Canada’s top diplomat has gotten a nod from his Chinese counterpart to bring home nearly 200 Canadians from Wuhan — the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic — his office said Friday.In a rare telephone call with Foreign Minister Wang Yi Thursday night, Canada’s Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne “asked for the collaboration of the Chinese government in helping those Canadian citizens who want to depart the region.”Wang “responded positively,” he said in a statement. Ottawa chartered a plane to bring back 196 Canadians who asked to be repatriated, but the airlift had remained in limbo this week even as the United States, Japan, South Korea and European nations brought home their nationals.With Wuhan locked down as part of a government effort to contain the epidemic, the Canadian flight required authorization to land in the region.Canada’s relations with its second biggest trading partner have been strained since the arrest on a US warrant of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 during a flight stopover in Vancouver.China has detained two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, in apparent retaliation. It also blocked Canadian agricultural shipments.The first phase of a court hearing of a US request for Meng’s extradition as held earlier this month, and is scheduled to resume in April.Kovrig and Spavor, meanwhile, remain in China’s opaque penal system.Champagne’s office said he also raised the plight of the detained Canadians with Wang, adding: “The two agreed to remain in touch on issues of mutual importance.”Topics :
The UK’s Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) has joined major pension funds from North America and Australia in committing assets to private equity investor Hermes GPE’s co-investment platform.The Hermes GPE PEC III Co-Investment Fund LP (PEC III) raised total commitments of $389m (€330m) from a group of investors that includes, besides LPP, the State Teachers’ Retirement System of Ohio, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Australian superannuation fund Hostplus.Private equity firm Ardian and a number of other UK and continental European investors are also involved.Including “sidecar” and segregated co-investment mandates, Hermes GPE has raised around $620m in total for the co-investment platform. The latter mandates come from longstanding Hermes GPE clients and will either invest alongside PEC III, or in separate co-investment and alternative strategies. PEC III has already committed $200m to 30 investments. The fund follows a thematic investment strategy, seeking to identify companies in niche markets or geographies where growth potential does not hinge on the wider macroeconomic cycle.Investors in the fund will contribute deal flow from their own private equity relationships alongside opportunities sourced from Hermes GPE’s network of general partner relationships.Hermes GPE is part of Hermes Investment Management – the asset manager wholly owned by the BT Pension Scheme – and currently manages around $5bn of private equity assets. LPP is a £12.8bn (€14.3bn) collaboration between the London Pensions Fund Authority and Lancashire County Pension Fund. The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund provisionally agreed to join LPP but has yet to invest significantly in the pooled funds the partnership has launched so far.
RelatedPosts No directive to constitute disciplinary committee against us — Ojudu, others ‘Army Officer’ in EFCC net for alleged multiple fraud COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance Nigeria’s Super Eagles will know their group stage foes for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying series next month.The Super Eagles have featured in each of the last three World Cup tournaments and will be bidding to make it four in a row for the first time ever and seventh overall in Qatar in 2022.Nigeria will be joining 39 other African countries in the second round (group stage) draws, which has been scheduled for the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo, Egypt on January 21, 2020.The second round of the qualifiers will kick off in March 2020 and will conclude in October 2021. Group winners will advance to the third round, which is scheduled for November 2021.The 10 group winners from Round 2 will be paired up for knockout matches, with the five winners securing a berth at Qatar 2022, a format reminiscent of the 2014 World Cup qualifying race which saw Nigeria defeating Ethiopia en route to qualification.The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar between November 21, and December 18, 2022.
Di Maria’s season has been interrupted by pelvic and hamstring injuries. He also had to move out of his house last month after he and his family were subjected to a terrifying attempted burglary. The midfielder, his wife Jorgelina Cardoso and their young daughter Mia were inside their Prestbury home last year when intruders tried to enter but they fled after the alarm was raised. Van Gaal thinks it would be too simplistic to blame Di Maria’s dip in form on the incident. “It is easy to say that, because I cannot prove that, it is not scientifically proven and I don’t want to speak about things I cannot say,” he said. Van Gaal has no qualms about selecting the 27-year-old for Wednesday’s trip to Newcastle. “Di Maria is not the only player who has suffered a bad day,” Van Gaal added on MUTV. “”He can be the best player in the world in the next match so I think everything is going well. He has trained very well and I don’t think there is any problem.” Van Gaal will not be able to call upon Robin van Persie for the game at St James’ Park and he is unlikely to risk Michael Carrick, even though he has overcome a calf problem and has trained with the squad this week. “I think it is too early for Michael Carrick, he trained now three training sessions with us,” said Van Gaal, who only put the midfielder on the bench for the 2-0 win over Sunderland because Phil Jones and Luke Shaw pulled out at the last minute through illness and injury respectively. The duo are available for the Newcastle match. Van Gaal was reluctant to say when he thought Van Persie would return from the ankle problem he suffered against Swansea 10 days ago. “It’s too early to say,” Van Gaal said. “We have to wait and see. I cannot say anything about that but it is not a heavy injury.” Louis van Gaal thinks Manchester United fans may have to wait until next season before they see the best of Angel di Maria. Van Gaal broke the British transfer record to sign Di Maria from Real Madrid last summer, but after a bright start his star has faded quickly. The Argentinian has not scored in the Barclays Premier League since the first week of October and has provided eight assists despite costing the club £59.7million. On Saturday Di Maria put in possibly the worst performance of his career against Sunderland and he was substituted at half-time. As Van Gaal pointed out, Di Maria is not the only player to have struggled at United this year. The Dutchman believes many of his summer signings have found it hard to hit the ground running and he believes they may all take 12 months to acclimatise to the Premier League and the surroundings. “The first season is always difficult,” the United boss said. “You can say it to every player we have bought: (Luke) Shaw, (Daley) Blind, (Ander) Herrera, (Radamel) Falcao and also Di Maria. “For me it is not a big surprise, it is more a big surprise (if) he (had) adapted as quickly as possible. “In the Netherlands, Spain and Germany I had the same experience with players. “We have to give him time, not just for him but to all the other players. “(The time frame) is dependable on the individual as there are so many different aspects of the game, of the match but also of the culture in the country.” Press Association
Mane and Wanyama both started as Saints were held to a goalless draw at Vicarage Road, although Mane had to be substituted after just 25 minutes with a hip injury. The Senegalese has been the subject of interest from Manchester United this summer while Wanyama is reportedly attracting interest from Tottenham ahead of the transfer deadline. Koeman remains hopeful Mane will be fit in time for the club’s Europa League second leg against FC Midtjylland on Thursday and said he had no hesitation about starting either the forward, or Wanyama, against the Hornets. “No (I had no doubts), speculation doesn’t make me change my team,” Koeman said. “It is the feeling I have and the strategy we have as a club. Again, I say nobody is for sale. “They are Southampton players. That goes for everyone. Not just Mane and Victor, everybody.” Mane’s fitness will be a concern to Koeman, particularly given the absence of fellow attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic, who remained on the bench against Watford due to a lack of fitness. Southampton missed the sort of guile against Watford which the Serbian can provide, with Saints now having taken just two points from their opening three league games. They were arguably fortunate to come away with a draw too as Odion Ighalo and then Etienne Capoue both squandered excellent chances to snatch victory for the home side. “You like to win but after five goals conceded a clean sheet was something to chase,” Koeman said. Ronald Koeman insists he never had any doubts about playing Sadio Mane or Victor Wanyama against Watford despite the transfer speculation surrounding the Southampton duo. “We have had to make a lot of changes defensively since the start of the season so that was a positive. “I don’t think Watford created a lot. We were too strong today for both attackers – that’s a starting point because winning games are started by a good defensive organisation.” Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores admits he thought his side had taken the lead when the ball reached Capoue two yards out, only for the Frenchman to head over. “Yes of course (I thought it was in),” Flores said. “Every time we got close to the goal, we tried to breathe deeply because it is very difficult to create. “We had a very good chance in the first half with Ighalo and we had a good chance in the second half with Capoue. But it’s football.” Scrutiny will also be placed on the Spaniard’s decision not to hand Matej Vydra even a place on the substitutes bench during the stalemate. Vydra scored 16 goals for Watford last season but the striker is yet to play a single minute in the league under Flores in the current campaign. “It is very difficult because we have a lot of players. It is not easy for me as coach, they all want to play,” Flores said. “Vydra’s future could be at Watford, it could be at another team. It is impossible to know because of the club and because of the player.” Press Association
Mayor Lenny Curry of Jacksonville has announced that he will be reopening beaches and parks to the public for essential use beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday.The announcement was made one day after President Trump laid out his three-phase plan to reopen to the country, but said that city officials would ultimately decide when they will reopen their city.“This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life,” Curry said. “Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.”While the beaches and parks will be reopened, they will only be open during certain times. Those times are 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.Visitors will be able to walk, fish, bike, swim, and walk their dog as long as they maintain an appropriate social distance.The report also stated that those who choose to enter the water, are doing so at their own risk.
MADRID: Spain’s secretary for sport Irene Lozano and La Liga president Javier Tebas have categorically ruled out fans returning to matches before the end of this season to minimise the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading. Tebas said last month that fans should be allowed back once it is safe to do so, while the league drew up a draft protocol in the event that the government’s department for sport approved their return. Yet Lozano, who has repeatedly stated that the campaign should finish without supporters as those were the conditions for matches returning after the March hiatus, drew a line under the matter in a breakfast meeting with reporters on Thursday. “The safest thing to do is to complete the season without spectators,” she said. IANS Also Watch: It’s Better to Die Than Live Like This: Street Hawker in Guwahati
June 18, 2020 The Latest: Club rugby to resume in Europe on Aug. 22 The Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel wants to cancel its 50th anniversary edition in October because of the coronavirus pandemic.Organizers say they told tour officials they would “prefer to cancel this year’s edition of the tournament in light of the current situation.”Tournament head Roger Brennwald says playing the event with no fans or with social distancing “have to be ruled out for us in Basel on economic grounds.”The ATP is expected to decide on its end-of-season indoor schedule in mid-July.Brennwald says “it looks like coronavirus is on match point and is set for victory.” Associated Press The Atlantic Coast Conference is moving its football media days online because of concerns about COVID-19.The ACC Football Kickoff was originally scheduled to be held at The Westin in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been rescheduled for July 21-23 with coverage on the ACC Network. Commissioner John Swofford, each of the conference’s 14 head coaches and selected players will be featured. All 10 FBS conferences have now announced that their media days will be altered because of the pandemic, with most going virtual. The Big Ten has not made a final decision on its media days.___Norwich midfielder Marco Stiepermann has returned to training after self-isolating at home following a positive test for COVID-19. A truncated regular season will be concluded by two rounds of matches where teams from the same nation play each other home and away to avoid cross-border travel.Semifinal matches will take place on Sept. 5 and the final on Sept. 12.PRO14 tournament director David Jordan says “we are very fortunate to be in a position where everyone involved is confident that we can conclude the season on the field of play.”The league has two conferences. Leinster and Ulster are the current top two in Conference A while Edinburgh and Munster are the top two in Conference B.___ The English club was informed of the positive test on Friday. That was the same day Norwich played Tottenham in a friendly ahead of the resumption of the Premier League.Norwich says Stiepermann has remained asymptomatic and has since taken two further tests that returned negative results.Norwich is in last place in the league and hosts Southampton on Friday in their first Premier League game back after the three-month suspension.One person has tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest round of checks. The Premier League announced that 1,541 tests had been conducted on players and club staff on June 15 and 16.___ Hometown great Roger Federer was already set to miss the tournament where he worked as a ballboy and is the record 10-time champion. He ended his season this month to recover from knee surgery.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Club rugby in Europe is set to resume on Aug. 22 after a five-month suspension because of the coronavirus outbreak with matches in the PRO14 league that contains teams Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski ended a personal jinx when he opened his account against Fortuna Duesseldorf by scoring twice in a 5-0 win on Saturday as the holders moved closer to a record-extending 30th Bundesliga title.The thumping victory left leaders Bayern, who are chasing an eighth successive league title, top of the standings on 67 points from 29 games, 10 ahead of closest rivals Borussia Dortmund who visit bottom team Paderborn on Sunday.Lewandowski snapped his goal drought versus 16th-placed Fortuna when he scored for the first time against them to give Bayern a 3-0 lead in the first half after a Mathias Joergensen own goal and Benjamin Pavard header opened the floodgates.It also meant the Pole had netted against every current Bundesliga team, having failed to score in five league meetings versus Fortuna either with Bayern or his previous club Dortmund.The prolific striker’s brace took his season’s tally in all competitions to 43 goals and equalled his personal best, which was set in the 2016/17 campaign.France defender Pavard took centre stage when his scuffed shot led to Joergensen’s own goal after 15 minutes before he made it 2-0 just before the half-hour with a header which keeper Florian Kastenmeier got a hand to but could not keep it out.It was Lewandowski’s turn to shine as he capped a flowing move with a clinical finish from the heart of the penalty area in the 43rd after a flowing move through the middle.The goal-hungry hitman made it 4-0 five minutes after the break with another predatory finish, steering the ball in at the near post with a superb back-heel from Serge Gnabry’s low cross.Alphonso Davies completed the rout two minutes later after weaving his way past three defenders and firing a low shot past Kastenmaier, who had pulled off several fine saves in the final 30 minutes to deny Bayern an even bigger victory.The result left Fortuna in 16th place — the relegation playoff spot — with 27 points, one point behind Mainz 05 and two above Werder Bremen who have a game in hand.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced a minor re-shuffle to his two and a half-year-old Cabinet saying the changes were necessary to ensure greater synergy, efficiency and improve responsiveness to the needs of St. Lucians. He said effective November 1, Dominic Fedee who served as a Minister in the Office of Prime Minister, became the Minister of Tourism, Information, Broadcasting, with the additional portfolios of Culture and Creative Industries.Former Culture and local Government Minister, Fortuna Belrose, has been demoted to the position of Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Information, Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries with responsibility for Culture and the Creative Industries. Bradley Felix will now serve as the Minister for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, while Lenard Montoute, will take over the portfolio of Local Government, in addition to having responsibility for Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment.Prime Minister Chastanet said that Edmund Estephane, who served as the Minister in the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth, has now become the Minister for Youth Development and Sports.