Australia, England, South Korea Share Lead At Golf World Cup

David Mark Jnr. Advocates Better Funding For Golf In Nigeria

 

Cameron Smith birdied the 18th to give Australia a share of the lead with England and South Korea on the opening day of the golf World Cup on Thursday.

They conquered the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne with 10-under par 62s in opening fourball action, with Malaysia, Belgium and defending champions Denmark a stroke further back.

The American pairing of Kyle Stanley and Matt Kuchar are four off the pace in a group of seven nations, including France and Japan.

Smith and partner Mark Leishman were among the favorites coming into the US$7 million tournaments and they lived up to expectations in blustery conditions, although forecast storms held off.

“I think we just combined really well,” Smith said at the 28-team tournament.

“Leish was saying once one of us was in trouble, the other just had to hit the center of the green and give ourselves a birdie opportunity from 20 or 30 feet. We both played really well all day and just kept being smart.”

Nothing would make English Ryder Cup teammates Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton happier than spoiling the Australian party.

It looked like the rival sporting nations would be playing together in the second-round foursomes, but a late charge by the impressive South Korean team of An Byeong-hun and Kim Si-woo vaulted them into a share of the lead.

Australia will instead tee-off on Friday with Malaysian duo Gavin Green and Ben Leong, who combined for two eagles and five birdies.

“It was good team golf really. I think it was just solid all around,” said Green.

“The holes I birdied, he didn’t birdie, so we always had alternate holes, which we did well on and it is a good thing especially in this format.”

England sunk 10 birdies, and Poulter, a team event veteran, said it was crucial to do so in the fourball format to get into a good position.

In fourballs, or better ball, both players have a ball but only the better score counts for each hole. In foursomes or alternate shot, teammates take it in turns to play the same ball.

“Foursomes (the second and fourth rounds) is a completely different game,” Poulter said.

“You need to put the ball in play and if we get blustery weather, it’s going to be tricky.

“Foursomes is the day when you can take yourself out of the tournament pretty quickly. The tournament will be won or lost on Friday and Sunday in the foursomes rounds.”

Hatton said Poulter saved the team on the back nine, with his putting helping them drop six birdies to come home in 30, two better than the Australians could muster on the homeward stretch.

“It was a frustrating back nine for me. I was pretty disappointed. I was fortunate to have Ian by my side,” Hatton said. “He played great today and we are in a great position with three days to go.”

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry matched England’s back nine scores of 30.

AFP

Chelsea Renew League Title Hopes As They Beat Everton 3-0

Chelsea Renew League Title Hopes As They Beat Everton
File photo

English Premier League Leaders, Chelsea have moved a step closer to the title as they overcame Everton with three second-half goals at Goodison Park.

Pedro’s 25-yard stunner, Gary Cahill’s close-range finish and Willian’s tap-in earned Antonio Conte’s side seven points clear ahead of second-placed Tottenham, who face Arsenal later on Sunday evening.

With the victory, the Blues could drop three points in their remaining four games and still claim a second title in three years, even if Spurs win all of their remaining fixtures.

Elsewhere, Gabriel Jesus scored a late equaliser as Manchester City came twice from behind to rescue a vital point in the race for a top-four finish and dent Middlesbrough’s hopes of premier league survival.

WAEC Declares 14.3% Increase In 2016 Performance

WAECThe West African Examination Council (WAEC) says there has been a 14.3% improvement in candidates’ performance in the May/June 2016 Senior School Certificate Examinations.

The Head of WAEC in Nigeria, Mr Olu Adenipekun, said this while announcing the release of the results at the Council’s national office in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Mr Adenipekun disclosed that more than 800,000 out of the over 1.5 million candidates that sat the examination this year had credits in 5 subjects including English and Mathematics which allows them to process university admissions.

He acknowledged that the performance was better than that of 2014 and 2015 where the percentage passes were 31.28% and 38.68% respectively.

“WAEC will not compromise, WAEC will just come out and give you the assessment as they were, without changing the standard” he said.

The WAEC official lauded the candidates for their improved preparation for the exams in 2016 which he said had reflected in the results, compared to the previous years.

He also extended the credit to the teachers, the government and various stakeholders in the education sector that have contributed one way or the other to the success recorded.

Mr Adenipekun further appealed to the stakeholders to ensure that the trend of improvement was sustained and expressed hope that a greater feat would be made in 2017.

Manchester City Coach Warns Players Ahead Kiev Clash

Manchester CityManchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has tasked his team to put in their best in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev.

City are in prime position to reach the quarter-finals for the first time after a 3-1 advantage from the first leg.

Pellegrini, however, warned his side not to falter against opponents who have never won a game on English soil.

Manchester City goalkeeper, Joe Hart, has also warned that Kiev would be a different proposition compared to the team they met in Ukraine, who had just returned from a mid-winter break.

He expressed hope that his team can still win this season’s Champions League, despite their failure to live with the pace in the English Premier League.

Midfielder Yaya Toure has been decalred fit to face Dynamo Kiev at the Etihad Stadium after missing Saturday’s Premier League draw with Norwich City.

Turkey Releases Audio Of ‘Warning’ To Downed Russia Jet

turkeyThe Turkish military has released an audio recording of what it described as warnings to a Russian warplane before it was shot down on the Syrian border.

In the recording, a voice speaking in English said “change your heading south immediately”.

Turkey also said that it had tried to rescue the SU-24 bomber’s two pilots. One of them was killed by gunfire as he parachuted from the burning plane.

The other pilot was rescued. He denied claims that the jet had violated Turkish airspace and warnings had been given.

The plane crashed into a mountainside on Syrian soil after being hit by a missile from a Turkish F16 fighter jet on Tuesday.

Tensions have escalated between the two countries over the incident, with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, describing it as a “stab in the back” and warning of “serious consequences”.

Nigerian Navy Rescues 2 Foreign Nationals

nigerian-navyAfter 10 days of helplessly drifting on sea and surviving on raw fish, two foreign nationals have been rescued by the Nigerian Navy ship ranger and taken to Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bonny.

The Commanding Officer, Captain Joseph Nwachi, told Channels Television that the two men will be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration for necessary action.

He said: ”On the 22nd of June, our men from NNS Pathfinder who are deployed at a place called Mistras, an offshore platform, intercepted a boat drifting with two people inside.

”On interruption, they couldn’t speak English. Luckily, one of the workers on board Mistras could speak Portuguese, because they found out that they were Portuguese speaking nationals from the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, who lost their engines and their boat started drifting for about 10 days and they were feeding on raw fish for that period.

”They brought them to our base and we were able to also get in touch with the platform and they gave us the report of what transpired.

”Consequently, we contacted our base, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, located at Rumuolumeni. The Commander there, Commander S.A Mohammed, directed that we should hand them over to immigration.”

He also noted that the Nigerian Navy will not relent in the fight against oil thieves, to ensure safety of the nation’s territorial waters.

ISIS ‘Jihadi John’ Named As Mohammed Emwazi

isThe masked Islamic State IS militant known as “Jihadi John”, who has been pictured in the videos of the beheading of Western hostages, has been named as Mohammed Emwazi.

Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British man in his mid-20s from west London, He is a British computer programming graduate from a well-to-do London family.

Emwazi first appeared in a video last August, when he apparently killed the US journalist James Foley.

He was later thought to have been pictured in the videos of the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker, David Haines, British taxi driver, Alan Henning and American aid worker, Abdul-Rahman Kassig also known as Peter.

The black-clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent was shown in videos released by Islamic State IS, apparently decapitating hostages including Americans, Britons and Syrians.

The 26-year-old militant used the videos to threaten the West, admonish its Arab allies and taunt President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron before petrified hostages cowering in orange jump suits.

Emwazi’s name was first disclosed by the Washington Post, citing unidentified former associates, but two U.S. government sources who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed to Reuters that investigators believed Jihadi John was Emwazi.

Jihadi John became a menacing symbol of Islamic State brutality and one of the world’s most wanted men.

Hostages called him John as he and other Britons in IS had been nicknamed the Beatles.

Emwazi who was born in Kuwait, came to Britain aged 6 and graduated with a computer programming degree from the University of Westminster before coming to the attention of Britain’s main domestic intelligence service, MI5

Idris Elba, International Footballers Launch Campaign Against Ebola

Idris ElbaA public awareness campaign was launched on Wednesday, December 3, by international football stars and the British actor, Idris Elba.

It’s focus is to put an end to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic and to show to the health workers fighting the disease, that they are being recognized.

Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are countries that have been most affected by the Ebola epidemic with a record of more than 6,000 people dead.

The British Actor, Idris Elba, whose parents hail from Sierra Leone and Ghana, said ”For me, the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific.”

The Africa United campaign, unveiled ahead of the African Cup of Nations draw in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo on Wednesday, broadcasts information on the disease and how to stop it spreading in French, English, Krio and other local languages.

Messages would be sent out to the three countries and their neighbours via television, radio, billboards and phone text messages, said organizers.

The campaign was backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation.

In one of the campaign’s spots, Elba plays a football coach giving a half-time talk during West Africa’s “life or death” match against Ebola and passing on tips on how to spot the disease and prevent new infections.

Footballers Yaya Touré, Carlton Cole, Fabrice Muamba, Andros Townsend, Kei Kamara and Patrick Vieira pay homage to the work of frontline healthcare workers by wearing their names on the backs of their jerseys.

Manchester City midfielder, Touré hails from Ivory Coast, which shares borders with three countries hit by the disease but has so far been spared.

Touré said, “I could not sit back without doing something to help fight Ebola, the campaign pays tribute to the many African heroes who are in the villages, towns and cities using their skills, resourcefulness and intelligence to battle Ebola.”

WAEC Official Says No Mass Failure But Decline In Performance

WAECThe Head of National Office, West African Examination Council (WAEC), Charles Eguridu, has said that the results of the May/June 2014 WAEC examination only indicates a decline in performance and not a mass failure as reported by the media.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, Mr Eguridu noted that Nigeria does not have a uniform standard for the secondary school education, compared to other countries and therefore, judging success based on English and Mathematics was unfair.

He stated that the government had redesigned the curriculum which envisages that “not every child that goes into primary school will end up in university profession” adding that about 39 new subjects have been added to the curriculum, like GSM Repairs, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning amongst others.

Mr. Eguridu mentioned that it amounted to a misnomer for students to focus on passing English and Mathematics, leaving other subjects. He said that this was affecting the standard of education in the country.

He further noted that there were certain peculiar subjects in other member countries, different to Nigeria’s core subjects. Comparing Ghana to Nigeria, he said that Ghana’s core subjects were Integrated Science, Social Studies, English Language and Mathematics, while Nigeria’s core subjects are only English and Mathematics.

He maintained that the inability of a student to pass either of the subjects should not be seen as failure because these subjects do not determine success in some careers.

Mr. Eguridu also explained how WAEC develops its assessment of students. He noted that WAEC assesses students by the quality of teaching and learning that have taken place through questions developed by practitioners in the school system. “WAEC is to conduct exams in public interest, which is determined by the government”

He explained that a pool of examiners from WAEC member countries come together to develop the papers which are later given to candidates who are likely to write the exam – students in SS3.

“When an exam is too simple it is isolated, when an exam is too difficult it is isolated, so we have to be on an average level”, he added.

 

 

Imo State Wins NNPC Quiz Competition

NNPC logo2Students from Imo State, South East Nigeria have emerged winners of the 2014 NNPC Annual National Quiz Competition‎. 

With 155 points to 145 points, the team from Imo beat Ogun and Akwa Ibom states to 2nd and 3rd positions.

Since 2001, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has used this platform to encourage budding engineers and scientists to excel in their studies, and this year would not be an exception.

6 teams from the 6 geo-political zones including the FCT, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Ogun, Taraba and Kaduna states made it to the finals, and standing in between them and the coveted trophy were questions in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and knowledge of the Corporation and its activities‎.

After the 1st and 2nd rounds, Imo State emerged overall winner, but only a sudden death could separate Ogun in 2nd and Akwa Ibom in 3rd positions.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu, was thrilled with the trend in performance and pledged the corporation’s commitment.

Applauding the performance of the 6 participating teams, Mr Yakubu pledged to increase the budget of the corporation’s scholarship scheme towards breeding young indigenous scientists and developing Nigeria’s education sector.

Now in its 14th year, the NNPC Quiz Competition has recorded several successes, providing indigenous and talented manpower for the oil and gas sector and this, the corporation hopes would continue.

Abramovich looking to cut losses on Torres

Signed from Liverpool to Chelsea for a whopping £50 million, Spaniard Fernando Torres has always been topical since his arrival at Stamford Bridge making as he has proved to be the player the Blues can rely on.

An arrow head in the Blues team,in terms of formation, Chelsea’s Russian owner is considering to cut his losses on the £50 million man, tagging  Torres with an ultimatum of one more month to prove pundits wrong and deliver like he used to while he was at Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Abramovich is not sleeping with his two eyes as Chelsea moved on another striker to likely replace Torres and  Brazilian striker, Taison was the choice of the Stamford Bridge club,  as reports indicate that he will sign a £10 million deal next week ahead of the opening of the January transfer window.

Taison was at Stamford Bridge to witness the 0-0 bore draw with Fulham.

The 24-year-old, a former Internacional team-mate of Chelsea’s big money summer signing Oscar, was tracked in the summer. His name has come to greater attention this season following his spectacular Marco Van Basten-esque volley for his club Metalist Kharkiv in the Europa League three weeks ago.

Benitez, on a short-term deal until the end of the season, still believes he can help Torres recapture the form he showed under him during his spell at Anfield.

When asked about Torres’ contribution in the back-to-back goalless draws over the past week, Benitez said: “We have had, maybe, five training sessions.

“It’s still too early. But for me we are watching things that are positive.”

Torres is currently on a run of 648 minutes without a Premier League goal, and has managed just one shot on target during Rafa’s first two games in charge.

Ipswich striker; Chopra charged for race fixing

Michael Chopra, Ipswich striker has been charged with horserace fixing by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Also charged along with the 28 year old is Nottingham Forest midfielder James Coppinger and former England Under-21 international Mark Wilson alleged to have conspired to fix races with jockey Andrew Heffernan.

They were charged with conspiring to ‘commit a corrupt or fraudulent practice’, while Chopra and Wilson were further charged with offering bribes to Heffernan.

Jockey Heffernan, who now rides in Australia, faces five charges of corruption and could be banned for up to eight years. The charges span 12 races in 2010 and 2011.

Chopra has a long-standing gambling addiction and has lost up to two million pounds, with Ipswich Town paying him 250,000 pounds when he first joined to help pay off one particular debt, and have subsequently paid wages directly to those he owes.

The three footballers will face a three-year ban from horse racing, including any involvement and from attending racecourses.

The Football Association is taking a backseat, allowing the BHA to complete their enquiries, before deciding on any disciplinary action.