Liverpool forward Salah had award votes voided because of capital lettersby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTwo votes for Mohamed Salah in the Best Fifa men’s player award were not counted because signatures were in capital letters, says Fifa.The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said acting Egypt coach Shawky Gharib and captain Ahmed Elmohamady voted for Liverpool forward Salah.Fifa said: “The signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid.”The forms also lacked a mandatory signature by the EFA general secretary.Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the award on Monday ahead of Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say
MEXICO CITY — President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched an ambitious plan to stimulate economic activity on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border despite recent U.S. threats to close the border entirely.Mexico plans to slash income and corporate taxes to 20 per cent from 30 per cent for 43 municipalities in six states just south of the U.S., while halving to 8 per cent the value-added tax in the region. Business leaders and union representatives have also agreed to double the minimum wage along the border, to 176.2 pesos a day, the equivalent of $9.07 at current exchange rates.Lopez Obrador says the idea is to stimulate wage and job growth via fiscal incentives and productivity gains. President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained that low wages in Mexico lure jobs from the U.S.The Associated Press
OTTAWA, O.N. – Canada’s battered energy industry will get a $1.6-billion boost from Ottawa on Tuesday to try to slow the political and economic bleeding.Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr will be at an Edmonton college campus to unveil a support package for oil and gas companies, which are reeling from record-low oil prices.A source who provided the figure to The Canadian Press says funds will be divided among several different programs, including money to help companies invest in clean growth, loans, and other financial supports to help companies find new markets away from the United States, as well as investments in training and new technology. Alberta is already negotiating with an as-yet-unnamed third party to buy the rail cars, but Canada has not indicated any willingness to share the cost of the purchase yet, and rail cars are not part of Tuesday’s announcement.Earlier this month, Sohi asked the National Energy Board to do a review of existing pipeline capacity to make sure it is being used in the most efficient way and also to figure out whether there are any short-term steps that could maximize rail capacity to ship more oil.Days later, the NEB responded to Sohi and said it will provide him with a full report in February. It is a package based, in some ways, on those offered to softwood, steel and aluminum producers after the United States dealt them direct blows with new import tariffs.Canada’s oil patch isn’t facing that kind of pressure, but it is still the U.S. behind much of its pain.With pipelines at capacity and some major refineries down for maintenance this fall, the price for Alberta crude plummeted in the fall, hitting a panic-inducing $11 a barrel in late November.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s plan to buy more rail cars to help ship additional oil, as well as her decision to force a production cut from the biggest oil producers starting in January, helped push the price back up, trading above $26 a barrel at the end of last week.But that is still significantly less than the U.S. price and Canada’s economy is losing as much as $80 million a day because of the discount.Canada’s almost total reliance on the U.S. as an export market contributes to the problem. Almost every drop of oil that is not refined and used in Canada is exported to the United States. Without more pipelines to the coasts where oil tankers could theoretically then ship oil overseas, Canada’s oil producers are at the mercy of the Americans. The only current proposal to increase pipeline capacity to the coasts is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is in limbo following a court ruling overturning its federal approval. Ottawa is trying to get that project back on track with more consultations, but if that does happen, it will be several years before oil actually starts to flow.The impasse has left a sharp divide between Alberta and Ottawa.Although Tuesday’s announcement comes in the Alberta capital, neither Notley nor anyone from the Alberta government is scheduled to be there for the announcement.Premier Notley has made no secret in recent weeks of her desire to have Ottawa help the province buy new rail cars to ship two additional trains full of Alberta crude out of the province every day.
When early in 1947 Freda Bedi applied in Lahore for a British passport, she described herself as a journalist. She had spent years teaching English at a girls’ college, and was to resume that line of work in Kashmir, but in the mid-1940s, writing and reporting was her main occupation. The family circumstances changed for the better. Bedi’s writing and publishing, ranging from textbooks to ghost writing, started delivering an income and that, Freda said, ‘enabled me to take a rest from the rather hard routine of lecturing in the college and travelling backwards and forwards so many miles a day. So the years ’42 to ’46 were years when I was more at home and writing.’ She relished the chance to have a calmer, more settled domestic life. Indeed she commented of the political activity in Lahore which now became a less prominent part of her life: ‘I didn’t particularly enjoy doing all this. I would have preferred, frankly, to sit at home and have a more peaceful family life. But it was the way life was, and there was no choice.’ Whether this was a downplaying of the political expressed later in life when the spiritual aspect was foremost, or reflected a disdain for the rough-and-tumble of a political existence which was born more of duty than conviction, it’s difficult to say – probably a bit of both. She also faced another political difficulty – as the Communist Party, and so her husband, fell out of step with the rest of the nationalist movement, husband and wife were also increasingly at odds about how best to achieve an independent India committed to social justice. Also Read – Torpedoing BengalAs a writer, Freda achieved a prominence to match her political reputation –and it was the work she most relished. In her student days, when her friends were talking excitedly of their personal ambitions, Freda’s goal was to write. She published two books, largely collections of her writing for newspapers and magazines. As a columnist, she addressed women’s issues with a directness which was startling. Throughout 1943, she had a weekly column in the Tribune entitled ‘From a Woman’s Window’ which tackled issues – such as childbirth and breast-feeding – which rarely surfaced in the mainstream media at that time. But her focus on gender, and the unfair and unequal burden on India’s women, was evident much earlier. Throughout her adult life, she sought to extend the bounds for women in public life. It would be difficult to describe Freda as a feminist. In her marriage, she willingly embraced a subservience to her husband and his personal and political ambitions. When she argued for women’s interests, it was not on the basis of a principled demand for equality but of a measure more equity and respect. As a Tibetan Buddhist, she eventually found a comfortable niche with a distinctly patriarchal spiritual tradition which – as with most major religions – limited and confined women’s role. Yet her championing of women, and her campaigning for the redress of women’s grievances, was a consistent aspect of her life, and first became evident as an activist and writer in pre-independence Lahore. Also Read – Educational model of coexistenceIn the spring of 1936, eighteen months after arriving in India and just a few weeks before Tilak’s death, Freda was prominent in a public debate on the desirability of birth control clinics. The event was organised by the medical college students’ union, and addressed a pressing issue in an era of large families and high infant and maternal mortality. ‘Mrs Freda Bedi said that birth control did not mean no babies, it meant better babies; it did not mean no motherhood, but sensible motherhood. Birth control clinics should really be called “sensible motherhood clinics”. Motherhood should be a glorious fulfilment of all that is best in woman and a source of vitality and joy and woman should not be condemned through relentless and machine-like production of children. The way to ensure this was to have efficient birth control clinics established in the Punjab where the service should be absolutely free.’ There was lively opposition to her argument, with speakers expressing concern about birth control being sinful, leading to sterility and frustrating India’s need for a large army, but the chair of the meeting declared that the general sentiment was in support of the clinics. A couple of months later, Freda wrote for the Tribune’s magazine section as part of a debate about the segregation of the sexes. ‘All healthy minded people must agree,’ she declared, ‘that it is best if girls and boys can mix freely socially, while keeping a good attitude towards one another. … To my mind, co-education from childhood upwards is the only solution.’ But swayed by her experience as a college teacher, she was also concerned that women students were ignoring skills such as cooking and sewing. ‘The trouble with the present system is that a young man is usually faced with the alternative of a young modern educated wife, who has no idea of running a home intelligently or of bringing up children well, or on the other hand of a pretty girl, very uneducated, who can cook, sew and manage and bring up children but will live a life very apart from him, and be quite unable either to act as a hostess to his friends or to educate his children in the way he would like. I believe that in modern India, a wife, if she is to be useful must be educated, but I am shocked at the way girls in college here neglect learning household affairs. After all, the majority of girls are going to be married and it is only kindness to their husbands to be and their children that they should know something of the more practical things of life.’ In comments that must have upset some of her students, Freda went on to say that the ‘trouble is that, because higher education is something of a rarity here still, girls become swelled-headed and think that they are sure to marry rich husbands and that it is below their dignity to work in the house.’ This combination of progressive and traditional outlooks was a hallmark of Freda’s take on life, and evident in it is how she saw her own role in the household, as her husband’s companion and collaborator, but also as the homemaker. (Photos extracted and text excerpted with permission from The Lives of Freda; written by Andrew Whitehead; published by Penguin. The excerpt here is a part of the chapter titled ‘From a Woman’s Window’.)
This matches the existing research on a home-court scoring partiality in basketball — both in the NCAA and the NBA — in addition to the home-rink bias present in the recording of hits and blocked shots in the NHL.But although there appears to be some hometown favoritism involved with the NHL’s second assist, it might be difficult to do anything about it. Indeed, judging when a player should receive a secondary assist is not always clear cut. Let’s look at a pair of goals scored last season — one by the home team and the other by the away team — at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, the rink with the NHL’s third-biggest home second-assist bias since the lockout.First, does Anton Stralman, who lost possession by flipping the puck into a New Jersey Devils defender, deserve a secondary assist on this play?Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2_44_njd_tbl_1415_h_discrete_t-b439_goal_1_1600.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.We would argue that he does not, but Stralman’s home-arena scorer thought differently.In the next clip, former Capitals center Eric Fehr carries the puck into the zone and sends it toward the slot before it eventually finds the stick of Brooks Laich, who buries it in the net. Fehr was not awarded an assist for this play, though he very well could have under the second-assist rule.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2_414_wsh_tbl_1415_h_ingame_t-b238_goal_1_1600k_16x9.mp400:0000:0000:14Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Responding to a request for comment via email, NHL Vice President of Communications John Dellapina told us, “The standard for what constitutes an assist is clearly detailed for all of our off-ice officials and the expectation is that that standard will be applied.” But, clearly, that standard is applied differently across the board. In each of the above cases, the rules for awarding secondary assists left much up to the individual interpretation of the official scorer.So if there’s no way to standardize how they are awarded, perhaps the problem with secondary assists isn’t how they are handed out, but the fact that they exist at all. Since all goals and assists count equally in a player’s point tally, second assists are valuable — too much so to be awarded with such inconsistency.As Simon said: “The fact that there’s no difference [in points] between a secondary assist and a goal is pretty silly, isn’t it?” Even when factoring in home teams’ tendency to score more frequently, the number of superstar players with extreme home-slanted secondary assist numbers is peculiar.1For instance, Steven Stamkos, P.K. Subban, Evgeni Malkin and Crosby are all household names; on the other hand, most people haven’t heard of Alex Goligoski. In addition to Crosby, other big names with many more second assists at home include Evgeni Malkin (43 more; or a 56 increase), Steven Stamkos (41 more; 121 percent) and P.K. Subban (39 more; 91 percent). These home-cooked assist totals can add up: The Art Ross has gone to either Crosby or Malkin in four of the last 10 seasons, to go with a pair of runner-up finishes (plus three more for Stamkos and Ryan Getzlaf, another home-assist beneficiary).2Malkin’s 2008-09 Art Ross win is especially suspect; he beat Alex Ovechkin that year by only 3 points (113-110) after recording 13 secondary assists at home and only four on the road.Although Rand Simon, an agent with Newport Sports Management — a firm whose clients include Stamkos and Subban — said he couldn’t remember a time when a player’s second-assist tally came up in negotiations, he admitted it’s a stat that he and his team are aware of when they sit down across from general managers. “When we prepare and do research for contracts, it’s something we always look at,” Simon said over the phone. “If he does have a significantly high number of primary assists, it’s something that we keep in the back of our mind and talk about. Conversely, if there’s a player that the club is comparing him to and he’s getting a lot of secondary assists versus primary, it’s something we want to know.”“I could see it becoming a negotiation point, especially in the case of extremes,” he said. “Or in the case of maybe the club being critical of a player because his assists were off from one year to the next. Maybe the agent can point out that it was all secondary assists; the primary assists stayed the same.”That inconsistency affects entire teams’ stats, not just those of star players. The chart below shows second-assist rates for both home and away goals, split by the hometown team: Depending on the arena, the rate at which secondary assists are awarded varies from 70 percent of a game’s total goals (Ottawa) to 80 percent (Colorado). In effect, this means that roughly once every two games, there’s an extra secondary assist given out in Colorado that wouldn’t have been in Ottawa.That’s for all goals scored by both teams in a game; the numbers also suggest scorers might show implicit bias when awarding second assists on home goals, specifically. For roughly a third of the home rinks we studied,3Specifically, 11 of the NHL’s 30 arenas. the difference in second-assist rates between the home team and away team was statistically significant, meaning it could not reasonably be explained away as the product of natural fluctuations. This is even true across game situations; that is, if we account for score effects (in case there are more second assists when the leading team — i.e., the home team more often than not — scores) or isolate 5-on-5 play only (accounting for possibility of more second assists on power plays, which the home team also tends to get more of), the same conclusion holds. Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is one of the most talented players in the National Hockey League. But sometimes, he also gets lucky.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2_1132_car_pit_1314_h_discrete_pit85_goal_1_1600.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.This clip comes from the 2013-14 season, when Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer. On the play, the Consol Energy Center’s official scorer awarded Crosby a secondary assist even though the pass he attempted to shovel back to a teammate resulted in an apparent turnover. This type of judgment call frequently went in Crosby’s favor that year; he recorded 22 secondary assists at home, versus just 12 on the road.And it wasn’t just a one-season aberration. Few players benefit more than Crosby from the secondary assist, one of the league’s most inconsistent and superfluous stats. Over the course of his career, Crosby has recorded 150 second assists at home and only 112 on the road, a 38-helper difference that ranks seventh in the NHL since 2005-06.Like pitcher wins in baseball and quarterback rating in football, the NHL’s second assist isn’t a great barometer of talent. Carolina Hurricanes analyst Eric Tulsky once showed that secondary-assist totals for forwards at even strength are mostly noise, not a reflection of player skill. But we’ve also identified another problem with the second assist: The likelihood of one being awarded varies greatly depending on the arena and, in certain cases, whether the player is wearing the home team’s uniform. (This despite the fact that each arena’s official scorer is assigned by the league, not the team itself.)Point totals have a demonstrable effect on awards such as the Art Ross and Hart trophies (MVP); Crosby, for instance, doubled up on those honors in 2013-14, one of six times an Art Ross winner also took the Hart in the 11 seasons since the 2004-05 lockout — with a seventh likely coming this season in the form of Patrick Kane. They also help determine player salaries and incentive-based bonuses. So it’s worth asking whether certain players have been unfairly valued because of the way different official scorers award secondary assists.In fairness to Crosby, he’s far from the only player who earns a disproportionate number of secondary assists at home. Check out the scatterplot below, which shows career home and road second-assist numbers for players with at least 70 assists since the 2005-06 season. The dotted line is where we’d expect players to fall after accounting for the fact that NHL teams score about 10 percent more often at home than on the road. The further a player is above it, the more disproportionate his tendency to rack up secondary assists at home.
CLEVELAND — One game down, five to go. By pummeling Texas-San Antonio (20-14), 75-46, in its first game of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, the Ohio State men’s basketball team is one step closer to accomplishing part three of its self-proclaimed three-part mission. The Buckeyes (33-2) already have crossed a Big Ten regular-season and conference tournament crown off their list. Cutting down the nets in Houston as national champions is all that’s left. OSU used a balanced effort to take a step in that direction against the Roadrunners. Four players scored in double figures for the Buckeyes, with junior guard William Buford leading the way with 18. Buford notched 15 of his points in the first half. “My teammates, they were giving me the ball, and shots were open,” Buford said. “So I was just taking good shots and I was able to knock them down.” UTSA, the Southland Conference Tournament champion, kept the game close early by scoring on its first four possessions. The game was tied, 9-9, with just more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half, before the Buckeyes began to put the Roadrunners away. OSU closed the half on a 28-12 scoring run to take a 16-point lead into the locker room. They attributed the slow start to poor execution. “Like I said, once we got through the first timeout, we were down,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “I thought our guys did a good job of responding and really keeping the focus.” The Roadrunners attempted to slow down the Buckeyes, often waiting until the shot clock was below 15 seconds to initiate their offense. That was not the style of play the Buckeyes expected. “We were pretty surprised. I think with the film that we watched in the short period of time that we had, we didn’t really see that much,” senior guard Jon Diebler said. “But, again, we have to be ready for whatever … way teams will play against us. I think for the first four or five minutes we weren’t, but after that we kind of picked it up.” The Buckeyes connected on 6-of-10 3-pointers in the first half and continued the hot shooting after intermission. The team finished 12-for-24 from distance. The Buckeyes had too many weapons for the Roadrunners to deal with. Senior guard Jon Diebler contributed 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting from behind the arc, while freshman forward Jared Sullinger added 11 points. In total, eight OSU players scored. Only one UTSA player, senior guard Devin Gibson, scored in double figures. Gibson tallied more than half his team’s points with a game-high 24. “I think we just need to do a better job on the team defense on Gibson,” Diebler said. “I think we left Aaron (Craft) and Will out to dry a little bit.” OSU was able to feed off a crowd consisting mostly of Buckeye fans. “It was awesome,” freshman point guard Aaron Craft said. “If you closed your eyes and listened to the cheers it sounded like we were playing in Columbus.” As OSU continued to add to its lead in the second half, Matta was able to empty his bench slowly. Sullinger was the first to make his exit, leaving the game for the first time with 12:12 on the clock, and not returning. Fifth-year senior forward David Lighty, Buford and Diebler were soon to follow, as forward Deshaun Thomas and guards Jordan Sibert and Lenzelle Smith Jr., all freshmen, closed out the game. Sibert indicated his excitement at playing and scoring in his first tournament game. “It was great. That environment was crazy,” he said. “It was really good. My teammates, they are all supportive whenever we get out there.” Senior walk-on guard Eddie Days entered the game with 1:27 remaining, the 10th Buckeye to log minutes on the evening. The Buckeyes forced the Roadrunners into 13 turnovers and held UTSA to just 34 percent shooting on the evening. OSU also assisted on 26 of its 29 field goals and shot 55.8 percent from the floor. OSU held its opponent under 50 points for the eighth time this season and first time since a Jan. 19 contest with Iowa. OSU next will play George Mason on Sunday in Cleveland. The Patriots beat Villanova, 61-57, on Friday to advance to the tournament’s round of 32.