The push is on to cure hepatitis B, a long-overlooked scourge of millions

first_imgImmune modulation Hitting a virus where it lives In a push to cure hepatitis B, drug developers are targeting nearly every step in the virus’s complex life cycle. They are also trying to boost the immune response. But some say it won’t be enough to block the virus’s entry into the cell (left) or the transcription, assembly, and release of new viruses (right). They believe a curative drug will have to eliminate covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), a minichromosome that the virus creates inside an infected cell. The cccDNA can remain latent for years or can adopt a highly active “open” form (inset) that churns out new viruses. (DNA integrated into the host genome produces viral proteins but not new virus.) Physician Su Wang, who has hepatitis B, is a voice for testing and treatment. None of her family is infected. By Jon CohenNov. 29, 2018 , 11:30 AM Drug functionsEntry inhibitors Koo was likely infected at birth or early in life. He was among the minority of those infected early who “resolve” the infection, suppressing the virus so well they have no signs of its existence. Other infected children produce huge amounts of virus for years, but they may suffer no apparent harm. That is one of the disease’s odd features: HBV itself doesn’t kill hepatocytes, the cells that make up the liver. The immune response to the virus does the damage, and many children have relatively tame reactions to it for a few decades, leading to the notion that they “tolerate” the infection.Most people infected as adults, in contrast, appear to resolve the infection. “There’s lots of hand-waving and speculation about why that happens,” says Chisari, although it may reflect adults’ more mature immune systems.But most—if not all—of the people who have resolved the infection still harbor cccDNA, and in Koo’s case the consequences were fatal. The chemotherapy suppressed his immune system, allowing the cccDNA to reawaken and generate a massive viral onslaught. “Every big cancer center has had at least one of these patients, and they learn from it,” says Su Wang, a physician at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, who is a friend of the Koo family—and is chronically infected with HBV herself.Wang is on the executive board of the World Hepatitis Alliance, a London-based nonprofit run by people who are living with, or have cleared, hepatitis B or C infections. This year the alliance launched a program to “find the missing millions” unknowingly infected with these viruses, promoting a “massive scale up” in screening and, ultimately, treatment. One pillar of the campaign is to reduce stigma and discrimination: Wang says people who reveal their status sometimes are dumped by partners or booted from medical school and health care jobs. This is a main reason why she recently decided to start speaking publicly about her own infection.Wang only learned her HBV status when she was a university undergraduate. Because she has normal liver enzymes and has consistently maintained low levels of HBsAg and viral DNA, guidelines do not recommend treatment with current HBV drugs. Nor do they recommend treatment for the tolerant group who, despite having high viral loads, have relatively controlled immune responses and no liver damage. But learning about her infection has protected her family. Wang’s husband received the vaccine, as did her four children, who were also infused with hepatitis B immunoglobulin (an antibody preparation against the virus). None is infected. Inhibitors of HBsAg release The push is on to cure hepatitis B, a long-overlooked scourge of millions Targeting cccDNA ANDREW TOMASINO HBV ambushed Arthur Koo, a structural engineer in Atlanta. After developing double vision that led to a diagnosis of a rare lymphoma, Koo began chemotherapy in early 2015. Routine lab work showed he had no liver abnormalities and no evidence of an HBV infection. By April, scans indicated he was tumor free, his double vision had cleared, and his doctors decided to do a final round of chemo as insurance. “It was amazing,” says his daughter, Joyce Dalrymple. “He was so much better that we were going to take a Disney cruise with all the grandchildren.”On 16 April, when Koo began the last chemo round, tests showed his liver enzymes had become abnormally high, a sign of damage to the organ. His blood also harbored HBV’s surface antigen, HBsAg, a protein that signals an active infection. Koo’s doctors thought they could treat the virus after he finished chemo. The next day, he felt faint and went to an emergency room. He had an astronomically high viral load and soon was vomiting and battling diarrhea, but it was too late to start HBV drugs. “He was mystified,” Dalrymple says. “He had fought all the side effects from the chemo and was prepared for that, but this was shocking.”Koo died 6 days later of fulminant hepatic failure.Like nearly 2 billion other people, Koo had somehow been infected with HBV and never knew it. HBV is at least 100 times as infectious as HIV, but it moves between people in similar ways: from mother to child (primarily at the time of birth), through sex, and among drug users sharing syringes. Odd clusters of cases have also been linked to day care centers, football teams, butcher shops, a sumo wrestling club, and an acupuncturist—settings where the virus could have spread through seemingly innocuous open wounds. The Western Pacific region, including China and Taiwan, where Koo grew up, accounts for nearly half of the chronically infected population.Although the HBV vaccine has greatly reduced mother-to-child transmission since it was introduced in 1981, some countries—even wealthy ones such as Canada and several in northern Europe—have been slow to adopt it as a routine childhood immunization because their burden of disease is low. China, which aggressively promotes vaccination, still misses many people in rural areas, says Jake Liang, an HBV researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. “They haven’t really reached out to the masses,” he says, even though up to 15% of the population is infected. Often the vaccine is not used as recommended: The latest global figures show 84% of infants received their three shots, but only 39% of babies got the critical first dose within 24 hours of birth. Viral DNA Reverse transcriptaseInhibition of nucleocapsid JON COHEN/SCIENCE V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE center_img In the quest to cure hepatitis B, an infectious disease that afflicts as many as one in four people worldwide, a small laboratory in a lonely nook of the Rocky Mountains of Idaho plays an outsize role. The lab, two nondescript buildings that abut a forest off a dirt road, houses 600 woodchucks, also known as groundhogs. These large rodents are a natural host for a cousin of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), making them a favorite research model for studying the disease. The owner, James Whipple, both traps pregnant females in the wild and breeds woodchucks in the colony. These days, he says, “It’s a job keeping up with the demand.”In woodchucks, as in people, the virus is a shape-shifter. It can lie low, tucking itself away in liver cells and giving few signs of its presence. It can establish a chronic infection, churning out new viruses but doing little harm. Or it can rage, triggering liver damage that can develop into HBV-related cirrhosis or cancer, which kills nearly 900,000 people around the world each year. Whipple’s woodchucks, which his lab infects with the virus to study its life cycle and assess experimental medicines, are also afflicted. On this October morning, a veterinarian is doing an ultrasound on the belly of an animal with a tumor-ridden liver. “That’s gnarly,” Whipple says as the bulky mass appears on the screen.HBV can be controlled with drugs and prevented with a vaccine, but the drugs have to be taken for a lifetime and vaccine coverage is spotty, even in many wealthy countries. Now, there’s a drive underway to find drugs that can permanently cure the infection, suppressing the virus thoroughly enough to free patients from the burden and expense of daily pills. In all, nearly 50 potential treatments are under development, which either directly attack different steps of the viral life cycle or boost host immunity. It has been a boon for Whipple’s business. “There’s been a flurry of activity with lots of companies,” he says. This year alone, Whipple’s lab, Northeastern Wildlife in Harrison, Idaho, has evaluated seven novel treatments.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The push for a cure reflects both need and opportunity. Nearly 300 million people worldwide have chronic infections, although only 10% have been diagnosed, and fewer still receive treatment. Meanwhile, recent insights into the virus’s complex life cycle have offered new drug targets, and the advent of remarkable—and extremely profitable—drugs that can cure hepatitis C, caused by an unrelated virus, have raised hopes of a similar victory against HBV. The result was the formation in 2016 of the International Coalition to Eliminate HBV, which includes more than 50 scientists from 21 countries.Although the coalition has “eliminate” in its name, it has a more modest initial goal. HBV’s most insidious feature is a latent form of viral DNA called covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), which forms a stealthy minichromosome inside the nucleus of infected cells. Many researchers think HBV infection can’t be completely cured without eliminating this stowaway. But no drugs specifically targeting cccDNA are yet in clinical trials, and for now the coalition is trying to catalyze development of “functional” cures. The idea is to knock back the virus, including its cccDNA form, to levels low enough for the immune system to keep the infection in check, allowing people to stop treatment.Frank Chisari, a pioneering hepatitis immunologist who is a senior adviser to the group and an emeritus professor at Scripps Research in San Diego, California, says cccDNA demands far more attention. “Very little work was done on it until a couple of years ago,” says Chisari, who adds, “we know virtually nothing” about how it’s created, persists, or decays. That’s because basic research on HBV has languished. Unlike, say, cancer and HIV/AIDS, HBV lacks a powerful advocacy group to push for more funding. “I don’t understand why hepatitis B is such an orphan,” Chisari says. “The magnitude of this disease is enormous.” Hepatitis B is completely overlooked and the funding is totally out of proportion to the problem and the need. Highly active “open” cccDNANucleosome Reverse transcriptase inhibitors The 2012 discovery of the polypeptide receptor that HBV latches onto when it infects a cell was a key advance. It allowed researchers at long last to replicate the entire viral life cycle—including the formation of cccDNA—in laboratory cell cultures. The receptor also gives drug developers a new target. And by engineering the receptor into mice and monkeys, researchers are developing new animal models for HBV that, unlike the woodchuck, are vulnerable to the exact virus that infects humans.Gilead Sciences of Foster City, California, which makes tenofovir and one of the bestselling hepatitis C cure drugs, has more than 60 scientists aiming to develop a similar weapon against HBV. “It’s our largest program in virology by far,” says John McHutchison, a gastroenterologist who is the company’s chief scientific officer—and keeps a stuffed woodchuck in his office. “If anyone is going to cure hep B, Gilead would like to claim that.”Currently, the firm’s lead experimental HBV drug turns on toll-like receptor 8, a protein on certain immune cells that reacts to viral genetic material by boosting production of interferon and other chemical messengers that crank up natural defenses against the virus. As Gilead reported last year at a liver conference, the drug worked well in woodchucks, driving cccDNA down to undetectable levels, and now is in phase II clinical trials. “This may be the next drug that will be licensed for HBV,” says Stephan Menne, an immunologist at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who contributed to the woodchuck study. Other drug developers are pinning their hopes on short interfering RNAs, meant to block the production of RNA from cccDNA, and on compounds designed to inhibit formation of the capsid protein that protects the virus’s genetic cargo.”Lots of pharmaceutical companies are throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks,” says Liang, a coalition board member. Chisari worries that immune modulators, a popular strategy, could backfire. If a person has a high percentage of HBV-infected hepatocytes, bolstering the immune response to infected cells could lead to liver failure. “There are a lot of false starts underway, and some might inadvertently do harm,” Chisari warns.Like Chisari, the International Coalition to Eliminate HBV contends that more effort needs to go into targeting the belly of the beast, cccDNA. In September, Gilead signed a $445 million deal with Precision BioSciences of Durham, North Carolina, to codevelop what are known as homing endonucleases—DNA cutting enzymes—designed to snip cccDNA. Gilead scientists have also helped clarify how a particular HBV protein known as X turns on cccDNA to produce more virus, providing a new drug target. “We’re in early days,” McHutchison says. “The field feels like it’s really starting to gain traction and momentum.” Other companies hope to use CRISPR, the genome editor, to cripple cccDNA in patients, as it has done in some test tube experiments.Proving that any treatment significantly depletes cccDNA reservoirs is a tall order. Current clinical trials evaluate how well a drug works by measuring its impact on HBsAg levels and viral load in blood, not on cccDNA. “That is nuts,” Chisari says. “They’re crossing their fingers and using wishful thinking.” Yet monitoring cccDNA directly means subjecting patients to multiple, painful liver biopsies. That could change, if relatively painless and simple fine needle aspirates of the liver can capture enough tissue. Immunologist Mala Maini of University College London has used fine needle aspirates to assess a wide range of immune responses to HBV in the liver, and she’s now collaborating with hepatologist Fabien Zoulim of the University of Lyon in France to see whether the technique can work for cccDNA studies.In contrast to the growing interest in HBV from drug developers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent a mere $44 million on HBV this year—and little of that went to “discovery research,” Block says. “Hepatitis B is completely overlooked and the funding is totally out of proportion to the problem and the need,” he says. Anthony Fauci, who heads NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, agrees and says if the stepped up push for a cure can show some progress, it will drive more funding to research. “All we need is a little bit of success to put more into it,” Fauci says.Eugene Schiff, an 81-year-old liver specialist at the University of Miami in Florida whose father was also a prominent liver clinician, has worked in the field since its birth, and he’s bullish about a cure. “A couple of years ago, they said it was impossible to clear cccDNA,” says Schiff, who is the co-editor of Schiff’s Diseases of the Liver, a standard textbook now in its 12th edition. “You never say that with science, and I knew it was BS. Now, people in the field are estimating it will take 5, maybe 10 years to clear cccDNA. And if we can cure the ones who have hepatitis B and continue to vaccinate the ones who don’t, we can eradicate the disease.” Because woodchucks host a virus similar to hepatitis B, they have become a model for studying the viral life cycle and testing potential treatments. For those who show signs of liver damage, doctors have been offering the same three first-line drugs for the past 2 decades. Two of them, tenofovir (borrowed from HIV treatment) and entecavir, target the production of viral DNA. Both cripple the reverse transcriptase (RT) enzyme that converts what’s known as pregenomic viral RNA—a product of cccDNA—into the DNA of new viruses. The third drug, interferon, is an immune system messenger that by illdefined mechanisms attacks various parts of the viral life cycle and also boosts the immune response against it. Each of these drugs can reduce a person’s viral load to undetectable levels and, in some cases, clear viral antigens from the blood. But none eliminates cccDNA.A year ago, a small study of HBV patients treated with RT inhibitors for 6 years or longer briefly raised hopes. Three successive liver biopsies found the 43 participants had “profoundly” reduced cccDNA levels after treatment, a group led by hepatologist Ching-Lung Lai of the University of Hong Kong in China wrote last year in the Journal of Hepatology. In 21 of them, even the most sensitive tests could not find cccDNA. Yet a follow-up study presented at a liver meeting later in the year found that in 13 of the fully suppressed people who went off their drugs, the virus rebounded within 6 months in all but one of them, leading them to restart treatment.There’s growing hope for a more permanent victory. The Hepatitis B Foundation, a nonprofit based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, tracks the drug development pipeline; it tallies more than 30 drugs now in human trials—a tripling over the past 10 years. “Hepatitis C was consuming all the hepatitis drug space, and with that cure, we’ve seen a stampede of interest in hepatitis B,” says Timothy Block, a microbiologist who started the foundation after his wife, a nurse, learned she was infected (and promptly lost her job).The potential treatments move beyond RT inhibition. Almost every known step in HBV’s life cycle, from infection to the assembly of new viral particles, is a target for at least one new drug. Others are immune modulators designed to turn up specific beneficial responses or dampen harmful ones. Many researchers suspect that, as with HIV, combining treatments that attack the virus from different angles ultimately has the best chance of success. Lots of pharmaceutical companies are throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. RNA interference Jake Liang, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases DNA integrates into host genome Timothy Block, Hepatitis B Foundation Reverse- transcribed DNANucleusHepatocyteVirusEnvelopeCapsidDNAcccDNATranslationCapsid assemblyEnvelope assemblyRNA productionViral receptorlast_img read more

Captivating pictures of Tania Sachdev!!

first_imgAdvertisementTania Sachdev – Indian Chess Player. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Picture Credits – Tania Sachdev (Instagram)Advertisementlast_img read more

Virat Kohli reveals Sachin Tendulkar’s pearl of wisdom in helping to deal with pink…

first_imgAdvertisementThe Indian skipper Virat Kohli revealed the tips he got from the legendary icon of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar. According to the skipper, the pearl of wisdom of the former star Indian cricketer helped me to deal with pink ball cricket.Sachin Tendulkar once told that the second session in day and night test match is more like the first session of day in the normal test match. According to Virat Kohli, the ball swung a lot in the first ten overs of the second innings of Bangladesh. After that, the swing was not there but it seamed through out the whole day.Indian skipper declared the innings at 341/9 on the second day. It is really difficult to play under the lights just after the Sunset. The ball swings more and moreover the track of the ball is difficult to recognize. Bangladesh lost three quick wickets within 14 runs at the beginning of their second innings. After that, Mahmudullah and Musfiqur Rahim built up a partnership. Virat Kohli also added that it would be a challenge for him to bat in the ‘Twillight Zone’ in future. The pink ball test cricket is certainly posting few new challenges towards the players which is good for the game.Bangladesh players train with pollution mask ahead of 1st T20 in Delhi Advertisementlast_img read more

Our Top 4 Takeaways from the Millennial Alumni Study Research Update

first_imgMillennials need to feel truly connected to the cause. What does that mean? Millennials need to understand why their money or time is needed and what effect their involvement will have on something or someone. The best way to illustrate this: through vibrant, engaging, meaningful stories of impact from your organization. The millennial connection is established when they feel tapped into the impact of your organization. This could happen by getting to know a scholarship recipient, going on a tour of a new center or exhibit, or meeting the individuals who seek shelter at your organization’s establishment.Communicate effectively and efficiently. Millennials far and wide prefer to be contacted via email than any other form of communication. However, this preference means constant email overload. The Millennial Alumni report found that 73% of respondents said that they want to receive email from their alma mater at least monthly. Brief highlights and digests of news and happenings on campus or at your organization are what this group is asking for!The online giving process must be easy and meaningful, not just a transaction. As part of this new release, the study looked at 35 alumni who were first-time donors. Of those, every donor under the age of 35 gave their gift online. Not surprising. What is very surprising is that 89% of these donors received a canned thank you/tax receipt email within 24 hours, but only one donor received a thank you phone call within nearly a month of his donation. The first-time donor’s experience is crucial. Receiving an automated email with a “dear friend” salutation just does not cut it with this group.Engagement leads to donations. This study update reinforced the continued importance of involving millennials as volunteers first to truly connect them with your cause. For some organizations, organizing volunteers and finding meaningful work can be difficult, but there are many ways to get millennials involved without creating more work for your organization. Have some key messages you want shared through social media? Pre-write some posts and share them with your volunteers so they can be your social ambassadors!Want to learn more about the findings from the Millennial Alumni Study and the Millennial Impact Report? Tune in tomorrow for our free Nonprofit911 webinar, Millennial Alumni Study: Key Takeaways for the Nonprofit Sector. Register here! Thanks to our friends at Achieve, we have valuable new insights into how Millennial alumni think, act, and support their alma maters and favorite organizations. Here are our key takeaways:last_img read more

Spurs must win every game – Lloris

first_imgHugo Lloris admits he is worried about Tottenham’s domestic form after they picked up just one point from a possible 12 and said his team-mates must win every game to avoid dropping out of the Premier League’s top four.Just four points separate Spurs in third from Chelsea in sixth in a tense battle also involving Arsenal and Manchester United, and a 2-1 reverse at Southampton on Saturday represented a costly third defeat in four league matches.Mauricio Pochettino’s men are heading for a warm-weather training break in Spain ahead of their next fixture against Liverpool on March 31, by which time Tottenham could be out of the top four depending on the results of teams around them. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Lloris told The Mirror that Spurs’ dip is a concern, but the team always expected a tight tussle.”It’s too early to talk about not being in the Champions League,” said Lloris. “I don’t want to talk about supposition. We will see what happens and we will see what we will deserve.”We are still in the race and that is the most important thing, but for sure we need to change something, especially away from home.”We know it’s going to be very tight until the end and it’s two places for four teams for the top four.”Am I worried by league form? Yes, it’s been four games now without a win. Especially against a team that you expect to get points from. It’s tough to lose games and it makes things very complicated for us.”Harry Kane Dele Alli Ben Davies Tottenham 2018-19Defender Ben Davies played down suggestions that fixture congestion was to blame for Tottenham’s dip but said a break would do them good.Spurs played five games in two weeks, including a 1-1 draw in the north London derby against Arsenal and a 1-0 second-leg victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, but their three other matches all ended in defeat.Davies said: “Every team has had a similar schedule to us. I’m sure it is a welcome break for everyone across the league.”In football, it is nice when you have a game in a couple of days to bounce back. We have to regroup and get ready.”I think it will be good to hit the reset button. It’s not so much about starting again, it is about getting that rest.”We’ve had a hectic period since December and it’s a nice break to get a few good training sessions, working as a team again and get back to winning ways after it.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

PHOTOS: Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhawan meet Nita Ambani, Aditya Roy Kapur gets injured

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Revealed: Top 20 richest clubs in the world

first_imgManchester United Top 20 richest clubs in the world: Man Utd beat Real Madrid to Money League crown Goal 08:01 1/23/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(23) Deloitte money league cover Manchester United Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Bayern München Inter Milano PSG Leicester City Barcelona Manchester City Arsenal Chelsea Liverpool Juventus Atlético Madrid Milan Ladies Premier League Serie A Ligue 1 Serie B Women Primera División Bundesliga The 2016-17 Deloitte Football Money League rankings have been announced, with the Red Devils retaining top spot, but who else makes the top 20? Manchester United have been named as the highest revenue generating club in world football for a tenth time, topping the 2016-17 Deloitte Football Money League with an income of €676 million (£581m).United were awarded  €44.5m in payments from UEFA for winning the Europa League last season, over four times more than Atletico Madrid recieved for claiming the trophy in the 2011-12 campaign, which was enough to place them above Real Madrid in second. The Liga giants claimed the Spanish top-flight title in 16-17, as well as the Club World Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and their second Champions League trophy in as many years. Their success led to the club generating €674.6m (£579.7m) of revenue, though it was not enough to surpass United as the richest club. The €1.7m margin between the two superclubs is the narrowest ever recorded. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Barcelona rank third in Money League with a revenue of €648.3m (£557.1m), with Bayern Munich (€587.8m/505.1m), and Manchester City (€527.7m/£453.5m) completing the top five.A record ten English clubs feature in the top 20, generating a total revenue of €3.8bn, helped by the fact that 16-17 was the first season of the current record Premier League broadcast rights deal.Tim Bridge, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, comments: “The Deloitte Football Money League has a particularly English feel this year and with the new broadcast deal and UEFA competition performance driving broadcast revenue growth of over half a billion pounds for those in the top 20, it doesn’t come as a surprise. As the Premier League is currently in the middle of its rights tender for the next cycle from 2019/20, the results of this will be crucial to determining the long term composition of the Money League.”Three clubs from Germany, three from Spain, three from Italy and one from France feature in the top 20.Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “European football continues to flourish financially, with almost half a billion Euro of revenue growth for the top 20 Money League clubs. And at the top, we’ve seen the closest ever battle for the top spot, with Manchester United pipping Real Madrid to retain their title of the highest revenue generating club in the world. United generated £581m in 2016/17.”In total, the combined revenue of the top 20 clubs grew six per cent to €7.9bn, a new Money League record, but how do the clubs rank overall? Goal takes a look.last_img read more

Who is UEFA Super Cup referee Stephanie Frappart?

first_imgThe 2019 UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea is guaranteed to be an historic occasion before a ball is even kicked.That’s because it will be the first time a female referee runs the rule over a major UEFA men’s showpiece event.UEFA confirmed the news at the beginning of August, revealing that Stephanie Frappart would be the chief official for the game between the two Premier League sides. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? It is a decision that has been welcomed by both Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard, with the Chelsea boss describing it as “a step in the right direction”.Ahead of the match, Goal brings you everything you need to know about Frappart as well as her predominantly female team of assistants.Who is Stephanie Frappart?Stephanie Frappart is a French football referee who has been on the FIFA international list of referees since 2009.She has been described by UEFA’s chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti as “one of the best female referees, not just in Europe, but across the world.”Hailing from the north of France near Paris, Frappart, who recently refereed the 2019 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands, has already officiated a number of men’s games.In 2014, she became the first woman to referee a match in Ligue 2, France’s second tier of professional football, and five years later she made more history by graduating to Ligue 1 in a game between Amiens and Strasbourg.”I feel a lot of pride,” Frappart said after that game, which took place in April 2019. “I can say that I have the qualities to officiate in Ligue 1.”I realise that this match has gone down in history. There was a lot of expectation, but I took it as any other game. I showed that I have the skills and the ability to be there.”Stephanie Frappart refereeShe will continue to referee Ligue 1 games in the 2019-20 season and believes that the experience at that level will help when toting the whistle in the Super Cup.”I’m now popular all over the world,” she said. “But I was also appointed in Ligue 1, so I know the feelings and emotions and how to manage them and how to train for [the occasion].”This is not my first appointment.”When announcing the news that Frappart would take charge of the Super Cup game between Liverpool and Chelsea, UEFA president Aleksandr Ceferin expressed his hope that it would inspire women.”As an organisation, we place the utmost importance on the development of women’s football in all areas,” said Ceferin.”I hope the skill and devotion that Stephanie has shown throughout her career to reach this level will provide inspiration to millions of girls and women around Europe and show them there should be no barriers in order to reach one’s dream.”UEFA has also used the historic occasion to amplify issues of sexism in the sport by inviting two female referees from Italy – Annalisa Moccia and Giulia Nicastro – to the game.Mocchia and Nicastro were both subjected to sexist abuse from a television commentator and a player when officiating a domestic game.Who will assist Stephanie Frappart in the UEFA Super Cup?Frappart will be assisted by two other female officials – Manuela Nicolosi and Michelle O’Neill – as well as Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir.Nicolosi, who is from Italy, and O’Neill, from Ireland, have both worked with Frappart before, serving as assistant referees for the Women’s World Cup final in 2019.Nicolosi has been a FIFA-listed assistant referee since 2010 and O’Neill has been on the international list as an assistant since 2011.”It’s pretty nice to inspire young girls, to open up the pathways for kids coming up. That’s pretty special,” said O’Neill of the occasion.”But this is not our first time on the big stage. I am one of the first Irish officials in a World Cup final, man or woman, so I already know how to react to all the emotions and keep focus on the task on hand.”Manuela Nicolosi Stephanie Frappart Michelle O'Neill referee Women's World Cup final 2019Have other female referees officiated men’s matches?Female referees have taken charge of other elite level men’s football games, but it is a relatively new development in the sport.While Frappart is the first women to referee a major men’s UEFA match, she is not the first female to take charge of a men’s UEFA game.Swiss referee Nicole Petignat was the first, having refereed three UEFA Cup qualifiers between 2004 and 2009.Bibiana Steinhaus became the first female referee in Bundesliga history when she ran the rule over a game between Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin in 2017. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Weekly Traffic Advisories

first_imgNEW WORK Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 HANTS COUNTY: Highway 102 The northbound lanes of Highway 102 from Exit 9 to Exit 10 near Shubenacadie will have one-lane closures for paving. The work will take place from sunrise to sunset until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Traffic control will consist of traffic barrels and signs. Speed reductions in the work zone will be enforced. Drivers should expect slower travel through the work zone. Local Area Office: 902-674-2146 Fax: 902-674-2170 Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 Fax: 902-893-6196 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Sunday Morning Delays on Highway 118 Near Burnside Traffic will be delayed on Highway 118 between Exit 13 at Burnside and the intersection of Highway 111 at Exit 4 from 8:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13. The delays are necessary to remove overhead sign trusses. Drivers should use alternate routes during this time period. Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 KINGS COUNTY: Gaspereau River Road Closure The Gaspereau Road will be closed from Monday, Aug. 14, until Saturday, Sept. 30, to allow for the replacement of the Minor Bridge over Curry Brook. Detour routes are marked on Gaspereau River Road, Grand Pré Road, Ridge Road, and Highway 101. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-424-0849 Local Area Office: 902-674-2146 Fax: 902-674-2170 Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-825-4827 Fax: 902-825-3593 INVERNESS COUNTY: Cabot Trail Cabot Trail (Trunk 30) from 6.2 kilometres south of Margaree Harbour to the new pavement at Margaree Harbour, will have a one-lane closure for repaving until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of a traffic control person. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 INVERNESS COUNTY: River Inhabitants Road and Cenotaph Road River Inhabitants Road from Highway 105 at Exit 2, southerly for 8.4 kilometres to the intersection at Cenotaph Road, and Cenotaph Road, from River Inhabitants Road about 2.5 kilometres east through the Village of West Bay Road, will have a one-lane closure until Tuesday, Oct. 31, for repaving. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 INVERNESS COUNTY: Cabot Trail The Cabot Trail (Trunk 30) from north of the East Margaree-Belle Cote intersection, north for seven kilometres, will be reduced to one lane for repaving until Tuesday, Oct. 31. A traffic control person will be on site. Local Area Office: 902-485-5254 Fax: 902-485-7047 Local Area Office: 902-752-6224 Fax: 902-755-7184 KINGS COUNTY: Old Baxters Mill Bridge Weight Restrictions The Old Baxters Mill Bridge, near Baxters Harbour in Kings County, is open to one-lane of traffic. Vehicles weighing more than 5,000 kilograms are restricted from using the bridge. RICHMOND COUNTY: Highway 104 Repaving work will restrict traffic to one lane on Highway 104 from east of the railway underpass (east of Port Hawkesbury) to Exit 44. Traffic will be controlled by a traffic control person. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Thursday, Aug. 31. Local Area Office: 902-674-2146 Fax: 902-674-2170 CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: North Sydney Rail Road Overpass The North Sydney Rail Road Overpass on Highway 105 will be reduced to one lane for repairs for 24 hours per day, until Tuesday, Aug. 15. Automated signals will control traffic. An alternate route is available through Northside Industrial Park. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-542-6342 Local Area Office: 902-883-9789 Fax: 902-883-8732 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 103 Highway 103 from Exit 3 to Exit 5 will be under construction for gravelling and paving until Saturday, Sept. 30. A reduced speed limit of 80 km/h is posted for the duration of the project. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. SHELBURNE COUNTY: Port Clyde Bridge Port Clyde Bridge on Route 309 is open until further notice. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102 southbound will have a one-lane closure between exits 13A and 15 (Highway 104) until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of signs. Commuters are advised to expect delays. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Trunk 7, Spry Harbour Bridge A 500-metre detour on Trunk 7 near Spry Harbour will allow for the replacement of the Spry Harbour Bridge. The detour will be in place 24-hours a day until Friday, Aug. 18. There will be two-way traffic on the detour with a maximum speed of 50 km/h. Local Area Office: 902-863-3420 Fax: 902-863-7365 Local Area Office: 902-424-6144 Fax: 902-424-7116 CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Route 327 Route 327 from the Highway 125 overpass to Caribou Marsh Road will have a one-lane closure for road repairs until Thursday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. VICTORIA COUNTY: Highway 105 Highway 105, from Humes River easterly to the West Side Middle River Road, will be reduced to one lane for patching and re-paving until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Work will take place from 6 a.m. to sunset. Local Area Office: 902-893-5797 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 COLCHESTER: Highway 104 – Cobequid Pass There will be intermittent single-lane closures for maintenance on the eastbound lanes of Highway 104 (Cobequid Pass), between the toll plaza and Masstown. Work will occur during daylight hours. A single-lane closure of about three kilometres will be used to separate the work zone from traffic. Motorists should reduce speed in the work zones. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Mount Whatley Road Bridge The bridge on Mount Whatley Road at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border will be closed until further notice. Local Area Office: 902-543-8169 Fax: 902-543-0686 Local Area Office: 902-893-5797 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 PICTOU COUNTY: Durham Bridge Durham Bridge, located on Green Hill Road and Route 376, will be closed for replacement until Monday, Oct. 30. Motorists are advised to follow detour signs. ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Beaver Meadow Road To allow for repaving, Beaver Meadow Road will be reduced to one lane from the intersection of Trunk 4 at James River for 3.2 kilometres to the intersection of Mill Road. The work will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Local Area Office: 902-752-6224 Fax: 902-755-7184 Local Area Office: 902-835-2702 Fax: 902-835-1860 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 118-Wright Avenue Interchange Between the intersection at Highway 111 and the airport, Highway 118 will have intermittent lane closures in both directions for interchange construction. Traffic control consists of cones, barrels and jersey barriers. Local Area Office: 902-396-8426 Fax: 902-755-7184 CONTINUING WORK ANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101, from Bridgetown to Annapolis will be reduced to one lane for crack filling and sealing until Friday, Aug. 18. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-424-5591 Fax: 902-424-7116 PICTOU COUNTY: Carmichael Road Toney River Bridge on Carmichael Road is closed until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. Detours are available on Poplar Hill Road and Meadowville Station Road. Local Area Office: 902-885-2821 Fax: 902-885-3090 VICTORIA COUNTY: Highway 105 Highway 105 from Exit 11 (St. Ann’s), to Exit 12 (Englishtown), will be reduced to one lane for re-paving until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Work takes palace from 6 a.m. to sunset.center_img -30- Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 Local Area Office: 902-424-4409 Fax: 902-424-0568 Local Area Office: 902-568-3378 Fax: 902-563-3379 HANTS COUNTY: Route 224 Route 224, from Cooks Brook easterly to Exhibition Grounds Road will have a one-lane closure for gravelling and paving until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons and a follow-me truck. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: Trenton Connector Trenton Connector from Highway 106 at Exit 1A, easterly to the Abercrombie Road, will be reduced to one lane for paving until Thursday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 Construction on Highway 104 at the Broadway overpass between New Glasgow and Antigonish has reduced traffic to one lane until Friday, Sept. 1. Traffic is controlled by automatic signals, however, delays may occur during peak travel times. Signs are in place marking an alternate route on Trunk 4 between Exit 27 at Sutherlands River and Exit 29 at Barneys River. Use of this alternate route is recommended. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125, Trunk 4 Highway 125, Trunk 4 in Sydney River will have a single-lane closure for paving until Thursday, Aug. 31. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Motorists are advised to expect delays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. with the lane closures and are advised to use alternate routes. Local Area Office: 902-883-9789 Fax: 902-883-8732 Local Area Office: 902-565-6841 Fax: 902-563-2517 Local Area Office: 902-667-6586 Fax: 902-667-3424 Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Trunk 2 Starting on Thursday, Aug. 17, traffic on Trunk 2 will be reduced to one lane for repaving from Fort Lawrence Road to the Amherst Town Line. Traffic will be reduced to one lane and controlled by a traffic-control person. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Friday, Sept. 15. ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Ohio Cross Iron Bridge The Ohio Cross Iron Bridge on the Ohio West Road over the Ohio River will be closed for replacement from Monday, Aug. 14, until Friday, Dec. 15. A detour is available on Ohio Cross Road. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-542-6342 GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Molasses Harbour Bridge Molasses Harbour Bridge on Route 316 in Port Felix is reduced to one lane for repairs until Thursday, Nov. 30. Temporary traffic signals are in place. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Wyse Road Bridge Wyse Road Bridge in Middle Musquodoboit will be closed to truck traffic while the bridge is being repaired. Trucks will detour via Route 356 and Route 213 until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. PICTOU COUNTY: Gordon Falconer Bridge The Gordon Falconer Bridge on Battist Road, over the Little Caribou River, near Sundridge, will be closed for repairs from Monday, Aug. 14, until Friday, Aug. 18. A detour is available on Trunk 6 and River John Road. ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Cape Jack Road Cape Jack Road, from Trunk 4 at Linwood, northerly to Cape Jack Wharf Road will be reduced to one lane for road repaving until Saturday, Sept. 30. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125 Exit 5A on Highway 125 will be closed for gravelling and the installation of a guardrail until Wednesday, Aug. 30. Detour signs are posted. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Trunk 2 Trunk 2 from Portapique River to Little Bass River will have intermittent one-lane closures until Tuesday, Oct. 31, for paving. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-752-7913 Fax: 902-755-7049 Local Area Office: 902-485-5254 Fax: 902-485-7047 LUNENBURG COUNTY: Sperry Bridge No. 2 Sperry Bridge No. 2 on Petite Riviere Road is closed until further notice. Detours are posted. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Trunk 22 Trunk 22, from Louisbourg town limits northerly for about 4.6 kilometres, will be reduced to one lane for patching and re-paving until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to sunset. PICTOU COUNTY: Eureka Mills Bridge East River West Side Road in Eureka will be closed to all through traffic until Friday, Aug. 18, for 24 hours per day for repairs to the Eureka Mills Bridge. Closure signs will be posted. There are no detours. Motorists are advised to use local alternate routes. Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 Local Area Office: 902-863-0364 Fax: 902-863-7482 Local Area Office: 902-794-5120 Fax: 902-794-5141 Local Area Office: 902-893-5784 Fax: 902-896-2259 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Route 209 Route 209 will be reduced to one lane from 2.1 kilometres east of Fox Point Road for three kilometres to the east for repaving from Monday, Aug. 14, to Sunday, Sept. 3. Traffic will be reduced to one lane and controlled by a traffic-control person. Work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. KINGS COUNTY: 101 Connector 101 Connector, (Middle Dyke Road), at Exit 12 to Belcher Street, New Minas will be reduced to one lane until Friday, Sept. 1, for re-paving. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-893-5784 Fax: 902-896-2259 Local Area Office: 902-667-6586 Fax: 902-667-3424 Local Area Office: 902-794-5120 Fax: 902-794-5141 PICTOU COUNTY: West River East Side Road The West River East Side Road near Salt Springs is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of traffic signals. Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Trunk 4 Trunk 4, from Cape Jack Road easterly to Frankville Road, will be reduced to one lane for repaving until Saturday, Sept. 30. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-667-2972 Fax: 902-667-3424 RICHMOND COUNTY: Black River Bridge Black River Bridge in Dundee will be reduced to one lane until Monday, Dec. 25, for repairs. Traffic control consists of traffic signals 24 hours per day. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-542-6342 CAPE BRETON COUNTY: Trunk 4 Lane closures will be required on Trunk 4 between Victoria Junction and Gardiner Road to allow for repaving. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Tuesday, Oct. 31. This is a four-lane section, so one lane will always be open in each direction. Drivers should reduce speed and drive with extra caution in the construction zone. VICTORIA COUNTY: Cabot Trail The Cabot Trail from Highway 105 to Yankee Line Road will have a one-lane closure for patching and re-paving until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to sunset. Local Area Office: 902-674-2146 Fax: 902-674-2170 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Lilyvale Bridge Lilyvale Bridge on the Lilyvale Road is closed for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. Detours are available on Camden Road and Riversdale Road. Local Area Office: 902-543-4733 Fax: 902-543-5596 PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 Sections of Highway 104, eastbound between Exit 21 and Exit 27, may be reduced to one lane for up to three kilometes at a time, until Friday, Aug. 18. Motorists are advised to expect delays on interchange ramps. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: White Hill Road White Hill Road has a one-lane closure varying in length and location during ongoing work until Thursday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. KINGS COUNTY: Highway 101 Highway 101, Exit 9 (Avonport) interchange, on and off ramps and roundabout on Trunk 1 will have one-lane closures until Friday, Aug. 18, for paving. Traffic control consists of traffic control persons. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. KINGS COUNTY: Trunk 1 Trunk 1 will be reduced to one lane from the intersection of Route 358, for 1.6 kilometres to the intersection of Deep Hollow Road, to allow for repaving. Work will take place until Tuesday, Oct. 31. Work hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Traffic control consists of flagpersons. last_img read more

Former cabinet minister Judy Foote bids farewell to House of Commons

first_imgOTTAWA – With tears in her eyes and her daughters and granddaughters watching from the gallery, MP Judy Foote bade farewell to the House of Commons on Thursday by urging more women to take up the challenges of politics.The Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal announced in August she would step down as MP to be with her family. She had been on a leave of absence from her Public Services and Procurement portfolio since spring.The two-time breast cancer survivor earlier revealed that she inherited the cancer-causing BRCA2 gene.“Getting my head around what having the gene could mean for my children, Carla, Jason and Heidi and their children, if they inherited it from me, was difficult and needless to say remains so, because unfortunately two of my three children did,” she told the House.She said that raised the spectre of genetic discrimination as she urged her fellow MPs to enshrine protection in the human rights act.“No one should be discriminated against on the basis of their genetic characteristics.”Foote was first elected to the Commons in 2008 after 11 years as a member of the provincial legislature and eight years as a senior aide to then-premier Clyde Wells.In her first job as MP, she was named a party whip, entering cabinet after Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won power in 2015.Before entering politics, she was a CBC broadcaster. She told the House that one of her most memorable stories was covering Terry Fox and his cancer-fighting Marathon of Hope.Memories of Fox came pouring back years later, when she was first diagnosed with cancer, she said. He had told her how his thick thatch of dark curls grew back after chemotherapy and she took solace in that when she lost her own hair under treatment.“As it grew back, I thought of Terry and his curls, but especially his positive attitude,” she said, visibly fighting back tears throughout her speech.Foote urged other women to get into politics.“As a women who has spent 28 years in political life, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to encourage more women to get involved in what I consider an honourable profession,” she said.“It really is possible to make a difference in the lives of others, especially the most vulnerable.”Foote acknowledged that women can face discrimination in politics, but said they can face it.“It takes a strong individual to stand up and fight back against bullying of any sort, especially if the bully is in a position of authority,” she said.“As I continue to encourage more women to get involved, I tell them of my positive experiences and that in my opinion there is no profession more rewarding.”Trudeau, who entered the House in the same election as Foote, praised her courage and fortitude.“She is, and always will be, an example of resilience, passion and grace to us all.”The prime minister called her a dear friend.“I’m going to sorely miss you having you by my side, but I know we all know that your family and friends need you by their side even more. I love you.”The two hugged as MPs rose in an ovation.last_img read more

UCP donations nearly double NDPs in 2018 as Alberta election approaches

first_imgCALGARY — Documents show Alberta’s opposition United Conservative Party raised more in the fourth quarter of last year than the governing New Democrats did in all of 2018.New figures from Elections Alberta say the UCP brought in more than $3.9 million from October to December, with a third coming from individual contributions of $250 and under.The UCP, helmed by former federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney, raised nearly $6.7 million for the whole year.The NDP reported a 2018 total of $3.4 million and a fourth quarter amount of $1.5 million.By law, an election must be held in March, April or May of this year.That means Premier Rachel Notley can drop the writ to start a four-week campaign as early as the beginning of February.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Alberta in crisis over low oil price Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

first_imgLaut said Trudeau seemed to appreciate how dire the situation is and was receptive to ideas. But Laut said he’s skeptical a federal investment in crude-by-rail, as the Alberta government has urged, would deliver swift relief.“I don’t know what more the federal governments can do that companies ourselves can’t do,” Laut said. “Getting (rail) cars is tough to do. It takes time to build these things.”Alex Pourbaix, CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc., agreed Ottawa’s ability to help narrow the price gap is limited.“I think the issue that we’ve all been debating is more of a provincial issue,” he said. “It’s very tough for the federal government to solve that one for us.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) Trudeau said the federal government is doing what it can to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, which would triple its capacity to carry oil to tankers on the west coast.The federal government bought Trans Mountain and its expansion project for $4.5 billion last summer only to have the Federal Court of Appeal strike down its approval, citing inadequate Indigenous consultation and failure to consider impacts on marine environment.Trudeau said the sector should benefit from his government’s announcement Wednesday that companies will be able to immediately write off capital investments.“The accelerated capital cost allowance doesn’t matter with differentials where they are because nobody’s going to spend any money,” said Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. executive vice-chairman Steve Laut following an energy-boss roundtable with the prime minister. Premier Rachel Notley has said the price gap between Canadian and U.S. crude is costing the Canadian economy $80 million a day.Hundreds of pro-oil protesters shut down part of the street outside the hotel where Trudeau addressed the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.Inside, chamber CEO Sandip Lalli grilled Trudeau on what Ottawa intends to do, including possibly investing in moving crude on trains as a stop-gap measure as new market-opening pipelines remain in limbo.“Currently, the federal government doesn’t have a plan to address the $80 million that’s coming out?” Lalli asked Trudeau in a question-and-answer session.“You think there’s a super-simple easy answer and there’s not. There’s a multifaceted complex issue and as much as there is a tendency out there in the world to give really simple answers to really complex questions, unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that,” Trudeau replied.“We need to make sure that we’re moving forward in the right way and that is where actually listening to the experts is sort of the best way to make policy.”center_img CALGARY, A.B. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Alberta is in a crisis as the province’s oil is being sold at a discount of about $45 a barrel, but he and some oil company bosses agree there are no easy fixes Ottawa can offer.“There is no question that folks in Alberta, folks here in Calgary, are living through extremely difficult times. This is very much a crisis,” Trudeau said Thursday following an affordable housing announcement.“When you have a price differential that’s up around $42, $50 even, that’s a massive challenge to local industry, to the livelihood of a lot of Albertans. I hear that very, very clearly.”last_img read more

MoroccoChina Silk Road Council to Boost SinoMoroccan Relations

Rabat – Representatives of Beijing and Rabat have established a joint Morocco-China business council to promote China’s gigantic Silk Road project. The council is set to oversee and implement the regulations of the bilateral agreement that Morocco and China signed in November 2017, regarding China’s Silk Road initiative.On Tuesday this week, a Chinese delegation paid a working visit to Rabat as part of the two parties’ commitment to fostering their 2017 Beijing agreement. The Chinese delegation also took part in the China-Morocco economic forum, a business convention organized by the CGEM (Morocco’s Employers Union), in collaboration with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).The Council envisions bringing the two countries closer together, with the aim expanding and consolidating commercial exchanges. During Tuesday’s economic forum, the two parties agreed to sign a memorandum to push for more bilateral engagement. The memorandum put a special emphasis on the promotion and endorsement of China’s “Belt and the Road” initiative, boosting Morocco-China cooperation on many fronts, especially maritime exchanges. According to China’s State Council, this project will reinvent trans-regional exchanges and cooperation.Faiçal Memkouar, the general vice-president of the CGEM, and Jiang Zengwei, CCPIT’s chairperson, agreed to involve their organizations in their countries’ growing bilateral ties, pushing for Morocco’s regional leadership in the African part of China’s monumental trans-regional project.As the Council will facilitate “the sharing of information” as “a joint platform” to ease investments agreements between the two countries, it is also expected to bring Moroccan and Chinese business leaders closer, especially by organizing a series of “business-to-business” meetings between Moroccan businessmen and their Chinese counterparts. The signatories of the memorandum declared that this will play a key role not only in furthering bilateral deals, but also in “concretizing existing business opportunities.”Morocco’s exportations to China have reached an impressive figure of 70 percent, the China-Morocco Silk Road Council noted, adding that more concrete partnership agreements will be signed in coming years. China is Morocco’s fourth commercial partner, and the Morocco-China Silk Road Council is expected to double the existing figures of Sino-Moroccan relations.China wants to maintain and further its growing global geostrategic prominence, and Morocco, as the first African nation to join the Silk Road initiative, is said to be a determining player in the project’s Africa branch.In that regard, the signatories of the memorandum stressed that the North African country’s geostrategic situation serves as the “unquestioned bridge between Africa and Europe,” which makes it an indispensable asset in a project as big as China’s “Belt and Road.” read more

Marrakech Festival Robert De Niro Criticizes Trumps America First

Rabat – Paying a homage to the legendary actor, director and producer, the festival honored yesterday De Niro with the prestigious Golden Star in tribute to his outstanding acting career. A friend and a colleague, Martin Scorsese handed the star to  De Niro.Delighted at the homage, De Niro gave a rousing acceptance speech in which he denounced President Trump’s policies.   Read Also: 17th Marrakech International Film Festival to Honor Robert De NiroWithout naming President Trump, De Niro said, “Sadly, in my country, we’re going through a period of grotesque version of nationalism.”He added that this version is “Not the kind of nationalism where we celebrate the quality and character of our diverse population; but rather a diabolic form of nationalism marked by greed, xenophobia and selfishness under the banner of ‘America First.’”The Oscar-winning actor argued that “arts don’t respect borders … the arts celebrate diversity, origins and ideas. Look at us here tonight we’re enjoying films from 29 countries; we’re united in our love for films and our common humanity.”Read Also: Marrakech International Film Festival to Honor Robin Wright, Agnes VardaThe speech was greeted with a standing ovation.Speaking of the talent of De Niro, Scorsese said that the superstar has the ability to attract people’s sympathy “with some really horrific characters.”The 17th annual film festival opened on Friday, November 30.Stars like Guillermo Del Toro, Robert Pattinson, renowned French film director Agnes Varda, and Egyptian divas Laila Eloui and Youssra are among the Marrakech event’s illustrious guests.Moroccan celebrities, including film directors and producers, musicians, photographers, actors, and designers are also taking part in the renowned film festival.On Saturday, Prince Moulay Rachid , who is also the President of the Foundation of Marrakech’s film festival, chaired a dinner offered by King Mohammed VI at the Palais des Congres in Marrakech.Prince Moulay Rachid, Princess Lalla Meryem andPrincess Lalla Oum Kalthoum at Marrakech Film FestivalThe prince was accompanied by his sister Lalla Meryem and his wife Princess Lalla Oum Kalthoum.In an editorial he afterwards wrote on the festival, the prince said, “After a year of reflection and introspection to redefine our editorial line, we gather once again to honor the magic of cinema.”Quoted by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), the prince said that “our objective is to bond cultures together in a global paradigm where migration issues are at the forefront.”The Prince also paid tribute to renowned actors attending the festival.International stars at Marrakech’s 17th International Film FestivalWe have the privilege to welcome Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Agnès Varda, Robin Wright, Guillermo Del Toro, Thierry Frémaux, Cristian Mungiu, Yousry Nasrallah, Jilali Ferhati among others.” read more

Danish Travel Agency Says Customers Still Want to Visit Imlil

Rabat – In addition to the Viktors Farmor Marketing and Spies travel agency, which confirmed that they will be sending more tourists to Morocco, another Danish travel agency has asserted that Morocco’s attractive destinations will remain a favorite for some Danish tourists.In an interview with Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), the director of operations at Marokko Eksperten Danish travel agency, Suzanne Bash, said that the “cursor is still in good shape in Marrakech.”Some people predicted that tourism, which plays an important role in Morocco’s GDP, will be negatively affected by the double murder of the Danish and Norwegian tourists near Imlil in the Atlas Mountains. Danish news agencies, however, have reported that Danish tourists will not stop visiting Morocco after the murders.Bash told MAP, “Naturally, we were shaken like everyone else by the horrible murder of Imlil.”She said that once the shock is over, Marrakech will remain a favorite destination for tourists.The bodies of Danish tourist Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Norwegian tourist Maren Ueland were found on Monday, December 17.Read also: Imlil Murders: A Timeline of the Scandinavian Tourists’ MurdersBash said that for her and other colleagues, it was a “black Monday, especially since it was a peaceful place that my colleagues and I had visited on several occasions,” referring to Imlil, a tourism destination near Mount Toubkal.She said that “with our local partners, the trekking guides and the authorities, we managed to overcome the shock.”Created in 2014, the agency has two offices in Morocco. Bash explained that it is planning to open a third in the northern region.She added that Marokko Eksperten will maintain Marrakech as a “flagship destination, while opening in the northern region of the kingdom, including Tangier, Tetouan, and Chefchaouen.”The director said that after speaking with some of the agency’s departing customers, many of them decided to go to Imlil, “although some preferred to spend their nights elsewhere, not because of any concern for their safety, but rather because of the general emotion that prevails in the region after the abject crime.”She said that professionals in the sector have been “deeply touched by the marks of compassion and sympathy that Moroccans have shown throughout this hardship, especially on social networks.”Read also: Imlil Murders: Muslim, Jewish, Christian Scholars Demonstrate Coexistence Between ReligionsThe travel professional said that Morocco’s attractiveness has not stop growing over the last few decades with tourists, owing to the proximity and the beauty of the country and its climate.According to Bash, in Morocco tourists can experience “the vast expanses of desert, majestic mountains, sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, or hikes through the winding alleys of the medinas and mountains and imperial cities.” read more

TSX advances amid rising commodities strong US data

The Toronto stock market was positive Thursday as commodity prices rose and consumer, housing and employment data pointed to a stronger U.S. economy.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 57.18 points to 12,009.08.On the corporate front, Aimia (TSX:AIM), the company that runs the Aeroplan customer loyalty program says it’s prepared to replace CIBC (TSX:CM) as its bank credit card partner at the end of this year unless it matches contractual terms offered by TD Bank (TSX:TD). CIBC says it’s reviewing the proposed terms to see if it will exercise its right of first refusal and that it will continue the Aeroplan business as usual in the meantime. CIBC slipped 19 cents to $74.84 while Aimia gained $1.46 or 10.5 per cent to $15.38.The Canadian dollar advanced 0.04 of a cent to 95.47 cents US.New York indexes also advanced as the Dow Jones industrials gained 139.19 points to 15,049.33, the Nasdaq ran ahead 32.49 points to 3,408.71 while the S&P 500 index climbed 14.22 points to 1,617.48.The Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending rose 0.3 per cent last month. That made up for a 0.3 per cent decline in April, which was the biggest drop since the fall of 2009. The rise in spending was due in part to a 0.9 per cent increase in purchases of durable goods such as autos. Income rose 0.5 per cent in May, the biggest gain since February and much better than the 0.1 per cent April increase.The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, declined 2,750 to a near five-year low of 345,750. Applications are a proxy for layoffs.Also, the number of people who signed contracts to buy U.S. homes jumped in May to the highest level in more than six years. The National Association of Realtors says that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 6.7 per cent to 112.3 last month. The increase points to healthy gains in home sales in the coming months. There is generally a one-to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.On the TSX, the base metals component was ahead two per cent while July copper rose one cent to US$3.05 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) climbed 31 cents to C$22.07.The gold sector gained about 1.9 per cent as bullion prices stabilized with the August contract on the Nymex ahead $1.10 to US$1,230.90 an ounce.Gold stocks sustained sharp losses Wednesday as speculation about when the Federal Reserve may ease up on its monthly bond purchases pushed bullion prices to three-year lows. Gold prices have deteriorated steadily this year as the precious metal loses its appeal as a hedge against inflation and deteriorating currencies. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) advanced 39 cents to C$23.79.The energy sector was ahead 0.55 per cent with the August crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 54 cents to US$96.04 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) improved by 35 cents to C$30.79.The telecom sector continued to lose ground in the wake of a report that American telecom giant Verizon Communications could be set to compete with the established Canadian players in the wireless business. The sector fell heavily Wednesday after a report that Verizon is looking at two of Canada’s smaller wireless network operators. It has reportedly made an initial offer of $700 million for Wind Mobile and is starting talks with Mobilicity. Rogers Communications fell 77 cents or 1.85 per cent to $40.90 after tumbling nine per cent Wednesday.Buying sentiment was also improved Thursday after data released Wednesday showed weaker than expected U.S. growth in the first quarter, which raised hopes the Fed is in no hurry to cut back on its US$83 billion of bond purchases each month. Figures showed the U.S. economy grew at only a 1.8 per cent annualized rate in the first quarter, instead of the previous estimate of 2.4 per cent.The mood was further improved as interbank lending rates in China continued to ease after a pledge earlier in the week by authorities to shore up banks facing cash shortfalls. The central bank had allowed rates that banks pay to borrow from each other to soar last week, part of an attempt by Beijing to clamp down on massive credit in the informal lending industry.Fears of a credit crisis in the world’s second-biggest economy had contributed to a selloff in global markets that ended when policymakers in China softened their stance with the promise to provide “liquidity support” if needed.Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped three per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi surged 2.9 per cent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.7 per cent.European bourses were positive as London’s FTSE 100 index gained 1.32 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX was ahead 1.15 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.59 per cent. read more

Gunaratnam released from prison after completing jail term

The Government had said yesterday Gunaratnam will not be deported once he is set free. Politburo member of the Frontline Socialist Party, Kumar Gunaratnam, was released today after completing his jail term. Internal Affairs and Cultural Affairs Minister S.B. Navinna told Parliament that Kumar Gunaratnam can apply for Sri Lankan citizenship once he is set free. Opposition Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena asked the Minister in Parliament if there is a move to deport Gunaratnam when his jail term ends.Navinna said there was no move to deport Gunaratnam and since his family is in Sri Lanka he can apply for citizenship. Gunaratnam, who is an Australian citizen, was imprisoned for violation of immigration laws. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Sierra Leone UN team meets with human rights groups on plans for

This morning the planning team met with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in human rights issues, including Amnesty International, National Forum for Human Rights, Campaign for Good Governance and the Council of Churches.Yesterday, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Ralph Zacklin, who is leading the team, said after a meeting with the country’s lawyers group that there was an “extremely vibrant and committed” Bar Association in Sierra Leone whose members were “waiting for this Special Court” to be established. They raised many “pertinent” questions about the Court, he added.Some members of the team, led by Kenneth Fleming, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, also met yesterday with the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, Keith Biddle, and the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for discussions on evidence collection and criminal investigation. In a visit to the police archives, the members of the team were able to briefly examine source material which may be considered as evidence in future war crimes trials.Another group met with the Directors of Works, Lands and Prisons to continue discussions on identifying future premises for the Court, while a third group met with the High Court Registrar to be briefed on existing staff in the courts. read more

TimorLeste Annan recommends continued UN presence to consolidate gains

With the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMISET) set to end in May, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has issued a special report to the Security Council hailing recent progress in the country while urging a continued international presence there in the year to come. Based on an in-depth analysis of Timor-Leste’s requirements, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council extend the mandate of UNMISET for a further 12-month “consolidation phase” beyond the 20 May expiration date. “I am convinced that a comparatively modest additional effort can make a crucial difference in broadening the scope and increasing the sustainability of the remarkable achievements that have already been made, and allowing Timor-Leste to reach a threshold of self-sufficiency,” Mr. Annan says. During that time, the Secretary-General writes, UNMISET would function under a modified mandate, providing assistance to the country’s justice system and core administrative structures, contributing to the development of its national police, and helping to maintain security. He suggests that UNMISET retain 58 civilian advisers, 157 civilian police advisers, 42 military liaison officers and a security force of some 310 military personnel, including an infantry company and air support. “These recommendations focus on areas that have direct implications for the security and stability of Timor-Leste, and where bilateral assistance is unavailable or not well suited to meet requirements,” Mr. Annan notes. The Security Council is scheduled to hold a public meeting on Timor-Leste on Friday. read more

How Does Germanys Blowout of Brazil Compare to Those in Other Sports

On Tuesday morning, I called the World Cup semifinal between Germany and Brazil a very evenly matched contest.Yeah, about that …In an astonishing 18-minute span during the first half, the Germans opened up a 5-0 lead against a Brazil squad that seemed to have given up without its superstar striker, Neymar, who’d been knocked out of the previous match with a back injury. Germany would pile on two more goals before Brazil’s Oscar netted a meaningless marker in the 90th minute to set the final score at 7-1.How big is a six-goal margin of victory in the World Cup? Going into this year’s tournament, only 17 matches in Cup history had seen one side win by six or more goals — most recently when Portugal trounced North Korea 7-0 in the 2010 group stage. And just twice had it happened as late as a semifinal, depending on how you treat Brazil overpowering Sweden 7-1 in 1950 and Argentina’s 6-0 clobbering of Peru in 1978. (Both of those matches technically came in the stage directly preceding the final, but also in a format that used additional round-robin groups to filter teams into the final rather than the knockout-style bracket used today.)The bewildering scoreline in Tuesday’s match had me wondering what an equivalent margin would be in other sports. One approach to the answer is to use the standard deviations of scoring margins in each sport. Lucky for us, in his book “Mathletics,” Wayne Winston, a professor of operations and decision technologies at Indiana University, has done the heavy lifting for us with regard to pro football. Following up on the work of statistician Hal Stern, Winston found that the margin of victory for an NFL team can be approximated by a normal random variable with a mean of the Vegas line (or the margin predicted by a computer power rating) and a standard deviation of 13.86 points.Winston also wrote:For NBA basketball, NCAA basketball and college football, respectively, Jeff Sagarin has found that the historical standard deviation of game results about a prediction from a rating system is given by 12, 10, and 16 points, respectively.Applying Stern’s, Winston’s and Sagarin’s methodology to historical World Cup matches from 1930 to 2010, I found that the distribution of the scoring margin in a high-level international soccer match (relative to the pre-match prediction using Elo ratings and a home-field effect) is approximately normal with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of 1.83 goals. If Brazil and Germany were considered evenly matched going into Tuesday’s game (giving Brazil only credit for playing at home), we’d predict Brazil’s margin of victory to be about 0.5 goals, so Germany’s six-goal margin was 3.6 standard deviations above expected.Going by Winston’s numbers, a 3.6 standard deviation performance in the NFL would be the equivalent of beating an opponent by nearly 50 more points than expected. If you’re curious, you can find a list of the biggest postseason blowouts in NFL history on; if we (naively) assume all of those games were considered evenly matched aside from a three-point bonus for the home team, the closest analog to Germany’s win over Brazil might be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 62-7 demolition of the Miami Dolphins in 2000 in Dan Marino’s final game.Put in soccer terms, the Jaguars’ margin would have been 6.8 more goals than expected. But that’s nothing compared to the the 1940 NFL championship game between the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, which ended with the Bears winning 73-0 (on the road, no less). By soccer standards, that would be like winning by 10 more goals than expected, a mark Germany would have needed to pour on about three more goals to match.In college football, Germany’s rout was the equivalent of winning by 57 more points than expected. That’s about the same as Tulsa’s 63-7 victory over Bowling Green in the 2008 GMAC Bowl (a game that carried just a little less importance than Germany-Brazil). In terms of bowls that had national championship implications, you’d have to go back to 1996 and the Fiesta Bowl between then-undefeated No. 1 Nebraska and No. 2 Florida. Favored by three going into the game, Nebraska won by 38, 62-24. But in soccer terms, that’d be a mere win by four more goals than expected — a far cry from the Germans’ performance.Shifting gears to basketball, the Germans’ victory would be like an NBA team winning by 43 more points than expected. has a list of most lopsided playoff contests in NBA history; assuming evenly matched opponents with a 3.25-point home-court advantage, Germany’s win would be most like the Los Angeles Lakers’ 118-78 win over the San Francisco Warriors in the 1969 postseason. (If you’re looking for an equivalent game in the conference finals or later — probably a more apt comparison for Germany-Brazil — the most comparable rout would be the Lakers’ 153-109 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the 1985 Western Conference finals.) And the most dominant conference-finals-or-later win in NBA history, the Lakers’ 126-70 thrashing of the Golden State Warriors on the road in Game 3 of the 1973 Western Conference finals, would be like winning by nine more goals than expected in soccer.College basketball’s biggest NCAA Tournament wins have usually come in the early rounds of the tournament, which comes as no surprise. (For instance, poor 16-seed Prairie View got pasted by No. 1 seed Kansas, 110-52, in the 1998 opener.) Isolating Final Four games, we find a pair of 34-point blowouts that took place in the national semifinal. According to Sagarin’s research, Germany’s win would be like a college basketball team lambasting an evenly matched opponent by 35.9 points.In terms of impressive victories, Germany’s romp ranks among the most notable blowouts across sports more familiar to fans in the United States. A 7-1 win might not seem all that uncommon to baseball fans, so it might help to think of it as the equivalent of a 47-point NFL road playoff victory, or a 40-point win on the road in an NBA playoff game. It wasn’t something you see every day, especially considering it came on the cusp of the World Cup final. read more