Man U set to reduce transfer activity MANCHESTER, England (AP): Manchester United are set to reduce their activity in the transfer market following several overhauls of the squad since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. United have spent about £500 million on new players under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and current manager Jose Mourinho, although the club hasn’t finished in the top three of the Premier League in the last three seasons. United sold two midfielders Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin and didn’t buy a player in January, with Mourinho satisfied with his squad and happy to wait until after the season to make further signings. “We aren’t in a position necessarily where we have to churn a large number of players,” Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, told investors yesterday. “We want to get to a more steady state and to be buying and potentially selling a lower number of players each year. UEFA wants 16 places NYON, Switzerland (AP): Europe will formally ask FIFA for at least 16 places in the expanded 48-team World Cup line-up, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said yesterday. “We think it’s realistic to ask for 16 slots plus another condition that each European is in a different group,” Ceferin said at a news conference after an executive committee meeting. FIFA decided last month to add 16 teams to the 2026 tournament. Two teams will advance to a 32-team knockout round from each three-nation group. “I think all 16 can qualify for the second round,” Ceferin said. FIFA plans to confirm continental entry quotas for the 2026 World Cup at meetings in Bahrain in May. Africa champs Cameroon ranked 33rd, Argentina still first ZURICH (AP) African champions Cameroon have moved up to No. 33 in the FIFA rankings, rewarded with a 29-place jump for winning the continental title over the weekend. Africa’s top-ranked team is No. 25 Egypt, who lost in the final. Previous leaders Senegal climbed two to No. 31. Argentina lead an unchanged top five following a month when no high-ranked teams played. Brazil are No. 2, followed by World Cup champions Germany, Chile and Belgium. France climbed over Colombia to reach No. 6. Mexico lead CONCACAF at No. 17, and Costa Rica fell two to No. 19. The United States dropped one to No. 29. Jamaica are ranked at No. 77.
Re “Porn is evil” (Letters, Dec. 4): I do not know which dictionary reader Mary Horey consulted that told her that the word pornography comes from two Greek words meaning “evil writing” or “evil pictures,” because all four dictionaries I consulted: Merriam-Webster, Encarta, Chambers and, perhaps the most authoritative dictionary in the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, agree that the word comes from two Greek words meaning “prostitute” and “writing.” Nowhere in any of the definitions or derivations is either “evil” or “pictures” mentioned. – Leonard Berg Van Nuys Los Angeles Different math Re “Numbers game” (letters, Dec. 4): Mr. Caine’s letter about LAPD work schedules needs clarification. First of all, time worked past 36 hours does not constitute overtime. Officers on the 3-12 schedule work more hours per year than on the five-day, eight-hour schedule. Every four weeks, officers now work 156 hours on the 3-12 versus 152 on the five-day, eight-hour shifts – that’s 52 more hours a year. As far as court time is concerned, do you really want your on-duty police officers sitting in court all day while criminals caper in your neighborhood? It’s interesting how crime is down since the inception of 3-12. – John Matassa Stevenson Ranch Deja Paul Once again with Iran, as he was with Iraq, President Bush has become the boy who cried “Wolfowitz.” – Marshall Barth Encino Making it up? I find it hard to believe that President Bush is receiving and distributing correct information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Is he making it up? Does he think we’re just dumb enough to believe this story again? Where did diplomacy go? – Rita E. Knox Van Nuys Cardinal karma Re “LAPD investigates attack on Mahony” (Dec. 5): Assuming the attack on Cardinal Roger Mahony really did happen, the Christ-like thing to have done would be to report the incident to police so that other people would not be placed in danger by having such an individual walking the streets of Los Angeles. Isn’t it ironic that the very defense that Mahony used against victims – that they should have reported the priestly rapes to authorities – now must be asked of him as well? What goes around comes around. – Rev. Mark J. Jaufmann Woodland Hills Assault skeptic Re “LAPD investigates attack on Mahony” (Dec. 5): I am glad that the Los Angeles Police Department is going to investigate this assault, whether it really happened or was created just for publicity. It happened in July and he just told several hundred priests in October. Why? Nobody is above the law in this country. – Saul Han Newhall Iran intelligence Is President Bush cherry-picking intelligence on Iran? It seems that even with our intelligence agency telling us that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003, our president is still trying to demonize Iran and make a case for war even though the facts don’t back him up. Does anyone still believe him? – Sid Adelman Sherman Oaks Not so hard Re “Hard choices” (Letters Dec. 6): While nobody can refute the need for all students to learn good decision-making skills, Mr. Dirnfeld has missed the boat in his response to the article about Jewish students having to choose between a Seder and a state debate competition. Our country has changed in the composition of its population in the 30 years since we were all in school. We need to realize that all of our students want to participate in academic endeavors and should not have to choose between an important academic event and a solemn religious holiday. The inconsiderate scheduling of some activities is a de facto method of excluding segments of the population from certain activities. Would we ever see the Academic Decathlon scheduled on Easter Sunday? – Rhona Steinfeld Northridge Iran threat It is indisputable that Iran is led by an unstable, dangerous president who is intent on building a nuclear weapon. They intend to use this weapon to destroy Western civilization. I can’t understand how any civilized nation would object to applying the most severe sanctions on Iran, while keeping alive the possibility of bombing Iran into the Stone Age. They threaten every nation in the world. – Russell Sadler Lancaster Crafty politicians Re “City thuggery” (Letters, Dec. 3): The letter writer asked why does the city target homeowners for taxing and not everyone? It’s actually very simple. People will always spend someone else’s money. As noted, there are more renters than homeowners, therefore they can outvote the homeowners. Crafty politicians are very cognizant of this fact and often structure tax proposals so that a majority of nonpayers can vote money to be taken from a smaller group: business, hotel room, cigarette, liquor taxes are other examples. There are more hidden fees and taxes than you can fathom. But, don’t worry, they’ll get around to you again. And another group will vote your money away. – Mike Gorman Glendale Smoke, mirrors Re: DWP’s rate hikes hit a snag The Los Angeles City Council is asking for a 60-day delay for the implementation of rate increases by the Department of Water and Power. That means the voters get a voice on the 9percent telephone tax first. Then, without a doubt, our city leaders will approve the rate increase. Who do these guys think they are fooling? A lot of smoke and mirrors so the public thinks the council is actually looking out for the ratepayers. I’ll bet almost anything the “new” rate increase will sail through the council regardless of the justification, or lack thereof, provided by the DWP. – Bill Merriman Tujunga Lip service Re “Making left turns easier” (Dec. 6): The mayor is going to fix 60 signals so it’s easier to make left turns. That’s great. We in Mission Hills have lost five people in traffic accidents in this last year on Brand Boulevard. It’s a speedway, but do you think we can get a signal at Arleta and Brand? No. All we get from our council office is lip service. All we get is surveys and people still speeding. How many more people have to die before someone gets off their duff and does something about this? – Joe Pinoy Lozano Mission Hills 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ Burst her bubble Re “Porn is evil” (Letters, Dec. 4): Mary Horey offers her opinion with such righteous authority that it seems a shame to burst her bubble about the origins of the word “pornography.” It actually bears no direct connection to “evil.” The word “porno” does derive from the Greek. It simply refers to a prostitute or prostitution. “Graphy” of course refers to writing. Even if someone with such a keenly developed sense of right might equate prostitution with evil, the linguistic evidence is just not there. – Randy C. Baer