting to a raffle. “It’s going to be fun,” said Carla Ortega, who works at Our Creations on Sixth Street, where the children’s activities will be held. She said most of the downtown merchants are participating in the event, and some of the art galleries and shops will have special sales or products. “It’s more cultural than anything,” Ortega explained. “Everybody can learn about our celebration and this particular holiday.” First Thursday activities are from 5 to 10 p.m. throughout the downtown area, and Dia de los Muertos children’s activities will begin at 5 p.m. at Our Creations, 416 West Sixth St. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgTHE DONEGAL potato crop is ruined, farmers warned today.More than 80% of spuds are still in the fields because of the dreadful rainfall of the last few weeks.And that could hit next year’s crops – because so much of the seed potato for 2012 hasn’t been harvested. Today the Irish Farmers Association has called on the Government to carry out an audit of the disaster.“The October rainfall here was 204mm compared to 62mm last year and 90mm the year before. Many farms are flooded and we need at least four clear days to be able to get at the crop,” said Bridgend farmer Charlie Doherty.“There is also another problem for growers. Potatoes have been growing near the surface of the drills this year because they did not have to go down low to find moisture.“This will mean if there is any frost at all, there will be total devastation of the crop and we will not be able to salvage any.” Mr Doherty said he stood to lose at least €250,000 if he could not get his crop because it cost €2,500 an acre to plough, plant and tend to a crop to the stage where it was being harvested.“A lot of the growers will go to the wall if there is no take-up in the weather and already I think about 30 per cent of the Donegal crop is lost and will not be recoverable,” he tells today’s Irish Times.SPUD CROP ‘RUINED’ SAY FARMERS was last modified: November 3rd, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalpotato crop ruinedlast_img read more

Video: 10 funny Claudio Ranieri press conference moments

first_imgLeicester’s Premier League triumph will ensure Claudio Ranieri will never again have to buy a pint in the city.Not only has the manager guided the Foxes to glory, but he has entertained everyone else throughout the season with his charm and charisma.FEATURE: HOW CLAUDIO RANIERI TRANSFORMED LEICESTER AND HIS REPUTATIONHere, talkSPORT looks at some of the Italian’s funniest press conference moments from this very memorable season.For more great videos, check out the talkSPORT YouTube channel here and subscribe for free.last_img

West Ham transfer news: Serie A striker latest, plus more

first_img Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce) – Although the Hammers are keen on landing a new striker, they have rejected the chance to sign ex-Arsenal and Manchester United man Van Persie. After one campaign in Turkey, the player is ready to return to England but, when handed the opportunity to sign him, with the player taking a pay cut, the Hammers still refused to do business with Fenerbahce, say the Daily Mail. It’s the start of a new era for West Ham as they move to the Olympic Stadium in east London.The Hammers have already bolstered their squad with a couple of intriguing free transfers as Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nordtveit join the club.But Slaven Bilic still has business to attend to and it appears a striker is very high on his wishlist.Numerous forwards have been linked with a switch to West Ham but, so far, only 19-year-old Spaniard Toni Martinez has joined the club as they prepare for the 2016/17 season.So what’s the latest news? Click the right arrow above to find out… 4 4 Carlos Bacca (AC Milan) – Click the right arrow above to find out the latest West Ham United transfer rumours… – West Ham are set to meet with the Colombian striker’s representatives on Monday as they look to make a deal happen. A fee of around £20m should be agreed but, according to the Daily Mail, the player’s demands are incredible high. Paid £60,000 a week in Italy, it seems he would want around £120,000 a week – the same amount Dimitri Payet earns. 4 Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas) – Already set to land Gokhan Tore from his old side, Slaven Bilic is also ready to raid them for Canada international Hutchinson. The Turkish side, though, want more than the £3m offered so far for the ex-PSV Eindhoven midfielder. 4 Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli) – West Ham’s hopes of landing the Italy star are fading as the Naples club hold on for a transfer fee in the region of £21. The Hammers had hoped to snag the ex-Sampdoria star for around £17m but they and transfer rivals Inter Milan are being priced out of a move by Napoli.last_img read more

Bradford lights up field for Colton

first_imgWhen he clears his mind and transports himself back in time, Harold Strauss can still hear the buzz of the crowd. “Allen Bradford was the most fierce hitter I ever coached,” the Colton High School football coach said. “Whether carrying the ball on offense or making a hit on defense, you could hear the oohs and aahs coming from the stands. “He created an electricity on Friday nights.” Although Strauss would like to have Bradford in the lineup indefinitely, the eligibility of the punishing running back and linebacker has expired. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Next fall, he will play for USC. “I don’t want to leave Southern California,” Bradford said of his decision, made at the U.S. Army All-Star Game in San Antonio. “I want my family and friends to be able to see me play.” Bradford probably will have an extra ticket or two each game for Strauss, who for the past four years hasn’t sweated over admission to Bradford’s game. The 6-foot, 225-pound wunderkind has been a mainstay for Colton. This season in leading the Yellowjackets to a 9-3 record, he rushed for 1,869 yards and scored 29 touchdowns. Also a threat as a receiver, he latched onto 20 passes for 429 yards and six TDs. Most impressive were his 260 points, ranking him third in the state. Bradford averaged 21.7 points per game, scoring 38 touchdowns and 38 extra points. center_img On defense he was just as impressive, making 157 tackles, including 12 sacks. He also recovered a fumble and returned it 83 yards. “Allen is pretty special,” Strauss said. “Talents like that don’t come along every year. He improved more and more each year. And the accolades he has received send a good message to the other kids in the program, that something like this can happen if you work really hard.” Add another plaudit to Bradford’s treasure trove: Because of his season-long excellence, he is The Sun’s Player of the Year. He leads a stellar All-County team that consists of Bradford and 26 other county stars, 13 on offense and 13 on defense. The honor is just the latest for the Colton star. Late last month, he was named to the Parade Magazine All-America team, getting named the all-purpose Player of the Year. “This is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Bradford said. “I’ve always wanted to play college football and to be able to take my game to another level, and I’m really looking forward to it.” Colton fans no doubt will have mixed feelings. They’ll take pride in seeing Bradford play for the Trojans but might long for the days when he was bulling over tacklers or separating ball carriers from their senses with his big hits. During Bradford’s last three years on varsity, he led the Yellowjackets to two league titles and 30 victories. Especially exciting was the 2005 season when he teamed with players like Shareece Wright, quarterback Brad Sorensen, wideout and defensive back James Smith and lineman Mario Perez in averaging a ridiculous 51.3 points per game. “The thing I’ll remember most was being out there on Friday nights with all my teammates, playing before my family and friends,” Bradford said. “Whatever I do in my career, I just want to be remembered.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgThe people of The Rosses are getting ready y to rock – or jive rather!As part of their ambitious development plans which include match standard Floodlighting at their home field in Kincasslagh, Naomh Muire GAA Club of the Lower Rosses have announced early details for Jive Alive 2013 as part of their fundraising.With jiving enjoying a phenomenal comeback across the Nation, the Club are calling on local Jivers to get involved in the Big Night in April at a venue big enough to hold the crowds in West Donegal. One name already confirmed is Anne McElaney, mother of Eamonn, Neil and Peter McGee who although all members of Gaoth Dobhair GAA Club where Anne herself is heavily involved, there is a historic family connection with Naomh Muire.Other names are starting to emerge but auditions and contracts are at too early a stage to reveal these great characters.A spokesman for the forward thinking GAA Club, JC Gillespie said ” The interest in Jiving has caught us all by surprise and following the success of our Jigs n Reels last year, we were bombarded by requests to run the Jiving Night.“We hope to confirm the April date and the venue this week and at the minute we are concluding the long week of auditions as well as taking names of those who wish to be involved” . Naomh Muire are erecting Thorn EMI Lighting , which is an international standard match ready system as well as erecting additional dressing rooms and a fitness room to add to their already impressive Clubhouse and facilities at the Banks, Mullaghderg.Recent years has seen their fundraising through outstanding entertaining nights put them in a strong position to carry out this work. As well as this, the Club donated over €12,000 to Donegal Charities such as the Oncology Ward at LGH, Patients comfort fund at Dungloe Hospital and several local causes.Jive Alive 2013 – watch this space!THEY’LL BE JIVING AT THE CROSSROADS IN MULLAGHDUFF SOON! was last modified: January 12th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Jive NightMullaghduffNaomh Mhuirelast_img read more