KYLE Amor chose the perfect time to break his duck

first_imgKYLE Amor chose the perfect time to break his duck after his try helped send Saints to the Semi Finals of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.The big prop bagged his first of the year to put the cup favourites in charge with less than 20 minutes to go.Until then Widnes had answered everything thrown at them and were good value for their 20-18 lead.Cunningham’s men were 18-12 up at the break thanks to long range efforts from Adam Swift and Mark Percival – who was outstanding throughout and grabbed 20 points – and a free flowing move that saw Matty Dawson break his season duck.Widnes hit back but Amor’s marker and a real show of strength from Jordan Turner sealed Saints’ passage.The dilemma facing the coaching staff was who to pitch into the full back spot following Shannon McDonnell’s injury.Percival was the one anointed, with Josh Jones moving into the centres to cover the loss, and he didn’t disappoint.The youngster was targeted from the off, taking a high ball under a heap of pressure in the first minute.And two minutes later Kevin Brown was under the posts – and the Vikings’ fans celebrating – but Jon Wilkin hauled him down with about three inches to spare.But on six minutes Percival collected another high ball and created one of the best tries you will see at Langtree Park this season.Percy drew the man and sent Swift on a mazy run which saw him go in and out of wouldbe tacklers – and the full length of the field.The full back adding the conversion.Chris Clarkson was held up over the line on 11 minutes but Widnes’ pressure paid off as Joe Mellor slipped out of two tackles.Danny Craven levelling the game up before Percival took it out 8-6 half way through the first half.Widnes continued to threaten and Saints had James Roby to thank after he felled Rhys Hanbury – again just inches from the line.In all fairness it was the Vikings doing all the pressing but they failed to take their chances.And Saints picked them off with another try right out of the top drawer. Mose Masoe offloaded in Saints half; it was taken up by Roby, Burns and Walsh before Wilkin sent it to Turner.He drew his man, found Swift who thus turned it back inside for Percival.Superb… and the best part of 80 metres too.Widnes boomed the restart out on the full and Saints duly turned the screw.Fantastic handling from Roby kept the ball alive before it was sent right and into the hands of Matty Dawson.Danny Craven replied for Widnes as the half entered last knockings – to set up a pulsating second half.And Widnes got the best possible start to the half when Gil Dudson’s run set up a great Patrick Ah Van try.He created the space for Brown to fire out a great line ball for Ah Van to stroll over with no one anywhere near him.It looked a tad forward but there was no doubting how much it split the defence.Saints looked rattled and weren’t helped by a series of handling errors that gave the Vikings territorial advantage.And such a passage of play saw ex-Saint Chris Dean cross to give Widnes the lead after 53 minutes.Like the last try it was a little fortuitous – the home side on the harsh end of a couple of calls in the build up – but there was no excusing the visitor’s ruthlessness.Saints toiled against a rough and tough Widnes pack but once Alex Walmsley and Kyle Amor got on the field, they finally started to force their way.Walsh and Wilkin were beginning to get on top with their kicking game too – and it led to Saints going back in front.A simple drop off ball to Amor and he was in under the sticks.Jordan Turner then took advantage of a knock on to seal the win – showing great strength to go through Paddy Flynn  and Stefan Marsh.Mark Percival adding a penalty and a superb try late on.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Swift, Percival (2), Dawson, Amor, TurnerGoals: Percival (6 from 8)Vikings:Tries: Mellor, Craven, Ah Van, DeanGoals: Craven (1 from 2), Ah Van (1 from 1)Penalties:Saints: 7Vikings: 3HT: 18-12FT: 36-20REF: Rob HicksATT: 8806Teams:Saints:17. Mark Percival; 22. Matty Dawson, 4. Josh Jones, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 21. Joe Greenwood, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.Subs: 8. Mose Masoe,  15. Mark Flanagan,  19. Greg Richards, 25. Andre Savelio.Vikings:1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Paddy Flynn, 4. Stefan Marsh, 14. Chris Dean, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Joe Mellor; 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 25. Alex Gerrard, 17. Chris Clarkson, 28. Matt Whitley,  24. Macgraff Leuluai.Subs: 13. Hep Cahill, 16. Willie Isa,  21. Danny Craven,  35. Gil Dudson.last_img read more

Investment firm buys Melita Ltd

first_imgEQT, a leading investment firm, has signed an agreement to acquire Melita Ltd. from Apax Partners and Fortino Capital.EQT is a leading investment firm with more than €61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds and around €40 billion in assets under management.This firm has stated that it intends to support Melita’s growth by further upgrading its fixed and mobile networks and opening an additional data centre location on Malta. It will also support Melita’s internationalisation strategy including its expansion in Italy as well as its innovative IoT connectivity proposition. Melita will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Harald Rösch.Melita Ltd. And EQT have agreed to not disclose the sum of the transaction.Thomas de Villeneuve, partner at Apax Partners, said that “under the leadership of Harald, Melita has heavily invested in its network and its digital transformation to become a world class operator”.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Israel holds its first competition for physicallychallenged surfers

first_img SharePrint <> Israel held its first championship for physically-challenged surfers on Friday in the Mediterranean Sea off the port city of Ashdod, organisers said.Twenty-one competitors, some of them amputees, paraplegics, deaf or blind, rode the waves assisted by volunteers of the Organisation for Advancement of Surfing and Sea Sports in Ashdod.Family and friends cheered on from the sandy beach as the competitors, smiling triumphantly, returned to shore.“It was difficult, almost impossible – but definitely worth the effort. We made history,” said Yaron Klein, one of the organizers of the event.WhatsAppcenter_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

US Senate to grill Facebook over plans for Libra cryptocurrency

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen on representations of virtual currency in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dado RuvicFILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen on representations of virtual currency in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic U.S. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are set to grill Facebook Inc on its cryptocurrency plans on Tuesday, as the project continues to draw intense scrutiny from financial regulators and politicians across the globe.Facebook is fighting a rearguard action to get Washington onside after it shocked regulators and lawmakers with an announcement on June 18 that it was hoping to launch a new digital coin called Libra in 2020.Since then it has faced a barrage of criticism from policymakers and financial watchdogs at home and abroad who fear widespread adoption of the digital currency by the social media giant’s 2.38 billion users could upend the financial system.Critics have expressed anger that the company would have got so far in its plans for such a potentially groundbreaking project without extensive input from policymakers, especially when it is already in the spotlight over privacy issues.The Senate Banking Committee will question David Marcus, the company’s top executive overseeing the project, on issues ranging from how Libra could affect global monetary policy to how customer data will be handled.Marcus, who was president of PayPal from 2012 to 2014, will try to assuage concerns by promising that Facebook will not begin offering Libra until regulatory issues are addressed, according to prepared testimony the committee posted on Monday.“We know we need to take the time to get this right,” Marcus, who is also due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, will say.Marcus is likely to get a frosty reception from Democratic lawmakers who already believe the company is too large and careless with consumer data.He is also likely to face scepticism from Republicans after President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also voiced concerns.“They’re going to have to convince us of very high standards before they have access to the U.S. financial system,” Mnuchin said on Monday.UNDER WRAPSFacebook allocated a small fraction of its vast workforce to work on the project, Kevin Weil, who runs product for the Libra initiative, told Reuters on June 18.One former employee told Reuters the company tried to keep the project under wraps even internally – staff who were not involved knew little about it, not even that it was operating under the name Libra.Rumours had surfaced as early as last year that Facebook was working on a digital currency, but news that the project was in its advanced stages started to emerge only in recent months.In the weeks leading up to the announcement, the company began reaching out formally to key regulators including the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. But two people with knowledge of the discussions said the conversations remained vague, with key details of the project discussed only on a theoretical level.Some lawmakers specializing in financial services policy have been frustrated by the lack of clarity from Facebook before and since June 18, three congressional sources said.For example, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee sent Facebook a letter on May 9 seeking information, including how the company would protect consumers’ financial information. But Facebook did not write back until July 8, the committee said.After receiving the response, the lead Democrat on the panel, Senator Sherrod Brown, said in a statement he still needed “real answers.”One Democratic aide described the company’s contacts with lawmakers as “inept and entitled.”In its defence, Facebook has said that it announced the project in its early stages to get feedback from stakeholders.WhatsApplast_img read more

Mueller defends inquirys integrity says he did not exonerate Trump

first_imgREUTERS/Jonathan ErnstREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday defended the integrity of his Russia investigation during a dramatic congressional hearing and reiterated that he had not cleared President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice or, as the president has said, totally exonerated Trump.Mueller appeared for eagerly anticipated testimony at the first of two back-to-back congressional hearings that carry high stakes for Trump and Democrats who are split between impeaching him or moving on to the 2020 election.The former FBI director, who spent 22 months investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and Trump’s conduct, appeared first before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.The committee’s Democratic chairman, Jerrold Nadler, praised Mueller and said no one, including Trump, is “above the law.” But Republicans tried to paint Mueller’s investigation as unfair to Trump, with conservative congressman Louie Gohmert heatedly telling him “you perpetuated injustice.”Trump has claimed that the Mueller inquiry resulted in the president’s “complete and total exoneration.” Asked by Nadler if he had exonerated Trump, Mueller said, “No.”Mueller, accused by Trump of heading a “witch hunt” and trying to orchestrate a “coup” against the Republican president, said his inquiry was conducted in “a fair and independent manner” and that members of the special counsel’s team “were of the highest integrity.” Trump has accused Mueller of having conflicts of interest. Mueller noted that Justice Department ethics officials confirmed he had no such conflicts.“Let me say one more thing,” Mueller said. “Over the course of my career, I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere with our election is among the most serious.”Mueller, 74, was surrounded by news photographers as he took his place in the packed hearing room, showing little apparent emotion as he scanned the scene. Mueller faced a series of rapid-fire questions from lawmakers in both parties, several times asking them to repeat their questions and often referring them to the text of the report itself. Some Republicans interrupted Mueller as he was trying to answer questions.“That went a little fast for me,” Mueller told Doug Collins, the committee’s top Republican, at one point.In a comment sure to disappoint Republicans, Mueller said he would not answer questions about the origins of the Russia probe in the FBI before he was named to take over the inquiry in 2017 or about a controversial dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent. Republicans have tried to portray the investigation as a politically motivated attack on Trump.Mueller was set to testify later in the day before the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats control the House, while Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate.The hearing provided Democrats a chance to air publicly and in plain language the key findings of the sometimes dense Mueller report. Democrats entered the hearings hoping Mueller’s testimony would rally public support behind their own ongoing investigations of the president and his administration. Democrats are deeply divided over whether to launch the impeachment process set out in the U.S. Constitution for removing a president from office for “high crimes and misdemeanours.”Mueller’s inquiry detailed numerous contacts between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia at a time when the Kremlin was interfering in the 2016 U.S. election with a scheme of hacking and propaganda to sow discord among Americans and boost Trump’s candidacy.Mueller’s investigative report said the inquiry found insufficient evidence to establish that Trump and his campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. The report did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice in a series of actions aimed at impeding the inquiry, but pointedly did not exonerate him.Democrats repeatedly asked Mueller about actions by Trump, including at one point telling his White House counsel to remove the special counsel.“Obstruction of justice strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and to hold wrongdoers accountable,” Mueller testified.Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee, subsequently cleared the president of obstruction of justice.The Justice Department has a longstanding policy against bringing criminal charges against a sitting president.‘PRINCIPLES OF FAIRNESS’In his opening statement, Mueller reiterated that his team had decided not to make a determination on the question of obstruction. “Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime. That was our decision then and remains our decision today,” Mueller said.Nadler said in his opening statement that Mueller conducted the inquiry with “remarkable integrity” and was “subjected to repeated and grossly unfair personal attacks.”“Although department policy barred you from indicting the president for this conduct, you made clear that he is not exonerated. Any other person who acted in this way would have been charged with crimes. And in this nation, not even the president is above the law,” Nadler said.But Republican congressman John Ratcliffe accused Mueller of exceeding his authority in the report’s extensive discussion of potential obstruction of justice by Trump after the special counsel made the decision not to draw a conclusion on whether Trump committed a crime. Ratcliffe agreed that Trump was not above the law, but said the president should not be “below the law” either.Collins said the facts of the Mueller report are that “Russia meddled in the 2016 election. The president did not conspire with Russians. Nothing we hear today will change those facts.”“The president watched the public narrative surrounding the investigation assume his guilt while he knew the extent of his innocence,” Collins said. “The president’s attitude towards the investigation was understandably negative, yet the president did not use his authority to close the investigation.”Republican Representative Steve Chabot said Wednesday’s hearing was the “last, best hope” by Democrats “to build up some sort of groundswell across America to impeach President Trump. That’s what this is really all about today.” Chabot also told Mueller some people thought his report was “a pretty one-sided attack on the president.”Republican Representative James Sensenbrenner noted that Mueller’s report never referred to actions by Trump as potentially impeachable conduct.Before the hearing, Trump complained on Twitter that Mueller had not investigated various of the president’s foes including 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and, referring to the former special counsel, “HIMSELF.”Trump has accused Mueller of having conflicts of interest and called the special counsel’s team of lawyers “thugs” with a Democratic political agenda. Trump is hoping to move beyond the Russia investigation as he runs for re-election in 2020, with a large field of Democratic candidates competing for their party’s nomination to challenge him.Mueller’s investigation led to criminal charges against 34 people and three Russian entities. People who were convicted at trial or pleaded guilty included Trump’s former campaign chairman and other aides.The Justice Department on Monday sent a letter telling Mueller to limit his testimony to merely discussing what is written in the report, a directive that the two committee chairmen rejected as exceeding the department’s authority.Mueller appeared for his testimony reluctantly and only after being subpoenaed.Until Wednesday, Mueller had not faced questioning in public about his findings. He remained silent when the Justice Department on April 18 released a redacted version of his 448-page investigation report, which the special counsel had submitted to Attorney General Barr the prior month. Mueller made a nine-minute statement to reporters on May 29 at the Justice Department but took no questions.Mueller, who served as Federal Bureau of Investigation director from 2001 to 2013 under presidents in both parties, was named as special counsel by the Justice Department in May 2017 to take over the FBI’s Russia probe after Trump fired James Comey as the agency’s chief. Mueller’s inquiry lasted 22 months.With a no-nonsense reputation, Mueller is a Marine Corps combat veteran from the Vietnam War who later served as a federal prosecutor and became the architect of the modern FBI after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.WhatsApp <a href=’” alt=”last_img” /> read more