Odds & Ends: Darren Criss Joins American Crime Story’s Take on Versace Murder & More

first_imgDarren Criss(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Darren Criss Takes on Versace KillerBroadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Darren Criss is embracing his dark side on the small screen. The stage and TV favorite has been tapped to take on the role of serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who murdered Gianni Versace in 1997, on the third season of American Crime Story, according to TVLine. The third season of the Ryan Murphy anthology series is expected to go into production in March. As previously reported, Criss will also play a villain on The CW’s musical crossover episodes of Supergirl and The Flash as he takes on the role of the Music Meister.Cynthia Erivo to Sing at Oscars BallAfter singing at the Grammy Awards, Tony winner Cynthia Erivo is entering the Oscars circuit. The Color Purple favorite is set to perform at the Oscars’ Governors Ball celebration, which will take place immediately following the ceremony on February 26. With star turns in upcoming films Widows and Harriet, we have a feeling this won’t be the last time Erivo makes her presence known at the Academy Awards.Ali Stroker Tapped for Ten Days in the ValleySpring Awakening and Glee favorite Ali Stroker is set to appear in the upcoming ABC drama Ten Days in the Valley, opposite Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick. Stroker will play Tamara, a writer for Jane’s (Sedgwick) controversial police drama series when Jane’s young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. The show began shooting last month and will premiere later this year.Broadway Favorites Pay Tribute to George MichaelMembers of the Broadway community will come together to celebrate the life and legacy of the late George Michael at a benefit event this spring. Among those taking part are Hamilton star Javier Muñoz, Erich Bergen, Tituss Burgess and Cheyenne Jackson as well as Eric Hutchinson and Jon McLaughlin. The event will take place on April 24 at the Highline Ballroom. Proceeds will go to VH1 Save the Music, to help fund and restore music programs in schools across the country. For more information and tickets, click here.Stacy Keach to Star as Earnest Hemingway in ChicagoTony and Emmy nominee Stacy Keach will play Earnest Hemmingway in Jim McGrath’s Pamplona at the Goodman Theatre. The world premiere production, directed by Robert Falls, will run from May 19 through June 18 at the Chicago venue. The two previously worked together on King Lear ten years ago. Keach is no stranger to the role of the acclaimed writer, having won a Golden Globe for his performance in the 1988 biographical miniseries Hemingway. The production takes the place of the previously announced staging of Lady in Denmark, which will be rescheduled to a time to be announced. View Commentslast_img read more

48 Hours in Jackson County, North Carolina

first_imgNestled in the far western reaches of North Carolina where the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge converge, is a scenic county that draws visitors from all over the nation. Jackson County, North Carolina is renowned for its rugged mountain beauty and teeming with opportunity for outdoor adventure. Activities like world-class whitewater rafting and canoeing are common place and the fly fishing is some of the East Coast’s very best. The mountain biking trails are heralded by many, and the hiking is some of the best you’ll find anywhere east of the Mississippi River.To top it off, this remote county is home to several quaint mountain communities—towns like Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva—that host everything from laid back local breweries, making the kind of stellar craft beer that Western North Carolina is known for, to top notch resorts where five star amenities are par for the course.It’s also the home county of Western Carolina University, which has handily won our Top Adventure College Contest for three years running. Read on to find out what it is that makes Jackson County so great and to learn how to make the best of 48 hours in one of North Carolina’s best mountain destinations.Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.39.58 PMPlay: Hike or Climb Whiteside MountainArguably one of the most picturesque mountains in the entire Appalachian range, Whiteside is situated near the boundary that divides Jackson and Macon Counties but is wholly contained within Jackson County proper. The mountain itself is a breath-taking site to behold—with 700-foot cliffs that soar above the valley floor below—but a hike to its summit provides sweeping views that stretch far beyond the foothills into the expansive piedmont.For day hikers, the summit of Whiteside is accessed via a moderate 2.5 mile loop which starts at the Whiteside Mountain Recreation area. To learn more about accessing the trail head for this hike click here.The sheer 700-foot cliffs that make Whiteside so imposing have also made it a highly sought after destination for climbers from all over the country. More info on climbing Whiteside here.whiteside2Visit the Chattooga River HeadwatersFamous as the setting for the classic film Deliverance, the Chattooga River is one of the most iconic waterways in the south. Some of its more famous whitewater flows along the border of Georgia and South Carolina, but the river originates in North Carolina near the remote Ellicott Rock Wilderness. If you want to experience the Chattooga in its earliest, more tranquil stages go for a drive down the scenic Whiteside Cove Road (1107), accessed from Cashiers via Highway 107. Along the way you’ll take in some great views of nearby Whiteside Mountain before eventually arriving at a little white church with a plaque commemorating some of the cove’s earliest settlers.Park on the side of the road near the church and head through a rhododendron tunnel just off to the right of the church’s front stoop. This trail will eventually connect with the Chattooga River Trail which has an official trailhead a little farther back down Whiteside Cove Road before you reach the church. Follow the trail through a remote gorge all the way down to banks of the Chattooga River and prepare to be amazed.Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.47.09 PMHit the WNC Fly Fishing TrailSituated in the heart of Jackson County, the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail showcases some of the state’s best trout waters. This trail includes 15 separate fisheries and offers anglers an opportunity to catch everything from trophy browns and rainbows on big rivers to willy native brookies on tiny mountain streams. Fisheries featured on the WNC fly fishing trail include Scott Fork, Caney Creek, the West Fork of the Tuckaseegee River, the Whitewater River, Raven Fork, and many more. Click here for more info on the WNC Fly Fishing Trail.Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 4.13.10 PMVisit Panthertown ValleyNot far from the town of Cashiers, Panthertown Valley is one of the most prized natural areas in the Southeast. Here you’ll find everything from cascading waterfalls and imposing granite cliffs to lively trout streams that include the headwaters of the Tuckaseegee and the East Fork of the Little Tennessee River. Panthertown is comprised of some 10,000 acres of Nantahala National Forest land and is home to 30-plus miles of trails, all maintained and well marked by the Friends of Panthertown. 21 miles of the 30 miles in Panthertown Valley even accommodate mountain bikers. To learn more about this area, often referred to as the “Yosemite of the East”, visit www.panthertown.org.Mountain Bike the Wayehutta Trail SystemThe Wayehutta Trail System was designed for ATV’s and other off road vehicles, but if you’re up to the challenge it makes a great Jackson County mountain biking destination as well. But be warned, this trail involves strenuous climbing for the the first 5 miles. Those willing to push through however will be rewarded with a fast 5-mile decent that includes banked turns, long rock gardens, and rock drops. Always be mindful of other trail users on this one.Visit High Falls at Lake GlenvilleThroughout most of the year, High Falls, located below the dam that forms Lake Glenville on the West Fork of the Tuckasegee River, is little more than a trickling stream flowing over an impressive rock face in the Tuckasegee Gorge. But for a few days each year, when Duke Energy opens the flood gates at the nearby dam to preform annual water releases benefitting whitewater kayakers, the 150-foot waterfall transforms into a raging torrent that rivals some of the most powerful waterfalls in the state.high fallsIn previous years High Falls (also known as Cullowhee Falls) was more difficult to access, but thanks to a recently constructed trail, hikers and kayakers can now find themselves at the base of these falls with relative ease. Check out this video shot by Romantic Asheville for a glimpse of what High Falls turns into during these annual release days, and click here for detailed directions to the Lake Glenville trailhead.Stay:The Dillsboro InnWith seven riverfront suites all located within walking distance of the Tuckasegee River, the Dillsboro Inn is the perfect Jackson County adventure base camp. Conveniently located near historic downtown Dillsboro, the Dillsboro Inn affords visitors quick and easy access to some of Jackson County’s best attractions and outdoor pursuits.The High Hampton Inn—CashiersWhen the High Hampton Inn was originally built it served as an exclusive mountain retreat for a retired South Carolina civil war general. Today it’s still fairly exclusive, but it also serves as one of the mountain south’s oldest and most exquisitely preserved cultural relics. Whether it be fly-fishing or day hiking, rock wall climbing or paddling, activities at the High Hampton Inn are centred around the out-of-doors, and its proximity to the Nanatahala National Forest, the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, the Chattooga River, and Panthertown Valley make it an outstanding starting point from which to explore all that Jackson County has to offer.Moonshine Creek CampgroundIf 5-star mountain resorts don’t fit your budget or your adventure plans, check out the Moonshine Creek Campground just up the road from the mountain town of Sylva. This secluded, back-to-nature style campground features 91 campsites, some of which boast electrical hookups and creekside decks, and offers quick and easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The campground also offer rustic cabin rentals. Learn more here.Dining:City Lights Cafe—SylvaFor a quick bite, a good cup of coffee, or a local beverage from one of the many near-by craft breweries, head to City Lights Cafe in downtown Sylva. The menu at this electric pit stop includes dairy-free and vegetarian as well as hormone-free and organic local options. Learn more here.Bucks Coffee Cafe—CashiersYou won’t find a better cup of coffee in Cashiers than at Bucks Coffee Cafe. Actually, you may not find another cup of coffee anywhere in the tiny mountain town Cashiers, but that doesn’t detract from Buck’s quaint charm, the top-notch quality of their brew, or the quick, easy, and delicious breakfast and lunch options that make this little coffeehouse a bonafide local favorite. Don’t skip out on Buck’s if you’re exploring the bountiful public lands that surround the mountain hamlet of Cashiers, North Carolina.Innovation Brewing—SylvaThe good folks over at Innovation Brewing in downtown Sylva are fond of saying that they’re committed to “changing the way you think about beer”—hence the name. Experimentation is the name of the game at this tiny Western North Carolina brewery—which produces about 500 barrels of beer a year to wide regional acclaim—but they still cling to the old tried and true styles that no brewery should be without. If you find yourself in Sylva, don’t miss out on Innovation!Don’t miss out on these other great Jackson County dining options:Soul Infusion— A teahouse and bistro featuring live music in SylvaLuLus on Main— The recipient of the Best of WNC award in 2014, LuLus on Main is Sylva’s home for fresh cut steak and North Carolina seafoodSlabtown Pizza— Delicious hand-made pizza in Cashiers with lots of local craft beer to choose from.Evolution Wine Kitchen—Sylva’s favorite wine bar and wine shop.Chile Loco— Authentic Mexican food in Cashiers.The Orchard—Gourmet table fare in a semi-casual setting. Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley— Farm to table cuisine that reflects the history and culture of the Western North Carolina mountains .And don’t forget to check out some of our favorite gear and guide options in Jackson County!Landmark Learning—The leading resource in education and training for the outdoor community of Western North Carolina and the world. Closely affiliated with WMI of NOLS, this is the go-to center for trainings and certifications spanning wilderness medicine, swiftwater rescue and much more.Brookings Anglers —These guys are experts in their craft. They’re particularly knowledgable about their Chattooga River backyard but proficient in all of Jackson County’s great trout waters and beyond!Blackrock Outdoor Company—Whether you’re looking to re-up on quality backpacking gear, hook up with a knowledgable guide, or stock up on the latest Orvis products, Blackrock Outdoor Company is your Sylva go-to.Motion Makers Bikes— If you’re mountain biking in Jackson County and in need of parts, a tune-up, or just a friendly knowledgable local with the skinny on area trails, head to Motion Makers in Sylva.Dillsboro River Company— Your go-to for whitewater rafting on the Tuckasegee River!More from the 48 Hours Blog:last_img read more

Mobile payments to go mainstream in 2020

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Tina OremMass adoption of mobile payments, NFC and contactless technology is still at least five years out, according to new research from financial technology Compass Plus.The findings, which are based on a survey of 190 payments and banking experts around the world, suggest a significant decrease in expectations since 2011, when respondents said mobile payments would be mainstream by 2013 or 2014. continue reading »last_img read more

CUNA, trades request comment period for PACE guidance

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Consumers need adequate protections when it comes to federal guidance regarding Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, CUNA and other trade organizations wrote Tuesday. CUNA wrote to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) leadership to express concerns with July PACE guidance issued by the VA and by HUD on behalf of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).“We urge you to suspend the applicability of the proposed FHA and VA PACE guidelines and issue the proposal for notice and comment so that lenders, borrowers, home improvement providers and others may be given the opportunity to comment and assist the departments in establishing policies that better protect consumers, lenders and taxpayers,” the letter reads.PACE varies from state to state, but generally allows homeowners to finance energy efficiency improvements for up to 20 yearswith payments made through assessments attached to the property. This allows the homeowners to benefit from the improvements immediately while spreading the cost out over time. continue reading »last_img read more

Feds: Reputed LI Mobsters Nabbed for Extortion

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two reputed mobsters from Long Island were among three arrested for allegedly extorting a local business out of money for “protection,” loansharking and illegal gambling, authorities said.Luca DiMatteo, 70, of Merrick, and 46-year-old John Shields of East Atlantic Beach were indicted on federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, loansharking and operation of an illegal gambling business.“We will not tolerate the use of violence or threats of violence to extort local business people, and we will shut down illegal gambling businesses in our neighborhoods,” said Kelly Currie, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Prosecutors said the two suspects and 46-year-old Lukey DiMatteo of Brooklyn, who is facing the same charges, are members of the Colombo crime family, with the elder DiMatteo allegedly serving as a captain.The DiMatteos shook down a local business owner out of $100 to $200 every two weeks for more than a decade, according to the FBI.They and Shields, who is also known as Scott Greco, allegedly ran illegal gambling clubs in Brooklyn, authorities said.The trio is facing the charges at federal court in Brooklyn.last_img read more

FDA may use strain change model for evaluating H1N1 vaccines

first_imgJul 23, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may review vaccines for the novel H1N1 influenza virus the same way it evaluates the annual updates of seasonal flu vaccines, which would probably lead to faster FDA approval than occurs with brand-new products, an FDA official said in the wake of an FDA advisory committee meeting today.FDA spokeswoman Peper Long said the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) expressed support for an FDA staff recommendation to handle the H1N1 vaccines the way seasonal flu vaccines are handled. The committee met today to publicly air H1N1 vaccine issues.Five companies—Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, CSL Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and MedImmune—are rushing to make H1N1 influenza vaccines for the US government and are launching or preparing to launch clinical trials. US officials want trial data as soon as possible so they can approve vaccines in time for a potential renewed surge of the virus this fall after children return to school.The committee didn’t make a formal recommendation about how to regulate the new vaccines, but a consensus in favor of using the seasonal vaccine approach emerged, Long told CIDRAP News.Long noted that manufacturers with established seasonal flu vaccines file a supplemental application each year after changing one or more of the three flu strains in the vaccine, in line with FDA recommendations. A “strain change supplement” usually doesn’t require new clinical data, though some immunogenicity and safety data usually are available, she said.The other licensing pathways for vaccines are to file a biologics license application (BLA), involving a formal process with full clinical trials, or to seek an emergency use authorization (EUA). In declared public health emergencies, the FDA can provide an EUA for products whose effectiveness has not yet been fully demonstrated.”The third way is a strain change supplement, which is how flu vaccines are approved every year,” Long said. “That doesn’t usually require new clinical data.””A strain change supplement will allow us to license a vaccine based on our experience evaluating vaccines over the years, so if necessary we can have a vaccine ready to go,” she said. With clinical trials starting now, some results are likely to be available by the time the vaccine is needed, she added.”We’ll start to see some first-round data by September,” Long said.The committee “pretty well agreed” with the strain change regulatory approach, she said. However, she said this approach would be possible only for vaccines that are not paired with dose-sparing adjuvants.The government has ordered supplies of adjuvants made by Novartis and GSK, but no US-licensed vaccines contain those adjuvants and, hence, their use will require special testing and evaluation.Long said a GSK official at today’s meeting discussed plans to test the company’s vaccine with an adjuvant. “That couldn’t be approved as a strain change supplement with FDA; that would have to fall under a regular BLA or an emergency use authorization,” she said.She emphasized that a final decision on how to regulate the H1N1 vaccines will be up to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and that the proposal to use the strain-change approach assumes that H1N1 vaccines will be needed before full clinical testing can be completed.”We’re preparing for a lot of contingencies, and each step along the way is its own risk-benefit analysis,” she commented.The five vaccine makers are all growing their vaccines in chicken eggs, the conventional production method in use for decades. Four of the five are dealing with low yields of the vaccine—half or less of what they typically get with seasonal flu vaccines, according to recent reports.However, MedImmune is getting a much better yield with its live attenuated vaccine, which is given as a nasal spray. Company officials who were at today’s meeting said they could make more doses than they have spray bottles to deliver, according to an Associated Press report.See also: Jul 23 VRBPAC meeting informationBriefing document for meetingGeneral information about the committeelast_img read more

Clashes outside White House as US cities under curfew

first_imgPolice fired tear gas outside the White House late Sunday as anti-racism protestors again took to the streets to voice fury at police brutality, and major US cities were put under curfew to suppress rioting.With the Trump administration branding instigators of six nights of rioting as domestic terrorists, there were more confrontations between protestors and police and fresh outbreaks of looting.Violent clashes erupted repeatedly in a small park next to the White House, with authorities using tear gas, pepper spray and flash bang grenades to disperse crowds who lit several large fires and damaged property. At one point, some of the protestors who had reached a bridge were forced to scramble for cover when a truck drove at speed after having apparently breached a barricade.The driver was taken to hospital after the protestors hauled him from the vehicle, although there were no immediate reports of other casualties.The New York Times said he was later arrested.There were other large-scale protests in cities including New York and Miami.Washington’s mayor ordered a curfew from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am, as a report in the New York Times said that President Donald Trump had been rushed by Secret Service agents into an underground bunker at the White House on Friday night during an earlier protest.Gucci, Rolex stores ransacked Looting was reported Sunday night in Philadelphia and the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica, and images on Fox TV showed ransacked Rolex and Gucci stores in New York city.Officials in LA — a city scarred by the 1992 riots over the police beating of Rodney King, an African-American man — imposed a curfew from 4:00 pm Sunday until dawn.”Please, use your discretion and go early, go home, stay home,” the city’s mayor Eric Garcetti said on CNN.The shocking death last Monday of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis ignited the nationwide wave of outrage over law enforcement’s repeated use of lethal force against unarmed African Americans.Floyd stopped breathing after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and is due to make his first appearance in court on Monday. Late Sunday, as many were being arrested for curfew violations in Minneapolis, authorities moved Chauvin to another location from the Hennepin County Jail for his own safety, according to Minnesota’s corrections commissioner.Three other officers with him at the arrest have been fired but for now face no charges.Governor Tim Walz has mobilized all of Minnesota’s National Guard troops  — the state guard’s biggest mobilization ever — to help restore order and extended a curfew for a third night Sunday.The Department of Defense said that around 5,000 National Guard troops had been mobilized in 15 states as well as the capital Washington, with another 2,000 on standby.The widespread resort to uniformed National Guards units is rare, and evoked disturbing memories of the rioting in US cities in 1967 and 1968 in a turbulent time of protest over racial and economic disparities. Trump blamed the extreme left for the violence, saying he planned to designate a group known as Antifa as a terrorist organization.’A nation in pain’ Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Trump, who has often urged police to use tough tactics, was not helping matters.”We are beyond a tipping point in this country, and his rhetoric only enflames that,” she said on CBS.Joe Biden, Trump’s likely Democratic opponent in November’s presidential election, visited the scene of one anti-racism protest.”We are a nation in pain right now, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us,” Biden tweeted, posting a picture of him speaking with an African-American family at the site where protesters had gathered in Delaware late Saturday.Floyd’s death has triggered protests beyond the United States, with thousands in Montreal and London marching in solidarity on Sunday.On the other side of the globe on Monday, thousands marched to the US consulate in Auckland chanting “no justice, no peace” and “black lives matter.”In Germany, England football international Jadon Sancho marked one of his three goals for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn by lifting his jersey to reveal a T-shirt bearing the words “Justice for George Floyd.”Topics : Local US leaders appealed to citizens to give constructive outlet to their rage over the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, while night-time curfews were imposed in cities including Washington, Los Angeles and Houston.One closely watched protest was outside the state capitol in Minneapolis’ twin city of St. Paul, where several thousand people gathered before marching down a highway.”We have black sons, black brothers, black friends, we don’t want them to die. We are tired of this happening, this generation is not having it, we are tired of oppression,” said Muna Abdi, a 31-year-old black woman who joined the protest.Hundreds of police and National Guard troops were deployed ahead of the protest.last_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: Facing the challenges of the Middle East

first_imgThe historian Niall Ferguson, in his book Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, makes the point that the US has invaded and occupied many countries over the past two centuries, yet in terms of their economic and political institutions, relatively few of these have evolved into anything remotely resembling miniature Americas. That may be unduly harsh, given the post-war occupations of Germany and Japan which have led to stable democracies, but there are few other examples.Ferguson sees three fundamental deficits that together explain why the US has been a less effective empire than its British predecessor: its economic deficit, its manpower deficit, and – most serious of the three – its attention deficit.It is the latter that is most responsible for the chaos in the Middle East. Solving the issues requires deeper understanding and longer timeframes than the US has ever been prepared to give. Perhaps, unlike the British, the problem with the US is not that they invade a country to create regime change, but that they then leave too quickly without leaving time to build up the institutions that underpin democratic societies.Removing Saddam Hussein from Iraq without any plan for what should happen next has been the clearest example of this. Minorities in Iraq and Syria have sheltered to a great extent under the regimes in power. Iraq’s Christians, estimated at 1.5m and one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world, fled in their hundreds of thousands after the US invasion led to increased violence against them.William Dalrymple, in his book From the Holy Mountain, follows the journey of a Byzantine monk around the Middle East and laments the destruction of Christian communities throughout what used to be its heartlands. Short-sighted foreign policy decisions by the US and European powers have not encouraged the creation of pluralist societies in the region.So what can and should be done? Ed Husain gives some valuable advice that is worth discussing, even if some of it may sound naïve. First, he thinks that the US and European powers should assist in the creation of a Middle East Union akin to the EU. As he points out, conflict in Europe was eroded through growing interdependence on each other for trade, security and prosperity. These were the founding principles for the creation of what is now the European Union.His second suggestion is more controversial, advocating a Muslim Marshall plan. The war in Iraq was estimated to cost the US $2trn, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office in 2007, but no economic reconstruction plan for the region has been conceived. But, as the author admits, if Arabs, Turks, Kurds and Iranians do not expedite the creation of a Middle East Union, then responsibility for the breakdown will be theirs: “The West cannot be held accountable for the failings of a divided people.” It is also difficult for politicians to justify financing a Middle East reconstruction fund when the oil states within the region have the resources themselves.Perhaps the most significant suggestion that Husain makes is the requirement to expel the violent extremists from within Islam. “The House of Islam is on fire – and the arsonist still lives there”, he declares.By that, he means the violence of Salafi-jihadis who, in the earliest days of Islam, were known as Kharijites, or outsiders. They were, he says, declared to be non-Muslims by Muslim scholars. As Husain points out, Salafi-Wahhabism is the prevailing Islamic movement in Saudi Arabia today, yet represents less than 5% of the world’s Muslims. The reason it has become such a potent force is that Saudi Arabia has spent an estimated $200bn of its oil wealth in recent decades strenuously propagating its hard-line theology around the globe. “The 1749 allliance between the Saudi royal family and Wahhabi clerics must be nullified,” argues Husain.Europe and the US are living with the consequences of short-term responses to the problems of the Middle East. The House of Islam should be required reading for any European or US politician attempting to deal with the instability and violence in the region that shows little sign of abating. The “War on Terror” announced by then-US president George W Bush after the 11 September 2001 attacks has been often characterised as essentially a war against militant Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding has led to negative associations with Islam as a whole, exemplified by current president Trump’s suggestion at various times of a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the US.Europe faces the consequences of the disruption caused in the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq, the removal of a stable (albeit very unpleasant) government in Libya, and the chaos in Syria caused by the attempts to remove another, very unpleasant regime. Home-grown terrorists have been created through the dissemination of a narrow virulent set of beliefs that are contrary to what the mainstream set of beliefs of Islam has been throughout the history of their religion – so goes the premise of Ed Husain’s book The House of Islam: A Global History.  Husain argues that there are ways forward that could conceivably bring peace and stability to the region. What is absolutely clear, however, is that causing violent regime change without any plan for post-war stable and just societies has been a recipe for disaster.Creating such societies does not consist of simply holding an election in countries with little history of democracy, and without the institutions such as a free press and an independent judiciary that underpin stable democracies.last_img read more

Europa League: Greenwood hits brace as Red Devils top group

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ David Silva recovers from COVID-19 Spurs to face Bulgarian minnows in Europa League opener Mason Greenwood played a starring role with a marvellous brace as Manchester United thumped AZ Alkmaar 4-0 to secure their status as group winners in the Europa League.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made nine changes from the victory over Manchester City with only Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial keeping their places.Nemanja Matic was handed his first start since the reverse fixture on October 3 in a much-changed United side.But the changes appeared to affect the chemistry between the players with AZ certainly starting the brighter of the two sides.Indeed, United’s only shot on target in the half came when Andreas Pereira found space down the left and fired at goalkeeper Marco Bizot to earn a corner early on.The Dutch side had the better opportunities with striker Dani De Wit and Calvin Stengs both fluffing their lines from the edge of the box within a minute of each other.But after the break, United took more risks and their bold approach paid off as Matic and Mata combined delightfully down the left and Ashley Young fired home from a tight angle to open the scoring – or rather, the floodgates.United had a second just four minutes later when Greenwood robbed Midtsjo of possession, perhaps unfairly, before striking a clean effort into the bottom corner from 25 yards.Before AZ knew it, they were 3-0 down. Jordy Clasie made a clumsy challenge on Greenwood in the area and referee Sandro Scharer had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Juan Mata and the Spaniard found beat Bizot with a fierce effort.With a goal and an assist under his belt, Greenwood had the bit between his teeth and the 18-year-old showed his fearlessless on the ball as he took it Wijndal before squeezing a low effort in at the far post. The goalkeeper should have done better, but the element of surprise had to be factored in.Those four goals arrived in just 11 minutes and AZ looked dazed and confused after a devastating period of play from the hosts.United played out the remaining half an hour with the confident, fast-flowing football Solskjaer has demanded for some time – and perhaps the answer all along has been Greenwood, who surely must be in contention to start against Everton on Sunday. Tags: Europa Leaguelast_img read more

Mourinho sings Terry’s praises

first_img “They try and make the referees’ mind up for them. We all know that staying on your feet does not get rewarded if you’re fouled. We all know that.” Allardyce was reluctant to comment further, adding: “I’m not paying any more money to the FA.” Unsurprisingly Mourinho felt Ivanovic deserved a spot-kick. “I think it’s a penalty,” the Blues boss said. “On television it looks a penalty, for me. I think the other guy grabs him. But no reaction until Carroll reacts negatively.” It was “just an isolated situation”, according to Mourinho. “The game was good, aggressive, but correct,” the Chelsea manager added. “The only guy that dived was (Enner) Valencia. It was not in the box, it was outside the box. Nobody reacted negatively to that.” Mourinho was frustrated by his side’s failure to beat West Ham last season, but the Blues have much more in their armoury this term. “We are a much better team when we have the ball,” Mourinho added. “Last year we were very strong defensively, very well organised, but a bit lacking in creativity when we had the ball. “The challenge this season was to bring that creativity, that dynamism, without losing the good defensive qualities of the team. “At the beginning of the season there was a little bit of conflict between these two ideas. It was difficult to have a clean sheet. “In this moment we have a good balance.” Chelsea are also hard-working. Instead of training twice on Saturday, the players opted to train immediately after the Hammers victory to prepare for Sunday’s trip to Southampton. Some will have a recovery session, others a more strenuous workout. Mourinho said: “I had two training sessions for tomorrow, but they were crying so much in the dressing room I decided to make a change. They are training now.” West Ham face another test of their European ambitions at home to Arsenal after disappointing Allardyce with their first-half showing. “I’m angry with the first half, the way we approached the game,” said the Hammers boss. “We didn’t play like I asked the players to play. They got too sucked into a negative style, passing it sideways and backwards instead of forwards into the right areas. “As good as Chelsea were, and as talented as they are, our goalkeeper was in great form but the two goals were so avoidable. “We got better at the start of the second half and then gave a stupid goal away. We created our best chances towards the end of the game. That was too late, and we didn’t take any of them. “I have no complaints about the result.” It was his second goal in two games and a ninth win from nine home games was completed by Diego Costa’s 13th of the season. “He always had that (goalscoring ability),” said Mourinho, who made Terry captain during his first spell. “He’s full of confidence. I see my John of 2004, 05, 06. I see him. I don’t see any difference. “I only see a difference when I see his twin (daughters) when they go to the training ground because they were born in that period and now they are running and kicking balls. “In him there is no difference. He’s playing so good.” Chelsea were comfortable winners, but it might have been more straightforward had they added to Terry’s opener before the interval. Adrian saved well from Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic went down in the box, angering Andy Carroll and West Ham. Hammers boss Allardyce said: “I thought he went down looking for a penalty. The Hammers, who began the day in fourth place, have been transformed since being criticised by Mourinho for playing “football from the 19th century” last season and joked on Twitter they had arrived at Stamford Bridge by horse and cart. Yet Sam Allardyce’s men sat back and were overrun by Chelsea, who broke the deadlock through Terry’s first-half tap in. Jose Mourinho praised the longevity of John Terry after the Chelsea captain’s goal breached the West Ham defence to set up a 2-0 win for the Barclays Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge. Press Associationlast_img read more