Two USC centers, senior James Blasczyk and junior Dewayne Dedmon, have been suspended indefinitely from all team activities for violating a team rule, USC interim head coach Bob Cantu announced Monday in a written statement.Shorthanded · Junior center Dewayne Dedmon (left) and senior center James Blasczyk will be absent from all team activity as the rest of the team prepares to begin play at the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanThe announcement came after local media outlet KREM.com reported that Spokane police were investigating a brawl in downtown Spokane, Wash., early Sunday morning that witnesses said might have involved USC basketball players.Blasczyk and Dedmon are rumored to be the two USC players involved in the incident, which police responded to around 2 a.m. Sunday morning. USC has not confirmed any link between the incident in Spokane and the suspensions. It is not yet determined if other USC basketball players were present at the scene of the fight, which sent four people to the hospital. One person reportedly suffered a broken nose, while another sustained a broken jaw. The team was spending Saturday night in Spokane after losing 76-51 at Washington State that afternoon.“Detectives are in the preliminary stages of their investigation and are still gathering facts and conducting witness interviews,” said Spokane police in a statement. The city’s police department also reported that two Spokane residents have been arrested in association with the weekend incidents, and that updates are not expected to be released Monday.Cantu addressed the status of the incident in a statement today, saying, “Separately, we are aware of the Spokane investigation into an alleged incident involving those players and we are cooperating with the authorities to determine the facts. Until we learn all the facts, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”The duration of the suspensions remains unknown, but Cantu insisted that both Blasczyk and Dedmon would not play on Wednesday in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament.“They will miss the first game for sure on Wednesday,” Cantu said. “[Beyond Wednesday], possibly. They’re suspended indefinitely, and anything could happen, for sure.”The 7-foot Dedmon has started in 29 of USC’s 31 games this season, leading the Trojans with 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. Dedmon is also averaging 6.7 points per game on 50 percent shooting, and had a season-high 18 points in the Trojans’ loss to Washington on Wednesday before being limited to four points on Saturday.The 7-foot-1 Blasczyk has played in 21 games this year as USC’s third center. He was averaging 1.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game. The senior played four minutes against Washington State, missing two shots and picking up a foul.“They understand. They were cooperative and they were great,” Cantu said. “We just had a great practice with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. It’s time to move forward and see what we can do about winning on Wednesday.”USC practiced at the Galen Center on Monday and will be in Las Vegas on Tuesday before taking on Utah on Wednesday. USC defeated the Utes 76-59 in their only meeting this season, which turned out to be former head coach Kevin O’Neill’s final game before being fired.With the pair unavailable for Wednesday, 7-foot-2 junior center Omar Oraby and 6-foot-6 senior forward Aaron Fuller are likely to receive the increase in minutes during the Pac-12 Tournament. Averaging just 5.3 minutes this season, 6-foot-9 senior forward Renaldo Woolridge could also see additional time to fill a potential lack of size Dedmon and Blasczyk’s absence.“The luxury you have is that you can go small and you can play Renaldo or [junior forward] Ari Stewart at the four spot,” Cantu said. “All in all, with Omar, it’ll be a good opportunity for him to play more minutes. The thing he has to do is not get into foul trouble early, and he’s got to keep his wind and not get tired.”USC players were unavailable for comment after Monday’s practice, but Cantu was confident his team would remain focused in preparation for Wednesday’s game.“The message is, ‘let’s move forward and let’s win.’ This is the game plan for Utah, this is what we need to do,” Cantu said. “I was actually very impressed with the enthusiasm we just had at practice. Guys were very enthusiastic, very focused and looked like they’re ready to play.”
King Edward VIII is one of the hospitals to be revamped. (Image: African View)As part of South Africa’s revamped approach to healthcare, the country is set to spend more on upgrading its five largest public hospitals than it did on building stadiums for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.The national Department of Health is currently planning projects to improve infrastructure at King Edward VIII in Durban, Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in the Eastern Cape, Chris Hani Baragwanath and George Mukhari in Gauteng and Limpopo Academic Hospital.The total cost of the five projects is estimated to be “much more than that of building of stadia,” health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement after a meeting with those involved in the project at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital on 27 September.Describing the investment as “massive”, Motsoaledi said: “The situation in infrastructure budgeting is as if we have 10 countries in one.”Task teams have been set up to plan the revamping projects, with the department using lessons drawn from the construction and renovation of 10 stadiums for the World Cup. “We need to discard what has not worked and cherish what has worked,” Motsoaledi said.Funding for the projectsFinance minister Pravin Gordhan announced the renovation plans in the 2010/2011 national budget speech in May. Moussad Shaker, an engineer involved in the planning process, said R7.6-billion (US$1.1-billion) has been budgeted for public hospital upgrades this financial year alone. For the World Cup, the government invested R8.4 billion ($2-billion) in stadium projects.The Development Bank of South Africa is to help fund the projects.The billion-rand projects will fast-track infrastructure development in public health, the health department said.“To revitalise public hospitals would take us up to 10 years at the least,” said Shaker.All five hospitals are key to the poorer townships and rural areas, where they provide referral services; that is the main reason they are being prioritised.Part of the reason the upgrades were necessary was that no infrastructure maintenance had been done on the hospitals. Motsoaledi said that in the new project, engineers will be appointed for management, not just for construction work.Preparing for NHIThe projects are part of preparations for the National Health Insurance (NHI) that the government plans to introduce by 2012. The NHI will secure medical insurance for all South Africans, ensuring that even the poor have access to private healthcare facilities.“During the development of the 10-point programme we identified the acceleration of infrastructure development as one of the key pillars for health transformation as well as in preparation for the implementation of the National Health Insurance,” Motsoaledi said.
Safety in mines is a big issue in South Africa, and robots produced by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research present the perfect solution. Its Mobile Intelligence Autonomous Systems group created and tested robots that can monitor the safety of mines after blasting.For more on the Mining Indaba, check out:Iron lady of manganese takes on mining’s big boysSouth Africa’s message at the 2017 Mining IndabaFollow #MiningIndaba and #CompetitiveSA on TwitterClick to enlarge image:
The captain of Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning team — Diego Maradona — was on Tuesday sacked as the coach of United Arab Emirates football club Al Wasl.The 51-year-old, who had signed a two-year contract with the Dubai-based club in May 2011, was dismissed after a board meeting.The legendary Argentine’s position had been in doubt since June, when the club’s entire board resigned following a trophy-less season.He joined Al Wasl following his firing as the national coach of Argentina. Before becoming coach of his home country in 2008, he coached Argentine first-division clubs Deportivo Mandiyu in 1994 and Racing Club in 1995.With Agency inputs
The odds she battled only toughened her and catapulted her to greater heights. Ankita Das is 18 but left the national stalwarts like Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das behind in making the cut for the London Olympics.In 2010, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) had identified two young players from India for a scholarship programme to prepare them for the 2016 Olympics. They were Ankita and Sauymajit Ghosh, the other paddler from India to have qualified for the Olympics. While Saumyajit honed his skills at the famous Peter Karlsson academy in Sweden, Ankita could not go for the long overseas training due to family constraints.That, though, did not crush the spirits of the teenager and she put all her energy at the academy in her hometown Siliguri, run by former national champion Mantu Ghosh. “I was feeling very down for not being able to train in Sweden. My coach ( Mantu) supported me and said you can learn everything even at home if you are willing to work hard. I took it in my stride and doubled my effort,” said Ankita.Ankita’s graph has risen steadily since her cadet days. She has been the national champion cutting across all age groups and won gold at the World Cadet Championship in 2007. But the big break came when she made it to the quarterfinals of the Junior World Championship last year as an unseeded player, upsetting some big names. She lost a close battle to world No. 10 China’s Ruochen Gu.”That tournament instilled a lot of confidence in me and I thought that I can also make it big,” said Ankita.advertisementThough Ankita has never competed at the international events like the Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games, she is not overawed by the grand stage. “It cannot get bigger than the Olympics. It feels great to have got my first big break in the Olympics. Of course there will be pressure on us, but as my coach says you can be a good player only if you are able to play with an amount of pressure. I know medal will be tough, but I want to leave a mark so that I can look back at my performance with pride.”Ankita became the part of the Indian team for the South Asian qualifiers after beating veteran Mouma Das in the Olympic trials. K Shamini and Poulomi Ghatak were the top two paddlers from the country at the Hong Kong event, but Ankita walked away with the honours.After finishing third in her pool, she was pitted against an experienced Shamini, a clash that was to eventually decide the Olympic berth. “I was tensed. I had beaten Shamini before, but she had a better record against me. I called Mantu di (coach) and she calmed me down and asked me to play my natural game. When I beat Shamini, I was in a state of shock for a few minutes. I stood near the table in disbelief before the coach shook me from the trance,” said Ankita.What waited for her on reaching Siliguri was unthinkable. “It was crazy. A huge crowd had gathered. Saumyajit and I were taken in a procession.”
The four-time league MVP was frustrated at times with Phoenix’s defense and his team’s inability to hang with the NBA’s worst team.But, as he has so many times, James tried to lead the Lakers back.With Los Angeles trailing by 14 with 6:06 left, James scored on a three-point play, hit a 3-pointer and kicked out to Brandon Ingram for a corner 3 on the break. He followed with a dunk off a baseline drive to get the Lakers within 112-109.Los Angeles got no closer, losing a game it couldn’t afford to lose while fighting for a playoff spot.“We needed this game for obvious reasons,” said James, who had 27 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds. “It is just unfortunate with the opportunities we’ve had that we haven’t been able to seize the opportunity.”ADVERTISEMENT Ayton had 26 points, 10 rebounds and primary defensive duties against James, helping the Suns hold off the Los Angeles Lakers 118-109 Saturday night.“That was a fun game,” Ayton said. “I’m going to sleep well tonight.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesPhoenix lost the first three games this season against Los Angeles by double digits, but had the Lakers a bit discombobulated through three quarters in the season series finale.The Suns’ defense on James, led by Ayton, helped. Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem LATEST STORIES UFC 235: Kamaru Usman wins welterweight belt, Ben Askren chokes out Robbie Lawler in debut PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr., left, dives for a loose ball in front of Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns took a unique approach to guarding LeBron James, putting 7-foot-1 center Deandre Ayton on him.James got his numbers, but the Suns frustrated the Lakers’ star and were able to push back when he tried to lead a late charge.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end The Suns appeared as if they would wilt down the stretch, as they had done so many times.Instead, Phoenix shut down the Lakers and made six free throws in the final 52 seconds to win for the second time in three games following a 17-game losing streak.Devin Booker added 25 points for the Suns.“We showed we can close games, execute in crunch time, having enough discipline,” Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said. “They we were coming hard at us.”Both teams were in the second game of a back-to-back.The Lakers lost 131-120 to Milwaukee after the Bucks closed the game on a 15-2 run.The Suns followed their first win in six weeks with a 130-116 loss to New Orleans, allowing the Pelicans to hit 16 3-pointers and shoot 67 percent in the second half.The Lakers won the last meeting against Phoenix 116-102, despite playing without James, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.The Suns got off to a much better start in the season series finale against the Lakers, leading by 10 and making 13 of 19 shots in the first quarter.Phoenix stretched the lead to 14 early in the second quarter, but Los Angeles used a late run to pull within 66-59 by halftime. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Suns: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Suns continued to frustrate James and the Lakers in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 95-78 behind Booker’s 12 points.Midway through the fourth quarter, James led a push, but the Suns shoved back.“We need to be better. We need to be a lot better,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “I am happy with the fight we showed in the fourth quarter, but where we are at in the season, that is the desperation that we need to start the game with.”MCGEE’S LIFTLooking for a lift after Ayton dominated early, Walton turned to 7-footer JaVale McGee. He responded by hitting all 10 of his shots while scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds.TIP-INSLakers: Ball missed his 16th straight game with a bone bruise and sprained left ankle suffered in a collision with Houston’s James Harden on Jan. 19. … James passed Kobe Bryant (11,719) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time field goals list. He made 10 against the Suns, giving him 11,726. … G Lance Stephenson missed his second straight game with a left foot sprain. … G Rajon Rondo had four assists and passed Deron Williams (6,819) for 20th on the NBA’s all-time assists list.Suns: Phoenix had a rough night from the 3-point arc, going 6 for 26, but made 66 percent of their two-point shots. … The Suns are 1-9 on the second game of a back-to-back. … Phoenix made 34 of 40 free throws, both season highs.UP NEXTThe Lakers: Host the Clippers on Monday. MOST READ View comments
FREDERICTON – Flood forecasters in New Brunswick are using new technology to track snow loads and ice movement, hoping more information leads to less damage.Jasmin Boisvert, a water services specialist with the Department of Environment and Local Government, says officials will be testing a new flow forecast model that the province has been developing with the National Research Council and the University of Waterloo.He says they’ve also upgraded their flood early warning system and are sharing the information with partners like NB Power to help better manage operation of dams on the rivers.Greg Carroll, an operations superintendent with NB Power, says they’re even putting GPS devices in barrels on the ice to help alert when the ice starts moving.The annual River Watch gets underway next week and Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, says the potential for flooding will be determined by the amount of rain and ice jams that occur.Officials say the amount of snow on the ground in northern New Brunswick is about normal, but has twice the water content as last year.
OTTAWA – A Liberal MP is under fire for presenting a “certificate of appreciation” to a man one Jewish advocacy group labels a purveyor of anti-Semitism.B’nai Brith Canada has started a petition demanding that Mississauga-Erin Mills MP Iqra Khalid apologize and rescind the federal certificate she presented last week to Amin El-Maoued, the public relations chief of Palestine House.The Jewish group accuses El-Maoued of leading a July 2017 rally “laden with hate-filled and anti-Semitic slogans,” including chants of “Israel and Hitler are the same.”Palestine House, which describes itself as “an educational, social and cultural centre of the Palestinian-Canadian Community,” lost all federal funding in 2012. The Conservative government at the time cited what it called a “pattern of support for extremism.”The B’nai Brith Canada petition asserts that “anti-Semites, racists and bigots of all sorts do not merit recognition from the Canadian government or its elected officials.”It demands that Khalid, who could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday, rescind the certificate and apologize to Canadians for what it calls her “insensitive and dangerous actions.”B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn made the same demand Tuesday in a letter to Khalid, to which the group says the MP has not responded.“It is not only disappointing, but frightening that you would see fit to reward his dalliances with anti-Semitic discourse and incitement, while simultaneously ostensibly working to eliminate all forms of discrimination in Canada,” Mostyn wrote.“There is simply no reconciling these two worlds. Presenting El-Maoued with official recognition on behalf of the Canadian government both sanitizes and normalizes the anti-Semitic rhetoric and attitudes that he has purveyed and facilitated.”Khalid received hate mail and death threats last year after initiating a motion calling on the House of Commons to condemn Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination. Conservatives and other critics argued that the non-binding motion would limit free speech.Khalid was criticized last April for giving El-Maoued another award on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at an event that featured a Palestinian archbishop who had purportedly defended terrorists and suicide bombings.
Wrestling Coach Tom Ryan announced redshirt junior Nick Heflin, redshirt senior C.J. Magrum, redshirt junior Ian Paddock and redshirt sophomore Logan Stieber as the 2012-2013 team captains on Thursday. “Our team members voted for captains and I am proud of who they chose and why they chose them,” Ryan said in a press release. “Logan, Cody, Ian and Nick are all very special men on and off the mat. We all look forward to them leading the Buckeyes in the 2012-13 season.” Helfin was a team captain during last season, finished second in the 174 pounds weight class at the 2011 Big Ten Championships, fifth at the 2012 NCAA championships and was named a 2012 All-American. His career record as a Buckeye is 51-19. Magrum is a 184-pounder and retaining his captain role for the third season in a row. He has a 67-39 career record and has qualified for the NCAA Championships three times. Last season, Magrum finished eighth at the Big Ten championshps but did not compete at the NCAA championships because of injuries. During the 2010-2011 season Paddock was a captain but was redshirted last year. While at OSU the 141-pounder has qualified for the NCAA Championships twice and complied a 42-24 career record. Stieber received the All-Big Ten, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and InterMat Freshman of the Year after winning 2011-2012 Big Ten and NCAA Championship at 133 pounds. He was a three-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week and holds a career record is 38-5. Also, Stieber competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials last spring. The Buckeyes wrestling team voted for their captains and will start the season Sunday at the UB Invitational in Buffalo, N.Y.