first_imgBurundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has launched a campaign to promote a referendum to change the constitution that could see him rule until 2034.President Pierre Nkurunziza. Photo: AFP“It’s the day you’ve been waiting for,” Nkurunziza told a crowd of thousands of farmers in the central Gitega district on Tuesday, threatening those who sought to undermine the referendum vote slated for early 2018.The government adopted a plan in October to revise the constitution that, if passed by the referendum, would allow Nkurunziza to serve another two seven-year terms from 2020.“We take this opportunity to warn those who want to sabotage this project, whether by speech or actions,” Nkurunziza said. “It will be a red line.”The start of the campaign comes a day after the government launched a fundraising drive for elections in 2020, presented as “voluntary” but condemned by rights groups as “organised robbery”.Burundi plunged into crisis in 2015 when Nkrunziza ran for a controversial third term that he went on to win. Between 500 and 2 000 people are estimated to have died in the ensuing turmoil, according to varying tolls.Opposition activists, forced into exile by the troubles, have already denounced a project they say will be the “funeral” of the country’s 2000 peace agreement that ended a 13-year civil war in which more than 300 000 people were killed.last_img read more

first_img Matt Loede Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. BROOKLYN, OHIO – The Mentor Cardinals wrapped up a memorable 2019 Baron Cup Sunday skating to a solid 7-2 win over the Rocky River Pirates, taking home the trophy as the Baron Cup I Champions.Mentor didn’t make it easy on themselves getting to the title game, as they overcame a game North Olmsted team in their first game winning 7-4. Then on Saturday evening they played what might have been the most memorable Baron Cup game in a number of years, as they won a 2-1 decision in a game against the Hudson Explorers that went five overtimes. Sunday was a little different, as they got off to a quick start against the number two seeded Pirates, and led it 2-1 after one, and then 5-2 after the second period. Mentor came out strong and firing from the get go, and took a 1-0 lead with 10:30 left in the first period as Evan McBride found the back of the net with Andrew McBride getting credit on the assist.The Cardinals continued to control play midway through the period, and scored again with 8:12 to play in the first, this time Andrew McBride got the tip in unassisted making it a 2-0 affair. Things calmed down for Rocky River and the Pirates got back into the game with a goal to cut it to 2-1 with Hayden Weaver getting the goal and Zach Pejeau grabbing the assist with 5:51 remaining in the period. The first period ended with the Rocky River leading in shots on goal 10-8. The Cardinals pushed the lead to 3-1 in the second as Jack Heller lit the lamp, getting an assist from Mason Klammer 2:17 into the period.They made it 4-1 at the 7:50 mark, as Luke Jeffery, the hero from the five overtime game Saturday who scored the game-winner, got credit for the goal with Heller on the assist. River was able to draw a penalty, with just under five minutes left in the period, and took advantage of it as Danny Asmar buried the puck for the goal, Luke Witzigreuter and Tommy Kelly each getting assists making it 4-2. Mentor pushed it back to a three-goal led at 5-2 with 1:12 left in the second, as Jack O’Donnell scored with assists from Chad Burkett and Marco Toth. Jeffery and the Cardinals continued rolling in the third period, as he put in a goal with 10:53 to play, making it a 6-3 game. Henry Cseh was on the assist for the Cardinals.The final goal to make it 7-2 went to Evan McBride, as he sneaked one in with just 90 seconds to play, Andrew McBride and Toth on the assist. Check out the photos below of the Baron Cup I title game between Mentor and Rocky River!center_img Related TopicsMentor CardinalsRocky River Pirateslast_img read more

first_imgHaving already won their first four games with bonus points, England ran in 12 tries in front of a record crowd for a women’s game at Twickenham of 13,278 to secure the title that France won last year.It took just over two minutes for England to score as Poppy Cleall broke the line and fed Sarah Beckett for the flanker to cross under the sticks.Jess Breach gathered a cross-field kick from fly-half Katy Daley-McLean as she continued her run of scoring in every game of the 2019 Women’s Six Nations.Natasha Hunt darted through from a quick tap penalty before Breach got onto Scarratt’s kick forward for her second and England’s bonus-point.The first half scoring continued as Cleall drove over following some impressive forward work, and it was the pack’s work from driving maul from a lineout where Amy Cokayne dropped over the line off the back for a 45-0 lead at the break.Sarah Bern continued her scoring form in this season’s competition with a powerful drive off the back of a ruck to score England’s first try of the second half with captain Sarah Hunter scoring in similar circumstances a few minutes later. Further tries from Scarratt, Cleall and Cath O’Donnell sealed the deal for the Red Roses.last_img read more

first_imgCentral Bank Governor, Jawala Rambarran The Trinidad and Tobago economy is officially under a recession, according to Central Bank Governor, Jawala Rambarran. Rambarran went on to identify some of the companies that are the largest users of foreign exchange.The twin-republic recorded its fourth quarter of negative growth, thanks to prolonged supply disruption in the energy sector. Central Bank expects the Trinidad and Tobago economy to contract by 1.5 percent.The country will begin to feel the effects as early as next month, the beginning of the new year.In an attempt to stabilise the market, Rambarran says the Central Bank will provide a pre-announced schedule of its foreign exchange interventions to commercial banks throughout 2016.Difficult times seem to lie ahead as the Central Bank Governor noted that energy exports are expected to decline by a whopping US $600 million next year, which would result in a drop in the country’s reserves.Rambarran revealed that the retail/distribution market is the top user of foreign exchange.The last time the country reportedly faced a recession was in 2012. Central Bank statistics at the time confirmed that T&T had entered a technical recession by the end of 2011.last_img read more

first_imgLast Updated: 8th February, 2020 16:39 IST Merzlikins’ Latest Shutout Helps Blue Jackets Beat Red Wings Elvis Merzlikins got a fifth shutout in his last eight starts and the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their points streak to 10 games with a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. COMMENT First Published: 8th February, 2020 16:39 IST Elvis Merzlikins got a fifth shutout in his last eight starts and the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their points streak to 10 games with a 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.Zach Werenski’s second-period goal, his 17th of the season, broke a franchise season scoring record for defensemen for the Blue Jackets, who have won three straight and nine of 10.Columbus dominated in the game, outshooting Detroit 44-16, but had trouble finding the back of the net with veteran goalie Jimmy Howard in goal. Howard faced a shooting gallery at times, finishing with 42 saves and slipping to 2-21-2 on the season. The 35-year-old has lost 18 straight and hasn’t won since October.SABRES 3, RANGERS 2NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Vesey had a goal and an assist against his former team, Carter Hutton stopped 37 shots, and Buffalo held on to beat New York.Zemgus Girgensons and Sam Reinhart also scored to help Buffalo get just its second win in seven games.Hutton had six saves in the first period, 10 in the second and 21 in the third when the Rangers tried to rally from a 3-0 deficit.Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers, and Alexandar Georgiev finished with 25 saves.MAPLE LEAFS 5, DUCKS 4, OTTORONTO (AP) — John Tavares scored his second goal of the game at 4:53 of overtime to lift Toronto.Auston Matthews got his 40th goal of the season to tie Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead and had three assists, while Jason Spezza and Andreas Johnsson also scored for Toronto. Mitch Marner also had three assists and Tavares had one.Jack Campbell made 26 saves in his first start for the Maple Leafs, two nights after being acquired from Los Angeles.Adam Henrique had a goal and an assist, and Nicolas Deslauriers, Max Jones and Derek Grant also scored for Anaheim. Ryan Miller finished with 30 saves for the Ducks, who were playing for the third time in four nights.Tavares scored his 22nd goal of the season at the lip of the crease with 6.2 seconds left on the clock in the extra period.WILD 3, STARS 2DALLAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek scored his second goal of the game with 27 seconds to play and Minnesota rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Dallas.Eriksson Ek skated from behind the net to the right goalpost and put a wraparound behind Dallas goalie Ben Bishop for the winning goal.Ryan Donato also scored for the Wild, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 31 shots.Joe Pavelski and Denis Gurianov scored for the Stars, who led 2-0 early in the second period. Bishop finished with 27 saves. Written By FOLLOW UScenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News LIVE TVlast_img read more

first_imgShare Oddschecker: ‘Unusual circumstances’ fail to hinder Royal Ascot traffic July 23, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Share Fitzdares launches betting’s first WhatsApp tipping service July 28, 2020 Related Articles Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 Francesco Cesarini, Erlang SolutionsFrancesco Cesarini is the Founder and Technical Director of Erlang Solutions, a specialist technology consultancy that has worked with companies as varied as bet365 and Whatsapp. Here he delivers his views on betting trends on this year’s European Championships and the necessity for sports betting operators to be open minded to the idea of adopting new technologies. This year’s Euro competition could see some of the largest peaks of betting activity in the history of online gambling. Peaks that will likely push traditional technologies to the very limits of their capabilities. As we build towards the closing stages of this year’s competition, sports betting companies that have not explored alternative approaches to their technical development (or are nervous to do so), could be taking an enormous gamble with their business.Let’s put that into perspective. The Grand National is typically the biggest day in the online sports betting calendar. This year was no different delivering 30% growth, for one of our clients, on last year’s race.Despite this, reports suggest that the recent Champions League Final saw even bigger peaks with many times more activity than the Grand National.  We can only assume that this trend will continue.The rabid appetite for ‘In Play’ and the increase of casual gamers getting involved in high profile sporting events, has seen the volumes of betting activity grow exponentially over the last decade. So it stands to reason that this Euro competition and probably every other major football event to follow, will produce record peaks of activity.When it comes to meeting that demand, sports betting companies have traditionally taken the vanilla route, building Java applications that report into SQL based systems.As the transaction curve has gotten steeper over time, the answer has been to bring in additional hosting hardware to take up the slack. For major occasions, like the Champions League Final, it’s not unusual for companies to pay through the nose for massive, monolithic machines to handle throughput.The spending doesn’t end there. Typically, a business will organise a dedicated team to manage the event.  This means getting more hands on deck for problem solving, and generally increasing alertness across staff for these big events, upon which earnings will significantly depend.Finally, support procedures are reviewed with all suppliers to ensure they have a disaster recovery plan ready, should the worst happen.But there comes a time when throwing money at the problem no longer works. Java will only scale so far and is not as predictable under heavy load. As a result, the time it takes the system to cascade data out exceeds the time available. This results in bottlenecks that impact the ability to support markets, push data and most vitally, take and reconcile bets.Leaving this issue unaddressed is not an option. Online betting is a super competitive industry that is driven by the need to balance a smooth, scalable service with pressures to add new functionality that maintain customer interest.Add to that the need to offer attractive deals to induce players to place bets at peak times and not addressing the problem starts to resemble commercial suicide.Some firms have embraced the NoSQL approach, to take the pressure of their transaction systems and ensure it can focus on doing the things it was originally intended for. Those that haven’t will likely start to feel the pinch.Either, they’ll find themselves in a position where they can’t offer comparable, competitive deals for fear of not being able to process the extra traffic. Or they will strike ahead, hoping to ride any hiccups that occur, only to lose business to firms offering a better, more robust experience.From what I can tell, the industry is in a bit of turmoil. On the one hand, there is an increasing realisation that a switch is needed to new technologies but there is also a reticence to try something new.This, then, is not a technical problem. The technology is available to meet the demand. The challenge is risk averse cultural mindsets, that prohibit the investigation of new approaches and adoption of new technologies that deliver true innovation.Typically, the dominant technological mindset always wins in the innovation argument. If you have a workforce of Java programmers, they will look for a solutions in Java and ignore potential new avenues outside of their comfort zones.Which is a shame because the upsides can be quite spectacular.Take Erlang for example. It’s a 25 year old programming language that was developed by Ericsson to improve the scale and resilience of its telephony applications. It is now becoming the ‘go to’ language for online organisations, who experience similar challenges of massive scale, concurrency, reliability and low latency.It’s a technology that lies at the heart of WhatsApp’s technical infrastructure and enables the company’s 1 billion users to send an average of 42 billion messages a day. That’s double the total of daily SMSs. This is achieved with a few hundred servers and a backend engineering team of approximately 15 responsible for the development, support and maintenance of their code base.It is used by Machinezone to ensure that millions of concurrent players have the opportunity to wage war on their neighbours in a shared playing field.It is also a key technology used by bet365 to ensure that their systems continued to function smoothly in the face of massive peaks during this year’s Grand National and Champion League’s Final.The Erlang programming language has enabled each of these companies to build a concurrent and fault tolerant applications that behaves predictably under massive load, without sacrificing resilience and reliability.This means, they are not only able to increase capacity exponentially, but because Erlang uses every core in a multi-core machine, they can utilise less hardware, not more.And because of Erlang’s real-time properties, you can react to external events as they happen. Should something go wrong, you can respond to any problem, without taking the entire system down.These things don’t happen overnight. Developing new systems, using new technologies is something that takes time. If you haven’t already, it’s too late to get started on an improvement programme for this Euro competition.But it isn’t too late to ensure you are prepared for the future growth of the industry.last_img read more

first_imgThe infamous lyrics are piped through the speakers as the Ravens offense huddles up for its next play.Oh, Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law… Only it’s not a critical fourth-quarter moment against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field as the Styx song is instead sounding as the Ravens go through a Wednesday practice in Owings Mills. A number of Ravens players have admitted over the last couple years to liking “Renegade” as the Steelers’ anthem has become a fixture on the playlist used at practices in Owings Mills.It’s a sentiment that was unlikely to be uttered by Ravens players a decade ago, but perhaps it speaks to the way the Baltimore-Pittsburgh rivalry has evolved in recent years. Sunday marks the 41st overall meeting between these AFC North foes with the stakes as high as they can be in early November with the Ravens and Steelers right on the heels of first-place Cincinnati.But you can’t help but feel something has been lacking from Ravens-Steelers recently. The games have remained close with the Ravens’ 26-6 win over Pittsburgh earlier this season being the only one of the last five to be decided by more than three points, but the same bite hasn’t quite been there.A rivalry in which the pre-game trash talk and bulletin-board material once rivaled the car-crash play on the field from an entertainment standpoint no longer fills reporters’ notebooks in the same way as even the once-brash Terrell Suggs has been more subdued in recent years. Former players and coaches such as Ray Lewis, Hines Ward, and Bill Cowher have provided the only inflammatory commentary in recent weeks by labeling Pittsburgh “soft” on defense, but you rarely hear such critiques from either side anymore as most vocal disdain has been replaced by mutual respect, which isn’t a bad thing, mind you.The truth is these teams are different than the longstanding idea of the Ravens-Steelers mystique that fetches words such as bloodshed and old-school football.On top of the departure of a number of outspoken figureheads including Lewis, Ward, Ed Reed, and LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011 and last year marked the first time since 2002 that these teams played a game in which both entered with sub-.500 records. After Pittsburgh and Baltimore were near the top of every defensive category for more than a decade, both teams now lean more on offense — the Ravens do rank second in points allowed this year — with defenses in transition and possessing vulnerabilities.By no means is the rivalry dead — far from it — but the narrative that once centered around two soul-crushing defenses now focuses on quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. And we’ll see if Sunday’s higher stakes pump new life into a Ravens-Steelers rivalry that’s seen more bizarre — journeyman quarterback Charlie Batch beating Baltimore in 2012 and Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin interfering with Jacoby Jones’ sideline return last Thanksgiving night — than instant classic over the last couple years.It’s an opportunity for new names to be made in the same way that wide receiver Torrey Smith entered his into Baltimore-Pittsburgh lore three years ago in catching the game-winning touchdown in the closing seconds of a Sunday night game at Heinz Field. That 2011 win was the difference in the Ravens clinching the AFC North title and a first-round bye and the Steelers losing a first-round game at Denver as both teams finished 12-4 with Baltimore’s season sweep being the tiebreaker.After more than a decade of fighting high-stakes wars and spewing venom at one another, the annual meetings may not be the hottest thing going in the NFL anymore, but Ravens-Steelers has become a legacy rivalry, which is a tribute to how long these teams have beaten the hell out of each other. Many of the Ravens’ youngest players were only in elementary school when the Pittsburgh-Baltimore rivalry first took off at the start of the new millennium, which is difficult to believe for a franchise still less than two decades old.It may lack the history of Packers-Bears or Cowboys-Redskins, but the rivalry isn’t going anywhere with at least two games guaranteed every year and each fan base holding more disdain for the other than even the teams do. And young players on each side want to make their own mark after watching from afar and listening to veteran teammates talk about the battles of yesteryear in Pittsburgh.“These guys all know it. They’ve watched it. They’ve grown up with it,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “C.J. Mosley and I were talking, and he said he has been watching Ravens-Steelers since he was a little kid. For him, that’s about as long as the Ravens have been around. That goes to show you his whole life has been Ravens-Steelers.“People talk about us being a young franchise, but for that generation we’ve been around for as long as any other franchise. This rivalry dates back for those guys that play for us that are young.”Even if the rivalry has changed, the NFL still sees it as a major attraction with both Ravens-Steelers games landing in prime-time slots this season and at least one annual game being a nationally-televised affair since 2007.The high stakes are back on Sunday with each team sporting a 5-3 record.It will be fun to see what they have in store for one another.And you know the Ravens won’t blink when they hear those familiar lyrics sound through the Heinz Field speakers at some point in the fourth quarter.last_img read more

first_imgPresident of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C), Dr Rauf Ladipo and Secretary-General of the boxing body, Remi Aboderin, have commended the sponsors of GOtv Boxing Night for their plan to stage the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental heavyweight title bout in Lagos.The high-profile match, which will see Nigeria’s Onos “Godzilla” Ehwariemi take on Argentina’s Ariel “Chiquito” Baracamonte, is the headline encounter of the nine-bout show holding on 28 December at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.  Speaking over the weekend, Ladipo described the WBF bout as an indication of progress Nigerian Boxing has made.“The WBF is a prestigious world boxing body. That a WBF title bout is holding in Nigeria is a clear indication of the progress the sport has made. Huge credit should go to GOtv, which has provided enormous support for boxing over the last five years, and, of course, Mr Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Chairman, MultiChoice Nigeria, for making this a reality,” said Ladipo.Aboderin, the body’s  Secretary-General, is of the same persuasion.  He stated that the WBF title bout is the biggest bout to be staged in Nigeria in decades, adding that it is a big plus for Nigerian boxing and the country itself.“We have not had such a high profile fight in Nigeria for a while. The NBB of C is really happy with the support for the sport by GOtv, whose intervention since 2014, has given boxing a lifeline,” Aboderin said.Aboderin, who is also President of the West African Boxing Union (WABU), called on other corporate organizations to emulate GOtv, which he said has demonstrated plenty commitment to youth development via boxing.GOtv Boxing Night 20 will feature three other title fights.  The are the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title bout between the defending champion, Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu of Nigeria and Ezekiel Anan;  WABU welterweight bout between the reigning champion, Nigeria’s Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde and Ghana’s Sanitor Agbenyo; and a national bantamweight title bout between Sadiq Adeleke and Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi.Other bouts include a national featherweight challenge clash between Taiwo “Esepo” Agbaje and Olusegun Moses; a national super featherweight contest between Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola and Sikiru “Omo Iya Eleja” Shogbesan; and a national light heavyweight fight between the reigning national champion, Adewale “Masevex” Masebinu, and Olanrewaju Segun.Alaba “Eylbow” Omotola will square up against Bolaji “fight to Finish” Abdullahi in a national lightweight challenge, while Cynthia “Boby Girl” Ogunsemilore will face Aminat Yekini in an all-female bout.The event will also feature live musical performances from rave-of-the-moment, Zlatan; Mayorkun and Oritsefemi. Relatedlast_img read more

first_imgJohn Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF(LOS ANGELES) — Another day, another celebrity pledging to make a difference. Rachael Ray announced that she will donate $4 million to COVID-19 relief efforts. “My overall goal with these donations is to support American families affected during the COVID-19 crisis with assistance for two-legged and four-legged family members,” Ray shared on her website. “We felt it was important to help offset the decline in donations organizations have experienced, from a combination of the cancelation of fundraising events and reduced private donations.”The chef and talk show host made the generous contributions through her two charities The Rachel Ray Foundation and Yum-O and “will help fund critically needed food and services delivered through a network of national, regional and local geographically distributed organizations around the country.” Some of the organizations that will receive aid include Feeding America, Share Our Strength, World Central Kitchen, The National Restaurant Association, City Harvest, Hunger Free America, Wholesome Wave and ReThink Food.The organizations receiving funds to help man’s best friend are North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Society, Austin Pets Alive, Big Dog Ranch, San Antonio Pets Alive and Lost Our Home Rescue. Additional donations will be managed and distributed by Best Friends Animal Society. Ray is no stranger to lending a helping hand, though. The 51-year-old shared that she’s been doing this for a long time. “We have been at this for a decade, and I never wanted to ask people to donate to the philanthropies I personally care about,” Ray continued, “so we have always directed portions of the proceeds from the sale of many of our products — from pet food to pots and pans — to charitable giving.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_img Related iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores from today’s sports events:NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONToronto       93  Orlando         86New Orleans  115  Dallas         105Boston       100  Oklahoma City   99Minnesota    123  L.A. Clippers  109Atlanta       99  Utah            94Detroit      115  Phoenix         88Houston      115  Portland       111NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUEColumbus        5  N-Y Rangers    3Washington      4  Dallas         3N.Y. Islanders   4  Pittsburgh     1Edmonton        7  Carolina       3Florida         7  Ottawa         2Detroit         5  Philadelphia   4; SO  Tampa Bay       4  Toronto        3Winnipeg        2  L.A. Kings     1; OTColorado        5  Chicago        1Vegas           4  Vancouver      1San Jose        6  New Jersey     2Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more