Sunday, 13 June 2021

Items filtered by date: June 2019

The Chelsea loanee was the standout player in a Africa Cup of Nations game where the defences were on top in Alexandria

As a game, Wednesday’s meeting between Nigeria and Guinea was important without being memorable.

For the Super Eagles, the slim 1-0 victory qualified them for the Africa Cup of NationsRound of 16, the first team in the competition to do so. It also stretched to six a winning Afcon run going back six years and three editions ago. Back then, it seemed ludicrous, as Nigeria held the trophy aloft, that it would be their last appearance for over half a decade.

So, while it certainly was full of implication, the actual game itself was sorely lacking in proper quality. There was some excitement, most notably in the opening 25 minutes when both teams huffed and puffed at each other but their rearguards stood firm.

First frenetic, the game settled into a drab spectacle that occasionally threatened to spark into life. It never did, however, and some of that was to do with the defences on display.

It may be cliche to speak on the defence in the wake of a low-scoring match, but here they were on top: Nancy’s Ernest Seka absolutely dominated Odion Ighalo, the slayer of Burundi reduced to scraps and running up against a brick wall. When the Shanghai Shenhua frontman did manage to break free, he then elected to shoot from a tight angle rather than play a square pass to an unmarked Ahmed Musa, perhaps addled by his long captivity.

Moses Simon began brightly, but by the end even he was an auxiliary winger, first by the coercion of Issiaga Sylla, and then by the persuasion of Gernot Rohr to secure the result. Musa endured an anonymous afternoon, although that was less to do with Mikael Dyrestam’s efforts than his own one-dimensional movement all game long.

At the other end, the Nigerian defenders had the upper hand as well.

In a narrow full-back role, Chidozie Awaziem made light work of Francois Kamano’s attempts to get by him and was always perfectly positioned, never needing to overly exert himself. Ola Aina did no moonlighting as a silky creator this time, but is such a thoroughbred athlete that Ibrahima Traore spent large swathes of the game playing inside his own half.

Sory Kaba, up against an unapologetic defence, wilted in the afternoon sun; Kenneth Omeruo engaged, while Leon Balogun picked off what came through the cracks.

The eternal Chelsea loanee was the game’s best player, almost unbeatable on the ground or in the air, capable in all the ways that he has not always been.

It is remarkable to think that, having been considered a third wheel leading up to the Afcon, he has now played every minute of both matches. With Balogun back fully fit, it was instead William Troost-Ekong who made way; the first time the Udinese man has missed a competitive game for Nigeria (unrelated to injury) since March 2016.

It was a decision that lent itself to the most assured defensive performance in recent times, and perhaps for the first time offered a full glimpse of what Gernot Rohr’s vision is: efficiency.

Article continues below

That too may be cliche when talking about a German, and perhaps efficiency may not enough to go all the way.

However, it certainly has proven enough so far, and with Rohr it really is all about taking it one game at a time.

Now, there’s another cliche for you…

Published in News & Stories

Manchester United have pulled out of the running to sign Leicester and England defender Harry Maguire after being told the 26-year-old will cost £100m. (Mirror)

Nice boss Patrick Vieira, 43, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, 39, and Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta, 37, are all on Newcastle’s shortlist to replace Rafa Benitez. (Telegraph)

Spaniard Arteta has been backed to take on the Manchester City manager’s role when Pep Guardiola leaves the club. (Evening Standard)

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is also on Newcastle’s radar but the Magpies would have to pay the Clarets a £10m compensation fee. (Daily Mail)

Manchester United will meet with the agent of Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, 24, to try and secure his £70m move from Sporting Lisbon. (O Jogo, via Talksport)

Juventus have asked Adidas for financial help in a bid to sign Manchester Unitedand France midfielder Paul Pogba, 26. (Corriere dello Sport – in Italian)

Manchester City are in talks with Juventus over the signing of 25-year-old Portugal right-back Joao Cancelo. (Tuttomercato, via Star)

Arsenal and Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira, 23, says AC Milan have not made contact with him over a possible return to Serie A. (Talksport)

Bayern Munich have held talks with Paris St-Germain and France striker Ousmane Dembele’s agent over a move for the 22-year-old. (Mirror)

Netherlands Under-19 defender Sepp van den Berg, 17, is set to join Liverpool from PEC Zwolle. (Evening Standard)

Huddersfield Town’s English defender Tommy Smith, 27, is wanted by Championship rivals Stoke City and Scottish champions Celtic. (Huddersfield Examiner)

Reading are interested in signing Brazilian winger Wenderson Galeno, 21, on loan from Porto.(Futebol365)

Derby County chairman Mel Morris has described reports linking Rangers boss Steven Gerrard to the Rams as “absolute rubbish”. Derby manager Frank Lampard has been given permission to speak to Chelsea. (Derby Telegraph)

League One Coventry City have launched an investigation into the conduct of their Sandwell-born defender Jak Hickman, 20, while on holiday. (Coventry Telegraph)

Charlton Athletic’s London-born winger Tariqe Fosu, 23, has agreed to join League One Oxford United. (South London Press)

Former Wolves striker Liam McAlinden has joined League Two Walsall for pre-season training. The 25-year-old English forward was at League Two Cheltenham last season. (Express & Star)

Published in Sports

Bitcoin has enjoyed one heck of a roller coaster ride over the last few years. Known as an investment tool as well as a favorite coin of criminals, you’ve likely heard of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, which topped out at nearly $20,000 per coin in December of 2017 before crashing to around $3,000 per coin, where it stayed until late February of 2019.

In the last month, bitcoin has increased in value by 43 percent and is valued at more than $12,600.

With the price of bitcoin increasing by about 25 percent in just the last week and clocking in at over $12,600 at the time of writing, there are a number of reasons to suspect that this gradual increase will only continue. Why? Because with Facebook getting into the crypto game, institutional investors embracing cryptocurrencies, and the increase in the moving averages of bitcoin, the long term health of the price increase seems legit.

3. Facebook’s Libra Coin Will Introduce Millions to the Idea of Cryptocurrencies

Facebook recently announced Libra, a cryptocurrency that it plans to launch in 2020 along with 28 partner companies. Facebook wants Libra to facilitate easy cross-border transactions, and function as a defacto digital currency for millions around the world. Even as cryptocurrencies have gained prominence with the rise (and fall) of bitcoin, they still have a ways to go to enter the truly mainstream conversation.

Polls around cryptocurrency ownership in the US vary, but by some estimates only about five percent of Americans own cryptocurrencies. With Libra integrating into Facebook products, and over two billion people on the platform, this will be the first time many have encountered the idea of a cryptocurrency. Given the low barrier to entry using Libra, and the omnipresence of Facebook, people are likely to give it a try.

“Because of its huge network of over 2 billion users, Facebook products cast a wide net,” wrote Jasper Lawler of the London Capital Group in a blog post on the subject. “Libra will breed familiarity of cryptos to a much wider audience. Two billion people will now be much more open to Bitcoin and other altcoins.”

If the launch of Libra goes well, the digital currency could be the door through which people start to discover and trust other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. If it doesn’t go well, or gets quashed by regulators, it could backfire, turning people off of cryptocurrencies more generally. And even though Libra is a stable coin, meaning its value doesn’t change, unlike bitcoin, that’s a distinction that is unlikely to matter to those encountering cryptocurrency for the first time.

2. Institutions Are Betting Big on Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin

Banks, institutional investors, and other mainstream businesses are investing in or eyeing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin more generally. More than 40 central banks are exploring or researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to a recent report from the World Economic Forum. Meanwhile, hedge funds and other investment groups have purchased more than $100,000,000 worth of digital coins, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, the popular stock trading app Robinhood recently announced that it would support the trading of various cryptocurrencies, while the money transfer app Cash App lets you buy bitcoin directly in the app itself.

All of these developments are not only increasing trust in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but also making it easier to buy, sell, and trade. As opposed to going to a sketchy website, now you can just open Cash App, or Robinhood, and buy or trade your bitcoin instantly. This isn’t your roommate messing around on the dark web, these are companies that move massive amounts of capital, and their investment matters.

1. Bitcoin’s Recent Trend Points Higher

Bitcoin’s “moving average” has started to tick up recently for the first time in year. A moving average is a common tool in financial analysis and is a constantly calculated average of a price over a period of time. Used to clear out short-term fluctuations to get a better sense of which way a price is heading, it gives a better idea of overall health of an asset than just looking at daily fluctuations, allowing you to isolate longer term trends. A 200-day moving average is a good indicator of how a price is doing, and bitcoin’s started increasing for the first time since May of 2018 in late May of 2019. While there will likely be short term pullbacks, or decreases in the price, the long term view shows positive increases in the underlying price of bitcoin, beyond the recent spikes.

Overall, these factors make a case that bitcoin is here to stay. Unlike it’s rapid and frenetic spike in 2017, this growth is happening more slowly, with more people aware of cryptocurrencies and interest from financial institutions that wasn’t there prior. So now may just be the time to get bitcoin while you can.

Published in Headliners

Bitcoin (BTC) has resumed the upside and touched $11,340 during Asian hours on Tuesday. The first digital currency has gained over 4% since this time on Monday and grew by 3% since the beginning of the day.

Bitcoin confluence levels

The path to the South is riddled with strong technical levels, while the upside movement promises to be nice and easy once the critical resistance $11,500 is out of the way. Let’s have a closer look at the barriers that might influence Bitcoin’s movements in the short run.

The coin has recovered from Monday’s low of $294 to trade at $313.30 by the time of writing. The second largest cryptocurrency with the current market capitalization of $33.2 billion and an average daily trading volume of $7.9 billion has gained nearly 3% in recent 24 hours and stayed unchanged since the beginning of Tuesday.

Ethereum’s technical picture

Looking technically, a sustainable move above $315.00 (the upper line of 4-hour Bollinger Band) will help to unleash Ethereum’s bullish potential and push the price towards the next upside target $320. Basically, we are entering uncharted territory for the ETH with the next strong barrier created by SMA100 weekly at $381. Once it is cleared, $400.00 will come into view.

Ripple’s formidable gains saw it trade above $0.5 level for the first time this year. Although the correction followed in the footsteps of Bitcoin, Ripple gains greatly lagged behind the largest asset which is currently trading closer to its 15-months high.

On the other hand, XRP/USD has been forming a higher low pattern from June’s low marginally above $0.3800. Initially, the struggle at $0.4600 capped gains while the downside was supported at $0.4200. The correction above the 50 Simple Moving Average (SMA) and the 100 SMA as well as the 100 Exponential Moving Average (EMA) ignited the momentum as Ripple broke past $0.48 hurdle and eventually climbed above $0.50.

Published in Business and Economy

The largest American cryptocurrency company, Coinbase, was one of Libra’s 27 initial partners. But when the partnership was announced internally, several Coinbase employees expressed concern about their company joining forces with a giant company like Facebook with a spotty record on issues that matter to cryptocurrency fans, like privacy, according to two company employees.

A spokeswoman for Coinbase declined to comment.

Joe Lallouz, the chief executive of Bison Trails, another cryptocurrency company that joined Libra as a partner, said he was also skeptical when Facebook approached him.

“My initial reaction was: ‘You don’t have the best track record from a data privacy perspective,’” Mr. Lallouz said in an interview after the announcement. “Facebook’s reputation around data privacy and being trustworthy is against the crypto ethos.”

But Mr. Lallouz said Facebook had shown that it was serious about protecting the privacy of its users, in part by ensuring that it does not have too much control over the project.

Facebook executives said the design of Libra was inspired by the decentralized structure of Bitcoin, with governance given over to the association, in which Facebook will only have one vote out of a potential 100 partners.

“Already, they are relinquishing control and ownership over this, which is huge,” said Mr. Lallouz.

The partners are expected to meet in the coming months to write a charter that will govern the association.

Facebook’s history with partners has added to their caution. The game-maker Zynga, for example, faced a dramatic loss of revenue after Facebook backed away from a close relationship with the company. Facebook also strained relationships with many publisherslast year when it changed the algorithms behind its news feed to de-emphasize news stories.

“This is a huge opportunity, but there are a lot of details that still need to be worked out,” Mr. Lallouz said.

Published in Business and Economy

Tottenham have been linked with a move for Layvin Kurzawa.

According to France Football (report translated by SportWitness), the 26-year-old is on the radar of Manchester United as well.

It will be interesting to see if Kurzawa leaves PSG this summer. If he does, Spurs would be a good move for him.

Rose has been linked with a move away for a while now. Also, Kurzawa would be an upgrade on Ben Davies.

The player has a contract until 2020 and if PSG do not sell him this summer, he could leave on a free next year.

He hasn’t been a regular starter for the French champions this past season and unless they guarantee him regular playing time, an extension seems unlikely.

Spurs should look to take this opportunity and snap him up on a bargain. With just one year left on his deal, he is unlikely to cost a lot this summer.

Some of the Tottenham fans have already taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the report. Here are some of the fan reactions.

Published in News & Stories

Manchester United are pushing hard to sign Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace, with the 21-year-old viewed as a significant upgrade on current right-backs Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian.

Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is adamant the defender has what it takes to succeed at Old Trafford.

Manchester United are determined to close the gap on Premier League rivals Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City next season.

And the Times say they are on the verge of signing Wan-Bissaka from Palace.

United have already signed one player in Daniel James, who touched down from Swansea nearly two weeks ago.

And the Times suggest Wan-Bissaka is set to become their second major signing of the summer transfer window.

United are on the verge of securing an agreement over the 21-year-old, which would involve a fee of £50million plus £5m in add-ons.

There is, however, a sticking point.

United are flatly refusing to change a clause installed in Wilfried Zaha’s contract, with the Ivorian the last player to move between the two teams.

Solskjaer’s side are currently entitled to 20 per cent of the profit should the Ivory Coast international leave the club.

United sold him to Palace back in 2015 for just £3m.

But with Zaha’s value rocketing to a huge £70m, it would mean United earn a substantial £13.5m of any potential fee.

Palace would likely that to be removed – or at least reduced.

And they are digging their heels in over winger, who has been linked with moves to United and Arsenal this transfer window.

Regarding Wan-Bissaka, former Palace star Neil Shipperley believes his old club should sell the player to United.

“I think it’s good business for a right back that has made 42 appearances,” Shipperley told Love Sport Radio.

“It’s a great deal for the club. This is football at the moment. There’s not a bidding war for him. Manchester United are the club. No-one else is coming in for him so you’re not going to have this bidding war.

“I think £50million or £55million is a fair deal. The fans aren’t going to like this but what they’ve got to realise is that this kid could still be in the Under-23s.

“He only came on the scene because we had no-one else to play right back. He came in and he has made that position his own.

“He’s a great player but at the end of the day, he’s a right back. He’s not a centre midfielder or a centre forward like Wilf [Zaha].

“He’s a right back and I think we’ve got a replacement in Joel Ward who is not as good as Bissaka but he can certainly play right back and do a job.

“Credit has to be given to the youth system at Palace because it’s going to be a while before we see something like this again.

“It does happen every now and again but after just over one season for a player to command a £50m+ fee is great for the club.”

Published in Sports

Mr. Trump on Monday tweeted that the Fed “blew it” by increasing rates last year and has even toyed with the idea of demoting Mr. Powell to the role of governor. Mr. Trump has alternately implied that such a move depends on Mr. Powell’s actions and denied suggesting a demotion. He said he believes he has the legal authority to do so if he chooses, though his authority is unclear.

Politics aside, economic developments have prompted a growing number of Fed officials to expect rate cuts before the end of the year, according to economic projections released following their June 19-20 meeting. Investors in fed funds futures had fully priced in a rate cut next month following that meeting. Stocks indexes fell after Mr. Powell’s speech was released Tuesday, suggesting that his characterization of rate cuts as an “whether” rather than a definite plan disappointed some traders.

But Mr. Powell’s Fed colleagues are with him as he watches incoming data warily.

“The economy had solid momentum, but now it’s peddling against some pretty significant headwinds,” Mary Daly, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday. “Let’s watch the next six weeks and see if the data reverse,” and “see how the uncertainty resolves itself as we get more information about trade negotiations, and finally, let’s see what other countries are doing to offset potential weaknesses.”

Ms. Daly, who is not currently a voting member but participates in discussions about rate policy, would not say whether she’s projected rate cuts this year. But she said she’s concerned that, with more muted growth, it might take longer to push inflation back toward the Fed’s 2 percent goal.

“The bottom line for me, is that I want to sustain the expansion so that we can also push inflation back up to our target,” Ms. Daly said.

Wage growth is showing signs of slowing, and several measures of inflation expectations are softening. That increases the risk that price growth remains permanently below the central bank’s goal, which is meant to provide a buffer to ward off economy-harming deflation.

Growth abroad has also shown signs of stalling. Manufacturing is slowing across economies in Europe and Asia, uncertainty indexes are rising and confidence is wobbling as trade drops off. That pullback owes partly to the ongoing tariff war between the United States and China, which could arrive at a turning point this week, when Mr. Trump is expected to meet with President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Japan.

Published in News & Stories

“The one lesson from Trump that Democrats may want to take to heart is the value of saying things clearly and unambiguously, not in nuanced shades of gray,” he said. “But it’s incumbent on any Democrat to appeal to a different set of values and completely avoid the clownishness.” He said that what a winning Democrat needs to project is the “return to the power of a good idea well expressed.”

Mr. Trump would not have to insert himself into the Democratic primary process for his presence to be felt in the air over two hot Miami nights. But it has at least been suggested that he could live-tweet the proceedings during his trip to Asia for a major international summit meeting with foreign leaders.

If he follows through, it would be a change from how Mr. Trump typically employs the medium — he more often reacts to coverage of events, rather than the events themselves. In 2016, he live-tweeted only one event, the vice-presidential debate, when he retweeted accounts that mocked Senator Tim Kaine’s appearance.

Ms. Dunn said that if Mr. Trump chose to weigh in, it would be a gift to the candidates he targeted. “I would think the candidates would think, Terrific,” she said. “Nothing could be better than walking out of the debate with the president tweeting at me.” In terms of appearing to present a real threat and contrast to Mr. Trump, she said, “you couldn’t make the point better.”

The Republican National Committee is not outsourcing all of its rapid response to the president. The committee’s chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, will be in Miami during the debates, talking about the “socialist policies” promoted by the Democratic field, according to an organization official. The committee, officials said, is also planning to put out a response to the debates in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

That piece of the Republican response is more similar to how incumbents have outsourced reaction in the past.

“We, as a campaign, monitored and commented on statements that were made during debates,” said David Axelrod, a former adviser to Mr. Obama. “Occasionally, the president may have inserted a comment in a speech based on something that was said. But he wasn’t live-tweeting the other side’s race. He was busy with his day job.”

Published in Politics

Justice Sybil Nwaka of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on yesterday revoked the bail of Chrisland School Supervisor, Adegboyega Adenekan standing trial for allegedly defiling a two-year-old pupil (names withheld) of the school.

Justice Nwaka revoked Adenekan’s bail for one day after expressing concerns that he might become a flight risk and not come to court at the next adjourned date fixed for Wednesday.

The judge took the decision after Adenekan was led in defense for over an hour by his counsel, Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN).

At the end of his defence, the trial judge declined to let him go back home in line with the bail he has been enjoying but rather sent him to Kirikiri Prisons.

“My intuition is telling me that the defendant may not appear tomorrow for the continuation of his trial. For his own security I am hereby revoking his bail and order that he be remanded in Kirikiri Prisons until the next adjourned date,” the Judge ruled.

The defendant is facing alone count charge of child defilement before the court.

During resumed proceedings, Adenekan told the court that he found the allegations that he defiled a pupil of the school as ‘false and highly embarrassing’.

The defendant told the court that he had built a teaching career spanning over 23 years and that no parent has ever accused him of child defilement.

When the defendant was asked how he met the victim’s mother, the school supervisor said he knew the mother of the survivor as one of the parent of pupils at Chrisland School, Ajah, Victoria Garden City.

He said he became aware of the allegation against him on November 14, 2016.

“It was on a Friday around 8pm, I received a call from an unknown number and she introduced as a parent in the school. She outrightly told me that I had sexually abused her two-year-old daughter.

“I was shocked at the allegation. She now further went on to tell me that we should keep the matter between the two of us and not tell anyone.

“She ended the call and thereafter sent me a message that read: ‘I want you to still be friendly with my child’.

Adenekan claimed to still have on his phone the text message sent to him by mother of the survivor.

He also claimed to have told his wife about the discussion he had on my phone.

The defendant told the court that he was also threatened by the father of the survivor.

Adenekan said he reported the matter to the Head Teacher as a result of which a meeting was convened, with the survivor’s mother in attendance.

“During the meeting it was concluded that the child should be examined by the school hospital. The mother refused. She later called her husband who gave his consent”.

Adenekan said it was the mother of the survivor that made arrangement for a polygraph test to be conducted on him by Halogen Securities in Maryland and that he consented because he had nothing to hide.

“I was shocked when the report of the Halogen test came back and it said that I was lying. I strongly believe that the child’s mother and the security company that conducted the test fabricated the results.

“The child was in pre-school 1 when I met her. I only stand at the door of their class and say, ‘hello children.’ The class teacher and the two class assistants are usually there. I have never been alone with the child in question i have never taken her out of the class to.my office, ” he said.

When asked if he defiled the child, he said, ” I have two daughters aged fourteen and sixteen. I would never allow someone do such to my children.

“ I have been married for 18 years. My wife is even here. I have no special relationship with the child.

When the school supervisor was asked if he knew the child drew his penis, he said, “I heard she drew a penis but that is between her and her mother.

“I have never exposed my penis to this child neither have I fingered her or put my penis in her vagina.

“I am very sure everything is fabricated, “Adenekan said.

The two-year-old in her testimony had earlier accused the defendant of defiling her.

She had told the court, “Mr Adenekan put his wee wee (penis) in my bum bum (vagina).

State Prosecutor, B.T Boye had called about six witnesses who testified before the court while the defence had called two teachers of the school who described the defendant as a role model.

Adenekan was forced to open his defence after the court dismissed his application in which he submitted that he had no case to answer.

The trial judge, Justice Nwaka adjourned the matter till tomorrow for cross-examination of the defendant.

Published in News & Stories
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