first_img Receive email alerts May 22, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Western Australia’s top officials threaten state’s leading newspaper November 19, 2020 Find out more Organisation Google experiments drop Australian media from search results Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today about attempts by the authorities in the state of Western Australia to blackmail the management of The West Australian newspaper. Attorney-general Jim McGinty threatened to withdraw state advertising and to not implement a proposed shield law protecting journalists’ sources unless editor Paul Armstrong is fired.”We condemn the Western Australia government’s threat to punish a newspaper that refuses to modify its editorial line,” the press freedom organisation said. “This blackmail is unworthy of a democracy. The threats made by the state’s attorney-general and premier require an apology. We express our support for Armstrong and the rest of The West Australian staff.”McGinty’s threats were made on 16 May, when he accused The West Australian of dishonesty and failing to respect journalistic ethics. Addressing the state parliament the next day, Western Australia premier Alan Carpenter personally threatened Armstrong, calling him “dishonest,” “immature” and a “problem for the state.”The newspaper’s chief executive rejected the attacks and reiterated his confidence in Armstrong. “Every government would prefer to have a compliant media which simply recycles the government’s version of events” he said. “However, that is not how The West Australian or any other credible media organisation operates.” The newspaper, which is the state’s only daily, is often critical of the government.The federal attorney-general recently announced that he would go ahead with a shield law protecting the confidentiality of sources.Australia is ranked 35th out of 168 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2006 World Press Freedom Index. RSF condemns Facebook’s blocking of journalistic content in Australia AustraliaAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Australia News January 21, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News News February 22, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en to go further News AustraliaAsia – Pacific On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabialast_img read more


first_img Previous Article Next Article Turbulent timesOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The effects of 11 September hit the airline business harder than most, andwhile the shock waves reverberate around the industry, the challenge for HRprofessionals is to keep their feet firmly on the ground, says Jane LewisIt is just as well the travel industry regards itself as one of the mostresilient in the economy, because it has certainly taken more than its fairshare of knocks in the past year. Old hands insist the current crisis is theworst the industry has faced since it was almost wiped out by the Opec oilshortages in the 1970s. “We’ve had the early-80s recession, the 1987 stockmarket crash, the Gulf War and Black Wednesday,” says British Midlandveteran boss Sir Michael Bishop. “But in terms of seismic shock, this isthe worst”. Within days of the terrorist strikes in September, the travel sector was inturmoil as shock waves began to reverberate across the industry. With bookingsplummeting by as much as 40 per cent, some companies took immediate and drasticaction. It is estimated that 200,000 jobs were axed in the airline industryworldwide during the autumn months – including more than 7,000 at BritishAirways and 1,200 at Virgin Atlantic, both of whose key transatlantic routeswere among the worst hit. The knock-on effect on the aviation supply industrieslooked equally worrying. By November more than 8,000 manufacturing jobs hadbeen cut and Boeing was threatening to slash up to 31,000 from its workforce. The UK holiday industry – parts of which had already been hit by thelong-running foot-and-mouth saga – was equally badly bitten. “We had a blindingly good year until 11 September, way aboveprojection,” says Richard Good, personnel manager at long-haul specialistKuoni Travel. “But then we took a massive hit, and lost about 51 per centof our business almost overnight. We’ve been going 30 years in the UK and havenever had to make redundancies before.” The firm is seeking to cut 10 per cent of its workforce. If everything worksout this year, he says, Kuoni may be able to claw back to the level it was atin 1996. Despite a constant spate of setbacks (the anthrax and shoe-bomber scares;and now warnings from the Government that too much exotic travel is proving badfor the nation’s health), the industry has somehow staggered into the New Yearbolstered by the belief that the worst may be over. The Taliban are defeatedand public confidence is improving: More than a million Britons took to theskies over Christmas – “firm evidence” says airport operator BAA,that “things are picking up”. As everyone in the industry enjoysreminding each other, recovery after the Gulf War kicked in pretty quickly oncehostilities ceased, even though bookings dipped by 60 per cent at the height ofthe crisis. But there is a very real worry that recovery this time around may beconsiderably longer in coming and a good deal more difficult to achieve than itwas 10 years ago. This is mainly because so many of the economic factors now threateningthe travel industry were already in place well before 11 September. With the USteetering on full-blown recession and prospects looking none to happy inEurope, who can say how long consumers in Britain will continue to hold theirnerve. Many economists believe the credit-fuelled spending spree the countryembarked on over Christmas could well prove ‘the last hoorah’. According to one industry source, reservations at the four top touroperators, Thomson, Airtours, First Choice and JMC – though certainly betterthan they were two months ago – are still down by a quarter on what they werethis time last year. All four have responded by slashing capacity this summerby 15 per cent, but the situation for many has been compounded by the risingcosts they face in the wake of 11 September – the charter airlines that many ofthem own are becoming more expensive to run because of higher insurancepremiums and new security measures. So pronounced is this long-term economic trend, it has been argued the eventsof 11 September provided a useful pretext for job cuts that were on the cardsanyway. This may be particularly true of the European airline industry which isstill dominated by a host of loss-making, state-subsidised national carriersthat have been ripe for consolidation for some time. Certainly the upheavalfollowing the terrorist attacks proved the final nail in the coffin for atleast two state monoliths – Belgium’s Sabena and Swissair – and there aregrowing fears about the futures at Aer Lingus, Greece’s Olympic Airways andAlitalia. To some extent “the runes were already cast”, says EasyJet head ofpeople and organisational development Chris Goscomb. Indeed, the continuingsuccess of low-cost carriers like EasyJet and its rival Ryanair throughout theautumn months seems to indicate that if people were nervous about flying, theyhave been able to quickly brush aside those fears as long as the price wasright. As Go CEO Barbara Cassani points out: “People umming and aahingabout whether or not to fly to Italy this weekend see eye-poppingly low faresand say ‘let’s do it’.” Whatever the underlying reasons for the shake-up in the travel industry, onething is clear: The past few months have proved more than usually challengingfor HR – and may well come to be seen as a test-bed for how well new theoriesabout people management in times of economic crisis hold up in real life. Even those who got off lightest claim the process of stemming panic andrefocusing minds in the aftermath of the attacks has been a nerve-wrackingprocess. “From an operations perspective we’ve learned a lot about how wecommunicate with people,” says Goscomb. The company majored oninformation: giving staff constant updates of “what was going on” and”what we were doing”, he says. Above all, he adds, “we focusedon security and the long-term aims of the business. Sticking to the knittingwas the most important thing”. Ryanair, meanwhile, tackled the situation head-on, galvanising staff withthe same gutsy, go-getting attitude it featured in its customer advertising.‘Let’s Fight Back!’ ran the slogan, next to a picture of General Kitchener (aninteresting choice for an Irish company). But the campaign seemed to do thetrick. “Morale at Ryanair,” says one company source “has never beenbetter.” Elsewhere in the industry, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The UKtour operators, in particular, have been hit hard by a bruising period ofuncertainty and retrenchment. “It’s fair to say that morale has beendifficult,” says Peter Constanti, interim HR director at JMC, part ofThomas Cook. “We’ve had to take some tough decisions.” You can saythat again. Things got so bloody at Thomas Cook in recent months (2,000 of thegroup’s 13,000 workforce have already been chopped), that even the company’sSouth African CEO, Alan Stewart, has taken to calling himself the ‘AfricanAxeman’. But in recent weeks, says Constanti, “there’s been a realabout-turn”, sparked by the belief that the consolidation programme”is well on its way to achieving its objectives”, even though thesewon’t be fully realised till the back end of 2002 at the earliest. The group’sremaining workforce have also been asked to take a 3 to 10 per cent pay cut. At least Thomas Cook’s top executives followed suit by taking substantialsalary reductions themselves – more than can be said for board members at rivalAirtours (shortly to be renamed MyTravel), who awarded themselves bonusestotalling £2m last year – in the same period that 2,800 staff, roughly 10 percent of the workforce, lost their jobs. The situation for many employers has been made easier by the long-term trendfor more flexible working contracts in the travel industry, says Richard Cox ofManpower. And there is certainly encouraging evidence to suggest that HRdirectors are also taking a more imaginative, less earth-shattering, approachto the process of retrenchment this time around. For once, it seems, lessonshave been learned. With the memory of the recent skills shortage fresh in theminds of many, the emphasis in some of the more enlightened operations has beenupon measured cutting with an eye to the future. Good employers are looking for solutions like shorter hours and careerbreaks, At BA, staff options put into practice in recent months include part-timeworking, job sharing and unpaid leave. Anything, in fact, that may help reducecosts without undoing the investment already made in the company’s workforce. Indeed, some of the more innovative HR compromises that have been struck inrecent weeks have been hailed by at least one trade association as “theway forward for the whole of British industry”. Typical, perhaps, was thewillingness of pilots at First Choice’s Air 2000 charter airline to save morethan 50 jobs by taking a temporary deferment of pay – in some cases evenagreeing to demotions. A similarly ground-breaking deal at airline manufacturer Airbus helped savethe jobs of 1000 aerospace workers just before Christmas. By voting to cut theworking week, employees will save the company up to £17m in costs as well assafeguarding its skills-base. The agreement, says Sir Ken Jackson, generalsecretary of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, “put jobsecurity and protecting the skills base and capacity at the top of the agenda”and showed what could be achieved when unions and management worked inpartnership. Others paid tribute to Airbus for “not panicking in the waysome companies have”. It is clear those companies that do make it through the crisis intact willemerge stronger for it. “It looks bleak at the moment,” says BenHall, spokesman for Virgin Atlantic. “But we will come through and we willbe strong afterwards.” However, as Constanti points out, the real test forthe holiday industry lies ahead. “The critical time for the industry isgoing to be January, February and March,” he says. “If you’re not outof the woods by the end of March, you’ll know you’re not out of thewoods.” Despite warnings from the Association of British Travel Agents that theeffects of the economic downturn on the industry could still be felt in 2005,the long-term prospects for the industry are sanguine, says David Thomas, CEOof the Careers Research and Advice Centre, because it is recognised that”travel and leisure are key elements of the modern economy”. The chief problem for HR in the meantime will be handling uncertainty. Butthat task, argue the experts, will undoubtedly be made easier by the industry’sconsiderable past experience in handling peaks and troughs. The sector istraditionally quick to react to economic cycles: it is often the first tosuffer and the first to recover. As such, many other sectors on the brink ofdownturn, would do well to study its form. “Travel is a permanentlymoveable feast,” says Constanti. “In this industry people are prettyresilient. It’s a fun industry: there’s general feeling of ‘let’s get back tothe enjoyment’.” Telecoms technology cashes inIf one sector’s crisis is another’s opportunity, thebeleaguered high-tech industry has been having a ball at the travel industry’sexpense. The crisis in business confidence that has affected the airlines sobadly has proved a boon to the battered telecoms firms peddling alternativemeans of communication – most notably, broadband video and teleconferencing.According to one expert, it could well prove the catalyst that puts thesetechnologies firmly on the daily business schedule in many companies.More than 33 per cent of major UK corporations have cut down onexecutive travel since 11 September, according to one survey, and most havereported a significant increase in their use of technology. A quarter aremaking more use of telephones and mobiles, a fifth have increased the use ofe-mail and 26 per cent have made further forays into teleconferencing to keepin touch with offices, customers, suppliers and prospects around the world.From the point of view of enlightened human resourcesmanagement, this would certainly be a welcome development if it succeeds inreducing the air-miles that some senior executives have been racking up inrecent years, says Cary Cooper, Bupa professor of organisational psychology atUMIST. Travelling time has seriously affected the work-life balance of manyinternational business travellers, he argues, leading to higher levels ofstress and problems with relationships both at home and at work. While no one is suggesting that business travel could ever beeliminated altogether – face-to-face contact will always play a pivotal rolewhen relationships are being established and deals hammered out – the uptake ofnew technologies offers the promise of change in existing businessrelationships. Eventually the idea of boarding a plane to settle a routinetransaction will seem as futile as it is wasteful. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


first_imgAs we near the finish line of the 2018 partner program, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what a phenomenal year it has been. When I stepped in to lead Global Channel, OEM & IoT just over a year ago, I spent my very first day in role at a Partner Advisory Board. I can vividly remember the enthusiasm that was in the room that day, for our collective futures and the opportunity in front of us. This was an opportunity to learn from dozens of strategic partners and get a true assessment of what was going well, and where I would need to place my efforts in the coming months. It was exciting, invigorating, energizing on that day, and remains just as much so today.In all the conversations I’ve had with partners this year, I’ve continued to be amazed by their commitment and active participation. We treat your feedback as a gift and it helps inform our priorities, raise the bar and leap beyond the status quo. Thanks to you, today we are better delivering on our promise to be Simple. Predictable. Profitable.™Simple.Your feedback shaped our #1 priority for the year: make it easier to do more business with Dell Technologies. Earlier this year we appointed Darren Sullivan to lead a team focused on transforming our partner tools and processes. We’ve made some big improvements: accelerating accurate quoting, getting you the best price faster, reducing exceptions and fast-tracking rebate and MDF payment. But we’re not done. This remains one of my top priorities and you’ll continue to see more improvements and results through 2019.We are also focused on making it easier for you to do more business across the full Dell Technologies’ family of brands. We recently kicked off a pilot of the Dell Technologies Partner Framework, helping us test and expand the program in the coming years. The goal is to offer you a fully operational Dell Technologies’ status and benefits, business execution, and centralized resourcing. This is the framework of the future – supporting your transformative selling motion.Predictable. You asked for more predictable engagement with the Dell core sales team, and we took that feedback to heart. This year we launched the Partner Preferred Program, designed to help you drive new business with more competitive discounts, a revenue true-up for our sales teams to mitigate friction, and most importantly, partner of record protection. Plus, we’ve updated our processes around Rules of Engagement, so Dell’s regional sales leaders and the channel leadership team have full visibility to enforce consistent guidelines. Going forward, we’re looking at new, predictable forms of account protection. Stay tuned for that in the new fiscal year.Profitable.Our storage portfolio was a key focus area and we’ve listened attentively to your feedback. We’ve concentrated efforts on making you more profitable with programs such as Partner Preferred, Competitive Swap and Tech Refresh.  We’ve simplified our portfolio positioning, launched proof of concept and Demo unit programs and introduced new products, like PowerMax, to address competitive threats. Thanks to your guidance and these new programs, the Dell Technologies channel is on fire. In Q3, storage order revenue was up 12% Y/Y, server revenue was up 38%, client revenue was up 13% Y/Y. Partners were rewarded lucratively for their successes, especially when they sold the full portfolio. In fact, partners who sold all three lines of business earned 8x the revenue as compared to partners selling two lines of business, and 21x the revenue as compared to partners who sold only one line of business.These highlights only scratch the surface of what partners have helped us accomplish this year. Your feedback also helped us win awards, create new Partner Technical Advisory Boards and become a more trusted partner. Not to mention, over the past year the Dell Technologies Global Channel has delivered $49 billion in orders.* We have you to thank for this incredible success.Looking towards Program Year 2019:All new beginnings hold infinite possibilities, and 2019 is no different. It’s the year of the data-driven digital ecosystem, when we’ll continue to unlock the power of data to deliver value to businesses in ways never imagined a few short years ago. 5G will come to life, edge computing will kick into high gear and Gen Z will enter the workforce with higher technical expectations and sophistication than any generation before. Through all this change, Dell Technologies will be by your side, helping you deliver transformational solutions and navigate unchartered territories. Together, we’ll help our customers reach new heights.In 2019, we will continue to work tirelessly to be seen as the best in your eyes. With your guidance and partnership, we’re raising the bar on what it means to be Simple. Predictable. Profitable.™As we close out the 2018 Program year, I have a few asks of you:Finish Q4 strong. Stay focused on new business, storage and services.View the Program Tracker to ensure you’ve met your desired tier’s revenue and training requirements.Register for the February 6th Dell EMC Partner Program broadcast, where we’ll announce the details of the 2019 program and initiativesRegister for Global Partner Summit, our biggest Dell EMC Partner event of the year.We have the partners, the portfolio, the plans and the determination to take a #GiantLeapForward. Let’s make 2019 our best year yet.*Based on trailing twelve months (TTM) order run rate as of Q3FY19last_img read more


first_imgTottenham boss Pochettino admits he’s ‘suffering’by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino admits he’s been “suffering” during their poor start to the season.Poch, 47, took Spurs to the Champions League final last season and is on the radar of both Manchester United and Real Madrid.But asked if Spurs can still match his ambition, he said: “I hope, yes. That is my wish.”“You can be frustrated and disappointed sometimes but the challenge is to get back to where we were.” He added: “In football, I have suffered only two big disappointments.“One, when I was a player and there was the penalty at the World Cup.“The second was in the Champions League final. I so much want to win a trophy with Tottenham.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission has ordered re-poll in three polling booths of Raiganj and one polling booth of Cooch Behar in North Bengal on April 29.According to the sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), re-poll would be conducted in booths 19 and 37 of Islampur and booth 191 of Goyalpukur under the Raiganj parliamentary constituency where elections were held on April 18. Repoll would also be held at booth 181 of Cooch Behar on April 29 along with the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections. Cooch Behar went to poll in the first phase of elections on April 11. It may be mentioned that various opposition parties including the BJP demanded re-poll in many other booths alleging that the polls were not conducted in a free and fair manner. After examining the situation, the Election Commission has, however, felt the need of conducting repoll in four polling booths in North Bengal. The state BJP leaders demanded repoll in many other polling stations of Raiganj and Cooch Behar citing violence. The CEO office sent a detailed report to the Election Commission of India. After being instructed by the ECI, the CEO office ordered repoll in the four polling booths that saw violence on the days of their respective elections. Meanwhile, the ECI has denied the demand of Trinamool Congress to replace BJP’s symbol on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency as they claimed that the symbols on the EVMs carry a mention of the party name — BJP right at the bottom of the symbols. On the basis of the complaint, the CEO office sought an opinion from the ECI in Delhi. After examining the symbol, the ECI has cleared it saying that there is no mention of BJP’s party name on the EVM along with the symbol as it was alleged by certain political parties. The ECI has also issued the necessary instructions to the CEO office in this regard. The ECI observed that what the other political parties including the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state are referring to as a mention of the BJP’s party name on EVM in Barrackpore is not so and hence there is no question of replacing the symbol.last_img read more


first_imgOne of India’s most-read authors, Ruskin Bond has said that he tries to strike a positive note when writing for children and feels a certain responsibility as an author. The Landour-based writer, when asked what he felt about his vast readership, said that since he writes so much for young readers, he tries to strike a positive chord. “For adults, it doesn’t matter, you can strike a negative note, because by the time they’ve grown up, they lose their innocence,” the 84-year-old Padma Bhushan recipient said at an event. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSharing nuggets from his own childhood, the author of ‘The Blue Umbrella’ (also cinematically adapted by the same name), said that he shares a deep connection with the hills. “I belong to the hills. Surroundings change, the place changes a bit, but my relationship remains more or less the same, my feelings for the hills and for the people of the hills,” the author said. “It goes back 50 years or more. I don’t like to see too much change, in the sense that I don’t like too much building, but it’s inevitable,” he further added. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardNow, in an upcoming compilation of 14 holiday stories for children – ‘The Puffin Book Of Holiday Stories’ – Bond’s young readers will be treated to one of his another literary gems. His latest children’s story is published in the just-launched fun anthology of adventure, humour, ghosts, mysteries, friends, mangoes, family dramas and little boys and girls. If the list of authors is nothing short of illustrious – Rabindranath Tagore, Sudha Murty, Paro Anand, Khyrunnisa A, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Nandini Nayar, Prashant Pinge, Himanjali Sankar, Nayanika Mahtani, Shabnam Minwalla, Manjula Padmanbhan – the children’s book comes with an introduction by Bond. “In India, not enough importance is given to writing for children. And what could be more important than the enrichment of young minds with great literature? “This is when we discover ourselves, our own potential, and, more often than not, we’ll do it through what we read and write,” reads his short introduction to the paperback. Advising his young friends to take a bag full of books wherever they go, he said: “Holidays can become tedious without something to read.”last_img read more


first_imgWashington — The United States Saturday called on Egypt to fully implement the rights guaranteed under its newly approved constitution.Egyptian voters approved the constitution by more than 98 percent in a referendum result that the government hailed as a popular endorsement of the army’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.US Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned in a statement, however, that “it’s not one vote that determines a democracy.” He added “it’s what comes next that will shape Egypt’s political, economic and social framework for generations.“As Egypt’s transition proceeds, the United States urges the interim Egyptian government to fully implement those rights and freedoms that are guaranteed in the new constitution for the benefit of the Egyptian people, and to take steps towards reconciliation,” he said.“The brave Egyptians who stood vigil in Tahrir Square did not risk their lives in a revolution to see its historic potential squandered in the transition,” Kerry said, adding that Egyptian leaders must “make difficult compromises and seek a broad consensus on many divisive issues.”last_img read more


In the wake of American Pharoah’s stunning wire-to-wire Triple Crown-clinching victory at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, I compared him to Secretariat, finding that — despite having one of the finest Triple Crown campaigns ever — American Pharoah still likely would have finished the Belmont well behind his great-great-great-grandfather. Some readers seem to think this was a cheap shot at the slump-busting champion, although you’d think being called second-best to a mutant horse sent from the future would be considered high praise.Secretariat’s 2:24 Belmont time is safe; no other horse has run under 2:26 (even that is about 10 lengths behind Secretariat). Oh, and he still owns the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes records by two to three lengths each. It has been over four decades, and great horses still can’t come close.But what do we make of this? How is it that even the best horse this era has to offer — with a stride so smooth that it borders on poetic — would still finish 13 lengths behind Big Red?Clearly, it’s that Secretariat is overrated.OK, exhale. I’m not trolling you. I’m just being extremely nitty about the marginal shades of “really, really great.” By “overrated,” I certainly don’t mean to imply that Secretariat isn’t the best 3-year-old American racehorse in history — he is. Or that his Belmont run wasn’t one of the most dazzling moments in sports history (I practically sleep with this footage of it under my pillow). I mean simply that one of the key selling points of his unfathomable greatness is slightly undermined by its broader context. Specifically, that his records — did I mention it has been over 40 years? — have lasted so long in part because the quality of thoroughbred racing has plateaued and perhaps even weakened.To illustrate, I’ve charted all the winning times for Triple Crown races at Pimlico, Churchill Downs and Belmont Park (excluding races that were held at alternative venues) over 9.5, 10 or 12 furlongs (the current distances of the Preakness, Derby and Belmont, respectively).1These distances have been paired with these races since 1926. Each race changed its distance at various points before that (for example, the Derby was 12 furlongs from 1875 to 1895). I’ve marked the trend for the winning times for each distance as of Secretariat’s Triple Crown in 1973 (dashed line) and record progression for each distance (solid line). Winning times for all three distances improved fairly steadily through 1973 but have been trending slightly slower since then:It’s as if God saw the perfect race and thought, “OK, I’m done with horses.”Again, for purposes of parsing different shades of awesome, note that in 1973, for all the drama, Secretariat’s records were pretty garden-variety awesome. That is, they weren’t really far off from where we’d expect the progression of records to have led. Indeed, the gap between his record times and the linear (pre-plateau) trend for winning times was reasonably narrow.Which is to say, Secretariat was no Bob Beamon. Beamon’s 1968 long jump in Mexico City beat the previous long jump record by 0.55 meters — which still accounts for 41 percent of the improvement seen in that event’s entire recorded history (and Beamon’s record still stood for only 22 years). Secretariat’s records have stood for this long not because they were so absurd at the time that we have yet to catch up, but because we stopped catching up.For watchers of human sports, this can be hard to interpret. We’re used to top human athletes getting better and better. This is somewhat concealed in competitive and team sports in which opponents’ skill levels offset each other (making millions of bar arguments over the “Greatest of All Time” more interesting). But evidence of athletic progress is laid bare in virtually any discipline that has objective measures, like speed. Here’s a similar chart for men’s 100-meter to 800-meter race winning times at the Olympics:Only Michael Johnson’s 400-meter Olympic record has been around since before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The single longest standing world record in any IAAF track-and-field event dates back only to 1983. For some athletic disciplines, the constant improvement over time has been so consistent as to be almost creepy.As to why horse racing hasn’t improved the way human racing has, this old FiveThirtyEight article has a good roundup of speculation — including small population size and lack of genetic diversity. The elite genes in the racing gene pool may be drifting overseas, and, in general, thoroughbred racing’s center of gravity may be shifting.All of that serves as a reminder that although we often celebrate horses as athletes, the sport of horse racing isn’t really comparable to human athletics. If it were, a superhorse as super as American Pharoah would be rewriting the record books. read more


LOS ANGELES – It only took an exceptionally bad basketball half to end an 11-game winning streak and Ohio State’s season. With its dreams of returning to the Final Four left to fester in the Los Angeles sun, the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes watched their NCAA Tournament run collapse as Wichita State toppled them, 70-66, at the Staples Center Saturday evening. The No. 9-seeded Shockers jumped OSU early, laying the foundation for a 20-point lead that would force coach Thad Matta’s squad to play from behind for nearly 34 of 40 minutes of play. In a dizzyingly woeful outing, OSU shot 31 percent and, more miserably, connected on just 5 of 25 tries from 3-point range in its first loss since Feb. 17. “I thought we had some pretty good looks – they just weren’t going down for us,” Matta said in a somber Buckeye locker room following the game. “It’s been a great season for this basketball team. It never ends the way you want it to, but I love the fact of what this team was able to accomplish in terms of sitting at 18-7 (on Feb. 17) and finishing 29-8. They hit their stride at the right time.” But against Wichita State, OSU finally stumbled. Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 23 points but struggled mightily to do so. The junior forward made just eight of 20 attempts in addition to missing all six of his shots from behind the arc. Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross added 19 points, but he too found a well-glued Wichita State defense to be problematic. So did the rest of OSU. “Those are shots you have to make – that we’ve been making in this tournament, that we’ve been making in the Big Ten. Guys had good looks,” Matta said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t go down. And a lot of times that becomes contagious. A guy hits one, another guy hits one, things kind of pick for you. It just didn’t happen tonight.” In a first-half performance worthy of elimination, the Buckeyes clanked and clunked their way to 24 percent shooting and found themselves down by as many as 13. Namely, Thomas, a beacon of scoring consistency for OSU, found it difficult to connect on much of anything early. The Big Ten’s leading scorer mustered nine points on 4 of 13 shooting and 0 for 5 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes. “(It was) very frustrating, very, very frustrating,” Thomas said. “And, you know, it’s just crazy.” The recent development of scoring accomplices like Ross and junior guard Aaron Craft were missing, too. The two combined for seven points on 2 of 11 shooting in the game’s first act. Also nowhere to be found was the swagger that often comes with a team playing for a chance at venturing back to college basketball’s mecca. On the boards, the Buckeyes (29-8) were outmuscled, 27-17, in the first. Any attempt to puncture the Shockers’ interior defense, headed by senior forward Carl Hall, who finished with six blocks, was rendered futile. Admittedly, OSU players have said they’re at their best when playing in transition. But against Wichita State (30-8), such movement was non-existent in the first period as the Buckeyes failed to score a single point off fast breaks. “The funny thing about it, I looked at the box scores, we didn’t have no fast break points,” Thomas said. “You ain’t got no fast break points, you can’t (get them to turn the ball over) and you’re shooting 24 percent. It’s hard to win in the Elite 8.” They went into the half down, 35-22. Matta said his message in the locker room during intermission was simple. “We talked about it at halftime, let’s just cut (the lead) under 10 in the first four minutes,” he said. “We got off to a not-so-good start in the second half and it got kind of deep.” Deep as in the worst deficit OSU had faced since its lost to Wisconsin in Madison more than a month earlier. The shooting woes continued. So did the inability to attack the basket and – perhaps more importantly – defend its own. Time and again, Wichita State gashed OSU’s interior defense for the type of layups you might see during shootaround before the game. On the other end, Hall defended the rim and refused the advances of Craft, among others. “They played Big Ten defense, that’s what you see in the Big Ten,” Matta said. “It’s a loaded box and what you have to do is be able to knock a couple shots down and get some points in transition. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do either today.” Thomas said the Shockers’ defense reminded him of a particular conference foe. “They packed it real well. They was physical. That was a physical team. They reminded me of a Michigan State a little bit in the Big Ten. They was physical, they had shot blockers. They packed it in, they dared us to shoot the 3,” he said. For most of the contest, it worked. But Behind Ross and Thomas, though, the Buckeyes would rally and cut the hole to eight points with 3:55 to play. “We was down like that against Michigan State in the first half, like 12 or 13 points. When we dug ourselves (in a hole), we came back. And we tried to do that this game,” Thomas said. While the momentum continued and brought fans clad in scarlet and gray to their feet, it would ultimately come to a halt against a Shockers squad that remained posed down the stretch. Sophomore forward Shannon Scott hit a pair of free throws to make it 62-59 with 2:49 remaining, but Wichita State sophomore guard Tekele Cotton answered with a gut-punch 3-pointer to again extend the Shockers’ lead. After a layup by Thomas on the ensuing possession, Shockers freshman guard Fred VanVleet’s jumper would make it 67-61 with a minute to play. While the Buckeyes heaved desperate shots in the game’s final 60 seconds, it was ultimately too little, too late against a Wichita State squad on the cusp of reaching its first Final Four since 1965. In his last game, OSU senior forward Evan Ravenel said had his team put the pieces together Saturday, it might’ve been a different story. “If we played a complete game of basketball today,” he said, “we would definitely would be going out to Atlanta.” Instead, the Buckeyes will travel about 2,250 miles back to Columbus. read more


first_imgTottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists Moussa Sissoko is now a hero of the fans after previously facing jeers from the Spurs faithful.The Frenchman joined Tottenham from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016 after a string impressive performances at the UEFA European Championship in France, where he helped the host to a runner-up finish.However, having shown constant improvement over the last 12 months at Spurs. Sissoko, who was previously considered a disappointing £30million signing in his first 18 months there is now playing regularly and impressing.“Things are now the opposite and he is a hero of the fans,” said Pochettino, according to BelfastTelegraph. Victor Wanyama, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier LeaguePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“In football you must always show respect because sometimes different players need a different amount of time to produce performances in the way that you want.”“I am so happy for Moussa because he deserves the love he is getting from fans and his team-mates. He is a massive guy but he is so big-hearted and so nice.”Spurs and Sissoko will be both come up against high-flying Chelsea when the Premier League resumes after the international break on November 24 at the Wembley Stadium.last_img read more