Serena loses Grand Slam bid in shocking U.S. Open upset

first_imgBy Larry FineSERENA Williams’ bid for a rare calendar-year Grand Slam came to a shocking halt at the U.S. Open on Friday when the defending champion suffered one of the greatest tennis upsets to unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci.The 32-year-old Vinci ended Williams’ run of three straight U.S. Open titles and her bid to become the fourth woman to sweep all four grand slam singles titles in the same year with a 2-6 6-4 6-4 win that stunned the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.“I thought she played the best tennis in her career,” said 33-year-old Williams. “You know, she’s going for it at a late age.“Actually, I guess it’s inspiring. I think she played literally out of her mind.”For world number one Williams, whose remarkable streak of 33 consecutive match wins in the grand slams was also snapped, it marked the first time she lost to Vinci in five career meetings after a string of easy straight-set wins against her.Vinci’s extraordinary win set up an all-Italian women’s final on Saturday against 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta, who routed second seed Simona Halep of Romania 6-1 6-3.The 46th-ranked Vinci, appearing in her first grand slam singles semi-final, took advantage of some loose points from the American, who appeared to feel the pressure of her pursuit.Vinci, a winner of five grand slam doubles titles, played with extraordinary composure and used her net-play skills to advantage with an inspired performance.“This is an incredible moment for me,” Vinci said after taking a long moment to compose herself for the on-court interview. “It’s amazing. It’s like a dream. I’m in the final. I beat Serena.”last_img read more

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Private use of marijuana to be considered – President

first_imgEven as Government is yet to take a definitive position on the issue of legalising and decriminalising marijuana, President Granger has stated that there is a possibility that private use of the herb would be on the cards in the coming months.Speaking on the weekly televised programme – The Public Interest – which was aired on Friday, the Head of State pointed out that Cabinet is awaiting advice and recommendations from the Ministries of Public Health and Public Security on how to move ahead with the issue as was previously done with tobacco.However, he noted that steps are being taken to consider making the use of marijuana legal: “I would say, even running the risk of talking out of school, that it is likely that the private use of marijuana would be given consideration in months to come.”But as it relates to the issue of decriminalising the use of marijuana, the Head of State explained that while trafficking is not likely to be removed from the law books in the near future, but certainly the use of marijuana is beginning to be decriminalised.“Decriminalisation is something else and that is not on the cards presently but there is a possibility that when the matter comes before us, we would want to have a good debate on whether a person should be sent to jail given custodial sentence for being in possession of such a small quantity of marijuana that it is clear it is for personal use and not for trafficking,” Granger noted.Nevertheless, the President maintained that Cabinet is still in discussions and a definitive answer will not be given until it has a chance to look at the recommendations, and the matter goes to the National Assembly.In May, the Guyanese Head of State speaking on the issue had stated that such reforms are not a current concern of the Government and on a more personal note declared that he will not subscribe to the usage of marijuana.“This is not something that is a preoccupation of the Administration at the present time… I would not counsel the use of marijuana by young people or anybody,” he had posited. However, on another occasion he had noted that the focus should be on advocating for noncustodial sentences – which is an initiative currently being explored by the judicial and executive arms of Government.The decriminalisation/legalisation of marijuana is gaining momentum worldwide and while other countries have taken steps to decriminalise and legalise the drug, the local debate on the issue went as far as the drafting of a “Ganja Bill”, which was to be tabled in the National Assembly earlier in January but this was indefinitely postponed.Given that the overcrowding at the prison is said to be largely contributed by those on remand or incarcerated for possession of small amounts of marijuana, critics have argued that it would be in the best interest to introduce the decriminalisation legislation to deal with that problem.Contrary to the President’s stance, the Alliance For Change (AFC) faction of the ruling coalition has been strongly advocating for the decriminalisation of marijuana.In fact, AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes, with the help of Attorney Mark Waldron, compiled a draft Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill 2015, which seeks to soften the penalties for marijuana possession.The draft stipulates that persons who are found in possession of the drug for personal use will be required to pay a fine of $10,000 or perform community service for a period of time.AFC parliamentarian Michael Carrington, who presented the Bill to the National Assembly, had also expressed his full support of such legislation. He posited that no one should go to jail for ‘taking a smoke’.Prime Minister and AFC Vice Chairman Moses Nagamootoo had also spoken extensively on the need for Guyana to move in that direction.Many analysts have argued that the legalisation of marijuana is catching on because countries have realised that they can make money through generation of huge financial revenues.Contentions are that the legalisation of marijuana will also cut a big slice out of the business of organised crime. On the downside, there may be an increase in health-related issues caused by excessive marijuana ingestion.There will also be multiple expensive court cases where marijuana usage is challenged and there will be appeals to these cases if they are lost, all of which will also prove to be expensive.It is also argued that the criminal organisations will simply find additional methods to make illicit funds from the growing, sale and transport of marijuana.For example, cigarette bootlegging (the illegal traffic of a legal substance) is a big money-maker and there is no reason to believe that some form of marijuana bootlegging will not be added to their profit schemes.Only recently at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on International Drug Policy, of which Guyana participated, Canadian Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott announced the country’s plans to introduce legislation in the spring of 2017 that would fully legalise adult cannabis consumption.In the Caribbean, Jamaica took the first step towards decriminalising the drug back in 2015. (Vahnu Manickchand)last_img read more

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Fire Prevention event set for this Saturday, weather permitting

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Fire Department is still planning to host their annual Fire Prevention Day this coming Saturday, provided the weather cooperates.The department’s Administrator Kelly Giffin says that the event was originally planned to be held at the Home Hardware parking lot on Saturday, October 1st before a heavy snowfall warning saw over 23 cms of snow accumulations, postponing the event. Giffin says that the department rescheduled for this coming Saturday, to coincide with the final day of Fire Prevention Week. Unfortunately, those plans seem to be in jeopardy as the forecast is calling for snow to fall throughout the coming days.Giffin says that the Fire Department will be looking at the forecast and the amount snow that is due to fall throughout Thursday evening, and should have a decision on whether the event will be postponed once again by Friday. Updates will be found on the Fire Department’s Facebook page.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Feist Night – Monday, August 10

first_imgStan Collymore and Mark Saggers were back for an extra special Feist Night on talkSPORT.They looked at the damaging impact of the transfer window and discussed the alarming decline of Everton Football Club.last_img

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Jose Mourinho hails Sam Allardyce as perfect man for England and offers support

first_img Jose Mourinho and Sam Allardyce Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has backed the Football Association’s decision to hand Sam Allardyce the England job.Allardyce is set to leave Sunderland to succeed Roy Hodgson after a three-man FA panel containing chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and vice-chairman David Gill concluded its interview process.Mourinho has locked horns with Allardyce in the past and accused him of “19th-century football tactics” two-and-a-half years ago after Chelsea were held to a goalless draw by West Ham.But the Portuguese insists he has a good relationship with the 61-year-old now and believes he is the right man to lead the Three Lions after their woeful Euro 2016 campaign.“I think he’s the right person for that, yes,” said Mourinho, when asked what he made of Allardyce’s appointment. “I think he is a good choice but I think he needs support and I think you can do better in respect to that because my experience in your country shows that me you, (the) football world, could do a bit better.“I think Sam never had the big chance at the highest level – lots of experiences in the Premier League but never that big one.“And now he has the big one, so I think he is more than ready. I think he is a good motivator, I think he can create a good team spirit with his player and I wish him the best.“From my side, not just as a friend but my side as Man United manager, the only thing I can promise is that I am going to try to support him the best way, prepare the players for him, try to have the English players always available in a good condition to help him.“I hope you can do the same because it’s your time. In Portugal we were waiting and waiting and finally we got it. I think it is time for you because ’66 (when England won their one and only major international trophy) was a long time ago, so good luck Big Sam.” 1last_img read more

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A defining moment

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Re “The teen who snuffed out smoking in Calabasas” (March 17): The efforts of this young lady should be praised as she diligently pursued the right to have her voice heard. A defining moment for the First Amendment. The touting of the City Council with respect to the passage of an “ordinance” prohibiting smoking within the city limits of Calabasas does not. As usual, an overzealous approach to controlling a “nuisance” (to some) renders a politically correct resolution at the expense of common sense. Since by law, no one has more rights than anyone else, it should stand to reason that a “happy medium” could be struck. A medium which would accommodate all parties, not what may be deemed the majority at the expense of the minority. – Paul Pollara Newbury Park Smokers’ rights Re “The teen who snuffed out smoking in Calabasas” (March 17): Well, does Margo Arnold drive a car? Yeah, let’s take away the rights of the smokers who are paying a ton in taxes to do so. So, she can sit outside and breathe car exhaust only. What right can we take away from the Americans next? There is more real stuff to cry about in life than cigarette smoke; let’s see, perhaps the rights of animals, crime, the farce the government has become. Maybe Arnold should learn to make coffee and stay home and out of the public, as public means I have rights to it as well as everyone else. And I’ll smoke. Grow up and look into everyone’s rights before you start your car and then tell me about fresh air. – Dave Hamblen Sherman Oaks Remaining smoke Re “The teen who snuffed out smoking in Calabasas” (March 17): The biggest remaining secondhand smoke problem will now revert to indoor places in Calabasas, i.e., no longer in various multiunit residential common areas, but rather in the toxic unit-to-unit drift that too often occurs within these core structures of multidwelling buildings. To level this vertical playing field, the city of Los Angeles, itself, should add the words “private nuisance” to its own version of Calabasas’ Penalties and Enforcement Code. By the way, I’m a smoker – an imposed-upon secondhand smoker. – Harvey Pearson Los Feliz Elton’s choices Re “‘Fess up, Elton” (Editorial, March 17): Taking a page from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s long-distance political diagnosis, Republican Elton Gallegly’s unspecified health concern and his wanting to spend time with his family, is clearly “Abramoffitus.” After Gallegly dropped out because of contracting “Abramoffitus,” he returned to the race when he developed “Roveitus,” a disease he can’t refuse. – Jerold Drucker Tarzana Derailing charters Re “Derailing charter schools” (March 19): As one of the teachers involved in the charter movement at Parkman Middle School, I applaud the efforts of UTLA and the LAUSD school board in bringing about serious reform changes in public education. These efforts, however, come too late for Parkman. Serious changes need to be made now and as a charter school, we can make those changes. LAUSD charter attorney Greg McNair has his facts very wrong. Not only have we retained a financial company specializing in charters, our budget projections leave us with a positive balance. Not only is our educational plan comprehensive, it is unlike anything a middle school has offered before. Its obvious that the district will do anything to hold onto its bureaucratic stranglehold on giving schools the resources they truly need. – Bruce Newborn West Hills Aim – then fire According to an article in Saturday’s Daily News, – apparently culled from the Los Angeles Police Commission’s own records – in 2005 our intrepid Boys in Blue fired at individuals (presumably for good reason) a total of 52 times. Twenty times they missed. (What those misses did hit is not mentioned. Hopefully, nothing crucial.) That’s a success rate of only 62 percent. Not too good, guys. Maybe it’s time for the chief to think about hiring Gunslinger Dickie for some lessons in marksmanship. – Parker Young North Hollywood Media vs. religion As Christians, we have felt the media “warring” with our religion and values for a long time (“South Park wars with Scientology,” March 10), so we turned off our TV. Now the media is sending its missionaries in to spread their filth in our unsuspecting neighborhoods (“Richie asks kid what?” News Lite, March 10). This intentional crusade to defile all that is innocent must stop. It is time for religious and nonreligious people who value the right to choose when and if to allow filth into one’s family to join together to work against those who would take this choice away. – Dan and Susan Ryan Northridge Don’t fence us in I work at Nobel Middle School in Northridge. We are the only unfenced school in the LAUSD. We have the best attendance record and one of the best records for low vandalism. Board member Jon Lauritzen wants to spend $300,000 to put a fence around our school. We have a P.E. budget of $400 a year for equipment with 2,400 students. We are unable to get money for field trips or tutoring, but we somehow have money for a fence. I spent my own money to buy basketballs. Then they want us to find money to have someone monitor the gates. The students, parents and faculty all voted against the fence, yet one man can tell us we’re going to get it. We have a petition going around right now trying to stop it. – Cheree Coyle West Hills Worst crop This year, the teachers at the high schools located in the east San Fernando Valley have had to contend with the worst group of ninth-graders in their teaching careers. The students lack skills, are unmotivated and disrespectful. The middle schools do not provide any accountability or consequence for the students’ actions. A student can fail every course, wreak havoc on the campus yet still be promoted to high school. Prior to entering high school, the students should be required to attend a sort of “scared straight” boot camp. They would be required to partake in manual labor and go on an evening field trip where they can view the homeless shivering under overpasses. The student would then be aware of the consequence of being a pain in the butt and not receiving an education. – David Shulman Lake View Terrace Financing elections Your Sunday editorial “Clean money” raised a very important point. A few thousands in campaign donation cash can result in millions of dollars in payback. The return on investment for special-interest donors is higher than almost any other form of investment. We need to stop this practice and its harm to fiscal solvency. We need to finance elections publicly, in Los Angeles and in all our elections. – David Greene San Pedro Distorting morality Re “Death: It’s not pretty or sinful. It’s a fact of life” (March 15): Mariel Garza’s cynical remark about opponents of physician-assisted suicide saying, “society has no right to determine which lives aren’t worth living (except, I guess, for those on Death Row)” is an epitome of moral confusion. A decent, law-abiding person has the right to society’s protection and care – even in the event of frailty and dependency. If a person commits a heinous crime such as murder, he or she forfeits the right to society’s protection and care. Those who agitate to spare the life of an evil murderer, but tolerate the killing of a dependent person, unconscionably distort morality. – Louis J. Feldman Van Nuyslast_img read more

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Team of the weekend! Best XI from gameweek 25 in a 3-4-3 formation

first_img 11 11 3. Centre back: Michael Keane (Burnley) – A trip to Turf Moor was always going to be difficult for title leaders Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side got off to the perfect start, but the Clarets responded brilliantly. Keane was, as ever, at the heart of the defence that proved tough for the Blues to break down. His stock continues to rise. 11 11 11 11 8. Midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) – Wijnaldum went hiding in the bigger games for Newcastle last season, but the same cannot be said of him at Liverpool. The Dutchman has lifted his performance when playing against the top six and put in an outstanding shift against Tottenham. He delivered an exquisite through ball for Sadio Mane’s opening goal and helped to bully Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembele in midfield. Emre Can will struggle to return to the starting line-up. 11 10. Forward: Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) – In two games with the Saints, January signing Gabbiadini already boasts a tally of three goals. The Italian forward has brought a new attacking threat to Southampton. He didn’t raise too much excitement when the deal was announced, but he’s quickly suggesting the club have again spent well. 5. Midfield: Juan Mata (Manchester United) – Jose Mourinho recently addressed the speculation that Mata was close to leaving Old Trafford upon his arrival in the summer, insisting he never had any intention of selling the Spaniard. The playmaker is in excellent form and scored for the second week running at the weekend. 11. Left attack: Anthony Martial (Manchester United) – Martial has struggled under Jose Mourinho so far, but he seems to have realised that he has to respond on the pitch. The Frenchman did just that against Watford, grabbing a goal and an assist while posing a serious threat from the left side all game. He should have done enough to seal a starting spot in their next league meeting. 6. Midfield: Joey Barton (Burnley) – Bringing Barton back to Turf Moor has proved to be a wise choice by Sean Dyche. Antonio Conte asked ‘who?’ when the midfielder was brought up in his pre-match press conference, but he’ll surely be familiar with the man in question now. His experience was vital in Burnley clinching the draw and he played a part in Robbie Brady’s equalising free kick. 4. Centre back: Alfie Mawson (Swansea City) – Mawson has been a revelation under Paul Clement. The centre back has improved tremendously, with his composure in defence key to the form of the Swans this calendar year. Defensive duties aside, his volley for the opening goal in the win over Leicester City really was something special. 2. Centre back: Eric Bailly (Manchester United) – Bailly is clearly Jose Mourinho’s trusted man in defence. The Ivorian was a rock at the back in United’s 2-0 win over Watford, frustrating the away side all afternoon in one of his finest performances for the club. Still only 22, excitement will have risen over his potential in Manchester. 11 9. Right attack: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – He’s back. Mane’s two-minute brace in the first half secured the three points over Spurs and their first win of 2017. The Senegal international made a laughing stock of Mauricio Pochettino’s defence, who simply failed to recover. His form will be crucial in lifting Liverpool in the Premier League table. 11 11 11 7. Midfield: Oriol Romeu (Southampton) – The work of Romeu, like many a solid holding midfielder, is quietly slipping under the radar. His partnership with Steven Davis was superb in the win over Sunderland, making it difficult for their opponents to create any opening on goal for Jermain Defoe. It’s getting more and more interesting in the Premier League.Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw with Burnley, but second-place Tottenham Hotspur failed to close the gap, falling to a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.Defending top flight champions Leicester City, meanwhile, suffered a fifth consecutive loss to further suggest they might soon have to begin preparations for life in the Championship.So who were the star performers of the weekend’s action?Scroll through the gallery above to check out talkSPORT’s Premier League team of the weekend. 1. Goalkeeper: Victor Valdes (Middlesbrough) – click the arrow above, right, to see our Premier League team of the weekend in full – With it looking to be one of the tightest relegation battles in Premier League history, Boro cannot afford to slip up and a point against an in-form Everton side was a good result for Aitor Karanka. Valdes made a number of crucial stops to keep it goalless at the Riverside. last_img read more

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‘Like swapping a Ferrari for a Nissan Micra!’ – Fans’ brutal verdict on rumour

first_img1 Everton midfielder Ross Barkley could be involved in a transfer tug of war in the summer.The talented attacking midfielder, 23, has shown steady improvement under the management of Ronald Koeman and now has four goals and seven assists in the Premier League this season.His current form has seen interest emerge from both Arsenal and Tottenham in recent days.But what do fans in north London have to say about the rumours? Check out the latest on Twitter below… Everton midfielder Ross Barkley last_img read more

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Southland wildfires force evacuations

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: Day Fire FILLMORE VEN, Calif. (AP) Gusty winds fanned a large wildfire burning Sunday in the Los Padres VEN National Forest, shutting down highways and prompting voluntary evacuations for residents in a cluster of small canyon communities.Meanwhile, two new wildfires burned through desert northwest of Palm Springs. One, in Banning, forced authorities to evacuate a nearby resort.The winds slowed enough Sunday afternoon to allow firefighters to renew air operations to help corral the blaze in the Los Padres VEN National Forest, which has scorched more than 125 square miles of Ventura VEN County since Labor Day.Low humidity and high winds caused firefighters to lose ground on the VENblaze, known as the Day Fire. After being 30 percent contained Saturday, it was only 15 percent contained Sunday.The winds have pushed the fire west toward canyons dotted with homes.It was within four miles of northwest Fillmore VEN a farming community of about 14,000 people 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Joe Pasinato. Mandatory evacuations were not issued.Pasinato said 345 homes in the area were threatened but not in imminent danger.The front edge of the fire was burning 10 miles east of Highway 33 about 10 miles northeast of Ojai VEN, said Sgt. Patti Salas of the Ventura VEN County Sheriff’s Department. The town is an artists’ enclave and weekend escape for the rich and famous.Portions of highways 150 and 33 were closed.Marsha Campiglio, 58, who lives in the small forest community of Matilija Canyon, northwest of Ojai VEN, said she had been “prepared to go at any time” since being contacted by officials at 6 a.m.“We’ve been putting stuff in the car all day, but we’ve been watching football too,” she said. “We’re nervously watchful … We have three cats and two of them look nervous. They’re sniffing the ash.”Winds out of the north and northwest were expected to reach up to 25 mph Sunday, with stronger gustsbelow in passes and canyons, according to the National Weather Service.A Red Flag warning was in place for the area through today, meaning high winds and low humidity will create extreme fire conditions.More than 1,700 firefighters were assigned to the blaze.Winds and thick smoke prevented air tankers and helicopters from flying Saturday. The winds remained a problem Sunday morning, preventing water-dropping activities.The fire, ignited nearly two weeks ago by someone burning debris, has remained largely in the Los Padres VEN National Forest on the border between Los Angeles and Ventura VEN counties.Meanwhile, two homes and two outbuildings were de- stroyed by a new wildfire Saturday night about 80 miles east of Los Angeles near the town of Cherry Valley in Riverside County, said Becky Luther of the California Department of Forestry.The fire had burned about 1,500 acres, or two square miles, after starting about 2:30 p.m. and was 50 percent contained Sunday, Luther said.About 220 firefighters were battling the blaze, which briefly threatened a mobile home park, she said.A third fire in Banning apparently started Sunday in a structure and has spread rapidly, consuming about 500 acres and forcing the evacuation of the Highland Springs Resort, authorities said. No buildings other than the source of the fire were damaged, said Capt. Steve Diaz of the state Department of Forestry.The Ranch fire is about eight miles from the Cherry Valley blaze and is burning out of control toward the town of Cherry Valley, Diaz said.Authorities had established an evacuation center at Banning High School, Diaz said. He did not know how many people had evacuated the resort or what caused the Ranch Fire.last_img read more

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