first_imgReds boss Jurgen Klopp has remained determined to sign Van Dijk as he tries to shore up a leaky defence that has fatally damaged Liverpool’s Premier League title ambitions.“Delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player,” Van Dijk wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of him with a Liverpool shirt.“Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football.“I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and will give everything I have to try and help this great club achieve something special in the years to come.”Although Chelsea and Manchester City were said to be interested in Van Dijk, Klopp has finally got his man on weekly wages of £180,000.“Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk,” a statement on the club’s website said.“The Reds have agreed a deal with the south coast club, and the player himself, that will see the 26-year-old defender move to Anfield when the transfer window re-opens on January 1, 2018.”The previous world record transfer for a defender was the £54 million Manchester City paid Tottenham for England right-back Kyle Walker in the close season.Saints confirmed that Liverpool’s offer had shattered the record, but didn’t reveal the exact fee.“Southampton have agreed a fee that will set a new world-record for a defender. The club wishes Virgil well in his future when the deal is completed on January 1st 2018,” a statement read.A fee of £75 million would also be level with Romelu Lukaku as the second most expensive transfer in Premier League history, behind only Manchester United’s £90 million purchase of Paul Pogba.Van Dijk, who moved to Southampton from Celtic in 2015, was left out at the start of the season by new Saints manager Mauricio Pellegrino after having a transfer request rejected.The 26-year-old returned to the team but with speculation mounting about a January move, he was dropped for Southampton’s recent matches against Chelsea, Huddersfield and Tottenham.Van Dijk was keen to part ways on good terms, praising Southampton for letting him shine in the Premier League for the first time.“I will always be indebted to the club for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League,” he wrote.“Despite a difficult last few months, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saints and have made friends for life at the club. Thank you for everything.”Van Dijk’s arrival at Anfield gives Klopp the defensive presence he hopes can transform a Liverpool back four that has conceded 23 goals in 20 league games — more than any of their top-six rivals except Arsenal.Liverpool had offered around £60 million for the defender in the close-season and former Manchester United star Gary Neville questioned whether he will prove worth the extra investment.“It is a lot of money and I’m not even sure he has been playing that well,” Neville told Sky Sports.“What can I say is Liverpool need defenders. They have to pay to get him and that’s the way the market is.”Van Dijk could make his debut in the FA Cup third-round tie against Everton on January 5 after becoming the latest player to move from Southampton to Liverpool.Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane have all made the same switch in recent years.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk is a target for Chelsea and LiverpoolLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 27 – Liverpool signed Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk on Wednesday for a reported Sh 10.3bn (£75mn) in a deal that makes him the world’s most expensive defender.Van Dijk has been linked with a move to Liverpool for several months and the Anfield club were forced to issue an apology after an alleged illegal approach for the Netherlands international earlier this year.last_img read more


first_imgWorkers at a Sasol plant. South Africans are most optimistic about regular income, with 66.2% of those surveyed for the index expecting an increased wage. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.)Wilma den HartighThe latest findings of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence show that South Africans are still optimistic about the immediate future of the economy, despite the looming global recession and local economic downturn.The index is based on a survey that measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months. South Africa fared very well: with 100 being the highest level of consumer confidence, South Africa scored 78.7. Although this score is five points below the score for the first half of 2008, it holds up well with South Africa’s historical average of 79.4.South Africa also bagged the Middle East and Africa region’s second-highest score – only consumers in Kuwait were more optimistic about their market’s economy.Dr Azar Jammine, director and chief economist at Econometrix, said that there are reasons to believe that the South African economy may not have been as hard hit as the rest of the global economy.Jammine said another factor that could be contributing to a more resilient economy is the build up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The event will bring many benefits for small businesses and the tourism sector.Regular incomeSouth Africans are most optimistic about regular income. When asked whether they expected their regular income, including bonuses and fringe benefits, to increase, remain the same, or decrease over the next six months, 66.2% of respondents expected an increase, whereas just 7.2% said that they expected it to decrease. This resulted in a score of 90.2.Only 14.7% of the respondents said that they expected the economy in South Africa to become worse over the next six months, 56.5% expected economic performance to improve, and 28.8% thought it would stay unchanged. Overall, the economy received a score of 75.7.Jac Laubscher, chief economist at Sanlam, said better financial conditions of consumers mean that the environment for all businesses operating in the consumer sector will improve. Laubscher said besides consumer confidence, it is also important to increase actual spending, as investors will base business and expansion decisions on the latter.The South African survey focused on the three main urban centres: Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Durban residents claimed first place as they were the most upbeat. Mike Schüssler, chief economist at T-Sec, explained that scores on all five individual indicators (employment, economy, regular income, stock market and quality of life) were up from both six months and a year ago.Johannesburg’s overall consumer confidence scored 83.3. Schüssler said residents were particularly optimistic about the performance of the South African economy, as well as the prospect of increases in their regular income.Cape Town came in last with a fairly bleak expectation, mainly due to its expectations of the South African stock market over the next six months. He said the fall in the financial market and a decline in tourism also contributed to a lower score.Related articlesSouth Africa’s economyAfrica catches investors’ eyes SA leads continent in prosperity SA’s competitiveness steady Doing business easier in SAUseful linksMasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence Econometrixlast_img read more


first_imgHontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid LATEST STORIES Despite early exit, Philippines shows it can compete against world’s best 3×3 teams Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ MANILA, Philippines—Filipino bet Merwin Tan took home the gold in the 20th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships Saturday in Sarawak, Malaysia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsREAD: PH Youth bowl squad in World title huntThe 19-year-old Tan, a national team mainstay, ruled the Boy’s Singles event with a six-game total of 1,352 pinfalls in the opening day of the biennial meet.center_img SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue READ: Positive thinking pushes young Tan to boys crownWilliam Clark from Australia claimed the silver with 1,334 while Park Sang-hyeok of South Korea registered 1,326 to settle for bronze.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View commentslast_img read more


first_imgThe 2013 X-Blades National Youth Championships will also host the annual Trends of the Game workshop on Thursday, 12 September.  Presented by Australian Women’s Open coach, Peter Bell and Australian Mixed Open coach, Micheal Lovett, this interactive and practical workshop will allow National Youth Championship coaches to observe practical Talent and Elite skill demonstrations and drills. For more information please see attached flyer, and be sure to register your attendance via email to tara.steel@austouch.com.au by Friday, 6 September. Related Filestrends_of_the_game_-nyc_skills_workshop_flyer__2_-pdfRelated LinksTrends of the Gamelast_img


first_imgTagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Lucky Liverpool? Yeah – and they deserve it Leno, Mourinhoby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: Bernd Leno was doing his best Jose Mourinho impersonation in the aftermath of Liverpool’s trouncing of Arsenal on Saturday…The goals – all five of ’em – were “unlucky”, claimed the Gunners goalkeeper. And the foul for Mohamed Salah’s penalty debatable. Fortune was simply with the hosts on the day.And to be fair, you can understand Leno’s reasoning. Another day. Another ref. And Sadio Mane is shown red for grabbing Stephan Lichtsteiner around the throat early doors. With Arsenal still in touching distance after halftime, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn’t missing from under Alisson’s crossbar. And just as Mourinho had complained a fortnight ago before losing his job at Manchester United. Liverpool’s goals in both games were full of ricochets. Deflections.But what was also common over the two games was how through sheer force of will, Liverpool managed to find those goals. Yeah, they were lucky. But they made that luck themselves. Driving forward. Attack. Attack. Attack. There’s nothing subtle about Jurgen Klopp’s team at the minute. Nothing measured. They go at it at 110%. And what tends to happen to people – to teams – who behave like that, they end up being luckier than most. The more shots. The more waves of attacks. The more chances you have of scoring.Okay, okay. Itis a bit more sophisticated than that. But Liverpool are not nine points clear at the top of the table for second guessing themselves. For holding back. Something has clicked these past 18 months. That drive. That passion we see on the pitch. It’s reflective of what has been occurring inside the boardroom – whether that be at Anfield or in Boston. And that approach is being rewarded in spades.While others held back – including Manchester City and Khaldoon al-Mubarak – Liverpool paid what was needed to ferry Virgil van Dijk away from Southampton. Another board. Another know-it-all exec. And Klopp would’ve been told to cool his jets. To make do with Joel Matip. But not FSG.When others – including an England captain – spoke against adding Xherdan Shaqiri to his squad. Klopp backed his judgment. Was supported by his transfer committee. And rolled the dice. Alisson Becker? Andrew Robertson? None were deals celebrated unanimously by those inside the game. But the manager – and the club – never hesitated.For the moment, everything they touch is turning to gold. But the differences is, this club. And these players. They’re not holding back waiting – hoping – for it to all fall in place. They’re out there. Making it happen. Yeah, fortune appears to be with Liverpool, but only because they’re willing to fight for it.So now they’re three wins clear at the summit. But there is a qualifier. There has to be at the midway stage of the season. But it’s a qualifier that is part tribute to what Klopp and Liverpool have managed to do in recent weeks.It was only a month ago and many were saying how far City? And not just this season. But in terms of an era. A Blue dynasty. They appeared unstoppable. Untouchable. Yet now, Pep Guardiola’s lot are more concerned about second place and Tottenham than keeping in touch with the runaway Reds.City haven’t suddenly turned from champions to chumps. But it’s a tribute to the work of Liverpool that a team some were declaring the greatest seen in English football are now eating their dust.Liverpool haven’t benefitted from City being dragged back down. They’ve taken their standards to a new level – and City are now having to find it within them to catch up. And they surelywill come again. A returning Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy will make sure of that. And then the onus will be thrown back on Liverpool to find another gear – something which Klopp has always insisted is well within them.Guardiola threw it out there last week. ‘It’s far easier being the hunter than the hunted’, he declared. A warning which fell flat on it’s face after Saturday’s Anfield performance.The City manager must know, it’s going to take much more than a generic throwaway line to force this Liverpool team off their stride. There justis something about them this season.Witness Mo Salah’s gesture. On a day when Aboubakar Kamara is being slated by his manager and fans for his behaviour around a Fulham spotkick. Salah does the opposite. A Golden Boot. A goals bonus. He sacrificed it all. And won praise from Klopp after giving up his penalty for Roberto Firmino to complete his hat-trick. That’s something no amount of spending can buy.Leno. Mourinho. Yeah, they can point to lucky moments in games. But you don’t haul in today’s Manchester City team on good fortune. Liverpool have made their own luck. And the standard to beat. It’s now up to the rest in 2019 to catch up.last_img read more


first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – A judge tightened bail conditions on a South American soccer official charged in the FIFA bribery scandal after prosecutors surprised the courtroom by accusing the defendant of threatening their star witness by making a slashing motion on his neck as the witness testified at trial.The dramatic twist in federal court in New York came after Alejandro Burzaco, a former marketing executive from Argentina, spent the day accusing Manuel Burga and two other soccer official co-defendants of taking bribes in exchange for their help securing broadcasting and hosting rights for tournaments.Burzaco testified that his firm gave Burga, the former president of Peru’s soccer federation, $3.6 million in bribes during the course of their relationship. He claimed that when he agreed in 2015 to co-operate against officials charged in the case he became the target of death threats.After news of Burzaco’s co-operation broke in Argentina, his brother, a former law enforcement officer, called him with inside information that authorities there had received “an instruction to shut me down,” he testified, choking back tears. That meant something needed to be done “for me not to say anything in the U.S., including killing me,” he added.Once Burzaco concluded his testimony and the jury had gone home for the day, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen to jail Burga, saying he had left Burzaco visibly shaken by twice staring at him and using the slashing motion. A lawyer for Burga claimed his client was merely scratching his throat.The judge stopped short of locking up Burga, instead cutting off his access of phones and computers and placing him under house arrest at a home in Brooklyn. Burga already had been on GPS monitoring but had some privileges to leave the home.The judge said that while one security video of the courtroom was inconclusive, she would return to it on Thursday after reviewing a second tape prosecutors say backs up their claim.“All the facts surrounding this give me grave concerns,” the judge said.Earlier Wednesday, Burzaco testified that media giants Globo, of Brazil, and Televisa, of Mexico, teamed with a marketing firm to make a $15 million bribe to a FIFA executive to help them secure lucrative broadcasting rights to the World Cup in 2026 and 2030.Burzaco said that the deal was struck with longtime FIFA finance committee chairman Julio Grondona at a 2013 meeting in Zurich. He also has implicated Fox Sports in a separate bribery scheme. Fox, Globo and Televisa have denied any wrongdoing, and none of them is charged in the case.Burga, Jose Maria Marin and Juan Angel Napout have pleaded not guilty to charges they took part in a 24-year scheme involving at least $150 million in bribes that secured broadcasting and hosting rights for soccer tournaments around the globe. Burzaco has testified that, along with the $3.6 million his firm gave Burga, it directed another $4.5 million in bribes to Napout and $2.7 million to Marin.More than 40 other officials, business executives and entities have been charged. Many, including Burzaco, have pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving reduced sentences.One former Argentine government official killed himself Tuesday just hours after Burzaco testified that he, too, was involved in taking bribes.Jorge Delhon, a lawyer who worked in the administration of former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez, jumped in front of a train in Buenos Aires. He had not been charged in the case.A ministry official in Buenos Aires province confirmed the death. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the subject.“I love you all,” Delhon wrote in a suicide note to his family, the ministry official told the AP. “I can’t believe (what’s happening).”Burzaco testified that he bribed Delhon and others in exchange for TV production rights to soccer matches.In other testimony Tuesday, Burzaco told the jury how Grondona, who died in 2014, claimed in several conversations that he was owed millions of dollars for his 2010 vote as a member of FIFA’s executive committee that helped Qatar land the World Cup, soccer’s most prestigious tournament.The account appeared to back up persistent suspicions that the Qatar vote was rigged and that the influence of Grondona, the senior vice-president at FIFA and head of the Argentinian football association, was for sale.Burzaco also seemed to confirm long-held allegations that FIFA bidding rules were broken by a vote-trading pact between Qatar’s bid for 2022 and the joint Spain-Portugal bid for 2018 hosting rights that Russia eventually won.After Qatar’s vote victory, beating the United States in a final round ballot, unproven allegations were made that Qatar paid the Grondona-led Argentine soccer federation tens of millions of dollars.Burzaco said in court he could not verify the truth of allegations about Qatar.Defence lawyers are set to cross-examine Burzaco on Thursday.___Associated Press writers Graham Dunbar in Geneva, Claudia Torrens in New York and Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected to show the man said the bribe was $4.5 million, not $9.7 million.last_img read more


first_imgThe City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the sewer upgrades were supposed to have been started earlier this year, but a number of multi-government agencies at multiple levels – including Transport Canada – needed to give their approval for the City’s plans.Harvey wasn’t able to say whether the sewer replacement would be completed before the end of the year, or whether the delay would cause the City to postpone widening 100th St. up to the East Bypass Road until 2020. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is now accepting tender submissions for sewer upgrades along 100th St. under the CN Rail tracks near Northern Lights College.The work, which involves installing 200 metres of 1.5-metre diameter storm main under the CN Rail tracks at the north end of 100th St. is part of the City’s plans to widen the road next summer.The City had originally planned to continue widening the road this summer, but during 2018 Capital Budget discussions, the City postponed that work until 2019 so that the storm drain near NLC could be replaced and upgraded.last_img read more


first_imgParis: Chinese President Xi Jinping heads to the French Riviera on Sunday for the final leg of his European tour, as France’s Emmanuel Macron looks to forge a united European front to contend with China’s global ambitions. Xi’s trip will begin in the Mediterranean city of Nice and a stop in the nearby principality of Monaco before face-to-face talks with Macron. On Monday, the two leaders head to Paris for the official state visit, marking 55 years since Charles de Gaulle broke ranks with the West to establish diplomatic relations with the Communist nation. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US A series of cooperation deals on nuclear power, aerospace and clean energy initiatives, some involving lucrative contracts, are expected to be signed. But Xi’s visit poses a particular challenge for Macron, who wants to deepen EU ties with China while also pushing back against Beijing’s growing clout. Europe’s distrust of Huawei, which is poised to become the dominant player in next-generation telecom networks worldwide, is emblematic of the increasingly rocky relationship. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls “We have a lot to do together in terms of climate action, in terms of multilateralism, but we also have to defend our own interests,” Macron said in Brussels on Thursday. He has lauded the EU’s “awakening” to the challenges posed by China, which the bloc now labels a “rival” despite becoming Europe’s biggest trading partner. “The reality is that the world has changed significantly — China is not the country it once was, and we are dealing with a very major partner,” a Macron aide said ahead of Xi’s visit. On Tuesday, Macron and Xi will be joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to explore “points of convergence” ahead of an EU-China summit in Brussels next month. Xi arrives in France from Italy, which has angered its EU partners by formally joining China’s “new Silk Road” initiative for a string of maritime, rail and road connections aiming at expanding Chinese trade. Macron is expected to press his call for increased “reciprocity” regarding market access to China, in particular Beijing’s demands that foreign companies hand over vital technological know-how in order to invest in the country. “If we’re going to talk about a new Silk Road, then it must be one that goes in both directions,” Finance Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM television on Friday. Telecom giant Huawei is another fraught issue at the centre of a dispute over the rollout of crucial 5G mobile network infrastructure. The US is pressuring European allies to not use the Huawei technology, saying it creates a security risk by potentially letting Beijing snoop on sensitive communications. Yet so far France has not ruled out using Huawei gear — and Monaco has already signed a deal with the Chinese giant to roll out a 5G network as soon as this year. Beijing has bristled at the suspicions, accusing Washington of trying to escalate President Donald Trump’s trade battle with China. “China is hoping that Europe can show more autonomy (on Huawei), which would be better for future cooperation,” said Xu Tiebing, a professor of international relations at China’s Communication University in Beijing. Despite the many sources of friction, France’s goal is to engage China as a closer partner as Washington makes a pointed withdrawal from global affairs under Trump’s “America First” policy. For example, Macron may seek more Chinese support of the French-backed G5 Sahel force fighting Islamic extremists in Western Africa. China has been investing heavily in a diplomatic offensive across Africa, promising to help build infrastructure projects as part of the new Silk Road, officially called the Belt and Road Initiative. Aides say Macron will press Xi to ensure such projects are fair and explore the participation of French companies amid allegations the deals could load African countries with unsustainable debt loads. He is also expected to urge Xi to commit to the ambitious global bid to cut carbon emissions, though analysts note that China is still building dozens of coal-burning power plants. France also plans to voice concerns about rights abuses against China’s Uighur Muslim minority, including allegations of mass internments in the restive Xinjiang province. “China talks about defending multilateralism and humanity’s common future to anyone wanting to listen, but the reality is very different,” said Emmanuel Dubois de Prisque, a China expert with the Thomas More Institute in Paris.last_img read more


first_imgLondon: Facebook has chosen London as the centre for the global roll-out of WhatsApp pay, before the social media giant launches its digital payments service on the mobile messaging platform in India, according to a media report. WhatsApp, which has1.5 billion users globally, would hire nearly 100 people in London to focus on the digital payments service and additional operations staff would be hired in Dublin, the Financial Times reported. Facebook said it chose the UK, where WhatsApp is far more popular than the US, because it attracts a multicultural workforce from many of the countries where WhatsApp is widely used, such as India, the report said. Out of WhatsApp user base of 1.5 billion people, more than 200 million people are in India — the single largest market for the popular American messaging platform. “WhatsApp is a truly global service and these teams will help us provide WhatsApp payments and other great features for our users everywhere,” Matthew Idema, WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer, was quoted as saying. WhatsApp has nearly 400 employees globally. While its most popular markets are India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, it has not established a local office anywhere until late last year, when it hired an India head in time for the country’s elections. Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company is actively working on to launch WhatsApp Pay in India. “We have a test that is running in India for WhatsApp now, we’re hoping to launch in several other countries at some point, but I don’t want to put a timeframe on that here, but it’s something that we’re actively working on,” he said during an earnings call with analysts. Almost one million people tested WhatsApp Pay in India to send money to each other in a simple and secure way. In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with a circular regarding data localisation policy for payment system providers. Generally, data localisation refers to storing data within India. The company on May 3 told the Supreme Court that it would comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s data localisation norms before launching the full payments service in the country.last_img read more


first_imgNew Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Kyrghyztan on Tuesday where she will represent India at the two-day meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)here. In a statement released here on Monday, the External Affairs Ministry said this will be the second CFM meeting that India will be attending as a full member of the SCO. Sushma Swaraj had attended the last CFM meeting in Beijing in April 2018. “India actively took part in various SCO dialogue mechanisms under the Chairmanship of the Kyrgyz Republic over the past year. The next SCO Summit will be held in Bishkek in June,” the statement said. Sushma Swaraj will also issue a joint call of SCO Foreign Ministers on Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. The CFM meeting iwill review the preparations for the forthcoming SCO Summit in Bishkek on June 13-14 and also exchange views on topical issues of international and regional importance.last_img read more