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Polish utilities taking small steps in transition from coal to renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Poland’s largest power generators are slowly waking up to what many of their European peers have long internalized as part of their strategies: that coal may not be king for much longer.State-run utilities like PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA and TAURON Polska Energia SA have recently started to complement their coal-heavy portfolios with wind and solar power. The moves come as political and investor pressure around climate change is mounting and as rising carbon prices under the EU’s emissions trading scheme are squeezing earnings from the large hard coal and lignite-fired power stations that still produce most of Poland’s power.In a bow to EU climate policies, Tauron said May 27 that it would replace most of its coal-burning plants with renewables over the next decade, lifting wind and solar capacity to 65% of its power generation by 2030. At the moment, the utility runs 4,291 MW of thermal power plant capacity, compared with only 334 MW from wind farms and hydropower plants.Analysts are expecting a similar shift at state-owned PGE, by far the largest power producer in Poland, with an installed capacity of over 16,000 MW. The company will release its own strategic update in August.But on a May 29 call with analysts, Henryk Baranowski, president of the board and CEO of PGE, touted that the company had just signed what it says is Poland’s first corporate power purchase agreement, selling the output of a planned 5-MW solar farm to the operator of a local sulfur mine. Baranowski also said that the utility wants to develop 2,500 MW of additional PV capacity over the next decade.“This is of course a longer prospect, reaching 2030,” he said. “However, it is important that we have already taken the first steps toward that goal.” The company has also been busy looking for partners to build some of the first offshore wind farms in the country, competing with Polish energy group Polenergia SA.More ($): Polish utilities plot move away from coal as climate pressure, carbon costs rise Polish utilities taking small steps in transition from coal to renewableslast_img read more

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first_imgWild Ponies of Chincoteague are put in corrals after visitors ignore ban An elephant at a park in South Africa trampled a suspected rhino poacher and then his body was eaten by a pride of lions, rangers at Kruger National Park said. Park officials noted that all that remained of the man was his skull and a pair of pants. Four of his accomplices were arrested, telling the man’s relatives that they had all been in the park to poach rhinos when an elephant killed him. This type of incident is not unheard of. Last year, lions killed as many as three rhino poachers at a South African game preserve. There are 20,000 wild rhinos living in South Africa, which make up about 80 percent of the world’s population. In the past decade, 7,000 rhinos have been illegally killed by poachers that sell rhino horns to the Asian market, where they go for about $9,000 per pound. The first motor vehicle fatality of the year has occurred on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The motorcyclist was traveling north on the parkway near Humpback Rocks at milepost 7. According to reports, the motorcyclist and two others entered a curb when one of the motorcyclists lost control and laid down his bike. Another motorcyclist, Da’juan Morrison of Rockingham, Va tried to avoid the downed biker and lost control of his bike. He was ejected from his motorcycle, hit a guardrail and was pronounced dead at the scene. In 2018 there were almost 300 motor vehicle accidents on the Blue Ridge Parkway, seven of which resulted in death. Motorcyclist dies on Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginiacenter_img A band of Chincoteague ponies have been corralled on Assateague Island after visitors to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia disregarded warnings and approached the animals. “We have tried numerous times to educate the public about the dangers of getting too close to the ponies,” Denise Bowden, spokesperson for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, who cares for the ponies, told the Salisbury Daily Times. “Still, people continue to do dangerous things when they encounter them.” Visitors are asked to stay at least 50 feet from the ponies and to restrain from feeding or touching the wild animals. South African rhino poacher is trampled by elephants and then eaten by lionslast_img read more

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Colombian Soldier Injured by Mine Helps His Wounded Comrades

first_imgFellow Troops transported him to a hospital in San Vicente del Caguán for surgery, after which he began a lengthy and arduous rehabilitation process. Days later, in order to regain some sense of normalcy, he became interested in learning everything he could about prostheses. The need for prosthetic devices in Colombia is a consequence of the antipersonnel mines which have killed more than 2,000 people and injured more than 9,000 people since 1990, according to the Colombian government’s Directorate for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (DAICMA). “I had never seen a prosthesis before in my life,” he said. “There were other guys in my unit who’d lost limbs before I did, but I never visited them because it was distressing, and I didn’t have the strength to see them like that, without a leg or an arm; I would rather call them to see how it was going, and they did the same when it happened to me.” Izquierdo — who was 28 when he was injured during a 2009 Military operation near La Uribe, in the department of Meta — works in the Prosthesis and Orthosis section of Bogotá’s Central Military Hospital, manufacturing about 400 prostheses every year for victims of land mines. Organizations such as Corporación Matamoros also support wounded Military service members and police officers, as well as their families. Working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Defense for more than two decades, the organization has provided support to thousands of service members to reintegrate them into society through training and education, which enables them to obtain new employment opportunities. “Some 99.9 percent of a prosthesis’ effectiveness is you,” he said. “If you don’t have good muscle control, if you aren’t in good physical shape, you won’t be able to work the prosthesis. You need training for rehabilitation, but first comes your head, because where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The Soldier explained that his faith was also a key element in speeding up the recovery process. He realized his injury is fundamental to his path in life, which is to help other injured people. Izquierdo now dreams of studying Orthosis and Prosthesis Engineering, so he can use his experience and knowledge to create new systems to improve the quality and access of prostheses for persons. “My goal now is to find financial assistance. There is no such engineering program in Colombia, but there are in Mexico, the United States, Germany, and El Salvador.” In Colombia, domestic-made prostheses start at 500,000 pesos (about $250), but Izquierdo says those are not ideal, because they can cause lesions on the body. Imported prostheses cost more than 200 million pesos ($100,000), but if they were made domestically, they would be much more affordable. However, Izquierdo quickly felt the need to take a more active role in his recovery and began to research everything he could about prostheses. Then, he was given the opportunity to train as a technician at the National Learning Service (SENA), where he studied for three years. Since then, he has stayed up-to-date on new techniques and procedures to improve the quality of prostheses manufactured in Colombia. Becoming a technician to help others However, Izquierdo quickly felt the need to take a more active role in his recovery and began to research everything he could about prostheses. Then, he was given the opportunity to train as a technician at the National Learning Service (SENA), where he studied for three years. Since then, he has stayed up-to-date on new techniques and procedures to improve the quality of prostheses manufactured in Colombia. Izquierdo recounted how a land mine injured him, and how his wounds put him on the path to helping other injured Soldiers. The National Army’s Demining Battalion (BIDES) is responsible for cleaning and demining those areas under the guidance of the humanitarian organization Norwegian People’s Aid. Although the majority of the wounded are Military and police service members, many are rural residents – adults and children who continue to lose life and limbs in the minefields, Izquierdo said. This man is truly a hero, that is what God wants, all of us to help each other without excluding anyone for their physical condition. Onward, Colombian I live in Brazil. I lost my right leg in a car accident resulting in thrombosis. Today, I use a prosthesis donated by the Brazilian Single Health System (SUS), which isn’t the best, but it would be great if they could donate a slightly better prosthesis because I can’t afford one. “At that instant, I felt that my life was at its end, but I summoned the strength to give myself first aid, I applied a tourniquet so I wouldn’t bleed out, because I had completely lost my limb; it had been amputated,” he said. “But thank God I was the nurse, and I was carrying a first aid kit.” By Dialogo May 28, 2015 Becoming a technician to help others “During the operation, we entered a camp inhabited by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and while making an offensive withdrawal, I entered a minefield, and in a matter of seconds, I lost my leg.” Izquierdo survives terrible injury Izquierdo — who was 28 when he was injured during a 2009 Military operation near La Uribe, in the department of Meta — works in the Prosthesis and Orthosis section of Bogotá’s Central Military Hospital, manufacturing about 400 prostheses every year for victims of land mines. “During the operation, we entered a camp inhabited by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and while making an offensive withdrawal, I entered a minefield, and in a matter of seconds, I lost my leg.” Fellow Troops transported him to a hospital in San Vicente del Caguán for surgery, after which he began a lengthy and arduous rehabilitation process. Days later, in order to regain some sense of normalcy, he became interested in learning everything he could about prostheses. In 2012, Izquierdo finished his first prosthesis. His accomplishment was amplified when he saw a patient using it, casting his crutches aside. “You see that the ones who use crutches cannot use their hands, for example, to hold their children’s hands or simply to grasp what they need,” Izquierdo said. “So knowing that you removed that limitation through a prosthesis is a unique and beautiful thing … you need your arms, and you feel more useful with your arms free and not bound to crutches.” Force of will, faith and goals Throughout his adversity, Izquierdo never lost hope. People who are recovering from land mine injuries need to maintain a positive attitude and maintain their physical fitness to maximize their recovery. Colombian National Army Soldier Jesús María Izquierdo is one of about 6,000 uniformed service members injured by antipersonnel mines as a result of the armed conflict in Colombia during the past two decades. But he hasn’t allowed the loss of his left leg to stop him: he makes prostheses for his comrades-in-arms who have also been maimed in minefields. In 2012, Izquierdo finished his first prosthesis. His accomplishment was amplified when he saw a patient using it, casting his crutches aside. “You see that the ones who use crutches cannot use their hands, for example, to hold their children’s hands or simply to grasp what they need,” Izquierdo said. “So knowing that you removed that limitation through a prosthesis is a unique and beautiful thing … you need your arms, and you feel more useful with your arms free and not bound to crutches.” Force of will, faith and goals Throughout his adversity, Izquierdo never lost hope. People who are recovering from land mine injuries need to maintain a positive attitude and maintain their physical fitness to maximize their recovery. “At that instant, I felt that my life was at its end, but I summoned the strength to give myself first aid, I applied a tourniquet so I wouldn’t bleed out, because I had completely lost my limb; it had been amputated,” he said. “But thank God I was the nurse, and I was carrying a first aid kit.” Colombian National Army Soldier Jesús María Izquierdo is one of about 6,000 uniformed service members injured by antipersonnel mines as a result of the armed conflict in Colombia during the past two decades. But he hasn’t allowed the loss of his left leg to stop him: he makes prostheses for his comrades-in-arms who have also been maimed in minefields. There are new victims every week. Since January 1, 79 Colombian nationals have been injured by explosive devices. However, in light of the recent agreement between the government and the FARC on demining, there is hope that the risk of stepping on a mine in Colombia will be reduced substantially. At that very moment, his comrades started fighting with a large group of FARC members, and he had to wait alone for two hours for assistance, “immersed in uncertainty and intense pain.” The National Army’s Demining Battalion (BIDES) is responsible for cleaning and demining those areas under the guidance of the humanitarian organization Norwegian People’s Aid. Although the majority of the wounded are Military and police service members, many are rural residents – adults and children who continue to lose life and limbs in the minefields, Izquierdo said. Izquierdo recounted how a land mine injured him, and how his wounds put him on the path to helping other injured Soldiers. At that very moment, his comrades started fighting with a large group of FARC members, and he had to wait alone for two hours for assistance, “immersed in uncertainty and intense pain.” Once he found himself in that very situation, he was determined to get rehabilitation and learn from his own experiences for his benefit and that of other Soldiers who would need help in the future. Just like any other Service Member injured by explosive devices, Izquierdo received treatment from medical specialists and began his rehabilitation at the Military Hospital. The treatment generally lasts six months. “I had never seen a prosthesis before in my life,” he said. “There were other guys in my unit who’d lost limbs before I did, but I never visited them because it was distressing, and I didn’t have the strength to see them like that, without a leg or an arm; I would rather call them to see how it was going, and they did the same when it happened to me.” There are new victims every week. Since January 1, 79 Colombian nationals have been injured by explosive devices. However, in light of the recent agreement between the government and the FARC on demining, there is hope that the risk of stepping on a mine in Colombia will be reduced substantially. The need for prosthetic devices in Colombia is a consequence of the antipersonnel mines which have killed more than 2,000 people and injured more than 9,000 people since 1990, according to the Colombian government’s Directorate for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (DAICMA). Organizations such as Corporación Matamoros also support wounded Military service members and police officers, as well as their families. Working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Defense for more than two decades, the organization has provided support to thousands of service members to reintegrate them into society through training and education, which enables them to obtain new employment opportunities. “The idea of becoming a technician was born after my amputation, to meet my own needs. ‘Learn one way or the other,’ I thought, because my financial status wasn’t the best in the world … and on top of that, there are few people in Colombia who do this work well, so I thought the person with the greatest obligation to learn it was me, because I knew best where it hurt me,” he said. “Imagining it is not the same as living it. Being told about someone else’s experience is not the same as experiencing it yourself.” “The idea of becoming a technician was born after my amputation, to meet my own needs. ‘Learn one way or the other,’ I thought, because my financial status wasn’t the best in the world … and on top of that, there are few people in Colombia who do this work well, so I thought the person with the greatest obligation to learn it was me, because I knew best where it hurt me,” he said. “Imagining it is not the same as living it. Being told about someone else’s experience is not the same as experiencing it yourself.” “Some 99.9 percent of a prosthesis’ effectiveness is you,” he said. “If you don’t have good muscle control, if you aren’t in good physical shape, you won’t be able to work the prosthesis. You need training for rehabilitation, but first comes your head, because where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The Soldier explained that his faith was also a key element in speeding up the recovery process. He realized his injury is fundamental to his path in life, which is to help other injured people. Izquierdo now dreams of studying Orthosis and Prosthesis Engineering, so he can use his experience and knowledge to create new systems to improve the quality and access of prostheses for persons. “My goal now is to find financial assistance. There is no such engineering program in Colombia, but there are in Mexico, the United States, Germany, and El Salvador.” In Colombia, domestic-made prostheses start at 500,000 pesos (about $250), but Izquierdo says those are not ideal, because they can cause lesions on the body. Imported prostheses cost more than 200 million pesos ($100,000), but if they were made domestically, they would be much more affordable. Izquierdo survives terrible injury Once he found himself in that very situation, he was determined to get rehabilitation and learn from his own experiences for his benefit and that of other Soldiers who would need help in the future. Just like any other Service Member injured by explosive devices, Izquierdo received treatment from medical specialists and began his rehabilitation at the Military Hospital. The treatment generally lasts six months. last_img read more

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Panic-buying returns as Melbourne braces for lengthy lockdown

first_img“To do otherwise is to pretend that this isn’t real, to pretend that we have other options.”Health authorities say they have linked many of the Melbourne cases to hotels where residents returning from overseas were being quarantined.Local media reported security guards had breached infection control protocols — including allegedly having sex with guests being held in isolation — prompting the government to replace the private contractors with prison staff and launch an inquiry.But there is also concern over the increased community transmission in Melbourne, with just 11 of Wednesday’s new cases linked to known outbreaks.Around 3,000 people in the city have already been locked inside their homes since Saturday in Australia’s strictest coronavirus response to date after a cluster emerged in a high-rise public housing estate.A total of 75 cases have been detected in the densely populated towers during a major testing blitz.Long queues of cars were backed up at Victoria’s border Wednesday after neighboring New South Wales closed the boundary for the first time in the pandemic — essentially sealing off the state from the rest of Australia.The hastily announced decision left residents of border towns scrambling to obtain permits to cross for work or other essential reasons, while school holiday travellers were rushing to return home.Australia has recorded almost 9,000 cases of COVID-19 and 106 deaths from the virus.  The country’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, said it had reimposed buying limits on items including pasta, vegetables and sugar after shoppers rushed to stores across Victoria state.Experts have warned that people everywhere will have to get used to the “new normal” of on-and-off restrictions as new clusters emerge and subside, while there are also concerns over the economic and health impacts the measures will bring.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Melbourne lockdown would cost the economy up to Aus$1 billion ($700 million) a week, telling public broadcaster ABC the burden would “fall heavily on businesses”.Restaurants and cafes will be limited to serving takeaway food, while gyms, beauty salons and cinemas will be forced to close again. Residents will be restricted to their homes except for work, exercise, medical care or to buy essentials — a return to social isolation that was only recently lifted.Professor Michael Kyrios, a clinical psychologist at Flinders University, warned that Victoria needed to brace for a “coming mental health crisis” as a result.”This will likely place the mental health care system in a precarious situation with very limited ability to mobilize resources in response to the increased incidence of mental illness arising from the COVID crisis,” he said.State Premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday acknowledged the costs to Victoria’s 6.6 million residents, saying his job required him “to make not just the popular calls, but the really difficult, the hard calls”.”This is not the situation that anybody wanted to be in but it is the reality that we must confront,” he said. Shoppers in Australia’s second-biggest city stripped supermarket shelves Wednesday as millions in Melbourne prepared for a return to virus lockdown, with warnings the new restrictions will cost the economy Aus$1 billion a week.Five million residents were ordered back into a six-week lockdown beginning midnight Wednesday into Thursday as soaring community transmission of the coronavirus brings more than 100 new cases daily.A further 134 infections were detected in the past 24 hours — small in comparison to the tens of thousands in hard-hit countries like the US and Brazil but considered a major spike in Australia, which had otherwise been successful in containing COVID-19. Topics :last_img read more

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East Jakarta cemetery records highest weekly number of COVID-19 burials since March

first_imgThe Pondok Ranggon cemetery in East Jakarta has recorded the highest number of funerals in a week since its establishment as a COVID-19 burial location in March.Nadi, the cemetery’s management officer, said 213 bodies had been buried under COVID-19 protocol at Pondok Ranggon last week.”Last week, we buried 213 bodies. Previously, we buried an average of 180 bodies per week,” Nadi said on Sunday. However, Nadi said he didn’t know how many of the deceased had been confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.  Nadi explained that his team had buried 29 bodies on Monday last week, 32 on Tuesday, 30 on Wednesday, 40 on Thursday, 27 on Friday, 27 on Saturday and 28 on Sunday.Thursday also saw the highest number of bodies buried under COVID-19 protocol in a day at the cemetery since the pandemic was first confirmed in the country in March.The spike came less than two weeks after the cemetery had announced its previous highest daily burial on Aug. 31 with 36 bodies. Nadi said the Pondok Ranggon cemetery expected to run out of space for COVID-19 graves in October because of the recent increase in the number of burials.”There is only space left for another 1,100 burials in the cemetery’s southern area of 7,000 square meters. The capacity is likely to be critical in mid-October,” Nadi said as quoted by kompas.com.It is estimated that, in October, the remaining land may only accommodate 380 to 400 bodies.As of Monday, Jakarta has recorded 54,864 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 12,440 active cases and 1,410 fatalities. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

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Merkur Switches On

first_imgGE Renewable Energy has completed the handover of the 66 GE Haliade 150-6MW turbines at the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany.GE is also in charge of carrying out operations and maintenance of the turbines for a period of ten years.To remind, jack-up vessel Seafox 5 installed the last turbine at the project site 45km of the island of Borkum in September last year, shortly after the wind farm produced first power.The 396MW Merkur offshore wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned this year.Merkur Offshore GmbH, a joint venture between Partners Group, InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions and Coriolis, is the developer and owner of the project.last_img read more

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Super Student Athlete

first_imgWhile attending the East Central boys sectional last Thursday night, I watched Lawrenceburg’s Mason Parris in action.  The highly decorated state wrestling champ was also the MVP of this track meet.  He won the 110 meter high hurdles, the 300 meter intermediate hurdles, and the shot put.  This accounted for 30 of Lawrenceburg’s 82 points in the meet.In the shot put Parris threw his personal best with a throw of 54′ 6.5″.  This meets the state standard.  Not that other athletes have not accomplished this type of feat, but as I understand it, Mason is a candidate for valedictorian of his graduating class.  Also, it is amazing that someone who weighs well over 200 lbs. can run this fast in a track event that requires tremendous flexibility.Best of luck, Mason, at Michigan University this fall!last_img read more

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Pearson vows to fight on

first_imgDefiant boss Nigel Pearson vowed Leicester would recover from their wretched run after sinking to defeat at Aston Villa. Pearson still has the backing of his players and insisted they would fight to survive following Alan Hutton’s second-half winner. “We will continue to look for the answer. It’s easy to give a flowery answer and say the right thing,” he said. “The bottom line is to keep exploring different ways to get through. “This group of players experienced a really tough run in 2012 from mid-January for couple of months so we have some experience in dealing with setbacks. “At the moment it’s hard for the players because they continue to be punished for errors which they’d get away with at other levels, but certainly not at this level. “We must remain resolute to get through it.” The Foxes boss admitted they were unlikely to appeal Konchesky’s red card. Konchesky was sent off with 10 minutes left after clashing with Hutton, although the Scotland international looked to have pushed his head into Konchesky’s. Hutton was booked and the Leicester man now faces a three-game ban as Pearson feels it is unlikely the red will be lifted. He said: “It’s difficult to have a decision like that rescinded in all honesty. “I think it would lack a bit of class for me to ask for retrospective action against another manager’s player. “When moments pass you by in games officials are there to do a job, do it as best they can. “I can understand because of how it looked – it was because he was pushed away and they kept in contact. In the initial contact I don’t think Paul was the instigator. “It’s easy be over critical. I don’t want to get into a debate about getting other players sent off. Hutton scored the winner 20 minutes from time after Ciaran Clark equalised Leonardo Ulloa’s opener for Leicester. Villa are now unbeaten in five games, their first home victory since August sealing b ack-to-back wins and lifting them to 11th. “I’m delighted with the win and delighted how we did it,” said boss Paul Lambert, who will discover the extent of Ashley Westwood’s knee injury on Monday after he was carried off in the first half. “It’s a massive three points for us and we’re in a bit of form at the minute. “We’re playing well and we worked on something the other day, a different way of playing, and the lads took to it well. “We should have had more and (Kasper) Schmeichel made some unbelievable saves.” Hutton’s winner was his first goal for Villa since signing in 2011 and after being previously frozen out by Lambert before this season. “Hutton is playing as well as any right-back in the country,” said Lambert. “I hope it’s not such a long wait again (for a goal). He never asked to go away and I always had good relationship with him. “He was as good as gold and so easy to deal with. I’m delighted for him. He’s got nothing to prove and doesn’t need make up for lost time.” The Foxes have taken two points from a possible 30 since they beat Manchester United 5-3 at the end of September to sit bottom of the Barclays Premier League. Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Villa was their third straight loss and they also had Paul Konchesky sent off late on. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Gomez set for Reds medical

first_imgLiverpool hope to finalise a deal for Charlton teenager Joe Gomez later this week with the 18-year-old scheduled to undergo a medical on Friday. Press Association Sport understands the Reds have triggered a £3.5million release clause in the England Under-19 international’s contract which has paved the way for the move to be completed and he will meet with club officials on Merseyside on Friday. Liverpool are currently in discussions with the SkyBet Championship club over minor details regarding a sell-on fee should the defender subsequently leave Anfield in the future but those talks will not affect the deal going through. Confirmation of their fourth summer signing – after Manchester City midfielder James Milner, Burnley striker Danny Ings and Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan – is expected probably early next week. Gomez’s arrival is likely to signal the departure of centre-back Sebastian Coates to Sunderland on a £4million permanent deal after the 24-year-old spent a successful season on loan at the Stadium of Light. Liverpool also remain interested in signing Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne but having had an opening bid of £10million rejected they are prepared to be patient in their pursuit. The apparent imminent arrival to St Mary’s of Sporting Lisbon right-back Cedric Soares would appear to ease the way for the 24-year-old England international to move to Anfield but further negotiation is required with the Saints reportedly holding out for £15million. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Badgers can top last year’s squad

first_imgUnlike last season when it was the first No. 1 versus No. 1game in regular season history, there was no hype surrounding Wisconsin?s gameat Ohio State Sunday.And unlike last season, Wisconsin got a win and left withits Big Ten title hopes still intact.No one will argue that last season was a magical year forWisconsin basketball. Hype surrounded the team all season long from itspreseason top 10 ranking and Sports Illustrated cover to earning the first No.1 ranking in school history.The team set numerous records last season as well, includingthe most conference wins (13), wins in a season (30), home wins (19) andlongest winning streak (17).But after reaching the top of the rankings, things startedto go downhill starting with the Ohio State game last season when Brian Butchwas lost for the remainder of the year. Yes, the Badgers made it to the Big Tentournament championship (and lost to Ohio State again) and earned a No. 2 seed ?the highest in team history ? but lost in the second round when everyone expectedanother Final Four trip.Yet despite how magical last season was for Wisconsinbasketball fans, this year?s team has a chance to one-up last year?s squad.With the loss of Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor, not muchwas expected of this team; yet with two weeks remaining in the regular seasonit controls its own destiny for at least a share of a Big Ten title. All UW hasto do is win out, and it clinches its first Big Ten title since 2002.And now Wisconsin has a favorable schedule ahead of themafter going into Illinois and Ohio State and coming out with a pair of wins.The Badgers face Michigan State Thursday at home in probably their toughesttest. Then they wrap up the season next week at home against Penn State (ninthin the Big Ten) and on the road against Northwestern (last in the Big Ten).Of the three teams still in the title hunt ? Indiana, Purdueand Wisconsin ? UW also seems to have the most momentum going forward. TheBadgers have won four in a row, including three on the road, while Purdue lostits last time out to Indiana, and the Hoosiers are still dealing with theKelvin Sampson controversy and almost lost to last-place Northwestern Saturday.In addition to having momentum, the Badgers also have theeasiest schedule down the stretch. UW has three games remaining, with two athome and one on the road. The combined record of its opponents is 41-37. Whileboth Indiana and Purdue have four games left (two at home and two on the road),Purdue?s opponents have a combined record of 64-41, and Indiana faces opponentswith a 68-38 record.Besides the possibility of winning a third Big Ten titleunder Bo Ryan, this year?s squad also has a chance to break the records setjust one year ago.They have already broken a 94-year-old school record withtheir win over Ohio State. The win Sunday pushed UW?s conference road record to7-1 this season, the most ever. They also are the only team in the country withtwo road wins against top 15 teams (Texas and Indiana).But with three games remaining, Ryan?s squad is almostassured to break one record and has a good shot of breaking and, at the veryleast, tying another.Wisconsin will not reach the top of the rankings this yearunless they win it all, but with one more win over the last three games, UWwill set a record for conference wins at 14.The Badgers also have a shot of reaching the 30-win plateauagain this season. Should Wisconsin win out, it will have 26 wins heading intothe postseason. Wisconsin then would at the very worst be a two-seed in the BigTen tournament should they share the conference title with Purdue.So then if UW makes it to the championship game, it would atmost need two wins in the NCAA tournament to reach 30. And unlike last year,Wisconsin?s opponents can?t focus all its energy on shutting down one player,which bodes well for the tournament.While only time will tell if the Badgers are able to toplast year?s squad, 10 years from now when fans look back at this two-year runof Wisconsin basketball, this year?s squad might end up being the team fansremember more.?Gregis a senior majoring communication arts. Let him know what season will be morememorable at gschmitz@badgerherald.comlast_img read more

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