Altas’ Prince Eze officially named NCAA Season 94 MVP

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe jeers rained down on Prince Eze as he collected the MVP award on Monday before Game 2 of the NCAA Season 94 men’s basketball Finals at Mall of Asia Arena.The boos from the Lyceum gallery, however, won’t deter the fact that Eze deserved the plum after leading University of Perpetual Help back to the Final Four.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title LATEST STORIES The 6-foot-10 Nigerian also bagged the Defensive Player of the Year award.Meanwhile, Letran’s Larry Muyang was named Rookie of the Year while Arellano University’s Archie Concepcion won Most Improved Player. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments The Nigerian big man had a dominating season where he averaged 17.9 points, 16.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks to garner 61.39 Player All-Around Value (PAV) Points.Letran’s Bong Quinto was a distant second with a total of 48.83 PAV, San Beda’s Robert Bolick came in third with 48.39 while teammates Javee Mocon (47.89) and Donald Tankoua (46.56) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissLyceum’s CJ Perez was ineligible to win any individual award after getting suspended due to his failure to notify the league that he had entered the PBA Draft. Perez, who won the MVP last season, served his suspension last Tuesday in Game 1 of the finals.Eze would’ve still won the MVP had Perez was eligible. Japanese runner finishes race by crawling with broken leg Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.last_img read more

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Child Labor on the Rise

first_imgThe Coordinator of the Division of Child Labor at the Ministry of Labor, Patience S. Heah, has said the unavailability of budgetary allocation to implement programs to tackle child labor, is a major contributor to increased child Labor in Liberia.Madam Heah named the low capacity of social partners due to a lack of technical support and logistic, limited commitment of stakeholders and the lack of coordination among them as some of the other factors.She defined child labor as “work undertaken by children under the minimum working age as stipulated in national legislation in accordance with the ILO Convention 138 .”She made the statement Thursday, February 27, at the opening of a two-day interactive workshop for media professionals.The workshop, under the theme: “Reporting Children’s issue and Consequences of Child Labor and Abuse,” was held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Hall in Monrovia.Madam Heah stated that child labor instances are rampant across the country and that they primarily exist in the mining, agricultural, and informal sectors.  She said that children are also used for illicit activities such as promotion of criminal activities and smuggling of narcotic substances.Discussing how the ministry would enforce the fight against child labor, Ms. Heah explained that the Labor Ministry is prepared to fight against child labor in the country:  “We are going to work hard in fighting against child labor and make sure the children are taken off the streets. This task is difficult because there would be no proper care given to these children due to insufficient support from parents and guardians. In spite of this, we will continue to work towards solving the problem.”She defined a child as any person below the age of 18 years in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of a child. It is also in line with ECOWAS child policy.Making reference to the ILO convention 182 she said, “Liberia ratified the ILO Convention 182 in June 2003, but is yet to ratify Convention 138. The knowledge base on child labor in Liberia is relatively weak and grass roots commitment to reduce child labor is poor.”Child Labor is viewed by many as something only taking place outside a child’s home, while the description and analysis of the incidence and nature of child labor in Liberia draws on data collected under the 2010 Labor Force Survey (LFS) as its main source.“The absence of a general prohibition of work is likely to harm the health, safety, and morals of children less than 18 years, as is the absence of a clear enforceable list which defines these types of work,” Ms. Heah concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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50,000 jobs are justifiable, Irfaan is standing on solid ground

first_imgDear Editor,Please permit me to respond to an article entitled “Irfaan Ali has selected two of the worst planks on which to walk”, which was published in a section of the media on April 8, 2019. In the letter, the writer raised a valid point on the possibility of the creation of 50,000 new jobs. However, I beg to differ that such a figure is no nowhere close to an exaggeration. First, I would like to remind the writer that it is of public knowledge that the APNU/AFC Government, since taking office, is responsible for the extirpation of over 30,000 jobs. And in the interest of refreshing the minds of our readers, the composition of such a figure includes the direct dismissal of over 7000 sugar workers, 1974 Amerindian CSOs, hundreds of miners and loggers, and even some of our public servants. Indirectly, when accounted for the spinoff effect, the total number of jobs lost easily exceeds the 30,000 estimates. And note also, this figure was also cited in the 2014-17 Global Human Capital Index Report on Guyana.Reinstating 30,000 JobsHence, these jobs could be easily reinstated with a few policy adjustments such as repeal all 200 tax measures, re-opening of the sugar industries, tax optimisation, expansion of the housing drive, FD special incentives, and other forms of quantitative easing such as increased liquidation of our commercial banks. Essentially, the 30,000 job losses could be reinstated by simply remedying all incoherent policies implemented by the APNU/AFC Government. In the interest of space, I will not dwell on the corollaries of such policies and since it is also well articulated in the media. Now, before I examine the origin of the remaining 20,000 jobs, I would first like to shed some light on our economy.Job losses and deteriorating economyOverall, the impact of the 30,000 job losses is evident in the deterioration of our economic structure. Starting with the manufacturing sector, in the 2018 mid-year report, it has been reported that our manufacturing sector contracted by over 3.7 per cent or $23.6 billion. What this tells us is that our value-added production is on the decline. And given the composition of our manufacturing sector, we are essentially referring here to the rice millers, sugar estates, lumber yards etc, industries that are directly engaged in the production of value-added. Hence, it now becomes clear that since the output level of the manufacturing sector is on the decline in tandem with its share of total employment, then inevitably, our economy is actually deindustrialising, an outcome that would see Guyana losing out on the opportunity of using manufacturing as an “engine of growth”. Now, given our soon to be oil-driven economy, such predisposition could become one of our greatest impediments towards a mature and successful service-driven economy. In the long run, our economic structure could further deteriorate since a relatively small and weak manufacturing sector will become prone to crowding out. The theory in short and is as follows: increased spending in the non-tradable sector (service) would lead to an appreciation of value relative to the tradable sector (manufacturing). As prices increase, such as wages, under the assumption that the elasticity of labour substitution is less than unity, workers would move to the non-tradable sector. In layman terms, we could see, for eg, a labour choosing to drive taxi over cultivating rice. In the long run, our over-reliance will increase on oil in tandem with the import of foodstuff.Apropos to our balance of payment at the end of 2018, a deficit in excess of US$189 million or 239 per cent has been recorded when compared to 2017, in tandem with US$463 million or 97 per cent more when compared to 2017. Such an outcome has been furthered exacerbated by the mere fact that in excess of US$104 million was utilised from our Net Foreign Reserve in 2018 to service our debts, taking the revised balance to a mere US$240 million or 40 per cent less when compared to 2014. Other noticeable declines, when compared to 2017, include that of export by more than US$48 million and public enterprises and Bank of Guyana revenue by more than $3.3 billion and $1.8 billion respectively. There is a slew of other indicators that could be provided but in the interest of space, I will also stick to the aforementioned. Hence, essentially what is being conveyed is that there is ample evidence of gross underperformance of our economy. And given our existing economic trajectory, our oil windfall might be more of a curse than a blessing. In order to mitigate such, urgent steps must be taken in order to remedy our existing economic framework. An outcome that is not impossible, but requires fiscal discipline, which unfortunately this Administration doesn’t seem to possess.Getting to 50,000 jobsThe other part that I would like to quickly touch on, is how the remaining 20,000 jobs will be created. To understand how such a plan would unfold, I would like to bring to your attention a few areas of wasteful spending. First, the combined increase of the 2019 recurrent expenditure is more than $19 billion. In other words, expenditure on drugs, rental of buildings, security, celebration etc in 2019 is expected to increase by $19 billion. Moreover, our traditional sectors such as rice, sugar, bauxite, gold and forestry, since 2014 we have lost in excess of $58 billion or 13 per cent of our 2019 GDP when adjusted for inflation. What this means is that in addition to gross underperformance, there is a lot of economic slack within our economy. Essentially, a large share of our resources, both human and capital, lay idle. Now, if you look at the amount of revenue we have lost, and note, I have conveniently omitted to account for the increase in taxation, the figure easily surpasses $78 billion. That is additional funds we could easily amass by simply pursuing the coherent policies. And note, our economy could accommodate a massive increase in expenditure without fear of overheating because of the existing economic slack. Macroeconomic prudential coupled with strategic investments and policies geared at enticing private investment and consumption are more than capable of delivering in excess of 20,000 jobs. The housing drive alone, which is one of Irfaan’s specialties, will deliver a sizable amount of jobs. This has been done and is well within the grasp of re-executing. In relation to foreign direct investment, it is public knowledge that the PPP had plans, as enshrined in their 2015 manifesto, to set up a free-trade zone, and undertake massive infrastructural and transformational projects such as the Linden/Lethem road and the speciality hospital project. In the business sector cheap credit, which again could be easily attained by simply increasing GoG deposits in our commercial banks, investment and expansion could further be spurred. Such an outcome would favour our business sector, and business once again would flourish in tandem with disposable income from the creation of the new jobs. Hence, given the massive level of underemployment and idle capital, which is an indisputable claim, Guyana is capable to absorb a huge increase in investment. And note, we are yet to account for the oil windfall and astute local content policy that would ensure our nation fully benefits from its oil endowment. Thus, the forward and backward linkages that would ensue, including the spillover effect to other industries and sectors, will push the number of jobs well above 50,000! It is a pity that a majority of us are still oblivious, I would like to assume, of this vision.Sincerely,Timothy Issacslast_img read more

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The Ministry of Citizenship needs guidance

first_imgDear Editor,The recent actions of the Ministry of Citizenship are appalling at best. The Ministry has already created a homestead, which they should not have done in the first place, for a group of Venezuelans in Essequibo.Thus, strengthening their claim on Essequibo while we are in the middle of a dispute in the world court. What’s next? Will this Ministry also issue the Venezuelan ID cards on behalf of the Maduro Government? In our recent history, Maduro was attempting to issue over 200,000 ID cards in Essequibo.This poorly directed Ministry is now in the process of relocating Venezuelan migrants who have been squatting on the riverbank to a “permanent” location on an old military training base. Not the same “homestead” location, but yet another location where they can stake another claim on our territory.The action of this Ministry speaks to the level of short-sightedness and lack of consideration for the gravity of our nation’s current border controversy. It is hard to believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aligned with the current actions being undertaken by the Ministry of Citizenship.If some of these Venezuelan migrants turn out to be military operatives from Venezuela who are posing to be destitute, our Ministry of Citizenship would have single-handedly enabled the Venezuelan military in infiltrating our nation’s defence system while giving our declared enemy more than one foothold in the event of a war.Yes, I said War! This was a very present reality for those of us who grew up in the 1980s. Some of our citizens can remember when our country lost half of Ankoko Island in the 1960s via occupation as it is occurring today. This was followed by military action and to date, Guyana has been unsuccessful in recovering this lost territory.I remember to this day having a long discussion with a military officer who participated in the Ankoko military engagement under President Burnham. He simply said that they were outgunned. As a nation, we should also remember how the Venezuelan Government had supported a plan for secession in the Rupununi around the same time. The GDF had to be called in and eventually were successful in regaining control.The current situation of our dispute and the independent-mindedness of Maduro should not be taken lightly. The cry of the 1980s “not a blade of grass” has now turned into anything you want you can get. Our nation’s military needs to take charge of this situation and round up all Venezuelan migrants. Transport them to Ankoko Island and release them to the half of the island that was stolen by the Venezuelan military and their Venezuelan citizens.Stop allowing them to scout our land for potential invasion, do not allow them to assess our military training methods and do not let them forage on our resources. We have many mouths to feed including the unemployed sugar workers and our efforts are best served in strengthening our own citizens. Do not willingly deplete our resources to strengthen our declared enemy.Otherwise, how are we Guyanese to continue to trust our current leadership with our nation’s independence when such shortsighted actions are being taken. Not only has this Ministry’s actions undermined our nation’s efforts to secure our territory, but they have also gone a step further and offered them an old military installation which can be converted into a paramilitary base for the Venezuelans during a war. Where are the military strategists in the GDF? This nonsense has to be reeled in and done so quickly before it gets further out of control. Maduro has shown his resistance to the USA and his Russian allies have also shown their willingness to support his Administration. If we continue down this current path, we may either be the spark that causes a war in the event of a favourable court ruling, or we may be collateral damage in the event the USA moves from economic embargoes to military action.Our Government is currently having trouble stopping accidents on the road and has struggled to reel in the criminal activity of those on bicycles. We should not take the Venezuelan criminal organisation of the syndicato and Venezuelan military operatives lightly.Those two organisations may be one and the same or at least with significant overlap as seen in other parts of the world. The Ministry of Citizenship needs to wake up from its utopian dream and get back to the reality of our nation’s territorial dispute. The President can no longer afford to delegate this important issue and a coordinated effort has to taken to prevent further infiltration while correcting the current situation.Best regards,Jamil Changleelast_img read more

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It could take two years for Liverpool to challenge for the title again, says McAteer

first_imgJason McAteer has urged Liverpool fans to give manager Brendan Rodgers time to fix his team after a ‘nightmare’ start to the season.Expectations had been high on Merseyside following last year’s title challenge and a spending spree to replace the outgoing Luis Suarez, but it hasn’t gone quite to plan.The Reds currently sit 14th in the Premier League, having only managed to beat Tottenham and Southampton in their six games so far this season, and were beaten 1-0 by Basel in the Champions League this week as they looked completely toothless.But McAteer believes the exit of Suarez combined with the amount of new players at the club means it could be two seasons before they are challenging for the Premier League title again under the Northern Irishman.“[Brendan Rodgers needs] time,” McAteer told the Weekend Sports Breakfast. “It’s as if we’ve gone back 18 months or to when Brendan arrived.“He came in with a philosophy to build a team. He got the transfers he wanted around that time and it took 18 months to get where he was this time last season when Liverpool started to flourish.“We had a fantastic year and just fell short and the expectancy going into this season was obviously very high, but with Luis Suarez going it has shown just how important he was to Liverpool, plus the fact they haven’t stopped leaking goals has highlighted it even more.“Although we didn’t have a great defensive record last season the goals that Daniel Sturridge, Suarez and everyone else chipping in with got, over 100 goals, overshadowed it, but this season we’re not scoring goals and we’re conceding as many as last year.“It’s just all accumulating into a nightmare start for Liverpool.”last_img read more

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Ammunition restrictions in condor habitat pass panel

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – It will be illegal for hunters to possess or fire lead ammunition when they are in California condor habitat under regulations adopted Friday by a state commission. By a vote of 3-1, the California Fish and Game Commission expanded the state’s lead-ammunition ban in an effort to safeguard North America’s largest flying bird. “It’s pretty clear, lead poisoning is one of the major factors preventing recovery of the species,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s another step in getting lead out of the food chain.” The condor was once found from coast to coast, but hunting, pesticides and development drove the birds to the brink of extinction. The federal government declared the bird endangered in 1967. Scientists for years have said condors are poisoned when they ingest lead while feeding on the bullet-ridden carcasses of other animals. But regulators have been slow to act. The regulation bans hunters from using lead ammunition in .22-caliber or smaller guns – often used to kill smaller animals such as squirrels and rabbits – that lawmakers did not include because there are no nonlead bullets on the market for those guns. Commissioners said they hoped their rule would encourage manufacturers to make alternatives. The owners of antique guns and hunters who make their own ammunition must also carry nonleaded bullets or pellets when they are in condor habitat, an area that encompasses most of California’s central coast. Ammunition will be considered lead-free if it contains less than 1percent lead. The rules do not apply to game partridge and quail, or to game bird hunters or permits given to people to shoot nuisance or predatory animals. The regulation will take effect July 1, 2008.last_img read more

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Anaheim charges violation

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa AnitaHe said when Moreno bought the team in 2003 that contract still was binding and remains binding until at least 2016, when the Angels can opt-out at a cost. The team also can choose to stay with the agreement until 2029, when it expires. Guilford said the Angels violated that deal as part of an overall branding campaign for the Angels that included the name change. Along with adding Los Angeles to the name, he argued, team officials began removing the word Anaheim from all team merchandise, press releases and advertising as early as 2003. Guilford said testimony during the trial, which is expected to last a month, would show the city’s contract with the team was valued at $100 million in 1996 and the city estimated it gave up another $100 million in concessions to Disney to get the word Anaheim in the team name. The city paid $20 million for stadium renovations, put up $10 million in billboard publicity and gave up land worth millions as part of the deal, he said. “That is an incredible brand that even Nike would die for,” Guilford said. “It’s a brand IBM would die for. It’s a brand even McDonalds and its golden arches would die for. And that’s the logo Anaheim is here to get back.” But Angels attorney Todd Theodora argued the contract’s language only requires the word Anaheim be included in the team’s name – which it is – and not prominently displayed, as the city contends. SANTA ANA – Angels owner Arte Moreno violated a 10-year-old contract with Anaheim and the city lost $100 million in tourism revenue and publicity when he changed the team’s name last year, a city attorney said Friday. A packed courtroom watched as the much-anticipated trial pitting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim against the city of Anaheim began. Curious fans were on hand, some wearing red T-shirts that read “We Are Not L.A.” “The word `include’ – it’s hard to imagine that there is going to be a long trial over it, but that’s the reason why we’re here,” Theodora said in his opening statement. “One word in an 80-page document.” Theodora said Disney specifically refused a request to write Anaheim Angels into the contract because the entertainment giant wanted to maintain “creative flexibility” for future owners and itself. Theodora also said the contract explicitly states Disney – and now Moreno – have control over the Angels’ marketing, sales, pricing and operating procedures. Moreno, who was present in court Friday with his family, has said he changed the name to make the most of the Angels’ location in the nation’s second-largest media market. He said using Los Angeles in the name would attract more sponsorships, advertising and broadcast contracts. Moreno, expected to testify during the trial, had no comment on Friday’s proceedings. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img The city sued the Angels after Moreno changed the club’s name from the Anaheim Angels last January. The city alleges the 2002 World Series champions breached a contract that promised the word Anaheim would be displayed in the Angels’ name and on all team merchandise and advertising. Attorney Andrew Guilford argued that the city entered into a contract with the team’s former owner, The Walt Disney Co., in 1996 with the understanding that the name Anaheim Angels would bring the city billions of “impressions” – the publicity it received each time the Angels played or had their name mentioned in the press. last_img
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Spurs enter race to sign in demand Liverpool target

first_img RANKED REVEALED LATEST 2 Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Rabiot has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs targets Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer targets Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Clubs are allowed to open talks with Rabiot when he has less than six months on his contract, meaning from January 1, 2019 the midfielder can agree to a transfer that will take place next summer.Last week, talkSPORT told you that Liverpool have started to keep an eye on Rabiot’s situation and have sent people from the club to talk to the midfielder’s representatives. Discussions are said to have been positive over a player who has previously revealed his support of the Anfield outfit. Rabiot has played over 150 games for PSG, but could be on his way out of the club moving on Tottenham have become the latest team to enter the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Adrien Rabiot.Rabiot, the midfielder, has entered the final year of his contract in the French capital and it is believed he will not agree to extended terms. He has a strained relationship with PSG and is well aware of interest in him from the likes of Barcelona and Juventus. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Latest transfer news Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland three-way race PSG remain hopeful of keeping hold of Rabiot and they’ve offered the 23-year-old a new two-year deal to remain at the Parc des Princes. 2 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade IN DEMAND Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing However, the Reds are facing competition for Rabiot from one of their Premier League rivals – Tottenham.According to ParisUnited, Spurs have entered the race for the France international and have also started to hold talks with his men. The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star TOP WORK LIVING THE DREAM last_img read more

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Vick, Virginia Tech brush off pesky Maryland

first_img “I think what you have is a dynamic quarterback that has the ability to beat you running or beat you throwing,” Beamer said. “Pretty good guy. Pretty good quarterback.” After Vick’s third interception, Beamer didn’t scold him. Instead, he said, “You’re going to win this for us.” Vick’s 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter made it 7-0, and he directed scoring drives of 81, 99 and 37 yards in the second half. That was more than enough support for a defense that forced two turnovers and kept the Terrapins out of the end zone until Sam Hollenbach threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Fenner with 2:16 to go. Hollenbach was 14 of 30 for 158 yards and two interceptions, and Lance Ball had 75 yards rushing on 15 attempts. The Terrapins wore their alternate black jerseys for the second time this season, hoping for the same result as the last time: a 45-33 victory over Virginia on Oct. 1. The ploy didn’t work, yet Maryland could take solace in putting forth a decent performance in front of a national television audience and a crowd of 54,838, the second-largest in school history. “I think we played hard and had the opportunities, but we didn’t take advantage of them,” Friedgen said. The Hokies scored on their first possession of the third quarter to take a 14-3 lead. A 38-yard run by Vick got Tech to the Maryland 31, and five plays later Mike Imoh scored from the 2. “I was really big. It set the tempo for the second half,” Vick said. “It quieted the crowd down and just got our guys going.” After the Terrapins failed to capitalize on Vick’s third interception, a punt left Virginia Tech on its own 1. Ten plays later, Imoh ran in from the 10 to make it 21-3 with 10:45 left. The Terrapins trailed 7-3 at halftime, but their emotional charge off the field probably had a lot to do with the fact they were down 41-3 at intermission in last year’s game. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I feel fortunate getting out of here with the win. I really thought our guys hung in there,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “The play wasn’t always pretty.” The Hokies (7-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) committed four turnovers, but scored 21 straight points after halftime to keep alive their hope of playing for the national championship in January. The Terrapins (4-3, 2-2) came in with a three-game winning streak and designs of avenging a 55-6 defeat to the Hokies last November. It seemed possible until Maryland finally got tired of chasing the elusive Vick. “Our defense was on the field too long, and they began to wear down as the game went on,” Terrapins coach Ralph Friedgen said. Although Vick threw a career-high three interceptions — all in the third quarter — the little brother of Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick averaged 8.3 yards per carry and completed 14 of 23 passes for 211 yards. Marcus Vick wouldn’t let it happen. The redshirt junior quarterback accounted for 344 yards of offense, including a career-high 133 rushing, and the unbeaten Hokies pulled away in the second half to a 28-9 victory Thursday night. center_img COLLEGE PARK, Md. — They raced to the locker room at halftime, their helmets held high and spirits soaring after a solid performance against No. 3 Virginia Tech. Despite trailing 7-3, the Maryland Terrapins sensed an upset was in the making. last_img read more

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Calpine growth leads to woes

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – Calpine Corp.’s convoluted descent into bankruptcy, culminating in a Chapter 11 filing late Tuesday night, began when the future still looked bright for the power merchant. Emboldened by its rapidly rising profits and stock price in 2001, Calpine launched a debt-laden expansion aimed at capitalizing on an apparent power shortage that had turned electricity into a high-priced commodity. The San Jose-based company doubled in size, leaving it with 3,300 employees and 92 power plants in 21 states and Canada with enough capacity to provide electricity to 28 million homes. But market conditions have shifted radically during the past four years amid plunging prices for electricity and climbing costs for natural gas – the fuel that Calpine relies upon to run most of its environment-friendly power plants. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake As it stands now, Calpine’s expansion seems pointless. The company’s fleet of power plants has been operating at only 45 percent of capacity, making it difficult to generate enough money to repay debts listed at $22.5 billion in Calpine’s bankruptcy filing. With lenders determined to be repaid, the stage is now set for a tense legal battle over Calpine’s $26.6 billion in assets as the company navigates through the ninth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland ultimately will have the final say on the company’s fate as he presides over the case in a New York federal court. The outcome probably won’t be determined until 2007 or 2008, bankruptcy experts predicted. It took three years for a judge to approve the reorganization of another major power company, Northern California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co., whose 2001 bankruptcy filing ranked as the eighth largest in U.S. history. For its part, Calpine seems determined to renew itself under the leadership of a seasoned troubleshooter, Robert P. May. He was hired just last week to fill a void created when the company ousted its founder, Peter Cartwright, as chief executive. “We intend to move through this restructuring process as quickly as possible to regain our financial health and to take the necessary steps to become a stronger and more competitive energy provider,” May said in statement. To stay afloat, Calpine has lined up $2 billion in financing from Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse First Boston. The company says it needs at least $500 million to cover its operations and debt through Feb. 8. But most of Calpine’s debt is secured, giving lenders the leverage to mount a possible challenge to management’s plans and mount a drive to force a sale of the power plants and other assets. “One of the verities of bankruptcy is that there are always a lot of wild cards in the deck, so you can’t really predict what is going to happen,” said Bill Zewadski, a Tampa, Fla. attorney who is chairman of the American Bar Association’s bankruptcy litigation subcommittee. The lawyers involved in the case stand to make millions. Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm representing Calpine, already has been paid $5.5 million during the past month, according to court documents. That figures to be a down payment for the bills ahead. In documents filed Tuesday, Kirkland & Ellis said it expects at least 11 attorneys to work on the case, with compensation rates ranging from $350 to $825 per hour. A large block of bondholders sought to short-circuit Calpine’s reorganization plans even before the first court hearing in the case. Attorney for the holders of $3.7 billion in Calpine debt filed papers arguing that the company shouldn’t be allowed to spend more money “based on the speculative hope that macro-economic conditions in the power industry will one day turn in (Calpine’s) favor.” The friction between Calpine’s management and bondholders played a pivotal role in the company’s bankruptcy filing. When Calpine and the bondholders couldn’t agree on the company’s right to withdraw money from an escrow account, the two sides went to Delaware Chancery Court to settle the issue. A judge last month ordered Calpine to repay $312 million to the escrow account by Jan. 22, a decision that represented the company’s final financial straw. Investors are betting Calpine won’t recover. The company’s shares fell 3 cents to 20 cents during Wednesday’s trading in the over-the-counter market. The company’s shares are in the process of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, yet another reminder of how far Calpine has fallen since 2001. During that year, Calpine’s stock approached $60 per share, giving the company a market value of about $17 billion. Although the Calpine management didn’t recognize it at the time, the seeds of the company’s demise were planted in late 2001 when an accounting scandal destroyed Enron Corp., the largest of the power wholesalers that had been parlaying high electricity prices into huge profits. Enron’s stunning collapse prompted lenders to clamp down and impose more stringent restrictions that eventually came back to haunt Calpine. Some bondholders even started to fret that Calpine was headed for trouble toward the end of 2001 – a notion that Cartwright described at that time as “ridiculous.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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