Fernando Alonso exclusive: F1’s returning champion talks Renault 2021 move

first_img Simon Lazenby caught up with Fernando Alonso ahead of his return to Formula 1 with Renault next season “Honestly, I expect to be straight up to speed,” stated Alonso. “But I’m aware of the challenge that maybe I face in the first couple of races. Not only on pure speed, but also on procedures, steering wheel commands, things that are new for me and could take some time. I’m aware that I could struggle a little bit.“But I want to think that it will not happen.”‘Stopwatch will decide when I stop, not third title’Alonso has signed an initial two-year contract with Renault, meaning he is set to race until at least the age of 41. But, when asked if he will keep racing until he secures what feels like a long-overdue third title, he said his competitiveness will be the deciding factor, not championships.“I don’t think I will target a certain result before I stop,” he told Lazenby. “I think in motorsport, the stopwatch tells you when it is time to stop, not the age. I hope the stopwatch is on my side in the next coming years.” But he also knows he needs more track time, adding: “When you go out of the sport for two years and then you drive a Formula 1 car again, everything surprises you like the first time. I need those laps now.“The simulator is good until a certain point, but then you need the physical effort of the car, the G-forces, the training of the neck. I need as many laps as possible.”First few races could be a ‘struggle’… but will they be?That’s not to say Alonso expects to be rusty when he does get started officially next year – even though he acknowledges that it could be a ‘struggle’. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Talks between Renault and Alonso ramped up after Daniel Ricciardo’s surprise confirmation, back in May, that he would be leaving for McLaren, before a reunion between the French team and the driver who claimed their last two Drivers’ Championships in 2005 and 2006 was announced in July.With Renault fifth in last year’s constructors’ standings, they didn’t appear to have what Alonso has always stressed would be key for him making an F1 comeback – a winning package – but he insisted to Simon that, with new rules on the way in 2022, they are the perfect fit.“[They were the preferred choice] for two reasons,” he continued. “One, in terms of expectations and building something from the midfield to the top, it was very attractive, very appealing. And secondly because I know everyone in this team. I know the passion for racing. It’s the third time I come here and I knew I would feel at home here.”Renault are leading the midfield this season, currently third with four races to go, so the signs for Alonso – a man who has famously not had luck on his side with career decisions in the past – are promising. They will be known as Alpine next season and, presumably, a convenient return to a blue livery.Renault car ‘amazing’ but he ‘needs laps’Alonso stepped up his preparations for 2021 with a filming day in Barcelona last month, completing 21 laps in the team’s current car.“It was amazing,” he said. “It was quite an experience.” 5:17

Avian flu reported in two more Nigerian states

first_imgFeb 9, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Deadly H5N1 avian influenza was reported on farms in two more Nigerian states today as United Nations officials warned that the virus’s emergence in Africa represents a serious crisis.The Nigerian agriculture ministry said the virus had been found in chickens on two farms in Kano state and one in Plateau state, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. Kano borders Kaduna state, site of the first reported outbreak, on the northeast, and Plateau borders it on the southeast.”The outbreak in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria proves that no country is risk-free and that we are facing a serious international crisis,” said Samuel Jutzi, director of the the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Animal Production and Health Division, in a statement yesterday.Lee Jong-wook, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), said today, “The confirmation of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry in Africa is a cause for great concern and demands immediate action.”The deaths of 60,000 poultry in Kano had been reported previously, but officials had said tests for avian flu were negative. It was not clear today how many of the deaths were due to avian flu, according to the AFP report.Tope Ajakaiye, spokesman for the Nigerian agriculture ministry, said the outbreak sites have been quarantined. “The federal government is doing everything to contain the disease within the three centers that have been located,” the Associated Press (AP) quoted him as saying.The AP reported that Junaidu Maina, director of Nigeria’s livestock department, said poultry farms all across northern Nigeria were under quarantine, but he did not say how many of the country’s 36 states were included in the order.Government accused of slow responseAwalu Haruna of the Poultry Farmers’ Association of Kano yesterday accused the government of tardiness in responding to the outbreak, the AP story said. “The government should have quarantined the affected farms to prevent further spread,” he said. “But as I speak this has not been done. There is still movement of humans and birds in and out of these farms.”According to a Reuters report today, workers at the Kaduna farm where the virus was first reported said all the birds had died about a month ago. “They burned them and buried them,” one worker was quoted as saying. “They didn’t tell us what had happened. I heard it on the news.”About 40,000 birds reportedly died on the farm, near Jaji village. Fifteen large concrete hangars used as chicken barns stood empty today, Reuters reported.The story also said agricultural authorities in Kano state had ordered a quarantine of all farms with mass bird deaths, but officials would not destroy the flocks until tests confirm the presence of H5N1. Otherwise, “people might take advantage” of compensation being offered to farmers, one official said.International help expectedThe United States has pledged $25 million to help contain the virus, according to the AP and Reuters reports.Ajaikaye told AFP a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team based in Kenya was expected to come to Nigeria and set up a laboratory. The team is to bring 2,000 protective suits for health and veterinary workers, he said.Experts from the FAO, the WHO, and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) were expected to travel to Nigeria tomorrow to help, the AP quoted the OIE’s Alex Thiermann as saying.The WHO’s Lee said in his statement, “The single most important public health priority at this stage is to warn people about the dangers of close contact with sick or dead birds infected with H5N1.”He said the WHO is offering to help the Nigerian government in a public information campaign, possibly by giving messages about bird flu during a nationwide, house-to-house polio immunization campaign scheduled to begin Feb 11.Lee noted that African health systems are already struggling to cope with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases. “We simply do not know what the impact of exposure to avian influenza will be on the many people who may be already immunocompromised and in a fragile state of health,” he said.Greece reports infected swansIn other developments, three swans found dead in northern Greece tested positive for an H5 virus, possibly signaling H5N1’s arrival in the country, according to an AFP report today.Greece has had no confirmed outbreaks of H5N1 so far. Last October there was a report of an H5 virus in some turkeys on a Greek island, but the findings apparently were never confirmed. At this writing, the OIE Web site showed no reports of H5 avian flu in Greece.Two of the infected swans were found in the northern port city of Salonika, and the third came from the prefecture of Pieria, according to officials quoted by AFP.The Greek agriculture ministry said a European Union–certified laboratory in Salonika had detected H5 viruses in samples from the three swans, which were among 52 birds tested, AFP reported.The samples have been sent to a London lab for to determine whether the virus is H5N1, officials told AFP.Earlier this week, a swan infected with an H5 virus was reported in Bulgaria, which adjoins northeastern Greece.See also:Feb 9 statement by WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wookhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2006/s03/en/index.htmlFeb 8 FAO statementhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000226/index.htmllast_img read more

Topland set to operate in the surgery market

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From wrestling royalty to MMA for India’s Ritu Phogat

first_img‘One has to take risks’ The nimble but strongly built Phogat said wrestlers were a good fit for the fast-growing contact sport, which is yet to take off in India.”Top seven champions in mixed martial arts are wrestlers, so I believe that wrestlers have an edge in this sport with their ability to take down the opponent,” she said.”It is all a matter of skill. You just have to practice hard. I think MMA is not much different from wrestling in terms of preparation.”Phogat, who said she was inspired by watching Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor of Ireland, admitted she was running a risk by switching sports.”I had a good career in wrestling so this decision was a big risk for me. But I did not want to miss the opportunity,” she said.”One has to take risks to do something new and as an athlete I am ready to embrace every challenge.”She added: “Without the support of my father and sisters I would not have been where I am. My father always taught me to be far-sighted, hard-working and with strong resolve. Three traits will take you a long way.”Phogat won 48kg gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship and followed it up with a silver in the under-23 world championships the next year.Her father Mahavir, who is now training his niece Vinesh for the Tokyo Olympics, backs his third daughter to make it big in MMA.”She used to watch a lot MMA and one day told me that I will win a gold in this game. So we all backed her and the result is there for everyone to see,” he said. But Ritu, 25, is forging a different career. After winning her first MMA fight in less than three minutes, she will face China’s Wu Chiao Chen at this month’s ONE Championship fight night in Singapore, which will be held behind closed doors because of the coronavirus.The youngest Phogat daughter is trading an attempt at an Olympic medal to tackle MMA, but she said she was attracted by the lure of making history in her new sport.”I got a chance to train with the best in Singapore and there was no looking back,” she told AFP during a promotional event in New Delhi.”There was the 2020 Olympic Games but I thought that I would do well in mixed martial arts. I have come with an aim of becoming the first girl from India to become a world champion in mixed martial art.” An Indian wrestler whose family story was immortalized by Bollywood is hoping to create a blockbuster of her own by becoming her country’s first world champion in the high-octane sport of mixed martial arts.Ritu Phogat, who initially followed her father and two elder sisters into wrestling, is now charting a new path after making an explosive MMA debut in November.Phogat’s father Mahavir, and her sisters Geeta and Babita were the subject of 2016 movie “Dangal”, telling the story of the wrestling coach who raised his daughters to become Commonwealth champions.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Indonesian badminton national athletes protected by BP Jamsostek

first_imgMembers of the national badminton team have been registered as active participants of the BP Jamsostek social security program, previously known as the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan). The program covers job-related illness and injuries, as well as death. The athletes are under the patronage of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), the association said in a statement on Thursday.The PBSI went on to say that their careers exposed shuttlers to injury, which may occur during training and competitions. The association hopes the social security program will give the shuttlers financial assurance to allow them to fully focus on their day-to-day duties. “The social security program is also a form of appreciation for the shuttlers,” said PBSI operational director Alex Tirta.Read also: Indonesia’s junior shuttlers showered with cash rewards over World Cup successMeanwhile, the head of BP Jamsostek’s Jakarta Ceger branch, Dani Santoso, said he appreciated the PBSI’s gesture.“The utmost appreciation goes out to the PBSI, which has supported the government’s program and paid attention to risks encountered by athletes,” he added.Shuttler Pitha Haningtyas Mentari said she was happy with the plan, which gave athletes a sense of assurance in regard to their health. (nkn)Topics :last_img read more

i3 Energy in fundraise for North Sea development

first_img30th Round license application Following i3’s submission of the Liberator Phase I Field Development Plan to the UK Oil & Gas Authority on September 15, 2017, the company commissioned AGR TRACS International Limited to prepare a Reserve Report (RR) over the Liberator field for the gross reserves that are expected to be developed and produced subsequent to the approval of the Phase I Field Development Plan.The Liberator field is planned to be developed via two horizontal producers in Phase I, targeting the Main and Northwest culminations of the Phase I area. The field will be tied into the Repsol Sinopec-operated existing Blake field ‘host’ infrastructure and produced through the Bluewater-owned Bleo Holm FPSO.A separate potential future Phase II plan is contemplated and may include further development wells, yet these potential reserves are not reported within the RR. UK independent i3 Energy has made progress with multiple funding options to finance its Liberator field development located in the UK North Sea. i3 Energy has been progressing multiple funding options to finance its 2018 development program and is in advanced discussions with multiple industrial parties regarding potential JV arrangements relating to both its 100% owned Liberator oil field and its application within the UK’s 30th Round, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.Pursuant to these discussions, the company said it has received indicative commercial interest from a counterparty to provide 100% of the funding for a multi-well development on Liberator and the company’s 30th Round application block, amounting to estimated total capital commitments of approximately $200 million.JV discussions have reached a mature stage and, should these commercial arrangements conclude in an expected six to eight weeks timeframe, the company would maintain a working interest of no less than 67% in its Liberator and 30th Round application blocks, after a multiple of the capital commitments have been refunded to the parties from post-production cash flow.The Joint Venture discussions also contemplate capital being provided to i3 by an industrial party to enable the Liberator development to proceed utilizing that party’s funding alongside other credit facilities, even in circumstances where the company is unsuccessful with its 30th Round application.However, there can be no certainty that these negotiations and discussions will lead to definitive agreements, the company noted. i3 raises over $3.6M Liberator Field Phase I The company has targeted and extensively evaluated seismic and well data on a highly attractive region of acreage that if awarded to i3 would add to the company’s portfolio 2C Contingent Resources of 22 MMBO (with 63% chance of commerciality) and Prospective Resources Best Estimate of 47 MMBO (with a 51% chance of commerciality), according to AGR.The 30th Round application has been submitted to the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority with work program commitments totaling $13 million.Neill Carson, i3’s CEO, commented: “We have been incredibly busy progressing multiple funding options for both our 100% owned Liberator development and the low risk development growth opportunity we have applied for in the 30th Round.“There is strong momentum within the company and today’s funding strengthens our financial position allowing us to continue our engineering plans for our Liberator development ensuring the company is ready for the next operational stage of the project.”Graham Heath, i3’s CFO, commented: “This fundraise enables the company to quickly advance key initiatives and procurement for our Liberator development, in addition to funding engineering activities that we believe will assist in concluding a successful joint venture in the near future.” The company has raised £2.57 million ($3.65 million) through the placing of 8,563,630 new ordinary shares in the capital of the company to new and existing investors at an issue price of 30 pence per share, representing a 0.4% premium to the 30-day average for the week ending January 26, 2018.The proceeds of the funding will be used towards prerequisite engineering, trees and wellheads for the Liberator development, and general corporate purposes.last_img read more

Hour’s work buys teens a week of booze

first_imgDominion Post 6 Oct 2012Young people can buy more than a week’s worth of booze for less than an hour’s wages.As MPs prepare to debate a 50 per cent rise in alcohol excise, Dominion Post research shows pre-mixed, ready-to-drink (RTD) alcoholic cocktails are cheaper to buy than same-sized cans of soft drink.For $10, youngsters can get their hands on 11 standard drinks’ worth of knock-down spirits at most bottle stores.Bottles of wine can regularly be bought for  $7; a dozen beer,  $10; but the cheapest RTDs work out at as little as 47c per standard drink.For just $11.98 – less than an hour’s work on the $13.50 minimum wage – a teen   can buy eight 330ml cans of pre-mixed whisky and cola and knock back more booze  than is recommended for an adult male in a week.The dangers are clear, Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams says. “Our heaviest drinkers are our younger age groups . . . about half of the alcohol consumed in New Zealand is consumed in heavy-drinking situations.“Price matters: You can buy a lot if you want to buy it . . . and get hammered.”RTDs also served as a gateway to hard liquor, she said.“We know that ready-to-drinks are linked with heavy-drinking behaviour and they’re popular with the young group.http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/7777010/Hours-work-buys-teens-a-week-of-boozelast_img read more

Road Traffic accidents concern President Liverpool

first_img 22 Views   no discussions President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, His Excellency Dr. Nicholas Liverpool. Photo credit: Facebook.President of Dominica His Excellency Dr. Nicholas Liverpool says road traffic accidents are causing serious strain on the country’s economy.Dr. Liverpool was delivering an address to officially launch the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety today.He says the country’s health sector is also being affected.Here’s the Presidents address in full:  Dominica Vibes News Share Tweet LocalNews Road Traffic accidents concern President Liverpool by: – May 11, 2011center_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

IMCA Modifieds roar at Thunder Mountain in Empire State Series opener

first_imgCENTER LISLE, N.Y. (May 24) – Touring IMCA Modifieds race for $750 to win when the 16th an­nual Empire State Series opens Saturday night at Thunder Mountain Speedway.IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Dirt Works Eastern Region, Allstar Perfor­mance State and track points will be awarded for the May 27 event. The feature pays a minimum of $80 to start and there is no entry fee.Pit gates at Center Lisle open at 4 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 5:30 p.m. with racing to follow. Pit passes are $30. Spectator admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and free for kids ages 10 and under.More information about the opening night show at Center Lisle is available by calling 607 725-1402 and at the www.thundermtnspeedway.net website.Five previous Empire State Series events have been held at Thunder Mountain, the most recent of them in September of 2010.2016 Empire State Series top 20 point standings – 1. Brad Sites, Monroeton, Pa., 356; 2. Tyler Stoddard, Binghamton, 338; 3. Keith Jack Lamphere, 303; 4. Gary Roberts, Afton, 289; 5. Matt Cole, Vestal, 270; 6. James Cornell, Port Crane, 258; 7. Beau Ballard, Grand Gorge, 257; 8. Brad Smith, Horseheads, 251; 9. Eddie Sites, Towanda, Pa., 246; 10. Michael Stoddard, Binghamton, 209; 11. Will Ward, Cobleskill, 201; 12. Rodney Morgan, Mainesburg, Pa., 197; 13. Brandon Smith, Bath, 178; 14. Robert Maynard, Towanda, Pa., 147; 15. Ray McClure, Troy, Pa., 139; 16. Bumps Scutt, Groton, 130; 17. J.C. Austin, Campbell, 103; 18. Jeffrey Cardinale, Syracuse, 102; 19. Douglas McKane, Groton, and Gary Smith, Harpursville, both 90.last_img read more

Ducks in town to face USC

first_imgAfter opening with four straight wins in the month of February, the USC men’s basketball team rolled into Pullman, Wash., last Saturday only to have its streak snapped in a 51-47 loss to Washington State.Another shot · Senior forward Marcus Johnson scored just five points in the Trojans’ 10-point loss to Oregon earlier this season. Johnson will look to improve upon his 2 of 10 shooting during tonight’s rematch. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan “We had won four in a row, and you know how that goes,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “Human nature, at every level — players soften up a little bit.”The Trojans (16-10, 8-6) look to bounce back tonight against Oregon at the Galen Center. With just four games remaining in the season because of self-imposed sanctions, a victory against the Ducks (12-14, 4-10) takes on heightened importance.The way O’Neill sees it, the team has “eight hours of basketball left to play.”But even without the prospect of the postseason, USC has a little more at stake. Just a game and a half out of first place in the Pac-10, the Trojans still have a shot at capturing the conference regular season title.“It’s been a goal of ours from the beginning,” O’Neill said. “That’s the only thing we can play for at this point.”To achieve that goal, the Trojans first have to get past an Oregon squad that sits in last place in the Pac-10 but still got the best of the teams’ Jan. 30 meeting at McArthur Court. There, the Ducks took advantage of a technical foul called on USC student manager Stan Holt late in the game and shot 50 percent from the field on their way to a        67-57 victory.Oregon will be hard-pressed to come up with a similar performance tonight. The Galen Center has proved to be a tough venue for visitors, as the Trojans have won 30 of their last 35 home games.USC also boasts a significant size advantage down low. While Oregon forward Jeremy Jacob is the Ducks’ tallest starter at 6-foot-8, the Trojans counter with 6-foot-9 redshirt junior forward Alex Stepheson and 6-foot-10 sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic.But that duo failed to deliver in USC’s recent loss to Oregon. Stepheson finished with zero points, and most of Vucevic’s 10 points and 14 rebounds did not come until late in the second half. Meanwhile, Jacob had a career-high 19 points and guard Malcolm Armstead added 18 points for the Ducks.With a team that is ranked second to last in the conference in scoring at 59.5 points per game, the Trojans will need to get more production from their frontcourt. But as has been the case all season, one can expect USC to rely on its suffocating defense, led by senior guard Dwight Lewis.“I think Dwight has become a really good — I guess I could call him a great — player and defender,” O’Neill said of Lewis, who on Saturday held Washington State star Klay Thompson to a career-low two points. “He’s faced whoever is the best player almost every game and done a magnificent job.”Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.last_img read more