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Courtois close to new Chelsea deal

first_img After three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, the 22-year-old Belgium goalkeeper has returned to Stamford Bridge and taken the place Cech has occupied for a decade. Courtois has two years remaining on the contract he signed when moving from Genk in July 2011, with an extension close. “It’s not yet signed,” Courtois told Sky Sports. “I am here with the national team so it is difficult, but when I am back at Chelsea I will probably sign the new contract.” Courtois started the first three Barclays Premier League games of the season ahead of Cech. It is a situation reminiscent of when Cech was installed as number one ahead of the established Carlo Cudicini after his signing from Rennes in June 2004. Mourinho’s decision led to suggestions Cech would leave, but the Czech Republic goalkeeper remains after Monday’s closure of the summer transfer window despite reported interest from Paris St Germain and Real Madrid. Courtois added: “We don’t talk about the situation, but of course I know he has played 10 years at Chelsea and that now I am playing and for him it’s not the nicest situation. But that is the decision of the board and the trainer. “He is working hard in training to be ready when I cannot play or I am maybe not playing well. We work well together. “Of course as a professional and a winner you always want to play every game, so we will see what the decision is of the coach. “But of course I am a professional player and I want to play every game that is possible.” Press Associationcenter_img Thibaut Courtois has revealed he is close to signing a new contract with Chelsea after ousting Petr Cech as Jose Mourinho’s first-choice goalkeeper. last_img read more

Jim Boeheim and Leonard Hamilton discuss Syracuse-Florida State matchup on ACC coaches teleconference

first_img Published on February 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman After back-to-back losses to Louisville and Pittsburgh toward the end of January, Florida State has reeled off four consecutive wins heading into Thursday’s game against Syracuse.The Seminoles (16-7, 6-5 Atlantic Coast) are tied with the Orange (16-8, 6-5) in the middle of the conference standings and will visit the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m. to spell SU from reaching double-digit off days since its win over Virginia Tech last Tuesday.Syracuse is on a streak of its own, having won three consecutive games while allowing an average of just 61 points over that span.“The defense is as good as it’s been,” FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said of Syracuse on Monday’s ACC coaches’ teleconference. “One of the top defensive teams in the league.”The Seminoles are fourth in the ACC in points per game during league play. FSU posts an average of 75.5 per contest and its high-powered offense will match up against the third-best defense in the conference in the Orange (64.3 point per game allowed in ACC play).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHamilton has five first-year rotation players at his disposal, two of which lead the team in scoring. Freshman Malik Beasley is fourth in the conference with 17.3 points per game and freshman Dwayne Bacon chips in 16.2 points per contest.“They got so many guys that can score,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said on the teleconference. “They’ve got tremendous offensive talent.”Ten Seminole players see an average of over 10 minutes per game with no single player averaging more than 30. They also have seven players grabbing over three rebounds per contest and 10 players shooting more than 42 percent from the field.Despite the youth on his hands, Hamilton has made it mesh with Beasley and Bacon at the forefront.“It’s a challenge any time you try to integrate that many first-year players into your rotation,” Hamilton said.“I think they’ve got three guys that are going to be first-round draft picks,” Boeheim said.Since SU’s head coach returned from his suspension, the Orange is 6-2. It stifled one of the nation’s best offenses just over a week ago in a 15-point win against Notre Dame. Up against another of the ACC’s top scoring teams, Syracuse will have to reach into its defensive arsenal once again to continue its hot streak.“Coach Boeheim has come back with this team and he’s rejuvenated them,” Hamilton said, “and they’re playing awfully well.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Teens urged to take suicide prevention seriously

first_imgA suicide symposium aimed at educating a mass of teens on factors leading to suicidal tendencies and suicide prevention was hosted by the Guyana Learning Institute (GLI) on Saturday.Some of the participants at the symposium hosted by the Guyana Learning InstituteDozens of youths and young adults turned up at the Guyana Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) building, Kingston, Georgetown, where the one-day session was hosted. Facilitators of the symposium included former Programme Manager of the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) Dr Shanti Singh and current students of the tertiary institution.Speaking more about the symposium, Principal of the GLI Ganga Persaud briefly explained that the programme was planned and executed as part of a footprint project for the 12th batch of students at the institution. On that note, he underscored that the event was aimed at educating and fostering cohesion among teenagers in suicide prevention.In addition, Dr Shanti Singh briefly elaborated on the areas that would be covered in her presentation at the symposium during a quick interview with this publication, some of these included: factors that lead to suicide and ways of addressing and preventing suicide as well as those who are affected.“My task is to work with them so that there can be increased knowledge and understanding of factors that lead to suicide…there are some of the myths that you need to be very much aware of and be able to dispel. I think importantly, that it’s some of the myths that we don’t recognise and we take things for granted,” Dr Singh posited.During a highly interactive session, the participants at the symposium were urged as teenagers to take their roles seriously in helping to prevent the widespread social issue, as they were involved in both group and individual presentations focusing on their views on suicide as teenagers.The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) conducted a study in 2017, which found that the leading cause of death was suicide among persons between the ages of 15 to 24 years old, while most of the victims are male.last_img read more

Mofussil India Sizzles

first_imgBoy, times, they-sure-are-a-changin’.Who could imagine that movies like Dabangg, Ishqiya, Gulaal, Paan Singh Tomar, Oye Lucky, Ishaqzaade, Shanghai and Gangs of Wasseypur would not only see the light of day, but become box office hits and garner the appeal of the snooty metro gentry? Also, who would have thought that small-town folks from such unlikely places as Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Patna, Jamshedpur and Hazaribagh might wield the megaphone and direct projects that resonated across the country?So, wassup guys? Is commercial Hindi energetically powering yet another new wave, unleashing a plethora of alternative narratives, more real, stark and biting, a universe away from the chiffon-champagne, song-dance tamashas of the Yash Chopra-Karan Johar brand? More importantly, as these films make their presence felt in no uncertain terms and directors seal their stamp of excellence with a vision and style that combines knowledge, passion and purpose with a definite and courageous intent to push the envelope, will this new cinema attract the money? More simply, will Shanghai, which premiered at the recently concluded International Indian Film Academy Awards in Singapore and Gangs of Wasseypur, which made big waves at Cannes and later in India, attracting huge attention made it big at the box office, fire up small-budget, non-formulaic, gritty, realism-based movies? Or are these just flashes in the pan, like Aamir, A Wednesday, Mumbai Meri Jaan and Welcome to Sajjanpur in 2008-2009?Let’s get real. Movies on small towns and village life with a rustic flavor have been produced by Bollywood and don’t belong to Ripleyland. Right from Mehboob Khan’s classic, Oscar-nominated Mother India, to Nitin Bose’s Ganga Jamuna to Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai to that exquisite gem, Teesri Kasam, Bollywood has been around the block. Mainstream Bollywood in its typical, convoluted way, did throw up the Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke, Ganwar, Bandhan, Gora Aur Kala, Dushmans & Melas, with the likes of Gulzar pitching in with Namkeen, Angoor, Khushboo, Kinara and Mere Apne. However, the difference between them, then and now is perspective, focus and perception.In the earlier movies, the small town exemplified a peaceful, uncomplicated and innocent way of life, far from the madding crowd’s ignoble, strife-ridden, corruption-driven and stress-led lives. Bhaichara ruled and the milk of human kindness manifested itself in full-flowing secular solidarity, across the board. These were, in short, branch offices of Jannat (the real thing, not the Mahesh Bhatt version).As critic Parul Khanna Tewari points out, “These new films may be set in the hinterland, but have nothing to do with the old stereotype that graced Bollywood movies of yore. No bellies in short, ghera skirt; no tales of famine or poverty and definitely no dancing on crushed glass in front of historical baddies! Here the locations are real, the plots believable, the details authentic.”Adds critic Anupama Chopra, “We are tired of living our cinematic dreams abroad. That concept is over and out.” The fact the this new focus can resonate with the public was first proved in 2008 when director Shyam Benegal made his Welcome to Sajjanpur, Benegal’s biggest grosser till date, says senior creative director at Disney’s UTV studio, Rucha Pathak.Four years later the same company released Pan Singh Tomar with apprehension. A slow starter, it soon picked up by word of mouth and a supportive press and was declared a sleeper hit. Pathak insists that authenticity in this genre is critical to people of this target group. Most of the revenue comes from the big cities where migrants have exploded in large numbers. They are the real viewers. Chopra adds, thanks to the Rs 100 crore club, film makers now are anxious to appeal to both the guy in Dhanbad and Delhi. Hence mainstream cinema smartly uses racy dialogue, unthinkable a decade ago (tumhara pyaar pyaar hai; mera pyaar sex!) and risque lyrics (keh ke lunga) and the audience laps them up. The authenticity angle is also manifest in the locales selected (ravines in Chambal for Pan Singh Tomar; haveli in Gujarat for Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster; Wasseypur and Benaras for Gangs of Wasseypur) as well as the clothes and makeup offering viewers a real, raw and authentic experience.This new breed, also unapologetically remain determined to take the road less travelled. Led by the daring, iconoclastic, trend-smashing Anurag Kashyap, this talented and courageous bunch remain committed to exploding myths in their own cathartic way. First, by staying away from Bollywood’s staple template (big stars, exotic foreign locales, sexy songs and glam, glitzy item numbers). Next, by standing the earlier, much-loved-and-nurtured virginal image of the small town on its head. Placing them as focal center-pieces of their movies, these directors have attempted to smash the old idyllic version and bring a horrific, menacing, gritty update of the real goings-on in this space. Crime, lawlessness, caste-wars, mafia-wars, cross-generational conflicts, inequity, exploitation, rampant corruption — these spine-chilling narratives are a far cry from our idea of the cute, sweet, small towns we’ve known, seen and loved from earlier movies, dramatically turning Jannat to Jahannum!Media commentators and social scientists, however, invite the horrified, traumatized, shocked, bewildered and disillusioned sections of the audience to chill, pull back and get real. The past is history. Rapid urbanization has led to a massive exodus from these small towns to cities, looking for opportunities to live the good life. Also, hardly any recent film — post 1991 — has seriously attempted to focus on this story, as they were fixated on the dizzying impact of the new consumerism that swept the land. Result? While the smug, tunnel-viewed metro-creature had little knowledge (and even lesser interest) of the other India, the small town guys, thanks to satellite TV and consumerism, were waking up to deliciously savor and sample all the ills of this boom, with aspirational values and greed heading the list.Like a hand-grenade, all set to explode, this wild, smart and courageous bunch of directors entered the scene with all cylinders firing. Sharp and savvy, they set about identifying and targeting the Achilles’ heel of the audience before zooming in. This, they discovered, in Mofussil (small town) India. Ready-made stories culled from blazing news headlines, observations, first-hand experience and imagination offering lusty, moving, stark, violent and dramatic narratives, raw and rooted, a zillion miles from the synthetic NRI products, done-to-death, cosmetic underworld capers or multi-starrer toilet humor cornballs. Says behavorial scientist Ruby Joshi: “To the metro/urban audience, this was cataclysmic, cathartic, a shocking (but voyeuristic) peep into a life of another India they knew little about. It was both horrific and fascinating, much like the fatal attraction that draws the city-slickers to religiously watch their weekly dose of Aamir Khan’s S.J.” Superbly packaged, skillfully crafted, brilliantly executed and magnificently pitched to an eager-to-consume audience for whom this entire terrain/theme/world is unknown, it is little wonder that these products — fleshed out by actors (not stars) of hi-voltage talent — are grabbing eyeballs, big time.But are these films really the new cinema, worthy of the hype and celebration and the new directors really the new stars and trail-blazers offering pulsating, exciting, no-holds-barred, creative chutzpah that separates the real from the fluff?Critics are not so sure. While these hard-hitting, daring, fearless leaps of faith certainly need to be applauded, encouraged, the over-the-top response from mainstream critics and city-slickers, they believe, seems wildly disproportionate to the orgasmic hoo-haa’s making the rounds. They feel it is symptomatic of the times we live in. In a I-me-myself driven world, where the metro creature is totally bonded with props that he can immediately relate to, consume with ease, comfort and convenience and derive pleasure from, these dark thunderbolts from the edge — a total antithesis of their version of entertainment — provide a fascinatingly crude and terrifying version of reality that somewhere offers, both perverse thrills and insight into a never-before-experienced experience. This instantly provokes huge hype and hoopla and anoints this genre as ground-breaking, landmark, milestone, among other breathless superlatives. Fact is, clever, smart, sharp, imaginative and creatively put together as they are, in actual fact they are high on hype and low on soul. Aping generously from the likes of Coppola, Tarantino and Scorsese, these gaali-filled, brutal, unembellished, raw themes, focusing on hard close-ups of life-with-warts-and-all in the badlands of small town, rattle the genteel sensibilities of city-slickers who don’t know how to react; but somewhere, deep down, the exterior and superficialities of both form and content grab them, resulting in … wow! For any perceptive viewer, however, there is less insight, more audience-friendly sound n’ fury.If that is so, why are these films capturing popular imagination and earning big bucks? “Simple,” declares respected journalist and commentator Siddharth Bhatia: “Way beyond merely repackaging old clichés, it is about celebrating Mofussil India as the new cool and gamcha, as the new fashion statement.” So, while Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan can do their number in monster-budgeted blockbusters across exotic, foreign locales, like it or not, the newly-converted city-slicker has found a new, real, earthy, daring, violent and lusty lover that rocks — Bharat! Related Itemslast_img read more