Life on the breadline

first_imgNewsCommunityLife on the breadlineBy Alan Jacques – January 30, 2014 744 Facebook TAGSAlan JacquesDepartment of Social Protectionfeaturedfood povertyMandateMusic LimerickSociety of St Vincent de PaulUnite A recent report on food poverty indicates that one in ten people in Limerick do not have enough to eat. Limerick Post’s Alan Jacques takes a look at life on the breadline.IT was Franz Kafka who once said “so long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being”.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up A recent survey then, estimating one in ten Irish people to suffer from food poverty, leaves nothing but big bold question marks.Trade unions Mandate and Unite last month issued, ‘Hungry for Action’, a startling report indicating that 450,000 Irish people do not have enough to eat. The figure for Limerick revealed that 18,500 in the city and county suffer from food poverty – that’s 9.6 per cent of the local population.Based on 2010 data from the Department of Social Protection, these estimates, if anything, are likely to be conservative — especially considering general deprivation rose by eight per cent in 2011.The report defines food poverty as “someone that missed a meal in the last fortnight because of a lack of money” or it may mean, “they cannot afford a meal with meat or the vegetarian equivalent every second day or afford a roast or vegetarian equivalent once a week”.By estimating county levels based on average incomes and comparing them to national averages in the same year, the trade unions’ research suggests food poverty is less of an issue in urban centres such as Limerick, Galway, Cork and Dublin than it is in places like Offaly, Donegal and Monaghan.Still, the figures for people living in food poverty in Limerick City and County is nothing to be celebrated.Mandate general secretary John Douglas commented, “Those suffering food poverty may be lone parent families; they may be the newly unemployed; they may be pensioners – and they may be people in work, struggling to survive on low wages.”Findings in the ‘Hungry for Action’ survey also reference “in-work poverty” as a significant component of overall poverty. Nearly one-in-five people at work were officially categorised as “deprived”.Regional secretary of Unite, Jimmy Kelly, likened food poverty in Ireland to a “man-made disaster” brought on by austerity and the collapse in incomes in its wake. Mr Kelly’s union is now calling for an increase in the minimum wage from €8.65 to €9.20 per week.“The cause of food poverty will only be addressed by starting to increase the incomes of the most deprived in our society,” Mr Kelly believes.Unite and Mandate unions are also calling for an ’emergency relief budget’ to start reversing cuts to low-income groups which have seen food poverty increase dramatically since the start of the economic crisis.They propose measures which, they claim, would have an immediate impact on poverty alleviation including a €6 per week increase in social protection rates and the reversal of some of the most egregious cuts such as rent supplement to those most at risk of food poverty.In recent times, increasing levels of food poverty have been reflected in the growing demands on charities providing food relief.The Society of St Vincent de Paul, alone, is spending half a million euro on food in Limerick city each year. Calls for assistance to the charity has more than doubled since 2009 and continues to increase year on year.The Society’s regional President Michael Murphy said the bulk of this assistance goes to helping families with food, heating and education costs. Last Christmas, St Vincent de Paul distributed 2,000 food hampers to struggling families in the city.“The families we visit are not just those on social welfare, they include people in low-paid employment and those with debts that they cannot handle,” said Mr Murphy.“I started working with the Samaritans in Limerick back in the hungry 1980s and things are definitely much worse now that they ever were back then.“In the eighties, nobody had anything anyway. There’s a greater desperation now and people are living on a knife-edge. They have gotten themselves into so much debt that they see no way out and don’t have the option of immigrating like they had 30 years ago,” he said.Limerick-born and raised, I was completely unaware that St Vincent de Paul has a drop-in centre off Hartstonge Street in the city. I was even more surprised to find out its been open for ten years, providing soup, sandwiches and teas and coffees to those most in need.“Those who most need this service know its here. It’s not something we’ve really needed to advertise as the word has gotten out through the grapevine. The drop-in centre is open six days a week from Monday to Saturday and the numbers availing of it have doubled since the recession hit. When we opened first we would see around 40 people coming in each day. Now that’s doubled to around 80 or 90,” the SVP’s regional president told me.When I visited the city drop-in centre one wet January afternoon it was bustling with life.In one corner, a mother and father sat helping their two young children with homework, a pair of old fellas were engrossed in chat over a cup of tea in another, and down the back a hungry young couple tucked eagerly into their toasted sandwiches. The centre was bright, welcoming and clean. I half expected it to stink of urine and to find myself tripping over street drinkers, but instead it was filled with a sense of camaraderie among ordinary people struggling through life’s daily toils.The atmosphere reminded me of wartime movies with blitz-battered Londoners rallying together and just getting on with it despite the hardships life had thrust upon them. I was only sorry I hadn’t been aware of the centre myself during times when I was out of work and money was tight.If the old saying that ‘we are what we eat’ is true, then one in ten Irish people are barely even existing, don’t mind living.There’s no doubt people are hurting out there right now so new figures indicating that 18,500 people in Limerick City and County suffer from food poverty should come as no real surprise to any of us.But, that almost 10 per cent of our local population should go without even a single meal just to make ends meet is indicative of all that is wrong with this country of ours in January 2014. There’s nothing that makes me more angry.Holocaust victim Anne Frank once described hunger not as a problem, but as an “obscenity”. And the fact that Limerick people are struggling to stay afloat to such a degree that they are deprived of the very basics for living is simply that — OBSCENE.We are not talking about people faced with war, famine or some catastrophic act of God, but people living in Ireland’s National City of Culture and all across the land who cannot afford to eat properly.Fair enough, we don’t have it half bad compared to peoples’ suffering in some far-flung corners of the globe.But still, it’s all relative, and on our own doorsteps, in our own backyard, in the year 2014, people are silently going to bed at night hungry. And our own Government’s indifference, fruitless promises and constant bombardments with crippling cutbacks do not and will not fill empty bellies.Food poverty is one of the harshest realities of the times we live in.I was out of work for three years and at times, experienced food poverty firsthand. In this situation, where money is tight and bills have to be paid, food becomes not the first issue to be addressed, but the last.You can just about feed yourself on social welfare payments or low-income wages and scrimp by, but all it takes is one unforeseen expenditure; an unexpected utility bill, medical emergency or car breakdown and meals will be lost. There is no room for manoeuvre and no scope for error. Survival is the name of the game and families are out there living on breakfast cereal so they can keep their children in school and a roof over their heads.Michael Murphy of St Vincent de Paul told me that families are struggling to such an extent that parents will go without food just so their children might eat.I remember from my own darkest days in unemployment, going through bad weeks where frozen pizzas at €2 a pop became a staple part of my diet. Not the healthiest, unless you are a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!But there’s nothing funny about not having enough money to be able to put food on the table for you and your family.Last year around 4,000 meals were distributed to the needy in Limerick city through Novas Initiatives’ soup run.Seven days a week, 365 days a year, volunteers from the homeless charity dish out food on O’Connell Street; generously provided by the Greenhills Hotel and Foodcourt Catering. The street outreach service supports people who are homeless and also provides sustenance for those living in their own homes, struggling to get by.Novas development officer Una Burns told the Limerick Post, that for some on the breadline, this vital service stops them from having to make the unthinkable choice between eating or keeping a roof over their heads.“Not all those in receipt of food are homeless. For some, this hot meal makes the difference between being able to continue to pay rent and being on the streets,” she revealed.In stark contrast, the Environment Department of Limerick City and County Council this month launched a Stop Food Waste Resolution to help reduce the estimated €700 worth of food that is thrown away by Irish families each year.And without going all Bob Geldof preachy, the words of St Augustine do seem quite apt here: “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” Twitter Surgeries and clinic cancellations extended RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April Printcenter_img Shannondoc operating but only by appointment Proceedures and appointments cancelled again at UHL Previous articleConor brings Limerick science to LANext articleThose who see – Michael Warren at City Gallery Alan Jacques No vaccines in Limerick yet WhatsApp First Irish death from Coronavirus Email Advertisementlast_img read more

Low Credit Score May be Keeping Many Renters from Homeownership

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago An analysis of millions of credit reports comparing financial behavior patterns of those who currently rent and those who have a current mortgage revealed that tens of millions of renters might not qualify for a mortgage due to a low credit score—and that a large share of renters have other outstanding debt that is currently in collections, according to the Urban Institute.In a report released Thursday titled Comparing Credit Profiles of American Renters and Owners by Wei Li, Senior Research Associate, and Laurie Goodman, Director, Housing Finance Policy Center from the Urban Institute, the authors discovered several patterns on how mortgage debt relates to other types of debt when examining the financial habits of 118 million homeowners and 127 million renters nationwide.Homeowners tend to have higher credit scores than renters, the authors reported. About 68 percent of homeowners had a Vantage credit score above 700, compared to just 33 percent of renters; meanwhile, renters accounted for 84 percent of all consumers with scores below 550. About 45 percent of renters who have not had a mortgage in the past 16 years have credit scores below 600; that share becomes 30 percent for renters who have had a mortgage in the past 16 years but do not currently have one; and 9 percent for renters who currently have a mortgage.”Generally, consumers need a minimum credit score of 650 to qualify for a mortgage,” the authors stated. “Using this number, 60.2 million current renters—48 percent of all adult renters—could qualify for a mortgage based on their credit score alone. . . The other 63.8 million—52 percent of renters—do not have a high enough credit score to qualify for a mortgage. This number would be lower once debt-to-income and ability to fund a down payment are considered.”The authors found that 96 million American renters have never had a mortgage—and 42 percent of them have some other type of consumer debt in collections. This group tends to be younger than other groups covered in the report and the members of this group are “less likely to have credit card debt or spending but much more likely than the other five groups to have a debt in collection. This group also has the lowest credit scores, a concern given that this is the largest group and the group that might be interested in eventual homeownership,” according to Li on the Urban Institute’s blog.The report also examined a group of current renters who have had a mortgage at some point in the last 16 years, which totals about 8 percent of American adults (19 million). The authors discovered that this group is typically about the same age as those who currently have mortgages but have more debt, which may have in fact led to their being forced out of homeownership. This group “has the highest percent of public debt records (28 percent) and the second highest percent of debt in collections (37 percent),” Li said. “This group uses auto loans and credit cards less than the two groups with current mortgages, possibly because of difficulties in obtaining credit.”Approximately 12 million renters are also paying on a current mortgage, according to the authors. Current homeowners and those renters who own a mortgage tend to have credit scores higher than 700, while about half the members of both groups have an auto loan and about 80 percent of both groups have some credit card debt.“The percent of debt collections and public records of debts owed are similar and modest; and less than one in five people in each group have a student loan,” Li said. “Renters with current mortgages are, however, slightly younger than owners with current mortgages. The average age of the renters group is 45 compared with 51 for the owners.”Click here to view the Urban Institute’s full report. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles Tagged with: Consumer Debt Homeowners Mortgage Debt Renters Urban Institute Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Low Credit Score May be Keeping Many Renters from Homeownership Consumer Debt Homeowners Mortgage Debt Renters Urban Institute 2016-03-17 Brian Honea Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago  Print This Post Previous: Will the Tight Inventory Loosen Up for the Spring Homebuying Season? Next: Credit Unions Petition CFPB Director Cordray for Exemption in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Low Credit Score May be Keeping Many Renters from Homeownership March 17, 2016 1,452 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

Guitar Mash Sees “Musical Speed Dating” And Tunes By Scott Sharrard, Taz, Leo Nocentelli, & More [Photos]

first_imgThis past Sunday afternoon saw the return of the 6th annual Guitar Mash at City Winery in New York City. The unique event allows amateur and professional guitarists to come and play together in a public setting. This year’s event included “Musical Speed Dating,” where participants were given three minutes each to talk and play with Binky Griptite (Sharon Jones + the Dap-Kings), Scott Sharrard (Gregg Allman Band), and Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon). Money raised from the event went to Guitar Mash free programming for teens including the monthly Songwriter Circle. Added contributions went to the Jazz Foundation of America’s Musician’s Emergency Fund.Highlights from the afternoon included Leo Nocentelli and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer jamming on Parliament Funkadelic’s “Give Up the Funk” while Mark Stewart played in the crowd, Olivia Chaney take on Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, Its Alright”, and a teenage ensemble’s rendition of Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still”. The stand-out finale of the day included Mark Stewart, Binky Griptite, Marshall Crenshaw, Leo Nocentelli, Taz Niederauer, and Evie Dolan performing Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)”.For more information on Guitarmash, see the event’s Facebook page or website. Check out Jeremy Gordon’s photos from Guitar Mash 6 below! Guitar Mash | City Winery | New York, NY | 11/19/2017 | Photos: Jeremy Gordon Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Women’s World Cup 2019: U.S. veterans take pride in leading rookies

first_img“Even though we won in 2015, there’s still so much hunger on this team to go after that trophy and I’m looking forward to this experience with my teammates as it will be one of biggest and most exciting challenges of ours careers. At each World Cup I’ve played in, the level keeps getting better, and that’s a credit to the growth of the game around the world on and off the field.”Lloyd is the oldest player on the roster at 36, while Tierna Davidson, who has 20 caps and one goal, is the youngest at age 20. Davidson will look up to the likes of Lloyd and Rapinoe to continue carrying on the strong tradition of the USA’s success at the World Cup.“It’s such an honor and really a dream come true,” Davidson said. “It’s kind of crazy to think it could happen being this young, but making the team is something I’m really proud of and I’m just excited to see what this summer brings. … I’m a product of the people that I’ve played and trained with so I’m just grateful to all of them.” As coach Jill Ellis selected her roster for the U.S. women’s national team last month, one thing became evident — she trusts her veterans. Nearly half of the players who made the roster for France 2019 played in the World Cup four years ago. Ellis has put an emphasis on the mental aspects that come with competing on the sport’s highest stage, specifically knowing that the veterans will be able to adapt and respond under pressure. Women’s World Cup 2019: The evolution of Carli Lloyd Women’s World Cup 2019: Inside look at U.S. coach Jill Ellis’ leadership Getty Images Megan Rapinoe is another veteran who has experienced just about all there is to encounter when it comes to the international stage. She earned a spot on the national team in 2006 and played an integral role on the 2011 and 2015 World Cup teams. She has battled through injuries and knows the amount of adversity that can come with playing at the highest level, and sees it as part of her role to help the rookies get through those tough times.”We just want to be the best team as possible and so bringing in new talent and learning from them is just going to give us a better product on the field and so what I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older is there’s just certain things that you don’t know until you know,” Rapinoe told Omnisport. “And there’s a lot of us that have been through a lot of different situations from qualifying to World Cups to a couple different leagues and so my role is just to relay my experience to the younger kids.” Despite how many years are behind the veterans, there’s still an enormous amount of pride that comes with being selected to represent the United States at the World Cup.“Even though this is my fourth World Cup roster, it’s just as special as the first one I was named to,” Lloyd said after the roster was announced (via “It’s a different chapter of my career, this most likely being my last World Cup, but it’s an honor to be among this talented group we have going to France. “When you weigh putting a player in with 10 minutes left in a game and they know their role on a set piece and the moment doesn’t get too big for them, those are the pieces you just — you can’t buy that experience,” Ellis said.One veteran who understands Ellis’ way of thinking is Carli Lloyd, who has been a member of the national team since 2005 and has already competed in three World Cup tournaments. She said knowing what to do when the stakes are the highest is an aspect that can only be figured out with time.”It’s the biggest stage you can ever be a part of,” Lloyd told Omisport. “You just have to experience it. You have to stay the course and try not to get too far ahead of yourself. It’s one of those things where you just have to enter the beast and deal with things as they come. But there’s not too many things that can kind of replicate those moments except for playing there.”Lloyd has watched players break onto the national stage and then grow into their role of leading the team. She takes pride in helping shape future generations of the sport.”With all of us veterans it’s kind of our job to keep raising the bar and keep improving on and off the field and just bringing that leadership when the going gets tough and sharing some of those experiences with some of the other players,” Lloyd said. “World Cups aren’t moments to invest in players,” Ellis said on a conference call after announcing her roster. “World Cups are about winning.”Ellis said in making a surprise selection with defender Ali Krieger, who has only played for the national team once in the last 25 months, that “no moment is ever going to be too big for (Krieger).” Related News Women’s World Cup 2019: Megan Rapinoe embracing her veteran statuslast_img read more

Klay Thompson on DeMarcus Cousins: ‘I know he’s going to be a huge asset for the Lakers’

first_img Lakers vs. Clippers to headline slate of Christmas Day games “(Cousins) was very hurt last year during our finals run but he was still out there making a huge impact and getting double-doubles and he won us a couple games, honestly,” Thompson said. “He’s just such a gamer and I’m going to miss competing with him. L.A. got a very good player, who’s very hungry. I know he’s eager to get out there and show everybody he’s still one of the best players in the world because he has all the talent.”Thompson, meanwhile, tore his ACL in Game 6 of the finals against Toronto and is expected to miss a large portion of 2019-20.“I doubt I’ll be back before the All-Star break,” Thompson said. “But I want to be back this season.”The Warriors also lost Kevin Durant to the Nets in free agency and traded Andre Iguodala to the Grizzlies this offseason. “DeMarcus is a great teammate and I developed such a great chemistry with him, coming off screens and cutting off from posts,” Thompson said. “I’ll miss him. I know he’s going to be a huge asset for the Lakers. When they slow it down, he’s so good on the block and such a great decision maker. People don’t realize what a great decision maker he is. Above all, I love his will to compete.”Cousins missed the Warriors’ first 45 games in 2018-19 as he continued to recover from a torn Achilles. He finished the regular season averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per appearance. The 28-year-old center also tore his left quadriceps muscle and was out for most of the playoffs, although he returned for the NBA Finals, where the Warriors fell to the Raptors in six games. Related News Klay Thompson thinks DeMarcus Cousins will thrive with the Lakers.Cousins was teammates with Thompson on the Warriors last season before he signed a one-year contract with Los Angeles this summer. Thompson praised Cousins during a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. “The West is so stacked, not just with the Lakers and Clippers but the Jazz made great moves, the Nuggets are young and upcoming, the Blazers have an amazing backcourt, the Rockets have a two-headed monster in the backcourt with two MVPs still in their prime,” Thompson said. “So it’s going to be tough for us, but I assume I’m going to be on the court at some point and hopefully I’ll hit the ground running and we’ll be in playoff contention. That’s all we need is just a shot.”Golden State managed to offset the loss of Durant, somewhat, by acquiring guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade. He’ll likely slot into the Warriors’ backcourt next to star Stephen Curry with Thompson sidelined. Steve Kerr on Warriors roster changes: ‘We don’t know who we are’ Lakers’ Anthony Davis says not winning a title would be one of his ‘biggest failures’last_img read more

B&H Mountain Climbers Set Out For Mount Olympus

first_imgA group of mountain climbers from B&H set off for Greece last night for a two-day climb to Mitikas on Mount Olympus to mark the 100 years since the first ascent of the mountain.At the invitation of the Mountaineering Association of Greece, a group of 137 mountain climbers will climb the second highest peak in the Balkans.Mayor Litochorea will greet the mountain climbers upon their return on Friday. The Greek Ambassador to B&H Karolos Gadis, who recently met with the B&H Mountaineering Association, arranged this visit.(Source:

WATCH: Sargent and Weah get first USMNT goals

first_imgUnited States VIDEO: Sargent and Weah get first USMNT goals Ben Valentine Last updated 1 year ago 09:59 5/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Tim Weah Josh Sargent United States Bolivia USA Today United States United States v Bolivia Bolivia Friendlies Videos The 18-year-olds had a night to remember as both scored their first senior team goals against an overmatched Bolivia side You could not have asked for a better evening for the U.S. national team’s pair of teenagers, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah.Both players linked up well and were the best two players on the field for either the USMNT or Bolivia in the contest, and the 18-year-olds were each rewarded with a goal.After Walker Zimmerman got the USMNT in front, scoring off a corner delivered by Joe Corona, it was Sargent who doubled the lead in the second half. Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now The Werder Bremen forward pressured substitute Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe into a poor pass that he did well to intercept and bring down with his back to goal.In on goal all alone, Sargent’s low shot was partially blocked by Lampe, but still found the back of the net to make it 2-0.It was a goal in not only his first senior team start, but also in his first cap for the USMNT.Josh Sargent picks off a bad pass from the keeper to score in his USMNT debut! — FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 29, 2018 The score was the feather in the cap, but Sargent played well, excelling in his combination play with Weah.Meanwhile, Weah was the most active player early, seemingly involved with everything the USMNT did in attack. His pace terrorized Bolivia on the right, getting out wide multiple times and setting up team-mates for chances.Weah also had the best opportunity of the game early on, as Rubio Rubin played him in and he turned on the afterburners to get in behind. Reminiscent of a chance he had on his Paris Saint-Germain debut, Weah was unable to beat Bolivia starter Guillermo Vizcarra, who made the kick save.There was a scary moment where it looked like Weah would have to come off after a knee-on-knee collision, but after Julian Green was summoned, Weah managed to stay on.The 18-year-old remained active throughout the first half and was finally rewarded with his first senior team goal in the second half as he got on the end of an Antonee Robinson cross and did not miss. Weah would exit with Sargent a few minutes later.Tim Weah joins in on the fun with his first USMNT goal! — FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 29, 2018 It was not the greatest of opposition as Bolivia struggled all evening, generating little going forward, and frequently losing both teens as they made runs off one another.But it was exactly what fans of the USMNT, who wanted to see some hope for the future after the nation’s World Cup qualifying disappointment, no doubt wanted to see.last_img read more

Member Protection Policy Update

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) has recently reviewed and updated the TFA Member Protection Policy, in line with Australian Sports Commission standards.  It is a requirement by TFA that all State, Regional, and Affiliate entities formally adopt the TFA Member Protection Policy – 2015/16 version of this policy, under the TFA constitution. This policy will take effect from 1 October 2015.TFA has a legal obligation in relation to harassment, discrimination and child protection. Furthermore we also have moral obligations to establish appropriate standards of behaviour and to provide safe and respectful sporting environments. As member entities of TFA we require you also to implement and regularly update policies and procedures that assist sports to comply with the law and improve the sporting environment.For full information please download the communication below. Memo Member Protection Policy Update MembersMember Protection Policy 2015-16Related LinksPolicy Updatelast_img read more

a month agoChelsea boss Lampard: Hudson-Odoi, James will face Grimbsy

first_imgChelsea boss Lampard: Hudson-Odoi, James will face Grimbsyby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi will make his first-team return in the League Cup on Wednesday against Grimsby Town.This follows his recovery from an Achilles injury.The England international was forced off during the draw against Burnley in April and underwent successful surgery days later. The winger will feature alongside Reece James, who is yet to make a competitive appearance for Chelsea’s senior side following a season on loan at Wigan.Asked about the duo, manager Frank Lampard told Chelsea’s official website: “They’ll be involved on Wednesday night.”We need to look at players that haven’t been playing so much. We will pay Grimsby due to respect but it certainly is minutes for certain players that haven’t been there.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Documents outline Liberal lobbying plan to promote Gordie Howe bridge in US

first_imgOTTAWA – Federal officials have been on a months-long campaign to surreptitiously slip the name Gordie Howe into conversations with top-level American counterparts to promote the new border crossing that will bear the hockey player’s name.The plan hatched earlier this year required government departments to mention the new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., in any “messaging” on the Canada-U.S. relationship with top politicians and stakeholders, and remind them at every opportunity that the White House supports the project.A presentation outlining the strategy to top civil servants said the goal was to “educate influencers on the importance of the Windsor-Detroit corridor and the new crossing to the U.S. economy.”The proposed six-lane crossing is aimed at easing congestion at the border that is largely funnelled through the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing between Canada and the United States.The new bridge won’t be completed until at least 2022, provided construction starts next year as planned. The project is expected to cost about $4.8 billion, a tab the Canadian government and a private developer will cover as part of a deal to get the bridge built without the need for congressional approval, which had been impossible to secure.In return, Canada will receive all the revenues from the new bridge to pay off construction costs.At the time the deal was struck, no one was talking about tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement. Then Donald Trump got elected president and demanded the decades-old trade pact be renegotiated.The May presentation, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, suggests the Gordie Howe bridge project became part of Liberal efforts to keep NAFTA from falling apart. The presentation and accompanying briefing note for a meeting of deputy ministers repeatedly stresses that Trump sees the bridge as a strategic piece of cross-border infrastructure.Brook Simpson, a spokesman for Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, said the bridge topic — in particular its place in a retooled NAFTA — is raised whenever Sohi speaks with U.S. politicians.“This project creates a critically important connection that will greatly improve the flow of trade and its reliability once built,” Simpson said. “Regular engagement with U.S. governments at the federal, state, and municipal levels helps maintain the political and public support the project enjoys.”The constant reminders about the bridge are also likely part of efforts to get the U.S. to commit to providing enough border guards at the new and existing border crossings to avoid bottlenecks, said Lydia Miljan, associate professor of political science at the University of Windsor.“That’s where the big battles are going to come,” Miljan said.“You have to educate Washington on the value of having not just the physical infrastructure, but the human infrastructure in place.”Stuart Soroka, a professor of communication studies and political science at the University of Michigan, said national governments regularly lobby neighbouring jurisdictions on large infrastructure projects to maintain support and avoid a counter-movement.“But it does raise some interesting questions about what governments should be spending money on,” Soroka said, “and whether it’s OK for governments to advertise this stuff.”— Follow @jpress on Twitterlast_img read more