Daily Archives: June 3, 2015

Champions League Final 2015: Barcelona vs. Juventus Preview,

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Offense is what excites viewers. Offense is what fans will get in the Champions League final with both Juventus and Barcelona featuring a bevy of offensive stars at the peak of their powers.

Which side boasts the better forward group? The answer is not a shocker, but the losing side in this competition is not far off and certainly competent enough to push its team through.

Barcelona

The MSN trio, comprised of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, is the most potent offensive juggernaut in the world. It is as simple as that.

The numbers speak for themselves. The three have combined for a whopping 119 goals this season, the most by any attacking trio in all history. The previous record holders were Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema, who managed 118 goals in 2011-12.

Messi is the leader of the pack with 58 goals and 27 assists this season. He has transformed himself into a player not only capable of finishing and creating but also starting the offense. He has done so by switching himself into a winger to allow Luis Suarez free reign as a forward. The results have been fascinating.

Suarez has been unstoppable as well with 24 goals and 17 assists in 36 games for Barcelona; he scored 31 goals and 12 assists in his big year for Liverpool in 2013-14 in 33 games as the main offensive player of the squad.

Neymar has been having the best year of his life with a stunning 39 goals and seven assists in 44 games for Barcelona.

Juventus

Admittedly, the Italian side does not have as potent an offense as Barcelona does. The team scored just 72 goals in Italian competitions, and none of its forwards scored more than 30 goals on the year.

That said, the team possesses some lethal options up front with Carlos Tevez undeniably being the main man. The Argentine scored 20 goals in the domestic league but managed 29 in all competitions as well as eight assists.

After him the team has two major options to use. Fernando Llorente is a big body capable of doing damage in the air. He scored nine goals and one assist in 39 games this year. Not imposing numbers, but he is capable of opening up space for Tevez with his large frame.

He will likely see the bench however as Alvaro Morata gets the nod. The 22-year-old has scored 14 goals and five assists in 40 games for Juventus. He is not a hulking presence but he holds the ball better than Llorente and is more capable of making key passes to Tevez. His finesse will be more vital against a Barcelona team that will likely retain possession throughout the match.

By the numbers

Barcelona’s trio has scored 119 goals on the year; Juventus’ trio maxed out at less than half that number with 52 goals on the year. Barcelona’s MSN has produced 51 assists on the year; Juventus’ trio produced 14 assists.

Edge:  Isn’t it obvious? Having Messi alone would make Barcelona’s offense superior to Juventus’ respectable corps. But Neymar and Suarez make this arguably the greatest attacking trio in the history of the game.

source:latinpost.com

Το μήνυμα Ντράγκι: Αν θέλετε χρήματα αποδεχτείτε την συμφωνία

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Με το σταγονόμετρο συνεχίζεται η παροχή ρευστότητας προς το ελληνικό τραπεζικό σύστημα από την Ευρωπαϊκή Κεντρική Τράπεζα ενώ οι πιέσεις γίνονται εντονότερες καθώς για δεύτερη συνεχή φορά μέσα σε μία εβδομάδα το διοικητικό συμβούλιο της Κεντρικής Τράπεζας συζήτησε εκ νέου το ενδεχόμενο αύξησης του haircut στα ενέχυρα των ελληνικών τραπεζών.

Τραπεζικές πηγές αναφέρουν ότι το άνοιγμα του ELA κατά μόλις 500 εκατ ευρώ αποτελεί μήνυμα προς την Αθήνα ότι ο χρόνος τελειώνει και εξαντλούνται τα χρονικά περιθώρια της ΕΚΤ όσον αφορά τις διαπραγματεύσεις μεταξύ της Αθήνας και των πιστωτών.
Ως προειδοποίηση ερμηνεύουν δε και την διαρροή ότι το καυτό θέμα της αύξησης του κουρέματος των ενεχύρων μπήκε για μία ακόμη φορά στο τραπέζι.

“Μέχρι και πριν δεκαπέντε ημέρες δεν υπήρξε ούτε μία φορά διαρροή για το εν λόγω θέμα. Τις δύο τελευταίες συνεδριάσεις του διοικητικού συμβουλίου της ΕΚΤ το θέμα όχι απλά απασχόλησε αλλά τεχνηέντως διαρρέεται. Αυτό αποτελεί προειδοποίηση και όσο περνά ο χρόνος δεν αποκλείεται, εφόσον η Αθήνα και οι πιστωτές δεν συμφωνούν, να γίνει πραγματικότητα”, αναφέρουν τραπεζικές πηγές. Ο επικεφαλής της ΕΚΤ πάντως πιθανότατα θα ερωτηθεί για την Ελλάδα στη σημερινή συνεδρίαση του διοικητικού συμβουλίου.

Πολύ μικρό ποσό

Το μικρό ποσό, σε σχέση με τις συνολικές εκροές καταθέσεων της τελευταίας εβδομάδας, προκαλεί προβληματισμό στα υψηλόβαθμα στελέχη των τραπεζών, τα οποία στις κατ’ ιδίαν συζητήσεις τους αναφέρουν ότι το κλίμα δυσχεραίνει και όσο παραμένει ασαφές και ανοικτό το ζήτημα της συμφωνίας οι κίνδυνοι γίνονται ακόμη μεγαλύτεροι.

“Μολονότι χθες η εκροή καταθέσεων κινήθηκε σε χαμηλότερα επίπεδα, κοντά στα 250-300 εκατ ευρώ, η ανησυχία παραμένει”, τονίζει στο Euro2day.gr στέλεχος τράπεζας και προσθέτει: “Η συμφωνία πρέπει να κλείσει άμεσα γιατί δεν υπάρχουν περιθώρια και δεν μπορεί το τραπεζικό σύστημα να συνεχίσει να σέρνεται για πολύ καιρό ακόμη”.

Πηγή:madata.gr

Σόιμπλε: Είχα συμβουλεύσει προεκλογικά τον Τσίπρα να μην δίνει τέτοιες υποσχέσεις

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Ο Γερμανός υπουργός Οικονομικών Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε άσκησε και πάλι σκληρή κριτική στην ελληνική κυβέρνηση.

Στη συνέντευξή του στο οικονομικό περιοδικό Wirtschaftswoche, κατηγορεί την κυβέρνηση του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ για παραπλάνηση των ψηφοφόρων της.

Συγκεκριμένα δήλωσε, «Η Ευρώπη βασίζεται στον αλληλοσεβασμό. Πρέπει κανείς να δρα λογικά, αυτό καθιστά τις τρέχουσες διαπραγματεύσεις με την Ελλάδα τόσο εξαντλητικές.

Ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ κέρδισε τις τελευταίες εκλογές λέγοντας στους Έλληνες ότι υπάρχει ένας πιο εύκολος δρόμος να παραμείνουν στο ευρώ χωρίς μεγάλες προσπάθειες για μεταρρυθμίσεις, οι οποίες όμως είναι προς το συμφέρον της Ελλάδας.

Ίσως δεν θα έπρεπε να έχουν γίνει αυτές οι υποσχέσεις. Ακόμη και πριν από τις εκλογές είχα συμβουλεύσει τον τωρινό πρωθυπουργό Αλέξη Τσίπρα να μην δίνει τέτοιες υποσχέσεις».

Παρόλα αυτά στη συνέχεια ο κ. Σόιμπλε, διέψευσε ότι κρατά πιο σκληρή στάση από την καγκελάριο Άγγελα Μέρκελ σε ό,τι αφορά μια πιθανή έξοδο της Ελλάδας από την ευρωζώνη και δήλωσε ότι στο θέμα αυτό έχει την ίδια άποψη με τη Μέρκελ.

«Στο ερώτημα ποια είναι η σωστή λύση για την Ελλάδα η καγκελάριος και εγώ συμφωνούμε απολύτως», υπογράμμισε.

«Έχω καταβάλει πολλές δυνάμεις και έχω δεσμευθεί για να βρεθεί ένας δρόμος για την Ελλάδα ώστε να σταθεί ξανά στα πόδια της (…) το 2012 ζήτησα ένα κούρεμα του χρέους ύψους 53%. Τέτοιος είναι ο ρόλος μου ως “του σκληρού” απέναντι στην Αθήνα», πρόσθεσε ο Γερμανός υπουργός.

Πηγή:madata.gr

Σεισμός FIFA: Ο παραιτηθείς Μπλάτερ φέρεται να μπαίνει στο στόχαστρο του FBI

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Η καταιγίδα έπληξε τελικά και την κεφαλή της FIFA

Πριν από τέσσερις ημέρες αψηφούσε τις φωνές να κάνει στην άκρη και επανεξέλεγη πρόεδρος της FIFA, τώρα ανακοίνωσε την παραίτησή του υπό το βάρος των υποθέσεων που συγκλονίζουν την συνομοσπονδία: Ο Σεπ Μπλάτερ φέρεται, σύμφωνα με συγκλίνουσες αναφορές, να βρίσκεται και ο ίδιος στο στόχαστρο της αμερικανικής έρευνας για διαφθορά.

Οι New York Times ανέφεραν πως ο Μπλάτερ «προσπάθησε εδώ και μέρες να πάρει τις αποστάσεις του από το σκάνδαλο», αλλά πως οι αρχές «ελπίζουν ότι θα εξασφαλίσουν τη συνεργασία ορισμένων από τους εμπλεκόμενους αξιωματούχους της FIFA που κατηγορούνται» για διαφθορά ώστε να σφίξει ο κλοιός γύρω του.

Η εφημερίδα της Νέας Υόρκης καθώς και το τηλεοπτικό δίκτυο ABC έκαναν λόγο για έρευνα του FBI που αφορά απευθείας τον Σεπ Μπλάτερ, επικαλούμενοι μη κατονομαζόμενους αξιωματούχους των δυνάμεων της τάξης, καθώς και πηγών που πρόσκεινται στην υπόθεση, χωρίς όμως να δίνουν λεπτομέρειες.

Εκπρόσωπος του FBI αρνήθηκε στο Reuters κάθε σχόλιο, παραπέμποντας στην ανακοίνωση την οποία έκανε την προηγούμενη εβδομάδα η εισαγγελέας Λορέτα Λιντς σχετικά με την απαγγελία κατηγοριών σε βάρος 14 εκλεγμένων και εταίρων της FIFA.

Σύμφωνα με το ABC, ο Σεπ Μπλάτερ βρίσκεται στο μικροσκόπιο του FBI και των αμερικανών εισαγγελέων για πράξεις διαφθοράς και δωροδοκίες που οδήγησαν στις συλλήψεις της 27ης Μαΐου.

«Τη στιγμή που όλος ο κόσμος προσπαθεί να σώσει το τομάρι του υπάρχει σίγουρα κάποιος που αλλάζει πρώτος γνώμη» δήλωσε μία πηγή στο ABC. «Ίσως να μην είμαστε σε θέση να αναποδογυρίσουμε όλη την οργάνωση, αλλά μπορεί και να μην χρειάζεται», δήλωσε άλλη πηγή, αναφερόμενη στις ανακριτικές τεχνικές που ωθούν τους κατηγορουμένους να αποκηρύξουν τους ανωτέρους τους.

Στις 27 Μαΐου η Λορέτα Λιντς ανακοίνωσε ότι οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες απήγγειλαν κατηγορίες σε 14 αξιωματούχους της FIFA και του αθλητικού μάρκετινγκ σε μία υπόθεση που αφορά καταχρήσεις ύψους 150 εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων.

Ο Γιόζεφ Μπλάτερ, που εξελέγη στις 29 Μαΐου για πέμπτη θητεία, ανακοίνωσε χθες την παραίτησή του έπειτα από 17 χρόνια στην ηγεσία της οργάνωσης. Η απευθείας εμπλοκή του δεξιού χεριού του και δεύτερου στην ιεραρχία της FIFA, Ζερόμ Βαλκ, επέσπευσε την παραίτησή του.

Μέχρι τώρα δεν έχει ενοχληθεί απευθείας από τις έρευνες που πραγματοποιούνται στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και στην Ελβετία για το σκάνδαλο διαφθοράς που συγκλόνισε τον κόσμο του ποδοσφαίρου και αφορά γεγονότα στη διάρκεια μιας περιόδου που υπερβαίνει τα 20 χρόνια.

Ο Μπλάτερ, ο οποίος εισήλθε στη FIFA το 1975 ως διευθυντής προγραμμάτων ανάπτυξης, ήταν επικεφαλής της από το 1998. Διήλθε κρίσεις όπως το σκάνδαλο Mastercard σχετικά με τις αναθέσεις των Μουντιάλ 2018-2022 και η υπόθεση ISL, με αποτέλεσμα να θεωρείται από πολλούς άφθαρτος.

Πηγή:in.gr

Australian World Cup bid: We want our money back

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Nick Xenophon says Australia has been treated “like a mug”.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon wants to see a refund of the $46 million spent by Australia on a lost World Cup bid

There have been calls for a refund on the millions spent by Australia to win a ‘rigged’ World Cup bid.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon claims Australia was “treated like a mug” after corruption charges were laid on nine former and current FIFA officials and four marketing executives on Wednesday.

Australia spent $46 million in the hopes of winning the 2022 World Cup. Qatar controversially won the bid.

“There must be a re-opening of that bid,” Mr Xenophon said. “It’s not too late. At the very least Australia deserves a refund.”

FIFA has closed the door on reopening the bidding, while Qatar has already started on building facilities to house the competition.

Australia only received one vote for the bid, while the United States, South Korea and Japan also made unsuccessful bids.

“Really, Australia has been treated like a mug in the way that it spent tens of millions of dollars in a failed bid, where it never had a chance because it seems the fix was in early on with FIFA,” Xenophon said.

Les Murray wants to see Australia bid again

Football commentator Les Murray believes FIFA doesn’t have a choice and must re-do the bid.

“If it comes to pass and the courts rule that in fact, some manipulation was made and bribes were taken, then I don’t believe there’s any other choice but to have a re-vote,” he said to the ABC.

“If there is a re-vote, I think Australia should bid again.”

As a former member of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Murray says it’s good for the game that the governing body is being finally investigated.

“It’s obvious that FIFA was not capable of cleaning things up,” he said.

“It’s good that outside forces like the Swiss police and the FBI got involved to clean it up.

“It’s good news for the game.”

FFA abandons Blatter

Australia’s own football governing body has revoked its support for FIFA president Sepp Blatter and has voted against his re-election.

“FFA believes that profound change within FIFA is needed as soon as possible to address issues of governance and transparency,” FFA chairman Frank Lowy said in a statement.

The only person challenging Blatter for the presidency is Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, after Luis Figo, Michael van Praag and Jerome Champagne withdrew.

Blatter, who was re-elected on Saturday, has stood defiant despite a chorus calling for his resignation.

Australia will also investigate what happened to the FFA’s payment to Jack Warner in 2010. Warner, who was FIFA’s vice president at the time, was paid $500,000 for football stadium upgrades, which he allegedly kept and deposited into his personal bank account.

The Australian Federal Police say they might also investigate the matter.

source:Neos Kosmos

SBS Greek program marks 40 years on air

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Veteran Sydney reporter, Themi Kallos.

Pioneering radio news program still going strong.

When SBS Radio debuted on the airwaves, the first language that was heard was Greek.

Back then, it was a language per day, and the Greek programme with Takis Kaldis launched SBS Radio in 1975.

The program was one of a kind. Devoid of advertising, it spoke to Greeks about issues at the heart of the migrant plight in Australia and did so in their language. While other Greek radio stations and programs existed before SBS Radio, it was SBS that became the journalistic vanguard.

A journalist with SBS from the early days is current 3XY broadcaster Rena Frangioudaki. She remembers the Greek program striking a chord with Greeks from all walks of life at the time.

“Back then the program was like a religion,” she tells Neos Kosmos.

“Our listeners were even late for work so they could stay and listen to the program.”

The topics covered in the first years of SBS were much more community-based, with weekly segments covered by various groups in the community.

“We had shows for the young, the old, Cypriots, Cretans,” Ms Frangioudaki says.

Most of the staff who worked at SBS back then were volunteers, and would go out of their way to get news to the community.

The lack of technology didn’t help either. Ms Frangioudaki remembers being frustrated having to wait for days and weeks for the Greek dailies to arrive in Australia by ship.

The program really developed into what many recognise today back in the ’90s.

Coming to SBS in 1990, Sydney’s senior producer Efthymios (Themi) Kallos says the program developed at the same time as SBS matured as a broadcaster.

“As the years went by, the station and the programs we produced became more orientated towards information and current affairs and less about community announcements,” he tells Neos Kosmos.

“If you ask the top SBS officials they would say we became more professional.”

Now, SBS Radio has grown to include 74 language programs, a digital and online presence and is across all social media platforms.

As a go-to place for news in the Greek community, it’s no surprise that SBS and Neos Kosmos have a long history of working alongside each other.

Neos Kosmos’ publisher Dimitiris Gogos was given the first license for what was to become SBS, then called 3EA (Ethnic Radio) in Melbourne. The Sydney licence went to a Neos Kosmos contributor, Takis Kaldis.

Editor-in-chief of Neos Kosmos, Sotiris Hatzimanolis, still works at SBS Radio in Melbourne on a casual basis, and was on air with fellow Neos Kosmos journalists, the late Kostas Nikolopoulos, Babis Stavropoulos and sports editor Elias Donoudis in the 1970s.

“It’s a team effort,” Mr Kallos says.

“Neos Kosmos has been very supportive of SBS and its principles.”

Back in the 1970s, SBS Radio’s establishment was a risky investment. The Whitlam government gave Al Grassby, from the Commission of Community Relations, $67,000 to start 2EA and 3EA to pay for two full-time staff for three months.

The investment paid off, and SBS Radio launched some months later, broadcasting in seven languages.

Now as SBS looks to the future, their principles are still at the heart of everything they do.

“We remain dedicated to connecting to the communities, through multilingual conversations across all platforms and devices always in order to inspire social cohesion in Australia,” Mr Kallos says.

source: Neos Kosmos

Blatter, have you ever taken a bribe?’ The beginning of the end for FIFA president

Sepp Blatter resigned today at a hastily arranged press conference.

Sepp Blatter resigned today at a hastily arranged press conference. Source: AP

ANDREW Jennings calls it “the best day of all”.

After a decade on the trail of Sepp Blatter and FIFA corruption, the FBI finally knocked on his door.

The British journalist, who was once told to “go f**k yourself” by former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, has written books and made documentaries about the sporting body’s controversies. His investigations helped trigger last week’s arrests of FIFA executives — including Warner — busting wide open one of sport’s biggest scandals.

That in turn led to the dramatic resignation overnight of FIFA’s embattled president Sepp Blatter. Speaking to ABC’s Lateline just hours before Blatter quit, Jennings recalled the moment he first laid eyes on Blatter — and challenged him directly.

‘Naughty boy’ ... British journalist Andrew Jennings has been pursuing FIFA for 10 years.

‘Naughty boy’ … British journalist Andrew Jennings has been pursuing FIFA for 10 years. Source: ABC

“Well, it’s all about technique, really. I’d done years on the International Olympic Committee and the corruption there and I realised: just up the road is FIFA and the smell was drifting my way.

“So I went to one of Sepp Blatter’s press conferences, knowing that … he doesn’t say anything very interesting, but the nice suited reporters (would always) write it down.

“And I got hold of the radio mike for the Q & A, right at the beginning, grabbed it, stared at him and said, “Herr Blatter, have you ever taken a bribe?”

The question sent shock waves through the FIFA hierarchy. Not just because Jennings had referred to the all-powerful football boss as “Herr Blatter’ instead of “President”, but because it sent a signal to those who held FIFA secrets that he was a willing ear if they wanted to speak out.

“That was deliberate because, you see, either side of the room were all these robotic FIFA employees: the women fed up with being felt up, the men worrying about their bonuses. These were the people with the (computer) servers, the filing cabinets. They’d got the documents and I needed to get them to trust me.”

It didn’t take long before the information began to flow Jennings’ way. And from then on it was only a matter of time.

“That got me in to FIFA corruption.”

Andrew Jennings confronts former FIFA vice president Jack Warner in the street over alleg

Andrew Jennings confronts former FIFA vice president Jack Warner in the street over allegations of corruption long before his arrest this week. Source: ABC

Jennings is the author of ‘Omerta: Sepp Blatter’s FIFA-Organised Crime Family’. He likens FIFA to the Mafia characters he’s previously investigated in his career.

“Basically, what you’ve got coming down from the top is the licence to steal, which all capo bosses have to give, all gang bosses have to give their lieutenants,” he said.

“And what you’ve got coming down is unaudited million-dollar development grants, no auditors so the guys can just steal – they were the voters, by the way, last last Friday – and also a whole fistful of World Cup tickets which come under the table and are then sold into the black market.”

Jennings’ work caught the attention of the FBI, which sent “serious-looking Americans with broad shoulders who had been in the Marines” to visit him at his home in London in 2009.

“And that’s been the best day of all, because then I knew they were serious professionals and understanding of the structures of organised crime and they wanted to talk about FIFA’s structures,” he told Lateline.

“So I knew back in 2009 it was going to start to roll. And I initially described to them how FIFA worked: who the personalities were, all the senior people. We developed from there.”

Last night, Jennings predicted Blatter was “dead meat.”

“I mean, Blatter has been a micromanager since 1976. And, in fact, if you look at the criminal indictment there are things coming up that he had to know about. But he is a dead man walking.”

But his criticism doesn’t stop with Blatter. Jennings also has the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) in his sights, using the interview to call on Frank Lowy to resign, saying Australia “has been shafted”.

“He’s led Australian football into disaster,” Jenning said.

He alleged FIFA “looked the other way” when bribes were being paid to FIFA executives, including $500,000 that found its way into former executive Jack Warner’s private bank account.

“I’m not saying Frank Lowy and Ben Buckley said, ‘Hey, how do we bribe Warner?’ I’m not saying that happened. But a brilliant businessman like Frank Lowy … has he never heard of auditors?”

For Blatter though the problems could only be beginning. He has vowed to stay on as FIFA head until new elections in December but ABC News (US) reports this morning he is being investigated by the FBI and US prosecutors as part of the same probe that led to his colleagues’ arrests last week.

source:news.com.au

Same-sex marriage could be a $1.2 billion stimulus package for business

Owner of Nikos cakes in Oakleigh, Denise Paras prepares for changes in the gay marriage laws.

Owner of Nikos cakes in Oakleigh, Denise Paras prepares for changes in the gay marriage laws. Photo: Joe Armao

Legalising same-sex marriage could pump $1.2 billion into the Australian economy, complementing the government’s high priority small business agenda rather than distracting from it.

Fairfax Media analysis shows that the reform would double as a stimulus package, especially for the small business sector, despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s rhetoric that legislating the budget is more urgent.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson, who recently compared the rumbling of an airplane overhead to the “roar of small business” responding to the budget, told Fairfax Media that “the roar might take on a different tone” if there was marriage reform.

“It might take on more of a celebratory tone where celebration and commerce come together in a delightful symphony, but that’s hard to pick at the present time,” Mr Billson told Fairfax Media.

According to Bride to Be magazine’s Cost of Love survey, the average cost of a wedding is $65,482. The 2010 Not so Private Lives report found that 54.7 per cent per cent of same-sex couples would choose marriage as their preferred recognition. According to the 2011 census, there are 33,714 such couples.

Based on these figures, the value of same-sex marriage to the economy could be $1.2 billion.

Mr Abbott has said that same-sex marriage is a significant issue but that the government’s “fundamental priority” is legislating the “small business budget boost”.

Myriad businesses – many small – are involved in weddings. From bakers and tailors to celebrants and jewellers, marriage was worth $7.3 billion last year.

While Mr Billson is “thrilled to see anything that energises enterprise”, he is cautious about accepting these findings and remains uncommitted but open to legalising same-sex marriage.

“I have seen some research referenced out of the United States suggesting that there may be some economic boost,” Mr Billson said, “but I have also seen some research suggesting that same-sex couples actually spend less on weddings than other people.”

He welcomes that there is “lots of celebration happening at the moment for same-sex couples through [civil unions]. Whether there’d be more spent or more economic activity if that designation was changed, that’s unclear at this stage.”

Denise Paras, owner of Oakleigh Quality Cakes in Melbourne, said cakes for commitment ceremonies were a growing business and expects a surge in orders if same-sex marriage is legalised.

“The gay community have been waiting so long to get married so I believe there will be an influx of people wanting to have fabulous weddings and they’ll all need cakes.”

Sydney celebrant Stephen Lee agrees: “I’ve had two inquiries just this morning so I think I’m going to be very busy.”

Various factors would diminish the estimated boost including overseas destination weddings, LGBTI couples who have had commitment ceremonies and others who lack financial support from parents. However, the actual number of same-sex couples is also considered to be far higher than the census indicates.

Rodney Croome, national director of Australian Marriage Equality, says the reform “costs nothing and returns a massive economic dividend”.

“If Tony Abbott really wants to give the small business sector a boost, one of the best ways to do that is to allow a free vote on marriage equality.”

source:smh.com.au

 

Liverpool news: Brendan Rodgers stays at Anfield after crunch talks

Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA and Premier League restrictions apply inc. no internet/mobile usage without FAPL license - for details contact Football Dataco  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kieran  McManus/BPI/REX (4536313ax)  Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers applauds his team on the touchline  Barclays Premier League 2014/15 Swansea City v Liverpool Liberty Stadium, Landore, Swansea, United Kingdom - 16 Mar 2015

 

Liverpool FC manager given go-ahead to revive Anfield club’s fortunes after holding pivotal talks with Fenway Sports Group to explain poor season .

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been given the go-ahead to revive his and the club’s fortunes next season following talks with his hierarchy.

Rodgers met chairman Tom Werner and Fenway Sports Group President Michael Gordon on Tuesday where – as expected – the primary focus was how to reshape the side to achieve his targets next season, formulating a ‘comprehensive plan for improvement’. After two hours of talks it was confirmed Rodgers remains in charge, although it remains to be seen if there will be any changes to personnel behind the scenes.

Beyond the clarity on Rodgers’ position, no details regarding Liverpool’s plan of action have been revealed at this stage, but the club wants to return to the Champions League and get back to the stylish, attacking football that led to a title challenge in 2014. Rodgers will certainly be backed with several new signings in order to achieve those ambitions.


Brendan Rodgers had to explain Liverpool’s difficult season

The conversations with Werner – who flew to England on Monday – have been described as ‘positive, good and productive’ with Liverpool reiterating Rodgers’ position as manager was never on the agenda – the club has delivered that message consistently despite a disappointing campaign.

Rodgers spoke openly after Liverpool’s calamitous final day to defeat to Stoke City, admitting it was inevitable serious questions would be asked about his role, but even then his bosses moved to quell suggestions the outcome of an end-of-season review would end in dismissal.

Privately, club sources persistently dismissed claims Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti were under consideration to replace Rodgers.


Brendan Rodgers faces a battle to keep hold of Raheem Sterling

Although Rodgers will have faced some difficult questions regarding Liverpool’s underperformance, the will remains to see him continue and develop as a coach at Anfield.

Rodgers can now press ahead securing reinforcements with deals for James Milner and Danny Ings agreed in principle. Providing there are no late hitches, both will officially join the club on July 1.

Liverpool will also try to secure the signatures of Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne, but are braced for a summer of resisting several bids for winger Raheem Sterling.

Werner has several departmental meetings to attend for the rest of the week, ahead of attending the Premier League shareholders meeting in London this Thursday.

source:telegraph.co.uk

Russian missile maker: MH17 shot down by Ukrainian missile

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MOSCOW: The Russian maker of the Buk air defense missile system said on Tuesday that it has concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile, which isn’t in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals.

Controversy continues over who shot down the plane last summer over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard. Ukraine and the West suspect it was destroyed by a Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian soldiers or Russia-backed separatist rebels fighting in the area. Russia denies that.

Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the director general of the missile maker, state-controlled Almaz-Antei consortium, said at a news conference Tuesday that its analysis was based on photographs of the wreckage available to the public. He said the holes in the plane’s parts were consistent with a specific type of Buk missile and its warhead.

Each of the Buk subtypes has its warhead rigged with shrapnel of a specific shape. This variation of the missile is in the Ukrainian military arsenals, but not in the Russian, said Almaz-Antei director Yan Novikov.

Novikov said that in 2005 when Ukraine contacted the consortium regarding the maintenance of its Buk systems, it had 991 such missiles.

Rebels have staunchly denied even possessing a functioning Buk missile launcher at the time that MH17 was brought down, although one was seen in separatist-controlled Snizhne by AP reporters a few hours before the plane crashed.

Russian officials and state media have previously said they suspect the airline was shot down by a Ukrainian warplane.

“First they said it wasn’t a Buk missile. Now, suddenly, they’re saying it is but it wasn’t them. So I just think the credibility is not 100 percent here on that,” said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf in Washington.

Ukrainian military spokesman Vladislav Seleznev was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying Tuesday that photos and video materials at the time documented the presence of a Buk on the rebel-held territory.

Novikov and Malyshevsky said that the company’s analysis of shrapnel impact on the plane’s fragments allowed it to pinpoint the location of the missile launcher, which they said was placed near the town of Zaroshenske. A missile launched from Snizhne would have incurred different damage, they said.

The Almaz-Antei officials stopped short of directly blaming Ukraine for shooting down the plane, but their statements hinted at that.

A spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board, which is investigating the crash, declined to comment on the consortium’s statement. The Dutch report is expected in October.

source:indiatimes.com