Gagai to leave Newcastle

first_imgGagai joined the Knights in 2012 and has played 116 of his 122 NRL matches for Newcastle.Gagai informed his teammates before joining the Queensland Maroons side in camp on Monday.”We are obviously disappointed that Dane has decided to leave the Club, but we respect the decision he has made with his family,” CEO Matt Gidley said.”Dane has been a wonderful player and ambassador for our club over the six years he has been with us.”He will leave at season’s end with our best wishes for the future.””We know Dane will give 100 per cent for the team before he departs us at the end of the year.” Photo: NRL (Newcastle Knights star Dane Gagai).last_img read more

Empty promises: Granger-Nagamootoo Drive

first_imgDear Editor,“It’s déjà vu all over again.” Baseball legend Yogi Berra’s creative mangled quote applies perfectly to President Granger’s speech commemorating Independence Day 2019, which promised the future to “youth” and that of the leader of the AFC, Moses Nagamootoo’s recent promise to “think” about the possibility of free tertiary education if re-elected.A politician making an empty promise is certainly not new, however, the sheer audacity of this pair boggles the mind! We have seen this before, in 2015 David Granger, then leader of the opposition, addressed youth organisations and promised “that under an APNU Administration, all graduates of the University of Guyana would be assured employment within twelve months of graduating” (Kaieteur News, 2015-01-29) but once elected Granger arrogantly suggested in 2018 “You must be ashamed if you do not have work” and “Government services could not employ an unlimited number of persons” Granger and his Administration never addressed job creation policies, instead Granger suggested self-help and cook-up and plantain frying as avenues of upward mobility. Unfortunately, Moses Nagamootoo has made no statements of note either way and his only contribution has been to diminish the prestige of the Office he holds.Editor, I do not need to point out that jobs were not created for every University graduate, the thousands who have graduated since 2015 know all about that. What angers me is the thought that “youths” are somehow ignorant of the facts and can be easily duped.The PPP, led by General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo, has been working long hours crafting plans and policies for presentation to the electorate. There will be promises to tertiary students, the difference will be the meticulous and detailed plan including prudent fiscal budgetary allocation to back the promise. Jagdeo has indeed made the claim that the AFC leader has “stolen” the ideas. Jagdeo need not worry, stealing or parroting a good intention is not enough, you have to be able to plan and execute the intention into a reality and in this, the Granger Administration has proven to be woefully inept.The road to hell is paved with good intentions and empty promises. I am now sure that it is called Granger-Nagamootoo Drive.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

The Case of the Reformed Vagabond (2)

first_imgThe tragic consequence of my life was folding up before me. I was a condemned man, and the law had judged me guilty to be hanged till I was dead, so that as the judge said, I would experience the pain that my wife went through when she was murdered. What hurt me so much was the pain that my two children would go through, or had been going through.   My daughter had fainted and two policemen had rushed to her rescue. I wanted to rush to her rescue but the bailiffs could not allow me.  I was shackled, my legs and hands were put in chains and while still screaming about my daughter’s situation, I was carted away like a piece of wood and placed into a condemned cell at the Monrovia Central Prison.  The date for my execution was set, and my situation was the talk of town. My first Monday at the prison, Pastor Samuel Weagba of the United Church of God visited me. Since the date I was supposed to be hanged had already been set, it followed that a man of God should visit me, to prepare what would eventually be my lot till I met my maker.  The pastor was also supposed to comfort me to ease the uncertainty and mystery that surrounded the inevitability of death.  “You know why I am here,” he said, after he had introduced himself, and seated himself comfortably on the only chair in the room, “I will be with you, as the Lord said, till even the end of the day.” I found Pastor Weagba very interesting. He had come at the right time, for my heart was bleeding, and my world was filled with uncertainty. For all my life I never entertained the idea of death. Though I knew death was destined in the end, I did not entertain any idea that circumstances could rush me to meet my death, so unexpectedly.  “I know my life does not worth a thing and many people, including yourself might have judged me guilty,” I said, sitting in front of him with squared shoulders, “but pastor, my only request is to pray for those whose actions have led me to my end.”  Pastor Weagba understood my position because he released an outburst of disappointment, when he said, “I followed your case from the beginning to the end.”    “Do you believe that I’m not guilty?”  The pastor waited for a while and said, “You have insisted of your innocence throughout the trial and the evidence against you were circumstantial and not beyond all reasonable doubt, yet you ended up being condemned to die by hanging.”  He hesitated to allow his message to sink into my mind, and I felt great warmth in my heart, for at least a man of God believed that I was an innocent man.  He continued, “Though the law is extremely clear, mistakes were made in this case and your conviction, in all manner and shade provides a cry against justice for your wife and yourself, as well as your children.”  “What justice is there for my children, when their mother is dead and their father will be hanged in a few weeks from now?” My question did not produce any shocking reaction but the man of God smiled, and gesturing to the Bible in his hands, said, “You may have been condemned today, my son, be assured that God, the father of our savior Jesus Christ and the provider of all tender mercies will not let your children’s future be in vain.” I sensed his reassurance and responded with a deep breath, uttering an outburst of dejection. I had heard that God is just and therefore His goodness would not hurt the innocent. But I was a condemned man, for a crime, a heinous crime that I never committed and my children would bear the brunt of a judicial system that looked the other way. It was a crime and a decision that had denied my two beautiful children the best mother they could ever have and a father they had grown to love. Where was God’s kindness? Since I was condemned to die and a date set for my hanging, what would God’s goodness mean to me?  “Pastor,” I said a bit emotional, “I agree that God’s goodness never fails but will it not come too late for me, since I’ll be carted to be hanged in a few days from now?”  The pastor smiled, and it was a painful one. His blazing eyes looked through me and I felt emotionally spent.   Pastor Weagba opened a bag that he had brought along with him and pulled out a black book, with the cover bearing the title ‘Holy Bible,’ and thumped through it. His fingers ran through the pages with impressive dexterity that excited my admiration and gratitude. After some seconds, he got to what he was looking for, and turned the portion to me. It was Isaiah Chapter 41, and with his fingers he directed my eyes to verse 10. With a glowing sense of some accomplishment, the old man smiled and indicated with his eyes for me to read it.  “Read this verse,” he said. My eyes swept from left to right and settled on the verse. I gave a deep breath and placing my hand on the verse, God’s comforting words filled my afflicted soul; which said, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.”  I was impressed with the words of God, but I felt I did not deserve those comforting words, more so when I was a condemned man, and who was waiting to die, unfortunately.   “Is the Lord’s mercy not sufficient for you, my son?” the pastor said, with a grin.  My reaction was natural when I said, “Does this verse refer to me, when I am condemned to die?”“My son,” Pastor Weagba said, “no matter what men said you’ve done, remember the Lord will not condemn thee for He is with you.”  I was somehow surprised that Pastor Weagba believed that I was innocent. I had been a dutiful husband whose wife had been a supportive partner. With two beautiful children, I was on top of the world and could not ask for more.  I was angry at the shoddy work by the police and my poor financial status. I knew that on this part of the world, justice depended on how much money a defendant could provide for a high priced lawyer, not a public defender. Pastor I said, “From what I read from the Scripture, God provides comfort for the innocent in distress, and I’m grateful that you can come here to let me know that.” The pastor, in his 70s, extended his hand to hold mine, and with a smile said, “I have been a man of God for the last 40 years and I have prayed for many of those who passed through this corridor.  “I cannot definitely be sure of your innocence but you strike me a great deal as a man whose denial needs further examination.” I felt proud that a man of God believed that the crime against me should be examined, though it might not be realistic since I was already a condemned man. I was just waiting my day with death. The thought of being hanged on a pole was not an encouraging one and the idea filled me with horror.  “Pastor,” I said, “it is evident that I will be killed before long, so I need you to do me a favor.”  “Ok,” Pastor Weagba said. “It is my duty to offer you every comfort that I can offer you to bring God’s Kingdom to you in this difficult but glorious hour of your life.” “I want you to place me in the hands of God.”  “Yes,” he said, “that is why I am here and to also ask God, through his son Jesus Christ to have mercy on you so that this cup shall pass you by.” I felt warm with the pastor’s remarks and I was like a child born again.  “Pastor,” I said, “I have a request for my favorite hymns that I will be too grateful for the choir to sing for me before I am hanged.”  The pastor closed his eyes as a consequence of my answer, and placed the bible closer to his chest.  “What hymns do you want, my son,” the pastor said, his voice soothing my bruised soul, “I’m at your service.” I thought at his answer for a moment and then said, “The first hymn I want should be, ‘Farther Along (By And By)’” The old pastor’s eyes brightened at my request, and he lifted his right hand to make the sign of the cross on his chest.   “Be not afraid,” he responded, “God is with you.”  Surprisingly, I was losing my voice when I spoke to him about my second request.   “Just before I’m killed,” I said in a low voice, “let the congregation sing for me the hymn, ‘Be Still My Soul’.” At the end of my request, I saw tears filling the eyes of the pastor. I was touched but I was dried with emotion that I found myself unable to respond likewise.  Pastor Weagba had been with me for the last thirty minutes. The evening shadows were approaching and the time for family visitation was fifteen minutes away. I knew I had to die, but to die on a crime I did not commit was too hard for me. And just before Pastor Weaga departed, a warder sent the news that my children were waiting to see me.  It was the time that I began to weep, like I never wept before.Chapter 3Tears alone could not solve my problem but it was apparent that the surprised appearance of my two children was something I never imagined since I had had the impression that their mother’s family would not have allowed them to come bid me farewell. But I knew that blood is thicker than water and therefore despite my initial resentment that was mixed with frustration and hopelessness, the best that could ever have happened to me was the presence of the only two people in life who, no matter what, believed that their father was an innocent man. Pastor Samuel Weagba might have apparently realized that I needed that brief respite with the children and therefore he excused himself, which I was totally against.  “My son,” he said his voice very low, “I realize there are people who still believe in your innocence and I am taking leave of you so that you can meet them.”  “Father,” my strained voice echoed in my ears, “my final journey is not far away and while I appreciate the presence of my children, I need additional comfort that only God can offer.” The pastor regarded me in silence for some seconds and folding his hands around the Bible, said, “Sometimes the body of Christ demands the ultimate sacrifice,” and some tears filtered into the old man’s eyes, “but I will be with you, like Christ said, till the day comes when the truth can be made known to the world that has condemned you.”  Fighting back tears I folded myself in my corner and surprisingly gained a measure of comfort as the good man shrugged his shoulders and with a careful nod of his head, strolled out of the room. The warder shut the door behind him. Few seconds later, the same warder reappeared with the announcement that he had made earlier and ordered me to follow him. We entered an adjacent room where there was a glass-window. I was still shackled when I entered the room and my eyes fell on my fourteen year old daughter April, 14, and directly beside her were Jim, 12 and my late wife’s younger sister Dawn, 16.   For several minutes we stared at each other. I lowered myself onto the chair and lifted my shoulders. Neither of the children could stand my awkward position likewise their young aunt. I knew I had to be brave enough to comfort them that despite being in chains. Dawn and April then raised the popular Gospel song in Monrovia, with the title: Lord Give Me A Day, and as the two young women’s voices echoed throughout the building, it was as if a church choir had come to visit. The brief meeting was so emotional that I could only reassure them that they had offered daddy the best comfort he had needed together with that of Pastor Weagba. April said, as I held her fingers through the open window available for me, “Daddy we have asked God to send you back to us because we love you.” Their comforting words filled me like a knife in my heart, and we took consolation in tears. Though their visit time was short and therefore before departing, April, Dawn and Jim informed me that they had sent a letter to the president of Liberia to pardon and save my life.  “We came up with the letter,” Dawn said, “and we got support from our local community church.”  “How did you send the letter?” I enquired.  “We sent it to one of the newspapers,” April added, “we told the president to give you back to us.” My children’s action was encouraging and I commended them for their efforts, particularly so with the involvement of the churches in the community, where we had worshipped on Sundays.  Our brief meeting was characterized by emotional tears and we were able to ease each other’s pain and I briefly explained to them the visits of Pastor Weagba and the positive impact that it was having on me.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chinese Landing calls on Govt to cancel Vieira’s mining licence

first_imgThe Chinese Landing Village Council has said it was not represented at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) when businessman Wayne Vieira sought approval in obtaining mining blocks which cover a major acreage of its land at Tassawini in Region One, Barima Waini.Chinese Landing Toshao, Orin FernandesThe Council and residents of the village, along with toshaos from neighbouring villages, hosted a press conference on Thursday at the Regency Suites, wherein they called on the Government to cancel mining licences that were issued to Wayne Vieira, who is using same to give mining rights to a large-scale mining company, Vangold Mining.The Council feels this act is a blatant disregard for its rights to the traditional land, and is more so a direct breach of the Amerindian Act, which services to protect the right of the Amerindians.Speaking at the press briefing, Chinese Landing Toshao Orin Fernandes told the media on Thursday, “We would like the Government to stop issuing mining licences to Wayne Vieira. It is unfair for him to be able to conduct mining on our lands, and we can’t.”Fernandes explained that the Council had neither representation nor involvement in the court case. He said these matters were raised at the National Toshaos Conference in 2018, and discussions were also held with Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC). However, the Council is still to receive any intervention from those entities.At the NTC in 2018, Minister Trotman was quoted as saying, “At the end of the day, mining cannot take place without permission of the community, and it is the duty of the miner to approach the community for permission, and to settle appropriate terms. So that right remains.” Yet the Government now claims it is removing “illegal miners”, the Council has argued.The Council has said it received title for those lands in 1976, while Wayne Vieira received mining licence almost 20 years later. Fernandes noted that claims are being made that the Council has no title for the land, which he said is a total mistruth.The delegation at the press conference on Thursday“We want the Government to respect the fact that we are traditional owners of these lands and resources, also acknowledge that we have title to show our ownership of the lands; and we call on them to honour our right to free, prior and informed consent before they issue mining concessions on our traditional lands,” Nikita Miller, a councillor from the village, said.Fernandes has said that should the Government fail to cancel Vieira’s mining permits, Vieira’s investment in large scale mining at Chinese Landing would take those lands completely out of the hands of the village miners, and there will be major negative economic and social impacts on the residents of the village.“They are clearing us out of our own lands. And Vieira is planning to recommence mining there through a large-scale mining company. He presently has security in the village as we speak,” Fernandes said.According to Fernandes, a helicopter landed in their village a few weeks ago with officials of the company to which Vieira has leased those lands, and this he believes is in disrespect to the Indigenous peoples of Chinese Landing, since the Amerindian Act stipulates that it is unlawful for mining permits to be issued to individuals without the knowledge of the village.Sharon Atkinson, Vice Chairman of the Moruca Sub-District, who stood in support of the Chinese Landing Village Council, reiterated calls for the Government to execute proper investigation and halt the issuing of mining permits to Vieira.“Those in Moruca strongly support the Chinese Landing Village and other Amerindian Villages that are also being negatively affected by this issue,” she said.Atkinson explained that the Chinese Landing Village Council received title for the land in 1976; and in 1991, it received an absolute grant reaffirming its title recorded in October 1991, but with effect from April 1976.She said that, in 1995, Wayne Vieira purchased prospecting permits to areas of lands on Chinese Landing title through an auction sale (lottery) held by the GGMC without the knowledge of the village; and between 1998 and 2001, GGMC converted those prospecting permits to mining permits, again without the knowledge of the village, thus violating their right to free, prior and informed consent.According to Atkinson, in 1998, the village sought an amicable solution to the issue with Vieira via an agreement wherein he committed to paying a percentage to the village. However, by 2004, this agreement came to an end as Vieira did not honour his obligations, and manipulated, coerced and terrorised villagers of Chinese Landing.The Council has since sought intervention of various Government agencies and ministries to stop Vieira from mining on its lands. In 2010, his works were ceased, and this was challenged by him at the Caribbean Court of Justice.Meanwhile, the Caribbean Court of Justice, (CCJ) in December 2017 delivered a ruling in favour of Wayne Vieira, who challenged the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC)’s authority to close down his operations for breaching regulations of the Amerindian Act.Vieira, a gold miner, had challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal to reverse the decision of the High Court which had quashed a Cease Work Order (CWO) issued against him by the GGMC.It was reported that Vieira had contended that the order was not validly issued nor was it retroactively validated by the Amerindian (Validation Commencement) Act 2010.The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), however, determined that the GGMC had no authority to issue a CWO directing Vieira to cease all work under his mining permits because he had no agreement with the Chinese Landing/Tassawini Village Council.According to the ruling, the CWO was issued on November 26, 2010 under the Mining Regulations because of the absence of an agreement with the Village Council, as was required under the Amerindian law.However unknown to the Commission, Vieira had made several attempts since 2009 to secure a new agreement with the Village Council.last_img read more

Premier holds first-ever town hall in Fort St. John

first_img– Advertisement -After only eight days in office, Premier Christy Clark has already moved forward with her campaign promise of holding town halls across the province.As Clark’s first official visit to Fort St. John as B.C.’s newest premier, she held her very first town hall meeting in the city, Tuesday. Clark was also joined by Health Minister Mike de Jong, Energy Minister Rich Coleman, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom and Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm.Several residents from around the Peace River region, and even some as far away as Fort Nelson, attended the town hall to express their concerns regarding different provincial and regional issues.Clark started off the public meeting by saying that her government was committed to three priorities: open government, jobs and families. She said the town hall meetings are about letting B.C. residents have their say and for government to listen, while also trying to address their concerns.Residents brought up diverse concerns, including the competition between agricultural land owners and the oil and gas industry, the seeming necessity for air, soil, and water monitoring in the region and road safety concerns.Advertisement [asset|aid=3501|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=b4f1c685b1602553358ebb3969f03387-Clark Jobs Barrier 1_1_Pub.mp3] Clark also said she is planning on creating a board made up of people from the private sector whose directive will be to monitor industry applications, how quickly the applications are dealt with and any barriers companies may face.She said the board will then provide a type of governmental report card, which is expected to aid the Province in attempting to remove some of the regulatory barriers that impede economic investment in B.C.[asset|aid=3502|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=b4f1c685b1602553358ebb3969f03387-Clark Jobs 2_1_Pub.mp3] During her brief time in Fort St. John, Clark also visited the new hospital site and the Peace Lutheran Seniors Home.Advertisement As Transportation Minister, Lekstrom said it is one of his top three priorities to deal with the road safety problems along Highways 2 and 97, where there have been several traffic deaths in the past months.One councillor from Fort Nelson brought up his concerns regarding the lack of maternity care in the town, resulting in the fact that more than 50 per cent of mothers have to give birth outside the town. Health Minister de Jong said he understands that mothers that want to give birth in Fort Nelson should have the option to do so. However, he said that a lack of specialists at any given time in a region can mean mothers may be sent elsewhere to give birth.At the meeting, Clark said she sees herself as a champion for rural and resource-based communities. She said all residents need to realise how important the province’s north is to B.C.’s economy and its direct link to the programs the province can offer. She said that the Peace River region, alone, generates $1.3 billion in provincial revenue.Clark’s Liberal government now includes a newly-created jobs minister, which Clark said is meant to specifically deal with provincial labour issues.Advertisementcenter_img Photo: Premier Christy Clark addressed a packed room of northeast B.C. residents at her first-ever town hall in Fort St. John./Kimberley Molinalast_img read more

Mans shooter remains on loose

first_imgWHITTIER – Nearly 10 months after an 18-year-old Whittier man was shot to death by someone who asked for him at his front door, investigators Tuesday released a sketch of a man believed to be the shooter. Michael Reynoso was shot three times in the doorway of his home in the 7800 block of Vicki Drive on June 1, after the gunman asked Reynoso’s mother if her son could come to the door. She held Reynoso as he died on the front steps. Christina Reynoso pleaded Tuesday for the public’s help in solving her son’s slaying. “We need help, we need justice,” she said. “We need somebody to come forward. His life mattered.” Police based the sketch on the mother’s recollection of the man she saw when she opened the door at about 10 p.m. that night. He said his name was James and asked if Michael could come to the door, she said. Reynoso said she called her son, then went into the kitchen and, moments later, heard three gunshots. The gunman appeared to be in his mid-20s and had a dark skin color, she said. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide Detective Rich Ramirez said despite his hard work on the case, few solid clues have turned up. He needs anyone who might know what happened that night to come forward, he said. The investigation has been difficult because potential witnesses have been too afraid to come forward, he said. Also, Michael Reynoso was known to have fought with several people in the neighborhood, Ramirez said. “There is no doubt there’s an element of retaliation associated with this murder – the lying in wait, knocking on the door, waiting for him to come to the door,” the investigator said. He believes the gunman acted alone. Meanwhile, Christina Reynoso said she cannot rest knowing her son’s killer remains free. “It’s so frustrating, I just can’t even tell you,” Reynoso said. “There is no closure for our family. Michael was the life of the family.” (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Argentina in danger, Syria target FIFA World Cup joy

first_imgArgentina in dangerBrazil secured their place in next year’s finals back in March, but three automatic berths remain up for grabs in South America ahead of the final two rounds of qualifying matches. Two-time World Cup champions Argentina haven’t missed the tournament since 1970, but five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi and his compatriots, runners-up in Brazil three years ago, are currently languishing in fifth place.While that would not spell the end of the road for Argentina, instead sending them into a two-legged play-off against New Zealand, even that is far from assured with Copa America holders Chile lurking just a point behind in sixth.Germany cruising, France on thin iceGermany’s Julian Draxler (C-R) celebrates scoring a goal with teammtae Thomas Mueller during the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Norway, in Stuttgart, on September 4, 2017 © DPA/AFP/File / Uwe AnspachEurope will provide 14 of the 32 competing teams in Russia, the hosts included. But so far only Belgium have punched their ticket to the finals going into the last two sets of fixtures.World champions Germany, who need just a draw in Northern Ireland on Thursday, lead a handful of other sides who can wrap up qualification this week.England are five points clear in Group F, while Serbia are in control of their section and 2010 champions Spain have the edge over Italy in their two-horse race.The nine group winners progress automatically, while all but one of the runners-up advance to the play-off round to determine the final four qualifiers.Portugal, while sure of at least making the play-offs, face a critical final match at home to Switzerland as Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates look to overturn a three-point deficit in Group B.France hold a tentative one-point cushion over Sweden in Group A and will be all too aware of the dangers posed by a trip to Bulgaria, the country responsible for their absence at the 1994 World Cup.Nigeria and Tunisia within sightNigeria are closing in on a sixth World Cup appearance © AFP/File / PIUS UTOMI EKPEIFive places are on offer in Africa, but none as yet have been claimed. Nigeria are closing in on a sixth World Cup appearance, with reigning continental champions Cameroon and Algeria out of the running in a challenging section, but Zambia could still deny the Super Eagles.Tunisia are well positioned to end a 12-year World Cup exile, leading nearest rivals the Democratic Republic of Congo by three points, while Egypt are in control of their destiny.But other groups remain wide open with just the first-place finishers qualifying for Russia. Ivory Coast top Group C on seven points, but both Morocco (six) and Gabon (five) still harbour genuine hopes.It is a similar situation in Group D after FIFA’s decision to annul South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal from November 2016 — a match manipulated by a Ghanaian referee. Burkina Faso and Cape Verde head the pool on six points, but Senegal trail by just a point with their match against Bafana Bafana to be replayed in November.War-torn Syria head into play-offsIranian players stand prior to their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Syria, at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, on September 5, 2017 © AFP/File / ATTA KENAREIran, Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia will represent Asia in Russia next year, but Syria and Australia will attempt to join them via the play-offs.Syria prolonged their fairytale World Cup campaign with a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser in their final group match to set up a double-header against Australia on October 5 and 10.The Socceroos are bidding for a fourth straight finals appearance while Syria, who have never reached the World Cup before, have kept their dream alive despite the brutal civil war that has forced them to play all their home games abroad.They will take on Australia in Malaysia in the first leg before travelling to Sydney for the return. The winner of the tie will meet the fourth-placed team from CONCACAF with a spot in Russia at stake.Mexico and who else?Mexico will compete at their seventh straight World Cup next summer, with Costa Rica also on the verge of direct qualification. But a third automatic berth is still in play, while the fourth-placed side can also qualify through the inter-continental play-offs.Panama, in third, lead the United States and Honduras by a single point with two rounds of games still to play.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Argentina’s Lionel Messi, seen during their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Venezuela, in Buenos Aires, on September 5, 2017 © AFP/File / Alejandro PAGNIPARIS, France, Oct 3 – As qualifying for the 2018 World Cup reaches its climax, Lionel Messi’s Argentina find themselves in trouble, Syria face a play-off to keep their remarkable dream alive and European champions Portugal have work to do.AFP Sport looks at the state of play in each of the regions:last_img read more

Courtois talks with Real Madrid halted

first_imgSky Sports reported last week that Jordan Pickford was their number one target, but the England international is set for contract talks at Everton when he returns to the club this summer.Courtois, who has one year left on his current Chelsea deal, is valued at £32m by Madrid and it is expected that there would be no issue with agreeing personal terms.But, the Belgium keeper will start the new season at Stamford Bridge if no successor can be found before Deadline Day and could then run down his current deal, meaning he would be able to leave for free next summer.Courtois could yet sign a new contract at Chelsea and has previously said that “all options are open”.New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has told reporters he wants to talk directly to Courtois to gauge how the 26-year-old is feeling before making any decision about his future.Chelsea have already signed Rob Green on a one-year deal, but the 38-year-old is expected to act as third choice.-By Sky Sports0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Thibaut Courtois made nine saves in their 2-1 win over Brazil at the World CupLONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 30- Chelsea will not resume talks with Real Madrid over a deal for Thibaut Courtois until they find a suitable replacement for the goalkeeper, Sky Sports News understands.It is thought Courtois will be allowed to leave the club this summer, with Madrid his preferred destination, but Chelsea have yet to make progress on a deal to sign a new keeper.last_img read more


first_imgTHE FRENCH crook who swindled 200 Donegal people out of their cash is being hunted throughout Europe today amid fears he has cleared off with millions of Euro.Sources have told that convicted criminal Francois de Dietrich is on the run with a swag bag that would ‘fund a small nation’.So far investigators in the North have managed to trace €23Million, but just €1.7M has so far been declared here in the Republic. However sources on both sides of the Border believe there could be a shocking TWENY MILLION EUROS missing.And in a shock development, we have learned that police throughout Estonia have been issued with pictures and personal details about fraudster Francois in a bid to bring him to justice.A Europe-wide warrant for his arrest has been processed by the European police force INTERPOL – and they are concentrating their efforts on Estonia.We understand police in the capital Tallinn and the south-western Baltic Sea town of Parnu are investigating sightings of de Dietrich. A source close to the investigation into the investors’ cash told us last night: “We believe that there are still large amounts of cash out there that have not as yet been accounted for.“There could be up to €20M still missing and it is going to take months to unravel.“It is a very complex investigation and getting to de Dietrich will help us move closer.”The cigar-smoking French crook was a ‘massive bluffer’ – but investigators believe they are close to nailing him.Yesterday a former employee told us: “He was all bluff, a massive bluffer. Everything was done for show. “When he held a bash at his Bastille Bistro in Letterkenny last July to mark the French national holiday of Bastille Day, he was handing out glasses of bubbly, telling everyone it was the finest French champagne.“It was in fact cheap Spanish cava which he picked up for £4 a bottle in Derry.”COPYRIGHT: 2011: DONEGALDAILY.COMFRANCOIS INVESTIGATION: MILLIONS OF EURO ‘ARE MISSING’ was last modified: February 15th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more