About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Man Utd academy chief Butt: We must blood youngsters under Solskjaerby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNicky Butt believes that his Manchester United youth players must make the step up to the first team.Butt is of the belief that a United youth player should always get a shot with the first team.And with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge until the end of the season, Butt hopes the likes of Angel Gomes will get their chances.”If you ask any Manchester United fan, or Ed Woodward, or the owners, or the manager, they want players in the first-team,” Butt said to the Daily Express.”That’s my job. That’s the job of the academy coaches – to get players into the first-team.”I think it’s something that fans will demand, the club will demand, the owners and the board will demand and the manager as well.”The academy is the lifeblood of the club and the home-bred players are the ones that help the superstars all around the world embed themselves into our culture and become Manchester United people.”I think that’s the most important thing.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd scout Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonaliby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have been linked with Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.Tonali, 19, has been dubbed ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’, although the Brescia star himself has expressed that he’s trying to emulate his idol Gennaro Gattuso.Fiorentina negotiated for the Italy international last summer, but Brescia eventually chose to keep the midfielder.Now, Calciomercato.com says Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax scouted Tonali for Sunday’s meeting with Bologna.The three clubs are interested in acquiring Tonali for the upcoming January transfer window.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sheffield Utd manager Wilder leaps to defence of McGoldrickby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United manager Chris Wilder has leapt to the defence of David McGoldrick.The 31-year-old was criticised for his wastefulness in front of goal during last weekend’s loss to Southampton.He missed Saturday’s win over Sheffield United with a groin strain, and Wilder stuck up for the 31-year-old when speaking after the game.He said: “So what does he do? He has a finishing session on his own and then goes back out to have another finishing session, because he’s trying to improve his skills and get that aspect of his game out of his system. It was then, he tweaked his groin. “But that tells you what kind of boy he is. An international player. Any sort of negativity or criticism towards him is ridiculous, because he gives everything for this football club and is brilliant for us.”I think we’ve got to be careful as a football club, because of the results and the way we’ve played, that we don’t put too much pressure on our players.”A couple of things got flagged up to me (after losing to Southampton). This team, where they’ve come from, they don’t deserve 70 per cent report. They deserve 100 per cent support.”
Aaron Connolly grateful to Brighton boss Graham Potterby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAaron Connolly is grateful to Brighton boss Graham Potter for his first team chance.Potter seems committed to blooding academy graduates, fielding nine in the recent EFL Cup game against Aston Villa.Connolly told the Daily Mail: “The previous manager [Chris Hughton] gave me my debut against Barnet and I will never say a bad word about him. But this new gaffer is a breath of fresh air. “He has looked after me and Steve. We were hoping for that chance to impress. He showed a lot of faith in us by letting other players leave the club. It’s all about repaying that trust now.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@Karlos_SrDuring a College GameDay segment about Ohio State’s high profile quarterback battle, Desmond Howard made it very clear who he believes will come out on top. Citing Cardale Jones’ Twitter antics, which he does not appreciate, Howard thinks that J.T. Barrett is a lock to win the job. Desmond Howard on J.T. Barrett: “He’s not really about the foolishness” Tell us what you really think— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) September 5, 2015Desmond Howard just called Cardale Jones’ tweets to Ronda Rousey “foolishness” and cited it as a reason J.T. should start. So there’s that.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 5, 2015Former Florida State running back Karlos Williams, of all people, was very upset with Howard.Desmond Howard is a hater.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) September 5, 2015He don’t know nun bout what players do in the personal time. He just talking.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) September 5, [email protected] Bruh be hating.— Karlos Williams Sr. (@Karlos_Sr) September 5, 2015We probably wouldn’t have guessed that Karlos Williams would be a Cardale Jones defender this morning, but here we are.
EDMONTON – Alberta has been hit with another credit downgrade one day after it confirmed it remains on track for a $10.3-billion budget deficit this year.The credit rating agency DBRS say it has downgraded Alberta’s long-term debt rating to AA from AA (high) and has adjusted or maintained other ratings indicators on a negative trend.The agency said the downgrade reflects the high operating deficits and Alberta’s rapidly accumulating debt, which is pegged to surpass $42 billion by the spring.It’s one of a number of credit downgrades or warnings that have resulted from the province’s fiscal direction under Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP since 2015.Although the economy has been hammered by low oil prices, Notley’s government says it makes sense in the short term to take on debt to catch up on long-delayed infrastructure projects.Finance Minister Joe Ceci, responding to the downgrade, says Alberta still has the strongest debt-to-GDP ratio among provinces and the province’s credit rating remains among the highest in Canada.“The fiscal update released yesterday shows that Alberta’s economy is growing faster than forecast, the deficit is coming down, and significant cost savings are being realized,” Ceci said in a statement.“The government will continue to take a steady and responsible approach that avoids extreme and risky cuts that would hurt families, cost jobs and damage our recovery.”
One step forward, two steps back. That seems to be the story of reforms in India’s forest sector. The forest departments (FDs), like irrigation and revenue departments, were originally created to serve the interests of colonial power. After Independence, the designers of a democratic India overlooked the crying need to redefine the goals and restructure the governance of this sector. States simply cut-pasted the Indian Forest Act (IFA) into state acts. Thus re-sanctified, the FDs have successfully resisted or co-opted all subsequent attempts at reform. Also Read – A special kind of bond Continued control and exclusion The Chipko Andolan in the 1970s demanded rights for people over their forests, including timber. Instead, they got a green-felling ban in the name of environmental conservation. The National Forest Policy, 1988 (NFP88) demanded people’s participation, a demand echoed by donors in the ’90s. After initially resisting the idea, FDs co-opted it into joint forest management (JFM), wherein they tightly control the extent, location, form, and ambit of so-called decentralised decision-making. When the green felling bans drastically reduced revenues from forestry, the FDs attracted international donors in the name of biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. Also Read – Insider threat managementWhen the World Bank gave up on forest sector lending, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was inveigled into almost single-handedly sustaining India’s forest sector. More recently, India’s forests have been peddled as potential sinks for carbon, so as to attract REDD+ funds. REDD+ turned out to be a mirage, but the Rs 60,000-crore Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds have become the new gravy train. Foresters themselves sit in CAMPA committees that disburse funds to themselves. Just as foresters run the Forest Survey of India that monitors India’s forests. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 is perhaps the biggest threat to the FDs. Not just because it sought to free cultivators from the harassment they faced as ‘encroachers’ because of the mislabelling of their land as forests. Not just because it sought to free the 4,000-odd ‘forest villages’ from the yoke of the FDs, but primarily because it introduced Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights that would give forest-dwellers the right to manage their forests autonomously. So FRA has been resisted tooth and nail. Retired forest officers’ associations have filed writ petitions challenging its constitutionality. Serving foresters have, by and large, obstructed the granting of forest rights, especially CFR claims, and continued to promote (non-statutory) JFM as an alternative to CFRs. Going backwards As if this was not enough, the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 attempts to reverse key elements of NFP88 by promoting production forestry at the cost of local livelihoods, and ignoring the FRA. And the latest draft amendment to the Indian Forest Act is an attempt to translate this (non-approved) NFP2018 into law! The blatant disregard for due process is only matched by the shocking attempts in this amendment to undermine the FRA, to increase the power and immunity of officials, and to arrogate control to the Centre. I would not be surprised if eventually, we end up with ‘National Forests’ controlled by a National Forest Service. Rationale for reform What is wrong with such an idea? Aren’t forests a national treasure, to be managed for national and global public goods like biodiversity, watershed protection, and carbon? Such thinking misses the fundamental social-ecology of South Asia’s forests — a landscape historically populated by a variety of Adivasi and non-Adivasi communities, with complex dependence on the forested and non-forested landscape. Thus, local livelihood needs have to be the first goal of forestry, as important as regional and global benefits. And these needs cannot be met by a bureaucracy, just as agricultural livelihoods cannot be organised by agriculture department officers, and industries cannot be run by bureaucrats. Worse, giving forest officers police powers in a landscape populated by marginalised and illiterate communities that continue to be forest-dependent, allows for serious abuse of these powers. Of course, local forest-dependence is uneven and changing, possibly declining. But that brings us to the core rationale for reform: democratic governance requires recognition of the fundamental right of forest-dwelling or forest-fringe communities to govern their immediate environment, just as city-dwellers (ought to) have substantial control over theirs. This does not mean that regional or national interests are to be ignored in decision-making about forests. But that does not justify making foresters into managers, policemen, regulators, funders and policy-makers rolled into one. Reform is therefore needed at multiple levels: a change in goals of forest management, a corresponding change in how forests are categorised, a devolution of day-to-day management to forest-dwellers, separation of monitoring and managing from funding and policymaking, and introducing much greater transparency and accountability in all of this. Cure worse than the problem The proposed Amendment to the IFA, unfortunately, reveals that the mindset of policymakers regarding India’s forest sector has not changed. The IFA created two main legal categories of forests — Reserved Forest (RF) and Protected Forest (PF) — and empowered the FDs to manage and protect them. Manage for what? Implicitly, for meeting colonial (later national) needs of production. Single goal, two levels of protection, single manager-cum-protector. The third category — Village Forest — was never seriously activated. The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 added another goal — conservation — and created additional categories — national parks (NP) and wildlife sanctuaries (WLS). The manager/protector remained the same. But if production is no longer the primary goal, and if local livelihood needs have ‘first charge’ (at least outside NPs), and if forest-dwellers are rights-holders, then what sense do the old categories and roles make? What is the role of RFs and PFs in the new (post-1988) dispensation? What role does the FD have in the post-FRA dispensation? All reasonable estimates of the potential CFR area (area used by local communities) suggest that PFs and most RFs should simply be replaced by CFR Forests, which should be recognised as the main legal forest category. If any RF outside of NPs and WLSs remains unclaimed as CFR, it could be re-designated as a ‘Conservation Forest’. Correspondingly, the CFR Gram Sabhas should be recognised as the main manager/custodian for the CFR Forests by the forest law, and an agency (possibly hived off from the current FDs) created for providing technical and protection support to them. Even in NPs and WLSs, communities can have the first charge on tourism benefits and can become co-managers, with technical and protection support from a Wildlife Service. The task of regulating CFR Gram Sabhas is also important — not all of them may be oriented towards sustainable use or equitable management. But given the FDs’ conflictual history with local communities, a different regulatory structure with adequate transparency, accountability, and voice for local communities will have to be created. And funding decisions such as the deployment of CAMPA funds must be made by independent bodies, not by the forester managers. The Joint Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs constituted in 2010 to examine the implementation of the FRA was also asked to define a new role for the Forest Department post-FRA. After months of intense discussions among members, which included senior foresters, the Joint Committee articulated a new vision on the lines above. The waning of interest in environmental issues in the government at that time led to the shelving of these ideas. It is high time we resurrected them and developed a new vision for the forest sector, rather than rushing backwards with a ‘more-of-the-same’ IFA amendment. (The author is Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at the Centre for Environment & Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Major League Baseball could suspend Alex Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement for his latest drug controversy.Taking that step against the slugger would stop the New York Yankees player from returning to the field, even if his current injury has healed.Rodriguez has never been disciplined for a drug offense by MLB. A first-time offender under baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement may still be able to take the field if the players’ union files a grievance. The penalty would simply be put on hold until after an arbitrator rules the case.But if the MLB suspends him under the collective bargaining agreement he would have to sit out.Rodriguez and other players have been involved in a major investigation by MLB. Since January, reports have surfaced alleging several players received performance enhancement drugs from Biogenesis of America, a former anti-aging clinic on Florida.In the past, the Yankees player admitted to using PEDs while playing with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. He has denied using them since then.
Despite continuous requests for more student seating in the Horseshoe, OSU President E. Gordon Gee said he wants to see more support for other Buckeye sports before he will consider upping the allotment of student football tickets. With that goal in mind, the university announced in late August it will move 800 of the student seats at the Schottenstein Center from behind the baskets to behind the benches and scorer’s table for some men’s basketball games in the upcoming season. “We need to create an environment in which our basketball programs have the same kind of intensity as our football program or other things,” Gee told The Lantern on Oct. 6. “So we needed to make the change, too, because the students made a very important point to me, ‘Well you know if you’re just sitting behind there and (they) have you sitting there in the middle, you’re not a very good fan, Mr. President.’” Gee took the students’ words to heart, as he and fellow faculty members will vacate their previous seats behind the benches for all-Big Ten contests and an additional non-conference game this season to make room for what Gee hopes to be a more boisterous NutHouse student section. “Now I have every expectation that we’re going to have a ring of fire around our court and I’ll be very disappointed if every game is not sold out by our students,” Gee said. So far, so good. When men’s basketball tickets were released last week, tickets sold out in two hours. Although the 1,400 tickets available to students this year were a drop from last year’s total, senior forward David Lighty said the move could provide a big boost for the team. “I think that’s going to help us out a lot,” Lighty said. “We feed off the crowd. Big plays happen and they are loud and rowdy. … That’s just going to get us excited. I think it’s going to be a good thing for us.” Schools such as the University of Michigan and Michigan State University already have a similar type of seating arrangement. Lighty said he is glad OSU pulled the trigger on the adjustment. “You go to Michigan State and they have a whole student section in the bottom bowl, and my parents are sitting with the students going crazy,” Lighty said. “It’s a more suitable atmosphere for college basketball and something that gives the fan a better experience and makes them want to come and get more excited.” As the students move closer to the action than ever before, senior guard Jon Diebler said he hopes they will have the arena rocking. “I think we have a great student fan base,” Diebler said. “I think they are excited about the new seating because I think they might feel more into the game instead of being on the ends.” Having become accustomed to verbal lashings from opposing student sections, junior guard William Buford said he hopes the seating change will entice the Buckeye students to return the favor to visiting squads. “I don’t really pay attention to them too much, but I hope that it will mess with the opposite team,” Buford said. “We get dogged everywhere we go, so they need to do something.”
The No. 8 Ohio State women’s basketball team (15-3, 5-1 Big Ten) led by five points at halftime, but failed to finish off No. 19 Michigan (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) in the second half, falling 84-75 to the Wolverines Tuesday at the Schottenstein Center.The Wolverines clawed their way back into the game after trailing the majority of the game. Over the final 2:59 of the third quarter, they went on a 13-4 run to take a 62-58 lead. The visiting team extended its lead and closed the game with a 22-17 fourth-quarter run.Ohio State struggled in the second half, shooting just 25.6 percent from the field. The Buckeyes also finished 6-for-30 from 3-point range. Their shooting woes were not the only problem. Ohio State was out-rebounded 44-31 in the game.“I don’t think we had the focus that we needed tonight to win, way too many mental errors against a good Michigan team,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “I thought they played well, and when we made mistakes they made us pay. They shot 53 percent and outrebounded us by 13, we shot 36 percent, you’re not going to win a game.”A 15-point first half from senior forward Stephanie Mavunga boosted the Buckeyes to a 41-36 lead, but she was held to just six second-half points before fouling out with 1:52 remaining in the game.Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell added 20 points, shooting 5-for-14 from the field. Mitchell tied the all-time made 3-point record in all divisions with 58.3 seconds remaining in the game. She has made 441 career triples.The Buckeyes forced 21 turnovers to their eight, but Michigan executed its offense well when it maintained possession, shooting 53.7 percent from the field.The Buckeyes’ pesky defense and solid ball movement was effective in the first half. That changed in the second half behind Michigan center Hallie Thome’s domination in the paint. The 6-foot-5 junior finished with 27 points, despite facing early foul trouble.“[Thome] was incredible the first go around so we really wanted to make sure we found her early and got her touches early and last game it was the opposite. Last game Mavunga got those two fouls early and she was out,” Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “For our team to stay as close as we did at half without [Thome] being in the game, I felt pretty good at half going in.”Michigan senior guard Katelynn Flaherty, who averaged 23.1 points per game entering the game, was held to just three points on 1-for-9 shooting in the first half. But she finished with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists, with most of her scoring coming during the Wolverines’ second-half charge.