Conte fights to avoid sophomore slump

first_img0Shares0000Antonio Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in charge © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 7 – Fuelled by the personal intensity that inspired Chelsea’s return to the top, Antonio Conte has vowed to stop the champions becoming the latest victims of the Premier League’s sophomore slump.A glance at recent Premier League history has provided all the motivation Conte requires as the Chelsea manager plots his team’s title defence, which gets under way against Burnley on Saturday. The last two English champions both sacked their manager in the midst of title hangovers the following season, with Jose Mourinho axed by Chelsea in 2015 and Claudio Ranieri ousted by Leicester City last term.Warning his players not to rest on their laurels, Conte said: “We know the next season will be tough.“Two coaches have been sacked from Chelsea and Leicester after winning the league and I want to avoid this.“The players want to avoid the bad season they had with Mourinho. We are working very well and we hope to find the best solution.”Jose Mourinho, now manager of Manchester United, was sacked the season after he won the Premier League title with Chelsea © AFP/File / Paul FAITHConte’s concerns have been exacerbated by a close season that has been far from plain sailing, despite his family vacation to soak up the Sardinian sun on a plush yacht last month.Since being drenched in champagne by his jubilant players at the climax of their title-winning campaign, Conte has become embroiled in disputes with his employers over a new contract and transfer issues.He was also drawn into a damaging feud with Diego Costa after telling the Brazil-born Spain striker via a blunt text message that he was no longer in his plans.Costa embarrassed Conte by making the message public, in the process making it much harder for Chelsea to demand a hefty fee for the forward, who remained exiled from the squad throughout pre-season.As Conte’s contract negotiations rumbled on and Inter Milan began to circle, reports emerged suggesting he might quit after just one season in frustration at Chelsea’s failure to land his top transfer targets.– Truce –Aware Chelsea benefited from the extra recovery time afforded by their lack of European commitments last season, Conte wants to add depth to his squad for a twin assault on the league and Champions League.Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) left forward Diego Costa out of the club’s pre-season tour of Asia © AFP/File / Lindsey PARNABYYet Manchester United stole a march on him to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and while Manchester City have spent over £200 million ($264.8 million, 233.5 million euros), Chelsea seemed to be dawdling.Appeased by Chelsea’s decision to allow him to hire two new Italian assistants, Conte finally signed an improved deal, which at around £9.6 million a year makes him the best-paid manager in the club’s history.Even so, it was notable his contract runs no further than the 2019 expiration of his original deal.With a truce brokered, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned the club-record £58 million signing of forward Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid and a £34 million deal for Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.Roma defender Antonio Rudiger cost £30 million and veteran goalkeeper Willy Caballero, a free transfer from Manchester City, will provide cover for Thibaut Courtois.Chelsea have signed Spain forward Alvaro Morata © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEBut Nemanja Matic’s £40 million sale to Manchester United leaves Conte short of back-up in midfield, while the ankle surgery that continues to sideline Eden Hazard further denudes Chelsea of attacking options.Chelsea made an inauspicious start to the season on Sunday as Courtois and Morata squandered spot-kicks to hand Arsenal victory on penalties in the Community Shield.Conte struggled to conceal his frustrations after the game, hitting out at referee Bobby Madley for sending off Pedro and refusing to answer when asked if he was satisfied with his squad.Faced with steering Chelsea through such choppy waters, perhaps it is not surprising Conte has cut a restless figure since returning from his Mediterranean cruise.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

African leaders to pledge for Somalia

first_img25 August 2011The African Union (AU) hopes to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for victims of drought and famine in the Horn of Africa at a pledging conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday.The one-day pledging conference will spotlight Africa’s response to the drought threatening millions of lives, most of them in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.The conference is expected to attract several African leaders who will be at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa for high-level meetings on Libya on Friday.Critics have noted that while several international donors have made generous contributions that are helping to alleviate the suffering in the Horn of Africa, Africa’s response has been slow.The AU has already pledged US$500-million, but the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the demands are huge, with a US$1.1-billion shortfall from a total $2.4-billion that is needed.Some 12.4-million people in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda, are affected by the worst drought in decades in the region and are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.South Africa, which has been providing support to vulnerable communities in Somalia, will be represented in the conference by Deputy International Relations and Cooperation Minister Marius Fransman.The South African government has so far raised R8-million towards the famine relief programme, of which R4 million was donated to South African NGO Gift of the Givers to help cover the costs of delivering aid to Somalia.“The government, led by the Department of International Relations, in partnership with Brand South Africa, teamed up with Gift of the Givers and launched the Somalia Relief Campaign aimed … galvanising South Africans to make donations for relief efforts in that East African country,” the department said.The South African government also provided free transport in the form of a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) C130 Hercules supply plane to the Gift of the Givers to deliver 18 tons of essential food and anti-malaria medication to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, last week.This latest consignment brings to 112 tons the total aid delivered to Somalia by the Gift of the Givers in a two-week period.This is in addition to government and other South African-based organizations’ efforts to bring relief for Somalis both in Somalia and in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.These organisations include Islamic Relief South Africa, Africa Muslim Agency, Netcare South Africa, the Al Imdaad Foundation and the Somali Community Board of South Africa.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Judiciary to run South Africa’s superior courts

first_img1 October 2014Staff and administrative functions attached to South Africa’s superior courts will be transferred to the office of the Chief Justice, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.The transfers from the Department of Justice to the Office of the Chief Justice, which are set to begin today, would go a long way to enhancing the institutional independence of the judiciary, Masutha said.Masutha said the decision to transfer the courts to the Office of the Chief Justice was founded on constitutional guidance: “The government appreciates that the independence of the courts and the rule of law can only thrive in a constitutional setting where there is clear separation of powers with appropriate checks and balances.”Administrative supportThe Office of the Chief Justice was established under the Public Service Act by President Jacob Zuma in 2010 “soley to provide administrative support to the Chief Justice and other Heads of Courts to ensure that they discharge their management of judicial functions in courts effectively”.Legislation passed in August (the Seventeenth Amendment Act of 2012 and the Superior Courts Act of 2013) places all judicial functions performed by judicial officers in all courts under the Chief Justice.Judicial functions include when specific courts will sit, which judges will hear which cases, when and where cases will be heard, case-flow management and recesses.The functions that will be transferred include those relating to the appointment of court managers, registrars, interpreters and clerks responsible for case-flow management and performance management.“Save for the judicial functions of magistrates all other administrative management functions pertaining to the Lower Courts remain the responsibility of the department, and not the Office of the Chief Justice at this stage,” Masutha said. The reforms also include the extension of the powers of the Constitutional Court to hear all matters, not only constitutional matters. This, Masutha said, underpinned the government’s commitment to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.Provincial efficiencyOther implementations in the Chief Justice’s Office include provincial efficiency committees that bring together the judiciary, police, correctional services and prosecutors to effectively manage court case flows and improve the administration of courts.In total, 1 486 members of staff would be transferred from the department to the Office of the Chief Justice, Masutha said.Director-General Babalwa Musekwa said they would transfer a pro rata sum of R1.4- billion, which is the budget for the year.She said plans for the office to get its separate vote in the 2015/16 financial year were on track.Source: Department of Justice and SAnews.govlast_img read more

Ohio Corn & Wheat Leadership Academy applications now being accepted

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio men and women with a commitment to the future of Ohio agriculture and an interest in developing their leadership potential are invited to apply for Class 4 of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Leadership Academy. This continuing education program is sponsored by Ohio Corn &Wheat and Seed Consultants, Inc.“As there becomes fewer farmers, it will continue to become more important to have stronger voices and more farmers engaged,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat. “We hope this academy will empower grain farmers to new levels of leadership; whether that’s serving on an agricultural board or engaging in a causal conversation with a consumer who has an agricultural question.”The Ohio Corn & Wheat Leadership Academy is a two-session statewide leadership development program created to educate and encourage Ohio grain producers to become more involved with Ohio Corn & Wheat and our grassroots programs. These programs will feature development of leadership, business and communication skills, which will result in a professional competitive edge for our organizations and the farmers who participate.Ohio grain producers from all over the state are encouraged to apply. To participate, candidates must be Ohio residents and must commit to attend both sessions, August 24-26, 2016, and January 24-26, 2017.OCW Leadership Academy application forms and details are available at or by email at [email protected] The deadline for applying is May 27.last_img read more

Quick Tip: How To Save All PDF Pages As Images

first_imgIf you need to turn a client PDF into a series of still images to put into your edit, this this little workflow tip could save you a ton of time!I was editing at a conference recently where we had to turn around all the videoed presentations, complete with PowerPoint slides edited in, in a short space of time. Most of the speakers duly uploaded their slides in PowerPoint format to a shared folder. Some however handed over their presentations as a PDF. The problem with using OSX Preview to export images is that (as far as I could figure out) it saves the images one at a time.Using a quick Automator workflow, I was able to quickly export out a 30-40 page PDF was exported as a series of JPEGs. Download my Automator PDF to JPG preset here for free.Note: This workflow is for Mac only.Saving PowerPoint Presentations as ImagesSaving a PowerPoint presentation as a series of images is exceptionally easy and fast. In Powerpoint for Mac hit File > Save as Pictures. From a dialogue box that pops up, you can set the format, size and resolution in a jiffy. Plus it’s pretty quick to export the stills to a named folder in numerical order.Saving a PDF as a Series of ImagesAfter a not-so-quick Google search I found this post on an Apple discussion board detailing this really helpful Automator workflow, that will turn a PDF into a series of images. As I mentioned above, you can download the free Automator workflow here. Unzip the file, double click on it and then press the Run button to run the workflow. It will open a dialogue box asking you for the PDF you want to convert and then spit out a series of JPG files on the desktop.If you want to create the Automator workflow from scratch for yourself, simply do the following:1. Open Automator from your Applications folder.2. Choose workflow from the first box that appears.3. Type into the Actions search box to find the three actions you need (as show in the image above) and simply drag them in order to the workflow editor box on the right-hand side. If you want to change the properties of the type of images created – such as their color space, format or resolution, do so before you run the workflow.4. Save your workflow to the desktop (or some where convenient) and you’re done.This PDF to JPG conversion is especially handy for anyone doing corporate video work or working with live presentations to video. Got your own hacks to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

How to Perfectly Position Assets in Adobe After Effects

first_imgUnderstand Anchor PointsAll layers have an anchor point, also known as a transformation point or the transformation center. This is an apt name because all of the transformations you perform on a layer are affected in relation to the anchor point’s center. You can move an anchor point with the Pan Behind tool, or by adjusting the properties of the anchor point in the transform section. The anchor point is often located conveniently at the center of a layer. If it’s not, you can quickly move it there by selecting Layer > Transform > Center Anchor Point in Layer Content.Manually Position LayersIf you’re working on a project where eyeballing a graphic’s position is insufficient, you can always manually position the layer. To do this, first, choose the layer and then go to Layer > Transform > Position. This will bring up your position dialog box, which allows you to specify exactly where you want your layer to be on both the X and Y axes. Choose the location in a variety of different units, including pixels, inches, millimeters, or a percent of the source or composition. Bring up the position dialogue box with the keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+P.Use Grids & GuidesWhile positioning assets manually can prove helpful, it can also quickly become cumbersome. If you’re working with multiple assets and you need more precision, you’ll want to harness the power of grids, guides, and rulers. Both grids and guides help you quickly align and snap assets to specific locations. Whether you’re trying to keep your graphics proportional or align several elements, these tools can help. To use grids and guides, go to the View drop-down menu or click on the grids and guides button in the composition panel. Customize grids and guides in the Preferences panel.Align & Distribute AssetsIf you aren’t already using the Align panel then it’s time to start. The tools in this panel allow you to perfectly position single or multiple layers in After Effects. Quickly align a layer to the composition’s horizontal right, left, or center — or vertically to the top, bottom, or center. You can also align layers to other layers. This is especially useful when working with multiple text elements that need to be precisely positioned. In addition to aligning, you also have several options to distribute layers vertically and horizontally. Check out these four techniques to precisely position and align graphic elements in your next Adobe After Effects project.If you’re relatively new to Adobe After Effects then you might not feel completely comfortable with the interface. You can quickly get lost if you don’t know the ins and outs of the program. It can be particularly frustrating if you don’t know how to properly control layers within the composition panel.Perhaps you’re having trouble getting a graphic exactly where you want it. Or maybe you want to align several shape elements with a title, but you just can’t figure it out. Check out the four tips and tricks below to get a better grip on how to use Adobe After Effects.last_img read more

SEA Games: Ice hockey makes splash in tropics, puddles and all

first_imgNATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Keeping the ice frozen isn’t easy in Malaysia, a steamy, winterless country where snow is unheard of, temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees C (68 F) and humidity hovers at 80 percent.READ: Filipinos break ice with 12-0 thumping of Indonesia in ice hockeyFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBut Malaysia’s coach, former Hungarian international Kristof Kovago, said his players were used to a bit of water on the rink — and even saw it as an advantage.“It is common in Southeast Asia because the weather is way too hot and very humid, and there are a lot of people inside (the venue), so it’s very difficult to keep the temperature down,” he said. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Asia is not known for ice games but I think this is a great milestone to develop this even further in the future.”He added: “It’s a beautiful rink compared to what we have in Indonesia, so we don’t want to complain about the wet or anything.”Tan, Indonesia’s coach, also brushed off any concerns about the surface, saying a few puddles were “normal” in Asia.“I’m happy for the development of the sport of ice hockey. It’s a stepping stone, we waited a long time for this,” he said.Figure skating and speed skating will also make their debut at the SEA Games, a biennial competition where the sporting programme is usually tailored to suit the host nation.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony “We’re used to it, that’s our advantage actually. We’ve practized a lot in this kind of situation,” Kovago explained.READ: Fil-Canadians boost PH SEA Games bid in ice hockey “It’s more sticky, so the puck will not slide. So a lot of times, you try to control the puck and you’ve just lost it because it will get stuck in the water.“So it’s not really an advantage but we got used to it, so we learned to play in these kind of conditions.”Turning up the heatADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Filipinos break ice with 12-0 thumping of Indonesia in ice hockey Read Nextcenter_img Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters In this photo taken with a tilt and shift lens, Indonesia’s players warm-up before their ice hockey match against Malaysia during the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur on August 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFANPuddles on the rink didn’t dampen enthusiasm as ice hockey made its Southeast Asian Games debut in tropical Malaysia, a country with no winter months but with ambitions in winter sports.As the hosts beat Indonesia 10-3 in the first SEA Games ice hockey game, marshalls with squeegees had to mop up water after the ice started to melt in the first period.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sunday’s game was at Kuala Lumpur’s brand new national ice skating stadium, in the heart of a suburban shopping mall which remains partially under construction.The rink, described by Indonesia’s coach Gary Tan as the best in Southeast Asia, has had a few teething problems and it was previously blanketed by a thick fog, before staff adjusted the temperature settings.On Sunday the rink was ringed by hundreds of enthusiastic fans, raising the temperature beyond normal levels.READ: Philippine ‘Mighty Ducks’ sets out to shock in SEA Games“In the first period they found it difficult to skate but eventually they were able to skate well and overall the play was quite good,” said Hisham Yahaya, Malaysia’s team leader.“They’re used to soft ice. The ice here isn’t very hard but they’re able to adjust.”Ice hockey remains in its infancy in Southeast Asia and is usually played by small groups of enthusiasts.Indonesia’s team have only been together for a matter of months, and they are playing only their second tournament after making their debut at this year’s Asian Winter Games in Japan.READ: 29th SEA Games officially open in Kuala Lumpur“This is a milestone in the bigger development of this super-beautiful sport, ice hockey,” said Indonesia’s captain, Jonathan Sudharta. View commentslast_img read more

BPA 2019 Will Be about More Than Just Brexit

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license The British Ports Association is looking at challenges and opportunities facing UK ports beyond Brexit this year.The BPA is keen to focus on port sector promotion, increased public transport investment, planning/consenting improvements and issues around people and safety which will all be priorities for all ports across the UK.Additionally, potential new border controls, changes to environmental and regulatory rules and a new fisheries policy remain as major themes for the industry in 2019.“2019 will be another critical year for UK ports and in the coming months we should start to know what Brexit will look like. UK ports provides important international gateways for goods and passengers and it is essential that the industry features highly in the Government’s Brexit considerations,” Richard Ballantyne, BPA Chief Executive, said.“This is particularly important to pro-trade facilitation measures in relation to any new border control processes at British ports and especially at the UK’s network of Roll-on Roll-off ferry ports which facilitate much of the UK’s European trade.”Alongside Brexit the BPA has been promoting a Port Zoning policy which it will be looking to evidence and provide further analysis on.“The BPA’s Port Development and Enterprise Zone concept is our vision is for areas around ports to be classified with a special planning, consenting, business and regulatory status to help stimulate port development and growth,” Ballantyne continued.The idea could see the growth of a network regional hubs around port and coastal locations across the UK.The BPA will also be promoting the case for increased road and rail infrastructure investment to better connect UK ports and encourage the development of a new national freight strategy to better facilitate trade and cargo transportation.In 2019 the BPA will also be examining safety and skills at ports, supporting the working of the industry body Port Skills and Safety which leads on training and landside safety issues for ports, and other relevant topics.last_img read more