Filmmaking Trends: Don’t Be Afraid to Sing and Dance

first_img2. Royal Wedding (1951)Perhaps one of the most iconic dance scenes of all time (and arguably an inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s Inception scenes) is Fred Astaire’s “You’re All the World to Me” number in Royal Wedding in which he famously dances up the walls and on the ceiling.Filmed in the early 1950s, the sequence was quite a feat to capture, as it required an entire set to be built in a rolling barrel with camera attachment. Here’s what the scene looks like when it follows the true motion. What’s your favorite dance scene in film history? Ever thought of including musical numbers in your own work? Let us know in the comments. 3. Hair (1979)Originally performed on the stage, Hair was a self-proclaimed “American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” which focused on the growing hippie counterculture exploding in the ’60s and ’70s.The film version by Miloš Forman put the musical’s sometimes abrasive messages of drug use and sexual promiscuity onto big screens and televisions across the world with powerful numbers like “I Got a Life” and “Aquarius.”4. Dirty Dancing (1987)As far as musical dance numbers go, the finale to Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s romance film Dirty Dancing is one of the most renowned and decorated, having won a Golden Globe, Grammy, and Oscar for best original song. The film’s legacy as one of the best dance films of all time is cemented thanks to the choreography of Broadway legend Kenny Ortega. From La La Land to The OA, film and television are turning back the clock to honor the golden age of song and dance. Let’s look behind the scenes at some of the best song and dance numbers in film history.Top image via Black Label MediaInteresting fact: Some of Hollywood’s earliest films where produced as supplemental entertainment to big-number stage shows. If you look through the halls of film history, you’ll find a heavy number of musicals and dance films from Singing in the Rain to The Wizard of Oz to Saturday Night Fever.So, if you’re itching to stretch your legs like Billy Elliot and looking to put dance and music into your next project, here are seven classic dance scenes you need to study.1. Swing Time (1939)Resting squarely in the golden age of Hollywood, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’s RKO-produced musical comedy is widely considered one of the era’s best and serves as a highlight of both performers’ illustrious film dance careers.Cinema was much more spectacle based in their era, with elaborate sets and musical numbers being performed in wide, long shots to give scale and add magnitude to their productions (as you can see in some of TCM’s behind-the-scenes photos, every shot was an enormous undertaking). 7. La La Land (2016)Damien Chazelle’s follow up to Whiplash has enjoyed a great run as a musical homage to classic Hollywood song and dance. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, the film features several musical dance numbers recorded and filmed in the style of famous musicals like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and It’s Always Fair Weather. According to Chazelle, the dance scenes were “to be filmed head to toe, using fifties-style, wide-screen CinemaScope, and performed in a single take, like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire used to.” 5. Billy Elliot (2000)Set against the backdrop of a 1980’s coal mining strike in north-eastern England, the story of Billy Elliot’s journey from a small blue-collar town to London’s West End is a visual masterpiece for how it illustrates Billy’s development through dance.The making-of featurette below features some behind-the-scenes glimpses into the production of the film, the actors’ insights, and a look at how they filmed the famous tap dancing scene featured above. 6. Pina (2011)If you’re not familiar with the work of the German modern dance choreographer Pina Bausch, Wim Wenders’s film on the famous artist is an awe-inspiring introduction. Tragically, Bausch passed away during the filming of the documentary. However, Wenders was encouraged by the dancers who knew Bausch to continue the film in memoriam. The film highlights the most noted dance pieces from Bausch’s career with interviews from those who worked with the choreographer.last_img read more

Video Tutorial: Using Audio to Drive Your Motion Graphics

first_imgWhy keyframe your animations manually when your audio can do it for you? In this tutorial, learn how to create motion graphics that react to your music.Let’s say that I want to create motion graphics that will react to the beat of a song. There are a number of ways to do this. The first idea that comes to mind is opening up the waveform and animating using the peaks and valleys of the song as a visual reference. Another method would be to listen to the song and add markers on the fly, animating attributes at the marker points. Both of these techniques have something in common — I’m spending a lot of time manually adding keyframes.This tutorial will show you a more automated method that still offers a lot of versatility. I’m going to use a music clip to drive the animation of a basic graphic. With this particular technique, you’ll find yourself focusing more on fine-tuning the animation than creating it from scratch.Let’s get started. Step 1 — Convert Audio to KeyframesFirst, I’m going to select my music layer and go to Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Convert Audio to Keyframes. Once you’ve selected this, After Effects will create a new Audio Amplitude layer with all of the converted audio keyframes applied. It includes keyframes for right, left, and both channels. To keep this animation simple, I’ll delete the right and left channels and only use the Both Channels attribute.Step 2 — Link to AttributesThe key to making this method work is using expressions. But don’t let this scare you off — we’ll create the expressions via property pick whips. If you’re using the latest version of After Effects, then you’ll have the added benefit of property pick whips. For older versions of AE, you’ll need to Alt+Click the stopwatch of your property to access the pick whip.For this animation, I have an eighth-note graphic that will scale, rotate, and change opacity to the beat of the music. To make this happen, I’ll open up the transform properties of the graphic in the timeline, as well as the converted audio keyframes of the Audio Amplitude layer. I’ll rename the Both Channels attribute to “Scale.” Next, I’ll duplicate Scale twice and rename the duplicates “Opacity” and “Rotation.” Now I can connect the attributes of the eighth-note graphic to the Audio Amplitude layer via the property pick whips.Step 3 — Adjust the ValuesThe properties are now linked, but the animation is not doing what I want. To further refine the keyframes, I’ll open up the Graph Editor. This gives me a visual reference to the values of my animations with time mapped horizontally and values (or speed) mapped vertically. Using the Graph Editor I can quickly adjust the scale, opacity, and rotation values.First, I’ll click the Graph Editor button in the Timeline panel. I’ll set the view options to Show Selected Properties and the graph type to Edit Value Graph. Next, I’ll turn on the Show Transform Box when multiple keyframes are selected. The Transform Box provides me with a good method to quickly select multiple keyframes and change them together.For example, I can click and drag to select just the peaks of my scale attribute of the Audio Amplitude layer and then drag them up to increase the value. I can also grab all of the keyframes around the bottom and quickly move them to a specific value. It’s very easy to work with a large number of keyframes via the Transform Box. Once I have my scale keyframes where I want them, I can repeat the process for opacity and rotation.Endless PossibilitiesDon’t limit your options to music when using this technique — it works great with narration and sound effects, too. When you use this technique in conjunction with expression controls, you can get some very interesting results. For example, you could use SFX elements to trigger a RGB glitch. Or you could have an effect ramp up during an audio swell transition. Another great use of this could be to visualize a voice in a documentary.Using audio to drive animations helps you work smart, not hard.Interested in the tracks we used to make this video?“Spanish Rumble Part 1” by Senbei“Street Signs” by Sound Force“Error Message” by Jack Chown“Creativity and Innovation” by Ulas PakkanLooking for more video tutorials? Check these out.How to Create a Scribble Animation in After EffectsAfter Effects: Create a Modern Slideshow AnimationVideo Tutorial: How to Loop an Animation in Adobe After EffectsHow to Apply Animation Presets in Adobe After EffectsUse the Puppet Tool in After Effects to Add Life to Animationlast_img read more

No threat of any major flood in Odisha

first_imgThe possibility of a major flood has been ruled out in Odisha following average rainfall recorded during the last 24 hours ending on Thursday morning.According to the control room of the Special Relief Commissioner, the average rainfall in the State recorded on Thursday for the last 24 hours was 2.7 mm while 28 districts received sporadic rainfall, the highest being 18.8 mm in Kalahandi district.“There was no rainfall during the past 24 hours in the remaining two districts of Bhadrak and Deogarh,” it said. Thursday also remained largely dry throughout the State.Flood control cell of the State Water Resource department said 6.43 lakh cusecs of water had flown through the Mundali barrage by 6 p.m. and the flow of water would gradually come down. As there was drop in the intensity of rainfall in the upper catchment of the Mahanadi, managers of Hirakud Dam Project at Burla closed five sluice gates. However, 20 gates still remianed opened. Heavy precipitation recorded from Monday to Wednesday had inundated about 30 villages under the Harabhanga block of Boudh. There was report of flooding in low-lying areas of Subarnapur, Angul and Cuttack districts.“We had received information about a road getting cut off in Boudh district. It was immediately restored. We do not expect any major flood in the coastal belt,” said Bishnupada Sethi, Managing Director of Odisha State Disaster Management Authority and Special Relief Commissioner.last_img read more

Whoops! Wardrobe malfunction mars Olympic debut for ice dancers

first_imgMOST READ View comments AP PhotoGANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) _ Five seconds into your Olympic debut, you suffer a wardrobe malfunction. What do you do? Keep your shoulders back and keep smiling.That’s exactly what happened to South Korean ice dancers Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin during their performance in Sunday’s team event. A hook on the back of Min’s red dress slid loose, threatening to reveal rather more than it already did.ADVERTISEMENT Hulk Hogan wants to make a wrestling comeback Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “I know that if this comes undone, then the whole thing is going to come undone. So I had that panic,” she said. “That wouldn’t be the most ideal Olympic experience, obviously. The whole time in the back of my head I was just thinking: ‘Keep your back straight because it might come down.”Things got worse during the twizzles _ a synchronized side-by-side spin _ when Min felt the dress slipping off her shoulder and down her arm. She had to react fast to stop her Olympic debut being remembered alongside Janet Jackson’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl in 2004.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It started to come down so I had to stop my twizzle and pull it back up,” she said. Gamelin added: “We were skating well _ you just had to keep everything, well, intact.”Gamelin is from Boston, while Min was born in California to Korean parents. They might not have grown up in the Olympic host nation, but it didn’t stop the crowd from taking them to heart. Min’s dress issues hurt their points total as they finished ninth, but they’re optimistic for the ice dance competition starting Feb. 19. AFP official booed out of forumcenter_img John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Read Next “The second we stepped onto the ice, the fans started to scream and I think we really fed off that energy,” Min said. “Even with my costume coming undone, the fans helped us, picked us up.”Gamelin talks with Min in Korean and is “at least proficient” _ which was handy during his citizenship interview last year.To march as an American-born athlete alongside North Koreans in the opening ceremony was unforgettable, he said.“That was crazy. The unified team was a really historic event,” he said. “I’m loving this whole theme of peace.”ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citylast_img read more

Azamgarh boy pens down ICC World Cup theme song

first_imgThe ICC World Cup is still two weeks away, but its official theme song is already making cricket fans in India dance to an Azamgarh boy’s tunes. Manoj Yadav, who has penned the World Cup anthem, De ghuma ke, can’t thank his mentors Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy enough for this opportunity.”I have been working with them for the last one-and-a-half years and they recommended me to O&M for the World Cup anthem. I am really grateful to them for their faith and appreciation,” he says.Though settled in Mumbai for the past several years, Manoj is proud of his small town roots and attributes the emotional connect in De ghuma ke to this fact.”I am happy to be from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. I think being from a small town cultivates a passion in you which makes you work doubly hard. I’ve been lucky to have completed my primary education from Azamgarh. It has really made me an emotional person and I try to carry forward these emotions in my work.”It took Manoj almost two months to write the song. “Writing for cricket as a subject has been an emotional experience for me. I had to be really particular with the lyrics. There had to be a connect with the masses since cricket is considered a religion in India,” he says.The basic idea was to weave the excitement and passion of cricket in words, Manoj says. “For instance, the lines aasman mein maar ke dubki is an attempt to create a visual effect of fielding and sarr se cheer hawa ka parda an attempt to highlight the thrill of fast bowling,” he adds.The song, which has already been released, will be played during the inaugural ceremony as well as between the matches during the tournament starting February 19.Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have composed the music for the theme song.Manoj is on cloud nine that his song got the honour to be the World Cup anthem and that it is receiving appreciation. But this is not the first time he has written for cricket.Not many know that he also penned the title song of the Indian Premier League’s South Africa version in 2009, Ek desh ek junoon.He has also worked for several Marathi films and ad films, including the famous Abhishek-Aishwarya Lux jingle, Sone se bhi sona lage.Having received accolades for De ghuma ke, Manoj has many big offers coming his way, one with a leading Bollywood composer. However, this humble Azamgarh boy is reluctant to name the projects. “I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best,” he says. – With PTI inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

India Women’s Football Team to Play 2 International Friendlies against Vietnam Next Month

first_imgNew Delhi: The Indian women’s football team will play two international friendlies against higher-ranked Vietnam in Hanoi next month.After impressive performances in Spain and Uzbekistan, the senior women’s national team will play the two matches against Vietnam on November 3 and 6 at the Vietnam Youth Football Training Centre. India head coach Maymol Rocky believes Vietnam will be a tough challenge, considering the fact that they are 34th in the FIFA rankings, as compared to India’s 58th.”Vietnam are a very tough team. They have recently beaten a World Cup team like Thailand and that says a lot,” Rocky told”Their attackers are very quick and technically very good but that does not mean that we will play a defending game. We need to test ourselves in the big matches and we will also play our brand of attacking football.”The Indian team will assemble in New Delhi for a training camp from October 25 to 30 before leaving for Vietnam on October 31.”These matches would be a great way to prepare for AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers and we will leave no stone unturned once the camp starts. Our goal will definitely be to play well against Vietnam,” the coach further said.Earlier this year, the women’s team had participated in the COTIF Cup in Spain, where they finished third, and played two friendlies in Uzbekistan — recording a notable 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan in the second game.The coach believes that playing such competitive games around the globe will help her team gain more experience as they are preparing for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers, scheduled for later this year.”The more we play on the international level, the better it will be for us. And playing against tougher opponents will be further helpful. Their standards are better than us, both physically and technically. I will be giving chances to the youngsters to see how we can test the team for the future,” she said.Twenty nine players called up for the camp are as followed:Goalkeepers: Aditi Chauhan, Elangbam Panthoi Chanu, Maibam Linthoingambi Devi, Sowmiya N.Defenders: Arati Anima Khadia, Jabamani Tudu, Loitongbam Ashalata Devi, Michel Castanha, Ngangbam Sweety Devi, Pratiksha Lakra, Sorokhaibam Ranjana Chanu, W Linthoingambi Devi.Midfielders: Asem Roja Devi, Grace Lalrampari, Karthika A, Manisha, Nongmathem Ratanbala Devi, Ritu Rani, Sangita Basfore, Sanju Yadav, Soni Behera, Sumithra Kamaraj.Forwards: Anju Tamang, Dangmei Grace, Heigrujam Daya Devi, Karishma P Shirvoikar, Ngangom Bala Devi, Renu, Sharda Kumari.Head Coach: Maymol Rocky. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. friendliesIndia women’s football teamindian footballinternational friendlies First Published: October 10, 2019, 10:18 PM ISTlast_img read more

Novak Djokovic says nerves betrayed him during US Open final loss

first_imgAfter considering skipping the US Open because of injury concerns, Novak Djokovic made it all the way to the final for the sixth time in the past seven years. (Stan Wawrinka outclasses Novak Djokovic for maiden US Open title, third Grand Slam )He came up short of the title, though, settling for his fifth runner-up showing at Flushing Meadows because, by his own admission, he got tight at key points – and not because of the physical distress he dealt with down the stretch, including bleeding toes that were treated by a trainer.Most glaring of all during a 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 loss to Stan Wawrinka on Sunday was this statistic: Djokovic, one of the greatest returners of his, or any, generation, converted only 3 of 17 break chances. (Mattek-Sands and Safarova win US Open women’s doubles title)”I lost my nerves in the important moments. He kept his cool. I think that’s what decided the match,” said Djokovic, the No. 1 seed and defending champion. “I guess sometimes it happens, even though you have the experience and know what to do. Just the heat of the moment and importance of the match, I guess, was too strong for me at certain periods of the match. Just if you lose your cool, the match can go away.” (Angelique Kerber wins US Open for second major title of breakthrough year)It’s a rather startling admission from someone who owns 12 major titles and a career Grand Slam, who has spent more than 200 weeks at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, who was the first man to exceed $100 million in career prize money in tennis. (Murray-Soares sweep to US Open men’s doubles title)advertisementAnd, especially, someone who earlier this season was considered close to unbeatable. Until losing in the third round at Wimbledon against Sam Querrey, Djokovic had won 30 consecutive Grand Slam matches, becoming only the third man – and first in nearly 50 years – to win four consecutive major titles.But Djokovic acknowledged that he became too passive at pivotal segments of the match against No. 3 Wawrinka, who collected the third major trophy of his career and first at Flushing Meadows.”He was more courageous, because he stepped in and played aggressive,” Djokovic said, “where I was kind of more waiting for things to happen.”Never was that more apparent than when Djokovic was returning serve. Over and over again, he would get an opening to break Wawrinka, and over and over again that opportunity went by the wayside.Coming into Sunday, Djokovic had won nearly 50 percent of his return games in the tournament. Against Wawrinka, he only managed to win 3 of 22.”Terrible conversion of the break points,” Djokovic said. “Just terrible from my side.”He has appeared in 21 Grand Slam finals, second in the history of men’s tennis only to Roger Federer, but now has a record of 12-9 in those all-on-the-line matchups.That includes a 2-5 mark at the US Open, where Djokovic won the titles in 2011 and 2015, but lost to Federer in 2007, to Rafael Nadal in 2010 and 2013, and to Andy Murray in 2012.Late Sunday evening, Djokovic was asked to assess his season, which includes a 56-6 record, along with titles at the Australian Open, French Open and five other tournaments. He picked up a sore left wrist shortly before a first-round loss at the Rio Olympics last month, then dealt with problems with both shoulders and his right elbow over the past two weeks, before the foot issues in the final.”Winning two out of four Grand Slams is a pretty good year, and playing another final I have no complaints. Obviously I wish that I could win another title, but this is what it is. You have to shake hands and accept the loss from a better player and move on,” Djokovic said.”It’s not the first time, it’s not the last time I’m going to lose a match. Big match,” he continued. “Hopefully I can learn from it. Hopefully I can get better, because that’s the cycle of life, I guess, for us athletes.”last_img read more

José Mourinho’s moaning makes Manchester United post precarious

first_img José Mourinho makes a point to midfielder Ander Herrera during the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham in April. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images Manchester United back José Mourinho despite manager’s transfer frustrations Share via Email Twitter José Mourinho If there are echoes of classic third-term Mourinho, the difference this time is that his predicament is precarious. In both Chelsea tenures and in Madrid, Mourinho began year three with his stock sky-high as the league title had been claimed the previous seasons.This summer his status at United is close to slipping terminally unless the side starts the season flying and continues through winter and spring. His words in Michigan followed the defeatist assessment earlier last week that United will struggle to defeat Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion in their opening two Premier League matches due to players having a shorter pre-season. Yet he omitted to mention Leicester have been seriously weakened by losing their best player, Riyad Mahrez, to City. ‘In trouble’: José Mourinho lashes out at Manchester United transfer process Share on WhatsApp An irony for Mourinho is that he enjoys more autonomy at Old Trafford than he did at either Chelsea or Real. Woodward might not sign off every transfer request – Internazionale’s Ivan Perisic and Chelsea’s Willian may be a difficult ask at their asking price due to them being 29 – but Mourinho does not have to resist pressure regarding players foisted on him.This was the situation at Chelsea and Real. In December 2006 Mourinho insisted he would never feel moved to play Andriy Shevchenko, who was viewed as a £30.8m vanity project of the owner, Roman Abramovich. His exit by “mutual consent” after limping into the September of his fourth year can be traced back to Shevchenko’s arrival with Michael Ballack also seemingly joining above his head.A memorable soundbite came just before that departure in a barb about how Abramovich’s transfer policy prevented the buying of elite players. “Some are more expensive than others and give you better omelettes,” he said. “So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there you have a problem.” Share on Pinterest At Real, where the president often acts as a de facto director of football, similar issues arose. Mourinho signed a new four-year deal in summer 2012 after guiding the club to a record La Liga triumph. Yet the following campaign would prove the “worst of my career”, he said. There had been bust-ups with club favourites Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo and by May 2013 Real had lost the title to Barcelona by 15 points, were knocked out of the Champions League semi‑finals, and endured defeat against Atlético Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.His second Chelsea stint ended in similar fashion. The agreement of a new four-year contract on 7 August 2015 was followed the next day with a furious dispute with club doctor, Eva Carneiro, over her treatment of Eden Hazard during the season opener against Swansea City.While Mourinho and Chelsea later settled with Carneiro regarding an unfair dismissal claim, that December he was sacked, clearing the way for his appointment at United two years ago. Since then there have been 10 major signings granted by Woodward and the Glazers. When compared to Guardiola’s 13 for a City squad that was of higher quality than United’s when the Catalan took over, Mourinho may have a point regarding transfer policy.Yet United have twice eclipsed City’s record £60m outlay on Mahrez – for Romelu Lukaku (£75m) and Paul Pogba (£89.3m) – and while the board continue to back Mourinho there is bemusement at their manager’s off-message diatribes.If the question is posed what Guardiola could do with the same squad as Mourinho – surely better than trailing by 19 points – the crux of what is fuelling the latter’s serial moaning may become clearer. This is the sneaking suspicion that United are about to fall further behind when Mourinho’s third Old Trafford season starts. And that the once “Special One” has become the “Powerless One” regarding his ability to duke it out at the very top. Share on Facebook Read more Pinterest center_img José Mourinho’s outburst after Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat against Liverpool may signal the Portuguese entering his endgame at the club. Even for a manager whose media appearances are often outspoken, the comments were extraordinary. He confessed disquiet at handing Ed Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, a list of five players for “two new signings” and being unsure if even one of these will arrive by 9 August when the window closes. Reuse this content Manchester United Share on Twitter The Fiver: Sign up for our daily football email. Read more Topics Share on LinkedIn comment Mourinho also declared he would not have paid to see the Liverpool game despite it being between English football’s fiercest rivals and so a centrepiece fixture of the International Champions Cup, a lucrative summer money-spinner. This came after a huge 101,254 were attracted to the University of Michigan Stadium, United having played to near half‑empty stadiums in previous outings against Club América, San Jose Earthquakes and Milan. So how the Glazers, United’s American profit-led owners, view their manager effectively warning fans against attending the final tour match against Real Madrid in Miami on Wednesday should be clear.He was not finished yet. How could Alexis Sánchez be “very happy with the players around him”, the 55-year-old asked in a crushing dismissal of younger squad members he is supposedly developing as future United footballers.Mourinho then rounded on his captain Antonio Valencia for being unfit, the want-away Anthony Martial for not rushing back to the tour following the birth of his child, plus – oddly – the referee and assistants being sourced from “baseball”. There has also been continual moaning about starting the trip without 13 frontline players due to post-World Cup holidays.In all of this there is a near mirror image of previous Mourinho third‑term travails when twice at Chelsea (2004-07 and 2013-15) and Real Madrid (2010-13). Meanwhile the summer has seen only one major outfield signing in Brazil reserve midfielder Fred plus the untested 19-year-old full-back Diogo Dalot. Mourinho may have taken United to second place last year, a best finish since the 2012-13 title win, but they trailed by a record 19 points behind Manchester City. United were never serious challengers so what Mourinho must deliver in 2018-19 is clear: the chasm to Pep Guardiola’s men must be bridged and United must still be in the championship race come next May. In this context Mourinho’s media performance in Michigan can be viewed as a quasi-desperate roll of a dice to try to hurry Woodward into securing at least one of his centre-back and wide-forward preferences – and the preparing of ground should he not. Share on Messenger Facebook last_img read more

Would letting Maurizio Sarri leave really be sensible for Chelsea?

first_img Read more Sportblog Share on Pinterest Eden Hazard Facebook Twitter Share on WhatsApp Pinterest You hope Maurizio Sarri enjoyed his first trophy in professional football – but this, surely, was not how he imagined it when he whiled away the hours working on the foreign exchange desk at a bank in Florence. Perhaps he had dreamed of one of the great citadels of European football, of Wembley or San Siro, of the Camp Nou or the Luzhniki, but instead he got the Olympic Stadium in Baku. It is a place so ill-conceived that not only is the stadium inaccessible to most of Europe but the pitch seems inaccessible from most of the stands, laid out like a Subbuteo cloth on a snooker table, as though somebody had seen the London Stadium and thought: “We’ll do that, but more so.” Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal: Europa League final player ratings Eden Hazard and Maurizio Sarri could both be gone from Chelsea by the start of next season. Photograph: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images Facebook But that is not to say patience is always appropriate. There have been occasions when silverware has served as a veneer for deep-rooted problems, when the quality of football has not lived up to results. And there have certainly been times for Chelsea this season when the football has not been good. There have been bizarre collapses, as at Everton, Bournemouth and Manchester City, and even as home wins were racked up in the mid-to-latter part of the season, the football was often ponderously slow. Pinterest Read more Twitter Reuse this content Maurizio Sarri celebrates Chelsea’s Europa League triumph with a cigarette. Photograph: Darko Bandić/APcenter_img Even if there had been tens of thousands of Chelsea fans packed into stands tight to the pitch, they would probably not have been singing Sarri’s name – or at least not in a positive way. Perhaps the “Fuck Sarriball” chant will return in the future as ironic reappropriation but it seems more likely this was Sarri’s last game in charge of the club. Nothing, of course, is ever entirely clear at Chelsea, existing as it does in a permanent fug of intrigue, thriving on its eternal transition from one ill-defined approach to the next, but it may be the apparent interest from Juventus in Sarri gives everybody a way out. Sarri, like Rafa Benítez, found there is nothing more likely to win the Europa League for Chelsea than a manager openly mocked by half the fanbase.On the surface, the dissatisfaction seems bewildering. Chelsea this season have, after all, won one cup competition, reached the final of another and come third in the league as the top two broke records. Revolutions have been built on far less. If that sort of return is somehow not enough, then Herbert Chapman, Bill Shankly, Don Revie, Brian Clough (twice) and Alex Ferguson would all have been sacked long before building league-winning sides. Nothing, perhaps, is so damaging to the long-term prospects of clubs than impatience and the demands for success now. It is not a coincidence that the Champions League final will be contested by clubs whose managers have been in place since 2014 and 2015 respectively; as of Wednesday night (or Thursday morning, Baku time), neither has won as much in English football as Sarri. And that, really, says everything about the modern Chelsea. Of the two people most responsible for this success, the 16th major trophy in 16 years under Roman Abramovich, one will almost certainly be in Madrid next season and the other may be in Turin. Football’s glory can be extremely fleeting. Share on Messenger Yet that should not be unexpected. Sarri is an idiosyncratic coach; his methods take time to absorb. He was never going to reproduce the flair and verve of his Napoli side overnight, particularly given his Chelsea squad is broadly unsuited to that style and has consistently been prone to bouts of truculence. Just as with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, the attempt to impose an alien system led to a lack of pace as players tried to adjust. And as with Van Gaal at United, there perhaps comes a point when the directors decide everything is never going to click.Whether that point should come after only a year is doubtful. Chelsea have spoken of a change of approach, of looking to build a more long-term strategy, but the fact remains that if Sarri is still at the club at the end of November, he would be the first Chelsea manager to survive so long into a season after failing to win the league since Claudio Ranieri. comment Topics Chelsea Share on Twitter Share on Facebook ‘I think it’s goodbye’: Hazard ready to leave Chelsea after Europa League win Share via Email Maurizio Sarri The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Share on LinkedIn Europa League It would be ludicrous to expect Sarri to have a team fully functioning in his image after only a season, akin to sacking Michelangelo a year into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel because it was not finished. But then, if it had turned out Michelangelo could not do hands, dismissing him would be justified. There is a school of thought that Sarri’s football cannot function to the very highest level in the Premier League and, if that is what the board has decided, the Juventus offer could be a convenient way of offloading him without appearing impatient.And if this is farewell, then at least Sarri has gone out with one of the most impressive halves of football his Chelsea have produced, one that he enabled with the first-half tweak of dropping his full-backs deeper to neuter the attacking threat posed by Arsenal’s wing-backs. Once stability had been imposed, Eden Hazard seized the opportunity with two goals and an assist. Yet he will be gone before the start of next season.last_img read more

Foundation Coaching Online Resources Now Available

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is excited to launch our new online resource platform aimed at providing coaches, athletes and referees with tools to assist in the development of all participants of the sport – Foundation Coaching Resources is the first ‘collection’ of resources for coaches and athletes that will be released for subscription and to launch the platform – . It contains a series of visual skill demonstrations, printable coaching factsheets and associated drills. TFA is pleased to offer the Foundation Coaching Resources at the introductory half price rate of $11 inclusive of GST for the month of July. This would be for an annual subscription to the collection until July 2014.Furthermore we will offer affiliates, schools, or other groups a multiple licence opportunity for $80 for 10 licenses. From August the regular pricing will commence at $22 inclusive of GST for individuals, and $160 inclusive of GST for multiple licences – the multiple licences will be available from Tuesday, 23 July 2013. For more information on how to subscribe, please click on the attached memo. Related Filesfoundation_coaching_resources_-__launch1-pdfRelated LinksCoaching Resourceslast_img read more

Report: USA 2 Netherlands 0

first_imgMegan Rapinoe struck a 61st-minute penalty before Rose Lavelle netted a fine solo goal as the United States beat Netherlands 2-0 to become Women’s World Cup winners for the fourth time.Reign FC forward Rapinoe plundered her sixth goal of the tournament to ensure Jill Ellis’ side successfully defended their title at the expense of a Netherlands team that fought bravely to overcome their underdogs tag but ultimately came up short.The goal, which came after a VAR review highlighted Stefanie van der Gragt’s foul on Alex Morgan, drew Rapinoe level with Morgan and England’s Ellen White in the goalscoring stakes, while Netherlands forward Lieke Martens cut a frustrated figure as the Dutch struggled to create chances. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Lavelle provided the best moment of an entertaining clash in Lyon when she carried the ball from the centre circle to the edge of the box before producing a classy finish, the quality of which reflected everything crowds at this World Cup have come to expect from its dominant team.The European champions certainly played their part but, perhaps fittingly after a tournament marked by the use of technology, the contest hinged on a challenge that might have gone unnoticed without it.Stepping up when it matters the most #LaGrandeFinale | #USANED— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) July 7, 2019Sherida Spitse was booked for a late sliding challenge on Lavelle in a cagey opening spell that saw the United States fail to score inside the opening 12 minutes of a game for the first time at this year’s tournament.The USA struggled to break down a compact Dutch defence until Julie Ertz thundered a volley towards goal after 28 minutes but Sari van Veenendaal was equal to it, parrying the ball away from danger.Van der Gragt’s superb interception prevented Morgan from latching onto a long ball forward and Van Veenendaal then made two excellent saves to deny the forward before Netherlands ended a battling first-half performance with a dangerous spell of pressure.Netherlands continued to frustrate USA until Van der Gragt’s high challenge on Morgan prompted a VAR review and, after a penalty was correctly awarded, Rapinoe side-footed the ensuing spot-kick low to Van Veenendaal’s left and into the net.Vivianne Miedema tore through the USA defence with a mazy dribble but could not get her shot away and moments later Lavelle provided a finishing lesson, making space for herself on the edge of Netherlands’ box before stroking a left-footed shot into the corner of the net.Van Veenendaal made an excellent save to deny Crystal Dunn when the left-back burst clear but there was no time for her team-mates to mount a comeback as the world champions deservedly secured back-to-back titles. Key Opta Facts- Netherlands have now lost their last seven matches against the United States in all competitions by an aggregate score of 24-2.- USA attacker Megan Rapinoe is just the second player in history to start three Women’s World Cup finals (2011, 2015, 2019) after Germany’s Birgit Prinz (1995, 2003, 2007).- The USA scored 26 goals at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the most by a team at a single tournament in the competition’s history.- The USA’s Megan Rapinoe became the first player to score a penalty in a Women’s World Cup final, as well as being the oldest scorer in a final (34 years and two days).- This was a 12th consecutive victory at the Women’s World Cup for the USA – the longest run in the history of the FIFA World Cup (men’s and women’s).- Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal made eight saves – the most by a goalkeeper in a knockout game at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. read morelast_img read more

Arjun Tendulkar shines with all-round show in T20 Mumbai League opener

first_img India Today Web Desk MumbaiMay 15, 2019UPDATED: May 15, 2019 09:32 IST Arjun Tendulkar (@HomeofCricket Photo)HIGHLIGHTSArjun Tendulkar finished with figures of 3 for 21 after bowling in the powerplayArjun smashed 23 runs, including a big six, for Aakash Tigers on TuesdayArjun Tendulkar was bought for Rs 5 Lakh by Aakash Tigers in T20 Mumbai League autctionArjun Tendulkar was certainly one of the major talking points in the lead up to the Mumbai T20 League opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. Arjun, son of batting great Sachin Tendulkar, made his league debut for Aakash Tigers MWS in their tournament opener against Triumphs Knights MNE.Arjun Tendulkar showed no signs of nerves in his Mumbai T20 League debut as the 19-year-old came up with an all-round performance in Tigers’ 5-wicket win over Knights.Handed the responsibility of bowling in the powerplay overs by Tigers captain Dhawal Kulkarni, Arjun Tendulkar bowled with a lot of control and impressed in only first match in the city’s T20 league.Arjun gave away just 6 runs in his first over and picked up the wicket of Knights opener Karan Shah (14) in the 2nd over. He then bowled another tidy over inside the powerplay, giving away just 8 runs.Arjun Tendulkar weaves his magic! ?????Up up and Karan Shah has to walk away???#EkdumMumbai Mumbai (@T20Mumbai) May 14, 2019Arjun Tendulkar finished with figures of 1 for 21 despite not being brought back into the attack for the fourth over. Arjun bowled all his overs inside the powerplay.Despite Arjun Tendulkar’s tidy spell, Knights posted 147, thanks to a 56-ball 90 from their captain Suryakumar Yadav. The Knights star, who was in fine form for Mumbai Indians in their title-winning campaign in IPL 2019, hit 7 sixes and 4 boundaries in his whirlwind knock.Pehle dono baap jeet te the ab uske bete ke saath bhi woh hi cheez jaari haiBoth Aakash Tigers and Arjun on debut did very well.Couldn’t have asked for more!#EkDumMumbai #GoTigers #ChoonaHaiAakash @T20Mumbai KAMBLI (@vinodkambli349) May 14, 2019However, Knights ended up on the losing side as Kaustubh Pawar(34) and Aakarshit Gomel (41) stitched a 67-run opening stand to help Tigers seal the early momentum in 148-run chase.Arjun Tendulkar, who was promoted to bat at No. 3, shone with the bat as well as the teenager hit 23 from 19 balls. Arjun also hit a huge six over long-on when he took on left-arm spinner Vinayak Bhoir.The Little Master unleashes himself! ?????? Arjun Tendulkar sends one sailing into the crowd ????#EkdumMumbai Mumbai (@T20Mumbai) May 14, 2019Arjun Tendulkar was the costliest buy at the Mumbai T20 League auction held last week in Mumbai. The 19-year-old all-rounder was bought for Rs 5 Lakh by Aakash Tigers.Arjun Tendulkar’s side will next play Eagle Thane Strikers on Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium.Brief Scores: Triumph Knights 147/6 (Surya Kumar Yadav 90 not out, A Lad 2-12, Arjun Tendulkar 1-21) lost to Aakash Tigers 148/5 (Aakarshit Gomel 41, Kaustubh Pawar 34; K Sawant 2/30) by five wickets.Also Read | 3rd ODI: Bairstow hits hundred as England chase down 359 runs in 45 overs vs PakistanAlso Read | Don’t compare Virat Kohli’s IPL captaincy with that of Team India: Sourav GangulyAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Arjun TendulkarFollow T20 Mumbai LeagueFollow Aakash TigersFollow Triumphs KnightsFollow Sachin TendulkarFollow Wankhede Stadium Arjun Tendulkar shines with all-round show in T20 Mumbai League openerIn his maiden appearance in the T20 Mumbai League, Arjun Tendulkar came up with an all-round effort to help Aakash Tigers beat Triumphs Knights by 5 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesdayadvertisementlast_img read more

Chicken 65

first_imgIngredients Chicken (boneless) 1 kg Salt to taste Red Chilli Powder ½ tbsp Turmeric Powder ½ tsp Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp All-Purpose Flour 2 tbsp Corn Flour 2 tbsp Egg (beaten) 1 Oil to deep fry For Gravy oil 2-3 tbsp Also Read – PUMPKIN MASH, TAMATAR RASSAGinger (finely chopped) ½ tsp Garlic (crushed) ½ tsp Green Chillies (vertically slit) 6-7 Curry Leaves 10-12 Yogurt 1 cup Salt to taste Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp Preparation For marination & frying: First, in a mixing bowl, add boneless chicken pieces, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste. Into it, add one egg. Also add all-purpose flour and corn flour into it. Mix up all the ingredients. Rest the marinade in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in a wok for deep frying. Into it, add the chicken pieces and deep fry them until they turn golden brown on all sides (for about 10-15 minutes on medium flame). Take the chicken pieces out and transfer the pieces into a bowl and set aside. Also Read – DATES AND MILK CRUMBLEFor gravy: Take a wok; into it, add oil and heat it. Add finely crushed ginger and garlic into it. Add green chillies and sauté well. Add fresh curry leaves and sauté. Add beaten yogurt into it. Add some salt as per taste; add red chilli powder, red food color. Mix all the ingredients and stir well. Add the deep fried chicken pieces into the gravy and cook for five to ten minutes by stirring. Take the chicken 65 out on a serving plate. Garnish with fried curry leaves. Add lemon extract all over. Serve with lemon wedges. (Courtesy: Chef Pawan Bisht, Verandah, New Delhi)last_img read more

Acadia University in Nova Scotia investigates sexual assault allegation

first_imgHALIFAX – A male Acadia University student accused of sexually assaulting a female student has failed in his bid to stop the school’s Equity Office from investigating the allegation.In a decision released Thursday, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge dismissed the male student’s application for an injunction.The court’s decision, which only refers to “Student X” and “Student Y,” says the female student was a minor when she complained to the university’s security service that she had been sexually assaulted by a male student at his off-campus residence on Nov. 19, 2016.The complaint was handed to Acadia’s judicial board, which on March 6, 2017, found the male student guilty of sexual assault and recommended he be dismissed from the university, banned from the Wolfville, N.S., campus, and prohibited from contacting the complainant.However, the male student filed an appeal with the university’s disciplinary appeals committee. It rendered a not guilty verdict on May 8, 2017, issuing a three-line statement outlining its reasons.Less than a month later, the female student filed a complaint of sexual harassment with the university’s Equity Office, under its discrimination and harassment policy.When the male student was told of the complaint process, his lawyer responded that his client would not be taking part because the case had already been dealt with by another administrative quasi-judicial process.The lawyer then sought an injunction to stop the investigation.In its submission to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Acadia University argued that while the female student’s two complaints were made on the same facts, “the two processes do not involve the same question nor lead to the same result,” the decision says.The university said its equity policy is narrower in scope than its judicial policy.“Its purpose is to maintain a learning environment free from sexual harassment,” the decision says. “Under the judicial policy, neither the judicial board nor the (disciplinary appeals committee) considered whether the alleged conduct constituted discrimination or harassment under the equity policy.”In the end, the court agreed and dismissed the male student’s application.A spokeswoman for the RCMP says the Mounties could be investigating this case as a criminal matter, but she could not confirm that was happening because there isn’t enough detail provided in the court ruling.last_img read more

UN counterterrorism body launches online information assistance

11 May 2007In its continuing bid to help countries bolster their ability to fight terrorism around the globe, the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) has launched an online database containing information about technical assistance both requested by and provided to States. The technical assistance matrix provides potential donors with a snapshot of where assistance is still needed by States in implementing Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and the relevant provisions of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, according to the Executive Director of CTED, Assistant Secretary-General Javier Rupérez.Resolution 1373 (2001) was adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., and calls on countries to adopt a series of counter-terrorism measures in their national legislation. The Global Strategy, meanwhile, was an initiative of the General Assembly that brings together the various counter-terrorism activities of the UN system under a common strategic approach.The matrix – accessible through the Committee’s website at – gives potential donors a comprehensive overview on a country-by-country basis, from a regional perspective or by technical assistance subject area. It also provides information about assistance either currently or previously provided by other international and regional organizations, the UN system and Member States.“We see the matrix as a valuable tool in helping donors to decide how best to develop their own counter-terrorism programmes and where it might be most useful to focus their efforts, in part to avoid duplication, since it highlights where assistance has already been matched and provided,” Mr. Rupérez added.As part of its work to facilitate technical assistant to States, CTED seeks to line up countries needing support with the various counter-terrorism programmes donors and organizations have available in such areas as drafting terrorism-related legislation, financial law and practice, training for law enforcement personnel, customs control and enhancing financial regulations. read more

One empty chair at G7 climate meeting Trumps

BIARRITZ, France — U.S. President Donald Trump skipped a discussion on climate with other world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in France, leaving an empty chair as global power brokers debated how to help the fire-ravaged Amazon and reduce carbon emissions.Trump was scheduled to attend Monday’s session on climate, biodiversity and oceans at the G-7 summit in Biarritz , but didn’t. French President Emmanuel Macron, the summit host, said Trump’s aides were there instead.Trump is a climate change skeptic who once had claimed it’s a hoax that was invented by the Chinese. His decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate accord has severely damaged global efforts to reduce emissions.Trump started the morning behind schedule, and held one-on-one meetings while others were in the climate discussions. However, one of his interlocutors, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, managed to make it to the climate meeting.Trump then met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he was asked about attending the climate session. Trump said it would be his next stop and that he wants clean air and water.But he never showed up.Macron shrugged off Trump’s absence, saying it wasn’t his goal to try to persuade Trump to rejoin the climate accord. “You can’t rewrite the past,” Macron told reporters.But Macron said he and Trump had a “long, rich and totally positive” discussion on the Amazon fires and an international effort to invest in “re-foresting” the area.G-7 countries pledged $20 million on Monday to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest, which threaten its ability to capture carbon released into the atmosphere by cars and other emitters. It’s a small sum overall but G-7 summit host France hopes it will bring more attention to the fires.U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres – who attended Monday’s climate talks – expressed hope that Americans themselves would help fight climate change even if their president doesn’t.“I am very optimistic about American society and its capacity to deliver in relation to climate action,” he told reporters afterward. “What matters here is to have a strong engagement of the American society and of the American business community and the American local authorities.”___David McHugh in Biarritz, France, contributed to this report.Sylvie Corbet And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press read more

GreatWest Lifeco raises dividend but profit falls short of estimates

WINNIPEG — Great-West Lifeco Inc. raised its dividend as it reported a fourth-quarter profit of $710 million but fell short of expectations.The life insurer will now pay a quarterly dividend of 41.3 cents per share, up from 38.9 cents.The increased payment to shareholders came as Great-West reported its profit amounted to 72 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.That compared with a profit of $392 million or 40 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier when the company took a $342-million charge related to U.S. tax changes, the disposal of an investment and restructuring costs.During its latest quarter the Winnipeg-based insurer saw strong performance from its European arm, but weaker contributions from its Canada and U.S. divisions.Great-West chief executive Paul Mahon said Thursday he was pleased with the company’s performance in 2018 overall, as it saw growth across its segments.“We enter 2019 with significant excess capital, which will be further bolstered by $1.6 billion from the sale of our U.S. life and annuity business,” he said in a statement. “This positions us to actively consider acquisition opportunities to drive growth and long-term value.”On an adjusted basis, Great-West says it earned 72 cents per share for its most recent quarter compared with a profit of 74 cents per share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected earnings per share of 74 cents during the quarter, according to those surveyed by Thomson Reuters Eikon.In Europe, Great West reported adjusted net earnings of $349 million during the quarter, up 13 per cent from $308 million a year earlier. It said this increase was primarily driven by new business gains.However, its U.S. division reported adjusted net earnings for the fourth quarter of US$41 million, down nearly 32 per cent from US$60 million a year earlier primarily due to the impact of equity market declines.At home, the insurer’s Canadian segment reported net earnings of $310 million, down eight per cent from $338 million during the fourth quarter of 2017. The decrease was primarily due to higher business and strategic expenses and the impact of equity market declines, it said.For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, the Winnipeg-based insurer earned $2.96 billion, up from $2.149 billion in 2017. That amounted to $3 in earnings per common share, compared with $2.17 in 2017 and slightly below the $3.02 earnings per share expected by analysts.Great-West’s latest results come after it signed a deal to sell its U.S. individual life insurance and annuity business to a subsidiary of Protective Life Corp. for $1.6 billion.On Thursday, Mahon said the excess capital “positions us to actively consider acquisition opportunities to drive growth and long-term value.“In addition, we are considering other capital management activities to mitigate the earnings impact from the sale of our U.S. business.” read more

Equatorial Guinea UN human rights expert to probe exercise of free expression

Special Rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo plans to meet with the country’s authorities, including senior Government officials and magistrates. He will also hold talks with human rights officials and representatives of civil society, the media, and the UN system.Mr. Ligabo is mandated by the UN Commission on Human Rights to gather information, including through in-country missions, on discrimination, threats or use of violence and harassment directed at anyone seeking to exercise or promote the right to free opinion and expression. read more

Mega Brands to battle with Lego in construction toy aisle with new

MONTREAL – A battle could be shaping up in the construction toy aisles as Canadian toy maker Mega Brands takes a run at industry leader Lego by introducing a series of new products appealing to young girls, boys and adult collectors.North American retailers are cautious about adding untested brands in the face of a weak Christmas buying season and continuing softness early in the year.But Mega Brands CEO Marc Bertrand said Friday the company has the products customers are looking for to drive sales and further expand the construction category, the toy industry’s fastest growing segment.“We think the category’s got a lot of room to grow,” he said in an interview at the annual meeting in the sprawling building that houses its Montreal production facility.“If we have the right content, whether they’re interested in Lego or an action figure or a vehicle, we think they’re going to choose Mega Bloks.”The Montreal-based company is counting on a series of new construction toys, along with a resurgence of its stationery and activities business to continue its turnaround.Much of the hope is centred on courting girls with the introduction of building sets based on the iconic Barbie brand early next year.“We think it’s going to be one of our biggest launches ever,” he said, pointing to Barbie’s appeal around the world.Hope for success of the Barbie building set rests in the idea that while boys are known to build and crash their creations, girls prefer to build and accessorize. The new Barbie offering includes miniature dolls, a whole suburb with a large pink dream house and beach house that can be assembled, along with a pink car.Toy analyst Gerrick Johnson of BMO Capital Markets said licences are key in the toy business and Barbie is an iconic brand that nobody else has.“There is a lot of buzz around the Barbie line,” he said after the annual meeting.Johnson said Mega Brands’ fresh brands give it an opportunity to gain market share from Lego, which sells pricey box sets craved particularly by young boys. The Danish toy giant also recently entered the girls construction segment.“I think there’s definitely a huge opportunity to take some of that business from Lego.”Mega Brands (TSX:MB) is also adding construction toys based on licences of leading video game Skylanders, online game World of Warcraft, Halo 4, Hot Wheels and an upcoming Spiderman movie.Chief innovation officer Vic Bertrand gave shareholders a preview of some of the toys that will soon hit store shelves and marketing that will hit airwaves to promote the brands.“What you see here is a powerful portfolio, strong momentum in retail programs that are improving globally, which is beginning to deliver results for Mega,” he told shareholders.“That is what we call momentum and we are confident that this year will be a great year and this momentum will continue into 2013.”A move into the educational craft business through a partnership with LeapFrog, along with a resurgence in the Rose Art brand will also help Mega Brands reach its target of returning to $500 million in annual sales in three years, Marc Bertrand added.Bertrand said he’s not concerned about Mega Brands’ ability to repay about $120 million of debt that comes due in 2015. Even if doesn’t gain proceeds from warrants if the company’s share price doesn’t surpass around $10, Bertrand said Mega Brands could refinance the debt.“Our plan is to grow the business, grow the share price, if not, we think the debt is refinanceable.”Mega Brands’ results have been steadily improving since several recalls of its magnetic toys reduced sales and nearly forced the company into bankruptcy.It has some 1,300 employees with offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution centres in 14 countries.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Mega Brands shares lost 32 cents, or five per cent at C$6.08 in Friday trading. Mega Brands to battle with Lego in construction toy aisle with new products AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 15, 2012 4:42 pm MDT read more

Ebola UN health agency convenes ethical review of experimental drugs

WHO Spokesperson Gregory Hartl said via Twitter that the Geneva-based organization is planning a press conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday.“The recent treatment of two health workers infected with the Ebola virus with experimental medicine has raised questions about whether medicine that has never been tested and shown to be safe in people should be used in the outbreak, and, given the extremely limited amount of medicine available, if it is used, who should receive it,” according to WHO.The virtual meeting today will “develop a framework for how we should approach” the issue of untested drugs “because this is not a single drug issue; it is really a framework, which is potentially applicable to options as they come up… and then we hope that will provide solid directions for how to move on this group of issues,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Security, had told reporters last Friday.At that time, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan declared the current outbreak of the Ebola a public health emergency of international concern, endorsing the unanimous recommendation made by Emergency Committee of International Experts on the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and which has now spread to Nigeria.“This is the largest, most severe, most complex outbreak in the nearly four decades history of this disease,” said Dr. Chan who also endorsed the temporary measures to reduce the spread of Ebola agreed upon by the Executive Committee and issues as a statement.Regarding the issue of temporary travel bans, the Committee declared: “There should be no general ban on international travel or trade” but recommended restrictions regarding the Ebola-affected travellers.As of 4 August 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola in the four countries stands at 1, 711, including 932 deaths.WHO said the disease if affecting only a small part of the African continent, but the head of the UN health agency said there is “a clear call for international solidarity” to boost the capacity if the countries currently affected.“Our collective health security depends on support for containment in support in these countries,” Dr. Chan said on Friday. read more