what did James Wade do to get banned
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21 February 2014 16:07:09 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world
The tailor-made suits are for "special customers" only and take 50 hours to make
Finance 21 February 2014 16:07:09
13 February 2014 20:07:29 Finance News - Business news from the UK and world
The growth of Aldi and Lidl looks to be a permanent change in the way Britain shops, rather than a blip
Finance 13 February 2014 20:07:29
09 February 2014 17:03:40 Football | Mail Online
On loan Fulham midfielder, Lewis Holtby has said he still doesn't know why his Tottenham career failed to get off the ground.
Football 09 February 2014 17:03:40
09 February 2014 16:42:36 Sport | Mail Online
On loan Fulham midfielder, Lewis Holtby has said he still doesn't know why his Tottenham career failed to get off the ground.
Sport 09 February 2014 16:42:36
20 December 2013 02:12:52 Sport | Mail Online
James Wade hung on to earn his place in the second round of the World Darts Championship. Wade was in all sorts of trouble against amateur Darren Webster.
Sport 20 December 2013 02:12:52
12 October 2013 02:47:44 Sport | Mail Online
No wonder James Hook agreed to sign a new contract with Perpignan in September – he is a wanted Welshman, enjoying a glorious, fulfilling exile.
Sport 12 October 2013 02:47:44
21 August 2013 04:14:24 Sport | Mail Online
World No 5 James Wade has been handed a suspension that will see him miss the next four Professional Darts Corporation tournaments.
Sport 21 August 2013 04:14:24
03 August 2013 14:43:15 UK headlines
David Cameron's hiring of Jim Messina is a coup in large part because it highlights the fact the Third Way is alive and well, writes John Avlon, and can translate to election day support.
All News 03 August 2013 14:43:15
28 July 2013 08:45:56 Sport
The Olympic legacy is a confidence that Britain can take on the world - and win, says Jim White
All News 28 July 2013 08:45:56
27 July 2013 22:56:22 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• Batsman not at his best but grinds out half century • Taylor favourite to replace Kevin Pietersen if needed James Taylor has played many better innings, but the Nottinghamshire batsman could still be said to have improved his chances of batting at No5 for England in the third Test at Old Trafford. After coming uncomfortably close to being bowled by the first delivery he faced, and being dropped on 23, Taylor ground his way to an unbeaten 64 that went some way towards justifying his position as the favourite to replace Kevin Pietersen should the England man not be fit to play in Manchester. While England's management remain hopeful Pietersen will recover from the calf strain suffered while fielding during Australia's first innings in the Lord's Test, the 33-year-old is unlikely to undergo a full fitness test before Tuesday. The England squad to be announced on Sunday will therefore include Taylor as cover. If Taylor does play, he may find himself facing an Australian attack including Jackson Bird. The 26-year-old Tasmanian was the pick of the seamers hoping to take the place of the injured James Pattinson in the tourists' Test side, rarely wasting a delivery and regularly making the ball leave the right-handed batsman. After bowling Luke Wells with a pitched-up ball that said as much about the opener's lack of foot movement as it did about the quality of the delivery, Bird beat Chris Nash three times in one over before a rising delivery found the edge of the Sussex captain's bat for a catch at second slip by Steve Smith. Bird shared the new ball with Mitchell Starc, and although the left-armer did induce Mike Yardy to top-edge an attempted pull to long leg, he was also characteristically wild. While Bird's showing was a plus for the Australian selectors, the spin department remains a rather huge problem. Nathan Lyon, expected to come in for the young left-armer Ashton Agar, was treated with almost embarrassing contempt by Rory Hamilton-Brown, who, in one eight-ball sequence, clubbed the off-spinner for five fours and a six, each hit out of the very middle of the bat. A second huge straight six followed, and Hamilton-Brown had gone to 73 off 50 balls before Agar, having had him dropped by Matthew Wade earlier in the over, saw the wicket-keeper cling on to an edged attempted late cut. "I feel like I've been bowling well and I'm pretty close to being 100%, so if I'm selected [for Manchester] I think I'm ready to do a good job," Bird said. "I came here knowing I had to be diligent on my lines and lengths when the sun is out, and not get carried away when it's cloudy and swinging. I try and stand the seam up and bash a length, and one of my plus points is my economy." Asked what he thought of Taylor, Bird sounded unimpressed. "He was a bit scratchy at times and was dropped once, but he dug in and he's still there," said the bowler, an accurate summation of Taylor's three and a half hours at the crease. Ashes 2013 England cricket team Australia cricket team The Ashes Sussex Cricket Australia sport Richard Rae © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions
All News 27 July 2013 22:56:22
09 July 2013 18:15:12 BBC News - UK
Before Andy Murray's victory, Virginia Wade was the last Briton to win Wimbledon. What was her legacy?
All News 09 July 2013 18:15:12
04 July 2013 21:11:15 Film | theguardian.com
The famously reticent director on her latest movie The Bling Ring, the rise of celebrity culture – and her notorious role in The Godfather Part III A mildly spooky thing happens while I'm at home preparing my questions the night before meeting Sofia Coppola: Nino Rota's theme music for The Godfather comes on the radio. Not only did Coppola's father write and direct the movie, but it marked her own on-screen debut. She's there at the centre of the climactic baptism scene , a nipper still in nappies, oblivious to the innovative cross-cutting going on all around her. Now 42, she's a notoriously reserved interviewee, so I know this is just the ticket to bridge those awkward few moments between the handshake and the opening question. Obviously it would be a more arresting ice-breaker if the radio had been tuned to Kerrang! rather than Classic FM when the Godfather theme kicked in, or if it hadn't been switched on at all, but I decide to give it a go anyway. "Oh, that's funny," she says faintly when I tell her. I bet you get the Godfather music played all the time when you go into restaurants, I say, pressing on needlessly. But I've already lost her. "Oh Scott," she calls to her assistant as he leaves, "will you just – yeah – sorry, will you ring the doorbell first when you – yeah – thanks." No matter. We'll connect eventually, I'm sure. In the space of five films, Coppola has become such a distinctive force in cinema that there is no longer any need to preface her as a legendary director's daughter. Her bittersweet movies can be divided into two camps. There are those that belong in a kind of "Fame is Hell" trilogy, featuring pampered but bereft idols trapped on the inside looking out. The most widely loved of these, Lost in Translation , became a mini-phenomenon by appealing to everyone who had ever felt sad in a hotel . Marie-Antoinette was a conflicted and largely unloved period extravaganza where flagrant anachronisms sat oddly alongside Coppola's customary melancholia . Her finest film, Somewhere, returned to the theme of the loneliness of the long-term hotel guest and nabbed the Golden Lion prize at Venice. Naysayers protested that the jury president, Quentin Tarantino, was Coppola's ex-boyfriend , but the movie survives on its own merits: it's a stoned, travel-sized La Dolce Vita . "I made Somewhere after I'd started noticing that everyone wanted to be famous," she says. "I wondered: what happens when you get there? I guess growing up having a famous director father, I noticed a little that people found celebrity attractive. Nothing like it is now though." Then there are those Coppola films concerning dislocated teenagers stranded on the outside trying to get in, such as her 1999 debut, The Virgin Suicides or her latest, The Bling Ring , which stars Emma Watson as one of five real-life Los Angeles friends who burgled the homes of celebrities in the Hollywood Hills. As well as being an indictment of celebrity culture, their crimes were facilitated by it: without copy-hungry websites reporting when precisely Paris Hilton was going to be out partying, or where Orlando Bloom was going to be filming his new movie, the thieves would never have known when to strike. A few clicks later and they had found the properties, as well as the best route in. Many of the victims had not switched on their high-tech security systems. Paris Hilton had even left a key under the mat. (Rather adorably, Hilton has a cameo in the film, and allowed Coppola to shoot in the actual home that was burgled.) "I didn't pay much attention when I heard about the case on the news," Coppola explains. She has medium-length chestnut hair and a blue short-sleeved blouse with dainty white collars. She talks incredibly fast but also very gently – so much so that when I play back the tape it seems I'm actually shouting my questions at her in some bizarre act of over-compensation. "Then I read the Vanity Fair piece [The Suspects Wore Louboutins by Nancy Jo Sales] and saw the kids' quotes, and it sounded like it had the elements for a fun pop movie. I also realised that what they did really took some ingenuity. These young people actually figured out how to do this thing and they had the guts to go through with it. I don't know if an adult would have figured that out. But also there was a deeper layer there to do with looking at celebrity culture now." Alexis Neiers, the Bling Ring member who inspired Watson's character, decried the film as "trashy and inaccurate." "Her side of the story is very different," says Coppola. "I met with her but her version is that she was less involved. The kids' take was interesting to me though. When they were doing press and finally getting this celebrity status they had craved, they were a little bit delusional about why it was happening. Alexis wouldn't talk about the robbery: she seemed to think they were interviewing her because of her style or something. The boy was talking about how many Facebook followers he had gained. So I thought their perspective on it provided this whole other element which showed how wrapped up they were in celebrity. That part of our culture used to be small – that pop, 'guilty pleasure' side of things. Now it just won't stop growing." Part of her preparation involved speaking to some of the other people involved. "We talked to the boy and he told me that one of the girls wanted to steal Paris's dog, so we put that in the movie. I could never have thought up details like that." Were you to adapt for the screen the experience of interviewing the director, it would fall uncomplicatedly into the second category of Sofia Coppola movie: after 40 minutes with her, I still feel I'm trapped on the outside trying to get in. Throw stones at her window and she politely draws the blinds. Jump and down, waving your arms demonstratively, and she transmits a weak smile of acknowledgment. Her handshake is so light it's like grasping air. Her most commonly used word, with which she begins most of her answers, or deflects questions she finds unappetising, is: "Oh." Soft as a marshmallow landing on a pillow; so quiet it might merely be a breath. None of which can dampen an admirer's ardour. If you love Coppola's work, then it is likely to be this dazed,
All News 04 July 2013 21:11:15
02 July 2013 16:37:16 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• Australia and Lions series tied at 1–1 • Lions missing their captain Sam Warburton The Lions have lost their captain but Australia still have theirs. James Horwill has been cleared to start in the third and final Test on Saturday. After almost 12 hours of deliberation, the independent appeal officer, Graeme Mew, ruled that the earlier decision to find Horwill not guilty of stamping on Alun Wyn Jones in the first Test was the right one. Horwill said he felt "very relieved" and "very vindicated" by Mew's decision. "It means a hell of a lot to me to lead Australia in what is the biggest game in this country since the 2003 World Cup final." He praised both judicial hearings as "thorough and fair", thanked the public for their support, and added, pointedly: "Now it is time to get on with the football". The IRB, which brought the appeal against the decision made by Nigel Hampton QC, may not be able to move on quite so easily. There has been an angry response towards the decision to launch the appeal, with Fox Sports stoking up a "Justice for Horwill" campaign , and the Daily Telegraph lambasting the IRB as the "Idiotic Rugby Board" . In Hampton's original ruling , Horwill was found not guilty on the grounds that the QC agreed with the player's argument that he had been knocked off balance and had unwittingly hit Jones' head with his boot. On appeal, Mew decided that there was no evidence that Hampton was "manifestly wrong" in reaching that judgment. As Robbie Deans pointed out, the IRB's fairness and thoroughness should be applauded. But the flip side of their fastidiousness is that it caused an inordinate amount of time and a considerable sum of money to be wasted, and caused real disruption to Australia's preparation for both the second and third Test matches. Horwill did not sleep at all while he was waiting for the verdict overnight and said that he "wouldn't like to see another player go through" what he had endured. Australia's coach reckoned that "the energy around the team has definitely lifted" since Horwill was cleared. Deans said: "You don't like the uncertainty and the doubt. We have now got clarity, we can push on and give us the best preparation for the weekend." He added that the team were "stoked" to have back their "spiritual leader". The Lions, via the tour manager Andy Irvine, claimed that the decision was "no great shakes" before adding that "as far as we're concerned, once a judicial officer gave his decision last week we were of the view that it was done and dusted; let's move on." While Irvine reiterated that on television the incident had not looked good, he insisted that the IRB's appeal had not been instigated by any Lions complaint after Horwill was initially cleared. That appeal indirectly called into doubt Hampton's competence as a judicial officer as well as Horwill's character. As Mew explained "for the appeal to succeed the IRB would have had to establish that there was some misapprehension of law or principle by the judicial officer or that his decision was so clearly wrong or manifestly unreasonable that no judicial officer could have reached the conclusion that he did." They did not do either. That the IRB should try at all seems a little odd, given that it appointed Hampton in the first place and that he is an extremely well-respected QC. Among his many other accomplishments, he was the first disciplinary commissioner for the International Criminal court in The Hague, and the Chief Justice of Tonga. They argue that they were simply looking to "ensure player welfare and to protect the image and the reputation of the game". To understand why the IRB intervened you have to go back four years, to the last Lions tour of South Africa in 2009. In the second Test Schalk Burger was shown a yellow card for gouging the eye of the Ireland winger Luke Fitzgerald. Burger was later given an eight-week ban, which was considerably more lenient than the 12-week ban the IRB recommended for such cases. In the ensuing uproar, the board promised to review the citing process and introduce a power of appeal that would prevent similar escapes. The proposal was discussed at the IRB's morality conference in London last March, and the IRB's power of appeal came into the regulations last June. It was used for the first time in November, when New Zealand's Adam Thomson was banned for one week after he was found guilty of stamping on Alasdair Strokosch's head during a Test against Scotland at Murrayfield. In that case the judicial officer decided Thomson's offence was worth a two-week ban, but that it should be cut in half because of his good conduct during the hearing. Brett Gosper, the new Australian chief executive of the IRB, announced on Twitter that the board would review the decision, fulfilling his promise to engage in public debate with fans and the media. He has been noticeably less voluble in the past week. Thomson's two-week ban was duly restored. This was the kind of error the IRB's new power of appeal was designed to rectify. "The objective of the regulation," reads the rule book, is to "achieve consistency and uniformity." But last week's decision to challenge the verdict reached by Hampton on Horwill has proved much more contentious. It is believed to have sparked debate within the IRB itself about whether the power of appeal was being used in the way it was intended. Horwill was, in effect, tried twice for the same crime, though no new evidence had come to light and no one had any reason to question the competency of the man who made the original decision. Incensed, the Australian Rugby Union brought in Steve Cottrell to help argue its case. Horwill pointedly picked him out for thanks. Cottrell was formerly the general counsel of the New Zealand Rugby Union and is still contracted to it as a strategic adviser. It is understood that the NZRU specifically encouraged him to help out the ARU because it too is aggrieved at the way the IRB has used the new power of appeal. Deans actually served as one of the coaching representatives on that IRB morality conference that debated the changes. He said he has "no doubt" that the IRB will review the entire farrago, as "they review routinely what they do." In the meantime, he added, "we have got more important, more exciting, things to do." Amen to that. Rugby union Andy Bull guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 02 July 2013 16:37:16
02 July 2013 15:00:11 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
Would the Australian Rugby Union's dudgeon have been so high had it been a Lion caught in the judicial web not a Wallaby? IN THE CLEAR "Idiotic Rugby Board", screamed a headline here on Tuesday morning, blaming the sport's governing body for responding, belatedly, to condemnation in the British and Irish media when the Australia captain James Horwill was found not guilty of stamping on Alun Wyn Jones. It has not been the International Rugby Board's finest week. The Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow was a washout with the tens of thousands of spectators promised by the Russian Federation finding better things to do. It was in that rugby outpost where the IRB's chief executive, Brett Gosper, and the chairman, Bernard Lapasset are understood to have decided that the New Zealand QC who had heard Horwill's case after the second-row was cited hours after the end of the first Test, Nigel Hampton had taken leave of his senses and invoked the board's right of appeal. An appeal that has subsequently seen Horwill cleared for a second time. The video clip that went around the internet did make it hard to understand how Hampton could rule that Horwill's footwork, which left Jones with a wound in his left eyelid that was later stitched, although it was not noticed until half-time and he did not know how it had happened until he watched a replay of the match. There was understandable rage, and not just in Britain and Ireland, that Horwill was free to play in the second Test, but in acting precipitously, if not hastily, Gosper and Lapasset either missed or overlooked some relevant paragraphs in Hampton's statement. "Watched in slow motion, and seen in isolation, certain parts of some of the nine video clips available to me might seem to show what could be thought to be an act of deliberate stamping or trampling by the player," he wrote. "I warned myself about the possible misleading effects that such slowing down could have. For that reason all the clips were replayed before me, at normal speed as a check. I formed the view that if only slow-motion versions were watched, it was reasonably possible that we could be misled as to what had occurred as to how the incident took place." He pointed out that he had watched nine video clips, more than had been made available to the citing commissioner, which gave him an advantage. The conclusion he came to at the end of a four-hour hearing was based on considerably more evidence than the IRB was aware of. The Australian Rugby Union was, not surprisingly, indignant at the IRB's intervention, citing a point of principle that players should not be subjected to double jeopardy: would its dudgeon have been so high had it been a Lion caught in the judicial web? When the IRB gave itself the right to appeal last year, the intention was to ensure that there was some uniformity when it came to suspensions (more is the pity that it has not been concerned to ensure the same rule applies to interpretations of its rules by referees). In other words, the reason for the innovation was not to try a case twice. That said, if a player is cleared by a judicial officer and new evidence, such as previously unavailable footage, emerges, the system would be held up to ridicule if it did not allow an appeal, although it should be up to the aggrieved party, not the IRB, to instigate it. It is strange that the IRB, which cannot get involved in many disputes unless invited to do so by a union, invited Graham Mew to overturn the decision of his fellow judicial officer. The board said it was motivated by its overriding concern for player welfare, in which case it cannot be too happy that its schedule is such that those in the Lions' squad who have stayed clear of injury this season have been playing for 10 months on the spin, in bringing the appeal and the need to, as it were, stamp out foul play. Horwill's act was not detected by the television commentators or summarisers, which was hardly a mitigating factor, but is the IRB's appeal saying that if an act has consequences, in this case two stitches in Jones's left eye, that the game has to be seen to be doing something, even if the perpetrator had acted inadvertently and the injury was the result of an accident? Rugby league in Australia is going through a bout of soul-searching after authorities announced a zero-tolerance on biff, as punching is termed here. At the heart of the crackdown is the belief that parents will be discouraged from letting their children take up the sport if they are regularly confronted by images of players thumping opponents in the face. Those involved in the game are not impressed, saying that a physical sport will at times have a run on emotions: some contend that punching is part of league's heritage and should have a preservation order slapped on it, but every vox pop conducted in newspapers has welcomed the change with everyone saying that the right example must be set for kids. The issue is not the stance the IRB is taking on foul play – and it flouted one of its own regulations by refusing to give the grounds for its appeal – but the independence of the judicial system. Mew, whose parameters were narrow – he was effectively restricted to checking whether Hampton had followed the correct procedure as laid down by the rules and whether he agreed with the verdict was immaterial – is to be commended for resisting what Australia saw as an invitation to ban Horwill. But the board needs to clarify the appeal procedure. GATLAND'S POWER QUESTIONS Warren Gatland and his coaching team are having their final selection meeting on Tuesday and it promises to be the most heated of the tour. With Jamie Roberts expected to be fit again after missing the first Two tests with a torn hamstring, Gatland has the means to play his favoured power game. He has not had a gainline breaker in midfield so far with Manu Tuilagi not trusted for the role in Melbourne and, in the words of his attack coach Robert Howley, the Lions have not earned the right to play with width. The Lions are going ahead with Wednesday's team announcement, even though it precedes their first training session of the week when Roberts, Alex Corbisiero and Mike Phillips will play a full part. Any selection would be conditional on their not suffering a reaction the following morning. The back three will be safe – they have been starved of the ball – and with Sam Warburton and Paul O'Connell injured, Brian O'Driscoll is likely to be captain. He has not been prominent in attack this series, largely because he has not been given the opportunity, and there are no real rivals for the role: Jamie Heaslip is under pressure from Toby Faletau at No8 and Alun Wyn Jones has been overlooked by Gatland for Wales four times. The big debate will be at forward where Jones and his namesake, Adam, are the only two who started in Melbourne who, barring injury, are all but guaranteed to run out on Saturday. Mako Vunipola will give way to Corbisiero while Tom Youngs is under pressure from Richard Hibbard (whatever happened to Rory Best?). Geoff Parling faces the challenge of Ian Evans in the second row and the back row, even without Warburton, contains a variety of options. Dan Lydiate justified his start in Melbourne, but he operated in tandem with the captain and if the Lions decide to add the ball-ca
All News 02 July 2013 15:00:11
22 June 2013 18:05:39 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
The Lions were 100% in the lineout but the Wallabies preferred to feed the Australia back three with long box-kicks Well, it's a win, and it cannot be emphasised enough that that is the be-all and end-all for something as brief and intense as a Lions Test series. Get the win. Any way you can. But the Lions got away with that, no question. There is a lot to work on. You could see Brian O'Driscoll in the huddle at the end making just that point to the group. It is so much easier, though, to work on putting things right when you've just won. That's why we should pause before reading on, just to celebrate that fact... Right, now on to next week's to-do list. There were huge parts of the game that the Lions got taken out of. Australia, as we knew they would be, were so smart at removing threats from the Lions' game. Take the lineout. Australia marked up the areas that might have given the Lions something to work with. Ben Mowen lurked at the back, while Kane Douglas stood in the middle with James Horwill, who jumped backwards and forwards. And they left the front completely open. Sure enough, time and again, the Lions threw short; time and again, they were able to do nothing with the ball. Stats-wise, I don't think the Lions missed a lineout, and if they're short-sighted they might be pleased about that. But this is where the Australians are so smart. They don't care about lineout stats, they don't care about scrum stats. What they care about is what you can deliver off the back of them. The Lions were 100 per cent at the lineout, but they were virtually all to the front. This not the kind of ball a Warren Gatland side likes. It means Mike Phillips is not able to get his running game going. Instead, it forces him to pass long. And then the Lions are operating behind the gainline, and with no Jamie Roberts to smash them back up over it they are immediately under pressure. The uncommitted defenders at the tail of the Australia lineout are able to make straight for the Lions midfield. Then, if the Lions don't win that initial contest for the gainline — and the cards are stacked against them in this scenario — that race around the corner for the next phase is always in the defence's favour. This completely took Phillips out of the game. Mowen was able to mark him, and every time he tried to make a break the defence was on the front foot. Occasionally, the Lions varied it by shortening the lineout, but this left them with a midfield stacked with forwards. I'm surprised they didn't drive it more, if throwing to the front was what they were intent on doing. They took all that front ball off the top. Then, when they did go long, they drove that. Also, they were very methodical — and slow — on their approach to the lineouts, whereas, on Australian ball, Horwill would just walk in and say "go". Not that Australia had many lineouts, particularly in the first half, which is a tactic that I talked about in last week's column and one I really feel the Lions need to address. They just don't kick for touch. They prefer to feed the Australia back three with long box-kicks. And Australia's counter-attack is lethal. Kurtley Beale's break towards the end of the first half came straight from such a kick, and Israel Folau's second try was worked a couple of phases after one. The Lions defence is unstructured when facing a counter-attack like that, and no one seems to know who's marking who. That's a big concern for them. Now, I'm surprised the Lions don't look for a different option, and I'm surprised they're worried about putting the Aussies into a lineout, where the defence is structured. And we saw what happened when Jonny Sexton sent up a high ball towards the end. Australia don't play with a sweeper and they weren't rock solid under the high ball. The Lions should look to contest more. Just don't do it, necessarily, anywhere near Folau. George North and Folau — now, that's a heavyweight boxing contest. Unbelievable. We often say that Lions series are defined by exceptional moments. Well, North's try was one of those. And Folau's tries were defined by two people. Will Genia's speed of thought is so much further down the line than anyone else's. Folau, meanwhile, just looks like the next freak of nature who is 6ft 5in, sits on the wing and can do special things. It's becoming incredible. This bloke should be playing in the back row. So, make no mistake. We're in a Test series here. The Lions should be very relieved to be one up. How did they win it? Well, their scrum, for the first hour or so, was superior. More than that, though, Australia missed five kicks at goal. It is a problem for the Wallabies with no obvious solution, but the Lions cannot afford to rely on that particular advantage. There's much to address. At least they can do it with the momentum of a Test win behind them. Lions tour 2013 Rugby union Australia rugby union team British & Irish Lions Australia sport Brian O'Driscoll Dean Ryan guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 22 June 2013 18:05:39
21 June 2013 15:19:18 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
LeBron James says victory over the San Antonio Spurs was tougher than winning his first championship last year • Hunter Felt: NBA Finals Game 7 – as it happened LeBron James had just scored 37 points in the deciding game of an NBA Finals series – he sat at the podium, reflecting on reaching the pinnacle of his sport for a second consecutive season, looking like a man satisfied. It feels great. This team is amazing. And the vision that I had when I decided to come here is all coming true. Through adversity, through everything we've been through, we've been able to persevere and to win back‑to‑back championships. It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm happy to be part of such a first‑class organization. What was tougher for King James? The first title or the second? Last year when I was sitting up here, with my first championship, I said it was the toughest thing I had ever done. This year I'll tell last year he's absolutely wrong. This was the toughest championship right here, between the two. I mean, everything that we've been throughout this postseason, especially in these Finals, to be down – we were down every odd game. We were down 1‑0. We tied it. We were able to take a lead, but then we were down. We were down – we were scratching for our lives in Game 6, down five with 28 seconds to go. To be able to win that game and force a Game 7 is a true testament of our perseverance. And us being able to handle adversity throughout everything. It meant a lot for us to be able to do that and force a Game 7 and being able to close out at home. A stat emerged on Wednesday that said the Heat were more than 53 points better with James on the floor without Dwyane Wade – but in Game 7, Wade and James were every bit the one-two punch, combining for 60 points. James said: All the giddiness is the champagne talking. This is sweet. This is the sweetest one by far because of everything we've been through, everything I've been through individually and to get here to this moment, to have that kind of performance, that kind of game, help lead my team, it's special, man. So special. Wade was asked if James' second title meant the monkey was finally off his back: He'll get a lot less this summer. When the season start up again next year, it's on again. It's the ebb and flow, the highs and low of life. He's been in a championship what four times, and he's won two of them. That's a great percentage when you can make it to the Finals. So the story is still yet to be seen what he's going to end up with, but right now he's going to enjoy number two. Winning back to back, there's not a lot of people who has done that. He's a special player. We enjoy having him here. What he brings every night is unbelievable." And finally, James discussed his summer plans. He had a special message for the media: I need to rest my body. I do. As much as I love working out and as much as I love getting better, at this point I think the smartest thing to do is to rest my body. Give my body a break. I think that's the smartest thing. I got a wedding coming up with my beautiful fiancée. And it will be an unbelievable wedding now that we've won, instead of losing. I might have called it off if we lost [that got a laugh]. So now it's going to be one of the best weddings ever. I'm going to sign off with that. And I will see you guys when I see you guys. And please continue to motivate me. I need you guys. Thank you." San Antonio's head coach, Gregg Popovich, had never lost an NBA Finals, but that didn't stop him from giving the Heat the respect they deserved on their night: Players step up in the playoffs. Tonight a great example of that was Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. They played Hall‑of‑Fame basketball tonight. That's some of the best basketball they both played at the same time throughout the entire playoffs from what I saw. When you have somebody like Shane Battier come off the bench and knock it down the way he did, that's tough to match. If you're going to match that, you have to be pretty perfect. I didn't think we played our best game in that regard. For 37-year-old Tim Duncan, a fifth NBA title remained elusive: The obvious word is 'disappointing'. Tough end to the game. Made some bad decisions, missed some shots. I don't know what to say. Just give credit to the Miami Heat. LeBron was unbelievable. Dwyane was great. I just think they found a way to get it done. We stayed in the game. We gave ourselves opportunities to win the game, we just couldn't turn that corner. They made more plays down the stretch, bottom line." Spurs guard Tony Parker was a combined 9-35 in Games 6 and 7: I have no excuse. I'm not going to put it on my hammy and stuff like that. I just didn't play well. My shot was not falling. Couldn't get in a rhythm tonight. Manu Ginobili was emotional after Game 6. He was asked if the letdown affected his play in the series decider: During the game, nothing. Before the game, yes, of course. We all worked hard to forget about it, but it was not easy. But I don't think – at least in my case, it didn't bother me or affected my game today. But it was of course very tough to sleep yesterday, and we couldn't stop thinking about those two rebounds and those two threes. So many little things that could have gone our way in the last play or the last two plays to win it, that, you know, there's such a fine line, such a fine line between being celebrating and having a great summer, with now feeling like crap and just so disappointed. NBA finals NBA Miami Heat LeBron James Dwyane Wade San Antonio Spurs Basketball US sports David Lengel guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. 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All News 21 June 2013 15:19:18
19 June 2013 10:17:01 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
On tax, trade and Syria, did the G8 countries made headway at their meeting in Enniskillen? Our panellists give their verdict CAMERON: 'He led the charge on tax avoidance' David Cameron really rolled his sleeves up (both metaphorically and literally) and got stuck in this week at the G8. It's traditional that more heat than light should emerge from summits like this, but this time round, the prime minister has made it through with something more than an awkwardly-posed photograph to show for his efforts. The fact that the meetings were taking place on UK soil helped, of course, but Cameron appears to have done a decent job of keeping the UK's interests in the foreground of the discussions, most notably on tax avoidance. Even if Cameron and Osborne don't manage to secure full international co-operation, the decision to try and lead the charge will provide a rare moment of unity at home – nowadays, everyone from UK Uncut to the crustiest of Tory backbenchers is keen to see companies stump up what they owe. In addition, the news that Cameron has secured negotiations for a future transatlantic free trade deal will get him a rare moment of respite from some of the habitual naysayers in his own party, with even perpetual backbench carper Douglas Carswell giving it a gruff thumbs up in a piece for the Telegraph. The PM's stance on Syria won't get such positive reviews, though. If there are reasoned arguments behind Cameron's attempt to create a "clarifying moment" on the conflict, they won't penetrate the clamour as at home we rehearse the arguments for and against intervention yet again. But then, of course, there was what I am desperate to christen "Violet Artichoke-gate" – the decision for David Cameron to tweet out a picture of the menu for the multi-course feast delegates were enjoying. He might have had a good few days on the world stage, but he's still terrible at communicating with the masses back home. PUTIN: 'Russia has held fast to its policy of opposing regime change' Fundamental disagreements between Vladimir Putin and the rest of the G8 leaders on Syria have resulted in a sense of alienation for Russia at the summit. During a visibly uncomfortable encounter with US president Barack Obama, Putin spoke about a "common intention to end the violence" in Syria – a statement that Obama appeared to agree with. Yet Russia gets its hackles up at the slightest possibility of regime change, placing it in stark opposition to western powers. Most observers traditionally tie Putin's apprehension at the notion of regime change in Syria to his own resolve to stamp out the opposition movement in Russia, not to mention Russia's arms contracts with Bashar al Assad's regime. The situation is further complicated by recent events in Libya. The civil war in Libya which ended with the graphic images of a dead Muammar Gaddafi splashed across international newspapers startled and dismayed the Russian president. The aftermath, which included the killing of US ambassador Christopher Stevens alongside three others in Benghazi and a growing presence of hardline Islamists, was akin to a series of "I told you so" moments for Russia. In the end, Russia has held fast to its policy of opposing regime change. Dashing the arguably unrealistic hopes of his counterparts, he said he could not back a peace conference run on the assumption that Assad would step down , and now only general noises about peace have been made. Expect to see more tension next year in Sochi, when Russia assumes the G8 presidency. TAX: 'There's no binding agreement' The G8 was a success in making it clear tax abuse is an issue of the highest priority. When it put tax at the centre of the international agenda, it was talking about two issues. The first was tax avoidance, which was convenient because it has no mandate on the issue and the outcome was some warm words that will be of little consequence. The second, tax evasion is within the G8 mandate and the requirement is to crack open the secrecy on tax havens. The proposal was that tax havens should be obliged to share information on the income they pay to people from other countries on an automatic basis. Or perhaps more importantly, that they (and the G8 countries) record who really own the companies they register so that the income that is hidden in anonymous companies both on and offshore can be linked to its true owners. Paul Collier, the prime minister's adviser on this issue, described this plan on revealing beneficial ownership as the best way of beating offshore tax evasion . The problem is that it looks very unlikely that any country will deliver on this promise – and even the UK is saying it will only be consulting on how to implement it and that's not good enough. If that's all that happens, tax evasion will continue at a cost to billions of people the world over – especially in developing countries. TRADE: 'EU-US deal doesn't address economic ills' The excitement about a possible new EU-US trade deal agreed at the G8 summit is understandable: some of the numbers being thrown around about the economic impacts (a boost to the EU economy by €119bn a year, and the US economy by €95bn) are fairly significant. But on a practical level, this trade proposal is more problematic, and it will not be easy to negotiate. From GM foods to household chemicals, the EU has much stronger regulation than the US. So will Europe reduce its standards to those of the US? Or will the US increase its standards to those of Europe? The ironic thing about this whole proposal is that it doesn't seem to address the fundamental economic ills that plague both the US and Europe. What ails the US economy is a lack of stimulus and a lack of fairness. The lack of stimulus has resulted in a slow recovery, and the lack of fairness has left a widespread impression that the economy is rigged for the wealthy, particularly finance and Wall Street types. And as for Europe, what ails the European economy is a lack of union – fiscal, financial, political – that would facilitate better-off st
Bussines 19 June 2013 10:17:01
17 June 2013 18:55:20 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
San Antonio Spurs players and coach Gregg Popovich praise Manu Ginobili's 24-point performance in Game Five of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat Manu Ginobili said that his own disgust at his poor display in Game Four and the crowd's noisy support helped him produce one of his best showings in years in Game Five of the NBA Finals . The Argentinian said: "I needed to feel more important, more of a threat attacking the rim, and good to see it happen… I was angry, disappointed. We are playing in the NBA Finals, we were 2-2 and I felt I still wasn't really helping the team that much. And that was the frustrating part. "I really didn't expect a 24-point game. It didn't happen all season long. The assists just happen. When we shoot 60% it's easy to get assists. I really – I'm being honest – don't care about scoring 24. But just [about] being more aggressive, trying to get to the line, being sharper with the passes." Unlike the crowd, San Antonio's laconic, deadpan coach was not about to get swept away by Manu-mania. Said Gregg Popovich: "He's come to practice and worked on his shot. He's seen film. He has confidence in himself that he should just continue to compete. That's what he's done his whole career. And tonight he played his best game in a while. So it was obviously very helpful. "He's been here a long time. He's helped us have a lot of success over the years. One can imagine since he speaks the language of a lot of the people who live here [Spanish], it endears him even more. So when you put that all together, he's a quite popular young man." Frenchman Tony Parker added his praise: "We know Manu is a big part of what we do. And we needed a game like that from him. I was happy when Pop put him in the starting five, because you can get a rhythm… tonight he was great. He was more aggressive. And at the same time he got more opportunities. I think that first shot was huge for him. From there he was aggressive the whole game, making good decisions, moving the ball great, got ten assists. He was great all night long." Miami's Chris Bosh said that they had predicted a strong effort from Ginobili yet still failed to deal with him. "We figured Ginobili was going to be aggressive. He made some timely shots but we didn't get up into him and take the challenge." But Bosh admitted that, once again in this post-season, Miami's intensity and execution declined after a win in their previous game: "It's pretty obvious that we didn't give that same defensive effort that we had in Game Four and they picked us apart. We didn't have the same effort from the get-go and we waited until we were down double-digits to respond and on the road you can't do that. From here on out we can't continue to shoot ourselves in the foot like that. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra lamented that the Spurs ran away with the contest after Miami had pulled to within one point in the third quarter. "We felt that we had weathered the storm, then we missed a couple of shots that we normally are accustomed to making, and then it just snowballed down the hill from there. And we couldn't control it. I think it was a 19-1 run after that point. And so we just didn't show the mental reserve that we needed to at that point. "Offensively we weren't very good tonight. There were times where we crawled back into it, but we were not very efficient, did not move the ball we needed to, didn't have the necessary patience in those key times, end of the first, end of the third." LeBron James said: "I have to come up big, for sure, in Game Six. But I believe we all have to play at a high level in order to keep the series going. So me being one of the leaders of this team, I do put a lot of pressure on myself to force a Game Seven, and I look forward to the challenge." NBA finals NBA Basketball US sports Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs Tom Dart guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 17 June 2013 18:55:20
16 June 2013 03:37:20 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were huge factors in Miami Heat's Game Four win. Can the Big Three beat the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA Championship? LeBron James is the number one story in basketball. In fact, for the foreseeable future LeBron James will always be the number one story in basketball. Maybe that's why it was something of an upset when he ended up sharing the headlines after the Miami Heat's series-tying win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the NBA Finals. It's no coincidence that the Miami Heat's best played game of the series, perhaps of the whole playoffs, was the game where Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh reminded us that, to re-purpose a legendary new wave band's slogan , "Miami is a Group". The blowout win emphasized that the Miami Heat's best chance at winning the NBA Finals, which resume in Sunday night's Game Five, will be building on the team effort they showed on Thursday. Heading into Game Four at AT&T Center, it seemed as if Miami's heralded Big Three had been reduced to a Big One, with the consensus thought being that LeBron James would have to have a big night to prevent his team from falling into a 3-1 series hole. Instead James, Wade and Bosh combined for a staggering 85 points, and for the first time during the NBA Playoffs the Miami Heat truly looked like the superteam that went on a 27-game win streak during the regular season. It was fitting that Wade, not James, came up with the biggest play in the Heat win, a fourth quarter steal and dunk that hammered home the point that the Spurs weren't going to be winning that night. This team effort would not have been surprising during the regular season, but Wade and Bosh have receded into the background during these playoffs, their impact limited by both injuries and ineffectiveness. Wade's last truly great game came back in the third game of the Eastern Conference Finals, when Wade and fellow longtime Heat lifer Udonis Haslem put on a turn-back-the-clock performance in a blowout win over the Indiana Pacers. Meanwhile, Chris Bosh has been such an afterthought, that when talking about Bosh missing a wide open three-pointer late in Game One, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra noted that Bosh "was probably open for a reason". In fact, San Antonio's defense has been paying less and less attention to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, often choosing to leave them open while swarming LeBron. They aren't the only ones who have mostly been ignoring the Big Other Two. Before Game Four, role players like three-point shooter Mike Miller (who earned a Game Four start), defense and dunking specialist Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Game Two hero Mario Chalmers have all deserved, and received, more attention than their better known teammates. Wade and Bosh have been playing poor enough that insiders, including some failed talk show host with a goofy nickname , have speculated that this playoff run could mark the end of Miami's Big Three Era. It isn't entirely fair to judge this Heat team based solely on these playoffs as both Wade and Bosh are playing through injuries. In Wade's case, however, his lingering knee injury might be a sign of things to come. It's hard to look at the hobbled 2013 version of Dwyane Wade and remember that the 31 year old guard only has three years on LeBron. At times, while on the court, he's looked at least a decade older (although to be fair, Wade still looks about a decade younger than Greg Oden ). Some of this has to do with Wade having more wear and tear on his legs than James. Although Wade and James were both drafted in 2003, Wade came in after playing basketball several years at a very high level for Marquette, while James entered the draft straight from high school. As James has just gotten better, and (scarily) maybe even stronger, over the fast few years, it's likely that Wade may already be declining . While his "fall down seven times, get up eight" approach to basketball is a major part of his greatness, it also has raised questions about his durability. Wade's all out approach to the game has put him perpetually at risk for injuries, especially since he, unlike James, doesn't have the luxury of a body build to absorb this kind of punishment. Even if Wade's postseason struggles are mostly due to his ailing knee, that still raises questions about when, or if, we'll see a fully healthy Wade again and what exactly would a completely healthy Wade look like at his age and at this point of his career. Whatever the future holds, Wade's blistering Game Four performance showed that he is still a dangerous player, not one that the Spurs can afford to ignore anymore. Before the start of Thursday night's game there was growing chatter that the Heat would bring Wade off the bench . Wade's 32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 blocks were enough to put that idea to rest. While no one will seriously be making "Is this Dwyane Wade's team?" arguments like they did when the Big Three first formed, his place in the starting rotation is secure. And also asks more questions of the San Antonio defense. Bosh's situation is somewhat different than Wade's. For one thing at no point has anyone wondered if the Heat were "Chris Bosh's team". Bosh came to Miami as a free agent after several "big fish, small pond" years with the Toronto Raptors. These days, Bosh is a third wheel when the Heat are winning and an easy target whenever the Heat are failing to meet their sky-high expectations. While it's very difficult to feel sorry for a player who is making a lot of money and is on a team that has been the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA Finals every year, it has to be a major blow to one's ego to go from being the star attraction to league-wide punchline . To misquote Milton, a part of him must wonder if it's "better to reign a Raptor than serve LeBron". It's probably telling that Bosh's lack of postseason production has mostly been ignored in favor of talk about Wade's injury and the endless LeBron psychoanalysis. With all of the unexpected trouble the Heat have been having these last few weeks, focusing on Bosh's lack of productivity probably feels like a "re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic" kind of an exercise, but head coach Erik Spoelstra
All News 16 June 2013 03:37:20
14 June 2013 14:20:09 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 85 points in Miami Heat's 109-93 Game Four victory over San Antonio Spurs to tie series 2-2 The Miami Heat have returned logic to a series that was threatening to subvert reason. At last in these NBA Finals, we had a narrative that was understandable and foreseeable. Weird had the night off. Wild took a time-out. LeBron James top-scored as Miami's Big Three finally loomed large; the San Antonio Spurs were over-reliant on Tony Parker and the supporting cast was unable to emulate their improbable brilliance in earlier games. San Antonio scrapped stubbornly but were ground down by brute force in the fourth quarter. Effective rather than inspired, Miami pushed at the Spurs over and over until they were tender, like a pumice stone rubbing away hard skin. James claimed 33 points, Dwyane Wade 32 and Chris Bosh, 20. The trio combined for 85 of Miami's 109 points. San Antonio's top three? Tim Duncan made 20 points, Parker and his mildly-hurt hamstring had 15 and Danny Green, 10. All told, just 45 points out of a total of 93. The series is locked at 2-2 ahead of Sunday night's fifth game, after which the teams fly to Florida. This evening felt pivotal, even if it was engrossing rather than dramatic. No team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to take the title. Now, if the Spurs are to win the championship, they will have to do so in Miami. Scarily for the Texans, they did little wrong and lost by 16 points on their own court to opponents who were not quite operating at full power. Game Three on Tuesday saw a 113-77 Spurs triumph , the third-largest margin of victory in NBA championship history. It had massive contributions from Green and Gary Neal and massively underwhelming performances from James, Wade and Bosh. Despite limited help from Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs ultimately sauntered in a game that was at one stage tied 44-44. In short, the night was an exhilarating snub to sanity. But Miami have not lost two successive games since January and once James, Bosh and Wade warmed up there was nothing San Antonio could do. Needing a high-calibre display, James was aggressive and successful enough to keep his many critics at bay – at least for a day or two. Oddly passive and indecisive, he had scored only 18, 17 and 15 points in the first three games of the series. True, San Antonio's defense was crowding him out; but James appeared reluctant to barge his way through the traffic. It was clear that on Thursday night, being more selfish was the most generous gift he could give his team-mates. James struck a successful balance between taking shots himself and supplying chances for others. Crucially, Wade was willing and able to share the spotlight. It meant that James did not need to play the lone hero – it sufficed that Miami's key man was simply very good. The Spurs surged into a 15-5 lead early in the first quarter but Miami soon hauled them in. From then the story was the Spurs finding ways to keep the game close whenever the visitors threatened to turn the scoreline gaudy. The Heat held a nine-point lead with 2 minutes 41 seconds left in the second quarter but by half-time the teams were tied at 49 apiece. It summed up Miami's inability to break clear that a crashing statement-dunk by Bosh at the end of the second quarter was ruled out because it came a split-second after the backboard turned red. Excellent defense featuring terrific blocks from both teams thrilled a boisterous AT&T Center crowd early in the third quarter but Miami bullied their way into a five-point advantage by the end of the period, becoming more forceful when Parker was on the bench. The Spurs tired in the final quarter and Miami's Big Three were prolific as the visitors surged 15 points ahead with five minutes to go, turning a close contest into a comfortable-looking victory. Strangely in such a tight series, three of the four games have been won by wide margins. No single play in this game will be generating seven-digit YouTube clicks for years to come. Unlike previous meetings, Game Four could not be distilled into one stunning moment – a miracle Parker two-pointer, a savage LeBron block . Instead, this was an insidious assertion of collective dominance from Miami. They were not outstanding, but they were ominous. It made sense. What they said: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "We understood this game was a survival game. [The Big Three] provided us great energy defensively and that got us off to a decent start. And quite obviously they are big components to what we do offensively. We run almost every trigger through them. This happened to be a game where they were all able to be aggressive." Bosh and James said that the challenge for Sunday is for Miami to build on progress rather than waiting for adversity to bring out their best. Bosh: "Whatever place that we were in after we got smashed on our Game Three, we need to stay there. We need to know what got us this win tonight. And we need to keep it. We need to think about it. And we need to continue to talk about it so that we can keep that edge and bring the necessary energy for Sunday." James on Wade: "That dude was amazing." James on James: "I just came into the game confident. Before I even made a shot I came into the game confident. I knew what my mindset was going to be. I didn't worry about the last game. Last game was history. As bad as I played in Game Three, I put all the pressure on me to say 'I can't afford to play like that and hope for us to win.' Not at this level." Parker said his hamstring was "kind of weak… and the second half I think I got fatigued a little bit", adding that playing was "a little risk" that paid off because he did not worsen the injury. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lamented his side's generosity: "When Bosh, Wade and James score the way they did tonight and shoot it the way they did tonight, teams are going to have a difficult time if you help them and shoot poorly from the free-throw line, as we did, and give over 20 points on turnovers." NBA finals NBA Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs US sports Basketball Tom Dart guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our
All News 14 June 2013 14:20:09
04 June 2013 02:32:01 BBC News - UK
Just what is stevia and can it replace sugar?
All News 04 June 2013 02:32:01
25 May 2013 12:09:18 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
Mark Cavendish warms to snow | Drugs cheat Danilo Di Luca brings shame to cycling | Rafal Majka v Carlos Betancur in battle for white Welcome to the latest edition of the Gruppetto, your daily blogpost on the Giro d'Italia, reflecting on the previous stages and looking ahead to stage 20. Do get involved below the line, or email me at email@example.com. You can find all the Gruppettos in one place, right here . Yesterday once more The already much-revised stage 19 was cancelled – the first Giro stage to be cancelled in 24 years – but the news that Danilo Di Luca had been suspended after a positive for EPO put paid to thoughts of a quiet day. Good day Mark Cavendish Cavendish had put it rather well when he tweeted on Friday morning : "I remember waking up excited to see snow. Then I became a cyclist. Now I wake up to snow & have to wait to see if I'm excited or not." Relief might have been the stronger emotion for the Manxman when Friday's stage 19 was called off due to heavy snow . Not only did the unexpected rest day preclude Cavendish from several hours of pain: it also significantly decreases Cadel Evans's chances of overhauling him in the race for the red jersey. With four points between the riders, Evans must now hope to win the revised stage 20, but Cavendish could conceivably pick up points in the day's intermediate sprint, and will be better suited to the flat run-in to Brescia on Sunday. Bad day Danilo Di Luca Trust Di Luca to fill the vacuum. The 2007 Giro winner had lit up some of the duller moments of this year's race with the sight of his lurid Vini Fantini jersey flying off the front of the peloton, and now, after his positive test for EPO, we can take a guess at how and why. News was just breaking about the cancellation of Friday's stage when it was announced that EPO had been detected in a test carried out on the 37-year-old Di Luca on 29 April , days before the start of this year's Giro. Di Luca was immediately sacked by Vini Fantini with the team now likely to sue him for damages. Their sporting director Luca Scinto said: "He's mad, he's a cretino , he needs treatment. We gave him a second chance and the sponsors put their faith in him and this is how he pays us back. It's crazy that a rider thinks they can get away with it like that." Di Luca was asked on Friday afternoon whether he was surprised to have failed a test. He said he was, but he can surely be the only person to feel that way. The Vini Fantini manager Angelo Citracca added: "Danilo Di Luca was not part of our group, was not wanted by the team and was inserted into our set-up by our main sponsor Valentino Sciotti, who out of friendship and regional ties to the rider, insisted upon and created the conditions for his addition to the roster." A bit more Di Luca reaction Cycling was unanimous in its condemnation of Di Luca, many of whom claim to have seen the Italian's suspension coming. Andre Greipel, Lotto Belisol sprinter "Di Luca! Doping in cycling disappeared but not in your cycling world! Zero tolerance for cheaters! Hope you never come back into cycling!" Alex Dowsett, British time-trial champion and Giro stage 8 winner with Movistar "In Naples I was genuinely surprised to see his name on the start sheet, with his history he should be unemployable and/or banned for life. I really feel for the guy in that team that missed the cut by one place, it means a lot to any Italian to be part of the Giro." Geraint Thomas, Team Sky rider and Olympic gold medallist "Di Luca what a complete dickhead!!! From this day forth, Life time bans for EPO and blood dopers!! Get them out and keep them out!!" Danny Pate, Team Sky domestique "Anti doping agencies have served us by catching Di Luca but have failed us by letting him come back" Giro d'Italia race director Michele Aquarone "I'm angry because I think: 'How can a rider or a person of his age be so stupid and not understand that the music has changed and not understand the damage he's doing to himself and the whole movement.' "I really hope it's a marginal event, but it means were not talking about Nibali's great win yesterday and so [Di Luca] has caused some damage. We're not talking about what we should be talking about." Lance Armstrong, no introduction needed "Knowing I have zero cred on the doping issue - I still can't help but think, "really Di Luca? Are you that fucking stupid??"" Danilo Di Luca, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday "Doping is a weakness, period. But it's disappeared from cycling and other sports" Saturday's racing RCS Sport seem confident that the peloton will reach the revised stage 20's summit finish and its only categorised climb, finishing at Tre Cime di Lavaredo, regardless of the weather conditions. The 210km stage rolls down for the first 50km before gentle but consistent climbing until the day's intermediate sprint at Chienes on 120km. A committed team should be able to deliver its sprinter to this point without too much trouble, although the fast men will soon drop out the back with 90km of climbing to go and freezing temperatures at altitude. The final 40km consists of a sharp climb up to Passo Tre Croci, where all but the best climbers should falter, and then a fearsome ramp to the finish line. While Vincenzo Nibali should have enough class and time to maintain his stranglehold on the race, watch out for Cadel Evans, Rigoberto Urán and Michele Scarponi in the battle for podium places, and Rafal Majka's and Carlos Betancur's ding-dong for the white jersey. Bookies' favourites Odds to follow Live coverage • Join us on Saturday afternoon for our rolling blog on stage 20. • You can also visit our Giro d'Italia front , to bone up on the race schedule, tactics and check out other splendid two-wheel resources. • Television coverage can be found on Eurosport, with nightly stage highlights on Sky Sports.
All News 25 May 2013 12:09:18
25 May 2013 12:09:06 Politics News - UK Politics
The woman who knelt beside Lee Rigby as two men swaggered around waving their weapons was simply "doing what mums do", her son has said.
Politics 25 May 2013 12:09:06
25 May 2013 12:05:19 UK headlines
The woman who knelt beside Lee Rigby as two men swaggered around waving their weapons was simply "doing what mums do", her son has said.
All News 25 May 2013 12:05:19
20 May 2013 16:29:29 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
The Indiana Pacers' defense helped them beat the New York Knicks, but will it be enough to temper the mighty offense of the Miami Heat? As thrilling as their 106-99 Saturday night victory over the New York Knicks must have been , the Indiana Pacers could not have celebrated long. After all, all they had won was the right to face league MVP LeBron James and the top-seeded Miami Heat in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals. Unlike the Western Conference Finals between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs , which still seems wide open despite San Antonio's blowout Game One win on Sunday , the Eastern Conference Finals will start Wednesday night with the Pacers acting as huge underdogs compared to the Heat. Wait, hold up, this series isn't starting until Wednesday? This seems a tad unnecessary. Are the Eastern Conference Finals being scheduled by the same people who determine how long the hiatus in between "Breaking Bad" seasons should be? Okay, well, in any case, this will be the second straight postseason meeting between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. The last time around, the Pacers actually took a 2-1 series lead before the Heat rattled off three straight wins to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and eventually to a NBA Finals win. Even though the Heat emerged as an even tougher team in the regular season this year, the Pacers still managed to beat the Heat two out of the three times they met , with both wins by double-digits, although the last time these two teams faced each other the Heat beat them 105-91 during their near-historic 27 game winning streak. So, this amount of success suggests that the Pacers are the Eastern Conference team with the best shot at stopping Miami, although that doesn't necessarily make them the team that everyone wanted to see here. A battle between LeBron James, at the peak of his powers, and Carmelo Anthony, who has finally gone from a great scorer and superstar player to the genuine leader of New York's iconic basketball franchise, would probably have led to a bigger ratings bonanza. Unfortunately, the Knicks' postseason run proved that Anthony did not have the necessary supporting cast to put up any sort of fight against Miami. Throughout the Pacers/Knicks series, last year's Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler looked like beyond a shell of his former self, spawning speculation that he was playing through more pain and injury than he was letting on . J.R. Smith, this year's Sixth Man of the Year, had been invisible after his first round suspension for elbowing the Boston Celtics' Jason Terry, leading critics to call into question the wisdom behind his shot selection both during games and during the late night after-parties . During the Knicks almost-comeback at the end of Sunday night's Game Six, Anthony found his only help in getting points was second-year backup point guard Iman Shumpert. If 21 Shump Street ends up being your second best player in an elimination game, your team has no chance at beating the Heat four out of seven times. So Pacers/Heat might not be the matchup that the networks wanted, it might end up being the one with the most potential drama. These Indiana Pacers might actually be the Eastern Conference team with the best chance to knock off the Heat. Will Indiana actually pull that off? Well, a brief rundown shows why it's not impossible, but a lot would have to break for it to happen, including potentially Dwyane Wade's knee. Offense Before this section devolves into a Friar's Club roast revolving around permutations of the line "The Pacers are so outmatched that...", it should be noted that the Indiana Pacers aren't a disaster on offense. Although playing without Danny Granger has hurt their numbers , the Pacers have managed enough offense to go along with their superior defense. Much of this is because Paul George has stepped up this year and emerged as a legitimate All-Star player and the fact that the Pacers are quietly getting offensive contributions from the perennially unappreciated David West. But the Pacers, of course, are not the Miami Heat, who have three potential Hall of Famers in their starting lineup and a surefire one, Ray Allen, willing to come off the bench at a discount for them. LeBron James has won back-to-back MVPs and is not only the best player on the planet, he might be coming off the best year any basketball player has had since Michael Jordan's glory years. Chris Bosh? Well we'll get to him later, but suffice to say that without Bosh's injury in the Pacers series, the Miami Heat's 2012 playoff run might have looked even more impressive considering how Miami's offense went to another level when Bosh returned to the lineup against the Celtics. A key injury again could be a hiccup this time of year for Miami, as a sore knee has limited Wade's effectiveness throughout the second round. Despite jokes that the Heat should have rested an ailing Wade in Game Five, with the sense that the series against the Chicago Bulls was essentially over, his 18 points and fourth quarter heroics ended up being the key reasons that the Heat are preparing for the Pacers right now and not a Game Six. There will be no resting or hiding Wade for this series against the Pacers, and they're going to need something closer to Wade's performance in their series-clinching Game Five victory than the 11.3 points he averaged in the rest of the series. For most of the season, the Miami Heat have watched as most of their possible rivals have had to deal with devastating injury-related losses. The series against the Chicago Bulls might have gone differently had Derrick Rose felt he were healthy enough to play on his healing ACL, had Joakim Noah been playing on two good feet and had Luol Deng not been going through painful-sounding complications from a botched spinal tap. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, these Pacers lost Danny Granger to knee surgery, the Boston Celtics were playing without a point guard for most of the season, Rajon Rondo, and the New York Knicks had just started working Amar'e Stoudemire back into their lineup when they were eliminated. On the other coast, the Oklahoma City Thunder were doomed when they lost Russell Westbrook in the first round of the playoffs and the "New Look"
All News 20 May 2013 16:29:29
16 May 2013 21:06:40 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
Everything you need to know about the moves to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership in 2017 What is the coalition line on an EU referendum? The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats supported a bill (now law) saying there would be a referendum in the future on any proposal to transfer further powers to Brussels. But they are split on an in-out referendum. The Tories want to hold one by 2017, after a renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU. The Lib Dems are not supporting legislation now, although Nick Clegg has said that he thinks a referendum of some kind at some point in the future is now inevitable. What happened on Wednesday? There was a vote on an amendment to the Queen's speech motion saying that they regretted the speech did not include legislation for a referendum bill. Government MPs don't normally vote against the Queen's speech, but David Cameron knew many of his MPs would vote for this and so he allowed backbenchers a free vote. Conservative ministers were told to abstain. Some 114 Tories supported the amendment, but it was defeated by Labour and the Lib Dems. Why did the Tories publish a draft bill? In January Cameron said he would publish a draft bill for an EU referendum before the general election. He published a short bill on Tuesday, partly so that a Tory MP coming near the top in Thursday's private member's bill ballot could adopt it, and partly in the hope that this might reduce the number of MPs voting for the Queen's speech amendment on Wednesday. What happens next? On Thursday the Conservative MP James Wharton came top in the private member's ballot . He said he would adopt the EU referendum bill and so now a second reading debate will take place, possibly on Friday 5 July. The Tories have said that their MPs will be told to vote for the bill. What will Labour and the Lib Dems do? The two parties do not support legislation now. But it is not clear yet whether they will turn up in large numbers to vote against it at second reading. Will the bill become law? Probably not. Even if it gets passed at a second reading, it is relatively easy for just a handful of MPs to block a private member's bill by using delaying tactics. The Tories could get round this by using a timetable motion to guillotine debate. But only a minister can table a timetable motion and so a move of that kind would have to be taken by the government. Although the Tories support the bill, the government as a whole doesn't because the Lib Dems are still resisting legislation. EU referendum Conservatives European Union Liberal-Conservative coalition Liberal Democrats Foreign policy Andrew Sparrow guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 16 May 2013 21:06:40
15 May 2013 14:40:04 Film | theguardian.com
Angelina Jolie was brave to share details of her double mastectomy, but it's hardly an option for all women I did a double take when I saw the headline announcing that Angelina Jolie has recently had a double mastectomy . The woman who has kept stealing headlines for years with her beautiful babies and her beautiful baby daddy, her charitable works and her constantly evolving career was brave enough to put her human vulnerability out there for public consumption in an op-ed in the New York Times titled My Medical Choice . Her goal was to encourage other women at high risk of developing cancer to explore their choices and to take whatever steps may be necessary to save their own lives. Unfortunately the reality for many women in America and elsewhere is that quite often when it comes to making decisions about their health, they often have no choice at all. In her op-ed, Angelina disclosed that she carries the BRCA1 gene that meant in her case that she had an 87% chance of getting breast cancer and a 50% chance of getting ovarian cancer. Having lost her mother prematurely to the disease at a vulnerable time when she had only recently become a mother herself, she was hyper aware of what it would mean for her children to undergo a similar loss. So she took the plunge and made the probably wise decision to have a preventable double mastectomy. As a person with breasts, I can only imagine what a difficult decision this was for her to make, (particularly as her pair have had more than their fair share of attention over the years). She acknowledged that the choice she made was not an easy one, but not one she regrets either, particularly as her chances of developing breast cancer since having the procedure have dropped from 87% to less than 5%. Many women in similar circumstances will no doubt be comforted and encouraged by her experience and her decision to share it. She does have one major advantage over a lot of women dealing with cancer or facing the prospect of developing cancer, however, and this is that for her money is not an object. She didn't mention how much the procedure or reconstruction surgery set her back, but it's safe to assume she got the best possible care and paid top dollar for it. She did allude to the $3,000 fee for the gene test that led her to make her potentially life saving decision and pointed out that this cost alone can be an obstacle for many women. It certainly is, particularly as the test is not commonly covered by insurance, but the costs of the mastectomy itself and the reconstructive surgery can also be prohibitively expensive, even for women who have decent health insurance. It's difficult to get an exact estimate of how much such a procedure typically costs because cases vary, insurance packages vary and surgeons' prices vary. Under the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), which was signed into law in 1998, most insurance plans that cover mastectomies are required by the law to also cover the cost of breast reconstruction . There are many criteria to be met, however, and there are always exceptions. But even though most cases deemed medically necessary will be covered, women still report having to pay out between $10,000 and $25,000 on co-pays or fees the insurance company will not pick up. Still at least women who do have health coverage have some chance of getting the care they need. For the estimated 21 million women and girls in America who have no health insurance not only are the costs of such a procedure insurmountable, but they even face obstacles from a hostile congress to gaining access to the most basic cancer screening services. Every year, for example, millions of women avail of Planned Parenthood, an organization that offers cancer screening services on a sliding pay scale. In 2011, the organization , such as pap smears and breast exams, which accounts for 12% of their total services. Undoubtedly many cancers are detected early because of these screenings and many lives are saved. Yet two years ago, the house of representatives approved an amendment (by a margin of 240 to 185) to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood , all because of their objections to the fact that the organization also offers women the legal medical procedure of abortion. Fortunately the bill never made it past the house but the disregard for women's health was painful to observe. The same disregard for women's health and for poor people's health in general was evident in the viscous battle over the Affordable Care Act. Miraculously, it survived the various onslaughts, including a Supreme Court challenge, more or less intact and it should make a significant difference to women's health (pdf). Until now, insurance companies were able to charge women more than men (sometimes 150% more) for comparable coverage and were able to deny women coverage for pre-existing conditions, such as being pregnant. As of 2014, when the act goes into effect, that will no longer be possible. This should mean that in the near future more women will have access to health insurance and more women will be in a better position to avail of regular screenings and breast exams. This could not be more important since the National Cancer Institute estimates that around 12% of women in America will develop breast cancer in their lives. Angelina Jolie has done a great thing by sharing her decision to make a brave choice regarding her health. I'm sure she would be the first person to agree, however, that no woman should be denied that right because of a lack of income or insurance. Angelina Jolie US healthcare Cancer Breast cancer Health insurance Sadhbh Walshe guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions |
All News 15 May 2013 14:40:04
26 April 2013 19:34:24 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• Australian produces birdies on two of the last three holes • Bad weather continues to disrupt play in South Korea Two birdies on the last three holes took the Australian Wade Ormsby to the share of the clubhouse lead with Thailand's Arnond Vongvanij on another weather‑hit day at the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea. Rain and lightning in the morning brought play to a halt for 80 minutes after more than two hours were lost due to poor visibility on Thursday. The South African Jbe Kruger, the Swede Alex Noren and England's James Morrison were a stroke behind the clubhouse leaders with 77 players still to complete their second round. The former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, the highest-ranked player in the field, was three shots off the pace after completing a first-round 69 and returning for a second of 71. Ormsby, who won his maiden professional title in India this month, compiled a five-under-par 67 after returning in the morning to complete a first round of 70. Starting on the back nine, Ormsby picked up four shots to reach the turn in 32 but made a bogey on the 2nd hole. He shot back into contention, adding to more shots on the seventh and ninth to come home for a total of five-under 137. "My game's in pretty good shape, I had the last two weeks at home practising so it was nice to come out here and keep the form going," Ormsby, 33, said at the Blackstone Golf and Country Club. "I three-putted [the second] just before the suspension and on the third and fourth I struggled for the speed of the greens straight out of the blocks. I was a bit tentative and left a couple short but then made two bombs in the last three." Vongvanij compiled a blemish-free first round of 68 and added three more birdies with a lone bogey in his second for a 69 and the share of the lead. "The conditions were not easy, and the pins were kind of tough, especially with the wind blowing. So I'll take what I can get," the 25-year-old said. Golf guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Golf 26 April 2013 19:34:24
22 April 2013 20:05:34 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
Last year, Michael Gove gave copies of the King James Bible to every school in England. We ask: what have they been used for? Dave Whitaker, Springwell Community special school, Barnsley It's propping up the files in my office because it's the heaviest thing I've got. It hasn't actually been opened. I've offered it as a drama prop, in case someone fancies wandering around dressed as a vicar with a Bible under their arm. Neil Morris, headteacher, Christopher Whitehead Language college, Worcester It's just below the desk, sitting there very pert and prim. I wouldn't disrespect a Bible – I'm not going to use it as a doorstop – but I'm not planning to do anything with it either. We have got it out with the Koran and other books to show it – it's a beautiful book. It would have been fine to have the Bible, but it's the signature "presented by the Education Secretary" that is a bit horrendous, saying "I'm giving you a gift". Well give us a gift then. Or better still give us some money to mend our portable classroom. It's a very nice book, very unnecessary, and just a bit offensive. Stephen Lehec, Aylesbury grammar school I think it's in the library. I don't know if anyone has used it. It wasn't a bad thing, but I'm not sure it was any good either. I'm sure if he had made us a gift of an iPad, we'd have gone "weehee". Janet Marland, Cavendish primary school, Didsbury, Manchester We haven't used it in assemblies because our children go down to three years old. Because we are an interfaith school, we tend to take stories with a good moral basis and use versions that children can read for themselves later, or look at the pictures if they can't read yet. We don't keep it in a book area because the paper it's printed on is incredibly thin. For individual study, it isn't really a robust resource for a lot of grubby fingers to crawl all over. Robert Lamb, headteacher, King James's school, Almondbury, Huddersfield We celebrated the King James Bible and did a couple of big projects, one of which was about everyday sayings that have come to us from it, such as "an eye for an eye", with pictures, and then a design project. Glyn Bishop, Normanton Common primary school, Wakefield It's in a display of religious texts. I have used it in assemblies, RE lessons and literacy lessons, looking at the binding and structure of the book. I'm not going to say it's the most used resource I have in my school, but I have made use of it. Mandy Green, Samuel Pepys school, Cambridgeshire We are a special school for children with multiple learning difficulties, so they don't read. It's a magnificent Bible and it's useful for supporting RE teaching in terms of "this is what a Bible looks like". We do treat it as an important book, but it's really an artefact. Schools Religious studies and theology Michael Gove Harriet Swain guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 22 April 2013 20:05:34
14 April 2013 00:13:53 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
The winger's very special talent is proving to be a delight not just for the committed A rugby fan knows a player must be special when his or her other half, who has no interest in the game, catches a passing glimpse of said player doing something brilliant on the telly and is stopped dead in their tracks. What happens is that Rugby Fan offers a stifled cry of delight. Then Other Half lets slip a slightly escalated show of appreciation. And before you know it both are eulogising together about speed, genius, time, the universe, life. It is the kind of bedrock around which lifelong relationships are built. Christian Wade is just such a player. The thunder of unnaturally muscled men that so dominates the modern game delights not – indeed, sometimes repels – the indifferent observer. But when an obviously smaller man scythes through the carnage, this way and that, as if operated by someone with a joystick, not a finger laid on him until his own players come to celebrate the try he has just scored – that is when you start to transcend barriers. That second try Wade scored against Leinster last Saturday , for example, was a joy. And it was not scored against tiring opposition in the endgame of a match already won or lost. It was in the14th minute against the European champions. To say that Rob Kearney, the last man to play full-back for the Lions, could not lay a finger on him may suggest he was even vaguely close. He was not. "Breaking the line is the first step," says Wade, trying to rationalise something so natural you sense he cannot quite understand it himself. "Then you're looking for what other defenders are coming and where from. With my pace, if I can get them to slow down just a bit, then I can choose which way to go. It's kind of instinct, really. It just comes." That pace of his, as well as that of his fellow wing, Tom Varndell, has attracted more than a little discussion. Wasps, who on Sunday face title-chasing Leicester, may be mid-table, but they boast not just the Premiership's top try-scorer this season (Varndell with 12 and counting), but the second, which is Wade with 10. The next on the list, going into this weekend, has six. It should be borne in mind that on the first weekend of the season, when Wasps lost 42-40 at Twickenham to Harlequins in an extraordinary match, Wade passed to Varndell for the latter's first of the campaign, despite being over the tryline himself. So it really should be 11 tries apiece with three to play. But, if that race between the two is going to the wire, Wade can shed no light on who would win the one the rest of us would like to see. "We have never had a race," he says. "Everyone wants to know, but if we did it the secret would be out. I'd probably take it over 40m, but over 100 he'd probably take me with his longer stride." Such exhibitions, though, are for pub discussions. Straight-line speed is largely irrelevant on a rugby field, where the mini-races are won by acceleration, changes of direction and vision. Here, Wade has no equal in the English game. Last weekend was a bad one for the English, but even in defeat – and Wasps's at home to Leinster was the heaviest – Wade stole the show in the first half, scoring two tries in front of Warren Gatland and Stuart Lancaster, who are clearly not in a relationship, so impassive did they both remain throughout it all. One of them, though, is bound to feel moved to take him on tour – be it with the Lions or England – this summer. Shane Howarth, the Wasps attack coach, says he is ready. "Let's just say, I don't think he'll be in England when the tours are on. I don't want to curse him, so I'll leave it at that. "He's not scared. People say he's small, but, pound for pound, if there's someone out there as strong as Wadey, I'd like to know. Whatever jersey he puts on, be it red or white, he won't let it down. He's not just a finisher. He creates space for those around him. He's starting to read how defenders react to him, which is with sheer terror." Terror for them; delight for the rest of us. Wade's mind is focused for now on Wasps' run-in, which continues on Sunday at Leicester, as they chase a place in the top six, but he is all but certain to travel with England to Argentina this summer. Indeed, more than a few commentators, no doubt on the back of flourishing relationships at home, are now claiming him ripe for the Lions to Australia. Argentinians will hope he is with England, Australians with the Lions. Wherever Wade goes, divorce rates are set to plummet. Wasps Premiership 2012-13 Leicester Premiership Rugby union Michael Aylwin guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 14 April 2013 00:13:53