Drones and artificial intelligence image processing improving the ‘koality’ of wildlife monitoring

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Featured image credit: Liz Lawley via Creative Commons license Artificial Intelligence, Conservation, Conservation Drones, Drones, Research, Technology, Thermal Imagery, Wildtech Article published by Sue Palminteri Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) paired with artificial intelligence image processing can provide data that helps researchers evaluate the health and conservation status of Australia’s koala population.Programming UAVs with a complex hierarchy of algorithms, designed to identify and differentiate between individual animals in the wild, allows researchers to automatically classify data while conducting aerial surveys.Researchers continue to advance the program’s algorithms to make this monitoring method more accurate, powerful, and widely applicable. In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have increasingly been used to monitor wildlife populations from above, but artificial intelligence has taken drone technology one step further.Koala populations are declining across their range in Australia due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are conducting aerial surveys using UAVs, or drones, to monitor vulnerable koala populations across different terrains. Programming sensors (standard and thermal video cameras) carried by the UAVs with a complex hierarchy of algorithms, designed to identify and differentiate between individual animals in the wild by adjusting for variables such as color, shape, and size, allows the researchers to automatically classify the data collected during the aerial surveys. The image processing capacity of these drones automates the process of identifying animals through visual and thermal imagery and artificial intelligence data processing.UAVs and artificial intelligence data processing can help to assess the health and conservation status of vulnerable koala populations Photo credit: Marc Dalmulder via Creative Commons licenseAccording to Dr. Felipe Gonzalez, who leads the project, “A key element of our research is that the data processing has automatic detection so that you don’t have to go through the imagery. [The system] also has the ability to geolocate where the wildlife was detected at that point in time. The UAVs have a GPS, so each frame captured by the camera is stamped with GPS [information].”The QUT researchers compare aerial counts to ‘ground truth’ counts conducted by rangers on foot within the same area to test the accuracy of the system’s capacity to recognize patterns from the thermal sensor. Within the testing stage, these trials must be administered in areas that are accessible to people on foot, but once algorithms have been fine-tuned and are ready to be applied in the field for wildlife monitoring, they will allow researchers to fly UAVs over tracts with dense vegetation that are difficult to access.The QUT team must account for a host of different variables in developing the program’s algorithms.“One of the difficult variables that will affect the capacity of the algorithms to work is the camera that we use,” explains Gonzalez. “Another is the field of view.”Adapting to varying light conditions in the field, depending on location and time of day, is yet another challenge in using thermal cameras, as it “affects the temperature of the environmental conditions”.“What we saw was that there’s a time in the morning when it’s really difficult to see or make sense of the data,” says Gonzalez. “There’s a lot of false positives [mistaking warmed-up vegetation for animals], so the ability to detect the wildlife is harder. Ideally, we would like to fly at night or really early in the morning, so we did the surveys … at first light — seven or eight or nine minutes before sunrise.” Flying UAVs when the trees and vegetation are still cool makes the warm-bodied koalas more easily detectable by the thermal cameras.The researchers are also testing the capacity of combining UAVs and artificial intelligence data processing for monitoring dingo populations, which come into conflict with people in some areas.A lone dingo on Australia’s Fraser Island Photo Credit: Glen Fergus via Creative Commons licenseAs Gonzalez describes, “We wanted to have the ability to fly early in the morning and then [have] someone walking through the bush before us or after us to count the koala population to validate the results. With the dingoes, it’s a little bit more challenging, because they’re [more] mobile… I guess the next step for us is getting the approvals and getting the access to fly at night… It would be really, really challenging for the algorithm to work at eight, nine o’clock in the morning, a couple of hours after sunlight. Because of that, you don’t have the ability to survey large areas, [since] your time window is limited.”Gonzalez notes that the use of the technology is a process in evolution, which researchers must adapt not only to be more efficient, but also to meet ethical standards. “For instance, without special approval, the aircraft cannot be flown ‘beyond line-of-sight”, which can be especially difficult in areas with tall trees and dense vegetation. In such cases, researchers must fly the UAVs at high altitudes in order to maintain line-of-sight at all times, which weakens the drone’s ability to differentiate between animals.The QUT team has developed standard operating procedures to reduce potential adverse impacts on wildlife. The thermal camera sends the UAV operator team an automatic video transmission to assess whether an animal being monitored is in distress so the team can immediately recover the aircraft if distress is evident. Another adaptation is to use more efficient technology that reduces noise, such as UAV models with quieter propellers. Researchers can also manipulate the take-off methods of the UAVs, taking off slowly and at a safe distance from wildlife, so that they do not startle an animal.This same monitoring technology can be used to monitor feral animals. As feral dogs and cats kill native Australian birds and small mammals, including koalas, and non-native goats “affect farming and destroy some of the natural vegetation”, Gonzalez emphasizes the importance of assessing distribution of feral animals, as well.Road and railway development can pose a risk to koala populations by contributing to habitat fragmentation and exposing koalas to open areas Photo credit: Aaron Jacobs via Creative Commons licenseGonzalez added that the construction of new roads and railways through the bush clears and damages koala habitats and creates open areas through which koalas become exposed to predators. Instead of the koalas moving along tree canopies, they must cross open corridors, which feral dogs have learned to use to find and attack them.UAVs paired with artificial intelligence image processing can provide distribution data that helps researchers evaluate the health of Australia’s koala population and assists in efforts to relocate vulnerable populations to areas where they will be less threatened by human activity.Gonzalez wants the algorithms to remain open-source, for use by researchers and conservationists worldwide for wildlife monitoring. Continual improvements to UAV imaging technology and the image processing algorithms will permit researchers and wildlife managers to detect individual animals across larger areas in ways that are faster and less invasive.last_img read more

Singapore is world’s second largest shark-fin trader: TRAFFIC

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Sharks, Sharks And Rays, Trade, Traditional Chinese Medicine Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img In 2012-2013, Singapore exported $40 million worth of shark fins, closely following Hong Kong’s $45 million, and imported $51.4 million worth of fins, following Hong Kong’s $170 million.More than 72 percent of Singapore’s shark fin exports went to Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan in 2012-13.Spain, Namibia and Uruguay were the top three sources of shark fins during this period, accounting for more than 66 percent of Singapore’s imports. Singapore has emerged as the world’s second largest trader of shark fins by value after Hong Kong, according to a new report by the wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC.Shark fins, used in traditional medicine and also considered a delicacy in Asia, are one of the most expensive seafood products. Fishermen typically cut off sharks’ fins while the animals are still alive and then thrown them back to the ocean. Unable to swim without their fins, the sharks drown or are eaten by other predators. Scientists estimate that about 100 million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins.Shark fin found for sale in Singapore. Photo by Boon-Pei-Ya.TRAFFIC analyzed Singapore’s shark trading data from 2005 to 2007, and also 2012 to 2014, and found that Singapore imported 14,114 metric tons and exported 12,402 metric tons of shark fins over these six years.According to trade records in 2012-2013, Singapore’s shark fin exports were worth $40 million, closely following Hong Kong’s $45 million. More than 72 percent of Singapore’s shark fin exports went to Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan during this time period.The recorded value of Singapore’s import trade in 2012-2013 was $51.4 million, while Hong Kong’s was $170 million. Spain, Namibia and Uruguay were the top three sources of shark fins during this period, accounting for more than 66 percent of Singapore’s imports.By volume, Singapore was the world’s second biggest exporter and the third largest importer of shark fins, according to the report. Some of the species traded include the porbeagle (Lamna nasus), the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus), the scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), and the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). All five species are classified under various threatened categories on the IUCN Red List.“The fact that Singapore is a significant trader means that the solution to the global shark crisis lies right here on our shores,” Elaine Tan, Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Singapore, said in a statement. “More robust monitoring of volumes and protected species will set a positive precedent for other countries and contribute to healthier shark populations and oceans.”Shark fins in Hong Kong. Photo by Nicholas Wang (From Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0).Unfortunately, Singapore’s trade information on sharks is incomprehensive and lacks transparency, the report says. This raises suspicions regarding the country’s trade from unsustainable and untraceable sources, the authors write, while also hampering in-depth analyses of the data.“Any country that dominates a particular trade has an extra responsibility to ensure it is transparent and traceable,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Programme Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia. “Key to any effort aimed at enabling legal and sustainable sourcing, and long-term viability of shark populations, is the open availability of product-specific trade data.”The Oceanic whitetip shark is one of the sharks traded in Singapore. Photo by Alexander Vasenin (Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0).last_img read more

MOT, ABIC Dedicate Polytank for Motorcyclists

first_imgAs efforts to combat the spread of the Ebola Virus by means of transportation, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) in collaboration with Angie Brooks International Center for Women’s Empowerment (ABIC) has dedicated a polytank, provided reflective jackets, clorox, disinfectants, and spraying bottles to motorcyclists.Speaking at the dedication ceremony recently at the 20th Street Motor Cycle Parking Station in Sinkor, Monrovia, ABIC Administrator Jackie McCay said, the polytank was intended to ensure that motorcyclists observing the preventive measure of washing their hands frequently.She cautioned motorcyclists to be careful while transporting passengers from one destination to another, adding that they should be heroes for themselves.“Transport the people not the virus because you all can make a difference by observing those preventive measures to eradicate the EVD,” ABIC Administrator said.The United Nations Development Program, (UNDP) team leader for sustainable Economic Transformation, Dorsla Farcarthy who proxied for UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaludeen, reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to providing more support to the Government of Liberia.He said due to the organization’s commitment to the country, it has carried out numerous programs, and provided more support to the ABIC, Liberia National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) and to several counties to fight against the killer disease.“I urge every one of you motorcyclists to use this polytank for the purpose of washing your hands frequently with chlorinated water and it is also our hope to extend the program to taxi drivers,” said Mr. Farcarthy.The motorcyclists thanked MOT, ABIC and UNDP for providing what they called a ‘safe zone’ that will enable them to be protected by washing their hands, having their temperatures tested, before riding their bikes.MOT Deputy Minister for Administration Bushuben Keita disclosed that the polytank will be dedicated at all motorcycle stations.He said currently twenty seven of the polytanks have been distributed to some motorcycle parking stations in Monrovia and there are plans to reach taxi and bus stations.He urged the motorcyclists to join the fight by knowing who to transport and that they should continue observing the preventive measures to keep them safe.Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) recently conducted a one day Ebola Prevention training of trainers’ workshop for motorcyclists at the Monrovia City Hall with over fifty participants,The workshop provided training for motorcyclists on the necessary Ebola preventive measures.The project was sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and implemented by MOT and ABIC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jagdeo blasts Minister Jordan for “drug economy” statement

first_img…commends Private Sector for move seeking evidenceOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has taken Finance Minister Winston Jordan to task over his statement about the economy pre-May 2015 being heavily based on proceeds of the drug trade, stating that it is just another excuse for Government’s poor performance.Jagdeo told media operatives on Wednesday that Jordan’s statement is highly political and was expected, especially since it is the political season that leads to the upcoming Local Government Elections. But the former President noted that the Minister’s statement is baseless.“When has this Government seen them find a single case… so much moneyOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeolaundering and drug trafficking… Have you ever seen them charge a single money launderer or drug trafficking or illegal proceeds?” Jagdeo questioned, stating that there is no evidence to prove this.On the other hand, Jagdeo said while the State Assets and Recovery Agency (SARA) is mandated to go after money launderers and other white collar criminals, they have not managed to do so. “SARA keeps saying they will do it, SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit) still running behind Pradoville and a few of us,” Jagdeo referring to himself and his former Cabinet Ministers.He questioned, “Where is this big set of money to keep the economy going?The Private Sector Commission (PSC) said recently it has taken note of the statement by Minister Jordan on the impact of the proceeds of drugs on the economy.The Private Sector body said in an effort to understand the “empirical evidence” relied upon by the Minister, the Commission said it has sought to obtain a briefing by the Minister and, to that end, they have dispatched a letter to the Minister seeking an audience with him.In the letter that was made public to the media, the PSC said it would be “grateful to be briefed by you on the assertions made that the economy pre May 2015 was heavily based on proceeds of the drug trade and that the current economy post May 2015 is no longer affected by such proceeds.”Moreover, the Commission said “as businesses it is important for us to understand the underlying structure of the economy and the various elements that contribute or inhibit its growth.”Outlining that it was awaiting a response, the PSC in its letter to the subject Minister posited that “we look forward to such a brief so that we could betterFinance Minister Winston Jordanunderstand the empirical evidence supporting your assertions.”PleasedIn response to this, Jagdeo said he was pleased for the first time that the PSC is seeking such information. “I must thank the leadership of the Private Sector Commission for asking for details because if a minister of finance says drug proceeds and money laundering were the primary source of financing of many business in Guyana and the buoyance,” he added.However, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary said that he is of the firm view that the Minister would not be able to give such an explanation because he has no such evidence.“The buoyancy of the economy had to do with several things, a growing set of economic activities, a growing tax base, larger deposits and more people borrowing and investing. All of that led to the buoyancy we saw. The conserve ills we see now…bad loans, new no investments,” Jagdeo said.Jordan, since his Government came to power in 2015, has made outlandish accusations, without proof, that the PPP Administration before him was able to reflect growth in the economy because it proliferated the trade of drugs.In an interview in 2016, the Finance Minister attributed the reduction in consumer spending to a decrease in illegal activities, including narco-trafficking, which he said had created a parallel economy.Most recently in a response to an editorial done by one of the leading dailies that waded into Minister Jordan’s handling of the financial sector, Jordan retorted, inter alia, “you must have forgotten, conveniently, the deformed and broken economy that our Government inherited in 2015. Lest we forget, too, that economy thrived on rampant drug trafficking, money laundering, and a banking sector in which a few institutions recklessly lent funds for private white elephant projects.”In July of this year, an article was published in the State-owned Department of Public Information (DPI), where SARA’s Chief Executive Officer, Aubrey Heath-Retemyer is recorded saying that the SARA is working tirelessly with the Legal Affairs Ministry to retrieve over $200 billion in State assets lost through corruption between 2010 to 2014.“We have been losing between $28 billion and $35 billion every year between 2010 and 2014 by procurement fraud, in illicit capital flights-$90 billion and in the underground economy (drugs) – about $100 billion,” the SARA Chief had said.However, the PPP has on multiple occasions called out the incumbent Administration for peddling what it said was “blatant lies” in an attempt to justify their “mismanagement” of the economy.last_img read more

Zidane has no faith in me, says Isco

first_imgThe 25-year-old has become a key player under coach Julen Lopetegui and is expected to start at this summer’s World Cup in a front three alongside Diego Costa and David Silva.But Zidane has not shown the same faith in him at Real Madrid, where Isco has often found himself on the bench behind the likes of Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez.“Lopetegui gives me confidence with minutes, with games,” Isco said.“With Madrid I do not have the confidence that a player needs, maybe the problem is me, that I have not won Zidane’s confidence with the good players there.”Isco signed a five-year contract with Real in September last year but there would be no shortage of suitors should he decide his future lies elsewhere.English Premier League pair Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are rumoured to be interested in signing Isco.– ‘Enthusiasm to work’ –“When you don’t play a leading role or have continuity in your club team, the games with the national team give me life,” Isco said.“I have the confidence of the coach here (with Spain), I still have a lot of enthusiasm to work, to improve, to be a starter for my club and in the national team.“I feel that I’m at the beginning and I want to show that I am a good player.”Isco left the stadium with the match ball under his arm but it was a good night too for Diego Costa, who put his hand up to be Spain’s lead striker in Russia by scoring the opening goal.Costa had been left out by Lopetegui while inactive during his departure from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid but he would appear now to be in pole position up front, ahead of Rodrigo Moreno, Iago Aspas and the out-of-form Alvaro Morata.Diego Costa had not played for Spain for nine months prior to this call-up © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS“During the nine months I went without being called up by Spain I felt bad,” Costa said. “I went six months without playing as you all know, but I knew that if I started playing again I would have a chance of returning, and I’m happy to be here.”Costa had to be taken off after colliding with goalkeeper Sergio Romero for his goal but the striker indicated he would be fit to face Deportivo La Coruna this weekend.“I think I will be fit to play Sunday,” Costa said. “I took a knock, I’ll put ice on it and that’s all.”Aspas, the leading Spanish scorer this season with 16 goals for Celta Vigo, did his own chances no harm by coming on to score one and set up two more in a flurry of second-half goals.Thiago Alcantara made it four shortly before the hour-mark after Nicolas Otamendi earlier headed in what turned out to be no more than a consolation for Argentina.Messi’s hamstring strain meant the visitors were without their talisman and after an unconvincing qualifying campaign, Jorge Sampaoli’s side have now lost two of their last three games, conceding 10 goals in the process.This latest defeat in Madrid came on the back of Friday’s stodgy 2-0 win over Italy and a 4-2 loss to Nigeria.“This result means we have to take responsibility and take another look at who will make the final list,” Sampaoli said.“We have to look for the chance to continue working so that these things do not happen to us at the World Cup.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Isco was the first player in a Spain shirt to score a hat-trick since 2013 © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSMADRID, Spain, Mar 28 – Hat-trick hero Isco said it was a relief to play for Spain as he feels Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has no faith in him.Spain destroyed Argentina, who were without Lionel Messi, 6-1 in a friendly on Tuesday as Isco stole the show with his triple at the Wanda Metropolitano.last_img read more

Are France – and Deschamps – about to repeat history?

first_imgFrance’s goals came via the penalty spot and an Aziz Behich own goal.Insipid and uninspiring, those analysts who had pointed to France as potential world champions before a ball had been kicked were probably keeping quiet that day.An uninspiring 1-0 win against Peru followed and then came the convenient 0-0 draw with Denmark.France had been “boring” in qualifying for the knockout stage, critics said.They were quickly moving from a team tipped as genuine title winners to also-rans.How that has changed in less than a week.Kylian Mbappe was a constant menace to the Uruguay defence © AFP / Martin BERNETTIFollowing a thrilling 4-3 win over Argentina in probably the match of the tournament, which introduced the rest of the world to wunderkind Kylian Mbappe, through to their comprehensive dismantling of street-tough Uruguay on Friday, France are now into a semi-final against Belgium.The big question is, can France go all the way?It was a question Didier Deschamps was asked after the Uruguay win.“All I can say at the moment is that we have the potential to be in the semi-finals,” said Deschamps, coyly.“Let’s see what happens,” he continued. “We grew against Argentina. It could have been a one-off against Argentina but today we showed we have grown.“We played well but it was not the perfect match. There are so many things that we can improve on.”– Lessons from history –No doubt that is true but it is also clear that France are doing what other successful teams at the World Cup have done, namely get stronger with each game and against progressively better opponents.Asked to make the step up in class that each round of the World Cup requires, France have not been found wanting.They have “momentum”, a curious intangible concept, which nevertheless has been ascribed to several teams whose faltering start has given way to a rousing finish.There are plenty of examples in World Cup history from which France and their supporters can draw parallels from.Probably the best is Italy in 1982, who drew 0-0 with Poland, 1-1 with Peru and 1-1 with debutants Cameroon to scrape through to the next round without a victory and on goal difference from the Africans.The apoplectic Italian press was so critical of Italy’s performances that coach Enzo Bearzot refused to talk to the media.Then drawn into a group containing Argentina and champions-elect Brazil, Italy exploded into life, winning both games, including the legendary 3-2 win over the Brazilians, thanks to a Paolo Rossi hat trick.They beat Poland again, then West Germany to lift the World Cup.But France — and Deschamps — are probably more likely to point to their 1998 World Cup win as the more relevant historical parallel.Inspired by Zinedine Zidane, France glided through the group stage at the World Cup they were hosting, but they were resolute rather than impressive.A last-16 extra-time win over Paraguay did nothing to convince the doubters, nor a quarter-final win on penalties over Italy.In the semi-final, France conceded first against Croatia, then Lilian Thuram memorably scored the only two goals of his international career to send an unconvincing France into the final.In their next 90 minutes, Deschamps skippered the team to its most golden victory and eternal fame.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Didier Deschamps’ France team are getting better with each game © AFP / FRANCK FIFENIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russian Federation, Jul 7 – It was just 20 days before France’s comprehensive quarter-final victory over Uruguay that Les Bleus took to the field to begin their 2018 World Cup campaign against Australia.Ninety largely forgettable minutes followed, unless you count the VAR incidents, and France scraped home 2-1 against a rank outsider.last_img read more

SADNESS AS TIME CALLED ON POPULAR CRAFT SHOP ‘KIL’N TIME’

first_imgMícheál Kelly takes the clock from the wall in the drop-in studio as he gets set to call time on Kil’n Time in Letterkenny and prepare for a new direction in 2016.Much-loved Letterkenny business Kil’n Time will pull the doors closed for the very last time this Christmas as owner Mícheál Kelly gets ready to set out in a new direction in 2016.It was not a decision made easily, says Mícheál, but he adds, it is one that was made with sound business advice in mind.“It had got to a stage where there was too much work for one person to cope with, but not enough income generated to employ a second person on a full-time basis and having sought advice this was the best option for me and my family,” he says. Mícheál’s plans for the new year includes keeping on the ‘Imprints” service that had been offered at his Kil’n Time shop, and says he can do this from his home studio going forward.“Before I opened the drop-in studio I had worked in my studio at home and had a mobile business where I was doing parties and other events with the pottery and painting.I will still offer the pottery painting service, but on a very limited basis. Instead I will focus on the Imprints service and I will be able to work on that aspect of the business from home.”As he prepares to wind up his time in the shop at Kil’n Time, Mícheál recently put the shop fittings from the store on sale, but he says he is also very anxious to ensure that customers who have gift vouchers are not left in the lurch. “I made the announcement via the Kil’n Time Facebook Page last week and I explained that anyone with gift vouchers for pottery painting should come to the store before December 12th so that they can have their items ready for Christmas.Anyone who has vouchers for the Imprints service need not rush though as that will continue in the New Year and all those vouchers will remain valid after Christmas. However, as it takes time to fire and glaze the pottery items in the kiln after they’ve been painted, I’d urge anyone who has gift vouchers for that service to make sure they get in before December 12th,” he said.Since making the announcement last week, Mícheál says he has been innundated with messages of good will and he acknowledges that pulling the door behind him at Christmas will not come easy.“I had a vision for the drop-in studio and to a large extent it worked out really well. Our customers really loved the experience and we’ve had some terrific times here, but from a purely business sense it was not working out the way I had hoped. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years and all who have worked in the studio as well. We’re going to maintain the Kil’n Time presence on Social Media and hopefully I’ll get to see some of my old customers again going forward as I adjust the sails to take a new course over the months ahead.” SADNESS AS TIME CALLED ON POPULAR CRAFT SHOP ‘KIL’N TIME’ was last modified: December 6th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BusinessclosuredonegalKIL’N TIMElast_img read more

STUNNING MARIA WINS DONEGAL ROSE OF TRALEE

first_imgStunning Maria McCole has been crowned the Donegal Rose of Tralee.The beautiful Letterkenny woman just edged out a number of other gorgeous women at the Radisson blu Hotel to take the title on Saturday night. Maria, who is the daughter of well known former HSE executive Michael McCole and his wife Stephanie, will now go forward to the regional finals and hopefully a place in the Rose of Tralee itself in August.The other contestants on the night inlcuded Shauna Hegarty, Leah Waldron, Sara Laughlin, Anita Quinn,   Eileen McGlinchey, Aine Gibbons and Bernadette Sweeney.A delighted Maria was lost for words and genuinely shocked when she was announced as the winner at a packed Radisson Hotel.Our photographs show just how high a standard the contest was. If Maria is successful, she could well join Grainne Boyle from Gartan in Churchill for the final.Teacher Grainne was chosen as the Dubai Rose recently.As well as the selection of the Donegal Rose, Paddy Kelly from Kerrykeel was chosen as the Escort of the evening.All proceeds raised from Saturday night’s gala function, which included a champagne reception, went to the Renal Patient Comfort Fund at Letterkenny General Hospital.www.facebook.com/Radissonbluhotelletterkenny Ends STUNNING MARIA WINS DONEGAL ROSE OF TRALEE was last modified: May 9th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Rose of TraleeMarie McColelast_img read more

Men’s Basketball Team Travels To Loyola For Final Road Game Of 2017

first_imgStory Links Wednesday, Timmer will square off against the conference’s leading active scorer in Loyola’s Milton Doyle. The senior has poured in 1,572 points in his career. Earlier this season against Drake, Doyle was held to just 12 points while teammate Donte Ingram poured in 30 points and 10 boards. The Bulldogs are aiming to snap their seven-game losing streak to climb the Valley standings in the final week of conference action. During that seven-game skid, Drake has surrendered 79.4 points per game three of the team’s last seven losses have come against the top three teams in the league. The remaining two teams on the Bulldogs schedule have a combined 12-20 MVC record. More recently, Reed Timmer (New Berlin, Wis.) scored 20 points at Evansville for his seventh 20-point game of the season and added 15 points in the loss to Missouri State. The junior now has 1,314 career points to sit at 10th all-time in Drake history and second among active MVC players. Live Stats Drake Game Notes The Bulldogs and Ramblers met nearly two months ago in an offensive shootout that saw Drake prevail, 102-98. The 200 combined points were the most in a regulation length MVC game since 2009. ESPN3 Live Audio The Ramblers enter their home finale with a 7-9 record in MVC games, two-games ahead of the Bulldogs in the conference standings. Drake and Loyola still have two of the top scoring offenses in the Valley, ranking second and third, respectively, in scoring in league games. Drake is averaging 71.8 points per game against league foes while Loyola is at 71.4 points per game. The Drake University men’s basketball team plays its final road game of the season Wednesday evening when it visits Loyola. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Gentile Arena with the contest broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3 and on radio via ESPN Des Moines 1350-AM Following Wednesday’s game, the Bulldogs return home to close out the regular season against Bradley at the Knapp Center. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and the Bulldogs will honor the program’s two seniors prior to the contest. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

What we learned in the Warriors’ bounce-back win over the Nets

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — For anyone who wanted to write the Warriors off because of injuries to Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Shaun Livingston; for those who viewed Thursday’s blowout loss to the Bucks as a sign that they were slipping — Golden State had a response Saturday.Even without three key players, they’re still pretty damn good. The Nets, playing the second-half of a tough back-to-back that started …last_img