With what is happening in the UAE and to West Indies cricket in general, it is good to hear of some good plans for sport in Jamaica, especially for the celebration of sports in the Caribbean. Jamaica, right now and for years gone by, has been a little giant in the world sports arena. From the deeds of champions past to champions present, Jamaica is a home of champions. Indeed, aided and abetted by Jamaica’s greatness in so many sports, by the greatness of Jamaicans domiciled around the globe, by the greatness of Jamaicans in sports foreign to Jamaicans, and by the presence of so many world champions, including the fastest man and woman in the world, Jamaica can be easily described as the place for sports in the world. Jamaica, however, needs to parade before the world their stars, and, unselfishly, the stars of the Caribbean as well. The news, therefore, that the London-based Jamaican Al Hamilton is attempting to stage his prestigious event, the Caribbean Awards Sports Icons (CASI), in Jamaica sometime next year is wonderful. The CASI awards was first held in Jamaica in 2008. It was then held in the Bahamas in 2009, and after two disappointing attempts to hold it in Barbados and in Guyana, it was held last year in Antigua at the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort. Last year, the awards went to people like Sir Everton Weekes – Barbados, cricket; Dr Cynthia Thompson – Jamaica, athletics; Maurice Hope – Antigua, boxing; Kim Collins – St Kitts, athletics; and to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Jamaica, athletics. Jamaica has the prestigious annual RJR Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards, but this one is for Caribbean icons. It would be nice if Jamaica hosted it, and in doing so, say thanks to the likes of Sir Garry Sobers, Hasely Crawford, Michael Holding, Brian Lara, and his good friend Dwight Yorke for their lovely contribution to Caribbean sports. Hosting CASI would fall in line with Jamaica’s wonderful image in sports, and help in the marketing of sports. CELEBRATING THE CARIBBEAN The West Indies went down by 133 runs to Pakistan in the second Test in Abu Dhabi last Tuesday, and with one match to go in the three-match series, find themselves in the embarrassing position of possibly losing the three-way contest, the 20-overs, the 50-overs, and the Test series by a whopping 9-0 margin. And to rub salt into the wound, all the defeats, with the possible exception of the previous one in Dubai, which now appears something of a passing mirage, was by huge, uncontested margins. The reason offered for the defeats have been the usual ‘beating horse’ of poor and careless batting by the batsmen, and with hardly any exception. The bowling, however, has proven to be just as poor as the batting, if not sometimes worse. Every now and again a bowler, just like the batsmen, turns up with a performance to tickle the imagination or to provide some semblance of hope. That hope, however, just like the one presented by Devendra Bishoo and Darren Bravo in Dubai recently, always dies as soon as it appears. On that occasion, after Pakistan had rattled up 579 for three declared, Bishoo’s eight wickets for 49 runs and Bravo’s innings of 116 took the West Indies to within 12 overs of saving the game and to within 56 runs of winning it. This time a first innings score of 452 matched by a second innings score of 227 for three declared was enough to win easily, despite a knock of 95 by Jermaine Blackwood and a West Indies second innings of 327 off 108 overs. Once again, I am at a loss to find out what went wrong, to find the cause of the now accustomed batting and bowling, and fielding, failures of the West Indies team. This time, however, Pakistani captain, the experienced and knowledgeable Misbah-ul-Haq, may have given the West Indies the answer, an answer which I have known, and have expressed, for a long, long time, ever since the Windies plunge in world cricket at the end of the last century. Others, including the late great West Indies batsman Clyde Walcott, shared the same sentiments that the problem with West Indies cricket, since the turn of the century, was that the majority of West Indies cricketers believed they were better than they were actually. The Indian commentators hinted of the same situation when, in the last series, they spoke about West Indian batsmen playing down the wrong line, playing forward when they should be playing back, and driving when they should be blocking. The real problem is that sometimes, most times, the West Indies play as if they are really better than they are, and most times they pay the penalty. Speaking after Tuesday’s match, Misbah-ul-Haq said that bowling on the slow batting friendly pitches in United Arab Emrates “is difficult” and “getting 20 wickets is always a challenge”. Misbah-ul-Haq went on to say, “I believe you go there and assess conditions and play within your resources. You work out how you are going to conduct your game plan. If you stay within your limits and execute your plan according to your strength, then no matter what the conditions are, you could be successful.” He also said that Pakistan’s spinners are their strength, they were “expecting a turning and spinning wicket but this pitch had nothing for the bowlers. Today it was the fifth day and it still was flat and didn’t do much.” Pakistan have been criticised for slow batting in the UAE but their plan is to win. In their last 11 Tests played there, they have won all 11. Nobody really remembers slow batting, once it is not too slow, when your first three scores in one-day matches are centuries, when you score an undefeated triple century in Test cricket, when your team comes up with scores like 579 for three declared, 452, and 227 for two declared, and when you win matches comfortably. It is nice, especially when the opposing team fails to challenge these scores and lose easily after playing on the same “slow and batting friendly” pitches, the pitches on which both the batsmen and the bowlers of the losing team always complain. Today, the West Indies take on Pakistan in Sharjah in the last match of the series, and the hope is that they will end the contest in style and avoid the embarrassment of a 9-0 whitewash.
By 2010 — a down year by New England’s standards but the first year of the Pats’ experiment with two-tight end jumbo packages — 31 percent of Brady’s passing yards were coming on play-action passes; rookies Gronkowski and Hernandez helped the Patriots to the highest rate in the league, a stark contrast from 2006 when Brady ranked 29th out of 32 qualified passers.The unpredictability goes for other supposed Brady calling cards, like consistent yards after the catch. Brady typically rates among the league leaders in YAC per completion, but he dipped to 24th out of 33 qualified passers in 2014, a season in which the Pats went 12-4 and won the Super Bowl.There’s no telling how long Brady will keep making it deep into the postseason, but just as compelling as wondering how long the old man can keep this up is waiting to see what sort of offense he’ll bring with him if he does.VIDEO: The Patriots better worry about Julio Jones Related: Hot Takedown When the New England Patriots upset the St. Louis Rams in Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl, way back in 2002, Brady was throwing passes to Kevin Faulk, Troy Brown and David Patten. By 2008, he was throwing to the greatest wide receiver of all time, backed by a deep, talented receiving corps. Once Randy Moss left town, the Pats retooled with perhaps the best tight end in NFL history — and again once that tight end was repeatedly lost to injury. These were all very different players with very different strengths, but the Patriots found success with all of them.One of the more remarkable things about Brady appearing in his seventh Super Bowl on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons at age 39 is how many different styles of offense he has found success in. It’s rare enough to find a quarterback who can make all of the throws, let alone one who can do it to so many different players with so many different game plans.Brady isn’t going to beat anyone with his legs (although he’s an effective sneaker), but the Patriots are unmatched in tweaking their offensive strategy for the personnel on hand. New England has had great offensive seasons in which over 70 percent of passing yards went to wide receivers, a high rate for the NFL. The Patriots have also had great seasons when WRs caught half of their yards or less, a rarity in the league. Five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Wes Welker was greatly responsible for some of the Patriots’ most concentrated (and successful) passing seasons, eating up yards alongside Moss and Gronkowski. During his four best years, the Patriots were truly a star-driven passing offense, with fourth and fifth options like Jabar Gaffney and Danny Woodhead making a comparatively small impact in the passing game. In 2011, New England’s most top-heavy season of the Brady era, Welker, Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez accounted for 33 of Brady’s 39 receiving touchdowns and over 70 percent of the team’s receiving yards.But the Pats don’t need stars in order to succeed. In 2005, Deion Branch, David Givens and Troy Brown caught just a little over 50 percent of the Pats’ receiving yards, with Ben Watson, Tim Dwight and Kevin Faulk adding contributions. An injury to Edelman in 2015 led to a similar situation – Gronk was the only player to crack 700 receiving yards, but eight players had at least 250. Of course, it helps to have some talent — the 2006 Patriots didn’t get much happening in their passing game with Reche Caldwell as WR1.That success with diverse sets of receivers has also come with diverse sets of game plans. Unlike, say, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rolling left or Cardinals signal-caller Carson Palmer gunning the deep ball, conventional wisdom says that Brady’s game morphs to fit his personnel.One way we can test whether that’s true is to look at whether the things Brady was known for early in his career have continued to be central to his game as his career has progressed. At one point, the nearest thing he had to a specialty (besides those QB sneaks) was the play-action pass. Play-action is an effective part of any offense, and certain quarterbacks tend to rely on it more than others. But while Brady mastered it alongside future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, it has drifted in and out of his game over the years.ESPN’s more advanced passing data only goes back as far as 2006, after Brady had already established himself as a top quarterback — but a year before Moss and Welker showed up and the Pats began breaking passing records. Even picking up then, we can see drastic shifts in how often the Pats have gone to the run fake and how much of the passing offense it has made up. The 2016 Pats are light on wide receivers, although not exceptionally so for a Brady-led team. Julian Edelman topped 1,000 yards, and Chris Hogan established himself as a useful second receiver, but Danny Amendola mostly disappeared (putting up 243 yards in 12 games), and Malcolm Mitchell wasn’t exactly devastating. Meanwhile, tight ends Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski (in eight games) combined for 1,241 yards, while running back James White chipped in another 551 in receiving.But, thanks in part to the Patriots, these positional distinctions don’t mean as much as they used to. Gronk isn’t a WR like Randy Moss was, but he is still more or less used as a receiver (a distinction that is, as Seahawks pass-catcher Jimmy Graham found, worth a lot of money in the pay scale). Perhaps a better way of looking at Brady’s versatility is how he does in the presence or absence of top targets. And while the Pats’ best seasons have come with major weapons at their disposal, they do just fine without them, thank you. Hot Takedown’s Super Bowl Special
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Brunswick Executive Airport, Brunswick, Maine to participate in the fiscal 2016 Military Airport Program (MAP), allowing the business and general aviation airport at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station to remain in the program for five additional years.Brunswick was the only former military airport or joint use airport added to MAP this year, the third straight year FAA has picked only one participant. A total of 15 airports can participate in the program at one time.Brunswick’s selection will allow it to complete projects that started during the previous five years, according to an FAA fact sheet. Those projects include converting military hangars to civilian use, obstruction removal, drainage upgrades and installing wildlife fencing.MAP provides a critical source of federal funding for capital needs to support joint use airports and to convert former military airports to civilian use. MAP, a set-aside of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), covers projects such as building or rehabilitating parking lots, fuel farms, hangars, utility systems, access roads, cargo buildings and other airfield projects. Many of these projects are not normally eligible for AIP funding, but projects for MAP-designated airports have unique eligibility rules to convert them to civilian or joint use.Airports already participating in MAP include:Kaleaeloa/John Rodgers Field, Kapolei, HawaiiCastle Airport, Atwater, Calif.Northwest Florida Regional Airport at Eglin AFB, Valparaiso, Fla.Griffiss International Airport, Rome, N.Y.Alexandria International Airport (former England AFB), Alexandria, La.José Aponte de la Torre Airport (former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads), Ceiba, Puerto Rico
The Lebanese parliament failed Wednesday for the 17th consecutive time to convene and elect a new president because of lack of the constitutionally required quorum.Speaker Nabih Berri issued a statement calling for a new session Jan 28 following the failure of the parliament to convene, Xinhua reported. According to the constitution, two-thirds of the 128-member parliament should be present for the election session to proceed, but only 50 MPs were present at the house Wednesday. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenBecause of the sharp political division among the Syrian-backed March 8 camp and the Western-backed March 14 camp, the parliament has failed since April 2014 in convening for the presidential election.The March 14 camp is backing head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea for the post, while the March 8 camp is backing head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun for president. The centrist Democratic Gathering, led by MP Walid Jumblatt, is backing MP Henri Helo for the post. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanLebanon has been without a president since the end of former president Michel Suleiman’s term May 25, but has witnessed a similar situation back in 1988 and 2007.Following the end of former president Amine Gemayel’s term in 1988, the parliament failed to elect a president and the post was only filled following the approval of the Taef agreement in 1989 when President Michel Moawad was elected. In July 2007, when former President Emile Lahoud’s term ended, the post was left vacant until May 2008 when the Doha agreement was approved and President Michel Suleiman was elected.According to the country’s power sharing pact, the president should be a Christian Maronite, the speaker a Shia and the premier a Sunni.
With four secular bloggers being killed by suspected Islamists in Bangladesh in recent months, police here have asked secular writers not to “cross the limit” and write anything which hurts religious beliefs of others.“Do not cross the limit. Do not hurt anyone’s religious belief,” Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque said as investigators struggled to nab the killers of secular blogger Niloy Chakrabarty Neel who was hacked to death at his flat here on Friday. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortThe “freethinkers” should keep in mind that hurting someone’s religious sentiment is a criminal offence,
Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 3 min read December 10, 2013 If you’re someone who spends your day in meetings, then keeping up with them all can be a daunting task. One app, Tempo, is trying to make the experience a bit easier, taking a big data approach to your schedule and turning your calendar into a personal assistant.The free calendar app was created while founder Raj Singh was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Menlo Park, Calif.-based research institute SRI International, the birthplace of Apple’s personal assistant Siri. Tempo uses some of the same technology found in Siri. But where Siri requires you to ask a question and then get an answer, Tempo instead tries to anticipate what information you need, and provide it, before you even know you need it.“We like to say that it looks like a calendar, but it feels like an assistant,” Singh says.Tempo works alongside your existing calendar, adding rich information to each entry to make you more informed and better prepared for each meeting. Paired with your email and LinkedIn account, the app can bring in relevant information about each person you’re meeting with, the business they work for and any email or documents you might have relating to the meeting.Related: 3 Web-Based Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard of But Definitely Should Be UsingWhen you start communicating with someone over email, Tempo can automatically create an address book entry for that person. The app can also identify phone numbers in the signature line of emails, incorporating them automatically into your address book as well.And get this: Come meeting time, Tempo provides driving directions to your off-site meeting, or will dial you in — including access codes — to a conference call. If you’re running late, the app can text or email everyone in the meeting to let them know with a single tap.All that additional data is one of the things Singh feels sets Tempo apart from its competition.“I think the key difference is how we attack it [the calendar] as a sort of big data problem,” he says.Related: 5 Gadgets to Make Your Home a ‘Smarter’ PlaceSince its launch in February the app has been used to find and organize more than 15 million contacts for users, and has processed over 1 billion emails and documents.Singh says he sees a future where Tempo’s data could be used to determine things like how many sales calls it really takes to make a deal or what Manhattan Starbucks is most popular for meetings on a Tuesday.He also sees that data being exceptionally useful when layered on top of a tool like LinkedIn. Rather than just being able to see that two people are connected on the service, Tempo could show you how strong the connection is based on the number of meetings and emails between the two.Singh says the more Tempo learns, the more assistant-like it will become.Tempo is available now for iOS devices from the App Store, with support for other platforms expected in the future.Related: 5 Habits of Productivity App Super Users Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »