Aidan Project supports patients

first_imgThis Saturday, students can help support pediatric cancer patients in the South Bend community with the Aiden Project. Aidan Fitzgerald, a Notre Dame alumnus who contracted testicular cancer in 2006, started the Aidan Project to help pediatric cancer patients in need. He is now in remission, sophomore Circle K member Emmie Mediate said. The event, which was started in 2006 and is hosted by Circle K and Knott Hall, began as a way to provide local cancer patients with blankets.   “Aidan began the project after spending time struggling with cancer and feeling afflicted with cancer as a youth,” Mediate said. Junior Mitchell Lopes, coordinator of the event for Knott Hall and participant for three years, said the idea was to create blankets from pieces of fabric. The blankets are sent to various local hospitals, he said. “Aidan was looking for a way to give back that was logical, practical, and something that he felt he could undertake with his fellow students at Notre Dame,” Lopes said. Each blanket is coupled with a “Get well” or “Merry Christmas” card, he said. Since the event started in 2006, is has grown considerably. Lopes said at least half the residents in Knott Hall have participated in the event in the past. “At first, the project was small, but it quickly grew,” Lopes said. Nearly 2000 service hours are worked in preparation and during the event, with approximately 400 individuals participating in the event last year, Mediate said.  Members of Circle K, Knott Hall, the Kiwanis Club and the South Bend community have united to put on the event in the past. “It’s our biggest event of the year, so it means a lot,” Mediate said. Lopes said as the event has grown, a t-shirt sale has been added to provide additional fundraising.  Last year, the event raised $1500 from making 434 blankets and selling t-shirts. “Our goal this year is to make 500 blankets and raise $1800,” Lopes said. As a joint effort between Circle K and Knott Hall, the event resonates in different ways for participants.    “The event has a special significance for myself as I have lost a close family member to cancer,” Lopes said. “However, I believe the theme resonates with many guys in the dorm who simply feel the desire to pay forward the blessings they have been given”. For Mediate, seeing the patients receive their blankets is the most meaningful part of the event. “The best part of the project is being able to deliver the blankets to the hospitals, and see how much of an impact you are able to have on an individual’s well being, especially as they are in the hospital with cancer,” Mediate said. The event takes place in South Dining Hall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  To support the cause, students can make blankets or “Get well” cards.   T-shirts will be sold for $10 and can be purchased either at South Dining Hall or from the Facebook event ‘2012 Aidan Project.’  The shirts will also be sold in North Dining Hall on Friday. Contact Peter Durbin at  pdurbin@nd.edulast_img read more

Tyne Daily, Sierra Boggess & More Begin Previews in It Shoulda Been You

first_img View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 9, 2015 It Shoulda Been You In the history of insane wedding days, this one takes the cake! Tony winners Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris, Broadway.com Vlogger Sierra Boggess and David Burtka begin previews in It Shoulda Been You on March 17. The wedding-themed comedy, directed by David Hyde Pierce, will officially open at the Great White Way’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 14.Featuring music by Barbra Anselmi and a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove, It Shoulda Been You follows a Jewish bride as she readies to marry her Catholic boyfriend. When the bride’s ex-boyfriend shows up, the perfect wedding starts to unravel, leaving the sister of the bride to turn a tangled mess into happily ever after.The cast also includes Lisa Howard, Edward Hibbert, Montego Glover, Chip Zien, Anne L. Nathan, Josh Grisetti, Michael X. Martin, Nick Spangler, Farah Alvin, Gina Farrell and Mitch Greenberg. Related Shows Star Files Sierra Boggesslast_img read more

July 2013 Climate

first_imgWith many areas of the state receiving more than eight inches of rain during the month, July was another abnormally wet and cool month in Georgia. The summer rains have filled the state’s drinking water reservoir, but have caused flooding, increased stormwater runoff problems and delayed agricultural work.June was the third wettest on record in Georgia. The statewide combination of June-plus-July rainfall is unlikely to break the record for wet summer months in Georgia — which was set in June and July 1916 with 18.92 inches — but this will most likely be ranked in the top wettest summers in the last 100 years. The number of July days with measurable rain was up to 50 percent higher than normal across the state. For most stations in Georgia, July ranked within the top 10 years for the number of rainy days. Rains negatively affect ag industryThe persistent rain caused severe saturation of soils, leading to delays in agricultural fieldwork and construction. Almost daily, showers kept farmers from entering the fields to apply fertilizer and pesticides, as well as from harvesting crops. Hay quality was reduced since it had to be harvested so late after maturity and could not dry well. Application of pesticides by airplane was used in some fields where feasible. Some crop diseases were seen across the state, but less than expected considering the poor field-working conditions and lack of chemical applications. Wet soil conditions also put stress on soybean and peanut crops due to lack of air in the soil. Drier weather the last week of the month had farmers scrambling to catch up on fieldwork where they could. Off the farm, the frequent rains and heavy downpours caused flash flooding. High water levels led to development of ponds in many low-lying areas during the month of July. In late July, more than 5,000 fish were killed in a tributary of the Savannah River. Officials claimed that low oxygen levels in the water were to blame for the fish kill. A surge in organic material levels washed into the river by heavy rains during the month reduced to the amount of oxygen in the river to the point where fish could not survive. Record-breaking rainfallThe rains also filled reservoirs to record levels, forcing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from reservoirs on the Savannah River, which reached their highest levels since 1964. The rainfall experienced in July was second only to September, 2004, when Hurricane Ivan and Tropical Storms Jeanne and Francis inundated the basins. This year, the combination of high reservoir levels and large releases caused temporary closures to many recreational areas, including beaches and boat ramps. Water rose onto River Street in Savannah as a result of the releases combined with higher than usual tides. The highest monthly total precipitation observed at a National Weather Service station was 12.32 inches in Savannah (6.72 inches above normal) and the lowest was in Brunswick at 6.31 inches (2.23 above normal). Atlanta received 8.48 inches (3.21 above normal); Athens received 9.19 inches (4.72 above normal); Columbus received 8.81 inches (4.05 above normal); Alma received 6.98 inches (1.65 above normal); Macon received 6.99 inches (2.04 above normal); and Augusta received 9.05 inches (4.72 above normal). Columbus had its eighth wettest July in 66 years. Athens and Savannah had their ninth wettest Julys in 157 and 143 years, respectively. Savannah set a daily maximum precipitation record of 2.55 inches on July 13, surpassing the old record of 2.36 inches set in 1895. The highest single-day rainfall from Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network stations was 5.71 inches near LaGrange in Troup County on July 4. An observer on Tybee Island in Chatham County reported 5.38 inches on July 13. The highest monthly total rainfall was 24.66 inches, observed near Dillard in Rabun County, followed by 20.35 inches measured north of Cochran in Bleckley County. Cooler temperatures recordedThe frequent rain and cloudy conditions led to an average temperature more than two degrees below normal for July. In Atlanta the monthly average temperature was 77.5 degrees F (2.7 degrees below normal); Athens was 77.8 degrees (2.8 below normal); Columbus was 80.1 degrees (2.4 below normal); Macon was 79.3 degrees (2.5 below normal); Savannah was 81.1 degrees (1.5 below normal); Brunswick was 81.2 degrees (1.6 below normal); Alma was 80.5 degrees (1.5 below normal); and Augusta was 79.5 degrees (2.1 below normal). No temperature records were set in July in Georgia.last_img read more

Wildfire Update: More than 40,000 acres on Fire in Western North Carolina

first_imgLast week, we reported on the growing severity of wildfires blazing in Western North Carolina and surrounding states like South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia.Unfortunately, those fire continued to grow over the weekend and have now reached nearly 40,000 acres in Western North Carolina alone.Many of these fires are not only believed to be the result of human activity, but are reportedly being set intentionally by arsonists.While it’s extremely troubling to see so many acres of cherished land burn, it’s also hazardous to the health of residents. Many if the states with fires burning have warned citizens of unhealthy air quality.What follows is a real time list of fires burning throughout these five states, the amount of acres to which these blazes have reportedly spread, suspected causes, and key information about burn bans and public land closures.Keep in mind that the dry conditions that have facilitated this historic weather event are persisting, and as a result these numbers are constantly changing and often growing. Check back for updates.Western North Carolina WildfiresTellico FireAcres: 13,676Containment Level: 39 percent contained Party Rock FireAcres: 3,457Containment Level: 15 percent containedscreen-shot-2016-11-10-at-9-51-12-amLake Lure/Chimney Rock Area. Photographer last week by Michelle Schwartz.Maple Springs FireAcres: 7,179Containment Level:15 percent containedBoteler FireAcres: 8,695Containment:37 percent containedSouth Mountain State Park FireAcres: 2,850Containment Level: 15 percent contained Ferebee FireAcres: 3,175Containment Level: 3,175 Additional Wildfire Info Immediate Forecast: No rain is in sight for Western North Carolina’s immediate future. Fire caution and safety is of the utmost importance right now.Public Lands Closed: The Appalachian Trail from Rock Gap to the Nantahala River, Chimney Rock State Park, Rumbling Bald Climbing Access Area, South Mountains State Park, portions of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.According to press release issued by the USFS the following trails are closed: Wesser Creek, Chunky Gal from Glade Gap to Tusquitee Gap, Whitewater Falls, Foothills from NC Hwy 281 to the Bad Creek access (detour maps are posted at trail junctions), and the Appalachian Trail from the Nantahala River at Wesser south to Rock Gap Trailhead on FR 67.Suspected Causes: According to USFS, the majority of the wildfires in WNC are the direct result of humans, and the state has even pointed to arson as a major factor in many of these dangerous and destructive wildfires.Burn Bans: All 1 million acres of the Pisgah and the Nantahala National Forest are under a strict no burn ban.North Georgia WildfiresRock Mountain Fire (Rabun County)Acres: 4,000Containment: 10 percent containedRough Ridge Fire (Fannin County)Acres:  nearly 20,000Containment: 20 percent containedAdditional Wildfire Info Suspected Causes: Many of these fires are being labeled as human caused, and, like the fires in North Carolina, arson has been established as a contributing factor in some of the North Georgia wildfires.South Carolina WildfiresPinnacle Mountain FireAcres: 2,312Containment: 25 percent containedscreen-shot-2016-11-11-at-9-00-20-amAdditional Wildfire Info Public Land Closures: Table Rock State Park along with portions of the Foothills Trail.Burn Bans: The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has issued a burn ban on the 33,000-acre Jocassee Gorges area in northern Pickens and Oconee counties, and the South Carolina Forestry Commission has expanded its burning ban from five Upstate counties to all 19 Piedmont counties.Tennessee WildfiresFlippers Bend FireAcres: 1000 Containment: 90 percent containedPoe Road FireAcres: 550 acresContainment: 40 percent containedMowbray FireAcres: 750 acresContainment: 50 percent containedAdditional Wildfire Info Public Land Closures: Citico Creek Wilderness in Cherokee National ForestVirginia WildfiresRaven Rocks Fire (Jefferson National Forest)Acres: 2,500 acresContainment: 60 percent containedMcAfee Knob FireA small brush fire in a hard to reach area near McAfee Knob Fire has been contained.Additional Wildfire Info Burn Bans: There is a temporary restriction of open fires on the Clinch Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National ForestsSuspected Causes: Dry conditions and possible arson in areas.last_img read more

With Eyes on the Caribbean

first_imgBy Dialogo January 25, 2012 Tinted in shades of green, gold, and blue, like a classic Caribbean postcard, St. Kitts and Nevis captivates thousands of tourists from all over the world. As in the case of other Caribbean islands, its warm waters and stunning vistas create a tropical paradise that, nonetheless, is not immune to the pressures of drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, youth violence, human trafficking, and illegal firearms possession, among other crimes. The plague of these evils not only costs thousands of lives each year, but also endangers tourism, the cornerstone of many Caribbean economies. In order to construct a united front against this shared problem, defense and security leaders from 17 Caribbean countries met on the island in December 2011 for the Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC 2012). The annual event, co-sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, focused on generating ideas and formulas for the effective use of the region’s existing resources and on sharing information in two fundamental areas: the fight against drug trafficking and international organized crime, on the one hand, and support in disaster situations, on the other. “I think the most important thing we can do is to focus on the capabilities we have today. And with those capabilities, determine what we can do to improve how we are addressing our collective security concerns,” General Douglas Fraser, commander of SOUTHCOM, stated in his opening address. This priority, he said, is key at a time in which the rates of violence in the Western Hemisphere are alarming. Gen. Fraser noted that, in Honduras alone, there were 82 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011. “The United States in general has five per 100,000, but there are cities in our country where that figure oscillates between 40 and 50, and that’s directly related to the same problems that you are facing here: organized crime and the impact that it has on our cities and on the population,” he added. During the conference sessions, the participants agreed that the Caribbean is witnessing a progressive change in drug trafficking routes. Cornered by the frontal assault on drug cartels in countries such as Colombia and Mexico, the criminals are returning to the region, in what some are calling the “cockroach effect.” According to Rear Admiral (Upper) Homero Lajara Solá, deputy armed forces minister of the Dominican Republic, in addition to traditional threats, his country’s military and police forces are now faced with a phenomenon previously unknown to them. Murder for hire, which is undermining society’s roots, is a byproduct of narcotrafficking that is now affecting his country. “We weren’t prepared for a situation of that kind, in which hitmen come to carry out commissions, chiefly in relation to drug trafficking, which is the axis around which all criminal activity revolves. Ninety-five percent of crimes are linked to drug trafficking,” he said. Realities like this one, and those of other nations such as Trinidad and Tobago, where 11 murders occurred over four days in August 2011, explain why the sharp line that previously separated the role of military personnel from that of public-safety forces in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America has been growing fuzzier. The topic, which was highlighted once again at CANSEC 2012, was addressed by other high-ranking military leaders, including Brigadier Rocky Meade, deputy chief of the Jamaica Defence Force. Meade explained that in his country’s case, there are already two legal instruments that authorize the participation of the Armed Forces in the fight against drug trafficking and assistance in the event of natural disasters and other emergencies. “In Jamaica we work very closely with the Police. What we do is provide the resources that the Police does not have, including maritime resources, air resources, and additional man power,” he commented. Caribbean Connection In view of the irrefutable hemispheric threat that narcotrafficking represents, joint action among the countries and organizations of the region is indispensable in order to benefit from the resources and information in existence. Along those lines, the organizers of CANSEC 2012 took the initiative to gather several of the organizations engaged in protecting the region at a single event. Representatives of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the Inter-American Defense Board, and the Regional Security System took part in the discussions and demonstrated their will to work together. Makila James, the director of the U.S. State Department Office of Caribbean Affairs, explained that CBSI member countries work together on three strategic priorities: substantially reducing illicit trafficking in the Caribbean, advancing public safety, and promoting social justice. Created in May 2010, CBSI is an organization that emerged as a result of dialogue between the United States and Caribbean countries. In her address, James insisted that solving these problems requires a holistic approach. Beyond training military and police personnel, beyond patrol boats and radars, the evil has to be attacked at its root. It is necessary, she said, to generate alternatives so that young people, the population most susceptible to the influence of drug traffickers, can see a future beyond drugs and criminal gangs as a way of life. APAN, the All Partners Access Network The Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) also offered its capabilities in order to contribute to establishing a regional framework for information exchange. Lieutenant General Guy Thibault, the board’s chairman, referred specifically to the importance of identifying the gaps in information that exist in the area of humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and pointed to the use of the All Partners Access Network (APAN) as a proven mechanism. APAN, a social network created by the U.S. Department of Defense, played a decisive role in coordinating the different government agencies and non-governmental organizations that provided aid in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. During the event’s sessions, SOUTHCOM presented a similar tool currently in the testing stage: the Collaborative Sensor and Information Integration (CSII) system. Based on the internet, CSII constitutes an unclassified data-exchange network with the purpose of gathering data from radars and sensors set up in different countries in the region in a single location and for shared use. At present, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are sending data to CSII, a project led by SOUTHCOM in alliance with CBSI. These and other proposals presented at CANSEC, as well as the discussions and even the informal conversations between top-level security and defense decision makers in the Caribbean, demonstrated that in spite of the different languages and cultures, the countries of the region can engage in dialogue with one another and jointly design regional strategies. As Gen. Fraser said, it is a matter of fitting together all the pieces of the puzzle in order to achieve a clear and complete image, indispensable for stopping the common enemy in its track. “If we go back to the 1970s and 1980s, about 30 percent of the overall flow of cocaine was coming through this region. Right now it is a little less than 10 percent. So, our collective goal, mine specifically, is that as we put pressure on traffickers in other parts of the region, that they don’t have the ability to move back here,” he said.last_img read more

Two former credit union employees plead not guilty to embezzlement charges

first_imgTwo former credit union employees have pleaded not guilty to embezzlement charges.A November 5 jury trial is scheduled for Duane Allen Sikes, former mailroom employee of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Vystar Credit Union, who was indicted last month for allegedly embezzling $5.4 million over 15 years.Sikes pleaded not guilty on Sept. 14 in U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., to ten felony counts of mail fraud and five felony counts of embezzlement.In U.S. District Court in Central Islip, N.Y, Suzanne Silva pleaded not guilty to one felony count of embezzlement on Sept. 19. The former COO of the $34 million Winthrop-University Hospital Employees Federal Credit Union in Mineola waived her right to a speedy trial, according to court documents. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Zoom earnings soar as video meets become pandemic norm

first_img“The COVID-19 crisis has driven higher demand for distributed, face-to-face interactions and collaboration using Zoom,” founder and chief executive Eric Yuan said in a release.The quarter ended with Zoom having approximately 265,400 paying customers with at least 10 employees each – an increase of 354 percent from the first quarter in 2019, according to the company based in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.Zoom shares that ended the formal trading day up slightly gave back the gain in after-market trades, apparently due to concerns that its popularity will decline when restrictions on movements ease and people can get back to seeing one another in person.Zoom told analysts that about half the growth in paid use was customers paying month-to-month, and those types of subscribers are more likely to leave than those who commit to annual memberships. “It’s a reminder that Zoom is seeing an unusual spike during what we hope will be a relatively short term event,” independent tech analyst Rob Enderle said.”Once you don’t have to socially distance as aggressively anymore, a lot of folks are going to want to go back to meeting in person.”It is too soon to tell if monthly customers are abandoning Zoom in places where pandemic shelter-in-place rules are being eased because “even there people are taking their time to go back to work,” according to chief financial officer Kelly Steckelberg.‘Hard lesson’The earnings come with Zoom under pressure to deal with security and privacy as the platform faces scrutiny from rising usage.It has taken heat over uninvited cyber guests disrupting online meetings with a tactic called “zoombombing.” Zoom was originally built for businesses with dedicated IT teams to handle implementing security features, but first-time users flocked to the service to work or socialize from home due to the pandemic.”As CEO, I should have done a better job,” Yuan said on an earnings video call with analysts.”We should have played the role of IT for first-time users. We learned a hard lesson; this was a mistake I made.”As a result the company has poured resources into privacy and security.Zoom is also working on encrypting video meetings end-to-end, saying the feature will be made available only to its business customers and not at the free version of the service.Zoom recently launched a philanthropic foundation with initial grants to San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund, Destination Home, the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization and the CDE Foundation.Topics : Zoom on Tuesday reported that its earnings soared as its video-meeting service became a popular way to work or socialize while hunkered down due to the coronavirus pandemic.Zoom said it made a profit of US$27 million on revenue that leapt 169 percent to slightly more than $328 million in the fiscal quarter that ended April 30.In the same quarter a year earlier, Zoom reported zero dollars per share in net income for stockholders.last_img read more

EU talks with Pfizer, Sanofi, J&J on COVID vaccines hit snags: Sources

first_imgEuropean efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson are mired in wrangles over price, payment method and potential liability costs, three EU officials told Reuters.The bloc is in talks with at least six vaccine makers to acquire up front doses of potential shots against the novel coronavirus, officials told Reuters earlier in July, in a strategy meant to increase the chances of having COVID-19 vaccines for its population.Despite the urgency to seal deals amid a global race to secure the most promising shots, the EU is struggling to reach swift agreements, said the officials, who are involved in the talks, and declined to be named because the negotiations are confidential. The United States, meanwhile, has already inked two supply agreements with AstraZeneca and Pfizer among other major funding deals.The EU’s negotiations with Johnson & Johnson are among the most advanced but have yet to conclude amid a back-and-forth over how to share liability costs if the potential vaccine showed unexpected side-effects, two of the officials told Reuters.Johnson & Johnson had no immediate comment.France’s Sanofi is negotiating to supply 300 million doses of the potential vaccine it is developing with British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc to the EU and wants an immediate upfront payment for the entire stock, two officials said. But the EU wants to pay in tranches and delay some payments until the vaccine has passed large clinical trials, the officials said.This has caused “some hurdles,” one of the officials said.A spokesman for Sanofi declined to comment.A spokesman for the Commission, which is leading EU talks with drugmakers, declined to comment.Aside from the Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson discussions, the EU is also in talks with biotech companies Moderna and Germany’s CureVac, officials told Reuters earlier in July.Moderna and CureVac were not immediately available to comment.A deal with AstraZeneca for its vaccine under development with Oxford University was struck by four large EU countries in June and is now about to be completed for the whole 27-nation bloc, officials said.One official said the EU was seeking to seal three or four advance purchase deals.”OVER BUDGET”The most complex talks appear to be with Pfizer and BioNtech which are developing a vaccine using an experimental technology known as messenger RNA, or mRNA, which has not been approved for commercial use by medical authorities.The two firms want the EU to pay them for 500 million doses only if their COVID-19 vaccine is authorised, one official told Reuters.This might eliminate the EU’s risk of losing money should the shot prove unsuccessful. But the bloc fears that if it waits for the vaccine to be proved effective, the bill could be much higher and they risk going “over budget,” one of the officials said.In a further potential complication, some EU negotiators have raised doubts about mRNA, which is also used in the potential COVID vaccines developed by Moderna and CureVac.Pfizer and BioNtech are also discussing liability issues with EU negotiators, a fourth person familiar with the talks told Reuters.Pfizer and BioNTech declined to comment.The US government last week agreed to pay nearly $2 billion to buy enough of the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to inoculate 50 million people, but with payments conditional on their vaccine being successful in large clinical trials.The price agreed under that deal of nearly $40 per course of treatment is considered too high by the EU, officials told Reuters last week.The EU is relying on about 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) from an emergency fund to finance its possible deals with vaccine makers, which could be topped up with payments from EU governments.For instance, the agreement with AstraZeneca initially negotiated by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands cost the four countries 750 million euros for 300 million doses of the potential shot, an Italian official said, with an option to buy a further 100 million doses.That works out at 2.5 euros per dose.It is not clear whether under ongoing talks that money will now be provided by the EU emergency fund. Topics :last_img read more

UK COVID-19 daily death count could be scrapped: Telegraph

first_imgBritain paused its daily update of the death toll last month and the government ordered a review into how Public Health England reports coronavirus deaths, after academics said the daily figures may include people who died of other causes.Academics in a blog post had warned that the way the government health agency calculated the figures was skewed as patients who tested positive for coronavirus, but are successfully treated, will still be counted as dying from the virus “even if they had a heart attack or were run over by a bus three months later”.England’s death figures vary substantially from day to day due to this reason, the academics had argued.In contrast, the other parts of the United Kingdom do not follow the same approach. There is a cut-off threshold of 28 days in Scotland after a positive test, after which a patient is not automatically considered to have died from the virus.Britain, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, its highest daily increase since June, taking the total number of cases past 310,000.  Topics : The UK’s official COVID-19 daily death count could be scrapped following an investigation into Public Health England’s method of counting the toll, The Telegraph newspaper reported.The conclusions of the investigation, which was ordered by Health Secretary Matt Hancock after it emerged officials were “exaggerating” virus deaths, are expected this week, the newspaper said.One recommendation could be to move to a weekly official death toll instead, a government source told the Telegraph.last_img read more

Arsenal legend Alan Smith backs David Luiz to unlock Gunners attacking potential

first_imgEmery’s main task must be to get Arsenal back into the Champion League (Picture: Getty)Emery had already identified the defence as an area that required major improvement after a season when the north Londoners recorded joint-worst top-flight season defensively since 1984 with 51 league goals conceded: the only year they matched that was the season before.But former striker Smith is convinced that Arsenal will outscore teams, especially once Pepe settles into the team alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.‘Even though Aubameyang is not really a wide player, the pace and mobility and ability to change positions across the front line gives them a natural way of playing in a three,’ Smith added.‘It might take a little bit longer than the price tag suggests for Pepe to adapt but he is alongside two team-mates who will, I am sure, be anxious to help and incorporate him into the system, hopefully it won’t take too long. Comment James GrayFriday 23 Aug 2019 10:20 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Arsenal legend Alan Smith backs David Luiz to unlock Gunners attacking potential Smith was a potent attacker for Arsenal in his heyday (Picture: Getty)‘When they signed Pepe it addressed the fact Arsenal have lacked that bit of natural width.‘There has been an over-reliance on Aubameyang and Lacazette, so it will be nice if Pepe can contribute like he did in France.‘Goals win you games.’But if goals do not win Arsenal games, fans can expect the manager to re-enter the transfer market to strengthen the squad once again.Arsenal director Josh Kroenke told the BBC earlier this week: ‘We’ve got to evaluate some things in the short term and figure out where we might need to address going forward, so when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenalcenter_img Advertisement Advertisement Luiz is a defender who is known for his range of attacking passes (Picture: Getty)Arsenal signed David Luiz to strengthen their defence but Gunners legend Alan Smith reckons the Brazilian will be the man to turbo-charge their new-look attack.Unai Emery’s outfit added some much-needed experience to their back-line when they signed Luiz for just £8million from rivals Chelsea.The 32-year-old was part of a busy summer of signings for Arsenal who spent more than £130m, including £72m on Ivorian winger Nicolas Pepe to break their club-record transfer fee.‘When Pepe signed, you did think that’s well and good but we do need a centre half,’ Smith told The Athletic.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Luiz coming in has eased some of those concerns as well as being a great exponent of the diagonal pass.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘When you have such quick targets to chase after these balls it’s a good way of getting from back to front. It is nice to have that mixture.‘There is that sense for opponents that if you press and squeeze Arsenal in midfield you can stop them building up, so that’s a nice weapon in the armoury to have.’Arsenal are desperate to break into the top four once again as they begin a third consecutive season without Champions League football.last_img read more