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Film that fish: Stereo-video speeds surveys of marine fish communities

first_imgResearchers use underwater visual surveys to assess the sizes of fish in marine communities and their associated habitats, but diver-based data collection is time-consuming and requires expertise, and results may vary among different data collectors.A multinational research team recently published the first guide to help researchers using diver-operated stereo-video methods (stereo-DOVs) to standardize surveys of fish assemblages (species and their abundances) and their associated habitat.The video provides a permanent, shareable record of each survey transect, including the species and numbers of fish seen, while the stereo option allows researchers to measure fish using overlapping images.The guide provides information on appropriate equipment; designing a stereo‐DOV if needed; operating it during underwater studies; processing the video data after collection; and analyzing fish behavior, population features and habitat in the resulting video. Marine biologists survey fish assemblages and their associated habitat to understand the ecosystem of a place, compare fish communities over time or in response to changes in management, and examine fish behavior.These researchers typically survey fish communities through underwater visual censuses, in which a diver identifies and counts fishes within an area, usually determined by a predefined route, or transect. The method is a straightforward, non-destructive way to survey fish.Yellow wrasse in the Florida Keys. While not fearful of divers, smaller fish can remain hidden behind sponges and corals during a survey. Image by Sue Palminteri/Mongabay.However, studies have shown variability among different underwater data collectors and inaccuracies in estimating the length and numbers of fish in the sample area. Swimming a predefined route while simultaneously identifying, counting and estimating the size of fish is difficult and requires extensive training and experience. Moreover, researchers in different places conduct data collection transects in different ways.All this variation among surveys has made it difficult to either synthesize or compare findings from various sites and time periods.A multinational research team has recently examined how some of these limitations can be overcome or reduced by updating underwater surveys through the incorporation of diver‐operated stereo‐video, or stereo‐DOV. Their new scientific publication explains this method and provides a guide for researchers wanting to add the technology to their fish community transect surveys.Surveying with video instead of pencilThe authors, from Australia, the U.S. and New Caledonia, explain that the size and cost of video cameras have decreased in recent years, allowing researchers to put together a rig that a single diver can maneuver as they follow a predetermined underwater route, or transect.A scuba diver conducting a stereo-DOV survey at Mo’orea, French Polynesia. Image courtesy of Lauric Thiault.Swimming along a transect with the stereo-video rig is the most common application of the technology, but as video quality has also improved over this period, researchers can better detect, measure and identify fish, as well as record and better determine fish behavior.The authors include in their guide information on appropriate equipment; designing a stereo‐DOV if needed; operating it during underwater studies (keep that camera pointing forward!); processing the video data after collection; and analyzing fish behavior, population features and habitat in the resulting video.No clear guidelines currently exist for surveying with stereo-video, so the authors’ aim in providing a standardized set of procedures for stereo-DOV surveys is to encourage survey and behavioral data collectors to follow the same process. Reducing variation among locations and data collectors allows researchers to more easily compare findings and synthesize data from different locations and time periods to help answer broad‐scale ecological questions.The method works through stereophotogrammetry, which estimates the three-dimensional coordinates of points on an object (e.g. a fish) using measurements made in two or more images taken from different positions. The system uses two cameras attached to a bar, set 800 millimeters (31 inches) apart and turned inward just slightly so their visual fields overlap. Like our own visual system, this slight spatial difference allows stereo “vision.” The authors describe several software applications designed to help researchers identify common points on the object in each image, overlap the images based on these points, and measure the size of the fish or other object.The authors recommend using a video camera with a full high-definition resolution of at least 1920 by 1080 pixels that can record at speeds of at least 60 frames per second. The camera must also have the option to disable auto focus and video stabilization, which can invalidate stereo-video measurements. While the authors state that most divers can easily learn to use a stereo-DOV, they must prepare and calibrate the system before each dive.Filmed surveys allow repeat viewsRecording an underwater survey with high-definition video enables divers to complete a transect more quickly than when they have to detect each individual or school of fish and take notes on the species, and their estimates of the numbers and size of the many fish they may spot.While you focus on counting the jacks above, don’t overlook the shark below. Image courtesy of Mr. Cha, South Korea.Recorded video shows species, abundance, diversity and size of fish along both sides of a transect, even with the lens pointed straight ahead. The stereo-video further permits measurement of fish and other objects. Comparing numbers and size of fish over time can indicate impact of management activities, such as a marine protected area or quota on the harvesting of algae-eating species.The ever higher-definition video improves analysis of fish behavior, which can advance research, as well as show any fear fish have of humans in the water. Fish are usually relaxed, and fear suggests that spearfishing or other destructive practices are occurring in the area.The footage provides a permanent searchable, shareable record of the site, including not only the fish species and habitat features but also the context, such as coral condition and water clarity. The video can be checked again at any time and allows multiple researchers to view and comment on the findings.Filmed surveys require time and precise equipmentThe stereo-DOV system must be stable enough to conduct stereo photogrammetry underwater. The authors recommend purchasing a commercial system from a recognized provider, though they offer detailed instructions on building one’s own system.Stereo-DOV surveys require some basic equipment, including the stereo-DOV system (a) with a stabilizing arm (b), two video cameras, memory cards and reader (c, e), a cotton thread distance counter (d), marking tags (f), batteries and charger (h,i), a dive float (j), and spares of everything. Image © Goetze et al., 2019.Adding stereo-DOV to surveys still requires one or more divers going to each site and spending time in the water, which can be relatively costly and time-consuming, depending on the location and availability of trained divers.The diver’s immediate presence may frighten certain shy fish, but that’s true for visual censuses as well. Similarly, both standard and video-based surveys have trouble detecting fish that are cryptic or hide under corals during the day.Environmental DNA (eDNA) has become increasingly useful for determining the presence and community composition of aquatic species, including corals. Although collecting species DNA from a water sample is quick, cheaper and easier than from a diver-based survey, even one collecting video data, it cannot measure everything. Fish in a given area don’t necessarily poop or shed scales or mucus at the same rate, for instance, and few studies have shown reliable links between fish abundance or biomass and presence of eDNA.Could you count all these barracuda while sticking to the transect route? Recorded video of the school would enable repeat views and the chance to estimate numbers and sizes of the fish. Image courtesy of Mr. Cha, South Korea.In their paper, the authors encourage divers surveying fish assemblages using stereo‐DOVs to adopt the guidelines, given the various advantages they describe. “An increased uptake of this methodology, following the standard procedures described herein,” they write, “will reduce variation in methodology, assist in the synthesis of data on continental and global scales and provide accurate information to improve fisheries management and conservation.Citation:Goetze, J. S., Bond, T., Mclean, D. L., Saunders, B. J., Langlois, T. J., Lindfield, S., . . . Harvey, E. S. (2019). A field and video analysis guide for diver operated stereo‐video. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1111/2041-210x.13189FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Sue Palminteri Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Animals, cameras, Conservation Solutions, data collection, Fish, Marine Animals, Monitoring, Oceans, Research, Saltwater Fish, Software, Surveying, surveys, Technology, Wildtech last_img read more

Palm oil processors top plantations in destroying proboscis monkey habitat

first_imgBanner image: Proboscis monkeys in Borneo have lost habitat to oil palm plantations and shrimp farms. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Animals, Apes, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Mangroves, Monkeys, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. The oil palm processing industry has overtaken palm plantations as the biggest cause of the loss of habitat for the endangered proboscis monkey in Indonesia’s Balikpapan Bay.A new study pinpoints the shift to 2007, when suitable land for palm oil plantations ran out and there was a boom in building the industry and infrastructure to process and ship out the commodity.Plantations continue to be a key factor in the loss of habitat, with RSPO-certified companies clearing proboscis monkey habitat despite such activity being prohibited under the terms of the sustainability scheme.The area continues to face further threats with plans for greater industrial expansion and the development of a new capital city nearby. JAKARTA — The oil palm processing industry has become the biggest threat to the iconic and endangered proboscis monkeys of Indonesian Borneo, a new study has found.The study, published in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation, analyzed the loss of habitat of the proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) in Balikpapan Bay, home to one of the largest populations of the species, using data from 2000 to 2017.It found that during that period, the monkey’s habitat shrank by a nearly an eighth of its size, from 231.7 to 203 square kilometers (89.5 to 78.4 square miles).The main cause for that loss up until 2007 was land conversion for palm oil plantations, affecting primarily non-mangroves areas. After 2007, the rate of habitat loss due to plantation development slowed down substantially because of a scarcity of suitable land. What followed instead was a boom in the palm oil processing industry, represented by a slate of bulking stations, refineries and biodiesel plants that are already operating or under construction.“Once most of the suitable land was converted to plantations, the subsequent industrial expansion became the most considerable threat to proboscis monkeys in Balikpapan Bay,” the report says.The industry flourished in Balikpapan, one of the largest cities in Indonesian Borneo and home to a bustling port that can accommodate palm oil bulk carriers.Deforestation for oil palm in East Kalimantan, Indonesia in 2016. Photo courtesy of Linus.Different kind of habitat lossThe nature of habitat loss brought about by the palm oil processing industry is vastly different from that associated with oil palm plantations.For one, industrial expansion leads to loss of both mangrove and non-mangrove forests. And it tends to cause widely scattered deforestation because of the need to build expanded infrastructure, such as ports, power lines and, in particular, roads.That translates into not just loss of habitat for the proboscis monkey, but also fragmentation of its remaining populations and the attendant impacts, including loss of access to food resources.The study cites the case of the Somber River, located right next to the city of Balikpapan. The river is a non-mangrove area where the proboscis monkey lives. But it has been highly degraded, with many of the native Sonneratia alba mangrove trees dead.The report describes the situation along the Somber River as “rather alarming,” given that the mangrove trees represent the single main food resource for the monkeys living in the highly fragmented habitat.“Instead of the total habitat, the availability and access to key food resources may determine the future development of the population,” the study says.Proboscis monkeys grooming. Image by Sue Palminteri/Mongabay.RSPO-certified habitat clearingEven as it’s been overtaken by industrial expansion as the main cause of the loss of proboscis monkey habitat, clearing of land for oil palm plantations continues to be a major problem, the study says.And third-party “sustainability” certification isn’t a check on the problem: most of the companies responsible for the loss of monkey habitat in Balikpapan Bay are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). In fact, all of the concessions managed by RSPO members continued clearing land after 2005, according to the study.The study cites the case of RSPO member Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd., whose local joint venture, PT AIEK-Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd., reportedly cleared 8.96 km2 (3.46 mi2) of non-mangrove proboscis monkey habitat for plantations. The study authors described the company as “the most prominent single stakeholder responsible for proboscis monkey habitat loss in Balikpapan Bay.”Findings like these call into question the effectiveness of the RSPO as a check on the environmental destruction associated with the palm oil industry, given that habitat clearance constitutes a violation of the RSPO Principles and Criteria. Under those rules, all proboscis monkey habitats are classified as a high conservation value (HCV) forest because of the presence of rare, threatened or endangered species.“It does not seem that the membership in RSPO plays a major role in halting the forest loss in either plantation or industrial concessions,” the study says.But it also says that the destroyed habitat can still be rehabilitated, including the land cleared by PT AIEK-Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd.“If the corporation decides, either voluntarily or under pressure by RSPO, to restore this habitat, they would instantly turn from a major destroyer to a pioneer in proboscis monkey conservation in Balikpapan Bay,” the study says.In response to the findings, the RSPO confirmed that Goodhope was one of its members and that its local venture partner, PT AIEK, was not certified.“Additionally, we found that no formal complaints have been lodged through RSPO’s Complaints and Appeals system against PT AIEK, nor its parent company,” the RSPO told Mongabay.But even without a complaint being lodged, the RSPO said all its members were expected to abide by its rules, regardless of whether or not they were certified.Proboscis monkey. Image by Rhett Butler/MongabayFurther threatsRealistically, though, the rate of habitat loss looks to increase in the coming years, with the government planning major projects to turn the area into an industrial powerhouse. These include plans like an extension of the Kariangau industrial park, which would involve large-scale clearing of coastal forests.Under Balikpapan’s latest municipal zoning plans, non-mangrove forests within the industrial park have been allocated for industry, with the mangrove forests untouched. Activists have criticized the expansion plan, saying it could lead to further loss of habitat for numerous species, including the proboscis monkey.The government also plans to develop another industrial estate in the neighboring district of North Penajam Paser, which will overlap with a large area of existing proboscis monkey habitat.Another part of North Penajam Paser will also be home to Indonesia’s new capital city, which President Joko Widodo announced last year would be relocated from the chronically congested and fast-sinking Jakarta. Environmental activists have voiced concerns that the relocation and attendant construction boom will spell doom for several endemic species, including the proboscis monkey. The new study also raises this point, saying that the move “is likely to result in the next dramatic change in the rate and causation of the proboscis monkey habitat loss in Balikpapan Bay.”President Widodo claims the new capital will be designed in such a way to minimize disruptions to the proboscis monkey, while the minister of public works, Basuki Hadi Moeljono, has promised to review the infrastructure development plan to protect the species.The initial plan was to build transportation infrastructure in Balikpapan Bay to channel construction supplies inland to the new capital. But after learning that Balikpapan Bay is a natural habitat of the proboscis monkey, Basuki said he changed the plan.“[The habitat] can’t be touched,” he told local media. “[We] have to build the connectivity first.”Citation:Toulec, T., Lhota, S., Soumarová, H., Putera, A. K. S., & Kustiawan, W. (2020). Shrimp farms, fire or palm oil? Changing causes of proboscis monkey habitat loss. Global Ecology and Conservation, 21. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00863center_img Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

[Carré de Guy Hellers] “La VAR m’énerve trop”

first_imgJe ne veux pas parler des décisions de la VAR, sinon je m’énerve de trop. L’autre rencontre, qui fut plaisante, c’était Juventus – Ajax. Lors des trente premières minutes, je me suis fait la réflexion de savoir si la Juventus tiendrait ce rythme-là pendant 90minutes. Au fil du temps, le pressing de la Vieille Dame devenait de moins en moins important et les qualités des joueurs de l’Ajax ont pris le dessus.La tactique d’Allegri était plus ou moins la même que lors du match précédent contre l’Atlético, mais les joueurs de l’Ajax sont supérieurs à ceux de l’Atlético tant au niveau technique qu’au niveau des transmissions. Je m’attendais à une autre stratégie et une autre tactique de la part de Mister Allegri, voir plutôt une Juve plus défensive, et je m’attendais à ce que le jeune Keane débute la rencontre. Dommage pour Mire Pjanic que sa Juve soit éliminée, mais il faut reconnaître que l’Ajax était plus fort ce jour-là.”Retrouvez l’intégralité de la chronique de Guy Hellers tous les mercredis dans notre édition papier. Comme chaque mercredi, l’ancien sélectionneur du Luxembourg Guy Hellers pose son regard sur le foot local et international. Ça pique, c’est passionné et ça vibre football ! Morceaux choisis…“J’attendais Keane”“Un match complètement dingo s’est déroulé au théâtre de l’Etihad Stadium devant 54 000 spectateurs : c’était Manchester City – Tottenham. Même le grand réalisateur Alfred Hitchcock ne l’aurait jamais imaginé. La rencontre se termine sur la victoire de City par 4-3, mais malgré cela, les Citizens de Guardiola sont éliminés. Sept buts lors d’un quart de finale en Champions League, c’est assez rare, mais ce qui était étonnant, c’est que cinq buts ont été marqués au cours des vingt premières minutes. Le «Pep» était abattu et malheureux, et s’il avait pu, il se serait arraché les cheveux. Partagerlast_img read more

Dino Toppmöller, officiellement coach de Virton

first_imgLQ La confirmation officielle est tombée vendredi en fin de matinée, lors d’une conférence de presse de l’Excelsior Virton : Dino Toppmöller sera l’entraîneur du club récemment monté en D2 belge. Dans son sillage, il emmène Kevin Malget, international du F91. Tout comme comme Stelvio Cruz (F91) qui a aussi un accord de principe. Marwane Benamra (Mondorf) et Filip Bojic (Pétange) sont également du voyage. Les ponts entre Virton et Dudelange, liés par Flavio Becca, continuent donc de s’allonger avec la venue pour deux saisons du coach champion de BGL Ligue et vainqueur de la Coupe de Luxembourg cette saison. Partagerlast_img read more

Fola-Progrès : et si c’était ça, le choc pour le titre ?

first_img Partager On ne sait pas exactement ce que veut dire Vrabec par «durablement» mais Jeff Strasser, lui, calcule différemment. «On va accueillir un favori déclaré et l’équipe la plus forte que nous ayons à jouer cette année. À nous de tout mettre dans ce match parce qu’il y a quatre points d’écart.»Vrabec : «Le Fola aussi va défendre»Son dernier choc disputé au Galgenberg, contre un Titus costaud, le Fola l’a joué finement, avec le vice d’une longue expérience. Abandonnant le ballon aux Pétangeois pour mieux les contrer, de manière chirurgicale. Faut-il s’attendre à la même chose ? Vrabec se pose la question : «La plupart des équipes défendent contre nous. Notre challenge, c’est de parvenir à créer dans ces conditions. Et le Fola va défendre aussi. Ou plutôt ils vont devoir le faire. On a désormais des certitudes dans notre façon de faire le jeu et notre adversaire risque de jouer la contre-attaque. Mais je ne suis pas sûr de ce qu’on doit attendre. Vont-ils jouer bas ? Je m’attends quand même à ce qu’ils pressent haut, par séquences, pour guetter la faute et nous contrer. Cela sera sans doute un mélange des deux.»De façon très schématisée, donc : un candidat déclaré qui va jouer sur sa force contre un candidat déclaré qui doit jouer sur son vice. Car ce Fola encore cynique mais pas reluisant contre Grevenmacher en Coupe doit aussi composer avec sa forme du moment et un Dikaba dont tout le monde se demande s’il pourrait débuter un tel duel. Strasser, forcément, refuse de s’étendre sur la question mais peut préciser ses intentions après la médiocre prestation livrée sur les bords de Moselle : «On doit être meilleurs et on sera meilleurs.»Julien Mollereau [BGL Ligue – 7e journée] Ce choc entre le 4e et le leader prend une allure inédite après la faillite dudelangeoise à Pétange, en semaine.Ils ne peuvent pas se cacher. Pétange et Differdange étant plutôt dans une saison de transition ou de construction, la Jeunesse manquant de profondeur de banc, le Fola et le Progrès sont, de facto, les deux équipes qui semblent aujourd’hui les mieux outillées pour profiter des ratés à répétition du quadruple champion en titre dudelangeois et elles l’assument.«Je ne vois pas ce que le F91 a à faire là-dedans», lâche pourtant Jeff Strasser en introduction. Eh bien c’est qu’avec un tel retard qui sera dur à combler, un Fola – Progrès, ce dimanche (18h30), c’est la porte ouverte à tous les fantasmes. «Ah ça, répond Roland Vrabec, son homologue du Progrès, celle de ces deux équipes sérieuses et à l’excellente mentalité qui s’imposera sera bien partie pour s’installer durablement.»last_img read more

Pedro injects life in Chelsea’s season in English Premier League

first_imgLIVERPOOL (AP): Pedro Rodriguez was signed by Chelsea to inject some life into the English champions after their lacklustre start to the season. He took 30 minutes to do just that. The Spain forward scored one goal and set up another in his first half-hour of Premier League football, setting Chelsea on its way to a 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion and a first victory of its title defence. “How many top players come to England and don’t perform immediately,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said of Pedro, who joined for $33 million from Barcelona. “People ask if he is the right player, can he adapt? … It’s very nice for him to perform the way he did.” Crisis averted for Chelsea, which had opened with one point from two games, but there’s still a way to go to catch first-place Manchester City. City earned its third straight win this season – and a club record-equalling ninth victory in a row – by beating Everton 2-0, thanks to second-half goals by Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri. With eight goals scored and none conceded, it is an ominous start by a team looking for a third title in five seasons. “You see a team that are at their very, very best,” Everton manager Roberto Mancini said of City, “when they only need half a chance to hurt you. They are really enjoying their moment.” Liverpool is the only other team with a 100 per cent start, ahead of its match at Arsenal on Monday that wraps up the third round of games. Watford drew 0-0 with Southampton in yesterday’s other game. Rodriguez’s bright display overshadowed another tough afternoon for his new captain, John Terry. A week after getting substituted – for the first time in 177 matches under Mourinho – during a 3-0 loss at Man City, Terry was sent off against West Brom for a professional foul in the 54th minute when his side was 3-1 ahead. Chelsea conceded almost straight away but held on comfortably at The Hawthorns, restoring some order after drawing 2-2 at home to Swansea and getting overwhelmed by City. Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved James Morrison’s 14th-minute penalty before Rodriguez scored the opener in the 20th, trading passes with Eden Hazard and sending in a shot that deflected inside the near post. Ten minutes later, Rodriguez turned provider by driving in a cross-shot that was bundled in by a sliding Diego Costa at the far post. West Brom reduced the deficit through Morrison, only for Cesar Azpilicueta to restore Chelsea’s two-goal cushion by racing onto Costa’s lay-off and slotting in a low finish for his first Premier League goal. Spain internationals scored all of the visitors’ goals. City finished last season with six straight wins, perhaps keeping coach Manuel Pellegrini in a job, and has carried that run into this campaign after spending more than $150 million this summer. Raheem Sterling – signed for £49 million (US$76 million) – has added an extra dimension to City’s attack and is providing a different problem for opposition defences, which is allowing others like David Silva and Yaya Toure to shine. Silva and Sterling were involved in the build-up to Kolarov’s 60th-minute opener, with the left back charging upfield and running onto Sterling pass to beat American goalkeeper Tim Howard at his near post. Nasri exchanged a one-two with Toure before chipping Howard from close range for the second in the 88th. “What other teams think about our team is not our problem,” Pellegrini said when asked if City was making a statement to its rivals. “The important thing is to be a consistent team until the end.” enjoying their momentlast_img read more

More Sports In Brief

first_img49ers GM Trent Baalke confirms firing SANTA CLARA  California (AP): San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke says he has been fired by the team. Baalke confirmed the news yesterday during his pregame interview with the team’s flagship radio station KNBR. The 49ers had no comment on Baalke’s announcement before the team’s season finale against Seattle. ESPN reported Saturday night that both Baalke and coach Chip Kelly are expected to be fired after the season. Lynn frontrunner to become Bills head coach BUFFALO, New York (AP): Buffalo Bills interim coach Anthony Lynn is the clear favourite to take over the job permanently, two people with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press yesterday. One person called Lynn’s succession to replace Rex Ryan as being “the working plan”. Another person said the final decision on general manager Doug Whaley’s recommendation rests solely with owners Terry and Kim Pegula. Both people spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity yesterday because the Bills have not revealed details of their coaching search. Lynn is the Bills offensive coordinator. He was promoted to be the team’s interim head coach after Ryan was fired on Tuesday. The plan to hire Lynn could still be derailed in Buffalo because he is still required to conduct a formal interview. There’s also the potential of other teams expressing interest to interview him for their respective openings. Pakistan’s former cricketer Ahmed dies ISLAMABAD (AP): Imtiaz Ahmed, Pakistan’s former test wicketkeeper-batsman who became a chief selector after his playing career, has died. He was 88. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Ahmed, Pakistan’s oldest living test cricketer, died Saturday in Lahore following a chest infection. Ahmed played 41 tests from 1952-62, scoring 2,079 runs at an average of 29 and taking 77 catches. He hit three centuries, including a career-best 209 against New Zealand at Lahore in 1955, three years after touring India with Pakistan’s first official test side. “This is a sad day for Pakistan cricket,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a statement. “Losing another legend after Hanif Mohammad in the same year is a great loss to Pakistan’s cricket. The entire cricketing fraternity in this country is in sorrow over the sad demise of Imtiaz Ahmed. He was a great gentleman and will be missed.” Ahmed notably took seven catches off the pace bowling of Fazal Mehmood’s bowling to help Pakistan beat England at the Oval in 1954. He served as chief selector from 1976-78 and was a consultant for the PCB’s women’s cricket activities from 2005-08.last_img read more

Wozniacki cruises into Australian Open 2nd round

first_imgShe will next play either Japan’s Misa Eguchi or Croatia’s Jana Fett.It had looked plain sailing for the woman who won the prestigious season-ending WTA Tour championships in Singapore when she raced through the first set in just 29 minutes and then took a 2-0 lead in the second.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkBut the 44th-ranked left-hander Buzarnescu, sporting a heavily taped shoulder, would not lie down and broke Wozniacki twice to lead 3-2.Undaunted, the experienced Wozniacki, who first rose to world number one in 2010, reasserted her dominance, taking four games in a row to close out with a cry of “come on”. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Criticism of Margaret Court is muted at Australian Open FILE – Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark hits a return against Sachia Vickery of the US during their women’s singles semi-final match at the WTA Auckland Classic tennis tournament in Auckland on January 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL BRADLEYCaroline Wozniacki kept her quest for a first Grand Slam title on course at the Australian Open on Monday, cruising into the second round in straight sets.On a day when a host of big names went tumbling, the second seeded Dane overcame tricky Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena in an hour and 11 minutes.ADVERTISEMENT “I knew it as going to be tough and I had to try to fight for every point,” said Wozniacki, who played an almost flawless match with just five unforced errors to her opponent’s 33.“We know each other very well as we played each other like a million times in the juniors,” she said of Buzarnescu, who made her first WTA final appearance last week in Hobart.“I knew she would be a dangerous floater.”Earlier in the day fifth seed Venus Williams, 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe and 13th seed and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens all made early exits, throwing Wozniacki’s side of the draw wide open.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals View commentslast_img read more

Utilising undemocratic manoeuvres

first_imgDear Editor,Recently, a type of political and legislative events has piercingly inundated the democratic environment of Guyana, a member of the Caricom Community and the Commonwealth group of countries.The activities emerged from the necessary representation and efforts by the political Opposition – particularly Bharrat Jagdeo, against the perceived and obvious constitutional breaches – to free our citizens from the burgeoning choke invoked by the APNU/AFC Government since 2015.The surreptitious cheating architects of the APNU/AFC’s main party, the PNC/R, have reacted to the people’s rebuff by utilising widely undemocratic manoeuvers in an effort to clutch on to power.The situation realises numerous unwanted threats and results in broader implications not only for Guyana’s internal and external relationships, but also for the region at large.In fact, with the matter brought before the fledging for recognition Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the region’s premier Judicial institution itself is placed on trial, albeit acceptance or rejection of its rulings by other regional members.There is no doubt that there is significant regional focus and interests in this regard, evidenced by the increasing volumes of commentary on the matter emerging from non-Guyanese observers.The crux of the matter is to establish in the context of the Guyana Constitution, whether 33 votes obtained by the Opposition in the December 21, 2018, No-Confidence Motion (NCM), is sufficiently greater than the 32 obtained by the APNU/AFC Government to be carried.This is given that the Leader of the Opposition duly followed the prescribed constitutionally approved approach, which the Speaker of Legislature pronounced as carried, as well as the Chief Justice of Guyana’s High Court.Conflictingly, the ruling varied by two of three Judges of the Guyana Court of Appeal, making our Judiciary the laughing stock in the Commonwealth judicial frame.Understandably, the potential treatment by one of its core institutions would have informed of the apprehensive silence of the Caricom Secretary-General on this another significant disruptive regional impediment.Notwithstanding, the CCJ has certainly signalled a very keen intent to see that justice prevails, given the prioritisation of this important NCM case, and other related matters. President Adrian Saunders recently said that the CCJ would consolidate the three extremely important cases and treat them as urgent while identifying May 9 and 10, 2019, for the hearings.The response by the CCJ is acceptably intuitive although it is obvious that the Guyana Opposition would have preferred an earlier date given the deliberate internal delays by the Guyana Elections Commission. Related also, is the fact that the Opposition premised the NCM on the increasing sufferings of the citizens due to the APNU/AFC Government’s breach of contract to the people; incessantly perpetuated fraud by its officials, wanton uncontrolled crime and the continued irreparable damage of the economy, for which the Constitution provides a halting mechanism. Concurrently, there has been clear democratic statements of rejection by an overwhelming majority of citizens, over the two Local Government Elections held since 2015.The hybrid suppression of Guyana by the PNC/R and the imbalanced GECOM Commission orchestrated by President Granger’s unilateral appointment of the openly biased Chairman James Patterson has no place in our democracy and must never be allowed to have a grounding.In fact, no amount of ‘political manoeuvrings’ and procrastination by Vincent Alexander and his two PNC Guyana Election Commissioners must be allowed to keep this Illegal APNU/AFC regime in Government.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

US$372.67M in Loans, Concession Agreements Under House Review

first_imgHouse’s Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning Chairman, Rep. Thomas P. Fallah.The House of Representatives is reviewing US$372.67 million Concession and Loan Agreements submitted by President George Weah, as well as an Incentive Agreement with the total investment of not less than US$34 million.The President said the Loan, Concessions and Incentive Agreements are in support of the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD.)These are the first “Agreements” after seven months following the ratification of the “controversial and failed” US$236.4 million Eton and US$420.8 million EBOMAF SA Loans, respectively.US$87.87M Loan AgreementsThe Loan Agreements between Liberia and the African Development Fund; Liberia and the African Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Fund are the second phase of the Mano River Union (MRU) road project between Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire.The second phase of the program, which builds on the first phase has an estimated total amount of US$87.87 million, but the overall objective of the project is to boost the post-conflict economic recovery of Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire by improving infrastructures, and promoting intra-community and regional trade.“This amount comprises US$52.31 million of the requested ratification loan in addition to a grant of 33.6 million, and the Liberian government counterpart funding of US$1.9 million,”  President Weah said in a letter to members of the Legislature.The House voted to forward the Loan Agreements to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Banking and Currency, Judiciary and to report within two weeks.US$25M Loan AgreementThe President also submitted to the Legislature for ratification a Financing Agreement of Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) between Liberia and International Development Association.The total portfolio of the project is US$25 million over a five year period beginning 2019 –2023.“The objective of the project is to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of smallholder farms in Lofa, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Margibi counties by focusing on production of rice, oil palm and horticulture,” the President’s letter said.Renegotiation of US$9.8M Concession AgreementThe House of Representatives is also scrutinizing the Concession Agreement between Liberia and Nimba Rubber Incorporated (NRI).The NRI will make a total investment of not less than US$9.8 million during the first 15 years to fund the cost of reconditioning some of the Camp Houses for the workers, and purchase of earthworks equipment to recondition 80 miles of internal plantation roads; renovate and upgrade the current medical and educational facilities in addition to construction of new ones.“…this agreement along with others were recalled by me for renegotiation with the National Investment Commission (NIC) to meet basic legal requirements and yield economic benefits. The renegotiation process has  been completed and a new agreement was  signed on October 5, 2018. This agreement, when ratified, will enable NRI to manage the Cocopa Rubber Plantation in Nimba County for 30 years…,” the President wrote.The Concession Agreement was sent to  the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery; Investment and Concession  and the Judiciary and to report within two weeks.SIFCA US$34M Incentive AgreementIncentive Agreement between the Government of Liberia and Golden SIFCA is under review by the House of Representatives. Golden SIFCA is a Liberian registered corporation, and it is a joint venture investment equally held by the Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP) and the Golden Veroleum (GVL)-Liberia.MOPP and GVL will separately develop approximately 10 hectares of the existing MOPP concession area in Maryland County with the total investment of not less than US$34 million. The SIFCA Concession Agreement was sent to members of a specialized committee for review.US$250M Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) IncorporatedMembers of the House of Representatives are also reviewing the Mineral Development Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Incorporated.The initial capital outlay is estimated at US$250 million, the government will retain 10% non-dilution equity in the investment.“This concession offers opportunities not only to provide direct benefits in the form of employment and government revenues, but also contributes to strategic aims to link the historically economically deprived south east of Liberia with the rest of the country,” President Weah said.“Although the employment benefits will primarily accrue to the aforementioned four counties (Sinoe, Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee), where there could be significant positive spillover effects beyond as improved human capital and access to markets creates additional benefits,” the president wrote.The agreement was sent to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Agriculture,  Investment and Concession and the Judiciary, and to report within two weeks.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more